Sunday, December 30, 2012

Lone Tree

Valley Oak, Martinez California
Pin Oak, Valley Springs, California

Monday, December 17, 2012

Stringing spaghetti

I refuse to be sucked into a debate on Global Media Facebook about the unfortunate murder of those in Sandy Hook.It is so easy to stand behind such a large public forum, snipe and point fingers, get jiggy and accuse anyone who does not believe the same way you do. It must make people feel righteous to do that. The power of invisibility makes a person seem to others to be good and brave.

 I, like everyone else, am saddened and sickened by what happened. And to those who want to blame me and others like me who respect the gun laws, well then have at it. I do not apologize for being a gun advocate or enthusiast.
I could site all of the cliches about Cold Dead fingers, pencils that 'cause' misspelled words and the like, but why bother? The truth of the matter is that this is an issue that always has and always will defy rational thought. It is such a complicated and emotional issue that it is akin to trying to untangle cooked spaghetti.

In 1976 there was a horrible school bus crash in the town where I live. I just happened to be close to the bus when it veered over a guard rail and plunged to the ground. It was the most horrible thing I had or have, ever seen.29 people were killed, 26 of those were teenagers. The nightmares and the feeling of powerlessness was shocking and overwhelming. I still think of those souls when my truck passes over that same spot on that road. I still shudder when I see a wreath laid there- even forty years later. A tragedy is a tragedy, but who was to blame? The bus was in good repair. The road was in good repair, the bus driver was a professional, yet people died. Who gets the blame? The road? The bus driver? God? 

1927, Bath, Michigan. Andrew Kehoe killed 38 school children, himself and his wife, plus a lot of other innocent first responder,as well as all of his animals. He didn't shoot them. He blew most of them up with dynamite, bludgeoned his wife, set fire to his horses, before blowing himself and a few other townsfolk to Kingdom Come. Who was at fault?  My first thought is Andrew Kehoe. It doesn't make me feel any better to say he was evil, or misunderstood or a victim of his past. But he was a killer. No one could have kept him from it.

The boy who shot up Sandy Hook School had no criminal record. As a matter of fact, a lot of people have no criminal records. They might have a history of acting strangely, of not conforming to the usual mores of their society, but so did Picasso,and Jack London, and Christopher Colombus. There is no crime in being different and strange - and here is the slippery slope- no way to pick out the ones that will kill. (I think Hollywood made a movie about that very idea not long ago starring Tom Cruise). What will we be getting ourselves into if we try to predict who will kill and who will not?

Would stronger gun laws stop the killings? No, it wouldn't. It would only put the rest of us at more risk. Living in California,one of the most stringent States for gun laws, I can tell you that a gun is still a very easy thing to get- especially if you are intent on doing harm. Gun laws are for the law abiding. Do our California laws help the situation- I believe that they do. I myself have refused to sell a firearm to unstable individuals, and I called all of my contacts to make sure that the individual in question wouldn't be able to buy from a reputable dealer. Did it stop anyone ultimately? Who knows. It all boils down to what the liberals don't want to hear- personal responsibility.

I  believe that there is evil in our world. I carry firearms to protect myself and those that I love from that evil. I have done my soul searching and have come to the conclusion that I am willing to kill for my loved ones, and for myself, if I had to.I am prepared to make the distinction and abide by the consequences.
 Am I mentally unstable? Am I a threat to society? I think not.  If you didn't know me, you wouldn't guess I would blow you out of your shoes if you threatened my family or property.

So the debate will rage on. I will (try) to keep my cool and not retort to the mass hysteria circulating through the internet. I will remain personally responsible, because that is the way I was raised.
Will my firearms be taken away?
When they pry them from my cold dead hands...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Merry and Bright

Finally! It seems like we've been building up to Christmas for four months! Now that it is only 12 days away ( if you don't believe the Mayan Prophesy) I was able to look around and breathe... literally.

And it all has nothing to do with my expert planning or money skills or anything else. It is all because of my Hubby, and my children, and their friends.

I came down with a hellacious cold on the 2nd day of December. Chills, fever, elephant sitting on my chest type of cold. And I completely had to postpone my Hubby's Dec 6 birthday. We usually get our tree and I put it up (almost) totally alone. But this year I was tucked under blankets with a box of tissue and a remote.
But my hubby (said) he didn't mind. He fixed ME dinner, and he bought 99% of our Christmas presents!

My Children ( and some other people's children who I adore) went and picked out the tree,

brought it home...

 put on the lights...

 and then decorated the 12 foot Tree-zilla!

All I had to do was sit in my cozy front room and kibitz a little!

And if that weren't enough Christmas joy thrown at you, her BF came over- alone- on the following Monday and helped string all of my Christmas lights! WOWZA! We've NEVER had that done for us before!

All of this combined to make my state of mind when I woke up this morning decidedly JOLLY!

NEVER have I been this relaxed by this time in December!

 It's a Freeking Christmas Miracle!

So to my daughters, and their BF's and BFF's I say " Merry Christmas!"

Monday, December 3, 2012

Luck and Texture Sunday Stills

Briones Reservoir
Benicia Sidewalk

Harvest Corn
I decided to post two Sunday Stills Challenges at one time- here are my contributions. The first photo is a local reservoir, I pass it most mornings on my way to work. It's a nice break from the busy rush hour traffic I encounter about ten miles down the road! If the day is clear I take it as a good omen- a lucky charm as it were. This photo was taken at 7 AM, the sun had not risen yet, and the clouds were hovering just over the surface of the water.

The second picture is a sidewalk in the Historic town of Benicia, just outside on of California's first State Capitol buildings. ( I'll save the facade of the building for a different challenge.)

The last photo of harvest corn was taken in a barn in a historic old home just next to the State Capitol Bldg in Benicia.