War Games

The following note was found wrapped inside a soggy, salty sweater vest that was plastered to the side of a river barge just below Lock & Dam #2 on the Mississippi.

Ahoy, landlubbers!

Lately me and me boys has been watchin’ with considerable interest th’ modern day equivalent of what you might call a classic sea battle. Th’ epic contest of the Santorum vs. the Romney – a tiny pipsqueak of a vessel what runs on hot air an’ moral superiority tryin’ to bring down a juggernaut what is loaded with guns an’ riches an’ is guided by an imperious Cap’n riding far above th’ fray.

Of course we was all rootin’ fer th’ Overmatched Challenger in this one, on account of we is pirates, and siding with th’ underdog is our natural tendency. So we is sorry to see th’ Santorum has called off its ill advised an’ unsuccessful attack.

As far as our support goes, there was nothin’ political in it. We don’t even know what th’ Santorum was after, ain’t that right boys? Aye. Probably nothin’ we’d agree with, seein’ as how as pirates our platform is mostly about th’ redistribution of wealth – primarily in a direction what benefits us, of course.

I heard a few things in th’ wind what suggested the Santorum was opposed to that sort of thing, and also might not look too kindly on a bunch o’ men sailin’ around together more or less permanently as lifelong companions the way we has been for well nigh on 20 years or so.

But to each his own, I say. Unless, of course, “your own” is somethin’ I wants. Then, according to my habits an’ the demands of the life I has chosen, I’ll have to take it!

Right boys? Right!

Anyhow, we was entertained by th’ antics of th’ Scrappy Santorum and we hopes to see an encore in some future, hopeless battle.

Your salty man among men,
Capt. Billy

And your loyal men among man,
The Crew of the Muskellunge

When have you had to fly the flag of surrender?

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91 thoughts on “War Games”

  1. Ha ha! Nice, Dale.

    Morning all. Well, as you all know, being the single parent of The Teenager, I pretty much keep the flag of surrender in my back pocket at all times!

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  2. Rise and Surrender Baboons!

    I’m withVS on this one–when raising a teen-ager flying the white flag of surrender, or the pink flag of compromise is a constant and daily practice. Other great surrenders in my life:
    The divorce–I gave up on that marriage!
    Getting my second mother-in-law to be nice or to like me–not gonna happen.
    Working for a bureaucracy–gave it up. Undo-able for me.
    Trying to do my own filing at work. Ha. Paper is my enemy and it always wins over me.

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    1. I agree about paper. Every time I hear someone talking about our future “paperless” society, I just laugh. (Although there may be some hope — you never see anyone with piles of paper on the Enterprise!)

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  3. Good morning to all. I play a game with our dog, Henry, where I always let him win. He loves to play tug-of-war. When he gets a grip on one of his tug toys he will not let go. After a short battle I let go and he runs around in triumph with the toy in his mouth. I pretend to try and caught him. After a little chasing, he picks a place to present me with one end of the toy which I grab. Then another round of tug-of-war begins which will end in another win for Henry.

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  4. This evening my long battle to keep our chapter of the Sustainable Farming Association going will end. Actually I am hoping to pass on the leadership of this battle to others. I will be dropping off the board and I will become sort of an advisor to the board as other members take over. I was never very good at getting others to help me with some of the work I did. I’m hoping that by stepping back I can get others to come forward and I can help them take the leadership on keep things in order.

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    1. the best way to lead is to make it possible for others to pick up the baton. advisor is a nice solution. the head of our local senate district did such a good job of running the show that no one wanted to take over when he wanted to leave. the person that did is fine and life goes on . he is around as an advisor and tries not to do too much deciding mostly suggesting.

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  5. When I was 52 (and a bit overweight) I set out to hike the Superior Hiking Trail from Canada to Two Harbors. It proved to be more of a task that I could handle, mostly because I couldn’t handle the loneliness. On a particularly pretty day I was walking along feeling good about my strength and how well I was doing. Then I thought of my wife and daughter at home, and I collapsed in tears. That was a sign I was in trouble.

    Two days later the skies opened up and cut loose with a frog strangler rainstorm. Lightning was hitting all around. It felt strange to be in such a storm without any place to go for shelter. My dog Spook, who was my companion on this trip, looked at me with misery in his eyes. I decided to hang it up. We had hiked 110 miles. I headed for a nearby DNR parking lot. I was on all fours–on my belly, actually–crawling up a steep hill in the mud when I almost collided with a shapely pair of female legs. I was filthy and smelled like roadkill. Because of my heavy pack I couldn’t turn my head up to see the woman attached to the legs.

    A voice from above squealed, “Oooh, look at this, John! I think we are looking at an authentic backpacker!”

    I said, “What you are looking at, Madam, is a man who has had much more fun than he can stand. Could I possibly bribe you to drive me to a resort?”

    And with that wave of the white flag, my first assault on the SHT ended.

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    1. I would like to hike that trail, Steve. I would not carry a big back pack. I think there is a way you can start out at a motel and hike during the day to the next motel where you can sleep in a real bed. I don’t know if I will ever do this, but I might.

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      1. An even better plan, Jim, is to hike from motel to motel and pay someone to ferry your heavy pack to the next destination. That frees you to hike with a light pack, just a bit of water, food and some rainwear. And if you have the nerve, you can convince some maids that you are a famous writer so it would be an honor for them to transport your heavy pack for free.

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  6. My latest battles are taking place in a committee, planning our new work building. The powers that be have determined that supervisors (people who do not see clients) will have offices of 168 square feet. We who see clients and families will have offices of 120 square feet. This does not make sense, especially to those of us with socialist leanings. The powers that be certainly do not have socialist leanings, and they absolutley will not change the square footage plan. I must console myself with the thought that my play therapy room will have 240 square feet, which is good but not great. (I am proud to say I currently have the largest play therapy room in North Dakota. The down side is that I have to share it with another therapist, but she is my supervisee and we get along.

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    1. Ooh! I forgot to mention that I have a new wooden castle with 7 towers and a new wooden hospital with an elevator.

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        1. they have virtual windows now whre a roo in the basement can look out over the gran canyon or the peaks of mt everest or a calm ocean or a rocking surf at hawaiis surfing beaches. i like that idea, it makes the room feel bigger too

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  7. Unfortunately, my career as a librarian was one ship that not only sank in the end, but never got much beyond the harbor. Final straw was when I was finally hired for permanent hours at HCL–eight of them per week, and I knew I was never going to get to full time. I’m lucky in that surrender really worked out for the best. I may work with computer files instead of books, but even as a temp I earn more than I ever did as a substitute/part-time librarian, and I don’t have to drive halfway across the Twin Cities to do it. Plus, I have my own little office, not just a desk or a locker, so I can sit here and pretend to be a grownup.

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    1. Crow Girl, bouncing from job to job was more or less the story of working days. I also pretended to be a grownup. All I can say is don’t let them sell you short and you will be okay. That’s easy for me to say now that I am retired and have stopped looking for work.

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    1. My wife has never surrendered in her life. She starts with compromise (she says it is anyway). If that does work she retreats and regroups and keeps doing in until you compromise or surrender.

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      1. My mom doesn’t surrender either. And she doesn’t even usually start with compromise. The amazing thing is that she goes at every conflict in her passive/aggressive way and people don’t realize that she’s chewed their arm off until they look down to see their arm is gone. And even then they thank her.

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  8. I left a job waving a flag of retreat, similar to CG. Mine was not a battle lost over hours or a working wage (thought it was a non-profit, so “working wage” was sketchy anyway), but it was a realization of an increasingly bad fit with me and the job and organization. It still stings that I was dinged on a annual evaluation for using “big college words” (it was an educational non-profit), which apparently caused friction with a co-worker…but mostly it was just that I found myself in a job where I was only really good at 60% of what I was supposed to do, moderately good at maybe another 10-15%, and the rest (the really public facing part) was way out of my skills and comfort zone. I stayed until they had a replacement in place, then left with my white flag. As Renee said, a tactical retreat. And frankly, a tactical retreat that worked well as it landed me in a job that was a much better fit that lasted 9 years (and came with an ability to use my “big college words” with impunity).

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  9. i give up on people its mankind i enjoy. the efforts to be on the boards of stuff like the parent teacher group and the basket ball gorup and the local fl are all exhasperating to me. i was at the dfl convention a couple of weeks ago asked to get there at 630am to get the signs out and make people aware it is in the same place it has been for 20 years. the delegates to the state convention were decided and my little walking subcaucus got to send 2. we needed a guy and a gal and there were 3 guy interested. one was offering the ability to tweet fom the convention floor one was 17 and thought it would be cool and i placed third. i would like to help but sometimes you wonder why. the doorknobs you are trying to help are the biggest obstacle in thegame plan. i felt for rt rybek in the paper this morning as the people who were there to protest the treatment of the people who got arrested for blocking traffic during the renewed protests in minneapolis. i love them for doing it but to try to talk to them requires more patience than i have. you can turn on the recorder and come back two hours later and take notes. three bullet points if youre lucky. the heads of the groups are all nuts be it bachmanns right wings or ron pauls space cadets or the left wing wall street revisionists. thanks but no thanks white flag before we start for me. god bless mark dayton

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    1. Don’t write off the occupy people. We should follow their example and become occupiers who are devoted to taking back our country from people who don’t seem to know how to run it or who only want to take advantage of us.

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      1. Hear! Hear! I often find myself apologizing to my young mentees for the shape of the world my generation is handing them. I am inspired by their energy and hope. The “news” covers conflicts in great detail making me want to surrender. But I get to see the next wave and they are wonderful. Although, I’m sure there are the greedy and power hungry among them too—maybe there will be a tipping point.

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  10. I gave up on two marriages; one 10 years in duration, the other 28. Subsequently, I’ve completely surrendered to living alone and am largely at peace with this because I get all the closets to myself and have the best roommate around: myself.

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  11. Every year I have a loose garden plan in my head. I work to plant the right vegetables, herbs, flowers in the right places and I transplant volunteer seedlings into the right spots. mulch, compost, make/repair plant supports. For a short time it looks as if I may have succeeded. Then one day I walk out into the backyard and everything is out of control. A volunteer zucchini has taken over a large section of the sidewalk, garden paths sprouting cilantro and a kind of Asian mustard or covered with vines, and a crazy relative of the black-eyed susan is 5 feet tall and everywhere. Not much room to move around, time to read novels in the shade. Never thought of it as a white flag—but it pretty much is.

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    1. Ain’t it great? A European friend once called our Minnesota gardens “messy”. Have you ever seen Swiss gardens from a train window? Little rows of lettuces and radishes in perfect formation with nary a weed in sight. There’s something almost unnaturally pristine and cold about it. Luckily, in my mind anyway, gardening doesn’t have to mean perfection. It’s more evolution. You’re right, Nan, it’s the white flag of compromise, a precarious balance and one that nature inevitably wins. By September (or long before) we never want to see another zucchini and are ready to hole up with a pile of good books, knitting, or whatever. For every thing, turn, turn, turn, there is a season. . . .

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  12. Nan reminded me of one of my white flags of surrender (I have many): Dandelions in the yard.They win every year and some years I vow I will dig them all out, but I always end up surrendering. Now I don’t even try to get rid of them.

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    1. Yup. I don’t have any lawn—wood-chipped and and garden the whole thing. I take “dandelion walks” when I am in the mood and dig out all I see. But I guess I’m not in the mood often enough because they win every year. They really are kind of cheerful little things in the face of adversity; I can’t really hate them with the passion necessary to kill them all.

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  13. hi there – i’m surrendering to a beer – trying to calm down and wait for Alba today. she’s very uncomfortable and groaning but not letting me know just when the kiddos will arrive. i try to stay out of her hair, but since Dream’s dead kids i am so afraid that i’ll wait too long. thus the beer. unfortunately, an EPA and not a Summer Shandy. just too dang early. across the aisle, Dream is her old self and the five kiddos are running and gaining weight and they each got a new collar today – color coordinated with their personality and hair color.
    happy day to you all.

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    1. Just can’t get enough goat news, especially GOOD goat news. I’m glad to hear that Dream is doing well and that the adorable kiddos are frolicking. I hope Alba’s delivery (by drone?) goes exceedingly well.

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    2. Hang in there, biB. Hope everything works out alright with Alba, but your anxiety is certainly understandable. Sending positive energy your way.

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    3. I’ve been thinking of your kiddies a lot lately and glad they’re happy and healthy. Did you already tell us — how many billies and how many does? Wondering if Dreamy’s milk came in and if you’re milking her. Do any of the kids come to her to nurse? Even though my sister has raised goats forever, I haven’t asked her about this before. Do you usually sell the billies off?

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  14. I’m married. To an Engish major. That works as an editor. ‘Surrender’ is my new middle name.

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  15. Cap’n Billy, every parent may have one child like this: our youngest could have been a great litigator. Now she has two pint size litigators of her own which we like to think of as nature’s pay back. As tim so wisely said, pick your battles.

    Your post reminds me of a favorite book, “Captain Prue and Her Scurvy Crew”. :-) They mutiny. She foils them at every turn. And ultimately they slink back to the fold because, after all, she makes them hot chocolate, teaches them to dance, tells them bedtime stories, and most importantly, she’s the only one who can steer the boat!

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  16. I see the ads have started. I hope they aren’t ads that move. It will be interesting to see if the ads are chosen on the basis of our conversation. We could have some pretty odd ads, like ads for ship-building supplies, College English major programs, toys, crab grass and creeping charlie killer, organic zucchini, hiking boots, you name it, we discuss it.

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