Archive for the ‘Random Shite’ Category

Ridin Dirty

So I’m trying something new on the blog. I travel a bit….sometimes very frequently (like the last 6 months) sometimes infrequently. But when I do I almost always end up with a different vehicle.

This week I scored a BMW 328i

Its interesting but I frankly don’t care for it. However, if you think it would be worth giving ya’ll a brief rundown of the car and what I think of them let me know. Keep in mind my daily driver is a full time 4×4 SUV thats almost 20 years old. So for me any car is a vastly different animal and road conditions are a far cry from what I deal with at home (theres a reason I have that SUV)

Anyway drop a note in the comments if this would be something you are interested in me doing.

 

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Bring the Rain

Those who know me, know

Those who know me, know

Its been a busy damn day. Did I manage to put that in the title? I did didn’t I.

After FB killed my account I had to improvise (If you need to know what my pseudonym was let me know, I’ll clear it up). Time to kick the mothballs off this place and give it a tune up.

So I got the website all updated. Got all the Analytic and other gibberish reconnected. Deleted a bunch of old garbage. Got twitter linked in to it (did I mention I have a Twitter account? You can reach me there as well)

Got some of the pages cleaned up. I decided that I wanted to keep what has been my Irish/March theme for many years as my permanent theme. The old red theme was good, and quasi-Victorian but under that theme the site had lain stagnant for a long time. It was time for a change and regrowth. So I swapped it all to the one you see now. Kind of symbolizes regrowth and new beginnings per se.

I’ve also chosen to not delete the blogroll. I know many of the links are dead. I don’t care. Let it stand in testament to what once, what could be, and what one day may be. If nothing else its a good measuring stick by how many of us are still doing this. Me? I’ve been doing this crap off and on since 1995. Not the oldest blogger, but damn near one of the oldest web writers.

V00d3w says he may be returning as well which should be cool. I just need to get a good Windows app for my phone so I can share lots of pictures of booze with all of you  as I adventure across the country.

Great thing about being on the website versus Facebook or some other 3rd party system is now we don’t have to pull any punches. With the exception of my employer, we can basically lay waste to anything and one out there with introspective, story telling and research.

I’ve managed to do more posting today than I have in a year. Gotten more comments in a day than I have in a year.

So tell your friends where I am. Let them know that the rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated.

It’s time to get away from the censorship and Cat Meme’s of Facebook (I mean an occasional one is fine but my god, I felt like I had fleas half the damn time).

Lets see where this crazy train takes us

Its time to bring the rain!

 

Can you hear me now?

So I picked up a digital recorder for me to use when doing my dissertation. I have to interview about 20 people in order to fulfill the requirements of my research.

I thought I was being clever. I purchased a Phillips DT2700 that came with Dragon Naturally Speaking software which can be used to transcribe the recordings without a lot of effort from me.

Silly me.

The software is version 13. Which is not compatible with Vista. I found that later. I.E. after I got home. Since because you know the box actually says the software can be used with Vista.

So I had to order the software. Again. I’ll get it Friday. If I’m incredibly lucky and if the manufacturer website is not wrong this version should work.

So basically I got a $50 voice recorder for $90 which I cant take back because I have to start my interviews tomorrow.

Feels like Monday.

 

Cleaning house

So I’m trying to clean up the site and remove a lot of the jumbled mess the right hand menu has become since so many of the previous MilBlog sect has gone to the way side.

I’m torn as to what to do with the old links however.

Part of me wants to keep them, as a memento to those folks whom used to populate the blogsphere digital crave drawings if you will.

Another part of me say’s to wipe them clean and remove all the dead ones, keep only the relevant and still functional.

We’ll see which one wins.

But for now this week I’m going to be cleaning up the clutter and debating if I want to keep this design or try something new.

Also if anyone has any suggestions as to a good interface between WordPress and Twitter that would be awesome

Bloggin on the Go

So I’m looking for a halfway decent mobile Ap for my Windows phone for WordPress.

I know, I know, the idea of an app, on a Windows phone, that is even close to decent is nearly laughable.

Here’s the rub: I like my Windows phone.

First phone in a long while that I have liked.

So if I want to make this transition wholly back to the website from FB, then I need to find a way to send ya’ll stuff here, like pictures etc.

Doing it from the web wont work, already tried.

State of the Blog

Its always kind of sad to take down the green each year. But I guess thats what makes it unique

I had intended on getting some more posting done between class semesters but we had a tornado nearly hit our house and do a lot of damage around here.

We are all OK and its more of a chain saw and clean up issue than anything.

That said, its been kind of hectic.

I’m back in class but I am working on some new stuff just the same

Somewhat motivated by seeing that we are still averaging several thousand visitors a month.  No one is commenting but that’s ok as long as folks are reading.

That is what keeps me interested in writing still.

I also know that a huge number of my blog links are….well….dead.

I’m reluctant to delete them, mostly for sentimental reasons. Not sure if I will pull them or not.

I see them and I think about once was, versus what is.

 

The Green of March

So its finally March. Usually my favorite time of the year.

As you can see I managed to ensure that the website changed to its typical green hue for the occasion, forests of Ireland a backdrop for something I have done on this website for several years: that of sharing some Irish history, Mythology, lore and my own families history with you.

This year has been crazy, and the last several weeks hectic. Last year our March celebration was marred by the loss of longtime friend and fellow MilBlogger Lex.

I can’t promise you this month will be better. There are things moving in m own life that have me as worried as a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs, but I digress.

It’s March. There is still snow on the ground. Spring is coming soon as the last vestiges of winter make their way from our lives for this year.

Smile.

Be Happy.

Be Green!

Not Dead, Just Busy

Best laid plans of mice and men they say

I have been extraordinarily busy as of late.

I started a doctoral program back in August and juggling it along with my work as well as my Non Profit time has been challenging to say the least especially when it comes to finding “Me” time such as for this site.

All that aside I have been busy here as well.

The pups are growing like weeds with Sherlock nearly at 40 lbs already.

For the Holidays I am attempting to build the dry bar in the Library finally

Hope your holidays are good and thanks for sticking around!

The Last Confederate Surrender

I wrote this just before my wedding. June 12, 2004 at our sister site of Techography.com. I’m republishing it here both for posterity, and because this weekend is my wife and I’s eight year anniversary. I look back now and I can see a visible difference in my writing. I can also see a difference in myself. That’s for another time, however. Bear in mind this was written several years ago so the phrasing is appropriate. I did not post that weekend. I will not be posting this one. Somethings are worth celebrating privately. -BS

Me, Circa 2004 taken by one of my best friend (and best mans) wife during our wedding.

 

History tells us that that June 23, 1865 was the date the last Confederate General Surrendered his command.

I”m afraid its just not so.

The real date is June 12, 2004.

Thats the date I surrender (I”m a former 18th Georgia Infantry Re-enactor) my freedom to a Northern born individual, a former Union Re-enactor for the 155th Irish of Western New York.

Read the rest of this entry »

Building a home Library: Phase II

In case you missed somehow, Phase I is located here.

So once the room basics were in place it was time to get serious.

First we had to take the sofa, the fireplace, my humidor and the lamp out of the room.

Then using some left overs from putting in the floor, came the fun part. Fun being used here in total sarcasm.

Read the rest of this entry »

Building a home Library: Phase I

So the Domestic 6 and I decided to build a home Library. Its been something of a labour of love.

We’re old fashioned sorts, and I wanted to do something more with a Victorian/Steampunk feel.

We were inspired by some of the old Sherlock Holmes movies with colours and a lot of pictures of old Victorian libraries thanks to Google.

For fun and since I haven’t blogged anything in a coons age I figured I’d post what we did with a few how we did it’s.

Read the rest of this entry »

Green River

Every year since 1962, the Chicago River has been dyed green to celebrate St. Patrick’s day. Nowadays, both the dyeing and a big parade take place the Saturday before the 17th. (Next year, they’ll coincide when the 17th falls on a Saturday.) It’s a uniquely Chicago tradition that tips its hat to the central role the Irish have played in the city’s history.

For a few hours every year, the architectural landmarks that line the Chicago River acquire an aquatic front yard that’s as vibrant as the neon green relish of a genuine Chicago hot dog.

Dying the river

Dying the river

 

The actual dye is orange. It turns green when it’s churned into the water. The discovery of this phenomenom was made by members of Chicago’s pipefitters union back in 1962, and the union has been dyeing the river for St. Pat’s ever since.

The natural green of the river can be seen to the right, awaiting its transformation into the hypergreen to the left.

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1962, over 100 pounds of dye were dumped into the river, leaving it green for days. Now, only 40 pounds are dispersed, but because the river was reversed to run backwards away from the lake, even one day later, the entire river for many blocks to the west remains a single shamrock-colored fairway.

daleyhancock

Chicago’s mania for St. Patrick’s green is pervasive. Above is the fountain in Daley Plaza.

v00d3W

The infamous Low speed fly by of an SR-71

Most folks know I like Cold War stories here on the blog.

I’ve written quite a few and they are frankly probably the most popular pieces on the site.

I’ve written a couple about the SR-71. Actually, written is rather a strong word. I have republished stories, that have been written or told by the actual men who flew these ridiculously powerful machines. Mostly because I see them floating in cyberspace but never find a good single collection of them. So I enjoy doing it.

I enjoy them, as I have a child like affection for the black metal monster that borders on obsession. My first model was a Blackbird for instance.

So when I came across this story about the SR-71, I couldn’t help but add it to the slowly growing collection here.

Enjoy.

Read the rest of this entry »

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 Ireland.

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.

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.

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

So Who is still kicking? Last Blogs standing

With The Armorer finally going dark there aren’t too many folks from the heydey of blogging still around.

 

So whose left?

Well John DuMond of Nobody Move is still writing, and doing so with much more regularity than myself. I’m a frequent lurker there and rarely comment but I still like his work, especially his true crime pieces.

Harvey too, is also still running over at Bad Example. Again I lurk but do not comment often. Mostly because I have a hard time finding time to do much more than quickly read any more with work and school.

Laughing Wolf has been much more creative than I posting quite regularly.

Stephen Sherman aka The Commissar still runs his Ace Pilots page, but his Politburo Diktat is long gone.

Teresa and Technicalities is still alive and kicking

Doc at DocInTheBox also posts occasionally.

T1G of Drunken Wisdom is another sporadic like myself.

EricSWG of StraightWhiteGuy also writes sporadically, and well as always when he does.

The Conservative UAW guy last posted in May.

Nidonemo is still active thankfully.

The Ministry of Minor Perfidy is another who has not posted since May

Slobokan has been silent since April

All of the Northwest Arkansas Bloggers are gone save for myself.

With the exception of a few holdouts such as Blackfive, Grims Hall, This Aint Hell and Murdoc Online most of the old groups are gone.

Since I started writing online back in 1997 I have seen the web undergo a lot of social changes. From mIRC to OTC sites such as Tripod and Geocities, to the MySpace and Blog Heydeys.

All the folks I have listed above, for the vast majority I interact with via Facebook with regularity. They get tired of the spammers, the Chinese hackers, the internet drama, and the “Take this down or we’ll sue you!” crowd.

Its hard to blame them. I’ve been threatened with at least 4 lawsuits in over 15 years of writing on line. I’ve gotten more hate mail than I can shake a stick at. Its one reason I have rarely if ever used my real name online: the fact is there are just some plain old fashion sick people out there.

But I have also met some fabulous people, made great connections. Been introduced to some legends, and people who I consider friends today.

Blogs may be going to the way side, and one day it is entirely possible that this site too may go dark (though I have no immediate plans to do so) but until that time its much like digital cave drawings. People have evolved, maybe not for the better, but their digital social culture has definitely swung towards the instant gratification world of Facebook and G+. Even I use them.

But I can’t put down my keyboard, not entirely. I feel like if I do, a little piece of me might die with it.

Hunting. Or Searching.

I’ve been going hunting again.

I have not been in years. Up until about 1999 I was an avid hunter. But traveling as much as I did after that point made hunting a logistical nightmare and practically a impossibility.

So I quit and just did fishing instead.

I do some walking, and and some deer stand work. Nothing fancy. I’m not in to outdoor channels nor do I drool when the next camo pattern shows up in stores. I usually wear jeans when I hunt. Its more about being quiet, good and the creature not smelling you. Everything else falls in to place after that.

However truly I don’t care about the hunting.  I prefer the peace.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Shutdown

I made some folks who I think highly of, and respect pretty angry today on Facebook.

I’m not happy about it. I’m hoping they’ll forgive me. Or at least understand where I am coming from. I mean no ill will.

I respect their position. They are just one of the countless folks who are directly suffering from the government shut down. The one that the rest of the population, myself included, are unaffected by.

I know that folks are out of work. I know that they don’t want to lose their homes or not pay their bills. I also know that the rest of the country doesn’t care.

Make no mistake, I do care.

But I also know that until the rest of the population is affected, until the people who make the policy are affected, then those folks who are going without a check will continue to be used as political pawns in a game that none of us have skin in.

I know that the American people have become, well, simply put, lazy. Our government knows this. They won a Presidential election on it. The American motto should be “What handout can I get today?” John F Kennedy had it all wrong. “Ask what your country can do for you!” He obviously had a teleprompter foul up. 

I don’t want my friends to lose their home. I truly don’t.

Hell, I don’t want to lose my own home.

But neither do I want the status quo to continue. Earlier today I wrote

“Let me clarify my position on this. Until it hurts, and I mean truly hurts everyone involved, these types of political games will continue. Until the “ruling class” is affected because the populace refuses to fund a government that is nonoperational, until the “ruling class” doesn’t receive a check, until the streets stop being paved, and the system teeters on collapse these types of grandstands will continue to occur and interrupt our lives. Because, from my view, they want us dependent upon them. They want us to need them. They want us unable to get by without feeding it, the machine, the bureaucracy. So I want it to hurt. I want a black flag policy. Jackson once said “If the general government should persist in the measures now threatened, there must be war. It is painful enough to discover with what unconcern they speak of war and threaten it. They do not know its horrors. I have seen enough of it to make me look upon it as the sum of all evils” referring to the Civil War. This is really no different from my point of view. The government threatens, it soothes, it shakes its fist, but it has no impact on the makers of the policy. Until those policy makers feel the pain, until they stop being served their coffee, stop having the Secret Service to protect them, and stop having their world catered to them on our dime, then the status quo will never change. And I mean never.”

That’s pretty much my thought in a nutshell.

Right or wrong. Lambast me. Hate me. The fact is I have little hope for America anymore. I don’t believe we will ever see a populace rising to meet the challenges of our future the way we have seen in the past. I see our rights being stricken what seems like daily. I see our dependency on our government quadrupling almost daily.

So no, I don’t want anyone to lose their home. But neither do I want our world, our country to continue the way it is. I can’t pick a position and win in this gambit. A wise man would keep his mouth shut, and probably I should. I’m royally sick of seeing folks like my friends being used as Yo-Yo’s in political strategy however. I’ve never been happier to be out of the US of military until these last few years, and I could never dream of a day saying that prior to this.

Will this shutdown change anything? Probably not. It never has before.

Most likely before the week is out they’ll have a budget passed, the Healthcare program will be included, no one will lose their home, and this chance to make a notable change will vanish in to thin air. Folks will rant and rave about Obamacare and post angry pictures on Facebook deriding our current government, President and their ilk. None of it will change.

Because the ones who make the policy don’t care. The ones who argue and write the policy don’t care. The ones who make the red-tape don’t go through it. They will  just generate another few thousand dollar per plate fundraisers and get reelected on misinformation and political lies like they did the last time.  So until their lives are interrupted, until their lives are affected, none of this matters. Until Amendment 28 is ratified and passed, this is all just parlor games. A New Orleans street card vendor trick.

They just want to show us, what happens when they don’t get their way.

Happy Blogoversserary!

Over at The Armorer’s place they are celebrating their Anniversary of have their web doors open.

Over 10 years, and frankly given how many website’s I have seen come and go that’s pretty impressive.

Calimus and I started blogging back about 1995 under the heading of Techography.com. We had a major database crash in 2005 roughly, and we split the sites by opening this one in 2008 due to a change in focus of my own and what I blog versus the content at Techo.

We’re limping along, but much as The Armorer says, I’m not looking to do anything phenomenal, not that I ever did online. It’s been a hobby for me, and a study in social as I watch how the technological world changes from m-IRC, to forums, to websites, to blogs, to Facebook and Twitter. Watching as the people move from one system to another.

In any event having a website for 10 years is a pretty big deal and should be celebrated accordingly.

Go drop him an “Atta Boy!” will ya?

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