Thin Lines

This is going to be a scattershot post though perhaps all related in a way…

I was thinking about Israel and how much crap they deal with when I came across the following videos. There may be something to be said about their choosing to remain in a place of such contention but – it is their decision to make. Who should be permitted to tell them how and when they can defend it and against whom? Like the Texans said, “Come and take it.”

So I admit some pleasure in their finally ending capitulation and destruction by taking the offensive. It is long past time. And this gentleman’s equating them to gangs seems apt enough.

And to cleanse your mental palate, this lovely bit. (If the link does not work properly, check the Playlist on the left and look for The Sky In Motion video.) It ought to make one feel quite insignificant. Or very, very special…

AAR

Ah, yes…the lovely post-holiday ennui. I’ve made the rounds here and there and commented now and again but mostly just stayed off the net.

It was a pleasant holiday with family, everyone giving everyone else dog toys as gifts. We had Ranger, a St Bernard, a Rottie and a wee chi-hooa-hooa/mini dalmation-y type mix. All of the big dog owners fell in love with the wee fella. He was DARLING.

A big hit with Trooper was the collar for Ranger from Survival Straps (mentioned a few posts ago). You can see it here. Trooper liked his rifle sling, too. We’ll probably order another one, somewhat custom. Also, I found this fellow who has a LOT of info on making your own paracord goods!

But isn’t it a handsome collar?! I asked for a double-wide version because Ranger has such a beefy neck. Anything thinner would have looked a bit silly. Here he is giving Fahthah that adoring look. Sweet, no? He has his winter fur again, giving him that deep ruff and feathery pantaloons.

I made out like a bandit with a bunch of Williams-Sonoma stuff. Aprons, mitts, knives and a bench scraper! I also received a few things for the “bug out bag”. Coolest is this little solar power source – you can recharge your gear with it. I suspect it is a bit slower than electric but in the case of not a damn thing else? Superb.

I am still unwell and spent time editing a new Finetune set – this one a bit more Gaelic and classical against the other very techno set I had linked. My apologies in advance for the plethora of soundtrack tunes. I have quite an affinity for a good one though many people consider them a kind of elevator music for media.

And now, I have to find a new PC and scanner. Maybe a laptop…my current unit is so fully hacked that I refuse to use it for anything sensitive. But finding a new system is difficult – especially a laptop. Even with our corporate discount the things price out quite high compared to advertisements. I wonder if one can pay a “consultant” to do it. I’d gladly pay $100 to have someone spec it out cleanly so all I had to do was press the Pay button. And then, of course, comes the data move. Oh, yes – how to get it all on the new system without moving the hacks, too…

I daresay – I miss the days when you could pounce out to MS DOS and look at file types to see the nasty bastards. Of course, that was also the time of 2400 baud rates. Man, it took FOREVER to get your p*rn, huh?

So…that’s about it. All I know is that we’re making a lot of changes this new year. Paring down the accumulated crap, making sure we have what we do need, getting into fighting shape, moving to an Atkins-like diet, and organizing things. Things like the master closet that is far too small and requires a lot of shelving changes…

Add in a trip back east in a month…I’d hoped for snow under my feet and that Rocky range in my view. However, he needs to recharge and, for that, he needs his brother. It is a sacrifice I think I can manage. I just hope the time doesn’t coincide with my stepdaughter’s entry into Boot at the end of the month…we think in TX. She’s gotten herself in decent shape to prepare for it. We warned her – get your running, pull ups and push ups squared away. The rest will come easier…

Actually, it’s not bad advice for our own selves…hmmm.

Merry Merry

This may have been the last time I truly felt the Christmas spirit. Mommer visited, sick though she was, and Trooper and I made the most of it with hand-made stockings with glittered names…

In this I reveal more of myself than I might prefer. From the Christmas morning craptastic hair to the comfy clothes with the dreaded pudgy protuberances, and – indeed! – the pony slippers Trooper gave me (and which Ranger has since dispatched). But also there is the private joke shared, her crazy eye-squinting-giggle, and a moment captured that so fully evokes how we felt, together.

She was adamant that her cane be hidden behind her leg – no photos of her showing that weakness. And you can bet that she had bathed and managed to clean up, even if it took all her energy to do so. (The cancer was known, was in mild treatment, but she still knew much pain.)

This was before so many things…Trooper and I were still settling in to one another, I still had the option of children if not the urge, still the short hair and not the grey, and mom still laughed…it is, for me, a sort of Best/Worst holiday. It is a photo I cherish all year long but most especially at this time of year when I do miss her so fiercely. She loved the holidays. Even if none of us made it there, she would still cook enough, just in case, I suppose.

Maybe that is why I just can’t bring myself to take out the decorations, to mail a card, or to wrap a gift…I haven’t got it in me this year. I can sense her giving me her crooked finger waggle. And a “chuh”.

So many years I wasn’t there and now I’d give much for just one more…Next year, Mommer. I promise – I’ll go all out next year, just for you…

Merry Christmas to all of you – no matter where you roam.

An Early Christmas…Present?

*Hack! Ptooey!*

I have been visited by the ghost of Christmas Past. As in the last one I spent with the Tidal Wave O’ Phlegm. Frackety frack craptacular.

Trooper had the crud earlier in the week and we were being very careful but…guess who got it anyway. Last night it came across the DMZ and today am I fully infiltrated.

Anyhoo…did I ever link this? If not, yay. If so, our apologies for the duplication.
This is the very slickest way I know to carry on you quite a useful length of very strong cord. It comes in many formats. I’ve ordered a dog collar for Ranger’s stocking and something for Trooper.

Slick as hell and these guys will make them however you wish. Just ask. (I got the dog collar in a slightly wider version since Ranger is so big…) Survival Straps – slick, useful, and good folks.

More soon but right now…I have to hie my sick ass to the post office. I promise to only breathe on young obnoxious people.

When We Were Young

Darling Brigid notes the small things of life as a child and how they were so much more lasting than the things of today…my memories returned on the tide that her words brought forth. Earliest toys and the games so long gone…This was the first thing that came to mind – perhaps because that balloon smell was so memorable. There was no escaping it.

So much of my early life was dominated by media. – and books…oh, the books… We went to the library quite often, sometimes left there much of the day while mom worked. Back then, even the preschools (Head Start) took you, each holding your own little knot on a long rope that led us down Chicago streets to that lovely, serene paradise that smelled of old pages and warm film strips. How I loved it…

I do not recall my youth as some do – only snippets here and there with wide swaths missing. One memory will link to another that I didn’t even know I still knew. But I recall that books were a large part of our “toy” collection. I loved The Happy Hollisters. Even earlier were the Dick & Jane books. Though it was the `60s, we still had the very early books. I coveted the old fashioned lives and pictures. I wanted that sort of peaceful life.

Later it was the Laura Ingalls series of books. Little House On The Prairie – how I hated that the TV show had a Laura that looked far too much like I did then – the mockery I had to withstand. Especially when mom had a spare moment in the morning and plaited my hair. Dare I even mention the time she went overboard and pinned them atop my head ala Heidi? Scarred, I am.

Time moved as did we and it was a small Florida town’s school where I found the Newberry and Caldecott Award books. I asked the librarian at my school to find others. One was “The Witch of Blackbird Pond”. That book…so dark and yet full of historical snippets that I could feel…Which led to Sylvia Louise Engdahl and her book “Enchantress From the Stars”. Och, how I loved that book…

I was already slipping comfortably into Tolkien (though, admittedly, deeper meanings were lost on me) and Asimov – the fiction and the non-fiction (I understood red shift far earlier than imaginable). Arthur C. Clarke was a true favorite and those led, of course, to Heinlein.

Ah, yes…all of 12 years old and reading “Stranger In A Strange Land” and “grokking” it. Damned straight I was and it utterly changed me just as, perhaps, Ayn Rand changed people. You are no longer able to look at anything the same way. While it felt as though a door had closed, I didn’t mind overmuch.

All of the books are ones I’d read gladly today and some which are turned to annually, a visit which sometimes turns up an unexpected margin note or underline. Sometimes a dried blossom, significance forgotten.

And then there are the authors whose letters are still cherished…Parke Godwin thanking me for my interest in his very fine treatment of Arthurian legend, and the Pièce de résistance – a letter from Marion Zimmer Bradley regarding her book “The Mists of Avalon”. I’d inquired as to her thoughts about it being made into a movie someday (long before the miniseries and any of the sequel books). She issued her opinion on a fine green paper, typewritten, very long ago.

So many more as I searched for meanings, for a knowledge that would make sense of what I thought I knew. In the end, though, it is only truth that guides us. Facts are facts no matter what we’d have them be. Stories can form us, shape us in small ways. They can lead us on a journey but we’re the ones traveling, moving, through and around them. The books always wait, patient, for their time to return.

Meanwhile, I move in a new media, swimming in deep waters to find truths and finding so much flotsam…facts become maleable, truth can be edited according to what is revealed and by whom and under which prejudiced rendering. I ache for a past that cannot be – when an oath meant something. When a lie, no matter how convincingly told, was noted and the liar no longer trusted.

When we were young…will it ever be the same again or will it take a calamity to reset the system? If all information is lost, could we start again with truth? Could facts once again reign? “It is a dream I have…”

Appetizer

Herein just a few things from around the net…

Velocigod once again strides amongst the Gods and pinches Zeus’s ass. He IS all that – and a peppah. Damn it, how can someone write that well?! Amazing…and a new word for the lexicon: “dimfuckwittery “.

Never mind that Russian ship docking in Cuba – just some R&R, comrades! Even Condi sez so!

So John McCormick dares to ask the question: What did you know and when did you know it.

To whit, “We don’ need no steekin’ badges!” Did you happen to catch that nifty part at the end – that he would “let” the state senate decide? THIS is going to be a hell of a fun time – as long as he allows it to last.

It hurts to link this one. Like a fucking dull spoon carving out my spleen. So avert your eyes to the IP and just read it.

Throughout the entire Draft National Animal Identification System Users Guide,
land is referred to as a premises and not property. A “Premises” has no
protection under the Constitution of the United States, while property always
has the exclusive rights of the owner tied to it. The Fifth and Fourteenth
Amendments of the Constitution protect property rights.

End transmission.