Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jetpack Joyride for iPhone

You guys should seriously check out this game on iPhone or whichever console you have near you (It's called Run Run Bear on Android Market). It is super fun and it was free a while ago. There is not much more to this post than that, but hell.. what do you expect from me? I mean, I tried to crash the Google server by describing Brian, which failed miserably. I will have to persevere in my quest of making fun posts; this is not a good example.

What is cool though, it that I’ll be brewing more beer on Sunday so hopefully it will turn out awesome like it did last time. I still need to go out and shoot off a few hundred rounds from the Saiga with Mike and Brian, but maybe just Mike (U Mad, bro?). Seriously though.. that thing needs to spray hot lead in the near future. My trigger finger is itching.

New year’s eve is coming; don’t drink and drive! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

*As Promised* Brian is a Little Bitch

I have a friend named Brian, who really likes to talk shit (which I REALLY love to do as well). He read this one day and noticed that all the ads were for things like tampons and Vagisil, which makes sense given his browsing history and major interests including being a weak, whiney, cunty little girl.
Brian told me “why don’t you blog about it” so I thought it was a good idea. I thought that there is so much info on his bitch-ness that it may indeed crash the blogger server. The man wears corduroy pants for God’s sake!! He is clown shoes… sloppy shit sandwich double cheese, go large!
Now, Ms. Brian is not all bad… “he” actually brews some pretty badass beer and entertains guests in a polite manner. The thing is: When you get a group of girls together, a fierce competition of who can nag, whine and cry the most is on. On, Like Donkey Kong, I believe the term is. Serious case of body dysmorphic disorder which makes him feast on diuretics, beer and angst.
While he owns guns and may well try to kill me one day if these posts continue (okay, probably not) his weakling hands probably do not posses the strength to charge the slide of a pistol or open the box of cartridges for a rifle; if his wife is there to open the box, I might be in real trouble. I have to give it to his wife though, she lets him wear the pants to make up for the apparent lack of testicles… just sayin.
He has a motorcycle and... well, that is Brian’s version of a lifted truck and he continues to use phrases like “Zombie hunter” and “Totally epic” to overcompensate for his love of My Little Pony. Eventually our mutual friends will rub off on him and one day, with hormone therapy and manly people like myself, Mike and Mike’s dad, he may even be “one of the guys” instead of just Brian.
Well, I know this is short for all the vast array of weenie-ness he normally displays, but it’s just a post in good fun…. Hope you enjoyed it a little like I did.  He is the one in the green coat trying to fake being one of the guys.

Still love you Brian.   J

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Very Savage Christmas

This year, as with the previous years in this house, we had a great time together as a family. My co-workers pitched in to cover my 12 hour shift so I could be with the family instead of watching monitors blink my life force away. I spent five days at home in a row which let me get caught up on a lot of chores I’ve been meaning to do; the garage is much safer for humans now.

I was up, along with many (perhaps the majority) other parents of young kids, stuffing stockings and laying out Santa’s gifts. That old fucker gets credit for my hard work…. Now Krampus is a mythical character I can get on board with. Look him up…  Anyway, we stacked it all out there and the boxes didn’t seem to stop; I wonder every year when I will be able to tone it down in a way that nobody is upset over.

I was pleased with the choices everyone made in the gifts I received; most things I received had either slipped my mind or I had neglected to ask for due to their frivolous nature. I like to get things that are immediately useful and at least somewhat warrant the givers’ efforts.

Many things I was fortunate enough to get were ones meeting the above criteria and a few were just because I wanted them. I will use the gunsmithing supplies to hone my skills and make some old firewood-quality weapons into something worth owning. My wife got me checkering tools to help restore the heavily worn areas on my uncle’s rifle and my friend Jeremy got me a glass bedding kit to make another rifle even more worthy at the range. In the end, none of these things were bought to allow me to do my work. They were bought to make me happy. Mission accomplished…. For real this time though.

I also got a gift card from my mother in law so I could buy my camping stove, but that was just my poor man’s method of doing Parkerizing and Bluing so instead I’ll whip up some proper stands to heat the liquid and apply the finish in the right way. Everyone helping me get my start is a great thing. Even though it may take many years, I am not suffering now; I have a good job and can manage all my tasks even if it means some extra hours.

My older son was inundated with gifts as usual and I hope he understands a little of the reasons he has what he has. I tried to make the point to him about each time we go out to eat at Red Robin or another fast food place, that it means I have to spend X number of hours at work to pay for that short period of time. Putting that into perspective for my son also did the same for me and accordingly I have stopped buying anything I don’t need; liquor, beer and eating out are at the top of the list there.

I’m not sure if it’s good or bad, but the last few days, when I think of something I want, I consider “Is it worth the X hours I will spend earning this money” and the answer has been “no” every single time. I’m not entirely sure what that is telling me, but it is certainly something. It’s not good to qualify everything in life, but the timing belt on the Subaru is a lot more important to me than a few bottles of scotch and a dozen trips to eat out over a 3 month period. Seriously, just think about that…   Between the Wifebot and I, we have sacrificed a lot and are still not even close to being bad off.

This is a long post.. sorry….  

~End

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Maintaining My Sanity

Everywhere I look, most people seem to be crazy, stupid, evil or some combination of those three. I see politicians spouting nonsense about their bigoted views on gays in the military and others trying to tax one group more than others. The people in Washington are not the only ones who dole out this sort of ignorance either; just a few hours away in NY people are responsible for the biggest train wreck of an economy since the 1930s. Our country will suffer for generations from the poor choices made today.

 

So last night while driving home, I called and spoke to my father for a few minutes and the ways of the world came up. I realized that I sound like the crazy person in the conversation at every turn. First we spoke about the Patriot Act and how it has been used contrary to the intent and that the majority of people targeted were not affiliated with terrorism at all. The conversation shifted to foreign conflicts and then again, we struck a point where I was rambling about the injustices I help commit under the guise of freedom.

 

Anyhoo… these are things I’ve been thinking of recently. Nothing new I guess,

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tragedy, a Pistol and a Bent Gas Block...

Back story: A guy I know recently lost his brother to a tragic accident involving alcohol and a gun. He and his girlfriend were enjoying their night together and having some drinks when the pistol somehow discharged and killed the man. The surviving brother has been dealing with all the arrangements to save his parents the added heartache.

So, the guy (I'll call him Joe) has his brother's possessions and has been trying to dispose of them in a respectful and useful manner. The pistol which killed his brother has since been destroyed and he is left with one more pistol to get rid of. Enter me....

Joe knows I am trying to cut my teeth as a gunsmith and one day after the accident he asked me "Jack, will you do me a favor and not drink when you're working on guns?" Of course I told him I won't handle loaded guns while drunk and he seemed content. Well, over the next couple weeks, Joe seemed to be handling the loss better and returned to his normal happy self. One day he told me he had an old M4 carbine (Bushmaster XM-15E2) style rifle with a bent front sight and gas block and needed it fixed.

Of course, I offered to do the work for him, but we never discussed the price at all. He also noted off-hand about the Smith and Wesson pistol of his brother's that "I don't care if I get two hundred bucks for it, I want it gone" and this made me think a little more. I have been wondering, would I be wrong to offer to replace the part on his rifle in trade for the pistol? No money has to change hands, he gets his rifle working again, gets rid of a hurtful memory and I get another gun to sell off or trade. Good or bad?

I don't want to take advantage of anyone here, so I will tread lightly into this conversation. Worst case is that he'll say no.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mr./Zombie/Asshole Duck is Dead

After getting super fucking lucky and not being eaten and killed (yes, in that order for the most part) by the aforementioned raccoon, Mr. Duck has died. I hoped that he would survive, but the chances were grim already. Not to post this as a downer, but the cute duck that is my avatar is no longer. The raccoon that soaked up one of my Hornady pills has not been seen since either.

 

At least Mr. Duck gets to be with his friends.  :’(

Monday, December 5, 2011

Premonition Numero Uno

Automatically, the title suggests there are more posts coming, but I figure I’d let it stay open (like the ending of The Terminator) to allow for more down the road.

 

We were all riding around town in the Strykers, the hot, dry air and the stench of burning trash filled northern Iraq’s largest city. Those around me were all familiar to me, but some did not belong to my squad; my team leader had been replaced by another member of the platoon with whom I had been in constant conflict with. We were then called up to a vehicle chase nearby where a car had been hijacked and a family taken hostage; we responded to the area to find the car pulled over and the occupants out.

 

As the ramp of the Stryker dropped, I was the second one out and immediately drew down on a man with my M4 rifle. In Arabic, I shouted for him to show me his hands or I would shoot. The man was heavy, perhaps 5’8” and 240 pounds. The other occupants of the vehicle were not near him, but were clearly victims of this crime. As the rest of the squad dismounted the vehicle, the man quickly reached down into his waistband. All I could think at this moment was “Congratulations! You shot the guy holding a cell phone” booming in my mind.

 

I watched, in a sort of slow motion, as the man pulled out a pistol and began to raise it. I saw this unfold in what seemed like several seconds, but was really only a mere fraction of a second. I flipped the selector switch from safe to semi and quickly squeezed the trigger several times. The fat man’s chest rippled as the 5.56mm projectiles tore through his flesh, sending fine mist spraying out the back. He slumped to Earth and the pistol clattered across the ground.

 

I woke up in a cold sweat…. This was not the type of dream I was used to having. This had not happened to me before in such absolute realism. I could feel every sensation in the dream for the first time ever. After this, I rushed next door to tell my friend Paul about it. He told me that sometimes you have weird dreams because something is trying to tell you something. Nice and vague.. thanks Law Dawg.

 

At the time of this dream, we had been deployed for about 8 months in North-west and north-central Iraq. We saw some wild action and suffered the loss of three members of the company. My mind had been conditioned to the sights, sounds and sensations of combat and I basically shrugged off the dream

 

About a month later, that near-exact event occurred. The differences were that my actual team leader was there, the guy was a skinny one and I shot him in the throat instead of the chest. After we bagged up the body, my buddy Paul yelled from the hatch of his Stryker: “Jack, it’s your fuckin’ dream, bro!”

 

So, this sounds like horse shit, but that’s okay. Real deal. Like it or leave it.   J

 

Peace out.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sale Fail

Well, after a failed attempt to make some quick cash on something that I thought I could easily sell, the Saiga 12 has been removed (for now) from my "for sale" category. I do want to sell it eventually, but with other, nicer ones on the market for a close price, I am sick of getting low-balled to death.

I will be going out to break it in this week and then I'll have a better idea of what all needs to be done, if anything. I won't fail at this, but I am not successful as of now for this sale. I have four more projects in the wings, one of which is a gift for someone ....   :)

I have given my Christmas list out to people and most of the things I have asked for are ones I won't use soon, per se, but I will eventually. I need to build my capital pool and keep up three items for sale at once and then that will multiply.

Other than that, I am almost done with my math and phych classes... so happy for that. A three week break will be awesome.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Very Scary Hole in the Wall

I am taking this story from my friend’s recent experience at his house; it is all too familiar to many, including me. I’ll preface this with saying that the guy in the story is not a bad person, but rather just made a bad series of choices. No hard feelings.

If your friends are drinking and have guns, don’t let them handle them with ammo. We all know someone, somewhere who has seen or heard of someone making a mistake that hurt or killed someone being careless. I would hate to be responsible for the death of anyone unless it was purposeful; I could at least live with myself if it were. The events that unfolded the other night were foreshadowed early in the night, when the liquor and beer was just coming out.

We all were outside on the porch drinking beers and BBQing the most amazing burgers I’ve had in a while when another person, whom I had not met before, came outside. He noticed that I and three others had pistols on our hips in holsters. I say again: “IN HOLSTERS”. This guy tells us he has his gun and out from his winter coat he fishes a 9mm Smith and Wesson pistol. The first indicator of trouble was the guy’s nonchalance of weapons safety. He waves the muzzle around and crosses my friend’s chest with the bore. I fought off the urge to just cold cock the guy right there.

He had not even had the gun in hand for 2 seconds before he did something dangerous and lucky for him, we are all very comfortable. My friend who had just been muzzle swept calmly asked the guy to clear the pistol “just for a sanity check” as he put it. I may not have been so kind if it had been my flesh in front of the gun. We saw the pistol was unloaded, but did have a loaded magazine.

The rest of the night went on without incident as we all dined on cow flesh and beers; a little whisky visited our lips as well. After my meal, my family and I left the house for home. We wished everyone well and headed home.

A little while after we left, the remaining four men were inside the house talking while the aforementioned gentleman was showing off his 9mm. My friend’s two young daughters were winding down for the night and his wife and two female friends were chatting in the kitchen area. Suddenly, the guy slaps the loaded magazine into the pistol, which had been locked open, and chambers a round. He then proceeds to pull the trigger and a round fires, bounces off a nearby desk and buries itself into the exterior wall of the house.

Nobody was hurt. There is now a rule in the house that nobody other than myself and a select few others are allowed to have weapons. Just hearing what had happened makes me shudder and think of what all could happen. In the end, that guy learned an amazing lesson and only has a little shame and embarrassment to show for it; someone could have been killed.

Nobody, no matter how highly-skilled is immune to making stupid mistakes, so the best thing to do is reinforce safety often. As they say, you can’t call a bullet back.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ice

Leaving the house this morning was a familiar, yet somehow new experience due to the well-lit area covered in frost. It looked like, as my mother might say, “ants taking pictures” all over. As I rode out of town, the temperature was about 30 degrees. The bike sure likes the cold and the motor is acting like it wants MOAR FUEL to go quicker...

 

Anyway, long story short: Cold ride in for 28 miles. I had ice caked on the top of the windshield and there was a fat layer of ice on the knuckles of my gloves; it chipped off as I took them off. It will soon be too cold and dangerous to take the old Versys, so I need to slap together the Volvo soon.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Walking Contradiction

I could have sworn I have written about this already, but I suppose not…. Better now than never.

     Today, a 22 year-old girl at work said something like “I never would have pictured you as a (The)Devil Wears Prada fan”, as I was listening to their new album. This brought to mind another conversation and overall a culmination of my traits that make me into one odd character in some peoples’ eyes. So, I am a father, husband, car enthusiast, gun collector, aspiring gunsmith, war protester, an environmentally-conscious hiker and camper and do enjoy a game of Starcraft II from time to time.

     Here is the part that weirds people out: After my past life, many people expect me to be a chest thumping, Right-wing, gun-snuggling, patriotic warmonger… this is so far from the truth that it’s hilarious. I think personal freedom should be the number one most important thing in anyone’s life; I could care less if someone likes to do recreational drugs or wants to vote a certain way. I love my garden, my chickens (the two remaining ducks can go fuck themselves), my camping gear and my iPhone. Any of these things seem to clash against the “norm” yet? They don’t to me, but I get called out a lot.

     I am clean cut (mostly) and dress in a low-attention style and am usually armed to the teeth with a pistol and at least 7 rounds of hollow-point ammunition. I love to play poker or pool, but I’m only lucky at both. Watching MMA fights once in a while is fun and spending time with my family is the most important thing to me. Man, this is sounding like a pointless post… ugh.

     Anyway, as I stack up all my interests I can almost draw a comic that would be fitting for The Oatmeal. It would look something like this:

     I would be the guy with an assault rifle (or two) slung, with chickens walking around him while I work in the garden. I’d have headphones in and be listening to some metal-core band or The Joe Rogan Experience podcast (listen to it!). Around me would be my family and maybe a fire in the burn pit. I’d have a craft beer such as Deschutes Jubleale or Dogfish Head (damn, how ‘bout those name drops) 90 minute IPA sitting near me. It sounds like something you’d never see at a hippie convention, but I’d get along okay there. Maybe I’ll take a crack at a comic… nah.. probably won’t happen.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My First Alpha Brain Dream. PTSD heavy.

After hearing about it on The Joe Rogan Experience (best podcast ever), I started taking Alpha Brain from Onnit labs *www.onnit.com* a month ago or so and it, along with eating better has given me the best sleep in years. Along with this good, fully-satisfying sleep are the most lucid dreams ever. I was afraid at first that it would make me have horrible dreams that terrified me, but Joe Rogan is a smart dude and it’s worth a shot. Here is the first dream that I remembered in every detail. Enjoy.

I felt my heart pounding in my chest as I readied myself to confront whoever just broke into my house. I heard the rustling downstairs and then footsteps coming up. I squeezed hard on the grip of my Taurus .45; the rough texture of the plastic grip was digging into my hands. Suddenly, I saw a figure pop its head over the stairwell divider. I recognized a man’s face and a pistol; he did not fire and ducked down. I fired one round through the wall at the location he should have been.
I proceeded to slowly walk downstairs toward where this guy was and as I rounded the corner, I recognized a former teacher of mine (this guy wasn’t really a former teacher, but I knew him as such in the dream) and for some stupid reason he had a gun in my house and had broke in. I leveled the pistol at him and squeezed off round after round into his chest. I could feel the Taurus’ sloppy trigger breaking with each pull and the violent recoil from the +P ammo I carry. I could not hear the shots as I fired, but I felt the all-too-familiar overpressure in my ears.
The man was not falling down or returning fire and was actually trying to escape. After the tenth round, the slide locked to the rear and I dropped the magazine with one hand as I reached to my left rear pocket for the second. I felt the stitching of my jeans and the panic as I realized there was no mag there. I immediately wheeled around and sprinted up the 12 stairs to the kitchen; I felt the burning in my thighs as I reached the top.
I reached high atop the cupboard, searching for the second magazine. I felt the drywall dust and grease from the stove stick to my fingers as I found the magazine. The metal body was cool and it slid easily into the pistol. I released the slide to chamber the round and went back down to make sure I took care of business…..

That is the last I recall….
What a wild thing to experience this again in VIVID detail. It was the most real dream I’ve had in many years. It had all the sensations, visual impact and horrible panic of combat, but I experienced this as I would have about 6 years ago. Back then, I did not think about the now per se, I was more concerned with making people incapable of killing me.
I told my friend about this and he told me to write it down. If you want to enhance your dreams and REM sleep, check out the Alpha Brain from Onnit Labs. The stuff is legit.

I hope this was not a waste of time for you readers. Thanks.  

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Due By Midnight or You Fail!



So there I was. true story: I was sitting in bed talking to my wife on the laptop and had just sent off the draft of my group project to a classmate and I set the laptop down. I was laying there talking and suddenly I found myself waking up gasping. I was freaking out because that paper was due midnight. As I scrambled for my phone, I saw 2:39am and panic set in hard. I grabbed the laptop and tried to power it on by feel in the dark room. Unsuccessful at that, I unplugged it and ran out to the living room. I opened the course site, typed a fast explanation and hoped the instructor would accept the late work. To make matters worse, in my panic I attached an old version of the project. I resubmitted the assignment with the right one this time.
I could not possibly sleep after that, so I sat on the couch awake reading various shenanigans on the internet; I contemplated busting out some Starcraft 2, but decided against it.
Well, as it turns out, we did not receive a failing grade due to my passing out, but it is a good lesson for the future.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Huntin' Results *drum roll*

So we got skunked. Not a huge shocker on our first go at it, but still a little disappointing. We did it right though, taking care to select prime spots to hide, masking our scent as much as possible and keeping still and quiet. One time I had a group of three Does about twenty feet from me, but not having permission to hunt the King’s Does left me waiting for a big Buck.

The Buck wisely decided not to come out. It could be chance or perhaps the impatient hunters who drove up and got out of their trucks right as the sun came up and proceeded to crash through the woods like rabid Wookies. Those schmucks scared any potential game right away. Well, that sucks for us, but we at least didn’t see something and let it get away.

I’ll be heading out again to try to get a Black Tail near my place soon. I guess we shall see what happens.

The scenery was beautiful though.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Hunt

Next week I’ll be embarking on my first hunting trip of my life. I take no special pleasure in the thought of killing another living being, but I do enjoy fresh meat and I’m not an idiot; something has to die to make my dinner. Justin, Kris and I are all packing up and heading out to harvest game. If we are lucky, and shoot straight, we all stand to come back with several months worth of deer.
I’ll be bringing one of my 30-06s and all the usual camping amenities. My wife has been gracious enough to let me go on this trip; I hope I do not come home empty-handed. Not the sort of guys to go out and down a bunch of beers, Justin and Kris are the ideal type of hunting partners. I can trust them not to shoot me and they can expect the same from me. My worst thought is getting shot by another hunter just being careless.
I taught my son why we fish and this, I hope, will be the type of thing which I can use to get him to appreciate many things. Hard work, respect for living creatures, the danger of a rifle, the usefulness of being an expert marksman and more are all lessons I hope to glean for him. I will take pictures to show him the steps, but none to glorify the deed. People should do whatever they feel inclined to do, but you won’t catch me mounting some poor beast on my wall… unless it was a Wampa. That would go right beside my collection of Sarlak eggs.
Anyways, it should be a good experience for me and my comrades to partake in this event. I plan to go out bird hunting too, but baby steps. My wife is patient, so I won’t push my luck.
Also, thanks to everyone who is supporting me on this trip. Many folks have lent me gear, covered me at work and gave me advice. Hell, the rifle I’m using was a gift…  I have a good life.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Daddy, What's that Red Badge for?"

Today, my son reminded me of a brief conversation he and I had a little over a week ago around his bed time. When I was tucking him in with the usual good night hug and kiss, he asked me what I was looking at, through my scope, in a picture on our wall. At the time, I told him I would talk to him about it later; well, later was today for him.
My wife hung up a picture of me that was taken in early 2005 in Tal Afar, Iraq in which I was looking through my rifle scope at suspected enemy positions as the rest of the squad moved through the area. We were not actively engaged with hostile forces at the time, so the picture is just neat and happened to have been taken at the right time by someone. The picture has a simple wooden frame with my bronze star pinned to it and then my broken KIA bracelet on top of it.
My son asked me to lift him up so he could see what I was doing in the picture. When I lifted him up, he saw the Bronze Star with its “V” device pinned to it and asked me “Daddy, what’s that red badge for?” I was shocked that he knew what a badge was, let alone semi-proper use of the word and then I was astonished that he knew that there was some significant reason that I had it.
I just told him that I got it for doing a good job, which was true, because there is no way I am going to get into the nitty gritty of what actually transpired that warm April day.  I realize that there will come a day that he will want to know more, but not today. It is a tough thing to describe to a five year old, let alone anyone. The stone-cold facts may not be the best way of telling him either.
In the end, he knows where I was on the globe (Thanks to the Leap Frog Explorer globe) and that I was there for a year and it was before he was born. This should be interesting one day.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Adapting to Primal Life

Over the course of the past month or so, I have been making a concerted effort to both eat more vegetables and also to refrain from eating grains. *Someone just walked by and mentioned I look much thinner as I am typing this* I can say that the Mark’s Daily Apple site and its teachings have helped me start a healthier life than I have had in quite some time.  Now, instead of oatmeal for breakfast, I eat eggs, meat and veggies, but rather heavy on veggies for most people.
One thing I have added that I’ve never eaten before is Kale. It is the Chuck Norris of leafy greens and I love it in a salad, quiche or omelet. Lunch is easy because all I do now is eat sandwich guts, ie: no bread or just omit croutons from salad. Dinner can be a challenge because of all the products that contain corn or other grain products.
Ditching the deadbeat drinks and added sugar was really no big deal to me, but there are times where I would love to stuff my face with greasy apple fritter goodness.
Really, the best part of this is the way I feel. I have lost 30 pounds in the last three and a half months and the bulk of it since going Primal. My wife has been cool with me wanting to stop eating grains (except beer and liquor; I’ll be deep in the cold Earth before I give up booze) and be healthier. I also am experience a lot less joint pain than ever before… that is the best outcome so far.
We shall see how this goes, but if this sounds like something you are interested in, check out the site.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ouch! My Finger!!






Last night while hanging out with friends, I thought it would be swell to jump out of the creek and grab onto the trestle spanning it. I pulled myself out of the water for a second or two in a pathetic attempt to do a few pullups. Realizing that this trestle is nasty and rusty and also that my weak attempts to be awesome were failing, I dropped off. I instantly realized two things: One, that I'm super lucky to only have a small laceration and two, that I need to take my first aid kit everywhere I go.
We still had a good time though, despite this little "hang-up" **har har** and luckily I don't need a tetanus shot. The American Pale Ale from the aforementioned post is absolutely fantastic and I'll look forward to making it again later down the road.
Oh yeah, also, my ring is now egg-shaped. Damn.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Small World

In my new class there are two people I've bumped into before. One is my old Command Sergeant Major from Germany who signed my discharge paperwork from the Army and the other is a girl I met at Malt and Vine in Redmond. She had bought the last six pack of Firestone Walker's Velvet Merlin and that was the one I was sent there to get. I made a comment to the effect of "aw man, you got it first" or something like that. Well, she waited outside and gave me one when I left.

 

Last night, we were doing a group activity when in walks the same girl in the same black skirt and knee-high boots. I pointed and asked "did you give me a beer at Malt and Vine?" She replied with "I don't know, were you on a motorcycle?" We laughed and everyone else looked dumbfounded.

 

There are a few more instances like this in my life and its like one big game of Six Degrees from Kevin Bacon. MMmmmm Bacon!

 

 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Beer's Done!






I tried this beer (mentioned before) about two weeks ago and it was still a bit "yeasty" if I must describe it; still better than most big beer company's products. My step dad called and says it's amazing. I'll know for sure tomorrow. BTW, that's Mitch. Mitch is a badass. Go Mitch go.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Accepting Responsibility

Last night, on my way home from a friend's house, I was riding down a back road that I normally only take in the day. It being near 11pm, I thought the back country road was a better choice than the two lane, heavily-populated highway.
As I rounded one turn, I realized that I came in way too fast (in this case that was 30 mph) for the tight bend. I realized right then that "You fucked up, Jack. You made this choice, deal with it" and as the shoulder was nearer and nearer I leaned it as hard as I could. The foot peg was scraping on the road, showering sparks behind me and I was able to make the turn. I wasn't even scared that I may wash out, I was more concerned with going off the road.
Long story short, me taking this turn too fast is just another example of how we get to make decisions and reap the repercussions of them. I'm glad I didn't crash, but had I gone down, it would have been because of my poor judgement. Same with being overweight, out of shape or bored; take responsibility and change it. Either that or don't complain.

:)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Jack the Gunsmith

This last weekend, I was talking to my father in law and he said “Jack, come sit down. Talk to me”. This was rather profound being that Larry and I had never had a serious conversation such as this. I knew it would be important, so I sat and prepared to listen.

A little background on Larry: Working as a cop from 21 years old, Larry wanted to be a pilot and the police gig was his way to pay for his flying hobby. A man who he admired very much had offered to give him his start at this; he co-signed on an airplane for Larry at 21 years of age. He eventually paid the man back and was forever indebted for his kindness.

Over the years, after flying for the police department and also just as a hobby, he managed to make smart decision after decision and at the age of 60, he is set for life. His empire is an airline company and his family are taken care of.

Back to me: Larry told me that he did what he was passionate about and that I should too. He told me that I should take up gunsmithing because of my love of guns. It was always something on my mind, but not having the money to start or the skills to know where to begin always kept me in a sort of limbo. Now that I have been given advice from a self-made millionaire, I think I’ll take a grand slam swing and be great at this. I’ve ordered some books, already have some experience working on 1911 style pistols and contacted a man who has worked on my guns in the past for guidance.

Only time will tell whether or not this will be something that I can eventually make a living at or if it will be a ridiculous hobby like it is for many.

 

Video Swap FTW

The song is Louder Than Thunder by The Devil Wears Prada. The video is from a Nickelback song.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Good to Be Done With This Nonsense



It’s been six years since I’ve had to shoot another person and it feels great. I can’t understand how so many young men want to go out and take other peoples’ lives out of hate or some bullshit ideal of “patriotism”. Here is what they wrote about me back then. Link---à http://www.bobcat.ws/how5.pdf <---- Link

Heroes of the Week
A Company
HERO OF THE WEEK
SGT JACK A. BRIDENSTINE
On 24 August 2005, Alpha Company 1-5 INF Snipers made contact with an insurgent
vehicle carrying several A.I.F. personnel. The sniper O.P. observed the insurgents
throw an explosive device into an abandoned I.A. vehicle being used as part of a
baited ambush and proceeded to engage. The vehicle was disabled causing the
insurgents to get out of the car and break contact in multiple directions into the
industrial area located north of route Isuzu. 1ST Platoon heard warmongers transmissions stating that an element of 2nd platoon
was in pursuit of one of the insurgents who were on foot and heading south. A 1-3 and A 1-4 proceeded north as a split section element into the industrial area in an attempt to intercept the insurgent. As A 1-3 headed north, they observed the insurgent matching the description given by Warmonger, force his way into a car full of civilians. Warmonger fired onto the intersection directly in front of the vehicle as it attempted to speed away.
With Warmonger isolating the vehicle, A 1-3 cut the vehicle off and ordered the occupants out. SGT Jack A. Bridenstine dismounted from the vehicle with the remainder of his squad following closely behind. SGT Bridenstine ordered the civilian occupants to keep their hands up. The insurgent frantically paced back and forth
with his hands at near shoulder level. The insurgent then pulled a pistol that had been concealed in his waist, and attempted to fire. SGT Bridenstine quickly identified the threat and engaged the insurgent, hitting him center mass several times. In keeping with his reputation of total composure, SGT Bridenstine then quickly began to clear and search the enemy KIA and help bag the body. Bringing his confirmed kill count to two, thwarting another A.I.F. attack, and once again saving the lives of his buddies, SGT Jack A. Bridenstine has earned the title, HERO OF THE WEEK.

Honor System






I saw this sign on my way to work today and it made me think about how great this would be to do. The initial cost of the sign, cooler, chain, fake camera and all that would take a while to make up, but if I have more eggs than I can eat with only 6 laying hens, then these folks could easily get the moolah to have the birds pay for their own feed. At my place the girls eat through 50 lbs of feed in about a month and a half to two months (winter I feed them more) and at 15 bucks per 50 pounds, you can see the idea.
The cool part of this though, is not the eggs making chickens pay for themselves, but rather the idea that people are given the opportunity to get farm fresh eggs for 3 bucks a dozen and are not supervised either. It's all fun and games though, until the USDA sends their goons there to break down that coop door and seize the hens as evidence.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Them Toasters....


















Well,

  I said I’d do it! Myself and the other groomsman signed these two Goodwill toasters. I got Justin a bottle of Grand Marnier which he drank a bit of the last night before the wedding. We stayed up till 4am or so making some of the food and it was worth it! Great food!

  Allie was less than pleased about her gift, but I think she got the joke. J

 

 

 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Proud to Be Nerdy

Over the past week or so, I have delved deeply into The Ocarina of Time on the 3DS. Zelda is by far my favorite game series ever, followed closely by Starcraft, and I love them all. My 14 year old sister also has this game and when she gets stuck, she will text me or call and ask for help. In the spirit of the game, I want her to find all the stuff herself, but I do know how much easier it is now than it was when I was 14.

She sent me a message the other day asking “where do you find the boomerang?” I was thrilled to know exactly where it was, etc. This is not impressive and anyone who has played OoT once, knows where to get the coolest gadget for young Link.

My wife just shakes her head as I call my little sis and go on to tell her about how you go North-East of Hyrule Castle and then follow the river into Zora’s Domain. I reminded her of using the Cucco (the chicken thing) to help cross the sketchy crossings there. By this point, my wife is completely ignoring my nerd lingo. Talking about Lord Jabbu Jabbu’s belly and my battle against Volvagia the Lava Dragon is the last thing we are ever going to talk about.

I get so much joy out of this game and I am STOKED for the Skyward Sword to be released later this year. Anyone who loves a great video game franchise and still manages to maintain a normal life knows where I’m coming from.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Renton Motorcycle Company Lost a Customer in Me.

I’ve thought this over long and hard and the manager of Renton Motorcycles will be getting a letter from me very soon. Instead of me spending my next ten thousand dollars on a toy there, I’ll go elsewhere.
These guys are a huge store down in Renton and they look amazing! Their parts area is full of flashy shit and cool doo-dads and junk. They have sales staff that treat you well and this is where I bought my bike from last year. I have taken it there as part of the pre-paid service agreement which has saved me some cash overall.
The problem is this: Each time I have taken my bike there, I have made it clear that I live far as fuck away and that I expect the priority to be given to me as was promised in conjunction with buying the pre-paid service package.
Another problem is that they have pirate rates on service. To install two sprockets and a chain, they wanted $200 bucks for a job that takes 45 minutes TOPS. Fuck that. I took it to Bellevue Kawasaki and got it done for 86 bucks. Bam!
I dropped my bike off at 9:30 using the after-hours drop box and they managed to blow that shit off… my appointment was at 10:30 in the morning, but I was not about to wait around and talk to the passive-aggressive people at the counter for service.
Mr. Lamphere, if he is still alive, should go fire the service manager and let it be known that piss-poor customer service is not okay. I got my bike back at 5:45 pm and missed my plans that night because of the God-awful traffic that time of day; the job should have been done NO LATER THAN 2:00pm. The guy at the desk gave me some weak-shit apology and was like  “sometimes we forget to check the box”. I wasn’t going to yell at him like a dumbass because I knew he may or may not have had anything to do with this fiasco. On top of everything else, when I went to get the bike, I had to wait for some sloppy shit-sandwich kid to wheel my bike out to the wash area; it was dirty as fuck still. Only one of my five trips there resulted in a clean bike. He asked if I wanted to wait ten more minutes for a wash. I told him “fuck no”.
Anyway, I WAS happy with this place, but only because I had faith that next time would be better. Four “next times” later and they are still a soup sandwich.
If you want to buy a motorcycle, go elsewhere. These guys sell an image, not motorcycles.
Peace bitches.

P.S. : Mr. Lamphere, if you are reading this, I am grateful that you sell so many brands under one roof, but am saddened as to how badly your staff suck balls.

-Jack

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hanging Out With the Dead

It’s not always, or even that particularly often that it happens, but when it happens it is intense. I think everyone who has read prior posts on this site of shenanigans kinda gets where I come from, but for the others: Just read on.
Last night was another such instance where I was hanging out with old friends in my dream and we were having a great time. I recognized many people from different times of the past eight or so years and we were all having a great time. Now this is where it gets strange; usually I interact with the people in the dreams, but I couldn’t this time. One person who was silent and inactive was my friend Karl; he died from heart failure the morning my youngest son was born. It was sad moment in a joyous day.
Karl was sitting in a chair and he looked like a hologram of dark light and looked like he was wearing a mask of some sort. It looked like a version of a fighter pilot’s mask and he was also wearing his body armor from the Army for some reason. Before he died, he was out of the Army for a while, but in the Army is the last time I saw him. I have never met or spoken to his parents, but they were there.
Everyone else was having a blast drinking and smoking and whatever else. Music was playing and for some reason there was a truck in this place. Karl’s father, whom I have never seen even a picture of, was sitting in the bed towards the cab. I walked up to him and shook his hand and tried to tell him who I am and that I missed his son. I didn’t even get the words out before I began to sob and quiver. Even now it is strange to me that I am somehow sad about not seeing someone that I once knew, but may well have never seen again. Is him being gone such a travesty or just something I am stuck on for my own reasons? I have no idea.
This type of thing happens from time to time, but this time was unique because my lost friend was not talking to me or doing anything for that matter. He sat in a wooden chair, wearing body armor and a grim-looking mask that covered his whole face; I didn’t even SEE his face, but still knew is was him.
Then comes reality in the morning and it hurts less knowing what is and what isn’t. I forced myself to concentrate on the road and not the prior hours. Just another senseless posting here… hope it was worth the effort.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mike's 30th Birthday Surprise Party

Mike's wife tried very hard to keep this as much of a surprise as possible and I think she achieved her goal. The guest of honor was supposed to be there at around 5:30pm or so we thought. While we waited for him to arrive, we built up the fire, cracked open several beers including 21st Amendment's "Brew Free or Die" IPA and Deschutes Brewery "Black Butte". Mike's father was also on site with some BADASS whisky that went down smooth and was in no need of a mixer.
For once, I was the guy without a gun on my hip or in my pocket; it was pretty cool to see dozens of people open-carrying and not giving a fuck... all responsible people too. All the kids were playing in the little sand box area and down by the river; the video shown here is what they found while picking up rocks to throw near the river.
When Mike finally arrived, I was good and lit and proceeded to stop drinking for the rest of the night. It was a great night and nobody got hurt or arrested. I did manage to cut the shit out of the tops of all my toes in the process of running around barefoot all night..... hmmmm..
Good times.
Also, here is Kham pulling part of our firewood!! http://twitvid.com/35RDY

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Epic Bump in the Night

A while ago, I was sound asleep when I was startled awake by a thunderous crash coming from downstairs. With my heart bumping like a redlining race engine, I rolled out of bed and snatched the tac-light and pistol from the nightstand. I was stark naked (don't dwell on this part too much........ okay.... that's enough) and walking through my house with a pistol and tactical, high-powered flashlight. The light was off to preserve my vision and I was ready to blast anything that moved.


Strange enough, my wife and son were sleeping and the dog was just kinda casually stretching like a lazy douchebag. I went down and cleared the whole downstairs... no doors were open, no windows smashed, etc. I thought I might just be nuts. I went back upstairs and laid in bed for 45 minutes playing Angry Birds until I fell asleep.


The result: The next day when I went into the garage, I noticed that my cabinet, which had hung undisturbed for no less than six months had fallen off the wall. There was close to fifty boxes of ammunition of all different calibers all over the floor. I spent the next hour sorting through them and placing them neatly on the ground until I fixed the cabinet.


Note to self: 2500+ rounds of ammunition is fucking heavy and no matter what it needs to be kept from crashing to Earth at 2 am!


Nuff said.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Trip TPS report

Origin: Sultan, WA
Destination: Winthrop, WA.
Travel time (approximate round trip): 8 hours
Cost: 100 dollars
Avg gas mileage: 44mpg
Pictures taken: many
Deer spotted: 5
Wasp colonies pissed off: 1
Beers ingested: 9
Bacon consumed: 0

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lucky: A Wonderfully Heartbreaking Short Film

I saw this a year or more ago on Neatorama and loved it. The images are moving and well, see for yourself. Click the link below!

 Here! --->  Lucky  <--- here

The Trashy House

My house has long been the worst house on a block full of really well-kept houses. Not to say that it's in shambles, but it needs paint, yard work and a little touch-ups here and there to make it on par with the OCD neighbors. I don't care about my image, but rather just the Golden Rule. I would not want to stare at a nasty overgrown yard and therefore I don't expect my neighbors to do so.
Last night my wife got all wound up about clearing out the shitty-looking flower beds and making them look nice. She took out three-month old son and our older son out with her and began to tear out weeds and prune bushes. I stupidly didn't take "before" pics, but it looks MUCH better than before. The little black weed block fabric and six bags of bark later (grand total of two hours and 35 bucks of materials) it is somewhat presentable.
We plan to tear out our back, lower deck and make that space into usable yard area. Currently, it's a storage dock for rat dens and chicken poo. I may well have one hell of a bonfire with all that wood though. I'll definitely be posting up pics when we do that!
I am proud of my wife for wanting to help out with home improvement projects and anything that is outside the house. I realize this time is limited though, because fall and winter are around the corner and there is little chance of me getting her out there on a shitty day. :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Trex Finds a New Home

After two and a half years as our household dog, Trex is going to another home. My good friends wanted to take him so they could have a buddy for their other mutt.
He needs lots of exercise and loving; having our second kid recently has removed more time from us. Anyway, that's that.

Brewing an American Pale Ale

Yesterday I helped my step-dad brew beer. It was his first all-grain brew ever, so we shall see how it turns out. It was a time-intensive process due to having to boil large amounts of water, chilling certain steps and all that.
I'm not familiar with all the proper terms, but I'm an expert at drinking beer! :) The grains smell delicious and the hops do also when added to the water.
At the end of the day, my chickens get leftover grain, I learned a lot about brewing and in a couple weeks we will bottle this junk. Also, my step-dad offered up a bunch of brand new gear to me; I'm not sure if I need yet another hobby.
Maybe in the future, I'll be snobbin' it up and brewing some fanciness.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

$2350 dollar knife

I went into the local knife store, The Epicurean Edge, in Kirkland today to pick up my knives I had dropped off for sharpening. While I was there, I commented that I was looking for a knife as a gift and that I wanted one better that or equal to my current RAT Cutlery RC-4. That knife is a bad motherfucker and I don’t think I’ll ever get anything better.

Anyhoo, this dude busts out a knife that was very well made and hands it to me. I hold it as he tells me a story of a trucker cutting his way out of the cab of his wrecked truck with one. I asked the guy how much its costs and he looks on the pc…   “Um, that one is twenty-two, no, twenty-three fifty…. “ 

 

I about shit my pants….. So yeah, my friend, or anyone for that matter, can get fucked if he wants a knife that’s more than my car is worth… I’d do it if I could though.   J

 

Today was humbling though… My knives are CRAZY sharp and I will definitely be going back there…  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Obamaville

This neighborhood just east of mine has six houses which are bank owned on one side, and five more on the other. 11 houses out of 14?! That's awful! As it has already been said, "I don't know whether to laugh or cry" and it's true; what sad times that a small town of under 4600 people cannot sustain. The houses on either side of me are going to be vacant soon; one house is facing forclosure and the other is attempting a short sale for a little less than 2/3 the owed amount.
While I don't know what all led up to this neighborhood being this way, it is still sad. There is nothing I know of that I could do to help this from happening all around. It seems very much like an "every man for himself" situation, which is troubling.
Meanwhile, I am trying my best to keep up on everything so the same thing doesn't happen to me.

Gun-free Zones: Who Are They Kidding?!



I always cringe when I see a sign like this on private stores because I know that some people actually heed their message and allow themselves to be disarmed and stripped of their ability to defend themselves and their loved ones. When I’m alone, I just plan to run away as fast as I can if there is violence afoot, but if my family is there, I cannot guarantee that they will be able to escape safely and quickly.
This being said: I know there is no proof that something bad will happen if I do or do not carry a weapon for protection (I do sell Tiger-repelling rocks for anyone interested), but is seems like such an asinine thing to even post up. Do people walk around the local Babies R Us and pick out their next target for violence? Probably not. Should I be treated like a criminal (or trespasser) for carrying my gun completely hidden and having nothing happen? I think not.
I am not sure that having bars and government buildings as gun-free has any merit either; we don’t need drunken or angry people shooting each other, but that would not happen any more than now if it were legal. The right to keep and bear arms is also vaguely synonymous with having the wherewithal and good judgment about your actions with said firearms. The signers of the Constitution never intended to have clueless people walking around armed to the teeth, but rather be able to protect themselves, their way of life and their Liberty.
Recent tragedies have spooled up the anti-gun craze in parts of the country and it’s ridiculous; don’t allow your rights to be taken due to the deeds of fools.

Broken Toasters: Great Wedding Gifts

Whilst amusing ourselves with the random drunkenness of the bachelor party mentioned here previously, we decided that it would be funny as hell to get a bunch of old, use and possibly broken toasters to present to our friend’s wife on the day of their wedding. This is a subtle, not very classy and still funny take on Trolling; they are getting married and asked me to help out…. They asked for it. It’s the least I can do to give credit, as this was not entirely my idea, so guys: You know who you are; well done!

 

The best part is that my friend gets to know that he and his wife shall be receiving multiple broken toasters as gifts and it’s up to him to pick how he presents it to her when she’s pissed off and surrounded by a formidable mountain of broken appliances. Okay, SOME may work, but none will be nice. I guess this just sounds like a crazy, dick-move, but I think it will be funny; this could be the spark that ignites years of pranks to come.

 

There is another prank/gift I plan to do, but it includes a picture from the B-party being framed and hidden in plain sight in their home; that will be great… unless she (or he) reads this and then the joke is up.

 

Peace.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Whitewashing Over Mental Illness

When I came back from Iraq in September 2005, we were sent through a series of redeployment screenings. The most horrific of all things I witnessed of the red tape while in the Army was the way they herded us through and passively suggested we lie about our conditions. They rewarded those who lied and "checked the block" let them go home earlier than those who told the truth.
The test was one that asked a series of questions that relate to what we had experienced the previous year. We were infantryman and they were treating us like Girl Scouts; if we did what they said, we got a reward. I was among the few who got no reward due to my truthful nature.
I had, and still am without, no shame about telling a stranger about what I did. I committed murder in the name of freedom. I pulled innocent people from their homes because we were terrified that they may be bad. I helped make enemies out of people who just wanted to go about their lives. Men whose heads had been cut off had been blown up, from IEDs under them, when family went to retrieve the body; these horrors are commonplace in war in my experience.
When we rounded up the men, we treated them like cattle; ultimate hypocrisy on my part in that I would never let people do to me what I've done to others. We did it to protect ourselves, and sometimes we may have been right, but more often than not we were recreating the horrible events that the nazis did in the late 1930s and throughout the 1940s. The pleas of the old men are haunting, just as the screams of the children as we took away their fathers and brothers.
Back to the screenings: those of us who answered truthfully about what we did, saw, felt and experienced while we sleep were kept there for several hours more. We had to speak to a series of counselors, social workers and a chaplain. we were the bastards who told what we saw.
The next part is how they asked us to explain away our nightmares, flashbacks, violent tendencies, suicidal thoughts and murderous dreams. I answered "yes" to the question, "in the past two weeks, have you thought about hurting yourself or someone else?" The person whom I spoke with later was happy to remove the red flag once I told them my logic; I may imagine it, but it doesn't mean I'm really going to do it. She was happy to do this with every red flag on my sheet.
Over the course of the time, they managed to get me to explain all my symptoms away and suddenly, according to my medical records, i was 100% fine and dandy. Of the men who were made to take this same course, three are dead today. One sought out death by repeated deployments and two others took their own lives with firearms. The point is that they should have been more prudent with the data given on testing.
The modern stigma that exists about soldiers seeking help is one of the worst ones that can exist. The men and women who are experiencing bloodshed and who are taken from their loved ones deserve to be looked after. Instead, we get wrung out like a sponge and promptly discarded.
I found out about the extent of the cover-up when I went to the VA (department of veterans affairs) after getting out of the service. They told me that I had no evidence of having nightmares, flashbacks or of being hyper-vigilant. This shocked me and was only taken seriously once they interviewed my wife. She told them how I am, which may not be so bad most of the time, and how I manage to wake up screaming or gasping from time to time.
While few people will read this and do anything with it, those who have loved ones coming back from war or who have problems now, will know how serious it is. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is as deadly as a round from an AK-47 or an IED. If you know someone who suffers from this disease, be there to listen to them. Also, don't be scared to act.
In August of 2010 a man, who used to be a soldier of mine, killed himself after he was refused psychiatric help. He wanted to see his daughter after a year-long deployment and his ex-wife insisted upon getting counseling. He tried....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kawasaki Versys Lowering Kit by MotoWerks

So last night I installed the MotoWerk lowering kit on a 2008 Kawasaki Versys. The bike was already quite capable, but the owner was not comfortable with the height of the bike, even at the lowest setting. Shown here is the way the kit works by relocating the shock and spring to the rear and therefore lowering the stance. The front is lowered by simply loosening one tube mount at a time and letting it spring up slowly. Today I was the Red Devil on the way to drop this off… man does it ride nicer now. I’m 6’5” so it’s a teeny bit small for me, but the handling makes it worth it. My son and I did the install in just over an hour too!

 

The other pic is showing the Flatfoot kit for the lowered Versys. Basically, I marked 1.25” down from the little stud there and cut off the rest. The flat foot makes it easier to park the bike on grass or dirt. Good times.




Monday, July 18, 2011

Back Pay is the Same as No Pay!

So today I received back pay from the last two months for going to school. I felt like a baller at first, but then realized that I wasn’t rich, but rather now able to pay my aforementioned stack of overdue bills. I searched through all the sites which contained things I lusted over; I found a fully-restored 1983 Honda Magna V65 for sale and began to salivate. At the end of the day, it’s was a great test of willpower that I didn’t actually buy anything and am sticking to my guns.

 

Funny how perspective can shift so fast…. Well.. off to pay those bills!  

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Version of Janie's Story

See here for the original!

I get home from work, yell at the dog, see what the oldest of my boys is getting into, strip out of my riding gear and go see the wife. Make dinner, eat said dinner and then off to bed.

Today was totally chill. It was full of me walking about going to the other buildings and then back to my desk. My deskis fine, and so was the other buildings too (my sanity is good for now). I was wondering if I should email or text Melissa to tell her that I got my homework done, but honestly I don't want to lie to her. It's just strange to have all this free time, and walking has been good for me. But maybe I need a vacation or winning Lotto ticket. Maybe I should start brewing beer. That would be a lot of fun. And I'm hopefully gonna BBQ with my friend again this weekend. That will be awesome, cause last time it was a lot of fun to not only BBQ, but to eat with someone different. I was BBQing shit that was much different than I'm use to and it was good practice. I made kebabs.

Josh is going camping again this weekend, which means I will be reading blog posts Janie writes at his house the entire time he's gone. Watching his cable... drinking his Red Bulls... Not giving Jack any Red Bull... laying in his hammock... cuddling with his cats. I think I'm sick of the people who live beside me; they are rat bastards. I'm not really calling anyone because I am busy being awesome, but could possibly make time. It's nice to not really care about a social life. Cause it's overrated anyways... This is true...

***Just a trial run... I may never do this again, because now it seems fucking stupid. Oh well... sorry***

I Think She Understands Now... Maybe

Being married for the better part of the last 8 years has left we with so many wonderful things that it's impossible to pick one to be happiest about. Sure, we have our issues, our knock-down drag-out fights and screaming matches (marital bliss), but usually things are pretty cool. The biggest thing we (and 95% of American couples) fight about is money or the extreme lack thereof. I'm no saint and I'm certainly not the best with money, but I do my best to make ends meet; recently this has been nearly back-breaking.
 
Last night we got home, checked the mail and my wife got to see the stack of overdue bills which include unpaid student loans, utility bills, cable (one unnecessary, but mostly worthy expense having small kids), phone and medical. Our friend's wedding is coming up and she needs a dress; I told her she can get it because I have the ability to work more and make more money. Things like that come up once in a great while; I have also stopped buying beer and liquor for the next few months to help the budget and my waist.
 
I'll be doing everything I can to make MOAR money than normal and I think she now gets why. Life is hard, but harder if you're stupid. It's stupid to feel sorry about a problem and not work on it!

Reeces Peanut Butter Cup S'mores!!!

Last night after making my famous Epic Burgers (post on this to follow someday), we decided to finish it off with an equally-amazing dessert. The BBQ was still glowing with hot coals, so we decided to do what needed to be done; s'mores must be made!! Just simply replacing the boring chocolate bars of yesteryear with the fucking amazingness of Reeces cups made the whole thing work.

This being said, go try it. Nuff said.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

And it wouldn't fit!!

So I used 50 bucks in gas round trip and could not bring it home. The bike wouldn't quite fit into my friend's van. I was able to ride it around for a bit and it ran well. It's going to be great I think; having something to thrash around the dirt in will be good.

I did get 4 free boxes of 30-06 ammo from the trip, so it wasn't a complete waste.... Okay... Yes it was.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Honda NX250 Project






My dad's friend has this old thing sitting in his garage and after this weekend, it will be sitting in MINE!!!! It's a 1988 Honda NX250 dual sport, street legal 4-stroke. It needs a bit of TLC to the body, but that's nothing that a couple cans of spray paint, some visits to BikeBandit.com and a few hours work won't cure. I have been wanting a dirt bike for a long time, but they are not cheap; well I like the price of free on this one.

The fenders are zip-tied on in some places, the ignition switch needs to be cleaned up, there are welding rods keeping the turn signals in place and many other issues. None of them are that hard to fix, but they do present a bit of an eye sore at the moment.

My best guess is that in the next two months I'll be able to rip around down by the Skykomish river on this thing. More pics on the repairs, mods, etc to follow.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fixing Up teh Gog!






Despite all the fun we had while camping, there were still some minor injuries; one in particular that I failed to consider along with the others was that of our family dog. He was playing in the river and when he came out there was a square inch of skin peeled back from his hip area. Now before you think I am neglecting the dog (his name is Trex), just know that I figured it would heal on its own. After two days, it still looked painful and was obviously not getting better fast.

*Enter amateur Veterinarian, Jessica*
I asked my co-worker to come out and help me with Trex to get him all patched up. With the components from my camping medic kit, which helped the previously-mentioned bonehead's tomahawk wound, and a neck cone (E-collar) we got him all patched up. After shaving, flushing, disinfecting and covering the gash, Trex seems more comfortable and just laid down for the evening.

I guess we will know in a few more days whether or not it is an effective fix, but I'm sure it is. I am glad to have him patched up and also glad to have saved what little money I have from being spent at the Vet. It was sure imperative to have help when I applied the alcohol though... man did he squirm!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Elk Head Brewery and its Magic Potions

This week was not the first time I had the wonderful, unfiltered goodness from the Elk Head Brewery in Buckley, WA; it was amazing all the same. While camping, my dad’s long time friend came up for the day and brought up four half-gallon jugs of different varieties of the great beer. One India Pale Ale (IPA), one Porter, one “Extra” which is smooth, amber-ish and STRONG and finally one growler of the “Elk Dandy” which is made using dandelions.

 

My family was apprehensive at first about trying beer that they had never heard of, but seeing my enthusiasm they gave in. Even my wife, who normally HATES beer, was trying each one and loving them. There is something to be said about beer that is so delicious, but not bottled and shared with the masses. After less than an hour and two Solo cups full…. It was *gasp* gone….  We had delivered a few more people from the evils of the huge beer makers and brought them to the church of local brews.

 

For the record: This brewery is so incredible that it puts every other beer I know of to shame, BUT (notice I said “BUT”) they are also different in that their beer is small batch, often experimental and not bottled en masse. Larger breweries like Ninkasi, Deschutes, Dogfish Head and many others all make spectacular beer and ship it all over the country for us to enjoy; my thanks go out to them for doing so. Anyway, I digress….

 

After demolishing the four half-gallons of the beer in such short time, we were sure to get an adequate supply for the following day. The second round came in (160 mile round trip from camp site to brewery and back) with an astonishing EIGHT growlers; four gallons of beer for us. Well…… word had spread and now the four gallons went just as fast as the initial two from the day before. The last one to get busted open was the Elk Dandy and that is for good cause. Right before you go to bed, this seals the deal with the ZZzz monster. :0)

 

Anyway, if you can make it, take a trip to the Elk Head and take the time to sample all the products. It’s supporting local beer and you’ll enjoy yourself. Make sure and stay a bit longer than you would with a normal bar, that stuff tends to sneak up on you.

 

 

Playing Medic for a child

So first off, it's partially my fault for assuming this kid could handle a sharp tool; I was splitting wood at 12 years old after all. Well, we were out camping and my cousin's 12 year old son really wanted to make a bow from a tree branch and some string. I gave him my Cold Steel tomahawk to use and off he went.


About thirty minutes into his little outing, he staggers back to camp and says "I'm bleeding, I need a band aid". We looked and on his inner left ankle there was a nice deep one inch by 1/4 inch cut. It had soaked through his sock and he was white like a polar bear doing coke in a snowstorm. He laid on the bench and I busted out the medical kit and went to work. He moaned and shook as he started going into shock. After the first 20 seconds, our entire family had gathered around to look; some were horrified, others intrigued.


Well, little Jacob learned a valuable lesson about tool safety and I learned that just because I knew better, doesn't mean some other kid does (glad I didn't give him a shotgun). Also, it's not a family camping trip without some memorable story, so this year is going to be about how Jacob(a-corn) got into a scrap with some Indian warriors.


I'll be sending his mom the bill.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fantasy-Covered Shit Balls

I love our country and I've offered up my service for it before, but last night I was trying to explain WHY we have fireworks on the 4th of July to my 5 year old son. I told him the explosions are supposed to sound like bombs and that the smaller firecrackers are supposed to sound like men firing guns at one another.

Scores of people filled the roads around my house and they seemed to be happy. They were drinking and cooking on their barbeques and doing all the "American" things we have come to be known for.

Make no mistake about it... I am HAPPY that we kicked the Tyrannical rulers out of our business over two hundred years ago. I commend people who stand up for their rights and who will fight for their freedom.

I just find it hard to find the way explain to my son about the sacrifices that were made and why. Someday my son will find out what I did and what a waste of my efforts it was on the grand scale; our Forefathers fought for something real. We owe it to ourselves to do two things: Keep the memory alive as to why we are free and also pay attention so we can know when to refresh to Tree of Liberty.