Tuesday, February 25, 2014

There are some simple secrets to happiness in this world,

and the dogs know what they are.
A blogger I read online* has lost a dear pet, one that was only with her for a too short time. Barkley was written about in her blog, weaved into her stories of work and life, recipes and range trips. He was an erstwhile shadow and thanks to Brigid's wonderful skills as a writer and willingness to open her life bare to her readers, I feel like I know a bit of her and her wonder dog, Barkley. He will be missed by a large online community of readers and as Brigid feels the pain and anguish of losing a loving companion, the rest of us will stand with her as she looks beyond today. Brigid, Thank you for sharing, thank you for being there for so many of us, hopefully we can return some of that goodwill now that you need it in return.

* I discovered Brigid's blog at a low point in my life; having quit a job I really enjoyed, and that paid better than any other job I have ever held, because of a terrible supervisor who was driving me over the edge.
I needed an outlet to blind me temporarily from my worries, something to distract me as I carried on a belabored job search for close to 7 months. Brigid, more so than any other blog I stumbled across**, through her poetry of writing and alliteration was able to sweep me off into her world for little peeks at her past and present. These were brief instances of joy and happiness as I slogged through my day-to-day search for meaningful employment and ever larger worries that I was going to run through my savings and no longer going to be able to make my mortgage payments, or keep my kids fed. She wove her stories well, and they frequently included Barkley, as good a dog as there ever was.
Now I have a good career again, having changed ships from IT server management to SAP software support. But, I still frequently lurk on Brigid's site, b/c she is still a great writer and can make me smile. Thankfully my Feedly app keeps me up to date on the go, as my new job requires me to rarely sit still. That's how I found out that Barkley, brave as he was, had passed. He is now out of pain and Brigid soldiers on, but as someone who has lost beloved animal companions, I know it isn't easy. The loss is real, otherwise the companionship wouldn't be real.

** Another thank you to Brigid is due as I think of it; she opened up an entire online community that I have taken to heart. These people who live around the country, some around the globe, have become part of the tapestry of my life. Reading their posts is far more fun for me than surfing the web randomly, and as I have never been one to much enjoy TV, they, in a way, keep me social. Other than my wife and kids I tend to never go out and do anything with anyone. No offense to them, I love my family and they are the width and breadth of my joy in this life, but a person craves friendship as well. My friends I made in school all reside back home in South Carolina, far from Central Ohio where I have hung my hat permanently and I don't make new friends easily.
I am a bit of an introvert after all (shocking for a server admin, I know).
Yet, that part of my brain that requires 'other' companionship can be fed virtually, I have found. It makes me a healthier person. I tried for a while to be an active member of them and to blog myself, but alas, I am no wordsmith and I lack the gumption to keep it up. I enjoy reading them still though, and keep telling myself...one of these days...when the stars align and they have one of their blog meets, I'm going to drive a few hours, stroll in and have a beer and a cheeseburger with these people who have added so much color to my life. One of these days...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Obiglatory EDC post; Whats in your pockets?

So, its cold, I'm tired of shoveling/driving in snow, and as I'm a little cabin feverish I thought I would keep my mind busy by showing random people whats in my pockets every day.
So, I'm pretty basic; as you can see I carry a slim bi-fold wallet by Wenger, my Zebra F-301 Bold which is an awesome roller ball pen, a cheap AA LED 3-mode high-lumen flashlight, my iPhone 4s in an OtterBox and my CRKT M16-10KZ folding knife. These are with me anytime I step out the house and I'm wearing pants. This has been my EDC for going on 5 years now, except that I switched from a Surefire to the cheap CREE b/c the el-cheap-o light has way higher lumen count and a strobe mode.
I own another cell phone, which is my 'personal' number (the iPhone was issued by work), but the fact that I didnt have it with me for this picture just goes to show its not an EDC. I have the voicemail for that phone tied into my Google account and I have a tendency to leave that cell at home more than I carry it.
I have a laptop bag that is usually within easy reach that has a duplicate flashlight and a little bitty Buck knife, an extra pen and micro first-aid kit with some bandaids and alcohol wipes, but since I dont walk around with that bag on my shoulder all the time, I don't consider it part of my EDC. Don't get me started on the "get home bag" in the trunk of my car b/c again, I dont consider that to be EDC and the contents of that bag changes based on the seasons of the year.

Notice no keys? Thats right, as soon as I get where I'm going the car fob comes out of my pocket and gets thrown on my desk at work, or dresser at home (I also hate walking around with coins in my pocket). During the winter the key fob stays in my outer coat pocket. We have an electronic lock at home, so I type a code to get in the house or garage.

What do carry every day?

Monday, February 3, 2014

OHIO House Bill 203 Status Unclear

So, here I was assuming that since we have a GOP house, a GOP Senate and a GOP Governor that HB203 and its needed CCW reforms would roll right on through to Ohio Law. However, it passed the House with flying colors back in November of 2013 and is now sitting unassigned to a committee in the Senate. In other words, its been pigeon holed. Some newspapers in Cleveland wrote op-eds claiming its a "stand your ground, kill the little kids law" (which isn't true) and now it looks like the Senate is going to stay away from it to avoid trouble in an election year that would see 1/3 of the Senate members up for re-election.

This law was supposed to:
1. Have all county sheriffs use the same application form
2. Make it easier for the Attorney General of Ohio to determine whether another state had reciprocity with Ohio's CCW laws.
3. Makes it simpler to prosecute anyone who lies on a CCW application.
4. Changes the training hours from 12 to 4. This is good since the 12 hour class I took was only 4 hours of information anyway. Making people sleepy doesn't abet learning.
5. Clearly states a number of things that CCW permit holders cannot do (citizens arrests, etc). The gun can only be used in lawful defense during legal activities. If you're a criminal breaking the law, you cant use self-defense as a defense in court for shooting someone whilst breaking the law.
6. Defines imminent danger.
#7. You do not have a duty to retreat if you are anyplace you are legally allowed to be. Previously you had a duty to retreat if you werent in your home or car. Now the law corrects that problem, allowing you to defend yourself wherever you may be with your CCW, as long as you are legally allowed to be there.
This is not the same as the stand your ground law in Florida and certainly does not provide the legal defense shenanigans that the Florida law provides for. You can't chase someone down, you cant instigate the encounter, you cant insult, shout or be belligerent and THEN pull out your CCW.

This is a common sense piece of legislation and I hope the Senate takes it up soon.