Quiet Time

I currently have a death in the family looming. He could go at any minute. I may not post for a few days as I deal with this.

Dave, my stepmother's father has been important in my life. A successful man, well off, multiple business ventures presented him the opportunity of a comfortable life. And he availed himself of those opportunities.

I recall when I first met the man, I was an 11 or 12 year old boy. Illiterate, mouthy and had to demonstrate that to any adult that would stand still long enough to listen. "Pop" would have none of it. At the time, my family was what is currently referred to as white trash, minus the welfare. Both parents worked, neither was college educated and we had nothing. My now step mother was my mother's best friend and they both worked third shift in a muffler factory. However, Becky (my now step mother), loved us kids from the moment she met us all. Then reality went sideways. My parents divorced, we kids were thrown back and forth with custody battles, attempted suicides, alcohol, physical abuse charges about as ugly a divorce as can be had. Finally my father got full custody and then a job offer out of state. While my mother was losing her mind, Becky stayed with us kids and brought her son along. We all moved to New Jersey. the change of scenary, schools and people helped us all become a family, sort of. Becky's parents became very agitated as Becky had left, had taken their first grand child with her and the drama went crazy for about 3 years. 6 months or so, later, Becky and my father married. Worse, she married the son of working class hicks from Kentucky. They never came to visit us, but we always found a way to make it back to them for Christmas or Thanksgiving. My father got a better job in Cincinnati, so we moved, again. "Close enough to Indianapolis to visit, far enough that you won't show up, unannounced" was the way my father described it. We were better off, in a larger house that was not run down we were 'becomming human' is how Pop described us one Thanksgiving. All of us were in school and were able to read well, and just in general we were more 'balanced' even if we were impossible to handle by their standards of being seen, but not heard.

On the day of my high school graduation, we had in the house, my father, my step mother, my mother (whom I did not invite), both of my father's parents, my sister, younger brother and Becky's son, whom my father had adopted as his own. On that day, Pop invested in me a small piece of wisdom over the phone, as I recall. "Always look before you move, think before you speak and be honest in business. Do these things and you will be found by success" he said. 6 weeks later I started Basic Training in the Army. On holidays and family visits when Pop was around, we would have heated debates on education, religion, politics, society and anything else, until eventually, he would kick me out of the house for being a spoiled ignorant kid. That is when I learned he was a drunkard. Pop always had a taste for the bottle, mostly scotch as I recall. Then I made a mistake, an error in judgement and went to prison. I received a letter from Becky while in prison telling me how Pop was disappointed in me and how I was never welcome in his home, ever again. This did not bother me, much, as I thought him to be an arrogant, self righteous person. A few years later, I drove to Cincy to visit my father. On the way back to Oklahoma, I stopped in Indiana to visit my father's parents. I also took a chance to stop in a local pub that Pop had purchased an interest in. He was there. We spoke, we debated, we came to a mutual understanding and respectful agreement. On my way out of town I stopped by to drop off a package to his wife, from my step mother. A few more years and several visits later, we are at Pop's for Christmas. And he is very drunk, loud and rude, but also 'better'. I believe this to be because of my lineage. My wife was playing a carol on their piano as she was telling about teaching kids to play piano after school where she taught. He started quizzing her on music and what she taught the kids. She admitted that she used modern music to teach the kids to play, because they would practice it and this bigoted, hypocritical man started berating my wife about how she can't be a very good teacher if she has to resort to teaching 'jungle music' just to get kids to learn. He kept this crap up, harassing a woman he had met for the first time not more than 2 hours, before. That is when I learned the MOST important lesson the man would ever teach me.

Money, wealth, privilege, possessions and opportunity were not enough. If your heart was not filled, as well with love, compassion and understanding you would have nothing to give the world but bitterness, cruelty and sorrowful regret. I don't know if this is something he has ever realized himself.

A few years ago, Pop was in a very bad auto accident. Nearly killed himself and others. Alcohol was involved in the incident. It took him, I think 6 months or more, to be able to walk, again, without assistance. I have been back to visit far too infrequently. And recently I learned from my step mother that he has been very proud of me. I climbed so far, then fell, and climbed even farther and harder, again to make something of myself. He told her I was his 'other' grandson, for the first time. That means a lot to me, for some reason I don't really understand, myself.

Rest in Peace, you tired, embittered man. Your strength of limb may have faded, but never shall the strength of your memory be lost. I love you and I will miss you, Pop.


OH! My goodness. What will they THINK?

Before reading my post, please visit this interesting commentary on the way things stand with the war.


Go ahead and read it. This will wait.

Now, I would like to say: What the Hell! Is someone TRYING to make things worse? I mean such an aggressive stance, such harsh demands.

Of course we will NOT surrender to the likes of that filthy son of a pig-nosed wh*&#!

Bin Laden! You and your friends killed innocent friends of mine. I am honorbound, by both our cultures to see you dead, dead, dead. To that end, I support our troops hunting you. I support my President's war upon you and yours. I believe you will rot in that special place in the universe for sick, maladjusted sociopaths that steals innocence from little girls. May your soul and your spirit never see peace you infertile, malodorous, pork liver fed, son of a coward, spawn of a harlot. If you believe strapping a bunch of semtex and dynamite to your chest and walking into a bazaar to blow yoruself up is heroic. Try it, yourself, you fecal brained, in-bred bastard!


Third posting for the day -- will it be the last?

If I take the time to make a unique post for each question that I have been asked...well, I don't think my fingers can handle that kind of typing. So, here are a bunch of answers, again in no particular order:

Bob: No thanks.

Terry: Sure, what ever.

Terri: Yes, you too can start your own blog. The account is free. And you do not need a specific topic to discuss. Some people use their blog as a sort of diary. And yes, before you ask, you can make the blog private so your Mother can not find it.

Pastor McHenley: Sorry to disappoint you, but I really have no interest in 'converting' and returning to the light. We have had a great many theological discussions. I have greatly appreciated your point of view and respect your opinion. It is true, there are no atheists in foxholes, just like there is no idol worship at the Vatican.

Dr. Phillips: Yeap! I have a few screws loose. As much as I appreciate the offer, I really don't want to lay down and discuss my reasoning for starting this blog. If you wish to psychoanalyze me, read my posts. I am willing to bet they will be more honest than I could be in your office.

High-Priestess Narisca: No.

Officer Graeves: Thanks for dropping by. And thanks for the ticket.

Mechanic Alberto: Yo no hablo espanol.

Joe: Yes, I enjoy Celtic music, as well as speed metal, thrash, classic rock, gothic, techno and even bluegrass. What I can't stand is that bubble gum pop and rap. One is fake the other is traitorously hollow. Both disgust me.

Cindy: No thanks, dear. I do not wish to have children. One of me on this planet is enough.

And to so many others that asked: Yes, I will post photos of things I have made as a blacksmith. This is the last item I made. It was made at a forge in California while on a business trip. The circle is made from 1/2" square. The star arms are made from 1/8" by 1/2". Each piece is 'forge welded' and no power tools were used to make it. Each piece was 'hot cut' from the original stock. I was not able to finish the pentacle on that trip, so my friend who owned that shop finished it and sent it to me. It is about 10" in diameter. I have jokingly made a comment of making a set of three of these (6", 8" and 10") to be used as trivets. So far, I have orders for 7 sets at $85.00 each. Now I just need a local shop to make them at!

Douglas: 42

I may take the time to answer some of the other questions in a later posting.

P. Blacksmith.

Posting times

Daggone it, I have had a wonderful response to this blog. Several people I asked to visit have and a few are asking questions and offering subject and discussion topic suggestions.

One person, though, asked why all the posting times were so early in the morning. It's easy to answer, actually. I work 3rd shift. I started the blog, on Friday night, during some down time, while at work. Over the weekend, I posted again, on the shift, because I maintain my 3rd shift lifestyle, rather than trying to live a 'normal' time two days a week, killing my productivity for at least 2 work days as I shift back to nights after a weekend.

It's also quiet, this time of day. Yesterday's post was written in an IHOP at 4:30 in the morning. I was the only guest. The waiter would swing by every ten minutes or so, shake the coffee pot and move on. I was there for 6 hours, just working away on the internet. This is my time of day, and I like it.

So, Debbie, I hope that answers your questions. If not, leave a comment. Maybe I will respond. ;-)

The World As It Is SUPPOSED To Be

A colleague of mine asked how in the world I managed to link to so many people in the medical and policing industries. Here is a part of the conversation:

"It's quite simple, actually", I say.

"yeah? explain it to me."

"Nurses, police, fire fighters and many others all provide a service to the population. They are the harbingers of 'The World As It Is SUPPOSED To Be'. These are people that work jobs that pay low to moderate wages. The type of career that will never make these people financially rich. At least not the ones that are worth having doing the job. Much like teachers, and I don't mean college professors, these people serve their communities in these capacities as a calling."

"But why? I mean if the money is not very good and hours are terrible, why put up with the heartache of the job?" this young sprog asks. (Thanks for the vocabulary contribution, LD!).

"For the same reason we have so many troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. These people see a need and they step up to fill it. These people are the unsung heroes of our society."

To which the snot replied, "Whatever man. I just don't get it. It's not American. There is no gain in it. They suffer through money issues just to take care of ungrateful people. I could never work like that."

And there begins the education of the corruption of our youth. I will admit, I got into computers for a living for several reasons. I had the brain for it. I loved things that were logical. Mr. Spock was my hero as a kid. He betrayed nothing of his thoughts to others that he did not intentionally want them to know or see. Logic and reason rules this little world.

And as others have done the same over the last two generations, each more empty than the last. Our youth (Gen X and Gen Y) became addicted to the immediate gratification of the NOW American lifestyle. Gen Z will be even more instant gratification. With parents shirking their responsibilities to raise their kids, schools have become day care centers and teachers glorified baby sitters. Continuing the cycle of the 'Dumbing down of America'. What will Gen AA and Gen AB be like, I wonder.

Another point that got my ire up was the young man's comments about working in a social service industry as being un-American. This, dare I say boy, has no regard for anyone that does not have a 6 figure income. He does not have that kind of income, but he is still in college and working a job to keep his school loans under control. This was such a shock to me. Without a salary of $100000.00 or more a year, this kid can not consider someone as being successful.

I may not be happy in my job, but I am happy in my career. I am happy with my MOST of my choices in life, even some of the mistakes. There is nothing in my past I would change, because I would not be here, now. I pity this person who is under-educated in the most important fact of life.

Money will not and can not buy you happiness.

And to all those educators, police, fire fighters, EMS techs, soldiers, and everyone else that works for the good of society, I wish to repay you with the currency that means the most to me.

My thanks and my respect.

I only wish I had the words to convince this naive youthful co-worker the importance of such gratitude and respect.

P. Blacksmith


Feelin' ALL that LOVE!

A big warm thanks to AD for the mention on his blogs. I am honored by his mention, but then again, there is a very good reason for that honor. When you have a chance, if you have not already, be sure the special project AD, BabsRN and MattG all did in their collaborative story. They started with Matt's views of a severe vehicle accident, the AD's involvement as an Emergency Medical Tech and concluded with Babs perspective in the ER and after. Their combined story is called Perspectives. A very moving read.

Ok, and now on to other requests, via e-mail and the comments, in no particular order:

  • Yes, I am a blacksmith. A hobby artisan of steel and iron. I do not make swords. But I do make other items, including camping utensils, household items and decorations, historic re-creations and pretty much anything else that suites my fancy. Being a traditional blacksmith, I refrain from using power tools, I do by hand as much of my metalwork as possible. The down side is that living in an apartment, the management thereof has a slight problem with a 3000 degree fire the size of a softball in one's living room, not to mention the smoke, and the noise. If you know anyone in the general OKC, OK area that has shop space, please let me know!
  • Yes, I will be sharing some how-to's and other information. Including an occasional shameless plug to other sites that I know share useful details on steel work and home repair and workings.
  • I do work with computers. In fact, I work 3rd shift as a NOS Analyst for one the world's largest PC manufacturers. But my desire is to return to the San Francisco Bay /Silicon Valley area for employment.
  • Yes, I am a Pagan. In the original Latin 'paganus' referred to folk who lived in the country, usually considered ignorant by the city folk. For me, though, pagan means one who has seen a different light and chooses to walk a different path through life. I do practice spell craft. To me and MY unique beliefs, a spell is nothing more than a catalyst and focus for a prayer. I follow no particular path or teaching, therefore, I would be considered eclectic.
  • No, I am not 'anti-christian', and despite what my mother may have called me as I was growing up, nor am I the 'Anti-Christ' himself. We all deserve the opportunity to follow whatever path makes us happy, with only ONE restriction, do not harm or limit anyone else doing the same.
  • Yes, I have interests that would be labeled survivalist by some. I believe in alternative methods of capturing and using energy. I also believe in a strong dependable posture and presence, as well as just being prepared for as much as possible.
  • I am an American, a Veteran and a human. I make mistakes, I vote and I have served to support and continue the freedoms we enjoy, and all too often take for granted.

And last, but not least for this post is a message to Jenna, that I will be repeating in a comment on her blog:

Please tell the Prime Geek NOT TO BUY A FORGE! It is much better to actually build your own first forge. This link http://www.anvilfire.com/21centbs/forges/brkdrum1.htm will help him make his own first forge. It is not necessary to spend lots of money on tools until you actually need those tools.

P.S. the blogroll links are fixed!


Initial Post - Crap, what have I gotten into?

Well, this is it. My second foray into the blogosphere. My first blog was on a personal website for the study and sharing of pagan and wiccan information.

(already broke rule one - don't share religious points of view. This will be discussed more, in later posts.)

I believe I have a bit of a snarkish sense of humor and a twisted view on the world, as it is. More on this as I find the timbre and tone of my online voice.

I have been reading several blogs (as listed to the side) for quite a while now. I decided to start using blogger.com for the home of my blog to (being honest, here) get more exposure. The more people that may stumble across the postings of my opinions and thoughts may share a new light one direction or another.

Feel free to leave comments. Please keep the attacks to a minimum. Share your thoughts and your opinions. Revel and use your first amendment rights, but don't abuse another in the process. (and there was rule two of good blogging - avoid politics, until you know your audience)

As you can see, I know the rules, and some of them I choose not to follow. Rules such as these are not laws. Laws of physics, laws of the republic, laws of society, those I obey. I may even fight the unjust ones, but I do obey them, and I expect them to apply to all and to be universal.

Anyway, enjoy your visit, come back often and be sure to give yourself a little love by visiting the blogs I enjoy. You may find we have something in common.

P. Blacksmith