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Archive for the ‘Worthy of Respect’ Category

Humbling.

Saw this guy on the MugTome interwebnetsite.

Paul Smith has more grace in his smallest fart than I have in my entire body.

I could probably use a good ass-kicking for my crappy attitude.

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What is left behind when we’re gone?  What is left behind is shared times and memories.  And with time, and the telling, those memories remain alive.  Those aren’t new sentiments but it doesn’t hurt to say it anyway.

Cruel Wife has some things she wanted me to post, and I will do that shortly.  Since that material is at this moment being written by her, I figured I’d take a moment to say a few words and then tack on her stuff when it is done.  It’s a first – a LK/CW co-authorage.

Here is what I would say.

The last night before her folks left, CW’s dad went out to the trailer to get some rest.  He was tired and I don’t blame him – he did a lot of work on our remodel while I was at work.

BCCFN was talking to CW and somehow the topic of dark matter came up and before I knew it, CW’s mom and I were talking about the Cosmological Constant, dark matter and dark energy, the evidence for a closed universe, background energy… and come to find out, she took it in her head one day to get ahold of some lectures and was working her way through the series.  Should one be surprised at this?  I mean she was a radiochemist for years, and it is obvious she was no dummy, none of her daughters are – all of ‘em too intelligent for comfort.  But BCCFN… she was doing all this and studying other topics, was here for seventeen days and only mentioned it at the very end, the very last night.  And my jaw dropped.

There is this brain-metaphor thing that describes the surprise and respect I had after that, and I don’t think I could quite define it.  I’ve been told on several occasions that I do not suffer fools lightly, and the flip side to that coin is I have a great deal of respect for intelligence.  This is not to say I have only value for some number like IQ and that makes for superiority or anything, but it does mean I do place high value on people who have done or do things with gifts that they were given – there’s not a one in CW’s family that isn’t gifted (and kind of dangerous in a battle of wits if you let your guard down).  And BCCFN, as nail-bitingly maddening she could be at times, managed to surprise the hell out of me and gain a measure of respect.  And she never let on.  She was about as humble and self-deprecating as a person could be and didn’t stop being curious.  I was bummed when she decided to go out to bed because the conversation when she relaxed was infinitely more interesting than observations about my salt intake or how much oil I put in the stir fry.

A funny, odd, and ultimately quite interesting duck, my mother-in-law.

Ok, I’ll quit talking now let you read the CW stuff.

Simple, silly attachments.  (Aren’t those usually the best ones?)

As many of you know, I lost my mom today.  It took everyone by surprise.  I thought she’d live another two decades at least, and wondered if she might just outlive us all.  She was in remarkably good health for a 75 year old lady, thus the complete shock.  We are still waiting to find out what happened.  I asked LK to share a story for me.  This how I deal with grief, by writing down my thoughts and memories of the loved one departed.

Just last night, LK and I had been going through boxes we’d stored for years.  We set aside a number of unimportant dishes in one of my boxes freshly emptied of “memories” that I couldn’t remember.  The dishes were slated for the consignment shop.

I took those dishes to the consignment shop this morning despite receiving the bad news.  I needed to “just keep swimming” (for those of you who might be Pixar heathen, that is a quote from “Finding Nemo”).  As I stood at the counter asking the hired help to sell them or donate them (I didn’t really care at that moment), it dawned on me that I was looking at Mom’s handwriting on the side of the box.

“Records,” it said.

I distantly heard the lady asking me if I wanted my box back while my thoughts were speeding me back 25 years.  It was the summer before my freshman year in college.  I remember scrounging everywhere for packing boxes, and I still didn’t have enough.  I asked Mom if she had any extra.  I distinctly remember her telling me “Well, these are some of my GOOD apple boxes…but I guess you can have them.”  She gave up several of her long-term storage boxes so that I’d have a place to put my childhood memorabilia.  The box in my hands had been with me for the last 25 years, keeping my childhood treasures safe. Still bearing the title “Records” on the lid and the inner box, written in Mom’s handwriting.  I had to keep that box.

I returned home several hours later.  Never had a shopping trip been so painful, looking for a dress suitable for Mom’s funeral.  As I went in the house, it slowly dawned that I didn’t have the box.  The whimsical desire to save the box suddenly became urgent.  I kept telling myself “It’s just an apple box, for pete’s sake.  If its gone, its gone.”  Still, I got in the car again and backtracked to the consignment shop, only to find it closed.  The lights were still on, though, so I knocked on the door.  I was lucky; the owner was still there.  Lo and behold, she still had my box, too.  Undamaged.  You would have thought I’d found something very special to my mom rather than an empty cardboard box.  To me, I did.  A precious memory of her had returned to me because of that box.  It might be a mundane and largely inconsequential grocery produce box, but it was given to my by a dear lady 25 years ago as she launched me into my adult life.  That makes it precious.

My mother would be flabbergasted by the importance this silly box has taken on today.  All the same, I’m thankful to have it back.  My childhood treasures are going back into that box, to be safely stored (God willing) for the next 25 years of my life.  Then again, who knows?  In 10 to 12 years, Lemurita and Hacker-boy will be getting ready to embark on the next stage of their journeys.  Maybe it will be my turn to donate one of MY good apple boxes to the cause.  If so, they’ll get more than a storage box.  They will get this story, too.

God bless you all and thank you for the well wishes.

CW

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I am very proud of Cruel Wife. She has agreed to watch Band of Brothers from nose-to-tail. She’s not big on war movies but (1) this is more or less real, even with the embellishments, and (2) even though it is disturbing, she’s still watching it.

I have said many times that I will insist that our kids watch BoB and Saving Pvt. Ryan before they leave home, for I want them to be innoculated against those who wish to poison their minds against our country and I want them pay proper respect to our military and our veterans.

I firmly believe that with the right illustration one cannot help but gain a certain amount of respect for those who have sacrificed in either their lives, their health, and in years of service. Reading of it in a history book will not suffice.  One needs the visceral nature of the event.

Now, here you may roll your eyes but hear me out.

Years ago there was a game, Call of Duty.  The game developers (Infinity Ward) made it a huge point to talk to veterans, scrutinize photographs, watch video footage, and I cannot remember if some actually visited the sites of historic battles.

But the thing is, so much of Band of Brothers looked as if I had been there before.  Now, I am not in any way shape or form drawing equivalency between a first-person shooter and the real war, nor can a movie do it, but I am saying that the game captured enough to have your adrenaline racing.  It was damn hard to make it up the beach at Normandy, you died over and over and over again.  The wire, the bunkers and trenches, the fields beyond, and the guns blazing non-stop.  It was pretty intense.  And so help me, there was an added bit of adrenaline watching as Market Garden went sideways.  There were parts of BoB where my inner self has been screaming “Danger!  Danger!  You guys, there’s bad guys up on that roof!  There are guns downstairs in that building over there!  There’s a sniper over yonder!”  In the game you’re getting shot at, guys are dying all around you, and you still have no idea where the krauts are shooting you from.

Believe it or not, a game can make you respect your soldiers more, because dammit, what they endured was hundreds of thousands of times worse.  In the game you aren’t tired, you aren’t cold, you aren’t hurt, you don’t have crappy food, you don’t have some idiot asshole giving orders that make no sense at all.  What you do get in the game is a visual and visceral feel for what it might have looked like, and it did not look pretty, even as inadequate as it was.  That game didn’t feel like they were trying to make WWII like a level from Doom II where you get a BFG-9000 later on.  You had two weapons.  That was it, and lone-wolfing it didn’t work so very well.  And you died if you got hit.

This time around I’m paying more attention to BoB even though the DVD’s don’t have Closed Captions – Cruel Wife is my interpreter at times.

I am therefore not blogging much for the next few nights and haven’t for the last two.  I trust you’ll understand why, even if I can’t exactly explain in words my internalized metaphor that embodies all the reasons why I am compelled to try to understand that section of history a bit more.  I’m sure I’m not at all alone in that, however.

Update:  We just finished up Bastogne.  Beautiful:

We didn’t need to be “rescued” – 101st Airborne

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Worthy reading.

doubleplusundead…

Nice writing there.  A passionate and well argued piece about why gun control is about the most useless tits-on-a-boar thing you could ever hope to achieve.  Well, that wasn’t exactly the argument, but close.  DPUD’s point is that not allowing people to defend themselves is ultimately… cruel.   And it absolutely is cruel.

DPUD was inspired (and rightly so) by a particularly reprehensible op-ed that had the gall to say, among many other galling things:

Only in America are gun massacres of this kind routine, expectable, and certain to continue.  – @d@m G0pn1k

Excuse me?  The train has entirely left the tracks.
Go read DPUD’s most excellent posting.  I’ll link it again here because it deserves it.
And again because it is still more or less a free country and I can.
Yeah, I did half-LEET out the name attached to the quote above.  I don’t like to give it more exposure than it deserves, beyond simple credit.
Here is where I get bogged down.  I read the news about the Aurora thing and the first thing I thought was “Oh God, those poor people”, then “did they catch the bastard?”, “why all those innocent people?”, and lastly “has the list of victims grown?”
Nowhere did I leap up and scream “If only all weapons were illegal, this would never happen!” or “Gosh, I hope no one uses this as an argument to take my right to self-defense away!”
“Guns” were never central in the story in my mind.  People were my first, second, third, and last thoughts.  “Guns” didn’t enter the picture until I read so many reports about calls for more gun laws and how this is the fault of anyone who says the 2nd Amendment and all supporters of it have blood on their hands.  DPUD saw the ridiculous article that was the source of the quote above and responded elegantly and honorably.  Well done.

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D-Day.

The first and primary reason for this post is D-Day.  Gotta remember it.  Never forget it.

I swear my kids will watch all of Band of Brothers and Pvt. Ryan before they leave home to enter the real world.  By God, theywill understand what our Armed Forces have done and still do for their liberty and that the US is a positive influence on the world.

We can argue about the license taken with BoB but if you want pure facts, the history books are there.  But if you want to show someone the flavor, as much as one can without living it, watch the documentaries and the movies that are everywhere.

Brings us to the other point… our Beloved Leader, also the CiC of our military, stiffed D-Day for a third year.  Not a peep.  The bastard.  And Michelle O. is asking on his behalf for another term so they can finish what they started.

My blood runs cold.

I’m going to take a stab and assume that our President and First Lady’s caregivers were not much on honoring those who have honored us through their sacrifices.

****

Today is also D-Day in another way.  How about as in “Stuff a Duck Day”?

California is banning foie gras.  If you don’t know what it is, it is a cruel process by which they force feed a duck vast amounts of corn so it can grow nice tasty yummy fatty liver(s).  If you don’t know where I stand on the matter, I favor a stainless saute pan but have been known to use whatever is handy. Hell, in a pinch I’d cook one in a campfire with aluminum foil, but it’s not my first choice.

Yes, in the right forms I will consume an animal’s poison filter – with gusto.   Since I am not rich I generally opt for my Christmas liver allotment in non-duck (or goose) forms – braunschweiger.  Three cheers for pigs!  I proudly carry an inverse-PETA card – People for the Eating of Tasty Animals.

Yes, I know that shoots down any chance of ever meeting Charlize Theron but I’m happily married with kids and my odds were pretty low anyway.

Doesn’t that make your insides all warm and gooey? – source: Wikipedia

I say we all run out and buy some to keep the Duck Stuffers™ in business.  Nobody wants California Duck Squeezers™ thinking it can call the shots.

Addendum: I am currently eating Cheez-Its™ and wishing to hell I had some liverwurst to smear on them.  It’s an Oregon-ey redneck-ey thing.

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Update:  Since the original post was about the nature of God, let’s have another bit of humor.  Yes, it’s on yoootoob (associated with g00glle) but just this once…  it’s an important public safety announcement.

****

An Observant Reader, ooGcM taobmaetS, recently passed on to me via dead drops, mute couriers, and randomized routes a picture that is so momentous, so blockbuster, so all-consuming, that it is a wonder that space-time hasn’t grown thinner in spots and perhaps even started to crumble like old cheese in others.

It was regarding the nature of God.


I must do some fearless sock-searching, perhaps take an inventory of my drawers, and get right with my wardrobe.

I have asked taobmaetS ooGcM if he has considered being a High Priest of the Ordered Drawer of the Holey Sock.

He chuckled and shook his head modestly and said:

Lemur, I know you worship the very ground I walk on (shame on you).  But you also know I’m too humble to think of elevating myself to a position of such awesome responsibility.  I am just a simple man, with simple needs, and a cat named Brrrt, who needs me to feed him smoked gouda and free him from trees from time to time.  No, that is my calling in life.  And baiting goths and trolling Trolls.  And ****ing with people that need ****ing with.  Yes, that’s the life for me, my friend.  That’s the life for me and that’s my calling.  Leave the rest of that to better men than I. -  taobmaetS ooGcM, explaining why he could not take up the mantle of the Holey Sock priesthood. 

Note:  I am a God-fearing Protestant and not some rabid atheist.  I just believe that God also has a sense of humor.  Look at the world around you and you have many examples of this.

****

If ever you needed more reason to pack your own kid’s lunches, may I suggest that this is it?  This is what your government will do to feed your little snowflakes.  This is stuff that they won’t even put in hotdogs because it is last-choice animal product.  The only thing that comes lower than this stuff is actual excrement, earwax, the solids from bile, and pulmonary tumors.

USDA Buys 7 Million Pounds of Slime for School Lunches

Here’s what should really disturb you:

Pink slime is a mixture of leftover trimmings, sinew, and other beef parts culled from a cow once the expensive and more recognizable cuts of meat have been harvested and sent to a butcher. The collection of leftovers is spun in a centrifuge to remove excess fat, washed in a disinfecting solution and then minced for use in various applications.

Pink slime is allowed to make up as much as 15% of the ground beef you might be purchasing at from your local grocery store. And according to some industry experts, the concoction may be in as much as 70% of the ground beef found in America.  - Mike Opelka, The Blaze

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Good on ya.

Update: A tip from The Butcher of Lansing…  well done, BoL, well done.  Article at the link after the pic.

http://now.msn.com/living/0306-madhouse-sexist-chinos.aspx?ocid=xnetr1-2

****

A writer could try to sex the story up all the editor wants, but a heroic mom is a heroic mom.

To Stephanie Decker of Indiana:  Well played, ma’am.  Well played.

Decker made a split-second decision to save her children, tying them up in a blanket and throwing herself on top of them.

“Everything started hitting my back: pillars, beams, furniture, everything was just slamming into my back,” she said. “(My children) were screaming, ‘Mommy I can’t live without you, I don’t want to die, please don’t let me die.’ And I said, ‘We are not going to die, we are going to make it.’ ”

Miraculously, her children emerged from the storm completely unscathed. Decker lost one leg above the knee and the other above the ankle.

“When I looked down and looked at my leg and realized either it was cut off or it was barely attached, I took my phone and made a video to my husband telling him that I loved him, and my children that I loved them, in case something were to happen,” Decker said. “I prayed to have the strength to survive, that I want these kids to have a mom and I did not want them to grow up without me.”

Yeah, it’s a few days old but I’m behind a few days.  And someone who does good should never not be told just because the praise might come a bit after the fact.

I once took a course for company business and went and grabbed dinner later and a chinese lady came along with.  We got to talking and if you held a gun to my head I could not tell you how we got on that particular topic or to that point in a conversation but she quite matter-0f-factly said she would not risk a burning home for her daughter because “I can always have another child”.

I couldn’t say a whole awful lot once she uttered that statement.  The end of the dinner could not really come soon enough after that.

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