Prisoner of War

Some time ago I discovered, much to my dismay, that an invading force has been encroaching on my home.  They are surprisingly evasive, nimble, and difficult to capture or kill. They elude my traps, evade my defenses, and mock my frustrations. I am of course referring to mice, the terrorists of the rodent world. These insurgents have been giving me trouble for about two months now.

I started out thinking there were only a few mice. So I put out a few snap traps with peanut butter on them. I caught nothing. I checked the traps several times each day, and they were untouched. So I changed the locations of the traps. I changed the bait. I threw them all away, bought new ones, and completely baited and set the new ones wearing gloves so my scent would not be on them. Still I caught nothing.

So I bought a rolling log mouse trap as seen on YouTube. They guy claims to have caught 11 mice in one night. Granted, that was in a barn with a huge mouse population. It’s a target rich environment. I set up that trap, and got nothing for a couple of weeks, even after moving it around and changing bait. I finally did catch one mouse with this trap. That is the only mouse I have managed to catch to date.

After the failure of the rolling log trap, I in frustration went and bought twenty snap traps and set them throughout the house. I called it my Shock and Awe campaign, and is when I formally declared war on the furry little minions.

They only member of this household to have any success is the cat.  He has caught three that I am aware of.  Personally, I will never take a mouse away from a cat.  I figure, he worked for it, he gets to keep his toy.  If I want a mouse I should go catch my own.  It’s only fair, right?  Well, the roommate’s girlfriend doesn’t share my opinion.  She took one away from him, put it in a glass jar, and presented it to me when I got home.  He is so tiny, about the size of my thumb, not counting his tail.  I call him Stuart.  So there I was, with a wounded mouse in a glass jar.  HE wasn’t moving at all.  He was breathing quite fast, but mice have a high metabolism, so it might have been fine.  But he was definitely not alert.  I thought about finishing Stuart off.  I mean, he was injured, wasn’t moving around much, and looked to be in pain.  I almost went and flushed him down the toilet.  There are worse ways to die than drowning, right?

Then I realized, much to my dismay, that the situation was more complicated than I had considered.  Articles 13 to 16 of the Geneva Convention state, “…prisoners of war must be treated humanely without any adverse discrimination and that their medical needs must be met.”  So, I waited, and little Stuart lived.  Why?  So I put some shredded up paper towel in the bottom of the five gallon bucket I had been using for the rolling log trap.  Then I put a little cup of water and some peanut butter on a paper towel in the bottom, and waited until morning the next day to see if Stuart was still alive.  He was.  Damn it!

That brings us up to today.  Stuart is much more lively today.  He was difficult to catch when I took him out of the bucket to change out the shredded paper towel for some proper bedding I got from the pet store.  The pet store provided me with a few nuggets of rodent food for Stuart to see if he makes it through the week.  I say a few nuggets of food, but bear in mind, these nuggets are bigger than Stuart’s head.

Stuart is still favoring one of his rear legs.  He isn’t using it at all.  I don’t know if it’s broken bones, soft tissue damage, nerve damage, or a combination of those.  I may never know.  I do know that without the use of that leg, he will never survive long in the wild.  So in a week, provided Stuart is still alive, I will try to gauge his health, and chances of survival if released (many miles away from my house) in the wild.  If he never starts using that leg, I may have a Prisoner of Way for the rest of his natural life.  Grrr


If you think about it, T.G.I.F., or Thank God it’s Friday, is a depressing phrase.  It means that you dislike your occupation enough to cause celebration that the work week has finally come to an end.  Personally, I do not want to be in a position where I dread the start of a work week and celebrate the short respite the weekend offers.  That is a dreary existence and one that I want to avoid if at all possible.

Imagine this.  You have a job that is so enjoyable, so fulfilling, that you look forward to going to work on Monday morning.  You are excited by the prospects of being able to accomplish something.  Then Monday takes on a whole new meaning.  It is just the beginning of something you are looking forward to.  That sounds like a much more pleasant mindset.

How do you achieve such a thing?  That’s where it gets difficult, and in a way easy.  Every person must search out something that excites them, something that they so eagerly want to do they can’t imagine doing anything else.  Then, you have to figure out how to make money doing it.  What is that old saying?  If you do something you love, you’ll never work another day in your life.  So, go do something you love, and start proclaiming Thank God it’s Monday.

Faithful Churchgoing Agnostic

Somebody I know recently found out that I am agnostic.  They asked me, “Why do you go to church every Sunday?”  That’s a good question.  I didn’t have a very good answer.  I just spouted off something about the social contact, of being around people, about friends and such.  It sounded good, but . . .

To be truthful, being an agnostic is probably worse than being either a believer or an atheist.  At least with either of those options, there is some solidity.  You know what you believe, and by God you can stand for it.  But agnostic?  What does an agnostic stand for?  It doesn’t have the same effect to stand on my soap box and proclaim, “I don’t know!”  Is there a God?  I don’t know.  If there is a God, can his/her nature truly be known?  I don’t know.  Can his/her name be known with any certainty?  I don’t know.  It just sounds lame.

Yet, every Sunday morning, I sit in church.  I listen to the message.  I am sometimes encouraged by it.  I mean, I’m not evil.  I appreciate good, moral values when I hear them, and I like to see people helping one another.  Christianity is full of good, moral lessons.  I don’t take issue with any of that.  I visit with the other parishioners.  I am friendly and cordial.  I go home.

In many ways, I envy the Christians their faith.  It makes a lot of things so much simpler.  And it provides answers to the oldest of questions posed by humanity.  “Why are we here?”  Even atheists have an answer, even if it’s that there is no purpose.  We are here just because we are here.  No more reason is needed.  But for an agnostic, it’s all unknown.  We could be here to build a relationship with a deity, the ultimate goal being to return to him in an afterlife.  Or we could be just a bunch of evolved biological organisms running around mucking everything up for no better reason than hormones.  Who’s to say which is true?

So, if I envy Christians their faith, why don’t I believe.  In some ways I want to.  In other ways I just can’t  In fact, people have tried to help me.  I understand their motives.  They’re worried about my soul.  I can appreciate that.  Not too long ago one of my friends tried a pretty good tactic.  He said to me, “You are not a mistake.  You are not an accident.”  Be careful who you use that line of reasoning with.  Because my response was, “I’m not so sure that is an argument in favor of God.”

So I come full circle.  Why do I, an agnostic, go to church every Sunday?  I go because I’ve always gone.  I go because I really do need to get out and socialize with people.  I go because I have friends there, friends that are at least partially decent individuals, who care about me.  I go because I fear being wrong.  What if God is real?  Where better to find God than in his house?

Oak Ridge Apocalypse

So, anyone that likes zombies may like to read a free zombie book.  It’s available at  The author is posting a new piece every week on Sunday.  I have it under good authority that there will be six pieces for Dusk of Man: Part One, and approximately another 12 pieces for Part Two.  And here is a small piece that won’t be posted for some time.

      Wayne drove slowly down the exit ramp into the rest area.  He was watching for movement and didn’t see any.  He carefully wound his way through the cars toward the building that promised vending machines and restrooms.  He took one last look around before killing the engine.  They climbed off the bike and Wayne pulled out the shotgun.  He noticed, with approval, that Misty had also pulled out her pistol.
      “Let’s see what we can find,” Wayne said, leading her towards the building.  He got to the doors and waited for Crystal to catch up.  “You ready?”
      “Yes,” she answered.
      Wayne pulled the door open and they stepped inside. There was a row of vending machines all down the left wall.  On the right were the entrances to the restrooms and a giant map of Tennessee with a big  ‘You Are Here’ star marking the rest area.
      “Let’s eat,” he said, heading for the vending machines.  As soon as the words were out of his mouth they heard the tell-tale moan of a zombie coming from the women’s restroom.  They whipped around in time to see it come shambling out of the lady’s room.  It had been a young woman in her mid-twenties.  It was wearing a dress that looked too big around the middle, and it had a huge dried bloodstain in its midsection.  Something was hanging out the bottom of the dress, and Wayne thought it looked like intestines, but it was dragging something behind the zombie.  He realized why it didn’t look right.  It was not an intestine, but an umbilical cord, and the thing being dragged behind her was the fetus.  It looked like it was about a month premature.  The dress was so loose around the middle because she had been pregnant when she died and turned into a zombie.  He could tell by the way her dress hung that her stomach, which had been inflated to the size of a beach ball, was hanging loose from where the baby had dug or eaten its way out.  She kept coming, and the thing at the end of the umbilical cord squirmed, unable to stand, but wanting to feed just as much.  Wayne registered all of this in a matter of seconds.  He turned and watched realization dawn in Misty’s eyes.
      “Crystal, stay back,” he said and brought the shotgun up.  He shot the woman through the side of her head.  The shotgun blast was deafening in the small building.  His ears were ringing from the blast.  She went down in a heap, but the baby still squirmed behind her.
      “Let me have the handgun,” Wayne said, motioning for the Ruger.  Wayne took it and aimed at the fetus’s head.  He fired a single shot, stilling the baby.  The pistol shot amplified the ringing in his ears.  He looked over at Crystal and she was holding her hands over her ears.  “Okay, about those vending machines,” Wayne said.  Crystal removed her hands from her ears and nodded.  They walked back over towards the vending machines.
      As Wayne’s ears stopped ringing, he heard more moaning, lots of it.  He looked out the back doors towards the woods behind the rest area.  “Crystal, we gotta go!” he yelled.  There were hundreds of zombies coming out of the woods.  They ran back out the front doors toward the motorcycle and saw zombies coming from everywhere.  Wayne got the shotgun back in his pack and jumped on the hike. Crystal climbed on behind him as he started it.  A group zombies were in the way of getting out.
      “You’ll have to shoot while we move,” Wayne yelled.  “Be careful not to drop the gun.” Then he shot forward and rode through a gap between two zombies.  He headed toward the fewest number of them.
      “Remember, the head,” he called back to Crystal.
      “I got it,” she called back.  She was holding on to Wayne with her left arm and had the Ruger in her right.  Wayne picked a group of three zombies and accelerated towards them.  The gun went off in his ear.  She hit one of them in the chest, not a kill shot, but it put the zombie on the ground.  Before she could shoot again, they collided with the other two. One of them got thrown to the side.  The other got a handful of Wayne’s shirt, but before he could get dragged off the bike the gun fired again.  Wayne saw the zombie grow a third eye and its hand fell limp off him.

Oak Ridge Apocalypse: Dusk of Man

New Bucket List Page

I may be a little late to the party, but they say late is better than never, or something like that.  For a long time I have known there are some things I wanted to do before I kick the bucket.  I’ve had a sort of mental bucket list for a few years, but there is something about writing it down that makes it more real.  So, here it is.  Or rather, HERE it is.

Maybe I shouldn’t make it public, but I figure, what’s the harm.  It’s really only here for me, so feel free to disregard.  See you later.