Monday, October 29, 2007

My New Man-Purse Is Unstoppable

Apologies and all that.

More to come later, but I wanted to drop a note here to say that the new bag is good kit. Right now I carry a SIG P220, two loaded magazines, a knife or two, a light, keys, wallet, phone, EMS pager, some papers, and often a can of soda in the bottle pocket. Yesterday I took Melissa to the mall (her one birthday wish--she thought my idea was too expensive) and walked about 500 miles around that place. It was a whole lot more comfortable than the fanny pack, and although neither is exactly cool, nothing is as uncool as a fanny pack. If anyone gave the bag a second look, I didn't see it.

It'll be even more awesome with my MHI patch on the big flap.

I've been practicing with it a little,and it's not bad, although the fanny pack was actually a faster access--if the fanny pack is "Six Seconds to Safety," this rig is 12-15. It would be hard to draw the gun with one hand and a magazine with the other, as I did with the fanny pack, so with an unloaded gun things are slower. Of course, it's not designed for an unloaded gun, but that's Illinois law and there's not much I can do about it for now.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Happy Birthday, Esperanza!

Today is the birthday of Esperanza, la Luz de Mi Corazon (my wife, whose name is not Esperanza.) I will of course not divulge her age, but if you know her, you would be shocked. SHOCKED, I tell you. She looks ten years younger.

Seriously, honey, I love you very, very much. I could not live my life if you weren't here. Thanks for the family and the home and the love.

And hurry home so we can have cake. I have prepared a chocolate suicide device. Although the amount of chocolate in it could easily be fatal, I am confident that it will only make you stronger.

(Artists' rendition of Don with birthday cake)

Monday, October 22, 2007


Our babysitter is a great guy. Stay-at-home dad, blacksmith, CPR instructor . . . . he's got my life, basically, and he's great with our kids, which is not something just anybody can accomplish.

But last night, his wife was in some sort of traffic accident. I don't know any details, because he didn't know all the details when he called. He did mention "ambulance" and "broken leg." We'll just hope it's one of those "nice, clean breaks" I always hear about--from the way people talk, I assume those don't hurt. We can also be allowed to hope that's all that was wrong and there are no nasty surprises.

For today, though, Dave's not open and I'm home with the Bubba. I shall put on a brave face and struggle through somehow . . . . while the poor people go to work.



You know, I've thought about tattoos several times over the years, but I've never pulled the trigger. Every time I think of something I think would be good, I get tired of it eventually, and end up thinking "Glad I didn't have that inked permanently onto my body." When I was a kid, guys were getting football numbers tattooed on themselves, high school mascots, college mascots . . . . here I am, ten years out of high school, and I can't imagine what possible use a tattoo of a big paw print with a "72" in it could be to me. I mean, I've managed to remember which schools I played for, and I even remember my number (it was carefully chosen--the same number as William "Refrigerator" Perry.) I don't have a lot of use for that information anymore, but it's there if I need it, and having it tattooed on my bicep with some awesome barbed wire wouldn't make much difference at this point.

Just about the only idea that has lasted has been to get "TANSTAAFL" marked somewhere. There's a concept I don't think is going anywhere. Similarly, the research scientists who sent in pictures of their cool science tattoos to Carl Zimmer at The Loom are probably not worried that the Periodic Table or a strand of DNA or velociraptors are going to look stupid in ten years. The guy with F=MA on one arm and E=MC^2 on the other is pretty safe, too. I can see how those mean something--that's their work, not someone else's idea of cool. It's what they've chosen in their lives. I guess I could have Bloom's Taxonomy tattooed on my chest, but it doesn't seem worth it.

At the other end of the spectrum are my in-laws. If you've ever wondered if you ought to get your tattoo changed because your favorite NASCAR driver has a different number now, you MIGHT be a redneck.
(But you know I love ya, Tom!)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Trailer Park Full of Child Molesters . . . . Well, Hmm.

It has finally happened: Tam has been left snarkless. It turns out that there's a trailer park in Florida that specializes in housing sex offenders. Well, they've got to live somewhere, and now that they're registered and being chased out of neighborhoods with torches and pitchforks, I guess something like this was inevitable.

The whole thing sends me on a walk down memory lane, back to the days of long discussions with Shazaaye Puebla, self-appointed crusader for sex offender rights. He showed up on trying to sic us on another "Apache martial artist" with a fraud investigation . . . . but he spent a lot of time talking about:
  • peyote
  • downloading belief systems
  • deadly Apache knife-fighting
  • peyote
  • blending Apache and Celtic cosmology to form the ultimate woo-woo power in the galaxy
  • the bitter injustice in how society treats child molesters
  • peyote
  • how no one understands that the sexual molestation of children is caused by society, not the offenders
Our keen investigative minds immediately switched on. There was humming, buzzing, and more than a few sparks, and then a thought came floating forward through the ether, dimmed and waving as if it were being viewed through murky waters:
"Hey, this guy might not be legit."

Hilarity ensued.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Too Late; I Bought the Purse

I got some good comments on the purse post, but you're all too late. I ordered the bag yesterday.

Less was nice enough to post a link to another bag he thought would work well, but from my point of view, it doesn't match up to the Versipack. I won't really know until I have it in my hands, of course, but I had three major problems with the "Suarez Rifle Fighting Bag."

  • Contrary to the description on the website, I think it looks very much like a piece of military equipment. I don't think you'd fool anyone with it any more than the Versipack--unless you got the black, and pretended to be carrying a camcorder.

  • It doesn't seem to have nearly the functional utility of the Versipack--it doesn't hold the same stuff, and I don't see how it wears, but it looks like it's just a strap at each end. I like that the Versipack is angled to ride as flat and unobtrusively as possible.

  • This may seem petty, but . . . well, it's the "Suarez Rifle Fighting Bag." It sounds like I'd be putting money in Gabe Suarez's pocket,and frankly I'd rather not.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I Could Be Manly With a Purse, Right?

I think I want a purse.

Don't get me wrong; not like a girl purse, with flowers and Hello Kitty on it. A Tactical Purse in a Tactical Color with a holster and a magazine holder inside. You know, manly and stuff.

What I'm actually looking at is a Maxpedition Versipack Jumbo, and you'll notice if you click through that Maxpedition does not use the P-word to describe their product--ever. But I've concluded that I basically want a piece of equipment to do what a purse does for a woman--and if you define a thing by its function, that makes this thing a purse, at least when I'm using it. Hear me out, now, and let me see if I can explain why I want one.

I really need a better way to carry a gun. In Illinois, the only legal way to carry a gun on one's person is to have it unloaded and completely enclosed in a case, box, bag, "or other container." If you want to comply with the wildlife code, the container must also have been designed to carry a firearm. Under the criminal code, you could carry your GLOCK tupperware in a real piece of Tupperware if you wished, as long as it was unloaded.
This means you can't carry in a standard holster; it doesn't completely enclose the handgun. Good people have done brave things to establish that it is at least arguably legal, under this standard, to carry a handgun in a fanny pack designed for the purpose.
Fanny packs, however, are clumsy, slow, uncomfortable and slow to put on and take off. I have a black one that holds my P220 and a magazine--barely--in the gun compartment, but I hate the thing. And frankly, I end up just carrying it in my hand when I'm going into a car, which essentially makes it a clutch purse.

In addition, I've lost my wallet several times in the last week alone. I have to change clothes at least twice on a normal day so I can dress professionally and still work out, and it seems like the wallet, keys and phone are always getting lost in the shuffle. I notice that my wife always knows where hers are, because they're always in her purse. I'd put up with a lot more than a few wisecracks about carrying a purse if it meant I'd never lose my wallet again. I realize it won't, but I have hope that it will help. I'm hoping it will also make it easier to carry a few other useful items, like a granola bar, light, CPR mask, and gloves. And the Jumbo model has a carrier for a water bottle on the back, which might come in handy.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Clowns Are Not Our Friends

So anyway, there I am getting dressed at 6:00 in the morning, and the morning news bubblehead was mentioning that the local man recently arrested did business as "Klutzo the Klown." That sounded pretty familiar.

"Missy . . . . where do I remember the name 'Klutzo' from? Have you heard of this guy?"

"Uh . . . . OH! OH! Hey . . . hey . . . oh!" and with that, she bolted from the room. I vaguely wondered whether I had insulted her, caught her wetting her pants, or what, but she was back before I could finish wondering. Triumphantly, she thrust a card under my nose.

The front was a picture of a very creepy clown posing with a very creepy female clown. It was like terror and madness had gone over to the K-Mart to get they family photos took. Instantly I remembered. A month or two ago . . . out to dinner with some of Melissa's friends . . . . we encountered a creepy old clown monster having dinner in full clown regalia. I took a deep breath and put my knife back into my pocket, and that momentary loss of focus cost me. Not only did I not beat up the elderly clown in the middle of a crowded restaurant (which clearly would have been the best course of action in this case) but he had time to give my son a business card.

Creepy and weird. And yes, the guy who chatted up my son was the one I call the Bad Klutzo.

So it turns out that a local man has put Springfield briefly on the map . . . . by being a child molester. People are interested in his case because of the jobs he's held. He claims that he was once a Springfield police officer, but as far as I know the SPD hasn't confirmed or denied that yet. He has been a daycare teacher, a Big Brother, a bunch of other jobs that give him access to children, and . . . . well . . . . he's also Klutzo the Klown.

No kidding.

Now, as you may be aware, I HATE CLOWNS. Clowns are bad. They are not funny, they are not endearing, and they are not entertaining. They paint themselves up like monsters and then dance around in your face. And yet, if you clinch with one and start throwing knees, suddenly you're the criminal. Disgusting.

Anyway, this particular clown is worse than most. Most just scare me and make my trigger finger itch; then they're gone and I don't have to think about them much. This guy is accused of possession of child pornography and of molesting children, specifically children he flew all the way to the Philippines to victimize.

It has now even come out that there's another Klutzo the Clown up around Chicago somewhere, who has been forced to retire the persona because people hate him now, too. I should feel sorry for that guy, but let's face it: he's a clown. He therefore deserves what he gets.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Can't Stop the Signal. . . .

We're BACK, baby! Hey, kids, are clowns scary? Sure they are! I do not heart clowns.

Watch this space for my total, terrifying vindication. . . and welcome back.

Also--does anybody know what's going on with Chris Muir over at Day By Day? Here's hoping it passes.

Ritual Tribal Warfare Is Fun When You Win

The Chicago Bears just came back from a 17-0 deficit, forced five turnovers and scored 27 points to beat the Green Bay Packers.

In Green Bay.

You could actually see the suffering on the faces of the cheeseheads with the best seats.

Now, this means the Bears are 2-3 instead of 1-4, and it could very well be the turning point in their entire season. They're not totally out of the playoff race, for instance. But let's be perfectly honest: that isn't what matters here.

What matters here is that the Bears have beaten the Packers. The rest is just details.

Ladies and gentlemen, the starting offensive line for your Green Bay Packers.

(And of course, the dorks on NBC have to explain how it doesn't really count because "the score at halftime should have been 31-7. Without the turnovers, that's the score at the half!" Are there still people alive who think turnovers against the Bears defense--the Chicago Bears--are some kind of accidents? How many seasons do they have to produce consistent, game-changing turnovers before people get it? Just several years' worth of lucky flukes, I guess.)

What Do You Think This Button Does?

Hmm. You know the old sitcom trope where a character wants to help and he hits one little button on his friend's laptop? And inevitably, invariably, it turns out that you can completely delete the entire document the guy was working on with one little push of one little button?

Well, it really can happen. I know because my idiot friend apparently tried to delete a new blog I had toyed with, but logged in to the wrong one and deleted The Armed School Teacher. By "deleted," I mean wiped out completely--nothing left.

And by "my idiot friend," of course, I mean me.

So this is just a place holder to let people know what's up until I find out whether Blogger still has any of my old data from which to restore the blog. (I have no faith in that possibility, but it's worth asking.)

If they don't, no big deal. I'll start over.