Thursday, June 14, 2012

Jews with Post-Cruise Blues and Other News

Well, we're back from the cruise, and as usual we find ourselves needing a vacation from the vacation. That is kind of a righteous suck for Tootsie, who has to find her feet at work tomorrow, but even though I have things to fill my day tomorrow, about which more later, I have the luxury of sleeping in.

First things first, I guess: not only did I not earn my cruise for next year at the tables, I actually came back down a little bit. I had a really good first day and a half; by 10:00 day 2 I was up almost $350 and  table captain. Then I kinda got hosed a little by the Poker Gods.  Well in fact I got an urgent telegram from them, it was my death certificate and could I just sign there please.

Basically I experienced exactly the kind of cooler hand that always seems to haunt my steps at times of greatest import. Holding KJo (yes, the dreaded KJ, who long-time readers know as being the single hand by which I've lost the most amount of money) and out-of-position I raised 3x and, since it's a cruise ship, actually - this is true - got called by more people than were playing.

The flop came KKJ.  Boy's night at the castle.  I flopped Kings full of Jacks - the stone cold joint.  I bet out about 1/2 the pot, call call, raise, fold, fold, back to me. No Hollywood, no dicking about, I shoved and leaned back in my chair, oozing power, unable to control myself but not really caring.

I got two callers.  One of them had me covered, the other was down to his last fifty bucks or so. The table flips our cards over and the idiot with no money had a pocket pair, something like 88 or 99, something that made me think that for the love of god, he puts his last dime in the pot thinking that with this kind of action he's really good. - The other player had KQ. There was almost $900 in the pot, as memory served.  I was actually planning next year's trip in my head.

Until, of course - what else could POSSIBLY happen - my opponent turned a Q and the bigger house.  GG Crafty.  Care to rebuy? Got the whole bit - flop sweat pouring down my face, ears buzzing, almost started getting tunnel vision even. I couldn't believe it - still can't, really.

Except this shit happens to me ALL THE FUCKING TIME. It's really discouraging.  And you know the worst thing about it?  It was destiny.  I certainly wasn't going to do anything but push my hand - remember, cruise poker is ABC, nothing fancy, subtlety is wasted on the stupid and the drunken - and my opponent wasn't going anywhere with her - yes, her - king.  She flops trips and with that kicker it's what, the third nuts at that point? So it's not like SHE was backing down.  It just happened like a god damned train wreck and there was nothing anyone was gonna do but watch it all happen.

As for me, I went on opposite-tilt, and clamped down like a 90-year old nit. I folded QQ pre-flop to a $50 all-in, convinced I was beat, forgetting this is cruise poker.  The guy said - yes, said - he had 99, not knowing what I held. I ended up down $37 for the week, and only got my shizzle back the last night when the table and the cards both started cooperating.  In only an hour and 10 minutes or so I made back a good bit of change but I had to be back in the cabin by midnight to do the luggage thing.

As for the rest of the cruise, let's just say that although everyone had a good time I think everyone agrees that it's good to be home.  Mom did her best to try to not be a millstone around our necks but toward the end of the trip she'd call us up dangerously early in the morning and ask us "what are we doing today?"

One of the most frustrating elements of dealing with my mother is that she tends not to believe anything I ever say about anything, regarding any subject whatsoever.  Not because she thinks I'm lying, but because she thinks that I am her youngest child and how can I possibly be worldly enough to know anything that she didn't herself teach me?

Since it happens all the time, it's become a button, and when she presses it, it really goes up my ass sideways. So this might seem trivial to you but to me it was a constant source of irritation.  Here is a partial list of the things that my mother heard from my lips but chose not to believe:

  • That besides adhering to the rules of basic hygiene, there was no enforced dress code anywhere on the ship;
  • That she would have a place to store her insulin in her cabin;
  • That nobody was monitoring her food intake, and that she could indeed go to the deli and get a sandwich while subsequently hitting the buffet, while subsequently hitting the burrito place if she wanted to;
  • That the ship would be designed generally to accommodate the overweight and the elderly, or indeed that there would be either of those types of people on board;
  • (After hearing that they charged for booze and soda) That there would be anything to drink that didn't cost money;
  • That thanks to gigantic stabilizers and generally calm seas she wouldn't need seasick remedies such as the 1,200 Dramamine pills she brought;
  • That there was a state-of-the-art medical facility on board (she was so reluctant to believe this that she went down to deck 0 and asked for [and received] a tour, after which she was satisfied);
  • That Customs coming back in to the US would have no objection to her bringing back in the little chocolates that were left on her pillow, and that she could still be in the "nothing to declare" line;
  • That she did not have to go to the lobby to pick up her disembarkation paperwork, that it would be delivered to her stateroom; and 
  • That there were enough lifeboats to accommodate everyone aboard.
Remember: these aren't just things my Mom didn't know.  These were facts that she was told by someone who's taken THIS VERY CRUISE twice before, and actually been on the very ship we were sailing on, and chosen not to believe.

Tootsie, who got a really good look at her behavior up close for the first time, came back to the cabin one day and said to me, wide-eyed, "Your mother's out of her mind!"  Yes, honey, she is.  Come here, darling, and tell daddy all about it.  No, dear, I didn't mean we should call your father, I just meant...no, I was just being romantic.  No, I'm sure your dad is fine.  Sweetie, it's $2.00 a minute to use the phone, I'm sure he's fine, really.  Well fucking pardon me for trying to be nice! I'll never make THAT mistake again.  No - you go fuck YOURself.  Yeah, right back atcha, ya douchebag.

The final straw came this morning, disembarkation day.  She knew that we needed to be out of our cabins by 8:30.  She knew, because we told her over dinner, that we were going to have a 7:30 wake-up call. And notwithstanding knowing both those things she called our cabin at 7:06, and when we did not answer, she called back at 7:12, and then again at 7:34. With nothing to say other than "did you see us coming in to the port?"  So needless to say I was fucking cranky (with a small "c," you weirdos) all morning. Add to the fact that the plans SHE made to get us back to where our car was got all pear-shaped and let's just say I was glad to be back home.

Was it worth it?  Well, karmically, I suppose so.  She really did have a good time, couldn't have done it by herself, and can now cross off a huge thing from her list of end-of-life regrets.  So in that respect I was glad to have done it.  That, however, was the only perspective from which I could make that claim.

So that was the cruise.  Elsewhere in the life of the Crafty Southpaw:

  • The waiting period is over and I was able to pick up my new toy, my Mosin-Nagant 9130 rifle, discussed at length in a previous post. It's just gorgeous, in an ugly-duckling sort of way.  Now that it's in my hands I can really appreciate the power and the heft of the thing, as well as the simplicity of its manufacture.  It's funny; the guns that Americans buy are sporting firearms; they're designed to fire at targets, or clay pigeons, maybe a hunting trip a half-dozen times a year for the enthusiast.  But this weapon, this is a different thing altogether.  The 9130 was designed to kill the enemy, plainly and simply.  The metal isn't shined to a high gloss; that takes time and besides, you don't want your weapon to shine in the sun when someone is trying to kill you. It was meant to carry well, to stay clean under harsh conditions, and to destroy the Third Reich one Nazi prick at a time. That knowledge gives it a power, commands it a respect that is hard to describe. I'm glad I own one. I can't wait to put it through its paces.
  • I have decided that it's time, more or less, to move on with this phase of my life.  I guess what that means is that it's time to bury my father, as it were; I have to be able to say goodbye in a way that I haven't yet been able to do.  It also means that it's time to blow the dust off the ol' resumé and seek employment. So (in all likelihood) off comes the ponytail and out goes Gary to hit the bricks and see what there is to see out in the wide world.
  • Part of this process of moving on was going to be shutting down the blog. For good or bad I associate it with this phase of my life, even though I started it before Dad passed, and before my life got more complicated than it used to be. I strongly considered the notion that if I want behavior to change, and if I honestly felt that a new start was what was going to do that, then a new start was something I should endeavor to do as completely as possible.  But I'm keeping it going, at least for the present.  I've really come to value the connections I've made,  in some cases made some actual friends.  And really, even though every last one of you is an irredeemable idiot, you're non-judgmental, encouraging, warm, smart, funny idiots, and I'm glad you're all in my life to the extent that you are.  
  • Speaking of the blog I've gotten some comments recently about the new look of the thing and wanted to say thanks.  It was really as simple as making a few choices, clicking here and there, and spending literally 25 minutes on a new logo, which seemed to be going around anyway (I think Grrouchie was the first one on that stage). Glad you all like it.
Well, I guess that's it for now.  Didn't bring any herb on board; missed it. With that said: excuse me, got stuff to do ;)

Meant what I said about you guys.  Not so much the idiot thing.  The other things. Good to be back.

55 comments:

  1. " irredeemable idiot" wowzers! If you shut it down before I get bored with Blogging I'll have to come out to where ever the hell you are and pout possibly slap you.


    Great luck with the empire building. I'm glad that you are embarking on a new phase in life.

    Did you take pictures during the cruise?

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    1. I did, yes. Forthcoming. And no slapsies. I'm like Josie in that I do not get any pleasure out of the receipt or administration of pain. However if the world somehow shifted off its axis and you and I were nastifying, I'm sure we could come up with something to occupy our time.

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  2. Gary's back! The part about your Mom seemed like the old days when you'd tell Mom stories at the poker table.

    I'm so so glad that you're going to make an effort to get a job. You know how I feel about this - it'll be good for you in many ways other than financial. Which...btw...maybe you should dip your toe into the working man's pool instead of swan diving into the deep end. As in start with a small local part time job, like at your local Home Depot or whatever. Just an idea. GL with whatever you do. You'll always have a cheering section here.

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    1. Cheering section, eh? Will you have your glasses and your argyle sweater? MMMmmmmmm....

      Seriously, thank you Josie. Good to know you're in my corner.

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  3. You already know what I think about some things since I am blunt when I know I am right -- which is always, of course. If shutting down the blog will help you move on, so be it. You can always start another one if you really want.

    Getting past something doesn't mean you ever forget or do not appreciate. It means accepting what happens and not letting yourself be trapped or controlled by things you can't change. The tears will still come sometimes, but they are most often followed by a smile instead of a trip down an endless, dark tunnel.

    As for the cruise ... at least you now probably have poker home game stories for the next several years.

    Snaps for Gary!

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    1. I know Lightning is old and dumb, but he's given you some pearls here:

      Getting past something doesn't mean you ever forget or do not appreciate. It means accepting what happens and not letting yourself be trapped or controlled by things you can't change.

      The old guy is right.

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    2. I see that you are making it even easier for me to avoid seeing you in Las Vegas with comments like this. However, seeing as how we all know that in the three-person intelligence race between you, and Gary, and the light(ning) of the world, you are trailing badly ... I just may forgive you. May ...

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    3. Careful Lightning: my girl is wicked smaaht.

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    4. I am SO looking forward to seeing all the smacks that Josie inflicts upon Lightbulb next week. Can't wait.

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  4. Well thank you J. I appreciate it, really. And hey: if I do shut the blog down, a serendipitous side effect is that I never have to have a single iota of contact with you, ever again. So I got THAT going for me...

    This moving on thing, it's not going to be easy. I'm just not a cat who can easily let things go. I wish I could; you have NO IDEA how many complications my life has that would be resolved, or would have never gotten this far in the first place. But it's time, past time, to make the effort.

    As for the stories, you're right of course, but I'd have rather had money and a stress-free trip. Well, tomato, to-mah-to, I reckon.

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  5. Wow, glad to hear you aren't going to stop blogging, we'd all miss you. You know, it doesn't have to be either/or. If you get too busy with that new job you're gonna get, you can just post occasionally, every week, every other week, whatever, and we'll still keep up with you. Please don't leave the blogger world unless you absolutely have to.

    Good luck getting that job. Sorry the poker didn't work out for you on the cruise. That KJ hand was a nightmare, one of those hands that when it happens to you, you start to think you should stop playing the game forever. Yet, we keep on playing.

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    1. Oh turns out the OTHER old guy is right too. (Rob) It doesn't have to be feast or famine iwth the blog. No major decision need be made - just do what feels right - if that's posting once a month, so be it.

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    2. Well thanks Josie - you're like my personal content aggregator, like Reddit or Fark.

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    3. And Rob, it's really not a case of being too busy. It's more like - like - well, dig this: Suppose you were in an abusive relationship, and while you lived this nightmare you had a comfortable chair that you sat in all the time. When you finally get out of the relationship, you ditch the chair. Not because it's no longer comfortable, but because of the baggage and all that jazz.

      I'm probably not articulating myself well but so be it. It's a consideration. And again, it's not like I went down that particular road. You'll not be rid of me that easily.

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    4. Gary, in that case, my suggestion would be to close this blog and just start another with a brand new name, so the baggage isn't as noticeable. Call it something like, "The Clueless Righty."

      You can even change your blog name from Gary to something else. I hear blogs that use pseudonyms are all the rage.

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    5. The Clueless Righty? Doesn't that describe ALL righties? BA-ZINGA!

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    6. No more than "Crafty Southpaw" describes all lefties.

      But that's an interesting prejudice there, Gary. I may just have to temporarily abandon my stance against combining politics and poker and establish an Anti-defamation group to protect us "righties" and perhaps go after your blog for discrimination.

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    7. Yeah - I'm going to go ahead and advise against that. A group espousing the rights of righties over lefties has all the charm and grass-roots support as a group of white people claiming discrimination against blacks, Jews, and papists. I needn't draw you a picture. But if you do, call yourselves the RRR - Righties for the Rights of Righties, perhaps.

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    8. "RRR" is pretty good. You're kinda clever for a lefty.

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    9. might one even say, crafty?

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  6. Looks like I need to make my blog a Gary-free zone. Of course, you wouldn't give a shit, unlike other people who can't stand to have access to commenting denied ... : o P

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    1. Eh - do your worst. I'm tired of that goddamn cannon fusillade anyway. Friggin Blackhawks fan.

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  7. And a cheery hello to you too, Mr. Grouch. : o P

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    1. I've decided I'm sick of right-handed people. I am aware that I choose a lonely road, but I am a man of my convictions, however ridiculously arbitrary.

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  8. Gary,

    Just thought I would let you know that although, I do not have a blog or comment all that often. I check your blog frequently and read all of the posts.

    You need to do what is best for you but I just wanted to let you know that there are others in the blogosphere outside of your regular posters that enjoy your writing. Do what needs to do be done man. I for one will still be reading as long as you are still writing. Take care.

    -grouse

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    1. Grouse, thank you very much. I'm touched, honestly. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment, or keep lurking if you prefer, that's obviously ok too.

      I really appreciate you checking in.

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  9. Hey, you're back! I had no idea you'd be back so soon. So soul-crushing, those hands where you're counting the dough in your mind and spending it in whatever way you choose and BAM the 2 outer hits.

    Let me join the chorus of those remarking how glad they are that the blogging will continue. You're easily the best writer of those whose blogs I read. I'd miss your posts.

    And, you gave me a laugh out loud moment with the lowercase C comment.

    BTW, I'm off to Foxwoods tomorrow if you're interested in trying the poker gods on terra firma. I'll be there mid-afternoon. Last run down there before we move to Woos-tah on 7/1.

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    1. "You're easily the best writer of those whose blogs I read."

      I'm wondering how Josie will like that statement!

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    2. Given the fact that I think most of the writers here are quite good, I think that's about the nicest thing anyone's ever said about my writing. I really appreciate this. And I appreciate the offer, but I'm parking my fat cracked ass on this couch and keeping it here this weekend - call it my post vacation vacation!

      Let's talk soon about that piece of furniture, ok?

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    3. Too, too funny! Josie, you know you're an excellent writer. And, handsome, too!!!!

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    4. If you'd like to see how far she's come, read this guest post, if you can.

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    5. LOL on the old guest post. So let me get this straight. YOU GAVE JOSIE A PSEUDONYM????? This is the same Josie who has said I should stop that shit on my blog? Really! That's just awesome. Gotta love it.

      So now that we know that "DB" is in fact VJ, are you at liberty to tell us what "DB" stood for? She is almost bragging about what the DB stands for in the post.

      Anyway, Josie has definitely improved as a writer since then but I still found it a very entertaining read. You can definitely see the origins of the Josie we all know and love in that post. And yes, your retorts were outstanding.

      Thanks for giving that link.

      BTW, did you have to use HTML to put the link in the comment so neatly? I never get links embedded the way I want in comments, only in the main posts.

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    6. Let's not call it a pseudonym; say rather that I pinned a nickname on her. But it was no big deal insofar as I was the only one who callled her that.

      As for what it means, I'll let her decide if she wants that known; it was kind of a mean nickname between two close friends, and I'm not sure she wants it out there.

      As for the HTML, yes, I slipped a little code into my cha cha. you use the Anchor tag A surrounded by angle brackets (<>) with the HREF attribute. Very straightforward and multiple examples exist out there. Obviously I can't give you an example here; it'll render it into HTML. But if you need some guidance that the 'Tubes can't provide you I'm glad to help.

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    7. Thanks, I think I can figure it out. I'll let you know if not.

      Understand about the nickname, I don't want to impose on your friendship. I suspect Josie would not want me to call her "DB"--any more than she wants me to call her "Jose."

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    8. Ha - yeah, I wonder if either one is advisable ;)

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  10. @Rob, Josie claims superiority over me in many ways - I think if it were anatomically possible she'd claim she had a bigger pecker than mine - but she has admitted to me that between we two I am the better writer. I will say that she's gotten way, WAY better in the time she's been blogging, and would never disparage that skill in her even as a joke. But I'm the big literary dawg, notwithstanding my recent use of the word "dawg."

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  11. All the love is heart warming.

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  12. Blah blah blah, touching feeling grouping fondling.

    I love the avatar even though I'm anti-baseball.
    I am enjoying the new, "easy on the eyes" look of the blog as well.

    However - please look at your "blog archive" which is one letter wide on my screen and spans down eighty bazillion miles. I'd never be inclined to click on an old article to check it out because it hurts my brain to read
    hi
    s
    t
    o
    r
    y
    F
    r
    i
    d
    a
    y
    :
    T
    h
    e
    M
    a
    n
    W
    h
    o.
    you get my drift :)
    keep blogging, keep hating, learn that the past is in the past and you don't need to change your entire life in order to move on from one thing.

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    1. Grrouchie, if I want to grope you, and fondle you, goddammit that's my right. But I won't want to grope you until you change your tone.

      Thanks for the advice, brother. Now if I can only take it. And re: the blog, I know about the thing with the thing; I've resigned myself to it.

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  13. Not enough venom in these comments. Where the hell is Waffles when you need him?

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    1. Where indeed? Show yourself, you delicious breakfast food!

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    2. No venom from me towards my favorite Blogger but I'm glad to cattle prod you.

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    3. You comment on MY site that Waffles is your favorite blogger? How DARE YOU?? And keep the cattle prod down, please, where I can see it at all times!

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    4. No no no, you misunderstood. YOU are my favorite Blogger.

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    5. Oh.

      Well I guess now it's MY turn to blush.

      "Th-th-thank you, ma'am" (touches the brim of his 10-gallon hat).

      Thanks for the other thing too, Carmel.

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    6. BTW Are you sure I can't publish that other thing?

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    7. well now I've decided it's too precious to share.

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  14. Gary, if you feel you need to shut down the blog to move on then by all means do so. I will miss it as you are one of my must reads (though I don't comment often) but you do what's right for you. Getting past your dad will not mean you forget him, hell it's been almost 30 years for me and I don't forget. But putting it all at arms length will make it easier for you to handle the memories and you'll feel better for it, believe me. BTW that KJ hand hurts in every way.

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  15. Neo, thanks. That's very kind of you to say. I had no idea that I was anyone's must read, except for maybe a few people here and there. How can I shut the blog down, knowing that?

    I have to say, there've been a lot of people that say what you said to me - that it doesn't go away, even (in your case) after 30 years. I don't think there's anything that hurts my heart more than that knowledge.

    I guess really wanting to put all this bullshit behind me is a good first step. That second step - actually doing it - is going to be tougher, but one thing at a time, I guess.

    And btw - that Mosin Nagant is pretty bad-ass, like a commie .30-06 - but I still think I'd take the 10/22 for the Zombies. My next step is also a Nagant: the M1895. Serious Russkie iron, for a hundred bucks. http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.aspx?groupid=352&name=Russian+M1895+7.62x38R+Nagant+Revolver

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  16. Those Mosin Nagant rifles are nearly indestructible and cheap as chips too. Not a bad choice to take out the nasty zombies. Unlike the 10/22 they're pretty heavy though. Amazing you can get both the rifle and pistol for around 100 each. I've thought of buying one of the rifles here. I'll probably wait until I retire and get ready to move to the wilds of Montana or Wyoming. Never know what kind of varmints or zombies you'll run into out there.

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  17. They are heavy. I'd definitely take it but I'd probably just sling it on my back and carry the 10/22 in my hands. The 1895 I'd stick in my belt in case a non-face-eating human tries to get frisky with my provisions.

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