Wednesday, December 17, 2003

The lexicon of Alexandra....

I sit and listen to the words that my daughter is saying, and I am amazed at how much she has grown. I remember when I held her for the first time, I thought about all of the "firsts" that we would experience together. Namely her first word. In a way, I had imagined that it would be some glorious moment out of the blue where I would here her say something clear and coherent out of the blue. "Hey Renee! The baby just said, 'machine oil!' Yeah right.....Now that she is saying words, I can't recall what her first one was, or when she said it. It turns out that Alexandra understands most sentences and phrases that I use. The only problem is that I can't understand what she is saying. In fact, all of the cute cooing and gurgling that I thought she was doing just for the heck of it was more than likely an attempt at communication. Unfortunately I was too dull to catch on. However, as of late I have made it a point to document the translations of the words that she teaches me. Here is an Alex to English translation guide:

Veesh=Fish
Wa-Wa=Water
Shiew=Shoe
Booah=Book
Teetew=Tissue
Ought=Hot
Mummy=Mom
Daddee=Dad
Wubbie=Robbie
Dedna=Devon
Neenee=Granny
No=No
Mine=Mine

...Note the clarity of the last two translations. I think I may be in trouble! :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Am"Bush"ed

Our President went to Great Britain in hopes of bolstering a continued alliance and support from our neighbors from across the pond. There seems to not only be a great deal of Anti-Bush sentiment, but Anti-American sentiment as well. While I would agree that this is not as bad as what we have to deal with from the French or the Germans, but it is scathing nonetheless. I won't give you my opinion as to whether or not we should have deposed Saddam Hussein as leader of Iraq, but I will say that the United States is in a position where we absolutely cannot pull out. We have to keep going forward.

This past drill at my National Guard Unit, we were assisting one of our line units who has been activated for deployment. So, a second trip to Iraq seems like it could some day become a reality for me. I would really hate to go, but I would. One thing that I have to say is that I wish that the world would pull together and look at the good that can come out of this situation versus the events that led up to this action. We have to salvage something from this entire mess. I would hate to look back 20 years from now and say. Jesus! That was a God awful mess that amounted to nothing. Too many lives have been lost. Too much property has been damaged, and too many lives have been permanently changed. Yes, we will indeed look at all of the facts, but lets look at the best way to fix all of the chaos in Iraq. We owe it to the Iraqi people.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Mike Check

It seems that Michael Jackson has once again been accused of inappropriate contact with a child. I was really incensed when the investigation of the previous allegations against Michael halted after the parents in question received a settlement. In my opinion if you have reason to believe that an adult had some sort of sexual contact with your child, and you will accept "hush money", then you may as well don the red coat, white hat with blue feather, and drive a Cadillac with Zebra skin seat covers. To me, the first claimants were nothing but pimps. There is no amount of money on earth that could appease me. If I couldn't get my hands around Mike's throat I would want him in jail.

We, as black people, have the tendency to circle the wagons when "one of our own" is threatened. However, wrong is wrong, no matter what. I know that some people are wrongly accused of crimes, but a great deal of the time "where there is smoke, there is fire." If they find compelling evidence that Michael Jackson has had sexual contact with this 12 year old, or any other kids, I think they should lock him up and throw away the key. Just like with the Catholic Church, there will someday be a reckoning. If Michael has done wrong eventually it will come out.

On the subject of the Catholic Church and pedophile priests, I can actually offer a personal perspective on the matter. As a Catholic I was not only shocked, but quite embarassed about many of the events, namely, Cardinal Law, John Geoghan, and Father Shanley. As a matter of fact our Bishop of the Lexington Diocese stepped down amid allegations from the seventies, and our Priest stepped down because of accusations that he slept with a teenage girl. While it is easy to cast aspersions on those who investigate people or institutions we have come to identify with, we have to realize that these investigations do serve a legitimate purpose. While I do laugh and joke about Conspiracy Theorists, I am pretty sure that J. Edgar Hoover is dead, and perhaps nobody in the FBI is out to damage the reputations of Michael Jackson, or R. Kelly, or Al Sharpton for that matter. (A la the video tape that shows him listening to a guy talking about a drug deal.) We as black people need to not only not tolerate people who refer to us, deal with us, and make statements about us as if we were some monolithic being. Any racial group whose membership ranges from Clarence Thomas to Flavor Flav certainly has a wide array of opinions, attitudes, behaviors, and ideologies. Because of this, we shouldn't take it so personally as a collective when someone is getting crucified in the courts and in the media for bad moral judgment and/or illegal behavior. I don't want anyone to "lay off Mike". I want them to put more pressure on him because the truth needs to come out. Children have to be protected, and if that means that I have to see an Icon of my time, and my church go down in flames, then I am all for it.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

The Doves and the Hawks...

The Doves and the Hawks have squawked just a wee bit too much for me as of late. With troops getting killed by the day, I think that we are past the point where we argue about whether or not this is a just war. The fact of the matter is that no matter what the cause, we are in it, and we cannot just pack up and leave. I really think that the focus needs needs to be on how we are going to straighten this mess out. Oliver had a nice piece on his weblog about how many of the so-called hawks mustered support for the war from the safety of their keyboards. While I did find this to be amusing, I noted that some bloggers who claimed to have been in Iraq at some time took offense to that matter. In fact, there was one poster who commented on Oliver's blog named "Gimp". From the way Gimp described himself and told of his failed attempt to enlist, we can see that his moniker was aptly selected. Anyway, gimp called him a few names, and brought up a compelling point. I am paraphrasing this, but it was basically stating that just because a person does not serve, or cannot serve does not make them out-of-line for supporting the war effort.

At first I chuckled at some of the comments made, but then I thought about it. Just because I have a military background, and have been deployed in a combat zone does not make me any more entitled to comment on military action than anyone else. Admittedly I have trash talked people about commenting on combat actions when they have not elected to serve. But, being that the way that our Constitution is framed, it would seem that perhaps those are the exact kind of people that need to be making these decisions. I suppose that perhaps I need to put my own ego, and sense of self-righteousness in check when I discuss the situation in the Middle East with people. While I do not condemn Oliver for his anti-war stance, or muster behind the "hawks". I find myself now respecting and seeing the validity of both sides of this argument. However, I stlll have to say, "We are there now, there is no going back, let us endeavor to work together to quell the unrest, restore power to the Iraqi people, and bring our boys home soon.

One of our line units was just activated, and I have a feeling that they will be going overseas soon. This is hitting close to home. I am a brand new Lieutenant with all sorts of ideas, a little bit of experience, a whole lot of enthusiasm, and 4 reasons to pray to God that I am not called up...."Wife, Son, Son, and Daughter." I pray to God that the day will come when I no longer here about our troops being killed. I pray to God that peace will come to the Iraqi people. I pray to God soon more families will not have to be seperated, and I pray for the families that will never be reunited.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Not nice.....but she spoke....

This morning my daughter was extremely fussy and whiney while my wife was doing her hair. She squealed, and strained, and whined and cried out trying to free herself from my wife's grasp. She has become quite willful as of late, and doesn't like to be held for very long. She really hasn't tried to articulate any thoughts to us verbally, more often than not, she will attempt to repeat things that we say...."Say, Mommy?...Say, Daddy?.....Say, Cookie?" You know how it goes. The teacher's at my daughter's daycare have a policy of not saying, "NO!" When they have to calm a child down, they simply say, "Not nice". They do this by shaking their index finger in a disapproving way and shaking their heads. Obviously my daughter has been called down quite a bit, or else has witnessed another child being disciplined. (I choose to believe the latter, because my daughter is obviously the best child in the world.) Well, anyway, back to what I was saying. She was getting her hair combed, and the boys were also in our room trying to watch ESPN. Suddenly Robbie looked at Alex angril and said, "QUIET!!" The baby was startled and stopped making noise for a few seconds, she jumped, and had a wide-eyed look on her face. After that she started in a low sorrowful wail and began to cry. Renee looked at Robbie and said, "You shouldn't do that Robbie." Then, out of the blue, Alex stopped her tears for a moment and pointed at him and began shaking her little index finger. She also gurgled out, "Nah Nigh!" There was complete silence in the room, and we all burst out laughing. So she finallyarticulated something....she spoke, but it wasn't nice!

Monday, October 27, 2003

Traffic school actually taught me something....

I was the proud recipient of a speeding ticket a few months ago, and I was required to attend traffic school. All day today I sulked while thinking about the roughly four hours in which I would have to be subjected to gory traffic films and monotone lecture of the instructor, and the incessant protestations of "I shouldn't be here" by fellow attendees. What I found was absolutely nothing of the kind. My instructor only identified himself as "Mr. Peach". Mr. Peach chose to talk about life in general for the majority of the instruction time, and he loosely associated it with driving responsibility.

Of all of the things he spoke about regarding life, the thing that stuck out in my mind was his insistence that patience and wise decision-making was the key to a happy life. He stated that he thought that the 60's were a time of rebellion, the 70's were a time of disillusionment, the 80's were a time of greed, the nineties a time of apathy, and the new milllenium has been characterized by rage. I think I would have to agree with him wholeheartedly.

There are so many parts of my life that have some of the defining traits of those past decades. When I look at each one of the subjects that he talked about, I see how my own lack of patience, or my poor decision making has allowed complete happiness to elude me for many years. No, before you ask, I am not particularly unhappy or depressed, but I know I am not where I should be, or rather where I would like to be at this juncture in my life. Maybe I will add more to this, and maybe I will not.....I'm feeling kind of "nineties" right now.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Oh shutup Mayor Bloomberg, you need your ass kicked too!!

[Man, read this article about how NY Mayor Bloomberg said he would have prosecuted Pedro Martinez for throwing Don Zimmer to the ground. This is B.S.]



SAD STATE: Teary-eyed Yank coach Don Zimmer yesterday says, "I'm embarrassed for the Yankees, I'm embarrassed for the Red Sox, I'm embarrassed for . . . my family."
- N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

Whatever dude...you're embarassed because you came running out on that field like you were an extra in "Braveheart", and you got manhandled on national television. I know that this is the PC world where everyone is touchy feely and we can't hurt anyone's feelings, but this is ridiculous.

Mayor Bloomberg had the audacity, the gall, the utter nerve to say that Pedro Martinez would have been prosecuted for throwing Zimmer to the ground during the fight. What about Zimmer? He decided to attack Martinez and was slung to the ground. It could have been worse. I think if Martinez would have slugged him he would have been within his right of self-defense. And excuse me, isn't a team official or staffer supposed to discourage behavior such as this. But no, we have to blame the person that threw him to the ground. Look at the events in question....




See fat manager attack....



See fat manager get handled....

Like the hillbilly tee shirts say. "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch."

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Man...what the hell is going on?

I was searching for something to watch on television the other day and flipped to the cable guide. As the endless channels of drivel slowly scrolled by, the "Playas Guide to...." caught my eye. Out of a morbid sense of curiosity I flipped to MTV or VH1. Hell, I can't tell which is which anymore, except I think VH1 actually plays music videos........ Anyway, this show called the "Playas Guide", basically critiques movies, songs, television shows, or actual events that influence "Pop Culture", On this particular day, being that the 20th anniversary of a famous Brian DePalma film had rolled around, they were critiquing Scarface. The panel of sophisticates included none other than, Scarface, Ice Cube, Raekwon (Of the Wu Tang Clan fame), and a few other rappers whose faces blend into the myriad of typecast studio machismo. What was most disturbing was the fact that all of these people talked about this movie as if it was a great inspiration for everyday life.



While the movie was cool at the time, (seeing as I was 11 and should not have snuck and watched HBO), in retrospect the movie was quite cheesy. No doubt Al Pacino is a phenomenal actor and actually did a good job at carrying off a Cuban(hispanic) accent, but the whole premise of the movie was not to motivate the underdog....HELLO!!

Basically the story was of a guy who came over during the Mariel Boat Lift of the early 1980's. Approximately 130,000 Cubans migrated to the United States in a single summer. About 10% of these were either mentally ill, or had criminal records. Enter Tony Montana. A young hustler from Cuba who joins the Miami drug trade and rises from two-bit hustler to major drug kingpin. In the end, he completely alienates himself from his mother, kills his boss, his best friend, causes the death of his sister, drives his wife away, and is finally killed by Columbian Drug Lords.....Inspirational, huh? Don't get me wrong, I would probably watch it when it came on, but I would not join the aforementioned million-dollar idiots in singing praises to this movie as if it were something to live by.

What was unbelievable was how they talked about how Nas and Jay-Z were the rappers who copied Scarface' persona the most in their videos. They also paid homage to Scarface of "Geto Boyz" fame as the one who most copied his style because he chose to copy his moniker. I thought the movie was scary and fun to watch at the time, comical and cheesy in retrospect, and pitiful to think that people actually think about this movie as being spiritually uplifting. Just my opinion though.

P.S. If all you have in this world is "your balls and your word", perhaps you ought to go to church more often, or tell a family member you love them.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Pimp Juice anyone?

I really can't believe that this is going to hit the markets. While I do admire the business savvy of today's stars, I think that we have become to complacent with the moral relativism of our society. Pimp is a bad term, no matter what the connotation. And, the idea of our youth, more importantly, my kids walking around with cans of "Pimp Juice" makes me shudder. Look at the can.....



The font inscription is reminiscent of those oh-so-unforgettable, but yet we would love to forget 1970's.
Too bad that kids nowadays look at the word "pimp", and they think of something "cool", "hip", or "stylish". I think it is really pathetic when you think about who a real pimp is, and what a real pimp does.

pimp ( P ) Pronunciation Key (pimp)
n.
One who finds customers for a prostitute; a procurer.

intr.v. pimped, pimp·ing, pimps
To serve as a procurer of prostitutes.


I needn't waste your time in telling you how degrading this type of behavior is to me. I can anticipate how many kids between the ages of 16 and 21 will think that this is fashionable. It is really horrible to think about. Pimp and pimping has become so entrenched in "pop" culture that we still talk about things being "fly" or "pimp" when we think they are nice or fascinating or beautiful. Now it is not unlikely for two males to greet one another by saying, "Wassup pimp". "Not much playa"......damn that sounds ignorant. Now the dregs of society have been propelled from the greasy slime at the bottom of the barrel up to the top of the entertainment world. First through deeds on the streets, then in songs and videos, and now in a drink. I am afraid to say what my father is known for saying. "What in the hell will they come up with next?"


Wednesday, September 17, 2003

A very, very, very bad Daddy......

Second child caught in apparent murder-suicide dies
Police: Father intentionally drove SUV into truck
Tuesday, September 16, 2003 Posted: 6:36 PM EDT (2236 GMT)




You can view the article in its entirety here.

Stories like this utterly disgust me. This guy is worse than Susan Smith, if such an analogy is even possible. Apparently this guy was going through a divorce with his wife of 10 years, and things were not going his way. In an apparent suicide note he laments about not getting a job, and makes the bizarre statement that if he is not there to raise his kids, then "nobody would". I cannot imagine a person being cruel enough to hurt a child. Any child, let alone your own flesh and blood. Apparently he drowned his two year old daughter and attempted to drown his 4 year old son. Then the genius takes the other two kids in his SUV and pulls out in front of a tractor trailer that is hauling cars. Un-be-liev-a-ble. He is dead, his 8 year old died at the hospital, and the other child is still in critical condition. So in just a few hours he killed himself, two children, left the remaining two in critical condition. The mother had allowed him to pick up the kids on Friday, and he was supposed to bring them back on Sunday. I am sure that the mother is probably blaming herself, but how could anyone know that such a heinous act was about to be committed.

On a side note, this loser had the nerve to leave a suicide not detailing his wishes that he and the kids be cremated, and all of their ashes mixed up together. Yeah right. I think the nearest landfill would be the best place to leave his sorry carcass. I think those poor babies should be buried together. I can only imagine how much fear that the two year old, and the eight year old had before they died. What the hell was he thinking. I read the article in its entirety, and the part that was most sobering for me was hearing about the clothing that the children in the pond had on. It kind of gave you a picture of their cuteness and their innocence. Reading sad commentary like this will bring almost anyone to tears. Here is the excerpt from the CNN article.

"The boy was identified as 4-year-old Regal Randall. He was wearing red shorts and a yellow-and-blue pullover shirt. He was in critical condition at a hospital, according to police.

Police later found the body of Regal's 2-year-old sister, Yana, who was wearing a one-piece jumper."


Sad isn't it. Here is an excerpt from the loser's suicide note.

"Dearest family and friends, 'Why?' must be the question on your minds, the following are the reasons, I made too many mistakes, I would not allow those beautiful children to grow up in the manner in which you had raised them, I didn't get the latest job...,"

This guy is well on his way. And I hope the Devil bitch slaps him when he gets there.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Two years and counting...

Today is September 11th, 2003. Most of us realize that this is the second anniversary of those horrific attacks that killed approximately 3,000 American citizens in New York, D.C., and Pennsylvania. Since that time, American Forces have swept across the Middle East, toppling tyrannical regimes and attempting to bring peace and order to the region. "The War on Terror". That seems to be the catch phrase that everyone uses to describe what many believe is protection against radical islamic extremists. However, we are not winning the war, not on terror at least. Yes, we did beat the Taliban, we crushed Saddam's best troops, and we have begun to round up lunatic after lunatic. However, we are still terrified. So much so that we question the sincerity of our government's efforts. We are terrified about money, terrified about how thin our Army is being stretched. We fear that today there could be an attack by Al-Qaeda that could commemorate the attacks on September 11th. We are terrified of "them", of "each other", and of the "unknown". People have likened George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and John Ashcroft to Hitler (Personally I think this comparison of 3,000 Americans dying to 6 MILLION Jews dying is an insult to their memory). We worry about the Patriot Act, we eye Homeland Security warily and wonder if "Big Brother" is watching.

Through all of this terror, we have forgotten one thing. This is the United States of America....the revolution never stops. If we don't like what our government is doing, we have the gumption, the gall, and the "right" to question it. We think we can spread Western ideals throughout the rest of the world. Such radical concepts as equality, freedom, and justice. I know....you have to be thinking. "Get off the soapbox and put the apple pie down." But I mean it.

I do wonder about Weapons of Mass Destruction...where are they? I do wonder about Osama Bin Laden. Where is he? I do wonder about our Armed Forces. How many more will have to die? I do wonder about what the war effort is costing us. 87 billion more? I do wonder how long we will have to be in Iraq and Afghanistan. How much longer? But, I have promised myself that I will no longer live in terror. That completely negates the aims of the terrorist. Much more so than simply occupying territory.

Many people ask if there is a connection between all of the things that we are involved in. Palestine, Iraq, Israel, Afghanistan, Al-quaeda, Ansar al Islam, the Peshmerga, The Fedeyenne, Hamas, the PLO. I answer yes....yes there is a connection. The fact remains that the most violent and volatile place in the world is the Middle East. Until there is peace there, there will be no peace elsewhere.

When I think of terror, I think of the people jumping from the top floors of the World Trade Center in an attempt to escape the flames, the heat, and the smoke.



That is terror...terror in its truest form. However, the terror that most Americans now feel...save those that have family overseas....is the terror of our past, and our uncertainty about our futures. But, I do know that terror is alive and well. There are some places where September 11th is just another day, no different than any of the rest, simply because violence, death, and terror are commonplace.



I would hope that we will continue to remain strong in our resolve to be "above" the violent gestures of the radicals of the world. I would also hope that while we seek to protect ourselves and others from their twisted sense of justice, that we would also seek to not only have compassion for their souls, but to find what can be done to motivate change for peace.

Lastly, I just want everyone to do their part to fight terrorism. That is simply to no longer be terrified. If we can do that, then we will already have achieved victory. Have a great day everyone.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Bad Daddy...

Okay, the only reason that I am sharing this experience with you lucky viewers is the fact that I finally had the nerve to tell my wife about this. I often hear about people doing such ridiculous things as "forgetting to take their kids out of the car in the summertime, and coming out and finding them dead in the car seats later in the afternoon." I often scoff when I hear these reports and say, "How could you forget your child in the car?" Well, I had a similar situation, although I did not forget my child in the car, or anywhere else for that matter, but I thought that I had forgotten her.

My wife went out of town to visit a friend of hers from College. The boys were at their grandmother's house for the week, so it was just me and my daughter Alexandra(Alex) for a few days. Since we were running low on food, I decided to go grocery shopping at Wal-Mart. After I wandered aimlessly from shelf to shelf for about an hour, I figured I had what I needed and checked out. I left the store and wheeled my groceries and Alex out to the van in a shopping cart. I distinctly remember unloading the groceries into the van first, and then placing Alex into the carseat. I pushed the cart aside, jumped into the drivers seat and rode home. Easy enough, huh? Here comes the scary part.

I pulled into the driveay, and decided to take Alex in the house first So I could put her in her high chair. The plan was to do that so that I could get the groceries out and put them away without having to worry about her getting into something. I opened the side door of the van, and instead of seeing my ever-smiling and energetic one year old daughter, I saw an empty carseat. At this point, all logic and reason left me. I felt an alarming panic seize my entire being. I looked up front to the passenger seat, (I knew good and damn well Alex hadn't ridden up front.) and looked back at the carseat. No baby. Don't ask me why, but for some reason I shut the door, walked to the end of the driveway and then back to the van. I opened the door and looked into the car seat....still no baby. I said, "What the fuck?! At this point I tried to spur my brain to function and clapped my hand against my forehead...I started retracing my steps....got the groceries...checked out...loaded the groceries...pushed the car out of the way...Did I take the baby out of the cart? At this point, I assured myself that I had forgotten the baby somewhere. I imagined that at that moment Alex was sitting in Wal-Mart parking lot with a quizzical look on her face waiting for me to return. I said, "Awwww SHIT!!!" I jumped into the van and started it. After the engine roared to life, I threw the Sienna into reverse and stepped on the gas. The tires protested loudly as I roared backwards into our quiet suburban street. I hit the brakes and heard something tumbling in the rear of the van. Suddenly I heard my daughter call out in an uncertain voice. She used her universal baby word for, "Some parent or big person needs to come see about me." Well it translates into that, but the actual word is "NA-DAAAAH!"

I jumped out of the van and opened the rear door of the van. There sat Alex nibbling on the string to a pair of basketball shoes I had in the back. I grabbed her up in my arms and squeezed her tight and kissed her. "Oh thank God! Thank GOD!", I said.

Apparently I had not buckled her safety strap properly, and she had wriggled out of the restraints while I was driving. She slipped down onto the floor of the van, and crawled from the middle seat section all the way to the back.

I eventually got myself together and unloaded the van and put the groceries away. But I never put Alex down the whole time I worked.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Is it ever enough?

We often ask ourselves and others the question. "Is it ever enough?" This is very poignant. Do we ever do enough? Do we ever do enough for others? Are our expectations ever met? Do we meet others expectations? I suppose it is all relative, both in situation and in perspective. I wonder will it ever be enough, I wonder that on a daily basis. Will my expectations ever be met? Are they too high? Are the demands that I place upon those that are close to me too much? Perhaps, but hell....who knows? Do I do my part? Of course everyone always feels as if they do their part, but really? Aren't self-evaluations the most deluded and skewed?

Over the past few weeks, a number of things have happened that are of some merit. I was commissioned as an Officer in the United States Army National Guard. My daughter turned a year old. I started back working on my Master's degree. I started working on a Management Trainee Program, and there may be a new job prospect on the horizon. Ordinarily, I would be ready to drool on myself with glee, but I still wonder, "Is this going to be enough?" I wonder about happiness, and I wonder if I am happy enough. I wonder about my family's happiness, and I wonder if they are happy enough. *sigh* I suppose I need to change that Imode link that boasts of my unhappiness for the last 4 months. I actually haven't been quite that melancholy, but I have been quite lazy.

All in all, I suppose that this is life, and this is the way that it was supposed to be lived. But I had hoped for so much more for myself. And, believe it or not, this hope was not for myself, but for what I would be able to offer. But, unfortunately what I have to offer never seems to be enough....at least for me. And it is hard to see beyond that.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

The evolution of trash talking...

I always wondered why people talk trash so much in regard to sports. Warren Sapp appears to be the undisputed king of trash talking. He has often been seen standing over his victims spewing taunts about what horrific damage he has done to them after he hits them. I always thought that this was perhaps the machismo of high paid professional athletes, and the lax standards of sportsmanship that the NFL allows. But, while helping coach Devons JV youth football league team I see that the trash talk starts much earlier. In fact, you needn't be a superstar who always performs, you only need to do one good thing at any given time to talk trash. You could be the kind of receiver who ordinarily couldn't catch a cold, but if you happen to catch a pass and get by the corner back then you have license to talk trash. Here are some of the things that I have heard uttered on the field by nine and ten year olds.

Runningack: I shook you like a wet puppy!

Quarterback: Get up off me, rookie!

One player: (out loud to nobody in particular) Why can't I run this route correctly?
trash talker: Because you're a fag.

After one player fumbled three consecutive handoffs during drill the head coach made the offense run. When they were returning to the huddle one child whispered to the offending player: We have to run because you suck....I can't stand you, you old punk ass muthafucka!

While one of the tailbacks watched a lineman running a 100 yard sprint he turned to his buddy and said, "You don't need a stopwatch for him, you need a calendar."

One Player: My mom tackles harder than you.
Trash Talker: Big deal, your mom has a beard too.

Makes you wonder where it starts or how it starts. I don't know if I should be surprised that children would make such statements, or maybe it is to be expected. Perhaps the pros need to grow up.

*Author's note: The children were reprimanded for cursing or unsportsmanlike conduct.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Feel homesick...just don't feel unappreciated. You most certainly are not.

Unfortunately it seems that there are aggressive actions perpetrated against our troops on a daily basis. The length of time the troops have been there, and the different type of action that they have had to endure has made it very difficult for them to stay motivated. Reporters are telling us about how their hearts aren't in it. People can point the finger at Bush I suppose, everyday I hear the growing discontentment with the lack of substantive proof of weapons of mass destruction. My, oh my. Who would have thought that we would ever be back in Iraq. Much less occupying it with troops. Troops that are facing a faceless enemy who employs guerilla tactics.



I can't imagine what the men must be going through. Having to worry so much everyday, and having to see their fellow soldiers killed and maimed. They do what they can to keep one another's spirits up, but that nagging feeling of not being able to come home must way on them every day. While each day that passes is literally a day closer to coming home, it is yet another chance for a fellow soldier to be killed or maimed. Times like this will make individual units pull together like family. There is no fear in the world like that of losing someone you are close to.



I just have a few words for the soldiers that are overseas serving. "Please don't think we have forgotten about you. We most certainly have not, though we have come to believe the fact that so long as you stand guard we will never be harmed; please don't think that we will ever take you for granted. Some of us hang up posters and ribbons and wave flags in the expectation that you will return unharmed. Some of us angrily yell at our leaders and demand that you be brought home. Some of us bask so heavily in the liberty that you preserve that we sometimes say, and do insensitive things that may seem to marginalize your exploits. But, believe us when we say we appreciate you. We are proud of you. We are Americans. Please come home soon."

Monday, July 14, 2003

Keri is so very.....dangerous

I woke up this morning and took a shower. Once I got out I looked around for my lotion. No Vaseline Intensive care to be found. I saw a bottle of Renee's Keri lotion and smelled it. Hmm.....not girly smelling at all. This will work. I applied a generous amount to the palm of my hands and began working it into the skin on my arms, back of my hands, and my face. Man. That stuff goes a long way, I had too much on, so I had to towel off again so I wouldn't be too greasy. I finished getting the kids stuff together and headed for work. As I sped along the interstate, I decided to roll the windows down and save the AC. Apparently there is something in the air that I am allergic to, so I sneezed a couple of times, but not too bad. After I sneezed I rubbed my eyes with the back of my hand. Suddenly my eyes began to burn and sting, then they began to water. I wiped the water from my eyes with my hand, and they began to burn twice as bad. Also, I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open. There was a lot of traffic on the road, and I couldn't see!!! Finally, I pulled over on the shoulder and began wiping my face with my shirt. I smelled the Keri lotion on my hands and made the connection. Jesus. The last time my eyes felt like that I was going through the gas chamber at Ft. Benning. Well, live and learn, Keri is not good for eyes or sensitive membranes.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Last monthly drill...

Believe it or not I am at my monthly drill for the National Guard. This is the last monthly drill that I will be involved in before I head to Phase III of OCS. We are here updating administrative information, so I have access to the internet. I am kind of worried about how things are going back at home. My wife is helping her family with a family reunion back in Lexington, and I am not sure how much work is going to fall on her shoulders. There are a lot of things that need to be done, and I wish I was there with her now to help out. This is one of the drawbacks to my reentry into military life. Before, when I was young and single, I hadn't a care in the world as to where I went, or how long I went. I do enjoy military training, however, I am always wondering what my family is doing. This year when I go to Phase III training, I will be feeling a lot better than last year. Last year my wife was 7 months pregnant, and I was terrified that she was going to go into labor before I had a chance to get back home.

This year, I can actually concentrate on the task at hand. At the end of this training I will be eligible to receive a commission as a Second Lieutenant. I have so many things that I need to do before the morning. I got to drill late, so I didn't have time to set up my display materials before we started doing admin stuff. Once we leave here it will be lights out because we have a PT test tomorrow. I guess I will have to stay up late and work by flashlight to get my stuff squared away. I am already tired, and 4:00 a.m. is going to come early. But, it is all worth it, for me, and my family. It is so easy to do the difficult things when the end benefits more than yourself. Oh well, more to follow later on.......

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Alex...

The other night I borrowed a DVD copy of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" from my brother-in-law Roger. I sat on the couch in the TV room upstairs and began to get lost in the action of the movie. One thing cool about DVD's is the fact that you can change the languages spoken in the movies. Nowadays the language change is almost seamless as compared to the voiceover material of the 1970's Kung Fu flicks. So I sat upstairs watching it, and Alex sat on my lap sucking her thumb and staring intently at the television screen. She lost interest and began to whine and clamor to get down on the floor. I set her on the carpet between my feet, and she began to play with a stuffed animal. Suddenly during a high-flying action scene Alex stood up and held onto the edge of a clothes basket and began to yell at the characters flying and fighting across the screen. She lashed out quickly with her foot and fell on her back. I scooped her up to make sure she was okay, but she barely cried at all. It seems that she got caught up in the moment. My baby girl is a Kung-Fu movie freak at the age of 11 months.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Happy Birthday, Renee!

Today is my wife's birthday. I already gave her a gift last night, I bought her a copy of Hillary Rodham Clinton's "Living History". Unfortunately we couldn't wake up together this morning, she spent the night at her mother's house to give her a hand with the preparations for this weekend's family reunion. The one thing that her mother wanted us to do was to change the linen on the bed in the spare bedroom. I am betting that this bed is well over 120 years old. Renee's grandmother and all of her siblings were born on this bed, and it has been handed down from generation to generation. The actual matress sits much higher off the ground than most beds do, and it is an odd-size. It's size rests uncomfortably between a queen and a full size.

Renee and I went into the back bedroom which had been closed so as to save the amount of space that the window air conditioner had to cool. The moment we opened the door, a blast of hot humid air greeted us. Renee, said the feeling was reminiscent of 'Backdraft'. I had on khaki pants and a short sleeve shirt, but I was instantly uncomfortable. Renee had on a linen dress that I bought her last summer for her birthday. I am sure that she felt much better than me, because the dress hangs loosely on her for comfort.

We began the tedious process of removing the dust ruffle from the bed frame, and I had to haul the top mattress off of the bed to install the new one. (There is a box spring and two matresses on the bed) By the time I finished with this, I was perspiring heavily. Renee had just the hint of moisture on her forehead. I placed the mattress back on the bed while Renee held the dust ruffle in place, and soon that part was done. The bed rests up against the wall, so it is impossible to make the bed up without literally getting ON the bed. Renee stepped lightly out of her sandals and gathered up the mattress cover. She raised the bottom of her dress and put a knee up on the bed. Slow motion. As she raised her dress *I was looking at a long stretch of uninterrupted caramel flesh from her feet to mid thigh. Renee ran track in college, and some of the characteristics of the sprinter she used to be have stayed with her. She moved forward on her hands and knees and tucked the far corner of the mattress cover in. She sat back indian style and tucked the other corner in. Once again she raised the bottom of her dress slightly and slid off of the bed. I suppose there is something about seeing a woman's legs beneath a dress that brings out the schoolboy in every man.

She turned and started putting new covers on the pillows. I watched her form the back as she worked, her arms were toned and lithe, despite the fact that she never works out. 5'6", 120 pounds, a flat stomach and great legs. All of this after having 3 kids. By the time we finished putting everything together she had a light coat of perspiration on her that glistened as she moved back and forth in front of the window. She was wearing that perfume that I love, don't ask me to name it, and she had her hair pulled back into a long ponytail in the back. She finished smoothing out the comforter and looked around on the floor. She pointed her toe and found one sandal, then the other. As we left the bedroom she said, "Thanks baby." I told her she was most certainly welcome, and started gathering the baby's things so I could head back to Frankfort. I rounded the boys up and told them to head to the car. I told my mother-in-law goodbye and gave Renee a hug. It was still blazing hot in the house, and I could feel the body heat coming off of Renee. I really felt like I needed a shower. Renee was perspiring lightly, but looking oh-so-good. (Women seem to have the uncanny ability to sweat and still smell good.) She kissed me and rubbed the back of my neck and said she would call me later on. I held her tightly for a moment longer and headed out of the door wondering whether or not I was sexually depraved, or if a person could actually look sexy while sweating and making a bed. Oh well, time to go home and take that shower I needed. Preferably a cold one.

*The "Long stretch of uninterrupted flesh" line was copied from an email correspondence with my friend Mike who was describing a photo. I laughed and told him that he ought to leave Academia and start writing romance novels.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Strom Thurmond is dead...


Many people are observing the passing of Strom Thurmond with mixed feelings. A lot of my friends seem to be rejoicing as if an evil dictator has been deposed. If we look at his past words and actions, it is easy to see why some blacks may not think too fondly of Strom Thurmond. I am not sure what to think, actually. As a Christian, I know it is not good to harbor hate for anyone, no matter how reprehensible their behavior has been in the past. I was reading a Slate article about him, and they spoke about how no official apology for his past behavior was ever rendered. However, there seemed to be an "unspoken" apology that his fellow conservatives voiced for him over and over.

What was once an unspoken rumor of his biracial daughter has come to light in news services as well. It would seem that his past disdain, or need for seperation from the black race was not quite so urgent at one point in time. He fathered a child with a black housekeeper in 1925. I really don't know what to feel about this situation. It certainly isn't relief, because Strom Thurmond and people who espoused views like his in the past have ceased to be a factor in American life. Rather, they are somewhat of an oddity or a curio, a "blast from the past" if you will. We could actually look at this man, and his career and see the evolution of the politics of race in this country. Whether his heart had ever softened toward minorities we will never know. But we can see that there were changes that were made. At least on the outside because of the pressures of the American People. No matter what people say, and to what extent Strom Thurmond made changes in behavior and word. There is no species on earth that cannot survive without evolving and adapting to their environment. Whether it was sincere or not Strom certainly adapted. Who else could have been in office at the age of 100?





[Click here to hear Strom segregation rhetoric circa 1948]

[Do you hear the word "nigra", "negro", or "nigger"?]

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Spike TV!

It would seem that the number of disgruntled men who have been forced to sit through reruns of "The Golden Girl's" with their Lifetime-Identifying wives is over. Now, men are getting their own channel. TNN formerly the Tennesse Nashville Network has changed to The National Network and is poised to change once again into Spike TV. A channel where men can watch wrestling, monster truck pulls, action cartoons called Striperella. The channel will also run reruns of shows such as CSI, and Star Trek. But, there is a monkeywrench in the works at Spike TV.



It seems that Spike Lee feels like the channel is trying to capitalize off of his celebrity. He claims that the show is trying to benefit off of an assumed allusion to something that has to do with him. He is presently suing. If you look at the picture above I think we should sue him for that blazer-shirt ensemble he has on. Additionally, I think his suit is baseless. When I think of Spike Lee, I am not thinking of anything that exudes extreme "manliness". No disrespect to Spike Lee, I think he is a talented director, but when I hear the word spike I think in this order.

1. Spiking a football.
2. The cartoon where the small dog says, "Hey Spike wanna beat up some cats?!"
3. What could happen if I don't watch my drink at the club.
4. The only thing exciting that happens during a vollebyall game.
5. The film director that shouldn't try to act.

So you see, Spike is way down on the list of relevance in regard to this case. He says that he finds the network to be "demeaning, vapid and quasi-pornographic content". An understandable argument if a person truly is pious in regard to temptations of the flesh. However, if you not only directed, but starred in a film called, "She's gotta have it".... incidentally Spike, filming a T&A movie in black and white doesn't make it art.... I really don't see your argument about boxing matches and a cartoon called "Striperella". But oh well, litigation is on the way. Let' s see what happens next on Spike TV.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

If I could just get my hands around his neck.....



Now everyone has heard of "deadbeat dads", but this guy takes the cake. Apparently he went to visit the mother of his child, (baby mama), to implore her to date him again and she refused. So genius kidnaps her, drives her around, and then takes her back to the apartment. A huge argument ensues and he dangles his own daughter out of the window. She calls 911, and he tosses his own flesh-and-blood, out of the 7th story window. Miracle of miracles some tree branches slow her fall and she lands in a small square of mulched earth beneath the tree. The mother gets a kitchen knife and stabs him, and he runs from the apartment, scoops up the baby, and takes her to the hospital. Police find him there and arrest him. By God's grace the baby only had cuts and bruises.

I really don't know how to express what I am feeling when I think about a 10 month old baby being thrown from a 7th story window. My daughter is exactly the same age, and I catch my breath when she takes a tumble as she is pulling up on the coffee table. The idea that someone would do that to any child, let alone their own, completely baffles me. I hope they don't let him plead out, or offer him leniency for this act. I think the attempted murder charge should stand, and I hope they lock him up. The strange thing about this is the fact that I can see him claiming to want to see his child again someday.

Ahhh....enough. Typing about his sorry ass butt makes me sick.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Fiery Protest...

I believe in the people's right to protest, if the protest is constructive. I have never understood riot politics in which some group tears up their own community in outrage over a ruling or an event. I understand that frustration may lead to violent behavior, but I don't condone it. But in the case of the Iranian self-immolating I am at a loss.



Iranian Protestors are setting fire to themselves. I am not sure what this is accomplishing besides making bystanders say, "Jesus Christ, that guy just set himself on fire."

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Damn...and that was rated PG-13?

I just got finished watching "The Ring" a few moments ago. I really didn't feel as if I needed to turn on any lights, but it was definitely suspenseful. That is the first movie in a loooooooooong time that has made my heart race. Kinda cool...heh.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

I'm too big for my safe place...

When I was a little boy, sometimes I would become very afraid. Sometimes for a reason, and sometimes for no reason at all. I would sit very still and curl up and wait for the danger to pass. More often than not, my father would come. I knew safety was on its way when I heard the sound of combat boots and smelled Kiwi shoepolish and aftershave. He would swoop me into his arms with no effort at all and begin to walk with me. I suppose with all of the years that have passed since he has done that, the content of his words surely would have escaped me. But, truth be told, it was never his words that comforted me. I rarely listened at all in fact. It was the prickly feeling on my cheek, the broadness of the shoulder that I rested my chin on, and the amazing feeling of comfort as I sat in the crook of his arm, that soothed me. I would rest my head on his shoulder and savor the vibrations of the baritone that I knew so very well. I would look down as the ground slid past his feet. I would wrap my arms around his thick neck and close my eyes, wishing that he could hold me forever. I would think, "This is my daddy." Nothing in the world ever felt more right to me at that time. I would continue to absorb his vibrations, not his words. Then at some point he would tip me backward off of his shoulder so he could see me. I remember looking at him, memorizing every line and every fold of his kind face, and seeing his eyes light up because he had made me smile. He would wipe the tears from my cheek with his thumb and say, "Love ya, Man". "Man". How I loved to hear that word, for Dad, that word was synonymous with son...because I was the only one that he called that. I am his only son. I sometimes wonder how old I was when he last picked me up into his arms. How old was I when I last snuggled into his cheek and felt his prickly shaving line? When was the last time that I was soothed by the vibrations of his baritone voice? What did he say to me? Lord, had I known it was going to be the last time I would have recalled it. I swear I would have. But I suppose growing up is so gradual that you never know what changes are going to happen, and you never appreciate a moment until it has passed. Now I am "big", a husband and a father just like him...in some ways. I am still aspiring to be like him in other ways. I still get so frightened sometimes. Sometimes for a reason, and sometimes for no reason at all. But I am much too big now. Too big to let someone know that I am afraid. I wait for the danger to pass, but the smell of Kiwi and aftershave never comfort me. He lives far away, and I am much too big to pick up now. The years have painted him gray, though that face is still familiar and comforting. More often than not, that deep baritone offers advice that I am eager to hear. I listen to the words now, because I need them so very much. But sometimes as he talks to me, I wish I could be held in the safety of his arms. I think back to those days when I was so small, and he was oh so big. I long to be able to rest my head and be carried away from my problems. But I am so glad to still be able to close my eyes and say, "This is my Daddy."

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

OCS Graduation...

In the next 73 days I have a PT test and a 10 day war to complete, after that I will be a Lieutenant.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Ho Hum......

Man, I tell you I feel like I am on a treadmill that just won't stop. My days and weeks are going by like a blur and I feel as if I am getting nothing accomplished. I suppose if finances were in a better way things would be different. My focus is gone as well. I can't seem to get some of my priorities straight either. At this moment it is a quarter til eleven and I should be packing the rest of my gear for National Guard this weekend, but instead I am on the damned internet. Nothing seems to be going right as of late. I suppose my father had to go through a time or two like this as a young father/husband, but there appears to be no end in sight. My emoticon at the bottom of this webpage boasts a troubled mindset, and it has remained that way for the last few weeks. No matter how happy I may appear to be, I remain troubled all of the time. There are just sooooo many things on my mind at any given moment that I feel like I can't give due attention to all of them.

Well, this weekend touring a civil war battlefield will keep me occupied I am sure. Well, wish me luck this weekend, and I promise I will post on a more regular basis.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Bling?

Man, I am really tired of not being able to have ALL the things that I need, and SOME of the things that I want. Don't get me wrong, I am far from the superficial person who guages success by possessions, but I need more. I need more money, because I have more needs. It is really as easy as 1...2...3. I have one house and wife, two cars, and three kids. There you go. I have been looking for more income to buy some of the things that I really don't need, but kind of want. I don't like the budget just barely making it, I don't like choosing low grade gas because I know I need to buy baby formula. I just never imagined that after a college degree, and a quasi-lucrative career choice that things would be this tough. I suppose I needn't complain too much, just like my mother always told me, there is always someone in the Sudan that is worse off, but I am worried about the here and now....namely me. It doesn't make me feel good when my kids ask for something and I REALLY have a reason for saying no...."the budget is too tight."

I was dropping off my resume to a couple of places today and I was thinking about this. I pulled up at a stop light and saw an older gentleman in a Lexus....damn a Lexus would be nice, but I don't know about it happening for me in this lifetime.....I looked at the car, his expensive casual attire, his designer sunglasses and I had to think to myself. "This doesn't have these things because he wants to impress anybody. He did not purchase them as status symbols, rather he purchased them because he could!" In a way, all of those things were a sign. Somebody with those possessions is telling the world that he paid his dues, and he is confident and comfortable. That is all that I want. I want that feeling of security, morever, I want my FAMILY to have that feeling of security. I want to be a competent, confident, and capable husband and father. But right now I don't feel that way. *sigh*........Everyone tells me to be patient, I suppose I have no choice.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

AC Milan wins!!!!!!!!

Well, Juventus was favored to win, but AC Milan edged them in penalty kicks. Dida, the goalkeeper for AC Milan deserves a lot of credit. Although AC Milan scored a goal in the 17th minute, it was called back because of a questionable offsides whistle. So, we went through two sudden deaths, and finally to PK's where AC Milan edged them 3 to 2. Did stopped THREE shots. It was really incredible. It seems nobody thinks of the goalkeeper unless he misses a save.

Here is the article about Juve's defeat. I would have to say that I like love Italian Soccer almost as much as I love Brazilian soccer. AC MILAN...AC MILAN!

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Racism as a cause for plagiarism?

Questions have been raised in the media about whether Blair had been able to keep working at the Times, despite a record of mistakes, because of his race or connections with top editors. The newspaper, whose managing editor, Gerald Boyd, is black, is trying to diversify its staff. Also, Blair is friendly with a staffer from Poland, home country of editor Howell Raines' wife, raising the specter that he received special treatment.

It seems that the scandal at the New York Times is taking another turn, ostensibly for the worst. Jayson Blair has apologized for his misdeeds to some degree, but blamed substance abuse, race, and personal problems as the cause.

What is indeed strange to me is the way that he is attempting to mass market his improprieties in movie and book deals. He is somewhat put off by the assertions that he was allowed to stay at the NYT because of his race. He tries to liken himself to Stephen Glass, and even made a statement that, "He had fooled some of the most brilliant people in Journalism". In a story in the New York Observer he goes into greater detail. Here is the article. Blair Pitch

I really think that Blair's apologies have fallen way short of their mark. Instead of admitting that he made mistakes and trying to continue on it seems as if he is putting the blame everywhere except for on himself.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Pentagon calls BBC's Lynch allegations 'ridiculous'

The BBC report quoted witnesses and hospital officials as stating the United States knew that there were no Iraqi forces at the hospital when it conducted the commando raid, and that the United States special operations forces had used Hollywood theatrics, including blank ammunition, to make a show of rescuing private Lynch.

When will all of this nonsense end? It seems that the BBC would have us believe that the entire Jessica Lynch rescue operation was a farce. While when people hear words and phrases like Commando Raid, Ranger, SEAL, Special Forces, Delta Force, Covert, and Marine they tend to think of the melodramatic Chuck Norris or Sly Stallone type action. In all actuality this was indeed a commando raid. Meaning that specially trained infantry were used to get in and get out quickly. Additionally, this was a rescue, regardless of whether there was nobody there or not, we reaquired our personnel from foriegn nationals or from hostile forces. I am willing to bet that any of the soldiers that participated in this raid were quite GLAD that there was no opposition, but how could we KNOW that there was nobody there. We can say what we want about Army Intelligence, but any military person knows that within 10 minutes time your sitrep (situation report) could be completely changed.

I know that sea stories are often told by our troops, but I do have to admit our media has tried to ham things up a little bit. War is such a dramatic and traumatic experience that factual documentation could be gut-wrenching enough. I myself, was leary of the original reports of Jessica Lynch killing several Iraqi soldiers, expending all of her ammo, and being stabbed before taken into enemy custody. Though that could have been a sea story, that could have very well been the media. Some people have no problems embellishing or outright lying about events.

No matter what, I hope that this media circus rolls up its tents and drives out of town very soon. While Jessica Lynch may not be an Audie Murphy, she most certainly is a survivor of the truest sense. She was witness to a harrowing ambush in which many of her comrades were killed. That is drama enough for me......

Monday, May 19, 2003

Reloaded.....



Despite what the well-paid film critics say, I thought the movie was awesome. I don't recall who it was, but it stated that not enough time was spent in character background and development. Well, that may be true, but I was not planning to go watch Citizen Kane, I wanted to see some ass-whipping. And boy did I see it. The Wachowski brothers raised the bar this time. I won't go into specifics on the movie but it is well worth the money. When the movie ended with the words [TO BE CONCLUDED]. There were audible signs of dismay, I was ready to sit there another two hours to see how everything panned out. Trust me, go see it.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Things that make you go....."awwwwwwww!"

My goodness I have cute children. I thought about this tonight when I received some pictures of my daughter in an email from my father. Of course cuteness is all relative. I can't think of many people that would say, "Damn my kid is ugly." But, being as objective as possible I would have to say that my kids are cute. Here is an example.



That was a picture from Easter. Check this one out from last weekend...



Breaking News: The United States Army is on the verge of defeat....

[Donald Rumsfeld is planning a force restructuring of the Army and wants to phase out the heavier aspects of the standing divisions. He has accepted the resignation of the former Army Secretary, and appointed a retired Navy Captain who was formerly the Secretary of the Air Force. Notwithstanding traditional inter-branch rivalries, this is the equivalent of a slap-in-the-face, and a kick in the groin.]

For the most part the United States Army had enjoyed a heralded position as "The most powerful fighing force that the world has ever known." I can't remember who said that, but they weren't wrong in their estimation. During the history of the Army aside from a few tense and dangerous times, the Army has only speculated about "when" its particular objectives would be secured, and not "if" they could be secured. But it seems that the Army has come up against its most formidable opponent to date. A man who has a vision for a future Army whose present membership does not share the same vision.

Donald Rumsfeld has a vision for a highly mobile light force that can be anywhere in the world in a number of hours or days. A fighting force that has no needs for perplexingly long supply lines or maintenance. He is looking for the military of the future. From what I gather, he feels that there are no great giants to be slain any longer, just flies to be swatted when they become too irritating. This idea will transform the military into a more cost effective entity that uses "economy of force". It is a brilliant idea. That is, it will remain brilliant while we are chasing bad guys on motorcyles, pickup trucks fitted with machine guns, or guys with pistols riding lame camels. But, the idea will not seem so brilliant when we chase the bad guy over a berm and discover a salivating column of post-soviet Armor.

But, that is only speculation, Rumsfeld is right, there is a need for a shock force, that is light, mobile and can move rapidly over long distances without the logistical hurdles that Heavy Divisions require. If I were 0-7 or above I would feel slighted. If I were one of the guys on the transformation team I would feel apprehensive. If I were a Marine I would wonder why in the hell someone forgot that I was a shock force that was light, mobile, and can move rapidly over long distances without.............

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Gov. Bush orders guardian for rape victim's fetus...

ORLANDO, Florida (AP) -- In a move that angered abortion rights advocates, Gov. Jeb Bush ordered state lawyers Tuesday to appoint a guardian for the 6-month-old fetus of a mentally disabled woman who was raped.

This article confuses me. I am not sure of what the legal ramifications of appointing a guardian for an unborn fetus are, but what comes to mind is that perhaps nobody will be able to force the woman to have an abortion. Obviously whoever impregnanted this woman is sexually depraved and needs to be locked up for this heinous act. However, the amount of energy that abortion rights groups are exerting in this
matter really surprises me.

"He ought to be ashamed of himself," said Howard Simon, executive director of ACLU of Florida. "That he would personally step in and take responsibility to coerce a developmentally disabled rape victim to carry a pregnancy to term."

I have never been a big fan of the Bush Family (41, 43, or Gov), but I don't see where the Governor ought to be "ashamed" of himself. In all honesty I am not sure where I stand on the abortion issue. I don't think that it is morally or fundamentally right, but
I don't know whether or not I should impose my views on someone else. Besides that there are so many mitigating circumstances that could be a "reason" for a woman to seek an abortion.

I will, however, say that the "partial birth" abortion is absolutely sick and should be outlawed in my opinion. Any time you take a baby and deliver its entire body except for the head, and then suck out the brains and say, "This child wasn't born yet, so it is a legal abortion", you are just lying to yourself.....Oh damn.....I really hate to think like this, but unless there is a case of rape, incest, or any amount of danger to a mother's life, I think abortion is wrong.

When I say, "any" amount of danger to a mother's life I mean just that. If the doctor has any warnings for the mother that go outside of the customary risk of childbirth, then I believe that abortion should be an option. Other than that, you should have chosen an effective contraceptive or a cold shower.

Friday, May 09, 2003

The itsy bitsy spiiiiiiiider....AAAAAUUUUUGGGHHH!

Last night I was upstairs in the TV room watching a movie. Suddenly a movement on the ceiling caught my eye. I looked up and saw a little black spider walking across the ceiling. I stood up on the couch and grabbed a shoe and made ready to hit it. Apparently the spider caught sight of me moving and paused. As he was walking away from me on the ceiling he pivoted 180 degrees and stopped. Once I raised the shoe to hit it, he launched himself off of the ceiling......right toward my face. I squawked and fell back on the couch. After flailing my arms, and shaking my shirt out as if I was on fire I checked the floor and the couch to see where he had gone. No spider to be found.

Thinking that I must have scared him off I sat down on the couch and started watching the movie again. Suddenly I caught something out of the corner of my eye and looked at the corner of the room. Nothing. I started watching TV again, and detected movement. I looked out of the corner of my eye and saw the spider.....WALKING ON THE ARM OF MY GLASSES! I made a noise, which I will not acknowledge as a scream, of which the falsettic high note surprised me. I slapped at my glasses and knocked them off my face. After slapping and flailing at my face and neck for approximately two minutes I retrieved my glasses and looked about for my eight legged friend. Nothing.

By this time I decided that I should head to bed. I turned out the light and went downstairs and got in bed next to my wife. But, it seemed that I was itching at this point. I kept thinking that I felt something trekking across my forehead, or up my neck. I tossed and turned until my sleepiness overcame my itchiness. What a night.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

What the hell was he thinking?

It seems that another government servant has performed traitorous actions against his county, all in the name of Lust! It seems that a career FBI special agent was the unwitting pawn of a Chinese Double Agent. They had a 20 year affair in which she wooed him with sexual favors and managed to pass on classified information to her own government. Seems like something out of a Bond film doesn't it?

Unfortunately for us, this wasn't the typical Bond film. The good guys don't always win, the bad guys don't wear black hats, and the femme fatale sure isn't a Bond Girl. Aside from putting national security in jeopardy, ruining his retirement, and setting himself up for a lengthy prison sentence, this fool cheated on his wife with this:


Don't get me wrong, I believe in the sanctity of marriage and the importance of trust and monogamy. I don't feel that if the girl had been attractive his culpability would be any less diminished, but I would recognize that there was at least some temptation. Hell, if she would have been a real Bond Girl like this:

We could at least say, "Hmmm....she probably overwhelmed him with her stunning looks and made him weak." But the picture of the first gargoyle that I posted leaves me wondering, "What the hell was he thinking?" Aside from his wife being anguished over his betrayal, and his prison sentence that will be coming, I am sure she is apalled that her husband would cheat on her with a a woman who looks like a "nerdy frog".

So, he threw away his marriage, his retirement, his good name, the trust of his country, and ultimately his freedom on sex with this woman.

What the hell was he thinking?

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

The things we take for granted...

I stayed home with my daughter today because she was a little under the weather. I played with her most of the day and only took time to watch TV while she was napping. I was watching The Learning Channel and saw a personal story about a 9 year old little girl that was born with a cleft face. She had been subjected to surgery upon surgery and was still disfigured. On top of all of that, the poor little girl had been born addicted to cocaine and her mother abandoned her at the hospital. It showed one of her operations from start to finish, and it profiled her amazing courage. Because of her condition much of the interview was subtitled as it was difficult to understand her. I realized at that moment how beautiful the little girl's spirit was, and how blessed I was to have a baby who will not have to undergo that ordeal. I looked at Alex and marveled at her perfect little nose, flawlessly smooth skin, and chubby cheeks. I remember that before she was born I only worried once or twice about her having a birth defect, but I don't recall even worrying about that on the day she was born. I suppose I took God's gift for granted. I suppose we all do that in one way or another.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

If ever there was a case for the death penalty...

Malvo described originally setting his aim on Franklin's husband, but he said the husband moved, prosecutors said. Malvo described shooting at a child skipping across a parking lot, described "leading" the child with his gun, but missing him -- barely. He said the child swatted about his head, mistaking the whiz of the bullet for a bee. "I might have parted his hair," Malvo is alleged to have said.

Apparently a judge has ruled that John Lee Malvo's confession may be used almost in its entirety. It seems the prevailing question has been whether or not Malvo was still under the protection of his Maryland attorneys. It also seems that Malvo began to get quite talkative with a homecide detective and an FBI agent who flattered his ego somewhat. I am sure that there will be a lot of questions regarding the legality of this, but the boy has admitted to two killings. Additionally the aforementioned quote in italics talks about how he laughed about nearly shooting a child who was skipping across a parking lot.

I remember that something was written to the effect that these two low-lifes carried out these killings as if they were a military operation. Bah! A true military man would not target women and children. A true military man would not try and extort money under the threat of violence, and a true military man would have a cause that was apparent to most everyone.

I am not a proponent of the death penalty, rather I say that I have objective arguments against the death penalty. However, my candor requires me to tell you that if one of my loved ones were murdered by someone that I would not plead their killer's case. I think that if two people ever deserved the death penalty it would be these two. Of course that is based on the information that I have heard, and the notion that all of it is true. I feel for the victims, the victims families, and the families of these two dregs. God help them.

Friday, May 02, 2003

Celebrity quotes about the war.....

"I don't believe war is a way to solve problems. I think it's wrong. I don't have respect for the people that made the decisions to go on with war. I don't have that much respect for Bush. He's about war, I'm not about war - a lot of people aren't about war." -- Avril Lavigne
[Let me see, she is 17, so that means she was five when the first Gulf War occurred. She hasn't finished high school, yet the words of a 17 year old on U.S. foreign policy are supposed to be taken as profound? Anyway, isn't she from Canada?]

I found a funny page here that rebuts quotes from some of our Hollywood celebrities it was a laugh riot! Check them out yourself.
Revisiting the Axis of Evil.....

George Bush infuriated many by branding N. Korea, Iran, and Iraq an "Axis of Evil". There is no doubt in my mind that this was
used to correlate our war on terror with the threat that the Axis Powers of WWII. The axis of evil has now entered the lexicon of politics and is quoted by the most staunch advocates and opponents of military action in the Middle East. While the reaction to the horror of September 11th bolstered a sense of nationalism for many in the United States, it also fueled the "I told you so", argument of people who feel that the U.S. foreign policy is too intrusive.

While many of the war naysayers have taken particular glee at the fact that no WMD's have been discovered, we cannot discount the words of the "father" of their WMD program who claims that the weapons were destroyed right before Gulf War II commenced. (See, I am using names as propoganda too!)

It has been proven that all three states had been seeking weapons of mass destruction. In fact, U.S. and Spanish Special OPS intercepted a cargo ship headed for Yemen that was filled with N. Korean Scud missiles headed for Yemen. Is Yemen on the list, but it is a haven for Islamic Fanatics. N. Korea has made a habit of using the threat of Nuke capability as a trump card in exchange for food, electric power, and other resources to bolster their domestic needs. Iran has tried to deny satellite imagery which shows that they are working on nuclear projects. I would say that we need not mention the past Iraqi regime. I believe the photos of the imprisoned children, and the stories of torture, rape, kidnapping, and murder have been filtering out of Baghdad for some time now.

Many critics of the present administration say that we have been strangely reserved about N. Korea, perhaps because of the nuclear threat. While, I think that is a safe way to be when you have a madman in charge who has nuclear capabilities, I don't think that this hints at any lack of courage on our part. In fact, things are much better because China has begun to lean on N. Korea for some type of hasty resolution. Additionally, they are not taking such a hardline stance against S. Korea having anything to do with the deliberations.

In my opinion, the U.S. has been proactive against 2/3 of the Axis of Evil, but I don't think that we are specific enough in our worries over the Iranian government. Of course there are a lot of calls for reform in Tehran. Although these countries are not a formal alliance such as the Axis powers of WWII, they do represent the type of unjust rule and behavior that is a threat to the stability of our world. Things were much easier when the world had two superpowers. There was not such a case for policing.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

When you play with fire......

This is one of my favorite sequences of priceless pictures on the internet. I won't bore you with that worn out satire of the Mastercard commercial, but this shows you what Anti-Americanism can get you. This picture is highly symbolic.



"Burn you Imperialist Infidels!"

This is fanatacism.


"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!"

This is fanatacism on fire......

Any questions?

Friday, April 25, 2003

Sinead O'Connor is retiring from the music business....

"As of July 2003, I shall be retiring from the music business in order to pursue a different career," wrote O'Connor -- who distinguished herself in the 1990s as much with her shaven head and brash opinions as with her music -- on a Web site devoted to all things Sinead. "> [READ MORE]

Well, let us see. She had a number one album, solely because of one hit that was written by Prince. "Nothing Compares 2 U". She refused to perform at a concert if the Star Spangled Banner proceeded her. Despite the fact that she found fame in the U.S. And let's see, she tore up a picture of the Pope, and was surprised that she was booed off the stage at her next event.
At this point, I am making a sincere effort to think of anyone that I can think of that actually gives a damn about Sinead O'Connor or what she does.......


O'Connor wishes to live a 'normal' life.

Well Sinead, you will have a normal life as soon as you acknowledge how irrelevant you are.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

A mediocre attempt at writing tonight...

*yawn*

I typed out a poem, but after reading it, I realized it sucked and deleted it. You can check me out at my best and worst here.
Vibe Page These poems are over a span of about 5 years...I used to have more, but lost them. Feel free to give me your opinion, but if you dis me I will cuss you out. I ain't playin'.
I am a certified geek...

I actually know that I am a certified geek by the list of disturbing geek attributes that I now have.

1. An affinity for any type of electronic or computer gadgetry.
2. The idea that it would be cool to own a pair of night vision goggles.
3. My adoration of Japanese Anime, Kung Fu Movies, and War Movies.
4. The fact that I know what a lot of computer acronyms stand for.
5. This blog is not the only web presence that I maintain.
6. I do see at least a practical purpose for a pocket protector.
7. I wish my son liked to play adventure games as well as sports games on Playstation 2.
8. I would rather watch the Discovery Channel, CNN, and C-Span instead of Reality TV shows.
9. I'm good at Jeopardy.

And finally.....[drum roll please]

10. I know how many days it is until the Matrix Reloaded debuts!



[Neo is a bad ass!]

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Gay Pride Beating

House arrest in gay pride celebration beating
[Click above to view full story]

Hair, 26, suffered a skull fracture, a split sinus and tooth damage; Sonny Gonzales, 35, received a head laceration; and Scott Boswell, 25, got a split lip.

Let me preface this post by first saying that nobody deserves to be harassed or assaulted for their sexual orientation.

Stereotypes about a gay man's feminine ways, and lack of prowess in sports and fighting notwithstanding...... how in the hell does one man inflict such damage upon three men? It seems that three 15 year olds could subdue a grown man if they worked together.

Did they fight like girls? If they did, it would seem that they could have stopped him by sheer numbers. 3:1 I know it sounds horribly sexist for me to say, "Did they fight like girls?", but even if they did it would seem that they could have stopped this attack. I remember as an elementary school kid, the "furious windmill style" (alternating full arm rotations forward in non-stop succession with either closed or open hands) that girls used when fighting was quite a formidable offense and defense. Guys that used the conventional boxer stance that uses bent elbows with the fists up at eye-level, (usually taught by dad in the living room. "Come on son, let your old man show you how to box!"), sometimes proved futile against an attack such as this. While your face is indeed protected from a jab, the onslaught of overhand slaps and punches causes you to simultaneously pick your hands up higher and lower your head. Additionally, it is tough to launch a successful counterpunch. Either this guy was better than Jet Li in Lethal Weapon 4, or these three simply ran around in circles screaming in high-pitched unison whilst absorbing punches and kicks.

"Before attacking the men in a parking garage, Angus taunted them by dropping his pants and screaming obscenities."

I would, however, have to say that I believe that there is some credence in the notion that most "homophobes" are simply angry and lashing out against their own latent homosexual urges or thoughts. While I don't consider myself to be a "tough guy" or a "fighter", I have been in a few fights in school, and in the service. No matter how enraged I was, I never felt compelled to drop my pants before the fisticuffs started. Nor could I ever see myself and two friends being soundly defeated by any one man.

Monday, April 21, 2003

Easter Sunday

Easter Dinner at Kelly and Renee's house was a monumental success. We had people from both sides of our family come and spend time with us. In all, we had about thirty people running around our house yesterday. The kids had a great time even though they expressed outrage at having to leave church clothes on for so long after mass was over. They just didn't see the importance of having pictures taken on Easter Sunday. Despite the resistance, not only did they keep the clothes on but they stayed CLEAN before the pictures were taken.



We have tons of food left over, and I cannot wait to sink into some leftovers at lunch time. Great Easter it was.

Friday, April 18, 2003

You mean Bob Hope is Still Alive?!?!?!

I had just assumed he was dead because I had not heard anything about him for so very long. This article is talking about how he will be celebrating his 100th birthday in a few days. Man, oh man. Talk about longevity. I'm not sure if I would want to live to be 100 though.
Good Friday

It is so funny how prominent holidays bring back a rush of memories from my childhood. I remember how the nearing of Easter Weekend brought about an obligatory trip to Bacon's in Louisville for an Easter Outfit. Those days seem so far away now, and I relive the joy vicarously through the laughter and smiles of my children. Easter Weekend gives me fond memories of the church that I grew up in, the service, boiled eggs, and having to explain grass stain in the knees of that brand new outfit.

I understand that it is supposed to be raining this weekend, and it almost seems illegal. Perhaps it did, but I cannot recall a single Easter in which the sun (Son) was not shining. This Easter will be my daughter's first one, she turned 8 months old just a few days ago. Though she will have absolutely no recollection of the upcoming events, I am very excited about this for her. The rush of relatives in and out of the house, as well as the thousand and one pictures that will be taken will become part of a yearly routine for her until she is no longer a child.

I have been looking back on my weblog for the past few weeks, and it appears to have taken a "Blogs of War" theme. I figured that I would take a step back from the politics and the war to talk about the things that are most important in my life. My family.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Where's Daddy?

As the family sobbed, Brig. Gen. Maston Robeson presented a folded American flag to Pokorney's widow, who handed it to her daughter. Taylor clutched the flag as she accompanied her mother to the casket. As they turned around, the girl asked her mother, "Where's Daddy?" [Click for full article]

I thought about the consequences of military service this morning when I was waking my children for school. I just imagined how I would feel being deployed and unable to see them any time that I wanted to. My oldest was sick today so he stayed in bed, my five year old got out of bed and stumbled down the hallway toward the bathroom. I woke my daughter, (who is destined to be a morning person), and marveled at how 3 seconds after having been awakened she started to smile. As I went about my morning routine which consists of finding clothes, (my own included), and making bottles and pouring juice. I had to wonder what sort of impact my being away would have on my children. I know how it would be for me, but I wonder what kind of worries or fears that they would have.

My nine year-old hasn't asked very many questions about the war, because I think he understands a great deal. My 5 year old is still blessed with being oblivious to anything that is outside of his normal routine. I also thought that if I were to be pulled away suddenly for a year, that perhaps my daughter would have no recollection of me whatsoever when I returned. I also began to think about other strange things that I, and other people take for granted. Sometimes during the day when I have been asked my millionth question about something I begin to get exasperated. I remember saying, "I don't know Robbie. Please go watch TV/Go play/Go to bed/be a little more quiet." Or perhaps on those days when my oldest wants to play ball, or go to the park or something and I say. "Dude, I am soooo tired....maybe in a little while." I also have to think about the number of times that I am praying that my daughter will go to sleep so I can eat/watch t.v./talk on the phone, or something like that. I wonder how much time I have missed out on with my children despite the fact that I live in the same house with them. Kind of scary to think about.

The listed article above really made me think about spending that quality time with children. We never know exactly how much time we are going to have on this earth, and we never know when the last time is that we are going to see someone. Inevitably it is going to happen. We, at some time or another are going to have a last conversation with someone that we love. I would only hope that my last conversation, look, words, or interaction with those that I love is one that will somehow encapuslate the nature of our relationship. Maybe I ought to live my life like I haven't much time left.....I suppose in the grand scheme of things, none of us have much time left. Might as well make what we have count.
Where are you Laci?

In some ways I really hope you haven't been found, but this article is very foreboding. It seems that police have found the skeletal remains of a woman, and a full-term baby boy washed up on the beach in Richmond, California. Coincidentally, it is only 2 miles from the spot where Laci's husband Scott went fishing the day she disapeared.

I must say that I have a great deal of skepticism about his story. I find it strange that a man would leave home on Christmas Eve to go fishing, period. Additionally, to travel a great distance away from home and to leave your 7 month pregnant wife at home ALONE? Sounds very strange. Of course when it came out that he was having an affair most of his credibility with the public, and with Laci's family was shot to hell.

I really hope I am wrong about this, and wouldn't it be great if we could find her alive somewhere with a perfectly healthy baby? I suppose the Elizabeth Smart case gave everyone a great deal of hope. For Laci and the baby's sake, I will keep hope alive through prayers, but it doesn't look good. If it isn't Laci that washed ashore, who was the poor woman and the baby, that is yet another mystery to discover. How could anyone harm a woman, much less a pregnant woman and her unborn child?

I pray for you, Laci.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Feelings after the war...

For all intents and purposes the war in Iraq is over. Unfortunately I believe that more servicemen are doomed to die because of sporadic fighting, looting, suicide attacks, and the few kooks that are loyal to Saddam. But I wonder, even when all is said and done, will people ever feel this way about the end of the war?



I have to wonder, because there seems to be a growing amount of dissent among the American population because we have not found the "smoking gun" as of yet. All I can say is be patient, and continue to pray for our troops.

Lastly, before we begin the exaltations remember what price some people have paid in honoring their oath to our country. Here we see soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division remembering a comrade killed in a rocket attack. While I am glad the regime has ended, I have to admit that it is a bittersweet feeling.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Burns me up...

This guy needs to be horsewhipped. Not only is he unfamiliar with United States battle doctrine, he chose to take potshots at women in the military and the state of West Virginia. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but there is a sane, civilied, and respectful way to convey almost any opinion. Apparently he didn't bother to explore his options.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

This is only the beginning...

CNN has shown the poster boys of U.S. military might at their proudest. Man, say what you want to about those Marines, but not only are they always in the thick of things at battle, they are also johnny-on-the-spot for the Life Magazine shot. I mean, we all knew that it was a matter of time, albeit indeterminable, when Baghdad fell and celebrations would start, but I had never considered what the pictures would be like. Just seeing the Mike 88 pulling the statue of Saddam down seemed to be a picture that will be shown over and over again for decades to come. Hell, the Marines already had the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima and now this. But, you know what? They deserve it. As a matter of fact they all deserve it. Think of the picture of the Navy Sailor who grabbed the woman out of the crowd in New York and laid the kiss of the century on her. Do you all remember seeing that photo? That one was a classic. There are just photos that seem to encapsulate the entire theme of an era in a single frame. Think about Vietnam, the girl running down the road naked after Napalm had been dropped on her village? How about the Viet Cong soldier being executed by the South Vietnames Army Major. Those pictures are forever engrained in our minds, and thus Vietnam is always the "dark" memory.

But, for the moment the images that have emerged form Operation Iraqi Freedom seem to show it as a valiant joint effort between Us, the Aussies and the Brits. I see that perhaps there is a new restructuring of the Western World. A new world order if you wil. [I am careful not to capitalize that phrase for fear of paranoid people]. It would seem that though our relations were good before, that us and the Brits have been soldered together by soldiering together. We shall see how the western world accepts this new partnership. The statue of Hussein has been toppled in Baghdad, but where will the next villain emerge? I am not being snide or facetious, I am facing the facts. There will always be a Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Khadafy, Mugabe, Pol Pot, or Kim Jong II to deal with. It is just the way that we deal with him that will dictate our legacy. I pray for peace in Iraq, I pray for peace in Israel, and I pray for a state of Palestine. I do hope for peace in the Middle East and the end to terror. Most of all my prayers are for those who think so little of themselves that they would go where they are needed when called to do what is sometimes popular, and sometimes unpopular. Over Hill, Over Dale from the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli. God Bless each and every one of you......and above all else, please be careful and come home safe.