July 30, 2016

Thexy Time

I appreciate all that modern medicine has to offer.  Our life expectancies are some 25 to 30 years longer than those of our grandparents.  And those extra years are generally worthwhile.  Sure, there are some horrific diseases that rob us of our memories, or bodily functions, but overall, our population lives longer, and enjoys it more, and we have advances in health care to thank for much of it.

When I was a kid, I was fascinated by my grandmother's nightly ritual of swathing her head in toilet paper, topped with a shower cap of sorts.  This creation somehow protected her done-once-a-week hairdo.

I was equally horrified by my grandfather's teeth in a glass on the bathroom counter each night.  (Being a one bathroom farmhouse, we all had to share and see).

As one does not ever think about how their grandparents managed to beget (in my case) eight children, I never really gave much thought to how those nightly ministrations might affect their 'alone time'.  Except now I am of an age that my friends and family are aging - not over the hill, mind you, but not spring chickens, either.

I have friends that strap CPAP contraptions to their face as they get in bed.  One has a bed alarm, to let her know if she gets up in the middle of the night, as she has had issues with her prescription sleep aid.  Some fitness freaks wear monitors to track resting pulse rates and sleep patterns.

Not to mention all the cosmetics ministrations and garb - aloe socks and gloves, facial masks and creams, waist trainers, wraps, and do-rags.

In my house, our bedtime imposition is dental night guards, a thick piece of custom molded plastic to prevent teeth grinding.  Nothing quite kills the mood like stepping into the bedroom in some wisp of fabric from Victoria's Secret, to have my husband look me up and down and tell how thexy I look.  His night guard lisp is somewhere between Sylvester the Cat and a low-octave Mike Tyson.  Neither one works for me, so I just pop my own night guard in and wish my husband thweet dreamths.

July 28, 2016

Food Chain

It is a very snakey year.  I know that isn't a word, but it works.

In the spring, Bang put on his big boy pants and killed a copperhead that was near our garage.  This, after saving our Dachshund from getting bit.  Which, incidentally, would have been the third time that a copperhead has bitten Roscoe the sausage dog in the past 3 years.  I know exactly how much that vet bill costs.
On June 10th, lightning struck the tallest tree in my yard, causing a couple hundred years of oak tree to come crashing down.  Prior commitments and weather broke the clean up into several weekends of work.  It seemed like each time we moved a large leafy branch, something came slithering out.  I killed two snakes during that time, and let a few slither off.  
There was a recent news story saying that this year's "crop" of cicadas is large, thereby providing an increased food source for both amphibians and snakes.  I think our snakes like to eat toads.  
Last week, just after dark, Boom let Roscoe outside.  The little bugger likes to move all the splash guards under our gutter downspouts, because toads live under them, and likes to lick them - maybe to get high.  I am not sure, as I am not up to speed on Dachshund recreational drug use, or if the toads in my yard are the actual type of toad that you lick to get high.
Boom saw that Roscoe was going straight for the toad habitat, so she walked out behind him, scolding him.  As she tried to get his attention, something caught her eye.  This guy:


Just about two feet away, and somewhat intently eyeing her and Roscoe - or most likely, he was after the same toad that Roscoe had seen.  
This led to some shrieking until Boom had the attention of those of us inside the house that could assist with getting the dog back inside while Boom went around to get a snake-killing hoe.
Once armed, there was a bit of hesitation, with Boom saying that she felt a little bad about killing such a pretty snake.  I sighed, and turned to find my shoes so I could take over snake-killing duties from her.  The screen door had just latched shut when I heard Boom scream, followed by half a dozen or so loud metallic whacks on the back porch concrete.  
I opened the door and looked out to find one solid copperhead had been turned into several twitching, decapitated pieces of snake, and Boom was still willing to scar the concrete with additional hoe-whacks, because "he came at me".  
Not sure what I need to concentrate on ridding my yard of - cicadas or toads - to discourage this serpent invasion.

July 18, 2016

Maybe Trump

I have spent a great deal of time lately, explaining the military to my boss.  Not battle strategy or weaponry, but how the military is just a microcosm of our society.  Military units are made up of good people, bad people, criminals, heroes, all races (and the prejudices that go with them), sexual preferences, and varying personalities, just like the world civilians live in.

I bleed red, white, and blue.  I was an Air Force brat, and an Army wife.  I love my country, and I believe that our military might is what made, and kept us, the greatest world power (until the past few years).  I will be supporting the candidate that will support our military and veterans.

Said candidate was built up in speech tonight by Marcus Luttrell.  My social media pages are erupting with (virtual) cheers of approval for his words.  From neighbor to conservative celebrities, everyone loves Marcus right now.

And here I sit thinking about what a P.O.S. he is.  My life has been blessed of late, with friendships with many veterans of specialized military units.  Some famous, some that would never dream of trading on their military service to achieve celebrity - and yet both groups share the same opinion of Mr. Luttrell.

Now, what I know about Marcus doesn't change his heroism.  There are plenty of jerks, liars, thieves, and cheaters in the military that rise up under fire.  I suspect that there are just as many everyday folks that would do heroic things, should the situation arise - they just haven't put themselves in the same situation that the average soldier/sailor/airman has.

What I think about Marcus doesn't change the fact that he gave a rousing speech.  Whether or not they were actually his words is inconsequential as well.  The occasion is meant to inspire conservative espirit de corps.  He said just what needed to be said.  I can appreciate the words but have some disdain for the speaker.

Maybe these are the attitudes I need to embrace regarding the presumptive Republican nominee.  I don't like the person, but I should be able to appreciate that he will do what needs to be done for our country, he will say the words that need to be said, he will rise up to the challenge of leading our country.

Or, we could just be screwed.

July 13, 2016

Learn the words

This past Friday, my family and I took in a Texas Ranger's baseball game.  As I was leaving work early to beat the traffic to the ballpark, several co-workers commented on the perceived danger of going to a large gathering of people the day after the shooting in Dallas.  I was just a little taken aback by the fact that there was no noticeable increase in security.  In fact, to my youngest son's delight, just after entering the stadium, he was handed a weapon plastic bat and ball as part of a giveaway promotion.  More damage was done to parents by errant bat swipes than anything else that evening.

Friday night's other promotion was a Texas A&M 'University Day'.  The Ranger's marketing office came up with this promo a few years back, partnering with various colleges to use their alumni and student networks to help sell tickets.  They hand out nice ball caps in the university colors, with a Ranger's 'T' on the front, and the school logo on the side.  It takes the brotherhood of the home team's fans one step further, and is quite enjoyable.  Except when the idiot running the music cuts off the last stanza of the Aggie War Hymn, but maybe the person that made that decision also created the graphic with the words to our National Anthem.

How far gone are we, that we have to display the lyrics to our National Anthem as it is played?  What is it that we are doing in schools, that there is no longer the time, or expectation, for children to learn the words to our anthem and pledge?  Or is it that there is no desire among those who set curriculum, to ingrain in our youth, a love of country?

During the pregame ceremonies, 150 Air Force ROTC members filed onto the infield and took their oath of enlistment.  And there they remained for the anthem, where the panning camera showed their faces and still mouths during the song.

And that school song I mentioned earlier - the Aggie War Hymn - all the people that sang their hearts out to that must have gone to the restroom en masse, as the participation and volume of the school song far outpaced that of our National Anthem.

Stand up and sing, people!

My opinion of humanity was slightly redeemed after the game.  On the walk back to our car, there wasn't a single police officer that was ignored - people expressed appreciation, shook hands with them, hugged them (though the whole 'hug-a-cop' thing is a little ill-timed - I saw a few startled faces).

While it was nice to see that side of people, I am still disappointed that we have failed our youth so thoroughly in the patriotism department.  Well, not 'we', my kids know better!
 

July 8, 2016

First Thoughts On Dallas

Last night, at a 'peaceful' protest, at least four people (EDIT due to initial media inaccuracies) someone conspired to hunt law enforcement officers, shooting them from a parking garage in downtown Dallas.

As soon as the news broke, social media was flooded with all of the usual sentiments and the all-too-common ridiculous comments that make my blood boil.

I literally sat on my hands to keep from typing responses.  Seriously.  I stuck my hands between my ass and chair for several minutes, while employing 4-7-8 breathing to calm down.

An example of what set me off, "snipers shooting at cops with AR-15s".  Another was the result of an eyewitness account that the shooting's rhythym was "tap-tap-pause, tap-tap-pause" setting the internet into a tizzy that this was clearly a military trained sniper.

No one on God's green earth could have known at that point in time what weapon was being used to shoot cops, or what training they had.

Sure, there are people that have the knowledge to make some educated guesses, based on number of shots fired in a specific time frame, apparent distance, sound of the shot, etcetera - but not from the comfort of their home watching the media play someone's cell phone video.  And, you don't have to be a military sniper to employ a double tap.  Just STFU internet 'experts', you are idiots.

Since I live in a suburb of Dallas, my social media accounts are flooded with those who say that this was "too close to home", and 'it is different when it happens in your city".  I am not sure how many of them were truly affected, or just needed to tweet a platitude so that they felt self-important.

I don't think it matters where you live, this was a horrifying event.  It was a premeditated murder of at least five police officers.  It was a vicious assault on all that were in the vicinity, including at least two 'innocent' bystanders that were injured by the shots.  As today unfolds, and everyone is named - police officers and suspects - and the media does their job of digging up every gritty detail of their lives, we will get some answers about the 'who' part of the equation, but the 'why', which will be debated ad nauseam, won't ever truly be known.

Five people have died.  Five families shattered.  I suspect that racial divides will expand into miles-wide chasms.  And for what?  

First Thoughts On Dallas

Last night, at a 'peaceful' protest, at least four people (EDIT) someone conspired to hunt law enforcement officers, shooting them from a parking garage in downtown Dallas.

As soon as the news broke, social media was flooded with all of the usual sentiments and the all-too-common ridiculous comments that make my blood boil.

I literally sat on my hands to keep from typing responses.  Seriously.  I stuck my hands between my ass and chair for several minutes, while employing 4-7-8 breathing to calm down.

An example of what set me off, "snipers shooting at cops with AR-15s".  Another was the result of an eyewitness account that the shooting's rhythym was "tap-tap-pause, tap-tap-pause" setting the internet into a tizzy that this was clearly a military trained sniper.

No one on God's green earth could have known at that point in time what weapon was being used to shoot cops, or what training they had.

Sure, there are people that have the knowledge to make some educated guesses, based on number of shots fired in a specific time frame, apparent distance, sound of the shot, etcetera - but not from the comfort of their home watching the media play someone's cell phone video.  And, you don't have to be a military sniper to employ a double tap.  Just STFU internet 'experts', you are idiots.

Since I live in a suburb of Dallas, my social media accounts are flooded with those who say that this was "too close to home", and 'it is different when it happens in your city".  I am not sure how many of them were truly affected, or just needed to tweet a platitude so that they felt self-important.

I don't think it matters where you live, this was a horrifying event.  It was a premeditated murder of at least five police officers.  It was a vicious assault on all that were in the vicinity, including at least two 'innocent' bystanders that were injured by the shots.  As today unfolds, and everyone is named - police officers and suspects - and the media does their job of digging up every gritty detail of their lives, we will get some answers about the 'who' part of the equation, but the 'why', which will be debated ad nauseam, won't ever truly be known.

Five people have died.  Five families shattered.  I suspect that racial divides will expand into miles-wide chasms.  And for what?  

July 1, 2016

Time Flies

What a difference a year or two makes.  
My life has, obviously, markedly changed from the time when tip-tapping on this blog was a daily habit.  I miss it.  I don't want to promise that I can keep up the pace I used to, but, I sure do have plans.
More than the venting and the catharsis, I miss the people.  Those that I met through this medium, those that I follow, or lurk, those that do the same here, are valued souls that I have missed out on communing and communicating with.  There are other social media outlets now, easier, faster, more frequently used - but I am not one to pour my heart and soul out on Facebook or Twitter or immortalize the 30 pounds I really need to lose with an Instagram selfie.
I see that the last post I made here was on the day of Allen Patterson's funeral.  Today is his birthday, so perhaps it is fitting that I get back in the blogging groove on this day, and see what new friends there are to be made as we commiserate about the jerk in the White House, the idiots that surround us, and the beauty that is in unexpected friendships.