Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Happy Anniversary...



...to The Man. About an hour ago it was EIGHT YEARS that he has had the pleasure of being married to me. He doesn't know it yet, but I got him his favorite Tequila (1800 Reposado) and really awesome tequila glasses with a little man in a sombrero taking a siesta at the base of the stem (and a few packets of little umbrellas). I was going to make him a filet, but he'll just say that I over-cooked it...

We have been in the UK together, gone through the death of his father, infertility, the birth of two children, his mother hating my guts, starting a business, four surgeries and four residences --and he is still the first person I want to talk to if I hear something funny, or something sad. He is the most hard-working man I have ever met. His boys worship him. He is the only person I could even fathom spending the rest of my life with...and enjoying it.



I love you Bubba...it's almost a DECADE...

Just Wondering...

(disclaimer: I thought I had this article bookmarked, but now I can't find it --so excuse me for not sourcing this...)

I recently read an article that explored the phenomenon of 'blog links'. I am pretty sure that it was referencing the 'Big Blogs'...those 'Higher Beings' of the Ecosystem. The study seemed to show that the 'Right Blogs' were much more generous with linking "left Blogs' than the other way around. It stated that many of the progressive blogs had either no right-thinking blogs linked or a token one or two.

I did a bit of blogrolling of the smaller blogs, and the theory still seems to stand. Have you found this to be the case? Is this indicative of anything? Is the left like Jehovah’s Witnesses, needing to shelter their members from alternative points of view (that would explain the witch-hunt of FNC and talk radio) or are conservatives just more likely to befriend liberals and feel obligated to link them? With the emergence of the South Park Republicans, is the right actually morphing into the more open-minded of the parties...the ones actually accepting freedom of speech instead of just talking about it?

Not earth shattering, but interesting none-the-less...

Nimbus in the House! (of Sage)

The Visit

Just wanted to say Thank you to Mr. Nimbus, who took time out of his busy trip to stop by the House of Sage and hang with all of us. It was really great to meet him and way too much beer a good time was had by all...
Have a safe trip home!

In the Sandbox...

Good News From Iraq.

Camouflage Sniper

"Despite print and broadcast stories to the contrary, the hundreds of young Americans we have interviewed and covered on this trip haven't lost their elan. Notwithstanding the negative news, they continue to believe they are winning this war. And on this third Memorial Day of Operation Iraqi Freedom, their success include:
* During Operation Matador along the remote Syrian border, the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines fought nonstop for seven days and nights -- capturing and killing hundreds of the enemy -- perhaps even Abu Musab Zarqawi. Though they mourned the loss of nine of their brothers-in-arms during the first phase of this operation, these troops are back into the fight again. Only FOX broadcast reports from this action.
* The soldiers of the 1st Battalion of the 503rd Infantry deployed to Iraq from Korea. Many will be away from their families more than two years. Though living conditions at "Corregidor Combat Outpost" are as "Spartan" as any I have seen since Khe Sanh or Con Thien in Vietnam, they go out every day with Iraqi troops and commandos to hunt down elusive terrorists in the capital city of Iraq's largest province. They are ignored by the press.
* Many of the Marines and Navy Medical Corpsmen in 1st Battalion, 5th Marines are back in Iraq for their third, seven-month combat deployment. Yet, I detected no carping or complaining as they carried out round-the-clock raids and patrols, manned checkpoints and stood watch side-by-side with Iraqi troops in the heart of the Sunni triangle. This isn't considered "news."
* All soldiers, sailors and Marines serving on advisory and assistance teams -- who spend day and night training and operating with the new Iraqi military and police units -- commend the growing competence, professionalism and courage of their counterparts. The media overlooks them.
* Press reports repeatedly cite American vulnerabilities to IEDs and homicidal suicide attacks. Yet, the "mainstream media" is strangely silent about the depot the Marines established to "up-armor" every wheeled vehicle in Iraq by October so every Marine will have the best available protection.
* Civil Affairs teams of U.S. soldiers, medics, Marines, Navy Corpsmen and Sea Bees provided $500 million in medical supplies, improved a rural medical clinic serving 40,000 Iraqis, helped jump-start small businesses in Fallujah and built sanitation facilities for a 275-student elementary school. Our press treated it like a state secret.
These are just a few examples of the good news from Iraq that won't be news at home.
Since this is Memorial Day weekend, I'm going to get down on my knees to thank God for those who made the ultimate sacrifice serving our nation and pray for those doing so today.
And I'm going to slip in another prayer -- that those who report "the news" here at home will yet report on some of the successes these brave Americans have wrought with their blood, sweat and tears. Perhaps you'll join me.
-Col. Oliver North (source)

...Army & Medic girls...
1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Monday, May 30, 2005

In Their Honor...

"The dead soldier's silence sings our national anthem."
-Rev. Aaron Kilbourn

"Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country." (source)

Heavy on my mind today are the 241 Marines that were murdered in the Beirut bombing in October 1983. These Marines never seem to have gotten the respect and remembrance they deserve. If you have a minute you should look at this great page that has been done in their honor.

Though it's not the 'official' purpose of the day, I also wanted to say a very special thank you to all the active military and veterans that I know. You have all been there, fighting with and supporting the soldiers that fell...and in my mind it's your day too...




..and also those not pictured here: 91ghost, CBFTW, Monica, Phoenix, John Donovan, That Dude, Trek, Michael, Phil, TWD, Paul, Shon and my Pop.
Thank you all --my respect and gratitude is immeasurable.

"The story of America's quest for freedom is inscribed on her history in the blood of her patriots."

-Randy Vader

"We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies."

-Moina Michael

Sunday, May 29, 2005

"Let Freedom Roar"

2005 NAS/JRB Willow Grove Air Fest
If you live in the Philly/Jersey area and you haven't been to this show --you are missing out. This was my first air show --and wow, I was speechless. The F-16, the Blue Angels...the MPs...

The Sage Family takes on the Blue Angels

I have a really crappy digital camera (can all of you please remind me in July that I do not need a new bag for my birthday --I need a decent digital!). I should have taken my Nikon, but I hate lugging it and the giant lens around... I will share the pictures anyway because we had such a great time and were all so in awe of these pilots.

This was our view from the Jeep in the grid lock traffic on the way there (note: avoid our mistake and do not wait until 12pm to go...go early!):
Parachutes

Here are some of the highlights of the day:
1
2
3
4
5
6

I have to be honest and say that I didn't really enjoy the Show-Copters portion of the show -- With the smoke and the spiraling downward I felt as if I was watching one of our guys get shot down. Just as I was conscious of the fact that it was making me uncomfortable, Busta turned to me and said, "Mommy, this is making my belly feel bad." Yeah, me too buddy...
1
2

Some cool stuff on the ground:
Very Loud
USMC hanger
We got to go inside that one
The pilots

Ninja even with the earplugs in:
Holding his ears all day

Overpriced Air Show toys:
M-16
Talking Jeep

Watching the Blue Angels:
The Man and the boy
Dancing Boy and Little People love

The Boys and their heroes:
Boys and an A-10 pilot
Justice and the MPs

Go see THIS SHOW --You won't regret it!

(Busta has a Memorial Day message up at his site...)

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Things You Shouldn't Miss...

Redleg has posted some great pics of Rummy's visit to Ft. Bragg and some of his boys in Afghanistan. These are great pics and well worth the visit. Go check them out!

Punkrock Mommy's blog is back up and running! Welcome Back! You should take a trip over there and see the great pics she posted of her, Desult and the mini-firecracker at the Air Show last weekend! See the pics!

Tammi is also back --so go check out the new location and say welcome back to one of my favorite blog-girls! Tammi's World...

La Shawn Barber had THIS STORY linked. It's by a man describing his feelings of being over 30 and single. A great read -and enlightening. There is a line in it that I absolutely love, but I'll wait and see if anyone else mentions it... She also has This Post up that's just downright creepy.

There is a new addition in the sidebar under VITAL LINKS...Media Slander. You have to check this out if you haven't already! Beware to the MSM that claims to have no left bias, Bill Roggio (The Fourth Rail), Blackfive, Brian Scott (Blue State Conservatives), Kevin Craver (Rathergate), LaShawn Barber, Lorie Byrd (PoliPundit), Mike Krempasky (RedState.org), Rodger Morrow (This Isn't Writing, It's Typing...), USMC_Vet (The Word Unheard) and Winds Of Change.NET have teamed up to expose you! This promises to be the rights answer to 'Media Matters' and all those other Bash-Fox organizations popping up all over.
Mission Statement:
"The goal of Media Slander is to hold journalists and bloggers to high ethical standards regarding coverage of the War on Terror and other military-related issues. We plan to achieve this by highlighting bias, rumor and falsehoods that have been creeping into military coverage under the guise of objective news.

We by no means advocate censorship or the deliberate suppression of well-researched and relevant stories about the war and the military.

As much as journalists feel that they are the guardians of the First Amendment, its true protectors are standing watch in Iraq, Afghanistan and places no one will ever hear about. Journalists owe it to the true gatekeepers of our liberties to be fair, balanced, relevant and accurate in covering them.

Signed,
The entire staff of MediaSlander.com (source)


This should keep you busy for a while...

Tagged Again...

I've been Tagged by AFSis to do this MOVIE MEME...so here goes:

1. How many DVD/VHS's do you own?

We (as in me and The Man) own about 240 DVDs... Well probably more, but those are the ones that are downstairs. God only knows how many are up in our room, in both of our vehicles and lent to friends...

2. What's the last film you bought?
I think it was Ladder 49. We tried to rent it for a week and it was never in. We finally bought it and IT SUCKED. ..on second thought, maybe it was The Incredibles...which didn't suck at all.

3. What's the last movie you saw?
I am sad to report that it was 'Racing Stripes'...in the theater.

4. What are your 5 favorite movies?
God, I hate this question...how can you possibly only pick five... (and I never know whether to do five favorite or five that I can watch over and over)
FAVORITE:
Fight Club
Steel Magnolias
Star Chamber
25th Hour
Stella

FIVE I CAN WATCH OVER AND OVER:
You've Got Mail
Emma
Sliding Doors
Bridget Jones' Diary
About a Boy

OK, now I have to tag five people:

JustRose (Because best friends do those annoying things to each other)
JP (Where the hell have you been?)
Freakchylde (Cause she's cool as shit)
Army Girl (To take her mind off impending deployment)
Skye (Cause there's another cool sane blonde in Philly!)

Have fun girls!

In the Sandbox...

USMC

"First to Fight"
Marines have been in the forefront of every American war since the founding of the corps.

"Esprit de Corps"
The "spirit" of a unit. This spirit is commonly reflected by all members. It implies a devotion and loyalty to the Marine Corps, with deep regard for traditions, history and honor.

"Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue"
Refers to the victories in World War II, especially at Iwo Jima, the largest all-Marine battle in history.

"Jarhead"

A slang term used by sailors as early as World War II to refer to members of the Marine Corps, drawing the term from the resemblance of the Marine dress blues uniform, with its high collar, to a Mason jar.

"Semper Fidelis"
The Motto of the United States Marine Corps. Latin for always faithful. Faithful to God, Country, Family and the Corps.

"Once a Marine, Always a Marine"

The Motto of the Marine Corps League. having earned the title of Marine, it becomes and intrigal part of who and what they will become later in life.
(source)

...the girls of the USMC...
ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE

Friday, May 27, 2005

Let Them Drink!

I am all for the legislation proposed in Wisconsin that would allow members of the military to drink in bars at the age of 19… I know this is an age-old argument, but if you can risk life and limb for your country –you should be able to have a Corona!

This bill was introduced by Rep. Mark Pettis (*ahem* a Republican), and it awaits a vote in the State Affairs Committee, it has been co-sponsored by 12 representatives and five senators. The governor, Jim Doyle, (a Democrat) opposes the bill.

"If we can send these young men and women to war and expect them to have common sense in pushing the button on armament, we should give them the ability to have a drink," said Representative Pettis. (source)

"A high percentage of those killed in action are under 21. These folks have the ability to make the decision to fire weapons that can do mass damage, but they can't have a beer. There's something wrong with this picture." (source)

Out of curiosity I decided to pop over to the DU (Democratic Underground) to see what the Kool Aid drinkers were saying about this... I figured they would have their panties in a twist over the thought of members of the military getting a perk that the rest of us wouldn't get.
Here is a Copy & Paste of the thread under this story:

Free Booze as a signing "bonus"?
The state could also lose 10% of their highway funding.
What are the ones with no arms or mouths supposed to do?
They should legalize pot for soldiers, too. They're dying soon anyway.
Say...Why aren't drugs legal when Jesus is coming soon anyway? Are we gonna legalize pot once all the assholes are Raptured?
This is so silly and such a waste of taxpayers money.
They can strap empty kegs to their Hummers since we won't buy them armor.
What are they going to crash into? They're in the desert. And they really don't need to aim very well, since they seem to have no problem with civilian casualties.
I would appreciate the gesture, if it didn't just seem like a ploy to up recruiting.
Maybe this is a ploy to get 19 year olds sh*t faced so they'll enlist. Not a doubt in my mind!
If you fight, kill & die for the country, it should allow you to get drunk
That is how the British built an army in the 19th Century. as poor as church mice if they didn't have a "position" or a "situation" or were not educated by the local intellectual. There was no university. There was nothing but the farm or peanuts to be made in factory work.
So if you were a young man and you wanted 'two cents to rub together' and buy a beer, you joined the army.
Nice to see the beer lobby is alive and well in Wisconsin, "hey kid, you might get your ass shot off, but hey, now you can drink a beer and make my buddies some more money to boot. Is that a deal or what?"
Frankly the drinking age should be lowered to 19 FOR EVERYBODY
(DU Thread)

Ah...gotta love those libs over at the DU...If nothing else they're reliable...

"Ft. Independence"

At Walter Reed Army Medical Center, soldiers are re-learning basic living and coping skills after being injured in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Fort Independence is a mock apartment set up in the hospital's occupational-therapy department to train newly disabled patients how to cook, get around an apartment safely, clean, and other skills they need to relearn to live alone after being discharged from the hospital." (source)
The soldiers are re-creating what life will be like when they leave Water Reed by preparing meals, making beds and doing laundry --and instructors are making sure they are learning to do all these things safely.
This is a great article from DefenseLink.mil, complete with pictures.

Also, on the subject of aiding injured soldiers readjust to civilian life --Please check out Fisher House's website if you haven't already. This is a GREAT cause!

In the Sandbox...

Nice Ink!

"In the Name of Freedom"
by Elliot McGuken:

The night fell fast, I found myself alone,
A D.C. summer storm was blowing in,
I stood at the tomb, these soldiers unknown,
and knelt and prayed for the rain to begin.

Not for the monuments nor any money,
nor pomp, circumstance, nor the pedant's pride,
the politician's smile, nor lawyer's fee,
for these present treasures, none of them died.

I ran to Jefferson to read the wall,
to make sure that God was still written there,
then to Washington, and across the Mall,
where Lincoln invoked his immortal prayer.

Winded and ragged, lightning everywhere,
I slowed to a walk, pondered what would be,
if God's great Enlightenment weren't there,
we could still be brave but never be free.

I found comfort in the Mall's mud and rain,
without mines nor cannons nor raining shells,
so free from fear, iniquity, and pain,
because thousands had endured a thousand hells.

And I found myself back before the tomb,
humbled by the humbled, with naught for name,
shivering, though they had the colder room,
sans light, nor sound, nor tomorrow, nor fame.

I thought for a moment, what it could be,
the center and circumference of their dreaming,
it must have been the prophet's poetry,
that granted their souls eternal meaning.

So judges and congressmen, please don't forget,
the reason these patriots picked up swords,
not for perks nor power were their deaths met,
but for honor and duty--for mere words.

So do take pause before telling a lie,
for there's one more thing I saw on that night,
as the wind and the rain began to die,
I walked away, turned, and beheld a light.

Will 'o' wisp, reddish light, sailor's delight,
It hovered there--just above the tomb's stone,
As fading thunder whispered to the night,
"Freedom's the name of all soldiers unknown."

...some of our female MPs...
1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Put Down That Thin Mint...

...and pick up a bag of ANZAC cookies. These Australian-born cookies will now be used to raise money for the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). They are making their grand debut this Memorial Day. They will be $3.99 a bag and will be in about 3,000 locations across the US by July. (I think they are molasses filled oatmeal cookies).

"A cookie born out of Australian war rations at the beginning of the 20th century is being used to raise money for U.S. troops at the beginning of the 21st.

Unibic NA, the United States subsidiary of specialty baker Unibic Australia, plans to introduce a line of Anzac cookies in supermarkets across the country this Memorial Day.

"Anzac" stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The crisp, oatmeal cookies are a national icon in those countries, where spouses and loved ones, using ingredients adapted to shortages during World War I, made the cookies for soldiers on the front lines.

A portion of cookie sales in the United States will go to Veterans of Foreign Wars, a Kansas City-based veteran support organization with 9,000 posts across the country. The organization helps soldiers’ families pay bills, assists injured and ailing veterans with health care and provides housing for families to visit servicemen and women in military hospitals." (source)


You can go to the VFW's site and order them in a beautiful commemorative tin also! See, now there is a noble cause for breaking that pre-bathing suit diet!

In Other Consumer News...

I am not a big SODA drinker (I'll take my Iced Tea thanks), but when I do drink it I only drink Coca-cola (Coke) products. Nothing political -they're just better. The new Coke with Lime is divine. And now after hearing PepsiCo's CEO call the United States the 'middle finger' during a speech at Columbia University --thank God their soda sucks and they have never received my money. This is like when Subway advertised overseas using an obese Statue of Liberty that said 'Don't look like Americans'.
When will these companies learn that you don't bite the hand that feeds you... or you take the chance of starving...

Drink Coke!!!!

New Challenge... (?!)

Best Prom Pic Ever

Since we had so much fun with the Sandbox Challenge (didn't we?), I thought that maybe we should do a new one...no, not summer swimwear.
It's May and PROM season has descended. Wouldn't it be really cool to see everyone's old prom pictures?! I am sure most of them are real period pieces. Ruffled shirts, light blue tuxes, BIG hair, feathered hair....

What do you think?

(p.s. That's a real Prom pic from Camden HS in NJ --I had never seen a tux and prom dress made from jerseys before!...Score one for originality...)

In the Sandbox...

War Poetry

"The Immigrant Soldier"

I was born in Middle East
I left to escape terror
My family came to America
To make our lives better

Mom and Dad worked
I got an education
Joined the Army
to show my appreciation

Now the region suffers
Worse than when we lived there
An evil man is charge
The horror's too much to bear

Let's go free the people
Who live in those lands
We're their other hope
In Iraq and Iran

Put down your signs
Come join our team
You have been lied to
War is not what it seems

I know you want peace
But your ideals are misguided
The world is not safe
Your views are one-sided

Let me go fight
Let me go win
Let my people be free
Now tell me: Are you in?

by Capt. Matthew Guilanians (U.S. Army maintenance officer)
(source)

...some really cute Army girls...
One, Two, Three, Four

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

--The @!$#*@%*&*@! Dentist --

There were a bunch of things that I wanted to write about today... BUT, yesterday I took Ninj to the dentist and now I am just too depressed to write about anything.

About a week and a half ago I made an appointment for both boys at my dentist. The secretary knew the ages of both when she made the appointment and also knew that we don't have dental insurance. We got there and he examined Busta and cleaned his teeth and then barely looked at Mason (maybe 45 seconds) --told me that he thought he had two cavities and that he didn't do pediatric dental work and proceeded to charge me $62. I realize that, like any professional, a dentist gets paid for his time, but if he doesn't do fillings for children why would he see them when he knows that you will have to pay an exam fee somewhere else if work is needed?

Yesterday we went to a pediatric dentist thinking he had two surface cavities and were told it should be no more than $300 with exam included. Wrong. The exam was $80 and Ninja has FIVE cavities, will need to be sedated to have them filled and the total price (not including yesterdays visit) will be.... SIX HUNDRED AND NINTY DOLLARS (as in $690!!!). And here's the best part --they don't take payments. None of the cavities are to the roots yet so we should 'really have this done right away'... Yeah, that's easy for them to say.

Some people opt not to fix baby teeth, but with Ninja that isn't an option. If rear baby teeth fall out prematurely and they need to put spacers in it can impede speech and after two and a half years of intensive speech therapy and the progress that he has made --that is the last thing we need... BUT-- I hate the thought of him sedated and restrained (and I am not allowed to be in with him), but fully conscious and scared while they are drilling. (And doing all five at once?!) I'm tortured. I want to cry...

I have managed to go 33 years with NO cavities and he's FOUR and has FIVE ALREADY? WTF? I want to be mad at him (he's a brat about brushing his teeth), but his little face makes it virtually impossible. Since I have had NO experience with dental work of any kind this seems like so much money to me, but Justrose informed me that it really isn't bad for 5 fillings and sedation. We cancelled all of our credit cards after The Man's accident to assure that we didn't live beyond our means while our financial future was unclear --so I have no idea what we will do...we will find a way, we always do; but in the meantime I am sure to get an ulcer...

All Bloggers in the Philly, NY, NJ and DE Area...

...Sean Hannity's third annual FREEDOM CONCERT is Friday, July 8th at Six Flags Great Adventure.

We went last year and had a great time (Sadly I STILL haven't gotten the pics developed). The show was awesome and we ended up spending the day with a bunch of guys that Ollie North brought up from Walter Reed. This year's show promises to be be just as good and Great Adventure has a new roller coaster that (supposedly) is the tallest in these United States.

The guest list includes: Sean (obviously), Ollie North, (I am pretty sure that I also heard that Ann Coulter and Zel Miller will be there!) You have the whole day to go on rides, etc, Sean does the radio show live and at night there is a big concert (all for the low, low price of $39.99 -which I believe is cheaper than regular admission).

Performers this year will be:
LeAnn Rymes, Buddy Jewel and Aaron Tippin (I have a feeling Carlie Daniels will be there too).

"Proceeds of the concert go to the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund which honors the bravery and dedication exhibited by Americans in our armed forces who have sacrificed life or limb by providing educational scholarships to their children."

Buy your tickets online HERE, or call 1-800-329-5454. It's a GREAT show for a GREAT cause --and who knows...you might just run into me, tesco and AB...

Now I just have to find a way to top last year's shirt...

Update: (thanks to the Freepers)
"Sean has mentioned on air that Ann Coulter, Mark Levin (aka "The Great One") and Sen. Zell Miller are confirmed to be there as well. Sen. Rick Santorum just mentioned on Sean's radio show that "he has marked his calendar" and will try to be at the concert.
Concert musical stars will be LeAnn Rimes, Buddy Jewell, Aaron Tippin and "two surprises"!"

In the Sandbox...

"A Vet is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs."
~Ernie Pyle


Not Mature Enough
By: John Galkiewicz

One of the most important lessons that I learned in Vietnam was that you sure couldn't tell a person's real worth just by looking at him. War made the rules and the rules say you are judged on your ability and not your looks. More often than not, it is the quiet guy in the corner that is the real hero or worker of the group. The people that got things done were the ones not bothered by maintaining an image. Vietnam was a young man's war and Joe average excelled.
We got a call one day that a full bird Colonel was in and needed 2 ships for a tour of the Dalat outposts that Maj. Casey went to on a routine basis. Because a rather large assault was scheduled for that day all the good ships were being used so both of the dog ships were assigned to the Colonel. I was put in charge of the flight and at the appropriate time both ships hovered up to the pickup pad at the end of the runway next to headquarters.
Maj. Casey was there to brief us after we shut down. He was somewhat disappointed when he saw both the dog ships hover up because he knew each ship would have one additional passenger which meant several of the tighter outpost would have to be scratched from the list and the Colonel would not like that. He was glad though to see that he was given myself and the other high-time dog ship AC for the mission. Maj. Casey briefed us, then we proceeded to the gathering of officers that were now around the Colonel.
At a lull in the gathering Maj. Casey introduced us to the Colonel and told him that we were the ACs that would be flying him around that day. The Colonel gave us a quick scan and said "Oh no they aren't". He wanted "mature" pilots flying him around and these 2 kids standing in front of him would not do. Now this tore up Maj. Casey for he knew this was no piece-of-cake mission. I felt insulted and though I and the other AC were indeed young looking we both were war tested and proven pilots.
Maj. Casey tried again to tell the Colonel that these were indeed the pilots he needed for the mission and that he flew with us often and highly recommended both of us. The Colonel would have nothing to do with it so off we went, down to the OPS tent to inform the OPS. Officer. Maj. Casey had a look on his face like a little boy that had just lost his dog. I did feel sorry for him.
At the OPS. tent I told the OPS. Officer what had happened and he about blew a gasket. The only pilots left in the whole place that happened to be older than us were the two pilots that refused all responsibility and had let it be known that they would be more than happy to sit out the war until their rotation date. Both of them were very vocal about that and did sit out most of the war. Both were well past the normal date most PPs become ACs and so were only used on the simplest of missions and only as a last resort. Neither were ACs but both were sometimes placed as pilot-in-command that sort of fooled them. As I understood, they were so-so PPs but neither was close to being AC quality. And so the Colonel got his "mature" pilots and I went back to my tent for a nap and a very rare day off.
A day or so later I saw Maj. Casey and commented that I was glad to see he was still alive. He said he was alive because those other guys either couldn't find the outpost or flatly refused to go into them. I told him that was what I figured would happen. He then said something to the effect that the Colonel was really pissed but that he did get in one I-told-you-so.
I believe Maj. Casey learned one of life's lessons that day concerning arrogance. There is a reason the natives do what the natives do and sometimes its best to let the natives do what they do because there is a damn good reason why they do it that way. I believe Maj. Casey had a wee bit more respect for me after that mission.
The mission would have been a fine training mission for the 2 PPs that were ready to become ACs. Instead they just flew circles in the air. We could have gotten into most of those outpost with two ships, one at a time though. I guess I could have gone back and replaced the lead ship's PP. That way the Colonel would still have his "mature" pilot in the left seat though I would still have been in charge of things chopper wise. I didn't though because a day off was a rare thing indeed and arrogance needed to reap it's own rewards. (source)

...Ft. Campbell girls...
1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A Tale of a Baby Stolen from Female Soldier
...While She Was Serving in Iraq.

This is a post that I just found via Philly Future. It was written by Jennifer who tells a *LONG* story about how her mother used her financial resources and the fact that Jennifer was deployed in Iraq, with no money, to get custody of Jennifer's three-year-old daughter. The Army seems to have given this girl no recourse.

Of course, there is no way to know how much of this story is true and it only presents one side (but it's quite comprehensive)... If it is true, there has to be a way to help this girl get her daughter back...

Read Jennifer's Story

American Soldiers - The Real Deal

Regardless of the picture the 'Arab Street' and France try to paint of our military (and some ungrateful, emasculated Americans) --this story illuminates the true nature of our military...

Mr. M had been one of the many tortured by Saddam Hussein. At one time Saddam's henchmen had driven nails through his fingertips, but last year he was helping the US Military with real-time intelligence. In January Mr. M was pulled from his truck and executed in front of his sons --soldiers have no doubt this happened because of his cooperation with the coalition (there had been previous attempts on this man's life).

When the 141st Engineer Combat Battalion returned in February, after spending a year in Iraq, Sgt. 1st Class Shayne Beckert and Capt. Grant Wilz worked tirelessly to bring this man's family to the United States -- "appealing for help on radio and television and contacting Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-North Dakota, who helped arrange the trip." (source)

"Officials had planned to bring the family out of Iraq while the woman was pregnant with her seventh child, but the child was born six weeks early. The woman was waiting in line to get a passport for the newborn when her 2-year-old daughter was hit by bomb shrapnel and suffered severe injuries to her right eye.
This weekend, they began a new life, brought to America with help from soldiers who befriended the slain man and were tormented by the idea that their relationship contributed to his death.

Representative Pomeroy praised the soldiers for persisting when they could have forgotten the family as one of the casualties of war.

"They might have come back and not looked back," Pomeroy said.

He said the woman knew the soldiers would not forget her.

"She knew that these soldiers would get them to safety," he said. (source)


THIS is the real face of our military... and, of course, I couldn't find this anywhere on the New York Times page. What an awesome story. Not surprising, but awesome none-the-less.

You've Been Buying Viagra...

...for LEVEL THREE sex offenders. These men are classified level 3 because they are the most likely to commit crimes again.

Over the weekend it was discovered (during an audit) that these felons, through a loop hole in the system, have been receiving Viagra courtesy of Medicaid...(a.k.a. You, the taxpayer). This has been going on for FOUR years. There are some in this group (comprised of approximately 200) that have committed crimes as heinous as raping children under two years old.

"According to Hevesi (Comptroller Alan Hevesi in a report to Michael Leavitt, secretary of Health and Human Services), his office determined in its audit that the victims of the sex crimes during the five-year period ranged from toddlers to a woman as old as 90; and the crimes included first-degree rape.

Hevesi said he also has alerted the State Department of Health, which administers the Medicaid program in New York.

The review has not yet examined whether any of the Level 3 offenders are receiving prescriptions for other erectile dysfunction drugs which came on the market after the 1998 directive.

Hevesi said his office did not look at Level 1 (low) and Level 2 (moderate) offenders.

The New York Sex Offender Registration Act requires the Division of Criminal Justice Services to maintain a Sex Offender Registry, and post a list of Level 3 offenders on the Internet." (source)

Thankfully, there was bi-partisan outrage over this development. "Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer said they're prepared to offer legislation if needed." (source)

In the Sandbox...

On the Turret...

Paratroopers deal blow to Taliban in remote valley

By Pfc. Jon H. Arguello
May 10, 2005

"QALAT, Afghanistan (Army News Service, May 9, 2005) – Paratroopers engaged a Taliban force last week in a remote valley of southeastern Afghanistan after an outnumbered scout patrol held out for 2.5 hours against heavy insurgent attack.
The May 3 battle in the Arghandab Valley, about 175 miles northeast of Kandahar, was part of the Coalition’s spring offensive, dubbed “Operation Determined Resolve,” with the aim of denying sanctuary to insurgents in preparation for fall elections, said a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force 76.
Initial reports indicate about 20 insurgents were killed and one wounded in the battle.
One Afghan National Police officer was killed and five wounded, and six U.S. service members were wounded...
Outnumbered scouts return fierce fire
“As soon as we got to the top, we got RPG and small arms fire,”said Spc. Nicholas Conlon, a scout sniper from Bridgewater, Mass.
“Pieces of rocks were breaking off all around us,” added sniper team leader Sgt. Derek Huss, from Deer Park, Wash. “One [RPG] hit real close.”
At this point, all the scouts were engaged in a heavy exchange of fire.
The scouts attempted to seal off the objective so the enemy could not escape. The fierce exchange was ordered to continue so that reinforcements could trap the Taliban and eliminate them. The outnumbered scouts engaged and re-engaged the insurgent forces three times before reinforcement from friendly forces could arrive."

*Hat Tip to Blackfive*

...Coast Guard girls...
One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six

Monday, May 23, 2005

My Problem with the Catholic Church #929

This post is dedicated to my best friend JustRose and her daughter P, both who know the havoc that life-threatening allergies can reek on a family...

Haley Waldman, age eight, was told by the Catholic Church that her first communion -with Eucharist blessed by a priest- does not count.
See, Haley has celiac disease which prevents her from eating wheat in any form (she could DIE) and used a rice wafer instead of a wheat wafer. Apparently (and this is a quote folks) 'Jesus discerns between wheat and rice'.

"It’s more than that, according to church doctrine, which holds that communion wafers must have at least some unleavened wheat, as did the bread served at the Last Supper. The Diocese of Trenton has told Waldman’s mother that the girl can receive a low-gluten host, drink wine at communion or abstain entirely, but that any host without gluten does not qualify as Holy Communion.
Now, the mother is seeking papal intervention. She has written to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, challenging the church’s policy." (source)

The Catholic Church changes what they believe all the time... and if one situation warrants an exception I think it's this one. I don't believe this girl won't go to heaven if she doesn't eat a cracker and drink some wine --but she does...

To Posh to Push...

Most of us that have had children know how hard it is to take off that last 10lbs. from however much you gained with each baby --and then you see some actress at the Oscars, two days after giving birth, wearing a size 2 dress.
There are now stories being printing about how this is possible. Apparently (accoring to celebrity docs) the "Hollywood Mommy Trend' involves a planned C-section a few weeks before the due date -to avoid that final weight gain- and a mini-tummy tuck at the same time (this trend is being called 'Too Posh to Push' after David Beckham's wife, the ex-Posh Spice)(source). This is kinda've sick and twisted. The baby's lungs are the organ that is developing in the final weeks --and to electively choose your figure over lung development is pretty F'ed up. How many of these Hollywood offspring need nebulizers and will develop asthma?
Article about this from OBGYN.net.

In the Sandbox...

Lookin' out for us...

--A SHORT ODE--
"A Tale Was Told by HOMER, Three Thousand Years Ago, About the First Winged Solder, and this is All We Know.
He Was Born in the Town of Corinth, and Called BELLEROPHON, He Had Rather A Strict Upbringing, Considering What Went On.
He Had to Do Some Dodging, Because He Wouldn't Play, with the Lady At His Lodging, and She Took it the Wrong Way.
For She Made Her Husband Pick Him, for the Worst Job in the Place, to Fight A Damned Great Dragon, That No-one Else Would Face.
Athene, the Great Goddess, Was on His Side, of Course, and Gave Him Some Golden Harness, to Catch the Flying Horse.
He Could Handle the Heaviest Spear There Was, and He'd Practised All the Cuts, But the Fact That He Fought on PEGASUS Showed Brains, As Well As Guts.
We Don't Know If He Glided, Or Dropped Down Like A Hawk, But We Know That He Decided, That it Wasn't Safe to Walk.
The Monster Breathed Out Clouds of Flak, and Had An Armoured Skin, So He Made the First AIRBORNE Attack, and Did the Bastard In!"
(Issued to 1 CAN PARA prior to the D-DAY jump)

...the army girls...
one, two, three, four, five

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Big Brother Mother...

For $11 a month you can know what your teen driver is doing when you aren't there. This is a service offered online at ReportMyTeen.com. If someone calls in about your child you immediately receive a detailed email of the complaint (you can also access a recording of the call made).

"Report My Teen is a program designed to help monitor your teen during the crucial years while they are learning to become a responsible driver. We offer a technology that can notify you immediately when your teen is seen driving recklessly or "needing improvement" in their skills. If your teen is seen by another driver or local citizen and reported, a voice message is sent immediately to your email so that you can know the nature of the incident and then responsibly parent your child." (source)

The company is working to get insurance discounts for parents who have this service for their teens -recognizing that we would all drive better if we knew we were being monitored. Car insurance rates are 50 -100% higher with a teen driver on your policy.

I know teens must be humiliated to have this sticker on their cars (especially boys), but I guess it’s a good idea when you consider teen accident and motor vehicle fatality statistics. I have paid my own car insurance since I got my license, so if this would have made my rate cheaper when I was a teen...I would have gladly put it on the car regardless of what it said... (I think my first quote was $250/mo for liability on a 1978 VW Rabbit –gotta love Philly…)

We Could All be Stars...

...with the right makeup artist.

Celebs with no makeup...

In the Sandbox...

OEF

What should should be the new World Trade Center design

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Dean Misspeaks #7,469

May 2005: Dean Comments on Senator Tom Delay:
"I think Tom DeLay ought to go back to Houston, where he can serve his jail sentence down there," Dean told Massachusetts Democrats at their state convention.
Incredibly, in the next breath the top Democrat complained about "this ugly, nasty dialogue that is coming from the right wing of the American Republican Party." (source)

December 2003: Dean Comments on Osama Bin Laden:
"I've resisted pronouncing a sentence before guilt is found," Dean said in the interview. "I will have this old-fashioned notion that even with people like Osama, who is very likely to be found guilty, we should do our best not to, in positions of executive power, not to prejudge jury trials."
Dean added he is certain most Americans agree with that sentiment." (source)

So, the leader of the Democratic Party pronounces sentence on DeLay premature of one charge being levied, yet presumes Bin Laden's innocence after watching 2,752 die when the Towers fell...

Things You Shouldn't Miss...*Updated*

Carnival of the Recipes #40 is up and running at Jordana's site: Curmudgeonry...There is a recipe for Mango Lassi which I HAVE to try (this is an awesome Indian yogurt drink that I haven't had since I lived in the UK...Mmmmm...). The breakfast burritos sound good too! I have gotten so many great recipes from the carnival. You should really go check it out when you get a chance!

Did some blogrolling this week and found two great sites that are now linked in the sidebar. The first is Bag Crazy, which is about "Handbags, Shoes and Other Ridiculously Shallow Topics"... My kinda blog! This girl has DAMN good taste and her bag picks are sublime (as they could be my own). My anniversary is next weekend and I am trying to choose which of these three bags to ask for:
-Kooba 'Sienna'
-Francisco Biasa 'Indian Gypsy'
-Michael Kors 'Astor'
How do I pick? I need some help girls....

Oh, that's right --Blogrolling, not new bags for ALa...
The second Blogrolling find is a brand spankin' new blog called Angry Token Black Guy. He is a good writer with a sarcastic edge. Hopefully he will keep blogging. You have to read THIS POST which is comprised of some friendly advice to 'white people'...I was LMAO as I read it...

Michael at A Day in Iraq wants your help getting soccer balls over to him in Iraq... If you have a chance, go check out his latest post. (For some reason I can not get permalinks for specific posts on his page)

Addition: I just read a post written by an ARMY WIFE addressing the various allegations of prisoner abuse ("brutality") by the U.S. Military thanks to a link on ArmyWifeToddlerMom. Andi's post sums up very eloquently what I am sure many of us pro-military Americans have been thinking and attempting to articulate. A great read for Armed Forces Day! GO READ IT NOW...

In the Sandbox...

HAPPY ARMED FORCES DAY!!!!!
Paratroopers...

***Yes, I know that I have been favoring the Airborne boys lately --and I apologize to all the other branches...ya know I love you all.
After FIVE months of doing The Sandbox and looking through THOUSANDS of pictures, I feel I have a bit of expertise here and I would like to pronounce the AIRBORNE BOYS the crème de'le crème of the military (in terms of looks). Sorry boys, but Airborne seems to attract the kind of guys that make you want to jump in your car and drive to North Carolina... Ft. Bragg here we come!
... LOL***

Nastiest Jump:
"Well, there have been a few, but a couple stick out.
First was a night, SCUBA, ocean jump off the Atlantic coast of Panama. The bird- C-47. The gear-twin 72's (double tanks, 80lbs), duck feet(flippers)and the rest. There was a slight relief when we got out the door, but it came to an end when the thought of the 2000m swim at a depth of around 50ft to the beach came to mind. Always gettin' hit with jellyfish and finding sharks in the net the next day. Disney doesn't have a ride equal to standing on that little platform and hangin' onto the skin of that 47 at 4000' doin' 150mph looking into the big black inkwell your headed for. Got a picture of myself doin' that right beside my desk at work.
second one: tree jump into triple canopy in a smoke suit (looks like a padded moon suit with football helmet and cage) couple of times got too damn close to the infamous Black Palm trees. Think of a locust tree here with thorns of about 6-8 inches long."

Submitted by: Mike Walker (source)

...the Airborne girls...
1, 2, 3, 4

Friday, May 20, 2005

The City of Brotherly Love Union Domination...

GUEST RANT: by Tesco (A.K.A. The Man)

“You better make sure your T’s are crossed on this job,” the building inspector said, “You know the union wants this job shut down!” I don’t know which pissed me off more, my work being questioned or the thought of a bunch of low-life union pricks picketing my job! “They run this city you know…” They run the city at a collective six hours a day!? Whatever! I’m getting so sick of these people who apparently ‘run the city’. If it’s not the lazy ass labor unions, it’s a bunch of scumbag bikers. That’s right, BIKERS. Not the men and women who actually work… a bunch of long haired, unshaven nasty bikers and a bunch of lazy crying union pricks. I really don’t care about why the unions were started. That was a long time ago. Now it’s about extortion. And bikers? Come on! This is just as bad as the mafias running around the city. It’s bullshit! Try WORKING for a change you scumbags! I don’t want to hear about how tough the Pagans are or how the Angels could take the city from them in a matter of days… or how the Pagans threaten Merlino, or how a scumbag ‘carp’ needs to feed HIS family – STOP! Just get the hell up in the morning and go to work, and when you’re done for the day, go home! Stop your damn bitching!! All these bikers and mafia dirtbags running around, tough guys right? And all this f’n crying from the labor unions… GET TO WORK PEOPLE! Maybe if you give that a shot, we might actually be able to clean up this city.

The Woman’s 2¢:
Coupled with the onslaught of ‘random’ killings taking place in Center City Philadelphia right now, the city is still wrought with Union-control problems (and, believe it or not, Pagans and Hell’s Angels). I often wonder about the folks with offices in Liberty Place and those lunching at the food court in the Bellevue’s lower level… Do they have a clue what Philly is really like? Do they have any idea of the vast levels of corruption here? The Man will be working in Center City all summer long (he normally avoids it like the plague, but he landed a huge client with tons of prime city real-estate that pays quickly) and now there are rumors afloat that Local 420 (Steamfitters) and Local 19 (Sheet Metal) are planning to strike this summer. The Man is independent, so why should this effect us…IT SHOULDN’T. But it will. This means that we (meaning me and the boys) will not see The Man this summer because instead of risking his limbs and his truck(s) to cross picket lines he will have to work nights when the picketers leave. Someone doing an honest day of hard work should never have to sneak to do that under cover of night. I love Philly and I don’t know what I would do without the access we have to everything good, but we really gotta get out of here…

Welcome Back!

In honor of MSG Keith who is BACK ON AMERICAN SOIL!!!!
Please vist The Castle and join their 'Comment Party' in honor of Keith! *Take a few of the Grotto accoutrements*

and...to AB and ALa's favorite Master Sergeant THANK YOU for the beautiful pashminas! That was so very kind and thoughtful of you --not that we didn't already knew you were that kinda guy!

Welcome HOME!

Caption It...

"Though he was just driving by, Jeb could not resist the saucy little import with the come hither tail lights."
~Mr. Nimbus

In the Sandbox...

Airborne Boys...

"Who remembers their "cherry blast"?
Mine is as fresh in my mind as if it were yesterday. There are shithouse lawyers all over Bragg that will tell you: your first jump in Division has to be "daylight-hollywood" if you believe this, show me the reg.
I know otherwise, you see my cherry blast was a BDE mass-tac, night, with full combat load on Rhine Luzon DZ. The Platoon Sergeant told me I would have a jump-buddy to make sure I was OK and to ensure I stayed with this guy through out the night. the SPC who was my jump buddy said, "C'mon cherry", and took me to go rig our rucks. As I was rigging my ruck he said, "Your'e gonna friggin burn in tonight because your a sorry piece of shit". The hazing didn't begin until after my "cherry blast" but I was still getting pissed. Manifest came and went. When I got to green ramp, I saw an endless stream of camouflaged bodies and C-141's to put them in. I was awe-struck. Everything was different than what we learned at jumpschool. It seemed like chaos. Pre-jump was hurried and kind of like checking a block. The JM team from my bird singled out the cherries by making us move to the front of the mock door during exit rehearsal. We also all had red tape on our helmets too. We were told to buddy rig and no one wanted to help me, so I rigged myself. when I got JMPI'ed The inspector made fun of me because I f*cked it up.
The next fiasco was loading the birds. 120 of us crammed into the 141. Rucks weighing anywhere from 35-90 pounds. the d!ck sitting across from me on inboard had radio in his ruck which once laid upon my ruck, made my legs feel like shit. Later we took off everyone around me was falling asleep. I was too nervous, this wasn't right, it was nothing like the jumps at Fort Benning.
**20 MINUTES!**
Nobody moved everyone went back to sleep..
**10 MINUTES!**
Everyone awoke and put their helmets on...
**GET READY!**
**OUTBOARD PERSONNEL, STAND UP!**
**INBOARD PERSONNEL, STAND UP!**
The safeties were running around screaming, "Get those f*cking seats up!" People were kicking them and everything it was total chaos in the plane...
**HOOK UP!**
I was still trying to get those damn seats up...
**CHECK EQUIPMENT!**
**SOUND OFF FOR EQUIPMENT CHECK!**

I was just getting my static line unhooked from the top carrying handle of my reserve when I heard the wave of "Okays" coming my way. I got smacked on the ass and heard the guy behind me say "OK", still not ready, I smacked the guy in front of me and said "OK".

The Doors were open and and the rush of air coming in drowned out alot of the chaos. the jumpmasters were doing their door checks.
**One minute!**
I was still trying to hook up. The seats werent all up and people were yanking on the anchorline cable making it damn near impossible to get hooked up.
**30 second hand signal...
Finally I was hooked up. No time to think just mad and nervous at the same time.
**Greenlight GO!**
People were running on the seats then jumping off-- it was nuts.
I got to the door and was gone...

Once I got a canopy the fear diminished and I felt okay. as I looked around there were jumpers everywhere(I later found out this jump was 18 C-141's and 5 C-130's filled-that's a bit).
As I got lower, I dropped my ruck and prepared to land. this can be rough(I heard rumors about how this DZ was littered with hazzards and debris)
I landed, No PLF, I don't know what you would call it, sort of a sideways summersault.

I laid there, popped a riser, wiggled my fingers and toe and confirmed I was OK. Got my weapon up and took a piss. I was OK."

~Author Unknown (source)

...damn, Airborne women...
ONE
TWO
THREE
FOUR
FIVE

Thursday, May 19, 2005

GUEST POST: by Russ from Winterset

"I can't help but think of a scene from "The Bridge on The River Kwai" when I think of the current state of politics and the media in America. When William Holden & the commando team are seconds from blowing the bridge, Alec Guinness tries to get them to stop and manages to get Holden & another British soldier killed in the process. With all the dead bodies lying around him, he looks into the heavens and says......"Oh my God. What have I done?" In my humble opinion, that's one of the most powerful moments in cinema.

That scene springs to mind when I see Newsweek running a story about supposed desecration of the Koran with one (shaky) source in order to embarrass the Pentagon, when the Boston Globe runs pictures from a porno website & claims that they're evidence of coalition troops raping Iraqi women, when the media beats the AlQaQaa explosives story like a rented mule before election day but then totally ignores it after Kerry lost, and when Democratic Senators flip-flop on the fillabuster & smear Dubya's judicial nominees by outright lying & distorting statements of those on the Right (Alberto Gonzales & Ken Starr come to mind).

My God, is their hatred for Dubya so strong that they don't see what they're doing? Every once and a while you see someone from that side of the aisle grudgingly admit that "Bush was right", but it's damn little compared to the attacks coming from the ones who don't see their folly yet. Folks, in 50 years this generation of progressive politicians and journalists are going to be judged by either free Americans who live beyond the threat of jihad because of what's being done right now, or else they'll be judged by America's new islamofascist dictators. Me? I vote for America to win this one, but I'm crazy like that.

If Walter Duranty were alive today, he'd fit right into the White House press corps - - heck, he might even be considered too soft on the Republicans by these jackals. There is no nuance left on the part of the Left: George W. Bush is Hitler, Ann Colter is Eva Braun, Tom DeLay is the bastard son of Elmer Gantry & Ken Lay, Michelle Malkin is a $2 Fillipina whore, and Karl Rove is their dark, satanic puppetmaster. Those on the right aren't perfect, but at least they've undergone the trial by fire of media scrutiny - do you think Republicans who had Klan membership and a dead woman in a flooded car in their pasts would EVER be taken seriously by our current media? I don't think so.

How does this end? That question's over my pay grade."

(Unfortunately Russ doesn't have a blog, but he is welcome to post here whenever the mood strikes...)

In the Sandbox...

A Message from the USMC...

Thursday, November 18, 2004
First Bag Packed
"The things we take with us. For a year long trip to Iraq, everything we take with us has to fit into three duffel bags, a rucksack, and an assault pack. Today we had to pack away one of our duffel bags in a connex that will be shipped out before us. Most of what we put in these bags is obviously army issued, but after putting into each bag the various items on the packing list, any space left over is ours. This extra space is precious, some of the most precious real estate in any of our lives, for this space allows us to take things we know will be hard to come by once we get in Iraq, especially where I'm supposedly going. The question then becomes, what should I take? What will I need to help me keep my sanity for a year in that place. For me, at least in this first packed bag, it was books. Some I have read, some I haven't. Anything for those inevitable days when I have to escape that place for an hour or so. Clippers went in as well, don't want to have to pay some idiot with some clippers five dollars for a crappy haircut, nor do I want to hear some prick that outranks me tell me I need to get a haircut. I'm sure this will happen, and I'm sure it will be from some guy that sits back in the rear doing paperwork while we're out getting shot at. Getting haircuts and shaving all the time while your in combat really pisses me off. Fortunately, during the invasion, I had a cool squad leader that let me go a week during the war without shaving. I'm getting off track here. Extension chords also went in and a really long telephone line, just in case we have internet access. The last thing that went in, the most important thing- four whole roles of toilet paper. Charmin, nice and soft, unlike the sandpaper the Army gives us. I'm already trying to decide what I'm going to put in any space I may have leftover in my other bags. Any suggestions?"

Michael @ A Day in Iraq before he deployed.

...more US Army girls...
one, two, three, four, five

Carnival of Recipes #40

Coconut-Carob Bars (a.k.a. Lib Bars)



...Yes, you will have to brave the local health food store to procure the ingredients for these.
The parking lot of the Whole Foods© yesterday morning had 6 Kerry/Edwards bumper stickers, 1 "More Trees, Less Bush", 1 "Let's Not Elect Him In 2004 EITHER", and 1 "Like Father, Like Son: One Term and Then You're Done". Inside the store, there were about 10 faux Indian print ankle length skirts replete with wool socks and Muppet-toed Birkenstocks with an obvious customer aversion to Gillette... Here, you can get a picture of how out of place I am in these stores...



OK...so now you know why I call them Lib Bars... Enough with my tangent...

What You Need:

1/2 Stick of Butter
Bag of Carob Chips
1 Can Eaglebrand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 bag Shredded Coconut
1/2 lb. sunflower seeds
Graham Cracker Crumbs (if you can find them just crush Graham crackers into powder)

What You Do:
Preheat oven to 325°.
Coat the bottom of a glass lasagna pan with butter (very, very generously)
Cover the bottom with the Graham Cracker crumbs (approx. 1/8")
Cover Crumbs generously with Carob Chips
Pour the can of Sweetened Condensed Milk evenly over crumbs and carob
Cover with shredded coconut and sunflower seeds
Sprinkle a few carob chips on top for aesthetics
Bake for 20 minutes @ 325° (DO NOT cook longer -even if you think they don't look done!)
*Let cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting into individual bars*



...partake...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

My Final Word on the Newsweek Debacle...

Could a Qur'an fit down a toilet?
I think not.

Would detainees terrorists have a Qur'an if it weren't for the US Government?
I think not.

Would I riot and kill people if someone flushed the King James down the toilet?
I think not.

Are liberals freaking out because their bloodlust for dirt on the Administration and the military caused deaths to the very Muslim civilians they claimed to want to protect?
I think so.

el final

OK, that was supposed to be the end, but J.Marquis has dared me to put this article up. I never could turn down a dare... Basically Molly Ivans says that the detainees terrorists have been claiming all along that their Qur'an's have been mishandled (remember those Qur'ans that they wouldn't even have if it weren't for us...Do you think they gave Nick Berg a copy of the Bible before they cut off his head?) This article fails to impress me. Of course they are going to say that --what better thing to say? They are terrorists and I am sure that thier schooling at the training camps involved 'what to do if you get caught'. Blame the Infidel!

Here is the official DOD guideline for the Qur'an and GITMO:
"The Pentagon released a three-page memorandum drafted in January 2003, one year after the first prisoners arrived at the base, on the need to protect Islam’s holy book from placement in “offensive areas such as the floor, near the toilet or sink, near the feet, or dirty (or) wet areas”, according to the text of the memo, published on Tuesday by The Washington Post.

Only chaplains or Muslim interpreters should touch the Quran, after donning clean gloves in view of the prisoner may they handle the Quran like a “fragile piece of delicate art”, the report said.

Muslims working at the Guantanamo base in Cuba should use both hands when handling the Quran as a sign of respect, while favouring the right hand because of cultural associations with the left hand, the memo said." (source)


...but why wouldn't you trust OUR MILITARY's word over that of TERRORISTS?! Because you're a liberal...? I think so.

What's Your Bloginality?

My Bloginality is ENTP...

"As an ENTP, you are Extraverted, Intuative, Thinking, and Perceiving.
This makes your primary focus on Extraverted Intuition with Introverted Thinking.

This is defined as a NT personality, which is part of Carl Jung's Rational (Knowledge Seeking) type, and more specifically the Inventors or Visionary

As a weblogger, your love for a discussion may cause you to debate things more often. You might also flit from idea to idea, not completing one before going to the next. Your largest sense is intution, which makes you a good at understanding what is going on around you - and this could act to your benefit when making blog-like posts over a journal."

TAKE THE TEST

*This quiz shamelessly stolen from Desult's Site and Barb's site --thanks girls!

In the Sandbox...

Great View!

"... going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. You just leave a lot of useless noisy baggage behind."
--Jed Babbin (Former Under-Secretary of State)

"Fighting terrorism is like being a goalkeeper. You can make a hundred brilliant saves but the only shot that people remember is the one that gets past you. Fighting terrorism is like being a goalkeeper. You can make a hundred brilliant saves but the only shot that people remember is the one that gets past you."
--Paul Wilkinson

"Marriage is the only war where you sleep with the enemy."
--Gary Busey

"The purpose of all war is ultimately peace."
--Saint Augustine

"The ancient Roman expression "if you want peace prepare for war" is from "Epitoma Rei Militaris," by Vegetius.

In Latin: "Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum."

Actual Translation:
Therefore, whoever wishes for peace, let him prepare for war."

...more USAF girls...
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Civic Duty

I have just returned from voting in the PA primary election... and if it weren't for the 'Seth Williams' blogburst on Philly Future and Josh Shapiro's 'Greater Green Future Act' (or whatever it was called), I wouldn't even have known there was a primary today.

I had no idea who I was voting for and I hate that. I don't want to randomly pick something as important as a school board. I looked all over online this morning for some guidance, but there was none. The papers they hand you walking into the polls just have names --I want their positions...

Oh well. May the best candidate(s) win...

Dean's Agenda Unveiled...

When Dean was running for President the Deaniacs would all recite the same talking points... "He's not that far left" "Look at his fiscal policies" "He is fiscally conservative"... and so forth. Of course they weren't fooling anyone.

And now, the leader of the Democratic National Committee is endorsing a Socialist candidate for Senator...

"Breaking party lines, former Gov. Howard Dean said Monday he supports Rep. Bernard Sanders' bid for the U.S. Senate, saying the Independent makes a "strong candidate."

"A victory for Bernie Sanders is a win for Democrats," Dean said in a telephone interview Monday." (source)

Isn't it his job to make sure the Democrats win? Isn't that what he gets paid to do?

If conservatives call Democrats Socialists we get reprimanded (Ann Coulter even gets pies thrown at her), but it would seem that Howard Dean thinks the parties are so closely aligned that he can endorse one as the Chair of the DNC...and that it will translate as a win for Democrats... Hmmmmmm....

Aside from that Dean said that US House majority leader, Tom DeLay, ''ought to go back to Houston where he can serve his jail sentence," referring to allegations of unethical conduct against the Republican leader." (source)

BUT a Vermont paper just reported on the man that Dean has endorsed:

"Rep. Bernard Sanders used campaign donations to pay his wife and stepdaughter more than $150,000 for campaign-related work since 2000, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Jane O'Meara Sanders, his wife, received $91,020 between 2002 and 2004 for "consultation" and for negotiating the purchase of television and radio time-slots for Sanders' advertisements, according to records and interviews." (source)

Isn't this what DeLay is being accused of? What a shock. Not only does Dean embrace a Socialist agenda, but he's a hypocrite to boot. Actually, I'm kidding, that comes as no shock at all...

Tempting...

I am not a cat person.
I love dogs purebred dogs. More specifically, I love all the no-nose breeds. Pugs, Frenchies, Bulldogs and Pekinese (Boxers not so much). Not because I am a snob (well, maybe a little), but really because I worked at a vet for NINE years and if I learned one thing (other than you make NO money being a Vet tech and you do it because you love animals and the discount for your own pets) it is that a breed has reliable traits. This is important if you have kids and other pets...you know what you are getting and what to expect if you do your research.
Too many people buy a dog because they 'saw it in a movie' or they 'think it's cute' --not researching can lead to disaster (some calls I got at the vet):
-The girl looking to get rid of her 2 yr. old Great Dane because she lived in an apartment and had 'no idea they got so big'.
-The girl who got a Bull Terrier when she had a house full of cats.
-The guy who bought his girlfriend a pug because they have 'short coats', when he had horrible allergies.
That is why I am not an SPCA mixed-breed advocate. You have no idea what you're getting. The mix could have Chow Chow, or Pit Bull, Dalmation or Husky - and none of those are breeds I would have around my kids...
Anyway, I digress...

My boys both love our dog to death, but are now asking for a cat. I always feel guilty having just one pet because when we go out she's all alone. There is ONE breed of cat that I have always loved (it has the personality characteristics of a dog)... and it's very tempting... But do I really need to clean up anymore poop in a day? Do I need more vet bills?

No...But LOOK!!!!
1,2, 3, 4, 5

OMG! So cute... I really need to stop looking at the pictures before I do something stupid...

*You do not need to email regaling me with stories about the mixed breed that would protect your children with its life. I an well aware there are good mutts out there --but you took a chance, and that's my only point...

Monday, May 16, 2005

Liberal Bias Causes Deaths...

...in Afghanistan.

Do you know the Newsweek article that claimed that copies of the Qur'an had been flushed down a toilet at Guantanamo Bay? The same report that sparked anti-American riots in Afghanistan that killed 15 people and caused over 120 injuries?

Well...

"In this week’s edition the magazine backtracks. “We regret that we got any part of our story wrong and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the US soldiers caught in its midst,” Mark Whitaker, the Editor, wrote in an editorial.

The report last week said that the claims about the Koran, which previously had been aired by other news organizations, would be validated by an inquiry report into the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. It was based on conversations with a senior American official who said that he had seen mention of the Koran incident in the report.

However, on checking with the source since publication, Newsweek said that the official no longer could be sure that they had remembered correctly.

When told of Newsweek’s new stance, Lawrence DiRita, the Pentagon spokesman, raged: “People are dead because of what this son of a bitch said.” (source)


ALa! This had nothing to do with liberal bias! How can you say that --and to go so far as to say it caused deaths! OMG! How dare you!

I dare. You people have been on a witch hunt for wrong-doing at Guantanamo Bay ever since Abu Garib! I DON'T GET IT... Why the preoccupation with terrorist rights? Why the care and compassion for those who would remove your head from above your neck without a second thought? I am at a loss -truly...

A Newsweek Bureau Chief appeared on CNN to talk about the erroneous reporting and subsequent chain of events. He was non-repentant about the deaths and claimed that Muslims rioted because they are against America and Britain’s War on Terror...

"People are dying. They are burning American flags. Our forces are in danger," Pentagon spokesman Larry DiRita told CNN.

Nah...no liberal bias in the MSM... We can all "Go home and get a nice quiet sleep"...