Wonderings

New Tramp Stamp?

I was out and about today and saw quite a few teen girls with tattoos. Not exactly a new phenomenon; I see them often enough at work, but today, it struck me as a little odd.

Maybe it’s just because the weather was warmer, or maybe because summer might actually be almost here, but I saw an ungodly number of tattoos on the back of the necks of these young girls. None of them were sporting ink in the usual location of a tramp stamp (and yes, they’d have been visible!) or any other place that I could see, and the images varied from a cross to wings to a few notes from a song to a heart with a date under it (not the girl’s own birthdate, as it was just a few years ago).

Has this become the new tramp stamp? Easy to cover up with longer hair but easy to show off if desired?

Categories: Wonderings | Tags: | 2 Comments

Recently Overheard

While sitting at my doctor’s office… “Global warming doesn’t mean it’s going to get warmer, you know!” Said by a hippie-looking older woman who then began expounding on just how evil the oil and gas industries are and how they are ruining the world. *sighs*

While wandering the grocery… “I’m about ready for an equatorial vortex! All of those polar vortexes this winter really got me down.” Never did catch sight of who said that, but I couldn’t agree more!

Categories: Wonderings | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Dinner Out

I’ll blame it on being tired. Well, beyond tired, really…exhausted and not thinking straight. Even though I have to admit that I let myself in for all of this mess, I still say it wasn’t really my fault.

I’d gone to pick my guy’s mom up when she called, just as I was ready to lay down for a nap. I still hadn’t slept after my night shift, and by the time I’d dropped her home after a stop or two, it was well after 4pm. I was hungry and I thought food would keep me going for a while longer. There was a sushi place just a little north of where I was, so I headed there. I figured I could get a quick bite and then get home and crash.

Unfortunately, the place was packed. There must’ve been a party going on, but all of the tables were taken, and I was told there’d be quite a wait. “But hang on. If you want, we can seat you now on the hibachi side,” said the hostess. “Alright,” I said, thinking, “How bad can this be? Hot food, fixed for me… Sounds great!”

I sat down. To my left…a 10 year old boy with his mother on his other side. To my right, a 6 year old boy with his father on his other side, followed by a baby in a carseat, two more boys, and their mother. I was trapped between two rambunctious boys. Lovely! What fun! And it only got better from there.

When the chef was tossing egg into people’s mouths, the 6 year old to my right got a bit rowdy. He jumped up and backwards on his chair, flipping himself and it all the way over and smashing it. He bounced up. The chair didn’t. It lay in smithereens, to be picked up and brushed aside, replaced by a new chair. He tried it again, but his dad caught the chair just before it toppled the second time. (Neither time did he catch the egg, of course.)

The 10 year old to my left wasn’t quite that bouncy, but he couldn’t hold on to his silverware to save his life. I quit counting after his fourth fork hit the floor. The waitress ended up just bringing a stack of forks for him to use. (I suppose I should be glad he wasn’t learning chopsticks that night.)

As for me? Apparently I wasn’t paying enough attention to the chef at one point, because he threw an onion slice at me and hit me dead on in the chest. I about went backwards in my chair from surprise at that!

But the food was good, and I had enough left for a snack later that night. I’ll just have to remember to pay attention at all times if I go back there.

Categories: Cooking, Wonderings | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Aging Gracefully

Apparently, I look young. Younger than my stated age. Much younger than my actual age, according to those who know me.

I’ll miss getting carded.

But if this is the last time I get carded, at least I’ll remember it well.

I got carded last week. At WalMart. For rifle ammo.

Categories: Firearms, Weapons, Wonderings | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

’tis Better to Be Boring

I’m about fed up with being “interesting”. I don’t really need to be “boring”, exactly, but “run of the mill” or “common” would be just fine with me at this point. (And I do apologize for the rant, but I need to let it out somewhere.)

My new nephrologist told me 2 months ago that she was absolutely delighted that I’d brought her such an “interesting” puzzle to figure out. That means I got poked 4 separate times (including one arterial stick) for blood, had to fork over a kidney stone (don’t ask…please), and had to collect other unseemly such things as might help a kidney doc to figure things out. So I now have at least a partial diagnosis, a handful of horse pills to take every day, and the possibility that this may still end in a kidney biopsy to figure out just exactly what is going on. And my nephrologist is still enjoying figuring all of this out.

My ENT is still trying to figure out exactly why the hearing in my left ear is not coming back. Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is most often temporary and generally is helped by steroids. When it is neither, it becomes “interesting”. Well, I’m almost 7 weeks out now from when I lost the hearing in that ear, and it’s not back. It’s not even coming back with the steroid shots (as thoroughly enjoyable as those are). That means more work-up to get it figured out and planning for a hearing aid. I’d really rather it just came back and I became one of the many who could hear just fine again.

My new dermatologist also just today proclaimed me “very interesting”. She isn’t at all sure what is going on, other than to say that she doesn’t think the ER doc in Copenhagen was right. She has some ideas, but none of them fit with the ongoing recurrences, so she’s going to take a tiny piece of my thumb in a day or two, after letting the newest spot get a bit worse…just to be sure it’s bad enough that she can get a proper diagnosis, you see. I’m just going to keep my fingers crossed that it turns out to be something very common, very simple, very easy…that just looked ugly when it popped up.

I’m thinking more and more that boring sounds just fine by me.

Categories: Health, Wonderings | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Best Days

Some holidays really do seem to be more created than organic. I had never heard of “Sweetest Day” until I moved to the midwest. Even Valentine’s Day seems to be to be at least somewhat driven by the idea that “if you don’t do this TODAY OF ALL DAYS…”, you’ve failed.

To me, that’s not what a relationship is. Or rather, it’s not what a good relationship should be. Love and caring and sharing should be every day, not simply on one day that is set aside so that Hallmark and American Greetings can sell cards.

Yesterday was awesome. But not because I got roses or chocolate or some flowery sentiments pre-printed on a pink and red card. My guy called me from our local gun store to tell me that they still had the 100 round boxes of .223 ammo in stock (and at pre-panic prices, no less!), but it was 1 box/person…did I want to drive up and meet him there so I could get another box for myself? (I’d told him the day before that they had the ammo in, but I could only get 1 box at the time, and he was at work. He was stopping to see if it was still there so he could at least pick up a box for himself.)

He could have just picked up a box for himself and come down to meet me. He didn’t have to call me and tell me they still had the ammo in stock; I’d never have known. But instead, he thought to call me and make sure that I could get another box.

This is what it’s all about.

Categories: Firearms, Wonderings | Tags: , | 1 Comment

WWP Refuses Donations Again

It appears that the Wounded Warrior Project has done it again.

A church and school in Florida registered their fundraiser with the WWP and paid their registration fee. They were getting things set up for a special collection to be done on the last Sunday of this month. The kids in the school were donating their lunch money and getting involved, getting excited about this! One sixth grade class had already raised $400. But then, they received an email from the WWP stating that they “must decline the opportunity to be the beneficiary of your event due to our fundraising event criteria, which doesn’t allow community events to be religious in nature.” So now it’s off. WWP doesn’t get the projected $50,000 that the church thought it was going to be able to raise; the kids are disappointed, and people are left wondering just who it is that WWP thinks is good enough to donate to them.

First, they refused to accept money from any fund-raising that was done through or via groups associated with firearms. That caused many of us who support the Second Amendment to choose another place for our donations to go. At that time, their webpage FAQ did state “WWP fundraisers cannot be sexual, political, or religious in nature, and cannot be partnered with alcohol brands or the exchange of firearms….” Nevermind that many veterans, wounded or not, find shooting relaxing and a very good way to spend time. Nevermind that many of the fundraisers that were done by 2A supporters were not involved with the “exchange of firearms” either, but were simply people getting together on a weekend to spend the day turning money into smoke and noise and putting some of that money aside for the WWP.

Currently, the WWP webpage Proud Supporter FAQ (#19 specifically) states that “WWP fundraisers cannot be sexual or political in nature and cannot be partnered with alcohol brands.” It’s been changed from what it said 3 months ago. I don’t see anything there about being unable to accept donations from a church group. I don’t know if they changed it again in the past day or two to remove “religious”, but it’s not there now.

This is just one more reason for anyone who might consider WWP as a place for donations to consider another charity.

A few possible alternatives (many more out there):

Soldiers’ Angels

Wish for Our Heroes

Honored American Veterans Afield

 

Update:

On Facebook, WWP is stating only this in answer to all comments regarding the issue (and repeating it multiple times):

“We did turn down this potential fundraiser because it did not fit several of our giving guidelines for community events. Unfortunately, we mistakenly communicated to the church that the event was turned down because we do not accept donations from religious groups, which is not the case. We work with many diverse groups to honor and empower Wounded Warriors, including religious groups. We have called the church to apologize for any confusion.”

I’ve read their entire FAQ page. I’m still not sure what parts of their giving guidelines it does not fit.

Categories: Firearms, Politics, Wonderings | Tags: | 1 Comment

Mail Call!

I was wondering if the appearance of this…

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in my mailbox signals that I just might have a problem. Apparently, they appreciate the amount of money that I’ve spent there this year.

Then again, that’s just a catalog to entice me into spending more money.

My local gun shop sent me a gun mat for Christmas because I spend so much money there. Thot only considered that a problem because he didn’t get one, too!

Categories: Clothes, Firearms, Wonderings | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

How Did I Get Here?

The past days have given me an embarrassment of time to think. How did I get where I am? What led me to this point? Why am I one of those who is willing to ferociously defend as sacred the text “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.

I was in the military, but as a physician, you are not expected (nor allowed under most circumstances) to be one of those who actively participates in using guns of any sort. However, during the summer after my first year of medical school, the required 6 weeks of active duty time was spent with the military trying to show all of us just how much fun being a GMO (general medical officer) could be. We got wilderness survival training, aircraft safety training, and a training flight in a T-37. And we were taken to the range one time to fire M-9s. It was the first time most of us had ever even held a gun, much less fired one.

I found I was good at it. Really good. And I enjoyed it.

It was probably another 7 or 8 years before I fired a gun again. I was back on active duty and managed to talk my way into a range qualification day despite being a physician and theoretically not needing it. I enjoyed it just as much as I had the first time. And I was still good at it.

Then I found some friends who enjoyed shooting for fun. They owned guns, though none of them carried. They went to the range on a regular basis, and guns were not scary or frightening to them. They lived out of state, but we’d go shooting every time I visited, and they helped me to purchase my first gun, an H&K .40. That was about 13 years ago. I still have that gun, and I’m still far more accurate with that than I am with any other.

That was it for quite a few years. I had a gun. It came with 2 magazines. It had a box to keep it in. I knew how to clean it. Once in a while, I would go to the range and shoot. I didn’t know what to do other than just shoot at targets, so that’s what I did. I’d get one box of ammunition, maybe two, from the range when I got there, and I’d shoot it all. I didn’t keep any in the house other than the self-defense rounds that were kept loaded between range trips.

I didn’t know there was so much more out there.

After I moved into this house, I found a little neighborhood range up the street. I started shooting much more regularly, and I started looking at the guns that they had in their glass cases. I wasn’t planning on buying anything; after all, what would I do with TWO guns?

Then one day, they had a S&W 952. I’d been vaguely playing with the idea of “what if” and possibly getting into some sort of competitive shooting. I had no idea what was involved, but after looking into what the 952 was, it was definitely a gun that could get me started. So then I had two guns.

But surely, two was enough…right?

Well, no. Because the 952 showed me that there were more calibers out there than just .40. After all, it’s a 9mm. I also realized that there were more manufacturers out there than just the one or two that I had seen. Then I found 2 M&Ps, one in 9mm and one in .40. And a Beretta and a Sig, both in 9mm.

I started trying to figure out why I liked shooting some of my acquisitions better than others. The 952 was easily my favorite, for a lot of reasons. As I shot more, sometimes with range guns, sometimes with guns that were loaned to me by others who were shooting on any given day, I came to realize that it was the 1911 platform that was my favorite. Of course, that meant moving up to .45s. I did a lot of research before I bought my first, but my second was a gun show find, one that literally caught my eye from several aisles away.

Somewhere in there, I also realized how absolutely FUN .22s are to shoot. Fun, and cheap! Once I picked up one, it was almost like potato chips…I couldn’t get just one. Of course, I tried to “justify” two of them by telling myself that they are .22 trainers for full-size handguns that I already had. (But they’re just plain FUN.)

But still, in 20+ years of shooting, I’d only ever fired handguns. No revolvers, even.

Then this spring, I met THOT. He taught me how to shoot a rifle, first with his 10/22 and then with his .308 Enfield. He also likes revolvers, so I’ve now shot a few of those (not just his, but he’s also introduced me to so many other gunnies…and gunnies SHARE). I’ve even shot the shotgun that my dad used to hunt with as a kid.

I’ve discovered that I like shooting rifles at least as much as I do handguns. And if I like shooting something, it’s not fair if I have to keep borrowing that something to shoot it, so I had to get one of my own. I started with an M&P 15-22 (yes, the first rifle I bought -was- an Evil Black Rifle of sorts). My first centerfire rifle was a left-handed bolt-action Savage in .308. I picked up my first AR last month (a -real- Evil Black Rifle). I even have an antique Lebel that fits the bayonet passed down from my dad.

So I’ve come to this slowly and mostly along a solo path, but now I’ve found friends who share similar interests. I’ve spent time talking with them and listening to them. We don’t always agree about everything, but at the core, we do hold some things sacred.

I know that guns can kill; given my background and the work I do, there is no way I could avoid knowing that.

I also know that guns can protect and save. I’m not small, and I’ve had some training in martial arts, but if someone wants to rape me or kill me, my ability to carry and use a gun may be all that stands between me and him. Or them. I’m also not as young as I used to be; I can’t run as fast or hit as hard, and I have one bad knee. Plus right now, I’ve got one shoulder that is just a couple of weeks post-repair. If I am not allowed the ability to defend myself with a gun, I’m incredibly vulnerable should someone desire to take what is mine. Or to take me.

Why should someone have the right to take what is mine or to hurt me because he is bigger than I am, younger than I am, or faster than I am? If guns are made illegal, then only criminals will have guns. Will that make it any more right for him to take what is mine because he then has a gun and I no longer do?

My parents are also getting older. Why should they not have the choice to defend themselves should someone look at them as easy prey? Why should I not have the right and ability to defend them as I would myself?

While I might carry a handgun when outside the house, I am at least as accurate with a rifle as I am with a handgun. Many people like a shotgun for home defense; I think a rifle can serve that purpose very well. If what mine looks like adds to the scare factor, so much the better, but honestly, if I have it out and pointed at someone, it’s not going to be for the scare factor. My home is my castle; I have worked long and hard to get to the point where I could build exactly what I wanted, where I wanted, when I wanted to. I will not give it up to any person who tries to take it from me. I am willing to defend my position in it as I am my life, because to me, that which I have earned is part and parcel of me.

I believe in the ideals this country was founded on. And that includes the Second Amendment.

Categories: Firearms, Wonderings | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Day to Remember

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I’ve been there. I’ve seen. I will never forget that which happened on this day, and that which came because of it.

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