Tuesday, March 31, 2009

War On Drugs??

I was reading this stuff on CNN today and here's something to think about:

How many police officers and sheriff's deputies are involved in investigating and solving crimes involving illegal drugs?
And arresting and transporting and interrogating and jailing the suspects?

How many prosecutors and their staffs spend time prosecuting drug cases?

How many defense lawyers spend their time defending drug suspects?
How many hours of courtroom time are devoted to drug trials?
How many judges, bailiffs, courtroom security officers, stenographers, etc., spend their time on drug trials?
How many prison cells are filled with drug offenders?

And how many corrections officers does it take to guard them?
How much food do these convicts consume?
And when they get out, how many parole and probation officers does it take to supervise their release?

And how many ex-offenders turn right around and do it again?

So how's this war on drugs going?

Someone described insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result each time. That's a perfect description of the war on drugs!

The United States is the largest illegal drug market in the world. Americans want their weed, crack, cocaine, heroin, whatever.

And they're willing to pay big money to get it.

The drug suppliers are only too happy to oblige. The Mexican drug cartels now have operations in 230 American cities.

That's 230 American cities!

And we're not just talking about border towns, but places such as Anchorage, Alaska; Boston, Massachusetts; Atlanta, Georgia; and Billings, Montana.

They're everywhere. And they don't just bring drugs, but violence and crime as well -- lots of it at no extra charge.

They have been able to infiltrate those 230 cities because we have not bothered to secure our borders. In addition to illegal aliens who come here to work and avail themselves of our social programs, we have criminals from Mexico bringing drugs in, taking money and guns back, and recruiting American kids into their criminal enterprises while they're here.

What do you suppose the total price tag is for this failed war on drugs?

One senior Harvard economist estimates we spend $44 billion a year fighting the war on drugs.

He says if they were legal, governments would realize about $33 billion a year in tax revenue.

That's a net swing of $77 billion. Dollars.

Could we use that money today for something else?

You bet your ass we could. Plus the cartels would be out of business. Instantly. Goodbye crime and violence.

If drugs were legalized, we could empty out a lot of our prison cells.

People will use this stuff whether it's legal or not. Just like they do booze.

And you could make the argument that in some cases alcohol is just as dangerous as some drugs.
Like I said ... something to think about. It's time.



Here's the proof. Little ole me just laying in bed watching an educational program on PBS while the girls are whooping and hollering in the next room during bunko...............

And the next thing I know, I am surrounded on all sides by women trying to take advantage of me!!

They are crass and forward and even though you can't see all of them in the frame, there were at least 30 of them in there tearing at my clothes and assaulting my manhood.

And all my beautiful, wonderful, amazing, love of my life wife can do is take a picture???

Well, it's a tough life - but I owe it to myself to live it!!!


Monday, March 30, 2009


I'm tarred folks.

Or tired for those of you that are insistant on "proper" ingles'.

We had a wonderful weekend. A bunch of drunk chicks at my house doing whatever they do during their bunko sessions. I personally went out to the Purple Parrot and had some fairly amazing curried duck and a few grapefruit basil vodka's.

Then after 4 hours or so had past, I went home because I figured they would all be gone.

And boy was I right.

But it wasn't the kind of gone I had intended.

They were d-r-u-n-k kind of gone. Yet they were all still right there.

In my house.

Laughing like horses or cartoon characters.

You all know who you are.............................

Plus I was forced to park in the woods and walk through a rainfall of biblical proportions and got soaked thanks to AJ.

Thanks AJ!

Goddamn it.


Anyway, it seemed they all had a good time. Even when they piled in bed with me around midnight all giggly and shit.

So after they all did finally leave and were "officially" gone, my beautiful, talented, wonderful, amazing, best lover in the world wife decided she wanted to clean up...........

I love drunk chicks, I really do, but sometimes I just wish they would listen to reason. I told her that I would clean up the entire world in the morning if she would just come to bed and go night-night.

But never has a woman been more stubborn while drunk than the love of my life.

And so she cleaned.

I went to sleep........................

Next night, we went out to "da club" and prepared for an 80's band. But so did about 1200 other damned people. It was so crowded and hot.

But it was fun!!!

We even got to see a lesbian fight. And they ain't no fights like lesbian fights.

Oh, and yea, I'm not talking about hot lesbian chicks, I'm talking about the kind that will kick your ass.

And after 7 (yea, I counted) beers, it was time for my wife to go home!!!

Actually, I was ready to go too, so I'm not really blaming that on her!

She was dancing right where she stood because that was all anyone could do. There was no dance floor at all due to the crowded nature of the place. I have no idea what the fire marshal was doing on Saturday but I know where he should have been!

So Sunday, guess what?

Yep - we slept in!!!

And then after finally waking up and doing the Sunday chores, we got to go to the Purple Parrot for a little 4 diamond red wine tasting.

It was very much good and everyone should make sure to attend the wine expo on April 17.

You'll be sorry if you miss that one.

So back to the beginning of this post. I'm tarred.

I am ready to rest and I'm looking very much forward to Wednesday morning when they stick needles in my spine because I HAVE to spend the rest of the day laying down - flat on my back.

Doctors orders.


Hope your weekend was amazing too................


Friday, March 27, 2009

Needles in My Spine!

I went to the Doctor of Physical Medicine yesterday to beg to her to stick a needle in my spine and shoot me full of steroids and other stuff.

She said "yea"!!

So next Wednesday I'll get to lay down on my stomach on an x-ray table, and watch my insides quake as this chick sticks a needle as long as a skateboard into my spine and snakes it around the spinal column and hits pay dirt.

I've had this done several times and it's about as cool a thing as I've ever seen.

Well, except for my vascectomy - which was very cool - except for the part where that chick has my balls sliced open and was burning stuff that smelled like bbq.

Either way, I'm ready. I need some relief. My back surgery helped so much but I've got other disks that are squishing out around the edges and that creates pain.

Pain make you not want to exercise so much.

Not exercising makes you fatter.

Which makes your back hurt worse.

Talk about your vicious cycles!!!

So I am hoping for a little reprieve whereby I can get some numbness back there and see if I can do something to strengthen the muscles in my back which could, theorhetically make my back not hurt so much!!

See, I can be logical when I want to............

It's not much fun, but I can do it!

So if you're bored on Wednesday afternoon, come by and visit because I'll be laying on my back at home watching television wishing the versed they gave me earlier was still working.


Pray a Little Prayer For Me

Looks like tonight is the night.


The annual Bunko extravaganza at MY house.

That I can't stay at. (and you can tell my third grade teacher that I can end my sentences in a preposition any damn time I want to!)

Which means that I'll be sulky and "show" everyone that I am still a man.

And then go out and drink too much.

Probably get thrown in jail as well to make it a complete night.

Or, if I can control my manhood for a while, I can wait and wait and wait and then swoop down on a house full of drunk chicks and do some dirty dancing and maybe even bang my wife in the bathroom.

I probably won't let you know how it went either way it turns out - but I just wanted prayers to begin with so no matter what happens it can at least be sanctioned from on high!!!

Then Saturday night we are having a church gathering at the Bottling Company downtown and see the Molly Ringwalls play. There will be much alcohol involved there as well.

Looks like I'll be as wet as the weather has been around here lately.

So anyway, you can't come to Bunko unless you're a girl and you're invited - but you can certainly come downtown on Saturday night because all that takes is a $10 cover charge!

So consider yourself invited!!!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

There is no Spoon.............

Thinking of Philosophy again after my last post.............got me thinking about the coolest movie ever made - "The Matrix".

Now I'm not talking about the two bloated sequels that were shit incarnate.....no, I"m talking about the original one that took the world by storm with it's Messianic interpretations.

My favorite scene and the saying that I have plastered onto the back of my motorcycle helmet is the "There is no spoon" conversation between Neo and the little Buddhist boy who is bending spoons with his mind. Or so it seems.

Neo: How do you do that?

Boy: Do not try to bend the spoon; that's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth.

Neo: What truth?

Boy: There is no spoon.

Neo: There is no spoon?

Boy: Then you will see, it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

When I first saw that movie in the theater, I remember distinctly looking over at my son and asking him if he understood that. He said, "yea, I think I did - and that kind of scares me".

For what limitations do we truly put on ourselves and our world by our system of beliefs that tell what can and what cannot be true.

I certainly understand that our perceptions are our reality in so many ways. And what that means is that it may not be the absolute truth that we see - it may simply be that we see what we want to see.

We put our lives in a box that fits what we think it should be.

We ignore what may be right in front of our faces because we don't think it should be there therefore it can't be real.

Yea, that little scene opened up an entire universe of pondering for me.

And I still go there each and every day..........

Are there things in your life that may be different than the way you perceive them? Do your perceptions make your life easier to live or harder?

Because I have seen it both ways. There are people who see the bad when the bad isn't really there because they distrust so much of what life gives them. There are people who only see good when the bad is kicking down their door to rape and rob them.

We all fool ourselves each and every day.

But the question still begs to be answered............Is there a spoon??? Or is there simply our perception of that spoon?...........If it bends, is it the spoon that bends or is it us???

Such a deep day.

I wish you peace!!!

Your LIfe's Philosophy Is Your Road Most Traveled

I found this small article in my Southern Miss Alumni newletter that I got today. It speaks volumes to me in a very simple way.

Here's what it says:


Mary Loraine "Peets" Buffett had a simple yet meaningful philosophy that she imparted to her three children, Laurie, Lucy and one of The University of Southern Mississippi's most famous alumni, Jimmy.

The woman known as "Peets" to her family and friends, instructed her children to "learn to be a listener," to "live by the sea," and enjoy the company of others, because "love and family are the best things we have."

Today, scholarships in Peets' name help Mississippi women earn degrees at The University of Southern Mississippi. The scholarships, which are now managed by the Southern Miss Alumni Association, are awarded to incoming full-time female freshmen from the state of Mississippi demonstrating financial need and a minimum high school grade point average of 3.0.

Now this is just another simple "human interest" story that seem to populate all college newsletters because they are scientifically meant to tug at our heart strings and inspire each of us to reach down to give. Money. Lots of money!!
Because let's face it - our Alma Maters love us for one thing only - GIVING MONEY!

But the way I look at life is that you can find those pearls of wisdom everywhere you look. Even as people institutionally attempt to pick your pocket.

I have been inspired by Ms. Peets for quite a long time anyway due to my kinship with the soul of Jimmy Buffet and his sister LuLu. And I think it's a great way to honor someone's memory by giving a gift that keeps on giving (and no, not like herpes you sick bastards).

But the wisdom of what I found in the newsletter is all about living life simply and to it's fullest.

I found Jimmy Buffet in the 9th grade thanks to my friend Alan Lovell who was a fanatical parrothead before there was such a thing. And even back then as I listened to Jimmy sing about the "Captain and the Kid" in the mid 70's I knew he was something special.
That was a song about his grandfather retiring to his momma's house after a life on the sea. How he had gone from "sailing ships to raking moms backyard" and I could feel the ache that not only the Captain felt by being ripped from the sea by the ravages of time - but also by the obvious worshipful nature that Jimmy felt towards his grandfather. The insight into real emotions was exhibited very early by Jimmy Buffet and it was so elemental that it spoke even to a 14 year old boy who was just looking for a place to smoke a Marlboro without being seen........

Those things are what life is about. Not the smoking part, but the elemental nature of emotion and the many ways it can be exhibited.

I listened to Jimmy sing about "Life is Just a Tire Swing" and he is singing about me and my life.
Or as I hear "The Pascagoula Run" because it tells my exact story with all the emotion that it brings forth in my heart. I mean seriously, that song is my story and I still feel it. Still today.

Yea, life is really that simple because it is about just a few important things that really matter.

And for Ms Peet (who shared that name with my beloved bigmomma - God rest her blessed soul) - well, her philosophy was spot on.
But it wasn't just philosophy - it was the way she lived her life and the way she imparted the importance of that to her children. And they in turn, imparted that to me and millions of others.
And that is truly a miracle. It's why we live and why we love.
Here's what she said:

1. Learn to be a listener. You can avoid all kinds of embarassment in life by not putting your foot in your mouth if you can just learn to listen instead of blathering on. And I truly belive that it is a learned trait because I think our nature is to talk and hear ourselves talk and to marvel at our immense mental acuity. Breathe and listen. You'll find patience in there that you have never seen before.

2. Live by the sea. That has always been a dream of mine because there is something mystical about the ocean waves that can not be replaced by anything else in the world. I truly feel that I belong on the bow of a ship. I have no idea where that comes from but I can tell you that it is elemental in my sould instead of experiential in my life.

3. Enjoy the company of others. Yep, our friends are the linchpins of our lives. They are what keeps us together and connected. They reflect who we are and to commune with them is to enrich our lives beyond anything we could ever buy, rent or find by luck. Nothing replaces true friendship. Nothing.

4. Love and family are the best things we have. I don't know what else I could possible add to that. For me, love is what makes me tick. Read the quote at the top of my blog banner and understand that I believe that so much - I put it there for all the world to see. And when you think of love, then family is the part that is built in for us to love the best. They are the ones that we have the history with that can't be duplicated anywhere else. And I truly believe that it's meant to work that way. Plus, in order to screw family relationships up, you really have to work at it.

So today, think about Ms. Peets and her philosophy and see if there is anything you find of value in it.
And then, most importantly, don't just treat it as nice zen-like philosophy...........just take a chance and live it. Because life is where the rubber meets the road. As the great philosopher Yoda once said, "There is no try - only do"!

You may find your reward will blow your mind.

I love you. If you're reading this, just know that I do love you.


Sunday, March 22, 2009


I had the most amazing weekend in the history of weekends.

Well, that may be overstating it a bit, but I had a GREAT weekend.

It all started with a Friday spent, not at work, but in the kitchen cooking for a bonfire party at my friends house that eventually netted somewhere between 250 and 300 people.

Very well fed people.

It was a great party and my wife was so very hot! It would be stupid of me to attempt to describe her hotness because words always fail me when trying to describe most aspects of my most amazing wife. But we'll just leave it like this.............all the other boys were very, very jealous of me!!!

Then, at the end of the party, I rolled towards home on my amazing motorcycle and came around the bend to a road block by the county mounties............uh oh. I had been drinking, among other things for the past 6 hours so I was thinking my chances of passing "unnoticed" was very slim.

But my Karma was hoppin' because the cop working the middle of the road with the blinding flashlight shined it my way and exclaimed "Wow, that's the coolest bike I've ever seen - keep on rollin through".

I was in a slight state of disbelief but roll on through I did and with a huge sign of relief, I putted on home.

I didn't quite count on the 46 degree weather and by the time I got home, all my important pieces parts had long since disappeared into my torso for warmth. But thanks to the miracle of alcohol, I went right to sleep - even as I shivered.

So on Saturday night, we went over to the Bottling Company to see two bands that were populated by friends of ours and the shows were amazing. Our kids went with us and a good time was had by all.

As a matter of fact, it was so good that during the introductions of the first band right before they got through playing, my beautiful wife went up to the stage and screamed the name of the drummer and threw a pair of panties at his drum kit.

And that's all I have to say about that. You'll have to ask her if you want any more details!!!

Needless to say, he was a very happy man.

Sunday, I got to see my wife act in a skit at church for both services.

And guess what?

Yep, she was hot there as well...........

See, it's always amazing in my life.

And I love my life.

And I love my wife.

And I love all of you too.

Hope your weekend was great as well............


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Monkey Cool


The contradiction is always there.

Good and evil.

Light and dark.

Love and hate.

But which is the greatest?

Which of our polar opposites require the most energy from each of us?

In my opinion it would be the difference between skeptic's dismissal of anything not tangible and the beliver's subjective acceptance of how the world is when viewed through the filters of our own ever-changing emotions and moods.

The belief (or non-belief) in anything that you can't touch or feel or see or comprehend is one end of the spectrum. The belief that the world works according to your own perception would be at the other end.

How do we reconcile those very different points of view?

Where does religion or faith fit in that context?

When is it permissible to feel a little bit of both ways?

I believe in faith. I believe in love. I believe in other people. Even when the evidence of all of those things may not be there. I believe.

So find your belief today and hang on.

You never know where it will take you.


6 Freakin' Years To The Day

On this day in 2003, the United States, along with coalition forces primarily from the United Kingdom, initiates war on Iraq.
Just after explosions began to rock Baghdad, Iraq's capital, U.S. President George W. Bush announced in a televised address, "At this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger."
President Bush and his advisors built much of their case for war on the idea that Iraq, under dictator Saddam Hussein, possessed or was in the process of building weapons of mass destruction.
Victory was declared just three weeks after we started bombing.
Yet we're still there...................
How about a new mantra for the world?
How about some................

Watchmen This

I went with the boys last night to see the "Watchmen" movie................

Now that was an all-night-sucker. Really long movie.

And maybe the strangest movie I've ever seen.

All of us agreed that we liked it but we couldn't quite grasp what it was all about. Strange Days Indeed!!! Most peculiar momma............(sorry for the John Lennon reference but the soundtrack for the movie ROCKED!!!)

Kind of like one of those artsy films on the Sundance Channel.

But I would suggest seeing it if you like crazy-ass movies. This one definately qualifies!

Either way, it was great to get out and see the movie. It was even greater that I rode my motorcycle and when the movie was over and it was almost 10pm and 64 degrees I got to fly down the highway and feel that cool wind in my face.

Yea, it was a good night.

So grab a friend and go see this movie - but don't take a date - I don't think the girls would be too enthralled with this. But if you find one that is - I would suggest that you marry her as soon as possible because she'll be a keeper!!!

I would love to tell you some deep dark secret that this movie exposed in my heart or soul but I just can't quite fathom it at this point. Maybe with a week under my belt of living with it, something will come to me - but not now.

And perhaps I should see it again, just to make it sink it a little deeper.

I don't know - but if any of you have any ideas or theories, I'd be happy to discuss them over some tabs of LSD.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Love Life

I am a very fortunate man.

I love my life. I love my wife. I love my children. I love my step-children. I love my church. I love my friends. I love my employees. I even love my job.

Hell, I'm just full of love.

And I have been reminded lately of how blessed my life has pretty much always been.

This facebook thing is crazy. And by crazy I mean that it has brought back memories that are still there but rarely thought of. Memories of friends and great times growing up. Memories of awkward situations that are very funny looking back.

This Friday night I'm going to my friend Chris Bowen's house and we're having a bon fire. We cook lots of food and invite 50 or so very old friends to get together and just do what we did in high school.

And it's a blast. We try to do this about 4 times a year and I find myself looking forward to it with much enthusiasm.

There is something comforting about it that I can't get anywhere else.

Plus, the real bonus factor is that I get to introduce my wife to all my old friends.

Now those of you that really know me know that my wife is the cornerstone of my life. She has my heart and I am so very proud to have her by my side. As a matter of fact, I have to pinch myself from time to time to realize that it's real. She is amazing and I feel like such a sucess when I can "show her off".

Her social skills are second to none plus the fact that all my boy friends want to do her, well, it just makes me so happy.

And I'm sure that some of this is that I'm getting older. 48 this year. Way, way past half time.

I'm at the point where the aches and pains are serious now. The deficiencies are real and the spots are all cancerous. The sun is not my friend anymore. Neither is fried chicken!!!

So being able to actively remember times when I was not only indestructable, but was quite the package is very much fun for me.

So if you're not busy on Friday - come on by the Bowen house and enjoy a little blast from the past.

Keg parties still rock!!!


Monday, March 16, 2009

St Patrick's Day........oh my aching head!

Well, I can assure you that a good time was had by all in Baton Rouge at the St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday. If you shoot enough jello shots by 9am, you'll pretty much be up for anything

OK, so we were just joking - but for a quarter I'll be we would have done it!!!
The girls were having a grand time all dressed up in their Dr. Suess headgear.
And yes, the more they drank - the friendlier they got..........I love beer!!!
Even sweet little innocent Nicole got in on the action - just without the beer.........
She was so happy to be hanging out with her momma. Nothing like quality time with the family to make everything work better!!!
And finally, here was the thing we did the most on Saturday. Yep, we visited the Port-O-Potty's very often and were very, very grateful for their noxious existance because without them, we would have been in a world of hurt!!!
So I hope everyone had as much fun as we did - and if you didn't - well that's your own damned fault!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Come join me and my wife as we attempt to navigate this brave new world of putting our face in a book.

It's all quite confusing but I am amazed at the number of people that I haven't heard from since the 70's that have come out of the woodwork.

Pretty cool.

I can see why it may be addictive.

I guess I'm glad that site is blocked at work!

Give us a shout and we'll "friend" ya!!!

Last Cool Snap?

After the rain today, it should be in the low 40's and by the ticking in my head, I can safely assume that this will be the last gasp of winter.
Of course, due to that last statement I have pretty much guaranteed a blizzard in May - but I'm willing to take a chance.

Diamonds are not Forever...........

For those of you that know me, there is one irrevocable truth about my life that is without question and not even open to the most liberal of interpretations.

And that truth is that I love my wife beyond whatever you may think is reasonable.

I love her beyond space and time.

I love her on every plane of existence there is.

I love her so very, very much and whatever problems life may throw at me - well, I'm just not to worried about 'em because at the end of the day I have her to go home to after the problems come.

But yesterday around 10am when she called me with tears and frustration in her voice and informed me that her "big honkin' diamond" had fallen out of the setting, I didn't quite know what to say.

I could tell she was very, VERY upset about it. But all I could say was something contrite like, "don't worry baby, I'm sure we'll find it".

Guess what?

That's right - we didn't find it. The boys in her office tore it apart. Looked in all the filing cabinets she had been digging in. Looked in her car and all along her path with flashlights. Even took the sink apart in the bathroom in case it had gone down the drain.

And no diamond.

It was a pretty diamond. About 2 carots. You know, the old two month salary guideline diamond. But it really was just a stone.

And I gave it to her.

And I wasn't upset about it.

I mean, I obviously wished she hadn't lost it - but she didn't mean to. It wasn't like she threw it at me in anger and it went down my throat. It was just an accident. And there can never be any condemnation of anything like that. Not ever. Not for any reason.

So I was left just to commiserate with her. To help her feel her loss.

And that was nice. I felt connected and engaged.

And in the end, what else really matters?

It's like I have always said concerning my relationship with her, it really doesn't matter what happens as long as I can be with her then I'll be happy.

Even if it is looking on our hands and knees for a diamond that didn't last forever.

At least my love for her will.



Tuesday, March 10, 2009

More Hell on Earth

I hope you read my post yesterday about the firebombing of Japan. In continuation of that though process for me, I heard a story on NPR this morning that make the hackles on my neck stand up.

I am so happy that we have people of honor and courage that defend our nation. Even though I'm not sure that we need to be defended like we are, that has absolutely nothing to do with the soldiers that are called on to wage the wars our politicians make for us.

I am so blessed never to have had to go off to war. I'm sure I would have gone, willingly, if I was ever called - but I was born at the right time and missed all of that.

I always love to watch the Band of Brothers DVD's. The most amazing television I have ever seen. Bar none. I have no idea what it was like - but that seems to be how it was by all accounts.

My personal involvement in these things was simply going to the airport and seeing my father off to Vietnam, agan and then again again. And going to pick him up - all emaciated and sick. Very, very sick.

He was a Green Beret. He lived in the mountains with the Montanyards (indigenous people of Vietnam) and he set up raids on North Vietnamese positions. This required him to live, litereally, weeks on end in the trees of jungles so dense that you couldn't see 10 feet in front of you.

And he lived for that. I have no idea why - all I know is that he would never talk of it. Not at all.

I never thought much about it until one of my friends would ask my dad something stupid like "Mr. Kennedy, did you have to kill people in Vietnam"?

Now even at a young age, I realized that you shouldn't ask anyone a question like that. But at the question, he would turn from his normally jovial self into a very quiet reserved man who would leave the room without comment.

Those reactions from the man I knew and loved told me all I ever needed to know about war.

I'm sure that there are memories that all soldiers have that are positive. Such as the brotherhood they all feel with each other and acts of heroism that truly were just reactions.

I remember one line at the last of the Band of Brothers series where Major Winters is telling about his grandson sitting on his lap when he was little and looking at all of the Major's medals and ribbons.

"Were you a hero, Grandpa"?

The answer came as naturally as water flowing in a river when he replied, "no, but I served in a company of them"............

So here's the story. Please pray for our troops and for wisdom for our leaders. I actually think that we have some that have wisdom at this time.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Zachary Rhyner's story is one of heroism in battle. On April 6, 2008, Rhyner and his team were participating in an assault on Shok Valley in northeastern Afghanistan.

At first light, giant helicopters swooped into the valley. The mission of the special forces teams was to capture an insurgent, what the military calls a high value target. No coalition forces had ever been to that area before. There was no place to land. There was an icy river running down the middle of the valley — a river they hadn't been told about.

Once in the valley, Airman Rhyner's team had to climb. The village was hundreds of feet above them. They had made it about 60 feet up before things went wrong.
"The first couple shots rang out," Rhyner adds, "Immediately our terp (interpreter) was killed, he got shot in the face. And he died right away. From there we took another volley of rounds, another teammate was hit."

The insurgents were above them — shooting down from the village and from high cliffs on both sides of the valley.

The team began to pull back and look for cover. Rhyner's job as the Air Force member of the team was to call in air support.

Rhyner picks up: "The fire continued, we were pulling security, shooting back, and I was coordinating with gun runs and bomb runs with the aircraft that was overhead. I got hit in the leg. And from there we just grabbed our wounded and pulled back as far as possible to get as much cover as possible. When we did that we kind of trapped ourselves with a cliff on either side of us."

The mission had changed. It was all about getting out alive now. Rhyner has been shot in the leg. He's firing his own rifle at fighters nearby. He's also calling in air strikes from above: F-15's, Apaches and A-10's. The battle goes on for hours.

Another Special Forces team tries to reach Rhyner's position. They couldn't. There was too much fire. That team's Airman was Rob Gutierrez, "They're just shooting down at us. It looked like a stadium with multiple cameras going off."

Gutierrez was hit twice in the head trying to reach Rhyner. Amazingly the bullets only dented his helmet. "We're fighting for our lives, you know what I mean?," Gutierrez adds.

He says, "We were just overwhelmed ... never been put in that ... I mean, a very difficult situation, engaging fire with helicopters and fixed wing aircraft — at the same time, yourself, shooting and trying to move and help injured guys get across the river and things like that...and you're slipping and falling and trying to get behind some sort of cover. "

While the standoff continues, Rhyner's team is still trapped. He says more than half of the team has been wounded.

"Rounds that weren't hitting us were hitting our equipment, pretty much everyone on our team had a bullet hole in some form — whether it was hitting their gear or hitting their limbs, stuff like that."

The insurgents got so close that Rhyner had to call in air strikes practically on top of his own position: Rockets, cannon and bombs. Nothing worked. Finally, there was only one option left: Rhyner calls in a 2,000 pound bomb.

Rhyner remembers, "After it went off, you literally couldn't see but a couple of inches in front of your face because of all the debris and dust that was in the air. And it sent down huge pieces of building and boulders and stuff, just showering us with all sorts of debris."

That stopped the shooting long enough for Rhyner's team to fight their way out — carrying their wounded down a cliff and across a chest-high, ice cold river.

The Battle of Shok Valley lasted about six hours. More than half of the Americans there were injured but none of them died. Ten Army Green Beret's won Silver Stars that day. That's the most for one action since Vietnam.

On Tuesday, Airman Zachary Rhyner is award the service's highest honor: The Air Force Cross. He's one of three men to receive it fighting in Afghanistan. The other two were awarded posthumously.

Wow and Amen

Peace be with you...............and everyone else as well

Monday, March 09, 2009

Easy Rider

Oh yea!!! I got to ride on Saturday in the beautiful 80 degree weather.
So now I have gone from the "just dreaming about it" to the "actually doing it" phase in my motorcycle journey.
And as the Lord said: "It was GOOD".


I was reading this morning about how we are going to shift our focus from Iraq over to Afghanistan in the "war on terrorism". That's what we should have been doing all along, I think, if we have to do anything at all.

But it always gets me to thinking about war and how absolutely horrible it is. I think about how we romanticize the bravery that is exhibited - but we always turn our heads away from the carnage because it assaults that part of us that knows that war is not a good thing.

So today, I was reading my "Today in History" as I do each day and in the WWII section there was the story about this day in 1945 when we took the war to the Japanese.

Here is what is said:

On this day, U.S. warplanes launch a new bombing offensive against Japan, dropping 2,000 tons of incendiary bombs on Tokyo over the course of the next 48 hours.

Almost 16 square miles in and around the Japanese capital were incinerated, and between 80,000 and 130,000 Japanese civilians were killed in the worst single firestorm in recorded history.

Early on March 9, Air Force crews met on the Mariana Islands of Tinian and Saipan for a military briefing. They were planning a low-level bombing attack on Tokyo that would begin that evening, but with a twist: Their planes would be stripped of all guns except for the tail turret. The decrease in weight would increase the speed of each Superfortress bomber-and would also increase its bomb load capacity by 65 percent, making each plane able to carry more than seven tons.

Speed would be crucial, and the crews were warned that if they were shot down, all haste was to be made for the water, which would increase their chances of being picked up by American rescue crews. Should they land within Japanese territory, they could only expect the very worst treatment by civilians, as the mission that night was going to entail the deaths of tens of thousands of those very same civilians.

"You're going to deliver the biggest firecracker the Japanese have ever seen," said U.S. Gen. Curtis LeMay.

The cluster bombing of the downtown Tokyo suburb of Shitamachi had been approved only a few hours earlier. Shitamachi was composed of roughly 750,000 people living in cramped quarters in wooden-frame buildings. Setting ablaze this "paper city" was a kind of experiment in the effects of firebombing; it would also destroy the light industries, called "shadow factories," that produced prefabricated war materials destined for Japanese aircraft factories.

The denizens of Shitamachi never had a chance of defending themselves. Their fire brigades were hopelessly undermanned, poorly trained, and poorly equipped. At 5:34 p.m., Superfortress B-29 bombers took off from Saipan and Tinian, reaching their target at 12:15 a.m. on March 10.

Three hundred and thirty-four bombers, flying at a mere 500 feet, dropped their loads, creating a giant bonfire fanned by 30-knot winds that helped raze Shitamachi and spread the flames throughout Tokyo. Masses of panicked and terrified Japanese civilians scrambled to escape the inferno, most unsuccessfully. The human carnage was so great that the blood-red mists and stench of burning flesh that wafted up sickened the bomber pilots, forcing them to grab oxygen masks to keep from vomiting.

The raid lasted slightly longer than three hours.

"In the black Sumida River, countless bodies were floating, clothed bodies, naked bodies, all black as charcoal. It was unreal," recorded one doctor at the scene.

Only 243 American airmen were lost-considered acceptable losses.


I often wonder if the mothers of those 243 airmen felt the losses were acceptable?

So, this evening, as you read the newspaper about what is going on half a world away from us - take time to consider all points of view and say a prayer for not only the soldiers, but for the moms and dads and the people between us and the "bad" guys.

Peace.......probably not in my lifetime.

Friday, March 06, 2009


Ever had one of those days where you just wanted the season to change? I mean, really - I'm tired of this and I want some summer.

I want to feel the sun on my face and the wind in my hair.

And I want some watermelon!!!

80 Degrees

Apparently we're going to have a very, very nice weekend in front of us.

So if you need me, I'll be on a country road somewhere exercising my God Given Right to haul ass on a motorcycle.

Come join me if you want!

Boys Are Not Smart

I hope each and every boy in the world has come to the understanding that our practical side is not the best side to put forth when dealing with the fairer sex.
So many things that make such good sense to us does not in fact make good policy when dealing with a beautiful woman.
Take this cartoon for example, this poor ole boy simply was doing what was practical -but in doing so, he created a shitstorm that he will never pull completely out of.
Logic is not necessarily your friend.
So, as we look forward to a wonderful weekend that even has an extra hour in it - I'm just sending out a friendly reminder to all my mates: "Just Shut Up".
You'll thank me later!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Ode To The One I Love

My life is a wonderful world where all I have ever desired is at my fingertips.

Where the bittersweet taste of life is always on my lips and the cool promise of ecstasy fills the air around me.

My life allows me to never worry about whatever happens in my day-to-day business because that is not what defines me.

Because at the end of my working day, she is there and she is the one that gives me the best things in my life. She is my definition of happiness.

And truly, each day, as the evening sky turns from blue to black, my dream awaits me.

I am always amazed that the sea of fools that populate our lives seem to go around so bilssfully unaware that they are graced by her presence. She never would understand that kind of thinking.

But I understand.

I have always understood.

So last night I prayed for divine guidance from God above for the words to adequately express how I love her so and what she means to me.

I prayed for enlightenment so I can make that love leap from my heart to her soul in a way that she would understand.

For me, I see the truth of my life in the moments when her eyes meet mine. In those still, small times when all other distractions are gone.

In those moments I am truly lifted up beyond where I deserve to be.

In those moments I am present in a place where I never even dared to dream I could be.

And yet there I am, basking in a glow so warm that it takes my breath away.

And somehow, deep inside of me, I understand that I am in a place where only the most fortunate of God's Children are allowed to be.

And in that place, nothing can hide the truth of the beauty that I experience there.

Neither age nor infirmity can claim what is true because time allows all good things to grow - the best things are always allowed to grow if they are true.

And in those times when I can look back and catch her smile, I can see my forever in that smile.

Forever is a wonderful place.

So I pray that I will be blessed to find the right words to let her know how much she means to me.

But more than that.............I pray that she will always let me show her, not only what love means, but what love does.

For that is the true measure of our lives.

And I love her so very much....................

Thank you for being mine and believing in something so rare.

Damn Me.........

OK folks, I got a new CD yesterday - first one of the year, I'm ashamed to say. There was this artist that I've heard on Outlaw Country on my beloved Sirius/XM Satellite Radio Thingy in my truck.............(I love that thing so, so, so much but that's a whole 'nother story for another time.
Anyway, this guy's name is Otis Gibbs. And I haven't heard anything like this in forever and a day.
This is the best of Woody Guthrie, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Pete Seegar and so many others. I'm telling you straight folks - this is like right out of Dylan's mouth in 1962-65. Straight from him to my soul. Powerful stuff.
Now I have never been one to condemn people that don't cry when they hear a song so beautifully aching that it completely overwhelms the rest of the senses.
Or maybe I am, but either way that happens to me.
I can get chills that shiver my spine right into my soul simply by hearing something that stikes a chord inside of me...........................just like when I wake up at night and look over at my beautiful wife sleeping beside me. It's that powerful.
In his song everyday people, he plucks the memories straight out of Woody Guthrie:
Grandpa walked a picket line when he was 19
Had a wife and kids back home to feed

Daddy did the same when it was his turn to
Made things better for me and you………

He said if it wasn’t tough it wouldn’t be true
They were everyday people like me and you

Stood out in the storm clouds stood there in the rain
Kept it together and the love remained
I'm telling you - this guy is amazing.
And seriously, look at this dude below.
If he won't make you believe in something - then you're in deep doo-doo.

I had to go on the internet to get some info on this guy because besides hearing two songs of his on the radio. I had no idea who he was or what he was. I didn't understand why he spoke so clearly to me. Kind of like Bruce Springsteen did for his first three albums when he truly was the boss..........

So I'm going to use someone elses words and research because that's how it works these days in a lazy man's world.

But I would add before I plagerize that there are several a-fuckin-mazing songs on this album.

"Damn Me" may be one of the most powerful songs I've ever heard - and I haven't even figured out what it's really all about yet.

And "Caroline", the opening track, is quite simply beautiful and oh so aching in it's tone.

I mean you can hear the experiences and the hopes of the poor, the desolate, the weary and the scared people. People that are just like each of us is at one time or another in our lives.

We are all connected. The closer that fact is to your heart the better your life will be. I promise you that.

So here's the bio stuff............

Otis Gibbs is a man in search of an honest experience. Some people refer to him as a folk artist, but that is a simplistic way to describe a man who has planted over 7,000 trees, slept in hobo jungles, walked with nomadic shepherds in the Carpathian Mountains, been strip-searched by dirty cops in Detroit, and has an FBI file.

Otis has played everywhere from labor rallies in Wisconsin, to anti-war protests in Texas, Austria and the Czech Republic, Feed & Seed Stores in the Midwestern U.S. and in countless, theaters, festivals, bars and living rooms.

Much of his work concentrates on the world that is ignored by pop culture. Sometimes forgotten, obsolete or simply marginalized, it is a world that doesn't fit into a twenty-second sound bite or a White House talking point.

Otis has spent the last fifteen years traveling across America and abroad documenting this world, and has a story to share about each stop along the way.

Otis grew up in the rural town of Wanamaker, Indiana. He first stepped on stage at the age of four, when he sang Jimmie Rodgers' "Waiting for a Train" at a neighborhood honky tonk. While his parents worked countless hours trying to make ends meet, Otis was often in his uncle's care. Not accustomed to parenthood, the uncle was sometimes bored, so the two would frequent bars, where Otis sang for tip money (which meant more booze for his uncle).

Otis was hooked, and would often ask if they could go back and sing some more songs. The answer, "Only if you promise to never tell your parents."

Otis started working when he was in high school. He stacked concrete blocks, flipped burgers, drove an ice cream truck, pumped gas, and did countless other crummy jobs.

After discovering writers like Edward Abbey, Henry Miller and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, he started questioning what he was doing with his life. He was tired of working jobs that didn't stimulate, or interest him in the least. So, in his own words, he decided to just "drop out."

Over the next four years, Gibbs earned and lived off less than $3,000 a year and had never been happier. He got rid of his car and shared apartments with artists, musicians and radicals (often living with 5 to 10 people).

He also took advantage of the free time and wrote hundreds of songs.

Otis sacrificed many of the comforts most of us take for granted, so that he could live a creative life. The next few years were spent touring and releasing four indie records. The most notable being "49th and Melancholy," (a stripped-down acoustic record, that was recorded to two-track reel-to-reel in a friend's laundry room).

There was also "Once I Dreamed of Christmas," a collection of songs he'd written "for people who don't like Christmas." In 2004, his critically acclaimed, "One Day Our Whispers" was released.

It was an unpopular time to speak truth to power, but the album's optimism and anti-war undertones resonated deeply with people who felt uncomfortable with the direction America was heading.

Though songs like "I Wanna Change It," "Thirty-three" and "Ours is the Time" have been described as protest songs, Otis prefers to call them "love songs for young radicals." "The Peoples Day" was later included in a Wall Street Journal list compiled by Billy Bragg of the "Top Five Songs with Something to Say."

This placed Gibbs in the company of Bob Dylan, The Clash, Sam Cooke, and Chuck Berry.

His latest album, "Grandpa Walked a Picketline," is a glimpse inside of an America that you don't see on the evening news, but it is the America most of us see at our doorsteps. The album showcases Otis' ability to breathe life into the characters of his songs. One such example is "Caroline."

The song tells the story of a woman who married too young. She finds herself stuck in an abusive relationship and secretly fears that her children will suffer the same fate.

The populist anthem, "Everyday People" shines a light on the struggles our grandparents endured in the workplace. As the line in the song suggests, their generation's willingness to take a stand, "made things better for you and me."

"Preacher Steve" is certain to ruffle some religious feathers, but a closer listen will reveal that the only people who should be offended by the song are those cynical clergymen who prey on fear for profit. This album is a reminder that Otis, above all else, is a damn fine songwriter.

But whever else he may be.............he will never be the real Otis...................

Peace - and remember to tell someone you love them today.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Reveal........

Well Boys and Girls...................Here it is!!!!

I promised pictures and I deliver what I promise. Mostly anyhow.

I'll give you a quck tour through the coolest bike I've ever seen.................first is the very cool skull mirrors that hang out at the top of the bike.

Then there is the one of a kind paint job. Not the paint job I asked for, or even wanted - but it is the paint job I have. And it certainly is one of a kind. Notice the skulls all throughout the flames painted on the gas tank. It's a little pink, but apparently so am I to listen to some of you........

Here is the front fender. The skulls that are coming and going on the bike are very good. Even though the paint is not what I ordered, it is pretty damned good. I mean the quality is amazing. This guy took raw metal and made it look like this and I can't help but be impressed.

Now on to my favorite part of the bike. My big red pimp wheels with the gangster white walls. Ain't nobody ever gonna convince me that these are not the coolest wheel/tire combo in the history of the wheel. It's just quite simply amazing!!! Go ahead, you can be jealous.

Here is a side shot. It shows off my second favorite part of the bike which are the wonderously loud Samson Pipes. They shoot up towards the sky and actually can blow the hat right off of your head if you stand to close to the back of the bike when I fire her up. You can also get a shot of my Kuryakyn Hyper-Charger. That's the cool air intake right in the middle of my engine. When I give her gas there are two butterfly valves that open up and air is sucked in and it makes you go fast, faster, fastest........I really like fastest!

And here is the shot where I show you the handlebars. The big ole ape hanger handlebars. Jury is still out on these for me. They're cool but I have no idea how they will make me feel when I ride for 12 hours down the interstate. I think I'm gonna like 'em but who knows............But they are very cool, aren't they!

And finally - here she is from the other angle. Kind of a gracious overview of a head-turner.

I am so very, very excited to have this bike back in my possession. I have never done a project quite like this before and I am very happy how it turned out. I just hope that my wife will like to go for rides with me - because it's not just enough to be cool riding your Harley - Nope, the entire thing is all about getting a beautiful woman on the back and making her put her arms around you. And since there is no one in the world I want to do that except for my beautiful wife, then I'll just pray she'll say yes one more time!!!
And now, I am soliciting names for the new bike - so fire some off and I'll see if one sticks.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Vroom Vroom

OK folks, on Saturday I got my bike back.

All finished.

All amazing and quite badass if I do say so myself............

Of course, the temperature dropped 50 degrees on Saturday and I went to pick it up in the midst of that temperature drop - which means that my brave new bike only got ridden about three miles from the shop back to my house because it was freezing!!!

And I mean that honestly. It was cold as hell.

So where are the pictures of this bike, you may ask yourself.

Well, they're sitting in my camera on the kitchen table.

That happens a lot on Mondays. I remind myself to take something to work with me and then don't think about it again. Which is why so many times I just stop what I am doing and go put something in my car or write myself a note or call my voicemail and tell me what to do.

The older I get, the worser this becomes.

I hope I live to 70 because I can't wait to see what the hell I'll forget by then!

So anyway, I'll bring it tomorrow for sure and put up some pics.


Champagne Rocks!!!

Last night, my beautiful bride and me went to the Purple Parrot for a champagne tasting.

And guess what?

It was very good.

For those of you that have never had good champagne and your only experience with it is cheap stuff on new year's eve or at budget weddings, well you have no idea what you are missing.

We tasted 7 sparkling wines and got a nice edumacation on the ins and outs of the business from our most excellent Sommolier, Clint Taylor.

And in the finest tradition of tastings, there was no spitting involved. Which, of course, means that a good buzz was had by all there!!!

So don't be afraid of a little champagne - go out and get yourself a hundred dollar bottle and do it up right.

You'll thank me later.


Happy Birthday

Back during our mission auction, I was asked to donate a dinner.

And of course, I did.

Then the question was posed during the auction of how many they could have for dinner.

And of course, I said, "I don't care".

I got a couple of hundred bucks donated towards our mission funds so I was happy.

So on Saturday night, we had a non-surprise birthday party a friend of ours put on by the Navajo team that bought my services.

Oh yea, the dinner was for 30.

The moral of the story is that parties are good and the more the merrier. Or maybe the fact that "ye who put no rules on your services deserve whatever you get".

A good time was had by all and I was very happy because what cook doesn't like a lot of smiling faces!!!

I did notice that I slept in on Sunday and missed church. Now that may sound regular to most folks - but I don't sleep in. I'm up at dawn every day. So I'm guessing that I was tuckered out just a bit from all this stuff.

So here's to the next one.............


Thank You God

Today, I thank God for my wife.

I am the luckiest boy in the whole wide world.

And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.................

I love you Paige!!!