Thursday, May 28, 2009

Seriously. These People Control Lives

I don't even like sending you to the post, frankly, because you'll just want to dry fire something at something. Still...one needs to know...
http://lagniappeslair.blogspot.com/2009/05/andrew-mizak-nominee-for-loser-of-year.html

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Living Life

It feels as though I haven't had time to even think lately. No surfing this week. Work, watching a dog who seems a bit unwell off and on, and trying to care for a garden, yard, and home has simply removed all spare time from me. This was the first day I had time to sit and look but...I ran in to something.

You know, I've been doing pretty well on the exercise front - running a bit, getting it done 3 x wk. And it's showing improvement. But if one needs any sort of reminder to quitcherbitchin'...



Sigh...well, there you are. It's a completely polite reminder to me to STFU. To get on with it, already.

I'm just glad to be away from the office. If another person asked me what our plans were for the holiday I was going to smack them. There are no holidays. They are each and all required work days. And it damned well pisses me off when they remind me.
A large dose of hate is directed at the BMW driver from Houston who thought that blowing by Trooper's car when he's walking between vehicles was acceptable. No, he didn't stop you because of your car type. He stopped you because there's a whole fucking wall of photos at the academy of dead men because they were hit in the roadway. There is a law that asks you, if you don't mind, to pass them at a slow speed or just get the fuck over into the left lane and continue on. That's all. I'll tell you what - anyone fucks him up like that? There will be a reckoning. It may take me a few years. But there will be a reckoning. God, I hope he protests that ticket. Because the judge just LOVES playing video in court. "Is that your vehicle?" BAM! Case closed, pay at the window.

There is more on my mind of late but it's not the best place to vent...a disappointment and confirmation about others on the squad has me soured on the whole thing...there is a reason I keep to myself. I've been saying for some time that there is something...different.

Och, it doesn't really matter. I've enough to worry about without getting all girly and whiny about life. But it stings just a bit. Gives me that internal "I told you so". That bitch just cannot help herself, always sitting there, patient as Death. Yes, well...life beckons. Move on.

Monday, May 18, 2009

"Tyranny is always whimsical."

That is what Mark Steyn wrote in this piece and it's worth every moment of reading. Masterfully put...

"That's Stage Two of societal enervation—when the state as guarantor of all your basic needs becomes increasingly comfortable with regulating your behavior. Free peoples who were once willing to give their lives for liberty can be persuaded very quickly to relinquish their liberties for a quiet life."

My God, guilty as charged. I just wish to be left alone with what I have and what I earn. And in this...stasis...I lose - all? Quite possibly. It may be time to rethink my position.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Every Sunday morning for over a year, this was the view that greeted me.

It changed with the seasons - more fog in the late autumn, sometimes ice in winter, but usually just humid and warm with that last hint of early dawn breeze.

I would leave the house, sometimes as early as 6am, my little fanny pack supplied with a bare minimum (and the long lens), the Canon 35mm, and my lovely Boker in my pocket. There was always an apple, too. The drive was a pleasant one and not that far, really. The parking lot often empty when I arrived.

The trail led through a canopy of trees to the water. One could follow along on that path but I liked to take the one that arced above, cresting a bluff and following along it to descend, eventually, to a viewing platform. There was a process to the hike. Each time I would slice the top of the apple off with the knife and leave it at the "Elf King's Chair", a tree stump long hollowed out by time, leaving the impression of a throne.

Up, and up it would wind. Quite often I would surpise deer on it. It always made me smile how they could leap through the woods silently while the smallest squirrel could make a racket like a man flailing through the leaves. On a very cold winter morning I had a pack of coyotes pass in front of me - at least I think that is what they were. Surely not wolves, no...And it was near the highest point of the bluff that an owl flew down from a perch and grazed my head, soundlessly, all things muffled in the fog that was rising up the bluff, and crawling across the ground at my feet.

There was a place on the trail, just a flat rock on the side of the path, that was my own perch. It was a good place to be still, snack on the apple slices, carving them with care, and leaving the bottom piece. Just beyond, the light would come up over the bluff and, in some seasons, absolutely glow like the light of heaven. When it did that I would often think that such is what a heaven must be like. A path, the trees, and that silken honey glow suffusing all.

Once, as I sat there in a very cold dawn light, the wind blew the ice covered trees and I swear there was a song - very like that from saw blades. It was a sort of keening sing-song tone played by the wind. I knew it was that ice, those trees bending and the sap crying. But it was lovely.

Just beyond was the old stone. I never really paid much mind to the why but it was there that I'd perch the bottom of the apple, a piece left for no one and nothing but it was always accepted. And then, the path would lead past mountain laurels, sometimes blooming with their queer little perfect geometry. Rare, they were. As was the Franklinia. Oh, it had a glorious scent.

The path dropped and curved, a stream carved through and the wild violets loved it, cloaked it with their vivid purples and blues. It was there you could first hear the water, if it was moving. Just a bit further and a jump around a large boulder and you were on the wooden platform where you could stand over the water and watch it whirl beneath you. Across that water was the other half of the park which I rarely visited.

You see, I once came out onto that decking very early. Across the water something moved. It was crouched at the edge, drinking, but heard me. It took only a few bounds to carry it up the steep rock face into the cover of the forest above him. Large, yes. But it was the white-tipped pole tail that I noticed, bouncing to balance his movements. I used to take that path when I wanted a real workout because it was all up and down...but after that? No, never again. And I told myself that surely the river was a good, natural barrier and my woods were never his domain.

From that perch I would toss things into the water and watch them whirl away. Flowers, leaves, wishes...and then it was time to head back to the truck and home. I would follow the boulders along the water, perfect for bounding across and through. When I was in best health, I crossed the section like that cat, fearlessly and easily. And then, the climb back up to the path, to where couples would just be starting their hike, runners just then thrusting themselves past the foolishly struggling baby strollers.

Once home, it was time for a real meal - usually, the only large breakfast of the week. Pancakes, sometimes, but usually a large omelet with spinach and feta, perhaps some mushrooms if I had the patience for it.

I miss those walks very much. It was a way to let go everything and be alone for a time. But I am not certain I'd carry that fearlessness, again. It was a dangerous thing, that cavorting alone where the next person could be hours away. But it put my mind at ease, a mind that whirled like that torrent all week only to be eased by the writhing water in those few minutes. I wonder what has become of the place...and if it remembers me...







Data Overload

If we manage to keep a hold on this world, this will likely be the manner in which all information is acquired. WolframAlpha is an amazing resource. The math section alone could aid Trooper in his wreck equations.

It put me in mind of an earlier mind blower, the Periodic Spiral. So much knowledge...it's like a feast for me...I cannot wait to dive in.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Take `Em Out

Friends, I mean, to the range.

As seen at Oleg Volks' place, Cornered Cat has a terrific article on taking newbs to the range. Because we need all those we can get, properly trained. Hell, even if it only serves to help them protect themselves, less for anyone to do later...

Fair warning: Oleg's site has some nekkid females - with guns. What you do with that warning (avoid it or get all comfy in your chair) is up to you. Personally, I likey. Yes, there are also some great mil/gun pron guys there, too, for us gals.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Madness?

I had heard only a bit about the Correspondents' Dinner. I was just now reviewing the "comedy" spectacle of Wanda Sykes' speech. Frankly, I couldn't even listen to the entire thing. It was...crippled, racist, cruel, and not terribly damned funny, really.

I LOVE good humor. A witty quip will always please me no matter whose ox is getting gored. But it wasn't really...comedic. It was just...sad, really. This is it? All that supposed struggle and pain so that you can giggle at that sort of dialogue?

I tell you - it reminds me of nothing so much as high school with its cliques and laughing behind backs. Yes, and even the random beat down behind the school. Frighteningly immature. Bafflingly insecure. And with that dire need for approval - which explains surrounding themselves with media personalities. They understand the game quite well, after all.

I didn't think I could be more concerned for this country.

I was wrong.

What An Interesting Young Lady!

Don't ask me how I got here but do check out the lady's page that he linked to, proudly. She "...will now become the first female berkutchi" which I take it is a Mongolian falconer.

AMAZING life already and so little of it spent! GO, GO, GO!!!

Och, my heart soars on her wings, damn it. Just amazing...

Ed: Wound the links back to here. Bless her for posting it!

Or, To Put It Differently...

I had to laugh at the divergent approaches to one item...

Billy notes an article and pronounces it unfit for consumption with a, "You're an unconscionable idiot. Just shut the fuck up.". (Yes, I always cackle when he does that. Because it is always deserved.)

But then there is the approach of this gentleman, new to my eyes and also linked by Billy. It's a measured response full of fact and truth. Loved it, really.

Just goes to show you that there really are two sides to every coin. Now, where did I leave my silk purse to put it in?

Monday, May 11, 2009

What Didn't I Do Today?

The early riser...
It has been a sort of surreal set of hours...2am found me outside with the dog, flashlight ready for poop inspection but he demured. I flinched as a cry came from the sky, the moon riding clouds. Hawk-like I thought, but Trooper said it was probably an owl. Back to bed, Ranger was up again at 6:30a so off we went...and I waited for coffee to brew.

Eventually, Trooper was up and fed a good breakfast for his own yard labors to come - and labor he did...meanwhile it was 3 loads of laundry, a chocolate cake for the men's meeting tonight, a batch of rigatoni for an easy meal tomorrow, and some homemade strawberry jam with the lovely organic berries that were in the store. (I am dying to learn to can but did the simpler "freezer" recipe this time...)

But then the darn chicken I'd set down for Ranger's continued diet was still a bit chilly so it was nothing to do but wait and roast it. Yep, some good meat for us, some good fond for the dog's rice, and we'll boil the bones for the broth.

It feels like I've not stopped but in truth I still managed to work all day, care for Trooper and even get a bit more knitting done.

See? Non-stop and nearly every base covered - but it's time to make the bed, wash a few more loads and then get in the shower, myself. Trooper has Honor Guard tomorrow - the man can shine a pair of boots...I ought to have gotten a photo while it was light. No cheating, just Kiwi, water, and elbow grease.

That's our life...today, anyway, and it was deeply satisfying. Yes, very much so.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

I Remember Mama

There's a lovely old movie by that name. Little dramas in a tiny space edited to love by the patience of a mother.
It was much like that in our family - though mom was, admittedly, overwhelmed much of the time. Too many of us and not enough Her. She always said we added years to her and so we did.
When the time came to deal with the last details, she had kindly put everything in one place, the folder she'd given me carefully detailed...so it really was just a matter of a few calls. But...what of her? What to remember her with?
There wasn't much money, really - enough for the necessary aspects of a funeral. We'd always joked that when she was feeling close to the end to get on a flight to Ohio pronto as it'd be cheaper to go alive than dead. But go she did, and I had to get something proper for her grave.No plain stone...it was...strangely necessary that I do this one last thing. But the expense...
Glancing at prices, I felt it could never happen. What I wanted was impossible. Until I found a woman, an artist, who had come into the line of work after the death of her son. She created custom pieces at a very reasonable rate as a sort of side line to her art and a kindness to others who know that loss. Though thrilled with her fee, I was hard pressed to make decide what I wanted to express.
I've always been a cemetery walker, interested in the different symbols, even doing some artistic black and white photography in them rather a long time ago. But...none of it suited my sentiment. Then I understood - the gardener gone, the untended garden...and the garden gate opened to a new path. The sentiment found, all it needed was time. And, when I saw it, the styrofoam shuffled aside, I could only smile. Yes, she'd have liked it, I thought.
I still miss her every day. It hurts to not be able to send her flowers or to visit her grave. But...I imagine she has a new garden and has no need of our more temporary blooms. Ah, mothers...
Hug `em if you've got `em...

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Running On Empty

Goodness but I'm busy these days. Work remains very busy as the Powers That Be look at the market and try to play around it. Trooper has been playing catch-up since our long weekend, making several CMVs unhappy Thursday. There's the knitting that I've FINALLY grasped - raglan is my bitch, now. And...a sickly puppy...

Ranger was a bit slow to the bowl and quiet around the house for a few days. We thought perhaps it was all the travel or perhaps his usual MO when hitting a growth spurt. But then we saw his ability to, as Trooper said, shit through a keyhole at twenty paces and we knew he really was unwell. We gave it a day, keeping an eye on the unpleasant. But then it was time to perform some analysis. Yes, poop overwatch was a part of it. No more hose drinking, just in case. A careful look at the garden - did he eat one of those onion sets he dug up (grrr and oh dear)? Or did he eat one of those funky grey mushrooms?

We slaughtered the mushrooms and hope that keeps them down. We no longer let him out without supervision, and he is on the brown rice and boiled chicken diet to get his system back to normal. He continues to drink water so we don't think he has any issue with dehydration. And he is active though taking his rest, too. With any luck, he'll be back to his old self soon. Right now, I'm trying to decide how to mow and move the grass without getting desecrated.

Yes, mowing...which my triceps are just gonna LOVE. We've been back on the health kick, thank goodness, so eating well and working out are - well, working out! That last arms/abs session, though, has made brushing my hair a rather painful feat. Nothing for it but to use the muscles and get that healing done properly. So, mowing while Trooper works.

The good thing? I was able to get a few really nice Coolmax-like pieces of attire at REI last night (along with the go-bag items - Katadyn water purifier and walkie talkies - on sale). Time to get to work.

Oh, and the last thing keeping me busy? A detailed and lengthy post for these guys. Wish me literary luck because I haven't composed something like that in a rather long time...

I miss my blog reading so much!! Damn this whole "having a life" thing!!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

"You only get one free Waco"

There may be hazard in invoking those very words...hazards to me and mine, retributions, and analyses...but there comes a point when one must - if not come to the fore - at least support from the rear.

Thus, read on.

I've seen a very naked underbelly years ago in a stack of documents...names named, secrets told. Whispered names on a phone line at 1am that caused me to halt a conversation cold.

What you see and hear in public is nothing. It is the merest silk veil that they expect you to tear asunder. And you think that when you smell the murky depths that you've reached bottom. I assure you that it, too, is nothing. Again, it is expected that you'll find it - well, a few of you, anyway.

Beyond all that? Dragons, yes. Hungry beasts with unbelievable power. One really ought to fear them...

A Journey, Indeed

These young folks...what might come of it with a few more years? Impressive, really. And not at all fake or...overdone. Just some time -and practice...



H/T: Matt

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Nothing For It, Now

I'm not sure what to say in light of this...

"What a federal agent did during a testing procedure to result in "automatic" fire from an AR-15 has no bearing on the case of a man convicted of transferring a "machinegun" after he loaned to a prospective buyer the gun he considered a semi-automatic rifle, according to a ruling from a panel of appellate judges."

The article makes an apt if frightening change to Miranda:

You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions. Not
that it will do you any good. Do you understand?

Anything you do say, or we say you say if we have more witnesses than you,
will be used against you in a court of law, if we think we can get away with it. Do you understand?

You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney
present during questioning now or in the future. You will not have a chance to
challenge our lack of standards or scientific method in our lab results and your
expert witness will not be allowed to witness anything if we can help it. Do you
understand?...


Indeed, it is all...a charade. What is going on in the background there I'm not sure but it is most assuredly NOT justice. Nor is it clean. It stinks, frankly, of gov't reach-arounds. Mind you, I don't think it makes one whit of difference what you want to shoot. The 2nd does not offer any limitations on that freedom.

But then...I've always said that it was a tricky thing, that Constitution. By delineating rights, it removes them from you. Limits them. Binds them up with language that an enemy of your freedom, as above, can edit to suit their needs.

Evidence matters not at all. Testimony...facts...none of it matters, now. But you knew that day was coming, didn't you? So many shots over the bow before this - perhaps it has your attention now. And what can you do?

Well, make your own plans, of course, but perhaps you might spare the price of a few lattes for a man's family while he feels that yoke, intimately. There but for the grace of...

Monday, May 04, 2009

An Early Mother's Day Present

This.

Promise.

Best gift EVAH.

Get out your pens and paper and put on your thinking caps, m'dears.

My Kind of Missionary

Goodness!

Take a gander at this delightfully humorous look at the Mormons. As someone else notes - these do not look like the nice young men I see now and then...(Mouse over their pristine selves to see the ggrrr hidden within.)

YUMMY!

Now, if they came around the neighborhood like that, I'd gladly open my door.

H/T: The Sniper

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Appropos of Nothing...

As seen here...

"And she’s kissed his pale lips once and twice, and three times ’round again."

Which reminded me instantly of a tale from long ago. One wonders about the mind, forgetting the grocery list but able to conjure up the moment, the weather, the very hour of a thing done that can not be undone. A kind of Till Death Do Us Part - which it did.

Just Give Me Land...


...lots of land and the starry skies above...



We drove five hours to see it. And it damned well might be worth what we'd like to pay - though perhaps not what they're asking for it.

It's a slender-ish wedge between row crops in the middle of nowhere at a crossroads. Barn, it has, and storm shelter, too. And a windmill, yes, for the well. In town, we spoke to a man who said a 180 pt deer (?) was taken from there not that long ago. In truth, we saw MANY tracks. And turkeys? Hell, we nearly ran one over, and there was a "herd" of them on the side of the road. Dove flew nearly every step we took and a river runs a few miles away...

You see, I had a set of requirements as I started looking...terrain, water, population...accessability...and this fits quite neatly into all. Except, of course, for that long ride to get there. Perhaps a week on horse if the roads weren't safe.

Still...it was just what we were looking for. And I think we may have to make plans for an inspection soon...surely it won't just sit there, waiting...the only drawback? Power lines...major towers cutting nearby and it makes me less than comfortable, that.

Decisions, decisions...