Saturday, September 30, 2006



Why am I typing in all caps?

I attempted yesterday to add a link to one of my favorite blogs and now my archives are GONE/

Help from any talented Tech type person.

And I just commented to Jean that I could follow directions. None of them had a very techie bent to them.

Just damn!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Why I love my dogs

Someone probably sent me this in an email a while back, and I present it for your consideration.........

Dog philosophy.

The reason a dog has so many friends is that he
wags his tail instead of his tongue.

Don't accept your dog's admiration as
conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.
-Ann Landers

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die
I want to go where they went.
-Will Rogers

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy
licking your face.
Ben Williams

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you
more than he loves himself.
Josh Billings

The average dog is a nicer person than

the average person.
Andy Rooney

We give dogs time we can spare,
space we can spare
and love we can spare.
And in return, dogs give us their all.
It's the best deal man has ever made.
M. Acklam

Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies,
quite unlike people, who are incapable of
pure love and always have to mix love and hate.
Sigmund Freud

I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members
of a weird religious cult.
-Rita Rudner

A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance,
and to turn around three times before lying down.
Robert Benchley

Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes
like never washed a dog.
Franklin P. Jones

If I have any beliefs about immortality,
it is that certain dogs I have known
will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.
James Thurber

If your dog is fat, you aren't getting
enough exercise.

My dog is worried about the economy
because Alpo is up to $3.00 a can.
That's almost $21.00 in dog money.
Joe Weinstein

Ever consider what our dogs must think of us?
I mean, here we come back from a grocery
store with the most amazing haul -- chicken,
pork, half a cow.
They must think we're the greatest hunters
on earth!
Anne Tyler

Women and cats will do as they please,
and men and dogs should relax and
get used to the idea.
Robert A. Heinlein

If you pick up a starving dog and make him
prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the
principal difference between a dog and
Mark Twain

You can say any foolish thing to a dog,
and the dog will give you a look that says,
'Wow, you're right! I never would've thought
of that!'
Dave Barry

Dogs are not our whole life,
but they make our lives whole.
Roger Caras

If you think dogs can't count, try putting three
biscuits in you pocket and give him only two of them.
-Phil Pastoret

My goal in life is to be as good of
a person my dog already thinks I am.

....A man once told me that if you have 5 true friends in your whole life, that you could consider yourself lucky.

This same man, a man I considered my best friend in the world, today severed that friendship. It seems that lucre is more important.

Pardon me while I pull the kudzu up over my head for a while. My dalmation will dig me out eventually, licking on my chin and whining.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Dee yam nanny. Didn't they teach you how to make the water warm?

Prayers needed

My sister in Maine just sent her second son to Iraq this week.

His older brother has been there for a little while now.

Zack (the older) is a 1st lt. The picture is of him (on the right), his CO and his sargent.

So far no pictures of the 2nd son, a medic.

Please keep These young men in your prayers as well as their parents and youngest brother.

This is a little too much like the kudzu I'm trying to get out of.

I'm very proud of my nephews, although thankfully they are nothing like me.

Fine Belgium milk chocolate

LL, and some few others ridiculed my version of the reason for my "galloping trots" a week or so ago. Now I'll admit that I may have slightly exaggerated the severity of the malaise, but take a look at this box of chocolate.

I only today tried any more of this tasty treat, and will admit that after eating about 4 ozs just a few moments ago, I have not yet experienced any ill effects.

Perhaps after another small piece I'll call it a day.

Any one who eats that much chocolate with 3/4 of a glass of milk at 11:30 PM should have sweet dreams...

...Or nightmares.

Researchers have determined that chocolate act on the same brain receptors as sex. Perhaps if I had more sex I would have less a craving for chocolate. Or more chocolate, less a craving for sex. With the help of those magic pills from the VA, I hope to put that theory to the test at least one more time before I die. Or if the wife predeceases me, more than once if I'm lucky and should live so long.

Perhaps all those days of wanting and getting it 2 or 4 times a day have caught up with either her or me. Or perhaps after so many years she's tired of my wrinkly ol' ass.

Does anyone else feel out of sync sexually with the one they desire.

Oh well maybe it's just a matter of mind over matter.......if you don't mind it don't matter.

But I never would mind anyone. How did I get here from writing about chocolate

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Old Dogs

Almost done.

Only one more load to go tomorrow. Get the final payment and then no more 73 acres to ramble on and wish that I had done more with it. Feel a little bit like the unrightous servant who was not a good steward of the one talent he was given so the ruler took it away from him.

I guess I'm just having a bit of the 'coulda', woulda', shoulda's going on in my head.

We were headed home in the truck this afternoon with the next to last load.. Mostly filling the back was this big ol' obsolete big screen projection tv of wifes dad. Needs repair but we moved it like it was of some value.

Wife in the passenger seat with the big dalmation bitch up in ( I mean litterly in her lap) lap. Crazy dog is like the proverable Camel with his nose in the tent. Pet this dog while sitting in a chair and she will climb right up onto your shoulder if you let her.

I got to waxing philosophical, as I do sometimes, and I got to thinking about what of the stuff we moved is really essential to our lives. I mean, the computer for the internet and the fridge for the food, a bed to sleep in, my pills that keep me from trying to use the 10 inch dagger under the console in the truck. Many of the things we have define us instead of we our selves doing the defining. We need the new car, or the bigger tv. But it's somehow a little too hard to live a life that's worthwhile just on it's own.

This led me to try to remember the old Tom T. Hall song. You know the one. Old dogs and children and watermelon wine.

Old Dogs and Children and Watermelon Wine

"How old do you think I am," he said?
I said, well, I didn't know.
He said, "I turned 65 about 11 months ago."
I was sittin' in Miami, pouring blended whiskey down
When this old gray, black gentleman was cleaning up the lounge.
There wasn't anyone around, except this old man and me.
The guy who ran the bar was watching Ironside on TV.
Uninvited, he sat down and opened up his mind
On old dogs and children and watermelon wine.
"Ever had a drink of watermelon wine," he asked.
He told me all about it, though I didn't answer back.
"Ain't but three things in this world that's worth a solitary dime,
But old dogs and children and watermelon wine."
He said, "Women think about themselves, when men-folk ain't around.
And friends are hard to find when they discover that you're down."
He said, "I tried it all when I was young and in my natural prime,
Now it's old dogs and children and watermelon wine."
"Old dogs care about you even when you make mistakes.
God bless little children while they're still to young to hate."
When he moved away I found my pen and copied down that line
About old dogs and children and watermelon wine.
I had to catch a plane up to Atlanta that next day.
As I left for my room I saw him picking up my change.
That night I dreamed in peaceful sleep of shady summertime,
Of old dogs and children and watermelon wine.

Kinda puts things in perspective, doesn't it??

Might go sit in the kudzu and ponder for a while.

Bowed but unbroken

Who would have imagined that one family (read mostly yours truly) could have accumulated so much junk and useless stuff in only 16 yrs at one place.
Blogging has had to take a back seat to the neccessity of hauling all that junk off. Either to the dump, to the recycling place (9 loads to the metal yard alone, and to our new residence or to the storage building.
Can anyone give me a good reason to have so much that you don't want to get rid of that you will pay $90.00 a month to store it. And I know that most of it will only sit moldering there until the next move (God forbid).
I have however been able to lurk in the evenings. Hopefully things will get to normal (what is that?) soon.

'dja ever notice how fast grass and Kudzu will grow as fall and winter get closer?

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 HEROS

You can call them all heros if you want to. To me some of them were mere victims. Lives snuffed out in and instant when the planes struck the towers.

Some were simply lucky by where they were and able to make their panic stricken way out of the buildings. I was sure as I watched the planes strike the buildlings that the death toll would be much higher. Probably less than a 10th of the possible # that could have been killed if the building had collapsed quicker.

Certainly the firemen and police were heros that fateful day. But, they were simply doing what they had been trained to do. Which makes them heros in my book.

But let's look at just one individual hero on that day 5 years ago.

911 Remembered: Rick Rescorla was a soldier
Note: This post is originally from September, 2003.

Have you seen the movie We were Soldiers?

A good one, in my opinion. Given just a couple hours to tell a tale I think all in all the folks involved did a commendable job.

Perhaps it's hard to go wrong, given the source material. We Were Soldiers Once, And Young is an account of the battle at Ia Drang Valley, fought in the still early phases of the war in Viet Nam. The book was written by Hal Moore, who was then a Lt Col and commander of the American troops in the valley, and Joe Galloway, a reporter who was at the battle. Their collaboration is a truly human account of men at war- including the enemy viewpoint, as Galloway and Moore's efforts at capturing the battle on paper were thorough enough to include interviews with survivors from the other side.

Take a look at the cover. The prominent figure is Rick Rescorla, described thusly on the LZ Xray web page:

No sleep for 48 hours.
Grimy, unshaven, filthy uniform.
Canteens loose, dogtags hanging out, pocket unbuttoned, helmet strap hanging.
No insignia of rank, sleeves up.
Dirty fingernails.
His bayonet is fixed; trigger finger alert and ready for action.
Lt. Rick Rescorla, Platoon Leader, B Co 2/7 Cav in Bayonet Attack on the morning of 16 Nov 1965(1)

This is not a posed shot; this is a man moving forward into combat. Eyes forward. Ready.

On that day,

The PAVN Commander knows that he had severely weakened and damaged the defenders in the Charlie Co sector the previous morning. What he does not know is that a fresh company - B Co 2nd Bn 7th Cav, had taken over the position after that engagement. That company, unmolested the previous afternoon, had cut fields of fire, dug new foxholes, fired in artillery concentrations, carefully emplaced it's machine guns and piled up ammunition(1).
Rescorla directed his men to dig foxholes and establish a defense perimeter. Exploring the hilly terrain beyond the perimeter, he came under enemy fire. After nightfall, he and his men endured waves of assault. To keep morale up, Rescorla led the men in military cheers and Cornish songs throughout the night(2).

Rescorla knew war. His men did not, yet. To steady them, to break their concentration away from the fear that may grip a man when he realizes there are hundreds of men very close by who want to kill him, Rescorla sang. Mostly he sang dirty songs that would make a sailor blush. Interspersed with the lyrics was the voice of command: ?Fix bayonets?on liiiiine?reaaaa-dy?forward.? It was a voice straight from Waterloo, from the Somme, implacable, impeccable, impossible to disobey. His men forgot their fear, concentrated on his orders and marched forward as he led them straight into the pages of history.(3)

The PAVN assaults four separate times beginning at 4:22 AM. The last is at 6:27 AM. They are stopped cold, losing over 200 dead. B Co has 6 wounded. At 9:55 AM, a sweep outward is made which results in more enemy dead and the position secured(1).

The next morning, Rescorla took a patrol through the battlefield, searching for American dead and wounded. As he looked over a giant anthill, he encountered an enemy machine-gun nest. The startled North Vietnamese fired on him, and Rescorla hurled a grenade into the nest. There were no survivors(2).

Rescorla and Bravo company were evacuated by helicopter. The rest of the battalion marched to a nearby landing zone. On the way, they were ambushed, and Bravo company was again called in for relief. Only two helicopters made it through enemy fire. As the one carrying Rescorla descended, the pilot was wounded, and he started to lift up. Rescorla and his men jumped the remaining ten feet, bullets flying at them, and made it into the beleaguered camp. As Lieutenant Larry Gwin later recalled the scene, "I saw Rick Rescorla come swaggering into our lines with a smile on his face, an M-79 on his shoulder, his M-16 in one hand, saying, 'Good, good, good! I hope they hit us with everything they got tonight?we'll wipe them up.' His spirit was catching. The enemy must have thought an entire battalion was coming to help us, because of all our screaming and yelling."(2)

"My God, it was like Little Big Horn," recalls Pat Payne, a reconnaissance platoon leader. "We were all cowering in the bottom of our foxholes, expecting to get overrun. Rescorla gave us courage to face the coming dawn. He looked me in the eye and said, 'When the sun comes up, we're gonna kick some ass.' "

Sure enough, the battalion fought its way out of Albany. Rescorla left the field
with a morale-boosting souvenir: a battered French Army bugle that the North
Vietnamese had once claimed as a trophy of war. It became a talisman for his
entire division.(4)

Lt Rescorla survived that engagement and many others.

He had grown up in a village on England's southwest coast and left at age sixteen to join the British military. He'd fought against Communists in Cyprus and Rhodesia. He then came to America, he said, so that he could enlist in the Army and go to Vietnam. He welcomed the opportunity to join the American cause in Southeast Asia. He worked his way up through the ranks to Sergeant before being commissioned.

The epitome of the young warrior, he was the sort that England seems to have bred in abundance for centuries: the type of young man who in times past went forth from Britain and created an empire upon which the sun never set. England happened to be fresh out of wars in the 1960s, so Rescorla became an American and fought in ours.(3)
More stories from Viet Nam:

The survivors of the 7th Cavalry still tell awestruck stories about Rescorla. Like the time he stumbled into a hooch full of enemy soldiers on a reconnaissance patrol in Bon Song. "Oh, pardon me," he said, before firing a few rounds and racing away. "Oh, comma, pardon me," repeats Dennis Deal, who followed Rescorla that day in April 1966. "Like he had walked into a ladies' tea party!"
Or the time a deranged private pulled a .45-caliber pistol on an officer while Rescorla was nearby, sharpening his bowie knife. "Rick just walked right between them and said: Put. Down. The. Gun." recalls Bill Lund, who served with Rescorla in Vietnam. "And the guy did. Then Rick went back to his knife. He was flat out the bravest man any of us ever knew."(4)

After fighting in Vietnam, he returned to the United States and used his military benefits to study creative writing at the University of Oklahoma. Literary minded, even before college he had read all fifty-one volumes of the Harvard Classics and could recite Shakespeare and quote Churchill. He had started writing a novel about a mobile-air-cavalry unit, and had several stories published in Western-themed magazines. He eventually earned a bachelor's, a master's in literature, and a law degree.

Rescorla then moved to South Carolina for a brief teaching career. He left for greener pastures; jobs in corporate security eventually led him to Dean Witter in 1985. He moved to New Jersey, commuted to Manhattan, and rose to become vice-president in charge of security at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.

And, oh by the way, was still in the Army, as a Reservist, having advanced to colonel before retiring in 1990.

Rescorla's office was on the forty-fourth floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center. The firm occupied twenty-two floors in the south tower, and several floors in a building nearby. In 1990 Rescorla and Dan Hill, an old Army friend, evaluated the security, identifying load bearing columns in the parking garage as a weak point. A security official for the Port Authority dismissed their concerns. On February 26, 1993, a truck bomb exploded in the basement.

Rescorla ensured that every one of his firm's employees was safely evacuated, and was the last man out of the building.

Rescorla met his wife while running barefoot. Still determined to be a writer he had been scripting a play set in Rhodesia, based on his experiences there. Few of the native Rhodesians had worn shoes, which was why, he explained to her, he had to feel what it was like to run barefoot.

Some insight into the man's character:

Rescorla may have told Susan that he was running barefoot as research for a play, but he had already been running barefoot in Africa, and then at Fort Dix, toughening his soles to the point where he could extinguish a fire with his bare feet. He told Hill that if he lost his boots in combat it wouldn't matter. This was something he'd absorbed from his years in Africa. "You should be able to strip a man naked and throw him out with nothing on him," he told Hill. By the end of the day, the man should be clothed and fed. By the end of the week, he should own a horse. And by the end of a year he should own a business and have money in the bank.(2)
Small wonder that the final chapter of the story goes like this:

In St. Augustine, Dan Hill was laying tile in his upstairs bathroom when his wife called, "Dan, get down here! An airplane just flew into the World Trade Center. It's a terrible accident." Hill hurried downstairs, and then the phone rang. It was Rescorla, calling from his cell phone.
"Are you watching TV?" he asked. "What do you think?"

"Hard to tell. It could have been an accident, but I can't see a commercial airliner getting that far off."

"I'm evacuating right now," Rescorla said.

Hill could hear Rescorla issuing orders through the bullhorn. He was calm and collected, never raising his voice. Then Hill heard him break into song:

Men of Cornwall stop your dreaming;
Can't you see their spearpoints gleaming?
See their warriors' pennants streaming
To this battlefield.
Men of Cornwall stand ye steady;
It cannot be ever said ye
for the battle were not ready;
Stand and never yield!

Rescorla came back on the phone. "Pack a bag and get up here," he said. "You can be my consultant again." He added that the Port Authority was telling him not to evacuate and to order people to stay at their desks.

"What'd you say?" Hill asked.

"I said, 'Piss off, you son of a bitch,' " Rescorla replied. "Everything above where that plane hit is going to collapse, and it's going to take the whole building with it. I'm getting my people the fuck out of here." Then he said, "I got to go. Get your shit in one basket and get ready to come up."

Hill turned back to the TV and, within minutes, saw the second plane execute a sharp left turn and plunge into the south tower. Susan saw it, too, and frantically phoned her husband's office. No one answered.

About fifteen minutes later, the phone rang. It was Rick. She burst into tears and couldn't talk.

"Stop crying," he told her. "I have to get these people out safely. If something should happen to me, I want you to know I've never been happier. You made my life."

Susan cried even harder, gasping for breath. She felt a stab of fear, because the words sounded like those of someone who wasn't coming back. "No!" she cried, but then he said he had to go. Cell-phone use was being curtailed so as not to interfere with emergency communications.

From the World Trade Center, Rescorla again called Hill. He said he was taking some of his security men and making a final sweep, to make sure no one was left behind, injured, or lost. Then he would evacuate himself. "Call Susan and calm her down," he said. "She's panicking."

Hill reached Susan, who had just got off the phone with Sullivan. "Take it easy," he said, as she continued to sob. "He's been through tight spots before, a million times." Suddenly Susan screamed. Hill turned to look at his own television and saw the south tower collapse. He thought of the words Rescorla had so often used to comfort dying soldiers. "Susan, he'll be O.K.," he said gently. "Take deep breaths. Take it easy. If anyone will survive, Rick will survive."

When Hill hung up, he turned to his wife. Her face was ashen. "Shit," he said. "Rescorla is dead."(2)

The rest of Rick Rescorla's morning is shrouded in some mystery. The tower went dark. Fire raged. Windows shattered. Rescorla headed upstairs before moving down; he helped evacuate several people above the 50th Floor. Stephan Newhouse, chairman of Morgan Stanley International, said at a memorial service in Hayle that Rescorla was spotted as high as the 72nd floor, then worked his way down, clearing floors as he went. He was telling people to stay calm, pace themselves, get off their cell phones, keep moving. At one point, he was so exhausted he had to sit for a few minutes, although he continued barking orders through his bullhorn. Morgan Stanley officials said he called headquarters shortly before the tower collapsed to say he was going back up to search for stragglers.

John Olson, a Morgan Stanley regional director, saw Rescorla reassuring colleagues in the 10th-floor stairwell. "Rick, you've got to get out, too," Olson told him. "As soon as I make sure everyone else is out," Rescorla replied.

Morgan Stanley officials say Rescorla also told employees that "today is a day to be proud to be American" and that "tomorrow, the whole world will be talking about you." They say he also sang "God Bless America" and Cornish folk tunes in the stairwells. Those reports could not be confirmed, although they don't sound out of character. He liked to sing in a crisis. But the documented truth is impressive enough. Morgan Stanley managing director Bob Sloss was the only employee who didn't evacuate the 66th floor after the first plane hit, pausing to call his family and several underlings, even taking a call from a Bloomberg News reporter. Then the second plane hit, and his office walls cracked, and he felt the tower wagging like a dog's tail. He clambered down to the 10th floor, and there was Rescorla, sweating through his suit in the heat, telling people they were almost out, making no move to leave himself.

Rick did not make it out. Neither did two of his security officers who were at
his side. But only three other Morgan Stanley employees died when their building was obliterated. (4)

However, over 2600 employees of Dean Whitter walked out of the south tower and in to the rest of their lives that morning.

Incredibly, you can "meet" Rick Rescorla via video interview made in 1998. He discusses Ia Drang and beyond, with some chilling words for the world today. Remind yourself as you watch and listen that he was speaking in 1998. Must see. Amazing.

Listen to the man and then you can add your signature to an online petition calling on the President to award the Medal of Freedom to Rick Rescorla.




People who knew Rescorla note that all this is exactly what he wouldn't want.

He shunned public praise for his past heroism, kept his war photos and medals in a closet, and told his wife he didn't want to see the Mel Gibson movie based on "We Were Soldiers" when it came out. To the friends he left behind, his death made a kind of cosmic sense on a day when the universe was out of order: The right man in the right place at the right time. He left in a blaze of glory. With no parade. Rescorla was a man who didn't need to be reminded of the high price of freedom.
However we do.(4)

Perhaps a Shakespeare quote then?

"His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world 'This was a man!'"

The tragedy of 911 was this multiplied by three thousand.

Never forget.

Never, Never, Never, Never, Ever Forget.

I can't. The kudzu runs around my soul and brain as well as my heart. It has become part of me and cannot be removed or I die.

God Bless the little children

The joys of moving from a home of 16 yrs to a new place are many and varied.

You find things you had forgotten you had. You find thing you wonder why you kept. You find boxes of things you had not unpacked since the last move.

And sometimes you find a treasure. I found my stainless steel helical screw. I found the fart fan for the bathroom which was never installed. I found the automated dialing machine which was to be used in a junk phone call program to sell insurance or something. I found the supposedly wonderful fire detectors and alarms which were way over priced, and were never used.

Boxes of receipts and checkbooks looong ago closed out. Forms out of date and useless when new.

But the best treasure I found was a kodak instamatic picture of me holding our youngest child when about 1 year old or maybe just a little more. ( She just had her 25th birthday) and her own child is 3 months old.

I had forgotten how curley and blonde her hair was.

One thing I had never forgotten was how wonderful it was to hold her as she slept.

There's just something complete about having your child fall asleep in your arms. Almost as if they trust you for some strange reason. Little do they suspect the demons that lurk within. All of which were well caged and restrained.. Only now does she have any clue, a small one. One which she respects and is proud of.

A tendril around my heart and soul which I have no desire of removing.

I'm thinking of making this my profile picture. What do you think?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

He's Back

Oh Man! I have internet service again.
Funny how addictive it gets. I was having serious withdrawal pains from not being able to read my favs.

Moved into the new house in Athens Ga. Smaller which means I don't have room for all my very important and necessary stuff . So I sit here surrounded by boxes and piles of papers and other oddities, everything but money. Funny How much it costs move 50 miles.

But, the wife is happy with the 'real floors'. That counts for a lot.

Toby the yorkie doesn't like it so much since he has to be on a leash outside. He's an inside dog, and shy, so it embarasses him to have to "Go" with someone beside him. Well, it would make me a little hesitant too I guess.

Fighting with the kudzu of too much to do and too little time.