Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sunday - Santa Monica beach

What a lovely day for a drive up the coast. Over 70 flights were camcelled at Limburgh Field today. Fog. Inland it was all beautiful. We drove up to Santa Monica because we heard about a group that places crosses on the beach every Sunday as a tribute to the fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan. They call it Arlington West. We got there and were able to dedicate a cross for Jeremiah. Actually, we were surprised to find one was already done. Two others had been here before us. One just left initials on the sign he made, and the other was made by Sgt. Huff, who served with Jeremiah. He's presently back in Iraq. The display is moving. They do this every Sunday.

They have a table for more information and offer a lot of materials for returning vets about many services available, including medical, schooling, etc.

The group who sponsors this is Vets for Peace who advocate bringing everybody home now. I personally do not agree with their viewpoint but do appreciate any tribute to the fallen.

Monday, December 1, 2008


The weather has been pretty normal for SD since we've been here. Morning overcast and nice days as it burns off. The coast has been foggier, though, so not really beach weather. Saturday we met with Gary P. and Stephen and Zina and played miniatue golf at Boomers in El Cajon. Lots of fun. Afterwards, we went to a decent sit down Mexican restaurant in downtown El Cajon, called Por Favor. Laurie's sister Linda met us there and we ate. After that everyone went their own way and Laurie and I went to Pacific Beach and strolled along the beach. There is this place called Crystal Pier that has been there since the 40s or longer. It has these bungalows along the pier where you can rent and the rest of the pier usd to be for the private use of the renters. It's open now for the public and we walked out to the end of the pier and watched the surfers below waiting for their waves to come in. After the sun sank into the ocean we left the beach and drove down Garnet to where all the beach night life was. We strolled through some shops and rested at this local pub with outside tables and ate some rolled tacos and margaritas. A very nice day and evening. I promise to post some pictures after I get home on my computer. Really.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Vacation.....Gotta Get Away

I wonder if this is what the Go-gos meant? Thanksgiving was fun, and we all ate a lot. Most of Laurie's family was there and everybody behaved. Later we played Mexican train and had dessert. Just a typical holiday, but we haven't been home for this time of year since we moved to ND so it was kind of special. Friday Laurie and I went to Old Town and walked around a looked at the shops. It has kind of grown up. It was always a tourist draw, but now it's more apparently commercial. Not bad though. Walking down the street, we passed the Whaley House, a landmark and famous haunted house. We didn't feel like going in this time. Later we passed the Chuck Jones gallery and found it pretty amazing. There were a lot of Dr. Suess paintings on display as well as Jones' work from his Warner Bros. days and his work on Dr. Suess' animated stories like the Grinch. There was also some great work by a few other artists. One amazing set of paintings and scuptures were by Markus Pierson. His work is centered on this coyote character. It's ahrd to explain, the work is kind of dark but not negative. A lot of hope, dreams, and love. I'd suggest visiting the CJ Gallery website or Pierson's to see more. They are really amazing. After all this we walked around the Old Town Square and saw some great shops as well as a Wells Fargo exhibit. Pretty cool. We met later with Gary and had dinner at Chevy's in Mission Valley. An okay restaurant. They don't serve shredded beef so that was disapointing and the Carnitas (hsredded pork) was a bit fatty. I thought it was better last time when we went there about two years ago. Oh well. I'll try to post a bunch of pictures soon. Later.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Beam me up, Scotty!!

We went to the Air and Space museum today. We took Richard and Armin with us. The museum is hosting a StarTrek exhibit right now. It cost a bit more than it should but was a cool exhibit. You walk down corridors like on the Enterprise and see Picard's room, the Transporter deck and lots of displays of coustumes and equipment from the show. We had a good time. Out side was many vistage aircraft from all ages and many displays of replicas and engines and such. The museum was also hosting a Bonnis and Clyde exhibit. Inside were many things from the time of the two outlaws. A Will Rogers dispaly, a Dirigible display, and many other things. Some was a bit grusome as thet had the car the ooutlaws were killed in. Also the shirt Clyde Barrow was wearing at the time. ick. We spent a couple of hours at the museum and enjoyed it a lot. Laurie and I walked around famous Balboa park and made plans for a return in the next couple of weeks. They have a package you can buy that allows you into all the museums there for about half the price. It also gives you 7 days to use it. We are thinking about it. Some of the museums were free back when I was in high school and Jr. high and I spent a lot of time there, but some I've never been to. Yeah, we're just trying to have fun.

The adventure continues......

I'm typing on Laurie's laptop, and I'm really not comfortable with it. I'll post some pictures after we get home. We were able to get our car on Monday so now we're mobile. We drove around a bit and visited my old friend Richard and his wife. Also this older ex-school teacher who has been a friend to my family forever. Her son and daughter went to high school with my brother David and I and her daughter was even married to David for a time.

We've landed!

We landed on Saturday and were driven immediately to a favorite hole-in-the-wall taco shop. There I inhaled and beef and bean burrito. Except for what we've eaten here in Laurie's mom's house, It's been all mexican. Sorry, ND there's nothing mexican going on there. Sat with her folks Saturday night and played Mexican train.

Sunday we did some shopping and went to an open house of a couple who have been married for 66 years. They are friends of my in-laws and their son, Cliff, was the minister at Jeremiah's funeral. Then we went home and that night play card games and vivited with Laurie's niece and her two boys. My hapless Cagrgers dropped another one they should have won. Once again by less than five points.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'm Leavin... On a Jet Plane!

We are almost out the door on our vacation to California and South Carolina. It's -7 windchill here and 70 there. I'm not sure if I can take it. If you need me, I'll be at the beach!

Death of a friend

My friend Taylor sent this to me. Maybe it explains the title and focus of this blog.

My parents told me about Mr. Common Sense early in my life and told me I would do well to call on him when making decisions. It seems he was always around in my early years but less and less as time passed by. Today I read his obituary. Please join me in a moment of silence in remembrance, for Common Sense had served us all so well for so many generations.

Obituary: Common Sense. Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn't always fair and maybe it was my fault. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children are in charge).His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Aspirin, sun lotion or a Band-Aid to a student, but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know my Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I'm a Victim. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If youstill remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How do you know a liberal is lying.....

William Ayers was interviewed by Cris Cuomo on Good Morning America. The ABC website says he "grilled" him. Right. Ayers is still unrepentant and repeated that statement. Then he says

"It's not terrorism because it doesn't target people, to kill or injure," .

Bull. Violence to instill fear or anarchy in order to cause change is exactly what terrorism is. William is splitting hairs. Liar and coward.

Then he whines about his treatment by the press and the McCain camp. Waaa. Crybaby.

Then he says, "I never hurt or killed anyone,". This isn't true. He put 8 people in the hospital.

This man is evil to even consider the acts he did in a free society instead of working through the system. Yeah, he thought it was urgent, but so what? It was still wrong, he still did it, he got away with it and mocked the system that allowed it to happen. "Guilty as hell, Free as a bird! What a great country!" He stated on the court steps after getting off on a technicality.

What slime. That's my opinion.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Veteran's Day 08

Memorial Bridge

Hangin' wit the Gov.

We found out at the last minute that there was a ceremony in Bismarck on Veteran's day where they were dedicating the addition of Iraq and Afghanistan casualties to the memorial at the cultural center there. After hurriedly arraigning to take the day off, we drove down. Governor Hoeven spoke as did Senator Dorgan and Congressman Pomeroy. Also the Mayors of both cities. Afterwards we viewed the memorial and later went home. The Memorial bridge that runs across the Missouri from Bismarck to Mandan has just been rebuilt and the dedication for that was the same day. We did go to the bridge and walk down it a bit and took a couple of pictures but didn't stay for the speeches and such. It was still a long and emotional day.

Bad Weather

Things have been a little crazy around here. We had a freezing rain storm on thursdany before last. I got home from work to no power. I ate and read a little by flashlight and went to bed early. Friday Laurie (she was working nights) got home and called me to say the power wouldn't be on until Saturday afternoon. So I stayed at Alex's and went to work from there. When I got home the power was back on. They got some snow in the southern and western parts of the state but not up here. Bismarck and Devils Lake both had snow, We had the ice, and Grand Forks got nothing.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I Voted!

It's such a rush when you get to exercise your power. Here in Petersburg, most of the folks are elderly and didn't want to go out to vote so the entire town (pop. 195) did absentee voting. We went to Lakota which is the county seat and voted there. This may be one of the most important elections ever. McCain is not Bush and Obama is not a centrist. Without the backing of the mainstream media and internet contributors Obama would never have beaten Hillary. So we have a moderate republican against the #1 and #3 most liberal democrats in Washoington. I just worry about extremeism on either side. I would never have voted for a David Duke either. Here's another thing that bothers me. The FBI stopped a couple of idiot neo-nazis from assasinating Obama and I say that's great. I'd never want harm to come to anyone like that. This is a great country and Obama wants to change everything. Don't argue about it, it has been documented. When he feels the constitution is flawed because it doesn't give the government enough power over the people there is something wrong. The constitution is designed to give the power to the people. Yeah, Vote early, vote often.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Just a Note....

Our daughter Eliza is off at basic training for the National Guard at Fort Jackson, SC. This should be great for her. She needs to gain some discipline in her life. Probably due to my spoiling her for 18 years. She wants to go into med-corp as a medic. She will graduate on Dec. 17th and we hope to be there for that as we were for Jeremiah.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

National Flag for Fallen Warriors Unveiled


Check out this website.

The Mission:
To create, establish and promote a nationally recognized flag that would fly continuously as a visible reminder to all Americans of the lives lost in defense of our national freedoms. All Military lives lost not only in action but also in service, from our nation's inception.

Please give them your support and sign the petition.


First Snow

It snowed late last night and early this morning. Just a dusting and most of it melted this afternoon. Temps are going back up so it'll melt but it will be back. We're leaving for California a couple of days before Thanksgiving and when we come back we'll probably go through Fort Jackson, SC where Eliza will be graduating from basic training. We got a couple of kittens recently. We needed more barn cats since the neighbor's dog comes after them. What else? Oh yeah, there's a new Lee Ann Womack album coming out. I think I'll get it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Weather's Changing

This is posted on Weatherunderground this week:

Columbus Day
Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of rain and snow showers in the morning...then slight chance of rain showers in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 40s. West winds 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 20 percent.

See it? Yeah, snow. I tell you, up here in the northland, the seasons don't waste any time with changing. two weeks of spring and two of fall. everything else is summer (just long enough to make you forget what winter was like) and winter (long enough so you forget what being warm was and when did we last have a summer?)

okay, it's comming quickly. Enjoy your San Diego and Alabama readers.

Monday, September 29, 2008

No life here

No one's reading this anyway, so I'll just say what's on my mind. We know who is responsible for this financial crisis and who tried to do something about it. Barney Frank sat there in congressional hearings in 2005 and lied about the ability of Fannie and Freddie to stay afloat. They (Democrats) lied about F. Raines' ability to manage such an entity. Then congress ignored all the warnings of Pres. Bush and Sen. McCain and others that this was going to fail. It failed and so they want to blame the President's policies, and the Republicans in general. Phoo.

The new deal comes to vote today and they can't get it passed. They even have Bush"s arm twisted so if they pass it, he won't veto it. They have enough Dems in congress that they don't even need Republicans to get it through. It failed to pass. Which means they are so out-of-touch that they can't even get all the Democrats on board.

This deal is bad and if you don't think you want to pay for the crimes and misdealings of Rains, Johnson, Frank and the others, you'd better call your representatives and tell them. Then make sure you get to the polls in November so these people don't get to run the country like they are running Fannie and Freddie.

I especially like Pelosi calling the republicans unpatriotic just when she needs their votes. She can't help turning this into some partisan mudslinging affair.

Wake up people they lunatics are trying to run the asylum.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Setting!!!

I just changed the setting for comments. So all of you who might read this blog do not have to have a Yahoo account to post comments. I do so much for you. (LOL)

Friday, September 12, 2008

The end of journalism

(as we know it) Sean Hannity declared today, that journalism is officially dead in this country. After months of the mainstream press giving Obama a basic pass on every question raised about his past, this same press has sent over 30 "investigators" to Alaska to dig up any possible dirt on Govenor Palin. I must agree with this assessment.

At the same time we rehash all the "acquaintances" of Senator Obama and remember that his usual response to questions are answers like "I never heard the Reverend say that", or "I was only 8 years old when they were blowing things up" , or "yes, I was at the million man march, but I never knew the Father was a friend of Farrakhan's". He didn't do it, know about it, wasn't even there. I'm just wondering if he is really trying to get us to think he's the world's dumbest smart guy.

Just A Thought

Okay, so they successfully fired off the Large Hadron Collider the other day. Fifteen Years and 6.2 billion dollars spent to get a 30 second flash of light. This might be the first step in defining the Big Bang. While this is probably important on some geek level, I can't help wondering if understanding how the universe began is ultimately beneficial. Then I started thinking how many third-world countries could have been educated into the 21st century with all that time and money. But I'm sure that I'm missing something here.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Skulking Deer

I looked out my window the other morning, and saw this little deer in the back yard. I took a couple of pictures. Later, in the afternoon, it was back. I got a great picture from my window when it got really close to the window. Also one where the babe is up on hind legs grabbing leaves. Look closely in the trees and you'll see mommy, too. The I got one of the mom as she moved around a bit. Cool!

Technical Difficulties

I'm Back! I was off-line for a while because I broke my USB port on the front of my computer where my wireless card is plugged in. I've always had troubles when I had it in the back so I used it in the front. Then we had a storm and that always knocks out my internet. Finally, I moved the card and reloaded the install program and got it working. I just have one less thing plugged into the back, but I never use my webcam anyway.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

My Little Canner!

Laurie's been very busy lately. She loves canning and I'm not enough help, but I try. Pickles, Raspberry Jam, Peach Butter, Peach Butter w/ Cinnamon,3-Bean Salad, and the ever present, Pickled Beets. Also we have frozen peas, beans, and squash. Our tomatoes got a blight but some will be okay for salsa. Then, the cherry and grape tomatoes are doing great and are very sweet. It's kinda exciting. I planted a bunch of shrubs and they are doing good too. I just love living here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Secondary Trivial Post

If you look at my albums list, These are albums that I pick up at thrift stores. We're talking Vinyl here. I don't have them all in one place and they are not that accessible for the most part, but I must have close to a thousand now. It's just a collection. I have a player I got from my friend Dr. Lawson who was my dentist until he retired. You might notice these albums mostly seem to be from the 70s. This is just what is out there. You don't see much 60s or 80s stuff, and everything newer, of course, is on CD.

Anniversary Passed!

August 8th was the anniversary of our moving to North Dakota! Has it really been 12 Years? I've only been back to San Diego twice but we're going back this fall. A lot of memories, kids growing up, adjusting to new weather, different houses and towns, a great church, and now, Laurie's fantastic new career and my current job that's a departure from what I've always done. Wow... We first moved to Devils Lake into an apartment where some friends of Laurie's lived, Then moved to this house uptown. It had been fixed so two small families could live in it. One in the basement. We've become friends of the landlord and always stop to talk with them when we see them. The house was weird so we moved into this 80 yaer old huge house near downtown. It had one time been 5 apartments but was originally a single family dwelling. Here is where we spent most of our time in ND. Laurie eventually locked herself in the attic that was very big and studied for a year or so when she got into nursing school. It was here that we went through most of the troubles of raising high-spirited children. Here we lost Jeremiah. Then we moved outside Petersburg to our current place. 28 acres of hay and insects. There's a lot that needs to be done but I have never felt so at home in my life. I can sit out on the porch at night and listen to nature and sometimes I think I hear God. I know I see has hand out there. One day, it was evening and this fog rolled in. It was so low that it just sat in the channel that runs across our land. The sun was sinking behind it and the hay had been cut but more had grown. It was magnificent but faded before I could break my rapture and get a camera. One night I was coming back from the barn and walking towards the front of the house. It was lit up from the yard lights and there was this gigantic full moon just above the garage. I had no equipment capable of capturing such a sight but it was wonderous. It's August late, so football's starting which means the weather is changing. We'll be watching for tornadoes and soon the deer will be everywhere. I am so thankful for what I have. I know it really doesn't belong to me, God is just letting me use it. But until he calls me to a better place, I'll cherish this one. Selah.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm Aghast

Okay, so I'm watching O'Rielly, and he's talking about Obama. The basic discussion is how well we know Obama and his core beliefs. Bill is talking to Dr. Lamont Hill. (I just want to say this is not about Obama, it's about Dr. Hill) and Bill mentions that Obama says he was introduced to his christian faith through Rev. Wright and how would he reconcile his christianity with his stands on abortion rights. Well, Dr. Hill says it's not a problem because abortion rights are consistant with true christianity. The fundamentalists have it wrong when they say the bible stands against it. Bill is floored and askes Dr. Hill is he thinks Jesus would agree with the far left approach to abortion. Dr. Hill states that Jesus would be even further on the left!

Wait! I know that just when you think you've got things figured out, someone will surprise you anyway. This "guy" Hill is a loon. I don't know what bible he's been reading from. If God says he knew the prophet Jeremiah before he was born and indeed knew even the number of hairs on his head, this seems to make God's position is that once conceived, you are a person, and therefore granted the right to live long enough to make a decision for or against faith. It follows, then, that abortion is murder because it interferes with this right. This is a foundational idea and Dr. Hill, if he has had any study, if not belief, in Christianity should know this.

This guy is just a loon and always surprises me on how far out he is. It doesn't help to know he is teaching young people in college.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Motorcycle Training

It's been awhile but I'm back for now. Laurie and I spent a weekend down in Fargo at the NDMSF training seminar. North Dakota Motorcycle Safety Foundation. This organization is national out of California and they hold seminars on motorcycle skills. If you are a new rider or a wanna-be new rider you can take this three-day class and learn the skills to pass the driver's test and operate a bike safely. The class was fun and we both passed. Some DMVs will waive the practical test at the DMV if you've had this course. Many insurance carriers will also grant a discount for it. I beat her on the written test (big deal) but she whaled on me with the practical. Maybe because she's been riding her bike a bit. Anyway, they hold the class on a closed-course so you don't have to worry about traffic. You go through a series of exercises to teach operations, turning, stopping etc. They have a bunch of smaller bikes (175cc and 250cc in our case) so the bike isn't overwhelming. The instructor's were great and I learned a lot. Now I just have to go get my license.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Movies, Movies, Movies July 2008

This is a movie review! Those of you who are easily offended need not read this. May contain spoilers.

Hancock. I really enjoyed this movie. All I knew was what I had seen in the trailers except for an interview with Charlize Theron and Jason Bateman. Big movie plug but I didn't watch much of it. Liked the humor and effects. The movie moved pretty good so I never had a chance to process much or get bored. The actual relationship between Will and Charlize's characters surprised me. And I really thought someone was going to die badly and I'd be upset. I liked it and recommended it.

Get Smart. Seen it twice. Good effects. and a lot of that thing where they reference the old show. I like Masi Oki and it took awhile to realize his name was Bruce Lee. Also I like Dwayne Johnson as he is becoming a great actor. Often, people who come from sports have a hard time breaking free of their stereotype. Alex Carras did it. "Let me see the eyebrow again, Rock!" I think Steve Carell is becoming a great actor too. Is this the first time Caan and Arkin have made a movie together since Freebie and the Bean? Maybe there will be a sequel with a bigger part for agent 13 (Bill Murray) and Hymie (Patrick Warburton). I'm a big fan of Patrick's due to the vocal subtleties he used in "The Emporer's New Grove". Gush Gush, I just like movies.

We had no pay channels on our Dish but were recording so many movies from pay-per-view that just getting Cinemax will save us money.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Stop using these phrases.

Don't you hate it when some clever phrase becomes popular. and everybody starts using it. Is this a form of shorthand communication that by using the phrase everyone knows what you mean without you having to be eloquent enough to be original?

current phrases I don't want to here anymore:
"at the pump" as in "We're feeling it at the pump"
"on the ground" a military operations expression but used to mean where the action is happening.
"at the end of the day" who you really are. I really hate this one.

This is my story and I'm sticking to it!

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's Windy!

We're having a bit of wind today. The weather service posted a wind advisory to last until 7:00pm. At seven they updated it to 9:00pm. It's nine now and it doesn't look like it's done. 25mph at this time. The temp has dropped from the high 70s to below 60 in a couple of hours. Out here in ND we have shelter belts. This is a man-made thing. Lewis and Clarke just saw open prarie when they were here, but the farmers plant rows of trees to break up the wind so the crops can grow. I had to bring in the plants from the porch as they were blowing around. We planted a bunch of trees and shrubs last month. All of the Lilacs are doing great. The Nanking Cherry bushes are starting the get leaves. Unfortunatly, the Sand Cherries and the Hackberries look like they didn't make it. I also planted three Golden Currants and one is doing okay I think. The veggie garden is going nuts and we have lots of stuff coming up. Fun.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Out On A Limb

I'm just sitting here doing some housework and catching up on my O'Reilly Factors. I've watched a couple of installments today, but one segment just hit me pretty hard. I think this is important. Let me set things up a bit to diffuse the obvious comments that really are not relavent. Bill O was not hosting the show I was watching. John Casek was. Also the comments that I'm addressing were not made by the host.

Jazz singer Rene Marie was asked to sing the national anthem at this function in Denver. When she got up to sing, she sang a different song (same tune) having to do with black struggles. There has been some uproar in Denver over this. One of the guests on the Factor was Dr. Lamont Hill. His position over this is that it was no big deal and used the argument that if she had sung "God Bless America" it would have been the same thing - she didn't sing what she was supposed to sing. One of thre main arguments was that the song she sang, instead of uplifing America pointed the finger of oppression at it.

Here's my problem. First, if she didn't feel comfortable singing an American song as an American, she should have turned it down. Second, Dr. Hill did what he always does and that is to blather on about how oppressed blacks have always been in this country and we should just feel guilty and let them do everything they want, including giving them the best china of the table.

I've had it! Wrongs have been done and now the system is pretty equitable. Except blacks are always trying to use our past against us to stack the odds in their favor. I'm not wealthy and have my own share of struggles. I don't think of blacks, natives, asians, or anyone else as being inferior to me on the basis of their race. But I find it really hard to accept a black person as just another human being (colorless) while being constantly reminded of things done that no one in his family was around to experience.

This singer once told a crowd that as a black woman she has never really felt like an American. And Dr. Hill just keeps on defending this type of behavior and never sees that black people can be wrong too. He always argues on the side of the black in the conversation. He defended Rev. Wright, Al Sharpton, and many others no matter how divisive or outrageous their actions or words. And he is always ready to condemn whites in the reverse. He's just a yes-man for the African community and as such, I think he does a lot more harm than good.

I just get tired of hearing how bad the African-Americans have had it and still have it today, when most of their present problems such as crime and broken families are brought on themselves.

I do applaud Bill Cosby, Tyler Perry, and Shelby Steele who are in the fight to help African-Americans take responsibility for their own lives.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The next day

We had a great time yesterday. We had a some friends out in the evening for supper and fireworks. Russ and Helen brought some and we had some too. It was really fun and we managed to not burn down the house. The ladies posed for pictures on Laurie's bike. It was just fun. The hayfields were full of fireflies and they looked like they were having a lot more fun than the poor horses. Today we had church. We had our service outside in the church's side yard. It was great. Afterwards we had a fellowship potluck with burgers and hot dog. It's been a wonderful week. It's going to be hard returning to work on Tuesday. Oh Well....

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy Birthday America!!

My boys used to go to these antique tractor shows and ride like this with their Gramps.
The V.F.W. Main float.
Check out what else the Klementruds building is being used for!
Awesome construct of the local Catholic Church.

Yes, I'm a little behind. I intend to post 31 posts this month. Maybe a little ambitious but hey! Yesterday was the Fourth, and we had a busy day. Laurie worked an overnight so she didn't get home until 6 or 7 am. We got ready and left for Devils Lake. It is Devils Lake's 125 Anniversary so this year's parade was special. Sporting our matching "Pure American" T-shirts and our Gold star pins, We rode in the parade representing Gold Star Parents. The Local VFW Ladie's Auxillary handles such related activities. It was pretty emotional for us, more than we thought it would be. Many people clapped just because the VFW is a supporter of our troops, but we got a lot of applause and "Thank You"s because of Jeremiah's service. It was really nice. Here are some photos from the parade, and if I get some of us I'll post them.
Afterwards, we went home for a bit and then went back to a friend's farm out in Brinsmade for a potluck, fellowship, and fireworks. I got a chance to visit with a lot of friends I haven't seen for a while. What a great day!

Gold Star Mothers/Parents

We belong to one of those groups that no one really wants to be in. We are Gold Star Parents. Below is an article about it.

By: Angie Magruder
In May 1918 President Wilson approved the suggestion of the Women's Committee of National Defenses. It recommended that American women should wear a black band on the upper left arm, adorned with a gold star. Each star representing a family member who had given his or her life for their country. This was suggested in lieu of conventional mourning attire.
The "star" tradition began in WW I when white Service Flags were displayed from homes, business, schools and churches to indicate, by the use of a blue star, each active service member in the U.S. Military. A gold star stitched over a blue star showed the nation those who had given their lives for their country and the devotion and pride of those left behind. This tradition continued through WW II.
In his Letter to the Women's Committee by Pres. Wilson the term "Gold Star Mother" was first used. The Gold Stars not only signified the supreme sacrifice made by the deceased, but intended to give their family a measure of pride and consolation. June 4th, 1928 was the day a group of 25 mothers in Wn DC made plans to begin a national organization to be known as American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. It was to be a nonpolitical, nondenominational and nonprofit organization. Incorporated on Jan 5, 1929, it had 65 charter members from all areas of the U.S. As recently as June 12, 1984, the ninety-eighth U.S. Congress granted the GSM, Inc. a Federal Charter. A list of purposes and provisions are listed, to include general promotion of peace and good will in: assisting veterans and their dependents in the presentation of claims to the V.A.; perpetuating the memory of those whose lives were sacrificed; giving lessons of patriotism, love of country and respect for the country's flag to local communities and to extend assistance to all GSM. This organization was and is open to all mothers of fallen soldiers of all wars as well as those who have died a service-related death.
Presently GSM groups give support to their local veteran's hospitals in many ways and help with and attend veteran's ceremonies. They have their own license plate available, monthly meetings, annual conventions, and are eligible to live at the group's complex, American Gold Star Manor in Long Beach, CA. The last Sunday of September has officially been declared GSM day. Upon the death of a son or daughter, the U. S. Gov't provides the mother (and often the other family members) a small gold-star pin.
Betty Spengler, a resident at The Fairfax in Alexandria, lost her son in Viet Nam. She said , "You always have your memories that are there--especially during the Holidays."
My mother-in-law, Julia Magruder, also a GSM lost her youngest son in Vietnam while all three of her sons were serving. She shared the following: "My receiving the gold star was a satisfying and proud remembrance of the son it stood for. The smallness of the pin creates a very personal relationship when worn. It signifies so much."

For more information you can go to: http://www.goldstarmoms.com/

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I am so thankful for Liberals. I have come to realize that they are a neccesary facet of our culture. Here's why. Conservatism, in my opinion, is the correct standard for a society. The basic tenents of hard work, faith, Government non-interference in citizen's lives, Government sponsored protection of our way of life, leads to a stronger society. However, because we are people, we go astray. When society devolves to selfishness or loses it's focus on the things that matter, then the Liberals come in and start a "cultural revolution". In the 60's because bigotry and a focus on a rather plastic lifestyle had become the way things were, a group of people dropped-out (but were never silent) and gave the country a good hard look at the direction it was going. It got straightened out and we moved on. twenty years later, it happened again. Not so much because the cold war was a wrong, or our doing, but because the average person was more focused on his own life and getting ahead. A lot of needs in the country and the world needed addressing but we just wanted to watch Miami Vice and dance. The punk movement brought about needed social awareness and brought us back to center. Now, it's starting to happen again and the Liberals are causing people to become interested and involved. The only problem I have with all this is that once the Liberals get us centered, they want to keep moving left and jump down the rabbit hole towards socialism. What should happen is we wake up and cling to the ideas that we should be about and drop the ones that are selfish. Liberals want to throw out everything as though it's conservatism that's wrong and move towards a system that has never worked anywhere for very long. (aren't you glad I didn't say the baby with the bathwater?). This is my story and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Devils Lake, ND celebrates 125 years

It's 125 years for Devils Lake, ND. The town was named for the large body of water to the south. The local natives called it Minnewaken or Spirit Lake. This is because the lake has a high alkaline level and every spring when it thaws it smells kinda like a huge compost heap. The natives thought this was the result of the spirits in the water awakening for spring. The white settlers (and Lewis and Clark) translated it as evil spirits or "devils" hence the name.

Okay, that's done. What I want to say, is that the local paper published a special edition and in it is a feature, "Do you remember these unforgettable faces?" many pictures of townspeople in an earlier time. But the first picture is my son Jeremiah. We are so pleased the folks at the Journal remembered and thought he should be in there.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

You Could Have Heard A Pin Drop

I got this from my daughter. I'm not sure of the source but, I Like It!

When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building' by George Bush. He answered by saying, 'Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.
You could have heard a pin drop.
Then there was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break one of the French engineers came back into the room saying 'Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?' A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: 'Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?'
You could have heard a pin drop
A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies.
At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of Officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French Admiral suddenly complained that, 'whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English.' He then asked, 'Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?'
Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied'Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German.'
You could have heard a pin drop.
A group of Americans, retired teachers, recently went to France on a tour. Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on. 'You have been to France before, monsieur?' the customs officer asked sarcastically. Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously. 'Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.' The American said, 'The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it.' 'Impossible. Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France!' The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained. 'Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in '44 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find any Frenchmen to show it to.'
You could have heard a pin drop
What Is A Veteran?
A 'Veteran' -- whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve -- is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America,' for an amount of 'up to, and including his life.'
That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today, who no longer understand that fact.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Coming Soon! San Diego Comic Con !

The SDCC is next month on the week of my birthday. Phoo! I will be here in ND and not there. Someday soon I'd like to attend again. My brother Stephen and I were minor members of the original staff when the con began many, many years ago.

We've met some great people through the years, though I haven't attended one for probably 25 or more years. Most memorable for me were, Kirk Allyn - the origninal Superman from the movie serials way before my time, Bob Clampett - who created many of the Warners Bros cartoon characters as well as Beany and Cecil, Harlan Ellison - one of my favorite sf writers, and topping the list was the Con's good friend and mentor, Ray Bradbury! And I only attended a few of the cons, wow! This was the first place I saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show and the outtakes from the original King Cong in reverse! Also I'll never forget Richard Corbin's Neverwhere - the debut of his Den character.

I have no idea who all will be there but if you like comics and sf and fantasy and movies about any of this stuff, you would like this. There are still amny cons i think around, but the SDCC has grown into the premier convention around.

I had the dvd of the movie Serenity which was the culmination of a tv series called Firefly. On the dvd was a feature about how the staff had attended the SDCC and found out that there was a lot more support for their cancelled show than they knew. This prompted them to make the movie.

I'm listing a link so you can check it out for yourself. Keep the Faith (as Stan Lee would say)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Counter Culture Hero Dies

George Carlin, one of my favorite comedians has passed away at the age of 71. Complaining of chest pains, he went to the doctor and later died. Carlin had a history of heart problems. I always admired him though lately I agreed with him less and less. He always looked for a different take on things in life and made me search my beliefs deeper. I will miss him. Does anyone remember him as the conductor on Shining Time Station?

My prayers go our for his family. We will miss him.

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Fences (Apologies to Garth Brooks)

I spent a few hours today and expanded the second horse fence that is in a tree break. The nags have eaten all the ground cover which is what I wanted them to do. I extended the area another 100 ft roughly doubling the size of the area. The first picture above shows where the old line was. The second shows some really happy horses up to their bellys in fresh hay. (We're sittin' in tall grass now, Jeb). When we put them over there, it didn't take Ally and Whiskey long to realize they could go there. Ringo, always the chicken, took awhile to get it figured out.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

We will never forget

Today is the 2nd anniversary of our son's death in Iraq. We must never forget the brave soldiers who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Nor should we forget there are many people in the world who would like to see our very way of life erased from this world. We must continue to protect this country and our allies.

Jeremiah will always be my hero. I miss him very much. I want to relate a story about us. He came home on Thanksgiving 2005 and told me he wanted to get a tattoo. The thing was, he wanted me to get it too. I had never even considered getting a tattoo before. He designed one and the next day we went to Magoo's in Grand Forks and got the job done. The tattoo is a chess piece-a knight- his favorite piece. on the base are the words "No Guts - No Glory" This is a phrase my mother used to say to us kids. I used to say it to Jeremiah and Alexander as a tool to push them when they had to do some task that they didn't want to do. It wasn't that big to me, just fun with the boys, but it made a big impression on Jeremiah and he wanted it included. I was very moved. Now I have a reminder that I'll never misplace and have with me every day.

here are a couple of announcements from that time:

DoD Identifies Army Casualty
June 17, 2006 The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Spc. Jeremiah S. Santos, 21, of Minot, N.D., died in Baghdad, Iraq, on June 15 of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV during combat operations. Santos was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

June 19, 2006 Hoeven Statement On The Death Of Spc. Jeremiah S. Santos In Iraq
BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. John Hoeven today issued the following statement in response to the death of Spc. Jeremiah S. Santos of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division of Fort Hood, Texas. Jeremy died in combat in Iraq on June 15:
“Mikey and I, and all North Dakotans, are deeply saddened by the death of Spc. Jeremiah Santos, who gave his life in the service of his country in Iraq. We extend our sympathy to his family and friends, and we will keep them in our prayers.
“Jeremiah’s warmth touched many people, especially at his church and school, and his love of country inspired pride in all who knew him. He was a son of North Dakota and a true American hero. We pledge never to forget his sacrifice or the sacrifice of his family in these difficult times.”

GrandForks Herald -- BISMARCK, N.D. - Spc. Jeremiah Santos got applause when he spoke to his church congregation this spring about his military service Iraq. On Sunday, church members in Devils Lake were mourning his death.
Santos, 21, who lived in Devils Lake and Minot, died in Baghdad on Thursday in a roadside bomb attack, Army officials said. A roadside bomb detonated near his Humvee during combat, the military said Saturday in a statement. The Rev. Bruce Dick, of the Bethel Evangelical Free Church, said Santos addressed the congregation in March, while home on leave from Iraq. "Jeremiah really loved serving his country, and told us he was proud of what he did - and he made no apologies for being there," Dick said. "He said he loved the people there." Dick said Santos' speech drew applause from the congregation of about 175 people. On Sunday, the mood had changed with the news of his death. "We shed a lot of tears," Dick said. Santos also had talked with a youth group at the church, while home on leave this spring. "Even our children are aware of who he is," Dick said. The war has brought a U.S. death toll of about 2,500. "Until now, the number 2,500 had just become a number to us but now we have a face and a name," Dick said. "It has touched us here and we will never look at that number the same." Dick described Santos as "self-confident, strong and very determined." Dick said Santos had turned his life around before joining the military. "Jeremiah had come through some tough times - he made some bad choices as a kid and had come out that," Dick said. "Everybody was proud of him." Santos left school and attended the Quentin Burdick Job Corps Center in Minot, Devils Lake Principal Ryan Hanson said. He earned a GED, and graduated in the facility maintenance program at the Job Corps Center in January 2004, officials there said. He also attended a semester of classes at Minot State University. "He was a great boy who became a very strong man," McGlone said. "He believed in what he was doing and had strong faith in God." Santos was assigned to the 2nd Battalion of 8th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division of Fort Hood, Texas, officials said. Laurie McGlone, Santos' mother, has been working as a temporary nurse in American Samoa. Patrick McGlone said she was notified there of her son's death. She was en route to the United States on Sunday, he said. Santos' father, Shannon Santos, lives in San Diego. Dick said a funeral was planned in San Diego, and a memorial service also was slated for Devils Lake, although details were not final, he said. Santos was the 13th U.S. service member with North Dakota ties who was reported killed while on duty in Iraq. Two other solders were killed this month in Afghanistan.

Take a minute out of your Father's Day, today, and remember my son with me. Thank You.

Happy Birthday Old Glory

Today is flag day! The U.S. Flag is 231 years old. Salute one today and remember what it means to be an American.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Horse or Hay disposal unit?

Due to a great clamor for more information, here's the lowdown on my useless hay-burners. We have three horses, Alli, Ringo, and Whiskey. Alli is a girl, and the other two are geldings. (Yes, Alli is very frustrated.) We got them from a rescue place in S. Dakota and attempted to have them broke last summer. We got them back and it was next to impossible to get a halter on them much less a saddle. I tried to Ride Whiskey one day and he threw me. He bucked and hit me in the face with his head. I remember being hit and then I remember being in the air and then on the ground. I was messed up for a couple of weeks. Later, we had just gotten Ringo and Alli back and I got on Ringo. He spooked and started running full out. I deceided this was the last place I wanted to be, so I got off. Getting off a moving horse is a lot more violent then it sounds. I also almost slid into a post in the ground. Alli is the only one we've ever been on here at home without the trainers around, and someone has to hold the reins on the ground and walk with her. We are currently trying to figure out if we want to keep them and try with a different trainer or get rid of them. I feed them every day and we are great friends. I just can't ride them. At least feeding them is relatively cheap as we have 20 acres of hay field. A parrot might be more fun. You can see the other two on the Sept.17, 2007 post


Check this out!

My friend Taylor Smith sent me this article. Very interesting!

The politics of oil shale
Fortune talks to Sens. Orrin Hatch and Wayne Allard about the roadblocks to oil shale production.
By Jon Birger, senior writer
You'd think this would be oil shale's moment.
You'd think with gas prices topping $4 and consumers crying uncle, Congress would be moving fast to spur development of a domestic oil resource so vast - 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil shale in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming alone - it could eventually rival the oil fields of Saudi Arabia.
You'd think politicians would be tripping over themselves to arrange photo-ops with Harold Vinegar (whom I profiled in Fortune last November), the brilliant, Brooklyn-born chief scientist at Royal Dutch Shell whose research cracked the code on how to efficiently and cleanly convert oil shale - a rock-like fossil fuel known to geologists as kerogen - into light crude oil.
You'd think all of this, but you'd be wrong.
Last month, the U.S. Senate's Appropriations Committee voted 15-14 to kill a bill that would have ended a one-year moratorium on enacting rules for oil shale development on federal lands (which is where the best oil shale is located). Most maddening of all - at least to someone like myself not steeped in the wacky ways of Washington - the swing vote on the appropriations committee, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., voted with the majority even though she actually opposes the moratorium.
"Sen. Salazar asked me to vote no. I did so at his request," Landrieu told The Rocky Mountain News. A Landrieu staffer contacted by Fortune doesn't dispute this, but notes that Landrieu did propose a compromise which Republicans rejected.
She was speaking of U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., who has emerged as the Senate's leading oil shale opponent. Salazar inserted the aforementioned moratorium into an omnibus spending bill last December, and in May he proposed a new bill that would extend the moratorium another year.
Salazar's efforts have essentially pulled the rug out from under Shell (RDSA) and other oil companies which have invested many, many millions into oil shale research since the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which established the original framework for commercial leasing of oil shale lands. (Last year, oil shale represented Shell's single biggest R&D expenditure.)
Salazar says he's simply trying to slow things down in order to ensure environmental considerations don't get trampled in the rush to turn western Colorado into a new Prudhoe Bay. But, ironically, his bid to extend the moratorium comes at a time when his fellow Senate Democrats have been blasting Big Oil for not reinvesting enough of their profits into developing new sources of energy.
I recently spoke with Republican U.S. Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Wayne Allard of Colorado, the two lawmakers working hardest to end the oil shale moratorium. Here are some excerpts from the interviews:
Fortune: Why do you consider developing oil shale such a high priority?
Sen. Hatch: We have as much oil in oil shale in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado as the rest of the world's oil combined. Liberals and environmentalists can talk all they want about wind, solar and geothermal - all of which I'm for - but last time I checked, planes, trains, trucks, ships and cars don't run on electricity. 98% of transportation fuel right now is oil. Ethanol is the only real alternative, and we're seeing that ethanol has major limitations.
It's pathetic. Environmentalists are very happy having us dependent on foreign oil. They're unhappy with us developing our own. What they forget to say is that shipping fuel all the way from the middle east has a big greenhouse gas footprint too.
Fortune: Any hope of changing Sen. Salazar's mind? After all, he says he's not opposed to oil shale production in principle.
Sen. Allard: His mind seems pretty set. His argument is, if we delay this, it gives us an opportunity to phase it in gradually. But he's got it turned around. We need the rules and regulations in place first. When the oil companies go to bid on their leases, they need have some idea what their royalties might be and what their remediation requirements might be [for restoring the land at spent drilling sites].
Fortune: Have you talked to Shell about this?
Sen. Allard: We have, and they've indicated a great deal of frustration. They've put it this way: Look, we can't continue to invest millions and millions of dollars in this kind of research without seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.
Fortune: Sen. Salazar insists he just wants to take things more slowly.
Sen. Hatch: Sen. Salazar and the Colorado governor [Democrat Bill Ritter] say they don't want it to happen too fast. Well, the existing law that I sponsored [which became part of the 2005 energy act] makes it abundantly clear that each governor gets to decide how quickly developments should move forward in their respective states. [Salazar and Ritter] know that. What they're really doing is making sure that the governor of Utah and the governor of Wyoming never gets to make that decision for themselves.
Fortune: One of Sen. Salazar's environmental concerns involves water and the big draw on local water supplies required for oil shale production. Based on my reporting in western Colorado last year, this seems like a legitimate concern. What's your take on this?
Sen. Hatch: Let's compare it to ethanol. Corn needs about 1,000 barrels of water for the energy equivalent of a barrel of oil. That's a crazy amount of water, but it's worked out alright so far because corn is grown in rainy areas, for the most part. But if you want to increase the amount of ethanol, you're going to have to go to irrigation, and then there will be major water limits on how much we can afford to grow.
On the other hand, the Department of Energy estimates that oil shale will require three barrels of water for every barrel of oil.
Fortune: Of course, water is a lot scarcer in western Colorado than it is in Iowa.
Sen Hatch: It is, but remember the oil companies are going to use and recycle the water. And while we're on the environmental impact, let's talk about land use and wildlife habitat. One acre of corn produces the equivalent of 5 to 7 barrels of oil. One acre of oil shale produces 100,000 to 1 million barrels.
Fortune: With gasoline at $4, why this isn't this more of a front-and-center issue for consumers and voters?
Sen. Hatch: I'm generally the last guy to lambaste the media, but generally you do not hear these facts. We're sending $600 billion annually to enemies of our country. If one acre of oil shale produces 1 million barrels of oil, that's 1 million barrels that we would not be importing from Russia and the Middle East. People are going to go berserk when they find out that all along we had the capacity, within our own borders, to alleviate our dependency in an environmentally friendly way.
Ironically, the local governments in Colorado's oil shale areas do support oil shale development, but it's being stopped by the ski-resort elites. A couple months ago, an article came out about how the city of Aspen was being besieged with building applications equating to about $2 million in development a day. Now if those nice, rich people in Aspen really cared about the environment, they might save an acre or two of those beautiful forests they're building on and support some oil-shale development in the not-so-nearby and not-so-beautiful oil shale areas of Colorado.
Fortune: Has oil shale development always been a partisan issue or is this something new?
Sen. Allard: It is something new. The issue with the Democrats now is they want to cut off any source of carbon. And there are those in the Senate who believe the more expensive you make gasoline, the less driving people do and you force conservation by making driving so expensive people can't afford it.
First Published: June 6, 2008: 2:14 PM EDT

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Check out this great contemporary artist

Alfredo Santos is just now starting to get some recognition for his contributions to the world of art. He does many types of art. Most notably pictures made from wood chips. Also the is this great 4-piece mural depicting the history of California that covers the walls of the cafeteria at San Quentin. Did I mention he is the Grandfather of my two boys, Jeremiah and Alexander? Here are a couple of websites that deal with his art. You should visit them.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

New Month! New Post! Old Face!

! My brother just joined the bloggosphere!


Visit him and leave a note.

The kids are flying to San Diego this morning for an extended vacation. They plan to take his grandfather to Mexico City. How cool is that? We just celebrated Laurie's "29th" birthday! Lots going on I'll try to get it down here later. Right now it's 4:13 am and I have to get ready for work and that long drive to Forks.

More later!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Memorial Day #3

Here's a couple of pictures of Laurie putting up the flag. flown at half mast, and tilling the pole garden. She seeded it with a red, white, and blue flower mix. Very patriotic and cool!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

New Posts!!

I got a bit behind. It's been a busy week. Here's a couple of posts and I'll get some more in soon.


Well, I've been Roto-tilling a garden and Laurie planted some veggies. We got some frost that night (Yuck!) so the seedlings mostly died. But we will plant some more. It's fun.

Memorial Day Post 2

"Let every nation know whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

John F. Kennedy - Inaugral address January 20, 1961

Memorial Day Post 1

On Memorial Day, Laurie and I went to Devils Lake and participated in the ceremony done by the local VFW. (Laurie is an honorary member of the Ladies' Aux) The Elk's band and a choir performed as well as bagpipers from Fargo. The Air Force Honor Guard from GFAB performed a MIA/POW tribute. We, along with other veterans and Gold-star parents placed wreaths on stands to signify soldiers lost is all the modern wars WWI on as well as DAV (Disabled American Vets) and VFWs. It was moving and tearful but we appreciated being part of it again and appreciate the VFW more than I used to. Here are a couple of pictures.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Finally Finished Deathly Hallows!

Yes, I finally finished the last Harry Potter book. I'm not a huge fan but they are intriguing. I got into them because My sister-in-law was reading them to my daughter when they first started. I saw the first couple of movies and then my wife and I did a couple of audio-books. The story line has been good enough to keep my interest and now I'm done with them. I will never be a fan of Rowling as she stated in a press conference one of he things she built into the background but never put in the actual books was that Professor Dumbledore was gay. It made no difference to the story and was completely unnecessary to put in. It was publicity all the way. A bad move - I say.

21 year old sighted in downtown Grand Forks!!

Here's my boy Alex and his girl Kay-Cee looking at her camera. No comment on the picture he just took with it. We had a good time. Went to a couple of places that were a little more subdued. Played some pool. Fun with the kids on his 21st. Nice.

Ahh! The sights of Spring...

Well, here we are on this bright day before Mother's Day in May. The Birds are shiverin' and hiding because we got quite the dusting of snow last night. It will melt pretty fast though, because it'll get up to 50 or 60 today. But this can be a shock for people not used to this area. Cool enough, though. I took the day off to work around the house. It is supposed to be my day off anyway, but I've been working a lot of Saturdays. This guy from work called me this morning and asked me to come in, but I said no. I like the money but they really have to hire some more people for the weekend shift. The shift is three 12 hour days plus pay for the other 4 hours to make 40. Then you get four days off. I would do it if I didn't want to go to church on Sandays.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A quiet kind of day (wait for it)

We're having a quiet day, kinda. Our church is doing the graduation recognition dinner soon and the wife is preparing a CD of pictures of Eliza for the presentation they'll do.

This one may be included. Isn't she cute? This pictures name is, "I said no pictures"

Anyway Alexander is 21 today so my wife and I, Alex and his girl are going out tonight to celebrate. Eliza has volunteered to be the DD as she just turned 18. Sweet girl. I'm sure I'll have some pictures from tonight and I'll try to post some of the less embarrassing ones.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

We Be Growin'

Been lookin around tryin to add some new features to this blog. I added a counter at the bottom of the page and a weather sticker. I think it will show my local temp. If it shows yours, please let me know because I want to.

There is a new link added. Legacy.com has information on wounded andfallen soldiers. Check out the page. My son is listed and we thank them for their devotion to those who serve.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

There's never a cop around when you need one

I'm sitting at lunch today having a conversation and I say how I'm getting S&T of all these loudmouth countries starting trouble in the world. For example, all the ones who abuse or murder their own people while living in the lap of luxury. Venezula, Cuba, North Korea, China, Iran, Iraq (during Hussain), etc. Every time one of these guys starts trouble like starting a nuclear weapon program, we act concerned and send in diplomats from here or the Useless Nations to try to talk to them. They don't listen much and seem to have no motivation to take us seriously.

Maybe we need to just act like the world's strongest nation and kick some butt. I don't mean invade and try to take over, just capture some leaders or something. When Kim Jong Il was messing around with missles, we should have just blown the missles up, slap him on the wrist and said "no".

Remember when we were kids and Dad said "Don't make me come up there!" We knew it was time to settle down. Parents didn't come up and try to negotiate or persude.

So this guy says: "Do you want us to be the world's policeman?" This is one of those liberal statements that you have to back down to or you look like a bully. But Hey! These countries are messing with the peace of the world. This being the same world that they want to be an economic part of. So I had to answer " yes, I do." It's in our own best intrest to have stable countries in the world and if they want to sit at the grownup's table they need to act like grownups. Otherwise it's out to the woodshed for a little applied learning.

Maybe you think it's tragic to be punished for misdeeds, but the people and countries in this world need to be held accountable for their actions and responsible for their citizens. Maybe in a short time the U.S. will be able to stop losing it's children if we make it too expensive to not listen.

Then maybe the U.N. can join in with a real peace keeping force and not a bunch of toothless old men afriad of their own shadows.

Yeah, you might not agree, but you can always move to Spain where they historically give in to pressure.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Warning!! Worst movie ever!!!

Have you ever seen ads for a movie that looks like a cute little chick-flick that you can see with the wife and have it turn out to be really disgusting?

We went to see "Forgetting Sarah Marshall". What a mistake. The adds looked like fun. This guy gets dumped by his actress girlfriend and tries to get over her. It turns out that bad acting is only the beginning. Very early in the movie you are treated to shots of the leading man's privates. There is a lot of sex where people are naked and humping but somehow the scenes are tried to be done tastefully. It was gross! Bad jokes, Visual and verbal. Bad acting. Weak plot.

This was was so bad that I stayed because I knew it just had to get better. There's no way it could be that bad throughout the entire movie. I was wrong.. By the way, the girl who plays the idiot Jackie on That 70's Show is in this movie too. And she can't act either.

Save your money for a root canal. It will be more fun.

Winter blows ... in!

Last week we suddenly had a snowstorm that dropped 13 or more inches on south-eastern ND. Right after I said all those nice things about the weather. My car promtly slid off the road into a ditch on the way to work and cost me $75.00 to get pulled back onto the road. Ick.

Today, we have another snowstorm that made driving in Forks kinda bad and messed up HWY29 from Grand Forks to Fargo. Made it to work though.

Wind advisory today and maybe some more snow tomorrow. It doesn't stay cold enough so it melts during the day and the farmers need the water but it sure is a drag to drive in.

Politic as usual

The President goes on TV the other day and explains how we are not in a recession but rather just a slow down. Now, this is the truth because the Dow-Jones just keeps moving up and down in the same 150 point range. We might have some tough times ahead due to the oil companies' screwing us but still, we're okay for now. The people on CNN (a friend called it the Clinton News Network) come on and start saying that the president is soft-peddling the facts to look good and we really are in a recession. Typical. Liberals want to put everything in the worst possible light so people will vote Democrat out of fear.

It just kinda bugs me even though I expect it.

Eat My Dust, Boys!

Danica Patrick has won an Indy series race. A very talented driver, it was only a matter of time before she proved herself. Despite nay-sayers (the boys are intimidated) she drives into history. Congratulations, Danica great job and keep going. I'm proud of you.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Saw a couple of newer movies on PPV that I had missed in the theaters. "Mr. Brooks" was really strange. I loved his imaginary psychosis friend. Cool ending. It's always nice when big actors start doing evil parts. Some of them take a while to do it so it's a shock to see them that way. Like Denzil in "Training Day" or "American Gangster" both of which I just recently saw. I also watched "Awake". That too was weird. Very unexpected ending. For some reason I'm enjoying weird movies lately. Finally I saw "I Am Legend". Didn't really care for the way it came out. It was okay, the alternative ending wasn't much better. Well, That's that.

Life out here

Now that it's spring, I'm seeing a lot to do here at home. Yesterday was glorious. mid 60s and calm. I spent the whole day outside. Took pictures of things that should begin to look better with a little effort. Everything needs to be swept out. I have a lot of boxes and such to burn. My 4-wheeler wasn't working too well during the winter. It did work the one day I really needed it, though. I think it needs a new sparkplug. I had it running Friday and cruised the property. Even went to some areas I haven't been to yet. Saturday I ran it a little but it shut down and I couldn't start it again. Got both cycles charged and started and ran the little one a bit. Next I have to start the mower. Put up a couple of bird feeders and the bath. Bought seed today as well as sweet feed for the horses. Fixed both of my electric fences. The one around the corral has been down all winter. There was a snowdrift about 5 feet high along the south side so it would have shorted out the fence if I had tried to run it. The horses have been getting through it anyway. I changed the charger on the fence. The old one is only 2000v and rated for limited use with horses. The new one is probably 5000v so it should work better.

We are repainting our bathroom. It was an ugly pale green now it will be a medium blue. Had some plumbing problems with the new tub I installed last summer so I fixed it too.

I've been working five or six days a week lately. I normally work 4 ten hour shifts so everything else is overtime. I've committed to working five for awhile just for the money. But the weekend shift is always short so they'll take what they can get. $$$. Laurie will soon be working 8-hour shifts that coincide with mine better, so we'll be doing even more car-pooling. This is a good thing when you concider the distance we drive and the current price of gas.

Did I say I hit a second deer around Feb? Got my car back and I'm very happy about it. My wife calls me "The Deer Hunter". We had a brief blizzard on the 4th. It wasn't bad here but a drove right into it heading for work. Car slid off the road into a ditch I couldn't get out of. No damage except to my wallet. When I went back to get it there was snow up to my knees.

New TV season is starting. We get to see Lost, House, & Greys Anatomy again. Yay...

Well, I'l try to get some more ramblings soon, Bye!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Happy New Year!!

Howdy! I took a few months off. (No one reads this anyway.) But I thought I'd get back into it. New things are happening and It's Spring so We'll see. I also decieded to go for a new look, too.

A new insightful post coming soon to beautiful (This Area)!!!!