Okay, I have a minute so I thought I'd update this webpage. Just a minute
though, 'cause I am on vacation ya know. First off, I'm still not rich--or
published. Both goals are taking a little longer than anticipated--stupid
karma. Which got me to thinking. There's this quote from Darkside: "We
are not human beings trying to be spiritual, we are spiritual beings trying
to be human."
The theory is that our higher selves are here to experience all things
human, and what's more human than emotion? And then I thought, what if
the majority of us experience more negative emotions--sadness, loneliness,
anguish, etc., because they're easier than happiness. It takes a lot of
work to be happy. That's right, most of us are unhappy because our higher
selves are just too damn lazy to get up off our ethereal butts and go for
the gourmet food of life. It's easier to hit the MacDonald's Drive through
Then again, maybe I just spent too much time out in the sun.
So I wrote this story called Harbinger that I sent of to Black Gate back
in April. I still haven't heard back from them, but it's still within their
response time window, so I'm not worrying yet.
Anyway, the reason I mention this is that the other night Pen and I were
on our way to her staff party, and I notice the sign for this little sidestreet
called Harbinger Street. Now, you have to admit, that's a rather unusual
name for a street. And if that were all there was to this, I wouldn't be
boring you with this tale. However, I've been looking for a set of weight
lifting straps for about a month now. They're rather a common piece of
apparatus, but I couldn't find any in Victoria anywhere, and had pretty
much resigned myself to the fact that I'd have to search in Vancouver when
Pen and I go there for a few days next week.
So Pen and I are wandering around China Block (it's actually called China
Town, but who're they trying to kid?) and we decide at the last minute
to take a stroll down to the Iron Works. While we're there I notice a Sports
Trader shop I never noticed before. Of course we investigate, and the place
is great--it has everything, including weight lifting straps. And not just
your average, run-of-the-mill weight lifting straps; these ones are padded--and
inexpensive. So I buy them.
Yesterday, I'm off to the gym to try out my new straps for the first time.
I take them out of the box and lo and behold, stitched on the label is
the brand logo: HARBINGER. Again, rather an odd choice for a piece of weight
lifting apparel, wouldn't you say?
Now, if the world works the way it usually does for me--in its synchronistic
fashion and all--I should be getting a rejection letter from Black Gate
any day now. What? You didn't think this story would have a happy ending,
When we're out in the field, Topo exercise (short for topography)is where
the recruits get to put into practice all the training we've beaten into...er...instilled
in them over the past eight weeks. Basically, we give them a set of references
and they have to plot a bearing from one point to another and then march
on it. It's tougher than it sounds, because even an 8 figure grid reference
is only accurate to within 50 meters, and you try fining a little white
sign on a specific tree in the middle of thick forest that says, "Topo
Point 22." Add to that the difficulty of doing so at night, when you can't
see five inches in front of your face, and the knowledge that the staff--namely
me--could attack at any moment, and maybe you'll understand why I enjoy
this so much.
The recruits, for their part, get to practice radio procedures, field movements,
hand signals, stalking, camouflage and concealment, section attacks, gas
drills, how to open cans of spam...well, you get the picture. Hopefully,
they don't get to practice first aid.
Generally they proceed at night in teams of ten, and will stop occasionally
to "count forward." That's where the last person taps the recruit in front
of him and counts, to ensure that they haven't lost anyone. My favorite
trick is to infiltrate their group as they're moving through the bush,
and mess with their count.
Section Leader: "Count
Section: One, two,
Section Leader: "Eleven?
Count forward again."
By which time I've
clasped my hand over some poor soul's mouth and dragged them off into the
Section: "One, two...eight,
Section leader: "Nine?
What do you mean, nine?"
That's usually when I open up on them, and they all scream like little
girls. I had a couple of sections so jittery that they actually attacked
each other, thinking it was me. I tell you, it makes for some interesting
debriefs later on around the fire.
Our Division Commander occasionally likes to visit us when we're out in
the field. Last time he brought his two little dogs. One of them singled
me out amongst the other 48 people there, and began scampering about me
wildly and barking furiously, to which I, of course, replied: "What's that
girl? Little Timmy's trapped down in a well?" Unfortunately my Division
Commander is French, and had no idea what I was talking about.
Pen and I just got back from three days shopping...er...vacation in Vancouver.
Vancouver has at least five different shopping districts all within about
a mile of each other. We had a great time, I got some neat stuff, and my
feet are sore. Luckily, I still have another weeks vacation to recuperate
from this vacation.
Pen found me these really neat leather book covers embossed with Celtic
designs. I'm going to stick DARKSIDE in one of them. Hey, maybe if I trick
the PTB into thinking that I have a real book, they'll act accordingly
and conjure up a publishing contract. (Can you say: Grasping at straws?)
yeah: HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD
(They're both really
old, and probably don't read this new fangled contraption anyway.)
Yesterday was my son Ryan's birthday. He's a private in the Canadian Military,
taking Basic Electronics training in Kingston, Ontario right now. When
I called him to wish him a happy birthday, one of his friends came into
the room. I heard a couple of loud "Owws" and some cursing, so naturally
I asked what was going on.
"He stuck one of those little electric shock thingies on my arm, and he's
making my fingers twitch," Ryan said.
What happened to the good old days when we just gave birthday spankings?
Now it's electro-shock torture. I told Ryan it's strictly name, rank and
And "little electric shock thingies?" Nice to know all the in-depth, expensive
electronics training isn't going to waste. :-)
P P Y B I R T H D A Y R Y A N!!!!!!