Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Archive for February, 2010

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Posted by Lissa on February 14, 2010

And Happy Chinese New Year!  Tis the year of the tiger, you know —


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Decisions, decisions

Posted by Lissa on February 12, 2010

Hmmmm.  5:42 AM.  I could do one of two things at this point:

A) Drink coffee while searing a pot roast for the slow cooker to prepare for Mike’s homecoming dinner* tonight.

B) Decide to buy dinner tonight and go hit that treadmill.

What do you think?

*Not the final homecoming, that’s two weeks from now, but it’s always happy when Mike comes home!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Private property versus rights of a business

Posted by Lissa on February 11, 2010

We had some fascinating discussion here about the rights of an individual versus the rights of a business owner versus the rights of a customer.

My basic rule-of-thumb is that my rights end where your rights and property begin.  As long as you are on your own land, and everyone involved is a functional and consenting adult, I’ve no right to tell you what to do or not to do.  (There are obviously some limits I’d like to set there — I don’t care if both parties consent, you shouldn’t be allowed to beat someone else to death — but that’s a post for another day.)

However, it gets more complicated with businesses.  Do we assume that business owners agree to a certain level of duty towards the state when they become incorporated?  Does that stamp of © mean that, for example, you agree to eschew discrimination?

Should it?

Should hair dressers be allowed to specifically cater to one particular demographic?  There are big textural differences between stereotypical “black” hair and, say, my hair.  That’s not racism, that’s just a fact.  (I know this because black friends in college complained how hard it was to find someone local who knew how to style their hair.  If you’re curious.)  Should someone who wants to specialize in styling black people’s hair be forced to also service any white person who walked through their door?  Yeah, probably . . .

Well, what about barber shops?  Should a shop that keeps only clippers and a flowbee be forced to serve me if I come to their door, despite the fact that they manifestly do not have the tools to attack my mane?

Let’s make it even harder, shall we?  How about a Christian photographer sued for refusing to provide services to a lesbian wedding?  Or, hell, how about a conscience exemption to a law requiring provision of emergency contraceptive service?  Or, to go the other way, how about taxi drivers refusing to provide service to blind folks or people carrying alcohol*?

Now, if I were Queen of the Universe, I would decree:

Get the government out of it and let the market and the internet have its way.  The photographer might get some extra business from folks who are opposed to same-sex marriage but lose some business to those who are in favor.  The doctors and nurses who can’t provide the full range of medical services may get paid less than those who can.  The taxi drivers will get driven out of business by other taxi companies that don’t mind puppies and liquor.  Throw in the power of the internet, and it will all happen better and faster, without new laws, bureaucracy or interfering government.  Behold the Queen of the Universe!

And, because I’d be Queen of the Universe, it would all happen exactly like that.  The free market and the goodness of properly informed people would punish and reward exactly as deserved.

Unfortunately, I’m not Queen of the Universe.  And, thus, it’s time for me to get off my winter-fattened rear end and march off to the gym.


What do y’all think?

*When I say “the other way,” I mean it’s because my sympathies flip to the people being denied the service, rather than the providers.  I mean seriously — puppies.  Blind people.  Booze. The only way they’d be more sympathetic would be if they were actively farting rainbows.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 8 Comments »

All hail The Oatmeal!

Posted by Lissa on February 10, 2010

No, no, not OATMEAL, as in the hot gooey stuff you eat for breakfast.  Today we’re celebrating *THE* Oatmeal, as in, the psychotic web design guy who runs this site.  I’d run across some of his stuff before — such as Things Bears Love or Five Reasons Pigs Are More Awesome Than You — without realizing it was the same author. Ditto on a few of the quizzes I’ve taken.

Since I can’t seem to wake up this week, here’s the first bit of his 15 Things Worth Knowing About Coffee.  Go look!

P.S. Thanks for the comments on yesterday’s post!  I’m still mulling them over; might do a response blogpost tomorrow.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Three felonies a day? I believe it.

Posted by Lissa on February 9, 2010

Good morning all!  My apologies for skimping on yesterday’s post; it was a miss-the-alarm, oversleep, panic-about-missing-the-train kind of day!  I’m equally sleepy today, but the coffee was ready and the cat was obnoxiously scratching the side of the bed, so I hauled myself out.  Besides, I’m indignant, and a good dose of umbrage is helpful for yanking one’s sleepy butt out of bed.

Why am I indignant?  Because I’m surrounded by felons. Yep, that’s right!  Thousands upon thousands of them.

According to Harvey Silvergate, the average adults commits roughly three felonies a day — not rapes, murders or theft, usually, but breaking small stupid little rules.  Seeing as how I believe almost every student on a Massachusetts campus is a felon, three per DAY seems a little high, but not undoable.

Don’t believe me?  See for yourself.  These are the kind of weapons prohibited at all colleges and universities in Massachusetts:

1 Sec. 53-206: “slung [sic] shot, air rifle, BB gun, black jack, sand bag, metal or brass knuckles, or any dirk knife, or any switch knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one half inches in length, or stiletto, or any knife the edged portion of which is four inches or over in length, or any martial arts weapon or electronic defense weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument.” Sec. 53a-3(6): “any weapon, whether loaded or unloaded, from which a shot may be discharged, or a switchblade knife, gravity knife, bill, blackjack, bludgeon, or metal knuckles.”

No blade that opens with a spring over one and a half inches.  Geez, even Boston’s knife laws aren’t that strict!  And no knife with an edge longer than four inches?  Do they think no one ever cooks at any Massachusetts college?

Now, the quote above might be inaccurate.  I wasn’t able to easily find the law itself; a search for “mass.gov 1 Sec. 53-206” turned up bupkis.  “MA law 1 Sec. 53-206” got me links from pepper spray, self-defense and blog sites, but nothing officially mass.gov.

And that’s the point. The good lawmakers of Massachusetts (apparently) passed this ridiculous regulation (which won’t be followed by thousands of students who like to be able to slice open a frickin’ cantaloupe), don’t make it easily available for research, and have no way of enforcing it.

The happy result?  I’m forced to leave myself defenseless when I go a-campusing.

Thanks a lot, Massachusetts.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 14 Comments »

Fun with foil-cutters

Posted by Lissa on February 5, 2010

I could have more accurately titled this post, “F*** foil-cutters,” but that would be vulgar (she said primly).

Dear my god, but it’s cold outside.  The alarm started going off at 5 AM, I reached out to whack snooze and drew back a paw covered in icicles.  The cat had abandoned his usual sleeping spot between my legs and migrated to my chest.  The implicit trade-off — more warmth for him, but more difficulty breathing for me — bothered him not a whit.  (Yes, yes, he would be both appropriately punished and warmer if he were wearing an elf hat and booties  Soon, Breda, I promise!)

Anyway, regarding foil-cutters – I don’t like them.  The ones with little blades quickly wear out; the blades go dull, or the doohickey just breaks in half.  Slicing about the neck of the bottle with a tiny knife has always seemed silly to me, and I rarely get a clean cut anyway.  My preferred methods have therefore been to A) stab the top of the foil with a corkscrew then rip it up with my fingers, or B) ignore the foil altogether and draw the cork up through it.

Mike hates this.  He has to pretend not to watch while I mangle the foil.  I don’t taunt him or anything.  Of course not.

But — thank you, B! — the problem is now solved.  Ta-da!!!!!

That’s right!  If the foil is loose enough to turn on the bottle, it’s usually loose enough for you to grab in your fist and pull directly off the bottle.

Plus, you get a fun little foil cylinder to play with!  (No, dear, it’s not a shot glass.  Put down the Jack Daniels.)

So there’s your happy tip for the weekend.  Forget foil-cutters, and just use your fist.  (And don’t forget to make appropriate grunting sounds while removing it, and a roar of triumph when it comes off.  Duh.)

Happy Friday, all!  Stay warm!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

“Wait, why do I get the girl gun?”

Posted by Lissa on February 4, 2010

Well, because I *like* the girl gun, actually 🙂

Meet Sigmund (top) and Siguette!  Siguito the Mosquito is pouting because he didn’t get pictured, but I’ll take care of that some other time.

As you can see from the pic, Siguette shoots smaller, more slender bullets with a domed top rather than a flat top.  The shorter barrel makes it a little harder to shoot accurately (compared to Sigmund), but in addition to its enhanced concealability, I prefer the “girl gun” for two reasons:

1) .40 ammo is a BITCH.  I *REALLY* dislike it.  We were shooting some sort of aluminum-jacketed super-fast rounds (Mike?  Help please!) and I made it through exactly one magazine.  I was literally jarred backwards with every shot, clenching my teeth to keep from biting my tongue.  Boo!  I *MUCH* prefer my one experience shooting .45, with Jay G.

2) The grip is just too wide for me.  Apparently I need to stick to single-stack guns.  With Sigmund, I have to adjust my grip, sliding my right hand around to the side until the gun no longer lines up with my forearm (in order to get my finger-pad on the trigger), and that’s just in single-action.

I was surprised by how my hands felt too small for Sigmund.  After all, I’ve always thought that I have very large hands for my size — and perhaps I do.  But my size is still 5’3″, and I’m guessing the average size of the average pistol-shooter is just a tad above that 😉  On the other hand, Siguette is a little small for Mike, and when I took a 6’4″ friend to the range he found it difficult to get a good grip on her.

Of course, Sigmund has other advantage, like having an accessory rail.  And having a .22 conversion kit and CrimsonTrace grips, both of which Mike bought from his allowance.  (That’s why he has lasers and I don’t.  YET.)  Anyway, even though I had to make a concerted effort to grip in such a way as to get the lasers to light off, I had a blast shooting .22 with the laser aiming for me.

In Soviet Russia, SIGHTS aim YOU!

Happy Thursday, all!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 15 Comments »

In honor of Calvin and Hobbes

Posted by Lissa on February 3, 2010

Like everyone else, I was and am a huge Calvin & Hobbes fan.  I admire Bill Waterson for going out when the getting was good, instead of milking the franchise until it died.  In his honor:

(Like the entire C&H collection, if someone ever gives it to me.  I’ll put it away for my kids, after reading it ten or fifteen times.  Swear!!)

(I believe I first saw this at Cranky’s, but I can’t find the post.  Laugh at this one instead.)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Today’s must-read

Posted by Lissa on February 2, 2010

A window into a life very different than mine, and a damn-fine tribute to two great dogs.  Read #1.  Then read #2.  Go on, now.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

When blog persona meets life persona

Posted by Lissa on February 2, 2010

For the most part, my LookingForLissa life and Actual Lissa Life are fairly separate.

Oh sure, when we meet up for bloggershoots or bloggerdinners, I see people in real life.  I don’t hide my ID.  A bunch of the folks on my sidebar know the true name of Lissaville.  Shoothouse Barbie‘s known me forever (or since high school, which is the same thing).  And, of course, Mike both shares my Actual Lissa Life and does occasional guest posts for me.  (He’s really looking forward to this summer’s bloggershoot, BTW.  As are we all!)  And when I occasionally meet up with someone who reads my blog and recognizes me at the range, it’s weird and flattering at the same time.

What’s weird to me is when an old acquaintance from my Actual Lissa Life stumbles on my blog.

I don’t deny that my views on politics and economics and life in general have changed a lot in the last ten years.  (Two of my most popular posts deal with this very subject.)  I try not to take things TOO seriously; after all, I was 1000% convinced back then that I Was Right.  I’m pretty sure that my current views have more grounding in reality, statistics and How Things Actually Work, Not The Way I Would Like Them To Work than they were back in college, but hell — I was wrong before when I was SURE I was right.  For all I know, I’m still wrong, and all my views are crazy as hell.

But there’s no denying that I feel a sense of . . . unease . . . almost shame . . . at the idea of someone from Ye Olde Liberal Arts College coming here and being shocked at the change.  I imagine that, to them, it would be as if they met me in the street and suddenly I had shaved my head and put some bolts in my ears and pierced my lip and perhaps gotten a really stupid facial tattoo.  (Of course, in such a situation, my real friends would love me anyway!)

Whereas in my perception, it’s more like the opposite — like realizing that my hair looks better long, that having my lip pierced makes no sense, and recognizing that a stupid facial tattoo leads people to judge me in ways I don’t like.

Part of the appeal of having a blog is the freedom of your readers to go elsewhere.  If they think you’re batsh*t-crazy and living in bizarro land, they feel free to go read something else.  I don’t know if that applies to people from Actual Lissa Life, and that makes me a little uncomfortable.

Also . . . the vast majority of my readership found me online, one way or another.  I write for them, and for me.  And I forget sometimes that there is a handful of people who know me from Actual Lissa Life.

Is that bad?  I don’t know.  Potentially, I guess. When I wrote Meditations on Self Defense, I was trying to explain in a logical manner why someone would choose to own a gun.  In certain parts of the country, folks would think you’re nuts for having to explain something everyone takes for granted.  That’s not the case where I live.  I was trying to explain in a logical manner why gun ownership makes sense to me.

But I have friends who don’t own guns.  Was this post aimed at them?  Was I trying to call them stupid for NOT owning guns?


Do I need to add a disclaimer to all my posts — “This post is not aimed at anyone in particular that I know in real life, so please don’t take it that way”?

It’s really a tempest in a teapot, no doubt . . . I plan to keep trying to write in a way that entertains me, that hopefully entertains y’all, and that helps me make sense of my own thoughts.

I just wish it didn’t spill over into my real life occasionally.  That it didn’t make folks uncomfortable, shocked, disappointed or simply weirded-out.

That’s all.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »