Tuesday, September 29, 2009

No Balls? Get off the field.

I loved this one from Joan...

It's football season again. Get those women off the field and let us enjoy the damned game, okay?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Taking Stock

You get quite a sense of satisfaction after a trip to the local LDS cannery - knowing that you've done what you could to take care of yourself. (Yes, and the dog. We can his dry food, too.)




Such good people...one only wishes that their sensibility would be more widespread. But at least we know they are ready, as are we.

Just look at that crate - made, I think, by an Eagle Scout as his project. He made a crate for several canning machines to ensure their safe transport as they make their way from one home to another church to yet another place where people believe in taking care of business.

We compared prices, sure. But there is no way to compete - they have entire farms working just to supply them with the goods they need and provide.

Provide...at the cannery there is also the "pantry" - a kind of mini-grocery for those in the group who are are in need of a bit of charity in their lives. So clean, so quiet and just so...peaceful. And efficient. It shows what private charity can do that a government never can.

We appreciate what they do for us so very much. They'll do it for you, too, if you'd like. Just ask. (And no, you don't have to "drink the kool-aid".)

Our Kind of Change

We worked yesterday on Trooper's resume, getting it up to speed for a very quick issuance. There are goings on - you've read the news, no doubt - and they won't waste time on training up. No, they don't really care about your age - they care about your experience. Which Trooper has a lot of. If it was black budgeted or sandy, on a singular aircraft or a quick drop out of another...well, he has done quite a lot of everything.

They'll start the interview process at the range. I think that precisely right. Particularly when one sees the stats for the skillbase in the field. Sad, really - I know I'd be a crack shot if that was MY job. At any rate, he'll be fine with that stage. He worries a bit about being out of shape but he isn't that far from it - his regimen of running will care for that in short order.

No, my concerns are more...pedestrian. Or, perhaps, civilian. Call outs mean separate vehicles everywhere, dog care could be more haphazard and may demand a coded door for him to use. And the unpredictable nature of the role...can we plan for anything? It's difficult. But...

That glint in his eye...that sudden pleasure in his work, again...and the natural stepping stone toward his final goal...all these things render my concerns moot. It's what he has worked all his days for, after all. To this end.

But that doesn't mean I can't be concerned for its impact on our life. It just means I have to find a way to deal with it. And I shall - I always have and always will. I've reminded him - good chocolate helps. And flowers. But I still reserve the right to pout, damn it. "I'll light their bloody candle but they'll damned well hear about the dark!"

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's A Tool

I'm waiting on this new friend to come to town and I'm not the most patient person. I had the chance to practice with his brother recently - actually, twin brothers but one had some cosmetic surgery. The little brother seemed to have a magazine issue because it would malfunction every few shots. It made me uncomfortable. It won't anymore because I found this on Ed's site - what an amazingly reassuring and simple video...
Within a few minutes all of that concern and worry was turned into a "just fix it" sort of feeling. It's just a tool. It has its quirks. But you don't need to treat it like it was a piece of china - which is what I tend to do, frankly, because the ones I've shot haven't always been MINE. There is a kind of delicate etiquette to the matter, after all. A respect for property...
But when I have my very own I think I'll have a lot more ease in use. More practice, more familiarity, more...pleasure, frankly, in the experience. It's going to be so much fun to have something that I can know like my own name.
But whatever shall I name her?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Unsubtle Enterprise

If you know me at all, you know that I believe nothing, really, without confirming it for myself. It is that city girl street-level education. So, here: as seen on the Yahoo page today - compare and contrast, as they say.

Strong! In Charge! Nice Suit (if somewhat empty)!

Oh dear...mmm-wah! mmm-wah! I am only a head with glossy, suhweet lips to suckle on you!

Hey - I don't really like any of it. My preference would be to crack this beotch into lovely regions so that one could actually choose to live in a place that meets your preference for freedom or the lack thereof. This, merely because I find it to be an impossible edit to the nation as it currently - er - well, if not stands, squats. Like a toad.

But can't we at least be honest about the whole affair? The media might as well cartoon in dicks on her face like some high school yearbook prank and move on. But it isn't like that anymore. The media is a very large cog in this Chicago Machine.

One hardly needs to look very far. Hell, one site alone...

From that self-same site which is one HELL of a good read for minds like mine that love connections...Holder Determines "secret" - and why the hell not? After all, he needs the details to defend his clients, right?

And, of course, if one has control of the media, you want those messages to be damned compelling - which isn't hard since you've ensured your young folx are functionally illiterate.

But nevermind alllll that. School's in session. Start learning.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Collections

I love this guys' wares. We own a few things - small and within our means. His coin collections are very worth looking over.

It's an amazing thing, really, reaching over and holding in ones hand something that tinkled in a bag on someones waist before Christianity had a namesake. You want to smell it, lick it, search for a remnant of that time. But its long lost, so many hands having done the same thing for so long.

I crave this one, though - the La Tène Period sword and scabbard. Or this strigil - which was nicely demonstrated in the series Rome, actually. I took deep personal pleasure in knowing what it was called. I'm a damned freak that way.

I love that these things have survived, have been saved and hoarded till now. And I want all of them, really, but I know - it'd be damned hard to leave it behind if circumstances demanded it. How was it others found a way to bring them forward? Just amazing...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Herding Cats

Och, well...work lately has been hellishly busy. A lot of changes in the C Suite which means a lot of work for us peons. I've not been able to blog-trek much and I've very little meaningful to say. However, perhaps a few items...
  • Ed has just been superb of late...no reason to point out just one post. Add him, read him. Nuff said.

  • These folks make concealed carry items and - heh - there's a sale! Enter FALL09 to get a discount on your order. I know the argument can be made that they are a bit obvious to the knowledgable eye. Hell, I call that deterence.

  • A couple of gals that have given me giggles this week when I was in dire need...

  • Another Laura - not only do I want to "marry her and have her children©", she even has fabulously hilarious linkages on the margins. Damn it, she's good. And her list? #'s 15-18 are a complete resounding yes. (No worries - I like some kids - probably your kids if you are reading this because you aren't the type to raise bi-pedal vermin. Are you?)

  • I found her here. A post there had me grimacing and giving it the pointed finger of YES!

  • Trooper got to visit LaRue recently - what an amazing group of people there. The owner is one of those "give them the tools and let them do their job" kinds of bosses. He took a few minutes of his day to speak with him, and ensured he had the grand tour. DO get the screensaver - it rocks! (And pisses off any anti-gun coworkers. Bonus!)

Also...Trooper is selling the motor today - a moment of sadness followed by a lot of pleasure at sweet cash in an economic lull. There was actually a bidding war and we think the guy will enjoy it in this lovely riding weather. I'll miss that damned thing, though. Just time to let it go - he doesn't ride it and it needs to be riden. It was made to go and damned fast, too.
The kitty hat made its debut and the owner was thrilled. A devil hat of my own shall soon be put on needles. It was just too easy to make, really. How can I not?
At any rate, it's a busy time and I wish I had more for reading, commenting, etc. I miss the bloggy world...but I likes me paycheck, too.
Don't forget - tomorrow is Talk Like A Pirate Day, ye smelly pirate hookers!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Rains

Last night it came like a torrent of blessings - rain. We've had none of any real use in months. It was such a queer sound that we rose and looked out the door to ensure it was what we thought...

Today, it continues as the sky retains that winter-like bright grey shade. Trooper is in town performing his Honor Guard duties and I am watching the roses flicker with the heavy drops.

The weather suits the day, one of remembrance. Ed posts a proper vid and sentiment. The scenes instantly reminded me of that day. I was in an office in Atlanta - one of the large towers there - and everyone hovered over their screens, watching the proceedings. In the later days, our company would be intensely involved in the process, setting up a command post to disseminate information. It later evolved into a now-popular service. They would also move to a new location of only 4 stories.

But in that moment I watched and knew that it was time for a mental inventory and plan. The office refused to close at first but no few were leaving anyway, not wishing to remain in a 40+ story building in a major city. I remained perhaps a bit too long as I watched the freeways become snarled with traffic from my elevated vantage point. It was then I decided to wait. No use wasting gas in a traffic jam that would, in an hour or so, thin out. And so it did. Downtown was still awash with the confused and emotionally concussed. I took a slight detour to avoid much of it, then settled in for the ride home, everyones headlamps on in the smallest of courtesies to the dead.

I'd been fortunate - I was never one to drive without enough gas to get away. And I had my reliable bug-out box in the back - though it was, then, more of an "emergency kit". Still, I was glad to have the old boots, camo pants, sterno, and MREs. I'd envisioned a long walk westward, of how there was at least a deep treeline much of the way. Such thoughts were so intense that I can recall them today.

Once home, the news was on every channel and I watched the horrific scenes over and over, hoping to glean something more. In the end, of course, there was nothing to be said. Billy Beck always quotes from Baron Manfred von Richthofen and it was never more apt, "Find the enemy and shoot him down. Anything else is nonsense." And yet...

Even today we are surrounded by flags in our little town as we honor the news of a man lost in Afghanistan. All those years, men, women, and limbs...all that gone because we would not do as the good Baron advised but, instead, tried to hold a war with rules the enemy ignores.

All those good people lost on this day - do they feel vindicated? One has to wonder. And my inner theory grows more sound every day: there is a subtle Capitol Hill desire to lose as many fine men, skilled fighters, as possible. Wear them to a nub and never bring them home. Not until the chessboard is set...

It would be a terrible epitaph, would it not?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Catching Up

It is no secret, really, that I've nearly no formal education. I had other...interests. And by that time Mom was pretty much worn out on the whole parenting thing. Oh, I was very well-read, entranced by Jacque Brel's music, loved the Chicago Symphony field trips and all that but...well...I am in many other things utterly ignorant.

Then today I saw this. I think I'll go ahead and drop the cash on it. Sure, one could get a history book from about 1955 and learn much the same but, like the gym, if one spends money on a thing it is given a bit more priority in life.

I need to catch-up, really, on this whole education thing. As a matter of fact, I've considered asking our friend's homeschooling wife about the math thing. [Insert old time scary movie organ tune here.] I hate math. HATE IT. As in avoid it at all costs. I am a math moron. I can manage to do a 20% tip but heaven help me if the SOP changes to, say 23%.

But there's no reason to remain stupid, is there? I mean, it's my choice. I've the ability. I just need to find the will. But I'll tell you this: I refuse to diagram a single sentence. Not gonna do it.

(Do you think this means I can get a Trapper Keeper with David Cassidy on the cover?!)

Monday, September 07, 2009

Christmas in..September?

Oh, Santa Baby....



Nom Nom Nom!

Young, Once, and In Love


Today is the anniversary of the death of Karen Blixen. I know so many women who have fallen in love with her story. I know how much impact I felt after reading Thurman's book. It was such an intimate portrait...
This is a day to remember how she once was, so happy, before all the heartache to come. Read here: "In August, 1928, Denys Finch Hatton gave Karen Blixen the use of his new Hudson sedan to visit her friend Ingrid Lindstrom on the western side of the Rift Valley. She put the car on the train in Nairobi and it was off-loaded at Njoro, a small town near the Lindstrom's farm.

Karen Blixen mentions her trip in "Visits of Friends" in Out of Africa: "When I came up to visit Ingrid Lindstrom on her farm at Njoro, Kemosa made the grandest possible preparations for my reception..." These events took place a few months before the arrival in Kenya of the Prince of Wales.

This snapshot was among a handful taken while she was there. Here is Karen Blixen as she would like to be remembered."
Indeed, I think that's true. Admittedly, she had a flair for the dramatic and this is quite plain - perhaps too plain a rendition. But like most melancholy types - the dramatic moments may look lovely but they hurt the most. These quiet, simpler moments are always happiest.
I'm thinking of her today...wondering about the rains as she once had...and imagining what fun she must be having now.
Skaal, darling genius.

Gentle Reminders

I am not a fan of holidays, they being a constant reminder that the life of LEO families do not revolve around them as they do for others. "What did you do this weekend?" comes the inquiry. I have to sometimes really force myself to smile kindly and withhold the venom.

No one wants the truth, not really. "I sat home, looking at the laundry to be done, fended off the dog who doesn't get the attention he really needs because his father came in at 4a and had to be on his part-time at 2p so that he can earn a bit more since the salary isn't what you might call generous. I pondered yet again the meal I would make once I finished cleaning up the dirty dishes. And - oh, yeah - mowed the lawn in the parts that aren't dead from drought and my lack of interest in watering...and did it because he's not going to choose that over sleeping."

Instead, I just give that small smile and say, "Quiet - it was nice and quiet..." And so it was, mostly. Ignoring the above, of course. Which is what I do best, sometimes - ignore what needs doing to do what feels better. Like this...

A friend is a fan of pink - as in fanatic - and asked for a kitty hat. This is a popular pattern in the knitting world (and yes, there is one. I was equally surprised.) and I will shortly be adding on the cat ears (to be filled in with the most gorgeous pink mohair yarn that has a glittery strand running throughout), and then the little ear flaps and strings.
The knitting is relaxing and - yes - quiet. I am not good enough to do it and anything else, really. It is a mindless entertainment that results in a useful end product.
But I will admit that, as Trooper went off to work, I looked around at the chores that needed tending with not a little irritation. It is, after all, a bit like being single. With twice the laundry and dishes. Nearly every chore is mine to do. (Are you getting the theme here today?) Every meal mine to prepare. Every run to the grocery? Yep, mine. And the worst part is that there really isn't much to be done about it. He can't stop anywhere on-duty. No way for him to get that gallon of milk for me. And so I get pissy about it.
But it was Brigid reminded me today of the counterpoint to all of that hausfrau bullshit.
Yep. I may tire of feeling like a scullery maid but that's only because I married a real man. He isn't above doing any of the above tasks. Not at all. He's just busy doing all of those other things that have to be cared for. Sometimes it's hard to see them - they aren't always as obvious and tangible as clean underwear.
So I'll put on my apron, I suppose, and get to work. Because he's just a little busy taking care of the non-distaff side of life. And I don't think I'd want it any other way.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Aviatrix

I had first encountered Beryl Markham in that remarkable book about Isak Dinesen by Judith Thurman. In it, she recounts the final flight of Denys and of how Beryl's flight instructor at the time begged her to not fly with him, having a rotten feeling about the whole thing. She wasn't the type to give up a jaunt but in this case she did and saved her own life.

It was near this date in 1936, however, that she made her own amazing flight. "Markham had become the first woman to cross the Atlantic east-to-west solo, and the first person to make it from England to North America non-stop. She was celebrated as an aviation pioneer."

One hell of a thing...she was quite against type for the day. She notes in her own book that she was practically raised wild by the natives in BEA. I am confident she drew on the strength of those days in that long, lonely flight...and no doubt missed that African heat.

An amazing journey...

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

What They Do

I hadn't really thought about Texas in years, having left it behind long before along with so much attendent bullshit. A friend told me in an email about the very famous hotel she worked at hosting a cohort of Texas Rangers. She could hardly hide her infatuation - each one, she said, came in more handsome and rugged than the last. Each one spotless and a gentleman. It made me smile and recall how it sometimes was in that state.

You can find yourself moved in an instant to manners generations lost. You can still see people who respect not mere empty patriotism but true devotion to an ideal of freedom.

Most Texas Rangers are the epitome of that sensibility. Oh, to be certain there are some new ones that decorate anything that stands still with that Ranger star - in the parlance: "I'mARangerI'mARangerI'mARanger..." But there there are some men for whom the badge is not mere symbol but a sort of...tattoo on the soul.

Brian Burzynski is that sort. He was called upon to deal with someone that no one man ought ever to have to render in a report, much less sit in front of, witness to, and corroborate. He knew, instantly - must have - that this would put him in danger of losing not only his career but his own life. Enemies of that ilk...they do not care about the cost. That is obvious in what they did to bring his attention to them.

They are a breed apart, not answerable to anyone but the Director. Indeed, it's true - they may not be abolished - see Texas Government Code Sec. 411.024

One might think that such power would corrupt, absolutely. And yet...you simply don't find any of that sort of nonsense. To be certain, there are egos enough! But...I suppose it is the long, hard path to the role that molds those men into who they have to be to earn that badge.

With luck, and another year, Trooper can start his application process. It could be another decade before an opening fits but...it is what we came here for...it is what he has been working toward his entire life. And they may be of great and terrible use in the days to come.

What I Wish I'd Written

This comes so close to wrapping it all up in a ribbon...do go and read it, follow the links, etc. It is so well done...

H/T AGAIN to Billy who has more time than I to peruse the very best out there...