Armed Forces, Veterans, and Memorial

This will probably become my perennial Memorial Day post. It’s not the kind of thing that I’ll have a ton to add to, it’s just something we all need to do on the regular.

The book I think of most for Memorial Day is FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS, by James Bradley. The review is above. It’s these books that will help us understand what it costs to create a nation and protect it from tyranny.

To me, that’s what Memorial Day is. Remembering the country we have, and what we enjoy in it, and those who died to give us that ability to enjoy it. They don’t get to have it. They just paid for it. We’re living on their work.

I touched on the idea of the price of a nation in HOWLING WILDERNESS, during a draft of the first chapter. This might not make it into the final version but that’s fine. The sentiment is there.

“Fifty years,” Lady Vandervoort said, her voice lowering just a touch, her eyes going distant. “None of it happened here. It wasn’t on Katahdin, it wasn’t in Maine. We trained in Virginia. Built mimics in the Ohio. Crossed Pennsylvania. Fell into a trap in New York. Finished the fight in New Jersey. This place…this place had nothing to do with it. But we are free here, because of what was done there. Fifty years I’ve carried the memories of that day, and all the hard days before it. Now here we are…finding this uniquely Merykan way to celebrate what we have.

“This? This is the anomaly. Life isn’t like this. Hasn’t been like this for most people in most places for most of the time we’ve walked the earth. Life is war and chaos and brutality and subjugation, speckled with tiny moments of peace along the way. This is peacetime. Enjoy it for what it is. Remember what it cost to get you all here. Have fun bombing around in the woods and the swamps, I guess, but know that you hold a diamond in your hand. It isn’t yours, it’s just yours to take care of. People died to find it, to pull it out of the ground and cut it and shine it up so you can look at it and see how pretty it is.

“Make sure it stays that way. One of you little bastards is going to win this thing and get a Council appointment. The diamond isn’t yours to spend. It’s yours to preserve. Think about that for the next two thousand miles.” She chuckled, lost in some distant memory. Then she sighed. “See you at the other end of this. Good luck.”

The cultured reader will know who Lady Vandervoort is from the original Engines of Liberty trilogy. If you don’t know, I won’t spoil the surprise.

Anyway. Celebrate well, and use this day for what it really means.

Channel Recommendation: Erik Grankvist

Every passing day I get a stronger urge to do more work with my hands, to be a maker, a real analog learner. I’m only getting closer to 40 and I haven’t achieved the more important stuff I set out to achieve in life.

My garage? Not a workshop. It’s full of mostly other peoples’ stuff, and bicycles. No workbench. One modest tool box and a cart with a bunch of junk on it.

I’m going to fix that this summer. In the meantime, look at this Swedish kid who bounced out of high school and started just straight-up DOING things. You want to talk about memes and masculine urges where you ditch society and build your own life in the wild?

He’s literally doing it.

Gotta get my arse in gear.

Post-Kentucky Catch-Up

Hi DreadHeads,

I was in Kentucky last week. I spoke about it on the most recent episode of Radcracker.

Listen here in your browser: https://anchor.fm/radcracker/episodes/Graham-Spends-A-Week-In-Kentucky-e1ircht

Mostly I was there for work, but I had a hot minute to check out some local sights on Friday night. Gorgeous state, gorgeous scenery. It just rained a ton and turned everything green, and I liked that.

On the way back to LVille from Benton

Culbertson Mansion in New Albany, IN

Because Louisville is right across the river from Indiana, my branch is zoned for that part of the state, and I got to make a few deliveries in an old historical district.

And since I was close enough to it, I checked out the Louisville Temple. Wasn’t able to do a session, but I walked the grounds.

Louisville Temple

Anyway, I’m back in the saddle now and returning to work on HOWLING WILDERNESS.

BREAKING: Beets taste like dirt

And they always have.

For serious though, I’m shoving more vegetable smoothies down my gullet to crush my hunger cravings and prevent me from eating soy-infused corn sold by truck stops. I desire to once more weigh 180 lbs.

I deserve this suffering for the money I have spent ingesting food unfit for the body my Woad ancestors bestowed upon me. I shall report further.

Like this post if you want me to share my daily weight on the bathroom scale when I wake up.

State of the Dread: May 2022

For the final week of April I was on vacation. It was nice to stay up late and sleep in and do more of what I want to. Considering retirement now.

Writing

I wrote 16,000 words in HOWLING WILDERNESS. It’s coming together. It’s a predictable hot mess, but yeah, it’s coming together. Not going to put a deadline on this one. I’m tired of deadlines. I’m tired of not controlling enough in my own life and my own schedule so I’m just going to do as much of it as I can, as quickly as I can, and go from there.

Maybe if I actually sold books once in a while I wouldn’t have to make all my money off of trucking 50+ hours a week. Whatever.

Reading

4 books total, 2 print, 2 audio. I didn’t read as much in April. Spent a lot of time listening to podcasts. I also tried a manga that I’ve heard of and the very first page was the protagonist male plowing some chick who turned out to be a huge demon monster, so yeah, I bailed on that. I’m back into some good stuff this month, including more Tolkien. Why is there so much bad writing out there?

Art

I finished this really cool drawing of me with my Durango as an Autobot. My next project is for a YouTube video.

Audio

Radcracker Podcast posts every week, except for this last week. Didn’t record while I was on vacation. EofL audio podcasts are coming eventually. Don’t know when, don’t care.

Video

Latest video is here, I talk about some Sanderson books. Managed to add 10 more subscribers this month. Thanks you guys.

Fitness

Didn’t exercise and I ate like garbage. I’m going full Nazi on it this month and I’ll report back on Memorial Day. I don’t care, I DO NOT CARE.

Other

GET BACK TO WORK

Regretting the idiocy of my younger years

I’m guessing it’s a hallmark of getting older that you find something to cringe at when you reflect on your past.

For me this has happened a few times over the last couple of years, namely in the political realm. It’s never been more apparent than when Mitt Romney slithers his way into the news, or when literally anything about the Federal Reserve pops up.

So here it is (and I’ve said this on MeWe a few times) in brutal simplicity:

If I had a time machine, 2022 me would go back to 2008 or 2012 and pimp-slap younger me for ever making fun of Ron Paul.

(In my defense, a great deal of my opposition to Paul had to do with the maniacal cultish insanity of his loudest followers, but that’s not really fair to do. I just ran into them all the time.)

Anyway, this is revelant because this popped up online earlier this week.

Eesh.

I’ve got a book about the Fed that I’m gonna read this year. Review pending.

Trying something new with Radcracker

Instead of doing several small episodes per week, I’ve decided to do one big episode of the main podcast. It’ll drop every Friday. Here’s the first one, and the next one lands tomorrow. They won’t all be 45 mins, but hey, sit down and turn on a game and listen to my opinions.

Funeral for a Hound

Last week my dog Bo Duke died. He’d just turned 10 years old. Complications from diabetes did him in. He’d been giving us scares for the last few months and though the meds helped stabilize him, the turn came fast and it was hard to say goodbye to him.

He’s the fourth dog I’ve lost in my life, and the first that was really my own. I talked about him on the channel, and shared a Paulsen book as well that you might not have read yet.

Anyway, RIP Bo Duke. See you on the other side.

Decoupling from Amazon: Yerba Mate Edition

I’ve been a yerba drinker since my time in Spain. While I don’t use the traditional gourd or packing methods, I do have my preferences for flavors and brands.

Over the past couple of years I’ve been trying to buy fewer things on Amazon and instead support other businesses. Amazon has been good in a lot of ways but bad in others and too much power in one place is bad, so there you go.

Thus my searching has led me to www.goyerbamate.com and that’s where I buy my stuff. I can get the big names like Rosamonte, CBSe, and Amanda, but they’ve got plenty of other brands too and I cycle through them so I’m trying new stuff. I didn’t think it would make a huge difference but I can tell when I’m drinking one or the other. Kind of cool.

If you’re into yerba, give them a try.