Sunday, September 30, 2007

In Living Color............

We are one week into the fall television season and here is my pick for the best new show out there .....
THE WAR on PBS. Yeah ......go figure huh???? Ken Burns is a genius when it comes to telling stories like these. If you have ever watched any of his other works you really should be watching this show. If you are a history buff.....if you have a grandad or grandmother who served in the should be watching this show.
I have managed to watch most of it over the past week and all I can say is WOW.
I remember watching THE CIVIL WAR over 10 years ago and it was great but this show has been different. First of all .....there is the old film that was shot before ,during and after the war. Vivid scenes of battles and the wonderful voiceovers of those who were really there. Thats one of the biggest differences ....we get to hear the stories in the voices of the men and women who were there. The other big difference is the incredible use of color film. I had no idea that it was used as much as it was to film battles and beach landings in Europe and The Pacific. It was stunning to see these faces in living color. STUNNING.
Listen to these guys talk about leaving there buddies on the field of battle.....I would be remiss if I did not tell you that I am choked up thinking about it right now.
I spent a big portion of my childhood traveling each summer with my grandparents to veterans reunions. I would sit in the rooms with these guys and just soak it all in....I believe that is what paved the way for me to be such a huge history buff.
I can hear my grandad right now in my head talking about his time over there.

The other shows on television right now are good ...dont get me wrong BUT do yourself a favor find this show on PBS or online and watch what you can ....Listen to these proud veterans talk about the work they did as if it was as simple as taking out the garbage or planting a garden. They are so modest about how they helped free the world from evil.
We are losing these folks at a rate of 1000 a day. It seems like so little but this is a wonderful tribute to their contribution to the world.
Go Watch.
Then find a local WWII veterens association and talk to these folks.......
Shake their hands and tell them THANKS!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World!!!!!!!!!!!

If you have been watching the news over the past few days you would know that many of the worlds leaders are meeting in New York City at the United Nations. They do this every year....they get together and talk about whats wrong in the world or perhaps maybe whats right. Here is the unique thing about the United Nations......if your country is a member then you get to send a representative to speak to the General Assembly. What does that mean?..... It means that nations the United States doesn't like can have an open forum before the world and the worlds media. The President of Iran is in New York this week. He speaks to the General Assembly tomorrow morning .
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was also invited to speak to a student forum at Columbia University. He spoke Monday and the protests have been pretty intense.
This is a man who has been called a terrorist. He hates the State of Israel and has called for its destruction. Has openly talked about a world where the USA is gone from the map. He says homosexuality does not exist in Iran. He supports the stoning of women. He has denied that the Holocaust happened while Hitler was in power.
This man is a lunatic. Plain and Simple I would say ......Folks are pretty pissed about his speaking at Columbia. For me its a double edged sword......Let him speak and folks will realize how incredibly crazy he is .....The audience back home in Iran has already bought what he is selling. What group is he speaking to besides that one back home ?
The other side is this .....Ignore him. Dont turn one camera in his direction....... Dont invite him anywhere......IGNORE HIM!

I believe in free speech and the right to assembly. I support Columbia Universitys right to invite ANYONE to speak.......But what does it accomplish in the end?
A madman is given a forum on our dime!!! Columbia University receives almost 22 million from the State of New York. I can only guess that they also receive money from the federal government......Thats money that comes from taxpayers... US...WE....YOU...ME....YOUR BROTHER....YOUR MOTHERS .....FATHERS......EVERYONE
I love the United States of America. I am maybe one of the most liberal men you will ever have the great pleasure of meeting. I believe in a government that should be bigger so that it can help its citizens. I hate this War we are fighting in Iraq but realize we are there for the long haul. I think Iran supports the insurgents in Iraq. But being liberal does not mean I wear blinders....and this guy is nuts and should maybe be held a little more accountable.

I hope President Ahmadinejad has a wonderful time in New York City....maybe he will get him one of those cool I LOVE NYC tshirts......maybe he will have a hot dog from a vendor outside the UN building.......maybe he will picnic in Central Park.....maybe he will tour all the great museums and take in a play or musical on Broadway......perhaps take a handsome cab ride through Little Italy or Chinatown .....maybe stroll Greenwich Village and see men walking around with their boyfriends and see the intense display of DIVERSITY that is the USA.....
Maybe he will decide that the rest of the world aint such a bad place and America is not the seat of evil and Satan......but I doubt it.....So until he rejects hate based on his religious beliefs and stops he diarreha of the mouth ....I think the world should just tell him to shut the hell up !!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

It's just a break ........

I watched Auburn get beat today. I watched Auburn play bad. I am upset.
Whats wrong with Auburn?
I dont know and I am guessing that many folks dont know either. This next week is gonna be full of folks calling for heads to roll on the plains........I dont think we need a new head coach ....I dont think we need a new offensive line coach.....the special teams coach is fine .....the defense is doing what it can considering .........Tommy Tuberville has done wonders for this program and I think he is the man for the job. Things just need tweaking a bit and there maybe . We might not win alot this year ......and guess what ?? Thats ok with me .
My drive to watch Auburn has dimished the last two years....ever since Daddy died .....but hear me now ....I AM NOT LEAVING THE TIGERS......I say WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!!!!!

They have had a few times in the last three weeks where they showed a little spark......Kodi Burns is gonna be good ! Short of that ...I dont know whats gonna happen the rest of the season.
I want to say we are gonna win the rest of the games this season but its gonna be a LONNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGG season.

So maybe we should just take a little break ....enjoy the fresh fall weather that is just around the corner.....let your windows up and enjoy the cool nights .......Start getting excited about the upcoming holiday season that is just around the corner........sit on your porch or patio and have your favorite adult beverage with someone special in your life......take a drive out into the country with your car windows all the way down and your favorite music LOUDLY playing on the radio.....go on a weekend trip to the beach or the mountains.....Auburn football will be here when we get back !!!!
WAR EAGLE !!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Blog Post # 2 September 10,2007

Not sure when this first hit the email rounds but its worth reading again .....
Ben Stein's Last Column...
For many years Ben Stein has written a biweekly column for the online website called "Monday Night At Morton's." (Morton's is a famous chain of Steakhouses known to be frequented by movie stars and famous people from around the globe.) Now, Ben is terminating the column to move on to other things in his life. Reading his final column is worth a few minutes of your time.
Ben Stein's Last Column... (read all of this or you will have missed the best).

How Can Someone Who Lives in Insane Luxury Be a Star in Today's World?
As I begin to write this, I "slug" it, as we writers say, which means I put a heading on top of the document to identify it. This heading is "eonlineFINAL," and it gives me a shiver to write it. I have been doing this column for so long that I cannot even recall when I started. I loved writing this column so much for so long I came to believe it would never end.
It worked well for a long time, but gradually, my changing as a person and the world's change have overtaken it. On a small scale, Morton's, while better than ever, no longer attracts as many stars as it used to. It still brings in the rich people in droves and definitely some stars. I saw Samuel L. Jackson there a few days ago, and we had a nice visit, and right before that, I saw and had a splendid talk with Warren Beatty in an elevator, in which we agreed that Splendor in the Grass was a super movie. But Morton's is not the star galaxy it once was, though it probably will be again.
Beyond that, a bigger change has happened. I no longer think Hollywood stars are terribly important. They are uniformly pleasant, friendly people, and they treat me better than I deserve to be treated. But a man or woman who makes a huge wage for memorizing lines and reciting them in front of a camera is no longer my idea of a shining star we should all look up to.
How can a man or woman who makes an eight-figure wage and lives in insane luxury really be a star in today's world, if by a "star" we mean someone bright and powerful and attractive as a role model? Real stars are not riding around in the backs of limousines or in Porsches or getting trained in yoga or Pilates and eating only raw fruit while they have Vietnamese girls do their nails.
They can be interesting, nice people, but they are not heroes to me any longer. A real star is the soldier of the 4th Infantry Division who poked his head into a hole on a farm near Tikrit, Iraq. He could have been met by a bomb or a hail of AK-47 bullets. Instead, he faced an abject Saddam Hussein and the gratitude of all of the decent people of the world.
A real star is the U.S. soldier who was sent to disarm a bomb next to a road north of Baghdad. He approached it, and the bomb went off and killed him.
A real star, the kind who haunts my memory night and day, is the U.S. soldier in Baghdad who saw a little girl playing with a piece of unexploded ordnance on a street near where he was guarding a station. He pushed her aside and threw himself on it just as it exploded. He left a family desolate in California and a little girl alive in Baghdad.
The stars who deserve media attention are not the ones who have lavish weddings on TV but the ones who patrol the streets of Mosul even after two of their buddies were murdered and their bodies battered and stripped for the sin of trying to protect Iraqis from terrorists.
We put couples with incomes of $100 million a year on the covers of our magazines. The noncoms and officers who barely scrape by on military pay but stand on guard in Afghanistan and Iraq and on ships and in submarines and near the Arctic Circle are anonymous as they live and die.
I am no longer comfortable being a part of the system that has such poor values, and I do not want to perpetuate those values by pretending that who is eating at Morton's is a big subject.
There are plenty of other stars in the American firmament...the policemen and women who go off on patrol in South Central and have no idea if they will return alive; the orderlies and paramedics who bring in people who have been in terrible accidents and prepare them for surgery; the teachers and nurses who throw their whole spirits into caring for autistic children; the kind men and women who work in hospices and in cancer wards.
Think of each and every fireman who was running up the stairs at the World Trade Center as the towers began to collapse. Now you have my idea of a real hero.
We are not responsible for the operation of the universe, and what happens to us is not terribly important. God is real, not a fiction; and when we turn over our lives to Him, He takes far better care of us than we could ever do for ourselves. In a word, we make ourselves sane when we fire ourselves as the directors of the movie of our lives and turn the power over to Him.
I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters. This is my highest and best use as a human. I can put it another way. Years ago, I realized I could never be as great an actor as Olivier or as good a comic as Steve Martin...or Martin Mull or Fred Willard--or as good an economist as Samuelson or Friedman or as good a writer as Fitzgerald. Or even remotely close to any of them.
But I could be a devoted father to my son, husband to my wife and, above all, a good son to the parents who had done so much for me. This came to be my main task in life. I did it moderately well with my son, pretty well with my wife and well indeed with my parents (with my sister's help). I cared for and paid attention to them in their declining years. I stayed with my father as he got sick, went into extremis and then into a coma and then entered immortality with my sister and me reading him the Psalms.
This was the only point at which my life touched the lives of the soldiers in Iraq or the firefighters in New York. I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others He has placed in my path. This is my highest and best use as a human.
Faith is not believing that God can. It is knowing that God will.
By Ben Stein


Literally ......
My neck started hurting about a week ago and got worse as the week went on .....and when I say hurt I mean PAIN!!!!! Horse standing on your groin pain. Hot poker in the eye pain. A small tear in a ligament in my neck was the in the crap that happened I dont know but I finally got some meds and am trying to get through this part but WOW ....I have not hurt like this in a while ......

Lets talk about the Auburn game for just a second .....I was upset to say the least. I did not attend Auburn University but its my school and my team and I want them to win every time they take the field. Having said that .....Its ok that they lost! The sun did come up Sunday morning it was just a little less orange than the day before. Am I moving away from LOVING Auburn ....Nah. I will always love Auburn but our relationship has moved to another level over the last two seasons. My Dad so enjoyed watching Auburn Football games and with him gone it really is different for me ......I still get excited and yell at the TV. Not as loud as John McF. though ....WOW can he yell LOUD at a TV HAHA ! I can tell you this ... My Dad would have loved watching a game with John McF.......Hate they never met
Things are different now thats all I am saying......I have friends who are deciding whether or not to move to another country.....I have friends at church who have children that are going back to Iraq in two weeks for their THIRD tour of duty ....I have friends who have recently been diagnosed with cancer .....I have self doubts about my job.....and my neck hurts. Auburn football just moved to another spot in my List of whats important. My family job....If i had a dog he would be listed here also ....little Artanis!!
Dont get me wrong ...I will watch them next Saturday ....I will still wear my orange game day gear....but from now on its a whole new ballgame ! Some of you will say "Fair weather fan you have become" and by some of you I mean Yoda.......but thats not the case ....This has been coming for a long time .....18 months or more. Anyway ....WAR EAGLE !

I am posting twice tonight because what I want to post is too long for one post and does not fit well with this one ....Peace

Monday, September 03, 2007

Come Fly With Me...............

Alright Alright ....
I have heard from too many people this weekend about my posting this blog....I even heard from people that I did not even know were reading this blog !!!! Perhaps I have built this one up a little too much BUT having said all that ......Here Goes....
I went flying on Labor Day ......I dont mean I boarded a commercial airline and flew across the country.....I dont mean I smoked pot and was flying man .....I mean I got into a Cessna 172 and flew from Wetumpka Alabama to Auburn Alabama. This plane is small. It only seats 4 people and those four are gonna be a tad bit cramped....I mean I am a big guy and I was cramped in the front seat. I meant to get pics of the plane...Oops !
My buddy Jason flew down from Bham and picked me up . We then flew over to Tuskegee and did a "touch and go". That means we landed at Moton Field,Home to the Tuskegee Black Airman, and as soon as the wheels touched down, Jason hit the gas and we were back in the air . IT WAS AMAZING!!!!! It was nice to see my hometown from the air . From there we flew over to Auburn and flew a couple of circles around the campus and Jordan Hare Stadium. Not to sound like too much of an Auburn Nerd but.....WOW!!!! It was so cool to see that stadium from the air like that .....we were about 2300 feet up when the above picture was made. From Auburn it was back to Wetumpka .
I had an absolute blast flying on Monday ....I really am having a hard time putting into words how much fun it was. I was not the least bit nervous about flying in a smaller plane and to be honest it was better for me than a large jet. I had complete confidence in Jason as a pilot. Let me thank him again here for taking me up....THANKS !! I look forward to doing it again ...
SO thats what I did Monday .....maybe not a big deal to any of you folks out there reading but it was a big thing for me .....Not to sound too cheesy or anything but it was almost spritual....To be up above everything and have a chance to just reflect ....NICE!

Auburn vs Kansas State
One word -BLEH!!

Michigan vs Appalachian State
Heck yeah !!!! I have always had a small little love affair with App State. My Grandad was born and raised in Boone NC ( home of Appalachian State U)
Makes me proud that App State beat Michigan.......GO MOUNTAINEERS!!!!!!!!!!!

If you have not had the chance to watch Friday Night Lights.....Go rent the 1st season DVD before the second season starts in a few weeks.....You will not be sorry!

Thats it for tonight .....I could not get the picture to post for some reason ....GRRRRRRRR