Sunday, August 31, 2008

Uniform

I have always felt that I wore a different guise, a different gender across many generations. I cannot express exactly why. I feel pleasure at the music of the 40's, sense the logic in the dynamics of flight, my soul spins at the sound of bagpipes, and I can recall - if dimly - the preternatural senses of both the hunter and the hunted. Too, tactics seem to me quite basic and generally easy to manage. And the smell of cordite and gun cleaning fluid? Mmmm...Many things come to me in a deep place as very familiar. It would be easy to give it a name. But I think it far more profound than just...lives lived.

So it is that there are some things that disturb me in that same deep place. There are films I cannot watch. I have yet to view Black Hawk Down - I sense that it would change me, that it would ache inside. Especially since it has a very deep and personal meaning for Trooper who was...familiar with the whole matter. How he has watched it I do not know...

We did watch We Were Soldiers, a movie mentioned here recently. Very moving...and, again, something a bit close to Trooper who has a penchant for meeting people associated with such events. (Frankly, he has that weird six degrees of separation thing for a rather large number of important and interesting people.)

And then there is the fascinating account from Michael Yon in his Gates of Fire piece. (Which, rumor has it, is ripe for movie-making, also.)

Ah, and let us not forget Gladiator...how I cried in those opening moments, his clean hands and spotless gauntlet giving away the ending.

Just today the National Guard - and some Troopers, yes - were headed east. At least the Guard was doing what it was intended for, bless them. But I do worry for what might be...

No, I cannot escape that strange echo of the past. So I try to lean in, to hear it more clearly. And to remember that nothing we have now is guaranteed to last. None of it. Not even sunrise. And so many have died trying to have it for themselves.

"So this is our story, for we were soldiers once, and young."

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Chores

Another Saturday, another day doing a few things Trooper would do if he were home. Or a few things he's gonna gripe about when he pulls in and sees them done.

Frankly, when the adjoining homeowner mows their lawn I like to mow mine, too. Make it nice and even, and we sort of keep up with each other. Only problem was that Trooper left me with about a 1/4 cup of gas in the can. Which meant mowing on the run. On a hill. Hooo doggie, it was rough. But I eked out that last drop and finished it off so I'm pleased.

Then it was time to tackle the front garden area. It needs a lot more help but for now I moved some petunias to pots since they were not happy in the ground. Cut back the hedges, too. I HATE when a home has hedging coming up past the windows. Folks, they are ornamental. Don't just assume because it is a thick branch that you can't hack that sucker out. And do I ever. It forces new growth from the inside, ensuring you don't ever have that weird naked leggy thing going on. With the hedge, I mean. Sheesh.

And if you turn your pruning shears so they are upside down, you can get a really graceful rounded shape in your pruning. Unless you enjoy that regimental flattop `do on your shrubbery. Hey - to each their own. Of course, that brings out the inevitable scramble for the cuttings. Oh, how pleased I am to no longer be dealing with holly bush hedges! Dear GOD, all around GA that is what they consider a fun hedge plant. Yeah, well - good security at the windows, maybe, but what a pain to deal with.

But the roses...well...I got too tired out for them to get any attention. Tonight in dusk I'll have a nicely sharpened blade to put to their out of control branches and some cut up hosiery with which to secure them to their arbors. (Yes! It is the very best stuff - doesn't harm the delicate skin of the branch, lasts all season, and ties quite nicely.) In truth, they haven't bloomed as much as I'd have liked but then I've been less attentive to them than they'd probably like. I am bracing myself for a flush of autumn bloom so their pruning will have to be mild.

However, allow me to note that I intend to do very little additional work and this is why: we've an inside offer on a lovely house in a very nice neighborhood. I detest subdivisions. Truly. And we'd prefer a rather lot more land but...this one...the houses are all on 3+ acres so no one is right beside you. And everyone has horses and pastures and barns. Of course, the price point is larger which means a more desirable sort of person. Yes, it isn't snobbish. It is reality. At any rate, I shall be saving all my plant money for the new place. And any other money, too.

The motorcycle will likely be sold to aid in the project. He's been considering it for some time, it being a more youthful sport bike. Someday we'd like a Goldwing, sure. But for now all it has done is cost us insurance.

I cannot wait. Unless we find something more suitable, it will be our new home. And good, too, that we found something in the county because it would appear Trooper is...advancing. No more shall I say but it is obvious change is coming. He just has to bide his time, take his tests and continue up the chain of command. (Which I never think of without hearing Jayne saying that it's the rutting chain he's gonna beat you with...)

So there...rather a lot done and now some food and a shower are in order. And then? Complete indulgence in a pot of tea and my new Victoria magazine and assorted catalogues. WOOT!!

BTW, things may get sparse here in the coming month...I've rather a lot of medical goings on just now. Appointments like crazy, a lot of thinking and doing. But it's good. It's all about time and good. Yay me. I guess...we'll see!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Scattershot

Sooo much going on and so little time...but there are a number of good hits out there just now.

Such an illustration of the morons on parade. Poor Moxie...

This WGN radio show - listened for a few hours only to find that the Obama supporters could only muster up a "you are a doody-butt and a meanie and I hate you!". Re: Milt Rosenberg show with host, "Kurtz attempted to look at the files of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge of which Barack Obama was the chairman in the mid-90's.".

Another article re: the Annenberg issue here.

Brigid gives out a fantastic snippet of Truth.

That's about it...Trooper is upstairs on the treadmill and I've a head of hair to wash. Well, and the rest of me, sure. I mean...who keeps a hairy head around just to wash it now and then?

Don't answer that.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Couple Good Things

Oh, I do hate MySpace and all its foolishness but it's the only way I know just now to lead you here. "In My Arms Instead" should be the first song loaded. Just listen - and know that it is missing its gorgeous tail-end motif. So if it's on iTunes or Napster, do consider a download.

How I love Texas music...

And in case I hadn't mentioned, we saw some of George Strait's band play locally in an old fashioned Texas dancehall.

I danced for the first time ever.

I was skeered.

I tried to lead. A lot.

Trooper added a spin right in front of the stage.

I blushed and never recovered my step.

So, we can check that one off the list. Phew. I swear - I wish I could dance half as well as he does.

At any rate, check out the above. And send a kind thought out to Jason Boland, too, who has a fair share of troubles just now. As well as his own AMAZING release, "Comal County Blue". Oh, yes, crank that one up. And buy it if you can - he and his band will need the bucks as he recovers from surgery. How sad to have a superb release and not be able to tour with it.

Last but not least, there is a terrific show in Steamboat - I doubt we'll go because it appears to be a very youthful, drunken adventure and we are generally neither. A terrific lineup of bands, though. If I were about 15 years younger I'd be far more likely to tolerate the silliness. The price is AMAZING for the room AND all the shows. You'd pay 5 times that to see those folks throughout a year's concerts. It sells out fast so if you are interested, you need to jump in.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pilot Pron for iPhone

Oh, man - how can you resist it now? I am giving semi-serious thought to flight instruction for Xmas. In Texas, being able to fly from city to city would be a huge perq. So it is very tempting...if expensive...at any rate, if I ever do move on that dream, this would SO be in my arsenal...

Courtesy of Point Niner...

Slapstick

I've studiously ignored just about all the political wrangling - mostly because I consider the entire thing a charade of insane proportions. However, I cannot help but note Billy's running commentary some of which I shall link to below.

As an aside, there is a link to his comments on another site wherein the content is ignored for the physionomy - a thing that is brought up in regard to Billy by nearly every wonk who wants to hate him for being right - and right to the point. As though anyone's appearance has any damned thing to do with the truth and accuracy of the words being put forth. Frankly, when someone decides to "go there" I file them immediately in the "you don't fucking count" bucket and put them on instant Ignore. Dear God - have we sunk that low? Really? If it isn't a neat digestible soundbite delivered by an attractive automaton then it has no meaning or relevence? Do fuck off already. Jeez...

At any rate, here are a few personal favorite notations from around the net...

"as if Field Marshal Rodham won't just rip The Miracle Worker's head right the fuck off if she sees half an angle." (I hope Michelle has him insured quite well.)

"This is Jr. paddling his little boat as hard as possible in the wake of the great ship Miracle Worker. Perhaps he'll be sucked along."

"While the stage is set for The Runt, ditzy chicks who used to be hippies frolic to the strains of "Oye Como Va". They have the ancient space-eyes, and would get their tits out, but they're respectable now." (That is hilarious.)

""Hillary Gets Stiffed"Don't you think that's cute? I sure do.You know what, though? I think it's way too early to conclude on who's gotten "stiffed" so far."

"It’s got to be in the mix, but the real trick with Obama is to deflate his hypnotic presentation. His style is to sound deeply thoughtful, and use that to distract attention from the paucity of actual thoughts." (Damnably correct. Talk about summing the entire thing up...)

"let’s get you up to the top of a five story building, have you jump off it, and then you tell me afterward whether anyone’s subjective take on your fall has changed the facts." (Yet another person commenting on the utter lack of critical thinking in people today.)

"I only hope he wakes up in time to vote in the general election. We need more people of Mr Kearney’s caliber making those important decisions for all of us."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Darling Harbingers of Doom

Oh, dear...how I adore these wee beasties...check it out:



I think that Joan needs one something fierce just now, too.

Of course, they also have a lovely bird house!

Such is my sense of humor just now as a headache begins and the bed calls. This week is over. At least until tomorrow.

Tip o' the scythe to skulladay.blogspot.com.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bless You, I Needed The Laugh

What a rough week...work has SO cramped my blogging style, damn it. So I apologize for neglecting you, gentle readers. More soon, promise! Meanwhile, after dealing with politically jockeying overly aggressive female executives in APAC...I REALLY needed this.



Bless you, Sir.
(And a mighty thank you to Rechelle... http://countrydoctorswife.blogspot.com/ and a link in case that freaky ass embed code bonks...)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

RVW's Tallis Fantasia - Unknowable Mysteries

This is one of my favorite pieces of music. Just a perfect, perfect creation.



But what I found was this very interesting discussion and dissection of the music. Very informative!! There appear to be 4 total...worth some time if you have it.



As a commenter notes, "If you have iTunes, get the version performed by the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, conducted by Sir Neville Marriner. It comes with "The Lark Ascending," "Fantasia on Greensleeves" and "Five Variants of 'Dives and Lazarus.'" It's $9.99 and it's absolutely gorgeous. "

It truly is the best version I've found and the entire CD is like the score for a dream of heaven.

Joe Bob says check it out.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

And the band played on...

I was scrolling through the nonsense on the channels, looking for anything to pass some time. I landed on a documentary called, "JS Bach in Auschwitz". About "...interviews eleven of the forty women prisoners who played in an orchestra at Auschwitz during the Holocaust." - I was mesmerized.

One could see any number of emotions on the faces of those interviewed. One lady worked hard to remember her sister, of the kinder things and yet could not forget that day her parents and a friend arrived as she played a simple tune that eased that trainload of human life into its place of death.

Another tried to reason her way through it - how could they have done it? Why did she sing?

Well, to live, of course. But even this far away from it they had a hard time expressing the thing. And I wonder at how children today are taught about those events. The one lady had a young piano student there and the boy hacked away at a piece as the somewhat wizened woman spoke of those times. What did he think of her, the teacher with the accent that he probably felt strange with, the keys under his fingers perhaps involuntarily. And now, 13 years later, is he one of those "teens for change"? Will he see the comparisons, the rather striking similarities?

Will our own future history hold such tales of horror and atrocity? Are we strong enough to live through them as those people were? I do wonder...

But that music resonates even now, across all those years. Through all those poor souls that moved on to the terrible, kind music...echoing again and again. Lest we forget, yes?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Firearms Bonanza

I'll be damned if there wasn't a plethora of findings today...first up is a slick bit of gear that holds (3) 30 rnd mags. Sure, it's a little gearhead-ish. But me likey. Video 1 is all you need to see what it is about.

And then there is the AR15.com site's fundraiser for Americansnipers.org here. Worth your $10 to get a chance at all that gear? I think so. Don't forget the ever-darling pink camo raffle, too!

Another interesting site...offered this which endeared me to them immediately. Ah, the good ol' days.


And finally, here we have a very fine series of tips on rifle case reloading. Something that I think Trooper and I ought to be considering in the near future. Glad to have found the site courtesy of the ever-informative Brigid.

All in all, a very fine way to avoid doing my job this morning. Well, sure - I did manage to get a few things done. But...the above was really a LOT more fun. Now, the Trooper has the VERY rare Friday off so when he gets back from visiting with the menfolk I think we'll have to plan an evening of food and fun. And maybe, with enough indulgence, he can try to teach me to dance. It just may take a fair amount of tequila, though.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Smack That Communist Ass

Well, now...if this didn't just crack me up...


I have not given a moments thought to the charade going on over there. It is all nonsense and I feel badly that the int'l athletes are having to suck it up and perform there. Of course, a stronger spine would have prevented them from going. But hey - they'll have the memories, right?

This linked from Billy was a very could post about the matter.

"Despite the inclusion of elements like this, I couldn't find
myself convinced that the opening ceremonies should be viewed positively.
Regardless of all the razzle-dazzle, what we witnessed was a calculated attempt
by an oppressive government to justify itself through a mesmerizing performance
on the world stage. It's a variation on the old Roman “bread and circuses”
theme, except, of course for the bread (think how many capital goods
$300,000,000 could buy to increase worker productivity and thus help to
alleviate the wide-spread poverty in China). The ceremonies were a debut ball
for China as a nation, with all this implies for a country ruled by a
nationalistic authoritarian regime; they were a thinly-veiled celebration of the
state. In this respect, I found the 2008 opening ceremonies eerily similar in
tone to the 1936 games in Berlin."

Just so. As the old saying goes, "put silk on a stick and it'll look fine". You can dress that shit up all you like but the fact is that every person on that field marched with a gun in their back. Or that of their family.

I refuse to give them any more attention than that. Nor business. (Want to play a fun game at Walmart? Try to find items without a Made In China notation on it.) But go ahead. Watch. Admire. But never forget the pointy boomsticks backstage.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Brigid of the Flame

That flame being the one of her intellect...goodness but she makes my posts look like drivel. And I am alright with it. Just as long as she keeps writing.

Look at this lovely birthday musing.

I've only recently starting reading her blog, likely linked by Lawdog but I surely cannot recall now. It doesn't hurt that she seems quite lovely in form as in demeanor. And that she can cook better than even I can and that's saying rather a lot. Especially, as she notes, these days.

Of course, I am envious of her ability to take wing as it pleases. But I take a great deal of pleasure from her writing thereof. If you've never been in a small aircraft you really ought to try it. It is nothing like that tin can of farts that we take from one Thanksgiving to another Easter. No, the air is alive you see and it sometimes wants to stroke you like a lover and other times wants to dash your pretty brains into the ground. It is only your attention to the matter immediately and constantly that keeps it in check, that deathly caress.

Intoxicating, indeed...

But then, too, it was her name that gave me some comfort at first glance, a harkening back to when all I did was learn of the TDD and the names of the vast cast of characters peopling that stage. Of course, I was more an admirer of The Morrigan...but She suits my darker self. Goodness, how many years have passed since those days...nearly twenty of them!

Oh, I am aging and I worry more now for the endings. Aching for tidying up of loose ends lest anything untoward happen and leave things all awash, a detritus for someone else to deal with. I shall not have it. There are too many things going on just now to permit it. It is...profligate waste to not care for it.

Ah, well - no matter how much we plan, life will just Be. Nothing nearly as random as we like to think and yet some things so completely...pointless that one has to believe in a Loki, a troublemaker in the web. And still...triune...all things always return to the three, no matter from which direction you come. That always surprises me...remembered anew at each finding.

Carry Shirt?


I wonder if anyone has tried this...I love the idea but wonder if it is even feasible. What caliber will it contain safely? Obviously, it isn't going to work for a woman - unless she isn't boob-ed. But I'd love something akin to it with the carry in the obliques area...cross-draw-ish...
At any rate, it's a neat idea if it's functional.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Quiet Night

Ah, night shift...not my favorite time of the month, sure. There is, however, some pleasure in the personal selection of DVD viewing, music listening, and very dark chocolate indulgence...

Right now, the really superb CD "Meditations For a Quiet Night" plays, setting the mood for the sleep to come. Even Ranger seems lulled by it. I have the series of four CDs and they are a very good compilation of some of the most evocative classical music made.

A little Northern Exposure earlier put me in a winter state of mind. We've a winter vacation to finish planning - Grand Targhee after the new year, we think - so I've that to care for. I love the cold...the layers of clothing, the way the cold wafts off when you enter a warm room. And, of course, the crunch of crisp, new snow. I will stamp on it like a child, taking great delight in the sensation.

Perhaps tomorrow I can consider this mess and what might come of it. "...a bottomless badland where $500 billion of Western aid since World War II (more than four Marshall Plans) has barely made a dent in the poverty."

At any rate, it's late, it's quiet, and I am rather thoughtful about a great many things. Remembrances and wonderings. Enjoying the solitude but still wishing he'd be home before midnight. No such luck...

A Good Hat and A Good Deal

I would never have considered myself to be the cowboy hat wearing type. But once you live in Texas awhile, it just seems natural. The sun is vicious and especially to fair skinned folks such as myself. And I'd like to remain that way, thanks.

So finding a hat that makes me feel like a natural vs. putting on a costume can be difficult. I got a Larry Mahan straw ages ago and it was servicable but...not always comfortable. Too stiff, it needs a lot of breaking in. But then Trooper turned me on to the Atwood Palm Leaf. The Hereford Low Crown, to be precise.
Folks, this thing is the most comfortable hat I've ever worn. Light and soft, it is nothing like the stiff straw that I own. And the band is a soft suede that just barely hugs your noggin. And look at it - nothing about it screams costume. Mind you, I am not sure I like each us having the same hat as we might have that "Oh, how cute! They match!" look going on...but it is so damned comfortable that I flat out don't care.
And the shade is necessary - particularly since I ran over my prescription sunglasses with the mower last month...I've not been thrilled with the expense of a new pair. The hat was far cheaper.
Also...can I just say how much I've loved shopping on Ebay lately? I am a very discriminating type and tell it to find for me only the labels and goods I want. Laura Ashley, Sundance, Soft Surroundings, and the like. I have lucked out and acquired a number of very nice things lately for a fraction of their value. An entire summer wardrobe for the price of a single piece when new.
Perhaps it is the Welsh in me but I love that - I love having nice things (oh, yes - yes I do) without having to pay a fortune for them. I'd love to shop in a fine boutique, as I once did long ago, and have money be no object. But I have to admit - the finding and bidding has its own thrill. And yes, I've lost no few items that I'd have loved to own to those damned sniper bidders. But I've adored all the things I've acquired and, I must say, they fit quite nicely.
Of course, there is that early 40's jacket that I won't be able to wear until post surgery - but that was why I got it. Too lovely to not own it and a fine gift to myself for the suffering to come. And come it shall...saw another surgeon the other day. Just a few tests and it will be time to book a date. Terrified? Yes. Ready? Oh, yes. Just one step on a long road to fixing all these ailments. As she noted, it would not likely aid my hand issues. No, but it sure as hell won't hurt, either, to have 20 lbs removed from my shoulders every day. Well, nigh unto that amount, anyway.
At any rate, yay for me. That's what this is all about. Yay for me and do get an Atwood if you are in the need for a dog days of summer cover. Just a fine damn hat...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Penblwydd Hapus i Chi!

Well, it may be she's not Welsh but I like it...

Another trip around the sun for Caroline Lavelle whose music is so lovely. That cello...such a wonderful sound...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

It's Only Getting Worse

I am fortunate that my forays into the city are infrequent so I am rarely accosted by the idiocracy. But there are hints of it here and there. Like the utter moron crossing the parking lot diagonally to enter the hardware megamart. Slowly. Against traffic. Taking a trajectory to ensure maximum delay for all drivers.

I blew past his hip to issue that clarion call. I've got the tonnage, you dumb sonofabitch, so either move with a purpose or wait until I can get by. Oh, how I detest that not-as-subtle-as-you-think-you-are passive-aggressive bullshit. It is worse in Atlanta where they pour themselves across like molasses in January.

So it was that the reference to Billy's post came with a sort of "just been there" exclamation point.


We live in a time when peoples' thinking, obviously manifest in their language, is a miasma of metaphor, simile, allegory, and every other possible device "deployed" as much as possible except directly reality-referential plain English.

I seriously believe that the educational system was installed to purposefully remove all manner of rational thinking from the populace. And just look - in the matter of two generations it is done. Just look at the level of literacy in degreed professionals. The mastery of "there/their/they're" should have been acheived by this point. Sadly, no. I see it every day.

The ability to take an argument and discuss it based on fact and evidence continues its decline. If they don't "feel" or "believe" a thing it simply isn't true. At least, not for them. Which may explain the level of stupid fatalities lately. To hatchet Pink Floyd, "You - Yes! You! You're MORTAL!" Hell, I just chalk it up to Fate. A sorting system of the gods and you were sent to the circular file, my friend.

Damn it, I wish I were more eloquent today...I mean to make this say something biting and applicable. However, there is someone who tackled it a bit better.

http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2008/07/26/ive-been-taken-to-task-by-an-obama-disciple-bring-it-on/


‘Proportion’? Are you serious? A presidential candidate threw out a random tidbit about how he wants to make the largest change to the US government since… well… ever… and that’s ‘out of proportion’? Out of proportion would be digging a trench around Washington DC, filling it with lava, and then using trebuchets to launch plague rats into the city, only that would cost less.
LOVE IT. It is a fisking of a complete idiot's simple request for "mandatory volunteerism". Jesus. I mean, how does a person get that seriously stupid? Do you see now why voting is never going to get us anywhere? People like that are making decisions that impact your life directly every day but you're going to discuss one candidate versus another when they are ALL THE SAME ANIMAL.

Trooper often asks me what I would install in place of the current process. I can't really address that - I freely admit that I am not smart enough to go there. But I am smart enough to know that I don't need clueless motherfuckers ruling my life. This is what I wish I could pull out of my brain.

Trust me - you give this country another couple decades and it will be no better than this - yet further reason to just stop sending those barely evolved creatures another cent. It's a very near thing, the dissolution of a grand dream.

We've room enough to make a final stand but I doubt seriously the ability of anyone under 25 of seeing it coming and making appropriate plans. And I might adjust that number upward if it weren't for the homeschooled - it is that tiny sliver of possibility that gives me pause. You just never know.

Gotta Have It

Oh, it's for a good cause and all but...who wouldn't want this?! Go here in a few days and get some $5 raffle tickets, won't you?


I know I will - as many as the Trooper thinks prudent. Sure, sure. I already have one but - not like THAT. LOL Damn but it's pretty! And it would go really cute with my Kalashnikitty t-shirt!!





Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Lovely Sitemeter Issue

Well, I cannot read 90% of the blogs that I enjoy each day because - well, in short it appears that they prefer to know how many people are reading rather than just enjoying the fact that they are read.

I've never understood the attraction - unless, of course, this is your sole income and line of work. In that case it is a statistic useful to the operation thereof. However, if it is a gratuitous site - as is mine - I simply cannot comprehend why it matters.

I honestly haven't a concern if I am viewed by 1 or 1,000. The fact is that this has served as a sort of diary. I was once quite the journal maven. But as it grew harder to hold a pen I just let the days slide by without comment. This format permits me to return to those...words...without the pain.

Still, know that while I adore you all I shall not be loading another bit of clunky software on an already overtaxed PC just so that I can enjoy the read. What I expect is for the Sitemeter staff to FIX their problem and produce a product useful to the marketplace. Let's hope that happens soon. Until then, I shall miss you all and your mutual madness.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Requiem For A Good Man

It was August 1st, just a few years ago, at approximately 2pm that I received a call telling me that Trooper's beloved grandfather was in the hospital after having suffered another bout of heart pain. I rushed from the office to the north side of Atlanta and further still trying to get there in time because we'd spoken...not a few weekends before...about whether or not to call an ambulance...

He was so unlike his photos and all I've known of him is sickness and frailty. But Trooper knew him when he was strong as an ox, as a man who could work all day outside without a single ill effect. The man who raised him into the fine man that he has become.

I slowed my truck to a reasonable speed when the 2nd call came through, indicating that the man had passed over from the mundane to the sacred. I arrived at the hospital to find the family, weeping tears and watching each other to see who was weeping the most. (Yes, yes...they are...that way...) I passed a handkerchief to the spoiled daughter and hugged the immature son. I declined a viewing, not needing it to spoil the mental images I already had.

I could not help but feel the sting of anger and regret that the wife hadn't listened to him, had called the ambulance rather than let him pass whole and with choice. He was tired of it all, had no desire to be further cut and sewn upon. And then it was time to make that other call...

Trooper was still in the academy, nearing the end and scheduled to head into his 5th DWI class of his career that week - one could say he was well-versed in the matter already. I reached the main desk and indicated that, while the information might not surprise him, it would be a very hard message to receive, and to give it when appropriate for his schedule that day. In short, I did not want to upset him prior to a test or other important part of his day.

I believe his favorite instructor called him aside and gave him the news. As always, though he shed a tear, he quickly came together again to continue his day while making plans for leave for the funeral. Which then led to another instructor declaring that his missing the DWI course would prevent his graduation. Oh, there was a bit of an argument about that. He would not miss the funeral even if it meant dismissal. Thankfully, it was decided he would merely take the test and see if he passed after his return. Of course, he did.

We spoke just the other day about the funeral...of how no one who knew the man spoke...of how he'd asked to have a turn and was ignored. And the wailing and lamentations from hooded eyes, again trying to outdo one another in contrition. It was a sad affair. But we returned last time to his grave, saying words and taking the moments we could not that day. A comfort if slender and chill.

So here's to you, Sir. How you are missed...

Let eternal light shine on them, Lord,
as with Your saints in eternity,
because You are merciful.
Grant them eternal rest, Lord,
and let perpetual light shine on them,
as with Your saints in eternity,
because You are merciful.