Go Army – Beat Navy (please)


I’m not sure if this is an epiphany.  I was thinking about how proud people are of where they attended school, West Point, Annapolis, Ivey League, or what service they were in, leading the pack are the Marines, Army, Navy Air Force, even Coasties chime in.  I started to wonder why.

I have a thought.  At a formative period in our lives, we join something greater than ourselves, with history and heritage.  They tell us who we are.  You are part of a great tradition, something that extends back to the days of yore and steeped into the very fabric of our nation.  They point to alums and say, you can achieve greatness, be remembered.  “You are forever part of the long gray line”, it stretches behind you and ahead into the future.  I know, we had a Navy before any other service.  It may have started in Tun’s Tavern, but if you ask any Marine, he was borne on Paris Island and he is immortal because the Corps lives on.  It’s the thing that defines us somehow.  Like being Christian or Buddhist.

The civilian equivalent today are fringe groups, protesting what they think are evils of society.  BLM, protesting perceived racism and a “Genocidal attack on Young Black men” (I tried to find the original quote, it’s a catch phrase now).  White Supremacists are almost a caricature, so few take them seriously.  If it weren’t for media hype, they would probably fade away.  Then there is ANTIFA, dressed in black, covering their faces with bandanas, walking the edge of criminality and threatening the weak, as long as there are no police around.  They claim to be protesting fascism, yet attempt to use force and violence to compel other to obey their directives.

Today is the 118th Army-Navy game.  As much a tradition of the two academies as anything else.  These young men all of them, 18 – 22, preparing to enter their service to our nation, in exchange for pittance, a formal education, heaped with stress and competition so they can serve in hard and dangerous careers.  Maybe, this would be a better target for ANTIFA than Macy’s or Starbucks.  They could all converge on the Linc and intimidate the old, decrepit war mongers who have gathered to cheer their drone replacements in their violent traditional mock combat.

Or maybe, they would find out that some people aren’t interested in their nonsense and get the crap kicked out of them.  I’ve fought with and against Marines, always fun and entertaining.  Some of those Navy guys are pretty rough around the edges.  There aren’t enough cops in Philly to even slow down a brawl that big.

Someone should get on Twitter or somethin and get the ball rolling.  We may just have a new tradition.  Let’s use the Army-Navy game to tell these ANTIFA guys who they are.


via Daily Prompt: Patina

Patina; the effect of aging and discoloration on metal, stone, leather or wood, that creates a pattern, often found pleasing to the eye, often acts as a protective covering to the materiel beneath.

On people, we would call the same thing freckles.  Often found on the cute button nose of children, who spend time running and laughing in the sun.  Laugh lines, maybe, around the eyes and a mouth accustomed to bright, upturned expressions.  Wrinkles, gracing the aged, revealing the years in folds of skin that isn’t taunt with youth and resilience anymore.  Calluses, from tools and labor, protecting the soft skin beneath.  Scars, showing the effort and strain of living rough, enduring and recovering.  The patina of our lives.

After fifty years, I added quite a bit of color to my skin.  The tattoos are as much mine as the scars.  I don’t want to be restored to the original, I had a lot  of fun earning my patina, that unique patina that is mine alone.

Never pay to be the clown

via Daily Prompt: Carousel


“Don’t pay to be the clown.”  That’s it.  My great advise to the world.  It’s not even mine, just a hand me down from wiser than I.

Picture the midway.  The smell of cotton candy and those damn funnel cakes tempting you.  Flashing lights of games and carnies hawking the chance to win the one in a million prize, they are cheaper if  you order in bulk.  Farther on the rides, more lights, high tech gears and hydraulics spinning and clacking, screams and laughs.  But in the middle, majestic, bright colors with white lights, painted horses, dragons, dolphins and seahorses, old timey cars or trains.  Brilliant and boring.  I always ride the carousel, wish it could run faster or be more exciting.  I ride it anyway.

Maybe it reminds me of when I was a child and the simple things could make me happy.  Make me laugh like clowns tumbling out of a tiny car, getting pies thrown in their face.

There is a secret about clowns.  It’s just makeup and wigs.  After we all leave, they are the ones that have to clean up.  haul the trash and shovel the elephant yard.  Hence the advise, never pay to be the clown.  Eat the cotton candy.  play a rigged game for a Kewpie doll.  Ride the carousel


The phrase trained observer gets thrown around, cops, reporters, scientists.  It all comes down to the same thing, watching, taking note and remembering whatever you see and hear or sense.  Feel.

I’m watching again.  It sucks.  A friend is fighting.  I can’t send back up or ride in to kick someones ass who desperately deserves it.  I want to give in to my rage and destroy the threat, swallow the sun and use the power to crush my enemies and protect the ones I love.  Instead I watch.

I remember.  Laughing at stupid jokes.  Picking on each other because letting the true feelings show aren’t manly or tough.  Sharing the joy of hearing engines rumble and the communion of the road.  Good beer and bad food.  All of it.  I remember.  I’ll remember the fight, too.  The courage to try for one more day, because life and love are precious.

I’ll remember the feeling, the law of emotion.  For every feeling, there is the potential for an equal and opposite reaction.  The more we love, the more the loss hurts.

Talk About Nothing

via Daily Prompt: Final


Nothing is final.  Final is an absolute, a thing complete unto itself.  The problem is we are short sighted and can’t see the end.  The end doesn’t exist.

Let’s take the obvious one; Death.  (insert scary music)  What is it?  How do we define it?  It doesn’t matter.  Death of one organic entity, plant, animal, person, alien or construct is not the end.  At most I rate it as a stage f the sequence for cycling matter and energy.  Mufasa only saw his link in the chain.  We are all recycled again and again.  Reprocessed molecules and modified energy states.

What about our “souls”?  Describe it.  Define it.  If the soul exists and we are all going into the great bye and bye, isn’t that just the next step?  For all we know, the Earth, this great, ever competing, cycling ball of mud is nothing more than a breeding ground for the next great space army in a never ending war.  We just don’t know it yet, but the only cost effective way to grow a soul is organically, in a controlled environment.  Harvest at death.

Next victim.  Math?  Why did we learn one plus one in school?  Is it an end or the means to an end?  New discoveries in science? Physics?  Not final, just steps.  Our star dying and eventually exploding?  The hydrogen furnace is all used up and reducing to be food for black holes that will eventually collide and start a new universe.

Just because the music ends, doesn’t mean you don’t still hear the song.

Random Pink

via Daily Prompt: Pink  


Cotton candy at the summer fair.   Strawberry ice cream.  The tiny bow smile of my daughter.  A little girl in her Easter dress.  The tip of my kitten’s nose.  The color cream turns when you let the berries sit long enough.  The skin of a perfect peach.  The lipstick that looked strange on your great aunt but looks hot on your girlfriend.  Strawberry Now-n-Laters. Bazooka Joe bubble gum.  The carnation you worn for the Prom.  Victoria’s Secret Yoga pants.  The hand print on your face for getting caught noticing the Yoga pants.  Pepto after a long night you don’t quite remember.  Is it really pink or do words fall short?

Pursue – you won’t catch it

via Daily Prompt: Pursue 

Pursue \per-su\ verb – 1: To follow in order to overtake or overcome: CHASE  2: To seek to accomplish (a goal)

Merriam – Webster Dictionary, 2004


I don’t usually write to expand on a definition, preferring a unique memory or thought sparked by the prompt.  I apologize in advance.

Now, pass me the soap box.

There is something lacking in the youth of today.  I was going to say it is a lack of desire, but that is so far from accurate that it would discredit anything else I wrote.  All they seem to have is desire.  They want the six figure job without the effort of preparing for it or investing in preparation necessary to do the work.  If they do invest, they complain about the cost as unfair.  How do we expect them to grab the world by the tail if they are weighed down by debt?

Our grandparents thought we were all spoiled and never did a hard days work.  By comparison, we didn’t. I worked on farms and did day labor jobs growing up.  If I had been forced to work that hard for my entire life, I would have died years ago.  I joined the Army because it paid better and was much easier.  I also decided that I didn’t want to live in poverty.  I needed a plan and to get off my ass and work.

I took me twenty years to get where I wanted to be, only to realize that it was the first step.  While I was struggling to raise a family and get the job that allowed me the stability and freedom I wanted, I learned more.  I wanted more.  What about retirement?  What legacy am I leaving my children?  My grandchildren?  (If I ever get any.  Not that I’m pressuring you.  Just wondering out loud.)

I’ve been chasing the American Dream.  The house, car, golf on weekends or whenever I can sneak out, vacations.  It’s hard work chasing a goal when it  keeps changing.  So, I’m living to define a definition, I am pursuing with intent, focused on a goal.  I’ve followed a path that children of today aren’t willing to run.  We taught them to desire, but failed to teach them to work.  They want the reward without the investment.  I used to worry that it was to late to fix the mistakes we made but I recognize it as a self-correcting issue.  Once we are out of the picture, no one else is going to gift our children with their desires.  It’s root pig or die time.

I’m just going to sit on the soap box, drink a beer and watch the show.

Thoughts in Passing: The 4 Laws

via Daily Prompt: Temporary 


I have decided everything is just temporary.  The universal state of entropy ensures us that exists is also fading away.  What we call solid matter is simply an energy state that our senses can detect a specified way, in out current energy state.  Everything living is also dying.  Civilization grows like blowflies in a mason jar, only to collapse in our own waste.

That’s what is happening to our society today.  For years we have help up this idea of raising everyone to an equal status.  Not through expending their own energy, but by stealing (or taxing) others.  This is the increase in entropy in society today.  These misguided ideas are bleeding off energy from healthy, thriving groups and transferring it to other areas.  The energy is not some mystical excess, but natural and essential to the well being of the donor group.  It shortens both group lifespans.

I am trying to understand society and economy.  The farther I reduce the models, the closer I come to imagining them as the 4 laws of physics.  Zeroth Law says that if A and B balance with C, that A and B are also in balance.  No energy needs to be transferred.  First law says energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed.  Moving energy from one point to another doesn’t create energy, only bleeds off some potential in movement.  Second law, entropy either stays the same or grows.  No matter what we do the decay of the past exists.  There is no “Year Zero”.  No reset to zero.  The Third law says entropy approaches Nil when temperature approaches zero.  Stop moving, stop growing and decay stops.  Still doesn’t go away.

My model is nice and clean.  No muss, no fuss.  No people, either.  Anyway, it’s all temporary.  Wait a while and it will change.

It may just be survival

via Daily Prompt: Bitter 

ice cream

I thought of “Fruit Ninja”.  Swipe your finger across the screen and slice a bunch of fruit in half. If you clear a screen, a fruit fact popped up. “Lemons have more sugar than strawberries”.  Wow!  The universes expands.

Then I remembered Survival School in the Army.  Master Sergeant Squire telling a half starved class of us that, if it’s sweet, it’s probably safe to eat.  There are a bunch of other tricks to find food that wont kill you.  He told us to act like babies.  Babies like sweet foods because they are usually safe to eat.  When you’re starving, you will choke down just about anything, so act like a baby.

When we get older, out pallets expand.  I enjoy a sharp IPA.  Scotch, old, smokey and the color of strong tea is a special favorite of mine.  Savories and spicy hot foods make me happy.  I even eat Brussels Sprouts.  Mom would be proud.

For now, what say we work on our survival skills and go get some ice cream.  My treat.