Did you know that being married is like being nibbled to death by a duck?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Hay, Weak Trailers, Fencing and Midget Ninjas

As mentioned before, once the job in Oakland was done I headed back home and out to do some more ranchin', by gum.

The first order of business was getting hay for the winter. I'm going to say right here and now that getting hay is not the most fun job in the world. In fact, I would probably rank it pretty low. Worse than carrying a ruck sack up a mountain in Utah? Well let's not get crazy... The job began by heading down to the thriving metropolis of Boone, Colorado. Never heard of it? What the hell is wrong with you? They have a mall and everything. So says the cowboy that hauled the hay, "shoot, it's got one... two... two stores. That's a mall!" Dang skippy it is, Red. Anyhoo, after picking him up we drove to La Junta (it's a soft "J") and met up with a real old-fashioned cowboy who still loads hay out of a field by using draft horses and a wagon. I would tell you his name, but you wouldn't believe me (or the one you have thought of is probably correct), and I would tell you what he looked like, but the image you've already pictured in your mind is most likely an exact description (complete with snow-white handle bar mustache). Then I could tell you how he talked, but... well, ya know.

We backed the trailer up next to the wagon (which already had a load on it), and jumped up on the trailer to begin loading. Unbeknownst to me, however, was the "weak spot" in the trailer. Apparently there was a conversation taking place in secret regarding the spot about five seconds before I fell through it and made a hole the size of your favorite ex-Army blogger. I remember the phrase "Oh crap, we've only been here two minutes and we're already down a man!" being uttered, but I carried on. The mission is all that matters, roger?

After many, many more loads of hay, we finally finished the job of getting it all loaded up in a barn. I didn't feel too bad when it was done, 'cause everyone else was pretty much sick of it too. Considering I'm just a "city kid" I didn't do all that bad. Heh. Lucky for us we finished when we did, as the next night we got nailed with a pretty heavy thunderstorm, shutting down the power for several hours. We had been sitting and talking for an hour or so when around the corner came this:

I don't know how many midget-ninjas (minja, for short) wearing yellow Sponge-Bob Square Pants goggles you have run into, but rest assured, it's a pretty scary event. I did my best to take care of the problem but as you can see here, I didn't fare too well:

To say that I was humbled and "shown who was boss" would be the understatement of the century. My weak skills are certainly no match for the power of the 9-year old minja.
And so the story continues now with me being back in Texas doing the incredibly strenuous job of taking illegal aliens back to their country of origin. But things could get pretty interesting in the next few days, as there is a major hurricane headed in our direction. With any luck I could end up in a Katrina-esque situation cracking skulls and looting some television sets. Why? 'Cause the man is keeping me down, yo! So stay tuned for some possible exciting commentary on that action. Word to your mother.
(Oh yeah, and the date on the post is about ten days old, as that is when I started writing it. If you care. Which you don't. So I'll just go eat some worms. Non-carerers!!!)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Garbage Collection: The Final Solution

Well the Waste Management strike in Oakland finally came to an end and thus, so did our job of providing security. Which is just A OK with me, as I was leaving the detail anyway due to some "gut feelings" I had about certain issues.

But I didn't leave without any stories. And I think my favorite one would involve the phone call I received from one of the agents following a garbage truck while I was in the CP (Command Post). The agent relayed to me, in real time, that he was "surrounded" by picketers, and that they had blocked his car -- as well as the garbage truck -- from moving. He then told me that one of the picketers had pulled a knife and was making threatening gestures. The agent was noticeably shaken up and had a fair amount of adrenaline pumping through his ever-so masculine veins.

It was at this point where I calmly (from the air conditioned hotel room/CP, where I was in the middle of watching The Ringer in which Johnny Knoxville pretends to be retarded so he can win the Special Olympics on a bet -- good stuff) interjected "Are your doors locked?" He said yes, so I told him "Umm, then why don't you just drive through the people?"

Let me back up here a second; I realize that most people have never taken a tactical driving course so I will explain a very simple principle: Your car is a two and-a-half ton bullet. It's the most powerful weapon you own on the street. If people are in your way... well, you do the math. So you may be saying to yourself "well maybe this guy didn't have any tactical driving experience." Just keep reading.

Once the incident was over, the agent in question did what he was supposed to do and filed a report with the police. After he was finished with that, he calls the CP and demands to be picked up, as "the picketers are sure to recognize my car and come after it." Uhh... yeah. So I relay this to my boss, who I have worked with before, and after the laughter subsides the man who brought me out for the job says "get in my Suburban and we'll go get him." This should be fun, I figure, as he is a retired Army 1st Sgt. and has had nothing but a bad day. I'm all about viewing an ass-chewing.

We get to the location and the boss tells the hero-in-question to get in his vehicle and that he will take him back to the hotel. "How are you going to get my car back" he asks. The 1st Sgt. looks at me and I just grin as I get into the vehicle in question. The agent stammers "well be sure to, uhh, button down tight, 'cause, uhh... they might recognize you!" The boss-man then utters a classic, tobacco-in-the-lip, "this ain't fuckin' Baghdad, dude." It was a struggle to keep from laughing.

The reason I have no qualms about telling an embarrassing story like this one is two-fold: One, the guy turned out to be a serious pain in the keister when dealing with back at the CP. And two (and more importantly), when asked what his background was, he replied "law enforcement." Wow. Where did you serve as a police officer, Podunk, Idaho? This is the quality of people we have in the security and law enforcement world. It truly is a wonder that there isn't more crime... The funniest part of the whole story is that this was the most exciting part of the whole detail. Sad but true.

Upon leaving Oakland, I returned to the "reject zoo gang" on the ranch. That is, however, another story. Which involves hay. A lot of hay. Then some more hay. Did I mention that there was a lot of hay? Ok, just wasn't sure.

Details on that to follow soon, as well as the story of being attacked by a midget-ninja. Scary stuff.

Marxism Doesn't Work?

Say it isn't so!

Every time I read something from The Onion, the only question in my mind is why I don't read it more often. Pure comedy gold.

Great Article

With a really great ending line:

"...right now we should hold the Muslim world to the same standards of
tolerance that we demand of ourselves -- no more apologies for things like our
insensitive cartoons or excuses for their insane anger against novelists. In
turn, the Middle East must grow up and accept, like the rest of the world, that
there are social and cultural costs and consequences for any who wish to embrace
the benefits of modernism."