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Archive for the ‘mature’ Category

This is a post about the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Before you read this be advised, I am going to piss people off. If you would prefer that one of those I anger not be you, you may just want to stop reading.

Here is a puppy picture as a consolation prize.

A tired puppy after a nice walk about the neighborhood.

 

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Still here? Well, I warned you.

In the remote event you have not yet heard, Osama Bin Laden was killed by US troops during a raid a few nights ago. Details are sketchy at this point, but I do believe that he was killed. (Though I am sure that Donald Trump is now going to start asking the President for Osama’s death certificate…)

In so much as he was a leader, planner, and financial backer of a terrorist organization that is actively at war with the United States I don’t have a problem with the attack.

There are some already stating that he should have been taken alive, brought back for trial, and then executed. There are those stating that because the man appeared to be unarmed that the mission was more of an assassination than anything else.

I was not there, I will not question the judgement of the men who were.

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No, the entire operation did not bother me in the least. In fact I feel a sense of relief that the man is no longer out there assisting in the murder of more people, whether from my country or some other.

What does bother me is the way in which some of my countrymen have celebrated his death. Dancing in the streets, jubilant as though their team just won the world cup.

I see these flag draped people chanting USA-USA-USA and celebrating. I expect to see things like that in Somalia as the locals are dragging helicopter parts (or worse) through the streets. I did not expect to see that here and it disturbs me deeply.

These people are celebrating the death of a human being.

A man who has done terrible things, it is true. Still, he was a human being.

A human being that was killed in front of his family for actions he undertook because he believed he was doing the right thing.

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Yes the man was a terrorist.

Then again, by the current definition so were my countries founding fathers.

I am not in any way trying to justify his actions, or to condemn those of my government. I am simply drawing a parallel.

In war there are always at least two sides, and every side thinks they are the good guys.

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Yes, he would have killed me and my family simply for the crime of being born in America.

Yes, had I been the one with boots on the ground in his compound I would have killed him as well.

It’s war, declared by both sides.

In wars people die, your objective it to make sure it’s always the other guy and not you.

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While I am glad he is gone, I refuse to celebrate death.

If that somehow makes me less of a patriot then so be it.

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I have been doing a lot of thinking lately.

Real thinking, beyond things like “what am I going to cook for dinner”.

I have more and more found myself thinking about what if.

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It all started innocently enough. I was working on ideas for my NaNoWriMo project, when the thought just occurred to me.

What if, one day, in one fell swoop, every oil well on the planet simply dried up.

No warning, no decades of preparation, just dry.

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In my story I was going to have science develop a bacteria that eats oil. You know, something to pour into the water the next time an oil rig blows up. Something that sounds like a good idea, right up until it turns out to be a bad idea.

In the case of my story, the bacteria had spread and multiplied beyond what it was designed to do and essentially ate the world’s oil supply.

The reasons that my mind was taking a walk down Apocalypse Lane are really not important though, at least not now.

More important by far is what I saw when I took that walk.

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I started with that first what if, and started thinking about what the effects would be. I opened up my mind’s eye and I could see things clicking together like the pieces of a puzzle. Actually it would be more accurate to call it a house of cards.

That was the day I realized just how much we depend on the energy we derive from fossil fuels.

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The first and most obvious thing that would happen is that within a week or two my cars would all become nothing but lawn ornaments, slowly rusting away as there would no longer be a way to get fuel for them. I would bet just about anything that within a week all remaining petroleum supplies would be federalized to keep the military and emergency services functioning as a more long term solution was found.

I suppose if I were driving a diesel I could try to use Bio-diesel, vegetable oils, or other alternative fuels, but likely those would be federalized pretty quickly as well to keep vital systems online.

Then I asked myself, what happens when the trucks and trains stop running?

What happens when no more supplies are reaching cities?

Thats where I think whatever bio-diesel we are able to produce would go. It would go to bringing food and other vital supplies to where it needed to be. There simply would not be enough left over for recreational use.

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As I continued with the world building for my tale I started thinking about what other ways the loss of oil would affect things. After all, I am a maintenance guy. I fix things both for a living and for fun.  Some people just see separate things, I see systems, interactions, everything is part of a puzzle, even you and I.

One of the primary things I do is look at interactions, cause and effect. I see the effects, and use that to tell me the cause. It’s what I have done my whole life, and I consider myself pretty damn good at it. 

This time I am looking at a cause and trying to predict the effects.

Let me tell you, it ain’t pretty.

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If the oil goes away what goes with it?

Gasoline.

Diesel fuel.

Natural gas.

Heating and lubricating oils.

Many plastics, and a lot of artificial rubber.

Add synthetic fibers like Nylon and Rayon into the mix.

Asphalt (though it won’t be needed near as much, since most cars will be obsolete)

It’s used in the pharmaceutical industry for some drugs, and in the crafting of damn near everything.

Whether it’s an actual part of the product or not, oil is used to make just about everything we touch. It’s so prevalent that attempting to live in such a way that you used none would be very difficult.

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Nearly impossible.

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What happens to the house of cards when someone comes along and pokes the base real hard with a big stick?

It all comes crashing down.

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Look at it from a local level, instead of globally. Focus on the small scale, you and your immediate family and friends.

How would you heat your house this winter?

Where would your food come from?

How would you get to work?

Would you even still have a job?

What would your community look like a year later? 

How about after five years?  

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The more I think about it the more I realise, 150 years ago the only oil we burned was to light lamps against the darkness. People survived, indeed they thrived, without oil.

People would go back to it, they would adapt and survive. As a race, we would go on.

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The world though, it would be a very very different place.

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What would you do if suddenly all the technology you use everyday without thinking about it suddenly just went away?

Yes, the world would be a different place. How would you fit into it?

Would you be able to adapt, or would you be one of the many that perished in the attempt?

Are you so addicted to technology that you would literally die of withdrawals if it you couldn’t get your fix?

Just something to think about.

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Happy Earth Day.

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Saw these as I was perusing the interwebs and thought I should share.

I think the one on the right hangs a bit lower than the other, but I could be wrong.

What?

Did you think I was talking about something else?

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Before I go there, I am going to warn you. I am breaking one of my cardinal rules.  

I am talking, actually ranting, about current events on a highly politicized topic.  

Feel free to simply mark as read and carry on, there will not be a quiz on this information.  

Here is a picture of our new kitten to check out as a way of saying thanks for stopping by.  

Yes i'm cute, and I still need a name.

Ok, here goes, lats chance to bail….  

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Still here?  

Alrighty, you must be morbidly curious as to what pissed me off.  

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In short, I am pissed at the short-sightedness of people.  

I just read a series of news articles about complete idiots that have gotten it into their heads to boycott BP gas stations as a way of “punishing” BP for its destroying the Gulf of Mexico. Some businesses are reporting anywhere from a 20 to 40 percent drop in sales as part of this.  

There are people picketing the stations with signs of oil fouled wildlife, and slogans bashing BP for the disaster.   

Exactly what the hell are these people smoking?  

Have they never heard the word franchise?  

WAKE THE HELL UP YOU MORONS, BP DOES NOT OWN THOSE GAS STATIONS. SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS THAT LIVE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD DO.  

Neighbors who are likely even more pissed off at BP than you are.  

Neighbors that have contracts that prevent them from simply calling up another company and turning their station into a Shell or something. 

Even if people in America could somehow successfully boycott all of BP’s product here in the states (and it’s impossible) that would still leave over 60% of their profits intact through overseas sales. Thats not even including the fact that they could simply sell their oil to different customers in the states.  

After all, they are into bulk sales and distribution. Even if every BP station in America was driven out of business they would just sell their gas wholesale to other branded stations.  

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The me phrase this in a way that they might understand….  

YOU CANNOT DESTROY A WORLDWIDE WHOLESALER BY BOYCOTTING THE STORES THEY SELL TO IN A CERTAIN REIGON.  

Boycotting BP gas in American gas stations will hurt BP corporate just about as much Fruit of the Loom would be hurt if people at all the Wal-Marts in Nebraska boycotted their underwear .   

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Want to do something that will make a freaking difference?  

Take all that pent-up energy and all the extra money folks are spending whipping people up into a frenzy over this and invest it into something that really will destroy them.  

Technology that will replace oil, not just in cars, but as a means of energy production.  

Now that will hurt them.  

Unless, while folks are tilting at windmills and screaming into the vacuum the energy companies are the ones that come up with their own replacement.  

If that’s the case then they will own the world’s economy for another hundred years.  

Maybe a thousand who the hell knows.  

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What I do know is that after work I need to stop and get gas.  

I plan to hit up the BP that’s right down the street.  

The protestors can just get the hell out of my way.  

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It has been quiet here of late.

Too quiet.

Not in an old spaghetti western sense.

Quiet with the sense of impending action.

Just quiet.

Though if you could have listened close enough you would have heard the soft click of the keyboard more than a time or two.

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For the last couple weeks I have done a lot of thinking.

I have likely started a dozen posts, mostly poems, and deleted them all.

The words just did not want to flow.

Incoherent babble, all of it.

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I suppose  I could just tell a story and be done with it, but it seems more like I am fishing for sympathy than simply trying to understand this all myself. It’s been years and it all still rolls around in my poor empty head.

Hell, it’s not like this post will survive the delete button any more than the others.

If it does, feel free to mark as read and stroll on past.

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With any tale I suppose I should start at the beginning, but what really is the beginning of my story?

How far back would you have to go to really get to the beginning?

Somewhere between the time the Earth cooled and the time this mornings coffee did the same while I sat typing I suppose.

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I could go back to the 7th of May in 2002, the day the cancer finally took my dad, That might be a beginning.

I could look eight months to the day later when the cancer took my stepfather as well, maybe thats where it all started.

While losing both of the men in her life in such short order led up to this tale I don’t think they were the beginning I am looking for.

I think I will start it on the winter’s day in November of ’03 when mom came to live with us.

She had taken a bad fall, and with her declining health she simply could no longer live on her own.

We had a choice. Put her in a nursing home, or bring her into our home and care for her there.

In my mind it wasn’t even a choice. She cared for me for decades as I grew up. Cleaned up after my messes, stayed up with me at night when I had nightmares. Held my hand when I was scared, and my hair when I threw up.

Without fail she was always there for me when I needed her.

How could I do any less? We were family.

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For the next three and a half years my family and I put our lives on hold to care for her.  Lets just say that as things slowly worsened life became more and more difficult for all of us and leave it at that. Details are not needed here, If you have ever done the same you know what I am talking about. If not you would never understand.

Many times in those years Mom had to go into the hospital. Sometimes over night, sometimes for a week at a time. Those were times of worry, and yet times of respite for us. It stayed that way for years.

Then came a day in June of ’07, the 19th to be exact. The day she went into the hospital and never came home.

The day my Mom died.

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The day that happened I was (as you might imagine) a complete babbling train wreck.

I am not sure what was worse actually, the sense of loss that came with her passing or the guilt I felt.

Guilty for  the sense of release that washed over me as the strain of the last few years fell away like a millstone from my shoulders.

Knowing that I would no longer be under the strain of never being wrong. Never making a mistake with her meds. No longer keeping a logbook of everything that happened, no matter how small.

Guilty for feeling free to just be me again, and not doctor Brad.

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That has been what has been on my mind of late. The reason I have been so quiet.

Last monday was her birthday and I was trying (in vain as it turned out) to write her something. Something beautiful and moving and eloquent. I don’t know why, but I felt the need.

I tried, but I failed.

I suppose in the absence of something eloquent and moving this post will have to do.

I miss you Mom,

Happy Birthday

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Just a quick note on something of great importance.

Pink%20Ribbon

A guildmate of mine in the World of Warcraft was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. 

This guild, Sidhe Devils of Keal’thas (alliance) will be holding an in game event to both show our support for our friend and help raise money for further reasearch.

A whole lot more information (and a much better written post on the subject) can be found Here.

Please take the time to go have a look.

If nothing else, please have yourself checked as recommended by your physician.

I now return you to you originally scheduled NaNoWriMo hiatus, already in progress.

-Brad

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Think before you forward

Those that know me will tell you I am truly a mild mannered soul. Yes I can and do become angry, but I never carry it to extremes. In fact I think extremes of anything are a bad thing.

Well, today someone who apparently thought this was funny dropped me an email with a picture in it.

I don’t find it funny, not even a little bit.

I find it insulting.

 

The organization in question, PETA, does have a bit of a habit of using somewhat controversial ads to get their message out. I have no problem with that, I will not comment or debate on their goals, philosophy, or methods.

This is not a political blog, and I don’t plan to make it one.

 

The first amendment guarantees (amongst other things) the right to freedom of both speech and artistic expression. That in and of itself should not be used as an excuse to insult, laugh at, or humiliate anyone. It should also not be used as an excuse for (apparently) letting a room full of drunk college freshman design your ad campaign.

It is said that the pen is mightier than the sword.

It’s also said that a picture is worth a thousand words.

I say that this billboard is a stab in the face.

 

 

You want to save the whales? great.

You want to prevent animal cruelty? more power to you.

You want to be a vegetarian? be my guest.

You want to post a billboard that insults people, even those that may agree with you? screw you.

I don’t care who you are or what your message is, you have no right to mock people for being overweight. Trust me, they get enough already.

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