Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Tale For Landlocked Mermaids & Other Creatures

Part 1


Part 2

Thin Lines

This is going to be a scattershot post though perhaps all related in a way...

I was thinking about Israel and how much crap they deal with when I came across the following videos. There may be something to be said about their choosing to remain in a place of such contention but - it is their decision to make. Who should be permitted to tell them how and when they can defend it and against whom? Like the Texans said, "Come and take it."

So I admit some pleasure in their finally ending capitulation and destruction by taking the offensive. It is long past time. And this gentleman's equating them to gangs seems apt enough.


H/T to this guy as noted at The Slack

To be sure they appear to be the only ones doing a damned thing about the "Arab Issue". A part of me wishes they'd take care of it in a permanent way but...they are good people, generally, and probably will avoid it.

~*~*~*~

Also noted at The Slack..."Republican Party officials say they will try next month to pass a resolution accusing President Bush and congressional Republican leaders of embracing "socialism," underscoring deep dissension within the party at the end of Mr. Bush's administration."

Aw, ain't it sweet? Starting to notice everyone getting a bit antsy lately? Seeing the writing on the wall? Or just all the weapons purchases? Too fucking little and way too fucking late. Do I label the man as a socialist? Perhaps not entirely. But there may be things that we don't know. The reach of Cankles is deep and wide, after all...

~*~*~*~

Look here and decide for yourself if this stance is that of a single shop or the entire chain...From a Bass Pro Shop employee: "WE do NOT stock 'assault rifles.'" (He said the name sneeringly, with emphasis.) "We only carry SPORTING weapons."

Reason enough for me to avoid them in the future.

~*~*~*~

As I drove to the office yesterday, this word (interregnum) was stuck in my brain and would not go away. I've no idea why - did I read it somewhere? Is this a pause between reigns? It certainly feels like a monarchy rather than a republic...

~*~*~*~

Herein a thing to stir you from the general ennui of late - what could be worse than this? I have always worried that our destruction would be from without rather than within - and that to remain on this slender bit of soil the worst kind of profligate waste. If we are the only ones...shouldn't we be trying harder to ensure some of us make it out of here?



And to cleanse your mental palate, this lovely bit. (If the link does not work properly, check the Playlist on the left and look for The Sky In Motion video.) It ought to make one feel quite insignificant. Or very, very special...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

AAR

Ah, yes...the lovely post-holiday ennui. I've made the rounds here and there and commented now and again but mostly just stayed off the net.

It was a pleasant holiday with family, everyone giving everyone else dog toys as gifts. We had Ranger, a St Bernard, a Rottie and a wee chi-hooa-hooa/mini dalmation-y type mix. All of the big dog owners fell in love with the wee fella. He was DARLING.

A big hit with Trooper was the collar for Ranger from Survival Straps (mentioned a few posts ago). You can see it here. Trooper liked his rifle sling, too. We'll probably order another one, somewhat custom. Also, I found this fellow who has a LOT of info on making your own paracord goods!

But isn't it a handsome collar?! I asked for a double-wide version because Ranger has such a beefy neck. Anything thinner would have looked a bit silly. Here he is giving Fahthah that adoring look. Sweet, no? He has his winter fur again, giving him that deep ruff and feathery pantaloons.

I made out like a bandit with a bunch of Williams-Sonoma stuff. Aprons, mitts, knives and a bench scraper! I also received a few things for the "bug out bag". Coolest is this little solar power source - you can recharge your gear with it. I suspect it is a bit slower than electric but in the case of not a damn thing else? Superb.

I am still unwell and spent time editing a new Finetune set - this one a bit more Gaelic and classical against the other very techno set I had linked. My apologies in advance for the plethora of soundtrack tunes. I have quite an affinity for a good one though many people consider them a kind of elevator music for media.

And now, I have to find a new PC and scanner. Maybe a laptop...my current unit is so fully hacked that I refuse to use it for anything sensitive. But finding a new system is difficult - especially a laptop. Even with our corporate discount the things price out quite high compared to advertisements. I wonder if one can pay a "consultant" to do it. I'd gladly pay $100 to have someone spec it out cleanly so all I had to do was press the Pay button. And then, of course, comes the data move. Oh, yes - how to get it all on the new system without moving the hacks, too...

I daresay - I miss the days when you could pounce out to MS DOS and look at file types to see the nasty bastards. Of course, that was also the time of 2400 baud rates. Man, it took FOREVER to get your p*rn, huh?

So...that's about it. All I know is that we're making a lot of changes this new year. Paring down the accumulated crap, making sure we have what we do need, getting into fighting shape, moving to an Atkins-like diet, and organizing things. Things like the master closet that is far too small and requires a lot of shelving changes...

Add in a trip back east in a month...I'd hoped for snow under my feet and that Rocky range in my view. However, he needs to recharge and, for that, he needs his brother. It is a sacrifice I think I can manage. I just hope the time doesn't coincide with my stepdaughter's entry into Boot at the end of the month...we think in TX. She's gotten herself in decent shape to prepare for it. We warned her - get your running, pull ups and push ups squared away. The rest will come easier...

Actually, it's not bad advice for our own selves...hmmm.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Merry



This may have been the last time I truly felt the Christmas spirit. Mommer visited, sick though she was, and Trooper and I made the most of it with hand-made stockings with glittered names...

In this I reveal more of myself than I might prefer. From the Christmas morning craptastic hair to the comfy clothes with the dreaded pudgy protuberances, and - indeed! - the pony slippers Trooper gave me (and which Ranger has since dispatched). But also there is the private joke shared, her crazy eye-squinting-giggle, and a moment captured that so fully evokes how we felt, together.

She was adamant that her cane be hidden behind her leg - no photos of her showing that weakness. And you can bet that she had bathed and managed to clean up, even if it took all her energy to do so. (The cancer was known, was in mild treatment, but she still knew much pain.)

This was before so many things...Trooper and I were still settling in to one another, I still had the option of children if not the urge, still the short hair and not the grey, and mom still laughed...it is, for me, a sort of Best/Worst holiday. It is a photo I cherish all year long but most especially at this time of year when I do miss her so fiercely. She loved the holidays. Even if none of us made it there, she would still cook enough, just in case, I suppose.

Maybe that is why I just can't bring myself to take out the decorations, to mail a card, or to wrap a gift...I haven't got it in me this year. I can sense her giving me her crooked finger waggle. And a "chuh".

So many years I wasn't there and now I'd give much for just one more...Next year, Mommer. I promise - I'll go all out next year, just for you...

Merry Christmas to all of you - no matter where you roam.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mmmm...Merry Me


With thanks to Bridget, what to my wondering eyes did appear...
You know, when Trooper got out of Academy, he looked much like this...not entirely, no, but...mmmm, so close. He is more Jayne than can be believed. Especially in his Blue Sun t-shirt.
Sop it up with a biscuit, my friends...

Monday, December 22, 2008

An Early Christmas...Present?

*Hack! Ptooey!*

I have been visited by the ghost of Christmas Past. As in the last one I spent with the Tidal Wave O' Phlegm. Frackety frack craptacular.

Trooper had the crud earlier in the week and we were being very careful but...guess who got it anyway. Last night it came across the DMZ and today am I fully infiltrated.

Anyhoo...did I ever link this? If not, yay. If so, our apologies for the duplication.
This is the very slickest way I know to carry on you quite a useful length of very strong cord. It comes in many formats. I've ordered a dog collar for Ranger's stocking and something for Trooper.

Slick as hell and these guys will make them however you wish. Just ask. (I got the dog collar in a slightly wider version since Ranger is so big...) Survival Straps - slick, useful, and good folks.

More soon but right now...I have to hie my sick ass to the post office. I promise to only breathe on young obnoxious people.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

When We Were Young

Darling Brigid notes the small things of life as a child and how they were so much more lasting than the things of today...my memories returned on the tide that her words brought forth. Earliest toys and the games so long gone...This was the first thing that came to mind - perhaps because that balloon smell was so memorable. There was no escaping it.

So much of my early life was dominated by media. - and books...oh, the books... We went to the library quite often, sometimes left there much of the day while mom worked. Back then, even the preschools (Head Start) took you, each holding your own little knot on a long rope that led us down Chicago streets to that lovely, serene paradise that smelled of old pages and warm film strips. How I loved it...

I do not recall my youth as some do - only snippets here and there with wide swaths missing. One memory will link to another that I didn't even know I still knew. But I recall that books were a large part of our "toy" collection. I loved The Happy Hollisters. Even earlier were the Dick & Jane books. Though it was the `60s, we still had the very early books. I coveted the old fashioned lives and pictures. I wanted that sort of peaceful life.

Later it was the Laura Ingalls series of books. Little House On The Prairie - how I hated that the TV show had a Laura that looked far too much like I did then - the mockery I had to withstand. Especially when mom had a spare moment in the morning and plaited my hair. Dare I even mention the time she went overboard and pinned them atop my head ala Heidi? Scarred, I am.

Time moved as did we and it was a small Florida town's school where I found the Newberry and Caldecott Award books. I asked the librarian at my school to find others. One was "The Witch of Blackbird Pond". That book...so dark and yet full of historical snippets that I could feel...Which led to Sylvia Louise Engdahl and her book "Enchantress From the Stars". Och, how I loved that book...

I was already slipping comfortably into Tolkien (though, admittedly, deeper meanings were lost on me) and Asimov - the fiction and the non-fiction (I understood red shift far earlier than imaginable). Arthur C. Clarke was a true favorite and those led, of course, to Heinlein.

Ah, yes...all of 12 years old and reading "Stranger In A Strange Land" and "grokking" it. Damned straight I was and it utterly changed me just as, perhaps, Ayn Rand changed people. You are no longer able to look at anything the same way. While it felt as though a door had closed, I didn't mind overmuch.

All of the books are ones I'd read gladly today and some which are turned to annually, a visit which sometimes turns up an unexpected margin note or underline. Sometimes a dried blossom, significance forgotten.

And then there are the authors whose letters are still cherished...Parke Godwin thanking me for my interest in his very fine treatment of Arthurian legend, and the Pièce de résistance - a letter from Marion Zimmer Bradley regarding her book "The Mists of Avalon". I'd inquired as to her thoughts about it being made into a movie someday (long before the miniseries and any of the sequel books). She issued her opinion on a fine green paper, typewritten, very long ago.

So many more as I searched for meanings, for a knowledge that would make sense of what I thought I knew. In the end, though, it is only truth that guides us. Facts are facts no matter what we'd have them be. Stories can form us, shape us in small ways. They can lead us on a journey but we're the ones traveling, moving, through and around them. The books always wait, patient, for their time to return.

Meanwhile, I move in a new media, swimming in deep waters to find truths and finding so much flotsam...facts become maleable, truth can be edited according to what is revealed and by whom and under which prejudiced rendering. I ache for a past that cannot be - when an oath meant something. When a lie, no matter how convincingly told, was noted and the liar no longer trusted.

When we were young...will it ever be the same again or will it take a calamity to reset the system? If all information is lost, could we start again with truth? Could facts once again reign? "It is a dream I have..."

Appetizer

Herein just a few things from around the net...

Velocigod once again strides amongst the Gods and pinches Zeus's ass. He IS all that - and a peppah. Damn it, how can someone write that well?! Amazing...and a new word for the lexicon: "dimfuckwittery ".

Never mind that Russian ship docking in Cuba - just some R&R, comrades! Even Condi sez so!

So John McCormick dares to ask the question: What did you know and when did you know it.


To whit, “We don’ need no steekin’ badges!” Did you happen to catch that nifty part at the end – that he would “let” the state senate decide? THIS is going to be a hell of a fun time - as long as he allows it to last.

It hurts to link this one. Like a fucking dull spoon carving out my spleen. So avert your eyes to the IP and just read it.
Throughout the entire Draft National Animal Identification System Users Guide,
land is referred to as a premises and not property. A "Premises" has no
protection under the Constitution of the United States, while property always
has the exclusive rights of the owner tied to it. The Fifth and Fourteenth
Amendments of the Constitution protect property rights.


End transmission.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dog Day


Oh, sure...you watch "I Am Legend" and it makes you cry into their fur, hug their necks and hope they live forever.

Yep, those little deer-like paws are darling and trebly so when dangled off the edge of the bed and crossed like some debutante's.

But then...then they start their "You're home. I'm home. So why don't we, I dunno, GO PLAY BALL? YEAH! YOU WANNA PLAY? BECAUSE I REALLYREALLYREALLYWANNAPLAYRIGHTNOWOKAY?RIGHTNOW!"

Frackin' HELL! How hard is it to sleep on a couch?! Or eat that expensive fresh organic bison leg bone? Seriously - I'm trying to do some hard research on "Aliens" here and all he can do is harass me. And I already did my part, damn it. I took him to the pasture. He dug up rodent burrows for 20 minutes.

But then it makes me think about how he sorta kneels at the burrow, his darling deer-paw bent at the wrist so he can get close to the ground.

I just hate that.

Ahem.

Anyway, this whole dog thing has me irked as all get out because I really and truly was fine without one. And now there's this whole "he's not gonna live forever" thing and I cannot fathom the day when I can't bury my fingers in his deep, warm ruff. I can't even plan a mini-vacation without trying to find a place that will accept dogs. Because I can't bear the thought of him staying at a premier kennel with Platinum level service.

And that whole Rachel Lucas "GOD I love her but this makes me so mad" thing about leaving her dogs for a 3 yr European vacation? Trooper and I talked about it over dinner one night and we knew - there is no way in hell that we could do that. Either he wouldn't take the job or I wouldn't go along. But the dog would not be with someone else that long because they KNOW. I know people who say they're just animals. But what about that dog in Japan that visited the train station EVERY DAY for 10 years to see if the master returned? Yeah...

It's hard being a dog owner. A lot harder than even I thought and I expected it to be a hellish matter. But you never expect them to take up a huge corner of your heart. And it's harder still to see people (cough!-neighbors-cough!) who just toss them in a pen all day and night only to then bring home a new puppy who will meet the same fate. "Look what we got our little unholy terror for Christmas! Isn't it cute?" Merry Christmas, Puppy! Welcome to Hell!

I never have quite understood the idea of dogs as...yard art. And here in Texas, that appears to be the norm. Oh, I understand the need for a working dog, sure. But to just leave it with only the rare, "OK, I'll stand out here, drink a beer and pet your head for 5 minutes" routine?

So, yes, I am utterly sick of the "c'mon!let'splay!youreadyyet?!" routine, there is no way he'll be left outside, alone, all day. Not ever.

So, fine. FINE! C'mon you furry fucker. Let's see if you can keep up...




Keeping Troopers Employed

Well, it's that season...

The fog rolled into town yesterday morning and by 9a CT every tow truck on the Travis County list was in use. It was amazing to watch, really...all the grey and silver cars without their lights on, all the ass riding with just-slick roads, not to mention the ol' too fast for conditions issue.

A few days ago, a couple young men made a very foolish decision rendering their homes echoingly empty for the holiday. Trooper went to the scene as the wreck unit headed that way. Sad, really. Even the belted-in passenger had no chance - the belt frayed with the extreme forces, the buckle's plastic melted from the friction. Can you imagine that? Enough force to literally pull a seat belt apart in the middle? And all because they didn't want to stay behind slower traffic.

Move to yesterday evening, the fog starting to settle once again for the night. This time it was a man of enough "maturity" to know better - crossing the double yellow to advance in the oncoming lane just so he could get in front of a dump truck. He still had to sit at the light.

How I ached to whip my own vehicle to the side and tap on the window. Explain how a very similar decision rendered two young men lifeless - and wouldn't it be a shame for that pretty blonde head of hers there in the passenger seat to be smashed like a grape? I gave it 5 seconds of very serious thought. But drove on, letting them sit at the light, and just cursed him with two flat tires. Slow your ass down, won't it? Utter fool...and need I even mention the ego that surrounds someone who would risk not only their own life but that of an innocent crossing their path?

I KNOW it's hard when you're stressed and just wanting to GET HOME. Or get to granny's. Or get out of the mall dear GOD already. I've been there and done that. But try and remember those two young men in such a hurry to get somewhere and, in that haste, ending the happiness for so many people.

Also, too - if you've had too much, just stay where you are. Or call these guys. Lives are edited in mere moments. You'd be amazed at just how little it takes - how the very smallest of decisions can move in an instant into the biggest mistake of your life.

Remember, People: Better Late Than Dead

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Very Unique Shopping Option



Just look at that little light o' mine. Well, not mine yet but...soonish? Go here and see a dozen things you'll adore or find just the right thing for that special someone. Wacky, unique and fun.

But this little thing? What a darling faerytale nightlight!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Flowchart of Our Demise

I'd seen this awhile back and intended to post it - I didn't, did I?! Sheesh...
Check out this article and the lovely graphic therein which I include in eensy form here.


Can you just sink your teeth into that?! Another reference to the material is here. I've a bit more to say on the matter but I'm sneaking this in on the job so - shhhh!

Monday, December 15, 2008

So Just Imagine...

...me sitting here, shaking my head, and pointing.

Fuck You, Penguin

By all that is unholy - by which I mean Rachel fucking Lucas - completely uncalled for linkage. Like I have nothing better to do than spend 30 minutes looking at animal hatred.

Damn it, Bob.

A New Call Sign

Oh, my...I had thought an Officer could be a Gentleman. But this? Mmm...(HT to Liberty Girl, of course.)
Speaking to ABC's "This Week," McCain was asked whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
could count on his support. "I can't say something like that. We've got some great other young governors. I think you're going to see the governors assume a greater leadership role in our Republican Party," he said.

One suspected as much from the start. For many, McCain was merely the least offensive choice after the preferred candidates looked at the sheer cheating going on and gave up. But he was sharp enough to bring out this lady.

And now...his "character" comes forth. Must have been a kick in the nuts to have people chant her name even while you tried to speak, eh? Poor bastard. Well, there is a name I've used for people like that - someone who would treat an actual lady with such disdain. It's an old term and you've likely not heard it used. But it suits.

Carpet Knight

It denotes a knight who spends his time in luxury and idleness (knighted on the carpet at court rather than on the field of battle). Now, I do not intend this to demean his time in service at all. But something happened between there and the "crowning" as Republican choice for office. A man who would put up with that torture wouldn't seem the type to be so ruthless against a woman in public.

She has, after all, dealt with an enormous amount of slander and bullshit with candor and aplomb. She may not be what is needed in entirety but I wager that she would do better than most and learn far faster along the way.

Personally, I think she needs to make Alaska one of the first states to free themselves of massive federal oversight and go it alone. She could do much in that vein. And lead the way in that manner whilst ensuring her state receives a hefty influx of new residents because of it. She is a bit too clean for the other battle. And I wouldn't want her sullied or changed by it. No, she's better than that. Let's hope she keeps it that way.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What They Said

I am suh-lammed at work lately and trying to maintain my bloggaholic reading but I am seriously going to have to segregate you guys - ala Monday's Military, Tuesday's Teutonics - well, whatevers.

I was visiting here and agreed with much of it. My sole stance on the matter is what I was taught long ago - religion is not fit for casual discussion and to never question the manner in which one has found God. My own belief system has been a circle - more a spiral, really. It evolves just as I do and just, as I am sure, it is intended. But what made me dtevelop his post was this from the comments.

William the Coroner Says: December 10th, 2008 at
7:33 am

A-men, sister. A tremendous part of growing up is “getting the
fuck over yourself.” A LOT of people have forgotten that.

For which can I get a damned AMEN?!

DAILY we meet up with people who have the maturity of a gaggle of 12 yr old girls. And these are adults, supposedly, functioning in society. I think the most amusing thing I see are folks who create a blog intended to invite discourse on a deeply important topic and - when their own stance is questioned - and their intellect fucking can't step up. They put their fingers in their blog-ears, or pick up their bloggy ball and go home. Example here which leads you to the guilty party.

You know, I link to and quote Billy A LOT. And I know that what he writes and espouses is...sometimes disturbing. Trust me - I've known the man for decades, now, and he hasn't changed. Scratch that - he LEARNS. He evolves. But he has never once bent the knee for some brat who is looking to stake a claim in the 'sphere and he never will. You will write cogently. You will organize your thoughts and arguments clearly. And you will use words as they were fucking well intended. To MEAN something. And if you will do this he will spend days with you, he will turn his head and mind to you. You will LEARN more than you can imagine.

But if all you can do is be a vapid playah then you had better keep walking. Because he will spike you. What he intends is simple - he will not be enslaved and he will never ask that you do so on his behalf. Period. His concept of freedom is...as it was originally intended. It is, in this modern day, like some ancient artifact that no one quite understands. And my fear is great that the understanding will fail just when it is most needed.

This entire country is as close to falling completely away from its origins as it ever has. I know that many think it is just a stage, a growing pain. But when you look at it from all angles you can see the cracks - huge fissures, really - of which an intellectual laziness of the populace is the most evident. Oh, they're all college educated - but perhaps 4% could pass the graduation test of a one-room schoolhouse from the 1800's. And that is...progress?!

Och, this has turned into a rant and for that I am sorry. I'd intended only a snippet of "Look! See?!" Which is generally what I am good at. Because I've had no formal education. What I know came from a self-education that came with scars and bad dreams. But it also carves away the bullshit. It isn't all about me. I have to "get the fuck over" myself to this day. And I work at it all the time. But...

Right now, things are being done to ensure words like these are never permitted airing.
Right now, the weapons you own are being noted.
Right now, your usual behavior is counted upon.
Right now, sleeping leviathans are rolling over and stretching.
Right now, the very long game is coming to a close and it is delicate, darling YOU it intends to ensnare.

So just start thinking. Start LOOKING at the damned thing. You cannot VOTE your way out of it. I wish it were possible - that I could without it meaning a damned gun being aimed at you.

Just start watching, and thinking, and taking the thought out to the very crux of the matter. And be ready. Because that is what they are counting on - that when the pot starts to boil you'll be so so toasty and comfy that you won't notice the heat. Or the dying.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Finery

Once upon a time when we all lived in the woods...

I came across this lovely via a complicated set of linkages but I just had to share. I love everything they've designed but this one is fantastic. (Their full offering is at this site.)

Can you imagine that?! Just gorgeous...I asked them to consider adding a holster. Just thing under a dress...or over your jeans...

Quite reasonable, too. Just thought I should pass it along...

Monday, December 08, 2008

Falling Up

Ah, yet again something reminds me of wings long lost...

A brief stint at Ed Rasimus' place found this and once again my mouth twitched.
Thunderbirds



It's madness, I know, to think of it - that I could sit in that thing and not lose it all over the place. But a part of my muscle memory says, "Yes - and thus...", remembering what it has never known.

I often think of my dear friend who gets to touch the things daily. Her desk covered with schematics, and her hard drive full of stress computations, her particular speciality. (A shortened story: they couldn't figure out why a certain hinge on one side of a craft kept failing. They finally sent her on-site. Turns out they chose that side to piss when the in-flight need presented itself. Try and predict that in your mock-up.)

I think of her and a selfish part of me demands to know why she can't get me closer to it - to at least touch the thing if not sit in it, if not feel it heaving from the ground...Och, but I know why, of course. It is simply Not Done. Too, I recall one man's very slight playtime in the sky and how my stomach was surprised by the sensation. I had thought it was all...visual.

So for those of you whose wings still take you, falling up, tilt those wings for me now and then, won't you? Because my eyes never fail to look when one of you goes by, no matter the distance.

(I still think this the finest, sexiest, most beautiful aircraft ever known.)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Remembering



For all those who were lost on this day not that long ago...

View down Battleship Row shows the listing USS California (l), the USS Maryland next to the capsized USS Oklahoma.

Don't Look Now

Iran reported having tested a new two-stage solid-propellant intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) on 13 November

Courtesy of Jane's which gives it rather a lot of credibility. At an estimated 1200 mile reach, it could reasonably touch India, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.

And, yes, Israel.

Random Thoughts v9

Interesting article that I've heard not a damn thing about:
Water supplies to residents in Harare were cut by the authorities yesterday as
Zimbabwe’s cholera epidemic tightened its grip and the city witnessed its worst
unrest for a decade. The Zimbabwe National Water Authority turned off the
pumps in the capital after it ran out of purifying chemicals.


Some are wondering if it wasn't a forced issue - to gain control of the populace while also allowing it to run rampant. "We need the military to control the people! Look at them!" And how would you react if the same happened in your `burb?

~*~
I've been thinking a bit about history - since there is nothing new under the sun - and the Dark Ages. It aptly describes my sense of things, now. Not in the sense of religiosity eventually bringing light to the pagan public but more in the sense of a loss of direction, a degraded time when disease was the sauce on their feast of debauchery. Do we not see even now a strengthening of variants that were once thought gone from these shores? What need we do to prepare for it and to some day sow the seeds of "enlightenment"?

Or, to steal from Niven/Pournelle's Lucifer's Hammer, what books to bury in the septic tank? (BTW, I highly recommend the book to get your teeth set for what may come.)

~*~
I suspect sugar may be as much a commodity as cash in an emergency. Has anyone else noticed the run on rice in the grocery? Our local Mexican restaurant had it stacked to the ceiling months ago. Interesting...Regardless, flours, yeast, sugars, and the like are on my stock up list.

~*~
My employer has large offices in Mumbai and surrounding areas. I am wondering about our fiscal situation in relation to same. We are very proactive (secure drivers to/from, backup locations, security professionals for any extraction needs) but a large portion of our income depends on stability there. (We had no personnel impacted by the recent events, thank goodness.)

I'd spoken just the other day of how the influx of earned capital has changed the area - the caste system breaking down in a generation - vs. the constant beggaring from Africa, an area we are now looking at for expansion in the market. It's a frightening thought - having staff there. I cannot help but wonder how we begin such negotiations. And I begin to wonder if we should.

~*~
I read an article months ago and meant to mention it - about how nearly all the "eco-friendly" CFL bulbs come from China. So do you trust them - the bulbs, I mean? After all, they've poisoned everything we've imported in one way or another. Are you surprised by this subtle attack?

~*~
Are you aware, relatedly, of China's investment in Africa?
What I found is that while flat-footed Western governments largely watch from
the sidelines, cash-flush Chinese firms -- many with state-directed financing --
are cutting deals at a dizzying pace, securing supplies of oil, copper, timber,
natural gas, zinc, cobalt, iron, you name it.

Yeah...I am telling you: there are signs everywhere of a change so massive, so unexpected and so rapid that there is no way to properly express it. Much less to track it all.

~*~
Why does the dog have to hide his fresh bones for a few hours before he eats them? Amazing to watch him place it in a dozen areas until he finds one satisfactory - and then watch him cover it with his nose, shoving a blanket or sheet of paper over it. He is not that far from his ancestors, I take it...

O&O

Query

In the face of a zombie-pocalypse, would you prefer a diverse set of caliber needs or a focus on one type and stocking the hell out of it?

I think the former a better idea in terms of barter/trade for ammo - you might always find something that will work.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

In Other News...

We took Ranger for his annual vet visit and of course he passed with flying colors. He was a good boy, too. But, while there, a man and his...associate (Mexican Gang Punk Type) were trying to get cat food - with a check. Except one assumes he was on the No Check list for former transgressions.

Well, he was up in arms, being loud and calling the supervisor on shift a "broad" and saying how he was being treated like dirt, blah whiney blah. Trooper had taken Ranger out for a break as I paid so I gave the moron a direct and long look. Not enough, not content as his friend smirked, he kept up the complaining as the young office gals looked scared. So I called him on it.

"That's rude and there's no reason for that sort of talk in front of ladies." Oh, he did go on and on. "We've all been there - it's upsetting but there is no call for that behavior." Still, again, as his friend just grins. Until finally, "Sir, this is Texas and you will find some manners." Mutter, mutter as he went to sit on the bench outside and wait. I gave it a moment then called Trooper in. Just to be on the safe side since the associate was still there and his silent smiling was a far more dangerous threat. The young girl wondered aloud if they should call the police. Trooper smiled, "They're already here..." and badged.

It was only a moment after that when the vet gave the man the food and they departed. Still, there was something...it got my blood up, I tell you. This is a VERY nice facility and the people are not in any way smarmy. And being rude in front of other ladies is uncalled for. If it was NYC or Chgo you'd expect that sort of thing. But not here. I just won't stand for it anymore.

Mind, if I had been alone I might have had a slightly different approach. But I knew that Trooper was prepared. I just wish he'd been the one inside...still, I am glad I did what I did.

This is Texas, by God.

Friday, December 05, 2008

And, If You've A Moment...

...spare a thought and/or prayer for my father who is in the midst of a medical snafu. We think he'll leave the hospital in a few days with an implanted defibrillator. I've been sorta...pouty lately about the whole thing.

I still need my daddy, damn it.

Should be finishing up the procedure right about now, I reckon...

[Ed: If all goes well, he goes home tomorrow with an implant and hardly a complaint. Amazing.]
[Ed: He is home and happy! Says he feels terrific if mindful of the left arm - no lifting for a few months. WOOT!!]

Sign of the Times

We went to dinner last night with friends and the conversation turned to where were you when. I can't retrace the whole thing but the gentleman mentioned the Panamanian War. Of how he remembers watching it on TV.

Trooper looked over at him and smiled. He saw it, also, he said. From a plane. With incoming (green) tracers giving him his first taste of live fire. You could see the light dawning on the man's face and that of his (adorable) wife. She didn't understand - "so you flew out of there in a hurry, then?" And with a very gentle laugh, "No, we jumped out of it. As soon as they would let us."

It is always strange to come against that sort of generational crevasse. These folks are so mature in spirit that we often forget we're almost a generation apart. It is a distance that isn't always easy to cross with other people. We've an entire population that (as noted in an essay on the link below) looks to other people for their opinion and approval. There is no history, only now. There is no real individuality - just group acceptance. You cannot even hold a conversation with them. There is a young lady of my acquaintance who is sweet as she can be but...her thoughts are like paintballs, hitting the wall in a confused splatter. Nothing in sequence, nothing material, and no ability to be QUIET.

(Mind you, I've a theory about all this asthma, poor thinking ability and, of course, Aspergers: all those damned vaccinations. Given when far too young, given all at the same time, and given without even a thought as to if it is even a good idea for THIS child. "It's just what we do," you can hear them say. Well, look around you and see if you don't think there are syptoms at an epidemic level that something is seriously WRONG.)

At any rate, it was an interesting snap of reality. And on the ride home, a remembrance of what he gave up to come here. The years of service with the county, the retirement accrued. All surrendered for a badge with a star. From that queerly lit night sky of thick tropic air to this wide open country...quite the journey for a man. I looked across the truck at him, his handsome profile, the Carhartt coat and Atwood hat illuminated by the passing cars. It was a strange road that led me to this place, also. The odds were entirely against it.

Goes to show you - those long odds are sometimes worth betting on...

****
I shall have to add this to the link luv list - each post is nigh unto exquisite. I only wish I could write like that.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

International Sign Language

At about 3 mins in, she makes her opinion clear. What I have to say is this: they may be the sexiest couple I have ever seen. (Sir, you have one gorgeous wife. Look at that laugh! Ma'am, his forearms make me weak in the knees. And that smile? How is it you let him leave the house? Ever?)



Tip o' the beanie to Billy's link to this!

The Kindness of Strangers

Look what she has gone and done!! Can you believe that wild thang? Hot diggity damn!!
I love it! LOVE!

And you know what else I'm gonna get? Custom Kleenex boxes for the office. Uh-huh. Assuming, of course, they accept the logo.

Sometimes this intarweb thing is the shit and two pieces of chicken. And a peppah!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Dream Cabinet

Trooper and I were reviewing our dream ticket and came up with this - we think it actually rather sound. Well, as far as it can be given one is voting. <snicker>

President: Sarah Palin (yeah, there are problems with it, sure, but better than some)
VP: Ted Nugent (Hey, worthwhile just for the revamp of All Hail The Chief)
Sec of Treasury: Gene Simmons (Guaranteed to be a profitable endeavor for once...)
Sec of Defense: R. Lee Ermey (Motto: Nuke em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure)

Also, in order to get back to basics, the following will no longer be in existence or edited accordingly:

Dept. of Agriculture (If you don't know how to do it by now, just work at McDonalds)
Dept. of Interior (WTF? I think we know what's here. Leave it to the Rangers. Pay them more.)
Dept. of Commerce (Just a fucking speedbump, my friend, in the path of capitalism. Move it.)
Dept. of Labor (Can you spell Job? You can find one. I promise.)
Dept. of Education (You've spent far too much and gotten worse and worse. No Soup For You!)
Dept. of State (Meh. I say find that guy who gave the finger to the [Ed: IED setting MoFo fingered by Gunnery Sgt Michael Burghardt] in Iraq. Him.)
Dept. of Energy (Full of inertia. Seriously. Look at the guy. He hasn't moved at speed in years.)
Dept. of Transportation (Uh...we've got roads. Trains. Planes. Get on one.)
Dept. of Health and Human Services (Give that budget to the military. We're gonna need it.)
Dept. of Homeland Security (You've done nothing but dick things up. Seriously. Enough.)
Dept. of Veterans Affairs (An unpaid volunteer role so that the salary can go to helping vets.)
Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (Because they've done so well. Right? Outta here.)

So there...maybe it's not reasonable. Hell, it's impossible. But can you imagine the amount of pure tax money you'd have back if the above were gone? They and all their sycophants? Damn it, I wish I could crunch those numbers.

So, come on. I need a bumper sticker - Palin/Nugent.

Thinking of Joan

Honorable brigue - and perhaps that should be a new party name...
I came upon my fav guys and songs - of course I have to share.

Donkey Riding


Boat Like Gideon Brown