Friday, July 14, 2017

I would travel to see this monument

This would be Grandma Doris

Grandma Evelyn was a renounced Catholic free spirit.
Grandma Doris was a Southern Baptist Lady
and member of the Canadian WCTU
(Women's Christian Temperance Union, and yes, it was active into the 70s).
Tornadoes wouldn't DARE touch her china.

Why did they stop making these?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Angel and the piglet

In an earlier post, I mentioned an encounter with a fetal pig that put me off pork for some 20 years. I had so many incredulous responses that I thought I should tell the story, you know, maybe garner some sympathy.

My 8th grade Life Sciences class was taught by the 9th grade Line coach, Coach Tversky. Coach T was short, round, and extremely funny. He called us "mullets" (the fish, not the haircut), and was generally well-prepared to teach the subject. Made it very interesting. During second semester, we hit dissection. Think Springtime in Texas, and carving up dead things.

We started off slowly with earthworms. Can you really dissect an earthworm? Why yes, yes you can.

This didn't bother me at all. I'd been baiting my own hook since I was eight. Kinda cool to see an earthworm's innards. Next up was a frog. A little gooier, but still not a problem. We're making our way up the food chain, one type of bait at a time.

Then we did a fish, at this time we started thinking Coach T was just catching stuff in his backyard and bringing it in for us to cut up and keep us busy. We hit mid-March and Spring Break with the promise of something bigger waiting for us when we got back. I was not prepared.

We could smell it walking down the hall the first Monday after break. Sickly sweet, a combination of Coach T's German sausage lunch and formaldehyde. I can close my eyes and still bring up the memory of formaldehyde. It has a very distinct odor. And it sinks into everything, your clothes, your skin, your hair. You can smell and taste it hours after class, and after a few days, you can't get rid of it. We walked into class and found trays of fetal pigs laying on the lab tables. Unlike the other specimens that were plentiful, we didn't get our own pigs, thank God. We doubled up with a lab partner, two to a pig. My partner was Beth, daughter of a surgeon, ambitions of becoming a doctor herself, scalpel-happy Beth. She was delighted to do the cutting while I did the diagramming and labeling. We made a great team. Monday was a just get to know your pig day; Tuesday we opened the thoracic cavity. She cut and removed organs, I diagrammed and labeled. Wednesday, abdominal cavity, same routine.

Okay, Friday is test day, that means I just have to get through Thursday and I'm home free, right? RIGHT??? So Thursday morning, I'm standing by Petunia (yeah, she was a little girl pig) waiting for Beth. The bell rings, no Beth. Tardy bell, no Beth. This girl is NEVER late, and I'm sweating, Thursday is brain day, and I haven't cut on anything with a brain. Shit.

Coach T ambled over grinning, looked at me over the pig and said the words I dreaded, "Beth is sick, you're up." Double shit. I haven't even touched the thing yet and now I have to untie two of it's little hooves, flip it over, and cut out it's little brain. I'm not sure why the pig bothered me so much. I guess it was cuter than the worm and frog; it was a mammal. Still had it's umbilical cord attached. But it's a little baby pig and now I have to cut out it's little baby pig brain.

So there I was, Vicks Vapo-Rub stuffed up my nostrils, hands shaking and a nauseous sweat rolling down my face. I made the first cut through the derma, tough, pickled with the formaldehyde. and took a deep breath. Wrong move, gag. The second move was supposed to be cutting through the skull by chipping away with a pair of sharp scissors. Note: Do NOT give me anything sharp. I was chipping, chipping, chipping and the brain came into view.

I gagged, I jabbed, I cut the membrane surrounding the brain, the brains started leaking out. According to Coach T, it was just a little bit, but I remember it as a virtual Mt. Vesuvius of gray matter. The cold nauseous sweat turned hot, my ears started buzzing and my eyes started blurring. Then I was out. Cold. Face first in the pig brain.

When I came to, I was on the floor, pig brains and puke (Coach T said he couldn't tell if I puked first or passed out first or if it was simultaneous) was matting my Aqua Net stiffened bangs and Coach T was grinning over me. "Nice swan dive, Chumbley. Go see the nurse, you're done for the day."

I gathered my books and stumbled down the hallway to the nurse's office to get checked out for the day. Back then (actually my folks still live there), I lived across the football field from the junior high. I walked to and from school every day, rain or shine. Boo hoo. But that day, I would have paid anything for a ride home. When I walked in, Poppy was home for lunch and offered to make me a fried SPAM sandwich.

And that's why I didn't eat pork for 20 years.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Metrics are for pussies

Sometimes all it takes is yoga pants

Forgot to Put My Toys Away Woman

Now if we can just get the thought to spread

Science Teachers

95% of science teachers in Texas are football coaches. 4% are lesbian girls' basketball and volleyball coaches, and 1% are other. These are their stories.

Throughout Junior High and High School, I had a total of seven science teachers from basic science to advanced chemistry. Only one of my science teachers wasn't a coach. Only one was a female. And yes, she was a coach, I'll let you draw your own conclusions. My 6th grade science teacher was Mr. Gordon; young, relatively fresh out of college, and also an aspiring football coach. They take any teaching job until they can land a coaching/teaching job, so teaching usually isn't their primary focus. Mr. Gordon was different; he was a true science geek. He loved meteorology and watching the skies for tornadoes. Freaked most of the kids out. He was also extremely blunt. We were in the primary blast zone of Pantex, home of the nation's nuclear bomb arming operations. If anything went BOOM at Pantex, duck and cover was just a formality. Mr. Gordon went into explicit detail explaining the science behind what would happen to our tender little bodies in a nuclear blast. Really put tornadoes into perspective.

Then came junior high and Coaches Schneider, Tversky, and LaGrone. Coach LaGrone now owns the largest funeral parlor in Amarillo. Schneider was a hoot, Tversky made me dissect the brain of the fetal pig which is why I didn't eat pork for 20 years, and I spent a year in Physical Science watching Coach LaGrone try to solve a Rubik's Cube.

High school was interesting. I had enough credits to graduate a year early, but the school counselor wouldn't let me. Said I was too immature to go to college at 17. Doodyhead. I showed her by CLEP-ing out of two semesters and starting college as an 18-year-old Sophomore. Anywhoo....where was I?
Oh yeah, high school science teachers. My physics teacher was the very brilliant MS. Camden, volleyball coach and surprisingly smart scientist. She saw the court in terms of physics and was the winningest VB coach in the school's history. I really enjoyed her class even though I never understood a thing that was going on. Same for her "best friend's" classes Calculus and Trigonometry. Makes you wonder what the pillow talk was like.

My absolute favorite science teacher was Mr. Finis Brown, Advanced Chemistry. He was about 60, short, chubby, bald round head and round glasses. Here's a fairly accurate representation of Mr. Brown and me in my Senior year:

I swear to God and all that's Holy, Mr. Brown looked just like Dr. Bunsen Honeydew. Sounded kind of like him, too. I enjoyed everything about chemistry, mostly that chemicals don't have guts, but it made sense to me. Everything had rhyme and reason and balance. I came very close to majoring in chemistry, and if I had it all to do over again? I'd probably be a meteorologist.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Five Reasons I'm not worried about Antifa

I was having a discussion with Jesse in DC about what could be the coming Civil War 2.0. Not the 2nd American Revolution because it's our own government that's out of control and our own citizens that seek to enslave or kill us. He stated concern over the fact that their side is so much better organized than ours. Recent experience with someone who turned an attempt to organize the Patriot community into building his own mini-kingdom and slush fund has taught me that we are pretty much a group of lone wolves not easily organized. Kind of like trying to herd kittens on crack. But when the occasion warrants, like when one of us is in trouble and needs help, the Patriots come on fast and furious. Nothing can stop us. Why? Well, President Trump touched on it in his address to the Polish people. We have a little something called "will to survive." We have the strength of conviction to fight for what we believe is good and true, fight for our inalienable rights, fight for this amazing social and government experiment called  a Constitutional Republic. What does the other side have?

Well, money and organization. That's at the top. Way, way, way at the top. At the tippy top far above the blood and smoke of the battlefield. They are the politicians, the rich socialists (ever wonder how a socialist got rich?), the professors, the "elite." They have no intention of getting their hands dirty, that's why they have all those kids they've been grooming for the last few generations. Their soldiers in the field, their Antifa Warriors.

Stop giggling, that's rude. You'll trigger them and send them running to their safe spaces. I have actual valid reasons to not be THAT worried. Yes, at the moment they outnumber us, but so did the Tories. Ask them how that worked out against a bunch of pissed off lone wolves with resolve. Here are my top five reasons to not fear Antifa.
  • Winning. Seriously, if you've lived your entire life not being allowed to feel the sting of defeat, how will you handle it when you lose a skirmish? When you can't call time out because things aren't going your way? When you can't quit, take your ball and go home to mom's basement? The Powers in charge of Antifa haven't thought this through. They've raised generations full of quitters, crybabies, and whiners. They had to have safe places after President Trump won an election. Do they really think the people with the money are going to come save their asses when it gets dicey? George Soros doesn't give a shit, Bill Gates can't shoot, and Obama's on another vacay.
  • Leadership. In addition to always winning, these kids have had it planted in their soft little heads that they're too special to be anywhere but at the top. They've all been groomed to be chiefs with 100K salaries and corner offices. When they realize they aren't going to be Chiefs, but lowly Injuns, things will start falling apart. You think someone with crippling debt who refuses to take any job available because it's beneath them is going to be happy as a foot soldier getting shot at?

  • Dependency. The Soldiers of Antifa have never been independent. I'm not sure they even know what independence means. They went from mom and dad's support to Uncle Sam's support by way of colleges and/or social support programs. Someone has always paid their bills to the point that they expect someone else to pay the bills. Right now, they have a sugar daddy in Soros, but they don't understand how tenuous that support is. Soros isn't going to pledge his life, fortune and sacred honor to topple the US government, he's not that devoted. If either his life or fortune is ever threatened, he'll pull out faster than a Catholic with 12 kids. And let's face it, he's a little short on sacred honor. Once the money is pulled, the Antifa movement will dissipate.

  • Preparation. Yeah, they're organized, but they ain't exactly prepared for actual war. Throwing Molotov cocktails, rocks and right hooks, spinning sticks like a basement ninja, these aren't the battle skills they're going to need to take on Patriots. How many of you have been to the range or out in some field shooting? This week? This month? Today? Most of them have never held a pistol, never served in the military, never had to zero a rifle on the run. Most of them have never had to run. Now don't get cocky. I'm better than most, but nowhere near as good as I need to be. The eyesight and headache issues have kept me off the range for the last six months. Dry fire drills just aren't the same. Stay prepared my friends.
  • Cohesion. Last but not least, cohesion. The Left has been pushing identity politics for generations, pitting one special interest group against another. Now they think they can organize the split special groups into one force against the Patriots. Uh-huh, sure. Let's see how that works out. They're already at each other's throats. The BLM crashed the LGBTQ Rainbow parades. The BLM and Muslims hate the LGBTQ. The Feminists hate, well, pretty much everybody; they're attacking PETA over bikini-clad models. Nobody can stand the Fems. And the illegals don't give a shit as long as they don't get deported. One thing about the Patriots. We may not like each other, we may not always agree, but if we know we're all fighting to protect the Constitution, we can put our petty differences aside. And that's what Antifa is really attacking: The Constitution.

So there you have it, the reasons I can sleep at night. Oh, that and the Sig next to the bed.

Oh, and by the way, it's wirecutter's birthday

Yes, that's wirecutter.
Yes, he's holding a doll.
h/t Wirecutter's Mom

Dog Days of Summer

Around here, from May to September, the only safe times to walk the pooches is Dawn and Dusk. Very early morning and almost dark. Some days are still too hot by sundown for the asphalt to cool off enough for puppy paws. Try to keep them on grassy areas as much as possible and treat burns to their pads immediately with the same routine you'd treat a skin burn.

Remember, they rely on us to make the smart choice and to give them the care they can't give to

And that's why I'm a dog person

Thursday, July 6, 2017

It was bound to happen

Max the Magnificent is on the DL*

*DL for those non-athletes ~coughwirecuttercough~ DL stands for Disabled List.


Max is down with a serious cut across three pads on his front left paw and a deep puncture wound on the outside pad. This is his tragic story.

He's a high energy, high maintenance pooch. I take him for walk/run/drags twice a day, and that doesn't count all the times he launches himself off the deck into the middle of a flock of birds or to chase the resident bunny who lives under the wood pile. He is a furry bundle of barely contained fury. I try to find places where he can go off-leash and really get it out; one of his favorites is John Stiff Dog Park in Amarillo: lake, trees, ducks, geese, and.....jackrabbits. OMG! He loves his little jackrabbit buddies! He'll chase them until he's almost dead from exhaustion. Oh yeah, they play with him, letting him get close before they kick it into overdrive, but he never gives up. There is not an ounce of quit in that dog.

So on our outing to JSDP yesterday morning, he lights out after this bunny that's every bit as big as him and they cross the road in, the median, the road out and into open field. Max comes up lame just into the open field and I know something is hugely wrong. He never gives up the chase that quickly.
I catch up to him and he's sitting there with his left front paw up and blood pouring out of it. I kick into Mommy Mode. We get him into the Momvan, get the paw cleaned and assess the damage. Not too bad, I was expecting to see entire pads ripped off and missing. The bleeding has slowed to a trickle and he's not whimpering anymore. Executive decision is to head home. Bunny chase is called off.

He rests most of the day, limping to his water bowl and licking his wounds. About 2 pm, I notice more blood and he's avoiding jumping up on the furniture.  Not out of respect for the upholstery or anything, just too painful with the foot and too hard without it. We take a little trip to his Vet, sweet girl, young redhead, up both Max and spouse's alley, and get it checked. There's no way to suture a dog's pads, the flesh is too squishy, so it's a round of antibiotics, some awesome painkillers, a few day's off walkies, and NO LICKING. The pills aren't a problem, he's an idiot for cheese. The walkie embargo is a bitch, he's been sulking. But the licking? I'd have better luck stopping wirecutter from posting mean driving memes than I've had stopping the licking. I'm supposed to take him in for a CONE OF SHAME if he doesn't cut it out, and I've told him. I've even threatened to post pics of him in the COS on the blog for all y'all to see. Nothing is working.

So stay tuned for Episode II: Max's Shame.

Max post-pain meds

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

He died doing what he loved

Makes me want to wear a red suit

And this is perfect summer fun.
A pool floaty that looks like a feminine hygiene product.
"Dammit, Karen! You've absorbed all the pool water!"