Going to back the GOA

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Gun Owners of AmericaI’m thankful for the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the training I got.  It’s been over 3 years since I got my license and I’ve never missed a day carrying.

Like most new gun owners, I signed up for the NRA blindly thinking they were going to have my back to keep my rights.  That was my fault for not investigating them first.  Over the years I’ve received numerous calls asking for more money.  Tons of mail from them asking for more money.  The amount of paper, ink and postage they go through must cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.  Money they could’ve kept by doing email campaigns.  Granted they’ve done that too.

They are like a badly run church.  Always pleading for more money.  Though when you start to look at the pastor, he’s in a nicer car, a nicer house and nicer clothes.  But the church is still in disrepair.  So when I watch the news, it seems the NRA don’t always have our best interests at heart.  I hear bad things about what the higher ups have done with the money they get from members and donors.  There was a period at the start of Bloomberg flipping Virginia and the beginning of CORVID-19 stuff that the democrats started running the gun grabbing game hard and the NRA was no where to be found.  I wasn’t the only one who noticed.

I’m sadly sometimes lazy, but I finally started to take a good hard look around and found that the NRA isn’t what I had hoped it would be.  They also are not the only game in town to defend our Second Amendment rights.  There are a few out there.  The one that got my attention is the Gun Owners of America (GOA).  These guys aren’t playing around.  They are a no nonsense, no compromise association to defend our rights.  At least I hope they are.  Actions speak louder than words.  I like what I see so far.  So when my NRA membership comes due, they’ll cancel me because I closed out that credit card.  I’ll then start backing the GOA and see how they lead us to hopefully victory over the gun grabbing democrats and liberals.  I’ll also be joining the USCCA to protect myself in the event I use my gun to protect myself and/or my loved ones.Trump 2020

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CORVID-19

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VirusHey all.  I hope everyone reading is doing well and your health and well being is not affected by the Coronavirus or COVID-19.  Especially my friends and family.

As for myself I don’t know if my health is affected as of this time.  I’m still working, actually getting full hours and overtime.  Unfortunately it’s because a few of my co-workers are on home quarantine as they are showing signs of the virus.  Though to be honest I wish I were self-quarantined like so many others.

My job forces me to deal with a lot of people face to face.  Of course the sick or potentially sick aren’t smart enough to refrain from wanting to order food and have it delivered to their home, motel room or work.  Even though I wear gloves and use strong hand sanitizer between each delivery, I’d rather stay home and play it even safer.

Plus I still have remnants of my head cold from about 6 weeks ago.  I simply can’t seem to shake this dry tickling cough.  The dryness of yet another snow fall and high winds doesn’t help.

But hey, let’s not let an pandemic of a potentially fatal virus stop my work from making that all mighty dollar.  I know what you’re going to say.  Think of the money you’ll make!  You know people, life isn’t all about money.  I do have savings and a contingency plan for when times get tough.  For a person like me, I don’t like gambling with my life and health.  So in a way I hope I don’t get CORVID-19, but I wouldn’t mind my head cold to come back just so I can have an excuse to take a little vacation.  Avoiding all the unnecessary human contact.

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VA Healthcare

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Denny HandicapSo in the issue of no one seems to want to hire me, I’ve begun to prepare to possibly apply for disability.  Of course I want all things documented and I started emailing my doctor about it.  One thing is I now have arthritis issues.  But it’s not on paper yet it seems.  Even though my Chiropractor diagnosed one in my back, and the knee doctor in Detroit diagnosed the other.  Plus my hands have had issues during the winter that was talked about but never diagnosed officially via email.  Weather prevented me from seeing a doctor at the time.  Now they tell me that in order for my diagnosis to be official, I cannot do it through the VA healthcare system.  The SSI department won’t recognize the diagnosis from them.  So here is my email/vent to the VA.

What an odd thing that they won’t accept your diagnosis. Last I checked the office is staffed with genuine doctors, nurses and licensed phlebotomists. Just like any other doctor office. Why would they (the government) treat you like a chiropractor (some claim they aren’t real doctors)? I’ll tell you who the voodoo doctors are, Physical Therapists. Ride a bike for 10 minutes then do a crab walk while shaking a rain-stick. Just never had any luck with PT’s. Granted Chiropractic is a hunt to find the one who cares and isn’t a crook. I digress though. I mean I lost my discount for standard healthcare through healthcare.gov the moment I signed up for VA healthcare. So you’re all a guy like me can afford. Sometimes I think this system is designed to work against vets. Like thank you for your service, now go quietly die somewhere. I panic at the thought of ending up in the hospital again. I’ve no idea what the consequences for that would be to me financially. I’m not blaming the VA. Despite all the long travels for care, the VA has been good to me. I’m mad at the government saying they won’t take your word for vets who are starting to see an end without hope. I don’t want to be disabled. But if no one will hire me, what else can I do? I can only apologize so much for being broken. Just to do my job now, I need regular sit down periods. (hence I do delivery) I wear a knee brace daily to keep walking stability. I wear soul crushing socks to keep my heart from giving out. I’m a walking pharmacy with the meds I take. Sometimes I keep my blood pressure cuff in the truck with me because I feel bad and want to be sure my heart isn’t just giving up. I wish I could take regular walks daily, but I work stupid hours. I wish I could eat healthier, but my fridge is 3 feet tall. Don’t get me started on the lack of affordable housing in Northern Michigan. I live in a motel. Sorry I just felt like venting. Don’t get a lot of social interaction as of late. Seems I only attract stupid people and they are hard to converse with. In short, do you have a suggestion for me to get tested outside of the VA without taking out a personal loan to pay for it?

Sadly I was not given any real helpful information as to what to do next.  If anyone has an idea please let me know.

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Les Paul’s Are Heavy

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Denny Guitar III’ve pretty much spent the last 17 months looking for a new job.  More intently since Christmas when my hours got slashed at work.  I can tell you now that Equal Opportunity is a lie.  As soon as they find out I can’t stand for more than 30 minutes or lift more than 20lbs, my application goes in the trash.  If it’s during an interview, you can tell from that point it’s all generic questions until they can give you the, “We’ll be in touch soon with our decision.”.  Yeah right.  Though I have some hope for getting a position with MDOT as it’s a desk job mostly.  So I never mentioned my limitations as it shouldn’t be an issue.

On the up side, I’ve gotten most of my hours back in the past two weeks.  Maybe I can keep them.  I don’t want to get too excited as it could change again.  Plus I’m pretty much working nights now.  I fear doing too much during the day so as to not got in spent of energy.

In other news, I took a nice drive yesterday with a friend from work to Saginaw.  I wanted to go visit a decent music store.  The one here sells off brand instruments.  I guess because kids are broke or something.  Though they have been busier than I remember.  Anyways…

We had a good time just bullshitting and laughing.  My goal was to see about getting a guitar that didn’t feel like a lead weight around my neck after 30 minutes.  Les Paul Guitars are hella-heavy.  Even though mine was the lesser version that you rarely ever see professional musicians use, Epiphone.  Most Les Paul lovers are into the insanely priced Gibson versions.  Which I understand are even heavier.  My guitar was damn near 11 pounds.  That’s like 1.5 gallons of milk strung around your neck.  It doesn’t seem like much in numbers, but just having the dead weight gets cumbersome after a while.  Plus I never liked the muddy tone it gave me.  I guess the lower quality pickups are to blame for that.

Let me just say that some things should never be bought on the internet.  You need to be able to see, touch and test if possible before purchasing.  Some things like musical instruments, cars, food and clothing.  I mean Carvana to me, is just a horrible idea.  Especially in rural, no man land areas.  I want to test drive and see everything before I make a purchase.  I want to test out the play-ability of an instrument or try on the jeans before I have to say no.  I don’t want to play ship it back I don’t like it.  I bought my Les Paul online.  Never going to do that again.  It’s not a bad guitar, it’s just not a guitar I really liked after getting it.  So I sold it to another friend who is young and strong.  He can deal with the weight better.  I gave him a good deal and hopefully he likes the tone it has.  He’s into different music than me, so he might love it.

But people are lazy and gravitate to whatever makes it so they don’t have to work for anything.  Hence things like Carvana will probably thrive.  Me, I’ll drive two hours to get a good deal.  Besides I tried ordering a musical instrument over the internet.  I was never truly happy with it.  Thank god for music stores.

So I now have a quality Paul Reed Smith guitar.  It sounds amazing and is half the weight.  Plus I got $100 off as they were having a coupon deal for shopping in store.  See image above for how it looks 😊

One thing we noticed on our adventure, was that in Saginaw, there is no snow.  None.  Not a flake.  It sucked to drive back to Gayrock.  Knowing we still have it and more will come.  Referring back to the lazy fuckers of the world, I have to deal trying to get up un-shoveled steps to do my job.  I mean if you are going to live here.  And invite someone to your home to bring you things; perhaps take 5 minutes to shovel off your steps!  I’m not above sitting in my truck and letting you know I’m not going to injure myself if you let your shit get covered with ice.  You can come meet me you lazy fuck.

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Locking Down Privacy

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Locking Down PrivacyProbably the first time in history I’ve kept a New Years Resolution.  But I did exactly what I said I would and regained my privacy from the two largest offenders of privacy rights on the internet.  Am I fully off the grid?  No, and likely will never be as our world evolves into a prying eyes society.

China watches every move their citizens make.  That’s a horrifying thought.  But even our ‘government phones’ for the poor have the Chinese spyware pre-loaded and likely activated.  So if you wanted a cheap phone, you got it.  I hear rumor all inexpensive Android based phones will have this soon.  You may not like Apple, but they don’t let outsiders fuck with their code.  If it sneaks in, they do patch it.  Rumor has it that cheap phones aren’t alone now, all Samsung devices have it too.  Just think I have owned a high end Samsung, cheap ZTE and others.  I’m glad I switched.  Not saying my phone is invulnerable.  In fact, someday it’s likely all our phones will spy on us.  They will tell you it’s for your safety and overall good for the people.  It’s insane.  Plain and simple.

It doesn’t stop there, even your fancy Nest and Ring security and doorbell systems spy on you.

This is why my security camera does not use third party storage.  It’s not popular or easy to run, but it’s direct to me.  Less chance to be hacked.  But clearly if you use a big company, they just turn on you or allow you to be hacked and blame you for not using stronger passwords if you find out.

This means your security is spying on me when I come to your door.  I don’t appreciate it.  If I don’t get a new job soon, I’ll start asking you to come to my car to get your food if I see a Ring doorbell.

You may say, “But I use Ring to stop package thieves.”.  Well you likely pay their $100 a year plan.  I pay $80 a year for a Post Office Box.  Never have I lost a package to a thief.  Just saying.  And their cameras only spy on me when I’m in the Post Office.  Plus it gives my home more anonymity as no one knows my home address.

If you haven’t noticed I have dumped Google and though I’m sure they have backups of my info, I still took painful steps to erase my history with them.  All my files and services linked to them.  Same thing with Facebook.  I spent hours removing the nonsense.

So yeah you won’t see me on Facebook anymore.  Hopefully it’s not to hard to bookmark my website on your phone or computer.  Or you could just add my RSS Feed https://www.castlerain.com/feed/ to your phone and be alerted to any new posts.  I’ve submitted my site to Apple News for review.  But you can install an RSS feed app if that doesn’t work out.

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The Elder Scrolls Online

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Theodas RelwofUp until now I’d either quit World of Warcraft because they rearrange the skills system, or add Panda’s, or I’m alone, or bored, or ______ fill in the blank.  Though every time I quit, I’d never find a new game that fulfills my needs.  I even swore once I quit gaming for good.  Who the hell was I kidding?

I would just come crawling back to WoW as nothing else seemed to fit me.  I’ve tried countless games; Dragon Age, Rift, Villagers and Heroes, Lord of the Rings, Neverwinter, Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Lineage II, Final Fantasy XIV, Tera, Everquest II, Red Dead Online, GTA Online and more. Even my old Runes of Magic, lost it’s, well… magic.

Since Activision took over, WoW has been on a downward spiral.  When you take a step back and look at it, the game coding is pure crap now.  The overall goal of the game is nothing but a grind-fest.  You endlessly grind for gear, reputation, mounts, pets, achievements and so on…  Some of these things you do for years and years.  That’s just insane.

To make it a shorter story…   All in all, Activision has destroyed Blizzard.

But this time, is in fact the last.  I’m done with what’s left of Blizzard and World of Hey Let’s Change Every Dammed Thing and Create Shit…. Craft.

So watching a streamer who started playing The Elder Scrolls Online and talking about it on his videos on YouTube, I decided to give it a second go.  I tried once before and hated it.  That was when it was new.

The Elder Scrolls Online is a much more polished game now.  It only took me a few minutes of thinking to get most of the idea how to play.  Action targeting is actually fun if you give it a chance.  Not sure if I’d ever want tabbed targeting back.  In short, I’ve fallen in love with The Elder Scrolls Online.

  • It’s not overly complicated
  • The graphics are far better
  • You get to fight actual Dragons!!!
  • You can craft end-game gear rather than grind for it if you desire
  • The quests are more intriguing and immersive
  • The quests are all voiced!!!  Gives you serious depth
  • The world is gorgeous
  • Player housing done right!

Granted there are cat and lizard people.  I’ll take that over fucking pandas any damned day!

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Being an iPhone Convert

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iPhone XR BlueIt’s been just over 6 months since I switched to iPhone.  All in the name of retaining more of my privacy.  I think I switched at the right time.  Had I done it 4 years ago, I probably would still hate iPhone’s.  I can now say with all certainty, they are in fact, amazing phones.  I’ve been very, very happy about my switch.  It made me miss my Mac Book Pro.  I’ve even fiddled with the idea of a Mac Mini as a machine to toy with when I’m not gaming or doing things that I love using my custom build computer for.

Yes that’s my actual iPhone to the right (or above on mobile) ➡

I’m not going to start chanting iPhone’s are better.  They do have way better privacy.  I already covered that.  The functionality is the same of an Android.  Some things make more sense, others do not.  One of the best things about iPhone is they don’t contain bloatware apps that you don’t need.  Even the few apps it comes with are removable.  You can turn off all location info if you like.  Though some apps won’t work without it.  So being selective takes more time, but worth it.

But this thing has been insanely reliable.  Rarely have to bother rebooting it.  Battery life is out of this world.  Even my fancy Samsung 8 Active couldn’t keep battery life like this.  I can use the phone all day long and most days I’m still over 80% battery when I go to bed.

Frankly I don’t miss Android at all.  Or any other phone I’ve had.

My Windows phone would read and let me dictate my texts.  iPhone does too.  No extra apps or tools.  Siri has been improved a lot since the old days of all the comparison videos.  Windows phone also had pretty damn good cameras, especially on their high end phones.  iPhone you can make a movie on.

I can say yes, with my Android I could do anything an iPhone can do.  Still true.  But for the cost I didn’t feel it was worth it.  Low end Androids however, after several months would start to feel sluggish and run out of storage because the apps they force on you take up all the space.  Plus in a year, some reason, the GPS would just stop working unless you rebooted the phone for every use.  I have had this issue on 5 different Android phones.  So I moved to mid-range Androids.  Still lacked space.

iPhone hasn’t suffered this issue at all for me.  It’s been rock solid.  While it does compare to the cost of my gaming laptop 😠

Acer Nitro 5 - iPhone XrSo far, still love the performance.  As you can see by the screenshot of my storage above, I’m not hurting for space at all.

So this is where I am now.  I’m an iPhone user.  Not a fanboy.  I’m just happy I have full control of my privacy, my phone’s app list and it’s just a damn good phone.  Unless Apple goes the way of Blizzard Entertainment, a story I’m working on; I’ll stick by them and praise them.

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Think Like a Criminal – Open Curtains

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No or Open Curtains at Night

Click to Zoom In

If this seems informative to you, I may make this into a series.  I like my privacy, always have.  But I got sloppy for many years when it came to my online privacy.  I’m taking that back.  However, as a person who’s been robbed in the past and has also been on the other side of the law in my early years, I’ve changed my ways to protect myself and my loved ones.  I now believe everyone should think like a criminal.  It will help you thwart would be bad people.  Police and FBI do it all the time.  That’s how they catch the most devious criminals.  The government hires hackers to catch hackers.  It’s a tested and true technique.

Even Foamy says so about advertising your daughter going to college.

Warning, I’m going to give you some scary things to think about.

My current job I do a lot of driving.  One thing I notice is that so many houses have either no curtains or they have them open 24/7.  This is a bad thing.

But I like the sunlight and being able to see the world! .. you say.

Most of us do.  During the day it’s not such a huge issue as the light makes it hard to see in.  Unless it’s cloudy or rainy.  As the night sets in, things in your home become so much clearer.

I can see in your home while I’m driving by.  So can everyone else.  So can criminals, rapists and sex traffickers.  Oh but that don’t happen here right?  Why, just last month this happened.  Here in our so prestigious and humble town.  Where I’m constantly told I don’t need guns for protection.

Things people can see are including but not limited to:

  • Your expensive living-room (TV, Stereo, Home Entertainment System, Computers, Game Systems, Furniture)
  • Your expensive china set in the kitchen
  • Your inappropriately dressed wife and/or children
  • When children are left home alone
  • When someone is single or home alone

People in town or near town in neighborhoods, generally don’t notice a car parked down the block often.  Won’t notice the same car drive by multiple times a day.  They are too busy with their own lives, possibly playing video games with a headset on or playing on their cellphones to notice whether the car is empty or not.  They likely shrugged off as a friend/family member come to visit the neighbor.  They won’t notice that the car isn’t empty or just assume if they see someone that they are just texting safely.  Will they notice if that car shows up different times per day and maybe a set of small binoculars?  Likely not.

If your curtains are open 24/7 or missing completely, you’ve already given them an invitation to check you and your home out.  It’s just not a smart idea.

While I’m no fan of seeing blankets and towels as window coverings as it looks completely ghetto.  It’s far better than open or none at all.

You should take care to keep your life private and away from prying eyes.  I’m looking for the house I’m delivering to, but I see so much more.  I think like a criminal in order to protect myself and mine.  I can’t help but wonder why others don’t.

If you don’t have curtains, get some.  Or at least some inexpensive blinds.

During the Day

Use sheer blinds to let the light in, but deter prying eyes.  Your house will look more elegant in the process.  If you want to see the world, only open them a few inches.

If you use blinds, angle them so you can see outward, but at a down angle.  Chances are you will be able to see out pretty decent, but seeing in is so much harder.  Angle them up ward if all you want is the light.  You won’t see out much but they won’t see in at all.

During the Evening/Night

Use curtains that shut out the light.  You can peek out if you hear a noise or a car pull up.  If you use blinds, close them.

Before Going to Bed

Take 5 minutes to walk around your home and make sure all windows are closed and locked.  Doors too.  It’s a good habit to get into and doesn’t take much effort.

Secure Windows

If you can afford it and don’t already have secure windows, get some.  These windows have stronger locking mechanisms and have a lock to allow the window to be open only 2-3 inches but deters a criminal from being able to open them any further.  More info here.

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Pre-Employment Psychological Testing

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Psychological TestingHere we are in the New Year, and I find myself hunting for a new job.  As it’s a requirement for underemployment.  My current job has decided cut my hours in favor of having more people in my position.

Filling out a job application used to be so simple. For basic jobs it took 10 to 20 minutes of writing (in person) or typing (online) and you were done.  Professional jobs was an edited cover letter and resume submission which took even less time.  Now most jobs require you to apply for work online.  Now they also require you to take some sort of personal evaluation right after filing your application or resume; it takes nearly 2 hours in some cases.  At the very least an hour.

Have you ever had to do one?  It’s silly.  You can plainly see you have to be a happy, perfect ray of sunshine that never would steal or get stressed out in order to be considered for a position.

What if you are a person with a handicap, have anxiety or depression?  If you answer these questions honestly, it’s likely they won’t want you.  You can choose to be not so honest and select every answer they want to hear in order to get a job these days.

It seems insane to be an honest, normal person with flaws.  Because it will flag you.  So to win, you have to run the risk of trying to beat the system.  Which means you have to lie.  So how effective are these tests then?  Are they testing your ability to fake it?  Who wants to fake being a perfect person all the time?

Whatever happened to a good interview, where you get a feel for the person you are interviewing.

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Northern Michigan Winter Driving

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Small Car Stuck in SnowI’ve upset a few people with this on Facebook.  But I don’t care.  When it affects people negatively, then something should be changed by the offenders.

It’s not everyone else’s responsibility to cater to the ignorant.

Dear Prius, Fiat, Cooper Mini, Smart, Fit (and various other tiny lightweight cars) owners. Our snow accumulation here in Northern Michigan is no joke. All day I watch you get stuck in 6 inch snow drifts. Struggle to accelerate from a stop. Slide through intersections. Get stuck on the piles left by the county snow plow, or the 8 inches that hit your driveway that you refuse to plow or shovel. Drive 25 miles an hour even though the road has just been plowed. Still you loose traction and with your tiny all season tires that have no business in our snowy conditions. I get that the winters here intimidate you. That’s fine, I’ll spend all day passing you like it was summer out. I go through 3 foot snow drifts like they weren’t there. I get paid to be efficient. You on the other hand, are not prepared. At the very least put some snow tires on. Make sure you have some cheap cat litter handy for when you get stuck. I even carry it. You’d be surprised how much it can help. Though seriously, if you plan on spending any real time here in the winter. Get an all-wheel or 4-wheel drive vehicle and put some serious tires on it.

Northern Michigan Winter Driving

Northern Michigan Winter Driving

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