Saturday, August 18, 2007


Several people lately have asked me about JD and so I thought I would introduce you to him. It seems strange that I have not talked about him before as he was my best friend and confidant for nearly sixteen years. Like most Australian Shepherds, JD was very intelligent and was as close to human as a dog could be, showing almost human characteristics including shame, mischievousness, confidence, self-control, patience, and above all, friendliness.

I used to say that JD was like Will Rogers in that he never met a man he didn't like. He liked people and people loved JD! JD spent a lot of time with me when we worked at a feed store many years ago. He went with me every day and most of the time it was just the two of us. I remember a regular customer came in one day and I asked her, as I always would, if there was anything I could help her with and she told me, "No, thank you. I'm just here to see JD". She explained that sometimes when she had a bad day at work she would go get her hair done but other times she just came to see JD and he would make her feel better. I watched as she loved on JD for a while and then she just left. Just another day at the office for JD!

There are hundreds of stories about JD so bear with me as I remember him with a few more, most of which occur at that same feedstore in Arlington. A feedstore is a pretty good place for a friendly dog to be as he got lots of attention and more than his share of treats from people who wanted to give him "just one". That was fine with him and he would follow them around the store patiently. Many times people would sneak him a biscuit out of the open wooden bins, effectively stealing from the store, but what do you say when they just fed your dog?

That building did not have any kind of air conditioning so we always kept all of the doors open including the front, back and side overhead doors. JD was free to come and go and he always hung around close by, sometimes chasing a squirrel or a bird out the back door or laying under the big tree out back but one time I started to notice that JD was not around and would stay gone for several hours. He always came back, though, so I was not too worried but one day it came closing time and JD was not back yet. I locked the doors and got into the truck and went looking for him. I was starting to get pretty worried about him. I knew he was very smart and would even look both ways before crossing a street but this was not like him. I drove around the neighborhood for awhile and I saw this boy riding his bike so I stopped and asked him if he had seen a gray and white dog running around. He thought for a second and asked, "You mean the one at Accent Tire?" The owner of Accent was a good customer and I knew he did not have a dog like that so I drove the three blocks down to his store and went in. As I went through the door, I saw JD and he saw me. He was laying in the air conditioned office asleep! He gave a look and then laid his head down again and then jerked it back up as he recognized me with the double-take and came sheepishly over to me. I asked the owner why he let him stay here when he knew he was my dog. He said, "Well, he just loves these jelly donuts and we like him here!" No wonder he wouldn't eat his dog food.

The joy of JD's life was chasing cats and he was good at it. We once lived on a little horse ranch and the barn had cats in it. He would see one of those cats and stiff as a board and as slow as he could, he would turn around to me and look at me waiting for me to give the all clear. The "all clear" signal was "skit 'em!" and rarely would I get out more than "sk" and he would be a gray streak looking like his legs were hardly touching the ground. He monitored that barn like a sentry on lookout duty and nothing got passed him but he always waited for permission.

JD was the toughest dog I've ever seen. I used to kid him that when he died I was going to make a pair of boots out of his hide because he was so tough. One morning on that horse ranch we were getting all of the horses out of the gate and JD got too close to one and the horse kicked him right in the side of the head. He fell over dead as a post as I ran over to him. I just knew he could not have survived that blow and I was devastated. I got to him just as he woke up, stood up, shook himself off and with the most ticked off look on his face he ran after the horse that kicked him and barked and snapped at him until he was halfway into the pasture. It wasn't smart to make JD mad.

JD was a gentleman. He knew how to act when guests came over and he knew how to be gentle with little kids. He wasn't hyper but he had plenty of energy and loved to jump up into your arms when you would invite him. He loved to go to work and couldn't wait to jump into the bed of the truck to go somewhere. He would run back and forth between the wheelwells not wanting to miss anything. A friend gave JD to me when JD was four months old and he lived sixteen good, full years dying about two years ago of old age. He went everywhere with me including inside the bank and several times to church. He had a lot of friends and I appreciate it when they mention him. I wish you could have known him.

Friday, August 17, 2007

This just in...

You may want to be sitting down for this next announcement: Siegfried and Roy have announced they are gay! Thank goodness we still have role models in this world like Elton John and Rosie!

Great! Now I can't wear my white tiger print long-sleeved, open-front shiny shirt or people might think I'm gay.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What bugs me...

I'm not talking about things that are wrong or things that make me furious with a white hot heat, this is just a list of some things that, well, bug me. Some bug me worse than others. Some I could just do without and some are so stupid I just have to mention them. For example, people who talk during a movie are mildly annoying if they are on the other side of the theater or it's my wife sitting on the couch next to me but people who talk while I'm talking are moving in on the danger zone! Somewhere in the middle of these extremes lie some pretty stupid stuff.

Church signs are some of the worst and come immediately to mind. I'm not talking about the ones that say the name of the church and the time when Sunday School starts. I mean the catchy sayings in changeable letters that say "Seven days without prayer makes one weak" or "God answers knee mail". Does this really do anybody any good? Does it make you laugh? If so, I really have some jokes to tell you!

Commercials, to me, deserve their very own place in Hell and commercials that say, "Buy our product because you deserve it!" should be burned at the stake and then have their charred remains buried in a landfill! Oh, sorry, I said I wasn't talking about things that make me mad but this one just slipped in like the slimey, worthless, putrid, stinking, waste of snake skin that it is. How do you know I deserve it? What if an axe murderer sees your commercial? Does he deserve your bubble bath after a long, hard day chopping up people? And if he does deserve it why should I buy something that even a blood-thirsty maniac deserves? C,mon people, think about it!

Who was it that gave doctors the right to keep you waiting for a scheduled appointment? You know what I'm talking about. Your appointment is at 10:00. At 10:20 the nurse invites you back to the exam room. At 10:50 the doctor rushes in like Kramer on crack, asks one question while he washes his hands and then yells over his shoulder at the nurse to write something down as he rushes out. You co-pay is $20. The time is 10:53. Two and a half minutes with someone you assume is the doctor after waiting for nearly an hour. I once complained to the nurse and she told me that the doctor was just over-booked. I'm sure he was but he was also over-booked yesterday and the day before and he has been for the last 27 years so you would think by now that they would know about how long it's going to take to see each patient and schedule the appointments appropriately. Naw, just cram 'em in and let 'em wait! And doctors are the only ones. Your lawyer, your pastor, even the tv repairman will at least give an approximate time. Man, I should have been a doctor. I bet even the classes to become a doctor start late.

Have you ever noticed how many commercials A.M. radio has? As I have gotten older and have become my Dad, I listen to talk radio a lot more. The problem is that since I refuse to listen to commercials and I change the station when one starts, I miss out on part of what Rush, Sean or Glenn has to say. F.M. radio has far fewer commercials, comes in clearer and has many more options. A.M., you're making it hard to be an old dude!

1) If you want to borrow something of mine, just ask. Chances are very good that it won't be a problem. 2) Put it back where it belongs when you are done. It greatly increases the probability that it won't be a problem next time.

Why is it that I am the only one that can start the lawnmower and keep it running?

Why does my neighbor refuse to use his weedeater?

Why do so many things bug me that did not used to?

I was complaining to a dear, sweet friend of ours the other day about some things that I didn't even mention in this list. I went on for a while saying that there are all these things that are problems and taken individually, they are not a big deal, but when added all together it was causing me a lot of stress. She sweetly listened to me gripe about one thing after another and I will always be indebted to her for letting me vent and for her kind words of wisdom. After I had spoken my heart, she gently spoke hers.

"Todd, I think what's bothering you is not so much the things you have related here, but maybe something else. Maybe you are coming to the age where you begin to really wonder about your life and where you are right now. Maybe that's what is frustrating you and not so much this other stuff."

Definition of mid-life crises by Wikipedia: A mid-life crisis is an emotional state of doubt and anxiety which usually begins between the ages of 35 and 50, in which a person becomes uncomfortable with the realization that they are likely to have reached the mid-point of their life. It commonly involves reflection on what the individual has done with his or her life up to that point, often with feelings that not enough was accomplished. The individuals experiencing such may feel boredom with their lives, jobs, or their partners, and may feel a strong desire to make changes in these areas. Physical problems may include tremors, eye-bulging or swelling, insomnia, heart palpitations, weakness, irritability, distraction, weight loss, hyper-active thyroid, arthritis, bags under eyes, loss of hair, acne, hair growth in strange places, shrinkage of rear end and manboobs . OK, I made up that last part but that could describe me!

My daughter asked her mother the other day what was wrong with me. My wife asked her if she thought I was mad at her and my daughter said that she and even some of her friends had noticed that it wasn't that I acted mad - but bored. Wow! I thought I was a better actor than that!

What I'm feeling is a complex combination of things and I don't like it! I think a big part of it for me is the physical. It seems like just two weeks ago that I was named Most Beautiful in the high school Miss Catastrophe contest. Now I look like a combination of a Pug and a Basset Hound. I tried to do some push-ups the other day and wound up crying in the fetal position. I used to admire a pretty woman walking down the road but now I admire her husband's lack of wrinkles and well-groomed eyebrows!

Mentally, I've been better. The funny thing is that I enjoy my job, I love my pretty wife and my kids, my church is everything I need, I have three dogs that make me laugh and I have some great friends. And what am I complaining about? Oh, pretty much everything. Nothing seems to be good enough for me lately. I've always had a propensity to get bored easily but it wasn't a problem when I was a kid.

The good news is that I do have great friends, family and church and everyone is being very patient with me, so that's good. So, I'll tell you what. In response to your kindness, patience and sometimes just giving me a wide berth, I will make you some promises. I promise to never cheat on my wife. I promise to never take for granted my good friends. I promise that I will grow out of this. I'll probably go into a nursing home the next day but I will grow out of it just as sure as I grew out of my Wranglers.

Good question, better answer

Exactly why is the U.S. deployed in Iraq, according to you?


Let's stop mincing words.

We're in Iraq because Muslims have stated over and over and over that their only goal is to kill all non-Muslims.

After 9/11, we started taking them at their word, and since we didn't want to be killed, our only choice was to start killing Muslims before they killed us.

Iraq had Muslims in it, so it was as good a place to start as any. In fact, better than most, because it was in the heart of Muslim country, and having troops there gives us a credible force-projection threat throughout the entire putrid, corrupt, murderous Muslim region. It's easier to kill Muslims in other countries from Iraq than it is from Kuwait.

And now Muslims have two choices:

They can reform their vicious, degenerate religion so that it allows for peaceful co-existence with other religions and - after embracing this enlightened, live-and-let-live philosophy whole-heartedly - they can become productive members of the civilized world, much like post-WWII Germany and Japan.


They can be exterminated like vermin.

All the rest of this junk about WMD's, and mass graves, and liberation, and oil fields, and insurgents is just so much political window-dressing. America is fighting for its life against an insidious, deadly ideology. The people who cling to that sick, 7th-century belief system must either change their minds or be killed.

I wish with all my heart that we had enough manpower to conquer every last Muslim nation on earth and root this virus out once and for all, but we don't. So we'll start in Iraq, dragging these barbarians kicking and screaming into the 21st century. After that, hopefully the rest of the Muslim world will get the point. If not, there will be further examples, nation by nation, until they do.

Then, when the Muslim world is either civilized or dead, the war will be over.

I hope that answers your question.

Dirty Harry

"Now that our troops are mired in a dangerous effort to defeat the insurgency and are also trying to help rebuild the country, Americans of all political persuasions simply want the United States to succeed and our troops to be as safe as possible." -- Harry Reid

"I believe ... that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything." -- Harry Reid

Get over it!

Is Don Imus an idiot? Yes! Does he deserve to be sued by Kia Vaughn for being called a name? No! Kia Vaughn responded to being called a silly, schoolyard name in the worst possible, most detrimental and most opportunistic way. Did being called a "nappy-headed hoe" really hurt you, Kia? Did it really do damage to your character? Are you really afraid that because some DJ called you a name that people are going to say, "Oh, I guess Kia really is a nappy-headed hoe"? No, you are not afraid of that. The only thing you are afraid of here is that the opportunity to make a few cheesy bucks is going to slip away without you being able to glob onto it! Grow up instead of sinking to his level!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Somewhere in Afghanistan

Last week about 20 guys were going to a range, so they took some school supplies and toys with them. They said once the stopped and started to get out of the vehicles about a half dozen little kids came running to see them. So they loaded them up with as much as their little arms could carry.

The soldier that was telling me about it had a smile on his face the whole time. Said the kids all took off with their arms full of their new treasures, but one little guy was having a hard time carrying his stuff and running as fast as his little legs would carry him to keep up. He said they watched him run behind a little dirt hill and hide all his new stuff and than he came racing back to get some more.

Because of the generosity of people like you they had more than enough stuff so they gave him another armful. Well of course the other kids were intently watching this and when they saw he was getting more toys they sat their stuff down and came running back for more. From what I heard everyone seemed to have a great time. There were also some Afghani Army out there so we gave them some stuff for their families.

Recently, I learned that another South Dakota Soldier who is deployed in Iraq is going to continue Operation Caring Hands there. I know I have told some of you where OCH came from, but for those of you that don't know, it wasn't an orginal idea of mine. When the 842nd (my home unit and the unit my brother was in when he was in Iraq) was in Iraq they took school supplies and toys to a local school. So before I came here I asked if I could do it here, using their same name. So I am really glad it is being continued in Iraq with another South Dakotan Soldier, since it began there. As the saying goes, "a picture is worth a 1000 words" As you can see our guys and the kids had a great day. So thank you again for everything....


Brandy (last name removed for PERSEC)

Bagram Afghanistan

President Thompson

He's a Southerner. He looks Presidential (even without the usual President hair). He has a good, solid, easy-to-say name. He plays a good leader on TV. What more can you ask from a candidate? Well, except that he become a candidate! Run, Fred, run!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Rubber-faced Fan

Hey, Jim Carrey, how many times a day...What?...You read Don's blog but not mine? Freak!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Far Out Fan

Hey, Toy Story toy thingee, Don wants to know how many times a day you read Blog? I thought you said Dog!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

An Eastern fan

Hey, Sum Na So Yung Guy! How many times a day do you read Blog? I thought you said Dog?