Sunday, July 29, 2007

Walk On

Update: Early this morning, Adriaan passed away. Despite the seriousness of his situation, we all expected him to recover because... well that is just Adriaan. I mean Jesus. He survived the unsurvivable.

From Glen his oldest son:

They have removed the tubes and equipment, and we just gave him our final kisses amid our tears. He is at peace. It was always his wish that he die on a mountain, and in many ways his wish was fulfilled. He lived just long enough to see all of his children and stepchildren and speak to them, to spend time with Patricia, and even see a picture of his beloved dog, which Michael brought with him yesterday. He heard all of your good wishes and knew how loved by everyone in his family.

And love is not the easy thing
The only baggage you can bring...
And love is not the easy thing...
The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can't leave behind

And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it's a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no, be strong

Walk on, walk on
What you got, they can't steal it
No they can't even feel it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight...

You're packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been
A place that has to be believed to be seen
You could have flown away
A singing bird in an open cage
Who will only fly, only fly for freedom

Walk on, walk on
What you got they can't deny it
Can't sell it or buy it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight

And I know it aches
And your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on

Home...hard to know what it is if you never had one
Home...I can't say where it is but I know I'm going home
That's where the heart is

I know it aches
How your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on

Leave it behind
You've got to leave it behind
All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you steal
All this you can leave behind
All that you reason
All that you sense
All that you speak
All you dress up
All that you scheme...

Sunday Song, Too Much Information

Just Too Much...

Sunny - Hi 119 Lo 93 for Baghdad, Iraq
Sunny - Hi 106 Lo 77 for Qandahar, Afghanistan
Partly Cloudy - Hi 87 Lo 68 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: Too Much Information, The Police

The Police only recorded 5 albums. I have them all... on LP, on cassette, on CD, and now on my iPod... The recordings after Synchronicity were to just rehash what had already been done. I actually saw them in a little venue called Bogart's in Cincinnati before they made it "big" in the states. I saw them after Regatta de Blanc but before Zenyatta Mondatta. I instantly fell in love with the pissed off drummer. I was 16 years old and snuck down to Clifton (University of Cincinnati) with friends to see them. We had a blast!!

When I saw that they were going to have a reunion tour, I was ecstatic.... until I saw ticket prices... I love this threesome and they will always have a special place in my heart. Many a night were spent down in Monkey Man's basement listening to Ghost In the Machine and watching Gary imitate Andy Summers while Jimi sang. It was great... great memories... but there is no way in hell I am paying that kind of money....

Also, don't you agree with me that these three have gotten better looking with age? Yah... and most definitely they've all had nose jobs...


Adriaan update: Michael flew out to Denver Saturday morning to be with his mother and Adriaan. Unfortunately, Adriaan has had a bit of a setback. His blood pressure dropped considerably on Saturday. He isn't able to swallow, so a feeding tube has been inserted and because he can't swallow, there seems to be some fluid developing in his lungs- pretty sure it's pneumonia. They have put him on antibiotics and if his breathing does not improve they will have to put him back on a ventilator. I'm not going to speculate, but this is going to be a long road for Adriaan. Any other person his age would not have survived past the surgery. He is a miracle. Please, please keep him in your prayers as well as my mother in law. Having this happen to your husband is unthinkable... having this happen so far away makes it feel impossible.

Thank you to those who have been checking in and dropping me notes and comments. Your prayers are appreciated more than I can express.

My grandparent's home sold this past week. That was pretty emotional. My grandfather built that house with his own two hands back during WWII. He has told me many times over the years that he planned on dying there.................. I love that place. I'll miss it too. Unfortunately, they just couldn't "keep up with keeping it up". So, for the past 2 years they have lived close to me in an independent living community for seniors and I am relieved.

I've said it here before... it sucks getting old, especially when your mind is still sharp as a tack. Their bodies are not cooperating and it is simply frustrating for them. Days dealing with depression and medications out the wazoo...

I'm pissed off about a lot of things in the news right now... there is just so much.

Project 2996 has kicked off. I'll get a separate post up at some point for that too. I just don't have it in me to even add links to this post. Pathetic.

Lastly, I have not been visiting my favorite blogs on a regular basis for the past couple few weeks. This is just a funk and quite simply life keeps getting in the way. Things will be getting back to normal soon... Good Gawd... it must.... In the meantime, I'm sorry I haven't been by your place on the internet.

Thanks for coming by and I'll be around shortly.... give me some time.


I need to do something mindless, so I'll be doing a round up of my sidebar (but then again, maybe not) and removing inactive links. I'll be adding to the MySpace stuff... found some more music.

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday Song, I Say a Little Prayer


Blowing Dust, Sunny - Hi 115 Lo 88 for Baghdad, Iraq
Sunny - Hi 102 Lo 79 for Qandahar, Afghanistan
Sunny - Hi 83 Lo 61 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: I Say a Little Prayer for You, Dionne Warwick. I don't care who you are... if you hear one of these pop gems that was written by Burt Bacharach and sung by Whitney "crack is whack" Houston's aunt... you simply can not be in a bad mood...


I was going to do Diane's Meme today, but not up to it. I'll eventually get around to it. Just a quick hello for those of you that come by on Sunday and Monday mornings.

One more thing, I ask you to say a little prayer for my father in law, Adriaan. I have to wonder if he wasn't a cat in a previous life and somehow managed to bank a couple of those nine lives. A couple of years ago he fell and broke his femur- made a full recovery in record time.

Then just this past Thursday morning I received a call from my sis in law with news of Adriaan. He was on his annual hiking trip in Denver when he collapsed while at breakfast. He was air cared not once but twice. We are still unsure whether or not he had a heart attack but we do know he suffered a torn aorta (common with trauma from a severe high impact car accident- Princess Diana being the most famous and others that have just collapsed from it due to a genetic defect - John Ritter); for most, a promise of a quick death sentence. One of the valves affected goes directly to the brain, so we don't know if there is any neurological damage at this point. He spoke to my mother in law on the phone and also spoke with the anesthesiologist- so, if I were a betting man, I'd say no.

We got my mother in law and sis in law out to Denver by Thursday evening, perfect timing as the surgeon had just completed the 10 hour surgery on Adriaan- he will have quite the scar to brag about as well as a new synthetic device to show for this hiking trip.

Adriaan isn't out of the woods yet, but he survived the surgery and he is resting. The main objective right now is to keep his blood pressure level. Today they intend to take him off the ventilator. He is nearly eighty years old and he is a miracle as far as I am concerned. After reading everything I could find on torn aortas... I am convinced of it.

Please keep Adriaan in your prayers.

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday Song, It's All Been Done

and one more from The Barenaked Ladies... One Week - From the Bathroom Sessions

Uhhhh..... What Are We Doing?

Widespread Dust - Hi 110 Lo 86 for Baghdad, Iraq
Widespread Dust and Thunderstorms late - Hi 104 Lo 79 for Qandahar, Afghanistan
Scattered Thunderstorms - Hi 86 Lo 66 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: It's All Been Done,
Barenaked Ladies - Just two things on BNL. I really enjoy their music, hate their politics.


I believe I have mentioned that I am in military sales. I really love this market -primarily my world revolves around the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard.

Understand this. In the 1980's we had over 600 ships, we now have 273 ships. Ich... that's a little disconcerting, don't you think? We really aren't thinking ahead... Yes, the Navy is working on the DDG1000 (next generation Guided Missile Destroyer), the LCS (smaller combat ship) and the CVNX (new generation carrier) which is all very cool technology, however the cost to manufacture these vessels are extraordinary. Back in the early spring, LCS-3 by Lockheed Martin was canceled after a 90-day work stoppage by the Navy due to going way over budget... and I'm not talking a couple hundred bucks- try $100,000,000.00.

Just this past week Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (Ingalls) was chastised by Navy Secretary Donald Winter on their delinquency of delivering and meeting pricing agreements.

“I am deeply concerned about Northrop Grumman Ship Systems’ (NGSS) ability to recover in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, particularly in regard to construction of LPD 17 Class vessels. I am equally concerned about NGSS’ ability to construct and deliver ships that conform to the quality standards maintained by the Navy and that adhere to the cost and schedule commitments agreed upon at the outset by both NGSS and the Navy.”
Understand this. The DoD budget for the Navy continues to be cut year over year despite the increase in military spending. I fully support spending gobs and gobs of money on our military, but we are basically funding the war at hand and are not focused on anything on the horizon or beyond--- which is NOT good.

Cynthia Brown, President of the American Shipbuilders Association said back in 2004,
“Equally alarming is the fact that the United States is losing the industrial and skill capability to ever rebuild America’s sea power. Over the past decade, naval shipbuilders have eliminated jobs of tens of thousands of highly skilled engineers and manufacturing employees, and are
struggling to maintain their diminished workforce. The number of companies manufacturing critical ship systems and components has been reduced by 60 percent and hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost. Today, there remains only one company still in business to make many of each of the critical components essential to a warships operation, and that remaining company is hanging by a thread.”
Understand this. My company is one of those manufacturers hanging by a thread when it comes to manufacturing for the Navy. We are a strong and diversified company and manufacturing for the Navy is one very small percentage of a percentage of what we do. For this particular business we have only one competitor. That's it! One! It doesn't stop there. Our vendors and their competitors have dwindled away as well. In MANY instances there is only one vendor to supply us and our competitor. Naturally prices have gone up because there is no competition and despite the shrinking fleet, demand has gone up, but not enough to sustain another manufacturer entering this business. The cost of raw materials since I have been in this field have gone up over 140%. As a company, we find it harder and harder to stay in this business.

Furthermore, the engineering teams at the governing agencies such as NavSea, NavAir, Naval Underwater Warfare Center (NUWC) and Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) which approve military specifications have dwindled down to a handful of folks. More and more these agencies DEPEND on the manufacturers to provide expert engineering advice. I'm not an expert, and by no means at the top of the ladder within my organization, but having checks and balances on something this critical seems pretty important... but that's just me...

The flip side of this coin is that everyone else on the planet thinks that building a navy with a large @$$ fleet is a good thing. Japan and Taiwan stand out in the crowd as do Israel and Turkey. And of course there is China.........................

Just wanted to offer a little food for thought... I see this every day and my heart grows heavy. I am nervous for our country.

I ask, am I being paranoid??

Navy League
Defense News
American Shipbuilders Association
Navy League - China's Navy Today
PLAN in San Diego

On a different more uplifting note, last week, I was able to help this Army Unit in Iraq! Instant gratification and relieved I could make it happen.

Check out those missile launchers... click on the picture for a better view.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Matt

Kyle reports that the United States Army is having a birthday party this evening at East Fork Lake tonight. All are welcome.

Happy Birthday, Matt.

Come home soon.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sunday Song, Summertime

Mica Paris

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

Jill Scott & George Benson

Then there is this version

It's Gonna Be A Hot One...

Sunny - Hi 113 Lo 90 for Baghdad, Iraq
Afternoon Thunderstorms - Hi 103 Lo 74 for Qandahar, Afghanistan
Sunny - Hi 94 Lo 70 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: Summertime, Mica Paris

Porgy and Bess is one of my all time favorites (and I just checked, but I do not have this listed on my favorite musicals list... shame on me!) When I first started dating Michael... I would make him listen to George Gershwin's An American in Paris over and over again (in between sessions of King Crimson). There is nothing like a Gershwin tune, ya know? Thankfully he liked it.

I heard Mica Paris a number of years ago on some radio program and thought-- what a wonderfully soulful voice- rich and textured. Then to hear her singing Summertime.... the song and her voice are simply a marriage made in the music heavens... sheer perfection. George Gershwin would most definitely approve.


No words today... too hot... Imagine yourself on a front porch sitting in an old rocking chair... it creaks just a tad. You are down south somewhere... possibly in Mobile, Pascagoula, Baton Rouge or down in the Big Easy... sipping some iced lemonade, or maybe you prefer some sweet tea....listening to the background buzz of locusts in the trees and just wishin' and hopin' for a breeze...

Enjoy your Sunday. It's going to be a hot lazy one here.

Photos from the garden tour I took with Mom and Michael last month...

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, July 07, 2007


I woke up at 3:30 AM... it's nearly 5:00 AM... no sense in trying to sleep at this point...

BlackOps has an iPod set up on his blog. His taste in music is wide and eclectic and I love it... anyway...

What is love? Makes me giggle...

Under Pressure. I have always loved this song. Recently, a commercial for Propel started airing. I love this commercial. It reminds me of an animation piece a friend did in college.

A show I have never seen but would love to is Rent.

Genius of Love. I love Tom Tom Club. I actually saw Tom Tom Club... If you are interested ask.

All right... time to see what infomercials are on... just hoping it's not Girls Gone Wild or the one where they talk about the size of your poop.... ugh..............

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Lightning in the Cul-de-sac

This is my first time using the new camera without any kind of substantial light source... pretty grainy... but nonetheless, some pretty cool effects... I only wish I could have captured some of the actual fireworks.... amazing!!

click on photos to enlarge...

By the way Jeff- excellent pyrotechnics! You have outdone yourself.

Happy Independence Day!

- The Signing of the Declaration of Independence
John Trumbull 1826
oil on canvas

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sunday Song, Ragged Old Flag

Our Flag Was Still There

Sunny - Hi 115 Lo 87 for Baghdad, Iraq
Thunderstorms - Hi 90 Lo 75 for Qandahar, Afghanistan
Partly Cloudy - Hi 84 Lo 58 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: Ragged Old Flag,
Johnny Cash

You may want to go get a cup of coffee as this may turn into a long ramble....

As we approach Independence Day, I can't help but reflect on how much my love for this country has grown. Like some folks, the events of September 11, 2001 were a catalyst for me to take a stand and be counted among those willing to fight for our nation- to keep her free and to make sure she stands with her torch as a beacon for all to see.

We the people are so fortunate to have been born here, still others have come here seeking freedom and liberty and a better way of life. Lady Liberty has opened her arms to them.

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

- Emma Lazarus

This country is clearly a melting pot- it always has been. It should always be so.
Our ancestors came to this country for various reasons - but the one common denominator has always been to seek out a better life. We the people spoke this past week and said that the Amnesty Bill was not what we wanted-- It was blogged about everywhere...It was talked about everywhere. I'm proud to say that I include myself in the numbers that flooded the phone lines and email of our Congress. They got the message - albeit they believe us to be foolish and uninformed.

Those that believe in this great nation, look to our immigrants as a blessing. Those that believe in this great nation believe it should be sought out honestly and legally. Nothing worthwhile is easy. I believe that is why some of our greatest Americans speak with a thick accent- My mother comes to mind, one of the greatest Americans I know.

We owe it to our forefathers and those that have fought and served and even died for this great nation for 231 years to stand strong. We must continue to live free or be willing to die for it. However, how do we make sure that our children, our children's children know what this great nation is about? What she stands for?

Bill Bennett wrote a compelling piece for National Review online. As the Secretary of Education under one of our greatest President's he writes with knowledge and integrity.

Tens of millions of Americans are about to celebrate our nation’s Founding. The worrisome question is, will future generations take to this celebration the way we have for the past 231 years if they do not know the first, second, or third thing about their country?

Two years ago, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough told the U.S. Senate that American History was our nation’s worst subject in school. The latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (a.k.a., “our Nation’s Report Card”), released last month, bears that out again. Our children do worse in American history than they do in reading or math. McCullough testified we were facing the prospect of national amnesia, saying, “Amnesia of society is just as detrimental as amnesia for the individual. We are running a terrible risk. Our very freedom depends on education, and we are failing our children in not providing that education.”

Double Tragedy
McCullough is right, and it is a double tragedy: a) our children no longer know their country’s history and b) the story they do not know is the greatest political story ever told.

It is not our children’s fault. Our country’s adults are expected to instill a love of country in its children, but the greatness and purpose of that country are mocked by the chattering classes: Newspaper columns and television reports drip with a constant cynicism about America while doubts about her motives on the world stage are the coin of the realm. Too many commentators are too ready to believe the worst about our leaders and our country, and our children’s history books — and even some of the teachers — close off any remaining possibility of helping children learn about their country.

Read the rest here.

We live in a country where we can ignore everything that does not concern us. If we so choose we can fill our heads with air and watch the Paris Hiltons and the Britney Spears of celebrislutty fame. We have become greedy and self serving. We covet what our neighbors have and are willing to file bankruptcy to have the big SUV and the 3000 square foot house and all the fixin's that go along with it. We are willing to rationalize away our greed and trying to get something for free or for a cheaper price because "everyone does it." In doing this we bankrupt our children of the things that matter. Our children are our responsibility and the promise that this country will continue as the beacon of light for the rest of the world.

Dennis Prager, another man I admire a great deal will often ask his callers to his radio program, "If you could only teach your child one lesson which is more important to teach your child- To not smoke or To not cheat on a test?" Time after time it is more important to teach the child to not smoke... Health and safety are more important than raising a child to be an adult of honor, respect, and integrity.

Of late, I've been spending a lot of time with my grandparents, part of the Greatest Generation, and they often say, "It was easier when we had nothing." It's funny, these same people worked hard so that their children would not have to endure what they endured. That cycle continues. We all really want something better for the next generation, but I believe there is something to be said about having to work for it. It is appreciated times ten. There is greater satisfaction in feeling the sense that you have earned it.

On a greater scale, we are willing to work with a nation that has no time for the human condition. We import from China and we KNOW that they handle their people with an iron fist. We know that if you speak against the Chinese government or try to worship in a manner that does not serve the government, you simply disappear.

We can see this same example in third world countries. There are countless charities wanting to feed the starving children of the world. And yes it is awful and horrific. However, they are starving by design. Get rid of the oppressive communist and socialist governments that are keeping their people in ignorance and poverty and you will see an end to starvation.

We the people are a dichotomy. We are in a struggle with ourselves. We are facing an enemy within our own borders that must be neutralized otherwise we can look to the European countries as to what our fate will be. Dependency on the government and socialized anything will eventually destroy this nation and we must rectify this.

At the same time we must fight an enemy that hates us simply because we exist. There is no question in my mind this war must be won despite ourselves. The liberals have said this is a lost cause and now Republicans are getting wobbly. The events in the United Kingdom this past weekend are yet another wake up call to us. WAKE UP!! I want our government to pay attention to the 2nd Amendment. I will maintain my right as an American citizen to keep and bear arms, but I also expect my government to maintain our militia. Give our soldiers what they need to win this war against terror!!

I anticipate as do many others there will be an attempt to stifle our voices. The Fairness Doctrine will be our penance for shutting down the Amnesty Bill. Our soldiers need us to support them, not just by proclaiming, "We support you" but we need to rise up again and make sure that our government does as we ask. Secure our borders and fund our troops so we can win this war. Let them fight this war.

Mine is but a small voice but I will use it to my fullest ability.

So, on Wednesday, take a moment and look at our American flag...

She is indeed a grand old flag... She symbolizes everything that is good in this nation of ours and please....


Tell your child about her... about how our flag IS still there...

Happy Independence Day.

The Star-Spangled Banner

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
- Francis Scott Key

Have a great week everyone!