Thursday, September 14, 2017
Sunday, August 20, 2017
The mainstream news has me so confused these days. I'm not sure if I'm the Oppressor or the Oppressed.
I mean, while I was at Walmart today, I saw tiki torches on markdown in the garden center. I wasn't sure whether I was supposed to be offended because of cultural appropriation, or offended because apparently by marking them down, Walmart was making it cheaper for white supremacists to light up their hate speech. Should I have bought all those torches up, so the the supremacists couldn't get to them? Or would that just have been enabling Walmart because I gave them more money to oppress their wage-slaves in China?
While I was there, I also bought shotgun shells. Does that make me an evil firearms owner who wants minorities and children to die in the streets in order to maintain my silly "hobby"? If the shells were marked down a dollar less per box, does that make me 20% less guilty? Or 20% MORE guilty because I bought more shells for the same money? Was I oppressing Walmart workers by buying cheap? Or was I using my money to make sure they had a job?
Does any of that guilt get cancelled out by the fact that I also bought "Moana" while I was at Walmart? As a kid doc, I feel the need to keep up on the characters that appear on the t-shirts and sneakers in my office. Or am I just supporting Disney's cultural appropriation machine?
As a "rich doctor", what was I doing shopping at Walmart anyway? Shouldn't I have been shopping at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, or someplace more "fair trade"? Does that apply even if I make much less money than the national average for my specialty because I practice in an economically depressed population, which is largely Medicaid? Does that mean that I'm NOT being victimized by the "wage gap"? Or that I AM? So am I a greedy rich doctor, or a victim of my gender, or a champion of the underserved? I'm so confused.
I'm sure that the purchase of "Moana", does not absolve me of my guilt for being fair-skinned. I found out that I'm supposed to feel guilty and "privileged" because all of my ancestors (that I know of) came from Europe. I have ancestors who were "privileged" to have fought for the Union in the Civil War. Some were privileged enough to have been maimed for life in that war. Others were privileged enough to die horrible deaths and be buried as unknowns. But Civil War monuments are apparently symbols of hate, and not of sacrifice, so I need to start feeling guilty about that. I'll have to put that on my iPhone schedule. But does my iPhone oppress workers in China even more than shopping at Walmart?
I also have at least one ancestor who was privileged enough to have fought in the French and Indian War - and also privileged enough to live through it. Did he steal his land in Pennsylvania from native tribes? Or were those native people economic victims of the English who "bought" the land for trinkets? Am I supposed to vacate my house and give the land back now? If so, which tribe do I give it to? And how many millennia in the past do we count their occupation of the property? Once I give it all back, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to move back to Germany or England? Whose property there am I entitled to? Can I ultimately sue the Vikings?
Speaking of property, if I look far enough back in the family history, there is a Last Will and Testament from an ancestor, who bequeathed to his wife her own kitchen utensils. She wasn't considered enough of a person by law to be anything other than her husband's property, so she wasn't entitled to keep any of her own stuff. It all belonged to her husband. Does that fact mean that my gender (or is it "sex"? I forget which is the correct term these days) is inextricably linked to my ancestress's (is that even a word?) suffering? Did she even know she was suffering with a husband and children on what was then the frontier? Or was she too busy living her life to ponder her oppressed state? Should I have marched in a pussy hat after all?
But that brings me to ponder that if any part of my acceptance to medical school was because I was female, does that make me deserving as an oppressed gender (or is it sex?), or does it make me an oppressor because some man was perhaps turned down for the spot I received? Was I owed that spot because my 5 or 6 times great-grandmother didn't have any rights? Or did I get the spot on my own merit?
And was that "merit" because I was "privileged" enough to be smart? Or because I was "privileged" enough to be self-motivated to go back to school as a divorced mom? Or was it the "privilege" of my 12-year Catholic education? Does my former Catholicism cancel out my "white privilege", and make me a victim too - because white supremacists hate Catholics just as much as they hate everybody else?
All this thinking is giving me a headache. Maybe I need to create a scorecard where I list my privileges and my victimhoods, so that I know which one I'm supposed to be, and when. I'm just so confused. I need somebody to tell me what to think. Maybe I should ask the Internet.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Thursday, July 6, 2017
I have been eyeing this bag ever since I saw it at SHOT Show in January. I finally got my hands on one, and wanted to give you a review, so here we go.
I ordered this backpack from GunGoddess. https://www.gungoddess.com/
The checkout process was easy and painless - I even used some of my rewards points, so I got it for 20% off and free shipping! The box arrived on my front porch in two days, and boy was I excited!
I first have to say that there is nothing "Mini" about the Mini Tobago. This is not a tiny bag. It's still definitely a daypack, and not a weekend pack, but there are plentiful pockets, and zippered compartments to keep all kinds of gear organized.
I ordered the version that was gray with pink stitching, and it is much prettier in person than the photos online. I have a Voodoo Tactical bright pink range bag, and although I love that bag and have gotten lots of use from it, this backpack is beautiful in a more subdued and subtle way. It's still a little feminine, but it just doesn't scream about it, like the hot pink bag does.
This bag does have plenty of features that scream "badass" though - LOL - like accommodating a hydration system (which I don't currently have, but have been meaning to investigate). The bag itself is made of heavy pack cloth (unlike the stinky vinyl type cheapo bags out there). There are heavy duty zippers with paracord pulls, multiple exterior pockets, and the pack is covered all over with webbing so you can attach exterior accessory pockets/bags if you wish. I may eventually do that with my trauma kit to make it more easily accessible.
There are mesh zippered interior pockets, and two of what I call "administrative panels", (I'm not sure what you really call them.) You know - the place that has all the pen sleeves, and mini flapped or zipper pockets so you don't lose your chapstick and your cough drops and your keys? Yeah that. There's TWO of them. There is no dedicated key clip, but my keys are on a carabiner, so they were easily clipped to one of the several paracord interior zipper pulls, for ease of access. The exterior pockets and main compartment also have drain grommets at the bottom of each. I HOPE I don't ever need those, but for those who do - this bag is prepared.
I hadn't originally planned on using this backpack as a range bag, but since I had an IDPA match the day after the pack arrived, I thought I would give it a test run that way anyhow, just to see.
Pictured is the gear I took to the match. As you can see in the photos, just the bottom front pocket compartments held 4 magazines and 200 rounds of 9mm ammo. Granted, it was those little compact boxes of Sellier & Bellot, but 200 rounds is 200 rounds. The upper front compartment was roomy enough for my knife, a pen, my Surefire flashlight, sunscreen, hand wipes, a rain poncho, plus unused space. The main compartment held my pistol case, trauma kit, eye and ear pro, holster, and mag pouches. There was a still some room to spare there as well. The side pockets held my belt, snacks, and a water bottle. Actually, after I took the photo, I decided that since I was going to wear the belt anyway, I'd replace it in the side pouch with a second water bottle.
Though as I mentioned before, I was not originally planning to use this pack as a range bag, it nonetheless proved its storage capacity and weight-bearing capacity for me during this test. I usually struggle a bit with managing the weight and awkwardness of my heavy range bag - even with a shoulder strap. With this pack, between the top handle and the shoulder straps, lugging my gear around turned out not to be "lugging" at all. My shoulder didn't hurt, and I didn't have to hold my hip at an odd angle to balance the load, like I do for my regular range bag. The weight rested easily on my shoulders via the heavily padded shoulder straps. The area of the pack that rests against one's lower back was also heavily padded. I had zero discomfort handling this pack all day. I'm even thinking this might become my new SHOT Show bag.
For a second test, I decided to take this bag for a day outing on a tour boat. The pack accommodated a soft insulated cooler - containing my shrimp, pasta salad, homemade bread, and wine slushie (I was treating myself for Independence Day), a shemaugh and bandana (for tablecloth and napkin), and extra water bottles, with room to spare.
For a third test, I took this pack for a state park trail hike, and then a lake beach stop. The pack easily held two water bottles, my lunch, park maps, beach blanket, etc. As well as the knife, flashlight, hand wipes and other miscellaneous "be prepared" supplies that I left in the pack from the last range trip. The padded shoulder straps were quite comfortable during my hike, and the adjustable chest strap/buckle ensured that the straps didn't slip around.
My final analysis is that the Voodoo Tactical Mini Tobago Pack has proven itself to be a great all-around, multi-purpose day pack. It is sturdy and roomy, without being so oversized as to be unwieldy for grab-and-go use. But it also has the features of a much larger "tactical" pack, making it capable and organized where other daypacks fail. I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
The internet is ablaze this weekend with leftist indignation over video of a female "protester" being punched in the face during a confrontation in California. If you happen to be one of the indignant, allow me to acquaint you with the adage, "Play stupid games, win stupid prizes."
This woman willingly attended a gathering where she was actively seeking confrontation. According to internet screen captures of her page, she states that she wanted to "bring back 100 nazi scalps". In addition, one does not generally wear a bandana to cover one's face if one has peaceful intentions.
The video shows her jumping forward into the confrontation, (not backing up or leaving the area), whereupon she is punched in the face by a male in a blue shirt. The video does not show what led up to that confrontation, but some reports say she was throwing M-80 fireworks at people.
Forgive me if I cannot generate any crocodile tears here. To use another adage, "Everybody wants to be a badass, until it's time to do badass shit." This chick dressed herself all in black, to include fingerless black gloves, so she could look all badass and posture on her social media page. But when it came down to it, she cried because she got punched.
There is a lesson here for "feminists", of whatever wave you identify with. This is what "equality" looks like. In a street fight, you don't get spotted any points on the physical testing like you do in the military. You don't get to fight only other women. Nobody is letting you do girly push-ups. You get punched. In. The. Face.
This has nothing to do with "self-defense". Real self-defense (especially for women) involves a very healthy dollop of:
Avoiding confrontation, de-escalation, and the like are mainstays of personal defense training. This chick did none of those things, and she got exactly what she was looking for. She is actually lucky that nobody used those dreds as a handle with which to fling her around and break her neck.
I fear that stupidity like this is only the beginning.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Thus, it was with great interest that I read about the CMMG 5.56/.223 to .22LR Rifle Conversion Kit.
This is a drop-in bolt adapter (no tools or gunsmithing experience needed!!), which comes packaged with a special .22LR magazine designed to fit a standard AR mag well. Being the "multi-use" kind of gal that I described above, I was intrigued by the possibility of being able to expand the uses for my existing AR15 rifles, so I decided to see if CMMG would let me try one out.
Thursday, March 2, 2017
This is another "personal" post. It has nothing to do with firearms, but I wanted to share it anyway...
I received a wonderful reminder and affirmation today of "why" I wanted to be a doctor.
I really, really needed it. Because lately I've begun to wonder and forget.
Too often in medicine we get bogged down in paperwork, and EMR, and in meeting "quality measures" and "meaningful use", and otherwise having to justify everything we do - to bureaucrats who don't understand anything about it, and who are rarely satisfied.
It seems like some days there is a never-ending stream of negatives and complaints. Physicians are "rated" like restaurants - despite part of the job necessitating being the bearer of bad news, and telling people things they don't want to hear - in the interests of their own, or their child's health.
Doctors are people too. We are not vending machines, into which you insert your insurance card and we then spit out meds and a school or work excuse. We get worn down from trying to practice good medicine, while being judged like contestants in a beauty contest.
Sometimes we wonder if we're doing any good at all in an uphill battle. We lose sight of the good outcomes - because it is our "job" to make people better. We sometimes only remember the things we were helpless to fix or prevent.
But then there was today - when a family kindly and graciously reminded me of an event that happened several years ago. I was so overwhelmed by the gesture, and their kindness, that I literally sobbed. I'm still tearing-up as I write this.
Only this morning I had had a flash of wondering if I was truly doing any good in the world. I know I'm not alone in this. Many docs - especially in primary care - burn out long before their careers are over.
This gesture of kindness and thanks - for something which was far enough in the past that it had dropped off my radar - gave me back a glimmer of the idealism with which I had started down this road. It also reminded me too, that there are real, and appreciative people and families behind all of the paperwork and stress - it's just sometimes hard to see the forest for the trees.
So, I'm going to ask you today to try to remember that your doc is a human being. A word of appreciation or encouragement once in awhile can go a long way.
Who knows - you might just refill their running-on-empty tank, and make them cry - because you let them know that they really are doing a little good in the world after all. :-)