Wednesday, November 25, 2009

For This I Am Thankful

I'm thankful that despite the ongoing leftist assault on our Constitution, most of our society still functions as it always has.

I'm thankful that in less than a year we will have the opportunity at the ballot box to reverse the damage that has been inflicted on our country by selfish, power-hungry politicians of all stripes.

I'm thankful that our citizens are finally awakening from the coma of comfort that has cursed the nation for decades.

I'm thankful that nothing has yet happened to set off the firestorm that rumbles just below the surface, waiting for a spark to ignite it.

Mostly I'm thankful there are still people willing and preparing to enter that firestorm in the footprints of our founders, should the props of civility crumble. This link will give you an indication of how seriously our situation is being viewed by some people.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Day on Friday

This will be an odd Thanksgiving for us. None of our usual guests are able to attend this year, so we've decided to cook Thanksgiving dinner on Friday to allow our good friends to join us. We'll make much of the food ahead of time, and I'm only deep frying one turkey this year, so meal preparations should go fast on Friday. That suits me just fine.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Eyes Have It

When it seems as if every day brings a new ache or pain in my aging body, it's refreshing to find one thing that's actually getting better. I had my eyes checked last week and for the first time since I was 13-years-old, I have 20-20 vision. I also am free of far! Several of my friends have had cataracts removed, and some were done when they were much younger than I am now.

The doctor said it's not unknown for nearsighted people to have their vision improve with time, but it's not exactly common either. When I was a kid, my mother was nearly blind without her glasses, but by the time she was in her seventies, her sight had improved to the point that she no longer required glasses to drive. At least I inherited one good physical trait.

Unfortunately, my ability to read fine print without reading glasses is deteriorating. I can still read most books, but the fine print they put on bottles and cans is getting awfully blurry. As Bing Crosby said in one of his movies...when you find yourself playing trombone with the newspaper, you know you're getting old.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More Catching Up

I’m still fighting Internet connection problems, but it does seem to be improving slightly.

The weather was beautiful today, but the nights are getting colder and fall is quickly turning into winter. Yesterday, for the first time this season, I had to flip the thermostat mode from air conditioning to heat and the days are now so short that we have to turn on the lights when eating dinner. I wish I could say I was looking forward to more cold days and leafless, skeleton-like trees, but I’m completely spoiled by our wonderful summers. I would love if it stayed summer year round.

As I was leaving the house to go into town for coffee this morning, I saw a big whitetail doe having a drink of rainwater from the ditch. Despite hunting season opening last week, she was fearless, but she had better learn quickly if she wants to stay out of someone’s freezer.

The coyotes have also been coming closer to our little development recently. They usually stay in the meadow at least a half-mile away, but last week there was one singing on the hill across the road. The neighbor’s dogs were going crazy, but for some reason, ours paid no attention to the nearby racket.

The last hummingbird is finally gone, so I guess it’s time to take down their lone feeder and put one up for the seed eaters that will be arriving soon. I’ll have to buy new feeders, as the old ones are falling apart from age and marauding squirrels.

I attended a regional Oath Keeper organization meeting yesterday. The Texas group is growing at the rate of 10-15 a day and we now have over 500 members, so interest in the organization is snowballing. The actual numbers of supporters far exceeds the 500, as every day we hear of active duty military and law enforcement people who are unwilling to join officially and have their names revealed on a website, but who strongly support the Oath Keeper positions.

It was a somber meeting, with the members voicing concerns about the administration’s continuing swing to the left, and fear of government retribution for taking a stand in support of the Constitution. I would have never dreamed that the country could become so divided, and the assault on our liberty so intense, in such a short time.

Last week, I had a nice exchange of e-mails with an old high school friend that I hadn't talked to since we graduated. While renewing our friendship brought smiles and good memories, it also brought tears. Her daughter was in one of the World Trade Center towers on 9-11 and didn't survive the attack. The evil tentacles of terrorism even extend into small North Dakota towns.

You can read about her daughter on this website set up in her memory:Ann Nelson

Monday, November 16, 2009

High Speed Satellite Service...Another Oxymoron

The worst thing about where we now live is the lack of high speed Internet access. When we began building, the developer said it would soon be available, so we didn't give it much thought. It didn't happen by the time we finished building, and then the day came that we had to make the decision to get by with dial-up, or go with satellite Internet service.

Because we could still recall the agony of dial-up, we opted for Wildblue satellite service. It was recommended as being better than HughesNet, but I can't imagine anything being worse. It's now been three days since we've had a good connection and the speed has been no faster than dial-up. If this was the first time it has happened, I wouldn't complain, but it's an all too common occurrence.

Since we moved in, we have learned that cable will not run this far from town, as there aren't enough houses to justify the expense of running lines, and DSL has apparently also been put on hold for the time being. I'm guessing the crummy economy has something to do with that decision.

When it comes to getting honest to goodness high speed Internet, I get to feeling like a Chicago Cubs fan...wait until next year!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ready on the Right...Ready on the Left...

I finally had a chance to test fire my new arsenal today, and the targets quickly disclosed the fact that it has been decades since I spent any time at the range.

It didn't take very long to sight in the .223 Ruger Ranchrifle, but it may take days for my ears to stop ringing. I neglected to take along my ear protection and that little rifle really barks!

I also quickly learned that the .380 Ruger LCP is not something to depend on for accuracy over about 20'. Once I determined that it was firing about 3" low at that range, I could put it in the target every time, but the center ring was elusive with, or without the laser. I actually did as well firing offhand as I did using the sights. Oh, well, it's meant to be a concealed carry pistol for close range protection and it should serve that purpose quite well...and the laser's red dot would certainly be intimidating if I saw it focused on my chest in the dark.

I did fall in love with my newest acquisition, a model 1911, .45 caliber Colt Commander. It is the smoothest, finest shooting handgun I've ever fired. It was simple to fire a 6" group at 50' and had I taken my time, I'm certain I could have done even better. It's easy to understand why it's been a best seller going back nearly a century.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Marines!

Happy birthday to the United States Marine Corps. I only wish all our politicians could be as honorable as a Marine.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Wall

The traveling wall made a stop in East Texas this week. If you haven’t had a chance to visit The Wall in our nation’s capitol, the traveling version is nearly as impressive, and elicits the same emotions. It’s almost impossible to walk the length and look at all the names without breaking down. Some did. I found myself swallowing hard and blinking a whole lot more than I usually do.

We were an aging generation that came to search for the names of friends and family we lost. A couple were in wheel chairs, others used canes or walkers…most wore caps, shirts or jackets that proudly identified their branch of service. Some were bedecked with colorful ribbons and badges that narrated silent stories of how they had spent and lost their youth. I saw a frail mother on the arm of a family member. She came to find the name of her son who had gone to war and never returned over forty years ago. Yes, it was difficult to control your emotions, but if you couldn’t, no one there thought less of you.

Though there were other names on the wall that I recognized,there were two I knew very well. They were both from my hometown in North Dakota, and one was a neighbor’s son. I found him on panel 02W, line 127.

1LT Byron Kent Kulland was a helicopter pilot whose rescue UH1H, call sign Blueghost 39, was shot down in Quang Tri province on 04/02/72. He was missing in action for years and his family held out hope that he had been captured, but a team searching for remains in 1994 determined that Byron and his crew had been accounted for. He was laid to rest on April 29, 1994 in Arlington Cemetery.

A side note. Blueghost 39’s fateful last mission was to participate in the rescue of the navigator of BAT21. The story was made into a movie of the same name, starring Gene Hackman, but the heroic role of Lt Kulland was not even mentioned. Such is Hollywood, but those of us who knew him will always have him in our hearts and in our thoughts. He was a good kid.

Thanks to Mineola Detachment #1378 of the Marine Corps League for your efforts to bring the display to our area. Semper Fi

Friday, November 6, 2009

Housecall in DC...Ignored Again by the State-run Media

Newspapers and television gave skimpy coverage to the estimated 10,000 to 40,000 taxpayers who gathered Thursday in front of the Capitol to protest socialized medicine. They must not have enough reporters to cover all the important events going on...probably busy doing a team followup on the 60-200 gay protesters who marched in Los Angeles protesting Prop. 8 the day before.

Whatever...since they obviously need help gathering news, I offer a link to a report from someone who was actually in DC for the event. Pay special attention to the comment from someone else who attended. If that doesn't give you chills, I don't know what will.

FWIW, the writers on the linked blog can get extra fired up at times, but I enjoy reading comments from passionate patriots.

Housecall report

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Goof-off Day

One nice thing about retirement is the ability to put important projects on the back burner and enjoy a day of play when the weather is nice.

Since it was clear and 75F, with a light breeze,I decided that I'd much rather wash and wax the truck than dig holes to plant shrubs. The truck looks nice and I think the Crape Myrtles will survive a few more days in their pots.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Don't Mess With Texans...Even Old Ones

This happened about 7-8 miles from where we live. You'd think these crooks would learn that breaking into someone's house can be hazardous to their health.