Archive for the ‘Bloggers’ Category

GamePolitics closes its doors

As a long time blogger I’ve seen a lot of sites go under for a variety of reasons. Some good, some bad, some life, some tragic.

Unfortunately, this past week GamePolitics, one of the only sites to attempt to address video games and political considerations in the last decade, has decided to close its doors as well.

Its sad really. The ongoing debate between video games, whats appropriate, what isn’t, whats sexist, whats misogynistic, and whats feminist is not going to go away anytime soon. If anything with trends such as #GamerGate, it is likely going to ramp up further. So having a voice in the realm such as with Game Politics was a good thing.

Sadly that voice has had to close their curtains at a time when rational discussion is sorely needed both now and in the future. Another story in the digital dust.

 

March Passing

So with the end of March having occurred I no longer have an excuse to be lazy. The truth is I have written so many articles over the years about Ireland and the Irish, that in March I rarely add new stories any more. I try to make an effort, however, to add at least one new one each year. End result is I have a plethora of Irish work on the website, which is ok, because it seems to drive a wealth of traffic as well. In previous years I changed the visual theme of the website to the current theme you see now. We used a different visual theme the rest of the year. The woodland theme more reflects my thought process these days.

With all of that I always feel sad to see March pass. While an excuse to be somewhat lazy on the site it is also a nice time to share heritage, heraldry and see days like St Patrick’s Day as being more than just a drunken rampage (not to say I haven’t participated in a few). There’s a reason its a known holiday, beyond green beer and shamrocks as well as silly hats. Learn it, understand it, then celebrate it.

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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

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

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!

 

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!

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.

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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.

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?

USO: Communication Breakdown

So we finally heard from the USO

TSO over at This Ain’t Hell spearheaded the way, and enough cant be said for what he did from my point of view, frankly. Milblogging isn’t what it used to be so the fact the he was on the tip of the spear proves the brotherhood, both militarily and internet linked, still exists.  A big thanks nonetheless to everyone who stood up and added a voice. Sure it may be from behind a laptop, but then look at how many folks said nothing. Point made I think.

He got a hold of key individuals at the USO, and found out that it was simply a communication breakdown.

So stand down the war dogs, all is well. I’m glad that this came to a happy conclusion for The Sniper. I always liked his work and have had him on my blog list for a number of years. I just wish I had more time to blog as I used to. Maybe once I finish graduate school I’ll have more of my life back.

 

 

USO goes Axis and Allies on Veteran Milblogger

It’s one of those headlines that, when you type it, you have to read it a second time to make sure you are not hallucinating.

The short version, from my perspective anyway, is that the wars are over. The general, 30 second attention span populace, can now shove their faux affection for veterans in to a broom closet and go back to being peace time advocates for not giving a damn about anything or saving the #2 pencils from rampant extinction.

If there isn’t a t-shirt sale involved then its not of their concern.

In this case an individual at the USO, whom apparently feels their position is one that does not require actual…you know…communication with others….is asking…no demanding that a MilBlogger shut down his entire website.

This isn’t anything new.  Folks and companies attack bloggers with semi regularity because of something we have written or published. Sometimes they succeed in getting their way…sometimes they don’t. I’d say its about 50/50 split in the legal world today regarding overall, but with the overall general public coming to understand that blogging is as much about free speech as it is journalism. We will write things that folks may not like…but that doesn’t make it any less true from our perspective or interpretation. And Court’s are not very big on slapping people around for interpretation of literary licensing, but I digress.

This particular representative of the USO has managed to not only inflame Stolen Valour advocate, and faux soldier investigator TSO over at This Ain’t Hell who has went on an all out offensive to get to the bottom of the mess, they have also stirred up one time Fox commentator, former embedded blogger and book author Laughing Wolf at Blackfive.

It’s been a long time since I have seen the MilBlogger wheels try to turn, and given so many bloggers and MilBloggers have walked away from their websites and gathered around the instant gratification system known as Facebook I can’t help but wonder…much as the old time websites I use to run and mIRC servers that were predominant in the past…has the blog worlds time passed?

For The Sniper’s sake (whom is the accused party in this muck) I hope not, and as such I’m lending my voice to the others by attempting to spread the word regarding this.  Such a request is unreasonable. The USO representative is not dealing with a 13 year old in his mothers basement who is trying to find old Sara Michelle Gellar pictures online. This is a military veteran, with tours in the recent conflicts under his belt, exercising his right to free speech that he damned well earned.

Agree, or disagree with his position, the fact of the matter is he has a right to say it. No more and no less that Jerry Springer and his ilk have their right to portray people as raving lunatics. No more and no less than CNN. No more and no less that someone with a T shirts stating their position on a particular topic. Offense is not a reason for submission…it’s a catalyst for discussion.

And if the USO has a brain in their head, instead of playing footsie with a couple of military vet bloggers and social media they’ll join a roundtable regarding this and deep dive the root of the problem.

Going Main Stream: Rocky Top Tennnessee The Magazine

So this is a little self advertisement to folks who I thought may and or may not be interested. A magazine that I helped found, and that I’ve been working with for the last year is finally going to print. Pre-orders are now available.

I’m not asking everyone to run out and buy it (although I won’t lie that would be awesome) but pass the word if you would be so kind to folks, and let them know that our magazine is out there and is available to those whom would be interested.

We have put a lot of time and work in to it, and while the subject matter may not be something that everyone I know enjoys I figure at least a handful of ya’ll might be interested (College Football). Here are some of the magazines features:

  • 116 full color pages of nothing but the Vols.
  • 99.9% ad-free.
  • Written by Vol fans for Vol fans.
  • Available as a print version, a Kindle version, and a download-able e-book.
  • Stories written by yours truly and many others

 

The print version is available for pre-order here

If you are one of the many folks who prefer to have digital format, we will be on Amazon.com for PDF and Kindle systems.

If you’re local and you actually think it might be worth while I’ll even sign the durn thing for you. Who knows maybe I can become the next Bill Simmons (doubtful, but a guy can dream can’t he?)

Meanwhile I appreciate your help, I hope everyone is doing well and if you do decide to buy the magazine I hope you find it enjoyable!

My thanks to Joel , and the rest of the guys at RockyTopTalk for giving me the invitation to participate in this dream opportunity!

And as Time Life used to say: read the book!-order here

 

 

It’s Coming…

The event where yours truly goes mainstream…..

Memorial Weekend – A moment

I won’t be on line much this weekend (not that I’m here for any length of time to begin with lately). Frankly its my intent to avoid it as much as I can. I’m sure I won’t be able to resist sending some random inane update via my phone that no one will read. But here’s something that I hope you do read.

Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored.  ~Daniel Webster

Are they dead that yet speak louder than we can speak, and a more universal language?  Are they dead that yet act?  Are they dead that yet move upon society and inspire the people with nobler motives and more heroic patriotism?  ~Henry Ward Beecher

Decoration Day is the most beautiful of our national holidays…. The grim cannon have turned into palm branches, and the shell and shrapnel into peach blossoms.  ~Thomas Bailey Aldrich

I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day.  I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it.  We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did.  ~Benjamin Harrison

These heroes are dead.  They died for liberty – they died for us.  They are at rest.  They sleep in the land they made free, under the flag they rendered stainless, under the solemn pines, the sad hemlocks, the tearful willows, and the embracing vines.  They sleep beneath the shadows of the clouds, careless alike of sunshine or of storm, each in the windowless Place of Rest.  Earth may run red with other wars – they are at peace.  In the midst of battle, in the roar of conflict, they found the serenity of death.  I have one sentiment for soldiers living and dead:  cheers for the living; tears for the dead.  ~Robert G. Ingersoll

Perform, then, this one act of remembrance before this Day passes – Remember there is an army of defense and advance that never dies and never surrenders, but is increasingly recruited from the eternal sources of the American spirit and from the generations of American youth.  ~W.J. Cameron

 

So when ya’ll pop that first beer, throw on the first burger. Before your family takes the first step out the door upon their weekend, take a moment….even if it is just a single  moment to remember that the freedom you are supposed to experience this weekend was bought, paid for in full, by another’s willingness to sacrifice his and or her self for a cause bigger than all of us: that of freedom for a nation.

Tears for our fallen. Cheers for the Living. From my house to my brothers and sisters in arms and my friends across the country…

Have a happy and safe Memorial Day.

We want to see you again come Tuesday.

Wikipedia: A room is any distinguishable space within a structure.

A Different View: On Sale now

I consider anyone whom has let me and mine sleep at their house, fed me, shown me the local sights in their area and effectively treat me like family a friend.

Which is to say I consider Blake Powers a friend. Through the years we have passed E-mails, occasional telephone calls and sworn we will have to get together again but the timing is always bad.

Now we have another reason to get together and host a couple of jars.

See Blake has finally published his book regarding his military embed time. You can find a copy here that will not only help Blake but also help with his pet military assistance project Cooking with The Troops.

As DBS rightly points out Blake isn’t in to advertising. But thats what we’re for right? ;)

So if you get a chance, pick up a copy of the book. It will be well worth your time, and a good read.

Consider this a strong recommendation from yours truly the “book snob”.

 

Tornado Shelter/Disaster Preparation

So I had been putting this off repeatedly but Homefront Six inadvertently reminded me that I needed to get my shit together and get this published, as the time frame is upon us.

Having worked the aftermath of the Joplin tornado, and doing storm tracking/chasing for the last few years I don’t consider myself anything close to an expert. However, between that and my military training I have a pretty good idea of what not to do (nothing!) and some direct experience in what may help you survive a very dangerous and deadly experience. I am no expert, I can not guarantee you or your families lives as there are just too many variables. I can say that it can’t hurt to be prepared, and I’d rather be prepared than left with absolutely nothing which is what many people found themselves with here in Missouri this time last year.

So I boned up on my research material, dug in to my old manuals and training notes from years gone by and here is what I consider probably the best (short term) program for tornado/disaster prepping.

Please take this seriously, this is not a doomsday-apocalypse-the-sky-is-falling-day-after-tommorow fantasy where you will appear on the other side in a Jerry Ahern novel (although I do like his books!). The point of this is to help you and your family possibly survive a very dangerous situation that can occur.

If you don’t want help, then find something else to read.

Lets Begin.

Read the rest of this entry »

Out for St. Patrick’s Day

V00d3w has the helm around here for today and tomorrow

As for Me? I’m out of here. Feel free to join me

See you cats on Monday!

Click the image for your own printable version!

Door hanger courtesy of Matty O’Blackfive

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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