Category Archives: Miscelleneous Adventures

Is the Desire for War a Form of Collective Mental Illness?

And it’s one, two, three,
What are we fighting for?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it’s five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we’re all gonna die.
Lyrics – Country Joe and the Fish

I went to see that movie American Sniper last night. It was a rather sobering experience. But how much more sober can you get than stone cold? Who knows? If you haven’t heard about this movie it’s based on the biography of Chris Kyle, a sniper who did 4 tours in Iraq. He is known as the most lethal sniper in American History with 160 confirmed kills. He made it home alive and was murdered by a troubled veteran he was trying to help.

I’m not even going to go into the nasty debate about whether he was a hero or a coward. My opinion is that he was a soldier doing what he thought was the right thing to do to protect his family and country. He didn’t start the war – he just did what he had to do.

That being said, I’ve been pondering the whole war conundrum. I laid awake much of last night thinking about it. In a way we treat our returning warriors the same way we treat people with mental illness. We sweep it under the rug and pretend the problem doesn’t exist.

Those caught up in the war machine seem have the same mental kinks as people who are mentally ill and/or have mental illness or substance abuse problems. “Oh this is just affecting us, no one else has to deal with it, and we’re handling it just fine.” Hogwash!

As I look back over my life I can see that war has tainted my entire life. I was in my mid-teens when the Vietnam War was going on. I faced the fear that if it continued for a few more years that my brothers would have to go. I was the oldest in my family and female, but my girlfriends had older brothers that were sent off to Vietnam. They came home in a box. One of those brothers was the first boy I ever kissed. He kissed me the night before he went off to boot camp.

During that era teenage trouble making was a death sentence if you were boy from a blue collar family. The judge gave them a choice “jail or Vietnam.” Stupid boys chose Nam. I would have much rather they went to jail, but I was a 14 year old girl, my say didn’t matter much then. It probably doesn’t matter much more now. I just have a wider audience.

After my girlfriends lost their brothers, we three musketeers decided to wear black arm bands to school. We got in all kinds of trouble for it. Being teen aged innocents we didn’t know we were protesting, we just knew that our guys died and we were sad and very angry. We had to stay after school for detention every day that we wore those arm bands. Funny thing was no one ever tried to confiscate them. If this happened in the present they probably would have them confiscated. Can’t wear or carry anything to school that might offend someone nowadays. I don’t remember how long we wore them and when we stopped either. How odd. We drifted apart, life goes on I guess.

Fast forward to when I was 18 years old. I fell in love with a Vietnam vet who was one of those who made it home in body but not in mind. My mother hated him and knew he was trouble. She finally told me to not talk to her until I was finished with him. She was right in a way. He was trouble because he was troubled. When we walked down the street he was constantly scanning and looking around at trees, roof tops, alleyways. I thought he was just unusually alert. What did I know about soldiers and PTSD? My dead friends don’t talk about that. 6 months later he committed suicide by cop. Meaning they tried to arrest him, he said “you’re not taking me alive” and boom he’s dead.

So at the tender age of 14 I learned that I was not invincible. People die because of other people’s decisions, shit happens. Should children have to learn that? I don’t know but there are children all over the world in war zones learning this every day. Are we better for it? I don’t think so. But that’s just my opinion among billions of others.

Is There ANY Logical Reason to Throw Away an Empty Firearm?

Well, I know I’ve hit a rough patch when I go on a binge of reading Zombie Apocalypse novels to cheer up. After the death of a loved one there’s not much in there to scare you, and just like grieving – it goes on and on …and on. Zombies, here, there and everywhere.

Over the past week I’ve read about 15  zombie books on my Kindle. They are actually pretty funny. If you want to read about all the creative and almost hilarious ways people can screw up and be branded “too stupid to live” immediately before their inevitable demise, it’s all that and so much more. Sorry if I’m referring to death as funny, but come on. Check out the Darwin awards if you have questions. (The stupid ways that people actually, in real life, removed themselves from the gene pool.)

But back to my original question, is there any logical reason to throw away a firearm just because you’re out of ammo? If I’m out of food I don’t throw away my stove and refrigerator. I’m assuming that if you are on the run in an ongoing survival situation; war, extended riots, zombie or other kind of hair-raising apocalyptic situation, you would probably hope against hope to acquire more ammo at some point.

A recurring theme in all the books I’ve read so far is this. The hero, heroes, heroine, etc. is/are in yet another fight for their life and run out of ammo, then they THROW AWAY THEIR WEAPON (???), and run away screaming, look for a blunt object, get in an argument with their companions, or lay down and die. What the hell is that all about? Excuse me, but if I run out of ammo for my revolver or rifle, I’m still holding a blunt object that I can brain someone or something with and hopefully am able to reload in the future. Maybe I’m just a practical gal, but I wouldn’t throw down my weapon like it was an empty juice box.

I guess if you are armed with some kind of weird antique revolver that only takes handmade ammo or something similar there would be a reason to lighten your load. OK, maybe if you’re running for your life, shooting it out has become a moot point, have an extremely heavy rifle and there is very little chance that you will be coming back to it with or without ammo I could see dropping it. However, in these zombie novels someone throws away their firearm every chapter or two without fail.

I think part of it is that in a zombie novel you pretty much invent everything that happens. It is total fiction and one has artistic license to come up with whatever whacked out unbelievable scenario that suits your fancy. In prepper, survivalist type novels the authors usually are a little more experienced in the weapons department or at least do their homework.

Another thing that the characters in these zombie novels do over and over that annoys me to no end is they drive right through the middle of a seemingly abandoned town at high noon, put their car in park, leave the vehicle unattended with the keys in it, running, cross their fingers, and plunge into a dark abandoned store. Chaos ensues, of course. Does anything go right at the end of the world?

Well, that’s a whole ‘nother rant so I’m going to stop here for now.

Confessions of a Sports Non-enthusiast

I’ve been re-inventing myself after the soul shattering and untimely demise of my grandson. As mentioned in my previous post I’m in the red lava angry phase of letting go. Fueled by this anger I’ve decided to be brutally honest about a subject that seems downright silly to get worked up about in the grand scheme of things. But so what? This is my one and only life. I’ve used up 59 years of it already and I’m not wasting any more of it doing things that I hate to do.

So here goes; I HATE “TEAM” SPORTS. To me it is a violent brutal activity witnessed by a crazed mob, similar to goings on in the old Roman coliseum. I’d rather crawl on my belly naked across a field of broken glass with a rusty spoon in my eye than watch it, talk about it, speculate on coming events, chose sports memorabilia, or give the tiniest bit of a rat’s ass about it.

Why don’t I just avoid it you may ask? Well here’s the deal. I married into a band of in-laws who are all sports fanatics and seem to think that there is something odd and unsavory about a person who is not interested in sports. They all seem to think that if they just explain how wonderful it is that I will eventually have some sort of epiphany, or personality transplant and see the light.

Also every year Mr. Husband and I are given tickets to various sporting events as Christmas presents so I’m supposed lie to myself and them and pretend to be all grateful and write thank you cards for something that I get the rolling heaves even thinking about. It seems like I’m participating in a big fat charade at my expense.

To me it’s a point of principle. I’ve been with Mr. Husband and his band of merry relatives for ELEVEN years now. One would thing that my ongoing statements that I’m not in to sporting events would have sunk in by now, but NOooOo. I know Hubman wants to us to have something that we like to do together. Violent seething screaming crowds of people foaming at the mouth about who stuffs a ball in some opening or across some line, or in a net, is just not my cup of tea. Now I’d be down for a punk rock slam dance fest complete with crowd surfing. But that’s too up close and real, can’t do that from your kingly EZ boy lounger, or sitting up in the bleachers. You gotta get down in there and do it all out.

To me there is a time and place for violence and “having fun” is not one of those times. The time and place for violence is reserved for a situation where actual violence is called for because it has actually erupted. Examples; suddenly finding yourself swept up in an angry mob that you have to fight your way out of, some idiot comes through your front door with an ax, a crazed car jacker tries to pull you out of your car by your hair, etc. (I actually experienced the attempt to drag me out of the car by my hair thing. It was not fun, but I got away – minus a hand full of hair)

So there ya have it. I hate team sports. So sue me. So sorry Mr. Husband, I know this is a big disappointment to you, but I’ve been trying to tell you this for 11 damned years. It’s not my fault that you don’t listen.

I’m Thinking About Going Goth ~~

The reality is you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be, nor would you want to.  Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and John Kessler.

Lady_AmaranthAs long I have to reinvent myself after a piece of my heart got cut out, I’m thinking about doing something I always wanted to do – go Goth. Don’t waste your time asking yourself if I’ve lost my mind. That ship has sailed.

Now I’m saying this a little tongue in cheek. But think about it. I can wear black all the time now because I have a perfectly good excuse. I can read Edgar Allen Poe in the middle of the night and then listen to Joy Division, Sisters of Mercy, the Cult, Rasputina and Siouxsie and the Banshees on my IPOD all day.

I can contemplate death without working up an effort because it’s always there, right at the front and center of my brain. Not my death necessarily. I of course know that I will die someday, but harbor no plans to bring about my own premature demise. Life is much too precious and brief to throw away.

I’m already rocking silver hair and the dark circles around my eyes. All I have to do is slap on some black eyeliner and dark lipstick and I’m half way there. I have tons of black clothes already, because well…I’ve always loved black clothes. I even own a black corset.

The loss is Christopher, my grandson, keeps sneaking up at me at the most inopportune moment. Last night Mr. Husband and I were watching the Patriots vs Ravens football game. I suddenly burst into tears because the thought that Christopher is a Patriots fan flitted across my mind. I thought only men cried when watching football? My poor husband tried to comfort me and said “I’m sure where ever he is he’s watching the game.” The Patriots won. YAY

So if I’m going to be in mourning for the foreseeable future, I may as well have some fun with it. Sounds a bit kooky, I know. But I never claimed to be a “normal” person.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

I’ve had this feeling for a while now. It’s kind of like the talk that Morpheus gave Neo in that Matrix movie; “You know something is wrong, but you don’t know what it is. You search day and night, but can’t find it. You can’t smell it, taste it or touch it. It is all around you. You are in a prison for the mind.”

If I’m not careful and I slip up on a daily basis, I begin to doubt my sanity. Every day the news casters gleefully share the latest disaster, murder, insanely unwise new legislation, etc. Then the talking heads analyze it 8 ways from Sunday. But, in the end I’m expected to believe that everything is not only just peachy keen finer than fine, but getting better every day.

If I beg to disagree I am labeled as paranoid, a nervous Nelly, glum, a wannabe prepper nut, depressed, or a glass half empty kind of person. And this labeling even comes from other people who are feeling the same feelings, and talking about it all the damned time. Talk is cheap and so they just want to whine about latest news sound bite. However, they do not want to really get down and dirty and talk about what might be coming. Forget doing anything about it. Oh they may go out and buy a few extra cans of tuna fish and stick a few dollars in a coffee can, but that’s about it.

Well, I don’t buy it. And it’s only when I make a conscious decision to stop buying it that I feel anywhere near what might resemble normal and calm. But the question remains. How can I prepare for something coming when I don’t know what it is, or if it even exists?

All civilizations rise and fall. It usually doesn’t happen overnight. Most start a slow slide to oblivion rather than the fall of Pompeii where the mountain belched and destroyed every living thing in less than a day. Here in the U.S. our rights as private citizens are taking that slow slide to oblivion. The scary part is that much of this legislation chips away at our right and more important our DUTY to be self-reliant.

Did you know that in some states it is illegal to collect rain water? How disturbing is that? The rationale behind this is that rain falling out of the sky is public property. Therefore if we collect it we are “hoarding” the rain water. Well the earth can be considered public property also. Does this mean that I can’t own my home and the ground it stands on? Am I hoarding my little piece of the earth? There and many that think so. The most frightening thing of all is that there are many people who think along these lines in positions of public power.

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