helmetc

Dear Dad

Dear Dad;

As you know, everyone has/will have an obituary. Mine will be written one hundred and six years from now. (mark your calendar).

Often an obituary is written by close friends and family who, through committee and mind melding, come up with a list of your achievements and write them down as a final record of your foot prints in the sand.

I want you to know that we had very little committee or mind melding. The list of your accomplishments in the first rundown was extensive. So much so we had to edit.

Your mark in the sand is deep and long. It is sharp and distinct.

You were a complicated man. This is what we say for ponderous people we struggle to define. This is also what we say for men who are violent.

There was a time when I owned a Commodore 64. It was the tech in the day. It is laughable to the power today's computers can bring.

We judge people to today's standard, forgetting what they had for tested technology at the time. In your day, you were expected to beat children. That was a sign of love. Clearly, you loved your children. You particularly loved your oldest son. I'm okay with second love. Seriously, I'm Okay with that. Dio, you were really loved. More than me. I do not envy that.
  • Current Music
    Still I sing Bonny Boys
Shard

Here's your new road.

"I will call the pebble, Dare.
We will talk about walking
Dare shall be carried
And when we both have had enough
I will take him from my shoe, singing
"Meet your new road!" "

I am in Fayetteville. It is a strip mall hell with cuisine to match. The food is much like frozen meals which, if you think about it, this being an army town, is an improvement to rations.

My apartment is nice, my neighbors are nice, and the distant 108 mm cannon fire is in it's own way comforting. If you can hear the distant cannon's roar it means a shell hasn't dropped on you.

I've gone native. I have my North Carolina's drivers and vehicle registration.

My old house is under contract with other contracts on the way. I hope the new residents will be the caretakers of a peaceful, magical place.

House hunting is discouraging though.

People do the most fucked up things with their houses and think, "Well, it's the next guys problem." That's because they are assholes. People chose to be assholes. Every asshole realizes they are in fact assholes and they decide to continue to do so.

It's like my old neighbors. I watch them troll each other on social media. It's a town of five thousand people. You know each other! How can you be an asshole to someone you know?

What they do know is if they want something they cannot afford they can simply put it on the ballot and get others to pay for it. No matter how many times it is rejected, if they just keep putting it on the ballot, it will eventually pass and fuck everyone who has to pay for it.

I am angry. I have been chased from my beautiful home by assholes.

Well, now I must speak of unpleasantness. I am sure to loose friends but it must be said.

Not every kitchen needs an island.

There, I said it and I cannot take it back.

We looked at one house and I commented, "with the island there you can't open the oven door."

Until that moment they were proud of that island and they looked at me with an expression of, "Why you gotta be an asshole?"

It reminds me on the time when the University of Connecticut built a library. It was a marvelous design and students came from across the country to see its amazing structure! It won awards!

Soon after the library opened cracks formed. Well, they tried fixing it and built supports but in the end the entire front of the building fell off. The entire library had to be demolished. Millions of dollars down the shitter. See, the engineers did not take into account the weight of the books so the building and its awards crumbled like a sand castle at high tide.

Books in a library, that's sooo 20th century.
  • Current Music
    wisin' on a falling star, waiting for the early train.
Shard

It's been a year.

My Dad died.



He passed in May. Amid Covid 19 we could not visit him in the hospital. At the end there was video chat on a nurse's cell phone so my Father did not die alone.

In the 1950's he contracted scarring in his lungs from working in a mirror factory. No protections in those days. They had diagnosed him back then that his lungs would be a problem. He stayed fit and active and kept moving.

Pneumonia, compounded by the flu. They say it wasn't Covid. I will have to accept that.

Florida named a street after him. Rev. Herron Blvd.

My dad.

I put my house on the market, packed up everything and moved. I'm now in Fayetteville NC. If you want to buy my beautiful home, my dream home, you can.

Click here.

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/49-Mystic-Rd-North-Stonington-CT-06359/63422007_zpid/



We have Dr. Livingston and Chauser. Chauser was an out door cat. She is now inside. There are adventures to be had but we could not leave her.

We're settling in, updating mailing accounts, closing out high cost CT stuff and embracing our new life.

Many years ago my Grandfather, a minister, presided over my aunt's funeral. He said the body is like a tent; pitched and striked and moved, never permanent. It is patched and mended.

If the body is a tent, life must be the trail we walk upon. Sometimes forging our own path, sometimes following the markers left by others.

Our journey continues.

Buy my house!
  • Current Music
    Watch the World die
sun

Goodnight, Kage

Tuesday, September 3rd, Kage passed away. Like all things we had hoped for a last moment rally. She finally ate a few days before and we thought she had made it around the bend.

In 2004 we adopted Kage. She had been a stray and had kittens when she was six months old. The kittens all went to good homes, but who wanted a year old cat? We did, of course. We were reeling from Dr. Jones sudden death and there was a cat shaped hole in our hearts. We adopted Kitten Rose and Livingston all within the same month. We suddenly had four cats and three ferrets!

Rose was a stray found in a box in Norwich, the Rose City, with 18 other kittens. Rose was the tiniest and the last of the 18 kittens to find a home.

Livingston was found in a duffle bag in a dumpster. I don't think too much on that.

Gin the ferret was found roaming the street. Brutus the Ferret was adopted because his parents, two loving people, couldn't care for him. Naga the ferret came from the pet store.

They joined Lt. Patches. Lt. Patches was a kitten from an adopted stray, Newt. Dr. Jones was her sister.

Rose, Kage, Gin, Naga, Brutus, Dr. Jones, Lt. Patches have all gone.

There is a hole in our hearts.

Summer is ending.

We are leaving the Shire.

It's a wonderful place! Everything we ever wanted!

I gave away my Kitchen Clutch Cabinet today. There is a hole in the kitchen where it sat.

A hole in my heart.

The villains who are our neighbors covet our happiness. if I want something, I save up and buy it. If they want something, they tax it and take from me. That's it in a nutshell. My greatest investment, my home, is losing value. Like the Stockmarket, you buy low, sell high, and we bought amazingly low, but we missed the high and projections are if we wait long enough we will lose our entire investment.

Gone!

In three years alone I have lost 25,000 dollars. I don't know about you but I cannot afford 25,000 dollars. I have been mocked, ridiculed, and scoffed. It is easy to dismiss someone else's losses. It's my fault. I'm not complaining. I'm just leaving my beautiful home because of the insipid and selfish decisions of others. I'm not looking for sympathy, just silence. Have a tall, frosty glass of Not yo' business juice and move on.

No, they have things to say. They must say them. They cannot physically shut the hell up.

If I move, there is a very good probability I will be debt free. Completely! Zero debt! Can you imagine? This probability narrows into the 95% range within a hand full of years. In five years it narrows into the 99.9% chance I will have no debt.

Somehow that is a crime, to be debt free.

Well then, like Robin Hood I will be an outlaw!

It means, however, I must leave my beautiful home.

There is a hole in my heart.
  • Current Music
    When I first came to this land...
ferrets

286 processor

I need to post more to LJ. Facebook does not store your memories. LJ does.

So, today!

Kagetsunami had some blood work done and the bill came today. I called to pay it.

The attendant asked a question. I had to ask her to repeat the question three times.

I felt like a dottering fool. It's not that I did not understand the question or her American (which was perfect), I didn't believe the question as she had stated it. It made no sense to ask the question, although it was a perfectly phrased and logical question. The question opened up a series of illogical doors for me.

For you I'm sure it makes sense, but for my 286 processor brain in a Pentium world, I need a few minutes to input/analyze/process the question.

This was the question (Keep in mind she spoke very quickly):

DIDSHEHAVEINSURANCEATTHETIMEOFTHISPROCEDURE?

What? Like half day Wednesday we don't have insurance in the afternoon? I'm not surprised the insurance company would have half day Wednesdays, I just wish they informed me. I'm just here to pay the bill. Does this mean I have to pay MORE on Wednesday afternoons? Crap! How much do I have to pay now?

She then asked, proving I cannot multi-task:

CANYOUIDENTIFYTHEPATEINT?

What? Why should I? The bill is in my name? Why should you care who pays my bill?

I was so confounded I botched Kage Tsunami's DoB and had her born sometime 9,000 years from today.

Getting that all sorted, the lady on the phone said Kage Tsunami had been put erroneously into the system and they will now resubmit to the insurance company which at this time does NOT have half day Wednesday.

Good service! Wonderful service! So patient!

I'm gonna take a moment to let my 286 processor chip cool off. Whew! What a work out!
  • Current Music
    Looking out my back door!
ferrets

Kitten Rose

Our beloved Kitten Rose passed today. I got her at the pound in Lebenon CT in 2004. She had been found in a box with 18 other kittens in Rose Park in Norwich.

Once she knew you she was a cuddle bum. Until then, she kept he distance.

She was quiet, until she purred and then it's a jet airplane taking off.

I will miss that purr.

I suspect many of her health issues where development issues because of the abuse she suffered as a kitten.

I attribute her happy life to Kagetsunami's care and love.

Shard

That time of year.

For you who have followed my LJ you should be familiar with my little tradition. In the fall, before the leaves are gone, I take off all my clothes and walk out the front door. I circle my house, looking at trees and my yard. Before doing this I unlock the back door incase of a needed hasty retreat. God forbid the Fed-Ex guy comes rolling down the driveway.

I do this because I can.

Once the leaves are gone there is a slim chance a neighbor might see me, so I have to time this while there is enough foliage. I'm not an exhibitionist. I'm just happy to live here in the Shire and enjoy my privacy.

It's my way of saying, "I own this another year. I'm lord of my little spot of land and damn-it, I'll walk naked if I want!"

I also make notes. Make sure the house is in proper order. Note how the grass is coming. Actually LOOK at the house.

This year, however, it was a little different. A little melancholy.

I used to look at the house for what needed done to keep it in good kit. But now I'm looking at it in value.

For when I sell it.

I knew the day would come when the winters became too much and a southern siren's call beckoned me, but I figured that was off in the future.

No more.

Connecticut taxes are crushing us.

We're paying over eight thousand dollars in taxes just for the house. Property taxes alone is 8 thousand dollars.

8K.

Now with our new governor we're to have tolls on top of that. CT is already one of the highest taxed states in the country and now we're adding a new road tax. That's what a toll is. A road tax.

CT isn't friendly to retirees. I have been at a Town Hall Meeting where a woman stood up and screamed, her voice stretched and pained: "Why are we paying you to stay at home! Why don't you collect Social Security like everyone else!"

I explained this in a previous post, but to surmise, I was underpaid for over twenty years. To remain loyal to you, you PROMISED to pay me a pension. I lived up to my end of the deal. Now, you want to break your word.

In truth, these are the same words uttered by our new governor. He too hates retirees. He likes our service, our work, but doesn't want to live up to the contract he signed.

A quick search showed I could save over seven thousand a year in taxes, enjoy a lower cost of living and have a bigger house with more land if I simply moved.

Well, you can make your voice heard at the ballot box.

You can also make your voice heard with a suitcase.
  • Current Music
    If I could turn back time
transferral

Why are we paying you to stay home?

"Why are we paying you to stay home?" The woman shrilled in to the microphone causing painful feed back. She shook her fist furiously. "Why don't you go on Social Security like everybody else!" Her voice cracked during her verbal outcry but her message was very clear.

We were at a town hall meeting. Budget, of course, was on everyone's mind. The town was spending ludicrously, so much so that the State passed a new law to try a curtail the town's wasteful spending. The town, however, still had bills and couldn't pay them so this woman was proposing to take away teacher pensions.

I got into line to get to the open mic, but the woman, and her cronies, left right after her outburst like a gaggle of witches, unconcerned with the answer to her question.

To that woman, and her clutch of friends, allow me to answer your question.

You, woman, are an employer. You hired a person to work for you. You get a service, the worker gets money. The worker does well, shows up on time, complete tasks timely and becomes more proficient at their job. You decide to keep the worker, but you can't afford to pay the worker more and now the worker has training and experience, two important things on the job market. So to keep that worker for going off and working for someone else, you give that worker benefits. This is much cheaper for you.

Time passes and the worker, more experienced and trained, needs to move on because the worker needs to save for the time they can no longer work. You can't afford more money, but you cut a deal with the worker. You'll put a little money aside every month and the worker will put money aside every month and if the worker stays long enough, they will then draw a PENSION.

You get a trained, competent, professional worker and the worker gets a pension.

But you didn't quite do that, did you.

You wanted things so you 'borrowed' from the pension account. You had every intention to pay it back, but things happened and you wanted your toys so badly then and now and retirement is SO far away, you'll worry about it later.

Finally, the worker comes to you. The worker has given you their youth, their strength, their wisdom. Years of life they can NEVER get back.

But you don't give them their pension, do you? There isn't any money to be had. You wanted your things and you got your things and there is no more money. So you scream and your worker, you call them selfish and make them feel guilty for wanting only what you promised. A promise made so long ago, surely the worker isn't going to hold you to that?

You got your things. You also got the workers life and loyalty.

Fuck that worker. The worker was stupid to believe you and that is the workers fault, not yours.

The worker can just go get another job. Start over! The worker has plenty of life! That worker with his competence and skills could easily get another job and work to death because that is what a worker does.

Work to death.

So, you have your things and you get away with theft. That what you're trying to do. You got your things by stealing from the worker's pension account and you want to blame the worker for it.

Let's talk about 401k, shall we?

This is a great system. You put a little in, the worker puts a little in, and in twenty, thirty years we hope there is enough in there to live off. But there's a catch, see? The worker needs to make as much money as possible to build up that account. So that worker will go off to earn more money, more money you can't pay because you want to buy your things.

A pension give the worker incentive to stay with you, to work hard for you, to have good employee evaluations.

Let's talk about Social Security. Pensioners don't get Social Security because they paid into a PENSION which you provided. Take away the pension and they will have NOTHING. But you don't care about that. You got your toys and things.

Screaming into the microphone at the town hall meeting just said to all your workers and future workers, is this.

I will FUCK you. Fuck you for your loyalty, for your years of service for less pay, for your hard work. I got my things and toys and you get NOTHING!

So, what are you left with? Everyone competent and sane will move on to work for someone who will not fuck them over. Someone who will not betray them they way you betrayed them.

This will leave you with workers who cannot get hired elsewhere because they are incompetent, lazy, argumentative. Workers who you can't fire because there are no replacements.

Is this what you want? Teachers who teach your children? Police who enforce your laws? Firemen and paramedics who will come rescue you? What you will have are not what you want.

Unless you're okay with crummy teachers, bully cops, arsonist firefighters and paramedics who will kill you.

If that's what you want, that's what you'll get.

You want to change the contract, change it for the new guy who is young and can move on.

But now you've taken that employee's life. Life that employee cannot get back no matter how much you scream at the town hall meeting.

You made a promise.

Now, own up to it.
  • Current Music
    And I'm down at the bottom of a pit in a blazing sun, all torn and twisted at the foot of a burning bike
pirate

A day in the life of a man.

I wore my manly shop apron and my manly tool belt overfilled with manly tools. In the back ground, a manly man was going step by manly step on the manly DIY project on a manly You Tube video. All very manly as the tech said, "guys", meaning manly men and manly women.

Armed with my manly Philips head screw driver, Phil a manly name, and my step ladder, I followed the procedures and disassembled my AC unit and cleaned out all the black mold with deadly, manly chemicals, mercilessly slaughtering anything living comprised of one cell or less, their microbial screams became my anthem.

Everything nice and clean and spit spot, I went to reassemble the unit.

I had cleaned the blower fan, a long plastic cylinder, bristling with louvers, and it was smelling pine tree manly. I stood it up on the carpet to dry. Now, I reached for it, but like a wobbling toddler, it fell over, and like a wobbling toddler, instead of landing harmlessly on the carpet, Persian because, you know, manly, the fan clipped the cadenza. The cadenza was my grandmother's, don't judge me.

It was that one in 100,000 odds that it would strike in the one spot and the right angle. The fan broke.

Well, no matter! Manly men know how to handle such things. I turned to the vast library of manliness, THE INTERNET! Not Wicked-Pedio, or the inter-webs, the manly internet with a proper manly search engine,(engine that word is SO manly) GOGGLE, a word invented by a MAN who made up a number so huge it needed it's own name (seriously, who other than a man would create such a manly and useless thing?) and searched for a replacement part.

None to be had.

What?

Well, wot's a man to do? Cry?

Yes, get that over with. Now wot?

Well, Marines (and I am a Marine) when faced with adversity adapt and overcome. This usually comes in the form of a call for naval bombardment. Cruise Missiles and Tomahawk man missiles.

My internet search led me to, well, Seers. Seers lost all of it's manly points as it slowly drives itself out of business, but a man's gotta do wot a man's gotta do.

I opened a chat window with parts tech, Peyton.

Peyton? Pay-ton? This is gonna cost me.

Well, there is Peyton Manning. Manning is a manly name and he plays a manly sport. Let's give him a try.

The part, Peyton types, is unavailable, BUT, he goes on before I manly despair, I will try to source one for you.

He comes through. Part ordered, look for it in ten days.

I wrote back, "Ten days? Yer figuratively killing me, Peyton".

"We have a $35 express shipping option."

See? Peyton understands manly. He didn't mention this before because he sensed my manly aura and men don't pay for express shipping ever, not even for a fire extinguisher. We'll piss that out and save shipping costs.

"No, Peyton, (as you already guessed) I'll pass on express shipping."

Part ordered. Now we wait.

That was yesterday. Today I went into the guest bed room, pulled the fan out of that unit, and installed it in my main unit with my manly tools.

Then, manliness overflowing, I went out on the roof and caulked my skylight with my manly caulking GUN, because, GUN.

And now a manly beer!
  • Current Music
    We're men! We're manly men!
Badge

Schools and shootings, part three.

It was a Tuesday night,a couple years back, a state trooper sat in his car anxiously listening to his radio. The chatter from multiple police agencies, wailing sirens in the back ground, revving v-8's growling, calling out codes, crackled over the speaker. Suspect was traveling over one hundred miles an hour, in the wrong lane, head on into traffic. The trooper's job was to stop anyone else getting on the highway, and engage the suspect he he chose his exit.

To his relief, the suspect pulled off another exit and lost the caravan of cruisers on darkened side streets.

He listened to other agencies, out of jurisdiction, break off. Everything was quieting down.

Still at this post, he saw the silhouette of another trooper's car roll up on him. They chatted, certain they were done.

Then they heard the engine winding up in the distance. The troopers had little time to react as the suspect vehicle barreled past them, glancing the second cruiser as it went by.

Radio calls revived as the trooper was now in pursuit on a dark, winding road, the suspect at speeds well over eighty. While cops can ignore the law of highways, they cannot ignore the law of physics. A Crown Victoria is a midsized sedan with no magic powers, just rear wheel drive and a stupid big engine. This is NOT a car for dark back roads.

The trooper backed off, letting the suspect charge recklessly into the night. Other agencies were calling in, the search pattern starting up again.

The trooper headed back to his buddy and they set up a post with stop sticks.

A stop stick is a long pool noodle of foam filled with hollow spikes. You run over it with a car and the spikes hit your tire, slowly deflating them. As they took positions of safety, the howl of the suspect's engine sounded out into the night, coming closer.

The troopers, ready to throw their stop sticks, waited for the suspect to thread the needle of their positioned cruisers.

He had no intention of driving by.

He slammed into the back of the second trooper's car.

The second trooper, hiding behind his car, was knocked down and stunned.

The first trooper, gun drawn, his eyes fighting the terror of the scene, approached the suspect vehicle, screaming, "Show me your hands, show me your hands!"

Slowly the suspect clambered out of his vehicle, raising his hands.

He was holding a champagne bottle.

Confused, the trooper shouted at the suspect to drop the bottle, and the suspect rose to his full height, his eyes wide and wild, and shouted in a blood curdling voice, "I WILL MURDER YOU!"

He turned and slammed the champagne bottle on the hood of his car, then paused in surprise as it did not break. He did it again, pounding on it furiously, yet the champagne bottle would not break. He finally gave up, and stomped after the trooper, his bottle upraised as a club.

The trooper backpedalled, shouting commands, and the two circled around the car. As they did, the second trooper staggered to his feet and looking up drew his weapon.

The suspect turned, raising his champagne bottle, arching it back to swing.

Both trooper's fired. The second trooper, stumbling back, his shot went wide.

The first trooper's shot hit home.

The suspect dropped.

The two troopers cuffed him, did first aid and called for an ambulance. He was taken to the hospital. In the ambulance, cuffed to the gurney, the trooper asked him:

"Dude, WHAT THE FUCK!"

(I paraphrase)

The man apologized. Then said that he hated himself so much he wanted to die. He couldn't do it, so instead, he wanted to create a situation he could not possibly survive.

This is not a 'story'. I, and I mean, ME, spoke to the trooper who shot him and the suspect's mother. When I say spoke, I used verbal words, I shook their hands, I looked them both in the eye. I listened to their story because the suspect's story did not end there.

His mother had more to say.

She arrived at the hospital, her son under armed guard, and he told her the same thing he told the trooper.

He recovered, did therapy for both his gun shot and his mental state. His mother worked very hard to resolve his issues, learning about mental health.

She did everything a human being could do to help another human being.

His brain, however, was fire.

In the end, he succeeded.

He didn't want to hurt anyone, but he needed to commit a crime so huge he could not survive.

He went after a cop with a machete. He was killed.

The trooper and his mother now go on tour talking about mental health.

Thanks for staying with me so far, but you should be really curious as to what this has to do with School shootings.

EVERYTHING.

The pattern is this. Someone goes to a school, shoots up the place, the cops arrive, they shoot themselves. They often rebuff the first encounter with law enforcement, before capping themselves to the overwhelming force.

There are exceptions, but the pattern is the same, putting themselves in a situation they cannot survive.

Suicide by cop.

I don't mean to simplify mental health. There are FAR too many factors to consider in the scope of the mind, but there comes a moment when the brain betrays us and only horror is an option.

And it can take time, YEARS.

A man, living out in the midwest, thought his life wasn't going the way he wanted, so he began to accumulate guns and ammunition. He traveled around different states to hide under the radar, joining gun clubs as not to raise suspicions for accumulating ammo, and of course, to practice. At one point he got a girlfriend and suspended his plans of murder, until she dumped him.

We know this from his blog. If you found it, it said, "The Password is the day I die."

So, it was locked until that day.

For years he knew the day.

He went to his old school, smuggled his guns in, and chained the doors to the auditorium.

Two things went array. One, the auditorium was canceled so instead of hundreds of potential victims he had thirty, and two, the police were training on campus.

As he walked down the aisle, murdering, he looked up and saw through the tiny auditorium door window a boat load of cops. They made quick work of the locked door, but he had run up on stage, and before the cops could access, shot himself.

They found his blog, and typed in the day's date.

This is your suspect. A man who thought he failed in life picked on his school for failing to prepare him, but reality speaking, he didn't want to live and created a scenario he could not survive. He could have capped himself whenever, but instead, his mind wrapped itself with layers of stories to blame others for his own short comings, made by extension, his suicide.

So he could die.

Not all these go to plan, not all these work. In Florida, a teen walked into school with an AR-15 and shot up the place. The gun then jammed. Unable to fix it, he tried to hide with the other students who pointed him out. The cops took him into custody.

A lot has not been disclosed about him, his mental state, about what he wanted.

I can't comment on it.

I can, however, speculate. His blood lust had not been satiated. The weapon malfunctioned, distracted him, taking him from the moment, allowing reality to settle in.

What was left of his brain, that bit that wanted to survive, suddenly piped up, suggesting to make a run for it.

And he did.

So, in schools and shootings, this is the person you have to stop. Someone who has planned it, someone who knows the lay out, someone who knows the drill.

And most of all.

Someone who wants to die.

More on this.