Bits and Bobs

An experiment. A place for people to allow thoughts to flow in an unrestricted and experimental manner. To get the juices flowing in case you have writer’s vapor lock, or are hitting a dry spell. Have fun give it a try.

When you are at a party what is the first question that a stranger generally asks you? It is usually,‘What kind of work do you do?’ Why is that? Is our job what defines us as human beings? I don’t think so, and this has always irked me.

What we do in our free time is a greater measure of who we are than how we earn an income, especially in this economy. How we treat our fellow man, our friends and how we raise our children says more of our character than what we do at ‘work’. Hell, how we treat a complete stranger says more of a man’s character than what he does 9 to 5 to pay his bills.

I would prefer to be asked what my hobbies are. How we invest our free time says a lot about someone, do they collect things? Create things? Write music, or stories? Paint, draw or make crafts? And I chose the word ‘invest’ carefully,because if it is a creative project then you are investing a part of yourself into it. It means something to you, it is an outlet for your passion; a way for you to express yourself.

Phoenix ComiCon had a lot of Geek love going on display. Many wondrous home-made costumes and props were there, and along with it a glow of pride. And even more glorious was the affirmation of fellow fans and geeks wanting to take pictures of said costumes. When I go back next year it will feel more like a family reunion than a convention, or perhaps a geek support group…

A place where you can slip into persona and be accepted and even embraced for your creative geekiness and costume skills. Where passionate debates can erupt about varied media, comics, television, anime, movies etc.

You want your kids to avoid drugs and joining gangs? Raise them as Geeks! Sure one could consider Geekdom as a drug, but it is a safe one. And the gangs geeks join are not destructive outlets for teen angst and violence, they are more like sub-families. Sure they will be up late and acting silly as Hell, but they will not be building propane bombs or planning an attack on the High School. They may raise Hell on your broadband and phone bill, but you will not be up late worrying about the police dropping by with your offspring handcuffed in the backseat.

They may even learn a second language… Sure it may be Klingon or Japanese, but they are using their minds, exercising their neurons. I would rather have my kid running around a convention in costume than sitting in a rehab facility.

Anyways I am rambling…

So at the next party you go to, don’t ask someone ‘what they for a living.’ Ask them what they do in their free time, or ‘what is your passion?’ And thank you for your time and patience in reading this.

Well, just to play devils advocate… I and my friends were certainly geeks… Long before there was ANY cachet to be had with it, and heroic levels of chemical experimentation was committed by us all.

(As a parent of four pre-teens now, I find myself worrying about karma… LOL)

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“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life,beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

She paused the player and looked at me with coy yet questioning eyes, “So, what did you think of that?”

I chewed on the inside of my cheek as I attempted to put my feelings in to words. I let out a trapped breath, and when she saw my eyebrow rise she perked up with excitement. I need to see about that little ‘tell’ of mine… “I have a strong compulsion to join an Amish Community.”

Her eyes went wide and I could swear I heard a sound like a light bulb popping as it happened, I think I literally ‘blew her mind’. After a blond pause she asked, “Wha?”

I smiled innocently. “Hmm?”

“Wha, what does that have to do with the,” She pointed to her player with a ‘hippishly’ decorated finger.



“Well…” I spread my arms wide and shrugged as if the answer should be obvious,“So I would not have to live the rest of my life in fear.”

She cocked her head in a way that made me think of the RCA dog on those old logos of theirs, “Fear?”

I nodded. Perhaps a bit to eagerly.

“Fear of what?”

“Of ever hearing that song again.”:smiley:

[SIZE=5]Pull my Phengar

The Colonel unrolled and then smoothed out the map on the flimsy card table as his assistant placed rocks on the corners to keep it from rolling back up or blowing around in the wind. The temporary shelter erected next to the CO’s billet provided protection from the harsh sunlight but did nothing to lessen the cursed wind. Once satisfied the map would not fly from the table and go AWOL the maple leaf adorned officer gestured for us to move closer, my sergeant and second luey joined me around the table. Tapping the map theatrically he announced, “Our objective is Phengar.”

“It is a large and sprawling city which will make it hard not only to take, but also difficult to hold. But it has a railroad, major freeway and a port along this river here,”he pointed to the river, a wide blue slash which cut through the city like a knife wound. “Our first objective is to cut off the city from any outside help or resupply, second is to capture the bridges intact if at all possible.”

“Bravo Company will be dropped by VTOL to the North here,”he indicated the hills above the farmland and the hydroelectric plant twenty klicks from the heart of the city. “You are to take out any observation, and anti-air elements entrenched there, once you have secured the high ground engineers will be brought in to clear landing zones and prep a fire base for the 22nd Artillery group.” He pointed to the hydroelectric plant, “Spec Ops will secure the dam, so don’t worry your selves about that…”

He pointed to the South, “Charlie Company gets to be the big diversion this time,” he tapped the airfield which sat along a major artery leading into Phengar itself and South to another city which sat along the same river as Phengar itself. “Your boys are to press the defenders at the airfield so hard that they call for back up, and deplete resources from neighboring areas.” “You will have air support during this entire operation, you will be the first to strike and we want to you loud and proud to draw lots of attention.” He looked over to the First Luey of Charlie Company, “Once we hear the appropriate amount of comm chatter the ‘wingnutz’ will set off an EMP, to kill further chatter and to prevent anyone from seeing the approaches of Alpha, Bravo or Delta; speaking of which…”

“Delta,” he pointed to major junctions along roadways along the southern approaches, “you will have fire teams and heavy weapons units dropped at these points.” “We will seed your teams with engineering specialists so that your ambushes will pack one Hell of a punch,” he smiled wickedly, “You get the fun task of taking out any reinforcements that the boys at the airfield call for.” ‘Hoo-Rahs’ erupted around the table and Lieutenant Rivens got slapped on the shoulders by his First Sargent and the two ‘Butterbars’with him.

The Colonel shot a look at me and smiled, “Which leaves Alpha Company.”

“Sir.” I did my best to sound respectful and straightened a little.

He indicated the bridges running along the river with stabs of his finger, “You get to take these bridges before the defenders get a chance to blow them.” He straightened from the map and rolled his shoulders which popped loudly, “Engineers will be placed among your teams as well; to deal with any booby traps or demolition charges placed on the bridges.”

He looked us over and casually asked, “Now then any questions?”

I raised my hand. My Sergeant groaned and rubbed his head as if a stabbing pain had suddenly afflicted him. Other officers around the table shifted their feet nervously as the Colonel narrowed his eyes at me (Yeah I have a bit of a reputation), “Yes, Hudson. You have a question?”

“I just want to review the plan to make sure I understand it.”

He said nothing and just stared at me.

“Bravo Company will be dealing with Upper Phengar.”

“Uh huh,” he growled out.

“Charlie and Delta Companies get Lower Phengar.”

“Yes.” His strained voice ground out like gravel under a tank’s treads.

“And I get Middle Phengar?”

Choking sounds rippled around the table like ignited Det-Cord charges.

The Colonels eyes narrowed down to resemble a bunkers gunner slots, “And you have a problem with the Middle of Phengar?”

“No sir, in fact I feel like have been getting the Middle Phengar for quite some time.”

I stood in the doorway and looked back at the place I had called home for the last two years, Drahn’s stout frame stood beside me as well; he sighed heavily as he killed the house lights. The large club went dark, the empty chairs and tables inside were barely visible, faintly illuminated by the remaining security lights. It sat empty, silent, morose. Much like its former owner standing beside me.

“I am going to miss this place Suzi.”

I placed a hand on his shoulder, and squeezed gently.

He choked out, “A lot of good memories here,” his voice full of emotion.

I nodded, “Good people too.”

He sniffed, ran a sleeve across his nose. “A lot of good deals were made behind that bar,” he pointed toward it with his chin, “made a lot of bank in this place,” and ghost of a smile peeked from a corner of his mouth, “yes-we-did.”

I snorted, and punched him on the shoulder. “Yes, you did,” I corrected, “You larcenous bastard!”

We shared a laugh as we stood in the doorway that now seemed much smaller than I had remembered. The laughter slowly died away and we stood in silence staring into the darkness, our minds swirling with the memories of all the people, music and laughter that had once filled this mystical refuge from the cold and dangerous streets of Vyce. I am not sure how long we stood there before Drahn’s irate snort broke the moments magic.

“Hrmph,” his face twisted with disgust, “Of course this place also reminds me of my Ex Wife.”

“Why?” I smiled, “Because it is old, rundown and thousands of men have been inside it?”

He barked out a harsh laugh and almost doubled over, he spit out between fits of laughter, “Damn you woman!” He finally looked up at me with tear filled eyes, “Are you sure you never met my Ex Wife?”

I smiled pleased with myself, “No, but I know you. And the type of people you attract.”

He chuckled and patted my arm, “Fair enough.”

We stood once again in silence, like two family members standing outside a crypt saying their goodbyes to a departed loved one.

He broke the silence with a tired sigh and wiped at his reddened eyes, the previous mirth drained from his hard features. He looked at me with melancholy eyes, “I am going to miss you as well Suzi.”

I could not help it, an eyebrow raised sharply.

“No really, as much of a pain in the ass as you have been…” He shoved burley hands into his pockets and looked away, “You helped hold this club together, and I don’t know how much of what I have heard on the streets is true.” He finally looked back at me, “But you done a lot of good it seems. Out there, and in here. And, even though you did not approve of me, you watched my back.”

I was not sure what to say, so I just nodded.

“Hell, not even sure if Suzi is your real name,” he turned and locked the door of the club for the final time, “but, good luck kid.” He turned and began to walk away, “Bye Suzi.”

I watched his big fireplug of a body disappear into the eternal night of the Club District, it did not take long… I would never admit it out loud, but I was going to miss him too.

I looked up at the sign over the door, I had never seen it unlit before; I felt so alone. My eyes drifted up further, all the way to the opaque dome which covered this souless sin filled city, I may miss the club and the friends I had made there; but this city. I would never miss it.