Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Have you ever been torn? Not physically, but torn nevertheless? I mean really torn.
Well, that's where I am right now. Lots of confliction. Confliction about who I am, I reckon.

The only thing I am sure if at this point is, I am still human and I still love the Truth, much as it may hurt at times. Because I know it will make me a better human.
Not just the truth, but beauty and goodness, the virtues, God, and like minded, offroad travellers.
All if that, and all of you I count as friends, sisters and brothers, make me a better human.

So why am I being torn? What is the root cause? And where do I go from here?

Used to be, I kept my emotions in check. Too much in check. Now it's the other way around.
What precipitated this reversal? And, more importantly, how do I get balanced?

Well, I know what precipated it, at least the basics. Or perhaps I should say I get the gist of the cause.
I have even written, in part, the cause of this recent turmoil. Okay, not really recent. It's always been there, for at least 40 plus years. It's just that it's manifesting now, into a nuclear holocast within me, like I'm being torn asunder.

The really odd thing is, emotionally, I feel whole, but I gno I am not whole.
After Patti's death, the lock on this Bendora's box was blown off, and what's inside is both causing turmoil and serenity at the same time.
Turmoil to my mind, serenity to my emotions.

It's funny, really, because I used to kind of pride myself for keeping my emotions in check. All I was doing was supressing them. Perhaps that's all I could do at the time. I dunno. I'm definitely more messed up than I thought I was.

And getting balanced is gonna be tough. What will be the end result? I don't know. The results I feel I would like to see are, no doubt, not good. Or at least not optimal.

So anyways, I could really use your prayers right now.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Love Changes Everything

Not long after we got married the ship I was on, USS Duluth, was undergoing sea trials (to see if the ship will float after being in dry dock, among other things), shakedown cruises (essentially this means you go to sea to see what needs to be fixed), Reftra (two weeks of hell on keel, to see if the crew is battle ready with lots of sleep deprivation, General Quarters, Condition 1 Alpha, etc.), and out to sea again for exercises with your Squadron.

All this is in preparation for a Westpac deployment, which is normally six months straight, but can be for longer depending on the circumstances.

During the month's leading up to Westpac, I was gone from Patti at 70% of the time so we weren't together much the first year we were married.
Which ain't exactly easy on a marriage.
However, although nether one of us liked it, that was part of my job.

Patti was always there waiting for me whenever I returned from sea. And if I had a duty day (once every three days inport, I had to stay on the ship a full 24 hours to stand watch, help take care of fires, flooding, load up stores for deployment, security alerts, stand watches, or whatever else came up), Patti would come by the ship to visit me, if I wasn't working or standing watch.

During which we would always sneak a kiss or two. :)

So anyways, during this time preparing for Westpac the neighbor next to the apt. we were renting in a seedy section of the North Park area of San Diego started trying' to come on to Patti.
Of course, she would have none of that and she told the creep to get lost more than once, but the guy wouldn't leave her alone.
After a few weeks of this Patti told me about this creep.

Immediately, I went next door to pound on this idiot's door, with Patti warning me not to break it down, because she was worried about me getting arrested.
Fortunately, Creepo answered his door before I hit it too hard (these were cheap apartments and the doors were hollow, and thin, but that was all we could afford at the time).

"What the f#ck do you want?" Creepo demanded, as he flung his door open

"Stay the hell away from my wife assh@le, or I'm gonna beat the sh!t out of you!" I replied politely.

Creepo wasn't as tall as me but he was stockier. I wasn't concerned about that, since I was seeing red, but I could see why Patti was afraid of the punk.

"I'm was just being friendly with her. If you care so much about her you should be home more. Now get the f#ck out of here before I bust you up!"

"Go ahead you punk ass sh!tbag, try to bust me up," I replied even more politely than before.

"What are you going to do motherf#cker? I do whatever I want!" He said, sneering.

"If you so much as even talk to my wife again I will kill you. And if you still keep bothering her, I'll kill you again!" I countered, thinking that sounded pretty dumb, but I ain't exactly mister vocabulary when I get that angry.

As I said that, I stepped closer to creepo, and shoved a finger into his chest. Patti was trying' to grab my arm and pleading with me to come back to the apartment but I couldn't backdown.

Creepo's smugness quickly faded and I saw a flicker of fear in his eyes.

"Um...uh...wh-what does that m-mean, dude?" He asked, taking a step back.

Actually, that's a good question, I thought. But now wasn't the time to explain what I meant.
Now was the time to convince creepydink that I would in fact kill him twice.

"If you bother my wife again you will find out," I replied, squinting my eyes.
"This is your only warning," I continued, raising one finger for dramatic effect, like Bruce Lee, or so I imagined.

"O-okay man, that's c-cool. Just c-calm down man," he said.

I stood there for a moment, my finger still in the air trying to think of what else to say when Patti chimed in.

"Okay. Good! Now let's go home Ben. You don't need to beat him to a pulp like the last guy that bothered me," she said, smiling sweetly.

Actually, up to that point I had not beaten anyone to a pulp for bothering Patti, because this was the first guy that had bothered her since we had met.

Creepydink's face went ashen, and he seemed to be even more afraid than before.

Of course, Creepydink didn't know that. This is a perfect time to scare him some more, I thought.

"Come on," Patti said under her breath, tugging on my arm.

"Okay then," I said, with one last crazy glare (to replace my authentic anger glare) in Creepydinks direction.

As I turned to leave Patti put my arm around her shoulders.

"My hero," she said, kissing me on the cheek and smiling that beautiful smile of hers.

My anger never stood a chance against that lovely smile, nor the kiss that followed.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin' Update


Tomorrow, I'm gonna go horseback ridin'. I had to book this two months ago. Apparently, lots of people go ridin' in the summer.

I love riding horses, and I like horses, so I figured hey, why not?
Back when I was a boy, I used to ride a lot. I had a friend who's dad owned a ranch and I rode every time I visited him. Plus, my step dad at the time, owned 5 acres and a few people he knew would pay him to keep afew of their horses at our place because we had some grazing land and a barn (that my grandpa built. He owned the place before my stepdad #2 bought it).

So I rode those horses too. I also took care of them, feeding, watering, brushing them, and washing them in the summer, occasionally. Plus, shovelling poop out of the barn and keeping it maintained and clean. I didn't mind the extra work because like I said, I like horses.

Here's the link of some pics of where I may be riding:

Should be fun. I'm gonna take a bunch of anti-poop pills so there ain't no chance of any accidents, I hope. I know, TMI probably, lol.
I'll try to take a bunch of pictures if you guys are interested.

Update: Well shoot, the guy who owns the horse ridin' business just called me and he has to cancel tomorrows rides. His truck is broke and the mechanics haven't figured out what is wrong with it.
At any rate, it will be another two or. three months until I can schedule a new day to ride.

That's the way it goes sometimes. I need some rancher friends.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ignore This Safety Recall For Now

So I got this safetyrecall notice for my 2004 Dodge Durango. Apparently, the driver's airbag doesn't always work right, particularly if the humidity is high.

However, after telling me this the letter goes on to say: don't bring your truck in for an inspection to see if it needs fixing, because we don't have the parts to fix it at this time. We will let you know when the parts become available.

Oh really? How nice of you to do that. Thanks for the warning.

I told Patti we should've gotten a Ford but she liked the way the Durango looks. And it does look okay, but it's made by Dodge Chrysler. Ugh.

Oh well. My next truck will be a Ford, unless they become as stupid as Chrysler or GM.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dog Advice

Little Miss, the youngest of my two dachschunds is allergic to grass pollen most likely, my vet says.
She has uncontrollable itching from around April, maybe May until August or Sept..
In the past I gave her benedryl, various anti-itch sprays and herbal supplements, and various shampoos.

The benedryl helps a bit, but all that other stuff doesn't.
However, last year they came out with a new drug, Apoquel. On the very first day it worked, and she is itch free. :)

Since it is relatively new, it is expensive. About three bucks per pill. But I don't hafta take her to the vet for infections and antibiotics anymore.
So if your dog has this problem I highly recommend Apoquel.

There has been no side effects whatsoever.

Incidently, if any of you guys know where I can buy it cheaper, please let me know.
I tried 1800Petmeds, where I order the doggie's flea and tick medicine, but they have been out for awhile. Apparently, this drug works so well on all allergies, that there is a high demand for it.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

New Look...Maybe

I never thought this would happen, but it did. I always enjoyed having a beard and not shaving.
However, after several cooler than normal summers in western Washington, in a row,  I knew we were due for a warmer than usual summer.

And thus it has happened. Hey, I'm not complaining, it could always be hotter, and, compared to the south, this ain't nothin'.
However, I'm not used to it, so I'm looking' for ways to be cooler.

Cooler than I already am, that is.
Well, it is possible, theoretically.

I will let you, dear readers and fellow Raccoons, be the judge.
Should I stay with the clean shaven look, or should I go back to the clean bearded look?
The winner gets a signed The Tao Of Cosmic ChinFoo Art Of War E Book!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Feels Like Freedom?

Okay, not so much anymore, thanks to SCOTUS. But at least I can tell my granddaughter what freedom used to be like, and pray that America will be free again, someday.

I am thankful I got to experience Life, Liberty and the Pursuit Of Happiness.

I'm also thankful I live in the Boondocks.

Now, this don't mean I give up fightin' for our liberties, far from it. I'll keep praying and fightin' for it until I die.
And with that, may you all have a Happy July 4th!