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  • Tales of the Minivandians!

    My Book

Picture of the Day

Happy Birthday to John Moses Browning, the genius who created many of my favorite firearms.

Musings

  • I will remember yesterday morning when Boo is 16 and wants to sleep in.  My last day off before going back to the office, and he gets up at 5:19 AM, wanting to talk to us.
  • Going back to the office this morning was not the easiest thing I’ve ever done.
  • Louisville people surprised me this evening.  During a rather heavy, wet snowstorm, they slowed to an appropriate speed on the freeway, yet did not come to a crawl.  I didn’t even see any jackasses trying to swerve in and out of traffic or in the ditch.  The world must be coming to an end.
  • The rough cut of the audiobook for Minivandians is finished.  The narrator/producer did an excellent job, and just needs to do a bit of editing and correcting of small things here and there.  Look for it to come out next week.
  • Work on the second book continues.  I’ve written a few short stories, and outlined the last third and about 3/4 of the first third of a longer story arc.  My goal is to have it out to alpha and beta readers before I go on vacation in July.  I’ll put up a few snippets here and there between now and then.
  • If you remember the Chris Kyle raffle that I talked about last year, the drawing was today.  I haven’t heard from American Snipers, so my gut tells me that we didn’t win, which means that there won’t be a second drawing for those of you who donated.  But over $62,000 was raised through the drawing, all of which went to Mr. Kyle’s family.  Thanks to everyone who participated.

Overheard in the Living Room

Irish Woman:  You know, I never learned how to do squats.

Me:  Well, you place your feet like so, then keep your head up and your back straight, then you bend at the knees.

Irish Woman:  OK (Tries to do them a few times.)

Girlie Bear, coming into the room:  My God, are you twerking?

Me:  Bwahahahahahaha!

Musings

  • I think I’m just going to cut out the middle man and buy Boo black or gray socks.  It’ll save time, since that’s the state they always seem to get into anyway.
  • This product looks interesting.  I wish they had a peach tree, though.  I want to have one of my descendants say to their children “OK, kids, it’s time to go pick great-grandpa!” or “You get out there and cut a switch off of grandpa.”.
  • When writing fiction, in order to get something exciting to happen, sometimes I have to make my characters do something supremely stupid.  Unfortunately, when I think about it, 9 times out of 10, I have to admit that it’s something I would do if I were in their shoes.
  • Antique store – a place where the best memories of my childhood and my grandmothers’ houses are priced outside of my budget.
  • Heard back from my doctor about the blood work from my check-up.  I’m fat, I need to eat better, and I need to exercise.   I fought back the urge to ask the doctor if she was psychic.

News Roundup

  • From the “Riding Dirty” Department – A man in Georgia was recently cited for distracted driving because he was eating a McDonalds cheeseburger while wending his way down the public thoroughfare.  Deputy Fife was quoted as saying “First they eat the double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, then it’s fries, then it’s a double thick Steak ‘n’ Shake milkshake.  The next thing you know, they’re all hopped up on McNuggets and Animal Style Double Doubles, and it’ll be chaos in our streets.”
  • From the “Responsible Adult” Department – A Louisville school bus driver was fired from her job and charged after she allowed a 12-year-old girl give oral sex to a 17-year-old boy on her bus.  Not only was the act done on her bus, but the boy told her about it before he did it, and the act allegedly happened in the seat directly behind the driver while the bus was in motion.  And now, kids, you understand why DaddyBear didn’t put up much of a fight when Irish Woman decreed that her son would not be attending public school in Louisville.
  • From the “Sports and Other Necessities of Life” Department – The National Football Association has found that 11 out of 12 footballs used by the New England Patriots in the AFC playoff game were deflated at some point.  Referees inspect the footballs before the game begins, but somehow these non-standard balls got past the checks or they were altered afterward.  If it is found that the Patriots let air out of their balls, they face a fine and possibly the loss of draft picks for next year.  However, and please remember that I hope that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick die in horrible Zamboni accidents, I don’t agree that this scandal should change the line-up for the Super Bowl.  Tampered-with balls may have had some impact on the game, but the Colts got beaten like a rented mule regardless.
  • From the “Holy Writ” Department – Archeologists have beenlooking at the papyrus scraps to wrap some mummies, particularly their masks, to find out what was written on them.  Apparently Crazy Abdul’s Discount Mummification and Body Shop recycled paper to wrap their 99 Shekel specials, and the writing on the paper can be read after the mummies are unwrapped.  Texts found so far include snippets of classics, personal letters, and what is believed to be the earliest  known version of the Gospel of Saint Mark.  Even more exciting, to this author, is a passage that says “The Lord said unto Thomas:  I hunger, my friend. If thou wouldst fly, I shall buy.  I desire a Double Double, Animal Style, two orders of fries, and a large Coke.”
  • From the “Bad Ideas” Department – A man in New York wasarrested recently when he decided to demolish his home without telling his wife or removing her things from the house.  Apparently Captain Success also didn’t have the utilities shut off before beginning his demolition, because police had to call crews in to disconnect the power, water, and gas.  He is out on bail, while his wife is advertising on-line for a fishing boat and a concrete contractor.
  • From the “Science!” Department – Researchers have successfully programmed a robot to emulate, both physically and programatically, the brain of a worm.  The robot senses things in front of it, moves itself independently, and senses food and other stimuli.  Scientists say that they are 20 to 30 percent of the way to their goal, which is for the worm to seek out a mate and run for elected office on the Green Party ticket.
  • From the “Stupid Is As Stupid Does” Department – A crime victim in Louisville recently made the police’s job much easier when she saw someone wearing her stolen jewelry during a court appearance.  It appears that Ms. Brainiac attended her pre-trial hearing for receiving stolen goods while wearing stolen goods.  In unrelated news, a man under indictment for trafficking in drugs showed up for court with baggies of cocaine hanging out of his pockets, and an arson suspect brought a can of kerosene with him, just in case.

100 Years On – Bombs over Britain

On January 19, 1915, a German Zeppelin raid against two cities in Great Britain brought a taste of what was to come, both in the First World War and the Second.  While casualties and damage were limited, but the impact on morale was pronounced.  Rumors of spies and secret bases swirled, and with no effective air raid shelters, everyone must have gone to bed wondering if tonight was the night.

Germany followed up the January attacks with multiple raids on London and other military and industrial cities in Great Britain and France throughout the war, using both Zeppelins and airplanes.  While they did damage, the effectiveness of these attacks was arguable, at best.

Strategic bombing in the age before guided bombs or even effective bomb sights was wildly inaccurate, so stating a militarily necessary target was more of a formality.  It must have been a given that in order to attack a given target, some amount of civilian deaths would have to be planned.  Even in this age of laser and GPS-guided bombs and missiles, non-combatants get hurt or killed.  The difference is, to me, that modern planners do what they can to reduce the risks to those who should not be harmed.

Musings

  • I took Boo to an event titled “Squirrel Appreciation Day” today.  It consisted of activities meant to educate young children about squirrels and their place in our forests.  It was entertaining and interesting, and Boo’s favorite part was the nature walk to spot squirrels and their nests.  By which I mean a death march with toddlers through the park looking for rodents who were smart enough to get away from the horde of kids walking through their neighborhood.
  • The ground hog, which the lady from the local wildlife rescue group brought to show to the kids, was anxious to get out of his carrier.  That is, of course, until he was faced with a room chock full of kids from ages 18 months to 8 years old.  After that, his fight or flight instinct kicked in.
  • I can’t be sure, but I’m pretty sure the pizza buffet I took Boo to for lunch lost money on the deal.  In related news, I think we’re entering another growth spurt.
  • I set up a Disney song playlist on our favorite music streaming service today.  I’m not sure why I hate myself so much.
    • Half of the songs in the first hour were from Frozen.
    • Hearing protection didn’t help when Girlie Bear and Boo were singing along at the top of their lungs.
  • You know your house is a little crazy when your wife texts you to say that she’s taking a nap in the car.
  • There are few things more blood chilling than hearing your wife say “I know what you can do for the next three days!” when you are taking a week off.

News Roundup

  • From the “Your Tax Dollars At Work” Department – The Washington Post is reporting that  the Ebola treatment centers set up as part of President Obama’s $750 million effort to combat the disease in Africa are unused, and several, and several of them may be shut down.  It appears that this is another effort that probably would have been more productive if the money had just been set on fire for the heat.  In related news, the administration is requesting funding for relief to Iceland to support efforts to recover from volcanic eruptions that shut down European air travel.
  • From the “Justice” Department – OK, you’re a CCW carrier, and you go to a friend’s house.  There, you drink a few refreshing adult beverages, probably more than you should have, and certainly more than you should while carrying a firearm.  You then compound that bad decision by getting behind the wheel.  Let’s say that for some reason, during your drive home, you end up stopped with an other driver.  During that time, you get in a scuffle with said other driver, and you end up shooting him in the leg.  What charges do you think you would face, and do you think a jury would convict you of them?  If you’re a former Louisville police officer, you get charged with DUI and wanton endangerment, then get off with a fine for the DUI and a “have a nice day” for shooting someone in the leg while under the influence.  Now, I’m not saying that you give up your right to self-defense because you get a little drunk.  What I am saying is that you ought to use your head when you know you’re going to go out drinking.  First, have a designated driver, and that person can also be your designated carrier.  Yes, you can be a totally rational, intelligent person after you’ve had a few drinks, and in some places it’s perfectly legal to have a beer or two with your dinner while carrying.  But even if it’s legal, I have no doubt that a prosecuting attorney or plaintiff’s counsel will bring it up at trial, and the demon rum is an easy cudgel with which to beat the jury.  Don’t make the lawyers’ job easier?
  • From the “Worth the Assbeating” Department – Jokesters recently got the better of several LAPD officers when the “trunk full of coke” they admitted to consisted of soft drinks, not instant twit powder.  While the officers on the scene smiled and shook hands, LAPD leadership has removed the stick up their backsides, examined it, and decided that this was a waste of police resources and warned that anyone who repeats it will be cited.  Since LAPD leadership has been a joke for decades, I guess they can’t recognize humor when they see it.
  • From the “On The Road Again” Department – A security guard at an Israeli zoo lost his job the other day when he allowed three female rhinos to escape while he took a nap.  The animals were quickly corralled and returned to the park with no harm done.  Republican leadership is interviewing the trio as possible 2016 candidates.

Musings

  • A chilly morning, a bright sun, and a pocket full of .38 wadcutters is a great way to start a day.
  • Today’s match was for “Backup Guns”.  I took a 5 shot Taurus snub nose .38.  I did pretty well, but I was far from the fastest and most accurate.
  • I really dislike people who are the reason the term “This is why we can’t have nice things”.  If the range rules are to not shoot the steel targets with centerfire rifles, then don’t shoot the steel targets with centerfire rifles.
  • I am not allowed to tell Boo that the song “Hakuna Matata” includes the lyrics “It’s our problem free….. colostomy!”.
  • On a related note, I wonder if any truly creative drill sergeant has ever forced a company of young men to march while singing the refrain from “Be A Man“.  If so, I wish they would put video of it up on the Internet.
  • We went for a nice walk this afternoon.  At the start of the trail, Boo was practically pulling us along because we were going too slow.  By the end, we were taking Boo for a drag.  I’d have carried him if he weren’t so darned big.

Today’s Earworm

My Christmas season support ends tonight.  For once, I’m a happy guy.

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