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Fun with a normal white guy...
Sharing experiences in the world of debauchery.
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I Was a Threat and Had to Go
Posted:May 25, 2021 5:33 pm
Last Updated:Jun 12, 2021 7:49 am

We've all heard someone make such a claim legitimize getting whacked from a job. It's typically those you know be incompetent who make it, so no one takes it seriously. However, in my case, it's true. Below is my story. I know it's a bit long, but I think it's worth the ride, if only for the moments when you find yourself saying 'He did what?'

It started out as the best thing that happened in my career. The first time I was an actual executive with a VP title and everything. All of North American sales and marketing reported to me. The company was privately held, based in Switzerland, but mostly run by Germans. I was the first American to run the business in over a decade as was my boss, the president of North America.

Unfortunately, I quickly realized my boss was in way over his head. He'd never actually managed anyone before and his previous role was as an application engineer. The controller and I agreed we'd mentor the president; we were confident he'd rise to the occasion. Except, not only did he not rise, he withdrew and became more resentful toward me as time went by.

When I started, he told me he would be in the office from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. as he was responsible for the logistics for his offspring at school. He'd be working from home and available on his mobile outside that window. Except not only did he keep that same schedule year round, he was completely dark, when not in the office. And that's when he decided to come in at all. On the full days he worked from home, he was not only unreachable, but occasionally posted golf scores on his page (according those who were friends with him). There were periods of time where no one knew where he was or could get in touch with him. One of those was when a board member from Switzerland popped by. 'We were in the same meetings, how could he just disappear?' Uh, dunno...ask him if he ever surfaces.

The man refused to make a decision on anything. The most jaw dropping example was at a baseball game. We'd booked sky boxes for the entire staff, complete with catering. Sometime around the 6th inning, a hostess popped by to ask Jason if we were about done eating or would we like a final food restoc My girlfriend and I were sitting behind Jason and looked at each other, stunned, when he literally began stammer, finally spitting out 'uh...go ask our controller'. That's how paralyzed he was.

Another perfect example of his complete lack of ownership was the day our office was in the path of a complete nightmare of a storm. Hail, wind, torrential rain. We lost power, but that shouldn't have been a problem because our building had a generator. Except it wouldn't start because Jason had failed to sign the maintenance agreement. So there we were; about 20 people dead in the water without power. After it was clear that situation wouldn't be remedied any time soon, I headed over to Jason's office to huddle up on next steps. I planned to let my own people go home, but he owned the operations side. I wanted us to be aligned on our actions. When I reached his door, he was in front of it, his cute little backpack on his shoulders, key in hand. When I asked what he was doing, he said 'I'm goin' home.' I stood there dumbfounded as he walked away, his people stuck in the dead building because he hadn't given them permission to leave. I turned on my heel and went around, sending everyone home. The most telling aspect of the story came the next morning, when the warehouse manager called my cell to inform me the power was still off and that they needed direction. Despite him being completely useless, I always deferred to Jason on operations issues and responded to the warehouse manager that Jason would have to make that call. She interrupted me mid sentence to say she'd already tried him and it went right to voicemail. Then, she said something to the effect of 'you and I both know Jason's MIA and couldn't make a decision even if I did reach him.' Wow.

Because of his paralysis, I became the de facto leader of North America. And I worked my ass off for my team; 60 hour weeks were the norm. I quickly garnered their respect by being decisive and having a vision for the future (and communicating it). There were literally occasions where a customer service person would stop at my door and say 'I'm so excited for the direction you're taking us'. This was the shit I lived for.

But with Jason, it was quite the downward spiral. He could see he'd lost the team's respect, whereas I'd gained it. His resentment toward me grew stronger by the day, as he saw me being who the team looked to. He'd occasionally try to force me to kiss the ring, by berating me for doing something he didn't like, but would come up empty when I'd ask how I should have handled it. We were spending too much on promotion, but I caught hell for planning skip some expensive trade shows, where we didn't have anything new promote anyway. There are those who would suggest he was afraid of . Those episodes became more and more common, until they reached a breaking point. I remember telling him 'you want be a leader, then you have lead!!!'

Shortly after, there was some sort of upcoming celebration planned, with both the Swiss owner and the CEO coming in participate. I had solid relationships with both. Things with Jason had gotten the point where it was time for all of his laundry come out. It was time for a coup. Obviously, I kept that myself, but Jason would have had be brain dead not realize I had reached my limit and would serve up a huge mound of dirt on him the Swiss.

That's when Jason actually grew a pair of balls and made a decision ( save himself). He lobbed a note the aforementioned owner and CEO stating I had be dismissed with utmost urgency. This note also outlined my various, and completely fictitious transgressions, support his decision. Because the Swiss are scum bags (I've got a dozen data on that one), they let him do it. I know what happened because the owner and his wife invited dinner with them, after the dust settled. Hans said it came out of the blue. I remember looking him in the eye and asking, 'didn't you think the timing was a bit odd, Hans? He absolutely had get rid of right before you and Walter came over?' Blank stare. With Hans being Swiss, it was dropped there.

Returning when I was shown the door, Jason waited until a day I was working from home inform . He said I was done, that someone would be by collect company property in my possession and deliver my personal effects, and that I would be arrested if found on the company property. Then came the crown jewel that I didn't learn about until later. Jason went around the members of my team I was closest and informed them they were have no communication with and doing so would be grounds for termination. What would lead the president of a company put illegal conditions on employment for select individuals?

In the since, the owner recognized he was in over his head (we was a young guy and his grandfather was the founder) and hired a professional management team. I'm sure the new CEO took a all of minutes see Jason for what he was, although it took a year before Jason was demoted back to engineering manager, having (not) led the North American operation to double digit losses.
Canine Contrition - It Does Exist
Posted:May 22, 2021 11:28 am
Last Updated:Jun 12, 2021 7:49 am
So-called experts have long since held the position that dogs are in capable of feeling guilt or remorse for doing something naughty.
This position was confirmed as recently as January of this year, by the AKC. The stance is and has been that when dogs demonstrate body language typically associated with shame or contrition, it's the result of them cuing in on their owners, who are upset over whatever transgression they committed. Owner discovers shredded pillow, owner gets upset (even to a small degree), knows owner is unhappy about dog's behavior, offers contrite body language. While I agree that's the most typical scenario, it's not always the case.

I've called bullshit on this 'expert opinion' for years, particularly after a situation with a previous dog. Today, I received another data point and call the so-called experts out as morons.

Here's a quick review of my experiences. The first was with my border collie, Isabel, who could recite Pi to 1 places and drive a car. Don't call me a liar; she could dammit. Anyway, when we first rescued her, she suffered from frequent urinary tract infections and would have occasional accidents in the house. My first data point is from one such accident. I was working from home, one day. Isabel was sleeping just outside my office, but not where I could see her. We were alone in the house. From nowhere, she quickly walked into my office and glued herself to my side, her body language screaming 'I love you, Daddy!'. Being Daddy's girl, it wasn't unusual for her to show the most affection to me, but this was over the top. I suspected something was up and went to investigate, finding she'd had an accident. Her body language couldn't have been a response to my reaction to her accident, because I wasn't yet aware of it.

Today, my Sadie offered very similar behavior, but I couldn't figure out why. That is until I got a good look at her. For the second time, she'd decided to roll around in her own shit. Somehow, that I'd missed that little tidbit when she came into the house. Still, she knew what she'd done was being a bad doggie, from the previous time she pulled that move, hence the contrition. Again, body language of contrition offered before I was aware of her transgression.

In both cases, it was clear to the dogs that the behaviors were unwelcome, from reactions to their previous occurrences. Be clear that neither were punished; that's a dumb way to modify a dog's behavior. But there were cues that the dogs picked up on. For example, Sadie got tossed right into a bath. When they repeated the behavior, they knew they did something that didn't make their owner happy.

These were completely different dogs, with dissimilar demeanors. While Isabel was insanely smart and loved her Daddy, but had some behavioral challenges, relative to strangers and was afraid of containers. Sadie is a complete saint and the most even tempered, loving I've ever had, but she's not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

In conclusion, the experts don't know what the fuck they're talking about.

Gratuitous doggie pics below.
1 comment
When Gun Control is a Good Thing
Posted:May 11, 2021 4:10 pm
Last Updated:May 12, 2021 10:19 am

Preface - this one looks like someone in a trailer park wrote it, but it's my fuck it tactic of getting around the damned Senior Sizzle stupidity.

Despite our relationships being destroyed by manipulation from their borderline mother, I still feel some emotional attachment my former step youngin's (see previous post Down in Flames I. Rather than subjecting myself the ultimate vulnerability of reaching out them, I sort of keep an eye from afar. In today's society, that means occasionally popping by their social media accounts.

The one of note today comes from my former stepdawter, who posted to see if anyone knew someone who could sponsor her for membership in a gun club, back in Pennsylvania (where I lived until separating from her mother). My initial thought was that I could drop a quick email to one of my shooting compatriots and get her sponsored into the club to which I previously belonged. The idea of helping her brought a bit of joy, for the brief moment until I realized how much of a mistake that would be. If you've read the Down in Flames entry, you know that my dawter has become a borderline, just like her mudda. Those who are unable to regulate their emotions and occasionally wander into sociopathic waters probably aren't what I would consider responsible gun owners.

So, I remained silent and silently wished her well.
Guns Part 137, Breaking Down Biden's Speech
Posted:Apr 12, 2021 6:07 pm
Last Updated:Jun 12, 2021 7:49 am
Fucking Senior Sizzle has fucked my post, as usual plus removed my pictures. It would be one thing if they were all evil guns, but one was a hunk of aluminum to make a point.

Rather than continue to be fucked by the Senior Sizzle blog lunacy, from now on, I'll include the link to the entry as posted in my 'real blog' (if it's posted there).
Here's the one to this entry:

Trust ...I don't want to keep writing about guns, but I also can't bear to hear dumb solutions to problems that either don't exist or are already covered by law. That's what came out of Joe's gun speech from last week. That being said, there are some kernels of goodness as well.

First, he acknowledges it's not just the guns, .

"...there are proven strategies that reduce gun violence in urban communities, and there are programs that have demonstrated they can reduce homicides by up to 60% in urban communities. But many of these have been badly underfunded or not funded at all of late."

He also wants to take action against 80% guns. I hate the focus formulated term, 'ghost gun', which he uses to portray them as evil. As I revealed in my previous entries, despite ignorant people claiming to the contrary, guns aren't inherently evil. Back to the speach -

"Much more need to be done, but the first, want to reign in the proliferation of so-called “ghost guns.” These are guns that are homemade, built from a kit that include directions on how to finish the firearm. You can go the kit. They have no serial numbers, so when they show up a crime scene, they can’t be traced. And the buyers aren’t required to pass a background check to buy the kit to make the gun. Consequently, anyone from a criminal to a terrorist can buy this kit and as little as 30 minutes put together a weapon. I want to see these kits treated as firearms the Gun Control Act, which is going to require that the seller and manufacturers make the key parts with serial numbers and run background checks on the buyers when they walk in to buy that package."

Two points on this one. The most important is that the Gun Control Act does not prohibit a person from building their own firearm, so long as it's for personal use , the type is not regulated by the NFA (i.e. machine gun), and the individual isn't otherwise prohibited from owning a gun (i.e. convicted felon). Furthermore, the GCA requires neither the gun to be serialized nor a background check passed. So, I can go into my machine shop and legally create as many guns as I wish, so long as I don't them to anyone else.

Now you're saying that I just proved Joe's point, that these 80% lower receivers should be treated as firearms. Except they're not firearms! These lower receivers are typically missing critical holes or aren't machined the whole way, so they can not be used as a firearm. Furthermore, they aren't kits that you 'put together a weapon'.

Case in point, here are photos of an 80% lower and a completed lower.

Still a lot of work to be done on that first one before it can go bang.

Then, we jump on the downward spiral into stupidity - no holes drilled, features not machined, and so on, until you're left trying to classify the item as a firearm.

Let's not forget 3D Printers, which have become quite affordable and can print guns all . Do we regulate those as well?

Change the damned law so that all finished firearms require serial numbers and the owner to pass a background check. Heavy penalties for those who don't comply. Easy peasy, you anti gun, fuck head.

"Finally, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the key agency enforcing gun laws, hasn’t had a permanent director since 20. Today, I’m proud to nominate David Chipman to serve as a director of the AFT. David knows the AFT well."

I think I join many people in wondering what the fuck the AFT is Joe keeps talking about. Old Dave Chipman knows the ATF well and is quite well known for his anti firearm leanings as well as his bullshit claims that the Branch Davidians shot down two helicopters during the Waco seige.

If feeling motivated, I'll add a post on the rest of the speech, because there's a lot of bullshit I didn't get to.
Malpractice Makes Perfect
Posted:Apr 12, 2021 8:38 am
Last Updated:Jun 12, 2021 7:50 am

My apologies for not engaging for a bit, but I've been mentally unable to do so. I have ADHD, which has been managed with medication, along with my own coping activities. For those who don't understand ADHD, it's a physical condition where blood flow to the areas of the brain that handle concentration and other aspects I can't remember is lower than normal. The meds typically prescribed are strong stimulants, such as amphetamines (aka Adderall, which is what I take), that boost blood flow to those areas. Except, two Sundays ago, I was forced to stop taking any ADHD because my doctor suddenly decided to flake and stop communicating.

Because the med is a controlled substance, you can't get refills; you're required to visit your doc every month, at which time he writes you a one month supply. (It was 3 months in VA). Since the pandemic began, I'd been Skyping appointments with my doc, then he would transmit the script to the pharmacy.

He'd been a no show for those appointments twice, until Wednesday before last, when he blew me off again. I pinged him Friday morning, asking what the deal was. No response; he must have been off on another long holiday.

He finally came back to me via Skype last Wednesday mid morning, while I was on a webinar with the outplacement service I'm working with. I told him as much and he said to to ping him after lunch, which I did. No answer. I pinged him on Skype as well as email a few more times after that, in addition to stopping by his office (no one was there). I've not attempted to contact him since Thursday, because the definition of insanity and all.

I likely fucked a phone interview on Tuesday, because I couldn't stay on point and trying to engage with the outplacement service just confuses me. Basically, my job search is at a halt, aside from sending out resumes. I skipped shooting a match over the weekend, because I don't trust myself to run around with a gun, unmedicated. Basically, my life is on hold until I can get my Adderall.

As to why this dude flaked, I have no idea. He just went dark, which I find to be unconscionable. What kind of doctor just blows patients off, when he's perfectly aware they require medication? Spoiler - a shitty one.

I'll be curious whether the Kansas Medical Board agrees with me; yes, I already submitted a complaint, because fuck him.

I have an appointment with another doctor this week, but they obviously won't write a script for a medication with a street value until they meet with me.

Update: Apparently, my current doctor transmitted the script I needed on Friday. However, neither he nor my pharmacy notified me until I went to pick up something else today. 'Okay, you have two scripts to pick up.' I'm still pissed that a. I hadn't been notified and b. it took him all fucking week to do the right thing. Still switching docs because I refuse to go through this again.
Guns, The First and Last of a Series
Posted:Apr 5, 2021 4:43 pm
Last Updated:Jun 12, 2021 7:50 am

Don't Try Read This - Check the first comment.

The Gun Owner's Mind
This entry will serve as the finale the firearm extravaganza I've written over the past few weeks. It's intended provide a bit of illumination into the minds of gun owners, which may be helpful for those who don't live abroad or believe we buy guns in order to stoke the evil in our hearts.

By now, you know I like to deal in facts, so I'll start with some additional statistics relevant to this discussion. According to a 2019 Pew Research poll, 44% of Americans say they either own a gun or live with someone who does. Among those who own guns, 66% report owning more than one gun, with 29% owning more than five guns. 32% admit to providing a lower number to reflect what they've told their wives. I may have made that last one up. At 67%, protection is the number one motivation for gun ownership, followed by hunting (38, sport shooting (30, gun collecting (13, and because it's required for their job (8.

The piece of data that I think brings illumination into the mind of a gun owner is that roughly half grew up with guns in their household. I know a lot of folks that fall into this category, including myself. My grandfather had guns and he taught me how to shoot at an early age. He had a lever action 22 rifle (which is now in my safe) and we'd go shoot cans on his property. It was a lot of fun, learning how to aim, properly pull the trigger, and satisfying when you hit what you were aiming at. He heavily stressed gun safety, along with being responsible and cleaning your gun immediately after you were done.

How Gun Owners See Firearms
This is the meat and potatoes that I think is important for those not familiar with guns to read. There is one important concept the reader needs to if not grasp, recognize. Most of us who own guns find shooting them to be enjoyable. Yesterday, I grabbed a couple of guns and went to my club. It was both relaxing and rewarding to put four bullets through the same hole at one hundred yards. Once I'm fully vaccinated, I'll begin competing again. If you read my original entry where I outline that decision, you already know I did it for the social aspect as much as the shooting itself.

In order to drive my point home, I'll share one additional experience for those who still think we're nuts for enjoying these death machines. A few of the women I've dated, including my now ex-wife, were hardcore anti gun liberals. They didn't want anyone to have a gun, particularly an evil AR-15. In each of those instances, I offered to take them shooting, so they could experience the AR-15's dearth of evil for themselves. All took me up on the offer (partially because they knew I would have dumped them had they not) and said roughly the same thing to me: When can we go again? Shooting is fun, people!

As an ambassador for gun owners everywhere, I'm willing to make the same offer to any other attractive women who've never been shooting and want to sleep with me.

Recognizing shooting as a legitimate and non-evil hobby brings us that much closer to a meeting of the minds. With that established, it wouldn't be unreasonable for those in that hobby to want a variety of guns to enjoy. Guns are typically at a median price point where you won't bankrupt yourself for acquiring more than one; $800-$1,500. But prices run across an entire spectrum. The least expensive gun I own is a Russian Makarov I bought when they first became available in the US. I bought it because 'first Russian gun you can buy in the US and it's only $0'. That gun is worth $550 now, which illustrates another point; you'll almost never lose on one. You can spend a whole lot more, obviously. A custom 19 can set you back up $8k and taken sixty steps further, a pair of shotguns built by Holland and Holland can set you back close half a million dollars. They'd better come with a concierge blowjob service for that .

If you grew up with guns, you may have also inherited a few that live in your safe, such as the 22 lever action rifle I mentioned above or the 32 caliber revolver that my great great grandfather carried as a constable. Those can add up as well.

Touching on owning a gun for protection, I think I'm similar to others in that I consider such as gun to be a tool. Along with the vast majority who own guns for protection, I didn't make the decision from an imminent threat, rather something to have in case it's needed. Unless we live in a certain type of neighborhood or are employed in a high risk job, we recognize the need to utilize that tool to be infinitesimally small. However, just like a flashlight or fire extinguisher, it's there if we find ourselves in a situation where that type of tool is required.

At the risk of another digression, let me address a common misperception / belief that many non-gun owners have about law enforcement. Specifically, that only law enforcement (LE) is properly trained and should therefore be the only ones to carry guns. In my experience, and that of many other shooters I know, LE as a whole is comically unskilled, when it comes to firearm capability and safety. According to a friend of mine, one of the favorite past times for local shooters is to go to a particular indoor range when the Overland Park PD is about to requalify with their handguns. Just don't be in the same room, because you'll see the cops put bullets into the floor, through the ceiling, and everywhere else, save the target they were supposed to be shooting. When I was actively competing, I also served as the range safety officer for the squad I was with. I only ever had to disqualify shooters for unsafe gun handling. One accidentally put a round into the dirt midway between the of us (which was about 18") and the other swept my chest with a loaded gun, when they turned the wrong way during a stage (closest I've ever come shitting my pants). What they had in common was, you guessed it, both were LE.

Hopefully, that answers the most common questions those of us who own guns: Why do you own guns? Do you really need a gun? Why do you feel the need have so many guns?
I've done my best be a good ambassador and provide some insight those who the concept of owning guns may be alien or unsettling.

Culture of Fear
Perhaps I've cleared up a few misconceptions, but the media and libs continue stoke the fear of guns. Today provides a perfect example. CNN is reporting that there have been TWENTY mass shootings between the time of the Atlanta spa killings and yesterday, when a gunman killed four in Los Angeles. (I obviously wrote this a few days ago.) Holy shit! There really is an epidemic! Except CNN is manipulating the numbers to make a more sensational story. As I noted in my other entries on the topic, the FBI / Federal Government defines a mass shooting as an event that claimed four or more lives. Mother Jones uses a lower threshold of deaths. However, CNN considers a mass shooting be one that has a total of four deaths or wounded. Others don't use the number of wounded specifically because of how broad the definition can be. Taking a small bullet fragment into your leg doesn't do anything but hurt (been there, done that), but it still counts as a wound. In other words, I could fire a few rounds into the sidewalk of a crowded street and it would be considered a mass shooting by CNN, due to bullet fragments finding people's legs. Worth noting is that the Mother Jones database doesn't list any mass shootings during the same period CNN claims twenty took place.

One could argue that the right has stoked fear among gun owners over civil unrest and the government coming for their guns, causing them to buy and hoard everything they can get their hands on. One could just as easily argue the left has done the same thing. This is one area in which I'll admit to being biased. To me, having a sufficient firepower to deal with as many zombies that come my way is called being properly prepared.

Wrapping Up
Throughout this series, I've done my best to be an ambassador for my fellow gun owners. Hopefully, readers no longer view owning firearms, particularly multiples, as some sort of aberrant behavior. That owning multiple guns makes one even more dangerous to society.

I'm tired of being demonized by the left because they want an easy villain, instead of taking action against the real problems. There's no way the libs can't recognize taking away guns will only cause more people to want them. However, most Americans don't have the attention span to digest complex social issues. They want someone or something to blame and government to make it go away.

Thanks for making it through the long slog on the gun topic. I hope you consider the time you spent reading these entries to have some value.
Guns In America - The Prequel, Part 1
Posted:Apr 1, 2021 9:45 am
Last Updated:Jun 12, 2021 7:50 am

Because Senior Sizzle will fuck this post enough to make it unreadable, the real entry is in the comments.

Based upon some of the questions and comments from readers of my previous entries on gun violence, I thought it may be of value to step back and examine the origin's of America's gun culture and why it's perpetuated.

Gun Culture in the USA
In order to best understand why the US has the gun culture it does, I find it helpful to explore why other countries don't. Let's go back to the founding of this country for a quick look at the two sides that fought each other. The bad guys lived under a monarchy and were professional soldiers for the largest empire on the planet, where the good guys, who kicked their asses, had a fledgling democratic government and were anything but professional soldiers. This is the first glimpse of the everyman as a hero, in this country, fighting for his very freedom. This underdog kept his musket the front door, should he be called upon his country again. What about his opponent, the Red Coat? Once he came home, and exited his , he had no further need for a musket. Not as though anyone was threatening to invade England. then, Europe was mostly stable, relative to fighting between neighboring countries. When fighting did break out, it was conducted professional armies.

Wrapping that thought, I would suggest that the length of time and circumstances in which a country gained their independence represent significant factors in their views toward guns and gun ownership. The US had to fight for its independence from another country less than 250 years ago in a war waged everyman soldiers. I'll contrast that with two other random countries. France's independence came after that of the US, but they fought a civil war to achieve it, which doesn't count. The country hadn't been under another countries rule for centuries then. Because it's been highlighted as having one of the lowest of gun violence, I'll pick on Iceland. Their actual independence took place in the th century, so not that long ago. But there wasn't any blood spilled; they essentially just informed Denmark 'you're not the boss of us anymore'. How stable the country is overall also plays a role, with gun violence inversely proportional to the of internal strife (i.e. most of Central America).

Finally, I don't think it's possible to overstate the importance of system of government on a country's views toward gun ownership. Until WWI, every country in Europe was run a monarch, mostly all from the same German family (hence the stability). And monarchs aren't terribly fond of the general populous owning weapons that could be used to overthrow them. The same can be said for dictators. In any case, living in monarchies, Europe had been accustomed to not having guns for centuries. That makes understanding America's gun culture challenging for those who live there.

Returning to America, once freedom had been won, it was time to explore the rest of our great land. Those pioneers and explorers carried guns to hunt for food as well as defend themselves from bears and the like. They also carried for another reason that continues to echo today. There's not much law enforcement present when there isn't a state, much less a town to elect a sheriff. In other words, you were left to your own devices to defend yourself against those who may wish to do you harm, so a gun came could come in quite handy.

Guns in Popular Culture
That segues perfectly into popular culture and the theme of rugged individualism that's echoed for a couple of centuries now. In American pop culture, when someone is murdered or grievously wronged, the hero that brings justice to the bad guy(s) is rarely law enforcement, or at least not typical law enforcement. In many cases, American pop culture portrays law enforcement as incapable, lacking latitude to enforce the law, or even corrupt. Another set of random examples. John Rambo had to defend himself from corrupt law enforcement in the first movie, then, still shunned the establishment, goes back to Vietnam and rescues POW's and returns a hero. Who doled out justice when they killed his ? John Wick, of course. The only time when law enforcement is portrayed as the hero is when one member goes rogue. Case in point - While John McClain was a cop, he was essentially a rogue cop, who had to contend not only with Hans Gruber and company trying to him, but the LAPD's incompetence. He was the true hero of Nakatomi Plaza. And that's what most American men want to see themselves as - the rugged hero who kicks ass. And kicking ass requires a lot of firepower! For most American wannabe's, the only elite unit they would be qualified for is Meal Team Six, but that's another story. Contrast that with how law enforcement is portrayed in other countries' pop culture, where they're shown as professional, capable, and bring the bad guy to justice, through hard work and intellect. At most, rules are bent, but never thrown out the window.

If anyone gives a shit, there's a Part 2 that delves into the mind of a responsible gun owner and why they own guns.
Gun Violence, Part 2
Posted:Mar 29, 2021 7:02 pm
Last Updated:Jun 12, 2021 7:51 am

Welcome bac..this one promises be quite the roller coaster ride, with a serious plot twist, so please buckle in and secure all loose items.

We'll begin Part 2 with...

The Evil Black Rifle
Yes, it's been called that by those who want ban the AR-15. The AR-15 is the civilian variant of the M-16 and is semiautomatic, with one round fired with each press of the trigger, versus the full auto. Because full auto is all but impossible to control, most M-16's are now built with semi auto and round burst fire capability. I own a number of AR-15's and find them be a blast shoot, no pun intended. They're ultimately configurable make a bullet hoser, for use in USPSA 3 Gun competition, or because they're inherently accurate, set them up for long distance accuracy. Just yesterday, I was shooting one of mine at 0 yards and grouping the bullets in area the size of a quarter. What makes the AR so much fun is also what makes it so effective for inflicting mass casualties. Inside a certain distance from your target, you can point a rifle instead of having aim it, there are magazines available with capacities up 60 rounds, and each round delivers times more muzzle energy than one from a 9mm pistol (assuming standard 556 NATO ammunition). Worth noting is that because it's a design, not a brand or trade name, there is no such thing as an 'AR- style rifle'; it's either an AR-15 or not in the same way an engine is either a V8 or not. Something to help you be a bit smarter than the talking heads on the news.
It might surprise you to learn the AR-15 has been available to civilians since the 1960's. However, it was largely overlooked by enthusiasts for its first thirty on the market. It wasn't a good hunting gun and a rifle for personal defense was ludicrous. That remained the case until 1994, when its popularity skyrocketed. What took place to cause such a shift? Quite simple actually; the AR-15, along with the AK-47, were banned. Note: skipping detail on the AK platform because it enjoys a fraction of the AR's popularity.

The crime bill / assault weapons ban of 1994 was partially geared toward taking military style rifles off the market and prohibited rifles containing more than a few key traits from being manufactured or imported. It also prohibited the manufacture or import of magazines with a capacity greater than rounds. Rifle manufacturers got around the ban by removing the traits of lesser importance (i.e. bayonet lug and flash hider) and continued production, shipping guns with round magazines. The author of the crime bill screamed that manufacturers were gaming the system. The manufacturers responded that they were complying with the law and that they had staff keep employed. The AR- suddenly received a great deal of attention and demand. Nothing makes people want something more than when the government says they can't have it. I was friends with a guy who owned a gun shop at the time, who told me there were tons of people coming in, many first time gun owners, to the last pre-ban AR's and even the post-ban versions, for that exact reason.

It should be no surprise the bill didn't accomplish anything except drive up prices for pre-ban equipment, and had zero effect on crimes committed with guns. Because anything made prior to the 1994 ratification could still be owned and sold, you could still get capacity mags (although they became $70 instead of 15$) and watered down AR's were just as capable as pre-ban versions. Not to mention manufacturers went bonkers building as much inventory as possible before the ban went into effect. Word was that Glock was using their entire allocation of import dollars to send container after container of high capacity magazines, in order to get as many as possible in the deadline.

The crime bill had a provision to sunset after , unless it was renewed, which it wasn't. By 2004, there was a great deal of pent up demand for the rifle that everyone suddenly wanted and production ramped up accordingly. When I bought my first AR during the time of the crime bill, there were or four manufacturers who offered them; now that number is closer forty, if not higher. There's a whole cottage industry around parts build your own AR-15, which is I did on the ones I currently own. That also means tens of thousands of jobs now rely on the AR-. At this point, it's worth returning the Jones mass shooting database, either confirm or refute timing of AR-'s rise in popularity. Indeed, despite being available for decades, the first mass shooting where the weapon was an AR didn't occur until 2006.

It's about now you should be asking yourself what idiot wrote the bill that made the AR-15 so popular. He's the same idiot calling ban them now, then Senator now President Joe Biden. That's right, Joe Biden is responsible for the AR-15's popularity. Show of hands; who didn't see that one coming? Regardless, he's arguably the last person on earth suited formulate a plan to gun violence.

Clearly a ban on new production wouldn't work any better than it did the last time, particularly when a massive supply of existing guns exists, but what if it was taken a step further? What if it suddenly became illegal to possess such rifles? The term 'complete failure' comes to mind. First, it would be contested in court, winding up in front of the Supreme Court (with a conservative majority), who would strike it down for violating the Second Amendment. If you remember bump stocks from the Vegas Strip shooting, you may be alarmed to learn a court recently overturned the ban on those. But what if it was upheld? Such a law would be completely unenforceable for a few reasons. First, those you must rely on to enforce the law oppose such a ban too. In response to the potential assault weapons ban in Virginia, dozens of chief law enforcement officers declared they wouldn't enforce it. There's no reason to believe a nationwide ban wouldn't receive the same widespread support. Second, no one in their right mind will turn in their guns. Would you blindly hand over something you invested so much and time into? As a benchmark, I'm probably about average for most law abiding AR owners and I've got just shy of $k invested. I predict there will be an amazing rash of boating accidents, where everyone's guns fell overboard, in a thousand feet of water. Tragic. Or they'd flat not comply (or worse). Third, there would still be the DIY crowd making 80% guns (long topic on itself, but feel free to read up on your own) and replenishing the supply.

It all reminds of a conversation I had with a Dutch colleague, while driving through a sketchy area of Rotterdam. He indicated there were a lot of shootings in that area. I pointed out that guns were all but impossible get not only in the Netherlands, but throughout Europe. He responded, 'yeah, but criminals will always get their hands on guns.'

It all reminds of a conversation I had with a Dutch colleague, while driving through a sketchy area of Rotterdam. He indicated there were a lot of shootings in that area. I pointed out that guns were all but impossible get not only in the Netherlands, throughout Europe. He responded, 'yeah, but criminals will always get their hands on guns.'

Before I wrap up on the evil black rifle, I'd like address a few other challenges gun owners have gotten relative owning AR-15's. First is the ever popular 'why do you need such a thing?' The answer is I don't need it, but as a law abiding citizen, I'm allowed . Why do you need an $8 cup of coffee in the morning instead of a much lower performance version? My second favorite is 'civilians shouldn't have weapons of war'. Newsflash, 75% of guns on the market began as weapons of war. That Colt 45 that everyone loves was designed be used as by soldiers as their sidearm, when going war. Finally, there's the ever popular 'that gun was designed kill'. Again, that applies 95% of the guns out there, either through use in defending your family or humanely hunt an animal. No, we won't venture down that rabbit hole.

So, should the AR-15 (and other military style rifles) really be banned? I get it - mass shootings are ugly, traumatic, and more frequently involve and are carried out with military style rifles. However much of a shock the system, the fact is they're statistically insignificant and banning them is nothing greater than a knee jerk reaction. For additional context, there were 60% more murders in Chicago (where you can't legally buy a gun) last year than mass shooting victims in the past DECADE. Not mention FBI statistics say that 70% of homicides involving firearms are carried out with handguns, not military style rifles or rifles period. Banning AR-15's / AK-47 rifles based upon 0.6% of all shootings will make the left all feel good about themselves and tell everyone how they've made America a safer place. Except for the reasons above, mass shooters will keep on using the rifles.

Speaking of Chicago and shooting related deaths, Kina Collins of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence was recently interviewed by NPR. She took issue with the President's laser focus on mass shootings and an assault weapons ban. "That's not what we're dealing with in communities that deal with everyday gun violence," she said. "We're dealing with hand guns. We're dealing with straw purchases, we're dealing with illegal guns floating across the borders into states. That's what we're dealing with."

So what can be done to decrease the number of firearm related deaths? First, I think rather than focusing on what trigger is being pulled, attention should be focused why the trigger's being pulled in the first place. Anyone with half a brain should be able to make that distinction. Having half a brain myself, that's what I'll focus on. First, I think that more and more people live solitary lives without support structures and succumb to mental illness leaving them feel hopeless or that the world is against them. On a side note, why is it the greater a boring loser someone is, the more they're convinced the government is spying on them? But people feel less included and more disenfranchised as time goes by. However, I also think too many people have been raised to be self absorbed little snowflakes that don't understand the word 'resilience'. So many murders are to 'get back at someone' for shit that is meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Being disrespected is part of life; get over it. Your significant other dumped you for your best friend? Get over it and bang his mother, not shoot both of them, you moron. How many of us were bullied as , but the thought of killing anyone over such transgressions never crossed our minds? My dad grew up in a rural area. Almost every guy had a rifle or shotgun in their car, at school, because they all went hunting after. If you had a beef with someone, it was settled with fists after school; no one ever grabbed a gun over whatever it was.
Finally, there are those who want their fifteen minutes of fame and are willing to kill to get it. Finally finally, shitty parenting has a great deal of impact, beyond raising snow flakes. perfect examples of how decent parenting would have prevented mass shootings - Sandy Hook wouldn't have happened if the shooter's mother had half a brain and not tried connect her mentally ill through shooting. (He shot her and took the guns) The Columbine shooters were a couple of complete sociopaths that had exhibited plenty of warning signs ahead of that shooting. Where the fuck were their parents?

Make no mistake, I'm completely behind universal background checks and other reasonable measures to prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands. Universal should be emphasized here, because not all states perform their checks in the same manner. NICS is the FBI's national background check system and, from what I've been able to uncover, queries their terror watchlist on each inquiry. However, only 36 states currently use NICS, the remainder either carrying out checks at the state level or using some sort of hybrid model. As someone pointed out, the Boulder shooter was on an FBI terror watchlist, yet still received approval to purchase his firearm. Colorado isn't one of the 36, instead using their own homegrown system. Had CO been a NICS state, the approval likely would have been denied, preventing another mass shooting. Again, universal background checks are a good thing, are effective, and that's a no brainer.

But other actions have to be taken to decrease gun violence or we never address the root cause. Banning weapons, aside from it not working, sends the message 'we've given up on our society'. We need to begin taking better care of each other or things will only get worse; gun violence will be the least of our concerns.

Random comment that didn't have a home, but worth including:
You can't legally make your AR a fully automatic weapon without a full background check, waiting close to a year, and spending $30 You can make it full auto illegally in an afternoon without much effort. There are devices on the market that simulate full auto, such as binary triggers, that fire a round not only when you pull the trigger, but also when you release it. And let's not forget the bump stock that became famous after the Las Vegas Strip massacre. Personally, I have an issue with these workarounds; no one's fooling anyone with them. However, at what point do you draw the line? That's a question I continue to ask myself.
Addressing Gun Violence, Yeah I'm Going There
Posted:Mar 28, 2021 7:40 pm
Last Updated:Jun 12, 2021 7:51 am

Stupid Fucking Senior Sizzle and its random word and number deletions. I'd say the algorithm was created by morons, but that wouldn't be fair... morons.

Actual entry in the comments.

Having plenty of time on my hands, along with recent events, has almost guaranteed me eventually wading into this topic. As a gun owner / enthusiast, a closet liberal, and non-extremist, I think I'm able to speak intelligently about firearms without venturing toward the fringe. This entry will consist of both my own observations and beliefs as well as non-cherry picked statistics. First, let me make it clear I'm appalled by the level of gun violence in the US. There are too many lives being taken as a result of bad actors and regardless of how the reader may interpret the following, I don't take any of it lightly. I'll admit, up front, that I think a ban of any kind would be fruitless and I'll explain why. Regardless, we have to view the subject dispassionately if we are to draw any meaningful conclusions.

Because there's a lot to unpack, I'm breaking the topic into parts. In this Part 1, we'll set the stage with some statistics and address some fallacies. Part 2 will talk about the evil black rifle, then finish big with how address gun violence.

Mass Homicides
We'll start with the stats on mass homicides (I may use mass shootings interchangeably, because it's easier type), which is defined as an event involving a firearm that results in four or more deaths. These events are the ones that grab the headlines and bring the most outrage. Mother Jones maintains an excellent database of these events, that includes a lot of detail on the shooter, weapon used, etc. Links that and the FBI database I'll refer will be at the end. Also, I've stopped with 2019, because with everyone under lockdown in 2020, there weren't really opportunities for mass anything.
The data says there have been 2 mass shootings since 1982, resulting in in a total of 918 deaths. If we break the data into time periods, an alarming trend emerges. Between 2000 and 2009, there were 171 mass shooting deaths, versus 482 the following decade. The number of mass shootings more than doubled as well. Because Mother Jones' database lists the firearms used in each event, we can determine how many deaths were the result of the shooter using an AR-15 / A military style rifle. Assuming any unspecified semiautomatic rifle to be an AR-15 or AK, that number for 20-2019 is 254, or half of the the deaths from mass shootings. The decade prior saw 5 mass shootings, using these weapons, with a death toll of 33, and 2 in the 80's, with a total death toll of 15. This is reflected in average number of deaths per event, which peaked in 2017 at almost 20, although it's been in the single digits since 2018. Clearly, the AR-15, along with the AK platform, represents a serious threat, with respect to mass shootings. I'll dig into the AR-15 in the second part because there's a lot about this gun I'm sure most aren't aware of.

Overall Firearm Related Homicides
Back to the stats. Before we jump to any conclusions, based on the mass homicides, let's put some context around them. According to FBI statistics, the total number of firearm related murders, from 20 through 2019, was 78,162. That's a pretty astonishing number, which we'll dig into a bit later, but the positive thing is it's been trending downward since 2017. If we compare mass homicides with total homicides, using firearms from 20 through 2019, the former represents roughly 0.6% of the total deaths noted above. Not even one percent of total firearm murders. Again, please don't take my comments as being dismissive, but the fact is that, while mass shootings get all the headlines, they're statistically a footnote in the bigger picture. Quite frankly, it would be dumb to base legislation on something of this magnitude, or lack thereof.
Digging into the FBI numbers a bit more, another story begins to emerge. The FBI statistics break down homicides by weapon. I'm happy to report strangulations are trending seriously downward, whereas murder using explosives is showing growth, although not quite, um, explosive growth. Firearms numbers are further broken down by type: handguns, rifles, shotguns, etc. There's also a category of 'Firearms, type not stated', which I find problematic, considering it's over a quarter of the total. Looking at unmanipulated numbers, in 2019, handguns represented 62% of the ,258 firearms related homicides, but were trending downward from 68% in 2013. Rifles were only 4%. Back the not specified bucket, I think it would be cherry picking not divvy that up a bit (although the Daily Caller had no issue doing so), knowing how much AR-15's have proliferated recently. I went with 20% for rifles, which caused them jump % of firearm homicides in 2019, or 1,020 fatalities. Taking supposition a step further, we'll err on the high side and say military style rifles account for 60% of that. Wrapping a bow on the stats, military style rifles only accounted for 6% of firearms related homicides in 2019. This is the first time when you ask yourself what impact banning such rifles would have on overall gun violence.

Moving on fallacies, there are I'd like cover. First is the assertion that it's easier get a gun now than ever and that guns are flooding the streets. This is complete horseshit. First, all fifty states now mandate some sort of background check (either with the state or the federal NICS system) purchase a handgun, regardless of where it's bought. That hasn't always been the case, with some states only recently enacting the requirement. As far as guns flooding the streets, I've heard those same words since the 90's; the same whistle over and over. Actually, since the beginning of last year, gun sales have been at record highs, driven by the pandemic, then the civil unrest, followed by a Democrat being elected president. I still don't see any on the streets, causing flooding. This does concern because of how many gun buyers during this period are first time buyers, who haven't had proper training available them, because of the pandemic. The impact from either accidental or intentional discharge of guns will increase in the near term; you can count on that.

That brings us the so-called gun show loophole. Essentially, this is an instance where one party buys a gun privately from another individual, without a background check It's supposedly rampant at gun shows, but that's horseshit as well. If you're selling guns at your table, you have be have an Federal Firearms License aka FFL or you're going jail and a gun show is a pretty public forum engage in such activities. Also, see previous explanation about required background checks. Can you prevent people from taking possession of a firearm without a background check? Of course not. A perfect example is a 38 Special I took possession of from my father, recently. It was his father's gun. Did my father have a background check when he inherited it? No. Did I? No. (To the ATF, if you're reading this - before you swoop down and kill my , I've undergone 7 fucking FBI background checks in the past 18 months, so you can fuck right the hell off.)

Stay tuned for Part 2
It Was More of a Slaughter
Posted:Mar 6, 2021 12:31 pm
Last Updated:Mar 21, 2021 1:13 pm

For those riveted their seats on the imminent bl00d bath I mentioned in my previous entries, the day was Tuesday. As expected, marketing was all but wiped out, but were a ton of others got as well. The carnage was even greater than I expected and impacted engineering, finance, and a few others. I think the was around 20. Most were what I'd consider solid talent.

Marketing was wiped, save one individual, has an engineering degree. We were replaced by engineering managers and the guy ran the test lab. Now, the sum total of marketing experience within the entire team is a whopping 2 years and 3 months.

I've seen some of the new org and who's in various roles - it's downright nonsensical. The company's been on a path to failure for some time, but they clearly want to reach the destination NOW.

The one who still pisses me off is a product manager who was previously confirmed to be safe by management. Yet, he got whacked too.

Until Tuesday, I considered the senior leadership where I work (ed) to be inept, unprofessional, and incompetent. However, after pulling that move, they've crossed over into unethical slime balls.
Posted:Mar 1, 2021 4:54 pm
Last Updated:Mar 7, 2021 4:48 pm

Well, it's been confirmed by someone who knows for certain that among those whose whacking is imminent, along with most of the rest of marketing. Apparently, they're not even pretending the marketing roles are being eliminated.

The best part is who will be replacing us. My portfolio will be managed by the former head of our test lab. Another aware of will be replaced by the European engineering manager. Neither have any marketing background, whatsoever. experience.

As noted, the head of the business unit has fuck all idea what marketing does. So, he figures he can throw anyone in the role. Uh, us marketing types do have a rather specialized skill set, Sparky.

Again, I've grown my business % year on year, so performance isn't the issue.

While I would prefer to do it on my own terms, it'll be a relief to get myself clear of the massive shit show. I could feel my skills atrophy, the longer I was there.
However, I'll miss a of my colleagues, with whom I've forged strong relationships. Something about shared adversity will do that to people.

Now, it's down to the when.
Posted:Feb 27, 2021 7:42 pm
Last Updated:Feb 28, 2021 2:17 pm

aka why I should have continued to work for myself.

Until now, I haven't written much, if anything, about the company I currently work for. Much of this has to do with the fear no one would believe that such a place exists. I've been there for three and a half years, and can honestly say it's the most fucked up place I've ever encountered. It lacks discipline and accountability to the point where literally nothing that happens there surprises .

During my time there:
- the company has launched two new technology platforms. The first had to be recalled and taken off the market because it didn't work, while the second had to be removed because it infringed on multiple patents owned by competitors.
- I've had to technology platforms because in the time it took to get it off the ground, the market had passed us by and no one would have wanted it.
- the company has shipped a steady stream of defective product. A certain new fighter jet has almost been grounded, due to my company putting crap.

Last, but not least, the company has conducted three reorgs in the past three years. I saved this one for last because it's what's on my mind tonight, as it's still ongoing, despite being announced in early January. The company was being broken up into three business units and the respective GM's were announced at that time. A few weeks later, a new org chart comes , this time with boxes and titles the GM's, but no names. A few weeks after that, same org chart is published, but with names in the second row of boxes, and one addition. And that's where things have remained for over three weeks. Some of my marketing colleagues have been quietly confirmed in their roles. I have not, along with my manager, a few other marketing types, and a bunch of engineers. In fact, my manager's been told there's no place for him in the new . We've all spent the past week and a half figuratively wandering the halls, wondering what the fuck's going on. With the GM of the division in which I'd work being an operations guy, not surprised marketing is being wiped . He flat doesn't know what we do. Oh, and I have it on good authority that one of my colleagues, who's been confirmed in his role, is being whacked anyway. The word blood bath has been used to describe what's coming. This is, without a doubt, the most unprofessional thing I've ever experienced.

the heading of count your blessings, the company's taking forever to pull their shit together has allowed ample time to begin my job search and activate my network. I've already had two phone interviews and expect a few more next week. It's much easier to find a job when you have one. Even if I don't get whacked next week, I will be devoting all of my efforts to finding another employer.
Also, with Monday being the first, I'll have my health insurance for another month.

Regardless of how it happens, I'll be so damned happy to leave the abortion that is my current employer.

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