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07/01 Direct Link
I explained to Nicholas that I wanted nothing more than to stay at our house and wait for his mommy, but all of the scared people made it too dangerous.

At first, the neighbors were only mildly concerned; they figured they could hold out until the authorities arrived and the grocery stores were re-stocked. Fear set in once it became apparent that there were no authorities and no grocery stores, and outright panic broke out when their food was gone and the looters arrived and started raping and killing and burning houses.

We got away, but only just barely.

07/02 Direct Link
Nicholas cried for his mommy. He wanted his toys and his bed. He didn't understand, and I couldn't explain. How do you explain something as monstrous as an apocalypse to a child?

I thought of going into the city to look for her, but it was too dangerous--radioactive, full of crazed looters and desperate victims. I couldn't search, fight, and care for Nicholas at the same time.

We walked. We camped and played and ate when we could.

A man we encountered in a toy store tried to kidnap Nicholas. I shot him dead and I'll never regret it.

07/03 Direct Link
Two weeks later, we found the park.

Nicholas's eyes lit up. He laughed and ran to the slide. For the first time in weeks, he could play and be happy, like the little boy he was.

I was happy too, for the first time since the world came to its end. Happy to not worry about where to sleep, what to eat, or the intentions of strangers.

I put Nicholas on the swing and got behind him to push. As he laughed, I cried. For us, for mommy, for the whole damned world. There would never be any parks again.

07/04 Direct Link
Signs saying "do not try to stop this chainsaw with your genitals" exist because somewhere in this world, someone tried it. This someone then swore in a court of law that he didn't know that trying to use his nutsack to stop a device designed to chop down trees would result in a well-deserved castration.

Worse, other people--smart people who wouldn't consider applying a buzzing blade to their most sensitive area--pretended to believe him. They awarded him money for his "pain and suffering." But you and I know they did it while muttering "idiot" under their breath.

07/05 Direct Link
I looked over at James, afraid. He sat in the passenger seat, panting, still covered in blood. He hadn't said anything since after we burned the trailer down, with Mitchell inside of it.

It never would have happened if Mitchell hadn't come over drunk, if he hadn't choked me, and if I hadn't called James for help. James picked up the knife, and Mitchell taunted him, telling him he was too big of a pussy to use it.

James wouldn't answer questions. He wouldn't let go of the knife, either. I was afraid his blood-maddened eyes would turn on me.

07/06 Direct Link
Today is my Navy anniversary.

My brother was supposed to become the Action Jackson military guy; I was the smart one that was going to college. Then my father runs off, there's no money for college, and my brother can't join because he burned down a warehouse.

I still had ambitions. Did I want to join? No. But it was the only way to be something besides a career burger-flipper.

So here I am, thirteen years later, with my Japanese wife and handsome son, a nice house, and getting ever closer to a Master's degree. Funny how things turn out.

07/07 Direct Link
I entered the Cereal Factory in Battle Creek and opened fire. No time for subtlety; I needed the Secret Formula and I needed it now.

They knew I was coming. Cartoon characters came at me in waves—silly rabbits, cuckoo cocoa birds, toucans, and monkeys carrying chainsaws. They had a horrible gleam in their eyes—Sugar Madness. It bolstered their courage and was the source of their unswerving loyalty.

In the end, I got what I came for, but at terrible cost. The cartoony naval officer's forlorn cry of, "Nooo! Captain Crunch is not expendable!"will forever haunt my dreams.

07/08 Direct Link
"Of course I want your face,"he said.

I stared in horror at the table of surgical tools. They were filthy, crusted with dried gore from previous victims. I struggled harder against the straps that held me down.

"But I thought—"

"No, you didn't think. You desired."He pulled gloves over his hands. "You see, this is the primary difference between the 'wants' and the 'can-gets,' which is really the proper term for what people call the ‘haves' and the ‘have-nots.' The 'wants' pay attention to whom they envy and what they desire. The 'can-gets' pay attention to everything.-

07/09 Direct Link
My last civilian Fourth of July was in 1993. I was eighteen, freshly graduated from high school, and entering the Navy two days later.

It was an odd, surreal moment—a transition from childhood to adulthood. My grandfather bought some fireworks, and my younger brother and I had a good time setting them off in my grandmother's front yard. The adults watched me, trying to figure out what I would become, what would happen now that I was no longer ‘one of the kids.'

My uncles, former Marines, were betting I would wash out in boot. I showed those assholes.

07/10 Direct Link
A French woman told me an interesting story. After the Blitzkrieg, German soldiers suddenly occupied her village. There was no warning; one day they were just there, running everything.

Two soldiers stole her brother's bike. He was angry; though his family warned against it, he went to the German command post and complained.

An officer dutifully listened to the boy and made a report. Two days later, he appeared at the girl's farm, pushing the bike. He apologized to the family and told them that the soldiers would be disciplined.

Were they all vicious animals? No. Most were just soldiers.

07/11 Direct Link
The PC, the automobile, and the cell phone are the cotton gins of our times. They were supposed to make our lives easier and help us work less so we could spend more time at our leisure or with our families. Instead, they make us work harder, longer, and faster to make other people rich. As with the cotton gin, the masters didn't make fewer slaves; they bought more property to work more slaves faster.

For a smart guy, Eli Whitney sure was naive. And so are we, I think as I answer my cell phone and my Blackberry and....

07/12 Direct Link
There's nothing worse than knowing that your life is never going to change. Knowing that the same fucked-up events, fucked-up people, and fucked-up situations are going to be a permanent part of your day to day. That there is no escape to something better; you are no underdog, no one with special skills or an unrecognized talent that no one sees. There is no 8 Mile-like Eminem future for you. It is all shit.

Perhaps that it is not true. There is a way out--you must find it, leverage what skills you have, and muster the courage to escape.

07/13 Direct Link
I have a product idea. I'm going to call it Money Shot Cola, to be marketed and sold worldwide. The commercials will feature cans of exploding soda which spray all over a girl's open mouth and face. The ad campaign will be called "Show us your Money Shot!" and will feature girls opening their mouths to the camera and showing the cola they are drinking. We'll have to sponsor girl sports events, too, to show our social concern for women's issues. Beach volleyball and gymnastics are good ideas.

Don't blame me; I saw these kinds of ads all over Japan.

07/14 Direct Link
Sometimes, being in the Navy sucks. Currently, it really sucks, because they want to reduce the number of people (their costs) and increase the number and tempo of operations at the same time (the workload). The excuse for making you work long hours under shitty conditions is, "Well, we're paying you." The excuse for forcing you to endure every half-baked totally bullshit policy is, "Well, we're paying you." The excuse for constantly invading your privacy, rummaging through your shit, and spying on you? "If you don't have anything to hide, you have nothing to worry about. Besides, we're paying you."
07/15 Direct Link
I'm no anti-corporation moron, I just don't like the options. The choice is starvation or near-slavery, with nothing in the between. The choice is destitution and freedom or relative wealth with no privacy, too bad if you want anything else.

These are not choices, though totalitarians and dictators are good at making them seem that way. I don't approve of communism, prole revolutions, and "workers' paradise", but I can see how they became popular to people who work to produce products for ungrateful and often sadistic bosses who care only for their bottom line, not how it affects their workers.

07/16 Direct Link
In the movies, the wronged man always takes the bloodiest revenge that he can. It doesn't matter, after all. You've paid money for a cathartic cinematic thrill, knowing deep down that no one really got hurt. Dead stuntmen rise again to die another day.

But the real world isn't like that. You grit your teeth and try to forget the pain and humiliation. There's too much at stake to do otherwise.

The public loves a well-armed mental meltdown at the local office, no matter how much they decry the violence. But the truth is, most of us suffer in silence.

07/17 Direct Link
The concept of 'no-mind' is a powerful tool when combined with the focus to concentrate on only one thing at a time (whether it be reading, studying, or writing). Concentrating too hard or trying to do too much too fast ultimately throws off all of your efforts. By making a continuous, steady effort while paying laissez-faire attention (guiding your own hand, but not concentrating on specifics), you accomplish more, have room for creativity, and are not stressed to accomplish too much too fast.

Too bad we all can't work that way. The production schedule doesn't allow for it. Faster, wage-slave!

07/18 Direct Link
Narcissism: A combination of monumental self-regard, unshakeable self-confidence, and stunning rudeness. The beauty of being a narcissist is that, even in the face of disaster, you feel neither doubt nor remorse. A narcissist floats through life feeling pretty good about himself, because he is better than everyone else. Most ordinary people think they are better than everyone else; he knows he is better. He twists the world to his advantage; his strengths are unique, his weaknesses are not (and are probably someone else's fault). The narcissist sees absolutely nothing wrong with himself.

I can't wait to try this suit on.

07/19 Direct Link
I don't have 'compassion fatigue'. I have idiot fatigue. I'm tired of trying to save the world from itself, through my personal efforts or taxes that fund half-assed efforts in my name. I'm tired of fighting socialist utopians, illegal aliens, nuclear-mad dictators, money- and gun-grabbing bureaucrats, fanatical islamikazes, intellectual elitist fools, and other looters and fiends.

I say let them kill and screw and steal from each other. All the little people are offered is a chance to elect one looter or another. Most are unaware of the option of non-participation. If they were, there would be a revolution tomorrow.

07/20 Direct Link
I can't wait for The End. I want to see the screaming and the killing and the dying. I can't wait to see it up close, in my neighborhood.

Because that's how we'll know it's real. CNN describes a massacre, that's blasÃÆ'©; Ted Koppel tells us about another high-school shooting, yawn. But watch your neighbors kill each other in their own front yards, in front of their kids and wives? That's real.

It's not the death I eagerly anticipate. Death is the disappointing climax, the "that's it?" that makes you wonder why your heart beat so fast while you waited...

07/21 Direct Link
The End is coming. Death is coming, but Death is not what I am eagerly anticipating. It's the fear, the panic, and the madness that I want. I want to watch the stoic break and the noble fall to ruin. I want to be there, at that moment, to watch their faces as despair and fear and desperation set in. To be there, at that moment, when they realize that things will not get better, no one will rescue them, that the horror will never end. I want to watch their hope die and be replaced with blind animal panic.
07/22 Direct Link
I was browsing through Wikipedia today when I found the Conan the Barbarian entry. As a lover of fantasy and science fiction, I've owned a number of Conan books over the years. Sure, they're formulaic (Conan rolls into town, beats up or kills the toughest guy around, and fucks his woman that night--and that's just the first chapter), but they are a guilty thrill I still enjoy.

I was amazed by the sheer number of books available. I marveled at Frazetta's awesome covers, and de Camp's dedication to the character. Could I ever create something that great, that lasting?

07/23 Direct Link
I argue politics. I know, arguing on the internet is like running in the Special Olympics. I find that it challenges my ideas, forces me to rethink my viewpoints, and sometimes even gets me to change my mind. It happens.

Today's topic--the Useless Nation's claim that they had evidence of Bush's secret torture prisons. You know, the ones so secret that no one knows where they are. I pissed off some freedom-loving liberals so much they threatened to report my terrorist comments to Homeland Security. I guess freedom of speech only applies if you have the correct opinion.

07/24 Direct Link
Long ago, I learned a painful lesson. You cannot expose your weaknesses to others. Sure, they say it's ok, this is the new age, we're all friends here, yadda yadda, bullshit, bullshit. I'm your friend, I wouldn't hurt you.

That's just part of the game, getting you to lower your defenses.

The truth is ugly. In times of strife and competition, or even just for a laugh, the first weapon people reach for, the first target they aim at, are the weaknesses you exposed earlier.

That guy was right. People who have friends are fools who deserve to be betrayed.

07/25 Direct Link
Dirty Tricks of the Future #1

To get US military personnel out of their homeland, a group begins systematically kidnapping soldiers, injecting them with non-lethal doses of heroin, and dumping them in places where they are easily found. This drives many people out of the military on drug charges and eventually restricts the remainder of them to bases. After this, bombings and poisonings of various concentrated areas (barracks, mess halls) do the rest. People will refuse to serve in that area, and destruction of property and denial of services (water, electricity, sanitation) will make it impossible to operate there.

07/26 Direct Link
Dirty Tricks of the Future #2:

A foreign military ship at sea asks for assistance. A US ship obliges, sending R&A teams via RHIB and helo. On the trip back, the helo is shot out of the sky by the foreign ship. The ship then declares it is holding the unarmed R&A team hostage; it handcuffs the members to various points around the ship and warns the US ship that any action taken will kill the hostages. The foreign ship pulls away, warning them not to pursue. When they do, a hostage is killed and thrown overboard. Continue...

07/27 Direct Link
Dirty Tricks of the Future #2, part 2

...When the foreign ship returns to port, they loudly trumpet that they have captured a US Navy "Assault Team" that attempted to board and take over their ship. They display the men and weaponry (black market purchased) on TV, but do not allow the men to speak to reporters or international organizations. Despite denials, world opinion goes against the US. Evidence produced by the Americans is "doctored" and "obviously fake", according to everyone from newscasters to columnists to bloggers. By the time anyone finds out the truth, irreparable damage is already done.

07/28 Direct Link
"No matter how scared you are, always keep your eyes open, my father said, deep in his cups. He was a philosophical drunk. That way, you'll see it coming."

"See what coming?"

"The blow that'll kill you if you don't get out of its way. That's the only secret--to keep looking, no matter how much you want to look away. Unless it's time for you to look away."

"How will I know when it's time to look away?"

My father took another pull from his flagon, rheumy eyes staring at me over the rim. He never did answer me.

07/29 Direct Link
I've been waiting for the Chief Petty Officer selections to come out for a few days now. Every year around this time, Big Navy holds a meeting in Millington, and through some secret process, they select the next crop of E-7s. I'm eligible this year.

I'm ambivalent about it. I want it, and I'll be disappointed if I don't make it, but it won't be a life-ender. I have lots of other things going on (getting my Master's degree, Krav Maga, etc). On the other hand, I don't want to be one of those pathetic First Class retirees.

07/30 Direct Link
I've heard it said that 90% of your life is determined while you aren't present. I find that this is true. Fortunate or unfortunate sperm (as Warren Buffet says), random factors that turn people into geniuses or beauties, whether or not the 'right' people like you. Whether or not your parents have enough sense to avoid the pitfalls of life, or drag you down with them.

There is also some seriously evil shit that goes on. I've been to some of these places; ranking boards, executive washrooms, the fly on the wall at privileged conversations. What I've heard is sickening.

07/31 Direct Link
I enjoy evil and strife. Am I the only one?

I don't think so. There are many who decry violence and war and hatred, but they remain glued to their screens (TV or computer) to see the latest examples. For some, it's better than porn. There's nothing better than a well-armed mental meltdown for drawing the viewers in.

I, at least, am honest about my pleasures. I figure that all that killing and hate subtracts people from this planet. And in my opinion, the quality of life on this planet increases as the population decreases. I'm in love with murder.