27 April 2011


It looks like one of my blogrollees has gone off the air.

Purely Politics can no longer be found. It has been deleted from it's host, and therefore edited off of the blogroll, gone but not forgotten.

Annie, if you ever take another step back into the interworld shoot me a line and I'll link you back up. Until then, fare you well in whatever you are doing, until we meet again.

26 April 2011

The Countdown Starts

In one more week "Hard Magic" will be out.

I'm just wondering if Amazon will get it delivered before I can no longer resist the siren song from the local bookstores.

We will find out starting next Tuesday.

UPDATE: I got the email today, it's on its way! Looks like it will beat the bookstore out by a day or two, if all goes well.

24 April 2011

Happy Easter

I hope it was a good day for everyone.

23 April 2011

Grand Boy

He's been awake and bushy-tailed most of the day with the occasional nap after feeding. He's not a fussy kid at all, which should be a great comfort to his mom.

It's funny watching Middle Daughter with him because she's never been the kind to cuddle with the babies, she has never really had an interest in them at all.

I guess it really does make a difference when it's your own though, because she is certainly cuddly with this one.

Not that I can blame her.

22 April 2011

It's A Boy!

Damien Ray Mickelson, born by C section because the docs figured 20 hours of labor with no dialation was quite enough torture for poor Mom.

He was born at 5:17 PM, he was 6 lbs 5 oz and 18", baby and Mommy are doing fine.

He has red hair, just like his Grandma and Uncle. He was bright eyed and bushy tailed until he got some chow, then all he wanted was a nap.

Sorry for the poor quality image, the picture was taken with a not-very-good cell phone camera in low light. I had the camera in the Mustang and of course I took the Baja to the hospital.

Better pictures when I get a chance to take them.

Thought of the Day, April 22

It takes a special sort of scumbag to dig through the rubble of someone else's life to see what you can steal.

Burning in hell is too good for them.

21 April 2011

One To Go?

So as not to be upstaged by Cousin Baylee, it looks like Damian Ray may be making an early appearance. Middle Daughter's water broke tonight while she was at work and they are now in the hospital waiting to see what happens.

A Few Repairs

The hibiscus in the Memorial Garden did not survive the winter. It's probably my fault, I didn't do anything to prepare it and it most likely needed some sort of preparation for the cold weather.

Today the boys and I piled into the Baja and went to Lowes where we got a rosebush, in pink because that was her favorite color, and ten bags of rock. Eldest son helped me pull the hibiscus up and plant the rosebush and Youngest Son helped me spread the rock around.

We also put some edging stones up and took out some weeds, and we had an ant problem that we treated while we were at it. The results are very nice, and the rosebush should be able to tolerate the weather swings a lot better.

I think she would like it.

20 April 2011


Youngest Daughter in Wyoming delivered her third daughter this morning at 5:01 AM (7:01 AM North Carolina time, which means I had not even left work yet).

Baby Baylee now has the dubious honor of sharing a birthday with Youngest Son, who turns 12 today.

Edited to add the photo, shamelessly stolen from my daughter's Facebook page.

19 April 2011

This Day In History

Schoolhouse Rock - The Shot Heard Round the World by Missing-Pieces

It was on this day in 1775 that the Shot Heard Round the World was fired.

HT: Crunchie at The Rott

Saturday Storms

For those of you that might have wondered, here at the Refuge we got a lot of rain and wind but nothing serious. The bad stuff happened south and east of us.

Twenty three North Carolinians were killed in Saturday's storms and over 130 were injured. Governor Perdue has ordered the flags flown at half-staff until Thursday to honor them, and also to honor the responders who have worked long and hard to minimize the human cost.

Our prayers go out for those who were injured that they make a swift recovery, and to the families of the dead that they might find comfort.

15 April 2011

Friday Funtime

Today I did two things that I had been planning to do and one that I had not been.

First was to get the Firefly washed and waxed. Originally that was to be done because of the air show, but it got canceled. I still had the appointment and it needed to be done, so at noon we were at the Auto Spa.

Afterwards I went to see the movie Atlas Shrugged, Part 1. I don't want to give anything away, but I can lay at least some fears to rest...it does not suck.

Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand's momentous work, has been named one of the most influential books of the 20th century.

Ayn Rand is a wordy cuss, she sometimes takes entire chapters to say something that could be said in three sentences or less. The good thing about that of course is that there is plenty that can be cut for the screenplay without damaging the essence of the story.

John Aglialoro and Brian Patrick O'Toole did a fantastic job with the writing, and even though some characters and scenes (including one of my favorites, but no spoilers!) were sacrificed everything that is needed is there and nothing that was essential was left out.

The movie covers the first part of the book, from the sense that everything is falling apart to the disappearance of Ellis Wyatt. Unlike the book, the action in the movie is fast paced and moves along well.

Taylor Shilling plays Dagny Taggart exceptionally well, Grant Bowler nails the part of Hank Reardon, and Micheal Learner's Wesley Mouch is so slimy you want to take a bath after
you meet him.

In fact, the only character I did not think was played well was Jsu Garcia's Francisco D'Anconia. His performance seemed rushed to me, as if he was in a big hurry to speak his lines in case he forgot them or something.

All told it was a very well done movie. The only things I didn't like was the (to me) sub-par performance of Jsu Garcia and the fact that the movie was set in modern times. I think it would have been much better if it had been set sometime post-war, but that is mostly because the book was set in that period and I like steam engines. Setting it in modern times, however, gave the movie a certain poignancy that I don't think it would have achieved otherwise. I can't wait for parts 2 and 3 to be released.

With the planned festivities out of the way I took a side trip to the State Capitol grounds to have a peek at the Tea Party rally that was held there today on the south side of the square.

The first (and before today, only) Tea Party rally that I attended was in 2009, and this one seemed to be comparatively sparsely attended. The energy was there, though, as was the news - a marked departure from the 2009 rally when only a single van from any of the news crews managed to show.

Also in attendance was the morning crew from WRDU 106.1. Carmen (6th picture) was zany, Chrissy (5th picture) was effervescent, and KC (4th and 5th pictures) wondered why he even bothered to show up since everyone wanted their pictures taken with Carmen and Chrissy anyway. Also in attendence was Steve Sedahl, but unfortunately I did not get his picture.

Chrissy was worried that her picture wouldn't come out well. Gentlemen, I ask you, does she look like she could take a bad picture? I thought not.

I didn't stick around for the whole thing so I didn't hear Jason Lewis speak.

One thing that was similar to the 2009 rally were the bored policemen. The Tea Party crowd was reserved and well behaved, so they didn't have much to do besides watch the show.

As I drove away I noticed a castle like structure being built on the northwest corner of the Capitol square, I have no idea what it was for but it appears in the last picture.

All in all it was a busy and fun-filled day.

14 April 2011


I was supposed to be going to the unfortunately named air force base in Goldsboro with the local Mustang club so that we could display our cars at the air show on Saturday. The club is going down Sunday as well, but I have to work Sundays so that day is right out for me.

Unfortunately it looks like the weatherman can get the weather right from a week out. They have been calling for rain on Saturday all week long. I was hoping the forecast would change, but it looks like it will be raining as predicted so Saturday's display has been canceled.

I guess that means I don't have to get up on Saturday morning, so I can go to the late showing of the movie Friday night.

13 April 2011

That's Done

The IRS sent me two letters in separate envelopes to let me know that they were allowing all my deductions, so I don't owe them any money. Happy Day!

Also, John Edwards from the FBI has sent me two emails. I have a feeling that someone wants to make me rich!

Does it get any better than this?

11 April 2011

It Figures

Yesterday afternoon I looked at my weather channel bug and saw that it was supposed to be clear and dry until Tuesday afternoon.

I pulled the cover off of the Mustang and drove it in to work with the top down, expecting that I would be able to drive home the same way.

This morning is drizzly and wet, the kind of rain that can't even be bothered to form full drops but instead falls as sort of a mist.

These jackasses can't even get the weather right 12 hours in advance, but we are supposed to believe they can predict what the climate is going to be like in another hundred years?

Yes, I know. There is a difference between climatology and meteorology.

(Meteorology is based on actual science.)

10 April 2011


Yeah, it's Hanson. Bite me.

The Blues Brothers tribute is a nice touch.

Bonus points if you can name the guy on the tamborine.

Baby Shower

Sis held a baby shower for Youngest Daughter yesterday afternoon.

She had been planning it for a while and managed, with Son-In-Law's help, to keep it a complete mystery.

Eldest Sister came down from Roanoke and brought her two daughters along, and everyone seems to have had a good time.

08 April 2011


I reciprocate links, so if you have a link to me and I don't have one to you let me know in comments so that I can add you.

Welcome, in no particular order, to Matt from Troublesome Times, Good Times; Jordan from Generation Patriot; and AmyLynn from PBJdreamer. Welcome to the Refuge blogroll, glad to have you aboard!

My blogroll is getting big enough that it takes a lot of time just to peruse links. I think I need some more hours in my day.

UPDATE: Welcome to the blogworld Quizikle! And for your sins, you are now added to the Refuge blogroll. May God have mercy upon your soul.

07 April 2011

Thought of the Day, April 7th Edition

I find it not humorous at all that ensuring welfare payments get sent out is a higher priority than making sure our servicemen and women get paid. I think we should tie all government paychecks together, that way if one USG employee doesn't get paid none of them do, including the politicians. I'll bet it would never get used as a political bargaining chip again.

06 April 2011

Thoughts of the Day, April 6 Edition

It is somewhat humorous to me (in a gallows humor sort of way) that the government's idea of compromise is reducing the amount of money they are going to spend on one thing in favor of spending it on another.

At no time is either party discussing reducing the amount of money they are going to forcibly remove from my pocket. Appropos of nothing, I suppose, the amount of money I pay in a month to state, federal and payroll taxes exceeds the amount of money I pay in a month to my mortgage holder.

Also, if the much-dreaded government shut-down is only going to affect non-essential services, why is the government providing such services in the first place?

There's an idea for places to swing the budget cutting axe for you...

03 April 2011

Defenseless Victim Zones, Part II

This one I didn't see myself, I saw it on a post at An NC Gun Blog:

Playmakers Restaurant, Raleigh NC

Go on over and take a gander at the owner's opinions. Then make plans to eat somewhere else.

02 April 2011

Thought Of The Day: Voter Registration

I have been trained, background checked, cleared by local law enforcement, fingerprinted like a common criminal, and paid my fees so that I can legally exercise a Constitutional right. I have no problem with flashing an ID card to exercise the PRIVILEGE of voting.

Edited to add the video.

01 April 2011

April Fools

Today is that holiday dedicated to pranks. So far I've escaped the full attention of both my sons, a rare occasion on this day so I'd better enjoy it while I can.

Today we had our first taste of sunshine in almost a week. It has been wet, miserable and cold for the past ten days or so and last Monday morning we even got a little snow.

One year ago Youngest Daughter got married, although we didn't have the actual formal ceremony until the 3rd.

Today one year ago my little Firefly rolled off of the Flat Rock, MI assembly line on her way to Butler, NJ.

Tomorrow is Eldest Son's birthday, I'm going to turn in early so I'm up to get everything ready for it.