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Today’s Earworm

In honor of Irish Woman’s new University of Kentucky blue car.


  • Well, the old house will be off our books by the end of the week.
    • We finished the final cleaning/painting/polishing/waxing at about 12 AM on a Sunday night.
    • The realtor had a photographer out on Monday morning, and listed the house at about mid-day.
    • The next door neighbor tells me that it was bumper to bumper with folks driving by to have a look, and he seriously considered renting out his driveway for parking when folks were being taken in to look at it.
    • We had an asking-price offer by dinnertime, and had accepted and signed a contract by 9 PM.
    • We close on Friday, which will be celebrated at least as vehemently as a birthday or anniversary.
  • When your house is as old as ours was and the only real thing the inspector reports is that the furnace is old and needs a thorough maintenance inspection, it’s a good day.
  • The day job is finally about to calm down for a month or two.  
    • I’ve transitioned to a new team doing something somewhat related to what I used to do.
    • I’ve also been doing work for my old team during evenings and weekends.  Nothing long-term, mind you.  I’m just finishing up something I don’t want to dump on a couple of friends.
    • Luckily, we’re in clean-up mode on that work.  
  • That’s right – by the end of this weekend, I will be down to one mortgage and one job.
  • Somewhere, there is a list of things I thought I’d never hear over a phone.  I got to cross off “Would it be OK if I bought a car today?” a couple of weekends ago.
    • I’ve threatened to stop buying any bourbon better than Old Grandfather for Irish Woman until it’s paid off.
  • Next weekend, Booand I will go out to the woods with the Scouts. 
    • I finally broke down and bought him his own adult-sized sleeping bag and a real backpack.  
    • He thinks I’m joking when I tell him that this is his last freebie.  Everything else is going to come out of his pocket.
    • We’re going to be working on gun safety and rifle marksmanship.  I’m going to be taking the 10/22 and the .22 CombiRifle.  I’m thinking of taking the Garand.  An evil part of me wants to take the 91/30, after taking the recoil pad off the stock.  
  • Political thoughts:
    • If you’re surprised that someone who has been in an elected government position since 1973 is as crooked as a dog’s hind leg, you haven’t been paying attention since the Nixon administration.
    • If you’re surprised that someone who revels in bad publicity, tabloid coverage of his life, and chasing skirts is a bit rough around the edges once he is in elected office, you haven’t been paying attention since disco was king.
    • If you’re surprised that politicians, pundits, and poltroons on the President’s side support his decision to appoint someone to the Supreme Court a month before an election wholeheartedly, you’re probably not the sharpest pencil in the box.
    • If you’re surprised that politicians, pundits, and poltroons, who have been opposing the President since 8 nanoseconds after the last election, are being horrible to his Supreme Court nominee in both the press and the Senate chambers, you probably know what lead paint chips taste like.


  • And now, a math problem.
    • Each bag of gravel from BIGBOXHARDWARE contains half a cubic foot of gravel and weighs 50 pounds.
    • DaddyBear needs to cover a 10 foot by 30 foot basement walkout area with two inches of gravel.
    • Additionally, he needs four bags of gravel for a sidewalk section, one for each of the basement window wells, and one for a patch of dirt he just doesn’t want to mess with.
    • How many bags of gravel must DaddyBear purchase, transport, unload, trundle across the yard, place, lift, empty, and rake into position?
    • If the answer is 60, how many pounds of gravel does DaddyBear have to do these things with in a single afternoon?
    • If the answer is 50 X 60 = 3,000 pounds, then the ultimate question is how many of the muscles on DaddyBear’s body are threatening to emigrate to Tegucigalpa and leave him a quivering mass of pain after he finally stops moving for the day?
    • The ultimate answer is, of course, all of them.
  • I picked up the Ishapore Enfield from the gunsmith today.  The good folks at my shop gave her a good cleaning, safety check, and test fire.  The barrel is rather shiny, and the action is as smooth as butter.
    • Normally, I can take advantage of being either the only or one of two customers in my gunshop, but the place was packed.
    • The pistol cases were empty except for a couple of target .22 revolvers.  There were plenty of deer rifles and duck guns, but only two modern sporting rifles and one non-hunting shotgun.
    • The MSR’s were an AK clone and an AR-15, both from manufacturers I’d never heard of.  They were priced north of $1300.
    • Ammunition was to be had, but I couldn’t see how much they wanted and was afraid to ask.
    • The vast majority of the other patrons were African-Americans in their 30’s or early 40’s.  I heard “People have lost their mind” come out of more than one mouth as they bought accessories and got advice on new purchases.
  • Irish Woman proved yet again that she will never hold a Kentucky Derby party and run out of food.  We are going to be eating leftovers for days.
    • Not that I mind leftovers, especially when we had an entire cheesecake and bourbon barrel cake unopened in the refrigerator this morning.


  • Hell hath no wrath like an Irish Woman who discovers that the painters have covered over tile in the bathroom.
    • Other than the fact that I have no time or talent, things like this are why I pay other people to do things when I can.  Better to part with some cash than to be the object of her ire when things go wrong.
  • Watching the goings-on in Wisconsin, it occurs to me that there are a few things we all need to keep in mind:
    • Everything you do, especially in a volatile environment, is being recorded somehow.  Dress and act accordingly.
    • The trick here is to never wear anything that isn’t produced by the truckload in a third world sweatshop out of unadorned gray or brown cloth, and any identifying bits of your skin should be covered.
    • Never, ever, talk to anyone you don’t know about your motivations or plans.  And remember, even if you’re talking to someone you’ve known all your life, you’re probably being recorded.
    • Whether or not your actions are righteous, expect that if you are in a place where the authorities have let things get as bad as they are, they are probably not going to look kindly on anyone that draws unwanted attention.
    • Remember, the best way to win a fight is to not be there.  If you have to be there, remember the first rule of gunfights.
    • Don’t start anything, but make sure you have a good lawyer if you have to finish it.
  • I’m transitioning to a new position at the day job.  It’s amazing how folks who dumped massive amounts of twarg dung on me at some point in the past few years want a long, drawn-out transition as I scrape it off and throw it back at them.
    • This seems to include documentation written in English, Sumerian, and Klingon, complete with voice-over and animated pictographs, and for me to have every project that can be dreamed up complete, along with all of the work I have been doing all year.

You Say You Want A Revolution

This seems like something that I need to say again.

DaddyBear's Den

Since about this time last year, the vitriol and bile in American politics has gone from a low simmer to just short of a boil.  On one side, we have celebrities on social media and crowds in the street calling for violent action.  On the other, we’ve got folks believing that one gentleman can take ten rascals, so let the bastards come.

The left seems to think that we will see a glorious revolution of the human spirit brought about by denying a stage to folks who profit by being shouted down, massive demonstrations with no cogent point, and maybe a little violence around the edges, just to show the other side they mean business.

The right, on the other hand, well, I’m not sure what the right believes on this one.  At the moment, the people I listen to are pointing and laughing at the left.  I am finding…

View original post 745 more words

  • By the time we get the old house on the market, we will have spent enough money on it that I could easily do the math in my head to figure out the percentage of the remaining mortgage we forked out.
  • The hot water heater in the old house has chosen this month to start its death rattle.  The plumber took one look at our circuit breaker box and decided that he would come back after we’d paid out three or four house payments to someone else to fix it.
  • Is it a bad thing when the electrician brings you a length of heavy wire, its insulation all discolored and melty, and asks how we managed to not burn down our house?
    • It seems that whoever wired our house originally used too thin a wire for both the hot water heater and the dryer circuits.
    • That was the most egregious thing that he found, but it wasn’t the only thing that needed fixing.
    • Coincidentally, getting the electric situation fixed cost as much as the new gun safe and mint-condition Rockola M-1 Carbine I’d been considering buying.
  • Apparently my choices for a charcoal grill are either a $30 example that is sized for a small family of munchkins and will work for maybe two weenie roasts, or a grill large enough to smoke an entire hog and whose cost will be talked about in hushed tones by my descendants.
    • So, I’m looking into how much it costs to buy a whole hog so that I’m getting full value for my grill money.
    • By the way, is it just Louisville that’s still experiencing a meat shortage?  Our butcher has pretty much anything we need, but is severely limiting what each customer can buy.
  • We are settling into the new house, mostly.
    • The re-assembly of a couple of shelving units in the garage did wonders for reducing the stack of boxes in the garage.
    • My first repair to the house was to replace the first level of the deck because my rotund self put just enough weight on it to make it collapse where the wood had gotten old.
    • My next repair will be to replace the ceiling fan I broke when I was moving a box spring around.  I smacked one of the blades of said fan hard enough to shatter it and bend the arm it rested upon enough that the fan started wobbling and humming before I could get to the light switch.
    • Needless to say, Irish Woman was impressed that I broke two things on the new house in the same weekend.
  • As I watch the weather forecasts for the next week, I saw that not one, but two possible hurricanes will hit the Gulf states in the next few days.
    • After I pondered the likelihood that this will impact our local weather in Kentucky, I then had to wonder if people were going to evacuate New Orleans this time.  I mean, last time was a bit sporty, so the smart money would be to head inland now.
    • Here’s a hint, folks – When Mister Weatherman shows a hurricane track that has 17 lines that intersect over your state, it’s time to start moving to higher ground, preferably in Nebraska.
  • The Quadrennial Festival of Political Screeching is in full swing, and I’m glad we cut off cable television and only watch broadcast for one half hour news program a day.
    • Apparently, no matter who I vote for, I’m a bad person who wants little baby kittens to go without their milk.
    • My personal political philosophy is evolving to include the following:
      • I am not interested in arguing about politics with anyone not on a very short list of human beings.  That list gets shorter all the time.
      • Since you can tell when a politician is lying because you can see their lips moving, we all need to watch their actions.  Words mislead, but hands always tell the truth.
      • This year, I’ll probably vote for the most insane candidate. Since we are circling the drain already, might as well buy a canoe and enjoy the ride.
  • There seems to be another ammunition shortage going on, but it’s matched by a lumber shortage.  I had to go to three different lumber yards/hardware stores to get lumber to fix something.  There are plenty of 2×4 studs, but other lumber, especially pressure-treated, was looking kind of lean and picked over.


  • I was once told that nothing good comes easy.  If that’s true, then this house must be glorious.
    • We applied for the mortgage in early June, and thought that the recommended 45 days for it to process was a bit excessive.  Imagine our shock when we were frantically providing paperwork, money, and explanations less than a business day before our closing.
    • My bank has a very convenient web portal for uploading the myriad pieces of paperwork that you have to provide when applying for a mortgage.  Of course, the lady we worked with didn’t seem to have a handle in using it, so we ended up emailing her most of it anyway.  Several times.  In a couple of different versions.  And it all had to get to her immediately or our mortgage would be denied and the world would end.
    • Day of closing was a real treat.  Our 9 AM appointment to sign all the paperwork was delayed by several hours BECAUSE THE MORTGAGE COMPANY DIDN’T THINK IT NECESSARY TO SEND THEIR APPROVAL AND MONEY TO THE TITLE COMPANY.
    • I will say that the actual signing went rather smoothly. I think I signed my name more for the mortgage than I ever did for a security clearance.
  • We moved in this week, and it’s been a marathon.  The movers got the big stuff and a lot of things we’d packed, and we’ve spent the last three days taking other things over from the old house.
    • The look on the movers’ faces when they saw the Coca-Cola machine, arcade game, pinball machine, and jukebox was priceless.
    • You’ve never known stress until you’ve got three coolers full of frozen meat and vegetables in the bed of your truck and you get stuck in a traffic jam in July.
    • All that canned food and such we have gathered so that we have the necessary amount of shelf-stable food for emergencies?  Yeah, my ammunition was lighter.
    • It’s amazing how quickly you go from “We have to keep this because it might come in handy” to “Forget it, let’s get another dumpster” when you have to drive 20 minutes each way with each truckload of stuff.
  • Irish Woman is happy that we now own a riding lawn mower, complete with two cup holders.  One is for the beer that she will drink while mowing the lawn.  The other is for the other beer she will drink while mowing the lawn.
  • Boo has had some misgivings about moving out of the only house he’s ever known, but seems to be adjusting.  Having a basement he can hang out in, a neighborhood full of kids, and a buddy who lives a couple of doors down seem to help.
  • For the first time in my life, I have a home with more than one bathroom.  I’m not sure how to handle this.
  • The dogs are finally returning to normal.  We put them into a kennel for a couple of nights while we moved to the new house, which freaks both of them out. Then we didn’t return to their house, with all new smells and rooms to explore. Plus, there are other dogs visible from our kitchen window, so they have someone to yell at.

Today’s Earworm


  • Only mad dogs and Irish Women mow lawns under the mid-day sun.
  • Irish Woman says that taking a nap puts me in an awful mood.
    • I disagree.  Naps put me in a wonderful mood.  It’s the waking up from a nap that puts me in an awful mood.
  • Nothing makes you go from “I think I need to wash and vacuum the truck” to “I need to detail clean the truck” as quickly as a Labrador Retriever dancing in two extra huge root beers on the floor boards and upholstery.
  • When you’re dealing with a dog dancing in soft drinks in your truck cab, you need to be careful to remember to grab the dog’s medicine you put on the truck’s roof before taking off at a high rate of speed.
    • I guess if it’s good enough to pay for once, it’s good enough to pay for twice.

Book Review – Intensely Familiar

Alma Boykin continues the story of Lelia Chan and her Familiar Tay in Intensely Familiar.

Home is the Hunter . . .

Something moves in the darkness, hunting the hunters. An ambush leaves Lelia Chan weak and troubled. Her husband André returns from an extended deployment with problems of his own, some old, some new. Both shadow mages and their Familiars need rest. Their enemy, however, does not.

Magic solves magical problems: that’s the rule among Riverton’s magic users. But what if it doesn’t? Especially against a foe who is Intensely Familiar.

Intensely Familiar starts with a punch to the gut and keeps you reading until the last sentence.  Like the rest of the series, it is a character-driven tale with fast, intense action sequences. It’s not a thriller, but it keeps your attention through good story telling and pacing.

Lelia Chan is wholly fleshed out by now, but Ms. Boykin continues to let her grow and evolve without forcing the character forward.  Her husband, Andre, is also well done, but we are still learning about him as a central character in the story.  Other characters, such as her employer, Arthur, round out a cast that we can all relate to.

Intensely Familiar ends a multi-book story arc and hints to more in the future.  I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where Ms. Boykin takes her characters.

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