27 November 2008

Gobble! Gobble!

In a few hours a multitude of people will awaken from their slumber and begin a day feasting, the purpose of which is to celebrate thanksgiving for all they are blessed with and to see how many casseroles they can stuff themselves with and still have room for dessert. I for one am thankful that I am home this turkey day, able to sit down and share a meal with my family and relax in the comforts that can only be found at home. Last year while I was in Iraq I was thankful for a multitude of things, all of which I am still thankful for today, but I need to give a shout out to the men and women who are working this holiday so that the rest of us can stuff ourselves silly with turkey and pie. This includes the police and TSA folks responsible for keeping everyone safe, the fire and hospital workers who keep take care of all our turkey related mishaps, and to the makers of sweatpants as the baggy article of clothing is perfect for stretching with my expanding gut and is most comfortable during a tryptophan induced nap on the couch. To all the soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors who defend freedom, I thank you for your service. To those who are deployed broad, I thank you for your sacrifices and pray for your safe return home and I pray for your families.

Now if you'll excuse me, I must find some clean fat pants before I make the trek south for dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

11 November 2008

Thank a Vet

For those not in the know, today is Veteran's Day. For most it will mean a day off or maybe just reduced traffic for those whose employers require them to work. They might notice the blurbs on the morning news show or maybe even see a few more flags flown than normal, but for the most part they will be oblivious of the significance of this 11th day of the 11th month of the year. They will go about their business of enjoying the freedoms that go along with being a citizen of the greatest country on the planet. To them, it's just another day.

For some it will be a time to reminisce of their time in uniform. They will remember how their time in the military forever changed them and wonder what a life would have been like had they not taken the oath to defend their country. They might participate in a parade in their honor or tell a classroom of what it was like to land at Normandy, hit a hot LZ in the Mi Cong Delta, jump a jet off the deck of a carrier in the Persian Gulf, or man a turret on a patrol through a street in Baghdad. They might wear a hat emblazed with their branch of service or maybe stick a small flag pin on the lapel of their jacket but you won’t get a lot of bravado or gloating from this group. Only they know what they have given, and only those who have served with them can truly understand the meanings of words like sacrifice, duty and honor. They didn’t do what they did to receive thanks on a day like today, but they appreciate it nonetheless when it is given with heartfelt sincerity. Their days of service are behind them, some by many years, and for the most part, today is just another day.

For others they will be getting out of bed, putting on their flight suit, picking up a rifle or hefting body armor and go about their business. They will not think of themselves as heroes or defenders of freedom. They don’t need to. They walk the walk. The reason for doing what they do is so ingrained in them that they might not even realize what today is besides another 24 hours of doing their job. To them, it’s just another day.

The fact of the matter is today is not just another day. It is a day to honor veterans of all branches of service and thank them for doing all that they have done for us and our country. The first group of people needs to be reminded of the significance of this day and of the people it honors. The second group needs to be thanked and showed appreciation of the sacrifices they endured for freedom. The final group needs prayers. Yes, they need to be thanked as well, but they need as much divine intervention as they can get in order to muscle through some difficult times and situations that they are facing.

Show your appreciation today by volunteering at the local VA hospital, visiting a family who has a loved one deployed, or just flying the American flag. Whatever you do to go about your day, thank a vet, pray for our troops, and be thankful for those who have given so much for the freedom you enjoy today.

05 November 2008


Quiscalus quiscula - Latin for "Pain in the Ass"

I hate grackles and they hate me. For those who don’t know, grackles are loud, obnoxious, scavenger birds that destroy local bird habitats and are just a plain nuisance to everyone. Do you want to know why they totally understand my hatred for them? Because I shoot them with my pellet gun in my backyard. Do you want to know why I am fully aware that they in turn hate me? Because they poop through the sunroof of my truck and crap on my shoulder when I’m sitting under a telephone wire at a traffic light.

This war is on...on like Donkey Kong!

It is what it is

The election is over and now everyone can go about their daily lives without being bombarded by the plethora of election propaganda that assaulted our senses this past year. Whether or not your candidate won is at this point beyond your control. If you took the time to exercise your right to vote, good for you. If you decided that your vote didn’t matter, then you gave up your right to complain about the outcome. Our mission now is to back our government and the United States of America and support our leaders, whoever they may be. If you like the outcome of the race, then keep the gloating to a minimum and hold onto the hope of a better tomorrow that you brought into the voting booth with you. If your candidate did not win, then ensure you keep your local and national politicians informed of the desires of their constituents (write them letters) and remember that you have a chance to change things in four more years. Either way, we need to come together as a country and move forward for there are plenty of issues that are testing our mettle. The economy is in shambles, our popularity in the world is not the greatest, the threat of terrorism is real and we still have troops deployed in combat zones overseas. Whether your blood runs blue or red, we can agree to disagree on a lot of issues, but in the end we are all Americans and we must hold onto that common bond with both hands if we are to make it through the challenges that lie ahead.

04 November 2008

Election Day

Go vote. This means you. If you haven't done so already, do it today. Don't give the same party line of why your vote doesn't count or that you don't like the candidates. Too many people have fought to give you this very important right and to make a lame excuse of why you aren't going to exercise it is a slap in their faces. This is an important election and you don't want to look back on this day and kick yourself for not having your voice heard.

'nuff said.

03 November 2008


With Veteran's Day only a week away, I was given this bit of information that was interesting enough to pass on. The Cliff Note's version is that Vets are now allowed to salute (something that was only reserved for people in uniform before).

From the VA website:

New Law Authorizes Veterans’ Salutes during National Anthem - October 30, 2008

WASHINGTON -- Veterans and active-duty military not in uniform can now render the military-style hand salute during the playing of the national anthem, thanks to changes in federal law that took effect this month.

“The military salute is a unique gesture of respect that marks those who have served in our nation’s armed forces,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake. “This provision allows the application of that honor in all events involving our nation’s flag.”

The new provision improves upon a little known change in federal law last year that authorized veterans to render the military-style hand salute during the raising, lowering or passing of the flag, but it did not address salutes during the national anthem. Last year’s provision also applied to members of the armed forces while not in uniform.

Traditionally, members of the nation’s veterans service organizations have rendered the hand-salute during the national anthem and at events involving the national flag while wearing their organization’s official head-gear.

The most recent change, authorizing hand-salutes during the national anthem by veterans and out-of-uniform military personnel, was sponsored by Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, an Army veteran. It was included in the Defense Authorization Act of 2009, which President Bush signed on Oct. 14.

The earlier provision authorizing hand-salutes for veterans and out-of-uniform military personnel during the raising, lowering or passing of the flag, was contained in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008, which took effect Jan. 28, 2008.


02 November 2008

Iron Ryan

So Ryan completed his first (and only) full Iron-distance Triathlon. Not much to say but he kicked ass and we are happy to see that not only did he finish in a great time, he was also able to walk away from the event without the aid of a wheelchair or gurney.


2.4 Miles of swimming was much better than standing on the cold beach

114 Miles of road biking (102 of it with sunglasses)

26.2 Miles of running on nothing but Nilla Wafers and chicken broth

The finish!

Look at those guns!