Monday, November 26, 2012

Canning the Night Away

I hope that y’all had a great Thanksgiving with plenty of good food and not too much family.

Shortly I will be carving up some carrots and onions and tipping them into my pressure canner, along with some bay leaves, peppercorns, and a turkey carcass. I’ll slide it onto the stove and set it to boil, then pop the weight on and listen to it dance for half an hour or so. I’ll set it to cool and wait for the lock to drop, then I’ll strain the stock and ladle it into jars, scrub the canner and set it on the burner to heat up again, this time the weight will be dancing to process the stock. This will be it’s third load today, it’s already sang to me while making a first batch of stock and I’m waiting for it to air up before taking out the 9 pints of turkey it just finished processing for me. This was harvested from a turkey that I roasted today, a 22 pounder, and there could have been more but we had some for supper and I didn’t feel that I needed to pick the bones for the last pint on it. Between what we have from this tom and frozen from the 24 pounder from Thanksgiving they gave enough. The dogs will enjoy the meaty leftovers once the stock is done and I pick out the onions and bones. The carrots they can shove aside themselves, and they will. They’ve already enjoyed the skin off of the backs. They get a few tidbits of everything on the day but their true Thanksgiving comes with the processing.


They insist that I can’t can without them pasted to my side. I probably can’t anymore lol

After the stock is made I think I’ll have two more loads, possibly three, to process. My canner is working hard today. I have 5 hours before I have to drive Silly E to school, I hope I make it or it will be a long morning. The timer is beckoning, telling me it’s time to set the jars on the table. I didn’t see too many signs of siphoning, what little bit of fat and color in the water could easily be from the outside of the jars. Tom is in the canner now, along with his drippings and the other ingredients. The jars sealed while I was coaxing him into the pot, I counted four pings and then heard what I thought was a jar breaking. Upon careful inspection it appears that five of them decided to seal at once. Well then.


Future meals!

I hear the heat pump kick on, it means the temperature in the house dropped to 65. Thankfully I remembered to turn the ceiling fan off, hot jars and a cold breeze don’t mix well. My bones are old enough to start complaining now that the temperature has fallen and the canner has filled the house with clammy humidity. I don my scarf, thankful that everyone else is asleep. I’m sure I’m a sight in my sweat pants, acid green tee, and my raspberry and sparkly gold scarf. This time of year, this time of night, it’s difficult to get warm without a blanket. The heating bill will be more easily managed. That’s what is important.


Who knows, maybe the “cold slob” look will catch on.

The weight starts it’s tuneless jig and I start timing. I wish Cave was still up. He doesn’t know how to can but he’s been around enough while I can that he recognizes how things are supposed to be and he can run a timer like nobody’s business. Canning is, until my young children are older, mostly solitary but I do appreciate his company if not his companionable silence and he appreciates the efforts of my labor. I’m his canning rock star. The in-laws benefitted from my canner this year too, taking home a jar of monkey butter and some watermelon rind pickles that Monster Girl helped make. I’m thinking about taking the kids up to visit for Christmas. Cave has to work so I probably won’t, but if I do I’ve been informed that I’ll be cooking the holiday meal up there. MIL told me I’m too good at it. I have a country ham hanging for Christmas dinner but I think she would expect, and provide, a turkey. 


MIL and the Monsters.

My brain skitters off to think about what Feinstein might propose. I have little faith that the system will oppose a new gun ban and it worries me. I’ve heard rumors and seen potential lists but the only sources I’ve been able to track down don’t seem to be the most reliable. Fear mongerers my father would have called them. The ones who predict nothing but bad and if their predictions don’t bear fruit they’re too busy blustering over the next potential problem to notice. If their predictions come true we might be left with half a dozen of the weapons we’ve been working so hard and so long to collect. The idea of them melting my Garand is nauseating. Would my gun toting, welfare hating, conservative Democrat father have been a Republican by now? He’d be in his mid-80’s and people get more conservative as they age…No, he had far too much stick it to the man going on to go full red. A Libertarian most likely.


My very red FIL took a stroll through our guns while he was here. He was grinning ear to ear.

The timer goes off, and I move the canner to the other side of the stove. Just need to wait for the lock to drop and let it air up a bit and then I can start straining the stock. Hag stretches his way into the kitchen, nose twitching at the canner. I was pleased with how he handled our company this weekend, our first visitors since we got him. He only wanted to eat them a little bit. They’re used to protective dogs and weren’t bothered by him. I kept him on the leash the first day they were here and put him in the bedroom whenever he got to staring too much. He’s a smart boy and learned quickly, it only took two trips to the bedroom and one rather stern lesson outside during a smoke break to convince him to keep it in check. Not too shabby for a big puppy who isn’t used to visitors.

He’s been sniffing after our Roxy a lot lately and then tackling her and gnawing on her with an air of “I don’t know what you’re supposed to do but you aren’t doing it.” It reminds me of a teenaged boy, picking on you until you’re ready to spit or cry and then trying to get to second base in the next heartbeat. He’s got a long wait, considering she was spayed two years before he was born. We’re thinking as long as Hag doesn’t get a case of testosterone poisoning we’ll let him keep his pertinent bits for a while longer. With things potentially headed south we’d like to be able to control at least half of the genetics of our future alarm system. I briefly thought about talking to Cave about seeing if we can find a female puppy next spring but I think three very active dogs underfoot in our rather crowded house would be a bit much.

The lock drops and I take off the weight to let the canner air for it’s ten minutes. The scent of the rich golden stock draws both of the dogs into the kitchen. Between the two birds I have 18 pint jars, 6 pint and a half jars, and a dozen half pints. Three loads for sure, possibly a fourth. 33 pints total. Slightly over 4 gallons. Thank you boys. We will be appreciating your gifts for months to come.


He tastes a lot better than he looks.

I can count on a solid hour from screwing the lid on the pressure canner to putting the jars on the counter, maybe a bit more, so I won’t finish before the kids go to school. I can probably process two loads before I have to leave. I haul out my change jar and eyeball the level. It hasn’t risen appreciably. No second canner in the near future then. It’s okay, my stove doesn’t much care for canning and a second one might send it into fits. Gas would be ideal but Cave objects.

Hag convinces me that it’s time to go out. It’s hovering right around freezing, and he hesitates in the door before plunging into the yard. I think I will waste $0.50 and warm the car up before heading for school. Cave’s alarm goes off and he staggers down the hall, mostly asleep. I tell him the temperature, asking if he wants a ride to work rather than ride the cycle. He hesitates. He’s weighing two trips for his comfort against the need to stretch the gas to the first. He sighs and says no. I decide that I won’t warm up the car after all. He gets dressed and then promptly knocks a glass of water all over his snowmobiling suit. It’s decided that he can’t ride in freezing weather with wet clothing and must have a ride, necessitating a quick waking of the teenager who manages to pull himself together and get out the door an hour earlier than he’s used to. While he’s getting dressed Cave steps out to the car and starts it warming up, I think he may have read this over my shoulder. Thanks Sweetheart.

I ask Cave to drive since I’m usually too slow when he’s in a rush. We roll up to his work 15 minutes early, which is 15 minutes late in his opinion. He’s been truly late to work twice in the 12 years that I’ve known him. We play musical seats and SE and I are off to school. The doors are open on time today. It was a rough start but it seems we’re on a roll. I head for home, hoping I can get there and say goodbye to the monsters, boy and girl, before they head off to their day. I pull in just as they’re headed down the sidewalk, they help me get the dogs inside and give me kisses and wave as they walk down the road to the bus stop.

I lift the full canner onto the burner and twist the knob to high. I tantalize myself with thoughts of chucking the rest into the fridge and dealing with it later, but I won’t, just one more load after this one. Perseverance or cussedness, I’m not sure which.

The weight has danced the final load to completion, now it’s time for the lock to drop, Crossing my fingers, I go to check. No joy, it’s still firmly locked and hissing. The house is warming in the sun, the thermostat says 69 degrees, so the canner takes it’s time cooling. Ten more minutes on the timer. Still no love, I hear it hissing from the other room. I’m tempted to bounce the tongs on the lock and let the pressure escape or to run water over the canner to lower the temperature and make the lock drop, but those could make the jars siphon the stock out and I don’t want to risk ruining my hard work and wasting the gift from the toms. It’s best to be patient.

I wake up two hours later, disoriented and confused with a sense of urgency from something forgotten. I take a moment to clear some of the fuzziness and remember the stock. It’s okay, the lock has dropped, the jars are still hot to the touch in the canner. I take them out, they’ve sealed and everything looks and smells fine. Back to bed I go.

I oversleep my alarms and have to scramble to get Silly E from his club meeting and Cave from work. This mornings journey took an hour, unwinding it takes three with the rush hour. We get home with barely enough time to get the kids fed and chores done before bedtime. Spaghetti it is. Eat quickly, load the dishwasher, brush your teeth, good night sweetheart. Even SE is tired and goes to bed early. The house falls silent, Cave is in the kitchen brooding over his computer and I am tucked into bed. The jars take up a third of the kitchen table, waiting, not quite done yet. In the morning I will check their seals, wash them with hot soapy water, dry, label, and find a place for them. Then, finally, the job will be done.


The toms sure gave the canner a workout, it ran pretty much constantly for almost 9 hours.

Good Night!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Evils of Thanksgiving Dinner

I shared this in the comments over at Jacked Up Glock Mom’s blog Tales From the Clothesline so I thought I’d share it here too.

It’s the link to a Google Document that is my Thanksgiving menu for this year, complete with in-document links to most of the recipes. This year I went smaller and rather more traditional than usual, budget constraints insisted. I hope you don’t think them plain or boring, because they won’t be. Recipes are a set of guidelines in my opinion and part of the fun for me is shaking them up, for example a bit of smoked maple salt found it’s way into the Chex Mix. That’s not in the recipe but it should be. Also, if the recipe calls for something in a can you can be sure that I’m probably using something I canned or otherwise preserved at home, and if it seems like it could use a dose of molasses it probably has it but I didn’t include it in the recipe because of a relative who insists they don’t like molasses as they’re inhaling gingerbread cookies that have almost a cup of molasses in them.

Some of the recipes are a bit cobbled together, when I originally made the document it was just for Cave and I, and I know what I’m going to do so I didn’t think it necessary to make them any more user friendly. The turkey recipe is the most mish-mashed, I believe, but it’s pretty straight forward, brine it for a day in ingredients similar to the cure, cure it for a day, then cook it. I cut back on the salt in the brine by however much I use in the cure. Apple cider is figuring heavily into it this year, both in the brine and in the basting. Sometimes I even layer bacon under the skin and across the breast, but that’s more for the spread I put out on Super Bowl Sunday than something I do for Thanksgiving.

I will warn you that while the turkey is very good it doesn’t have the flavor profile of a traditional roast turkey. The first time I served it for Thanksgiving one of the matriarchs refused to eat it and went so far as to apologize to everyone at the table for my “weird sugar” turkey. Thankfully most were too busy eating my food to notice, but I heard it. While I was in the kitchen wiping my tears and fanning my face I decided to take Thanksgiving and make it my own. So I did. That particular relative was a dark meat and turkey neck fanatic so I would make extra legs and the neck “plain roasted” just for them…in the same pan with the turkey, the only thing I left off was the cure. They raved about it and never caught on.

I still made the jello things for them, dumped a can of pumpkin pie filling into a store bought crust, used their favorite brown n serve rolls, canned cranberry jelly, and made ambrosia salad and that apple mayo waldorf stuff, but everything was served right next to the dishes I thought sounded interesting and wanted to make. Noses were turned up at the wild rice and mushroom pilaf (that one was a bomb, I agree), apple juice instead of orange in the cranberry relish, delicious little meatballs that a friends mom taught me how to make using grape jelly, and was that tossed salad? The only lettuce allowed was in a wilted salad with bacon grease and vinegar. We did agree about the orange salad, it is a staple at every big dinner in my extended family. We stockpile the ingredients for it, Dream Whip has the shelf life of forever.

By the time the biggest critics passed on everyone else was used to seeing my “weird” dishes and were eager to see what I came up with each year. As I matured as a cook, and perhaps as a person, I realized that many of the dishes were traditional because that’s what was most abundant during that season, and that others were considered a special treat or an attempt at sparking interest in a diet that was less diverse than what modern food preservation and importation practices provide now. There was also some pride at showing off cooking skills that weren’t practical during the every day grind. That’s still no reason to do such heinous things to poor, innocent food. (check out Gel-Cooking, my family matriarchs had that book and about wore it out. The Klingon scalp is particularly horrifying.)

I think this is something that everyone has had to struggle with in some way, the passing of the torch to the next generation and the criticism from the old guard at the changes to something that they worked hard at and felt that they had perfected. If they’re particularly critical and unbending, as mine were, it really sucks for the new generation. Hang in there though. Making changes to family traditions without too many bruised feelings is a balancing act but with perseverance new traditions can be added. The younger generations can be your ally in this. My kids haven’t ever known a Thanksgiving dinner without orange salad, love my weird sugar turkey and openly celebrate when they see the crockpot of meatballs simmering away. If I didn’t make them their special dishes they would be sad, and the matriarchs couldn’t stand to see a child disappointed at Thanksgiving.

My new family traditions are still evolving too, and probably always will. I have made changes for Cave’s family, his dad is a vegetarian and since he refuses to allow me to make him his own entrĂ©e I’ve added some of my mother-in-laws recipes that I know he likes. His mom isn’t a big fan of pumpkin pie, although she likes mine, so I add something for her in case she isn’t feeling it this season. This year it’s the apple dumplings that were posted today at Chickens in the Road. I’m using ground venison in the meatballs, I wasn’t going to pay almost $10 for two pounds of ground beef. MIL is looking forward to some good venison, but that’s something that would have the matriarchs rolling out of their graves and down the hill. I guess they never read up on the diet of the natives and the interlopers. 

My family is scattered across the world now. As the anchors passed away their people stopped coming home and were absorbed into other families or created their own traditions. My sister and I have each become matriarchs in our own right and while we get along well together in the kitchen it’s not practical for our families to travel half way across the country. It’s quieter, and easier, now that I am able to cook whatever strikes my fancy. Still, I’d be happy to dump a can of vegetable medly into lime jello and be the galley slave to the matriarchs hostessing efforts, eyes practically rolling out of my head while they kept wrinkling their noses and saying “I SUPPOSE it’s okay…”, if it meant I could see the family together again.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Tuesday night was pretty uneventful but Wednesday morning was a humdinger. Tuesday we had dinner and Cave tucked the kids in at their usual time, then he went to bed because he had an early shift. Silly E played around on the internet for a while and went to bed around ten. I worked for a bit but it was a slow night so I logged off when he went to bed and started puttering around the kitchen, canned a batch of monkey butter and cooked up a mess of pork to can a batch of sweet and sour pork. I was listening to the election coverage and watching a movie. I got the pork cooled and shredded, finished the movie, frowned at fox news and hoped their election predictions weren’t accurate, for a while I thought Ohio was going to pull through for us. Unfortunately it was false hope. I got disgusted with the election and decided to run the movie back up to the redbox kiosk because the one I use is awkwardly located and in a very high traffic area that makes it a pain in the neck to get to and I’d probably forget about it and rack up the late fees if I left it for later. Besides, it’s not unusual for me to run errands in the middle of the night, and it was only 0030, not that late. I went through my getting ready to go routine. I gathered my cell phone, keys, movies, LC9, and put them on the table. The dogs perked up their ears and watched me gather, while I changed into jeans and sat down to put my shoes on they did a slow stretch off of the couch and by the time I put on my scarf and coat they were dancing at their posts by the door.

I started loading my pockets, LC9 in the front right jeans pocket and went to put everything else in it’s assigned spot but the movie and cell phone wouldn’t fit because I had my gloves stuffed in my coat pockets, so I opened the door, let the dogs out, and followed them into the yard with one hand full and fiddling with my gloves with my other. Distracted and unprepared. Roxy followed me down the sidewalk to the car and hopped straight in, as is her routine. Hag, as is his routine, took off, gave the lawn a quick sprinkle, trotted over to the gate and had a look around. By the time he gets to the gate I usually have the car door open so I call him once or twice and he comes running over and takes a flying leap inside. This time he didn’t.

He stood at the gate, looking down the street to our neighbors house. I called him again, but he ignored me and continued to watch. Our cedar tree was in the way so I couldn’t see what he was looking at but I could hear an engine running and doors slamming. I paid attention but didn’t think much of it, the couple who lives there is young and comes and goes at all hours, and I’ve seen them drive three or four different vehicles in the months they’ve lived here. I saw two flashes through the tree and heard two pops then someone cursed. I swiveled and looked harder but didn’t see anything. Since Halloween we’ve had some problems with kids dumping boxes of those popper things in the road in front of people’s driveways, I figured the kids had seeded the neighbors this time but I did keep tabs on it with a corner of my brain.

Irritated because he was ignoring me I snapped HAG! but he continued watching. I heard doors slam again, then tires squealed and a big shiny white extended cab truck pulling a dinky little trailer ran up on the stop sign next to our driveway, slammed on the brakes so hard the trailer they were pulling bucked and rocked back hard enough I thought it was going to come off the hitch, and the dark colored SUV behind them that had jammed on the gas to follow them almost rear ended them. The SUV hit reverse and flew back 10 or 15 feet. Then the SUV flashed their lights on and off and backed up further, I figured they saw me and were trying to warn their friends, whom I was pretty sure didn’t see me since my car was between us. Then the passenger in the white truck jumped out and stood by the truck door. I watched and tried to process what I was seeing. Two trucks, squealing tires, stupid driving, firecrackers…it looked like idiot teenagers involved in horseplay to me. Hag put up his hackles at the kid who jumped out of the truck and started a soft growling, thankfully he didn’t bark or otherwise draw his attention.

Something the guy was holding popped and flashed once, and the SUV backed up another few feet, and I thought cap gun? Some sort of “real action” airsoft type thing? Paintballs? I thought it must be a toy because that was far too quiet to be a real gun and there was no brass pinging nor did I hear a bullet hitting anything, no puffs of dirt and I didn’t smell cordite, all things I’m used to sensing when I fire a gun. Hag didn’t even react and he was only ten feet or so from the shooter and has never heard gun fire before. The SUV revved its engine again and surged forward a foot or two and jammed to a stop and revved the engine again. The driver of the truck yelled GO GO GO and the shooter pop/flashed again and then ran North down one side of our property line (with Hag pacing him, growling and snarling when he got too close to the fence) while the truck floored it West down the block and hung a right out of our neighborhood without bothering to slow down for the turn. The SUV hesitated for a minute, long enough for Hag to come back from the back yard and stand with me staring at them, and then they too squealed out of there. I still don’t think he saw us. I told Hag up and he made his flying leap into the car, I closed the door, dumped the movie on the passenger side seat, stepped back and called 911.

I reported shots fired but told the lady that I felt it was just kids being idiots and I was only reporting it because I didn’t like such things going on in our neighborhood. Even though it was the middle of the night we still have a lot of pedestrian traffic and it wasn’t safe. I declined to give my full name but I did give her my number because she said the officer might want to call me back rather than make a trip out. This is not unusual, the jurisdiction in our neighborhood is not clear (we’re in the county, the people next door are in the city, the neighbors behind us are county, Miss E across the street is city and so is her neighbor, and we all live on state maintained roads, you get the idea) so unless it’s an emergency they call state troopers to respond and unless their presence is required they prefer to call since it can be two or more hours before they get here. Very helpful, and the criminals are beginning to catch on, but I digress. I proceeded to open the gate and left to return my movie, grumbling about morons. I was turning into the shopping complex with the kiosk when my phone started ringing so I pulled over and answered it. It was a deputy sheriff, who asked me to tell him what happened in detail. I told him everything, answered his questions and when we were done he told me that I had witnessed a thief shooting at a neighbor while he was following them because they stole his trailer. Well. That got my attention. I started shaking, and I nervously eyed every truck that I passed on the way home. Fortunately none of them were white extended cabs. Hag still had his hackles up at that point and I don’t think my sudden case of the jitters helped, he didn’t start to relax until we were back safely in my recliner.

Turns out what the cop told me wasn’t quite accurate, here’s the news blurb: Yes this outs where I live. I’m not quite ready to invite y’all over to dinner, but I’m okay with sharing this much. After all, Every day is a Great day in South Carolina. Maybe if Gov Haley forces enough people to keep telling me that I’ll forget my tax information was stolen and start believing it.

Cave and I did an after action report tonight with my FIL joining us via speakerphone. The consensus was that I handled the situation correctly. I was wearing black, in the shadows with the car between the shooter and I, and 20 or so feet to the side so I had some concealment from him. I thought about moving to the front of the car but decided they’d probably notice me moving so I stayed put. Even though my (incorrect) assessment said it was shenanigans I still didn’t want to draw their attention. I was already concerned that the guy in the SUV had seen me and was going to create some sort of problem so the last thing I wanted was the attention of the kid with the pea shooter too.

Initially I was highly annoyed by the whole incident, after I found out it was real I was scared and shaky, and then pissed off. Oddly relieved that it hadn’t started in my neighborhood, and ticked off at myself because I saw so many things that I could have done differently. At first I said things that I did wrong, but I have been told that I came out alive so I did everything right and nothing wrong, but they asked me to come up with a list of things that I could have done differently that might have helped me be better prepared. There are many things I could have done differently, but the major points are:

  • don’t leave the house with my hands full. We have all done it at some point, but in the short time since this happened I’ve been working on stopping and making sure my gun hand, at the very least, is empty before I open the door. I do this when I’m out but I didn’t expect to step out of my home and into a shots fired situation. I’m not a purse kind of girl but I’ve started carrying enough crap with me that I’ve been looking for a purse for a few weeks because I wind up with something in my hand more often than I like. I haven’t found one that I really liked and up until now I hadn’t wanted to settle but I’m getting *something* this weekend and will make it work until I find what I want.
  • pay attention to what the dog is saying rather than just get irritated because he isn’t obeying; he was in condition yellow from the get go and went to orange almost immediately after, and then red as he paced the shooter and made sure he didn’t jump our fence. He was doing exactly the job we got him for and if I’d paid closer attention to what he was paying attention to I’d have had 30 seconds more warning that all was not copacetic.
  • move my gun to a more accessible pocket now that it’s winter coat time. My coat is new to me this year and while it’s broken in thanks to the previous owner the leather is heavier and stiffer and it’s about half an inch longer than what I’m used to. I got it a week ago and I didn’t take the time to try drawing with it on. I have since. I need to spend more time practicing and possibly alter the pocket lining.
  • If you haven’t noticed it really bothers me that I didn’t recognize the shots as gunfire. We figure that it must have been a small caliber revolver but even still I thought I should have been able to recognize it. I realized that while I have extensive experience shooting in a range, I have very little experience being around gunfire in a real situation. A real situation here would be outside, without ear protection, and in low/no light levels. I don’t know that I’ll be able to find a place that allows low light shooting but I’m going to be spending some time hanging out in the parking lot at the outdoor range without my ears on so I can get a better idea of what guns really sound like when you’re not the one firing them. I can hear it when my bullets hit a solid target through my ear protection and since they were aiming at an SUV I figured I would hear them hit it, which one of their shots by the stop sign did. I didn’t expect Hollywood ricochet sounds, but I didn’t hear anything at all. My FIL said he’s never heard the bullets hitting when he has been shot (officially it’s been three times) or under fire (he declined to tell me how many times that’s happened), so now I know that’s not something to expect either.  
  • I’m going to start carrying my XD9 more often. I bought and use the LC9 for pocket carry, and it works well for that. I fire it regularly and it is reliable but the XD is my favorite and the gun that I’m most comfortable with, plus I want my security blanket 15 round mags.
  • I’m going to be investing in a laser with a grip switch for the XD, or something similar that doesn’t require more action on my part other than gripping the gun and firing. While I do practice more with the sights than the laser, the LC9’s laser has spoiled me for fast target acquisition. Unfortunately it has to be turned on with a switch that is about 1/8th of an inch past the tip of my fully extended trigger finger. This hasn’t been a problem during practice but I think had I chosen to fire it would have given me problems and that’s not optimal. It was suggested that I practice using my off hand to turn it on while acquiring the target but I want something that I don’t have to think about and I’d really prefer not to have my fingers that close to the muzzle when I’m defending myself.
  • I’m going to take an active shooter course at B.E.L.T. training. Since I’ve already told you that I live in South Carolina, I figured it’s time to introduce you to my excellent and supportive instructors. It’s past time to continue my training. I’ve been putting it off because money has been very tight but this showed me that I’ve put it off too long. Cave has worked with us on shooter response but his training is military and geared more toward tactical evaluation and aggression which isn’t always appropriate in civilian situations. It’ll be a few months until I have the money but I’ll get there. 
  • We don’t have OC laws in SC and while I support it for those who want to I’ve never really felt that I would want to OC. I don’t want the attention and I don’t want to be a gun ambassador when I’m just trying to grocery shop, but I’m going to start advocating for OC laws in SC. Sometimes it’s just more prudent.

I want to think that this is an isolated incident. Unfortunately the police blotter tells me that it probably won’t be. Not including this incident, in the last 6 weeks we’ve had 5 shootings/shots fired incidents in the mile and a half of road between our neighborhood and the shopping plaza where I rented the movie, a double homicide that was not gun related and a few knife crimes too. I pray that this isn’t going to become the new routine.