Archive for the ‘Stories of Home’ Category

“Diet” Food

So you have probably noticed that I like to drink. For the last month I have been trying to counter that with eating better and a quasi diet. Let’s face it I’m not getting younger and frankly I’m not a paragon for healthy living.  I hate calling this post”Diet Food” because when folks say diet it inspires visions of long hours in a gym, and religious almost cult like dedication to a food regime that would gag a goat.

Hell no.

For a guy who used to run around in camo and try to kill people I am decidedly a lazy bum. I enjoy not running 5 miles a day, and frankly between my travel, work and school schedule I dont have the time to do such. I barely have time to sit down and pound out little missives such as this one.

Anyway I have swapped two meals for either a yogurt and granola combination, or a broccoli and green apple smoothie with a little PB2 added. The smoothie was inspired by the recent Rory McIlroy commercial. Granted using a commercial to come up with diet recipes probably isn’t the brightest thing but hey what ever works right? It also isn’t half a bad even if a little pulpy which probably has more to do with my blender than the recipe.

I’ve also been trying to watch carbs and protein etc. I can’t say that I’m religious but I am making an effort.

I recently purchased a sample package of soylent so Friday I am going to give the version 1.5 a run and see how I feel after using it for a few days.  I’ve heard that it gives people horrid gas, so I think I will wait until Friday evening after work to begin the experiment.  I have heard a lot about the product so I am interested in seeing the results of it. Based on the flavour profile for the reviews the PB2 may be a good additive for it as well.

 

 

Still grinding

So as I mentioned earlier my classes for the semester are almost over. In fact this is the last week. I will get a week off, which frankly will be nice, and then I start my last college class I will take. From here on its all research and trying to write a thesis that meets APA and everyone else’s requirements.

So if updates are slow this week, that’s the reason why. I’m just  trying to get through my finals for the week while maintaining my sanity and keeping my job.

Finally getting to kick off my project in Indiana, so I am looking forward to seeing how it will develop. I am also still working with my management to develop a team of people who do what I do. Its nice being the guy in the box but for the last 5 years all I have done is trail blaze, and truth be told its tiring.

Having a team will help. Even then, it will be a year or more before they can get their feet under them well enough to manage on their own.

For now I just need to make it through the week, however.

 

Delta: Catering to the 1%?

This post was updated 4/15/2016 at 0826CST with Email communications from both the author and Delta Airlines Customer Service

I have been a Delta customer for over twenty years. I have been a loyal one at that. I know that everyone’s perspectives may vary, and some have had bad experiences, I on the other hand, never have.  In full disclosure I’m not a super Elite member of their SkyMiles program, I’m a Silver Medallion, the lowest of their platform aside from a plain Member. According to TripIt however I have logged over 17,000 miles this year and spent almost 45 days traveling since January.

Two years ago Delta totally revamped their SkyMiles program, making it almost twice as hard to achieve Medallion status. They also added a section called Comfort. I did not like the SkyMiles revamp. However, the Comfort program, and the ability to upgrade my own seats after my company purchased a ticket made it something I could continue to deal with.

Until Now.

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Traveling Road Show

A wise man once told me that if you weren’t a 10 when you arrived, you aren’t a 10 when you leave, and she really isn’t in to you because your a hottie.

The point being pretty straightforward, if she (or he as the case may be) is treating you like you are Adonis, its probably not because you can quote Plutarch and Goethe.

As such traveling can sometimes be a minefield, especially here in the states. While romance is always in the air if one seeks it, the fact of the matter is just as many folks lose their wallets, their credit cards, and their jobs by being ….well…frankly….stupid.

There is not enough vodka in the world to make a unattractive person hot despite the common Beer Goggles myth, and if you are willing to lose complete control of your sensibilities and perspective then frankly you deserve what happens to you. I have heard it all in my day. “You look like a friend I know.” “You look like George R.R. Martin”. “You remind me of my best friend”. None of which changes the fact that at the end of the day I’m a short fat white guy who could probably pass for an extra on Jeremiah Johnson.

In the words of Band of Brothers

“Flies spread disease…..so keep yours closed.”

Simple Life

Things sort of slowing down finally. I let my school work get away from this week, as I usually try to make sure that I have no assignments due on the weekends so I can spend time with my family. However, I failed yesterday to get one item done so I’ll be trying to handle it this morning instead.

Got home last night and got most of our garden planted, the carrots will have to wait until summer. The apple tree’s we planted a few weeks ago are doing well, and actually are budding. We mulched around them last night as well.

I got a good portion of our yard cut with the mower last night. Our new mower has headlights and I find myself wondering Why didn’t you think of this before? Why should I cut grass in July when its 110 when I can cut it at night when its 70 or 80 and no sun beating you down?

I’ll have to ponder that one some more between now and hot weather.

Today is finish the grass cutting, pull a old gate out of the ground, and clean our house (spring cleaning). Kick back with some grilled hot dogs later.

Should be a nice weekend if all goes well and with the exception of this post, it will be nice to shun technology for about 48 hours.

Lex: End of line

I wrote this in March of 2012 once it had finally settled in to my brain on the passing of Neptunus Lex. Brother in Arms, Brothers in Ink, Milblogger, and a man I’d like to consider a friend. I think it needs to be reposted as its that time of the year again.

It is Ireland’s sacred duty to send over, every few years, a playwright to save the English theatre from inarticulate glumness.
Kenneth Tynan, Observer, 27 May 1956

We didn’t send him to England. But really, for an Irishman there really isn’t much difference between death and England.

For me, it didn’t really click until this morning.I had an eval with my current employer, I sat in front of my laptop at 4 o clock this morning with my coffee, and on impulse clicked Lex’s blog link from my bookmarks. My nerves akimbo. I wanted some peace.

Over the years the people I have known via websites have waxed and waned. When I first started writing on line back in 1995, there was one other site I visited with regularity. In 2000, there was eight. In 2002 twenty two. In 2007 almost 52.

Now? 17…and of those fully half are inactive links. Its a testament to my love for Lex’s work that I kept him on my book mark list. The others I liked and I keep hoping that they will update. I have been reluctant to remove the inactive ones from my bookmarks for this reason.

As I clicked his link, and the page loaded the hot coffee turned cool against my lips as I was reminded by whisper…he’s gone. His words will not grace us any longer, save for works in days gone by. His thoughts of previous days left to haunt us in the present. No new posts will cross our screens, no sea stories to grace our world.

I set my cup down and wondered. This digital snap shots in to our lives. Where will they go? What will happen to them. For many, when the costs come due our families will shut them down, turn off the lights, and our words will vanish in to the ether at some point.

Our words left unread by those in the future whom may read them. It is one advantage our print and media brethren have over us. Our archives are only around as long as someone wishes to pay for it. There are no libraries whom receive our subscriptions, no history scribes whom will hallmark our work and words. It is up to us to find ways to back up these works, save them, and distribute them in some fashion for others to hold dear.

Our children may not come of age knowing our works, or what motivated us without these very lines I type. How we thought and the people we sought to be, in the end are portrayed here, in black and white and sent to you in hi definition on 1,024 x 768 pixels through a OC48 pipe from one coast to another.

Lex is gone. That much is final. His words may one day slip in to obscurity. Like my other blog friend triticale whom we lost in 2007, or Acidman whom we lost in 2006, their websites stand testament to their sentiments, themselves, and their values. Digital monuments.

But one day those digital monuments can and will fail. Companies get sold, servers crash, people move on, costs become exorbitant. For me a culmination of almost two decades of writing belong on two websites…the thought crosses my mind…what will happen if? I have no regular blog partner with keys. My wife has no interest in these things, and no interest in voicing her own ideals. It will simply become like my coffee, cold, and one day to vanish in to the electronic ether.

End of Line as Tron repeated so often many years ago in its interpretation of the digital world.

Maybe I am bleak because a little light has left this world. Because one who continued, with others fell to the way side, to provide us with measured, rational doses of words, wisdom and work. Who shared with us his day to day experiences, struggles and life.

Maybe I am bleak because how many of us, in that former profession, had those narrow misses? Those brief glances in to our future? that feeling that all we knew and had was about to change in a single instance….and once he was past that point he chose to go back to it, willingly, knowing the costs at stake? Only to be snatched at the last possible instance mere feet from safety?

It seems incomprehensible really. But the Banshee does not care about prose, wit, or talent and at some point when she calls to us to warn of us of An Bás, the time to prepare will be over.

I prefer not to think that those engines final whine were the cry of the Banshee for Lex, although fitting it may be.

When An Bás came calling, I choose to think that someone, up there….just wanted a good debriefing on how life is down here these days. And to keep it interesting he picked the best writer we had.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam
May he rest on peace

The Starvation Orders: The Greatest Generation?

(Editors Note: I first published this at the beginning of 2012. For March, I thought it was a good story to bring back up and republish. Enjoy!)

The Irish and the British will always have issues because the British never remember, and the Irish never forget.

It’s a hot button issue in Ireland.

At the time, and now to an extent, many feel that the over 5,000 Irishmen who left Ireland to fight against Nazi Germany in World War II were  and are criminals, or deserters.

They left the Irish Army, leaving Ireland who was neutral, to fight to stop the Nazi’s in World War II.

Today, there is a possibility they may be pardoned.

The Starvation Orders were the orders to blacklist those 5,000 troops upon their return. They could not get jobs, welfare, pensions or any assistance what so ever, some of them made a go at it. Others left the country yet again. Whats more the orders extended beyond just the individuals, but their families as well. It’s how my own family ended up in America.

Five thousand Irish soldiers who swapped uniforms to fight for the British against Hitler went on to suffer years of persecution. They were formally dismissed from the Irish army, stripped of all pay and pension rights, and prevented from finding work by being banned for seven years from any employment paid for by state or government funds.
One of them, 92-year-old Phil Farrington, took part in the D-Day landings and helped liberate the German death camp at Bergen-Belsen – but he wears his medals in secret. Even to this day, he has nightmares that he will be arrested by the authorities and imprisoned for his wartime service.

“They would come and get me, yes they would,” he said in a frail voice at his home in the docks area of Dublin.
And his 25-year-old grandson, Patrick, confirmed: “I see the fear in him even today, even after 65 years.”

Mr Farrington’s fears are not groundless.

 

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World of Beer Internship

So I applied for a Internship with World of Beer

It’s a pay cut for certain, but I intend to ask my employer for a leave of absence if I am selected.

My reasons for applying are pretty straight forward

  • First: I like Beer
  • Second: I like Beer
  • Third: Having a internship, while not required by my doctoral program, can’t hurt.
  • Fourth: Its a good experience.

So do me a favor will you? If you can, drop a line to them either on their website, or via Twitter and tell them what an awesome candidate I am please? Hell, call them!

Of course I’m asking you to lie but we don’t have to tell them that :)

Chris Muir must be channeling me

On more than one occasion I’m asked how I can work in IT and want a home that is off grid, why do I not have Netflix, Hulu, etc. Why I don’t move where internet is faster, better, more reliable, with more data. Why I don’t have the latest geek gizmo, or smart phone. Why do I still blog on my old desk top PC.

The simple answer is IT is where I work as I have too much vested in it over the years to change. However, now I live to work, not work to live and I don’t have to take part in the system anymore if I don’t want too and I don’t.

I’m tired of instant video. I’m tired of instant access. Tired of the constant barrage of advertisements at my gas pump, at the check out line. I’m tired of folks using my purchase history to try to sell me something else via my Email. I’m tired of being pushed to buy something 24/7. Tired of hearing what the Kardashians did this week, what Beiber did last night, and what Hillary is doing tomorrow. I don’t care whose phone was hacked anymore. I’m tired of hearing about government officials who stay out of jail after breaking laws that you and I would never see daylight again.

I’m just tired. Of all of it.

Chris Muir of Day by Day, got it perfect with this one.

Down to the Wire by Chris Muir March 22, 2016

Down to the Wire by Chris Muir March 22, 2016

Easter Rising: The Beginning of the Troubles

This story was first published by myself on March 3rd 2007 at Techography. I republished it here in 2010. – BloodSpite

On Easter Monday, shortly after noon, Patrick Pearse and a band of ill armed and ill prepared poets and romantic patriots rose in rebellion took control of the General Post Office in

Click for large version

central Dublin and several other strategic sites around the city. The Irish Republic was proclaimed in Dublin, and the insurgent Tricolour suddenly broke upon startled eyes flying from the flagstaff above the General Post Office in the very heart of the Irish capital.

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Ruby Red Grapefruit IPA

Another by Northwest Arkansas Core Brewing

A lot of lacing, as you can see with a decent head. Unfortunately it doesn’t last long. The grapefruit taste goes over most the other flavors but you still get hints of the citrus/pine of a IPA

Its very tart with some bite after as you would expect from grapefruit.

Ruby Red Grapefruit IPA

Ruby Red Grapefruit IPA

Kyya Imperial Stout

Another by Core.

WP_20160225_11_18_50_ProThis Imperial style stout uses locally made Kyya chocolate

You can taste the rich chocolate and a slightly burned, coffee flavor. Not unpleasant, but the woodsy tones definitely make you sip this one a second time to try to identify the flavors!

Hazelnut Brown

Brewed by Core Brewing out of Northwest Arkansas

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This is a nice hazelnut and coffee flavored dark beer. It keeps a nice head for decent amount of time. The aroma is strongly hazelnut, and vaguely oak.

I’m familiar with several of Cores beers but this is my first foray with this particular blend.

 

Nice Morning

Stop and smell the roses folks say.

Well its not roses, but caught sight of a nice sized owl this morning on our property while heading to work. He was looking rather regal.

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The Hemingway Cocktail

Its called a number of things. The Hemingway Daiquri. The Hemingway Cocktail.

Story goes that Hemingway drank so many of his favorite cocktails at El Floridita, the Cuban bar where the author spent many days and nights drinking in the 1930s and ’40s, that the drink was eventually named the Hemingway Daiquiri.

Thanks to my friend Devon, the Bartendar at the hotel I stay at in CLT frequently, I have become quite a fan myself.

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The difference seems to be dependant upon which clear alcohol you want to add. If you want the Daiquri you use the traditiona white rum. If you want the cocktail, you use gin. In either case the affect is very much the same: tart, a touch sour a touch sweet with a nice refreshing tang afterward.

Supposedly he could sit and drank 12 or more of these a night. Hemingway said these drinks “had no taste of alcohol and felt, as you drank them, the way downhill glacier skiing feels running through powder snow.”

The recipe is rather pretty straight forward

 

  • 2 oz white rum or gin (The traditional rum was Havana Club I believe)
  • 3/4 oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup 1:1
  • Garnish with a grapefruit twist

    Shake all ingredients except the garnish and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Kick back with a copy of The Old Man and the Sea and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Grinding

Spent the last several days sick as a dog. When I first got to CLT I couldnt hold my head up. Yesterday was first day of really feeling almost normal, but after several nights of medicinal induced sleep I couldn’t pass out last night. Don’t know if it works that way for everyone but for as long as I can remember if I take something to go to sleep, if I dont take it the next night I struggle with going.

End result? I got about 4 hours sleep last night and I have a long day ahead. I’d complain but frankly I’ve been working between 60 and 70 hours every week since August short of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The project I’m on has been a ball buster, but the primary portion is nearly complete. Which means my travel schedule will relax soon and I can spend some time at home. I will stil be travelling until at least June if not July, butnot as much as I have

Have a busy year between residency for school and my reunion. Not sure how I am going to juggle all this.

 

East Coast bound once again

So I’m traveling again this week. Will be the first time I try out 100% blogging via my mobile devices. I don’t blog via my work laptop for security reasons to both me and my employer and carrying two laptops frankly is just too much crap to be humping around an airport, with a lot of liability if something happens to either of them to work and school.

Given the outcome of the SuperBowl yesterday I’m debated declining to wear anything Volunteers related. I’m sure that some folks will consider me a traitorous bastard for that, but these trips are for business not pleasure and I need the folks in Charlotte a lot more than they need me.

Sherlock of the BSI knows when I am leaving, and when he seems my luggage almost immediately begins whining. A 100% daddies boy, I reckon. I haven’t blogged about them much since puppy hood but I’m thinking I will be more so in the near future.

Meanwhile given the amount of travel, and responsibility that has been placed on me in the last 6 months, combined with the amount of hours I’m working I have made the decision that its likely time I explore another employer.

To be clear, I like my job, I love my boss, I like my peers and I am fully cognizant that I may be trading the witch for the devil. However the fact is I need to be able to move up salary wise in my career and the raises they provide versus cost of living actually have me losing ground. Further the bonus program has not been what it used to be in years. My employers has good points and bad points like anyone else, again to be fair I have stayed with them longer than I have any civilian employer, and that was for a reason. But between my qualifications, my experience and frankly the work I have been doing I hate to sound greedy but I need more.

We’ll see what happens. Its not like I have a lot of time to go searching these days anyway.

New age lessons

We play video games with our kid.

We don’t play MMO games, but we do play video games. Largely they are Co-op and of a RPG nature. We three sit down and make it a point to have fun together but just as important to me is that in playing those games we try to listen to each other, work together, and communicate.

So this from Penny Arcade really struck a chord for me, because it has happened with us. Its the digital equivalent of staying the night in jail or cleaning up your room, and whats more is its happened making it all the more funny.

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Radio Intercepts

Last week I had the air conditioning on. Today? The wood stove. Welcome to #Missouri #mowx #spring

  • photo from Tumblr

    Prior to the storms this past week Taken on my way to work

    05/02/16

  • photo from Tumblr

    The La Gloria Series N Great smoke

    04/30/16

  • photo from Tumblr

    steampunk-girl:

    Steampunk Girl

    Let’s class up the place a bit shall we? Steam punk ladies have always held a special place in my heart. I think because of instead of frail, fragile creatures steam punk fiction ensconces smart, strong, inventive, and independent women (Such as Polly Perkins from Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Mina Murray League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or Evelina Cooper, A study in Silks) I think for guys, or at least guys who think, its an attractive and alluring mix. Classy without being trashy, more vixen instead of vamp. A tease of what could be, what may be and what would be, but she just may kick the hell out of you for making a move but kiss you to make up for it later.

    04/21/16

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