Nope, not sick. Not even close. Doesn’t mean I’m not doing things like stepping up my hand washing regimen, keeping some extra social distance, and watching who I go around.

Which is why The Wife, The Brother, and I killed our trip out west later this month. When two of the people you’re supposed to be visiting are in their nineties, and your flight is supposed to go through Seattle…

Fortunately, companies are doing their best to make sure that we stay their customer by making it easy to cancel flights and such. So, all of that money we saved up for our trip will just have to sit in the bank until later this year.

Which, honestly, if this isn’t cleared up by then, we’ll need the money for other things.

Work is making noises about sending my team off to telework for the duration. Which should be interesting – and good for my fuel bill.

I’ll be honest. I’m not worried about catching it. I’m not even worried about surviving it if I somehow do catch it. I am fucking terrified of somehow transmitting it to someone who’s immune system couldn’t handle it.

Take care out there.

Snippets From Slack

The Brother, The Wife and I have a Slack channel. Mostly it’s just the normal family chatter. Then, sometimes it’s just funny.

Me: Sweet FSM, I think this is the first time I’ve used HLOOKUP to populate a report!

The Wife: That is so cool. How did you do that?

The Brother: I just love how the two of you nerd out on Excel.

Me: You do realize that Excel was a major bonding point for the two of us?

Family Dinner Time

My rocket scientist brother and his family moved across the state about eighteen months ago. The sister-in-law and the kiddos were over last weekend. My nephew was telling us about the campaign is running for his new friends. He was explaining how he was using a spider lycanthrope to lure his players into a spooky trap. I turned to The Brother.

Me: I think we did too good of a job.

Random Thoughts Part 735

We picked up some Mountain Dew Zero. I like it, at least as much as Diet Mountain Dew. Even better, this is a zero calorie as compared to Diet Dew’s low calorie. But Derek, Diet Dew is only 5 calories per 20 oz. Yeah, but with the quantities I drink on a regular basis, that adds up quick. DON’T JUDGE ME.

I’ve finished listening to the new book The End Is Always Near by Dan Carlin (of Hardcore History fame). How to describe it?

–Never listened to Hardcore History: How are we still alive? –Listens to episodes once, when they come out: How are we still alive? –Listens to episodes repeatedly: Oh, this again?

I still recommend his Hardcore History podcast.

Even after being together for better than two-and-a-half years, and being married for almost a year, it still amazes me how loud my wife’s family gets, and how quickly the volume ramps up. For them, that’s normal. For my family, that volume level is akin to a cobra showing its hood. One last ditch attempt to scare off someone before violence happens.

After almost two decades, I now have a subscription to the local paper. Sunday only. Mostly, it was coupons. Part of it is I’m leaning more to paying for content.

Tactical TJ Maxx

I have introduced my wife to whole subcultures she was unaware of prior to our meeting. This leads to hilarity when she then has to explain some of her husband’s foibles. Example:

Coworker: This good coffee. Where did you find it?

The Wife: Derek dragged me through the 5.11 store. (Editor’s Note: The coffee is Black Rifle Coffee)

Coworker: What’s a 5.11 store?

The Wife: It’s kind of like a tactical TJ Maxx.


The Wife and I went to see the new Midway flick over the weekend. I heard critics complaining about the first part of the movie that quickly goes through some of the major actions of the Pacific War up to the actual battle. Was it all just so that the director had a chance to show off nifty digital effects? I’m sure that had something to do with it, but based on The Wife’s reaction, I think it was a good introduction to the Pacific War. Especially for those who have a passing familiarity with the material.

Overall, the effects were great. The acting was believable. I enjoyed the heck out of myself. I have some quibbles, but since they involve spoilers, I will discuss those in the comments.

Plus, I get to post my favorite trailer for the film.

Are you really surprised?

Williamsburg Trip

Last week The Wife and I went up to Williamsburg. She had a work thing, so we did a quick combined vacation thing. It helped her cousin lives up there, so we had a place to crash.

  1. I did the musket event. It was the first time I’ve done black powder. I enjoyed the hell out of firing a Brown Bess and a colonial fowling piece. And yes, now I have a hankering for a black powder rifle. I will say, the only down side was my beard smelled like burnt powder for the rest of the day. If you are willing to spend the hundred bucks, I would recommend it.
  2. On Sunday, while The Wife was at an all-day work thing, her cousin and I went down to Norfolk. He’s a retired chief, so we went on base and went down to sight see at the ships tied up. It’s always neat to see those huge machines. From there, he took me downtown so we could go to the USS Wisconsin. This is an Iowa-class battle wagon turned into a museum ship. Another high recommendation.
  3. I’ve been listening to Max Hastings’ book on Vietnam. It doesn’t pull punches on any side. It’s a great companion piece with Ken Burns’ recent Vietnam documentary series. It’s been really good for someone like me who is trying to understand that conflict, since I didn’t live through those times. It’s scary how much the reasons the US failed to get out of Vietnam mirror why we haven’t left Afghanistan. Both the publicly stated reasons, and the true reasons of those in power.

Another Reason I Love My Wife

I need a new holster. I told her that I would take the funds out of my “Derek Stuff Fund”. At which point, she made a strenuous argument that it should come out of our shared clothing budget because it was a necessity. I’ll admit I didn’t argue the point as strenuously as she did.

Anyways, I have a new Bravo Concealment holster coming.

Same Word, Different Meanings

I talk to my grandma once a week. On our last conversation, she informed me her church was having a crusade.

Me: “What do you mean by crusade?”

Grandma: “Don’t you know what a crusade is?”

Me: “I know what it means in a historical sense, but I doubt a bunch of Oklahoma Baptists are about to invade the Levant on Sunday night.”

She thought that was highly amusing.

Also, a crusade is a fancy name for a revival.

Quick Trip

At the end of last week, The Wife and I flew out to Oklahoma City to visit some of my family. Mostly, I wanted her to get a chance to meet my grandmother. Grandma is 92 and in the very early stages of dementia. I’m not sure how many good years (months) Grandma will have, and I didn’t want to wait.



  • You know how important this was because I was willing to fly out. I hate flying. Not the actual flying, but I hate TSA and I hate not having my normal set of toys. The former proved itself at the start, because whomever is in charge of Tampa’s TSA agents implemented a customer service initiative they must have borrowed from HK. Just without the basic quality to offset the arrogance.Another lesson learned on this particular trip is never rent a car from Hertz. Especially if all you have is a debit card. Also, the rep’s customer service skills were just slightly above Tampa TSA. Enterprise was more than willing to rent us a vehicle with a debit card and a deposit.
  • The Wife loved the Tucson. I have a feeling that when we get her vehicle paid off, one of those SUVs might end up in our driveway. Plus, CarPlay makes things so much easier.

    Friday, we went to Bombing Memorial. It was quite emotional. If you’re in the OKC area, take a few hours and go. The museum is excellent, and the memorial itself evokes a stark harshness of the event with a dollop of hope. Some events move you by showing the worst and the best in humanity.

    Saturday, I did something I hadn’t done for two decades – I played some Magic: The Gathering. My young nineteen-year-old cousin has become involved in the cardboard crack. I got beat down, but it was fun. My family also got to see me in my kilt, which they enjoyed. Overall, it was a good visit.

    The trip home was uneventful except for TSA needing to pat me down for some reason. Although the OKC folks were much more respectful than Tampa. Feck it. Next time I have to fly, I’m wearing my kilt, and let them deal with that.

    © 2020 Derek Ward

    Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑