Saying Goodbye to a Friend…

Last Sunday was a sad day. On Facebook I had noted my good friend Ray Carter, aka GayCynic, aka Northwest Freethinker, had passed away. It created a large wake within the gun community spurring a few articles such as this one. Sadly this meant I was going to meet a handful of mutual online friends in meat-space for the first time as we said goodbye to another friend.

The good news was, Ray being Ray made the service a fun ride, having planned much of it in advance himself. Including 37 minutes of prelude music (iTunes link).

Ray's Playlist

Ray’s Playlist

Even to the point of writing his own naming in the service:

Raymond was by his own admission over-serious and more sensitive than was really in his own best interests. He was a recovering alcoholic, sober since 1996 with all the benefits and flaws that implies. He sought to be a good son, to accept his brother for who he was, and to be a good uncle and friend.

Ray was driven to activism by many things. His sense of obligation to those who went before, his fundamental opposition to injustice, his patriotism, his love for his fellow man and his belief that often the kindest and most moral thing a government can do is to leave individuals to work out their own destiny.

Ray considered his nieces a special blessing, and loved them every day of their lives. His favorite holiday was Christmas and he went over the top each year that he could, going wild with decorating and striving to uphold the family traditions. He enjoyed cooking, reading and bull sessions with friends.

His time with the Freedom Day Committee, culminating in co-chairing a Pride Parade was a proud memory that he always enjoyed sharing. He took even greater joy in his time working with the Second Amendment Foundation and for firearms rights, which he saw as just another side of the same issue – civil rights – with debatably saner players. Or at least differently nuts.

Ray came to Masonry later in life, following his father and grandfather into lodge membership. He found this an opportunity for service and as an immense comfort during the last years of his life. He requests that in lieu of flowers or other donations that word be made to the Masonic Scholarship Fund of Alki Lodge #152.The growth of the lodge and facilitating educational opportunities for today’s youth was critically important to him.

The support of the Second Amendment Foundation, his friends and colleagues there, and particularly the support and tolerance of Alan and Julie Gottlieb made possible a dignified and graceful passage and rose well above any reasonable expectation of an employer; they are to be commended for their efforts and Ray hopes they accept his deepest gratitude.

Ray asked that I make clear that this service celebrating his life celebrate ALL of his life – not just one part or another. He chose music, verses and asked for themes that reflected who he was – a decidedly out gay man, a pro-gun activist, a patriot, a “small l” libertarian, a supporter of LGBT rights, and all the other roles in his life. He admitted he cheated and threw in one or two songs that he loved just for the beauty of the songs and asked that all of us here forgive him his final whimsy.

I realize now after the service there was a LARGE number of people who for various reasons weren’t able to make it but wanted to be there. I hope this glimpse into the service will suffice and put a smile on your face like Ray would have wanted.

There was limited commentary while sitting in the church regarding stories about Ray. Well anyone that knows Ray knows exactly why that is, I can’t think of any stories that are “Sanctuary Appropriate”. I made sure the story of Ray and Linoge was given to everyone in the room.

The wife made Ray’s Rice Crispy treats:

Rice Krispy treats

Ray Carter

For a 9×13 pan

Ingredients

1 cup each sugar, peanut butter, and light corn syrup

1 16oz bag each chocolate chips and butterscotch chips

6 cups rice krispies (or cereal to be disposed of)

Directions

In double boiler, melt together until smooth, corn syrup and sugar.

Let come to bare boil, back off. Remove from heat.

Stir in peanut butter, blending thoroughly.

Pour blended mixture over bowl of 6c of rice krispies – mixing thoroughly.

Press into buttered 9×13 pan. Use care and/or a spoon.

Set aside.

Clean or retrieve 2nd double boiler.

Melt together butterscotch chips and chocolate chips, stirring until indistinguishably blended.

Pour over rice krispy mix as frosting, until covered from edge to edge.

Either let set, or to accelerate setting, place in fridge or (if in great hurry) freezer.

Using sturdy knife, cut in 1×1 squares (2×2 seem far more common though).

Consume and giggle.

She even made a sign for the closing quote:

Ray says, Consume and Giggle.

Ray says, Consume and Giggle.

At the end, Phil, Drang, Bradley, Link, Ry, Kyle, Dustin, my Mom, Janelle, Harry, and I all headed down for BBQ and spent another couple hours chatting and telling stories.

A bunch of us chatting after everything was over.

A bunch of us chatting after everything was over.

It was a sad day but we all made the most of it. We’ll miss you Ray and so long my brother.

 

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Merry Christmas…

 

Merry Christmas everyone.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

A Friend Comes Out… Again

First, you can find out in much the same way as many found out from Gay Cynic on Wednesday.

I initially found out the previous Friday.  So when I found out what was happening in Olympia Tuesday and Wednesday and I was advised my help would be appreciated I was more than happy to come along.  It was an opportunity to spend more time and chat with Ray.

Wednesday on the drive down he mentioned that he’d like to rip the emotional crutch out from under people who are abusing it down there.  He felt this was a fitting way and I had to agree.  It had his sense of humor all over it.  If you get handed the short straw, you might as well enjoy it.  As he put it to me afterward, “I’ve come out now three times in my life.  First that I was gay, then as a gun owner, now as a person fighting cancer.”

I couldn’t help but be in awe with the way he is approaching the problem.  It is merely a bump in the road and he’s already gone through and fought a lot worse.

GC has posted the details of the beginning of this journey.  My only request, more of a reminder, is if you call up/email to voice you’re support don’t focus on the topic.  Be an upper not a downer.  Remember he’s fielding lots of questions from a lot of people and if everyone calls up asking about it, well that’s all he’ll be able to think about.  You can ask but limit your time on the topic.

Ultimately though Ray’s going to go all Cave Johnson on this with even more epic results.

Here is what he had planned for his full testimony:

My name is Gay Cynic.  I was recently diagnosed with cancer with an initial prognosis of 6-12 months.  This gives me an unusual level of objectivity regarding I-594 as, barring treatment success I am unlikely to have any personal stake in the game.

As legislators you are called to be objective. To weigh the facts and likely effects – intended and otherwise – of a piece of legislation.

You should not care about my cancer status.

You also should not consider I-594 proponents tragic stories in your deliberations, even if they are cunningly wrapped around carefully crafted Madison Avenue sound bites.

You are called to be objective – to set aside emotionalism, melodrama, spin and the urge to “Do Something, Anything” about the crisis du jour. After all, to an activist *everything* is a crisis.

If passed, I-594 will put Washington law in conflict with Federal law. It will require law abiding gun dealers to choose whether to become federal felons, state felons or simply go out of business. I-594 will eliminate firearms safety training in the state of Washington and entrap thousands of law abiding gun owners into felonies and misdemeanors for things as simple as handing a rifle to a friend at an informal range.

I594 creates no safety benefit. A background check will not save school children from a person that kills a parent and steals their guns to commit an atrocity.

I-594 does not propose an improved background check, it purports to expand the same background check that Jared Loughner passed before he shot Congresswoman Gabby Gifford, killed six and injured 12 others.

It is not enough to “do something.” To claim otherwise is the argument of fools and frauds, and is generally counterproductive to achieving any worthwhile goal.

We must do something worth doing – I-594 is not it.

I ask you to fulfill your responsibilities as committee members and bring I-594 to a vote, and hope that you will vote it down – clearing the table for measures that are actually constructive and not an elaborate scheme to whittle away firearms rights through the death of a thousand cuts.

Thank you.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Well, its not broken…

My thumb that is.

See, No Breaks!

See, No Breaks!

I can’t say  the same about my laptop though.

Last Friday ( 12.28.2012) my laptop decided to go tango-uniform.  The stupid CPU decided to overheat and die.  The crappy part is I hadn’t backed it up in a while.  Hopefully when the new stuff comes in to build a new computer my darling husband will be able to retrieve the lost information.  I don’t recommend AMD CPUs.  My husband says this is yet another data point for him in the negative.

Then, to top it all off, my left hand got smashed in the sliding door of a mini van while at work the following day.  Hence the reason I have the X-ray above.

F*ckin' Really?!

F*ckin’ Really?!

What makes this really bad is the fact that my left hand is my good, working hand.   My right hand is not fully functional due to radial nerve palsy from the car accident.   Having both hands down really sucks, between them I have 1 full hand.   Sadly I still need to wear a splint with a thumb spica for the next couple weeks.

Sometimes, when it rains, it pours and now I can’t play my flute or continue my new adventure into learning to play a violin… which I should probably blog.

And thank you to my husband for acting as my dictatorial machine and as my editor correcting grammar and the like.  Not to mention the pictures too, he made me look pretty.

Stuff is Stuff…

I got an email from my mom about a friend, our parents also happen to be friends, I went to high school with who is currently living in New York.  I was thinking most of my friends made it through this without much of a problem, evidently not so.

Would you please let everyone know that Heather is okay.   She lost everything last night to the 12 foot storm surge but is safe.  They stayed in their house and had to sit out the storm on the second floor. The fires in the Breezy Point neighborhood were just across the road and luckily didn’t get to her side of the street.  Things are still burning but they have it under control.   There isn’t any way to contact her as they are trying to conserve their phone power since there won’t be any electricity for several days.

I’m glad she’s OK and while she may have lost possessions, she at least came out alive and didn’t have to deal with fire compounding her issues.  I don’t know how prepared she was to deal with the aftermath, hopefully this overall is just a bump in the road.

Take stock of what you have and be thankful.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Insert Something Witty

I had something thought up for tonight.  Got home and dove into two other projects.  One will be unveiled probably tomorrow or Sunday.  Another early next week.  Also spent some time applying some polish.

I’m headed down to the local gun shop tomorrow.  It looks like there may be some industry reps there I can talk to.  There’s a few things lately I’m interested in, but not enough to empty my wallet yet.  So I will listen to my friends Linoge, JayG, and Robb and just ask.

I’ve also got to finish up my USPSA stages so they can go in for review.  One is done and wrapped up, once they’re all completed though I’ll do a post on them all.  I’ve also started and am working on the finer points of the frame that goes with this.  I keep meaning to work on it more, but I keep getting distracted.  Hopefully I’ll have some time in the next couple weeks to really spend on it.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Five Years Ago

I married my best friend.  He is the love of my life and I am happy and proud to be called his wife.  Even though the last few years have had ups and downs, I wouldn’t change a thing. The various trials and tribulations ha ve made us stronger individually and as a couple.  I love you Barron now and forever. Happy Anniversary!

image

July 7, 2007

Built Ford Tough

So as I said on Sunday I put my baby into a ditch.  It was a hard hit and had to be winched out of the hole.  I didn’t really think about taking pictures mainly because I’m not a big fan of documenting my stupidity.  At this point though I kind of wish I had.  It would make a great commercial.

The drive home on Sunday had a shimmy though the steering and the wheel was no longer aligned.  I spent last night with the pressure washer removing the concrete clay caking the tires and undercarriage.  I removed a large quantity of clay that was caked on to everything including all throughout the wheel.  By the end I was covered in mud from it flying off while cleaning.  I only blasted the mud off though, she will get a bath this weekend.  Tomorrow, if I get the green light, I shall go do something special for a post.

This morning I dropped her off for an alignment check and to have the front end looked at in detail on a lift.  Also if they could I wanted my steering wheel put back to center.  While driving in this morning there was no vibration through the steering, good it means that the wheel was out of balance from the clay, which I expected.  The truck tracked well and didn’t drift so the alignment seemed like it would still be good but I wanted numbers.

Well I got the numbers back and everything, remained within spec.  I didn’t bump it out of alignment, didn’t bend a tie rod, didn’t do a damn thing to that truck other than de-center the steering wheel.  That’s right, all that happened from a trip into the ditch was that my steering wheel was no longer pointed the correct direction for center.  They say “Built Ford Tough” for a reason.  I just don’t like finding out or pushing those limits first hand.

This weekend she’ll get a nice bath and right now I’m debating on a road trip with her in September.  I just need to talk with some friends to see if we can split a hotel room.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.