'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

29 January 2012

Sunday Kipling

Angry. I'm angry today. There are many reasons and I'll have a longish post coming about one of the myriad reasons later but for today I'll stew a bit, chew on a response and try to find my inner peace. It's a new day and the end of a difficult week but I will enjoy my child and grandchildren. I'll play with Angus and scratch Chrisi's ears and remember what is truly important in my life. I fear my time on these pages is drawing to a close but I'll make no hasty decisions. I still have things to say and share. We shall see.


Ay, lay him 'neath the Simla pine --
A fortnight fully to be missed,
Behold, we lose our fourth at whist,
A chair is vacant where we dine.

His place forgets him; other men
Have bought his ponies, guns, and traps.
His fortune is the Great Perhaps
And that cool rest-house down the glen,

Whence he shall hear, as spirits may,
Our mundance revel on the height,
Shall watch each flashing 'rickshaw-light
Sweep on to dinner, dance, and play.

Benmore shall woo him to the ball
With lighted rooms and braying band;
And he shall hear and understand
"Dream Faces" better than us all.

For, think you, as the vapours flee
Across Sanjaolie after rain,
His soul may climb the hill again
To each of field of victory.

Unseen, who women held so dear,
The strong man's yearning to his kind
Shall shake at most the window-blind,
Or dull awhile the card-room's cheer.

In his own place of power unkown,
His Light o' Love another's flame,
And he and alien and alone!

Yet may he meet with many a friend --
Shrewd shadows, lingering long unseen
Among us when "God save the Queen"
Shows even "extras" have an end.

And, when we leave the heated room,
And, when at four the lights expire,
The crew shall gather round the fire
And mock our laughter in the gloom;

Talk as we talked, and they ere death --
Flirt wanly, dance in ghostly-wise,
With ghosts of tunes for melodies,
And vanish at the morning's breath.

27 January 2012

Complex Dog Behaviors

I got sharply reminded yesterday that dogs are sometimes smarter and more complex than we realize, or remember at least.

Angus has been house broken since he was 10 weeks old. From that time he could be relied upon to understand his need and where he was to do his business. But I forgot that habits can alter as time passes and circumstances change. The change that precipitated my epiphany was twofold. I've graveled the side yard, where the Pirate Ship is located. It's a large yard and Angus spends a bit of time out there. Not to mention doing a bit of his business there as well. Second, I installed a gate separating the side yard from the back yard. I did it when the side yard was dirt and turned into a sea of mud when it rained. Angus, among his other charming and frustrating habits, is a digger as are many Labs. I decided, in my folly, to go ahead and keep the gate closed whenever he had unsupervised access to the side yard area to keep the holes in my gravel and underlayment to a minimum. That's the set up.

Yesterday morning Angus followed me and Lu into the bathroom. Since the rest of the house was still asleep, and Angus figures that if he's up everyone else should be as well, we decided to keep him in there with us. Showers done we found that he had piddled on the floor. Odd but I figured it was my fault. he'd needed to go and with no access to the backyard had let go on the floor. Clearly an accident. I hauled him outside, gave him a fairly mild scolding and watched until he went on the new fake turf. Done and done right? Not so much. Later in the evening I watched as he stopped between the kitchen and living room and promptly squatted and started peeing on the carpet. I jumped up with a very loud NO!, grabbed him and hustled him to the backyard. Since I caught him in the act he got punished and temporarily banished until clean up was done. Lu, the DO and I talked it over but didn't come to a consensus. DO thought it might be a urinary infection or other problem. I thought it was Angus rebelling a bit. Some dogs do that at about his age. Lu was of the opinion it was something else, perhaps a more complex behavioral issue involving the shutting off of the side yard. Along with the earlier incident it might be that he just hated closed doors, a behavior that Chrisi has in spades.

I gave it some thought and decided to test her theory. I took Angus to the gate, opened it and let him into the side yard. He took off and immediately took a very long pee on the gravel with a definite "Finally!" look on his face. Problem solved. We've had no further peeing on the floor incidents.

What apparently happened was that Angus has transferred his potty instincts from the back yard to the gravel area. I believe that if I had a gravel patch in the back yard the issue would have never come up. Angus now associates relieving and gravel. I missed it completely and Angus paid the price for my ignorance. It's a good lesson and one I should have seen coming from a mile away. Luckily Lu, once again, showed that her instincts and knowledge are better than my own.

It's something to think about and remember. If a dogs behavior suddenly makes a sharp turn it's time to slow down, investigate and give it some careful thought. Maybe the problem is both simpler and more complex than it seems and a quick reaction might be a wrong one. Food for thought.


22 January 2012

Sunday Kipling

It's been rainy and kinda nasty here after a long run of unseasonably good weather. I expect it'll be more of the same today. A good day to sit in, read a good book and, of course, watch my Niners in the NFC title game (who'd a thunk it?). I hope this day finds you all well and content my friends.

The King

"Farewell, Romance!" the Cave-men said;
"With bone well carved He went away,
Flint arms the ignoble arrowhead,
And jasper tips the spear to-day.
Changed are the Gods of Hunt and Dance,
And He with these. Farewell, Romance!"

"Farewell, Romance!" the Lake-folk sighed;
"We lift the weight of flatling years;
The caverns of the mountain-side
Hold him who scorns our hutted piers.
Lost hills whereby we dare not dwell,
Guard ye his rest. Romance, farewell!"

"Farewell, Romance!" the Soldier spoke;
"By sleight of sword we may not win,
But scuffle 'mid uncleanly smoke
Of arquebus and culverin.
Honour is lost, and none may tell
Who paid good blows. Romance, farewell!"

"Farewell, Romance!" the Traders cried;
"Our keels have lain with every sea;
The dull-returning wind and tide
Heave up the wharf where we would be;
The known and noted breezes swell
Our trudging sails. Romance, farewell!"

"Good-bye, Romance!" the Skipper said;
"He vanished with the coal we burn.
Our dial marks full-steam ahead,
Our speed is timed to half a turn.
Sure as the ferried barge we ply
'Twixt port and port. Romance, good-bye!"

"Romance!" the season-tickets mourn,
"He never ran to catch His train,
But passed with coach and guard and horn --
And left the local -- late again!"
Confound Romance!... And all unseen
Romance brought up the nine-fifteen.

His hand was on the lever laid,
His oil-can soothed the worrying cranks,
His whistle waked the snowbound grade,
His fog-horn cut the reeking Banks;
By dock and deep and mine and mill
The Boy-god reckless laboured still!

Robed, crowned and throned, He wove His spell,
Where heart-blood beat or hearth-smoke curled,
With unconsidered miracle,
Hedged in a backward-gazing world;
Then taught His chosen bard to say:
"Our King was with us -- yesterday!"

20 January 2012

I Am The One Percent Part II

I wrote a piece a bit ago titled I am the one percent. That post generated more traffic and comments, including our only trolls ever, than anything else any of us here have yet written. It's sill generating comments from time to time. Recently we got this one from HammerHead:

HammerHead said...

I came across this blog, and am incredibly impressed by this. I am going to check out the other topics I'm interested in here. In response to all of this 1% stuff, up until a couple years ago I was one of those outlaw criminal "scum" types. I spent about a decade in prison, and during that time I did something I never thought I'd do; I read, I observed my "fellow" convicts, and I made my peace with the good Lord. What I realized most was that I love my country. I LOVE riding my pig, I LOVE a big dip of Cope, I LOVE freedom. I read about the founding of our country, our initial governmental development in response to Britainic tyranny. I got out of prison with NOTHING of material value, but a firm sense of morals, ethics, and values. I was honest about being a former man of violence and drugs, and was willing to take ANY job. From third shift in a plastic company making $9/hr, and living in a half-way house. I now own a very nice home, a big Ford truck, a custom Harley, I have a beautiful wife, children, and a great career in the trades...all in three years of working, paying my dues in shitty jobs, and earning a living AS WELL AS the respect of my employers.

Now, I am PROUD to say that I am a different type of 1%er.

Oh, and I'm not swamped in debt because I was smart enough to know that a trade from a trade school was better for me than to have a BA.

Thank you all for your time.

I was deeply moved, both by his story and the fact that he chose to share it here with us. I wanted to make sure his words were as widely read as I could within the confines of this very modest blog so I asked if I could share them in a fresh post. HammerHead readily agreed.
This is a prime example of what I've always viewed as the American Spirit. Note that he didn't take me to task for my representation of the motorcycle 1%ers. He didn't make excuses. He didn't ask for pity or handouts. He didn't blame society or corporations or anyone at all. He paid his debt, put on his grown up clothes and made a successful life with nothing more than a can do attitude, a willingness to work hard and make his own breaks and an understanding that we are indeed masters of our own fate.
It irritates me to no end to see and read the nonsense that passes for thought amongst the occupy crowd and their supporters. Nothing I've read or heard yet comes within light years of this mans journey. None of them is worth the price of this mans spit cup. Morals, ethics, values, family, belief in his God, love of freedom and pride in self and in America.
Success stories are not written in a tent on Wall Street by the craven, who have no more agenda than greed and hatred and violence toward anyone who doesn't agree with them. Sometimes success stories are written in prison, in blood, by brave men who have seen Hell and found there strength instead of despair. And rather than be destroyed by it they have come through with a better understanding of what makes a man a man, indeed what makes anyone a human being, full of wisdom and pride and love.
We as a nation, as a people, cannot be beaten by forces from without. It is only the rot within that can fell us. We are Americans. We are still the land of the free and the home of the brave and we can still produce greatness on every scale. If the Occupy crowd and their handlers want to take this country away from us they're going to have to take it from those of us who refuse to surrender or quit. I don't think they can because we have love, devotion and hard work as our weapons and they have nothing to compare. Read the comments to this post and compare the words of Moth and Art of War with HammerHead and take heart. We are not the One Percent, no not by a very long shot. We are Legion and we're making ourselves heard throughout the land.
God bless you HammerHead and thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing part of your journey with us. I'm glad you're out there and we're proud to have you here with us. It's a long road and a rocky one but if you're of a mind we'll share a bit of it together.
Saddle Up my friends.


I've been badly remiss on posting lately but I have an excuse. I took on a small CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) consulting client and I'm swamped trying to get the report done. With being sick basically all of last week I'm that far behind and trying to catch up. I'll be done this week (I better be anyway) and back to regularly posting soonest. In the meantime I'll leave you with this.

I'm pretty sure this was taken directly from my old SWAT team manual. We were professionals don't you know.


18 January 2012


Here's a little eye candy for you Fly (boys & Girls) and also for those who just enjoy things that move through the air.


17 January 2012

Taking Concealed Carry Way Too Far

I don't talk about it much but I actually began my law enforcement career with the local Sheriff's Department. Like most such agencies, rookie deputies started by working in the county jail. Hey, it's a job not too many love and they have to staff it so...

Among the wonderful jobs I had was working in the wing dedicated to sentenced prisoners, those doing county time. We had to keep them separate from the unsentenced folks because we had outside work parties and some prisoners doing weekends and work release and some jokers always thought they could beat the system and smuggle in contraband. Every prisoner who left the facility, even those on supervised work parties (think roadside trash pickup details) had to be strip searched. Those of us who were new invariably got the task and a lovely task it was. "Hey rookie. Guess what time it is."

This story caught my eye. Really? A .38 revolver with a 6 inch barrel? I mean, I've seen some things 'keistered' (in the parlance of those who are unfortunately knowledgeable about such things) that I thought was painful but a 6 inch revolver? Knives, drugs, razor blades (yes, really) but that takes the cake. I loved this part;
The gun was not loaded. However, the gun was test fired by the OCSO CSI to determine its functionality and it was in operational condition.

I can't help but wonder who they got to do that. You know it was a newbie. "Hey Rook. C'mere a minute".

Of course, this being a cop story and me being a retired cop and all, it brings to mind a recollection about my motivation for finally getting out of the Sheriff's Department just as quickly as ever I could.

I was doing my rookie duty and strip searching a particularly slovenly individual just back from a work detail. The guy must have had a particularly painful encounter with a bath sometime in his childhood because he hadn't stood closer to soap and water than a drive past the car wash in a very long time. If you get my meaning. The funk was eye watering and as he disrobed it actually became visible. Waving your hand in front of your face does nothing more than stir it around so as to penetrate your clothes to an extent where cleaning is accomplished only with a liberal application of gasoline and a match. Still, it was my job and I'm nothing if not thorough. Looking back I'm now fairly certain he was counting on that very malodorousness to put off my game. My job no. My lunch very much.

So, off with the clothing and on with the search. All done and routine so far. Until the bad part. Really, I don't how how you ladies can stand us. I hate to admit this here, where just anyone at all can stop by and read these words, but I've seen a lot of naked men. A lot. Unwillingly it must be said lest anyone think me light in the loafers (not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not how I roll). We're gross. Lumpy and hairy and smelly and frankly ridiculously horrible looking. Naked men = bad. Enough said.

So, it's time. Here's the words. Remember, I didn't invent them I just had to say them. "Turn, squat, spread your cheeks apart and cough hard". Man, that still gives me the heebie jeebies. So Prisoner Funk complies. But do I espy something untoward? Is that the corner of a cellophane baggie I see just protruding from an inner recess, peaking it's head out like a mouse from it's hole in the wall seeking the whereabouts of the cat? Being the police officer that I am, and having amazing powers of observation, I deem that it is in fact contraband of one stripe or another (Get it? Stripe? I kill myself). I tell PF "Either you take it out or I will and you won't like it if I have to do it." It was a complete bluff of course. At that point I wouldn't have touched that baggie with two pairs of gloves and some magical tongs. But PF was of another mind.

He reached around, grasped the baggie firmly twixt thumb and pointer and pulled it forth. Inside I saw a fairly minor amount of a green, leafy substance I immediately recognized as Suspected Marijuana. I grabbed an evidence bag and moved in to have him deposit it therein. Only to see his hand moving toward his mouth. In the baggie went followed by noisy and noisome mastication. I can't emphasize enough here the level of this man's lack of basic hygiene. He reeked. He was Orcs living in mountain caves for centuries without bathing ever nasty. Knock a buzzard off a black plague dead cart at 50 paces filthy. It was not good is the basic idea I'm trying to convey here.

And yet, into his mouth went the offending object to be chewed with furtive relish (as far as I could tell. I was busy trying desperately not to be sick). I said "Screw it. If you want it that badly go ahead and finish it." And at that moment the future path of my career was laid out before me in all it's shining glory. Never, never, never again will I do any job that requires me to look at naked men and watch as they eat items that they have pulled from their rectums.

I watched as he gagged and chewed and painfully swallowed the baggie. Dry of course. He croaked a request at me for a drink but by I figured he knew full well that no water was to hand when he made his culinary decision and besides, what wine goes with ass grass anyway? I rolled him up, moved him to an isolation cell and removed him from the outside work detail. Then I sat down and filled out an application to the police department where I eventually retired. Never again seeing another man's nether regions.

So I read the story of the keistered gun with both morbid fascination and a certainty. There's at least one deputy in the Onslow County Sheriff's Department who is even now filling out an application for another police department and making a vow to himself regarding things he will just no longer do.

I feel you brother. I really do.


15 January 2012

Sunday Kipling

I'm late as usual. Watched the Fortyniners beat the Saints. NFC Championship game. Who'd a thunk. The days have been bright and warm. The kids are a joy and the DO and LU have been working in the storage room all day. Straightening and sorting and getting ready for a yard sale and a very long drive all too soon. As for me, I do believe I hear the siren call of the range and a day shooting. Not today maybe but soon. Very soon. May this day find you all happy and healthy and contemplating a range day of your own.

Old Mother Laidinwool
Enlarged from "Old Song"

Old Mother Laidinwool had nigh twelve months been dead.
She heard the hops was doing well, an' so popped up her head
For said she: "The lads I've picked with when I was young and fair,
They're bound to be at hopping and I'm bound to meet 'em there! "

Let me up and go
Back to the work I know, Lord!
Back to the work I know, Lord!
For it is dark where I lie down, My Lord!
An' it's dark where I lie down!

Old Mother Laidinwool, she give her bones a shake,
An' trotted down the churchyard-path as fast as she could make.
She met the Parson walking, but she says to him, says she: --
"Oh, don't let no one trouble for a poor old ghost like me!"

'Twas all a warm September an' the hops had flourished grand.
She saw the folks get into 'em with stockin's on their hands--
An' none of 'em was foreigners but all which she had known,
And old Mother Laidinwool she blessed 'em every one.

She saw her daughters picking an' their children them-beside,
An' she mowed among the babies an' she stilled 'em when they cried.
She saw their clothes was bought, not begged, an' they was clean an' fat,
An' old Mother Laidinwool she thanked the Lord for that.

Old Mother Laidinwool she waited on all day
Until it come too dark to see an' people went away--
Until it was too dark to see an' lights began to show,
An' old Mother Laidinwool she hadn't where to go.

Old Mother Laidinwool she give her bones a shake
An 'trotted back to churchyard-mould as fast as she could make.
She went where she was bidden to an' there laid down her ghost, . . .
An' the Lord have mercy on you in the Day you need it most!

Let me in again,
Out of the wet an' rain, Lord!
Out of the wet an' rain, Lord!
For it's best as You shall say, My Lord!
An' it's best as You shall say!

13 January 2012

Finding Their New Normal

That's what they call it. Our wounded veterans. Those missing limbs but dedicated to living their lives without self pity, remorse or bitterness. I've met a few and come away with a new appreciation for the warrior spirit, hell the human spirit, that these men display. Every day.

Witness then these men. They are the very essence of what it means to be indomitable. They cannot be dismayed. They cannot be defeated. They will not be victims. They are men. Proud athletes who carry honorable wounds and scars and devices.

Softball. So simple a thing and yet fraught with all things American. Rugged individualism. The will to strive and overcome. The renouncement of fate as the determiner of their lives. The sure and certain knowledge that their lives will be what they make of them.

I am proud to call myself a veteran and to count such men among my brothers, though I am unworthy. They are heroes though I doubt very much they would accept that acclaim no matter how deserving. How much more heroes they are than politicians and movie stars and the degenerate who occupy and demand handouts and pity and the lifeblood of their fellows.

If I am to choose who to admire and who to deny my choice is easily made and easily seen. They wear the sacrifices they have made upon their bodies, wrought in steel and aluminum and honor. And though some will pity them and tsk an aside to another 'how awful it is and those poor men' I will not. I will keep them always in my heart and see them as they are. Tall and fair and noble and proud. My soldiers, my countrymen, my brothers.

May they live forever.


12 January 2012


Wow, was I ever sick. It came on Saturday afternoon and I'm just feeling better this morning. Lu and I both believe it's the sickest I've ever been. I think it was the stomach flu and, trust me on this, you don't want it.

ShoulderAngel6 here. Sorry but I need to interrupt here. Don't read any more. Seriously. Just take it as he was sick and go on about your day. Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along.

ShoulderDevil6 here. Don't listen to that guy. Go ahead. Read the whole thing. Don't be a sissy.
SA6. Shut up knucklehead. You know what he talks about and it's not fit for public consumption. Why anyone would actually put that kind of thing down in words for others to see and read is quite beyond me. Quite.

SD6. Knucklehead. Oh, that's nice. Very spiritual of you. Besides, it's funny. There's pain and suffering and crying and everything. What's not to like?

SA6. Oh stop being such a crybaby. Knucklehead is the least of what you are. And it's not funny. He was very sick and laughing about it just makes it worse. It was clearly your influence that moved him to write this nonsense. Stop encouraging his bad behavior.

SD6. Stop encouraging his bad behavior? Who do you think I am? I'm his shoulder devil not his shoulder wuss. That's your job. Heh heh.

SA6. Don't make me come over there goat boy. I'll beat you like gorilla with a Samsonite. Listen folks, just do us all a favor and ignore everything after Six says "you don't want it." It's for the children after all.

SD6. Bring it goody two shoes and see where that halo ends up. Nah, bring in the little ones, have everyone sit around in a big circle and read it out loud. Good fun and they'll learn something about bodily functions. Funny and educational!

SA6. Ok, that's it. It is so on.

SD6. Oh Yeah? Oh Yeah? Come on over if you're feeling froggy.

SA6. Froggy? Someone hold this for me.

{Hey!Stop that!Ow, that hurts!Don't pull that!Let go!Nononono! Mommy!}

Ok, drifted off there for a second. Where was I? Oh yeah, Saturday afternoon. So the DO was feeling sick (it's been running through the household) so Lu and I loaded up the kids and went out for a nice walk followed by a burger at 5 Guys. Loves me some 5 Guys. By the time we got home I was feeling...bloated. I figured I'd just over indulged on the baconcheeseburgerandfries. Nothing a good nap couldn't cure. I laid down on the floor but after an hour or so the pain was getting kinda unbearable.

With my usual heroic stoicism I... Who's doing all that snickering? Anyway, I managed to make it to bedtime but my stomach was now doing the kind of rumbling one usually finds only just prior to a major eruption of the volcanic kind. Still, I am a tough guy so I....Seriously, who is that?

So we headed in to bed and tried to go to sleep. Nothing like a good nights rest to cure what ails you. Still, along about late evening I was curled into a ball about my now ominously swelling and quite painful midsection. About then the lower end started making it's presence felt. I guess they felt left out or something. It felt like someone had pounded a cork into both the food and poop holes with a sledge hammer. Unpleasant.

At about 10:30 I felt Mister Bowel knocking. "Hey Mac. I've just about got this obstruction out so you might want to start thinking about what comes next. Perhaps getting somewhere with enough industrial capacity to handle this commercial load because buddy, it's gonna be a doozy. And where the hell did this stopper come from anyway? You been eating paste again?"

Feeling obliged to listen to the good Mister Bowel, I jumped up and made my painful way to the bathroom. Upon sitting down on the porcelain throne I could feel the stirrings as Mister Bowel made the final few swings and dislodged the blockage. The dam burst and out flowed the, well....outflow. As it were.

At this exact time Mister Stomach came a knocking. "I say old boy. We'd like to come out now. There's a good lad." (Mister Stomach has a British accent. I have no idea why. I think it's fake.)
I tried to defer. "I'd really prefer you not just at this moment. Busy with something else quite important don't you know. Why don't you just wait a few moments and go out by the back door? I'm told it's now unlocked and will be ready for your use in just a few minutes."
He was having none of it. "Nonsense. We came in by the front door and we'd like to leave the same way. Besides, have you seen what's using the back door? I simply cannot subject my guests to mingling with that sort. Not cricket don't you know."
I tried again. "My dear Mister Stomach. I quite understand and am in fact tied up at the moment with seeing those folks out. If you'll just exercise some patience I'll have the whole lot cleared out and ready for your guests in no time at all."
Mister Stomach then became quite insistent, even cross with me. "We have waited quite long enough already Sir. My guests are ready to debark and debark they shall. Now stand aside or I shall be forced to thrash you."

What could I do? When Mister Stomach gets like that he usually gets his way and tonight was no different. I sent along a quick word to Mister Bowel. "Hey, could I trouble you for a quick second? Seems like Mister Stomach need to let his guests out and is insistent on using the front door. Can I get you to, you know, close up shop for just a bit? I'm sure it'll only take a minute or two. I swear. Just a minute or two. You'd be doing me a huge favor."
He was at first unwilling. "Stop? What, now? You gotta be kidding me. I can't stop this kind of outflow all of a sudden. It takes time. There's valves and shunts and pressure vessels and stuff like that. I try to just shut it down all at once and it might blow and then where'd we be? Sorry. Best to just let it finish."
Now I became insistent. "Listen you little butthole. Just shut it down. Now. I'll take the responsibility if anything goes wrong. Just for the love of god shut it down!"
Reluctantly he agreed. "Ok but if this ends up all over the wall I ain't taking the blame, you got that? No one's pinning this on me."
And with that he slammed shut the exhaust valve and things slowed to no more than a trickle. Now it was time to contact Mister Stomach again. Not something I was looking forward to. No, not at all.

With that at least temporarily settled I got up and, with my pajamas still around my knees, turned around to a new embrace of the white Altar and prepared for the departure of Mister Stomach's guests. "Ready when you are Mister Stomach" I said. He wasn't long in coming as he was in quite a rush.

Have you ever just had your entire body just lock up? You know what I mean. Every muscle in your body in a sudden and total constriction so it feels like a giant hand is squeezing you from the toes up, like a colossal tube of toothpaste? Yeah, it was worse than that. I know where all the liquid Mister Stomach used to lubricate the passage of his guests came from. It was squeezed out of every cell in my body.

At least I was poised just over the bowl so most of the contents went where I had hoped they would. Of course there was a surprise for Mister Stomach and his friends. See, I hadn't yet had the time (nor the inclination, I was that sick) to flush. Mister Stomach actually swore and I'm pretty sure I heard screaming. It might have been me.

The first wave was my lunch from earlier that day. I could actually feel the crumbly hamburger as it went up and out. And, oh look, fries, still with that delicious dipping sauce on the ends. I really have to learn to chew my food better. But Mister Stomach wasn't done yet. Oh no, not by a long shot. He'd decided to take the opportunity to just go ahead and empty the old place out. A good Spring cleaning and just go ahead and give the boot to all the vagrants, trespassers and hangers on who had been living off his largess for a long time. Wave after wave of them. There comes a time in such a situation where you just give up and hope it all ends before you die. I just turned off and became an observer. An interested observer to be sure but no longer even trying to control events. I watched the flood in morbid fascination as the remains of meals long past and little remembered went by. At one point I'm certain I saw a potato pancake come flying out and I haven't eaten one of those since I was seven.

In between the waves there was sobbing, moaning and crying along with long strings of snot, mucous and tears dripping into the bowl. And prayers, lots of prayers. Either for succor or death I will never be sure. Did I mention Lu was there? Oh yeah, my woman, the one I love and who (at least up to now) loves me back was right there the whole time. Watching the spectacle and gently rubbing my sides and belly. She held back the top I was wearing so as to not let it become fouled. I mean it's not like I have hair she could sweep back. She stroked my body as the spasms wracked me and whispered soothing words as she beheld my shame. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to kill her. Either that or disappear forever and change my name.

Still, this too at last ended. Mister Stomach bade me a good day and went back down to his house, slamming the door behind him. Of course Mister Bowel wasn't quite done yet as he painfully reminded me. "Hey buddy. Uh, I think you better do something and do it quick because the pressure is way too high down here and I'm pretty sure she's about to blow."
I managed to stumble up and sit back down just in time as the pressure peaked and the dam Mister Bowel had been holding back burst forth in an explosion of noxiousness and shame.

You want to know how good your marriage or relationship is? Get explosively sick in front of your significant other. The kind where there is clean up to do afterward. The kind of clean up that involves various disgusting, vile and malodorous body secretions you will be too sick to help with. If they stay with you you're golden.

There was only temporary relief from the pain and sickness. I had long days and even longer nights of no sleep, no food and massive discomfort. Mister Stomach put the kettle on at full boil and left it there for many days. He even invited Mister Bowel up and the two had tea while discussing my various shortcomings and limitations and why in the world does she stay with him she could do so much better. I even had a relapse and a second talk with Mister Stomach of a sudden on Tuesday morning. Seems he'd discovered a boarder or two he'd overlooked on Saturday night.

But this morning I am feeling much better. I was able to eat a bit last night and again this morning. I was planning on going out for a thing or two but I'm going to sit here a while and see if I can't get some more sleep before I decide whether that's a good idea or not. Mister Stomach has damped the kettle and is taking on new guests again. Mister Bowel seems to have finally gotten all the pipes and basement workings sorted out. Good lads. I anticipate no more problems from those two for at least a bit.

So. That's my story though I seem to be of two minds about the telling. Something about being both disappointed and gleeful. And who is doing that laughing?

And why do my shoulders hurt?


08 January 2012

Sunday Kipling

Well, the Six has been kicked in the stomach and I think he's be alright with dying, if the option showed itself, so I'm up for today!  I'm the history major, and I just did a paper on William the Conqueror and the Norman influence on England, hence this poem.  It's actually rather interesting, as it's Kipling's view on how to rule the English!  Hope you all enjoy a bit of historical tongue in cheek.

~The DO

Norman and Saxon

"My son," said the Norman Baron, "I am dying, and you will
    be heir
To all the broad acres in England that William gave me for
When he conquered the Saxon at Hastings, and a nice little
    handful it is.
But before you go over to rule it I want you to understand this:--

"The Saxon is not like us Normans. His manners are not so polite.
But he never means anything serious till he talks about justice
When he stands like an ox in the furrow--with his sullen set eyes 
     on your own,
And grumbles, 'This isn't fair dealing,' my son, leave the Saxon

"You can horsewhip your Gascony archers, or torture your
      Picardy spears;
But don't try that game on the Saxon; you'll have the whole 
     brood round your ears.
From the richest old Thane in the county to the poorest chained 
              serf in the field,
They'll be at you and on you like hornets, and, if you are wise,
                  you  will  yield.

"But first you must master their language, their dialect, proverbs
              and songs.
Don't trust any clerk to interpret when they come with the tale
              of their own wrongs.
Let them know that you know what they are saying; let them feel
               that you know what to say.
Yes, even when you want to go hunting, hear 'em out if it takes
                you all day.

They'll drink every hour of the daylight and poach every hour
     of the dark. 
It's the sport not the rabbits they're after (we've plenty of game
     in the park).
Don't hang them or cut off their fingers. That's wasteful as well
     as unkind,
For a hard-bitten, South-country poacher makes the best man-
     at-arms you can find.

"Appear with your wife and the children at their weddings and
     funerals and feasts.                                         
Be polite but not friendly to Bishops; be good to all poor parish
Say 'we,' 'us' and 'ours' when you're talking, instead of 'you
    fellows'  and  'I.'
Don't ride over seeds; keep your temper; and never you tell 'em
     a lie!"

06 January 2012

Jesse Ventura Really Is A Douchebag

What the hell happened to him? UDT to big time wrestler to actor to Governor to Douchebag Supreme.

Really? Ventura said that to a SEAL in a SEAL bar? He shouldn't have said it anywhere to anyone but that may be the stupidest thing I've ever heard of anyone doing. He's lucky The Chief didn't kill him.

Ventura, you're a scumbag. I don't know what the hell happened to you and frankly at this point I really don't care. I'm through with you. As a veteran myself I disavow you and will never again acknowledge you as a brother veteran. As far as I'm concerned you're no better than John Murtha. You are a dishonorable shadow of a man and deserve whatever ill fate befalls you. You have no integrity, no honor and no place among the heroes you slander and attack. Fuck you.

Chief Kyle. Thank you. You may have been at the wake of one of your SEAL brothers but when you silenced that piece of slime you did so in the memory of all those we have lost regardless of branch.
May you get another crack at him.


03 January 2012


Author unknown??

As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend..

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love .. I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.

They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things..

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.

So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.
As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore..
I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever,
but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day(if I feel like it)..


I don't know who the author is but it did think it was cool and about sums it up for me.

02 January 2012

A Football Post

I know most of you are indifferent to the whole stick and ball sports stuff but I do follow at least football and baseball. Giants and Fortyniners. We moved to California in 1981, when the Niners were starting their amazing run and the Giants were bad with no signs of getting better. But we became fans. Games at Candlestick park. Yeah, it's as crappy as they say (though AT&T Park is wonderful).

We were young and from a state that at that time had no professional sports team. I played football in high school but my college was the Army and the Police Department. I went to my first professional sports game in the spring of 1982. The Giants played the Braves. Bob Brenly hit a grand slam but the Giants found a way to lose anyway. Someone fell off the upper tier very near our seats and was killed. It was memorable to say the least. Still, we were hooked. The Niners won 5 Superbowls and the Giants finally won it all in 2010.

The Niners are finally good again after 8 years of stinking up the league.
2003  7-9
2004  2-14
2005  4-12
2006  7-9
2007  5-11
2008  7-9
2009  8-8
2010  6-10
2011  13-3

A first round bye and a home game. Frankly I'm astounded. I predicted a rebuilding year under Harbough and no better than 5-11 or 6-10. They're playing excellent defense, have a very good kicking game and have enough offense to keep them in the game with a chance to win. It's been a winning formula so far but now it's post season time. There's at least a fair chance they'll win at home and play in the NFC championship game and that's more than I could have possibly hoped for before the season began. They don't beat themselves.

Lu and I remained Fortyniner faithful through the dark years, though I turned off more games than I watched. It got pretty painful for a while. I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do when the brass ring is within reach and the pressure has been turned all the way up. I think they'll surprise someone. Finally, a reason to watch post season football again.

Go Niners!


01 January 2012

Sunday Kipling

It's the first day of a brand new year. I hope this day finds you all well and happy. We'll watch a little football (Go Niners!), eat some New Years treats and look forward to what will come. Have a great day.

The Undertaker's Horse
"To-tschin-shu is condemned to death.
How can he drink tea with the Executioner?"
Japanese Proverb.

The eldest son bestrides him,
And the pretty daughter rides him,
And I meet him oft o' mornings on the Course;
And there kindles in my bosom
An emotion chill and gruesome
As I canter past the Undertaker's Horse.

Neither shies he nor is restive,
But a hideously suggestive
Trot, professional and placid, he affects;
And the cadence of his hoof-beats
To my mind this grim reproof beats: --
"Mend your pace, my friend, I'm coming. Who's the next?"

Ah! stud-bred of ill-omen,
I have watched the strongest go -- men
Of pith and might and muscle -- at your heels,
Down the plantain-bordered highway,
(Heaven send it ne'er be my way!)
In a lacquered box and jetty upon wheels.

Answer, sombre beast and dreary,
Where is Brown, the young, the cheery,
Smith, the pride of all his friends and half the Force?
You were at that last dread dak
We must cover at a walk,
Bring them back to me, O Undertaker's Horse!

With your mane unhogged and flowing,
And your curious way of going,
And that businesslike black crimping of your tail,
E'en with Beauty on your back, Sir,
Pacing as a lady's hack, Sir,
What wonder when I meet you I turn pale?

It may be you wait your time, Beast,
Till I write my last bad rhyme, Beast --
Quit the sunlight, cut the rhyming, drop the glass --
Follow after with the others,
Where some dusky heathen smothers
Us with marigolds in lieu of English grass.

Or, perchance, in years to follow,
I shall watch your plump sides hollow,
See Carnifex (gone lame) become a corse --
See old age at last o'erpower you,
And the Station Pack devour you,
I shall chuckle then, O Undertaker's Horse!

But to insult, jibe, and quest, I've
Still the hideously suggestive
Trot that hammers out the unrelenting text,
And I hear it hard behind me
In what place soe'er I find me: --
"'Sure to catch you sooner or later. Who's the next?"