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Writer's Block: Nicknames

What's your nickname, and how did you get it?
 At work, my nickname is Smiley.  This is due to the fact that I have a difficult time controlling my mirth at the most inopportune times. 

Promise Keepers

Whew!  Yesterday I set up a National Guard booth at a promise keepers convention in Massachusetts.  It was called Iron Sharpens Iron, and a whole day of talks was scheduled for men that day.  For those of you unfamiliar with Promise Keepers, they are an organization of males from many denominations of Christianity who get together to talk about how to be better, stronger, more effective role-models for their children, and better husbands to their wives.  I think the idea was that in this day and age, when so many men are raised without fathers, and they don't have any role models to follow themselves, they find strength talking to each other in order go get their perspective back.  It's rather admirable, really.

Talk about feeling like the odd man out!  :D  Hundreds and hundreds of men in the building, and I was only one of about 5 females there.  And me in military uniform!  My whole purpose was trying chaplains:  young men (or women) who had a masters degree in divinity without being too old for military service.  I talked myself hoarse.  But there were so many amazing people there who had served our country in times past.  I held the hand of one 80-year-old WWII vet who had seen a woman blown to bits aboard his ship in the pacific.  They had been in a hospital ship when it was attacked, blowing out a whole bulkhead and killing people in one of the hospital rooms.  He wept recalling it, and I tried to comfort him.

There were also some young men who wanted to inquire about enlisting.  I make no bones about it, and I tell them the truth about the potential for deployment.  I myself do not get paid for people coming into the Guard.  I'd rather have people who come to service with their eyes wide open rather than have them come in for an unpleasant surprise later.  I believe very strongly in what we do.  But it has to be a calling that you come to willingly and for the right reasons.

It was a loooooong day, and I didn't get very many interested people.  But that's okay.  It was fun, and it was wonderful talking to these folks.  I'd gladly do this again next year.

Kitty colon problems

When I was stationed in Texas, we adopted a senior citizen kitty named "Anna" from a shelter.  Her owner had passed away from cancer, and since she was an older cat most folks didn't want to adopt her.  I saw her sitting in her little cage, snoozing as the younger kitties played and batted around their own cages.  A big price tag in front of her cage had been slashed.  They had put the little darlin' on sale so she could have a good home.

My heart melted.  I adopted her and brought her home.  Since she was in an indoor/outdoor shelter, her fur was matted and dirty, and she had fleas.  We shampooed her thoroughly and gave her a flea bath.  We groomed her and gave her her own fleece blankie on the couch.  We bought her a little soft mouse toy which she instantly attached herself to and still uses as a pillow to this day.  She is my little darlin'.

She was a trooper when I used her as my carry-on on the airplane back to New Hampshire.  I stuffed her kitty carrier under my seat and routinely patted and crooned to her throughout the flight.  She didn't meow once.  I was so proud of her for getting through several hours of flight/relay time without a hitch.

Now my little button is starting to feel the ravages of old age.  This morning she was pacing nervously.  I checked to ensure she had plenty of food and water.  Her box was clean.  I went to the living room to see that she'd had an "accident" on her fleece.  She seemed mortified.  I gave her some reassuring pats and quickly threw her blanket in the wash before putting a clean one down for her. 

I'm rather at a loss about what to do.  She's had G.I. problems in the past.  Two weeks ago she was plagued by a tummy flu bug that left us cleaning up after her for most of the day.  My husband even gave her a warm bath to clean off her long fur.  She's had all her shots, we go to the vet's every 4 months or so, but I feel she's simply starting to have old lady complaints.  Lately she's starting to look like she's having tummy troubles again.  I don't know if anyone else has had a cat that's had these issues, but any advice or suggestions would be welcome.


Foamy the Squirrel...pure genius

A couple of years ago I was experiencing some soul-tearing times.  I was going to a very tough school where I was getting my butt, and self-respect, handed to me daily.  Thankfully I was working with some great friends that got me through the toughest of times.  One of those friends introduced me to Foamy the Squirrel.  He's a very outspoken, foul-mouthed little rodent who tells it as he sees it.  For those unfamiliar with Foamy, please ensure that no one under age 15 is within earshot of your computer screen.  He's abrasive and rude.  But I love him!  :)


Foamy's home is at www.illwillpress.com, but you can find a chronological sequence of every foamy at www.foamy.dementio.com .  Enjoy!


These are just a few funny things that have been floating around the internet lately.  After seeing the movie "300", I can't help but get a kick out of them!  :D

Delightfully Tasteless! :D

Ever have one of those days where life just seems too much?  And then someone does something that really brightens your day?  This was it!  I was having a fairly rotten day when a friend of mine emailed me this:

I was rolling!  I sent it to a fellow British comedy fan, and she nearly died as well.  :D 

I have no idea what this is from, though.  Any ideas? 

Fritz Lang's "M" and...Randy Newman?

Just saw this posted today.  And no, he doesn't sing "You've Got a Friend in Me."  :)

This actually left quite an impression on me, and made me feel sad.  I really didn't know that Randy Newman did anything besides bouncy show tunes.

Call of the Wild

Today was a very busy day for our National Guard drill weekend.  We bundled out of our armory and headed down to the local fire department for a safety brief before heading out to our primary training, Ice Rescue.  We went to a local lake, where unseasonably warm temperatures had left many holes out on the ice, perfect for water rescue training.

It was actually rather balmy out, about 38 degrees with light snow, and we stripped out of our uniforms and into our gear.  They're rubber suits that are rather like a wet suit, but more bouyant and heavily insulated.  After we had geared up, we grabbed our ropes, poles, stretchers and other gear and headed out on the ice.

I first played the role of rescuer.  I slapped my wooden pole a few times on the ice as I approached the submerged victim, trying to determine the strength of the ice and whether it would give way beneath my weight.  When I was close enough to the hole that I was able to puncture through with my pole, I dropped to all 4's and crawled over to the patient.  I extended the pole until he was able to grab onto it, then I used my other hand to grab his wrist.  I tied a rope around his waist and used the pole as leverage to push his legs out of the water.  When I had done that, I gave a hand signal and the rest of my team pulled the man out of the water.

My next mission was to try to rescue an unconscious victim.  I had to go into the water with the patient and wrap a rope around his waist.  With both of us attached to the rope, climber-style, I gave a signal and both of us were pulled out of the icy hole.  

I got to play victim a couple of times, which was a lot of fun, as I got to bob in the ice water and have people whack me with poles.  Good times...good times... 

I wanted to post pictures, but I won't have them until I can track down the man with the camera.  Stay tuned!  :)

Ah, L'amour!

Feelin' in a bit of a quirky mood today.  :D  Thought I'd share a couple of cartoons from one of my favorite satirists,  Don Hertzfeldt.  Enjoy them before they disappear, since these cartoons are readily ripped off of YouTube due to copyright infringement.  Yay for copyright!  :D

This first cartoon is entitled "Ah, L'amour", about one man's rather difficult time relating to the opposite sex.

This cartoon defies description.  You'll just have to sit back and enjoy the zen!  :D

The third cannot be found on YouTube this week, but I did find a spiffy copy in Google Video!  "Billy's Balloon" has got to be one of my favorite cartoons of all time.  It's rather hard to explain why.  You either see the humor, or you don't!


Enjoy them while they're still up!  :D