Saturday, September 30, 2006

I tell ya, You Tube kicks ass. I can surf there all day.

Ok, this is cool as hell. Turn up you speakers, dig the tune, and listen to what almost 2000 rounds per minute sounds like. I think I recognize one of these dudes. Works with Marshall Arms. Anyway, enjoy.

GOD, I love watchin that clip. The music just sets it off perfectly. How'd you like to pay their ammo bill thought? Here's another clip, I think the same dude, firing an AKS-74U. The music here is the old Soviet national anthem. Notice the similar video features. Nice conversion job from a Chinese rifle.

Friday, September 29, 2006

It's that time again. Drum roll please...

Yep, It's Fatty Friday again. Call this a F.F./gross out
combo. I guess I'm coverin' both my bases with this little
winner. Wasn't she in the Partridge Family back in the '70s?

Anyway, You also need to check this out. Another guy
pays a price for messin' with a hungry critter. Very nice.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Colleague of mine, retired Marine, sent me this. Figured I'd share. It's pretty profound stuff.

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

All: I haven't written very much from Iraq. There's really not much to write about. More exactly, there's not much I can write about because practically everything I do, read or hear is classified military information or is depressing to the point that I'd rather just forget about it, never mind write about it. The gaps in between all of that are filled with the pure tedium of daily life in an armed camp. So it's a bit of a struggle to think of anything to put into a letter that's worth reading. Worse, this place just consumes you. I work 18-20-hour days, every day. The quest to draw a clear picture of what the insurgents are up to never ends. Problems and frictions crop up faster than solutions. Every challenge demands a response. It's like this every day. Before I know it, I can't see straight, because it's 0400 and I've been at work for twenty hours straight, somehow missing dinner again in the process. And once again I haven't written to anyone. It starts all over again four hours later. It's not really like Ground Hog Day, it's more like a level from Dante's Inferno.

Rather than attempting to sum up the last seven months, I figured I'd just hit the record setting highlights of 2006 in Iraq. These are among the events and experiences I'll remember best.

Worst Case of Deja Vu -- I thought I was familiar with the feeling of deja vu until I arrived back here in Fallujah in February. The moment I stepped off of the helicopter, just as dawn broke, and saw the camp just as I had left it ten months before -- that was deja vu. Kind of unnerving. It was as if I had never left. Same work area, same busted desk, same chair, same computer, same room, same creaky rack, same . . . everything. Same everything for the nextyear. It was like entering a parallel universe. Home wasn't 10,000 miles away, it was a different lifetime.

Most Surreal Moment -- Watching Marines arrive at my detention facility and unload a truck load of flex-cuffed midgets. 26 to beexact. I had put the word out earlier in the day to the Marines in Fallujah that we were looking for Bad Guy X, who was described as amidget. Little did I know that Fallujah was home to a small community of midgets, who banded together for support since they were considered as social outcasts. The Marines were anxious to get back to the midget colony to bring in the rest of the midget suspects, but I called off the search, figuring Bad Guy X was long gone on his short legs after seeing his companions rounded up by the giant infidels.

Most Profound Man in Iraq -- an unidentified farmer in a fairly remote area who, after being asked by Reconnaissance Marines (searching for Syrians) if he had seen any foreign fighters in the area replied "Yes, you."

Worst City in al-Anbar Province -- Ramadi, hands down. The provincial capital of 400,000 people. Killed over 1,000 insurgents in there since we arrived in February. Every day is a nasty gun battle. They blast us with giant bombs in the road, snipers, mortars and small arms. We blast them with tanks, attack helicopters, artillery, our snipers (much better than theirs), and every weapon that an infantryman can carry. Every day. Incredibly, I rarely see Ramadi in the news. We have as many attacks out here in the west as Baghdad. Yet, Baghdad has 7 million people, we have just 1.2 million. Per capita, al-Anbar province is the most violent place in Iraq by several orders of magnitude. I suppose it was no accident that the Marines were assigned this area in 2003.

Bravest Guy in al-Anbar Province -- Any Explosive Ordnance DisposalTechnician (EOD Tech). How'd you like a job that required you to defuse bombs in a hole in the middle of the road that very likely are booby-trapped or connected by wire to a bad guy who's just waiting for you to get close to the bomb before he clicks the detonator? Every day. Sanitation workers in New York City get paid more than these guys. Talk about courage and commitment.

Second Bravest Guy in al-Anbar Province -- It's a 20,000 way tieamong all the Marines and Soldiers who venture out on the highways and through the towns of al-Anbar every day, not knowing if it will be their last -- and for a couple of them, it will be.

Best Piece of U.S. Gear -- new, bullet-proof flak jackets. O.K., they weigh 40 lbs and aren't exactly comfortable in 120 degree heat, but they've saved countless lives out here.

Best Piece of Bad Guy Gear -- Armor Piercing ammunition that goes right through the new flak jackets and the Marines inside them.

Worst E-Mail Message -- "The Walking Blood Bank is Activated. We need blood type A+ stat." I always head down to the surgical unit as soon as I get these messages, but I never give blood -- there's always about 80 Marines in line, night or day.

Biggest Surprise -- Iraqi Police. All local guys. I never figured that we'd get a police force established in the cities in al-Anbar. I estimated that insurgents would kill the first few, scaring off the rest. Well, insurgents did kill the first few, but the cops kept on coming. The insurgents continue to target the police, killing them in their homes and on the streets, but the cops won't give up. Absolutely incredible tenacity. The insurgents know that the police are far better at finding them than we are -- and they are finding them. Now, if we could just get them out of the habit of beating prisoners to a pulp . . .

Greatest Vindication -- Stocking up on outrageous quantities of Diet Coke from the chow hall in spite of the derision from my men on such hoarding, then having a 122mm rocket blast apart the giant shipping container that held all of the soda for the chow hall. Yep, you can't buy experience.

Biggest Mystery -- How some people can gain weight out here. I'm down to 165 lbs. Who has time to eat?

Second Biggest Mystery -- if there's no atheists in foxholes, then why aren't there more people at Mass every Sunday?

Favorite Iraqi TV Show -- Oprah. I have no idea. They all have satellite TV.

Coolest Insurgent Act -- Stealing almost $7 million from the main bank in Ramadi in broad daylight, then, upon exiting, waving to theMarines in the combat outpost right next to the bank, who had no clue of what was going on. The Marines waved back. Too cool.

Most Memorable Scene -- In the middle of the night, on a dusty airfield, watching the better part of a battalion of Marines packed up and ready to go home after six months in al-Anbar, the relief etched in their young faces even in the moonlight. Then watching these same Marines exchange glances with a similar number of grunts loaded down with gear file past -- their replacements. Nothing was said. Nothing needed to be said.

Highest Unit Re-enlistment Rate -- Any outfit that has been in Iraq recently. All the danger, all the hardship, all the time away from home, all the horror, all the frustrations with the fight here --all are out weighed by the desire for young men to be part of a 'Band of Brothers' who will die for one another. They found what they were looking for when they enlisted out of high school. Man for man, they now have more combat experience than any Marines inthe history of our Corps.

Most Surprising Thing I Don't Miss -- Beer. Perhaps being half-stunned by lack of sleep makes up for it.

Worst Smell -- Porta-johns in 120 degree heat -- and that's 120 degrees outside of the porta-john.

Highest Temperature -- I don't know exactly, but it was in the porta-johns. Needed to re-hydrate after each trip to the loo.

Biggest Hassle -- High-ranking visitors. More disruptive to work than a rocket attack. VIPs demand briefs and "battlefield" tours (we take them to quiet sections of Fallujah, which is plenty scary for them). Our briefs and commentary seem to have no affect on their preconceived notions of what's going on in Iraq. Their trips allow them to say that they've been to Fallujah, which gives them an unfortunate degree of credibility in perpetuating their fantasies about the insurgency here.

Biggest Outrage -- Practically anything said by talking heads on TV about the war in Iraq, not that I get to watch much TV. Their thoughts are consistently both grossly simplistic and politically slanted. Biggest offender -- Bill O'Reilly -- what a buffoon.

Best Intel Work -- Finding Jill Carroll's kidnappers -- all of them. I was mighty proud of my guys that day. I figured we'd all get the Christian Science Monitor for free after this, but none have showed up yet. Talk about ingratitude.

Saddest Moment -- Having the battalion commander from 1st Battalion, 1st Marines hand me the dog tags of one of my Marines who had just been killed while on a mission with his unit. Hit by a 60mm mortar. Cpl Bachar was a great Marine. I felt crushed for a long time afterward. His picture now hangs at the entrance to the Intelligence Section. We'll carry it home with us when we leave in February.

Biggest Ass-Chewing -- 10 July immediately following a visit by the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Zobai. The Deputy Prime Minister brought along an American security contractor (read mercenary), who told my Commanding General that he was there to act as a mediator between us and the Bad Guys. I immediately told him what I thought of him and his asinine ideas in terms that made clear my disgustand which, unfortunatelyunrepeatableatable here. I thought my boss was going to have a heart attack. Fortunately, the translator couldn't figure out the best Arabic words to convey my meaning for the Deputy Prime Minister. Later, the boss had no difficulty inconvening his meaning to me in English regarding my Irish temper, even though he agreed with me. At least the guy from the State Department thought it was hilarious. We never saw the mercenary again.

Best Chuck Norris Moment -- 13 May. Bad Guys arrived at the government center in the small town of Kubaysah to kidnap the town mayor, since they have a problem with any form of government that does not include regular beheadings and women wearing burqahs. There were seven of them. As they brought the mayor out to put him in a pick-up truck to take him off to be beheaded (on video, as usual), one of the bad Guys put down his machine gun so that he could tie the mayor's hands. The mayor took the opportunity to
pick up the machine gun and drill five of the Bad Guys. The other two ran away. One of the dead Bad Guys was on our top twenty wanted list. Like they say, you can't fight City Hall.

Worst Sound -- That crack-boom off in the distance that means an IED or mine just went off. You just wonder who got it, hoping that it was a near miss rather than a direct hit. Hear it every day.

Second Worst Sound -- Our artillery firing without warning. The howitzers are pretty close to where I work. Believe me, outgoing sounds a lot like incoming when our guns are firing right over our heads. They'd about knock the fillings out of your teeth.

Only Thing Better in Iraq Than in the U.S. -- Sunsets. Spectacular. It's from all the dust in the air.

Proudest Moment -- It's a tie every day, watching my Marines produce phenomenal intelligence products that go pretty far in tearing apart Bad Guy operations in al-Anbar. Every night Marines and Soldiers are kicking in doors and grabbing Bad Guys based on intelligence developed by my guys. We rarely lose a Marine during these raids; they are so well-informed of the objective. A bunch of kids right out of high school shouldn't be able to work so well,but they do.

Happiest Moment -- Well, it wasn't in Iraq. There are no truly happy moments here. It was back in California when I was able to hold my family again while home on leave during July.

Most Common Thought -- Home. Always thinking of home, of Kathleen and the kids. Wondering how everyone else is getting along. Regretting that I don't write more. Yep, always thinking of home.

I hope you all are doing well. If you want to do something for me, kiss a cop, flush a toilet, and drink a beer. I'll try to write again before too long -- I promise.

Semper Fi.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Here's an example of that old adage about men and boys and the cost of their toys.

A buddy just sent me a few clips showing amazing RC model
jets, an F-14 and a B-52. Enjoy. These are amazing as hell.

And here's something even cooler, called a Cybird. Enjoy.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The kiddies, and other stuff.

Remember those teenie boppers I'm teaching in the morning? Well, according to the school counselor, one of the first period Seniors has gotten herself knocked up. She and her mom hope she can stay in school long enough to finish. I wonder if she and mom were this tight when it came to knowin' how one keeps from getting bit by the trouser worm? I'm tellin' ya... The second period Juniors are growin' on me. I started showing them the Ken Burns docu on Lewis and Clark today. Killin' some time and takin' a break. It's a great story. They actually sat and watched it like they gave a shit. Amazing.

I'm slowly getting used to the new wheels. Took a trip to Dallas on Saturday to walk through a big nice gun show and eat a fat steamin' stroimboli. Checked the mileage after getting home and found it got 27.4 mpg. Pretty respectable compared to the old jeep. Not what I was hoping to get in a new car, but I don't fit comfortably in anything that gets 35 to 40. It's a sporty little thing. Wants to go FAST. Reminds me a lot of the '82 Trans-Am that I drove in grad school. That thing got about 18 mpg on a REAL good day, but was fun as hell to drive. Every car I get gets a little better mileage. Maybe after drivin' this one to death in 10 or 12 years they'll have something that fits me better that gets about 40 or 50 mpg. What are the odds?

Didn't pick up anything lethal at the gun show. Handed over that parts set to the gun smith. He always has a booth there. He should have two new toys ready for me some time next month. Went through a bin of old cast off crap and found three old Kalashnikov slings that looked like they had potential. Looks like they may be Bulgarian or Russian. Got 'em home and put 'em through the washing machine. Came out clean and nice. Have that nice slightly faded, used look that goes well with the older implements of destruction. Also spent $25 on a used and slightly dinged up Soviet era clip for an AK-74. Plumb colored, Izmash production. Some soldier had carved (scratched) his girlfriends (?) name on one side of it, in Cyrillic lettering. Someone else might think the thing is screwed up for that, but to me it just screams history. Love things like that. You can see that someone really used it.

Went to Lowe's between classes and blew about $90 on plants for the back yard. Spent the afternoon out there diggin' and pullin' weeds. The place is VERY slowly comin' together. Lots of native plants or similar stuff that will come back next year. Found a new mound of fire ants in the front yard. Those fuckin' things are amazing. Went to Wally World after my 7:30 class and picked up a new bag of Spectrocide. If it ain't the weeds, its the critters. Like the GWOT, an endless and probably futile attempt to stamp out evil. Somethin' to do.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

You'll love this.

You Apple fans will Really love it. Enjoy.


Click here to see a graphic that shows the flight paths of the various 9/11 flights. The drastic course changes are interesting to see, particularly when you click on the bottom setting and see them all run at once.

And on a lighter note, here's a joke a friend just sent me...

Friendly Skies of West Jet Airlines

A mother and her very young son were flying Westjet Airlines from Ottawa to Calgary.

The little boy (who had been looking out the window) turned to his mother and asked, "If big dogs have baby dogs, and big cats have baby cats, why don't big airplanes have baby airplanes?"

The mother (who couldn't think of an answer) told her son to ask the stewardess.

So the boy went down the aisle and asked the stewardess.

The stewardess, who was very busy at the time, smiled and said, "Did your Mom tell you to ask me?"

The boy said, "Yes, she did."

"Well, then, you go and tell your mother that there are no baby airplanes because Westjet always pulls out on time. Have your Mom explain that to you."

Friday, September 22, 2006

Weeeaaaaalllll, Wilber, its Friday, and you know what that means.

Mmmm, tasty. And just so you won't think I'm
sexist or anything... Here's a guy after my own heart.

Must have fat wallet too. What else would explain it? Are
there women out there who dig the big rolly polly boys?

And no, that's NOT my new car she's getting out of.

Damn, I miss my jeep.

It's like when you hear about people who've lost a limb. They can still feel it there even though it's gone. Phantom pain. After 12 years and putting about 325,000 miles on it (of 358,400), my arm still feels that shifter. I slide up to the teller window and I'm no longer right there. I have to reach up to everything. That will take a LOT of getting used to. When I traded it in, the dude said he'd never seen so many miles on a jeep. Well, the Solara is growin' on me. The feel of bein' in it reminds me of the '82 trans-am that I drove in grad school in the late 80s. It should get much better mileage, which is why I went in this direction, and then one day when it's paid for I can look for another jeep or a truck to play with. SUCKS to have to make car payments. It's been 10 years since I had to do that. I'll learn to love it. Shit, Ill have it for ten years. That's what I do.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

For all you photo bugs.

See that little speck on the left side of the sun? Click on it and see if you recognize it, or got to the Astronomy pics site at left and click on it there. They've got a very high res version where you can really see it. It's an Image of the Space shuttle Atlantis undocking from the International Space Station (ISS) 50 minutes after undocking from the ISS, before return to Earth, taken from the area of Mamers (Normandie, France) on September 17th 2006 at 13h 38min 50s UT.

Takahashi TOA-150 refractor (diameter 150mm, final focal 2300mm), Baader helioscope and Canon 5D. Exposure of 1/8000s at 50 ISO, extracted from a series of 14 images (3 images/s) started 2s before the predicted time.

Sorry. Been busy lately,

and haven't had a chance to post anything. Buying a car,
trading in the beloved but decrepit Jeep, helping out a
pain-in-the-ass neighbor, trying to construct an online
class that's about to start, etc. I guess I should try to post
something gross, so here goes. It's got to be someone's
birthday. Not very subtle. Got to go. I'll try to be more
characteristically effusive later.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Got an email from a friend.

Sent a friend a funny cartoon making fun of the liberal concern over gitmo. I got it from the UAW guy. Yea, I stole it. What? Anyway, he's a gun show, movie and camping buddy of mine. He's a moderate to liberal guy in many things, so he responded with an email laying out his concerns about the situation and then another sending me a few links that laid out the way the administration basically manipulated us all into the war in Iraq in 2002 and 2003. It's not new information, but it does pose interesting and maybe troubling questions about the use of executive power and how we got where we are today. If you want to read them, and if you think you have an open mind, I think you should, they are here and here.

You'll excuse, but I'm typing this while I watch the Cowboys hand a wuppin to the 'skins, which should be grounds for a Monday off, I think. Ok, not.

Anyway, I wrote him back, and since I spent some time on it and think I did a decent job, I figured I'd follow the last jingoistic rant with this one. So here it is...

Hey, I DO have an open mind, usually, and if friends can't argue about politics, what can they argue about? Seriously, I don't want a friend who thinks they have to kiss my ass and shit. Students yes, friends no. Our political discourse has gone to shit because everyone is so filled with bile. No one wants to hear the other side and no one can take a joke anymore. The Clinton haters from the 90s and the current Bush haters are the two sides of the same foolishness. Personally, I think every president I ever voted for eventually disappointed me in some way, usually profoundly. Doesn't mean I'd change my vote though. That goes for the votes for Bush AND the votes for Clinton.

Thanks for the links. I've seen or heard about that memo before, and it looks very bad, but it doesn't really shock me. History is full of situations where leaders, executives, drove us into a policy or a war because they felt compelled to do so, felt the powerful need to get us there and had to drag the nation along and feed the public and the media foolishness to get public support. FDR was in the process of doing the very same thing in 1940 and 41 when the Japanese did him a favor by bombing Pearl Harbor. Other cases abound: Jefferson and his attempt to intervene against the slaves in Haiti, Speaker of the House Henry Clay and the War of 1812, Madison and Florida in 1817, Polk and the Mexican war in 1846, Lincoln and Sumter in 1861(do you think maybe trying to keep a union flag flying on a fort in the middle of Charleston harbor was NOT a provocation to get the south to fire the first shot?). In a sense, that's the very reason our Founders were ambivalent about the idea of having a president at all. It's why they separated the power to run the military from the power to go to war, giving one to the executive and the other to congress. History though erased that distinction, partly due to the actions of many presidents, partly due to the instinct of many congresses to roll over when the issues get ahead of them and the president is popular (like in 2002-3).

I've never bought into the idea that Iraq was about a direct connection between Saddam and 9/11. I didn't support the idea of the invasion in 2003 because of that. I don't even remember hearing that stuff in the media at the time. Maybe (I'm sure) it was a subliminal message put out by the administration to try to build support, or maybe we all freely associated the one with the other. We'd been overflying and periodically bombing Iraq for a decade by 9/11, and about 500,000 to a million Iraqi kids had died in that decade because of the UN sanctions. Saddam was supposed to be buying meds and food with the oil money (remember the cheap gas we bought from Iraq back in the 90s that fueled the economic boom and encouraged all those folks to buy SUVs?) but in stead he was bribing UN officials, paying off his Sunni supporters, building palaces and trying to rebuild his arsenal, pathetic though it was at the time. Because of all the civilian deaths, there were increasing calls by people all over the world at the time to lift those sanctions. The charge was that we didn't care how many Muslim kids died. Meanwhile Saddam was sending $20,000 to the families of every suicide bomber who blew up old people on busses in Israel. The son-of-a-bitch needed to be taken out. My criticism would be that we didn't do it right.

Given the situation, and the history, I think the notion that Shrub came into office bent on finishing off Iraq if given the opportunity is not that shocking, and that he'd use 9/11 to go after Iraq seems a no-brainer. It's not pretty, or honest to dupe people into thinking one thing while you're doing another, but that's politics. FDR played on the pacifist, isolationist feelings of people to get a 3rd term in November 1940, saying "I won't send American boys to die in Europe", meanwhile he was doing everything he could to see to it that more American sailors died at the hands of U-boats, knowing how the press would spin it. He was playing out a scenario that had drawn America into WW1, and anyone with a brain could see it all happening again (he knew how it worked because he'd been undersecretary of the navy in WW1 and had helped push the US into that war along with Winston Churchill, who was the head of the British Admiralty at the time). The Republicans said so at the time, but were shouted down by those who said that we needed to see to it that Britain survived. What would FDR have done to get us into the war in Europe if Hitler hadn't declared war on us 3 days after Pearl? We universally believe now that going into that war was a good thing, so we don't criticize the administration for lying to us at the time. So, is it the lying that's bad, or is it the war that's bad?

I think the lesson of the Korean war was clear to many of the people in the administration: we didn't finish off the North Koreans 60 years ago, and now, years later, we have a much more unstable, threatening nuclear power to deal with. That's the ugly little lesson of fighting a limited war. The idea that the world community might force the UN to lift the failed sanctions, giving Saddam and his crazy sons all the time and oil money in the world to play with had to be on the administrations mind. I'm AMAZED at how that fact never gets remembered now. It's as if the opponents of the war are unwilling to remember that unfortunate factor. I think the administration felt they were working against a time table and had to grasp at whatever incident they could use to their purpose. Should they wait for him to become a problem again, or finish him now? Saddam was weak in 2002-3, but given a decade to rebuild might be much more dangerous. There's allot of "ifs" there, and it's hard to balance the "ifs" and "might have beens" against the casualty list and the growing complexities of the world situation.

If there are grounds to impeach Bush, it's NOT for the lies and half truths that led us into the war. I think if he's gonna be impeached it should be for the stupid way the war was conducted, and the way the Intel was sculpted to clean up all the grey areas. He should be blamed for thinking that he could do in 2003 what should have been done in 1991, and for not recognizing that the time for that had long since passed. But hindsight is always 20/20. I guess that's one thing Bush is cursed with. We all know much more now after the fact, having seen the war play out. I think maybe Bush is being blamed for not winning. If Saddam and his sons had died in one of those bombings and the war had ended in 2003 or early 2004, would we be talking about it now?

Coming up with a fake assed reason to go is one thing, but putting our troops in harms way with fake assed Intel and weak planning that sabotages their ability to win in the long run is another thing completely. Many of us honestly thought it would be relatively easy, and the administration believed that too, but they had Intel that said otherwise and ignored it, and didn't let us know about it. That shit was criminally stupid, and the Founders would be rolling in their graves to see us letting him get away with that. They put impeachment in there so we'd use it. They thought we'd use it a lot to keep the fuckers in line. We've failed them there. Of course, were back to square one. You don't get impeached if you win, or if the folks like what you did, even if it was criminal.

Anyway, this too will pass. I hope we can learn from it, but I doubt it seriously. So far as the torture thing goes, I think the idea of limiting our people to using "civilized" methods with these suicidal fuckers is an infantile legalism. Those notions were worked out over a hundred years ago in the Victorian era by nation-states thinking about fighting other nation-states, everyone wearing uniforms and following rules. The very same people regularly tortured, took out and shot or permanently locked up Anarchist killers who tried to assassinate Czars or Kaisers. There have to be rules that we all abide by, but there needs to be other rules set up for dealing with suicidal terrorists who are determined to destroy all of us. They don't follow the rules, so we have to make sure that we're not letting things get away from us by following them.

There's a wide difference between the laws we all expect the government to follow (the 4th through the 8th amendments) when they are searching for someone who may have knocked over a liquor store, and the rules we hope they follow in looking for Bin Laden. There's got to be a different system for dealing with those fuckers in Gitmo. I think we need to keep those dudes alive and healthy just as long as we think they may be useful to us, and then take each one of those guys to some rocky outcropping and put one in the back of their neck. Feed the fuckin' sharks. When their Taliban comrades capture any of ours they end up beaten, disemboweled and beheaded. I think they set the bar, and I don't think it would say anything bad about us if we went there on occasion. There's something to the idea that we can't become the evil what were fighting, but I think we are WAY away from being there yet. They need to know that if they fight us, they risk EVERYTHING. None of Bin Ladin's kids has ever been a suicide bomber. Maybe he does have something he values? We should see.

So, get back to work. We'll talk again. I'm sure you think I'm wrong about a lot of things, and that's cool. I'm sure I can learn a lot from further discussions. We've got to have the confidence to argue about this stuff without taking in personally and letting it ruin the friendship that we have. I value it too much. I think that may be why Russell doesn't email me very much any more, and it sucks big ones. Politics is a mother fucker! Later, JW.

I haven't heard back from him yet. He's busy writin' a book. I hope the email goes over the way I wanted it to. I value his friendship. People are touchy these days though. Understand why. Good friendships are more important than that stupid shit though.

Postscript: He's finishin' the book. All is well. We're going to Enchanted Rock state park in about three weeks. Big group from Austin and Dallas. Should be fun. Just traded in the Jeep for a Solara. Very sad, but had to happen. After 380,324 miles, it's time for the old dude to amble off to the elephants graveyard. A noble passing. Anyway, it's just a fuckin' car.

Just a thought.

It seems that things have finally gotten so twisted in the GWOT that failure and defeat for our side is almost inevitable. The other side has GOT to be giggling in their palm shaded mountain top Pakistani villas as the Western left, and a surprisingly large number of politicians on the right are insisting that our people conform to higher standards of behavior, which might just cripple their ability to do their job. They want the CIA and the military to behave according to the "rules" when they imprison and interrogate the fuzzies that are picked up on the "battlefields" (when there really aren't battlefields) of the conflict.

Basically, the nit-pickers have come out of their bunkers and are poking the soldiers and spooks in the back to make sure they follow the rules of war, even as the enemy tortures, disembowels and then decapitates our people when they are taken captive. They want to make sure we follow rules of "civilized" warfare that were devised to cover combat between the armies of nation-states whose soldiers wear uniforms and who can and usually do make their soldiers conform to similar rules. And no one sees the insanity in that? They've GOT to be joking. I wonder how much of this is just an opportunity to slam America, the administration and the war, and how much of it is a genuine belief that the Taliban and Al Qaida folks we've picked up deserve the same legal protection as a person caught stealing a six-pack from a 7-11.

I'm reminded of the fact that 20th hijacker was sitting comfortably in a US jail on the morning of September 11th when his comrades where getting on those planes. Maybe, if he'd been "water boarded" those 3000ish folks in the planes and towers might not have had to die. Just maybe. I'm reminded that the previous administration had two or three opportunities to take out Bin Laden, but legal issues prevented them from doing it. They couldn't think of any "charges" to lay on him in the Hague, even though he'd already declared war on us and blown up our embassies in Africa.

How many of these confirmed killers will get out of Gitmo when the next administration comes into office or before, and how many more of our people will die for those misplaced legal principles? There's a historical precedent for such an outrage. About 1969-70, the radical left broke with the main stream of the anti-war movement and went underground. They called themselves the "Weather Underground" and began a series of bombings and armed robberies to finance more bombings, trying to topple the Nixon administration, end the war in Vietnam, and bring about a communist revolution in the country.

The Nixon folks and the FBI, believing the bombers were out to kill lots of people (they originally were, but changed their minds after some of their own people blew themselves up accidentally) threw out the rule book and went after them. They set up an office called "cointelpro" (counter intelligence program) and went underground themselves to find and diffuse the radical movement. In the process of doing that, they broke the laws that were set up to protect average people from the coercive power of the state, including wiretappings of harmless folks like Martin Luther King. So in the end, the radicals were cut loose from jail and now sit comfortably in the very country they had vowed to destroy. Some of them teach college, and are still active in liberal politics.

I submit that America and the international community need to come up with new rules of war to cover this specific irregular circumstances. We need to be able to differentiate between "civilized warfare" (as if there ever was such a thing), and the gritty reality our soldiers are dealing with today. As it is, the enemy can rely on the left to argue their legal defense and protection, like some sort of international public defender, even as they plot our fiery distraction, and their own death in the process.

It's amazing how these things cycle back and forth in history and nobody pays attention. Do we have the will to defend our society and values from these killers who are bent to see it burn, or should we just curl up and kiss it all goodbye? There's some truth to the idea that we can't become the enemy in order to defeat them, but I'd submit that there's a lot of elbow room between those extremes. We need to find a place there that will allow us to do what we need to do over there, while defending our values here.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Found a new distraction.

Just found this on the web. Here's the advert...
Tromix/Saiga 20 gauge conversion with USA FCG, Tapco grip, Ace side folding stock, barrel cut to 18.5", 10rd & 5rd mag, red fiber-optic sight on vent rib and black gun-kote. $800 shipped!
The guy's taken a Russian Saiga 20 gauge semi-auto shotgun and militarized it with an after market trigger guard, pistol grip and folding stock. This is the sort of thing that Russian special forces use.
Here's his gun...

and here's the real thing, in 12 guage.

Pretty wild eh? And I know where I can get the parts to make it look just like the real thing. It's all available. But I kind prefer the dudes version. Cleaner looking.
Home protection baby!

Out-takes from Girls Gone Wild?

That's just too funny. Gotta love it. Nice.

And an added note; At the football game last night there was a funny scene. Some guy was sitting up in front of the stands with his wife in a wheelchair, with their 4 to 6 year old kids running around. He was wearing a t-shirt with an advertisement for a local body shop. I recognized the ad from the fact that they had fixed hail damage on my jeep a few times. About half way through the game I noticed the t-shirt and read the text of it, which said "B&G Auto Body, You fuck it up, we fix it up." Had to laugh.

Then, about a half hour later, a cop shows up and tells the guy to ether turn the shirt inside out or he'd have to leave. So he turned it inside out, and we all got way too good a look at his tattoos in the process. The parents who were sitting around me, all of whom had teenage kids, all quietly voiced approval.

I gotta say, if your kids are old enough to be able to read and understand that word, chances are they're probably using the word, on a daily basis. I mean, civility and propriety aside, parents need to get a clue, in so many ways.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Is it Fatty Friday again?

Sounds like Dick is biding his time, so I'm
basically on maneuvers here with the war.
So I won't pull out the big guns just yet. Sounds
like he's preparing some sort of gross-out IED
and waiting for my convoy to innocently roll
by. Cowboy up motha fucka!

Dad called while I was at work and said
that his old high school is having a home
game tonight, so we're gonna do our regular
grazin' at the Chinese buffet and then drive
out and watch Academy play Clifton. Clifton
won this time last year, so it might be fun.

Love this time of year. Cold weathers comin'.
Before you know it I'll be pullin' out the Uggs
and goose down, gettin' ready to head down
to Enchanted Rock, and Dad and I'll need coats
to sit out there and watch the game and I'll
be worryin' about dad getting chilled. He loves
to go,thinking he'll see someone he knows. Never
happens though. Shit, he's outlived everyone.
I ask him how it feels to be older than most
other living things. He laughs.

And on the Fatty Friday thing...

Shouldn't there be rules on wearin' a bikini?

Love the shoes. They make the whole outfit.

Update: The dinner and the game both turned
out great. The game came down to the last
second, mostly due to bad coaching. It's pretty
bad when the folks in the stands are all lookin'
at one another sayin' "what the hell are they

Academy had a 12 to 10 lead as it came down to
the wire. Their defense had kept the Clifton Cubs
from scoring several times, and had intercepted
passes or picked up fumbles to stop drives that
looked very dangerous. But two failed attempts
at 2 points in stead of easy kicks for extra points
(which is why they had 12 in stead of 14 pts.), and
two failed attempts to go for it on 4th down in
stead of easy field goals, resulted in a two point
margin, and ultimately in Academy losing by one
point in the last seconds of the game.

The Cubs threw a long bomb with 10 seconds to
play, which bounced off the defender who was
trying to ketch it and right into the hands
of a receiver on about the 12 yard line, with one
second left on the clock. Somehow they put 3
seconds back on the clock, and the Cubs kicked a
field goal. It was amazing, and it was academy's
homecoming game. Pretty wild. Ya gotta love high
school football in Texas.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I've always LOVED sweet pickles. I can sit
and eat a whole jar in one sitting. My mom
used to wrap up a sweet pickle or two in
cellophane and put them in my school lunch
bag when I was a kid so I could eat them
alongside the sandwich and apple, and usually
a Dr Pepper. Ok, sometimes I'd also have a
twinky or some left over fried chicken. I
wasn't born a fat hairy bastard after all.
It took years to build this body.

Damn, I just flashed on a scene in the lunch
room, Southwest High School, about 1978,
when some coach came by and went nuts over
my moms fried chicken. Her shit has always
gone over big.

Sweet is the way to go.

Mom loves dill pickles, but I've never
been able to enjoy a dill. Something
about the sour vinegar taste. Eeew.

And of course, I love to have the sweet
relish on a hot dog or cheese burger. Really
makes a good burger most of the time,
along with the mustard and stuff.

Of course, now that I've gone Type 2, I can't
eat them the way I used to, but after seeing
this, I don't know if I'm ever gonna be able to
see a pickle the same way ever again.

Never again.

Wow, an amazing episode. That show kills me.

Man, that show knocked me out. They really took it up a notch with the surprise and givin' three the boot. But the people with real skill and class stand out like a beacon. Bringing the two back was a hilarious twist, but the fact that they both got eliminated again was like an exclamation on their earlier ejection. They gave 'em a second shot and they both blew it big. What a bummer for them, and both of their exit comments left me thinking,"yea, right, I'm sure."

Kayne was such a cool guy, but just wasn't up to it in the end. They had him pegged. Once again, Michael and Laura were the classiest ones out there, with Jeff pulling in third. He's in big shit if he doesn't do somethin' other than that punk look. I was surprised that Mike didn't win. His stuff was SO superior, but I loved the flapper look Laura produced. I tell ya, It's gonna come down to those two, and I bet Mike wins. Love that fuckin show. The preview for next week looks wild. They've really got all their cylinders goin' on this one; the personalities, the drama, the skill, everything. Classic "reality" TV.

Also, if you didn't know, Dick and I have initiated a gross-out war. No hostility, just fun, seein' who can gross out the other. Pure little boy potty humor. Thing is, with the resources available on the net, it could REALLY get ugly. Collateral damage is gonna happen. Innocent people WILL get hurt. Well, it'll fer sure get worse before it gets better.

So ok, this is pretty gross, I think. Still, a pretty mild opening shot. Not gonna drop a big bomb right outa the gate. Don't go there in future if you're squeamish. In fact, just keep that notion in mind from now on until the guns fall silent. You've been warned.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Ok, I've seen enough of that. Here's a nice serene nature shot.

I always liked this one. You can almost feel the dew on the grass.

Mmmmm, very nice. So, where's Waldo?

Just trying to find something more objectionable that Dicks
man boobs, not that there's anything wrong with that. Really.

Remember the monkeys butt?

Could you ever really forget... Really?

I have to say, I think this one is a bit less
objectionable. But ya gotta still wonder how
drunk the guy was when he came up with
the idea. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Another cool pic from the Astronomy site.

This amazing ariel view (click on it to get the full effect) shows the rugged snow covered peaks of the Himalayan mountain range in Nepal. The seventh-highest peak on the planet, Dhaulagiri, is the high point on the horizon at the left while in the foreground lies the southern Tibetan Plateau of China.

The thing is, contrary to appearances, this picture wasn't taken from an airliner cruising at 30,000 feet. Instead it was taken with a 35mm camera and telephoto lens by the Expedition 1 crew aboard the International Space Station... orbiting 200 nautical miles above the Earth. Cool eh? I tell ya, that site is a treasure trove.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Now here's wisdom.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. - Thomas Edison.

How'd you spend your weekend?

Hmm, a little interactive visit to Sea World? Very nice.
I don't think so. Maybe a trip to a huge European outdoor
pee-in Eh? Damn, is that Carlos Santana? Naaaaa.

HEY, eyes front mother fucker! Eh? Or was it more like this?

Aaah, hogs-a-plenty. Exquisite violence. No, not that ether. I went to Ft. Worth to visit a buddy, go to a gun show, drop off some parts to my gun smith in Mansfield, and do some car shopping on the side.

Got away from work at about 2pm on Friday. Got home and there was a message on the machine. "Two words dude, Greens Sausage!" My buddy and his wife are BIG fans of the stuff they sell there in Zabcikville, a little one blinker east of Temple. I take my dad out to eat Chinese food every Friday and didn't want to blow it off, so on the way to the Chinese food place, dad and I made the detour to Greens and I picked up about 9 lbs. of various meat products, as per their order; three lbs. of beef, three of jalapeno, and three of mixed, I think beef and pork. After dad and I pigged out at the buffet, I took the pops home and then headed north at about 7pm.

Got to the gun smiths place in Mansfield at about 9pm. He's building me a few new toys ( a nice Polish Tantal and a Hungarian side-folder), and I needed to drop off a few parts so he can finish one of them. His name is Randy Kline, and he runs Sledgehammer Arms Works. He's a great guy. Specializes in FN-FALs, and does great work on all sorts of other things, like Kalashnikovs. He's finished most of the Tantal, which is basically a Polish AK-74, and has sent the gun to a welder to have the left side safety latch put on. This latch is a special feature most other Kalashnikovs don't have. It's a little lever on the left side of the receiver that allows you to manipulate the conventional right side safety lever from the left side of the gun with your thumb. The original service rifles also have a three shot burst setting, but there's a limit to what I can legally have built, so I'll settle for the little selector lever.

Most Tantals you see don't have it. There are places where you can buy them, like the Tantal link on the left of this page, but my parts set came with it, so he's putting it on. The Hungarian side folder is more of a conventional AKMS from the 1960s or '70s. I had to give him a sling swivel and a cleaning rod for that one so he can install the swivel. It has to be attached to the left side of the receiver, like a very early AK-47 from the '50s. He thinks he'll have one or two of these rifles finished by the next gun show in Dallas in a few weeks, and I hope to pick at least one up as I hand over another parts set to him. Can't have too many toys. It's all about the gear babies.

Made it to Ft. Worth by about 10:15. These folks are my best friends, the people I floated the Grand Canyon with in '03 and '05. I've known this guy since about '88 when we met on a canoe trip in Oklahoma, and I've known her ever since they hooked up in the early '90s. We've all been floatin' and hangin' around together ever since. He was up watching TV when I got there. His dog alerted him to my presence and he came to the door as I walked up. His wife came out to visit and we talked about what we'd all been doing as we sat through most of an episode of Nip Tuck (what an amazing show) and then a while later everybody hit the sack (separate sacks, get yer mind out of the gutter). Their kid (her kid from a previous ugliness) is now enrolled in the tech school in Waco, TSTC, so I took his bed. Thing is, he's got a short little single bed slid up sideways against his wall, with a head board and foot board that stick up about 10 inches on ether end. I laid down on it for a time, with my legs propped up on the foot board, but then took the mattress off the bed and put it on the floor. Slept like a baby under the ceiling fan. Put it back in the morning. All is well. They don't give a damn. You know, I'm a large hairy mammal, and I gotta do what I gotta do.

We got up at about 8am, and after breakfast burritos (potato bits, egg, bacon, beans, salsa, cilantro, cheese, etc.) were consumed he and I went out to terrorize the car dealers. My buddy is the sort of friend that guys like me need to make it through life in one piece. I think dads ether train their sons to fix stuff, or they train you to know how to find a good repairman. My dad was the latter sort, so having a good friend who can fix things and who knows about cars is a great thing to have. Mostly we just drove to different places and tried on a few cars. "Tried on" is the operative term, because being able to fit into these things is a critical issue. I'm looking for a two door rice rocket that gets good mileage, like an older Solara, to take over from the old jeep. The Cherokee's got over 357,000 miles on it now, and badly needs a rest. Not replacement, just a rest.

My buddy advised me on the different cars that are out there, which he knows a lot more about than me, and on how to talk to the sales guys. I sat in a Mini Cooper, just for the fun of it, and no, it didn't fit. Love those things though. Sat in LOTS of stuff. Test drove a nice 04 Nissan Altima. Very nice; white with tan cloth, all the bells and whistles, 5 speed stick, but I think I need a two door. Something in me rebels against getting a big, four door geezer car. Sat in a lot of other stuff, and have basically narrowed it down to an 03 or 04 Solara, so long as it has an electric seat adjuster. That one feature alone gives me the head room I need. I dunno. It's not an emergency, so I've got time to look and see what's out there.

After all that, we headed off to the Amon Carter convention center and walked through a gun show. The museum and convention center area were crowded as hell, due to several other shows going on there at the same time. We had to park in the far off lot on the other side of the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, and then walk past the huge bidet they have spewing water from the cement in front of it. There was some sort of kids event going on at the museum of science and history, and a food show, Zestfest or something, down in the convention center, along with the gun show.

I was looking for a receiver for my next project, which is a 5.45x39mm AKS-74. There's a guy who shows up there who sells them, and I was able to get one. Last time I saw him he didn't have any. He mistakenly pulled a 7.62x39 receiver out of the box, and I bought the thing, even after looking over the stamps. I don't know how the hell I missed it. We left the show after my buddy bought some jerky and later, sitting in front of the boob tube, I realized it had 7.62 stamped on it big as day. We went back, found a parking place right up front, and I went in and easily exchanged it. The receivers are basically the same, but it would suck to have the wrong thing stamped on the rifle when it's finished.

After all that, with his wife begging off (she wasn't hungry and wanted to watch tennis), I took my buddy to eat big Mexican food at Papasito's. Introduced him to the Brochette shrimp, which is the best thing they make there. Large sized shrimp stuffed with cheese and a slice of jalapeno pepper, wrapped in bacon, spiced, grilled, then dipped in whipped butter. To die for. After that we took his pooch to the park and walked off the bloated feeling, and then I hit the road back here to the house. Got home by about 10pm.

It was good to see the buddy and his wife. He's in town for a good while this time, so we'll do it again soon. He's talkin' about comin' down and goin' tubing in New Braunfels in a week or so and then going camping at Lost Maples state park in a month or so. Slept in today and watched a long documentary on Heavy Metal on VH-1. Love these sorts of shows. It's the history dude in me I guess. I loves me some metal some times, but I also love to listen to Maria Callas sing an aria from Puccini, or some old Dusty Springfield. So I never could be a part of the whole Metal culture. I guess it's like that line from Annie Hall- "I could never be a member of any group that would have me for a member." Then saw a documentary about the wars in Afghanistan. What an amazing mess. It seems that no matter what anyone does, the progress of time only furthers the goals of these crazy mother fuckers. To paraphrase Caligula, it's too bad they all don't have but one neck. We'd hack it through!

Dinner tonight was at Mom's (big shock). She cooked chicken and dumplings to die for, plus peas and carrots, and there was a peach cobbler layin' around too. Her shit don't stink, I wanna tell ya. Sis and I converged on the place from different directions and consumed mightily. Took dad some aluminum cans I crush and save for him. He's been saving those things and recycling them for 20 years. Doesn't get much for the aluminum these days, but it's his thing, so I do it. We ate big food and then watched the football games.

Couldn't believe they cut to the commentators on CBS with about 40 seconds left in the Tennessee game, just as they were driving down to maybe tie it up. And then the Cowboys screwed themselves out of a win with stupid penalties. Same old Cowboys. Actually we flipped back and forth from the football to the tennis. I'm avoiding all the 9/11 coverage. Depressing as hell. Amused by all the people screaming over the ABC 9/11 program. Interesting how they only notice bias in the media when it's FOX, and only get mad at historic inaccuracy in the coverage of events when it's them that are being covered inaccurately.

Well, it's late. I've got to do a wash and look into my classes for tomorrow. The new week is upon us, damn it. Later dudes. FHB.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Well it's Friday.

But then, every day is fat fuckin' friday around
here. Or is it fat nekked friday? You decide.
And no, that's not me ether.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

This is pretty cool.

Saw the northern lights once in Canada, driving up to Lake
Opeongo to go canoeing and Pike fishing with my Cousin. It was
amazing. Was looking out into the darkness as we drove north
and there it was, this blue or green haze in the distance. I said
"what the hell is that?" I knew what the aurora was, but never
thought I'd get to see it. We don't normally get light shows like
that down here. We do have the Marfa lights, but that's a whole
different thing. Beautiful. We'll meet again some day.

A bit more wisdom...

The only place men want depth in a woman is in her decolletage.
- Zsa Zsa Gabor.

The desire engendered in the male gland is a hundred times more difficult to control than the desire bred in the female glands. All girls agreeing to a lovers' lane tete-a-tete in a car, knowing that they will limit their actions to arousing desires and then defend their "virtue," should be horsewhipped.
- Marlene Dietrich.

I'm saving the bass player for Omaha.
- Janis Joplin.

Women are like banks, boy. Breaking and entering is a serious business.
- Joe Orton.

... as in the dark all cats are grey, the pleasure of corporeal enjoyment with an older woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every knack being by practice capable of improvement.
- Benjamin Franklin.

Older women are best because they always think they may be doing it for the last time.
- Ian Fleming.

I trust you know the "three nevers" for proper gentlemen?
Never shoot south of the Thames.
Never follow whiskey with port.
Never have your wife in the morning - the day may have something better to offer.
- P.V. Taylor.

Forget school kids: Why don't they bus horny women?
- George Carlin.

To succeed with the opposite sex, tell her you are impotent. She can't wait to disprove it.
- Cary Grant, at age 72.

You have to do tobacco like you do a woman. You must let it work up a good chew, let it get moist and juicy. If you chew too fast, it will become dry and fall apart.
- Phil Garner.

At one time or another most men have had sexual encounters that have a sad similarity to pushing an oyster through a keyhole.
- Anonymous.

Holy Mother we do believe,
That without sin thou didst conceive;
May we now in Thee believing,
Also sin without conceiving?
- A.P. Herbert.

And finally, when the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward the VII, said to his mistress, Lily Langtry, during a quarrel, that he'd spent enough on her to buy a battleship, she replied, "And you've spent enough in me to float one."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Is this you Phlem, out by the pool?

You gotta love a country that still lets it's citizens own seriously
lethal shit like this. Click here if you want to see it in action.
Notice the big smile on the first dudes face. Gotta love it.

Get one, while they last. You never know when you'll need
to take out an APC or somethin. You know, home defense.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Stuff like this only happens in movies.

You guys need to go over to Big Dick's site.

Read about a little adventure he had on a road trip from Texas to Pennsylvania.

More wisdom, and an inspiring pic.

"Marriage (whether registered or not) begins, not with setting up house, counting wedding presents, blowing kisses, looking at wedding groups, but with two bodies confronting one another like two wrestlers. To clinch and struggle and contend with one another. Rolling about, now one on top, now another; grunting, croaking, sweating, murmuring, yelling. So the world began, with vast turbulence in the genitalia of space."
- Malcolm Muggeridge, The Green Stick.

"Sex in marriage is like medicine. Three times a day for the first week. Then once a day for another week. Then once every three or four days until the condition clears up."
- Peter DeVries.

"Even a rat likes to go into a different hole every once and a while."
- Anonymous.

"Outside of every thin woman is a fat man trying to get in."
- Katherine Whitehorn.

"It would be less demanding, enslaving, perplexing and strenuous for a healthy male to screw a thousand women in his lifetime than to try to please one, and the potential for failure would be less."
- Irma Kurtz.

I tell ya, I got a million of these, and you gotta love Malcolm.

Well, sounds like the crocodile hunter finally fucked with the wrong critter...

And I don't think any of us can be too shocked about it. Just figured it would be something a bit more predictable, like some sort of rediculously poisonus snake, or a big salt water crock, or a hippo. Never a stingray. Only thing you did know was that when he bought the farm, he was gonna be deep in the middle of some critters personal space and askin' for it. Still, when was the last time you heard of one of those things killin' someone? Bizarre.

He's been out of the headlines lately hasn't he, ever since that little incident when he waved his kid at a crock and the media jumped him and started comparing it to the infamous Michael Jackson dangle over the balcony. Never was annoyed by his antics the way some were. Just another one of those animal goobers on cable TV. Never saw the movie, though some said it was ok. Can't imagine.

Even if he pissed you off, you've got to give him credit for making something big out of himself in this world, and for trying to do good things for nature, even if he did it as a silly, exceedingly cheery caricature. There's a lot worse assholes out there, and the odds of any of them being shoved in a tank with a stingray are very slim. Seemed like a nice guy, and I'm sure his family is going through hard shit. Feel sorry for them, but they had to know it was comin'.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Tag, yer it.

Mmmkay Phlem, here goes.

1. A book I've read more than once? There's a few; Child of God, The Hunt for Red October, The Curse of Lono, and something about Daniel Boone I read when I was a kid. That was the first real book I read cover to cover, and it was so good, and I was so pissed off and sad when it ended that I read it over again.
2. What book would I want on a desert Island? Obviously, something about survival on a desert Island. Thing is, are there really any desert islands anywhere? Aren't they usually jungles with all sorts of rats and bugs and shit? Actually, I'd crate up all the books I have here that I'll never get a chance to read because I can't make myself turn this friggin' thing off, or the TV. Desert Island would be a great chance to get all that reading done, but I think I'd be too busy surviving. It takes a LOT of effort to do that If you don't have switch-on power and water or a supermarket. Never will get these things read.
3. A book that made me laugh? Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Curse of Lono, basically anything by the gonzo man.
4. A book that made me cry? Can't remember one. Lots of movies, but can't remember a book. Probably just don't head in that direction. Don't read for weeping and a release.
5. A book I wish I'd written? Obviously, something like How to Make a HUGE Amount of Money and be Slathered in Cooze Without Really Trying. I can see my infomercial now.
6. A book I wish had never been written? Phlems' got it covered with the Qur an, but I'd add the Bible... because religion IS the opiate of the masses, and people are stupid enough. They don't need encouragement. No offence guys. I'm probably wrong but can't remember a time in the last 2000 years when some desert born religion wasn't the cause of human torment and pain. If people could keep it to themselves, that would be different. I prefer the animist stuff we had before the damn Romans came, but even that probably would have gotten out of hand if left alone and given a chance. Maybe then it's not religion, but the stuff humans do with it. Anyway...
7. A book I'm currently reading? The Whiskey Rebellion, by William Hogeland. Just finished a little thing called The Coming of the Civil War 1837-1861, by John Niven. Before that it was If the South Won The Civil War, by MacKinlay Kantor and Plains Indian History and Culture, a series of essays by John C. Ewers. What can I say? This history shit gets me goin'. Ok, there's also a few magazines, catalogs and comics that float through from time to time. Oh, and I've got a coffee table type thing called The Peacemakers, Arms and Adventure in the American West, by R.L. Wilson, out next to the shitter, but I only get to look at it for a few moments at a time now and then. You know.
8. A book I've meant to read? The list is too long. Lots of history. Lots of amazing carnage.
9. A book that changed my life? Probably that Daniel Boone thing. It got me started, way back then. Ether that or C.S. Lewis', The Chronicles of Narnia. Had to read that in a book club someone set up back in school in Missouri. Loved it.

Well, who will I pass this on to? I guess I'll tag James, Mushy, The Rat (ok, it's a long shot), Becky ('cause she loves these lists), Dirtcrasher, and maybe Heather B. There. Tag, yer it.

And here's a few more fun quotes...

"I've only slept with men I've been married to. How many women can make that claim?"
- Elizabeth Taylor.

"Elizabeth's never been in a supermarket, in any kind of market. She's never in her life stood on line to use a public phone- a public anything. It's like deprivation. Elizabeth's a true innocent. Every time she gets laid, she gets married. Nobody ever told her you can do it and stay single."
- Lillian Hellman.

"I say I don't sleep with married men, but what I mean is that I don't sleep with happily married men."
- Britt Ekland.

"Adultery: second only to front-line combat, produces feats of almost lunatic daring. And it thrives on the extraordinary capacity of the deceived partner to ignore the signs of infidelity, so obvious to the rest of the world."
- Mary Beard.

Postscript, and maybe a retraction. You know, after thinking about it while driving to the big feed at mom and dads this afternoon, I've decided I was a bit harsh to the organized religions back there in #6. I guess any belief system can be turned into a viscous murderous travesty if the right people get hold of it. We probably shouldn't paint any religion, including Islam and Christianity with a broad brush because of what their devotees do in their name. It's just too convenient now to say "oh to hell with all of em" when there are car bombs going off. We forget all the hundreds of years of horror visited on the planet by Christians, and even all the wars and atrocities perpetrated by the followers of the Olympians, or the Animist Mongol hoards, or the supposedly atheistic Nazis. It's people who are the problem. I'm back to that. It's becoming a theme somehow. So I'm officially switching my choice to Rousseau's The Social Contract, because of what a lot of stupid frogs learned from it, and all the carnage that ensued for generations after. There, I feel better.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Some quotes on the process.

"To win a woman in the first place one must please her, then undress her, then somehow get her clothes back on her. Finally, so that you will allow you to leave her, you must annoy her."
- Jean Giraudoux.

"She is descended from a long line that her mother listened to."
-Gypsy Rose Lee, talking about a pretentious chorus girl.

Hamlet: "Lady, shall I lie in your lap?"
Ophelia: No, my lord."
Hamlet: "I mean, my head uppon your lap?"

Ophelia: "Aye, my lord."
Hamlet: "Do you think I mean country matters?"

Ophelia: "Think nothing, my lord."

Hamlet: "That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs."


"Oh, John, let's not park here."
"Oh, John, let's not park."

"Oh, John, let's not."
"Oh, John, let's."
"Oh, John."

- Anonymous American folklore.

"Infidelity, that infallible rejuvenator, calms the fear of growing old. In spite of our decreasing charms we sweep young people off their feet, for young people do not understand themselves, and fortunitely for us, can still be hypnotized by those who do."

-Cyril Connolly.

Stiff standing on the bed,

First it's white and then it's red.

There's not a lady in the land

That would not take it in her hand.

- Old English riddle
(answer: a carrot)

"Madam, you have between your legs an instrument capable of giving pleasure to thousands... and all you can do is scratch it."
-Sir Thomas Beecham, to an untalented female cellist.