Friday, January 29, 2010

Gubernatorial Debate

Huh, huh! I said guber! Seriously, I thought tonight's debate for Texas Governor was very impressive. Very well done and I have to admit: Medina looked pretty good. Does anybody else see Perry and Hutchinson as disgusting, typical politicians? Is a vote for Medina gonna be Ross Perot'd off? She seemed to have answers when the others tried to blame either Washington D.C. or each other. They all had some tough questions. Hmmm...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Can't wait

You know what's better than a raise? You know what's better than respect or recognition? You wanna know what really has morale pumping in my office? Jean Day. Yep. Tomorrow is Jean Day and you can almost feel the electricity of skyrocketing morale as we all contemplate the age-old question of Wranglers or Levi's. Man, this makes up for everything.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

He didn't need it anyway.

For my 500th blog post I would like to give this thought: How do either one of them ever live this down?!

I'm not even trying to google a good picture of this.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Help for Haiti

Please go to the link on this page for Samaritan's Purse to donate to helping Haiti. I've worked several times with this group and know that money sent through them will be well-spent. I really want to go there to help and maybe I can soon but for now they just need money. I'm sure the Red Cross would be great as well but Samaritan's Purse also meets spiritual needs of hurting people. Also on Facebook.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Sometimes I think God is just showing off. And why shouldn't He? If you can pull off a show like this, more power to ya. I guess that would be "all power to ya". Anyway, the picture, of course, doesn't do it justice. There is even a rainbow on the far left that doesn't show up on my camera phone as I drive down the highway. I guess if you can literally move the heavens then my problems don't sound like such a big deal, huh?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gun names

In the mid-1980's the U.S. military adopted the Beretta 92FS to become its standard issue sidearm. They immediately called it the M9. Dozens of manufacturers produce a Model 1911. It's also known as the 1911/A1. It mainly is known to come in .45 ACP but also comes in almost any number of other calibers. A Model 70 Winchester rifle can come in almost any caliber from .22 to .458. The military's rifle is the popular M-16. It's also known as the M-16A1, M-16A2, M4, AR-15 and it shoots the .223 round which is also known as the 5.56 mm.

Still with me? Good grief, I don't even know what I'm talking about! All I know is that guns should have names, not numbers. Not names like SIG Sauer (why is the sig in all caps but not the sauer?) or Garand or Walther. I don't think these people know how to spell. I think guns need more nicknames so I know which one people are talking about. I like "Ma Deuce" or "Burp Gun" or "Grease Gun". Even "Tommy Gun". I know what that looks like. It even has more nicknames: "Trench Broom", "Chicago Piano" or "Chopper". Any of them are better than "Thompson submachine gun".

I know of at least one "Poodle-Shooter" and a few called "Ol' Faithful" or "Tiny" or "Big Boy". I'll just call my pistol "Bill". It's short, plain, and nothing fancy. It fits. I don't have a name for my shotgun but maybe "Mudfence" because nothing can be pretty with that name. So, what do you have? "Padre" or "Buzzsaw" or "Cereal Killer"? Maybe a "Screamin' Meemie" or a "Bugle"? Just don't tell me you have an AR-10A4 SPR or I'll get ol "Loudmouth" after ya!

I fell off the bandwagon.

Gotta be honest here. All I can think about is how all you folks that thought Jerry Jones was the anti-Christ for firing Tom Landry now think he walks on water. Somebody explain why I shouldn't have a problem with it. The argument that "it's just a game" works both ways. If it's just a game then why should I (or you folks on the bandwagon) care?

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Storytime in Parts

--Part XVI--

Master Special Officer Craig Miller had been stationed at the Secret Service headquarters in Washington D.C. since just before the 1950 assassination attempt on President Truman. He had been a New York police investigator for seven years and had served six years in the military. He had risen quickly through the ranks and was now the lead agent of the White House branch of the Secret Service in charge of protecting the president. He was a stocky 6'2" with a short flat-top haircut. His dark gray suit was custom made to accomodate his large frame as well as a sidearm in a holster on his hip. He also carried a multi-band communication radio, a surveillance kit, a large personal pocket knife and his identification badge. There were no photos of friends or loved ones in his wallet.

Miller had seen combat. He had seen death. He had gone headfirst and eyes open into places no man should ever see. He had undured training that would literally kill most men and had received even more scars than he had medals. He was prepared for any contingiency, ready to take a bullet or defuse a bomb. His fellow agents joked that Miller could kill a man with a sponge if he had to. Everyone respected Master Special Officer Miller. Everyone except the one contingiency for whom Miller had failed to train. Now this contingiency stood staring up at him unimpressed.

"Whatd'ya do with Teddy?"

Miller looked at the little ragamuffin through his ever-present sunglasses and said, "Excuse me?"

"Where's my dog?"

"I...I...don't know."

"Well, where's Don? He'll know."

"Don who?", said the agent.

President Eisenhower was talking a few feet away with Officer Blunt in very animated yet subdued tones and had left Marilyn with his most trusted security officer. They were all standing in the hotel lobby having just left the chaos of the reception outside and entered into another chaos inside as the hotel staff, various reporters, city and state dignitaries and their entourages as well as muliple layers of security personnel all hovered around being very busy with the arrival of the most powerful man in the country. This most powerful man called his most trusted agent's name so he could come over to verify some of Blunt's story and that is when the most powerful man and the most trusted agent lost sight of the unplanned-for contingiency.

As Marilyn ran, she was now sure this was the worst thing that could happen. She would never have dreamed that the police and the President of the United States would all gang up on her and her dog all because somebody thought Teddy had bitten them. It was not even true! How could this happen? She had to save Teddy again so she made a break for the door. Nobody paid any attention as the young waif sifted quickly through the mass of people and hit the exit running. Just as she passed through the door she heard her named called from somebody inside the hotel and from somebody outside the hotel. She ran even faster now. She had to save Teddy!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Storytime in Parts

--Part XV--

Marilyn hardly noticed the drop of sweat heading down her back from the back of her head. She no longer heard the marching band from the local high school playing an uninspired version of "Hail to the Chief". She did not notice the woman across from her waving a flag nor did she even realize that Don and Teddy were no longer standing next to her. She could not smell the exhaust fumes from the black limo just a few feet away and yet, with all her senses being bombarded, the one thing she noticed was his after-shave.

She was reminded of her grandfather and while the smell was not totally unpleasant, Marilyn felt very uncomfortable. Her vexation was multiplied by the fact that she was obviously in the wrong place at the wrong time. She recognized Officer Blunt as he put his hand on her shoulder and spoke to her and at the same time the President of the United States was introducing himself to her and looking at Blunt like Blunt should be saying something or doing something else. A Secret Service officer was now standing on the other side of her talking into a radio all the while people all around her cheered and the band played mercilessly on.

The president repeated himself. "Dwight Eisenhower", and added, "What's your name, sweetheart?"

With still no response the president looked at Blunt and then quickly glanced at some of the crowd. He was getting mixed feedback coming from the body language of the people around him. He expected the girl's parents to be there with her but nobody seemed to be with her and yet the local policeman seemed to know her and yet the poor child was filthy and smelled of mud and pancakes. He was used to meeting people who froze up when they were introduced but the child seemed to be considerably more worried about the young officer. To make matters more awkward the girl seemed to be handing him a syrup-smeared dinner plate. In just a few seconds the president went from Commander-In-Chief confident to just plain confused.

He took the plate, looked at it and said, "Oh...thank you?" His voice was more questioning than grateful. His smile was now awkward and forced. As he was just about to walk off from the graceless encounter Officer Blunt spoke up.

"Her name is Marilyn...Mr. President. She's...umm... with me." Blunt, like the others, was trying to recover his wits.

The president looked relieved at getting even this much information. At least he could work with it.

"Well, Marilyn, is this your daddy?", he said with a patronizing grin.

"No!", said Marilyn excitedly and emphasized, "And I am not with him!"

The presidential grin was replaced with a confused scowl as Eisenhower looked expectantly at Blunt now. The Secret Service officer was gently trying to remind the president of his schedule but was given a curt "just a minute" finger. The band leader was unsure how many stanzas of "Hail to the Chief" he should play and an awkward laugh followed an untimely "We like Ike!" hollered from a man in the crowd.

Officer Blunt tried to explain but stammered around so long that finally the pressured president interrupted and with his shoulders settled and his hands on his hips said firmly, "Look, I want both of you to come with me right now". The Secret Service officer took this as his cue and ushered the president, Blunt and Marilyn into the hotel.

The confused head-tilt of Teddy seemed to summarize the situation as he stood next to Don watching at a distance.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Storytime in Parts

--Part XIV--

Marilyn's mother still sat at the family's modest kitchen table. She stared, hardly blinking, at the back of her left hand without noticing the hand or the table cloth on which she rested it. She failed to notice the smell of the fresh coffee her husband had made before he left to look for his daughter. She had long since quit noticing any other smells or hearing the usual sounds of life in her house. The dark wooden paneling on the walls, the humm of a passing car, the warmth of the sun as it sneaked across the window of the room. All evaded her senses at this point as she stared blankly with her head down.

Twenty-eight years old with pleasant features and a matriarchal confidence usually found in women much older, she now felt so many feelings internally that it seemed to block out any external stimuli. Her daughter had been missing for nearly two full days and her initial concern now included feelings of guilt, wrapped in panic and now starting to subsume a repressed sense of anger. She did not want to feel angry and tried to explain to herself why she should not be and yet she seemed to be losing that mental self-debate. She let her mind argue with itself of the justification for her being mad.

She, of course, was not mad at Marilyn or really anybody else for that matter. Like a crisis usually does, the situation with Marilyn had prompted her to think about the big questions of life. She now thought of not only the "wheres" and "whens" of Marilyn's disappearance but also the "whys". Why would God do this to a precious child? Did God actually do this or as their preacher had said, did God just allow such things but not cause them? If God allows evil things to happen then it must be for some reason and if it is for His reason then is that any different than causing it to happen? This course of thought led her to feelings of enmity between her and "The Almighty".

Her well-worn Bible lay on the table next to her. She was as accustomed to using it as she was the salt shaker on the table next to it. It had given great comfort many other times in her life as well as good news and practical information on the best ways to live so she instinctively picked it up from the spot where she had her daily semi-quiet times. Between making meals and tending to household business she tried to always make time to read a few passages daily and then talk to God about her family and friends, asking His blessings and wisdom for them all. This time she just needed some questions answered.

Just the act of opening it up to the Book of Job and seeing her own handwriting in the margins brought a distinct peace and a certain level of understanding to the situation that surprised her with its swiftness. She realized that she knew some of the answers and also that some things had to be accepted with faith. She may never understand how prayer works but it fell off of her tongue in humble appreciation, "God, thank you for taking care of my sweet Marilyn." She paused and added with what may have been the slightest of smile, "and Teddy too."