29 May 2007

Engaging In The Stupidest Of Passtimes

Counting chickens before they hatch.

Or in my case, counting the money from my mom's estate before it's accounted.

At one time, all I expected was half of the proceeds from the sale of her condo. I saw papers when I was out in Colorado that seem to indicate that it will be substantially more than just half the condo.

The condo should sell for between $95 and 120k. Mom paid $102k in December. I get half of that.

I found paperwork that indicates that there is $426k in her various retirement accounts. I get half of those as well. The paper I read was dated March 5th, 2007. Mom died in May, so I imagine there could be a lot of medical paid from those accounts. My sister thinks that Mom's insurance and medicaid paid all her bills, so perhaps there is not much difference between the 3-5-07 and time of death. I have been led to expect 1/3 of the retirement accounts to be sucked up by taxes.

So, $51k from the condo and estate sale, $142k from the retirement accounts. That sure seems like a lot of money doesn't it?

We have a list of things we wanna do (not particular order)

Replace house AC and duct work
Convert existing back porch to an office.
Add new back porch behind garage.
Expand living room out onto front porch, eliminating the front porch.
Make the driveway two car.
Privacy fence.
Shed for the yard equipment.
Generator for hurricane preparedness.
Fix the shower in garage bathroom.
Remodel house bathroom, perhaps combined with remodel of garage bathroom.
Replace remaining crank windows.
Paint the crown molding.
New master bedroom furniture
Picnic table.
New patio furniture.
Replace fuse panel with circuit breaker panel.
New washer/drier.
Insulate attic.
Pay Geff back.
Pay Rhonda back.
Buy Marv a G6 tranny and kit.
Toss some bucks at Bev and Bubba (they've been very supportive).
Send Curt on the Power Tour.
New desktops for The Boy and Me, New laptops for The Lovely Harvey, Her Mom, and me.
Real live gun safe.
M-1 Garand.
Trike for The Boy.
Family ring for The Lovely Harvey.
Adopt (finally!) The Boy. The Boy McThag has such a nice ring, doesn't it?
Two pairs of inserts for The Lovely Harvey's shoes so she can wear something besides dress shoes.
Fix the puppy. (SNIP SNIP)
Lots of nice clothes for The Lovely Harvey.
Engine/Tranny upgrade for the Biscayne
Paint/Hood/Rims/Tires for Biscayne.
Instrument upgrades for Biscayne.
Rear disc brakes for Biscayne.
Paint/Hood/Body for 9C1.

That's one hell of a wish list, huh? Paying back the people we owe and getting the house repairs done are the #1 priority for me. Then adopting The Boy, then the rest. But since the planning for mods to my car are nice and distracting, it seems like that is my sole priority. Nope. I wanna do a lot to my car, but a house with some value is more important.

25 May 2007

They Clearly Aren't Listening To The Citizens Of THIS Country

El Presidente de Estados Unidos de Mexico del Norte, Jorge Arbusto... AND his congress...

Look, if I wanted to live in Mexico, I could live in MEXICO! The Mexicans that are living here, clearly wish to live in Mexico, but are here, and they are attempting to bring Mexico with them.

The opposition that Bush and Congress cannot understand about the immigration amnesty is that most of us Americans, Democrat and Republican alike, DO NOT WANT TO LIVE IN MEXICO OR HAVE MEXICO IMPORTED HERE!!! It's not racism. It's not really nationalism. It's just we are Americans and we want to live in America, with Americans. We have no issue with a foreigner who is coming here to BE an American.

We object to colonization. I seem to recall the US making a big deal about Belgium, France and Great Britian divesting themselves of their colonies after the end of WW2. Did we do that just so Mexico could colonize us here? I don't think that's what they had in mind, especially since it was the same Eisenhower administration that cracked down on illegal Mexicans as told Belgium to un-ass the Congo.

21 May 2007

Just In Time For Memorial Day

Remember, it's not about grandma (or Mom).  It's about the fallen.

18 May 2007

Ron Paul

A couple of things about Ron Paul that kills him for me;

1. Open border/free trader. Sealed borders and protectionism are GOOD things. We should be selling our products to the world, not teaching foreigners how to make products and then importing them.

2. He, like many Libertarian types, doesn't get that War is the killer app of the state. And when a foreign agent, or agency tries to kill you, you kill them. Kill them until they are not capable of thinking about war anymore. Kill them wherever they are and don't wait for them to come to you. Kill them where they live, not where we do.

3. Truther! Rep Paul, I direct you to Lt Col Kyle Foley, USA, Ft Bliss, TX. His office was at the impact point in the Pentagon, he's alive because he was getting a cup of coffee. Bring your boxing gloves, Kyle is, shall we say, a passionate defender of the position that he saw an airliner hit the building he worked in.

17 May 2007


I've been reading about the Presidential "Debates".

After reviewing the positions of the candidates from both sides; I WANT A "NONE OF THE ABOVE" OPTION!

I don't want any of them. I especially don't want to choose between New Yorkers. If ever there was a place irrelevant to my life, New York City would be it. It wouldn't be so bad if the place realized it was irrelevant. But New York acts as if they are the center of the universe and are the ONLY relevant place in the universe.

My life is irrelevant to a New York, I can accept that. I am not trying to shove it down their throats like they are trying to shove their crap down mine. I chose to live in Iowa and then Florida, in no small measure, because they were not New York.

You want to live in a place just like New York? You're in luck! There's a place, called New York, that's just like New York! Same for people who want to live in Los Angeles!

15 May 2007

If Mom Touched Your Life

Dear Friends,
Mom was very clear that she wanted us to get together and celebrate her life after she passed and we were to do it with laughter. So please bring a good story or joke on Saturday, July 28th to Brookside Park in Ames, IA. We were able to reserve the Maple Shelter which is in the front so it will be easier for everyone to find and get to. We will have a BBQ with wine & beer lasting from 11:30 - 4:00.

Attached is a map of the park. If you need specific directions to Brookside, please let me know.

So I can plan appropriately, please let me know if you can attend. I know there are a lot of people who aren't on this list, but would like to help us celebrate, so please forward to the other friends of mom that I have missed, again, let me know who is planning so we can provide appropriately. Thank you!


09 May 2007

Mom's Gone :(

At 0112 MDT, Mother McThag passed into the void. She will be missed.

There will be a memorial in Iowa, date to be announced.

06 May 2007

Live From Denver

Mom's condo, where I am staying, has Comcast DSL. I'm plugged in using my laptop.

She's bad. Prolly within 72 hours. McSister thinks she might be holding on for me. I've seen her, but I don't think she knew I was there. She's on all the pain killers one could ever want, so she drifts in and out.

Looking around the condo, it's obvious that Mom did not plan on dieing. There are blank canvases and fresh oil paints. There are things that have been started and not finished. DAMMIT!

I feel like an intruder here. But I occasionally find a familiar thing. Things that tell me that this is Mommy's house.

This sucks and it's not gonna get better.

03 May 2007

Well, This Is It Then

Mom's condition has taken a sharp turn for the worse.

I'm flying out Saturday or Sunday.

I have absolutely no enthusiasm for this trip.

I don't know how long I'll stay out there, but a week sounds right. Leave there Friday and take two days heading home, maybe three.

The timing could be better, but is there a great time for this to happen, ever?

And for all my friends who've said, "If you call at 2am, someone had better have died," well, that will be me this time, and someone will be dead. Mom.

This is made a bit tougher by having only family in Denver. If only Ray still lived out there.

02 May 2007

On Making All Guns Illegal

I am a law abiding gun owner. I want that stated right out front. Every single gun of mine is in full compliance with the stupid laws.

If you ban them all, I certainly intend to keep them. Once I am a criminal for owning ANY kind of gun, I see no reason to limit the type of firearms I own. Unlike a lot of folks, I know HOW to convert my AR15 to selective fire. It's the law that keeps me from doing it now, because I am law abiding.

At present, I think that I can get all my constitutionally protected rights back via the ballot box; so I think that I can endure the unconstitutional laws a bit longer while Parker vs DC progresses. And even if it fails, I am still confident the worm has turned in favor of individual rights.

Banning all the guns is a signal from the politicians that the civil war is on. I start shooting the day that law takes effect. Wanna bet I am the only one?

The buying spree going on in ARs and AKs and ammo for them is not happening because people have suddenly felt a need to fill a hole in their collection, I think they are buying them because they are expecting to NEED to USE them.

01 May 2007

Fallschirmjägergewher 42

I have FINALLY gotten a copy of Death From Above; The German FG42 Paratroop Rifle by Thomas B Dugelby and R Blake Stevens.

This also settles the hash of one Hans Christian-Vorsitch. He has been insisting, based on a series of articles referenced in the aforementioned book that there are THREE widely issued variations of the FG.42.

Dugelby claims five major variations. Those can be subdivided into about 25 total variations, but he says that they all can be categorized into one of the five main types. The issue is clouded by the Luftwaffe only assigning one designation to all types, FG.42. Most mainstream books call out FG.42/I and FG.42/II to differentiate between the two main types. Dugelby designates the FG.42/I as a Type C, D or E and the FG.42/II as a Type F or G.

Type A and B were never more than non-firing models.
Type C was the pre-production version, 50 made by Rheinmetall-Borsig; technically not an FG.42 but known by its specification number, LC-6.
Type D was the initial trials version, approximately 50 made by Rheinmetall-Borsig.
Type E was the first production model, so called the FG.42/I in most books, 2001 made by Krieghoff.
Type F was the earliest of the FG.42/II style guns, 220 made by Rheinmetall-Borsig for troop trials.
Type G was the definitive FG.42/II, 5773 made by Krieghoff and 400 made by L O Dietrich.

So, to me, we have two main types, E and G; just like most of the mainstream references say. The Luftwaffe agrees, only two manuals were issued.

Han's stats in GURPS: WW2 give a Weight of 12.4 lbs loaded and 1.8 lbs for a loaded magazine. The Lufwaffe manuals give a weight of 11.06 lbs loaded with a 1.8 lbs magazine for the Type E and 12.9 lbs loaded with a 2 lb magazine for the Type G.

I was attempting to figure out which version of FG.42 he was referencing and asked him on the SJ Games forums. We did a lot of back and forth until he established that my FG.42/I was earlier than the version he listed in the WW2 book and my FG.42/II was later. So in my 4e conversion I called his gun the FG.42/II and my later version FG.42/III. I guess his numbers could refer to the Type F. The main type is the Type G though, 6173 guns made in total.

The next thing to figure out was the RoF. The early gun had a cyclic of 900 rounds per minute (GURPS RoF 15) and the late guns had a cyclic of 750 rounds per minute (GURPS RoF 12 or 13). Hans gun lists a RoF of 15. Both the Type F and Type G have the slower cyclic rate, a lower rate was specified in the redesign. He also claimed the gun I was calling the FG.42/II had a cyclic rate of 600 rounds per minute (GURPS RoF 10). Which gun is he talking about again?

Again, this book is the definitive reference for the FG.42, and it includes the material he claimed in our web debate.

For my 4e conversion I have changed back to two listings for the FG.42. I am calling the Type E, FG.42/I and the Type G, FG.42/II. I don't think there were enough Type C, D or F were made to give them their own listings, especially since they never saw combat.

Another source, Rifles of the World, Second Edition, by John Walter lists the FG.42/I as 9.66 lbs without magazine, which yeilds 11.46 lbs loaded with a cyclic rate of 800. He also lists the FG.42/II as 11.13 lbs empty which gives a loaded weight of 12.33 lbs and a cyclic rate of 750 rounds per minute.