понедельник, 4 июня 2007 г.

stupid conscience.

My cell phone number must be just a digit off from that of a local funeral home. I often receive calls from old folks asking about funeral arrangements for their relatives.

I received another one of those about five minutes ago. Some elderly lady asked whether we had made arrangements for one Mister Whatshisname yet.

What I did tell her was, "I'm sorry, ma'am, you must have the wrong number."

What I was briefly tempted to tell her was, "Oh yeah, old Bob Whatshisname. We were going to send him off on the Viking ship out on Fort Loudoun Lake at dawn tomorrow, and then light him up with flaming arrows all Nordic-style. Will you be supplying the virgin for the sacrifice, or do we have to bring one? 'Cause, you know, that'll add to the bill a little."

die hard at the costco.

As a revolver shooter and -toter, I sometimes encounter folks who deem the wheelgun a cute anachronism at best, a useless antique whose utility as a serious defense weapon has been eclipsed by the ascent of the flatgun, which can hold two or three times as many marbles in the tank.

Some arguments aginst the wheelgun have some validity, especially in comparison with the semiautomatic pistol. The wheelgun holds less rounds (usually--the difference in capacity between an eight-shot S&W 627 and a single-stack 1911 is negligible), it's slower to reload, and its larger bulk around the midsection makes it a little more difficult to carry inside a waistband.

One of the arguments that doesn't hold much validity, and one that I encounter quite frequently in revolver-versus-autoloader discussions, is the dreaded "multiple attackers" scenario.

"Criminals work in packs!" some folks will point out. "If you are faced with more than six attackers, you're screwed if you carry a six-shooter!"

Folks, I have news for you: if you get accosted by a half-dozen or more armed attackers who have any amount of skill and determination, your goose is cooked, regardless of what you carry in your holster. If you tote a plastic autochucker with a 19-round magazine, you're just as dead as I am with my six-shot Smith--the only difference will be that you'll die with more bullets in your gun.

My strategy in a multiple-attacker scenario would be to shoot the most belligerent one first, and then engage the remainder as needed with what I have in the gun, and hope that the sight of one or more of their buddies dropping will make the rest reconsider their plans for the evening.

Now, don't get me wrong: more bullets in your gun are never a bad thing. Nobody's ever been in a gun fight and found themselves wishing they had less ammunition in their weapon. However, there are tradeoffs with every weapon system, and I made the conscious choice to sacrifice capacity for the reliability and simplicity of the wheelgun. In addition, I find that I can simply put bullets on target most accurately and consistently with a S&W double-action revolver. I'm confident that my revolver a.) lets me put the rounds where they need to go better than anything else, and that b.) the gun is going to to bang every time I pull the trigger. In my mind, that's an acceptable trade for extra capacity.

суббота, 2 июня 2007 г.

back to school.

Well, here we go again.

After my unceremonious exit from the sorry-ass school where I was going for my teaching degree, I basically took six months off from school. I was too burned-out, and frankly too cheesed at the sorry state of education in this state, to scratch together the motivation for a quick transfer to another school.

I guess I could have written the whole thing off altogether, but I'm twenty grand in hock to the bank for student loans, and if I don't finish this four-year degree, we'll be making the equivalent of an extra car payment every month for quite a few years without anything to show for it in return. Besides, I've left too much stuff unfinished in my life already; back to school it is.

I enrolled at ETSU in one of their distance-learning degrees, a generalized "Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies", with concentrations in English and PoliSci. They let me transfer most of my credits from my two previous schools, and I can finish this thing up in two more semesters, plus the summer.

I'll have to squeeze the classwork into an already busy day, but that's what I'll have to do if I don't want to waste a bucket of hundred-dollar bills. It remains to be seen whether a four-year degree is really more than a waste of money, representing a cash outlay that could have been used to pay off the mortgage--or that could have been left with the bank to begin with--but a B.S. never exactly hurt anyone except by writing the checks for the aforementioned loans.

Classes start Monday, tuition is paid for the summer, and I guess I can cut that sleep back to four hours a night. What's that saying from Conan the Barbarian again?

"Time enough to rest in the grave."