Friday, December 26, 2008

Long December

Pic is of a roadside memorial to two young men that died in a motorcycle wreck this past week.
So I'm going to work one morning a couple of days before Christmas, and as I pop over a hill I see Blue lights...... Lots of em. I see a bright light like they use to do road construction at night. Highway patrol has the center three lanes blocked but I didn't see a wreck.
Found out later that it was the subject of the above photo.
Tried to find out what happened on the news but got a bunch of he said she said. I was about to chalk it up to natural selection, and still might, but I needed time to process it all.
December is a time of promise, and silver and gold for the young. For some of us though it is the bitter witches heart of the year. For me, it was ten years ago the twentieth that my mother died. My wife drove 16 hours in a snowstorm to get me there in time to say a proper goodbye. I remember. About the time I get the tree loaded with gifts, I remember.
This year, about a week or two before Christmas my Dads girlfriend suddenly died.
I guess they had been together about five years now.
I got a call from a woman that lives in our neighborhood. (I don't know her well) She told me that a dear friend that had moved away was in the hospital, diagnosed with bone cancer. She works where he banks. It was tough to go and see him and to talk to him since he got home and started his treatments. He is one of only two in this neighborhood that I could talk to about anything. I think the thing I love about him most is that he is a thinking man. (Count blessings, I have more then one friend here) So the season has been busy, and the economy is in the tank, but it could be so very much worse. Just ask the mothers of the two young men that died this past week here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Auto Bailout

Here is my take on whether to bail or not the auto industry.
Under no circumstance should GM or Ford be allowed to die. More on that later.
Chrysler: Sell the brand to GM for 0 dollars and some stock. What we're looking to save here is Jeep, and some niche products like Sebring Convertibles. Chicks dig em, and with the GM engine they might be worth more then spit, and live more then 90k.
Sell the Dodge Ram to Mitsubishi, or someone else.
GM: Bankruptcy. Restructure your debt and labor contracts. Use fed money to buy back your bonds at .50 on the dollar.
United Auto Workers: Put up or shut up. Use the one billion dollars in your strike fund to buy into GM. Become a full partner in the company, and continue buying into it. Play to your strengths. Outwork the rest of them. More hours, less pay, full profit sharing. I don't own the company that I work for, but I do own my workmanship. Fire those that don't own their workmanship. You work, you eat!
Back to the top: Machines of war are and have always been made in factories at home. No factories, no defence.
One more thing. China is a new world leader because they make stuff. We quit making stuff, and now have nothing to do.
It really is just that simple.

Monday, December 01, 2008

New stuff

I've added two new things to the page. One is a E mail link to send the blog things like viruses and porn an such...kidding.
The other is a link list of readers reads. Hope you will help me fill it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What happens

What happens when you get a group of Americans and put them half a world away from home and kin?

They come together in celebration of what and who they are.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I want to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.
While I'm cooking the bird I will be thinking of all of you. Hope everyone is where they want to be, and those that aren't I hope that you're among friends.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Socialism and my country

Pic is of Crisp point light house in the upper peninsula of Michigan. You are looking toward Duluth Minnisota some fourhundred miles west. turn right and you look toward Canada about a hundred miles.
So now we've had a day or two to digest the conversation between John and I. I just might, as John says be insufferably stupid. If so then I've got some Canadian company.
I see the election of Barak Obama as nothing les than putting Nancy and the gay guy...... (dammit I can't remember his name, so I'll call him Lispy) in charge of the hen house. These folks will do wonders with our money. Might even change the world. Ole Lispy's boyfriend worked for Fanny or Freddy, (can't remember which) and made a bundle. Wonder who got the mortgage on their love shack? (sorry I've got music in my head) So we should have some regulation? Can't trust folks to run an honest company? If someone did conspire to defraud investors of their money then they should be jailed. If someone lost money because of their own stupidity, then they should be laughed at and or pitied, NOT bailed out. What? My beloved GM needs money? I got a couple grand you can use. You take mine and Joe's and Pete's etc etc and you build something that makes all of us money. You don't however, buy Chrysler.
So back to John and I.
As most of you know I'm blind in one eye, and didn't see well out of the other. I then got a cataract in the high risk eye that I had left. It would seem that My friend (and I mean that) John also had a cataract. He had his removed first. He then had a Retinal detachment that went mis diagnosed for two weeks. He doesn't have useful function of the eye anymore. I had mine removed, and am seeing better then I've ever seen.
What might be the difference?
I'll tell you.
Socialized Medicine!
I and my Doctor were able to search out not only the best surgeon for my cataract, but also a Retina specialist to See me concurrently. The Retina guy told me to be ready for a detachment, but that if it was repairable he would do just that! The cataract guy is known as the best, east of the Mississippi. He knew he couldn't go in there like a bull in a china shop. I had a phone number to get ahold of the retina guy twenty four hours a day. Had something happened, I could have been in surgery within hours, not weeks. Johns country failed him. His Doctors failed him. He, failed him.
In this country you can go to any County hospital and get care at no charge if you are indigent. I remember when my youngest was a toddler. She had chronic ear infections. I had no insurance. I thought the world a cruel place that would let my child suffer this and not help. Some of my Canadian relatives (yes I have many) suggested that I go to Canada to get the surgery. I gave it some thought. I then found a social worker that knew just what to do, and whom to see. It was taken care of with just a small amount out of my pocket according to what I made. I am aware of many Canadians coming to America for treatment of one thing or another. Why? Cause they can, and it works.
In short, our system isn't broken, and I see. My friend on the other hand is now a member of my little club.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election two

It would seem that I've witnessed my country receiving a mortal wound. I wouldn't have thought it would come from within. No matter, as I will stand watch over her as long as I've breath.
The eighth kingdom has now come to pass.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Election

Pic is a view of the South Carolina mountains from Ceasars Head state park.
The view is one of the finest in the state. (my opinion)
Remember all the folks that said they were leaving if Bush were re-elected? I voted for him, so why are you still here? Remember you were moving to Canada? To cold?
So I've been hearing some folks say that they will have to leave if Obama and Biden are elected. Wassa matter, don't want to live in a socialist state? Remember the pic of the lighthouse I use from time to time? That view, and the one above are worth fighting for. Hold your part of the line, and know that I'm holding mine.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dano's Two

The best thing about Dano's was Dan and Lavora. I think they know everyone for fifty miles. They had a knack for being there when folks needed them. I know of at least one instance where a regular customer needed to put her car in the shop for a week, and Dan and Lavora gave this person a Cadillac to drive. It goes much deeper then that though. One of the regulars was stricken with lung cancer. He used to clean the bar on weekend mornings. Dan cut his grass while he was recovering from surgery. I remember watching someone bug Dan about betting on a football game. When the man lost, he wanted double or nothing. Dan agreed, and told the man to pick his game and team. There are about a million stories, but two are near to my heart.
My wife retired from her day job to type for a living. The service she worked for told her that she wouldn't need anything but a dial up Internet account. As luck would have it, they didn't have enough work for her without high speed Internet. (satellite wouldn't work) I suggested that she try to rent space from one of the businesses on the main road. We couldn't pay much, as it came right out of her checks. Dan was her second stop. She went in for lunch and asked Dan if he knew of a place she could rent from someone local for cheap. Yes he said,"you can rent from me." She was there two years while I worked out the technology for her to work from home. While I was blind, a buddy came over to take me fishing. We stopped at Dano's for lunch. Dan came over to chat, asking me how I was holding up. I said I was having trouble being stuck around the house all day every day. He said "Your not! I'll come and get you any time you want."
We went to a party a while back. It was for another regular and sometime bartender that had taken a job out of state. I had gotten to know David a couple of years ago. He was from Illinois. We had both wrestled at Northern Illinois University though not for them. So as the party was coming to a close I got to thinking about us. David was from Illinois, the man with lung cancer and his wife were from Minnesota, and Me from Michigan. I asked Dan how all of us northerners could find a home in that bar? He said "I have never met a stranger, and I know only friends."
Thank God. Thank God for the both of you!
Dan and Lavora gave up the fight to keep the place open in a time when profits were very hard to come by.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


"Evil lurks in the hearts of man, not the haunts of man." Quote from Don on this blog some time ago.
So it's come to this. Everything in life has a time. A time to be, followed by a time to cease to be. I know a couple that own a bar in my neighborhood. It is a little, rundown place on the banks of Lake Murray. The burgers come in 1/3 pound patties that are bought from a meat market. It takes two of them to complete a Dano burger. The fries are hand cut. The folks that inhabit this place are as close as the neighbors that they are to me. The owners, Dan and his wife Lavora, are trusted friends met through the bar. I remember one of the first times I found a seat in the bar. (it was hard to do in the days before the expansion)
A big man came over to our (my wife and I's) booth and introduced himself. He then welcomed us to the neighborhood when told we were building a house near by. He introduced us around, so we would feel comfortable there. I remember telling some co-workers about the place. One told me that they check you for knives at the door. If they don't find one, they issue you one from the kitchen! I never really had problems in there. It could get a bit intense late at night, or when the girls on the dance floor had a bit too much, but I never saw the police there. I remember being there about one Christmas and seeing some bags of fresh shelled pecans on the bar. They were for sale for about seven bucks each. Danelle, (my wife) thought we should buy some so that she could make her holiday rum balls. I asked Dano about them, and he told me that he had a friend that was blind, and he shelled the nuts and was trying to sell them. We told Dan that we would take a bag for our rum balls, and to please add it to our tab. No! Came the reply, as he gave me the nuts and asked if we would bring him some of the rum balls. He was willing to donate the rum as well! He bought the pecans, so we bought the rum, and everyone got rum balls. continued.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Investment advice.

How much of your net worth have you lost over the last few months? I don't have a clear idea yet about my wife and I. The river is still rising. Will we be OK? Yes, we paid attention all along, and have a low debt ratio to earnings. Do I think the govt should bail us out? I have no idea, but lean against it. Did anyone see Nancy Pelosi the other night? Instead of telling everyone to work together, she took the opportunity to "blame Bush" and the rest of the GOP. Howd that work out for yah Nancy? Hell no we won't vote for your bill! I see no reason a sane person would ever elect her to office, so how did that happen? I think it's revenge. It is revenge from all the gays in San Francisco for the way the country has treated them. I told you they were some mean asses when you got em going! :) Most of us aren't anti gay, and even if we were..... we're sorry! Please call off your attack critter! Please!
My advice to weather this storm is simple. Buy seeds! Corn and other vegetables should do well in all of the manure Washington is handing out.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sept 11

What did you do today? I chose to wait til the evening to make my post, because I don't need to be reminded. I have a Daughter over seas, and a Son-in-law going in a few months. I have bunches of pictures that were sent to me. Some from my wife, some from Andy, and more still from others. I couldn't choose one over the other, and then I thought it was more personal then that. I know my role as a Christian, but find the road too hard to walk at this time. I find the hate is still just below the surface. I don't need to bank the fire. For me it will always burn. So what to do? Turn on the tube? Should be a memorial on every channel. Nope, don't want to hear the talking heads. As I've gotten older I have become somewhat afraid of heights. Don't know when that happened, cause I used to do some crazy shit up high. Anyway, I always go back to the jumpers. People in such hell that a 100 story plunge was the preferred choice. What did you do today? I went for a walk in the woods to be with my God, and pray for the jumpers, and those like me that still hate.

Monday, September 08, 2008


So I've now had the whole summer off, and live at the lake. Cool huh? Not so much.
Having the summer off is great if you have the money and ability to do things that interest you. I spent mine reading. I read until I could no longer see books, and then I modified my puter so that I could read online. (and y'all thought I spent the summer looking at naked pictures) I read anything to occupy the time. If a subject came up, I'd google it. So I learned that a Transman is a woman that becomes a man. (don't ask) I learned that they can function in their own best interests, if you know what I mean.....
I learned that sometimes we don't come out with the right stuff to match who we are. (in my case it was Dale Earnhardts eyes) I learned that from a genetic view, I don't have it so bad.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Surgery went well this morning. So well that I'm posting this myself. Danger of a detachment for a couple weeks but then lessening over time. Doc says the things that could have gone wrong didn't I now need reading glasses... Not sure what I see yet but it is better then the best I've ever seen before. Thanks again for all the thoughts and prayers.

Monday, September 01, 2008

This is it

Well my week has finally come. I'm to have surgery Thursday. Don't have much to say but thanks to all that have called, e mailed, posted and prayed for me. I sure hope it's only gonna be one, but it's his will. No matter what happens I'll have my wife update the blog. Thanks again for being with me.

Update: Surgery scheduled for 9:45 Thursday morning.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The pick

So the Senator from Arizona has made his choice. Most that know me know that I'm a conservative, better known as a republican. So I'm watching the race unfold and wishing for my guy, Duncan Hunter, of San Diego. I get John McCain and....... What the hell? Sarah Palin? Who the hell is this broad? So the Russians and Iranians are going nuts, and I want Reagan, and I get Palin. Awww Shit! She can't even name her kids something that makes sense. Track? Trig? What the hell? She is going to have a nuke football? Awww what the hell? Barry O has no experience, and is a Muslim. Sarah has no experience and is a nut. Guess who just got screwed! Yep..... You and Me!


I want to know what her tax stratagy will be. She raised taxes to the tune of 6 billion dollars on big oil so she could give all Alaskans a check for energy help. Check was for twelve hundred bucks. I wonder who the oil companies passed that cost onto? More later.

Most folks that read this blog know that we have an Alaskan cop that checks in now and then. He says Palin was a good choice, though she is under investigation for firing his friend. Hmmm
My comment about the names of her kids might seem a bit low blow but it speaks to her judgement. Think about it. A kid with downs syndrome. Geez that's tough. Being a handicapper myself I feel for her. So who is going to give the kid all the extra care he needs over his life?
All of this doesn't mean shit against the fact that she has less experience then Barry O. So all the adds that were run the last month are now null and void. We needed lots of help in the Midwest. Romney. Doesn't matter if you like it or not, it is what it is. Will she get my vote? Absolutely. Will I like it? No.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Anyone paying attention to the Red Bear? The thing with Georgia is a civil war, that Russia had no business getting involved in. They don't seem to be leaving either. No reason to. The Georgian army made several mistakes, including not blowing the damn tunnel through the mountains. Once again Vlad the bad wants to back things up thirty years. Yep they are some deadly mofos. We need our assets out of the middle east so we can deal with Vlad and his broken down army. Newsflash, no one is scared of su 25 ground attack planes here. My neighbors would lunch on them. Armour is another matter. If I were in charge, I would sink the lone carrier at Poti, and anything else they had there. No need to try and go back to the Ukrain, they don't want you! One carrier group would eject the Russian Armour from Georgia in a week. The kill rate of an F22 is 6 to 1 against F15's. The 15 has never been beaten by an enemy. Base em somewhere around there. Nukes? Use em if you dare! Will they get out of the silo's? Hell we don't even know if ours will! We do know for a fact that we can knock at least some of their stuff down. Can you hit ours? Stay within your borders, or be put there! Right now it's about the oil that flows through Georgia. They want to comtrol it, and the flow of money. Remember that we broke them a few years ago with a huge economy, They think we can be had with oil. Don't forget to shoot the first Democrat that advocates opening up the strategic oil reserves. We need them to fight a war, not lower Bubba's gas bill. Bottem line, eject these thugs, they won't pull the trigger unless we enter Rissian territory.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


We had a bit of a blow last night. Trees down everywhere but my house. Couple of docks damaged and a house hit. Lots of trees snapped off. I feel fortunate that I had one limb come down, but it hit the neighbors fence. Cleanup begins tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


So we got a card in the mail yesterday. Thought it was a very early birthday card. Turns out it was an anniversary card. Ours! We seem to have forgotten it along the way. Thanks to the friend that remembered.
We were talking the other night about family and friends. With D and I so far away from family, it falls to friends to help with life's little crises. Thank god for them. Our neighbors are our family. We have a great group that takes care of one another as only family would. If I could give my daughter one bit of advice it would be to hold your friends close. Polish them as you would fine silver, and you will have everything you need.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Old 2

Pic is of a deer walking along the water at my dock.
So I went to a party at TT's house on the fourth. We ate lots of BBQ and listened to a band. The lead is family to friend and reader, "That Man". I like horns in my rock. The band was Modern Disruption. I'll load a song if the CD ever comes my way. So we seem to have a bad neighbor, they are renting their house out by the night or week. Some idiot put a sound system out on the dock.... and all the renters abused it. The music would start around six some mornings, and end around nine that night. I must be getting old. When younger I would just go turn it off for them, now I get the law. I'm going to try and stop the rental of the houses in here on a short term basis. We had a bunch of drunks running up and down the street in a golf cart tossing empty cans. Later that night a neighbors for sale sign got knocked over, and the brochures in it scattered. Tommy wishes he could still see! The summer is dragging by. I wish I could be at work.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Pics are of some of the plumbing that Anthony and I installed, and Anthony wiring the pump, and of the new grass.
So whats been going on round here.
Since having to leave work a couple of months ago, I find I'm not ready to be retired. Not even close. When we bought this property some years back, I had a vision of what it would look like when finished. When my neighbor built the house, I told him to leave the lawn to me. I used to be a landscaper some years back, and thought I could make many things happen, and fast. Enter twelve hour days in the heat and things didn't.... happen. With the help of my neighbors John Deer, I put a front lawn in.... and the drought took it.... again and again and once more. The lake side was burnt clay, aka white rock here. Well, no job to go to, it was time for a lawn. My neighbor, to be referred to as TT for Trusty Ted stopped me. Not without irrigation you don't! So with the help of his right hand man, and my eyes for a week.... Anthony Tyler, the trenches were dug and the pipes buried. A pump was installed. One week later we got grass. By this time my vision was too bad to do the work by my self, so I hired the same people that contoured the land to help lay the sod. Ten and one half pallets of grass, damn near killed me. The grass makes the retaining walls I built years ago stand out. I did good work then. The grass gave me a backache for a week. I used to be able to do all of this in a week by myself. continued

Friday, July 04, 2008


So I'm back from Atlanta. I saw the two surgeons that will be working with me. The guy that is going to do my cataract surgery is their version of Dr. House. I was told time and again that I was to ignore his personality, and know that he is more then brilliant. He is very abrupt and confident. He told me of the risks and then told me he would do his very best to make me see again. I found him to have a sense of humor that the others don't see. He sighed and said to me "I wish I could just get the easy ones." I laughed and said I felt the same in my job some days. So the deed will be done on the fourth of September.
Day two I was seen by the retina doc. He told me that sometime after cataract surgery I would have a retinal detachment that will require more surgery. Sorry to be the pessimist, but it will happen. He then said "I will fix it." So the road is a lil harder then I first thought it would be. It's ok though as I have faith and friends.

Update on Daughter.
The Navy has delayed my girls deployment to Kuwait a couple of weeks. In the mean time, she got an email asking for volunteers to go to Iraq for a year to work with spec ops out in the field. She wanted to switch to the longer deployment in Iraq to work with Iraqi women and children. She was told it was to late to stop the Kuwait deployment. She leaves for training on Sunday. Oldest, it doesn't matter where you go. You're the best.

Ps to Mike Andrews and my neighbors, Ted and Judy. It meant a lot to me to hear your voices on my answering machine when I got home.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ronny's page 2

There was so much that I wanted to share about Ronnie Roberts, but I find that I can't. I don't have the eyes, or patience for it. I will tell you a story or two though.
As I lost vision, I tried to keep up with the classes Mike paid for. It was I that asked for a certain type of training, and I didn't want to let him down. The training was about thirty five miles from my home, and ended about ten at night. Ronnie would always offer to drive me home. The trip would add about an hour and a half to his night. When I would tell him that, he would say, "Meho, you are more important to me then sleep. I'll keep my phone on an extra hour cause you're so hardheaded." Love you too Meho.
In between being ornery and mean, causing trouble, and headaches, Ronnie would pull peoples butts out of whatever fire they found themselves in.
One night in late fall while driving down a rain soaked two lane he passed a young woman walking along the side of the road. She wasn't wearing any shoes, and only a light blouse. The lack of shoes on a cold rainy night bothered him enough to make him turn around and go back. He pulled up alongside her as she was walking and asked her if she wouldn't like to get in the truck and at least be warm and dry. She accepted and as he drove off, she told him that she had had a relationship-ending fight with her boyfriend and he had thrown her out in the rain dressed like that. Ronnie went to Wal-Mart, asked her her shoe size and went in and bought her some shoes and socks and other essentials, came back out to the truck and gave them to her. He then drove to the Embassy Suites. He had a voucher for three nights and so he checked her into the Embassy Suites and said, "Hon, you got three days to figure out what you want to do and where you want to go." He left her his number and then went home.
A mutual friend of ours found himself living under a bridge for awhile. When he went back to work and had a place to stay, he had no ride. Ronnie would pick him up and take him to and from every day, even though it was out of the way. When I asked him if it bugged him, he said, "No, he needs to get back and forth." With Ronnie, it was just that simple.
I hope that God finds his soul as beautiful and valuable as I do.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ronny's page

This is a pic of one of my MEHO's. MEHO is a cross between my hero and my homey. Otherwise known as one of my buds. The pic is of him riding his motorcycle in his work uniform. This is the first of two pics of him in the local paper this month. The second was the pic his family used for his obituary. His page is one of the most complex I've ever tried to type. Ronnie was 53 when he died, and not more then a couple of months removed from his latest bar fight. He was a sudden man, one with the bark still on! Ronnie didn't pick fights, he welcomed them. He reminded me of my dad that way. Daddy slapped his last bar bully around at the age of seventy four. Ronnie said he would kick my ass about once a week. He also said the reason he didn't was cause he was afraid I wouldn't stay down when knocked there. He also said he loved me. Good thing too, cause I wanted to kick his ass too, but I loved him. He was a whistler, and to me that sounds like fingernails on a blackboard. I used to get him back by cutting loose with my air hammer when he was hung over. We used to try and do lunch about once a week. We would vent, and try to help each other fix cars. Ronnie and I didn't hang out after work much, to many miles. We did however stay close with work and the phone. He is one of the guys that has called me several times since my having to leave work. He got moved to a different location that my boss Mike owned, and it was good for both of us. I could miss him without his damn whistling, yet we could still be close. Continued....

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Again, Angle Oak

I got a call from one of the guys that I work with today; that makes all but one. He was just checking up on me, hoping I'm ok. He wanted to tell me the latest news, I already knew. I had been out the night before with two other guys from work.
I got to thinking about old friends, kids that I grew up with. Sometimes it's hard to be a thousand miles from home. When I first came to the south, it seemed like a foreign land, one that I would never fit into. More then ten years have gone by, and I hardly recognise the world I came from. I have offered silent prayers that Phillips girlfriend would beat the cancer in her breasts, and become his bride. I've watched Bruce try to hold it together while his wife Kitty seemed to wither away. I've seen "That Man" live through a bad wreck that ended a football dream, but then drank at his wedding. I remember putting my faith into friends and neighbors to take care of my Dad as he had hip replacement a couple of months ago, while I couldn't get to him to help. I came to realise that my life spread out like the Angle Oak, covering a large place and being touched by many other souls. There isn't much garbage in my life, the people are real. The love can be touched. Seems I'm not so far from home after all, but then I've known that all along.
For all that call, or wright to me on blog and off. To those that think of me, and pray for me, to those that simply hope for me. I love you too.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The worm turns again

The pic is a sunset on Lake Murray, taken from the south side of Bombing island.
News all over the place. Daughters deployment is back on. I'm going to Emory to see a couple of Doc's on Jul 2 and 3. I don't mind telling you that I'm nervous, but also hopeful. The idea of not having these big thick glasses is exciting.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

When good news is bad, or when bad news is good.

Pic is of some goofy girl on a tube behind my bouat.
Got a call from my daughter the other day. Seems when she got home from her pre- deployment leave, she found out she wasn't going. The person she was to replace decided to stay for another tour. It would have been nice if this happened while there was still time to re-enroll in school. Daughter will try and go out with the November group. Yes John, she is seeking the deployment. You don't move up if you don't move out. She has always been special to me, and with hard work she will be special to many others as well.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


The pic is of my Son-in-law. No you can't see him but he is there. He is hidden behind the splash of water that he is making as he fell off the tube. I thought it fitting to use that pic at this time. Now you see what I sometimes see!
Surgery update is as follows: No real word out of Emory yet. We are supposed to hear something today or tomorrow. Next option is Charleston.
I had a great time with the kids this week, even sharing in the joy of my daughters promotion to Petty officer. My Son-in-law brought me a hoodie with the insignia of his unit on it. He is with a group that my friend A.J calls " the bump in the night". It's cool as it is the one they wear, and not the one you can buy.
I did pass on the message from John, that they should refuse to deploy, and write poetry instead. John, they were amused but respectful. I have asked for a pic of my Son-in-law with a camel, and for their safe return.

A special note of thanks to Bruce and A.J. from work for calling to check up on me. The gift of your friendship is more prescious then gold!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday night

First pic is standing on my dock looking out to the ski cove. Second pic is my Doberman guarding the sleeping dog behind her. If something were to comeup she would turn and wake him before running for the house!
So I've been off work for a week now, and am starting to run out of things to do. I find I miss being at work and the banter back and forth of the guys. I was with them for ten years, and even the new guys (Bill and Michael) I've grown fond of and miss. I don't worry much about going blind, as I already am.
My records have been sent to Emory to be looked at by their big gun, meanwhile I wait.
In other news, my daughter is going to be here for this week on her pre-deployment leave. My son in law is coming also. The news I didn't tell you is that he will be deployed to Iraq just before she comes home.
Newlyweds apart for a year and a half. (sucks to be them!)
I'm going to smoke a turkey like at thanksgiving so we can have a holiday meal together.
Remember when we were kids? I do. We used to play softball every day. We all had the Huffy bikes with the Banana seats and the high rise handlebars. You could put the bottom of your bat in the rear forks, and it would stick out the side. A glove could go on the handlebars or the bat. We would ride down to the elementary school two blocks from my house to play ball every day. Back then I didn't know I was blind. My friends never told me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday Morning

It's Tuesday morning. I've just come in from watching the sun come up over the lake while drinking my coffee. My wife took me into town yesterday, so that I might put the rest of my tools away. It might be awhile before I can pick them up again. In little more then a years time I've gone from having the beginning signs of a cataract to needing surgery. My doc tells me that she will find "the experts expert" to fix my one remaining eye. A team. People with skilled hands to fix whatever damage might occur during the procedure. People that have been down this road before. The odds of a good outcome in normal people is around 98%, but I'm sure reader and friend John from Canada wouldn't be impressed. He landed in the 2% group.
The only odds of success I've found for people with my problems is around 25%.
It's Tuesday morning, and I'm going outside to be in the sun.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The right reverand Wright

Enough of nightmares and distant storms, it's time to get back to what it is we do here.
I've been watching The reverend Wright, and his effect on the candidacy of Barrack Obama. Seems whitey has misunderstood him. Turns out he wants a diverse but equal society. Heck he even wants equal education! You can read his latest drivel here . I as some of you know but others don't, was a student of The Michigan School for the Blind. Funny thing about blind folks: color doesn't matter much. I would never presume to tell you that they're not prejudiced because they are. They don't like certain tones of voice, and accent. Color? Nope, don't even understand the concept. So back to education. I went to school with a bunch of black kids. We went to class, smoked, played sports, hung out, and learned about life together. Some of us were close! How close? Close enough to spend the weekends together in each others homes. Close enough that my brother Michael Baily carried my butt off of the mat when I blew a knee wrestling out of town. It hurt so bad, all I wanted was my mama. All I had was Mike! Some days I miss you so much I weep. Everyone should have a big brother like Mike.
So back to Reverend Wright, and his ilk Reverend Al, I don't know what you want?
The world moves at it's own pace, and we are all judged on our character, even you.
I don't like to hold any man to a pedestal because all flesh is suspect if not rotten but there are at times flashes of wisdom. One of my favorites is from a man that used to run around on his wife. He had a dream, something about being judged on the content of your character nad not the color of your skin. I think I'll leave the judging to someone that can see your character, and yours too Reverend Wright! Meanwhile would you kindley get out of the political process and go back to your flock!

Monday, April 21, 2008


As you can see in the pic, there is a storm close to my home. I took the pic because I've been feeling unsettled. Not yet angry but you can see it in the distance. My energy is widespread and I'm unable to focus. It seems that every time I write something I let it sleep a day and then I can't stand to read it. It isn't that I've nothing to say, but I've plenty to say. Just not sure what it is. I can't seem to get angry.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


The pic is of Bob and Betty Mallard. I think they have a nest in the bushes to the right.
It's been a tough week for my family this week. My Dad had hip replacement surgery and none of us could get there to help him. He is a very private person and didn't tell me until I couldn't do anything for him. He preferred it that way. He is an old wolf that I believe still could walk through hell on Sunday. He spent his time on the line. My Great Grandfather came to this country around eighteen eighty. Ireland to England to Canada, and then the UP. His son, my Grandfather was a cook for a while in Europe. The time was WW1; that's how he spent his time on the line. He would come home and raise four sons that would take their place on the line. Dewey, would dive for the Navy, and blow things up in WW2. Edward would fight at Iwo Jima with the ones that raised our flag. William, would be a member of the 11Th Airborne, and earn three purple hearts in Korea. Lenard would get as far as Japan on his way to Korea. They along with their sons and the sons of their sisters stood the line. Some didn't get recognised and some did. Cousin Wayne whose name should be on the wall but agent orange killed after the war. James who was supplying the Marines in Lebanon. Remember Beirut? Yep the Navy was there too. James died not too long ago after a long battle with HIV. Some folks stand the line a bit different than others. (chuckle)
I saw in our paper this week that the 218TH SC National guard is coming home. The first group got to N.C. this week. I read where a man spent the night at the airport to greet his wife when she got home after her time on the line. She had been gone a year to Afghanistan as a Chaplin. It would be five more days before she got home so her husband came to her. They had about an hour together. I remember when she left. Don't remember who they relieved. I think it was a group of folks from the NY National Guard. The line goes on forever, and it includes Cooks and Generals, Chaplins and Soldiers, and people from every walk and profession. This week I found out that the line will now include my Daughter. It is her turn to take the place of someone that hasn't been home in a while. As a father I'm a bit apprehensive but I couldn't be more proud.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Where did quality go?

I've been noticing that I can't get anything done well lately. Had a flat over the weekend and had to go to a tire store and buy some skins. I had to re balance them at work that week. Bought a dishwasher from Sears a while back. Nine hundred bucks and eight months later the motor went out. Warranty fixed it and eight months later.... you got it; the motor again. This time no warranty. Thanks Sears and Whirlpool for a great product. Next time it will be Bosh or someone else.
So we decide to put concrete under our deck instead of using decorative rock. So we got a couple of estimates and took one. Big company with five crews. Work is short so the price was good, and I was excited to get this done. Tom C was in the business of finishing concrete and doing masonry work for near ten years so I wasn't too concerned about the job. Slam Dunk; right? So after waiting a week we got a team of Mexicans with a truck load of trash that came to prep the site.They needed to put some fill down to build up the site. I had a pile of sand clay mix for that purpose at the side of the driveway. Next to their truck. After much leveling and such they needed product. Run up to the pile and get some right? NO! Lets instead take it out from behind the retaining wall next to the site of the slab! Ohh and we need more so we'll get some by digging a hole in the side of a small hill near by! Thus moving the dirt that I had put down over many hot days, compacting and seeding. Stay tuned for the conclusion of Where'd the yard go?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Once again here on Lake Murray spring has sprung. The pic is of a stand of Bradford Pear trees in full bloom. The white flowers turn to green leaves in about a week.
Don I don't know if you're home or out west but it's time to get the clubs out here in Carolina.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ruths page

I walked across the street to come around behind her, the feeling I'd been fighting all day starting to get the better of me. All the neighbors were with her, sitting in her driveway on lawn chairs watching the days proceedings. I put my arms around her neck and said,"I wish.... I wish" then my voice broke, leaving me the little boy that had always needed her. "I wish you didn't have to go!" She lived across the street and one house to the left, she and her husband Woody, when he was alive. They lived in a house that he built himself. It was red brick and neat as a pin, with a single car garage.
I remember helping Mr. Woody with his camper when he put it up for the winter. He liked to have it level, and resting on several points to hold through the long winters. He paid me in change and Diet Pepsi. I still think of him every time I have a diet cola.
She, was my own real life guardian angel. As a child I was all boy, and too rowdy to survive. She was a retired surgical nurse; she had other ideas.
As a young child I used to get sick every winter with a high fever that would require a trip to the hospital for a shot. I remember my mothers worried voice on the phone to Ruth, and then her hands with a cool cloth. I remember the time I jumped/fell off the top bunk of my brother and I's beds to land and gash my eyebrow. She patched me up before sending me to the hospital for stitches. She later pulled them out in her bathroom. I was born to fix things. I spent my summer days when not playing ball fixing lawnmowers, and then putting engines in cars. Ruth watched me do all of this from the picture window in her house. Every time I got tangled up in a piece of equipment she would fix it. Me that is! One day the top part of our garage door came loose and swung down just as I was passing under it. The door hit me in the back of the head, sending me to the ground. I saw the black as they say when you're about to go under. She was right there checking the lump on my head and calling my mom.
As I got older the trouble got worse. The point finally came when she had to run my butt to the doctors, covered in blood.
I as a typical teenager had stolen my dads bad ass dirtbike and went racing. At over eighty miles an hour a dog ran out infront of me while I had a friend on the back. I layed it down and lost most of a leather jacket and all the skin on my forarms and left knee. The knee was also broken and swollen like a basketball. the kid I had on the back was ok but for a skinned kneee so he picked the bike up and then me. I got the bike to start but couldn't drive it the block and a half home. The kid I was riding and the kid I was racing got me on the bike facing the wrong way and one rode me home.The other went for Ruth. good as gold she put me in her car and took me to my Dr. Yep she knew him! They cleaned me and stitched me while Ruth took great delight as Dr. gave her the syringe to administer the tetanus shot. So here we were on a warm summer day watching people pick through her things as she cleaned out a lifetime of memories, in preporation to going to live with her son. "I wish you didn't have to go" I said. She reached up to hug me and replied, "Me too, but it's time."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


This is the view looking out the gate where I work. The large tree in the pics isn't usually lying on top of that truck, and it's not usually snuggled around that van. I and another person had just come back from lunch and gone back to work when Mike came by and asked if I had seen the fallen tree. It was like having the elephant in the room suddenly come into view. We cut the van out, but the truck was holding the tree up so we left it for folks with better equipment. The tree kept trying to roll in the gusty winds while we were cutting the van out, and I was reminded of something I'd read.
It seems many christians believe that we are all here for a purpose and that we will not be harmed until we achieve that task. By the standards of my life this wasn't a close call, not even on the same book. I nearly pissed myself when stuck on a cliff once because moving meant falling some seventy feet into a rocky river. I wonder though if I've a task; what is it? Did I do it already? Will I? If I don't, will someone else do it?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Slavery, the human condition

As stated below, Mrs. C and I went to the low country oyster festival on Sunday the twenty seventh. The festival is held at
Boone Hall plantation
I've been to the plantation many times and have often wondered about the past inhabitants of both the big house and the slave quarters. I was raised to know that slavery was a bad thing; but did you ever wonder why? If it was so bad then why did many slaves stay on as servants of the same people? I remember reading stories in a book called "When I Just Can Remember". It was full of accounts of the lives of slaves before and after freedom. I don't really know what life was like for most Africans before slavery, but I presume it to be much like the American Indians. I do know something of the lives of the slave though, and thought I might compare it to the not too distant past of my family. Before I walk along on this journey though I must answer a question that I have wondered about over the years while always knowing the answer. Why did they stay? They stayed for the same reasons that you and I stay in jobs, marriages, homes, and other situations that might not be best for us. They were comfortable! Some days were good and some bad, but they were do able! They also had value! Even as slaves they had value, and were proud of that value. Value is as important to us as air! The amount varies, but fact remains. The slaves at Boone Hall had it better then some, I'm sure. They had housing with a fire place and tile roofs. They also had garden space to grow the plants that would spice their food and nurse their health. They also supplemented their food by fishing and hunting. They had medical attention to help them stay healthy.(though not good even for the times) They had a school to learn to read and write. By contrast my Grandfather had a wife and seven children in a small one room wooden shack in the northern Michigan climate. The old place didn't even have a solid door for a large part of the year! Heat came from a wood stove, as did the heat for cooking. Water was brought in from a pitcher pump in the yard, same as what watered the animals. Medicine was what you grew or knew, and cuts were stitched by Grandma with a needle and thread. Whiskey was the Betadine of the day as well as the sedative. I remember seeing a pic of my Dad as a bit more then a toddler wearing what looked like a flour sack with the arms and head holes cut into the bottom. Grandpa worked a shift at the quarry, and then tended the farm at night and on Sunday. Grandma did the hunting to put meat on the table because she was around home and the best shot. Ammo was a need that couldn't be wasted at that time. The farms first tractor came on a down payment by my Dad, with his Airborne jump money. This meant that Dan and Molly the draft horses could semi retire. School was about a mile up the road, but the cash crop paid for new shoes for the kids once a year. No school if your chores weren't done. Even as a child myself we were poor. We rented from Black people to have a place to live, and grew lots of food to see us through the winters. Mom made the bread that we ate each other day. How poor were we? I grew up fifty feet from the boyhood home of Malcolm Little, also known as Malcolm X. He could tote a gun and hate whitey. We had to work to live. What I would say of slavery is that its evil is in the creation of dependence, and an inability to make ones own way. Welfare is just another form of it. With few exceptions we are all slaves to something or some ideal.
One of my favorite memories is of helping my mom to make the bread for that nights meal. I was just four, but already kneading the dough.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Angel Oak

The pics are from Johns Island South Carolina. The wife and I went down to the coast for the low country oyster festival this past weekend and I thought we would visit this grand old tree. It is a Live Oak; scientific name is Virginia oak or something like that. This tree is the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi at one thousand four hundred years plus. It is twenty five feet around at the base with its longest limb at something like eighty five feet in length. The branches are so heavy that they grow low and sometimes rest on the ground. I've seen some that have taken root where the branch touched the ground and lived after the tree was dead and gone. Here in the deep south the tree isn't deciduous. I think it loses some but not all of its leaves. To stand under the great branches is to know that God is in his heaven.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Election Day

K so here it was the Saturday that we've all been waiting for, Election Day!
The day was wet; bigtime wet! Cold like up north too! So I was talking to a buddy that just happens to be the GOP Chair for our state. I asked him who he was going to vote for. Two days before the election and niether of us knew where we were going to put our vote! After a bit of comiseration we parted ways still not sure. I've a friend in Detroit that keeps sending me Ron Paul stuff to the point that I had to tell him that I thought Ron was a nut case. I hurt his feelings for sure because the emails started to fly. As stated my guy is and was Duncan Hunter. Don't know what is so hard about that but he had no chance. Non! I didnt take the time to debate my friend on the merits of Dr. Paul versus Dunc, or Huck, or anyone else. I was sure I'd ruin a friendship that is worth more then gold to me. After taking the advice of fellow reader Don, I had attended a rally in support of the Fair Tax. We were across the street from the first GOP debate when I got to hear from Duncan, and Mike , and Tom Tancredo. I knew then that Mccain was'nt my guy even though I believe him to be an honest and thoughtful person. Sorry once again John, but there is more to the pic then just the war. Sorry to Ron also but there is a reason to have troops over seas, and some of it is to spread american money in certain areas. Get over it!
So the wife and I go to the polling place in the rain; it's about 1:30 and there is a line but we don't have to wait outside the building like we do on the weekday votes. It was a steady line to get to the three voting machines, but no problems. After the vote we had a flat on the way home that caused me to change a tire in the cold rain before getting my car home. I don't think it was devine intervention though, even though I voted for Huckabee. What I would tell my friend in Detroit is that ideas and ideals are great; but we have to work within the real world. This means that if MCcain wins the nomination he will get my vote! The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I scored first

This is going to seem like whining and I apologize but every once in a while....
I'm a good Irish Polish lad, I work hard I drink harder, and I compete with the best of them; but this latest thing....
What's it like to lose your vision, and know that there is scant reason to believe that you will get it back? Let me give you a brief overview of what I'm looking at.
I have a disease called Sticklers syndrome. It is a hereditary disease that affects Collagen and the connective tissue in my body. The outward signs are bad hearing and severe nearsightedness. We as young people can do things with our joints that others can't. We seem to be double jointed, and can bend in directions most can't while we are young. Things that will break your bones are dislocations to us. Our eyes on the other hand have severe nearsightedness along with glaucoma and cataracts, we also have retnal detachments. We don't hear so well either. We get osteoarthritis as young people and have a high rate of joint failure; mostly hips and knees. I've had a dozen dislocates on each knee before I was thirty. I used to wrestle against high school kids when I was in junior high. While I won a lot, and set records for pins I also took a beating in the knees. I exacerbated the damage by racing Moto Cross on the weekends. At that too I was exceptional. I don't have any way to know if the extra flexibility of my joints helped and gave me an advantage or not, but I beat folks that had very much better equipment than I. Folks that know me know that I have one eye that I see with, the other being artwork by a clinic in Grenville SC. At fourtyfive I'm losing the vision in my eye due to a cataract. The symptoms are loss of acuity and a haze around everything during the day. I am a mechanic by trade and a good one in my field of expertise. As of now there are many jobs that I cannot undertake because I can't see well enough to perform. Soon I will lose my ability to drive and then my job. The future at this point looks bleak indeed, so I try as I did on our trip to see as much as I can. One never knows when the end of a thing is upon them. I looked at the palm trees in California like I would never see the likes again, because I might not. I looked at the nearly bare breasts of the bartender at the Sweetwater Saloon the same way. I looked at the faces of my daughter and her family knowing that I might not see them as clear again ever. I am ever grateful for what I have, but I worked hard all my life; I've fought with everything I have, and dammit I scored first! I'm way behind at halftime but dammit I scored first!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Our Trip

Sorry for the delays but it's bowl season, and I can't think until my Wolverines play. (Loved the smackdown on a man and a team I don't like)
I'm reminded of that John Denver song, It really is a long way from Charlotte to San Diego, and made worse by some child kicking the back of my seat all the way. Mom and two little ones were continuing on to India, god help the folks on that plane! I now know what jet lag is, and I'm not a fan; I was tired all week. This was the first Christmas We've had as a family in about five years I think. It was the first Christmas at the home of my daughter; This moved my wife more then me for some reason. One of my favorite treats is the lil Biscoff cookies that you get if you fly Delta Airlines. I've never found them in a store, but when I got to Daughters house there was a whole sleeve of them waiting for me. The trip just kept getting better after that. While there we went to the USS Midway Museum. This was my first time on a navy ship, and it was kinda cool to be on one that I had built a model of as a child. So now you know something about me that you didn't, I used to build model Navy war ships. My Son in law (jeez it seems weird to say that) was kind enough to indulge us by driving us and taking us anywhere we wanted to go, and knowing where Mrs C could find the things to complete her Christmas shopping. Thanks T. We also went to T's uncles house for a family lunch on Christmas eve. Uncle Cliff's wife is Vietnamese, and so was lunch! What a treat! We had chicken soup though I used a fork for the noodles and meat. Sorry but I would have starved if I had to use the sticks. :) I had my first shrimp chip (I could eat them for hours) and a mint salad. We had Vietnamese egg rolls that were to die for, and took a bag home with us. Mrs C and I snacked on them while waiting on Christmas dinner. Uncle Cliff is retired from the Navy, and so we had some of his stories. I wonder if I might be able to get an invite for next year. I have a step grand child that is a sweet human being, and Dad and step Mom are going to keep her that way I'm sure. Daughter cooked both Christmas eve and Christmas dinner; they had a couple from home over for the eve dinner that were new to the area. It was a bit tough seeing my lil girl all grown up with a life and a family of her own but I sure am proud of her and T. The pics are of a swift boat that I took at the Vietnam monument on base at Coronado, and the beach at same base called seal beach; where the bad men train. Last is the flight deck of the Midway. I had almost forgotten that we got to chat with a survivor of Pear Harbor from the Utah on the Midway. He told me that when they abandoned ship the Japs were strafing the water so they would dive under when they saw a plane until it passed thus avoiding the bullets.