Before You Go Any Further (repost)

If you’ve never read my scribblings and rants — in other words, you’ve not been exposed to my blogs before, you may want to peruse the “About” and “Welcome” pages just above the header. It might save you from unpleasantness later on, in the Comments.

And for the old-timers and Loyal Readers of yore: welcome to my back porch once again. Pull up a chair, grab yourself a drink at the bar over there, smoke ’em if you got ’em, and enjoy yourself. Just mind your manners, as always. (If you want, feel free to look at those same pages too, just to refresh yer memories…)

My new Tech Support (BobbyK, for those who remember him as a commenter at the old blogs) is an ultra-geek with unbelievably nasty system skills, and owns lots of guns. He’s been a good friend over the years, and for some reason feels very protective towards me, this blog and my previous Tech Support’s memory. He has the keys to my kingdom and therefore my absolute trust. Believe me: you do NOT want to fuck with this man, who will be prowling through the Comments like a tiger with toothache.

With all that said, now is the time to celebrate… enjoy what follows.

Only In Kim’s House

Many years ago, we had a Christmas party at our old house, and after everyone had said all the greetings, settled down and got their drinks, it was Show & Tell Time, whereby the guests got to fondle and coo over my latest gun acquisitions. For some reason, this always took quite some time.

Anyway, at some point the place looked like some 1930s-era gangster’s hideout, with rifles, shotguns and handguns scattered all over the place. Whereupon one of the lady guests looked around, and said: “Aaahhh… Christmas at Kim’s!”

Much laughter followed.

It’s not only at Christmas. The other night I was busy cleaning out our walk-in closet off the bathroom. Basically, it’s a room which has seen very little traffic over the past few years, because Connie had moved the few clothes she needed into the spare room next to the den, and I generally live out of the armoire in the bedroom anyway.

So there I was, doing some archaeological research into the detritus that had gathered in one corner, and discovered the following:

Yes, that’s two hundred rounds of Winchester .45 ACP hardball. No idea when I bought it, how it got there or anything else. (Finding Random Ammo in my house is not that unusual; I once found five hundred rounds of 5.56mm ammo in the garage — and I’ve never owned an AR-15.)

But that wasn’t all. Underneath the ammo was a little blue box. Inside:

Yes, a little Heritage Arms single-action revolver in .22 LR / .22 WM. No idea how that got there. I have a vague memory that it once belonged to one of the kids, but how it got into that forgotten corner of the closet? Like the fathers of Madonna’s adopted children: a complete mystery.

More alarming still, there’s still one more corner of the closet as yet undisturbed…

Overheard At The Supermarket

This was at Central Market in Plano. The guy was in his early forties, the woman maybe late thirties. Clearly, they knew each other but hadn’t seen each other for a long time.

He: Hi there, kid! Long time no see!
She: Yeah… it’s been years!

[pause]
He: So… are you still married?
She: Yep.
He: Happily married?
She: (laughs) Yes.
He: Okay. Well, that takes away my third question.
She: (laughs) [pause] So… what was your third question?
He: (looking at watch) Oh damn, I have to get going. Maybe some other time.

I love it when a guy knows how to flirt.

Culture Clash

While I was attending our local community college, I struck up a friendship with a kid in our Physics class. Hassan was Moroccan, about 20 years old, and had a wonderful sense of humor. He looked like any American kid, behaved like one and without his slight accent, you’d think he was born in Ohio or something.

So one day Hassan and I were hanging out in the corridor outside the classrooms, when two girls sat down next to us and started chatting away in some foreign language. They were, in a word, exquisite (in a trashy-Kardashian kind of way) — dark, expressive eyes, long black hair beautifully styled, fashionable clothes and expensive shoes. They looked more as though they were about to go out on a date than attend class.

Anyway, at some point a Muslim guy walked past us — Muslim, because he was wearing that silly skullcap thing and the white shift over long trousers. He looked at the girls, said something in Arabic to Hassan, and walked off.

Hassan bent over double with laughter, and when I asked him what the guy had said, he replied, “Persian whores.”

And there you have it, in a nutshell. Three recent immigrants (Hassan and the girls) who’d come here and assimilated (a little too much in the case of the girls, but still), and one asshole who’d brought over his 11th-century culture and would never assimilate.

And if you think for one minute that he’d inflict some Islamic-style caning on those two pretty girls if he could, you’d be perfectly correct. I saw it in his eyes.

 

Election Interference

No, not Russia, but Mexico has interfered in U.S. elections for decades. Thus says the Diplomad, and he should know:

Is there foreign interference in our elections? You bet. 

The biggest offender? Not Russia, but Mexico. Mexican officials publicly called on Mexicans in the US to oppose Trump; Mexico’s over fifty–yes, fifty–consulates in the US (here) are hot beds of political activity and activism. Millions of illegal and legal aliens largely from Mexico and Central America vote, yes vote. We need to have an in-depth investigation into Mexico’s interference in our elections, an interference that goes well beyond revealing embarrassing DNC texts.

His ideas for punishing Mexico are excellent, but you’ll have to read the whole piece.

Back To School — An Introduction

After the end of my old blog, The Mrs. decreed that before her health got too bad, she wanted to fulfill her lifelong dream and go live in France for a few years. Of course, our finances would not allow us to do that — Paris is obscenely expensive in terms of apartment rental, not to mention all the other stuff — so she came up with a Grand Plan.

“You’ll just have to work there to support us.”

“Doing what?”

“Teach. At an American school or something.” (Grand Plans, by definition, are somewhat vague on details.)

“But I can’t get a teaching job without a university degree.”

“So get one.”

Therefore at age 55, it was back to school for Kim, with (in the Bard’s words): “shining morning face, creeping like a snail unwillingly to school”. One and a half years at community college to get the “core” courses (what I thought would have been covered in high school, silly me), followed by one and a half years to get my B.A. (I took on a per-semester course load which would have made John Milton weep, and took every summer class I could).

Anyway, to make a very long story not quite so long, at age 58 I graduated summa cum laude from University of North Texas with a B.A. (History, Modern Western Europe emphasis).

During my last semester at UNT I started looking at American schools first in Paris, then elsewhere in France as a backup. (I speak both French and German more or less fluently, but The Mrs. didn’t like the idea of living in Germany even though it would have been a lot easier to find a gig at a U.S. military base.)

Then Connie’s health went over a cliff. First, her back collapsed completely, necessitating several spinal operations which didn’t help, but reduced her height from 6’1″ to 5’11”. Mobility was going to be an issue, so a ground-floor apartment in Paris was going to be the only option.

And then came cancer: Stage 4 ovarian, with a 95% mortality rate. At that point, a move out of the country was clearly impossible.

I’m not going to dwell on the latter, for reasons I’m sure you understand. What I am going to talk about, in the months that follow, are my experiences at an institute of hire learning [sic] and my encounters with academia. If you think of me as that “Connecticut Yankee in the Court of King Arthur”, only with a very bad attitude, you won’t be far wrong.

Oh, and lest anyone’s still curious about my finances and the need for a GoFundMe appeal, allow me to add just two words: student loans. The tuition at Collin College was paid in cash; the tuition at UNT was not.