Important Quotes

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“When you arrive at a fork in the road, take it.”

– Yogi Berra

Addendum A: If you’ve ever run out of forks, you will understand.

Addendum B: Also, it’s not stealing if you call, “dibs.”

Addendum C: You don’t even have to wash it first, germs are good for you and put hair on your chest!

Big Jim’s Wisconsin Survival Guide

So, you are unfamiliar with the Dairy State?

Might want to know a few things before committing to the move?

I know I could have used some insight to help blend in with the locals when I first arrived! Here are a few tips that will help you fit in and avoid being chased by an angry, cheese-hat wearing mob:

  • There are just three seasons in Wisconsin: Deer season, Green Bay Packer season and mosquito season…and they overlap
  • Cheese can be added to anything! In fact, it can be a complete meal in and of itself.  e.g. beer and cheese soup..recipe coming soon!
  • Milk is sold in plastic bags
  • You are more likely to be shown pictures of caught fish than their children
  • The entire state shuts down opening day of deer season
  • You’d better be a Packers fan and never say you don’t watch football! You’ll be looked at like you just landed on Earth!
  • Beer is a food group
  • Bucky Badger is a demigod, peace and blessings upon him
  • Wearing Mossy Oak pants and a blaze orange sweatshirt is semi-formal attire
  • Snow is a great beer cooler
  • Fishing isn’t a hobby, pastime or sport – it is a fucking passion!
  • If you don’t own at least one boat, people will view you with distrust and apprehension
  • Never ever say you don’t like Culver’s Butter Burgers – them be fightin’ words!
  • Ed Gein or Jeffrey Dahmer don’t make for good table conversation topics
  • If you are from Chicago or New York, you will never have pizza again as you know it!
  • Bratwurst is acceptable for breakfast, and even encouraged!
  • Don’t let the snow fret you, the icy rain that will inevitably follow is much worse
  • Famous Dave’s barbecue is the best in the World! To say otherwise is akin to saying you hate Wisconsin…and Native Americans!
  • Although you can’t enter a tobacco store until you’re 18, you can play with Barbie dolls on a pool table in a tavern at the age of 3
  • Milwaukee is Algonquin for, “The good land.” Alice Cooper said that, and I believe it, and you’d better believe it too you unworthy cretin!
  • Outside of the authoritarian egalitarian progressive liberal hellhole, the good people of Wisconsin love their guns!
  • Towns have more bars than churches. Praise be Bacchus!
  • There are many small stores that sell everything from guns, ammo, food, beer, camo clothing and bait all under one roof!
  • Indian casinos, ’nuff said…
  • Everyone smokes, nobody quits
  • Wisconsin natives can’t even spell al pastor taco let alone make a decent one!
  • Frank’s Hot Sauce is not only considered to be good, but spicy
  • Sausage gravy comes from a can or packet; biscuits are of the frozen variety
  • People think Chili is something made with elbow macaroni
  • Cottage cheese is a substitute for ricotta in lasagna
  • You can trade smoked fish for a 4 wheel drive vehicle or snowmobile!
  • Most bars worth their salt have a monthly gun raffle
  • Between 2 and 5 A.M. Kwik Trip is considered fine dining
  • Skiing is done on small hills, not mountains
  • Ducks are amphibious vehicles!
  • Fish fries are important community events
  • Thar’ be bears!

Robots

The other night, I was suspected of being a robot, not-so-cleverly disguised as a person while chatting with my new friend on the ‘twit. I assured Ali that I did not consort with the robit kind, nor could my Dyson vacuum with the pet cleaner attachment build a Terminator…yet.

This seemed like a good opportunity to warn Ali of the dangers of PowerPoint, but alas, Ali was unconvinced :(. I tried to call Ed Tufte, but he wasn’t home, so I couldn’t assemble the Psychic Technical-Writer Friends Network… I had to settle for a traditional fact-finding committee.

They couldn’t reach a quorum, and just when I thought all hope was lost, my astrologer told me that my metachlorian count exceeded my cholesterol level, and that I would die of the diabetus within two years. This is good news, because that means I won’t live to see the birth of AI and subsequent robot uprising!

Thank Dog for small favors.

Quizzes

This morning, whilst eating my artificially-flavored cardboard doused in 2% milk (regularity helps stave off exposure to PowerPoint), I got a message from my new twitter friend, “Chistina M.” (@cmartinvacay). She wanted me to take her cool quiz, and promised me an awesome bonus!

A good relationship is all about reciprocity, so I replied:

I don’t usually do the quizzes, Chrissy, but I’ll make you a deal. Study my presentation on how PowerPoint is the Devil, answer the following question correctly and I will take your quiz.

Q1. Holding down CTRL + ALT while clicking the ‘π’ symbol in the lower right-hand corner of a Mozart’s Ghost-themed presentation will:

a. Give Sandra Bullock the power of Epilepsy
b. Summon Steve Ballmer
c. Cover Walt Mossberg in Crisco
d. All of the above
e. None of the above

I think that’s fair. Quid pro quo and all that mess!

Dead End Job or Fieldwork? A Matter of Perspective!

I started a new job today. The kind of low paying, entry-level position that comes complete with a company shirt, name tag and ball cap. Perfect for someone who is half my age or more. The kind of job I would otherwise be ashamed of having, considering where I think I should be by this point in my life.  However, such thinking has neither lead me to happiness or fulfillment..

deadend_job

So, instead of getting depressed about having to wear a dirty apron, stand over a hot fryer and scrape food pans into the trash, I will try to focus on what I can take away from the place:

  1. It is an honest living – there’s no shame in that
  2. Beats the hell out of some of the other things I’ve done for a living…
  3. I get to meet new and interesting people

Of those points, the last one got me thinking about how I could put a positive spin on this situation: I’m going to start thinking of my job as undercover participant observation – a form of ethnographic field work. Delusional? Without a doubt, but at least it will be fun!

I could conduct informal interviews, maybe even map the social dynamics between co-workers, management and customers. The alternative is just the same treadmill of frustration I have been running myself ragged on for years now in a seemingly endless parade of joe jobs.

On a positive note, they have enabled me to amass an impressive collection of nametags and hairnets (you’ll have to forgive the shameless Wayne’s World reference 🙂 )…

Besides, you’d be surprised at just how willing people are to tell their stories – if only you’d take the time to ask. And who doesn’t like a good story? I certainly do…so tell me, what’s your story?

Procrastination and Projects

A couple months ago I picked up an AR-15 lower receiver with the intention of building, owning and eventually firing my first AR style rifle! So far, this has consisted of me staring at the lower receiver and parts kit as they collect dust on the shelf…

thejack_arlower
Spike Tactical’s “The Jack” AR-15 Lower

Well no longer! I finally got up the motivation to go out to the garage and gather up the tools I will need to assemble the parts I do have. I plan on this being a longer term project as quality parts are not cheap, and I am on a rather limited budget. I figure it will take me a few months (at the very least) to save up the required cash to purchase the hardware that will be needed to assemble an operating rifle.

Taking time will also give me the added benefit of researching the staggering array of custom options the AR platform offers.

I will need to pick a stock…

  • Plain Jane classic fixed A2?
  • Multi position mall ninja tacticool Magpul ?
  • Something entirely different?

Barrel length and caliber…

  • Do I bother filling out the NFA paper work, set up a trust, and go with that awesome looking 8 inch SBR setup in .300 Blackout?
  • Maybe Bambi slaying .458 SOCOM?
  • Regular old 5.56mm?

The All-Important Personalized Dust Cover!  with something witty on to show that my rifle is not to be confused with any of the other little black rifles out there today!

How many rails will it have? And what should be attached to them? Vertical fore grip? Angled fore grip? Flashlights, optics, laser sights.  Maybe no rails at all so I can keep it high speed and low drag?

The choices in flash hiders and muzzle devices is enough to overwhelm the brain alone!

This says nothing about things like magazine wraps, slings, custom grips and the host of other parts that will need to be contemplated over before it all comes together as fully functioning machine.

So, before I put too much thought behind getting whatever newfangled, hi-tech, super-coated bolt and carrier out on the market (that I can not yet afford), I need to start with what I got.

I will be spending the rest of the evening watching YouTube videos on how to assemble all the tiny springs, detent pins and other bits and pieces that go into a lower receiver.

Almost like Legos for big kids…

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Stay Tuned!