Friday, May 19, 2006

Have a laugh or three on me!

This being my last Funny Foto Friday for a while I thought I'd give you all a laugh on my expense. Above is me about five years ago in Arizona... I'm such a photogenic fellow, aren't I?
And here's one for those "Chicks who dig guys in uniform"... Me, standing in front of the Deli Mat owner's son's "I Love ME" wall... And hard at it deterring crime in Athens, WV...
Always the ham, especially when frosty adult beverages are found readily available... Here I am picking a booger out of a fake buffalo head's nose in a bar in Oatman, Arizona.
And here's another for those chicks who dig guys is uniform, my 'official' fire department portrait... And as you can also see from this photo and the one above, I actually DO have all my hair... Not even receding, thank you very much!
And here's the one I'll use when I ask a woman if she wants to see a picture of my Big Bazooka... Proof that I really do have a Big Bazooka!

Happy Funny Foto Friday!

Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Jumbled Thoughts

As every day gets closer to my move I'm finding it more and more difficult to write. It's not that I don't have anything to say, it's more like my thoughts are more jumbled and I'm finding harder and harder to put a coherent idea together into one article worth posting.
It's kind of like riding the express subway... Sitting at the window of the subway car and trying to read the advertisements and graffiti on the station walls as the train speeds through without stopping...
I really don't have a lot left to do, but I am feeling a bit overwhelmed anyway. Do some laundry, pack what I'm taking with me, give my friend from the FD the keys to the apartment to give it a thorough cleaning and then head out on Sunday. Not a lot to do.
But yet I still feel overwhelmed. Maybe it's because some things haven't gone exactly to plan. Maybe it's because I'm about to close yet another chapter on my life and start a new one and I'm a little apprehensive, but as with any book you're unsure how the next chapter will be, so I'm feeling the same way.
The book of my life is a long, sometimes boring, sometimes horrifying, sometimes amusing and often sad and bittersweet epic of one man's life and through just this short chapter I've had you, my blogger buds, my e-pals, to stay there for me. To continue to read my drivel day in, day out giving advice, critique and support in my little spot in cyberspace.
You've been there through my highs and lows like no other before. Not my family nor the wife who said in front of God and everyone she would... I have one constant left in my life and that's you, my faithful readers. You've stayed with me. You've laughed at me and with me. Cried and smiled and shook your head in bewilderment because fact is often times stranger than fiction.
I just want to say thank you now, for everything. When I log off Saturday and put my computer into storage remember it's for a finite period of time. I'll be back.
Because now, with this blog, I feel that my life has some meaning and I'm not just a voice in the dark that nobody listens to.
I've got you, Dear Readers, so I'll be back.
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


It's getting nearer to vacation time and people are setter their sights to favorite places like Myrtle Beach, California, Utah and Maine. I'm still planning my trip to the UK too, but that obviously has been put on hold for a while.
The one thing I'd really like to do someday is explore all the tiny islands in the Pacific that were key to Macarthur's "Island Hopping" scheme to win back the ocean from Japanese control.
Walking along the same jungle tracks as the Aussie Diggers, Merrill's Marauder's and the US Marines.
Coming across the wreckage of a Japanese Zero fighter like the one pictured here.
Or seeing the rusted, long abandoned gun implacements. standing a ghostly guard against and invasion from the sea long past...
Or bunkers like the ones pictured below on the island of Leyte in the Philippines...

Another Japanese Zero in the jungle of Papua New Guinea... Well, it would be enormously expensive, a once in a lifetime trip. But It's one that someday I'd like to make.
Walking in history. That's what I call it.
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Reasons I'm not an adrenalin junkie

The main reason is I absolutely hate to throw up.
Let me explain.
When you do things that aren't natural to the human body, like jumping out of perfectly good aircraft from great heights, rappelling from helicopters, getting shot at in firefights and driving large four-door sedans with flashing red and blue lights on the roof at excessive speeds through city streets your adrenal gland dumps huge amounts of adrenalin into your bloodstream.
This causes Blood to be sent to the major muscles and organs causing increased strength. It also causes heightened vision, hearing and sense of smell. It also give some a sense of invinciblity and feelings of euphoria. This is a survival mechanism that all animals have, including humans, and is the basis of the fight or flight reaction to stress.
It all happens very rapidly.
And as it happens very fast, the crash is even faster. Adrenalin doesn't stay in the bloodstream long. Seconds after the danger is past, it's almost like it's dumped out of your system. This "crash" effects people differently. My friend John the paramedic gets the shakes. My partner on the PD would become sullen, quiet and withdrawn.
I on the other hand get the shakes violently... Then I vomit. A lot.
And I hate throwing up.
And I was reminded of this yesterday afternoon. I had finally finished packing all my stuff and have it stacked in the living room of my apartment ready to take over Bill's place today and I'm feeling quite content. I've thrown out a lot of things, but managed to get everything done and packed except my dishes and things I'm going to need for the next few days.
Then I get this overwhelming feeling of nausea...
And wind up praying to the porcelain god for about 20 minutes. I otherwise I feel fine. No fever, I'm not feeling sick at all really. I feel pretty good. But I just can't stop doing a technicolor yawn.
After this bout I crawl into bed and go to sleep. I'm now up at 1:30 AM feeling ok besides my stomach muscles are all cramped up and my esophogus is raw from the bile. I'm clueless why this happened. I didn't eat anything nasty, I wasn't on a alcoholic bender the night before, in fact I haven't had any alcohol for several weeks now. I feel fine.
I know I'm a little nervous about the move and the new job, but not that nervous. I really hope I'm not coming down with something. That would really suck.
But I hate to vomit at anytime. So I'm not an adrenalin junkie.
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden

Monday, May 15, 2006


So last night was my last shift. It was so uneventful as to be an anticlimax. It was so boring I decided around 2 am just to finish out my paperwork and head home. I mean, what was the point? I was sitting at the office, bored to tears. No vehicle to patrol with and for about a week the weather has been downright miserable, cold and rainy. No point in walking about in the rain and catching cold my last week.
What's he going to do, fire me?
Anyway, now I've got a free six or so days to get everything packed.
Up until this point I had known I had made some good friends here, but when the majority of the fire department found out I was leaving I really realized how good these friends are. I was going to put my stuff into storage but Bill (of The Rambling Hillbilly blog) offered to let me store my stuff at his house, free of charge... So I'll save some coinage there. And John, our assistant Fire Chief is letting me keep my firearms at his house in his gun safe.
So that's a lot off my mind already.
I also did a little research over this weekend on the cost of the rent in the area where I'm moving. It's a lot cheaper than around here I can tell you. I'm paying $330 a month for this tiny apartment. If it's 650 square feet I'll eat my hat. So I looked up rental properties near my new job... And as an example I found a two bedroom, two story house for rent for the same rent I'm paying here for this shoebox. Almost triple the size for the same rent. I don't need a two bedroom house, but it does give me an idea on what the rents are where I'm moving.
So I'm almost ready. Pack up, store my stuff and head out next Sunday. I'll get settled in there sometime in the next few weeks then I'll just come back down to get my shit.
Off on another adventure... But the beginning is starting to be somewhat of an anticlimax. But that's a good thing. I don't really like drama and have had just about as much excitement in my life in my teens and twenties to last me a lifetime.
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

To all those moms out there who do a fantastic job...

The hardest and most thankless job in the world...

Happy Mother's Day!

I lost my mother to breast cancer three years ago. Please take this time to donate whatever you can to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Go here for more information:

If you're a mom, get em' checked every year. Even if you're not a mom and still have breasts get em' checked. It's that important.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


After another long night at work last night (sitting at the firehouse watching TV) I decided on a few things. Sunday night ends the last full two week pay period for me and with it my last full 80 hour paycheck. If I work out the next week as planned I'll only get a 40 hour paycheck after I'm already making three times more on the railroad. And I've still got shitloads of things to do before my move next Sunday.
The owner of the company I work for now has already told me that when I leave he's doing away with the Athens Patrol (and I think that's a big mistake) so one week earlier isn't going to hurt him in the slightest. I wanted to work out my two week notice but since he's doing away with the patrol, he's taken the truck so there's no vehicle to patrol with there seems to be no point in me continuing for another week.
So after Sunday night's shift I'll be done with it. I've still got to pack and move the majority of what I've got into storage for a few weeks, clean my apartment so I'll at least get my security deposit back. I got my truck inspected and renewed my tags yesterday...
So now I'll just have seven days to finish up the things I need to do without rushing around.
One more thing. I know I said there wouldn't be anymore Deli Mart stories, but once I get moved and settled in my new place they'll be a few I've been holding back on. Because this is such a small town and everybody knows everybody I've been keeping mum on a few things I've seen... Because I don't want to be the target of a shitstorm if word got out I said anything until I was secure in a new job. I'll just put it this way, if I had written about these stories before I got the job on the railroad, I'd be cutting my own throat where I work now... And I've never been suicidal.
So stay tuned!
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden

Friday, May 12, 2006

It's true!

There really is an end to the information superhighway, and it was discovered yesterday outside of Lodi, California on Interstate 5.
Pictured above is two members of the California Highway Patrol placing signage to warn surfers. No comment on this startling discovery as yet from Bill Gates.
Film at 11...
Happy Funny Foto Friday!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Why I gave up on internet dating

A few weeks ago I said that I had given up totally on the whole internet dating thing and here's a major reason Why. I was flip-flopping on posting these because of a moral dilemma. If I posted them I might be somehow violating some privacy issues, but the more I thought about it I realized that wasn't the case. The person who posted them on the internet gave them freely, and I feel that the person who posted them was guilty of fraud. Maybe not criminal fraud, but fraud on a different level. I'm not sure what you would call it, but it was a deception. After I thought about this deception for a while I began to feel better about posting them here. For the most part I'd never post anyone's picture without consent, and even the small grainy picture of Baby Bear taking the dump in the woods I got permission. All other pictures I post here of people, like what's found in my Funny Foto Fridays are found readily by doing a Google search for "Funny Pictures". So I began to feel better about exposing the deception.
About a year ago, when I still had a personals ad up on Yahoo Personals, I received a reply to my ad from a woman who was allegedly portrayed in the photo above. I'll admit it. I'm attracted to blondes, and being a child of the 80's really liked the hair. She seemed sincere in her first note and we began chatting on Yahoo IM. I had been burned by bullshitters in the past so I kept it like that for several weeks. I wasn't about to give out my phone number or jump into anything really fast. I wasn't going to get suckered by another pretty face.
We chatted like that for a few weeks, and seemed to get along ok. We had a lot of things in common, went to school at the same time, same age, like the same music, blah, blah, blah... But something still bothered me about her original photo. She admitted it was a few years old, and and I had to concede that mine was too. She said she still looked the same but had put on a few pounds. No biggie. That was never a really big deal in my books anyway. The most recent picture of me at the time was three years old and I basically look the same so I took her words as they were.
This went on for a few weeks and we had finally set up a afternoon date to have coffee. Before that could happen though she told me she had her daughter take a new picture of her and would I like to see it? Sure I said, send it...
Below is what she sent.

Ok. Imagine if you will my reaction... I'm really not that shallow, but come on! I know I'm no Ben Affleck or Brad Pitt by a very long shot... But what the fuck!

The first reaction was "She's had a rough paper route"... And all the tats. BIG, major turn-off. She never told me she had tats. One or two tastefully done tattoos are one thing, but the illustrated Lady? No way. And another thing. I was a cop for too long and I spotted it right away.

I contacted a deputy in the Sheriff's Office who I had become friends with and gave him her name and he immediately knew who she was. A rap sheet longer than my arm, mostly prescription fraud and bad checks, but also a few for prostitution thrown in for good measure. Didn't even have to go to NCIC or County or State data bases. He knew her by name. That's pretty bad when a cop knows someone like that. It tells of an ongoing pattern of contact with law enforcement... And not the good kind.

Just what I need.

Ok. I know that people can turn their lives around with drugs, alcohol or anything. Hell, even the issues I had in my own personal life I've charged and got control of and I'm nowhere near the person I was two years ago. I have very good friends who have a past of severe and chronic substance abuse. But they've taken control of their lives and are no longer that way, totally in control and better people. Anyone can turn their life around. But this was too much.

Adios Muchachas!

Does this make me shallow? Perhaps.

But what this shows is a pattern of lies and falsehoods. Trying to convince me she was a completely different person that who she really was. And it insulted me too on an intellectual level also... That I would be so stupid as to continue to believe the bullshit. Even before she sent the picture I was getting vibes that she wasn't being completely honest with me...

Maybe there's still a part of me that's the jaded, burnt out cop who doesn't believe a thing anyone says. I'll tell you, if I heard one more time "You're my hero" or "I'll never leave you" I'd scream. But don't try to bullshit me on something as basic as this. It'll only piss me off and insult my intelligence, definitely not win any points.

This wasn't an isolated incident either. The rest weren't this blatant or obvious, but it just seems that no one on these personals sites are who they portray themselves to be. I only met one person who was what they said they were and we're still very close and good friends now... And I'd like to think that the reason we're still not together as a couple is we're too much alike. She's like a carbon copy of me with ovaries.

But that's an anomaly from my standpoint.

I'm pretty sure there's tons of men out there doing the same thing so I'm not saying that only women do this. But from my experience it women like this one, or women who look like my grandmother looking for Russell Crowe...

For now I'll just work on the railroad and give up on the internet dating thing entirely.

Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

All Aboard!

I thought I'd post a few pictures of where I'll be working. I took these the day of my interview. Above is a track inspection car...
This is the view from my motel room I had stayed in, looking north. The weather had turned to shit the previous evening and it was cold and rainy the whole day, but that didn't dampen my mood!
This is looking west from the station in Durbin, WV. The office and small apartment I'll be staying at temporarily is directly across the street to the viewer's right. (If you look real close, halfway down the tracks, there's a cat sitting there. The little guy followed me around all morning as if to say "Welcome Aboard!")
This is at the same place, a small diesel switching engine from the 1940's and a caboose.
And last, another view of the Durbin, WV station and through the trees you can see a row of stores and offices directly across the street.
Hope you all enjoy! And I'll definitely be taking more pictures once I get up there and get settled in.
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A little common courtesy

Was all that I ever asked for.
But do you think I could get that?
When I started with this company in September of 2004 all I asked for was 40 hours a week and a livable wage. Not that I expected more, mind you. It is a security company and they're notorious for lousy pay and no benefits. Sure, I could have gone to any large city in the country and made shitloads more money with my education and experience.
But that wasn't in my plan.
Money was not the object and goal. Sure, it has it's place, like being able to live. But it wasn't my main concern so I decided to move to a rural area. I like the country anyway. This wasn't a career choice anyway, so I soldiered on with the low pay because it was just a means to and end which came to fruition last Friday with the offer of the railroad job.
So I did the right thing, not burn any bridges, and gave my two-week's notice Saturday. I thought that would be fine, since I've been an above-average employee. I've never once called in sick, I'm always early, I'm always available for overtime, and contrary to what you might have gathered here, I really don't bitch much about work at work... So I have two weeks left doing my normal patrols here in town. Not a big deal, this job isn't rocket science.
I had even suggested when I gave my notice that I stay on the payroll because the company has several contracts with coal mines in the area where I'm moving to. I have my 40-hour mine surface card and I'm familiar with the mine security procedures, so I can still work on-call when they need me. My boss took this very well (I thought) and even said he knew at some point I'd be leaving for the railroad... Duh! So I thought everything was okey-dokey.
My first mistake. I assumed.
So I get to work last night, walk across the parking lot and the first thing that hits me is "Where the fuck is my truck?" Not one vehicle is in the parking lot. So I key myself into the building and find all my stuff that I usually leave in the truck toss unceremoniously into a corner. My MagLight, clipboard, payroll sheet, a light jacket and the paperback I'm reading just tossed into the corner.
So I assume at this point I'm not fired, he'd have been there to do it if I was, so I give him a call. No answer. I leave a message. He never returned my call. So now I'm stuck, most probably for the remainder of my employment here, to walk my patrols. That's ok in part, I like to walk and it's really only about two miles a trip if I check everything.
But that's still not the fucking point.
He's pulled the truck on other occasions for emergencies, but this seems a little too convenient... So if that's the way he's going to be, ok. About two hours into my shift I walked over to the fire station, went upstairs, took my jacket off, grabbed the remote to the big-screen TV and kicked my feet up. I watched the History Channel for over five hours.
I look at it this way. If he thinks this little of me after the last twenty months of honest work and loyalty, why should I care either? What's he going to do, fire me?
The really ironic thing about this whole episode was that when the president of the railroad offered me the job last Friday he wanted me to start yesterday. But I was adamant about giving my two-weeks notice and working them through.
So much for being the nice guy and doing the right thing.
Nice guys finish last again.
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden

Monday, May 08, 2006

Great News!!!!!!

I've been doing a long Snoopy Dance since Friday morning. My post from last week titled "Maybe" isn't a Maybe anymore.
Friday morning I finally got the phone call I'd been waiting on. The president of the railroad called and offered me the job as a conductor! I gave my two-weeks notice at work and gave notice to my landlord, worked my last weekend at the mine... All I have to do now is pack up and head north.
The really great thing is that there's a small apartment over the railroad offices in Durbin and he's extended the offer for me to stay in it free of charge for a short while until I find a place in town for myself! That takes a whole lot off my mind because it would be a logistical nightmare otherwise.
For now I'm going to put what little I have in storage, leave my firearms with a friend and take what I need right now with me. When I get a place, I'll come down and get my stuff. What's really nice is now I won't have to live paycheck to paycheck. My pay is almost tripling, and the rents in the area are about 1/3 less that around here in Athens. I might have to put off my UK trip for the time being, but not give up on it totally though.
I'm going to be starting off as a conductor on a short line running coal out of the mines to a central freight yard, then after about a year I'll be trained as an engineer. What I've always dreamed of doing ever since I was a small boy!
I'm sooooo fucking happy now I could just shit gold bricks! Triple the pay, railroad retirement, benefits, Monday through Friday, daywork! I won't know how to act! I'll actually have weekends off! I've never, ever had that before!
Here's the railroad website:
They also have several tourist lines they operate in the summer months, including a live steam locomotive that I'll also get a chance to learn to run. Go here:
Now for some bad news. This means that I'll not have access to the internet for about 4 to 6 weeks and I'll be unable to post until I get my own place again. Hopefully this won't take too long and I'll miss you all terribly. My last day for posting here will probably be May 20th. But it's for a finite period and I'll be back with more stuff to talk about!
So no more Deli Mart and Barney stories...
Also, my good news was tempered by news I got later Friday morning. In the process of calling friends and family to tell them of my good news and my upcoming move I found out my brother and his long-time significant other were involved in a very nasty auto accident in Philadelphia last Tuesday. The Philadelphia fire department had to cut my brother from his destroyed Chevy S-10 pickup and his girlfriend was thrown clear. Apparently a drunk kid about 22 years old came up behind him going about twice the speed limit on Grant Avenue in NE Philly, hitting my brother and putting him into a sidespin and then rolling the truck several times.
He was discharged from Frankford~Torresdale hospital late Saturday and when I spoke to him yesterday he was still in a great deal of pain. He was bitching about not being able to do anything for himself... Even needs help going to the shitter... Typical of him.
He's going to be feeling that for a while. But I'm so damn glad they're both ok. I've been to far to many family funerals in the last few years and I 'm really not ready to bury my brother just yet.
Anyway, that's my news.

Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden

Sunday, May 07, 2006

What's in a name?

Where I grew up and lived most of the earlier days of my life, most people had nicknames. I wasn't immune to this phenomenon as over time I've had several from "Wolfie" to "Wolfman" in school to "Tommy the Cop" and "Asshole Tommy" in my later years. My brother and I were known collectively as "The Wolf Brothers"
It seemed like everyone I knew had one, from "Rotten Ronnie", "Earl The Girl" and "Mike the Mick". Women weren't immune to this either, I went to school with a girl we called "Squirrel", and to this day I have no idea what her real name was.
Even if you didn't have a true nickname, no one ever called you by your full name or proper given name. That was reserved for moms who were extremely angry at you for something...
"Thomas Joseph Wolfenden! Get your ass in here!"
That's when you knew the shit was going to hit the fan for something you've done.
There were no James, Thomas or Douglass'. It was a neighborhood no no to call someone their given name. You shortened it to Tom, or Jim of Doug. And even then they were modified more by putting on a "y" or an "ie" at the end to change it to "Tommy", "Jimmy" or "Dougie".
So I've always had some sort of "AKA" moniker...
So now I'm getting a few emails asking where I got the nickname of "Ranger Tom". The short and easy answer to that one is to look at he sidebar to this blog and see the avatar of my old US Army unit's scroll. That should give you some idea. I was a Army Ranger, so "Ranger Tom" is a logical solution.
But it goes a little deeper than that. Several years ago, when the internet was new to me I was doing a little surfing (no, I was NOT looking at porn, no matter what my ex says) and I found this Australian Army website. It was a "Members Only" type, and I had to "Enlist" to read further. I had served with a few Aussies in my time in the Army and thought maybe I could find them through this website and restart old friendships so I signed up and needed a 'screen name". It being an Army site I signed up as "Ranger Tom". (a link to that site is on my sidebar also)
Although I never found those guys I had served with, I did "meet" several new friends, and over the years of going to that website became close to quite a few of them. They became like family and I even met a few, "11 Bravo" spent a drunken weekend at my house when I lived in Arizona and "Dorrie", his wife and kids stopped by Prescott, AZ on his way to his US Marine exchange unit and had dinner with my wife and I.
When my marriage fell apart, it was they who helped me keep my sanity, rallied around me and were truly the friends I needed when all my friends in Arizona had abandoned me. One actually saved my life when I had a adverse reaction to some medication I was taking and called the Yavapai 911 center from Queensland when he hadn't heard from me...
So I had made a slew of new friends, "Mates" if your will, and they even dubbed me an "Honorary Aussie". Edison and Chappers are still a few of my closest friends and I still talk with them on the phone from time to time...
So through that website I not only was just Ranger Tom a screen name, I became Ranger Tom. And from there it morphed yet again into "RT" for short and I carried it over to this blog.
I like the nickname. It's got personality. I don't go by it much in my personal life but that may change.
One day in the not to distant future I'll get to Australia to meet some of my best friends... The one's who gave life to Ranger Tom and made it (and me along with it) a new person with an entirely new outlook on life and made me a far better person that I ever was before.
So what's in a name?
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden

Friday, May 05, 2006

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Bridging the gap

I've always had some problems with my teeth ever since I was about nineteen or so because of severe overcrowding. It got worse when my wisdom teeth came in and pushed everything forward. About ten years ago I had all four wisdom teeth taken out and that seemed to to help for a while. I had an almost religious habit of keeping up with preventively dental work for years, going every six months for x-rays and cleanings, that sort of stuff.
When I had a really good dental plan when I was living in Philadelphia I must have had over $10k worth of drillings and fillings, even a few root canals and crowns. But those days are long gone until I get back to the railroad with a decent plan again. That's not saying I still don't take care of my teeth, I just can't afford to go to the dentist like I used to.
Don't get me wrong, my teeth aren't rotting out of my head... Just a tad bit crooked and a little caffeine-stained right now, the main reason I'm really not smiling in any of the recent pictures of me. But I've just discovered a new toothpaste that's doing wonders with cleaning my chompers up so you might get to see me smiling again soon.
But I'm still in need of some work in the tooth department... Which is what this little story is about. I joke about moving to West Virginia and having my teeth start falling out of my head, but it really isn't funny.
Well, yes it is... Sort of.
Back it the summer of 04' when I was still working on the railroad I had a little accident. One day when we were digging a stretch of rail between Thurmond & Fayette, WV I slipped off the machine I was working on and fell about six feet onto the tracks, landing face-first on the rail, in the process knocking out three of my lower incisors.
Yes, it hurt like a bitch!
So anyway, being that we were so far from a road and miles from the nearest hospital the chances of having them re-implanted were slim but my superintendent and I decided to take the chance. All three teeth were whole and not broken or cracked so I wrapped them in wet gauze and put them in a plastic baggie. The CSX rail pilot called for a truck to meet the machine down a service road and he drove me to the hospital in Beckley, where the emergency room doctor re-implanted them.
So for a while there I had all my teeth again.
Fast forward a few months. Apparently the teeth were out far too long and the re-implant didn't take. They started to get loose, and after a while one fell out.
One down, two to go...
Then one night I was out to dinner with a certain Kat Woman at a Mexican restaurant having a good dinner, nice conversation... And I took a bite of my burrito...
Looking back on it I should have excused myself and went to the men's room, but I just put the tooth in my pocket and continued on with the conversation... The look on her face was precious! I really wish I had a camera that night to capture the look of stunned disbelief on her face!
"Tom, I can't believe you just did that!"
After the shock had worn off we both got a fit of the giggles. I guess it was the margaritas and dos equis.
That's the funny part.
A few months ago the last of the three that had originally gotten knocked out finally came out for good.
So now I've got this gap in my lower jaw that I really try to hide. Not that I'm a vain person, it just annoys me that I've still got this gap and haven't done anything to fix it. (On an up-side to this, I have been able to stick my tongue out way farther than before though...hehehe!) So this summer, no matter what I'm getting a bridge. I really want to be able to smile again... Because I have so much to smile about these days... It's going to cost about $500 for a bridge, but it'll be well worth it in the long run.
Bridging the gap so to speak.
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Four Seasons Country

Well, they call the area in West Viginia where I live the "Four Seasons Country" and that it has. All four seasons. Go figure. And being that I live here I thought I'd show you all the lovely scenery. The best view from my apartment is the bathroom ironically, so now I give you what I call the "Four Seasons From The Shitter".

Hope you've all enjoyed the view!
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Let me get this perfectly clear

Because I oppose "Guest Workers" and promote a secure border and oppose illegal immigration, I'm a fucking racist?
So yesterday the illegals here decided to have demonstrations all across the country to demand equal opportunities that everyday Americans get.
What the fuck?
I know, I know. I'm a little late jumping on this bitchwagon. I was going to keep mum about it really because so much has been said already until I heard a little sound-bite from Vinny Fox on the radio last night. He says that America has no right to keep the illegals out, and will stop at nothing to keep us from securing our southern border.
Who the fuck does he think he is? We have every goddamn right to secure our borders and we should be doing it now. Some of these fuckers are still so pissed at losing that little chunk of realestate in the first place that the one's already here think that since it was originally theirs in the first place they deserve and have the right to be there.
I don't fucking think so.
Think what you will, but our very sovereignty is at stake here. A sovereignty bought and paid for in blood by all my brothers and sisters who fought and died for it from Valley Forge in 1776 to Iraq today.
But I'm a racist because I don't support just any swinging dick to cross over and automatically have every right that we Americans have, taxing our welfare, Social Security and healthcare systems to the breaking point. At last count there was twenty million illegals in the country right now with another three million coming over the border every year. And I'm sorry, I won't be politically correct and say "undocumented". They're fucking illegal.
"Tom! They have a right to come here and work! You just don't want them here because you're a racist!"
No I'm not dickhead.
Listen. We're a nation of immigrants. Every last one of us came here from someplace else. My family came from Ireland, England and Germany.
When my great grandparents on my mother's side came from Germany in the late 1800's, they came here legally. And the first thing they did was learn ENGLISH.
They didn't demand that everything be given to them in German. Their children weren't taught in German in the schools, they had to learn English. If you want to come here, come on in! We'd be happy to have you. But come here legally. Don't break our laws and think it's just honky-dory. And learn English. Assimilate.
If you come here and don't like it? Get the fuck out then! If America is so goddamn bad, why are millions trying to get here every year?
I'm so sick and goddamn tired of that tune.
Why is it that now, we're so damn afraid of having someone come here and be offended because we can't speak their language? Here's a unique concept. How about your ignorant ass learning English?
RT's two simple rules for coming to America:
1) Come in Legally
2) Learn English and our customs. Keep yours, but don't be offended at ours. You wanted to come here, deal with it
Not a hard concept. But apparently, if you believe in these two rules, you're anti-immigrant and a racist.
I've got two words to those who think I'm anti-immigrant and a racist.
Listen folks. Our very Nation and way of life is at stake here. Do not let them do this. I don't care if you're a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Independent. Even if you've never done anything political before in your life. Call your senators and congressmen and tell them how you feel about this. We cannot let this happen.
This isn't about immigration. It's about our very nation's ability to survive. I fought for this nation. I've spilled my own blood for it. I won't take this laying down. We can't just keep bending over to every whim of every alleged minority group who has a bitch. The way of appeasement doesn't work. Take a good hard look at France and the rest of Western Europe. You see where that got them, don't you?
I know we're not perfect as a nation. Far from it. But damnit we've got laws and a Constitution. Rules to live by. And if our elected representatives won't protect our rights as American citizens, who will?
I remember vividly the oath I took as a young 17 year-old soldier in 1983...
"I, Thomas J Wolfenden, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."
Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960
I take those words as serious now as I did in 1983. The oath is just about the same for every elected official in the country.
It's about time those officials we elected take those words just as seriously.
Because if they don't, and give it all away, we might as well just give it up because we'll have no future.
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden

Monday, May 01, 2006

It's a bird, it's a plane...

So I'm still stuck in purgatory at the mine. At least they've decided to run coal on Saturday now so I don't have such a long weekend, just a 16-hour shift on Sundays.
I still haven't heard back from the railroad, but I figured it would be at least a week before I got word either way. So I'm still at the mine.
So yesterday morning around 4 am I'm standing outside the mine office having a smoke and talking with one of the miners waiting for his ride. All of a sudden he looks down says "hey! Look!" and picks up a rock of some sort and shows it to me...
"Look!" he sez... "A piece of coal!"
Go figure. Actually finding a hunk of coal at a coal mine. Who'da thunk it?
I really have to have some sort of magnet that draws these people to me.
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden