Friday, July 10, 2015

Radio Check

Still here, though still without much to say. Same issues; the things that matter to me just aren't that interesting to anyone else; home, work, family, and as for the soccer I work out over at my daytime gig at Slide Rule Pass. I did enjoy the hell out of the Women's World Cup, but I know better than to try and write that one up; a lot of work and you'd get better value for your money over at The Equalizer or All White Kit...
As far as blogging goes, I'm farkling about gearing up to writing up the Battle of the Philippine Sea as a sort of send-off to my "Imperial Japan, WTF?" series. Yeah, Leyte gets all the press, but it was the Turkey Shoot that was the USN at the top of its game, that meant Game Over for the Kito Budai. I'll try and get that in later this month.
Part of the blogging roadblock is just Real Life; I've found that I don't have the burning desire to write so badly as to put off everything else I've got going on. Tonight the kiddos are upstairs playing Goat Simulator (don't ask. Seriously, there are some things that, once seen, can never be unseen...) and The Bride is reading the new Shadow Campaigns novel I bagged for her at the county library so I found some time to come downstairs - my computer is back in its old place at the basement worktable - and write.
But the other big part is just the notion of trying to talk about politics or military affairs has just really lost its grip on me. I don't know enough about the politics of places beyond the strandlines to speak sensibly and the politics of my country are, at the moment, loathsome. To me the perfect poster child for American politics is The Donald.
And even here I can't really better the Rude One in his summation of the shitshow that is Trump:
"He's like most of the other candidates rolled into one: a blithering, idiotic, climate change-denying loudmouth xenophobe who wants endless war, Christian "values" (whatever the fuck those are anymore), an economic and health care system that benefits the rich, and a big fuckin' fence with alligators or some such shit to keep out the Mexican rapists. He doesn't need to pander to the baser instincts of the primary voters. He is the living embodiment of the baser instincts of GOP primary voters. That's why he's wiping the floor with virtually every other candidate."
But I can't even find any entertainment in the idiocracy that has become the Republican Party.
Because the way our political system works we get two parties. You can try and come up with another system that produces another outcome, but the bottom line is that the U.S. first-past-the-post election setup produces two big parties instead of the lots of little ones you get in a parliamentary system.

So, given two parties it'd be nice to think that we'd have two, you know, actual parties. Organizations with smart people and thought-out policies that wanted to run a sane and healthy country.

Instead we have a bunch of fairly conservative corporatists who prefer a sort of elite, oligarchic control over the dusky masses...and a Monster Fucking Raving Loony Party of which Trump is not the ravingest fucking looney by a looooong chalk.

It's a fucking fuckstory, and what more can I say other than that..?
I've included a whole bunch of family pictures to give you an idea of what we've been doing that has kept me away from the keyboard; you get the whole spectacle of work and play, house, and kids, and pets. I've also been volunteering to help sell merch for our women's soccer team supporters group the Rose City Riveters, and help out with our friends' project to clean and paint and sell their house; here we are after a long, hot day of exterior painting:
Or pitching in at the local watering hole for soccer, Bazi Bierbrasserie. With my temporary Oregon Liquor Control Commission volunteer server credentials in hand here I am, ready to start pouring for the Women's National Team supporters...
Busy, busy, busy, that's me.

Just not here. I'm sorry.

But if you stick around I can promise you Marianas and Turkeys. This is no shit.

I will tell you one more story before I have to go.

So I go to the Thorns match on the Friday before the Fourth of July. Good match, Portland win, if you give a shit you can read all about it here. Anyway, I get in late as in late-late, nearly midnight. It's hot, damn hot as it was for nearly the entire month of June. But not hot enough to explain the expended kitchen fire extinquisher sitting on the dark front steps. Interesting, I think, and go inside.

Everyone is sleeping in the Little House. The only creatures stirring are the two expended Roman candle launchers sitting silently in the kitchen trash. Interesting, I think, before heading into the shower and the bed.

So it's not until the next morning that I find this:
My Bride explains that my son and his pal were playing in the street with the pair of fireworks they were allowed the night before the tradition of Expending All Rounds (of illegal fireworks smuggled in from Vancouver) in the paved "playground" of Astor School at the east end of Amherst Street. She wasn't sure how the fireball landed in the city strip, but she thought that one of the boys might have aimed it down and it skipped off the pavement into the grass.

Which, explosive as flash-paper after weeks of drought and days in the nineties, ignited.

This little inferno took a shovel and the extinguisher and the neighbor's hose - the lighted section was in front of the house two doors down from ours - to kill. I think my Inamorata realized that the fault was not so much in her stars or in her son but in herself for not insisting that the boyish pranks be shifted to the inflammable asphalt of the elementary school.

Missy was properly disgusted.
"I had nothing to do with this." she sniffed. "It was those boys!"

I smiled and agreed and felt thankful that all that had burned was some dead grass. And climbed into the Honda and drove away.


Ael said...

Hey, what's with the kitty n crossbones t-shirt?

FDChief said...

Kitty Crossbones! Isn't that brilliant? Saw that on some online merch store and couldn't resist.

Leon said...

Looking forward to the next chapter of "IJN. why you do this?"

Anonymous said...

Must be this

Taking care of the wife at home, maintaining the homestead and FB seem to be my life nowadays, but still love reading about life in far-flung exotic locales.

You may find this inspiring, such ideas keep me doing what I can in Kansas politicking.


Big Daddy said...

We really appreciated the help painting, so I gladly traded a blog post for a shiny door.
Another episode of why the Japanese fail at war would be fun, or in light of the recent NYT op-ed you should consider a piece on the Greco-Turkish war of the early 20s, or the Russo-Polish War.

BigFred said...

Keep it coming, Chief.

When you can.

Brian said...

Glad you are still transmitting.
Looking forward to the next history instalment, and a Russo-Polish War piece would be great too!
You realize in Canada we have a first-past-the-post system too, and it actually maintains five parties right now, though none of them has a representation in the House of Commons anywhere proportional to its numbers.
That, plus the extreme concentration of power in the Prime Minister's Office (which has been going on for a generation or two, before the current Harpenfuhrer regime) and the appointed, not elected (therefore stacked) Senate gives us a combination of the worst aspects of the Westminster system and none of the peculiar advantages of the American bicameral system.
Add in an unhealthy dose of voter disconnect, apathy and plain stupidity and we are screwed come October (fateful federal election) in which Tea Party North will likely return the Dough That Walks Like A Man, a colourless outwardly emotionless control freak, to power.
A Trump would at least be a welcome diversion, since our own racist buffoon has been mostly off the radar since his treatment for cancer (though he did attract a headline the other day for his habit of diving single-handed in the HOV lanes...)

Syrbal/Labrys said...

I, too, have simply taken refuge in my own home life and small satisfactions outside the realm of the political whirl-a-gig-of-doom-and idiocy.
Here, fireworks inspire terror of wildfire, especially as our well is dying because my neighbors are all Republicans and idiots living in denial about a community well pumping 2 gallons a minute (max) being sufficient in a hot summer for FoUr households.
My broken ankle slowly heals, my gardens die....I really want it to be November right NOW.

Tho' there might be a battle right here before that comes 'round....