Hey! Randy

Archive for December, 2009

This Little Light of Mine

Posted by heyrandy on December 26, 2009

We were having trouble with the oven. I traced the problem to the hot surface igniter. This is the device that replaces the pilot light in most new appliances. I bought the replacement part through an on-line parts distributer. This vendor’s was price was less than half of the price posted on the manufacturer’s site. The part actually arrived in the manufacturer’s box.

The trouble with replacing the igniter is the awkwardness of working in the broiler compartment of the oven. It is also dark in there. The darkness requires a light. It is the universal characteristic of work lights to shine in the wrong direction, i.e., into your eyes. This is where my son’s Christmas present to me comes in. He gave me a little light, about the size of a golf ball, shaped like one of those marine mines we all saw in old war movies, the floating ball with spike-like detonators all over its surface.

Instead of detonators, the Mine Light has magnets. The magnets enable the light to be positioned in just the right place. This left free my left hand to hold the part. The light made the job go much easier. I never knew that old war movies could inspire new products.

I didn’t sink any ships, but the oven works.

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Guns Are for Girls too

Posted by heyrandy on December 23, 2009

Armed and Female, Paxton Quigley, 1989, 237 pgs.

A girl’s got to look out for herself. According to Quigley, the best way to do that is through gun sights. The author, a former gun control advocate turned gun owner, makes a blunt case: women are smaller and weaker than men, and the only way women can protect themselves is by possessing and using handguns. She is not subtle, shy, or coy.

Quigley makes her case by an appeal to the crime statistics. The numbers, all from the 1980’s and therefore dated, are grim. Women are victims because they are easier prey. This will  not change. The stories that give life to the numbers are horrible reminders of this reality.The numbers have not gotten any better through the years.

While the crime data cited in her book are out of date, the advice on gun selection and training are still solid. She surveys the most popular models and calibers, evaluating their usefulness as self-defense weapons. She gives good advice on what size gun will best fit a woman’s smaller hand; how much recoil each model will produce; and, best of all, the intimidation factor: Just how dangerous does that thing look when you are staring up the barrel?

Quigley also deals with shooting techniques, safety, and children and guns. I found the book a good place to start when getting information on handguns.

Remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. But don’t worry, they will get there in time to draw the chalk outline of the body. The body won’t be Quigley’s.

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Live Long and Make Payments

Posted by heyrandy on December 20, 2009

The other day at work I overheard the conversation of the his and her hosts of one of those radio stations that play the kind of music that we have all too often heard. The subject of the discussion was the case of a man who recently graduated from Cornell University. He has a degree in theater and a $125,000 student loan debt. He now works at a call center. He makes $10 an hour.

This person is not smart enough to have gone to college. It is too bad that he did not know this before he went. He may not know it even now.

This person is doomed. He will never under normal circumstances pay off this debt. He is unlikely to marry because his wife will acquire this debt. This means no children, no future except debt payments. His credit rating will be permanently bad.

College is a wonderful thing. Just make sure that you plan to live long enough to make all the payments.

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You Pay Them to Vote for a Living

Posted by heyrandy on December 19, 2009

There are a large number of people who are dependent upon some level of government. This is because the government has become so present in our lives. It is now impossible for these people to live without some support or permission from the government.

The government is now keeper of all records of property ownership, birth, death and marriage. The government taxes and regulates everything. It grants licenses to medical care providers, hair cutters, taxi cab drivers, gun owners, business owners, and pets.

You cannot drive the car you own on the roads your taxes paid to build unless you have the proper licenses that you must pay to obtain.

You cannot build any building without a government issued permit.

The government also provides people with money. There are myriad government agencies to issue those permits, enforce those regulations, and collect those taxes that pay for all of this. Those agencies are full of employees. There are also the welfare recipients. There is the defense industry that provides jobs directly through military bases and indirectly through defense contractors. Every congressman claims that the base in his district is vital to national defense; besides, “that base is the heart of the community.” “Pork” is something the other guy votes for.

The elected ones know all of these people are potential voters.

Few people vote against their money. This is what is  makes it difficult to reform the government system. Too many people are eating because of the government. All of these people, their relatives, and the entire advocacy industry that has grown up to plead their cause will likely vote to retain their priviledge. They vote for a living. You pay them to.

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