Sunday, May 28, 2023

Memorial Day!

 Wow!  Just a couple more days in May and we'll be in June.  This year is really speeding along.  I've got some stuff that we've been doing but first I'd like to talk about veterans in my family.  I'm not big on waving the flag and all that.  But I don't vote for draft dodgers either (you do remember Mr. Trump don't you).  Just so you know.

My grandfather served in the Army during the Spanish-American War.  He is the earliest veteran I know about.  My father served in the Navy during WWII.  He was divorced so even though he was 36 years old he was going to be drafted.  He joined the Navy because they agreed to give him a couple of months to get things arranged.  He started as a helmman, steering the ship, but then went to OCS and eventually was a lieutenant managing chow halls in the San Francisco area.  He ended up serving 5 or 6 years.

My wife's father and her step-father and both her uncles were all senior enlisted men in the Navy.  They all also retired from the Navy after 20+ years.  That was from the Korean War era through early nuclear weapon testing and into the 1960's and 70's.  Her brother went to Annapolis and went on to spend 20+ years roaming the world on various Navy ships before resigning his commission.

I'm the light-weight.  I joined Army ROTC in college and in 1970 graduated with the gold bar of a lieutenant in the Army.  I spent 2 years on active duty at Fort Bliss, TX.  I served as the XO of a unit that kept records for people working at the Air Defense School that is located there.  I went into the reserve but never actually served in a reserve unit.  I requested a discharge in 1984 - I had to look that up just now!  I had no idea it was so late.

This world needs people to work for others.  Doctors and nurses to help the sick.  Police to keep the peace.  Firefighters to help save people and their belongings.  And military folks to keep our society safe from some of the other societies out there.  I feel like I personally have not done enough for others but at least I did serve my country.  I'm hoping to add to that area here soon.  We'll see.

A week or so ago I was out and found some of our local wild ponies having dinner by the side of the road.

And, of course, when the cactus blooms you HAVE to take a photo of it!

Two happy cacti, what more could one want?  Thanks for stopping by.  Take care and keep washing those hands!

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers. What is wrong with us?

I started reading a Yahoo article on this being the 1 year anniversary of the mass shooting in a Buffalo, NY grocery store.  There were 10 people killed and 3 injured in that shooting.  In the article there is a claim that in this country, this year, 2023, there have been 213 mass shootings.  What the hell?  This is only the 134th day of the year!  

The number of mass shootings comes from the Gun Violence Archive and they define a mass shooting as one in which 4 or more people are shot or killed.  Of course in 2022 they identified 647 mass shootings; so are we simply on track for a normal year?  They also claim 336 mass shootings in all of 2018 so that's quite a change in the past couple of years.  

One of the facts about the Buffalo mass shooting is that 11 of the 13 people were Black.  And the shooter said he was shooting people because they were Black.  Really?  WTF?  I mean I just cannot imagine shooting someone because they were a different color or nationality or couldn't speak English.  If I visit Angola am I going to be shot for being White?  Or not speaking Portuguese?   

I have trouble imagining being a victim in a mass shooting but I do admit that once in a while in the local grocery or casino I wonder how I would react if someone started shooting.  I don't carry a weapon and haven't even applied for a Concealed Weapons Permit so shooting back isn't really in the cards.  And my Swiss Army knife isn't much of a weapon.  It sounds like hide or run away are the options unless you want to become one of those people in the statistics.  

I don't really think that gun control is the answer.  If your plan is to go kill a bunch of people you can certainly find an illegal weapon.  I've read that there are over 400 million guns in the U.S.  That's more guns than there are people!  Of course that includes guns like we have in our household, several of which I was using to shoot tin cans when I was a teen ager half a century ago.  More to the point they claimed there are almost 20 million AR style guns.  Those are way different from the ones we had when I was a kid.  

I sure don't have any answers.  I guess being aware of how people feel and trying to get them some help is about the only way to help.  I mean the kid in the Buffalo shooting was 18 years old!  OK, teenagers often get all hopped up about some idea or another.  But going out and killing people because they are Black is just so wrong.

Thanks for stopping by.  Look out for young people with weapons!

Friday, May 12, 2023

More dull Don.....

We are having a quiet spring out here in the dessert.  We have those horrible weeds that I've been complaining about.  One of these days I'm going to have to hire someone to fix that problem!  We pull a few but are tired out after an hour (and probably 50 lb of weeds).  That isn't getting the work done.  

We do have a couple nice weeds on the side of the road.  I like them because they aren't in our yard.  But they are pretty too.

We had a local guy pass away last week.  His name was Ray "Flagman" Mielzynski.  He was called Flagman because he had a habit of spending quite a bit of time out on the highway that comes from California carrying a US flag.  He also carried a copy of the Constitution and two holstered revolvers.  Folks from California often called 911 thinking he was a danger.  He was far from that.  He just believed in the Constitution and the right to carry arms.  When he wasn't waving the flag he liked to go in and listen to court cases.  I was kind of surprised to learn that he was only 3 years older than myself.  That's too early for a good guy to go!  

We have had some lights on the walk up to our front door since we moved in and, after 10 plus years, they were long gone.  A couple years ago I bought new ones but never installed them.   Lazy bugger, I know.  Anyway, I did finally install them and I'm kind of getting a kick out of the beams they project.  They won't be as helpful as the old ones but we don't get many nighttime visitors anyway.

I'm pretty much afraid that's all the news that fit to print from around here.  Thanks for stopping by.  Keep washing those hands and try to keep healthy!