Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Epson WorkForce 545 Multi Function Printer - Update

I finally got off of my ass and decided to set up my new Epson WorkForce 545 Multi Function Printer, the one I bought a few days ago. After helping my wife bring 2 of the dogs to the vet today, Roxie and Pepe, then picking up Roxie, the one they had kept for intravenous hydration (both have had gastric problems but the one they kept has been both upchucking and has had the runs for about a week now) and realizing I just paid the veterinarian well over seven and a half large (yes over $750 in fact over $775) I needed something to get my mind off of that shit. Wow, veterinarians sure make lots of money up this way, too bad Brendan changed his major from biology to sociology! Oh well, onto the printer.

I opened the box and everything was packed nicely and was easy to take out. Anything taped closed on the printer had taped that was folded over onto itself on one end, thus making it easy to lift, as if it had a tab on one end that said lift here. That was a nice touch. There was a quick setup sheet that told how to set the thing up. I followed all of the instructions and the setup took me about an hour. Once done, I clicked the button to print a test sheet and it came out fine. Well, I guess it came out fine since there was no preview to look at on my computer screen to show me what to expect! After that I hit the scan icon on my PC and tried to scan a photo and save it on my PC. No go! Tried again, no go and the printer display said there was no USB connection, but there it was, the same one I had just used during setup, the same one by which connection I had just printed the test picture. What to do. I changed USB cables to another USB2 cable. No luck. Then I tried an older plain USB, no luck.

So, I did what I figured was best, I removed the software following the Epson instructions on how they said to do that, then I reinstalled the software fr the printer. his time it said it was fixing an accessory program that had loaded first time around. It was not for the scanner but was related to the scanner, a program to change scanned docs with text to actual text docs, if I remember right. So that all took at least another 1/2 hour or more.


Once done, I tried a scan again and voila, it worked. I tried a second, third, fourth and fifth time and it worked each time, I made scans in both color and gray scale! By the way, when I reloaded the software this time and then connected the laptop to the printer, I used the plain USB cable and not the USB2 cable. I noted that the instructions just called for a USB cable. I don't know if using a USB2 cable was the problem the first time round or if it was that program that got fixed when I reloaded the software but now it seems to be working fine. Th pic of the cat was of our dear Cody about 18 or 20 years ago. He lived a long good life with us. He died, only a few years ago, and we still miss him sorely. I just found a few photographs of him a few days ago and figured why not scan one of them as one of my test photos. It came out nicely done or at least I think so!

So, there was a bug in the works that needed to be gotten out but once I reloaded the software with a plain USB chord, it seemed to work well. One thing I will say is that the printer is noisier than I thought it would be. For me to say that is kind of amazing because I really am hard of hearing since my last chemo session. That one seemed to change my hearing drastically within a few days to a week of the last treatment. So much so, that when I saw my mom last night, she asked me if I am hard of hearing and said she never remembered me being so. Pretty sharp for a dementia patient who has seen me only twice in over 5 months (because of my condition). So, what I am saying, with regard to the printer, s I expected to hear nothing from it. Why, well because I read review after review with folks really excited about how quiet this printer is in operation. That has got to be absolute balderdash because when my prints it sounds fairly loud to me even with my lousy hearing. It is also supposed to be a speed demon at printing speeds. I don't know about that. It seemed to print at a run of the mill speed to me but I will have to try simple text documents to see how it does, then a photograph to see how it does with them. All I printed up tonight were a few of the same Epson test sheet and that is a combination of text and graphics though not much of each. Like I said, the speed seemed sort of run of the mill.

As for the scanner, it is slow as molasses, or so it seemed to me, but then almost all flatbed scanners that I have used have seemed that way to me. It did do justice to my pictures for the most part. It kind of missed the yellowish almost light sepia tinge to one pic I scanned. It really was not a sepia tinge but was a B&W photo yellowed from age. The scan came out in gray scale with no sepia to it. I kind of liked that because it fixed it to what it should have looked like. I imagine a sepia print would need to be scanned as a color print to keep the sepia tone.

As for the fax, I have not even set it up, I hit the option to set it up later. I am not sure I will use that option but if I do, I will write it up later. I was happy to have the option to set that up or not. That was a good touch, a plus for the folks at Epson.

Now as for the copier, I have not tried that either. No, let me correct myself, I just tried it. It copies like a speed demon, that is for sure. I was surprised at how fast it copies. I just copied one sheet but wow, that was fast for a machine like this.

As for the overall construction, almost everything is plastic but what would you expect for a printer selling for $64.99 on sale! Nothing seemed extra strong but then again nothing seemed all that flimsy except for the outbound paper tray and maybe the auto-feeder paper tray. If you take care not to mess them up though, they will last for years is my guess, just like other ones on other printers I have had.

The control panel is laid out nicely. There is a 2.5"display screen off center to the left. There are numerous control buttons on the face of the panel but none are difficult to figure out. Of course you can also operate the machine remotely from your computer without touching one of those buttons on the panel. That is because you can set the printer up on your home WiFi network. I have not tried that yet since the Epson instructions for setup recommended doing the setup with a USB connection first, then later setting it up for WiFi too. I may do that tomorrow. Back o the control panel buttons for a moment; as far as I know, the screen is not a touch screen. I like that very much because all the touch screens I have seen on this type of multi-function printer have been pretty flimsy. I much prefer the control panel button as long as they are laid out as nicely as they are on this printer.

The printer itself is pretty big. It takes up almost double the footprint size of my last printer which was a simple ink-jet printer and not a multi-function printer. I have it on my computer desk right now and need to figure out the best position for it to give me the most room to work in. I wish it was smaller but many others are even bigger than this one. Epson has a smaller model, the NX430 but it only used up to high capacity ink cartridges and not the extra high capacity ones. That means a lot more money spent on ink and a lot more cartridge changes. I am saving big bucks by having bought a model that uses the extra high capacity ink cartridges.

Not much more I can think of right now except to say most of the regular things were in the box with the printer such as the power chord, a telephone connection wire (for the fax) an instruction manual on how to use it, a set up sheet, the software and ink cartridges. One additional nice touch is that Epson supplies full high capacity ink cartridges with this printer. Many other companies reportedly supply their new printers with only partially filled ink cartridges. One thing that was not included in the box was a USB cable - come on Epson - I would be willing to pay an additional few bucks that it would cost you to include one. An Ethernet cable was not supplied either, but you can also hook the computer to the printer with one of them if you prefer it.

I guess that is about it for now. I will report on how well it has done for me at a later date.

All the best,
Glenn B

Gun Show White Plains, NY

It is really, really, very nice to be able to drive to a decent sized gun show within only about 45 miles, give or take a mile or two, of my home. That would be the gun show at White Plains, NY at the Westchester County Center on February 4th and 5th (this coming weekend). It is sure a lot better than having to drive the 80 miles or so (always thought it was 90 but MapQuest says much closer to 80) to get to the Orange County Fairgrounds for the Middletown, NY show which is the one we went to most before the return of the one at White Plains. While the White Plains show only has 350 tables, I think it beats out the Middletown show by about 50 tables or so. Fifty more tables probably translates to about 30 to 35 more tables showing guns for sale (considering that the other tables will show knives, books, firearms accessories and so on). Not bad and it makes the White Plains show a better bet than the Middletown show for Brendan and I.


Of course, we are planning on going to the show. Right now, the plan is to leave our house at about 0700. That should get us there in time to maybe find a parking spot on the street thus avoiding having to pay a parking lot fee. I don't mind paying to park if I have to but free is free and parking on the street, where legal, is free up there but only if you get there early. When you consider the gas for the ride up there and back is about 2.5 to 3 gallons at about $3.699 a gallon, the tolls are - heck I do not know what they are now but my guess is over $5 - I was close, just check. The toll without EZ Pass NY is $6.50, the toll with EZ Pass NY is $4.80. Whew, under five bucks for us each way, that's great! (I figured a sarcasm alert was not really needed for the last sentence but if you did not realize the high amount of sarcasm in that "Whew" or in the "that's great" it was there in both places! The admission fee is secret this year but I am guessing about $9.00 each with our $1.00 off coupon. Then lunch that will be about $30 for 3 of us (actually there will be 3 of us going along, Brendan's girlfriend Haylie is coming with us). You can see it starts to get expensive so if I can avoid whatever they charge for parking, I think it is from $5.00 to $10.00, well count me in on free parking!

Once we are up at the show, we hope to meet up with my buddy Charlie K. and his brother-in-law Rob. Both great guys and lots of fun and smarts at a gun show. They are both very knowledgeable about firearms - much more so that me and I can always get some advice from them if I or Brendan are looking for an AR or another AK. They are go to guys for info on those kinds of weapons.

Well, enough of my babbling. I have got to go to the secret stash and see how much I have hidden away. In figuring how much of it I can spend on a gun or guns, I have to remember we have to be back to the hometown just before 6PM because my wife made reservations at a restaurant for the family, Haylie and Phil (Celina's fiance). Six for dinner could cost a pretty penny and I may just pay for it in cash if I have enough left over after the show but right now am guessing it may have to be put on my American Distress Express card.

I also need to take a look through the gun locker to see if I have anything with which I would be willing to part for a good chunk of change coming my way. I kind of doubt it but maybe, just maybe, I may find something in there that I would be willing to sell.

All the best,
Glenn B

Bumper Stickers Say It Pretty Well


A 17 Year Old Golden Treasure...

...is hidden away, in a chest of drawers, in my cellar. It is guarded by two mutts, two Chihuahuas, and me. Note that I have a loaded shotgun at hand. If I cannot reach the shotgun, when and if I catch someone trying to lift my treasure out of the chest of drawers, beware that in with the treasure is one hell of a sharp machete.  I am ready to protect it against all comers.

Now that I have gotten that out of the way, allow me to say that, I have decided that in early March, I will open the container holding the treasure and I will imbibe of it. I will do so with my son. We will both enjoy it mellow smoothness as it goes through the teeth, over the gums, and down the gullet on its way to our stomachs. You see, the 17 year old golden treasure of which  am speaking is a bottle of 1995 Knappogue Castle single malt Irish Whiskey. It is absolutely my favorite whiskey and is no longer available at at liquor store that I have visited in the past year to year and a half.

Now you may wonder just what occasion could make me want to open such a prized possession and believe me it is a prized possession. I kind of thought that I would not open it for a few years yet to come, maybe on the event of my son getting engaged or him landing a career making job or his going into the military or something like that. I always figured I would share it with him, that was never in doubt once I realized that this vintage had been replaced by Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old (no date on the bottle). So what is it, you ask, that will inspire me to open it and partake of it sooner than expected as in early this March. Well, in early March, I am scheduled for a Pet scan and a CT scan. The results of these tests are supposed to determine whether or not I still have cancer. I figure that if I am found clear of the wicked scourge it will be time for a celebration between the two of us, a celebration of the fact that we may yet have years to come of our camaraderie, our bonds, of our enjoyment of travel, the outdoors, of hunting, of fishing, of firearms, of herps/herping and all the other things we shared together that led to good times. If on the other hand, I am found to still be afflicted with this terrible disease, well then it will be drunk between us to help us drown our sorrows, intensify our bond, help both of us take courage regardless of the odds and to celebrate the life we have had together so far with hope that we will have yet more of it together. I can think of no better time to open it - oh shit, I just did and that is not said lightly. In a flash I just remembered that Brendan graduates from college this year, so maybe that would be a better time.

I have thought on it now for a few moments and have made up my mind. No, it would not be better to open it for his graduation. Brendan's graduation would be a time to buy him his favorite brand of drink for both of us to enjoy. Time for my favorite golden nectar will definitely be early this March. I can only hope that circumstances, in early March, will have it tasting as sweet as I remember it and that it tastes that way for both of us.

All the best,
Glenn B

Monday, January 30, 2012

I Had A Nice, Collectible, Remington Knife & Ammo Set...

...all protected in a cardboard folder I taped around it. It was a Remington folding knife and .22LR ammo set that was in the original packaging in pristine condition. Then yesterday, I moved something and it slipped off the top of the chest of drawers where it had been sitting for the past year or so and it went squash! The box was partially crushed in , the sliding plastic cover on it was broken as were the two stick on seals that kept it closed and a box of ammo or two were partially crushed. Oh well, I'll make the best of it now that I could not sell it on GunBroker.com if I tried my best. I will carry the knife and will shoot the ammo on a future range trip (man I have not been to the range in way too many months).

The knife is a small one (next to a typical toe nail clipper for scale) but enough knife to gut a deer if need be; it sure is sharp at that. It is plainly marked made in the USA and Remington UMC. I guess now it is a keeper. The ammo is Remington High Velocity .22LR. There are 6 boxes of 50 rounds each for a total of 300 rounds, just enough to have fun with at the range for an hour or two.

I guess I had best be getting to the range soon or the ammo gremlins will come along and the 6 boxes of .22LR will disappear into the nether regions of my basement, not to be found again for years.

All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bought A New Printer Yesterday...

...left it in the trunk of the Toyota or should I say I forgot to take it out when I got home. That was because I was hungry and in a rush for dinner and had other packages to carry inside. Now I am hoping it is still in the trunk when I look later today.

What I picked up, for a darned good price, was an Epson WorkForce 545, multi-function, printer. It was only $64.99, on sale at Staples, not bad at all. I also grabbed 4 extra ink cartridges, it uses 1 black ink and 3 color ink cartridges. I chose the extra high capacity ones. Funny how things work out but the ink actually cost more than the printer by several dollars. The printer companies sure gouge every penny they can with the ink.

I don't know much about how well this printer actually prints but my guess is that it will be satisfactory for me. I am certain that the text mode will be excellent but am not too sure about how well it will print photographs. If it does a good to very good job on the photos, I will be quite happy. If it scans well that will be another big plus. I usually only buy items like this for which I can find a decent review on CNET or from PC Magazine but none were to be found. Still, the features on this one are what I wanted, including the fact that it uses the extra high capacity ink cartridges (only a few bucks more each than the high capacity cartridges but supposedly print double the amount of prints). I did see a lot of user feedback saying this is a great model and I am hoping that at least a few to several of those reviews were for real and not entered by some Epson employee whose sole job it is to enter review after review of Epson products, like this printer, so as to inflate the good to excellent ratings for it. 

One thing I do not like about the printer, and yes this is before even taking it out of the box, is the size of it. It is huge compared to any ink jet printer I have owned in the past and this is basically a mid-sized model from what I can tell! I will live with it though since about the only other thing that will be on my desk top (as in real desk top and not virtual desk top) will be my laptop. Well, that is once I clean it off, lots of stuff/junk there now, it has become a repository for anything for which I need a place to sit something. One of those things is my Hova-Bator incubator with five Hermann's Tortoise eggs in it. Once they hatch the incubator goes back on the shelf but for now I guess it will share desk top space with the printer for at least a couple to a few more weeks.

Once I get the printer out of the car, get it set up, and print a good number of documents, graphics, photos and scan a good number of photos and other documents, maybe make a few copies of things and send a fax or three too, I will let you know how I think it works. 

All the best,
Glenn B

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The BIG Winner Was...

...not me on my Atlantic City casino trip yesterday. The thing is though, I did win, just not big. I am figuring that I won a total of $58, most of which was spent on one thing or another before we left AC. Most of the winnings came from me playing Texas Holdem against the dealer on a Black Jack style table. Some came from slot machines that was part of the $35 bonus they gave us. Go figure, the bus ride cost $30 and when we arrived they gave us each a casino card with $35 credit for the slots. I got to actually pull just over $15 of that out of the machine once I realized how to cash in immediately on any win, even if only .10 cents. The thing was you could collect your winnings but not get any credit for any amount left from the card, that had to be gambled. So if we hit for a dollar, we hit the payout button and got a certificate for the buck. Then we used credits from the card, removing any winnings after each spin. I figure winding up with just under half of what they gave us on that card was pretty good luck. After that,I played roulette for a bit, losing $50. Then onto Texas Holdem where I was up $100. 

Then it was onto the Borgata until we hit what seemed like an impassable highway. We wasted 40 to 45 minutes walking there to be told it would take us another 20 minutes on a convoluted route to reach it, so we took a cab for a 5 minute ride for $9.00. The Borgata is where my son plays when he visits AC. It is much more upscale than Resorts from what we could see. We decided to have a late lunch there in their buffet. Because it was after 4PM, we had to have the dinner buffet at about $34 apiece. Lunch would have been about $20. I cannot say it was well worth the price since I have had better buffets at about half the price but most of the food was very good to excellent such as the steamed shrimp, steamed clams, sirloin steak, pot roast, roasted potatoes, and the like. They had sushi on which the rice was dried out and the desserts were fair to terrible and mislabelled at that as far as I could tell. For example they labelled one dessert as chocolate mousse but it seemingly was a chocolate candy shell around pure whipped cream topped with flakes of chocolate. I think there was no mousse at all. They had a chocolate cannoli that, in my opinion, was absolutely stale as was a fortune cookie I tried to enjoy as was a chocolate eclair. Other desserts were similarly terrible in my estimation. So much for upscale.

I gambled a few slots there, after our lunch/dinner but that was it. We had run out of time, we only had 6 hours there before our bus would take off back to NY. We had to get back to our bus pronto so we took a cab for $13.00, the highest price that a metered cab can charge in the city, or so we were told. I never heard of a metered cab with a limit on what could be charged until yesterday in AC. Well, once back at Resorts, I made another bet on roulette for my friend Bob who said to play $10 for him on anything I chose - so it was number 9 on roulette. It lost. Oh well, back to the bus for the ride home.

By the way there was a total of 6 people on the bus going down and going back. It amazes me how they can afford to charge only $30, then give a $35 slot credit to the folks who take the bus trip. All that with only 6 paying customers on the bus. I guess the expenses for fuel, bus maintenance, the casino credit (if you actually win anything) all go toward tax deductions for the casinos. You could tell though that times are tough for AC, the casinos did not have many gamblers, but then it is the off season for AC. Hopefully they will do better as the economy improves after the Republicans win the elections in 2012.

As for our bus ride down to AC, I cannot comment much. I slept most of the way. As for the ride back, we had fun BS'ing with one another, me and Pete. The bus driver later told us he had a pisser listening to us. The driver, Rich, was a nice guy and although this was his first solo trip, being new on the job, he got it all done like a true and class act professional.

I think I may have to make this at least a monthly adventure, it was really fun. Who knows, maybe I will win big next time (or lose my shirt).

All the best,
Glenn

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Heading To Atlantic City Later This Morning...

...so why in Hades am I not sleeping at 0250 in the morning! I cannot stand this insomnia crap but it has me in its grip once again, even after a good night's sleep last night. At least I will be going down to AC on a bus and I can sleep on the way down. My buddy Pete A., who is going with me, may not like it if I pass out for 2 or 2 1/2 hours of the 3 hour bus ride so, maybe I should bring a few good biers to share with him. That should keep him happy even if I am snoring.

I just hope to have about half the luck of my son while down there. That would mean me coming home with an awful lot more money than I with which I am going down there!

All the best,
Glenn B

Monday, January 23, 2012

Norton 360 5.0 Premier Edition and My Laptop

I literally ran out to buy Norton 360, version 5.0, premier edition a couple of nights ago because suddenly my PC gave warning that my older version of the same had expired that day. just earlier that day, it had warned me I had two days left in my subscription, go figure! I got to Staples, got a total of $50 in discounts off of the regular price, which made me happy, and took it home to load into my laptop. I loaded it just as i have done before and as in the past it said it was removing an older version of Norton. Then it told me the PC had to be restarted and  complied. When it turned back on, a Norton window said there was a problem in that the Norton disc seemed to be missing from the drive. Heck no, I did not remove it but i checked anyway. Yes, it was still in there. Problem was, no matter what I tried, the laptop was no longer registering the fact that there was a Blue Ray/DVD/CD drive any more! That was not good. Not being a computer weenie of any great expertise, I decided that a system restore was in order. I set it to restore to the prior day. It worked, the laptop was now reading the drive as being there. I loaded Norton again. You guessed it, the laptop was no longer reading the CD; what you maybe did not guess was that now it appeared as if tens, if not hundreds, of files had vanished from my computer. Egad, I was not happy that was dreadful. I rebooted and the problem worsened. I decided this called for a system recovery. I was going to try then realized the files for doing the recovery were now among the missing! Somehow, while doing this or that, I found a way to do a full recovery both online and using the recovery discs made at the time my wife purchased the computer as a gift for me 2 or 3 years ago. I tried the online version, I figured it would have been updated many times since I received the computer as a gift. I was wrong. The version of everything was older than what had been on my computer. Then I tried using the discs, there were 4 of them. The computer would not read the drive at first but somehow I got that to work. Then I did the recovery with the discs and while it did not look the same as before, since the hard drive gets formatted during the recovery, thus wiping out everything, it did look like it was working again and luckily it has been working since.

By the way, did I just say the hard drive got formatted. I got that warning before doing it and was warned to back up personal files. I immediately backed up the My Documents file folder. Then, I proceeded. Yikes, I realized, about 2 seconds too late, I had forgotten to back up the only other folder worth saving - My Pictures. I lost at least a year;s worth of family pictures - what an asshole was I! I tried to console myself by saying that is one of the file folders that vanished when Norton apparently screwed things up but I do not really believe it, nor should you. It was late, or early in the AM really, I was tired, suffering from a bad night of insomnia (did not sleep all night, not a wink), I should have waited until after some sleep to do the job but did not, shame on me.

well anyhow, the laptop is working now, better than previously. probably because I wiped out all the useless crap that had built up on my hard drive. I don't mean malware of any sort just overloaded crap. I try to keep malware controlled with Norton 360 and with CCleaner. Of course, there could have been some sort of virus or other malware on the laptop that prevented the Norton 360 from loading properly, I suppose I should report the problem to Norton to prevent such a possibility in the future. I am thinking of running a program they have to double check to see if there is deeply embedded malware on a PC that regular Norton did not discover. The thing is, they warn, this can screw up your computer files and programs. I do not know if I want to do another recovery again. It is not that complicated but at best seems to take about 2 hours to complete. Maybe I should leave well enough alone, call Norton, let them know what happened and ask their advice on how to continue. Can you tell, I got some good sleep last night and also took a nap earlier this evening so, I am well rested and thinking straight for a change as of late! Wish I had waited to do anything the other night, I may have still had the hundreds of family photographs, from the last year or so, that I destroyed by forgetting to back them up! Live and learn or learn from the mistakes of others. You decide next time something like my initial problem happens to you.

I suppose Norton can expect a phone call from me in the next day or two; make it the day after tomorrow. Tomorrow, if I sleep well tonight, I am taking a bust trip to Atlantic City for the day. I am going to try to duplicate at least some of my son's good fortune of last week.

All the best,
Glenn B

Obama Cartoon - Reportedly from England



Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! Click it to enlarge it.

All the best,
Glenn B

Thank You Bill and Jen of Double Nickel Farm

I wrote a blog post, this morning, to fill this spot. I just deleted the whole thing. Why delete it? Well, after breakfast and while my coffee had cooled off a bit but was still very warm to fairly hot, I sat down at the dining room table and shot a video of myself. In the video, I did pretty much the same thing as I had done with the written words for that post, the post I just deleted. While I am none to photogenic since my radiation and chemo treatments, I decided to disregard the embarrassment I would feel by putting my mug, the way I look  now, on the Internet for all to see. I did the video anyway, regardless of how I look, because I owed some thanks, a good deal of thanks to the folks at Double Nickel Farm. 

That gobbler (as my wife and kids call it), you can plainly see hanging from my neck, is not so much fat (like it would have been before my treatments) as it is lymphatic fluids built up in my neck where I have or had the cancer (do not know if they got it yet or not, will not know until March). It makes me look like I am turning into The Blob even though I lost 24 pounds during treatment and most of the fat on my neck had melted away. I have kept all but 2 pounds of that weight off since then. My haircut might also make you think I did service in the Marines though I was never in the service, well not military anyway. I spent 32 years as a civil servant as a federal agent. No insult to the Marines, I'm not saying that having been a Marine would be an embarrassment. In fact, that would have been an honor had I served with them, I am just commenting on a haircut you would probably never have seen otherwise, at least not on my head except that I got cancer. I got it cut that short, in fact much shorter - it is growing back slowly now, in anticipation of radiation and chemo therapies making it fall out. I figured why not me be in control and do it myself instead of letting the treatments do it. Well regardless of how I look now, I figured a video would be a more personal, nicer way to say what  wanted to say, to thank Jen and Bill of Double Nickel Farm (see www.DoubleNickelFarm.blogspot.com) for a really nice thing they just did for me than would be a super long blog post.

You can see the video on my YouTube page or you can see it right down below here in this post. It is pretty long at 11 minutes and 24 seconds but that is how long it took me to let Bill and Jen and their children, and the world, know how thankful I am to them for what they have done for me and to let you know just how nice they are for doing what they did for me. Bear in mind, I have never met them in person, I only know them through the blog and a few emails we have shared, yet they reached out to me in a really nice way. Watch the video if you want or forget about it as you please, that is up to you, but I am sure Bill and Jen and their 4 young adult children will want to see it, I hope so anyhow. Before I close, even though I am not religious, I have to say: God Bless Them!



All the best,
Glenn B

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Little Insomnia and A Little Blog Roll Clean-Up

I figured it was about time that I got to cleaning up my blog roll a bit by removing blogs, that for whatever reason, are no longer productive. Some of these have not had any new material posted in more than a year, others have not had anything new in months. I decided to remove blogs that have been inactive for at least 3 months or more with the exception of those where the blog owner has outright stated that the blog has been closed down, such as the case with the Breda Fallacy.



  •  


  •  
    my work here is done
    1 month ago (as you can see from the title of her last blog, it was her last blog post)
     


  •  
    nothing at all, ever
     
    nothing since june 2011
     
    I sure wish some of them were still around and active, they were good blogs. Here is hoping all is well for those who left no reason as to why they suddenly stopped blogging.
     
    All the best,
    Glenn B

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    INTERNET BLACKOUT

    I just found out about the so called Internet blackout to oppose Congressional legislation that could ruin the Internet. Thus, I am off the Net for the remainder of the night. Sorry I did not know about it sooner and climb aboard sooner with the protest against yet more liberalism gone haywire.

    All the best,
    GB

    HOLY MOLLY - WE HAVE US A WINNER

    So my son goes to Atlantic City over the past few days. I give him 50 bucks to place on and around the 9 on the roulette table so each bet is at least partially on the 9. He just came home and handed me $850 bucks. Won on the first bet he made on roulette, but the last bet he made at the casino! He also played $50 of his own money the same way. I will not say if overall he won or lost on this trip, that is his business and I need not post his personal business here on the Internet even if I knew it when it comes to such things. He usually plays a poker game at a table against the dealer, sort of the way you play Black Jack against the house. He has been there 3 or 4 times now and has won each time. I told him, he would probably be better off playing regular poker against other players instead of a game against the house where the odds ALWAYS favor the house but he likes that game. I guess if he wins at it he should like it. Not sure he played it this time, only talked a few minutes, he went straight to work from AC and was just on a break when he stopped by home. He had to get back to work in a hurry but wanted to let me know about my winnings. I tokk cae of hm for his efforts, no need to say how here because that is our business and not Internet business.

    The kid sure seems to have better luck than his old man. Better luck and better timing than a friend of mine too. my friend went to either AC or Vegas with some of my money for the same type of bet on number 9. He walks into the casino and head straight to the roulette wheel as I had told him to do for me. The number 9 was called out as the winner as he walked over to the table before he could place a bet. So, as I recall, he did not bother placing a bet for me but returned my money to me. Brendan , my son, waited until his last bet to place my bet; I did not tell him to make it his first bet as I had told my friend when he went.

    Brendan said he and his friends watched the ball go round, then when it landed in the pocket, they tried to see what number it was in and he could not believe it was really the 9, he said it felt something like out of this world fantastic. As I had told him, he took off all the winnings and left the original bet for another try. That second try was a loser. To bad I did not tell him to put the whole 50 right on the 9, that would have been much more money, I think at 36 to 1, or maybe it is 30 to 1. Still though, he won on every way he spread the bet. It was spread some on the 9, then some on the line between 9 and 6 and some on the lines between the 9 and the other numbers that were adjacent to the 9, some of the corners of the 9, then some at the end of the row and some at the end of the column in which the 9 fell, that way you increase your odds of winning something even if it does not land on the 9 itself yet the 9 is always part of the bet. As it was though, amazingly he hit right on the 9. All I can say is HOLY SHIT MOLLY - WE HAVE US A WINNER! I asked him to play the 9 because my great grandmother once asked me to place that bet for her when I went to AC years ago. It won on the first try, first bet I made when I walked into the casino. No spreading the money, put $20 all on the 9 itself. Since then, if I play roulette, I always start with a bet on the 9.

    Next time, I may have to go to AC with Brendan to jinx him, to show him what it is like to lose all his money. I want to assure he only bets the limit he sets for himself, the one he sets well before he gets to the casino and that said limit is always within reason. Of course, if I go along and we win, I may just have to keep going along and give up retirement. I could become a professional millionaire like Elmer J. Fudd. (For you Buggs Bunny fans, let me just say that one was the best Buggs Bunny episode ever since Elmer J. Fudd actually winds up the winner over Buggs in that one.)


    All the best,
    Glenn B

    TAXES - IS PERRY OUT OF HIS MIND WITH HIS FLAT RATE TAX PLAN

    What is wrong with politicians and voters today. People in America consider Perry to be a very conservative presidential candidate. Yet he wants to implement a 20% flat rate tax on Americans. Since when would a true conservative, who truly believes in long standing conservative principles, even for a moment, think that 20% of a person's income is a good rate to charge for federal income taxes??? I really have to ask, is he out of his mind or has liberalism crept into all of us so much so as to have corrupted our ideals and make us believe that such a rate would be within conservative principles!

    Don't get me wrong, I am all for a flat rate income tax - that is if we have to have an income tax at all. The thing is though, I think Perry is out of his mind in that he thinks a 20 percent flat rate tax would be fair for all Americans. Get that, he wants to take 1/5 of your hard earned pay away from you and waste it on government spending. Now, I do not know about you, but when it comes to crunch time and I send in my income tax returns at the end of the year, I do not pay 20% of my income to Uncle Sam. For instance, last year, I paid just a tiny bit over 14% to the federal government for my income taxes. I am not rich like Romney (and probably like Perry too). Romney reportedly paid 15 percent of his income toward federal taxes and Perry is trying to make a big deal over it by implying that Romney got away with murder. I am no fan of Romney or Perry (I am a fan of Santorum but if it came to it I would choose Perry any day before Romney) but I have to ask Perry - what do you mean you think 20% is fair.

    I have very few tax deductions and or credits. I file married/jointly. My wife and I earned about $150,000 last year - both of us working, my wife working two part time jobs and me with one full time job. That was our total income, not adjusted gross income (which, by the way, was only $2 less than our total income for federal tax purposes). We got to deduct NY state income taxes, property taxes (very high in NY), $812 of gifts to charity, $338 of capital losses, and a whopping $2 for college tuition deduction. (I paid thousands for college tuition and got to deduct a measly TWO dollars.) Yet, after all of that we paid a tad over 14% federal income tax.

    Now you may think 14% is not a lot. Well, go and figure out your taxes to see how much you paid last year. I am willing to bet that if you own a house and if you paid state income taxes then you paid about the same as me. Sure, if you are single and made as much as me and had no deductions or credits then you probably paid more but, and this is a big BUT, if you are fairly typical of someone who makes as much as I did, then you had a bunch of other deductions or adjustments to income or capital losses that helped reduce your tax burden. Don't get side tracked here. The issue is we already pay too much in taxes, well at least those of us who actually pay income taxes pay too much. Even if you did not have any deductions or credits, even if you paid more than me in a similar situation as me, then you should agree - you paid way too much of your fair share for federal taxes. If you paid 15%, 20%, 25% or 30% of your income or more - you were robbed by those bastards in Washington, DC. I figure that a fair tax, a flat rate tax at that, would be no more than 10% of your total income for tax purposes (yes I said NO MORE THAN and that should be chiseled in stone forever) and there would be no deductions, no credits, no adjustments except for capital losses. If every American paid 10% of their total income toward federal taxes, well our tax coffers would be overflowing with cash.

    As far as state taxes go, we paid another 6% of our total income, for income tax purposes, to New York State. On top of income taxes, NY State also figures that based on your income, you owe a certain amount of additional NY State sales and use tax for items purchased out of state either by you being in another state and making a purchase of something you bring back to and use in NY or that you buy online or through the mail and then use in NY. It is not a lot but it is MORE tax. Luckily we did not live in or maintain a residence, in New York City or we would have had to pay local taxes too. Thank goodness we did not live in Yonkers because that city also charges a local income tax. Yes, we did live in Nassau County and we paid for that by paying some of the highest property taxes in the nation. We had to pay general property tax and school property tax to the town in which we live. We also had to pay an additional tax to the village in which we live. In all, those taxes amounted to over 5% our total income. Then we paid 8.65% sales tax on most of the things we bought in the state. We also paid some of the highest taxes in the nation on gasoline (not the highest by far but way up there nonetheless).

    Holy shit, was that momentary feeling that I just felt one that almost compelled me to want to pick up a rifle and get together with my fellow tax payers and then March on Washington, DC and Albany, NY. All I can say is I just thought I heard distant fifes and drums and the cadence of many men's feet and I smelled a whiff of gun oil there just for a moment as my blood began to boil with the realization that last year we paid 25% of our income toward income and property taxes on the state and federal level. If we would have had to go by Perry's proposed 20% federal flat rate income tax, well then we would have had to pay a total of about 31% of our income toward state and federal taxes. Now you can bet, if they pass a flat rate federal tax at 20%, after just a few years, that rate will be increased. You can also bet, that if it appears the federal government has found a gold mine in a flat rate tax that high, then state governments also will clamor to implement flat rat taxes, at rates that are excessive, yet that will slowly increase in amount over the years.

    Yep, I think a flat rate tax is a wonderful idea but with some reservations. I see it as a very fair way to tax American citizens and legal resident aliens and legal non-resident aliens (screw illegals, make them pay 50% toward taxes or go to jail for 25 years for tax evasion and illegal entry). What I cannot agree with is a taxation rate that is set way to high (such as at 20%) and that will only feed the liberal, never ending, hunger of tax and spend politicians. What we need to do is to implement a tax rate that will force the legislature to reduce government spending while at the same time being a tax rate that is high enough to maintain essential government expenditures such as those for national defense, protection of our borders, payroll for essential government employees and so on. I think that such a tax rate, if all income earning Americans had to pay it, would be 10% or less. In fact, I believe that 5% would be a better starting point. Remember - no credits, no deductions, no adjustments to income except capital losses. My bet is that our tax coffers would have more money in them than they have had in the last century. Even without reduction in government services, I am fairly confident that if all income earning Americans paid 10% toward federal taxes, it would be more than enough.

    Perry really needs to reconsider his ideas on taxation as do all Republicans. While it is probably way too late for him in 2012, maybe he will have a chance in 2016;. That would leave him plenty of time for some serious reconsideration, reconsideration that would get his ideas in line with true and long standing conservative principles, principles with which most Americans would be in agreement.

    All the best,
    Glenn B

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    Celina & All The Degs Minus One...

    ...The only deg (dog) missing from the picture is our other Chihuahua Lucy. All the others are there with Celina including (from your left to right): Mimi, Gizmo, Roxie and Pepe (named after Pepe Le Pew and not after some Tequila pickled south of the border type). Gizmo is Celina's deg, well actually it belongs to her fiance Phil and to her. |Phil claims at least 51% ownership since he paid for him and who could blame him for that claim!


    Here is a shot of Phil with both Gizmo and Pepe (a much better view of our little boy than in the first pic). I find if amazing how Gizmo's eyes show up differently in various pics we have taken of him when there is a flash. Sometimes they appear faded yellow, like most other dogs, as they do in the above pic. At other times they look to be a medium orange, as they do in this pic to the right. Then again, they can look blood red, as do Pepe's in this shot. Pepe's eyes always come out red as far as I know; I imagine it is the devil in him as he can be quite the mischievous little stinker. Curiously, Phil's eyes did not show any red-eye reflection from the flash - go figure! He is pretty cool, I guess that could have something to do with it.

    As for that wonderful delight sitting on the table in front of Phil and the degs, that is one of my wife's homemade chocolate chip cookies (from her very own secret recipe), I wonder who actually wound up with it. My guess would be that the only reason Pepe was on Phil's lap was because he wanted the cookie. He can leap right up on your lap, for food, petting or a place to nap; and if food is nearby, he wastes no time in zeroing in on it. I think that is a pretty good feat for a little Chihuahua and I am pretty sure he wanted that cookie. (I am also sure he did not get it, we do not allow our degs to eat chocolate, so I imagine Phil got the cookie.)

    Back to eye shine for a moment. The only other thing I will say about the eye reflections is that I have never before noticed Mimi's eyes to come out with two different colors as they do in the photo with Celina. Kind of neat to see it blue on one side and pale yellow on the other. Maybe that has something to do with her sort of psycho split personality, good deg - bad deg. I always thought that was dependent on her mood or maybe on the alignment of the stars and never realized maybe it had to do with her eye shine. No, it is not photo-shopped (except that I removed the red-eye from Celina's image); Mimi's eye shine actually came out looking like 2 different colors.

    Oh, by the way, if you have not figured it out yet, you should be able to click on the pics to enlarge them.

    All the best,
    Glenn B

    Saturday, January 14, 2012

    INSOMNIA SUCKETH...

    ...and it sucketh big time especially when it has kept me up until 0325 (as 325 in the morning). The way I feel right now, I'll be lucky if I get to sleep by 0430 but I am going to try in a few minutes. Who knows, maybe I can get at least 3 or 4 hours sleep before things (like my wife and the dogs going out) start moving around my house later this morning. I would love to get a good 6 hours of sleep, that would be a real treat for how much or little sleep I have been getting lately. Yep, going to sleep by say 0400, then waking up around 1000 would be divine.

    Well, I had best waste no more time writing this drivel. I am going to hit the hay; maybe reading a good book, or even a lousy one, will help me pass out.

    Later 4 U,
    GB

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    A New Blog Added To Blog Roll

    Yet another blog has been added to the blog roll, this one under, TAKE A SHOT WITH THESE SHOOTIST BLOGGERS, Not At Them:

    A Girl And Her Gun

    http://agirlandhergun.blogspot.com/

    If you are of the female persuassion, go here (http://agirlandhergun.blogspot.com/2012/01/give-way.html) to see about the give-away contest she is holding for women entrants only. (I know it says it is an update but it is the original post that was updated an all needed info on how to enter is in the linked post.)

    It started with this as a prize: $300 towards any reputable beginning self defense shooting course in the United States. It has mushroomed to include many, many, many valuable prizes, donated by the shooting community, and all for one winner. This is a must enter type thing for any woman considering getting into shooting or improving her shooting for defensive purposes.

    I may have to see if I can get my daughter interested in it or maybe my son's girlfriend. Nope, not my wife, not a chance but I may ask her anyway!

    Good luck and all the best,
    Glenn B

    A Flowchart For Choosing Your Religion

    It is not mine, it is all over the Internet, nowhere did I see it with a copyright, so here it is again just in case my readers have not seen it (click it to big it): 



    By the way, did I mention it is great. I loved the question about bacon. That is, I loved it almost as much as I loved the question about Indian takeout versus Chinese takeout. The the fact that pork (豬, swine, pigs, hogs, the other white meat) plays such a big role in Chinese eats made me think I should have been a Buddhist. I mean, after all is said and done, who would not want to be able to come back (as in reincarnation) and thus be able to keep ordering Chinese takeout! That is, as long as I came back as a human and not a roach, or something similar, whether or not they too like pork in their Chinese takeout.

    All the best,
    Glenn B

    The new me...

    ...has decided that I had best start doing things more than just moping around my house each day and maybe going for the occasional walk with one of our dogs or taking a short walk to a local store every now and then, like maybe weekly. Now that I have retired, and with the cancer shit going on, it seems that perhaps I have fallen into a rut. Being in that rut is not good. I have not been sleeping well at night, been sleeping too much during the day, have been feeling sorry for myself, and just have not been as active as I should be. Of course, what with recently having gone through both radiation and chemo treatments and still suffering the ravaging effects of both, I still need a lot of rest. So my radiation oncologist told me last time I saw him. He said I should rest and really be very prudent about the amount of any exercise I do. On the other hand, the last time I saw my chemo oncologist, a couple of weeks before I saw the rad guy, the chemo doc told me that walking up to 3 miles a day would do me good. Seems like they are not talking to one another and giving me conflicting instructions. Oh well, I last saw the radiation guy about 4 weeks ago, or was it 3 or maybe 2;  - I will be damned if I remember right now.

    So, anyway, I have decided that I have to get out and about more than I have been doing regardless of any conflict between what the doctors say. I am still taking it easy, I am still resting a lot, but I am also getting out more or have been over the past few days. I am not killing myself by walking too much. Yesterday I took the car to the bank and then to the pharmacy. I actually was alert enough, awake enough, to drive. Last week and the couple of weeks before, most days, I would not have chanced driving because I was too fatigued. Getting out a bit recently has helped eliminate the fatigue and that is a good thing. This afternoon, into the evening, I went out again. This time, I did something I have not done in the 17 years or so that we live at our current location. I hopped on a county bus to go to Petco and Staples. Before catching the bus, I walked to the 2nd bus stop away from my home. I figure I walked about 3/4 of a mile to that bus stop. Not much but an awful big improvement for me. Then I took the bus home and got off the stop closest to my house. At least another 1/4 mile walk to my front door and I stopped at a very local, mom and pop pet shop along the way. Certainly no marathon but again, something good for me. It makes me feel alive to have done it and that has got to be better than moping and feeling sorry for myself while in a rut.

    Tomorrow, I plan to take another bus ride. If I scoped out the bus maps correctly, one bus goes right by the local indoor range at which I often used to shoot. If that is truly the case, I will be taking that bus with rifle case in the near future. First I will go on a ride on that bus too make sure it will drop me off close enough to the range to make it practical for me to bring along a rifle and other shooting gear. It would be nice to be able to get to the range on my own whenever the urge arises. The family cars are not an option most of the week because they are needed to drive back and forth to work for my wife and son. So, public transport will have to do. I may scope out this bus line tomorrow, or I may take a different bus down to where my brother lives. I would have to arrange for my sister in law to pick me up at the bus station but that probably would be no problem. Decisions, decisions - which one to take for a ride!

    Oh well, whatever I decide upon, I think it will be good for me to stay out of my rut. It was actually a very exhilarating experience for me this evening. Imagine that - a bus ride trip to Petco and Staples, then a bus ride back toward home, then a stop in a mom and pop local pet shop, all being called exhilarating! What a difference from what I have been doing as of late, I was boring myself into mopery. I only hope I can keep it up and keep myself on the move and in the groove, it makes me feel alive again.

    All the best,
    Glenn B

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    Friday, January 6, 2012

    John McCain Endorses Mitt Romney For President...

    ...and that my friends is almost enough, on its own, to assure that I will not vote for Romney in the NY presidential primary. Note I said almost enough. Romney's liberal stance on health care and some other things has me shying away from him also. Santorum is looking better and better as each day passes yet I do not know enough about him yet to say he is the man who will get my vote but it is possible he will get it. I would like to know more about his stance on illegal aliens and securing our borders as well as some more about his stance on the 2nd Amendment. I am fairly sure that he is a staunch supporter of securing the borders and getting rid of illegals as in by removing them from the country (not giving them a blessing and allowing them to stay as legals). I am also fairly certain he has a good record on his support or the 2nd Amendment but it appears that many have their doubts about him. The NRA reportedly has given him an A rating, their highest. Gun owner's of America though has reportedly given him a B-. Still better than I would think is any ranking that Romney has received what with his support of the Assault Weapons ban. Yet, even though he has received a good and an excellent rating from two pro-gun organizations, it seems many Americans have their doubts about his support for the 2nd Amendment, see this article: Santorum May Need A Photo-Op Reload On Gun-Rights Issue (http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/01/06/144788580/santorum-may-need-a-photo-op-reload-on-gun-issue).

    I know, hard core gun owners are often one issue voters, I used to be for a time. I have relented though because I realized that there are just way too many very important issues on which to base my giving my vote to a presidential candidate. Yet, I must admit, I give a lot of importance to a candidate's stance on the 2nd Amendment. To me, it remains the most important issue of all but others are close behind, such as: American Foreign Policy, Military Issues, the Economy, Employment/Unemployment, Immigration, Securing Our Borders, Made in the USA and so forth. Those though, are the most important to me right now, not necessarily in the order in which I listed them. I am going to have to start to do some serious investigation on where Santorum stands on those issues. I know where Romney stands on enough of them to make me feel wary of him. To me, Romney seems like a RINO and he has seemed that way to me since he ran in the primaries the last time around, when he ran against the likes of John McCain. McCain is probably the biggest hypocrite republican and RINO I have ever seen. So, when he sent me an email today, endorsing Romney for president, I almost decided right then and there to say "No way Romney will get my vote in the primary". Like I said though, I have to do some research on Santorum.

    As for the others still in the running, I cannot see giving any of them my vote. Gingrich might get it if he were the only one left running against Paul and or Huntsman. I cannot see myself ever voting for either of them. Huntsman is an Obama wanna be from what I can tell and Paul is just too far out in his Libertarian beliefs. I even tend toward agreeing with many of the libertarian ideals, probably more so than I agree with Republican or Conservative ideals but still will not vote for Paul because I believe him a wacko. In fact, I believe many Libertarian ideals are truly conservative in nature and see Conservative/Republican party ideals as corrupted from what they truly should be but another post for that. As for Perry, I liked him but he is a boob as seen in the debates. I also cannot stand his stance on illegal aliens and Immigration. Nice record on guns but that is not enough. Did I leave out anyone who is still in the running, I think not. Bachman is out, too bad as her stance was good on most things and I believe you do not need a lot of experience or schooling to become president. You certainly need intelligence and smarts and she may have been lacking there a bit but her ideals were great. Too bad Cain dropped out, he seemed to have most everything that is until the sexual misconduct allegations came out. At least there were no men saying he had groped them!

    So I am going to start researching Santorum. If I like him, I may start donating to him. I cannot afford much this year because I am on a very limited income only receiving about 57 percent of what I should be receiving in my pension, and that may last for about another 7 months. I also expect to have a lot of doctor's bills too. Yet, I will donate something, maybe a hundred bucks or couple, that is if he seems like the right man for the job over the others who are still in the primaries. I hope so, I hope that he is worthy of my vote, I hope he is truly more conservative than any of the other candidates, I hoe he is not a RINO, I hope that he has few if any skeletons in the closet and I hope that if the bones start rattling once the Demoncrats start to attack him (which will be inevitable if he does well, even a 2nd place and maybe a 3rd place well, in New Hampshire and then in SC.) Right now, he is not expected to get more than about 15% of the vote in NH, with Romney in the 40's, but I am hoping he can pull it up into the 20s before that primary on January 10th. If he can somehow do that, maybe even just pull up a few more points, there is a chance he will be our next president. Again though, as I said, before I vote for him, or anyone, I need to do some more research.

    All the best,
    Glenn B

    Thursday, January 5, 2012

    Update On The Hermann's Tortoise Eggs

    As you may recall, on December 17th, my female Hermann's Tortoise laid 5 eggs. It was a big surprise to me as I thought she was ready to go into hibernation. I figured all the attention the male had been paying to her over the previous couple of months would likely result in eggs being laid in the spring. Wrong and I wound up having to swiftly find and prepare my incubator for the eggs.

    Tonight, while tending to the eggs, I have to keep the sphagnum moss substrate in which they sit somewhat damp. So, every few days, check on it and usually have to moisten it. After doing that tonight, I decided to candle the eggs. Candling simply means holding an egg to a light source in order for the light to shine through the shell enough so you can see if the egg has been fertilized. I could not tell for sure on any of the eggs the last few times I looked although I thought I saw the red lines of veins in a couple of them. Tonight's inspection had different results. All of the eggs appeared to be infertile gave clear evidence that all five eggs had been successfully fertilized by the male, that spry and very sexually active little bastard! They all appear to be progressing nicely and I could plainly see the embryo in its early stages of development. Candling is truly a simple yet remarkable thing. While you are basically looking at a back lighted silhouette it is somewhat more than that because you are also seeing the embryo as it it lit by the light reflecting back off of the inside of the shell that is furthest from the light and closest to your eye. It was both back lit and lit from the front. Now, you do not see a clear image of it since you are looking at it through an egg shell, and if you see the embryo you can only see one side of it but you certainly can make out its shape and some other features. For instance, the eye of the embryo, closest to the side of the shell from which you are viewing, is remarkably obvious. Other features are the shape of the embryo, veins running from the embryo to the yolk along the inside of the shell (and you can see the color of the veins or at least of the blood in them as they all appear red). All neat stuff, at least for me. I have enjoyed things like that for a long time. I guess it came from 5 years of nature study at summer camp, a younger me only being allowed to keep small animals as pets (frogs, turtles, hamsters, fish - things like that but no cats or dogs), my living in an area in NY City where I could easily find and catch creatures like toads, frogs, box turtles, and garter snakes when I was a kid - try that now except at very few places and the box turtles have bee extirpated), and all those nature shows they used to have on television (still do I suppose). Oh well, I digress, so back to the eggs.

    So, the way it appears right now is that I may wind up with 5 hatchling Hermann's Tortoises sometime around February 25th or later. That would bring the total of baby tortoises that I have in my care to 7. I almost won't know what to do with them all. It is not legal, under federal law, to sell them, except for scientific or educational purposes, before they reach 4 inches in length. That will take a couple to a few years. I realize that under federal law, the intention of the law was not to keep hobbyist breeders from selling turtles or tortoises under 4 inches. The FDA clearly states, or once stated, on their website, that such sales were allowed for hobbyists. The thing is that NY State has a similar law and I am not too sure that they care if you are a hobbyist or not, chances are they might arrest someone for selling under sized turtles or tortoises. They make big deals over such silly things when local elections are upcoming and a district attorney wants to show how he is protecting the public from evil under sized chelonians. So, I likely will wait until they hit 4 inches before selling them to anyone other than someone who can show me they will keep them for scientific or educational purposes (and they have to promise to keep them alive and healthy, no weird experiments allowed). Hopefully I will still be around and in good health by the time they otherwise grow large enough to sell.

    All the best,
    Glenn B

    Teen Mom Defends Herself and Her Baby From Intruders

    I found a mention of this over at Knuckledraggin my life away. There was a link to the site with the video but after seeing it I knew I had to see if I could post the actual video here for my readers. This is absolutely an incredible story in our times of a woman putting up with an awful lot in the last year including the death of her husband just this Christmas. Then, a guy reportedly named Justin Martin came by on the night of the funeral for her husband. He pretended to be a neighbor who wanted to say hello. He came by again, on New Years Eve, but this time another man was with him. They tried to gain access to her home. She would not answer the door. They started to break in. One guy had a 12 inch hunting knife. The mom, thinking wit a cool head, grabbed her shotgun, retreated to the bedroom with her child, gave the baby a bottle, grabbed her pistol and called 911. As per the video, she was on the phone with 911 for 21 minutes. Then the bad guys actually got inside her home and she said Martin (spelling?) came at her with that knife. She shot the guy with the knife, shot him with the shotgun, shot him stone cold dead.

    I am not making light of the situation, nor of her recent hardship nor of the fact that she is still in her teens and killed a man, nor of the fact that the man is dead, when I say - I love it when a law abiding citizen defends herself in such a manner and the outcome is that the good gal wins and the life threatening bad guy dies. God bless America and the fact that so many of her decent citizens are gun owners.


    video platform video management video solutions video player


    All the best,
    Glenn B

    Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    HR 1540 - The End Has Begun

    When I say the end has begun, I mean the end of liberty, freedom, justice and of your rights as a citizen of the United States of America. I also mean the end of the the Constitution and thus the end of the United States of America itself. Any time that a nation's leaders legislate and sign into law a provision of law allowing for detention of that nation's citizens without due process, then the end has begun. Heck maybe it is well beyond the beginning of then end, maybe it is the actual end. Is it possible that the wool has been pulled over our eyes and the guy who said he would bring about change has done just that by assuring we are no longer citizens of the most freedom loving country in the world. I have not read up on it as much as I should have but what I have read so far scares me. There is no doubt in  my mind that HR 1540 is illegal as in unconstitutional but what does it matter - look at how many politicians are in favor of it and the president signed it without apparent real reservation regardless of his words otherwise.

    His words otherwise can be seen here over at Knuckledragginmylifeaway.

    Be afraid regardless of his promise not to use that law. Too many have made then broken such promises before.

    All the best,
    Glenn B

    Reference: http://ogdaa.blogspot.com/2012/01/were-supposed-to-take-his-word-for-it.html

    I Took A Walk To The Post Office...

    ...this evening, at about 4:30 or so. It is only 7 blocks, probably closer to 6 1/2 really, from my house to the front door of the post office in the next village over. I walked north most of the way and guess from which direction the winds were blowing. I am going to guess that it was about 28 to 29 degrees outside and I had thought that I was dressed properly for it but must admit I thought about that again after getting only halfway there. I sure seemed cold despite the fact I had on a usually warm watch cap, a goose down winter coat, a fairly thick fleece pull-over, a thick long sleeve cotton shirt under that that, a pair of poly/cotton BDU pants, thick cotton cocks and a pair of running shoes (no description of my skivvies needed except to say I was not wearing long johns). Well, by the time I was halfway there, I was COLD. My face seemed almost frost bitten and I mean that most literally, having been there before, thus knowing what it feels like to have a bit of frost bite. When I got there, you can bet I was very, very happy that the USPS website had correct information about the hours for that particular post office and you can bet I was happy that the postal service also has been paying the heating bill for that location. It was a relief to be inside with the warmth rushing over me as I pulled off my gloves and cap and then opened my coat a bit. I got my business done in about 10 minutes or so total time to wait on line and dealing with the postal clerk. Then it was back out into the cold for me.


    The walk home was not half as bad. The wind was now at my back. My head was totally covered back there, my collar was up around my neck and the wind gave me a slight push toward home. Still, by the time I was almost home, just half a block or so away from my house, I had to take my fingers out of the glove fingers and curl them inside next to my palms. Wow it was cold. I know, 28 or 29 degrees is not that bad - usually (I checked the temp when I got home and it was shown as 28 then). I imagine with my recent decline in health that I am a bit more likely to be effected  by it than if I were in good health. Of course, I am feeling better than in recent months, and am happy that my illness came on in warmer weather. I dreaded the coming of winter and now I can see why. Man, I hate the cold and to think - when I was a kid I loved to spend hours outside in the snow. Even up though my mid twenties or so, I loved to be outside even in lousy weather.

    At this particular time of year, in my late teens to mid twenties years, my friends and I would head to the local park but on our way we would search out fuel. Fuel was usually found in he form of thrown out Christmas trees at this time of year. If really lucky someone came by a local factory along the way and found a thrown out pallet. My friends and I would retire to the park, roll out a huge metal drum that we acquired somewhere in my dim past, throw a Christmas tree into it, light a match and soon thereafter, add another tree. After three or four trees had gone into the can, we stayed pretty warm for hours, warm enough to drink some beer, and we usually had several more trees on hand or went to look for more. No more of that for me now though, I do not like the cold, even if standing next to a blazing fire if only because while one side of me is hot while the other is cold.


    Next time I go out, I guess I will dress a bit warmer. I may have to head out to the shed, in a day or so when it warms up to the 40s again, or wait until it hits the 50s as promised in a few days, to pick my long-johns and a couple of other warmer uppers out of my hunting gear boxes. I might yet need that stuff this winter, or I may need a metal drum and a few Christmas trees. Other than that, I may just have to plan a trip to visit my uncle in sunny southern Florida. I will keep you posted if that begins at all to change from being just a hope to a reality any time soon.


    All the best,
    Glenn B

    Sunday, January 1, 2012

    Happy New Year 2012

    I wish my readers a Happy New Year for them and their oved ones. I hope you have a happy, loving, safe and healthy 2012.

    All the best,
    Glenn B