Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Romancing the Bomb (Blogophilia 23.7)



The sun began to reflect off the laptop screen.  Jeremy shifted to the left to be more comfortable.  It had been a long night. Trilling yellow warblers became noticeable to him as he glanced at the piles of written notes. Notes to go with notes. Thirty or forty pieces of 8”X 11” lined notebook paper grouped by research type, each with a web notation where the information came from. 


Bomb recipes and triggering devices had taken up most of the time.  Should they be 18” or 24”?  He had already settled on the 1-1/2” as being the best diameter, with PVC pipe being the easiest to work with.  He guessed the best thing to do would be build a few and test them at the farm.  After all, that was why he went out there, right? He decided to purchase most of the equipment at two local hardware stores, rather than at Home Depot.  The surveillance systems they used weren’t all that extensive.  Pipes would be purchased at one store and the end caps and glue at the other. 


One of the stores sold guns and reloading equipment.  Maybe a quick glance at their inventory, but that would be something purchased online.  It would be delivered to Mother’s old house.  There wasn’t a tenant and he could just drop by to sign for the package.  He’d used this method before for purchases of things he wasn’t supposed to have and it worked pretty well.  Ms. Harriet, the probation lady, was not the brightest bulb in the fixture and Jeremy did take advantage of it from time to time. 


Kind of like the computer.  He wasn’t supposed to have it.  When it was time for inspection, he would hide it in the bathroom ceiling. And of course he didn’t buy it.  It just happened to be on the table at Starbucks. In three hours, the old data was gone and he good.  He did see if any of the data was useful. There was nothing but credit cards that could be traced. He had other accounts that would work better for this project.  


Getting on the internet was even easier. The Starbucks Wifi site was strong enough to make it to his apartment and there were four other neighbors that never bothered to lock their internet accounts.  So it was just a matter of switching from one account to another to make tracing his steps harder for anyone who was nosy.  If something was really sensitive, he moved a few blocks up the street to tap a bank’s account from the patio of the Blind Canary, the bar in the lobby of their building. Yay for sloppy security people.


Tracing the Pigs became a pastime.  They had both transferred to the Gwinnett County police from Dekalb a few years ago.  Both were homicide detectives.  Did they still work together?  It looked like Murray was a Lieutenant, now.  But the fact they were in the same department made the trapping process a bit easier.  He had an idea how it was going to happen, but that was a later phase of the project.  “In every job that needs to be done, there is an element of fun.” Mary Poppins was right on that one.


Switching the machine over to another unsecured account, he researched effective blast ranges.  In unrestrained environments most of the blast force seemed to go up, rather than out. Jeremy understood immediately why cars were used.  Not only could they be driven to the location needed. The extra metal directing the blast force out would break into shrapnel.  There was a note saying the force of the explosion dissipated using an inverse square rule. The force at 50 feet away would be 25% of that at 25 feet. Testing will prove the ideal distance and that will start as soon as he gets the all the pieces.   


Pushing the chair back, he looked at the pile. The busyness was good for his soul. Revenge was a relentless spirit, pushing him past sleep. The ethereal vision of Sarah dressed as a Valkyrie in white shimmered in his eyes. Blinking the mirage away, he thought: she must be avenged and done proud.  


Stumbling over the bed, he fell fast asleep.  Sarah’s clothes came off in his dream.

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Topic-Kismet

Pic-Sallon Newlove

Pic guesses Ethereal (in blog) Valkyrie (in Blog), Mirage (In blog), Desert dream, Oasis, Dry love.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A little bit of randomness.(Ariana's Blog Prompt #4)

When I woke up this morning, my Facebook brought up a story about how a model posted a totally un-retouched photograph of herself in a bikini.  She was a pretty lady. Nice face and good proportions, even with no make up I would consider to be an asset on my arm. The big scream was she was considered a "plus" model at a size 10. 

Folks, a size 10 is a NORMAL woman.

One with real curves, like she's supposed to have. 

(I'll stop for a moment so you can pop the popcorn for the comments this)

I'm sorry. I'm a male chauvinist pig. Make into bacon if you wish, but I would much rather have a woman of substance around me. They are happier and more fun to be around.  Who cares if they don't look like the latest flavor of the month from the Hollywood image machine. Small, Tall, Thin,Fat... Who cares?

When I got home, there was another article about one who is trying to escape her image.

Jeannette McCurdy was the second lead in ICarly. She was as close to a reincarnation of Ethel Mertz as I have seen in a long time. Great timing and good chemistry with her other actors made what was a run of the mill Teen comedy rather watchable. All things come to and end, so did the show.

Then her character tried to morph into a spinoff.

It didn't work. 

So, now she is a young woman in her early twenties who has a pretty active social media life. She appears to like fashion (and wears classic clothes extremely well).  She is well read and writes well. And she occasionally posts lingerie selfies. Typical of a someone trying to morph into an adult. 

She posted a piece on why she isn't a role model. She tried it for a while and realized it wasn't working. She's gotten older. 

And I agree with her.

We need to quit worshiping the unattainable images and get back to the people around us. They are the flesh and blood we need to live.

And if you have a daughter, let her grow to what ever God intends and don't sweat the details.

She will make you proud. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Rainy Night in Norcross (Blogophilia 22.7)



Set on a side street off I-85, Graves Apartments were a remnant from an earlier time.  Scattered along either side of sun faded broken parking lot, the brick buildings were a legacy of a better time. The ghosts of professional singles past echoed amongst the remnants of the pool. And the tennis courts belied the history of future Yuppies having one night stands and exchanging Quaaludes and other tokens of love.  


A past replaced by absentee owners and undocumented residents.  The peeling paint and leaking gutters spoke to the reality of quick weed deals and foreign gangs. All the tags were in black paint, with no artistry whatsoever. Just groups of cats marking their territories. Two dark women in the Laundromat quietly sorted through their clothes, while the chubby Jamaican kid practiced his skateboard tricks outside.


Neon light reflected in perverse rainbows from the puddles as the small man made his way down the hill. The rain had let up, but Ma Ngyuen didn’t care.  This place was better than anything he had in Hanoi or New York and it was cheap enough he could afford to live by himself. Paradise was not having to share it with anyone.  No arguments to mediate over gambling debts or loose women. 


Ever since he left Vietnam, his goal was having his own restaurant and being able to be his own boss.  At home, there were always soldiers and gangster telling you what to do. Here, it could be different.  He started as a dishwasher at one Uncle Thao’s restaurants in the Bronx.  Doing anything that was needed, Ma was tireless.  And he had the advantage of speaking English fairly well.  This allowed become a server where he made tips.  It was cleaner and cooler, but no less demanding than the back.  There were regular customers that would ask for him to be their server, which fed his confidence.   


He had already talked to Thao about a loan.  He was impressed with his abilities.  He told Ma he needed to leave New York.  Bronx had too many restaurants and the rest of the city was too expensive to finance.  He knew people there who could set him up with a place to live and a job until he could find the right spot.


There was a catch.  He would have to take his cousin Thanh with him. The lừa had become cold November shame to the family by getting caught fucking the teenage daughter of a neighbor. Thao wasn’t sure if she’d got knocked up or not. Even the great detective Holmes would know that if that fool stayed, he’d likely be killed.  They boarded a bus going south the next night. 


They crashed with a cousin of Thanh’s in Doraville and he started working at dry cleaners owned by an acquaintance of Uncle Thao.  This man reminded Ma of a rat, someone always looking for an escape.  Ma spent all of his time in the back of the shop doing the hot dirty work. Only the owner handled the customers and he thought everyone else was less than a slave.  Pay never came on time and when confronted, the owner would threaten Ma with Immigration.  He lasted two weeks before calling New York.  Thao spoke to the rat and Ma got his money


He moved on to an American style Asian buffet closer to the city. The owner was a prosperous Mandarin and he got that way by treating others well.  “It always comes back” he would say when asked about his benevolence. Ma took this advice to heart.  Most of the other workers were like him, undocumented and scared.  But the owner never took advantage.  They were paid in cash and always on time.  Ma even was paid extra when he repaired some leaking plumbing without being asked. The customers weren’t quite as nice as the place in New York, but Ma didn’t let this bother him. Soon, he had enough to get his apartment in Norcross. Life was going fine until the Immigration raid and the place closed.


But his reputation was such he was hired sight unseen for a Pho hut a little closer to home. The owners were a Hmong family that had been in the states about as long as he had.  To Ma, they were a bit rough and crude, but like the Mandarin, they were honorable.  It helped they spoke each others’ languages.  Ma would open the place at 6:00AM and work until they closed at 8. With no wife and not that many friends, the busyness kept his nightmares away. More praise came about his promptness and skill with the wok. He was getting closer.   


Ma glanced up and saw a garbage bag sitting next to an old car. Nothing new.  People here don’t care about their surroundings. Ugliness doesn’t matter and neither does beauty. It is the same.  As he got closer to the bag, he saw liquid coming out from underneath. He knew what it was.  


He had seen many corpses in his life and this one had not been here long.  He hesitated a moment.  This could get him noticed the wrong way.  But slowly he reached on his belt and snapped off his phone and pressed the numbers. 


A voice crackled on the other end. "Gwinnett 911. What is your emergency?”



"Body nex' to car.  Na' moving."



“A body?”



“Ya. Lots blood under body.  Na’ moving”



“Is there anyone else there?”



“Nah.  Jus’ me.  Name is Ma Ngyuen.”



“Mr. Ngyuen, where are you located?”



“Graves Apartments. Jus’ down from entrance.”



"Police and ambulance are on their way."



He clicked off and sat down to wait for the Authorities. Fishing in his pocket, he found his last cigarette and lit it. Thoughts of Hanoi rose in his mind for the first time in a while. Bodies laid out on the streets like this.  They were rác. Garbage. People didn’t care who you were. They just grabbed what they wanted and if you were in the way, they got rid of you. Nothing personal, it was just how it was done.


The sirens began to swell in the distance. Ma stubbed out the smoke and put the butt in his pocket for later.  He knew he was in for a long night.   

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Topic-Colleen Bruenig

Pic-Doris Emmett.

Pic Guesses: Perverse rainbow (in the blog), Candy drop, Crown, 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lake Woebegone Transformed.



Smiling face, secure
In your  illusion of success.
Lake Wobegon transformed.
Nice House,
Nice Spouse,
Kids excelling in all they do.

Crack of humanity
Is beginning to show
At the edge
Of your aura

Survival instinct
Hard wired
Takes over.

Crack grows,
Visible to those who see.
And it's final end,
Remains
A lesson to us all.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Ink Is Black (Blogophilia 20.7)






The ink is black
The page is white
Together we learn
To read and write…


This is the song that stuck in my head after reading this weeks assignment.  But I really couldn't fit Three Dog Night into a coherent post, so...

So you ask me what my ink is? It is my companion and my friend. The one thing I can count on in times of trouble and strife. It shares my secrets and I can choose if they get revealed... or not.  My characters can be part of me I wish to mock. To make fun of my bad habits and disjointed thought process.  And the evil traits of others, sometimes. 

I can be other people.  I can do evil and good.

This week is the anniversary of the Apollo moon landing.  If you have been reading me for a while, you know when I was 10, my family  lived in Orlando. This was during the height of the program. Everything in Central Florida was space themed.  Even "I Dream of Jeannie" was set there.   It was a heady time for a day dreaming 10 year old.  I kept Estes Hobby Products in business with my purchases of Models and engines.  My brother and I would shoot them off every weekend at the Junior High School track at the end of my street.  We got in trouble a couple of times when the wind would take the rockets over the Navy base. 

I would stay glued to the TV, watching  the men with the Right Stuff prepare for battle,dreaming that maybe it could be me taking the long elevator ride to the top of a 20 story aluminum tube strapped with explosives. Why, I'd be a hero! I'd sit in my cramped little seat with the ceiling of gauges 6 inches away, waiting for my date with destiny. 

Then it would all start.

My head turns into a pancake as the thrust of a couple of H-Bombs blew out the tail of the tube.   The sucking feeling of zero gravity as the craft slipped the bonds of gravity, my body pushing against the restraints.  The hours of waiting as the craft competes its trajectory across open space, hitting the target some 250,000 miles away. I would enter into the landing module not knowing whether it would land softly. I certainly wouldn't want to get stuck.  

Disembarking on the bleak Sea of Tranquility, sky the color of my mother's velvet Christmas dress, I could imagine me saying something a little more lively than "This is one small step".  Maybe "Yahoo!!! I made it", or something.  And I'd look on the rising Earth, as the only color all the day long against that oil black canvas of the vacuous sky.  I'd wonder if their was sound there. With no air or other medium to carry it, would anyone hear my shouts?  Would anyone care?

I always admired the guy who snuck the golf club on board, driving the ball however far it went.  If it were all just work, why would you volunteer?

Just because it is there, I guess.

Apollo 11 ended up be the last launch I saw. We moved back to Atlanta the next week and I ended up seeing the landing in motel room. Not nearly as much fun as being on the front yard and looking east to where the dot faded into the heavens.  

Seems so far away...


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Topic-Heather Blomquist

Pic-Barbara K.

Pic guesses:  
Astronomy lesson
Planetary Conjuction
System
Third rock
Lined up.