Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Christmas Day


By now you've all opened your presents, eaten to surfeit, and are basking in the afterglow. I hope it was a fine day and you got what you wanted. I ended the day at the casino, where the spirit of giving was alive and well. The place was packed to the rafters.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve

Allow me to present a small token of joy in the spirit of the season. I plan a long, busy day with a house full of in-laws plus my daughters, granddaughter, and her daddy. What's not to like? Any football on?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

True Grit


True Grit opened today and I caught the 12:50 show. You probably know the basic plot: 14-year-old Mattie hires grizzled Deputy Marshal Rufus "Rooster" Cogburn to track down Tom Cheney, who'd killed and robbed Mattie's father. Also on Cheney's track is a Texas Ranger, LeBoeuf, who wants to return Cheney to Texas on a murder charge. This doesn't sit well with Mattie, who wants Cheney to suffer for the crime against her father. This leads to conflict on the trail as the trio set out to find their quarry, believed to have thrown in with the Ned Pepper gang.

The movie is by turns gritty, funny, touching, suspenseful, and uplifting. Mattie's sense of moral purpose and Cogburn's world-weary manner provide a fine contrast and grist for many an amusing exchange. The same goes for the one-upmanship moments between Rooster and LeBoeuf. Also, the grim experiences Mattie has along the trail transform her from a pushy kid to a more self-aware young woman. The actress who played the part is excellent, as are all the other players.

I hope this movie will be enjoyed by the great unwashed and not just Western fans, and it leads to more quality films in the genre being produced. I loved it. Even the damn fool on the other end of the aisle who felt the need to audibly react to every scene didn't sully my enjoyment of the movie. I loved it and recommend it wholeheartedly.

As you might have guessed, the illo here has nothing to do with the film.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Catching Up


I've been silent lately and there are reasons. One is my right shoulder. I have a torn rotator cuff (all those years as a big league pitcher took their toll). Typing for more than a few minutes is very painful. I'll probably have surgery in January for that and it'll take about six months to be back to normal. For part of that time I'll be a vertiable left hander, and that will make typing very difficult, if not impossible. Today I talked to a doctor about prostate cancer. I don't have it, and I'm in a low risk category, numerically speaking, but just to be safe I'm going to have a biopsy, also in January. I've also been doing the usual Xmas stuff and corrupting my older girl with a couple of trips to the casino (I'm ahead $122, she won, too).

Pictured is my granddaughter, Sofia, at about three weeks, with her mother.

It seems like the latest overused phrase in advertising these days is "amazing." Seems like everything you can buy is amazing. Amazing salad, amazing service, amazing experience, amazing scarf. How easily are people amazed?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Remembering John Lennon


I'm a huge fan and admirer of John Lennon. I clearly remember my sorrow the day he was murdered, and my anger when I learned his killer got life instead of death. Thirty years ago today he died, but his music is as fresh and enjoyable to me today as it was then and all the way back into the sixties. When I was 17 I was in a garage band called The Violations. This was 1965 so of course we sang a lot of Beatles songs (those we could, a lot were beyond our ranges). I usually sang the John parts in our harmonies, making me feel an extra kinship with him. I sure wish he was around today.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Remember Pearl Harbor


A day that will live in infamy, or until a few generations pass and everything's forgotten. Well, the Cap'n remembers. I had an uncle who was wounded during the attack and since I grew up as a Navy brat most of the adult males I knew were veterans of the war in the Pacific. Here's to them.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Happy Birthday Kristine, Again


I wanted to show a more recent photo of the baby. This is it.

Happy Birthday Uncle Georgie


On this day in 1839, American hero and soldier George Armstrong Custer was born in New Rumley, Ohio. He died for our sins at the Little Big Horn on June 25, 1876.

Happy Birthday Kristine


My baby is 20 today, and every moment has been one of pure joy.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Done and Done


Retirement. As MLK said, "In the words of the old Negro spiritual, free at last, free at last, thank God A'mighty, we are free at last!" That's the editorial we, there. It was a quiet, uneventful day. I did my final processing, cleaned out the few remaining items from my locker, said adios to a couple of people, and drove away. I admit to giving vent to a rousing rebel yell as I passed through the main gate, but otherwise there was no celebration. I didn't want one.

When I was working I always hoped for jury duty. I found being on a jury interesting and I prefered being at the courthouse to being at work. Plus, I still got paid and didn't have to take leave. But I didn't get tasked for jury duty this year, until...
I got my mail this afternoon and found a jury summons therein. My reporting date is the same day as my official retirement in January. Nice timing, people.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

One More Day


Really, six-tenths of a day. Today I got signed out by a bunch of organizations/sections (clinic, finance, pass & ID, etc) and tomorrow I do the final two. I made sure I gave back my Restricted Area Pass and Flightline Competency Card so I can't do any work tomorrow. It'll be soooo nice to stay in bed in the morning, to avoid the freeway traffic, and to get busy on my many projects around the old homestead.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Two Days to Go


I plan to spend as much of my final two days (one day, six hours to be exact--I work 10-hour days) clearing the base. That is, going hither and yon getting boxes on a sheet of paper signed off by various people in various sections.

Evan Lewis wondered what image I'd use to illustrate two. I thought about The Dynamic Duo or one of the better comedy teams, but these innocent lasses from the brush of Milton Caniff seemed more appropriate.

Lately I've seen a lot of people using "hoard" when they mean "horde." A hoard is hidden or stored fund or supply (I looked it up) and a horde is a swarm or throng, as of people, animals, or insects. If you're going to write or edit, you need to know these things.