Help The King

A long time ago, in a blogosphere that now seems far, far away, there arose a man who took up the helm of the Last King of France at Curmudgeonly & Skeptical. A knack for photos and memes, a wry sense of humor, and a love of life made him a daily read for myself and many others. It was partly an ongoing joke that I have him (still) listed as my single NSFW entry.

Time has marched on, and between the loss of his beloved wife and his own health issues, he hasn’t posted much in a while. This weekend, Linda SOG wrote let me know that he has entered care and while his health is okay overall, his spirits are a bit down. So, she has put out the call for anyone who remembers Rodger and his blog with fondness to send him a card. While this is not a ‘get well soon’ time, it is a good time to share memories of the blog, laughs, and otherwise help bring a smile.

If you do so, be sure to use your screen name as our real names are rarely how we are known. To send him a card, drop a line to LindaSoG at gmail dot com and she will get you his address. I plan to do so as while my memory is fuzzy these days, I do remember the laughs and some interesting discussions in his comments.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Elon and Twitter

Yes, I’ve got some thoughts, but my last few headlines have been about thoughts so wanted to do something different. Fact is, I was on a panel with Elon about space commercialization years ago. It was not a pleasant experience because of Elon.

Elon is intelligent, how much so a subject of some debate and discussion. What I will say about him is that he seems get engineering and R&D on a level that few others do. Is he Kelly Johnson reborn? No, different type of genius and one who is smart enough to hire modern Kelly Johnsons and — mostly — listen to them on critical issues. I’ve heard over the years, however, that he can have a tendency to get so wrapped up in his concepts/plans that he doesn’t listen, not unless reality hits him hard with a cold douche.

Whether it’s because he’s spectrum or something else, he is not a people person. He doesn’t always get others, or seem to realize that disagreement does not automatically equate to enemy action. Or that less than 1,000 percent enthusiasm for project doesn’t mean you are against it. I think I said a while back that Elon was his own worst enemy when it comes to turning those who could or should be his allies into enemies. For some reason, he seems driven to do that, to be an ahole for no good or discernible reason.

That panel was a case in point. I was the NASA rep, working with the Space Product Development program, and simply because I (a mere contractor) was representing NASA, I was the enemy. That he saw NASA as the enemy at the time was not unfounded in many respects; but, the way he handled it set commercialization efforts back. Frankly, he was a rude, boorish, and nasty POS that night. Some of his comments apparently didn’t go over well in parts of NASA. As for me, what I witnessed along with things heard over the years (water cooler RUMINT), I would not want to work for him though I would love to work at a couple of his companies.

Fact is, before I got hit by lightning, I would have loved to work for Space X because they are doing, not talking. So long as it was down a few layers from the top so I was insulated from the storms that seem to hit Elon from time to time. He’s got a lot of good people working for him, and I would have loved to work with them. I think that right now they are the best shot we have at getting off this mudball and creating a permanent human presence throughout the solar system. I think that important and needed, especially as we seem determined to go the path of endless wars and escalation of same. Earth is the cradle of humanity, and it would be a shame if we became a case of crib death writ large.

I bring this up because over the weekend, Elon had one of his patented tantrums on Twitter (X, whatever) over removing the block feature. Elon wants to do it, and the peasants just don’t understand his grand plan and how this will make things better. He started blocking people who disagreed with the idea, told major accounts to delete themselves because they disagreed, and thought it was all funny. I thought it was fun (and funny) to block him so I may not be on Twitter much longer. We’ll see. The interesting thing is that with X/Twitter, the world gets to see the behavior on a large scale.

As for the block feature, I think it flat out stupid to remove it. First, various app stores (on which X depends) have rules that would seem to say no to this. Second, there are serious safety concerns for people who block because of domestic, terroristic, and other threats. I actually did try to point out the latter to Elon and others at X, don’t think it went anywhere. To my mind, it’s a liability issue with a capital L and a lot of dollar signs attached. Third, it’s my timeline and I like having the ability to block bots and others who do not have my best interest at heart.

I made the decision a while back to hang on and see what happens on/with Twitter/X. I don’t like a lot of what I see going on lately, but then again I’m not a multi-business billionaire with a track record of (mostly) success. I’m not part of the flounce brigade that every time he’s made a change has flounced to other pastures in protest (and mostly come immediately back). I’m going to let things play out for now, as Twitter is still the best platform for getting breaking news and intel.

I would love to see it more a true free speech platform, at least within what is allowed by our government, the EU, and others who hate free speech. I would like to have no filters, or at least visible filters and options, and curate who I follow, how, and why. Elon seems to want to make it a garden of nice, or at least nice as he sees it. Having survived the destruction of the blogosphere when we were tempted into the warm walled gardens of Facebook and other social media, which rapidly turned into thought prisons, I don’t trust promises of gardens that, really, trust us, this time are going to be nice and free.

Meantime, understand Elon is not your friend, a savior, or anything else other than a flawed human like the rest of us. He is an erratic genius, where it’s not the genius that is erratic but his behavior. I want to be fair and note that I have heard that he is not having a tantrum/being an ahole, he’s actually nice and even fun to be around. I’ve just never personally seen that side of him.

Because of him, a lot of good things are happening. To my mind, it’s worth dealing with the ahole component to get the good things. Not necessarily pleasant, but until some real competition comes along, he’s pretty much the only game in town on several fronts. When there are other realistic options, I will review and revise as warranted. If he goes completely off the rails in regards Twitter/X, I will leave with little fuss or muss. Meantime, I’m just going to sit back, watch, and probably shake my head a lot.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Belated 20th Anniversary

This post over on Twitter kicked off a small memory cascade and reminded me of something I meant to do back on the 13th. I wrote a note to do it, but apparently put it in a good safe place…

My memory is fuzzier than I would like, but I had been doing guest posts at various blogs for a while, including at the missed Winds of Change blog. Joe Katzman, who is mostly offline these days, was kind enough to post my stuff there. He also teamed up with John Ringo (with some assistance from David Weber and his better half Sharon) to encourage me to start my own blog. You can blame them for the fact that on April 13, 2003 (according to the Wayback Machine) came online.

Despite several hacks of hosting providers and other fun delights, and with the technical help of the now radio silent Zonker, it’s been in continual operations ever since. There were some periods of lite posting, some of heavy, but it’s been here.

Those early days were fun and I do miss elements of it. Seriously, can you imagine teasing Instapundit about having a fondness for puppy smoothies and roasted hobo in today’s environment? Reminds me, I do need to find that 465 HP blender of his and get it back to him… There was a lot of good natured banter. There was drama too, including some needless drama. Fact is, I don’t miss some who took their footballs and left. I do miss some of the others, who have either quit blogging or are no longer with us. The latter is a growing list and there are days where I do miss everyone from Acidman and MommaBear to Jonn and Lex.

I started pseudo-anonymous as there were employment issues to consider, though I think today is far worse than then. When I was accidentally outed, I could and did run with it, which would be far harder to do today. The troll I attracted at NASA that eventually ended up with formal complaints and legal involvement was but a pale taste of what can and does happen today. Lost a job over the blog and politics, but worth it. Even the trolls and death threats have been worth it. I’ve had it a lot easier than others, but will share that one should never try to out crazy Stacy McCain.

Let’s get real. The early days were exciting, interesting, and a lot more. Thanks to some local get-togethers, BlogWorld and the Milblog events, I got to meet a lot of neat and interesting people, both bloggers and readers. Getting to spend time with some of the Georgia bloggers, Vodka Pundit, John of Argghhh, Greyhawk, Baldilocks, Froggy, Subsunk and his wife, and a host of others made up for having to deal with name-dropper Matt and Uncle Jimbo. Smile.

I got to know Matt online in those early days when I offered to stand second for him in a duel. Seriously. No duel, but when the douchebag in question apparently came to a meeting and saw Matt there, he turned around and left. There was indeed a bit of the Wild West to blogging in those days.

When Matt began working on his book, he asked several of us to post at Blackfive. He laughed his ass off later when I told an audience that since the book was a success, he hadn’t sobered up since and didn’t realize I was still writing there. Fact is, writing at Blackfive was a privilege and an honor. A greater honor was getting to work to help the wounded. Never thought any of the things I learned about BI/TBI would ever apply to me. Two embeds and the worst injury was a split shin. I will note, however, that you should never trust MaryAnn Phillips if she tells you there are just a few boxes of supplies for the wounded that need moving. I still laugh and take a small bit of pride in how much we got done that day. Good memory.

Blogging has been mostly good memories. Wish I had handled a couple of things differently. Wishing I had made better word choices, always. One of the few regrets I have is letting Matt and Jonn talk me out of a rather blunt tell-all post on what happened to the Afghanistan embed. Wish I had held out for a less blunt but honest piece, especially as the prime soup sandwich was already on his way out of the Army (who decided they no longer needed his services). As it is, without solid info, too many rumors ran wild.

There have been a lot of changes to the blogging world over the last twenty years. Far too many of us fell for the illusion of social media, and I’m glad I kept the blog going despite such. I also want to thank all of you who helped me change hosting providers and do other work to make this a bit more stable platform. It’s nice not to completely break when you get an Instalanche. Huge thanks to Sarah A. Hoyt and Stephen Green at Instapundit, along with Ed Morrissey and the team at Hot Air on helping with that. In fact, it was Sarah who talked me into starting the fundraiser, and her support and encouragement have been very important.

Because, yeah, the last decade has been interesting with everything from a botched colonoscopy that came close to getting me to a false diagnosis of cancer (unrelated events). There is advanced severe osteoarthritis and other issues. Then, coming up on two years ago now, I got hit by lightning. Trying to do a lot better job of listening to figure out what the Lord wants me to be doing and where. I know where I think I want to move, but not sure it’s where I need to move. Again, listening.

Meantime, I may be slower but I’m still moving. Never was a high speed low drag type, more a low speed high drag model. Thing is, never quit moving. Never quit trying. You may not get it perfect, but you are still doing and still in the game. That’s what counts.

Writing takes a lot more time and effort than it used to. Between short term and long term memory issues, well, fun is a word that can be used to describe it. But, as long as you keep reading I will do what I can to keep writing. I will do what I can to write solid stuff, and even some fun stuff.

As for what the future holds, I think blogging may make a comeback. That said, I also expect to see governments around the world, including our own, do their best to silence the blogs. I expect to see a lot more de-platforming with hosting providers (and why I am likely to stay with my current host as while their support sucks hairy warty ones, they have been resistant to such efforts). I expect in return we may see a bit of creativity on the part of hosts and others. Oh, and if you think that horrid new law Chuckie and company are pushing targets VPNs and those who use them by mistake, think again. Let your congresscritter know not to vote for that anti-freedom cesspit.

Even if Elon succeeds with what he’s trying to do at Twitter, I plan to keep the blog going one way or another. We tried putting our eggs in one basket one time before. Didn’t work out so well, did it? So, let’s not do that again.

Thank you. Thank you for reading me. Thank you for all the good comments. Thank you for the encouragement and support. You are the reason I and this blog are still here. Thank you.

God Bless.

NOTE: Writing this has sparked more than one memory cascade. Good things. But, there was a reader at Blackfive I talked to a while back who was going through an interesting time. If you are still out there and chance across this, let me know at the addy above how things are going please. Hope they continued to improve. Also, I know I’ve left a lot of names out. No way to list everyone, not a slight. Doesn’t help that I’m pretty sure I don’t remember everyone…

Quick Thoughts On Sources

I probably need to flesh this out more, but after yesterday I want to get something up on sources I read/follow regularly.

First, I check my intel list on Twitter. Perfect, no; but, the sources in it tend to be good in their specific areas. I add and remove as needed, and am always looking for other good sources around the world. Suggestions welcome.

I do often pay close attention to the Institute for the Study of War. For news and analysis StrategyPage is a good read. When it comes to understanding the thought, philosophy, mores, and history behind Russia and its dealings with the world, read the works of Kamil Galeev. There are a few more, but this is a good start.

For analysis, commentary, and discussion, I do follow Stephen Green at Instapundit and Vodka Pundit as much as I can. Instapundit is a good read under any circumstances with excellent commentary and more by Glenn, Sarah, and others. I also follow the authors at Hot Air, as they too are a good group overall and offer a variety of perspectives.

There are others, of course, such as Commander Salamander for naval and more. Also glad to see the DiploMad back. Wish more of the early milblogs and similar were still up, pay attention to those that are.

Most of my other regular and semi-regular reads tend to be about writing, general politics, science, and such.

More soon.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving to the SW, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.


Things go. Our winter storm was not as bad as feared. I liked that while it was snowing I didn’t hurt too much. Today is back to pain, and typing while wearing the wrist brace is, er, interesting. Really want to go take a walk but the weather is not cooperating.

Almost got to use some of the prep yesterday, as while I watched a limb on some type of fir tree out back snapped and fell. The way it did it was fascinating, as it broke, swung back as it started down, and fell almost at the base of the tree folded up in two or three sections. Not sure how much officially fell, but since the ground wasn’t frozen (sorta warm for this time of year actually), we didn’t get a huge accumulation. Really only about 2-3 inches most places.

Still working on trying to get the car fixed, get any response out of SSA, and other fun stuff. Sorry for the delay, but hopefully back to meatier posts soon.

Oh, in regards those air defense units in Moscow making the news: Still not sure if they are for defense from Ukrainian attacks, or are for defense in the internal political strife. Either way, the Kremlin now has overlapping additional coverage in two directions. Am picking up rumors that other steps are being taken, which is interesting given the anti-air and anti-missile defenses already in place. The rumors would seem more in place if I heard Mathias Rust had gotten another pilot’s license. Then again, the Ukrainians have gotten rather deliciously creative in terms of UAVs and the like. If such is being planned, I’m not sure it is a good idea, to be polite. Really would prefer to be moved before WWIII starts.

More soon.

Prayer Request

Sadly, I learned this morning from the wonderful Chris Muir at DayByDay that Gerard Van Der Leun is in hospice. I ask you for prayers for him, for Neo, and all the others in his life — including his readers.

To the best of my memory, I never got to meet him in person. I remember how welcoming he was to people in the early days of the blogosphere. He encouraged, prodded, and yes poked the rest of us. The blogosphere benefitted from him, and the world is the richer for all he did as a writer and beyond.

For me, I ask God for mercy on him; for care, comfort, and guidance to those who care for him in the days to come; and, mercy and comfort to those he is about to leave behind. Godspeed Gerard! You did good and left a mark few can equal.

Thank You, Record

Wow. Yesterday set a new record for readership here at LaughingWolf. While it may have gone higher 18-20 years back, when I was a top 100/500 blog, yesterday saw better than 7,900 readers come in for this story, the second in a series on the Texas shooting. Several hundred of whom apparently read the linked stories and/or other posts. There were a number of good and interesting comments. Thank you to everyone who linked to it and drove that frenzy.

Thank you! I also want to take the time to thank my regular readers, all five of you (grin), who show up every day and make good and productive comments. Your comments often flesh out and add substantially to my posts. Thank you.

For those interested, the first story in the series is here and the third story in the series is here.

Today may be a little slow. Weather changes have me down, and I am also cooking after grabbing fresh boneless/skinless chicken breasts and fresh ground chuck on sale for $2.99/lb yesterday. Freezing one package of chuck, cooking one in a few, and the chicken has been in the oven for about three hours already at 250 degrees in a mix of roasted habanero salsa (with cilantro and key lime juice), green enchilada sauce, and lime juice. Tomorrow I make a batch of chicken enchiladas and one of beef.

More soon, and we will be getting back to preparedness/Preparedness Pays here soon. Unless the politicians do something more stupid than usual, or a major disaster happens, posting will be lite today.

Want to share a joke just for the grins of it: Headline: World’s largest meeting of prostitutes underway in Davos. Large number of sex workers in attendance as well.

If I do a philosophical post here soon, it will be on the topic of which is the oldest profession. Think I can make a case for politics being the oldest, with prostitution being the second and far more honorable profession.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving to the SW, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Bleep The RLF!

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving to the SW, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Back, sorta. Even with the new fiber optic modem, we’ve been having some issues with bandwidth and service. On Saturday, the problems increased and by Sunday morning we had no service at all. I’m able to do a bit by cell phone, but not a lot. Really need to set up at least some emergency posting on the site from the phone…

Yesterday, we had two different technicians out, and found out we were not the only people in the area who lost our fiber optic service. The culprits are well known to the company: the Rodent Liberation Front. Turns out that their shock troops, the squirrels, are well known to the company to be active in this area with the chewing of cables and terminals. On the latter, they chew or claw enough for water to get it, which then freezes, which takes out multiple households.

It was interesting watching the second technician back a bucket truck down the driveway (old and narrow) to get to the terminal, but he did it. Things are fixed, and it is nice to have full bandwidth back.

Posting may still be lite this week for a couple of reasons. First, the body and I have been having a series of disagreements. Part is weather, which is locking me up and making me very unhappy about the incoming winter storm. In fact, I’m having to change my plans and schedule in regards grocery shopping as my planned foray may not be able to take place. The other I’m not sure about but boy howdy has my body been cranky with me. Not a fun time at all.

Second, between the body being cranky and and some unexpecteds, I may be offline a bit. I really don’t have much family left, but will be reaching out to several and some friends over the next few days. If you have friends and family, do reach out. Remember, Christmas is a rough time of year for many, check in, check up, and reach out!

Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the RLF waited until the storm hit to send out a suicide squirrel to take out power to as many as possible. Be just their style.

Meantime, stock up and prepare, as it looks like winter weather is going to hit a large part of the U.S. here shortly. Be safe, be good, and survive with style no matter what the weather or the RLF try to do.

UPDATE: I saw something somewhere from someone letting me know my RSS feed may have issues. Thanks for letting me know, and I will be looking into that.

More soon.

PayPal Redux

Another day, another call to PayPal about closing my account. Been doing this multiple times since the 9th, which was (I think) the first day I called about closing the account.

Same thing as then. Technical error of some type is preventing the account from being closed. Technical is working on it and when (and if) they get it fixed someone will get back to me. Promise. Really. Pinky Swear! Yeah, right.

Taking it off has hurt. Badly even. Still don’t regret it though I admit almost tempted to put it back up until we can get it closed. That said, trying not to reward their behavior (any of it) on any level. Working on mail-in and more, now that I’m not wasting an hour plus with them, maybe I can finish getting GabPay set up. More soon.


If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving to the SW, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo or drop me a line to discuss other methods. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.