'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

28 April 2012

Sunday Kipling

Saturday was a great day. For me at any rate. Lu ran the Hurricane Half Marathon and did very well. I'll have a post up on it this week.
I sold the flattop to a friend in another state and I'll be getting it mailed out as soon as I can.
The IRS sent us a correction on our tax return that shorted our refund by about 300 bucks. Ain't that always the way?
The kids had friends over on Friday so I had a house full of screaming munchkins. Good thing I drink heavily.
The draft is done and I have no idea what the 49ers did. Oh I know who they drafted I just have no idea why. LaMichael James in the second round? Really? He's a nice player and all but hardly the guy who's going to replace Frank Gore so what's the point? Third down back?
I hope everyone has a great Sunday. Grill something tasty, kiss the one you love best and enjoy another day of life.

Hymn to Physical Pain

"The Tender Achilles"
From "Limits and Renewals" (1932)
Dread Mother of Forgetfulness
  Who, when Thy reign begins,
Wipest away the Soul's distress,
  And memory of her sins.

The trusty Worm that dieth not--
  The steadfast Fire also,
By Thy contrivance are forgot
  In a completer woe.

Thine are the lidless eyes of night
  That stare upon our tears,
Through certain hours which in our sight
  Exceed a thousand years:

Thine is the thickness of the Dark
  That presses in our pain,
As Thine the Dawn that bids us mark
  Life's grinning face again.

Thine is the weariness outworn
  No promise shall relieve,
That says at eve, "Would God 'twere morn"
  At morn, "Would God 'twere eve!"

And when Thy tender mercies cease
  And life unvexed is due,
Instant upon the false release
 The Worm and Fire renew.

Wherefore we praise Thee in the deep,
  And on our beds we pray
For Thy return that Thou may'st keep
  The Pains of Hell at bay!

25 April 2012

Assault With A Deadly Weapon?

During my career I've been kicked, punched and hit with a wide and varied selection of objects but this is just too much.

Woman hits cop in the head with a pink dildo.

Now that's a Penal Code violation

Along the same lines we've all heard about the Secret Service guys who got caught with their pants down. Here's a tip for our boys in dark suits from a former street cop. Pay the hooker. You know it's wrong, I know it's wrong and damn sure she knows it's wrong. If you piss her off she has exactly nothing to lose. She'll scream and rant and raise a ruckus leaving you with your dick in your hand and a stupid look on your face in front of a bunch of people you'd just as soon not be aware of your proclivities. If you're so morally bankrupt and equipmentally deficient that you have to pay for it make sure she at least leaves monetarily satisfied. And do try to remember the Secret part of Secret Service. Letting everyone you're carrying on with know what you do for a living and who you do it for is just asking for trouble.

If I had a nickel for every stupid John I ever had dealings with.....


22 April 2012

Sunday Kipling

I find that as time slips away I'm jealous of any spent away from the kids. The date when they will leave us, to take up their lives in another state a continent away, is fast approaching. I apologize for neglecting the blog and my commitment to you. But I can't help myself. Whenever I sit down to write the muse flees at the sound of young voices full of life and questions and thirsty for knowledge. Or maybe just an adventure. Please bear with me. It'll be over all too soon.

The Day's Work

   We now, held in captivity,
      Spring to our bondage nor grieve--
   See now, how it is blesseder,
      Brothers, to give than receive!
   Keep trust, wherefore we were made,
      Paying the debt that we owe;
   For a clean thrust, and the shear of the blade,
      Will carry us where would go.
               The Ship that Found Herself.

All the world over, nursing their scars,
Sir the old fighting-men broke in the wars--
Sit the old fighting-men, surly and grim
Mocking the lilt of the conquerors' hymn.

Dust of the battle o'erwhelmed them and hid.
Fame never found them for aught that they did.
Wounded and spent to the lazar they drew,
Lining the road where the Legions roll through.

Sons of the Laurel who press to your meed,
Worthy God's pity most--you who succeed!)
Ere you go triumphing, crowned, to the stars,
Pity poor fighting-men, broke in the wars!

  Put forth to watch, unschooled, alone,
    'Twixt hostile earth and sky;
  The mottled lizard 'neath the stone
     Is wiser here than I.

   What stir across the haze of heat?
      What omen down the wind?
   The buck that break before my feet--
      They know, but I am blind!

17 April 2012

Just So Wrong

Being the Soccer Grandpa has given me an opportunity to catch some guilt free cartoons. Sample some of what the kids are watching and what they like. In the course of that I have discovered what may be the most disturbing and obnoxious ad ever seen of television. Do yourself a favor and don't watch it. It'll be in your head all day and once seen cannot be unseen.

Told you. The Princess giggles uncontrollably every time she sees it.

You're welcome.


15 April 2012

Sunday Kipling

Took an AR out to the local range and participated in some trigger therapy. Ended up deciding my HBAR needs to go so I'll clean it up and pack it off to my gun guy for a sale. I'm really paring down the gun safes to only what I really want and what I shoot often. This is a gun I bought 7 years ago and haven't even fired until today. Yeah, it's time to say goodbye to it. I believe I'll load up the grill with a few pounds of chicken for dinner.

I hope this Sunday finds you all well and happy. Take care.


The Craftsman

Once, after long-drawn revel at The Mermaid,
He to the overbearing Boanerges
Jonson, uttered (if half of it were liquor,
                    Blessed be the vintage!)

Saying how, at an alehouse under Cotswold,
He had made sure of his very Cleopatra,
Drunk with enormous, salvation-contemning
                    Love for a tinker.

How, while he hid from Sir Thomas's keepers,
Crouched in a ditch and drenched by the midnight
Dews, he had listened to gipsy Juliet
                    Rail at the dawning.

How at Bankside, a boy drowning kittens
Winced at the business; whereupon his sister--
Lady Macbeth aged seven--thrust 'em under,
                     Sombrely scornful.

How on a Sabbath, hushed and compassionate--
She being known since her birth to the townsfolk--
Stratford dredged and delivered from Avon
                     Dripping Ophelia

So, with a thin third finger marrying
Drop to wine-drop domed on the table,
Shakespeare opened his heart till the sunrise--
                     Entered to hear him.

London waken and he, imperturbable,
Passed from waking to hurry after shadows   .   .   .
Busied upon shows of no earthly importance?
                    Yes, but he knew it!

10 April 2012

Dogs And Lizards And The New York Marathon

So. Angus and I went for a ride this morning. Well, I rode he ran. His legs being too short for a bicycle and all. We loaded up and headed for a well known trail just a few blocks from Casa Six. As we rode (And ran. Can't forget about the doggy running) I saw him suddenly stop and stare. Not the casual kinda stare where someone of the opposite sex has sauntered by, oozing sex from every well muscled and tanned pore and you are desperately trying to act casual so as not to alert your significant other that you are in fact ogling someone other than themselves but they know anyway and you will absolutely pay for it just as soon as they get you alone. No, not that kind. This was the mad dog stare. The kind that will cause someone wearing eleven pounds of bling, crotch to the knees pants and tear drop tattoos to ask "What you looking at?" The stare that says "I'm so gonna tear you a brand new waste elimination orifice." That kinda stare.

He quivered as every muscle in his sturdy body got a jolt of doggy adrenaline. He was obviously preparing to thrust himself into mortal combat. His fangs bared in a rictus of anger as if he was anticipating an imminent fight to the death. Angus was clearly pissed. Or excited. Or happy. Or hungry. With Angus sometimes it's hard to tell.

In a moment the reason for his posture became clear as the focus of his lethal attitude suddenly burst into the open and took flight, clearly unwilling to face such a Black Furred Instrument Of Fearful Rending Death. What was this imminent threat to life and limb you ask? And well you should because the whole point of this post would be lost without that, dare I say it, critical information. There, I said it and I won't take it back. It's critical to know the creature which caused this sudden life or death situation. If I was to omit it you'd get to the end of this story and ask yourself "Just what was the point of that whole mess? What was the author trying to do other than to waste a few minutes of my valuable time?" And where would you be then? Probably somewhere where you weren't actively losing brain cells reading stuff so dreadful the Federal Department Of Things That Are Bad For You will declare it a Superfund clean up site.

Where was I? Oh yeah.

Well I'll tell you. It was a lizard.

I can hear you now, gales of laughter issuing from your lips but let me tell you, this was no ordinary lizard. This was The Lizard Of The Apocalypse. He was huge, maybe as much as three or four ounces and as high as a mouses knee. I think that's about sixteen pixie hands tall. Yeah. So there.

So this monster of a lizard, having taken one look at the fierce and deadly Angus, made a break for it. I heard Angus, using his best command voice, order the lizard to stop and show his hands. Or feet. Paws? Mandibles maybe? Anyway, the order was given and completely ignored. The Lizard Of The Apocalypse never even slowed down.

Did I fail to mention Angus can talk? Well he can. Of course only I can hear him. And he doesn't talk, even to me, when anyone else is around. And he usually uses telepathy. And sometimes he simply won't shut up even when I wear my CIA Approved Reynolds Aluminum Beret. And I'm not really sure I should be listening to him at all, considering what he wants me to do. I mean, who tells people to pee on cats for crying out loud?

So the Lizard ran and ignored the clearly legal order to stop so Angus took off in a cloud of dust, black fur and glee, chasing the malefactor. Around and around the cactus, sage brush and dropped bicycle they ran. The lizard fleeing for his life from the Imminent Jaws Of Drooling Death and dodging the Lumbering Human Of Inadvertent Squishing. The chase lasted for seconds as each tried to outwit and outrun the other. The running part was clearly going in Angus' favor. The wit part not so much. The lizard ducked into the Hole Of Obvious Hidiness and Angus lost him. Frantically, he quartered the area in a vain attempt to pick up his trail again. Alas, it was to no avail. The perpetrator was lost, never to be seen again except as an extra on a cheesy ScyFy movie of the week titled Attack Of The Killer Nuclear Lizards Who Can Also Hide Like Nobody's Business.

Angus was down trodden. Then I stepped off his tail and he was Ok again. He said "Hey, where there was one Lizard maybe there will be another that looks just like him" and immediately set off on The Great Lizard Hunt. Of Death. Several times on the rest of our ride/run I saw him again adopt The Posture Of Significance, indicating another Lizard Of Chasing had crossed his Path Of Accidentally Seeing Something While Running Down A Trail At Mach 2.7.

It was all in vain though. He just never could get past that whole outwitted by a lizard with a brain the size of ant poop thing. But it did give me a chance to observe his technique and reach an epiphany. And here it is. Ready? Because it's an epiphany of such monumental significance that I'm not sure the world is ready for it's world altering truthiness. It may shatter your world view and cause you to immediately sell all your worldly belongings, send the money to me and trot off to the nearest mountain top, there to contemplate the purpose of naval lint and the place toe fungus occupies in the flora/fauna argument. Don't say you weren't warned.

Angus wasn't trying to kill Apocalyptic Lizards Of Doom, he was actually training for the New York Marathon.

How exactly does this relate to the New York Marathon you're asking? A good question. A very good question. I sure wish I had a good answer. Have I told you how smart you are? And good looking? Have you lost weight? New hairdo? Glasses? New Dress? Want some bacon? See the shiny coin? No? You want an answer? Oh, I have an answer it's just not a good one. 

Ever see the New York Marathon? I mean on television because normal people don't watch such things in person let alone participating in such endeavors. Not that any of us is normal but you know what I mean. Anyway. There's always this one guy, That Guy, who, when the starter gun sounds makes a sudden break for the lead. Running his lungs out just so he can say he lead the New York Marathon for 1.5 seconds. He never admits it was for the first 50 feet and that afterward he promptly collapsed and had to be rushed to the emergency room suffering from Near Terminal Oxygen Deprivation Through Sheer Stupidity (It's an actual condition, look it up. Ok, I'm lying. Don't look it up.).

This is exactly Angus' hunting strategy. Run like stink for a vanishingly small fraction of a second, slow down, stop, peer carefully around with a confused look on your face and then collapse to the ground while breathing heavily and claiming victory because the whole thing went exactly according to plan right up to the point where you pulled your groin and couldn't possibly have gone on another second but if not for that you would have won easily and handily. Or caught the Lizard. Depending on who's narrative I'm currently channeling. And I channel a lot. Have I ever told you I used to be a princess on the Isle of Moo? But never mind that for now.

Of course all this means that Angus is a natural for the Marathon. I didn't even know he was interested but now that I do I will do all in my power to assure his success. We'll get endorsements. We'll get chicks. We'll get cash. We'll get rolled in Central Park. I just need to figure out how to get a Black Lab registered for the New York Marathon. I mean, how hard could it be? They let Jared from Subway fame in right?

Look out Big Apple, here we come!


09 April 2012

Old Dogs

There is something special about old dogs. The grey muzzle. The calm disposition. The sleepy running dreams. The memories.

Old dogs are special. They're a connection to our past as well as a road-map to our future. They have so much to teach us about aging gracefully. And patience. And acceptance of the things we cannot change. They possess dignity in abundance. They are unconcerned about our fears; of death, of loss, of parting. They can sleep the sleep of the innocent. And yet they never truly retire from their responsibilities. Once they accept the charge they will stay on guard until the very end. Their loyalty knows no limits. No infirmities will stay them.

Ah, my sweet Chrisi. Your fidelity knows no bounds. Your love is as uncompromising as a new dawn. It is what it is and you are what you are and we are all richer for having you in our lives. Such a dog. Such a companion. Such a protector. Still on the job after all these years. Placing herself right where she needs to be, between the beds of her beloved children. No ghosts or monsters will pass your vigilance. Your kids will sleep safely in the night because you are there. Where you have always been. Between the fear and your heart's love.

Sleep well but don't leave us just yet my sweetheart. We still need you so.

Are we ever worthy of our dogs?


07 April 2012

Sunday Kipling

It's Easter Sunday and I hope you are all enjoying it with friends, family and loved ones. It has been officially declared as Unlimited Chocolate Day here for the Six clan so the kids are amped. They had an egg hunt yesterday and there will be a second today. Baskets have been packed, chocolate bunnies tethered, eggs dyed and peeps penned. I anticipate an energetic, sugar fueled day. Angus is psyched at the very thought of so much candy tantalizingly within reach of a dog with a bottomless stomach and a quick move.

May the Lord's blessings be with each and every one of you and a special prayer to all those in harms way for a safe day and a quick return to their families.


The City of Sleep

("The Brushwood Boy" -- The Day's Work)

Over the edge of the purple down,
  Where the single lamplight gleams,
Know ye the road to the Merciful Town
  That is hard by the Sea of Dreams --
Where the poor may lay their wrongs away,
  And the sick may forget to weep?
But we -- pity us! Oh, pity us!
  We wakeful; ah, pity us! --
We must go back with Policeman Day --
  Back from the City of Sleep!

Weary they turn from the scroll and crown,
  Fetter and prayer and plough --
They that go up to the Merciful Town,
  For her gates are closing now.
It is their right in the Baths of Night
  Body and soul to steep,
But we -- pity us! ah, pity us!
  We wakeful; ah, pity us! --
We must go back with Policeman Day --
  Back from the City of Sleep!

Over the edge of the purple down,
  Ere the tender  dreams begin,
Look -- we may look -- at the Merciful Town,
  But we may not enter in!
Outcasts all, from her guarded wall
  Back to our watch we creep:
We -- pity us! ah, pity us!
  We wakeful; ah, pity us! --
We that go back with Policeman Day --
  Back from the City of Sleep!

06 April 2012


There are firsts for all things. Sometimes they're good sometimes not so much but as we trundle along the path of life we will experience many. They tend to get get fewer and farther between as we get older but there are still chances for new experiences. Sometimes the real joy from a first is not personal but rather the opportunity to watch someone else conquering a particularly difficult task and enjoying the thrill of victory. I had just such a moment yesterday and it's thanks to my daughter and The Boy.

He's motivated. He has a cousin who's his same age and has become his best friend. They are in the same kindergarten class and live within a block of each other. The Cousin has mastered the art of the bicycle and The Boy wanted, needed, to do the same. He asked me to take off his pedals because that's how The Cousin did it so obviously that was The Way. So I took off his pedals, right down to the cranks and modified the seat so he could reach the ground with his feet and we had an impromptu pusher bicycle. And he practiced. Oh how he practiced. Until he learned the Art and Secret of balance.

He did about a thousand laps of the driveway, pushing his bike and learning control. Then it happened. The day before yesterday he decided he was ready and asked me to put his pedals back on. And suddenly he was riding. All by himself.

 He's still learning the pitfalls of not looking down and obstacles and brakes but he's riding, pedals and all.

It's a big day in his life, bigger than he can know. It's about so much more than mastering a technique. It's about limits and freedom and acceptance of risk. It's about the joy that comes with a hard earned victory. It's about confidence and finding out you really can if you put your mind to it and try very, very hard.

He's already talking about riding to school and his first trail adventure with Papa. I can't keep him off the thing. It's very much like the first flush of love. His confidence has soared and entire new vistas of possibilities have opened up before him. Each flavored with the tangy spice of freedom.

I am so very proud of you my grandson. Thank you my beloved daughter for allowing me this. Words cannot express how I feel. I don't have a lot of firsts left in my life and this is one I will treasure until the day I die.

And yet that joy is tinged with a certain sorrow. They grow up so fast. Time speeds by us unseen and unheeded. God willing there will be many more firsts in his life. Many more mountains to climb and obstacles to conquer. More new experiences to enjoy and learn from. There will be sorrow and soaring highs.

But for now I will bask in his reflected warm glow of accomplishment and share in his joy. My grandson and his bike. I think I'll go for a ride.

With my Boy.


05 April 2012

The Done Post

I'm So Done

For all those that wanted to read the first post, but didn't feel like scrolling around to find it, here it is!  Enjoy the rantiness of it.

~The DO


Man, have I ever been lax around here. In my defense I have been uber busy.

The Car Guy and I did a fast run out to Albuquerque to drop off a car to his daughter. In a moment of synchronicity his daughter's van died at the same time as the DO was trying to sell hers. Since it was here and the price was right Car Guy bought it and we delivered it. Then loaded up some of his stuff and turned right around and came back. It was fun.

We got a completely unexpected tax bill from the state of Utah for almost three thousand dollars. Pretty much depleted the gun fund so Lu's holster and the grips for my Redhawk are on the back burner until I can refund it. Not to mention no new boom sticks for a while. Sucky.

Baby Girl got her cast off and then promptly had to go to the dentist for a fairly significant procedure. She was not happy.

The kid's school is going well but being a soccer grandpa is eating up more time than I remembered from my days as a dad. You folks with school age children have my complete and total respect.

I finally got the front end finished on the Corvette. Now it needs to be aligned and some tiddly stuff done before I have it inspected and registered here. Then it's off to the car lot and hopefully a new owner.

Angus is still going a thousand miles an hour (though training time is suffering) and Chrisi is hanging in there. The Car Guy got himself a brand new super deluxe MTB and passed on his old one to me. It's a significant upgrade from what I was riding before. I promise a post just as soon as I get the time to actually ride the thing.

I know I know, it's totally sniveling.


01 April 2012

Sunday Kipling

The Ballad of the Red Earl

(It is not for them to criticize too minutely the methods the Irish followed, though they might deplore some of their results. During the past few years Ireland had been going through what was tantamount to a revolution. -- EARL SPENCER)

Red Earl, and will ye take for guide
The silly camel-birds,
That ye bury your head in an Irish thorn,
On a desert of drifting words?

Ye have followed a man for a God, Red Earl,
As the Lord o' Wrong and Right;
But the day is done with the setting sun
Will ye follow into the night? He gave you your own old words,
Red Earl, For food on the wastrel way;
Will ye rise and eat in the night, Red Earl,
That fed so full in the day?

Ye have followed fast, ye have followed far,
And where did the wandering lead?
From the day that ye praised the spoken word
To the day ye must gloss the deed.

And as ye have given your hand for gain,
So must ye give in loss;
And as ye ha' come to the brink of the pit,
So must ye loup across.

For some be rogues in grain, Red Earl,
And some be rogues in fact,
And rogues direct and rogues elect;
But all be rogues in pact.

Ye have cast your lot with these, Red Earl;
Take heed to where ye stand.
Ye have tied a knot with your tongue, Red Earl,
That ye cannot loose with your hand.

Ye have travelled fast, ye have travelled far,
In the grip of a tightening tether,
Till ye find at the end ye must take for friend
The quick and their dead together.

Ye have played with the Law between your lips,
And mouthed it daintilee;
But the gist o' the speech is ill to teach,
For ye say: "Let wrong go free."

Red Earl, ye wear the Garter fair,
And gat your place from a King:
Do ye make Rebellion of no account,
And Treason a little thing?

And have ye weighed your words, Red Earl,
That stand and speak so high?
And is it good that the guilt o' blood,
Be cleared at the cost of a sigh?

And is it well for the sake of peace,
Our tattered Honour to sell,
And higgle anew with a tainted crew --
Red Earl, and is it well?

Ye have followed fast, ye have followed far,
On a dark and doubtful way,
And the road is hard, is hard, Red Earl,
And the price is yet to pay.

Ye shall pay that price as ye reap reward
For the toil of your tongue and pen --
In the praise of the blamed and the thanks of the shamed,
And the honour o' knavish men.

They scarce shall veil their scorn, Red Earl,
And the worst at the last shall be,
When you tell your heart that it does not know
And your eye that it does not see.