Friday, February 16, 2018

Soggy Footwell: Gun Owner...

I am a gun owner. I have a valid Georgia Concealed Carry Permit. I have submitted to a State and Federal background check. I have had my fingerprints taken and on file. I have taken a gun safety course sponsored by the Marietta GA Police Department.

Why should it be any different for anyone else in the United States?

When we have events like this week’s shooting in Parkland, FL I wonder why the standards that I had to go through are not required for every citizen of the U.S.? There is a flaw in the system and it needs to be fixed NOW!

The one apparent flaw that seems to be repeated every time one of these incidents occurs is that there is not enough communication between agencies/departments to identify problems with gun purchasers. In this case, communication between the school, mental health agencies, mental health providers and law enforcement could have identified an issue with this shooter and possibly prevented him from buying the gun he used to murder 17 innocent people.

There is a bill in Congress to standardize weapons carry permits as a single platform; every state would have to adhere to a common standard and offer reciprocity across state lines. This is the first step in making people comply with a uniform process to carry and buy guns. I’d like to see a universal inter-agency database as part of this bill if it doesn’t already exist; sharing data on points such as felony conviction, mental health or security issues that would prevent someone from purchasing guns.

The elimination of person-to-person sales without any paperwork needs to be addressed as well. Currently in GA if I want to sell a gun I own to another person I can do so without the buyer submitting to any background check or other qualifications. At a minimum the seller and buyer should be required to fill out the same form I have to complete whenever I buy a gun. The transaction could be done at any local PD or through Probate Court, same process as getting your carry permit.

I know, I know…there is nothing to keep people from side stepping this process. But the honest and responsible gun owner will do this, only the illegal transactions will be made just as they are now. If it eliminates some guns from falling into the wrong hands it is totally worth it. As a legal and responsible gun owner I go through this process and everyone else should too.

Finally, I realize that the guns are not the problem but the people behind them. However, the NRA needs to move its platform from protecting the Second Amendment to ending gun violence and promoting gun safety; something they used to do fervently and now seems to be a back-burner issue. Programs to promote responsible gun ownership, to promote universal compliance with state and federal laws and general gun safety will do more to protect our Second Amendment rights than what the NRA is doing now.

Step up NRA! Protect the Second Amendment by protecting the innocent and help to eliminate gun violence, lobby for laws for responsible gun ownership and promote gun safety. Do that and no one will have to worry about protecting the Bill of Rights.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Let's see... where was I? Oh yeah.....

The only thing I can tell you is that time marches on, time is on our side and Morris Day and the Time used to be a kick-ass band back in the day.  Now I am in a position of time, having retired from active employment and becoming a "kept man" by the Missus. Dang, you should see the list of things she gave me to do today!

Anyway, it's time to get back to things car related and maybe a few other things along the way.  First car thing is that the Peachtree MG Registry will be holding their Three Square Meals and a Drive event on June 24th. This is a charity event to benefit Frankie & Andy's Place for wayward pets.  Drive will start at the Starbucks at Hwy9 and Mansell Rd. in Roswell and end up back near the start in Milton.  Departure shortly after 10 am and ending about 5 pm.

Lunch is at Fuego Mexican in Marble Hill, a stop at Fainting Goat Winery in Jasper and ending in Milton for dinner at Casa Nuova Italian Restaurant. Games with prizes and raffles to raise money for the charity along the way. Hope you can make it.

Still working on the Triumph Spit 6 with high hopes that it will be finished before the end of the year.  I'd like to get my navigator out of retirement for the Race of Fools in the spring or Damn the Torpedoes in the fall. Either way, the thing needs to be running soon so I can enjoy the b*stard.

Later! - SF

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Media Lesson for Donald J. Trump, POTUS….

“The Press" as it is called used to be newspapers and magazines/journals exclusively in print. When the concept of the "4th Estate" was established it was hundreds of years ago when Thomas Carlyle attributed the origin of the term to Edmund Burke, who used it in a parliamentary debate in 1787 on the opening up of press reporting of the House of Commons of Great Britain. Burke said, "...there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters' Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all." Meaning that the people should know about the goings on of government and to use the press to hold them accountable.

This concept was the foundation of our Bill of Rights, in that the 1st Amendment guarantees freedom of the press; the Founding Fathers knowing that in a new democracy the right of the people to know about their government and to hold them accountable was paramount.

Today there is a very different "Press", mainly because of technological developments far beyond Gutenberg. One thing to keep in mind is that a legitimate "press" should always question government about its actions, report those actions to the people, uncover misdoings of government and hold those and them accountable for their actions.

There are plenty of reasons to hold "opinions" about politicians and government and to publish those opinions identified as such. However, the people often see these opinions as news when they are not, see them as fact when they are not and also see them as bias when they are not.

The internet is full of things that are also associated with "the press" when they are not. Today any individual or group or organization can offer up their opinion and make it look like fact. They can sway their "facts" to represent any type of leaning, accuracy be damned as long as it gets their view point across and panders to their audience. It is difficult to weed out the good from the bad, the truth from fiction. A responsible citizenry should be able to honestly know the differences, measure the information, seek the truth and act accordingly. Democracy isn't a one-way street; it takes active participation on everyone's part.

Always ask questions, hold a contrarian's judgement on the things that seem not to be right and hold accountable those who would usurp the right of the people to an open and honest government; this facilitated by an informed populace aided by a free press.

So, Mr. President, if you don’t want media scrutiny of your claims and outlandish assertions, like the Inaugural was the biggest ever or the popular vote was corrupted by fraudulent voting, don’t make those statements.

Best Regards, ... SF

Thursday, January 19, 2017

American malaise is the result of Facebook... damn you Mark Zuckerberg!

So... when I open my Facebook (FB) page it asks, "What's on your mind?" I've only had a FB page for a week and I have determined that it is the most colossal waste of time ever conceived by man. I finally had to delete the phone app because it was too intrusive and I'm giving serious consideration to deleting my page altogether. This after only one week.

But before I go here's "What's on my mind".

Some of you need to either get a life and quit living off other people's; including what they did today, believe politically and had for lunch, and stop cheating your employer by taking his/her productivity way from them by being on FB ALL DAY LONG! There are time stamps on the things you post! Get back to work!

I was amazed by one post that appeared on my page because one of my "Friends" was friends with this other person. That person complained about the things he posted getting back to his Mother and threatened people about doing it. Well, dumbass, if you don't want other people to know about things you do don't post them on Social Media! Better yet, stop doing things that would embarrass you in front of your Mother. I don't know what amazed me more, that this person was upset by this or that others supported him!

We have become a nation of weenies! And dumbass weenies at that!

I can see the value of FB for some things, mainly because it has become more of a commercial/business application than anything else. Many companies only presence is on FB, especially small businesses, because it is free, easy and can reach a broad audience that might be interested in your product or service. That's the main reason I got on there in the first place.

Now I wish I had just established the page and never "friended" anyone, it' just too much bullsh*t. So if you find that I have "unfriended" you over the next couple of days please don't be offended.

I think I'll stick to anonymous blogging instead.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ok, now back to fun car stuff....

So it has been a while since I wrote about my LBCs (Little British Cars); the MGB Roadster, MGB-GT and my Triumph Spitfire/Spit 6, which has been in restoration for a decade.  Believe it or not it is getting closer to finalization as the exhaust is now nearly complete, all under chassis work is done except for the new clutch slave cylinder and the little bit of welding work needed in the rear is done.

Once those last few things are complete it can come down off the lift and the final bits for the interior can be installed and then the last major hurdle begins; doing the body and paint work.  Some things need attention, but for the most part it needs a good sanding and a coat of primer before final paint; which will be the same American Racing White (current base color) and adding a blue stripe.

The Spit 6, Spitfire with race prepared 2.0 liter GT-6 drive-train, used to be a race car back in the days of SCAA Time-trials classification.  I'm going for the street-able restoration, which requires things like...lights and turn signals.  So a few of these things need attention as well.

Neither the Roadster nor the GT have been out of the garage for more than a few minutes over the winter, but now that spring is here I plan on getting them out for a run or two in the coming weeks.  One of the things I need to do is top off the tanks with fresh gas and add BG-44K additive.  My LBC Mensch, Barry, swears by the stuff and he is not easily impressed. I bought 4 cans from him, one each for the MGBs and one for my wife's Volvo C-70 Turbo Convertible. 

I saved the last can for my 1985 Toyota pick-up truck; over 182,000 miles and the engine has never been apart! It's not much of a looker and I don't drive it a lot, but when you need a truck for something it's really handy.  I took it out last Saturday, threw in the can of BG-44K and filled up the tank.  Made a drive over to the local shopping center and a cruise around town and I swear, it ran better on the way home than on the way out without the BG-44K.

I think Barry is right, the stuff works miracles to clean fuel systems and de-carbonize the valve train.  It's not cheap, but it works and you only need to add it about every 20-30K miles.  I'm looking forward to adding it to the Volvo to see what extra performance and drive-ability might be reclaimed.

Later! --- SF

Friday, February 19, 2016

And another thing.......

Well that didn't work...!  Fourteen months later and my promise to post more yielded absolutely nothing.  My only excuse is that the same hindrances that kept me on the sidelines in 2014 raised their ugly heads in 2015 as well.  I am hopeful that 2016 will be different.

It is a bit in one way already.  According to the federal government I have already turned 60 years old.  Good for me that I've made it this far. Turning 59 1/2 on February 12th (an extra day because of the leap year) causes the powers that be to consider me to be 60, so I can now access my IRA & 401k funds without penalty. Yippee! I get my own money back.

On the writing front there is a strong possibility that I am the featured Op-Ed contributor to the Ellijay Times-Courier this week.  The hospital there is in danger of closing and it is all because of the short-sighted Georgia government not accepting the additional Medicaid funding due to them. Since over 20% of Gilmer county lives below the poverty level and the median income is $10k below the state average there are a bunch of people with an eligibility gap that seek free care at the hospital ER as their primary source of health care. Free care which gets no reimbursement to the hospital, which they eat, but can no longer afford to do.

So I wrote a letter to the editor pointing these things out. He liked it so much that he asked me for a photo and background info to run it as an Op-Ed piece.  Now this will not sit well with the Republican majority in Gilmer county as this viewpoint is farther left than they can see.  But it doesn't change the facts one bit and the hospital will still close, which is bad for business. Which is a very Republican stance, so I guess I am screwed either way.

Anyway, thanks to my good friend D-Ray for pointing out to me that The Soggy Footwell needed to be updated with something a little more current than December of 2014.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

While I've Been Away....

I guess I should be more pro-active in my writing, over a year since the last post here is way too much.  My New Year's Resolution is to post more on here and to make the content informative and relevant.

So for now I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas - Happy Holidays - and a Happy New Year!