'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

29 June 2011

Canine Prosthetics

I've been spending a lot of time getting ready for the new puppy, some of which has been internet searches. I ran across this during my surfing.

How can something be so sad and yet so uplifting at the same time? Dogs and the people who love them. It's a beautiful thing. Spirit, it can't be measured but you know it when you see it. You can read the whole story about Naki'o and his owner, Christie Tomlinson here.


28 June 2011

The New Boy

I'm headed out to California on Thursday to pick up the new boy. I'm staying with Car Guy and his lovely bride Thursday night. I'll pick him up at the breeder on Friday morning and immediately return to Utah. I hate to do the hit and run with Car Guy but I have things that must be done both Wednesday and Saturday so my window is small.

I've been getting ready for his arrival. Re-reading some old favorites

And especially this one. No finer work exists regarding the raising and training of a good lab.

This is my literally dog eared copy. Proof that Trooper loved it as much as I did. I think the new boy will be as interested as he was.

The DO and the grandkids bought him his first collar. I found some puppy sized bumpers I just couldn't resist. Hey, gotta start 'em early.

The toy box is full with any accoutrement a retriever could ever want. More toys equals fewer chewing incidents. At least that's the theory.

The house is ready. His crate is beside my bed and waiting for it's occupant. The back yard is newly fenced. The lake has been scouted and the best spots picked out. We've been talking to Chrisi about her new little brother. She talks a good game but I don't think she really understands. Come Friday night it'll all become clear to her. She loves friendly dogs, especially little ones. She's missed Trooper badly so I think the new boy will be a welcome addition into her life.

I'm nervous. Perhaps anxious is a better word. On the day I pick him up Trooper will have been gone exactly 11 months so it's been a while. It's important that I do this right and I haven't had a puppy in almost 16 years. I'm hoping it's like falling off a bike because we all know how well I do that.

I'm as ready as I can be and really looking forward to meeting my new friend. It's going to be a wonderful ride and I plan on sharing it with you. Pictures as soon as I get a chance, probably Saturday night.


26 June 2011

Sunday Kipling / Thank You

It's an odd thing. When I started blogging I had no real idea what to expect beyond writing things down and having the occasional person comment. That I have somehow managed to make such friends as all of you has come as a complete and wonderful surprise. Thank you for your thoughts, well wishes and prayers. They helped, they really, really did. The crisis has passed. It wasn't my mother (that's still to come) but rather something Lu and I had to figure out. I'd like to leave you with this reminder. Marriage, indeed any relationship, is a partnership. Together you can do anything but seperately you can accomplish only what your individual gifts will allow. The total can be so much greater than the sum of it's two parts.
Thank you again my friends and especially my daughter who I love more than my life.


Where Horse and Rider each can trust the other everywhere,
It takes a fence and more than a fence to pound that happy pair;
For the one will do what the other demands, although he is beaten
and blown,
And when it is done, they can live through a run that neither
could face alone.

When Crew and Captain understand each other to the core,
It takes a gale and more than a gale to put their ship ashore,
For the one will do what the other commands, although they;
chilled to the bone,
And both together can live through weather that neither could
face alone.
When King and People understand each other past a doubt,
It takes a foe and more than a foe to knock that country out;
For the one will do what the other required as soon as the need
is shown;
And hand in hand they can make a stand which neither could
make alone!

This wisdom had Elizabeth and all her subjects too,
For she was theirs and they were hers, as well the Spaniard knew;
For when his grim Armada came to conquer the Nation and
Why, back to back they met an attack that neither could face

It is nor wealth, nor talk, nor trade, nor schools, nor even the
Will save your land when the enemy's hand is tightening round
your throat.
But a King and a People who thoroughly trust each other in all
that is done
Can sleep on their bed without any dread--for the world will
leave 'em alone!

22 June 2011


Well, today is a great day in the nation's history, it's the anniversary of the day the Six was born. Yes, our vaulted hero is growing older, but he's ALSO not getting younger.
On this day of celebration, we in my little family are far from our homeland and from this day of cultural celebration but fear not friends, there is a cherry crisp in the oven.
Now, I actually don't know if the Six even likes Crisp, but I was too impatient to make the holiday traditional German Chocolate Cake. Please do enjoy a slice for me!Everyone enjoy this festive day, and think kind thoughts... for me, far from home and the celebration.

Oh, and for the Six too, guess he's kinda important on this day too.

(Happy Birthday Papa, we miss you and love you so!)

~The DO

17 June 2011

Done For A Bit

Something happened today that has fundamentally changed how things are in my life, for at least a while and perhaps for much longer. We're working on those things but it's taking every bit of emotional and intellectual strength I possess and then some. I have nothing more to give so I'll be silent here for at least a little bit. I am exhausted, washed out and facing an uncertain future.

I apologize for being mysterious but it's intensely private and personal. I'll be back when and if I can.

Prayers will be greatly appreciated.


16 June 2011

Borepatch Is Smarter Than Your Average Scientist

We interrupt this garage build with breaking news. Borepatch is a wicked smart man. What's that? You already knew? If there were a Brain off BP would win.

He's my go to guy for all things sciency and here he brings the Anthropogenic Global Warming smackdown. Again. After you've digested this latest bit of Truth As Beauty dig into his archives for more logical goodness. He's left more bruises on more Global Warmer asses than a Willow forest.

Yep, I am a denier.


15 June 2011

Garage Build Pt. 2

After finishing the basic structure it was time for the exterior walls. They went up fairly easily. This is where prior preparation is critical. The sides (and roof) attach with metal screws through pre-drilled holes. If the slab isn't perfectly flat and even the holes won't match which is fixed by a lot more work accompanied by fits of bad language.

Here's the South side done.

The North side

And the Back

Here are the trusses, gables and roof I-beams installed and ready for a roof. Have I mentioned how hot it's been cause it was a mite warmish. I figure I sweated approximately 5 Gatorades per hour. That's real construction speak right there.

The roof corners go up first. See that ladder I'm on, the 6 footer with the inviting step at the very top? Yeah, I fell off causing much bruising and more colorful metaphors. Don't be alarmed, I'm a professional where it comes to falling off ladders. I mean, I've fallen off ladders put up and held by professional Firefighters. Seriously, I've fallen off a lot of ladders. Explains many things. I ended up hanging from one of the roof I-beams by my right armpit. You may not know this but your armpit wasn't designed for holding up your body weight. Just a tip. It was spectacular enough that Lu even noticed. Usually when I hurt myself doesn't even look anymore, she just asks if we need to visit the ER. No? Then get back to work you lazy bastard.

The ladder incident (or rather the latest ladder incident) led to an epiphany. I have a large truck. It has this really nice and strong camper shell. The garage is open at the moment and, you know, it's right there, so...
Presto! Instant scaffolding. That's Sphincter Boy standing up there in case you can't see him.

Here is our now much smarter hero, installing the roof panels the safe way. See, I actually can learn from my mistakes. Provided they're painful enough.

We finished the day with the roof about halfway done.

The next day we got up and finished it off. Hey, there's a building there!

A couple of pictures from inside. It was at least 20 degrees cooler in there making my motivation to go back out in the sun pretty much nonexistent. See the man? See the huge sweat stain? Don't get too near the man.

After finishing the roof it was time to anchor the building. We did the final squaring and got ready to install the anchors. Uh. We might have a problem here. Take a look at the 2 anchors at the bottom of the picture. The one on the right is what was supplied in the anchor kit I bought, paying perfectly good money for it. It's 1/4 inch and was woefully inadequate. To fix it I went to the hardware store (Oh Joy!) and bought fifty 1/2 inch by 3 inch anchors. You can see the difference here. You do not anchor a 14x31x10 foot building with tinker toys.

This change in the plan required the purchase of a new tool. Oh yeah, I love tools especially new ones. Lu wasn't even mad. That bad boy is a Dewalt hammer drill and it's fabulous in the extreme. It drilled 1/2 inch holes 3 inches deep in my 6 bag concrete like, well, something sharp going through something soft. Hey, I'm tired and my brain don't work too well at the moment.

The day wouldn't be complete without thanking the support staff. Good ol' Chrisi. Where would we have been without her? Pay no attention to the fat man on the floor. Cheap labor.

Tomorrow I'll post the final build. We have to finish the trim, put on doors and build some shelving. Plus there's all my crap to lug and store in there. Come back, it'll be epic. I swear. There will probably be more pain and maybe even some bleeding.

Hey, I aim to please.


14 June 2011

Viet Nam

I felt some healing when I watched this. I hope it will help some others who might be suffering from PTSD.

Goodbye Viet Nam...

Goodbye Viet Nam

12 June 2011

Wallow fire in AZ

This is the area I worked my last five years on the AHP. Luna lake was a beautiful place. My wife and I caught a ton of fish on Luna Lake. It breaks my old heart to see it go up in flames.

Thought you would be interested in seeing these on scene photographs.

Sunday Kipling

Dedicated to Joan, her cars and the joy of driving. Have a great Sunday everyone.

To a Lady, Persuading Her to a Car

Love's fiery chariot, Delia, take
Which Vulcan wrought for Venus' sake.
Wings shall not waft thee, but a flame
Hot as my heart--as nobly tame:
Lit by a spark, less bright, more wise
Than linked lightnings of thine eyes!
Seated and ready to be drawn
Come not in muslins, lace or lawn,
But, for thy thrice imperial worth,
Take all the sables of the North,
With frozen diamonds belted on,
To face extreme Euroclydon!
Thus in our thund'ring toy we'll prove
Which is more blind, the Law or Love;
And may the jealous Gods prevent
Our fierce and uncontrouled descent!

10 June 2011

Garage Build

The delivery guy dropped off a package on Tuesday afternoon. It was 9 large boxes and 1 small one on a triple long pallet.

Here's the boxes, unloaded and partially opened. That's a lotta parts!

First step is to do some assembly, lay down the foundation and put up the corners, main pillars and support beams. It's important brace the walls as at this point it can be blown down by a strong wind.

Slot A goes into Tab B and then attach the doohickey with alternating thingies. Got it. Wait...what?? I'm a guy. I hate instructions.

The 2 main trusses. They had to be assembled piece by piece by piece. There were a lot of parts.

This is where we left off yesterday. Most of the main supports are in and the trusses and roof beams are assembled and ready to install. That's what we'll be working on today along with putting on the exterior sides. We're still several days away from a completed garage.

More tomorrow.


08 June 2011

Work And A Joke

The garage got here on Tuesday. Lu and are armpit deep in assembly. Pictures in a day or two. In the meantime a joke. It's from Richard Wolters' seminal book, Water Dog. If you've ever shot over a good dog you'll understand.

A friend was relating a story to me the other day. He got an invitation to go waterfowling from a new acquaintance, a man I also happen to know quite well. Never having had the pleasure, he took him up on the offer. By dawn the next day they're ensconced in a blind, overlooking a large lake, with a veritable flotilla of something called "Decoys" floating in the water before them. Also in the blind is a large, black dog. My friend was curious but reticent to ask too many questions.

Over a cup of coffee the hunter quickly raises his eyes heavenward and shouts "Mark". Suddenly, the hunter and his large, black dog are kneeling on the floor of the blind like monks praying before the altar. Their hypnotic eyes peer upward, through the drifting fog. My friend had no idea what to expect but readied himself for whatever came next. Without a sound, 2 ducks materialize from the murk, winging their way toward the blind. A command is given. "Take 'em". My friend fumbled with his cold shotgun but managed 2 quick shots. A Mallard drake falls with a splash. He hears the roar of the hunter's shotgun and sees the second duck falter and wheel drunkenly into the surf.

The hunter turns to my friend with a maniacal gleam in his eye. "Watch this." He turns to the dog, now poised at the water's edge, his body aquiver with anticipation. His eyes fixed on the now still water as if on the very meaning of life. A single word is spoken. "Back".  The dog leaps forward.

My friend watches the dog tear across the water, not swimming but running across the surface. He picks up one duck, runs back to deliver it to the outstretched hand of the hunter. A strange hand signal sends the dog off to repeat the performance. He never once sank into the dark, cold water.

His story told, my friend turned to me and asked me what I thought about that. His look is both triumphant and incredulous. His wide eyes challenge me to doubt the veracity of what he has seen.

What was I to say? This was my friend. I had to be honest and tell him the truth lest he get the wrong idea.

"That damn dog can't even swim".

Back tomorrow.


07 June 2011

Ok, Hold On A Second

I've been reading about this mainstream GOP candidate or that mainstream GOP candidate announcing that they're running or considering running or "exploring their options". The various Tea Party "leaders" who are promising to throw their support behind one or the other and if so and so is nominated they can count on us! The MSM all a twitter about Mitt and Newt "Will she or won't she?".

I've got some bad news for all of you. The Tea Party doesn't have any leaders. It's a collection of average Americans fed up with politics as usual. The effort of some to identify themselves as leaders and spokesmen (and I'm looking at you here Dick Armey and Amy Kremer) is an exercise in wishful thinking. The GOP want it to be true because then they have something they can negotiate for control over. The self described Tea Party leaders want it to be true because then they have something they can sell. The mainstream dinosaur media want it to be true so they will have a club to beat the next Republican presidential candidate over the head with.

Borepatch says it so often and so well. The Democrats aren't the problem and the Republicans aren't (necessarily) the answer. I added the necessarily because the party could become the answer. It won't if we keep accepting the current GOP nomination practice of whoever has seniority. That won't change until we true Conservatives take back the party and that won't happen as long as those who should be listening to us, who we all desperately need to be listening to us, are instead focused on the likes of Kremer, Armey and the rest of those who imagine themselves our masters and spokespeople.

Here's my advice to all three groups mentioned above. Stop lying and promising what you cannot deliver, stop trying to buy what you should be trying to earn and stop believing everything you read and hear.

We've been down this road before, as recently as 2008. It's a path that results in another version of McCain and turns a sure one term president into an unstoppable engine freight training himself into a second term and the rest of us into penury.

No, no and hell no. No Mitt, no Rudy, no Newt. No. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever again. Say it with me. No Hello Kitty Republicans.

See, that wasn't so hard was it?


06 June 2011

Blood On The Risers

Last night I watched the documentary on the Military channel about the 502 PIR and the drop on D-Day again. It was awe inspiring. It wasn't just combat jumps they had to contend with. Every training jump was literally taking their lives into their own hands and the hands of the riggers. We owe so much to those men and indeed, all those who fought on that historic day. May we always remember and honor them.

Song: Blood on The Risers, sung by the 82nd Airborne Chorus.

He was just a rookie trooper and he surely shook with fright
as he checked all his equipment and made sure his pack was tight
He had to sit and listen to the awful engines roar,
And he ain't gonna jump no more.

Gory, Gory, What a helluva way to die
Gory, Gory, What a helluva way to die
Gory, Gory, What a helluva way to die
He aint gonna jump no more.

"Is everybody happy?" cried the Sergeant, looking up.
Our hero feebly answered "yes," and then they stood him up.
He jumped into the icy blast, his static line unhooked.
He aint gonna jump no more.


He counted long, he counted loud, he waited for the shock;
He felt the wind, he felt the cold, he felt the awful drop;
The silk from his reserves spilled out and wrapped around his legs.
He aint gonna jump no more.


The risers wrapped around his neck, connectors cracked his dome;
Suspension lines where tied in knots, around his skinny bones;
The canopy became his shroud, he hurtled to the ground.
He aint gonna jump no more.


The days hed lived and loved and laughed kept running through his mind;
He thought about the girl back home, the one hed left behind;
He thought about the medicals and wondered what theyed find.
He aint gonna jump no more.


The ambulance was on the spot, the jeeps were running wild;
The medics jumped and screamed with glee, they rolled up their sleeves and smiled;
For it had been a week or more since last a chute had failed.
He aint gonna jump no more.


He hit the ground, the sound was splat, his blood went spurting high;
His comrades they were heard to say, "A helluve way to die";
He lay there rolling round in the welter of his gore.
He aint gonna jump no more.


There was blood upon the risers, there were brains upon the chute;
Intestines were a-dangling from this paratrooper suite;
He was a mess they picked him up, and poured him from his boots.
He aint gonna jump no more.

Gory, Gory, What a helluva way to die
Gory, Gory, What a helluva way to die
Gory, Gory, What a helluva way to die
He aint gonna jump no more.

05 June 2011

Sunday Kipling

Have a great Sunday Everyone.

from Barrack-Room Ballads

BEYOND the path of the outmost sun through utter darkness hurled-
Farther than ever comet flared or vagrant star-dust swirled-
Live such as fought and sailed and ruled and loved and made our world.

They are purged of pride because they died; they know the worth of
their bays;
They sit at wine with the Maidens Nine and the Gods of the Elder Days-
It is their will to serve or be still as fitteth Our Father's praise.

‘Tis theirs to sweep through the ringing deep where Azrael's outposts
Or buffet a path through the Pit's red wrath when God goes out to war,
Or hang with the reckless Seraphim on the rein of a red-maned star.

They take their mirth in the joy of the Earth-they dare not grieve for
her pain;
They know of toil and the end of toil; they know God's Law is plain;
So they whistle the Devil to make them sport who know that Sin is vain.

And oft-times cometh our wise Lord God, master of every trade,
And tells them tales of His daily toil, of Edens newly made;
And they rise to their feet as He passes by, gentlemen unafraid.

To these who are cleansed of base Desire, Sorrow and Lust and Shame-
Gods for they knew the hearts of men, men for they stooped to Fame-
Borne on the breath that men call Death, my brother's spirit came.

He scarce had need to doff his pride or slough the dross of Earth -
E'en as he trod that day to God so walked he from his birth,
In simpleness and gentleness and honour and clean mirth.

So cup to lip in fellowship they gave him welcome high
And made him place at the banquet board-the Strong Men ranged
Who had done his work and held his peace and had no fear to die

Beyond the loom of the last lone star, through open darkness hurled,
Further than rebel comet dared or hiving star-swarm swirled,
Sits he with those that praise our God for that they served His world

Hello Kitty Republicans


04 June 2011

Triathlon To The Power Of Ten

I posted about this event yesterday morning. It's a triathlon with a twist; 100,000 pounds lifted, 10K run and 100 miles on a bicycle, all without leaving the comfort of my home gym. I wandered around the house, thinking about it and playing it out in my mind. Shortly after 2:00 I decided heck with this. I gathered up Lu and headed out to the gym to get things rolling.

A partial view of the gym with the bicycle already hooked up to the rollers. That's the official 100 Miles Of Nowhere plate on the bike. The whole thing was done in my humble home gym out behind my house. The gym equipment for lifting, the run on a treadmill and the bike on rollers. Never left the gym except once to use the facilities which were in my own house. How cool is that?
2:30 PM and the official start.
The scoreboard, depressingly free of completed disciplines.
Lifting was up first. As the Big Board attests I did 7 exercises. The totals went like this.
Bench Press - 100 reps @ 185 pounds = 18,500
Barbell Curl - 100 reps @ 70 pounds = 7,000
Dips - 100 reps @ 245 pounds = 24,500
Rows - 100 reps @ 185 pounds = 18,500
Overhead Extensions - 100 reps @ 100 pounds = 10,000
Shoulder Raises - 100 reps @ 55 pounds - 5,500
Deadlifts - 60 reps @ 200 pounds = 12,000
Squats - 20 reps @ 200 pounds = 4,000
If my math is correct that's 100,000 pounds in 680 repetitions for a 147 pound average lift. The first time I did 100,000 pounds training for this it took me 1250 reps. I started to do squats, intending to do 100 reps but at rep number 10 felt a twinge in my right knee. On the second set of 10 it went from a twinge to a full blown owie and squats were out and maybe the entire triathlon. I switched to deadlifts and managed 60 reps before the pain became too great. I added some weight and reps to shoulder raises (I was only planning on doing 60 at 50 pounds) and made up the weight.
Take a look at that face. It was about this time that I recognized there might be a problem and was considering how to continue.
Here's Lu loading plates. She spent the day and night setting up, bringing me food and drinks and just generally coaching and cheer leading. Not to mention the recovery massages. Love that woman.
Here's the what the final board looked like. Not exactly according to the plan but done.

With lifting done it was to event number 2. I was planning on biking at this point but Lu convinced me that my arms were so pumped that supporting myself on the bike might be problematic so the 10K was next.
The problem knee. It kept me from running the pace I wanted but held together long enough to finish. I did no better than a fast walk and a light jog but I finished every step.
6.2 miles aka 10 Kilometers. The time was disappointing but I finished.

The mid way meal complete with a smile and a thumbs up. Mac and Cheese with bacon bits (because everything is better with bacon), whole wheat bread and a glass of milk. I went through about a gallon of water, a half gallon of Gatorade and a tall milk. Yes, that is indeed a drill press behind me. Don't ask.

Ok. On to the bike. My arms were still pumped but I considered this the easiest part of the whole deal. Hey, we're all wrong from time to time. Right?
The obligatory Zero miles shot.
I was going to do the whole ride in my official Team Fatty Jersey but...
Fatty, I love you and Twin Six but by this point my arms were still so pumped the jersey was cutting off circulation to my hands. I went with something a little more...open.
Man, this is hard. In addition to a triathlon this was my first Century on the bike. I found myself looking down at the odometer thinking "I must almost be done by now. Come on, let me almost be done by now" only to discover I still had 75 miles to go. Oof. It was grind it out time so I put my head down and put in the miles.
The finale was most satisfying.

And just like that it was done! The clock on the wall said 11:26 PM.
The official time was kept by Lu on her official Ironman Timex
8:55:42. 8 hours, 55 minutes, 42 seconds.

The final Big Board.

I wanted to do this event for a couple of reasons.
First to support Team Fatty and all his good works and do my part in The Fight.
Second to prove to myself that I could do it.
Finally, and most importantly, to let my Mother know how I feel about her. Ma, I love you more than I could possibly say. I did this because you couldn't. It's my small way of honoring you, your life and your fight. Cancer may seperate us but you will ever be in my heart. Fight your fight and know I'll be beside you the whole way. And when your fight is done I will take it up as my own. That is my promise to you.

And so it is done. My legs feel like a bag of angry cats. Lu has been taking good care of me with plenty of Tylenol and leg massages. I've spent the day sleeping and eating anything and everything that gets near me. Now, as far as I can tell I'm the first to do this particular brand of triathlon. If so I believe that makes me the World Record Holder. If not I'm still the winner and record holder in the Male, 51.9 year old (I'll be 52 in a couple of weeks), Clydesdale, Hurricane Utah, Home Gym, Balding division. I declare myself satisfied. And hey, maybe someone else will step up next year and go for my title. Oh, almost forgot one thing. I started the tri at 245 pounds. After it was done I weighed myself again, thinking I'd see how much weight I'd lost. Kinda like the last chance workout on Biggest Loser. I weighed in at 247. I have to be the only guy in America who can do 9 hours of straight exercise and gain 2 pounds. Jillian would be so disappointed.

Thank you to all of you, my friends, for your support and encouragement. A big Thank You goes to Fatty. The fight goes on my friend but as long as people like you exist how can we possibly fail? Thanks for letting me participate and honor my Mother. I owe you.