Thursday, January 31, 2008

Just now leaving work

Just now leaving work. It smells like snow! We r suppose to get bout 9 inches tonight. Im so excited!!

F U Berkeley, California. F U!!

A friend of my with the American Legion Riders sent this to me. Good God!! I think I'm gonna be sick... a town council resolution that says a Marine Recruiter office is “not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do as uninvited and unwelcome intruders.”

I may have an opportunity to travel there this summer. I gonna save my pennies and rent a bike and ride up to the office and thank those young men for their service. And yes I will take along AND wear my vest.

Fuckers!!

EDIT - Link to "The Daily Californian"

-------------------------------------------------


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
American Legion Commander to Berkeley City Council:
‘Marines are not the enemy’


INDIANAPOLIS (January 31, 2008) - “Osama bin Laden couldn’t have said it better,” American Legion National Commander Marty Conatser said of the Berkeley City Council Resolution, which tells the Marines that they are not welcome there. “Disgraceful, disloyal, ungrateful. These words are too kind in describing the actions of the public officials in Berkeley, who voted for this disgrace. Nonetheless, our Marines continue to bravely serve and in so doing, allow Americans to spout such foolishness. The American Legion not only strongly condemns this action by the City Council but also believes that a sincere apology is in order to all Marines, past and present.”

Conatser, the leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization, was referring to a measure passed by the Council 8-1 Tuesday, that tells the U.S. Marine Corps that one of its recruiting stations is “not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do as uninvited and unwelcome intruders.”

The City Council marched in complete lock-step with radical anti-war group Code Pink in attempting to drive out Marine recruiters from its San Francisco suburb. The City Council also voted 8-1 to give Code Pink a free parking space in front of a recruiting station, along with a free sound permit for protesting once a week. Marine recruiters at Berkeley have faced harassment from protestors who regularly block nearby sidewalks, generate excessive noise and disrupt business.

“I have been a recruiter in the National Guard and I know that it’s tough duty, with long hours,” Conatser said. “What these recruiters do is essential to our national security. Without recruiters we have no military. And I don’t think we can count on the flower children from Berkeley to protect this nation when it comes under attack. They have to remember that Marines are not the enemy; the terrorists are.”

Conatser pointed out that The American Legion strongly supports the war on terrorism, passing a national resolution of its own. “Resolution 169 was passed unanimously by The American Legion in 2005 and it has been re-affirmed every year since. It reminds Americans that you can not separate the war from the warrior and that the American people should stand united in support for our troops who are engaged in protecting our values and our way of life.”

With a current membership of 2.7-million wartime veterans, The American Legion, http://www.legion.org/, was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and patriotic youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.


Media Contacts: Ramona Joyce, (202) 263-2982; Cell (202) 445-1161; Joe March, (317) 630-1253; cell (317) 748-1926 or John Raughter (317) 630- 1350

US Citizen Quiz

US Citizen Quiz. 20 questions... I missed one.
How about you?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Interesting Quiz

Found this over at Blondage's

John McCain
Score: 49
Agree
Iraq
Taxes
Health Care
Abortion
Social Security
Line-Item Veto
Energy
Death Penalty
Gun Control
Disagree
Immigration
Stem-Cell Research
Marriage
Environment
Education

-- Take the Quiz! --

A Meme, Again....

A meme!! I haven’t had to do one of these in a few months.

Let’s see... BetMe over at DisIsMyPlace tagged me.

The rules are:
* link to the person who tagged you (see above)
* post the rules on your blog (ummm... you're reading them)
* share six non-important things/ habits/ quirks about yourself (done, see below)
* tag at least 3 people at the end of the post and link to their blogs (done, see belower)
* let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog (working on it, sheesh)

My 6 Things

1 - I can’t stand to see that bottom of a stream or river over about 6 feet deep. I’m ok walking in, but from a boat... ugghhh, just wierds me out!!

2 - When I was 6 (maybe) my grandma made a pillow for me out of wash-cloths stuffed with old nylons. I still have one, it is my 4th. I made my wife learn how to make them and replace it every 5-6 years. I have to have it to sleep. I took it on a trip once and left it at the hotel. I made them ship it back to me postage due.

3 - I can’t stand riding my scoot with a windshield. Granted, the other day when it was 6, I was glad to have it but anything over 30... I’d rather get hit in the face with a big bug than have to ride with a windshield.

4 - I like mixing my foods. Especially breakfast. Grits, over-easy eggs, hash-browns, gravy... the more the merrier.

5 - I grow a beard every winter, have since I was 16. First snow (we’re talking inches, not dusting) or Thanksgiving, whichever comes first, I stop shaving. Then in the spring as soon as I have to be out cutting the grass or digging in the garden... that night it comes off.

6 - I like the cold. I sleep in a room that is about 45 degrees... and have a fan blowing on me. I often have the window open. Like the last trip to Kansas (see below) my 14th story room sliding glass door was about a foot open every night.


The more of this I did the more I thought this sounded familiar. Sure enough, this was actually my first meme 17JAN07. Almost exactly one year ago. Guess I have 12 quirky-weird things about me since I did not repeat any of them from last year.

Without further adue, I tag

K @ Ksquest
Nancy @ Nancy’s Garden Spot
SpeedBump @ Through A Patriots Eye

Home Cooking, USMC Style

I got this in an e-mail today. True or not, it has to be one of the funniest things I have read in weeks. You’ve been warned.

---------------------------------------------

MRE dinner date, the following is a true story....told from the point of view of a young Marine

I had a date the other night at my place. On the phone the day before, the girl asked me to "Cook her something she's never had before" for dinner. After many minutes of scratching my head over what to make, I finally settled on something she has DEFINITELY never eaten.

I got out my trusty case of MRE's. Meal, Ready-to-Eat. Field rations that when eaten in their entirety contain 3000+ calories. Here's what I made:

I took three of the Ham Slices out of their plastic packets, took out three of the Pork Chops, three packets of Chicken-a-la- King, and eight packets of dehydrated butter noodles and some dehydrated/rehydrat ed rice. I cooked the Ham Slices and Pork Chops in one pan, sautéed in shaved garlic and olive oil.

In another pot, I blended the Chicken a-la-king, noodles, and rice together to make a sort of mush that looked suspiciously like succotash. I added some spices, and blended everything together in a glass pan that I then cooked in the oven for about 35 minutes at 450 degrees.

When I took it out, it looked like, well, ham slices, pork chops, and a bed of yellow poop. I covered the tops of the meat in the MRE cheese (kinda like Velveeta) and added some green sprinkly things from one of my spice cans (hey, if it's got green sprinkly things on it, it looks fancy right?)

For dessert, I took four MRE Pound Cakes, mashed 'em up, added five packets of cocoa powder, powdered coffee cream, and some water. I heated it up and stirred it until it looked like a sort of chunky gelatinous organism, and I sprinkled powdered sugar on top of it. Voila--Ranger Pudding.

For alcoholic drinks, I took the rest of my bottle of Military Special Vodka (yes, they DO make a type of liquor named "Military Special"--it sells for $4.35 per fifth at the Class Six) and mixed in four packets of "Electrolytes - 1 each - Cherry flavored" (I swear, the packet says that). It looked like an eerie kool-aid with sparkles in it (that was the electrolytes I guess... could've been leftover sand from Egypt ).

I lit two candles, put a vase of wildflowers in the middle, and set the table with my best set of Ralph Lauren Academy-series China (that shit is EXPENSIVE... my set of 8 place settings cost me over $600 on sale at the Lej eune PX ), and put the alcoholic drink in a crystal wine decanter.

She came over, and I had some appetizers already made, of MRE spaghetti-with- meatballs, set in small cups. She saw the dinner, saw the food, and said "This looks INCREDIBLE!! !"

We dug in, and she was loving the food. Throughout the meal, she kept asking me how long it took me to make it, and kept remarking that I obviously knew a thing or two about cooking fine meals. She kind of balked at the makeshift "wine" I had set out, but after she tried it I guess she liked it because she drank four glasses during dinner.

At the end of the main course, when I served the dessert, she squealed with delight at the "Chocolate mousse" I had made. Huh? Chocolate what?

Okay... yeah... its Chocolate Moose. Took me HOURS to make... yup

Later on, as we were watching a movie, she excused herself to use my rest room. While she was in there, I heard her say softly to herself "uh oh" and a resounding but petite fart punctuated her utterance of dismay.

Let the games begin.

She sprayed about half a can of air freshener (Air Freshener, 1 each, Orange scent. Yup. The military even makes smell-good) and returned to the couch, this time with an obvious pained look.

After 10 more minutes she excused herself again, and retreated to the
bathroom for the second time, I could hear her say "What the hell is WRONG with me???" as she again send flatulent shockwaves into the porcelain bowl. This time, they sounded kinda wet, and I heard the toilet paper roll being employed, and again, LOTS more air freshener.

Back to the couch. She smiles meekly as she decides to sit on the chair instead of next to me. She sits on my chair, knees pulled up to her chest, kind of rocking back and forth slightly. Suddenly, without a word, she ROCKETED up and FLEW to the bathroom, slammed the door, and didn't come out for 30 minutes.

I turned the movie up because I didn't want her to hear me laughing so hard that tears were streaming down my cheeks.

She came out with a slightly gray pallor to her face, and said "I am SOOOOOO sorry. I have NO idea what is wrong with me. I am so embarrassed; I can't believe I keep running to your bathroom!!" I gave her an Imodium AD, and she finally settled down and relaxed.

Later on, she asked me again what I had made for dinner, because she had enjoyed it so much. I calmly took her into the kitchen and showed her all the used MRE bags and packets in the trash can.

After explaining to her that she had eaten roughly 9,000 calories of "Marine Corps Field Rations" she turned stark white, looked at me incredulously, and said "I ate 9,000 calories of dehydrated food that was made 3 years ago?"

After I rogered, she grabbed her coat and keys, and took off without a word.

She called me yesterday. Seems she couldn't shit for 5 days, and when she finally did, t he smell was so bad, her roommate could smell it from down the hall. She also told me she had been working out nonstop to combat the high caloric intake, and that she never wanted me to cook dinner for her again, unless she was PERSONALLY there to inspect the food beforehand.

It was a fun date. She laughed about it eventually and said that that was the first time she'd ever crapped in a guy's house on a date. She'd been so upset by it she was in tears in the bathroom while I had been in tears on the couch.

I know ... I'm an asshole, but it was still a funny night.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Isn't that just GREAT! Just

Isn't that just GREAT!
Just fell asleep sitting in a chair in a crowd at the gate... and woke myself up snoring.

Grrr!! Flight from Kansas City

Grrrr!!
Flight from Kansas City is delayed to 8:30. Gonna be a long night.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The lobby.

The lighting geeks working hard on Staurday morning.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Fiction Friday

My mom is from Savannah and my dad is from Pittsburgh. I remember being told as a kid that 4 grand fathers were at Gettysburg. 2 from the north and 2 from the south. One from each side was killed there (over 50,000 men died in that battle alone). The one remaining for the south was taken prisoner and spent the remainder of the war in upstate New York. When the war ended he walked home to Savannah. Since they could not trust anyone to tell the truth about owning a horse, they let all of the horses go too. When he got home, his horse had made the trip too.

This is in no way what happened, just my minds eye of things that could have happened.

Enjoy!!!!

****************************

The diary of Mark Q. Pendleton - 3rd Day of July 1863rd year of our Lord.

I awoke today at first light my heart was heavy and visions were strong in my head. I usually write about my days adventures here at the completion of the day. Today, it seems, my nights adventures are so strong that I am impelled to write this morning.

More than a dream, this is what happened... where I was last night.

-----_______

Cool damp first morning air rushes through my nostrils and into my lungs. Birds are singing and a light breeze rustles the leaves. As I exit my tent others are stirring, fat back is being fried and fills the air with a fleeting glimpse of home. One mans leftovers from the night before find use in another mans belly this morning. Almost no one is talking.

Quickly, before any man is ready, we are called to task and form our ranks. We walk, resolute in our decision and head out onto the field. A fog remains, lines are blurred and the shout ‘ready’ is heard. We in the front line drop to our knees, we wait, frozen in anticipation. ‘Aim’, my heart pounds in my chest and I close one eye. Each man picks another that is straight in across from him. ‘FIRE!!’ Explosions rain and fire jumps from every direction.

Flight.
I feel as if I am falling. All of the explosions and fire from just moments ago are silent. There is nothing.

Darkness.
I can taste the darkness, feel it, hear it. There is no seeing.
There is nothing.

When will it end....

“Oh GOD, it hurts!!! Please, someone HELP ME!!!”
“Jesus, save me!! What have I done??!”
“Momma, PLEASE make it stop!!!”

The shrieks of men, calling on Jesus... calling for their mothers. This desperate,, screaming the last breaths of men first breaks my darkness.

My eyes slowly open as I labored to lift my head. The bright July sun was cooling; the warmth of it seemed to escape me. All I could lift was my head, I did not have the strength or will to sit up. I could see a field covered with men. As far as I could see. Yankees, Confederate Soldiers, some in uniform, some still in their farm overalls.

Cold. I could swear there was no sun. Death, was everywhere. This was a dead field, I was laying in a dead field. I screamed, “I’m not dead!!” as the words echoed in my head, I realized I was standing... next to a Confederate soldier that looked just like... it was me. I was dead.

The cold reality brought me back to my knees. I cried like a young boy into my hands. How much time passed I could not say. Once I regained myself and began to look around I could see the man laying before me... I had been shot in the shoulder. Ribs protruding, red soaked flesh of my insides lay exposed. My arm was missing. Torn out by the impact. I had been hit directly by cannon fire.

Laying next to me was a Yankee, part of his head was missing, he had been shot in the head.

I began lifting, raising into the air. I was flying, free. I could see everything.

The green field was covered by crashing waves of blue and gray. Every man bled crimson and the tide washed the field till neither white nor black or Yankee nor confederate or blue nor gray could be discerned.

I passed through the clouds and my view was slowly covered. My view of the field and all humanity went black.

----------_____________

5th day of August 1863rd year of our Lord.
(I have added the following this day)

News has reached us today of Matthew’s death. A letter only.

“Dear Sir or Madame, we regret to inform you that your son Matthew B. Pendleton has died in battle. At Gettysburg Pennsylvania, on or about the 3rd of July 1863.

Your service and sacrifice to the Confederate cause has been appreciated.”

No signature, no name, nothing. I can still hear mother, shut in her room, crying.

As I reflect back on the images I saw that morning, I can see now it was Matthew. I knew he had died. But he was telling me something, to join or not to join the cause, I am not sure but join I have. I am sure mother did not hear me when I told her I have joined the militia and I leave tomorrow.

video

The view during the daylight.

Geek joke of the day:

Geek joke of the day: lighting 'unit' is single ended, high freq, self ballasted and self illuminating!! HAHAHAHA!!

4 shots 2 beers, lots

4 shots 2 beers, lots of lighting geek speek. It was a good day!

Big thanks to speedbump for helping out today!!

Time to sleep...

That is all.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

videoThe view!

KC Airport. (wonder if a pic will post??)

Cellphone txt blogging is fun.

Cellphone txt blogging is fun. do wish i had a PDA though or @ least a full keyboard.

Im 5-8 bout 260 lbs.

I'm 5-8, about 260 lbs. if I had to take a shit on the plane... it would be easier for me to back into that little thing they call a latrine.

Sitting on the shitter in

Sitting on the shitter in the airport... and it flushes. now 'everything' is soaked. this trip is off to a good start!

MIA and Stuff

Heading to Kansas City for 4 days worth of meetings. Should be fun, nothing but lighting and lighting geeks for 4 days. AND I get to stay at a Westin AND the company pays for the whole thing. I’m gonna gain 10 pounds this weekend... (hope the hotel is stocked up on Jack...)
I have a laptop so hopefully I can still post and comment.

I have an issue with a new BK ‘dollar menu’ commercial. I hope to use the plane time to tell you about it... be looking for it.

I’m so bummed!!! Temps in the low 40s around here and I won’t be able to ride!! Hell after last week I could have gone in shorts and a sleeveless shirt. HAHAHA!!

Also! I am a finalist in Sparrows Hiaku contest!!!! PLEASE visit Sparrows blog (found in my blog roll) and vote for me!

See ya!!

Zen Summary X

Pray to God, but hammer away. - Spanish Proverb

A monk asked Wei-kuan; “Where is Tao?”
Wei-kuan answered: “Right in front of us.”
“Why don’t I see it?” asked the monk.
“Because of you egotism.”
“But if I cannot see it because of my egotism, can you see it?”
“As long as there is ‘I and thou,’” said the master, “this complicates everything and there is no seeing Tao.”
“Then when there is neither ‘I’ nor ‘thou’, it is seen?”
The master replied: “When there is neither ‘I’ nor ‘thou’, who is here to see it?” - Zen Mondo

Zen is a matter of character, not a matter of intellect. - D. T. Suzuki

I must consider myself a corpse which has neither intelligence nor will: be like a mass of matter which without resistance lets itself be placed wherever it may please anyone; like a stick in the hand of an old man, who uses it according to his needs and places it where it suites him. - St. Ignatius Loyola

“Just ask, just ask!” says the dew, and rolls away. - Issa

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

OK, I’m stupid

Saturday’s ride was cold. I should have drove or at least wore a helmet.

When I left the house it was 6°F outside. I had to go about 40 miles and most of it was interstate. 60, 70 sometimes 80 mph, that’s -26° windchill, for those playing at home. According to the National Weather Service, you get frostbite in 30 min if the windchill is about -16° and 10 min if -32°.

With traffic and whatnot, it was about an hour ride there and an hour back.

Sunday and Monday my nose hurt. Yesterday it stared peeling. Still peeling today. I think that is a minor case of frost bite.

I think I’m gonna pass on ridding on single digit days, yep, has to be 10° or warmer for me to ride...

Unless I can find a way to keep my nose warm.


If you look close... you can see ice on my mustache.









4 rode Saturday. One guy came almost 80 miles.

A Collection of Jokes and Little Johnny - II

The Pope and Hillary Rodham Clinton are on the same stage in front of a huge crowd.

The senator and His Holiness, however, have seen it all before. To make it a little more interesting, the senator says to the Pope, "Did you know that with just one little wave of my hand I can make every Democrat in the crowd go wild?"

He doubts it, so she shows him. Sure enough, the wave elicits rapture and cheering from every democrat in the crowd. Gradually, the cheering subsides.

The Pope, not wanting to be out done by such a level of arrogance, considers what he could do.

"That was impressive”, the Pope replies, "But did you know that with just one little wave of
MY hand I can make EVERY person in the crowd go crazy with joy? This joy will not be a momentary display like that of your subjects, but will go deep into their hearts, and they
will forever speak of this day and rejoice."

The senator seriously doubts this, and says so. "One little wave of your hand and all people
will rejoice forever? Show me."

So the Pope slapped her!!

(Sorry B)


*********************************

Old Ironsides



Some little known American naval history.

The U.S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides) as a combat vessel carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men. This was sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea. She carried no evaporators.

However, let it be noted that according to her log, "On July 27, 1798, the U.S.S. Constitution sailed from Boston with a full complement of 475 officers and men, 48,600 gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum."

Her mission: "To destroy and harass English shipping." Making Jamaica on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum.

Then she headed for the Azores, arriving there 12 November. She provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine.

On 18 November, she set sail for England. In the ensuing days she defeated five British men-of-war and captured and scuttled 12 English Merchantmen, salvaging only the rum aboard each.

By 26 January, her powder and shot were exhausted. Nevertheless, although unarmed she made a night raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. Her landing party captured a whisky distillery and transferred 40,000 gallons of single malt Scotch aboard by dawn.

Then she headed home.

The U.S.S. Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February, 1799, with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, no rum, no wine, no whisky and 38,600 gallons of stagnant water.

GO NAVY!

This may all be explained though by the fact that they carried US Marines on board, to do the actual fighting. Marines have been known to drink a bit!

*********************************



Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton and a Priest

The old priest lay dying in the hospital. For years, he had faithfully served the people of the nation's capital.

He motioned for his nurse to come near. "Yes, Father?" said the nurse. "I would really like to see Senator's Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton before I die," whispered the priest. "I'll see what I can do, Father" replied the nurse.

The nurse sent the request to the Senate and waited for a response. Soon the word arrived; Senator's Kennedy and Clinton would be delighted to visit the priest.

As they went to the hospital, Hilary commented to Teddy, "I don't know why the old priest wants to see us, but it will certainly will help our images and might even get me elected President. After all, I'm IN IT TO WIN IT."
Kennedy agreed--it was a good thing.

When they arrived at the priest's room, the priest took Ted's hand in his right hand and Hilary's hand in his left.

There was silence, and a look of serenity on the old priest's face.

Finally Senator Kennedy spoke. "Father, of all the people you could have chosen, why did you choose us to be with you as you near the end?"

The old priest slowly replied, "I have always tried to pattern my life after our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

"Amen" said Teddy.

"Amen" said Hillary.

The old priest continued... "He died between two lying thieves. I would like to do the same."

*********************************

Marijuana Filled Firewood

"Hello, is this the Sheriff's Office?"

'Yes. What can I do for you?"

"I'm calling to report 'bout my neighbor Virgil Smith...He's hidin' marijuana inside his firewood! Don't quite know how he gets it inside them logs, but he's hidin' it there.."

"Thank you very much for the call, sir."

The next day, twelve Sheriff's Deputies descend on Virgil's house. They search the shed where the firewood is kept.

Using axes, they bust open every piece of wood, but find no marijuana.

They sneer at Virgil and leave.

Shortly, the phone rings at Virgil's house.

"Hey, Virgil! This here's Floyd....Did the Sheriff come?"

"Yeah!"

"Did they chop your firewood?"

"Yep!"

"Merry Christmas Buddy"

*********************************

Fifteen Reasons Why Men Have 2 Dogs and Not 2 Wives

1. The later you are, the more excited your dogs are to see you.

2. Dogs don't notice if you call them by another dog's name.

3. Dogs like it if you leave a lot of things on the floor.

4. A dog's parents never visit.

5. Dogs agree that you have to raise your voice to get your point across.

6. Dogs like to do their snooping outside rather than in your wallet or desk.

7. You never have to wait for a dog; they're ready to go 24 hours a day.

8. Dogs find you amusing when you're drunk.

9. Dogs like to go hunting and fishing.

10. A dog will not wake you up at night to ask, 'If I died, would you get another dog?'

11. If a dog has babies, you can put an ad in the paper and give them away.

12. A dog will let you put a studded collar on it without calling you a pervert.

13. If a dog smells another dog on you, they don't get mad. They just think it's interesting.

14 Dogs like to ride in the back of a pickup truck.

And last, but not least,

15. If a dog leaves, it won't take half of your stuff

*********************************


POLITE WAY TO PEE


During one of her daily classes a teacher trying to teach good manners, asked her students the following question: "If you were on a date having dinner with a nice young lady, how would you tell her that you have to go to the bathroom?"

Michael said, "Just a minute I have to go pee."

The teacher responded by saying, "That would be rude and impolite. What about you Peter, how would you say it?”

Peter said, "I am sorry, but, I really need to go to the bathroom. I'll be right back."

"That's better, but it's still not very nice to say the word bathroom at the dinner table. And you, little Johnny, can you use your brain for once and show us your good manners?"

“I would say: "Darling, may I please be excused for a moment? I have to shake hands with a very dear friend of mine, Whom I hope you'll get to meet after dinner.”

The teacher fainted.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Another Hero Passes

Saturday I rode to honor Sergeant First Class (retired) Robert (Bob) Sherill. Bob passed after an extended battle with cancer in his throat. Bob was a retired for the Indiana National Guard after 23 years. His service included deployment to Bosnia.

22 Patriot Guard Riders were in attendance to honor the man, SFC Sherill.

A true American hero. God bless the family and friends.

Go here to read from the local paper...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Fiction Friday - II

Two in a row doesn’t quite make a trend, now does it. But none the less, here is Friday Fiction part duex.

This is turning out to be harder than I thought it would be. Not that I can’t come up with the stories but having time to write. Good grief!!! I’ll bet I have 8-9 hours in this one. Reading and re-reading, adding thoughts. Enjoy!!!

**********

Psychosis


Kelly smiled hard in the mirror, frowned, opened her mouth wide then relaxed... “no wrinkles... yet” she thought. Looking towards the full length mirror, she flexed her hip looking over her shoulder in her best ‘I’m so sexy pose’, “not bad for 36”. She proceeded to apply about a hundred dollars worth of her favorite creams and cleaners, totally convinced that it works flawlessly.

Before she turned to leave the bathroom she glanced down at the sink. Left to right; washing cloth (clean), soap (wiped dry), faucet (spotless), tooth brush in holder... “Damn” she thought as she moved her toothbrush to be in the 3rd hole of the holder. “Good thing I check these every night, what if I woke up blind in the morning? I’d never find my toothbrush”. Smug with pride, she smiled to herself, that she had caught a misplaced item and scolding herself for being so careless.

Someone saying Kelly was OCD was like saying the noon July 4th sun is hot in Phoenix. Her pots and pan are always stacked in largest to smallest order, her dishes are stacked just so... Hell, Kelly has never misplaced her car keys. She always knows where everything is and everything is where it belongs.

She clicked the light off, “one, two, three and a half steps, turn right 90 degrees...” four more steps and she sat. Knowing with confidence her bed was there waiting for her. Of course, it was. Kelly could find anything her apartment, in the dark.

Kelly smiled with anticipation of sliding into the flannel sheets in her satin PJs, The momentary chill from the sheets as her body worked to warm them up. She laid her head on the pillow and was asleep almost instantly, dreaming.

Skipping through an unending field, full of beautifully colored butterflies and happy singing birds, happy little bees buzzing around and THUMP!!! A tree fell, it was now pitch black. “There are no trees here”, Kelly mumbled to her self still somewhat asleep.

Dazed and confused Kelly realized she was sitting upright in her bed... “That thump wasn’t in my dream!!!” Straining to hear anything... what was it? Is someone here? The only sound was her heart, pounding harder than she had ever known.

Kelly listed off all of the windows in her mind. Had she mad sure they were all closed? Was the front door closed? Of course the door was, she always unlocks it, opens it, looks out, closes it and re-locks it every time she walks by it.... she just knew the front door was locked. But the windows. It was mid October, she hadn’t had the windows open since that warm snap in the end of September. They were all closed, but were they locked???

Kelly got out of bed and walked out the bedroom and down the hall as she turned to enter the living room. CRASH!!! Pain shot up from her foot, so intense she saw a bolt of light. Screaming in agony she dropped to the floor and realized she had kicked a chair!! “WTF!!? Why is a dinning room chair in the living room?” She was sitting on the floor and as she held her foot she could feel the sticky warmth of her own blood in her hands. “Dam it!! I broke my toe nail” she thought. Her mind raced to towels, rags to clean the floor, how to get the blood out of her pajamas. She was so sure they were just ruined.

“ok, that’s enough!” Kelly got up and turned on every light she could reach.

Everything was where it was suppose to be except for one dinning room chair. It was sitting squarely in the entrance to the bedroom hallway.

Paper towels, tissues, gauze, scissors, antiseptic, bandages, all spread on the table before her. She sat in a kitchen chair with her foot pulled up on the seat. Looking around and basically hugging her leg, she began the tedious process of cleaning the blood from her foot and between her toes. The nail was split and still bleeding pretty good. She used the small suturing scissors to trim back the ripped and exposed nail. Blot, blot, press, PRESS... still bleeding. More trimming, more gauze. A singe of pain, made her jump and almost throw the little scissors across the room. She had cut across a nerve. She groaned at the pain, white hot in her toes. It was beginning to make her sweat. “I have to get this cleaned up”, she says almost in a panic.

Each press, blot, trim exorcise finished with her looking at the bloody rags and gauze and each time she dropped it to the floor. When she has finished, there was a pile of blood soaked gauze and rags on the floor. White cloth bearing evidence of a death by exsanguination averted.

Once the bleeding had stopped she got up and with out thinking or pausing, just went to bed. Leaving the mess, the light on and as she passed the chair, she moved it back to blocking the hall way. Just as she had done earlier that day.

Dreams returned to the tired and blood drained woman but they were not butterflies this time. These dreams were for lovers. Eyes meet across a simple street café. Hers sparkle with the excitement of a physical attraction. His, deep and blue, mysterious and lustful. Her cheeks flush at the knowledge and acknowledgement of each others thoughts. They walk toward each other loosing sight of reality and any one else in the café. Arms out stretched in anticipation of lustful embrace they approach each other. At that moment in her dream she closes her eyes and when they reopen, she’s kissing a light pole, or a phone pole. All of the other patrons of the café are laughing, pointing. Kelly runs, down the street, around a corner. Stops, panting, breathing nearly escapes her capacities. She sits at a near by café and orders a water. There is a guy there, he’s cute There eyes meet, she smiles. Forgetting completely the circumstances that brought her here.

Saturday morning. 9 am. Liz (Kelly’s mom) lets herself in. It is their morning. Ever since Paul had died 2 years ago Kelly’s mom had made it a point to see her daughter every week. Saturday worked best for them both.

Paul and Kelly had met almost 4 years ago. Then 2 years later, after a multi-hour-sheet-untucking-body-fluid-swaping romp, they slept. In the morning when she woke, he was cold. Dead.

The County Coroner had said it was a brain aneurism. Nothing that had happened days before caused it to happen that night and nothing done different (or not done), would have saved him. It was just simply his time.

Kelly blamed herself anyways. In an effort to control anything, everything in her life now, she had become the shell of a person that she is now. Completely consumed and compulsive about everything she could and could not control.

Liz gasped as she entered the kitchen. There was blood slung on the cabinets, on the ceiling, even dripping form the chair. Blood was everywhere. She screamed and ran to Kelly’s bedroom.

Almost jumping over the bed she landed on Kelly shaking her violently. Hoping, wishing to shake life back into her if she was...

Kelly was running from the ump-teenth café in eternal humiliation. Almost crying from the embarrassment of kissing yet another tree. But, this time someone grabbed her and shook her so violently she swore her head was smacking the tree. As her dream faded, she realized her head was hitting the headboard. And someone was screaming.

“KELLY, WAKE UP!!! GOD DAMN IT!!! WAKE UP!!!”

“Mom, what the hell are you doing? I’m awake already!! You’re lucky you didn’t scare me to death or bash my head in!!!”

“Oh God, don’t you scare me like that again!! There is sooo much blood in the kitchen!! What the hell happened?” Liz asked, exasperated. Holding back sobs, trying to be strong.

“I kicked a chair and split my toe nail last night, mom. It was nothing.” Kelly assured her. “Someone must have come in after I went to sleep and moved the chair, setting a trap for me. Remember how Paul used to do that to me? I’m surprised my toes still have feeling”

“Ok. Well. It’s after 9. Do you still want to go?” Liz was still grasping for breath. Still not convinced that someone had not been killed in the kitchen last night.

“Yeah, sure. Of course. Give me 5 minutes to get ready, m’k?” Kelly smiled. She had a way of smiling at her mom with a sparkle in her eye that just made everything ‘ok’.

Liz sat in disbelief... ‘must be nothing’ she thought. She kissed her daughter on the cheek and lovingly squeezed her chin. “Don’t scare me like that.” And she pushed her over in the bed. “now get moving, you!”

Liz went into the kitchen to clean the mess, mumbling to herself how she needs to let go and stop ‘mothering’ her daughter. ‘She’s fine.’ She reassured herself.

Bleach and water mixture, sponge. Liz set to the task of wiping down the cabinets, counter and table. She paused, looking at the mess on the floor. Liz grabbed the garbage can and set it in the kitchen. As she stooped to pick up the entire mess in one swoop she caught her breath. Almost a scream, she cupped her mouth and staggered back till the counter caught her and stood there. Her own blood was draining from her very soul. Liz looked down the hall...

In an instant she was in the bathroom. Door slung open, screaming “Kelly!!! OH MY GOD KELLY!!! What have you done??!!”

Kelly was just coming out of the bathroom and her mothers abrupt entry has startled her so bad she that she lost her balance and fell on the floor.

Liz grabed at Kelly’s feet.
“Mom!! My God, What are you doing? Haven’t you scared the shit out of me enough this morning?”

Liz exposed Kelly’s foot and slowly unwrapped the bandage...

Kelly was smiling. She said, “Pretty good work for a non medical girl, isn’t it mom?”

In one motion, Liz’s mouth dropped open and she spun around and threw up. Regaining some semblance of composure, she told Kelly to re-bandage her foot and quickly walked back to the kitchen. She grabbed her purse and cell phone and called Roger, her husband.

Glancing around the kitchen as the phone rang, cursing Roger to answer the phone, Liz saw the bottle of pills. The prescription she had gone with Kelly to fill last weekend.

“Hello?” Roger said. Not expecting a call from either of them until after some serious shopping had been completed. “You ok?”

“She’s not taking her pills, Roger. It’s every bit as bad as the Dr said it would be.” She paused and took a deep breath. “Roger, she cut of her toe off last night!! She said she kicked a chair and had to ‘trim off the broken nail’, Roger! She left all of the bone and cut off all of the flesh... What are we going to do?!!”. Liz was screaming now. Fighting the blood to remain in her head, willing herself not to pass out. What has become of her little girl...?

“We’re going to do exactly what the Dr’s said we should do.”

Roger hung up the phone and called the hospital. The Nurses met him at Kelly’s apartment and they took her to the top floor of the hospital.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Mom Would Say I Didn't Apply Myself

I don't remember who I got this from (sorry, let me know and I edit the post). Rather scary how much I've forgotten.

JustSayHi - Science Quiz
Looking for payday loan?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fluffy White Sheep and A Furry Tan Bunny

Anybody out there analyze dreams?

This one woke me up laughing.

I’m watching my friends the sheep. (I know, I know... we’re off to a great start aren’t we?) They are being led across a pasture by one sheep that is actually an alien. He was leading them to a cliff with the intention of killing them. I could see this and knew it to be true but could not communicate with them to tell them so.

Another friend, a tan rabbit, found out the truth and was running through the stampeding sheep trying to tell them to stop. He’s yelling, “He’s trying to kill you!!”, “STOP!!!”, “Turn around!!”, “Can’t you hear me?!?”. All the while he is getting bumped and rolled under the hooves of the sheep. He finally makes his way to the front of the heard and starts yelling at the alien sheep. He stops and picks the bunny up holding him under his front legs and is laughing, evilly, at his success. All of the sheep are running by and plummeting to their deaths behind him.

The bunny is swinging violently trying to punch the alien sheep. The sheep laughs “So, what are you going to do now?!?”. All of a sudden the bunny swings up his back legs and he kicks the alien in the eyes. The bunny kicks the shit out of the alien and scratches his eyes out. The alien screams and drops the bunny and in the process about half of the heard turn back

Then I woke up.

My heart was pounding like it was real and tragic. But as soon as I was fully awake I started laughing.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Animal Animology

Found this over at Caducity... Not what I would have guessed...


ANIMOLOGY: What Animal Are You?
Your Result: Blue Fox

You are the blue fox! A total perfectionist and a true born leader. You can never resist a challenge! Your Soul Mate is the Yellow Trout and you loathe the Indigo Beaver.

Teal Cat
Silver and Red Wolf
Ocre and Gray Dolphin
Red Jaguar
Gold Falcon
Tan Giraffe
Yellow Trout
ANIMOLOGY: What Animal Are You?

My Weekend

This weekend... (I may actually get this written and posted before Thursday this week! LOL!!)

Friday night I got to see “National Treasure”... If you go, wait for a matinee. The first one was defiantly the better one. Might even wait for the DVD. And what’s up with Nicholas Cage’s hair???

Saturday I got to sleep in... Wow, not in months have I slept till 10:30. It was great!! Took the missus to breakfast and sent her off to do her SAR thing. I went home and piddled around a little.

Left the house about noon to look at cars. Got 105k miles on the LS and it would be nice to have something that gets a little better gas mileage. The LS gets 15 mpg and uses premium fuel only, kinda steep these days.

Started looking at Mazda 3’s. I like the look and I think it will feed my need for speed. Haha, The problem is I just need to make more money. When I bought the LS I was eyeing up the Infiniti G35 Coupe, but it was a little more than I wanted to spend. The sucky part is they still are. 25k is more than I’m looking to spend right now.

Got back home about 3 and decided I needed to return SpeedBumps sweatshirt. Last weekend he lent me a Colts *gag* sweatshirt to wear in the rain. I had to get that thing back before it got koodies all over my other clothes. Yuck!!!

Hung out there for an hour or so and got a patch or two sewn onto the vest. Rode home about 8 pm. Man, did it get cold when the sun went down. Guessing at 25° F, and no I didn’t have my windshield. It was GREAT!!

Sunday, just lazed around and watched football. - Go GB!!!

Besides going by way too fast, it was a good one. How about yours??

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fiction Friday - I

DNR a writer... of fiction?? Nah, I just play one in my imagination. But I did stay at a Hol... never mind.

These stories (here & here) are fiction. I assume everyone knew that... They were fun to write.

Sometimes when I can’t sleep I imagine a short story. Almost like a movie flashing through my brain. The tough part has been putting the imagined images to words and then digital pen to digital paper.

BUT...

I’ve done it. Not the best thing you’ve read and not real long. Just short stories, a little humor, maybe some dark humor. And a little sarcasm mixed in for flavor. Happy endings, sad endings... a little of everything, after all, they’re my stories. I don’t want to teach anything, there won’t be a moral, just some entertainment.

So with out further delay...


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Rocks In Your Pockets





A few years ago I made a New Years resolution to reach out to someone. Someone misunderstood or shunned by the community. Not to change them but just to learn about their background, and hear their story. So many people have stories to tell if only someone would listen.

I made it a point to run into Louis B. Covington. I had heard several of my neighbors talk about him and laugh. “He’s a strange one” they’d say. “Always has rocks in his pockets”, many a cashier remarked of him pulling out change and having to pick the coins out of the rocks.

I made a point to run into him at the local grocery store and kinda chatted a little with him. Louis and I talked a couple times after that and found that we both loved nature and hiking in the woods. Odd, I thought, he never a commented about rocks.

We made plans to meet at a nearby state park one sunny afternoon. We were planning to walk around and see what there was to see. I was going to take some pictures, he said he just liked walking around in the forest and would be glad to have the company.

I shot about 400 pictures that afternoon and was quite pleased at the collection I had assembled. As we were leaving that afternoon I noticed his pockets were bulging. Laughing, I said “are those rocks in your pockets?”
He said, “yes” and produced a couple.
Trying to hide my surprising desire to laugh out loud and act interested, I said, “wow, what kind did you find?” You would have thought I gave him a kitten or something. His eyes sparkled and he started...
“... this one is sandstone. See the grain on the surface? And this one is siltstone. See how there are a multitude of layers. Both of these are sedimentary rocks often found on the surface here in Indiana where the bedrock breaks the surface....” blah blah blah.

It was almost 2 hours before we got in our cars and left. I think my ears were bleeding.

We met for coffee several times after that and just chatted. Almost always the topic would become rocks...

To say Lou loved rocks was an understatement. Rocks were like Lou’s children. Shinny rocks, flat rocks, rocks, any kind of rock. He told me that as a kid he would put small rocks in a plastic bag with some sand and ‘accidently’ leave them in his pants pockets hoping the washer and dryer agitation would polish them.

He said it all got serious when one day some of the older kids decided to throw rocks at him. He showed me the one, once... unpolished... with the blood stain still on it. He wore it around his neck. And yes, he showed me the scar on his fore head too. Right above his left eye. Said it was Richard Andrews and that some day he’d get even.

A few days ago, heading out to the grocery store, I passed through Lou’s neighborhood and saw a police car down the road he lived on. I turned and went by to investigate. I found there were actually two police cars there and an ambulance. I stopped and asked what had happened.
“Do you know the guy that lives here?” the cop asked.
“Yes, Louis. Louis Covington.” I answered.
“You need to come with me.” He says. And proceeds to lead me inside.

Lou lived in a turn of the century two story. It was well maintained and huge for just one man to live in. The rumor mill in the neighborhood said his mother had left him the house and enough of a trust fund that he didn’t have to work and was able to keep the house painted and landscaped professionally.

As we approached Lou’s house, something looked weird. The house was out of square. It almost looked like it was squatting. Nothing you could really put your finger on, it just looked... weird.

We entered through the side door, and went into the kitchen. It was nice enough. Old appliances but neat and tidy. The floor was a little creaky but hey, it was a 100+ year old house. The floors are allowed to creak.

We turned a corner and entered what should have been the dinning room. Some where in it’s past it had been changed to a library. Beautiful walnut paneling and walnut shelving greeted us as we entered.

Once I was full in the room I could see why the house was straining, what had given it that ‘weird’ look. And what had happened.

Shelving had been built in the dinning and living rooms, making a very large library or rather, in this case, ‘rock display room’. There were thousands of rocks. Everywhere. Anything from raisin size to basketballs. There was even a couple in the corners that were nearly 4 feet in diameter. “How the hell did he get those in here?” I wondered. Most of the rocks and shelving had fallen through the floor and were piled in the root cellar. The EMTs and firemen had uncovered a high back Queen Anne type chair at the bottom of the mess with a crushed body in it

“Is that Louis Coventry”, the cop asked, shocking me back into reality.
“Covington. Louis Covington. Yeah, that’s him.” I murmured. “Except...”
“What?!?” demanded the EMT.
“He’s missing a keep sake necklace. A rock on a chain.” As soon as the words left my mouth I knew... “Good gawd you are a dumb ass”, I said to myself. The EMT looked at the fireman and in unison they shook their heads.
The cop said, “You’re kidding, right?”
I tried to laugh and smile. I squeaked out a “yeah”.

They brought him out, covered his body and took him away. Dead at the scene, crushed by the rocks that he so loved.

The city condemned the house and scheduled it for demolition. Before it could be torn down some kids had stopped by one evening to throw rock at the windows. The police were called and they had to call the paramedics. All four of the future felons swore they heard screaming right after the glass broke. And evil laughter. A mans voice, screaming in terror and wickedly laughing at the same time. One of the kids was bleeding from the forehead; he had a nice cut above his left eye. They were all taken to the hospital and given sedatives. The one bleeding needed stitches. To this day Ricky swears a rock was thrown back at them and that it hit him in the forehead.

The house was demolished the next day.

Last week I was walking the dog in that area and as I waked by, the dog took a special interest in something in the grass. I stopped to look at it. It couldn’t be. I picked up a rock... with blood stains on it... attached to a chain. The same as the one Lou had shown me earlier in the year except this one had a new blood stain on it. My heart stopped and I stared at that rock, my mind racing through all that had happened:
.... Ricky said he was hit with a stone... Ricky is Richard Andrews, Jr... he was hit above the left eye...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Weekend Catch-Up

The forecast for this past weekend was mid 50s Saturday and rain, then low 60s Sunday with scattered showers.

Close.

Saturday was pretty much right on. Stayed home watched some TV. Got a huge designer-junk-food-platter-thing for the Steelers game. Kalmara (sp?) Olives, roasted peppers, green Greek olives, humus, some fancy cheese and onion dip, a cheese ball plus various chips, crackers and pretzels. Good eating.

The Steelers lost, bums.

Sunday... hoping that the weather folks would be as right Sunday as they were Saturday, SpeedBump and I made plans to ride. I left the house at about 8 and went north to his place. It rained most of the day Sunday but it was a misting-drizzling kind of rain. Just enough to keep the roads wet. And fog your glasses if you stopped for more that 5 seconds. Makes traffic lights challenging.

We made a deal with a search and rescue team to hide for some dogs. So ultimately we were heading for the west side of Indy. Eagle Creek Park.

From SB’s house we went... north. Eagle Creek from my house is west-south-west. The idea was to skirt WAY around Indianapolis and get to where the searchteam was about noon. We went way north then headed west and came into the north side of Kokomo. I decided on the west leg that we needed to go see another friend that had been hurt in a freak accident. That meant we needed to go south thru Kokomo and then west again. As luck would have it, he wasn’t home. It was still before noon, chances were, he was still at church.

Off we went again and we got to the west side a little after noon. Ate a quick lunch and then went to meet the team. SB and I hid in the woods for about 2 hours. WOW!! I haven’t spent that much time in the woods in months. It was GREAT!!!

Snap... crack... sound of wind or something falling through it. Then CRASH!!!
About 50 yards from where I was sitting the wind blew the top 8’ to 10’ out of a dead tree. That was the most exciting part of the ‘sit’, no squirrels, deer.... nothing. Lots of ducks flying over but nothing down on the ground.

I took some pictures with my phone of the terra ferma and trees. Offered a neat perspective because of the super wide lens but not the best quality.





After we left there we stopped in to see Jeff Bowman. Man is he progressing, seems like he will be going home in a couple weeks. His family is so excited about that prospect. I could see in his eyes, he recognized me (I think... maybe just wishful thinking) but he just couldn’t come up with the name. He did read DNR off of my vest though.

We stayed about 30 minutes then headed east through town on I-70. I’d guess it was about 6 pm. A little dark and traffic was light, for town. We came back up to Fishers and stopped at an A&W. Discussions from earlier in the day had me hankering for chili and cheese fries and chili and cheese hotdogs like they make back in the Berg. A&W was ok but it defiantly is no New Brighton Hot Dog Shop. (If you are ever in New Brighton, Beaver, Beaver Falls in south western PA, you have to stop in. MMMmmmm mmmmm good stuff!!!)

Made it home about 7pm. Wet and tired. 230 miles, 11 hours. Saw an old friend. Helped out a SAR team.

It was a good weekend.

Are You At War?

I found this over at Jan’s (Vinegar and Honey). Normally I would just link to her and let you go read there but I agree so strongly with this that I greedily want a copy of this article in my blog. So, if you don’t know Jan, go over and say hi.

This is a very profound observation. Mr. Gudmundsson says many things I have felt for years but not been able to put to words. The respect he talks about (and for me pride) I experienced at my sons graduation from MCRD in San Diego.

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Dallas - During this presidential campaign, voters will hear much about the divergent economic realities between "the rich" and "the middle class." Yet there is another partition in America that is less visible, but no less troubling. The great divide between the civilian and military communities leaves the nation and its electorate ill-equipped to make informed judgments about military and international affairs.

I recently returned from a trip to San Diego, during which I toured the Marine Corps Recruit Depot and spent two days at sea with the officers and crew of the USS Nimitz. To say the least, it renewed my respect for the professionalism, competence, dedication, and sacrifice of America's men and women in uniform. I was deeply impressed by the vigor and apparent confidence with which they attend to their duties.

A quick glance at the troops I met immediately revealed a broad representation of America's ethnic groups – a diversity that's typical throughout America's armed forces. Statistics reveal high standards of educational attainment and the near nonexistence of illegal drug use or criminal backgrounds. Many come from families in which military service is a common experience. Yet I can't help concluding that the upper and upper-middle or "elite" social classes seem to be conspicuously absent.

A Navy admiral told me, "America is not at war. Its military is." He was acutely aware that a prominent segment of society had little but tax money invested in the outcome.

The civilian leaders with whom I traveled to the ship were clearly surprised by their exposure to young Americans who were seriously and stoically preparing to deploy to a war from which some might not return. Concepts of duty, honor, and sacrifice were simply not central to the life experiences of these civilians. America's elites don't necessarily lack patriotism, but precious few of these leaders have engaged in military service themselves. They simply lack reasonable reference points.

In the middle of the 20th century, military service was near universal for American men. While some used their privileged status to escape arduous or risky duty, society as a whole came together in the common cause of national defense. As a result, America was full of veterans who could place "news from the front" in context for friends and neighbors.

For example, to the extent that the American family received accurate estimates of casualties from the Normandy landings in 1944, a nearby uncle or father would have been able to put those figures in context by declaring, "I was on the Western Front in the Great War; we could have lost many more on Omaha Beach. All things considered, it seems that they managed that campaign as well as could be hoped."

A society with veterans represented at all levels of the community is better equipped to interpret accounts of inadvertent civilian casualties, interrogation interpreted as torture, or prisoner abuse. With the abdication of the upper classes from military service, most elites in the media, private sector, and government service don't have the intimate human context for the realities of war.

The debate about US engagement in Iraq is at its core an estimate of whether America is winning – or indeed can win, given the circumstances. The fourth estate long ago declared this war unwinnable. But how do we know that? How can they?

No electorate can make informed decisions about the exercise of military power in a far-off theater if it lacks a reasonable measure of collective experience with military matters. And any society that restricts its information and analysis to the sound bites of "embedded" journalists and political pundits will find itself highly susceptible to the manipulations of partisan politicians and interest groups at either extreme of any debate. It is simply too difficult to separate hope from fear and fiction from fact.

What can we do to correct course? To begin, America must find a way to reengage the nation's elites with the satisfactions and sacrifices of military and national service. Leading colleges should reinstate ROTC programs. Corporations should emphasize postmilitary recruiting. Likewise, professional organizations such as bar associations and business trade groups must seek opportunities to attend military expositions and demonstrations.

Just as America responded to the Soviet Union's Sputnik launch some 50 years ago with a vigorous effort to strengthen math and science education, America today must overhaul its school history curricula to engage students in military culture. And it must equip them to effectively and skeptically evaluate future military and political issues in the context of past experience.

It is only with an experienced and knowledgeable citizenry that we as a nation can prosecute sound strategy to achieve US policy goals while avoiding the pitfalls of failure and their attendant human, financial, and diplomatic costs.

• Peter A. Gudmundsson, a former US Marine field artillery officer, is CEO of Dallas-based Beckett Media LP.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

There Is No Logic In English

I am not an English major. Some of the rules and exceptions to the exception of the rules in spelling English words frustrate me to no end. I live and die with my spell checker. Especially bloging, I am typing this in Word and will transfer it over to blogger once I’ve re-read it two or three times.

My point... I just spent 10 minutes trying to spell permission. Logic says ‘permit’ plus ‘tion’ or ‘ion’ since there is a ‘t’ get you permition, right? WRONG!!! Try it. And none of the suggestions were even close. God damned fucked up language!!!

This reminded me of a collection I have made over the years. My youngest son and I started this when he was struggling with English and when to use which word. You’ve probably heard some of these, maybe not all of them.

Reasons why the English language is so hard to learn:

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) After a number of injections my jaw got number.

19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth?

One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese?

One index, 2 indices?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend. If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all.

That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.


PS. - Why doesn't "Buick" rhyme with "quick"

Freedom of Speech??

Can you imagine saying something like ‘the Muslim community is attempting to overtake us and will do anything to take over’ and being threatened with jail time for saying it.

It is happening. Granted it is Great Britain but are we next?

Good God people!! Watch the elected officials. See what they are doing, vote.

Don’t let this happen here!!!

Monday, January 07, 2008

A (Belated) New Years Wish for You

I left this in drafts and with all that happened I forgot to post it on the 1st. So here it is now.
ARTEMIS, this is especially for you.

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My Wish for You in 2008


May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts.
May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet of $100 bills.
May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips!
May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires and may happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy.
May the problems you had forget your home address!

In simple words ............

May 2008 be the best year of your life!!!


DNR

Zen Summary IX

Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery. - Anne Dillard

A man is on the highway, yet he has not left his home. Another man, who has left his home, is not on the highway. Which of these two should be respected? - Zen koan

Shake off this sadness, and recover your spirit; sluggish you will never see the wheel of fate that brushes your heel as it turns going by, the man who wants to live is the man in whom life is abundant. - Miguel de Unamuno

Do not seek to find out what to do. Every what to do is only a general recipe, that is, an abstraction. You will never come back into the truth of your own being riding on the back of an abstraction. If you know what to do, [you can] be sure it is the wrong thing. - Bernard Phillips

The hand that guides the brush has already caught and executed what floated before the mind at the same moment the mind began to form it, and in the end the pupil no longer knows which of the two - mind or hand - was responsible for the work - Eugen Herrigel

Just Call Me "D-Zombie-NR"

Must be Survey day....

Found this one at Artemis' place.

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44%

Looking for payday loans?

My Hand Writting.. errr Printing

How about that....
The Engineer training in me makes only block letters and only capitals at that.
When I'm in a hurry, things run together and it becomes a DNR-styled-all-caps-printed-cursive thing. Tough to read.

Found this at LL's.

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What Your Handwriting Says About You



You are a fairly energetic person. You know how do pace yourself, and you deal well with stress.

You are somewhat outgoing, but you're not a natural extrovert. You think first before you act. You tend to be independent, rational, and logical.

You are balanced and grounded. You know how to get along well with others.

You need a bit of space in your life, but you're not a recluse. You expect people to give you a small amount of privacy, and you respect their privacy as well.

You are a free thinker. You are unique, open minded, and artistic. You don't care what other people think.

You are a decent communicator. You eventually get your point across, but sometimes you leave things a bit ambiguous.



Friday, January 04, 2008

Amazing Progress

October 22nd I posted this. That was just over 10 weeks ago.

If you go over to the Bowman blog now, you can see a video of Jeff walking around!!!
His progress is astounding!! (it is on the left side, currently second image down.)

Please, stop by, wish him well, congratulate him on his progress. Tell him DNR sent you.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

... and Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program.

Happy (belated) New Year everyone!!!

I do hope it was a good holiday for all of you and that this New Year exceeds you wildest dreams.

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From the last couple posts you can see we made an unexpected trip to Pennsylvania, specifically Pittsburgh, this Christmas. It was a beautiful service and yet simple, as Gary wanted it.

The PGR stood in the rain and cold to honor the service and sacrifice Gary, a Vietnam era Veteran, had made. It was humbling to be on the family side of a flag line. I pray it never happens again. I’d so much rather be standing in the rain than be in the funeral home.

My sincerest thanks to the Pennsylvania patriot Guard Riders. Honor and respect. They made a great impression on the family. Thanks again ladies and gentlemen.

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We did New Years night with some friends again. And we met some new ones. Shot pool, played Trivial Pursuit, drank some and ate (grazed a huge buffet) all night. We were having such a good time we almost missed the mid-night ball drop. Turned the TV on about 3 minutes till midnight. Toasted the new year and went back to our games. We got home about 3 am.

Like last year, here, I had planned on going to the ‘Hangover Ride”. Even had a couple other friends promise to go. I was up at 8 am. It was about 25° outside and it had snowed. My street was wet but not icy so I decided I was going. Swept the dive and suited up.

Brrrriiinnggggg my cell rings... one buddy cancels. He lives about 50 miles north so it was no real big surprise. Up there, they got a couple inches of snow.

I’m about 30 seconds from swinging my leg over the bike and heading out when... brriinnng the other buddy calls. He is driving home (I didn’t ask for details, figured he had a GOOD time) and the roads are too bad, he not going. Damn-it!! I jumped in the car and went out to the main road. Fuck-it!!! There is that crusty, frozen slush-ice every where!! The car is fish tailing and the tires loose traction too many times to count before I can get turned around and back home.

Needless to say, I stayed home too this year. The news reported ‘a couple hundred’ made the ride, sure wish I could have gone. Maybe next year.

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Yesterday, Indiana sent 3,400 National guard troops off to the war on terror. The ceremony was for family and held in the Hoosier Dome in downtown Indianapolis. The Governors office allowed 60 Indiana Patriot Guard Riders and to attend and I was one. We held a flag line across the back of the troops seating area.

I shook the hand of many a young man and had to correct them when they stopped to thank me for being there. It was my honor. My thanks was to and for them. Quite an amazing group of men and women. From 18 to 52 years of age.

It was stated there, yesterday, that all of these troops have re-enlisted... to a man or woman or newly enlisted. All of them have chosen to stay in the service or joined, knowing they would be going to Iraq.

God Bless the men and women of the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team - Nighthawk. Be safe, I will be there for your welcome home. It truly will be my honor.

There are some pictures and videos here and here.

Better get to work, only 2 days this week... I think I can make it...

PS: I got a Daily Latin calendar this year. I plan to post some of the more catchy or unique phrases. I still have some Zen to post from last year too.

Felix sit annus novus!
fay-leek seet ahn-noos naw-oos

Happy New Year!