“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Time and Place

OK, for folks everywhere. Unless your genitalia are literally on fire, there is not a single converastion we may be having which requires you to continue/initiate/return a phone call while you are performing private bodily functions. I promise, whatever I have, it can wait til you are done. Seriously. Those of you doing it on speaker phones in public restrooms are even worse. Stop that crap. *NOTE* If your genitalia actually ARE on fire, please call someone more experienced and equipped to deal with such issues than myself, for both our sakes.

Sunday, November 19, 2023


There are times to be neat, polite, prim, and all that fancy stuff. A proper chili dog should make a mess when you eat it. This is not up for debate.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Veteran's Day

Going to change up the message a bit this year. Thank YOU. For the opportunity to let me serve something greater than myself. For the chance to be alongside some of the best men and women I've ever met, in good times and bad. For teaching me skills and discipline which are still with me today. For allowing me to travel the world, and realize how similar we all are. For challenging me in ways I never expected, and rewarding me in ways I still am learning. I'm humbled to have played my own, small part. Thank you to my nation for the chance.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Pondering Moments

Not sure where this memory popped up from. But, When you're young and impressionable, and you put a bird down in a grid square in the middle of nowhere, and a few guys in a mix of clothes get on for a ride - it leaves a mark on you. A time later, when you're one of the guys getting on that bird, it leaves a different mark.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Current Terror Events. And Canada needs a F-ing clue.

I can't write everything I'm feeling or thinking right now. It's too fresh. Too raw. I literally know people affected by this, much less the general horrors involved. I won't comment on history of the region, grievances on either side, or anything else. It's not black and white overall, particularly for those who only understand the world through 30-second sound bites. I will say this, without reservation, equivocation, or remorse. Particularly directed at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and the spineless minions who feel things are "nuanced". Let me help you out. If you believe that beheading babies, killing children and families in their beds, kidnapping and gang-raping women just for being on the other side, and taking civilian hostages to deter retalation after your attacks is somehow "justified", then you are a terrorist. Not anything else. Not some noble resistance or freedom fighter. You have abandoned all pretenses of humanity, and anyone excusing such actions is either stupid or complicit. Similarly, those happily engaged in sharing the digital trophies of such events, or holding rallies to celebrate these acts has openly stated their belief that barbaric horrors are perfectly fine against the "right" victims. Similarly, to the ass-hat in Ottawa who never met a dictator he didn't like - I'm fortunate enough to live in the United States, so I can still freely say such things, rather than face your ever-growing attempts to stifle online dissent, identify those who don't agree with you, and otherwise implement your draconian rules. No, I'm not very happy with humanity or the world right now. I just ask God to show mercy on those he can, and grant peace to those left behind.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

A Travel Tidbit

So, there I was on one of the flights last week, doing things, going places and all that. And, as happens sometimes, there's a bit of a kerfluffle amongst the flight attendants, and a few minutes later the lead comes on the intercom to inquire if there are any doctors, nurses, or the like onboard to assist a passenger? They find a couple of folks & moments later the group is towards the back of the plane helping sort things out. At which point, the woman in the seat next to me pings her call button. When the flight attendant arrives, she informs her in a very solemn manner that not only is she a trained accupressure therapist, but she's also skilled in aromatherapy in case that would be be of any assistance with what's going on... I swear, I'm not making this up. Folks, I'm all for alternative medicine, and you-do-you-boo. But, maybe keep in mind the "when and where" of things. You may rest assured, if I'm having an incident at 38,000 feet severe enough to ask for help, I want someone able to do a whole lot more than balance my chakras. And, the passenger was fine in the end.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Don't Break the Rules... Except When You Do

"The Moscow Rules" exist in various versions dating from the Cold War - originially developed as a set of guidelines for CIA personnel operating in the unforgiving environment of espionage in the Soviet Union. They still apply today in terms of dealing with possible hostile or criminal actors for people going in harm's way, or just trying to stay smart and safe in an uncertain world. One of the rules is "Don't harass the opposition." Meaning, even if y ou know who the players are, it's considered bad form to tweak their noses in it. This is fundamentally sound guidance. Irritating those you are working against can give away things you aren't ready to, clue them in enough they escalate things, or just generally piss people off and get egos involved where you then become an object lesson. Like most rules, sometimes you just have to break it. Case in point, last week I was spending time with some foreign partners helping them step up their security testing program at a location. It's a healthy relationship, as such things go, with a long history of "trust". And, while we weren't being super-sneaky about the process, it certainly wasn't intended to be public knowledge or broadly shared even on location. Yet for some reason one of their other agencies got a hair up their backside, and decided to drop a major surveillance team on us. Which is one thing. But, they were also complete amateurs about it - the closest comparison I could give is the classic "Pink Panther" movies with Inspector Clouseau. People doing the most awkward outfit changes to shift appearance, "trying" to surreptitiously take pictures, "talking" on their phone with it visibly not on and so forth. It was almost professionally insulting. So, yes, I had to play around a bit with them. We *might* have managed to add about 4 miles of "extra" steps in our routes around the place that day. Gotten a huddle together and then split in five different directions. Gone up and talked to strangers just to confuse the opposition as to what was going on. Taken selfies with their groups in the background. I mean, I had *some* courtesy. I resisted the urge to take one guy a bottle of water when he looked worn out. I was nice enough to say thank you when one of them got stuck awkwardly holding the door for us. And we all waved goodbye from the taxi at the end of the day. Worst part? Even with all this attention, we still got in...

Thursday, August 17, 2023

More Billboard Notes

From this week's observations, is the primary industry in Atlanta civil suit attorneys? Or did they just corner the advertising market?

Saturday, August 12, 2023

The "War on Drugs" to "Let's Be Careful Out There"... or, something.

Not making a judgment one way or another on this one. Just an observation from a roadside billboard during a trip this week. In less than 40 years we've gone from "Just say no" to "Don't get high alone, in case you OD". Pretty sure who won this conflict.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Independence Day Update

Spent my Fourth of July overseas, helping with a workshop for a number of international partners. Which, interestingly enough (at least to me) includes a short handful of countries that 30 years ago I considered adversaries, and actively worked against. Now, I'm helping both sides of that coin improve our security measures with a basis of common ground and objectives. Interesting how things change. And, for the bit it's worth. Glad and honored I live in a country where I have this opportunity to try and make the world a better place.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Homecoming Moments

*Opens terrarium to release some excess moisture.* 2 hours later. *Furry house goblins maniacally traipse through house with plant carcasses.* *Closes now-empty terrarium and reconsiders life choices.*

Monday, May 22, 2023

Spooky Moments

When you're on the 8th floor of the hotel, and there are no balconies, you should NOT hear two voices distinctly arguing outside your window. No, I'm not looking. Chalk it up to a long day.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

We all have our own rodeo

Things we've walked away from. Or been forced to leave. Each left a mark, but there are no regrets.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Perspectives of Time

When you're a kid "deniable actions" sound cool. Like you're some action hero. When you're an adult, they suck, because you're in the "I'd kind of like to discuss some baggage, but I can't."

Monday, April 17, 2023

We’re doomed

Serioisly, what is wrong with people that we now think it is acceptable to have loud speakerphone conversations in public restrooms?

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Watching a Train Wreck in Slow Motion

No, not what you think. No political post or other current event. Today I had one of those personal moments, where you watch the disaster unfolding but it's already too late to stop it. I had just started the periodic cleaning of my fish tank, changing filters and the like, which involves taking the top off to access things. You may recall, we had a couple of new kittens (almost cats now) join us a few months ago. One of whom is a little mischief goblin, and who likes to perch on top of said tank to watch the moving bits inside. Yes. You already know where this is going. There I was, just getting things disconnected, when a black, furry streak leaps from the side and lands square in the tank which no longer has the expected cover. He managed to equally leap directly out, in the process soaking not only himself, but the wall, floor, and a number of other things. All are fine - cat is dry and back to running about, fish are swimming wondering whatever they wonder, and towels are in the wash. Aren't pets grand...

Monday, March 13, 2023

A Note From the 31st Century

The first hundred years are the worst. I still laugh when I tell myself that. In stories, immortals are always young and perfect. Go figure. Here I was, stuck through the lifetimes in the body of a middle-aged man. Oh, sure, the fitness level came and went with the efforts I put into it; but, even in the 31st century there’s the things that tell someone I’m not as young as I used to be. Immortal? Oh, yeah. That. Well, immortal isn’t the right word I suppose. Violence and extreme trauma could still kill us, of course. Or toxins or radiation or such - at least in a high enough dose. But disease? Aging? All those “everyday” things? Not so much. Sure, I still caught a cold once a year - but, over a millennia, I’d made it through a dozen major pandemics and a handful of minor epidemics without much more than a few weeks off to recover each time. But, short of something catastrophic, if you can get one of us to a decent hospital you can expect a “miraculous recovery.” Folks want stories, of course. Truth is, I’d forgotten more than I remembered. Not due to some failure or weakness. There’s just so much memory space, even in the brains we have, and mine was constantly overwriting old data. Usually it didn’t matter - I had little call these days to remember the best prices for a head of gen-gineered cows on Ross 128 back in the early days. Some, though, cut to the quick. Even though she’s 972 years gone, I’d tattooed my first wife’s name on my wrist during a lucid period a few centuries ago, because it pained me I would forget her some days. Even with that, it’s still more days than not I can’t even recall her face… Others? Of course there’s others. I’m no one special, even though I’m special. You take a one in a billion mutation, and spread it over an interstellar community, and there’s bound to be a handful of us even on the most mid-range world. It’s not like there’s some secret society, or handshake, but… you figure it out. Mostly we live our own lives. There’s nothing to be gained by setting up some vendetta that lasts over a century or two. Similarly, it’s a big enough universe that it’s easy enough to mind your own business. Still, it *is* nice when you meet now and again. For the shared weight of experiences. The perspective that comes from having seen all of this before. Even the laughs of “Wait, you were there in 2812? I was just across the river, how did we not run into each other?” Like I said, the first century is the hardest. After that, you figure out it’s just life.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Inspiration and Admiration

One of the joys of the two not-quite-kittens is watching their frolics and antics. They play tag, wrestle, and otherwise enjoy every bit of scampering and adventure that is in their nature. And, in watching some of the acrobatics, I now clearly see where some of the Chinese wuxia and Japanese martial arts movies drew inspirations for the amazing feets of dexterity. Physics-defying to say the least, as well as being purely epic in levels of amusement.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Electric Vehicles

Patrick Rhone has a point I agree with on electric vehicle adoption - right now you're trading one devil for the other. Combined with the infrastructure limitations and increasing electrical costs, I don't think the market is anywhere near the wholescale adoption that many people wish for.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

A Chill is in the Air

Going places, doing things this week. I'd forgotten how haunted a winter desert wind can be, the voices and whispers as it blows through the world. The cries and mysteries you can almost hear in each strong gust. It's the type of night you see legends move in the shadows.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Modern Driving Tip

Look, folks, I realize the laws have changed in many states, and you have some more open habits. But, if I can smell the weed from your car when we're doing 70 on the Interstate, it might be time to ease up on the hot-boxing.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Overheard Kitten Monologues..

"Stop!" "Those are my feet!" "Can you two get out of that?" "No, that's my food!" "What are you, no, leave that alone!" "What just fell?"

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

It's the Content, Stupid...

For want of a better title. Classified documents amongst the political elite has been all the buzz lately, with files and papers turning up just about everywhere but the Sunday school flyer. And, as is typical, it has led to a rash of interwebz experts on "He declassified this," "They hid that," "Look at this new thing!" amongst the media and public spheres. Along with fingerpointing of who can do what at which time, and other issues of "How the hell are you people not accountable for simple documents like anyone else?" So, in a rare attempt to educate, I felt like going over a tidbit everyone seems to be skipping past in their rush to judgment from whichever side of the spectrum they follow. Let's take your random document, with some classification marking. In this case we'll call it 'Top Secret', without any other special labels or such. A piece of paper with some words, or images, or whatever. Now, that particular 'Top Secret' label means that the powers that be (and there is a broad swath of agencies which can do so, by delegated authority" feel that the information therein could result in grave danger to national security if disclosed. Note the key words - the information within. It's not the paper itself that is classified - it's the information which it represents. Not just a single copy, but that information, as a whole, pertaining to public discussion. Which leads to the elephant everyone is ignoring. I won't dispute classification/declassification authorities in any of the events currently making the news. BUT, I will point out this. If *any* of said players appropriately stated "X" document is declassified - it applies to that information across the board. Not just some paper in an office or garage or library. No, the contents themselves, in whatever form, are now legally no longer subject to those rules. Which leads to a separate, ugly, mess...

Monday, January 23, 2023

Straw Purchase Observation

For some reason Blogger isn't letting me leave a comment on Tam's blog post regarding the typical lack-of prosecution for firearms straw purchases - where a person buys a firearm for someone else who is not legally permitted to own one. So, I'll do a short note here. I absolutely concur this happens, and will relate just one incident of several. My last case before the career change was a white supremicst/domestic terror case with multiple subjects involved. Not some coercion or entrapment either, these were legitimately bad people who were getting guns and explosives in order to start a race war and the works. But, the relevant part is this - wife/mom of a couple of the subjects is not directly involved in the case. However, when we do the search warrant on the house, lo and behold we find over 15 guns purchased for husband and son (both of whom were convicted felons) by mom. AND, mom confesses, on video to knowing they couldn't have them, and buying them anyway. You can't get much cleaner of a case than this. Each individual firearm purchase is a separate felony charge, and a legitimate case of someone knowingly breaking the law. Hell, even letting someone plead to just one of the charges is an easy win. Nope. US Attorney and ATF didn't want to do it. "Bad optics to charge mom too." "We're already putting the other two away." and so forth. No concern about enforcing an existing law. It wasn't a big enough story to throw the book at everyone, and they were more worried about the appearances rather than doing the right thing.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Media Rule One

The more inflamatory/high profile the event, the more the intial reporting is suspect. Wait 24 hours and then you might be getting accurate information.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Changing Roles

More and more these days I find myself playing Obi-Wan, and realizing I'm no longer likely to be Luke. That's not a bad thing. Far better than I ever expected to make it to.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Not Feeling It

Posting something today to meet the goal, but the creative juices aren't flowing. Spending the day explaining to people that the security baby is ugly doesn't fill me with joy. Best I can say is, at least they're finding out from testing and not bad events.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Animal Sorting Houses

You can blame lack of sleep and medicated brain for this mash-up: Hogwarts, but sorting into the individual houses in the style of Animal House... Ron Weasley - "He's a legacy, we have to take him." Neville Longbottom - "Why not, we need the dudes." Harry Potter, the innocent kid unaware of the system (no change I realize). And, with the Gringots money, definitely the Pledge Representative to the Social Committee. And, please - tell me that Slytherin wouldn't haze the pledges just like the Omegas did...

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Follow-up on the Clown Show

DaddyBear has some appropriate commentary on the upward movement of yet another career politician to the role of Speaker. I don't disagree in the slightest. If we did nothing but impose mandatory term limits for all elected officials it would solve so many problems.

Friday, January 6, 2023

The Clown Show

Watching the shenanagins going on in D.C. currently with the attempt to elect a Speaker for the House of Representatives honestly comforts me. If they're busy playing back and forth on this, it's keeping them from meaningfully messing anything else up for the moment - I'll take the reprieve.

Monday, January 2, 2023

The Value of Time

No, not the typical "you don't get seconds back, don't waste them;" sort of post, although tangently related. Rather, just another observation today of the price of my time, and what I'm willing to spend it on - or, conversely, what I will spend money to avoid. Today stemmed from some car work done in conjunction with the annual safety inspection. Could I have done the majority of what I had the mechanic do this morning? Sure, particularly since there's an Internet video for just about any sort of maintenance these days. But, odds are it would have taken me about twice as long to do so, not counting dealing with the mess afterwards, probably at least one bonus run for parts, and so forth. So, I paid someone else to do the work and deal with the stress (along with the comfort of knowing it was probably done better than anything I would have managed). I've reached a point in life where fortunately I can do so, both financially and mentally. Not that I do so carelessly, or for everything. Some tasks I want to do my own work so I know it's done a certain way, or to develop a skill, or simply because I enjoy them. I'd rather spend an hour outside in the world mowing my lawn and getting fresh air than pay someone to do yard work as one example. But, for a number of things part of the decision factor is "will the stress and time of doing this myself outweigh the financial cost in paying someone else to do it?" Because my time and mood have a value as well.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

A personal experiment

 For most of my life I've carried a pocket knife in those spots legally permitted (and, more than once, those not...). It's a tool. Opening boxes and packages, cutting food, slicing a line, trimming a hangnail, or in extremis self-defense, knives are one of the things which separate us from animals. Those who know me aren't surprised or shy to ask for help if something needs cutting, or to be used to seeing the sign of where I typically carry a folding blade.

While not my own cultural background, I've always enjoyed that Nordic proverb "A knifeless man is a lifeless man."  Because, it's true - I've not yet had a situation where I went "Gee, I wish I didn't have a knife with me;" BUT - I've encountered countless times where someone else was grateful I carried one. 

And, while I've had a gamut of knives from youth til now, for the past (wait, carry the 2, no, that *can't* be right,) *mumble mumble* years it's been some flavor of "tactical" knife, typically from a certain few makers I respect and who have served the community well. Point-of-fact, my drawer of pointy things has drawn a raised eyebrow from She-Who-Tolerates-My-Antics more than once. . . 

Yet, let's be realistic. My days of "kicking doors and taking names" are past. I'm far more likely to deal with something from Amazon these days than battle an amazon. Sure, while a knife always has a last-ditch option - I'm at a point in life it's more likely to be a utility tool than anything else. 

All this sort of percolated through my head the other day as I was looking at things, and has led to a thought experiment. 

For the month of January, my primary knife carry is going to be a simple Swiss Army knife from my collection (Victorinox Ranger, for those who care). Because I'm more often doing utility things than anything else, I want to see if it makes any appreciable difference in my day. Yes, for hikes or other events I may add something else, but in general I want to force myself towards the utility rather than a single-focus blade. 

Of course, being me, it's not stock - but no "modifications" are crazy. I have some different grip scales on it, and a pocket clip, but that's it. The knife isn't "tactical" or "cool" or any other high speed thing. It's just a pocket knife with some decent tool accessories. 

May post updates or not, but I'm curious as to how it works out.