Archive for the ‘bureaucracy’ Category

Gun totin’ granny, the bureaucracy in action, and other fun stories

November 14, 2007

I picked up my concealed handgun permit today, having completed the safety course, filled out reams of paper work, and had my background thoroughly checked, both my criminal and mental history, and solicited references from a couple of friends.

The best part of it is, for a mere $65 and a few hours time, I’ve been certified as sane and non-felonious for the next four years. I think that alone is worth $15 a year.

Most of the people who know me are surprised that I even applied for one. But I think that’s because they live in town. I, on the other hand, spend a fair number of hours each week driving alone on a gravel road (11 miles each way) with no cell service available. It pays to be prepared. I’ve owned a great pistol (.38 Special S&W that’s really accurate) for years. Now I can carry it with me when I’m off on my wild adventures. And if I have to get out and hike a mile or two to the nearest phone, I’ll feel much better about it.

There are a couple of different ways to meet the consumer safety course requirement. One is to spend 6 hours on two different weekends in a classromm about a 2-hour drive away, looking at PowerPoint slides and listening to an instructor drone on. The other way, and the one I elected to pursue, is to go to a certified instructor for one-on-one training. I’m so glad I did that. The woman I learned from taught firearms proficiency at the police academy for four years and now has a private security company. She also has a great shooting range in her back yard set up to simulate a variety of shooting situations.

I’ve done a fair amount of shooting, but it’s virtually all been target, which is great for practice but doesn’t prepare you for the unexpected. I learned more in an hour with Kay than I could possibly have hoped for. I scored a resounding 97% on my shooting test (I really only had difficulty with a little exercise designed to simulate shooting while taking cover–my creaky knees were a problem, so I’ll just have to hope that any gunfights I’m involved in are out in the open–just a joke. . .).

I also paid the land taxes today while I was in town. Ben somehow added 47 and 46 and got 89, so the check he sent in with me was $.04 short. I told the nice clerk I had $.04 in actual cash and would make up the difference. She said she’d have to issue me a separate receipt and wouldn’t I like to modify the check instead. I said “no,” I’d pay her the four cents. I did and she did and I suggested that it probably cost a great deal more than four cents just to issue me the separate receipt, at which she nodded ruefully. But that was the only way to get the taxes paid in full.

I also finally bought a Wii today. I’m probably depriving some poor child of what he wants for Christmas, but as Ben pointed out, we’ve bought virtually every Nintendo machine made for the last 19 years, and there’s no reason to stop now. I gave up last holiday season when they were in short supply (translated–impossible to find), but now we have the console, a second controller, a “classic” controller for use when I download the older games (I am so impressed that Nintendo is making this capability available–I can jettison our other three game boxes and still play all the other versions of Zelda), and the new Zelda, Super Mario Galaxy, and Tiger Woods golf. Winter’s almost here, so it was time to do this.

Speaking of winter, it’s totally clear here tonight, which means it’s going to be very cold. The stars are amazing, expecially since the moon is just this little teeny waxing crescent, but the temperature is already nearing freezing. We’ve got both fires going so the house will be at least lukewarm in the morning.