Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Internet Stalker

I have a stat counter which posts the visitor count, but I'd not really looked at where they were coming from. There's a wide assortment, 90% from the states, maybe 8 % from Canada and the rest an assortment, including a military base far away. I then clicked on visits from my State, which broke down by City.

I really didn't expect anything unusual, Broad Ripple, some friends in Zionsville and further north, but there it was, sticking out like a sore thumb. A frequent, really frequent visitor from the town right next to my little burg. 15 minutes away. Three visits on some days. Some lasting an hour or more. Early morning, late night. A couple of Saturdays, logged on all day, one visit in the total count, but all day. Did they log on in the morning and just forget about it like I do a lot. Does this person not have a LIFE?

I have to admit, it bothered me a bit. None of my friends live there, one coworker but he doesn't read blogs, hardly touches the Internet. This person just seemed to be tailing my every blog post. Sometimes staying for hours late at night, multiple visits on a daily basis. Creepy. I pictured someone living in their parents basement, mall ninja by day, sitting home alone playing with their Wookie action figure at night.

So I looked at Stat counter to see if I could see the IP address. There it was, the IP address, the Internet provider.

IT WAS ME.

Apparently, my little town doesn't show up with the IP, the next closest town does. Now, I have a healthy ego and all, but I'll do eharmony.com before I stalk myself

And yes, I do feel like a complete dork.

You all have a safe and happy week!

Love - Brigid

Monday, June 27, 2011

Range Day - On the Road

Range Day.

Mr. B. and Midwest Chick and I loaded up and headed to a private range to do some group therapy with a couple friends of theirs. A good time was had by all.

Gear.

The one on the left is my trusty P220 in .45. The firearm on the right (I'll let my readers take a guess as to what it is) has had a trigger tweak from Mr. B's friend Mike. Wow. that's not a trigger, that's art.


More Gear!
And even more new gear!


Midwest Chick nails a bowling pin. (click to enlarge).


Steve fires. Great stance equals consistent groupings.

I liked their pistol range. What's not to like with a club house that actually knows how to decorate the women's restroom for the female shooters! Pardon me, I need to go wash the lead residue off my hands again.


Then, firearms tucked away at home, we waved goodbye to some of the gang. Then B and MC and I went off on a drive to meet Mr. and Mrs. Og at a Indiana winery for a wine tasting. We missed the IND blog meet which was too far away to make it, but this was sure a good way to enjoy the day.


Anderson's Orchards and Vineyard. So many good wines to try. I liked the Rhubarb the best, a recommendation of Mrs. Og. The staff was quite welcoming, and we got to try a sampling of many of their fine products (except for our designated driver who got some tasty water).


While the menfolk went out for a cigarette, the women engaged in female small talk. Children? No. Doilies? No. Church bingo? No.


Quotes from Airplane
("oh Stewardess, I speak jive"):

Jive Lady (Mrs. Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver): Cut me some slack, Jack! Chump don' want no help, chump don't GET da' help!
First Jive Dude: Say 'e can't hang, say seven up!
Jive Lady: Jive ass dude don't got no brains anyhow!

(It's even funnier when Midwest Chick and Mrs. O did it)

Young Frankenstein:

"What knockers! Oh Thank you Doctor!"


and, of course, the unashamed politically incorrect Blazing Saddles:

"It's twue! It's twue"
.

And the men wondered why we were all giggling when they got back.

I'm fortified by two glasses of wine. I wonder if Magnum P.I. would like my shirt
?


Too soon, time for the drive back to the home and hospitality of my friends, where the black labs, Barkley and Schmoo were defending the perimeter and G-cat was guarding the house along with her feline stealth forces.



You can take my gun when you can pry it out of my cold cold paws (did I mention I also have back-up claws??)


It was a great day, my friends. We'll do it again soon.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Weekend Group Therapy


Midwest Chick to me
show details 5:58 PM (3 minutes ago)
We can shoot handguns and rimfire rifles. If you have targets, bring
them and we can also shoot bowling pins... wheee!

I'm out of here. Barkley and I will be back in a couple of days with a theraputic range report.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Open Wide

Off to the dentist.
I've got a ride there and back and a female friend to spend the night after. Then, a couple of of the IND blog gang are coming over this weekend with reinforcements of dog biscuits, computer toys, pyrotechnics and a movie. I have pudding and soup and I hear a single malt scotch makes a nifty mouth rinse to reduce bacteria. Though if I could find a way to get some black licorice through a straw I would try that.

Several people have said the sedation meds do weird things to one's brain. So If I call ANYONE at 2 a.m Wednesday night and start singing The Lumberjack Song, Anchors Away or Oh Canada just set the phone down and pretend it didn't happen. It will be our little secret.

Till later, I'm lying low but will drop a line when it's over if I can.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Letters to Home - My Dad


The pictures of Dad and the house here were taken when I visited my Dad last month. Lt. Colonel Harry Allen D. He still lives on his own, house and yard tidy, still spry, though he turns 91 in a few more days. His companion, the great and powerful Oz, is almost 12. He still drives, (Dad, not Oz, though if he had opposable thumbs, he'd have lifted the SUV by now). It's just to the church and the store, friends take him everywhere else but he's still pretty sharp. He can't do 18 holes on the golf course any more, but still lifts weights three times a week, and shoots a bucket of balls on the range with my big brother, who patiently waits while he drives another home. His secrets to health? Exercise, hard work, integrity, commitment, good ale, and adopting two kids when your friends are becoming grandparents.

He's doing well despite a mild stroke about 5 years ago. I took much of the summer off from work and stayed with him through the initial recovery and he was up and moving about surprisingly fast. He was out of the wheelchair in three weeks. The doctor recommended a cane when he started getting up and around walking. He didn't want to use one as "those are for old people". So I got him a hand carved "hiking stick" with a big bear on the crest of it. That's so not a cane. He will use it when he gets really tired and for that I'm thankful.




I took a friend with me to meet him this last trip, wondering if we'd get the chance again. There's only been a handful of friends I've been proud enough to bring home to meet my Dad and only a couple who had the depth of caring to want to meet him, and I'm glad I did.

I realized it as I watched both of them. The future is what we make of it, each single day, a gift. Coming from being with him, I realize that and I do my best to remain close. Dad doesn't have a computer, a cell phone or a blackberry. So for my Dad, between many phone calls, I write letters.


A letter. Faded with time, a bit frayed around the edges, the words upon it written with clear, flowing script. The stamp carefully placed, the envelope addressed with precision.

Letters from my father to me when I first moved away from home. No one really had computers then for personal use at school, the phone was the most common source of connection for family. But as computers became second nature, my father continued to write me letters, refusing to learn to use a computer. Harriet would read him my blog, the words in there as meaningful for him as if I had written them on paper, read aloud by the woman he loves. (Yes, Harry and Harriet). But he will not take up a keyboard, and will not before he is gone, so others print out some of the posts for him to read now that she is gone, lost from us this time last June. He's probably raised an eyebrow to more than one, but he knows how he raised me, where I come from, and where my heart is.


Simple letters, simple words.

The letters themselves are not full of particularly sage wisdom, or things that might be considered of great depth. They are simply the doings of his day and the memories of his heart. What he planted in the garden, where he went out for lunch after church. A bird he saw on a long drive, a story of that steelhead trout he finally caught under the covered bridge at Grey's River. He wrote to me after he buried someone he loved more than life, words flattened out on paper, like rain, but not lost like rain, streaming out to a valueless torrent of dissolution. His words, though heart rending, uplifted me, a love not lost though life's unravelings. When I held on to him at that grave, while taps played in the distance, his words were engraved on my heart.

They were words that didn't teach, or lecture or portend, but words, that on their reading, mattered. For they filled me with elation that in their capturing, those moments would never be lost, that even when my Dad was gone, there would be stories, of meals, of moments, of caring.


Is that a testament to the power of the word or simply the power of the habit of writing? That which, however mundane, comes to our mind each day. Small, succinct phrases of thought that capture the dots of our lives, connecting us, transcending time or moment. What was in the past is here in my hand now, as if it transcends time and for just a moment we are free of the confines of past tense.

He is here with me now, with his story of that fine day, that could have been a week ago, or 50 years. His words caught and released, a brilliant day, a fighting salmon. A trip to the store, or a small prayer over his breakfast, shared with me here, as if the paper had caught it in time. Our lives are in these moments, gone too quickly, rushing water over our days.


Each of us live in the present, yet we contain our past, and we can not put our future into words until it too, becomes our past. Time is an illusion and death is a transient bend in a long journey that will take its own time. Past, present, future, I'll retain my Dad's stories, his laughter splayed across a small white page, as if part of the paper. As I fold it up and place it carefully in my desk drawer, to perhaps be opened up one day again, a thought comes unbidden. I realize that what is here, be it thought, emotion or the trivial events of our day that we share, for someone, somewhere, will be the most precious of memory.

I take out an envelope and small piece of paper, and on it scribe some other words. Not a blog post, but simply words. You are a good man. I love you. There is no place I am going to mail it to but I feel better for writing it. I put it in the envelope and seal it with a small kiss from my lips, the paper resting for a moment like a wafer on my tongue, confession, redemption.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Secret Squirrel - Meet Chipmunk Cheeks


Some tortures are physical
And some are mental,
But the one that is both
Is dental.
- Ogden Nash

Had a visit to the dentist today for my check up to find out that yes, I'm mumble mumble years old and my wisdom teeth have apparently decided to start being in the way. So they get to come out. I've never liked the dentist. My childhood one's secret hero was the Laurence Olivier character in Marathon Man ("Is it SAFE?" ) and as a result, thought "gentle Dentistry" was only for wimps and enemies of the Reich

So I haven't been to a dentist in a long time. A lot of things were different. The X-ray thing was this 180 degree imaging machine that made whirring noises as it circled me. I half expected a HAL like voice to say: "I've just picked up a fault in the AE35 unit. It's going to go 100% failure in 72 hours."

There was a TV screen in front of my chair, (if they show reality TV, I want sedation), and the dentist was a beautiful, young, and very smart young woman, who made even the upcoming huge bill sound like a pleasant procedure, so I resisted the urge to stomp on her.

Still wisdom teeth extraction on top of a a lousy couple of weeks wasn't good news.

It's a good time to bake something.Thank God for homemade Popovers (with thyme and cracked pepper). Tall, and light, and moist inside, they're even SOFT!!

Some nights, being tough is not easy. Soft will work. Especially with butter.