Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What Does It All Mean?

I debated with myself about whether or not to post anything regarding the health care bill’s passage in the House over the weekend. My initial thought was that I didn’t want to add yet another tirade essentially saying nothing more than “this sucks” or “the end of the Republic is nigh”. There’s quite enough of that going on, and I don’t feel the need to add my voice to that chorus.

Besides, I think those who know me well or have gotten to know me through this blog understand that I have no love for politicians regardless of party affiliation and feel strongly that most things coming from Washington should be immediately throw in a toilet and flushed with the rest of the crap.

The tipping point for me in deciding whether or not to write this was when The Queen asked me: “How will it affect us?”

I’ve seen some fairly cogent points made about health care reform, both pro and con, in the blogosphere. One intrepid soul bravely pointed out on a very conservative blog that the U.S. already has socialized medicine in the form of Medicare and the V.A. I know I’ve heard that point made in slightly different terms frequently on the conservative talk shows for months now, but it never really sank in until now. Is that what the rest of us are getting now? Are we going to have an American version of the Canadian health care system or Britain’s much beleaguered NHS?

The short answer to The Queen’s question and the ones I added is: I have absolutely no idea, and I don’t think anyone else does either.

Let’s take a look at some facts for a minute.

According to my Adobe reader, The Senate health care bill is 2409 pages of typical legislative legalese, and the House reconciliation bill is an additional 153 pages. The Table of Contents alone is 17 pages long. I don’t know about you; but, if you’ve ever tried reading legislation, they’re not exactly page turners. To say that this could cure insomnia is a comedic understatement. To say that I don’t have the time or enough caffeine to read through this bill and figure out what it says is cold hard reality. My guess is that a majority of people are in the same boat with me.

Does the bill provide funding for abortion? I have no clue, and I’m betting you don’t either. Yes, Princess Nancy and every other horse thief in Congress has assured us that it doesn’t, but when was the last time a politician lied? Oh yeah…the last time their mouth was open. Even if there is a clause in there saying “Title I. Part A. Section 12. Thou shall not use Federal funds for abortions.”, there could easily be an exception clause tucked away 100 or 1000 pages further in saying “Title XX. Part Z. Section 4000.(subpart xxii.) …except in cases where you got knocked up ‘cause you’re unemployed and bored or too stupid to know better”.

Second, this is most definitely not a bipartisan bill. The vote was 219 to 212 with ALL Republicans voting against it. If anyone tries to tell you this was a bipartisan effort, they are smoking crack Batman.

Next, I recognize that I live in a generally conservative area and get most of my news via the internet from a variety of sources; but, in all the time that this debate has been ongoing, not once I have seen any polling data suggesting that there was a majority of Americans who were in favor of this bill. So, riddle me this Batman: how can this be the will of the people?

To those of you hoping that the Democrats will lose enough seats in November for Republicans to regain control of Congress and pass a bill repealing this one, you are forgetting one thing. President Obama is still in office until at least 2012 and would immediately veto any such effort to repeal his signature legislative effort. Even I am not optimistic enough to think that the Republicans can win enough seats to get a veto proof 2/3 majority.

Unfortunately, the only way this bill does not go into law is if the Supreme Court strikes it down as unconstitutional. At last count, at 37 states had plans to file suit challenging this bill once it is signed. You can pretty much guarantee that Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Breyer and Stevens will give it a rubber stamp of approval. Chief Justice Roberts along with Justices Thomas, Alito and Scalia are likely to want to punt this back to Congress and say “try again”. That leaves Justice Kennedy as the deciding vote. He could go either way.

One final thought. The Law of Unintended Consequences applies to all of us, conservative or liberal. The health care bill may turn out to be the greatest thing since sliced bread (but I doubt it), or it may be the train wreck that dooms the economy (and the Republic). Right now, no one can say for sure. The only thing I am sure of is that there is no way that a bill this massive will go off as planned.

Not when the government is running it at least.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Brief Sermon

So, there I was, sitting on the john last night, minding and taking care of my own business, when I had a revelation. It might have just been gas, but I truly think this was divinely inspired gas. At least, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

I must digress for a moment to give you the back story on why I was having divinely inspired gas, and it has nothing to do with the homemade burger and fries from last night either.

I am a fan of the TV show Lost. It’s oddly compelling. It has an ensemble cast of complex characters with depth which I find fascinating. Anywho, in a recent episode, the character John Locke, was trying to get a job after being fired from his previous one. He went to a temp or job placement agency to fill out an application and get interviewed. Locke made a fuss and tried to get placed as a construction foreman. The agency manager looked at him and said she could do that if he wanted her to but that he would just be back in her office the day after.

For those not familiar with Lost, John Locke is sometimes confined to a wheelchair. It’s a long, weird story that will just confuse you if you’re not a fan of the show.

That whole episode, plus a few other personal interactions here lately, got me to thinking about “women’s work” vs. “men’s work”.

So, digression over, the topic of today’s sermon (I am the self avowed preacher here at P&H, remember) is: “Who should do what in a marriage relationship?”

As most of you should have already figured out by now, I am a big proponent of marriage. At least, I’m a big proponent of my marriage to The Queen. Your results may vary. However, marriage is NOT something anyone should enter into lightly. It is my firmly held belief that we have a 50%+ divorce rate in this country because people enter into it too lightly and don’t take it seriously.

A lot of times when I hear people complain about their marriages, it has to do with “He won’t help do the dishes” or “She won’t help change the oil on the car” or some such equally asinine complaint. In some of these cases, I was either in attendance or a participant at the wedding in question, and I don’t remember the marriage vows containing any exclusionary or conditional wording. There was no: “I promise to love, honor and cherish if she does the dishes.”

Here’s a hint, if you want the Leave it to Beaver lifestyle, go marry Barbara Billingsley. She’ll be 95 this year, but it appears she’s available. Sorry ladies, if you were hoping for Ward Cleaver, Hugh Beaumont died in 1982.

Seriously though, some people still have it in their thick skulls that MEN do [fill in the blank] and WOMEN do [everything else]. I so want to be a fly on the wall in those households when [fill in the blank] or [everything else] isn’t getting done because one or the other spouse is incapacitated. Train wreck.

The only definition of “men’s work” or “women’s work” which has any valid meaning to me is the following:

“Men’s Work” = those tasks that a man, and only a man, is physically, mentally and/or emotionally capable of performing.

“Women’s Work” = those tasks that a woman, and only a woman, is physically, mentally and/or emotionally capable of performing.

For example, a man is physically incapable of giving birth to a child. Therefore, giving birth is “women’s work.” Ditto for breast feeding.

Period. End of story.

And don’t try to confuse the issue by citing the transgender “male” who gave birth. Genetically and mostly anatomically “she/he” was still female.

Guys, I hate to break this to you, but doing the dishes or laundry or changing a diaper is not just “women’s work” anymore. Get your butt off the couch and help out. Lead your families by example. Teach your kids that mommy and daddy work TOGETHER to get things done.

And none of this “But K., I worked all day. I’m tired. I want to relax and drink a beer while watching the game.” Crap. Pure crap. You don’t think your spouse wants to relax and have a drink after chasing your spawn around the house and cleaning up their messes all day (if she’s a stay at home mom) or after she gets home from work (if she’s not a stay at home mom/housewife)? If that’s the way you think, you need a few more brain cells to keep that empty space between your ears warm.

The moment one spouse starts worrying more about what they’re getting out of the relationship vs. what they’re giving to the relationship, it’s in trouble. Marriage is a union of two people becoming one. It’s important to realize that, by helping or giving something to your spouse, you are helping or giving something to yourself. Now, go forth and help yourself.

Thus endeth today’s sermon.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Let's Try This Again...

After Monday’s disaster in the binary code of the blogosphere and a rough day yesterday, it’s time for me to revert back to using Microsoft Word to draft my posts and then upload to Blogger. Try and lose my lengthy, carefully drafted posts now you evil, programmable toasters on crack.

Philistines…toasters have no appreciation of fine writing whatsoever.

So, anyway, I’m going to do my best to recreate my range report of Sunday’s events. It probably won’t have quite the same feel as the one I wrote on Monday since the euphoria of gun powder therapy has been beaten into submission by the bitter bucket of cold water that sometime passes for normal life in the Erickson household.

So, without further adieu…

Sunday morning arrived way too early. An hour early, in fact, thanks to the useless “bright idea” foisted on us by Congress that is daylight savings time. Given that time magically skipped forward 1 hour by legislative fiat at 2:00 AM Sunday and the fact that I didn’t sleep well Saturday night/Sunday morning as previously reported, my now 40 year old body had not yet adjusted to the fact that it had been beaten, robbed and left for dead on the sands of time.

After taking care of the necessary morning constitutional tasks as well as the proper care and feeding of The Queen, it was time to depart for other locations.

The van needed gas and so did I. First stop was the donut shop. For those who know me well, this should come as no surprise. For those who don’t know me well, I have a love affair with anything sweet that’s baked in the oven or fried in grease. Unfortunately, donuts have become a rare treat for me. I know they are not my body’s friends, but that has nothing to do with the rarity of their appearance in my diet. Since I don’t get out much anymore in the early morning hours when good donut shops are open, I don’t have much opportunity to indulge my cravings.

Oh well.

A dozen donut holes, a glazed old fashioned, a cinnamon roll, a chocolate ├ęclair later (don’t give me any grief…I have to take full advantage of every donut opportunity) and a brief interlude at the gas station, it was off to Will Rogers Center in Fort Worth to meet up with my best friend (aside from The Queen) Ken to indulge our desires to drool over large quantities of firearms in one location.

I arrived at Will Rogers at about 9:45 for a 10:00 door opening. I was surprised to find about 40 or 50 early birds in line ahead of me. I suppose I shouldn’t be all that surprised since we are in a “red state” and we love our guns and our Bibles.

I had brought the Smith & Wesson Model 29 (.44 mag, square butt, 4” barrel, pinned and recessed with presentation case for those interested in the details) I had liberated from granddad (mom’s dad) when he went into assisted living as potential trade fodder. I was hoping to work a trade for one or two of the guns on my midlife crisis list.

Nothing says “I want to be pestered” at a gun show like bringing a box or a gun case with you. Even if you’re not planning on selling and just brought something to get new grips or a new scope, you will be constantly asked: “Whatcha got in the box?” Standing in line waiting to get in the door, two people asked me. Once we got inside, there is always one guy who pays extra for the table right next to the door to try and buy guns off people coming in the door. He said “Hey mister, whatcha got in the box?” And so it went at just about every other table. I’ve been to many a gun show, and I was expecting that.

For any readers who might not have had the pleasure of attending a gun show in a large, southern or western city such as Dallas or Fort Worth, think of it as a gigantic buffet of weapons in all shapes and sizes. This particular show was about half the size of the show I went to last year with mom when we purchased her first anti-pervert pill thrower (long story…short version – naked man on mom’s second story balcony at 6:00 AM). Even with the reduction in the number of vendors, it still took Ken and me about an hour and a half to leisurely walk through the show and lovingly fondle items of interest.

After strolling through the show, it was apparent that no trade deals were to be had that I was interested in. It was also apparent that there was no one interested in paying cash for the Smith at a price I was willing to sell. Someone tried to offer me $150. The best offer I got was $400. The gun is not in pristine, collectible condition, but it’s not a rusted piece of trash either. It’s a shooter that’s had its share of love and neglect. Based on my research, it should be bringing north of $600 in this market. If it and the presentation box were in pristine condition (called NIB – new in box), it would sell for at least twice that amount.

As a result, I decided to hang on to it and see if I could find some grips that would make it more comfortable to shoot. The Model 29 shoots .44 special and .44 magnum ammo. .44 special is a fairly strong round compared to a .38 or 9mm. .44 magnum is a whole other ball game. The stock grips on the Model 29 square butt just about feel like you’re holding a 2 x 4. Combine that with shooting my granddad’s “good, hot loads”, and it feels like you’ve been playing catch with Nolan Ryan for nine innings. In addition, I’ve never been very fond of the aesthetics of the square butt grips. Fortunately, I found a distributor selling Hogue contoured wood grips made from coco bolo wood. They’re pretty. I’ll try to remember to upload some photos after I clean things up from Sunday’s outing.

After leaving the gun show, Ken and I went in search of food. Our first choice, a barbeque joint nearby, was closed on Sunday. So, we made our way to Fuzzy’s Tacos near TCU for some quick Tex Mex. A couple of tacos each and some chips and queso took care of the inner men, and we were off to mom’s to meet up with more family and friends for some serious gun powder therapy.

Ken and I arrived at Mom’s just after 1:00 which was close enough to our intended arrival time to be considered on time. My sister and her two girls were already there. My cousin was supposed to be there with his wife and his two friends so we could get started and have plenty of time to shoot and still leave time afterwards for burgers and beer.

A quick aside here. Ericksons are known the world over for being late. If an event is supposed to start at a certain time, you can bet money that an Erickson will show up an hour or more late. We’ve taken “fashionably late” to a whole new level. It’s my genetic heritage which I have been trying to overcome since I was old enough to more or less control my own destiny.

My cousin is still working on overcoming his genetic predispositions.

In fairness, it wasn’t entirely his fault. I got a text while on my way to mom’s from cousin B. that they were running about 30 minutes behind schedule. No problem. A little while later, I got a phone from him advising that they had to turn around and take his wife back to the car as she started getting an upset stomach. Cousin B. and his friends finally made it to mom’s at about 2:30. By the time we got set up, it was just after 3:00 when we started shooting.

Between the five adults who brought toys…I mean firearms…to play with, I think we had about 14 guns and boxes and boxes of ammunition. I brought the above mentioned Smith along with my Marlin 60 .22LR rifle, mom’s Ruger 10/22 .22LR rifle (aka “The Pervert Popper”) and my Remington 870 12 gauge shotgun. Ken brought his Glock 19 9mm, a Ruger MkII .22LR pistol as well as an NAA .22 pocket pistol. Cousin B. brought a NIB, never been kissed, Springfield XD9 9mm, a Taurus Millennium 9mm and a Moisin-Nagant M44 bolt action carbine rifle in 7.62 x 54R. His buddy Alex brought a modified SKS semi-automatic rifle in 7.62 x 51, a Galil semi–automatic rifle in .223, another Moisin-Nagant M44, a Walther .22LR pistol and another Springfield XD9. There may have been a couple of other guns tucked away in range bags that I didn’t see, but these were the ones that definitely came out to play.

I won’t bore you with a shot by shot description of events, but there were some notable items worth mentioning here.

I was merrily plinking away with the Marlin 60 at a target about 25 yards away when I noticed that there was a large growth of cactus just to the left of the target stand. I had just seen the movie Silverado a few days before and remembered the scene where Scott Glenn was practicing his marksmanship by shooting the needles of a cactus. Hmmmm….adjust aim left, and holes magically appear in the cactus. From behind me I hear, “Hey. That looks like fun. I wanna do that.” Needless to say, the cactus had a very bad day after that.

The Offending Cactus Having a Bad Day

Next up was the Moisin-Nagant Rifle. You can read amusing accounts describing this rifle’s attributes here and here. Frank, who is an E4 specialist in the U.S. Army with a Military Intelligence unit, decided to have a go with his brother Alex’s M44. Frank assumes the prone position on the ground behind the rifle and starts staring at it like a monkey sitting at a typewriter. Apparently, he was trying to figure out where the safety was. I think it was Alex who said: “The Russians don’t believe in safeties.” Frank took his first shot and scattered leaves and flattened grass for about 10 feet in front of the muzzle. To say that the M44 is loud doesn’t quite do it justice. Sticks of TNT going off are probably quieter than the M44. Then Frank proceeds to start fighting with the bolt handle to chamber another round. After an unsuccessful attempt, Frank asks: “Am I stupid?” After being shown by cousin B. that the M44 bolt handle is only mildly amused by and, in fact, is designed to enjoy being handled roughly, Frank succeeds in getting a few more shots off. Later, when we were grilling the burgers, his brother Alex made the comment that Frank was our tax dollars at work. Somehow, I am not comforted.

You will note in the above cactus photo a few splashes of orange looking oddly like clay pigeons. That is because they are, in fact, clay pigeons. Since, I’ve never had the time or money to invest in a steel plate reactive target rack, I thought we’d try something else. I have a few boxes of the clay pigeons stashed away not doing much of anything. So, we set up some clays as poor men’s reactive targets. It’s a challenge to break a clay with a .22LR bullet. It’s an even more impressive challenge to HIT a clay with a Moisin-Nagant using iron sights at 70 yards; but, when you do, it’s very satisfying to see the cloud of vaporized clay dust where the clay used to be.

After a fun filled two and half hours of shooting, it was back to the house to grill burgers and drink beer. My niece Kaitlyn is not a fan of red meat. She says it’s a taste and texture thing. Whatever. My buddy Ken though is a consummate joker. He said she should get a t-shirt that says: “I’m not a vegetarian because I love animals. I’m a vegetarian because I hate vegetables.” I’d buy that shirt.

On that note, I must conclude this exercise in avoiding work. Enjoy some more photos from Sunday. Happy shooting.

**Update - As correctly pointed out Ken, my nieces took great pleasure in taking part in our reindeer games. They became very comfortable with shooting in their second outing with guns under the careful tutelage of Ken who is a very patient instructor. In fact, they both have the makings of excellent marksmen just like their great grandmother Ann who was known to outshoot many a man in her day.

New-ish Shooters - My Nieces (Kaitlyn, left and Kyria)

Kyria Paying the Price for Shooting Other People's Guns - Reloading Magazines

Cousin B. Shooting His New XD9 - Notice the Smoking Shell Casing Next to the Slide

Part of the Arsenal

The Rest of the Army (left to right - Cousin B., Frank, Alex and Ken)

Monday, March 15, 2010

I'm Am SOOOO Pissed I could Shoot Something

I just spent the better part of the morning drafting a post about yesterday's events complete with photos. It was really good stuff. Blogger dutifully notified me every few minutes that it was saving everything. I hit publish. Nothing but photos. All my grand prose about the wonderful day we all had...Gone. I will admit that I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to technology, but this blows donkey snot in ways I can not describe.

So, if you were looking forward to a range report from yesterday's outing...you'll just have to be patient and wait. I'm going to have to take a deep breath and get back to this later.

Stinking, souless programmable toasters on crack.....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's Gonna Be a Wonderful Day

Despite the fact that we all lost an hour to daylight savings this morning and the fact that I slept like a tweaker on a double dose of meth last night, I am really excited about today.

At 10:00 AM, I am meeting number 1 follower, best man and best friend (aside from The Queen) at the gun show for some well deserved drooling and hopefully good deal hunting. For those of you who are just dying to gift me with one of the firearms on my midlife crisis list, it's not too late. You can meet us at the gun show in Ft. Worth. I'll be dressed in blue jeans, a blue, long sleeved pull over shirt, and a black Margaritaville baseball cap. If all goes well, I'll be trading a Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44mag (4" barrel) for one or two of the guns on the list.

After the gun show and a quick bit of lunch, it's off to mom's place (50 +/- acres of rolling hills and meadows) to meet up with more family and friends to slay large amounts of paper, plywood and other targets of opportunity. I spent an hour or so last night building some portable target holders to replace the severely dilapidated range we built several years ago down at mom's. Let's just say that it's probably not the best place for a progressive/liberal anti-gun advocate to show up today.

Photos to follow sometime this week unless someone shoots the camera.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Day After

Day 1 of my midlife crisis.

Today started out pretty much like any of the other previous 14,610 days. I don't feel any different. I don't feel any older. In corresponding with other people this morning, it appears that this is normal. So, I know I am not in denial.

No new guns have appeared on my doorstep yet looking for a good home. I must not be as well loved as I thought, or all my readers are just as broke as I am. If just 10 readers were to find it in their hearts to send me $40 each, I could get one off the list. Come on, that's dinner and a movie. A cheap date. If you can scrounge up more readers, that lowers the contribution level considerably. I'd even send you a copy of a target shot with the new weapon. I'll even do a Mel Gibson-esque smiley face if you want.

Oh well. There's still hope that someone will show up at the gun show on Sunday, hand me one of the guns on my list and say: "It's all yours. Go forth and have fun slaying paper, varmints, zombies and liberals (which really are the same thing when you think about it)."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me

Do you ever have one of those days where you should have stayed in bed? There are times when I begin to believe I was having one of those days on March 10, 1970. Yeah. It’s my birthday today. In fact, today is the 40TH anniversary of my official introduction to this great big ball of dirt we call home and its interesting cast of characters.

I arrived at 1:55 in the morning after staying a month past my lease expiration and weighed in at a respectable nine pounds and ten ounces. At least, that’s if you believe mom’s story. She was under the influence of mind numbing pain and narcotics at the time. So, I’m not sure I’d put too much stock in her recollection as it’s undoubtedly been compromised. Dad’s story is a little more subdued than that; but, considering the fact that he passes out at the mere mention of the word BLOOD, he’s not exactly the star witness for the prosecution either.

40 years ago today my mother was shouting “IT’S ABOUT $^&^**(()$#@@@!@ TIME!!!!!” and “HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME??” at dad while grabbing his bottom lip (go listen to some old Bill Cosby or Carol Burnett for that reference) in between demands for painkillers. That’s MY story, and I’m stickin’ to it.

Do you know what I have to say about turning 40? BIG FAT HAIRY DEAL! That’s what. I don’t feel any different despite the fact that, going back for the last several years now, anytime I go near a doctor they try to tell me now’s the time for me to start getting those regular prostate exams. I don’t think so. Not likely to happen anytime soon. Unlike my father in law, I can still sleep through the night without getting up to take a trip to the toilet. In the mean time, my butt is an exit only zone thank you very much.

Besides, I had a prostate exam when I was sixteen as part of the flight physical to get my student pilot certificate. No one had warned me which I think was intentional. Imagine my surprise when the doctor snapped on that latex glove with the axel grease all over it. So, now at least, I have it on good authority that my prostate is in there somewhere and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

In the meantime, I still have to get up, go to work and earn a living. In short, it’s the same stuff, just a different day. I have survived the past 14,610 days (plus or minus a few leap days) more or less intact which I consider an accomplishment.

So, here’s to hoping I will survive the next 40 years more or less intact. Just don’t expect me to be sober doing it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Constipation of the Word Processor

Once again, I find myself in the position of apologizing for my absence from the blogosphere. I’ve been a bad blogger buddy here of late again. People have, on more than one occasion, accused me of having diarrhea of the word processor. Lately, it seems to have turned to constipation. That, or I just don’t give a crap anymore.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist the easy joke.

Semi-seriously, as usual, I’ve been busier than the proverbial one armed, one legged paper hanger in a butt kickin’ contest. On top of the usual daily activities of life and work which interfere with my ability to commune with my readership, I turn 40 on Wednesday which means I’m in the middle of planning my midlife crisis.

I mean, you do have to plan those things. Don’t you? Otherwise you wind up with a crappy midlife crisis and lose your job after sleeping with the wrong co-worker in the back seat of that snazzy convertible you can’t afford.

Since I’m hopelessly in love with my wife and really don’t want to find out what God or my wife would do to me if I violated the seventh commandment, a mistress is out of the question. Besides, it’s not like I have a lot of opportunity. Working from home seriously impacts my interaction with just about everyone on the planet.

I do like cars, but I’ve lost my love affair with going deeply into debt for a $30,000 plus toy which is the price of poker for even the most basic new sports car. Drop a gently used and/or easily restorable/customizable 1970 Datsun 240Z in my lap for a reasonable price, and you might get my attention though.

Motorcycles are kinda the same thing as the car thing but at a lower price point.

Airplanes…oooo. Please don’t get me started. Even the rattiest, airworthy used airplane is going to set you back more than a new car not including the hangar fees, the price of avgas (and you thought 87 octane dino wine for your car was steep at $3.50 or more a gallon…you’re so funny) and the price of annual inspections and overhaul reserves. You might as well pick up bank robbery as a hobby ‘cause that’s about the only way you can afford to feed an airplane.

So, that leaves me with guns.

The problem with guns is that I can’t just stop at one. It kinda reminds of the Rutger Hauer movie “Split Second”. There’s a scene where Rootbeer’s partner has just encountered the homicidal creature for the first time and figures out why Rootbeer’s character has gone off the deep end. They find themselves in the gun locker at the police station ranting about needing more guns and each gun that gets picked up is “NOT BIG ENOUGH.”

That’s about the way I’d be with guns if I didn’t have other priorities. You can’t have too many or too big.

And it doesn’t help that I came across Michael Zimmerman’s list of the 10 Most Manly Guns and discovered (to my horror) that I’ve only owned 3 of the 10 (I got rid of the Glock for reasons that remain dim in my memory, but I was never very happy with it anyway). If you add Zimmerman’s 10 More Manly Guns list, I’ve owned 4 of the 20.

Then there’s this guy I know up in Utah. When the war starts, I’ll be knocking, very politely I might add, on his door. This guy has more guns than most gun stores. His basement is full of guns and ammo and reloading equipment. I mean FULL. He has two file cabinets. One drawer is .357 magnum revolvers. The next drawer is 1911 .45 semi autos. The next drawer is…you get the idea. His root cellar which is about 5 or 6 feet wide and 20 or so feet long has rifles lining the walls floor to ceiling. He estimated, conservatively, that he had over 200 guns worth well over $150,000. I’m pretty sure he had all 20 of the guns on Zimmerman’s lists. 10 times over.

And people say I’m obsessed?

All this means, of course, is that I have to rectify this as soon as possible by obtaining more guns.

Unfortunately, thanks to President Obama and a (up until recently) super majority Democrat controlled Congress, every redneck on the planet is clinging to their guns and Bibles very tightly and buying more of each at every opportunity. For those of you who slept through the chapter on the Law of Supply and Demand in your economics class, this means that guns you could have purchased for $500 a year or two ago are now going to set you back $750 or more depending on how popular it is. Some guns, like those dreaded assault rifles which are feared by so many who haven’t got a clue, can’t be touched for less than $1000. A really nice over/under shotgun is going to cost you a minimum of $2000.

So, if you’re like me and like guns…a lot, you’ll get close to the new car price point pretty quick.

Since I know my readership loves me dearly and really want to help a brother out in his quest to have the perfect midlife crisis, I thought I would submit my list of guns that I’d really like to have in case you were stumped on what to get me for my birthday or just wanted to donate some cash to the cause. Here, in no particular order of desire, are the weapons I want to add to my arsenal:

1. Ruger Mark III Hunter .22 LR (model # 10118 in the Ruger catalog). This is a pretty pistol. It’s man jewelry for those who appreciate shooting with precision. The stainless steel frame dressed with pretty rosewood grips joins up with a 6.88” fluted barrel that screams “SHOOT ME NOW, SHOOT ME OFTEN!!!!”. I was truly disappointed that the Ruger didn’t make Zimmerman’s list. I mean, COME ON, Sly Stallone and Antonio Banderas both used the Ruger, suitably modified with a silencer, as their weapons of choice in the movie “Assassins”. If it’s good enough for Stallone, it’s good enough for me.

2. Ruger 10/22 Target model .22LR rifle (model #1121). This is like the Japanese tuner car of small caliber target rifles. You can do anything with this puppy. You could easily spend $1000 customizing this gun which is a pretty good piece straight out of the box. My mom bought the carbine version of this rifle as her first gun last year, and it has me seriously wanting to trade my Marlin 60 on one of these.

3. A 1911 platform .45 ACP Government Model semi auto pistol (I’d settle for the Commander size if I had to). I haven’t quite narrowed down which particular brand and model I want yet. I might just have to get several to be safe. I have shot the Kimber and loved it. I have shot a Colt Government Model which is what started my desire for one of these pistols (years and years ago, but the memory is still fresh and crisp in my mind). I have been eyeing the Taurus PT1911 here lately and wouldn’t mind trying one since I had good luck with Taurus products previously. Of course, if there were a generous soul out there who wanted to bequeath to me a Les Baer or Wilson Combat custom 1911, I might name my first born child after that person.

4. Browning Citori over/under 12 gauge Shotgun. I don’t care who you are, this is a nice gun.

5. AR-15 or M4. I’m not picky about the maker. I have shot the Rock River Arms version and had no complaints. I know I have absolutely no need for one of these, but I don’t care. I just want one.

6. A really nice .30-06 or .300 Win Mag rifle. This is another area where I have not yet decided which one to go with. I have shot the Remington Model 700 Sendero in .308 and liked it real nice. I have heard others speak kindly of the Weatherby brand. I hear some good stuff about Savage, too. I just want a nice, accurate rifle with which to hunt deer, elk, zombies and the occasional rioter. I’m not asking for much am I?

7. Springfield M1A Super Match. I want it ‘cause it’s a way tricked out and updated M1 Garand.

8. Navy Arms 1875 Scofield Founder’s model .45LC. It was good enough for Jesse James. Need I say more?

9. Smith & Wesson Model 686 .357 magnum with a 6” barrel. I saw these when they were first released back in the 80s and fell in love at first site. At least, I fell in love with the stainless steel version with the polished wood, contoured grips.

I’ll be going to the gun show this weekend before heading down to mom’s to shoot stuff. Feel free to tag along and bestow your generosity on me. I won’t protest one bit. I promise.

*3/9/10 Update - I spent a little time on number 6 today. I think I've narrowed it down to the Browning A-Bolt M-1000 Eclipse, but I'm not sure if I want the BOSS option or not. I need to do a little more reading on that part.