Thursday, March 31, 2011

Military Family Homes Need Help?

From Soldiers' Angels Facebook post:

Extreme Makeover asked our friends over at Ranger Up for help find military families that need home help. Families must own their own home (which can’t be in foreclosure or have a lien). They must have children. Email extremerangerup@gmail.com with ......the family name, pictures, story, and contact info.

(Yeah, we FB - just not under our names. If you wanna know, ask.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Uplink Initiated

What in the hell is going on?! If there is one crisis there's twenty. Data overload is the goal and I am saturated. Life has been one cat herding trailride after another lately so I shall have to present things to you in bits and pieces. First, I have been trying to keep up with all my good friends and their words but time is hard to find to keep up with it all. However, this piece was quite a good bit of work. (Thanks, Joan, for the link.) As I've noted here before - people think they can vote their way out of this - you are a fool to think you'll be permitted that pleasure. Once that power is acquired, they will not let it go. Some think Progressives are the same animal as Liberal - as in the olde tyme Liberal. Progressives will make houseboys of those liberals and laugh at their begging for crusts. And, of course, Tam smacks it outta the park. (The comments are amusing as hell, too. DIRTCRASHR - damned beverage warning was needed for that.) Not as relatedly, there is an author who wrote the best snark back in the day. His books are Gutenberg'd. Read. Enjoy. Damned amusing and we need the laughs these days. I am confident the things download into whatever magic device you youngin's are carrying these days. Billy will recall the one bit - "If my blood counts, there are at least three corners in the County that are forever England.” I spent some of the weekend driving this thing. I love it. I simply love it. There is nothing like a machine that goes and does where and what you tell it to...I cannot wait to start digging up dirt and planting with it. Just imagine the chaotic rows I'll manage on my first try. From the air it'll be all Nazcan. (It's a word. I say so.) I finished knitting my very first bit of clothing - a sweater - which is not bad at all. (No, not a codpiece though I was tempted! Yes, there is a pattern. Adjustable. Ahem.) Texas has kindly chosen to give us a bit of a chill so I can actually wear it tonight. Then, into the drawer until winter. It only took me a year, off and on. Damned cables.

Trooper has been lumberjacking lately - gets him all het up, it does. I may have to get him a nice Husqvarna for our anniversary. He has managed to impress a podiatrist with the size of his Haglund's Deformity. Not even in his clinical work had he seen any as...well, mighty. On both feet. But its the horn of a bone spur on the bottom of his heel, carving a lovely notch into the muscle on the bottom of his foot, that is making life oh-so-hellish for the man. Steroids for now. But likely a surgery in his future with a six week rehab of single footedness. I could put him in a wheelchair and hook the dogs to it. Walkies!

Seriously, it's a difficult time for him - he has to use the foot, daily, and he cannot do the job in kinder, gentler shoes. He's been soldiering on for months, now. When the man winces, you can bet your ass I'd be shouting in agony.

We had company recently and gave new shooter smiles to mom, dad, and young man. I can only imagine what his "what I did for my spring break" story said. "Then he let me shoot the SOCOM! But I liked the AR best." In truth, the boy listened carefully and took on every single weapon we brought. Guess which he liked best - yes, the FN Five-SeveN. Good taste. We were able to get his father to understand that at his experience level a shotgun was more useful for defense. Plenty of time to move to the M4. He bought one before he even left the state. The .22 convertor for the 1911 worked like a charm - lets newbies handle the heft of a semiauto without the "ooh skeery" recoil. In fact, the young man took to Texas so well that he is looking forward to spending a week here. Trooper is already lining out his education - tracking, archery, more shooting...

(Just between us...it makes me hate that POS uterus I had. Trooper would have been a great dad.)

As you can tell, that is just the skinny layer of jam on top of the global crap sandwich. I really don't know what more there is to be done. It is obvious, the whole carnival of delights they planned and are executing. What say you we all go Wisconsin on their asses at the local IRS offices on the 15th? "You can't get blood from a turnip, you low life sonsabitches!" Wait - that doesn't rhyme. Slogans, people. Slogans and chants. That and an extension form.

We here in our corner of the world hope your corner is pleasant and full of good condiments and stored foodstuffs.

Friday, March 18, 2011

An Observer

Tomorrow I accompany a young man to his first Warrior Dash. He is in terrific shape and I think he'll do pretty well if he will feed himself properly. I wonder if he carb loaded.

I figure it will be a good way to see how horrid it is before I commit to it, myself. If you asked me just now, I'd have to say No Way. But then I've been feeling rather poorly for some time, now. (Yeah, yeah - I've got the doc appt.) You know how it is - life just demands that you keep on keeping on. But it isn't breaking, that general malaise. Always an underlying feeling of bleh...

That is why I have been more of an observer of late - no energy for more. Hardly enough to put words here that have any kind of usefulness or resonance.

Perhaps it will be an inspiring day. Yeah, I'll go with that.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Distractions

I've been delving into other things as the news continues in the background. Cast on some new knitting for a shawl to match a new dress, the pattern bought from someone who is donating the cost to appropriate charities...

I have also been mulling over which of my favorite books I'd send to Michael Behenna. I have dealt with a similar situation in the past, taking those calls with the unending recordings and the rushed goodbyes before the cut off. It was a kindness I allowed though it wasn't perhaps understood by others. Books, too, made their way and were perhaps the best thing. I am still baffled that the man remains in prison when there is evidence that would release him. I keep thinking that the man who died must have been someone of value to someone of power. No other reason for the prosecution to deliberately avoid and deny the exculpatory evidence.

Another stop on the road of distraction has been here. Someone is making an IMAX movie from the ignored and glorious images of Saturn from the Cassini-Huygens mission. It's amazing and worthy of your review.

Billy has noted this as the best source for news in Japan. I cannot help but think of that small army of dead men walking who are trying to tamp down the thing. Brave and surrendering all they are to save the rest, if they can. I wish we had their names...I assume one day we will, their graves sacred. Their gift is not only for Japan but for the rest of us hoping to not bend our head under a dangerous sky. Bless them all.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tangents

I have, for many years, had an affinity for all things Japanese. I can recall a box that my father gave my mother, acquired when his Navy ship stopped there. I coveted the lacquered black etched with mother-of-pearl and have never really gotten over the fact that she gave it to my sister.

I read Sei Shonagon's book over and over, the aesthetics therein stirring something deep inside. I was mortified at a very traditional tea ceremony to have come clomping in with my shoes, stopping at just the verge of the sacred space with a gasp of sudden comprehension, and feeling that horror throughout the event.

I have found myself disturbed in a way hard to describe. I suspect it is a bit like what people were feeling during 9/11, taking on a tragedy in which they had hardly a peripheral impact. I wondered at them, so enrapt in the news, so saddened, when it was a thousand miles away and no one they knew had died. Tragic, yes, but not personal...

And I think I know, now, that depth of disturbance. My soul catches on the hook of it - of all those people lost, and the gentle manners of those living, trying to be thoughtful of others when we wouldn't fault them for turning into grasping, thieving survivors.

"There are lots of people dead and it's too much to ask to bring the dogs," said Mr. Kikuchi. "It would be inconsiderate to other people's sadness." In that simple sentence you have the idea of it.

My mind keeps returning to the movie, Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams. It, too, impacted me deeply when I first saw it in the early `90's. So lovely and horrid...full of myths and lessons...so completely Japanese in sentiment and visual. If you've never seen it, I highly recommend it.

As for the sturm und drang of the radioactive status there - I think this just the right thing. No one is safe from this sort of shrugging of the earth. It is a highly volatile and changeable system that we will never control and never be safe from. Our time here is always a crap shoot and this lovely world will one day cease to be. We all like to think it will be in a million years. But it could be tomorrow. The fact that we've absolutely no options to get off the damned thing seems the worst kind of waste.

Ah, dear...my mind cannot help but turn to those suffering and yet, coping. So many lessons we can learn from this. Try to let go the media madness and, instead, use it to educate yourself on what you would do in such dire straits. It is the least you can do for them. All those lovely souls lost...

Friday, March 04, 2011

Almost Good Enough

When a certain someone has a birthday, I do try to make it particularly special. Homemade cake is one way I manage to do so. Chocolate/chocolate via the Ghirardelli cocoa recipe. With extras tossed on. Ignore the Cthulhu-like decor. My good tips have gone missing and had to use the funky British ones that do not work.



Still, a nice treat to come.

Sometimes It Shows

Given the right music and a proper state of mind, Trooper will thrust himself to his feet for a bit of this.



Lord love him.