Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What would you do ?

Now we get to the audience participation part of the blog..

1.  Think about the following question and give me your answer and why in the comments.
2.  Forward a link to this blog to people you know.  I'd like to get as much input from as many different people as possible on this.

Okay here's the deal.  This is the choice I face.  I just wonder what you guys, people who's opinion I respect, would do in my situation.  What exactly is my situation you ask ?

I have Multiple Myeloma, which recently claimed Gerraldine Ferraro, there is no cure, only life prolonging treatment.

I just finished a year of chemo, Velcade and Cytoxan, and at this point the doctors tell me they've "knocked it down".  I'm not "in remission" as there is now such thing with multiple myeloma.  So I will NOT need a bone marrow/stem cell transplant now.  I will eventually.  The disease will come back and I'll have to go on full blown chemo, until that doesn't work.  Then it's a Autologous HSCT.

The choice that I (and in this poll, you) face is this.

No Chemo: Your Quality of Life will improve as chemo won't be kicking your ass every other month, you'll still be tired and weak from the disease.  You'll get monthly blood tests and the disease will (generally) return quicker than if you had gone on maintenance chemo, and you will most likely have to go on full blown chemo sooner. 

Maintenance Chemo:  That's four weeks on, four weeks off.  Quality of Life won't be a nice as No Chemo as every other month it will be back to the suck.  The upside is that you'll generally keep the disease "down" longer.  Meaning it will be "later" before you have to go on full blown chemo again.

That's it.  Either way you'll end up on full blown chemo, until that doesn't work, then it's a stem cell transplant.

It's the choice I have to make.   undecided   I have to make my decision 11 April.  I'll let you know what I've decided then.  In the meantime,  I'd like to hear what you would do and why.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Earth Hour

Since I don't have the funds to buy a Ford V-20 GaiaHumper , I'll have to settle for celebrating  Eurf Hour in one of the ways suggested by the fine folks of APS.

I'm also open to other ideas that you can put in the comments !!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why What Happened in Japan is an Endorsement of Nuclear Power

The death toll from the Earthquake and Tsumani in Japan is currently estimated to be approximately 10,000 with at least another 10,000 missing.  There are nearly 500,000 homeless, some living out of doors, unsheltered.  Getting food, medicines, clothes and other needed supplies is a major hurdle and causing more people to die every day.

Yet what has all the media attention been  focused on?  The nuclear plant, that has only claimed 31 lives with 134 receiving significant doses of radiation, and a few hundred people maybe 1,000 at most will die from radiation causes.

Compare those numbers:
20,000+ dead and missing  vs 31 dead with maybe 1,000 more later
500,000 homeless, suffering and dying.

And where's the focus again ?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Enemy Of My Enemy.....

is my friend.

I haven't posted simply because 1) I've been tire shopping (more on *that* later) and 2) I can't believe what is/has transpired in and around Libya.

And because it's personal between Quadafi and me.  The fucker almost killed me. (1)

So yeah, given the chance, I'd make the bastard take a dirt nap, if it was the last thing I ever did.

But the way we're going about doing it, it's the "Uphill Backwards Amateur Hour !!".  Remember when Reagan bombed Libya after the Berlin Disco bombing.  He was on TV that night saying "YOU'RE G-DDAMNED RIGHT I ORDERED THE CODE RED!!!!" and had the evidence to back it up. Go watch that video.  That my friends is distilled, 100% pure, I'd-follow-him-through-the-gates-of-hell-in-gasoline-soaked-underoos, leadership.

The way "we're" doing this makes it looks like the Europeans and the UN are dragging us into this.  It feels like that if this goes pear shaped Obama can say "Hey, don't look at me, this is Hillary's War."  If it goes well it boosts his "Hawkish" street cred. Well we might have dithered long enough to give Gadhafi a chance to regain control and do a Saddam after Gulf War I on those that have opposed him.

Meanwhile the lack of American leadership is truly telling. Everyone has their finger on their nose and making someone-not-me-farted faces.  The Germans want out of any NATO involvement, the Italians want NATO in charge or their airbases (which happen to be closest) are off-limits.  The Brits want Quadafi assassinated, which we quickly disavowed (Thank you, Senator Church), and the French want to run the operation by committee, which worked out so well for them in 1871, 1914, and 1940, 1954, and 1958, among others, off the top of my head.

We're not even a week into this and it's a fustercluck.  Why ?  Because of a complete and total lack of American Leadership.  And just who is the American Leader.  Remember that it's the guy who *you* wanted to answer that 3am phone call.  Well it's still ruttin' ringing, and no one is picking up !!!

Has he been on TV like previous (*cough* Kennedy, *cough* Johnson, *cough*, Nixon, *cough* Ford, *cough*, Reagan, *cough*, Bush I, *cough* Cinton, *cough* Bush II) to explain to the American people why were lobbing cruise missles (at $1.1 a copy) at Mad Muomar ?  Has he even talked to Congress (or the heads of various committees) why we are sending American pilots into harm's way ?  Hello McFly ??

You can go elsewhere for his hypocritical prior statements and quotes.  I don't have TV and AT&T has been dicking around with my DSL (They *reeeeeaaaaaalllllllyyyyyyyy* want me to switch to Comcast), so I'm not as in tune with what our Fearless Leader is doing other the Macarena during Carnival in Rio.  Again, is this so he can say "Hey, I was out of the country when Gates and the Joint Chiefs wandered off the reservation !!"  ?? 

Dude, you are IT.  You can't vote present when American blood can and will be spilled.

Have you no sense of dignity, sir ?

Have you no honor, sir ?

History and the American people will judge.  And neither are kind.

As I posted a while back, if you're going to do it, the do it right, we should have done this when the rebels were gaining ground and Khadfafi was back on his heels.  And yeah, try to kill him, as a Colonel he's a legitimate military target (Thanks again, Senator Church).  But no, we had to dick around to wait and let the gorram UN finally tell us that he's a no-good-nick and needs to go. But only after killing a small forest and further screwing up traffic in New York City for a couple of weeks.

So Get on TV and show us your War Face !!  You've got a War Face, right ?

For those still unsure and some hints for our Fearless Leader here's Dave's Top Ten Reasons To Put JDAM in Khadffadi's Piehole.
1)  Pan Am 103.  I sooooooo wanted to see several flights of F/A-18's carpetbomb the airport when Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi was getting off the plane in Tripoli, with some Naplam as a nice lovely parting gift as they did a supersonic Fly-by.
2)  He's been in power since 1969 and there have not been any elections since then.
3)  I know people are worried about "Who takes his place ?"  Yes, that person could be worse, he could also be a helluva lot better. You spends your money and you takes your chances.
4)  When the French helped us in our Revolution, they didn't do it because they admired our ideals and principles, in fact if Louis the XVI knew what was going to transpire a few years later in his country, the Frogs would have been marching with the Redcoats.  The French helped us because the absolutely hated the Brits and were for anything that twisted the Imperial tail.
5)  A chance for elections.  Hey, freedom is messy.  Hopefully those that take power remember our assistance and respond accordingly.  Hell, they were begging for Obama to save their bacon when Gadfadi started to regroup.  This administration always seems to miss the opportunity to miss the opportunity.  
6)  Qadhaffi radiates the crazy.  So if he's gone, then a source of Middle East (and African) terrorism/pot-stirring goes bye-bye.
7)  Yes, Oil.  Maybe, just maybe we can go back to 35 cents a gallon (I can dream, can't I), but the markets hate uncertainity.  Uncertainty means higher oil prices, certainty means they come down and might even go lower.
8) We just barely missed him in '86, doesn't mean we can't try again in '11.  We can say that we have a long memory (Senator Church can go rut himself).
9) There's a real chance for a better world.  After what's happened in Iraq, Tunisia, and Egypt (and brewing elsewhere in the ME), it's worth a shot, and if they remember that it was Uncle Sugar that lent a helping hand, it *just* might be enough for the people to ignore the screaming beards that are always calling for jihad against the US.
10)  Remember Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird" and the rabid dog ?  As they say in Texas "He needed killin'. ".

(1) In October of 1988 I had put in for leave over Christmas to go back to the States.  CPT White approved my leave so I checked into flying Space Available on a Military Airlift Command flight out of either Ramstein or Rhein-Main and was laughed at by the airmen that answered they phones at those bases.  I then went to the Scheduled Airline Ticket Office (SATO) and booked us on a flight to the US.  Then about a week or two before we were to leave, Laura McKnight talked to Mary Ann and convinced her to go to the Kristkindlemarkts in Birkenfeld, Idar-Oberstein and Trier and spend Christmas weekend in Germany.  So Mary Ann decided we should stay and I should save my leave. I volunteered to pull Duty Officer on Christmas Day, since Mary Ann and Laura would have been out shopping and sight-seeing that weekend, it would give whoever was on the duty roster that day with their family.  So now down in my basement in the banker's box labeled "Dave's Army Documents" are our death warrants.  The paperwork includes my canceled leave form, our flight reservations and the flight reservation cancellation form along with the credit card slips are in that box.  We were booked on Pan Am Flight 103 out of Frankfurt on 21 Dec 1988.  So yeah, it's personal. 

I also had the chance to meet George "Geordy" Williams once.  I ran into Kevin Burk during an field exercise and he introduced us.  Kevin and I had gone to MP Officer Basic together and Kevin and Geordy had gone to college together.  Kevin had the duty of serving as the Military Escort Officer for Geordy's body back to the states for his burial.  

Justice is long overdue.

Monday, March 21, 2011

An Open Letter from Colleen Lawson*

Dear Legislator: 

Could you please help me decide which of my kids lives to save? Here's the problem:

Last night yet another of my kids found himself on the goodbye end of a robber's gun as the robber slowly counted down "5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2..."
I know you politicians told us "if it saves one life, then keeping guns away from law-abiding citizens is the right thing to do!" but I'm having a little trouble figuring out which life is the one to be saved. I've had most of these kids for 20 years or more, and I'm rather fond of them all.
My kid last night? It was his third time facing armed robbers in Chicago, in Illinois. Can you tell me how many times is just right and how many times is too many?
The one last night was in a convenience store at the time. He and his friend had gone into the store to buy soda, and they hid as the robber stuck his gun in the face of the store clerk and began counting down.
Do you give classes in hiding? Wait, that can't be right, cause many kids get found anyway, and it's not always easy to stay quiet if your heart is thudding and you're afraid. Maybe you give classes in what kids should do if they find themselves around guns. No, that's not right. State Rep. Annazette Collins proposed that idea, to keep kids safe and deglamorize firearms, and she was roundly trounced for the idea.
Mr. Legislator, all my kids have been robbed at gunpoint on the streets of Chicago -- well, all the young ones, who still live in Chicago. Does that mean that it's better for my kids to live someplace else? Wait, that can't be right, because you keep telling us that Chicago is a good place to raise children.
Is it best to just stay home? That can't be right, cause the first time he was robbed at gunpoint he was on the steps of his own house.

Maybe being in a group is best. No, that can't be right, either. The last time, three of my kids had grouped together for safety as they walked home from a friend's house. But their attackers had grouped together, too. Three unarmed victims, three robbers with guns, just over three blocks from home in what was once one of the three safest areas of the city.

Mr. Legislator, I have tried to keep my family safe by living in an area where lots of policemen live. But it seems to be open season on cops, too,in Chicago. Even Thomas Wortham, a cop who was also the son of a cop, was shot in front of his parents home as his father watched.

Should I try one of the other "safe" areas? No, less than twenty-four hours ago, an acquaintance of mine was in a group of 4 and got robbed in Lincoln Park by ... a group of 4.

Maybe only going out in daylight is the answer? Or maybe in an area that's more retail than residential? Gosh, that can't be right: Two of my girls were attacked mid-afternoon as they waited for a bus right outside a major shopping mall.

Perhaps you say that everything's fine because none of my kids were shot or killed, and because last night's robber chose to be contented with the money and goods, and let the clerk and customers go. But it would have been hard to say that as I wiped the blood from the face of the one who'd had her head slammed into the concrete sidewalk as she and her friends were robbed.

And that can't be right, anyhow, cause not everybody's kids escape uninjured.

Can you tell me if there is a questionnaire that we give to a criminal to determine which ones will be "nice" and not kill their victims? Just hurt them a "little" or leave them in fear for a while? How much is "a little"? How long is an okay "while"?

Maybe I've misunderstood the whole "if it saves one life" policy; Does it mean that, so long as it's MY kids life that's saved by being unarmed on the streets of Chicago, the disarmed citizen policy in Illinois is still justified? Which kid? What do I tell the siblings? What do I tell my neighbors, as they mourn for their slain kids?

What if it's your kid that gets killed or hurt, Mr. Legislator, and I'm unable to help?

A couple of these kids aren't mine by birth: they just hang out at my house cause they feel safe here. Should I tell them to stop feeling safe?

To me, they're all my kids, and I tell them every day how valuable they all are. One studies daily for her GED, one's in college to be a grade school teacher, one's still in high school, one works twelve hours a day helping underprivileged children, one's less than a semester away from getting his law degree. Should I ease up on the value talk? Should I tell them that, "Hey, folks die every day, that's just the way it is?" Devalue life a little bit so they don't think there's anything unusual about being helpless victims?

No. That can't be right. Because that is exactly how you grow a criminal. You desensitize him to the value of life, take away his sense of what is right and what is wrong, and expose him to crime after crime after crime after crime until he sees no hope for the future and learns to either be a victim or to look for victims.

And that is exactly how you grow a victim. Let them know that there is no chance of anyone nearby who has the ability to help them if they find themselves at the mercy of an attacker. Gee, it sounds like the same thing you tell a would-be attacker, doesn't it? Let them know that they need have no fear of anyone being able to fight back. And they will come. And they do come. And keep on coming. There are entire blocks in Chicago where street attacks have occurred weekly -- WEEKLY, Legislator! -- for years without a single arrest being made.

Dear Legislator, please tell me what I am to say to my kids today, when they ask me why this keeps happening to them. I really want to know. I don't mean to cut into your busy day.  I just want to do what's right.

Don't you?

Maybe it would be easiest to just share with me what you tell your own kids and I will share it with mine.

I totally understand that your intentions were good when Illinois first believed that criminals would obey the same no-gun laws that the law-abiding follow ... but what do you tell your kids when they ask you why we have not ripped away that errant foundation as has every other state within America? What do you tell them when they ask how you will know which of them will be hurt or killed by an attacker, and how you have chosen that to be okay by you?

What do you tell your kids when they ask why we elected you, then gave some of you the right to conceal carry, and others of you the expense of a protection detail, and then nod our heads in submission as you tell the rest of us that it is better that we do not get the same ability to defend ourselves?

Criminals know that there are less than a thousand Chicago cops armed and able to stop them during any given shift these days.

I personally know thousands of Illinois private citizens who take their citizen responsibility seriously enough that 34 other states trust them to calmly, competently and maturely carry concealed firearms as they live their daily lives. The children in those states can stand on their own steps, shop in convenience stores and wait for busses near malls with the confidence that they and would-be criminals are constantly aware that someone may be right nearby to thwart an attack and help them stay safe. Someone who has so committed themselves to time, training and mastery of defense that they stand out easily as the calmest ones seen in an emergency situation.

But in Illinois, criminals and victims walk our streets with only the confidence that, unless you -- personally, Legislator -- stand in support of HB 148 and bring concealed carry to the lone holdout state of Illinois, no one will ever come to your children's aid if they, like my kids, find themselves at the mercy of an attack. This can't be right, can it?

Though I have taken the time to learn and master the calm and skill necessary to defend my family and yours, I cannot personally afford a security detail for my family at this time. If you won't allow me to defend my children - and yours - in the face of armed attack on the streets of Illinois, will you kindly share your protection detail with my family? My neighbor wants to hear your answer, too.

And, if you will not, then tell me, please: What shall I say to my kid today, as I help him through the sound he's heard again and again for the past 12 hours?

You remember -- the one that goes "5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ...?"

How long should he wait for the final "click"?

How long should I?

*Colleen Lawson was one of the plaintiff's in the landmark McDonald Vs Chicago Supreme Court decision.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It wasn’t St. Patrick’s Day, but it was in an Irish Pub.

It wasn’t St. Patrick’s Day, but it was in an Irish Pub.

In Sachsenhausen.  Frankfurt.  Germany.

It was late winter/ early spring whenever Wintex/Cimex ’89 was, and it was still cold out at night..

It was me, 1LT Laura McKnight, CPT White, 1SG Cobb and commander’s driver PFC (or maybe SP4) Khoury.

It had been a long and boring exercise, but  I’ll tell that story later.

Finally it was over and we had a night *free* in Frankfurt, so what to do?

We asked around and the consensus was “Go hit Sachsenhausen, lots of bars.”  

So Laura and I hop the S-Bahn outside of Gibbs Kaserne take it to Konstablerwache to catch the U-Bahn, then it’s under the Main River and we’re in Sachsenhausen.  But before we leave the U-Bahn station we check to see when the last train leaves and it says something like 24:00. So we’ve got time to drink and maybe listen to some crappy German rock bands, before heading back to the Gasthaus for the night and then the two hour drive in a Volkswagen van back to Baumholder the next day.  The good news is that we can sleep in the van as it pokes along the Autobahn. 

Anywho, I can’t remember if Khoury (sorry dude, you’ll always be Khoury, I can’t call you Pierre, just habit I guess.) went with us of if we stumbled into one another in Sachsenhausen. Either way enlisted men and officers aren’t supposed to socialize, but we figured that since he was our troop and all alone in the big city, that maybe we should keep an eye on him so he wouldn’t get in trouble.  Yeah, that’s it.  That’s our story and we’re stickin’ with it.

Anyway we end up in the Irish Pub in Sachsenhausen. And it’s packed.  I mean wall-to-wall people.  Whatever the local fire marshal had deemed was the maximum safe occupancy had long ago been exceed, and then doubled.  Forget about finding a seat or a table, they’ve all been removed so that more people can be packed in.  Not our concern, the Guinness is good, and Laura has run into some Field Artillery Captain that she had a crush on/previously dated or some such.  So they wander away to talk.  Khoury has quickly ditched us and is hitting on the Frauleins.  So it’s just me and a really bad Irish Folksong singing, acoustic guitarist.   He was stuck back in like a tiny cave in the far end of the place, and was 1) Not happy to be crammed into the cave, 2) Really pissed that no one except me was listening to him, and 3) I was singing along to the Irish folksongs I knew.  Loudly.  In fact at one point he told me he was a solo act.  Fine dude, but I’m the only person in here even paying attention to you as everyone else is chatting up/hitting on one another and it’s so loud in here that even  *I* can barely hear you.    

Eventually Laura and her beau worm their way back through the crowd and she asks what time is it. 
Oh, crap. I check my watch 00:45.  Shit, we’ve got to get out of here and now to catch the last U-Bahn otherwise it’s a long walk back to Eckenheimerlandstrasse and the Gasthaus near Gibbs Kaserne.

Double shit, this place is packed and it’ll take 15 minutes just to get to the damn door.

I tell Laura to tell Captain Field Artillery she’ll call him later, I grab Khoury by the collar and pull his ear to my face and say:  “Do what I do, and say what I say.”  Khoury, being a highly trained MP just nods and prepares to follow my instructions.

Now Laura probably weighs all of 80 pounds soaking wet, thin as a rail.  So, I grab one of Laura’s arms and pick her up, Khoury grabs the other and lifts.  Laura is now off the ground, her head above the crowd.

And I scream “PREGNANT WOMAN GIVING BIRTH !!!!    PREGNANT WOMAN GIVING BIRTH “ and Khoury starts it yelling also.

Everything got quiet as everyone turned to look at the commotion and suddenly the crowd parts, like Moses parting the Red Sea.   People were looking at Laura and trying to figure out “Really, she’s the pregnant woman?” as we race outside with Laura being carried between the two of us. 

No time to laugh, we’ve got to get to the U-bahn station.  So slightly inebriated we run to the station, only to get there and be told by the cleaning crew that the last train left an hour ago.  Yep, we had screwed up reading the times and now we are looking a loooonnnnggg walk back.  Oh well, it’s not really all *that* cold out, and we’ve got all night.   I started to feel sorry for Khoury as he would have to drive the van the next day while we slept in the back.

So we head out of the station and stop to get our bearings. 

We see a US Army MP van come down the street.  Now, I never pulled MP Duty Officer in Frankfurt, but I’m pretty sure that Sachsenhausen isn’t in any patrol area as there were no US Installations south of the Main River.

I can’t remember which of us jumped out in front of the VW van (might have been all of us), but one of the MP’s sticks his head out the window about yell at us, then stops and wrinkles up his face and says “Khoury?  Is that you?”  Yep, now it is old home week and Khoury might be able to save our bacon.  Seems that they had gone through basic and AIT together.  So this guy and his partner are willing take us back to Gibbs.  I think the deal was that we didn’t see nothin’ or tell anyone about the nothin’ we saw.     

Whenever Laura and I talk, the parting comment is always “PREGNANT WOMAN GIVING BIRTH!!!!” 

Happy St. Pat's !!!  

*Believe it or not I couldn't find a picture of one of those crappy  USAREUR Volkswagen MP Vans.  Just that Danish one.   


Here's some more insight into what is going on at Fukushima and why we're not all going to die from glowing goiters in our necks. from someone else, a retired Air Force Officer who used to fly the WC-135 Constant Phoenix aircraft, so he knows a thing or three about radioactive clouds and from whence they came.

It's a refreshing insight from what you get from CNBABCBMSN.  Simply because if you do a google search on the "experts" that the networks are bringing in to spread the panic, you'll find that none of them have a degree or any experience with nuclear reactors.  No, they are all ANTI-Nuclear activists.  So there's complete impartiality and the voice of experience in all things Fukushima.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Even the liberals are starting to get it.

Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune has never been a fan of the 2nd Amendment (FYI, we tend to refer to it as "2A"), but he's got two recent posts on his blog:

The spread of Concealed Carry in the last 25 years which is simply screen captures from this site: Right to Carry Map  It shows that we've gone
from this in 1986:
1- Unrestricted
8 - Shall Issue
26 - May Issue
15 - No-Issue

to this in 2011:
4 - Unrestricted
36 - Shall Issue
8 - May Issue
2 - No Issue*

*Wisconsin has no permit needed Open Carry. It will probably pass a Shall Issue Concealed Carry bill in the next several weeks.

And despite all the dire predictions of the Anti-2A groups (Brady, Violence Policy Center, Joyce Foundation., etc.), blood hasn't run in the streets, people aren't having shoot-outs over parking spaces/road rage, and it hasn't turned into the Wild West.

In fact it been the exact opposite, crime has gone DOWN in those states that have enacted Concealed Carry laws.  Even Washington and Chicago experienced dramatic decreases in crime AFTER the Heller and McDonald decisions.  Apparently the goblins figured out that they just might get ventilated, if they tried to burglarize homes that now may have an armed citizen.

His other posting Five Reasons Concealed Carry Supporters are Optimistic this Year nails it.   We've put a full court press on.  The Heller and McDonald decisions basically ruled that 1) The 2A is a fundamental right (meaning you need to have a damn good reason to put limits on it) and 2) They were only about the "Keep" part of  "Keep and Bear Arms".   There are cases wending their way through the courts that will ask the question "What about the 'Bear' part ?"   So the legislature can either get on board and create a permitting system, or the US Supreme Court may craft the rules for them, and you might not like them. 

At all. 

Or as I like to say, "We'll be able to walk around with Machine Guns glued to our foreheads."

It's time that Illinois join the rest of the US and pass Concealed Carry, or it may be forced down their throats.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday's at Chemo

I've posted this on Facebook, but I think it needs to go here.  A friend on www.armedpolitesociety.com asked if we could take pictures of Flat Stanley doing things in our part of the country and e-mail him the pictures.  So I took him to Chemo.

Picture a row of the 13 of the ugly hospital green "designed to be uncomfortable in whatever position they are in; as they are designed by the Marquis De Sade” chairs.   They are the chairs that visitors sleep in when they come to stay with you in your room in the hospital.  Each has one sometimes two IV pumps on each side.  There are little tables attached to each side of the chair that can fold up or down if you know their secret to get them to stay up.  The little tables are about 10" x 15".  There's a short wall on each side of the chair, so you can't turn your head and look directly at the person next to you.  One side has a red sharps box on it.  But each wall only extends to the end of the chair between each position and a there's curtain you can draw from wall to wall, but no one does.  If you recline your chair, your neighbor can see your legs.
There's TV on a swivel arm mounted on the other wall.  It can never be adjusted to the correct viewing angle.  Not many people watch TV, but if you do there’s drawer in desk at the far end of the nurses station with the headphones. Each headphone is in a baggie with your first and last name on it.  They are filed in green hanging file folders, alphabetically by last name.

Many days almost all the chairs are filled and it can be hard to find one.

The nurse’s station sits opposite and behind the nurse station is the chemical or mixing room.  There are six oncology nurses; Patti, Karen, Gwen, Laura, Josie, and Grace.  Normally there are only four or five of the six on duty on any given day.  Patti is in charge and everyone knows it.  The others are a little "relaxed" on the days she's not there.  They all are wonderful nurses and brave human beings.

There are two private rooms one at each end of the row of chairs.  They have the same pump and chair arrangement, but no one requests to go in unless there's a procedure that the rest of the world doesn't need to see or every chair is filled.  There's also a simple straight back chair between each station for those who came with or brought in their loved one to get treatment.  I bet they are more comfortable then what the patients get.

I walk in, but I do so somewhat tentatively.  The place does mostly breast cancer patients, so I'm normally the only guy.  I don't want to embarrass any of the ladies, if there’s “something” going on that I shouldn’t see, as most of them have permanent lines in their chests.

I chat with or sometimes “flirt” with the “single” ladies, meaning that they, like me are there alone.  They are mostly in their late fifties or older.  I make ‘em smile or at least try to.   For some of the regulars, if they’ve brought a family member or friend, I get introduced.  More small talk and I can see the start of the evil eye(s) from the nurses’ station as I need to find my seat and get started.   I always smile at anyone new.

I inquire who my nurse is for the day by asking "Who drew the short straw this morning?"    It always gets a smile from the nurses and a puzzled look from anyone "new".

I fold up the chair arms if need be, put down my Chemo Record/Chart book, a book I brought to read, reading glass case, cell phone and head over to one of the three carts that has all the supplies on it.

Depending on who my nurse is determines what supplies I take.   Grace has a latex allergy so I always make sure that I take the purple nitrile gloves and tourniquet.  Josie likes the large vinyl gloves even though they are really one size to big on her hands.  Patti like to use two 4" pieces of the clear hospital tape torn from one piece long ways placed on the front edge of the table where she can easily reach them after she does the stick.  (I've been known to put a spare pair on the side, just in case she blows out a vein.)  Josie, Laura and Karen like to use the backs of my hand for the IV; Gwen and Patti prefer the inner arm between the wrist and elbow.  I've got the stick kit, plastic adapter for the blood vials, the two blood vials (Purple top and purple/black mixed) for the two labs they do before I get chemo to see if I "can" get it.  Oval shaped IV sticky cover thingy, some gauze, band-aid and an alcohol wipe or two.  Band-aid and gauze are for Matt or Areliea (the techs) to use when it's all done and they pull the IV.  After everything is opened and setup in the proper order on the little shelf table that doesn't have my crap on it, I write my last name, first name on the blood vials, and put them in place.  Then it's back to the cart for the heat pack.  Squish it between my hands so the inner baggie breaks, squeeze it around so it gets good and warm, then head back and grab seat.

This simply shocks most of the new folks, as I’m the only person that gets themselves setup.  One time I had one lady yelling at the nurses "Hey, he's stealing supplies!!!"  They all looked up from the nurses’ station and said damn near in unison "No, that's just Dave. He's fine."   She was stunned.

Here's Flat Stanley Picking out a chair.  Careful Stanley, if you stay there you'll get the Chemo !!

Okay Let's head over the the cart to get the supplies we need to start an IV

I think we've got everything we need.  Josie is our Nurse today, and she likes to wear 2 vinyl gloves.

Let's get everything setup and organized !!

We'll put our book and reading glasses on the other tray (along with the gauze and band-aid for later)

The process it self is pretty boring.  After a while, my nurse will ask if my arm/hand is ready and I'll let 'em know whether I need to cook a few more minutes or "Yep, the turkey is done."  I keep threatening to have one of those red pop-out-turkey-is-done buttons installed.

They go back to mixing room grab a saline pouch, find one of those round seats; the  backless, rolling doctor stools and wheel themselves over to me.  They tap around for a vein in the preferred area and we debate the pros and cons of each one we see/feel.  Finally a swipe or three with an alcohol wipe, another tap or two, and then the "A Poke" announcement generally about two seconds after the stick. If blood fills the clear tubing then no rooting around is needed.  I hate the rooting around, generally it means either the vein will blow and I end up with a large bruise or it will leak because they've punctured the other side and it looks like I've got blood poisoning for the next week or so.  Rooting around generally means a re-stick, in a new vein, sometimes in the opposite hand or arm, so start over with new hot pack, and new IV starter kit.

Here's Josie, our nurse today !!

Our first stick, I think Flat Stanley got a little wobblely there.

Oh No !!  The vein blew out !! Flat Stanley had trouble watching the needle go in.

Stick #2  He's up and doing better this time.

Hmmm, not getting any blood in the line, so we're rooting around to try to find the vein.

Sorry Josie, but two sticks and your out.  Patti (the head nurse) comes to try a third stick. (Patti is camera shy.)

Success !!!  We fill the first blood vial.

And now the second vial.

Hooking up the saline solution

Once they get good blood flow into the tubing, pull out the needle by pulling the cap at the end of the tubing.  Cap with needle safely contained goes into the Sharps box on the wall. Twist off the little plastic cap at the end of the tubing (which they hand me to drop in the sharps box hanging on the wall.  Then Twist on the round plastic vial filling adapter.  (BTW, they are called VAC-U-TAINER's and are made by B-D.  The Styrofoam trays that they are shipped in make great metallic cartridge reloading trays, so if you get in tight with the Pete the Lab guy, he’ll save them for you).

Fill each tube to about half to three quarters full.  Tourniquet comes off and twist off the Blood vial adapter and attach the line to start the saline drip.  Chemo drugs will later get attached to the saline line as the saline is used to rinse the line and make sure that all the Chemo drugs go in, YEA!!!  We drop the rest of the non-bio hazard trash in trash can next to each chair.  If I forgot to grab a juice box or three, some cookies, crackers or a warm blanket, now is the best time to ask.  After the blood vials go into the lab/mixing room, the goodies get delivered with a smile.

I don't start my own IV's anymore, as Patti threatened to just watch me bleed out if I screwed it up.  I'm not sure she wasn't entirely serious.  Karen said it was because that REALLY scared the crap out of all the other patients.  As in there was NO WAY they were going to do it.  So I acquiesced.  I'm a firm believer in not pissing off the nice ladies with the needles.

 Yep, Saline. We use this to give us a constant line.

Josie is busy at her computer, Laura is asking her to double check the chemo drugs for another patient.

Here's the IV pump set-up and running.

And here I am with Flat Stanley, all hooked up and waiting for the blood test results.

I pass the blood tests, so here's the anti-nausea drug.

Here's the Aranesp, my Hemoglobin was a little low this time.  (9.6)

The Cytoxan arrives.

We double check to make sure it's our name on the bag.

And up it goes !!

Ooops, we fell asleep and missed the changeover to Velcade !!

She takes the Chemo Chart/Lab book back to her station and does whatever computer/paperwork that nurses do.  I start to read what I brought. I don’t make it very far, as I've generally fallen asleep when the chemo drugs are delivered.  Sometimes the nurses arrive in what looks like full-on Tyvex Hazmat suits, complete with face shield and other times, they just have on plain lab coats and hang the bag and hook it up to the saline line and through the pump, no muss, no fuss.  I'm not sure how many bags of crap they hook up and take down, because I mostly sleep through it.  I sometimes only wake up when the pump alarm goes off, meaning that bag is empty and they can hang the next one.  This goes one until I've emptied all the bags for the day, and takes anywhere from 4 to 6 hours depending.  Then one of the techs will pull the IV.  I hold pressure on the gauze, and get a bandaid.  The last baggie gets dumped with the rest in through the hole in the lid of the yellow CHEMO ONLY plastic tote by the nurses' station.  I quickly say goodbye to everyone and head out.  I go straight home most times.  Sometimes, I get a Buck Double at the Burger King that's on the way.  For the next day the only way to sleep is sitting up.  Apparently the combo platter of chemo drugs I get gives you hiccups if you lay down anytime in the first ~12-20 hours afterwards.  I mean 2-4 hours of hiccups, the kind where just when you think they're gone, you get one.  I sleep sitting up in a chair to avoid them.

We get a new saline bag, to dilute the Velcade and flush the line.

Everything is empty so it's time to pull the IV.

Some direct pressure for a minute or so, then gauze and bandaid.

 Where I'd rather be.

I got to know Al and Mary pretty well. They were in their late sixties or early seventies.  Al was a big guy, as in built like what you’d expect a former NFL middle linebacker would look like at that age.  She normally had a chair across from the Nurses’ Station.  Al had been a member of the Aurora Sportsmen’s Club for many years, up until Mary got sick.  Then she became his life.  Most times, Mary was too weak to speak, but I could always get some smiles out her. Mostly though, she slept.  Al and I traded ASC and hunting stories, when I wasn’t sleeping.   We liked to watch the nurses work “harder” on their computer so they wouldn’t have to listen to us.  One time Al and Mary weren’t there, so I asked Karen, who was my nurse that day, were Mary was.  “They have another doctor appointment so they were coming in later in the afternoon.” was the answer.

Then I made the mistake once of asking, “Where’s Bernice been?  I haven’t seen her is a couple of weeks.”  I was very sharply told by Patti that they are not allowed to discuss other patients.  All the other nurses just looked down or away.    My eyeballs kinda clicked together as I now knew that she wasn’t coming back.

 I haven’t seen Al or Mary in four months.   I haven’t asked, but I heard through folks at ASC that knew Al, who told me that Mary had passed.  I sent a condolence card to the address I found.  I hope he got it.

Edith normally has first chair.  Best way to describe is that she’s a mountain of a woman.  As she could easily kick my ass and give Chuck Norris a good fight, but that would have been before.  I haven’t seen her in four weeks now.

I hate making new friends at Chemo. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

A excellent explanation of what has and is happening at Fukushima

The original post written by Dr Josef Oehmen “Why I am not worried about Japan’s nuclear reactors.” is at the link below.  A really good explanation of the situation.


And another good explanation


The Watermelons* are jumping with glee

Over the problems the Japanese are having with the nuke plants that took Momma Nature's one-two punch last week.

And just when the US was starting to lean toward building more nuke plants.

They planned for a earthquake, but failed to plan for a Tsunami taking out the power to the pumps.  They didn't have backup generators in hardened shelters.  The goram** plant survived the twin killing of earth and water, but they didn't plan for hardened, reliable backup power source for the pumps.   Doing that one simple thing and everyone would be focused on rescue and recovery ops and not on the nuke plants.

So now the Watermelons will point to the "dangers" of Nuclear power, while they protest coal fired plants and refuse to let us drill for oil.  They pimp "alternative" sources like Wind and Solar.

A nuke plant on average needs .72 acres to generate 1MegaWatt.  A wind farm needs 60 acres for that same MW (assumes that the wind is steady and constant all 24 hours).  Go back and look again that's POINT 72 acres per MW for a nuke plant.  So to replace Braidwood #1 and #2 south of Chicago (producing 2,360MW) you would need a wind farm of 141,600 acres.  Braidwood actually sits on 4,457 acres, most of which is old striped mine ponds and lakes, and most of that is open to sportsmen and women for hunting and fishing.  I know, the kids and I have hunted pheasant down there and there's lots of fishing and waterfowl hunt clubs in the area.  That 141,600 acres would mean turning a little more then 2/3rds of fully sub-urbanized DuPage County into nothing but wind farm.  And ask people who live near wind turbines about the noise.  Now ask power company engineers about what to do when the wind isn't blowing, but people expect the lights to be on and electrical appliances to work.

Wind and Solar are nice supplements to Nuclear.  See atoms keep emitting neutrons whether the wind is blowing or the sun is shining.  Going back to pre-Industrial Revolution conditions or having brown or black-outs is not what I want for me, my kids or anyone else.  Only through energy have we made dramatic strides in not only lengthening lives but also the quality of those lives.

I hope the Japanese can keep their nuclear plants under control, not only for their sake, but also ours.

*Green on the outside, Red on the inside.

**Firefly reference, the cool kids know what it means.

This is taking longer then the real thing

I've been slogging through Peter H. Wilson's The Thirty Years War, like a dismounted knight in full armor through a German peasant's muddy farm field.

I'm on page 261 and no one, I mean not one person, has been defenestrated and it's only 490 more pages until the Peace of Westphalia.

The good news is that if anyone has a test on the genealogy of the Habsburgs in the Holy Roman and Spanish Empires along with all the heads of the lesser German kingdoms, principalities, bishoprics, and duchies prior to the Thirty Years War, I've got the crib notes.

Watch it all the way to the end

Battlefield 315 explains the Teachers Union and the recent unpleasantness in Madison, Wisconsin.  It's just like me talking to some of my liberal friends.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin' hard enough.

It wasn't cheating.  It was within letter of the rules, but maybe not the spirit.

Okay, definitely not the spirit.

The last two years Robert hasn't won anything Pinewood Derby.  Every year I let him come up with the design and do most of the work.  And every year he's been beaten by kids whose dads or grandfathers are engineers who just happen to have a workshop that would make Norm Abram cry.  He hasn't won one of the various design awards, or even the giant candy bar they give out for dead last place.  So on our way home from PWD last year, he looked at me and said "Dad, I'm tired of losing, I want to win next year."  I agree, losing is well, for losers.  The boy wants to win, then by g-d, were going to come up with a way to win.

So off we go to American Science and Surplus on Roosevelt Road in Geneva.  After CabelaBassGanderProMountain this our favorite store.  Their website doesn't do them justice. They have aisles and aisles of shelves filled with what most people would call junk.  However to someone with a little electromechanical imagination or just a creative bent, there's hundreds of projects just waiting to be built.  I can walk in there with $20 and walk out with enough stuff for projects to keep Robert and I busy over a rainy weekend.  We've built crystal radios, foxhole radios, camp stoves, simple motors, a telegraph system and a jet powered pinewood derby car.

The rules state that the car cannot weigh more the 5 oz and cannot have motorized wheels or axles.   So we were dealing with a weigh constraint and hey, if we use a fan that's NOT motorizing the wheels or axles.

Finding a ducted fan that had a positive thrust to weight ratio when powered by a 9v battery took some time, but if you dig through enough bins at AS&S they do have the right one.   Robert did the sawing, cutting, sanding, painting, and assembly.  I handled the wiring.

Then there was the testing.  hehehehehehehe  We both giggled like schoolgirls when we put the car on the floor, released the kill switch and watched as it took off like a rocket.  hehehehehehehe

So today at the Pinewood Derby, there were some protests from other cub scouts and their parents "Hey, that's cheating !!"; "You can't do that!!" and "That's not fair !!".   Oh yeah, show me the rules.

It was cool to watch it come down the ramp, and when they hit the level part of the track all the other cars would start to slow down, but Robert's sped up. hehehehehe

So here's the car:

And here's the result:

That's a first place trophy and ribbon, with the Derbydome to put the car in, along with one very happy Cub Scout.

I got a feeling they'll amend and revise the rules next year.  But that's okay, Robert will be a Boy Scout then.

Friday, March 11, 2011

...A time to mourn

My thoughts and prayers go out to all those in Japan after the earthquakes and tsunami's.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fiddleing while Tripoli burns

Hillary Clinton does damage control for the inept one. But this is the part that cheesed me off:

"Absent international authorization, the United States acting alone would be stepping into a situation whose consequences are unforeseeable," Clinton told a congressional hearing, stressing that NATO and the United Nations should take the lead in planning the next steps.
Last I checked WE were the leaders of the free world.  If we lead, they will follow.  Here you have a case of a people rising up against a madman and a tyrant.  We put a smackdown on him once, and he still damn near killed me.  We are the only nation on earth that has the assets capable of creating and then enforcing a no-fly zone.  Yes, people are worried that it opens the door to be drawn deeper into the civil war that's currently engulfing Libya.  But you craft the ROE so that NO Aircraft fly.  The reason it failed in the First Gulf War was that we allowed Saddam to use helicopters. And Libya ain't the wooded hills and valleys of Bosnia and Kosovo.  Use near shore ship based  Aegis supplemented with land and carrier based AWACS over the population centers and that will allow the "rebels" to gain ground.  Once Gadhafi is gone and/or dead, mission over.

So yeah, go back up and look at that list of carriers.  Look at what type aircraft ours carry versus the other countries carriers.  Here's a hint; VSTOL ground attack aircraft like Harriers don't do so well in a fight against Supersonic fighters.  The British almost got their crumpets folded in Falklands by the Argentines because the Harriers couldn't protect the fleet from the Super Etendards and the bomb laden A-4's.

Try that against a US Carrier Battle Group and you'll be writing letters to pilots wives and mothers.

Gettin' my Inner Wookiee On. *

Heading down to Springfield today for IGOLD.   Exercising that 1st Amendment "Right to Petition for Redress of Grievances" and boy do I have some this year.  First on that list is being able to exercise my 2nd Amendment Rights.

HB0148 - The Family and Personal Protection Act.  Some call it CCW, others call it LTC.  Whatever it's called it gives someone like me the right to defend myself and those around me.   Even though I may "look good", as everyone says, Chemo has kicked the snot out of me.   I couldn't run more then 100ft and I've got maybe one punch left in me, and if that's the case 1) it better score for points; because, 2) the goblin is way too close.   

Okay, Governor you got your massive tax hike and the public unions here are safe, for now.  So it's time for a little giveback.   This is it.  Oh, and remember that we put Recall of the Governor IN the Constitution just a short time ago.  We can exercise that one too.  Tell Cullerton and Madigan they better get in line or they might get run over by the people.  

Oh and I'll squawk to my elected representatives (and some that I don't elect, but know) about the massive tax hikes, cause they won't stand for long, that's for sure.

And there are of course a few other burrs under the saddle. But the 2A and LTC are Belles of the Ball today.  

Today We March For Them.

* For those of you confused by the term:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's like Musical Chairs, only with money.

Largest holder of US debt dumps it all.  Not so bad, right ?  I mean someone else had to buy it, right ?

Yes, until they get skittish and try to sell it.  Then that buyer wants a discount.

Still not so bad.

Well, Lather, Rinse, Repeat; until you get to the last guy and he won't buy it, nor will anyone buy any of your new debt that you need to issue in the next two weeks.

What happened in Wisconsin may just be the beginning of the beginning.  Can you say Greece ?  

Goose meet Gander. Sauce anyone ?

Remember "Deem and Pass" for Obamacare ?   Well the Stupid Party pulled it's head out of it's fourth point of contact and did an end-around on the "Wisinois 14" and have strangled the vipers in their nest.

Yup, they stripped out the spending items and made it a pure bill about collective bargaining. Therefore a 20 Senator quorum is not needed, only a simple majority of 16+1.   The revised bill passed both houses, before the Wisinois Dems could make through the first toll booth on I-90.  Now they can debate the spending items, rather then flinging poo from across the border.

The howls of protest are like music to my ears.

Next time stay in your own damn state and DO YOUR JOB!.

Indiana Democrats hiding in Champaign, you might want to take notes. HEHEHEHEHE

If you want to kill a Snake, cut off the head.

Or in this case the money.  I guess that NPR's Ron Schiller and Betsy Liley didn't recognize James O'Keefe without his pimp suit on.  Over a very nice lunch Ron and Betsy proceed to hand the Republicans in the House the Keys to the Kingdom

Hey Ron; if you, Betsy and the rest of your ilk want to run an Anti-Semitic Propaganda Organ for the Left, do it on your (begged) dime, and not mine.

If the Republican's don't have the guts to take him up on his offer, then they truly deserve the moniker of "The Stupid" party.

IGOLD's Tomorrow. Are YOU going?

The annual Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day is Thursday, 10 March in Springfield.


If you live in the Peoples Democratic Republic of Illinois and own a firearm or three,
You. Need. To. Be. There.

Take a Vacation Day.  Use a Sick Day (No, we won't stoop to Fraud). Take one of the buses, take the train, fly or drive.  Just get yourself there.   

Last year 7,000+ of your fellow gun owners were there.  Governor Quinn, Speaker Madigan, and Senate Leader Cullerton all suddenly remembered that they had to pick-up the laundry from the cleaners.  In Chicago.   Funny thing is they had to do that the previous year, and the year before, and the year before that, lather, rinse, repeat.

I guess seeing the capitol swarmed over like a beehive* by polite**, regular, everyday people scares the bejesus out of our powers that be and they hike their skirts like little girls and high tail it out of town.  (Now why does democrats doing a Sir Robin and thwarting the will of the people sound familiar ?) 

Be there and help make history. 

*The organizers of IGOLD sell yellow Gadsden Flag -type T-shirts and sweaters to help defray the organizing costs.  So the capitol buildings do look like they are a beehive.   

**I had one secretary remark that the we're one of the very few groups that use phrases like "Excuse me", "Please" and "Thank You".  She also remarked that we don't leave a mess for someone else to clean up. 

Hey, I'm new here. Can I come to the party ?

Give that my Dance Card is pretty much* empty these days.  I just may go for this, even though I'm a newbie blogger.   I'll also have to get off the Bozo-puter and hit the reloading bench.  I have a woefully inadequate amount of .45ACP loaded.  But I've got 800+ sparklely brass cases in nice trays waiting though.  Need bullets and primers.  [Adds to the grocery list.]

I can stop for the night at my folks place in Indy both on the way there and back, that'll make the trip a little less onerous.

Been a long, long, long time; WildFun at Wildflecken in '89 maybe; since I flipped the switch on anything to Rock and Roll.   I hope that I won't giggle like a school girl.  But then again I just might.

*Still got to decide between No and Maintenance Chemo by the end of this month.

Q-Ships Anyone ??

Well Somali pirates had another go at the Maersk Alabama only this time they got a rude surprise.

Little slugs of lead, launched at a very high speed.  Sadly, they missed, but there's always next time.

Looks like someone has gone back and pulled out their high school history book and cracked it open.  Now if we can get those sending actual armed Naval vessels to read from the same textbook.

1.  Convoys.  These dirtbags in oversized bass boats are no match for even the smallest vessels that the US, various European countries, along with Russia, India and who knows what other navies have off the Horn of Africa.  Have a couple spots for ships meet up each (or twice a) day and be escorted by whose ever ship is next on the duty roster.  Come on !!  I figured this out and only time I've ever been at sea is two times in the Caribbean on oversized party barges.

We beat the Germans with this system.  

TWICE !!!  

One slate grey frigate coming hard about with a 76mm gun, a Phalanx Gatling Gun and some Ma Deuces chewing up the wood, fiberglass and aluminum of your boat will make you really think about updating your resume and finding a new line of work.

2.  I know we're still kinda tied down in Iraq and Afghanistan, but not as much as we were a year or more ago.  If I recall correctly, we've got Marines floating around that area in a couple of those MEU thingys.  Surely with all the money we've spent on satellites, reconnaissance aircraft and UAV's we've been able to back trace where these guys are basing out of.  I'm not saying that we occupy the place, but simply a nice, hard, overwhelming firepower raid.  A sink the ships, burn the place to the ground, salt the earth, and then leave, kinda operation.

Call it a live fire exercise for our Navy and Marines.

The only thing we need is a CINC with a pair.  *Sigh*

*Q-Ships:  During the two World Wars Q-Ships were merchant ships with concealed heavy weaponry, designed to lure German U-boats to make surface attacks.  The basic ethos of every Q-ship was to be a wolf in sheep's clothing. 

We've always been at war with EastAsia.

Well, there's another campaign promise going down the memory hole.   Whoosh.

Hear that  noise?  It's the not the same shrieks of outrage, anger and indignation from the Left when they said that GWB was personally waterboarding; ala' Torquemada; every man, woman and child he could get shipped to Gitmo.

Oh sure, there will be some token "We're disappointed by this decision" by the usual suspects (or not), then it won't be mentioned again, ever.

That sound, my friends, are crickets.  

My Brother Jerry: Part 1.

He was 17 years older then me. His given name was Martin. Most people in our family called him Jerry, I have no idea why. When I was growing up he called me Leroy. A couple of years ago I went to Helena, Montana; where he had lived, to visit him in the VA hospital there, shortly before he died. We talked and laughed and told each other stories of our time in the service that we had never told anyone. He is one of the reasons I joined the Army. I miss him every day.

And what he told me then are some stories that must be told here.

When my brothers Jim, Jerry and Tim were growing up in Shelbyville, Indiana there was a family down the street whose son went to the Naval Academy. Let’s call him Joe Smith. Joe was several years older then my brothers. Joe had become a Naval Aviator, a lifer, and had moved up through the ranks. Now I'm sure Joe was a good officer and pilot. His mom on the other hand was what we would today call "a piece of work." She was always turning in my brothers to my dad for, well just being boys. A regular Gladys Kravitz . Naturally my brothers came to hate Joe, as his mom was always comparing them to her son. "My son is a Naval Aviator. He went to the Naval Academy. He never did anything wrong growing up, unlike you horrible boys. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah."

Of course periodically Joe would take leave and come home to see his mom. My brothers would hide when they would see Joe come home.  As they knew that soon he and his mom would be coming through the neighborhood, like Christ come to cleanse the Temple.

In early 1967 Jerry volunteered to join the Marines and was promptly shipped out to USMC Recruit Depot, San Diego.  At some point early in their training the Drill Sergeants marched them into a classroom and gave them a big pile of forms to fill out. Somewhere in that stack was a form that probably on page 6 had a question that read “Do you know or are you related to anyone famous?” Now this was well before Watergate, so no one knew who G. Gordon was. But Jerry remembered that Mrs. Smith paraded Joe in that fancy Navy dress uniform with all those ribbons and medals up and down the street every time he came home. He was now a either a Commander or maybe even Captain, anyway Jerry dutifully scrawled in “CDR or CAPT Joe Smith, US Navy, Carrier Air Group #”, with a huge smirk on his face. That would fix the SOB and his busy-body mom. How dare a high and mighty Officer and Naval Aviator be known by and possibly even related to a lowly Marine private. Soon the Drill Sergeants were yelling again and Jerry promptly forgot about the form and his smartass answer.

Over the next several weeks Jerry and 230+ of his new best friends underwent some of the toughest training in the military, mainly because their Drill Sergeants knew that they were sending these boys to Vietnam, and they wanted to give them every tool, teach them every trick and give everything they knew about how to survive over there.

At the end of their training, 228 of the 230 graduating Marines were on orders to go to straight to Vietnam. One private was given orders for Embassy Duty and my brother Jerry was ordered to Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

Jerry said that he was so surprised at his good luck that he never got a chance to ask that other guy who it was that he knew that got him out of going to Vietnam

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Dream Come True

Might want to grab a kleenex or three.  A very brave young man gets his wish granted by troops from Ft. Polk.

Ol' Duece gets some frostbite

It is official: Right-to-Carry legislation in Illinois is now officially endorsed by the Illinois Sheriffs' Association, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, AND the Chicago Police Sergeants' Union, all of whom just testified in favor of HB0148! Did you ever think you'd see that in Illinois?

(H/T to Don Gwinn for being there and then posting this on his FB page.)

Did you look under all the couch cushions ?

The guy in charge of the money in Libya has gone missing.  And the big question seems to be "Which side is he on?"  

I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count.

Pot Meet Kettle

Wisconsin Dems got their fweewings all butthurt and have filed an ethics complaint about the prank phone call Gov. Walker got last week.

Apparently hiding out in another state and not doing your job are perfectly acceptable and do not violate ethics laws.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Get a receipt with that.

Maybe the Iranians figured out if they use the local currency that when they hit the checkout lane, the uranium will only end up costing them $1.38 in real money.

Well, Duh !!

ABC reporters learn that ZOMG!  China is still a communist country.

Talking to Myself

Well, I've taken the plunge and started a Blog.  For the guy that hated to have to write more then a paragraph when it came to homework, I'm going way out on a limb here.

There are a few things that I know I want to say, so this will be where I say it.  What you can expect is quite  bit of humor (well, it'll be funny to me), some anger, well maybe vehemence, when it comes to our rights, especially the 2nd Amendment and the state of our country.   Oh yeah, and there's the whole terminal cancer thing.

As they say, once it's on the interwebz, it's there forever. 

So this is my forever; typos, mispellings and all. 

Strap in, it's probably going to be a bumpy ride.