Tuesday, May 09, 2017

1st run of the season

Ran today for real. Not just walking or mostly walking I don't think. Maybe by time, but distance I think was more running. I'm not sure.

It's nice to put on the shoes and be able to do a little running again. Yes, it was only two miles. Yes, I know it took almost half an hour. Like I said, there was some walking in there but it was my first run of the season so I'm okay with it. If I can get back into doing it as a habit it'll improve. If I can't get it turned into a habit then you're going to see lots of these little runs where I feel super motivated for a little while and then a long period of silence about running. I'm hoping that's not what happens.

No, it wasn't a great run but statistically, odds are, it's better than most of the people I know online or off so I'll take it, and, like I said, if I can get back in the groove of things it's just the beginning.

Oh, the picture's unrelated. I just stopped to take a picture of a bee.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A motif: A disturbing, atrocious motif

While doing some research on Isaiah "Teat" Dorman (The only black man to die at Custer's Last Stand) and Inkpaduta I came across something I keep seeing coming up when someone describes an enemy they want to make sure we, the reader, know is a vile and horrible enemy or that something is truly terrible.

  • Inkpaduta is said to have dashed a baby's head out by holding the baby by the ankles and swinging it like a bat. Not all the sources say this is the case, the one I'm linking to, for example, doesn't say HOW the baby's head was dashed in with the stove wood.
  • The Cankiri Tree was made by the  Khmer Rouge in Cambodia specifically for the soldiers to do the same thing to babies and small children of their opponents.
  • I've heard, but can't find it online, where the Mongols were supposed to have done this as well during their rampage across Asia and Europe.
  • Psalm 137:9 even mentions it: Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks
Why am I mentioning it? Well, it's a thing when researching something historic where the accounts are all anecdotal, from letters, from stories told by people instead of pictures or video, to be aware of. If you hear something once, at one place, it may be a thing. But when you hear it over and over again... maybe it's a thing. Maybe it's real, but maybe you need to dig a little bit and make sure you're not just reading something that sounds good.

Where does this fall in that for my Inkpaduta & Isaiah Dorman research? Well, I can't find a reliable source I'm willing to hang my hat on with it so I'm leaving it out. Everybody agrees the baby was beaten to death, but since most of those beat to death in the head were done so with the butt of a rifle it's just as likely that was what happened. Possibly while the infant was laying on the pile of stove wood. I'm not willing to say he swung the kid like a baseball bat.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wait. You mean I've gotten old? When did that happen?

Watching #DoctorWho and as luck would have it this was the one on BBCAmerica tonight so I watched it even though it's an old one. It's one of my favorite and he's my favorite Doctor. Although Rory & Amy's love story is my favorite story arc of all. 

So, this isn't all that Doctor Who related but it's sort of Time-related, yeah? Yeah.

I realized last week and when I say this you're going to think I've lost my mind, or maybe you won't. I imagine it'll depend on how old you are. Me? I'm forty-eight. This past week I realized, and I'm not sure what prompted it, that, let me start over. I've always assumed I'd have a kid. I'm not sure why or when, but I sort of felt like at some point I'd be a dad and there'd be a kid and school and field trip notes and teaching to drive and having them go through a phase where I'm an idiot and hopefully they'd grow out of it and think I was a pretty okay person. 

I don't know why I thought that and I didn't realize until last week just how strongly I felt like that was something that was going to happen. And last week I realized if I found a person right now who said, "Put a baby in me you big hunka man," and got started right then and there I'd be um... 66 when they graduated. Um, sixty-six? What the hell? Also, what woman of safe & sane baby-making age is going to look at an almost fifty-year-old man and say, "We should totally get sweaty and roll around on the ground together and exchange fluid and mingle our DNA into some sort of unholy abomination of a baby." I can answer that, no sane woman. 

So, last week I realized I wasn't going to be a dad because when I wasn't paying attention I got too old. Before you say anything about movie stars doing it etc. I'm not a movie star. I make cat food cans. Hell, that is a bit glorified. I stack the cat food can ends (You'd call them "lids" but you're wrong, trust me, I'm old I know these things) on pallets.  I don't actually FEEL old. I feel about thirty or so. I really didn't notice that I'd entered softly and silently into an age beyond which being a kid's dad was contraindicated. 

That was kind of a depressing blow.

Then, also this week, I got an e-mail fro my parents saying my Dad had health issues that are of the older person variety. Very carefully NOT saying he's old in case he reads this. But me being old means he's probably a bit oldish as well. Anyway, so, suddenly, without my paying any attention at all I've come face to face with my own mortality and I don't like it one bit. So, I thought I'd watch some good old fashioned escapist TV and turned on some Doctor Who. What should happen? Turns out it's one of my top two favorite episodes ever... also one in which The Doctor dies. Of course it is. But dangit... it's got Wilfred in it and I love that crusty old man. Like seriously. I know it's irrational, but at my age, I'm prone to irrationality. I should point out I've been saying that for years, decades now apparently.

Anyway. The past week has been a little bit rubbish, can you tell I've been watching British TV? Yeah. I have, and I like it a lot. I don't like the past week much though. No, I don't like it at all. So, if you see me looking off into space a bit wistfully I'm probably thinking about all the things I didn't do with my non-existent kid. Don't sweat it. The mood will pass. I'm not even really that sad about it anymore, just surprised that I got this old this fast without noticing. It seems like something you'd notice, doesn't it?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Dear Brick & Mortar stores

Sometimes I want to pick something up and touch it before I buy it. Sometimes I want it right then. Those are times I go to brick and mortar stores.

My hope is, if things go well, that I walk out if your shop with less money, a smile, and a bag of stuff I went to get.

You know what I don't need to do? Go to your store and be told you don't think those sell well enough to stock but you can order shipped directly to the store at no cost and I can pick it up... some time.

No. I know how to order things and I can also have them delivered to ME and not have to go BACK to your store that didn't have what I wanted in the first place.

So, I get it, you instruct your helper monkeys to offer that service, but seriously, I'm holding a smart phone in my hand. I'm showing you your own website that says you have it. I know how the Internet works.

I also know I have never and will not ever, let a brick and mortar order something for me that I have to go back to get. At least offer to ship it to me. I'll still say "no," but at least it'll appear you're trying to be convenient for me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Review: Alpha Defense Gear Jacket

After the complete crapstorm that was geek hoodies, no link provided because I can't find a single person who has had a good experience with them and find SCORES of complaints about substandard product shipped months late, I was hesitant to buy clothes online again. I like to hold clothes in my hands, look at the seams, look at the quality, make sure I'm not buying some piece of crap that takes 71 days to get to me. (Can you tell GeekHoodies left a sour taste in my mouth? I really can't say enough bad things about the experience I had with them.)

But I saw Alpha Defense Gear and thought I'd give them a try. This time I looked at reviews and they were good. What I was looking at was the Alpha Defense Poly-Tech Soft Shell Jacket but I didn't want to jump into an eighty dollar jacket without seeing the quality and speed of their products. So, I did a test order of some face shields. They arrived in about a week and are really nice... REALLY nice. So, while I thought about it I got a coupon for a Jacket, a t-shirt, some face shields, and a baseball cap for less than the cost of the jacket. Well, I bought it and crossed my fingers.

I needn't have worried. It arrived in about a week. The build quality was outstanding. Today was nice out, 49F and 11mph winds so I went for a walk with the new jacket and it was great. It blocked the wind and kept me super warm. Keeping the wind off me was a big help. Now, it's not a jacket that "breathes" so don't wear it running. Jackets that breathe, and I have one, are great if it's not windy. Wind cuts right through those breathing jackets. This jacket is a wind stopper. A brisk walk, really brisk walk, a jog to some people, had me warm and the jacket kept the wind off me perfectly. I could zip & unzip it to moderate the temperature and I was really happy with it.

The zippers and zipper pulls seem well made and are stylish as well. You can't go wrong with this company or this Alpha Defense Poly-Tech Soft Shell Jacket. Huge fan.