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 .