We all get them, some all the time, some rarely. An earworm is a tune or lyrics that just pops into your head (because you've heard it before), and won't go away, dominates some or all of your conscious mind.
Today, my earworm is "Seven Spanish Angels", which has to be the saddest song ever written.
"She reached down and picked the gun up That lay smokin' in his hand She said, "Father, please forgive me I can't make it without my man" And she knew the gun was empty And she knew she couldn't win But her final prayer was answered When the rifles fired again
Dear readers, it's not that I don't love all four of you, it's that this has been a bad week. Last Sunday, my wife got up to fix herself breakfast, and Houdini the Orange Terror-Cat stayed at her feet, as he usually does. She tripped over him and went down, breaking her hip. She had surgery to install three screws to put the pelvic bone back together, just got out of the hospital yesterday and is in a nearby skilled nursing facility to do rehab. Naturally, this has removed most all of MY spare time, so I have been on Twitter (@straightcase) a bit, but not often. Since I dumped Facebook because of their intrusive ads on my timeline, I have nothing to keep anyone over there (my 189 "friends") happy except this blog and my occasional tweedling.
Your best read is published by the Washington Examiner. It has headlines and in-depth stories regarding military and State Dept issues relating to National Security. Just facts, as little partisan crap as can be put out. It also has a schedule of meetings of NatSec wallahs, so you can get ahead of the twits and Face-mongers.
My three-year experiment with Facebook is over. Great way to keep in touch with Friends, but the recent change is too much. That's where over three-quarters of the material appearing on my page is ads, almost entirely from companies I have never used nor even searched their sites. I have been using Social Fixer, a Firefox add-on for a while, and when I first put it in, it worked. It is overwhelmed by the ads now, and doesn't hide them like it used to.
I have just under 200 "friends", not a lot by zuckerfarger's standards, but those were all people whose opinions and info I valued. I will have to say good-bye to many of them now, because they won't all follow me here to my blog. blogs are SOOO "last-century", but then, so am I!
I will resume blogging now. As has been the case since I opened the blog 13 years ago, I blog for myself, hoping that what I say is of SOME value to the wider world.
Here are the storm totals just for THIS front, the second one in two days (the first one was only 3.4" here). Embiggenate the photo and use the right-side key to interpret the rainfall totals. We are half-way though the rain from the FIRST front, and the second one will be worse. The chart, normally accurate to within 10%, says I have 2.0-3.5" already. My rain gage says 3.6" as best as I can read it from 15 feet away inside my house:
The Coast Range and western slopes of the Cascade Mts will get 10-15" of rain from today's front and the more severe one coming tomorrow and Wednesday. Historically, highway bridges over mountain streams do NOT withstand this sort of hydro assault in these parts. Pray for our bridges. All we can do is wait. The Atmospheric River goes all the way to the Philipines...
I haven't been there for the "now" riot, but I WAS there for a "then" riot...
It was September, 1961. I was an incoming Freshman at Mizzou. No scholarship, my Dad wrote the checks. I lived in the dorm, as was the requirement in those days for freshmen. Right after WW2, Mizzou had expanded and built a huge quadrangle for men's living (sexes were segregated then). Three huge, block-long dorms with a dining hall/student union at the open end. Quadrangle in the middle, big enough for regulation football, and there were fierce touch football games there, but I digress...
The Frosh were about half-way through the Freshman Orientation session, which lasted two weeks. I had been assigned to a ground-floor room (built for two, but there were three in it), with a pre-engineering guy from LA (who was a dickhead, but he soon pledged a frat and was gone) and my bestie roomie, a guy in the Tiger Marching Band with a music scholarship (wish I could remember his name now, we had great times together). The Marching Band reported early with the frosh so as to practice their music and intricate field movements and be ready for the first home football game. He played Baritone Horn, a sort of mini-tuba that only Sousa could respect and write music for. He was good on the horn, a concert-quality musician. It seemed that there were a lot of quality brass hornists housed in that Quadrangle, and on such a hot evening after supper, sometimes an impromptu jam session would result. I was going to hike down by Hinkson Creek, to check the area for wimmen*, but decided to stay and listen to the music.
There was a pre-set signal among the band guys (and a few gals, but this was a male-only area) to assemble for a jam session, and my window-sitting roomie sounded that signal. He let loose a stirring rendition of "Dixie". Almost immediately, about 6 more horns chimed in with the music, then a base drum and some snares could be heard. Roomie bailed out of the window with his horn, and the dorms soon disgorged about 20 different band members and ten times that many freshmen who didn't play, including your blogger. There weere enough drums for a modest drumline, and the horn section, and even a junior Drum Major showed up to lead the ensemble.
The Band played on for about 20 minutes, and the crowd swelled, with probably all 2,000 men dorm-residents in the quadrangle. There was a lull in the music, and someone with a good "parade-ground" voice yelled out the name of a women's dorm about 3 blocks away. The crowd surged out of the quad, and onto the street leading downhill to the women's dorms. I was in that crowd. The drums played a marching cadence, and when we arrived in front of the gal's dorm, I noted that it seemed to be locked down tight, with a visible inside bar across the front doors, and all the lobby curtains drawn. Some of the gals were hanging out of their streetside upstairs windows, though, and that was enough to keep our testosterone foaming right along. A horn played "charge", and the guys closest to the dorm surged right up to the walls. The gals upstairs encouraged that, with occasional items of female underwear sailing down to the men below and many kisses being blown down. I was not in that vanguard, I was actually in the back of the crowd when I saw the first University Police car. The two cops in the car made no attempt to contact the crowd, but instead, disappeared into the basketball arena, right across the street. In a few minutes, I saw why, and my blood ran cold. The cops were on the roof, each cop using a 35mm camera with a long lens, and they were snapping pictures as fast as they could advance the film, and they were fast reloading the cameras, too. Next thing, the dorm's front curtains parted, a Speed Graflex* was pressed up to a widow, and it's flash started a regular rythm.
I rembered something. We frosh had been instructed about gatherings like this, and we had been told that if the University recognized a face from their photos, that student was immediately expelled. Free assembly was NOT the rule then. Not suspended or fined, expelled. There was a laundromat right behind me, and I faded into it. When the opportunity presented itself, I bailed out of the laundromat and took a back way back to the dorm, where I went into the student lounge under the dining hall and read magazines for two hours until the late news came on the TV, and sure enough, there was the Big Cheese Dean of Students hisself, reporting to Columbia, MO and environs how he had already started the process of identifying the "leaders of the riot".
No-sir, I was only 17 then, but I had already learned a valuable lesson: Recon first before acting. I like to think that lesson has kept me alive in several ugly times during my life so far.
Today's Mizzou students seem not to have learned this 54-year-old lesson, and with facial-regognition software in the hands of everyone who can pay for it, the list of the commie campus bullies' names will remain long after their politics have mellowed. They are fools.
* Speed Graflex: a Large or Medium format camera, similar to the "Press Cameras" of the 19-teens through the 1950s. The cops used them as evidence cameras because the negative supported poster-sized enlargement prints. I trained on this camera in my first Police Academy in 1973. They hung around almost to the digital-camera days in police service.
Sunset on my 72d birthday. Life has been good, I've seen 4 children safely to adulthood, 3 of them being pillars of their communities. I'll settle for that, and excuse myself to use my final strength to help save my Nation. First, I will get my gut fixed, and THAT will be quite the hurdle to clear.
For the rest of my life:
My warning to the culture-killers: don't piss us old Veterans off: we've seen plenty of conflict in our day, we know exactly how to accomplish our missions with the resources and energy available, and we're NOT afraid of missing out on life if we die in the conflict. Every one of us will count coup when you push us to battle, and you will never guess when you have gone too far, we will just be there to take our victory and you WILL give it to us.
Tonight's patio time is for just me. Some light jazz plays on the Tidy Cat Bucket Boom Box, the fire hisses in the fire pit, toasting my feet. The waxing Blood Moon climbs the sky to the ESE, and a hint of Southwestern Monsoonal moisture graces the southern sky.
Hot spiced cider wards off the chill of this last evening of Summer 2015, and I just charged the firepit with seasoned Asian Pear wood on top of the fatwood embers. The jazz piano recital playing now reminds me of high school, and my English teacher, Mr. Chapin. He was a concert-quality pianist, but DeeCee was full of them in 1960, so he taught English at the Maret School, which I attended with my brother and sister. We lived in the same block as the school, and Mr. Chapin would come in an hour early, and play his jazz stylings on the Steinway Grand in the auditorium. We were permitted early entry to listen to him play. It was a powerful and inspiring start to the school day.