We interrupt this blogging hiatus…

To bring breaking news:

For all of those living in the frozen tundra (yes, I’m talking to you Vanilla…and CB too), I just wanted to gloat a little.

todayHere’s what it’s like right now here in Southeastern Virginia:

Unfortunately, it’s going to be pretty short lived.

Here’s the forecast for tomorrow.

tomorrow

Welcome to Virginia. If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes, it’ll change.

The Voice of the Rockets

My Son has been announcing football games for the Lafayette-Winona Rockets football team (the school he teaches at). I went to a game on Saturday. I think he does a great job. He’s got a good voice for it. This was the last game of the playoffs and the Rockets won 26 to 6. First kid’s game I’ve been too since he was playing in the City Leagues years ago. It was fun.

Next stop is the intercity championships on November 7th. I may have to hit that game too.

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The Liberal Mindset

Alternate Title: “Responsibility part deux”

This should be the motto of the Democratic party and liberals in general:

“I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it”
-Unidentified Anthem Blue Cross Customer, California

From this story (hat tip to Drudge).

Isn’t that just like the left? They’re all for providing for the “less fortunate”…as long as they can force someone else to foot the bill.

As soon as they realize that they are included in the “someone else”…all bets are off.

Follow Up

Back when I put together my M4gery AR Carbine, I reviewed the Sight Mark red dot sight and the mounting base I got from Midway USA.

At the time I mentioned that I’d follow up if anything changed.

I just wanted to report that, finally, after approx 4 years and maybe 2,000 rounds of ammo, I’ve finally got an update other than “it works great”.

I took 6 new shooters to the range (I know, I know, I didn’t post a new shooter report…bad blogger…I’ve been busy) a few weeks ago, new shooters (especially guys) tend to like to shoot the AR carbine, so it really gets a workout on those trips. During firing, we had two minor glitches, one with the sight itself and one with the mount.

On the mount, one of the top screws started backing out. I didn’t have the right size allen wrench so I couldn’t tighten it back down right there, there are three screws on each end of the top of the mount, so I figured 2 would work and if the screw came completely out I could just buy a new one at Tidewater Fasteners. Well, it never came all the way out so it ended up not being a big deal. A little locktight and a correctly sized allen wrench and it’s good to go.

The other minor problem was on the sight itself. The hinge pin for the front flip cover came out while firing. The shooter at the time recovered both the cover and the spring, but couldn’t locate the pin. I haven’t fixed that yet, but it’s simply a matter of finding a piece of wire or spring steel that will fit in place of the pin and putting it back together again.

The rear pin seems solid so I don’t know what caused the front one to come out. Again, just a minor thing and the sight still works great…by the way, the battery life on this sight is excellent. I haven’t tested it straight through from turn on till it dies, but this last time, the batteries were brand new when we started, we started shooting at around 3pm and they forgot to turn the sight off after we left the range, I didn’t think to check it until the next morning at about 0800 and the dot was still strong, so, based on that, the run time is in excess of 17 hours.

Anyway, that’s my update. Granted, I’ve never tested this setup in harsh conditions, just at the range, or at my step-father’s farm in PA, but for civilian purposes and a rifle that’s probably never going to see more harsh conditions than standing in a field shooting watermelons from 150 yards away, I’d say this sight is well suited for the task, at a fraction of the cost of the brand name optics.

Responsibility

Someone (I don’t remember who now…my apologies) linked to this opinion piece earlier today:

The message of Emily Yoffe’s Slate article about binge drinking and sexual assault on college campuses was as important as it was obvious: The best step that young women can take to protect themselves is to stop drinking to excess.

Young women everywhere — not to mention their mothers — ought to be thanking Yoffe. Instead, she’s being pilloried.

Read the whole thing, but the gist is that feminists are up in arms that someone had the audacity to tell young women that they should make some attempt at remaining lucid when out in public to prevent bad things from happening to them.

Of course the whole “you’re blaming the victim” trope was bandied about (and even continued into the comments of the linked opinion piece) as well as “in stead of telling women not to drink, how about we tell men not to rape”, etc.

Good idea.

Because telling people not to commit crimes is so effective in other areas, right?

The bottom line is that we are as responsible for our actions as the perpetrators of crimes are. If we make it easy for them to ply their trade, it is not our fault that they chose to commit a crime, but it is our fault that we made it easy for them.

The bottom line is that bad people are going to do bad things…heck sometimes even basically good people do bad things when under the influence of large amounts of alcohol, especially teenagers and especially in packs.

In light of that fact, you can either strongly support the prosecution of those who take advantage of women who have imbibed too much…which ensures the blame is placed in the right place and the perpetrator is punished, but does absolutely nothing to “unrape” the victim.

Or

You can strongly support the advising of potential victims to take a little responsibility for themselves, keep their wits about them and prevent the rape from happening in the first place.

(or both, which would be my preference)

Which do you suppose is more beneficial for the intended victim?

Apparently, much like the anti-gun lobby, rabid feminists aren’t overly concerned with actually preventing crimes against women, only with effectively exploiting those victims after the crimes occur.

Customer Service

I’ve recently been fighting with Lenovo customer support to try to get a tablet computer repaired under warranty.

First they told me that the repair wasn’t covered because I used an aftermarket standard USB cable to connect to the standard USB port on the tablet rather than their branded Lenovo standard USB cable.

Um…which part of “standard” is confusing here? If it’s a standard port, it shouldn’t matter that I used a standard cable, as long as it comports with the same…er…standards…and nothing in their documentation indicates that only their Lenovo cable will work or that using other cables voids the warranty.

Anyway, I finally talked them into doing the repair under warranty (which took several weeks and several escalating phone calls).

Finally, about 5 weeks after shipping the tablet to them, I finally got it back…and discovered that they only fixed half the problem. Yes, the USB connector was not working, but neither was the HDMI connector. All the argument was about the USB cable I used, so after they agreed to fix it, that’s ALL they fixed…they didn’t fix the HDMI connector.

End result, another phone call to customer support and yesterday I shipped the unit back to them to get the REST of what was wrong with it repaired. We’ll see how that goes. I wonder if they’ll refuse to fix it since now, over a month after initially shipping the unit to them for repair, the warranty has expired…or they’ll claim that using a non-lenovo HDMI cable (I don’t think they even make HDMI cables) voids the warranty. I’ll let you know.

Anyway, my diatribe was prompted by This Post at author Michael Z. Williamson’s blog that relates how a company can do customer service the RIGHT way (it’s a very short post so I won’t excerpt any of it, please follow the link for more info about a company you really should do business with).

I still don’t understand why companies will insist on trying to save a few bucks by treating customers the way that Lenovo has treated me. They turned me from someone who was fairly satisfied with their product and would probably recommend it to others, into someone who will say “don’t buy their stuff…it’s not built well enough to be reliable and if it breaks they’ll do anything they can to get out of fixing it”.

It seems to me that good customer service is much more economically rewarding in the long term than the $100 or so they tried to charge me for a repair that is expressly covered under the warranty.

Heck, if you don’t want to have to make warranty repairs, don’t sell junk that breaks within a year. That’s a much better solution than alienating customers who will never purchase another product from you again…like…me, for instance.

Of two minds

I’ve seen a lot of “who cares?” type of posts on the government “shutdown” from the gun blogosphere and, for the most part, I agree.

Actually, it’s very tempting for me to increase my level of concern from “who cares” to “this is a good thing” since the rate at which we’re destroying our children’s and grandchildren’s future has slowed slightly during this period.

It wouldn’t bother me a bit if food stamp recipients and welfare recipients across the USA all the sudden had their charity…er…”benefits” reduced for a while. Perhaps it would cut down on obesity rates among the “less fortunate”. Heck, some of them may even have to cut back to basic cable rather than the premier package and give up watching HBO on their 60″ plasma HDTVs.

The one thing that makes me a bit leery about it, however, is the impact on the VA and military retirees.

Full disclosure: this has an impact on me. I’m a 40% disabled, military retiree and receive both a retirement check from the DOD and a VA disability check every month.*

With that said, however, I’m still able to work…I simply had to find employment in a field that wasn’t affected by my disabilities. We also live within our means (a concept obviously foreign to our “betters” in Washington DC). If my retirement and VA disability checks stop coming (a real possibility if this “shutdown” drags out for more than a few weeks), we can still pay the bills, keep the lights on and food on the table. Some “discretionary” spending is going to have to be cut or eliminated, but by budgeting properly, We should be OK, if not entirely comfortable.

What I’m worried about, though, are the veterans who are disabled to the point where they can’t work at all. The ones who suffered combat injuries or trauma that makes them dependent on their disability pay to survive. What happens to them if the VA stops sending out checks?

The Democrats won’t even consider negotiating with the Republicans on the issues before them. They simply won’t talk. When the Republicans offered a bill to fund the VA this week, the Democrats dismissed it out of hand. They have demonstrated that they have no problem holding the welfare of our honored combat veterans hostage to use as leverage to achieve their political agenda.

If that doesn’t piss everyone in the country off, regardless of political affiliation, there’s a serious problem here (not that THAT particular observation is news to anyone).

Basically, the very people who’ve sacrificed their physical well being in defense of our nation are potentially being tossed under the bus to gain political leverage.

I would urge everyone to call, e-mail or write to your congresspersons and let them know in no uncertain terms that this government had BETTER fulfill its obligations to our disabled war heros or there will be serious repercussions at the ballot box.

I would also urge people to pay attention to what’s going on and, if the VA does stop making disability payments, to step up, find out if there are any veterans in their area who cannot work due to injuries suffered as a result of their service, and do what they can to help them out.

We cannot let those who have selflessly sacrificed so much be allowed to slip through the cracks.

*Before anyone goes gushing about my honored service or anything…my disabilities are simply the result of the wear and tear on the human body that 21 years in the demanding conditions of the military can do to a person. It’s fairly typical for retirees to be rated between 10 and 40 percent disabled due to nothing more than the long term damage that the military environment causes. I am not a “combat vet” per se, so I don’t deserve to be placed on the pedestal that those who’ve “seen the elephant” do.*

Guns in Church

Why would anyone need to have a gun in a place of peaceful worship and meditation like a church?

A pastor was shot and killed during a church service on Friday night in Calcasieu Parish.

Myers said Karey shot Harris with a shotgun twice, once when he walked into the church and a second time when Harris fell to the floor. Myers said Karey walked up to him and shot him at close range.

Because there is no magical anti-violence force field at the entrance to a church. It’s just a building. Bad people can strike there as easily as anywhere else…actually – easier, because in many states churches are by law victim disarmament zones.