26 April 2010


Tomorrow the wife and I have to go to Rocky Mount so that she can get a test done, then Wednesday we meet with the doc. I've been working on her car all weekend to get it ready for the trip; new struts to fix the bounce, new tires, and a new hose on the power steering.

The plan was that I would work half a night tonight, come home and get some Z's, and then we would head out bright and early in the morning. Alas, plans never survive first contact.

First contact came in the guise of a puff of smoke out of the tailpipe when I was about halfway to work. By the time I was three quarters of the way, the puff had turned into a vapor cloud and the temp gauge was climbing.

Third blown head gasket on this car since I have owned it. I hate this car. The only good thing I can say about it at this point is at least it didn't blow the head gasket halfway to Rocky Mount. I would like to treat it to a suitable application of high explosives, but the wife likes her little Pontiac so I will fix it. Again.

Anyway, work is canceled and I spent the night working on the faithful mighty Rampage instead. It needed an EGR valve, and I had bought some gauges that I wanted to put in it. It also needs some minor adjustments to the door latches on the drivers door and various other little projects. What can I say, it's my little beater car and it's been a good one.

I put the EGR valve in and the rest of the little projects (including the gauges) will have to wait. We will take the Rampage to Rocky Mount instead, it doesn't have AC but I guess we will have to suffer through it. Thankfully it's not horribly hot yet, and we will be traveling in the morning, so the lack of AC shouldn't be a big issue.

So the new plan is Wednesday when I get home I get to tear the engine apart on the Pontiac. I'll order the parts Wednesday and hopefully they will be in by Friday so I can put the motor back together before I have to go to work Saturday night.

Between the Pontiac, doctor's visits and work I haven't had much time lately.

UPDATE: The PET scan machine was broken so that didn't get done. It will be fixed Friday, so she will get that done and then another appointment with another doctor. I don't know if Fate is trying to keep me from getting the Pontiac fixed or just trying to give me a day of rest cooling my heels in the motel room. Either way, that's my life.

25 April 2010


I don't usually remember dreams, but this one I did.

In the dream I was attending some sort of class (I can't recall what) and there was going to be an early morning session at which some sort of breakfast would be served.

I showed up early at the same time as one other classmate (I can't even remember his face), but we weren't the first ones there. We greeted each other at the door and walked in. There were perhaps a dozen tables of various types, decorated in various ways from elaborate to simple to not at all. Each table had an index card on it with a price, the lowest I saw on a plain undecorated table was $25.

The four or five people that had arrived before us were all sitting around a table that had an elaborate floral arrangement in the middle of it. As we approached they snubbed me, but not my companion. He sat at a plain table next to theirs, I picked a desk that was decorated with a green blotter and various writing and reference materials. It looked to me like the sort of desk you would find in a private study. The index card on the desk said $40.

There was a comfortable looking desk chair behind it, so I sat down there. There were roughly a half dozen other chairs of various types around the perimeter of the desk, some of them were bar stools and some of them were wooden kitchen chairs, some of them were the upholstered types that you might find at a dining room table.

The first chair wasn't as comfortable as it looked so I moved one seat counter-clockwise to a captain's chair type of bar stool that put my knees just below the level of the desktop. It was taller than I would have liked, but more comfortable. Others joined me until all the chairs were taken. Each table got a carafe of coffee, ours was a plastic container with a Styrofoam wrap. It reminded me of the sort of pitcher you get for water at a hospital.

Various people walked up to the desk (none of them in our little group) and helped themselves to our coffee until I finally got the pitcher and started to pour myself a cup. A couple showed up, plainly expecting me to pour them some coffee. I told them there was only one cup left as I poured it into my own Styrofoam cup. The woman wandered off, but the man became slightly combative. I told him there was nothing he had that I wanted more than that coffee, he called me selfish and I replied "I am John Galt." He walked off in a snit (I don't know how he fit into it).

My cup turned out to have a slow leak pinhole in the side near the bottom, and as I drank my coffee I found another bigger hole next to it. I ended up having to hold my fingers over the holes to keep it from draining out.

In the manner of dreams I remember my desk-mates and I laughed and made small talk. The mood was jovial, but I don't remember any faces or any of the subjects we talked about. About that time I noticed that there were pastries at some of the other tables, but none at ours.

I really wish I could tell you what happened next, but about that time I woke up.

I'm sure some brain analyst could tell me what it all means, but I just found it interesting because I remembered it at all.

Apropos of nothing, I suppose, I always dream in color and surround sound. I am also always aware that it is a dream, and I am able to rewind it and change something if I don't like the way it is going. Other people tell me that is weird, but I've always been able to do it.

24 April 2010


The Draking Point.



The second of three Navy SEALs has been cleared of charges that he abused, or allowed to be abused, an Iraqi prisoner suspected of killing four American contractors. The first of the three was cleared earlier in the month.

I fully expect the third to be cleared when he goes to trial next month.

Apropos of nothing, I suppose, I notice that it has been a while since we last captured any terrorists, but we sure have killed a few.

Papers Please

In "Hunt for Red October" the captain has a conversation with his XO about how America will be. Specifically they discuss the right to travel from place to place:

Capt. Vasili Borodin: I will live in Montana. And I will marry a round American woman and raise rabbits, and she will cook them for me. And I will have a pickup truck... maybe even a "recreational vehicle." And drive from state to state. Do they let you do that?
Captain Ramius: I suppose.
Capt. Vasili Borodin: No papers?
Captain Ramius: No papers, state to state.
Capt. Vasili Borodin: Well then, in winter I will live in... Arizona. Actually, I think I will need two wives.
Captain Ramius: Oh, at least."

In Arizona they have just passed a law that will make it illegal for a citizen to be in public without his papers, even if he is doing nothing that would otherwise be illegal. Opponents of the bill argue that this restricts the rights of the people to travel, while supporters trot out the tired old canard "if you aren't doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about."

If you can't guess, I am in opposition to this bill because I am in the camp that says that it will end up restricting the rights of a free people to come and go unhindered. This is actually kind of funny, because I had a similar conversation with a co-worker on this very subject not long ago, and if that conversation had not taken place I might not be thinking about the subject in this way.

The co-worker in question was born and raised in Maryland. He served honorably for 20+ years in the US Marine Corps and retired as a Gunnery Sergeant. He is of Hispanic descent, has an Hispanic surname and has the slight olive skin tone to match that surname. He is an American, from the top of his head to the soles of his feet.

In Arizona he had better not walk the streets without his wallet. The simple act of being in public without ID has now become a crime.

In all honesty I had not given it a second thought before then, because I had never had to deal with the possibility that I would be mistaken for any other nationality than American. We're talking PASTY white boy here. Does my USMC friend have any less right to walk down the streets as I? In Arizona it appears as if he does, and that's simply not right. He is as much an American as I am, with all the rights an American has as his birthright.

Yes, there is a real problem with illegal immigration here. Is the answer to seal the borders up tight? A difficult proposition at best, and one that history shows is prone to fail.

The real problem seems to be that people who are here illegally are a drain on public resources without paying taxes. The answer I have is to deny them public assistance beyond basic services (emergency rooms, etc) unless citizenship can be proven. So far as I know, this is one of the major sticking points - that the children of illegals that were born here are "anchor babies" and qualify for public assistance. Key the nationality of the child to the mother and that problem goes away.

(Note that I am sidestepping the question of our very own home-grown worthless that likewise clog the welfare roles. I'm not denying their existence, but they are not the subject here.)

I am not in opposition to a safety net, I am in opposition to a hammock. You should have to establish citizenship in order to qualify for the public dole, that assistance should be for a set amount of time, and there should be a work or school qualifier. If no jobs are to be had in the private sector, surely there is trash alongside the road that needs to be picked up. Take Caesar's coin, pay Caesar's price.

Simple supply and demand, if you supply need you will have no shortage of needy. Would this work, or at least be a part of the solution? I don't know. "Workfare" that was passed by the Republican Revolution Congress and signed by President Clinton seemed to work pretty well, so that could be a good guide.

This goes rather far afield, I did not intend to discuss welfare. There are other problems with illegals, but they all seem to revolve around public assistance of one sort or another. I don't have all the answers, and I suspect any answers would have to be field evaluated for effectiveness. What I do know is that any power will eventually be abused. This is why the powers of Government are supposed to be enumerated and limited.

"Papers please" is not a good way to go.

Thanks for opening my eyes, Mike.

(Yes, I realize that this puts me on the same side of the issue as most Democrats. They can't be wrong all the time, even if it is for the wrong reasons.)

UPDATE: Another idea. All business with government agencies will be conducted in English. We still haven't gotten around to that one.

17 April 2010

In The News?

So there was this TEA party in Raleigh last Thursday.

I don't blame you if you missed it. It certainly didn't show up on any of the news channels that I saw.

That doesn't mean that certain people can afford to pretend it didn't happen.

Photo from American Elephant

14 April 2010

Coming Attractions

My new favorite author has posted seven chapters of a non-MHI book he is working on, called The Grimnoir Chronicles.

Monster Hunter Vendetta is due to be released this fall, and I already have it pre-ordered.

Monster Hunter Alpha is in the works.

A work that he is co-writing, Dead Six, should be nearing completion soon as well.

Several other book ideas are in the hopper for him as well.

Life is good.

UPDATE: And this is just too cool! Baen, his publisher, donates books to the US Navy.

Since 1773

If ya got a pitcher, ya gotta have a catcher...just sayin'...

13 April 2010

Brandon Darby, American Hero

Here is a story about a raving lefty who decided to do the right thing in post-Katrina New Orleans and came to the realization that everything he knew was wrong.

Because of his realization he worked with the FBI to disrupt a plot to attack the 2008 Republican National Convention that might have left people dead or injured. He is now vilified on the left because of it.

It's a good read. Go take a look.

HT: Mr Yon, commenter at AoSHQ.

Home Again

She's back home and everyone is glad to see her.

12 April 2010

demotivational posters
Click the picture to see more (some captions are NSFW).

10 April 2010

Good and Bad

It's been a rather busy week.

Easter Sunday I was once again at the ER with the wife. Once more they pumped her full of fluids and couldn't figure out what was wrong.

Tuesday she got in touch with her original oncologist and set up an appointment with him, a little more than an hour's drive away.

Yesterday we went to the appointment and got the low down on her condition. For the first time I know what type of cancer she has (adenocarcinoma) and what stage (it was at I but is now at IV since she has tumors in the liver now, not surprising since the liver filters the "dead" cancer cells out of the blood). That the cancer has now spread to other organs besides the lung is the bad news.

The liver shouldn't be a major issue since the tumor can be removed and the liver is the only organ that will regenerate. He is scheduling the surgery now.

The good part about all that is the tissue that is removed from the liver can then be analyzed to refine the treatment method. Since it's now a stage IV it is now classified as "incurable" but since the tumors have not been shrinking since the end of radiation treatments this does not come as a huge shock.

The doc that is looking after her now was the one that was looking after her in the beginning. He left the local clinic due to a disagreement with the head doc; he is in favor of more aggressive and experimental treatments and the head doc tends to stick with the old ways. He's kind of upset that her cancer has progressed as much as it has, he is of the opinion that the treatments were not aggressive enough and if they had been she would be at stage I still.

At least we are getting some clear feedback now, it has been a while since that has happened. I'm willing to make the longer drive if it means she gets better care. I know how it eventually ends, but the longer we can put that end out into the future the better.

She did not get the med port put in, by the way. She's still going to get it done, it just hasn't happened yet.

Anyway, back to the chain of events. Yesterday at the doc's office she told him she could feel another episode coming on, and sure enough before it even got dark outside she was sick again. We called the doc and he said to bring her to the hospital by his clinic, the one that is a bit over an hour away.

She's there now resting comfortably and he says he will have her until Tuesday at the earliest. I'll go back to work tomorrow and Tuesday will know if I need to go get her or not. It is my fondest hope that he will be able to figure out what's causing the nausea and make it not happen any more. He seems to have a pretty good handle on it, so we will see.

In the meantime the car that we will be using for this soon-to-be regular commute needs front struts, tires and a timing chain. These are all items that have been needed for a while but pushed back because of this or that.

If it is going to get all these miles stacked up on it they need to get done sooner rather than later. I have all the front end parts, Eldest Son will be putting them on and then I'll go get the tires and alignment done. The timing chain will get done when the next round of funds come in.

I think I'll be happy to go back to work. I need the rest.

08 April 2010

Dealing With Pirates

Early last week pirates fired on and tried to capture US Navy frigate USS Nicholas. Apparently they could not tell the difference in the dark between a US Navy warship and an unarmed civilian freighter.

It was their hope to hold the ship for ransom. Instead the ship returned fire, sinking them, and captured their mother ship. To put it lightly, it didn't end well for them.

Well done USS Nicholas.

Later last week a tanker came under attack and called for help. A Swedish patrol aircraft located the scene of the attack and US Navy destroyer USS Farragut responded to the scene. Again it did not end well for the pirates as another mother ship was sunk.

Well done USS Farragut.

Experts say piracy will continue to be a problem until an effective government is established on Somalia's lawless shores, but if enough pirates are captured or killed it might persuade the rest them to find another line of work.

07 April 2010


Tomorrow she goes to get the med port put in.

She has resisted it so far because as long as she didn't have it she didn't have to acknowledge that her condition is not temporary.

She has gotten tired of continuous sticks whenever she has to visit the ER, and since those visits have been frequent as of late (she went in Sunday night for a few hours) she's decided it's time.

The doctor's office that we have to go to in order for the insurance to cover the procedure is an hour away. They wouldn't cover the same procedure at the local clinic with the same doctors. I don't know why, just one of those things about insurance companies.

On a related note, a news story tonight on NBC News mentioned that Inositol, available over the counter at health food stores, has been discovered to positively affect cancerous cells (they specifically spoke of lung cancer) in six of ten patients. We will pick some up tomorrow.

Can't hurt, might help.

04 April 2010

Belated April Fool's Day

My new favorite author has a sick sense of humor.

Happy Easter

Daughter and her newly wed hubby are here and Easter dinner preparation is underway.

Hope you and yours have a good one.

03 April 2010

It's A Done Deal

Middle daughter's wedding went off today without problems. The minister mispronounced their last name as he introduced them and she hissed the correct pronunciation at him. Her new mother in law told her "Get used to that!"

Vows have been exchanged, wedding cake has been consumed (they wimped out, neither one got the cake face treatment) and receptions have been recepted. Much needed naps have been caught and we will call this one a successful day.

Hope you had a good one today as well.

01 April 2010

Nice Timing

So apparently there are two ceremonies in the state of North Carolina, or at least that is what happened in this case.

At any rate, I went to the magistrates office this afternoon to witness Middle Daughter's marriage. In the eyes of the State of North Carolina, she is now lawfully hitched although the paperwork won't be filed until Monday.

The ceremony that everyone is going to be present at will still be Saturday, and that is the day that they will celebrate their anniversary on, but officially, they were married on April Fool's Day.

At any rate, Eldest Daughter has arrived and Middle Daughter has gone to be surprised by her presence. Hamburgers and steaks on the grille will be the order of the day.

Submitted Without Comment

HT: Ace of Spades HQ

OK, one comment. You would really like to believe this is an April Fools joke. Unfortunately, it's not.