Thursday, June 30, 2011

Words Of Wisdom

There must always, always be a burning in your heart to achieve. In the quiet of your solitude, close your eyes, bow your head, grit your teeth, clench your fists, ache in your heart, vow and dedicate yourself to achieve, to achieve.

Trammell Crow

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday's Dispatch

My baby pic.

  • Misfits- Hybrid Moments

  • I understand using dark humor to own a situation and make things seem not so bad, but think it's very hateful and disrespectful to make jokes about breast cancer or have campaigns for breast cancer research with slogans like, Save The Boobies or whatever.

  • Lobster has only been on my plate once in my life- at the Union Oyster house in Boston. It was JFKs favorite restaurant.

  • A girl at the pool yesterday had a skull and crossbones tattoo coming up out of her bikini bottom. At the very least I think that choice of tats sends some mixed signals and could be the butt of many crude jokes.

  • If I was crude.

  • While watching a random military video on the youtubes the other day I saw an old best friend on his subsequent deployment to Baghdad. It was so random. He was present when his best friend was shot and killed during our earlier deployment. I believe I was the first he told about it immediately after it happened. My heart broke for him. I couldn't joke it away for him or rationalize it- I just listened.

  • If given the opportunity I'd read one of the books written by Saddam Hussein although I've heard (and thoroughly believe) they're atrocious, simply God awful.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Random Roadside Object

I'm not a mechanical engineer but, I'm pretty sure it's a bad thing for a disc brake pad to just fall off a vehicle. On the bright side, they have at least three others I suppose.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wounded War Vet One Armed Catch Of Foul Ball


Watch the catch and interview. SSG Michael Kacer an Army NTL Guard soldier lost his left arm in a 2008 rocket attack.

I Learned About Empathy From That Part Two

I faded out then came right back to from the pain. Then a minute or so later the pain reached a point- I again fainted.
"Kevin, I'm going to get you something for the pain then get you admitted."

A few minutes later an RN came in and verified who I was and my allergies. I was breathing fast and my color wasn't very good. I know this because he said,"You're breathing kind of fast and your color isn't too good. Here, I'm going to put this oxygen on you. It may smell like plastic and tickle if you're not used to it."

Amidst the agony- it tickled like crazy and yes smelled like plastic.

He was a thorough and calm educator. The difference he must have made in peoples lives.

"Have ever had morphine before?" he asked gently. No. I replied. "OK, well you may notice a strange taste in your mouth, a little pressure behind your eyes and then just slightly nauseated. That will pass and then you're going to feel mighty fine, you'll be doing good."

I had been a nurse for years and never heard the first part of his education and still think the DR Feelgood tone to his voice kind of funny.

To be continued.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What I'm Listening To

Bush- Cold Contagious. A live performance of a great, great song.

Wherever you are you will always carry truth of the scars and the darkness of your faith.

Slowly move on, it all went wrong- how did we get to here.

It all went wrong, gravity claiming all your tears.

Everything looks so much better now.

You will get yours.

You have no right to ask me now.

You were never that around.

I have missed reality day-trips and your suit me suit me ways.

Turn out the light switch.

We've been awake for days and no ones coming around here no more.

You will get yours.

You have no right to calm me down.

You were never that around...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday's Dispatch

"Kevin- you idiot, put that thing down before it bites you! You're making it mad."

"Nah, he's not mad, he likes it- see he's smiling."

  • Vintage mugshots. Very interesting- no surprise Keith at BON came up with them first.

  • I had a horrible nightmare last night. An old Army bud and I met up at Dairy Queen in Decatur TX. Knowing he had been back downrange I asked him about it. He was unable to speak clearly or keep his train of thought and was trembling. While I was puzzling over this he turned his head to the side showing me a huge scar from a head wound and a strange looking hearing aid that had electrodes attached to the side of his head. He was our doc, very sharp, smart and funny. It was a terribly sad dream. It woke me up at four and I couldn't go back to sleep.

  • I contributed to his legend early in our deployment by saying he put the combat in combat medic and later throwing a fit when late in the game they replaced him with another medic to patrol with us. He was the only medic in our battalion who I know for a fact engaged in firefights.

  • I dream often about that DQ.

  • Zachary loves the old Clash Of The Titans movie and calls Medusa Miss Dusa.

  • 100.3 JACK FM plays all different kinds of music from just about every era and is great as far as I'm concerned. About the only songs they play I don't like are ones I never have cared for in any context.

  • I learned my first dirty joke when I was in third grade and could make adults roll on the floor with it. My friend nearly stroked out last night when I told it again for the first time in probably 25-30 years.

  • MC 900 Foot Jesus- The City Sleeps.


From the movie Red Dawn. In Iraq you would not have to look too hard to find a blown up tank or building with WOLVERINES painted on them. One more reason I love America.

Prologue/Opening Narration: Soviet Union suffers worst wheat harvest in 55 years... Labor and food riots in Poland. Soviet troops invade... Cuba and Nicaragua reach troop strength goals of 500,000. El Salvador and Honduras fall... Greens Party gains control of West German Parliament. Demands withdrawal of nuclear weapons from European soil... Mexico plunged into revolution... NATO dissolves. United States stands alone.

  • You cannot look up information on Red Dawn without being beat down by critics and armchair generals. Come on- it was a movie.

  • A comical clip.

  • An iconic scene.

  • At one time it held the record for most violent movie with an act of violence occurring as I recall once every 2.3 seconds.

  • How pervasive is the Red Dawn story in American military culture? The operation to capture Saddam was called Red Dawn.

  • When crossing a phase line or making a check point you nearly could not report the code for them over the radio without some smart Alec calling back "The chair is against the wall. The chair is against the wall. John has a long mustache. John has a long mustache."

  • Read the list of actors, there are very few unknowns- even the more or less minor characters.

  • On an off mission day I went out to see my guys off. As the HUMVEES were rolling out I called out,"Boys. Avenge me. Avenggggge meee!" Everybody chuckled.

  • I guess you had to be there.

  • My best friend in the Army claim to fame was being best friends growing up with kid who is left hanging out the school window after the paratroopers shoot it up.

  • Why an entire post dedicated to Red Dawn? I have no idea.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What I'm Listening To

Hal Ketchum- Past The Point Of Rescue- an acoustic version. Hal is a direct descendant of Tom Black Jack Ketchum the first and last person ever hung in Union County NM. He was sentenced to die for felonious assault of a railway train, a law later ruled unconstitutional. Tom was born in San Saba Texas.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Some Things Rub Me The Wrong Way

It has always gotten on my nerves when someone says anyhoo instead of anyhow.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Learned Empathy From That Part One

In 2001 I had a day that started out nearly like all the rest. The only difference was I felt a little off- just tired I thought. I slept on the way to work thinking I'd feel great when I got there, but when we got there I felt worse and had vague chills.

It was my day to run the clinic where I worked, taking in new cases, doing appointments and making referrals. A couple of different people asked if I was OK- I shrugged it off.
I'm a guy and a nurse- what do you expect?

Just an hour into the clinic I went to the bathroom. Blood came gushing out. I was so weak and feverish I could barely make it back to the office where I handed my work off and called my wife.

"I think I need to go to the hospital." She knew something was wrong for me to say that so she dropped everything and came for me. In some ways it seemed like she was nearly there instantly in another way it took forever. Blood was dripping out of me.

"Where do I take you?" "Just the closest one it doesn't matter." "What's wrong? I don't know. I'm bleeding out and feverish."

The triage nurse staged me to be seen immediately due to my elevated temp. and low blood pressure. Another nurse bullied him into downgrading me. I watched street people walk back smiling and carrying on with the nurses going back to get their shots for their STDs or whatever.

I put my head against the cool stainless chair frame and tried to put away the pain. I was deliriously thirsty from the blood loss, but knew better than to drink anything assuming surgery was pretty likely. I don't want to sound too melodramatic, but I really did think about telling my spouse all those things you need to say before you die, but I was beyond caring even though yes, I was pretty sure I might be expiring.

The ER doc was a kindly looking man with gray hair who had a student physician with him. He began to show her how to take an occult blood sample from the rectum. As he did so blood gushed out of me. I heard multiple feet shuffle back from me and the girl doc said, "Oh, my God."

To be continued.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rodeo Report

  • Went to the 67th annual Frontier Days Rodeo in Parker County night before last.

  • Bull riders continue to be insane and clowns funny.

  • Can chasers (barrel racers) continue to be annoying, but their time to shine was mercifully well managed so they did their thing and were back to their eleventy billion dollar trailers before my eyes rolled out of my head or I got dain bramage from face palming.

  • The sound system was very good and music great.

  • Due to my contacts in the rodeo underworld I only had to look over one persons head and when a bull would put on a good spin dirt would fly past us and spatter on the signs in front of us.

  • That means we had good seats.

  • I didn't stay for the band, I did not know a single competitor and multiple successful old friends were sponsors: three reminders you're getting old.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Raising Zachary

The other day in the pool Zachary started chatting up two women getting some sun in the pool. He asked one,"What's that?" pointing to her bikini top. "Oh, that's my swimsuit top." "No, that thing in the middle." he said pointing to a buglike decoration in the middle between the cups. "Oh, I guess that's just a decoration- it looks like a bug or butterfly or something." Can it get wet?" he asked. "Well, yes." she said. "Show me." he dared.

She laughed and said,"OK" and dutifully dipped her upper body into the water. He busted out laughing.

I think I'm in trouble.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday's Missives

  • When I was in Iraq at Camp Cedar II there was a platoon of gun trucks that ran convoys to different area bases. They had 6 trucks and of these trucks 4 were gunned by females- 3 of whom were smoking hot and there wasn't anything wrong with the fourth. It was so obvious when they would park near the chow hall guys would swarm them and get their pics made with them. I remember Italian soldiers in particular just mobbing them.

  • All the Italian soldiers looked like Mexican soap stars.

  • Last night I got just a little too warm under the covers and after kicking some off felt great. Then a couple of hours later I got a little chilly and felt great when I slid back under the covers.

  • Is there anything better than that?

  • I'm easy to please.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday's Dispatch

Devolution- it's real.

  • The Don reminded me of something recently. When I was young long haired metal heads (yep- guilty) may not have wanted to admit it publicly, but nearly always liked Journey and to a lesser extent Fleetwood Mac. Journey was known for good music, but a great show and Fleetwood Mac had pretty good music and Stevie Nicks.

  • There's a new report out by two members of Joint Chiefs staff in the Pentagon. In it they hi lite how this country is doing pretty much everything wrong from hysteria over Islamism, over extension abroad trying to maintain a presence with military might instead of political influence and not enough concentration on our debt and productivity. They specifically recommend focusing on infrastructure and education to promote our security. BTW- they think there should be less spent on defense.

  • I've developed a near phobic need to have my bedroom door shut at night which I at the same time feel I can't do if Zachary is here.

  • In another life I was a foster parent and would really like to do that again someday.

  • I sometimes miss having a yard to mow, beds to work and trees to water, but I get over it quickly.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pretty Amazing Huh?

How much money and energy was wasted getting there.

Monday, June 6, 2011

D Day

  • WWII veterans are dying off and very soon none will be left. D Day is one of the great accomplishments they leave behind.

  • Just prior to the invasion, General Eisenhower transmitted a now-historic message to all members of the Allied Expeditionary Force. It read, in part, "You are about to embark upon the great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months."

  • He kept another speech in his pocket in case the assault failed.

  • 2400 soldiers were lost on Omaha beach alone on the first day, but by the end of same 34,000 were put ashore.

  • There were fears the landing was going to fail and the CG of the operation actually radioed higher to that effect.

  • The USS Texas helped turn things around when she positioned herself between shore and other craft and let the shore batteries have it with everything they had. She came in so close she was in danger of grounding and was firing her guns with nearly zero elevation.

  • Savagery and heroics on both sides were present as in every battle, but in Normandy everything was highly compressed.

  • One German battery stayed in business for a week by calling artillery on it's own position to keep the Americans away. American soldiers had intended to shoot the Germans when they came out, but were so moved by their wretched condition they took them prisoner.

  • "The official record stated that "within 10 minutes of the ramps being lowered, [the leading] company had become inert, leaderless and almost incapable of action. Every officer and sergeant had been killed or wounded [...] It had become a struggle for survival and rescue."

  • The world will never see anything like D Day again- no nation could really afford it in any measure.

  • Let's hope.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Put A Live Lobster In A Pot Of Boiling

water you're a chef, toss a kitten in there and suddenly you're a monster.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saturday's Situation

  • My computer got eat up by a virus- one that acts like an anti virus program and basically holds the machine hostage until you ransom it by buying Full Protection.

  • Retarded.

  • My friend introduced me to a woman and then texted her: "Hey, I need you to know, Kevin is one of my besties- don't hurt him." She responded with," Who says I will? Maybe he'll hurt me. Anyway, he's a big boy." He came back with,"All I'm saying is don't hurt him."

  • Money can't buy that.

  • Zachary asked what my camera tripod was for so I explained it to him quickly while dressing and without showing him how it worked. He drug it out the next day and correctly set it up and figured out how to use the elevation crank and pan lever.

  • "I did it all by myself!"

  • A show stopper: people overheard him ask for fruit and inform me we needed to wash our hands before we ate- both in a single visit to a restaurant.

  • I recently met a senior NCO in the military who happens to be female. She could talk about teaching troops how to shoot, move and communicate, leading convoys and patrols, discuss the merits of a MK 19 v. .50 cal etc. I figured, "Yeah, she knows her stuff. I could probably follow her anywhere." until I commented on her legs and she said,"You like those? Yeah, they're pretty alright and they go all the way up to here." while pulling her shorts up a little.

  • Then I knew.

  • The Flys- Got You where I Want You. One of my favorite songs.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday's Dispatch

  • I went out last Friday to run errands- on foot and got soaked in the rain. I mean- my bones were wet. It must have been a pathetic sight.

  • When I was in college and drove back and forth from Texas and Tennessee a lot I would always pick up hitchhikers and my friends in both states would gripe at me. My reply would be basically, "What are the odds I'd pick up the Multi State Strangler?" or whatever. Most of the time the hitchers just slept.

  • I never reminded them to put on their seatbelts and always thought I'd run the car off the road if they tried something.

  • Guess if I had to think about it like that I shouldn't have been doing it.

  • Having the newest cell phone doesn't interest me a bit. If I can talk on it I'm good. As a matter of fact, 2 of the last 3 I've owned were given to me when I got stuck with a dead phone and someone offered their old one.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thursday's Thoughts

Is this what Heaven will be like?

  • Transformers exploding in Fort Worth.

  • A transformer exploded on the pole in front of my house once. A squirrel crossed whatever wire or contact he wasn't supposed to cross.

  • No, he did not survive. He did however set the yard on fire.

  • Zac and I saw a red eared slider turtle laying her eggs this morning. It kind of messed with his mind: "Is she coming out of that hole behind her? No, she dug the hole to put her eggs in. Where are the eggs? They are in her body- she will push them out into the hole. It's how she has babies- by laying eggs. You mean babies are going to come popping out like poop? No, she will lay eggs like a chicken, then the babies will come out of the eggs. Chickens!? No..."

  • The Three Stooges Meet Hercules: bed time movie last night. It was pretty cool, but I'm still surprised I had never seen or even heard of it before.

  • My last patients family- what can I say? They were one hot mess. I had more teeth than they could pool together as a family. There were multiple teen mothers with multiple children. Although they did it outside, every single person smoked that was associated with the family.

  • One family member had some experience as a nurses aide or caretaker of some type. Late one night another family member asked me to quantify the time the patient had left. Before I could respond the aforementioned expert said,"I give him 10 to 14 days at most." I said,"Uh, no- I would not not count on that much time at all. It will probably be more like 2 days at the outside- 2 days at the very, very longest and he honestly may not make it through the night."

  • They looked at me like I was retarded.

  • He died mid morning the next day while my buddy was caring for him.