Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

My mom and dad. Mom died almost 21 years ago. Just a few weeks before Thing1, her first grandchild, was born. She was trying so hard to hold on to meet him but cancer won. Dad took it pretty hard and drank himself to death in a year and a half. I probably should have been paying more attention to him but with a new kid things were pretty busy. I also had a brother living at home with dad that should have noticed that something was wrong. I'm not too sure it would have mattered as, without Mom, Dad was pretty empty.

Dad was a Marine during World War II. He never talked about combat - just training in Hawaii. Thats as far as the conversation would go. Today he rests with his fellow veterans.

Rest in peace Marine. I mean Dad.


Tam remembers.

Carnival of Cordite #60

Available at Gullyborgs.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Arena Football

Thing1 and I sat down to watch the Chicago - Colorado play off game at 2:30. (ok we were watching Indy but only for Danica), What do we get? PGA Senior Tour playoff. Old people hitting a little ball around what would be a nice rifle range.

NBC Blows.

Memorial Day Ceremony - Streamwood Il

This is a annual event in the quiet little town of Streamwood. An active community that knows what veterans have bring to the town as well as understanding the sacrifice of those who didn't come home.

Thing1 and I went over to the ceremony today. Like all other events the mayor gets to say a few words.

Billie Roth has been mayor for as long as I can remember. She does a nice job running the village. Budgets in the black, streets are maintained, and crime is low. Her words were eloquent and fitting.

Next up was Colonel Craig Essick, USAR. His unit was the one sent into Abu Ghirab to clean things up after the scandal broke. The Colonel is also a member of the Streamwood Police Department.

Col. Essick's words were what one would expect from someone who has been there and done that.

All of the services were represented in a wonder flag raising service.

The 173rd Airborne Brigade performed the Table Ceremony. A moving remembrance of those listed as MIA.

There was a fairly large crowd present.

If you're ever in Streamwood please stop by the Veterans Memorial. Located by the Village Hall on Route 19, it is a very nicely done tribute to those who have served.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

What is Church?

I've been going through some issues with my church. Most of it revolves on how a Lutheran church has managed to remove most of 'Lutheran' from the service. Toss in a senior pastor who is either jacked up on caffeine or has adult ADD. Speed-reading the Creed or the Lords Prayer just takes everything that I used to get out of service and justs destroys it. It doesn't matter what the sermon may be about - blowing through the service that has been part of my life makes it meaningless. Toss in the fact the the church focuses on the town it resides in rather than the cluster of towns that it serves.and it just doesn't do much for me anymore.

I like going to church. It helps get me centered and focused on why I'm here in preparation for the week ahead. When I don't go my week doesn't go as well as it should and I stop being the person I should be.

For the past few weeks the wife and I have been going to one of the mega-churches, Willow Creek. When I had first heard of it several years ago I laughed and wondered what kind of Christian would go there? Non-denominational? Is that like being a moderate? No core beliefs.Well I was wrong. We went there for the first time as a class project for one Thing1's freshman religon classes and it's stuck with me since. The music, the message, the people: it's what a church should be. While not a service like what is found in the Lutheran Book of Worship I get more out of the service than I have in a long time at my home church.

Which leads to a dilemma. Thing2 really likes our home church. She's just finishing confirmation and is involved in Bible study and service projects. Any mention of changing churches starts a bit of a fight as she doesn't want to leave her friends. We're going to have her try the youth bible study at Willow and see what she thinks.

What is even more interesting is my father-in-law. He had attended a Methodist church for as long as I knew him. After his wife died and he remarried and joined the Lutheran church with his new wife. The mere mention of attending Willow seems to drive him nuts. What would joining do?

In the end it's about what is best for my family. Time will tell.


Thing1 and I went to the local megaplex (well it's 10 miles away) and saw X-Men III on the 75 foot megascreen. Fun movie. A little slow in spots but the action at the end is worth the wait. Some folks have complained about the lack of character development. To this I say - It's a action movie based on a comic book. How about just enjoying the action?

3 stars. Worth seeing on the big screen.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Tavor

I really enjoy Futureweapons on the Discovery Channel. The host, Richard Machowicz, is a former Navy Seal who is on a search for the latest, greatest weapons.

In the latest episode he covers the Tavor

5.56mm, optical sight, good to 300 meters, compact, lightweight.

I want one. Please IMI - export!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Combat Diary: The Marines of Lima Company

This is on A and E tonight. I had forgotten about it but channel-surfed on to it about 5 minutes in. In the last hour and a half I've laughed and I've cried. From pizza eating contests to memorials. No politics - just the story of some of America's finest.

According to Grim they were "the hardest-hit combat unit of the Iraq war." 23 Marines killed in action.

If you didn't watch it tonight please take a few hours out of your life and watch.

Friday, May 26 @ 1am/12C
Saturday, May 27 @ 8pm/7C
Sunday, May 28 @ 12am/11C
Sunday, May 28 @ 1pm/12C
Monday, May 29 @ 8am/7C
Monday, May 29 @ 2pm/1C
Saturday, June 03 @ 11am/10C

Should we abandon these people?

Check out the photos Blackfive has online. There is hope and joy in those eyes.

Cut and run?

I hope not.

Finally - A use for all those AOL CDs

Hammerhead - The Lego CD Thrower

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ten reasons men prefer guns over women

10. You can trade an old .44 for a new .22.
9. You can keep one gun at home and have another for when you're on the road.
8. If you admire a friend's gun and tell him so, he will probably let you try it out a few times.
7. Your primary gun doesn't mind if you keep another gun for a backup.
6. Your gun will stay with you even if you run out of ammo.
5. A gun doesn't take up a lot of closet space.
4. Guns function normally every day of the month.
3. A gun doesn't ask, "Do these new grips make me look fat?"
2. A gun doesn't mind if you go to sleep after you use it.

And the number one reason a gun is favored over a woman

1. You Can Buy a Silencer for your Gun !!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I love Reba

    "If the Dixie Chicks can sing with their foot in their mouth I guess I can host this sucker"

Reba McIntire at the Academy of Country Music Awards show

A Neat Idea

Instapundit has a interesting idea. I have to agree with his conclusion.

Monday, May 22, 2006

TV Tonight

I don't watch that much on the major networks but it bites that Sidney and Jack are on at the same time!

Real Fresh Bird

My father-in-law came over on Sunday with his wife for a cookout. Since we've had a bit of rain for the last 2 weeks I hadn't had the grill on. Went out to get things going and look what I found.

It took ~20 minutes to get all the branches out. I had to get my air compressor out to get things really clean. While cleaning I had a couple of birds sitting up on the fence looking at me. At times it seemed that they were glaring.

I suppose if I had waited a few weeks I'd have some fresh meat...

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Car Auction

While the kids and I were walking the wife went to a car auction at the dealership where we bought our latest van. Not that she wanted to buy but because a personality from the radio station she listens to was going to be there.

We had a minor leak problem in the van just after we bought it. When I had taken it back in the service manager recognized me from the day of the sale and asked why I was there. I explained, he apoligized for the problem and they got to fixing it. Why is that important? Well when the wife got out of the van at the dealership the service manager recoginzed her and offered to introduce her to the radio guy. He's friends with the dealership's owner and seems to know everyone there. The wife took him up on the offer and they got to talk for a few minutes. He even knew the story of the leak in the van (guess it was really unusual). The wife ended up with a autographed picture, some station swag and a picture with the dj.

The auction, according to the wife, was impressive. A number of 1 to 2 year old cars went for 1/4 of their original price. Some older classics, including a 1950-something Thunderbird went for under 5K each. Some cars went for a couple of hundred. All were pretty decent. I may have to go to one and see whats really there. Might be fun.

Great Strides 2006

A beautiful spring day - great for a nice little six mile walk. Why you might ask?

He's why.

Thing1 lives with Cystic Fibrosis. He's lucky in that he has no lung involvement but it's still a pain in the - well you know. As a family we've been doing the annual Great Strides walk since 1992. Seems like forever.
At first it was just the wife and I. Sometimes some friends would join us. Thing1 started to come with as he got older and now it's his team. Thing2 has started getting into it as well. She manages to get at least $100.00 in pledges every year and usually manages to make it all six miles.
In our area the walk is held in several places. We go to Busse Woods in Schaumburg as it's not far from home and a beautiful place to walk. A few other people thought so to.

Thing2 got to meet Beary - the mascot for the Schaumburg Flyers minor league baseball team.

Flyers games are fun. The field reminds one of Wrigley but with a winning team :-).
Like most charity walks there is entertainment, food, free stuff, etc. Even a local pom squad there trying to get people warmed up.

The walk started at 10:00. Thing1 and I usually set a good pace and pass people. Thing2 doesn't walk quite as fast so we had to take it easy. Still - she walked with little complaint. Thing1 and I talked about football and school. He's growing up and he seems to have his act together. The change in the last 2 years has been amazing.

Thing2 started to complain a bit approaching the half way point. A local radio station came to the rescue.

They had Dilly Bars. Yummmmm! Thing2 perked up and made the last three miles with no complaints. What a kid!

Lunch awaited us. Nothing fancy - just hot dogs and chips. And Cold Stone Creamery ice cream.

What a beautiful day. Got to spend time with my kids and raise money for a worthy cause.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

A Day in the life of a Hero

GunnNutt has a story about a real American Hero and the way different people treated him.

A perfect read for Armed Forces Day.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Carnival of Cordite #59

At Gullyborgs. Enjoy as it's the last one for two weeks...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Paintball Gun vs M4

We live in a quiet neighborhood. It's ~60 years old, pretty stable as far as home sales, and very diversified. We have people from all races and of all ages. People with newborns and elderly who moved in when the homes were new in 1958. Just a nice place to live. As Buzz said in the first Home Alone movie "we live on the most boring street in the most boring town in America". I like that. We rarely see the Police - unless you parked your car across the sidewalk during the day. Then they seem to always be around. I did call them once - two large dogs came to visit me in the garage one day and after I had gotten leashes on them and checked for tags (none. Pet owners - name, address, and phone on the tags on the dog!), I ended up calling the Police to pick them up. Helped the officer get the dogs in the car, talked for a minute, and he was gone.

So imagine the surprise when two officers walk in front of the house, right up by the house, across the yard. Both have their gun hands on their holstered weapons (Glock 22's last time I asked). They crossed my neighbors yard as well and went into her heighbors back yard. Looked the other way down the street and there were three squad cars parked. (We are nowhere near a Krispy Kreme)

I went to the back of the house and looked in the same direction as they headed. They were peering around the corner of the house looking away from my position. Very careful. No real exposure. Just to play it safe I had Thing2 get out of her room at that end of the house and get as much house between her and the situation as possible. Just to be paranoid I grabbed my Glock 17 and kept in within reach.

Went back to the front and noticed one of the officers getting something out of his trunk. Kevlar and a M4. Hmmm. Much more serious. (side note - our village hall has a SWAT locker with really cool toys. Got a quick tour of it when Thing1 was in Scouts) He headed back to the scene. A few minutes later all the officers were headed back to their cars. The wife asked if everything was ok. The cops smiled and said yes. The situation was resolved and the person was in custody. She smiled, said thanks, and commented that she hadn't seen that many cops on the street since we parked across the sidewalk. All the cops laughed.

The next day the wife called the Police station to see what happened. Apparently a teenager with a "paintball gun that resembled an assault rifle" was seen hiding in the bushes by the people who lived a few doors down. They called the Police and the teen appears to have attempted to hold off the Police. Till the guy came back with his M4. I guess a real rifle convinced the teen that getting shot was a real possibility. A good time to discover ones brains...
    Update:The Krispy Kreme reference is a joke. The Police in my quiet, little town are some of the nicest people you'll meet. Easy to talk to, polite, and just nice. (said that twice - it must me true) On the other hand they are also highly agressive towards those who choose to break the law. I like that.

Frank Guide to Foreigners

on How Not to Anger Americans

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Thoughts on 24 this week

Heller lives! No real shock there. Most every one at Blogs4Bauer saw that one coming. Audry seems happy that Daddies alive but that look on her face has me back to not trusting her.

As for the whole plane incident, well outside of the plane needed 5000 feet to land and managing to do so in under 4000 - thats pretty good flying, there was something that seemed strange to me so I went back and watched it again. When Admiral Viper is telling President Weasel that they need to shoot down the plane before it gets over a populated area. And then the F18 gets into missle launch range and the JBA flight heads for the deck there are city lights out the cockpit window.

Not what I would call a deserted area...

And of course the dangerous criminal escapes...

CTU security sucks.

Conversation on The Unit

Man: You've got a gun. Is it loaded?
Woman: Silly to carry it otherwise

Smart woman!

The Unit is a show about some Delta Force Operators and their wives. Decent show.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Jack Bauer Appreciation Day

In honor of Jack Bauer Appreciation Day, the nice (and strange) people at Blogs4Bauer have posted some little known facts about Jack.

My favorite -
    GI Joe plays with a Jack Bauer action figure.

Bad news for Lost and Alias

Last week on 24 no one died. Two tailies were killed on Lost and 2 good guys (ok gals) were killed on Alias.

This week on 24 no one died. What kind of carnage awaits Lost and Alias?

Who's winning in Iraq?

If one listens to the MSM and the hopelessly clueless politicians it would be easy to conclude that the insurgents/terrorist scum are winning and we're stuck in a quagmire. Interesting that Al Qaeda thinks we're winning...

Who are you going to believe?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Carnival of Cordite #58

Back at Gullyborg's place

What a sad, sad, man.

I realize that autographed baseballs can be sold for a lot of money but to not sign a ball for a member of the Armed Forces? Sad Barry, truly sad.

Don't Forget - May 9th

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Living room floor

Day 1
Not a bad days work.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Agree? Disagree?

My wifes niece sent me this. Some items make a lot of sense...

    You pass me on the street and sneer in my direction.

    You call me "Whiteboy", "Cracker", "Honkey", "Whitey" and you think it's OK.

    But if I were to call you, ni**er, Kike, Towelhead, Sand-ni**er, Camel Jockey, Beaner, Gook, or Chink you'd call me a racist.

    You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you, so why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live?

    You have the United Negro College Fund.
    You have have Ma'uled Al-Nabi
    You have the NAACP.
    You have BET.

    If we had WET(white entertainment television) we'd be racists.

    If we had a White Pride Day you would call us racists.

    If we had white history month, we'd be racists.

    If we had an organization for only whites to "advance" our lives, we'd be racists.

    If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships, you know we'd be racists.

    There are over 60 openly proclaimed Black Colleges in the US, yet if there were "White colleges" that would be a racist college.

    In the Million Man March, you believed that you were marching for your race and rights. If we marched for our race and rights, you would call us racists.

    You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you're not afraid to announce it. But when we announce our white pride, you call us racists.

    You rob us, carjack us, and shoot at us. But, when a white police officer shoots a black gang member or beats up a black drug-dealer running from the law and posing a threat to society, you call him a racist.

    I am proud.

    But, you call me a racist.

    Why is it that only whites can be racists?

Bird Flu hits Florida ...

... Trailer Park

Carnival of Bauer #10

At Right Wing Nation

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Remodeling Update

The walls have paint!

The custom floor is in

It's floor tile - circa 1958. Got the carpeting up in the living room, part of the hallway, and part of the dining room. The wood starts going down on Saturday. Since the wife is in the part of the project I dislike (the wife is cranky part) I gotta keep moving on this.

And my ever present helper

Wireless Car Theft

Via Instapundit - Gone in 20 Minutes: using laptops to steal cars

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Lisa Dent

Lisa is a radio personality on a local country music station, US99. The wife is a huge fan of both Lisa and country (and still we get along...) and listens when she can. On Monday she was trying to listen and the NASCAR race from Talladega came on instead. Lisa was only available online. The wife, my lovely non-technical person, grabbed my laptop and listened to the show.

Lisa kept asking for people to call and talk about the Tim and Faith show as the lines were open. The wife tried her best and managed to always get a busy signal. So she called the main number and was put into Lisa's voice mail. The wife, not expecting a return call, left a message about the show and the tickets (seventh row center) she had just gotten for Trace Adkins at the Kane County Fair.

So today around 4:40 the phone rings at home. The caller asks for the wife and I explain that she's not home. The caller asks that I let her know that Lisa Dent called and she'll call back. Knowing that my wife would not want to miss this call I asked Lisa to call her on her cell after she got off work in ~ 20 minutes. She said she'd try.

Forty five minutes later the wife came in all happy. She and Lisa talked for awhile on her way home. Made her day.

Thanks Lisa!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Day Without Immigrants

I don't know about anyone else but it didn't affect me at all. Ok - traffic was lighter. There were no landscaping trucks doing 10 to 15 mph over the speed limit on Route 59. The drive to work was ~5 minutes shorter. Maybe every Monday should be like this?

Thing2 reported that some classes of hers were missing 50% of the students. Stupid parents raising (soon to be) stupid kids.

Interesting thing - on the radio this morning it was noted that illegals make up ~5% of the workforce here in the U.S. With unemployment around 4.8% wouldn't deporting all illegals give us zero unemployment?

Monday, May 01, 2006

United 93

Thing1 went and saw this movie on Friday and came away impressed. And affected.

I went on Saturday night with my sister-in-laws husband (the wives were at the Tim and Faith concert). United 93 is an incredibly powerful movie. It starts with the terrorists and thier morning prayer and you can't look away. The theatre got real quiet as soon as the movie started and, except for the occasional sniff to hold back tears, it was quiet for the entire movie.

Tears came to my eyes more than once. My stomach was tied up in knots at times. My body was full of nervous energy. I felt shaken when the movie was over. I don't recall a movie ever doing that to me. Ever.

Some say it's too soon. I think it took too long. A lot of people have forgotten the terror attacks of that day. Some by choice, others due to the media forgetting about it.

Something that stood out in the movie - the lack of communication between the FAA and the Military. Too many layers. Hopefully that has been corrected.

Four stars. Go see it.