Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Ok, it was bait. I know, I haven't written anything in over a month. These two classes are dogging my writing skills but The heavy duty stuff is done. Just got the finals to do and I have all classes completed for my concentration. All classes after this are electives so I need to find three basket weaving 101 classes so I can get my degree. Oh baby!!!

Anyhoodle! The computer forensics class now gives me the skills and knowledge to break into anyones computer without them knowing it. Scary? Oh, don't be. I don't flaunt my skills, besides, I'm a project manager not technical support. But don't test me, I can. Oh, and the security policy class tells me why I shouldn't so feel safe that your computer will never be exploited by me. Or has it? Hmmm!

Lately, I've been having to deal with a question of what to do next? My school financial aid informs me that because I only have two more quarters to go, they have to prorate my financial aid which means I have to pay the difference. That comes to about $450 out of pocket per quarter plus I have to pay for my books. One suggestion was that I take three classes at the local community college and then take my senior seminar. Doh! I still have to pay for that class dummies and with no financial aid, why bother. The whole situation sucks big time but I know it will work itself out. I just hate the fact that I have $1500 standing between me and graduation.

The puppet shows are completed and I have injested them to the local public TV station's server. They broadcast the first sunday in January 2010. I have not gotten the final nod on the time slot but I will post snipets in my next blog post so stop by and catch the taste. I also have a snipet posted on my FB page so if you are my friend, you can stop in and check it out. It's a rough cut and hasn't been edited so don't look for perfection. I will also be posting the commercial spot for the show today so look for that later.

So this is the point where I leave you with a thought. We do not retreat from reality, we rediscover it. What reality have you rediscovered?

Friday, November 6, 2009

In The Beginning...

It is no small escape of the imagination that I didn't have a lot of Christian influence in my early years in life. I grew up in a small town in New Jersey called Burlington and attended the Tabernacle Baptist Church as far back as I could remember. Unlike churches today, Tabernacle was born in the community and served it and it's members for many years. Much like me, the church has grown and though I have grown away from organized religion, Tabernacle still remains a pillar in the community in Burlington. But, this is not about the church. Well maybe not intently.

I remember as a small child, sleeping in my grandmother's arms as the service drew through it's highs and lows. The sound of the pastor's booming voice would both soothe and awaken me. Not knowing what the words being spoken at the time meant, yet I would feel a sense of peace and strength in them. I would bask in the glow and warmth of environment that the church provided. As a child, I would often stare upon the smoothly plastered walls painted a faded pink or peer through the stained glass windows emblazoned with the names of the founding church members and short bible verses. The original sanctuary has long been demolished and was replaced several year ago by a brand new multipurpose center. Another sign of the church's growth and expansion over the years.

Like the church, the years have expanded it and it has grow. Now taking up most Second Street, it is no longer the a small community church. I have expanded a bit myself but that was a result of my going beyond the community I grew up in. So, why do I reference this humble beginning in my life? Like this once place I called my Christian home, I have grown beyond it's borders and beyond the basic concepts I once learned about from the bible. Let just say like Luke Skywalker discovering the Force, I too have discovered a power even deeper within my being.

Say it be some sort of logic or intuition, I see people now for what they are. At this point in my life, if I call you a friend, it really means something. Up until recent, I had lived a very reclusive life. Very few friends if any. I avoided family or even occasional contact with anyone. Not because I was made to, I was unwary of people's intent in my life. I did not want any close associations because I didn't want to be hurt or hurt anyone. Seriously, I was hurting myself more.

I refused this self imposed hermitage of so many years and started reaching out to people. Some embraced my friendship yet some drew away. I am thankful for both. Family members I either never knew about or only saw on that occasional family reunion trip, I now communicate with them as though I have been with them all my life. I wish I could explain what happened or why but I just asked myself; Self, why are you so lonely? You have hundreds of people who want to be your friend yet you disregard them. You have family who want to know what you are doing. Why don't you just get out there and first be a friend to yourself. So I did.

So, how does this all come together? The church thing, my early childhood, friends and family? I realized that like the walls of the church, they would have been lonely without that stained glass. The names etched into them where the names of friends and family who had been instrumental in the foundation of that church. Without them, they were just as lonely and empty as I had been for a good part of my adult life. The rich tapestry of family members and friends of that church allowed it to grow. I felt a bit of warmth not from the physical but from the love that was the church. Even looking at it now, it still remains the pillar but it is much stronger, wiser, friendlier. Like me. So I say to you my new friends, be that pillar, that strength, that warmth, that friend.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Oktoberfest and all that comes with it...

I found myself getting bored sitting at home wallowing in self absorption and duress. I went to a luncheon Friday with some of my good friends from the US Postal Service and enjoyed some great camaraderie and libations. Several of my good friends are retiring or thinking serious about it but I digress, it is not a reality for me at this time. During the luncheon, it was mentioned that my friend Randy was attending the Oktoberfest in Wake Forest and he invited me to come by. Anyhoodle...

It was around 2:30 when I drove by place and despite the light drizzle, things seem to be in full blossom and I could see several people, mainly families, headed into the festivities. With the Oompa music blaring from the inner sanctum, several teens where waving me to come on in. I slowed for a minute but then remembered that I need to stop and get some money for admission, food and drinks. So I proceeded to the nearest bank machine which eventually ended me up a WalMart. I unfortunately left my camera phone charging in my Jeep so I didn't get any good shots and boy, there were a few good picks to chose from.

It was close to 3:00 when I got back to the festivities and a light rain had just started. First thing I see is a small Bichon Frise running towards me. The cute little dog stopped right at my feet and looked up. When I looked up to see who the owner was, I recognized she was an acquaintance's wife. Even though I didn't know the dog, it acted as if it knew me and I picked the dog up and handed it to the Joe Seay's wife. She looked at me and said, "I know you! Weren't you at the luncheon yesterday?" I replied with a strong yes as I handed the dog over to her. "She got away and wouldn't come back. I'm glad she stopped when she saw you." She exclaimed. We both walked inside and I paid my three dollar admission fee and went to the beverage table and paid $10 dollars for a commemartive 18 ounce mug that include the "first" fill.

I scanned the entire area and was surprised to see so many folk enjoying a rich German culture. The music filled the room with a joy vient aire. Polkas are always so energetic and bright. In one corner was the live band pounding away as folk danced to the music. In the center where several rows of tables with people sitting and eating and drinking and making a manner of chatter. Even a few folk in lederhosen. The food and beer where nestled together in the corner opposite to the band on the other side of the room. The food tables was loaded with brats and sauerkraut, perogies, German potato salad, corn dogs (Is that German?) and caramel apples. Not a bad feast offering. The beer cart had Sam Adams, Aviator and Budweiser. I went for the Sam Adams Oktoberfest.

Several beers and plate of brats and potato salad later, I found myself being called up for a contest. Little did I know that this was a loaded contest. Six men were called to the stage, one would leave a victor. The competition was fierce and I was but a light weight in the crowd. Randy surely had this one sewed up. On top of that, he was the beer meister for the event. The votes were based on audience participation. The cheers were seemingly pointing to Randy as the hostess called for audience response. The other gents were eliminated and it was clear that the contest was between Randy and I. Another call went out and the audience agreed, the crown went to...

Oh, why would I give that away, hmm! Hold you in suspense or spill the beans. What a tough decision to make. Oh, I couldn' t do that to my loyal readers. Besides, you probably guessed the outcome, Randy won. Aha! Randy is in the picture on the left. I got you, I have the crown. A write up in the local paper, a bottle of German Spiced wine, two more beer mugs, a T-shirt and four free passes to next years festivities where I get to defend my crown. Aufedersein! Work here is done. I'm needed elsewhere now. I'm needed wherever outlaws rule the West, wherever innocent women and children are afraid to walk the streets, wherever a man cannot live in simple dignity, wherever a people cry out for justice.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

You missed me, didn't you?

I know, you haven't heard a peep from me in so long. The past few weeks have been rather busy for me and my brain, well it just ain't been it's usual productive self for quite some time. I managed to end up with a "B" in one of my classes and it shook me a bit. A "B" what the? Seriously, I did not "feel" any of this last quarter. To many emotional elements and out right craziness going on.

Gladly, things have settled down a bit and I have a lot more clarity on the direction of things to come. It's tough when you hit that life changing age (you know, mid life crisis) and the inner child wants to get out and frolic. No, I am not looking at buying a sports car or trying to recapture my youthful days. I rather like where I am at. Yes, I would like some things to change but I have to look at the realistic value of things.

One, I ain't getting any younger. Am I? I mean, I feel now like I should have felt when I was 30 somethin'. Coming out of a reclusive existence was not easy. A whole lot of things have changed and then, have they? Maybe I am expecting to much of myself and I should just sit at home and grow old. Needless to say, I am looking forward to making some more changes in the way I do things over the next few months.

So, this last quarter is the wrap-up of the classes I need for my concentration. After that, I have three more classes of my choosing. Always good to save a few electives for the end. Other than that, I surprised myself by adding a few community TV production classes to the mix. Most are one day, evening type seminars. I need them so I can do community TV for this business I am working with. Yeah, it has a lot to do with some of the work I am doing with Hip Hop Wall Street. I also plan to be adding some kids programming to it with some puppet shows.

I started reading a Nora Roberts novel a couple weeks ago. I had never contemplated reading a romance novel but I do remember reading a couple Jacqueline Susann novels when I was much younger. Like, how many of you have read Valley of the Dolls before age 13. Or, have read any Xaviera Hollander or the Last Tango in Paris? Yeah, that's why. Any hoodle, I almost forgot how much I like the way a story is told in book form. You get to envision the story in your mind and you almost get carried away into the writers world. Not a bad place to be sometimes. I needed to get my head out of the technical stuff. It works fine for the job but doesn't do anything for the reality of life.

I had some other things that were on my mind but they are not that important or they just don't matter any more. I can take things a lot better than when I was a lot younger. So, I'm rambling on about this and that with no coherent point to my reasoning. One day, all this will make sense. What I'm doing now. What I did. What I will be doing. It all has purpose. Part of my sinister plot to get...Heh! I'm not gonna give that away. Not yet!!! Y'all be sweet for now. I'll holla back at you later.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday's Leftovers, thanks Christine and Ron...

Cut and paste the questions onto your blog and let me know if you played.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Her pimp told her to.

What was your last thought?

When will my computer be done so I can leave work?

Are you a cat or a dog person?


Define yourself in 3 words...

Witty, intelligent, practical.

Kill the spider or let it out?

Depends on the spider.

Do you shower every single day?

Yes, sometime two or three times.

Walking past a beggar, spare change or ignore?

Depends on how I feel and if I have change in my pocket.

Where do you want to travel next?


What is your favorite food?

For now, salads.

Do you read harry potter books?

No, I just wait for the movie.

What is your favorite place?


If you could have one super human power what would you choose?


Have you had a beer in the last week?


Vitamin Water or Gatorade?

Just water.

What is your favorite song of all time?

Nick Hagelin “Light Of The Sinkin' Sun”

When and where was the best picture of you taken?

In my video studio a couple weeks ago.

From Ron's List!

1. Where is your cell phone? Off and charging.
2. Your hair? Dark brown, curly and brushed back.
3. Your mother? Living in another state, is confusion a state?
4. Your father? Eternally enjoying and round of Johnnie Walker Red and playing pinochle with his friends.
5. Your favorite food? Mostly Cajun but I like Thai and Vietnamese.
6. Your dream last night? If I told you, it would take up most of the page and be considered x rated.
7. Your favorite drink? Water.
8. Your dream/goal? To be rich and have a smart, funny, intelligent wife to share it with.
9. What room are you in? My office at work.
10. Your hobby? Boating, music.
11. Your fear? None.
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? See # 8.
13. Where were you last night? Home.
14. Something that you aren’t? Status quo.
15. Muffins? Blueberry
16. Wish list item? See # 8.
17. Where did you grow up? All over the damn place
18. Last thing you did? Replied to a blog
19. What are you wearing? Dress slacks and a long sleeve shirt.
20. Your TV? Phillips 53 inch big screen.
21. Your pets? 1 dog named Ginger
22. Friends? A couple but entertaining more possibilities.
23. Your life? Not bad but I wish I could have done things a lot better and with less drama.
24. Your mood? Good for now.
25. Missing someone? Always
26. Vehicle? Gas drinking SUV
27. Something you’re not wearing? A wedding band.
28. Your favorite store? BJ’s
29. Your favorite color? Blue
30. When was the last time you laughed? When I read the West Virginia Surf Report
31. Last time you cried? At the end of Marley and Me
32. Your best friend? None yet
33. One place that I go to over and over? Zydeco’s
34. One person who emails me regularly? Spammers
35. Favorite place to eat? See # 33

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday's 5

Karen has given me 5 words and she wants me to share my thoughts on them. After you’ve read my comments, if you feel inclined to play along, say so in the comments and I will send you five words of my choosing.

Utopia – Sir Thomas More was definitely smoking something when he wrote the book on this topic. My thoughts on this range, I mean, is it truly possible? No, at least not on earth and I don’t mean us visiting some far off planet in hopes of developing a whole new society. Don’t buy into the Hollywood version of crap they want to sell us. So, why you ask? One, we are not mentally evolved enough to accept a perfect society. Oh don’t lie to yourself, you wouldn’t make it. You are too cynical, to close minded, to over educated, to imbalanced in thinking through the processes that really matter. We tend think that if we become more intelligent, we can conquer all the things that are wrong in this world. Well, the best we can do is put a bandage on it. We are hemorrhaging all of this hate, distrust, contempt, jealousy, and vanity and just out right lying to ourselves in everything we do. It has polluted our minds and our thinking. Utopian society is simplistic in thinking. It is child like. So if you can think like a child, maybe Utopia will have a chance. Oh, BTW, I never read the book.

Magazine – When I first think of the word magazine, my mind images a periodical the details stories related to news topics or human interest. I could be about food, health, clothing or just life in general. They cover all ages and variously anything we do from computers to flying airplanes. Some much information, so much interest, so much life is stored in a magazine but then on the other hand, it also represents the delivery of a cold hard death. It spews from the fire of a barrel the hot lead of our discontent. Our hatred ravishing and taking so many lives on a scale unknown. If Nobel had any ideal that his invention of dynamite could yield destruction and devastation from such a simple word, he would have never got out of bed that day.

Cyclone – Growing up in the Midwest, this word takes on a more physical state as a weaker but just as devastating version of a tornado. At a younger age, I experienced the effects of a cyclone on several occasions while living on the Island of Okinawa. As a musician, the Cyclone is a modified version of the Fender Mustang. As a nerd, I know it as a programming language. It is also the name of a rollercoaster located in Texas and one of my favorite places to go when I was a kid, Coney Island. I even think the vacuum cleaner industry is using the term for its method of picking up dirt.

Egg Roll – My ex use to term the egg roll as a garbage roll. I laughed at her. Maybe that’s one of the reason she’s an ex now. Not my fault. I thought it was funny. She was always one for a good joke but it was always at my expense.

Somewhat of a mystery of how it came to be but I am quite sure Ming was sitting around his palace wanting something hot and quick to eat and all he had was cabbage, some rice flour wrappers and duck sauce.

So goes the story. He called for his chefs to make a portable quick meal of these items or they would loose their collective heads. Knowing only Dim Sum, the came up with a steamed version but it was too heavy for the wrapper and it fell apart. They schemed and calculated how much stuffing could be supported by wrapper and came up with a perfect size. They prepared all the rolls they had supplies for and where taking them to the steamer. The cook’s assistant tripped and the whole tray of wrapper flew into the air. The cook looked in disgust knowing he would lose his head for this blunder. Still twirling in the air the rolls headed for a big vat of oil that was being heated to cook the emperor’s other favorite dish, Peking duck.

The cook yelled to the assistant stand in the way of the flying rolls to duck. He turned just in time to see the rolls flying towards him and dropped to the floor, the rolls all landing in the hot oil. The cook screamed in disgust, “Arrggh! What am I going to do? The emperor’s dish is ruined.” At that time, the emperor called for his meal. The cook having nothing prepared to replace this disaster gathered the egg rolls from the hot oil and placed them on another platter. Embraced to show his face, he sent the assistant to present the dish to the emperor thinking the emperor would cut off the assistant’s head first and give him some time to come up with another dish.

The assistant shaking and sweating profusely as he bowed presented the dish to the emperor. The emperor looked at the odd looking rolls and dipped one in his duck sauce. He was delighted, he called for the cook. The cook came running knowing his head was to be cut off. He entered the emperor dining chamber and bowed and prepared his head for the ultimate decision. Ming called for him to rise and he offered the cook one of the tasty treats, so the egg roll was born. You should hear my stories about Cashew and General Tso’s Chicken.

Playful – I have always been told that I have a very playful sense of humor. I have to have something to balance the more serious side of me. The business side that most people see is always masking a more sinister playful person in me. I let him out every now and then but it usually takes a beer or two to coax him out to come and play. Sir Arthor Conan Doyle suggested, “You know how easily and suddenly these things happen, beginning in playful teasing and ending in something a little warmer than friendship. You squeeze the slender arm which is passed through yours, you venture to take the little gloved hand, you say good night at absurd length in the shadow of the door. It is innocent and very interesting; love trying his wings in a first little flutter.”

I love the playful teasing music of Scheherazade as well as how the story blends a playful story line on so many levels. No writer today writes in such a playful manner on such a serious subject that cover all manner of human devices. Amazing that in the story that the King had killed over three thousand women before Scheherazade presented her story. So compelled by her wit and playfulness, he made her queen at the end of one thousand nights hence the book One Thousand Arabian Nights which was the collection of stories the she told the king.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Shiny Rod’s Game Day Chili

Shiny Rod’s Game Day Chili

This is a quick and easy to fix chili recipe that I use. Nothing to difficult because it uses ingredients that can be purchased at any grocery store. Some ingredients may be altered or omitted to taste.


2 lbs

Carne Picada (Thinly cut up flank or sirloin steak can be substituted)

2 lbs

Ground Beef ( I use a blend of beef, veal and pork)


Red Onion


Vidalia Onion


Whole Jalapeño


Box, Shot Gun Willy’s Chili seasoning


Box, Wick Fowlers Chili seasoning


Can, Rotel Diced Tomatoes


Can, Stewed Tomatoes (Original or Mexican style)


Can, Diced Tomatoes


Can, Bush’s Dark Kidney Beans (Can be omitted it you want authentic chili)


Can, Bush’s Light Kidney Beans (Can be omitted it you want authentic chili)


Can, Bush’s Chili Beans (Can be omitted it you want authentic chili)


Package, Sliced Crimini or Brown Mushrooms (Can be omitted it you want authentic chili)


24oz Bottle of Guinness Stout (Don’t skimp here, taste is the key but you can use your favorite beer if you like) Relax, you only need half the bottle, enjoy the rest while cooking.


Packet, Taco Seasoning (This is to season the Carne Picada)

¼ Cup

Turbinado or brown sugar

¼ Cup

Masa Flour (usually comes with the Chili Seasoning mix)


1. Start by browning the Carne Picada and then the ground beef. I add taco seasoning to the Carne Picada.

2. Dice ½ of the Red and ½ of the Vadalia Onion and slice and de-seed the Whole Jalapeño.

3. Drain the ground beef and place the Carne Picada in a bowl. We’ll get back to those later.

4. Add Olive oil to a 5qt pot and start to sweat the onions and add the Mushrooms and Jalapeño (Mushrooms and Jalapeño can be omitted).

5. Add two tablespoons of butter to the mixture.

6. Add back the both meats and stir the mixture together.

7. Add all your dry ingredients to the mixture making sure everything gets coated. This will help the seasonings to blend better. (You can also omit the cayenne pepper if you want a milder chili).

8. Add the Rotel, diced and stewed tomatoes and stir mixture.

9. Add tomato sauce and stir mixture.

10. Add the Guinness and the sugar.

11. If want an all meat chili, stop here and let simmer for 30 minutes to allow seasoning to meld. Add Masa flour and serve with crackers, corn bread or chips.

12. For a hearty chili, add the beans and stir mixture again. Let simmer for 30 minutes to allow seasoning to meld. Add Masa flour and serve with crackers, corn bread or chips.

Tip: For more heat, use Habaneras or Scotch Bonnets.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ah! The dreads of life.

I am searching for a real good reason why tomorrow should even exist. Beside the premiere of a new scifi series, I am just clueless. You see, this would be any ordinary day. It happens to be a special day for me. I could explain it but what would it matter. We live an existence marked by time and for me it is mostly uneventful.

So I take from this that the things I can change, I do. Those that I can't, well, I'll leave that up to somebody else. Why argue over semantics? I mean, I can't for the life of me understand why people choose such trivial facts to argue about. Take for instance, I was in the store the other day and a husband was shopping with his with wife. They kept arguing about what he wanted and what she didn't like. He would put something in the basket and she would take it out and replace it with something else or a cheaper brand. She ended the argument by removing a package of steaks and telling him "Besides the steaks, guess what else you won't be getting?" I chuckled quitely. Not for him, I think she had had enough of his nonsense and she put her foot down and then some. It made me think, is that all I have to look forward to? Arguing about what to put in the grocery basket. I think not. I'll save my arguments for more inclusive items.

So being tomorrow or today or yesterday or last week will be/is/was my birthday depending on your perspective of time and when you decide to read my post. Well just keep it in mind that I ain't getting any younger. Before long, somone will be using my wit in a shit my dad says post. Have a nice day folks and enjoy getting old, I know I am.

A new, special kind of store just opened up in a Manhatten shopping center. This store sells husbands, yes that’s right – women can browse men from floors of choices.

Actually, there are 6 floors of men, and with an increase in the floor level bringing an positive attributes… a nifty setup – with a catch. As you open the door to any floor, you may choose a man from that floor but if you go up, you cannot go back down except to exit the building. Interesting, right?

So a young woman goes to the shopping center to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads: Floor 1 – These men have jobs. The woman reads the sign and says to herself, “Well, that’s better than my last boyfriend, but I wonder what’s further up?” So up she goes.

The second floor sign reads: Floor 2 – These men have jobs and love kids. The woman remarks to herself, “That’s great, but I wonder what’s further up?” And up she goes again.

The third floor sign reads: Floor 3 – These men have jobs, love kids and are extremely good looking. “Hmmm, better” she says. “But I wonder what’s upstairs?”

The fourth floor sign reads: Floor 4 – These men have jobs, love kids, are extremely good looking and help with the housework. “Wow!” exclaims the woman, “very tempting. BUT, there must be more further up!” And again she heads up another flight.

The fifth floor sign reads: Floor 5 – These men have jobs, love kids, are extremely good looking, help with the housework and have a strong romantic streak. “Oh, mercy me! But just think… what must be awaiting me further on?” So up to the sixth floor she goes.

The sixth floor sign reads: Floor 6 – You are visitor 7,548,652 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor only exists as proof that women are impossible to please.

What'd You Think?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Alright, I got the message

So once again, here I am facing my most enduring public. Aw crap, you thought I was going to writing about my craziness? No, not this time. I'm back to my normal sane self again, maybe. I will see when my meds run out. Oh please, I'm not on meds. Well not for that at least. The ones I am on, I'm trying to get those reduced or get off them all together by dieting and exercise.

I will discuss one thing though. Back in August, my mom passed out and my brother called the emergency service and had her transported to the hospital for which they kept her a few days for evaluation. Now I won't say that this is a big problem with me but it is. I'll get to that later. This isn't the first time something like this has happened. As a matter of fact, this is at least the third time in the past year or two that I have been made aware of it.

The first incident happened, my mom was sitting in church enjoying the service. They thought she had fainted but they were having problems reviving her with smelling salts. They called the paramedics and she was transported to the hospital for which they kept her for an extended period and then let her go home.

The next incident happened during a family gathering. She once again fainted and attempts to wake her where futile. They called the EMT's and they promptly took her to the hospital. When she was released from the hospital, I called her to get an update to find out that she was having problems with her Doctor not refilling her medications. I told her she needed to find another Doctor because the outcome of the first incident was result of being over-stressed and over-medicated. This Doctor didn't want to acknowledge the hospital's recommendations. I'll address the stress part later.

She further told me that she was not getting any help from family members who were staying in her home. My younger sister and her twin sibling were of no help and pushed the problem on my brothers daughter who is barely able to handle her own issues. I had a fit. I even threatened to move back home. That ain't gonna happen. Seems as though, all my siblings are dumping their children and grand children on my mother when they feel damn inclined to do so. I'm talking infants to teens. Don't get me wrong but I think my mother raised her children. She does not need to raise anymore. I can see them stopping by occasionally for a visit but they come and stay for days and that means my mother has to feed them, make sure they have clean clothes, get them up for school, you know the drill. WTF? Am I to understand that when you get tired of raising your children, you can dump them on mom? They had no answers and refused to call me about any other problems.

The last incident happened, I didn't get a call. I found out about it after the fact when my brother posted it in Facebook. WTFF? I do have a phone and it is on 24/7. Granted, I'm online most of the time. But this is not the way you contact someone about your mother being taken to the hospital. Of course, this made me furious and when I get that mad, well watch out. But I held it in, add this to me just coming out of surgery for a torn meniscus and my emotional meter just red lined. Once again, I held it in. Before the end of August, the shit hit the fan and I had had enough of their issues.

I would like to say that my mom's issues are resolved but that's only temporary. She finally got to another Doctor and they have adjusted her medicines to a more agreeable level for her health's concern. My biggest concern is the family is not listening to her. She has said that she frequently has these spells but she goes and lays down and she feels better after she has had a short rest. I asked her if she told the doctor about this. She said she didn't think it was a problem since she felt better after resting. I told her I beg to differ. This is not normal behavior and she need to let the doctor know about. So, I am waiting to hear back on what the doctor had to say about this symptom.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rescue on the high seas

Before I start, here are some military acronyms I am using to save space:

OPS = Operations

SAR = Sea Air Rescue

DO = Duty Officer

LPO = Leading Petty Officer

SEAL = Sea Air Land

LCM = Landing Craft Mechanized

We were steaming south headed for Diego Garcia. It must have been somewhere between 5 and 6 in the morning when the chief came in the OPS berthing area and woke several of the SAR team up and told us to muster by the armory after we signed out our weapons. The morning had just broke but there was still a wash of fog lying heavy on the water.

The ship had dropped to slow and steady as the chief and the duty officer came into view. The LPO shouted “Attention on deck!” and the DO replied, “As you were.” The DO stated. “We have a small boat about 3 miles south of us and they are giving a distress signal according to the lookout. We are sending a team to the boat to assess the problem and render any assistance needed. Two of the Seal team and two marines have already been assigned but we need two from the SAR team to also assist.” The chief chose me and another PO to help. The other team members suited up and went on the flight deck to ready the SAR helicopter.

We scrambled down to the well deck to meet up with the SEAL and Marine teams. The SEAL team was readying the zodiac. I looked at my partner and we both gave each other the “oh shit” look. The SEAL guys said to us that one was going to drive the boat and the other would be on the bow manning the M60. Your weapons stay holstered unless we say otherwise. We nodded in agreement. We finished packing food, water and medical supplies on board and get the zodiac ready to launch.

The ship came to a halt and we waited for the word to launch. Crew members were starting to collect around the top of the well deck wondering what was going on. We were a bit in the dark too. Not knowing what we where going up against. For all we knew, it could have been pirates out there and their boat had broken down and we were their free ride home.

The zodiac boat crept through the fog, riding the swells which were cresting from 6 to 10 feet. It was not a pleasant ride. Fortunately, I don’t get sea sick but my partner was starting to get a little green around the gills. I wish I could say the approaching the boat was a pleasure. The SEAL team leader told us to ready our weapons once we saw the outline of the boat bobbing up and down at the crest of each wave we topped.

We made a finally approach by circling the boat to assess if there was danger. The team leader slowed the engine down and the SEAL guy on the bow readied the line to toss to the boat occupants. It was not pleasant; the stench of urine and feces permeated the air and made it even more difficult to perform our job with a smile. An older man waved at us to approach and we came closer to the boat. The line was tossed to him and he tied it off as we started tossing food and water to the people on the boat. The team leader started counting heads.

After counting more that 70 people stuffed on the boat, he called to the ship. “We got more than 70 people on this boat and some are in desperate need of medical attention. Some women started trying to pass the small children to us. We had to wave them off for fear of swamping our small zodiac. The fog was starting to lift but the ship was still not in sight. The team leader fired of a flare and then another followed by a third. The ship came across the radio. “We have your position now; we are sending an LCM to assist.” We continued opening boxes of food and water and looked for any one who needed immediate medical attention. There were a couple of pregnant women on board so we wanted to make sure that they got off first with the children.

The LCM came in sight and the team leader waved to them. They pulled aside the small boat and lowered the front end of the LCM down so that the people could get aboard quickly. We started getting the people off the small boat and were making head good headway in the task. Now came the task of getting some of the older people off would take some doing. We had to lift several of them on board the LCM. The small boat was taking on water and we knew it would be long before it would have sunk. With the LCM loaded, they lifted the front gate and started backing away from the small boat now empty and bobbing wildly in the ocean. The team leader made a second call asking for the disposition of the small boat. They told him “Sink it.” You could see a shit eating grin come on his face. These SEAL guys get off on blowing shit up.

He reached in a big bag stashed under the seat and pulls out three smaller bags packed with C4. I was starting to get into it myself. We placed the packages front, center and aft and connect a receiver and battery to the packages. The team leader called to the ship and told them the packages were ready. The ship returned the call stating to wait until the LCM was back on board and we will give you the go signal. We sat bobbing out in the middle of the ocean with the stench of the small boat still racking our sense of smell. It would not be soon enough to sink this thing.

We finally get the go ahead and we all secure everything and take our positions on the zodiac. The team leader starts the boat back up and we head back to the ship. Once we are about a mile away from the small boat, the team leader pulls out a transmitter. He calls to the ship and states, “We are in safe distance, are we clear to ignite?” The word comes back, “Blow, Blow, Blow!” The team leader releases the safety and flicks the switch. Nothing happens. We look at each other with an “Ah shit” look. The Team Leader smiles again and says oops. He inserts a key into the box and turns it. The boat blows up in a giant splash of water and when it all settles down, nothing but a few pieces remain floating on the water, another job well done. That’s all for now folks…