Law of Cat Inertia - A cat at rest will tend to remain at rest, unless acted upon by some outside force - such as the opening of cat food, or a nearby scurrying mouse.
Friday, December 29, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Hope you all had a good Christmas, enjoyed the gathering of friends and family, and ate plenty - but not too much. I'd love to blame the lack of blogging on the power outage on the 15th (which lasted 7 days for Casa Way), and the continued lack of internet until yesterday. But the loyal two or three of you who still visit know better - it's been a long time, hasn't it? Of course, I always rise to Meme bait, and thus I have emerged from the darkness.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Me ... Peaceful? That'll make a few people laugh out loud!!
I should go back and play with the questions to see what the other options are. AFSister is digging her result...
Monday, December 04, 2006
This is one of the real downsides to living in the pacific northwest. I'm surrounded by tree-hugging anti-war numbskulls who think that supporting Watada is somehow good for our society.
December 5 * 7pm.
Of course he's facing a court martial, dummies - he disobeyed orders. His personal history and 'reasons' are meaningless. The Army (and Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard) don't function when soldiers disobey orders.
Yes, I know, that part of their intent is to destroy our military. They might not be honest enough to say that, and their little poster boy here is supposedly willing to go to war in Afghanistan, just not in Iraq. But at the end of the day, they would love nothing better than to gut our military and have us all bow down to the terrorists of the world.
I can't get down to Tacoma tomorrow night to join them, but some of the Operation Support our Troops folks will be there. If you can get to King's Bookstore in Tacoma, Jeff and the gang would love to have you join in protesting this bizarre event:
You gotta be kidding!
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
America's Son didn't really take a vacation from blogging this summer/fall, he was just a bit wrapped up in the transition from Marine to Police Officer. There are still wolves to be dealt with, and fellow Sheepdogs to honor. There are also some somber but important parallels between Suffolk County and Al Anbar province.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2006 — Back in March in Iraq, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lori Hill, with the 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, was piloting her Kiowa Warrior when the lead chopper came under heavy fire. She drew the fire away, simultaneously providing suppressive fire for the troops engaged with the enemy on the ground.
A rocket-propelled grenade hit her, damaging the helo’s instrumentation, but instead of focusing on her predicament, she established communication with the ground forces and continued to provide them with aerial weapon support until the soldiers reached safety.
As she turned her attention to the aircraft, which was losing hydraulic power, the helo took on machine-gun fire, a round crashing into one of Hill’s ankles. Still, with a damaged aircraft and an injury, she landed at Forward Operating Base Normandy, saving her crew and aircraft.
For her actions she was presented the Distinguished Flying Cross by Vice President Richard Cheney at Fort Campbell, Ky., on Oct. 16.
“It’s was a once-in-a-lifetime thing to get the award and then have the vice president come and award it to you,” she said. “It’s just incredible for any soldier.”
Recalling that day in March, Hill reflected, “I was actually just glad I didn’t pass out and very happy I was able to help the ground guys out, and get our helicopter down safely on the ground.”
Sunday, November 26, 2006
John of Argghhh posted a pic of a 6-inch gun at the Castle yesterday, and the comment thread implied the device was located somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Sadly, my investigative powers were not up to the challenge, and I failed to track down the little beastie in my searching.
This cannon was placed along the path in Woodland Park in 1911:
Cannons from Admiral Dewey's cruiser, the USS Concord, were placed in a plot on the southwest corner of Woodland Park, now called the War Garden.
The USS Concord had a rich history ...
(Displacement 1,710 tons; length 244'6"; beam 36'; draft 14'; speed 14 knots; complement 187; armament 3-6", 1-4")
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
I had the best time joining with 100+ fellow military supporters at a pack event arranged by the local Operation Support our Troops organization. They raised enough funds through our local radio stations, including 570-KVI, to send over 7000 stockings to troop units in Iraq and Afghanistan. So the assembly lines were formed, and the OSOT 'troops' and volunteers (including myself, BCR and her sibling) stuffed stockings full of goodies until the stocking supply ran out. What a great feeling when the trailer full of boxes headed off to the Post Office!
If you want to help grant the Christmas wishes of a military family, or provide dinner, or just donate to this good cause - click here, or on the picture above to get the details.
Sgt. Hook also writes about a similar program for his unit, and is accepting donations in the Angel Basket on their behalf as well. I'm thankful for many things - my health, a job that rewards me in many ways, a wonderful family, great friends (including all of you!), and the flag of freedom flying over my head. It only makes sense to help ensure that the men and women who preserve the rights of freedoms of this great country should have comfort and joy as well.
Political correctness defined :
A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical, liberal minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
Monday, November 13, 2006
I was thrilled to attend a very special Veteran's Day event this weekend, and to shake the hands of five very special men. The first four are recipients of the Medal of Honor for their actions in WWII, Korea or Vietnam. The fifth man is the photographer who created Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty. This beautiful collection contains images of most of the surviving Medal of Honor awardees, captured by photographer Nick Del Calzo, along with the stories of their valour.
The book is presented in a format with two pages for each man, one of which is the new photograph, with the other containing the story of their actions and a photo from their days in uniform. The images Nick has captured of each person are great art, studies in light and shadow. You can preview some of the images online at the Portrait Collection site, but you will want to own this book for your self.
It was my honor to meet ...
Richard M. McCool
Rank and organization: Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, USS LCS(L)(3)122. Place and date: Off Okinawa, 10 and 11 June 1945. Entered service at: Oklahoma. Born: 4 January 1922, Tishomingo, Okla.
Thomas Jerome Hudner, Jr.
Rank and organization: Lieutenant (j.g.) U.S. Navy, pilot in Fighter Squadron 32, attached to U.S.S. Leyte. Place and date: Chosin Reservoir area of Korea, 4 December 1950. Entered service at: Fall River, Mass. Born: 31 August 1924, Fall River, Mass.
Kenneth E. Stumpf
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant (then Sp4c.), U.S. Army, Company C, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam, 25 April 1967. Entered service at: Milwaukee, Wis. Born: 28 September 1944, Neenah, Wis.
Thomas R. Norris
Rank and organization: Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, SEAL Advisor, Strategic Technical Directorate Assistance Team, Headquarters, U.S. Military Assistance Command. Place and date: Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, 10 to 13 April 1972. Entered service at: Silver Spring, Md. Born: 14 January 1944, Jacksonville, Fla.
The event took place at the Seattle Museum of Flight (see post below), and started with live performances of patriotic music by the Boeing employee band. We were also treated to a presentation of colors. Then photographer Nick Del Calzo talked about his inspiration to capture recent images of as many MOH recipients as he could, to honor their amazing actions and celebrate the living history. He then introduced each man by telling his story, at which point each stepped to the podium to make remarks.
Not surprisingly, each one was totally selfless, taking almost no credit for their brave actions. To a man, they spoke only of love for their brothers in arms, and a desire to do what had to be done.
After they were done, and the colors retired again, they proceeded to sit together at a long table to sign autographs. Many of us had bought the new edition of Medal of Honor to be signed, and we presented the books open to their pages for signature.
What struck me as I came close enough to hear and watch them was their gentle humor and easy natures. They chatted and joked with us, and their eyes lit up when some visitor would mention stories of their own parents service. I had to chuckle when I said to Ken Stumpf, "Thank you, Sir" ... and he responded "Don't call me Sir! My name is Ken". Ken Stumpf, by the way, was a draftee in the Vietnam War, and went on to serve 30 years and retire a Sgt Major.
It still amazes me that these gentlemen were happy to give up their day of honor in order to grace us with their presence. Only Richard McCool lives in the local area, all the rest came from other states. It was a great day ... one that I will cherish all my life.
"May we never forget those who fought for our Freedom.
My Best Wishes, Thomas R. Norris"
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Today is for thanking Veterans for their service, no matter when they served, and no matter for how long. Today is about the living, mostly, since we remember the fallen on Memorial Day. You can't really talk about one without the other, as John says.
Friday, November 10, 2006
I just want to wish all active and former Marines and spouses (they also serve!) Happy Birthday!
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
So the Dems are dancing in the streets and the halls of Congress, and there's a new guy taking over the DoD. Lots of folks wanted change - and bless their flabby little hearts, they got what they wished for.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Election day seems like it should be a whole day event. Mandatory time off from work, at least a half day, to allow everyone plenty of time to vote - no excuses. It really disturbs me that some people, otherwise smart and well-informed, do not vote. Maybe they figure they'll go after work, and then 'get busy'. Or perhaps they simply don't want to be bothered.
"But sometimes all the solutions are awful, and it is the mark of an responsible adult, and a responsible adult nation, to realize that some problems you can not get around. Some problems you have to go through. "
Sanger at The Grand Retort reminds us how much Voting Matters.
Matty at Blackfive gathers input from a most important source : The Troops themselves.
Speaking of the troops, Sgt Hook has another fine production posted up for your enjoyment ... don't miss it!
Sunday, November 05, 2006
The Project Valour-IT
Thursday, November 02, 2006
If you have donated already – Thank You! Now go tell 3 other people !!
This is such an important project, and there are many deserving troops who still need help. The Army team has made good progress on our goal of raising $45,000 (see the graphic at the top right), and currently leads the other teams. But remember that it all goes towards the wounded troops, and we have a ways to go to reach the overall goal of $180,000.
Don’t miss the auction post at Op-For … okay, they are flyboys, but the auction benefits the whole fund-raising event – so go take a look anyways!
From my fellow Army team members:
Blackfive kicked it off, and is still recruiting Army Strong team members.
Chuck Z, our motivation, puts the need in plain language … he speaks from experience.
Continue the mission!
Local commentator and talk show host, Ken Schram, has taken the whole Kerry kerfuffle and turned it into something that supports the troops. Mr. Schram is a fairly liberal leaning guy, and regularly awards “Schrammie” bobble heads to various targets of opportunity. This week, he decided to award one to John Kerry for his remarks and (non)apology. Better yet, he decided that he would auction off the Schrammie for a good cause … Operation Support Our Troops!
“As much as I believe Sen. John Kerry deserves to be awarded “The Schrammie” this week, I don’t think he should actually receive it.
The bidding is over – and the winner will donate $2500 to OSOT in exchange for his Schrammie. That’s good money to help this amazing group arrange for packages for so many troops. Of course, they always need volunteers, and this year I will be one of the Santa’s Soldiers helping with the pack out operation. If you are located in the Seattle region, and feel like helping out, please visit the Santa’s Soldiers site for more info.
My hat’s off to you, Ken! Good work on supporting the troops.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Just when I think the Dems have reached their lowest level, one of them grabs a shovel and starts digging.
The Washington 8th District Congressional race has been closer than I would have liked, with incumbent Dave Reichert (R) battling against newcomer Darcy Burner (D) to retain his seat. This is Washington, after all - home to "Baghdad" Jim McDermott. However, the Burner campaign is doing something that could be just the lever we need to throw water on their efforts.
A new flyer from the Burner campaign uses/abuses the well-known image of an American Soldier comforting a dying Iraqi child captured by Michael Yon last year. The flyer features this iconic image along with the words "They won't tell the truth about how bad it is."!
First to report on this was Stefan Sharkansky, at Sound Politics. His update today confirms that the image was not used with Yon's permission...
Stooping pretty low there, dems.
Monday, October 30, 2006
The Project Valour-IT challenge is on, and it's time to Choose a Side! I am teaming up with the Fusileers of Argghhh, and joining the Army team ... HOOAH!
"At that time I had no use of either hand. I know how humbling it is, how humiliating it feels. And I know how much better I felt, how amazingly more functional I felt, after Soldiers' Angels provided me with a laptop and a loyal reader provided me with the software. I can't wait to do the same, to give that feeling to another soldier at Walter Reed."
Want to be part of something big?
Valour-IT's online fundraising competition begins today! Let's see who can raise the most money to help reconnect ourwounded warriors with the world!
WHAT: Friendly fundraising competition for Valour-IT.
WHEN: October 30th through Veterans Day, November 10th.
WHERE: Based in the blogosphere, spreading everywhere else.
WHY: Because giving wounded warriors with hand and arm injuries access to a computer supports their healing and puts them back in touch with the world.
HOW: Blogger teams will be divided along military branches, with civilians "up for grabs."
The lines are drawn by service rivalry:
Jarheads (Marines) will be led by Villainous Company
Zoomies (Air Force) will be led by Op-For
Squids (Navy) will be led by Chaotic Synaptic Activity.
Doggies (Army) led by Matt and Jim of Blackfive
Non-military bloggers should choose
Sign up for the Army team by enlisting at the Project Valour-IT site and click (under Army) "Join". We'll generate links, buzz, and get these heroes some Commo support!
So all you bloggers sign up with your choice of service and get the word out. Donate NOW!!!
Check the top of the right hand sidebar to see the ARMY team progress. Feel free to click on the Make a Donation button to toss something in the kitty, and help out the ARMY team!
It's a tax-deductible donation and eligible for matching funds from companies who do that sort of thing (see: http://soldiersangels.org/valour/irsinfo.html for proof for the cautious).
The snail mail address for those who'd rather donate that way (be sure to put ARMY in big letters on the check):
1150 N Loop 1604 W, Suite 108-493
San Antonio, TX 78248
Let's be a part of something big.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Tha Armorer has a must-read Denizen linkfest posted today ... don't miss the discussions he points to on immigration and the intel community. John and Beth also represented the Castle well this week, as the Leavenworth community paid their respects to Cpl David Unger. Rest in peace, soldier.
Beccy Cole supports her troops ... my hat's off to her and the Diggers she loves.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Found this one over at ALa's place, and had to give it a shot. I guess that Logic class from college is still stuck in my head after all.
I'm not sure what combination of answers led to this conclusion:
Cheerfully snagged from SWWBO, who in turn was inspired by FbL.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
I had the great pleasure to meet Michael G. Reagan on Friday, when he came to speak about his Fallen Heroes Project. This is the time of year when our company encourages us to give back to the community, in time and in donations. One of my co-workers invited him to speak about his work, and I now know what angels look like, because I've met Mike.
Dear Michael, we just received the portrait of my son A.J. and I am just amazed. I feel as though I am truely gazing into my son's eyes. You have captured my son's likeness right down to the smallest detail. You are a very gifted man, as you already know. Yes, Our Father has given you a special talent and we are all lucky you found it. From one veteran to another, I thank you. May God always shine his light upon you and your family.
Take some time to read about the project, and consider donating if you can. Mike needs to continue this work, there are more families who need comfort.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Monday's post ended with an exhortation to honor the sacrifice of our troops, and to make each vote count. This includes the brave men and women who have given the last full measure. It also includes every other service person in uniform today, doubly so for those deployed around the world, and a hundred-fold for those trying to heal from their wounds.
Thanks very much for this post, especially reminding the folks that we are at war and this isn't the time to be voting for the "run for the hills" types out there.
That's what would happen if we toss the party out with the bathwater, you see. We'd be cutting and running ... and the troops would be left hung out to dry. Don't be a Murtha *spit*, stay in the fight.
At least according to this quiz, I'm relatively balanced between the right brain and left brain functions.
Cheerfully stolen from SWWBO, who in turn lifted it from ALa.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Beth has the right of it. Voting is our right and responsibility in this country, and the talk I've heard of conservatives voting for the Dems or not voting at all, as some kind of statement to the Republican party just drives me up a wall.
So, the Dems will finally return from the political wilderness and Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Murtha, and Chairmen Conyers and Rangel will team with Majority Leader Reid and Chairman Leahy to: Force a retreat from Iraq; throw money at Kim Jong Il; talk to Ahmadinejad and then throw him a Framework Agreement; Refuse to extend the tax cuts and thus cost every American real dollars every month and large chunks of the estates of their Greatest Generation parents as they pass away; Refuse to confirm qualified judges and blockade Bush nominees in the event any of the Supreme Court's aging elite retire?
*shudder* The very thought makes my skin crawl.
After the dust of this election settles, if you want to make changes, then go out and get involved. Get hooked up with your local party connections, and make the system work by bringing fresh ideas into the party.
As you vote this year, remember that we are at war, that we have men and women in uniform around the world who are fighting to help the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan to keep their new voting rights.
Don't you dare let them down.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Okay, so I didn't actually shoot with the Sheriff, who is now Congressman Reichert, at the fund-raising event in Bellevue this week. But I did shoot, and got to meet 'n' greet some fellow R's at the Shootin' for Victory event last night in Bellevue. As noted by both John of Argghhh and Dave from Heartless Libertarian, this is my kind of fund-raiser. The chance to go throw lead down range with a group of like-minded folks was too good to pass up!
SEATTLE TIMES DEBATE - WASHINGTON'S EIGHTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CANDIDATES
WHERE: Meydenbauer Center
11100 NE 6th St.
Bellevue, WA 98004
click here for directions and parking info
WHEN: Tuesday October 10th - 7pm
MORE INFO: email@example.com
JOIN US NEXT TUESDAY TO SUPPORT DAVE REICHERT
AS HE DEBATES THE ISSUES WITH DARCY BURNER
I plan to be there to cheer on Congressman Reichert - we conservatives may be surrounded here in King County, but we don't give in!
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
How do you get back on the blog wagon after falling off for a while? In my case, you get
List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your LiveJournal/blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.
Here's what I am listening to these days...
Send Me from Keni Thomas / Flags of our Fathers. First of all, the words really resonate right now, as I'm currently reading "Home of the Brave: Honoring the Unsung Heroes in the War on Terror". Secondly, I can sing along (with apologies to Keni) since it matches my voice range.
Across the Sun from Keiko Matsui / Deep Blue. I saw her perform this piece and others from the album here in Seattle at the fantastic Jazz Alley.
Oh How the Years Go By from Vanessa Williams / Next. Listened to this on the ride to the airport the day my mother died. Nuff said.
In the Air Tonight from Phil Collins / Hits. I've been known to kill car speakers with repeated playing of this one at high volume. Why I can still hear is a complete mystery to me!
Rollin' (The Ballad of Big & Rich) from Big and Rich / Horse of a Different Color. Big beat music again - reportedly works well when riding into those remote areas on C-130's, for example.
Regardez-Moi from Celine Dion / The French Album ... fun to sing along with in the car.
Last, and shortest, but definitely not least, there is one item that I listen to frequently at my desk at work. But most importantly, every Tuesday night around 9:04 or so, I love listening to Fired Up, Feels Good -- The Unit style, that is. Gotta go now, the show's coming on ... *grin*
Sunday, October 01, 2006
"They were over there to defend us, now it's our turn to defend them!"
Click here to read about the "Pendleton Eight" (7 Marines and 1 Navy Corpsman), who are now in prison based on the words of our enemies, are being denied their fundamental right to confront their accuser, and face conviction and death.
What can you possibly do to help?
1. Return the favor of their sacrifice, and make a donation (501(c)(3) qualifying for match) to help fund their defense and ensure they at least have the opportunity to realize their right to Due Process which they and their families have sacrificed to protect.
2. The media is not getting this story out, so PLEASE FORWARD this message to as many American Patriots as you know to help these soldiers and their families.
3. Repeat #'s 1 and 2 as often as you can.
Make a difference and don't wait to help these men out. CLICK HERE NOW.
Also take a look at this post from Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive, about a way to help the families deal with the non-legal costs ... and the stress.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
The 2996 project is about the people we lost in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in a field in Pennsylvania. These people were our family, friends, sisters, brothers, children, parents, co-workers, and neighbors. Each one is missed by his or her loved ones every day. We owe it to every one of them to remember their names and their lives. It could have been any one of us.
Here are some of their stories, as told by bloggers who each present one individual to remember and cherish:
Links added Sept. 12:
Alexander Lygin from Sgt Hook
Rick Rescorla at Mudville Gazette. Don't miss the timeline pictures below Rick's post.
Added at 9pm Pacific time:
Carol K. Demitz from Teresa at Technicalities
Stephen Poulos from Seawitch at Thoughts by Seawitch
Lt. Dennis Mojica from Two Babes and a Brain
Gregory Sikorsky from Frank J. at IMAO
Rahma Salie from That1Guy at Drunken Wisdom
(T1G also has a link post going - please go visit him for more tribute links)
Jonathan C. Randall from Michael at DownEast Blog
Efrain Franco Romero, Sr. from Damian at Conservathink
Daniel L. Maher from Conservative Schooler
Don Simmons from Boudicca at Boudicca's Voice
Lorraine G. Bay from ALa at MobyRebuttal
Milagros Hromada from the 2996 Project blog
Mike Horrocks from TacoBell at Sandgram
Max Beilke from Echo9er
Timoth Patrick McSweeney from Fuzzybear Lioness at Fuzzilicious Thinking.
Lydia Estelle Bravo from Cass at Villainous Company
John J. Tobin from Snarkatron at Snark Patrol
James Sands Jr. from Sgt B at The Gun Line
Davin Peterson from AFSister at My Side of the Puddle
John Chipura from LindaSOG at Something … and Half of Something
Matthew Lancelot Ryan from Blackfive
Michelle Coyle-Eulau from DadManley
Kenneth “Ken” Swenson from MajorDad1984 at Cursed by a Classical Education
Father Mychal Judge from HFS at HomeFrontSix
Benjamin “Keefe” Clark from David at Random Nuclear Strikes
** UPDATE **
** UPDATE **
More tributes added ...
More tributes added ...
Heather Lee Smith from Lex at Neptunus Lex
Heather Lee Smith from Lex at Neptunus Lex
This is not close to an exhaustive list. Murray of Hitting Metal with a Hammer has a complete list of the names here.
I hope to update the links as I get time.
Remember them always …
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Now I just have to inform the Hubster of the new names. Heh.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Losing a beloved parent is very tough, and I knew my friends HanyaP and MrMan, her terrific husband, were struggling to deal with the loss of Mr. Man's dear father. What I didn't realize was how eloquent MrMan can be when pouring out his heart. Nor did I know of the depths of his father's love of country and sacrifice in its service. Not just in one war, but in two - and not just in one uniform, but in three.
"He was a great teacher, a great story teller, a great father, and a great friend."
Here is definitely Someone You Should Know.
Monday, September 04, 2006
The folks at AnySoldier (AnyMarine, AnyAirman, AnySailor, AnyCoastGuardsman) perform a great service, making it easy for us to make contact with our men and women in the military who are deployed overseas. In Iraq and Afghanistan, and in other places around the globe, we have military personnel who are serving this great country, and who deserve our support. I am sure that most of the folks who may wander in here from the Castle or parts around there are aware of AnySoldier.
10. What if AnySoldier.com earned a penny every time you searched the Internet? Well, now we can!
Make sure that you press the Verify button to ensure that AnySoldier is pegged as your charity ... you can even check to see how the donations gathered have added up!
Come on, how easy do they have to make it?? As Major B says - Get Some!!
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Simple choices such as eating healthy or splurging on the triple dip cone, and tough choices like working for less money at a job closer to your kids' school so that you can spend more time with them. Some of them don't have a "right" answer, just a lesser of evils.
Will We Choose to Win in Iraq?
I would like to see us win, so that we can get out. Are we doing all we can to achieve that goal?
There is one more possible reason to head for the exits in Iraq: Victory is either impossible or (what amounts to the same thing) prohibitively expensive. And there is a sure-fire test of whether or not victory truly is impossible: See whether a rising number of American soldiers in a given city or neighborhood tends to produce more violence or less. If the answer is more, then it is pointless to send more soldiers; the ones who are already there are doing net harm. But that is not what the evidence shows.
I encourage you to go read the complete article. One section in particular caught my eye. It's not a new sentiment, but useful to remember as we head into our election season for this year...
Our side in Iraq holds elections. The other side kills people who stand in line to vote. America's military is fighting not to protect one set of thugs from another, but to allow a democratically elected government to establish itself in a society a majority of whose members want it to do so. It's hard to imagine a more morally worthy goal. And that would be true even if our enemies were not uncommonly murderous--which they plainly are. Rarely has a militarily powerful state fought for nobler ends.
Go read the whole thing, and let me know what you think. How much does the war in Iraq (and don't forget Afghanistan) and the tension with Iran and Korea affect your thoughts on voting this year?
Thursday, August 31, 2006
From the folks at Operation Support Our Troops, a reminder about the Friday afternoon rally in Olympia:
Please join us for a sign and flag waving event to encourage support for our troops and our country this Friday, September 1st (and every Friday), from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, at the corner of 4th Avenue and Water Street in Olympia. We will be on the south side of 4th Avenue. If you cannot make it at the start time, come late and join us when you can.
Who: Those who support our troops and our country and want to encourage others to do so!
What: Fly our flag and signs encouraging support for our troops and country.
When: Every Friday from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. If you can't make it at 4:00 pm, then
Location: 4th Avenue and Water Street in downtown Olympia. See maps and directions below.
Why: To show that there are people in the south sound area that support our troops and country.
Please join us for whatever time that you can. If you cannot make it at the start time, come late and join us when you can. If you can only stay for an hour, then join us for an hour. It may be hot, so if everyone could bring at least one bottle of water with them it would help a great deal and be appreciated. I will bring a small cooler with some water for those that stop by and do not have water with them.
I am tied up this Friday, but I encourage anyone close to Olympia to join the OSOT folks to join in. Help to demonstrate to the troops that we care!
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
In the past 13 days I played some very mediocre golf at some decidedly non-mediocre places. In fact, I can say with confidence that I've recorded triple bogies in some absolutely stunning locales. Luckily for the Hubster, his scores were generally 20 strokes lower than mine!
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
While listening to the radio on my way to work a few weeks ago, I heard the word Golf mentioned in the same sentence with Special Forces, and my ears perked up. The First In Asia organization provides support to family members of First Special Forces Group Soldiers who are killed or injured while serving our country. A few years ago, a new Memorial Wall was dedicated to the memory of those who have fallen.
"On September 11, 2001, Major Cole Hogan died in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. On January 4, 2002, Sergeant First Class Nathan Chapman died from wounds received during combat operations in Afghanistan. Later that year, on October 2, 2002, Sergeant First Class Mark Jackson died from a terrorist bomb in the Philippines. The common thread that binds these men together is that all were members of the First Special Forces Group.
In order to finish the wall park, the First In Asia group needed to raise some more funds, and that's where the golf entered in.
So we donated our registration fees, bought nice shirts with kewl logos, and 'purchased' mulligans - mostly used by the folks who Really wanted to win the pick-up truck in the hole-in-one contest. Donating the truck turned out to be a very safe bet, since no one even came close to popping one into the cup from 191 yards away (155 or so for the ladies) - even with the use of extra tee shots!
Luckily I didn't care if I scored well, since I dragged our team down mightily. The point wasn't to win, it was to gather some green for the fund - and this mission we accomplished ... Hooah! And for a bonus, we got to chatter with some active and veteran Soldiers of the First SF Group, as well as from other local units ... And some units that weren't so local. Three of the guys I talked with were from the land down-under, members of the Australian Defence forces, here in the US to take part in training at Ft. Lewis!
So, thanks to SFC "B" for getting us our registration and pass, and thanks again to the Soldiers of the First Special Forces Group and their spouses. Y'all sure know how to host a shindig, and I'm glad I got to meet you. I've never felt so safe on a golf course ... Heh!
Oh - If you feel the urge to push a few bucks into the kitty for the Memorial, there's a Paypal button on the donations page. Or, you can send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to make contact and find out more.
Monday, August 14, 2006
So, for the few folks who still actually stop by here … Thanks! I've been buried deeply in a work project that I'm trying desperately to finish this week, and have had several family obligations, so blog time has been severely curtailed (obviously!). But I have had some fun recently to relate … The weekend of August 4th I hopped a plane to Southern California to join baby sister, Becky, in celebrating her Natal Day at the Del Mar Racetrack, as mentioned in the next post down. Immediately upon exiting the airport, Becky and I headed directly to Disneyland to partake of both the Magic Kingdom and the California Adventure. They finally shut off the rides at midnight, but no one even tried to shoo the visitors out of the shops, so we didn't end up leaving till about 12:30 am! I hadn't been to the California Adventure, as it was under construction when I moved north in 1997, but I adore the Soaring over California ride … perfect for those of us with no desire to ride roller coasters. Give me a virtual ride any day!! So we stumbled off to bed at 1am, and crawled out again Saturday morning to drive from Costa Mesa to Del Mar. Our ride was slowed by traffic here and there, but at least we didn't participate in any accidents, unlike SOME people I could mention! We arrived at Del Mar around Noon and nailed down our picnic space and pulled out the goodies to start munching and plotting our race picks. Much fun was had, several bottles of … um … Juice were consumed (that's our story, and we're sticking to it!), and nobody bet enough to lose big or win big on the races themselves. All that would have made for a special day, but I had an extra special event as part of the gathering as well. I had buzzed Fuzzybear Lioness before hopping the plane, and goaded her into joining the crazy gang for the day at the track. Yahooo!!! I got to meet another Castle Chick! I had apparently confused her on the location of the infield that we intended to stake out as our own, so once she arrived at the track and came through the infield tunnel, my cell phone rang. Since I had previously configured it with her phone number, helpfully tagged as "Fuzzybear Lioness", I knew who was calling immediately. She was near the exit from the tunnel, maybe 50 feet from me, but facing away. As we talked, I walked towards her and said "Turn around …" – and then I waved Hello … *grin* As all who have met her know already, she is a hoot to spend time with, and made friends very quickly with the rest of the party, including the youngsters in our group (who have been accompanying their Mom and Dad to the event each year since they were born!). We all had a great day, and had plenty of time to visit betwixt the races. At the end of the day, though, we were all ready to head for home. I finished the weekend off with some shopping at Downtown Disney, and a viewing of the new Disney/Pixar movie Cars. If you enjoy light-hearted animation – go see it! Even the insects were cars … bugs, of course … heh! Then it was home for a week of rest at work (Not!). I had some more adventures this weekend, but that will have to wait for another time. If you're looking for something interesting to read, make sure you check out the rest of the Denizens of Argghhh…
So, for the few folks who still actually stop by here … Thanks! I've been buried deeply in a work project that I'm trying desperately to finish this week, and have had several family obligations, so blog time has been severely curtailed (obviously!). But I have had some fun recently to relate …
The weekend of August 4th I hopped a plane to Southern California to join baby sister, Becky, in celebrating her Natal Day at the Del Mar Racetrack, as mentioned in the next post down. Immediately upon exiting the airport, Becky and I headed directly to Disneyland to partake of both the Magic Kingdom and the California Adventure. They finally shut off the rides at midnight, but no one even tried to shoo the visitors out of the shops, so we didn't end up leaving till about 12:30 am! I hadn't been to the California Adventure, as it was under construction when I moved north in 1997, but I adore the Soaring over California ride … perfect for those of us with no desire to ride roller coasters. Give me a virtual ride any day!!
So we stumbled off to bed at 1am, and crawled out again Saturday morning to drive from Costa Mesa to Del Mar. Our ride was slowed by traffic here and there, but at least we didn't participate in any accidents, unlike SOME people I could mention! We arrived at Del Mar around Noon and nailed down our picnic space and pulled out the goodies to start munching and plotting our race picks. Much fun was had, several bottles of … um … Juice were consumed (that's our story, and we're sticking to it!), and nobody bet enough to lose big or win big on the races themselves.
All that would have made for a special day, but I had an extra special event as part of the gathering as well. I had buzzed Fuzzybear Lioness before hopping the plane, and goaded her into joining the crazy gang for the day at the track. Yahooo!!! I got to meet another Castle Chick! I had apparently confused her on the location of the infield that we intended to stake out as our own, so once she arrived at the track and came through the infield tunnel, my cell phone rang. Since I had previously configured it with her phone number, helpfully tagged as "Fuzzybear Lioness", I knew who was calling immediately. She was near the exit from the tunnel, maybe 50 feet from me, but facing away. As we talked, I walked towards her and said "Turn around …" – and then I waved Hello … *grin*
As all who have met her know already, she is a hoot to spend time with, and made friends very quickly with the rest of the party, including the youngsters in our group (who have been accompanying their Mom and Dad to the event each year since they were born!). We all had a great day, and had plenty of time to visit betwixt the races. At the end of the day, though, we were all ready to head for home.
I finished the weekend off with some shopping at Downtown Disney, and a viewing of the new Disney/Pixar movie Cars. If you enjoy light-hearted animation – go see it! Even the insects were cars … bugs, of course … heh!
Then it was home for a week of rest at work (Not!). I had some more adventures this weekend, but that will have to wait for another time. If you're looking for something interesting to read, make sure you check out the rest of the Denizens of Argghhh…
Friday, August 04, 2006
I'm heading south in a few hours, to spend the weekend with little sister. Tomorrow is the annual Friends of Becky fun day at the Del Mar race track ... where the Surf meets the Turf, as the saying goes. Picnic time with friends and family, a little betting on the horses, and a chance for a good sunburn - a perfect Saturday.
Not to mention, a chance to meet up with Fuzzybear Lioness! WOOT!! Since Del Mar is a stone's throw from her current hideout near Sandy Eggo, I invited her to join us at the bash. I'm gonna have So Much Fun this weekend ... *grin*
Any other Sandy Eggo folks (Hi, Lex!) who like to go watch horses run around the track should be able to find us on the infield near the first turn for the turf races. Email me if you need contact info!
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Catching up is hard to do, but I've finally updated the Bloggers I have Met section of the sidebar. It now includes all the great folks I got to hang with a few weeks ago.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
AFSis tagged Boston Maggie, who in turn