Crying the Blue Sky

Erik Harper, age 11, had a deal with his grandmother.  If Joseph Randolph Mays, the man living with him and his Deaf mother, and his younger brother Dakota, ever tried to really hurt them — it was an open secret in the family that Mays was physically beating all of them — Erik would send her an emergency text message in code: “The Sky is Blue” that meant they were in real danger and she should call 911.

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Living by the Knife: Cutting the Line on Killing

Sog MXV72 Mini X-Ray VisionYou, your spouse, and your young child are walking on an empty street at night.

You turn a corner.

A man stops you and points a gun at your spouse’s head.

His finger is squeezing the trigger.

You have this folding knife in your pocket.

The blade is less than three inches long; with one quick movement you have practiced before, you can pull the knife from your jacket pocket and flick the blade into performance with your thumb and embed it in his throat faster than he can finish pulling the trigger.

If you decide to pull the knife, the only option is to kill the man.

Threats and wounding will only result in the death of your spouse and child.

Do you pull the knife or not?

If yes, why? If not, why not?

Where do you cut the line on killing?

Does it begin and end with a life in the balance?

What if the same person with the gun had instead completely soaked your house in gasoline and was in the process of striking a match to engulf your home in flames?

Is that enough of a threat to health and home to claw the threat into red with that knife in your pocket?

If yes, why? If not, why not?

Leatherman 830012 Charge XTI Review

I love my new Leatherman 830012 Charge XTILeatherman 830012 Charge XTI.

 I am the proud owner of an original, basic, Leatherman that has served me well since 1998. 

In that GO INSIDE Magazine article you can read a really, really, stupid story about how I spewed blood on my bedspread trying to doctor a brand-new Nike shoe with my new Leatherman.

That Leatherman also served as a drywall cutter for the Fire Department when we had a fire inside our apartment wall.

Plumbers were doing work trying to unfreeze a frozen pipe in the basement and they were using super-heated hot air to warm the building pipes.

Hot air spread into the walls of the apartment building and fire alarms were set off as things that weren’t supposed to smoke started smoking.
When the three fire trucks arrived, one Fireman “looked” into our wall with a heat imaging camera and saw something he didn’t like. 

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Yet Another Plum

by Janet Hanna

Someone had eaten the red plums.
Carefully, they had piled the skins
On the edge of the plate
And cleaned the seeds.
Some of the juice still clung
To the white plate
Like small, precious spots
Of dark guilt.
The blade of the knife
Had been wiped clean,
And was lying
On the other side of the table
As though trying to separate
The responsibility for its carnage
From its pleasure.
I cleaned the plate
And washed its soiled darkness,
But I didn’t touch the knife.
By Spring, its blade had rusted
And turned the color
Of yet another red plum.