Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Resolve to Practice Excellence

One of the prayers that I try to say every day (audio version available here).
The Resolve To Practice Excellence
From the Vajraguru website
Homage to the noble Manjushri[1]!
The Seven Offices
With my voice and body and sincere heart, I pay homage to all the lions of humanity present throughout all time and in all world systems in every direction with none excepted, however great their number. The force of my resolve to practice excellence brings all victors[2] clearly to mind; emanations of my body, numerous as the atoms of all universes, bow down in perfect obeisance before them. All Buddhas, numerous as the atoms of all Buddha realms, stand in a single atom, surrounded by their children. Similarly, this host of victors stands in every single atom throughout the realm of totality. To them I direct my devotion and faith.

A Compromise Gun Bill That I Can Live With

In celebration of the upcoming anniversary of the murders at Sandy Hook Elementary, the antis are doing 'retrospectives' and bemoaning the lack of action towards disarming people who haven't murdered a bunch of children. Normally I am loathe to offer the Leviathan any additional power, but in this case I believe we should propose our own gun control bill. My modest proposal . . .

  • Repeal the Brady Bill and do away with NICS entirely. It was supposed to keep felons from getting firearms but has failed miserably. The answer is not to “tweak” background checks; the answer is to get rid of them entirely.
  • Repeal the Hughes Amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act limiting ownership of full-auto weapons to those made prior to 1986.
  • IAW the 1968 amendments to the NFA there will be a 90-day amnesty registration period every year, from January 1st through April 1st (or March 30th on leap years). The ATF has 30 days to process any NFA transaction. Failure to complete a transaction in 30 days will result in the refunding of all fees to the transferees and issuance of a default registration letter, stating that the NFA items in question are legally possessed even if they are not entered in the NFRTR.
  • Any pilot or aircraft crew member who is an honorably discharged veteran or possesses a permit to carry from any state is authorized to carry a firearm on their airplane in any manner they deem fit.
  • Repeal the Gun Free School Zone Act of 1990.
  • Any schoolteacher, school employee or school volunteer who is an honorably discharged veteran or possesses a permit to carry from any state is authorized to carry a firearm in any school in any manner they deem fit. Any school district which found in violation of this law shall forfeit all Federal funds for a period of 6 months (for a first offense) and not less than 1 year for subsequent offenses.
  • Congress shall deem that Article IV Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution (commonly known as the full faith and credit clause) applies to state issued permits to carry. Any state which fails to honor the permits of every other state shall forfeit all Federal funds for a period of 6 months (for a first offense) and not less than 1 year for subsequent offenses.
  • IAW Coffin v. United States a person who is attacked in a place s/he has a right to be and who is not engaged in unlawful activity has no duty to retreat and has the right to meet force with force, including deadly force if s/he reasonably believes it is necessary in order to prevent death or great bodily harm to him/herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony and shall be presumed to have acted in self-defense until proven otherwise. Law enforcement may not arrest an individual for using deadly force unless they have probable cause to believe that the use of force was unlawful.
  • The definition of “sporting purposes” shall include all types of sport and competitive shooting and all “military style” and semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and handguns are hereby deemed suitable for sport shooting.
  • Any firearm or firearm accessory made by a private individual for their personal use is beyond the authority of Congress under its constitutional power to regulate commerce among the states.
  • “High capacity” magazines are hereby defined as any ammunition feeding device designed to hold more than 150 rounds.
  • “Armor piercing” bullets are hereby defined as any round which, when fired from a pistol with a barrel of no more than 4 inches (not including recoil or sound suppressor) can pierce 1 inch of HY-100 steel (or its equivalent) at 200 yards.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Steampunk Dragon goblet

Here are some pictures of the Steampunk Dragon goblet that Di and I got from the Renaissance Festival this year.

Incredible detail!

Kevin O'Hare, the Foundry's artist, is the pilot

As you can see this is one BIG goblet

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Photos from the Rimeling Center

I was going to try and get more pictures, but there was so much going on and then we were doing the practice and you aren't supposed to do frivolous things (which I figured included touristy picture taking) and then Monday morning I was too tired. Next time though, I am thinking that since I have to take a week off anyway, I'll probably fly out Tuesday and back the following Monday or Tuesday.

Front door and yes, it is as heavy as it looks!


Lovely Viking stove

Love the kitchen!

The living room

Susan, Rinpoche and Alison in Rinpoche's room

The four of us out front, courtesy of the taxi driver.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mill Ruins Park in Minneapolis

Here are some of the pictures I took on our walk today:

I must say I love the juxtaposition of the decaying structures and the new life pushing its way into the world.