Beware, or I'll eat you alive.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gun Shows~~~An American Freedom~~~

Hello Sweet Things,

I love flash drives, I can type up something and then save it to down load later, which is one of these times, I’m typing this opening paragraph from work, because I’m waiting for a meeting to start which has been delayed for the next 20 minutes. It is very cool and over cast here in the city, which is not unusual because it is now Fall but for what our weather people are saying and sometime I think they really don’t know what the weather is going to be.

Once again our weather people here in California are saying that we are having a heat wave.

We are, but it is a strange one. The more you go inland, the closer to triple digits you get, but here on the coast it is like a mild, cool summer and here it is the Fall Equinox! Such paradoxes for this area.

I want to do a brief mention of Fram’s blog “The Great American Gun Show”. I have to agree, gun shows are as American as God, Mom, Apple Pie and your dog. It is the only place were I have been able to see antique’s, collectables, security devices, classes in training for self defense, the latest in camping equipment, Rod and Gun Clubs, and survival equipment, (which is a bit different from just camping equipment).

Let me explain----you go to a County Fair, also an American institution, and you see the latest wizzy things to make one’s life easier, more fun, things for the home, places to go to, unusual exhibits like the six legged cow, little strange collectable bric-a-brac, and foods that you never find in the usual fast food joint’s like funnel cakes, frozen bananas’ and Big Bad Bubba’s Bar-B-Que with turkey drumsticks that could choke the Hound of the Baskervilles.

(By the way did I ever tell you that I love an old-fashioned county fair?)

A Gun Show is much the same thing, equivalent to a Boat and Camping show, an Antiques Show, a Harvest Festival (have you tried the Teriyaki jerky?), a Gem-Mineral-Jewelry Show, a Military Collectibles Show, a Coin and Knife Show; it is all of these all rolled up into one big ball, the only thing missing is the “All Alaskan Pig Races” (and you will have to Google that one just to find out what that is).

But there is an advantage, that it is under one very large roof. You meet the nicest, friendliest, politest people, who are more than willing to share their opinions based on their experiences. For example I was at a gun show in Antioch, I took a lunch break and enjoying one of spiciest hot dogs I’ve ever come across, seating was tight, but a few nice gentlemen scooted over to give me a seat. As I was about to bite into my dog the man next to me saw the ring I was wearing, an old Navajo ring that I knew to be at least 50 years old.

He asked me where I had purchased it and I told him the history behind the ring. He said that he found one exactly the same style in the bottom of an old junk box at an estate sale. He was fixing to cut it and use it as a concho on his holster, but after seeing mine changed his mind and instead will keep it as is. It’s moments like that that can make life so interesting. I seldom have it at the more traditional, very upscale antique shows, where people are more interested in showing off that they can afford to buy such expensive things, but at a Gun Show everyone is more down to earth, and especially with the old timers, who strongly believe in the “Code of the West”.

Gun Shows should be preserved; with the exception of an old-fashion county fair it is one of the few places where it is a great equalizer, where everyone is on the same level, based upon their experience, and where one is willing to learn more. I love them and am working hard to preserve them, because the minute we become a too pacifist society, that is the moment we, as a society lose our freedom and to quote Charlton Heston as he held up his rifle “From my cold dead hand” for that is only when I will give up my guns and my 2nd Amendment rights.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ruger Vaqueros---Mmmmmm Sweet~~~~

Hello this Morning Sweet Things,

It's turning warm, and I have to do some house keeping things today, but I have to up date you.

The first thing is that our Charity Poker Night raised nearly 3,000 for Breast Cancer, and yes Sweet Things it was a long night, but fun. I came in 5th in the earnings but it was so much fun! We were playing Texas Hold 'Em by the way, but Frank and Joe want me to practice 5 card stud poker as a back up.

Frank is getting into SASS the Single Action Shooting Society organization, seems a number of his and Joe's police officer friends are getting into it and they are nugging me into that direction, especially after what I told them what happened at the Gun Show yesterday.

There are also other organizations for Fast Draw competition and Mounted Shooting, as well as Cowboy re-enactment. I find that I'm slowly being drawn in that direction, Hmmmm can you picture me in a bustle and Victorian dress with a pair of .38's or .45's on my hips? Or maybe looking like Jane Russell in "Pale Face" with a buscadero rig hugging me? Hmmmm food for thought.

What prompted that encouragement from my friends is at the Gun Show at the Cow Palace I was walking along and I stopped at this one table just casually looking at the revolvers when all of a sudden one of "them" just "sang out" to me.

I looked her over, loved the heft, the action was very good, tested some snap rounds in it so I wouldn't hurt her dry firing. Ahhhhhhh I fell in love with her.

And "Her" is an older Ruger Vaquero .45 cal 4 5/8 barrel Cold Case Harden/Blue frame. The dealer lowered the price since I was going to pay cash, by 60 dollars, that way the tax and paperwork could be included. I can hardly wait to pick her up but as always, there is a 10 day waiting period and a drive to Ronnert Park on Hywy 101, but wait I must.

I happened to walk over afterwards (with an internal good feeling on my purchase), towards the Sunnyvale Rod and Gun club table that was sponsored by the local SASS group and talked to them about my purchase, two of them asked if they could go back with me to look at my Ruger.

When we did and they looked her over they immediately offered to buy her off of me after I completed the transaction. I said that I wanted to keep her for a while and have fun with her. So they told me how such a gun like her was highly desirable for many different reasons and that if I went to a SASS shoot as a visiting competitor that a number of people would offer to buy or trade for her.

When we walked back to their table they told their friends what I had bought and there was a round of "Polite" cussing on what they had missed out. My escorts offered to buy me lunch at the Cow Palace and we had a nice chat about Guns and SASS.

Now with Frank and Joe encouraging me, I think I just might join, there are a couple of groups near by in Richmond, Sunnyvale and San Jose, so I'm going to see what it might entail. I am a pretty fair shot myself so I need to see what they do in their "stages" and what it would totally entail.

I have a fair idea but I like to have a full picture, some how in some way I feel like things are guiding me in a new direction, and I like to get an idea of what I maybe getting into. But for some reason I have a feeling it's going to be fun.

And isn't that what life is all about? We have to do the necessary things, and we have to do the responsible things, but in all of that it is important to have fun.

I heard or read some where "That the more complex the Society, the greater the need for play" evidently Play is a great stress reliever, and I can understand that.

I also can understand why some people will suddenly just stop what they are doing and do a complete change in life style and outlook, they get an epiphany that their spiritual and family needs are far greater than material wealth.

Now if the rest of Society and the Government would understand that then maybe we can get this country back on track. Ahh don't get me talking about politics, that will just get me "rilled up".

So instead I will take care of the house hold chores, and enjoy the outside world.

Until later Sweet Things,


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Of Shopping, Reporters, Guns shows and Poker~~~But mostly shopping

Well Sweet Things once again we experienced a heat wave last week, a very muggy one at that, but our weather persons predicted that it would cool down a little by Sunday with some dry lighting----HAH!!

Not only did we have the lighting we also had some serious showers, which would have spoiled an outdoor wedding for one couple that was planning to be married on the beach near my home, but ever resourceful Lillian came to the rescue and called a few favors and before you knew it up went some of the neighbors e-z up shades that fend off all but the most worst droplets and it was one very happy, laughing couple ---yes Sweet Things, I was among the rescuers with an e-z up shade. At least the vows were held at 11 a.m. and everyone was off to the reception which was moved indoors just in case.

I have to admit life with Lillian as a neighbor is never dull and that is one of many reasons why I love her.

Last Friday I got home early from work which gave Lillian and me to finally do the curtain and drape shopping that needed to be done to replace the ones that were destroyed earlier this year.

I’m sure some of you are thinking “well it took long enough”, to be honest it didn’t feel very high on my priority list because of the work that had to be done in my own home, the floors were refinished, the walls painted and for an accent one of them wall papered, my couch redone, a chair and a few end tables replaced, and bit by bit the lamps, I even got a new area rug, it wasn’t until I had all of that that my thoughts turned towards the curtains and drapes.

And my lawyer neighbor whose tree it was that started my re-decorating has been as good as his word about paying the bills, what the insurances didn’t cover he did. How rare to find that quality in a person.

Well I did baby sit for him and his wife their two little ones while they went out for an anniversary dinner 4 weeks ago. And very good children too, dinner early and instead of asking for a movie, they wanted to play a board game, Scrabble Junior, so I asked if Lillian could come over and be a 4th player, it made for an interesting evening, we all laughed so much getting into friendly debates about the legitimacy of a word. We did have to lay down some rules; abbreviations such as “TMI”, “OMG”, “ROTFLMAO”, “BFF”, “IMHO” etc. did not count.

But late Friday night in a fit of energy I totally stripped out the bathroom and gave it a very through cleaning and Saturday (after the wedding event) Lillian and I went to see what we could find at IKEA or Bed, Bath and Beyond. Frankly I adore the things at BB and B but I knew Lillian wanted to see what IKEA had so I indulged her; we even swung by Target as well.

Yes Sweet Things it was an orgy of shopping, we even went into the City last Sunday to see what the shops in Union Square had to offer. Sometimes one has to do that.

Today I went to the Cow Palace again for their Gun Show, and I enjoyed myself completely. I saw a lot of nice people, and a lot of nice guns, this time quiet a few antiques and collectibles, and surprisingly a lot of survival things. I have a feeling that this might be a future trend. (Along with another heat wave)

I just hope that the idiot legislatures don’t put a crimp into that by passing that stupid legislation banning Gun Shops at the Cow Palace. It’s only a “feel good” legislation which will promptly go to court and be another waste of the tax payer’s money.

I’d written to my Senator and Assembly person protesting about it and urging them to vote no, as if these idiots would listen to common sense


Now it’s before the Governator, and I have written to him as well, I hope he veto’s it.

If he doesn’t it will come up for a lawsuit by the NRA.

If I didn’t love the Bay Area so much or parts of California in general I’d move to another state. Hmmmm I really don’t see why I can’t anyway, there’s property in Nevada near Carson City that looks good or Arizona.

Oh wouldn’t that be rich, buying a place say in Tombstone, Arizona.

Ahhh but it is a question of visiting the family as well. This is something I’m going to have to think upon for future, owning the property and having it pay for itself is important, but it needs to be in an area that I’m going to like and have that special “something” that makes it special to me.

Arrggggh!!! See what happens when one goes Shopping!!! Decisions, decisions!!!

And more shopping this week, well I have my tennis shoes on and Lillian and I will make the most of it. Yes Sweet Things, I still have vacation time to use up, because the last couple of years I barely used my vacation I was asked by Corporate to use it up this year to get back to into sync with what I would normally have---***sigh*** well there is an advantage with being connected to work from home so I can take time off and keep tabs as well.

So I’ve taken this week off to finish redecorating my house, it’s not dark like it use to be reflecting at the time what I was emotionally going through, now it’s more fun, I’m looking for pieces that look like it was from the stylish 40’s and 50’s sort of an art Moderne without going into those extreme Picasso styles. Clean lines that could also support Art Deco as well if I wanted to.

Yesterday I saw a desk with matching chair at this Antique Coop here in town with clean curved lines, the drawers dove tailed and pulled smoothly, with even a drawer for a file to hold current files, in a light blond wood. I was pleased that it barely had any scratches on the surface so I bought it for my at home office, but it’s not going to hold my computer, that is going to be on another work table, no I want this one to be clear for me to do other paper work.

But Lillian, who was with me, drew my attention to this typewriter that was displayed on top of it, I hadn’t noticed it before because my attention was taken up with the desk, but when I saw the provenance on the typewriter I could understand why there were tears in Lillian’s’ eyes.

The typewriter, a reporter’s lap top portable Remington belongs to a long time news reporter, Everett Johannes. Lillian introduced me to Everett when I first moved into town, he was semi-retired then from the local paper, still writing local color pieces.

He, along with former Mayor Terry LaCroix was at the Tahoe Apartments when a navy Jet crashed into them in 1971, resulting in a huge disaster, Everett was the first reporter at the scene that was how he met Lillian, she lived across the street and he asked to use her phone so he could call the story in.

The story about this event can be found at under “Front Line Mayor” as a digital story.

I noticed that Everett always called Lillian “Joan” and although he was told my real name he started called me “Ava”. I found out from Lillian that he was a real film buff always preferring the old films when stars were stars, so he had a habit of addressing the Ladies by nick names of the female stars that they might have resembled. A flattering bit of style and also a way for him to not have to remember the real names.

So from time to time the three of us would get together for drinks and dinner, and he told me about the town back in the days when it was a real town with real characters. He had been a reporter since his high school days, he never thought of any other career, he worked for a number of large newspapers, but eventually came back to his home town started working for the local newspaper and settled in.

He always found something interesting and he told me that this town was never boring, he was right. The last 18 months he didn’t come out of his apartment because of a disfiguring growth, a type of goiter that was impossible to operate on because of his age, from time to time he would call me and I always returned his calls and we had nice chats on the phone.

He died earlier this year in his mid-eighties, I and Lillian attended his memorial service, he never married, and left his estate to his younger brother and this was his typewriter. It was in beautiful condition, he took loving care of it


I asked the shop owner since the desk that I bought was just recently displayed in the window, if he wouldn’t mind continuing to display it until he got in another desk to preserve the vignette of the display, the owner agreed. I didn’t have the heart to break up the display at this time, but instead I found a hat in the shop of the type that Everett wore and draped it over one corner of the upright cover of the typewriter, as if Everett just returned from covering a story and in his haste put his hat there as a convience, the shop owner liked it, it gave immediacy to the scene.

No Sweet Things, I don’t think I’ll buy the typewriter as much as I’m tempted to, but I’m going to take a picture of it for my memories. I just hope someone will buy it who will appreciate it.

So now Sweet Things, I’m going to join Lillian, Joe and Frank and few other friends at her place for an outdoor buffalo wings and other goodies Poker Night. All proceeds to go to charity. We write out a check to the charity and we receive in return that amount in chips, the winners with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd highest amounts will receive prizes


I think it’s going to be a long night and a very warm one.

Kisses Sweet Things.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Grey Day in S.F.

Hello Sweet Things,

Well it is once again overcast, grey and dreary here in the S.F. Bay Area, I'm at work right now and taking a very well-deserved coffee break.

It's a little eerie being here in the office with only just a few people, not all of the lights are turned on, but within 15 minutes it will become buzzing again. I came in early to sweep away a far amount of back log and be totally caught up, it also gives me a chance to see what the markets on the East Coast are doing and how the Continent has fared.

I'm not going to comment on the state of affairs it's too much of a muddle for me to even properly articulate.

The San Francisco Bay Bridge is once again open, and they were only two hours late, originally they thought they would be one whole day late, but it only goes to show what a "can do" effort can pull off.

I'm glad that they found that crack in the beam, as they say it must have happened a year ago, so what might have been a nuisance has been a blessing.

Because of the commute difficulties I had changed my tactics getting to and from work, I usually take the W trans bay commuter bus as it is closest to my home, and depending upon how long I'm at work take the same line home or alter to the more common O trans bay bus, or if I feel reckless Catch BART then transfer to the homely 51 and walk the 4 or so blocks to my home, tennis shoes a necessity and a good exercise.

But last Thursday I did something a bit different, I took the Ferry home, and with Lillian picking me up it felt just wonderful. The transition over the Bay through the waters, watching the city recede into the distance as the Ferry travelled closer and closer to home felt so relaxing and meditative and the travel time was less than taking any of the other means.

But the Ferry is not cheap. And it has to be timed just right to catch the bus away from the Ferry terminal if I do not have someone to pick me up.

But I'm adding it to my means of transportation.

This is "over-the Hump Day" Wednesday and anything I get done or set up today will put me further ahead in my job. I love Wednesdays, I use this day to work longer to be in a better position for things. Of course it means that Dinner is left overs, but frankly who cares, I use the evening to make my shopping list, plan my meals for the following week and go over my "to-do" list---Thursdays are for bill paying and laundry---I get home early, balance the check book, pay the bills, mail them off.

Of course it does mean that those two days I don't go to the gym, just some exercises at home.

So why am I "talking" about those things? I really don't know, it's just that looking out my office window it's a grey, dreary, some what foggy day here in San Francisco, not even a bit of mysterious glamour on the streets.

Where are you Sam Spade? In your hat and trench coat looking for the 'Black Bird', where are you? You seem to be eluding me this day, no sign at all.

Except for the smell of fresh coffee.

Must go, a co-worker has brought me a fresh cup of coffee to lift my spirits. And a devious smile on her face, something is up---I wonder if a "message from Sam Spade has arrived".

Until Later Sweet Things---Kisses.

Monday, September 7, 2009

An Update from the Gold Rush Country~~~or~~~Whew! It's Hot Here!

Hello Sweet Things….

I know some of you are wondering if I was missing in action again, well yes and no.

Because the last “gasp” of vacation was coming up, a number of staff people were planning “stay-cations” that is taking the time off but going to places close-by.

Unfortunately it also puts more pressure on those who remain behind, but in the end it all works out in delicious ways that I can use to help me take time off.

But putting in those long, long hours ***sigh*** well, it is the work I’ve chosen to make “a living”.

Right now I’m at my house in the Gold Rush Country (posting from here); I’m not leaving to go home until tomorrow as I have no desire to deal with the mad rush of returning home vacationers and “stay-cantioners”

The weather is hot but not unbearably so, in the very late afternoon, early evening a warm breeze comes up that has a strangely lovely feel to it. Sometimes I think I see “the ghosts” of pioneers and gold miners long past, still going about their chores. I’ve discovered that Ice Cold Lemonade takes on a refreshing taste on a hot lazy day.

I was up early this morning helping my “caretakers” and some students cut and remove the dried up flowers and plants and saving the seeds, so they can be replanted next year. By doing this it freshens up the flower and vegetable gardens. Some students from the nearby trade school have helped to fix up the old green house and planting shed as part of their work project for grades for school, an arrangement that my “caretakers” made which I fully approved of.

They did a wonderful job too, all new redwood, following the original design and preserving much of it. It was originally built in the late 1880’s and worked on a lot to keep it going, now it will remain for a long, long time. The idea is to work with the students from the agricultural school to start as seedlings and grow heritage plants (flowers and vegetables) save the seeds and sell the seeds and excess plants to help raise money for projects that the school is involved with. This will give the old (now fixed-up greenhouse) a double duty.

Because the sun got hotter, they are pretty much done for the day by 10 a.m. (they were at it from 6 a.m.) so they just put the old plants into a mulching bin. I still don’t know all of how this is being done but I’m so glad it is being done.

After cleaning up we headed into town for the “musical saw” competition and bar-b-que, again another Fund Raiser for a different organization. They work so hard here and I just love their focus.

Because my house is far enough out of town and because it is still a rural community, I’ve been talking to the “powers that be” about allowing some ‘heritage animals’ to be raised on my property since I have a fair amount of acreage, again working with the historical preservation society and the agricultural college.

It looks like I’ll have some heritage turkeys, and chickens, (I wonder how well I’ll deal with a crowing rooster), and later maybe a cow or two. Because of the elderly couple whose land abuts mine, (they’ve also have set up their land to be part of the historical Trust) there’s talk about restoring a large barn that can be easily seen and reached from both our houses and using it to house a few draft horses so that the students can learn to plow and cultivate the land before gas and diesel engines.

I think that would be wonderful, of course I did talk to the parties concerned about a farrier and a large animal vet that knows about farm animals, all that is being worked out as well.

I am so glad that all of this is slowly coming together; it can’t be hurried because it is best to plan all of this very carefully.

The more I come up here the more I wonder about working at a “city job”, I have found that my ‘values’ on things are slowly changing---but then that it what life is all about, change and I hope I can change things for the good. It’s like I’ve come out of a cave and have seen light for the first time.

I don’t know if any of you have been hearing about the big San Francisco Bridge project, but in essence Cal-Trans has closed down one major bridge into San Francisco for the Labor Day Weekend----of course rider ship on BART and the Ferries has gone up tremendously, with many people deciding that is the way they want to travel to work in the future. I knew that from years ago. Leave the driving to another person I say.

I usually take AC Transit Bus, but they were not going to or coming home from S.F. after 8 p.m. Thursday and that presented a little problem for me, because I had no desire to leave my car at the Ferry terminal that day. Lillian (God Bless Her) said that she could pick me up at the Terminal that evening just let her know what time, so I took a taxi to it in the early morning, rode the ferry to and from work; enjoyed the ride and the feeling of ‘transition’ leaving S.F. to home.

Lillian picked me up and we had a late dinner, then I got into my car and drove to my country home late at night, perhaps not a wise thing to do, those roads are not very well lit but I was familiar with them and I now have the entrance to the house clearly marked now a days (one of the earlier projects) so not hard to find. And woke up to clanging and banging with the students doing the final work on the greenhouse (early in the A.M. I might add) I had forgotten that I had given permission for the work to be done this weekend.

One of the future projects in the house is to remove a superfluous pantry that was installed during WWII, so that the natural breeze can once again flow through the house as it was intended back when the house was originally built, the only area that we are considering adding air conditioning is in the Kitchen but in a discreet way, so that canning can be done without it being torture if it’s very hot.

I asked my Caregivers if they wanted air conditioning in their bedroom, because I was concerned about her husband with his heart condition so we have a window mounted unit there with a sun shade, I can get by with just a fan for now.

I’ve been in touch with my family by phone and e-mail things are going well with everyone, baby sis is already into her classes and so is her boyfriend Ted. Mom and Dad are doing very well on all levels, so I’m planning toward the end of this month or the beginning of October to spend a few days with them I’ll be flying down as it will be a short trip, but I’m planning on going down there for Thanksgiving and for the Christmas/New Years Break, on those two trips I’ll be taking the train, so much better than plane travel.

I have just come back to the house to change my shoes, they are setting up for this evening to do ---of all things---square dancing and they are going to be teaching some of the older dances that were done during the Gold Rush Period.

Fram I’m going to be reading your blog when I get back to the Bay Area, I am sorely behind reading it.

So now Sweet Things I must go and enjoy the last day of my mini-vacation.