April 2014
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Paul's Thing is a
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Shit hot header graphic by Paul, w/assistance from "The Thing?"


Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 by Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

Sunday Shopping Bag

A shopping bag seems appropriate for this update, because I have in fact been shopping: for used motorcycle parts, raspberry iced tea, a pair of moccasins, a wifi range extender … The smell of consumer lust permeates Casa Paul.

These days I do most of my shopping online, mainly through Amazon and eBay.  I used eBay to find the Ducati part I needed and it arrived three days later.  When I buy from Amazon, unless there’s a third-party seller involved, things arrive in about three days as well.  Unless you really need to look at something and hold it in your hands before buying, shopping online beats the hell out of schlepping from store to store in traffic and 105-degree heat.

I spent the better part of Monday looking for quart-sized bags of a particular brand of raspberry-flavored iced tea.  None of the local stores carried the brand.  Amazon did.  I had my tea by Friday, and boy is it good.

While I was buying tea bags on Amazon I looked for a replacement pair of Rockport moccasin slippers.  I love my old Rockports, but after eight years they’re falling apart.  Alas, it seems Rockport doesn’t make that style of slipper any more.  Minnetonka offered a pair that looked good, so I ordered them and they arrived Saturday.  Within 20 minutes of putting them on the leather stitching on the left moccasin tore through an eyelet and the hard knot at the end of the leather lace wound up inside, digging into my foot.  Now I get to test Amazon’s return policy.  I don’t think I’ll buy another pair of Minnetonkas … I expected something better than what I got.

The wifi extender was another disappointment.  Unlike the tea and slippers, this was an item I needed to hold in my hand first, since I didn’t really know what I was looking for.  Our wifi router’s in the home office at one end of the house, but we use our iPad in the family room at the other end.  The walls cut into the signal strength, and occasionally we’ll drop offline in the family room.  I went to a local computer supply store, asked questions, got answers, and bought the range extender they recommended.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work as advertised.  Once I got it set up and synched with the router in the office, it appeared to send a strong signal to the iPad in the family room.  You know that little wifi symbol, the cone-shaped thing with three semi-circular strength bars?  The symbol on the iPad went from the one-to-two range I was used to seeing to a solid three, but when I tried to watch a YouTube video it would play only a second’s worth at a time, with long data-loading pauses in between.  And my Nook wouldn’t recognize the amplified signal at all.  I guess I didn’t need a range extender after all.  Not this one, anyway.

So: a win on the tea bags, a loss on the moccasins and the range extender.  But that’s balanced out by the Ducati airbox housing I found on eBay, which was the exact part I needed, so overall it’s two by two.

Speaking of the Ducati (hereinafter to be known as Cult Bike), I rode it over to my friend Ed’s on Friday morning.  Here it is, off the trailer and running again:

Cult Bike (with patina)

This morning I cleaned Cult Bike up … not too much; the patina of age and use looks good on it … and rode it to the corner coffee shop. I parked right in front, and ten minutes later two other riders parked their cult bikes next to mine, an Aprilla and a KTM. I think that means Cult Bike passed muster.

Ah, I almost forgot … speaking of tea bags, I’m reminded of former Arizona state senator and noted teabagger Russell Pearce, sponsor of our notorious Papers Please law, a man whose racism and Nazi-hugging ways were so vile as to turn off even Arizona voters, who unseated him last year in a recall election. Well, he’s still around, getting ready to run for office again. Pearce posted a statement about the Colorado shootings to his Facebook page yesterday:

This is certainly a time for prayers for the victims and the families of victims in this horrific crime in Colorado. I just had a call from a very good friend of mine in San Diego, California who’s neice Kim, Kim’s best friend Mikayla and Kevin were in the Theater in the front rows. Kim and Kevin got out and as he was trying to get Mikayla out she said she was shot. As the rush of the crowd exiting through the exit door pushed Kevin and Kim out they lost Mikayla.

As of my phone conversation they were not aware of her status. What a heart breaking story. Had someone been prepared and armed they could have stopped this “bad” man from most of this tragedy. He was two and three feet away from folks, I understand he had to stop and reload. Where were the men of flight 93???? Someone should have stopped this man. Someone could have stopped this man. Lives were lost because of a bad man, not because he had a weapon, but because noone was prepared to stop it. Had they been prepared to save their lives or lives of others, lives would have been saved.

All that was needed is one Courages/Brave man prepared mentally or otherwise to stop this it could have been done. When seconds count, police are ony minutes away. My prayers are with all of those suffering from this sensless act, may God be with them in this moment of pain and heartache.

So in addition to everything else, he’s semi-literate?  Good lord.  It really is the smarts versus the stupids, isn’t it?

Oh by the way, I seem to recall that there was an armed Courages man inside the Safeway during the Gabrielle Giffords shootings last January.  He heard shots, pulled his gun and ran out front, and drew down on the other Courages man who had just wrestled the gun out of Jared Loughner’s hand.  Had he fired, he would have killed the wrong man.  And he damn near did.  And this was in broad daylight.

We need stronger gun laws and regulations.  There’s just no way around that.

Enough.  I’m going to do something useful and cook up a pot of Italian meat sauce.  Once it’s simmering I’ll finish book #3 of the Game of Thrones series.  Enjoy your Sunday, everyone, and happy shopping!

© 2012, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.