Monday, March 30, 2009

Power to the People!

As a young veteran in the 1960’s, I was appalled by the protesters that filled the streets, damaging property, throwing objects at police, blocking traffic and carrying signs that denigrated our country. Today, I’m equally appalled by the anarchists that manage to get their masked faces on television every time there is a meeting anywhere in the world between heads of state or finance ministers. Of course, those protesters are all leftists, so rowdiness, law-breaking and lack of respect are normal and expected.

Now, at age 67, I’m fired up enough to take to the streets. On April 15th, 2009 there will be a Tea Party in the courthouse square of our county seat, Tyler, TX. The crowd will probably not attract too many leftists, but from the local interest, it appears the streets will be full without them. Political affiliation will be put aside as we demand that the idiots in Washington D.C. read the Constitution of the United States, and that they pay special attention to the amendments that restrict the federal government’s powers.

I’m sure the signs we carry will be PG rated, but they will clearly make a point. The flags yous see will be those of the United States, not North Vietnam or Cuba, and a Che shirt will not be found. I can guarantee that. The people in the streets that day will be those who love this country, not hate it, so there will be no violence. However, if the Washington ignores the respectful protests, the pressure will be cranked up.

After the Tyler Tea Party, many of the folks will be convoying to Dallas to attend a bigger event scheduled for that evening.

The mainstream media has been ignoring the protests thus far, but I wonder if they will be able to ignore the hundreds of protests taking place on tax day. I’ve heard there is an attempt by truckers to organize a shutdown of Washington DC on that day, but I doubt enough truckers can take time off to accomplish the feat.

BTW, over on the right side of this page, I posted a new link to a group being formed by people who are current members and veterans of the military and police. It’s called Oathkeepers, and the members are reaffirming their oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Some of the comments are pretty strong, so I hope the politicians start paying serious attention to what’s brewing outside the Beltway.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dogwoods and Old Dogs

Another temperature down-day in our rollercoaster winter/spring. It only reached 45F for a high and it's supposed to approach freezing tonight.

Fortunately, the flowering trees and shrubs can take a touch of frost, so the dogwoods that are in full bloom now need not worry. Judy took this photo about a mile from our house, where the dogwoods are prolific. We have a few small ones across the street from our house, but nothing that can compete with these big trees.

Old Sassy must be experiencing the pains of aging tonight. Usually, at dinnertime, she is underfoot and barking to remind us that she is still around and not to forget her with the table scraps. Tonight I had to get her out of bed and bring her into the kitchen so she wouldn't miss out on the left over pasta. It's one of her favorites and she'll eat until her stomach bulges, but tonight she reluctantly ate only a couple of bites. Even the after-dinner dog treat wasn't greeted with enthusiasm. After dinner, I normally take her outside to take care of her business and then she settles down on the pillow we keep for her in the office. Tonight she was shivering from the cold, so I put her back in her bed and she immediately curled up. I don't think she will be with us much longer.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Forgotten Heroes

Medal of Honor Citation:
Captain Ed W. Freeman, United States Army, distinguished himself by numerous acts of conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary intrepidity on 14 November 1965 while serving with Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). As a flight leader and second in command of a 16-helicopter lift unit, he supported a heavily engaged American infantry battalion at Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley, Republic of Vietnam. The unit was almost out of ammunition after taking some of the heaviest casualties of the war, fighting off a relentless attack from a highly motivated, heavily armed enemy force. When the infantry commander closed the helicopter landing zone due to intense direct enemy fire, Captain Freeman risked his own life by flying his unarmed helicopter through a gauntlet of enemy fire time after time, delivering critically needed ammunition, water and medical supplies to the besieged battalion. His flights had a direct impact on the battle's outcome by providing the engaged units with timely supplies of ammunition critical to their survival, without which they would almost surely have gone down, with much greater loss of life. After medical evacuation helicopters refused to fly into the area due to intense enemy fire, Captain Freeman flew 14 separate rescue missions, providing life-saving evacuation of an estimated 30 seriously wounded soldiers -- some of whom would not have survived had he not acted. All flights were made into a small emergency landing zone within 100 to 200 meters of the defensive perimeter where heavily committed units were perilously holding off the attacking elements. Captain Freeman's selfless acts of great valor, extraordinary perseverance and intrepidity were far above and beyond the call of duty or mission and set a superb example of leadership and courage for all of his peers. Captain Freeman's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.

His heroics were documented in the movie: We Were Soldiers Once…And Young, but unless you search for information, the bravery of our military is seldom revealed to the public. Major Freeman died last fall and the only thing I heard was posted on a website today. With all the fluff and nonsense filling the airwaves and newsprint, I don’t know why people like this don’t receive the recognition they deserve. I wonder how many of the men he saved even know he died?

I recall how honored I was to have participated in a small way when Col. Lewis L. Millett arrived at McChord AFB. I didn’t even get to see him, but just being involved in the planning was satisfying.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Catching Up

Seems like I move from one excuse to another not to keep my blog up. Last week it was putting in the lawn, and now I have a bad cold that Judy was nice enough to bring home with her from Wichita Falls. Despite feeling lousy, I spent most of the day working on our income tax return. If I could have one wish, it would be that everyone who worked for the federal government…especially member of Congress and the Senate…would be required to fill out their own income tax.

I’m sure you’ve all seen the video of, Daniel Hannan , the British MEP who lambasted PM Gordon Brown this week. He’s been a guest on several of the Fox News talk shows and his YouTube video is among the most watched. Too bad we don’t have anyone in our corner with the ability to speak to America’s Liberals in such a precise, articulate, scathing manner.

Looks like the middle-class tax cut that Obama insisted we would get, is missing from the budget bill moving through the House of Representatives. Why am I not surprised?

Peaceful Tea Parties are being held around the country, some with thousands of taxpayers in attendance, yet there is no coverage in the mainstream media. I'm not surprised by that either.

From 'The inmates are running the asylum' news: California is considering legislation that will make it illegal for auto manufacturers to sell black, and other dark colored cars in the state. Yep, it’s another green idea to save energy. I wonder if dark green will be among the illegal colors?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"I'd like tuh thank myself...."

Can anyone recall any other president who managed to screw up so many things in the short time that President Obama has? Despite the mainstream media’s frantic attempts to cover his butt and sing his praises, he keeps stepping in political dog poop.

I’m not going to join the Internet gossip that dwells on his questionable citizenship, or the way he treats his relatives, or the nude photos of his mother, but I will take him to task for acting like a modern day Manchurian Candidate. He has done enough stupid things to harm our economy that you can’t help wondering if he is intentionally trying to destroy the United States.

Even his suave eloquence proves to be nothing more than a Wizard of Oz act, dependent on a teleprompter to put a degree of substance into his words. Without it, he hems, haws and stumbles like a high school freshman giving his first speech. He is quickly turning into a laughing stock, with a growing accumulation of political cartoons lampooning his inability to speak, think or perform without electronic prompting. Now even a blog pretending to be the voice of the machine, has joined the chorus.

George W. Bush was ridiculed for his country mannerisms and his inability to pronounce certain words, like nuclear, but Obama manages to mangle the pronunciation of a single syllable word, as the preposition “to” becomes “tuh”. As expected, not a hint of criticism from his adoring members of the press.

I only hope the country survives four years of this president. At least we can be assured that it will be a single term with a Republican House and Senate for his final two years. Unless the Republican Party again loses their spines and their souls, there is no way the Democrat Party will survive their loony dash toward socialism. A few years down the road, Obama will simply be remembered as Jimmy Carter II.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mission Accomplished

Who says Americans won't do jobs that Mexicans will? Call me foolish, but this old American performed a whole bunch of manual labor without Manuel's help...or Jose's either.

It took the better part of six days, but I hauled and spread sixteen yards of topsoil, then put down seven pallets of St. Augustine sod and covered the area around the trees and shrubs with pine bark mulch. The front yard is now complete and looks a whole lot better than the red clay/iron ore/sandstone mixture that covered this hill when we built the house.

Now I have some flower beds to dig and flowers to plant, but most of the heavy work is done...I think.

Speaking of Mexicans and jobs.....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Exhausting Wednesday

Another day of excitement behind a wheelbarrow. I now have about half the 16 yards of topsoil spread, so it looks like I'll be on schedule when the sod arrives on Friday.

I tired out about 2PM and after a shower, I washed the convertible and put the top down for the year. I took it into town to do some shopping and get a haircut, and as usual, got a bunch of waves, smiles and comments. Too bad they can't make new cars as stylish as those from the 50's and 60's.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wheelbarrow Time

After a few days of cold weather, we’re back to spring temperatures and now it’s time to get my outdoor spring cleaning and planting underway.

I ordered sixteen yards of enriched topsoil to place under the remaining seven pallets of St. Augustine sod that will be delivered on Friday. The soil arrived this morning and I’ve been hauling and spreading all day, but hardly made a dent in the pile. I hope there’s enough left over to fill a couple of flower beds, since the mixture of red clay and sand in them now doesn’t contain much nourishment.

I’ll probably have to roll out of bed tomorrow morning, if the way my muscles feel tonight is any indication.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Back in the Day

As some of you know, I’ve been a stock car racing fan since back in the days when the Daytona race was run on the beach, so I still visit several racing websites every day. Yesterday, I ran across a name I remember from the short time I worked as a car salesman at the Minot Chrysler Plymouth dealership.

The year was 1964 and the North Dakota State Fair was taking place. Our dealership sponsored a racer by the name of Ramo Stott. He was a champion in the series, so it was good advertising to have the Main Motor Sales name on the side of his ’64 Plymouth. I found this picture of him and his car on a website run by his son, who also owns a race team in the NASCAR Nationwise Series.

Notice how stock the cars were then? When’s the last time you saw a driver open the door to climb in? That’s the way stock car racing should be today.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Office

Nearly every weekday morning I drive to Lindale to enjoy a cup of coffee with friends at Pop’s Cafe. Judy calls it the office because when I'm telling her the latest news I learned over a cup of coffee, I'll often unwittingly refer to our gathering place as the office. Guess it's habit from all those work years.

I often read another blog where the author periodically posts a photo of some point of interest in her town. I found the idea interesting, so I'm going to try that, but since winter is still hanging on, I'll wait until everything is green before taking more pictures.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Where Lies their Loyalty?

Even as several state legislatures contemplate passage of resolutions reminding the federal government of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, Internet chat rooms and political blogs are atwitter with discussions about the potential consequences of secession. A real fear is that the moment the state legislatures begin to seriously contemplate breaking away from Washington, the president would declare martial law and call out the Army to take over the state government and all law enforcement activity within its borders.

If the decision was made to call out the troops, I’m of the opinion that the military would refuse to march against citizens acting in defense of the Constitution. The military has little time for the appeasers now calling the shots from Washington, and when they enlisted, they swore to defend the Constitution of the United States, not the president.

If you have any question who the military supports in their hearts and minds, the following link should give you a hint.

Thanks to for finding the video.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Change You Can Believe In

If you were a foreign operative and had the ability to affect national policy in the country that was your sworn enemy, what would you do to spread wreck and ruin from within?

Divide citizen loyalties?
Undermine the economy?
Squander the national treasure?
Promote fear?
Insult lifelong allies?
Weaken defense?
Destroy industries?
Spread lies to confuse?
Attack individual citizens?
Disarm the populace?
Invite spies into the country?
Open the borders to criminals?
Stifle dissent?
Control the media?

Just wondering.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tax and Sacks

Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours cleaning the patio, re-planting some big pots and trimming plants. Then the winds came, and today there is a leaf drift 8" deep outside the patio door. It's a losing battle until the grass gets tall enough to keep the leaves from blowing between yards.

Finally received the last 1099 forms so I can now get all my tax info together. Usually, I'm tied up for two weeks or more with taxes, but things should be less complicated this year so I might finish a little faster. It should be a good project for next week when the forecast is for rain and thundershowers.

Got this in the mail today.

The Sack Lunches

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good book to read and perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation. 'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to me. 'Petawawa. We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Afghanistan.' After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time.

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard one soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. 'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to base. His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. 'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.' She grabbed my arms and
squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My son was a soldier in Iraq; it's almost like you are doing it for him.'
Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which do you like best - beef or chicken?'
'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class.
'This is yours with thanks.'

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.' He handed me twenty-five dollars. Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Aircraft Pilot coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked , I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only
on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, and said, 'I want to shake your hand.' Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's hand. With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.' I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.
When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars! Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. 'It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless You.'
Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers. As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return.
These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little.
A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' That is Honor, and there are way too many people who no longer understand it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Politicians Acting Like Children

The spitting contest going on between the Republican Party elite, Rush Limbaugh, and the White House proves that neither party is competent enough to lead the country. A pox on both houses!

Here in Texas, there is a simple way to vote a straight ticket. You mark one place on the ballot and your votes all go to one or the other party. I’ve done that in the past, but never again. I will vote only for those who place our country above themselves and their party. Party hacks will not get my vote, and I’ll write in my own name when I’m unfamiliar with candidates for state offices, or can’t pick from those on the ballot. Everything I’ve heard so far from our announced gubernatorial candidates means I’ll be getting at least one vote in the Republican primary. It's enough to gag a maggot.

Monday, March 2, 2009


I’m not much of a television fan, but I do make a point of watching 24. It has its moments of incredulity, but for the most part it’s a well written series and I really like the main characters. Tonight, after a recorder malfunction in the middle of the show, we at least got to watch the first hour and the last thirty minutes, so we were able to keep track of the plot.

This week’s show did a marvelous job of showing exactly how na├»ve and stupid our politicians can be when it comes to dealing with terrorists. Poor old Jack Bauer tries his best, but the bad guys always manage to do a lot of damage before anyone believes him, and people always die because of some arrogant, stupid politician or bureaucrat. Our new Attorney General, Eric Holder, sounds like he’d fit right into the show as an example of terminaly dumb.

The show makes you wonder if there is anyone in our real intelligence or special ops organizations that emulates Jack Bauer. I hope there is, because we sure could use someone like him to deal with the people trying to run the country now.

I also wonder if there are real computers that can instantly access anything and everything in mere seconds. I can’t even log onto the internet in the time Chloe can access the detailed blueprints of a building she’s never seen, and do a complete background check on an unknown Romanian sailor. Just once, I’d like to see her hit the wrong key and crash the system so bad that she had to reboot. If she did, and if her computer could get as screwed up as mine can, they might have to rename the show to 24.5.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I'm sure you've noticed my lack of entries lately. That seems to be normal for the other blogs I visit, so I guess I'm normal, but I still feel guilty for not being more diligent. We've had company all week, so I'll just blame them for not having the time to come up with any profound comments.

When all else fails, I suppose I can give a weather report, since I do spend an inordinate amount of time following weather happenings around the country. Just for the record, we're expecting our second night of twenty-some degrees, so winter hasn't given up yet. It's been windy, too.

I can report that Operation Tea Bag is gathering steam and even Facebook now has a group called the American Tea Party. Seems like lots of people are concerned about the fate of the country and are using a similar theme to vent their frustration.

On the nature front...the bluebirds are busy building a nest in the birdhouse, and the feeders are still busy. Lots of migrating birds dropping in for a snack on their way north. A couple of squirrels have been tempted to visit the feeder, but there is a long stretch of open ground between the feeder and the nearest tree, so they are respecting the dogs. Bonnie likes to chase them, but doesn't get into the sport like Dakota did. Dakota absolutely loved chasing squirrels and had a special bark that told us when she had one treed. I dearly miss that dog.