Thursday, September 29, 2011

Robert Gutierrez Jr

"I've seen those types of injuries before and time isn't your friend," said Staff Sgt. Robert Gutierrez Jr. "I thought, I have three minutes before I'm going to die. I've got to do something big. Based on that time frame, I'm going to change the world in three minutes."
With a softball size hole in his back, broken ribs and shoulder, a collapsing lung, and losing five pints of blood, Gutierrez stayed on the radio, calling in close air support. His actions are credited with saving the lives of his team. He survived, and is being awarded the Air Force Cross for "extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


In tonight's replay of Bussaco: Ney's Assault, Josh said "This game convinces me that you do black magic on your dice." That probably implies that Josh is a better player than I am, as with the assistance of dice wizardry I won 7:4 (and if Josh had had one more turn, it would have been 7:5), whereas on the previous game, Josh whipped me 7:2.


Josh and I got a shooting lesson tonight at A&P Arms. We each fired at 5 yards, 10 yards and 15 yards with a H&K 9mm. Josh had all but two of his rounds within the red circle, and those two were less than an inch out. My fire was a little more widespread; I'm having a hard time with the "left eye dominant" and "focus on the front sight, not the target" part. More practice...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hazards of Intergenerational Discussion

Overheard phone conversation this evening.
Grandmother: Josh, just be sure to take this relationship slowly.
Josh: How long were you dating Granddaddy before he proposed? It was a week, wasn't it? And how long were you engaged?
Grandmother: It was six months. But actually I just found out from your great grandmother that they got engaged three weeks after they met, and married three months later.
Josh: So, what I'm hearing is, you want me to take it slowly, and I've been dating Gwen for longer than you AND Mema were dating AND engaged, combined, total?

Monday, September 26, 2011


Josh to Diana: "Have you noticed that sometimes when you say something, Dad and I both look at you....both look at each other...both raise an eyebrow...and both look at you again?"

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Note to self

Do not store kayak face up and uncovered when it is going to be raining for five days.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


The latest battle report is at Battle Honors.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hard Magic

Hard Magic is a new novel by Larry Correia, not part of the Monster Hunter series. Imagine a gritty 1920s detective / four color superhero novel. Add ninjas and pirates. Actually, add teleporting ninjas dueling airship pirates on a burning zeppelin with a ticking bomb that will take out everything from New York to Savannah if it's not stopped...

Need more? Elitist Book Reviews waxed rhapsodic for several paragraphs, and finished:
When all is said and done, Larry Correia's Hard Magic is one of the most entertaining novels we have read. What's more is that it has all the qualties that make us love Epic Fantasy, only in a Raymond Chandler-esque, noir setting.
Buy it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Diana got braces today. No photos--at least, none today, but she'll have the braces for two years, so there will be plenty of opportunity for photos later. She said it wasn't painful, just uncomfortable and tiring.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


The Nottoway Indian Tribe had a powwow to which we were invited. As they were going to have Aztec dancers, and Josh is fond of Aztecs, we went. About an hour and a half drive from the beach, in Surry County. It was a contrast with Arizona--what it felt like was that out there, the people were Indians, whereas here, they were dressing up as Indians. Kind of like going to a medieval reenactment event where some people are in tights and tunics, but others are in jeans.

However, there was a Mexican couple there, who were in Aztec (or Aztec-ish) costume and did some dances. There were no obsidian knives,
sacrificial altars, or manifestations of Huitzilpochtli, but I guess you take what you can get.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What Lucky People Do Differently

What Lucky People Do Differently than Unlucky People:

From LifeHacker

Command and Colors

Josh and I had our first game of Command & Colors: Napoleonics today. His French crushed my Brits, 5:0. The After Action Report is at my new wargaming blog, Battle Honors.

Friday, September 16, 2011


A cold front came in with rain, accompanied by rain, followed by rain, and taking a short break for rain. I believe we're going to call this the beginning of Autumn.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Muy delicioso

Josh and Tom Paul went to El Taco Loco. TP said the steak was excellent; I pointed out that, being beef, it was moo-y delicioso.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fantasy Football

Dan Wells talks about Fantasy Football the way it should be.


Josh is working for a HVAC company, doing data entry and bookkeeping. The owner wanted new TV commercials, Josh got involved in editing the script, and ended up being the director for the commercials. When Diana asked Josh what he'd liked most about the experience, he said "Having people do what I tell them." She looked a bit taken aback by that response, but I thought it was eminently in character for him.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Jet ski

Josh is rather fond of jet skis. He's planning on jet skiing across the Pacific; his first apartment is likely to be a refrigerator box in an alley, with room to park a jet ski trailer. So we gave him a couple of jet ski rentals as part of his graduation congratulations. Today was the day to use one, as a father-son bonding experience. I bonded as best I could, but he still managed to jink and swerve hard enough to throw me (unintentionally, no doubt--purely accidental, I'm sure) three times. The first couple of times he stopped and I swam back and climbed back aboard. Unfortunately, the third time around, the sharks got me. That did leave Josh free to rev it up for 65mph, though.

Ten Years Later

I remember where I was on 9-11.
I'd worked at AIN Plastics for five years, leaving in March 2001 to join Jubilee Tech and sell linguistic services. My AIN boss, Brian Inman, had  died of lung cancer, leaving a wife and three boys. His funeral had been the day before.
I was at my desk at work. Business had slowed down as the tech bubble popped and there wasn't much for me to do; the company had been laying people off all summer. Josh was in school. Diana and a friend of hers had left early in the morning to go to some pro-life thing in Washington DC; since she was travelling and I wasn't, she had my cell phone.
When the first plane hit, I assumed it was some idiot in a Cessna who'd done something fatally stupid. When the second plane hit, it sounded as if there was only one plane, with confused reports on which tower it hit. When it finally became clear that it really was two planes, two airliners that had been hijacked and deliberately crashed, most of our staff gathered in the lunch room to watch the TV. I went back to my desk and started trying to call Diana. All lines busy. Redial. The news said maybe 50,000 killed. All lines busy. Redial, redial, redial, redial. Meanwhile I was trying to get to or any news site, and they were overloaded. Emailed a friend of mine who lived near DC, in case Diana needed to go to ground there; yes, he said. Meanwhile...Norfolk is a major Navy base; whoever launched this attack has to know that our carriers and Marines will going after them. Unless the attackers do something about it first. Radiological attack? That's what I would do. No word of that, but I was sitting there for a long time, wondering if I needed to just go get Josh out of school and head west. Finally, after 45 minutes of continuously hitting redial, I got through to Diana--she was in DC but hadn't gone past the Pentagon, hadn't seen the crash there, she was okay. Eventually it was clear that the only attack was the four planes; it was ultimately a symbolic attack rather than a strategic one.
And I couldn't help think the events of 9-11 would overshadow our loss of Brian.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

GOP Debate

A response I heard: "Some did better than others, but I'd vote for any one on that stage over Obama. Including the sound tech."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Departure set

Josh plans to leave for Australia on Oct 13. Taking some combination of motorcycle and hang glider to get to Los Angeles, and jetskiing from there across the Pacific (pausing in Kiribati for a bacon, lettuce and bacon sandwich).

Monday, September 5, 2011


We were at the beach tonight, waiting for fireworks (scheduled for 10pm, we arrived at 9pm and left at 10:45, no fireworks to be seen). Josh walked a few blocks farther down the boardwalk and said he'd seen a bunch of Indian ladies, sitting the beach, waiting for the fireworks.
Me: "So, they were a sari lot?"
Josh punched me.
Me: "I suppose that was a pun-jab?"

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Raiding Borders

Now that Borders' "Going out of Business Sale" is actually giving significant discounts, I picked up Hard Magic, Downbelow Station, Thomas the Rhymer, and Grunts, plus spare copies of Mote in God's Eye and The Sharing Knife


Josh vows to be a kangatarian. Kangaroo steak, kangaroo sausages (KangaBangas). Hasn't found out whether there are kanga-ribs yet.
Delicious and
it's good for you

International Bacon Day

Happy International Bacon Day! (The September one. There's another one in February, because bacon is too good for just one holiday).

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Trip to the Moon

In 1902 Le Voyage dans le lune (A Trip to the Moon)--the first science fiction film--was released in France.