Fireworks in Utah

I tell people who come to Utah, that there’s two things Utah people like

  • Fireworks
  • Guns

Apparently, blowing things up is popular here. I agree, those are fun things to do. Its quite the spectacle on July 4th and July 24th (Pioneer Day, its a LDS UT thing).

July 4th is coming up. I recently saw this posted on the Sandy City FB page regarding fireworks

To celebrate Independence day, the day we declared our freedom from tyranny, you may shoot and buy fireworks but only on certain days and times. Shooting is limited to July 1st – July 7th from 11AM – 11PM. And you can not use

  • Firecrackers
  • M-80s
  • Cherry bombs
  • Bottle-rockets
  • Roman candles
  • Single or re loadable mortars
  • Ground salutes Any other explosive obtained outside of Utah borders.

Am I the only one who sees the irony of this? You may celebrate your freedom but you must do what we say and when we say you can.

Firecrackers? Really? Firecrackers were the first fireworks my dad ever let me light as a small child. It was considered the safe one for me to do outside of sparklers. Nanny state…..

I know there’s probably good reasons for some of the rules, but you have to at least laugh at the irony. Or get angry, your choice. It is a “free” country after all.

My Response to the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage

I do have mixed feelings on the decision. As a Christian, I don’t like the idea of the homosexual lifestyle. As a freedom loving American, I also don’t like the idea of our government saying what people can and can’t do with their personal lives. Instead of being upset, one of the pastors of our church put this up on Facebook. It says all I need it to.

1 Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
2The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
3“Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
4He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
5Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6“As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”

Psalm 2:1-6

The pastor’s paraphrase: “The nations can try to legislate what they want, but God sits in heaven and laughs, and will hold them in derision … Jesus still reigns.”

Passwordless SSH troubles

If you are not a computer nerd, don’t bother reading this.

I’ve been struggling with getting my Backuppc setup working again. My documentation that I had used for previous setups wasn’t working. Specifically, logging into the client from my server via SSH without using a password. After many hours of tracking down what I was doing wrong, I finally figured out that the rsa keys stored in the ~/.ssh/authroized_keys2 have a new home. Since the release of SSH 3, the file it looks for is now just ~/.ssh/authorized_keys.

Any easy fix once I knew what was wrong

cp authorized_keys2 authorized_keys

Our Kitchen Range

Yesterday afternoon, Wendy was cooking some cornbread when she noticed it smelled like it was burning. The oven had switched into cleaning mode and was burning the cornbread. It did this about a year or so ago where it got too hot and switched into this overheating cleaning mode. The oven at this point becomes completely unresponsive so I have to go to the circuit breaker and turn off the breaker for the range. Previously, I let it cool down and it worked fine. This time after letting it cool all night, when I turned the breaker back on, it went back into cleaning mode where it got super hot. Looks like the circuit board on the oven is messed up. I imagine it would take a few hundred dollars to fix it.  We have been holding out on replacing our appliances because we have plans to redo the kitchen which would include new appliances. We currently have an electric range, but we would like to have gas. There is no gas lines running up to the kitchen at this point. We had to replace our refrigerator a few years ago, so we bought the cheapest one we could find. Thankfully, Lowes was having a sale on appliances. We found the cheapest one in the flyer that came in the mail yesterday and went to the store today. There it was, the cheapest stove they had. Low and behold, we found an even cheaper one. There was a refurbished one at the back of the store of the same model, but was even cheaper than the one on sale. $300 and we get a new range delivered to our house tomorrow with the old one hauled away. Not a bad deal.

Practicing Concealed Carry with my EDC Bag

I have a bag I carry with me every time I leave the house. It is called the 5.11 Tactical Moab 6. The popular name for this is called an EDC (Every Day Carry) bag. I have choosen to carry my Springfield XDS 45 handgun in this bag as opposed to carrying it on my hip. The bag has a velcro quick access pocket made just for this.

I have chosen to carry in a bag for a few reasons. The first is that the seat in my car (Nissan Versa) is so narrow, that I can not sit in there with something on my hip. I am also a big person, so that probably has something to do with it. The second reason is that I have some medical equipment that I want to carry around with me where ever I go. The third reason is that I am dad with young kids. I go to playgrounds and places where other kids and parents who may be scared of guns will be. I feel like the bag I carry around on my shoulder is less intimidating than if my weapon is exposed accidentally.

I already knew it was going to take me longer to draw my weapon out of this bag, but other than that I hadn’t done any practicing with it until this past weekend at the Concealed Carry Gunfighter class. Dennis made a good point that each person needs to know their limitations. Practicing fighting from this bag really made me see how different it was from drawing from the hip. It takes a little longer and the mechanics of the draw are different than drawing from the hip. As an example, once  the weapon is drawn out of its holster from the hip, shooting from the hip is an easy transition. When I draw from my bag, my off hand pulls the bag in front of me while my shooting hand reaches in to draw the weapon. Once the weapon is out of the bag, it is pointing to the left (I’m right handed). Its different, and its something I will have to practice more of. Also, finding and grabbing the weapon in the pocket takes a little bit longer than just knowing where it is on your hip.

Reloading was a challenge I hadn’t fully considered it until I was at the range. The bag comes with a place inside a zippered pocket to store two full sized AR magazines. The 5 round XDS magazines get swallowed whole in those pockets. Getting at these is a two handed operation when done quickly. One handed takes much longer as well as taking your eyes off the target. Dennis recommended adding a pouch on the side to attach to the MOLLE straps for a magazine. Ordinarily I don’t like the traveling salesman look of having things hanging off the outside of a bag. Its something else that can get caught on something or fall off. I just happened to have a pouch for my flashlight in the bag that happened to work for the day. There are a number of magazine specific pouches, but I didn’t like them as they tended to have a Velcro strap over the top of the magazine to hold it in place. This pouch will have to hang upside down on the side of the bag when I am carrying it on my back. These pouches also left the contents exposed so anyone could see that I had a magazine on the side of my bag. I did find a small pouch that fully covers the contents and has a buckle as well as velcro. I recently ordered it and am still waiting for it to come in. It is small, but so are the magazines for my XDS. Hopefully it will do what I want.

I intentionally chose a color for my bag that looks less tactical (grey). I also covered up the Velcro with non tactical patches to lower suspicion. At Dennis’ suggestion, I covered up the 5.11 logo with duct tape. I am aware that it has MOLLE straps on it, but I don’t want to cut them off at this point. The objective was to make my bag look like something a geeky dad may carry with him instead of looking like a sheepdog bag.

The medical equipment I chose to carry with me was influenced from a podcast I listened to where an ED doctor talked about his medical kits and what he chooses to carry with him. His take away point is that there are a limited number of interventions where seconds count. I live in an urban setting where fire and EMS should be able to arrive to my location within 10 minutes of calling. I’m a paramedic, and I have training that has helped me to make a decision on what I feel like I can have with me to help bridge the gap while waiting for advanced care to arrive. The things that I can help where seconds count is the ABC’s: Airway, Breathing, Circulation. Here is a list of the medical equipment I carry with me:

  1. Rigid CPR mask
  2. Set of OPA’s (oral pharyngeal airways)
  3. Magill forceps
  4. Two tourniquets
  5. Trauma sheers
  6. Three sets of EMS gloves
  7. Flashlight
  8. A watch
  9. Plain index cards
  10. Pen
  11. Sharpie marker
  12. Hand sanitzer

There are some other things I carry in there, but they are not the scope of this post. I hope this gives some ideas or insight if you carry a bag or are considering carrying one.