Sunday, December 27, 2009

Anvils, revisited.

Here is the final version of the story I posted in "For My Next Trick, Anvils" post. Thanks to Sigboy for all the help!

"You sure you want to do this?" Keith asked me. I nodded, more to myself than to him.

"Don't see any other way, to be honest."

He sighed, like an older brother watching his brother do something he didn't think was the brightest idea in the world. Leaning on the hood of his pickup, he stretched his shoulders a bit. My only gun and only holster were already hanging off my hip, and I was leaning against my idling Civic. The women were inside with a few other trusted friends, getting things ready for what looked like a long, rough haul. All those little things we put away for a rainy day got dusted off and dragged out of safes and closets.

"You're going whether or not I come, aren't you?"


He stared at me another moment as I loaded three speedloaders of .357 and dumped them in my left pocket. I could damn near hear the scales creak in his mind as he weighed everything out.

"Suppose you want help, too."

"Wouldn't mind it, homes," I said with a shrug. I had already made up my mind. I was going.

"She want to be rescued?"

I answered with a shrug.

"She didn't exactly ask for help, per se..."

Another sigh. He stared at the hood a moment. I flashed a cocky grin. I already knew the answer, before he reached for his Sig, made sure he had a round chambered.

"Alright, let's go save the girl who isn't your girl."


The streets were choked with cars heading the other direction. We could see black pillars of smoke rising into the sky. The first day the power had been out, nothing happened. The second, day, nothing. Third day, all hell had broken loose. The big Smith dangled in my hand as we drove past people running, screaming. I saw a coupla people who looked like they were sleeping, but it hardly seemed that they were napping in the middle of a suburb being looted. It all flashed by as we broke speed limits heading against the traffic. I felt a lot better about riding to the rescue with his truck compared to my little Civic.

"Call her."

I nodded, dialed her number. My thumb shook a little, not from heading towards what was at best rioting and chaos. Her phone rung and rung, and I prayed my cell battery held out.


"Hey Jess, you alright? Still at home?"

"Yeah, I'm scared. They're lighting fires-"

"I'll be there in twenty, pack your bags."

"Alright, how-"

"Cell's going, I'll see you in twenty, Jess."

I hung up on her. I needed the battery to last as long as it could. I looked at Keith, but he was unreadable behind his Oakleys. I looked down at the 870 between my legs, holstered up the .357.

"What do you think, man?"

"This is dumb. Your girlfriend would kill us if she had any idea what you were doing."

"So? Never stopped us before."

"Yeah, I got the door, don't worry about it."

He lapsed into a stern silence. He didn't like coming along for this adventure- I could understand that. A wife and kids makes a man rethink that nonsense. But I was young enough to believe in it yet. He flipped on a CD, and I heard the beats pound. I grinned, thumbed shells into the shotgun- his competition gun, on loan just in case things went bad. Fat red three-inchers, all 0000. I heard the lyrics, smiled. He didn't. Nope, he was pumping himself up, drawing out that bit of him that wanted to murder rapists. That wanted mayhem. That wanted to be the righteous, gauntleted fist of justice.

"Forged in the fire lit long ago, stand next to me, you'll never stand alone!
I'm last to leave, but the first to go
Lord, make me dead before you make me old!
I feed on the fear from the devil inside..."

Oh, I was definitely nerved up. I could feel my heart beating faster, that seductive strength that adrenaline gives you. Keith's loaner shotty was appreciated, I'll give him that. But the song was worth of a dozen of them. I felt my heart beat faster, head nodding to the lyrics.

"Right at the lights," I said, seeing a familiar intersection.

"Not that we have much choice. Look about two blocks down."

I squinted, trying to see past the bumper to bumper cars. Just barely above the roof of a Windstar I saw the first lick of flame rising, then a puff of oily black smoke. A Third World roadblock. Great. He made the turn, dodging a stalled Prius. The windows were broke.

We pulled up in the parking lot of Jess's building. It was one of those apartments above a set of stores, overlooking the street. There were actually five or six apartments in the building, none of them particularly nice but particularly affordable to young folk who didn't mind the odd shady customer, the odd loud noise in the dead of night. Semi-gentrified, she called it. Better than the barrio, worse than your average place. There were only a couple of other cars in the lot, all smashed except two. The door was closed, didn't look to be damaged. We both scanned the lot as we picked a spot close to the door. He turned off the engine, took a deep breath.

"Destiny has brought us together, I wonder where fate will lead us?" Keith finally said, after a pause.

"Way to gay up some thrilling heroics, yo," I responded, my voice a little choked. We bumped fists, coming out of the car on the bounce. I scanned the area behind the strip, Keith the area we came from.

"Hey," he said, still watching his zone with his gun at the low ready, "get the kit out of the bed."

I dropped the gate, saw what he meant. There was an AR and two H-harnesses. I dragged it close to us, tapped him on the shoulder.

"Nice," I said as he turned away from the street, "Expecting a small war?"

He turned around, grabbed the rifle and the webbing with the mag pouches, slinging it on with practiced ease as I stood watch. Then, he charged the bolt, and let me struggle into my rig. Well, his rig. I had worn it shooting a couple of times, felt the weight settle onto my hips.

"Alright," he said, "Let's do this."

We took up positions on either side of the door, backs to the wall. It didn't seem like anyone was paying attention to us, which was nice. I took a deep breath as soon as he put his hand on the knob, looking at me for the cue for him to open it. I nodded, and he heaved it open. It was dark in there, with the power out. The only light came from a window up two flights of stairs, filtering down an off yellow dimness we could just barely see by. As soon as we burst in, I hear a door next to us slam shut. Keith flicked his muzzle towards it, but we heard the bolt slam home before he got there. We heard something else, too.

“Open up, bitch!” someone called mockingly from above. We started up the stairs quietly, listening. I flinched when I heard the first thump of impact, flesh on wood. Muffled female voice.

“We're gonna get in sometime, Jess!”

And after that, I don't remember much of what happened. Looking back in the car, I broke into a run. I came up, and saw two guys, big tattooed white guys with an axe and a baseball bat. The axe was up to the eye in Jess's door, the bearded idiot grinning with malicious glee. It was simple, just like the drills. I lined them up over the bright green front sight, and squeezed the trigger mechanically. One, rack, two, rack, three, rack, four, rack, scan. There was a ringing sound, and I heard Keith shout behind me.

“Room clear!”

Numbly, I got into position on the far side of Jess's door.

“Jess, it's Des!”



I heard the clink of the chain, a little dragging noise, and then the deadbolt. The door opened a crack, and there she was. Long purple hair pulled back into a ponytail, pale skin stained with smeared mascara. Brown eyes, tears, beauty silhouetted between the door and the axe handle. Keith glanced at her, then at me. A smile ghosted across his face, and he turned to cover the hall. I smiled at her, and she opened the door some more. I walked in, shaking a little. I had never been in her new apartment- it was all thick paint, small pictures, bright and cheery. I smiled at her awkwardly, stepping carefully in blood-spattered boots.

I scanned the apartment, saw a tuft of black hair on the other side. The shotgun came up again, and Jess yelped.

“Hands on your head! Come out where I can see you!”

A raggedy man...boy...thing emerged from the kitchen, black bangs obscuring half his face. He trembled as he stood where he was, hands in the air.

“Des! That's Aaron!” she said to me, like I should know who he is. I imagine I looked pretty weird- a high school friend in a Team Realtree hat, World of Warcraft t-shirt, cargos and H-rig holding her boyfriend or whatever at gunpoint and rapidly turning red to boot. I lowered the shotgun, tried to look busy pulling shells from the rig and topping up the tube. I didn't look up.

“Keith's outside, ready to go. Got your stuff, Jess?”

“But Aaron...”

“He can come with.”


“But we need to get moving.”

She sighed, rolled her eyes, went around back. I saw her cross my line of sight, and looked up. Aaron was leaning on her counter, looking at the floor.

“I don't have much...”

“Shut up.”

I walked over and halfheartedly covered the door for a few minutes while Jess grabbed her bag.

“Ready,” she announced, clearly a little unhappy with the situation. I looked back over my shoulder at her. She had an old knapsack over one shoulder, tight jeans and a baggy Misfits shirt on. Hardly what you're call practical, but I gave her half a smile anyways. Aaron stood off to the side, head down and hands jammed in pockets.

“Three comin' down.”

“Gotcha, come on down.”

It was just like drills, like I said. I didn't look down, just stepped over the bodies, covered the hall. Aaron apparently turned pale and ran down the stairs, while Jess retched. Not just retched, threw up violently at the sight of the two men who had probably wanted to rob and rape her. Buckshot does nasty stuff to a man, yeah. But it wasn't anything they didn't deserve. She still didn't need to see it.

“C'mon, keep moving!” Keith called from the bottom of the stairs, never taking his eyes off of his irons. I didn't even have to look. Me and Keith go way back, seen a lot of combat classes and competitive shooting together. Hell, you might as well say he's the one who got me into three-gun. I pulled back down the stairs in good order, looked at him briefly.

“Alright, let's go home.”

“You're gonna have a hell of a time 'splaining this one, man. I mean, I can see why you did it, she's gorgeous...”

“Don't I know it. Take Jess in the cab, I'm play trunk monkey with Captain Douchebag there.”

He nodded, and I covered the street as he walked back over to his truck, swung into the driver's seat and opened the door for her.

“ Brooks and Dunn?” I heard him rumble as I slung myself into the bed. I sat there a moment, fishing around before finding what I was looking for. The Wiley X sunglasses slid on easily. I turned to see Aaron just standing there, hands in pockets, not moving.

“Comin' or not?” I barked, with probably a little too much anger.

“Is that safe?”

“Hey, if you want to take your chances explaining those two bodies to the cops, or better yet, their hombres, be my guest.”

His eyes widened, and he scrambled inside, sitting close to the cab. I laid the shotgun across my lap, muzzle to the aft. I slapped the side of the truck twice, and wondered what in the hell I had been thinking riding the rescue of a girl who didn't see me as more than a passing acquaintance. I kept my eyes on the road behind us the rest of the way home, and tried not to think about it, or the girl in the cab.

It had worked a coupla years before, but like Georgia...she had always been on my mind. And I couldn't just leave her there, could I?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, or 'Why won't the bleeding stop?'

So, Merry Christmas. I'm taking the opportunity before I head over to the woman's to post this.

It was a Merry Christmas here at the Deschain household. Much beer was drunk. We watched The Hangover as a family (a very poor idea, may I note). I got some decent swag- new clothes, so good Scotch, a new water bottle, Battlestar Galactica: The Plan, and the real king here, a safety razor plus all accessories.

Now, normally I rock the hobo-student beard to fit in better amongst the unwashed masses at school. It's kind of a moot thing, really- the cargos and shined boots tend to give me away as a practical-minded evildoer. So, now that I have a proper razor, I think I'll rock the smooth face now.

Well, if I stop bleeding in the next twenty minutes. Otherwise, it might be a trip to Slab City for me.

The safety razor is an interesting little piece of history. Your father probably had one. Well, no. Probably your grandfather- they were first widely produced for World War One. They're the first innovation in shaving after the straight razor, so 'safety' is really a comparative term- they're considered much safer than using a monstrously sharp open blade and hoping the wife doesn't nudge you or something. That said, these blades hearken back to an age where shaving was still a proper art form, where a shave was expected to take a full five minutes and last you all day. You get a savagely close shave with them that lasts all day, which is more than I can say about the 3 o'clock shadow you get from disposables. It's one of those quaint old pieces of technology that I actually like to use.

Of course, I also managed to shave off some razor bumps, so I'm bleeding an awful lot. Might need more practice.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ivory Towers

Over the last coupla years, I've had a real hate-on for educational institutions. I went to university for a year before I realized I was paying tens of thousands of dollars for something with no real application whatsoever. The professors all (and even in college, too) had a sense of elitism around them. Questions were sneered down at. Dare question what you're being taught, and expect to lose a significant number of marks (again, this has been my personal experience this year). I've always hated dealing with academic institutions, not only for their snobbery and the reasons above, but because they think they're doing you a favour by taking your money to subject you to these people.

In what is now my fourth year of post-secondary education (I have a two-year Law and Security Administration diploma, thank God), I have seen but one professor who inspired me to learn, to apply my critical thinking skills. Dr. Micheal Persinger actually made school...enjoyable. I looked forward to his classes, instead of looking forward with a grim and sardonic attitude like I do now.

With all these experiences, I've had a chip on my shoulder against the whole university community, especially the social sciences- sociology, specifically. They tell us how to live, how to act, with no real experience in the community as a whole, lording over young men and women in high-stress situations. But I listened to the video above, and I thought about it. The real academics- scientists like Sagan- have a childlike wonder about them. They seek knowledge, not dispense it grudgingly. Yeah, see what I did there? I plugged what I'm saying into the video. Anyways, I was sitting there one morning listening to this song, and it struck me: sometimes, segregation of scientists like this from the rest of society is necessary. If Sagan was around today, I honestly think he'd be hitting the bottle, hard, knowing how society is running. He may have been outspoken about about nuclear war, but you know it took a toll on him.

Persinger was a brilliant professor, and here is one of his lectures. He is the best of what modern academic life can produce. And just think- in twenty years, the kids of today will be teaching the kids of tomorrow. That's gonna turn out GREAT.

Dr. Persinger's Psychotropic Drug Lecture


Friday, December 11, 2009

Penny Arcade, a Capitalist Love Story

Penny Arcade, for those unfamiliar, is a webcomic. It's more than a webcomic, though. It's a franchise, almost. They get commissioned for their art, mostly for big-name games. They have a convention and trade show (PAX), merch, an office and twelve workers.

But they came from nothing. They were just two assholes, sharing a room and working shitty minimum wage jobs who put up comics three times a week to comment on the games they played. Eventually, they got noticed for being smart and artistically talented. The writing was awesome. People started to advertise, and they went from being bums, to being able to sustain themselves, their families, twelve employees, and a yearly convention mostly on ad revenue. If that isn't a triumph of a free market...

I mean, these guys took raw talent, marketed it, used it to create something huge. No government assistance that I know of. No help. Just opportunity. They took opportunity and passion for games, and turned it into fat stacks. They took nothing but that. It's inspiring. I mean, if they can do it, I can.



Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A random video, since I'm too tired to think.

I believe this to be an accurate representation of the youth of today.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Potential and Purpose

"I see all this potential, and I see it squandered. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables — slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won't. We're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off." -Fight Club

I've been thinking tonight. It happens that I get reflective when I'm down and a little depressed. I had a rough day, with not near enough sleep, and a teacher determined to screw me.

I was thinking about dropping out, and I asked myself, "Why?"

Why drop out? Well, why go to school in the first place? I wanted to help people. Maybe it's sort of atonement for being a lousy human being. Maybe I can't stand to see folk suffer. Whatever. Throughout the course, all I've learned is tolerance for corporate BS and a toe-the-line attitude. Seriously, you wonder why kids are messed up? I'll tell you why. They got nothing to look forwards to. They go from the hell of high school to the self-inflicted hell of university. What do they get out of it? Not purpose. You walk out of university after grinding out thesis's and studying away the best years of your life, and you have a piece of paper that lands you a job with a tie and a collar and before you know it, you're not a human being, you're a consumer. You're a cog in a useless machine.

Now, I like capitalism. I like the free market. But when all you have to look forwards to is an endless sea of cubicles for thirty years and the kids you spoiled so they wouldn't have to suffer like you did cramming you and your wife into a cut-rate home...well, that affects you. No wonder living fast and dying young has such appeal to kids. At least then, if you're chasing the dollar, you're getting out of the cubicle.

Used to be, folks had pride. Folks had purpose. You talked to them, and the cop said "I keep the folks safe from criminals." The machinist spotted a Studabaker rattling down Main Street, he said "Hey, I built the axles on that!" The farmer smiled and said "You like that corn? I done grew it."

Now, it's all numbers and paper. It's "I'm a techie. I listen to people bitch all day and try not to go crazy." It's "I'm in marketing. I determine whether or not we use teal or cornflower blue on the brand spot."

I realized today that emergency management is solid bullshit. You try to pimp preparedness to an apathetic populace, plan for events that may or may not happen using a pretty standard template. As an actual Emergency Manager in Canada, you herd the idiots in the EOC, not actually go out and do something CONCRETE. You can't tell me that we do. No, we sit with the mayor and try to keep him from doing something dumb. And that's a real punt in the stones. But I'm sticking with the program, because cutting and running is just cowardly.

I can see why kids these days are messed up. They have just as much potential as the kids of the Greatest Generation, of the kids that took Suvorov from Moscow to Italy. They know it. And they know it's going to be squandered in brushfire wars, in cubicles, in endless red tape and fighting the endlessly entropy and hollowness that a solely consuming life gets you. They want to keep their kids from suffering as I said, make their kid's childhoods as awesome as possible. But guess what? When little Timmy wakes up one day in his teens and realizes that he's not going to make a difference and here's going to end up like his dad, slaving away joylessly- and he's suffering to do it- something'll snap. I've seen it enough times. In high school, I knew kids with ulcers from the stress and work to get into a decent university. Kids who after one year of working their asses off for something they realized they didn't want, had mental breaks.

I don't want to end up like them, or my younger brother. He drinks heavily, works at as a fry cook. No prospects. No desire to look. Life is at its best with a joint and an Old Mill and some delinquent buddies for him. It's all depressing to watch. From all this ranting, I can draw this:

Dark times are coming, friends- and they're coming on horseback.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Caledonia: Kobyashi Maru for the Government

Alright, so I know a lot of you don't follow Canadian...well, anything. But this is somewhat big news, and it's gotten a lot of people shaken out of their whacked out ideas about policing, like 'they have an obligation to save us' and 'the police are always effective'. Not to knock the cops...but yeah. Epic fail.

"Set some 400 metres behind a now-open barricade of downed hydro towers --in an area described as a "lawless oasis" and where the Ontario Provincial Police warn even now they cannot respond, even for 911 calls -- the two-storey house is the nerve centre for the protesters who brought the development to a standstill, neighbouring homeowners to tears and a police force to its knees."

Read more:

It's pretty lame. Essentially, law only applied to the townsfolks. Here's what happened:

In 1992, a construction firm buys a bunch of land from the government. The natives whine, sue, wheedle to get it back for the first time in 160 years, right? Even though the crown has a document saying "Hey, we 37 chiefs of the Six Nations agree that these lands are going to be sold to the government, under the assumption that money from their sale will be re-invested by the government for the people of the reserve." So, in 2006 when this company goes to develop the land, the natives from the reserve go and have a sit in protest. So, Henco (the developer) goes to the local government and goes "wtf?" A judge says GTFO to the natives, issuing a temporary order, which they burn. They burn it twice more before the judge says "WTF a'ight, that temporary order to GTFO just became permanent, and now you all have a contempt of court charge."

So, a couple of weeks later, the police show up and clear off the site. 21 arrests are made, but not before one of the natives squawks into a cell. Later, a couple hundred natives armed with bats, axes, and hockey sticks (welcome to Canada) show up, drive off the cops, set a couple of fires, and set up a Third World roadblock. Now, I don't know about you, but this is not the proper reaction to lawful orders. They then proceed to crash a truck into and burn a hydro transformer, damages over one million dollars. The fire captain shows up, looks at the Ontario Provincial Police just sitting on their hands and not even trying to stop this madness, and rolls his trucks the other way. He puts in a statement that the OPP was unwilling and unable to protect his firefighters from the protesters.

So, after a couple of days, some lawyers show up at the OPP offices with the documents proving the sale, plus a statement of the following:

"Please discharge your duty under Section 42 of The Police Services Act and the provisions of your Agreement with Haldimand County which requires you to provide adequate and effective police services in accordance with the needs of the municipality which you are not, and have not, been doing. Specifically, you are not enforcing or discharging your duties to prevent crimes and other offences. You are not enforcing the provisions of The Trespass to Property Act and The Criminal Code of Canada and, in particular, you are not enforcing a valid court order of the Superior Court of Justice."

That was three years ago. There's still no response, to my knowledge. Things got worse and worse- residents of the town started their own blockade, which they then took down. The natives blocked access to emergency vehicles, resulting in people hurt on the nearby highway to take a long-ass and potentially life-threatening detour. There were a lot of scuffles, and the natives burnt down another two transformers, and caused another two million dollars in damage while the OPP just sort of sat, stared, and oppressed the residents of Caledonia. Basically, since then, the natives have done what they want, intimidated people, caused massive economic hardship, assaulted people, etc. Residents say that the natives are armed, and I believe them.

So, we have a massive ongoing issue that was brought to light (well, the depth of all this) by a couple on the border of the 'restricted area'. Yeah, the protesters restricted an area. These people have been harassed, intimidated, threatened, assaulted, etc. for three years, and they finally started a lawsuit against the Ontario Provincial Police over it. Here's another awesome quote:

"Not far from him he saw men unloading long, rectangular wooden crates -- about four feet long and a foot wide and a foot deep with rope handles -- from a white Jeep and placing them inside two tents set up in the trees, he testified.

The boxes had "funky wording," as he said it, painted on the outside, like Cyrillic letters used in Russia and some other Eastern European countries. The crates were marked in a similar way as the wood he saw in the lumber yard where he worked whenever they received a shipment of "Baltic Birch" from Russia.

He reported what he saw to senior Ontario Provincial Police officers, he testified: "They said it is possible it could be AK-47s."

Read more:

Honestly, I couldn't think of anything they could be but rifles. So, essentially what we had here was armed lawlessness, and the police did nothing. I brought this up in class, and a couple of people looked stumped. They couldn't understand why the police weren't helping the residents. One accused me of making it all up. I shrugged- this just worsened my opinion of 'police services'. If they're not policing, and they're not providing a service, what are they doing? I mean, they're not obligated to pull my ass out of the fire, but not being obligated to uphold the law? What the hell?

Anyways, I'm following this lawsuit like a hawk. There's two ways this ends:

1. The government pays these people off, starting a tidal wave of lawsuits and class-actions against the OPP, the Fed, and Indian Affairs.

2. The government says "The police have no obligation to do anything" and we have our foot in the door for Concealed Carry legislation.

Either way, the government loses. Right now, all they're doing is stalling and wringing their hands. Either they're failures, or they failed horribly.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

For my next trick, anvils.

Alright, so I've been writing, yeh? And I wanted to run the first bit by everyone. Tell me what you think, I'd appreciate it.


"You sure you want to do this?" Keith asked me. I nodded, more to myself than to him.

"Don't see any other way, to be honest."

He sighed, like an older brother watching his brother do something he didn't think was the brightest idea in the world. Leaning on the hood of his pickup, he stretched his shoulders a bit. My only gun and only holster were already hanging off my hip, and I was leaning against my idling Civic. The women were inside with a few other trusted friends, getting things ready for what looked like a long, rough haul. All those little things we put away for a rainy day got dusted off and dragged out of safes and closets.

"You're going whether or not I come, aren't you?"


He stared at me another moment as I loaded three speedloaders of .357 and dumped them in my left pocket. I could damn near hear the scales creak in his mind as he weighed everything out.

"Suppose you want help, too."

"Wouldn't mind it, homes," I said with a shrug. I had already made up my mind. I was going.

"She want to be rescued?"

I answered with a shrug.

"She didn't exactly ask for help, per se..."

Another sigh. He stared at the hood a moment. I flashed a cocky grin. I already knew the answer, before he reached for his Sig, made sure he had a round chambered.

"Alright, let's go save the girl who isn't your girl."


There's more written, I'm just fiddling with it some. Not done, but a good start, eh?


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Night

I don't know why it is, but since I've been about seventeen, my body just clicks into high gear around 2200. Every night, I get a burst of energy around then. After that, my energy dips till 0200. That's MY hour. That's primo writing time for me, when I'm writing fiction. It's when I'm on the bounce, mentally and physically. I have no idea why that is. I'm superstitious as hell, like I said. Maybe it's one of those leftover instincts. Maybe it's one of those weird genes that you can't hardly help, like the one that tells you "Fat. Sugar. Good."

There's nothing wrong with being a night hawk. It's personal preference, I guess. When I was in college, I worked a lot of 1800-0600 shifts as a security guard. Gave me lots of time to think. And, honestly, what's the difference between a home invader and the Beings in the Dark? Both are out to spill your blood. Both are vicious, violent, and no matter what the police and the media tells you, they exist. I saw weird shit that I can't explain, but I saw a whole lot more human depravity than heard the bumps in the night. I saw the results of the combination of schizophrenia and substance abuse. I had a Vanguard (think Stormfront or Heritage Society) member try to recruit me. Yeah, I've seen what the night brings out in people. I think Jim Butcher said it best:

"There’s power in the night. There’s terror in the darkness. Despite all our accumulated history, learning, and experience, we remember. We remember times when we were too small to reach the light switch on the wall, and when the darkness itself was enough to make us cry out in fear. Get a good ways out from civilization-say, miles and miles away on a lightless lake-and the darkness is there, waiting. Twilight means more than just time to call the children in from playing outside. Fading light means more than just the end of another day. Night is when terrible things emerge from their sleep and seek soft flesh and hot blood. Night is when unseen beings with no regard for what our people have built and no place in what we have deemed the natural order look in at our world from outside, and think dark and alien thoughts. And sometimes, just sometimes, they do things. "- Jim Butcher, Turn Coat

And I don't think he's talking about just ghosts and vampires. So, do me a favour tonight, everyone. Give Mr. Shotty an extra pat before bed, make sure he's ready. I know my kukri gets a little extra pat before I rack out for the night, just on account of not being able to imagine any of those things that go 'bump' that don't fear cold, hand-forged steel.


Monday, November 23, 2009

You can't hardly change a man.

A List!

And I'm a gamer. Before soldiering, before wanting to help people, hell before I was even a soon-to-be-reformed liberal, I was a gamer. And, like a Jayne hat, I proudly flaunt my colours.

And like Wash says, "A man walks down the street with a hat like that, you know he's not afraid of anything!"

Ladies and gentlemen, lemme tell you something: I walk to class every week wearing my Horde T-shirt or shrunken, malformed Rogues Do It From Behind hoodie. Come what may, I will be a gamer till they put me in the ground.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Great and Terrible Mojo Goddess

When I got out of the army, I worked for my uncle. Now, my uncle, aside from being extremely sketchy was a hard worker and strange man. He taught me how to mix and lay concrete, and drive a tractor. When we were working on contract, he told me of the superstition. Essentially, he believed that the Mojo Goddess was a watchful being, a saint of the workers. The Mojo Goddess was a deity that provided drive and initiative, and was not a terrible fan of overworking.

We regularly worked 14 hour days on contract, laying pneumatic tube three stories up. We ended up delirious from the exertion and lack of sleep. The Mojo was not with us, he said. There were two remedies to this situation:

1. Take a day off to rest, like cowards or possibly communists.

2. Make an offering to the Goddess.

Offerings varied from expensive rum (working hung over and three stories up was not particularly pleasant) to steak dinners and microbrewed beer. The Goddess, she is a being of excess. She sees you treat yourself well, or better yet, opulently, and she will reward you with renewed morale, vigor and energy.

Well, that's what he said. The theory was sound, even if the theology wasn't. Sleeping like the dead from the liquor, or the massive protein dump had something to do with it, I'm sure. The superstition works, all told, beyond what you would think. I've used offerings to the Mojo Goddess to kick the Muse awake from time to time, or to burn through school work. It's sort of a weird, family superstition I felt like sharing.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Feeling Naked

I've been feeling that way awhile now. It's more than not being able to carry, or not owning a gun. I've been aware and uncomfortable for awhile with the fact I can't carry. I shouldn't even carry a pocketknife, it's 'inadvisable'. But I put myself in Brigid's shoes this morning.

I have no hound.

I have no guns.

I have no recourse under the law.

If someone kicked in my door for some reason, I'm well and truly fucked. I an either leave myself, my mom, my sister and my dad to the devices of said home invader, or I can try to fight him, or I can try to get my hands on some sort of weapon. Should I fight bare handed, odds are I'll lose, especially if there's more than one of them. I can go for a weapon, come back and try to fight. I win, and when the law gets there, I go to jail. Period. While I may be found innocent of any wrongdoing, that means my college goes down the tubes while I sit in jail. A lot of things go down the tubes while I rot in prison for defending myself.

Awhile back there was a case where everything was illegal. A man in my hometown illegally stored a firearm, and when the police served an illegal warrant, dressed in civvies and NOT announcing themselves as police, he shot one to death and they shot his wife. A sad case all around, doubly so because the man may or may not have been a drug dealer. I'm not entirely sure. Depending on what source you read, he had unregistered/prohibited firearms, a key of coke, and 17 cell phones- mix and match what you will. Some sources say there was only a tiny amount of drugs recovered, etc. Whatever. Cock ups all around. But this man got off all of his charges. There may be hope that should I act in self defense, I won't end up in federal prison. Well, maybe. It's a different province.

Well, except for that kid from Waterloo (or Kitchener), who defended his younger brother from home invaders, is on trial for murder 2, and I can't find a thing about anymore. I hope he got off. The police here are zealously anti-gun.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Weighing In on the Registry, and Toronto's Gun Problems

Alright, I'm gonna do a lengthy post on the registry, so people can understand the situation here. Personally, if this goes through, it'll be a major victory for gun owners, but the instant the Liberals get back into power, they'll try to put it back it. Hell, last election, they ran on the platform that they would ban private handgun ownership. So, we have to be on the bounce to keep them from doing that should they return to power.

Alright, here's how it works in Toronto, which affects the rest of Canada:

1. Canada has pretty uniformly low violent crime rates, as well as ND death rates. Most gun deaths are suicides.

2. The main source of gun control legislation is the braying sheep packed into places like Toronto who want to bubble wrap every corner in the country. Toronto especially has had large outbreaks of gun crime, which meant that whining for gun control (instead of, say, more effective policing, social programs, better hospitals, etc) became an occupation for the mothers of the ghetto slime shooting one another.

I'll be the first to admit that the wrong people die in some of these shootouts. But the public seems to be of the opinion that only 'good kids' get shot in what are clearly targeted killings. Three guys hop out of a parked SUV with Glocks, walk up to a guy, and shoot him to death? That's called 'staking out your prey' not 'random attack'. Bangers have little interest in shooting someone for teh lulz. Nope, they have things to do, dope to sling, small businesses to 'protect'. Again, one of the more shocking scenes of gunplay happened in Toronto on Boxing Day in 2005. So, the streets were packed, and there's a Foot Locker on the main strip known for being shady, right? Well, two mobs of gangstas were loitering in front of it, and they started shooting at one another. 15 year old Jane Creba bought the farm that day, and a bunch of others were wounded including an off duty cop. As a side note, cops aren't allowed to carry off duty here. It's about the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

3. One of the main reasons why gunplay is causing problems in Toronto especially is suffering from gun crime (even though our worst year for murders was a shocking 82 in a city of 2.5 million) is the Club District. Let me break this down: you have an area that's just clubs, that draws in people from as far as Niagara every weekend. This club district results in a huge demand for drugs from the young people going clubbing. This results in large profits for dealers, which results in gunplay as they 'compete'.

4. Ridiculous gun control in the city of Toronto has not slowed the flow of guns into the city, just made it much for lucrative for black market elements.

5. Having little or no protection under law, and no access to firearms with which to defend themselves, people go a little crazy. I can understand that. There's a coupla clips from The Real Toronto, where bangers basically intimidate a person who tried to help their community so badly he barricaded his door.

This is an example of what the justice system does. Multiple felony counts, and this guy is still walking around. I don't feel sorry for him. He made the choices, why should we live with them?

Finally, you have the competing need for safety, with the need to making everything 'alright'. Sympathy for the bad guy and stuff. Like you saw in the video, they make him out to be a kid in rough circumstances, for whom everything isn't his fault. So what's a sheeple to do? He can't imprison poor little Chuckie because he's a violent felon, that's not his fault! I know, gun control, because Chuckie will listen to that, even though his charges are all for prohibited weapons that are banned for sale to the public and entirely unavailable unless smuggled in via the black market!

Finally, there are apologists. People who are so out of touch with reality that they think that hall monitors will stop shootings and rapes in high school ( )and that criminals will actually listen to laws. There was a recent vote by the community of the Jane Finch area (the armpit of Toronto) to actually kick police out of problem schools in the area. Want to hear something astounding?

Apparently, being asked questions by cops is 'harassment'. And patrols in schools where multiple gang rapes occur is 'oppression'. I'm starting to think that collaborators is a better term than apologists.

Now, why the registry got put in in the first place: take all of the above. This has been an ongoing situation. Now, put a dozen voting districts into a city like Toronto. Put another dozen in the burbs who will follow the rest of the city. Put one or two out anywhere else that doesn't have these problems, where hunting is still acceptable or gun ownership is a non-issue.

The final reason for the registry is, in my mind, the concept that Canadians have segregated protection of person and property as something that is the police's responsibility. It's a psychological issue. Their expectation is that they will be safe, and should that change, it's the police's problem. Therefore, if the police say a registry will save them, they'll vote for it.

Me? I hate them damn thing, but it's a nice start. It was a billion dollar bureaucratic mistakes, riddled with error and incompetence that didn't solve a single crime. Once it's dealt with, we have bigger fish to fry- magazine caps, having to sign for ammunition, and various other arbitrary and ineffective laws.


Monday, November 9, 2009


I used to love to write. I mean, I still do...I just don't write much anymore. I was always told I wasn't bad at it. Something that needed more practice, but that could be turned into something. But for me, it was always a lightning bolt in the dark- a huge blast of inspiration that burnt out quickly with impressive results. I haven't gotten one of those in awhile.

But you know what? Dragon Age has sufficiently good storytelling that it makes me want to do it again.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My opinion begins are 'displeased'

A lot of people know I'm a gamer. Not just a gamer, a game connoisseur. I don't buy games often, but I tend to buy the very best. My personal fetishes seems to trend towards games with moral choices and RPG elements.

First, a bit of backstory. Since highschool I've been a fanatic for a certain game company: Bioware. They ensnared me with the original Baldur's Gate, and from then on if they made a game, I purchased it or at least played it through. Have I been disappointed? Not really. Bioware makes the best role-playing games, period. Even if I hate Star Wars, I played Knights of the Old Republic. Know why? The games they make aren't for kids. They have romantic subplots, dark and realistic elements. Mature ideas, to be honest. You will be forced to 'shake hands with the Devil', even as a scrupulously good character. You will be faced with bureaucratic failures, good decisions that cost lives. Most of the characters in every game will be scrupulously realistic- down to political opinions, personal objectives (you aren't the hypercharismatic leader- these people follow you because doing so gets THEIR job done).

So, naturally when I saw that Bioware was putting out a new RPG in the same style as Baldur's Gate and it's sequel (which ate up hundreds of hours of my life which I can see now would not have been better spent), I jumped at the opportunity and pre-ordered Dragon Age Online, the Collector's Edition. I got all the DLC and stuff, I got the soundtrack, and the best part, I got it on the cheap because I ordered through a game system I trusted. I got the collector's edition for the price of the regular box edition because I got it via direct download through Impulse.

Now, the last game that Bioware put out was under the EA umbrella. EA is the villain of the game world. Worst of every world- rushed games, destroying venerable franchises through mismanagement, and horrible tech support. They make some lousy games, work their employees damn near to death (100 hours a week, apparently), and otherwise act in ways you would expect from Sierra Leone and not a game company. So, when I bought said game (Mass Effect, a fantastic game...once I got it to run), I was a little leery. Then it didn't work for six months. Then it worked, I played it, and I was happy. The game itself was brilliant. But the tech support was abysmal. All I ended up needing was a patch from Nvidia.

Back to the present- I bought Dragon Age awhile back, and yesterday I spent a nervous four hours getting it downloaded and installed. First thing I did was put my codes into my Bioware account. After that, I registered my game with Impulse so I could get DECENT tech support, and then I started it up. It asked me to register again...and then said my code had been used already. Now, I didn't use it yet with the main EA registry. If it was in there, it should have been under the same email address as my Bioware account...since EA owns Bioware. And there's more than 11 pages of complaints of a similar nature in the Bioware forums.

WTF. I pay 50$ for a game and it's screwed already?


Monday, November 2, 2009

So I was thinking...

So, I ended up seeing Paranormal Activity last night. Scared the ever-loving shit out of me at the end. 75% of the movie barely rates as 'creepy'. The last half hour, though, pretty creepy. I don't know why it got to me. Maybe it's one of those primal, hardwired fears- fear of something that has your number, that you can't fight, that you can't outrun. One of those pieces of flotsam that stuck with me through the years was a piece of narration from a not-scary book called Idlewild. To paraphrase Nick Sagan, the three most universal fears break down as follows:

1. The Beast Like Us: Vampires were never scary just because they drank our blood. Vampires were scary (y'know, before they became angsty teens) because they were a predator that looked like us, acted like us, that we could understand. They violated ancient taboos regarding sex, cannibalism, etc. Though they were like us, they weren't. Anyone could be one. Your sister, your brother, your uncle, your cousin- any of them could be turned into a vampire and you wouldn't know until it was too late. They were wolves in sheep's clothing that didn't prey on the weak.

2. The Beast Inside of Us: Werewolves, on the other hand, are the epitome of loss of control. It's not your fault you ended up as one, and you can't control it. You can't fight it. There's something terminally wrong with you, that if anyone ever found out, would kill you for. Werewolves are animals in the most basic sense, the kind of animal we stopped being when we started using tools and hiding in caves. It's a primal fear- regression, loss of control. The idea that you could be a monster yourself, and not be able to do a thing about it.

3. The Beast In the Dark: As soon as man had fire, he had somewhere to hide, somewhere that was safe. If you lived anytime before about 1500, if your home fires burned out it was considered a serious emergency. The home fires kept back the dark, and by extension, all the predators you couldn't see. Night was something to be feared. You never knew what could be lurking out of sight. Part of this is hardwired into our sense of hearing, too. That 'bump in the night' meant a lot more in prehistory than it does now- anything from sabertoothed tigers to other men with ill intent could be out there. We've stopped believing in monsters, and maybe that's a bit naive- there's still plenty out there, even if they wear a human face.

The book then posits that Lovecraft came along and broke the mold. Instead of something you could understand, the protagonists faced unknowable horrors that had no reason to destroy them. But that skips over the old ghost story. Ghost stories are, like the above, more or less universal in every culture and every corner of the earth. Unseeable, unknowable demons that have nothing but malice for the living. I guess Paranormal Activity falls partially into the last category. It takes place mostly at night, where befuddled protagonists try to fight off an invisible enemy. The more they try to fight it, the more it fights back.

Fear doesn't have to be rational. In fact, fear is largely irrational. And I mean Fear, capital eff. Not 'I'm afraid of failure' or 'I'm afraid of commitment'. I mean that feeling of icy water in your guts, the feeling of your body struggling to make up its mind as adrenaline dumps into your blood and your hackles go straight up. And like my previous post said, there's more than splatter to that. A good horror movie should trip those instinctive, baseline fears leftover from when our ancestors still huddled in caves and struggled with the concept of tools. That's real fear, good fear. Natural fear.


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Horror and Terror

Lately, I haven't been going to theaters much because the budget's thin. But when I have gone, I've noticed something: We no longer have scary movies. We have splatter flicks.

Y'know what? It's really depressing when in a lot of cases the primary motivation of a movie is to show the deliberate infliction of pain on people. Stuff like Saw, Hostel, and Touristas comes immediately to mind. Are we so twisted that watching teens be tortured, literally- digits cut off, drills driven through cheekbones, nothing but the deliberate and malicious infliction of pain- is now entertainment?

I mean, it explains why the kids aren't right these days. Let me break it down: if it is made, they can find it. If they can find it, they can obtain it. And you'd better believe that as soon as they're 12, they're better than you with technology, so they can hide it, and they can hide the evidence. I know that's exactly how I was. They were going to get into porn, you can't stop that. But really, torture flicks? S'bad enough millions of sick fuckers enjoy the things, but now, they have access to them. And if you think that watching someone get taken apart, piece by piece, isn't going to affect a 12 year old's mind, then you're dead wrong.

So, tonight I'm going to see Paranormal, which is more of a 'terror' flick. A good horror movie should be about fear, the unknown, that sort of thing. It should flip those switches in the back of your head that have been there since we were hunting mammoths. What it breaks down to is fear should be more than watching other people suffer.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Getting That First Date, A Supplement to "Don't believe everything you read"

I was reading Mausers and Muffins this morning when I realized that there mysterious, carefully hidden, jewels in the world- women who actually enjoy shooting. These treasured, nigh-mythical beings will never, ever have trouble finding menfolk for themselves, just like the equally rare 'hot nerdy girl'. So, to supplement Brigid's list of what works and doesn't, I present the following advice that I often learned the hard way:

1. Don't yell from your car. This one should be obvious: only the most ghetto-slime, trailer park men yell at women from their car. Not only is it an utterly classless and crass thing to do, how far do you expect to get? I mean, honestly, what the hell? I know the latest trend is for guys to be emotional, effeminate, whiney bitches- but being an asshole doesn't equate to being masculine. As a side note- I never did this, but I watched it happen enough to realize that it doesn't matter what you're driving, women won't want a thing to do with you.

2. Smile. This works. I don't mean a huge, shit-eating grin, but smile. I've found that women generally respond well to being made to feel as if they make a man happy by just being there. You smile at them, give them good eye contact, they feel good. And if they feel good being around you, they'll do it more.

3. Don't care or try. Women come and go (mostly go, in my accounting of things...) and that's the way of things. So, don't make it seem like you're trying, or that you care on the first coupla dates. Seriously, chicks dig independent, confident guys. Turn the tables- instead of chasing her, try to make her chase you. The thickness of your stacks only matters to one kinda girl, ye ken?

4. No Man's Land is for pussies. Engage her on her terms- somewhere she feel comfortable going on the first date. If she's never been shooting, don't take her to the range. I mean, this runs contrary to a lot of advice, but put it like this: make her comfortable with you before you hand her a loaded weapon. Shooting is definitely a third-date sorta thing.

5. That said, women also generally don't appreciate being bothered by men in a lot of cases. The bus for example, is a poor place to meet women, unless you see them every day. Pick your battles.

6. Having the skills to like independently is a huge plus to women. If you can sew, cook, iron, etc on your own, she knows you're looking for a mate, not a mother or maid. Sure, other guys might have fat stacks, a fancy ride, and ooze charm, but without the skills to live on their own, they're just overgrown boys.

Now, I have a story about pubtrans and dating. When I was in college last (before the army), I was coming back from the range one night. I got on the train, slumped into my seat and tried to work out the kinks from a couple of hours of drills. I smelled like cordite and sweat, was exhausted and happy. As I sit down, I notice that there's an exhausted, sweaty girl sitting not far from me. She was actually pretty cute- black hair, nice eyes, runner's body. So, I give her a smile, she gives me one back and goes back to her sudoku puzzle. I whip out my iPod and try to zone out for the half hour ride back home, and I see a guy come into our train car from the next one over, right? He's dialing his cell, and he starts talking loudly. Me and her, we glance at each other, then him, go back to studiously ignoring each other.

"Hey babe, how's it going? Got dinner ready?"

Christ, what an obnoxious asshole.


He made a gurgling, strangled noise. Me and the girl look up at one another, at him.

"My brother?"

We have no idea what he's on about, but it sounds serious. She tosses me a note saying something like 'wtf', I toss it back quickly with 'TRAINWRECK' scratched onto it with my keys, because I didn't have a pen on me.

"So you're taking the kids, the much? TIMMONS?"

Now we're paying attention, he starts sniveling.

"But...but baby..."

She stifled a giggle. I hid a smile.

"But baby, I'm SENSITIVE!"

There was a stop about then, and he all but dives off the train, and we burst out laughing. What a douche. I walk over, introduce myself. Her name was Val, and we dated for a year, until I decided to join the army. Ah well, it was a good run, and we were so similarly twisted that after the fact, we talk twice a year. We both played WoW, and she met another guy who got her into shooting. We just didn't click, so whatever. I like to think I was a different person back then.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to...

...Tim Horton's. It's like the Forum, except the coffee is better and the donuts worse. Anyways, so I'm with a classmate, right? I'm wearing my Realtree hat, and he comes up besides me and asks in almost a furtive whisper,

"Hey, Des. Do you...hunt?"

"Nawp, J. But I want to."

He looked around, making sure no one was listening as we walked.

"Oh, I bowhunt. I just thought-"

"Cool, what for?"

And he started stammering. See, I wasn't being aggressive, or questioning, just interested. His reaction was something else, though. He looked around again as we got in line, made sure no other classmates were within earshot.

"Well, I think it's a sustainable practice allowed by-"

"J, stop. I was asking what you hunt for. Turkey? Elk?"

He looked skeptical.

"Black bear and deer."

"Cool, man. You got big brass ones to bowhunt bear. You got tags for this year?"

He relaxed a bit, and we talked kit for a few. I said I'd like to come along if he went that year...I was just astounded that he was so secretive, so...ashamed of hunting. Honestly, I didn't think it was a big deal, but I can see why people get worked up. We WERE at college, the very nexus of young, well meaning idiocy. Sure, in concept, a lot of the ideals held by students are all fine and good. Well, until subjected to reason and logic. That's what happened to me. I sat with a bottle of Glenfiddich in my 18th year, and actually thought instead of felt. I argued and debated with many a man and woman, and one by one, they broke things down. The big one was gun control- I used to be all about it. I was healed of my ignorance the hard way.

I realized I was wrong. I admitted it. I made a plan, and corrected the issues that I had.

It bothers me a lot that J feels so ashamed of something that's a natural part of the order of things. I mean, it's not like he's torturing these animals. He eats what he kills. But people make him feel like he needs to hide hunting from everyone.

Welcome to the locus of liberal hypocrisy- free speech, so long as you agree with them.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Paradise to the Right, Hell to the Left, and the Angel of Death Behind...

...but school has had me by the short hairs lately. But, right now, I'm up and feeling lousy and thinking. I know, that in and of itself is dangerous.

So here's my train of thought, folks:

Due to my injury, I've been given a bit of a 'reset' by life. No one's hiring, because the job market it glutted with people healthier and more qualified than I am. So I'm back at school, because as Heinlein said, "Doing something constructive right away is better than doing the best thing hours later." I'm still in physio, unfit for hard labour, so this is something constructive.

Honestly, it's like being sixteen again: no ride, no cash (well, not after my laser eye surgery, anyways), and slim prospects for the immediate future.

So I got thinking about starting over again. I mean, once people start on their life paths, that's pretty much it. After ten years in marketing, are you gonna turn around and start over again when you're all comfortable? Nawp. What's gonna happen if you're not doing something you enjoy, at least from time to time? It affects you. You may not see it, but it does. And as I'm sitting there in class, watching a combination video and powerpoint lecture on 'facilitating interaction and the business cycle during an emergency', I realized something: While I may be able to do this, I'm more likely to choke out the mayor and take charge if he starts fucking around during an emergency than sit there and pat his ego till he shuts up.

I got figure out some way to make this education into somewhere where I get to be near the front actually helping people, or so help me God, I'm gonna LOSE it. I didn't pick Emergency Management because I'm pretty, I picked it because I want to help people. It's the same reason I joined the army- because by me acting directly, I could help people directly. I wasn't some sack of hammers sitting 500 miles from where he's needed hasslin' folk over forms, or advising some bigwig doing lines off the ass of his or her intern. Same reason I wanted to be a cop- it's where the metal meets the meat that you can do the most good.

So I was thinking that maybe, if I get better (much better), I could do something again. Part time as an EMS or fireman. Become a reservist MP or medtech (our closest analogue to combat medics- we don't have any, just a TCCC dude who's actually an infantryman, and medtechs), or a police reservist.

Then I remembered that women hate that, especially mine.

She's the daughter of a cop, right? So she watched her mom fret and worry about whether or not her husband would come home at the end of the night, whether or not she'd have to raise her children alone, etc. All reasonable stuff, that I can understand. I mean, it's a shitty deal. So, she jacks me up if I even bring up the concept of, you know, doing something useful in the future. Now, I can understand being upset at a loved one risking their lives recklessly. But, honestly? C'mon, folks. Being a cop or firefighter isn't Russian roulette or sleeping with hookers. It's risky, I won't argue that, but it's a job where the risk comes with a fighting chance. And that's all you can ask for in this life- a fighting chance. You mitigate that risk with your skill, your courage, your abilities. The risk is never gone, just like it's never gone every time you step in a plane or boat or car. But if you're at the wheel, at least you can fight for yourself, ya ken? The woman is protective of me, and I can understand that, but still...she's in for a rough ride if she thinks I'm going to stay away from doing what's right. And she may dump me over it- a lady's already dumped me once for joining the military.

So I'm presented with two roads. On one hand, I can walk the civvie life, be the best civilian sheepdog I can, and hope I don't end up some fat old guy with a chip on his shoulder. Aim for accumulating wealth and skills on the side and living the safe, comfortable life. Or I can try to get back in the field, help with my hands even as a civvie and a sheepdog. If I can't be a reservist, be an auxiliary cop. If I can't do that, volunteer firefighter.

I think that two things can sum up my mindset right now in two sentences:

Firstly, my girlfriend is going to be pissed.

Secondly is a quote from the Unit: Rangers, did you sign up just to get out of the house, or do you want to come help me kick the door down?

I need to start setting objectives for myself. Specific stuff, not just 'get into shape, fatass!' or 'volunteer' or 'write'. That's been my one of my main problems lately- I've been bumming around, putting stuff off. Even when there's assignments due, I'm better off putting a half hour aside for a run and clearing my head than not. A half hour run, once a day. There. It's up here for all the world to see.

And, to end this painfully long post, here's an awesome video with absolutely not relevance what so ever to this post:


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Clothe yourself in righteousness...

...for that is armour enough.

One of my favourite fictional characters said that. It's true, to a degree. You do right by people, and by and large they'll do right by you. But there's always that element. That Element. That Element, that would rather jack your wallet or your car than work a day. That Element, with baggy clothes, hats with stickers and tags, a cold smile and leering eyes. You've seen 'em. You've seen them in spades at the mall or the bus terminal or where ever, slinging dope for booze money and watching. Always watching. Know what they're watching for? Soft folk. Soft folk all by their lonesome. They know them pretty well. They're not predators. Predators implies that there is a stalking element, a deliberate application of a skill

No, gentle readers, these people are more like vultures.

They hunt the weak without skill, and only by opportunity. Lazy enough to let a young, fit man pass by, someone who looks like they could run. Not even defend themselves, just leg it. That's too much trouble for That Element. Well, at least alone. Numbers give them bravado, not courage- courage is a redeeming trait. Bravado is what lets them take on the healthy. In an unarmed society, they are a real and credible threat. I see them every time I go to school, from bus terminal to campus. I know they're there, just like they smell something funny off of me and let me be.

And coming out of the army, knowing I have a ruined shoulder, seeing them waiting there- laughing, joking, never taking their eyes off the crowd- that's what really got me rethinking my opinions of concealed carry.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thanksgiving with the Maybe Soon-To-Be-In-Laws

So, it's that magical time again. I get to have a dinner with the girlfriend's parents and grandmother. The father is a cop, the mother hates me, and the grandmother seems to like me, so it's always interesting. That's why I bring bribes. A bottle of wine and some flowers for the matron, and we're good to go. They tend to interrogate me, so that's fun. But, I gotta learn to take it on the chin.

Depending on how well it goes, there may be an AAR.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Caffeine, a Vice I Can Get Behind

It's the vice of of choice in my generation of nerds. I'm not talking Much more powerful stuff. Red Bull, NOS, Amp, Rockstar, Bawls. It's a litany of heart racing, consciousness-expanding liquid. You wake up in the morning after five hours of sleep, and you feel like someone just scraped you off the road. You're groggy, running on autopilot until you hit that first Bawls with Breakfast...

Oh yeah. Hell yeah. You're a born again predator, baby. You rip through your morning, shrugging off paperwork. You think on your feet, and you ride the rush until the next dose. It's awesome. But ti does come with a downside. Plenty of crashes, the stuff's expensive...but if you need to write, or you need a pick me up, you know what to reach for- an extra strength caffeine drink.

Monday, September 28, 2009

That is all.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Nothing like it...

Had laser eye survey Friday, so I'll be brief. Today I had, for the first time since I left Turkey, Turkish coffee and baklava. A combination made in heaven, that. Say what you will- it's better than espresso. Yeah, yeah, you'rve had it here at Harbucks or whatever...but once you have it in a little sidestreet in Jerusalem, or at a cafe looking over the Hagia Sofia, then you can give a valid opinion, yeh?

I actually had to strongarm the owner of the local Lebanese restaurant to get some. But oh man...was it worth it. Actual Turkish coffee, with the pistachios, in a plastic beer cup. But it was awesome. Gave me something to do while I sit here and recover, not really being able to game or work out or watch TV or read.

Happy trails, yo.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

And in fun-time news...

Toronto seizes 400+ unlicensed firearms from people legally able to own them.

Wow. I'm sure all of my American friends' jaws are dropping at this one... the reason is, they're dangerous if stolen. That's right, the entire sweep, because these guns MAY be stolen. You all know how common that 10/22 is in the barrio, and all those gunfights between gangstas with SKSes have been making the news...


This whole transition isn't easy. It started awhile ago, but still. All through elementary, all through high school, university, college, I was indoctrinated as a liberal. The police's job is to protect us. The government is gonna help us in a disaster. Guns are bad, and only for highly trained professionals. Being taxed all to hell (not that I was, as a student) didn't seem all that bad, after all I have 'free' healthcare! What would I have to do to fulfill my end of the social contract except shell out the cashy monies, not sling dope and not punch anyone else? What could go wrong?

Yeah. I'm glad I've changed. It took a team of great DIs to pound sense into my skull and begin the process. I guess it might have started at Katrina, I guess. It was a huge deal to my pre-police-academy class in school. I was just so sickened by humanity, watching the reports of medical choppers taking fire, that padre getting gutshot. It actually occurred to me that if the shit hits the fan, I'm on my own. I thought I'd be okay at first...till I realized the first criminal with a gun would just shoot me. I was never a fighter, though. I was the nerdy kid everyone broke down, who thought that he could outrun every bully and mugger he ever met. Yeah...I've grown some. Realized that's not what it's like in the real world. In the real world, there are muggers who are faster than me. That once I start making an income that'll sustain me out in the world, I'll be taxed obscenely. That should any of the stuff that keeps modern society going suddenly disappear, even for a couple of days, I'd screwed. I'm like a dog that ends up dumped in the woods- yeah, I got all kinds of stuff buried in me, but I'm so domesticated, I wouldn't know what the hell to do, and the only way I would survive would be for me to become a brute that needs to be put down. I don't wanna be like that anymore. I don't want to rely on convenience or anyone else. The end objective of this is to become a fully independent MAN, not a boy who works in a cubicle nine to five and whose only contribution to society is being an economic cog.

So here I am, rambling. Time to get some progress done. So, right now, I'm a little ahead of your average kid my age- I can cook for myself, I have some self-discipline. But I have a long, long way to go before I become independent manfolk. I've divided objectives into two categories: skills I want to obtain, and stuff I need to become independent of all that modern crap that's churning out a generation of milk-fed, dependent overgrown boys who can barely fend for themselves.

The Short List of Skills:

1. Hunting. I've never been hunting. I don't know what to do. I can shoot straight enough, but even if I hit something delicious and kill it, what then? I don't know how to skin, gut, or carve anything up.

2. More and better shooting skills. I have my trigger time with the AR, the Browning, and a little bit of time with whatever guns my American friends have been able to loan me. I have nowhere to practice since Toronto's mayor has essentially shut down every range in Toronto by refusing to lease municipal land in the city, and failing to renew the leases of existing shooting ranges and clubs, there are no ranges in the Greater Toronto area. There's a couple a ways out of the city I can investigate, but owning no firearms...yeah, going and watching would be a tad creepy.

3. Better first aid skills. In evolving to the 'civilian sheepdog' mentality, I've come to the conclusion that it means more than packing a gun. It is, at its core, about helping people. And your job doesn't stop after all the brass is on the ground.

The Short List of Stuff:

1. A car. Toronto is blessed with a fantastic public transit system, which has more or less negated my need for one. But then again, these things are fickle, and if I'm gonna hit a range, I'm gonna need wheels.

2. Restricted-level gun license. My current papers only really allow me to have some long guns (but nothing I'd really want to bring to a firefight, unless I had a lot of armed friends or it happened in 1942). I want access to ARs, not because I really like them, but because they're functionally the only EBR I can get my hands on, and one of very few semi-automatic firearms that can legally have a ten round mag. It'll also get me access to a sidearm...which I can't carry.

3. Firearms. If you can't keep what you got, you got nothing. The current list of prospects is as follows:

-Lee Enfield Mk IV
-Remington 870
-Tavor (well, I can's 3000$ CND)
-Lever Action .357
-Maybe an SKS, but it would only legally be allowed a five round magazine
-Mauser 98k for a 'sniper rifle'

That's about all I have to say for back to work on my paper.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Here's the problem with just about every Goddamn thing I see on commercials: it's all form. The way I think, I say "What does it do, and how well does it do it?" This is the whole basis of my attitude towards buying stuff. The modern man, it's all about your style, your popped collar, your bling, your fuckin' crackberry. I mean, there's nothing wrong with form, but in the long run, would you rather have something that works well, or that looks good? It also almost guarantees problems with my girlfriend.

"Des, why don't you get a suit?"

Do I wear a suit, day to day? No, I go to college across a number of bus routes. I'm not going there to look pretty. I'm going to learn, and to carry my kit, I want a decent set of pants that I can put everything I want in. Therefore, is a suit going to fulfill my purposes? No, it's going to make me stand out and make me a target for the criminal element.

"But Des, you'll need it when you enter the real world!"

Uh huh. I didn't need my DEUs (dress uniform) terrible often the last time I was in the 'real world'. What I need right now are pants that fit, that are comfortable and rugged. I need shirts that are comfortable, rugged, and don't scream OH HEY LOOK A NARC/COP! Now, let's look at my options:

1. Common, stylish pants: Not rugged. Not comfortable. Since I'm doing more than sitting in a cafe smoking cloves, anything that could possibly be called stylish can go pound sand.

2. El Cheapo Bonanza pants: comfortable, but will shred like, as my buddy Jeriah put it, your cock after a week at a Thai brothel.

3. Suit Pants: Do I have to say much?

That's just an example, I suppose. I don't think it's such a massive paradigm shift that I wear cargos to school. Or a decent set of jeans. The way I see it, I already give off a bit of cop vibe. I wear cargos and boots, and I keep my hair short. This of course makes me a Bad Man to the dope-smoking philosophy majors. I usually wear what can only be described as a nerd shirt (something with a game design or pop culture reference), so that helps mitigate the appearance that I DARE to wear clothing that's practical. On a tangent- when did it become weird to wear clothing that works? Deviant to wear easy-going, comfortable pants instead of jeans that require a jar of Vaseline to get on? Or criminal to have a pocketknife?

And another thing! Since when did looking good trump being warm in the winter? I mean, I wear a big ol' Soviet Afghanka coat, have a toque and leather gloves in the winter. Hell, if it's blustry enough, I'll even grab a scarf. This makes me deviant- just look at the kids standing around outside with puffy jackets and ballcaps when it's twenty below out. Hell, that's if they have headgear.

Christ Jesus, I'm a dying breed at 24.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A first step or two...

I've been on this road awhile, now. So, firstly, a briefing about me:

I'm a twenty four year old Canadian, who grew up in a liberal household. How liberal? Well, not NDP-commie liberal, but hardcore Trudeau supporter. At least he was a badass, right?

Until university, I was the kind of guy the liberals would have dreamed of. Bright, driven, dedicated to leftist/socialistic ideals. And then, after a long argument with an American friend about gun control, it hit me. He was right. I was wrong. I spent the year more or less challenging the things I had dear, and lo and behold, liberalism crumbled before the might of reality.

The truth is, the police are there to protect you, in theory. In reality, you're on your own until they show up. And if the bad guy is armed, and you're not, well, you're fucked. I realized it, and a whole mess of things came crumbling down. Canada DOES need a strong military. The United States, while not always right, IS our best friend and we DO need to support them. Personal responsibility is something EVERYONE needs to take.

So here I am. I'm out of a short term in the military, and I was hoping that you guys would be willing to see what happens when you try to make the modern male do a complete 180 in viewpoints.

Wanna go for a ride?