Well I have had a couple of busy days, thus leading to the lack of anything new posted here. On the up side I did do some things that simply require bitching about, so here we go.
First a website issue. Had I known how much work was actually going to be involved in tryin to maintain this little site, I would never have started it in the first place. I suppose that it isn’t really true that it is a lot of work, more so that I make it into a lot of work. The odds that anyone reading this right now will want to read it again so badly, sometime in the future, that they will actually go back into the archives looking for it are pretty small. I am pretty sure that I am the only one who ever goes through my archives, and that is for one of two reasons, either I am looking for a link from where I bitched about something previously or I am reading the post to put a brief description on the archives main page. Unfortunately, as I found out on Saturday night and again on Sunday I am so damn far behind on the archive main page that I had to go through over three months of posts by clicking the ‘next update’ button until I found the page that I was looking for. That sucked!
That being said, I was thinking that I would take the time to go ahead and throw brief descriptions of them onto the page right then, unfortunately I encountered a problem. Out of the sixty or so pages that I had to click through to find the one I was looking for, twelve of them didn’t display right. Not a problem with the coding or anything, just that a portion of the page wasn’t there. I always check the index file when I upload it to make sure that it works correctly, it never occurred to me that uploading it to the archive page would be any different. Yet somehow it is.
I am relatively sure that this is happening because of the cheap ftp program that I am using. It always tells me that the upload was successful, but unless I actually refresh the web directory and compare the size of the file to my local directory I can no longer assume that it went through. Not that it would take a tremendous amount of time to do that, more that it is just a really annoying problem, more annoying since I went through every file on my computer to compare the file size with the version in the web directory. It took about two hours to get that all straightened out, so I will try to be a bit more careful in the future.
As a sort of proof of the lack of desire to read the archives, I never once got an email from anyone telling me that there was a problem. If anyone had actually looked at the pages they would have known that there was a problem. The pages didn’t look like I just didn’t have a lot to say, they were cut off in mid sentence, even mid-word on a couple of them. Two of the pages had absolutely nothing but the sidebar and date. Trust me, if I am gonna waste the time to write out the date at the top of the page there is going to be at least something written on the page. Whether it is worth reading is questionable, but there will always be something there.
• On Sunday morning I was going to borrow a truck from George so that I could go get a new washing machine at Home Depot. I don’t suppose that it was a coincidence that he knew I would be at his house at nine in the morning, and he had a semi-automatic Colt handgun disassembled on his table at the time. Mind you this is one of the four or so times that I have ever been to his house, and one of the other times was also to borrow his truck, so I wanted to be friendly and chat with him a bit.
The fact that he had a handgun stripped on his kitchen table, as well as a recent copy of ‘Guns and Ammo’ there also probably dictated our conversation just a bit. I used to be really into handguns, my father always owned at least a half a dozen of them, as well as fifteen or twenty rifles, and growing up around them I guess you really just get accustomed to them, then eventually you start to like them, desire them even. As the conversation about ammunition, old Colt revolvers and the such carried on, I mentioned that the revolver on the front of the ‘Guns and Ammo’ magazine was one that I would really like to try out. The firearm in question is shown below (stock photo, I was not able to find the actual magazine cover).
Imagine my surprise when George went into his bedroom and came back with that very weapon (of course I should note that it was an older copy of ‘Guns and Ammo’ so I did know it was coming). The picture does very little justice to the actual size of that revolver. The barrel is 10 1/2″, the thing is 18″ overall and weighs five pounds when it is not loaded. Simply put, it is fucking huge.
He checked to make sure that it wasn’t loaded, then handed it to me. I proceeded to also check to make sure that it wasn’t loaded, which, thankfully, didn’t seem to offend him, of course if everyone were to take those kinds of precautions there would be far fewer accidental shootings. It was simply amazing how comfortable the thing is in your hand, not despite its size but in general. It didn’t feel like a five pound, foot and a half mammoth, it felt like a very well balanced revolver. Were it not for just how far the tip of the barrel was from my hand I could have mistaken it for a .38. Knowing, through experience with my father’s gun-collecting friends, that some people would get really pissed off if you pull the trigger of an empty firearm, I asked him if he would mind if a gave it a squeeze or two, which was fine.
I am not kidding even slightly when I say that I have had capguns that took more force to shoot than this huge revolver. I was gripping it with my right hand, while the barrel rested in my left (pointing up and to the left so that I could watch the trigger, hammer and cylinder), when I started to squeeze. The trigger was so fluid that I found myself thinking they must have rigged up a few pulleys inside the thing to make it move that easily. I tried it again just to make sure that I was not just thinking it was less difficult than I had expected it to be, and again it struck with just very light pressure. George then instructed me to pull the hammer back and try the trigger that way. With the hammer back it took less pressure pull the trigger than it takes to click the button on your mouse. Even if you are not a big fan of firearms, this one should make you at least pause long enough to think that American craftsmanship is not dead. That was simply the most beautifully built handgun I have ever handled.
George did offer to take me out and have a couple of shots with it, which I would have loved to have done, but I had already been there almost an hour and the washing machine has been out almost a month. I told him that I would take a raincheck on his offer though. I really do want to see what it feels like to fire a handgun of that size. Well, enough deadly weapon porn for today.
The trip to Home Depot was pretty uneventful. Of course his truck bounced a lot more than the little cars that I am used to driving/riding in so that took a little getting used to. One thing that I did find really strange was that the truck has no stereo. It doesn’t have just a shitty AM/FM radio, it doesn’t have a cassete player, it doesn’t have a cd player, it doesn’t have hole in the dash where the stereo used to be but got stolen, it just has nothing at all. The spot where the thing would have been in the dash was just a solid piece of plastic. The truck has simply never had a radio or stero in it at all (more on that later). Now, first off, I didn’t know that you could even buy a car that doesn’t have at the very least a cheap AM/FM radio, but he found one. Which leads to three important questions: 1) Why did the truck have a radio antenna if it never had a radio in it? 2) Why did it have speaker grilles in the door panels and on the dashboard? 3) Were there actually stock speakers behind those grilles?
I got to the Home Depot and took the internet printout of the machine that I wanted directly to the appliance section. I thought that they would try to sell me up to some other machine, but I guess the guy was just happy to get his commission without having to work for it. Ten minutes or so later I was back on the road with the new washing machine in the bed of the truck. Unfortunately I had completely forgotten to take along anything even resembling a rope. That meant that I had to drive at 50-55 the whole way back, as any speed beyond that started to tilt the box over and made me slam the brakes. Sure it was just a 279 dollar purchase but there is no way in hell I am going to break a brand new appliance to get home a couple of minutes sooner, if only the rest of the people on the road had felt the same way. At any rate, the washing machine was home and I wanted to get the truck back to George as quickly as possible (since he begged me not to put any gas into it, having something to do with a weird superstition about gas mileage and a particular pump at a particular gas station).
I threw a five dollar bill under the seat of the truck before I left my house. I knew that if I offered to pay for his gas that he would refuse to accept the money, which was true. That way he will just find the five in his truck sometime later and there will be good karma for him for not letting me pay as well as good karma for me for paying him anyway. The devious things that you have to do to be a good person these days…
I did ask him about the stereo when I returned the truck. He pointed out (which I had noted) that the only two option that he had on the truck were the air conditioning (which is simply mandatory in Arizona), and the automatic transmission (which is mandatory for someone with such horrible diabetes that they can hardly walk). He said that the rest of the options all came in packages like radio, rear-window defroster and glove box light. He didn’t want any of the other shit, and, being an audiophile he didn’t want the factory stereo anyway. Something to do with how much power can travel through your average speaker wires, subpar sound from the speakers that are not able to hit the high and low frequencies, inferior sound from the stereo not being powerful enough to handle the speakers (which I always thought was the other way around, but listen to the system in his house and you will understand). I simply gave up on the stereo thing about four seconds after I asked the question, yet the explanation was easily a half an hour long.
There are a couple of other things that I really want to get into, but I am getting really tired of typing. This post is easily in the top five, as far as length, that I have ever written. With a bit of luck I will be able to go into other issues tomorrow.
Time will tell.