Tuesday, September 30, 2008

BBQ

In honor of Brigid's future Southern Feast post...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Space Dreams

Pointniner showed me this and I cannot believe I'd missed it. Of course, I like his comment, "Does this mean we have corporate-owned ICBMs now?" and have to give it the jaded eyebrow raise. Still, how lovely to see private business taking over this line of endeavor. About damned time. (Even though I have nothing but love for the poor geeks stuck in the NASA mire...)



Yeah, I wiped away a tear or two. Good on ya.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

AF, Personal Wing, and...Michael Martin Murphey

So bear with me because it's gonna be a scattershot sorta post. I actually went out today and drove now that the meds are mostly behind me. Met the Trooper for lunch and he related to the guests his tale of the morning.

He was a little tuckered out and moving slow, eating his breakfast as a call went out on the radio to the locals - a pony running free in the roadway. Cackling, he grabs his cell and reaches dispatch as the green Deputy accepts the call on the radio.

"I'll pay you $5 to get on the radio and say the pony's name is Wildfire..." It wasn't 5 seconds later..."Complainant advises pony's name is Wildfire." You could hear the laughter across the county and the young guy does NOT put it together. On scene, he even confirmed with the owners that the name was, indeed, Wildfire so that he could accurate note it in the report. Word is they just looked at him. It wasn't until he had closed out the call and was in office asking, "What did it matter what its' name was...oh, damn it!"

For those of you not getting the joke because you're too damned young - pardon the earworm:


This morning I also spent time looking at vids for Air Force BMT - Basic Training. I was curious what it might be like for my stepdaughter in a month or so. Lucky gal will get to be one of the first to get the new 8.5 wk course vs. the current 6.5 wk. She's in the middle of a training routine to prepare for it, taking the month to run, swim, and workout so that she can be at weight and ready to go. She'll spend a week or two home with us, getting some final finishing from Trooper/Sarge. Maybe some low crawl tips, gun training, salute refinement...that sort of thing. Oh, and bed making. That man can make a bunk to spec like nothing I've ever seen. Might have to take her to Academy here to show her the basic concept.

It'll be nice to have her nearby in San Antonio for awhile even if we can't visit her. I'm proud that she's going with this option as she is frankly flailing about right now and it will do her good to have some stability as well as time to make a plan and see it through. I think it will kick her ass to start, being a very talkative and authority questioning type. But in the end it may be just what she needs. It certainly won't hurt her.

And then there is this - ah, what genius, what courage...and that grin. The man is not young but his age does not show here. Look for the smile. Tip of the prop to LawDog for it...as he says - if you have to ask why you just aren't gonna understand the answer.


Backstory: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7637327.stm
The flight was broadcast live for the National Geographic Channel. Its producer, Kathryn Liptrott, told the BBC Mr Rossy was fearless. "When we've talked to him and asked him are you worried about risk his quote consistently is: I'm not worried about risk, I manage risk.

“He flew Mirage fighters for the Swiss army, he now flies an Airbus. And in his sort of heart he's a pilot and a parachutist and what they do is manage risk."

"Manages risk." I think a great many corporate leaders could learn a lesson from those two little words. Because all they've managed is to stick it to you and me again. And walk away. Frankly, they should be shot. In another time, on another world, that sort of thing would be a hanging offense. Not a word of contrition...no surrender of bonuses and salaries to repair what they've done. And nothing from those morons on parade who have taken from you because they could, because they were enabled by corporations who just wanted the money NOW. Fuck later. Well, later's here.

If you want to truly see the depths of ignorance, go ahead and read this. No, wait - the chickenshit edited the post. Because we're fascists, dontcha know? Cool thing is - cache, baby.

I know that people think me mad when I say that this whole thing - everything you know - is going to burn. It is going to hell a-flame and if you aren't ready for it it's your own damned fault. Because there is an entire GENERATION of people like her coming of age and voting. And you can see that they haven't a clue - not a one - about logic, honor, integrity or even "don't fuck over everyone else because you are a clueless moron". I cannot comprehend it - even when I was young I was never like that. I understood consequences. I could unravel a thought or debate a point. But it's the twilight, my friends. And a long, cold winter to come.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hold the presses

So, ok. I saw this at the Shewolf and wished I was in school so I could throw my hand in the air and ask some grownup HOW the made that neat but sorta blah black snakey snake thing into this.


Then I read the wiki thingy which said, "Mercury(II) thiocyanate (Hg(SCN)2) is a chemical compound. It was formerly used in pyrotechnics for the long snake-like ash Pharaoh's serpent that forms when a pellet of this compound, often with a small amount of a sugar such as glucose added to serve as supplemental fuel, is ignited. This is extremely dangerous because it produces poisonous mercury vapors."

Fine. Great. So I guess 1) I can't get one? and 2) the ones I used to burn by the dozens and inhaled gently the smoke because I kinda liked it - am I gonna die or somethin'? Well, maybe not since the dumb ol' wiki told me it wasn't the same.

Anyway, it has been an inspiring video. Just two more hours before Trooper gets home and I can be entertained. OMG - Mythbusters needs to make a GIANT one...

Ummm...

MEDIC!!

`k. Bye.

Aviation Fun

So I am working but the lunchtime meds always make me sort of goofy. So I tend to wander the net and waste time. Point Niner had this...pickin' on the Air Force - a timely thing since my stepdaughter enlists in a month or so.



Yeah, a wee bit cruel. But funny!

And of course the requisite "are you sure you need to be a pilot" video. Either he is a moron with a crappy pre-flight OR one lucky, talented SOB. (Because a part of me thinks he killed the engine prior to the video...)



I was thinking the other day about the lunatic who gave me the wheel of his Grumman Traveler for a half dozen flights. (He wrote a hilarious book about aviation but you cannot get it from Amazon at a decent price anymore. I shall loan my own copy if you pinky swear that you will send it back...) Joel had this idea that he would teach me in a zen manner - give me the controls and let me find their impact on the plane through experience.

Now, I know the general concepts, terminology, and kinda sorta the physics of the thing. But to be in the air and watch him settle back and gesture to the wheel...a dream come true and a nightmare. We would leave from RYY, a nice, small airport. He'd head to a slightly distant non-monitored location where he did his touch and go's and I'd do my best to avoid doing my worst.

I had this...well, I like to carve those turns on that approach L thing. And I did it a bit too aggressively. So after that touch and go (which he always cared for) he took us up rather high and then showed me what happens when you are too aggressive and dump too much air off the wing. Uh....yeah....it cured me. LOL

But we never did get to do the one thing I'd hoped for - I wanted to touch a cloud. Taste it. But the truth is that clouds aren't always kind to planes so while we were always looking for a good candidate, it never did work out.

Now, that immaculate aircraft is pleasing someone else since he sold it recently. And it has been years since those hours in the air. But I still remember it so well. What fun, what incredible freedom and pleasure and fun!

Joel was, for me, exactly the person I needed in my life at that time. Heck, at any time. He is a raconteur, a genius, a goofball, and a true gentleman. And his codex has directed me when in time of need. It contains so many lovely sentiments. Such as, "Put absolute limits on the extent to which you allow others to manipulate your life." I mean, right there is a solution to a thousand problems that people have.

Anyhoo...that's about it, I guess. And yes, I have wasted far too much time but...it's been a nice trip down memory lane.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Can I Shop Yet?

I know, I know - it's all a POS out there in the world but I don't care because it is all about me and my tiny hooters, people.

If you haven't met me - which is 98% of you - then you have no idea from whence I came. But you may be familiar with Beth - Dog The Bountay Huntah's wife - and you get the general idea. (As an aside, she MUST have some lovely custom long line bras and/or corsetry. Period.)

I have dealt with that...burden...since I was 12. Oh, it took a decade to get to their max. But it was one hell of lot of pain, trouble, and shopping misery. So I am thoroughly thrilled to be considering all those things I always denied myself. Empire waists. Dear GOD, the empire waist tops that I shall own!! And halter tops. Strappy camisoles, too. And...yes...I may even one day go out in public sans bra altogether! But the best thing? The BRAS. And no more $80 numbers unless I WANT to.

People, I can waltz into VS and get something off the rack. The thought just flat out amazes me.

At any rate, the healing progresses. I can start to feel the nerves repairing themselves. I went out for the first time tonight, getting a comfort burger and just LOVING it. Even with the "grenades" stuck in a sack at my side. (That is Trooper's term for the drains which of course led to the concept of pus grenades and their benefit in protest marches or anarchy.)

While eating, I made a face. He asked me why and I said, "Imagine the cat holding on for dear life to the nipple with all four paws' worth of claws..." We cackled and then the pain was gone. FUN! I reckon I've about 6 months of those interesting moments.

But right now? I cannot wait until the drains come out...just have to wait for Friday. I hope the surgeon likes her work. To be honest, I haven't really bothered to get all excited about the detailed condition of the puppies. I mean, I am already thrilled. As long as they are relatively normal looking, I'll be happy.

C'mere, catalogues...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Appearances

Hot damn, but that shower was lovely...definitely better than the 4 days backpacking shower though with rather more fear involved.

This dandy bit of gear ensured the last 3 days were quite tolerable. Though now that it is removed (yes, at home, pre-shower, by Trooper) I am starting to get a sense of the pain I was missing. I suspect the ice packs will be getting some use, now.

It was frightening to take off the bra, knowing that the Frankenboobs awaited. Scary, too, the bandages...I am usually quite brave but this is so different. Innards could become out-ards with a bad cough. But...I have seen flesh that I have not glimpsed in 30 years. No, no - it wasn't decrepit severely obese rotting flesh. It was pristine, virginal, soft as kittens...

I look fracking TALLER.

If I give it too much thought I get the creeps so I try to just let it be. But...it's done. Except...

The persistent cough.

Yep, even with the antibiotics. So in case that lovely post-surgery pneumonia decides to rear its ugly head I shall be calling the surgeon's office in the morning to ensure we don't need to do anything more about it. Could just be that 17 years of smoking. Or an overly aggressive intubation. Or a microbe that managed to wend its way in against all modern medical miracles.

My goodness, but I was a baby about it. Trooper smartly said nothing - "Just a bit more tape here..." rather than "Here's me yanking about a foot of catheter line out of your boobs!". The slightest tickling sensation...but nothing of concern. Still...one wonders...am I a guinea pig? A canary in the coal mine for the product? I hate being an early adopter. But...the lack of pain? Magical.

Amazing, too, the amount of sleep...two hour naps breaking the days apart. Strength regained. But still...that wobbly temperature bothers me. That and the cough. Nothing spiky or frightening but...hell, it'd suck to get through this macro procedure and be layed low by something microscopic.

Strangest - the dog seems to know...subdued as can be. A nosing, a lick, but no jumping into bed, no paws on me. Sweet, sweet.....thanks to all for the kind thoughts and kick-ass prayers. Definitely benefitted from them.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

By the Numbers

I thank God for my husband...

Time for meds - check.

Measure drains - fucking disgusting and check.

Thermometer - digits fluctuating by the hour - check.

Bathing me gently with care for the nethers - check.

About to discover the impact of high antibiotics on digestion - check.

Bless that fine man...and all our friends...esp the one heading to Houston so that he wouldn't have to. Just damn.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Down For The Count

Home, some pain, and definitely a student-level intubation. Hard to talk...Crazy...I lost 5 lbs in 5 hrs. LOL More later in the week, I guess but for now just a thx for good thoughts and prayers. Keep `em comin'!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Countdown...

Ah, frustration sets in...still so much to get done and time is running out. But tomorrow at this time I ought to be thoroughly stoned out of my gourd and hopefully feeling no pain.

At least Trooper is capable of cookery. He has many a recipe to work with and I am happy with breakfast for dinner.

But well away from all that is the deep concern...will things go as they should? Will I wake? Will the surgeon's hands be deft and sure? All I know for certain is that It Will Be.

And so tonight I will gather together that folder of pertinent details - the To Do's just in case.

So, against the unexpected, I wish you all well and words that fall from fingers like finest lace. And if I am not here, I'll be here, maybe, enjoying the view. Smooch!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

On My Mind


My protector...well, two of them, I suppose. That's Maximus (Mus, Mook, Grey Muzzle, Little Man) on the desk with the usual companion of my day. He's a snuggler, that furry beast. He loves to be around me, generally sleeping on my desk in the daytime and at my feet through the night. In between he gets in a lot of up close and personale snuggling and kissing - he has to be right in your face.

I am trying to wean him from the snuggling a bit because in about 4 days he will be forbidden from the usual snuggle and will have to adjust. Thankfully, the other two cats are lap cats, they'll be fine. But Mus? It will be a battle.

I've gotten a lot of laundry and cleaning done but there is still so much to do in preparation. Admittedly, I have some fear of the surgery to come. My bloodwork came back and all was stellar which is a comfort considering the amount of butter we consume. But I do worry...enough that I am getting out the folder for the Just In case. All the insurance, the last rites wishes, etc.

For me, death isn't as...taboo a topic as it might be for others. I find it interesting in many aspects. It is a tad disconcerting when it might be your own, of course. And a gory scene is never pleasant. There are some Trooper photos that aren't looked at. But a few - it is as though the animation is gone and what is left is a costume. Yes, just so - the actor has left the stage and the costume is left behind after the scene has played out.

So it is that I have already set a general play for my own departure. Music, preparations, words...I never want anyone to be flailing about in such a difficult time, not knowing what to do or whom to call. But the disposition of my things...that is a harder list. Years of words, dusty and now without their own animation, they seem still too important to lay on the pyre but...who would understand them, or care to? Hurtful things, mortifying revelations, everything...

And the mundane, of course. Clothing and shoes, frippery and ribbons...I wouldn't want Trooper to deal with it all. So whom do we task with it? I've a person in mind, a friend back in Georgia, who is sensible, who would be able to perform the task without as much emotion as others might have. I need to get it all finalized and written down so that, should the unexpected take place, no one need wonder at what to do next.

All this on my mind...and dreams...strange dreams of far away places and people I don't know. While the very scientific side of me states simply that once the electronic life is gone, the flesh just Is - no hereafter, no angels perched on clouds. Simply static and then nothing. But as I get older I wonder about that. About how so many people believe otherwise. "Hang he pa du rootless tree..." Ages before Christ that "tree" was known. And from ocean to ocean peoples trying to label the unknown and coming up with the same concepts.

Yes, it may be time to watch Joseph Campbell once more. When my day comes I truly do hope that people are there, your dream dinner party, and you can laugh and chat without growing weary. Dinesen and Campbell, Asimov and Astaire...Mom - and even cats lost so long ago.

I was walking in the woods a long while back - I used to hike Sweetwater Park every Sunday back when I was in best health. Rain or shine, unbearably warm or covered in frost. And I'd bring an apple and leave some by the fairy king's throne - a stump long worn so that only the framework remained, quite chair-like. It was deep autumn and the leaves were falling but not quite gone. And the dawn light poured like honey down the path, the tree trunks breaking it into shafts. I thought to myself, "This is what I hope heaven is like - a path through trees to a clearing where all things that ever were still Are." It was such a striking moment that I recall it still so clearly. And as I crested that path and the sun came full on me I knew a peace of mind. And yet, a sadness, too. Just light, just leaves and just a path in an early morning park.

That park held much magic in it...many small events like the coyotes crossing in a pack before me on a very frosty morning so that I listened the entire hike, anxious for an attack I might not expect. Or the owl in the fog falling from a limb to graze my head while I watched the fog roll up the steep land from the river below, rolling like a living thing across the ground and chilling my feet. Or the large cat - someones escaped exotic - drinking across the river and, sensing me, bounding up the sheer rock face in 4 leaps, the pole tail balancing, its black tip visible only a second. (I didn't take that path across the river often before and never after.) Or that spring morning where I saw the baby deer near the path, not moving when it saw me, its mother watching but not bolting yet. Slow and slow I moved, ducking my head as if to say, not wanting to eat you, just another deer...I was within 4 feet of the baby before mother slowly moved up the hill and baby followed. But looking back at me...the entire time, we both looked back, wishing for Communion.

Many a thought on my mind of late. I just hope for the best and a speedy recovery. Because I intend to make another wood my Sunday home, the dog my companion, and this shadowy fear of Doing a thing of the past. No, after this many things must change and I with it. There is, after all, many I thing I haven't done yet. And time enough, if I don't dawdle.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Deciphering People

There were a couple things I wanted to mention before they got lost in the day...

You have got to see this Shorpy photo...a school picture, it contains every single character that you can summon up in your mind. Yes, the chairs were just as I recall from my own grade school days (except that mine still had a hole in the upper right corner for the ink well, long gone). But note...

Everyone dressed as well as they could...the worried academic guy who knows war is his future, the pretty girl whose hankerchief hides the boy she'll miss...the angry boy who wishes they would all die...the sexy librarian type who will make someone a very happy husband...the not quite able to muster up innocence gal who casts an envious and sad look at the innocent, pretty one nearby...the one who is slow, held back a few years so that he towers over the rest...and the stoic, quiet boy who doesn't really care at all, accepting what Is.

It is an evocative photo, indeed. Note, also, that Shorpy now is offering free iPhone wallpaper for those of you that have the Minder. (I especially love the 40's aviation set...)

And now, this utterly hilarious take on the Biden "Cloud-Pirates of Khandahar" event. The comments are spot-on and full of cackles. The truth?
"In February, Joe Biden was one of several U.S. senators rescued by Dempsey and
other members of the Phoenix-based 158th Infantry Battalion when the helicopter
carrying the senators made a emergency landing in the mountains of Afghanistan
in a snowstorm."

Biden's use of the event?
"He'll ask her about "The superhighway of terror between Pakistan and
Afghanistan where my helicopter was forced down"

The winning poke? "Wow, Joe. You've really been in the shit, haven't you? You've seen fire, and you've seen rain. Mostly rain." Spewed coffee on that one, I did.

Is there any way to make this whole thing any more comedic? And tragic - at the same time?

Mind you, I have my own thoughts about the Biden Affair which leans toward his being a sacrificial lamb all along so that, next month, he can step down and Cankles can step up, with a beatific smile and superficial grace. I'd said as much in the past - she and The Messiah™ have had a plan. That is why the battle was so...polite. No way in HELL she'd not have used both barrels on him (figuratively, people; I know with her it's hard to tell sometimes) in a real campaign.

Now, the reason behind my thinking about so much...sub rosa...dealings is not because of my belief in a vast conspiracy. No, I have held papers in my hands that were much more...incredible to read. No, it is simply that you can tell the true motives of people who desire power over others. It is very simple. She would never give up that chance without much more of a fight.

Motives. It is a very simple thing to forget when dealing with people and yet the most telling. Never forget that and you will often be able to find the truth in a matter, no matter who you are dealing with.

On The Road, Again


Tarnation, but Trooper was exhausted last night. We were both drooping by 10p.
It had been a hectic if mostly steady day. I prep'd a few provisions, entertained the dog, and finished the laundry (clean underwear being a priority in my book of survival). That morning the sunrise was red as blood - sailor take warning, as the rhyme goes. Ranger was, as always, on duty and watching sunrise.
They helped the local firearms shop in the afternoon by exhibiting a strong "presence" as items were removed from the shop in case of dire straits later. But then at 4 or 5p the traffic started to back up...
Trooper saw it and started calling on the locals to manually turn the lights to green to get the flow moving again. Debates slowed the traffic to a 6 mile crawl. Frustrated, he called up the chain. Men showed up and just as things were starting to move a pissing match and war of wills developed - those men called off. There was a storm on Trooper's brow as he reached out to friends at DOT - barricades that these people cannot knock over with their vehicles, please. Four truckloads were on the scene in a hurry, blocking the Smallville's entry points to the highway.
Calls made and the pissing match was called off, men returning to their posts and getting traffic moving again. Within an hour it was flowing as it should have been if people had just done their jobs instead of playing political games with personnel. The Smallville Fire Dept. called him over to their station and they were lined up outside, applauding.
Yes, if you call up the old Army Sergeant in him, Trooper will take command and get shit done. Period. Because he just doesn't care what you have going on in your little empire - the people need you to do your job so that they can live their lives - lives that are under rather a lot of pressure just now. Plenty of time next week to move your pieces on the chessboard, after all.
DOT left the barricades nearby, knowing that they'll get use tonight and tomorrow. My brother in Houston notes that his whole house generator ensured they were the only ones with lights last night. He loaned his portable to the neighbors which I know is helping their own travails. We have nothing more than gusting winds and clouds - we could have used some rain, actually...but we're glad to know they are doing well.
A lot of people are going to regret hanging back. This is not like some other weather event - you cannot win against a wall of water. And there really is nothing you own worth trying to swim to safety amidst the detritus. Let's hope things aren't as bad as they could have been if Ike hadn't spun itself out before landfall. It was such a little difference between it kicking up to a Cat3 or 4 and the disorganized, messy storm that landed.
Now, time for some breakfast, I think. And a moment of thanks that I can.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Storm's Edge

Dear me, but I cannot concentrate on my work. Try as I might I am just too tired and yet too excited to let go and rest. Suffice to say our area is understaffed as remaining forces are shuttled around the state to aid in hurricane relief. He is essentially in charge of the very few folks left which means his phone has been ringing nonstop for two days and his radio has been on every waking hour. (Which reminds me that I need to add a scanner to our list of stuff...) We watched last night the long trail of cars on the major thoroughfare near the house. The pasture was dark but the red glow of tail lights stretched as far as we could see.

He has a 12 on/12 off shift but last night he stayed out a few hours longer to prevent the oncoming Trooper walking into a mess just as he came on. Of course, this morning he woke after not enough sleep to receive a call for a three vehicle accident with injury. Thankfully, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. And yes, I got my own 4:45a wakeup call by the dog. This time he was out until his father let him back in. I was back in bed, dreaming of a fridge stocked with storm provisions.

This morning, since I was awake when he left, I took the dog to the park and then to the grocery to get enough to last us a few days as well as to feed any of the local forces a sandwich here and there as the duty hours extend. Ice was important - it is the one item that can be a comfort in the south when power fails. A large pan of it at a bedroom window can cool the incoming breeze enough to make sleep possible. It can save your grocery dollars as the food thaws. Of course, it also soothes the worn spirit if a heavy drop or two of scotch accompanies it at the end of a long day.

Right now, though, coffee is important. A couple cups dropped at the car as they did a drive-by a moment ago and my own cup here to keep me going a few more hours. And some to grind just in case - nothing like losing power and seeing your whole beans mocking you from their canister. Not today, Sirrah!

Let's hope things work out well for all their preparation. All those roads and all those miles traveled to ensure people find a dry place to rest.

[Today's title brought to you with this print in mind - it and others of the series hang proudly on my wall. One of the finest small Florida towns...visit, won't you?]

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rapid Fire

It has been a nutty day - and I had my blood pressure up this morning over the fact that CIO can't understand that you cannot upgrade some servers and not others and still have work FLOW. We're talking prep for Outlook 2007. It doesn't talk to lower versions. Or perhaps I should say it disdains them.

Juggling that with three different time zones today has my brain weary. Add in Troopers very early hurry-back report to Honor Guard this morning and I am tuckered. But...in light of all the death...this was a gently amusing item. I like to think that if there is more after death (and I really think there has to be) it would have a sense of humor about it. Love and laughter - heaven enough for me. (That site has way too many very interesting maps so visit when you've time.)

And then there is the ever-important How Would the U.S. Military Fight a Zombie Army critique.

Just now, I have to think about a chocolate dessert for a coworker's birthday tomorrow. Hmmm...maybe a kind of trifle using Emergency Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Pastry Cream? Mmmm - with gorgeous white whipped cream on top and chocolate shavings...suh-nap!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Christmas in...September

If you are like me you're always on the look out for the perfect gift. For me, because so many of our friends are military or LEOs, Ranger Up is a first stop. It's a great time to shop, too, because they now have a dozen or so new shirts. So if you've not been in awhile, go ahead and check it out.

Both Trooper and his fellow Trooper/SWAT pal wore their "My Ops Are Blacker Than Your Ops" tshirts to the last training event. I admit to getting a giggle out of the Please Recycle shirt.

Know a total pessimist? This works. Perfect with a nice pound of coffee. Their t's are great, too.

I like the explosives shirt here.

Know a sexy cook? She'll look good in this. With or without anything else. And some vintage stuff is here...

Do your hands take a beating? Know someone coping with a northern clime? This stuff is the best I've ever found and this is about the only US location to order from.

Last but not least - any cowpoke or wannabe can find something here. A seriously stocked site from a tremendously lovely part of Texas. (A photo of which graces the blog header this month.)

Alrighty...that's about it. Nothing smart, witty, engaging or really impressive about this post but...sometimes a good link is all you need.

Simply Put

How often is someone able to sum up in just a few minutes time so much truth? This is being featured hither and yon so it might not be new to you. If it is, go ahead and wait for the ending. Just...humbling.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Preparations

Damn it but I'm tired.

About five different doctor appointments and one more tomorrow for all manner of bloodwork before the...Day.

When I had the hysterectomy, I had about 48 hours to mull over what would happen and how to deal with it. This time, I've had most of a month to fester and when I start to think about it I get all manner of frightened.

And it takes a lot to scare me, generally.

So I am trying like hell to get a handle on the last of this office mess. I'm dragging out all the unfiled files and the organizational goods that are languishing under piles. Because I shall be working from home for many days and if anything bumps me I shall howl.

No, this was very, very necessary. More so since I really needed to find and shelve all my cook books that I've been missing so desperately. As you see, I have hedged security and privacy by filtering the shots. But I think the extent of the problem is clear, no? Oh, all those books...I hate to get rid of one as I tend to get them only because I intend to keep them forever. But in truth I know that there are a good forty or fifty that could go away. And perhaps they shall.

I do know that I intend to break out a couple old favorites for the convalescence. The first is an omnibus edition of the first few Thieves' World books. If you aren't familiar - and any fan of Fantasy merged with law enforcement - you really ought to hunt them down. I have nearly all the books in one form or another and try to read the series once every few years. Indeed, I took an online identity from one character because she spoke so clearly to my own...self...

Another series is C.J. Cherryh's Morgaine set. Oh, how wonderfully she writes there. She has this manner of making it all so real - every little detail comes through without her having to point each one out. (In fact, I loved Exile's Gate so much that I bought a print from Michael Whelan of the cover. Someday I shall get it framed, damn it...) Lastly, is her contribution to another series, Heroes in Hell. Go ahead - click the link. I'll wait.

...

See? Now you just have to read it, right? Yup. So as you can see I have my hands full for the next few weeks. It will be hard to decide which to read, really. I love all three sets so much...

At any rate, I've my work cut out for me, now. And time is wasting so I had better get back to it. More later if I can accomplish this Herculean task.

Addendum: This print makes me think of Brigid. Called The Reach, it has been a favorite. But the hair is what brings her to mind, I think. Though I admit that she likely has felt like that before - hanging on but still reaching out. I know I have. I am.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Job

You have to be prepared to come across stuff that you might not expect - and deal with the unexpected with quiet resilience - when you become a sideline member of law enforcement.


It could be an abundance of manuals. Or you might open your photo editor only to see carnage and destruction because they had to download and burn the photos to CD. The accouterments of the job are everywhere. Bullets, rigs, cleaning tool cases, and rather more knives than you might expect.


Of course, there are the dinners out with the trainees and the occasional 10pm coffee thermos drive-by. That's usually during the first few night shifts after rotation when the body simply objects.


But I suppose the loss of holidays is one of my worst peeves. It is rare to get any of them off. So when people ask what we did over the long weekend I have to force myself to not raise that single eyebrow and roll my eyes. He gets one weekend off a month. Buttressed with a day prior and after, one of which is usually spent on that part-time that so many of them have in order to add just that little extra to the bank account.


You'll mow a lawn if they're on days. You'll have your own gun handy more often than not because, like it or not, you are an attractive target, too.


And heavens forfend that you get the phone call with hospital names and cautions given.


It's a different life. And I imagine it is far different if you've bound yourself to someone without...integrity. Or to a force without...virtue. Because there are one hell of a lot of each. But it has its benefits, too.


There is a sureness inside as you watch them perform the routine - knife in boot, keepers just so, flashlight checked and seated, and the gun emptied and reloaded with a sharp smack to the magazine to seat the death therein. The vest is in place, the backup tucked in last - a kind of Get Out of Hell Free card just in case things go, as they say, pear shaped.


I can still recall when I first met Trooper. He was a motorcycle officer in Atlanta's environs. Damn, but it was a sharp uniform. Those boots... I was new to the whole uniform routine but happy in the viewing of the process. How could anyone tire of it, that sequenced, sure series of steps? Followed by the deep bellowing of the engine in the garage...and curses if the usual rain of winter greeted him.

So much time and change has passed us. A different uniform and a different manner of duty. We spoke the other day of how good it is, now, and how unhappy he'd have been if he hadn't left. Sure, probably a Sergeant by now but...of what? And whom?

And perhaps in a few years his uniform will be that legendary button down shirt, blue jeans and the star - the peso pressed and carved into a new talisman. With any luck, we will avoid the widely mocked, "I'maRangerI'maRangerI'maRangerI'maRanger" look with a star on anything slow enough to get one smacked on it.

Yeah, he has the BBQ gun already. Perhaps someday...

Disgusting

THIS angers me so deeply and so...intensely that I hardly have words for it. Do you not see the utter depravity in the world today? That a child could find this to be an acceptable action? And was that a fatass parent I saw loitering nearby?

And Kerrville's PIO Krebs only barely misses being a target of my ire. "I've got something on you and I'm gonna show the whole world and the whole school that you ran away and didn't stand and fight." Really? Is that your take on it? Because I see it much differently.

I see it as just the tip of the iceberg of what that victim has probably dealt with from that piece of trash. I see it as something that could have turned into a murder had a blow hit just the right spot on the head or neck. I see it as the entire collapse of society as we know it caught in a 30 second snippet of hell.

If there is a Hell, I sincerely hope that child gets to know it intimately. At the very least Karma ought to bring her some justice.

Simply disgusting. As for the victim - I hope she reaches out to me. Or any DPS officer. Because she needs to learn a few things before this happens again. Indeed, there is much she needs to know...

Monday, September 01, 2008

Emergency Chocolate Cake

So Trooper came home today after a very early shift and asked, softly, if he couldn't have just a plain chocolate cake. Not a 3 layer fancy buttercream confection but...just a plain ol' cake. Well, you know me. I was quick prepared. But only because of the darling woman and her perfectly named Emergency Chocolate Cake.

I used all sour cream in my version. And yes, I always have a stick of butter softening on the counter - what of it?! In short, this thing is so danged simple and easy that I hate to make more of it but...it was DELICIOUS. Within an hour it was cooling on the rack. Sure, you could gild it with some chantilly cream. Or go a wee bit decadent with perhaps some cherry liquer - a reduction of Chambord, perhaps?

But trust me - cut off a hunk of this and just eat it out of hand. GORGEOUS, a perfect crumb, and far too easy to taste so good.