#EndGrapeCulture

If you’re anything like me then you’re concerned about the hold the graperiarchy has over this country. Just who do those wine companies think they are?

You want facts? I got your facts right here:

  • 1 in 4 grapes will be violated internally and fermented violently
  • White wine grapes only have 77% of the appeal of red wine grapes due to the “glass floor” of stomping that exists in wine society
  • Wine grapes taste considerably better once they have been liberated from their oppressive vines

You too can be an ally. Together we can rise up, end grape culture, and finally bring down the overbearing graperiarchy!

#EndGrapeCulture #SmashTheGraperiarchy #YesAllZinfandels #FlavorGap

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Breakfast with the General

I’ve had coffee and the occasional breakfast with US Army Colonels, Captains, and other officers. However, this is the story of when I managed to corner a former US Army General and invited him to breakfast.

Several years ago I had one hell of an opportunity. The great part of the opportunity was that it was entirely by chance and was brought about by me not listening to my supervisor and attending an event for which I was not scheduled. I arrived at approximately 6 AM with the rest of the security staff; we stood around shooting the shit and just got ready for the pain that the day’s duties would surely bring. It turned out that I would be working the floor for a graduate-school ceremony and that a certain guest speaker would be gracing the ceremony with his presence.

I took up my standard position with the police department (right next to the Police Chief so he and I could bullshit our way through the ceremony while assuring an adequate level of protection for any important folks who happened to come onto the floor). The Chief and I babbled almost incessantly during the ceremony but we were so hopped-up on free coffee and muffins that we really couldn’t care less. It was only during the introduction phase of the speakers that I found out who this eventual speaker actually was. In his introduction I heard him mention that he was both a former US Army General and a former member of the Chiefs of Staff. The first thought that surged through my head was “I have to meet this man and get him one-on-one”. Such a thought would have made my military grandfather proud and I can’t say that it didn’t at least play a significant role in my decision-making that day.

After the speech was finalized the General left the stage and started walking through the staff-only corridors past the area I was guarding with the police department. I figured “Fuck it, this is my only chance” and I actually tried to run and catch up with him. His handler had no clue what was going on but acquiesced to the idea of a former officer talking to a civilian fairly quickly. I basically chased him down in the staff corridor and introduced myself to him as he stood there dumbfounded. He shook my hand and we struck up a conversation.

During the course of conversation I said to him (this was a little before 8 AM): “You know, we have free coffee and muffins in the break room. Would you like to come up for some breakfast?”

He responded “Hell yeah!” and the General and I walked side-by-side to the break room. I had essentially now made friends with a retired US Army General and we talked the entire way to the break room. Once we hit the breakfast table, though, the real conversation began.

Once we arrived to the break room he went straight for the muffins. My only regret was that I didn’t beat him to the table; we had chocolate-chip muffins and I would have happily fought him for the eating of said muffins. Anyway, we grabbed our food and coffee and found a table where we could talk one-on-one sitting across from each other. The real discussion began here with his handler sitting at a table that was close-but-not-really so the General and I could get to know each other.

I think I actually learned more about the military from this man in a single hour-and-a-half than anything I’d ever studied prior to this meeting. We even wound up joking about what I call the “Worst Mistake the US Navy Ever Made” (i.e. letting me drive an aircraft carrier when I was little and almost ramming it straight into a pier). When I told him the story his actual response was “Yeah, that sounds like the Navy!” I actually learned how portions of the Pentagon were laid out from this guy and we just generally enjoyed each other’s company. I told him some stories from my grandfather and practically had him in stitches.

When it finally came time for him to leave we bid each other goodbye in a bittersweet fashion. I swear talking to him was basically like talking to my grandfather since the General and I had bonded fairly quickly. I bid him goodbye and he took off in his limousine after we said our customary goodbyes to each other.

This account has to be the most memorable experience I’ve ever had in regard to working security.

Times When it’s Okay for a Man to Cry

This is mostly in list format, so keep that in mind.

– The end of The Green Mile

– Any time a dog is killed in a movie (watch the re-make of I Am Legend with Will Smith) or TV show

– Basically any time within the last 45 minutes of the movie We Were Soldiers; I can’t watch that portion of the movie without having some kind of tears streaming down my face (my dad was in Vietnam from ’70 – ’74 in the 75th Rangers 2nd Battalion so it really hits deep for me):

  • The photographer lighting-up the NVA and then carrying the poor bastard who got half his face blown off (and you just know he won’t survive)
  • Finding Sgt. Sabbitch alive with his hand reaching up from the brush
  • Seeing both the dead soldier wearing a wedding ring and its aftermath
  • Sgt. Sabbitch crying his eyes out (anyone from a military family will know that when an NCO does this it means there are HUGE problems)
  • The final assault by the 1st Cavalry division on the NVA (stress tears)
  • Greg Kinnear’s character showing up OUT OF FUCKING NOWHERE and blasting the shit out of the NVA in his Huey-Cobra (major happy tears); I’ve never watched this part of the movie without it putting a smile on my face.
  • The photographer realizing he’s lost his identity when he’s being interviewed
  • Those goddamn reporters who might as well have been leeches trying to interview the Colonel about the men lost; his face says it all.
  • The conversation between the photographer and the Colonel that ends with the Colonel crying
  • Watching the Colonel come home
  • The entire last five minutes are a tear-jerker (the spouses of the dead getting the notifications, the Colonel at the wall, and even the names of the dead soldiers on the screen)

All of the above would pretty much do it.

Strike a Pose…r

I was having breakfast with my dad on Saturday (most great stories involve my dad somehow) and we’re sitting there talking about red-pill stuff and large-scale military tactics (he was an Army Ranger, my grandfather on my mom’s side was a Marine, my grandfather on my dad’s side was an Army Air Force full-bird Colonel who flew with Jimmy Doolittle). The story of sitting down for breakfast one-on-one (entirely by chance too) with a retired Army General who was part of the Joint Chiefs is a story for a different day, though. I swear military stuff is in my blood and I have a soft spot in my cold heart for members of the service; I was busy getting drunk with a US Air Force officer last night too and helping him through some problems he was facing. Sometimes all you need is a friend who understands regardless of who you are. I find United States military people the easiest for me to befriend and form lasting friendships with since I come from a military family and can usually understand what they’re talking about; we usually share the same views on issues related to the world and society as well. I’m always there as a friend for the active-duty, reserve, and veteran folks that want to talk.

No shit, so there we were. We’re eating and I look out the window. A black-and-white cruiser pulls up to a red-painted curb (out here that means emergency vehicles only so Fire, EMS, and Police) with his lights off. A police officer gets out and moves out of my range of vision toward the store that’s a few doors down from us; I figure “Okay, he’s out on a call”. I point it out to my dad and we speculate on what call he’s there about; we figure he’s probably picking up a shoplifter or something similar. I go back to eating and talking with my dad. A few minutes later I look up and see some dipshit like the one below outside through the same window:

Poser from Malcom in the Middle

Poser from Malcolm in the Middle (Kevin for those keeping score at home)

Same basic mannerisms as the image. The difference is a flat-brimmed hat backward (instant failed-euthanasia indicator), two layered T-shirts, scraggly beard, vacant gaze, and skin as white as the desert sand. This dumbass has his arms spread-eagle, his chest puffed out, and is yelling at someone I can’t see. I’m sure you’ve all seen the stance since it’s the first thing I think of when I hear the phrase “Come at me, bro!” As per standard operating procedure I pointed him out to my dad so we could make fun of him together. Laughs were had and then the idiot entered the restaurant with his equally-trashy girlfriend (I guess; might as well have been his sister).

You can’t make this shit up. His first words upon entering were “Man, it’s sad what free speech has become in this country”. REALLY, DUMBASS? You have to be kidding me. It turns out this idiot mouthed-off to the cop that was outside for parking at a red curb (which, as I stated above, he was totally in his right to do as an emergency vehicle). You probably shouldn’t do it when there are other non-red spaces to park if you aren’t making an immediate arrest but you’re still within your right to do so. Well, the cop apparently took exception to being accosted by a waste of human breath and responded with “You want to talk?” aggressively; he shouldn’t have done that but I don’t blame him either. The next words out of this dipshit’s mouth were “Man, that cop was DISSIN’ me!” Yes, he emphasized “dissin'” and couldn’t even be bothered to add the last letter of the word.

I’m firmly of the belief that you can’t “diss” anyone who didn’t deserve respect in the first place. Of course, the concept of respect is foreign to most people these days anyway; I touched on that in an earlier post. Let’s get to the synopsis of the situation, though: dumbass mouthed-off to a cop and the cop responded in kind. THAT WAS IT. The idiot’s idea of free speech is apparently “I can say whatever I want regardless of what it is and never have anyone confront me for it!” Sure, the First Amendment protects your right to be an idiot in public places. What it DOESN’T protect against is speech that is designed to incite violence or cause problems; the reason it’s illegal to yell “FIRE” in a crowded theatre is the same reason you get a visit from the Secret Service if you say something that could be construed as potentially fatal to the President.

NOTHING HAPPENED to the idiot, of course. The fact that he could mouth-off to a cop and NOT be arrested shows that there’s nothing wrong with free speech but it unfortunately conflicted with his reality. I can tell you with near-certainty what he did later that day: he probably went back to the rest of his dipshit friends and said something like “Yo dawg, this cop was totally oppressin’ me but I showed him what’s up!” and all of the idiots started patting him on the back for a job well-done. What have we come to when this kind of behavior is seen as acceptable (even though it’s protected) by modern society? I refuse to include the term “civilized” here since our society is anything but that.