The two tubes beneath the barrel are tube magazines. You can select which magazine to feed from with the flick of a switch; so if you were to load buckshot in one tube and slugs in the other, you could decide at the firing line what you wanted to shoot.
I really want one. That seems to be the general concensus in the gunnie crowd I hang with, too.
* * *
Two from Ace of Spades:
"Oil and Gasoline Prices: What the Hell?" which is commentary on the price of crude approaching 2008 levels. THe analysis linked by the post seems to say that oil will remain around $100 per barrel this year, and gasoline will stay somewhere near $3.20 per gallon (it's $3.26 near the bunker) and it's almost entirely due to demand.
OPEC is, of course, carefully producing just enough oil to keep prices at that level; and the Obama administration is doing its best to keep the US from producing any more oil than it already is.
Next time you have to pay $50 to fill your tank, thank a Democrat.
Julian Assange has given Robert Mugabe an excuse to kill the opposition leader.
Mugabe has held Zimbabwe in an iron grip for 30 years; and the elections in 2008 there were screwed up enough that he had to relinquish some of that power.
But because Julian Assange doesn't like the United States, and was able to get an openly homosexual soldier to leak classified documents to him, now Mugabe can have Tsvangirai investigated, and probably killed.
The post blockquotes some text and then adds its own conclusions, and I'm going to blockquote them here because "I couldn't have said it better myself":
Yeah, Julian, you're really striking a blow for...whatever the hell you think you're doing.Before more political carnage is wrought and more blood spilled – in Africa and elsewhere, with special concern for those US-sympathising Afghans fingered in its last war document dump – WikiLeaks ought to leave international relations to those who understand it – at least to those who understand the value of a life.Take a bow, Julian. Thank God we have you to protect us all against secrecy. Like the horrible secrecy of an opposition leader hoping to depose an insane, murderous tyrant.
* * *
"Define 'asymptote.'" The rate of increase of the national debt has gone vertical. (Okay, near vertical.)
Obama and the Democrats aren't alone in sharing the blame for this, by the way. George W. Bush and the GOP-led Congress (after 1996) have their own portion of blame to account for. Bush's "compassionate conservatism" (AKA "Democrat Lite") never vetoed a single spending bill, ever; and the GOP-led Congress didn't even try to economize or cut spending, ever.
My favorite example was Bush signing "No Child Left Behind", which was the largest expansion of federal education funding in the history of the United States and was largely written by Teddy Kennedy...who barely waited for the ink to dry before he got up in front of the cameras and said, "Look, this bill is all well and good, but it simply doesn't spend enough money. It's a good start, but we need to spend more."
And neither the Democrats nor the press ended up liking Bush or the GOP one iota more than they had before all that.
* * *
Freeze-dried pork chops! I ought to buy a couple cans for the emergency food cache. I like pork chops.
* * *
As for me, it happened again last night. I settled down to hit the hay, and bam suddenly every little noise was freaking me out: I was having a panic attack!
I have to keep reminding myself that I--like someone with bipolar disorder--really cannot help this. It's not a choice, nor is it a reflection on me; I have an anxiety disorder. Most of the time the Paxil keeps it in check; but I've had a hell of a lot of stress in the past three weeks, and more stress means a greater susceptibility to panic attacks.
This past Monday was the third week since Mom died--only the third week, though it seems like a couple of months--and no matter who you are, you just don't get over that in a fortnight. It's exacerbated by my near-total lack of a support structure, here; everyone else has a spouse and/or kids to be with, but I'm living alone.
So I laid down in bed, and relaxed; and then I realized that there was this and that which had to be dealt with. "I don't need to worry about that right now," I told myself disgustedly, and tried to get to sleep, but the heating ducts were ticking (the way they do when the heater turns on) and the sound was bothering me. (It normally doesn't.) In fact, the ticking sounds were actually frightening me, as was the ticking of the clock, and that's when I realized: "Shit, I'm having a panic attack...again. I just had one the other day, damn it!"
...got up and had a Xanax, and couldn't bring myself to shut the light back off after laying down again.
There's no rhyme or reason to it, and it can be anything; the fear comes from a chemical imbalance in the brain. It's also not obvious: like last night, there was nothing to be scared of; it's not like there was an armed robber or a rabid grizzly bear coming after me. It was just a normal sound this house has always made in winter, and normally I like to hear it--but last night, it scared me, though I had to think about it before I realized what was going on.
The first time I had Paxil, in 2003, I slept for 14 hours. That might have only been because the pill made me sleepy; and then it might be because I--for the first time in decades--was finally relieved of a thousand different tiny anxieties which had no actual basis in reality. The Paxil works to quell the regular effects of the disorder, keeping my brain on an even keel.
The Xanax is for acute manifestations, like last night. It works well; but it makes me sleep a lot. There may be some component of mental fatigue to that--when you're frightened, you make adrenaline, but after the adrenaline wears off you get tired--but I doubt it, as the Xanax also works well as a sleeping pill when I'm otherwise fine but can't sleep. I know the Xanax is kicking in when it begins to feel as if the world's gravity has been turned up.
Even with the Xanax, I didn't fall asleep before 5:30 AM; and as usual it knocked me out completely for ten-plus hours. I got up around 7:30 to hit the can and turn off the post light, but I could have been mistaken for a zombie.
The point is, the day has evaporated in a fog of stupidity, and I can't even blame locusts for it. It's just my brain trying to deal with stress, and doing it in a stupid way, requiring medication. *sigh*
Well, there's always tomorrow, I guess. I hate this shit.
...just try to explain that to someone who doesn't have an anxiety disorder. I've seen it and seen it: you try to explain to someone why you couldn't just lay down and sleep when it was time to go to bed, and why you couldn't just hop up and start working when it was time for that. I've known plenty of people who thought they were compassionate, caring people, who nonetheless just don't get it when a guy who is otherwise hale and hearty is having a problem like this. They don't accept it; they can't--they chalk it up to laziness or procrastination, and try to convince you, "Oh, it's not that bad, and you know it! You're just making excuses!"
Believe me, if I had a choice in the matter, none of this would be happening. It's not like alcoholism, where you choose to start drinking and can choose to stop (though staying sober is very hard for an alcoholic, it remains a choice to drink, or not to). I don't like this, because it's a freaking handicap when you need to rely on pills for your emotional well-being. The only way to prevent all anxiety attacks would be to drug myself into a stupor 24/7; the current program is about as good as it gets, which means occasionally I've got to take the Xanax and deal with the stupor afterwards--but I can't think clearly when I'm taking the Xanax, which is why I take it sparingly, and rely on the Paxil most of the time.
Most of the time, it works. But not when things are like this.
Last night's panic attack was probably the worst one I've had in a while, because normally the anxiety is inchoate and has no real focus. When something innocuous frightens me, that's a bad one; hopefully that'll be the height of the pile, though, and things will gradually creep back towards normal.
Because, damn it, I've got stuff to do, and I can't do it if I'm zonked on Xanax.
* * *
Yesterday I went shopping and managed to get out of the store for about $60. Then again, I had a pretty short shopping list, so maybe that's not quite as impressive as it sounds. I didn't buy any meat or cat food this time, as there's plenty of both. A bag of Chex Mix was my sole impulse buy.
I've decided to make spaghetti sauce and freeze it; that way I don't have to make a huge pan of pasta and eat it for three days straight. But I still have to clean out the freezer; what I'd like to do is get a small chest freezer and unload most of that stuff into there. Mom would make chicken or turkey stock and freeze it; she'd also buy a ten-pound sack of pecans and shell them while watching TV, and then freeze them. It's all good, but the freezer would work a lot more efficiently if it wasn't crammed full of stuff. I don't even have room for an ice cube tray in there.
But I don't want to throw that stuff out. Chicken and turkey stock are useful, particularly if you want to make soup. (I've been thinking about making bean soup; that's another thing I can freeze individual portions of if I have room in the freezer!)
The chest freezer would make the move to whatever house I end up owning, whether it be a co-op in Park Forest or my "little trailer on the prairie", so that's fine.
* * *
There really ought to be a manual or something on how to deal with all this crap. *sigh*