C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday Drive: Be Still, My Soul

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Well, as those of you who keep up with the news may know, the End of the World failed to happen on schedule yesterday. Perhaps it was just an oversight. Nevertheless, for those cold, lonely hours that assail us all from time to time, I present a song of comfort, as performed with angelic voice by David Archuleta.  I apologize for the annoying titles on the screen, but this was the only clear, complete copy I could find of this tune by this artist on short notice.




I used to draw much comfort from the Eucharist. Unfortunately, circumstances have kept me from attending Communion for many years now, and it is most unlikely that I will ever do so again. Still, sometimes I find a healing balm, a note of hope in the words of the liturgy, fondly remembered. Fellow Anglicans will understand what I mean. The rest of you, if you find a word or phrase that helps you, fine - if not, look in a direction that suits you better. But here are the lovely words that speak to my soul, dulled and weary as it is now by all the changes and chances of life in a world that seems more and more hopeless every day.

I pray speedy help and recovery may go out to all those suffering from the recent hurricanes.  It may be only words, but words and a hope of hope are all I have to give now.


Friday, September 22, 2017

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Friday, September 15, 2017

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

In Memoriam: Edith Windsor, 1929-2017

We have lost a darling lady and champion of the right to marry.  May she rest in peace.

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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Hold Me? - A Nivanfield Story from Tim

A guest post by my truckbuddy Tim from England, now resident in Spain.

Hello again, dear reader!

You may have wondered, whilst idling away some passing moment during the last two years, 'Whatever became of that guy Tim who used to write the occasional pieces for the Blue Truck?' (You did, didn't you? Do say yes!)

Well, long story short, back in 2015 the winter blahs turned into the summer blehs and I entered a bout of depression. Then I discovered a fan fiction genre called 'Nivanfield' and it pulled me out of the hole.

I did my research, made contact with some writers of the genre whose work I admired, and posted my first 'short' in August 2015. Since I have Russ and the Blue Truck to thank for giving me those first opportunities to try out and develop my writing skills, I've been very keen to post some of my tales here by way of thanks and to re-establish my connection with Russ's magnificent organ.

However, as many of my stories are, ahem, too descriptive for Russ's tender and sensitive nature, finding suitable ones has been a bit of a problem. But this one "Hold me?" has met his stringent editorial standards. I've added some notes at the end to explain more what 'Nivanfield' is, but I hope the tale stands alone as a simple love story. Let Russ know what you think, perhaps there will be others!


 'Together 2' courtesy of rwandew @deviantart.com

Hold Me?

Normally it was Chris who ended up holding Piers most nights in bed. Piers didn't suffer the cold very well, never had. Too many sniping ops where you couldn't move, couldn't generate enough body heat. Only the brain remaining active, calculating the windage, distance, checking the cover, scanning for the mark, telling the rest of his tired, aching muscles not to shiver. He was never sure whether his sniping skills gave rise to his ability to think ten steps ahead, or that that skill made him the best sniper in the BSAA. Both qualities had become so natural to him that their precise origin was now blurred. When he was on his own, Piers' idea of bliss was to have both the electric under-blanket and the top-blanket on. But true heaven for Piers was when Chris climbed into the bed and warmed it up before he got in. Claire had always said the 'ol bear had a built-in furnace, and it had been one of the first things Piers had noticed about his Captain all those years ago, when he first met him and fell hopelessly in love.

So when Chris said to Piers "Hold me?" when he got into bed, Piers knew it wasn't because Chris was cold. Something was up, something was wrong. The slight frown on the rugged face, the downcast brown eyes; all signalled problems ahead. But the words . . . the two simple words . . . said it all. Chris didn't want a warming cuddle, or a moment of quiet foreplay before the act of making love. He wanted reassurance, friendship, support, confidence. He wanted, no he needed, to be loved. Like the little boy who'd fallen of his bike and grazed his knee, like the young man who'd lost both his parents, like the brother who'd held his sister tight as they stood together by the graveside, like the soldier who'd lost so many, many friends and comrades.

Piers knew by now that it was better not to ask for a reason. Early on in their relationship he had, when Chris had become silent, or moody. When, unaccountably, he'd burst into tears. He'd asked because he wanted to stop the pain, stop the hurt. And not just Chris'. It tore the heart out of Piers as well. To see his Captain bought low in Piers' eyes meant he hadn't done his job, hadn't prevented the incoming. Now, he knew that had been a naive expectation, that some things were not preventable, or even explicable. It was Chris' nature to 'suck it up', to keep a lid on his inner thoughts and emotions, least they suddenly rose up and overwhelmed him. Over time, as their partnership matured and strengthened, Piers had grown to realise this. You couldn't ask for explanations, not when they weren't even fully understood by the person suffering. Or, more likely, when they didn't want to talk about them. No, Piers had learnt to be supportive, not inquisitive. To be a carer rather than a confessor. Chris would eventually explain if he chose to, though more often than not he didn't. Piers drew some comfort from the fact that such episodes became less frequent as their relationship developed, but they never completely went away.

So "Hold me?" meant all of that and more, a whole luggage-train of emotional baggage. And so that's exactly what Piers did. But being Piers Nivans, he did it with a lot more thought and attention to detail than many would have done. When Chris warmed Piers up, it was a very physical experience. His large arms would surround his partner protectively, his thick legs would entwine themselves around Piers' own. The broad chest and muscled abdomen would radiate and transfer their own inherent heat to Piers' slighter frame. It was an act of enveloping, of wrapping, the physical embodiment of the laws of physics, of thermal dynamics, of energy loss and conservation, of friction and radiation. But on the occasions when Piers reciprocated, it was a more cerebral exercise. It had to be of course, Piers' comparatively slim body couldn't compete with that of his lover's. It was all in the technique. Yes, Piers would put his arms around Chris, as far as they could reach! And he could wrap one of Chris' legs at a time with his own, but it hardly impacted the bear's physical state.

But it was the touch, the tactile nature of Piers's 'hold' that went far beyond the mere surface of his lover's body. It penetrated and soothed Chris' very soul. Piers didn't hold with a hand. It was his fingertips that caressed and softly trailed over Chris' scarred skin. Brushing, stroking, sometimes even teasing. They criss-crossed the rugged terrain underneath them, never staying long, but equally never missing a spot. Sometimes they wouldn't actually touch Chris' skin at all, but float through the brown hairs on his arms, his chest, his groin. Piers' toes too, seemed adept at moving lovingly along a thigh, a calf muscle, the buttocks. Chris never knew what part of his body would be aroused the next, what sensation would follow gloriously on from the last. And in that very act of anticipation, of expectation, those feelings of love and wonder, would also come forgetfulness, of a deadening of the pain and torment, an easing of the taut heart-strings.

It was to Chris' chagrin that he rarely stayed awake long enough to thank Piers. The sniper could tell from the steady, regular breathing, the relaxation of the tension in the hard-muscled body, that his 'hold' was having the desired effect on his Captain. He didn't need the verbal thanks, or seek confirmation of a job well done. To see Chris at peace, content once more in himself, that was all that Piers ever wanted to witness. But sometimes, in the drowsy torpor that comes just before sleep, Chris would smile, the frown would disappear from that handsome face, and the sad brown eyes would suddenly lighten and sparkle.

"Thank you my love, for holding me. Please, don't ever let go."


Author's notes after the jump:

Friday, September 8, 2017

Waitin' for the Weekend





Need servicing?


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Mr. Overton


I may give out, but I never give up.

Austin resident Richard Arvin Overton, now age 111 and America's oldest living World War II veteran, attributes his longevity to a daily regimen of cigars, whiskey, and ice cream.  Watch this wonderful little biography of him and listen to his philosophy of life that keeps him going.





Earlier this year, the City of Austin marked his birthday by renaming the street he lives on:





Sunday, September 3, 2017

Friday, September 1, 2017

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hurricane Harvey

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We are okay here, no problems from that terrible hurricane, which is hundreds of miles away; but of course the news of all the devastation is distressing. We heard today that M.P.'s nephew and family in Houston have 20 inches of water in the house, and the cars flooded too - awful.

Here's a little vid I found on the link between hurricanes and climate change - I do not say it is accurate or inaccurate, as I am not a scientist, and all that business is just too big and too technical for my ethereal mind to fathom. And I am certain that nothing I do or say here in my small, hemmed-in world will make the slightest difference, anyway.

I don't doubt the fact of man-made climate change - I well recall a biology professor telling us back in 1973 or so that the newly discovered greenhouse effect would be causing climatic changes, and it only makes sense that it would.  But how and where to deal with it is beyond me.  So I present this as a conversation starter only, and what you do with it is up to you.






Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday Drive: Strauss, An der schönen blauen Donau

A few peaceful moments of pure joy and beauty that I think all my truckbuddies will appreciate: André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra playing "The Beautiful Blue Danube," recorded live in July 2006 at the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna.




Friday, August 18, 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017

Don't Be a Sucker

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Everything old is new again:  so here's an anti-fascist educational film produced by the War Department in 1943 (re-released in 1947) that remains as up-to-date as today's headlines:




When will we ever learn?


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Drive: Summer Rain

The 1967 hit from the great Johnny Rivers:




As it happens, it rained here twice yesterday, bringing us a little relief from the heat.



Friday, August 11, 2017

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday Drive: Summertime Blues

As performed by country-music giant Alan Jackson, 1994:




Friday, August 4, 2017

Waitin' for the Weekend

It's just too damn hot for clothes, even a swimsuit.







Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday Drive: Let's Fall in Love

The other night, M. P. and I watched Judy Holliday and Jack Lemon sing this tune in the delightful 1954 comedy It Should Happen to You.  M. P. was so taken with this song, he suggested I use it for today's post - and so here it is, as performed by Margaret Whiting in 1955.  Pictured with Whiting is studly Hugh O'Brian, a. k. a. Wyatt Earp.




Thursday, July 27, 2017

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