Archive for the ‘Mike’s Rambling’ Category

Gun Safety

At 12 years old, Diego Duran was too young to go out partying on
New Years Eve, so he went out into the yard of his Ruskin, Florida
home with his parents to watch the fireworks. His mother saw him
slump to the ground, with blood coming out of his nose and mouth. He
was rushed to the hospital where it was determined that he had been
struck in the head by a .45 caliber bullet. Police believe it had
been fired into the air in celebration by someone as far as a mile
away. Diego has undergone several brain surgeries and is now
recovering at home. The gunman has never been identified.

Hannah Kelley, 20, was attending the service conducted by her
father at Grace Connection Church in Pinellas County, Florida last
Sunday. After the ceremony, Moises Zambrana, who handles the sound
system for the church, took Dustin Bueller and another man into a
closet. Bueller, who was dating Hannah Kelley, was interested in
buying a gun, and Moises wanted to show him his 9 mm Ruger. He
ejected the clip and, while “demonstrating the safety features,”
accidentally fired the gun through the closet wall, striking Hannah
Kelley in the head. Zambrana, who is licensed to carry a concealed
handgun, stated he did not know there was a bullet in the chamber. At
this moment Hannah Kelley is in critical condition in the hospital.
No charges have been filed.

I am a staunch 2nd Amendment advocate. I own several
guns, some left to me by my father, who drummed gun safety into me as
soon as I was old enough to hold one. I would never challenge any
law-abiding citizen’s right to bear arms. I do, however, have a gun
safety tip for those of you who, like Mr. Zambrana and the unknown
New Year’s reveler, are not on the short list for a Mensa invitation.

If you think it sounds like fun to celebrate by firing your gun
into the air; if you think, even after attending the required gun
safety class for a concealed carry permit, that ejecting the clip of
an automatic renders it safe, then perhaps owning a gun is not the
best choice for you. But if you do insist on exercising your 2nd
Amendment rights, then by all means go ahead and buy a gun. Save your
money, though, and only buy one bullet. Load it in the gun, lie down
in the bathtub, and use it on yourself. You will make guns safer for
everyone, you morons.

Make 2012 a Better Year

In the humanitarian spirit of trying to help people not look like
morons, I offer this friendly observation. There is simply no way to
look cool while:

  • Riding a Segway. Yes, I know it’s a marvelous invention, but
    face it: you look like a dork.

  • Pushing your dog in a baby carriage. This is even worse if
    you dress the dog up.

  • Riding in the back of a pickup truck. Even if the truck has
    built-in seats like the Subaru Baja (actually this might be worse.
    Who would buy such a thing?)

  • Playing air guitar. Especially if you are with a group
    listening to music and you’re the only one doing it. And if your
    eyes are closed and your mouth is open, you’re pathetic.

And while we’re on the subject of things people should stop doing,
how about if we abandon the clinking of glasses after a toast, at
least when you’re with more than three people? That interminable
reaching across the table to make sure you’ve “clinked” with
every loser in the group is beyond annoying. Raise your glass, smile
at everyone and say “Cheers,” and then drink the damn thing.

Just trying to help.


Bubba the CatI’ve never considered myself a cat person, but shortly after we moved to our home in the woods of Maine we thought that a cat might be a good idea for mouse control if nothing else. We found a couple with a large litter of kittens that were ready for new homes, and decided on two so they could keep each other company. I favored a good-sized gray cat, who readily let me pick him up. He laid comfortably in my arms while Peggy and the owner chased her choice, a calico, around the room for ten minutes before they could catch her. Their personalities remained the same after we took them home. We didn’t have the big gray cat long before we knew his name was Bubba.

Peggy took care of both cats, but Bubba always seemed like “my cat.” He was good-natured and relaxed. He was a bit timid; he’d disappear when we had company, and a thunderstorm would send him under the bed or in a closet. He loved food, and soon grew fat and lazy—who says pets resemble their owners? (I, on the other hand, am big-boned.) He developed the habit of laying on my chest while I laid on the couch reading in the afternoon. We both loved our couch time.

Even though he loved to eat, he had a sensitive stomach. Recently, he began to have more trouble and couldn’t keep his food down. The vet ran a number of tests and put him on medication that didn’t seem to help. Today he got worse, so we took him in again. X-rays revealed a growth and a poor prognosis, and the choice was inevitable. This afternoon I scratched Bubba’s head one last time while Sarah, the vet, ended his suffering. He just fell asleep, and then was gone.

I am still not a cat person. But Bubba wasn’t just a cat.