Fiddles, Guns, and Signs of the Times

It has been a busy week. Next month should prove to be more busy.

This past Tuesday Liz and I met up with two old friends from Millville, NJ – Rob and Christine Fini. I met Rob at the New Jersey Motorsports Park when we both volunteered on the Green Flag Committee.

When my father died, we had an estate sale. Rob bought all of the shelves and cabinets, but also picked up a few smaller items such as a pocket knife (which he carries with him every day) and a wrist watch (which he wears every day).

Rob never met my father, but he feels a sort of affinity. Rob and Christine are very dear to my heart, and I the time we shared this week was too short.

They traveled to Apache Junction to see the Quebe Sisters perform at the Mining Camp, a local venue. The Quebe Sisters play fiddle and sing, in a jazz, swing fusion. They are talented, and hot.

For Christmas last year I bought a Glock  G26 Gen 4 for Liz. Chambered in 9mm, it is her first gun. I have taken her out shooting, and she is a natural.

Last week, so that I would have a nice semi-auto concealable sidearm, I purchased a Springfield Armory XD-s in .45 caliber for myself.

I always wanted a .45, now I have one. The XD-s boasts a single-stack magazine, slim, but giving up capacity for conceal-ability. With the short magazine, the gun has a capacity of 6+1, six round in the magazine and one in the chamber. We plan to go out to the desert this weekend and get in some target practice.

In April, we will both attend a CCW class, the first step to acquiring our AZ CCW license. You do not need a CCW to carry concealed in AZ, but we are getting them for reciprocity – the right to carry concealed in other states. Plus, it makes it much faster to pass the background check the next time we buy a gun.

My background check takes about 45 minutes each time, simply because I have resided in six different states. A CCW will make the approval process almost instantaneous. And in AZ, I think there is a tax write-off if you have one. I love this state.

At work, I have more and more responsibilities assigned to me. This week we are making new signs for the business. The owner, who is very critical of everything we build – he demands perfection – put me in charge of printing and installing the signage. I was surprised that he left me in charge and has given very little input so far.

Today we installed one side of the sign. This week we are supposed to get the other huge sheet of Lexan so that I can print the other side of the sign. The sign is 5-foot by 10-foot.

I am happy to say that the first half  of the project went off with only a few glitches, as the printing process is a bit complex. The Lexan comes on a roll, and is printed on a flatbed printer. The slightest curl will cause a had strike on the printer, and destroy a $200 piece of media. The media has to be printed twice, so registration has to be dead balls on.

It is printed mirrored – or reverse image onto the back of the clear sheet of Lexan. The printer lays on the image, color inks first and white on top. The the sheet is reprinted again, this time with only color inks, no white.  This way, in daylight, the sign appears opaque and brilliant. But at night, when it is backlit, the second layer of ink causes the sign to not appear washed out.

And signs are not our primary business.

Next month is going to be extremely busy. The Superstition Mountain Museum is hosting Mata Ortiz. Mexican artists exhibit and demonstrate their crafts. The Renaissance Faire is in full swing, and we never miss a year. Lost Dutchman Days is also on the schedule – Liz is in the parade and Mike Henderson and I will reserve a bar stool at Captain’s for her after the parade. After lunch and a couple drinks, we will make our way to the rodeo.

And in between all of this, my good friend from NJ (and now NC) Gerry Moore is coming for a weekend visit. I haven’t seen him in three years, so it should be a grand reunion.


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