20 December 2007

Wow... ignore the intarwebz for a few days...

... and EVERYONE posts something good to read!


First off, go read the new Perspectives. Start at Lawdog, then hit Ambulance Driver, and finish off with Babs. Have a hanky handy, this one's a tear-jerker.


Ok... done crying? Time for something a lil' more light-hearted, over Boobs, Injuries, and Dr Pepper


Sorry I haven't been posting as much lately: I've taken over the position of State Rep for BACA, and that has kept me hopping. And there's a REAL cool job opportunity in the works: we'll see how it goes.

07 December 2007

Have you actually studied your religion?

You know, I once had a conversation with someone convinced that Christ was "Christian". No matter WHAT I said, this person was adamant that Jesus Christ fllowed the teachings of that great man, ummm... Jesus Christ. Because Christianity was the oldest religion on Earth, don't ya know. I thought that ignorance was the ultimate in bliss.

I was wrong.

Via LabRat at Atomic Nerds, get this clip:

My gawds... how does this woman come up with this?I assume she's a Christian herself: did she NOT study her Bible any better than an irritated Satanist with an agenda?

This is the problem with WAY to many "religious folks": they don't actually study what they're claiming to practice.

Here's a newsflash for anyone that didn't know: Jesus was a Jew living in the Mid East many centuries after the Greeks had their heyday. Yes, he was a Jew: in fact, he was a Rabbi. And there was a LOT of history that predated his birth (hence the whole "BC" thing).

I'm frelling WICCAN, and I know these things. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over?

02 December 2007

I just had to...

Got this via the Squeaky Wheel:


I am asking a favor…

Teresa is my supervisor at TBI. She is the type of person who always does for others. She constantly gives to her co-workers, employees, and family members and rarely takes anything in return. She loves her Harley and her brother finally convinced her to enter a contest they are having for women who ride. The prize is a trip to Bike Week in Daytona. She needs this trip more than anyone I know and she definately [sic] deserves it. Watch her video and please vote for her (the winner is chosen by those who go to the site and view the video) then pass this on to anyone you know. You can vote everyday but it closes on Dec. 10th.

Please go to this link http://www.harley-davidson.com/wcm/Content/Pages/Events/Daytona/2008/womens_ride.jsp?locale=en_US and put your vote in for Teresa Weston.

Thank you,

[name redacted]

Folks, she kinda got to me too. Click the link, and give her a vote: let's see if we can't make her able to give her brother this gift!

Comments from yesterday...

After yesterday's post, there was a comment or two. I thought I'd address them openly, where everyone (all three of ya) sees 'em...

Mark said:

We can save the need for a trial, just lock those two up with the hard lifers and let it be known what they did to that poor child. there is no level of hell low enough for these two.

I agree... there IS no level of Hell low enough. The saddest part is, there are LOADS of people who pull shit like this, and get away with it. Yet there are people who just give a (much deserved) spanking, and have their kids yanked away.

The big question (and it's all over our criminal justice system), is how do we balance between the two extremes?

Asphyxiated Emancipation said:

I just look at that little face, and I see my own daughter....
This is why I want to start a BACA chapter where I live, to try and keep these things from happening...
I read stuff like this, and I alternate between soul wrenching sadness, and white hot rage.

I know how you feel, bro. It's even more fun when you're there, trying to help these kids: what you hear makes you SERIOUSLY want to hurt someone, and you have to hide it completely. Showing anger in front of a child, gets interpreted by said child as them being the cause. So you swallow your anger, smile while you're with 'em, and rant at your chapter's designated therapist* for awhile...

The part that hurts the most though, is knowing that there was NOTHING that you could have done to save this one. She was so young, living with her abuser, and it happened that fast. I do NOT like being powerless, but we are in these cases.

*some Chapters use an actual therapist, some will call a member from another Chapter. With us, my mom-in-law takes care of our sanity. Gotta admit, my mom-in-law rocks (and has kept me from going out "hunting" more than once)

Something lighter after yesterday...

Caught this via Hammer. For those wondering what to get me for Christmas... ;)

01 December 2007


People sometimes ask me "Why do you do what you do with BACA?". I usually answer "For the kids, to see the smiles when they realize they are safe.

That isn't always the truth. Sometimes, something else spurs me to renew my commitment to BACA. The Article:

HOUSTON, Texas (AP) -- The stepfather of a 2-year-old girl lost control and beat her to death because she wouldn't say "please" and "yes sir," an attorney for the girl's mother said Wednesday.

A body found last month in Galveston Bay is believed to be that of the little girl, Riley Ann Sawyers, though DNA tests are pending.

Her mother, Kimberly Dawn Trenor, and stepfather, Royce Clyde Zeigler II, were arrested Saturday.

Trenor's attorney, Tommy Stickler Jr., also said Wednesday that Trenor is pregnant.

According to court documents, Trenor, 19, told police she and her husband killed the girl in July and hid her body in a shed before dumping it in the bay.

Stickler said Zeigler, 24, was overwhelmed by his sudden fatherhood and didn't know what behavior to expect from a toddler. Trenor moved with her daughter from Mentor, Ohio, to Texas in June to be with Zeigler, whom she met online.

Zeigler wanted his wife to spank Riley with a belt when she failed to say things like "please" and "yes sir" or "no sir," Stickler said Wednesday. Zeigler didn't believe Trenor was doing it, however, because the 2-year-old's behavior wasn't changing.

The fatal beating happened after Zeigler stayed home from work to make sure his wife was following his discipline plan, Stickler said.

In her statement to Galveston authorities, Trenor said the girl was beaten with leather belts, had her head held underwater in a bathtub and then was thrown across a room, her head slamming into a tile floor.

Although the affidavit said the couple abused Riley over a four- to six-hour period, Stickler said it wasn't a continuous event. Instead, Zeigler grew increasingly enraged as he spanked Riley and she kept forgetting to do things the way he wanted.

"There was never an intention to beat Riley to death," he said.

At one point, Trenor wanted to call an ambulance but Zeigler wouldn't let her, saying they would both be arrested if officials saw her injuries, Stickler said. Instead, Riley was given some over-the-counter pain medication.

When Riley later stopped breathing, Zeigler performed CPR on her tiny body, Stickler said.

Neal Davis III, Zeigler's attorney, said Trenor's story isn't believable.

"She is placing all the blame on Royce, but I think that once the facts come to light, once the timeline's established and the evidence is combed through ... I think her credibility is gonna become a big issue," Davis said.

Trenor and Ziegler were arrested after investigators spent weeks trying to identify the girl they dubbed "Baby Grace," whose body was found in a plastic box floating in Galveston Bay. Riley's paternal grandmother in Ohio had called police, thinking a sketch of the dead child might have been the granddaughter she hadn't seen in months.

Trenor and Zeigler remained jailed Wednesday on charges of injury to a child and tampering with evidence. Bail was set at $350,000 each.

so... the next time I'm talking about what my brothers and sisters do, and you feel the urge to ask "why?", here's your answer. Because I can't read something like this, and NOT do something to help another child avoid dying.

29 November 2007

The Promised Float pics

Ok, as promised: pics of the float that had me running around like a lunatic:

First off, the finished float in the garage (and before it started frelling SNOWING)...

Next, a rather dark shot of the float as we staged:

Here's the bigger kids, in the back of the truck. Obviously, I've blocked out faces for confidentiality:

And the other side of the float, with the kids aboard:

We had members around the float on bike (in the SNOW!), and a supporter in front of everything with our banner.

This lil' exercise finalized that I'm replacing the grips on my bike: they're basically sponges, which meant they were VERY wet during the parade. Which meant that I pretty much had a frostbitten left hand by the end of it. Despite that (and all the running to pull it all together), it was fun. The kids had a blast, and we showed ourselves as part of the community...

Hopefully, the 4th of July parade will be easier...

A Call to Action

Ok... I know the three of you like AD and all. He's been writing a novel, and publishing it a chapter at a time. Unfortunately, he posted the last one on 27 October.

I know he's a busy man, but this just ain't nice. He's got LOADS of us just hanging there!

So... I'd like to make a modest proposal. We need to find a pink gorilla (a suit would be perfect, but a small stuffed animal would work fine). Then someone needs to get an address on AD, and get the thing delivered (with a card signed "From the fans of Star of Life").

What do y'all think? Might he get the message? >:)
Ya know... some things just SHOULDN'T be tried against the power of Google...

If you're looking for this on Google, maybe you should just give up. All the "hotter" you're going to get is Rosie & her daughters...

HT to Stingray

21 November 2007

Sorry for the absence...

Life has been... hectic. Short version(s):

-We're working on having a float in the Thanksgiving Parade here in Manty: this is our second year. Last year's float, due to poor planning and execution, literally fell apart at the last minute... resulting in the Chapter marching. This year, by gawd, thing's will go better (I'll post pics Thursday or Friday). So far, I've covered the trailer with batting ("snow"), created two "white glue and glitter" signs (one thanking the company that donated the truck and trailer, and one reading "riding in a winter wonderland"), mounted signs over the wheel wells... I REALLY hope there's more of us next year to work on this...


-I broke down and bought an iPod. Used, on Evilbay. Got all excited, and spent a few days transferring CDs over to the hard drive in anticipation. Thing arrived on Monday: I plugged it in and... nothing.

ok... dig around on the web, and find a piece of software that I might need. load it and... nothing.

Reboot the computer (it HAD asked if I wanted to reboot). And...

Blue Screen of Death

Several hours later, after breaking down and reloading Winders, I was back up (not totally: I'm STILL reloading software). And a couple friends offered to help with the iCrap.

Nada... nothing... zip. Seller claims it was working before he sent it, so I'm saying "died in shipping". And of course, he hasn't responded since I sent the email saying "No dude: it dead". We'll see how THAT pans out...


-Ahh yes... BACA news. Having some trouble getting certain folks to get back in touch with me, so we can get a count for our Holiday Party and State BoD Meeting. This one has me pulling my hair out: communication has always been a problem in this state, everybody agrees that it's been a problem, but nobody wants to work on correcting it...


-Squeeker took me to see the Crucible last weekend. Staged by the local college. VERY well done! just wish I could actually get out to see more stage productions...


With all that, on top of our normal extra helping of drama, has been kinda keeping me away from here. i promise I'll try to do better...

Oh... Heller. The USSC has agreed to hear the case. I'm half joyful (there hasn't ever really been a clear USSC ruling on the Second Amendment), and half terrified (they could totally screw us over). But at least they're gonna finally (maybe) make a ruling on the damned Amendment's meaning!

16 November 2007

Some authors...

So... everyone hooked on Star of Life yet? Ya are? Good!

So... do we have to get AD a pink gorilla suit, to convince him he needs to update occasionally?

13 November 2007


A post over by Wyatt, as well as a thread on the High Road, got me to thinkin'. And, as you all know, that's NEVER a good thing...

Now, this is gonna ramble a bit. But don't worry, we'll get there...

We seem to be having an issue in our society with something called a "no-knock warrant". This is where the police show up at a house where wrongdoers supposedly are, announce "WE"RE HERE!", then bust the door in and preform a "dynamic entry". The main issues I'm talking about here are two:

1)Cops get shot while doing this

2)Sometimes, the police get a wrong address, resulting in an innocent citizen getting scared silly/hurt/killed

Sound like a good battle-plan to ANYONE? Add in that, in many cases, the reason a no-knock is used is to "preserve evidence"...

Isn't there a better way?

Creating the problem in issue one are the "insubstantial" dangers of police work: lil' things like IA, tort lawyers, and political-minded superiors (not to mention trigger-happy bad guys). Quite often, officers conducting a raid have the question bouncing in the back of their head "is it (legally) safe for me to shoot?"... sometimes while being shot at. And all of the above-mentioned (as well as news reporters and John Q Citizen) are going to second-guess whatever decision Officer Friendly makes while under fire.

Usually, the question ("Was deadly force necessary in this situation?") will be self-answered ("No... Officer Friendly should have come up with a different solution while the suspect was attempting to kill him."). This is not optimal (read: "This sucks the sweat off a dead man's balls!")...

With problem two, we have a whole 'nother ball of wax: places where no-knocks (with attendant "dynamic entry") are used, but the wrong address is arrived at. Compounding that are the would-be home invaders who will shout "POLICE!!!" while breaking down their victim's door. Let's address those as points A (wrong address) and B (goblins).

A) Wrong address. Rumor has it, the Baltimore PD has so many occassions of mistaken no-knocks, that the city has a crew whose job is to repair damage done during such mistaken raids. Wow...

Some are also familiar with the Atlanta case, where a mistaken no-knock resulted in the death of an innocent citizen, and was followed up by a police cover-up (and there are quite a few cases lying around that can be pointed to demonstrating the inherent danger in these raids to innocent citizens). Yes, the number of "bad" no knocks is a percentage of all no-knocks. But, if we applied the same "reliability requirements" to such warrants as we do to our defensive arms, such warrants would be an absolute last-line...

B) goblins. Bad guys pretending to be good guys. Lemmie set the stage:

It' early AM, and you've just been woken by something heavy breaking in your front door. You've taught yourself to grab your defensive tools (in this case, a handgun and flashlight), and assume a defensive position (say, kneeling beside the bed with your weapon aimed at the door). Folks come busting through said door: all you can really say is that there are lights, folks shouting, and man-shapes. What do you do? are they:

a)Police officers, conducting a no-knock warrant at your address (possibly based on bad intel)? Or

b)Bad guys preforming a home invasion, while impersonating officers?

some decision to face, huh?

So let's think about this again. We're going to have our police conduct actions that automatically put them at heightened risk, and have a track-record of having severe (sometimes deadly) mistakes, all to preserve evidence (that we might be able to save some other way)?

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

When this gets discussed on internet fora, the world polarizes into two camps. Those (usually non-officers) who feel there's just too much blatant police power, and those (usually police) who feel that officers have too many restrictions, and that the few anecdotes of "bad raids" shouldn't be mentioned.

To an extent, both are right

To my mind, no-knocks have a VERY specific place: when someone's life is IMMEDIATELY in danger, and that's the only way to save them. At no other time does the risk (on all sides) justify their use. ESPECIALLY not simply for "the preservation of evidence"... we can come up with something better. By the same token...

Support the police in legal activities (this is kinda two-part). (CITIZENS) Don't automatically assume that the police are acting like latter-day SS, looking for Jews. And (POLICE): don't "cover" for illegal actions/sloppy work/mistakes. This "thin blue line" stuff? It creates an "Us v Them" atmosphere, which doesn't need to exist...

Of course, I have to ask: why ARE no-knocks still used (and being used more frequently)? And I think the answer can be found in the No-Knock to End All No-Knocks: Waco. Yep... there are a LOT of better ways these things could be handled. But those in positions of real authority want flash and splash. "Who cares if a few peons (uniformed or otherwise) get hurt? We'll show 'em all who's boss, by Gawd!"

And THAT idea scares the Hell out of me.

12 November 2007

Cold Season

Ever'body's posting recipes, which is cool. But Cranky Professor posted something for colds, and there, I have the best...

Mom swore by this stuff. In fact, many of the girls I dated met Mom because of it: they'd come over to get dosed when they got sick...

This makes about 2 liters. You want to drink it as hot as you can, as fast as you can. If Mom was serving you, you'ld only get to stop to breathe...

Spiced Tea

1/2 tsp whole cloves
1/2 cinnamon stick
3/4 tsp black tea
1 1/2 qts cold water (6 cups)
1 1/2 cups OJ
3/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cups sugar

In the first pot, bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Add cinnamon stick. Steep teabag w/ clove for 5 minutes. In a second pot, heat OJ, lemon juice, and sugar. Stir frequentally until sugar is dissolved. Add the contents of the juice mixture to the tea. Serve hot!!!!

09 November 2007

I don't do political commentary here usually...

because, in all honesty, I suck at it when compared to others.

Oh, I'll get into a political discussion with someone, no problem: I used to spend a LOT of time at a coffee shop, doing just that (and managing to educate some kids as to what their rights actually ARE). But on here? Seems that, whatever I might want to say, others say it better (and quicker).

One such is Marko, the Munchkin Wrangler. And he hits another one out of the park here. So go give him a read...

Me? I'm gonna go back to reading Freehold...

08 November 2007

A touch of perspective

I'll admit, I've been having a shitty couple of weeks (longer actually, but mostly just the last few weeks). While sitting here feeling sorry for myself, I took a read over at Support your Local Gunfighter...

Seems this past week has sucked for Wyatt: he lost a brother officer. Good news being that they caught the bastard that did it. Don't know if PA has the death penalty, but I hope they throw the proverbial book at this trash.

And Wyatt? If you're reading this, the ONLY "joke" that went through my mind about where this all happened is "Who would be stupid enough to rob the doughnut shop down the street from the police station?". And that was BEFORE I realized that an officer had lost his life in the process.

My sympathies, bro.

31 October 2007

Via Matt G at Better and Better

Matt G is someone I admire: cop and dad, he does two of the toughest jobs out there. What I never realized was, his mom was in a similarly tough job... and sometimes writes about it.

So Matt links her. And I, being the type I am, check out her entry "Have You Hugged Your Kid Today?".

If you haven't read it yet, go read it now. This hits close to home for me, due to BACA. Which brings me to "Why hasn't Strings been posting?"

See... I've gotten a bit burnt out. Between the Neverending Jobhunt, the political issues in Cheeseland, and other assorted BS, I've been draggin'. Latest has been BACA: WAY too many folks that will say how great our organization is, and what a great idea, and then never show up. Or folks that are supposed to be members, but not fulfilling their obligations. And, this past weekend, people just flat-out missing the meeting.

I was ready to quit: hang up my colours and go do something else. What Matt's mom wrote there relit the fire.

Go... read it. Kids are our future. And, if things like this keep up, we don't HAVE one.

Goin' to Thailand (pt III: the Voyage Home)

Ok... I'll explain the delay some other time.

When I left off, we were on our way home (and I was considering being the first guy to swim the Pacific)...

So... back to the airport in Bangkok. First stop, customs... where we waited with dread while the folks in front of us got EVERYTHING torn apart, looking for contraband. The screeners there were so thorough, I was expecting a body-cavity search. Thankfully, we got lucky: after a cursory look at us, they waved all four of us past. Good thing... none of the screeners looked like my type...

Onto that modern device called the airliner. Thankfully, we managed to get Dad's remaining Valium away from him while we were in country, so he didn't foolishly do anything to spark Mom's homicidal side. Of course, being unable to smoke resulted in the three of us immediately having nic fits. Other than that, the flight was uneventful. Flew into Detroit without a hitch...

Yes, Detroit. For some reason, there are only certain International airports that work inbound from faraway places. I figured LAX, or maybe SEATAC... we got to land in a city whose claim to fame is "Where the Weak are Killed and Eaten". I felt VERY sorry for the foreign-born that were gonna be stuck with any kind of layover. Of course, we had some problems of our own...

See, Spoon is a reactive hypoglycemic. And, as we cleared customs, her blood-sugar decided now was a good time to seek bedrock.

We come through the customs station, and see a door to the outside world. Outside, where Mom Dad and I can deal with the withdrawl symptoms we're experiencing. We set Spoon in a chair ("Be back in a minute, and we'll find something to eat"), and head out...

BLISS! Nicotine FINALLY entering the system! YAY!

Ok... let's go get... wait a sec. Why is that door we came through mirrored on this side, and why won't it open?

Seems the exit doors after customs are one-way. And my (currently brain-dead*) wife is on the wrong side of them.

This should be an easy fix, right? Have some security schlub escort one of us back through, nab Spoon, and be on our way to a restaurant. To quote Bill Cosby: "RIIIIIGHT!".

Close to an hour of running around the airport, trying to get SOMEONE to understand that I need to get to my wife, and deal with her blood-sugar levels. FINALLY find a stupervisor that can bring us back to the other side of that door... only to find Spoon missing.

I came close to jail right then. I figured "justifiable homicide"... had someone walked us back right away, my wife wouldn't be wandering around without benefit of an IQ. I promised myself that, if she HAD truly disappeared, so would the stupervisor...

Mom and Dad head to the proper ramp, with the idea that MAYBE she would figure out where to go on her own. Me? I start wandering some of the various areas that she might have gone to. Thinking up new and worse tortures to visit on folks for coming between me and my wife. Then I hear the page, calling me to the ramp where Mom & Dad are...

Seems Spoon realized that her brain was shutting down, and dug out a power bar hidden in her bag. The mind re-engaged, and she went looking for us... while we were trying desperately to get back through the door to look for her. Mom thoguht it was funny: she always liked laughing at me when I got "needlessly upset".


The connecting flight back to Milwaukee was also uneventful, although by this time, I just wanted to get home. I ALWAYS have this reaction: no matter how much fun the trip is, or how much I love the destination, the last couple hours of the return trip I ALWAYS get impatient to be home.

Through the airport, out to the car, and we're on our way home. Barring a stop for dinner, we drove through.

Couple days after getting back, Mom asks if we're ready to do it again. I just smile, and ask when she wants to leave... ;)

*For the record, I love my wife. And she's normally VERY intelligent. But when her blood-sugar tanks, you might as well remove her brain from her skull. No biggie, I'm the same way (although she gets bitchier than I do).

17 October 2007


Heh... just noticed someone linking me, and I never even realized! Guess we'll have to add another one:

How about someone who breathes fire for fun. Even rumors that he might be trying to get into BACA (but I'm not sure how far that's gone yet). Check out Fjolnirsson, and let him know I sent ya! ;)

Results of input

Ok... thanks everyone for your input. I guess I'll kinda nudge spoon into settng up her own blog. Heck, I might even link her... :P Or maybe just let her guest post here occasionally (since I'm not sure how much she has to say at the moment)...

Thanks again for the input!

Goin' to Thailand! (pt II: Strangers in a Strange Land)

So anyway... we've arrived in Thailand. When I left off, Mom was ready to kill Dad; Dad wouldn't have been able to feel Mom killing him; Spoon was marveling in a foreign culture; and I... I was trying to stay awake...

Twenty-four hours in economy class is SERIOUS torture. Especially for a smoker. Had Mohamed Iwannadie tried hijacking our flight, I would've killed him (or helped, if he offered me a smoke). I gave consideration to swimming back...

We made it to the hotel in fairly good order, and Mom was mollified by those members of the staff on duty remembering her from previous visits. Into the rooms, into beds, and out like lights: jet-lag sucks.

The next morning, Mom went crazy: she wanted Spoon to see EVERYTHING in Thailand during that 17 day stay. I finally convinced her to slow down a bit by pointing out that running us into the ground wasn't helpful. I even pointed out that return journeys were possible (not realizing she would be gone in about a year).

We still managed to see several zoos (which are a REAL treat in Thailand, as you can often interact with the animals). Had to shake mom down after each: since you're actually interacting with the critters, mom kept trying to steal various beasties (especially the gibbons). Of course, since we all hate critters, we understood... ;)

Then there was the Royal Palace.

My first impression there was "poor muzzle discipline": the guard station at the front gate had 5 or so M60s on a table, pointing out at the crowd. Quick note: most of the Thai army equipment is 'Nam era US. Although the finish is pretty well worn off, *I* didn't want to help "test" them for functionality...

Beautiful architecture, though. And the guards are VERY professional. The average tourists, though, I could have done without...

What is it about being in a foreign land that makes so many become total idiots?

There were other sights of note (Mom would NOT allow Dad and I to take the trip to Angkor Wat: Dad's promised to take me there, if we ever get to visit him). Eventually, I'll post pics (have to find the damn things)...

We also met a VERY cool couple: James and Verity. British, with that touch of class that is all to seldom found anymore. Although James LOOKS like something a father would have nightmares about his daughter dating, he was an absolute gentleman. Spent a couple afternoons with the two of them in the pool, teaching young children the joys of pool-tag...

Unfortunately, all good things must come to and end. We headed back to Bangkok to retrace our flight, back to the land of death and taxes (I was STILL thinking of swimming home)...

13 October 2007

Something I need input on...

So... I'm talking with Spoon today, and the idea is brought up of me giving her posting ability here. Make the HMS Privateer more democratic, with more of the crew able to talk to y'all directly.

I'll be honest, this idea scares me. Not as much as, say, the idea of Tamara irritated with me, but still.

So what do y'all think: would hearing from spoon occasionally be a good thing?

12 October 2007

Goin' to Thailand (ptI: the Trip There)

This is Mom's month, and this story's humor kinda rests on dad. But it (and the sequels) have some of my favorite Mom memories...

One of my brothers had gotten involved with a Thai girl. This is (usually) not a Good Thing. But mom was supportive...

When the relationship (and everything attached to it) came apart, mom flew out to Thailand to try and talk sense into my bumbling sibling.

And proceeded to fall in love with the country. She and dad went back many times: although airfare can be pricey, it's still a fairly cheap vacation. In 2002, she and dad took Spoon and I. Total price was around $7K (airfare, lodging, food and bric-a-brac for four people for 17 days). And WHAT a trip!

First off: dad doesn't really fly well. Not that he's afraid of flying, or anything: he just doesn't enjoy it. First thing he does, is pop a Valium (so he can sleep). He then forgets about it, and proceeds to pop another.

We were SOMEWHERE over the Pacific when the lil' box lunch came, and dad "discarded" what he didn't like.

By tossing it on the floor.

Mom was, to put it mildly, unamused. At this point, she starts trying (unsuccessfully) to confiscate his remaining valium...

Then he wanted a drink, but didn't want to take the cookie out of his mouth. Made sense to try and suck tea out of the bottle through his nose, right?

Mom was NOT happy. While Spoon and I tried desperately not to laugh, we watched mom give serious consideration to widowhood...

We land in Japan: only a couple more hours to the Land of Smiles. Quick potty stop: the facilities are located down a flight of stairs, which means we take it in shifts (one of us has to stay with doped-up-dad, and keep him from sliding down that stairway). We get through that challenge...

And mom looses her passport.

Ever try explaining to an irate 5' nothing Italian woman that she is NOT, in fact, wandering around the airport looking for her passport (without which, she could easily be thrown in jail)? Not an easy proposition! Thankfully, the airport personnel manage to locate it, and it's waiting at the gate of our flight...

Tense couple of minutes there

Sooo... we board. I'd say happiness ensues, but have you ever flown economy for almost 24hrs straight? NOT my preferred method of torturing myself...

From Japan to Thailand was fairly uneventful: dad slept, mom stewed, and Spoon and I watched an inflight (don't remember what now). And then, we touched down...

We're there: the Land of Smiles. The first time (not counting the short layover in Japan) Spoon had ever been out of the country...

More later!

11 October 2007


Ok... Here's the set-up. Mom had been pestering me (pretty much from the time Spoon and I started dating): "When are you gonna marry the girl?". I was starting to get tired of the nagging, and I still owed her for the Birthday Incident (never bothered trying to get back at dad: that's pretty much impossible). So a plan was hatched...

The appointment was made for Friday, 29 Jan. Went through all kinds of tribulations to get everything (and everybody) necessary there. Folks were sworn to secrecy: mom knew nothing...

Mom and dad came to town for lunch with my mom-in-law (they always got along well). Afterwards,dad came up with some lame excuse to go downtown, and MIL went along with. They see me, Spoon, my brother Turk, and Spoon's friend Jenny crossing the street to the courthouse in our finery. Mom notices Turk, puts a couple things together, and immediately thinks I'm in major trouble (since he's an attorney in Chicago, I guess I can understand)...

We end up wandering around the courthouse, trying to find the right room (they kept switching on us), gathering more folks as we went. Despite hearing me repeatedly say "We're here for the 1:30 wedding", she didn't clue in. Finally, dad answered her repeated "What's going on?" with "your son is getting married". She got a kinda perplexed look on her face...

"What son?"

Shortly before the ceremony, she was heard to loudly proclaim to the packed courtroom we used "I'm killing everyone here, and I'm starting with my son!".

My pointing, smiling, and saying "GOTCHA!" probably didn't help.

But hey: she got the daughter she wanted, she was present for the wedding. What more did she want?

Slightly Unrelated Note:

When friends at your wedding smile, start humming the "Mission Impossible" theme, and leave, avoid the reception. Trust me on this...

09 October 2007

Musings on Mom

Don't know how many of you know: my mother passed away on 13 Oct 03. Obviously, this is not a date I celebrate. This year I've decided to remember her the way she used to be, and share some stories with y'all.

Hopefully, none of these stories will result in her spirit returning to take up her spoon and beat me 'bout the head and shoulders...

Mainly, I remember the lil' things: like getting revenge for the Birthday Incident, or watching her chase a Marine out the door with the above-mentioned spoon. Or the absolute joy she took in Spoon (my wifely unit): she always introduced her as "my favorite daughter", even before we talked about getting married...

She's been gone a couple years now. They say "time will heal", but I gots news: they lie like rugs.

This month though, I'll run through some of the better mom stories...

06 October 2007

Who Knew?

Via Nautical Dawn, we get the "Name That Disease" quiz

NameThatDisease.com - Test your disease knowledge

That was too easy

03 October 2007

Update on Red, 03 Oct

Ok... red's had the operation to remove his right leg at the knee, and part of his right index finger (guess we'll have to teach him to shoot using a different technique). He's doin' fine, and looks forward to seeing the Nation at National this January...

everyone who's sent kind thoughts, thanks a bunch!

02 October 2007

About Bronco

Just received this via email:

Hey All,
Bob Gaynor of channel 12 in cincinnat sent me the full video on Bronco
and our trip to kentucky. They got his last name wrong but it doesn't matter
we all know who he is and what he did for those kids. If every one from baca could please send channel 12 and bob gaynor a heart felt thanks for doing this for us the central ohio chapter and Bronco's family would be greatful.

You can view the piece here.

another something I don't normally do...

... is endorse comics. Most of my daily read are already VERY well established, so whatever contribution the three of you would make ain't much. However, I just discovered via Skippy's List a new one, that promises to be all that and a bag of chips: Shadowgirls.

Go... read... enjoy!

30 September 2007

Received in email (more bad news)

Just got this in my email:

To: All Baca members,
Today we had a level 1 ride for a child and asked for help from the Columbus OH chapter. The ride was very successful.The Columbus chapter was heading home from Union and stopped at the Erlanger KY exit to gas up for the ride home. As they were
getting on to the on ramp to 75 north Bronco ran on the yellow line. The tape that was the yellow line kicked sideways which in turn kicked his bike sideways and threw him off of the bike and into the divider wall head first. Needless to say the impact took Bronco's life. Bronco's fiance' is three months pregnant with their first child. I do not know when the funeral will be, but they will let us know as soon as the arrangements are made. We just got home from the hospital and needless to say there were a million tears shed. Please lift his family up in prayer and I will let everyone know more information as I receive it.

I'm VERY tempted to wrap all my Ohio brothers and sisters in bubblewrap at this point.

Y'all send some happy thoughts their way: they really need 'em...

People of the Gun


Jeff Soyer over at Alphecca got a wild idea in one of his comments sections: put up a website of us "People of the Gun". And an idea was born...

I'm on there (in kilt, of course), along with a really cool group of folks. Check it out here.

29 September 2007

Addendum to my last...

Just heard from red, and he'd love to hear from any and all well-wishers. You can drop him a line at cenohbaca@gmail.com

28 September 2007

Update on Red...

... this time, from the man himself!

To all of my loving brothers and sisters throughout the greatest motorcycle group in the world;
I want to thank everyone for the great support, prayers and love shown to myself, my family and my chapter, the last couple of weeks. Your showing of strong love and prayer convinced the man upstairs to send me back so I can continue to help our children. I want to thank each and everyone of you for your support.
I'm in a lot pain but getting better everyday. I am scheduled for an amputation on the right leg, this Tuesday, at or about the knee. I'm Okay with this and believe I'll have a great recovery. I'm in a private room, with a laptop (or I couldn't be doing this), so you can email me anytime if you like. I'll be in the O.R. tomorrow and Sunday for a quick procedure on my leg.
The police are doing a good job on their investigation, but say we have a "slim to none" chance at catching the jerk that hit me and took off. At this point-in-time I really don't care; I just want heal and get on with my life.
Looking up at the clock I see it's taken 2 hours to right this much and I'm extremely exhausted and sore now. I love you all and thank you for the love and support!!

I'll be dropping him a line tonight. If he's willing, I'll post his email for well-wishes.

25 September 2007

Via Rattail Bastard

One of the newer blogs linked by Jay G, Rattail Bastard, just mentioned the correlation between youths "settling their differnces" the old fashioned way (ie: beating each-other bloody), and the politeness shown back then, to today's "civilized society", and the lack of civility. Which got me to thinkin'...

This is NEVER a good thing.

But there WAS a spark in me lil' 'ead, and it illuminated a problem I've noticed in society today: people aren't responsible for their actions.

I'll wait for y'all to recover from the shock that caused.

Now, I'm not exactly talking about the nanny state. Rather, I'm talking about basic civility.

There was a time in this country (and not all THAT long ago), where you'ld shoot someone for being disrespectful of your lady. Now, you're supposed to just stand there while the same stranger gropes her to his heart's content. A time (agina, not that long ago) where, upon mouthing off to an adult, a kid would get the snot smacked out of them... and more of the same, when and if their parents found out. Now, there'd be lawsuits flying...

The point here? I've noticed, the more "civilized" a society, the less civil. Let's be honest: calling hat we have today "civilized" is alot like naming the town slut "Chastity", and the town drunk "Temperance"...

And no... I really don't have a solution. But, like I said... I got to thinkin', and that's NEVER a good thing!

Little tidbit about Mom...

My mother was a 5 foot nuthin' Italian woman, who had no trouble smacking down whomever needed it. But she DID have a soft spot: those is the service.

When AD posted this, it reminded me of the way Mom was: she'd think nothing of having an entire platoon over for dinner, if an intact platoon was nearby. She was the type of woman who would've invited soldiers or sailors who were stuck on base for the holidays to dinner, had any bases been nearby...

So let's see what we can do here, folks. Go to YIKES!, and read about operation: Love from Home. Send a card or three. Let a servicemember know that the people he's sworn to protect appreciate his sacrifice...

What's in a name?

Just occurred to me: some of you may wonder, "Where does the name 'Strings' come from?". Then again, maybe not... but I'm gonna explain it anyway... :P

WAY back in elementary school, we could start learning to play an instrument in 4th grade (orchestra only: band came the following year). I wanted DESPERATELY to try violin, but was told my grades weren't good enough. Unfortunately, not knowing what the carrot tasted like, I didn't really push it...

The following year, we had moved from Illinois to California, and I got to start my "musical career"... playing clarinet. See, we didn't have all that much money, and my brother owned a clarinet that he graciously allowed me to use. And I promised myself right then, that any child connected to me would be able to learn whatever instrument they wished. Here's most of the result of that promise:

Now, that's not where this story ends. When we moved to Wisconsin, I gave up the clarinet for the trumpet. And I discovered something: I HATE playing brass. So that didn't last too long, and I switched to something not offered: guitar (and by extension, bass)...

If you look in that picture, there's a one-of-a-kind custom B.C. Rich Gunslinger (she does NOT leave the house very often), a Gibson Paul II (that's the cat's eyes you see), a Kramer/Ferrington acoustic/electric, a Steinberger bass, an Ibanez Soundgear bass (the basses technically belong to Spoon though), and my Steinberger six-string (my travel guitar). My amp's the closer of the two. The harp, bouzouki (at far left), mandolin, tambourines, and klong yaw (that's the purple drum on the right) are all mine. Not in the picture is the second mandolin, Spoon's acoustic bass, and a couple other hand drums...

Oh... that violin in the far back? That's Ray's (not that she plays it). The viola is also Spoon's...

So... does that explain where I came up with the name "Strings" well enough?

22 September 2007

All BACA today...

So, first off: Red is still improving. To the point that he's playing grab-ass with some of the nurses. Surgery on the arm went well, but they still want to take the leg: he's asked for a second opinion...


Today, we graduated one of our first cases. Tomboy's was a case we actually shouldn't have taken: WAY outside our area of operation. But we took it... and we've been there for over a year. But she's doing much better now, so we held her graduation ceremony (incidently, it's also her sweet 16).

First off though, I was asked to officiate her naming ceremony. This was a comedy: I had no idea what rit they wanted to use until we got there, so I was literally reading from a script. A script that, mind you, did NOT have all the info I needed...

So: simple ritual. Introduce the child to the elements, using her new name. Start in the East...

I walk her to the East, and start things off... only to find out that we don't HAVE her new name. SHE hasn't chosen one, and her mother hadn't decided on one yet. Ray maintains I should have gone with "Tim?", but I don't think that would've been good. Mom blurts out the first thing that pops into her head, and off we go.

Since Tomboy hadn't really done anything like this before, she needed some of my subtle stage-direction to make it through. This took the form of "Ok... go THERE. STOP! *read scripted part* Now turn and go there!" I even included a bit of a two-step. The crowd seemed to enjoy themselves (and, as I told Tomboy later: "Sometimes, you just have to accept that you're providing entertainment for the Powers that Be. I prefer to go for the comedy routine"), and Tomboy was given her new name...

Then we graduated her. Now, it doesn't seem like a big deal, but we were making last-minute preperations due to problems that HAD to be taken care of IMMEDIATELY all week. Which helped result in her 'diploma" having her name mispelled (I blame Ray). But we made sure she knew the important parts: that we feel she's ready to stand on her own, but that we're still there to be called on when needed...

Also got to meet the folks that want to start the newest Chapter here in Cheeseland. Spare a good thought or two for 'em: they've got a LONG road ahead of them (and with me guiding. Let's face it, they're screwed!).


Then there was the ride home. I swear, it was around 50*... go ahead and figure windchill there with a 60-65 mph wind. Ray swears her nether regions froze and tried crawling farther inside of her (mine are STILL a bit numb: we've been home for 2 1/2 hours at this point). Good thing Spoon and I are tired: I couldn't preform for her if my soul depended on it!

So... that was my Saturday. Hope y'all had one at least as good!

21 September 2007

Update on Red

Just received an update on my brother red. Figured it would be easier to just post it verbatim:

Red was doing great today. He made a full plate of food vanish in a matter of seconds. This was his first meal in four days. He was sitting up and very alert. As you know, the tube was recently removed and he is now very talkitive, as a result there has been some requests for the tube to be re-inserted just to shut him up again:)

He is scheduled for surgery Friday morning around 9:30 for cleansing of the leg and arm. They expect this will take about 1 1/2 hours. His hemoglobin is good so they will not need blood transfusions.

Just as a heads up, the nurses have ok'd him for any food he would like. They even went as far as to suggest that he ask his friends to run to various restaurants of his choosing to cater to his desires. Again we have asked the nurses NOT to encourage such behavior with him!!! My god, it was bad enough when he wanted us to set up his tent in Gettysburg, can you imagine what he will be like to have doctors orders to act like this.

Thanks for all the well-wishes, prayers, and good thoughts. And please, keep 'em coming!

20 September 2007

Ya gotta love filk!

So I present "Hillarycare(Docs for Free)", by Tamara!

Not that I think she reads me, or anything... :(

19 September 2007

I don't normally make requests here...

... but today, I'm going to.

One of my BACA brothers in Ohio was involved in an "accident" the other day. I use the quotes because of what, exactly, happened.

He was run over on his scoot from behind by a semi.

Yes, y'all read that right: a semi driver ran my brother over. Worse, he kept right on going.

While the police in this case try to find the driver, my brother is in the hospital. He's already had surgery on his face, he's healing a lacerated liver (not sure about other internal injuries), they still have to set 8 fractures in his right arm, and he may loose his right leg at the knee.

While my brother deals with this, the police (as of the last time I called for an update from a sister on scene) are spinning their wheels. As usual in today's society, nobody saw nuthin', it seems...

I don't normally ask for people's prayers: always sounds cheesy to me. But he needs all the help he can get.

Link to the story here.

Pardon me while I geek out...

So... one aspect is that I used to be into comics...


No, not just read a bunch, or had a bit of an X-Men collection.

I used to be an addict. And my crack of choice was the Marvel Universe. X-Men (in all it's variants), Power Pack, Daredevil, Cloak and Dagger, Dr Strange, Avengers... colour escapism from a dull world.

I mean, it was SO COOL. A shared universe that the writers tried to keep internally consistent (or, at least, so it appeared for awhile). Little tidbits from one title would cross over into another. There was an issue in the Kitty Pryde and Wolverine limited series where there's unseasonably cold weather due to something going on in Thor at the time.

Details like that make the whole world more believable...

Then I got out of comics. The stories were getting stale, and the only other person I knew that was into them was turning into a serious dweeb. I don't know HOW many times I answered the question "If we lived in the Marvel Universe, what power would you want?" with "If we lived there, we'd be just like we are now, just in more danger"...

Then the movies started coming out... :GLEE:

Oh... wait... they're screwing up the storylines. even worse than the original writers, trying to correct a mistake...

Worse yet, all the stories and characters were in separate realities. I fully expected to see Spider Man swing by in a cameo during Daredevil ('course, I also expected Jay and Silent Bob, but that's different). The only time I've heard another hero mentioned in one of the movies was in Batman and Robin, where Batman comments "Now I know why Superman works alone". and that wasn't even in my beloved Marvel!

To date, Marvel has made at least tolerable movie versions of:
Ghost Rider
Howard the Duck*

And intolerable versions of:
The Hulk
The Fantastic Four (I'm referring to the original movie, haven't seen the actually released remake)
The Punisher (see note above)

And, of course, some I haven't seen:
Fantastic Four
Silver Surfer

This doesn't count direct-to-video, or animated, or TV movies. Anyway... there's one thing I noticed, over and over...

No cross-overs. None. Nada.

Then today, I'm on Support your Local Gunfighter, and there's a link to the Iron Man movie (due in '08). The trailer is on YouTube.

I get excited. THEN I look at the list of other trailers... wait a sec, there are several DC titles showing there...

There's a new Batman coming out...
And Aquaman
and Green Lantern...
and Justice league...


I've been saying for the last several YEARS that Marvel Studios could OWN the entire summer, buy doing a crossover series. A new movie every couple weeks, some introing new characters, then releasing the final blockbuster "starring everyone" flick right before school starts...

And someone at DC heard me...

The wait 'till 2011 (Justice League's projected release) is gonna be LONG...

BTW: here's a list of what Marvel's done, and what they've got planned. notice, STILL no cross-overs...

*Yes, Howard WAS in the regular Marvel Universe. He even had quite a bit of hero interaction. The movie qualifies as good because my pubescent self still has a crush on Lea Thompson...

17 September 2007

16 September 2007

Missed one...

Oops... almost missed the lovely Jenna, self-described "6’1 Amazon in blue jeans" from Naturally Nerds. Spent a bit of time looking over your blog, darlin': must say, you're my kinda people! Unfortunately, don't have time for the battle stuff at present: maybe someday...

Y'all give her a look-see!


When I first got started here, one of the first bloggers to mention me was Ambulance Driver. Since that time, I do my level best to make sure and check out any new folks he reccomends. This has usually been good for me: seems those he suggests, I enjoy. So, imagine my supprise when he linked a bunch of fellow pagan bloggers...

So... I'd like to add the Pagan Blacksmith, Kate at Rigel's Wheel, Lisa the Pixie, and Chas Clifton of Letter from Hardscrabble Creek to the dubious honor of my blogroll.

And, should y'all be interested in a REALLY cool group of like-minded folks, check out the forums at Timerift (requires registration, so we can avoid bots. I'm a mod there: mention in your "application" that Strings sent you). Although predominantly a pagan board, all faiths are welcome. The only thing not welcome there is BS: VERY big on being scholarly there...

And I almost forgot to add Dixie at Nautical Dawn. How silly of me!

14 September 2007

On Bots

If anyone can tell me who the schmuck is that created the program known as the SPAM Bot, please let me know: I'd like to discuss his invention with him, over a baseball bat!

I'm a mod on a pagan forum (timerift.net). In the past three days, I (and a couple other mods) have deleted somethng in the vacinity of 300 posts by the same bot, using the name(s) abby***. Should I ever find the culprit behind this lil' bit of fun, I'm willing to bet the charges against me will included violating the "cruel and unusual punishment" restriction...

I wonder...

How many times my fellow bloggers write a several page rant, then delete. I just did...

Had a GREAT rant going against the obese, and realized that it was disjointed as hell... :( I'll bet Law Dog doesn't have these days...

Had another visit from Dad today: looks like we'll be putting up with him for another year. He needs to save up to renew his retirement visa (or I need to win the Lotto). Which means more visits with the old goat... more dinners, more advice on my meade, possibly even some elderberry wine (and jelly, and syrup). Oh, woe is me! Which reminds me...

Next month is gonna be a sparse posting month. I AM gonna do my "remembering mom" series: little snippits of my mother, to celebrate her life (which ended four years ago, this 06 Oct)...

They call it "CRIMINAL justice" for a reason...

This case hits a little close: one of our BACA kids was involved in getting this guy busted in the first place.

The important part:

"Following a one day trial, jurors spent all of 30 minutes before it reached a guilty verdict against Mitchell Pask.

Following the conviction, Judge Timothy Van Akkeren ruled on a motion the defense made earlier to dismiss the case. The defense argued that prosecutors hadn't met the burden of proof saying the incident didn't take place in a secluded area, which is required for the charge." (emphasis mine)

Is this possibly legal? I thought a judge had to rule one way or another on all motions BEFORE the case went to trial (unless a motion is brought up during). Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over?

13 September 2007

Again on my daily reading...

And I stumble upon this gem from Crystal. It's a fairly normal Crystal post, containing something of a rant. But one phrase really lept out at me:

"Well, as a for instance, one of the questions is, 'What do a knee and an elbow have in common?'. We give the children one point for saying they both bend, 2 points for saying they're both joints, and so on."

"What did Virginia say?"

"Umm, well...she said they can both be used with deadly force. And then she drew some karate stick figures."

"See! That's creative!"

"They were hitting what are very obviously men in their private parts."

"Did you know that Mississippi has no law saying a sex offender has to live away from a school or park? Do you know how many we have living in a five block radius?"

This is the kind of answer more young girls need to be able to give. Hat's off, Crystal, for raising a child that will NOT be a victim!

08 September 2007

Ok... so I'm a geek...

Yeah, I know... the above admission stuns my readers. I'm sure all five of you are going "But Strings... we thought you were so cool, with hot chicks hanging off you, and dudes wanting to be you when they grow up!". Unfortunately, no...

I used to be a serious gamer. Not the way that term is used today: nowadays, "gamer" denotes someone who plays lots of video games. Back in the day, a gamer played RPGs: games found in books, which you played using your mind, some graph paper, and MAYBE a miniature (I still collect and paint miniatures). D&D, Cyberpunk, GURPS, Deadlands... those were the games of choice among my friends. Add in Battletech, Dark Future, and Warhammer 40K, and you had most of how I spent my teenage years (and quite a few years after becoming an adult).

Previously, I mentioned something about Deadlands: this is a game set in the Weird West: think "horror movie set in the West, starring Adam Sandler". We're not talking about being serious here: the humor was a BIG part of the game.

So... myself and a friend are playing partners: our characters grew up together, and we stand by each-other whatever may come. The party is not exactly cohesive: our spirit guide is an old indian who sounds like Yoda on crack as a result of how well we work together. Because of this, we end up accidently entering the spirit realm...

Those who have played D&D know all about illusions, right? If you attempt to disbelieve, the illusion shatters? we end up in a fight (in the spirit realm), and I hand the GM a note: "I disbelieve". He smiles, hands back "just sit there quietly", and tells the other players that I "just got my head torn off"... they (predictably) go nuts, and fight all the harder...

Once they come through (with some scrapes and contusions), they find out I'm fine: that what they just went through was illusion. So we continue on, and come to a cliff (we're at the top)...

Everyone see where this is going?

My partner decides "It worked once", steps to the edge, and steps off... telling the GM "I disbelieve". I, being a good friend, follow suit.

Dying in the spirit realm is kinda interesting: your body gets possessed fairly quickly there. And playing a game where your character is a possessed gunfighter with a handgun the size of Texas is just too much fun!

And let's not talk about Cyberpunk, or the website I was working on for it once upon a time. The pics we took (my entire gun collection, and several other props, set up to look like a street dealer's warehouse) earned me police attention one afternoon (and we're still not sure how they even found out about the silly things).

Never got into LARP (Live Action Role Playing): can't bring myself to swing even a fake sword at someone without trying to do damage... especially when the target thinks they really ARE the shit, and look like it (Google LARP sometime). Playing with swords and other melee weapons for the better part of 20 years tends to impart a little ability...

Still do the Ren Faire... worked a few years for my sister at her jewelery shop (The Royal Exchange Jewelers), where I still have my knotwork pieces. Next year, I might be helping her a bit, but I'm more likely to be selling decorative stonework or kilts. Anyone reading this, who finds themselves at the Bristol Ren Faire, should look me up...

Yes... I've attended sci-fi conventions, and even dressed in costume. Cyberpunk costuming is fun: vinyl pants, motocross boots, net tanktop, the Psycho Jacket (I'll post a pic at some point), and HARDWARE (airsoft, but still)...

Nowadays, I don't do much of the above (except the Ren Faire): BACA takes loads of time, as does shooting (actually going to the range, and fighting for CCW and against anti measures). When I DO get some time and money to burn, I'm more likely to take a long bike ride, or get some friends together for a game of paintball. We DO play old-school D&D during the winter, when we really can't be outside...

What... you thought there was a point to this post? It's late, I can't sleep, and I'm doped up on Oxycodone. If there was any cohesive thought behind this post, it would be a miracle!

07 September 2007

Another addition to the blogroll...

Time to add Jay G over at MArooned. Biker, shooter, and dad to a girl he maintains will break not hearts, but legs. Sounds like my kinda people!

Since all the other cools kids jumped off the bridge...

... I will too!

NerdTests.com says I'm a Cool History / Lit Geek.  What are you?  Click here!

That actually cam up in a Deadlands game. I'll have to post about it sometime (and reveal just how much of a geek i am)...

Something that needs to be said...

This post by Law dog kinda strikes a cord...

Suicide* is one of the most passive-aggressive actions one can take in this world. Forcing another to pull the trigger for you (usually because you don't have the balls to shuffle yourself off this mortal coil) is the worst form of of "I'll show them all!" bullshit that I can think of.

I was gonna post in LD's comments, but I figured maybe posting it on my own blog was a better idea. My heart goes out to the officer Law Dog's talking about, and said officer's family.

*This does not include those with serious, painful, and terminal conditions. You're about to die from lukemia (or similar), you have every right to end that pain.

06 September 2007

Forgot another blog...

So... I've been purusing a local blog, Boots and Sabers. Today, they popped this lil' gem, from MSNBC. An exerpt:

Just in time for the start of school, the state of Florida has launched an eye-opening Web site that enables parents to see the disciplinary records of their kids’ teachers. The site, called http://www.myfloridateacher.com, makes public a troubling secret in education: that the people who teach our kids and discipline them sometimes have a few demerits on their own permanent records.

The site was designed to be parent-friendly. Users can put a teacher’s last name--or a particular school district--into a search engine and within a few seconds get a list of the teachers who have been found guilty of misconduct--even crimes--and a description of the punishment meted out to them. Some of the infractions seem minor; one teacher in Miami-Dade was convicted of submitting a cribbed essay as part of a licensing exam. (He was handed two years’ probation, a $250 fine, and required to retake the test.) Others suggest more serious problems: one teacher in Hernando County was convicted of disorderly conduct, carrying a concealed weapon and intoxication. The punishment? A letter of reprimand and a $250 fine.

This is something that should be in EVERY State, bookmarked on library computers, and parents encouraged to check it.

05 September 2007

And updating the blogroll...

Oops... realized I hadn't updated the blogroll in a bit. That's now corrected.

First addition is Bab's son, the Football Fullback. Not that I'm a fan of the sport, but the boy can WRITE! Let's just hope AD doesn't corrupt his style to fart jokes... ;)

Next, we've got ER Monkeygirl. Now, I have NO idea why I have so many nurse/ER blogs on my list. Oh, wait... I keep getting links from AD, so I suppose it makes sense. Monkeygirl's good... have to say, I'd feel safe in her care. And, since we're adding ER nurse folk, I've added Nurse K at Crass-Pollination. Check out her ongoing "love-affair" with the "Speaker for all Nurses" (she's gonna kill me for that)...

And what blogroll is complete without Hammer? Almost always a fun read (hey... everybody has an off day). Also some really good insights...

I've also added the Bitch Girls, and Snowflakes in Hell. Both are snarky political blogs, and I'm mentioning them together because the "team leader" at the Bitch Girls (Bitter) and Sebastian at Snowflakes are dating (so you get some cross-posting). Both are worth a read (which I give 'em every night)...

So... go forth, and read good stuff!

Continuing to take inspiration from others...

... I came across this post by Babs last night. Go read it: it's something everyone should pay attention to.

Remember: just because you read a lil' bit on someone's blog, does NOT give you the authority to make judgement calls on their life. That someone would feel the need to critique Babs' parenting skills or style, knowing nothing more than what they've read on her blog, frankly disgusts me...

I've read her son's blog: his not being n my blogroll has been an oversight (fixing that now). If what he's shown there is any indication of the job Babs has done, then I can only wish more parents were like her.

People may lead different lifestyles, or have different ways of doing things, different beliefs, different goals and expectations. Just because somebody is different from you, doesn't mean you should start preaching your "One True Way" at them...

It's been a long two weeks...

Yeah... i know, I've been remiss in posting new stuff for the three of you to read. Feel free to sue: my lawyer can beat up your lawyer anytime.

First off... my Chapter had to pull off a case. Nothing more I can really say there, beyond it absolutely SUCKS to know that an innocent is being hurt, and there's nothing you can do. I really can't think of anything I hate more than this feeling...

Then, we got word that spoon' uncle ("Honda Bob", if there's anyone reading this in Appleton) died in a cycle accident. Some guy looking for an address blew a light, and there went Uncle Bob: DRT. Funeral was today: I'm getting REALLY tired of only seeing family at funerals, weddings, and other mournful occasions... :(

Last night, I got an email: I've been promoted to State Rep in BACA. Didn't even know I was in the running. I'm not ready for that much responsibility (that, and it means I don't get to attend training sessions at National, or goof off with my bros: I HAVE to be in the BoD meeting).

With all that, I needed to get out for a bit: stopped in at one of my favorite watering holes, ordered my Coke, and was relaxing when some Cute Young Thang decided I was a prime target for her affections, and was NOT gonna back off (one of my would-be members finally got her to calm down. I think he warned her I was likely to cauterize what she wanted played with if she kept up her BS)...

Can somebody just shoot me already? AD, Matt, LawDog... SOMEBODY?!?!?

DINGDINGDING! We have a winnah!

For any women reading this (or guys that have women in their lives, in whatever fashion), go read this piece by Marko. If more women took this advice, I'd be out of a job (which would make me VERY happy)...

31 August 2007

So the car show we were at a couple weeks ago...

...had a dunk tank. It was a fairly hot day, so I was in my kilt. Of course, the event organizers decided that having the biker in a kilt up in the tank was da bomb. So... here's your favorite privateer, acting as a target.

Ya know... Spoon was in there earlier in the day, and she got targeted by the little kids. Me? I had mostly adult men. 'Course, i was also heckling them mercilessly... :D

28 August 2007

Oh yeah... meade!

Just remembered: the question was asked in comments "what do I classify my homebrew as?". And I forgot to answer...

I don't classify "it", as "it" is actually a "many". I do both a dry and sweet straight meade (meaning there's only honey, water, and yeast). I also do several varieties of mellomel (meaning there's fruit in the mix): to date, I've done plum and strawberry, with plans to add peach, cherry, an anything else that sounds good.

Problem with how I do a mellomel is, I don't just add fruit juice: I mix a LARGE amount of pureed fruit into the must (which is the concoction you first create, and start fermenting). I let that sit for a couple weeks, then strain out the fruit pulp before transfering the resulting liquid into a carboy. After that, there's close to a year of waiting, racking every couple of weeks (that means syphoning off the liquid into another carboy, leaving sediment on the bottom). When I've gone a few weeks without any sediment, then I stop the fermenting reaction, let stand for another couple weeks, THEN I start bottling...

Bottling is actually the hardest part. See, I have to fidn a day that I have NOTHING to do, and nowhere I need to be. Figure roughly 10 bottle out of a 5 gallon carboy... and each of those bottles means another mouthful of meade. And there's like 10 carboys that need to be bottled. Needless to say, I'm usually pretty useless after I'm done bottling...

So... that's the process. As for the offer to Babs and AD: they pick the flavor, I'll make it up. Done that for a few friends over the years (usually only a couple bottles though). Whatever it is they want, they'll have at least 10 aged bottles ready when things get "finalized" (that way, they HAVE to invite me:D)

As to wether or not I do a good job: I had someone once offer me $20 a bottle for as much as I'd come up with. And more than one offer of sexual favors. Makes me think I'm doing something right...

News of the Bad and Ugly

Sorry 'bout the delay in posting stuff: been a LOT going on lately...

First off: found kinda a job. And promptly got sick, thereby loosing said kinda job. Hoping to start a new job doing actual work (and actually getting paid) sometime next week...

We also had a call-out for a BACA child, and got to spend a week out of town. NOT my idea of a good time, but I don't get to make these decisions. Thought we would be getting one of our kids out of a bad situation, and found out it wasn't gonna happen. Wasted the entire weekend (as well as had much drama along the way) NOT my prefered way of spending time. But I guess we gots to deal with what life gives us...

Hope y'all are doin' well. Been tryin' to catch up on my reading, and I'll be trying to post a bit more soon.

News of the good...

Just realized... I started this thing when I thought I was gonna be loosing my father. And haven't written much about the old goat since...

Well... appearantly, he's doing phenominally well. His sat levels are in the high 90s, he hasn't been using his oxygen much at all, and he's looking better than ever. Now, he's hoping to make it back to the Land of Smiles before the snow flies.

To all those who have wished him well, thanks for the good thoughts. Seems they have helped a bit!

22 August 2007

The Honeymoon

So... heard a story a few years ago, about the origin of the term "Honeymoon". Seems that, in a more civilized time, there was a tradition for one of the parents to provide a newly wedded couple honey for a month's worth of meade. Hence, the term "honey-moon"...

Y'all might ask why I bring this up. Seems someone decided to pull a fast one.

Go here, then here.

AD and Babs: all joking aside, I wish y'all nothing but the best. And, should you decide to tie the knot, give me a year's warning (and a favorite fruit): I'll provide the meade*... ;)

*this is an honest offer: you get married, y'all get one carboy (five gallons) of my homebrew. Don't drink it all at once.

21 August 2007

Hell starts today...

So... was supposed to start the new job monday, but was up all sunday night with a murderous toothache. Hell... still have the damn thing. But I will ride forth at 8:30am, to try and slay the dragon that is OTR load routing...

Somebody please shoot me now!

Teeth have been hurting since sunday, pretty much non-stop. I've tried every OTC, folk remedy, and trick I can think of. And STILL my teeth are throbbing. Should only last a couple days, but I have GOT to go and learn how to do this new job... whith almost no sleep, and with my mouth hurting...

I'd say at least our case this weekend went well, but that would be lying. Can't give any details, beyond that one day in the next couple years, your humble scribe may be on a major news station, telling the story. Personally, I just can't wait for our girl to be safe...

Dad came over today: he's doing MUCH better, and may soon be flying back to Thailand...

20 August 2007

Since so many others are doing it:

Figured I might as well too...

This Is My Life, Rated
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

14 August 2007

The Steampunk computer stuff is nice...

But this is just insane!


13 August 2007

Added to the sidebar...

... is the current terror alert level, courtesy of Geek and Proud

And another blond moment happens...

So... I spent the past week out of state, helping one of the girls' fathers put a roof on his home (more on this later). Then the girls came up to visit for the weekend...

They went home last night (after we watched Stardust(good flick, BTW). Today, I get a call...

Sweetheart: "I'm locked in the bathroom"

me: "Ummm... is this a family thing, or a blond moment?"

S: "It's a family thing. Dad told me not to close the door all the way, 'cause it wasn't working properly. I closed the door, and now I'm stuck."


I then proceeded to try and talk her through jimmying the door (which she finally managed to do, before her parents came home)...

I was nice though: i warned her ahead of time that this was going up here...



Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

I actually beat out the lovely (and dangerous) Tamara on this one: she only scored a 72%. YES!!!

Of course, *I* probably won't survive HER if she decides I need to not exist anymore. So I guess it evens out...

Ba from Ohio...

well... got most of the work done on the roof in Ohio before I had to return home for a BACA event. Fun was had by all, although I'm begining to wonder if I'll ever really enjoy 500+ mile one-way trips.

Getting caught up on all the bloggy goodness I missed this past week. But I promise to let everyone know what happened while I was gone!

05 August 2007

gone roofing

I'll be in Ohio through at least friday. MAY be able to post... we'll see...

04 August 2007

Motorcycles for beginers

Now THIS was cool... got a call from Mr Fixit, asking about bikes and what to get.

Color me flattered all to Hell and gone!

But it got me thinkin'... maybe others out there might be interested in some basic info for starting a life on two wheels. And I guess I have a lil' experience, so I'll give it a shot...

First off, regardless of what you want to ride, there're a couple things you have to accept about riding:

1- there are two kinds of riders in the world: those who HAVE gone down, and those who will. Yes, it's possible that you'll go your whole life riding, and never have a bike go down. It's also possible that you'll win the lottery tonight. Honestly, the lotto is more likely.

2- Those people you see around you, in cars and trucks? We call 'em cagers. Assume that EVERY cager you encounter actively wishes you dead. Not just is inattentive, or distracted, or inexperienced: ride like every single vehicle you share the road with is piloted by someone whose grandmother you just violated. From the way they act towards you, the result is amazingly similar...

3- Road designers also actively wish your demise, as do road crews. The streets of America have been carefully crafted in a manner to provide all sorts of traps, tricks, and pitfalls meant mainly to cause damage to motorcycles and their riders. The only reason they aren't literally minefields is because that would also cause damage to the cars and trucks out there: when they develop a mine trigger that will ONLY detonate under a motorcycle, they'll become standard on American highways...

Still want to ride? Good... you have guts, and a desire to feel the wind!

Your first step should be to locate where the nearest Motorcycle Safety Course is held. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes: when I took it, it was a 2 day course offered through a local tech school. You WANT to take this course: you'll learn more in that couple days than in several years of riding, and encounter lots of possible problems in a controlled environment where instructors teach you to deal with them. Here in Wisconsin, this course is the only way now to get your class M endorsement. Even if it's not necessary, it's money well spent (that course has saved me from more injuries than any piece of safety equipment available on the market today).

NOW we'll get to "what should I ride?". I'll be honest: I am NOT a mechanic, nor do I play one on TV, nor did I stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night. But there are some things I can advise on here:

1- Do NOT, regardless of what you can afford, go out and buy that big Harley Hog right off the bat. Get something in the 500-750cc range, used, that's comfortable to you. And remember the last part of that sentence: comfortable TO YOU. What works for me probably won't be your first choice, and your comfort in this choice is more important than any other factor but one: that being "does it run?"

2- Unless you're a mechanic, have someone check over any private sale bike you find. NOTHING sucks as much as having your new scoot, and within a couple days discovering that Major Mechanical Problem. Trust me here: this is high on the "Bad Things" list! If you're not sure, have a mechanical friend check things out (or even bribe a mechanic from the local shop that services whatever make you're looking at).

Next up (possibly even on the same level as getting the bike itself) is safety gear.

Now, I'll admit: I don't usually wear a helmet. Not going to have that argument: my choice there. Starting off though, WEAR A BUCKET!!! When you've got some experience, and want to take the risk, go ahead: but wear the damn thing while you GET some experience! And I'm not talking about the lil' beanie type thing: if you're gonna wear a helmet, get something that will actually provide some protection (full face is good: when i wear a bucket, I use a full face designed to European standards, which are supposedly higher than American safety specs).

There's other important gear too. The obvious one being the jacket. But let's address all the different garments...

Now, there's been a huge move in safety gear from leather to textile, with several manufacturers offering textile riding garments. Personally, *I* usually don't wear textile: I LIKE leather, and leather still provides good protection. Whichever you choose, get something armored: knees, elbows, shoulders.

You can get separate jacket and pants, or an all-in-one riding suit. Either way works well. Chaps, although they look cool, are NOT the best protection for your lower half: they're meant more for riding a horse through brush, not for saving your ass (or other delicate parts) as you're sliding down the road after your bike goes down! One good company (and where I get much of my gear) is Fast Company: good prices, durable equipment (and they literally put their ass on the line to prove it). And make sure you get the right bloody size: a jacket that's too big, and allows the armoring to shift around too much, does you no good...

Do NOT forget your extremities! Hands and feet need to be taken care of too. Personally, I wear a pair of 70s era motocross boots, but there are several makers that make quality footwear. And don't just grab a pair of SprawlMart cheapy gloves, either! Get something designed for riding, preferably armored across the knuckles.

Starting to feel like a knight going out onto the Field of Honor? There are similarities. The biggest difference is the knight had fewer people trying to kill him.

Last, let's discuss etiquette. Politeness, and such-like. Not only regarding rules of the road, but in dealing with the sub-culture you're at least on the edges of now...

Obviously, follow the rules of the road. And please, PLEASE, don't be one of the assholes that makes the cagers want to run me off the road! Do I REALLY have to say more on this?

Now, the sub-culture. Honestly, the "biker" world is one of America's oldest subcultures. And it has rules and such, which it might be a good idea to follow. Most can be summed up in "be respectful": I have yet to find the 1%er that will cause you trouble if you're respectful. For a good overview, check out this website: good info. Not exhaustive, by any means... but a good primer.

That covers pretty much everything. Now get out there and ride, and remember:

Shiny Side Up, Rubber Side Down!

Just can't come up with snark on this...

Me, I'm all about making your own life choices, and to hell with society's opinion. Gay, and want to marry your boyfriend? Go for it. Polyamorous? S'long's everybody involved is there of their own free will, rock on! Want to own a gun, or use drugs, have tattoos or body piercings? Your choice!

In short, so long as

a- everyone involved is an adult
b- you're not actively hurting anyone

Then whatever you wish to do is your business.

Unfortunately, there've been a few folks making comments on this family... which honestly pisses me off.

Now, I'm not talking about foks that say "Wow... 17 kids. Damn!". I'm talking about those who feel they have some right to snark about a family that's obviously happy, that isn't on the public dole, with kids that seem to be fairly well adjusted.

Get over yourselves, people: you aren't paying their bills, or watching their kids, or anything else. These folks made their choice (lots of kids), and it's certainly their right to do so. Open you trap if they ever start receiving aid...

02 August 2007

It seems Mr Oleg Volk, photographer extrodinaire and Ultimate Pro-Gun Propogandist recieved a comment on his Livejournal that sparked the poster below.

One day, I hope to be as cool as Oleg!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

We're not as trustworthy...

So... had an interesting lil' conversation at trap today, while waiting for the rest of my squad to show.

Got on the subject of concealed carry with one of the other shooters, and got the brilliant statement of "Yeah... a few years ago, I was all for it. Now, no way!". The exchange went something like this:

Me: "So... why not?"

Fellow Shooter: "Honestly... I now know too many crazy people! Wouldn't trust any of 'em with a gun!"

M: "Ok... so, because YOU know too many people, *I* shouldn't be allowed to defend myself or my family?"

FS: "Hey... don't do stupid stuff, you won't have a problem!"

M: "What about the other 48 states that have CCW? Are they just more trustworthy?"

FS: "No... we're just smarter! And most folks don't need to have a gun to defend themselves."

M: "Huh... *point at Spoon's backpatch* see that patch? That means we help abused kids. Are you saying my wife shouldn't be able to defend herself against an abuser we've crossed?"

FS: "Like I said: don't do stupid stuff!"


This is the kind of attitude we get here in the land of Cheese towords armed self defense. And y'all wonder why nobody outside of law enforcement (and those who ignore the law) can carry here?

31 July 2007

Shamelessly stolen...

From Babs:

According to experts, my personality type is :
World Leader
Ink Blot Personality TestOther people like me display these traits.
  • They like jelly filled doughnuts
  • They have webbed feet
  • They go commando
  • They like rap music
  • Take the Ink Blot Personality Quiz at JokesUnlimited.com

    But... I don't even LIKE rap! And ME, a world LEADER?!?!?!?