Monday, February 28, 2011

Skeletons and Their Closets

As found on Beck's Facebook, a link to this article.

"The second step, the KGB head informed Andropov, was a Kennedy strategy to help the Soviets "influence Americans." Chebrikov explained: "Kennedy believes that in order to influence Americans it would be important to organize in August-September of this year [1983], televised interviews with Y. V. Andropov in the USA." The media savvy Massachusetts senator recommended to the Soviet dictator that he seek a "direct appeal" to the American people. And, on that, "Kennedy and his friends," explained Chebrikov, were willing to help, listing Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters (both listed by name in the memo) as good candidates for sit-down interviews with the dictator."

Such things happen all the time. Truly not strange bedfellows. Remember this when you start dismissing people who bring you information you think entirely ludicrous. A Senator was ready to help Soviets in any way possible. Several still are - they just call it something else and the young just go back to whatever viral video has caught their synapses.

The rot is deep and wide and this is only part of the reason why you may not be able to vote your way out of it.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Stocked Up

We decided to take advantage of the current fuel prices and snagged three large cans full. But better still...

The local grocery had chicken at $1/lb. Bone-in thighs and legs, it was a pretty decent deal. It put me in mind of this fellow's find though it didn't even occur to me to ask about a better price on quantity. Trooper will do that tomorrow if any is left.

Managed to get about 20 lbs for friends and 20 for our freezer. Now we've a generous plenty in the freezer against higher prices and scarcity. And, yes, we've a generator to keep it safe if need be.

Be sure to keep your own eyes peeled for those kinds of deals and take every advantage of them when you can. As for the vacuum sealer (really necessary for these sorts of situations) - we used coupons from Kohl's to get ours at 25% off and use their other coupons as they come in to restock the bag material. If you've one in your area, it's a worthy investment.

Tanking Up

If you know anyone who owns a mom and pop type of gas station, you might want to alert them to securing that fuel. A similar shop in a nearby small town had 800 gallons of diesel stolen in the middle of the night. Yes, obviously someone came with their own tanker and yes, they knew how to do it because the pump numbers weren't showing what they ought.

It is only going to get worse. Damned glad our associate snagged that 500 gallon tank I found on Craigslist. Looks like a good time to get it filled.

Undaunted By Truth

I've added a link to a very interesting site, Undaunted. The author is unapologetic about rendering facts relating to the war offshore and how it can be brought here with very little effort, indeed.

Too, there is a lot of good information about self-defense, seeing threats before they become threatening, and some hard-core facts, photos, and tips. Just be warned that there are disturbing items there.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Tidy Solution

I like the way he thinks...

"Governor Walker needs to sign an executive order declaring a State of Emergency and ordering the Senate to come to order. If the Democrats refuse he should then declare their seats abdicated and hold special elections."

After all, if they have chosen to play the game, then play by the rules, yes - play on.

You Don't Believe It

This is a wonderful, terrible letter.

When one decides to enter into this life, it isn't without the thought that you might one day find yourself trembling as bagpipes play. In fact, if Trooper wasn't as highly trained as he is, I'd have been more reticent. But there is a lot of comfort in the knowledge that "this ain't [his] first rodeo".

Still, so many troopers perish without anything more going wrong than they didn't look back often enough at the oncoming traffic as they tried to also watch a car full of people. The mundane death is perhaps only slightly less horrific than that of violent action and reaction.

We had that fleeting touch a few years ago...his call, only a few minutes after he'd left me with a kiss that evening, held too much of that flat tone and simple syllables. Most important to me was that he was okay - bent, bruised, even ventilated was "okay" in my mind then. Breathing, present and staying that way was what I needed to know. A wreck, he had a hard time telling me that it was a fatality. I knew, in a moment, that it had been and felt my mind take that and tuck it aside for the moment. It was a surreal moment in which my brain worked like a computer - if this, then that. Simple toggles being flipped until the course of action necessary was calculated. Pure, cold logic.

Don't come, he said. As if that was an option. Discarded, my brain demanded more. Where? When? He begged me to be careful driving, his voice cracking. The EMTs took him over and the conversation ended with the wail of sirens. I took time to look at a map, to understand where to go, I grabbed bottles of water and a coat - I didn't know what to bring. And without another thought I left. I recall now that my usual poor night vision was sharp, that every turn was remembered. I drank a bottle of water, knowing that the adrenalin was going to make me feel like shit before long.

I had to pass the scene on the way - I took the shortest glance to just assess my access point - I had to get around it and didn't want to announce to all there who I was in order to get by.

At the hospital - you know the kind: go there if you are dying then get the hell out as soon as you can - I pulled into the driveway for emergency vehicles, directed there by his friend with the EMT service. I wanted to park out of the way, even then trying to be considerate. I asked snipped questions. Is he okay? Was it a fatal? Can I see him now? I was all business and I think it might have stunned them. On the way in, the sea of uniforms surprised me. Curt nods to them as I passed, a kind of recognition and thanks. And the briefest smile and handshake with the woman who offered her card - for when he was ready to talk about it or if he needed help later.

It was a small room off to the side near the entrance and it was full of people. My eyes did a survey - small specs of blood as though cuts from shaving on his face - broken glass, of course, though I wasn't sure at the time. He was doing okay - there was a bit of a deer in the headlights look to his face but he was processing. His good friend was there and spoke to me quietly as the medical personnel finished up with him. His wife was in the lobby so I took the time to go see her, knowing it was late and she deserved to know why they'd had to hustle into town.

She was very kind. I spoke quietly to her, my own quaking starting as my nerves began to feel again. I did not have time to cry, having shed only a few tears at the sight of him, and she made me feel too sensitive with her feminine kindness. Dear friends...

I marched back through the "No Access" doors to his room in time to see a rather uncomfortable encounter which I shall not detail here because there were lawsuits, of course, and that bit of business was so tasteless and crass that I will be too unkind in the retelling. I wanted him out of there - but there was a bit more to be done. A final touch of disgrace as they had someone come take blood to ensure he hadn't been impaired. We knew it was just a formality but it was a bit too much of an echo of his duties...that crossing of the line. It was then I met a high ranking member of DPS who was there to give us comfort. He was so...solid. He exuded quiet competence and I was equally steadied and suspicious. It must be bad, I thought, if he is here. I think it was only then that my mind permitted that thought to enter - yes, it was bad. It would be bad for awhile.

The drive home was also strange - he wanted to drive out of habit and I barked out a laugh. I reminded him he had calls to make. I was hoping he'd reach his brother - who never answered his phone. I passed him the bottle of water which he gulped down. Smart, he said. Most people don't think about that. Home, I think I had him shower before we spoke. And we talked a long time. But it was months before he told me everything...and years before it was all settled and he could safely see the lady whose card I was passed. Only then was he able to start letting it go. Only then was it safe to talk about it, and find a way to live without it in his mind every day.

It was a very close thing, you see. His vehicle took the blow in the front post passenger side. Just 2 inches - just 2 damn inches - and I'd have been telling a different story. So I have the barest sliver of idea of what this man is feeling as he tries to do his duty. To make words fit around a thing still too brittle and sharp.

This video ought to be played in every single leadership class and every recruiting drive. Never has a man given so much of himself so much severe honesty...please, ride it through. I know it's 20 minutes of your day. Get a cup of coffee, some Kleenex, and give it - give yourself - those minutes. You will learn lessons no matter what you do or who you are.

No, we never believe it will happen to us. You can't and still do the job. But I try to never let him go without a kiss. Or in a bad mood. One more kiss might have prevented all the above, after all.

It is the one thought that I never let go - just one more kiss and it wouldn't have happened. My own penance...

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I just cannot help it. Whenever I read about the morons Over There I have to smile as I recall their counterpart in the Thieves World books, PFLS.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Just Another Day...With You

It was a kind of early celebration of the day. Trooper had a few different loads to test in the new rifle so off to the range we went. The weather was a lovely 65 degrees and up as the day progressed but with a fairly constant wind (as the target attests).

Still, as we all agreed, one is not always given perfect weather to perform in - just as well to work under some challenging weather. Besides, the sun was out. It felt amazing.

There were three loads to trial and each did fairly well, really. But one was a definite winner. You can see my three shots in the upper left pie wedge. I'd aimed for the point of that pie so, adding in the wind, I don' t think I did badly at all for my first 100 yd attempt!

The rifle has a terrific trigger - I told him that the only way I could describe it was like the best champagne's thrilling zing of the tiniest bubbles on your tongue. It truly sent a kind of electric ziiitttzzz through me just before the very slight recoil distracted.

This little tool (a present I gave him for Christmas) was helpful though we really didn't have the drop #'s for the rounds so we couldn't calculate the 500 yd shot. No, in time...

As for today, I woke a bit early today to slice the homemade cinnamon swirl bread and soak it in eggs for the delicious Surrender Toast to come. He was, as is his preference, given his warmed maple syrup on the side. Some good coffee made it complete. That and, of course, the bacon. The dogs eyed it as though waiting for it to do a jig and fall off the plate to their patient tongues. And yes, some always does.

But I was trying to find something for him because we aren't really adherents to the MUST BUY CARD AND PRESENT rules of the day. I think Mary Fahl manages it nicely here in a song she wrote for her own intended. If you are in the northern climes and have a chance, she is worth the trip to see.

To my own good man who would turn a river if only I asked. Love you, always.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Art For Landlocked Mermaids

I stumbled on this site courtesy of a link from the Hee Haint. The art of Chris Howard...the Saltwater Witch stuff is amazing but...

I think I shall have to get a copy of this. I cannot see how I can live without it, really, since it has both of my favorite things. He has an amazing style and I spent a rather long while looking at everything.

It made me think, Joan, of you and the goes it? Inspired?

Clear Skies

Life has been too much of late and I've taken to reading the words of others rather than babbling here. The one thing that has helped me on the rough rides to the office has been the songs of old. Comforting for some reason...something to distract and buoy my spirits...

And then this which came to mind while reading Brigid's excellent treatment of the subject matter.

Trooper and I have been giving a bit of thought to flight lessons. With his birthday coming up I was thinking of a surprise...of course, with two flight instructors in our immediate group of friends, it shouldn't be hard. But I wonder if it is more expensive for them to get aircraft to teach in or to have a stranger do so with their own wings.

I've been so distracted lately. I read things from a year, two years ago, here that were really not bad and wonder where that ability went. The dogs demand attention much of the morning, chores the afternoon, and then dinner and dogs again in the evening until I feel as though I've no time left for just...thinking. Such is the life with two large animals. They cannot be ignored.

I think I'll squeeze the two of them into the back seat of the truck and go to the local state park for a change of pace. A change of place. I used to do so often with Ranger and almost forgot about the pleasant peace there. Yes, a change of scenery for us all today. Perhaps it will ease this uneasyness.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Snow Day

Work has been crazy, planning for visitors new to TX has been a task, so the break today was almost worth the layers required to withstand that damned gusty wind. Bless milspec Gortex attire! The dogs? Oh, they were ready...

Yep, really ready...

They're such gorgeous troublemakers...and yet they can look so innocent. Harrumph.
At least I got to crunch some snow underfoot this season. And now, some fresh ham hock veggie soup is ready with a side o' cornbread. Frugal and yet delicious. Yay me!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Working It Out

I had a large disappointment the other day as we walked the dogs by the local school playground. I hopped up on the platform to grab the rungs overhead and just do a quick 1-2-3 bar grasp...

The screaming of my right shoulder with only 1/3rd of my weight on it was a surprise. I was glad I tested it. I've known my shoulders were buggered for awhile but I didn't know it was that bad. I have, however, found an amazing resource.

These guys are Crossfit geeks who crossed over into Mobility. Their series of videos are all available here. But go to their site to search by body part if you need to. Truly amazing, really well-presented and educational tips to open up the joints and deal with those "stuck" areas.

Bring the pain...