31 December 2008

Just a wish...

Here's wishing both of my readers a happy New Year, from the crew of HMS Privateer

28 December 2008

From a brother of another mother...

Ok... one of my BACA brothers sent me this the other day. I don't think it really needs any preamble.


America The Beautiful

America the beautiful, Government steals thy God from Thee
America the beautiful, mind control used on you and me.
America the beautiful, where the terrorists all roam Free,
Elected, from sea to shining sea.

America the beautiful, where the corporations live
America the beautiful, home where special interests give
America the beautiful, where congress will abuse the citizen
And say the means justifies the end.

America the beautiful, our borders are opened wide
America the beautiful, where evil doesn’t have to hide
America, the beautiful, where tyranny and corruption abide
Our Bill of Rights greedily pushed aside.

America the beautiful, for the people and by the people
America the beautiful, our politicians praised for being deceitful
America the beautiful, elected to a false catherdral
Patriotism requires more than kneeling ‘neath that steeple

America the beautiful, this country belongs to us
America the beautiful, not the people who abuse our trust
America the beautiful, the time has come to readjust
And take our country back from the unethical and the unjust.

Jason "Slytly Deranged" Carroll

27 December 2008

Dipping into the sewers...

Now, as a general rule, I like to stay away from politics here. I argue about it pretty much everywhere else, so I try to keep this lil' corner clear.

Then I catch something like this, and all bets are off. Some snipits...

Caroline Kennedy said she was "surprised and dismayed" by her own voting record, after failing to cast her pick for the very Senate seat she now hopes to take over.

Anyone else having trouble wrapping their head around "dismayed at her own record"?

Kennedy offered no excuses for why she failed to vote in a number of elections since registering in New York City in 1988, including in 1994 when Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was up for re-election as the state's senior senator.

She had gotten into Unca Teddy's secret stash?

"I was really surprised and dismayed by my voting record," she told the Associated Press. "I'm glad it's been brought to my attention."

Wait a sec: she's glad it's been brought to her attention? She didn't realize she wasn't voting? Isn't that kinda like not realizing you're not breathing?

In her first sit-down interview since she emerged as a Senate hopeful, the 51-year-old daughter of President John F. Kennedy said she has always pondered jumping into politics, but waited for the right moment.

Could I suggest maybe waiting a lil' longer, and doing it after you can keep track of what you're doing?

And the sad part is, she probably WILL get the seat...

23 December 2008

Christmas Traditions

Everyone's got their holiday traditions. Maybe it's Christmas Eve at the grandparents', or an eggnog toast before bed. Some have established rules for when gifts are exchanged, or who goes where, or what-have-you. In our family, the traditions have always been fairly simple...

First off, I have NEVER had either turkey or ham for Christmas or Eve: it has ALWAYS been lasagne. With mom being Italian, it made sense. Christmas Eve was "catch-as-catch-can", finding whatever for food while mom went to Mass (dad and I were forbidden: putting either of us in a church on a solmen occassion was a recipe for disaster). Then Christmas day, we'd load the pan (a turkey roasting pan) full of Italian goodness into the oven right away in the morning, so that it'd be ready for people to gorge themselves later that evening.

Second thing I remember was gifts. In our family, THE important factor wasn't the cost, or the usefullness, or even the thought: it was the size of the package. Which sounds bad, until you realize the gift itself was secondary to the amount of ammunition the wrapping paper provided. Yes, everyone (including my mother) would end up in a wrapping paper fight. Usually, we'd still be finding balls of paper in July.

The last "tradition", you could say, was mom's habit of inviting ANYONE we knew that didn't have a full schedule that day. To illustrate: my first year in the Navy, she invited the base commander from RTC Great Lakes, as well as my Company Commander from boot.

And so our Christmas went. With the advent of Spoon, things changed just a little: Christmas Eve would be at her parents (which is where we'd also exchange gifts, and have the war), with Christmas Day at my mine. Understand here, the only thing different on either day was the location: the cast of characters was pretty much the same.

After a couople of years like this, mom passed: Christmas that year fairly well sucked. As in "large rocks off the seafloor". But we've soldiered on. Last year, dad and Spoon revived the tradition of lasagne...

What's this all leading up to? Well, this year (actually, while I'm typing this), *I* get to make the thing. I'm pretty good at sauce (which is simmering less than five feet from where I sit), but the rest is unknown territory.

Hopefully, it'ss turn out ok. If it doesn't, I'm blaming my mom-in-law (she's supposed to help with the actual construction). I'll let y'all know how it turns out.

Oh, yeah. If you're in the Manitowoc area, you COULD always pop in: the tradition of inviting all-and-sundry to dinner is still there...

The strangest things you learn...

So Spoon and I were watching some drivel in History about holiday foods. One topic that came up was the ubiquitous fruitcake ("the Rodney Dangerfield of the food world"). In amongst all the usual stuff (created in X, were handed out to women in England, blah blah blah), was an interesting lil' tidbit:

According to some guide or other, fruitcake has the same consistency as mahogany.

I looked at Spoon, smiled, and asked if she'd like fruitcake grip panels for her Kimber.

Oh... Squeaker? If you're reading this, how about a nice fruitcake handled knife for your F&I stuff?

19 December 2008

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot?

From Better and Better, we hear about a woman in PA who is being charged with animal cruelty.

What did she do? She's (if I understand correctly) giving kitten piercings, and marketing them as "goth kittys"...

Ok, I'll agree that popping a ring in a kitten's ear isn't the most "humane" idea anybody's ever thought up. But it's worse than a parent doing the same to their 1 year old daughter... how?

More to the point: if we can go after this woman, for something so frelling minor, how can we explain all the ones that slip through the cracks?


If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I'm VERY active in the fight against child abuse. A case was brought to my attention in nearby Appleton. Several children, raised by parents that social services describe as "hopeless". And yet, as dysfunctional as this family is, the children are left in the care of the "hopeless" parents.


So... let me make sure I understand things. We'll knowingly leave children in a living situation that basically guarantees more dysfunctional lives, but we'll "rescue" kittens from someone doing the exact same thing many parents do without repercussion?

Sorry folks, but I am at a complete loss...

18 December 2008


So... today we FINALLY got intrawebs access at our new berthing. This has been something of am irritation to us: we'd occasionally catch the public access wifi, but it was spotty at best, and only worked with my ladpot. We HAD scheduled an install, which we had to cancel to pick up 2 new cars (yes: both Spoon & I had to replace our vehicles at the same time. Talk about suckage).

So... plans were made, money set aside, and we were told the installer would be here "between 10am and noon". Guy called us at 0955, and was the most awesome installer I've ever seen: made sure we had signal, helped set up to make sure the net worked, even advised against the "self install pack" because it adds needless software to your machine. Finally got out of here at 1210 or so.

Which was good: my chapter VP was getting access installed today too, and called me for help. Now, keep in mind that this is the same company here. At her berthing, the guy made sure the cable had signal, handed her the modem and self install pack, and told her "follow the instructions" and left. The modem he handed her had the wrong transformer, and she had ZERO idea how to set the damn thing up anyway.

Two employees, from the same company. But WOW, what a difference in attitude!

15 December 2008

On self defense

Jay G connects two posts by other bloggers: go forth and read. If you're interested in self defense (whether armed or not), this is all relevant.

The first post (by the illustrious Law Dog), is about the equipment issue. Unfortunately, far too many people look at everything as an "equipment problem", when far more often it's a training or mindset problem. Personally, I follow the Marine concept: "Be polite. Be civil. And have a plan to kill anyone you meet"*.

The second post, by Breda, talks more about mindset. And as Jay points out, 99 times out of 100, just projecting that you will NOT accept incivility will work. For that one time though, you'd better have the training and mindset to back up your projection...

Yes, when you first meet me, I'm detailing in my mind how to remove you from existence as quickly as possible should the need arise...

14 December 2008

Stolen shamelessly...

From Voodoo Medicine Man:

To my family physician, my lawyer, my friends, and all others to whom it may concern:

I, Strings, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, do hereby make, publish and declare this to be my LIVING WILL. If the time comes when I can no longer take part in decisions of my own future, let this statement stand as an expression of my wishes and directions while I am still of sound mind.

If I suddenly begin to take an unexplained turn for the worse, before any drastic or irreversible decisions are made, it is my desire that someone first check to make sure my attending physician is not Dr. Jack Kevorkian.

Should my attending medical personnel determine that an organ transplant is necessary, it is my expressed wish that, if at all possible, the baboon be of the same faith as me.

If a kind soul takes it upon themself to read aloud to me, it is my fervent wish, as it was during my non-incapacitated life, that they skip directly to the dirty parts of the book, and then read those passages over and over and over again.

It is my expressed want that no family member, friend or acquaintance shall enter my hospital room bearing one of those tacky "Get Well Soon" helium balloons. Likewise, any get well card sporting Garfield the Cat shall immediately be returned to its sender.

I wish my TV set off whenever "Oprah" or “The View” are on.

If at all possible, I prefer "Depends" over "Serenity."

I would prefer that my visitors leave their small children home if all the kids are going to do is stare at me and play with my toes.

When it comes time to change my Foley catheter, I would prefer a nurse with untreated Parkinson’s disease perform the procedure while singing "Barnacle Bill the Sailor" to me.

At no time, even on the occasion of my birthday, do I desire to have a party hat placed on my head.

While I am not morally or ethically opposed to so-called “life sustaining equipment," I am vehemently opposed to the concept of hooking up such machinery to "The Clapper."

I agree to sponge baths only if given by a member of the opposite sex. Several members of the opposite sex at once is certainly acceptable and, in fact, preferred. Ditto for any "therapeutic Jacuzzis" that may be prescribed.

Please kill anybody trying to enroll me in Wii-Hab or similar nonsense.

It is my strong desire that in any and all elections that may take place, my absentee ballot be marked for the individual running opposite Barney Frank.

In the unfortunate event that the time comes to donate my vital organs, it is my wish that in all donations, a receipt be obtained for tax purposes. Also, do not give my organs to anybody associated with the IRS or the United States Postal Service—let those bastards die a slow and painful death.

No Jello or Ensure. Margaritas with Patron Tequila (preferably the Grand Platinum variety) will be acceptable.

When it comes time for me to give up the ghost, make sure the embalmer leaves a smile on my face.

This statement is made after careful consideration and is in accordance with my strong convictions and beliefs I want the wishes and directions here expressed carried out to the extent permitted by law.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and seal to this my LIVING WILL on this the 14th day of December, 2008.

11 December 2008

In the market...

Wanted to buy or steal: one used time machine. Must be able to make small jaunt of 24 hours backwards: forward not needed. If you can help, please call...

I have roughly 72 hours worth of BS to fit into the 48 hours of the weekend. If I suddenly go silent, it's probably due to my head exploding...

My post about lies: to an audience of one.

I'd like to make something of an apology to one of my readers. My post about lies, while absolutely true, could be seen as a bit harsh given the surrounding circumstances. and I figured that posting this might help the situation.

If you didn't feel slighted by that post, you might want to skip the rest of this one. Not that I mind who reads it, but it's intended audience is one person.


You didn't lie, but you also didn't communicate. Hopefully, I've set things as right as I can now: we won't be having any misunderstandings.

I DO stand by that letter, and what we talked about after you read it. And I DO wish you nothing but the best. Feel free to call if you want, or need me for anything. In the meantime, I'll not pester you.

Just for the record...

When you're involved in a group that has regularly scheduled monthly meetings for it's local chapter (the second saturday of the month), and the parent group has the locals host the annual Holiday Party the week before, you MIGHT want to suggest that the local people also hold their meeting at the same time...

did the Holiday Party/State BoD meeting last saturday. Now I have to go BACK to Milwaukee for their chapter meeting THIS saturday. As if I wasn't feeling ragged around the edges already...

10 December 2008

Just Because...

Ok, it's been done on several others' blogs. No, I wasn't tagged, nor will I tag anyone...

100 things I've done - items I have done are in bold.

1. Started your own blog. Ummm... srsly?
2. Slept under the stars. Yeppers
3. Played in a band. For a lil' bit in high school (we talk about getting things started again, Spoon and I)
4. Visited Hawaii. WestPac...
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity. Almost every damn day...
7. Been to Disneyland.
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo.
11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. Taught myself most of what I know about lost wax work...
15. Adopted a child. Counting BACA "Adoptions" here
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked. Both done it, and picked 'em up...
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a Marathon.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise. Heh... does WestPac count?
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing. If you count a rock wall
40. Seen Michelangelo's David.
41. Sung karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.
52. Kissed in the rain. Painful memory now... :(
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies.
62. Gone whale watching. Used to see 'em from ship occassionally
63. Got flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
67. Bounced a check.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten Caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London.
77. Broken a bone. Yep... running away from a sorority girl
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle. Heh, heh, heh. I hadn't realized that the 'Potomus would go that fast...
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book. Does a column in a magazine count?
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible. LONG ago...
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.
100. Read an entire book in one day.

09 December 2008

Climate change and a new article

Ok... the next cocksmoker who says anything to me about how humans are causing global warming is getting anally violated with a large chainsaw. I'm just sayin'...

Spent a couple hours digging the cars out of a pile of "global warming". Are NOT happy.

And I'd like to go on record to state that changing 4 tires in the middle of a snowstorm sucks big boulders off the seafloor.


In better news: OCC had made a chopper for Manitowoc Cranes, which is now on display at a local store. And it looks like I'm going to get to do a write-up on it for the mag! THAT should be fun!

07 December 2008

There are some things I can't stand...

Everyone has a pet peeve: something that drives them absolutely wild. For me, probably THE biggest issue is lying.

Now, I understand some lies: we all lie to the cops, and suchlike. But to needlessly lie to someone you're close to... that's the epitome of low, and shows a complete lack of regard for the person being lied to.

Any relationship, from the barest of friendships to lovers, requires trust: you have GOT to trust that whoever's in the relationship with you will be honest. When that trust gets violated, it's problematic at best. Yes, there are times when the whole truth isn't a good idea: we've all been there. But usually the truth is better. And a needless lie, for the sole sake of not "being the bad guy"? Nope... doesn't pass muster.

I've been having... problems, lately. It's made my posting sporadic and depressing. That will be changing, from now. Not to say everything will be sunlight and roses, but the personal issues have pretty much solved themselves.

I'm sure some here have some clue what I'm talking about, specifically. I ask them to not say anything, in comments or email. Suffice it to say that I got hurt, and now I'm getting better. 'Nuf said.

Give me a day or two, and we'll get back to regular posting (I promise).

On a side note: maybe against my better judgement, I've given Spoon (my "first mate") access to post here. Not sure how often she will, but I figured "What the Hell". When she posts, please be gentle... ;)

06 December 2008

One of THOSE days... :(

Ever have one of those days? You know: where you just do NOT want to get out of bed?

I'm having one now. Unfortunately, I never even GOT to bed...

Tonight is the board of directors meeting for BACA Wisconsin. I have NO choice but to attend, since I run the show. Unfortunately, I get to deal with personal issues, idiots, and now frigging SNOW. If there IS some form of divinity, They're getting a hell of a lot of fun out of me right now!

Begining to feel like all I have to say is depressing. Sheesh!

04 December 2008


Someone, please, just shoot me now!

Personal troubles... magazine having issues (no pun intended), BACA members (and whole chapters) getting messed up...

Pretty please, shoot me now?

Amen, brother!

Posted by JayG here.

I've mentioned my irritation with the whole "sheepdog" thing: this post exemplifies why.

Yes... honest citizens carrying concealed makes for a safer community. And I understand the concept that crooks don't know who's armed, so they're less likely to make an attack. But that whole "sheep/wolves/sheepdogs" thing strikes of people looking for trouble... and that doesn't help our cause.

Yes, most people are "sheep". Yes, there are "wolves" out there that prey on them. And of course, there are the "sheepdogs" (which is how I see the police). Me? I'm the badger off to the side, shaking my head at the whole mess...