Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday's Prattlings.

--We're due to reach 100 degrees for the first time this year today. That's actually pretty late, for us.
Edit: We broke into triple digits with a bang:

--I write this as much for my future reference, and for my kids' future reference, as for anyone else.

--I have a decent blog-worthy story that I can't post right now. But it ends with the question: "What caliber for douchebag?"

--It's pronounced /puh Kawn/. PEE kan sounds like what you put under the bed at night.

--I worked a 24 hour shift with the fire department yesterday, and not only ripped the tags off of the new wildland firefighting apparel* that they got me about a year ago, but also got it smokey and covered with soot. A welder caught some tall grass while putting in corner posts for a new fence, in the dry 17 mph wind. Right next to him was a stack of sections of old fencing that had probably 10 years' worth of weeds and brush growing up amongst it. I can think of no finer way to start a fire without accelerants. We had to unstack the flaming pyre and douse each level of stacked fencing one by one, and then get the particle board beneath it, and then go moving old rusty farm implements to get under all that. Finally we got all that done, and went to mop-up. When we finally got all the flaming cow turds busted up and stomped out, I climbed dirty and sweaty and ash-stained into our brush truck with our paramedic firefighter, and remarked that the hymen on my new brush gear had been perforated. Startled, he said what?!? I suggested to our best medic that he had heard me just fine. He laughed.

--I just finished reading Cormac McCarthy's No Country For Old Men on my Kindle. I reviewed the movie five years ago, in which I said of the main character, aging sheriff Ed Tom Bell:
I know this man. I've been around him for years, wearing different faces, standing different heights, and carrying different weights. They mostly all spoke with a drawl, and they all wondered sometimes how it all got to be so crazy. Between McCarthy, the Cohens, and Jones, I saw the bewildered squint of people that I've known personally, perplexed and aghast.
 Having read the book, I'd have to say that the Cohen brothers kept the movie's dialogue very true to McCarthy's original work. Sheriff Bell knows that the nation is doomed, and feels like he has lost control of the part of it that he is supposed to keep peaceful. He feels like a failure. I have to admit that I thought a little about whether I help the big picture. I don't take it as personally as he did, I don't think. I know my limitations. The job of a law enforcement officer is to limit damage; he rarely gets to stop it altogether.

I just downloaded Blood Meridian. The reviews show that it's a pretty dark portrayal of the American West in the mid 19th century. We'll see if I start it anytime soon.

--A family member and friend of mine is grieving the passing of a close friend of hers. I've been pretty poor about helping her deal with it. Recently, my wife pointed out the meaning of the lyrics to the Grateful Dead's song "Box Of Rain." I've never much been a fan of the Dead, but I've got to admit that there's a gentle calmness that one can feel from auditing this (first) song.
"What do you want me to do, to do for you to see you through? 
A box of rain will ease the pain, and love will see you through." 

--Speaking of music, my daughter was singing the title music to Singing In The Rain, and I wanted to hear the original, so I played this video. I come away thinking: (1) Gene Kelly was a genius dancer. (2) Even accounting for the poor synching of the sound to the video by YouTube, it's obvious that they dubbed in the tap sounds. But Gene Kelly was still a physical genius. (3) That street was a giant sound stage in Hollywood, right? Where they had to make their own rain? That was a BIG budget movie scene. (4) I cringe seeing Kelly dance through the puddles in his brown leather shoes. I can not stand having soaked shoes.

--Lately at work, I'm plagued with subpoenas to get. Think I don't beg help from the DA's investigators? Haw.

--I need a best location along the coast of Oregon or Washington (Olympic Peninsula?) for two things this summer: Tide pools and yerts.

--I'm planning an epic vacation with the girls and my wife.

--My friend Susan makes a good point: "When hanging around with drunk people...if the topic of conversation takes a turn toward Kennedy Assassination Conspiracy's time to leave!!"

*Typically abbreviated to "wildland gear," which then becomes "Wild man gear." This is tough, light Nomex jeans and topshirt (usually comes with work gloves and boots, but I just use my fire gloves and bunker boots) that one pulls on over street clothes, which prevent embers from immediately burning through, but which have no insulative properties. Combined with a light plastic helmet (kept on the brush truck) and light goggles, this gear actually provides some protection without causing your firefighter to succumb to heat exhaustion in regular bunker gear.

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At Thursday, June 27, 2013 8:14:00 PM, Blogger jon spencer said...

Now you have to start thinking about getting a pair of boots made for wildland firefighting.
Any decent boot designed for wildland fires will be a improvement over the bunker boots.
Go ask a few red card holders that have been around for awhile.
Whites Smokejumpers really are about the best.

At Thursday, June 27, 2013 10:55:00 PM, Blogger BGMiller said...

What caliber for douchebag?

A.) Whatever you've got handy in whatever quantity it take to let all the douchyness drain out.

B.) .45-70. Because if it's good enough for big cows it's good enough for their by product.


At Friday, June 28, 2013 1:17:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

If you are looking for tide pools and yurts I'd suggest looking around the San Juan Is. in Washington rather than out at the coast. If you come through Seattle I can probably arrange for some sailing.

At Friday, June 28, 2013 1:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yurt. I'm not sure what you'll get if you search for yert.

At Friday, June 28, 2013 6:53:00 AM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Glad y'all didn't end up out there all day... And good luck on the Oregon vacation!

At Friday, June 28, 2013 11:18:00 AM, Blogger plblark said...

If you haven't already, give the Walt Longmire series a look. A&E has a TV Series based upon the books which is in its second season. Season 1 is available on netflix.

At Friday, June 28, 2013 11:34:00 AM, Blogger JR said...

If I may offer an off the wall suggestion in lieu of the Left Coast? Nova Scotia. The hubs and I went for a week to the northern shore of Nova Scotia two Julys ago. It got so freaking cold at night that we had bonfires on teh beach and needed them. But it was GORGEOUS in the 80s during the day. Mud rafting on the Bay of Fundy as the highest tides in the world come in (Google it! Amazing!), whale watching off Digby, the best scallops I have ever eaten in my life (had them prepared seven different ways), and amazing wineries. It is too expensive and too long a flight from Houston - BUT... drive to ATL and take Delta to Halifax and rent a car. The Delta ticket is non-stop, a third of the price of a one stop United flight from IAH, and is just a hair under four hours. Plus? Because it is "international"... no cell service to speak of... Paradise. We stayed in a cottage literally on the Bay of Fundy, lighthouse and all, that was tiny and exquisite. Best trip EVER. Just a suggestion, but I will never forget that week.

At Friday, June 28, 2013 11:48:00 AM, Blogger JR said...

If I may make a vacation suggestion as an alternative to the Left Coast? Nova Scotia. The hubs and I spent a week there two years ago July for my milestone (*ahem*) birthday. It was awesome- perfect gorgeous warm 85 degree weather and blue skies during the day, but so cold at night that we made bonfires on the rocky beaches and needed them. Mud rafting on the Bay of Fundy as the highest tides in the world come in (Google it... amazing), whale watching off the coast of Digby, eating incredible lobster right off the boat that would cost you an arm and a leg in the States, not to mention the absolute best scallops I have ever eaten, also a Digby speciality (I had them prepared seven different ways and still can't choose a favorite...) It is too expensive to fly from Houston, BUT... make the drive to ATL, and you can get a Delta non-stop 4 hour flight to Halifax for a third of the cost to fly United from IAH with one stop. The scenery is gorgeous, the Bay of Fundy is a natural wonder, and the people are so warm and friendly - plus, there is a spot on the coast taht is exactly half way between the Equator and the North Pole... how about that! :-) We got a cottage in Margaretsville on the Bay, and it was tiny and exquisite and romantic. I know your family is going, but there are so many options. I recommend this trip to anyone who likes the Northwest Coast - it was one I will NEVER forget.

At Friday, June 28, 2013 2:13:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

JR, Nova Scotia sounds great. But in this case, the costs are sunk. We've got friends and family in the Northwest that we'll be visiting. Also, I want to show my girls some things that this Texan found to be mighty cool up there. Ranier. Hood. Bagby Hot Springs. The Olympic National Park rainforest. St. Helens. The Columbia River Valley around Hood.

At Sunday, June 30, 2013 8:16:00 PM, Anonymous pax said...

Try Cape Disappointment state park, at the mouth of the Columbia. Good yurts, beautiful stretch of coast, lots of excellent fishing out of Ilwaco, sea caves, and a few puny tide pools hidden in the coves along the cliffs. Plus a really fascinating piece of WWII history in the batteries, and Lewis & Clark, and Coast Guard history too.

Also ... You should contact me when you're in this part of the world.

At Monday, July 01, 2013 3:58:00 PM, Blogger zdogk9 said...

Cape D, It's a good location, depending on tides there are good pools in the park, It was originally a Coast Artillery Ft. so there are a couple of batteries to explore, The Motor Lifeboat School is there. Two light houses you can walk to, (North Head and Cape Disappointment, I'll take you salmon fishing if that's your pleasure.

At Tuesday, July 02, 2013 8:53:00 PM, Blogger Kristophr said...

For tidepools, I suggest Boiler Bay, between Lincoln City and Depot Bay.

Climbing down to the tide pools is a bit adventurous ... there was a cable to hold on to while walking down a very steep bank.

At Wednesday, July 03, 2013 11:30:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

Great info. Zdog, I got your message.

At Friday, July 05, 2013 7:30:00 PM, Blogger MaryAnne said...

Most of the Oregon coast is beautiful, but if you are looking at going this summer, the best location for yurts will be the one with an opening. Reservations for the year open on Jan 1st. They are pretty popular and book very early out for the summer months, especially on weekends.


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