Monday, June 30, 2014

Two Economics-related issues that Democrats don't understand...

There have been two economics-related issues in the news as of late that Dems are trying to spin their way and, well, I have to stomp all over these fantasies of theirs. I'm sorry but, it must be done. Trust me children, this is for your own good...

Hobby Lobby

I'm not surprised Hobby Lobby won their suit against Obamacare in the SCOTUS today. I haven't read anything about the actual trial proceedings yet but, it wouldn't matter. Obamacare has become so universally unpopular that the SCOTUS probably decided to side with Hobby Lobby out of spite. Besides, why are you depending on SOMEONE ELSE for something as critical as YOUR health? Buy your own damned birth control. Rubbers are NOT that expensive! (I can't speak about the birth control pill since I've never had to purchase any.)

It's not that I don't have sympathy for others or a lack of caring for my fellow Human beings. This blog's existence should prove that I do care. Why else would I be CONSTANTLY trying to expose varying forms of Bullshit? The reason I don't want anyone else (including your employers) to be paying for someone else's Healthcare (let alone using the government to force the issue) is largely a matter of economics. I can't afford an increase in ANY of my bills, especially the one that comes from the Tax Man. You are just going to have to find a way address this issue.

There's also a matter of civil rights here. If you are going to ask the Government to force people to do something with a new law, there has to be a VERY good reason. Law is not supposed to be used to force agendas, legislate morality or engage in varying forms of Socialist Bullshit like government-mandated healthcare programs. If they can't even do a good job of caring for Veterans at a VA hospital, why would anyone want them involved in the rest of the population's medical issues?

$15/hour minimum wage

At first, I was against that idea just because I didn't want to experience an increase in any costs for anything I might buy. Then, I changed my mind. If labor costs went up that high, ALL of the fast food joints would look for ways to automate the process and fire all their burger-flippers. That means I can just order my meal at a kiosk and wait for it to come off an assembly line. The order will be exactly what I ordered and any mistakes will be made by me during the ordering process. I like that idea. When I say 'no mayo' that means NO FUCKING MAYO, YOU POT-SMOKING LOSER THAT IS ONLY EMPLOYED BECAUSE MOM AND DAD INSISTED THAT YOU HAVE A JOB!!!

Think that's harsh? Just imagine what happens when you have a real job and make a mistake. Or worse, imagine you're in the military and make a mistake that just might get someone killed! Life is never going to be nice or fair to you. That is a good thing too. If life were fair, that means that every bad thing that happens to you happens because you deserved that bad karma. Personally, I think that kind of world would be MUCH worse than the one we have now.

If you honestly think that someone is going to pay you $15 an hour for flipping burgers, you are *quite* deluded. Labor offered by a High School student in a part-time after school job is not worth $15 per hour. They are not even worth the minimum wage they get now. When was the last time you got a burger that looked anything like the picture on the menu? That should be the freakin' standard to which ALL fast food workers are held accountable, especially if you think you're worth $15 an hour.

- Lord Publius

Friday, June 27, 2014

Hilariously Controversial Opinions for 27 June 2014

Entertainment Industry

- Attention Hollywood. I DO NOT CARE if some actor is gay. He does not need to come out of the closet and advertise to the world that he enjoys 'playing with his own team.' It's none of my business and I don't want to know. Just let a brother smoke some pole in peace, would ya?

- The TV show Two and a Half Men was funnier when Charlie Sheen was on the show. Ashton Kutcher just isn't funny anymore and he hasn't been since he played Kelso on That 70's Show. Also, what does Mila Kunis see in that doofus?

- Speaking of TV, Duck Dynasty is a complete waste of air time. That is easily the most inane and pathetic BULLSHIT that I have seen on TV since the show with all the Kardashian sisters... Or ANYTHING on the News...

- Hip-Hop is Bullshit... and apparently so damned easy that a small child can do it surprisingly well. Don't believe me? Check out this link. Hell, even a cat can do it with a few minor editing tricks...


- I think it's hilarious (and sad) when Democrats keep trying to defend a POTUS that even they know is a fucking failure. Y'all lambasted Republicans for sticking with George Bush but, now that the shoe is on the other foot... Well, you're showing your true colors. Idiotic Crybabies... You always reap what you sow. If you sow lots of discord in the workplace, that is all you will get back.

- Speaking of which, I'm glad that I am not a Democrat or a Republican. They are both fine examples of why George Washington warned us against forming political parties in his Presidential Farewell Address. Too bad he was several years too late and people didn't listen to him...

- Why do some Washington politicians try to convince me that an ex-KGB Spymaster with ambitions of Empire like Vladimir Putin is someone that is friendly to the Free World? His actions certainly don't look like the sort of things a friend of ours would do... (And I get poisoned by a Polonium isotope in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...)


- And speaking of 'poisons'... People who think that a vaccine can magically cause autism are fucking morons that obviously didn't pay attention in their biology & health classes.

- Also, if you kept your kid from getting vaccinated because you listened to a c-level celebrity, then don't be surprised if they get really sick and possibly die. I have spoken!

Video Games

- Microsoft sucks at making game consoles and should just stop now before they really embarrass themselves any further. Nintendo and Sony will always be better than Microsoft.

- Also, I want a new company to compete with Sony & Nintendo in the game console/portable wars. It should be a conglomerate made up of NamcoBandai, Atari (or what's left of it these days), SEGA and Capcom. That company could be pretty freakin' awesome... And they would have exclusive rights to a number of VERY popular franchises that were previously multi-platform. That would certainly throw the game business for a loop...

- The PS Vita is a pretty cool portable system... Too bad it's so damned expensive... Still, if you get one, get a game from the PlayStation Store called TxK. Trust me, you won't regret it...

- Speaking of the PS Vita, where did Sony get a goofy sounding name like that one? The names of their other machines all made sense (except the PSPGo) so, where did 'Vita' come from, heh?...

- Well, turns out Wikipedia has an answer to that last question... 'Vita' is Latin for 'Life'. Sony wanted to use that for a fancy new portable that could have all kinds of social experiences that the PSP didn't have. Okay... I still say 'PSP2' would have been a perfectly acceptable name. At least they aren't as goofy at naming their consoles as Microsoft... And sometimes Nintendo...

- Speaking of Nintendo, I think the code name 'Revolution' was a MUCH better console name than 'Wii'. 'Revolution 2' or 'Super Revolution' would have also been better than 'Wii U'. I HAVE SPOKEN!!!

- Lately, I have been hearing nerds across the internet getting awfully cross with some game designer named Phil Fish. I've never heard of this guy or the game he made, Fez, and I don't think I want to get to know them. People who don't appreciate the folks that put money in their pocket will not be getting much in their pocket for very long.


- Women who say that 'A lot of guys are after me' should keep in mind that low prices tend to attract a LOT of customers... Many of them quite unsavory... Trust me ladies, it does NOT pay to make your 'Holiest of Holies' look like a fucking Wal-Mart around Christmas. Standards are important, people!

- One Baby Daddy, Two Baby Daddy, Three Baby Daddy, Four... How many Baby Daddies does it take to realize that you're a whore? Seriously though, Four should be plenty... :P

- Anyone know of a high-quality hook-up site? Sure, it would be nice to have a girlfriend and a genuine romantic relationship. However, for now, I'm happy to just find a nice girl who will let me poke her in the squish-mitten.

- Lord Publius

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What makes you so sure that these 8 Philosophical Problems CAN'T be solved?

I came across a little list on io9 about 8 Philosophical problems that can't be solved and I started to chuckle. Philosophical problems are usually VERY EASY for me to solve so, I decided to do just that...

I wasn't always successful with all of them but, I like to think I did okay with most of them. Also, as a favor to the readers who are not a Naturally-born Mad Scientist like me, I kept the language very simple. There are few references to any really complex scientific principles or philosophical maxims. Any that are mentioned will also include hyperlinks to web pages with explanations of the terms used. There will also be some extremely ribald and sardonic humor employed throughout. You have been warned...

1.) Why is there something rather than nothing?

Ask the Creator of All Things. I don't know. I'm not concerned with it, either. I'm just happy to be here.

Personally, I sometimes wonder if our whole universe is just a mad science experiment of some kind. Is our whole universe just a growth culture in a petri dish? Is 'God' just the dork in a lab coat that created/studies that growth-culture under a microscope? Does he make like a divine ceiling cat that watches me masturbate? Is he enjoying the show?

2.) Is our universe real?

Yes. It is real. It is often hard to believe or understand but, it is real. If you think we are part of some incredibly realistic simulation, then you have been watching movies like Inception and The Matrix entirely too much... And probably smoking a LOT of weed...

3.) Do we have free will?

Yes, we do have Free Will. Physics (especially the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle) has already demonstrated this, as world-renowned Physicist Michio Kaku explains in this video...

4.) Does God exist?

That depends on how you define 'God.'

If you define God the way I do as 'the Creator of All Things', then God's existence is at least possible, even if it can't be definitively proven yet. If you think God is anything like those fairy tales you read as a child every Sunday, then you are likely to be disappointed.

Jesus certainly seems like a nice guy from what I have read of him, though. I'd have a beer with him. He's also probably the only hippie that I'd be eager to invite into my home for Sunday dinner too. However, I do insist that he take a shower first.

5.)  Is there life after death?

Don't worry. Some day, you will find out. :P

6.) Can you really experience anything objectively?

Yes... and No. Experiencing something in a purely objective way is possible through these marvelous inventions called Non-Fiction Books, the Internet and, to some extent, Reality Television. You can experience other people's lives/experiences through these means.

However, the view of 'reality' you experience through these means all come to you through the filter of someone else's biases and preconceived notions of the Universe. Is anyone else starting to feel a little confused about this one?

Maybe it's only possible to objectively experience the worlds created in a book but, not the real world itself?

7.) What is the best moral system?

Whatever moral system helps make your life happier, better in a measurable/quantifiable way (More money, better food, et al.) and also DOES NOT DO ANY HARM TO YOU OR ANOTHER HUMAN BEING.

Sadly, there is no philosophy that can do these things 100% of the time. There is also no one system that will work for everyone. It is your responsibility to examine the philosophies and make your own decisions in this area. Good luck.

8.) What are numbers?

Numbers are something that Humans made up to help quantify and explain the Universe around them.

Unfortunately, Humans have not always done a good job of explaining how to use these numbers to their children. WHY MUST MATH CLASS BE SO DAMNED CONFUSING IN HIGH SCHOOL?

- Lord Publius

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ace Frehley - Gimme A Feelin

I've heard of Gene and Paul saying their former bandmate Ace Frehley lost a lot of his talent. After hearing this single from his new album Space Invader, I'd have to disagree. Not only does it rock, it sounds suspiciously like a classic 1970's KISS song with a really awesome melody that has great flow. It never lets up on the listener.

Of course, Gene and Paul do have a lot of personal issues with Ace too. I don't know what exactly their issues with him are and, right now, I don't care. I'm just glad that Ace is still making music.

Space Invader releases on August 19th.

- Lord Publius

Friday, June 20, 2014

About George Will's recent editorial on the rape 'epidemic' on college campuses...

A lot of Leftists are calling for George Will's head over this editorial that he wrote on the sexual assault epidemic supposedly taking place on college campuses. I wonder why. There is a big problem with the rules on sexual assault in this country and on college campuses in particular. As for the actual incidences of rape on college campuses, I'm afraid I can't say. I haven't been in college since 2008 and there weren't many women attending the school. For some reason, women don't seem to be drawn towards technology schools. Anyway, I read the article itself and found something pretty interesting... And horrifying...

From the article: “They’d now decided — mutually, she thought — just to be friends. When he ended up falling asleep on her bed, she changed into pajamas and climbed in next to him. Soon, he was putting his arm around her and taking off her clothes. ‘I basically said, “No, I don’t want to have sex with you.” And then he said, “OK, that’s fine” and stopped. . . . And then he started again a few minutes later, taking off my panties, taking off his boxers. I just kind of laid there and didn’t do anything — I had already said no. I was just tired and wanted to go to bed. I let him finish. I pulled my panties back on and went to sleep.’”

Six weeks later, the woman reported that she had been raped.

She let him have his way with her, and then decides to call him a rapist 6 weeks later.

She let him have his way with her, and then decides to call him a rapist 6 weeks later? What the Fuck? Why didn't you punch him in the Balls to make him stop, chick? If you really didn't want him to have intercourse with you, then you should have at least tried to stop him! Women like this scare me! (And I am also very glad that I don't date people who get that easily confused...)

There needs to be a more clear definition of what constitutes rape and/or sexual assault. There also need to be a real court of law involved instead of some stupid kangaroo court made up by the college in question. I think that was what George Will was trying to say here. What is so wrong with that notion?

Of course, this didn't keep various idiots in Congress (all of them Democratic Senators) from trying to hassle George Will and trying to convince his employer to fire him. I wouldn't count on that taking place. If the New York Times won't fire that shitbag Paul Krugman then, the Washington Post won't fire George Will.

- Lord Publius

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Shiggy is a Rocker

Written on 1 June 2014

For those who don't recognize the nickname, 'Shiggy' refers to legendary Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. He created Super Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, F-Zero, Star Fox, Pikmin and well, just about EVERY hit franchise Nintendo has ever had. The only exceptions that I know of are Metroid, Pokemon and Kid Icarus.

Anyway, I noticed something today after playing New Super Mario Bros. U for a few hours. Some of the Koopa Kids are inspired by Rock Stars. Morton Koopa has a star painted over his eye, which is highly reminiscent of Paul Stanley from KISS.

Then, there's Iggy Koopa and the one girl in the group, Wendy O. Koopa. I'm certain they were both named for Punk legends Iggy Pop of The Stooges and Wendy O. Williams of The Plasmatics. I don't know why I never noticed this until now but, it's pretty cool of Shigeru Miyamoto to put those references in the Mario Universe. Rock on, Shiggy. :)


- Lord Publius

Friday, June 13, 2014

I'm narcissistic? Really? Lolz...

So, an ass-clown that I got rid of about a year ago recently accused me of being a narcissist. Not only does that make me laugh but, it also shows just how little this sad individual really knows about human psychology. And this guy is one of my former Army buddies too... To think that I might have actually had to depend on this guy to have my back in a combat situation... That is indeed *quite* un-nerving...

Anyway, I looked up Narcissism on Wikipedia just to get a refresher course on the subject. The only thing about it that I remembered was the tale of Narcissis staring at his own reflection until he fell into the pond and died. In the course of this 'research' (if you can call looking at a Wikipedia article a form of research), I discovered this: The 7 sins of Narcissism...

1.) Shamelessness: Shame is the feeling that lurks beneath all unhealthy narcissism, and the inability to process shame in healthy ways.

I don't feel ashamed about many things I've done in my life. I don't need to be, either. The things that I did feel ashamed about have already been dealt with a long time ago. Doesn't look like I'm committing this particular sin...

2.) Magical thinking: Narcissists see themselves as perfect, using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to dump shame onto others.

I know all too well that I am not perfect. This doesn't apply, either.

3.) Arrogance: A narcissist who is feeling deflated may re-inflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.

When excatly have I been known to be diminishing, debasing, or degrading anyone without good cause? (After all, there are a LOT of assholes in the world...) How often am I diminishing, debasing, or degrading anyone at all? If somebody can answer this one, please let me know.

As for arrogant behavior... Well, not quite. Being an Aspie, I simply don't reciprocate a lot of other people's feelings. Some folks mistake that for arrogance when it's not. The assclown that accused me of narcissism knew I was an Aspie but, I don't believe he really understands what's involved with that neurological condition. He most likely wouldn't care, either. All the more reason why I'm glad that I washed my hands of him...

4.) Envy: A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person's ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.

I don't envy a lot of people for anything and I most certainly don't envy the guy accusing me of narcissism. I know a considerable amount about him and, despite my troubles, I'm still quite happy I've never marched a mile in his boots. That little boy is not well...

5.) Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an "awkward" or "difficult" person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.

I have never heard of narcissistic injury or narcissistic rage before. I don't have much in the way of expectations from other people, either. More often than not, I simply just don't have ANY interaction with them at all. There usually isn't much of a need. There usually isn't much of a desire, either. Blame that on the Asperger's or having a shitty childhood or whatever you want. I don't care. Whatever the reason is, I don't feel entitled to anything other than what is legally mine. (i.e. My rights, my property, my privacy, et al.)

6.) Exploitation: Can take many forms but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.

I'm not even sure what this one means. Is this supposed to mean that a narcissist would regard people as his slaves or some kind of untouchable? Being a white guy from the Deep South, I can promise you that I want nothing at all to do with any kind of slavery...

7.) Bad boundaries: Narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist are treated as if they are part of the narcissist and are expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist there is no boundary between self and other.

Again, how would this apply to me? When have I ever treated someone as an extension of my will? Why would I treat someone as simply existing for my benefit? That is not very humane, Christian or in keeping with the spirit and values of our beloved Republic. All men are created equal right?


Perhaps I should explain why this guy is accusing me of being a narcissist. This guy, who we'll call 'TAB', was a friend of mine while I was serving in Korea. I thought he was a good friend until one day he decided to hide my rifle from me while I was utilizing the Latrine. After that incident, I pushed him out of my life and never looked back. That was an absolutely unforgivable betrayal in my mind. He did try to make things right but, I didn't let him. He even tried knocking on my door at the barracks later that night. I didn't bother to answer.

Fastforward more than a year later, we are both serving in the State of Maryland at 2 different bases. He was at Ft. Meade and I was at Ft. Detrick. A mutual friend of ours, who I will refer to as 'BKD', was in my unit and asked me to give him a second chance. TAB was going to be tagging along while we went to a few clubs in downtown Baltimore. I was rather hesitant. Anyway, TAB insisted that he regretted the whole ordeal, changed, converted to Buddhism, et al. I don't think he was a good actor since I wasn't really convinced by that little speech. I didn't hear the sincerity in his voice. What I did hear was an undertone of a kind of 'go fuck yourself' kind of attitude. It reminded me of a car salesman.

Despite that, I did give him a second chance, at BKD's insistence. Normally, that never happens. I never mentioned the incident with the rifle again but, I didn't forget it, either. TAB never knew but, I was keeping a close eye on him. For about a year, everything was fine. Then, he started acting like an asshole. I wasn't liking what I was seeing so, I tested him with a harshly worded blog post that could piss off the Pope. There were plenty of clues in the text that should have told him that it was a test of his loyalty but, he didn't pick up on them. He reacted exactly as I thought he would and started being his true self: a bitter and cynical little shitbag who thinks he can tell other people how to live their lives. And yet, I'm supposed to be the one who's narcissistic here... Yeah... Right...

After deleting/blocking him from my social media accounts in the summer of 2013, I just forgot about him. Why bother wasting time thinking of old rubbish?

Fast-forward to April of 2014 and I am about to leave Detrick and return home to New Orleans for good. BKD starts acting like an asshole on Facebook too. By this point, he had already left Detrick and went back to Korea for his next assignment. Poor bastard... Anyway, he starts looking for ways to break my balls, thinking that he's being funny. He even went so far as to put 'lol' after all the shit he'd type, thinking that would make it better/permissible/whatever. Where do these people get their delusions? One day, he went a little too far and started talking smack about my romantic life, which he wouldn't know anything about anyway. I decided that was enough. He was blocked right there on the spot without a second thought. Even if you do break balls like that with your friends in person, it is NOT okay to do it in a public forum like the Internet.

Fast-forward a little later to May of 2014, and I'm back home in New Orleans. I go to a music group I created on Facebook to check on things and schedule a few posts. I see a message in the group's inbox from, of all people, TAB. Apparently, blocking someone from your personal profile does not block them from whatever group you created. That's good to know.

I wish I saved that message so I could re-post it here for everyone to laugh at because it was pretty damned pathetic. He was talking about how he was leaving the group because it turned to shit and calling me an asshole in several different ways. (Speaking of which, when did I say anything bad about either of their girlfriends? That was one of his baseless accusations.) I couldn't understand it all because of the insane rambling and poor grammar but, I did pick up on one thing towards the end. He talked about how I had a lot of nerve in getting rid of two people who once called themselves my friend. He was most likely talking about himself and BKD.

Well, I don't know what goes through this poor kid's twisted mind but, NO ONE is entitled to be part of someone's life. If you act like an asshole, you will lose friends. That is a fact of life that most people seem to figure out as children. Why does this guy not get that?

So, let's re-cap here shall we? This boy...

  • Stabs his friends in the back... (i.e. hiding their rifles)
  • Thinks he's entitled to something he's not...
  • Obviously can't tell when I'm trolling him with a blog post designed to piss him off...
  • Over-reacts to the troll, exactly as I thought he would...
  • Loses his mind over something that doesn't have anything to do with him... (i.e. me getting rid of BKD)
...And yet, I am the one who's supposed to be narcissistic. What a worthless little piece of shit hanging from the hairs around your asshole. No wonder I brushed him off...

Forget the Asperger's, social marginalization and all the rest of that jazz. I think the real reason why I don't call many people a friend is because most of them are sooner or later going to abuse the privilege.

- Lord Publius

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Is being single something of a 'social trap' or is it just me?

I think society as a whole has failed me in a few ways. Also, I think it failed itself by not creating any kind of social mechanism for meeting potential dating partners. I wish I knew how to explain that one better but, I don't.

It's probably just me but, I have noticed that finding a good person to be your spouse/girlfriend/fuck buddy/whatever is exceedingly difficult for everyone. Why? Will I ever understand any of this stuff or am I just ill-equipped because of a neurological difference in my brain? I have observed that this is a purely qualitative area of life and that often reeks havoc for folks with a logical mind. Bummer...

Anyway, here are my two observations on the issue... Some of which may have been expressed in previous blog posts...

1.) Dating sites are a joke.

They really are. The video below discusses the heuristic algorithm that the dating site OKCupid uses to find potential matches for you. I used this site for a while. It never found anyone that really was a good match for me. To sum up the video, the algorithm tries to match you with people who have a common interest. Essentially, it's like one of your friends saying 'Well, you both like to go hiking/cook Italian food/whatever. Maybe you two will hit it off...'

That approach is not totally horrible but, it is a bit flawed. Having a common interest does indeed make for a good place to start but, it's not necessarily enough. What if she's part of a religion, political party or social group that I would find objectionable for some reason? For anyone who reads this blog regularly (or knows me personally) I'm sure you can imagine the scenario in your head already.

Dating site: Well, this person likes Star Trek and so do you. Maybe you should contact her.

Me: She's also a militant atheist, a Hardcore Democrat and freely admits to preferring abortion over childbirth. I'm not cool with that...

The dating site wouldn't suggest that person anymore after I click the button labeled 'not interested' and that is how it should be too. People however, are not always that easily managed. And that leads us to...

2.) Be VERY careful when trying to set up your friends with someone...

A few (now former) friends have tried to help me find a woman but, their efforts were not successful. Some of them weren't even asked for their help. They kept trying to steer me to the women they thought I deserved (i.e. the fatties, uggos,  psycho hose-beasts and others who are socially marginalized) rather than someone I might actually want. As you can imagine, that eventually led to the end of those so-called friendships. I don't miss any of them. Who the Hell do they think they are to try and tell me what I am going to do with my dick?

It's really quite simple. If the woman you're trying to steer me toward doesn't interest me, you should stop right away. I'm not going to waste that person's time (or mine) by dating them and letting them think something can develop when it most likely won't. I'd just be taking advantage of that person's loneliness and/or emotional weakness, which would make me a real Asshole. I will never purposely do that to anyone. Personal Honor and a clear conscience is ALWAYS preferable to relationships that I know to be a lie and/or using someone for sexual gratification. I am not putting them in the friend zone, either. That is just horrible.

This is not a matter of me having standards that are too high. My standards are neither too high or too low. The standards are just rather specific. Nor is this a situation where I might be 'looking for a Cadillac on a Chevrolet budget' either. Dating is supposed to be the social mechanism where you look for and try to acquire a mate/spouse. Therefore, you can expect that I will do my best to find the most compatible (and lovely) woman that I possibly can. NEVER Settle on something that's important. You'll only come to regret it in the end. Besides, I know there are women out there with a similar mentality/intellect. It's just a matter of finding one...

All is not completely lost, though. I do have at least 1 or 2 friends that would help in this endeavor who would also have my complete confidence. Unfortunately, they aren't able to help right now. One of them is busy raising a family and taking care of a baby she had recently and the other doesn't know any single people anymore. Ugh! Dating in your 30's really sucks... :/

- Lord Publius

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Voyage Home Part 4

Follow these links here to read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Last time, I left off with the moment when I cross Lake Ponchartrain and get back into the Greater New Orleans area. And now, the conclusion...

Within minutes, I am driving through what looks like the Downtown area of New Orleans. The song on the radio was apparently something that I didn’t like. So, I changed it to that new Rock station I had heard about during my ‘long exile in Yankee land’ via friends on Facebook, 96.3. That station didn’t have any trouble winning me over as a new fan. The first song I hear on this station is the Skillet song ‘Monster’, which reminds me of the person who introduced me to the song years ago. And that just made me even happier that I was getting away from the Army. She was a fellow soldier in my AIT unit and then later the same battalion while we were in Korea. To make a long story short, she was also a fine example of why the Drill Sergeants in Basic Training told us all to stay away from Army females. I’m quite glad that I listened to them, in the case of that particular individual. That poor girl had some serious issues… The song is still quite enjoyable, though.

At about 0330 hours that morning, I am starting to recognize where I’m at without any street signs or the Garmin. The landmarks, buildings and roads themselves told me exactly where I was: back home in the suburb known as Metairie. I’m now only a few minutes away from my final destination. I start ignoring the Garmin, which thus far has taken me every step of the way from Maryland back home to Louisiana. It was no longer needed and hasn’t been used much since.

I use the exit ramp for Causeway Blvd. near the Clearview Mall to get back onto the surface streets. Instead of flying down the road at warp speed, I start to relax and take my time, looking around. It was remarkable just how little had changed. I stopped for gas at a Chevron station on the corner of Veteran’s Boulevard and Transcontinental Drive to fill up one more time. I briefly remember that this is also the same station where my 1982 Buick Riviera, Shiela, started to have the trouble that led to its demise. I tried to drive it to the mechanic’s shop but, She didn’t make it there that day. That was an unpleasant memory...

After that brief trip down memory lane, I stopped by my father’s house. I thought about knocking on the door but, decided not to since it was 4 AM. I found out later that I could have since he was already awake but, how was I supposed to know? So, I drove to my mother’s house because I knew she’d be awake, getting ready to go to work. Why UPS decided to put her on an early AM shift, I don't know.

I pulled into the driveway and called her cell phone. There was no answer. That was a little weird since I knew she was already awake. I could see the lights on and, more importantly, I could see my dog, an American Pitbull Terrier named Dixie, through a window. She was laying on a piece of furniture for Human use (which she knows she’s not supposed to do) and she happened to notice me. She lifted her head and looked at me quizzically, as if wondering if what she saw was real.  I simply smiled and said aloud, knowing she’d hear and recognize my voice, ‘Yes, Dixie, it really is me.’

She jumped off the bed and started moving to the front door, barking loudly enough for me to hear her. I called Mom’s phone one more time. This time, Mom answered and I explained to her that I was standing out front. ‘Well, no wonder Dixie is going nuts…’ she said as she made her way to the door to let me inside. The moment the door was open, the dog comes running, looking to jump all over me. Good thing I was prepared for that event. Otherwise, she may have knocked me down. That was a very happy reunion. :)

I spent a few minutes there and then started driving around town again. I started to notice a few things that had changed but, not many. After tooling around for a while, I went back to my Dad’s house sometime after 6 AM. By this time, I have been awake for at least 25 hours and I still wasn’t feeling fatigued. Those 5-hour energy shots really work! I park in front of his house, get out of the truck and call his cell. This is how the conversation went…

Me: ‘That flag in front of the house is looking a bit worn out. Fortunately, I have a pristine one in my truck with me.

Dad: ‘What flag? What are you talking about?

Me: ‘The one in front of your house. I’m standing in the front yard right now.

Dad: ‘Oh, you’re here. Okay, wait a minute. I’ll come open the door.

I can be such a Smartass... :P

By this time, it was about 6:30 AM (Notice how I started using civilian time instead of military time?) and yet, I'm still not tired. I must have been awake for a good 26 hours by now and I'm still not feeling the fatigue. I chatted with Dad for a few minutes in his dining room, keeping my voice low since I knew there were still some people in the house who were asleep. Eventually, his new girlfriend that I hadn't met before comes out from the back of the house. I simply said 'Good Morning!' with a smile and some enthusiasm. I guess that I surprised her since no one was expecting me to get home so fast. After talking with her a few minutes, I hopped into the shower and then went to sleep. I didn't wake up again until about 6:30 that night.

Everything else that happened since then isn't really all that important so, I won't bore you with the details. I can tell you that I'm *quite* relaxed nowadays. I'm well on the way to starting my next career once the schooling is finished sometime this summer. I haven't yet been able to spend any time with many of those old friends I missed. That's one of the unfortunate aspects of Army life that no one tells you about when you enlist. While you're away from home, everyone else goes on with their lives. They don't necessarily forget you but, they do act like you've moved away or perhaps even died. There's a lot to be said for proximity in the importance of maintaining interpersonal relationships. I did get to see some of the most important people on that mental list of mine, though.

I don't know what the future holds from this point but, it's gotta be better than the dubious future I unwittingly looked forward to when I enlisted in the Army circa 2009. There will still sadly be some Bravo Sierra from the Federal Government, no thanks to the VA. I sure hope they cause me less headaches than the Army did. Those VA scandals I'm seeing on TV are very troubling since I'm about to go into that Healthcare system. Even if none of that was taking place, I still plan to get some kind of Healthcare from the Private Sector to supplement the VA. If you depend on the Government for anything, you will be disappointed. I hope the voting public remembers that with the upcoming elections in 2014 and 2016. That toilet bowl that is D.C. definitely needs to be flushed.

Something else I noticed since getting back to the real world is that nothing seems like a really big deal or an insurmountable obstacle anymore. Even better, people in the civilian world are nice, polite and actually willing to help when you ask. That sure is a welcome change.

I'll be taking a bit of a hiatus from this blog for about a month. I need to finish this online training for my next career, among other things. The next blog will be in July after the end of my terminal leave, when I am officially a civilian again. That post, simply entitled 'Why I left the Army' will tell you all the reasons why I put an end to that career. It's bound to be a bit of a shock to the general public. Service-members and Veterans however, will understand completely and perhaps empathize with my situation.

- Lord Publius

P.S. If any of the nerds in the audience failed to realize where I got the title for this 4-part series, then you need to turn in your Starfleet uniform right now.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Voyage Home Part 3

Read part 1 here and part 2 here.

So, now I’m back on the road and making a mad dash through what I start to recognize as Coastal Mississippi. I recognized the area because of the signs on the Interstate. Towns like Waveland, Kiln and Petal were all on signs that I saw, all of them being places where some of my extended family on my mother’s side lives. Also, I had managed to find a Rock station that was coming in loud and clear on 95.7 FM. It wasn’t until the station identification before the commercials that I realized that it was Bayou 95.7. That’s the classic Rock station in New Orleans. I was within 100 miles of my destination. It would only be another hour or two before reaching home! No time to be sight-seeing now. Time to go into Warp!

Sometime around 0300 local time, April 30th, I reach the border and cross into Louisiana. Seeing that sign saying ‘Welcome to Louisiana!’ was quite gratifying, especially since Bayou 95.7 started playing the perfect song at that moment. They bucked the trend of most classic Rock stations and played a song from my favorite band, ‘Calling Dr. Love’ by KISS. It was as if the Universe was saying ‘Welcome Home, Publius.’ That certainly gave me an adrenaline boost.

I stopped after the song was over at a rest stop that was strangely closed at night. I just sent another text message out to those who needed to know my whereabouts and kept on trekkin’ towards my destination. From this point, everything was getting quite familiar. I was almost at the point where I didn’t even need the Garmin anymore. After all, I’m back on home soil! Thank God!!!

I start zooming down the I-10 heading west at VERY unsafe velocities, and not giving a shit about speed limits. I was too close to the goal (and way too wired with adrenaline) to stop now. There was also no traffic AT ALL. I was free to pretend that my S-10 was a Corvette… and I did just that while noticing some very familiar names on the signs along the road. Names like Nine Mile Point Road, Old Spanish Trail… I was in Slidell! That’s on the Northshore of Lake Ponchartrain in St. Tammany Parish. I was so close to the Greater New Orleans area by this time that I could kiss it passionately like a man that hasn’t seen his wife in a year. (Or, in my case, seeing her for a week or two at a time per year at most for the past 5 years.)

I started to come to a bridge crossing the Lake. At first, I wondered if it was the Causeway Bridge, which at 24 miles in length, is the longest man-made bridge in the whole world. It turned out that it was actually a smaller bridge cutting across the eastern side of the lake. That was actually a good thing since there wouldn’t be any tolls on this bridge. Traffic was starting to come into existence so, I had to slow down. Damn!

Anyway, the moment I crossed that bridge, I was back on the Southshore of the Lake in New Orleans East. I could tell because of the street names: Read Blvd., Bullard Rd. and so forth. There wasn’t much traffic so; I started speeding again through this particular area. That part of town is not safe at night, especially if you are of the Caucasian persuasion.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Voyage Home Part 2

Read Part 1 here.

At about Midnight (and finally back in the Central Time Zone), I crossed into Mississippi. I noticed on the sign that it said ‘Birthplace of America’s Music’ and just rolled my eyes for a moment. Blues has a LOT of roots in the State of Mississippi but, it started in the Mississippi River Delta. That is in the State of Louisiana, thank you very much. And while we’re at it, New Orleans also gave birth to Jazz and is one of the cities that gave birth to Rock’N’Roll. As much as I love the Magnolia State, Mississippi did NOT do it all alone. Let’s give the credit to where it’s actually due.

After crossing the state line, I looked for a rest stop. After about a mile or so, I found a really nice one. It was probably the nicest of all the rest stops I had come across that night. I took the opportunity to relieve myself, stretch and text friends and relatives about my progress before hitting the road again. I didn’t care if it was 1 or 2 in the morning at all. I was so damned close to home!

That being said, Mississippi did not go quite as smoothly as the other states. I decided to stop for gas again and went looking for a Chevron or Texaco station with my Garmin. Chevron and Texaco have Techron in their gas, which helps keep your injectors clean. I prefer to avoid cheap, no name brand gasoline where possible because it’s full of ethanol. Ethanol and my truck don’t like each other. And after all the times I had to fill up on cheap gas along the way, I figured it was time to treat my truck to something good for once. This led me into a small town called Enterprise, Mississippi.


I had read about this town on Wikipedia ages ago for some reason, probably because there’s a town called ‘Enterprise’ in Louisiana and Alabama as well. The one in Alabama is the home to Fort Rucker, the home of Army Aviation. All the Helicopter pilots train there. The other two aren’t known for much of anything, as far as I know. Also, being a life-long Trekkie, I found this town’s name to be, as Spock would say, ‘Fascinating’…

The town of Enterprise, Mississippi was way off the beaten track. It was so off the beaten track that my Garmin got really confused and had me driving all over the town looking for a Texaco. It took me at least a half hour to find the place in a small town with a population of less than 500. What happened? Was the Garmin getting tired too?

When I did find it in their downtown area, the place was brand new and surprisingly modern. The only other major businesses I saw in their downtown were a dollar store and a Piggly Wiggly supermarket. I hadn’t seen one of those in nearly 20 years. I thought they had gone out of business. So, I fill up again and spend the next 15 minutes or so getting back to the Interstate. Once there, I start the trip home again in earnest... And at some VERY unsafe velocities...