Saturday, October 30, 2010

Surrender

It looks like our little Walmart standoff made national news. In the end, the guy, a Walmart employee was to be confronted about his behavior. The guy was on suspension pending termination and escorted from the store by a few people before the shooting ever happened. Wednesday morning, he comes into the store and confronts a manager and two other employees who he proceeds to shoot. One gets shot in the leg, one the shoulder and one the chest. The leg goes home after treatment yesterday at the hospital and the other two are still being treated. After 6 hours of being holed up in the store, the guy surrendered. No one heard any shots even though there were some 48 shots fired because it happened behind two double doors. That all makes sense now. I did hear arguing. That's why I wanted to get off the phone with my mom. So while no one has come out to say, I believe there must have been a confrontation of some sort before the shootings. Why else would there have been arguing? Unless he was arguing after he shot people and that's when the managers told everyone to get out of the store. I suppose theories will never end until he actually goes to court and everything comes out. So we'll just have to wait.

In other news, some other crazy person committed suicide that same day by jumping from a 10 story building. I've kind of had a little bit of an agoraphobic feeling towards Walmart in the end. I'm not sure just how much I want to go back there. I know I'll go back because of their low low prices but seriously, the crazy people that go there and work there are a little too much sometimes.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Rule 17: Don't Be A Hero

The morning was a little different than usual. I had Friday off for Nevada Day. I took Charlie to school and headed to Walmart to get a few things. I was browsing around what seemed to be a more empty than usual day at Walmart on Kietzke and S. Virginia. It was around 8:27am and I was on the phone with my mom. I told her I had to go because there was some sort of ruckus and I wanted to see what was going on. I was hoping to see a fight or something. The next thing I know, I hear more yelling and a manager yelling and running, "EVERYBODY OUT NOW!!!" I left my cart near the pull-ups which I was contemplating getting for Charlie and ran as fast as I could to the exit. I recall having to slow down a bit because my moccassins were slipping on the tile floors. I kept thinking in my mind, "It's a gun and I'm not going to be a hero." My plan was to get the hell out of there and get back to safety, that being my home. So I ran as fast as I could, never looking back, because everyone knows the number one rule is to not look back because looking back slows you down. I got to the parking lot and there was a man and woman on a phone and the woman asked him what he was doing and he said, "I'm calling 911!!!" as if to question her logic. I asked what happened and they said someone got shot. OK. How is it I was a few aisles away from what happened and from the shooter yet I hadn't heard gunfire or known that there was a shooting? I got in my car and left, not waiting to find out anything else. We turned on the police scanner and listened to the events unfold as no news channels were airing what I think is a pretty big story.

So basically what I can gather at this point: a at Walmart shot someone with what was described as a "mid size silverish handgun". Originally one employee thought they saw a shotgun, but no shotgun was found. The suspect ran into an office and was then trapped in the office. Police units have him trapped still and are checking the store for victims, witnesses, evidence and clearing the place out. They're clearing any additional guests leaving including what I find to be amusing, CCW holders. I guess it's nice to see that I'm not the only person who decided not to be a hero today.

****UPDATE****

News is now covering it and three people were shot.  More details on the news. The end.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I'm On A Boat!!!

Yesterday was my sister's 30th birthday party. She doesn't turn 30 till the 28th and wanted to do something big because it was a big deal. You only turn 30 once. She didn't want her party to conflict with anyone's Halloween plans so it was decided to be last night. I flew out all by my lonesome to meet up and help her get ready. Because of Obama coming out, my trip from LAX to Van Nuys on the Flyaway took forever, but I managed to get out there close to 4 pm. We ran to get the cake and a few things at Target and then got to working on getting ready. They started letting people on the boat when we got there so it was cool. Anyway, it was soooooo much fun!!! Imagine having a bunch of people you love being around all dressed up, on a boat, with a bar, snacks, deserts, dancing and karaoke and that's what you get. We got to hear all the songs we wanted and sing the songs we wanted, in the case of some of the guys, the same song multiple times. No one cared and it was all good fun. Everyone looked great and there's not a single picture I have where anyone is not smiling. OK, maybe a few WTF faces to someone doing something funny or ridiculous but it was all in good fun. After the party, we hung out for a bit and then headed home. I was super hungry so we got some Del Taco, even though I wanted Taco Bell. It reminded me of a classic "Oliver" moment when he tried to order me Nachos Bell Grande at a Del Taco drive through. Anyway, by the time I got back to my parents' house, took a shower and ate my Del Taco, it was 3 am. I had to be up around 5:30 to get ready to go to the Flyaway to get to LAX for my flight. My mom woke up late because for whatever reason the alarm went off at 6:00 instead. I got up, got dressed and shuffled off to the Flyaway. I was lucky enough to get the 6:45 bus and got to LAX early enough to get on my plane. I forget how much I hate that airport until I get there. I had an hour to wait till my flight after I got through security and I sat down with some McDonalds. Much to my dismay, there were two very annoying teenage girls with their mom to the left of me and they kept saying the same thing over and over and over again. Fortunately they left after about 20 minutes for their flight, but they were replaced by 5 of the most shallow and idiotic 20 something girls who sat behind me. They were going to Vegas and talking about getting shots at 8:30 am. The thought of it made me want to barf. I only had 3 beers last night between getting ready to go and actually being on the boat. I planned it purposely so I wouldn't be all hung over and sick feeling today. So I feel fine outside of being ungodly tired and hopped up on coffee to stay awake and I have their meaningless banter making my head spin. They struck me as the kind of girls if you asked who their hero was they'd say Ke$ha or  something under the pretense they like how she dresses or something absurd along those lines. I wish I could just slap them all with my clutch and tell them to get a life. Then one leaves and comes back with this big gulp size cup that has some sort of "tequilla and lemonade drink" as she put it. Classy. I'm glad I wasn't flying to Vegas. On both trips up and back, I had to sit next to women who were completely selfish travelers and insisted on leaning onto my seat even though they could have leaned into the seat of their friend/boyfreind/husbands(?) to the left of them. The one on the way up was the worst though because she was all sweaty and had her air on full blast. I had my air off because I was cold. Being cold and sweaty sucks. Being cold and sweaty from someone else's sweat that is leaning on you is repulsive and sickening. That being said, the same woman insisted on lifting her arm rest a bit to adjust a giant leopard print pillow she brought with her. Both flights were full so it was really annoying. My back hurts from leaning into my window and sitting all cramped to not get squished by the women on the left of me on both trips. Anyway, I'm pretty tired and feel completely gross and I'm debating going to Petco for their Halloween costume contest for pets.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

CHRISTMAS LIST 2010!!!

OK, I'm too lazy to set up an Amazon list or a wishlist this year so if you're lost for ideas here goes:

Fuzzy pink house shoes
Shotgun shell thermos
Mini-deep fryer
New Converse
Anything with pugs or guns
Travel mug with a twist on lid (bonus points for a pug or gun theme!)
1 - 5 lbs of Brazillian Coffee beans from Fairly Grounded (CAFFEINATED!!!)
White or Red pea coat
Donut Pan
Bread pan (I have one and I'd like another! Bonus points if you get one that matches my current pan!)
Remington 870 21" vented turkey barrel
Clothes (see sizes below)
bottoms - large, 10 or 11
tops - large (or medium)
shoes - 8 dress, 8.5 casual
Jewelery - I don't discriminate against shiny things or things of crazy colors and textures :)
Knife - I guess this is a little personal, but I'd like a nice utility knife, not so crazy like a Leatherman, but maybe something like a basic pocket knife with a knife, scissor, file, and screwdriver option. Bonus points for an ivory, pink, or yellow handle.
Rubix Cube
Body Pillow

*** Keep posted as this list may get updated upon future dates. Also, this is simply a guide to aid in ideas. Feel free to stray from the list.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quail Hunt 2010

One of the things I've wanted to do for the longest time was get into hunting and I started this year. I was able to get into the  butt end of dove season, but there wasn't a single dove in sight the two times I went out, so I waited eagerly for quail season to begin. Let me tell you, the 9 days it took for quail season to open seemed like FOREVER! But the day came and I joined my friend Jen in Yerington for what was supposed to be a morning quail hunt that turned into a two day adventure.

Yerington is a nice little farm town an hour and a half away from me. I love it out there and have no problems going out there because it's great! I left the house at 6:30 and got to Jen's around 8:15 because of a little bit of morning traffic. She just got back from taking her kids to school and we transferred the shotguns to her car and headed out to hunt. Our hopes were high. When we got out, we saw another truck of guys and they were going in a different direction. We made the mistake of not getting bug spray, of course we didn't know we needed any. After an hour or so of getting attacked by mosquitos and remembering the dozens of West Nile Virus warning signs we saw when we first came in, we left to get bug spray and returned.

Ready to hunt with my little partner, Lulu, the hunting pug or Bird Dog Lu. 

Upon our return, we tried another spot. First, I saw something big dart out a little ways away and said it's either a coyote or a deer. Not too much longer, we saw it was in fact a deer. A nice sized plump doe who had that "deer caught in headlights" look when it saw us and then boinked away into the distance. We kept thinking what a great thing it would be to have a deer tag there and then. We heard the distinct "ooo-hoo-hoo" sound of quail and followed it until we came across some. It started with one. It flew up out of the sage brush and I took a shot at it. Missed. My one shot resulted in a coven of at least 40 quail to fly up ahead of us. We followed them into some thick brush until we got to an irrigation ditch. In order to get to the quail, we would have to jump the ditch. This was a rather interesting task. We could easily step into the water and cross, or we could literally jump. Being women, we decided it would be best to not get our socks wet and walk around in sopping wet shoes, so we unloaded our shotguns and crossed. I jumped across first with Lulu in hand, then Jen passed me the shotguns and followed. We reloaded and headed back to our pursuit of quail. Apparently they wised up because they weren't coming out for anything. After about an hour or so of no quail, we decided to call it a day and go get some lunch.

The irrigation ditch we had to hop.

Following lunch, we returned to Jen's home and I spent a nice deal of time with her older kids who are home schooled playing Rock Band. This has inspired me to use some money and invest in an XBox for the sole purpose of getting Rock Band. I like the drums and singing. I can't do the guitar to save my life. I had the famous "chipotledillas" for dinner and they are super awesome. Although I don't eat spicy foods enough to remember the detrimental effects they have on me. Basically, my DrPepper plus the chipotledilla was the formula to create the gnarliest gas bubbles causing me such sever stomach pains, I was just doubled over for the evening. * Note: Despite gas, I will totally eat them again because they're that awesome because gas goes away. The memories of chipoltedillas last forever! The evening ended with me deciding to stay another night and Jesse was going to have a "guy night" with Charlie and go get dinner and hang out and have some quality father/son time. Which is completely hilarious to me that I'm out hunting with the girls and Jesse's home having dinner with Charlie. Hopefully when he's older, Charlie will be going on father/son hunting trips to learn man-stuff while I stay home and get dinner with the girls. Our night ended with watching the movie Serenity which is like a post-apocalyptic space western zombie movie. I know, right!? That is a lot to put into one movie, but it works! And I am definitely going to watch Firefly now, which was the TV series that existed before the movie which inspired it, so says Jen and her kids, all with wide eyes and enthusiasm; her oldest son in his Jayne Cobb hat. Love the nerd factor. They snagged me in on it!

So a few things that I did not mention were that Jen's husband was out trying to find chukar while we were out looking for quail. He gave us a hard time about not shooting any quail when we got back, in good humor of course. When he returned, he asked us where we found them, Jen drew a map, and he went out in search of them. I kept going on about how I'd be so mad if he got one because those were OUR quail. I was plotting revenge, luckily, he didn't get any quail either so it all worked out in the end.

Tuesday was the final day of our quail hunt. We went back out and they were further back. It was back across the irrigation ditch and walking around trying to find them. I stumbled upon them and took a few shots but no luck. Jen and I left for lunch, returning in separate cars so I could head home when she had to get her girls from school. We parked the cars and within less than 10 minutes of leaving the cars, one lone quail flew out of the sage brush. I took a shot at him and missed. He was still within my range and I took a second shot and he went down. It was quite possibly one of the most exciting things I've ever experienced. I told Jen she could take Lulu and look for more quail while I get my bird.

Lulu hears some quail.

But I didn't get the bird. Maybe it was stunned and came back to and ran off when it landed. Maybe I wasn't checking far enough out, or maybe I was checking too far out. Maybe it didn't help that every sage brush looked the same. Whatever the case was, I spent over 2 hours looking for a bird that was not there. I spent more time looking for the bird once it was down than I did when it was alive trying to find a bird to shoot. The most baffling part was that I could see my car the whole time and I was wondering what the heck happened to the bird. I kept searching for it long after Jen went to get the girls and finally I just gave up. I figured if its down, someone will be getting dinner tonight, just not me. And if it was stunned and walked away, I'll get him next time.

The bitter look of defeat. Not finding my quail and giving up.
Anyway, I learned a few things from this trip. First and foremost, hunting is a lot harder than shooting clays. It's hard to focus on a bird to shoot when there are more than one in front of you. It's hard to focus on something that blends in with the environment around it. Even if it does go down, it's hard to find something when it blends in with it's environment. However, I did learn that I can shoot a bird if presented with an opportunity to do so. Despite the fact my Remington 870 Wingmaster is a pre-1986 model with no choke and an 18"  barrel and people laugh when I tell them I'm using it for hunting, I learned that it is a pretty comfortable gun to have to haul around thick brush because of it's size. I also discovered that despite where I'm going, bug spray will be with me at all times. Lulu is great at flushing quail. I wish I had a hat with a camera on it. I had a lot of fun. While I love fishing, I love eating birds more and I am so all about hunting now and trying to plot out my next hunting trip. I'm thinking probably some weekend after Halloween.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Zombie Vaccine

There had to be a cache somewhere around here. Shuffling through trees and leaves and nothing. I turned around and found myself alone. The shuffling continued. But it got louder as if someone was coming our way. No one was in sight. I called out for my friend but got no response. Only some muffled groans from off in the distance. It wasn't my friend, it was someone else. A zombie. I pulled out my .45 and shot him in the head. After all, that's how you get rid of them. We knew they were around lately but hadn't seen any of them. We just heard about it. It's like knowing a storm is on it's way and hearing about it but not seeing it. Then when it finally gets to you, you wish it didn't come, but you were glad to know it was real and not made up. Because it seemed a little too crazy to be true. I know my friend would be alright. I didn't have any physical proof other than a gut feeling, but my gut is always right. I headed back to the car but it was gone. My friend had left.

As I walked back towards the city, there was a school bus. I got on it and it drove up the freeway and got off on the Mill exit near GSR. There were no cars on the road other than the ones that were now on fire. Apparently a lot happened while we were gone. I'm not sure how I knew, but Jesse, Charlie and Lulu were with my parents. That was the plan. If anything happened, go to their home. Now it was up to me to meet them. The bus crashed into the side of the offramp and I crawled out of the emergency exit. I had my 870 with me this time.

I walked around the more industrial parts of Mill and came across a structure composed of aluminum sheets held together with some random fabrication materials. Inside was buzzing with action. Bloody people were trying to help others out amidst the tools and machinery. It was like a make-shift hospital. Some of the people were barking orders at others. I asked if I could help. They needed someone to assist with placing face masks. They figured if they could tack on sheet metal masks over the mouths or faces of the infected, they could save that person without destroying them and use them for labor.

Of course! Why destroy those mindless zombies when you could rehabilitate them to do something useful! Why hadn't anyone thought of that before? In other parts of the country, when others were just running from them allowing them to destroy their cities, this small group of vigilantes discovered a way to take charge and be industrious. They were the perfect workers. They didn't require food or sleep. They didn't require social happiness. They were like machines. When they fell apart, you could replace one with a new one. It was as if it were a human machine. Each mindless being did exactly as it was instructed to do. If you told one to staple metal to the face of a man who had been bit minutes ago and was in perfect health and not yet infected, the zombie worker would do so. If you told one to stand under a trash compactor which would result in destroying the zombie forever, it would do so. They would only comprehend the orders they were given and never question them. The zombie workers were every employer's dream employee.

I had spent too much time fascinating over the zombie workers. So much that I didn't realize there was a crowd of zombies headed towards me. They were not masked off and had the desire for flesh. They stopped and stared at me. I didn't know what to do. I gave them a command and they stared completely dumbfounded. I shuffled back slowly and they followed. But each time I was certain I was about to become a zombie, nothing happened. A few of them grabbed at my arms but then dropped them. One of the doctors turned around and looked as did a few of the patients.

"What's going on?" I asked.

No one seemed to have a response. The zombies poked at me some more and then turned away.

"You must be no good," one of the doctors said.

"Is that possible?" I asked.

Seriously, how is it one is not good enough for zombies. I'm a smart person. I have brains. I'm healthy. I think I would be more than good lunch for a zombie. But for whatever reason, they wanted nothing to do with me.

One of the doctors came up to me. "Let's do a blood test."

"Why?"

"You may be contaminated."

"I can't be. I haven't been bit."

"We can't be too sure. Maybe you got bit and didn't realize."

"I think I would know. I don't have any cuts or bruises. No signs of any bleeding that would imply I got bit. I'm pretty certain I'm not contaminated."

"Well maybe we can find out what's wrong with you."

I didn't like this. It seemed very weird now. I know, this should have been weird a long time ago, stepping into a weird factory hospital with zombie workers and doctors who weren't armed with any guns or anything but seemed to be operating fine in this so-called work environment.

I looked around and suddenly had the need to get a nail gun. It was important that I have one. I was going to go outside and see if I could test my "no-good" status on the zombies around me. A nail gun seemed like a good weapon but I wasn't sure if it would do the job or not.

Upon finding a nail gun, I walked outside of the building with a new crowd of zombies in trail. Once outside, a bunch swarmed to me, but again, none were interested. After a few pokes and curious looks, they lost interest and wandered back to rummaging in trash cans and walking the streets. I shrugged and went back inside.

"OK," I said to one of the doctors, "You can take some of my blood. I'm pretty sure whatever it is, the zombies aren't interested. Maybe we can make a vaccine with my DNA. Maybe it can be used to ward zombies from attacking people, or maybe you can test it to see if it cures zombiesm."

The doctor took a syringe and poked me in the arm drawing out a small amount of my blood. He then stuck the same syringe in a man near by him that was not infected and after shooting him up with a small amount, shot a small amount into a zombie.

I'm not sure what happened to the man because he disappeared into the building. I think my blood killed the zombie. Whatever happened, the doctors were fascinated and started to take my blood and separate it into various viles, adding chemicals and placing drops at a time on petri slides under lights and microscopes, some how generating new blood cells from my sample blood.

I turned around again and walked back out the door and headed towards the freeway as the sun was setting. I was going to meet up with my family and call it a day.

No Sense Trying To Make Any Sense Of Things

A strange occurrence happens every fall and that is with the arrival of each autumn, my brain goes into overdrive and starts to produce fantastically odd dreams every night. So, in honor of the season and Halloween coming up and the fact it's October and none other than "what the hell, why not?" I am going to share some recent dreams. Of course I will elaborate on them a little more and convert them to short stories for your reading entertainment. After all, my dreams are nothing more than a cesspool of rehashed versions of daily events, my subconscious, and memories, ideas, and worse, my imagination, which everyone knows is more than capable of being completely catastrophic and out of control. On that note, we'll see where my dreams lead me. Definitely some odd adventures with no resolutions. 'Tis life...