blogging / Life / Lori / Paladin the cat / writing

Of Chris Kyle,giant worms and good deeds

It is 4;51 am

Listening to wind howl outside my den’s window. Its bitterly cold out,temps are very low and we are having snow flurries. The roads are very slick outside the main streets. It is a day one is glad to be home on,soon I will head to bed and the cheetah will bury himself under his blanket. I am going to cue up The Projection Booth podcast and listen as Mike White and Robert St. Mary talk about the fun classic monster movie, “Tremors” which starred Fred Ward and Kevin Bacon. Always have enjoyed that movie,a nice blend of thrills and humor also with wise casting including Reba and Michael Gross as pre-Doomsday Preppers preppers. When I saw the length of the podcast (almost three hours) I was wondering…I mean I like the movie but talking about for three hours?? Turns out they also talk about the three sequels and the short lived TV series which only featured Michael Gross as Bart Gummer.

Been trying to come up with something to write about that would hold my new reader’s interest,been feeling sluggish as of late. Part of that is my working overnights at my job since basically November,part of it is nasty insomnia. We haven’t had anywhere the snow we had last year but we do have the cold. I really haven’t gone out much other then work and paying bills/errands. I did venture to my local Dollar Tree in time for another DVD sale,I picked up some fun titles of most obscure stuff and some small film collections that Mills Creek has put out. Mills Creek has taken over the value DVD market by storm it seems,most everything I have seen this company put out has been for folks on a budget. They do a lot of double/triple feature releases of which I have picked up a few.

3 Feb 15

5:32 am

Its a bitterly cold morning….SE Michigan is still reeling hard from the third largest storm in its history,we had 16.7 inches of snow dumped on our area. I was lucky,I didn’t have nearly that,maybe 8 inches or so. I made a quick run to Target before the snow was scheduled to start,I skipped the grocery stores,the lines were completely stupid with folks buying like it was the end of the world as we know it.
Target was pretty empty as I drove into the lot. I grabbed a cart and walked in…while the store was empty,it didn’t mean that people hadn’t been there as the shelves were pretty lean in some sections. I picked up some cheetah treats,some orange juice,bread,coffee cream and a few other things.
I shopped fast because I wanted to be home before the storm hit,I also got some gas for the Rodger Young…you don’t want to get caught with a low gas tank in weather like this.
The snow started to fall at 2 am and it was a gentle start. My insomnia was up as always,the cheetah and I were watching a movie when it started to snow. Sunday morning came and I peeked outside,it wasn’t too bad,it was perfect to get out there and start my shoveling. Finished my driveway and see that my  neighbor’s son is also out shoveling so I walk over and help shovel his driveway and sidewalk.
After so lunch and some puttering,I got tired so I laid down for a short nap at 2 pm. I was planning on going to watch the Super Bowl over at my friend Sue’s house. You can imagine my surprise when I woke up with the cheetah curled up under the blanket and it was dark outside. I checked my clock and it was 10:30 pm!! I slept my way through the game. But what I was worried was the snow…I was expecting pure hell as the weather gurus said that the heavy stuff was supposed to hit at night. I left the cheetah in his warm spot,got dressed and went outside.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that it wasn’t very bad…I grabbed my shovel and got at it. Other then a faint snowblower,I was the only one outside shoveling. And as I shoveled,I started talking to Lori. Out loud. I talked about our first snow in Livonia,how we walked down Savoie St down to Six Mile and then through the Greek church. The snowball fights,making snow angels,having hot cocoa and just talking.
I kept talking as I shoveled,I lost track of time but before long,I was done…I walked over and got my mail and went back inside.
Of course later on the snow plow came by and buried my drive way…but the snow was pretty light and I was able to clear it pretty quickly. Sometimes the snow is pretty heavy and its a beast to move it…but not this time. I left the front door so the cheetah could watch me shovel. He didn’t too impressed until I came in and hooked him with some treats. We are supposed to be getting several shots of snow this week…guess old man winter wants to pack 3 months of snow in one month. One interesting note,many folks left their Christmas lights up,we had no snow in December and Christmas lights only standout when we have snow on the ground. Once the snow hit,it was like Christmas all over again.

I have gotten a lot notes in private asking me what I felt  about the movie “American Sniper”. I have not seen it nor will I til it hits the dollar bin. I heard what Michael Moore said about calling snipers “cowards” and while I like Michael,he was so dead wrong about this. While I feel Chris Kyle was a liar and probably was a bit of a psychopath,I do not think he was BEFORE his service. Snipers are certainly no cowards and are in fact,some of the bravest soldiers in ANY countries military. It takes a special kind of courage to embed ones self near the front line or even behind enemy lines to carry out missions. Truth be told,a lot of missions have a low survival rate simply because of the counter fire a sniper draws. The mental stress a well placed sniper can cause can cause a offensive mission to be postponed or draw key infantry or air assets to be diverted just for that ONE team.
A exceptional sniper can cause such a moral problem that troops will be very nervous about going into any area the shooter is at. A sniper is brave,a deadly shot,fearless but a coward? Hell no…

It takes more then being a good shot or spotter to become a sniper,you have to pass many psych tests before going into the field,they just don’t allow anyone to become a sniper anymore then the air force allow just anyone to fly a F-22 or the navy allowing a sailor to command a destroyer. There are several checks and balances before one becomes a specialist like a sniper. Chris Kyle passed those tests. He was a excellent soldier and that will never be doubted. The official kills he had was 173….spread over four combat tours. And that where the wheels come off in my opinion. Kyle served two tours too many. Why he was allowed to serve those additional tours is really the question we need to be addressing. It where the Army failed Kyle totally and no,I don’t care if he volunteered to go back,he should have been denied. The man had done his duty for his country. He should have been rotated back into a instructor’s role only,pass on those skills he gained while stationed in Iraq. Instead,he was allowed to go back and this is where I think the man cracked mentally.

Four tours of looking through a high powered scope at a target,a enemy soldier,a human being and pulling the trigger…that will affect anyone and I don’t care what anyone thinks,it does. It will slowly warp you in some seriously ugly ways. Kyle was no different,his own book has shown that in the straight out lies he told. Shooting 30 Americans during Katrina,killing two crooks in Texas,knocking out Jesse Ventura (which cost his estate 2 millions dollars in a libel suit Ventura rightfully won).
The very stupid idea of taking PTSD soldiers shooting (shooting!!!!!) which led to his and another man’s death is tragic. I don’t know what he was thinking in doing that,the very last thing you would want to subject a combat veteran too would be gunfire/noise of any kind.  Was his thinking process,lack of common sense the type of man Kyle was before his multiple deployments? One has to question this because I just don’t think anyone would do this. I know of a family whose son was killed in Iraq after only three days incountry. He had served in Afghanistan before being sent into the sandbox. His parents created a legacy in their son’s name,a small private and peaceful place where soldiers could spend a week in quiet with their loved ones. No stress,no loud noises,no shooting….
Do I think Kyle was a “hero”? I am the wrong one to ask that,he may have been one in the Army but certainly not one afterwards. I think he was a broken spirit,twisted in ways that no one knew about. Now if the Army takes heed of what happened to his during his four tours and does it best to never let this happen again,then perhaps Kyle’s life will be known more for saving lives then taking them.

My friend Sue called me the weekend before last and wanted to go to the bookstore. This means the Barnes and Noble in Ann Arbor but since it was a little late,we headed to the store Lori and I always went to in Northville. I have only been up there twice since Lori has been gone. It always gives me goosebumps when I go inside,so many memories come flooding back…the store was pretty busy for a chilly Saturday night. The cafe area had extra seating so we found a table and then some books. I will have to agree with Sue about one thing,this store is so much smaller then A2’s store. The selections are not nearly as good because the A2 store is probably 4 times bigger. But we still enjoyed the people watching and the coffee. My friend Paul wasn’t working,sort of strange not seeing him there.
We started talking about different writers and cool series that were fun to read. Sue took my advice and decided to test out Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware series by buying a book on the discount  shelf. I am hoping she digs it as much as I have for the most part. Since she reads at such a fast pace,I should know soon if she liked or not.
I found the current edition of Combat Air Monthly (because that store hasn’t carried Fangoria since forever) and as we check out,I started to pay with my debit card when Sue reminded me of the gift card she had given me for Christmas…sometimes I wonder how I tie my shoelaces together at times.
This had been my first real outing in quite a while,as of late,its just been work and home. But I had a really nice time. But I have to agree,Ann Arbor is the place to go for books,Northville is strictly for the memories.

Detroit made the news this week in a rare feel good story. Seems like a 56 year old man makes a 23 mile trek every day to his factory job. He takes public transit part of the way but its mostly by Pat and Charlie that he makes it. He had a car but it broke down 10 years ago and not being able afford to get it fixed and getting insurance as well,this gentleman walks. A local banker noticed him and sometimes is able to give him a ride. He has perfect attendance at his job,at which he makes 10.55 an hour. His plant manager is so thankful for his good work and loyalty that his wife makes him a dinner every night he works.
This is not a easy walk,he walks through Highland Park,a cesspool of broken lives,high crime and black genocide. In fact,this the city that Clint Eastwood filmed Gran Tarino in,they didn’t need a set designer to do any work,its that bad. This gentleman got jumped there and beaten up.
Well someone shared his story with a local writer for one of the newspapers and the reporter went with the man to and from his job…and wrote the story. A young teen started a crowd fundraiser with the goal of getting the man 25,000 for a good car and insurance. The story has touched the hearts of many people and they have raised almost 300,000 for this man. I am sure his banker friend will help protect those assets for him…

Its weird,this story touched hundreds of people while another story shared…a young woman with a chronically ill child also needs a car so she can take her child to the various doctors. This woman has only gotten 100.00 dollars…famed defense attorney Norman Yatooma stepped in and helped her get a used car but in Detroit having a car is only half the battle,the insurance rates are some of the highest because of the staggering crime rate in the city. To have a car but not afford to carry insurance…..
In regarding crowd fundrasing,I guess it carries a nasty backlash that I wasn’t aware about….I saw the following posted on writer/podcaster Josh Hadley’s FB page in regarding this. I thought it was wonderfully written and I am glad he is allowing me to reprint it here:

“There are a lot of cold and arrogantly disgraceful people out there. I have seen an increase in funds and posts asking for financial help due to a varying degree of circumstances where people really need help. That is not the disgraceful part, what I am talking about are the proto-humans who think that asking for a hand is the same as asking for a handout. On many of these fund pages I see comment after comment about “just get a job, McDonalds is always hiring’ or “cut your hair and work like the rest of us” and I saw one guy who’s response to a post about help “scum like you are the reason america is going downhill”. This was in response to someone who’s life was falling apart and asked for a hand. People fall down sometimes, they need help getting back up and too many people stand above them and hold them down instead of offering a hand.

Do you know what hunger is like? I can’t remember the last time my fridge was stocked, I can’t remember the last time I didn’t have to wonder if I had enough food to make it through a week. Do you know what it’s like to live on always being a week behind and always having to stop some kind of disconnection? Every time the phone rings I have a moment of dread that it’s yet another bill collector. I live like this every day. Do you know what it’s like to not know if when you go to bed you will have electricity upon waking or if your car will still be in the driveway come morning? I do and so do many others. Help them, they are not begging, they are not lazy scum who are looking to coast through life, they are real people who need your help. You know what will honestly give you a feeling of accomplishment? Don’t spend that $5 on a movie rental, help someone eat. You don’t need that DLC of extra skins and armor for that new game… use that money to keep someone’s lights on for another week. Look around you and you will see people that are living minute to minute and are only asking for a little help. Just help out random people in need.

I help out people whenever I can. When I had it, I gave to charities, I bought food for people that needed it, you can too. I am asking that if you are one of the people that thinks posting an online McDonalds application under a fund or thinks that there ARE jobs out there, think again. There are no jobs, there is only the hopeless despair that comes from a constantly grumbling stomach and the ever encompassing fear of having what little you have retained of your humanity stripped from you. Act human and if you take issue with this, so be it, but you will have proved my point about you being a proto-human and not a real person. Charity is not a dirty word.”

And with the breaking news that our 5.6 unemployment is a big lie,of course it is,it has been ever since Obamacare was put into law,people still the help and compassion of others. As I wrote,I couldn’t afford to run my furnace,the bills last year were beyond high and there is no way I can afford it. Jalyne,one of folks that Lori touched in her life,took compassion on the cheetah and myself. She sent me enough for a month of heat and with our sudden burst of winter,it came just in time. I am grateful for the help and I in turn,donated to the woman with sick child. Its a chain of compassion and we all need to help each other out the best we can. I know I sound corny and old fashioned but that is how I feel.


Well I guess I will wrap this up….if you made it this far,thank you. Feel free to drop a comment down below.

If you are on Twitter,follow me @Jinzo_2400

Shout outs:

Scorpion- so glad you are back! Try and stick around this time
Josh Hadley – Thanks for letting me post this. It was perfectly written.
Sue – Ann Arbor from now on….
Mick Gray – thank you for the kind works
Brad – This is why I respect you,despite everything,you fight on. That respect is earned,every day.
Camille – Hope I make the cut!!
Monique – Off to find Jurassic City despite the sad ending! Once I watch it,I will post a review here.
Deb – so sorry about Bella,she was a lovely cat and I am sure Andre and you are missing her very much.
Howard – the next storm….I am calling for the husky!!!
Michelle and Brad – How about a snow warning next time!!
Diane L- thank for the roses and hearts every week. Its a ray of light..
Jalyne – Thank you again so much for allowing me to keep the cheetah warm in January!!
TLW – Thank you for your support as well!


8 thoughts on “Of Chris Kyle,giant worms and good deeds

  1. The issue of multiple deployments looms large and is the subject of many psychological studies. This is a marked difference from Vietnam when most soldiers were deployed once or twice but no more than that. Maybe because I’m sensitive to this issue and the issue of veterans, I thought the film American Sniper did point that out. Thought the film was good, brought up some important issues, and I’m currently reading the book. As far as living with a bare fridge and worrying about being able to put gas in your vehicle; I hear you, brother. Loud and clear. And I work full time and have worked 2 jobs most of my life and STILL can’t make ends meet.

  2. This was one of your best blogs yet Michael. Really opened my eyes to different things. I’m so happy your Cheetah found you. Hugs~

  3. Sorry about no snow warning, but the “big snow” you got never hit us. We just got a very light dusting, I don’t even think it was an inch, but enough to run a shovel across. I look out the window & it’s mostly brown.

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