Saturday, January 30, 2016

Lost someone today

Earlier tonight my dad had got a call from my second cousin letting us know his wife had passed away.  She had suffered a massive heart attack on Wednesday, and though they did get her heart back to beating, she is no longer responding to stimuli, and her kids decided yesterday to pull the plug and let her go in peace.

She was a remarkable lady, who met my cousin when he was in prison and they did marry when he did get out (a singular achievement in Texas since death penalty convictions rarely get overturned, but it did and rightly so in his case.)  They had visited me and my folks several times, and I did visit her when I was moving back to Vegas from Vermont in 2004.

The first pic was me standing out by my truck that she taken with my camera, the next two were of her at her home in Mississippi.  I spent two days there just taking a breather and getting my bearings back from the mess of a sudden breakup and short-notice evac from a suddenly bad living situation.

They were hoping to come out to my dad's property in Arizona for a change of scenery, but of course now that isn't likely to happen.

I am feeling down about it now, but I am sure tomorrow it will pass and I will cherish her memory.

Monday, January 25, 2016

OK I guess I must be a degenerate

I was heartened and then repulsed by this story that the Air Force has told defense officials that airmen do have the capability of carrying open or concealed on base and that commanders have total discretion to authorize such activities.  That was a very welcome bit of news.

The repulsion came from the comment by the spokesman for the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence, who spewed this atrocious sentence from his piehole:

"Don't hold your breath waiting for them to embrace America's degenerate gun culture. They won't, and
thank God given the potential implications for national defense."

What the hell was that nonsense??  Are they trying to equate a right to defend yourself the same as unsavory behavior such as child abuse, kicking puppies and necrophilia??

Just totally unbelievable. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016

Help out a good friend in need

One of my buddies up in Canada has an issue that needs taking care of, and I'm helping to spread the word.

His wife has a service dog named Veto, who is invaluable to her as he is able to alert to potential seizures from her.  Right now Veto is not well and needs treatment from the vet.  They have just about exhausted their savings and maxed out their credit cards, but they still need to raise about $3,000 to cover everything.

There is a GoFundMe campaign which has started to help raise the money.  Please try to chip in and help them out.

Just gotta love New York (warning NSFW video)

Came across this video someone posted on LiveLeak showing an older lady showing off her ample assets on the NYC subway.  That was a nice eye-opener let me tell ya ;-)

Mmmmmm...melons ;-)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

More fun and excitement (not!!)

This past week has gotten off to a decent start.  I am making decent progress with the online EMT course, with my objective of doing at least 2-3 chapters a week holding true so far (I'm working on chapter 7 which deals with pathophysiology, the study of how disease and trauma affect the body), and I'm pretty confident that things will go well as I proceed with the course.  The fun part will be when I do my 12-hour clinical rotations at the local ER or on an ambulance crew.

My dad's place down in Arizona is getting close to livable, with the sink and water heater now installed, with only a few more items left to do to make it ready for him to get moved in.  Ideally in another month or so, he'll be off my couch and situated down there.

Financially I'm a little tight this month, but after the first of next month things should smooth out better.

More to come later, stay tuned...

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Where I have been in my journeys

I came across this nifty tool that allows you to visually show where you have visited in the US.

Create Your Own Visited States Map

Most of the states I have visited when I made my journey to Vermont in 2003 and then moved back in 2004 after the relationship I was in blew up in my face.  Some states, such as North Carolina, Florida, and Minnesota I have flown directly to for work reasons (airline dangerous goods training in Minneapolis for Northwest Airlines and security training for US Airways in Charlotte, then field IT support in Jacksonville and Orlando when I was contracting for Eli Lilly & Co.), while others were for visiting friends in Illinois and Texas. 

Several bloggers including The Silicon Graybeard have used this map on their pages, so I decided to join in the fun.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Some more good reads are coming

The illustrious Peter Grant, aka the Bayou Renaissance Man, is getting a new volume of The Maxwell Saga ready to publish.  I know I had mentioned that I would review his previous works in the series, but for one reason or another I had not had a chance to do so.  Now I do and let me tell you, these books remind me a lot of the Heinlein juveniles such as Rocket Ship Galileo, The Rolling Stones, and Time for The Stars, but with a little more occasional coarse language and some titillating paragraphs which would have raised eyebrows and fists in the 1950's but not even bat an eyelash today.

The books tell the adventures of a young man from Earth, Steve Maxwell.  He is an orphan who desires very much to get away from the oppressive and regressive society of a future Earth and seek his fortunes among the stars to which the best and brightest of humanity have scattered.  Through a series of fortuitous events, he finds himself going from a spacer and shuttle pilot for a freighter, to joining the military of the Lancastran Commonwealth and moving through the ranks from enlisted to officer.  Along the way, he tangles with various villains from Chinese Tong to maniacal pirates to elements of fringe societies at the edge of explored space.

I found that there were very few slow points in any of the books, with enough background offered to help you fill in a very good picture of this future world, and enough action to whet the appetite and keeps you looking forward to what will happen next.  While this may not be totally appropriate for a pre-teen to read depending on your sensibilities, I think young people as well as older readers will enjoy this series.

The first four books of The Maxwell Saga, Take the Star Road, Ride the Rising Tide, Adapt and Overcome, and Stand Against the Storm, may be found here at Amazon, for a very good price for all four.  Please check them out for yourself, and I am sure you'll enjoy them as much as I have!

And it just keeps on coming

Now Powerball is at $1.5 billion, and fortunately yours truly has one more shot going into the drawing tonight.

First major thing to do should I win: change my F*ing phone numbers :-P

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Now it's just getting insane

Amazingly, nobody got the winning numbers for Powerball last night, so the jackpot is now going to be $1,300,000,000 or about $800,000,000 lump-sum.

If things aren't crazy before, they are gonna get even more so now.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Some interesting blog stats

Just happened to glance at my stats for the blog, and it's an interesting breakdown:

For those in Europe and Malaysia, I bid you guten tag, bonjour, hari yang baik,

and of course
хорошего дня for our Russian readers and/or spambots ;-)

New year, new headaches (and new threats?)

I had hoped that the new year would be good.  Unfortunately, on the personal side things totally went to shit.  I just hope things will get better and I plan on keeping busy.

On the brighter side, I start my online EMT training course on Monday.  This had surprised me because I wouldn't think this type of course would be offered given the strict requirements.  As it turns out, I still need to go attend lab sessions to practice all the practical skills for the psychromotor exam (the hands-on testing needed for national certification along with the written exam), plus do 2 12-hour clinical rotations at the local ER.  Once done, I plan on maybe doing some weekend work part time for one of the event EMS services, or I could try part-time with Medicwest or AMR.  Since that won't be until mid-summer before I complete the course and take the exams, I got plenty of time to consider things.

I just saw this story about a cop in Philly getting shot by some idiot saying he did it for the Islamic State.  Whether he actually did self-radicalize or just blowing smoke is hard to say, but it just drives home the fact that bad things can happen to anyone at any time.

Meanwhile, I noticed that Powerball is likely to be close to $1 billion dollars by the time the next drawing occurs on Saturday night.  I'm already in the office pool, but decided it couldn't hurt to make a trip over to the Arizona side and get some tickets.  At that level it's almost certain that there will be multiple winners but at this level I would be happy with a few million.

Official Time from