Heatwave

Now with a better image!

zweihander plus eins

I keep droppin’ lines in recent posts about how we are experiencing a heatwave. Now, it is time to just freakin’ make this topic front and center. Last weekend was freaking hot and if the sun wasn’t out and trying to burn me alive like it was trying to exact revenge on me for killing its father, it was humid. Even better, last weekend was apparently nothing to the weekend coming up! The north is on fire due to our incredibly dry conditions and scumbag smokers who don’t want their shame in the ashtrays of their vehicles.

Sunday morning was rough. I worked on some blog posts while sitting in front of the fan. In desperate need of coffee, I kept throwing the freshly brewed savior down my gullet. Soon I realized that I had become superheated, both inside and out. That is when I thought that if this were…

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Heatwave

I keep droppin’ lines in recent posts about how we are experiencing a heatwave. Now, it is time to just freakin’ make this topic front and center. Last weekend was freaking hot and if the sun wasn’t out and trying to burn me alive like it was trying to exact revenge on me for killing its father, it was humid. Even better, last weekend was apparently nothing to the weekend coming up! The north is on fire due to our incredibly dry conditions and scumbag smokers who don’t want their shame in the ashtrays of their vehicles.

Sunday morning was rough. I worked on some blog posts while sitting in front of the fan. In desperate need of coffee, I kept throwing the freshly brewed savior down my gullet. Soon I realized that I had become superheated, both inside and out. That is when I thought that if this were a superpower my name would be the “Human Smoldering Ember.” I could you know, just keep people warm and shit. People in a heatwave may view me as a villain, but when winter rolls around “Look who is happy to see me!” I scream with my arms wide open and my head wagging back and forth.

My wife and I went for walk after lunch and she mentioned that she was sweating and that she never sweats. I replied with “I can’t recall the last time I wasn’t sweating.” I feel like I was bit by a radioactive slug and have the lame ass power to be coated in some gross ass mucus like, sweat thing.

Anyone who comes up to me and says “What a beautiful day!” or “Yesterday was a beaut!” will get a canned response. With a volume level slightly more than it needs to be and perhaps a smokers lung intonation I will respond. “I can’t tell if I am wearing boxers or moist towelettes?

Potato Salad Confidential

Monday night 9:00 P.M. We hadn’t eaten dinner yet, but it was on the grill. My wife and I had gone for a run and I was starving. So there I stood in our living room. Watching The Bachelorette and eating from a tub of potato salad. It wasn’t always this way.

It must have started about forty minutes prior. As I mentioned we had just gotten back from a run. Today was a hot and humid son of gun so I was pretty whooped by the time we got home. I fired up the grill and threw the potatoes on. By the time I got back with the corn, I could smell the strong scent of propane. The tank was empty and thus, the grill was off.

Without much thought I unhooked the tank and hauled ass to Home Depot. There was some customer being a pain in the ass in the only line open. Needlessly to say there was a pile of us waiting to pay. A cashier opened up another lane, and the people in front of me and I moved over. Unfortunately for some reason, so did the pain in the ass people.

My wife sent me a text that said she had found ants in our kitchen. The FMLing was certainly strong this evening. I hauled ass and an empty propane tank to the back of the store and got some traps. Then, reclaimed my exact same spot in line. The pains in the ass were gone and the people in front were just finishing up.

After that, everything went pretty smooth except I was so hungry I couldn’t wait. I tore into the potato salad as if my life depended on it. I fed myself the line, I’ll just have one bite, but that potato salad knew how things were going to go down.

So there I stood unable to control anything in my life. No shirt in a dark living room shoveling potato salad into my yap and watching The Bachelorette with complete emotional investment. “Why is that guy crying.” I wonderingly mumbled out loud in an attempt to speak and eat at the same time.

“Because she dumped him on their date and took the helicopter!” my wife replied easily deciphering my potato salad tongue and with more fervor than I would have expected from another person who had also never watched The Bachelorette.

Habanero Hot Step

I woke up this morning with a stomach ache. It could possibly have something to do with the four s’mores I slammed last night. Although more than likely it had something to do with all the homemade habanero salsa I consumed instead.

I had never made habanero salsa before, but I’d had a bee in my bonnet ever since I’d ate some definition altering sauce at Santeria in Portland. I wanted to make a sauce that was similar. Something thicker and with more low end flavor than those runny sauces that, while delicious, are a one note runny vehicle for heat, salt, and vinegar. When I saw habaneros on sale at the grocery store, I knew that yesterday was the day.

One thing I hadn’t counted on was pepper spraying the entire apartment. Habaneros are some serious shit compared to the jalapenos I use for my regular salsa. My wife was coughing like crazy from the other room and I would too from time to time. Heating up habaneros makes the spicy heat airborne. A cough would force us to inhale and we would be forced to cough more. Even with the exhaust fan on, there was no escaping it.

I persevered though and continually tasted the salsa, ensuring I had the proper amount of onion, garlic, and cilantro. My version is dang close to what I was trying to imitate. So in celebration I marinated some tofu and pulled out the slaw and pico de gallo I already had on hand and made tacos for dinner.

I pretty much drenched my share with the habanero salsa before adding sriracha and another homemade salsa on top. By the end of dinner my nose was running and I was sweating big time. Not only due to the peppers, but we are in the middle of a heatwave. Then I ate four s’mores, three my wife knows about – until she reads this.

Back to today, my tried and true solution for getting rid of a stomach ache is to go for a run. I mean I could lay on the couch for ten hours, but that ain’t my bag. So I went for a solid ten kilometer run, in the middle of a gaddamn heatwave. I had no water left by the time I finished and made beelines for any sprinklers I saw along the last stretch. I also had my belt on in precarious spot that caused my shirt to chafe my chest.

So when I get home, I am sweating buckets, my legs are tired, my left nipple is just on the cusp of bleeding, and I still had a stomach ache. Oh and few hours later, the clouds moved in, engulfing the sun and dropping the temperature. Oh well, having a lovely lunch with my wife was great and the peanut butter and jelly donut was the perfect ending to the afternoon.

Bree Newsome, More Like Bree Awesome

Well, now I guess we have two answers for the age old question. How many people does it take to bring down a flag that represents racism, segregation, and hate; not the heritage, nobility, and tradition of a one hundred and fifty year old unrecognized state that seceded from and then attacked the United State of America?

Two, an African-American woman, Brittany “Bree” Newsome and her partner who at the moment is the Andrew Ridgeley to her George Michael. Who knows if she could have done it without him, but he certainly helped. Running a decoy by dressing up like an official who would be messing with a flag pole bought her some time. Holding the pole steady certainly didn’t hurt either. His final contribution was being a white guy when both were being arrested.

However and rightfully so, activist Bree Newsome, is the star of the day and #FreeBree was trending by the time I woke up and the video was barely half an hour old. She did what many have wanted to do for half a century. When she isn’t bringing down public displays of hate she is a director and singer. She sounds a zillion times more interesting than that new Jem movie coming out.

I said there were two answers for that age old question. The second answer is not so clean cut, but I will give it a try. A governor – who shares the same appropriationist and redacted view of the flag many others do – to give sappy and reluctant speech. Two more branches government: A legislature to vote if they should even care to further vote upon the removal of the flag. And a court to deliberate on rather to repeal (and you know there will be) the vote of taking down the flag. Finally, same racist citizens to hem and haw and generate said repeals and petitions.

The tax payin’, I say the tax payin’ citizens of South Carolina should thank Bree Newsome. Now their government can do something truly productive instead of sucking up time and money on the obvious choice. Something that the state of Alabama has already done.

We as a nation should have stood up long ago and started pushing for this. Enough is enough. The confederacy fell a century and a half ago and the flag that flies today was never created during the lifespan of the confederacy. Let’s throw our support behind her and anyone else who deserves it!

Epilogue

Then I clicked on too many links and found this guy. I am going to call him Greely Jedediah Bartholomew Samhain Cacaine Kumquat-Jones VII The Proud, but his friends call him “Hunk” due the hunk of meat he has on his shoulders. He said, “I hope she is enjoying the flag from the view in her cell (unpunctuated.)”

Next, two of his fellow klansmen showed up and added “just make her put it back ,,then jail her(unpunctuated although after the comma fiasco, we thank you.)” and “Now she is just a thief…..JJ chimed in also.. what a hoot he is… LOL (unpunctuated as he had already used his allotted quota of periods by this point.)”

We as a society have work to do. Let’s keep this forward momentum going and calling people out on their bullshit.

The Perceived Confederate Flag VS. The Politically Correct Inquisition: Be Cool

As of this writing, two states have removed or are in the process removing the confederate flag from flying over their capitals. Super retailers have also pulled it from their shelves and websites. At the will of the retailers and the GOP’s of those states, I would like to add. Although, South Carolina did take a little coaxing. So now the internet is buzzing and twitter is all a flutter with fear filled tweets wondering what freedom will be encroached upon and ripped from the hands of crying patriots next.

Many seem to think Obama’s next move will be to remove the flag of the United States of America itself. Which is idiotic, but when one thinks patriotism is flying a modified version of a one hundred and fifty year old insurrectionist flag over the state capital, idiocy is what one should expect.

I don’t see what could be more patriotic than saying, “Take down the flag that represents the unrecognized state that was rebelliously created, tried to continue the enslavement of African Americans, and attacked the United States of America?” All of that sounds like something that would probably be considered the T-word by today’s standards. Doesn’t seem so patriotic now does it?

I am going to go out on a limb and say there was more to the confederacy and the civil war than slavery, but lets be honest; slavery was the main point and over time, the flag has gone on to mainly represent the enslavement and segregation of African American people more than anything else. The flag has become synonymous with racism.

It is too bad to, aesthetically speaking, the stars and bars is a good looking piece. Probably because it wasn’t made during the civil war era, but quite a few years later when graphic design was a thing. That is right, the confederate flag was never flown or even created during the confederacy, but one can see the inspiration. In fact, it seems that this version of the flag found its way above the state capitals during desegregation era. Seems pretty racist to me.

Flags are a symbol, just like religious divers and sports teams. People flock to them and identify with them. They will fight for the ideals that flag represents. Would it even be proper to fly a legitimate version of the confederate flag in the U.S.? The flag of the unrecognized state the was formed through secession from the U.S. and fought against U.S. I don’t believe would be proper to fly it. Seems like people are backing two horses.

However, I get that the perceived confederate flag are historical and I do not believe that it should be blindly wiped from existence in some sort of politically correct inquisition. Media and art, no matter what form, should remain unscathed. Unless it is overwhelmingly racist and derogatory. Media is a good measure to know how we have progressed as a society; which since last Tuesday hasn’t been all that far. Apple pulled some apps with a confederate flag. Yes, even historically based video games were pulled, although the flag is wrong. Warner Brothers has announced they will quit licensing Dukes of Hazzard products with the stars and bars on them.

All of this is similar to the time the church took paintings and sculptures and covered everyone’s junk with leaves. Except instead of junk it is an under researched and misappropriated flag. We should not go back and censor or hide everything. Just say The Duke Boy’s views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Warner Brothers Entertainment. Educate people on what the confederacy stood for, what flags were actually used by the confederacy, and what this version of the flag also stands for. Continue to take down the flag, remove holsters and beer coozies and everything else that bares the flag. And above else, be cool.

Gun Reduction: A Slightly Left Leaning Compromise of Thought

I recently choked down an article from a website that I am not exactly a member of the website’s demographic. The post was an actor’s thoughts on the Charleston shooting and gun control. In short, if someone had had a gun in Charleston, lives would have been saved. This is the same argument many gun enthusiasts use every single time there is a shooting. It may actually be true if this were Hollywood and we were all a bunch of John McClanes. We aren’t though. In a situation like that many of us would be lucky to not go full Mr. Bean.

There have been a lot of shootings in the states in recent years. So many, that people inside and out of the states don’t seem to stop and take note the way they once did. Perhaps a shrug of the shoulders or a nod of the head. Each of these events is tragic, but we seem absolutely powerless and unwilling to change. One side stands up in an act of futility and tries to disarm everyone. While the other side, who seems to fear government enslavement – completely missing the irony of our current situation that includes taxes, loans, mortgages, healthcare and day jobs – stands up and says “No!”

I mean I get that it is a right to have guns and they make some people feel safe. We have had guns for hundreds of years and they are a hobby for some. However, do we really need so fucking many? Especially the ones with one intent and that is to kill a lot of people easily? I really want to stress that I am not talking about all the guns. I am talking about guns that were designed for armed forces and police departments.

Look, guns are a tool and I begrudgingly concede the point that it is all about how one uses the gun. However, there are some guns that were made to put food on the table and protect. By protect I mean deter. While other guns were designed to kill people who were also firing back from behind concrete barriers and couches. The latter is what I am asking about. Do civilians truly need those guns? Professional level guns that have in turn required police departments to get even bigger guns among other scary equipment.

How many shootings have happened where the argument has been, if someone had had a gun lives could have been saved? Yeah, if specially trained racist eradicating deinonychuses had been there, lives would have been saved? If someone invented a time travelling robot to eradicate racist dickholes, lives would have been saved?

None of those things seem like they will ever happen. Especially the first one. How many shootings have happened? How many times has someone present at the shooting – who isn’t the shooter – had a gun? How many times have they saved lives and stopped the shooter? Having a gun doesn’t necessarily equal protection.

If gun is a tool and it doesn’t kill people, then it sure as hell can’t save lives either. People will not be safer, there will just be more civilians with more guns. Some may want to kill people, some may only want to kill people that try to kill them first – which is a line that shouldn’t be easily crossed. They may be trained and licensed, but how would they handle that situation? This isn’t shooting at a target or animal. This isn’t the movies. It won’t be like Die Hard or Red Dawn or whatever they think it will be like. It will be terrifying and there will be two people with guns and adrenaline pumping and it will be in a fucking crazy situation.

We are talking civilians doing things that soldiers and police officers have been trained to do. Some if not many of these specially trained people develop post traumatic stress syndrome. Yes, for many different reasons, but one is the situation of shooting and killing another human being. What if, in the heat of the moment, they shoot the wrong person? Is everyone ready to deal with that? While I am a big fan of living, I for one couldn’t. Judging by how many times a gunman has been met by gun toting citizens, I don’t believe I am the only one.

Every Time Someone Uses Google+, An Angel Gets Its Wings

Which is precisely why there are no angels in the world. It’s too bad, in all honesty I like Google+ and prefer it over facebook. There are not a lot of people on there though. Well, there are because Google shoved accounts down everyone’s throat, but seemingly no one uses it.

For those who haven’t waded into G+, it is facebook, twitter and instagram rolled into one. Nicely laid out, huge images. No need for apps that tie everything together and traipsing all your data across multiple platforms. Just one big robot overlord who welcomes you with open arms and remembers your password.

I can see why many don’t invest time in though. Recently, I read an article that had a zillion likes on facebook, a fraction of a zillion on twitter, and thirty-six on Google+. Part of me laughed while another felt sad. I realized that I hadn’t used G+ in quite awhile. I even quit sharing my blog posts on it as it seemed to be generating no traffic.

Anyone else have experiences to share? At the moment I feel inspired to re-tailor my Google+ and resurrect my traffic. After all, as the title suggests, Google+ is an angel making platform and there simply doesn’t seem to be enough angels in the world.

Snake Plissken Is My Spirit Animal: The Pantheon of Testicular Fortitude

Snake Plissken is my spirit animal and I let him down constantly. I come up with one liners fifteen minutes too late. I can’t get the same gravelly rumble in my throat, like words riding choppers on a highway paved in brimstone. I don’t smoke. I drive a Mazda. All my shirts have sleeves on them. I have binocular vision. Yet, through all the forsaking, Snake Plissken, and the rest of The Pantheon of Testicular Fortitude, is there for me.

I am sure many readers have heard of most of them. After all, members of the pantheon are icons in ass kicking and public relations. Here are a few of the registered members. The old guard: Manko, Conan, Dutch, Rambo. The Pantheon of Testicular Fortitude isn’t just a boys club: China O’Brien, Buffy, and newcomer Furiosa are there too. John McClean demonstrates how to practically apply the pantheon’s teachings. And “You’re Goddamn Right!” Bernardo O’Reilly is there, to teach us how to gracefully accept when the dusty trail of life is at an end.

Seemingly, no villain can best them in hand to hand, fully armed or vehicular combat. The lucky few scumbags who have landed a direct hit didn’t live long enough to live tweet about it. No matter how serious the wound, it is nothing members of the pantheon can’t patch up with a bottle of alcohol and a hot blade. Most of them just can’t die, which is why many in the pantheon smoke.

As for the pantheon’s name itself, testicular fortitude is a misnomer. It exists somewhere between concept and state of mind; not anywhere near anyone’s crotchular region. In fact, the smaller and more protected those things are the better. Especially when dealing with nut kicking ninjas. Honestly, if testicles were an AD&D character all their stats would be three except their hit points and armor class which would be one and twelve respectively. Physically, they offer no fortitude and are quite possibly the worst way to accessorize, ever.

At the end of the day, testicular fortitude lives inside us all, in our heads and in our hearts. Regardless of wedding tackle or how one identifies. How much of it there is varies from person to person. How much one decides to use is up to that person. Tactics and methods may also vary.

For fun: Re-read the third paragraph, but at the end of each sentence add, “except Bernardo O’Reilly.”

Steam Summer Sale 2015

It’s that other magical time of year again. Steam Summer Sale! Thirty year olds rejoice in cubicles and speak rapidly of all the flippant purchases like eighteenth century English children standing in the streets yapping about wooden toys and plum pudding on Christmas Day. ISP’s wonder what the hell is going on as bandwidth usage hits the ceiling. Dogs eagerly stand with leashes in mouths and legs crossed. Extracurricular activities drop to all time lows as gamers keep an eye on flash sales. Palms sweat as a game that you have heard of once drops to 99 cents.“It is only a dollar!” You say as you try to convince yourself with the same reasoning you bought the last sixty six games with.

Last summer sale I stopped at six games at the twenty three dollar mark. Not too bad if I do say so myself. Not to mention that I have wanted all but one of these games for years now and just never got around to buying them.

This time I have been able to keep the beast at bay, for now. I remember when the first twenty four hours are almost gone. I thought to myself, only two hundred and sixteen more to go. Now days have passed. I still haven’t succumbed, but I can feel my will weakening. One game couldn’t hurt.