Monthly Archives: January 2015

Gun Facts

I had a request to reblog this.

desertskys

Before we get in to this topic I request that any comments made be civil and rational. I cited my sources the best I could. It has been a long while since I wrote anything like this.

When the news popped up about Sandyhook I was just as shocked and saddened as everyone else. While I have no children of my own I have been around a lot of kids, I worked at a kindergarten through 5th grade daycare for five years, I have a wonderful girlfriend with two beautiful daughters,  (2 and almost 4), friends with children, nieces, and a nephew.  All I could think of was those kids, the hell the families and first responders were going through, and then the potential political and cultural ramifications started hitting me. 

Sure enough, I was right. Almost immediately gun control and gun abolitionists came out of the wood work…

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A visit from the dead

The dead came to visit me the other night. As I lay in my half awake, half asleep state from possibly hearing a noise, I felt them rush into the room, a wave of pressure and fury. I stayed still, eyes closed, refusing to acknowledge their angry presence. If you don’t communicate with them they can’t hurt you, right? I could feel them watching me, waiting with malevolent and hungry intent. Part of me wanted to grab the 45 on the nightstand, another part of me said “stay still, the gun won’t matter anyway.”

Then all at once they were gone. The dead travel fast.

Next thing I know my alarm is going off and I am waking up with what feels like a sinus infection. Was it a dream brought on by my illness ? Was it real? Am I just crazy?

Categories: Supernatural | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Boron Bobcats

I lived in the town of Boron from the day I was born until one month before my 16th birthday. My mom was married and the stepfather had a house in Ridgecrest, an hour away, so we had to move. I have lived in Ridgecrest the last 17.5 years, longer than I lived in Boron. However, when people ask me where I am from, my hometown, where I grew up…I tell them Boron. Don’t get me wrong, Boron isn’t a treasure. In fact, at the moment, I wouldn’t live there unless I absolutely had to. Just something about growing up in that tiny mining town of 2,000 people worms its way in to your psyche and you will forever be from there.

Growing up in Boron it is pretty much expected you will be a Boron Bobcat and play some sort of sport. If you are a boy it is pretty much a given you will play football. Not many of us didn’t. Boron was a football legacy town. My moms generation won all kinds of football championships, and the graduating classes of 94 through about 2000 were the sons of that generation. Those years were full of powerhouse football teams. My moms generation were all the sons and daughters of transplanted Texans and Oklahomans. When I went to school, many of my friends would go back to Texas and Oklahoma to visit grandparents. The town basically had a Varsity Blues/Friday Night Lights feel to it when I was in Jr. High and High School.

Coming home from my senior trip towards the last couple weeks of High School, the Burroughs High School bus stopped in Kramer Junction (just outside of Boron) for gas, snacks, and a pee break. I got off the bus and ran in to a few friends a had gone to high school with. We chatted for about five or ten minutes and then I got back on the bus. When I sat down I noticed that a bunch of the Burroughs football players were staring at me. I of course thought I was about to get my butt kicked. I ended up becoming a minor celebrity for the next hour on the drive home, just because one of my friends was the guy that almost broke the California Interscholastic Federations High School Football Interception Record. Boron football was known outside of Boron.

I was never able to play football like most of my friends. I was never an athletic kid and I grew up pretty poor, so my mom didn’t have money to put me in youth sports. I didn’t have a dad to teach me to play football like most of the other kids. So, I watched from the sidelines and ended up getting teased and bullied. Until I joined wrestling and most of the football team watched me pin a kid. That’s another story though.

These days Boron can barely field a football team. The town has shrunk and is more impoverished than ever, resulting in low school enrollment and attendance. They are  currently the smallest 11 man football team in the state. However, they just accomplished something huge; they won a national contest to go to the Super Bowl. Articles about the team going to this years Super Bowl have been written in various sources and far more eloquently than I can manages Here are two:

http://www.kibskbov.com/boron-football/

http://usatodayhss.com/2015/small-town-high-school-football-team-wins-nfl-contest-headed-to-super-bowl-xlix

Some  good videos:

http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/sports/hsfootball/Boron-Bobcats-could-go-to-the-Super-Bowl–284277651.html

http://theavtimes.com/2015/01/09/congratulations-to-the-boron-bobcats/

And finally an article that was written in a paper, that I can’t find online, except reprinted on a facebook page. I will copy and paste it here:

BORON HAS CAPTURED U.S.’s HEART
By Brian Golden, Antelope Valley Press

It’s simply the most famous bus ride in Boron history.

No, it’s not “Selma” in shoulder pads.

No schools are being desegregated.

No new employees are being militarily escorted to work at the Borax plant.

But make no mistake. The whole nation will be watching.

They’re the ones who demanded it.

Boron didn’t just win a national competition when its saga won the “Together We Make Football” contest on NFL.com in conjunction with Super Bowl XLIX a week from today in Glendale, Arizona.

It won a nation’s heart.

Truth is, everyone in Boron, and the rest of us in the Valley, could have stuffed the electronic ballot box 24/7, and it would have been fewer votes than could be cast on the westside of New York City, or in any ballot-stuffing operation in Chicago, or along the 610 Loop in Houston.

From the shores of New England to Puget Sound, from the frozen lakes of Minnesota to the Rio Grande River in south Texas, Americans of every background rallied to Boron’s cause.

Of course, the brilliant cinematography of NFL films played no small part.

The aerial shot of seemingly endless miles of scrub suddenly transforming into an emerald meadow of manhood was one of the most powerful visuals in America in 2014.

But Boron’s “Together We Make Football” mantra wasn’t as much a statement of where, or how, or why, as who.

It is who Boron is.

America met a people that has virtually none of the superficialities that allegedly confer sophistication on a community; no mall, no movie theater, no skateboard shop.

And it’s no big deal.

Maybe Boron clutched America’s imagination to its bosom like a football squeezed to his chest by a cannonballing Bobcats running back over the goal line, it was because the USA needed to know there are still places like Boron.

Places where the superficial, rightly, still defers to the sturdy. In privileged precincts across the fruited plain, they no doubt pity Boron for what it doesn’t have.

It feels so superior to what they really feel – envy for generations seeking excellence, not excuses.

Which brings us to the greatest irony of all on this Super Bowl week unlike any in the Valley’s history.

This week, it’s the effete, the privileged, the condescending quarters of the republic who truly DO envy Boron for something that it has.

Thanks to “Together We Make Football,” the Boron Bobcats make this the first Super Bowl with three teams in it.

Courtesy of the NFL, they’re being transported to the Phoenix area on a luxury bus and being put up in a five-star hotel for their Arizona stay.

They’ll meet both teams. They’ll meet NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. They’ll be stunned, absolutely stunned, by the people they’ve seen on television for years who will be lining up to meet them.

They’ll have an entire hour devoted to their story on national television Sunday.

Not because of a killing spree.

Not because of an alleged UFO encounter.

If football is America, and Boron is Football, Boron is America.
On what has long been described as America’s “Midwinter Fourth of July,” they may be the most Americana phenomenon of all in this celebration of America.

The late Gerald Small of Desert (1983-84 Miami Dolphins) and de-Shawn Shead of Highland (2013-14 Seattle Seahawks) are the Valley football sons ever to play on the field at the Super Bowl.

Next Sunday in University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, the Boron Bobcats will become the first Valley TEAM to walk on the field at the Super Bowl.

Don’t be surprised if Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll comes over to say hello.

He was the only one who knew that a rickety old school bus, not the luxury coachliner headed east this week, wound its lonely way west across the desert prairie to Isabella for a game against Kern Valley in September, 2008.

The stunned Bobcats had lost teammate Vinny Rodriguez to fatal head trauma the week before.

They voted to play the Kern Valley game to honor their fallen teammate.

The news got back to Carroll, then coaching the top-ranked USC Trojans, through a Valley Press story shown to him by one of his secretaries, who happened to live in Palmdale.

In the middle of nowhere, 185 miles north of Heritage Hall, Boron coach Todd Fink’s cellphone rang up in the front of the bus. He walked back to talk to his players a few minutes later.

“Do you know who that was?” Fink asked. “That was the coach of the No. 1-ranked team in College Football, Pete Carroll at USC, and he wanted you to know how proud he is of you, how much he admires you for honoring Vinny this way.”

So much has changed since 2008. Carroll can become just the seventh coach ever to win back-to-back Super Bowls.

This time, he’s not only the only one proud of that bus departing Boron.

And obviously, Boron’s not in the middle of nowhere anymore.

No longer is it a distant place on a map.

This week, it’s also a place in the heart.

AMERICA’S HEART.

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Butcher Billy Brilliantly Mashes Up Marvel’s “Civil War” With DC’s “The Dark Knight”

I had to re-blog this. Too awesome to not.

blurppy

Marvel’sCivil War” and DC’s game changing story by Frank Miller, “The Dark Knight” are two of the most popular story lines in comics.  Zach Snyder is in the process of bringing Miller’s story to the big screen and Marvel is laying the groundwork to bring “Civil War” to theaters in May of 2016.

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Well Brazilian artist Billy Butcher, has taken both of these insanely popular properties and created something highly desirable in its own rights.  Titled “Marvel’s The Dark Knight Civil War”, Billy has put Captain America and Iron Man in the pivotal roles played by Batman and Superman in Miller’s “The Dark Knight” storyline.

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Butcher Billy has taken three memorable scenes from Miller’s “The Dark Knight” and reimagined them with two of Marvel’s greatest heroes.

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Our fingers are crossed that he puts these up for sale at some point…

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Dodge Charger 1969.

the marquis

women They did not find the car’s door.

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Working writers block

I have to occasionally write safety related articles for the base newspaper. This time around I have been tasked with writing a short traffic safety article encompassing two different topics. The first topic is parking lot etiquette and safety. This particular topic is near and dear to my heart, as my first beloved vehicle (1987 Bronco II) was totaled in a parking lot by an inattentive and speeding teenage girl.

The second topic is actually multi-topic, encompassing the new turning lane at the front gate, turning right on red, and appropriate flow of traffic. Luckily I had a police officer send me some stuff from the California Vehicle Code.

So here I sit…writing this instead. I have been staring at a blank Word Document for about the last hour, trying to find a way to get motivated to write this article and a way to just start it. Sadly, I may just plagiarize a couple insurance articles. When you work for the government and write articles such as this, you can take from whatever sources you want, without quoting and you can’t be accused of plagiarizing anything….because you work for the government. Their is no plagiarism within the government.

Categories: Work, Writing | 3 Comments

Motorgrounds, a Cars and Coffee type event

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She…..

She is beautiful, but not just physically. She has an immense inner beauty from being loving, compassionate, big hearted, a wonderful mother, a friend, a confidant, and a genuinely good person.

She has an inner strength that she doesn’t realize. Overcoming many personal obstacles and working to overcome more.

She has more intelligence than she gives herself credit for.

Her bluish, greenish, eyes change with her mood.

Her eyes and smile light up a room when she is happy.

She hates my Challenger, but buy’s me new parts for gifts.

She lets me buy parts for her Explorer, on the condition I show her how to install them.

She lets me have control over the remote at night.

She is hard as a rock when her mind is made up and soft when she holds me during times I need comfort.

She is my shotgun rider in the Challenger and I am hers in the Explorer.

She is my fiancée, my Queen, my lover, my best friend, the mother of the daughters I have taken as my own.

She is Love.

Categories: Life, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The only one….

Some days I seem to be the only person at work and in my family.

There is a saying in Government that goes something along the lines “Those that work get the work, those that don’t still get raises.” Basically in Government jobs, if you work your butt off and do a great job, you still get the same pay raise as the man or woman that can’t do their job. If you demonstrate you can work and work well, your boss will probably give you all the work, all the projects, etc. While the coworkers that don’t work, can’t work, or just screw up the work, they get very little to do. Again, everyone gets the same pay raise. At least in the GS pay system. Their are other Government pay systems out their, but I am unfamiliar with them.

At work, I get the majority of the work. My customers for Safety are two of the three largest and most technical departments on the base, encompassing chemistry labs, physics labs, optics labs, energetics labs, large machine shops, etc. Not to mention a handful of other departments. I also run the confined space program for the base, the traffic safety program, blood borne pathogen program, assist with the fall protection program, energy control (lock out/tag out) program and respirator program. Though I do more to run the respirator program than assist with it.

With all of this I am also the Non Ionizing Radiation point of contact for our command, backup for my supervisor in the Emergency Operations Center, on the Chemical Hygiene Plan board, and more.

My supervisor is a great manager. I think she took all this in to account when she selected me for a promotion a few months ago and made me her Deputy. Still, when you are the only person that people can go to for all of these things, it can get overwhelming. I am the only person in the office that can do a lot of the things above and I can’t be in two places at once. If I make the wrong call or manage my time improperly, I can end up holding up a multi million dollar test. That has only happened once so far. Worse, if I make a bad decision in regards to certain deficiencies or programs (i.e. confined space or respirator), I can kill someone.

Family wise, I am the only person that my mom has. My mom is emotionally a wreck at most times, has a stress disorder, bad coping skills, very low self esteem, a stressful job that barely lets her make ends meet, can’t make friends very well and a love life that is a couple deaths short of a Greek tragedy. I am the only person she has to talk to, help her out with things, etc.

Right now she is being evicted from her apartment and has been looking for a place to live. A veteran used a VA loan to buy the duplex that she has lived in for 10 years. As VA loans make you live in the place you buy (I think for a year), and the other apartment is on a new lease, my mom is being evicted out of hers.

She has only been working for about 11 years and that came at the end of a divorce to a bad man. She doesn’t make much money, doesn’t have much of a savings and is now forced to either rent a crappy apartment (there are not many nice rentals in this town) or buy a small house. She has chosen the latter and is buying a small house in a bad neighborhood. Most of the house was renovated, but it still needs work. Of course, I am the only person she has that can help her do this work, help her move, etc.

I am basically the only person my grandparents have too. They live an hour away and I go down their often to help them, probably not as often as I should though.

My fiancée is a different story. She is really the only person I have that I can ask for help as everyone else either lives too far away, is not in a position to help me with anything, or is the one always asking me for help. Though I am reluctant to ask her for help; instead just drawing strength from being with her and having her and the kids in my life. She gets mad at me for this and chews me out for not asking her to help lighten my load. I guess I just became used to doing everything on my own, helping and supporting everyone else. I don’t really know how to ask for myself. Besides, she works swing shifts and graveyards, has two kids, and is going to school full time. She is Superwoman for pulling all of that off! Her strength is one of the many things I love about her and I know she would be strong enough to handle anything I ask of her too. However, when she is already facing so much on a daily basis, how can I ask her for help?

By the way, Jen, if you are reading this. I love you and thank you for everything you do for me. I’ll see you tonight 🙂

Last week an old friend and his wife came in from out of town. As his wife and my fiancée were inside Dennys, getting to know one another, we were outside so he could smoke. He looked at me and said “You used to be the laid back one out of the group. Now you are wound really tight and kind of angry and cold. What happened? I’m worried about you.”

My fiancée agreed with him when I told her about his concern.

A few weeks ago, at the end of the work day, my supervisor came in my office, sat down, looked at me and said “I’m worried about you. You are always doing everything for everyone else, taking care of everyone else. I can see it in your eyes. You need to take some time for yourself and start focusing on yourself more.”

At that point my office phone rang, I was needed for an emergency mishap. I ended up working an hour and a half over that night, almost missing a dinner date with my fiancée and the girls.

Categories: Family, Friends, General, Life, Work | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Where we live

This week I was forced by work to attend a one day conference in Norwalk, California. Norwalk, just South of Downtown L.A. is part of the giant L.A. mega city, and is right off the 5 Freeway. It was around 7:30am when I found myself merging off of a busy Highway 14 on to a very busy 5 freeway. By 8:15am I was stuck in the middle of a slow moving traffic snarl and what should have been a quick drive, turned in to L.A. morning commuter traffic hell.

Slow stop and go traffic the whole way down the 5 Freeway, people cutting one another off, almost causing accidents, Semi’s weaving in and out of traffic in lanes that they have no business being in. What should have been a 20 or 30 minute drive was well over an hour. Once I reached Cerritos College in Norwalk, I was talking to a local. I asked him about the traffic, he said that it was a normal every day occurrence and that you just got used to it. The guys from San Diego said the same thing.

These are the same people that tell me I am crazy for living in a smaller town out in the middle of the Mojave Desert. “There is nothing there!” “You must always be bored.” “Where do you go shopping?” “It takes forever to get anywhere!”

It’s true, their isn’t much here, it does take at least two hours to get anywhere with any kind of shopping or shows, not much shopping can be done, not much of a variety of restaurants and not a lot to do in the immediate town. However…..It takes me between five and ten minutes to get to work. I pay 750.00 a month for a two story, three bedroom apartment, with a garage. My car insurance is cheaper, my air is cleaner, I can see a breathtaking view of stars at night, I have the Sierra Nevada Mountains just a short distance away, a low crime rate….

Don’t get me wrong, this town isn’t exactly a paradise. The crime rate is going up, but it started going up after the influx of section 8 tenants from the San Bernardino/Riverside area, L.A. area, etc. The lack of food choices in the town isn’t great, and a better choice in food, clothing, and car dealerships would definitely be great. But in the end, that’s all just stuff. The internet can bring you about anything you want anyway.

When I drove back to the desert, I left Norwalk at about 4:00am and the traffic buildup was already starting. Once I merged on to Highway 14 however, I was almost alone on my Northbound trek. I looked at the line of car headlights heading South, bumper to bumper, slow moving. People that drive an hour or two to work an eight hour job, just to drive an hour or two back home, maybe spend a little time with the family and eat dinner, before they have to go to bed to start it all over again.

Me? In that time I have gone to work, gone home, hung out at Starbucks with a good book, comic books or friends, eaten dinner, spent the evening with my fiancé and the girls if she isn’t at work, or playing my XBOX 1 if she is. I might go to Denny’s and hang out while she works. I can go to bed at midnight and still get an easy 6 hours sleep.

People feel sorry for me because I don’t live in a city. I feel sorry for them because they do.

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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