(Reposted from my Facebook entry of Jan 26, 2014 https://www.facebook.com/Grayhawk/posts/10202543147396625?stream_ref=10)

So, the Olympics are coming up in less than 2 weeks. Once again, I am certain we will be watching. I've always enjoyed the winter more than the summer. More of a hockey fan than basketball, and skiing, bobsled, luge, etc always appealed more to me as a spectator than track and field.

But with the Olympics comes a slew of bullshit. Yes, I am aware of the hideous Russian laws. And no amount of people watching or not watching will change them. Only the Russian people can do anything about this - the rest of us are flapping our gums in the wind.

In the meantime, our athletes, who have spent a lot of time preparing, are competing on a grand stage against others who may have nothing else in common but their sport. And at the end, they (usually) set a good example for the rest of us by congratulating each other after a hard fought competition. THAT is one of the things we should be taking away from this - that we can find common ground and respect for one another regardless of political boundaries, geographic differences, skin color, ethnic persuasion, or any other difference, real or imagined.

Even during the height of the cold war, there was respect for the Soviet Bloc athletes. Sure, it was grudging at times, but it was there.

I think the world in general could stand to learn this lesson: There is always something that we can use to bridge the gaps and come to an understanding, to come together in peace and fellowship - even when competing with one another.

That, to me, is the Olympic Spirit.
I will not make any New Year's Resolutions this year. Instead, I will be embarking on "Operation: 2012". "Operation: 2012" has three primary goals:

1: to get myself healthier. Note that this is not "Lose weight". That will happen as a result of getting healthier.
2: To save $$$. Our reserves are far lower than I would like, and want to remedy that.
3: To game more, both online and with family & friends. Gaming is one of the activities I love doing the most, and that has fallen to the wayside.

Doing these things will go a long way towards making me a happier human being.

OPERATION: 2012 IS GO!

::logs off to go play WOW::
As I've mentioned in years past, I LOVE Autumn.

I love the smells: wood burning, cinnamon, nutmeg.

I love the colors: the golds, browns, reds & oranges.

I love the flavors: Pumpkin, apple, turkey.

I love the nice cool temperatures.

I love football; getting together with friends and family to watch games.

I love the holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

I love the holiday specials.

I have so many good memories of this time of year, from childhood on through more recent years. It's the time of year, more than any other, that I treasure.
Ganked gleefuly from that wonder of wonders, [livejournal.com profile] popfiend

The Complete Guide To Not Giving A Fuck

Well worth the read, and speaks the truth as well.
So, let's say that the Rapture occurs on Saturday.

Statistically speaking, some of the people involved will work for the airlines.

Of that subset, some will be in the air when the Rapture occurs.

It logically follows that some will be pilots.

So, when the pilot ascends, and the plane is left without a controller, it stands to reason that the plane in question will not land in what would be considered a "standard" manner.

That is to say, it will crash.

So, my question is this: Assuming all of the above, will the Dept. of Homeland Security and the TSA put God on their Terrorist Watch List and/or the Do Not Fly list?

It's thoughts like these that prove I should probably not be allowed out in public
As I watched events unfold last night, I was stuck by a few thoughts:
  • I didn't feel any joy at the death of Osama Bin Laden. Life is too precious, too fleeting for me to feel joy at anothers passing. I did, however, feel some degree of satisfaction. This was, after all, the sonuvvabitch who orchestrated the biggest sucker punch that America ever received. And just like in any movie where the "bad guy" gets it in the end, there is a sort of cathartic release in knowing that "he got his".
  • As I watched the celebrations in Times Square, in Citizens Bank Park, and outside the north gate of the White House, I never got the feeling that people were celebrating the death of a fellow human being, but rather that this was an outpouring of that same catharsis.
  • I also watched some really silly comments go by on Facebook and Twitter. And I don't mean "ha-ha" silly (though there were quite a few of those), but "Do you have any brains in your head at all" silly. Like people wondering if this would bring peace. Uh NO! This will bring people looking for retribution. The "Head" of al-quiada may be dead, but someone else will step up. They may not be as smart, as connected, as savvy, or as wealthy as OBL, but they *will* step up. And who knows, maybe they're smarter?
  • I'd like to take a moment to deliver a shoutout to all the politicians and talking heads who nearly instantly tried to politicize this:
    FUCK YOU!

    FUCK YOU, THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON, THE DOG THAT FOLLOWED YOU, AND THE FLEAS ON THE LOT OF YOU!!!
  • And of course the conspiracy theories have begun. Lord almighty, the tin-foil hat brigade is out in force. I can't bring myself to believe a lot of conspiracy theories; the rampant incompetence and idiocy shown by humans makes me doubt that shit. Or, as [livejournal.com profile] bynkii put it: I wish the Illuminati were real. That kind of competency in charge would give me great hope."
  • There was also, as I said above, lots of silliness last night that make me laugh out loud. Items like:
    • BREAKING: cigar smoking white man/mohawked black man/suave guy/crazy guy seen delivering Osama body to DC in black van
    • FInally a funeral that Westboro Baptists can protest without pissing anybody off.
    • "Ooops. I should've made that Foursquare check-in private. #4squareFAIL" — Osama Bin Laden's last tweet
    • Every Terrorist-"OK, OK, calm down! EVERYONE CALM DOWN! I HAVE AN IDEA. Who here has seen the movie Weekend at Bernies?"
    • If someone is posting on Facebook that BinLaden is dead, I presume the news was broken on Farmville 1st.

  • Finally, one line that really struck a chord with me last night from the president's speech:

    "But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place."

    This needs to be tattooed backwards on the forehead of every congresscritter so that they see it everytime they look in a godblessed mirror. Stop saying that the things we need to do are "too hard"! This is America, goddamit, we do 5 impossible things every morning before breakfast!

Ok, I'm done for now. I'm gonna go eat some leftover BBQ ribs.
And truth be told, I've been busy at work, which somehow ends up where I do the majority of my long-form posts.

Cut because the pain is so exquisite )
grayhawkfh: (Tat)
Yeah, this last week sucked moose nuts.

Getting the news on Wednesday about Richard Butler (aka [livejournal.com profile] therevdrnye) was like being punched in the gut. Hard. Repeatedly. I left early on Wednesday - I couldn't concentrate on work. There was a fundraiser at a local burger joint for F's school which we went to (the place is ok, but it ain't no 5 Guys), and I thought about going over to hang with [livejournal.com profile] ext_42142 and [livejournal.com profile] fuzzface00, since we were all rather depressed, but...I didn't. And I don't really have a good reason.

The kids...took the news reasonably well. This is not the first time they've had to deal with the death of someone close. [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 seemed to take it reasonably well. To be honest, we weren't as close to him as a number of our other friends. And maybe that's part of why I didn't go over on Wednesday - a sense of intruding? It's stupid, I know. That same feeling had me questioning whether I should go to the wake at all on Friday, let alone bring the family.

Thursday night I was at work rather late helping clean things up when I chatted with [livejournal.com profile] aramintamd, who (although she may not know it) not only convinced me to go, but also to bring everyone else.

And I'm glad I did. It was a wonderful event, and how CF & [livejournal.com profile] aramintamd managed to pull this off with such a short timeframe is beyond me. But they did it. And it was, perhaps, one of the best tributes to the man that there could have been: a night of people sharing stories, laughing at ourselves and him, and sharing good food and memories. The only thing missing was the clatter of dice (and I had Cthulhu & zombie dice with me, they just never came out). B drew a picture of him from memory and added it to the book they had there. We left a little after 9, as things were winding down.

It will be strange not having him around for TCEP meetings and the like. He left shoes that will be tough to fill.

He left a hole in my life that will be tough to fill.

Rest easy, my friend.
So, yeah, here we go...

Saturday, Nov 20 )
Sunday, Nov 21 )
Monday, Nov 22 )
Tuesday, Nov 23 )
Wednesday, Nov 24 )
Thursday, Nov 25 )
Friday, Nov 26 )
Saturday, Nov 27 )
Sunday, Nov 28 )
As I usually do, I find myself extremely thankful for a number of things this year:
  • [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0, B, & F.
  • My job and [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0's job
  • My clueless end-users
  • My in-laws.
  • My family
  • The fact that I have a roof over my head, food on my table, and clothes on my back.
  • And perhaps most especially, my friends, whether near or far, whether they read this drivel I write or not. (and that does mean all of you)


Even though Thanksgiving has come and gone, I would ask one thing from each and every one of you. Please, try to remember to be thankful for each and every blessing in your life every day. Let the people in your life know you are thankful for them. Let us not give thanks only on Thanksgiving, but every day.

And I am thankful for all of you. Believe me when I say that even when I don't comment, I am reading what you write, and rejoice with you in your triumphs, and weep with thee in thy sorrows.

If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings.

--Bing Crosby, Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)
As we speak, the Philadelphia Spectrum is being torn down.

For those who don't know, the Spectrum was an indoor arena in Philly which opened in 1967. It was the home of the Flyers and 76ers until 2009, as well as hosting boxing, lacrosse, Arena Football, wrestling, soccer, concerts, monster truck rallies, circuses, and countless other events.

As you might guess, I have a lot of memories from there.
  • Flyers & 76ers (including seeing the '83 championship team) games with Dad
  • Countless other Flyers & 76ers games watched at home
  • Oak Ridge Boys & Kenny Rogers in concert
  • The Eagles Hell Freezes over concert
  • I believe I went to a circus there once with Nan
  • Watching wrestling from there on Prism (local sports/entertainment cable)


Watching the wrecking ball punch a hole in the side today has brought a tear to my eye.

Still, they can take the building, but they can't take my memories.

Today, I am thankful for those memories.
grayhawkfh: (Tat)
Ranty goodness ahead. Some profanity. You have been warned.
This is just a rehash of what I said on Twitter earlier today )
Hey, how you doing?

Welcome to the start of the dog-days of summer. Don't know about your part of the world, but here in the DC area, we're looking at temperatures in the low 100s for the next few days. Given that DC was built on a swamp, this will not bode well for people like me (aka fat bastids). Especially for me, who prefers temps in the mid to low 60s. Fortunately, it will be in the low to mid 80s come Saturday, when we go to see the Bowie Baysox.

Anyway, we had our annual Independence Day Suburban Charred Meat Festival last Sunday, and I have to say it was a smashing success. Had about 25 people there, served up a lot o' food, and watched a lot of fireworks. I feel like I should be writing more about this, but really, there wasn't anything much happening there. People came and had fun, and really, that's what makes it a success in my eyes. I do want to thank everyone who came over, and especially those who kept the cook company as he worked the grill.

Not much else going on around these parts. As I mentioned last year, this is kinda a slow and vaguely depressed time for me. Yeah, we've got a few things we're doing with the kids this summer, but summer, especially August, isn't my favorite time of year. For starters, as I mentioned before, I don't like heat. It's also a bit of a slow time for me for sports, as I'm not much of a baseball fan. Yeah, I've only got about a month until training camp for the Philadelphia Eagles opens. One of those things, I guess.

Regardless, life is good. And any depressive thoughts that may come my way will eventually be blown away either by work, by the kids, by the wife, or by remembering that every day I wake up is, by definition, a good day.

So I want you to remember that as well. The very fact that you woke up today makes it a good day. And you've made my day a little brighter as well. Thank you.

Peas. Out.
Hey there, folks! Hope you're all doing well!

So, here's what has transpired since having seen you last.
cut for rambly length )
As I usually do, I find myself extremely thankful for a number of things this year:
  • [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0, B, & F.
  • My new job, and the people who "prompted" me to find it
  • My clueless end-users
  • My in-laws.
  • My family
  • The fact that I have a roof over my head, food on my table, and clothes on my back.
  • And perhaps most especially, my friends, whether near or far, whether they read this drivel I write or not. (and that does mean all of you)


Even though Thanksgiving has come and gone, I would ask one thing from each and every one of you. Please, try to remember to be thankful for each and every blessing in your life every day. Let the people in your life know you are thankful for them. Let us not give thanks only on Thanksgiving, but every day.

And I am thankful for all of you. Believe me when I say that even when I don't comment, I am reading what you write, and rejoice with you in your triumphs, and weep with thee in thy sorrows.

If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings.

--Bing Crosby, Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)
I’ll say the same thing here I’ve said elsewhere:

As much as I despise what Vick did, I would encourage everyone to remember that he, like the rest of us, is human. As such, we occasionally foul up. And yes, he fouled up in a much larger fashion than most of us ever will. That said, we all deserve the chance to atone for our misdeeds, learn from them, and hopefully become a better person.

Just sayin’, is all…
grayhawkfh: (philisophical...)
Wow. It's Thursday. Where did the week go?

So, Hi. Glad to see you're still here. Haven't written much lately. Been busy at work and at home. Right now what I am is tired. Thing is, they get grumpy about my doing that at work. Funny, eh?

So. Hope everyone is doing well. Aside from being tired, I am. Work has been ok, if busy. Things are good at home as well. Took the family to see the Bowie Baysox on Saturday. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, despite the fact that we got rained on. Oh, and the Baysox won 12-2.

Saturday, I'll be taking B to go see HP:HBP at the Uptown. In a few weeks, I'll take F to see GI Joe: The rise of Cobra.

On a separate note, while the rest of the 1987 movie sucked moose nuts, the opening still kicks serious ass after all these years!



Still studying for my General and Extra class Amateur Radio licensing tests. Hey, [livejournal.com profile] ironkite: Check out http://www.qrz.com for online practice tests.

Still playing WoW, though nothing of note has been going on there.

Annnnd training camp has begun for my beloved Philadelphia Eagles. Which means that football is just around the corner!

It also means that August is here. Which means that I need to get my s**t together for Fantasy football.

I dunno. Every month of the year, I think, has something for me to look forward to, but August always seems "blah" to me. I mean, one of my favorite non-holiday family get-togethers happens in August (the family fantasy football live draft). But still, I don't know if it's just the heat or what. Maybe the lingering memories of knowing that August meant that half the summer break was over. Or maybe the anticipation of the last quarter of the year starting to get it's hooks into me.

Whatever it may be, I'm kinda looking forward to the end of the month already. Got TCEP happening and then we start heading into fall. Which, I think, is far and away my favorite season.

OK, enough of that.

Remember: You woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning. By definition, that makes this a good day.

Peas. Out.

Convention Countdown
TCEP 16: 36 Days!
Early bird pre-reg ends TOMORROW!
grayhawkfh: (Tat)
I've seen this in several places and via several people.

It's an important discussion, but not an easy one. And it's one that all men, regardless of age, status, creed or color, need to see.

Cereta's Journal: On Rape and Men

It set me to thinking. Not necessarily of the times that I've intervened (and I have, both physically and verbally; please do not ask me for more information) but of what can be done in the future.

But here is what I wrote (at least, what I feel is the important part) in response at [livejournal.com profile] cereta's journal:

After reflecting on this, it seems to me, the most important way I can think of to contribute to this cause is to teach my son that rape and/or sexual harassment is NOT "cool" or "ok" and to stand up and be one of that damn few.

And then that damn few grows just a little bit.


I make this plea to every father, uncle, brother, grandfather, cousin, stepfather, Big Brother - Teach this to the young men in your life. Teach them that rape and/or sexual harassment is NOT "cool" or "ok". Teach them to stand up and be one of that damn few.

Teach them not only in your words but by your actions.

And if you can't bring yourself to do it because it's the right thing to do, then do it for your wives, sisters, mothers, daughters, grandmothers and/or nieces. Do it because you want someone else to do it so this never happens to the women in your life.

I don't care how you bring yourself to do this.

Teach them.

feels wierd

May. 6th, 2009 12:30 pm
grayhawkfh: (Tat)
So, for the last, what, 7 years now, I've been attending Origins. It was my yearly ritual to get away from the stresses of the job, of life, of finances. To see friends. To play new games. To hang out with other gamers.

This year, I won't be going.

This was a decision reached before I went last year, to be honest. At the time, we were hoping to have been moving out of the area at the time, and I felt that the money and time wouldn't be there. Of course, what happened instead was that both [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 & I got new jobs, and while we're going to revisit the moving idea in a few years, we don't have the money or the time off from our jobs to go on a week long vacation this year.

Plus, a number of the people that I go to see won't be there either, again for various reasons (some good, some...well...some not so good)

Well, the upshot is that I keep getting the emails from Origins and GAMA for various deadlines and updates and reminders, I see them, get a momentary rush of "Cool! Origins!" followed by a "Crap. Not going". ANd then I delete them.

So to those of you going, roll some dice for me, eh? And hopefully, I'll see y'all next year.
grayhawkfh: (philisophical...)
Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.

- Robert Heinlein
In certain respects, I'm the weird one in my immediate family.

Oh hush already

I'm not the sports fanatic that my dad or brothers are. Yes, I enjoy sports quite a bit, but not to the extent that they do. They can give you the current standings of most teams; I'd have to look it up. They could give you a fair idea of who is starting on a given night; I'd have to look it up. The only thing I can come close to matching them on is football.

But even I had my sports heroes growing up.

The death of Harry Kalas yesterday has hit me harder than I thought it would. I think that is due in large part to the fact that, whether or not I realized it at the time, he was an integral part of the soundtrack of my summers and of my youth. And now that part of my childhood, of my summers, of my life is gone. Like so many others, I remember that day in April 1987 when Mike Schmidt hit his 500th Home Run, and I remember the call. Hearing it so many times over the last 24 hours or so has been simultaneously heart-warming and heart-wrenching.

And so, on my commute back and forth to work yesterday and today, I found myself realizing not just how much he meant, but also saddened that I will never be able to thank him. Between his death and the recent death of Dave Arneson, I find myself in the position of wanting to have the chance to meet certain people for no other reason than to thank them for their influence on my life.

I'm still trying to collect my thoughts on Dave; I'll cover that in another post. Right now, I want to talk about 3 people from the world of sports who have made a lasting impression on me. I may never get to meet them. They'll probably never read this. But, if I at least get this out, write it down, commit electrons to cyber-space - I'll at least have done something.

Mike Schmidt: For this 10 year old kid from South Jersey, he was THE MAN when it came to baseball. Yes, I knew the names of many of the other players. Pete Rose, Tug McGraw, and others. But for some reason, it was Mike Schmidt who held my attention. He was why I was happy to go to Phillies games - to see him play. To hopefully see him clobber another home run. When the game was on TV, I paid more attention when he came to bat. Of any baseball player, Mike Schmidt was who I wanted to be; the Mike I wanted to be like. He was the reason for this non-baseball watchin' person to watch baseball; to want to PLAY baseball.

So thank you, sir. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for inspiring the dreams of a 10 year old boy. For the thrills that went through me whenever you hit another homer. Thank you for all of that and so much more.


Ron Jaworski: The "Polish Rifle". Eagles quarterback who took them to the SuperBowl in 1980. Football is my first love in sports, and my love and passion for the Philadelphia Eagles is unflagging. He was a presence on the field. Someone you knew you wanted to be. And he had that "ski" at the end of his name! A fellow Polack! Proof positive that polacks could make it in the NFL! Never went to a game where he played; watched him on TV. Marveled at his ability, at his arm strength, at him. It was a sad day for me when he left the team.

So thank you, sir. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for inspiring a young man to try out for football, even though he wasn't very good at it. For the excitement I experienced when you played. Thank you for all of that and so much more.


Merrill Reese: The long time voice of the Eagles. So many people I know will gladly turn down the sound on their TV and turn up the radio during an Eagles game just to hear him call the game. And I'm among them. I gladly pay the money for NFL Field Pass every season so I can hear him call the games. He is an unabashed fan of the Eagles, and seems willing to let you know when they don't seem to be playing up to expectations. I can remember a few years ago when I drove up to NJ with [livejournal.com profile] stoooooooo for the annual Fantasy Football draft. The Eagles were playing a preseason game that night - the first thing we did was to tune in WYSP so we could listen to Merrill call the game (and hear what inanities Mike Quick might come up with).


So thank you, sir. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for giving me a taste of "home" - with your Philly references. For the excitement and enthusiasm you bring to your broadcast. For sharing your enthusiasm for the Eagles. Thank you for all of that and so much more.

Remember: You woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning. By definition, that makes this a good day.

Peas. Out.

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Frank N. Huminski

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