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Musings

  • We signed up for the new Disney streaming service the other day.  Boo and I watched the new Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, tonight.
    • Dear Disney – If you’d made this story instead of “Mary Sue Goes Walkabout”, I wouldn’t have spent the last three years complaining.
    • There was so much that reminded me of the original trilogy that I can’t list it all.  Seriously, it goes beyond easter eggs or even fan service.  I’m pretty sure the writers sat down in front of a white board with “WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO MAKE THESE JOKERS HAPPY?” written across the top.
    • I refuse to get too attached to it, though.  Disney owns Fox, and we all know what Fox does to sci-fi westerns that a bunch of nerds get attached to.
  • We got our first cold snap this weekend.  Not quite cold enough to bring the brass monkey in for the night, but definitely enough to get me to zip up my sweatshirt.
  • While the latest word thingie is off to the beta readers, I’ve been working on cover art.
    • Hint to supporters of open-source drawing programs – Don’t get snide when a newbie politely asks how one uses said program to draw a rectangle.
    • Referring me to a page that holds the 12,385,757 steps necessary to DRAW A RECTANGLE does nothing to incentivize me to support your project.
    • Commercial software still has a learning curve, but at least there’s an incentive to make folks want to use your program.
    • PhotoShop is a little more involved than using a ruler and a pencil, not much more.
    • GIMP feels like the developers intoning “When you can lift this cauldron of glowing coals using only your wrists, then you may draw a rectangle.”

Today’s Plans

It’s Veteran’s Day, and I took a day off from work.  To celebrate, I’m going to relive some of the best moments from my glory days.

Here’s my agenda:

  • Take a perfectly clean rifle out of the safe and spend a few hours ‘cleaning’ it before presenting it to someone who hates me with the fire of a thousand suns for ‘inspection’.
  • Get into a spotlessly clean and pressed suit of clothing, complete with immaculately shined footwear, then climb around a greasy, dirty truck for an hour while filling out paperwork that will be glanced at and thrown into the trash.
  • Remove everything from my basement, sort it out into neat lines, and have the neighbor check to make sure I haven’t lost anything since the last time I opened up the storage room.
  • Lock a craggy old fart who’s too old for this shit into a room with an enthusiastic college senior who thinks he’s Patton.  Take side bets on which one survives the encounter.
  • Pack everything I need to survive for a year into two small bags, carry it all to the end of a runway, then sit and wait in the rain until told that the op’s been cancelled and there’s an equipment inspection in the morning.
    • Repeat that last step while blind drunk at 2 the next morning because you never know when you’ll need to do it for real.
  • Spend weeks planning something really, really important and extremely fun, including travel and lodging arrangements and a list of interesting people that you want to meet and have long conversations with, then cancel it after your plane has taken off because some pissants in some 3rd world shithole decided to have a ‘peaceful election’ and form a ‘democratic government’.
    • Spoil sports
  • Pack a briefing room full of guys from upstate New York, Michigan, North Dakota, and Alaska for four hours and teach them how to stay warm and dry in the winter.
  • Pack the same room full of native Texans and Arizonans and teach them about surviving the heat.
  • Teach about both heat and cold injuries after issuing a complete set of cold-weather gear to two Air Force guys and telling them to walk two miles for chow.
  • Be called fat and out of shape by someone who got carried by a fat and out of shape dude after she passed out carrying 20% of her body weight up the side of a relatively long, steep mountainside.
    • It’s OK, she only weighed about as much as my rucksack did. Soaking wet.  Holding a brick.

Musings

  • I’m not sure what’s wrong with America’s youth.
    • I left a bowl containing five pounds of assorted chocolate bars on a stool at the end of my drive for trick or treaters when I left this evening.
    • Maybe five pieces were gone when we got home.
    • In my day, not only would all of the chocolate have been gone, but the mixing bowl and stool would also vanish for a few days.
  • Speaking of young people, apparently adolescent humans are using the hashtag #OKBoomer to dismiss someone older who disagrees with them on social media.
    • The explanation I’ve been given is that it’s a shorthand way to express how  motivated the writer is to deal with the mess left over from the Baby Boomers and Generation X.
    • I suggest that when some little pissant who still has egg yolk behind one ear uses that hashtag, it should be answered with #PissOffInfant.
    • We can use that to express our disdain for folks of any age who believe that their limited life skills and experiences qualify them to hold an informed opinion on anything more advanced than whether Huggies or Pampers are more comfortable after nap time.
  • So, the House of Representatives held a vote today to authorize the already-begun impeachment investigation of President Trump. Surprise, surprise, it was almost a party-line vote.
    • I won’t comment on what got this all started or the motives of either side in what little debate is happening.  A pox upon both their houses.
    • What I will say is that the time for closed-door hearings is officially over.  When Watergate was going on, Sesame Street and my mother’s soap operas were preempted to show testimony live for months.  I want that again.  I want it on C-SPAN, YouTube, BET, ABC/CBS/NBC/FOX, PBS, and Nickelodean.  I want the public to watch, in real time, what’s said and who says it.
    • Yes, sunshine is the best disinfectant.  If the President is dirty and deserves this, show me the facts.  If he’s clean, show that to me unfiltered.
    • Either way, it’s time for us to see how the sausage gets made.

Musings

  • I started a new injection today for my arthritis.  Possible side effects are ravenous hunger, abnormal hair growth, irritability, and an aversion to silver.
    • Am I the only one craving really, really rare lamb right now?
  • DaddyBear’s Maxim of Yard Work – Do not mow the lawn until after Memorial Day and do not rake leaves until after the first wind storm.
    • However, if it’s snowing, you better be out there shoveling while it’s still coming down.
  • I told my boss the other day that I was officially changing my title to “Designated Guilty Bastard”.
    • He may have thought I was joking.
    • If the reward for doing a job well is more of that job, I just be doing pretty good.
  • We turned on the furnace for the first time tonight.
    • Apparently, we were also making a burnt offering to some arcane deity in our ductwork.
    • Usually, we get a couple months of fall between turning off the air conditioning and turning on the furnace.  This year, we got a week and a half.
  • I was feeling pretty good about Boo and I getting out of the house this morning.  No bad attitude, no sharp words. We even got in the truck ahead of schedule.  We had a few extra minutes to listen to a Larry Correia audiobook and talk about the day before the doors to school opened.
    • Truly, it was a great way to start the morning.
    • Then Boo got out and noticed that he’d forgotten his lunch on the counter.
    • Oh, well, there are worse things to forget.  One of his uncles once forgot his left shoe and didn’t realize it until he was halfway to school.

Musings

  • For the first time in 25 years, I have taken one of my sprogs fishing and been able to get my own hook wet.  I will call that a victory.
  • There is nothing like the feeling you get when your wife notices a juvenile raccoon pushing its head through a previously overlooked hole in the screen door.
    • It had a sibling.
    • Hijinks ensued.
    • When I spoke to the maintenance fellow at the lake resort about it, he chuckled and said we were lucky it wasn’t a bear.
  • On a related note, I told Irish Woman that she could only adopt a raccoon if she promised to sit on the porch and drink beer with it on hot Kentucky afternoons.
  • If you’re going to fish at the bottom of a big dam, you better keep an ear open for the warning sirens.
    • If you are in a boat and do not heed the warning sirens, you better be pretty good at handling your boat in rough water.
  • Irish Woman and I thought Rock House was really neat, until we realized that we were about 10 miles downstream from the dam.  That would be the dam we saw them open the gates on an hour earlier, causing the river level to rise several feet in about two minutes.
    • The mud 20 yards up from the river, dotted with dead minnows, during a time when we hadn’t gotten rain in weeks, convinced us that we shouldn’t linger.
  • Note to self – When visiting a distillery, visit the gift shop before going to the bar.  It gets a tad expensive when you do it the other way ’round.
  • During out meander south, we visited one of my favorite gun stores.
    • I took a long look at a Mossberg in 20 gauge for Boo.  One may be following us home soon.
    • Ruger has apparently caught lightning in a bottle with the Wrangler, its new single-action .22 revolver.   I am currently number 30 on the waiting list and should have the revolver I bought last week sometime around Christmas.
  • Remember what I said about getting a suppressor?  Yeah, I don’t think I’ll ever have that much disposable income.
    • Yet another example of government regulation making something that should be inexpensive and convenient costly and a pain in the butt.
  • Our 15th anniversary is coming up in a month or three.  That’s the ‘crystal’ anniversary.  I already know what I’m getting Irish Woman.  She has no idea what to get me, but I told her that the finely ground glass in a good rifle scope might count.

Musings

  • For once, air travel was quite pleasant.
    • Seriously, even the TSA people were pleasant and helpful.
    • I can’t even complain about New Jersey drivers, much. The drive between Newark airport and undisclosed location was, for the most part, uneventful.
  • I do believe, however, that I shall never frequent the hotel I stayed at again.  It wasn’t the condition of the room (mediocre), the dearth of water warmer than piss, or even the lack of pressure for said piss-warm water.  It was the fire alarm sounding at odd times, usually when I was trying to sleep.
  • Scheduling a conference in Manhattan on the same day that the United Nations was meeting was probably not the best move somebody could have made.  Looking on the bright side, I got an opportunity to observe New York street life for three hours as we crept along through traffic.
    • Some people call it The Big Apple. I’m thinking it’s more like the The Big Anthill.  How can so many people stand being so close to each other?
  • Newark is one of those cities where there are islands of good places, surrounded by high fences and unarmed guards, in a sea of crackheads, strip clubs, and burned out cars.
    • Seriously, I expected to see roving bands of undead to complete the scene

Musings

  • There’s no “I” in “TEAM”, but there are a couple in “PEDANTIC TWIT”.  Make a note of it.
  • Taking Boo to the doctor for a suspected case of strep throat exposed me to some of the latest examples of the creeping crud.  Luckily, he doesn’t have strep and is already feeling better.  I, on the other hand, feel like I got hit with a truck.
  • I finally forced myself to sit down and get the middle part of the current work in progress down on paper.  4000 words later, it’s just shy of 20,000 words.
    • I was shooting for a short story.  Oh, well.
  • I’m going to be traveling to New Jersey and New York for business next week.  I’m not dumb enough to try to figure out how to take along a firearm, so I’ve been researching knife laws.
    • Holy crap.  Basically, if I don’t want to buy a folding butter knife for the trip I’m down to Boo’s Cub Scout knife.  I’m not even sure that would be legal.
    • Do people there just use their teeth to open things or what?

Musings

  • Boo has managed to forget his lunchbox at school for five days in a row.
    • I told him that tomorrow is the last day I put his lunch in a brown paper bag.
    • The day after that, he takes his lunch in a plastic grocery bag.
    • The day after that, he takes his lunch in a diaper bag.
    • Boo thought that was funny.  Irish Woman is afraid I might be serious.  I’m trying to figure out where I put the old diaper bags.
  • It’s amazing that there are people in the world who get peeved when told by someone, who is so high in the food chain that they’re not even breathing the same air as the rest of us, that they have to do as they’re told, when they’re told.
  • The grooming standard at work has changed enough that I can grow a beard out, so I am.
    • Last time I could grow one, something something years ago, I didn’t shave for over two years.  It got long enough that I could braid it, and it had quite a lot of red and blonde in it.
    • I shaved when I interviewed for the current day job.  Since then, I’ve never gone more than a few days without shaving.
    • Now, after a month of growth, I can see that Father Time has spent the last something something years kicking my butt.
    • All of the blonde and red is now white and silver, and there are only patches of brown.  Seriously, if I didn’t still shave my neck and scowl a lot, I’d look like Santa Claus.
    • Irish Woman has suggested dying it, but I’d rather look old than look like I’d just dipped my beard in a can of shoe polish.
    • Oh well, I’d rather look ‘distinguished’ than have my usual baby face.
  • Recovery from my surgery is going well.  I’m out of the bandages and the stitches in my finger are out.  I’ve got a rather nice scar, and I’m learning to type with the new normal in my index finger.
    • I tried dry firing with a pistol and a rifle this weekend.  The ‘fixed’ finger is still functional, but I think I’ll pull the living heck out of the trigger if I use it on anything but a hair trigger.  Time to start dry firing with my middle finger.
  • Speaking of guns, I’ve had a hankering for a suppressor lately.  Unfortunately, Irish Woman has a hankering for a new house next year, and Boo has hankerings for, well, just about everything that a boy needs to grow.  You know, like three whole meals a day, clothes that fit his growing body once month, and let’s not forget that whole ‘educate him so he moves out someday’ requirement.

Musings

  • My hand surgeon was less than enthusiastic about my suggestion that it might be easier to just take my finger off rather than fusing one of the knuckles.
    • In my defense, I had already been given my pre-surgery meds and I was as high as a kite at the time.
  • A nerve block that makes it so I not only can’t feel your entire right arm, but cannot even twitch my fingers is one of the oddest things I’ve ever experienced.
  • Irish Woman is always watching out for me.  She even took away my phone when my stoned self was looking to buy $1700 plane tickets to North Dakota.
  • You know, if Boo’s out in the front yard and I’m in the basement, and I can hear him scream when he falls out of the tree swing, you know he hurt something really bad.
  • Poor Irish Woman.  She was just getting me to the point where I was semi-functional when Boo needed to be taken for X-rays.  I’m just glad we stocked up on bourbon during our mini-vacation.
  • Boo ended up with a broken foot, a set of crutches, and a bad attitude.
  • He does, however, seem to enjoy the knee scooter the orthopedist rented to us so that he has a bit more mobility.
    • Now to convince him that it’s not a skateboard.
  • I’ve been trying to write, I really have.  But typing when you don’t have use of one of your index fingers is really, really hard.

Musings

  • I got a very nice letter from the new Mercedes dealership today urging me to bring my truck in for a trade-in.
    • Apparently they’re desperate for 7 year old plain-jane F150’s at the high-end Euromobile store.
    • Unfortunately, Mercedes doesn’t make a long-bed truck.
    • I did, however, see a crew cab, 8 foot bed, F250 today and I got very covetous.
  • Question – How many pleats can a kilt have before the balding hipster has to admit that he’s cross-dressing?
    • There has to be line separating “rugged individualist” from “flouncy”
  • When the orthopedic nurse winces at your xray, maybe you’ve let your joints go too far.
  • I’m going to be having surgery soon to fuse a knuckle in my trigger finger.  This will mean I either have to learn to shoot left handed or use my middle finger.  Since I shoot mainly to relieve stress, the middle finger isn’t a bad option.
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