Don’t call 9-1-1, call 1911

I’ve been doing a lot of reading on handguns and the guns people recommend for both beginners and for conceal carry. I’ve noticed there is a consensus that the historic 1911 should not be considered for either.

220px-M1911andM1911A1
Original M1911 (top). Modified M1911A1, released in 1924 (bottom)

Why? There are several reasons and I list them below, dispelling each as a myth.

Many think it’s too “complicated” a handgun for beginners, which is a bunch of shit. It isn’t any more complicated than any other handgun. Seriously, a beginner has to learn how to use any handgun in the first place, so why would learning a 1911 be any more complicated than say, a Beretta, Ruger, S&W, or *gag* a Glock?

Others complain about the size or weight of a full-sized 1911. Well, just as other guns come in a variety of sizes, so do 1911s. Seriously. The 1911 comes in Commander and Officer styles, both smaller and more carryable than a full-size. Browning, in fact, has a 1911 that is scaled down to 85% of the original. And Colt makes the .380 Mustang, which is a very concealable 1911.

Colt_Mustang_Pocket_Lite_dismounted
Colt Mustang dismantles like a full-size 1911.

And as far as weight, let’s be honest, the 1911 comes in a variety of different materials, like aluminum or plastics, just as other handguns do. It also comes in a variety of cartridge sizes. So weight isn’t an issue either.

People also complain about the supposed kick of a 1911 because it shoots the massive .45 ACP. I have no idea what they mean. I first learned to shoot on a M1911A1 while in the Navy. Never noticed any kick or muzzle flip. That’s because the weight of the gun reduces the recoil limp-wristed shooters whine about.

Another complaint is it is an inaccurate shooter. You can’t really get a good sight picture on those small blade fixed sights. Well, unless you’re buying a Mil-Spec version, that isn’t true. The 1911 comes with as many sight options as any other pistol, including brass/gold bead, Novak-cut, fiber optics, to name a few.

Poor shooter? The 1911 is, in fact, one of the top performing pistols in shooting competitions. Additionally, the 1911 has one of the best triggers on the market. And since it is being used in competition shooting, then obviously the infamous recoil isn’t effecting them.

Other people complain the 1911 is old. These are usually Glock fanbois who like their little ugly plastic squirt-guns. Just nod, laugh, and say, “Good story, bro.”

Is the 1911 old? Sure. It’s been a wildly successful handgun platform going on 109 years. But too old? Sorry, no. That’s bullshit. This gun still performs as well now as it did when John Moses Browning first created it. In fact, the 1911 has seen a resurgence in popularity recently as more people discover what a great weapon this is. It is still used by militaries and police around the world and by some special forces here in the United States.

But the biggest complaint against the 1911 as either a beginner’s or concealed carry gun is that it has *gasp!* a safety!

Their logic is that in the heat of the moment you will forget to take off the safety.

Well, if you’re that hair-brained that you’ll forget to disengage the safety then, yes, I agree: You should never ever own a 1911. You probably shouldn’t even own any gun, not even a BB gun. You’ll shoot your eye out. Stick with cap guns, kid.

The truth is, if you train with your 1911, just as you should be doing with any fucking firearm, then disengaging the safety becomes second nature. I don’t understand these anti-safety people. When I pull my 1911 out of it’s holster, my thumb is already on the safety, instinctively thumbing it down as I get ready to fire.

It’s instinctive and spontaneous. No thinking involved whatsoever.

It seems to me that the people making this claim have never really shot a 1911 very much, if at all. In fact, the proper way to hold a 1911 is with your thumb resting on top of the safety, not below it, where you could accidentally engage it while in a firefight.

Look at the M1911 or M1911A1 pictured above. The safety is on the left side of the beaver tail. As you pick up a 1911, your thumb automatically, without any thought will rest on top of that. Heat of the battle. At the range. Doesn’t matter the situation. That should be your natural grip.

Then with a mere flick down of the thumb the safety is off and you’re ready to shoot.

These critics also fear the concept of “cocked and locked,” which means there is a round in the chamber and the hammer is cocked.They think it’s dangerous to carry the 1911 this way and it’ll accidentally fire. No. The 1911 is designed to wear it “cocked and locked.” With the safety on, the gun will not fire, even if you drop it. Stop being a nervous Nelly.

Name anything else that is still in use relatively unchanged 109 years after it was invented. The reason the 1911 is still here, still used, and still loved by so many is it is a fantastic and extremely reliable handgun. And it looks sexy as hell.

So don’t let those namby-pamby 1911 critics or Glock fanbois sway you. If you want a 1911, go get a fucking 1911.

Always remember:

T-shirt wisdom: The .45 ACP 1911. It’s kind of like a 9mm, but for men.

Or as the adage goes, “the 9mm will kill the body, the .45 will kill the soul.”

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Buying a used car, part 2

Last night we returned tothe dealership and the used car salesman from Hell. My younger son and I arrived a little after 4:30pm.

We assumed we’d be in and out in no time. Just sign papers and be done. But noooo. We were in for another marathon session.

This one was mostly my fault. I had put a freeze on my credit (it’s cheaper than joining one of those credit monitoring places). And had to unfreeze it for the credit approval to go through.

I was able to unfreeze Transunion, but they still couldn’t do it. I thought Transunion passed the info on other two. I guess not after 5pm CST.

So I called Experian. Did I have my pin? No. I’d have to go to their website then. Fine. I went to the website, plugged in my info, and…

“The identifying data you input is not recognized.”

It’s my birthday and social!

I input them again, double-checking if I made a mistake. I hadn’t.

“The identifying data you input is not recognized.”

Aargh. So I have up and went on to Equifax. Put in the info and…

“The identifying data you input is not recognized.”

What the fuck?

So, I told Joshua, the finance guy, I couldn’t get in. Now what do we do? They suggested my wife come in and they’d try her. This confused me because last night they said she couldn’t get a loan because she already has two car loans in her name.

They said the bank has already preapproved us based on my income info or some such nonsense. Okay. Whatever.

Called wife and she arrived unhappily 15 minutes later. At this point it was a little after 6pm.

Time marched on. Actually, it dragged on, like a zombie with two broken legs and a missing arm, groaning and leaving behind a wake of blood, gore, and entrails as it desperately groped for it’s next victim.

After the last I was dotted and the last T was crossed and my wife signed our lives away, my son was finally the proud owner of a 2009 Saturn Aura XR.

We left the dealership a little after 9pm. We had spent nearly 5 hours there.

Now as far as the dealership itself went? No problems. The staff and sales force were all friendly and helpful, except, of course, our salesman, who again ignored us for the most part and often disappeared.

Would we go back there? Yes. We’d just look for someone else to work with.

As for the car? They had just gotten it in less than a week ago. They did manage to do their safety inspection. As far as clean it out, detail it, or even repair some of the items we had asked to be fixed? Nope. Nothing was done. The car was exactly like it had been when the owner dropped it off.

For that I blame Chris the salemans. He seemed to be the type who avoids work and when he isn’t avoiding it, he procrastinates.

And at that point, we were too exhausted to fight any more. So we took it as is. When the warranty we purchased (a requirement with the loan company) kicks in after 30 days we will take it in and go, “Oh, this just broke!” And it’ll be covered by the warranty.

My son, however, is happy. Still not sure why he gets the most powerful car in the family, but that’s life. On the other hand, our insurance has doubled. Whoopie!

Anyway, here’s the new addition. My son hasn’t named it yet.

I hope it brings him many years of joy.

Congrats, son.

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Is the Art of Haggling Dead?

My son starts his first job on Monday and needs transportation. Rather than having him borrow a car between us, his brother, and grandmother, we decided to get him a relatively cheap used car.

We looked in the usual used car apps and found a 2008 Jeep Patriot. Not a bad vehicle. One owner. Lots of bells and whistles. And the CarFax was clean, showing it was well-maintained. So we made an appointment.

First problem. Don, who we had the appointment with, didn’t work on Wednesdays. Wouldn’t the person doing scheduling know that? So we met with Chris instead. What were we interested in? The 2008 Jeep Patriot.

“Oh, that shouldn’t even be listed. Where did you find it? Autotrader of our website.”

“Well, we found it on CarGurus, Autotrader, and your website.”

“Did it have a black box around it? That means it’s not for sale.”

“”Then why is it listed for sale?” (There was no black box or anything to indicate it wasn’t for sale.)

“Oh. Well, that car has some problems. It needs a new transmission. Besides, for a first time driver, you’d want to get him something newer that won’t have as many problems as an older vehicle.”

At this point, we’re thinking “Bait and Switch.” They lured us in with the Patriot and now were trying to get us to buy something else, something to fatten his commission. But since the Patriot isn’t available, what choice did we have? I know, walk out. But we didn’t.

usedcarsalesman

While he was gone, I quickly called up the car on their website, put in my information, and sat back and waited. Several minutes later I got a phone call. Am I interested in the Patriot? Yes. When can you come in to look at it? Can you tell me anything about it? How does it run? *pause* “Oh, it looks like it needs a lot of engine work. They’ve been working on it for over a year with no estimate on when they might be done.” I thanked him and hung up. At least that part of the story was correct.

Chris came back, there was a 2009 Saturn 3.6 Aura XR that had just come in. So new they hadn’t even had time to inspect it. OK, fine, we’ll look at it. Truthfully, it turned out to be not a bad little car. Leather heated seats. 3.6L V6 engine DOHC 251hp. ABS. Heated outside mirrors. Remote engine start.  and since my son will be carrying a toolbox and other equipment around, a truck is probably handier than the all glass Jeep.

My son took it for a test ride and said he liked it. It ran nice. We noted a few issues that they’d have to fix while doing their inspections.

Now it came down to price. They were asking $5,494. I started to dicker. I mean, that’s what you do, right? Haggle the price down? Well, he wouldn’t budge. He kept giving me lame excuses like, “Corporate sets the price. It’s already so low there isn’t any wiggle room.”

And I’m thinking, bull shit! These are USED cars. The prices vary all over the place depending on condition, special features, even location. The price is always negotiable on a used car.

Finally, he says, “Would you like to see the manager?” Well duh, yeah.

So the manager came over. He acted friendly. Noted my Navy hat, asked if I was a Veteran. Yes. Where did I serve? It’s a secret and I’ll have to kill you if I reveal it. Do I get a Veteran’s discount? No.

So I started with my low number. We’ll take it for $5000. And he starts in on the it’s the lowest price already and might even go up after the inspection (meaning, get the price locked in now or we’ll be paying even more).

I said, “The CarFax shows three accidents, two minor and one moderate. $5000.”

And he came back and said the best he can do is knock $100 off.

We went back and forth. At one point I said, “So we’re agreed on $5200?” And he just repeated his $100 thing.” At this point I realized if we wanted the car, we were going to have to pay the $5,400.

Somewhere along the way The Art of Haggling died. I don’t know if there were just too many losers out there who didn’t have the balls to argue over price, or if there are too many lazy people who just wanted to pay a set price and not have to bother with dickering, or if all those kids who grew up playing sports where they didn’t keep score so no one would feel bad were now trying to force their whiny little philosophy of “Everybody’s a winner!” on the rest of us. Whatever the reason, those of us who were good at haggling are left having to pay the same price as any other schmuck who walked into the dealership. It’s degrading.

And it’s embarrassing that this is the kind of culture we’ve become.

onedoesnotsimply

Furthermore, it’s effected the sale staff. Whenever we went to buy a car in the past, the salesperson was with us through the whole thing. Talking. Explaining. Getting to know us. You know? Treating us like people.

Well, Chris didn’t. He barely talked expect to explain something about the car or how the financing would work. And even then he seemed irritated that he had to talk. While we were waiting during the many waiting periods we were there, he didn’t say one goddamned word. He had his phone to his face, probably surfing porn. Then we looked around and all the sales staff had their faces stuck in their phones. WTF?

I know used car salesmen have a bad rep, but this was the worst. At least our last saleman talked our ears off. Asked about family. Where the kids went to school. Where did we go on vacation. All sorts of small talk that was supposed to make him seem like Mr. Friendly. And after we bought the cars for years after, he sent us Christmas Cards.

This guy. Well, I’m sorry my son was exposed to this guy as his first time buying a car. This joker could have taken our son and made the experience memorable, tried to make it as painless as possible. He could have shown an interest in our son and our son in turn would have appreciated it. The business then would have been ensured of having a customer for life.

Instead, we’ll be damned if we ever return to this dealership again.

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Mush head update

Let me catch everyone up to date. A lot has happened on the anti-depression front since I posted back in February.

I was taking Lexapro, but it had an unwanted side effect. Suffice to say, it was a Male problem.

I mentioned it to my doctor and he had a few suggestions, the least tasteful to me was Viagra. Sorry, I didn’t want to become a meme.

His second suggestion was take another antidepressant in conjunction with the Lexapro, one that could possibly negate the side effect.

He suggested Wellbutrin. He said both drugs were well-tolerated and since they had a different way of handling depression, many people take both.

Sidebar: Ok, I’m going to get boringly medical here. There are several types of antidepressants. Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) (Lexapro is one) prevent the reabsorption of neurotransmitters into the body so that more are available to the brain. Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs) are similar to SSRIs but inhibit the reuptake of both norepinephrine and serotonin. Then there are the Atypical Antidepressants, another type that includes Welbutrin, which is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor. And Remeron (which I’ll get to), which is a noradrenergenic antagonist that blocks receptors of the stress hormone epinephrine (adrenaline) to the brain.

Got all that? Good. There will be a test at the end.

So I took the Wellbutrin along with the Lexapro for less than two weeks. Nothing on the Male problem front. Unfortunately, the two drugs, instead of being friends, started fighting. I became upset even quicker than normal (my normal which is similar to The Hulk’s normal), snapping at people and feeling a dull rage.

So we stopped the Welbutrin, went to a half dosage of the Lexapro to see how that would go. It still didn’t go, if you catch my drift.

The doc suggested another antidepressant, the aforementioned Remeron, but I was to take it at night because it had the side effect of making you drowsy.

Hell! Drowsy? That’s like saying Rip Van Winkle took a short nap. I’d take the Remeron at 8pm in the evening and although I got a sound night’s sleep (not even my dogs wanting to go outside woke me) I would wake up groggy and unable to really function until late in the morning.

In the meantime, I took half a dose of the Lexapro for about a week before stopping.

I stopped the Lexapro Sunday May 5th. By Tuesday I was getting waves of dizziness, discovered when I almost fell off my treadmill. I thought it was a cold, but the dizziness increases, accompanied by a massive headache if I turned my head or even my eyes.

I tried to see my doc, but he was on vacation. I saw a substitute doc. She examined me for a cold. Nothing. It wasn’t until I wondered if stopping the Lexapro might have caused it.

She said yes. And because I was also having weird, disjointed dreams, I should cut the Remeron dosage in half until I could see my own doc.

When I got home, the first thing I did was take a half tab of the Lexapro. The dizziness went away. Score one for self-medicating!

I continued to take a half dose of the Lexapro until this past Saturday, May 19, when I ran out, and a half dose of the Remeron until I ran out this Tuesday.

I saw my doc yesterday We talked things over. I suggested giving the Wellbutrin another try only this time solo. I had done some further research on Wellbutrin. Not only is it used to treat depression, as well as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), it is also used to relieve symptoms of ADHD. Bonus! He agreed.

I started my first half dose yesterday and I’ll take half doses until Friday when I go to two tabs a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Unlike the Lexapro, which made me almost manic the first few times I took it until my body stabilized, I have no such reaction with the Wellbutrin.

And since this is only day two, I have no further information to offer.

Here’s hoping for better days.

And if you think you have depression, talk to your doctor, for goodness sake!

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Adventures in ADHD episode 519

I realized I need to change the cat litter. So that’s a fairly straightforward process for most people, I would imagine.

Not for me.

As I was going to go downstairs to change the cat litter, I noticed the kitchen garbage was overflowing. So, I pulled it out of the container and walked it outside to the garbage container behind the garage.

As I’m walking, I notice a whole lot of leaf debris around the garage from the flash rain storm we had meaning the gutters were filled.

I pulled out a ladder, put on my work gloves, and proceeded to clean the gutters. When I was finished, I put the ladder away and since my work gloves were all soaked with scanky, stagnant water, I decided to wash them.

Down to the laundry room to start a load of laundry. Ah, finished.

I go upstairs and enter the kitchen and see the garbage bin has no bag in it. So I replace it.

Now I”m finished.

Oh, wait.

Litter.

So, after all that, the litter is done.

Yay me.

harris

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Guess my new interest

So, for those of you who have read my blog long time (Hey Joe, you love me long time?), know that because of my ADHD, I tend to gravitate toward new interests, quickly become a master, then burn out and find something new.

In the past, I’ve collected beer steins, collected swords (while also becoming somewhat of an expert on swords from different cultures, eras, and so on), guitars (playing and collecting), trombones (ditto), learning Finnish, and so on and so forth.

I actually have two new interests this time around. The first one came about because my son’s prom was at the Harley-Davidson Museum. That’s an easy guess what my interest is in, right? Right! Museums. Wait. No, that’s wrong. Motorcycles. Yes, that’s it. Not necessarily Harleys, because I thought those were so damned expensive and monstrous. As a beginner rider, I’d want something small (and Harleys aren’t small, right?), until as I was researching it, I found Harley now makes bikes smaller than their Sportster 883. They actually have a Street 500 and 750.

But this interest will fade quickly, as my interest in motorcycles always does. No money.

I do have a second interest, however, that you can try to guess. Oh, who peaked? Yes, the piano. You guys take all the fun out of this.

I have renewed my interest in the piano. The backstory is this, I was one of those toddlers who were forced to learn piano. Far as I can recall, I was probably learning Wagner before I learned to walk.

I remember having one teacher, Mrs. Herwig. Such a wonderful, charming old lady. If you  played the wrong note, she’d take your fingers and pound them on the correct keys screeching in a heavy German accent, “Nein, nein. Wrong! This is vere your fingers go!”

Maybe that was a bit of exaggeration, the accent part, not the finger part, she actually did smash my fingers like that. Is it any wonder I came to resent piano playing? I did, however, take lessons for close to 8 years, quitting around my 12th birthday.

A decision I came to regret, because it wasn’t too long after that I became interested in music, discovering Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, and others from the early ’70s.

To be honest, I don’t know what triggered my re-interest this time. Suffice to say, I’ve gone to Half Price Books and bought a few beginning piano books. One in particular I picked up because it is the very first piano book I used with said Herwig.

2019-05-05 21.48.17

John Thompson’s Easiest Piano Course Part One Copyright 1955. Ah, such nostalgia. Staring at those little laughing gnomes while my fingers were being crushed. I came to hate those fucking gnomes. Little bastards! Oh, sorry.

I picked up a few other instruction books that will be more helpful for an older adult coming back to piano.

Wait. Someone asked, “But when you were interested in guitar and trombone, you drove your family nuts buying new ones. Don’t you have to buy a piano?”

To which I say, that’s none of your fucking business. But since the topic of my my knee-jerk ADHD spending has been broached, I already have a piano, thanks to my youngest son who took piano lessons. We have a Yamaha PSR-E213 portable keyboard.

yamaha piano

Nothing much, but it plays well and sounds decent, and I’m just learning. No need for me to go hog wild and start buying baby grands or anything. Not yet, anyway.

I’ll keep you up to date on how well I learn on my own and when I lose interest.

Take care. I leave you with some piano music, since this is also musical Monday.

Remember, learn something new every day to exercise your brain.

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Musical Monday – It is raining

Well, it’s raining today. As the song goes, Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down. So I thought I’d post some songs about rain.

If rain affects you the way it does me, then these songs will be right up your deoressed rain-washed alley.

Let’s start with Uriah Heep and “Rain.”

Blowsight with “Days of Rain.” (Honestly never heard of the band or song until just now.)

Led Zepplin with “The Rain Song.”

The Cult with “Rain.”

Ok, let’s get the obvious out of the way. James Taylor with “Fire and Rain.”

And of course, The Who with “Love Reign Over Me.”

Dust with “Walk in the Soft Rain.” (Written by Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise who went on to produce Kiss’s first two albums.)

Lorn with “Acid Rain.” (This is new to me as well.)

Here’s Leo Morcchioli with a metal cover of Toto’s “Aftica.”

John Williamson with “Raining on the Rock.”

Staind with “Rain Again.”

Ok, this is getting kind of lengthy, so let’s end it with one last song.

Here is 2Cellos doing Vivaldi’s “Storm.”

Thanks for.stopping by and dont let the rains get you down.

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Adventures in ADHD episode 527

Made a cup of coffee, or rather, I should say, attempted to make a cup of coffee, while I was also preparing dinner. If you’ve read even one episode of “Adventures in ADHD,” you know something untoward is about to happen.

We have a Kuerig coffee maker and several of the refillable pods (not because I’m a super-treehugger, but mostly because I’m frugal; buying ground coffee by the bag is a helluva lot cheaper than buying by the pod).

I fill the pod with ground coffee and set it in the coffee maker. Then I was distracted by dinner, a bathroom trip, and listening to my wife’s day at work. By now, I’d forgotten about my coffee.

As I walked past the coffee maker, my memory was rekindled. I had been in the middle of making coffee! I went to double-check that the pod was there, because I’ve been known to forget the pod altogether and end up with a cup of hot water. It was. I took it out to shake it, to see if I remembered putting the grounds in.

The pod was hot. Well, that was odd. I opened it, and the grounds were wet and steaming. That was even odder. I remembered passing my son on his way to his room. Maybe he had made a cup of tea, which would have been coffee-tea. But no, he hadn’t made anything.

The mystery became more mysterious.

I refilled the pod with fresh grounds, put it in the coffee maker, and as I was putting my cup underneath, something made me check the drip tray.

Sure enough, the damned thing was filled to the brim with freshly brewed coffee.

So, when I put the pod in, I unconsciously pushed the brew button and walked away completely forgetting to put a cup under it.

Obviously, the solution was to drink more coffee.

adhd bingo

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That is cracked

cracked phone

My youngest son had a Samsung Galaxy S8. He cracked the screen early on and even with insurance, it would have cost us a couple hundred to get it fixed or replaced or whatever it was. So we waited until he was close to being due for a replacement.

Went into the US Cellular store and he picked out a new Samsung Galaxy S10 in blue. We went through the whole process of purchasing, transfering data, setting it up, and then it came to trading in his phone.

Now mind you, the guy had handled my son’s old phone several times at this point to get data to transfer and finally to wipe it of all data.

So my son handed it to him and he finally noticed the giant spiderweb crack that started in the top right corner and extended out about half an inch or so.

“Oh. We can’t… well. I’m going to have to charge an additional $88 for this. We’re not supposed to take in broken phones.”

I shrugged. $88 was still cheaper than what it would have cost us to get it fixed. So we left the store and Kurt had his new phone.

Flash forward a few days. I have an LG V20. I liked it when I first got it, but after nearly 2 years, I was growing tired of it. It only has one speaker for music and it barely plays loud enough to hear when you’re watching a video or whatever. Another problem is the battery at this point was draining very quickly. For example, Wednesday, I was out with my phone fully charged, used it sparingly and with a couple hours it was already down to 72%.

But the thing that bugged me the most about the LG was to transfer music from your computer to your phone, you can’t just plug it in. You have to start an app on the phone, start a similar program on the computer, then you transfer music via Wi-Fi. It takes forever to download music. Stupidest feature I’ve ever seen on any phone ever.

So by the afternoon, without hardly using my phone, it was down to 30%. It was time to trade it in as well. So off to US Cellular I go. I pick out the Samsung Galaxy S10+ in pearlescent white. (Honestly, I need the bigger 6.5 inch screen because of my eyesight.) The rep brings out the phone and before he does anything, asks to see my phone. No worries, my phone is in pristine condition.

“We have to check phones now before we accept them for trade-in. Corporate came down on us after we took a phone in with a broken screen.”

I looked at him and said, “Ha. That would have been me.”

Hey, why shouldn’t I admit it was me? What are they going to do, charge me again? After all, it wasn’t like we were trying to pull a fast one one them. The rep had plenty of opportunity to notice the very obvious crack when he handled it.

Not my fault.

Amirite?

This is my third Samsung Galaxy. I’ve had the first Galaxy, the S7 Edge, and now the S10+. In between I’ve owned the iPhone (loathed it), a Nokia Windows phone (loved the phone,  but didn’t like the limited apps), and the LG. At this point, unless someone actually challenges Samsung for phone supremacy, I don’t think I’ll be trying any other brands again. I keep coming back here.

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St. Urho’s Day

A statue stands proud and tall, dressed in Finnish attire, holding a pitchfork, upon which is impaled a grasshopper. He is St. Urho, who like St. Patrick with the snakes, ran the grasshoppers out of Finland saving the wine harvest.

St. Urho statue in Minnesota
St. Urho Statue in Menahga, Minnesota

So why does the statue reside in Menahga, Minnesota? Because St. Urho was originally conceived by a department store worker in Virginia, Minnesota when asked why there are no Finnish Saints. But like all good myths, the legend has grown. Originally he had chased out frogs, that was changed to grasshoppers. The original day was May 24th, but that was changed to March 16th, the day before St. Patrick’s so there could be two days of celebration.

In Finland, Minnesota, a second statue resides. This one carved from a tree with a chainsaw, has a charming, neo-Finnish abstract look to it.

In Rolla, North Dakota, for the sixth straight year, a parade is planned for St. Urho’s Day.

The day has grown so in popularity that there are St. Urho clubs in the United States, Canada, and even back in Finland. There is a St. Urho’s golf course and campgrounds in Ontario, Canada.

There are celebrations throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin because of their larger Finnish-American populations, but the celebrations have spread throughout the United States. There’s a St. Urho’s Day picnic in London Bridge Beach, Lake Havasu City, Arizona. In New Port Richey, Florida, at the Finnish American Club, they have a St. Urho’s Day dinner. The Finnish American Heritage Society in Canterbury, Connecticut has celebrations. And they have Katrilli and Skandia Folkdancers celebrating St. Urho’s Day in Cedar Valley Grange in Lynnwood, Washington.

Silly? Maybe. But is it any sillier than believing someone could drives snakes out of Ireland?

I think not. Fun is fun.

So today, celebrate the day wearing royal purple and nile green, hoist a purple beer, and chant “Heinäsirkka, heinäsirkka, mene täältä hiiteen” (which roughly translated means, “Grasshopper, grasshopper, go from hence to Hell!”)

For more information, go to SaintUrho.com.

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Reprinted from a previous blogpost.