Saturday, August 31, 2013

Field Marshal Unicorn And His Ineffectual Warmongering

David Burge (Iowahawk) tweeted, “Field Marshal Von Unicorn” and I was inspired to do this Photoshop™.  Jim Treacher asserted at The Daily Caller that, “Sometimes going to war is bad, and those who do it are evil. Other times, the President of the United States is a Democrat.”

Obama drew a red line in the sand for Syria’s Assad without thinking.  He painted himself and this country into a corner.  Foreign policy under this president is spineless, befuddled and strategically incoherent.

The errand boy sent by grocery clerks wandered off prompter and accidentally made a threat.  He has to make good on it with “a level of intensity just muscular enough not to get mocked,” according to one U.S. official.

Too late.  An insolent 11-year-old derided our Field Marshal on Facebook.

The Insufferable Airhorn has become a laughingstock around the world.  His words mean nothing.  You do not wage a war in order to avoid being mocked.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Courage Is Found In Unlikely Places

Diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when she was two, Darla Holloway belted out a performance of “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch at Fenway Park where the Boston Red Sox were playing the Baltimore Orioles.

Darla, who is 4 years old, had practiced every day for her big night.  Her rendition of the patriotic song was wonderful and she deservingly received a standing ovation.  She also took part in the singing of the National Anthem as a part of the Jimmy Fund Chorus.

May God bless her in her fight for life.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Miley Cyrus: “Ratchet Diva” With A Madonna-Whore Complex

Photoshop™ Of The Day: Let’s Have That Conversation About Race

National Dog Day 2013: The Good And Faithful Companion Opens A Window Into The Delight Of The Moment

Sophie, a PomChi seen pictured here, came into my life in June of 2009.  My friend of 30+ years bought the pup to keep her male Chihuahua company.

It turned out that Sophie, being a puppy, was more than a handful.  I first met Sophie around Thanksgiving of 2008.  I made friends with her, but I agreed with my friend that she was juuuuuuuuussssst a tad hyperactive.

I visited my friend again over the Christmas holiday and was re-introduced to the whirling dervish.

The next month, January, the sweetest dog I ever owned passed away.  I was heartbroken and the house was painfully devoid of life.  I still miss her to this day.

I made another visit to my friend for her birthday that same month.  My friend asked if I would consider taking Sophie.  I declined saying that I thought we weren’t a good match.

Then my friend’s aunt, who lived in the same city as me was placed in hospice and my friend came up to visit her.  My friend packed up the car with the two dogs and headed to my house while she visited her aunt.

When she arrived she got both dogs out of the car, closed the gate and put them both on the ground.  Neither moved.  They acted liked they were stuck in hardened cement.

I called to Sophie and Teddy to come.  Sophie rushed to me.  I petted her and, as if by magic, she discovered grass and trees and squirrels.  She ran the entire length and breadth of my yard.

Soon Teddy saw the delight in the moment and took off running as well.

It wasn’t until June of that year, when I was again visiting my friend, that the question was once again asked, “Why don’t you take Sophie back home with you?”

My friend’s rationale was that it was shame that a dog so full of life should be confined to the house.

How could I not take her after such a poignant remark?

I did take her home with me.  The next day I had to go to work.  When I came home later that evening, she had chewed the hell out of a wardrobe valet stand.  I had a “come to Jesus meeting” with Sophie.

I went to work the next day and when I walked in the door after a hard day I surveyed the house for any damage.  Voila!  Everything was still intact.

Sophie goes everywhere with me in the car.  She loves the drive-thru at Wendy’s because she knows she’ll get her own cheeseburger (no onions or pickles, thank you).

She goes out every morning and runs figure eights and if, perchance, a squirrel is in the yard a furious footrace ensues.  She never catches one, but don’t tell the squirrels that.

Long story short, Sophie has calmed down and every time she visits Teddy my friend comments on how much she’s changed.

Anyway, since today is National Dog Day, I thought I’d share a photograph of my fur kid.

Dogs teach us about living each new day with exuberance and unbridled delight.  They teach us about hanging your head out the car window and letting the wind blow up your nose, the thrill of a fresh snowfall and the serenity of a nap in the shaft of the afternoon sunlight.

As we grow old and achy together, there is comfort in the friendship, selflessness and unwavering loyalty of a good and faithful companion.

If Music Be The Food Of Love, Play On

Created by Green Shoe Studio

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Never Realizing The Glory In Their Wings

Two weeks ago, upon returning from my training in Brunswick, GA, I looked out the window of my home which faces my backyard.  I was checking to make sure my yard guy had taken good care of my lawn in my absence.  I noticed some sort of movement in the far-right corner of my acre lot.  I couldn’t tell what it was, but I was curious nonetheless.

A couple of hours later, I took my recyclables out to my Toter® roll-away Recycle Can when I noticed a very large bird, a hawk I thought to myself, perched on the chain link fence about ten feet away from where I had seen something earlier in the day.  I stood there watching it for about 30 seconds before it flew away.

Fast-forward to today.  I woke up fairly early for a Sunday morning and decided I was going to be productive today.  The morning was bright and sunshiny and the temperature was a delicious 68°F.

The plan was to wash my windows.  I started in the backyard.  I had washed two windows and was beginning to work on the third.  I was safely ensconced on the step ladder under the easement when I heard a frantic flapping going on behind me.

Making certain not to turn too quickly (Safety First!), I turned to see this hawk (?) on the ground no more than 10 or so feet from me on the ground.  It was wrestling furiously with a snake.

I have lived in this home for 40+ years and never once saw a snake.  I judged the snake to be about 5-feet long.  Quicker than you could say, “Rumplestiltskin”, the bird had muscled the snake into its talons in a vise-like death grip and took flight.  The snake was wriggling to get loose.  It was a bad day for Mr. Water Moccasin.

Bad day for the snake, good day for me because I never saw it.  I could have stepped on that sucker, gotten bitten and, well…

I collected myself after that Animal Planet episode and finished washing all my windows.  I came inside and fixed myself a sammich and a bowl of Caramel Cookie Crunch gelato.

I went outside to store my step ladder in the shed when, what did I spy, but the very same hawk from this morning.  I tippy-toed backwards to go inside and grab my camera.  I just knew it would be gone when I came back out, but I was wrong.

It sat perched on a big, fat branch and posed real pretty for me.  I had to snap several shots because I was shaking so bad.  I wanted to share its beauty with everybody.

Once I downloaded the pics and settled on the one shown here, I researched raptors and found that the bird is indeed a hawk; a red-shouldered hawk, in fact.

According to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, it’s one of the most distinctively marked common hawks, with barred reddish-peachy underparts and a strongly banded tail.  (The Cornell Lab doesn’t mention this, but it’s legs are a lemon yellow.) In flight, translucent crescents near the wingtips help to identify the species at a distance. These forest hawks hunt prey ranging from mice to frogs and snakes.

The National Geographic Society notes that red-shouldered hawks return to the same nesting territory year after year.

If this bird has a nest nearby or it has built a nest in the many trees on my property then it can help me control the ground squirrel population.  Oh, did I mention I despise the little vermin?

So, now I have a family of bluebirds who have established a cozy little residence in the birdhouse I put up last year.  When they leave, then the darling, little Carolina Wrens move in and set up house.

Life is good and I thank the Lord for His blessings.

We Are Now Able To Resume Normal Broadcasting

On Wednesday, I pitifully announced that I would be offline due to a major conflagration of the laptop I had owned since early 2006.

I am back.  Hallelujah!

Let me get my feet wet and I’ll be posting in a jiffy.  No, make that a few hours.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Racism Is Sweeping The Nation

It seems there was a little dust-up in Sedalia, Missouri over the weekend.  You’ve heard about it haven’t you?  Some seditionist decided to teach racism to a bull.

The nation has one man to thank for alerting us to this vile act.  That man is Perry Beam—a 48-year-old musician from Higginsville, Mo who took to his Facebook page and KSDK NewsChannel 5 to squee opine that the rodeo event at the Missouri State Fair was like a Ku Klux Klan rally.  He breathlessly reported that the announcer “whipped up” the spectators other seditionists and it was “at that point” he began “to feel a sense of fear.  It was feeling like some kind of Klan rally you’d see on TV.  I’ve never seen anything so blatantly racist in my life.”

Because of this one man’s acute journalistic skills, the Missouri State Fair will force rodeo clowns to attend sensitivity training and the NAACP has called for “a full review by both the Secret Service and the Justice Department.”

When it becomes raaaaacist to mock a Democratic president, then we are one step away from censorship. 

African-Americans should be less offended by mask-wearing clowns at rodeos and more shaken by a president who is unqualified to hold the office, is a removed, elite on-looker who stands by as cities go bankrupt, medical costs skyrocket, racial tensions explode, foreign policy flounders, plays cards during the Bin Laden raid and does nothing to save an American ambassador from being murdered and dragged through the streets of Benghazi.

This is a phony scandal.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wait…This Can Mean Only One Thing!

Proof, fellow blogger and sagacious judge of character, decided to have a little fun at my expense.  His timing was impeccable.

From his comment posted here:
“A dirty trick to play on you while you're out of town, but:  You are a winner!  There's a new blog award going around, and I nominated you!”
According to him there is no voting, no stuffing the ballot box, no campaigning. It’s just a way to bring recognition to other blogs and bloggers that are out there.

OK, fine.  Then he expects me to follow some officious rules:  Display the award logo, link back to the person who nominated you, answer 7 questions that were decided by your nominator, nominate other bloggers for the award and link back to them and finally, notify those bloggers of the award rules.

Here are Proof’s 7 questions and my answers to them:

Q1:  Education is important if we are going to preserve the Republic past this generation. Do you think homeschooling or private schools better prepare the next generation for life?

A:  While many view homeschooling as a means of escaping the disgusting illiberal cesspool that is public education, there are also charter schools and vouchers.  The disadvantages of homeschooling are a lack of social development, missed experiences and reduced competition. Learning to make friends and exist within a group are important life lessons that children could miss out on through homeschooling.  Common experiences are part of the fabric of life.  A traditional school environment helps forge friendships and build memories.  Homeschooled students don’t generally have the opportunity for competition.  Competition encourages achievement.  Events like team sports, spelling bees and school plays, band, chorus and the like encourage kids to do their best, or at the very least may just uncover natural aptitudes that might go unnoticed with homeschooling.

Q2:  Boxers, briefs, thong or commando?

A:  Why tell you when I can show you?

Q3:  What was the best thing you’ve ever written and why?

A:  The final mortgage payment check.  Derp.

Q4:   What was the most popular thing you've ever written?

A:  Don’t know that I’ve done that yet.

Q5:  What’s your favorite book or movie and why?

A:  My favorite movie is The Bridges of Madison County.  It centers on a farm wife who finds a love so intense that life will never be the same again.  My favorite book is The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, a novel about five isolated, lonely people and the shining moments of heroism in otherwise ordinary individuals.

Q6: How old were you when you realized that government was not the solution?

A:  I have never regarded the government as the solution for anything.  Its purpose is to provide law and order and protect its citizens.  The Founders distilled their philosophy of government as individual liberty defined by our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness secured by a government instituted for that purpose with powers grounded in the consent of the governed.

Q7: If you could change any law or practice in the USA, what would it be and why?

A:  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Is there a need to explain that answer?

Here are my 7 questions:

1.     Who has most influenced your life and why?
2.     What is your happiest childhood memory?
3.     Do you have someone you look up to and why?
4.     If you could relive any day in your life what would it be?
5.     When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
6.     If happiness were the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
7.     If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?

And these are my nominations:

Bob Belvedere of Camp of the Saints
Adrienne of Adrienne’s Corner
And, Proof of Proof Positive.  Although already nominated by someone else, I’m dying to know how he’d answer MY questions.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Two weeks ago I left home with my little fur kid Sophie and headed to my friend’s house so that she could take care of her while I was deployed to the Federal Law Enforcement Center in Brunswick, Georgia.

FLETC is a 1600 acre facility located on what was formerly known as the Glynco Naval Base.  According to the student handbook, FLETC was originally intended to be headquartered in Washington, DC but moved to Brunswick after being transferred from the Treasury Department to the Department of Homeland Security in March of 2003.  The Federal Law Enforcement Center has grown over the years to include facilities in Artesia, NM, Charleston, SC, Cheltenham, MD and Gabarone, Botswana.

I arrived there at 3:00PM just as I was instructed to, but when I reported to the dorm that I had been assigned to, I was informed that there were no rooms available and was moved to a dorm on the opposite side of the training center.  The next day, Monday, I returned to my room after my first day of training to learn that I was being moved back to the original dormitory.

I was glad of that because I was now housed with others from my agency.  However, the room was just as small as the one I had the night before.  The bed was short and lumpy and the springs poked at my ribs for two weeks.  The TV was about the size of a postage stamp and the reception sucked.  The cell phone reception was sketchy as well.

I got up every day at 05:00, left my dorm, loaded onto a bus and was transported to the chow hall that brags about serving more than 4,000 meals a day.  The food was oh so yummy.  Everything was boiled or baked.  You’d better like broccoli, cauliflower, bland string beans, powdered eggs, powdered potatoes and either Thousand Island, Bleu Cheese or Sesame dressing on your salad.  If having chicken with every meal didn’t appeal to you there were turkey burgers or veggie burgers.  YUM.

The best part of the chow hall experience was the ice cream freezer.  You dipped out your own ice cream and there was no limit to how many servings you could get.

The heat was brutal and in the early morning waiting for the bus, there were swarms of biting gnats.

All of our instructors stressed the importance of taking advantage of the recreational activities that were available.  They knew that staying on “campus” was not mentally healthy, so I signed up to go shark fishing on Friday, August 2nd.

Eighteen of us signed up.  We were bused to Jekyll Island to board at 41-foot fishing boat. 

The area surrounding Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island is known to be one of the largest breeding grounds for sharks, mostly Black Tip and Spinner.

Here's my sharky-shark shark
The adventure began at 1800 hours and concluded around 2300.  We traveled out past the barrier islands to a spot that the captain said was good.  The seas were choppy and when we dropped anchor the boat rocked and rolled violently.

The deck hands baited our hooks and we cast our lines and for about 20 minutes nothing happened.  The captain informed us we would pull up anchor and head to another spot.

When we dropped anchor again, it seemed like the moment we cast our lines the sharks hit the bait and we were off to the races.  Nearly everyone caught a shark.  Most were one to two feet.  Others were larger.  I caught a 4-foot Black Tip.  Everything was catch and release.  One guy even caught a stingray.

St. Simons Island Lighthouse and photobombing pelican
The next day, I drove my car to St. Simons Island.  Georgia’s Golden Isles include Sea Island, Jekyll Island and the privately owned Little St. Simons Island.  I visited the lighthouse which has been working since 1872 and poked around in the quaint shops and outdoor bistros.  I also saw many of the “tree spirits” that were carved by Keith Jennings.  Everywhere you looked the trees were draped in Spanish moss.

Tree spirit
On Sunday, I got an early start and hit the laundry room.  I went to the FLETC store and bought some snacks and sodas and headed back to my dorm.  I caught a power nap and made my way over to the chow hall.  I had some tacos, a really big salad and some ice cream.

On Monday, August 5th, it was back to class for another week.  I started counting the hours until I would be freed from this “prison” and could be on the road and back to a “normal” life.

Friday was a short day.  We were dismissed at 10:00 hours.  I had already packed everything the night before.  So, all I had to do was change from my uniform into my civvies and hit the road.  

My route home included a section of I95 in South Carolina which is part of the honorary system of roads, highways and bridges known as the Purple Heart Trail that gives tribute to the men and women who have been awarded the Purple Heart.

I saw a sign that indicated that in Walterboro, SC you would find The Tuskegee Airmen Museum located at the Walterboro Airfield.  The museum is a part of the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor.
Tuskegee Airmen Memorial

After a brief stop there, I was just about an hour-and-a-half away from my friend’s house where I could be reunited with my little Sophie.  Never have I been more glad to see my little fur kid.

I spent Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday with my friend and left around one o’clock Monday headed for home.  I pulled up in my driveway around 4:45PM.

It’s good to be home; to put my head on my own pillows and sleep on a bed where my feet don’t hang over the edge or have springs poking you in the ribs.

I missed not being able to post anything over these last two weeks and I thank all of you who left comments wishing me well.  You guys are the greatest.

Hopefully, I’ll get back in the groove shortly and have something worth posting.