Showing posts with label Walker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Walker. Show all posts

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Family Tent, Single Stack 9mm's and a Saturday Night ER Trip

Awhile back our larger tent finally kicked the bucket. Since, IIRC, my Dad bought it for me as a Freshmen in highschool it stopped owing us anything years ago but it still left a vacuum. Also honestly we needed a bigger tent. The one I had technically slept three which actually means it sleeps two unless 2 of the 3 are small children or all three are very intimately close.

Walker has been asking about it and since the budget was looking OK this month we decided to go get a tent. So we went to Academy in the nearest decent sized town and walked down to the tent aisle. Ended up with a big ole Coleman. Honestly it is a bit bigger than we want/ need but there is sort of a size gap in options and we'd rather be on the big end. It is like 12x7. Definitely a car or other mode of conveyance type tent.

We set it up in the living room so kiddo and I can sleep in it. Honestly sleeping outside when the low is 80 or so sucks so we are doing it inside.

On the door of the tent there is about an 8 inch lip at the bottom. Walker tripped on it and slammed his face into the floor biting his lip pretty bad in the process. Of course there was some blood and lots of crying. His sister joined in with some sympathy crying for good measure.

We got him cleaned up and the cut was pretty good, solidly in the 'maybe it needs stitches' range. So we hopped in the family hauler and went off to the ER. Just what everyone wants to do at 6pm on a Saturday. The injury was more in the 'urgent care' range but with our medical coverage it is ER, a few rare same day appointments (M-F of course) or waiting several days to a month for an appointment. Consequently in addition to relatively minor issues like Walkers there are always lots of moms with kids who have the snivels.

I dropped Wifey and Walker off then went to do a couple things with Princess.

Walker got checked out and the verdict was since the deep cut is inside his mouth (vs the lip) they would not do stitches due to infection concerns (and I think the mouth cures pretty well plus a scar there is not an issue).  The advice was to feed him lots of popsicles and keep an eye on it.

We had a quick drive thru dinner on the way back. After getting home we let him watch a tv show then it was bed time. Read stories in the tent and he passed out shortly after.

I have been doing some more thinking and research on Single Stack 9mm's. I have been looking at the S&W Shield for awhile but recently came to a revelation. I think the Shield is a tiny bit too big to really be a meaningful difference from other guns on the inventory.

The Shield is 4.5in tall which for reference is roughly in the middle between a Glock 26 (4.1in) and a Glock 19 (4.99in). Honestly (and interestingly my initial observation from the first time I handled it) the Shield is sort of closer to a single stack COMPACT pistol in terms of height and grip length than a true subcompact.

As I have learned with small guns you can always get a bit more grip (and usually an extra round) with a mag extension but if you want a gun to be smaller, to say fit in a pocket, you cannot remove a half inch off the grip of a larger handgun.
Now I want to get my hands on a couple other guns to see if they might better suit my needs.

Going to read some junk on the net, watch a bit more TV then go to sleep in a tent that's in my living room.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Family Fishing Day

We, largely thanks to Wifeys efforts, got a lot of chores that can often become weekend duties done during the week so it was a wide open Saturday, time to do something. So we went fishing. Had to get new licenses for the adults and got the Mrs her own setup. After a pit stop for lunch we hit the lake.

Kids were little terrorists. Walker finally caught on his little pole only had a bobber attached and considered that a significant grievance. So I actually put a hook on and then a worm. Daughter kept trying to climb the rails on the side of the dock. About five minutes later Walker accidentally dropped his pole in the water. Kid's had it since last season and loves the thing. That cheesy little Wally World fishing pole is one of his prized possessions.

Tried to grab it with a hook and line but it sunk pretty fast.

Thanks to previous trips I am pretty skilled at hauling shoes, hats, etc out of the water but they float, at least for awhile. Tried to fish out the pole to no avail. Other folks tried to help. Walker was crying profusely.

Went to the family hauler to get my swimming shorts. I was more than a little concerned about the cumulative amount of tangled up line with hooks still attached at a popular fishing spot but what can ya do. Figured the realistic worst case is a hook gets buried in me, Wifey gives me a knife to cut the line and I climb out of the water then get the hook out. Nobody said fatherhood was for the weak.

So I jump in the water.

Conditions were hampered by the murky green water and presence of lots of weeds. Also without corrective lenses my vision is really bad. On the plus side he has a bright red 'Cars' fishing pole.

Got it on about the third dive. Thankfully the bobber was floating above the weeds so I was able to see it. Walker was happy but too distracted running and screaming with another kid to go back to fishing. I was wet but so what, at 90+ degrees and about the same humidity staying outside any length of time means you are soaked in sweat.

Wifey, who fished as a kid, spent most of the day trying to get me to commit to some sort of bet on total fishing results. Given that she is better at this than I am and has the ability to (albeit with the kids) theoretically go fishing every day I declined.

She caught a fish and proclaimed we were done fishing for the day (the kids were melting down anyway). So far the count is her 1 me 0.

Went swimming after that. Got some ice cream on the way home which was a huge mistake, well a huge mess anyway. Turns out I finally found the thing baby wipes are not good for, melted ice cream and sand.

Got some hot dogs on the way home and BBQed them for dinner.

While both children cried more than a little and at different points both adults almost (or did) completely lose their shit it turned out to be a pretty good day.

'Merica

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fun With Children

It's been a long day on the end of a very productive but long weekend so more coherent thoughts are not really forming. I want to share a few fun parenting moments of late.

-We started tiny child t ball for my son. At the first practice he tried to pee in 'the big back yard'. Wifey had to explain to him that it is not acceptable to drop your pants and pee on the baseball field.

-Walker also started this new game called 'attack'. As in he says/ yells 'ATTACK' then attacks his little sister. He is firmly convinced if you yell attack it is then a game and thus acceptable. Everyone else is far less than convinced.

-Princess is a riot. She really likes to climb the brick outcropping in front of the fireplace. She then used to move up onto an end table to stand and bounce around laughing. It's great except she falls down all the darn time. We ended up moving the table. She now pursues her favorite hobby of standing precariously as high as possible elsewhere.

-She has one of those booster chair that clips onto the regular chair things. Little munchkin managed to push off of the table and knock the whole chair over last week. Darn near gave Wifey a heart attack. Thankfully she was fine. Now we make sure it's close enough to the table that she cannot get her legs up to push.

-Princess feeds the dog at the table. Like just hands him food. Dog obviously likes this. He is old and gentle so there isn't a concern there. It is rather funny to me though it sort of bothers Wifey.

-Walker has proclaimed the place on post I work is 'where the army is'. Our entire force is working out of that particular place. The other day he saw me making lunch and was quite concerned/ unimpressed that the Army doesn't have food.

-We took our first fishing trip of the season. Walker finally caught on that there wasn't any line or a bobber coming out of his pole. I fixed the line (he tangled/ twisted it all up), slapped on a bobber and a lead weight. He can't keep the thing in the water, let alone still, so he isn't catching anything. I'm more concerned about the kid hooking himself.

-We went for a family jog this morning which was fun.

-Princess, who is pleasantly plump has a little velour track suit thing. It is ridiculously cute.

That is all.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Saturday Night Ramblings

I found myself in Walmart the other day. Needed a haircut and some light work on the family hauler and there is only one place to do both of those things around here. Turns out everybody else had the same idea! So I was waiting for both things and looking at the ammo situation.

It was actually pretty good. Lots of .223, 7.62x39, .308 and of course all the shotgun shells and hunting type calibers you could want. A guy was talking to the dude working behind the counter. Guy didn't now what type of ammo his SKS shot but wanted to buy some. Dude said 7.62x54R but Guy was not exactly convinced. I said it was 7.62x39. Walmart Dude was happy somebody else was dealing with his problem. Guy was not entirely convinced. He asked if I was sure to which I replied that I was. He asked the same question a similar way. I said I was absolutely positive and would bet him a thousand dollars cash on the matter. Guy was convinced. That narrowed it down to caliber. Dude had both steel cased (Wolf I think) and brass cased ammo. Guy wasn't sure about the difference.

That lead to a 2 minute discussion. Since Guy didn't reload (thank God!) we agreed steel cased would suit his needs at a much more agreeable price. Guy bought 3 boxes and we both went about our days.

Today I had to run some errands and ended up at a surplus store. Got a castle nut wrench which I am long overdue for purchasing and a used USGI wool blanket, picked up the blanket for $10 which I was pretty happy with. After that I went to scout out a place to do some camping. It looks good. In my time driving around the woods here I definitely realized the longest line of site you get here is under 200 meters with under 100 being more common. That's bumped my desire to acquire a precision bolt action rifle, lately boosted by the book I am currently reading Point of Impact (Thanks Zero and Harry Flashman!), down a big notch. Short of improbable shots down a strait road, in a field, etc Project AR could easily dominate any shooting tasks here, hell an iron sighted 30-30 would do around 90% of it just fine and a shotgun could cover 70% or so.

I may go camping tomorrow but it depends on how far I get on a project at home. As a kid and teenager I absolutely loved camping. I went at least monthly forever and for multiple years about every other weekend. Then I joined the Army and subsequently started sleeping outside all the time for work it ceased to be any fun. Since then I could probably count the amount of times I've slept outside on the ground, outside of work,  on one hand. Each time involved family so I was pretty much stuck. Now I am for better or worse at a place in my career where I have been removed from that sort of thing for awhile. I sort of miss it.

That is good because incidentally Walker seems to be expressing an interest in camping. He went with Mother in Law in the drive way a week or so back. Except he noted it wasn't real camping because "the truck didn't move and we didn't sleep in a tent" (She has a camper and it was going to be 20 that night) but he seemed to have fun all the same. So maybe we'll start doing some of that in the yard then ultimately out and about. He is getting towards the right age to start doing more outside stuff. We've got the gear so that is not an issue. Anyway we will see where that goes.

Today while going over my BOB I made some changes. Added a few pouches to give me more readily accessible space. Aside from that mostly it was transitioning to a winter setup admittedly a bit late. Added a pair (top/ bottom) of silk weight long underwear and a wool sweater. I took out a waffle top that had been my sole piece of cold weather gear (for summer in AZ). Swapped a desert pattern goretex for a multicam shell to better fit the area. Also added a pair of wool gloves. If I am smart in the spring when I ditch that stuff I'll put it all in a box or bag to make the transition easy in the future.

I realized some holes that need to be filled today going through our gear. They are going to be listed not so much for you but so I can remember in a month or whatever when I want to fill them:
3x wide mouth stainless steel water bottles (1x ghb, 1x everyday 1x wifey)
1x nesting cup for 1q bottle with carry pouch
3x Louisiana state maps (or a western central LA type map if I can fine one larger than parish but below state sized)
3x eastern Texas maps if available
1x trowel
2 pair wool socks
a kydex belt holster that will hold a Glock 9 with a light yet be reasonably concealable. The big Safariland is great for a battle belt, duty, OC role but I'd like to have a holster (raven concealment, bravo concealment, etc) that could hide under an oversized shirt or a sweatshirt. Should get a pair of good mag pouches along with it.

Tomorrow or the next day I'm going on a monster rant about Bushcrafting. I think bushcrafting is to camping what crossfit is to exercise. They do so many good things but also do some really silly things and take it all so seriously. That should be a fun talk.

I pulled the trigger and ordered the stuff for Project 870. Brownells matte black Alumahyde, Elzetta light mount, GG&G rear sling mount and a half dozen essetac cards. I can procure a light locally and have some slings in my box o gun junk. Think I ultimately want to use a Magpul MS3 to have the 2-1 capability but I'm not sure. Looking forward to getting that all set up.

Realized that one of my not explicitly defined but over arching goals for this year is to have all the guns I currently own set up how I want them to be. Of course there is some evolution as new products come out, we test stuff, yadda yadda yadda but instead of buying another gun or piece of kit I want to get the stuff I have all squared away. Mostly my 642 as it is just a handy little thing. Honestly it is probably too handy for my own good. That little wheel gun is so light and convenient that in moments of weakness or laziness which inevitably occur more than they should I carry it instead of a more potent firearm.

Got some Lone Star beer the other day. One of those cliche Texas things I had to try. It is pretty good straddling the line of being flavorful without too heavy or busy.

Anyway I'm bored of writing now so it's time to wrap this up. Talk to you all later.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Kids Say and Do The Darndest Things

For Halloween Walker was a fire fighter. Like many boys his age he likes fire fighters, trucks, construction equipment and all that stuff. His costume had a fire extinguisher and a horn, however he knows fire trucks are supposed to have hoses. So my son got the idea there was a hose to go with his outfit. So several times over the last few day's he has walked around the house looking for the hose saying "Where my hose at?"

Except in small child language it comes out as "Where my hoes at?" Being a small child he will repeat the same thing several times in a row. It sounds like the chorus from a rap video. Ridiculous.

Yesterday I let him choose his own pajama's. He chose a blue polo shirt and boxer shorts. A bit unconventional but not dangerous or uncomfortable to the point it will interfere with his sleep so I went with it.

I saw this ridiculous video at work. Showed it to my son because I thought he would enjoy it. Well that was a success. In typical young child fashion if it's nice once it is even better 47 times.

I hope you enjoy the video.

While writing this Wifey informed me that putting things up on the counter no longer makes them safe from child reach. Apparantly Walker figured out how to push a chair over then climb onto it. FML.

Also Walker is learning to bargain which is hilarious. We go with it about half the time.

Princess is learning to crawl. Except she mostly moves backwards.

Anyway that's what has been going on with the midgets. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fair Day

Went to the county fair today with the family. Looked at animals and projects, ate too much wonderfully unhealthy food and had a great time. Walker got to pet a bunch of animals, ride a car ride and then had a snow cone so he was a very happy little camper. Since we got back at his bed time and now that I've caught up on some reading it is my bed time there will not be a post today.

I gave the doomsday worries a rest and had some fun with the family today. With all the stuff going on a nice little break was excellent. You should go out and do the same.

Now I'm off to bed. Good night

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Parental Fail Day


We aren't usually like this, really, I promise.

Daughter was up screaming all night. Totally uncharacteristic and just miserable for everyone involved, especially her. This morning it turns out she was getting bit by little tiny ants. Probably 2 dozen small little bites on her head and neck. No wonder she had a terrible night. Just couldn't see them in the dark and ants biting people in apartments is a new thing for us.

Went to tell the manager lady they needed to spray this dump to kill all the ants. Her "shocked and semi apologetic" act is wearing thin on me. [It was semi amusing when she faked surprise after our initial inspection I mentioned the fridge smells like death but this is ridiculous. My kid got hurt so I am pissed. Also she had a big thing of bug spray in the closet of her office. Additionally despite a lot of lysol the fridge still smells like death. Thank goodness this is not our permanent residence]

Walker had those packaged chocolate doughnuts which were purchased at some point during our trip and dry cereal washed down with juice for breakfast.

We ran around all morning looking at houses. After lunch Walker tossed his milk shake on the floor of the car. Thankfully it's contents spilling was mitigated by the mountain of junk on the floorboards of the back seat. Wifey said "I am not happy with you" to which he replied "That's OK with me."

This afternoon he tossed a toy truck out the open window of our vehicle while driving. Walker then proudly told the folks in front of us at the store that "He tossed the monster truck out the window." I mentioned that it was one of parenting's finer moments which got quite a laugh out of the 50 year old couple in front of us in line and the 40 year old cashier.

At several points the door was left open for the dog to roam outside on his own recognizance. Thankfully he is well behaved so Dog only explored the front yard and looked around to check out the new area. One time he actually walked back inside without any direction.

We had ice cream sundaes for dinner. It wasn't planned but just sort of happened.

Tonight they are wearing yesterday's Pajamas again because almost everything we own is currently dirty. Sort of didn't keep the best track of our clean clothes inventory so we noticed when everything was dirty. OOPS!!! That the kids go through 2-3 outfits a day plus Pajamas's doesn't help any. To make matters even worse could not give them baths tonight because somehow we do not have any towels. They were packed at the last place (for this transitional period) but either are still in the storage place or were lost during the move.

Short of spending the day at our family single wide trailer/ meth lab then leaving them with creepy Uncle Larry so we can smoke meth and do home invasions today couldn't have been much worse. On the plus side that means there is ample room for improvement tomorrow.

I sprayed some ant stuff this morning so hopefully that helps. Tonight Daughter will be sleeping in an elevated position to hopefully deter the ants, plus we'll know to check that if she gets way overly fussy. Also got our vehicle cleaned out from the trip so that is good. We went grocery shopping today so tomorrow we can eat some actual food that doesn't come in a greasy paper bag. We'll do laundry tomorrow and get some towels so at least our little rug rats will be clean.

So that was my day.

Edited to include: Wifey mentioned that I forgot to include that Walker wore a black plastic batman rain coat for about half of the day. In 90 degree 100% humidity Louisiana August weather. He really wanted to for some reason. We checked repeatedly to confirm he was not too hot but the kid just wanted to wear the rain coat. 

Edited again to include: I forgot that he also ate an entire box of tick tack's all at once. Emptied the container strait into his mouth.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fam is Back

They arrived safely today. Walker is huge and talks constantly. #2 is much more active now. Spent the day hanging out with them.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tonights Conversation

Wifey- I'm mad at you. I only have the energy to be nice to one person today, all things considered it should be Walker. Beside he didn't do anything to me.

Me-What did I do to you?

Wifey- Impregnated me!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas To All!

Our Christmas got off to a great start with Walker sleeping in until 8 o'clock in the morning. Kiddo was mad that Santa was in our house (he does not like the man after a bad mall experience) and after finding a couple matchbox cars in his stocking decided he was done opening gifts. We helped him with the rest and then had some breakfast.

Kiddo got a cowboy outfit for Christmas and somehow it ended up on the dog. Dog is not amused by this. Anyway the picture came out well and we had to share it. Don't worry Dog is being well rewarded with all manner of (dog safe) people food so his Christmas is still going well.

Wifey got a nice designer wallet, a wool coat and some end tables. I got a CMMG Conversion kit for the AR and an IPOD Nano.

After breakfast we have just been hanging out. Kiddo played with toys and generally was himself and is down for a nap. Dog is sleeping. We are relaxing before dinner and doing some light snacking.

I pulled out my rifle (calling it Project AR Upgrade is getting old) and fiddled with the conversion kit a bit. It is a nicely manufactured little piece of kit. "Installation" is stupidly easy. Just take out the bolt and put in the kit bolt then insert a .22 magazine. I'm looking forward to testing it out at the range later this week. Will check the darn schedule this time though.

To me there are two real roles for this kit. As a survival toon and for affordable short range training with the AR. For me being able to carry a little bolt with a mag or two and shoot .22 ammo through my rifle would be really nice. A great option if I have to travel light for whatever reason. Secondly I can't afford to shoot anywhere near as much .223 as would be ideal but a trip to the range with this sucker won't break the bank.

For me two criteria will determine if this bolt is a useful tool or a little gimmick decent accuracy and OK reliability. What I want to be able to do is shoot .22lr accurately at 25, or ideally 50 meters, sufficiently to do SRM, plink and if need put some meat into the pot. Don't need or expect it to win small bore competitions, just to be accurate enough to fill a legitimate role. As to reliability I am a bit less concerned. So long as it doesn't jam every third round or in complicated unpleasant ways that make the whole thing a hassle I am prepared for a few eccentricities. Absolute best case some duds are inevitable with rim fire ammo anyway. I'll share some more thoughts after it gets some range time.

Well kiddo is up and it is almost time to start moving towards dinner so it is time to wrap this up.

Hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas



Saturday, December 8, 2012

AR-15 Lower Receiver Build

So to start out I had a stripped lower reciever, a DMPS lower parts kit, a Brownells receiver extension AKA buffer tube and stock, some punches and a little hammer. The Glock tools were tossed into the order as they are a nice thing to have. I hopped onto the AR-15.com build guide and got started. It was helpful to have it open in two tabs so one could stay on the picture with the part diagram instead of scrolling back and forth.

Yes that is a tiny hand with a toy truck in the photo. I was getting set up right about his bedtime.

We will start with the Bad, then move onto the Ugly and close with the Good.

The Bad:

Lets just say I am not mechanically inclined. Tiny little pieces that have to go together in specific ways aren't my thing. Imagine if Homer Simpson and the Keystone Kops tried to build an AR-15 lower receiver.

Things got rolling and were going OK until the #*$%)#* #*%$))#*ing Pivot Pin Detent and Spring. Those suckers went flying off to the abyss of our home. After some looking and harsh words I decided to grab the other parts (there are two of each piece) and just keep going. That #*$)(@#ing spring bent but I had a second one. It would probably still work but the idea of using a knowingly flawed part did not appeal to me. That front pivot pin detent and spring are probably the hardest part of the whole lower build. I kept going on figuring this part could be figured out later. About half the parts need to be taken out then put back in but nothing was particularly difficult and I kept a decent pace.

Once I got to the end of the lower build I had to have that other Detent Pin and Spring. Realizing I had some spare parts lying around I decided to see if these parts were on inventory so things could get finished up. Thankfully I had the parts. Getting the rear detent pin in, the buffer retainer compressed and the stock screwed on was kind of awkward. Anyway it got done.

Doing a functions check the trigger was not rebounding properly/ reliably. I then pulled out another lower to take a look. The trigger spring was not properly in place. To take it out I pretty much had to pull the whole thing apart but since I was a bit ahead on the learning curve it was only a 10 minute thing.

All in all it is done and took about 2.5 hours. During that time I ruined/ lost about $3 in parts. I suspect another build would take an hour and not have any lost/ damaged parts.

The Ugly: The implications of lost or damaged parts are significant in some sort of worst case scenario. Folks who plan to build or fully disassemble weapons would be well advised to have some of those little parts on hand. Had this been a worst case scenario and I didn't have the spare parts my AR-15 would be nonfunctional for the want of $3 in parts which would be like really really bad.

Getting into my spare parts I saw we have a less AR-15 spare parts than I thought. Will address this shortage at some point.

The Good:

I know more about the function of the AR-15 than I did before. While the building wasn't fun I am pleased to have done this. Also I learned a new skill. Getting to the level where I am a competent Armorer (able to restore the gun to factory specs) on all of our core weapons and some common other ones is something I want to do.  Also now I have to go to the range to do a test fire which is a good excuse reason to go shooting.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Quote of the Day

"You're not allowed to eat ice cream and ride the dog, we have rules in this house."
-Me talking to Walker

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Here is a suggestion. If I die, even if you somehow get a bunch of money, don't be a stay at home dad. I have seen you less stressed about going to war then spending a day with a two year old. In fact you don't really get stressed about anything, except toddlers, and babies are worse."
-Wifey to me this morning

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Saturday Randomness

Today was a pretty good day. Our weather finally snapped out of early spring nastiness if just for the day. We went out to a you pick field which was pretty fun. Kiddo had a good time. He didn't quite get putting them into the bucket but ate it all instead. The fruit we picked was pretty cheap which was cool. Far cheaper (healthier and fresher) than we could get in a store. This was definitely a reminder that we want to be close to our food. Producing some of our food would be ideal but with my job that can be problematic. Certainly we can buy from farmers markets (did it in the South) and if possible look into coop and group buy type stuff.

Went through and layed out my purchasing priorities for the next few months using my Intentional Purchasing Plan. Using this as a forcing function to put more money into medical stuff, alternative energy and food will probably make things much better balanced. Incidentally I planned to buy a bunch of medical stuff to put together a few IFAK's tonight but the Chinook Medical website, or at least my connection to it, is on the fritz. Sure it will be up tomorrow or the next day.

I stumbled onto the Hillpeoplegear site. Their recon kit bags are probably the best way to carry concealed on your body with a ruck on your back that I have seen. The stuff isn't cheap but I have heard good things about it. Don't need anything they make but some of their stuff would be aweful nice and make the outdoors more comfortable. In a couple years when, having squared up more basic stuff, I can afford some luxuries they will get some money from me.

A big highlight in our recent lives is getting hulu plus running through the Wii. We get a lot of TV for $7 a month which is pretty cool. We are enjoying watching Lost. As we have been over here for almost 3 years we are pretty behind the TV power curve. Some new entertainment opportunities are surely enjoyed in our house.

We had a pretty good Saturday here. Tomorrow will be a pretty quiet day as we take care of a lot of household stuff like grocery shopping and laundry on Sunday's. Anyway I hope you all are having a good weekend.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Finally Friday!

It is Friday and thank goodness for that. Work was quiet today so I got a bunch of various stuff which has been waiting forever done. The kind of things that you need to do but always linger slightly below more pressing matter. That was nice.

Getting off work at a decent time set things off to a good start. Wifey made enchiladas and spanish rice which was great. There is beer in the fridge, scotch in the cabinet and ice in the freezer so that front is covered.

We do not have any big plans for this weekend. We will probably take Walker for a ride in his wagon both days. He really likes it, a comfortable seat but freedom to move around a bit, a place to put his milk and Dad doing all the work, what is not to like. It is also a pretty good activity to get out of the house when we don't have anything we need to do. Maybe we will go out to lunch or something. The last few things for my Get Home Bag came in this week so I am going to try and get it all put together. You will see a post on that sooner or later.  There are some various blog admin things I would like to do.

Anyway my weekend is off to a pretty darn good start. I hope yours is also.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Toddler on the Computer

Walker really likes electronics. We try to indulge this some because it makes him really happy and maybe he will turn out to be some sort of genuis who makes the next IPOD or Google or whatever. Anyway he was fiddling with my computer today. I was keeping an eye on things but more that he doesn't go all Hulk Smash than what he was happily clicking away at. Not sure how but he ended up at Starve The Monkeys. Maybe he feels strongly about it.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sometimes You're The Windshield, Sometimes You're The Bug

It has been a heck of a week and it is not done yet. No one specific terrible thing happened it was just one thing after another. Forgetting to do things and having them bite us in the behind then some bad luck and work being far more annoying than usual throughout. To top it off I got a cold and brought it home to Wifey so we both feel like trash. In case things weren't bad enough Walker is teething. I can't explain how much I am ready for tomorrrow to be over and for it to be the weekend.

Also I am working on a pretty long post and just didn't have the desire/ time/ energy to finish it today so you get this whining drivel instead.
Anyway I hope your week is going a lot better than mine.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Facebook Shaming Your Kids

Some mom decided to facebook shame her kid and it made the news. It seems to be pretty comparable though less dramatic than the dad who shot his daughters laptop with a .45.

Am I the only one who thinks these parents are doing something terribly stupid albeit probably well intentioned?

Somewhere along my meandering life I heard a phrase "praise in public and admonish in private." In my brief experiences leading men and a lifetime of having all manner of relationships I can say this is just really great advice. (I am not saying parenthood and leading soldiers are the same thing but some elements are similar) The one time I have really chastised (vs a normal correction) a soldier in public I regretted it. I realized later that I let my emotions get the better of me.

Now this is not to say I do not believe in correcting children. Quite the opposite in fact. The thing is that whenever possible I believe in doing it in private. If that Dad had done the exact same thing giving the speach and shooting her laptop with is wife and daughter in their yard I would think it was reasonably acceptable.

There are multiple issues in play. Kids are stupid. My toddler Walker who should probably be named Curious George or Attilla the Hun is a little terror. At some point closer to 2 than fifteen kids become capable of some level of self control and awareness. A 15 year old might make stupid decisions but they typically know those decisions are at least somewhat stupid. The phrase sinking to their level comes to mind.

I really do not think it is impressive to outwit or mock your teenager. Again they are stupid. Being mature and not sinking to their level is part of a parent's job. I think it is important that even if you have to punish them they can see that you are actually on their side. To varying degrees kids will rebel or be little jerks or otherwise test boundaries. These days some or all of this will involve multi media. I believe they should be held accountable for their actions but in the right way.

For the sake of full disclosure I have a child but not a teenager.

Am I completely off base on this?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

How Do We Do It?

The subject of money comes up more and more as the Great Recession drags on. Folks have been downsized or had their hours cut, or had inflation magically increasing prices in random areas such as food, fuel and medical insurance that are clearly not an indicator of inflation, chipping away at their purchasing power or whatever. In general the poor poor pitiful me stuff has been on the rise. I have been looking around my residence and thinking.

Right now I am sitting in a pretty comfortable recliner that we purchased slightly used for $100, new they are about 4 bills. The couch next to it was purchased by my parents in 1986. The coffee table in front of the couch was free as I found it beside a dumpster and carried it home. Our dinner table cost Wifey (actually her mom) $30 or something back in college. The chairs are slightly mismatched because we combined the best of what both of us had upon combining stuff. Our printer sits on a nice butcher block that my Dad handed down to me at 14 or so. Our entertainment center thing cost $80, it is sort of a wierd piece and we probably won't take it back to the states with us.
We have a coffee maker I got as a used hand me down about 8 years back. Our electric griddle is about the same age and has some issues with maintaining temperature and hot spots. Our Queen sized bed cost Wifey $50 back in college. I think the frame cost us $100 in Georgia. The bed in kiddo's room cost us $30 if I recall. We paid an average of about 15 cents on the dollar for all of his stuff. He thinks toys come from Grandma, thrift stores and the dumpster. So much so that he urges me to go to dumpsters when we walk by them.

We wear clothes until they fall apart. Wifey recently decreed that a pair of shorts of mine had to go. Something about refusing to sew a half dozen holes and not wanting me to be arrested for public indecency in the near future when those holes expanded. I think they were about 8 years old. My clothes are purchased at used stuff places or Walmart. The hat I wear when not at work was given to me as a promotion. I regularly find myself wearing entire outfits of stuff I was given or scavenged. Wifey'c clothes come from thrift shops, personal sales, gifts and apartment stores when they have good sales. Kiddo's clothes are from personal sales, gifts or once in a blue moon purchased new when something really cute is at the store.
Our stuff is all servicable if a bit worn and quirky. When something stops being servicable we replace it though of course we try to get a deal.

I realize that we are different from most folks. I have had enough conversations with people to know that what we do is not common or normal. The income I bring in is decent, but not anything worth bragging about. We probably live on 60% of my take home wages. Wifey stays with kiddo and takes care of the homefront. We paid cash for both of our modest but decent vehicles and do not have any debt. We have put some money away for emergencies and have some fairly decent preps for our place in life.
Aside from guns, precious metals and vehicles the most expensive thing we own is a Sony flat screen TV we spent $800 or so on, which was a huge deal for us. After that we have a couple lap tops that cost about $500 new and it goes downhill rapidly from there.
This is why every time somebody talks about how they can't afford to prepare or save or pay off debt I WANT TO SCREAM BULLSHIT, YOU CAN BUT JUST DON'T WANT TO!

I am not saying that you could or should live like we do. My point is that folks can choose not to be like the broke jokers with maxed out visa cards and home equity loans who live next door. It is fine if you don't want to but it is certainly possible. You can afford to prepare and or save if it is important to you and you are willing to do what is necessary to make it work. I hope this all gives you guys something to think about.
Edited Later to include:
Commander_Zero said...It's an easy enough thing to do on your own, it's bringing the wife onboard that makes or breaks it. If you're both genuinely on the same page about it you have a good deal going...you each act as the others accountability partner.

Once the debts are paid off, its pretty easy to live within your means. Everytime I feel weak and want to splurge I listen to some Dave Ramsey on the internet and it gets my head back on straight. (And usually puts me into a work-and-make-money frenzy.)

What are you doing with the other 40%? Socking it away, Im guessing? Saving for a house? Just wondering what the longer terms goals are.

I wanted to discuss this on the main page because it brought up a couple points worth discussing.
While spouses are a whole subject of their own it is worth touching on. I think it is fair to say that nothing significant can happen in a marriage without both spouses being on board. If you are the guy who takes a spatula to the mayo jar even though you have a full jar in the shelf a spouse who blows through money shopping faster than a cokehead gambling addict it will be an issue. Having some degree of financial compatability is important for a relationship to work and is one of those practical things folks so often ignore when choosing life partners. This is particularly problematic for folks who do a financial 180 degree turn after a decade of marriage. The scenario where you want to go all Dave Ramsey and the Mrs still likes to take her visa shopping for designer clothes is an ugly one. In a lot of ways I have more sympathy for the spouse who wants to keep on with what she signed on for. I wish there was a good answer but if there is I don't know it.

A partner who is on the same page helps, especially if your weaknesses are different. She is strong when you are weak and visa versa. Also generally being passionate about the same goals helps too. Folks aren't usually willing to sacrifice much for things they aren't passionate about.

I agree with you about debt. The thing is that both the good and bad cycles are self perpetuating. If you pay down debt it is easier to focus on paying it off. It is a lot easier to pay cash for stuff when you have no bills except basic living expenses. Then you can really start getting ahead. On the other hand when your income is going to a couple car payments, a payment on a toy like a bike or boat, 2 credit cards and a line of credit on the house it is very hard to save up to buy stuff with cash. Also you are paying a bunch of interest for the privledge of paying tomorrow for a cheeseburger today. The further you go in this cycle of debt the harder it is to get out.

As to the other 40%. You pretty much guessed it. For awhile we were putting most of it into our emergency fund, then we started making huge payments on my student loan. Sometimes we save for big stuff (maybe that isn't saving parse but more of a save to spend which is kind of it's own category but I digress) like when we need a car. About 15% goes for retirement. A little bit goes for precious metals. Some goes for kiddo's college fund.

You are 2 for 2 with guesses. Right now we are saving to buy a house. If it works out right we will have a solid downpayment in a bit more than a year.

As to long term goals. Continue to not make stupid decisions. Buy a reasonable home and pay it off at an accelerated rate. Help the kid(s) pay for college. Continue to save for the future. Get a little doomstead on a few acres in the middle of nowhere. Put away enough cash to retire with some dignity or at least not on a diet of rice and dog food. Also I want a Harley.



Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Fun

Well I can't say kido knows anything about Easter but he has sure figured out that plastic colored eggs have candy inside. We did the egg hunt thing and dyed some eggs and that is was about it. Kiddo was pretty good considering his sugar consumption was way above the norm. Tomorrow we will have egg salad which I am excited for.

On an unrelated note I saw a cool video over at Zombie hunters. I am over there with my same name theotherryan.

I also saw an interesting thread over on another blog. It is (and you know how these internet things where a guy knew a guy who wrote something and then another person posted it, evaluate the accuracy and merit for yourself) about a guy's experiences during the LA Riots. I am linking to the series of posts. One nuance of the way they published a series of post one after the other is that you have to start at the bottom, go up to the top of the first post, read it all the way down and then scroll up to the beginning of the second one and read it scrolling down then repeat. Anyway while I can't vouch for it's authenticity or lessons learned but it was interesting to read. Anyway those are a couple things you might want to check out. I hope you all have a very nice Easter.

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