Tuesday, December 12, 2006
This week is a busy one for me ....here is a listing of whats going on in my life right now ....
Christmas Caroling with Youth Sunday night.
Dinner tonight with a friend.
Choir party tomorrow night.
Youth function Thursday night .
Big blowout Christmas Cocktail Friday night.
Christmas at my Granny's house Saturday.
Dinner party at Susannes house Saturday night.
WHEW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As with anything you commit yourself to during the Christmas season you find yourself saying MY LORD why am I doing so dang much....Then I remember ...I am happy to do them all.
This is the best time of the year .....and I will argue that point with anyone...anytime..anywhere.
How can you not love this time of the year . Even if you are not a Christian....you can be a Muslim or a Jew or a Jehovahs Witness for all I care ... things are just more fun and festive around this time of the year .....and come December 26 we will pack it all up for 12 more months.
I am as happy as I have been in months .....many things are causing this happiness ...
My friends...my family and all those folks who are special in my life. I am enjoying the ride and letting it all happen. It's Gods Will.
Nick told me the other day that we are all so blessed and I agree so much with him on that one.
In other news ....
We can file this one under DAMN THATS STUPID
At an airport in Washington State this past monday workers removed several large Christmas trees rather than erect a Menorah. A rabbi from the area asked that one be added to the holiday decorations and instead of adding that, the powers that be decided to REMOVE the trees.
We live in a messed up place sometimes. I am a liberal ....a bleeding heart liberal. But this was foolish.
The rabbi said he never wanted anything removed and said he was dropping his move to get a memorah installed. He even had one he was gonna give them.
The trees were being RE INSTALLED onTuesday.
Heres the kicker......
The folks in charge at the airport said that the workers did not have the time to install a menorah!?!?!?!?!?!? WHAT ? Not only did they have time to remove several trees what were well over 15 feet in height they also had the time to put them back up on tuesday. Could they not have found the time to sit a menorah somewhere and plug it in???
All over the country places are once again Saying MERRY CHRISTMAS...and hosting CHRISTMAS PARADES......Heck Wal Mart even changed the name of their holiday center to the CHRISTMAS SHOP.
It is ok to say Merry Christmas and put trees up folks ......and its also ok to install a large golden menorah next to them.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best when he said
"We must learn to live together as brothers or we will persish together as fools"
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HANUKKAH
Friday, November 17, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
- The edible kind, like the ones that killed the monkey in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Without the posion of course, dates are low in calories (24),fat and cholesterol;full of fiber and richer in potassium than bananas. Eat six or seven a day and shave points off your blood pressure while adding snap to your bullwhip.
- 1507. The year the New World was named after Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci. People remember guys who arrive first and plant their flag. Having a cool name helps, too.
- February 26, 1993: The first attampt to destroy the World Trade Center. Few attacks come unannounce, whether on the battlefield, in the boardroom, or in your own backyard.
- Her mom's birthday. Hell hath no fury like a women with a mother-in-law scorned.
- January 1692. The kickoff to the Salem witch trials. Nineteen people were hanged in a climate of war, economic strife, religious intolerance,and teenage boredom. Of course, something like that could never happen today.
- The date when you took her on a picnic instead of to a restaurant;to an art museum instead of to a movie;or on a midnight stroll on a beach instead of to a bar for a nightcap. Also,the date when you were asked in for that drink instead of being dispatched with a hug.
- D-Day: June 6, 1944. If the Nazis had won the war,we'd probably be on our Ninth Reich by now. History has a series of pivot points. We bet your own life has had a few. Learn from them and it will be easier to spot the next one coming.
- November 19, 1863. Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. If you want immortality, get to the point.
- January 1, 2000. Two dropped digits plunged cyberspace into chaos, resulting in premature missle launches, a global transportation shutdown, and a worldwide economic meltdown. Oh, wait a minute. No, they didn't. So the next time a coworker starts hoarding drinking water and stockpiling munitions because the end is near-heard about the 2012 apocalypse lately?- abuse him verbally.
- Any expiration dates. Medicines, health insurance,passports,driver's license. Red Tape Sucks!
Monday, October 23, 2006
My creative juices are gone for some reason ...and I blame Nick ....cause I gotta blame someone that aint me !
Yo Yo Ma Rules !!!!!!!
Friday, October 13, 2006
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
LOST's third season begins tonight on ABC. The USA Today gave it 3.5 stars out of 4. I am pretty dang excited about the show getting started back up tonight. Auburn is currently 5-0 and Number 2 in many, if not all national polls. I have been talking about it for months but it looks like the time has finally arrived for my vacation to Asheville, NC. This will be my third trip to western NC this year. I cant get enough of that area. My friends are wonderful ....my family is great.
Work continues to go very good for me. I really do enjoy getting up each morning and going into work. The weather in Montgomery makes me very sad. We have maybe TWO days of good Fall weather and then its like someone pulling a rug out from under us ....just like that...BAM! It is 93 degrees on the 4th of October......But things will cool off again and all will be right in MGM.
A scandal has hit the higher reaches of our Government. AGAIN! Former Rep.Foley of Florida did some bad things it would seem. If he has some demons and needs to work on taking care of those problems I really REALLY hope he finds the help he needs. Is he the reason no one has any faith in our political system? Or people like him? There have been scandals going all the way back to Pres. Washingtons time but it seems that so many Americans are just turned off by the whole political process. Everyone is to blame ...Democrats and Republicans. Although, Ann Coulter said last night that this was all being made a much bigger deal by the Dems. Ugh! Why cant folks take responsibility for things ? I am a Democrat and it upset me when President Clinton had his affair with Monica. Still makes me mad. OWN up to what you do ....thats all.
8.4 Billion is being spent each month in Iraq. I know we are at war . Times are different. People all over the world hate us for what we stand for . That sucks. But besides longer lines at the airport, what sacrfices are we being asked to make ? Where are the ration cards like the ones my grandparents used during WWII? Where are the blackouts?
We are asked to realize we are fighting a global war on terror but then expected to act like nothing is out of the ordinary. On so many levels that is not right . Would those folks who drive around with the yellow ribbon magnets on their cars be the first in line to get rationing books?
How about if college students and others were asked to turn in their iPods so the metal could be used for making tanks and planes, like in WWII? How many folks would go out and plant Victory Gardens? Imagine the last 5 years with the following items either rationed or not produced.
Meats, butters, cooking oils, cheese, canned good, dry items, sugars, coffee, gasoline, motor oils.
Radios, cars, trucks, boats, tires, microwaves, tv's, stoves, fridges.
Is this country willing to make this type of effort for the war? Am I ready to make this effort ? People did these things 60 years ago because they knew what the end result would be. They were fighting just as much as the men who were living in the fox holes in Europe and Asia. Something has got to change.
Montgomery pays respect
Officer Keith Houts was laid to rest today in Birmingham. He was shot last week in the line of duty here in Montgomery. He was the first MGM officer to be killed in the line of duty in almost 10 years. I watched the heartbreaking funeral on television. I thank God daily for the wonderful men and women who serve to protect us each day. They are doing something I would never be able to do . When you think about this senseless killing it kinda makes a television show like LOST seem very very very small. God Bless his family.
On a very light note
I saw these two guys online the other day and they were trading pickup lines in a bar.....the women walked away but the lines were funny.
Here are a few..
I'm so sweet Slugworth stole ME!!
I'm so hip your Grandad broke ME!!
and my favorite
I'm like Altoids...Small,white and Curiously Strong!!
This might be my last post till after I get home ......Travelling prayers appreciated.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
"Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Healing happens in all sorts of ways .......I have been trying to heal for the last 6 months . I will never fully be back to where I was at the beginning of 2006 but I am somewhat better since the middle of the summer. This past week I decided to take a step towards some type of closure. I spent some time this week in my home town of Tuskegee ,Alabama. Thomas Wolfe said in his novel "Look Homeward Angel" that you cant go home again . I believe that you can go home. I think we often get so caught up in the daily dealings of life that we forget where we are from........Where our roots are. My roots are deep in Macon county. During the last 8 years when I have returned for some reason or another I have always had this deep feeling of discontent. You see, Tuskegee is not the town it was when I was growing up. There is no one really left from when I was there. The stores are all closed. The homes where people I knew are all run down or gone.
My main purpose of this visit was to say goodbye. To say goodbye to my Daddy. I have been trying and trying to think of something that I could do to bring this closure. I went to Tuskegee for a few hours this week and my Daddy went with me.
I went to my old school .....the house I first lived in when I came home from the hospital.....my Nana's house,my old church, our old business and our house in the country. It was a odd feeling to stand in the church that I grew up in to sit on the pew that I last sat in nearly 13 years ago at my Grandaddys funeral . It was a catharsis. I cried. I saw my Daddy in each of those places. I talked to him and I told him that it was time for me to put some things behind me and to move forward with my life. I have lived with a huge regret for the past 6 months. A regret that I did not get to speak to my Daddy before he had his surgery. Would I have said anything profound to him? Highly unlikely. I would have hugged him and told him I loved him and that things would be ok. I truly believe that my Daddy knew deep down that he would not ever be coming home again. I also think he was prepared for that and had made some type of peace. I have also made a peace. I dont fool myself into believing that things are gonna be all roses from now on. We will have some hard days ahead.... Then the holidays . But life will be better. We will remember and laugh .....we will tell his grandsons how much they were loved by their "Ga".....For me it's now about remembering the things that happened.....The past events that made us a family. I will no longer deal in a "what if" world. Those days are gone. Trying to imagine him here with us does me no good. He is gone, but the memory of him, is as strong as an anchor on a ship.
I went to Tuskegee to say goodbye to that part of me . Perhaps no one will ever really understand what I have done, or why I did it this week. Most of the reasons are still inside me and that's cool.....that's where it belongs. Those things I am keeping for myself. I did it for my reasons and my reasons alone.
I spent a very small part of Friday afternoon doing the last thing I felt I needed to finally do.... I went back to his grave. I stood there for a few minutes and said my last goodbye. I did not go alone and I appreciate my friend and his willingness to go with me . It is very unlikely that I will go back there much in the future. My Daddy lives on with me . I see him in myself everytime I go to a restaurant......when I look at my nephews.....and dozens more.
I went home this past week and I said goodbye. The page has turned .
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Ok....so maybe I am not "full up on friends". I have said for a long time now that I have plenty of room in my life for people. Young, old, big, small, black, white, gay, straight. But I really dont have room for anymore close friends. That sounds really harsh! It is Harsh. I am a terrible, horrible, harsh guy. Right ? Of course not ....I am a fun, easy going, laid back gentleman who happens to enjoy a glass of Jack Daniels or a good martini. I enjoy good music, good books, good conversation. I enjoy being around folks who also share these likes.....SO why not open myself up to more friends?? God puts people in our lives so that we will be richly blessed by their presence. I am ashamed to say that this only recently dawned on me. Too often I have looked at new friendships as something that will take me away from other things instead of making me a better person in the long run. That ends today. I look forward to good friendships with people like Luke and Jackie....... Although Luke thinks I am a drunk. I am excited about continuing the friendships with John and Laura, Mike, David, Susanne and of course Nick and Laura. I have so many others that I could mention....You all know who you are . I am blessed and will continue to be blessed by all my great friends.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
All I wanted was a haircut .......thats it....Not too much to ask ...right ??? There used to be a time about 20+ years ago when it was easy for me to get a hair cut. My Mother would take me to my Nana's house and Nana would cut my hair. I can still smell the "perm smell" that always seemed to be present at 202 Wallace Drive in Tuskegee. I can see Nana cutting away and the whole time there was a cigarette in her mouth . LOL!! That was circa 1980. Well needless to say things have changed a good bit.
2006--I cant get a decent haircut to save my friggin life. My hair is not hard to cut its thick but its nothing special..... I am looking for nothing fancy ...just a haircut. This past weekend I went to get a haircut. First problem-Everyone else in the the tri-county area decided to get a haircut. I went to three places on Friday afternoon and you could not stir folks with a stick I decided to go back on Saturday. I go to two places....the first is closed and the second is in the mall. I would rather be exposed to the plague than to have to go to the mall, maybe I am becoming my father....I dont know but the mall is not my idea of fun. Throw into the mix that it happened to be some kind of FAMILY- FAIR- AT- THE -MALL- WITH- FREE- BALLOONS-NIGHT.....UGH!!! Anyway.....I go to a fine establishment that will remain nameless for this blog we shall call them "Haster Cuts". There are three women working there ......I sign in and notice that my name is next.....Of course they proceed to take two other women ahead of me !!!! It would seem that they had been there around lunchtime on Tuesday I suppose , and were told to just come back and they would be "worked in"!!
I finally get called and explain what I want....I was pretty clear that I did not want to look like a doofus ....I look like a doofus already without a bad haircut adding to the problem. Long story short....She did a decent job I guess.
SO whats the problem .....I think its our overwhelming amount of choices. If you travel on the Atlanta Hwy , from Taylor Road to Ann Street, you will pass no less than 8 places to get your hair cut.....and many of those are chains. DO we really need that much ? I dont have any answers ....It just chaps me wrong I guess.....!!!!
14 days to North Carolina
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Former President Bill Clinton has been making the talk show rounds this past week to drum up support for his Global Initiative. First of all let me say that this guy looks fantastic . After having spent the last couple of years looking sick , it now appears that he is back at his fighting weight.
This seems like a very worthwhile project to be involved with and many people from all across the world are signing up to do what they can to help. Also it is just wonderful to see someone on television that is so articulate, relaxed in intereviews , engaging and smart.
President Clinton seems to be taking a page from an old FDR playbook by saying "Do something, big or small, that makes a difference." That seems to be the phrase I am hearing and seeing the most about this project. Click on the link to get more info.
I ran across an old article I had saved from several years ago that had a listing of books that had been banned for some reason or another in the last couple hundred years. I thought it would be fun to post that and see if any of yall had read any of these "banned" books. On a related note, I was talking to my friend David sunday night and we both talked about how much we enjoy "To Kill A Mockingbird" By Harper Lee. Anyway, that book made the list along with some other great ones. I have never quite understood the "banning" of books. Maybe we could all be a rebel and pick up a copy and either read or re-read one of these books. Enjoy!
- The Adventures of Huck Finn-Mark Twain
- The Diary of Anne Frank-Anne Frank
- The Great Gatsby-F.Scott Fitzgerald
- The Martian Chronicles-Ray Bradbury
- To Kill A Mockingbird-Haper Lee
- Uncle Tom's Cabin-Harriett Beecher Stowe
- The Canterbury Tales-Geoffry Chaucer
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings-Maya Angelou
- 1984-George Orwell
- A Farewell To Arms-Ernest Hemmingway
- A Catcher In The Rye- J.D. Salinger
- The Color Purple-Alice Walker
- Flowers For Algernon-Daniel Keyes
- Gone With The Wind-Margaret Mitchell
- Of Mice And Men-John Steinbeck
- One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest-Ken Kasey
- Ordinary People-Judith Guest
- The Bible-God
I only have about 17 days till I head to North Carolina and I cannot wait
I close with a quote.....
"Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness"
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
We had our first card night this past Friday night and I believe the general feeling was that it was a huge success. This might sound weird but I have always enjoyed that image of "the guys" sitting around playing cards, drinking beer, smoking cigars and telling funny stupid stories. Thats what we did last Friday night. The girls were there of course but they were on the front porch and pretty much left us to do our thing. We all had a blast, at least I had a blast and I also got to meet some really nice folks .
I could write lots more but as they say " What happens in Vegas , stays in Vegas"
I recently finished another book about President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This book focused on the last year of his life, April 1944-April 1945. President Roosevelt suffered from congestive heart failure. This is a serious condition today but in the mid 1940s there was really nothing that could be done for it . Imagine this ...You have a serious heart condition, chronic high blood pressure, paralyzed from the hips down and you are running a nation who is fighting a world war on several fronts. It is really amazing that he lived to see a fourth term much less run for one .
One of the problems with his heart condition is that not enough oxygen rich blood was getting to his brain so it was harder for him to make decision or follow conversations . This man was trying to shape the post war world and was having a hard time doing just that.
But he did manage to shape the United Nations. Win a fourth term as President. Go to the Quebec Conference and the Yalta Conference......he did it all while dying.
He was planning a trip to San Francisco for the opening session of the United Nations in late April of 1945 and then a trip to London in May.
Anyway I dig Roosevelt ......
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
So I read Lane's blog today ....just catching up on different things and his blog made me SICK ...He talked about how fall is in the air up in New England and in so many ways it makes me jealous. Fall really is my favorite time of the year. It is a beginning. I know many folks will say "WAIT A DANG MINUTE...SPRING IS WHERE IT ALL BEGINS" but not for me folks.
I enjoy the slow crawl of Summer into Fall.....down here in the deep south we get to see things happen a little more slowly . In the upper regions of New England leaves are already turning and before long that will spread its way across New York , Pennsylvania , Maryland, Virginia and into North and South Carolina. We still have many leaves still on trees at Thanksgiving !!!!!
I enjoy th.t first small small taste of Fall that we get here in the deep south. Those mornings that are a little cooler. Cooler for us is the low to middle 60's. It warms up during the day but it's the cooler nights that sustain me. The lower temps revive me and make me feel good again. I see Fall as a stepping stone ...me being one step closer to Winter and that really makes me happy.
My oldest nephew plays his first football game tonight . He is in the Termite league out at Macon East Montgomery Academy. He is 9 years old and is SOOOOOO ready to play.
My Daddy was so excited when he heard that Hunter was going to MEMA. Hunter is a third generation Gregg to be going to Macon East. Both his grandparents graduated from the school in 1964(the first class in fact) His Dad and his uncle (me) graduated from the school . Daddy would have been equally excited to be going to the games to see Hunter play. I have said it is a year of firsts for the Gregg family, good ones and bad ones, this is a good one. Good Luck Hunter!
If I was a smart man, and had to sit and analyze things I was seeing on television, I would say that the Bush administration was doing a good bit of backpeddling. They still sit on a throne of lies. They are now saying that things in Iraq are not as good as was once thought!!!! WHO ONCE THOUGHT THAT? Bush? Cheney? This mess has been going on for three years. Dozens of former Generals or commanders have issued statements talking about the problems from the start of the war. It makes no sense to me. NONE .
Why dont we invade North Korea? Iran? The international community is pretty sure they have some bad weapons. SO why dont we use the "Iraq Formula" and invade to disarm them and remove a cruel dictator from power?? I am guessing it has alot to do with the fact that they REALLY have these weapons and the leaders of these countrys are nuts. I dont want to go to war with these people . They have nothing to lose . They hate us with such a passion.
Perhaps they dont want Democracy. We have never stopped to think about that have we ? Maybe our idea of a great country run by the people does not sound that great to others . Many leaders in our government today still believe in a "Manifest Destiny". We are to be the leaders of democracy and as Americans it is not only our duty but our right to bring these freedoms to the world. Perhaps we should follow the path of the "Truman Doctrine". That is when nations ask for our help to perserve their freedoms. Orginally started to curb the spread of communism in Europe it could be used today in the middle east or anywhere really. But we should not invade. I think its wrong.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Things happen.....That is what people tell me . Things happen. I realize that things happen. Everything happens for a reason. We dont understand it. Never will understand why certain things happen. Why a hurricane of such force hits a city almost 8 feet below sea level. Why some nut climbs a clock tower in Texas and shoots fellow students. Why people die. I understand certain things. I kinda understand how DVDs work, how iPods transfer music and make playlists you kinda see what I am saying .
A friend today told me that our faith is tested everyday. I really truly believe that the Devil does tempt us. He places situations in our lives that cause us to wonder if our faith is strong enough. My test lately has been about the death of my Dad. Many of yall are more than likely REAL tired of this subject since its been going on ever since I started this blog. I keep going back to something someone told me and that this is a "new normal". Things, of course will never be the same again. How can they ? I see no end sometimes to the problems associated with his death. It really is a domino effect . How do you counter the effect? Go to church more? Spend more time with good friends? Drink alchohol ? Well, I work at a church so I am pretty much there all the time.....I pray daily and by pray I dont mean I kneel at the side of my bed and clasp my hands together. I pray all during the day , at stoplights, while eating , while working. I guess there is always room for more. My friends are a huge rock that I stand on. Thick, thin, up, down they are always there for me . I drink in moderation. Drinking more has adverse effects on me and I dont dig that.
I am a huge WEST WING fan along with many other bloggers out there. I was watching the other day while painting upstairs and its the Christmas episode where Josh is having his meltdown. He is meeting with a guy about his problems and Josh tells him that he wants things normal again. The doctor tells him that he is trying to get him back there. So that he can remember the shooting but not associate music with the shooting. Get him to a place where he can relive it all and be ok with things .
I heard that and had to go back and play it again. Thats what I do on a daily basis ...I cant think of my Daddy lately without thinking of the hospital. I think of the smells, the uncomfortable chairs, the bad coffee, the tubes and the sounds in Daddy's room. I dont think about the times we went to the beach as a family. I dont think about the cookouts. The times we shared during football season. I have eaten at Chappys once since Daddy died...Why? Because thats all we ate when he was in the hospital then after he died we got tons of food from there. I cant see all those things right now. I am waiting for things to clear and allow me to see.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH
He is clueless.
39 days till North Carolina.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.
Sometimes you need a break from things....a little rest from stuff ...Blogging is no different. I am gonna take a few days off from reading and writing blogs. Nick's homework assignment drained me!!!! I love it all ...just need a break. So stay tuned, exciting news is just around the corner folks .....I promise!
43 days to North Carolina
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Sorry ladies this mainly applies to the guys.....
Little things that count..Each of these will make you a better man (eventually)
- Paying attention-real attention-to a small child. I still remember the adults who did that when I was a kid. They also happen to be my role models.
- The lid on a jar of pickles. It's not that women really need your help twisting ir loose from the jar. They could use a hammer. But they like to make you appear strong, even if you are built like Mick Jagger.
- A breath mint.
- A brown bag. Pack a turkey-on-wheat most of the work-week and you'll save enough for a plasma TV by year's end.
- A lunchtime reservation-one that doesn't involve a drive-thru. All those sack lunches earn you a fine meal in a steak house every couple of weeks. Life ain't a gulag.
- A 50-minute CPR class.
- Gratitude. It takes 15 seconds to thank someone for their time or gift. It takes 15 years for them to forgive you when you don't.
- A single glance. THAT glance. If you have to ask , it's been too long since you've made it.
- Five degrees. Go easy on the thermostat overnight this winter and you'll save 5% on heat. Mother nature thanks you. So does Al Gore.
- Checking your spelling. Because the difference between Public Relations and Pubic Relations could be your job.
- Listening-really listening-to your grandad when he tells you,for the ninth time, about that seafood shop back in South Philly that sold little clams for a penny each. Forget the clams. He's trying for a little bit of immortality by passing along stories to you.
- A handwritten note. I landed myself a redhead because I sent her a goofy Far Side card with a dashed-off question along the lines of "So, how have you been?" Ten years later,we have a house and two kids.
- The last drink. IF you're drunk enough to absolutely need it, you absolutely don't.
- The right to remain silent. People never remember you for being quiet. They remember you for a stupid joke about a venereal disease, your boss , and a transvestite hooker.
- Getting off your butt. Time was, you stood up when being introduced to someone new. You meet eye-to-eye and shake, which is a small way of saying, "I'm not above or below you."
- Getting off your butt, period. Even 10 minutes of activity a day can drop your blood pressure, boost your mood, and prevent you from forming a covalent bond with your couch.
- A single detail. About someone else. Could be a wife's name, or a kid's sport, or the gum disease their hound had. Wield details wisely and you'll be a charm machine. Flub them and you'll make people feel like they 're interchangeable cogs in a cosmic mishmash.
- A single date. I have it easy. My wedding anniversary is September 11. Plant a Post-it, set an Outlook alert, or write it on your hand in permanent marker. A Sharpie fades. Her memory doesn't.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Prof. Mielke requested this"one cd on an island " list by Monday afternoon. No later than 3:00pm. It was a little harder to narrow it down than I thought it would be ..especially since I am a geek about Sinatra, jazz and any really good piano music. Oh well...here it is in no particular order. The composer/writer is listed after the song and the person who recorded is next followed by the year. I think this is all pretty accurate.
- The Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire). Torme/Wells. Nat King Coles version 1963. This song has always meant tons to me. Often its hard to narrow down a favorite holiday song but this is it for me because it makes me think of Christmas back before we all grew up.
- I'm a Fool to Want You. Wolf/Herron/Sinatra. Frank Sinatra recorded in 1953. Frank recorded this the day his divorce from Ava Gardner was final. She was his true love. You can hear the ache in his voice. Sad.
- Both Sides Now. Mitchell. Joni Mitchell latest recording 2001. She hits it on the nail about how we change when we age and see things different. Why can't we hold onto that youthfull wonder?
- For all We Know.Karlin/Wilson. Johnny Harman 1965. Sinatra made love to a song when he sang it. You can make love to this song.
- So What. Davis. Miles Davis with John Coltrane on Sax 1959. From one of the greatest jazz albums of all time Kind Of Blue. Pour yourself two fingers of sour mash bourban or aged scotch and enjoy.
- Hurt. Reznor. Johnny Cash 2003. Johnny was a musical mastermind. I really believe in 200 years they will teach about him in music classes. This song makes you take a hard look at your own life.
- Sonata No. 36 In C Major for Piano. Haydn. Something to read a book to. Something to have on in the background while friends are over. Something .
- You Make Me Feel So Young. Myrow/Gordan. Frank Sinatra 1966. Taken from the Live from the Sands album . This is FAS at the very top of his game. He was so far in the musical atmosphere during this time, its hard to believe that he ever came down. This song jumps and swings and its LIVE !!!
- All You Need Is Love.Lennon/McCartney. The Beatles. I love all the instruments used. Some days I just play the Beatles because they make me smile. Smiling is Good!
- Heres That Rainy Day.Van Heusen. Sammy Davis Jr 1966. SDjr and a guitar. I can feel the rain. The dark clouds. My favorite song of all time I think
Saturday, August 12, 2006
The most destructive element in the human mind is fear. Fear creates aggressiveness
Pipelines coming out of the Alaskan oil fields are all messed up in some form or fashion and what do they talk about on the news ?? How much gas is gonna go up ! News folks were telling us that we had better sink a pump in our back yard if we wanted cheaper gas because from here on out we were screwed.What happened ??? Gas prices in our area have dropped ...DROPPED . Dont get me wrong, I am thrilled that they have gone down. What upsets me the most is the FEAR FEAR FEAR edge that every news organization uses nowadays. They have experts tell us that gas could be close to $6.00 dollars a gallon by the end of August. The economy is heading for a huge ruin. I am not a smart guy when it comes to economy stuff. I know and understand the basics. If you have ever taken an economy class one of the first things you learn is the concept of "supply and demand". Maybe demand is down in the past week or so to warrent the prices dropping. Maybe the newcasters blew enough smoke at consumers that they finally scared them into cutting back. Perhaps thats the upside to FOX,CNN and MSNBC all having crap spew from them ; maybe they actually did help some!!?!?!?!? Aint that a kick in the head ?
People get things wrong all the time....no one is without mistake. I give everyone the benfit of doubt from time to time. But these people go on Television on a daily and nightly basis and for the most part scare the crap out of us. On any given day we could expect the following :
A horrible hurricane is bearing down on Israel tonight and fears are growing that it could trigger a massive war in the region, because we all know how hurricanes hate Jews. This coming just days after members from an al queda affliated group in France ( we still hate France right??) were arrested before they were able to follow through with a terrible plot to blow up 5 paper airplanes over the Seine river. WE INTERRUPT this broadcast to bring you this LIVE BREAKING HORRIBLE TERRIBLE HEINOUS story that is developing.......Gas prices continued their slid today at pumps across the nation sparking fears that gas could actually "GASP!!!!" fall below the $2.00 mark for the first time in nearly two years. A represenative from Exxon-Mobile, BP and Chevron had this to say, " We are such greedy pond scum sucking creeps, BUT PLEASE DRIVE MORE, the hired illegal immigrants who work in our HUGE homes all across the nation will not have huge houses to clean if the little man actually gets a break "
It happens nightly folks ....I watch it, you watch it , we all watch it . Why? Because we all enjoy a good show. We all slow down on the interstate when there is an accident. We cuss the guys out in front of us but then we slow to a crawl when we get to the scene.
I say we stop watching. Just stop. No more Bill O Reilly, Anderson Cooper, Greta, Sean, Larry. NO MORE. If we cant get it from a newspaper ...then we dont get it !
My top ten song list is going to be posted either tomorrow night or Monday morning. I have to admit that I am having a little more trouble with this one than I thought. More soon.
An Army at Dawn.
The war in North Africa, 1942-1943
Volume one of the Liberation Trilogy
This book has a ton of meaning to me because my Grandaddy fought In North Africa under Gen. Patton.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
"It is my belief that we cannot deal with the most serious of the things in the world until we understand the most amusing." Winston Churchill
Laura had a great post about what she believes in.....but she also said it was hard for her to put it into words. I often feel the same way about things. Its hard for me to put into words what I feel about things. I am going to try though....Thanks for the push Laura!!
I believe ......
In the fundamental ideals of the Democratic party, that gas prices are too damn high, that folks who work real hard for little money are getting the VERY short end of the stick, everyone should have a chance at the "American Dream", the "American Dream" is the same today as it was decades ago...the faces have just changed, that I am no better than you, you are no better than me, there are many folks who do think they are better though, everyone should be treated the same, global warming is for real, George Bush is a horrible President, soft kisses, Jesus Christ is our Savior but that belief is mine and should not be impressed on anyone or any country, baseball is our national sport, football is the heart of the south, in Auburn, laugher is the best medicine unless you have an upper respitory infection and then antibiotics are better, that FDR was our best President, shaved heads are cool, Santa Claus is real, racism is wrong in any form, people should be allowed to get married..regardless of their sex, race, heritage or sexual orientation, that what we are doing in Iraq is wrong on so many levels, We can each make a huge difference in someones life, that if it were not for the all the sand I might actually enjoy the beach, orange is a happy color, Sinatra was the best vocalist of all time, you are only as good as your friends....so I guess that makes me GREAT, 4 months can feel like an eternity, I grew up a presbyterian..went nowhere for 10 years....became a methodist but still think deep inside none of it matters if you dont have a strong faith in your heart, that quotes make a blog post better,
I know I got more but this is a start I guess
Don't Ask, Don't Tell
There was an article on the internet yesterday about a gay soldier who was outed by an anonymous email sent to his superior officer. The solider was given an honorable discharge by the US Army. He never made any claims to his commanding officer that he was gay. He was asked by them and was even investigated for 8 months. They had evidence that he violated the military's policy on homosexuals in the military, even said the evidence clearly indicated he had engaged in gay practices.
DONT ASK DONT TELL....thats the flawed policy of the US military. Bill Clinton dropped the ball on that one but whatever ..he could have taken the same route that Harry Truman did when he desegregated the army in the late 1940s with a presidential proclamation. Instead we got this mess........This solider was asked by superiors if he was gay,he said no but refused to answer the same question in a deposition for fear of perjury. They booted him out based on emails sent to them claiming he was gay. He is gay by the way .....But does that really matter? In a country where we struggle to get people to enlist anyway does it really matter if you like dating a man over a women ?? He signed up soon after September 11, 2001. He said he felt a sense of duty to help his country. I felt terrible after 9/11, sickened that someone or something hated us so much that they would attack in such a way BUT I never felt a duty to enlist in the military. It says alot for a person who enlists knowing full well they will go fight somewhere. He is appealing the decision made by the Army. He should do that and I hope he wins. If you want to serve your country, of course be some limits but your sexuality is not one of them. There is so much wrong with this country I sometimes find it hard to find just as many good things to balance everything out.................Just what I think..........
61 days till Asheville, North Carolina!
Saturday, August 05, 2006
I have always done things the easy way. Always stayed close to home. Never drove real fast. Never got into much trouble. Never gave a thought to moving away ...much less to another state!! Lane and his wife are doing it and they are going to be better for it . My friend Cyndi who grew up in Notasulga....same as me . She got married to a marine and they moved to California and have been there 6 years ...and they love it .
Will I ever move? I would like to say ...YES!! I would dig being able to invite folks to my place in North Carolina .....Maybe one day....
I am reminded of the movie You've Got Mail with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. She talks about fall reminding her of school . How she loves the smell of freshly sharpned pencils . Funny thing about all that is this ....I am the same way . When I was in school I loved it . Loved going to talk to advisors about classes .....Loved gettting the classes ....enjoyed get books .....and then it all stopped . My academic life came to a stop in 1996. I was never a student that went to school each semester or quarter. I would be in school two semesters and then work two semesters . I made things longer but it was the only option I had at the time.
Then my Dad needed us to work and help our business more. At this time our business was in a low point and he needed all the family help he could get.
I stopped going to school for a year with the intent of going back . We sold our business to Jim Massey . On December 22, 1997, Gregg Cleaners became a memory. I have not set foot in a classroom since. I MISS IT!!!
I see my good friends going back to school and somewhere deep in me I am a little jealous. That is silly and childlike but its honest. I am so proud of them but I want to be there also . So I am taking a move towards doing something about it . I have spoken to someone this week who might help with the cost of Classes or if nothing else the books. Anyway we will see what happens.......
Like Toby's dad on the WEST WING.....I just had the strongest memory..........
I was at my old high school , Macon Academy, and I was in Mr. Edwards office in the Library. It was the coolest office ...tucked off in the corner with dusty old shelves filled with lots of old crap. Kinda like Indiana Jones office in THE LAST CRUSADE. I can still smell the books, coffee and cigarettes. Yes he smoked in his office. It was a different time folks ....people did crazy things .
Talk to ya later
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
I read it today ......It is official .....Orange is again a popular color!!! Todays copy of the USA TODAY said that Orange is here to stay. Of course I have been trying to get people to realize that for years. Orange has been my favorite color ever since I first read that it was Sinatras favorite color. Of course its the color of the Auburn Tigers. I also have to agree with Sinatra....it's a happy color. So today when I read in the paper that orange is mainstream ....I was thrilled! I dont get thrilled about much anymore but this really made me happy for some reason .
I am not a fan of orange to the point of Sinatra. He went a little overboard with it . He had orange carpet, drapes, furniture, bed linens, tile in his bathroom, rugs, phones, His airplane even had orange everything . I do like it though and my eye always seems to seek it out. Get on board with it folks .....orange is the new black ...or something like that .......
Nothing else really exciting in my life is going on right now but I did want to post about one other thing....
I read the other day that Gettysburg National Park is losing ground to the elements around it. There are not enough funds to help with the upkeep of the park. Nearly $50 million is needed to do what it takes to brings things up to speed.
This place was the turning point in our history as a nation. A confederate win there would have meant that the South could have possibly won the war or at the very least it would have been prolonged. I for one say thank goodness for the loss. We need to preserve this place for everyone to see it . I went two years ago. I am glad I went. It meant something to stand there and feel the history move through you.
1.8 million people visit each year. They have to visit the Patterson house and walk on rotten floors. This house was the command post for the Union army. Brush and brambles grow over monuments to fallen soliders. The main reason for cuts in funding can be traced back to the cost of the current "war on Terror" said Brian Kennedy . He works in the US Congress.
just another small reason, very small , that this war sucks .
Fooled ya ...nothing in here about the heat or humidity !!!
68 days till North Carolina .
Thursday, July 27, 2006
What do you save?
I had a long talk tonight with a good friend of mine about the pros and cons of saving things....She does not save much ...I do ....I love to read and so I always try to buy my books in either hardback or trade paperbacks. After I read them, I keep them. I have shelves full of books .....in fact I only recently started looking for more shelves. Books are wonderful. How can you not keep them ??
Another thing that I save and have only recently found out that many people do not and that is old Christmas decorations. You know the ones I am talking about; the little cheap nothing junk you made at VBS during the summer of 1979 at Woodland Presbyterian Church in Notasulga, Al.
But heres the kicker ...they aint junk. Thats the stuff that makes us....US . It is the things that thread us together as a family. It is going to your grandmothers house in December and helping decorate the tree. The same way you have done it for all your life. It is getting out the crushed,wrinkled,spotted angel made out of clothespins and coffee filters and sprinkled with glitter. Maybe it's the ornament made out of pipe cleaners, glue and metal bottle lids. I am 32 years old and I still get excited to take out the little snowman with the pointy yellow hat, the same one that was one on a strand of lights. One year they stopped working so my Grandadaddy and I took each one off and made ornaments out of them. His idea was that we had them for so long it would be just wrong to toss um. Anyway maybe I am the only one who feels this way.
I recently read in Emilys blog that everything in some way always seems to come back around to family. I believe that also. Our family can be the very first to get on our nerves sometimes but we always come back to them. I know I do. Thats the way it is supposed to be.
It has been four months and change since Daddy died. I can sit and remember the many times that I had given thought to the idea that our family was very blessed. That we had it . Comfort, love, security. I long for that again. I look for the day when I can go out with friends and actually have something to say. To be able to function on some level outside of a few close friends and work. My heart longs for that again. My heart longs for Daddy to come and let us know that is all going to be fine. I would still worry when he used to do that but somewhere in me I knew it would be ok. He is dead . Normal shattered by seperation.
I think I am in the darkest place in my life. Grief that still keeps me away. That keeps me from being open and honest with friends and family . I wake at night after dreaming of being with Daddy the last time. It is still hard for me to realize that one minute he was here and the next he was gone . His energy and love of life was away from us. There are times when I still dont understand the eternal. I know his job was done the second he slipped away but seperation clouds what should be a happy thought that he is in the Kingdom with God.
Life looks different now.
I close with a couple of lines of lyrics from a Joni Mitchell song...
"Well somethings lost, but somethings gained......In living every day"
and one last thing......74 days till North Carolina
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Two weeks ago it was VBS now its Youth Week at church ......BIG DIFFERENCE in the way I do my job around DUMC. It have kept me very busy though ... But its been a fantastic week...Now i am kinda tired ....its late and i am actually wanting to sleep .....more tomorrow ...I promise
Monday, July 17, 2006
"The only realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith." From an Undelivered Jefferson Day speech by FDR.Was to be given April 13, 1945. He died the 12 of April.
Last Friday I spent most of the day in Warm Springs,Ga. Anyone familer with history knows that Warm Springs holds a strong place in US history. Franklin D. Roosevelt arrived in Warm Springs in the mid 1920s to receive treatment for his paralysis. He was stricken with polio at age 39 and lost most of the use of his legs.
Warm Springs in mainly made up of antique shops and specialty stores but you can still find traces of FDR all around.
You can visit the train station where he arrived on his visits to Warm Springs. You can see the Roosevelt Rehab Center. It is a world class rehabilitation center that grew out of the orginal warm springs. You can visit Dowdells Knob and see where Roosevelt entertained national and world leaders on picnics. The centerpieces of Warm Springs is the actual Warm Springs and FDR's house there known to everyone as "The Little White House".
I am a huge history buff and one of my things is to actually go and stand where things happened. There are a few places that have always been on my list to go and visit. Philadelphia, The White House, Gettysburg Battlefield, the Statue Of Liberty and I have been able to visit all those places. I visited Warm Springs as a child and went to the Little White house then but as always it is different when you visit as an adult. There are places that I have yet to visit but want to ..Those include Scotland, the beaches of Nomandy and the beaches of Anzio, Italy.
The Little White House is different than many other museums because this one lets you actually get in the house and see things up close. You can stand literally inches from the Presidents bed, you can touch the items in the kitchen and see the inscription on the wall made by the Presidents cook ...she wrote the following "I cooked the first meal and the last meal eaten by Pres.FDR in this house .April 12,45."
It was in Warm Springs that FDR got his political legs back. He learned to connect with the people on such a different level. One historian said that we should thank God that FDR contracted polio and lost the use of his legs ...because of this he came to Georgia, swam in the pools and met people who had nothing . He realized that he was just like them on so many levels.
The historian says that because of this FDR learned how to deal with things when he became president. He could lift people up. People would listen to him on the radio and go away thinking that things are bad but they are getting better. FDR saved America.
Some folks have video games or sports ...I have history ....I am a geek about it...and I dig Franklin D. Roosevelt.....he was flawed on many levels but what person is not. He used the things in his life to help others ...to lift them up ....our leaders today should do the same thing.
If you have never gone to Warm Springs....You should ...it is an easy drive up the interstate.
Go soon .
98,100,99.....these are not the scores of someones tests they are the actual temperatures we have been having lately . The people who keep records said it is the hottest summer ever recorded in US history . It was 107 degrees in South Dakota last week one day .....
There are two things that amaze me about all this mess....
1. That folks actually enjoy it !!?!!??! I mean come on folks.....I am not suprised that its this hot ...it is summer for goodness sakes but I am always suprised to hear folks say how much they enjoy the warm weather!!!!!!! WARM WEATHER its warm in Alaska right now ....IT IS HOT HERE. My sister in law loves to lay by the pool on the weekends and get sun. I think she is nuts .
2. That folks are suprised its this hot. I talked to a friend the other day in Atlanta and he said "my God its hot man....I cannot believe its this hot" Why not ? Scientist have been telling us for years that the Earth is warming up. Some folks say its part of the natural cycle. But there are nearly 7 billion people on this planet. The vast majority of them use cars . Industry spews waste into the sky daily. I understand that the Earth goes through cycles but you cannot tell me that we are not contributing something to the problem.
I am counting the days till fall and then winter. Until then its mind over matter!!!
I close with a few quotes and sayings
Dont hate yourself in the morning ...sleep until noon.
Show me a sane man and I will cure him.---Carl Jung
If at first you dont succeed, skydiving might not be for you!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
I think I am becoming a different person. I am sure that it's about time, but I have actually staved off the bitterness and the paranoia for a long time. I tend to be more trusting. In the last couple of months, though, since things have been a bit tough, I have gotten a bit of a hard edge. I think that is finally seeping into other aspects of me. I actually find myself struggling between the old me and the new me at times... Old me meaning Jason in his early to mid 20's and new me meaning Jason now.
I don't necessarily like this - but I think it necessary. When you go through something rough, I think there is always that uneasiness on the other side.....Who exactly am I now? How has what I have been through made me stronger.. or weaker.. or just different. Can I ever be that same person I was before? Do I even want to be that same person?
I have always said that the experiences someone has can either affect them or control them. I have also said that I chose to let them affect me, but not control me. Times like now cause me to doubt that a bit. I am being controlled.
Again Insomnia finds me. I wish he would lose my address or something. He comes into my house almost every night and sits at the foot of my bed and cries like a baby .....But not sleeping turn out to be good for reading ....and man I am reading lots ....more on that later.
One more night of VBS!!!!!!!!!!!
I love my job so much ...let me say that first but VBS is something that I almost cannot handle!! It is so fantastic to see the church filled each night with not only kids but with their parents, grandparents and all the youth members who are helping out .....The sounds of kids playing outside with recreation , dancing and singing with Music or working on crafts they are some of the best sounds you will ever hear.......but I really dont think Children Ministry is my strong point .....I know its not. I can deal with youth on a much different level than I can with kids... Kids cry,throw food,fight with each other, laugh at things I dont understand....and while the folks in the youth group do all those same things ....I can just deal with the youth better. Anyway its done tomorrow.
Superman,Pirates and Mutants......
I have seen three movies this summer.....Thats it ....and all three were pretty dang good.....Superman Returns was my favorite by far...But Pirates is a very close second ....If you like Superman or enjoyed the first Pirates then you should by all means go see both of these movies.
A Prarie Home Companion starts at the Capri on July 21.
I am currently reading Dirty South by Ace Atkins.....Ace played football as a Defensive end in the early 1990s at Auburn University and was on the 1993 Undefeated Team. He is a great writer. I read an article about him in Entertainment Weekly magazine and bought one of his books last fall and just got this latest one. He mainly writes southern crime stories but not in the same vein as John Grisham....These books have a harder edge to them....they make you feel the dirt and the grime....but that is what a good book is supposed to do ....PULL YOU IN .
Before turning to writing full time, Ace Atkins worked as a crime reporter for The Tampa Tribune for several years. He earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination and Livingston Award nomination for his seven-part series about an unsolved murder of a Tampa socialite in 1956, “Tampa Confidential". Those stories became the basis of his latest book, White Shadow. He has been reviewed by the New York Times, Tampa Tribune, LA Times, Entertainment Weekly, and the Chicago Tribune. If You are looking for a really good summer read check him out .
Plus he's an AUBURN MAN .......WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!
I am finally going to Georgia on Friday ....it is my payment for getting through VBS. Hope to have some pictures to post by Saturday.
I have said enough.....and if I have not said it enough before....I HAVE THE BEST FRIENDS IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!
FIESTA is the name of our VBS this year........Everyone one else in the Southeast is also doing this same VBS....The reason I mention this is that I have been involved with VBS all week long ....well for a couple of weeks actually but it all come to a head this week and the kids have had a blast .....It has worn me out.....I have had great help this week ...from adults to my youth ....the help has been fantastic ...
This is the main reason for lack of posting this week or since the other night ....I am going to try and get back on track before Nick writes another post condeming all those who dont write on a regular basis .....OH THATS RIGHT Nick never writes anymore either HA
Talk to everyone soon
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
It is almost 2am here in Alabama on July 5th, 2006. This time last year I was laying on a bunk bed in Rockville ,Maryland. I was just a few days into a 1o day mission trip to the Washington, D.C. and we had gotten back late at night on the 4th. Spending the 4th of July in DC was one of those things I had on my list of "Things to do" and last year I had the chance to do it. I will never forget the fireworks on The Mall. We also had a wonderful chance to actually march in the National Independence Dad Parade. Not only did we march we got to carry this HUGE GIGANTIC American flag.....and by huge I mean it was 70ftx40ft. Tonight I watched the fireworks on The Mall but this time I was sitting in my living room. What a difference a year makes.......
I cant sleep. For a few weeks after Daddy died I had trouble sleeping ....then things seemed to settle down ....now my pattern of not sleeping had returned with a vengence ....I lay in the bed at night and flip through the channels on television ....I might doze a little but I never really go to sleep until late late in the night ...usually around 3 or so .......I sit and think and think and think even more about things ....regrets..... things I wish to God I had done ...My faith is battered but it holds ....
I am also dreaming more ...well actually I am remembering my dreams more it seems ....some of the dreams are good ...some can only be described as nightmares.....I would pay real money for a weeks worth of good sleep....I know my friends are tired of hearing me talk about this stuff....so I try not to speak to much about it .....to them I am sorry !!!
Am I depressed? I dont know to be honest.....I keep telling myself that I need a real break of some kind....Ever since March I have been working without any kind of break....Dont get me wrong ...I do not have a hard job....My Brother has a hard job,Susanne has a hard job.....I love my job ...at this point in my life I really believe that it is where God has led me ...but I need a break of some kind.....I thought after Daddy died that I should get right back to things ...I had been off a week with his illness and then his death....so I thought the best plan of action was to jump right back into things....Its July now and I am tired ....I keep saying that I will take some time off but then I think that I need to get past the next big thing with my job ....Dinner Theater,Easter egg hunt, multiple youth sponsored Wednesday night suppers, Wonderful Wednesdays in June, mission trip.....VBS is next week and after that I have Youth Week to get ready for .....Maybe I am crazy but I dont want to take off a week just to come back into something else big to be planned or worked out ...I want to get most of everything behind me then I am leaving ...I WILL BE BACK ...but I am leaving for a bit ....I say this all the time but this time its going to happen ....I will be going to North Carolina in the early fall....October is the month...Asheville most likely ...but I am going and not just for a weekend but for several days....
Yall might be saying "Heck that is over three months away" but I get excited about North Carolina very easily and am already looking forward to being there ....
I need this .
I close with CS LEWIS
"Many things -such as loving, going to sleep or behaving unaffectedly, are done badly when we try our hardest to do them"
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Every year we celebrate the 4th with fireworks, partys at the lake and beach,good cookouts,parades, attending ballgames ....On July 2 1776 John Adams wrote the following "an epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated , as the day of deliverance, by solom acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward, forevermore."
How great is it that he was right .....although he was talking about July 2nd.
I think about my grandfather who was in England,North Africa, Italy for three July 4ths. He fought, killed, was almost killed and then came home and helped build America in the 20th Century. He is what our founders talked about when they talked of defending freedom ...not just here but all over. Freedom is Universal.
Founding Fathers,July 4th and others...
- July 4th has been celebrated as our national birthday since 1777 but Congress finally made it an "official" holiday in 1941.
- Fireworks have their start all the way back to 11th Century China.
- George Washington,John Adams,Ben Franklin and countless others who framed our nation knew Betsy Ross. Sorry to say but there is no historical "paper trail" that actually links her to sewing the first flag of the USA.
- The Star Spangled Banner was of course written as a poem by Francis Scott Key but the tune it was set to was an old British drinking song called "The Anacreon in Heaven"
- John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4th, 1826.
- Independence Hall was the statehouse of Pennsylvania.
- George Washington began his public service at age 17 and was an elder statesman visited by hundreds right up until his death in 1799.
- US population in 1776-2.5 Million.........US population in 2006-Almost 300 Million.
- By an act of Congress all American Flags MUST be manufactured in the USA. Mexico imports thousands each year.
- John Hancock signed the Declaration Of Independence so large so that King George III could read it without his eyeglasses.
- George Washington picked the spot for the new "Federal City". No suprise that it was mere miles from his beloved Mt. Vernon
- George Washington is the only US president not to live in the White House.
- For years if July 4th fell on a Sunday ....the Holiday was actually celebrated Monday July 5th!
Just a few facts ....
"Give me your tired ,your poor,Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, the tempest-tossed to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door." Emma Lazarus-Poet These words are etched on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. These words were written when we welcomed new people to this country. We forget that we are a country mixed backgrounds. We are all "tempest-tossed" in some way. How many people stand outside our borders wishing for a new start. People wanting to live the dream that began 230 years ago.
Happy Birthday America.......heres to 230 more.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Why cant things be left alone ......why cant people "tend to their own little red wagon" as my math teacher from high school used to say....why do people insist on saying things about people with no way of knowing if what they are saying is true? Or just make things up on the fly?........People often mistake plain and simple gossip for the truth.....We are all guilty of it ....if you are being honest with yourself you will say " YUP he is right on this one ....I love me some gossip" We do it at work ....we do it while eating ....we do it at church for goodness sake.....I DO IT ....so dont get on any type of high horse about me preaching ...I am preaching to the choir here folks.....My problem is when people make up complete and utter lies to tell about people. I mean if you tell me that "Jason cooks chicken that tastes like crap" and its true thats not so bad really ....that is just the truth......BUT if you outright lie about someone that is wrong and a terrible thing to do ......It not only hurts them it could hurt their jobs ....it could hurt their families ....it could even hurt you in some way.....its called KARMA .......I try to do right ....I really do .....I try to be even handed and good natured with everyone but sometimes you have to decide between right and wrong.....I have friends who right now are suffering in some way because of whats been said about them . COLD THINGS.....things that should never be said and I feel terrible about having to even explore the option of not being friends with someone as a result of these things .....but thats what I feel like I have to do ....It is not right ....I wish I had the words to to bring some type of comfort to those being talked about but know this----I support yall.....I respect yall......and I will stand by yall. Plain and Simple. Karma .....it works The Mission Trip was a blast but it almost seems like old news now and I really dont have any drive to post about it ...... SUPERMAN RETURNS TODAY.......I am just about to bust a gasket about this one folks but I am nowhere near as excited and my geek friend Nick.....Tomorrow night at 9:30pm we will be there to see it ..... George W. Bush does not even follow the laws that he signs into law......!????! I wish I could say that I am deeply shocked by this little bit of info....I wish I could say that it makes me want to protest in the streets....But to be honest I am no longer shocked my this sham of an administration .....They get us involved in a war in a country that had nothing but hate for us but no means to do anything to us.....Dont use the argument of WMD.....it dont hold water and you know it ......They snub their noses at the economy with the hope that it will turn around.....they trample on the civil liberties of american citizens and also crap on the idea of the Constitution.....I could go on but I am sure there is some type of limit on the length of blogs.....and now today it comes out that he signs something at the same time he signs a law in being that basically protects him in the future from the same the law he expects not just terrorists but american citizens to follow.....this President is scary folks ....SCARY....Ben Franklin said it best " Those who are willing to give up a little freedom for a little security ...deserve neither" Two years and counting ....... I had something I was going to post about the flag burning discussion going on in our overpaid Congress this week but I think I have said enought for tonight .....See ya round
Friday, June 23, 2006
Saturday, June 17, 2006
I leave in about 8 hours for a week of mission work in western North Carolina. There are 14 of us going. It should be a great week of renewal and reward as we help redo the childrens area of a womens and childrens shelter. Hopefully I will have some pictures to post when we get back.
Keep us in your prayers.
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME...
I have to say there is maybe nothing better than sitting in a chair watching your nephew and his friends play baseball. It is amazing to sit and watch some of the parents get so wound up about a game and then to look at their kids and see the absolute look of joy and fun that they are having. These kids want to win but after its all said and done ....they just want to have fun!!!! And I honest to goodness to think they have a blast. When down by 11 runs they come off the field with such excitement. Its contagious. They won last night and lost tonight so they are still in the hunt for the top prize . I dont think it really matters though because these kids came together back in March as strangers and are leaving mid-summer as friends. That's what its all about folks. The Journey!!
I wish um luck in the other games .
HAPPY FATHERS DAY
Today is Fathers Day. To all those Dads out there I hope its a great day for yall. I especially want to send a big hello to my Brother. Today will be tough on us. It was weird this week having thoughts about the upcoming Fathers Day and then realizing that I wont buy a card this year or find Daddy some shirt he would never have worn anyway..... HA . The first year is indeed the hardest. The past few weeks have hit hard for me and I dont know why . I looked at pictures on my camera that I have saved and they go back to last December and there are pics of Daddy on the camera . I have them printed off and saved at home but I still cannot bring myself to delete the photos from the camera. In my mind I think its like I am saying goodbye again. Its hard ...no doubt about.
I love you and miss you Daddy.
Talk to yall next weekend !!!
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Tonight it happened to me .....it has or will happen to just about everyone in their lifetime.....you maybe be 65 when it happens ....you may be 85 when it happens ....or you could be 32 years old like I am .....and tonight it happened to me ....What is this IT I am talking about ?? Tonight I realized for the first time that I am getting old.....I dont mean that I am some crusty old man with hair growing on my ears .....I mean I can now officially say that I dont understand alot of what folks alot younger than me are saying or doing .
I went and watched the Dalraida Ducks play softball tonight and they actually beat First United Methodist Church. After the game I was invited to go have dinner with Andrew and all his friends. I have not seen Andrew in a while so I tagged along .WOW!!!! Besides a very few select things , I have nothing in common with folks their age . They range in age from 18-25. They all have jobs. They all go to church ( I think). They drive cars or trucks , pay taxes YADA YADA YADA.....but that is where it all stops.
We sat there in WINGS for 2 friggin hours and I felt like a stranger in a strange land. They talked about things they have done together and that in itself is fine. But OHHHHH the things they have done !!! I just dont get it . Even when I was their age I did not do these things .
Let me add to all this they burped, talked loud, took countless pictures of each other ,yelled at the folks playing ball on tv and also kinda yelled at the folks sitting next to us . I have never been so ready for a night to come to an end. Maybe all this goes along with how my life has changed this year.
I need good conversation. Good adult beverages. Good friends that can make me think and laugh. I need a conversation that goes beyond the age old question " What is the difference between a nanny goat and a billy goat?" Please dont get me wrong ...These are good decent people ...it is just that I have grown and they have not . Not yet at least. Thats life . I sound like such a snob right now ...I know I do . But this is where I am in my life.
Sunday morning we head out for a week in North Carolina doing mission work at a local womens and childrens shelter. I am excited to be going to North Carolina. The work should be great. I hope its hard and that we are asked to push ourselves . Get out of our comfort zone. Make a small difference perhaps.
My friend Nick is also going the same week to NC but another part of the state . They will also be doing mission work.
Please keep us in your prayers all week . God Bless
Thursday, June 08, 2006
This coming Sunday a good friend of mine is leaving Montgomery for her new job in Mobile. I have to admit when I first heard that we were getting a female minister I was a little worried. Yes I am a democrat and yes I believe in all things proggressive BUT I am human and I was worried how our church would handle a woman as its senior minister. I wish I could say that everyone jumped in line right behind her and pledged their support but that did not happen. In fact some never fully gave their support at all. This blog is not about that though. This blog is about how much I have learned from Misty and about how much I will miss her around the office.
First of all Misty has kept me pretty grounded these last two years. She had the great disadvantage of having to deal with a guy like myself who had never had a full time youth ministry job before. He ability to let me do my job and not bother me was a great help. Of course she offered advice about things and at times she really really wanted me to do certain things the the youth or children but she never pushed me. She truly realizes that people are called to do certain jobs and she allows then to do them. I say THANK YOU for that.
Second Misty kept things very lose and easy going at the office. Many church offices are kinda stuffy. They can be rigid and quiet, but I am happy to say that ours has been a blast for the last two years. I will never forget the CANDY WARS between the offices, the long talks in Her office and the Thursday lunches with JH. Many of the conversations during those Thursday lunches will be taken to my grave!!!!
Misty was a rock of strength these past few months for me. She gave words of comfort to a grief stricken family. She held my family as we waited for days for some type of absolution. When the time came and Daddy passed away she was as close to us as Nick, Susanne and Drew. They were our family. As much as any person related to us by blood. They cried with us ...and they held us ....if something as shocking as losing your husband,father,brother,grandfather could be made better is was having someone like Misty near us. She was and is our friend.
I will miss her joy in our office. I will miss the sweet sounds of a little boy wanting the ball and bat in my office. For more than the first time in the past few months my heart is breaking.I am tired of saying goodbye to people.
We have to remember what the Wizard of Oz told the Tin Man " A heart will never be made practical until it can me made unbreakable."
Misty will do great in Mobile .....she will care and comfort for many down there.....she will grow and she will feed many. I will greatly miss her.
God Bless Misty....God Bless Your Ministry I love you and will miss you .
I close with a quote...
"Be courteous to all, be intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give then your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth and must undergo and withstand the shocks the adversity before it is entitled the appellation."
President George Washington 1795