Saturday, November 22, 2014

Memory lane

Going back through the motorcycle trips I've made and trying to figure out what states I'd ridden in. Found a website called which makes a little map, so that was cool. Combined the two and came up with this. I'm not sure about Missouri as I feel like I might have ridden through a few years ago, and I may have hit a corner of Kentucky at one point, but I figured I'd try to stay on the conservative side.

Free, personalized travel maps at

Sort of fun to think about how many places I've ridden.

And so it begins. The aftermath of I-594

Bad law is bad law.  I wrote about this before the election.  For my pains I was told on some other discussion forums that I was chicken little (the sky is falling) and that it just wasn't that big a deal.  I was told that I was misrepresenting the law (in spite of the clear language of the proposed law itself).  Those of us suggesting that this initiative was far more problematic than the supporters were claiming were called fear mongers.

Well, here is the first of what I predict will be many news stories:

the Lynden Pioneer Museum has opted to pull eleven loaned WWII rifles currently on display and return these firearms to their collector owners before the “transfer” requirement in I-594 takes effect next month.  The reason?  The law contains no exemptions for firearms loaned for museum displays, or loaned for similar educational or cultural institution study or uses.  Once the law takes effect, the firearms could not be returned to their owners without the mandatory background checks and all the logistics and expenses that entails.

Bellingham Herald

I don't believe for a minute that any of the consequences that arise will be "unintended".  The backers of this initiative are not firearm enthusiasts who are interested in gun safety, they are against guns.  Period.  Each measure, each law, each initiative is designed to reduce the availability of guns to the general public, thus reducing the "gun culture" that they openly despise.  None of these measures affect criminals.  It is a demonstrable fact that criminals don't get their guns legally anyway.  Criminals steal guns, they buy stolen guns off the street, or they get their friends who aren't prohibited to buy guns for them.  Laws like this make it harder for the average person to own firearms or learn to shoot without doing anything about crime.  Now it might be harder for museums to show the role that firearms played in establishing and defending our country. 

My guess is that the gun ban crowd will issue public platitudes about how this wasn't the intended result (as they have already done) but in private they will be ecstatic that fewer people will see guns in a positive light and some, who might have decided to learn how to shoot and join the gun culture because of that exposure, won't.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Appeal Denied! A little freedom in California

If you follow gun law and politics you may know that a federal judge ruled not to long ago that California's concealed carry laws violated the Constitution.  In short, California has what is called a "may issue" law.  If you wish to carry a firearm you apply to the local sheriff and he decides whether he wants to give you a permit.  Generally under a "may issue" system it is up to you to convince the sheriff that you need to carry.  It is not enough that you want to.  Since the system depends on the whim of the sheriff, the reality is that most applications are denied outright.

An alternative system such as that in effect here in Washington is called a "shall issue" system.  Basically the state acknowledges that the people have the right to self defense and anyone who wants a permit, if they can pass a background check, gets one.

The government of California, predictably, appealed the ruling and lost the first round.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Down goes polygamy

The best part of this article may be the phrase "his gaggle of wives". I love the sound of that although according to Wikepedia a gaggle requires at least five geese.  Maybe the bar is set lower for wives.

But in more serious news, a federal circuit court judge has struck down Utah's polygamy law, although the Utah Attorney General has announced that he will appeal.

Makes perfect sense to me.  If you can live with someone without being married (cohabitation is accepted fact in the western world in spite of some laws still on the books), if you can sleep with someone without being married (Lawrence v Texas "privacy" rights), if you can marry someone of the opposite sex, who is to say that you can't "marry" more than one person, so long as you are not committing fraud (bigamy).

Libertarians, rejoice.  Maybe we are a step closer to the government getting out of the business of regulating marriage altogether, since it really isn't their business anyway.

Amazon affiliate program reminder

Just a reminder that if you are shopping at Amazon and go there by clicking on the Amazon link at the top right of this page, I get a small commission, something around 4% I believe.  You don't pay any more to buy the stuff you were going to buy anyway.

You do have to go to Amazon by clicking on the link, however.

Or this one.

Harmonica versus the cats

I thought I might start trying to learn the harmonica again.  Tried years ago, pre--widespread-content loaded internet, and found that I just didn't have the motivation when I had no idea what it was supposed to sound like.  I had picked up a couple books including one by Jon Gindick and it just wasn't working out.  I got onto his email list, however, and get emails from him a couple times a year.

Yesterday I got a link to a youTube video of his and found that he has created these videos where he plays guitar and harmonica accompaniment, overlaid with the notes that he is playing.  Pretty cool.  I pulled out one of the C harmonicas that I bought all those years ago and started working on the tune that he is playing, Trouble in Mind, an old blues standard.  Immediately ran into a snag.

My cats appear to hate it.

The second I start playing they run into the room, jump on my lap, and meow at me until I stop. 

At which point they jump down and leave.

Or maybe they like it and want to sing along, but I lean towards the first.

Oh well.  They'll just have to get used to it.  It really is funny, though.  I wonder if I could set up a camera to get a recording of them doing this.  Stand by.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Gun raffle time

Combat Veterans International.  IRS 501c19 Veteran's non-profit.  Registered Washington State corporation and charity.  Raffling off a Glock.

(Glock 19 9mm 3rd generation pictured)

You heard right.  Your choice of a 9mm or 40 (that translates to 17, 19, 22, or 23 in Glockspeak).

Tickets are $5, we are only selling 500 tickets and the drawing will be on December 31, 2014 unless we sell out earlier, in which case we will draw the winner immediately.

You have to be able to pass an FFL background check to win and you will be responsible for shipping if you live out of area.

Email me at chapter1atcombatveteransdotcom if you would like tickets and I'll set them aside for you.  I can either mail you your stubs or scan them and send you a picture.