Monday, August 31, 2009

Todays Burden

Alternate title: My contribution to fight climate change.

I have to smell burnt gunpowder today, I also have to turn this loaded ammo into a pile of brass. Unfortunately I have to try and find a load that works in this pistol. I had overall length (OAL) issues for a while, and crimp issues on lead bullets. I backed the OAL down to 1.150 and we shall see how it runs, I also bought a new crimp die for the lead.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Parenting According to Sigboy

The kids are just about thru with their first week of this new school year and I find myself pondering childhood. My son has been apprehensive about the first grade, the fear of the unknown is strong in him. He worries about reading and math. I comfort him, knowing that he will do fine. The biggest issue is his kindergarten teacher. She is teaching first grade this year, and Sigboy Jr was not chosen to be in her class. Of course, half his original classmates were, and he took it personally.

Some have suggested having the school move him into her class. My question is why? Change is the only constant in this thing we call life. I feel for my son, I understand his apprehension, and I will comfort him. But I will not ask the school to change his teachers. I feel that it will prevent him from developing skills that will help him function in society. Perhaps that is my upbringing coming out.

My father saw his roll as provider and worked, alot. The only times I saw him was when he took me to school in the morning and on Sundays. My mother was more enthralled with the idea of being called mom, rather than actually being one (brief aside, now she is more enthralled with the idea of being called grandma). If I wanted to do a extracurricular activity, it was my responsibility. All of it, logistics and planning. I had to figure out how I was paying for it, how I was getting there, and how I was getting home. Occasionally, that meant riding my bike ten miles across town. Sometimes it even meant that I had to walk.

What I gained from that was huge in comparison. I can make a plan. I can make a plan that will work, and I can do it under pressure, almost instantly. Please note that I did not say that they would be great plans, just that they would work. Great plans actually take, well, planning.

My point is this, children, with guidance and love, have to experience the world. We cannot shield our children from it. We can prepare them, and quide them down the correct path, but we cannot keep them from it. Would I be able to organize and plan as well as I do if not for my parents? As for Junior, what damaged would be done by sheltering him for another year? We all enjoy our comforts and our constants. But it is a big scary world out there, and our kindergarten teacher won't always be there to protect us.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Today is my one year blogaversary. I have met some very good people, and maybe even entertained one or two of them. 144 posts. Not a record by any means, I try for three posts a week, sometimes more, sometimes less. When the mood strikes I write.

I started this blog more to entertain myself than anything else. My life was entering a new chapter. I had a new town, new opportunities. There was a few hurdles to cross, and life being what it is, there still are.

I would like to tell both my readers that I have no plans of stopping. I'm trying to diversify my writing and focus on all things that interest me. Luckily most of those things go bang. If you want me my pithy opinion on something, say so, and I will be happy to oblige.

I leave all of you will this final thought. You have to make your own adventure. This quest is not about what is at the end, but how we get there.

Thank you for coming along for the ride.

Friday, August 14, 2009

First Aid Kits

I have always tried to be prepared, some items need more work than others. I recently went thru my FAK(first aid kit) and removed all the out of date items, installed some new items, and pulled out all of the latex. As some of you know, Mrs. Sigboy has an airborne latex allergy. Did I mention that it is severe? Anyways, In the house we have the regular comfort stuff for the kids. These kits I decided to focus more on the really bad things that can happen. Broken bones, and holes in people that leak red stuff.

I put two kits together, a main kit that will handle multiple people with multiple injuries.

The smaller kit is for me personally, and maybe one other person. It contains one pressure dressing, alot of gauze, a ACE bandage, a triangle bandage, a roll of 1"medical tape, a bandaid assortment and some assorted drugs. I have also added eyedrops and more drugs.

The first pouch contains drugs, foot powder, misc tapes, moleskin, steristrips and antibiotic ointment/

The second pouch contains assorted bandaids, ACE bandages and wraps, and assorted 2x2's and 3x3's.

My current selection of tools, tweezers, forceps and scissors.

The final pocket contains a SAM splint, CPR mask, gauze, 4x4's, Q-tips, pressure dressings, temparin and eyewash.

In establishing your own FAK you have to decide what your needs are and base your kit around that. I should have more stuff for treating small kiddy boo-boo's, I'm actually considering added another bag for just the kid stuff. Remember that most prefabbed FAKs are not a catch all, you need to adjust them for your needs.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Match Safety

We all know the four rules:

1) All guns are always loaded.
2) Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
3) Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot
4) Always be sure of your target and what is behind it.

I sometimes wonder how firmly entrenched these rules are in some peoples minds, especially under stress. Last weekend I was helping to RO an indoor match. We had a new shooter, and we all were helping to keep an eye on him. He had shot before, but had no practical shooting experience. When he came up in the firing order I walked him thru the stage, I showed him where to move and what to do. I explained all the range commands to him. I told him that safety was more important than anything. And than the buzzer went off. Muzzle discipline and trigger finger control went out the window. I stopped him and we restarted. This time he was more aware of his muzzle but that trigger finger continued to be a problem. Towards the end of the match he started to get it, I got tired of yelling "Finger!". He could not comprehend the command, "Unload and show clear." That finger did not want to leave the trigger. He knew the rules, but the stress was causing him to forget them. Which tells me that they are truly not ingrained into his subconscious.

I remember the first time a buzzer went off in my ear. I believe that I went brain dead for about 7 seconds. At the end of the stage I was told that I sure knew my way around that Sig. My reply? "Thank you, we've been thru alot together."

Train like it's serious. This applies to the four rules as well. They are more firm then the commandments, they are there to keep us safe, with no extra holes when we go home at night.

Wading in The Health Care Pool

I wasn't going to get involved, I wasn't going to comment, I wasn't even paying close attention. But I was struck by the debate that health care 'reform' has stirred. Let me set the record straight; I buy my own insurance. Every year my employer gives me a large stack of plans to choose from. I glance at them, ponder a little and choose one. I base my choice on two factors. 1) How much health care do I think I'm going to need this year, and 2) how much health care can I afford this year. I have been wrong on both counts before, and paid for it, literally.

I realize that some people get healthcare at tax payer expense. I do not see why that means we should all have healthcare at each others expense. My employer and I enter to an agreement as to who pays what, and I find that acceptable. I personally bear alot of responsibility for how much I pay. I also decide what I have done and what I don't. How can I make those decisions if someone else is paying for it?

What to do? What to do? I wrote a letter, to a politician whose stance I was unsure of, but no longer. Here is her response on health care reform:
Dear Friend:

Thank you for contacting me regarding health care reform. I welcome your thoughts and comments.

According to the United States Census Bureau, 45.7 million people, or 15.3 percent of the total population, were uninsured in 2007. The number of uninsured Texans is even higher. Recent statistics show that one in four Texans is without health insurance.

Rising insurance premiums have become an obstacle to accessing medical care. Compounding the problem is the fact that fewer employers are offering any health insurance at all. In Texas, only 52 percent of employers offer health insurance. As a result, nearly half of our state’s citizens must purchase their own insurance in the private market. More and more Texans are choosing to remain uninsured because the cost of private insurance is just too high.

We can and must do more to address this trend. Nationalized health care is not the answer. We must make it more affordable for those who are not covered through their employers to purchase their own health insurance. Tax benefits are given to employers for providing health benefits, so I believe that they should also be available to those who purchase health insurance from the individual market.

You are among thousands of concerned Texans who have written to express their views on this topic. You may be assured that as issues regarding health care reform and health insurance come before the Senate, I will keep your views in mind. I appreciate hearing from you, and I hope that you will not hesitate to keep in touch on any issue of concern to you.

Kay Bailey Hutchison
United States Senator

Let me translate for you. You are special if you have insurance, everybody must have insurance. Let us force your employer to give you insurance(with tax breaks) instead of the Government giving it to us. Why do I think it would cost the same in the end?

I will leave you with this pearl of wisdom from a conversation with a Canadian friend.
"What is so bad about nationalized health care? I've had two shoulder surgeries and there was no cost to me."
My reply, "I think that the cost to you came in the form of a nanny state with gun control so extreme that you might as well not be able to own a gun."
I cut him off in retort, "Keep your free medical, and I will keep my guns."

This is a gun blog, you knew I would get there somehow.
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