Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all!!

Be smart, if you're going to drink, don't drive, and don't do anything stupid.

If you're not drinking, how about throwing a good thought in the direction of those who are out tonight patrolling the roads to keep you and yours safe.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Little Trooper

My youngest, only 7 months old, is a real trooper. She apparently had an ear infection that we didn't know about, because she didn't complain all that much. She was a little fussy, but what 7 month old isn't? We didn't find out about it until Christmas Eve, when we noticed fluid leaking out of her right ear, indicating that her ear drum had ruptured. We called our pediatrician, and got a call back from the on-call nurse. She assured us there was nothing to worry about, but we would need to take her to see a doctor within 24 hours, so that she could be started on an antibiotic. Of course, no Doctor's offices are open on Christmas Day, ditto for the Urgent Care facilities in our area. So we got to spend about 4-5 hours of Christmas Day in the Emergency Room of the only hospital in the area with a pediatrician on staff on Christmas Day. About an hours drive or so from the house. Luckily, it happens to be fairly near my parents house, so we were able to drop my oldest off with them, and not have to condemn her to a day in the ER as well.

So, we get there, and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait, and finally have a real doctor, confirm for us what the Nurse told us the night before, she has an ear infection, and her ear drum has ruptured, we'll need an antibiotic. Not just any antibiotic, but a strong one, that will take care of any 'resistant' bacteria that might be in there. So we get her home, and started on the medicine, and everything is going fine. Until we notice that 2 days later, she's running a fever. Not a high fever, only about 101 degrees or so, but enough for concern, so that when it still comes and goes the next day, we arrange for a visit to our pediatrician on Monday. So we get there, and guess what, she has another ear infection, in the other ear. I had absolutely no idea that they could make ear-specific oral antibiotics. It's simply amazing. But seriously, how do you get another infection, when you're already on a course of antibiotics that is allegedly stronger, and more broad spectrum than what would normally be prescribed?

Anyway, my little trooper just carries on. She's been a bit fussier, which was to be expected since she was running a fever, but I'll pick up the new antibiotics, supposedly even better and stronger, on the way home from work, and go to meet my smiley trooper when I get home.


PS- If you don't have kids, you're really missing out. I'm not saying you can't have a full life without them, but they really are amazing.

The True Spirit of Christmas

I had a little epiphany this Christmas season, all about the true spirit of Christmas. I don't know why, but I don't get terribly excited about Christmas anymore. I guess that I'm old enough that I have a general idea of what I might get, and while I look forward to it, I don't really get excited about it.

I was thinking about this, and how Christmas is supposed to be the season of giving. It all came together when I was wrapping presents for my wife. I was imagining the expression on her face when she opened a present, and how excited she would be. At just that moment, I got a little shiver of excitement/anticipation just thinking about how happy she would be on Christmas morning. That's when it all made sense. It's the season of giving, and we really should derive joy from the giving of gifts. Not to say we shouldn't enjoy any and all gifts we receive, but we should enjoy bringing joy to someone else.

Now I just can't hardly wait for the girls to get old enough to really understand, and get excited about Christmas. I look forward to surprising them Christmas morning, and getting that same little thrill as I watch them open gifts, as I get when I watch their mother open her presents.

Hope you had a Happy Christmas...


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pride and Horror

So, it's quite normal to take pride in the advancements of your offspring. My oldest, 2 years and 3 months or so, has just discovered how to turn a door knob. She's been working at it for a while, but today she actually managed to get it turned and the door open. That's kind of a good/bad thing there. Yes, it's good that she's advancing, but now she knows how to open the door, she will require a little closer supervision when it comes to doors now, lest she give us full on heart attacks.

Now for the horror part. My little darling, discovered she could open the door to the bathroom. While I'm in there, trying to relax with an issue of American Rifleman. I tell you, a 2 year old staring you in the face is just not conducive to relaxation, if you get my drift.....

Take it from me, lock the door when you go into the bathroom, and if you don't have a lock on your bathroom door, get one...


Pumpkin Bread

OK, so I'm a little lazy, and haven't taken any pictures, I did however, just bake twelve loaves of pumpkin bread to give as presents to the day care staff who helps take care of my girls. The recipe comes out of an older(1968 edition) Betty Crocker cookbook, in their Quick Breads section. I mostly followed the recipe. I'm usually pretty good at following a recipe exactly the first time I make it, to see how they think it should turn out, and then waiting until subsequent forays to make my own twists to the recipe. Wasn't able to do that this time around though, as I was lacking certain of the ingredients, and had to adapt on the fly.

The recipe calls for 2/3 cup of shortening. You just know something is good when it calls for shortening, it may not be good for you, but you know it's going to taste delicious. I've got a recipe for waffles out of that same cookbook that calls for shortening in the batter, and they're just the best waffles ever :) Anyway, back to the story. So the recipe calls for shortening, I go to the pantry looking for my Crisco, and fail to find it :( My wife asks me what I'm all in a tizzy over not being able to find, and when I point out the distinct lack of shortening in the pantry, she recalls that she used it in a recipe last week that she took for her co-workers.

So, luckily, I've got butter. Not margarine, or whipped yogurt, but honest to goodness Land-O-Lakes butter with sweet cream, (lightly salted of course). So do the conversion, and I need a stick and a third or so of butter. Pause for a moment, and start drooling thinking how good this has to taste with a stick of butter starting off :)

For the pumpkin part of the bread, they recommend using a can of pumpkin. I don't know what really goes into the canned pumpkin in the store, can't be much different than the spiced pumpkin we put up every year using the pumpkins we get from the orchard where we go apple picking. However, the home made stuff, roasted in the oven, and cooked down in the crock pot, spiced to taste and then canned, always tastes so much better than the market stuff. We always get raves from our pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheese cakes, and I always figure it the home made pumpkin that does it.

Those are the only real changes to the recipe, though I added nutmeg instead of cloves, and didn't add raisins or nuts, mainly because I didn't have any to hand. The results, in my not so humble opinion, are outstanding. The hard part now, is going to be not eating anymore of the bread before I deliver them to day care on Monday :)

Take care all,


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy....

Well, here I am thinking I'm going to be able to commit more time to getting the odd post up, and I'm actually ending up with a lot less time. Things have just really gotten crazy. I'm guessing that because of all the madness that comes with the holiday season. I know we attended the local Christmas parade last weekend. Add to that a visit from a 'stager', who's helping us figure out what to change to make our house more appealing to prospective buyers, a black-tie charity fund raiser for the Church, several hours of yard work, mostly cleaning up leaves, and the never ending job of riding herd on the kids, and it all makes for a busy weekend.

It's looking like this weekend won't be any less hectic either. There will once again be several hours in the yard trying to take care of dead leaves, my oldest is attending a birthday party for a classmate at daycare, her first such event, I have to get started baking the miniature loaves of sweet breads that we traditionally give out as Christmas presents, and now my wife tells me we'll also be getting a Christmas tree this weekend, and getting it set up and decorated. That also means lights and various things to set up outside the house as well. Oh joy...

I'm beginning to wonder what I ever did with myself before we had kids. I still manage to get in a good bit of reading, not so much on the computer games, but still, can't seem to figure out what I did with all my time before the girls arrived. We run flat out every day from about 5:30-6:00 AM when either we, or one of the girls gets up, until about 8:00PM when they're both down for the night. That whole time is just wide open. It's funny, that during the week, it's almost relaxing to go to work. At work, I'm in charge of myself, and do things on my schedule. I can make other people work around me and my time. At home, I'm not even sure I get a vote anymore about who the world is revolving around. I spend all of my time trying to keep everyone happy. Well, maybe not happy, how about just preventing melt-downs, or at least heading them off before they turn into body-wracking sobs and wails of despair that would rend the hardest heart, much less the old push-over here.

Oh well, I'm already planning on what types of sweet, holiday-type breads to get going this weekend to compliment the Apple Jelly and Apple Butter we made this past fall. If I get a chance, maybe I'll even get a picture up. Brigid always posts pictures of her culinary creations that make me start drooling on the keyboard from even the most cursory glance. Maybe I'll try to return the favor this time.

Sadly, it doesn't look like I'm going to squeeze in any range time this month, though I do have plans to sneak out for one last hunt for whitetail next week. If I get lucky, I'll post some photos of that, and then start digging up some good venison recipes.

Take care all, and enjoy the holiday madness....


Tuesday, November 25, 2008


We rented the latest Indian Jones movie this weekend, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. We'd not heard much about it, good or bad, but figured that it was an Indian Jones movie, so it had to be at least halfway decent.

Shows how much we know. The movie was absolutely horrible. Granted, you expect a certain amount of cheesiness in an Indian Jones movie, but this was absolutely ridiculous. It was like they took every little schtick moment from the previous movies, and said to themselves, "how can we put this so far over the top that it ceases to be funny?" Then, they apparently went on a Wikiwander to see what other off the wall stuff they could come up with to throw into the movie, regardless of whether it even fit with the movie theme or not.

We literally sat there through the entire movie, cringing, not only in what we were seeing, but in what we feared might be next. Just bad, bad, bad. So much so that when I got up to step outside for a smoke, and my wife got up to get something from the kitchen, we didn't pause the movie, because we didn't want to extend the torture any longer than was absolutely necessary.

Thanks so much for ruining a movie adventure icon, I hope the money you milked out of it will assauge your tortured soul. Surely it must be tortured for you to do that to Indian Jones.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Mandatory Unpaid Furlough

Ayep. We just got the memo today from our Agency Director. Mandatory furloughs are in, and things aren't looking good for when the 2009 state legislature sits down in January of next year. Probably going to be looking at even bigger cuts. We've already been told to cut almost 9% from our budget, hence the furloughs.

Now, I understand that being a part of a state agency means when the state is running a budget shortfall, we all have to suck it up. However, we're a Law Enforcement Agency. Giving us mandatory furloughs not only cuts into our already pitifully small paychecks, but is going to give a reduction in force that's actually out and doing our jobs. Not to mention, that with the budget cuts elsewhere in the state, they're trying to free up some space in the prisons, so that's just going to put that many more convicted criminals out on the street and in the community that much sooner. Oh, and that's at the same time they are reducing the number of LEOs on the job through position cuts and mandatory furloughs. Maybe it's just me, but that seems like a recipe for disaster.(hope you've got your CWP)

We've been told that our mandatory furloughs, which admittedly are not as big as some non-LEO agencies in the state, is going to save the Agency 17 jobs. I hate to say it, but when I see my paycheck shrinking, I start thinking about how far away I am from the bottom, and that they could let the last 17 people they've hired go, and I'd still be all right.

I've got bills to pay, a mortgage to meet, car payments, children in day care, paying for food and gas, etc. Not to mention the holiday season coming up, and now I'm going to get docked pay out of each and every check until the new fiscal year next summer. Plus, they tell us to expect more budget cuts after the new legislature meets in January.

I swear, it almost makes you want to go out and get a job in the private sector.....


Sunday, November 2, 2008

.38 Caliber Dreams

We all have dreams. Some of them require winning the lottery, and I have a few of those, but some are much more reachable and obtainable. This dream is one of the latter.

I have an old Colt Cobra in .38 Special. It was my grandfather's revolver. It was carried regularly by him, whether in a holster, tossed into a saddlebag on the motorcycle, under the seat in the car, or in that little box pocket thing next to the seat on the tractor. Consequently, it's all beat to hell. The finish is worn off in several places, and it has dings, nicks, scratches, etc. However, as much as he carried it around with him, it never got used much. The inner workings are just about like new. Everything is tight, clean and crisp in the workings. I love this old Colt because it was my grandfather's, and I enjoy carrying it for the same reason.

The condition of it started me thinking of projects. I would never do anything to alter my grandfather's gun, just because of what it means to me, but I'm now on the look out for one in similar condition. Of course, I'll also have to have the pennies scraped together when I finally run across it to be able to purchase it, but isn't that always the way with dreams?

What I want is a nice, snub nose revolver, of .38 caliber or greater, that's ugly as crap because of a hard life, but still has nice tight workings. Here's what I want to do with it. I want to make it into an ultimate knock around gun. One that you won't worry about getting dirty, even muddy, or getting wet, even in salt water. I want to take it, and strip it down, and have it Parkerized. I suppose I'll also have to have the barrel chromed, or treated in some similar fashion to protect it it as well. Once the gun is Parkerized, I want to immerse it in a tub of cosmoline, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, and let it soak in the heat of our Southern summers for a month or two. Then get it out, and clean it up, leaving enough of the petroleum product embedded in the finish to make it darn near impregnable to rust or corrosion. At which point it can be reassembled, and fitted with a nice synthetic grip, maybe one of those rubberized Hogue grips or some such.

At that point, you've got a revolver, one of the most dependable hand guns around, treated to stand up to just about anything short of plugging the barrel or jamming the cylinder, that you can carry with you on hunting or fishing trips, or any jaunt out into the world, and never worry about it's condition deteriorating.

I know, not anything earth shattering there. But sometimes, it's nice to have reasonable dreams that are obtainable, just to balance out all of the pure fantasy dreams that while nice to think about, just aren't going to happen...


Kilt Check

I've wanted a kilt for years. The family line traces back, if the research is correct, to Scotland's time of emigration coinciding with the Highland Clearances. Anyway, I've always loved the kilt, and there is a family tartan associated with our name. I finally had the money saved up this past August, and ordered my kilt. Now, it's not the nice, ~$800 hand-sewn wool kilt that I might hope to have some day, but an affordable, man-made material, in the family tartan, and machine sewn. Still, I like it.

I've worn it out all of three times. Not to any Highland Games or anything yet, as there have been none nearby since I received the kilt. Just out and about, to a book sale, to join friends at a pub, and the other night, to a Halloween party.

About halfway through the night, I feel this sudden cool breeze on my right cheek, followed by the words screeched out "Oh My GAWD!!! It's True!!!" Seriously, if you didn't want to see old, bare ass cheeks, why did you go looking? You know, if I returned the favor, I'd be guilty of a Sex Offense, and if convicted, could be forced to register as a Sex Offender for the rest of my life, after I got out of prison. But it's OK for you to do it, because ...heck, I don't know why anyone would think it was OK to do that unless specifically invited to do so.

Respect other people's private areas folks, it's just the right thing to do....


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Obama < black

So I read an interesting article today. One of those "forward to everyone you know" e-mails came my way today, and it was talking about all of the things Senator Obama claims that are untrue. Supposedly the e-mail came out through something to do with Billy Graham. I don't know if that's true or not, but one of the things mentioned got me to thinking, and to doing a little digging.

Everyone points to Obama as the first black man to get the Democratic party's nomination for POTUS. Turns out, he's not black. At least not by US Law. I forget the exact statute, look it up if you're feeling energetic, but it requires someone to have a minimum amount of a certain, ethnic bloodline to claim minority status. 12.5% if I remember correctly, something like 1/8th of your lineage. So if your great grandfather is asian, and none of the rest of your family is, you can still claim to be asian and receive minority status. If the only asian one in you family, is a great-great-grandparent, or farther away, you're out of luck.

That would actually be the case with Senator Obama. He has a great-great-grandparent that was a black Kenyan. Other than that, everyone on his mother's side is caucasian, and everyone on his father's side, excepting that one great-great-grandparent is Arabic. So that makes Senator Obama 50% Caucasian, 43.75% Arabic, and 6.25% Black Kenyan.

According to the laws of the USA, he's not a black man, or an African American, or whatever politically correct moniker you want to apply, he just doesn't qualify. He would however, qualify to call himself a white man, since his majority ethnicity is caucasian, or, if he's looking for minority status, he would qualify to be called an Arabic-American. Hmm, probably not a good choice given the current climate post-9/11.

Odd what you can find out given a few minutes searching, and actually questioning the drivel being spouted at you by the media. Even I myself accepted it without question, until someone pointed out that all might not be as it seems. At that point, finding the truth was simple.

Don't be sheeple. I urge you to question everything, and find out the truth for yourself. How many more truths will we find with a bit more searching? Too bad the media probably isn't interested in these truths .


Monday, October 20, 2008


Does brainwashing really count, if the person 'alleged' to be brainwashed is a two year old child? Is it really even brainwashing if she has just somehow picked up on some of Daddy's political leanings?

Over dinner this evening, my wife began talking about Colin Powell's support for Senator Obama. I know, I know, a dark time in history when Colin Powell abandons his morals and turns his back on his country to support someone with some distinctly un-American leanings, but I digress. Anyway, my wife is talking about the retired generals endorsement, and mentions Senator Obama's name.

At which point, my young daughter puts a stern look on her face, points at my wife, and while shaking her finger says "NoBama!!.........BAD Bama!!!" As my wife is looking at me in mingled horror and disgust, my little one giggles a bit, and concludes with "Silly Bama", and another giggle.

I am just about to bust out laughing, when I feel the skin on the side of my face starting to bubble and peel......uh-oh......I am apparently on the receiving end of "The Look". My wife, a supporter of the senator from Chicago, is just the teeniest bit upset, and of course, blames me. Is it my fault that I end up being the one to take my girls to day care, and pick them up in the afternoon. So I happen to be listening to a news show, and voice my opinions, somewhat strongly. Is that a crime? Is it a crime that a mans children cleave to his own views and not those of his wife?

I may have to sleep on the couch tonight, but screw it. I'm taking what I can get, while I can get it. Think I can talk the poll workers into letting my two year old vote? What about the five month old? I want to do more than just balance out my wife's vote for the Socialissiah, and maybe edge one over for the good guys. Even if the girls only got a half vote each, that's be one for our side :)


Sunday, October 19, 2008


Now I know, Wally World is 'teh debil' and all that. Killing small businesses, and ruining small downtowns across America, but sometimes, you just have to go in there. Whether it's convenience, or it's the closest store, or it's the only place still open, or it's the only place you can get everything you need.

I gotta say, I went into our local Wal-Mart Saturday afternoon, and feel quite good about my experience. I walked up to the register with a couple of jars of baby food, for the little one, a bag of Ol Roy's version of milkbones for the dogs, a tub of Brummel & Brown, a kind of margarine alternative made with yogurt or some such(the Wife likes it), a case of beer for myself, a pack of CO2 cartridges because I found an old BB pistol that uses them, and am going to try and clean it up and get it working again, and finally, a 100-round brick Winchester White-Box of .40 S&W, to use in a shoot I'm competing in this week. The girl at the register never batted an eye as she rung up the purchases. Where else can you buy beer, baby food, and ammunition, all at the same time?

Now I generally prefer to patronize the small businesses, and help keep them afloat, but this was definitely a fun excursion. While I won't recommend you spend all you rmoney at Wally World, it's definitely worth the occasional trip, just for the uniqueness of your purchasing power there.....


Thursday, October 16, 2008


Everyone lately seems to be questioning Senator Obama's 'relationship' with William Ayers. Heck, it's been all over the national news, and was even brought up in the debate last night. My question is, who cares? So he had a minor association with an extremist, 20+ years after the fact of the guys extremist activities. Is it right? No. In the larger scheme of things, is it all that important? Once again, I'd say no.

If we're going to start asking questions about who people have associated with, let's get to the real meat and potatoes of the issue. Senator Obama, tell me about your relationship with Frank Marshall Davis. I understand he was one of, if not your first, mentors, and was almost a surrogate father to you. You must have learned quite a bit from him....... Mr. Davis......... The registered Communist..... So did his communist values and ideology influence you, or shape the way you view the world? What about Saul Alinsky? The noted Marxist. I understand you've had a relationship with him and that 'foundation' of his. How does Marxism influence you and your views of the world?

I tell you people, folks are getting stuck on the little things, and missing the broader picture. The man was practically raised by a Communist, and friendly with a Marxist. Now go back and look at his 'plans' for the country. The legislation he wants to pass. The things he wants to give to the people. In the broader light, they seem to have a distinct Socialist flavor to them. That's what scares me folks. Anyone can plainly see that over the years, we've been sliding more and more towards Socialism, and the nanny state. Hell, look at California, they're ahead of the rest of us on that slide, but seem to be enjoying it instead of resisting it.

Now I'm not saying we'll immediately go to a striated class system and 'Big Brother' monitoring your thoughts, but that's the direction we seem to be heading, what with more and more restrictions on what you can or can't own, say, or do, and Senator Obama would, it appears, love to give us a big shove on the slippery slope of Socialism.

Those are my thoughts, and they're worth exactly what you paid for them. Just keep in mind that this upcoming election is going to be tight. Third party candidates are going to make or break the campaigns. Even if you don't wholly agree with Senator McCain and Governor Palin, at least you know where they stand on individual freedoms.

Plus, I'm a working stiff. The more freebies Senator Obama succeeds in handing out, the harder I'm going to have to work. The people who don't want to work, and instead, live off of the government dime, will be funded by ever increasing chunks of taxes coming out of my paycheck, and others who have to work. Think about that the next time Senator Obama says he won't raise your taxes, and in the next breath, talks about government funded health care and free college educations for everyone. Where do you think he's going to get the money for those pipe dreams? That's right, your wallet.



Wednesday, October 15, 2008


One of the perks about my job is the fact that I get to write my own warrants. Granted, it has to be approved by a supervisor, but I'm not generally going to take anything to a supervisor that's not ready for approval. If one of my knuckleheads is acting up, and getting involved with local law enforcement, I obtain a copy of the incident report, and use it as a basis for a Probable Cause warrant for a violation of whatever flavor of probation or parole they happen to be out on.

Reading the incident reports is always fun. I've got one stuck in my head right now, that I thought I'd share. Knucklehead 1.0 is at a party, and he's drinking, imagine that. After a few drinks, Knucklehead 1.0 gets a little on the belligerent side, starts cursing people, shouting, and generally being obnoxious. 911 is called, and a Sheriff's Deputy responds to the scene, where Knucklehead 1.0 is ready to escalate. He's now ready to argue with the Deputy. Arguing, not so much an issue, cops are used to people trying to argue with them. However, then the threats start, with Knucklehead 1.0 daring the Deputy to take off his badge and fight him like a man. Knucklehead 1.0 even goes so far as to try and shove the Deputy and takes a swing at him. Herein comes the best part of the incident report, and I quote:

" which point I placed hands on the subject, and assisted him to the ground..."

That just absolutely kicked over my giggle box. I'm snickering even now just trying to envision the chain of events that ended with Knucklehead 1.0 being 'assisted' to the ground. Props have to go out to the Deputy that authored that particular report, as it appears to be quite factually accurate, and worthy of any legal department's praise. You mention it to anyone who's ever gone hands on with a stumbling drunk, and they'll nod their heads in agreement that, yes, he did assist him to the ground. Then they'll promptly snort as they try to picture it in their heads.

Ah well, back to reading incident reports. Unfortunately, they don't all have little gems in them.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I'm somewhat known for being a bit of a talker. I have opinions, and am not afraid to share them. I'm also known as being a fairly knowledgeable guy, on a variety of topics. I often have people coming up to ask me what i might know about this or that subject. Topics ranging from ammunition to zebras. Not that I would consider myself an expert on most topics, but I like to learn new things, and am not afraid to ask questions, or do a little reading on my own to learn what I can about whatever happens to strike my fancy at a given moment.

So being a knowledgeable person, and a somewhat talkative person, why is it that I find it hard to blog about things?

It's not that there's nothing to talk about, there are an endless variety of things going on that make interesting conversation. I read blogs written by people like Brigid, and am sometimes stunned by the eloquence with which she relates stories on a variety of topics. Then I read Tam and find myself choking as I try not to spew my coffee on the keyboard. Then there's Xavier, who seems to have more wisdom tucked away than most people you could ever hope to run into.

Now, I don't claim to be anywhere near the level of those guys when it comes to knowledge, but I know a bit, even on subjects they discuss with frequency. So why is it that I can't squeeze out a post or three a week, when they're churning out material that could easily be compiled into a best selling book?

I check my homepage and see the last post from several weeks ago staring at me, almost accusingly. As if it's asking me why I have neglected my poor little blog. To be honest, I don't know, but I'm going to try and change it a bit from here on out.

I am going to make a resolution to try and get at least one post up every week. It will certainly not be at the level of some of the aforementioned writers, but I'll try to get more than just a "heyhowyadoin" post thrown in there.

Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well, and I'll see you in the next post.

Now, what to write about.....


Tuesday, September 16, 2008


So I'm giving my 2-year old a bath last night, and in the middle of it, she sticks her two fingers up her nose. Not far enough to plug them, just barely in there, and starts breathing heavily through her nose. It makes this odd rasping noise as the breath rattles in and out. I'm struck with the similarity to a noise I can't quite place, and then AHA! I have it!!

I jump to my feet, strike an imperious pose, look down at my daughter, point my finger at her and proudly declaim...


(blink - blink)

My daughter looks at me like I'm crazy. I hear the faint tinkling of laughter from the living room as my wife makes the connection between the breathing and the declaration. I of course, begin humming the StormTrooper march, and my two year old is still looking at me like I'm just a little on the odd side(this from the one with her fingers up her nose).

When we finish up, and I'm walking back into the living room, my wife is like "you're such a geek!" I'm all, "Hey, you recognized it too!" :P



Thursday, September 11, 2008


The photo from last year, when, at midnight on September 10/11, members of the United States Marine Corps begin lowering the flag atop the White House to half-staff(or half-mast) in honor of those who fell on that fateful day.

The Marine on the left is saluting the flag in that memory.

What else can be said....


On Palin

So, Johnny-come-lately here, finally getting around to commenting on the nomination of Governor Sarah Palin for Vice President on the Republican ticket. I know, I know, I should have jumped on the commenting band wagon weeks ago, but feh, whattayagonnado?

Anyway, I like it. I think she's a strong candidate. She's the only candidate on either ticket with ANY experience at all in the executive branch of government. I think that in itself is an interesting point. Secondly, she seems to be a bit independant, and willing to go against the crowd, which makes her somewhat of a Maverick, very similar to Senator McCain.

That's actually the one of the biggest differences I see in the VP nominees at this point. Senator McCain picked someone very much like himself, who doesn't toe the party line, will go against the current of mainstream, and do what's right, because it's the right thing to do.

Senator Obama on the other hand, didn't pick a VP candidate based on how similar he was to himself, but based seemingly on what holes he could fill in the noticeable empty spots on his resume. What seemed like a good choice at the time, has turned out to be not so much of a good choice.

Now that the Veeps are chosen, the rhetoric has gone into overdrive, and it seems like the only thing the Dems have is mud-slinging. The Chairwoman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, stated that Governor Palin's main qualification for VP was that "she hasn't had an abortion"...Seriously.....don't believe me? Read about it here.

The Democrats need to be careful. The vitriol with which they're going after Governor Palin is reminiscent of the Republican attacks on Former President Clinton. Republicans were so rabid for Clinton, that they held impeachment hearings for a personal indiscretion on his part. That kind of silliness should have cost the Republicans the White House in 2000. The only reason Bush won, in my opinion, is the fact that Gore was such a non-candidate. He didn't learn to give a stirring public speech until after the elections were over, and they were disputing vote counts. If he had shown up with any kind of oratory prior to the election, I think he might have won. I know I for one, was quite disgusted with how the Republican party had acted towards President Clinton. Now it seems that the Democrats may be putting themselves in that same boat. The blind attacks against Palin aren't going to sway anyone who is already a McCain/Palin supporter, and far from their intent, may actually drive more moderate members of the Democratic party into the McCain/Palin camp.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens. Less than two months to go, and we may have a strong woman in the White House who actually got voted in there :)


Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Another whirlwind week. We had the In-laws down from the "Commonwealth" of Massachusetts. They were here to see their grandchildren, and (and I quote)"those people they live with". But it was good fun all around. We took the kids out to a place called Hollywild. A sort of a zoo kind of place where they specialize in caring for exotic animals that have been used in movies, television, advertising, etc. There's even a petting zoo sort of area where the kids can feed little kibble to baby goats, a llama, some deer type critters, a few burros, and a Zonkey.

That's right, I said Zonkey. read about there HERE.

Apparently, they're what happens when a donkey and a zebra get together. Kinda of interesting, but a bit territorial. The big one kept butting the small burros out of the way to try and get all the food. Interesting looking critters nonetheless.

After that, was all of the family piled into the house as we had a birthday party for my oldest who was turning two. Add that into the fact that I was also trying to get yard work done, i.e. cutting some trees down to restore the view from the back porch, and still had to work my regular job during all of this wildness, and there just was not much time for anything else.

I've gotta get to work.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Saturday Shooting

Got together with a friend for some shooting Saturday afternoon. Nothing fancy, no ranges or shooting galleries, just some empty cans balanced on an old deadfall tree out back of the house. He was shooting 9mm out of a Glock, I was shooting .22LR out of my Heritage Arms Rough Rider, a nice single-action revolver. It's no Single-Six, but it gets the job done.

We each shot a hundred rounds or so, killing many nefarious cans, then resurrecting them to be killed again. I let my friend take a turn with the Rough Rider, and got a good laugh out of that. He's not really a revolver kind of guy, and I think this was the first time he'd ever shot a single action. As his first shot plowed into the dirt, he turned and said.."This thing has no trigger pull". Hehe, it's a single action revolver, they assume that once you cock that hammer back, you're planning to shoot something with it :) But seriously, it's a great revolver for someone working on getting rid of a flinch. There's no laborious pull to get a bang out of it. I often joke that if you breath heavy it'll go off.

Anyway, big fun shooting cans out back. Looks like I'll need to have a real gunsmith look at adjusting the sights. Even with the blade lined up all the way on the right edge of the rear sight, it still shoots down and to the left. Hope it's an easy fix, and it won't cost too much, as I just don't have the money for big fixins....

Hope your weekend was enjoyable too,


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Panther on an Indigo?

Anyone have any experience with this?

I wanted to get an older laptop, to experiment with migrating myself to Macs, and ended up, luckily, with an Indigo clamshell. I've got the wifi, the Firewire, and apparently, the ability to run up to Tiger(OS X 10.4) in my nice little machine. I thought I'd just piddle around with the classic OS 9.1 that came installed on the laptop, however, if I ever get to purchase a newer Mac, which I hope to do within the next year, then I should probably go ahead and start learning OS X, as it's what's coming on new macs.

As I mentioned, I've been able to discover that Tiger(10.4) will run on the Indigo, but am getting the feeling that ti may be a bit too much OS for that 366 processor. I've seen a recommendation that the highest I should go on the Indigo would be OS X 10.3.9. I'm seriously considering it, and am wondering if anyone else had had any experience with using it on a clamshell, before I plunk down the money to purchase a copy.

So, anyone with any advice or information, feel free to point me in your favorite direction.



A post on another blog I read was entitled "Not Folksy", and makes some interesting points. Check out the post over at
Standing on My Head

He makes some interesting points and comparisons about the last few winners of presidential races. It makes an insightful read, and who knows, may give us a preview of who our next president may be, based solely on their image.


Monday, August 25, 2008


Well, it's been a busy week since last I was here posting. I haven't had time to play with my little Indigo any more yet, but that will come soon.

I did get a much anticipated Kilt in the mail. I can't access Photobucket from work, so will have to wait until I get home this evening to edit in a picture of the new kilt. It's very nice, fine workmanship by Rocky of USA Kilts, and I'm looking forward to wearing it out to the pub in the next week or two, depending on whether I can get away to the pub any time soon :)

The little one has come down with a bit of daycare nose, which is really cramping the whole 'sleep' thing. Hard to sleep when she's waking herself up every hour or two trying to breath through her nose, and then gets flat out squalling angry about being awake at such an ungodly hour.

To be honest though, the majority of my free time this last week or so was taken up watching the Olympics. There was some really good stuff, and some really not so good stuff. I've gotta say, regardless of how many medals Phelps won, or how our gymnasts did, or how poor our relay teams did, the stand out for America for these games was, at least in my mind, Dara Torres.

Not because she's older than most other swimming competitors, not because she was competing in her first Olympics before most of her teammates were even born, and not because despite all odds, she came away with an individual Silver medal, and only missed out on the Gold by one one-hundredth of a second. Even though all those things are worthy of notice for her, the biggest thing that happened was when she approached other competitors, and the judges, asking them to delay the start of her race(a heat I believe) because one of the other competitors had a problem with her suit, and was trying to get it fixed.

In this day and age, when we focus so much on ourselves, and whats good for us, I don't believe anyone would have faulted her for standing at her starting block, and working her mental focus for the upcoming race. If someone didn't make it to the start in time, oh well, that's just one less person to challenge her. However, she didn't do that, she saw a fellow athlete having problems, and made the effort to make sure she would still be able to compete. I remember listening to the announcers going crazy as she walked over to speak to the judges. They couldn't figure out what she was doing, why she wasn't focusing on the race, getting mentally psyched up and let the chips fall where they may.

She was doing something much more important I think. Something that you maybe didn't see in other events, and attitude not present in a lot of events I daresay. She was making sure that the field was even, for everyone. She wasn't trying to get herself that last little bit of advantage she might need, wasn't trying to pump her own ego up, or make someone else doubt themselves, she was fostering the true spirit of the Olympics. She was trying to help out someone who might very well end up beating her. Luckily for her, that wasn't the end of her career, however I think if it had been, she would have been proud to lose in that manner. Not sacrificing someone else for her own advantage.

Here's to the true Olympian, and outstanding role model, not just to swimmers, not just to Americans, but to the whole world.

Here's to you Dara Torres!!



Sunday, August 17, 2008


First post from the new Indigo, iBook clamshell. There still appear to be a few kinks in the system. I downloaded iCab to use as a browser. It seem pretty okay, at least it's not trying to take over like the IE browser. The only thing is, when I go to create a new post, I don't have the options to change the font, size, style, color, etc. I don't know if this is a problem with how blogger displays on macs, or just my own ineptness at this point. Of course, it could just be the fact that I'm currently having to connect over dial-up, and the transfer of all the little bits takes too long, so it just doesn't do it. Who knows? Anyone? :)

Anyway, while I'm not die-hard on the macs yet. I'm going to try taking this into work one day and seeing if I can scrounge a wireless connection. It should go a lot faster than this, and maybe I'll see a difference in what displays. On the upside, with the iCab browser, the pages are displaying a good deal better, with just a minor scroll to the right instead of hte half-page scroll. So I'm pleased with that.

I may go back through the windows box, and edit this post later so that it conforms to the way the rest of my posts are displayed. I wonder if there's a default setting you can put on your Blogger Dashboard so that it will always post with your chosen font/color set? Anyone?

Take care all,


EDIT- it actually looked ok, as it showed int he dark green, but I like the font and italics better. Gotta figure out how to get that to display in my Indigo....

Friday, August 15, 2008

What ever happened to....

...the Cranberries?

I was digging around for a CD to throw in the player in the car when I noticed the plain CD with the couch on it. I tossed it in the player, and was overcome with a bit of nostalgia as I listened to Dolores O'Riordan croon out some tunes I haven't listened to since before I was married.

They had some really good stuff on that album, and I've enjoyed listening to it as I drive back and forth to work the last few days. Even my oldest daughter has tried to start singing along with Dolores on the way to and from daycare. My youngest of course, just sleeps through it all.

I remember really enjoying the CD back when it was originally purchased. I was in college at the time, so it may have been the over-dramatization associated with youth, but I remember really identifying with the tunes and the poignant lyrics. She had such a lovely voice, and I always loved when she went into a wail, it just sent shivers down my spine.

Anyway, hope she's doing well these days, and her career is still going strong. If you haven't listened to the Cranberries' debut album recently, you might want to pull it out, dust it off, and do a little reminiscing yourself.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

South Ossetia Musings

OK, I have a question, one that I'm not seeing an answer to in the main stream media, or anywhere else for that matter.

What the devil got into Georgia?

South Ossetia has been a breakaway region for years. Heck, the Georgians signed an agreement with the South Ossetian Separatists back in 1992, 16 years ago. For sixteen years, South Ossetia has been separate from Georgia, with certain agreements in place, and for 16 years, the separatists have had the sympathy and backing of the Russian government. Granted, there was no official recognition of the separation by the UN, but who listens to them anyway :p

So for the last decade and a half, the separatists have been thumbing there nose at the Georgians, with Big Brother(i.e. Russia) lurking in the wings to make sure no one picks on them. What in the world made Georgia think, "Oh, now it's the perfect time to teach those separatists a lesson."?

I have to wonder if there's a bigger picture that we're missing out on. It occurs during the Olympics, I'm not sure what the benefit of that particular timing is, but it would seem to have some significance. It's basically calling the world's attention to the area. However I find it odd that no one is decrying the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia, just the Russian defense of the separatists. Granted, our Russian friends seem to have gotten a little over-exuberant in their implementation of defense of their little friends, but I digress.

Something had to trigger this, and push the Georgians into picking a fight that they absolutely know they had no chance of winning. Even if they marshaled all of their forces and swept in overnight, and took over everything in one fell swoop, there'd still be Russia to deal with, and you know they'd take umbrage at such a thing.

Something caused the Georgians to go temporarily insane. Something that I can't seem to figure out. There's a bigger picture here that I'm missing. If anyone knows what's going on that I'm missing, please enlighten me....


Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Ok, so maybe not real or total bliss or anything, but it was a pretty nice experience. Sunday afternoon, all of the girls, including my better half, were taking naps. I slip outside to the front porch with a glass of tea, sit in the rocking chair, and read a little Christopher Stasheff. I'm re-reading some of his 'Warlock' series, and it was just a perfect afternoon to do some of that outside. Mid- 70's in temperature, low humidity, all the girls asleep, the dogs and cats napping as well, the only sound other than the gentle breeze blowing through the trees was a pair of mourning doves serenading each other a few trees over from the porch. It was.....blissful.

Of course, my other experience of bliss happened on Friday. A co-worker and I slipped the chains of bureaucracy, and spent our lunch hour at the local indoor shooting range. We only brought our duty weapons along, as this was not a planned outing, but spur of the moment, but a nice hamburger plate at the local diner, and 50 rounds center mass with the lingering smell of gunpowder and Hoppes No. 9 to carry you through the rest of the day, also makes for a blissful feeling.

Hope you're having some enjoyable times yourself out there. I need to get back to earning a paycheck...


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Let's try again...

OK, so I've had a little bit of time to piddle around with the new acquisition , and it is definitely an Indigo iBook, 366MHz processor, 320 Megs of RAM, and a 10 Gig hard drive. Single USB port, Firewire port, internal modem, and ethernet jacks. Also, it appears the battery and CMOS battery are doing fine. I left it plugged in overnight, and it reads 4 hours 40 minutes on the battery charge, though I don't know how accurate that time estimate might be yet, and the date and time held, so I'm guessing the CMOS battery is fine as well.

As there are no wireless networks nearby, nor do I have any sort of high-speed access, I plugged a phone line into the integral modem jack, and puzzled my way onto the internet. The default browser, to my astonishment, was Internet Explorer for Macintosh. I had no idea Microsoft marketed products designed for it's competitor. I ran into a couple of minor snags on my first foray out. It looks like the best resolution allowable on my screen is 800x600. I actually only have two options at this point, that, and 640xsomeodd. At the best resolution, my little explorer browser only displays about one half width of any web page. That'll get annoying, as I do enjoy reading online. I'm not sure if that's because of the browser, or some setting integral to the web pages themselves. I hope to puzzle that one out later on.

One thing I found very annoying, was the fact that the modem kept disconnecting when there was a lag. I dial-up over old copper-wire pairs to get on the net, and as pitiful as the connection might be, the modems I've used on my windows boxes have always hung on stubbornly, like a bulldog. Eventually, the flow of data would pick up again, and I'd be fine. The continuous redialing was very bothersome. I'll have to do some digging and see if that's a mac thing, and correctable, or maybe I have a modem problem.

I did a little bit of surfing, thanks for the point towards LowEndMac Tam, and learned that my particular iBook, runs well with OS 9.2.2. It came to me with 9.1, and no disks. I was thinking I might go ahead and upgrade it, but I find, much to my dismay, that the upgrades aren't on the apple site. I'd thought it would be fun to download and upgrade from the apple site on my new apple :) A little more searching, courtesy of LowEndMac once again, showed several places willing to sell discs for the upgrade, albeit at exorbitant prices. I'd thought that it would be a free downloadable upgrade, as it was still a version of OS 9, and not moving up to the newer OSX and it's variants. Apparently, I was mistaken.

I also thought it would be fun to make a blogger post from my new iBook, but there are apparently some kinks in the system. I'm not sure if it's the OS, the browser, or what, but the Blogger site is all barked up when I go to the 'create new post' section. I'll have to do some more research to see what's going on there.

All in all though, I'm quite pleased with my new purchase, and look forward to learning my way around the macintosh system. Perhaps I'll even be able to talk my better half into letting me purchase a new mac, when the time is right :)

Take care all,


Friday, August 8, 2008

Are we going too far?

So I'm taking a break to go grab a cold drink from the vending machines. As I'm standing there, I notice that the snack machine has raised Braille on the number pad. My first thought was, "Hmm, interesting." Then it was "Wait a sec....WTH?"

For mental picturing purposes, the vending machine is a big box with a plexi-glass front. You look into the machine, decide what you want, look at the little number under the item you want, put in the appropriate amount of change, and key that number into the keypad, your item is dispensed.

Notice how many times I said 'look' there? It's kind of an integral part of the process. So why are there Braille numbers on the keypad? If it was a different kind of machine, with a Braille read-out for what product is in each slot, and whether or not there was actually anything in that slot, then I could understand having Braille numbers on the keypad. However, it's not that kind of machine. It's designed for people who can see what they want. heck, that's the idea behind the whole sales pitch, if they see it, they will want it. So why have adaptations on the payment end for someone who can't see to choose what they want, how much it costs, or how to get it? There's nothing else on the machine in Braille to even explain what kind of machine it is or what it's for?

Is it just me, or is that down right odd?

Don't get me wrong, I have the highest respect for anyone that can actually read Braille, I can only imagine the amount of dexterity and fingertip sensitivity required for such an endeavor. But the placement of Braille numbers on the keypad of a machine that's pretty much useless to anyone who's blind, well, it brings to mind that old saw about teats on a bull.


Thursday, August 7, 2008


My Mac iBook clamshell arrived yesterday via UPS. The girls were a bit of a handful, so I've not had a chance to really play with it yet, but it's here!!

I'll have to do some digging to figure out exactly what I have here. I had thought I was getting one of the first generation 'BlueBerries' but think I might actually have gotten an 'Indigo'. If my terminology and thinking is correct anyway. It's a darker blue than I would think for the former, has what appears to be a 366Mhz processor, and a Firewire port. I may be mistaken, but I thought the Firewire ports were on the second generation iBooks.

I may have a little work to do to get it truly mobile as well. The battery appears dead and unchargeable, however I did see mention somewhere of a utility I can download that will reset the battery, and while not making it a brand new battery or anything, would let me get a little unplugged time from it. Of greater concern is that it appears that the CMOS battery is dead as well. When I plugged it in and booted it up for the first time, OS 9.1 came up, and the time and date were set to Midnight, January 1, 1904. That could be a bit of a problem, as I don't know how easy it is to get to the CMOS battery, and the nearest Apple store is hours and hours away. But both of those are things I can work around.

I'm also going to have to go and do some reading on how to use the Mac OS. The last apple computer I used was an Apple IIe way back in 1983, and that was in school, so I'm sure they didn't have the latest greatest machines. As I don't have any wireless networks near the house, I need to figure out how to set up the modem to dial out, and how to get a decent web browser, or at least one that's a little more familiar. There's something called 'Sherlock' on there now, which appears to be a browser, but the interface when I started it up was baffling.

Of course, I do so enjoy learning new things, and can't wait to figure this one out. Hopefully, soon, my blog posts will be done from my new(to me) mac while relaxing at the coffee shop on my lunch break :)

Take care all,


Monday, August 4, 2008

Carry Guns

Okay, this is going to be my first foray into 'gun talk', but I have an opinion, and since it's my blog(neener, neener) I'm going to share my opinion :)

I often hear people say that you should carry what ever gun your comfortable with. I often also hear people comment that you should carry the largest caliber gun that you can comfortably conceal/carry. There are also those who will tell you that anything less that a .40 caliber, hi-capacity magazine, semi-automatic pistol is just asking for trouble.

Well, in my not so humble opinion, that's just a bunch of hooey. In my capacity as a certified law enforcement officer, I carry a .40 caliber Glock, and at least one back-up magazine. Agency policy prohibits me from carrying anything else while on duty, to include back-up guns, etc.(I know, idiotic ain't it?) when I'm on duty. That's not to say I don't carry a BUG, just that as far as my superiors are concerned, what you see is what you get.

On my own time, however, is a different story. If I'm out, meaning from going to the store for a loaf of bread, to trips out hunting, whether venison or antiques, I'm always armed. The only exception being if I'm having a drink while I'm out, whether a glass of wine with dinner, a beer with the guys after work, or a scotch on the rocks with a good cigar, guns and alcohol do not mix...ever. Once more for effect:

Guns and Alcohol do not mix.....EVER!!

That being said, and that exception aside, I'm always armed, and have been since before I got into a career in law enforcement. Usually, when I carry concealed, I'm carrying a personally owned gun, of varying calibers. I have my grandfather's old Colt Cobra in .38 special(6 shots). I enjoy carrying my Kel-Tec P3AT in .380 caliber(6+1 shots), and I also like my little .25 caliber Beretta(also 6.1 shots) for it's James Bond nostalgia. When I carry these pistols, I never carry a spare magazine, or speed loader for the revolver.

I also, never feel uncomfortable carrying any of them. I don't feel under gunned at all, even carrying what some would call a 'mouse gun'. The main reason is in addition to being comfortable with each gun, I'm also confident in my ability with each of them. I am a better shot with my .25 caliber Beretta, just point-shooting, than I am with my Glock aiming with the proper site picture. Starting at 10 feet away, I can chase a soda can around the yard with that little Beretta. I'm even better with my Heritage Rough Rider single action .22 LR(my uncle got my grandfather's Single-Six), but it does have a 7-ish inch barrel, which makes it inconvenient for concealed carry, but I often wear it when out in the woods hunting, and don't feel under gunned there either.

The main reason is because I know that I'll hit whatever I'm aiming at with any of those guns. Now I don't claim to be a great shot, or that I can use my .22 to shoot birds on the wing getting only headshots, etc. But I'm a decent shot, and I can put everything into a paper plate a 10 yards or less fairly consistently with any of the mentioned guns. That translates into confidence with each of them. The fact that I live out in the sticks, and can step out into the back yard and pop off a mag or cylinder whenever I get the urge helps too.

I feel as confident when I'm out wearing a pair of shorts with that .25 in my pocket, as I do when I have my duty rig on with the .40 and a spare mag. No matter what you carry, if you're both comfortable with it, and confident that you can hit whatever you're aiming at, or pointing at as the case may be, you're good to go. Seven or eight rounds of .45 ACP fired wildly over your shoulder as you duck for cover, aren't going to be anywhere near as effective as a single .25 auto shot to the face/throat/groin. Everything is about shot placement, and the more comfortable and confident you are with your chosen carry piece, the better your shot placement is going to be.

This has grown into a bit of a ramble, and if you made it to the end, I appreciate your attention. Keep in mind though, this is my own opinion, and as this is the internet, there are a plethora of other opinions out there, some agreeing, some disagreeing, and some so far in left field you wonder how they even got involved in the topic. There are others, much more knowledgeable than myself who offer opinions in much better words than I can(check the blogs I read regularly to the left) but though their offerings often wax poetic, remember, they're not sacrosanct. Coming to your own, reasoned conclusions and opinions is the only way to grow and make your own way in the world. Take the advice of people you respect under consideration, and even allow it to influence your own decisions, but don't blindly accept what anyone tells you without stopping to think about it on your own.

Hmm, I'm getting a little wordy, must be the beer. I'll call it a night, and see if I regret this post tomorrow :)

Take care all,



SO, I hooked up the Site Meter thingie, so I could check out who, if anyone, was visiting my little site. I was looking at the stats this morning, and had a visitor from Germany, who had been directed to my site by a Google search for waist chains.

I know I mentioned having someone in waist chains and shackles in a previous post, but what has me curious, is what do waist chains mean to people in Germany? Is it some sort of fashion trend belt, or do they just enjoy having their wrists cuffed to a chain around their waist? Perhaps I'm way off base here, but waist chains just have cuffs attached to them in my head.....

Oh well, an interesting start to the morning nonetheless.


Saturday, August 2, 2008


Success at last!! I woke up this morning to a note in my e-mail from eBay, informing me that I'd won an auction for an Apple/Macintosh iBook G3 Clamshell Blueberry, with WiFi!! Hmm, lets see if this works... Linkyloo Lets see if that worked :)

I'm as giddy as a little school girl :) I put in a bid last night, not expecting to win, as the auction still had 5 hours to go, and I fully expected the bidding to go well over $150, and out of my price range. Imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning to find that the winning bid had been mine, and only went for $73!!!!

The auction stated that the battery does not appear to hold a charge, but it does come with a power adapter. So I'll have to be plugged in for a bit, until I figure out which battery I need to get for this particular model, but that's okay. It doesn't come with any CDs or paperwork, but does have Mac OS 9 installed. If I understand correctly, that's referred to as the 'Classic' OS?

I'll have to see what I can find for beginner's books for this critter, after it arrives, and get to doing some Mac computing!!

Once again, Woohoo for me!!

Hope your day is starting off as fun as mine!!


Friday, August 1, 2008

Why is it.....

....that some, normally intelligent, ordinary people, get downright stupid when they get behind the wheel?

I was on an extradition yesterday, traveling into Georgia to pick one up to bring back to Carolina to explain to a judge, why exactly he was in Georgia in the first place. On the way there, we noticed marked patrol cars all over Interstate 85. There were State Troopers, County Sheriffs, and Local Police, at all the exits on a strip of interstate about 35 miles long, grabbing people left and right. So one would think, obviously incorrectly, that the proliferation of marked patrol units, and seeing them with people pulled over every mile or two, would have people driving on their best behavior.....

Not So Much.....

We were in an 'unmarked' CVPI, Blue lights hanging in the windshield, and followed people who just really should not have been out there driving. We followed one woman for several miles, who was weaving back and forth, crossing the center line on her right, and the yellow line on her left at about 80 mph. Bad enough so that the guy in waist chains and shackles in the back seat, was wondering if we ought to check on the driver. She finally drifts over into the right lane, and we ease up alongside her, looking over to see if she's obviously intoxicated or something where we should call for locals, and ya know what we see? She's happily driving along, trying to figure out her iPhone/Blackberry/whatever. That's what's got her so distracted she's driving all over the place.

I was almost tempted to go ahead and pull her over and have a chat with her, even though I'd be way out of jurisdiction, and violating a whole host of Agency policies, not the least of which is you don't stop anyone when you're transporting, especially out of state. She just waved and smiled at us, and then bent her head back down to look at her handheld device.

I swear people, be careful when you get out on the roads, as you never know what empty headed dingbat is sharing the road with you.....


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Why is it.....

...that every time I sit down to try and get something done, something else unrelated pops up that absolutely has to get taken care of right then?

I swear, my desk and the surrounding area at work look like a paperwork maelstrom has blown through recently. Every single time I have set aside an hour or two to get it straightened out, something else blows up in my face minutes after I get started. The maelstrom gets pushed back to be dealt with later, and gets bigger and uglier each time it gets pushed back. I swear, I think I caught a file folder gnawing on my boot this morning.

Where's a house-elf, gnome, helpful faerie when you need one?



I've lost out on another old Macintosh iBook on eBay, by a single dollar!! Not to say that I haven't missed out on a lot more in between, but usually by a hundred dollars or more. I swear I don't know what it is, but losing by just a dollar just kills me.

I'm also wondering if it wouldn't be easier/cheaper/better to just go ahead and get something that's maybe not exactly what I want, and then do the modifications myself. I see lots of clamshells out there with little memory, small hard drives, and no Airport card going for fairly cheap. I'm wondering how difficult it might be to pick up one of the lower end ones, and upgrade the RAM, HD, and put in an Airport card. I see lots of various component parts going fairly cheap on eBay.

One big question though, is going to be the software. Being pretty much a Windoze guy since it came out, I'm used to be able to install my copy of windoze on any machine I happen to have lying around with no muss or fuss. However, I'm given to understand that in the Mac world, such is not the case. It's been mentioned that a Mac OS for one machine, might very well not work on another machine. Who knew there were machine specific OSes?? Of course, they may be so much horse puckey, but who am I to know the difference, Mac Neophyte that I am.

I'll keep trying for a complete system on eBay, but I swear, I'm seriously considering trying to put together parts and pieces to make what I want. It's easy enough to do with Windoze/IBMClones, how much harder can it be with a Mac?


Oh, and the one that got away was sweet, little Tangerine Clamshell with the original box, CDs, and instruction booklets....absolutely perfect for someone like myself who's trying to learn about Macs.....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Weather is an interesting phenomenon, the way it changes so quickly and fluidly is just amazing.

Yesterday, as I was leaving work to pick my daughter up from daycare, I glanced at the little temperature/direction display in my car, and noticed that it had just reached 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Pretty hot, especially when the humidity is hovering in the upper eighties to low nineties, percentage wise. Then, about halfway to daycare, a brief rain squall hit. Nothing major, I probably only drove through about two hundred yards of it, but I could see where it had been traveling along the road I was on for a mile or two, as it was still wet. I reached the low point in the road about a mile and a half past the rain squall, and glanced at the temperature readout, it said 88 degrees.

Now, that's a temperature drop of of 15 degrees over the course of a mile or so, based solely on rainfall cooling things down. I continued on, and as the pavement dried out, the temperature crept back up, until it was 101 again when I picked up my daughter.

I thought that a 15 degree drop was pretty amazing, and while it was, it was not the most dramatic I was to see that night. Storms started blowing in at about 7 - 7:30 PM last night. I was standing outside having a smoke when the wind started to pick up, and glanced at the outdoor thermometer, it read 98 degrees. The storm hit, the bottom dropped out, and we had an enjoyable evening watching the lightning storm in the distance, and watching our power flicker when a particularly strong bolt hit nearby.

About thirty minutes later, the rain was done, and the wind had settled down, so I decided it was time to take the desperate dogs outside so that they could do their business. I glanced at the thermometer again, just out of habit, and it read 66 degrees. Now that's a 32 degree drop in as many minutes, and the wind seemed to blow away a lot of the humidity.

In the space of 30 minutes, we went from a sweltering hot sauna feeling, to a wonderfully cool and brisk evening. If only all the porch furniture wasn't dripping wet, we could've sat outside and enjoyed the last vestiges of a glorious sunset against the clouds.

They've called for another broiler today, triple digits again, we can only hope for the fluid beauty of change in the weather for tonight. I guess we'll have to wait and see...

Hope you're enjoying the weather wherever you may be....


Thursday, July 17, 2008


Now, I'm not generally anti-snake. Snakes perform a good job in keeping rodents and bugs under control, and I'm usually content to live and let live. However, this past weekend, as I was stepping out onto the porch for an evening smoke, what do I see but a young copperhead probably less than six feet from my daughter's playset. My first thought was something along the lines of.."hunh, that looks like a copperhead.." then it was something like.."YIKES!!! that poisonous snake is near my daughter's playset!!" finally it was "OH [censor]!! I don't have anything handy to kill it with, and there it goes into the bushes!" Me being in my bare feet and it being very dark outside the dim perimeter of the porch light, I decided not to go poking around after it.

I mean, surely it will move on...right? Before I let my daughter outside the next day, I'm out there poking and prodding with a long stick, trying to make sure the snake hasn't holed up in one of the bushes. It appears to have moved on, so I let me daughter play outside, though trying to keep a closer eye on her than usual, just in case. I also notice, that as I go about my day, my eyes are continuously drawn to the base of the Lenten Rose (sp? it's my wife's plant thingie) because that's where I saw it last, so that's where I expect to see it magically appear again. Foolish right?

So about 10:45 PM I'm stepping out on the porch for a last smoke of the evening, and thinking to myself about this snake. I'm heading out the door and thinking about how it's human nature to continuously look in the last spot we saw something, even though logic would seem to dictate we won't see it there again in the exact same spot because it a wild creature than is always moving and..."SON OF A [censor]!! IT'S BACK!!!"

Not just near the playset, not just near the Lenten Rose, but in the exact dadblamed spot I saw it the night before, within an inch or two. It is once again dark as pitch, and I'm basically barefoot, however, a bit better prepared. I dart back inside, grab my little Stevens .22LR rifle, a handful of CCI .22LR shot shells, and a flashlight. I step right back outside, and the little sucker is gone again. Well, no sweat, there's a concrete retaining wall on the other side of the bush, and my driveway to the left, and the right side narrows down between the wall and the porch, almost like a funnel.

I load up a shot shell, put the safety on, light a smoke, and proceed to pan the flashlight back and forth along the plants at the base of the retaining wall. After about five minutes or so, I am rewarded as the light plays across a bit of tan that just too light to be part of the leaf litter/mulch at the base of the plants. I move forward, and the snake moves, it slithers behind a Tea Olive bush, and I thumb the safety off. I've got a bead lined up, just as it's head comes out from behind the trunk, and one exercise in ballistics later, the snake is no more.

I felt bad.

Seriously, here I was, feeling bad about killing this snake that was just minding it's own business, looking for some dinner, when I come along and splatter it with rat shot. I had to do it, it was to big of a risk having a poisonous snake in my 2 year olds play area, and while I felt good about keeping my daughters safe, I certainly didn't feel good about killing the snake.

I gave it some thought, and decided that it could only be that there was no aggression on the snake's part. I hunt and fish, and have no problems then, but I don't kill anything when I'm hunting or fishing, that isn't going to make it into my belly at some point(the odd mosquito or bug excepted of course). However, I killed this snake, and I surely didn't aim to eat it. I've shot aggressive animals before, and didn't feel bad about it, of course, then, I was protecting myself and others against a definite and imminent threat.

The copperhead was only a potential threat, and I think that's why I felt bad about it. I had been within ten feet of it the night before, and there was no aggression on it's part. It was probably just hunting up a toad to eat, as we have those in abundance in the yard. But I couldn't run the risk of my 2 year old seeing it, and going to play with it/pick it up/whatever, and getting bitten by it, potentially fatally.

I'm certainly happy that my girls are safe from the potential threat of a venomous snake, but i take no pride nor joy in killing that snake, and to be honest, still feel a little bad about it....


BTW - Wiki has a fairly decent article on Copperheads and there variations located here []

Hmm, guess I need to learn to do HTML linkie tag thingies.....

Thursday, July 10, 2008


So, in addition to learning how to do this blog thing, I'm also trying to learn about Macs(Apple/MacIntosh computers). Being as I work for the state in an LEO position, and my wife does similar work for the state, neither one of us is a big wage earner. With a house payment, two car payments, gas prices going insane, and two little ones running around the house trying to drive us insane, funds are always scarce, which makes getting into Macs a little dicey.

In reading Tam's blog, I see that she often uses an older iBook clamshell, and I thinks to myself, "Self, that could be just the widget you need to get into Macs, and start learning the basics." So I go on a lookey-loo, the most obvious place being that of eBay. I do a little searching, and find that it's not rare for some of these little gems to go for between $60 and $80. I do a little more research, and discover that what I want, is one with an Airport card, a functioning battery, and an AC adapter(odd how many get sold with no power cords, I'd have no way to plug the bloody thing in).

So, now I start doing active searches, and watching for Mac laptops with Airport cards, power cords, and under $100. You'd be amazed at the sheer number that start out so inexpensively. I also, start to slip bids in here and there. I'm somewhat hampered in this, as that being in LE means that some Exec/Admin/Big Guy in Charge thinks it would be a horrible idea to have the peons looking things up on the internet that aren't strictly job related. So, no bidding from work, only from home, where I have this horrible dial-up connection.(you think your connection is slow, try 19.2 Kbps 4 teh suq)

I've put in bids on numerous laptops recently, only to be outbid while at work. Now, I have no problem losing out on one that gets in a bidding war and goes for several hundred dollars, that's not one I was ever really in the running for. It's the ones that you just miss out on, either because I can't bid(at work) or can't check fast enough over the dial-up. I missed out on a nice one this past weekend, where I was outbid by $3.....that's three measly bucks, because the winning bid came in with 30 seconds left to go in the auction, and it takes a full minute to refresh an eBay page over my connection.

Now that's frustrating. However, with age I've learned perseverance(i.e. gotten more stubborn) and I keep pecking away at it. I'll get one eventually, and then I'll be able to use it not only to learn Macs, but to do some censor-free surfing during the day, as there are free Wi-Fi hotspots all over the place.

Wish me luck!


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Blogging Experiment

So I'm enjoying this blogging experiment. Not as much to post as I'd originally thought, but perhaps that will change as things evolve. Still trying to figure out the whole Blogger thingie, so forgive me if things look rough for a while. Hehe, I can't even figure out how someone would post a comment on any of my posts, as I can't see a comment button anywhere. Oh well, just another one of those things to figure out.

While I enjoy taking a stab at writing my own thoughts down, I much more enjoy reading the thoughts of others. Especially some of those who are so erudite as to leave me feeling like a first grader groping to put a single sentence together. There's something beautiful about language, especially when it's put together so much better than you get used to hearing in everyday conversation.

Perhaps that's my goal, to elevate my own communication skills to emulate those whose words I admire. We'll just have to wait and see. For now, back to work, and we'll see what else percolates through the old grey matter......

Sunday, July 6, 2008


We're all touched by grief in various forms and ways, and we all react differently to it, even if it's grief we are anticipating.

This past Friday, one of my cats died. She was a little over nine years old. She'd had a full and happy life. She'd lost some weight over the last month or so, nothing dramatic, but enough to notice a marked difference over time. This past week, she lost more weight, enough to be concerned about. She was still happy, eating, going outside, playing with the dogs and my daughters, just a little more tired.

Friday morning, she seemed to be doing fine. I had the day off for the holiday, and was planning to get some work done around the house. About 8:30 AM, she went out onto the front porch, and laid down. She appeared to just be relaxing, but about 9:00 AM, I noticed that she was breathing very shallowly through her mouth. I went to check on her, and all of the sudden, I just knew she was going to be leaving us soon. Within an hour her pupils had dilated, and she was no longer seeing anything, her breathing had become sporadic, and we knew it was close. She died about 10:00 AM, while being petted, and purring at the attention.

The grief that ensued was horrific. I wept as I tried to console my wife and daughters. I was wracked with sobs as I tried to dig a grave for her. I was caught completely unawares by the depth and ferocity of emotion that I felt for this beloved pet. When she was a kitten, she was fearless, and furry. The way her little ears stuck out of the big fur made her look like a miniature bear, and so she was named "Ursa". As she grew, she became a perfect example of a feline companion. She was equally at home stretched out in a lap, head and legs hanging akimbo, or curled up in bed, under the covers, not all of them though, Ursa liked the spot between the sheets and the comforter. I can remember being shocked into wakefulness by the pain of a fully contented, and clawed, Ursa, kneading my armpit in pleasure.

She was a great hunter, with mice, voles, chipmunks, lizards, the occasional bird, and any number of small bugs to her credit. I especially enjoyed watching her kill scorpions. We don't have the large scorpions in Carolina, but any scorpion is unpleasant. The ones we have here are dark, and an inch or two long when stretched out. Ursa would find one in the house, and begin to "toy" with it. By the time she was done, it would be stretched out flat, and stiff in death, a perfect little chitinous letter 'Y'.

She loved to sit in my lap when I was on the computer, and beg a sip of beer, and then get all sneezey when the carbonation tickled her palate, but she'd always come back for more. Unlike a lot of cats, she listened to me, and always came when I called for her to come back inside so that I might go to bed.

Those are a few of the things I want to remember about this dear, departed companion. I hope she's in a better place now.

Goodbye Ursa....


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Joys of Fatherhood

I never wanted to be a Father. My wife knew this before we ever got married. I guess she new it would just take time, so ten years later, my daughter was born. Coincidentally enough, almost two years after that, another daughter was born. Turns out, kids are pretty cool, if they are your own kids. I still don't particularly care for other people's kids, but I do love my girls.

That not to say that Fatherhood doesn't have it's downside. Last night for example, my youngest, at just one month old, decided she wanted to cry until about 1 AM this morning before she settled down to sleep. My wife takes care of the youngest at night, so theoretically, I can sleep before I have to go to work in the morning. However, last night, I was unable to sleep through the crying. So when she finally drops off, I'm thinking "sweet, I can still squeeze in five hours of sleep before I have to get up!" Twenty minutes later, enter daughter number one, who is about twenty-two months old, and apparently had some sort of nightmare. After several tries, I finally get her settled back in to sleep, and stumble off to bed myself, noticing that the evil alarm clock puts the time at almost 3 AM. Wonderful, three whole hours of sleep if I collapse on the spot.

So, I get up at around six, stumble through the shower/shave/pull on the uniform routine, and head into the kitchen for some coffee. My wife has already gotten the oldest up and dressed for daycare so that I can drop her off on my way to work. As I exit the bedroom, my daughter catches sight of me. Her face lights up, he hands go into the air, and she says "YAY! DaDa!!"

Two words, and all the headaches from last night evaporate like fog on a spring morning. Funny how something I never wanted can become such a vital part of my life, and bring such happiness as to almost eradicate any bad memories.

Now, I just have to get the youngest to say "DaDa!", but I guess I've got a few months to work on that :)


Friday, June 20, 2008


Pronunciation: \ˌkä-jə-ˈtā-shən\
13th century
1 a: the act of cogitating b: the capacity to think or reflect
2: a single thought

Cogitation.......the act of thinking. Something too few of us do these days. Though I will admit, it is often difficult to get some quality thinking done when there is so much going on to provide distractions. From television, to the internet, to a good book, or just quality time with friends and family, all distractions from thinking. Even when you can squeeze in some time for thinking, you end up thinking of things you should be doing, instead of actually just thinking.

I find that one of the best times for thinking, at least for me, is on a smoke break. I'm the only one in the family who smokes, so when I step outside, no one is inclined to join me. Even though it's only a few minutes, you'd be amazed at what can percolate through your head in so short a time. Bits of news clips, fragments of vaguely remembered conversations, a sentence from a book that suddenly takes on new meaning when considered in a different context, the list goes on.

Living in Carolina, I like to think my local influences also influence the manner of my thinking, hence the title of this blog. I don't know if I'll garner a following, or even a few readers, but I intend to share my thoughts on a variety of subjects, from guns, to religion, to politics, to the weather, whatever happens to cross my mind during a bout of cogitation.

Welcome, and enjoy!