The snow drift next to the truck is a Mazda 3 (for scale):
The snow drift next to the truck is a Mazda 3 (for scale):
Through the travail of the ages,
Midst the pomp and toil of war,
Have I fought and strove and perished
Countless times upon this star.
In the form of many people
In all panoplies of time
Have I seen the luring vision
Of the Victory Maid, sublime.
I have battled for fresh mammoth,
I have warred for pastures new,
I have listed to the whispers
When the race trek instinct grew.
I have known the call to battle
In each changeless changing shape
From the high souled voice of conscience
To the beastly lust for rape.
I have sinned and I have suffered,
Played the hero and the knave;
Fought for belly, shame, or country,
And for each have found a grave.
I cannot name my battles
For the visions are not clear,
Yet, I see the twisted faces
And I feel the rending spear.
Perhaps I stabbed our Savior
In His sacred helpless side.
Yet, I've called His name in blessing
When after times I died.
In the dimness of the shadows
Where we hairy heathens warred,
I can taste in thought the lifeblood;
We used teeth before the sword.
While in later clearer vision
I can sense the coppery sweat,
Feel the pikes grow wet and slippery
When our Phalanx, Cyrus met.
Hear the rattle of the harness
Where the Persian darts bounced clear,
See their chariots wheel in panic
From the Hoplite's leveled spear.
See the goal grow monthly longer,
Reaching for the walls of Tyre.
Hear the crash of tons of granite,
Smell the quenchless eastern fire.
Still more clearly as a Roman,
Can I see the Legion close,
As our third rank moved in forward
And the short sword found our foes.
Once again I feel the anguish
Of that blistering treeless plain
When the Parthian showered death bolts,
And our discipline was in vain.
I remember all the suffering
Of those arrows in my neck.
Yet, I stabbed a grinning savage
As I died upon my back.
Once again I smell the heat sparks
When my flemish plate gave way
And the lance ripped through my entrails
As on Crecy's field I lay.
In the windless, blinding stillness
Of the glittering tropic sea
I can see the bubbles rising
Where we set the captives free.
Midst the spume of half a tempest
I have heard the bulwarks go
When the crashing, point blank round shot
Sent destruction to our foe.
I have fought with gun and cutlass
On the red and slippery deck
With all Hell aflame within me
And a rope around my neck.
And still later as a General
Have I galloped with Murat
When we laughed at death and numbers
Trusting in the Emperor's Star.
Till at last our star faded,
And we shouted to our doom
Where the sunken road of Ohein
Closed us in it's quivering gloom.
So but now with Tanks a'clatter
Have I waddled on the foe
Belching death at twenty paces,
By the star shell's ghastly glow.
So as through a glass, and darkly
The age long strife I see
Where I fought in many guises,
Many names, -- but always me.
And I see not in my blindness
What the objects were I wrought,
But as God rules o'er our bickerings
It was through His will I fought.
So forever in the future,
Shall I battle as of yore,
Dying to be born a fighter,
But to die again, once more.
Helped family move to temporary housing, found daycare, then left family went back to work.
Worked a few extra hours.
Helped family find a house to live in long term, then left family and went back to work.
Worked too many hours trying to get an airplane ready to fly.
Went back to see family for Independence Day, helped with unpacking and moving of heavy objects. Saw some fireworks, hung out with kids, then left family and went back to work.
Worked a stupid amount of hours but finally got airplane in the air.
Keep having to work weekends, so have not seen family in a month. Major suck factor.
Occasionally babbled on twitter. Waiting for work to slow down so I can get back out for a visit.
-Cats seemed to find tiny places with good claw holds in which to hide. Fortunately, nature has provided a convenient hand hold on the scruff of the neck. Otherwise, we would have left them somewhere (under a hotel bed or under the back seat of the truck).
-Saw Memphis, TN and was seriously underwhelmed. Place needs an enhanced blast weapon (instead of an enhanced radiation weapon). Kim Jong-Il, this one is a freebie.
-Stopped at Graceland, but the price and the wait (more than the price) made it unattractive, so we did not see the Jungle Room or the cars or the Gold Records. We did briefly see the airplanes (not bad for the time, but pretty unimpressive today).
-Did not see the ghost of Elvis on Union Avenue, very disappointed.
-Stopped near Roanoke to check out the Smoky Mountain Brewery and Restaurant. Good stout, so-so food (okay for a pub).
-Spent the night in Kingsport, TN (never heard of it before). We stayed at the Jameson Inn, which was pet friendly, people friendly, and NOT selected due to whiskey preferences.
-Stopped at the Natural Bridge-one big hunk of rock. Got completely soaked in the rain, but the kids seemed to have fun.
-Have become fully ensconced in corporate apartment (Cats have registered grudging approval due to high cabinets that they can climb).
We plan to check out museums (okay, just the Udvar-Hazy center at Dulles) in between house hunting and daycare/school hunting (no licenses required and no bag limit-yeehaw).
My temporary apartment is mostly set up.
Kids are starting to tweak like crackheads.
Wife is pretty stressed.
Cats are giving us dirty looks (they don't realize they are coming with, when they do, then the hating will really begin).
Direct link to this XKCD page: http://xkcd.com/337/
It also meshes well with Rule #21 of the USMC Rules of Gunfighting: ""Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet."
Did I mention that I just had hail damage fixed on the car late last year?
UPDATE: Now with pictures! It took about an hour to clean up the glass and water. I am glad I wasn't on the road with the kids, because glass shards covered the car seats and back seat area as well as the hatchback/trunk. My insurance company has mobilized a catastrophe team for the region. No rental cars until after 1430 local time. My car determined to be unsafe to drive until an adjuster can inspect in person. Guess I am on the motorcycle for a while today.
The place where my rear window used to be....
One of three spider web cracks in the windshield....
The roof of the car simulating the dark side of the moon....
UPDATE 2: Got the insurance appraisal. Initial damage estimate is $6200. Holy impact damage, Batman. All that from some falling iceballs. Frakin' hail. Car has been delivered to the body shop. There were about 20 cars parked on the grass. The owner's wife had to start working there just to keep up with the paper work. I heard they are hiring a huge number of paintless dent removal techs (if they can find them).
For those of you stuck in cold places, take heart. It is not sunny and 70-80 deg F here. It is only in the 50-60 deg F range and only sunny sometimes. Don't hate me.
Since I will be here for St. Patrick's day, I may head out to see what amateur hour looks like here.
If you like beer, go to the Coronado Brewing Company on Coronado Island-good beer and good food.