Monday, March 27, 2006

War part three

So when you fight this war, do we fight against Islam? How about just the radicals? Are there any Muslims fighting with us? How far can we trust them? The answer is: It depends. Who fights with us and who fights against us is a matter of what day it is, and who's pissed at us that morning. My good friend Indigo Red, makes some fine points on his blog. See link at right. Also see comments in War part one. My point is this; There is no place for non-Muslims in islam. There is no place for Islam in its current form in the west. Do I think all Muslims are evil? No, I covered that earlier. I would phrase it like this. If you show tolerance for the west, you are not a good muslim. This doesn't bother some of them, just like it doesn't bother me that I don't go to church and am not a good christian. Will they come and try to kill me? Not likely. Will I try to kill them? Not without some real provocation. Here's where that apathy comes into play. The correct response of the people in Afghanistan to that convert should be a resounding "So what!"To kill or threaten to kill this man means you are wrong, and have already lost. Is islam salvageable? Not for me to say.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

War, part two

Now lets look at the muslims. The funny thing is, you won’t see much difference. In varying degrees They all want the same things, but with the percentages higher in some aspects then others.
Someone like mullah Omar, just wants power. Note the finery in which he lived, before we performed a castle-ectomy, and separated him from his houses. Bin Ladin, on the other hand fancies himself as an intellect, and a power broker. That will stand, only as long as Zarquawi allows it. Zarquawi, is a ruthless killer of any and all. I believe he kills only to kill, trying to sate a bloodlust that only his blood can slake. The brothers Fadhil, only want to practice medicine, and live meaningful lives. Then you have the power brokers of Iraq, Sistani, and Al Sader. I have no idea what Sistani wants, but the other one is just a rat trying to get to the top of the heap. Iraq has enough sides to fight this war for all of us. To bad it doesn’t stop there. We have the madrases of Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, spewing hate like the sun spews light! Against this, we have the moderate voices crying in the wilderness to THINK! Too bad they’re in the wilderness, never to be heard by those nutjobs in Pakistan, and elsewhere. We have the government of many nations walking a fine line, trying to stay in power, but having to appease the radicals or die. We have some of the moderate voices being silenced with bloodshed, and imprisonment. Don’t believe me? Try blogging in Egypt. So how many sides we got here? Who is gonna win? How?

Monday, March 20, 2006

War part one

I got a call from my oldest daughter on Friday. She was in tears. Her man has been ordered to Iraq. He joins a growing list of young people that I know, to serve over there. I had no words of comfort to give her, maybe my friends Don, and Mike H, have some. They both served, and have time to use as a means of some perspective. I did remind her that this could be her, in the near future. She told me she would rather it be her then him. Ahh to be young, and fearless. Make no mistake about it, this is the big one! The war for all of civilization. Some don’t see it that way, because they don’t see all of the fronts in which it is being fought. I don’t see all of the fronts, but I will tell you some of what I see, and you can make up your own mind about my sanity, and ability to reason. The trial in Afghanistan is a battle front between several sides. I find it most disturbing, because it flies in the face of what this country was founded on. Freedom of religion! Put that man to death, and you will make a strong case for those that believe we have been wasting our time fighting the war the way we do. I find myself wanting to give the death that keeps on giving, to those people. All of them. Then I remember our friends at Iraq The Model, Big Pharaoh, and a host of others. To begin to see the fronts, one must look at the participants in the conflict. Lets start with The west. Some, want to convert muslims to christianity, some don’t give a damn. Some are fearful of any conflict, and some live for it. Some simply don’t see a threat, and some don’t know what the threat is.
One threat is the removal of our source of oil. No oil means the death of our society as we know it. In short order, we would starve to death. Our best weapon against radical islam, is apathy. Not ours, theirs! A little apathy, allows for a liberalization of the core. We can live with a liberal muslim, they can’t.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Quick hit

From Associated PressMarch 19, 2006 10:50 AM EST
KABUL, Afghanistan - An Afghan man who allegedly converted from Islam to Christianity is being prosecuted in a Kabul court and could be sentenced to death, a judge said Sunday....................................................................More on this later.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Site hits

I noticed that I had my threethousandth visitor. I don't know who, I think it was Weesie, in Canada, or my sister Kate in Tennessee. I am very proud of this, but not sure what it means. I have very loyal friends, or y'all have no life! It could also be the five bucks I send out every so often, to buy hits! :) All jokes aside, I'm glad you're there!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Last page

On a beautiful September morning, I walked next door for a soda. When I got there, the radio was turned up, and they were talking about a plane that had hit the World Trade Center. As the morning unfolded, I remember just wanting to go home. All of the radios were now on and loud. No body knew what the hell to think, except Bob. He let the noise, and concern go on for an hour, then gathered us together, and said. "Even if it's the end of the world, we're gonna do our jobs. Folks are starting to panic, and they need to see you going about your day!" And so we did. When the customers were not in sight, Bob would come along and reassure us, this will be answered! It was about a month later that I needed the morning off for a doctors appointment. I went to Bob and told him. He then told me that he was taking the afternoon off to get ready for a doctors appointment in the morning. He then told me that he would see me when I got in, as he would be in before me. Later that afternoon, I noticed a commotion by the office, heard Mike (Bobs son) yell out that he would call us, and then burnt rubber getting gone! I went up to see what was the matter. It seems Bob had paged his wife, with the walkie talkie on his phone, and when she tried to page him back, there was no answer. I don't know the time line, but I believe someone was with him in a moment. His heart had stopped, and the paramedics couldn't get it going again. I didn't know he had an irregular heartbeat, that was treated with medicine. The meds he took for his procedure in the morning, reacted with his heart meds and killed him. I felt like I had been beaten. The next day, while at home waiting for the family to make the arrangements, I stepped out onto our front steps, and wept. My wife came out to comfort me, and stood with her arms around me, just looking out at the beautiful day. I then heard her say, oh my god! Look! I looked up in time to see a huge Bald Eagle pop over the trees and down to the yard, flew by and then popped over the trees at the other end, and was gone. In my mind I heard Bob remind me. "God is in his heaven." The funeral was at the church he helped build, and the procession was led by a small fleet of the prettiest Tow Trucks in town. All the chrome polished and every light flashing, drivers in their Sunday best! It was fitting, for a man that spent his life in the business, trying to improve its image. The graveside ceremony was marked by the release of a Hawk he had delivered to the Docs, some weeks before. I will never see a bird of prey, without thinking of you, my friend. God rest, and God speed.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Page five

Bob loved birds. He was fond of all animals, but he loved birds. As a younger man, he would hunt them. I saw an article from a long ago paper about him hunting, shooting, and missing a flock of ducks at close range. He was probably just looking for an excuse to be there. More background. We lived about twenty miles apart, and across the lake from each other. I asked him if he fished, and he replied. "I moved out there thirty years ago, and when I did, I made a deal with the fish. If they would leave me alone, I would leave them alone. So far the arrangement has been honored by both party's." One of the islands on the lake was home to two unusual phenomenon. The first was a herd of goats, put there by Bob. I never did ask why, but it was probably to keep the vegetation down. This island was where the famous Jimmy Doolittle, and Doolittle's Raiders practiced Bombing during WW11, before going to bomb Tokyo. The second thing the island has, is birds. Lots of birds. More birds then anywhere else in north America, except maybe Lake Pontarchrain La. I don't know how Bob set foot on the island with all that bird shit everywhere, but he did to feed the goats every day. He coined the term, "Lakel", short for lake lover, and he was that indeed. You could often see him with the crowd of boats that come out every summer evening to watch the birds arrive. Up to 750,000 to 1,000,000 purple martins every night. Bobs passion was raptors. He did a lot of work for the South Carolina Birds of Prey. A nonprofit group that found and healed sick and injured Hawks, owls, Osprey, and eagles. I got my first look at a real Owl, one day at work. He was hurt, and in a box. They transferred him to a cage to ship him to the hospital, and I got to see him up close. Man he was pissed! He near put holes in the thick leather gloves Bob wore, but he went! I think he liked the release back into the wild, more then anything on earth. Bob had put up man made nests for the Osprey, in several places on the lake. It is through his hard work that we can see them fishing, and raising families. I had a friend from Liverpool, and his wife out on the lake one day, and saw an Osprey come off a light pole and snatch a fish. He looked at me and told me that in Great Britain, people would pay big for that sight. Thanks to Bob, it was free.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Caroline's page

And so the crap begins to hit the fan. I don't remember the dates, but our lovely office lady, Bob's wife Caroline was stricken with lung cancer. More background, we have one of the oldest continues auto repair shops in the country. Started by Bob's Daddy, in 1923. We cater to old line city residents, lots of lawyers, a supreme court judge, and lots of doctors. We serve three hospitals, one a level 1 trauma center. Bob attacked the disease with information, spending hours on the web, looking for help. He was prepared to move heaven and earth for her, if he could just find out how. After all was said and done, our people did the surgery, and removed a lung. It didn't take too long before the news was bad, they didn't get it all. The hope then went to Chemo, and as always, God. It was then that she found the strength to quit smoking. She then inspired me to quit, and give my nagging wife the thing she most wanted. She told me to do something fun with the money I saved, she gave the kids a last great Christmas. I bought a boat. She offered me the last little bit I needed to be successful. I remember Bob telling me that he was concerned, the children didn't seem to realize their mother's time was short. This is the one and only time he seemed not to know what to say, or do. He used to tell me, "Leaders, lead.". I would have given anything to have been able to take that burden from him, and her.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Page Three

On of Bobs favorite sayings to me when we were talking about my kids was "I wasn't worth a bullet when I was twentytwo". He came from a house of privilege, and made himself into the human he was. He told me many stories about his younger years, most of which I won't repeat. I will tell you about Yella Godamighty, and Purple Jesus. Here on the coast, even back then the young folks liked to drink........a bunch! I'm sure some are familiar with the trash can mixes, well these were a southern version. The alcohol at the beach was clear moonshine, at about 180 proof or a lil higher. If you dumped a gallon or so into a cooler full of ice and lemonade, you had a drink that when you took a sip you could only say, Godamighty! Grape koolaid was the mix for purple Jesus. I remember a call I got from my sister one night telling me to come home, Mom wasn't going to make it through the night. I called Bob first thing in the morning, to tell him I couldn't make it in. He told me he needed to see me before I left town, and it was kinda on the way so Mrs. C drove me to the shop. His wife had quickly cut me a paycheck, and he and his son Mike, tried to give me cash to travel on. Mrs. C then drove me 15 hours through a damn ole snowstorm in the mountains so I could tell Momma I loved her one more time. Not bad for a southern Belle! It took almost a week for Mom to pass, and then the funeral too. I was gone a while. I called in to the shop, and was told to take care of family, but don't forget where home now was. I missed you too Bob. One of his other sayings was "Don't mess with them doctors, sooner or later they will kill you." A lil more background here. I have a bit of a handicap. I am blind in one eye, and don't see well out of the other, and have been since about eight years of age. Before that I simply didn't see well. A time came when I began to have some light sensitivity in my only good eye. It got so bad that even on a cloudy day, and indoors I would wear very dark glasses. I could only take my boat out at night to avoid the glare. I went to all the doctors, and finally convinced them the problem they couldn't find was in my blind eye, not the good one. I had lived through something like this once before. I did my best at work, but it was very hard. I got rides to and from by my wife. I remember being scared that I would lose my ability to make a living. The time finally came when I had to have the bad eye removed. On the last day I worked before surgery, Bob took me off to the side for a chat. He said to me, that I shouldn't worry about the future, because I always had a job with him, even if he didn't know what it would be. Continued.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Page two

Day Two, and beyond. I lived the farthest away of all the employees, so was the first to arrive each morning. Bob would get there about six am, followed by me at seventhirty, to start a eight am day. One of the first things I noticed about him was that he would meet every employee at the time clock every morning. He knew that I was paying huge amounts of child support every week, based on what I made up north, so he let me have a lil overtime each week to keep food on the table. When I arrived, I would be greeted by him, with a fresh ten dollar bill to run and get doughnuts from across the street. When I got back with our treats, he would have the first pot of coffee done. The first coffee and doughnut were consumed while he asked me how things were in my world. I learned about a million things during those fifteen minutes we had each morning. One thing I didn't know I was learning that he taught me was how to be southern. It is more than words, but a way of thinking, and seeing the world around us. Eventually, I would become known as Bobs Yankee. I knew I was Midwestern, but didn't mind. It was about two weeks into the job, I received the first of five raises I got the first year. So much for two raises a year. Bob's roots were the very roots of NASCAR, back in the day when they drove all kinds of tracks, dirt too. It was another bond we shared, him a former racer, and me an engine builder. He used to tell me stories about my heroes, Curtis Turner, Fireball Roberts, and of course, The Earnhardts, Ralph and Dale. He was buds with Jim Hunter, of Darlington raceway, now the head of public relations of NASCAR. He told me of a tale, one day Jim called him, and asked if he would like to ride to the airport to pick up one of the stars for the weekends race, I think it was at Dixieanna speedway. The man was stoned drunk when they got there. They collected him, and a bottle, and took him to the race. Poured him into his car, where he went out and WON the damn thing, still drinking! They poured him onto a plane, and went to get some comfort of there own.(continued)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Robert C Andrews JR

At this time I would like to remember a friend. I will fill in a little background so as to not lose you. I met and fell in love with a woman on AOL in 1996. She lived about a lifetime and another world from me. I courted this woman and won her heart, which I treasure to this day. I packed up my life, and moved to a strange land where I barely spoke the language, in 97. I am an auto mechanic so I always have a job. I tried a few jobs, and didn't like the people, or pay, all the while getting homesick, and broke. I lasted the last job about four days when the girlfriend (now wife) told me to quit before I went up someone's head. ( another story for another day) I was angry and tired of assholes telling me to "Go home Yankee!" I was sick at heart and about to call it quits on South Carolina, and my love, when I walked into a big ole drafty barn of a building by the university, for an interview. This is where I met the man I would come to think of as Daddy Bob. It was an old run down building, kinda dark , and short on equipment by my standards. The man that interviewed me, about in his early sixties. He told me, "We have an old rundown building, one day I'll replace it, but for now, it leaks. I have five employees that have been here twenty years or more. If you decide to come to work for me you will get up to two raises a year at as much as fifty cents each." He then offered me a small starting salary, and a hell of a lot of work. He told me that there would be no yelling or cursing in his shop, by him or anybody else. It sounded like a peaceful place so I signed on. Day one: I got there early to unload my tools, and make a good impression. I forgot to tighten two wheels on the first damn job I did. Bob moved the vehicle about ten feet then stopped, got out and whispered to me, "We usually tighten the wheels on the cars before we let them go to the owners!" (continued)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Birds of prey

We have a hawk that lives near my place of employment. He blasted a smaller bird, about ten feet from one of the other employees one day. The man was startled, and turned to face the noise he heard, and took a step that way. Mr. Hawk stepped over his fresh kill and bristeled at the man. The distance was now five feet so the man backed up til he could flee into the building. He told me what had happened, so I took a look. I saw nothing but feathers. I think it was the reincarnation of the man that hired me there eight years ago. That story is for another day, but I miss you Bob.