Friday, December 5, 2014

Quote of the day

I posted this two years and three days ago. It bears repeating.

"In Advent, we are made aware that the hours of darkness are lengthening. The days grow shorter. Night seems to consume the world. Perhaps we feel the darkness in our own hearts, our own lives, our own prayer: we look for some sign of God and see nothing. Perhaps we are oppressed by the darkness of the world around us: we notice the poor living without shelter on our streets, we hear the cry of the hungry, we are alerted to wars and rumors of war. We yearn to see the day when Christ will come in all his glory to put an end to darkness of every kind. It has been said that in Advent we live in the night with our faces turned toward the unseen dawn. Hosea reminds us of the central conviction of the Advent spirit: 'as certain as the dawn is his coming.' Let us pray in hope for the rising of the Sun."
- from the Magnificat

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Quote of the day

"He was convinced most of the planes would go down and there would be enough wandering Americans in Romania 'to call a general election, vote the Germans out, and make peace with the allies'"

from Ploesti: The Great Ground-Air Battle of 1 August 1943 by James Dugan and Carroll Stewart

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Dear God, where do we get such men?

Dear God, where so we get such men?
What loving God has provided,
that each generation, afresh,
there should arise new giants in the land.
Were we to go but a single generation
without such men, we should surely
be both damned and doomed.
-Anonymous military officer
as quoted by
Lt. Dave Grossman, On Combat

The Sheepdog's Prayer

This prayer is dedicated to all the Sheepdogs who make our world a safer place to live.  To all of the law enforcement  / rescue / military personnel and armed citizens: THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.

By Roger E. Temple - Revised 02/2011

The Knights of Olde were Men of Honor
Who used their Might For Right!
Today they’re known as Sheepdogs,
Those who carry on the fight.

I am a tired old Sheepdog,
The guardian of my flock.
I keep the predators at bay
And stand watch around the clock.

Please stop the Sheep from pulling my teeth.
I’ll need them for the fight,
When the hungry Wolves come calling
Some dark and deadly night.

I pray I'll never need my gun,
But someday if I do,
May my cause be just!
My draw be quick!
And my aim be ever true!

Heaven holds a special place
For those who do the deed,
Defenders of the innocent
In their hour of need.

May the Sheep someday be grateful.
There’s a debt they can not pay
To the Sheepdogs who lay it on the line
Each and every day.

I am proud to be a Sheepdog.
I've done my very best.
I'll stand my watch until my Maker
Calls me home to rest.

But when I meet St. Peter
There's just one request I’ll make,
“Please let me spend Eternity
Standing guard at Heaven's Gate”.

Lord, help us bring this ''Age of Sheep''
To a rapid end.
Then fill this land with Sheepdogs,
Men of Honor, once again.

This prayer is dedicated
To those who bravely face,      
The dangers all around us,
To make our world a safer place.

To the soldiers, cops and warriors-
Sheepdogs through and through.
Thank you for your service
And your sacrifices too.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Do not go gentle into that good night

▶ Dylan Thomas - Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night - Dailymotion video

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Because it's that kind of day.....

Going through old posts, and old memories...and this is a good one. I still wonder often how, and where she is....

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

Reposted from February 26, 2010:

For lack of an original thought on my part, or a new quote, I dug into the "good" box and came up with this gem, originally posted by me on Sept. 6, 2009:
"Because you are a man,' she said. "Like other men, insecure. When a woman throws herself at you, you are incapable of just accepting your good fortune. You don't think you are worthy of what you are being given, so the woman has to have some ulterior motive."
-from Black Ops by W.E.B. Griffin hb pg 222

Apparently my lack of original thoughts is an ongoing problem. That is all. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Two Mission Tuesday

First: Pasquale Cordasco, 78, USA, West Covina/Glendora

The family of US military veteran Pasquale Cordasco has invited the Patriot Guard Riders to be present to honor this American Hero.  It will be our privilege to do so.
Pasquale or "Pat" was born in 1936; he served his country in the US Army from 1958 to 1960.  He entered Basic Training with Company C, 1st Armored Rifle Battalion, 50th Infantry at Fort Hood, TX where he also attended Advance Training at 3rd Corps Academy.  Oversees duty found him assigned to Combat Command C, 4th Armored Division, Crailsheim, Germany.   He was honorably discharged on September 1, 1960, at the rank of Specialist 5th Class.

Second: SGT Lee Henderson Manning,21,USA,MIA/POW,Korea, Los Angeles-

We have been invited by the family and the U.S. Army to be present for the arrival and services to honor SGT Lee Henderson Manning, U.S. Army, who was MIA in the Korean War and has been MIA all these years until he was recently identified.  We are very honored that the PGR will be in attendance.
SGT Lee Henderson Manning was declared MIA in the Korean War in May, 1951, he was 21 years old at the time.  He is one of hundreds of Heroes who have since been located and sent to Hawaii for identification through advanced technology in DNA testing.  By a miracle, this Hero will now come home to rest.
Sergeant Manning was a medic with the Medical Company, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He was taken Prisoner of War while tending his wounded comrades in North Korea on December 1, 1950 and died while a prisoner on May 31, 1951. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.\r\nSergeant Manning was awarded the Combat Medical Badge, the Prisoner of War Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

On Autumn, la troisième partie least favorite time of the year. I've written about it before. You can go here to read those posts if you're so inclined. This season, which I so dislike, apparently makes me want to write more than just about anything else.

Wikipedia says this:
Autumn in poetry has often been associated with melancholy. The possibilities of summer are gone, and the chill of winter is on the horizon. Skies turn grey, and many people turn inward, both physically and mentally. (link)
Apparently then, I am not the only one.

The same article led me to the poem "Chanson d'automne"
("Autumn Song")
Les sanglots longs       The long sobs
Des violons                    Of the violins
De l’automne                 Of Autumn
Blessent mon cœur      Wound my heart
D’une langueur             With a monotonous
Monotone.                      Languor.
Tout suffocant              All choked
Et blême, quand           And pale, when
Sonne l'heure,              The hour chimes,
Je me souviens             I remember
Des jours anciens        Days of old
Et je pleure                    And I cry
Et je m'en vais               And I'm going
Au vent mauvais          On an ill wind
Qui m'emporte             That carries me
Deçà, delà,                    Here and there,
Pareil à la                      As if a
Feuille morte.               Dead leaf.
The poem has some interesting history behind it that you can read at the link above. It also inspired the French in the title.

This year, I believe I started to feel the melancholy even earlier. I'm not sure what day it was, but one day it just hit me that the shadows were longer and it set in. It didn't get colder, or more overcast....just that the shadows were longer as the sun crossed lower in the Southern sky. That's how we tell the onset of Autumn here at the 33rd parallel north. The leaves don't change, and it doesn't necessarily get colder, or wetter, or darker (at least right away)...but the shadows get longer. At least that's what always hits me first.

I've written previously about how the season makes me feel, so I won't write it again. This year the feelings started, then subsided a bit as I was busy with preparations for my 35 year high school reunion. That kept my mind occupied for a time. Then, all too soon, the preparations and the event were over. And it came back in full force and effect, if not multiplied. Not only was I dealing with the dreaded season that makes me feel older, but I had the reunion to help it along. Don't get me was wonderful seeing everyone...catching up, chatting, rekindling old friendships...but now it was over and I was older. I honestly could barely get out of bed the next day...and I did nothing that day except sit in front of the television and watch mindless drivel. Ok, well, the truth is I was a bit hungover, but that was only a small part of it.

The next day, Monday, needing to get the hell out of the house, I got back on my (steel) horse and rode. I went with my brothers at the Patriot Guard Riders to pay respects to two veterans. Photos here and here. I warned the Ride Captain, a good friend named Joker, that I was about a half bubble off center and to keep on eye on me. He joked that if I was only half a bubble off, then I was better than he was and that I should watch out for him. The day made me feel both better, and worse. Nothing like attending two interments when you're already a bit down. But it was a good thing. It needed to be done, and I was better for having done it.

But when I got home, it set in again. Then a call from a high school friend that I had reconnected with at the reunion raised my spirits immensely, and I've been getting gradually better ever since. Tuesday I went in to work a day, which was perfect, then I rode for another veteran on Thursday and was honored to be asked to be a pall bearer and carry this hero on his final journey (photos)

Last night it started raining, for the first time in forever, and while I do like the rain, and the sound of it on the windows, the promise of life, I feared it making matters worse again. See, in my other posts, I've mentioned how I'm still single, and don't really want to be...well, that intensifies sometimes when it's raining at night. I don't need to explain further. Feel free to use your imagination. But it did not make matters worse. I enjoyed going to sleep to the sound. This morning, I woke up earlier than I wanted to, but shortly after that I was greeted with this:

 I didn't even notice the secondary rainbow
(about half way between the main rainbow and the upper right corner) until I opened the image to process it. 
...a reminder that there is always sunshine after the storm, that the long night does turn to day, and that God has made us promises that are ours to claim. The next thing, unexpected, is that my daughter and I got to spend some time with a special someone...

Again, reminding me that life goes on, good shit happens, and there is much to live for. I still wish there was someone here to throw on a jacket, sit on the back of my bike, wrap her arms around me, and go for a ride...but as a very dear friend told me: "If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough".  Thanks for reading. I welcome your comments.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Quote of the day

"Keep thy nose down, and thy airspeed up, lest the earth rise up and smite thee."

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Single Greatest Road Rage Incident of All Time

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Night's Watch

"Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come." ―The Night's Watch oath

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Quote of the day

“We’re surrounded. That simplifies the problem.”
- Attributed to Major General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, USMC

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Ultimate Thunderstruck Collection

Edited 8/19/2015 - I was wrong. This was not the Ultimate Thunderstruck Collection. Now it is:

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Quote of the day

A friend reminded me of this today: If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Quote of the day

"a clusterfuck on the march at double time."

from Seal Team Six 2 by Chuck Dixon

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Quote of the day

"No one who rolls up on a man with his dick out has good intentions."
from Seal Team Six 2 by Chuck Dixon

Video of the day

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Quote of the day

It was "a massive pooch-screw of mythic scale."
From Seal Team Six 2 by Chuck Dixon

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Quote of the day

Photo: Lonely Planet
In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.
On a cycle the frame is gone. You're completely in contact with it all. You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.

― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014

More from the "If you're not concerned, you're not paying attention" files:

"Islamic law is to be effectively enshrined in the British legal system for the first time under guidelines for solicitors on drawing up “Sharia compliant” wills.
Under ground-breaking guidance, produced by The Law Society, High Street solicitors will be able to write Islamic wills that deny women an equal share of inheritances and exclude unbelievers altogether."

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Quote of the Day

An old man and his son worked a small farm, with only one horse to pull the plow. One day, the horse ran away.

“How terrible,” sympathized the neighbors.“What bad luck.”

“Who knows whether it is bad luck or good luck,” the farmer replied.

A week later, the horse returned form the mountains, leading five wild mares into the barn.

“What wonderful luck!” said the neighbors.

“Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?” answered the old man.

The next day, the son, trying to tam one of the horses, fell and broke his leg.

“How terrible. What bad luck!”

“Bad luck? Good luck?”

The army came to all the farms to take the young men for war. The farmer’s son was of no use to them, so he was spared.

“Good? Bad?”

- Ancient Eastern Wisdom - Author Unknown - first seen by me in The Way of the Peaceful Warrior

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Old Guys Rule

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Quote of the Day

"The further a society drifts from the truth,
the more it will hate those who speak it."
- George Orwell

Monday, February 17, 2014

Quote of the Day

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Quote of the day

"I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane
Nobody knows if it's something to bless or to blame
So far I ain't found a rhyme or a reason to change
I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane"

Waylon Jennings - I've Always Been Crazy

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Quote of the day

"The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments."
- William E. Borah, former U.S. Senator from Idaho

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Quote of the day


Fairytales don't tell children that dragons exist; children already know that dragons exist.
Fairytales tell children that dragons can be killed.
- G.K. Chesterton

Monday, January 13, 2014

Quote of the day

"You cannot run away from a weakness; you must sometimes fight it out or perish. And if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?"
- Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Quote of the day

"The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life."
- Muhammad Ali

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Musing on my health insurance

Yeah, I don't think that's the right Kaiser. Thanks Google.
This started off as a Facebook post and quickly grew too wordy for that...

You know, I've had Kaiser Permanente health insurance for something more than 20 years. I've always had people recoil in horror when they hear that. It seems that so many people *hate* Kaiser, although I run across some folks, like myself, that love it. Seems to run at either extreme. Although I've noticed this pattern: the people that love it, have it; and the people that hate it, don't. Maybe that's because the people that hate it used to have it and quit, or some other thing, but I tend to think it's, for the most part, something different.

Kaiser started out many moons ago in the city of Oakland, CA. When I was growing up in the 60's in Garden Grove, I knew two things about Kaiser. One was that my aunt and uncle that lived in Oakland used Kaiser (to this day I have no idea why I retain, or ever had, that knowledge) and two, there was a little Kaiser office over by "the hills" (not the ones on TV) where we used to ride our bikes. "We" never went in that office and didn't know anyone who did.

What I think I'm getting at is that I think Kaiser suffers from an image problem where some folks think that it's sub-par care because it's the insurance "of the poor folk" or some such thing. I"m not putting this as eloquently as I'd like.

Anyway, I've always been satisfied at the least, as usually happy, with the service I've received from Kaiser. Ok, there was once this lady doctor in Garden Grove that treated Sarah and she was kind of a bitch...but maybe it was her time of the month or her dog died or something...but that was nearly 20 years ago.

I digress. I'm pleased as punch with Kaiser. I have a friend who insists that Kaiser is terrible and that he'd never go to a doctor that he couldn't pick out himself. OK, well, I've been going to the same GP for years. He always remembers a little bit about me, if not everything. But hell, I don't expect him to remember everything. He deals with thousands of people between the times he sees me. And if he says I need to go to a specialist for something, I let him send me. Hell, I wouldn't know how to pick put a good specialist if you held a gun to my head.

Kaiser has never balked at doing something that I thought needed to be done. When Sarah was little, her primary doctor thought she might have some hearing issues. She sent us to a specialist. They worked with Sarah for a few hours, and did all kinds of tests that I *know* were expensive. They determined that there was nothing serious. Future issues? None. Total cost to me? Nothing. 0.

I could go on and on with stories, but why? Those that like Kaiser, like it. Those that don't will never believe me....or care.

What made this all come up today? Yesterday I had my yearly checkup. I  paid my $10 and then proceeded to wait less than 5 minutes to be called. The nurse checked my weight, BP (111/65 if you're playing along at home), and temp and asked a few questions. Then she told me I was due for a Tetanus booster, and did I want it today? Also that I am due for Bone Density screening, and gave me the info to call and make that appointment. Then I waited less than five minutes for Doctor House (yes, my doc is Dr. House) to come in. He asked me many questions about habits, live, stress, etc, and proceeded to give me a head to toe check. He even noticed and expressed concern about a bruise under my toenail that I hadn't given a second thought to. He gave me my prescription for Omeprazole (to treat my recurring heartburn) and some pain meds for my intermittent recurring back pain. Told me I needed blood test again, and had I eaten this morning? I said no. He said great, you can do it right now. You're in good shape. See you next year.

So I go check in at the pharmacy, which was the longest wait of the day. I probably spent 8-10 minutes in line waiting. Then off to check in for my lab work. Checked in a waited less than 5 minutes to be called in. Nice guy, needle in, needle out, and I'm done.

Back to the pharmacy, and another ten minute wait. Get called, pay another $10 for my two prescriptions, and I'm outta there.

Just a normal office visit. Office visit, pharmacy, lab tests, and I'm in and out in about an hour. Clean bill of health and $20 spent.

Now, the part that sent me over the edge. My lab results starting coming in at 2:00! Less than three hours after I left the building. The last of the results came in around 1:00 am this morning. All my lab test results, in my mailbox, in about, what, 14 hours? You can't beat that kind of service with a stick.

Part of the reason I don't want to leave the state is I don't want to give up Kaiser and have to start "managing" my own health care.

I am not getting reimbursed in any way for this