Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Missives

Soldiers of 2nd Platoon Battle Company 173 ABN on a mission out of Restrepo. No, the soldier who got the blood all over this warrior did not get to come home.
Close call- helmet tore up by an AK round.

The stress of combat shows after 2 days of heavy fighting.

If you were ever a combat arms soldier and fired a M-2 .50 cal machine gun this image will get a rise out of you like any pin up poster girl. Well, nearly that good. It's been trusted by our warfighters for nearly a hundred years now. It is nearly incomprehensibly powerful. I once shot a truck with one at nearly 600 meters (6 football fields essentially) and was so surprised to see the tracers fly right through it striking behind it, bounce off the ground and go straight up into space- I stopped shooting and looked over the gun with my mouth hanging open.

Wounded soldier being recovered by his buddies at Restrepo in the Khorengal valley Afghanistan a place which if forgotten years from now- we deserve whatever fate has befallen us by then and deserve none off the freedoms we have. None.
All pics from Newsweek

  • Good what it's really like video from Afghanistan.

  • Too much is made of arbitrary numbers as milestones in our wars, but a Marine from Texas was the 1000 death in Afghanistan.

  • My son and nephew both want to enlist in the Army and each could be in in Afghanistan within about two years (or wherever men way too young may be dying then).

  • I don't know whether to be sick at myself or proud that I had something to do with their desire to serve, but yeah, I'm proud of them.
  • The only thing I can think of to say to them right now if they were watching over my shoulder? It is better to live one day as a lion than a 1000 as a lamb.

  • My uncle Orville was a Marine who fought at Tarawa, Guadalcanal and Okinawa- I kid you not. I've mentioned this before, but he's the only man I ever saw my dad defer to- in any way. People often comment on elder warfighters who, "Never talked much about the war". Uncle Orville was a little different- I was raised on stories of him beating Japanese soldiers to death with shovels and after his hole was assaulted at night by them finding, "bodies stacked on top of bodies around our foxholes when the sun came up." He was wounded twice. After the war he drove a truck for years.
  • I have a pic of a B Model Mack that he folded up around a telephone pole in the fifties. It degrades over the years and when I pull it out of my treasure chest every so often it's more and more faded- soon you won't even be able to tell what it is.

  • When unable to drive any more he lived in the stock room of Diamond Jim's Tavern in Madison? Wisconsin.

  • He died in the VA hospital in Dallas TX of a documented brain infection that started in his ear on Okinawa.

  • I loved and respected that man like no other I've met in my life and still miss him terribly.

  • My dad started the war as an infantryman and moved over to air defense. When I was I kid I asked directly if he ever shot down any German planes- he said,"A few left our area trailing smoke, but no, never brought one down that I saw." This morning, I wondered, is there a crusty old great granddad in a Frankfurt suburb thinking about that day his ME 109 got perforated by US .50 rounds while he was strafing a column of vehicles? Did he wad his aircraft up on his own base in Germany after nursing it home? Fall short and get rescued by his own troops? Spend the rest of the war in a British POW camp? Did any of them die?
  • I know something related to the death of one of our men in the Iraq war that only a handful of people in the world know. I hope the others will let it die with them- as I will.
  • If you have time watch the PBS special on the Medal Of Honor on HULU. You can mark it for watching later- good, powerful stuff. Really, even if you don't have a lot of time watch the first few minutes or so and listen to the first two men describe the medal its self and then what it was like to receive it.

  • Recently, I bumped into a kid who was in my platoon during the war at of all places- a Wal Mart in Weatherford TX. We visited a long time. At one point he said,"Do you remember that time we were under that rocket attack, you looked up and said,"Get down!" and threw yourself on top of me? I'll never forget that."

  • I hadn't thought about that night since it happened- literally, until he mentioned it, but I'll never ever forget the fact that it made such an impact on him that he mentioned it years later in that parking lot.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday's Summary

    Oh my God! Sorry to do this to you, but it's the only way to get the image out of my mind! AP

  • The Illinois Lt Governor seems like an upstanding fellow especially with this statement he made 2-4- 2010,""There are questions, and I will provide all answers honestly and openly," he said in a statement Thursday. This he said in response to questions over a domestic violence charge he incurred as the result of an altercation with a girlfriend he met in a massage parlor who has been charged with prostitution.

  • I believe him- has an Illinois politician ever given reason for doubt?

  • Regardless of whether people think marijuanna should be legal or users shot they both will use the same exclamation with a slightly different tone when users get in trouble; All of this over some weed?!

  • I saw a cop chase on TRUTV recently in which this thought was part of the focus. A guy was observed buying a small amount of marijuanna while on his motorcycle after which he ran when they tried to stop him. Unbelievably, a cop cut him off and forced a head on collision in the chase- yeah real smart Jack O Lantern- cause a million dollar head injury or kill the guy over a tiny bit of weed!?

  • What were they supposed to do you ask? Let the dude go would have been the most rational, reasonable approach and pick him up later.

  • Listened to some Kid Rock earlier- I admit at the right times and mood- yeah it's rousing stuff, but I can sense my IQ dropping by the minute when anything he does is on and really he's terrible and terribly unoriginal. Anyway, I felt dirty afterwards so dirty in fact only Zack and RATM could cleanse me- take it away Zack- Killing In The Name Of.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday's Dispatch

Zac and cousin apparently heading out to track down Pancho Villa or somethin'.

  • Old movie loving friends whom I had considered to have good taste told me Anaconda isn't as bad as people say and I should give it a try. I've never been able to make myself do it- sounds like a trap.

  • It is pulled up on as I write this to watch though. Maybe when I go back it will be froze up and I'll have to abandon it totally. It looks like Jennifer Lopez on the ad for it. She and Eva Mendez must rank at the very top of not hot- hot women in the world.

  • Considered sleeping outside last night on the trampoline- no tent. The snow on the ground this morning actually made me wish even more that I had. (written 2-23-10) I have no idea what the weather will be doing when this posts- probably a billion degrees.

  • My children's dog is afraid of the sound of a soda can opening. OK, so someone must have shot him with a BB gun, but he's skittish of even the sight of the can when you pull one out.

  • Anti war people are wrong about a lot of assumptions they make from them being fought largely by blacks or whites who have no other alternative (or that their service isn't superior to the alternatives they do have ), but foremost and this is a real big biggy- Violence has solved lots of things.

  • Scientists at Roches Genentech lab in Cali have determined smoking mutated 50,000 genes in a 51 year old man.

  • Amazing.

How Did I Miss This? Did I Forget?

Anyway, this is proof of how I absolutely do not anything about celebrities personal lives and think it's a bit odd how people get so worked up over famous people they do not know and in fact really know nothing about - except what that part of the world wants them to know.

Ebert has been battling cancer which as I understand started in his thyroid. Regarding his death he says the following.

"I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter. You can't say it wasn't interesting. My lifetime's memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris." Wikipedia from a personal journal entry.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Joy

of simple pleasures. Zac feeding ducks, geese and sky rats at Sunshine Lake Weatherford TX.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday's Digressions

  • I love Community a funny, funny, sweet show that found it's way very quickly.

  • My daughter has a hoss of an immune system- she's 8 and as I seem to recall has been sick once, but you know, I'm not even sure of that.

  • No lie.
  • Yesterday morning my oldest called me and said,It's National Pie Day, can you bring some pies to school?" Hmmm, very suspect- the first I'd heard of this and you wake me out of a sound sleep to ask that of me? I think it was a trick- I see him saying to a group of teenage boys,"Y'all want some pie? Watch this!"

  • The joke has always been why can't help me ladies in the nursing homes at least have a more pleasant voice- instead of the Godawful unnatural shriek they all seem to have- no matter where you go? Uh- uh, the resident help me lady at the last nursing home I worked actually and I'm not making this up- sang her help me out in a very pleasant singing voice. It was the work of The Devil. It was nauseatingly nerve wracking. I mean, I tried to end it all by jumping out a window while caring for her neighbor.

  • Too bad the home was only a single story.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday's Dispatch

    While exploring Mineral Wells State Park Zac rounded a corner then came running back to me saying,"A snake, daddy! Daddy- a snake!" I found this little fella around the corner instead of the tree branch or whatever I thought he may have mistook for a serpent.

  • I have no use for a dog- too expensive and too much trouble if cared for properly and I'm not pathetic enough to need one for company.

  • Not yet.

  • On that subject: two things I really don't understand are people who buy another person a pet and folks who buy pets as a fad after seeing them on a movie. Crazy, absolutely crazy.

  • It was unbelievably windy yesterday. My first thought was should go buy a kite, but I bet it was too windy for that.

  • Multiple people have told me I'd like Gran Torino. I'm afraid it may be because they view me as a crusty old guy barking at people to, Get offa my lawn!

  • I do have a decent lawn though and I've driven a Gran Torino.

  • "Do you know how to change an air conditioner filter?" Last text message I received.

  • Definitely a trick, but yes, yes I do know how to change an air conditioner filter.

  • Take it away Marilyn- Marilyn Manson Dope Show.

  • Or, if you prefer Hugh Laurie as I assure you, you've never seen him before if your knowledge of him extends from Stuart Little to House MD.
  • My company pays for connecting good people with them for jobs- a surprising amount, I mean kinda close to a lot. I just wanted good people to work for us to make my job easier, but OK I'll take that.
  • And that.
  • Have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Quotable Notable

"War is always about betrayal, betrayal of the young by the old, of idealists by the cynics and of troops by the politicians." Chris Hedges A Culture Of Atrocity

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday's Missives

    Brain teaser puzzle: find the elephant.

  • I loooove Mixed Martial Arts. People think because Herschel Walker won his debut it shows the sorry state of MMA. Yes, when they put known people in fights it's done against a man with decent stats who is otherwise possibly ready for a fall, but he wasn't all that weak- he's a pretty bad man for 47 years of age.

  • Was it always pronounced I Heart_____ or was that changed to reflect how it actually looks on the bumper sticker?

  • Since the ZOO and Q102 are gone I haven't seen the need to have a bumper sticker. ; )

  • Oh, that reminds me- somewhere I have a stack of Q102 stickers- the one with the horse hooved, winged robot stereo monster.

  • You know I'm cool.

  • The world is a small place- my last case's housekeeper was a favorite long ago nursing home patient's daughter. He was a very high ranked person in his states government with a doctorate so it was doubly sad for the family and hard on him when he started losing his mental capacity. I took him under my wing a little and we would play pool in the family room and he would walk with me carrying labs and paperwork to other parts of the building. We would also dine often during my lunch hour because being around all the sloppy eaters bothered him so he would not eat and began losing weight.

  • He called me his,"benefactor".

  • I think he was the first patient I actually loved.

  • Darius Rucker Let Her Cry- acoustic.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday's Summary

The stone from stone washed cargo shorts- found in pocket.

  • Headline says, More doctors seeing cases of Goolgitis as patients self diagnose more on the internet. I don't know how more is possible- may be impossible to prove, but overly pushy ninnies who spend way too much time on the Internet and think they're smarter than the average physician cost us tens of millions of dollars a year and untold lives.

  • I assure you your doc gets brutalised by these types every day and there is a real possibility if your stoic or just more reasonable you can get blown off because he's so worn down with the ninnies who start out with, On it says we need to start with these tests... And then, it also said you would say that and that's how this diagnosis is missed!

  • A lot of the night shift nurses in my circle keep in contact by text to let each other know about interesting cases, generally offer moral support and a little diversion. I've texted one two different times recently, "What's up- are you working?" "No, my little man died right after I got to his home. I'm at home eating chocolate and drinking wine."

  • Hmmm.

  • Had another encounter with a woman who said she hated me because,"You can eat anything you want and never gain an ounce!" That's not true- what she saw me eat was the only real meal I would eat that day. The morning started with cereal, juice and an apple and ended with a sandwich or some other very light meal. Also I rode or walked at least a mile within that period. Not gain an ounce? Actually, when my pants get snug I do more or less of the above mentioned activities until they fit right again.

  • Sources at the Frisco Rough Riders game say that Alphonso Ribeiro aka Carlton Banks was in attendance this afternoon.

  • The Fresh Prince was unavailable for comment.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday's Sentiments

Gas stacks in Carina Nebula involved in the birth of new stars. They are as I recall two to three light years tall. Amazing. From Hubble telescope.

  • The case I have I have may be the end of me- his mother not the patient himself. I'm sure were it me and my mother were living she would wear out the best of nurses, but good grief.

  • Think found a very good home for one of the dogs- the only one I like.

  • Oh well.

  • Mentioned something about this the other day: last text message I received- "You are an ass!"

  • Not kidding.

  • Work should be nearly illegal on rainy days.

  • The order of the day should be coffee, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, sitting on the porch, good (or bad) movies, a nap, soak in the tub and repeat.

  • Alone or with someone- not even necessarily special.

  • I don't care much at all for donuts, but I bet I've eaten dozens this year already.

  • What's wrong with us?

  • Balloon boys dad took his balloon back. When he picked it up he measured it to be sure it was the same one.

  • Marilyn said it best when he said, We're All Just Nobodies Who Want To Be Somebodies.

  • Give it a chance.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Aging Quote

"For age is opportunity no less Than youth itself, though in another dress, And as the evening twilight fades away The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day." Appears in 450 books from 1843 to 2007 according to Googles Book Search

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday's Missives

    When The Flags Are Furled And The Bugles Fade was to be the title of my autobiography. Someone said,"It's taken." though. Drats.

  • The kind of stuff I like that you won't.

  • And one of my autobiographical songs: The Killers Mr. Brightside.

  • When a male patients dementia leads to violence they become the victims of same (or neglect) when staff finds them too hard to deal with and when I assume responsibility for their care they are often filthy, poorly groomed and have undiagnosed skin problems. I don't deserve the credit because they are more passive by the time our paths collide, but it's my thing to get them assessed, fixed up and dressed nice etc. A patient once had a nearly full beard- he looked like a derelict. The family wasn't around so I didn't know whether to leave him an awesome stache or not so I squared him away and left one any porn star or fireman would be proud of.

  • "Do you think Kevin will be mad?" The question his dear 93 year old wife asked when she couldn't take it anymore and had someone shave it off.

  • No, of course not my dear, but The Mustache Club Of America will be losing one of our oldest and most respected members.

  • I do dream about the war (rarely though) and sometimes it's the funny stuff: my friend Joe cutting a smiley face into our LTs hair, the time I nearly got blown smooth the kack up- while sitting in a Port A Jon, but yeah, usually others would consider it dreadful stuff, but really for me it was just part of it- what we carried, what we carry.

  • Thank you God- in all seriousness I didn't get get atomised by that 122mm rocket while sitting in a KBR Porta Jon.

  • Really, I mean- can you imagine? I would have rather burned to death in a vehicle fire. And let me assure you that's one big, bold statement- ask any mounted warfighter, any war, any vehicle and he will say their biggest fear is/was being trapped and burning to death in his vehicle.

  • Oddly, I seem to dream fairly often about WWI- a war I've read about some, but nothing like WWII and forward to modern theory and history. What an awful, criminal mess.

  • Actually, I know the dreams work from a point of how how I'm wired: I always feel overwhelmingly sad at what's going on around me . I run from wounded soldier to the next trying to save them with my seemingly endless supply of bandages and morphine. They speak to me in French- it comes out as accented English or simple words and phrases,"Merci beucoup, mon ami, merci..." as they fade away or "A Yank!? bloody thing that- where did you come from lad anyway?". Finally, I start sensing the absolute pointlessness of it and then literally seeing red I pick up a weapon and start running at the enemy firing and cursing and the then I wake up arms flailing, breathing hard...

  • "You don't seem like the settling down type anyway." - a recent text message.

  • That's only because I'm not settled down.

  • When it's time I'll be a good boy.

  • Stages of when a woman meets me: 1) Oh my my God you are a catch! How are you still single? 2) After getting to know me a bit better: You are an insufferable ass, no wonder you are still single! 3) Same woman little while later: Oh, you are so awesome- marry me!

  • Went clothes shopping at a thrift store with a couple of girls from work recently. It's a wonder I didn't get my period.

  • See, insufferable.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What I'm Listening To Right Now

Portishead: Roads live in Roseland, New York. Great stuff.

Baruchs Observation

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Belated Monday's Missives

"My dogs are gay." I tell people. "No way" they say. Really, do you need more proof than this pose on their blankie?

OK, you asked for it, not me- and they take turns doing this all day long. They sleep in the guest bathroom and the things I hear them doing at night- shudder. Eeew.

  • I feel for anyone legitimately damaged by defective Toyota vehicles however, this situation shows how irrational we can be- the last numbers I read on the recalls was something like 8 million vehicles. People assume they're some kind of death traps. 8 million vehicles, if there really was a real, widespread problem- think about it, we wouldn't have had to learn about it from the news- we all would know someone killed by the death traps. We wouldn't be able to get anywhere in our vehicles that are other than Toyota's- our cars would slide off the roads because of the blood that covered them.
  • However, when it's all said and done Toyota will be out of hundreds of millions of dollars and will be lucky to stay afloat.
  • Ben Folds does the music for Over The Hedge and it's great- very sweet, simple music.
  • "I am Inigo Montoya- you killed my father. Prepare to die."
  • I bet the movie The Princess Bride is studied in film schools as the perfect movie. It's nearly 30 years old now and 50 years from now people will still be discovering it and calling it a favorite. It never gets old to me and I love to share it with people.
  • I'm getting old though: of 2 recent women who showed some interest in me the older was 53 and the youngun was 37.
  • I don't know how this happened, but it's a tragedy of the highest order.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Saturday's Sentiments

  • Just returned from a local stock show. My sons pig placed fourth. Part of the event was a pie and cake show and sale where a banana pudding sold for 250.00.

  • Better be a real good banana pudding.

  • Did think today about how good we have it after that and me and Zac laid around in our underwear instead of working a rice paddy or tracking a monkey through the jungle after seeing people literally spending multiple thousands of dollars on literally junk food.

  • Didn't make me feel guilty, but yes thankful.

  • Story we all should be aware of, but too many are not: recently was the 35th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. A sad, sad thing- and part of me knows one that should not be forgotten, but I do wonder- should we have special commemorations where very painful memories are dredged up?

  • One of the birds I most often see the do gooders clean up after an oil spill are cormorants- a bird that is easily overpopulated in the this country to twice a reasonable limit. Odd, we should be killing them, but instead are wasting resources salvaging the few that meet Mr. Oil Slick.

  • 800 billion dollars has been spent to rebuild Afghanistan since the initial invasion- really.

  • No really- 800 billion bucks to bring them from the Stone Age into the Bronze age.

  • Maybe I'm a racist pig-dog, but for the life of me I cannot remember who is Griz and who is Dotcom on 30 Rock.

  • Rwanda unbelievable tribal genocide hot spot? Um, well yes- around 15 years ago- however, today it is thriving, prosperous, safe and clean and is considered a model for developing nations. What's wrong with this? Well, for lack of a better term, to prevent repeat genocidal rampages the government is severely if benignly repressive (they probably won't line you up and shoot you for saying the government stinks, but they do have a nifty rehab camp on a beautiful island where you may be forgotten) allowing no real political dissention and the minority tribe who suffered the most in the last genocidal wave are presently the majority in power. If you know anything about human nature in general and African politics specifically- you'll know this is bound to end well.

  • Anyway, Rwanda also known as The land of one thousand hills is a beautiful country in the Great Lakes Region. The confluence of the rivers that form the Nile System are within its borders. Elephants and gorillas are plentiful there. English is one of their official languages. All these reasons and more are why you would know I hit the big time when I buy a coffee plantation there.

  • That and my army of Brazilian fembots I would import as housekeepers/security personnel.