Emily's Angel..

... damn, people, where does all the time go?... due to crazy circumstances and overwhelming laziness, I have not pointed you rubberneckers to the latest artistic development zinging its way across the blogosphere... The Blog Western.. it is off and running... the baby has legs courtesy of Dax Montana, and a new direction via Miss Moogie... it's shaping up to be a corker..

... Angel has got it going on... chicks dig scars, right?... and ole Angel, he's got a few... Emily is already blushing... the little rosebud... heh heh... it's a good, good sign....

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Sharing...

... a Cousin and I are heading out on a fieldtrip today... we're off to visit the grave of Jackson Petty in Philadelphia, TN... he's never been there before, and not many of our family knows where ole Jackson is resting... so, I am off to fix that this morning... it is time that someone else knows some of the secrets I've been collecting..

.. many years ago, I began tracing my family tree... I was living overseas at the time, and all of my research was done from long-distance phone calls, emails, and snail mail.. it was a costly endeavor... after about five years of collecting names, dates, and old stories, I laid my data aside.... I was burnt out... 5,000 names of dead relatives from across the globe... Switzerland, Germany, England, Ireland, Scotland... Cherokee, Choctaw, and Catawba.... it was all getting too tangled... so, I quit...

... in the past few weeks, I've suddenly begun getting questions fired at me... mostly from the younger Cousins... thus, the data has been resurrected.. and a renewed interest in the family roots is surfacing... I have to admit, I am stoked...

... I suppose, with every generation, it is only a matter of time before we start looking ourselves in the mirror and asking ourselves where it is we came from... sooner or later, we all want to find our place in the larger picture of history... maybe we are the product of dirt farming bit-players... or maybe headlining big-shots... either way, it really doesn't matter... we just want to know...

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Smell of Cordite....

... well, the two intrepid travelers have gone... it was sad to see them go, but man, what a great time... lively conversation, good food, flowing beverages, and firearms... a finer 36 hours of friendship would be hard to find... Rube and Anna are good people... the poor souls even invited the Wife and I to visit them in Germany this autumn, and I think we'll go... provided, of course, that I am still happily unemployed when the time comes...

... anyway, back to the tale... they arrived just after lunch yesterday along with a light rain... but our spirits were far from damp.. it was an incredible treat to serve as host to fellow bloggers on a pool night.... they even had a chance to meet Cousin B and lived to tell about it... I grilled some ribs for Anna... meat-eaters are easy to please, and she is definitely a carnivore.... but Rube?... he's a bit harder to cater to... see, the man will drink anything, but when it comes to culinary expeditions, he's a bit more finicky... still, I managed to throw together an Italian pasta & cheese thing for him... heh... either he is incredibly polite, or it wasn't that bad... because after the meal, his plate was just as clean as when I'd handed it to him...

... this morning, I made a breakfast sturdy enough to ensure we were prepared for a day of shooting... eggs, bacon, and biscuits.. peach jam, wild berry preserves, and apple butter... coffee, aspirin, and cigarettes... hey, hair of the dog, and all that...

.. and then, the fun started... I broke out a few weapons from the safe and loaded up the Audi... a short ride later I was giving a quick firearms safety speech to the kiddies... after their initial shock at seeing so much weaponry laid on, the dove in with a vengeance.. heh.... much balloon busting was performed with the .380, 9mm, .45, 22mag, and AR-15.... The Wife and Anna were particularly enamored with the AR... they were crack shots in a matter of minutes.. either I am one helluva teacher, or women just take naturally to assault weapons.. I think the jury is still out on that...

... but one thing the jury is NOT still out on is this... Rube, my man, you are very welcome for the lovin' you shall receive tonight.. if you guys make it to the Georgia state line before Anna rips your loincloth off, I'll be surprised to death... that girl was wearing a smile you could see for a mile when we loaded up the car... I know it was her first time firing a gun, but damn, man... I think she liked it.. a LOT... she and the Wife were absolutely glowing after putting those rounds down range... and dude, it wasn't our manly visages... it was those firearms and the smell of gunpowder... word... we are beneficiaries today, friend, but not the stimulators...

... seriously, we had a wonderful time... I cannot express how much we enjoyed playing host to you two for a while... come back soon.. I've got plenty of ammo...

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Still Alive... barely..

... survived another meeting of the Eagle Glen Social Club... two special attendees capped off the festivities... (and I am told that they documented some of the debauchery - Lord, Help Us..).. more details to follow later...

... Rube and Anna want to put some rounds down range, and I aim to please... so, we're off to do some shooting this afternoon... right now, though, I've got to go and cook breakfast for the campers...

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Games..

... for some reason, the humor that Adam molded together in this post reminded me of a time waaaaay back...

... once upon a time, my CO was cracking down on the physical fitness training us jarheads had been doing.... our previous commander had allowed us to work out in any form we wanted.... so, we'd invariably break off into small groups of 3 to 5, and dream up some game to play... Combat Basketball was always my favorite... 782 gear, flak vests, helmet, boots, and cammies... we'd beat the living Hell out of each other and never score more than 10 points in an hour... great times.... others would be going for runs.. playing flag football... culvert/ditch line races... lifting weights... we were a pretty mixed bag of big guys & scrawny guys.. and we were all slightly skewed..

... but we had a high time, people... until one of the guys got his jaw broken while leaping for a rebound during a particularly feisty game of Combat Basketball... heh.. a Kevlar to the chin will lay you low... indeed, he was hammered... anyway, once the CO found out, he decided to enforce his will... from now on, we'd be exercising as a group.. under the ever-watchful eye of our fearless leader... no more injuries on his watch... at least that was his logic...

... at the time, we worked out three times a week.... one Monday, our Captain arrived and took charge.. we'd play flag football... fine... I hated playing football... anyway, we got stuck into the game, and were having a blast... until Sgt. Gerard bodyslammed Cpl Clay... two mighty titans clashed... Gerard went for the flag, and Clay decided to pull a Jonah Lomu on him and run right over his ass... Gerard reacted in a second.. gripped his waist, and tossed Clay right over his left shoulder... he hit the ground like a sack of potatoes and was slow getting up... dinged up his elbow and cracked two ribs, he did... all of us onlookers made mental notes not to try strong-arming Sgt. Gerard...

... PT was cancelled for the rest of the day... result?.. one broken Marine...

... so, Wednesday rolls around... once again, our Captain arrives and tells us that we are going to do a cross country run through the hills... fine... I hated running too... so off we go... about two miles into our three, a LCpl twists his ankle badly in the tundra... I got called out to help carry his broken ass to the infirmary... turns out he was on crutches for the next three weeks...

... scratch up another notch on the counting stick... one more broken Marine...

... this is where it gets weird... by now, our CO was pissed... it seemed that every time he turned around, one of his troops was getting sent to sick call.. so, he had a clever idea... as punishment, all of us were forced into the gym to play duck-duck-goose... after all, NO ONE ever got hurt playing duck-duck-goose..

... we formed ourselves - cross-legged - into a large circle on the hardwood floor... it started out alright.. but 10 minutes into our "punishment", it was my buddy Lomo's turn... he was a little Filipino guy... fast as a snake... he started making his rounds behind us... patting us on the heads... duck... duck... duck.... and then he got to The Big Weightlifting Lance Corporal.. in a split second, he bashed him in the noggin, yelled "GOOSE", and took off like a shot... that big weightlifter nearly jumped out of his skin... in an explosion of force, he was suddenly upright.. honestly, I have never seen anyone that big move that fast... but just as he reached his full height, he screamed in pain and fell to his knees... he'd twisted his back from the sudden exertion, and was frozen in muscular spasms...

... third day of "Company PT", and a third broken Marine...

... our commander was furious... how in the HELL can anyone get hurt playing duck-duck-goose?!?... he fumed and ranted for a while... questioning our intelligence and breeding... and then our Senior Enlisted took him aside... when they came back to the formation, we were told that there would be no more "Company PT".. instead, it had been decided that we should all work out in our own ways... just as it had been before...

... I still don't know why he did that... maybe he figured that we were going to get hurt regardless... and it would be better if he wasn't the one in charge... one thing is for sure... when you play hard, people get hurt.. but that is just all part of life.. life in the slow lane doesn't mean it is any less dangerous than a life spent in the fast lane... so, if you are going to get hurt anyway, why not choose the excitement of the rough stuff?..

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Memorable Posts...

... have you ever read a blog entry that you enjoyed so much that you printed it off?... emailed it to friends?.. I have... and I do so quite frequently... there is so much raw talent in the blogosphere that it is impossible to find it all... I admire a great many people on my blogroll... their turns of phrase - or mastery of vocabulary - have me wanting to read every word they write... that being said, I was given a great honor yesterday..

... it seems that the latest meme going around is one where you pick two of your favorite posts someone else has written, and link them... then you tag another blogger with doing the same thing... well, two of my posts were picked by two babes... heh.. color me flattered... Christina took it a step further, though, and actually zapped me with carrying on the torch... no small task, I can tell you... being asked to pick one blogger over another in this manner is kinda dangerous... so, as a rule, I will just pick the first two I can think of... everyone on my blogroll is there for a reason.. I like what you have to say, or the way you say it... if I didn't, you would not be there...

.. with that... here we go... damn... so many posts, so little time... thinking back, one post comes to mind... I loved reading it, and I could relate.. I've even went back a few times and read it again. the Tale of Simone Griffeth... if there is one theme I can sink my teeth into, it is unrequited love... it is truly universal...

... next, I'd like to point you rubberneckers to these thoughts on Charleston... again, this is a theme I love.. taking a place and time, and realizing the importance of it... reminisces... introspection... connecting your Self with your history...

... there... I've done it... two of my favorite writers... and two of my favorite stories... next up, I am tagging Jimbo of the Rest Stop... ole buddy, according to the rules of this party, you've got 24 hours to pass this baby on.. heh... if I was tagged twice in the same week, you get it too, bud...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(6) | Psycho Rants
» Parkway Rest Stop links with: Tagged Again!! Favorite Posts.

Perspectives....

... I re-watched Casablanca again a few days ago, and I've had a quote from it stuck in my mind ever since... you know the part - just before Bergman leaves Bogie's sorry ass in the rain - where they are together.. supposedly in love.... smiling and happy... Bogie pops open a bottle of champagne, and says...

".. who are you really?... and what were you before?..."

... there... did you catch that?... at first, I probably thought of that statement just like everyone else.. sorta like, "aww... he lurves her and wants to know more about her"... but then, it hit me...

... he doesn't even know her.. not really... Jesus, what a sucker.. I stick to my original treatise on Casablanca... it's buried somewhere in the archives if you care to search...

... anyway, some see it as a romantic movie... I don't... I still believe that ole Ingrid played Bogie like a fucking violin from start to finish...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(6) | Psycho Rants
» Seven Inches of Sense links with: Piquant Posts for Perusal

If I Could Be...

.. dear Boudicca slapped me with this thing, and I am happy to oblige her... Hell, being that I am unemployed, I COULD actually take a stab at practicing some of these professions... then again, I really like spending my days doing as I please...

... anyway, here are the rules...

"Immediately following there is a list of 24 different occupations. You must select at least 5 of them (feel free to select more). You may add more if you like to your list before you pass it on (after you select 5 of the items as it was passed to you). Each one begins with "If I could be..." Of the 5 you selected, you are to finish each phrase with what you would do as a member of that profession.

For example, if the selected occupation was "pirate" you might take the phrase "If I could be a pirate..." and add to it "I would sail the 7 Seas, dating lasses from around the world."

See how easy that is? Here's the list:

If I could be a scientist... I'm not really smart enough to hang with the pocket protector types..
If I could be a farmer... been there... tooooo much work...
If I could be a musician... hey, I try... but I fear the gropies groupies..
If I could be a doctor... sorry, folks.. would you want me operating on YOU?..
If I could be a painter... nope... I've been putting off painting the deck for a year... it can wait..
If I could be a gardener... I pay people to mow my lawn, thanks...
If I could be a missionary... this one has promise.. getting nubile young natives to perform penance?.. c'mere, baby.. kiss my ring..
If I could be a chef... aren't kitchens hot?.. I'll pass.. just bring it to my table..
If I could be an architect... hammers and nails ain't my bag...
If I could be a linguist... heh heh... I'd be a cunning linguist....
If I could be a psychologist... I'd try to figure out why you tards come to this blog... perverts...
If I could be a librarian... I'd be a 5'2, 22 year old, brunette with glasses who closely resembles Salma Hayek.. and I'd never take my hands off myself...
If I could be an athlete... running?... weightlifting?... I'm getting tired already...
If I could be a lawyer... sorry, I cannot tell a lie..
If I could be an innkeeper... two words... hidden cameras...
If I could be a professor... I'd hang out at the library with the Hayek look-alike...
If I could be a writer... I'd write interesting tales about shooting pool and drinking Scotch....
If I could be a llama-rider... here is an interesting one.. do they buck?.. if it's like bullriding, then no thanks.. I'm fragile lately...
If I could be a bonnie pirate... I'd finally be able to grow a damn beard...
If I could be an astronaut... no way, man... I saw "The Right Stuff"... spam in a can, indeed...
If I were a dog... I'd be the one asleep on the porch...
If I were an inventor... sorry.. this one wont fit either... I don't have the patience to sit around and think stuff up...
If I were a programmer... are you kidding?... reading lines of code would make me slit my wrists...
If I were a genius... what?... sheesh... I AM...

... you know, unemployment isn't really that bad...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(6) | Psycho Rants
» Boudicca's Voice links with: Eric Answers teh Meme

.."moaning in feral ecstasy"..

.. this has got to be one of the best opening paragraphs I have ever read... I feel that the true beauty of Hippie Love has been captured...

"Tommy and Leona are having sex on a tree stump in the middle of a Norwegian clear-cut. Leona, with a mop of brown dreads and a lip ring, looks dreamily across the demolished forest as Tommy, a little shaggy in nothing but a knit hat, works his magic. "

.. you work that magic, Tommy... oh, and go ahead.. read the whole thing, rubberneckers.. the second paragraph ain't half bad either..

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(7) | Psycho Rants
» Banter in Atlanter links with: Have You Ever Heard of Eco-Porn?

Fly away Home...

... I'm off to Nashville tomorrow, and the trip is weighing on my mind... things, it seems, are once again afoot... heh.. it is always thus....

... anyway.. my mind works in mysterious ways... it truly does.... but, Hell... it's just a fucking blog... anyway, this is for Ms. Anna and Mr. Bob.. two gentle giants who appreciate a little Tommy... enjoy, guys... be sure to sing along..

.. behold, children... a "Jockey Full of Bourbon"... by Tom Waits....

Edna Million in a drop dead suit
Dutch Pink on a downtown train
Two dollar pistol but the gun won't shoot
I'm in the corner on the pouring rain

Sixteen men on a dead man's chest
And I've been drinking from a broken cup
Two pairs of pants and a mohair vest
I'm full of bourbon, I can't stand up

Hey little bird, fly away home
Your house is on fire, children are alone
Hey little bird, fly away home
Your house is on fire, your children are alone

Schiffer broke a bottle on Morgan's head
And I'm stepping on the devil's tail
Across the stripes of a full moon's head
And through the bars of a Cuban jail

Bloody fingers on a purple knife
Flamingo drinking from a cocktail glass
I'm on the lawn with someone else's wife
Admire the view from up on top of the mast

Hey little bird, fly away home
House is on fire, children are alone
Hey little bird, fly away home
House is on fire, your children are alone, hey

I said, hey little bird, fly away home
Your house is on fire, your children are alone
Hey little bird, fly away home
House is on fire, your children are alone

Yellow sheets on a Hong Kong bed
Stazybo horn and a Slingerland ride
"To the carnival" is what she said
A hundred dollars makes it dark inside

Edna Million in a drop dead suit
Dutch Pink on a downtown train
Two dollar pistol but the gun won't shoot
I'm in the corner on the pouring rain

Hey little bird, fly away home
Your house is on fire, your children are alone
Hey little bird, fly away home
Your house is on fire, your children are alone

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(1) | Music
» 仪器仪表 links with: 仪器仪表

Half-Rubber...

... much trash has been talked about my inability to catch a damn half-rubber ball at the Wreckyll in Jekyll ... I'll be the first to admit it.. personally, I blame my ineptitude on a lack of stabilizing liquid.. but, Hell... I normally blame everything on that... even the Catfish had similar troubles in roping in that ball.. he even suffered two broken ribs trying to catch it..

... but even through everything, the fact does remain... I won the game by dinging a grand-slam off the mighty arm of Velociman... but it really doesn't matter who won.. we all had a great time playing...

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Service on War...

... I have been sorely remiss in keeping up with my Robert Service postings... between Zevon, Nash, and Tom Waits, I've had a lot to chew on recently... but for those of you who know me, you'll remember that Mr. Service is my favorite...

... anyway, tonight's selection is one of his "War Poems"... taken from the tome, "Rhymes of a Red Cross Man"... written in 1916... the same time that Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen, etc, were writing their wonderful verses... Service, however, takes on the typical WWI poetical viewpoint with "Bill The Bomber"... a man - who although hating War - could not wait to exact his revenge upon the Enemy... yes, children, there is a certain bloodlust in this poem.. but, isn't that same seed present in each of us?... the only difference is if we decide to water the seed or not... so, I give you... "Bill The Bomber".... oh, and remember to read it out loud... Service is meant to be enjoyed that way....


Bill The Bomber by Robert W Service

The poppies gleamed like bloody pools through cotton-woolly mist;
The Captain kept a-lookin' at the watch upon his wrist;
And there we smoked and squatted, as we watched the shrapnel flame;
'Twas wonnerful, I'm tellin' you, how fast them bullets came.
'Twas weary work the waiting, though; I tried to sleep a wink,
For waitin' means a-thinkin', and it doesn't do to think.
So I closed my eyes a little, and I had a niceish dream
Of a-standin' by a dresser with a dish of Devon cream;
But I hadn't time to sample it, for suddenlike I woke:
"Come on, me lads!" the Captain says, 'n I climbed out through the smoke.
We spread out in the open: it was like a bath of lead;
But the boys they cheered and hollered fit to raise the bloody dead,
Till a beastly bullet copped 'em, then they lay without a sound,
And it's odd -- we didn't seem to heed them corpses on the ground.
And I kept on thinkin', thinkin', as the bullets faster flew,
How they picks the werry best men, and they lets the rotters through;
So indiscriminatin' like, they spares a man of sin,
And a rare lad wot's a husband and a father gets done in.
And while havin' these reflections and advancin' on the run,
A bullet biffs me shoulder, and says I: "That's number one."

Well, it downed me for a jiffy, but I didn't lose me calm,
For I knew that I was needed: I'm a bomber, so I am.
I 'ad lost me cap and rifle, but I "carried on" because
I 'ad me bombs and knew that they was needed, so they was.
We didn't 'ave no singin' now, nor many men to cheer;
Maybe the shrapnel drowned 'em, crashin' out so werry near;
And the Maxims got us sideways, and the bullets faster flew,
And I copped one on me flipper, and says I: "That's number two."

I was pleased it was the left one, for I 'ad me bombs, ye see,
And 'twas 'ard if they'd be wasted like, and all along o' me.
And I'd lost me 'at and rifle -- but I told you that before,
So I packed me mit inside me coat and "carried on" once more.
But the rumpus it was wicked, and the men were scarcer yet,
And I felt me ginger goin', but me jaws I kindo set,
And we passed the Boche first trenches, which was 'eapin' 'igh with dead,
And we started for their second, which was fifty feet ahead;
When something like a 'ammer smashed me savage on the knee,
And down I came all muck and blood: Says I: "That's number three."

So there I lay all 'elpless like, and bloody sick at that,
And worryin' like anythink, because I'd lost me 'at;
And thinkin' of me missis, and the partin' words she said:
"If you gets killed, write quick, ol' man, and tell me as you're dead."
And lookin' at me bunch o' bombs -- that was the 'ardest blow,
To think I'd never 'ave the chance to 'url them at the foe.
And there was all our boys in front, a-fightin' there like mad,
And me as could 'ave 'elped 'em wiv the lovely bombs I 'ad.
And so I cussed and cussed, and then I struggled back again,
Into that bit of battered trench, packed solid with its slain.

Now as I lay a-lyin' there and blastin' of me lot,
And wishin' I could just dispose of all them bombs I'd got,
I sees within the doorway of a shy, retirin' dug-out
Six Boches all a-grinnin', and their Captain stuck 'is mug out;
And they 'ad a nice machine gun, and I twigged what they was at;
And they fixed it on a tripod, and I watched 'em like a cat;
And they got it in position, and they seemed so werry glad,
Like they'd got us in a death-trap, which, condemn their souls! they 'ad.
For there our boys was fightin' fifty yards in front, and 'ere
This lousy bunch of Boches they 'ad got us in the rear.

Oh it set me blood a-boilin' and I quite forgot me pain,
So I started crawlin', crawlin' over all them mounds of slain;
And them barstards was so busy-like they 'ad no eyes for me,
And me bleedin' leg was draggin', but me right arm it was free. . . .
And now they 'ave it all in shape, and swingin' sweet and clear;
And now they're all excited like, but -- I am drawin' near;
And now they 'ave it loaded up, and now they're takin' aim. . . .
Rat-tat-tat-tat! Oh here, says I, is where I join the game.
And my right arm it goes swingin', and a bomb it goes a-slingin',
And that "typewriter" goes wingin' in a thunderbolt of flame.

Then these Boches, wot was left of 'em, they tumbled down their 'ole,
And up I climbed a mound of dead, and down on them I stole.
And oh that blessed moment when I heard their frightened yell,
And I laughed down in that dug-out, ere I bombed their souls to hell.
And now I'm in the hospital, surprised that I'm alive;
We started out a thousand men, we came back thirty-five.
And I'm minus of a trotter, but I'm most amazin' gay,
For me bombs they wasn't wasted, though, you might say, "thrown away".

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Being First...

... thunder jarred me awake this morning around 9:30... I opened the curtains to see quite a spectacle.. Mother Nature was trying her best to beat the blooms off the budding dogwood trees.. April showers, indeed.... it looks like it is going to be one of those days... perfect for drinking coffee and watching the rain wash away the pollen-dust.. sure, we may lose the blooms, but the pollen will be gone too... a fair trade as far as I am concerned...

... anyway, while making tracks yesterday, I recounted a tale of USMC sick call that I had read the other day... my companion and I could definitely relate.. although I never actually tried to squirm out of mess duty, I have to admire the resourcefulness of those two young Marines... but sometimes, going first is not a good thing... and I am sure there is a life-lesson in there somewhere...

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Marines everywhere....

... Yesterday morning, I headed out at the crack of dawn with my 2nd Cousin to visit my Great Uncle just outside Paducah, Kentucky... near where the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers meet... 5 and a half hours later, we were pulling into his driveway.. he is a veteran of Siapan, Tinian, Roi Namur, and Iwo Jima... an artilleryman with Mike Battery, 14 Regiment, 4th Marine Division.. wounded on Siapan and Iwo, he is one of a fine breed... My roadtrip partner is a beer-drinking 26th Marines vet.. Khe Sahn, Operation Hastings.. 3rd Shore Party during the Vietnam War.. a damn fine guy to be in a car with for nearly 12 hours...

... once in Kentucky, we had lunch, talked genealogy, listened to tales of a childhood in depression-era Eastern Tennessee, the current War, and politics... three hours came and went in the blink of an eye... and suddenly it was time to go....

... halfway home, we stopped at a fast-food joint for a burger, and ran into a young Marine just back from Iraq... a crew chief on a HMM Squadron from Miramar... we listened to him talk of riding CH-53s through the rough and tumble of the past year....

... four generations of old jarheads... WWII... Vietnam... GWI... and GWII.. related in various ways, but all of us Brothers...

... I dragged myself home around 10:30 last night, and fell into bed... it was a very long day, but worth every second...

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Busted...

... good God, rubberneckers... talk about blowing your cover... two blogeets in one month is almost enough to kill anyone... Smiling Dynamite has stroked me with her quote pen... Mr. Evil, Rube has a video of a conversation between Dax Montana and I... (incidentally, I thought that was a valid question.. especially considering the subject we'd discussed just prior)... Sam and Michele have photos abounding... and then Harvey chimes in with his perceptions of our Chicagofest... even the lively Kelley has resurfaced to shed some light on us all.... to quote Robert Service.. "dissolute, damned, and despairful.. crippled and palsied and slain"... in other words... I We ALL be busted...

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I'm Joining...

... I've been getting solicitations in the mail for a while now.. they're asking me to join the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and I've always just tossed them... I don't know why, but when I imagine a VFW member, I see Audie Murphy or some crusty WWII guy... grizzled with age and battle... or even someone of my Father's age - a Vietnam Vet.... but after today, I might have to break down and join... see, this very morning, I had my cherry popped, so to speak... that's right, I now have a MRI and a Bone Scan under my belt... twas quite an experience.. injected with various dyes and radioactive juices.. slid into a tube, and zapped by my old buddy Stu...

I don't know why, but somehow feel that a milestone of sorts has been reached... the next time I get that VFW paperwork, I'm filling the bitch out... I can hang with those old warhorses...

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A Letter...

April 17th, 1902
Sweetwater, Tennessee

My dearest Grandson,

Your dear Mother writes to me with news of your studies in school. She says that you want to know what I did in the war, and what I remember. It troubles me slightly to recall back to those days, but I feel that I should tell you, however painful, what I remember. I do this not so much for myself as I do for you.

I really can't explain it to you, boy. Some things are without parallel in these mortal lives of ours. Your mother says that she thinks you need something, but I am afraid that the something you are a'needing ain't in my story. You ask me what I did in this past war, and I don't know where to start. I really don't. However, I can tell you this - and you can take it in any way you see fit. I only fired my musket twicet. Both times happened on the same day. For that matter, they both were fired off within less than a minute, and I never fired my musket again. Not during the whole rest of the war. There, what do you think of that? Not exactly what you expected, eh son?

I had been picked up in Virginia shortly after my 15th birthday by a wily Captain from Mr. Longstreet's Corps. His name was Coltrane. I had been fishing by a small creek when two fellows grabbed me and drug me off to join the Army. Mr. Coltrane and Mr. Fitch. They taught me to drill while on the march, and they gave me a gun. A fine, shiny gun. They taught me how to clean it, load it, and fire it. I did as I was told. As soon as I could, I wrote to Momma and told her I had joined the Army.

But I know you are not interested in that. You want to know what happened on that famous day, and I really can't blame you. I'll bet your history books are just filled to the brim with tales of those three days. History books always are. Still, I probably have a different story than what you have read.

I first remember a very handsome fellow yelling for us to keep in line. Stay in step. We marched out into an open field and Federal cannons began firing at us. It didn't matter, though. All of our eyes and ears were focused on our Officer. The whole time those shells were falling, we just kept listening to what he was saying. Form Left. Align Right. Stay Abreast. Left Oblique. And so on, and so on. We were so engrossed with trying to stay in line that we didn't have time to be afraid. Besides, we knew that the bullet had not yet been cast that could cut us down. With that, we kept on marchin right up the middle of that field.

After a good while, we got to a small wooden fence. This was bad news to us all, and at first we tried to tear down the railings. We did this until our Officer yelled for us to just climb it. This was the first time that some of us realized that we were not as bulletproof as we had originally imagined. About half of our Company made it across that little, rickety fence alive. Some of us began to get very scared, and we all noticed that the cannons had stopped shooting. This too, was bad news since it meant we were now within shot of the Yankee rifles.

We formed our ranks as they shot at us, and our Officer - Lt. Higgins from Alabama - gave us the order to fire a volley and reload. Some of the boys were not scared and were fighting mad instead. They hollered like wild men when Mr. Higgins gave the order to fire. After that, we advanced about 15 more feet, and were told to fire again. I did so with much trepidation as many of my friends had either been killed or shot clean through. But Lt. Higgins was in charge and we all trusted him and felt that he would not let anything bad happen to us.

I had just finished reloading when the order to fix bayonets was given. We fixed them while marching, and were told to charge as soon as the last man had fitted his to his rifle. All this time, son, we were less than 50 yards from the Yankees and being shot at the whole time.

Most of us were out of breath from pure excitement and fear by the time we tangled with them Yankees at the stone wall. I was scared to death, and knew that I was fighting for my life right then and there. Lt. Higgins was waving his sword over his head and yelling one minute, and was shot through the neck the next. I reached up to grab him as he fell, but he pushed me to the ground and I hit my head on the wall. When I woke up, the noise of a single human being could not be heard. Instead, the cannons had begun to fire again. I didn't know what to do, so I just lay there in that pile of my dead friends. I think I cried, but I really can't remember. I remember the taste of Lt. Higgins's blood that had ran down into the corner of my mouth. It was a metallic taste.

Every time one of those cannons roared, the ground would shake and rattle. My head felt like it would explode as each concussion re-arranged the piled corpses at the base of the wall. I wish I had been able to burrow straight down to China to get away from those blasts, but I couldn't. I just lay there not knowing what to do. And then I heard the cannons stop. I thought that God had heard my wishes, but the very next second, I heard the click clack sound of men running with muskets. I knew what was about to happen, and I was powerless. I was frozen in fear.

Off in the distance, I could hear the yelps and cheers of my fellow Countrymen. This meant that they must be nearing the rail fence I have mentioned to you earlier. This was just as bad of a mess for them as it had been for us.

I could go on, my dear Grandson, but I think you understand me. I stayed by that wall covered in by my friends until darkness fell. The Yankees had sent word that we could pick up our dead and wounded, and I was found by a fellow from Texas. Yes, that is right. I was found without a wound on me at the foot of the stone wall on Cemetery Ridge.

No one ever called me a coward. I did not run from the fight. It just seems that once I woke up, I was too scared to figure out what to do. Later that night, Mr. Pickett heard of my situation, and called me to his tent. I explained to him how I had come to join the Army, and how I had come to be alive at the top of The Ridge, and he cried. I think he had been crying already that day, but I do not know for sure.

The next day, I was led to the rear of the Army lines, and told to go home. I was given a piece of paper that was signed by Mr. Longstreet that said I should be given free and safe passage back to Hickman, Virginia. Two weeks later, I was home in the field with Momma again. After the war, we moved down here to Tennessee and have continued farming. I met your Grandmother, and we'll be here for the rest of our lives.

I am not sure if this story is what you wanted to hear. And I really do not know what you are reading in your books. In the end, you asked my story, and I have told it. I hope this helps you in some small way.

Keep up the good work in your studies, and write to me often.

Your loving Grandfather,

Jackson Petty

UPDATE: This is fiction written by me.. Jackson Petty is a real ancestor, but he was NOT at Gettysburg... I was just trying to write in an olde style...

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Not Work Safe...

... one of the things which has always astounded me in regards to the internet... is, well, how you can find absolutely anything out there... now, I know that is a sweeping statement.. sure, sure... everyone knows that the net is a goldmine of information... but for some reason, I always seem to stumble upon the craziest shit going... for instance, take this little article... lovingly entitled... "I Did It for Science"...

"That's awesome!" I exclaimed, inserting three fingers, which were thereupon doubled. Suddenly it looked as though fingers were growing out of me. "It's like a Georgia O'Keefe," I gasped. "It's the coolest thing ever." "I feel like I'm seeing the face of God," I stated simply, unable to tear my eyes away from the glowing multi-layered, finger-sprouting orifice that apparently belonged to me.

... see what I mean?.. simply amazing... it just goes to prove a long-standing idea I've had... all of Humanity - on one level or another - be it soap operas, blogs, gonzo porn, or home videos - are exhibitionists, perverts or voyeurs... maybe even all three combined... hey, you don't believe me?.. well, you are reading this, aren't you, Rubberneckers?... case in point.... perverts...

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.. Heh...

... today's Quote of the Day comes from those rascally kids at MIT....

"Contrarily, the lookaside buffer might not be the panacea..."

... WTF?.. it looks like Scientists are having a hard time understanding their own mumbo jumbo... something which I always suspected anyway...

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Replacements...

... I arrived home from Jekyll late last night tired beyond belief... mentally, physically, and emotionally... I really do hate to tear myself away from such an incredible group of friends, and the burden was wearing on me by nightfall.... these meets are gems to me... they really are.... if it is possible, they recharge - and drain me - at the same time... but as the dusk darkened, I opened up a Newcastle and sat myself on the deck.. I was feeling the fatigue of two days and nights of laughing wearing on my bones...

... about that time, a bloggeress called to me... and I sat and talked into the darkness with her as the Blue Jays in the garden were replaced with singing Quail.. I hung up the phone around midnight feeling better.... and I went to bed less tired than I had imagined.... I know it is a strange thought.... but sometimes, distance is something we create for ourselves... in reality, we're only as far away as we want to be...

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a few highlights...

.... wow... what can I say?.... two days of mayhem, laughter, high-octane booze, and friendship... just as a blogmeet should be... those of you who missed it, definitely... well, missed it...

... sitting here thinking, there is too much to go over in a blog post... you really have to attend a "workshop" to get the whole effect... dry words on a computer screen... even with photos added, simply do not do justice to the "event"... still, I will give you a few random memories & highlights that are emerging as I drink my coffee...

... Acidman kicked my ass in the Texas Hold'em Tournament.. actually, the bastard put me out FIRST... yeah, it was bad... but it was nothing that a few stiff drinks of Catfish's Johnny Walker couldn't heal... heh... Rube and I managed put a monumental hurtin' on that bottle...

...Christina let me put her panties in my pocket... blogdaughter, indeed... heh heh... she also misdealt on the ONLY hand where I had a pair in the hole... the next flop showed my OTHER pair of eights... after that, my luck never recovered... dammit... still, she is a fine woman.. so, naturally I forgive her...

... Dave, Acidman's brother, showed up on Saturday.. and children, that man is a guitar-playing dynamo... at one point in the evening, we had 30+ people jammed into our hotel room... five guitars playing, and everyone singing... I bet they could hear us in Savannah.... a great, great time...

... Thunderman brought me a bottle of Laphroaig... the man is a Gentleman and a Scholar... oh, and I've never seen anyone drink so much "punch" and still be coherent.. I think he was taking vitamins or something...

... at some point, I remember Velociman chasing me with the bullwhip... I took some photos in between the pistol-like cracking of the whip... no, really, I did... but somehow I seem to have lost my camera... coincidence?... you be the judge... anyway, he, Catfish, and myself played half-rubber for a while... I took a lot of ribbing from the peanut gallery for not being able to catch the damn ball... but, I shut them up when I hit a grand slam off of Velociman's pitching... it ALMOST made up for getting pelted so bad in the Hold'em tourney...

... Denny arrived and did two things almost immediately... he picked up my guitar, and started yelling for a drink... I happily dipped him a cup of punch, and he lit into playing that guitar... the man is a maniac... us less-than-average guitarists had to keep telling him to SLOW DOWN... he is so good at finger picking that he just runs off and leaves us... heh heh.. after a few drinks, he was more our speed...

... a while later, I was hanging out back recovering from the half-rubber match when Anna showed up... she greeted me with a big hug and a kiss.. which, of course, I enjoyed.. and then I replied... "excuse me, ma'am... but who are you?"... heh heh.. Rube's better half!... it was wonderful to finally put a face to the Augsburg blog we've all heard so much about... Rube quickly appeared, and we immediately dove into a Scotch bottle together... just as it should be...

... Ms. Feisty's friend Susan was absolutely wonderful... being a fellow redhead, we hit it off wonderfully... I'm not really sure how it is possible, but I believe she is my long-lost sister... check out the photo... heh heh...

susan_eric.jpg

.. my two favorite Jawja girls were in attendance as well... Key and Kelley... two buxom young lasses... trust me, folks... I have met them both quite a few times now, and it is always a pleasure.. Kelley is infinitely huggable, and Key is even more squeezable... it's worth going to a "workshop" just to meet those two again...

... Miss Sadie and the Irish Lad were a VERY pleasant surprise... I was thrilled to finally get to meet her... although, I have a feeling that the Irish Lad was a bit overcome by all us loud, wise-assed, half-drunk Southerners... but he's built like a weightlifter, so we gave him a wide berth... Sadie, on the other hand, is built for sin... mercy...

... another sneaky surprise was Miss Michele and her beaux Kevin... she was the photographer of the day... that woman should be a sniper or something... she could sneak right up on you and catch you on film doing the most stupid things imaginable... check out this photo she stealthily snapped of me groovin' to the tunes... heh...

ericthinking.jpg

... I can also report that I had the distinct honor of meeting the incredible Mr. Helpful.. he is a fine man... I really wish that I had gotten the chance to speak more with him.. maybe one of these days I will make it out to Seattle to hang with that legendary guy...

... Dax was on the scene early, and stayed late... I swear, children... the man is a mountain.. anyone who can be up at the crack of dawn (mainly because he never went to BED), for two days straight is a trooper... plus, he plied my poor, dear Wife with redheaded sluts until her Scottish accent began to resemble Gaelic... heh heh... once again, just as it should be....

... oh, Sam and Barbie... what a pair... late on Saturday, Barbie teamed up with Kelley to sing along with us guitarists... they quickly earned the nickname of the "Blogettes"... along with a few solos.. namely "St. James Infirmary", Barbie quickly showed us just how well she could sing... Sam just sat back and beamed like the lucky guy he is... those two are beautiful people..

... I met Ms. Flynny of Divine Innerbitchin' in the ante-room of where we had our dinner... I was heading for a smoke, and I saw her... I recognized her from Velociman's photos, and she saw me in an instant... unfortunately, I didn't get much of a chance to visit with her... but, rest assured, gentlemen, she is a doll...

... Ms. Moogie, and Mr. Ward... holy cow... I have read Moogie for a while now, and I had no idea what she would be like in person... she is a rocker, children... she was one of the last bloggers I spoke too before heading to bed on Saturday night... and, well... let me just say this... she was REALLY enjoying herself!... as for Mr. Ward, he is a man of mystery... I had not read his blog before, but I intend to start now... the man has a wit that'll cut you to the bone...

... it was also an incredible honor to have been part of a Ceremony for Ken and Barbie... two great people who truly deserve the happiness they seem to have found in each other... rock on, you two.. the pleasure was all ours...

.. and finally, Jimbo from the Rest stop... entertainer, chauffer, and story-teller.. the man is a good one... he was kind enough to give the Wife and I a lift to and from the airport... so, we got a chance to talk about all of the other bloggers behind their backs... heh heh... I definitely owe him a trip to New Jersey... Jimbo, my man.. as always, it was a pleasure...

... so... there you have it... much, much more happened.... but, hey... if you want to know all of the gory details, come to the next one... what happens in Jekyll (for the most part), STAYS in Jekyll... and to all who attended... thank you all... I had a wonderful time....

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(18) | Drinking
» The Brier Patch links with: The Whip Came Down
» The Brier Patch links with: The Whip Came Down
» Fistful of Fortnights links with: Georgia's Pearl.
» Velociworld links with: ...And All The Sinners, Saints...
» Parkway Rest Stop links with: “I Didn’t Want it to End.”

..relatively safe...

.. well, I have returned... and I'll give you rubberneckers a few details tomorrow.. but right now, I just wanted to say that High Ceremony was just performed here... after this weekend, Thunderboy has now been given his correct title on the sidebar...

... see, some call him Zonker.. but, not I... to me, he will forever be known as The Thunderman... Artillery Punch-style... viva la Thunderman, children... whoa...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(13) | Drinking
» Thunder And Roses links with: Hyde the booze...Jawja bloggers in Jekyll

Relinquishing control

Time for the bitterman to take his leave and turn the keys back over to SWG upon his return from the glorious Golden Isles and the Georgia Writer's Workshop. I believe SWG mentioned his return would be late this evening, so I would expect an appearance sometime Monday, perhaps.

It's been fun, although I am a little dissappointed in my output. The weather has been glorious here in Northern Califuckya, so I chose to spend a bit of time in the out-of-doors, frolicking in the smog and airborne particulates rather than chained to a computer. Leave it to me to fall flat on my ass in the literary proliferation department in front of a large audience. No matter. Most who read this site are still probably drunk on the sand at Jeckyll.

Please feel free to visit my own pathetic little site if you should find yourselves feeling froggy. You can always find me at smokingtoaster.com.

Adios amigos from your pal, bitterman.

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Broken bones

The conversation usually takes place over copious amounts of alcohol. Men start comparing scars. From the near decapitation at the hands of their grandmother's clothes line to being bucked off a feral skateboard, most of us fellows have a few of those memories neatly carved into our personal canvas. Badges of honor in our younger years, we displayed them proudly at the beach or pool, hoping our tanned lady friends might notice and extract the tale, wincing and cooing at the appropriate moments. Now they serve as early morning alarm clocks, humidity and temperature gauges, and cash cows for the evil overseas Naprosyn collectives.

A good friend of mine is an ex extreme athelete; jet ski racer, snow boarder, motocross pilot and the like. Never even bent back a finger nail, he is proud to point out with a wry smile.

There is always one. The enigma; one who somehow cheated the odds and remained unscathed with no explanation for his good fortune.

During a physical not too long ago, the doctor cocked his head from side to side while eyeing my scapulae and asked if I had suffered a birth defect. Not understanding the context of his question, I replied no, I did not think so.

"Your shoulders appear to be quite deformed" he said while pushing my arms at the epiphyseal joint back to what I uncomfortably assumed was the position they once occupied, simultaneously generating sinewy creaks and pops.

I laughed and guided his hand to the stratum of calcium and scar tissue threatening to erupt in a shield peak through the skin above my left shoulder. It was the remnants of a repair that had wrapped itself long ago around splitered ends of my collar bone. His eyes wadded up with concern.

"That one was broken twice" I remarked and began the laundry list of green stick, oblique, comminuted, and spiral fractures I had suffered over the years; twenty six at last counting.

There has never been any question as to the result of any of my mechanisms of injury. Even before I became accustomed to things like pulse loss, distal paralysis, and crepitus, there was no mistaking what slamming into the ground or the wall or the tree had just sired.

I can recall one instance vividly. It was as if my brain neurons had somehow transplanted themselves into my closed eyelids. In a last fleeting moment of lucidity, I could see the synapses firing against a black velvet curtain. It was like watching a film about fireworks at a drive-in movie, only the projector was mounted in the back of my skull.

Later, as the X-ray technicians rolled me prone to face the stainless cold of the exam table, I could hear the captive ends of broken bone grinding against each other quite clearly, even over my own screams of protest. Then, just like the cathode ray on the old Zenith at power down, everything constricts to one tight, white-hot pinpoint of light before plunging into darkness and silence.

My sister, the surgical nurse, calls it "pass out pain." When your brain has obviously gotten the message from offended nerve endings that an internal problem needs your immediate attention, it wicks up the pain responses to eleven. When those problem bulletins continue to flood in unabated, it simply turns itself off.

Click....

Any good broken bone stories out there? Kick a football off a concrete sidewalk and rearrange your big toe into a ground meat carpenter's square? Went for a ride on that new dirt bike only to discover a unplanned excursion over the handlebars mysteriously lengthened an elbow by three or four inches? Discover after a skiing mishap that the tip of the ski should never rotate through a 180 degree arc while still attached to your boot?

The floor is now yours.

More later from your pal, bitterman.

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Tools

For whatever reason, be it the early signs of some organic brain disease or the macabre need to watch his mega-traffic bully pulpit spiral into the crapper, SWG extended the bitterman an invitation to fill in while he is away plowing up brain cells in coastal Georgia. Never to be one to deny the request of a friend (unless it involves anal penetration), I agreed like the attention-starved, pathetic little comment tramp I have become.

Fans of positive karma fear not, as SWG returns on Monday with fresh tales of daring do. For now, I shall take a preverbial stab and being as informative and entertaining as I can outside of my own narrow sphere of influence. No grand experiments. No gold stars. As if this activity could contribute to the absorption of greenhouse gases, or on the other end of the spectrum, shave a few miles per off the rotation of the Earth. Go ahead and bid that a hearty, "I think not." I'll do what I do over there.....over here, which is alienate intelligent readers and gather abnormal hordes of stalkers and hate mail.

These are the thoughts that rattle around in my head in nearly real-time. Feel free to take it or leave it. There will be no sweat removed from my huevos in your favor.

So in keeping with that theme......

Let's take an in-depth gander at one of bitterman's all-time favorite tools and potential murder weapons, shall we??

More Straight talk »

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Testing 1,2,3....

Testing, testing.........

Is this thing on?

I'll be here all weekend. Try the veal and be sure to tip your waitresses and waitressi.

More later from your pal, bitterman.

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Almost gone...

... I just finished putting new strings on the old Fender... sweet, sweet stuff... and I'm off to sit amongst the dogwood trees and play guitar... aahhh.. blue skies, sunshine, and the quiet, comforting knowledge that by this time tomorrow, I'll be sippin' Chatham Artillery Punch with some great people by the Atlantic Ocean... heh heh... I can hardly wait..

... my flight leaves Knoxville pretty damn early, so I'll be making it a short night... that being said, the phone calls have already started to roll in, and The Gathering is beginning to happen... I seriously doubt Jekyll Island will ever be the same after the passing of this weekend... then again, a lot of new faces are scheduled to attend... so, you could almost say that a few bloggers out there will never be the same again after partying down with us... again, all I can say is.. heh heh... I can hardly wait...

... anyway.. I might write again tonight if the muse decides to sit on my lap... but I suppose that depends on how long the dogwoods hold my attention this afternoon.. have no fear, though... I have arranged a special treat for you rubberneckers.... a guestblogger extraordinaire... the infamous Keeper of the Weasels... El Bitterman... heh... he is free to do as he pleases until Sunday afternoon...

... oh, and if I don't post anything by Monday morning, please send bail money..

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(7) | Psycho Rants
» smokingtoaster.com links with: abandoned

WOW...

... a few weeks back, I was invited to play along with Ala's Sandbox Series... a real I'll show you mine, if you'll show me yours kind of thing... the deal was, if we'd send her photos of us in uniform from back in the day, she and Just Rose would titillate us with their glorious visages... heh... well, the time has come for Ala and Just Rose to pony up... and, children, it's been worth the wait.. mercy... cleavage and guns.. what more could you ask for?...

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Remembrance...

... in my previous life, I worked within the Electronic Intelligence community... from 1990 to 1995, we helped to keep tabs on bad guys around the world... SIGINT, ELINT, COMINT, HUMINT, satellites, HF/DF, you name it... whether flying in an AWACS, a P3, or a desk on a RAF base, we monitored communication, SAM illuminations, missile launches, ships at sea, and enemy flights...

... having my morning coffee, I was just reading Matt's post on the friendly fire accident of Eagle-1 and Eagle-2... as I read the words, "Cougar, tally 2 HINDS", my blood ran cold ...

... go now, and read it... it is a tragedy remembered that should never be forgotten.... friendly fire is a truth of War... accidents happen.. faulty equipment, low visibility, lack of training, etc... it doesn't matter.. the fact is, a group of Heroes died that day...

"They came to save us, and to give us dignity. Their sacrifice will remain in the minds of our children for the rest of their lives. We will teach their names to our children, and keep their names in our books of history as heroes who gave their lives for freedom." - Kurd Sheik Ahmet, April 17th, 1994 memorial service in Zakhu, Iraq

... God Speed, Gentlemen...

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Verily...

... keep re-reading the Hard Luck post below... some things become more and more true every single day...

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... Hard Luck..

... I have a confession... I have never managed to see the end of Alien Resurrection... either due to late-nite viewings, or alcohol intake... I've just never arrived at the ending... well, that changed today... and quite frankly, all I can say is WHOA...

... what a fucking way to go... that monster?... holy shit.. sucked into the vacuum of space through a pin-prick... blood, guts, bones... all turned inside out, and for what?.. munching a few spaceguys?... the poor thing... misunderstood, that's what he was... that Sigourney Weaver is one cold-hearted bitch... Hell, all the monster wanted was a hug from Momma.. a few warm meals... some gentle fondling of Winona.... you know, to find some inner peace... but, damn... the beast was doomed from the beginning.... I mean, seriously... I, for one, can relate...

... my eyes have been opened, rubberneckers... they really have... that monster got a bad rap..

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Queen King of the Damned...

... you know, the thought just occurred to me.... a quote from Anne Rice's "Queen of the Damned" would be a fitting gift to offer Velociman on his birthday... catch my drift?... as one of the Immortals, surely he'll enjoy the lines... especially since it gives me a chance to compare Velociman to a flower... which, as you know, is something I have always wanted to do....

"And you must know we do not really change over time; we are as flowers unfolding; we merely become more nearly ourselves."
"Queen of the Damned," Anne Rice

... so yeah, it's true... just like us, even our heroes age..

... Happy Birthday, Killer...

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Conclave...

... since the Pope checked out, I have been mystified by the workings of the Catholic Church... steeped in tradition, their ceremonies truly impress me... silver nails in a cypress casket?... I am sure that some deeply meaningful, time-honored precedent is being fulfilled... still, I find myself drowning in a sea of facts while trying to keep up with the events on the television....

... luckily, the incredibly helpful Mr. McGehee has found a few answers...

... yeah, sure... I still have questions, but he has answered a few of them for me...

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Something for Everyone...

... good morning, children... once again, it is time to bring you all the news that IS news... (and nobody else is bothering with)... today's tidbit comes courtesy of EmediaWire & Going Organic... heh...

"As you stand there, you feel the world loosening around you," says another proponent of au naturel horticulture. Gardeners have known for ages that pottering around your petunias has stress-reducing benefits. But now there is a growing trend among nature lovers that says that these benefits increase exponentially when you garden...naked!

... just remember... be responsible... garden naked safely.. beware of bees.. chiggers.. and those things Acidman has growing around his house...

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Orgy-flapping...

... LeeAnn delivers another treat this morning... a little artistic gem to wrap your mind around... see, I love language... I really do... Ogden Nash.. Robert Service... Tom Waits... throw some curveballs, people...

... what the Hell am I talking about?... ok... tatertottage and orgy-flapping... THAT is how you use language... brilliant stuff..

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Peace...

... I had the windows open last night, most of the lights turned down.... I was enjoying the smell of the damp forest entering the house.. springtime is mild here in Tennessee, and an evening of rain had created the perfect night... a night for letting the sounds and smells of a new season creep into my home... I turned off the television, and began reading a book in the blogroom... The Wife was reclining on the sofa quietly devouring her latest booty - courtesy of the McMinn County library... after a few minutes of quiet, we both became acutely aware of the outside noises... whippoorwills calling in the distance... the wind in the dogwood trees... even the dripping of rainwater from the damp leaves...

... the whole aspect was calming.. therapeutic... even the breeze was full of perfume.. and then, without warning, something changed...

... a true silence descended in an instant.. I am sure that the other noises actually continued... but something close - and almost unheard - drew the focus of my hearing away from all other sounds.. a steady feeling of dread and a whisper of something outside my window... close... and dangerous... as my ears strained to gather more facts, I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand-up.. part of me knew this feeling well... I have felt it before while hunting predators.. luring hungry coyotes with a screaming rabbit... if you let yourself go, you can hear the panic... the terror in the pleas of the prey... and you, as you watch the prowler come close, understand that you are being hunted....

... I eased out of my chair, and approached the open window... leaning forward for a better view into the darkness... just then, the neighbor's Labrador gave a mighty bark from across the road... and from just below my open window, I heard the familiar yelp of a coyote as it bounded back into the woods...

... the call of the coyote echoed through the house, and the Wife appeared at the door of the blogroom... "Eric?.... What in the Hell was that?", she said.. open book still in hand....

... "Nothing, dear... just the dog from across the street... are the cats in the garage?"...

... "uh huh... they are both in"... she shifted her weight, and walked over to the window... "what a beautiful night"...

... "it sure is, babe", I said as I found my way back to my chair... "let's open a bottle of wine"...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(11) | SWG Stories
» Technicalities links with: Linky Luv

REAL Nekkid Blogging...

... you know, once upon a long time ago, I designed the logo for the Congress of Nekkid Bloggers.... basically, it was a way of denoting that you like to blog whilst nekkid... hey, nekkid people are happy people, for the most part, and I was glad to have done my bit... however, I was just over at Painfully Cool's website, and she shows us how it is done with style... REAL Nekkid Blogging... ooohhhh, yeah... a VIDEO, of her doing it... sure, sometimes she has a hard time reading from her cue cards, but hey... cut the girl some slack.. after all, it's not often we get to witness such a crystalline version of Nekkid Blogging...

... and for those of you who doubt, well, it's official now... Painfully Cool is a daily stop for me... being a man who always lives in hope, I just KNOW that one of these days the camera man will accidentally pan down....

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Mamma's Boy...

.. I'd really like to say how incredibly proud of you guys I am... no, really.. believe me, if I ever need something totally off-the-wall or weird... you rubberneckers can be counted on to come through... as such, I am still in the process of picking out a suitable dog-less AND cat-less Vietnamese Spaghetti recipe... I'll keep you informed...

... so, while I am doing that, feel free to check out this article... it's a real eye-opening jaw-dropper... yep, Hitler ran rampant over three continents because he was a sensitive little Mamma's boy who enjoyed being masochistically thrashed by his Daddy..

... what?... hey, I'm just trying to keep you guys well informed...

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HELP!

... let me just preface this missive by saying that, much like any medical advice you find here at SWG, any recipes are to be tried at your own risk (and for my own personal enjoyment... be sure to send photos of any attempted ER treatments or cooking fiascos)...

.. what am I talking about?... well, you see... earlier today, I posted about making some Italian food... well, I got a mixed response... the eaters seemed to like it.. but most of the readers thought I was losing it and morphing into Martha Stewart... hey, being unemployed has its ups AND downs, dontcha know... anyway... Tammi from Road Warrior Survival said I should try Mexican Manicotti... now, gentle readers, I took it upon myself to have a good ole belly-laugh at such a racial-spliced menu item... so, as I am often to do, I responded to Tammi with a deal.. if she'd send me her recipe, I'd trade her my super-secret recipe for Vietnamese Spaghetti... (hey, it was the strangest combination I could think of to combat "Mexican Manicotti")... well, herein lies the rub, children... she paid off... now, I be sunk... I have let my mouth overload my ass, or some such.... so this is an official SWG plea for assistance...

... does anyone have a recipe for Vietnamese Spaghetti?... I know I have some Vietnam Vets who read this site... so, c'mon, boys... pony up... if not, I shall be forced to wing it... and if that happens, what EVER you do, don't try to cook my version.... Bob?...Recondo32?... give a feller some help here...

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Diversions of Eric...

... last night, whilst conjuring Bacchus in preparation for The Gathering, I attempted a new recipe... Manicotti and Cannelloni ala Eric... truly, I was breaking new ground.. who knew that the seemingly innocuous cannelloni pasta grew to 10 times its pre-cooked size once boiled properly?... not I, that's for sure.... those bastards got HUGE...

... anyway, I stuffed 8 with a nice, rich ricotta cheese, garlic, and black pepper mix... and another 8 with my Ultra-Mega-Multi-Maxiwonderful bolognaise mixture... covered all of those puppies with tomato sauce, and baked them for half an hour... easy peasy..

... I managed to scarf down 1 cheese, and 2 meat-filled tubes by the time the ravenous pool-hustlers descended... and in a flurry of teeth gnashing, I was left with nothing but a pile of dirty dishes and a solitary manicotti.. trust me on this... if you have never witnessed a redneck feeding frenzy, you just haven't lived... slopping the hawgs, rubberneckers.... so anyway, I guess you could say that my cooking skills met the bill... either that, or the Wednesday night gang will well and truly eat anything set in front of them...

... oh, and tomorrow I'm baking a pineapple upside-down cake just because I can... heh... idle hands, people... idle hands...

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Feelin' Shaky...

.. well, in spite of the foul weather, we managed a full house last night... Brad and Brad-lite showed up.. as did Biker Steve and the whole "Witness Protection" Family... a great time, as usual...

... I awoke this morning with a very sincere need for some of Velociman's patented Earthquake Pills, though...

... which reminds me... have you ever had one of those nights that starts off, quite innocently, like this...

bar_early.jpg

... and ends up like this?...

bar_late.jpg

... heh... yeah, me neither...

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Wednesday...

.. I've just opened up the windows in the house, and a strong, warm breeze is circulating... the news just reported that this wind is carrying a load of thunderstorms my way, and they should arrive just around sundown... right now, those same storms are busy beating the smiles off the Alabamites... (stay safe, Queenie)... but my turn is coming... heh... about the time we start tonight's meeting of the Eagle Glen Social Club, the sky should be opening up...

... I've always loved thunderstorms... there is something exciting about their arbitrary precision... and the pure power they unleash... lightning flashes highlighting the pinpoint path of high-energy destruction.. and then the rolling thunder that follows... I love it... being caught outside while Mother Nature growls and spits is truly a rush.. I hope we get one helluva lightshow tonight...

... speaking of lightshows and Mother Nature, another one just happens to be scheduled for Friday.. slightly less violent, though.... that's right, rubberneckers... a partial solar eclipse will happen just after 6pm... the further South you are, the better the view you'll have... so, check it out if you get a chance.. if you miss it, you'll have to wait until May 2012 for the next one...

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Celtic Pride...

... well, children... today is Tartan Day... a time for all bloggers with Scottish heritage to stand up, be counted, paint themselves blue, grab the nearest haggis, and party down....

.. ok.. maybe not... but still, today is Tartan Day... and as such, I've dug through the old archives and produced a treat for you... mmm mmmm.... hand-raised, and slaughtered by the kind folks of Kearny's Scottish Butcher in New Jersey..

... that photo just goes to prove that with enough Scotch, you can eat anything... and nothing says "I Love You" quite like a well-cooked sheep's stomach...

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..and Adonis bent forward...

... it's no secret that some of the best porn lately is coming out of Europe... dazzling young ladies, natural breasts, and a passion for doing absolutely ANYthing to/with/for ANYthing.. in a word, total sexual abandon.. Czech, Hungarian, Pole.. the ladies stand as clarion calls to what it is all about...

... this, however, takes it to the next level....

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Another Captive...

... listen up, rubberneckers... as best as I can tell, this is a SWG Exclusive... so far, I haven't seen many bloggers running with the scoop of this dastardly act... I can't blame them... they are probably afraid of a backlash from the perp... I, however, am not..

... one can only imagine what is whirling through the mind of that poor hostage... and as for his captor?... I know him all too well... Hell, I have broken bread with the man... indeed, I have gazed into those beady little eyes while he sipped fine wine and belly-laughed... and as such, I have no doubt that he is more than capable of being a trigger-man in this debacle...

.... time is running short for the captive... so head over there now, and throw some money into the charity pit... after all, the life you save might be your gnome....

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Sexxed up Yeast...

... I swear.. the things you find yourself reading in Sci-Tech Today...

"Rolf Hoekstra, from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, wrote in an accompanying article in Nature: "We are still far from a definitive answer to the question of why sexual reproduction is so common. "

... hey, Rolf?.. damn, brother... you don't get out much, do you?...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(13) | Psycho Rants
» Yippee-Ki-Yay! links with: Professor Frink Can Relate (Nhyiii)
» Wizbang links with: Those Stupid, Stupid Scientists

My Monday....

.. early this morn, I awoke with the need for action coursing through my veins... a heartfelt need for movement... after all, it is a Monday - a day which finds most law-abiding citizens venturing off to their places of work... yes, today is the customary beginning of a week of toil... a thing which I have become a stranger to of late.. so, after a nice stretch and a pot of coffee, I set about looking for some menial task with which I could slake my thirst for results...

... at first, I checked the laundry... yep... all done.. then the dishes.. yep, I did them last night... carpet?... clean enough.. Hell, I even opened up the gunsafe, and sure enough, all weapons were clean, lubed, and ready for action.... what to do?... ahhh... let us just drink more coffee and watch the Pope's procession.... which I did..

... well, after a few hours, I am happy to report to you all that I had a flash of brilliance just as my man showed up to mow my lawn... you got it, children... I realized - in a wild tangent kind of way - that The Wife ran out of vino last night... a situation that simply will not do.. so, I headed off to Lenoir City to purchase aforementioned vino... this also afforded me the opportunity to stop at Taco Bell and load up on burritos for lunch... a rare treat around my house for sure... anyway, upon returning, I found my lawn freshly manicured... as I was approaching the house with my liquid booty, I noticed a small hill of fire ants that had been knocked over by the mower... I stood for a minute, case of wine in hand, and watched the little beasts carrying their blind young across my walkway path, and disappearing into the gravel of the azalea bed..

... I was immediately reminded of my Robert Service, of course, but took no heed.... Hiroshima, indeed... Raid to the rescue, my friends.... I deposited the load of booze onto the kitchen table, retrieved my chemical weapons, and let those suckers have it.... I was standing there, victoriously watching thousands of critters writhe in pain, when I noticed the weeds in the flowerbed... Hot Damn... a NEW task... one in need of attention..

... see?... Creative Loafing can take you in directions you never even imagined... what is my current task, you may ask?... kicking back with a drink, and beginning an afternoon of reading blogs... yeah, I know.. and, yeah... I AM ashamed...

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Happiness...

... the season of Spring often lifts our hears... wee birdies tweeting... fresh shoots of grass peeking up through the earth... blooming daffodils... gentle rains and rebirth... Spring...

... but in these times of Prozac and ADD, we sometimes let the simple things pass us by... with that, Big Stupid Tommy points us to a rare, East Tennessee springtime pleasure... some of us have waited all Winter for this...

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Sci-Fi Dog...

... I was just watching a show on the Sci-Fi channel and a commercial came on... a handsomely dressed gentleman picked up a little yapping dog, and blew hard into it's ass.. he didn't just do it once, either... he continued... three or four times.. this eventually caused the little dog to look like one of those balloon animals you get at the circus..

... once the gentleman had finished huffing into the pup's rectum, it turned around and attacked him.. needless to say, I was shocked & awed by the whole scene.. and I totally understand the dog's anger... the well-dressed guy had it coming... I mean, really... some things are just off limits....

... if you really want to know what the frightening thing is, it is this... I am NOT making this shit up...

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An Omen...

... has anyone else noticed that when you run the word "Jekyll" through your spell-checker it attempts to replace it with "Jerkily"??... I see that as a portent, children.... spooky, spooky stuff... my spell-checker is an oracle to the future... jerkily, indeed...

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Come a Visitin'...

... I've been at this blogging gig since September 2003... not a long time in the grand scheme of things... but a lot longer than I would have imagined back in October 2003... I've met a shitload of bloggers as well... in wild and wooly places such as Dahlonega, Savannah, Helen, Athens, Atlanta, Chattanooga, Knoxville, here at my home, and Chicago.. soon, I'll be off again to Jekyll Island... and maybe Philadelphia later in the year... I've been invited to meet bloggers in Texas, California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Florida... and through it all, I have to agree with Acidman... if you get a chance to go to a blogmeet, don't let it pass you by..

.. ok, sure... some of us are scary at first... but we grow on you.... no, seriously... we really do...

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Bloodhound..

... for the love of all that is holy... I must have been freeze-dried for the past few years to have not heard of these guys.... check it, rubberneckers....

.. heh... here... sing along... the recording has the good bits blipp'd out... so be sure to read the lyrics while listening/singing along...

"A Lap Dance Is So Much Better When the Stripper is Crying"

I was lonelier than Kunta Kinte at a Merle Haggard concert
That night I strolled on into Uncle Limpy's Hump Palace lookin' for love.
It had been a while.
In fact, three hundred and sixty-five had come and went
since that midnight run haulin' hog to Shakey Town on I-10.
I had picked up this hitchhiker that was sweatin' gallons
through a pair of Daisy Duke cut-offs and one of those Fruit Of The Loom tank-tops.
Well, that night I lost myself to ruby red lips,
milky white skin and baby blue eyes.
Name was Russell.

Yes, a lap dance is so much better when the stripper is cryin'
Yes, a lap dance is so much better when the stripper is cryin'
Well I find it's quite a thrill
When she grinds me against her will
Yes a lap dance is so much better when the stripper is cryin'

Well, faster than you can say, "shallow grave",
this pretty little thing come up to me and starts kneadin' my balls
like hard-boiled eggs in a tube sock.
Said her name was Bambi and I said, "Well that's a coincidence darlin',
'cause I was just thinkin' about skinnin' you like a deer."
Well she smiled, had about as much teeth as a Jack-O-Lantern,
and I went on to tell her how I would wear her face like a mask
as I do my little kooky dance.
And then she told me to shush.
I guess she could sense my desperation.
'Course, it's hard to hide a hard-on when you're dressed like Minnie Pearl.

Yes, a lap dance is so much better when the stripper is cryin'
Yes, a lap dance is so much better when the stripper is cryin'
Well I find it's quite a thrill
When she grinds me against her will
Yes, a lap dance is so much better when the stripper is cryin'

So, Bambi's goin' on about how she can make all my fantasies come true.
So I says, "Even this one I have where Jesus Christ
is jackhammering Mickey Mouse in the doo-doo hole
with a lawn dart as Garth Brooks gives birth to something
resembling a cheddar cheese log with almonds on Santa Claus's tummy-tum?"
Well, ten beers, twenty minutes and thirty dollars later
I'm parkin' the beef bus in tuna town if you know what I mean.
Got to nail her back at her trailer.
Heh. That rhymes.
I have to admit it was even more of a turn-on
when I found out she was doin' me to buy baby formula.

Yes, a lap dance is so much better when the stripper is cryin'
Yes, a lap dance is so much better when the stripper is cryin'
Well I find it's quite a thrill
When she grinds me against her will
Yes, a lap dance is so much better when the stripper is cryin'

Day or so had passed when I popped the clutch,
gave the tranny a spin and slid on into
The Stinky Pinky Gulp N' Guzzle Big Rig Snooze-A-Stop.
There I was browsin' through the latest issue of "Throb",
when I saw Bambi starin' at me from the back of a milk carton.
Well, my heart just dropped.
So, I decided to do what any good Christian would.
You can not imagine how difficult it is to hold a half gallon of moo juice
and polish the one-eyed gopher when your doin' seventy-five
in an eighteen-wheeler.
I never thought missing children could be so sexy.
Did I say that out loud?

Yes, a lap dance is so much better when the stripper is cryin'
Yes, a lap dance is so much better when the stripper is cryin'
Well I find it's quite a thrill
When she grinds me against her will
Yes, a lap dance is so much better when the stripper is cryin'

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Dead Bird Contest...

.. I had a wonderful - yet pricey - lunch today on the banks of the Tellico River... during the initial viewing of the menu, I saw something I have NEVER seen offered before in Tennessee... so, quite naturally, I ordered it... after all, they slaughtered the poor bastard beast and I felt obliged to ensure it did not die in vain...

.. it was damn tasty, too... anyway, the first person to guess correctly gets a prize of some sort.. only one hint, though... it was a bird..

... so... what kind of dead bird did Eric have for lunch today?...

.. talk amongst yourselves...

UPDATE: Telebush is the winner.. that was one short-lived contest... anyway, he is - per his request - (this is his prize)... he is now officially cooler than Princess Cat.. (sorry, dear)..

UPDATE to the UPDATE: since Telebush spells chicken in his own language, he hereby forfeits his coolness... Princess Cat wins the day... rock on, baby...

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Heh...

.. in a recent conversation with Velociman at an undisclosed Savannah location, he villainously busted upon my choice of late-evening-social-gathering footwear... the man had the sheer gall to call me a meterosexual... I mean, c'mon.... me, urbane?.. yeah, right.... let me just go and piss off my back porch and yell at the deer...

... anyway, I see now that I have been vindicated in my lowly regard of his slander... how?... well, Sadie has passed judgment... and as it turns out, I'm not a meterosexual... I'm just a retrosexual Hillbilly with good taste in shoes... see?...

shoe_small.jpg

...click here for a better view...

... H.S. Trask, baby... buffalo leather... besides... if loving buffalo leather saddle shoes is wrong.. well, I just don't want to be right...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(11) | Psycho Rants
» BLACKFIVE links with: BlogMeet - What Really Happened on Tuesday?
» Thunder And Roses links with: Cracker Gay redux
» The Laughing Wolf links with: The World Trembles...

Springing Eternal...

... it's misting rain here... but still quite warm... Spring has arrived, it seems... news of Terry Schiavo's demise is reverberating through the house courtesy of a BBC reporter... and I am heading to the mountains for lunch at The Bistro with friends... today is a good day, I think, to be sitting by a quiet mountain river in good company watching the rain fall...

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