Tuesday, July 28, 2020

If you can keep your head...

Here's how it went down this morning.

It was 0126 when I woke up with a bad cough. I mean a bad cough, a full bore flu cough. The kind that hurts when you cough, like someone is tearing at your bronchi with sandpaper encrusted fingers. I had a pounding headache and a sore throat and I felt really sick and really weak.

Fuck, I thought. Is this the fucking wuhandromeda shit?

Of course that's the first thing I thought, given the current planetary covid psychosis infecting seemingly everyone.

On the one hand, I had reason for legitimate concern. While the symptoms were solidly consistent with a bad case of influenza, the onset of this thing was different than any flu I'd ever had or heard about. In my personal experience flu symptoms come on gradually over many hours or even a day or two. My clinical training and experience echo this. A person's immune system ramps up to fight the viral invaders while at the same time the virus numbers are growing as they transform healthy cells into virus factories and grow the viral population exponentially. The body becomes a battleground, and the symptoms the infected person experiences -- fever, chills, aches, fatigue, cough, sore throat, headache -- those symptoms are nearly all caused by the toxicity of cellular destruction and decomposition.

The sudden onset of severe upper respiratory symptoms was very, well, wrong. Influenza doesn't work like that. But what if covid does? Fuck.

In addition to a painful cough, there was a good bit of panic bubbling up in my chest. Fuck. Fuck-fuck-fuck-fucktards!

Okay, deep cleansing breath (complete with painful, wracking cough). Think! Scale, context, perspective! Time for an objective assessment.

When seeing a patient in a clinical, field, or emergency setting you generally follow the SOAP format. Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan. Subjective is what the patient says. Objective is what you observe, including vital signs, exam, labs, images, etc. Assessment is basically a working diagnosis. Plan is what you and the patient decide to do about the malady or injury.

Subjectively I feel like shit. I feel really sick. Cough, headache, sore throat, aches and pains, fatigue, malaise.

What's going on objectively though? Yes, I'm coughing, I hurt, I feel terrible. So, vital signs. B/P is 118/77, pulse 65. A pulse of 65 is almost certainly too low for a person with a raging viral infection. Hmmm. Temperature? Hey, it's 97.9. That doesn't fit either. Hmmm squared. And frankly, the sudden onset is wrong for a viral URI. Hmmm cubed.

In the midst of this I have a call in to the VA in Cheyenne. My reasoning when I dialed the number and joined the perma-hold queue was that I should be tested for the fancy new wuhandromeda strain. On its face, not a terrible idea. Except for a couple of things.

Firstly, do I have confidence in the tests? As best I can tell, the present iteration of test kits have a 50 percent false positive rate. So no, I have no confidence in potential test results.

Secondly, would an actual correct test result change any potential treatment plan? No. Treatment for everyone with symptoms if influenza is almost entirely supportive. Anti-virals (tamiflu, a stab in the dark), mucolytics (guaifenisin/mucinex), analgesic/antipyritic (tylenol), fluids, rest, airway support if needed, antibiotics if a secondary bacterial infection shows up, etc. So positive or negative test, same treatment plan.

Thirdly, I'm not liking the politics/ideology of this pseudo-pandemic. I don't really want to be a data point used primarily to grow political/government power when a so-called emergency pandemic situation has prompted an abandonment of objective medical science and Constitutional protections.

As I reach for my phone to end the call, someone rogers up. Fuck.

As the conversation develops I'm thinking. If I have influenza -- whether it's wuhandromeda or not -- it's going to be up to my immune system to prevail or fail. I'm in very good shape and there's not a thing wrong with my immune system, as far as I know. One thing that might help is a course of antivirals. The science is sketchy on this, but the potential positive probably outweighs the potential negative. In other words, even if it doesn't really help it probably won't hurt.

The plan becomes this. I'll take tylenol and mucinex right now (it's just gone 0200) and at 0600 I'll push on over to Cheyenne, where the VA minions will be prepared to test me for wuhandromeda, assess my illness, and treat it more or less appropriately (I hope!).

At 0600 I'm feeling better. The cough and sore throat are mostly gone. I still feel significant fatigue and malaise, but overall I seem to be miraculously healing myself. So what the fuck?

Then I remember. Last evening I was participating in a meeting when the olden florescent lights begin to fail Soon the room is filled with the stench of dying 1950's era ballast. It's quite an unpleasant odor, but we were in the middle of something important so we all hang in there for another 30 minutes to resolve the problem we were working. The lights were turned off and the stench slowly subsided. When we were done it was very good to get outside and into the fresh air. I head home and hit the sack, electrical outgassing completely forgotten.

Well, shit. Smoke/gas inhalation fits the symptoms better than regular or wuhandromeda influenza.

Nevertheless, I decide to press on over to Cheyenne. I'd like to get a real physician to giggle check my diagnosis. If I get a pretend physician I can always leave. My assessment of the chances of getting a real physician doing real physician stuff -- based on my direct experience -- is about one in five. Maybe one in ten. We'll see.

Cut to the chase, and I'm probably right. My vitals, labs, and x-rays are clean, with two exceptions. The wuhandromeda test will take five to nine million government working days. It's unlikely to be positive though, and if positive it's unlikely to be really positive. Also, the microscopic exam of my sputum (coughed up lung stuff) revealed "particulates consistent with mild to moderate smoke inhalation."

I find it illuminating that my initial reaction to waking up sick and coughing was to fear the magic wuhandromeda strain. At least I was able to work through my fears and near-panic and emerge unscathed.

So there you have it. Probably not wuhandromeda. Certainly smoke inhalation. As of writing this I'm still coughing up junk but feeling enormously better. So much better that...

Okay. I just put a Barska 4x BDC scope on the Colt LEC (Law Enforcement Carbine). It's a good zombie gun, and with the Barska mounted on the carry handle I can use either the irons or the scope. So the thing needs sighted in. Duh.

Lovely day.

Can I still shoot?


A bit tricky to sight in today...

Not all that bad on the results though...

Could be worse.

Love it when a plan comes together...

Sighted in and reasonably happy with the rifle and my marksmanship, and also feeling a thousand percent better than I did at 0126, I decide to hump it. I'm rocking a different tactical vest today but still have the same basic 40 pound load. Ammo, water, survival shit, rifle, pistol.

I was still coughing up junk. So what? A good lung workout was called for, something to get lots of air moving in and out and force the lungs to purge all foreign particulates.

So I did 2.72 miles in 40 minutes.

It was a good hike on a beautiful day. Hills. Lots of hills. That gave everything a lovely workout, including the lungs, which did just fine.

As the day begins to wind down, what sucked at the beginning has morphed into a life experience to embrace.

Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Not a post title in sight

I've mentioned that I have a new job.

"Why the fuck do you have a new job, Evertson?"

Well, it's complicated. Given a number of unresolved issues which I'll detail in future but not just now, it seemed prudent to take up another full time occupation.

I go to work at 0600 and get off at 1430. That leaves plenty of time to work on highest-priority ranch stuff. It also forces me to be more efficient with planning and execution of ranch tasking.

And let's face it. I was never going to get everything caught up on the ranch. Too much shit was neglected and allowed to deteriorate for too long. That's fine. Wasn't my circus, weren't my monkeys. I'll just keep plugging away. Unfucking the whole thing isn't doable for one guy. A five or six man crew could do it in several years, probably. But there's no crew so it's a moot point.

I like the new job a lot. I build security system widgets. It's basically piecework. Building up the widgets is quite interesting and challenging. Fascinating even.

I also mentioned that the two breaks and one lunch (half) hour have thus far afforded me the opportunity to get in some good workouts. Yeah, baby!

The city destroyed my underpass steps, but I've found a new set.

It's attached to the building I work in. Let's do it again!

And here's me finishing a set of 15 (maybe 17) with a little walk around the block philosophy break thrown in for good measure.

Today I did 60 flights of steps. My watch thinks I did 65. Close enough. Between the steps, walking around the block, and carrying widgets around inside, I logged a bit over five miles at work today. Which is good for me on many levels.

What are the cows and calves doing today?

And hey, check this shit out!

Fixed! For certain values of fixed.

Now what's this calf doing over here all by himself (stimself? 'e's a steer you know).

What to do, what to do...


So. Shoot, move, and communicate. Or possibly shoot, move, and confound.

This isn't a novel or a movie. If there's a sudden need to get physical, it'll be too late to get into shape. So I'm working pretty hard, spondylosis and radiculopathy and all. There are upsides and downsides. The upsides far outweigh the downsides.

Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Catching up a bit

July 21.

We did get a lovely downpour from a lovely evening thunderstorm. Total precip was circa 1.25 inches, which was very welcome indeed. It greened the warm season grasses nicely and will boost their biomass production, at least a bit.

July 22.

My friends the Swainson's Hawks.

And one of my favorite places, the Scotch thistle outbreak at the northeast edge of the south unit.

I've a new work regime going on which I won't detail just now. I will say that my physical ranch labor now begins hard on the heels of eight hours of laboring for a different outfit.

So when I come to the thistle patch or fencing project on the EJE it's later in the day and the hours I spend are golden hours. Growth and strength-building are maximized when mind and body are tired.

At my new job I have two 15 minute breaks and a half-hour lunch. Thus far I've spent that time walking and running steps. Getting the blood moving sharpens my brain and makes me feel far more refreshed than sitting around power slugging pastry. Seems a good thing.


July 24, before work.

Lunch walk/run. Some of you might remember this, Smokebong Hill. One of my favorite running hills; 400 yards of progressively steepening slope. It's an ass kicker. You might be wondering why I'm exercising hard when I suffer from traumatic lumbar spondylosis and radiculopathy. It's very simple -- fitness is better than non-fitness, and serious workout movement reduces the pain and forces healing, albeit at the cost of some pain during the actual workout. My roadwork includes walking on hard, flat surfaces, and running up steep, non-surfaced hills. Running up hills works because energy transfer over time through the complex of levers which make up feet-ankles-legs-pelvis-spine is essentially non-traumatic. Vigorously working these parts increases blood flow, improves joint lubricity, and prompts healing.

Move it!


Today. Saturday, July 25.

So much for the Scotch thistle infestation. On our side of the fence anyway. And in this particular location. There's more. But not a lot more.

After several hours of hard physical labor, it was time to hike with a load on. And I don't mean drunk hiking.

I did just over two miles in 30 minutes, so I pushed it pretty hard, especially considering the hills I climbed. My load consisted of rifle and pistol, nine 30 round mags for the rifle and five 12 round mags for the pistol, spare ammo (100 rifle/138 pistol), four pounds of water, and survival shit.

Curious cows on a hot July day which featured hard physical labor, hard physical exercise, good practice and experience, good pain and good non-pharmacological pain control, and a great deal of enjoyment, satisfaction, growth, learning, and fun paid for with all that hard shit.

Professional victims -- especially career government bureaucrats who've never been anywhere or done anything but know everything -- don't understand basic economics. You trade shit you have for shit you don't have, but want to have. That only makes sense if you've earned the shit you do have and therefore understand its value. Then you have a good idea whether it makes sense to trade a cow for a handful of magic beans.

Today I had the capacity and willingness to trade hard physical effort and discomfort for the delight of living and doing and experiencing in the real world.

As they said in the movie Dances With Wolves, "Good trade."


Interesting and challenging changes in my life. They're all hard and complex. In navigating these challenges there are a multiplicity of wrong approaches, and a very limited number of right approaches. The secret is to not violate foundational principle. This is hard, and it savagely assaults the professional victims in my life. In this sense it's a win-win. I get to fill the unforgiving minute again and again while the victims continue to wail and gnash their teeth.

Life is good.

Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Little things

It's often said that living in the moment is the best way to navigate through life. Yesterday is gone and attempting to live there is impossible. Memories are good things to have and explore, but the past is not the present and conflating the two can only lead to a sad outcome. The future is not here and is unknown. It's right and proper to make plans and try to chart a sensible course ahead, but while it's possible to make plans, it's impossible to make outcomes.

Which leaves us with the present, and the present is where we actually exist, whether we like it or not. It's where we have the opportunity to do our best work, to meet and embrace and and work the challenges of life. The present is where we meet with triumphs and disasters and learn to "treat those two impostors just the same."

That's livin', I think.

It's such an astonishing thing to me that Kipling could have penned such a perfect recipe for living.


The other day I was busy and with an important drop-dead deadline if I wanted to ensure moving forward with my medical treatment. I did not have a great deal of time for pop-up challenges.

Nevertheless, I was gifted with a pop-up challenge, one which really needed to be addressed immediately. What to do?

There was not a lot of time, but there was enough time. And even though I wouldn't have chosen to face this particular challenge on this particular day, the challenge and its successful accomplishment were a gift and a blessing.

It might be worth remembering that we ape-lizards are astonishingly good at working through problems.


Yesterday was a day I chose to challenge myself physically. I got stuck in digging thistle. Not the most romantic or enjoyable or exciting job, but a necessary one and a physical one. Accomplishing necessary and physical tasks is important to my wellbeing.

It's a process, and working the process while experiencing interesting variations is also important for my wellbeing. I do blather on a bit... 😧

Thistle digging was a bit of a warm up. Got my heart pumping and the blood flowing. Then it was time to combine some other stuff; important practice stuff with grass-cattle-water scouting and a bit of a nature hike.

I charged across shortgrass prairie and scrambled up the steepest pitch on what I call "Isandlwana Ridge." I was not well pleased with my cardio response but I was pleased to identify a need for more cardio HIIT, which is something I'll try to work in today. In the mean time, it was fun to talk about the good ol' winter glacier which has been long gone from the little valley on the southeast pitch of the ridge.

It was a great hike, replete with challenges and delights. Nature is awesome.

Not all thistle is bad thistle.

At the five-ish mile mark I was hot, tired, hypotensive, hypovolemic, and flagging. It was a great place to be, stuck a mile or so away from the pickup and with little more than "the will" to force my "heart and nerve and sinew" to "hold on." It's a good place to be, and important for my wellbeing. Also, my phone overheated and cut the camera in the midst of making a video. In its own way this was important also.

Finally, back at the pickup after a hard but enjoyable and important experience. I'm afraid I was babbling more than a bit. Good thing I wasn't faced with a firefight! 😱


And on with the next day, which should be today if I post this as planned. Today being July 19, 2020.

As requested, chickens.

Digging thistle is usually more than just digging thistle. Thank goodness!

Wasps! And other challenges. The best and most important challenge is to not fall into the trap of becoming a professional victim.

What's better than hard work? Finishing hard work.

Ground squirrels!


Such a beautiful July day here in Kimball County, Nebraska. Beautiful days are best when cherished, at least in my opinion.

Here's hoping that all of you kind readers are doing well and enjoying your lives. You have no idea at all how much I cherish your visits and the thought that I may be adding some small value to your experience as you walk your own individual paths. You guys rock and you all enrich my life. Thanks so very much!

Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Corpsman Chronicles XXXV: Super RBOC, I think I love you (part iv)

What's the difference between a fairy tale and a sea-story? A fairy tale begins, "Once upon a time..." A sea story begins, "This is no shit!"

I try to be careful to change names, but to the best of my recollection the events and locations are substantially correct. Of course I can only describe events from my perspective, so there's that. Readers who were present will doubtless have different recollections of any particular event. This is what it was like to serve in my tiny slice of the U.S. Navy between the late 1970's and early 1990's. It really was an adventure.

Here's part four of the Super RBOC saga.


This is no shit!


The big red numerals on my alarm clock changed from 3:59 to 4:00. I'd been staring at them for five minutes now. I'd been exhausted after snarfing down a pizza in front of the television and hit the rack early. Tired or not, I'd tossed and turned all night. The previous day had been a complex and multifaceted adventure and during the night a kaleidoscope review of the day ran unbidden and uninterrupted on the inside of my eyelids.


Fuck it. Laying in bed until the radio snapped on at 0430 wasn't going to gain me anymore sleep.

I got up and dressed in my favorite ratty running clothes; Reeboks, UDT shorts, and a faded and sleeveless NACCS t-shirt so worn and thin it was nearly transparent. In a parachute bag I threw spare flight suits, working whites, flight boots, underwear, towels, uniform accouterments, and my travelling dopp kit. Today would be my second day back at work at the NAS Oceana Branch Medical Clinic following my return from deployment. I needed to stock my clinic lockers properly. Among other things.

Weighing heavily on my mind was the fact that I had a running date set for zero-five with a delightfully beautiful corpsman named Rebecca, who I'd met for the very first time yesterday. Crazy.

I had a big pile of other stuff on my plate too. My clinic work assignment was in the ER, or emergency room. I was an E-5 or HM2, trained as a paramedic and with a good bit of experience under my belt. I was supposed to meet with LCDR Chin, the ER department head just before morning quarters at 0645. More specifically, both Rebecca and myself had been directed to meet with Dr. Chin. Crazy.

What the often cryptic Dr. Chin wanted with the two of us was anyone's guess. I suspected he wanted to tap me for an unofficial mentorship in the ER. He'd made some noises like that when I'd in-briefed with him yesterday, saying crypto-specifically that it was time for me to pick up my game. If that was to be my fate, well and good. I rather liked the idea, in fact. But I'd also tasted a hint of odd and somewhat alarming political/turf games going on in the clinic. My snap assessment, based on experience and observation over time, was that there was some bureaucratic overreach going on behind the scenes with the clinic's nurses -- who I thought of as The Gang Of Three -- trying to grab control. The nurses were officers, so the situation was properly officer shit. But it also carried the potential of splattering me and my enlisted swine brethren and sistren, which could make things unpleasant for us, and more importantly, adversely impact our ability to execute the mission properly. How I was supposed to navigate these rocks and shoals I had no idea. Crazy.

I made sure the house was locked, walked through to the garage, tossed my parachute bag in the Mustang's passenger seat and climbed in. I pressed the remote on the visor and the garage door magically wound open. What a cool and crazy thing! I fired up the V-8 motor and while it warmed I wondered for the umpteenth time what I was doing paying for a $35,000 three-bedroom house that I only lived in perhaps three or four months of the year. I backed out into the driveway, pressed the magic button, and grinned all over again. Stupid house. I loved it but owning it and being absent most of the time was stupid. Story of my life. Crazy.

As I drove toward the clinic the eastern horizon was just beginning to be not-night. It was a slightly chilly but very pretty spring morning. I puzzled over this new thing I was experiencing with Rebecca. It was a very odd thing. My standard and well practiced approach to pretty girls who I was attracted to was to joyfully flirt and see what delightful things might develop. I really, really like pretty girls and I liked exploring boy-girl stuff with them, but it was always easy come, easy go. Just bilateral fun and friendship with no strings expected or desired. With Rebecca that wasn't going to work, and I'd been blindsided by that realization. Something was very different. My standard operating procedure would be exactly wrong. What to do? I was very confused. Crazy.


As I rolled into the clinic parking lot a pretty girl in a pretty red car followed me in. I parked and yanked my parachute bag out of the Mustang. The pretty girl was dressed for running too, and the shorts and t-shirt she sported along with a million watt smile made for a spectacular vision.

At 0455 we were stretching, and at 0500 we set out. The course we took was the first leg of my more-or-less usual five-miler. I had permission to run on the golf course so long as I did it early before the duffers showed up. It was a great place to run, and this morning it was just right. I guesstimated the distance but gee-mapz tells me it was spot on.

Rebecca was breathing hard before we got out of the parking lot, but she hung in there for the whole buck and a half. I tried to set an appropriate pace for her but of course it's impossible to get it just right. Nevertheless, she gutted it out and stayed with me even for the slightly uphill sprint around a sand trap and across a warm-up area.

"Oh that sucks!", she gasped, hands on knees and puffing like a steam locomotive.

"Hell, Rebecca," I replied, "you're ready for the run. That was only 13 minutes!. Lets walk it out and cool down. You up to sit ups and push ups?"

"Yeah," she puffed as she wobbled along beside me, "just lemme catch my breath. You do this shit every morning?"

"Every morning," I replied. "Well, almost every morning. It's a good bad habit."

"Stupid habit!", she exclaimed with feeling.

Within a hundred yards she was walking and breathing normally. It's pretty wonderful to be alive and in your mid-twenties.

We stopped on the side of a fairway and did sit ups and push ups. I don't recall the test numbers but they were pretty modest. I showed off of course, doing a bunch of both very fast. The below thinking level core of my being was trying very hard to prove itself worthy of consideration. The thinking level part of me was too, but the brain was trying even harder to not be Tarzan and make a terrible mistake. Did I mention I was badly confused? I really, really enjoyed assisting Rebecca with her sit ups. It was a very delightful experience, holding her feet in place and making encouraging sounds.

We meandered back toward the clinic, chatting about the upcoming PFT, speculating about what Dr. Chin wanted, and enjoying each others company. We sat on a tee box bench for twenty minutes or so and let the brightening morning wash over us. Magical.

When we arrived back at the clinic we marched in through the front doors on the active duty (as opposed to dependent/family) side. Right into a Senior Chief ambush.

"Goddammit, Evertson, what the fuck part of 'no athletic attire in the working spaces' don't you understand?"

He was gathering a fresh lungful for a killing burst of fire when I accidentally countered with the perfect tactical response.

"Oh shit, Senior," I said, "I apologize! Wasn't thinking. Won't happen again."

That hit him where he lived, and his eyes popped open wide in response to my unexpected low blow.

"Well goddammit don't let it happen again," he grumbled. He wasn't quite sure what had just happened and needed some time to make sense of it. So did I.


Freshly showered and looking four point oh, Rebecca and I presented ourselves at LCDR Chin's office at 0645.

"Okay," said Chin, "You guys did some good work yesterday and you seem to be a good team. We've got a very good crew here but we've got some training and experience gaps and we're gonna work on that. You're TAD Mikey so you're here and gone and you're flying all the time as well. You've also got the most training and experience in the building. So it's time to put the grabassing behind you. I want you teaching and teaching hard. Understand?"


"Rebecca," he said as he shifted targets, "you're shadowing Mikey. Stick to him like glue. Ask questions. Demand explanations. I'm gonna push you hard. You're gonna be teaching too. Understand?"


"I'm gonna pull all the ER staff training records and run our department training back here. Mikey, If Lieutenant Rottencr Alias calls you in on your suturing quals this morning just tell her to please check with me. Understand?"


"Don't be late for quarters."


Morning muster or "quarters" is (was anyway) a daily ritual throughout the navy. In the commands I was attached to each division or department had their own individual morning muster. "As the term "muster" implies, one of the main purposes of the event was to make sure everyone in the division or department was "present and/or accounted for." At the clinic each department LPO would count noses as the corpsman in his or her charge formed up in ranks. Once the ranks were formed and everyone was called to attention by the Senior Chief each LPO would report.

"Emergency Department all present and accounted for," announced HM1 Cooke, or "Cookie."

The other department LPO's reported and as usual, no one was missing.

Muster complete, the Senior Chief droned on, reading selected portions of the Clinic, Naval Hospital, and Air Station Plans of the Day, followed by general clinic announcements and his own patented tirade of the day.

"And remember, goddammit," he groused, "no fucking athletic attire in the building during working hours. Locker room and back passageway only. This ain't the fucking gym!" He ran a baleful glare over his motley crew of simulated sailors, paying particular attention to Rebecca and myself where we stood at ease in the front row. "Annabodda got anything? Arright, LPO's take charge and carry out the Plan of the Day."


Back in the Emergency Room HM2 Wobs walked out of Dr. Chin's office. She was wearing working whites, which was a touch odd as she was the duty SAR Corpsman and should have been, at this hour, down at Hangar 47 briefing and DTA-ing (Daily Turn Around) the aircraft.

In general, the duty SAR Corpsman Would brief and DTA at 0700. They would fly any scheduled or pop-up missions. When not flying or directly engaged in SAR duties they would hang out and labor in the clinic during the work day, dressed in a bag (zoom bag or flight suit) and carrying a pager for immediate recall.

So Wobs was in whites. Why? The pink down chit she held in her hand was the answer. She was medically down.

"Mikey," she said, "I'm down with a cold. Can't valsalva. Can you take the duty?"

The answer of course was yes. I was on the sked for two days hence but I was always prepared to go aviating.

It might seem odd that a pair of E-5's could do a duty dope deal so quickly and informally. Of course seniors needed to be informed, but the way the system worked between the clinic and the Air Station was rather unique. The Air Station levy on the clinic was for a SAR Corpsman each and every day, but they left it up to the clinic to do the watch bill. And the seniors/supervisors at the clinic lacked a fundamental understanding of how the whole noisy-flying machine thing worked, so they delegated manning authority to the SAR Corpsmen themselves.

I took the pager, jumped into a bag, told Chin and Senior Chief what the dope deal was, and I headed myself for the hangar.

As I walked out the door Lieutenant Rottencr Alias tried to waylay me.

"Petty Officer Evertson, I need to see you in my office immediately!"

"Sorry, Ma'am," I replied, "Gotta go brief and DTA. I'll check in with you later."

The exchange bought me a frown and a severe glare.

"Lieutenant," came Dr. Chin's voice from his office, "if I could have a word..."

The Lieutenant's frown deepened.

It was gonna be a good day.


We returned from the morning mission at about 1330. We hot-pumped fuel into the helo, taxied to the ready SAR spot in front of the SAR Hangar, and shut the big Sea King down. We'd done water works -- open ocean swimmer deployment and hoist work. Fun on stilts. I was now garbed in a wet suit, swimmer vest, flight helmet, and flight boots. It was an odd looking rig but quite comfortable. I grabbed my SAR bag which contained my more normal flight attire and strode through the big door and into the cool dimness of the hangar. When my eyes adjusted I beheld a smile-making sight.

Standing next to the paraloft doorway were Rebecca, April, April's Mom, And April's Dad. My heart did an interesting pitter-pat. What a delightful crowd! April had been released from an overnight hospital stay, so she and her Mom and Dad had stopped by the clinic to say thanks. They were disappointed to have missed me, but Rebecca -- who'd been paying attention to the tower radio (?!) -- realized we were landing and offered to organize a quick trip to the SAR Hangar. Brilliant!

As I approached the group April hid behind Mom's skirts for a moment, peeking out and peering closely at me. When she was sure who I was, she exploded into motion. I barely had time to drop my SAR bag before she swarmed up my front and gave me a fierce neck hug.

As I write and recall these many years later I'm still rocked by the intensity of the personal human connection we five ape-lizards now shared. We were all still strangers, but Fred Flintstone and a back slap had brought us together in a magical way. It was an amazing thing. Once again the warm feel of April's breath on my neck rocketed me into a more perfect and less selfish state of being. The coolness of being me was instantly framed as a very small and insignificant thing when placed alongside the sweet beauty of a three year old and her parents. Rebecca and I had been in the right place at the right time with the right training to do a very simple thing and help preserve a precious life and a precious family. Being allowed to do that was a gift beyond measure, and that's something which will live with me so long as I draw breath.

Something of the magic must have filled the air of Hangar 47 in that moment, for the four other members of the crew I'd just flown with paused to share the moment, curious grins adorning each face. The HAC was the Station SAR OIC, Commander GC. He was a genuine legend and a Vietnam C-SAR vet. Without question the greatest helo pilot of all time. The 2P was LCDR Coondog. The Crew Chief and Second Crewman were Zippo and Buckwheat. We all knew and liked each other and flew as a crew a lot.

I introduced April and her parental units and April shared her version of the events of the previous day. In doing so she instantly joined the crew, and we all trooped back outside to give her a tour of our mighty SH-3G Sea King. She sat in the right seat and slapped at buttons and controls with an enormous flight helmet wobbling on her head, then prowled the cavernous back end, delighting in a cornucopia of neat stuff.

Back in the Hangar I introduced Rebecca around. On the spur of the moment I gave her the call sign RBOC -- pronounced "ARE-bock" -- in part because she hated being called Becky. "Rebecca," she'd say, "NOT Becky." Fish had taken to calling her Rebeccanaut (Rebecca-not), and that was cool, but it didn't feel right to me. And I was, after all, mostly in charge of clinic call signs. Go figure. So RBOC it was.

Then it was time for events to move forward. We had to debrief the mission, April and her Mom and Dad had to do their stuff, and RBOC had to get back to work at the clinic.

"I'll see you in a little bit," I said to RBOC, and on impulse draped my left arm around her shoulders. She turned into me and we hugged. Warm RBOC breath delighted my neck and I lightly kissed hers. Where did that come from? The whole physical demonstration of affection between active duty members in uniform was of course strictly forbidden by regulation. Crazy.

RBOC and I broke our embrace but paused for a moment, fingertips touching.

"See ya in a bit."

As I turned away I noticed a warm smile on GC's face. He nodded and winked.



Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid

Stupid healthy.

Annual checkup on Tuesday. I mass 17 fewer pounds today than when I left the service of my country lo these many years ago.

My labs are better too. They are the labs of a 25-ish person, for the most part.

Of course my telomeres are shorter than they once were. I am, after all, olden.

But I'm fit and getting fitter. And despite the raging radiculopathy which scores of bureaucrats are preventing the treatment of, I'm in much better condition than any of those chair bound parasites.

It's something to be thankful for.

Fitness and accumulated knowledge will continue to serve me well. The monsters will probably get me in the end, but they'll have to work and exsanguinate for it.

Life is for livin' after all.


I'll just offer the mostly (kinda?) unadorned comment that you cant fix stupid.

There are a lot of unprincipled monsters walking the planet these days, and just like every other ape-lizard monster, they don't look like monsters.

The thing about being an ape-lizard monster is this. We're all monsters. Some of us control our monstrous urges with the discipline of thoughtful and robust principle.

Those of us who could never be bothered to do the work of developing personal foundational principles do not. And keep this in mind; choosing to be unprincipled is conscious decision. Those who opt for "whatever I can get away with" are fully responsible for their actions, though they will always insist that "I was victimized by all you mean people who won't dance to my tune!"

Anyone who has ever bothered to study a bit of history -- even just 20th century history -- can clearly see that when herds of unprincipled ape-lizards begin to club together there's a genocide a-brewing.

Those monsters who survive will feel sorry for themselves when they experience a contemporary version of being perp-walked through the ruins of a concentration camp. Those who've bothered to read a bit of history know what I mean. Those who haven't don't.

The blatant sophistry of today's unprincipled monsters is breathtaking.

Sophistry : Subtly deceptive reasoning or argumentation. M-W Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition, 2001.

And they actually appear to believe that because they say it, it must be so, and because they say it, no one notices the sly lies and manipulation.

So yeah. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid. Dangerous stupid.

But that's the professional victim class of 2020.


Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.

And no, you fucking monstrous sophists don't understand what that means. But you can, if you do the work. Which you won't.


Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

July 7 and 8

Approaching from the south...

A hot wind...

Pretty view, much baloney...

Meanwhile in the real world...

Cows is cows...


I've been trying to arrange an appropriate image or video but it's just not coming together. Therefore, just the words for the moment. Bug and I and dashes twop, threep, and forp are going to make ourselves a family unit. Bug and I are engaged to be married, exact date to be set when we know if covidsteria will outlaw marriage or not. Maybe Septembler.

Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

It's Livin'

Frequent visitors to this space know that I love that Gus McCrae quote from Lonesome Dove...

"It ain't dyin' I'm talkin' about, it's livin'!"

Another way to think of it is this, which is a philosophical perspective as old as mankind...

"You can't get there from here. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is out of reach and will not be what you demand, but rather what it will be. What you do have is today, and today is all you have. Embrace it. Live."

And this...

"You have a finite number of heartbeats but you cannot know the total. You can never get squandered heartbeats back, so waste them at your peril."

At this moment in time the governmedia complex is all in on destroying America in the name of a phantom menace of convenience. That's terrible and it can only lead to horror. But the problem isn't the governmedia complex. And the problem isn't the government of, by, and for the people. That entity hasn't been seen in a very, very long time. The people, including me, abandoned that long ago. No, the problem is with the people.

With all the people, including me. With "we the people." There's an old saying, "you can only con a con artist." What do we think all this free shit is about? It's the opium of the masses. All of these government goods, services, cash, protections, and lovely, sexy, wonderful oppression and victimization. It's all on us. We let that shit happen on our watch, and we knew we were letting it happen.

So here we are, and it sucks. It's going to get much, much worse.

But remember the story of Pandora, who is us. She/we loosed unspeakable ills upon the world, and they will run their course.

We/she opened the pithos. We/she knew better and had plenty of clear, unambiguous warning.

But in the bottom of the pithos, Hope.

So don't be bummed out by this message. We have and will always have hope. We have and will always have the ability to form and hew to the foundational principles we know are right and proper.

So when you look at the impossible task remaining before us, remember that it all starts with what you do today. Don't squander your heartbeats railing against the opium narrative. Embrace today, and do your very best to do the best things for the best reasons.

When you have your own shit suitcased (and you don't -- you're not even close) you can worry about those images and noises emanating from the tee-vee. Until then...

Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.