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I am alone now, truly alone, and absolutely isolated from any known life. I am it. If a count were taken, the score would be three billion plus two over on the other side of the moon, and one plus God knows what on this side. – Michael Collins We are now celebrating the 50th anniversary […]

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When I want to chill out with my homies, there is only one place to do it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vnx4nlu7awk More

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Before our home rested on the edge of a four-lane highway, it was surrounded by orange groves. And even later, long after we’d moved, it was converted to a Vietnamese Buddhist temple. It was a small house, three bedrooms and originally one bath before my parents added a bathroom onto their small master bedroom. And […]

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Quote of the Day: Neil Armstrong

 

I recently saw the excellent new film Armstrong. Here’s a couple of quotes from it:

Post Apollo 11 Press Conference

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Chill Out!

 

As a police officer, I often encountered people who were in crisis. In the police academy and elsewhere, we were given a wide array of tools and training to protect ourselves. Verbal de-escalation of people in crisis, not so much. Our mandate was “command presence,” to take charge of every situation we encountered. This, of course, resulted in all sorts of wacky hijinks.

Eventually, the PD brass realized that we needed to be a little more versatile in our approach to the people we were serving. The result was a block on police-community relations in our annual training. Officers disparagingly called these blocks “the flavor of the year,” since they seemed to change every time. One year it was something called “Signature Service.” One year it was “Verbal Judo,” which was pretty good but never had any followup or refresher training. One year, the first thing we were assigned to do was write down all of the derogatory names we could think of for people of different races, cultures, genders, etc. I turned in a blank sheet of paper. The lieutenant teaching the course got on me for that and I told her I would never put my name on a document containing such language; besides, I never used those words myself. I never got the point of this particular class.

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Last night I went to bed with a fever. I fell asleep staring at Netflix. I woke at 3:15, T.V. frozen and glowing, sweat chilling on my coverless body. Half-deliriously I flicked off the set and switched to Spotify. I spent the rest of the night drifting among six centuries of music, from the Kyrie […]

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Ice After Fire: The Outpost Tavern

 

In the 1960s there was no hotter job in Texas than that of astronaut. If you were one of that elite crew, you were conquering space, getting there by riding a column of fire. With a job that hot, you needed to cool down after the workday was over. Fortunately, the astronauts were based in Houston and did most of their work there. They could take advantage of a Texas tradition: the ice house.

For those of you from more benighted regions, a Texas ice house is not just a place where you buy blocks of ice or which manufactures or stores ice. That is what folks mean when they talk about an ice house in some parts of America.

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Two days ago I lay on the grass beside the Virginia monument on the battleground called Gettysburg. It was late in the day and the heat was finally giving way to shade and milder temperatures. My son Sam and I had spent the day walking, pointing, listening and learning. Over 1400 monuments are scattered across […]

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Last night I was laying on the floor of my son’s room while reading him a bedtime story. We’ve had wildfires all week, and the smoke outside was so thick it eliminated the horizon and even distorted our view of nearby trees. We had every window closed and the inside temperature of nearly 90 degrees […]

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Make Your Own Sabbath: Chill-Out!

 

For those of us who are pretty independent and don’t like anyone telling us what to do (I assume that is at least 75% of the people who follow Ricochet!), the idea of a Sabbath might be unattractive, to say the least, and distasteful at worst. But over the last couple of years, I’ve come to my own understanding about the Sabbath, how not only Jews and Christians can benefit from it, but everyone needs to have at least one Sabbath day each week. This is what I figured out:

In Judaism, G-d tells us that we must observe the Sabbath day and to keep it holy. I’m not the most observant Jew, but even with those mitzvot I follow, I realized why there are so many rules to Shabbat: because G-d knows we will cheat! And the only ones we will cheat are ourselves!

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Quote of the Day: JFK

 

“The Second Amendment will always be important.” – John F. Kennedy, 1960

While JFK doubted that the fears of government tyranny that motivated the Second Amendment would ever come to pass, he did not live to see his fellow Democrats today.

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We look back to July 22, 1973, the location is Hampton, Georgia. The example of “cool” is the winner of the race, David Pearson. David Pearson is one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history. In an era of high stress and high danger, Pearson was viewed as “cool”. In a sport in which other […]

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Hey, guess what? My Granny knew what she was talking about! About lots of things actually, but in relation to this post, about only one. She was a great believer, on a stinking hot day (remember, we’re taking about England, so any day on which the temperature goes above 60 degrees Fahrenheit qualifies as scorchio), […]

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Actually, the quote is” “Don’t get stuck on stupid, reporters” More

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Can AOC Chill Out for Cultural Cool Cred?

 

MiniAOCLeftist thugs bullied and threatened the life of an 8-year-old girl for daring to parody, to expose to laughter, their leader AOC. The leftists, who have so far faced no criminal or even social media company sanction, have proven, once again, that totalitarians cannot tolerate laughter at them or their ideas. Yet, if AOC could only chill out and seize the obvious pop-culture reference, couldn’t she gain a broader and deeper cultural cool cred?

The Mini AOC social media accounts were created by a father and mother with an 8-year-old daughter who had the acting chops, the presence, to gently satirize Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They did not seek anonymity. Rather, they acted as Americans who expect to be able to poke fun at our politicians.

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This is an appeal for contributions to our July theme series, in which you are invited to tell us how to “Chill Out!” Do click the link and sign up to share your own cool post. I appreciate the wide variety of posts already written or proposed. I would love to see a “cool jazz” […]

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Chilling Out on the 4th of July

 

Two and a half years ago, I shared how my father acquired a cannon for holiday noisemaking and celebration in the story “Holiday Traditions: Entering the New Year with a Bang.”

As part of the Bicentennial Year, the Bellmore Johnson Tool Company re-released the Winchester Model 98 signal cannon, a 10-gauge blank-firing miniature cannon. They were all-metal, painted black, and fired by pulling a 10-foot lanyard. […] Firing produced a roar, a flash of flame, and cloud of smoke, and the cannon recoiled several feet.

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Quote of the Day: Propaganda

 

“Never believe all your own side’s propaganda, but don’t start believing the enemy’s.” – Unknown (heard from David Weber)

I have to apologize, as this quote is based on my recollection, which may be inexact. My apologies. That said, I heard this or something close to it at a panel on military science fiction.

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Sorry, you missed Independence Day. But you can be cool and Start a Conversation by posting a July Quote of the Day. It’s still the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet, and we’ll give you tips for finding great quotes. So don’t be a dog and sign up today! More

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