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  • Boo’s skill with the bow is improving. In fact, his school team has been invited to participate in the state meet.
    • He gets this particular skill from me, of course.
    • His mother doesn’t need a bow. She kills a thought and an icy stare.
  • Irish Woman’s arguments against moving to North Dakota are becoming weaker. It was only 10 degrees cooler in my hometown than in Louisville the other day.
    • Of course, that’s before you factor in the wind, but I’m not going to mention that to her.
  • Irish Woman gives me grief for being a soft touch, but we seem to have started quite a collection of Girl Scout cookies on the kitchen counter, and I haven’t even run into my pusher yet.
  • It’s standardized testing time at Boo’s school, or as we call it, “Annual No-Homework-But-Still-Early-Bedtime Week”.
  • I got to be arm candy for Irish Woman the other night when we were invited to tour the new snow leopard exhibit at the Lousville Zoo.
    • The new exhibit is wonderful, and we got to go behind the scenes to see the snow leopards and Siberian tigers.
    • The leopards were pretty calm and just watched the tourists go by.
    • The female tiger gave us a few growls, then lay her head down and snoozed.
    • The male, tiger, on the other hand, was having none of this.
    • I thought they were playing animal sounds outside for atmosphere. Nope, it was the male tiger roaring through several yards of concrete.
    • Did you know that a 400 pound male tiger roaring and leaping at the front of his enclosure will cause your heart rate to double in less than a second?


  • Of course I caught the flu. What else was I going to do over the next few days?
  • I’ve fallen asleep watching a docudrama about the Yellowstone supervolcano and a biographical series, in Russian, of Leon Trotsky.
    • Now, those made for some really sweet fever dreams.
  • Apparently, I’m grumpy when I’m sick. Who knew?
  • When it comes to my career, I should have listened to my mother. I’d have made a great piano player in a whorehouse.
  • Irish Woman and Boo are trying to figure out how to fit Cub Scout camp, a family reunion, a Caribbean cruise, tea with the Queen, a voyage to Mars, and some downtime into one weekend in June. I’m excited to see how it turns out.
  • I listened to a radio play of Heinlein’s Requiem the other day. I kept seeing an elderly Elon Musk as the main character.
  • Boo really likes LawDog’s African Adventures, but recently he asked his mother what White Horse whisky and Playboy magazine are.
    • Yeah, I had some ‘splaining to do.
  • I recently mailed a letter on official Hogwarts stationary and put a Scooby-Doo stamp on the envelope. The funny thing is that it didn’t seem at all odd.


  • Sleepover math: If each 11-year-old boy at the sleepover is to be offered enough nutrition to not starve to death between 4 PM on a Saturday until 10 AM the following morning, how much food must you have on hand?
    • Answer – 2 large cheese pizzas, 1 large pepperoni pizza, 1 large ham and pineapple pizza, 1 order each of breadsticks and garlic knots, a case of bottled water, a pound each of mandarin oranges and strawberries, one bag of microwave popcorn, a dozen donuts, a hotel breakfast buffet, and enough coffee to keep yourself sane.
    • That, by the way, is not an exaggeration.
  • One of the boys had never seen any Star Wars before the sleepover, and the other boys threatened bodily harm to anyone who spoiled it for him after I put the DVD in the player.
  • Watching a bunch of alpha-male young men try to play Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit was quite entertaining. I’ve watched old priests dicker over details of Christian dogma with less zeal than these kids did when arguing about each other’s answers to questions about Hogwarts.
  • If you’re working the oh-my-Lord-it’s-early shift at the donut place, please partake of some of your fine coffee before answering the drive-thru.
    • “A dozen plain donuts and a dozen mixed donuts” should not confuse you.
  • I know IrishWoman was trying to help me out on my diet, but I was kind of counting on having those leftover doughnuts and pizza for breakfast and lunch tomorrow.
    • No, it’s fine. I like cold boiled eggs and cheese at 4 AM on a cold, rainy February morning.

Today’s Earworm

News Roundup

  • From the “Civics 101” Department – Indiana lawmakers are considering a new requirement for high school graduation – a citizenship test. Several other states require students to pass a test on the United States government, and I like the new requirement. We didn’t have to pass such a test when I was in high school, but we did have to pass a general civics class.
  • From the “Dumbasses” Department – The TSA recently announced that it is confiscating, on average, twelve firearms at airport security checkpoints. Overall, TSA discovered 4,239 guns in 2018. Folks, your range bag is not your airport bag. We’re better than this. Pull your gun out of your bag and your head out of your fourth point of contact before going to get on the big silver birds.
  • From the “Houdini” Department – A toddler in Alabama recently discovered a secret passage into an arcade claw machine. This, of course, proves my belief that young children are masters of both destruction and teleportation. No word yet on how many quarters emergency personnel had to expend to get him out.


  • Last weekend, I flew into the Airport That God Forgot – Newark.
  • The last time I flew through Newark, it was 1994.
    • We landed just ahead of a rather vicious storm, and were stuck in the airport for about 12 hours with a toddler.
    • I probably put in about 5 miles walking said toddler around the terminal.
    • Eventually, all of the military families used duffel bags and luggage to corral in all of our kids and let them loose so that we could all get something resembling a break.
  • Other than first thing Monday morning, traffic in New Jersey wasn’t bad.
    • I think I disconcerted some of the other drivers by doing things like letting folks merge, using my turn signal, and waving thank-you.
  • One thing I noticed was that the staff at the hotel seemed to be surprised when I was polite and friendly with them. It seems odd that they didn’t know how to handle a guest who said “Thank you” or actually talked to them.
  • Our instructor was a nice fellow who lives in Phoenix and had never seen a snow storm or temperatures at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. This week, he got a two-fer.
  • One of my work buddies is flying to Boston for more training on Superbowl Sunday. He’s a braver man than I.
  • TSA Pre-Check paid for itself on its first trip. It took longer to check my bag in Newark than it did to clear security.
  • What does it say about me that I’ve started taking an HDMI cable on business trips so that I can have a monitor when I work after hours in the hotel room?

Today’s Earworm

With apologies to Papa Roach.  I was in a class on data protection all week.

Cut my files into pieces!
This is my hash report!
Data streaming!
Don’t give a #$!@ if my backups are speedy!

Old Rifles

As you all can tell, I like old rifles. Yeah, the AR-15 and the other modern or semi-modern guns are fun and I geek out over the latest gilding of the firearm lily. But I have to admit, there’s just something about a big chunk of steel and wood that just feels right against my shoulder.

So, here are a few descriptions of old rifles that just make me happy.

  • M1903 – Take the bolt handle between the thumb and forefinger gently, but firmly. With just a practiced flick of the wrist, you can cycle the smooth-as-butter action and be right back on target.
  • Mosin-Nagant 91/30 – Smack that thing like it owes you money, tovarisch, and it’ll cycle every time. If it doesn’t, try hitting it with your shovel.
  • M-1 Garand – The ping of freedom. Just watch out for your thumb.
  • Winchester 94 – I’ll admit it, I like Louis Lamour and Chuck Connors. There’s just something satisfying about working that lever. Almost makes me want to invest in a pair of boots. Almost.
  • G-3 / CETME – Fired this a couple of times when I was working toward my Schutzenschnur. More teutonic fun than should be allowed by law.
  • Schmidt-Rubin K31 – Bang, pull, bang, pull, bang, pull, bang, pull, with each cycle making the cheap bastard that lives in my head yell out “We are not made of money!!”


  • The good news is that in the choice between a damaged television and a damaged Amazon Fire Stick, I got the broken Fire Stick.
    • We’ve been considering a new TV, but didn’t want to buy one this weekend.
  • Things I’ve decided as a parent:
    • Books are better than movies
    • Legos are better than Minecraft
    • Nerf guns are better than Fortnite
  • We got about three inches of wet snow, which rapidly turned to slush and then mud. It’s the natural cycle of things here in Louisville.
  • When your ten year old comes in from playing in the slush, then goes back out with a large glass of water, you know he’s creating something nefarious.
  • There’s a moment of absolute peace and well being when the dishes are done, the house is vacuumed, and the laundry is washed, dried, folded, and put away.
    • It’s only a moment, mind you, and then life reverts back to “hand grenade in a hen house” mode.

Today’s Earworm

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