Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009: My trip to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office in Florence, AZ. . . .

I got up bright and early this morning and made my way to Florence, AZ. Friday was the day I got my Russian TOZ (Tulski Oruzkeiny Zavod) 17-1 .22 cal. rifle back from the evidence department of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office where it had been for the last 13 years. After county officials read some of my emails and happened across my Blogspot entries, the process to secure it’s release was set in motion. My comment about having been deprived of personal property without the benefit of due process of law, appeared to have done the trick.

The new sheriff’s administration actually supports the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For once, the voters made a good decision. Obviously, I had issues with the last two administrations as they both failed to return my rifle. Once again, the squeaky wheel got the grease.

Tulski Oruzkeiny Zavod

The post-war period was the time of the fruitful work in the creation of various sporting and hunting fire-arms. Such models as the T03-25 double-barrel hammerless shotgun, the "BM" double-barrel hammer gun and small-caliber rifles TOZ-8M, TOZ-12, TOZ-16, TOZ-17, TOZ-18 were designed in these years.

As I stated in my previous blog, my bad neighbors made false statements the day after their dog was impounded by animal control officers.
To get to Florence, I have to drive through Standfield (a.k.a. “Stand Still“), Casa Grande, Eleven Mile Corner and on to Coolidge. Standfield smells like cow manure and has a brown cloud that hangs over the town. There’s nothing worth stopping for there. There is no such thing as a short cut when it comes to getting to the Pinal County seat. It takes over an hour to get there from my home.

Florence is also home of the Arizona State Prison and the infamous Central Unit where executions are carried out. The prison gives Pinal County its’ name. There’s a long history of corrections here. People have been doing time here before Arizona became a state. The county jail is next door to the evidence section.I’ve visited the county complex before, so I had no trouble finding it. I made an appointment in advance. They knew I was coming. I had to sign a document and before I knew it, my rifle was back in my hands.

While in the lobby, a Mexican male walked in and asked about picking up some property. Since he did not have an appointment, he got nothing. He wasn’t too happy and foolishly tried to put on some kind of song and dance story. I politely told him that it took me 13 years to get this appointment and suddenly, his jaw dropped to the floor. I told him I was serious. It was time for me to leave because I had other business on the other side of the state.

I originally purchased three of these rifles back in 1992. They were only $50 each. I checked around and that particular model is up to as much as $175. I liked them because they were very well made. There were no plastic parts either. American .22 cal rim fire rifles manufactured over the last 35 years often have plastic parts such as trigger guards and magazines.

On the way home ,I stopped by the Casa Grande ruins. They are actually in Coolidge across the road from the Walmart. I’m not sure who named them. In any case, I didn’t like the sight of a “big box” store so close to a historic site. They should tear down that Walmart.

Needless to say, I’m happy to have my weapon back. After so many years and failed attempts at getting it back in the past, I thought it would have been turned into a man hole cover by now. The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office took good care of it. I loaded up the magazine and found a remote spot on the way home and fired it. I really like the smell of burnt gun powder. In fact, I like it better than the smell of napalm in the morning.
"I love the smell of napalm in the morning, you know one time we had a hill bomb, 12 hours. When it was all over I walked up, we didn't find one of them, not one stinking dink body. Smell, that gasoline smell, smells like. . . Victory." --Robert Duvall, Apocalypse Now, Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Part#4: Decay, waste and ruin in Pinal County. . . . It’s all around us.

Does anybody out there remember the popular 1990 action, comedy movie. . . . “Tremors” with Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward? Thunderbird Farms is very much like “Perfection, Nevada” the only difference is, we don’t have “Graboids” crawling under the ground. The mini-farms area has a run down store, lots of falling down buildings, open garbage dumps and fly by night wannabe handymen a.k.a. alcoholics. We also have a gun-toting man that drives a pick-up truck and carries an assault rifle. Oh, that’s me.

As you can plainly see by my photographs, there’s no shortage of material illustrating rural blight in my neighborhood. Every photo I have taken thus far is within a two mile radius of my home. I often find it difficult deciding which ones to use. There are no fewer than 30 vacant homes in this area. I was beginning to wonder why there was not as much traffic as there used to be. The reason is that so many people “bugged out“.

At one time, it seemed that people drove around the block all day because they had nothing better to do. Today, its unusual to see cars on my street. I ultimately discovered that many of these people were driving in circles looking for dope or something to steal so they could buy dope. Some of these empty homes probably housed meth labs at one point in time.

I am aware that a local church was a once meth lab. Prior to becoming a church, it was a home owned by a local career criminal. I wonder if that was disclosed to the buyers at the time of the sale. Who knows what kind of chemicals permeated throughout that structure via the duct work. Toxic chemicals such as Coleman Fuel, muratic acid and anhydrous ammonia are often used in the manufacture of dangerous drugs. For those of you who want to know, it’s the Mountain View Community Church at 50881 West Papago Rd.

There are a couple of rental properties on my block owned by a “slum lord“. These structures are not livable, but to an illegal alien, they look pretty good. People that are used to eating and shitting in the same room really don’t mind living in squalor. It wouldn’t surprise me if the property owner never bothered to report the fact that his/her properties are being used as a rental units to the county assessor.

My property tax bill arrived last Saturday. Trick or treat? It certainly was no treat. Despite declining home values, the bill keeps getting larger. Most of us out here see little or no return for that check we write every year. We pay for schools that can’t teach kids how to read. We pay for arsenic tainted water that’s harmful or fatal to infants. We pay for falling apart roads. If the road gets bad enough, we might get a little cold patch that makes it bumpier that it already was. After a couple of months of 110+ degree weather and trucks full of melons beating the asphalt, the patches crumble, making the hole even larger than before. If we’re lucky, we get to pay for that fat litterbug county worker that mows a 20 foot wide swath on each side of the road even when there‘s nothing to mow. I often mow it myself because he does such a crappy job. Is that really worth $1500+/year?
Detroit’s Beautiful, Horrible Decline

“Ruins are the visible symbols and landmarks of our societies and their changes. . . the volatile result of the change of eras and the fall of empires. This fragility leads us to watch them one very last time: to be dismayed, or to admire, it makes us wonder about the permanence of things.”

At the beginning of the 20th Century, the city of Detroit developed rapidly thanks to the automobile industry.,

There’s a rather successful Blogspot page known as “Detroit Is Crap”. I happen to be a follower. If things get much worse here, I might start a blog called, “Maricopa Is Crap”. I’m sure the rest of the world would like to read about a place they should go out of their way to avoid.

I hope the rest of you enjoy paying your property taxes as much as I do. I never did like the idea of paying “rent” to the government for land that you own. I think renters should have to pay taxes too. This state could generate lots of money for education if renters had to pay a school tax. Other states do this. States that are not ranked 49th in education like Arizona is. I suspect, ignorance and/or the lack of education are contributing factors to Pinal County’s rural blight. At the current rate, Maricopa may someday be known as the “Detroit of the Southwest”.
"Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy." --Winston Churchill

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Want Cheaper Fuel? Quit Buying Bottled Water!

Most people these days are fed up with the high price of gasoline and other fossil fuels.
It's unfortunate that most people don’t realize that fuel is only a small part of the big oil picture. Remembering back a couple of decades, gasoline was only $1.00/gallon and I never saw people running around everywhere they go with those silly little plastic bottles of water.

I always thought buying water by the ounce was economically foolish. These same people would probably buy baking soda by the gram too. I buy close to 6000 gallons of slightly arsenic and nitrate tainted drinking water per month for about $20.00 plus fees and I don’t have to drive anywhere to get it. The water comes right out of my tap.

The plastic that makes those bottles is made out of oil and everyday millions of them are being tossed in the trash. Americans are carelessly and foolishly tossing “oil” out with the trash. Then, they have the nerve to bitch about the high cost of oil. The majority of Americans fail to realize that they are a very big part of the problem. Now, doesn’t it seem silly to spend billions of dollars to get oil out of the ground, only to put it back in?

The petroleum products that make those bottles are transported to an injection molding factory where they are initially made. For a brief period of time, I actually worked in a factory where two liter beverage containers were made. I also made those 1.75 liter vodka bottles and 1 gallon milk jugs.

Once produced, the bottles are transported to the facility where they are filled with water. Strangely enough, the bottles cost more than the water. Once the bottles are filled, they are packaged into cases which are usually made of plastic and cardboard. Those cases are then put on pallets which are then wrapped in plastic shrink wrap. These pallets must be loaded onto vehicles and shipped to various retailers. At the retailer, the pallets are broken down and the shrink wrap is tossed in the trash. A garbage truck will then come to the rear of the store and haul it to a landfill while customers enter the front of the store to purchase the bottled water. The customer drives the water home, drinks it and throws the empty bottle in the trash. Twice a week a garbage truck shows up to haul all of those empty bottles to the landfill. A huge amount of fuel is required to transport those silly little bottles all over the country. Imagine all the waste that little bottle creates.

The numerous facilities that produce this product require huge quantities of energy a.k.a. fuel to crank out millions of bottles day and night. The byproducts of that production end up in our atmosphere.

Water is quite heavy, making transportation costs very high. Water from the tap is delivered to most homes using only gravity which is still free and environmentally friendly. The Romans figured this out thousands of years ago, but for some reason, modern Americans would rather use huge quantities of crude oil, gasoline and diesel fuel to get water in little plastic bottles.

Many people have no clue as to what they are doing to the planet in the name of convenience and the time for them to wise up is long overdue.
“Human society sustains itself by transforming nature into garbage.” --Mason Cooley, 1927-2002

Sunday, September 20, 2009

From the African Sports World. . . .

I do a fair amount of research on the internet. My computer is not a toy or game. It’s a work station. Every once in a while, I come across something that needs further discussion. Kudu Dung Spitting happens to be one of them. The first question I have is, “What would possess somebody to stick a turd in their mouth anyway?” As far as I’m concerned, that has to be an un-natural act. Even more surprising is this sport is popular enough to have a world record holder and regular competitions. Perhaps, this is an African thing, we’re not supposed to understand.

My other questions include, “Is there lots of alcohol consumption prior to this event?” “What do the contestant’s parents think?” “Are they out of their freaking minds?” My final question would be. “Who gets to clean up after the contest?” “Or do they?” Perhaps they should remove their shoes if they have any before going in the house afterwards.

Of course, I’m reminded that Africa is the place where people that can’t afford to huff paint or gasoline fumes, make and inhale jenkem. Jenkem is made by placing feces, sewage and urine in a jar or bottle. The “icky brew” is allowed to ferment in the hot African sun. Once it’s ready, the cap or balloon covering the top is removed and the fumes are inhaled. Apparently, one gets high by doing this. I learned about this “recreational drug” a couple of years ago and I’m still scratching my head as to how they thought this one up in the first place.

Having removed woman’s softball from the Olympic Games, I’m sure the International Olympic Committee won’t be adding the sport of Kudu Dung Spitting to the list of official games anytime soon. I’m reasonably sure that most of us won’t be all that disappointed.

Kudu Dung Spitting, a.k.a. Bokdrol Spoeg:

Kudu dung spitting (Bokdrol Spoeg in Africaans) is a sport in some parts of Africa. In the competition small, hard pellets of dung from the Kudu (a type of antelope) are spat, with the furthest distance reached being the winner.

Kudu dung spitting is popular enough to have an annual world championship competition, with the formal sport beginning in 1994. Unlike many similar sports, the distance is measured from the marker to the place the dung pellet comes to rest, rather than where it initially hit the ground.

The world record in the sport is a distance of 15.56 metres, set in as of 2006 by Shaun van Rensburg.

Youtube coverage of Kudu Dung Spitting:

Todd Beck and Bob Rice visit Ekuthuleni Lodge in Welgevonden Game Reserve near Vaalwater, South Africa, on 30MAY2003.

I hope the contestants get plenty of Listerine to use following the competition. Hell, Listerine should be sponsoring the event! I would also think that it would be unpleasant for news reporters doing post-match interviews. I’m sure some of these guys already had really bad breath prior to spitting feces. Then again, the winner would be sporting a genuine “shit eat’in grin”.

I really hope this sport stays on the continent of Africa. The last thing most of us want to see, is our county’s youth taking up this foul sport. Hopefully, people will stick to watermelon seed spitting, which appears to be the “Americanized version” of this game. At least they won’t have to worry about the turd burglar stopping by.
Photo: I took this photo during Al Sharpton’s visit to Phoenix on June 19, 2009. It was the only image out of many hundreds I’ve taken that had anything remotely African in it. The kid in the Obama shirt didn’t smile once. I was on the other side of the street protesting Al Sharpton, illegal aliens and ACORN. Perhaps that’s why Bertha Lewis doesn’t respond to my emails. Yet, Bertha has the nerve to ask me for help? Talk about pimps and prostitutes!
"I have also eaten human meat. It is very salty. Even more salty than leopard meat.'' --Idi Amin Dada