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Archive for June, 2010

Bathroom meme!

Posted by Lissa on June 15, 2010

I was cleaning up the bathroom for guests this weekend, and I realized how very odd/eclectic my reading habits are.  Want to know what’s sitting next to the porcelain litter box in my bathroom?

1. A People magazine (Free with Delta points, yay!  Though I suppose I treat it like a Playboy: I’m not interested in the articles, I just like the pictures of pretty dresses and stylish shoes.)

2. Silent America by Bill Whittle

3. Give Me a Break : How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media by John Stossel.

4. The entire Little House collection.

Yeah.  It’s THAT mixed-up and random.

So.  What reading material is lying around your bathroom?  I’m tagging Jay G, Borepatch, Calvin’s Mom, Mike W and Carteach.  (And Shoothouse Barbie, but only as an honorary mention ’cause I know she’s got a writing assignment.)

Pass it on!

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Things I learned at the Sig Academy

Posted by Lissa on June 14, 2010

Good morning everyone! Thank you so much for the kind birthday wishes; y’all are the bestest!  If you were here I would share the chocolate mint brownie bites I served at last night’s dinner party; they were devoured with the occasional hosanna 🙂

As I said, we spent my birthday taking the Intermediate Practical Handgun Skills course up at the SigSauer Academy in Epping.  It was an absolute blast!  (Well, actually it was about 300 blasts apiece.  My hands were seriously sore that night.)

Things that we did or I learned during the eight hour course:

  • I have the same problem shooting that I used to have while singing, i.e., stapling my shoulders to my ears.  I thought that I was lining up a good sight picture on the three dots, but I was raising/hunching my shoulders to do so.  Instead, I need to lower my shoulders and push my chin forward to achieve the same sight picture with more stability and less big fat knots in my shoulders.
  • WITHOUT, however, bending at the waist! I need to keep my back straighter, rather than crouching.  I thought I was being tactical and keeping a low center of gravity, but I’m actually making myself less stable by hunkering down like that.
  • We started, of course, with the safety basics.  I like that no matter how advanced we are, they always start everyone off with the safety rules.  First, last and always.
  • If someone is drawing down on you, and you have a choice between drawing your own weapon or moving — then MOVE YOUR ASS!  Draw while you do it, but first priority is to move your butt to make you a harder target.
  • Cover will stop a bullet.  Concealment won’t.  But concealment is way better than not having concealment.  It’s human nature, I guess, but even when your cover is flimsy cardboard or a bush — something that obviously won’t stop a bullet — the person aiming the gun at you tends to shoot around the cover rather than through it.
  • The best way to win a hostile confrontation?  Avoid it in the first place.  But we knew that. 🙂
  • Train yourself to eyeball people, to see threats coming while they’re still at a distance.  We automatically look at people’s faces, first; train yourself to look also at their hands and then at their waists.
  • It’s harder to draw a gun while backing away than you might think.  (But remember, move first!)
  • Whether you’re moving sideways, backwards or forwards, the principle is the same: stabilize your sights on target and press the trigger without disrupting that stability.  That’s all.
  • Yelling at the top of you lungs feels really silly when you do it the third time, with everyone else yelling, in an enclosed room, in a controlled environment.  Doesn’t matter.  Practice it anyway.
  • I’d never heard of the SUL position, but the concept is so simple and so practical that I found it revelationary (is that a word?).  You can find a description here; ours differed slightly in that our guns were pointing about a foot in front of us, rather than directly between our feet, and our thumbs were a little different, but the concept is the same. Perhaps I’ll do a post on this later with pictures.
  • When you’re moving and shooting and imagining that the stationary black target is an actual hostile with a knife/gun, your heart starts pounding like crazy.  Good practice!
  • The most complicated drill we did: We started seated, in a metal folding chair, at five yards.  The instructor (who was awesome) shouted something like “He’s got a gun!”  We then moved our leg to the side (very important!), drew, fired three shots at a target, stood, SUL’d our guns, turned around and walked behind cover at about ten yards, and then fired three shots while standing, while squatting and while kneeling behind cover at a second target.
  • My on-the-spot point shooting is not nearly as good as my slow, diligent range shooting.  But they’re still all center-mass.  The groupings just aren’t as tight as they’d be if we were in a nice quiet range.
  • Shooting one-handed isn’t as hard as you think it is.  Treat your arm like a rifle — don’t raise your shoulder up, but push your chin/neck forward and get a good cheek weld on your arm.  Then it’s just stabilize the sights and press the trigger fluidly.
  • The first time you bump into someone while aiming a gun, it’s quite an experience.  Especially if that person is also aiming a gun.  We both just kept our guns pointed at the targets and fired while we were practically attached at the hip.  No big deal!

You’ll be happy to know that we all obeyed the main rule of Sig Academy: We all exited the range with the same number of holes that we had when we entered.  Yay hooray!

Mike, anything I missed?

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Happy Birthday to meeeeee!

Posted by Lissa on June 12, 2010

Just turned the corner to the big 3-0 — yay!

And also, June 7 was my blog two-year anniversary.  What a good little blog!

How am I celebrating?

Well, I’m headed up to New Hampshire to take a class at the Sig Academy.  Naturally.  🙂

Y’all have a good day, and play nice!

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Sooper Seekrit Sewing Project: Thigh Band

Posted by Lissa on June 11, 2010


Good morning everyone!  I’m so glad it’s Friday, aren’t you?

Remember the picture of knives, here? You see my lil’ Paraframe.  I like to carry it at all times; you never know when you’re going to need a knife.  I’ve used it to cut loose threads off my skirt hems, slice plastic zip ties off new sunglasses, open clamshell packaging, rip open big bags of litter at the shelter, etc. etc.  But, being a girl, I sometimes — well, often — wear skirts that don’t have pockets for a knife.  Worse yet, I wear dresses, and then I don’t even have a waistband on which I could clip it.

I wanted a thin, snug band to wear around my thigh, something that would fit smoothly under my clothing and wear comfortably.  I looked and looked on the internet but couldn’t find what I had in mind.

Then I thought about it.

What’s thin, snug, and designed to fit seamlessly under clothing?


I cut the band off of the cups, like so:

Roughly and clumsily sewed the cut ends together:

And voile! A thigh band!

Perfect for wearing a small knife under a skirt or dress!  Yay!

Are you done laughing?  I *know* it’s silly, believe me.  But it works!

And I only pricked my fingers five or six times!  Yay hooray!

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All right, Internet Genuises, now solve this one!

Posted by Lissa on June 10, 2010

Good morning everyone!  (At least if cold and rainy and way too frickin’ early can be called good.)  Since you were all so amazing on the sewing and leatherwork question, I’m upping the stakes to personal health.  Can you magically solve this for me, too?

Starting yesterday morning, I noticed a twinge in my back.  Whenever I bent my chin to my chest a sharp, stabbing pain took up residence in my spine between my shoulder blades.  No matter how often I tried to stretch it, the pain remained.  Maybe even got worse.

Now, I figured it was a pinched-nerve thing — it’s my spinal cord that hurts, right?  But Mike thinks it’s my rhomboid muscle.  I was struggling pretty hard to finish my lat pull-downs yesterday; he thinks I strained a muscle in my back and should therefore

a) go a few days without lifting

b) stop “stretching” it, ’cause that’s making it worse!

In addition to the spinal-cord pinched-nerve theory and the rhomboid muscle hypothesis, I’m also going to offer the quite-plausible option that a spine-hugger alien (kissing cousin to a face-hugger alien) has taken up residence in my back betwixt my shoulder blades.  It’s likely that every time I try to stretch I move the alien’s little nest about, which pisses it off and makes it drop stitches, and it therefore stabs me with a knitting needle to make me shut up and hold still.

What do you think?

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Workout Wednesday, and thank-you’s

Posted by Lissa on June 9, 2010

Good morning everyone, and thank you so much for the comments yesterday!!  You’ve now got me convinced that:

1) I can learn how to sew;

2) Ricotta would be a good substitute to try (and I whip the hell out of it during the frosting-making process, so texture shouldn’t be a problem); and

3) HOLY CRAP LEATHER WORKING IS WAY BEYOND MY CURRENT ABILITIES.  DAMN. Perhaps I’ll have to commission one of you lovely experts to make me a holster 🙂  (Actually, the real reason I wish I could sew leather is that I really like my current method of carry, but it could be SO MUCH BETTER with a few changes — i.e., if it was actually designed to be a carry method.  Oh well.)

On to the exercise stuff!  I’m currently on Week 5 of my c25k run, and the big insight I have is this:

I was running too fast.

Running at 7 mph, while good, was just beyond my abilities to sustain.  I feel a little bad dropping it to 6 mph, but that pace let me do three 5-min segments, or two 8-min segments, without crapping out, passing out, or throwing up.  I hope to work up to a faster speed eventually, but for now each running day has me running longer and longer periods; I plan to stick with the slower pace.  (Tomorrow’s run is 20-min straight.  *trepidation*)

Here’s what’s topping my workout list this week:

  1. I Write Sins Not Tragedies by Panic at the Disco
  2. Wake Up Call by Maroon 5
  3. Pocketful of Sunshine by Natasha Bedingfield
  4. Bottom of the Bottle by Smile Empty Soul
  5. Let Me Go by 3 Doors Down

Happy Exercising!

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Random thoughts

Posted by Lissa on June 8, 2010

My head is an absolute muddle of thoughts this morning.  And none of them are clear, articulate or pithy enough to warrant its own post.  In no particular order, then:

  • I really wish I knew how to sew.  I’ve used a sewing machine for one project in my life and that was sixteen years ago.  It’s not too late to learn now, is it?
  • But sewing machines don’t sew leather, I don’t think.  How does one sew a custom holster?  Doubletrouble, does your wife do it by hand?
  • I can sew buttons and that’s about it.  However, I have a project that I hope to reveal to you later this week, when my desired package arrives in the mail . . . more on that in a few days . . .
  • I’m shocked, shocked, that anyone was shocked about Helen Thomas’ views.  I was only surprised that a) she was that completely blatant about them — D.C. is a town of obfuscation, as we all know; and b) that she retired because of them.  It’s nice to know that open calls for ethnic cleansing are still frowned upon in high society.  One needs to be subtle about those things.
  • Man, it’s such a raw deal that Israel gets.  North Korea can kill 46 South Koreans – a classic casus belli if I ever saw one – and China can kill a few hunded Uighers, but Israel and Teh Joooooos are Teh Ebil! *spit* Never mind the Russians’ actions about the Chechens, or the divided city of Nicosia, or the Turks’ suppression of the Kurds, or the crimes against humanity going on in Congo — it’s time to Blame the Jew again!
  • Has anyone tried substituting mascarpone for cream cheese?  (Yes, I know that’s an abrupt shift, but there just wasn’t a good transition available.)  I made these over the weekend (and froze most of them for company this Sunday); I thought they were delicious, but Mike really hates cream cheese and couldn’t abide the frosting.  Think mascarpone would work as well?
  • While I was getting my hair cut on Saturday I saw a guy get an honest-to-goodness Mohawk.  I wanted to pinch his cheek and tell him to get some pegged jeans.  God, I must be getting old.
  • Actually, my birthday’s this Saturday.  Know how I’m celebrating?  Mike and I are going up to take our second class at the Sig Academy.  Awwww yeah 🙂

That’s all the randomness I can stand for today.  Off to go abuse treadmill.  Happy Tuesday!

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Food for thought

Posted by Lissa on June 7, 2010

The West’s affection for the underdog is now widespread throughout the world — except in the Middle East, where Arab culture still reveres the powerful and the victorious. In 2001, Osama bin Laden famously remarked, “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse.” This seemingly innocuous homily summarizes the difference between traditional Arab values and Western values: Not only do bin Laden and his ilk revere the dominant party in any relationship, he assumes that everyone else does likewise. It is for this specific reason that Al Qaeda (and Al Qaeda’s millions of admirers) thought that the 9/11 attacks were a good idea: If we can inflict a defeat on the enemy, Al Qaeda reasoned, then we will gain the world’s sympathy, because we we will have taken the role of the Strong Horse.

Needless to say, bin Laden got it completely reversed: Every time terrorists strike, their cause loses credibility in the West’s eyes, because by killing innocents they have become the aggressor and the oppressor. Most terror groups and Islamic extremist groups still operate under bin Laden’s “Strong Horse” misapprehension.

Luckily for the Islamic extremists, some Western leftists more clever than they have stepped in to rescue the otherwise-discredited Islamist cause. Far-left groups like the Free Palestine Movement and the International Solidarity Movement, along with their innumerable media enablers and Marxist Euro diplomats, have patiently explained to the Islamists that scoring violent victories is counterproductive; the real way to achieve political success in the Western world is to be the victim of a violent defeat. That way, you earn the world’s sympathy, and the powers-that-be give you what you want. It worked for Gandhi in India; it worked for the 1950s Civil Rights movement in the US; it can work for you. Lose your way to victory. Problem is, every power in the Western world already knows this, and they thereby resist appearing as bullies — so the only way to become a victim is to goad your unwilling opponent into defeating you. If you can sufficiently hide the goading from public view, then the response will seem like an aggression, and you win if you lose.

Read the whole thing.  (Do you think Christianity and Marxism share some of same core principles?)

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If you see me wandering around in New Hampshire . . .

Posted by Lissa on June 5, 2010

. . . I’ll be canvassing for this guy.


Good thing I got that NH non-resident permit . . .

Jay — wanna carpool?  A shaved head biker and a spunky little brunette make a good door-to-door team, right?

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Have I mentioned how charming I find Helen Thomas to be?

Posted by Lissa on June 4, 2010

So the Jews should go back where they came from — back to Germany and Poland?  Displacing the Germans and Poles who, during the last SEVENTY YEARS OR SO, have probably occupied any open apartments?  Or will we create certain special designated areas to which we can re-locate those troublesome Jews?

 . . . wracking brain . . . coulda sworn they did that a while ago . . . “ghetto” or something like that . . .

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