The Vaults

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It’s the dying dog days of summer here in Hotlanta. As we head toward Labor Day every year I suddenly realize everything I didn’t get around to doing that I mean to do over the summer – more camping trips, various car improvement projects, travel and debauchery. Such is the life of mortal man – there’s never enough time and/or resources to do everything you want (unless you’re Michael Jackson, and look where that got him.)
I’d been planning a camping trip the last couple of weekends, only to have the daily deluge put a damper on my plans, so when the forecast for last weekend looked better than usual I took Friday off, tossed the gear in the truck and headed for the hills. About 3 miles from camp it started raining. I grumbled a few curse words but it looked like an isolated shower – isolated right over the spot I was going camping. The forestry service road that leads to my relatively secret spot is challenging on a dry day. As the rain came down so hard I couldn’t see I just shook my head and giggled. I considered turning back and heading to my folks to borrow a four wheel drive vehicle, but that would mean moving all my stuff from one truck to the other and having to go back and do it again on Sunday, so I pulled over at a gas station and got a coke and watched it dump the very heavens down around me.
I continued on the last couple of miles and arrived at the dirt road just as the last drop fell. The fates, God, chance, or whatever you believe in had given me at least that much of a break. Though the road would still be a muddy, rutted disaster, at least I’d be able to see the mess I’d be driving into.
After the use of a lot of savage off-road driving skills in SW’s little two wheel drive truck with street tires on it, I arrived at camp. I immediately set to work putting up a tarp, fearing the return of the seemingly endless storms of late. SW had “borrowed” a massive blue tarp from her father during one of our trips to Texas (he still asks after it when he calls, three years later) which I used to build a virtual cathedral of a shelter in which I and the other guys could relax should it become necessary.
But of course the very preparations themselves meant they were unnecessary. The tarpathedral seemed to act as a talisman, keeping all storms at bay. By the time I set up my tent and lugged my other supplies to the site, the sky was clear. When other degenerates arrived a few hours later I’d already had a soak in the river, lunch and a rum punch.
Saturday was close to perfect – hot, clear, quiet. We got out of the river to eat lunch, only to jump right back in. Played some card games in the evening, then jumped in the river again before relaxing around a campfire, grilling Italian sausages, playing games and telling tall tales.
Once in a while an evening is so perfect I actually don’t want to be two places at once. Sure, there were some fun shows in town I wanted to see, parties I’d been invited to, exotic locales I’d like to visit, even a lovely girlfriend home alone for the weekend, but for those few hours the only wishful thinking distractions involved the Swedish bikini gymnastics team, and I have yet to find an activity that’ll turn those thoughts off.
But some things you learn to live with.
Besides, we got back in time to catch the Atlanta Rollergirls’ first official match. Who needs Scandanavian blonde gymnasts when you can watch punky/gothy/tattooed girls on rollerskates beating the crap out of each other?!? Full review coming soon.

Last episode’s commentary on Cindy Sheehan generated quite a few responses. Rant on!
we're all allowed to have our own opinions about Sheehan, that's for certain - but I think losing a son in a war for all the reasons you agree old "W" lied about, manipulated, etc...well, he owes her some facetime - to me she is a symbol of the American People demanding some acknowledgement of his wrong doings....I support her and Melanie House for doing all they are allowed to do in a democratic society. It's their right. Camp on....
degenerate MBF

On the contrary, her vigil is worthwhile for many reasons, but any degenerate should enjoy the complete consternation she is causing the right, as well as the utterly vile things it is causing them to say about a woman who lost her son in a war.
degenerate AG

On one CNBC interview, I saw a group with a big red banner for the Oklahoma Militia near "Camp Casey." Perhaps the flypaper theory of Iraq could also be used to catch some of the right-wing domestic terrorists who voted for Bush.
While I think that Sheehan has made her point, and that very little more can be gained by continuation of her protest except perhaps giving some wingnut a chance to get liquored-up and haul out his AK-47, I have to make one point with regards to Dubya's refusal to meet with Sheehan and receive his predictable earful. That point is hypocrisy. Remember when Mr. Bush cut short a previous vacation to spend taxpayer dollars to fly him and his staff of former Iran-Contra pardonees back to the White House so that he could sign a resolution to interfere in the Florida case of Terry Schaivo?
If Dubya had sucked it up and gotten it over with, it would be over with. I am so thankful that he and his advisors are such fools as to let it go on as long as they did, and special thanks to the Bill O'Reilly's and Gordon Liddys of the right wing advocacy press for making such incredible fools of themselves trying to make personal attacks upon Sheehan. What remains to be seen now is whether or not those running the protest have enough sense to know when to quit and redirect their energies to other avenues, most notably, camping on the doorsteps of their congresspersons who will be up for election in 2006. There is where you will find out whether the RNC is willing to give up the House and Senate to keep the White House.
Even more troubling is that if the domestic political situation and his falling poll numbers do not seem to be phasing his party, what do these people have planned that make such inattention politically feasible?
degenerate DP

Editor’s response:
Good point about the Terry Schaivo parallel. Of course, in the few days since I wrote my initial thoughts on this things have changed. Cindy has expanded her rant to include all of American history, then left the camp to take care of her ailing mother. Others have set up a very Vietnam-era style protest in her place, something I didn’t think this country could get together in these apathetic times. Now if only we had the numbers for something truly newsworthy, or even better to change who we have in charge of this country…
In related news, this may be the article that convinces me we have no hope of making Iraq a better place than we found it and should just get the hell out:,9171,1096488,00.html?cnn=yes

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