About Ferguson: The decision of the grand jury has come in and now we are on to the next phase. The next phase seems to be persistent discontent with what is seen as a government that at times is not reluctant to use force. I am not judging the merit of what happened in Ferguson, or in the many other alledged but well documented cases of abuse of police deadly force or abuse of powers engagements, but something has changed .. . something completely unrelated in essence as related to the death of Michael Brown.
Since 2009 we have had one tea party after another that has preached the gospel that government is overstepping boundaries in our lives and that government is inherently evil. Perhaps the chants worked. One popular announced GOP candidate for 2016 has compared the American government to Nazi Germany. As for those chants, the chants now have been taken up by many who have a long history of experience with institutional violence and bias.
For the last five years we have seen the anger of the comfortable white middle class froth about how government cannot be trusted. Facts often did not matter then, and now in the Age of Ferguson they may still not matter for some years to come. People are mad … and when people are mad they really don’t care what the facts are.
My heating furnace went on the fritz so I decided to fix it myself. Somewhere in the process I ended up with two extra screws, but neither fit the one remaining screw hole that held my furnace ignitor switch in place. So off to Lowes I trundled.
Got my screws! … and I have a few extra left over if you need a size 8 1/2 or 10 1/2 metal screw … or two.
Anyway, on my way out the door I saw a beautifully bright red hot dog stand. The beauty was more in the offering of hot dogs than the color … although it was indeed a nice red.
I am trying to eat more healthy these days so the ‘Veggie Dogs’ sign caught my attention. Dearly do I love hot dogs … as life … which is why I need to eat more healthy these days. Theoretically a Veggie Dog offered health and a hot dog all in one package.
Verdict of a hot dog connoisseur: the bread was soft and perfect for a hot dog whilst the cole slaw was equally wonderful. Words escape me as how best to describe the hot dog. Ack!! Blech!! OMFG!! It reminded me a bit of ground cauliflower mixed with tofu and dyed reddish.
Final verdict: done that. There is no reason for me to follow that path of curiousity again.
And no, I do not feel healthier for it. To top things off my son monitors my Facebook page and lectured me on the virtues of eating white bread, thus negating any potential health benefit from whatever else that I ate.
Yes, Father, I have sinned and there is no joy in it to be found.
The book Orphanage (Jason Wander) was first published in 2008 by Robert Buettner, a former Army Military Intelligence officer.
Bill Golden sez: If you liked or loved Robert Heinlein’s classic Starship Troopers then you will quickly come to like Orphanage by Buettner. The books are alike in so many ways, even with political undertones that many readers would overlook. Heinlein’s classic allowed voting rights only to those that served honorably in federal service, i.e. the military (a long running argument on this examined in great detail – PDF). Buettner’s take is similar but with a strong post 9/11 update as to how the world works.
Lots of military humor soaked into this book as the main character, Jason Wander, goes from being a reluctant screw-up of a military recruit to a breveted general officer (eventually).
If you want some light reading with a familiar theme that keeps you constantly meeting new characters and full of plot twists then this is the book, and the book series for you to read.
Some really good news is this is a book series and each book just gets better. Wars are not over quickly and neither is this series.
Other books in this series that I have read and like; no, I have not read them all yet.
If you like these books then there are others available … but I have not read those … so let me know how that they work for you. I unintentionally read the last book in the series (Triumph); since I know how it all turns out I just did not have interest in going back and reading some of the other books.
From the official description of this book:
Mankind’s first alien contact tears into Earth: projectiles launched from Jupiter’s moon, Ganymede, vaporize whole cities. Under siege, humanity gambles on one desperate counterstrike. In a spacecraft scavenged from scraps and armed with Vietnam-era weapons, foot soldiers like eighteen-year-old Jason Wander-orphans that no one will miss-must dare man’s first interplanetary voyage and invade Ganymede.
They have one chance to attack, one ship to attack with. Their failure is our extinction.
… keep the thank you simple. Most veterans enjoy being told ‘thank you for your service’ and then most want to move on to a different topic. They generally do not want to get into old war stories. They do like to talk about their buddies. The most memorable part of military service, the part that you want to remember, is how much and how important the other people in uniform became to you when things got tough. Things being tough or bad didn’t matter so much as long as your buddies were there and were OK.
I’m still in contact with Army buddies that I met way back in 1974. We are fast friends forever.
My father was a Marine and my mother a Department of the Navy civilian.
I was graduating high school during the Vietnam War years. I wanted to go to college. My father said NO to helping me pay for college.
OK, so … the military offered college tuition if you joined. Being the son of a Marine I went down to talk to the USMC recruiter. He wasn’t in. That night I told my girlfriend and she went ballistic. NO, no, no … she said that I wasn’t going in the Marines … to set me straight she called a family friend that knew all about the military and asked him to call me.
Her friend was an Army recruiter. It never occured to her to ask how he knew so much about the military.
My father: John Henry Golden Sr, 1934-2001, Korean War Vet, USMC
I went on to serve in the U.S. Army from July 5, 1974-April 1, 1996.
When I was 12 I lived next door to a Navy family. The father served on a destroyer at Mayport, Jacksonville, Florida.
Each year they would have family day. The whole family was welcome to come aboard ship and they sailed several hours out to sea and then back. It was long enough that you got a full meal and lots of snacks out of it. They snuck me aboard as a ‘son’.
We were allowed to wander most of the ship without adult escort, to include wandering in and out of the messhall. I grew up eating very basic food without hardly any frills. The messhall had trays of donuts of all kinds and you could drink all the chocolate milk that you wanted — things which were unknown at my house. That was almost enough to convince me that the Navy offered opportunities.
You can now pick up a ‘drone’ at your 7-11 along with your cup of coffee and a doughnut.
The 7-11 convenience store at the corner of Dale Boulevard and Hoadly Road, Dale City, Virginia, now offers three kinds of drones for less than $99.
Despite the advertisement that these are professional grade drones, these drones are really just advanced toys with limited use — you get seven minutes of flight time on a good set of batteries. However, the drones look well built and durable and you can pick up the F-22 quadcopter drone for just $59.
Seven minutes of flight time — that’s a lot more than I once got with my rubberband balsawood airplanes!
BTW – No doughnuts were actually eaten during my visit to this 7-11 … just in case you are talking to my wife.
One of my geeky weekend projects has been to download and to install the ‘preview’ version of Microsoft Windows 10.
Windows 10 will not be for sale until mid-2015 but for the bleeding edge of tech types you can download an early test version now in exchange for feeding back your experience to Microsoft. Warning: You have to agree that installing Windows 10 is at your own risk and that things may not go well.
Privacy Concerns — you should probably not install this on your primary machine. This preview version of Windows 10 logs EVERY touch of your keyboard so that any bugs and errors can be tracked down and fixed by Microsoft.
It installed fine on an older laptop (designed for Windows 7, Toshiba Satellite E203 with 2GB RAM). Everything seems to work. It installed on top of my old Windows 7 without the need to reformat my hard drive — so all of my apps and software are still there for use.
>> Sometimes I get random error messages … and yet my software continues to function as normal. I just close the error message window and move on.
Biggest benefit of Win 10 so far: Your desktop works like Windows 7 but your system can benefit from all of the apps of Windows 8. The START button is back, and comes with a menu of your Win 8 apps. There is no need to switch between your desktop and Metro to use your apps. Apps are also resizeable (they were not in in Windows 8).