Let it Go, Let it Go....

I spent probably 8 hours over the weekend getting stuff out of the basement, and some of that with the wife cleaning out the pantry in preparation for The Move. We have exactly one month from today until the movers show up and we start a new phase of our life, living (back) in the city of Boston.

Most of the time I spent in the basement was going through boxes and boxes of STUFF I had been saving, some of which I had boxed up even before our previous move (13 years ago) into this house, and some of which had never been opened. Some of them had been ruined due to a water-heater blow out a few years ago, and most of the contents of those had been ruined.
Those of you who don't know, it's important to know that my personality is one of, "save that, it might be useful one day or I might want to play with/use/see it again." That extended to computers and computer parts, clothes, toys, gadgets, wires and cables from tech stuff I owned (or had once owned), even beer bottles from when I was brewing beer. Our basement was pretty chock-full of STUFF. Books from College courses we had taken were stored down there. Old appliances we hadn't yet decided to get rid of.
Some stuff was easy to get rid of: The College books are almost 20 years out of date, and of no real use to anyone, so out they went. Beer bottles and other bottles went into the recycling. Old computers, I finally admitted to myself I am going to do nothing with, and so out they went. They'll be put out for the pickers to hopefully take them, and if not, they'll go to a recycler. The monitors I have will go to Stapes, who will recycle them. I got rid of a pile of network, modem, video, sound and other kinds of computer cards. I had already recycled the huge pile of computer cables I had sitting around, and more of those went out to join them. We sorted through bags of shells and rocks we had collected on various vacations, and kept a select few to remind us of the places we'd been to, but chucked the rest out into the corner of the yard for folks to reuse them later on.
The hard stuff for me was the more personal stuff, school papers, things like that. I am keeping letters and pictures and writing that I did in school at various times, but I sometimes had multiple copies of things I was involved in ('Zines, poem collections, etc) and I winnowed everything down to a single copy of all the things. I also discovered the numerous envelopes that my mother had given to me containing the history of the financial aid situation for me when I was in College. Looking through these documents, I learned that my grandfather had loaned us the money for the application to Clark, so we could apply on time. I found out how close I was to not being able to continue College in my junior year due to financial hardship. I found the application letters I had written to the admissions office, talking about my life at the age of 17-18. I found the letters from my grandparents expressing their support and relief that I had gotten into a good College. It also made me realize how much I owe to my Mom, Kate Cox, and how HARD that time must have been for her financially, even with all the financial aid I received. And after I read all of this, I kept a few of the personal letters in that bunch of documents, and I shredded the rest. All told, I probably recycled 500 pages of paper.

I kept things because I always said, "Some day I'll want to look at this stuff again when I'm older." I realized that I'm older Now, and today can be The Day. I can let a lot of this stuff go. There are still many things that are family heirlooms that I have, that I may never let go, but I feel like I'm ready to let myself become a different person now, one that isn't holding on with both hands to my past "just in case." That "just in case" was always a kind of hedge, but the life I am living now is what has grown out of all of these things I was holding on to, so I suppose that everything I've been saving is already inside of me.

COG-Mechanic: Journal Entry #3

I am FREAKED the hell out right now. A Berserker almost made it into camp today. Jesus, those things are scary. It took almost all the Gears unloading on it to even slow it down enough, so that we could get a Hammer of Dawn attack called in on it. Good thing I spent the time fixing up and boosting those Silverbacks, or we would have been SPLATTERED all over the plain. I've spent the whole afternoon patching up computer systems, the EMP from the hammer is so wicked it fritzed out almost everything in the place.

Aside from that little diversion, everything's fine. I mean, aside from the fact that we've attacked twice in a few days. I asked the Gears if that was a normal rate of contact for an outpost like this, but no one seemed to want to answer me, so I'm guessing the answer is, "No." Whatever man, who fucking cares, the COG are so bad-assed, I feel like I could be standing here in my skivvies with Locust pouring over the walls, and I'd end up fucking FINE. Long live the COG!

COG-Mechanic: Journal Entry #2

Day 9 of my first rotation, and this was the first day with any real excitement. Most of my job involves cleaning little bits of bone out of the Lancers' chainsaw mechanism. It takes a lot to jam one of those, but get it stuck into a Locust femur, and apparently it can happen.
Anyway, they sent me out on a refit mission for an outpost on the edge of the patrolled area. They had some heavy equipment out there that was acting up, and I volunteered to go out there with the new patrol and check it out. I hadn't been out there an hour when the intruder alarm for the outpost started going off, and suddenly there were Locust coming over the wire and trying to get over the wall. I started hearing some pretty loud explosions close by, and I was gonna run for the shelter (all I had was my sidearm) but then I heard all the Gears laughing at the perimeter. Apparently, they had taken a page from the Locust tactics manual and mined the entire run-up area to the outpost. Most of the Locust had been destroyed immediately, but there were two or three left out there, standing still, looking around for more mines. It was pretty comical, and soon the Gears started taking pot-shots at the Locusts' feet, making them jump around. A few shots, a hop one way, until inevitably, they hopped onto a mine, and then Kaboom. The Gears just about fell down crying they were laughing so hard. Eventually, they got bored, and shot the remaining Locust drones, and they even let me shoot one, just so I could get my first combat medal! Sweet!
After that, everyone went back to their business of monitoring the recon stations, and I went back to getting their Silverback put back into working order. How they got that much Lambent goo into the interior gearing, I'll NEVER know, and none of them are owning up to it.

PS: I need to look into a shell-casing recycling program for these guys. They expend SO much ammunition, and never police any of their brass. Geez, guys, that shit costs money, you know!

COG-Mechanic: Journal Entry #1

Well, I made it! I finally achieved my lifelong dream and I finally became a COG today! Well, most of my lifelong dream. They said I was "physically insufficient" for front-line combat (which around here seems to mean under 6'5 and 265lb of solid muscle) so they... reassigned me. They made me a mechanic. Which, you know, is pretty cool! I get to fix the guys' Lancer rifles, oil up the chainsaw for ripping into crunchy locust shells and squishy lambent skins, recalibrate the scopes on the One-shots and shit like that. I also keep the Silverbacks running smooth, and find a way to cram all that ammunition into the magazines.... MAN these guys like to hose out the bullets like that shit's FREE. Oh well, I ain't paying for it!

Jacinto was destroyed just after I joined up, so it's a good thing I got the hell out of there. I saw some shit there that made me decide one day to join up. I was tired of hearing my friends were getting killed by the damned Locust, and all I could do was hide out in the basement and hope they wouldn't find me. Screw that, I wanted to fight! So now I'm doing my part, arming up the Gears to fight the Locust and the Lambents and keep us all from being destroyed. I'm proud to serve.

Oh, I forgot to mention, I'll be on light-duty for a few more days until my back heals up, I slipped on a huge pile of spent ammo casings and went down hard, wrenched my shit up pretty bad. But no worries, I'll be back on top of stuff and doing my part soon!

Corporal Jackson out!

State of the Fence

Today, with the great help of my friend Chris, we:

Tore out 80 feet of stockade fence
Filled up the old post holes with fill (cinder block bits, etc)
Dug 11 new post holes for the new fence
Excavated eleventy BILLION rocks from the new post holes.

My right wrist wants to fall off. Hurts like hell.

Tomorrow, new fence pieces are delivered, and we put up the new fence.

If anyone wants to help, feel free to drop by around 10am tomorrow. :)

Race against Leukemia - 2010 - Charity event!

I'm participating again in a charity race in a few days, an event called the Race Against Leukemia (RAL). Sponsored by the New England Region (NER) of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), the RAL weekend seeks to generate funds for the UMass Medical Center Hospital Leukemia Foundation. This is an event with a more than 20-year history, illustrating how dedicated NER is to giving something back to the community.

So how does it work, and what can you do? Drivers (that's me) collect donations or pledges, and for every $10 of donations I gather, I get one free lap of the course we set up to run on (One "Run"). I can also spend my "Runs" on giving free rides to other drivers.

There are no prizes for winning. This is just a fun event solely for generating donations for the UMass Medical Center. We're racing for fun, and for the RAL itself!

Here's the webpage of what the weekend is about. http://www.ner.org/region/racing-against-leukemia

As this is a charity, this is a tax deductible donation, and I can send you a receipt (via signed PDF)

While $10 buys me a run at the course, feel free to donate less than that. I can add up donations as necessary.

This year, we are utilizing "firstgiving.com" charity donation system. I encourage you to donate through my website there for this event, "http://www.firstgiving.com/wileycoxNER". However, you may also reply here if you wish, or at VolkScirocco@gmail.com if you prefer more anonymous donations. All donations must be pledged at 8/20. Checks are OK, paypal is OK, and if you live local, cash, coins, doubloons and gold bars are acceptable currency. If you make a check out to me, I will make out one single check to RAL for the weekend to cover all the differing ways of payment. :)

Thanks for reading this!