About Me

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A man of many words. Profane, profound, loyal to a fault and a right rat bastard. I love the finer things in life: expensive cigars, cheap women and all the salted, cured meats I can eat. A friend to dogs, lover of humanity and despiser of people. If I were King the world would be a better place, because, well...I would be King! Oh, and I like ice cream.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

All Too Soon It's Over

A couple days ago I posted about the sale at long last of the old homestead.

An even better story was occurring practically simultaneously. Literally (and by literally I mean literally) five minutes after the confirming email of the sale Cabrini got an email from an agency that recruits for the US government. She had posted her resume online the night before.

Long story short she's been offered a job as a (civilian) Social Researcher with the US Army. She reports to Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas the 11th of June for training followed with deployment in four or five months. Its the kind of position she is extremely qualified for and will give her great "Street Cred" in years to come.

We leave for the States in two days.

These past couple days have been bittersweet. Nine months living here has changed us in a fundamental way. We feel like we belong in our little unusual Wudang Taoist community. The temple monks and nuns, the ladies who run the tourist shops, the kids in the school, our teachers...all have made us feel so welcome and accepted here. It's been a time in our lives which we will always look back on with deep fondness.

But life moves on and so must we.

Friday, May 20, 2011

228 South Albatrossaroundmyneck, Columbiana, Ohio

I thought May 19th was a big deal last year.

Four and a half years ago I put my house of 16 years on the market. Those who have seen or visited the place will agree it was a pretty sweet layout. Secluded, lake front 3800 square feet ranch-style, completely finished basement, attached "Mother-in-Law" apartment, detached Guest house, 40x40 two-story pole barn, all with matching facade. All in all one great house in the great little village of Columbiana.

In the midst of the most drastic economic downdraft of my lifetime I have ridden waves of angst over this. At least five times the house was supposedly sold only to have the deals fall through.

But today, May 19, 2011, exactly one year after leaving the Peace Corps the deal is FINALLY done! Woo! Hoo!

I would like to express my undying appreciation to the bastard SOB bankers of the world who so torched the financial system for their own personal cocaine habits that they completely hosed me (and basically everyone else along the way) out of at least half what I would have gotten five years ago.

If I ever have occasion to visit the graves of the chief culprits from Countrywide Lending, Lehman Bros., Merrill Lynch, etc. KNOW I will happily relieve my bladder on their tombstones. Then I'll shit on their burial mounds. Or vice versa.

Because in the long run we're all dead and all that junk they accumulated will go to someone else.

But for the moment I GOT MINE!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May 19, 2010

One year ago today we did the Botswana Bugout. It's been a wild, crazy, wonderful ride.

The best metaphor for it is a once great Akron, Ohio-based tire manufacturer: Goodyear.

A few more years like this and I might just live forever...

Friday, May 13, 2011

This Great Idea is also Stolen

Politicians should be required to wear uniforms like NASCAR drivers. The product logos plastered all over them would represent corporate donors. The size and placement of the patches would indicate the size of the largesse.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

All My Best Thoughts Are Stolen From Someone Else...

I'm reading "The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood," by James Gleick

It's a wide-ranging book, sometimes pretty difficult to parse. But he includes a quote from a play called "Arcadia" by Tom Stoppard. It's my philosophy of life in one paragraph:

"You should no more grieve for the rest than for a buckle lost from your first shoe, or for your lesson book which will be lost when you are old. We shed as we pick up, like travelers who must carry everything in their arms, and what we let fall will be picked up by those behind. The procession is very long and life is very short. We die on the march. But there is nothing outside the march so nothing can be lost to it."

And that explains where all my old T-shirts went.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

I was a Jimmy Carter supporter...

...Until he failed to lay on a back-up aircraft (Iran, 1980 Failed Hostage Rescue Attempt). Kudos on that Barack.

Some, unwilling to credit the President for making the call to go after bin Laden, are saying HE didn't do it, the American soldier did it. True in the strictest sense.

However from every wet-behind-the-ears Second Lieutenant to the highest General officer and on up to his boss this one thing is also true:

The Commander is responsible for everything his unit accomplishes or fails to accomplish.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

This About Sums Up How I Feel About the Osama bin Laden Deal

All this flag waving and talk of justice served doesn't obscure for me the (now apparent fact) that we gunned down an unarmed man. They say he resisted. Was he throwing rocks? (The conspiracy theorist in me suspects a CIA Wet team did the actual deed, including the crashed helicopter in the compound. Navy SEALS provided the legitimacy of the hit. But hey, that's just me.)

We are so desperate to believe in anything as a united people that this pathetic action is rousing our spirits. It's not a sporting event like the Olympic games. Chants of "USA! USA!" turn my stomach.

We have conveniently forgotten Osama bin Laden was trained, unleashed on the world and betrayed by the U.S. government during the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Remember the Rambo flick "Dedicated to the brave freedom fighters of Afghanistan?" That was the Taliban.

It's easier to cheer on the murder of a super villain than to take stock as citizens of the country that we have let run astray. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the SOB is dead and no longer poses a threat to the world. If I were President I would have ordered the hit too. But it sickens me to see my fellow Americans taking such zealous glee in his murder. That's the thing that sticks in my craw. As a nation, we have forgotten many things, among them the ability to think critically and the resolve to make our government accountable for its actions against the rest of the planet. The notion, if anyone truly buys it, that killing Osama bin Laden makes the world a safer place is inane. Our actions in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere have guaranteed a ready supply of terrorists willing to blow down our doors. Stop waving your flags with such ignorant delirium.

Somehow I think Thomas Jefferson would be spinning in his grave.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Osama bin Laden is Dead

For months after 9/11/2001 I was in kind of a state of stunned disbelief. Oddly similar to how I feel now. I take no pleasure in this. It's justice served and deservedly so, but what price have we as a country and culture paid to achieve retribution? This is no time to breathe easy.

I gotta ponder on all this...