Tonight's Post  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Tonight's post was brought to you by Home Depot, retailer of fine wood posts. Buy one now. I mean now. Right this minute. Get up OUT of you chair and go get one. Hurry. Everybody else reading this blog is rushing out at this very minute to their nearest Home Depot and they might clear out all the posts leaving you with none and THEN where would you be? Post-less? Don't let this happen to YOU!

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Or, just download this one.



Makes no difference to me; I have one already.

 

Posted by Alex Pendragon

As the bright new GREEN erupts all over Pendragon Hold, I have been taking on some chores around the homestead, sorta getting my creaky old body back into the "doing things" mode. First, I got up on the roof and using my trusty old electric leaf blower, blew out the gutters, which were chock full of leaves. Then, I ventured gingerly into the trees nearest the house and cut out as much dead branches as I could safely reach without putting myself into more jeopardy than I already was. There is ALOT of dead wood scattered about now.

Speaking of Spring springing and the season of new things, both THE Wife and THE evil twin have reconnected with some old friends from the past. This is so weird, but one of the girls THE Wife ran around with in her much younger days also happens to be involved in Wicca, and these two are so much alike, it's scary. THE offspring ran across an old guy friend she knew in school who just happens to be living in the general vicinity and they are, shall we say, catching up. This is promising. THE Wife's old friend, being both Wiccan AND a Mac user, is someone I can already tell I'm going to get along well with.

One of my goats, one of the pygmy twins, has become a devilish little escape artist. Constantly she has managed to get through the front gate on their pen, and I know it's the front gate because I put her on a leash in order to give away the path she is taking in her "great escapes". It SEEMS that I don't have the bottom of the gate secure enough to keep her from squeezing her incredibly fat little tub body thru. So, I took the bungy cord I have been using to secure the bottom of the gate and stretching it out to the max. So far, so good.

The offspring is now paying room and board and I can't tell you how much it helps out around here, especially since her payday is on the week between ours, which helps us during that lean time before the next payday comes. It's a fair amount, a much better deal than she'd get renting any apartment around here. One day she will head back out on her own, so we are not going to get used to her rent as income, but it does help for now. We are just happy to have helped her get back on her feet.

Where ever you are, my friends, I hope that Spring is showing up and thawing out your cold, weary winter-beaten bones. I somewhat dread the coming summer, which if the trends hold true, will be even more miserable than the last, but for now, Spring is PERFECT, and I'm gonna enjoy it for all it's worth!

Blessed be!

Rounding up Goats  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

SHE LOVED IT!

Yep, THE Wife received her late birthday present in the mail from Apple and was pleased as punch. So, I survive yet another spousal birthday, still in the good graces of my ever-so-slightly better half.

They have been hard at work for more than a month now remodeling the Critical Care Unit and yesterday we moved the last five patients back to home turf, although the contractors hadn't finished the nurses station yet and we still are having the nurses call system installed. That's OK, though, it's better to be working in somewhat familiar chaos than the alternative, which was across the hall in another area of the hospital altogether. It was a pain having to work there and rush back over here constantly to get supplies or stuff we didn't have over there.

It's amazing the changes that have occurred in the 12-odd years I have been working at this hospital. New additions, several remodelings later, and those who built this place would never even recognize it. And all the people who have come and gone; I can't even remember them all.

One thing about this place, however, challenges my desire to believe in a spirit, an afterlife, or another plane of existence. You would THINK that after all the souls who have passed on in this place that at least ONE soul would have stuck around to haunt the place. Well, if they have, they've pretty much kept to themselves, because there are NO stories or myths I am familiar with concerning any kind of ghosts or strange happenings. Perhaps there's some sort of contract arrangement or understanding of dying observed by the departed local 606 union that stipulates that all people dying here must vacate the premises to allow room for the constant stream of NEWLY departed, otherwise there would be a real logjam of psychic energy building up here by now.

And as far as dying is concerned, well, I guess you all have watched the movies and the TV shows where actors put on such graceful and inspiring, as well as tear jerking dying scenes, it almost makes you want to croak yourself. Well, it ain't that way, my friends. People die quietly, most often times unconscious, gasping for a last breath, so drugged out for their comfort there's not going to be any flowery speeches or last goodbye advices. There are numerous tubes and wires and all sorts of life support equipment almost burying them, and no matter what we do, the reaper WILL have his way, and a soul shall depart to complete the circle of life.

Families invariably demand we do everything we can to keep dear Granny Nanny alive, despite the fact she's 101, has been curled up in a fetal position in a nursing home for the last 15, rotting from bedsores while in what are really nothing more than human warehouses for the already dead from Alzheimer's or dementia. I never understood why families do such horror to their relatives in the name of love. I have made it clear to MY family that when I have truly stopped LIVING, to let me DIE. All of you really need to discuss such things with YOUR loved ones and save yourselves the suffering you can endure from misguided decisions made by people who love you.

Meanwhile, back at the Hold, I have a goat, one of the pygmy girls, who has found a way to slip under the fence somewhere and get out of the smaller pen I have been keeping the goats in. I will have to catch her doing it to figure out exactly where she does it. Smart little fuck! Today I cleaned all the goat poop and old bedding out of the barn and put in fresh stuff. The goat poop will go to the garden.

May you all have a pleasant day today, despite all the shit hitting the fan in the world right now.

One Saturday in Spring  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

So what's been happ-nin' at the Hold lately, you ask? Yea, yea, I know, you DID'nt ask, but let's not get hung up on technicalities, shall we?

I think my wife's co-workers just adore her (either that or are so afraid of her they are faking it real well), because they have been heaping the love on her for her birthday at work. She's been getting cards and lunches and cakes and all sorts of attention, which, I honestly think, she deserves.

I myself ordered her a product-red iPod Shuffle with a message engraved on it, which won't get here for another few days yet, so it's going to be a late birthday surprise for her. On top of that, the evil twin and I have plotted to take her to St. Augustine tomorrow to tour the shops in search of mystical treasures. Don't none of you people tell her about this, OK?

Tonight we will be celebrating Ostara, or the Spring Equinox, that magical time when day and night are of equal length again and the Sun begins to exert it's dominance over nature, bringing everything back to life. Only nowadays we have added so much CO2 to the atmosphere that we are getting perhaps more of the Solar love than we can handle. We do plead with the God and Goddess to try and go easy on us naughty humans, but the time may have passed when nature can have any regards for us at all. WE made this bed, and WE will be made to sleep in it. That's known as consequence and we are NOT immune to it.

The full moon is also out so that will add that much more power to whatever spells we cast this night. If anybody has any requests you better get them in before nine tonight or you are gonna have to settle for whatever the DJ plays. I always like to ask the Goddess to take care of my strange and wonderful blogger friends out there, so I already do have your backs in that regard. I know it's not much, but it's the best one can do.

The hair on my head had grown out a bit, long enough to give me frightful bed-head in the mornings, and the wife shared that she really liked that short-spiky look you get with the aid of hair gel, so I let her take a stab at cutting it. I hear behind me, "Oops!", and that was the end of THAT idea. So, now, I am back to fuzzy billiard ball head, which saves alot on shampoo, and no more bed-head.

We bit the bullet and ordered up a couple of square yards of good garden soil for the terrace garden, and although it set us back almost a hundred bucks, STILL wasn't quite enough to finish out the entire garden. The second terrace is full, but there was only enough left over to fill in about a fifth of the top. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. Our muscles and joints reminded us all the next day that we are old and very out of shape. But, at least we will be able to plant out the second level, and hopefully can order enough dirt next pay period to finish this puppy off.

I'm not going to talk politics this episode as I do not want to elevate my blood pressure. I have two days off and I want to enjoy them. May you all enjoy YOUR weekends as well, if you are fortunate enough to have them off.

Carefull what you Ask for, even in Jest.......  

Posted by Alex Pendragon









I box of store brand Ziti (MUST be store brand. A name brand will ruin it!)

2 cans of Vienna sausage, complete with that jelly stuff.

I pressurized can of processed cheese product. If you think the "product" is actually a petroleum derivative of some sort, you have it!

1 jar of store brand marinara. NOT spaghetti sauce; MARINARA. Yes, I know, there's really no difference between the two, but it's my recipe.

I can of fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic.

I jar of capers. Don't ask. I have no earthly idea, just find some.

1 box of heavy duty aluminum foil. Not the cheap thin stuff, either.

1/8 teaspoon sea salt. Or piss in it, I don't care. Salt is salt.

A pinch of pepper. Or not.

Now, take a baking pan, and line it with the foil. Or, skip this step and throw the pan away when you finish with it. Take the vienna sausages, AND the jelly, and put them in a blender with about half the can of cheese stuff. blend till you get this really disgusting paste. Put the paste in a bowl and add the capers and half the diced tomatoes, mixing until you have a REALLY disgusting pasty mess. Now, stuff that mess into the Ziti shells. Then, layer the stuffed shells in the pan with the marinara sauce and ribbons of the remaining chess product.

Oh, wait.

Go back and add the salt and pepper.

Stuff the mess back into the shells and layer the pan again.

Put this THING into the microwave and NUC it on %30 power for about twenty minutes or until something starts to smell. Whether or not it's going to be a good smell I really have no clue.

Remove from Microwave and find your husband.

Try it on him first.

Watch his face and you'll get some idea as to whether or not trying out recipes from THE Michael is such a smart move.

Leave a comment, my readers need a good laugh.

Thank you and enjoy!



Afterthought: After conferring with THE Wife, who actually CAN cook, it was decided that the above recipe should be attempted either as is IN THE OVEN, or instead in a glass casserole. Putting a metal pan lined with aluminum foil in your microwave would NOT be a smart thing to do.

Contrast  

Posted by Alex Pendragon


You know, it's like this particular tree seems to know something all the other plants don't........

Being Me  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Once I was very much like the swarms of humanity that I am drowning in, busy trying to figure out how to survive, how to get laid, how to eat well, how to keep a job, how, how, how. Some people get HOW down pat after awhile; others don't, and I imagine I have fallen somewhere in between the two extremes. Except I never really did figure out what I wanted out of life; the things a person can and should want kept changing as I went along. Fads and fashion come and go, the hormones ebbed and flowed, pains and aches crept in, failures and frustrations and minor catastrophes took their toll, and after all that and a fair share of wonderful triumphs, here I am, and if you tried to get me to specify exactly where that is, I couldn't tell you if I tried.

Perhaps limbo teetering on the edge of uncertainty is the best I could come up with.

I'm sure you've heard of the "self-made man" (or woman) and perhaps you consider yourself to be one of them, hauling yourself up out of the gutters by those bootstraps. I would offer that most of us are actually "made" by where we find ourselves and in whose company we have kept all throughout our lives. We have had caregivers (the lucky majority get parents, the rest of us get what we get), mentors (again, if there was someone in that capacity there for us), romantic interests, profitable friendships, and fellow sojourners who banded with us to take on the world. Our personalities and ability to take advantage of our given situations would dictate how we gelled with these people and how their influence would shape us as we spent our fated times with them.

After all this time, it seems that somehow I have retreated into myself and am now locked in a mental bomb shelter looking out at a world I was not expecting and feel more and more disconnected from. Oh, the world itself, at least those parts of it least impacted by humanity, is just fine with me: I can't imagine any place more beautiful that what the Gods have created, not even the most awesome constructions man has built. I even have a great love for so many of my fellow humans, people I consider so much better than myself in all ways I can imagine, for whom I could only wish the best. Yet humanity as a whole has become this "thing" which scares me, which shames me, which amazes me with it's capacity for brutality and hate. I do not feel as though I ever belonged to humanity, even though I do know that deep inside I share all the shortcomings that make us such monsters. And, I do know that those who know me well would be more than happy to point out all my shortcomings, even those closest to me, and I couldn't argue the fine points and expect to win very often. I am a stranger in a strange land.

So, the biggest question I am faced with now is what am I supposed to do with all this, and with the rest of my life? Am I ever going to be happy knowing what might be in store for all of us and for me personally? Am I the monster if I refuse to put on a happy face and just chill with it? Am I doomed to alienation from those closest and perhaps not so close to me simply because I can't seem to get a lid on this overt selfishness I seem to suffer from (at least as has been observed by friends and family)?

Yes, these are certainly dreary questions and I don't really expect someone residing outside my brain to try and answer them. And besides, most of the answers I probably don't want to listen to anyway, since some of them would be a bit exaggerated from what I'd consider to be the reasonable truth. Yes, I know I am not the best person that one would wish to know but I also refuse to give into the idea that I am the worst, either. I DO take pride in some of the better things within me that make me believe I am a better human that some. I DO care about people, and I DO care about nature, only in such a way that doesn't rely on false feelings and bullshit for the sake of getting along. Some of you, my friends, my relations, piss me OFF. But, that is something going on within my own heart and head and I can live with it, because I also know that I return that favor, so, I guess that makes us even. And yes, my loved ones, I love you all despite the pissing contests. The sorry fact of the matter is that humans cannot coexist without daily compromises. Some of us DON'T even bother with compromise and are just as happy killing each other off rather than having to give up personal autonomy of any sort.

I may be an island, and I might think of myself sitting in a sea of discontent, but I do know that I would probably go mad if everybody were to disappear and leave me here alone with what's left of the rabbits and squirrels and lowland guerrillas and all that cool nature I observe on PBS. I love my dog but he's pathetic when it comes to heavy conversation, even if he does agree with everything I say. I would love having ALL the bed to stretch out on, and I know I'd be miserable not having someone to cuddle up to; not having someone WANTING me to cuddle up to them. I would be very unhappy not ever seeing someone smile because of something I did or said to them, because I DO thrive on those smiles and the tiny validations of my existence here in this world.

My mother got knocked up, did a great job being pregnant, and brought me into this world, and whether or not I am happy she did that, here I am. What's done was done. I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth, and I was lucky not to be born in some third world hell hole with no water and a God that wants me to kill people. When I die, that spark which is ME is probably going to simply wink out and that will be that. But, in the meantime, I really do care about the impact I am having here, and on those who cross my path.

I hope you all can say that you knew me, and not frown doing it.

I really do.

Stupidity 101  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

I am not what one would consider an educated man. I think I have picked up a fair amount of wisdom during my short stint on this planet, but I do acknowledge that I don't have the "paper" to lay claim to a well-rounded education. That being said, I hereby declare, without reservation, that most of the bad news we are hearing on the nightly news, especially concerning the economy, is due to nothing more that utter STUPIDITY. "Educated" stupidity, but stupidity nonetheless.

Now, really, all the double-talk aside, can you really tell me that a barrel of oil is REALLY worth more than four times what it was a little over a year ago? You mean it really got THAT expensive, relatively suddenly, to pull this stuff out of the ground and bring to the gas pump, the electric utility, and all these other destinations this product is destined for? BULLSHIT! You assholes are ramping up the ransom for this stuff simply because you discovered you CAN, without any consequence other than having to listen to the outrage at your avarice. The worlds governments have an interest in this rape of the wallet of the common man, thus it continues, and will continue to do so, until one day you start seeing the bodies of wall street executives hanging from street lamps.

The mortgage meltdown; now, if ever there was a manufactured disaster, that was one. You would think a government would recognize a train wreck in the making, or if nothing else, would know an outlandish predation was happening in the real estate market, but did the regulators step in and put a stop to what was FUCKING OBVIOUSLY an economic FUBAR if ever there was one? Look who's in the White House......of course not.

A house was built (most probably with the aid of illegal alien labor) at a cost of, say, $80,000. Lets tack on some profit here, say about $50,000. Fine, now sell the house to someone and let it sit there for about a year. Guess what, real estate is a gold mine, and that house, for some reason known only to some secret society which controls these values, is now "worth" $250,000! Really, and that's USED! OK, so now we are sitting on something we don't really own (the bank owns it, you idiots) that's worth alot more than we mortgaged it for, so let's run out to some lender and get a loan based on this magic equity the market claims we have. Yea, let's barrow tons and tons of money and spend it like crazy on things our income could never HOPE to be able to afford, such as big-ass Expeditions and Caribbean vacations and backyard pools, and on and on and on. I mean, after all, this is capitalism, which requires consumption; the more the merrier, and being good, all American, God fearing capitalists that we are, aren't we obligated to keep the economy running at Mach five? Screw the unlucky poor, the ecology, the very planet itself; Jesus is coming back to tear it all up and rearrange things anyway!

Now we want to turn corn into ethanol to make some kind of symbolic dent in our dependency on foreign oil, and suddenly a commodity the poor farmers couldn't GIVE away is costing more and more every day, and guess what? Damn near EVERYTHING we eat has a corn-based ingredient in it and now the price of groceries is going through the roof! And, that's on top of the ever increasing price of hauling all that food around the country so that we- who- do- not- grow-anything- ourselves- anymore can get to it.

Did ANY of this have to happen?

OF COURSE NOT!

There are educated "captains of industry", talented (according to their pay scale) CEO's all over the country, as well as Congressmen and Senators who are (here we go) "educated" in the way things work who CERTAINLY could have managed all these "problems" so that they never became "problems" to begin with. They didn't. Surprised? I sure as hell am not!

Most of us are just sitting here helplessly, thinking there is nothing we can do to keep ourselves from getting bent over and screwed like willing masochists. And to perpetuate this sorry state of affairs, we are all going to go to the poles and vote for the best-looking, fastest-talking politician who can promise us the same old song and dance as they always have, because they know we as a people no longer have the guts to pick someone who knows how to solve these problems, just because solving problems like this simply means holding people responsible for hurting us. All of these assholes running this show are HURTING us, because they don't give a shit about us or anybody except themselves and we LET THEM.

So laugh all you want when Ralph Nader says he wants to be president. Get angry at him for "stealing votes" from another democrat. Then go vote for more promises. That's all you are going to get, and that's all you deserve.



P.S. To my readers; if this shoe doesn't fit you, then don't wear it. It is obvious I am not talking to you. However, if it does, you can either consider what I just said or you can get all pissed off about it. If what I just said DOES piss you off at ME for having said it, then I have one more thing to say to you.

I don't care.

Renaissance (or a "Tale of Two Titties)  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

OK, I'm back. What? (You say) You were away? Oh, you funny..........

We took some time off to go to Tampa for the express purpose of going to the Renaissance Fair, secondarily to visit the Good Twin and Rolling Thunder. I am somewhat conflicted concerning trips like these. First off, it is GOOD to get out of the house, to go and DO things, experience something new, yadda yadda yadda. THEN there's those harsh little realities that come with said adventures. Leaving home. Sigh....I've become such a homebody I really don't like leaving my safe and secure little abode. And yes, I think that sucks. However, now there are other considerations which make me dread departing what I know as comfort for what I am sure will be extreme discomfort, and the BIG one rolls around come bed time. Both I and THE Wife have had difficulty constructing a bed our aging bodies can tolerate for a night without waking up in pain. I was afraid that whatever sleeping arrangements awaiting us at the kid's place would be worse, and I was not "disappointed". Oh, it was FAR worse! Now, I can't blame them in that regard because they DID buy a sleeper sofa, and when they slept on it themselves they found it quite comfortable. I just can't sleep on ANYthing anymore that is not really, really soft, but even then I can wake up with my back on fire. The main culprit is my sleeping on my stomach all my life and not being able to get to sleep any other way. The second big problem is how long it takes me to get to sleep and what can happen during that period, and what DID happen.A certain someone in the household can, shall we say, create a very realistic sonic approximation of World War THREE once the head hits the pillow. I have never been able to get any sleep during major conflicts, and this was no exception. Needless to say, when I leave home, I usually end up getting very, VERY tired.

Also, traveling by auto is starting to get very expensive these days. A tank of gas goes for thirty bucks easy now and the trip took slightly more than that, thanks to not having to drive the car while in Tampa. It's not that I think that $30 is a huge chunk of change during a vacation, but it does subtract from available funds for actually enjoying that vacation. I know, I'm a cheapskate, but coming from the economic badlands as I do, I suppose that comes natural. I still owe the Good twin for the tickets to the fair she got us online. I haven't forgotten that, dear.

HOWEVER......yes, I think we all had a pretty good time at the Renaissance Fair. If there is ONE thing I am not soon to forget about this adventure, it was the constant show my eyes were treated to by the ladies.....uh....wenches. I'm talking some serious boobage here! I would have liked to stay longer than we did but once around the fair was enough for the other three.

While we were gone the Evil Twin kept the goats and other animals fed, while the storm that passed through made a rutted mess of our dirt road. Today (I type this on the Monday of our return) the wife had to return to the grind, but I still have until the weekend, although I think tomorrow I'm going to have to find something productive to do around this place, like working in the terrace garden, which we'd like to have up and running this spring.

Oh, and while we were there, I got this plague for THE Wife's upcoming birthday. It depicts the Goddess in her three incarnations; Maiden, Mother, and Crone.



EMERGENCY ADDENDUM:

Our gracious hosts felt that I came across as having had a most miserable time while in Tampa. I want to make it perfectly clear right here and now that while I did experience some discomfort and lack of sleep, it was not due to any failure on THEIR part and that it would have happened to me no matter where I might have traveled. Please do not come away from reading this post thinking that our kids were anything other than great hosts, that they went out of their way to try and make our visit pleasant, and that overall I did not have anything other than a good time. I am a complainer; anybody who has read my rants for any length of time know that. I do not always come across as being appreciative when the situation could demand that I seem more so. For that I apologize, both to my readers and to those who share my experiences. That all being said, my sad experiences in the sleep department derive from MY method of sleeping and are in no way the fault of those who provide me with bedding. We can't even seem to find a comfortable sleeping experience here in our own home, so it stands to reason that expecting to find one elsewhere is a no=brainer. Again, my daughter and son-in-law were in NO WAY RESPONSIBLE for any discomfort I experienced, and I want them to know that I appreciated them hosting us for the fair, and that I apologize for any misunderstanding due to the way I reported on the trip. We DID have a very good time and thank them for that.

What Else?  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

bees and bats are dying
the crops confused and diseased
what season is this anyway
Fall, winter, or spring?
you sometimes have to wonder
if the axis is tilted the same
will the ice once melted
ever freeze again?
a delicate system in balance
is now out of kilter and doomed
millions of years of evolution
turned upside down in a single century
we have such worries
murder, mayhem, and cold cruel insurgencies
jobs going south for the winter
where once the geese would fly
Now China too expensive for Walmart
the Rich are feeling the heat
and planning to train monkeys to do our jobs
I so feel their pain
My government wants to kill me
prove to me it isn't so
my pay going down, my gas going up
how long, how long?
I want to pay him back
I want alone in a room with him
THEN maybe I would take the time
to die with dignity
what else is left us
any of us?