Category Archives: Rants

And Along Came COVID

Fair warning; I am pulling absolutely NO punches this time. If you think you’ve seen me rude and pissed off before, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

For two years, we’ve managed to successfully dodge COVID-19 here. While I was initially a little skeptical of the whole epidemic, it didn’t take long for me to moderate my stance. We’ve taken it seriously and treated it as dangerous without going off the deep end into total panic mongering.

We’ve watched the pandemic drag on for two years also, simply because braindead jackasses refuse to take it seriously. Evidence be damned, even the most basic level of concern for their communities be damned. They’re FREE and they have a RIGHT… to kill other people!

Why am I so bent out of shape at this point? If you didn’t guess, it’s because we came down with COVID about the time of my last post. Doubtless caught from some self-absorbed twit who couldn’t give a damned about spreading it to other people. We’ve both been sick as dogs here for 2 weeks now, and the COVID had screwed up my other half’s blood sugar so badly that it was in single digits and I came VERY VERY close to planning a funeral.

Why? All because there are shitheads out there who are smarter than science and can’t be bothered in the slightest to think about the good of anyone beyond themselves.

I’ll give the anti-vax crowd A LITTLE slack here. The vaccines have never gone through proper, non-emergency standards for testing, etc… and we were leery about getting vaccinated ourselves. We did it though because we are high risk. My only caveat there would be if you don’t want to get vaccinated, keep your contact with the public to a minimum, and self isolate and get tested if you display symptoms.

No, the people I reserve the vast majority of my rage for are ones like Refarmer here on WordPress

The same Refarmer who I’d supported almost since her blog started, and donated a large amount of money to save her badly injured cat. The same Refarmer who also dropped following my blog when I put in a post that nobody was trying to enslave anyone by asking them to wear a mask.

If it was only one illiterate hillbilly on WordPress demanding to put others at risk because a mask makes them “uncomfortable” (try nearly dying and see how fucking uncomfortable THAT is), it wouldn’t be that big a deal. As the above picture shows, there are idiots like that everywhere.

My own godmother went out on a shopping spree while sick with COVID. No mask either. My in-laws are deniers. They don’t understand why we won’t go to church with them either when literally every other week there’s a COVID outbreak there. Hell, we may have even contracted the virus through them.

No doubt some idiot is going to suggest we got COVID *BECAUSE* of the vaccine. The same vaccine we got 2 years ago and never gave us a lick of trouble until it somehow flared up now? We never got any of the booster shots. The kind of mentally ill thinking that goes into something like that is beyond belief. That’s the lengths these human pond scum will go to in order to justify killing others though.

They’re not the only ones that deserve to be ripped to shreds though. The talking heads and politicos on BOTH sides that have been trying to exploit the whole situation should literally be flogged. They’ve ALL played so fast and loose with the truth for personal gain that the average schmuck has no fucking clue what to exactly believe. THAT, in turn, has helped fuel the conspiracy nuts and keep the pandemic alive longer than it should have lasted.

The bottom line though is that freedom is ALWAYS balanced with responsibility, and it’s people with absolutely ZERO sense of responsibility to their fellow human beings that are keeping this damned thing going. I’m fed up with it enough at this point that if I had MY way, anyone infecting somebody else with COVID would be charged with felony assault. The infected person dies, it becomes a murder charge.

Going Under for the Third Time, and Regrouping

Yes, a bizarre phrasing for a title, but there’s an explanation for it. Keep reading to find out how yesterday’s meeting with our lawyer ties to my 6th grade graduation party in Northern California, AND the lessons taken from that connection.

The Actual Meeting:

The meeting yesterday morning went as I worried it might. We weren’t shot down, BUT the lawyer was STILL unwilling to commit to anything yet. He didn’t stay long either, which was also expected. His main purpose was to introduce us to the contractor he was using to do the home inspection. After that, I walked the inspector through the house and showed him everything we and other hired experts had found.

Getting back to the lawyer however, he said he can’t make any decisions until he sees the report from his inspector, AND he still insists that there’s missing paperwork from the original home inspection company. Primarily in the form of a signed contract.

More on the trip to the inspection company’s office in a minute.

So, yes, despite telling the lawyer multiple times we’re hanging on to financial life by a thread, he was non-committal. On one hand, it just plain pisses me off. On the other hand, and looking at the world through the other party’s eyes, attorneys have to under-promise and try to over-deliver. They get sued for malpractice and trashed online by most people for any perceived lack of perfect results. “It looks like you MIGHT have a case, IF…” gets turned into “You said we had a case (even though the IF never came to pass) and I’m going to sue you!”. So it’s yet another example of where the greedy and self-entitled have made life miserable for the rest of us.

So, (again) yes, I understand his perspective and need for caution here. None the less, that does nothing to resolve our short term issues. Likewise, the potential long term victory doesn’t mean anything if we don’t survive the short term disaster.

Lessons, Regrouping…

Here’s where we get to that tie-in to a sixth grade graduation party decades ago…

I kept my cool, but I was quite fed up at the point the lawyer left the meeting. After a few minutes though, a cold calm hit me and I realized if we’re going to get out of this mess it MAY (hell, probably will) fall upon us to do it ourselves.

Hell, half of the problem thus far is that we’ve gone against our better judgment and trusted “experts” instead. We let a realtor tell us about buyer legal protections and area conditions instead of researching. We let that same realtor give us horrible contract advice when we should have known better. We trusted a home inspector’s word over our own eyes, etc…

On the way home after the home inspector was done, the graduation party comparison hit me. My sixth grade graduation was a (swimming) pool party at a rather modest resort in the area. I went back to the pool area for some reason (I can’t remember exactly why) during the time food was being served in another area. I got shoved into the deep end of the pool by somebody who had snuck up behind me. Hard. Right into the dead center of the deep end.

Harmless prank right? It would have been IF I could swim back then. I had flip flops on also, which act exactly the opposite of flippers if you’ve ever tried to swim with them on.

I came up three times, gasping for air and yelling for help. Third time going down, I knew my air was running out and “this is how I’m going to die?” ran through my mind. That same previously mentioned calm, cold, steely determination hit me, and I kicked off the flip flops and managed to fight my way back to the surface and dog paddle to the edge of the pool.

I survived, but only because I got absolute determination to fight my way out of it and accepted that nobody else was going to save me.

For those who are wondering, nobody was there when I finally got to the edge. Everybody else had been in another area (indoors IIRC) eating, and the one girl who later confessed to me had ran off and left me. The prank I can forgive. She didn’t know. It took a good while to let go of the fact she didn’t grab a life preserver ring or that silly pole for rescuing swimmers though.

Instead she ran off, knowing I was in trouble but more concerned with covering up her mistake.

End of that rant though. The similarities did strike me. We’re figuratively drowning now, and it sure as hell looks as nobody is going to help us. No life guard then, apparently no life guard now.

and Resolutions:

IF I was feeling a little more spiritual at the moment, I might do same naval gazing and speculate if the whole experience today, and my seeing a connection to WAY back then was some sort of spiritual message from my subconscious, higher self, the Divine, etc… Maybe it was. Right now, I’m more worried about resolving the mess though.

After a long talk between ourselves, we decided we could struggle through ONE month of double payments (rent and mortgage) before it took too big a toll on our dwindling savings.

We also decided, after reading context clues from the lawyer, and some feedback from the inspector that it SEEMS like we have a good case. It MAY even be a matter of how many people we can sue as opposed to IF we can sue anyone. The home inspector said, for example, that when he does this kind of work for the lawyer that he normally spends four hours trying to find anything the lawyer can use in court.

That also tells me the lawyer has plenty of experience with this kind of case.

At any rate, the inspector left our place in two hours with dozens of pictures and notes, and just shaking his head at some of the things he saw. Good for us or bad? Hard to say. It definitely means the house is a disaster area, which works in our favor. It could also mean that a judge or jury could decide we should have seen it all ahead of time and it’s thusly all on us.

Getting back to that one month though… We decided that we’ll give the lawyer two weeks to at least present a planned map forward. No expectations of a guaranteed win. Life doesn’t work that way. Without a battle plan though, we have to take things into our own hands.

We’re exploring a handful of options. Trying to turn the mortgage company and their army of lawyers against all involved is one option. An absolutely MASSIVE insurance claim is another. How much would be covered is a huge question however. Lastly there’s just bankrupting out of the house and forcing the mortgage company to deal with it all. That means years of renting and fighting hard to rebuild our finances, but we’d be going in with eyes open and knowing it’s better than living in a house full of asbestos and radon with leaning walls and a collapsing roof.

The only thing I know for sure is we aren’t going down without a fight.

And Then There Was That “Missing” Inspection Paperwork…

Later that afternoon, we went to the inspection company’s office. We told them a story about a computer hard drive crash and asked for a copy of our file so we’d have all our test results to show a future buyer what we’d found and repaired. A necessary deception even though I dislike deceptions in general. The idea was to avoid getting them looking too closely at receipts or actual signed documents, as well as not tip our hand of potential legal action.

We got a folder full of printed out paperwork. No receipts and no signed contract though. No record of any payments in our bank account either. That tells me one of two things:

Either they’re complete screw ups whose oversight caused them to overlook the signed contract that covers their rear in the case of this kind of screw up, OR… There’s some legitimate deep and dirty collusion going on between our realtor, the home inspection company and others involved here.

That last bit may seem like a reach, but there are numerous other pieces of admittedly circumstantial evidence that all point that way. Proof? No. Enough to cause suspicion that something is rotten in Denmark? Yep. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

But then again, we do live in interesting times, don’t we?

Nothing to do but continue to Follow the Evidence, and keep pushing to get people to look at it. Come, Watson. The game is afoot!

Under Pressure: Our Personal “Doomsday Clock”

That slightly dramatic picture is part of DC Comic’s “Doomsday Clock” event that rebooted the DC universe for the 1 millionth time and incorporated The Watchmen reality into the main DC reality (sort of).

The melodrama is because today is the day we have our second meeting with our attorney and his home inspector at our recent purchased house. It’s no exaggeration to say that how this meeting goes is going to shape the direction of our lives for years. We’re less than a week away from a first mortgage payment on a house that isn’t (IMO) even safe to move into. In the mean time, our overpriced, it was supposed to be short term lease is up and we have to either pay even more to stay OR move out. To where though?

It’s been two months of constant searching for a clear path out, with every explored option only leading to further trouble and obstacles. For example, we got the test results back yesterday, and the flooring is definitely asbestos. The ceiling tile and attic insulation are cellulose though.

We’re rapidly running out of cash here, and there’s certainly NO way we can afford the $100,000 plus price tag on the costs to restore this house to where it should be. That does not include ANY upgrades either, by the way.

The stress is eating us both alive. At my personal worst, I had stage 2 hypertension and was slowly getting that under control. That’s gone. My spouse has a heart murmur and type 2 diabetes. We’re at the point of sleeping 12 hours a day from the stress.

Side note here; I frequently use superhero imagery and metaphors because I find in 80 years of existence, they’ve explored it all, no matter how over the top. A case and point is from the original “Secret Wars” back in the 1980s. The villains managed to drop an entire mountain range on the hero team, described as 150 Billion tons. Hulk held it up and saved the team. THAT is the level of pressure we’re feeling right now.

For anybody wondering about the exchange between Hulk and Iron Man, The Hulk had Banner’s mind at that point (like the last Avengers movie) and Rhodey was acting as Iron Man at the time.

There’s extreme stress over no direction out of this mess, there’s self-recrimination over not catching some of the issues ourselves, there’s tremendous anger at the people we hired to look after our interests and were legally and morally bound to do so. Yes, even frustration that the lawyer has been completely non-committal thus far.

The Options:

Working blind, we’ve come up with a few options or scenarios thus far:

If the lawyer is reasonably sure he can come through and win a case, we ride out whatever he has planned, SOMEHOW. Understandably nothing is ever a guarantee in legal circles. There’s a HUGE wildcard here also, since we don’t know if he can do anything about the mortgage payments while this is all being resolved.

If he says no case because the problems are something we personally should have noticed, then we’re stuck either trying to negotiate with the mortgage company to escape the house or get it repaired, OR we have to destroy ourselves financially and bankrupt out of the house.

In an ideal world, this would be so clearly bad that the lawyer would just be able to make a phone call, send evidence to the mortgage company and we could walk away. The mortgage company’s army of lawyers could then sue the hell out of everyone else involved in the transaction. As long as we recover our losses, I’m perfectly fine with that outcome.

I guess in a truly ideal world, massive punitive damages would be included also. I can dream, right? LOL.

Whichever way this goes, the wildcard of short term housing is still in full play. Long term also if we’re forced to bankrupt out of this mess.

Yeah… NO Pressure…

Guess I’ll have a little better idea in about 3 1/2 hours from now… Maybe…

Either way, today is our deadline. We HAVE to make some hard decisions one way or another. Doomsday clock is ticking, heh.

It’s a Stone Building…

So, OF COURSE we have… TERMITES!

Yes, the latest round in the bad comedy that refuses to die; our new house.

Well, a bit of background: Intuition told me (partially based on the condition of the electrical outlets in the room), that we needed to tear down the wood paneling in the den. We needed to know if there was anything bad hidden back there…

Well, sho’nuff…

I thought it was just dry rot at first. It’s a 62 year old house after all.

Side Note here: For those who haven’t spend weeks learning building practices and codes like I’ve been forced to… Building a frame like this to mount wood paneling to a stone wall is a standard practice. The boards are called “furring strips” and APPARENTLY the primary reason for them is so you can run wiring and such between the stone and the wood paneling.

Well, as the pics show, subterranean termites SOMEHOW got through a solid concrete slab foundation, devoured the bases of the furring strip assembly, and then worked their way up the wall:

The mud tubes going up the wall are nature trails for termites… Not that they didn’t make a mess of the wood also. The first picture is about 1/2 way up the wall.

Note that despite the furring strips, the electrical was still cut into the cinder blocks and newspaper (AKA kindling) was used to sort of plug the hole.

To quote AC / DC; “It’s criminal. There ought to be a law. Criminal. There ought to be a whole lot more.” Oh that’s right, there ARE. We just don’t believe in actually enforcing building codes here.

Excessively snarky commentary inserted here.

Keep in mind that this IS a brick and cinder block house, so it wouldn’t be all that bad IF that was as far us as the little bastards went, BUT:

THAT is the ceiling. It means that the termites MAY (probably) have gotten into the roofing and / or the natural wood plank ceiling in the den. If they’ve eaten up the rafters or the plywood under the roof shingles, we’re talking multiple tens of thousands of dollars of damage.

Sometimes I think God really does NOT hate me, nor have a sick sense of humor, BUT then I ask myself… “WHO gets termites in a brick and cinder block building?!?”

Blasphemy aside, depending upon how things go with attorneys we’re interviewing, this MAY all turn into a series of posts on what NOT to do when buying a house, as well as several DIY fix up projects.

OH… And before anybody brings it up, we DID pay for a pre-purchase WDP (wood destroying pest) inspection, which was rubber stamped good to go.

By the time we’re done suing people, I’m retiring to the Maldives.

She Didn’t Make It

I mentioned in my “Month from Hell” post that on top of everything else, we had a really sick cat on our hands.

If you look closely, you can see she was bloated around her mid section, but insanely thin around her hips and “waist”

After Banfield passed us off immediately to a pet emergency center (after telling us for ages she was just overweight), and we got jerked around by that pet hospital for a week and $1500, we took her to another pet ER. They did surgery and cleaned out what turned out to be some sort of a massive infection in her mid section. The Internal Medicine vet and the Surgeon had never seen anything quite like it.

After a day recovering in the pet hospital, she came home with us. She seemed to be slowly getting better despite not eating or drinking much at first. We took her with us to the new house today so we could get some work done while still keeping an eye on her.

New space, so (particularly being an indoor only cat) she was a bit nervous, but seemed to be adjusting, and enjoying the attention. We packed her up in her carrier to take her back to the current (rental) house, and when we opened the carrier, she was dead. 😥😭😟

We had her ten years… adopted her probably a little earlier than she should have been put up for adoption, given how small she was. She was almost all of what got me through many of the bad days I’ve had over the years. $7000 total spent (which REALLY hurt our house repair budget) and all we got with her was two days.

I miss my baby kitty. I’ve cried off and on all night. I want to scream but nothing will come out. The worst part is I can’t stop wondering if she’d still be alive if we mistrusted Banfield sooner or at least hadn’t taken her on the trip today. 😫 I don’t know if what happened was that bounce back phenomenon where a dying person or pet seems to recover temporarily, long enough to sort of say good bye, or we did something that killed her.

I’ve been miserable to the point of not being able to post (and I’ve had numerous topics lined up ready to go) or reply much for almost two months. Now this…

Life has been nothing but one giant shit sandwich since we began the move out here.

R.I.P. Chloe. There are NO words for how much you’ll be missed…

My Month From Hell…

As I’ve hinted at a few times, things have been going… rough with the new house. I’m finally ready to begin to tell the story here.

So, where to start?  We looked at several other houses even after putting in the offer on the cinder block place.  Suffice it to say that nothing under $350k here is problem free.  We ended up following through on the block house after all. In case you’re wondering, the law here gives you a limited window to back out of a Real Estate purchase on top of the normal contingency windows (inspection, loan approval, etc…) before closing.

I’m still not sure if that was a mistake.  It’s been a running battle with the seller and his agent ever since.  First it was getting concessions on repairs needed, which needless to say is normal.  Then we couldn’t get them out after closing paperwork was signed.  It took a $500 a day occupancy fee to get them to clear out.  And clear out they did at that point, like greased lightning.  After that was where the real fun began.


Of the three repairs we asked for 1 was technically done, 1 was done half-assed and will need to be redone, and the third was not done at all, BUT it did have a work order falsified by a local contractor to say it was done.


Technically done was the side door to the house.  The framing at its base was unfinished, and it was allowing water in under the door and along the slab.  Did I mention it rains so much here that it makes the tropics look like New Mexico?  He put in a sill plate to seal off the door entrance, but didn’t concrete over the area he’d carved out of the slab to install the door.  End result; there’s a ditch under the carpet in front of the door.


Half-Assed done was the roof.  It’s 8 years old and not in bad shape, but the major swings in seasonal temperatures here have created “nail pops“, where the nails back out of the roof a bit.  That in turn can push up shingles partially and cause them to curl.  All we asked for was that they drive back down the nails and throw some sealant under the loose singles.  Easy job, even if a little time consuming.  Well, they did maybe 2/3 of it and used low grade silicone sealant to (sort of) tack down the shingles.  End result; it needs to be done all over again to keep the roof intact. 


NOT Done was the house electrical system.  It was built in 1959, right at the start of “modern” (ie the last version of) two wire systems that are now retired in favor of 3 wire, fully grounded systems.  So, no knob and tube or aluminum wiring at least, BUT nothing is grounded, which is horrible for modern electronics of any sort.  The seller had already upgraded the circuit breaker box to current standards and had installed 3 prong outlets in the entire house.  No ground though; he just hooked the two wire wiring to the three wire outlets and tried to pass them off as properly updated per NEC code.  Our home inspector caught that they weren’t, so we said that we wanted those outlets properly grounded as a condition of sale.  He agreed, then apparently had a contractor friend forge a work order saying that the work had been done.  “Trust but Verify” as Reagan said.  After we FINALLY got them out of the house, I went through with an outlet tester and found the only areas properly grounded were the kitchen and bathroom where he’d ran new wiring to for previous remodeling work.


Same general idea with the other two jobs, once checked up on.  Partially my fault for allowing closing to go through before they were out of there.  I’m going to plead detrimental reliance however, since our own realtor assured us this guy was a well established contractor with a sterling reputation, and a virtual pillar of the community (huge town of 3600 there, lol)

Side Note: Trying to translate from Legalese to English, detrimental reliance in this case means the victim followed the bad advice of an expert professional on a given matter. Such as an electrician telling you it’s OK to stick a fork in an electrical outlet, with wet hands no less. A few other circumstances apply but it’s essentially malpractice for professionals other than doctors and lawyers.


Then when we got a chance to thoroughly look the place over, the exterior windows (all but two of them were unsealed on the outside.  One of them even had ivy growing into the gap.  Personally, I can’t believe I missed all of that either.  I saw new windows, and new looking bricks with clean, well formed mortar though.  I didn’t think I had to worry about if he’d finished the job and fully sealed the exterior of the windows:

He also left two holes in the exterior walls where the old, in-kitchen hook up for the washer and dryer used to be:

Fortunately, I have many talents:

It’s actually amazing what one can do with a YouTube video or two and simply RTFM 😉

Yes, that’s patched with actual concrete for a proper, similar materials patch.  Same with the smaller nearby hole that I patched.  There are other, smaller holes that I still need to patch though.  These two holes were hidden behind furniture and boxes to deliberately conceal them.


OH, I forgot to mention that the sellers failed to inform us of a roach infestation as well.  When they finally got out, and we went to look at the place, the house reeked of cheap carpet shampoo and roach spray.  There were dead roaches all over the carpet also.  Unfortunately, this area only requires disclosure of wood destroying pests.  Ergo there’s not much we can do on that specific one.  Despite apparently cleaning the carpets, they also managed to leave the house filthy.  Even the aforementioned carpets don’t feel anywhere near clean.


What really set me off regarding the entire situation is that when the violations of the closing contract came to light, EVERYONE involved with the transaction (including our own agent) just threw up their hands and said “oh well”.  They got their money, so they don’t care.  Take advantage of my good nature and risk my possible wrath.  Rub it in my face that you did so, and guaranteed it’s going to get ugly.  So, I’ve spent the last two weeks going through real estate laws and building codes online at night after working on the house all day.  What have I found, you ask?


Well, first the renovated bathroom, all the exterior windows, the new side door, the new electrical panel (circuit breaker box), and hell maybe even the new-ish A/C system were all done without the required building permits.  The holes in the wall, the unfinished windows, the improperly wired / switched out electrical outlets (along with several other things) are all building code violations.  Digging into some of the outlets to check the wiring turned up things like this:

That’s the hired electrician sitting there, staring in disbelief

Yes, that’s gravel pouring out of the outlet.  I wasn’t sure what to make of that at first, but a little research turned up that cinder block walls sometimes use “aggregate” (pebble) material as insulation in the hollow center portion of the block.  This jabroni doesn’t even know how to keep the crap out of the ‘gang box’ for the electrical outlets though.  I found jury-rigged, mismatched and spliced together wire in other outlet boxes and wood chips from the wood paneling in others.  The electrician that looked over the house recommended a whole house rewire.  The previous owner also left uncapped gas lines where he had his grill tied into the house gas system, where there was a gas powered space heater that he removed and where the dryer was. 


Sooooo… long story short, we went from something that could have been settled easily with a “My bad, we ran out of time.  Take care of it and send me the bill”, to escalating this up to the point where I’m out for blood.  We’re going to sue the previous owner for breach of contract, fraud and misrepresentation.  I’m also going to do everything I can to get his contracting license, and that of his electrician friend, pulled for the building code violations and fraudulent work order as well.  Oh yes, and go after his realtor for the same reasons as well as acting in bad faith.  Somebody’s losing their real estate license or is at least going to end up with one hell of a fine to the state department of real estate and Realtor’s Association.

SICK Cat Too…


And if all that wasn’t enough…  One of our two cats got really sick and turns out to have a massive internal cyst in her abdomen area which will require surgery.  The HIGHLY reputable vet hospital (extreme sarcasm noted, I hope) only took $1500 dollars to make the diagnosis of a cyst.  We haven’t even gotten to treatment yet. 

 
So yeah…  It’s been a hell of a month. And there’s no resolution in sight for ANY of it yet…

A friend recently posted in her blog about “letting it go”. Normally good advice but…

NOW it’s “Beer for my Horses” time:

I… Shall Return!

OK, it’s been a long while since I’ve write anything here. As usual, reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated though. 😀

I’ve had a TON going on at a personal level. Most of it I’m still debating if or how much to tell. On a bigger front, the house sale went through two days ago now, and I have been up to my armpits in projects. The previous owner left the place utterly filthy and we even found roaches. They took past closing to get out also. We were nice and gave them an extra day but they made zero progress packing. At that point we hit them with a $500 a day fee to stay and miraculously they were out of there like greased lightning.

Aside, from the dirt, grease and roaches, they also hid an old dryer vent hole in an exterior wall behind a bunch of crap. We have to patch that…

They also lied about claiming to have several bad electrical outlets in the house repaired. The outlets work, but the ground side of the outlets tests bad. The seller *apparently* had a contractor friend forge a work order saying the work was done, and apparently didn’t think we’d come behind and test them ourselves.

Well… As a wise president once said:

We’ve got the home inspector returning for a reinspection later today. Once it’s in writing that nothing was done, there’s going to be hell to pay. We’ve got a contractor that willfully and deliberately committed fraud to aid the seller in fraudulent representation of the condition of the house, and they both lied on legal documents. Fraud in the inducement.

So, to paraphrase Patrick Swayze… It was time to be nice, NOW it’s time to NOT be nice. It’s not like we redheads are evil though…

Beyond that, there’s a bajillion projects to do. I’ll document the progress as time allows. 😉

What Ever Happened to the Truth?

OK, trigger warning here: I’m going to be getting “political” here, and discussing racial and police issues. If that’s not your thing, I understand. It’s why I’m putting up the warning.

So what sparked this? We’ve been catching up on TV lately. We missed quite a bit of shows during our moving prep, the actual move, and the time our furniture was MIA. We got into the most recent Season of CBS’s S.W.A.T. reboot.

Overall, it’s a really good show; a rarity among reboots. They went off the deep end trying to show support for Black Lives Matters at the start of this last season though.

The episode involved trying to break up a chain of terrorist attacks that were designed to hit South Central and stir up racial tensions to the point of actual violent conflict. All this while the neighborhood is planning an annual remembrance event of the Rodney King beating.

LONG story short, the episode spins the riots following the King verdict as the fault of the police because they didn’t step in and restore order. They even have the Commander of the SWAT Division of LAPD get up in front of the community and apologize to them for not disobeying orders and trying to help (he was a patrol officer at the time).

The thing is, I was in San Diego at the time the riots broke out. I was staying with my dad the cop AND (his idea) I was also working as a private security guard in the Miramar area of North San Diego at the time. Believe me, I was paying CLOSE attention to everything that was happening.

Still can’t believe I went to work the nights of the riots completely unarmed, but otherwise looking for all the world like a cop. Pinkerton had dark blue uniforms.

ANYWAY… The truth is people in the neighborhoods where the rioting was taking place were actively shooting at any police that came into the area. Not only that, they were shooting at fire trucks and ambulances trying to help as well. The police pulled back and focused on containment because the alternative was to turn South Central into a full blown war zone, and be accused of a race massacre.

Back in those days, the police were also outgunned. The military weapons and transports that we see police using nowadays came about after the riots.

That’s a big part of why the national guard was mobilized to deal with the riots.

What’s My Point?

First, let me say that NONE of the above facts justify what happened to Rodney King, or others like George Floyd. The idea that Rodney King’s 1986 Hyundai could even do 120 MPH as police claimed is laughable. Even my dad called BS on that one. Early Hyundais were complete crap. You couldn’t get them going 120 if you dropped them out of the space shuttle.

Black Lives DO Matter.

If we’re ever going to get to a solution for all of this though, things have to be dealt with honestly. Both sides are going to have to see each other as human beings. Policing needs to change, no doubt about that. You can’t drive the police out of neighborhoods or try to eliminate them completely (as a few cities have tried) and then complain when they’re not where they were chased out of though.

It’s racist if they’re in black neighborhoods, and it’s racist if they don’t respond (fast enough) to calls in black neighborhoods. Is it any wonder cops are quitting in record numbers and cities can’t find replacements for them?

I’ve seen the impact firsthand there. We left Sacramento and California completely because it LITERALLY took 7 hours for police to respond to any call that didn’t involve gunfire. That’s IF they responded at all!

I won’t fault Shemar Moore (lead actor and producer) or CBS for trying to shine the spotlight on race issues as relates to police. They’ve done it before and up till this point had done a very balanced job of showing both sides of the issue.

I’m REALLY disappointed at the spin they put on the whole situation in this episode however. It was blatantly and unabashedly anti-police, dishonest, and only served to deepen mistrust of law enforcement, especially in minority communities. Nothing in that episode was going to promote communication or healing.

Maybe I’m expecting too much in hoping for Shemar Moore’s character to instead say “We have every right to be pissed about what happened that day and still happens too often. We can’t blame the police when some of us burn down and loot our own neighborhood, and shoot at the people who come to help us though.”

I’m only going to add one other point here: I am NOT saying that the entire neighborhood was involved in shooting at police, etc… I’ve said time and again that the vast majority of Black people, like ALL races, are good people. Like all races, there’s a small percentage of bad apples though. That small percentage did ALOT of damage though, and to their own neighborhoods.

Anybody comes in here with a racist reply about that’s how “all of those people are”, it’ll be an insta-ban from this blog. I don’t have the time or patience for ignorance and hate.

Culper Precision Makes Custom Gun That Looks Like Toy

Time for a Rant. Utah based Culper Precision (a firearms manufacturer) decided to customize what I think is a Glock 19 to look like a toy made of Legos.

Image courtesy of Newsweek and MSN

They called it the “Block 19” and that is a VERY real firearm. They were quite proud of the fact that they glued the Legos onto it, and got the gun to keep them in place for over 1500 rounds fired.

Oddly enough, they also don’t understand the outrage this has generated with people.

Stats on how many children are killed with guns are sadly twisted and politicized. Regardless of the actual numbers, children getting ahold of guns and accidentally shooting themselves, a sibling, or shooting people at school are too common, and IMO one is too many because a responsible gun owner keeps their guns properly secured.

I’ve already called for the gun owners to be tried as co-conspirators in such cases unless they can show that they did have their guns locked up. Kids are tempted by the mystique surrounding guns, and if you make it look like a harmless toy, whatever respect they may have for the weapon is going to be lost. This was just completely irresponsible on Culper’s part.

Before any of the Pro-Second Amendment crowd jumps on me here, I *am* a gun owner. I own a CZ-75 Compact 9mm pistol:

Image courtesy of CZ-USA.com

Not only do I own it, I practice regularly and I’m pretty damned good with it:

Image courtesy of me; 20 rounds at a distance of 40 feet or 12.19 meters

Point being that I’m not some extremist activist who has never held a gun nor understands how they work. I’m a responsible gun owner who keeps my gun secured, practices to be accurate so I don’t unnecessarily endanger somebody IF I’m ever forced to defend myself, AND I hope to never, ever have to point it at another human being.

Culper made a gun that looks like a child’s toy, and then defended it by saying they were doing it to protect the second amendment (I can’t make this stuff up):

What’s all the more scary is that Instagram post got 2900+ likes.

Then, when they started getting TONS of hate, they doubled down on stupid, saying the reason people didn’t like it was because they gave their children unlimited access to guns or were a bunch of ignorant anti-second amendment nuts. See the story I linked above. I’m paraphrasing but NOT exaggerating.

THIS is the kind of irresponsible idiocy that makes others question the mindset of gun owners.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

My OPINION on this; Why does it matter? First of all, as previously stated, it LOOKS like a toy. That’s going to give a child a false sense of safety with it. Ideally, children in a gun owning household are taught to respect guns, that they’re extremely dangerous, and not a toy. Even such children would likely be tempted by this however. It only has to be put down for a moment for a kid to snatch it up too.

Second, and equally important, it shows that the ADULTS are viewing guns in an irresponsible manner.

A gun can be used as sporting equipment; for competitive target shooting or hunting, as well as for lethal self defense. Regardless of use however, it is a DEADLY WEAPON and should ALWAYS be treated with the respect and caution that comes with that.

Things like this, and the stupid gun tricks videos on YouTube reflect poorly on ALL gun owners. It does NOT protect the Second Amendment. It instead shows that it’s followers are too stupid to respect that rights come with equal amounts of responsibility.

As a responsible gun owner who values the ability to defend my home as a LAST resort, I’m extremely offended here, both by the infantalizing of guns, and the gaslighting of people who had the common sense to object to this stupidity.

If you need your gun to look like a toy, or be a pretty color (ie it’s pink);

then, to be blunt, you don’t have the right mindset to own a firearm.

Frustrations

Frustrations have once again kept me from doing any posting here.

First, let me get my warning out of the way; RANT ahead!

At first, I thought it was annoyance over cutting ties with the person I used to collaborate with on my Witchfire stories. Well, sort of collaborate. We tried to create a shared world with some crossovers for our stories. That ended over their insistence upon demonizing anyone they disagreed with politically or socially, and me saying one time too often to look at other POVs and not stereotype entire groups just because a media talking head and their sheeple said so.

So many of the problems in society today are caused by people on BOTH sides of various issues having blinders on like that. Sadly most of them are otherwise decent people. They just can’t be bothered to work past their personal biases. Too easy to hate because somebody told them that their personal problems are the fault of that group over there. Old trick though; it’s worked for Hitler, groups like the Proud Boys, and the FAR Left as well. “Hate! Fear! Follow me blindly! I’ll lead you to salvation”.

95% of the time these would-be saviors are only exploiting people for their own selfish ends by playing off one group against another.

Need I say it AGAIN?!? Judge people as INDIVIDUALS instead of using group-think and blindly applying labels that promote conflict and division.

AND THEN THERE WAS THE BLOG…

First, let me say I hate some of the new changes to WordPress. Even using a spacer insert is harder now since there’s no box, just a little circle now that you move up and down. The (picture) cropping and resize tool doesn’t work for me. They’ve even done away with the ability to select specific font size from a drop down. Now it has to be keyed in if you want to change it. Every “improvement” to the block editor seems to make it a bigger mess.

Some sort of background changes have me locked out of replying to or even liking half the blogs I follow AGAIN. This is the third or fourth time it’s happened since I started here. If I haven’t liked or commented in your blog in a while and I usually do, that’s very likely why. This change no doubt so WP can data mine blogs more easily.

Then we get back to PEOPLE as relates to blogging…

First, there’s my ongoing gripe over USERS masquerading as followers. If you’re doing THIS, you’re not reading and you don’t care about anything anyone else has to write about:

Doing that regularly just says you’re only using people to gain followers and pad your fragile ego. It’s happening increasingly from people who I’ve made effort to genuinely interact with on WP too, or at least used to. And I’m talking them doing 20+ likes in 1 or 2 minutes. I have a few pics of THAT also. I figured 8 likes was enough to make the point though.

If you don’t have time to read and have no desire to do so, just don’t reply instead of using people for your vanity. I’d rather have 5 followers like Refarmer, Joanne the Geek, Sheree, BigSkyBuckeye and a few others who will actually read, than have 10,000 fraud followers.

Then there’s another issue that’s been simmering for a long time also; appeasement and self censorship. I left and loudly denounced Twitter for similar experiences, but really WP isn’t all that different in a few regards. I speak out against some of the heavy handed aspects of the SJW movement (even though I support the overall movement / idea), then I’m evil. I have to push anything spiritual over to another blog because I might offend religious people. Can’t believe in chi and God after all *rolleyes*

Same idea with some of my adult writing. I sort of give that one a partial pass as I don’t want people to have to worry about anything vaguely NSFW here, and WP is absolutely one of the worst sites out there for providing any sort of age check tool for that kind of content. Even just an “Are you 18?” button pop-up would be nice!

Maybe NextDoor.com is a better overall comparison. Can’t write anything there other than garage sales and recipes without offending somebody. I’ve felt increasingly the same way here.

Write about self-defense or martial arts, you’re violent.

Talk about RESPONSIBLE gun ownership (and I have a very negative opinion of some gun owners), and you’re going to go out and do a mass shooting.

OK, enough said. The point is I’m sick to freaking death of judgy fucks presuming they know what others are thinking and feeling, AND that said judging fucks have the imagined godlike wisdom to tell others with absolute certainty how to live their lives or even what they should say. Yes, I’m sick of the “this means you’re a that and need to change NOW” crowd.

I’m NOT advocating people be allowed nor encouraged to run around acting like asses with no filter either. Can’t we find a happy medium though?

Truth; I’m frustrated at feeling like I can’t be me. I’m shutting away and compartmentalizing pieces of me to try to appease people who are never going to read my writing or buy any book I write anyway.

I’m not sure how quick I’m going to really get back to posting “full time” here again. I do know that when I start though, I’m going to be more ME. Politics I will still refuse to cover. The waters there are just too muddied, the real truth too hard to find and I think everyone is corrupt. Adult content is staying at SilksErotica.

Anything else is one the table though. I’ll do my best to discuss topics in an intelligent, calm manner. I’ll try to be positive and upbeat too. Trust me, I’m sick of bitchy posts here

Don’t like a particular subject in the future? I’ll make sure the headlines are clear so you can bypass it. That, and a return to days having regular topics, are as good as you’ll get.