Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve and Day.......

Back in the days when I was still working, I was a cop and I worked more holidays than I can remember. I never really minded, the long suffering and sainted Mrs. W and I never had any kids so Christmas to a small degree lacked a certain magic. Plus it gave me a chance to help out the guys and gals that worked with me who DID have kids to fill in for them. (plus getting time and a half didn't hurt one bit.)

A friend of mine sent this to me, I liked it, some of the folks I sent it to liked it also, so I thought I would share it with you all.

Again, a very Merry Christmas to you all!

In Valor There is Hope

Working Christmas Eve
In 1968 when I became a Cop, I knew there would be special occasions my family would spend without me. Knowing that fact didn't make the task any easier. The celebrations I missed those first year's depressed me and sometimes made me feel bitter. Working on Christmas Eve was always the worst.

On Christmas Eve in 1977, I learned that blessings can come disguised as misfortune, and honor is more than just a word.

I was riding one-man patrol on the 4×12 shift. The night was cold. Everywhere I looked I saw reminders of the holiday: families packing their cars with presents, beautifully decorated trees in living room windows and roofs adorned with tiny sleighs. It all added to my holiday funk.

The evening had been relatively quiet; there were calls for barking dogs and a residential false burglar alarm. There was nothing to make the night pass any quicker. I thought of my own family and sunk further into depression.

Shortly after 2200 hours I got a radio call to the home of an elderly, terminally ill man. I parked my patrol car in front of a simple cape cod style home. First aid kit in hand, I walked up the short path to the front door. As I approached, a woman who seemed to be about 80 years old opened the door. He's in here she said, leading me to a back bedroom.

We passed through a living room that was furnished in a style I had come to associate with older people. The sofa has an afghan blanket draped over it's back and a dark, solid, Queen Anne chair sat next to an unused fireplace. The mantle was cluttered with an eccentric mix of several photos, some ceramic figurines and an antique clock. A floor lamp provided soft lighting.

We entered a small bedroom where a frail looking man lay in bed with a blanket pulled up to his chin. He wore a blank stare on his ashen, skeletal face. His breathing was shallow and labored. He was barely alive.

The trappings of illness lay all around his bed. The nightstand was littered with a large number of pill vials. An oxygen bottle stood nearby. Its plastic hose, with facemask attached rested on the blanket.

I asked the old woman why she called the police. She simply shrugged and nodded sadly toward her husband, indicating it was his request. I looked at him and he stared intently into my eyes. He seemed relaxed now. I didn't understand the suddenly calm expression on his face. I looked around the room again. A dresser stood along the wall to the left of the bed. On it was the usual memorabilia: ornate perfume bottles, a white porcelain pin case, and a wooden jewelry case. There were also several photos in simple frames. One caught my eye and I walked closer to the dresser for a closer look. The picture showed a young man dressed in a police uniform. It was unmistakably a photo of the man in bed. I knew then why I was there.

I looked at the old man and he motioned with his hand toward the side of the bed. I walked over and stood beside him. He slid a thin arm from under the covers and took my hand. Soon, I felt his hand go limp. I looked at his face. There was no fear there. I saw only peace.

He knew he was dying; he was aware his time was very near. I know now that he was afraid of what was about to happen and he wanted the protection of a fellow cop on his journey. A caring God had seen to it that his child would be delivered safely to him. The honor of being his escort fell to me.

When I left at the end of my tour that night, the temperature had seemed to have risen considerably, and all the holiday displays I saw on the way home made me smile.

I no longer feel sorry for myself for having to work on Christmas Eve. I have chosen an honorable profession. I pray that when it's my turn to leave this world here will be a Cop there to hold my hand and remind me that I have nothing to fear.

I wish all my brothers and sisters who have to work this Christmas Eve all the Joy and warmth of the Season.

How Long? ????????

Hey everybody!

First of all, a VERY Merry Christmas as well as a Very Happy Chanukah to those of the Jewish faith. I hope that this holiday season brings you all a great deal of joy and happiness.

Secondly, I have the pleasure to note that today is the 4th anniversary of this blog. I would like to thank you all who drop by to read my rantings and ravings. I've enjoyed messing about with this (At least to me) new form of communication. I have had the pleasure of making friends with some of the finest folks I have ever known and have learned a great deal from them. Hanging around with a bunch of "like-minded" folks from all over the place has made me a little less paranoid about how I think. In this day and time I was begining to think I was the only Cat in a Dog pound. But thanks to my fellow bloggers I know that I am not out there alone in thinking how I think. Again, Thank you all.

Now lets see what the future holds for us all.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Occupy THIS...................

I was mulling over odds and ends while packing for a Civil War event this weekend and my mind sorta drifted over to the Occupy folks. I was thinking that it might not be a bad idea to sorta multitask when they have to clear the areas so that they can be cleaned. Why not use 11/2 inch fire hoses to do both? Just be sure to use lots of soap powder. We know that fire hoses will move people, if you don't believe it, check out the films taken in Birmingham Al. in the early 1960's.

I know, it's MEAN of me to suggest such a thing, but it wouldn't be as if the powers that be, would sneak in there at 3AM. Give 'em fair warning, then flush them right down the sidewalk. No more police injuries and no more protester injuries unless they don't listen to the authorities.

Win for everybody.

Friday, November 11, 2011

On The Eleveth Day, Of The Eleventh Month.............

Today is Veteran's Day.

There were a great deal of things I could have written about today. The historic significance of the day, the debt we owe to those who have served, the cost of protecting the freedoms that we, most of the time, take for granted. Then, I found this, a final blog entry for a serviceman who paid the ultimate price for freedom. I think that this puts things in perspective much better than ANYTHING that I could write.

January 04, 2008
Final Post

“I am leaving this message for you because it appears I must leave sooner than I intended. I would have preferred to say this in person, but since I cannot, let me say it here.”

This is an entry I would have preferred not to have published, but there are limits to what we can control in life, and apparently I have passed one of those limits…As with many bloggers, I have a disgustingly large ego, and so I just couldn’t bear the thought of not being able to have the last word if the need arose. Perhaps I take that further than most, I don’t know. I hope so. It’s frightening to think there are many people as neurotic as I am in the world. In any case, since I won’t get another chance to say what I think, I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity. Such as it is.

What I don’t want this to be is a chance for me, or anyone else, to be maudlin. I’m dead. That sucks, at least for me and my family and friends. But all the tears in the world aren’t going to bring me back, so I would prefer that people remember the good things about me rather than mourning my loss…Sure, all things being equal I would have preferred to have more time, but I have no business complaining with all the good fortune I’ve enjoyed in my life. So if you’re up for that, put on a little 80s music (preferably vintage 1980-1984), grab a Coke and have a drink with me. If you have it, throw ‘Freedom Isn’t Free’ from the Team America soundtrack in; if you can’t laugh at that song, I think you need to lighten up a little. I’m dead, but if you’re reading this, you’re not, so take a moment to enjoy that happy fact.

I suppose I should speak to the circumstances of my death. It would be nice to believe that I died leading men in battle, preferably saving their lives at the cost of my own. More likely I was caught by a marksman or an IED. But if there is an afterlife, I’m telling anyone who asks that I went down surrounded by hundreds of insurgents defending a village composed solely of innocent women and children. It’ll be our little secret, ok?

If you think the U.S. ought to get out tomorrow, don’t cite my name as an example of someone’s life who was wasted by our mission in Iraq. I have my own opinions about what we should do about Iraq, but since I’m not around to expound on them I’d prefer others not try and use me as some kind of moral capital to support a position I probably didn’t support. Further, this is tough enough on my family without their having to see my picture being used in some rally or my name being cited for some political purpose. You can fight political battles without hurting my family, and I’d prefer that you did so.

On a similar note, while you’re free to think whatever you like about my life and death, if you think I wasted my life, I’ll tell you you’re wrong. We’re all going to die of something. I died doing a job I loved. When your time comes, I hope you are as fortunate as I was.

I wish I could say I’d at least started to get it right. Although, in my defense, I think I batted a solid .250 or so. Not a superstar, but at least able to play in the big leagues. I’m afraid I can’t really offer any deep secrets or wisdom. I lived my life better than some, worse than others, and I like to think that the world was a little better off for my having been here. Not very much, but then, few of us are destined to make more than a tiny dent in history’s Green Monster. I would be lying if I didn’t admit I would have liked to have done more, but it’s a bit too late for that now, eh? The bottom line, for me, is that I think I can look back at my life and at least see a few areas where I may have made a tiny difference, and massive ego aside, that’s probably not too bad.

Regardless of the merits of this war, or of any war, I think that many of us in America have forgotten that war means death and suffering in wholesale lots. A decision that for most of us in America was academic, whether or not to go to war in Iraq, had very real consequences for hundreds of thousands of people. Yet I was as guilty as anyone of minimizing those very real consequences in lieu of a cold discussion of theoretical merits of war and peace. Now I’m facing some very real consequences of that decision; who says life doesn’t have a sense of humor?

This is the hardest part. While I certainly have no desire to die, at this point I no longer have any worries. That is not true of the woman who made my life something to enjoy rather than something merely to survive. She put up with all of my faults, and they are myriad, she endured separations again and again…I cannot imagine being more fortunate in love than I have been with Amanda. Now she has to go on without me, and while a cynic might observe she’s better off, I know that this is a terrible burden I have placed on her, and I would give almost anything if she would not have to bear it. It seems that is not an option. I cannot imagine anything more painful than that, and if there is an afterlife, this is a pain I’ll bear forever.

I wasn’t the greatest husband. I could have done so much more, a realization that, as it so often does, comes too late to matter. But I cherished every day I was married to Amanda. When everything else in my life seemed dark, she was always there to light the darkness. It is difficult to imagine my life being worth living without her having been in it. I hope and pray that she goes on without me and enjoys her life as much as she deserves. I can think of no one more deserving of happiness than her

Major Andrew Olmsted

Military Transition Team
1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division
K.I.A. 01-03-2008
As Sadiyah, Iraq

As I said, the words of this man put it all in perspective. May God protect and keep our warriors and their families both past and present.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Reality Check..............

O.K. let me see if I got this straight. (If I am wrong in any of these points, please get me squared away)

We have a highly placed coaching assistant at Penn State who has been molesting children since at least 2002. Joe Paterno the head coach knew about it in 2002 and told the administration of the school but didn't tell child protective services or law enforcement. So other than banning this assistant from bringing children with him onto campus nothing was done until 2011. When all this is revealed, the administration shows Paterno the door. The very night Paterno is fired, a number of students of Penn State to show their objection to Paterno's dismissal by taking to the streets, tearing up a bunch of stuff and requiring the local police to use pepper spay to control them. The next morning, I catch the news which interviews a Penn State student who just can't understand why Paterno was fired. Some of her quotes were:

"The coach has done so much for the school I don't see why they couldn't let him stay for the last home game" and " We have people who are going to be selling blue t-shirt to wear to say that we at Penn State stand against child abuse" When questioned further the student said that "even if he couldn't coach the team, he should be allowed to be on the sidelines"

After picking up my jaw from the floor, a further news report made me shake my head even more. It seems that the Occupy Wall Street folks sent the Occupy Berkeley folks a sum of "seed money" to help with their protest. Of course, the Occupy Berkeley people didn't want the money to "vanish", so they stopped by the local Wells Fargo bank and opened up a account. The same Wells Fargo that they have been trashing it's A.T.M.s and cursing it's employees.

Ya know, if I had a dog that was half as sick as this country, I would have already put it out of it's misery.


The money was sent to Occupy OAKLAND not Berkeley. My deepest apologies for my error to all parties involved.

Happy Birthday Leathernecks...............

To all current and prior service members (Since there is NO such thing as a Ex-Marine)of The United States Marine Corps, A very Happy Birthday to you all. I hope that the next 236 years are as glorious and successful as the preceding ones have been.

Just as long as you still get spun up when I refer to you folks as Naval Infantry. (Grin)

Semper Fi!!!!!!!!!

Still Here..................

Still here folks, just been doing various things and been too (busy or sorry, take your pick) to write it up. Either guilt or the writing muse has kicked me so I will be a little more productive in the writing area.

I hope............

Friday, October 21, 2011

Trafalgar Day.............

In glorious memory of Lord Nelson and the brave Tars of the British Navy who met and defeated the combined French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar on this date in 1805.

Come, cheer up, my lads, 'tis to glory we steer,
To add something more to this wonderful year;
To honour we call you, as freemen not slaves,
For who are so free as the sons of the waves

(Chorus sung once...)
Heart of oak are our ships, jolly tars are our men,
we always are ready; Steady, boys, steady!
We'll fight and we'll conquer again and again.

We ne'er see our foes but we wish them to stay,
They never see us but they wish us away;
If they run,why we follow and run them ashore,
And if they won't fight us, what can we do more.

(Chorus sung once...)

we still make them feel and we still make them flee,
and drub them at shore as we drub them at sea,
so cheer up me lads with one heart let us sing,
oh soldiers and sailors, our statesmen and king.

(Chorus sung once...)

Just in case there is any doubt in anyone's mind, I have given out the order to "Splice the Main Brace" to all hands.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Blast From The Past..............

I got this from a good friend of mind, who got it from a friend of his who found it in the archives.

I can't imagine this being written today. However I think that the alleged crime it mentions still happens from time to time. Heck in my time, you MIGHT have been able to write it about me. That WAS many years ago however.

Pasquotank County: Superior Court of Law
Fall Term AD 1850

The jurors for the state upon their oath present that Spence Walker, late of Pasquotank County on the 10th day of September in the year of our Lord One Thousand, Eight Hundred and fifty and on divers other days and times both before and since that day up to the taking of this inquisition with force and arms at and in said county in certain public streets and highways there situated and in the presence of divers persons then and there being, did become and was then and there, publicly, notoriously and indecently drunk. And so say the jurors aforesaid upon their oath aforesaid do say that the said Spence Walker then and there was and more is a public and common drunkard to the evil example of the good citizens of the state and against the peace and dignity of the State.

W.N.H. Smith Sob.

Working Class Hero..........

I am not one to criticize a person's job. Anything that a person does to keep a roof over his head, a crust of bread and rind of cheese on their table as well as putting clothing on their back is good. Granted, some jobs are better than others, and therein lies my tale.

Every year around tax time a local company named "Liberty Tax Services" hires folks to stand on the side of the street near their offices. While they are there, they are required to wear a Aqua-Marine colored Statute of Liberty costume, (To include the head piece with it's seven points) hold up a sign that says "Liberty Tax Service" and waive like hell at every person that drives by. That's in every kind of weather and temp.

To be honest, I thought that this could be one of the worst jobs I knew of, but after today I have to rethink the entire situation. I was driving in a small town near here and happened to notice a new Tex-Mex restaurant that was having it's Grand Opening today. I glanced over and saw that they had a young man standing in front of the restaurant wearing a Taco costume and a very large straw sombrero cavorting with the customers.

No matter how silly someone in a Statue of Liberty costume looks, it just don't hold a candle to how REALLY silly someone looks dressed as taco.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I Do So Love The Ladies................

Haven't posted in a while, been spending most of my time trying to get things working again. I don't know if it's good or bad, but sometimes my "good" knee hurts worse than my "New and Improved" one does.

Last week at one of my meeting with the staff of the Committee for State Security (Also known as Physical Therapy) I noticed a older, white haired woman being worked over by a therapist a few tables down from me. Evidently, her muscles had frozen up in her leg so the therapist was really cranking down on it to get it more flexible.

It was obvious the lady was in a lot of pain, and when the P.T. person pushed the leg in a different direction, she gave out a loud yell and told the P.T. that "You are going to make me say something that will keep me from going to Heaven"

When she said that, I got up from my table and gimped over to her, put my hand on her shoulder and told her, " Grandmother, don't worry about it. I am already going to the hot place, so you just tell me what to say and I will pass it along with interest"

Well, the lady started smiling and patted my hand and said "Thank you honey, I may just do that very thing". As I tell most of the ladies I know, "I am but a very weak instrument of your will". And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Amusing But True.................

Ruthlessly stolen from The Grouchy Old Cripple blog:

Commenting on statements from V.P. "plugs" Biden and others regarding the Tea Party membership as being "terrorist"

Sarah Palin said:

“If we were real domestic terrorists .. President Obama would be wanting to pal around with us, wouldn’t he?”

Now THAT'S funny and as they say, Out of the mouth of a babe.........

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Baby, It's Hot Out There..........;

While I have the privilege of sitting in air conditioned comfort, a bunch of my friends and fellow reenactors are up at Manassas VA. commemorating the 150th of the battle of First Bull Run. My sources tell me that the heat is wearing on people up there, but the event continues. There have been several heat casualties but hopefully that will be the limit of the trouble.

All my thoughts, good wishes, and even prayers go to my brothers and sister who wear both the blue and grey to commemorate our forefathers.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


According to my best buddy, Nancy R. a statement I made should be the quote of the day. I will leave it up to you guys:

After watching the bandage being changed on my knee yesterday, the only thing I could think of was "Damn, it looks like my knee got caught in a knife fight with a midget."

Or more properly, would it be a "Height Challenged American"?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ben-Hur Meets A.R.M.C.

Here we are, 4 days after my total knee replacement and I getting ready to head back to the Casa W. It's been a interesting experience and one that I might have to do again for my left knee, but to be frank, I don't want to think about it until I absolutely have to. It AIN'T the most fun I have ever had with my clothing on. (or off come to think of it) The surgery went well and I have a bright, shiny new titanium knee. The Doc told me that when he went in, he found a "mess" but he thought that everything would be O.K. once it healed up.

I started physical therapy the day after surgery and it sure does focus one's attention. I have had some of the most intensive pain I have ever had in my entire life in just the past few days. Unfortunately, pain is going to be a part of the healing process, so I have figured that I will need to suck it up and keep on keeping on.

My P.T. folks have been good to work with, but the strangest thing happened this morning. At O'Dark thirty when my guy showed up, He morphed into Jack Hawkins from the movie Ben-Hur.

"Your eyes are full of hate, forty-one. That's good. Hate keeps a man alive. It gives him strength. Now listen to me, all of you. You are all condemned men. We keep you alive to serve this ship. So row well, and live."

At least that's what I THOUGHT I heard him say............

Well back to the oars, I mean machines.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Heading North By Nor' East................

I just got back from spending the holiday weekend with good friends Nancy R., Shorter Half and Sweet Daughter. As you can well guess, the 4th of July is a BIG holiday for those of us who reenact the Revolutionary War so we went to a historic site and did a day of interpretation for the public.

Since my vehicle (a extended cab Dodge Ram truck with crew cab) was already packed, we took it to travel in. Nance and Sweet Daughter in the back seat, Shorter Half and myself in the front.

During the trip, Sweet Daughter started calling out the direction that the truck was traveling since I have a on-board compass that she could see from her seat. Shorter Half (with understandable pride) was bragging about how smart his daughter was to be able to figure out the direction we were heading in. He went on talking about how he had talked with her about how looking at shadows, the sun, bark on trees and such had helped her to figure out direction and true north.

I listened for a wee bit, then told Shorter Half that he no doubt had been helpful with his advice but that Sweet Daughter most likely found it much MUCH easier to look at the compass. There was silence in the cab for a few moments, then S.H. cursed me under his breath and made various obscene gestures in my direction.

For the rest of the trip, I helped S.H. figure out which way we were heading by asking him about the shadows, sun location and other woodsy stuff. I don't know that S.H. had a good trip after that, but I had a GREAT time..............(grin)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday America And A Story.........

Happy Birthday to the greatest country in the world, the good old U.S. of A.

By special request here's a story that might amuse you on this Independence day.

As you know, I am a reenactor and living historian and focus on the American colonial time period. My normal portrayal is that of a Physician with the British Army.

A few years ago, I was asked to help with a reenactment of a King's Birthday celebration at Ninety-Six National Historic Site in South Carolina. For those that don't know much about Ninety-Six, it is located in the north-west corner South Carolina, what was called the back country in the colonial period. The land in the area hasn't changed much in over 240 years,and part of the charm is that the site IS so far off the beaten path that you have to really want to go there. it isn't like some other places that are convenient to stop at because they are on the way to someplace else or it has clean restrooms. Ninety-Six is special also because it was the location of the longest siege that took place in the American Revolution. Ninety-Six was the primary British military base in the back country and held a vary large garrison of troops. The American rebels attacked the town and were held off by the British and loyalist troop for 28 days.

Because of this history, it was thought that this would be a perfect place to have a King's birthday celebration. In the colonial period, the King's Birthday was one of the biggest holidays that was celebrated. There were dances, parties, military demonstrations,bell ringing, shooting off guns,and all sorts of festivities and merriment. This holiday fell on June 4th, so we picked the weekend closest to that date and planed the event. The time came and we had the event and every thing went swimmingly. We had close to 50 red coat wearing reenactors who did musket demonstrations, gave various talks, demonstrated camp life and interacted with the public. We also had a period dance and dinner party.

As I said, everything went swimmingly, but as normal when I am involved, a dark cloud did appear in the sky in the middle of the event. I was approached by a slightly over middle-aged lady who had just a bit of fire in her eye. She button-holed me and and asked me if I was in charge. I told her that I was coordinating the event, and asked if I could be of service to her. She told me that she had a serious complaint to make about the event. When I asked her what the problem was, she told me that she had been all over the park and hadn't seen one thing about Elvis. I was so shocked, that I didn't know what to say to her. She continued on about false advertising and wanted to know who was in charge. At that time I noticed my good friend, the chief Ranger of the site was walking through the encampment so I pointed him out to the lady and took my leave of her. When I next saw her, she had my friend trapped in a corner and was lecturing him on Elvis, false advertising and talking to her congress critter. I must admit that it was a bit of a dirty trick to get him involved. But I just couldn't deal with that lady with anything close to a straight face.

Ah, the joys of dealing with a educated public................[grin]

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Few Interesting Things.........

Yesterday I did the father's day thing with my dad. We grilled out chicken, ribs, vegetables and so on. I tried something new that might be of interest of you. I took several vidalia onions and quartered them. I then wrapped each quarter with a strip of bacon and tossed them on the grill until the onion became soft and bacon done. It was remarkably good. But then, every thing goes better with bacon.

In the latest issue of American Handgunner there is a article on a company that supplies weapons to Hollywood movie production companies. Of particular interest to me was a " Moses Brothers Self-Defense Engine Frontier Model B" handgun carried by Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds in the movie "Serenity" and the T.V. series "Firefly" It started out life as a Taurus Model 85 revolver with modifications to include various brass castings.

Happy Birthday...............

For those who forgot or didn't know, today is the birthday of the man who put "swash" in the term "swashbuckler"

102 years ago today Mr. Errol Flynn was born.

Mr. Flynn made countless entertaining movies and was to a generation a idol and role model. He tried to live his personal live as he did in his movies which led to his death at the early age of 50, but damn, the man could act. For pure entertainment, there is nothing like a Errol Flynn movie.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

More News.............

Not much to report, I am working on several projects, restorations, and some leather work. Next weekend, I will be attending the Detached Hospital's biggest event of the season, the British Occupation of Williamsburg. Some of these projects I need to get finished before I head out. I have been taking photos, so when I have time I will post them to show what I have been up to.

I have also been working on getting ready to go back into the hospital the first part of July for replacement of my right knee. Both my knees got pretty much trashed when I was working and my Doc told me that the only options were a cane or knee replacement. I voted for plan B.

So since there isn't much happening I figured I would fall back on the new old stand-by the Alamance News. Today's headline:

Did Local High School Ration It's Supply Of Toilet Paper?

A investigative reporter discovered that due to a misunderstanding between staff members that there was a memo that asked students cut back on their toilet paper use. However there was no shortage.

I slept much better when I knew that there had been no shortage.......

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Time To Go...........

You will be happy to know that the Tongan Defense Forces contingent has finished it's first 6 month tour of duty in Afghanistan and is on it's way home with no casualties reported.

The Tongans are pretty hardcore and come very close to being as tough as the Gurkhas. True warriors who did their duties with honor and dedication and now go back to their homes and loved ones.

God speed...............

Sunday, June 12, 2011

All The News That's Fit To Print...............

I live in a semi-rural area. We have a weekly newspaper The Alamance News, which covers local news, events, social events, military news and so on. My buddy Nancy R. has seen a few copies and thinks that some of the headlines were amusing, so I thought I would share them with you folks.

Today's entry:

Topsy Turvy Planter Used To Grow Marijuana High In Graham Tree

A Graham man pleaded guilty this week to growing marijuana in a Topsy Turvy planter 30 feet up in a tree in his yard

Next thing you know, someone will find something illegal to do with a Shamwow.......

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For those of you who didn't know it, today is the birthday of one of my dearest friends and best buddy Nancy R. As a true gentleman, I will not say which one it is however. So if you get a chance, go over say "Hey" and wish her a good 'un.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Dear Madam.............

This was a letter that allegedly written in the Civil War. Historians as normal have argued over various facts of the letter, to include if it is authentic. However most think it is real, but even if it isn't it still conveys the reality of what Memorial Day is all about.

Executive Mansion,
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

Dear Madam,

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

A. Lincoln

Thanks Mac, Thanks A Lot 2011.................

Memorial day has come again and for most Americans, it's a holiday that marks the beginning of summer. A weekend dedicated to cook outs, car races and beer consumption.

I no longer bothered by the fact that most of my fellow citizens don't understand what Memorial Day is all about. I keep the holiday in my own way, and support the proper commemoration of it, in anyway that I can. I show respect for the fallen and gratitude for the living, men and women who wear our countries uniform at all times.

I was trying to think of a way that I could express my gratitude and respect for all of our warriors who have fallen, and realized just how limited and weak my writing skills were. I fear that the debt that I as well as the rest of the country owe these men and women can never be repaid.

Earlier this week, I was reading Starship Troopers and I was struck with the idea of certain "rights" being granted to those who had done federal service. I know that a great deal of people don't agree with that philosophy, they think that it smacks of Fascism. To me, it just seems that it is a very fair trade. You put yourself on the line, you have a vested interest in the outcome of things. Believe it or not, American has had a long tradition of this very concept. It has offered accelerated access to citizenship to any who would serve in the military. I can't but help thinking that it speaks well of our country that people would be willing to risk life and limb to become Americans. I can't think of any other country that so many would make that kind of sacrifice for. Our history is full of many such cases, and I would like to share a few of these stories with you.

With the great famine of the 1840's Ireland was almost depopulated with the great Diaspora. The new world opened it's arms to countless immigrants looking for a better life and better opportunities. America was one of the countries that benefited from this, the army recruited heavily from the emigrants. So much so, that the cliche of the Irish cavalry Sgt. in the many western movies that have been made was more fact than cliche. One of these immigrants was Thomas Sweeney. He came to New York with his mother, and adapted to the new world. He joined a militia company which was transferred into federal service for the Mexican War. Sweeney was badly wounded in his right arm at the battle of Churubusco in 1847 which resulted in it's amputation. Most men would have ended their careers at that point, but Sweeney had just started. After the Mexican War, Sweeney stayed in the regular army fighting the Indians of the Plains and eventually serving as a general in the Civil War. Fighting Tom as he was now know fought in the battles of Wilson's Creek, (where he was wounded in the groin)Ft. Donelson, Shiloh (where he was wounded once more)and in the campaigns around Atlanta. Sweeney's military career came to a end when in 1864 he took on two other Federal Army General in a fistfight. According to reports, Fighting Tom gave a fine account of himself considering he only had one arm.

Another Irishman who chose a slightly different path was Patrick Ronayne Cleburne. Cleburne immigrated to Arkansas joining a local militia company also. When Arkansas seceded from the Union, Cleburne cast his lot with his adopted state. He said he would stand with his new friends and country. Cleburne was eventually made a General in the Confederate service. Like Sweeney, Cleburne was a fighting officer who was called "The Stonewall of the West" Robert E. Lee said of Cleburne he was "a meteor shining from a clouded sky". Cleburne also had a larger world view in that he recommended that slaves should be offered their freedom if they were to take up arms to defend the south. His proposal was turned down and his military career was for all intents ended after this. Cleburne was killed in action at the head of his troops at the battle of Franklin, TN. in 1864.

At this same time, another group was trying to find it's place in society. Both free and enslaved African-Americans saw military service as a path to citizenship. Frederick Douglass put into words the thoughts of these bronze warriors:

“The opportunity is given us to be men, With one courageous resolution we may blot out the hand-writing of ages against us. Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letters U. S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder, and bullets in his pocket, and there is no power on earth…which can deny that he has earned the right of citizenship in the United States.”

In the Civil War these Americans proved their valor in the various "colored" regiments and later on, in the 9th and 10th Calvary and 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments. These men, the legendary Buffalo Soldiers, served in the campaigns against the Indians of the plains and southwest and they also served in supporting the American assault on San Juan Heights in Cuba during the Spanish American War. They were on the right flank of the famous "Rough Riders" and were mentioned by it's commander Theodore Roosevelt due to their bravery in battle.

There was another group who should have been considered more "American" than most. they also strove to prove themselves a part of the nation that they lived in, even though their people had been here long before the creation of the United States. The Indian or Native Americans. Indians have always been a part of our military, particularly when the country was involved in war. From the Navajo code-talkers who developed a unbreakable code that was used in the battle against the Japanese to a Pima Indian named Ira Hayes who was one of the Marines who helped raise the American flag on a black piece of worthless volcanic sand called Iwo Jima, Native Americans have proved their dedication to our country.

The last group that we will look at are the Japanese-Americans. These men were Americans of Japanese ancestry. With the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, there was a strong backlash against anything Japanese in America. The U.S. government declared most Japanese-American as being 4C (enemy alien) and not subject to the draft. President Roosevelt also signed Executive Order 9066 which allowed the military to remove certain persons from restricted military areas on the west coast. This order did not specifically mention Japanese-Americans, it was used to place over 110,000 Japanese-Americans into concentration camps. Out of these camps came young men trying to prove themselves as patriotic Americans having to fight to join the military so they could go overseas to fight. I don't know what I would do if faced with that same situation, I would have a great deal of trouble fighting for a country that tossed my family and I, into what was a literally a prison just because of the color of my skin or certain facial characteristics. From all the volunteers for service out of these camps the Army organized the 100th Infantry battalion and later the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. This combined unit fought in Italy and France becoming the most decorated unit for it's size in the history of the U.S. Military. It's members were awarded 18,143 awards to include 21 Medals of Honor.

So it's these men who I think about when I reflect on Memorial Day. Men who had little reason to join a military of a government that did not even acknowledge their right to be American. The wonder of it all is that these men believed in the American dream and were willing to make a down payment in flesh and blood to insure that dream, if not for themselves, then for future generations. There is no other country in the world that I know of could motivate men in that way with just that idea.

I just am grateful that I live in such a country.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!

Today is the 104th anniversary of the birth of Marion Mitchell Morrison better known to the public as John Wayne. One of the better actors that Hollywood has ever produced. Mr. Wayne could out act most of the current crop of so called "actors" as well as keeping his mouth shut and not pontificate on current events.

Lord, I wish there were more like him...........

Friday, May 20, 2011


With all the talk of the possible end of time happening tomorrow, I was reminded of something that was said in a conversation with Nancy R.

"Just remember, that there is NO statute of limitations on blasphemy"

It should be interesting.............

Sybil For President..................

O.K. we had the Light Bringer strutting around like the Terminator when he was taking the credit for the mission to take out O.B.L. then he decided to show what a stud he was by trying to take out Gaddafi and speaking out to help overthrow Mubarak.

On the other hand, he doesn't do much of anything about the ongoing turmoil in Syria and does everything he can to toss one of our most faithful allies, Israel under the bus.

The only thing I can figure is that someone needs to boost their medication.

Israel bought that territory with the blood of their people. After the various Arab nations attacked in 1967, the Israeli defense forces counter attacked taking all the areas in question. If THEY choose to give it back, so be it. But if they want to keep it, it's their call. After all they gave up the Gaza Strip for peace and we see how well that's worked out.

The only equivalent would be if in 1945, Great Britain sided up to us and said "Hey you Yanks need to give back Okinawa, Iwo Jima, Guam and Guadalcanal so that the Japanese will play pretty with us in the future.

Idiocy, economy size...........

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Four British Graves.................

For those of you who have never been here, North Carolina offers some of the most beautiful scenery in America. From it's mountains to it's coast, Carolina offers almost everything that anyone could want.

Off our coast, there lies a chain of barrier islands called the Outer Banks. Looking at a map they thrust out into the Atlantic Ocean as if to catch anything sailing up and down the coastline. That is why when hurricane season starts in the Atlantic, we keep a close eye out, just to make sure that we are ready if one comes ashore. Because the gulf stream goes around this area, it is a major shipping rote and sees quite a bit of ship traffic. With it's shifting sand bars and rough currents it was with good reason that the entire area has been known as "The Graveyard of the Atlantic" since the 1700's.

With the banks being separated from the main land by fairly large sounds, the natives of the area lived in a sort of isolation. Talking to the old timers that are still around you can still hear some traces of that isolation in that their accents are more from coastal Elizabethan England rather than coastal North Carolina. Accents that are quickly disappearing because of the homogenization to our language due to the influence of television, radio, and other methods of modern communication. The names of the people of the banks hearken back to seafaring England too. Names such as Aycock Brown, Jack Willis, Arnold Tolson, Amasa Fulcher, Wahab Howard, Harvey Wahab, James Gaskill, Homer Howard and others that sound as if they had been taken from a list of crewmen serving with Drake, Forbisher, or the other ship's captains sailing against the Spanish Armada.

There was a old saying on the banks, that there was two ways of making a living "Fishin' and Coast Guarding" The Coast Guard has had a long and historic record on the Outer Banks beginning with the old Lifesaving Service and continuing with today's modern Coast Guard. Again you can't read a in-depth history of the Coast Guard without reading the name Midgett, another name common on the Outer Banks.

So you had a hard land with a hard people who were used to resting a living from the sea. They had a understanding of the sea and knew that it would kill you if you underestimated it for a second. Then to add to the difficulties of the day to day living, war eventually came to the Outer Banks. During both the First and Second World Wars, German U-Boats, "The Grey Wolves" came to hunt off the shipping lanes. Many days the signs of these great battles would be apparent, heavy oil, wreckage, trash and sometimes bodies washed ashore to mark the beaches and to be discovered by the bankers.

World War II was a particularly bad time for seafarers off the coast of North Carolina. The German Navy knew that the area off the coast of N.C. was a shipping choke point so Admiral Karl Doenitz laid out a plan for a all out assault that he called Operation Paukenschlag or Operation Drumroll or Drumbeat. It started on January 14th 1942. It led to a literal slaughter of ships crew. It was so successful that German sub crews called the first three month of 1942 "The Happy Times" and the "Great American Hunting Season"

The American Navy and it's merchant fleet were not prepared for the war and didn't have the faintest idea how to combat the U-Boats. No convoys, a lack of radio silence, things as simple as using poor quality fuel and allowing the ship's exhaust to be seen, led to ship sinkings. Even more deadly was the fact that large seacoast cities refused to "black out" their lights for fear of losing the tourist trade. This of course, allowed the U-Boat crews to be able to see the silhouettes of target ships against the glow on shore at night.

Out of this chaos the American Navy asked the British Government for assistance in dealing with the menace. The British Navy loaned the U.S. 24 armed antisubmarine trawlers with crews to patrol the coast until the Americans could get up to speed in building it's defenses. Two of these small ships, the H.M.S. St. Zeno and the H.M.S. Bedfordshire were based out of the port of Morehead City. Both these ships were fishing trawlers that had been converted to armed vessels by mounting a single antique deck gun on her forward deck, a few machine guns, depth charge racks and a A.S.D.I.C. system to detect underwater objects. The A.S.D.I.C system was state of the art for 1942 but it did have a Achilles's heel in that it could not detect things on the surface.

On the night of May 11th at around 10:00 P.M. a German U-Boat U-558 started a surface attack on a "silhouette" it's lookouts had spotted. This was the Bedfordshire At 11:40 P.M. the U-558 fired a single torpedo which struck the ship amidships on the port side. The torpedo's explosion was followed almost immediately by a secondary explosion which could have been caused by either the detonation of stored depth charges or the boilers exploding. The Bedfordshire went down almost immediately. There were no survivors.

On May 14th 1942, Coast Guardsman Arnold Tolson and a shipmate were patrolling the beach on Ocracoke Island when he spotted a body in the heavy surf. He recovered the body and headed back to his station. On the way back, he was flagged down by a island native who had spotted another body floating in the surf. Tolson and his shipmate also recovered this body and delivered them to the Ocracoke Coast Guard station. After checking the bodies for I.D. and other documents, the corpses were identified as Sub-Lieutenant Thomas Cunningham, Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve, and Ordinary Telegraphist Stanley Craig, Royal Navy. Since the tradition on the Outer Banks (where there were no undertakers) as well as with military policy was for rapid burial, the bodies were enclosed in makeshift coffins and buried in land donated by a local family.

About a week later, the same Coast Guardsman, Arnold Tolson was on sea patrol about 4 to 5 miles northeast of the Ocracoke Inlet when he found two more bodies floating in the ocean. The bodies were in such a decomposed condition that it was necessary to slip a stretcher underneath the bodies to recover them. The bodies were wearing the same types of sweaters that were worn by the Royal Navy and also by the Bedfordshire crew members Cunningham and Craig. There was no other identification found on the bodies and the state of decomposition was such that there was no other way that identification could be made. It was decided that the two unknowns were more than likely off the Bedfordshire and they should be buried with their shipmates on Ocracoke Island.

The story could have ended there, but it didn't. The people living on the Outer Banks have struggled with the sea for all their lives and have and understanding and fellowship with others who go to sea. During the war, large numbers of bankers left the islands for job opportunities and to serve in the military and it touched the locals that men had come so far to fight and die for the safety of seamen from our country. There was a hope that if the men from the Outer banks died in the same way that some kind person in a foreign land would do the same for the bankers. The people of Ocracoke took the little cemetery into their hearts and cared for it as if they were their own family members. This care was supplemented by occasional visits from Royal Navy crew members off of ships visiting the U.S. Naval base in Norfolk as well as men from the U.S. Coast Guard. In 1976 the small cemetery was deeded over to the British Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Care for the graveyard is provided by the U.S. Coast Guard and since this is sovereign British territory a British flag flies over the graves at all times.

The small graveyard is still there today, just as the remains of H.M.S. Bedfordshire still rest on the bottom of the ocean in 120 feet of water, a tomb for the majority of her crew. Every May 11th there is a memorial service with a firing party provided by the Coast Guard on the site of the graves. So these men, who are so far from home, buried in the sandy loam and shaded by the live oaks and yapon of North Carolina are still remembered.

A small brass plated attached to the fence surrounding the graves has the following engraved on it:

If I should die think only this of me
that there's some corner of a foreign
field that is forever England

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What Was Prologue, Is Now History............

As many of you know I am a history and old movie buff. I find it fascinating when the two interest meet as they did a month or so back.

So there I was, minding my own business sewing some leather wallets and about half way watching the tube. I saw that T.C.M. was going to show a movie titled "Here Comes The Navy" Filmed in 1934, it stared Pat O'Brian and James Cagney. I flipped it over and again about half way started watching it.

A short time later, my undivided attention was drawn to the T.V. when Pat O'Brian said to a woman he was on the screen with, " That's my ship, the Arizona"

One of my continuing and ongoing interest is research into the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. As most of you are aware, the U.S.S. Arizona was sunk in the attack and still sits on the bottom of the harbor, a tomb for most of her crew. So it was with a great deal of interest that I watched the movie which was filmed on the Arizona. What a beautiful ship she was.

Like most people, when someone says the name Arizona the picture that came to my mind is burnt and twisted wreckage surrounded by smoke. The number two turret protruding out of the water, the mast (for lack of a better term) leaning over and everything blackened by the fires that followed the massive explosion that sunk her. But watching this movie I was reminded that the Arizona was a living breathing thing. She was home to her crew and the ship was literally a floating city to provide the crew with everything they needed. It was interesting to watch the crew members sleeping in hammocks and having to sling them when bedding down and unslinging them when they got up for their watches. The majority of the people in the movie were real members of the Arizona crew and it showed. The various scenes of cleaning, scrubbing the decks, and other day in, day out duties as well as the battle drills has a ring of truth to them. The two seamen that Cagney and O'Brian portrayed worked in the number 2 turret serving the 14 inch guns. Again, this is the turret you see in photos that were taken after the attack. As an aside, in another twist, the sailor portrayed by Cagney transfers off the Arizona and into the "lighter than air" division and serves on board the U.S.S. Macon, one of the Navy's Aircraft carrying Dirigible. (In a strange twist of fate, the real U.S.S. Macon was lost with two of her crew members in a accident the year following the filming 1935.)

There is a pretty good chance that at least some of the crew who took part in the filming in 1934 were still on board on December 7th 1941. I wondered how many men that took part in the filming survived the attack.

So if you want to see what the U.S. Navy was like before World War II and what a fine ship the old Arizona was check out "Here Comes The Navy". It's well worth the effort.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ho Hum................

O.K. I have been slack in my posting.

My only defense is that there hasn't been much worthy of writing about. I did participate in the Military Through The Ages at Jamestowne settlement with Nancy R. a good time was had by all. I was able to sneak a few shots to include the presentation of the hunting sword I made up, to my young apprentice Brian Greeley. I think he liked it. (grin)

Here's another of the young lad

Other than that and a trip to visit Nancy R. and family it has been remarkably quiet around Casa W. I should be getting my right knee replaced fairly soon and am trying to get myself psyched up for it. I am seeing my orthopedic surgeon in a few weeks and we will schedule a surgery date at that time. Hopefully I will not run into the problems that I did the last time I went into the hospital.

Oh yeah, this post was approved by Wesley the most put upon cat in the world.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

To Work My Son...............

O.K. here is the long awaited post to explain where I have been.

As most of my friends know, one of my greatest joys is working on projects. These projects primarily consist of making or modifying items used in living history-reenactments. It all started in early December when I decided to cobble together a 17th century bandoleer of powder bottles as a Christmas gift for my best buddy, Ms. Nancy. (She has a matchlock musket that was just screaming out for it)Hers went together so well, I figured that I could make up
one for me and my doglock musket. That went together well too, so I started looking at a pile of various odds and ends that I have been gathering together when I was struck with what my dear wife calls "project fever". Bless her heart, my dear wife knows when I get into one of these "fevers" the best thing that can happen is to let it work out of my system. So for most of January and February I spent time eating, sleeping and working in my shop. I turned out a lot of stuff and got a big start on a bunch of other items.

Allow me to show off a few of the items I have done.

Hunting Sword with Shoulder Carriage

I made up this hunting sword for a young lad in my hospital unit. It's made by grinding out a flat piece of steel for the blade, a heavily modified guard, the handle is made of green dyed deer antler and has a hand poured pommel.I also did the shoulder carriage,hand sewed out of leather, the sword scabbard is wood covered with pig skin, just to aggravate any Islamic fascist that the lad might run into. (grin)

Bowie Knives

The knife on the left is similar to those that I have seen having been made in New Orleans. It has German silver guard and pins and ebony scales.

The center knife is a camp knife with brass hardware and rosewood scales. Because of it's weight and length, I think it will make a handy tool if needed for zombie defense.

The knife on the right is what I call a Texas style bowie with brass hardware and rosewood scales. It also has a "coffin" shaped handle (I like this style of bowie more than any other)

You might be able to notice that the blades are swirl damascus steel.

Plug Bayonets

The knife on the right side is a "officer's quality" with it's polished blade and brass hardware.

The knife on the left is a "munition's quality", something a common soldier would used. The blade is blued, the hardware is steel. Notice the guard also can serve as a hammer to sharpen your flint and can also be used as a screw driver.

Common seaman's knife

The scales are made of bone with a scrimshawed fouled anchor and a red painted Turk's head knot serves as a guard. The scabbard is hand sewn with waxed linen thread.

Leather covered bottle

I took two pieces of wet leather and hand stitched them over a glass bottle. This was commonly done in the colonial period so that people could use bottles as canteens.

During this time I also did several smaller leather projects, refinished three muskets, started four other knives, and either started or finished a lot of other odds and ends. So I was very happy with what I got accomplished. I still have a bit to do, such as final polishing on knives, made up some scabbards and belts, but I have a good head start on getting stuff done before I start the upcoming campaign season.

By the way, this post was approved by Rudi the wonder pup.....

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Better Than A Circus Freakshow.............

There I was, having a bite of lunch and about half watching a news conference with the Lightbringer and the President of Mexico.

A Mexican reporter ask if the Lightbringer couldn't use his power to "veto" that pesky 'ol Second Amendment.

The Lightbringer gulped a bit and told the reporter that it was a part of our constitution and he was subject to it's provisions. He also said that he BELIEVED in the Second Amendment. The amazing thing was that the Lightbringer's tongue didn't burst into flames, nor did his head explode. As I said I have seen stranger things to include a two headed calf and bearded lady but not recently.

However, in more predictable news, Felipe Calderon stated that American drug agents still could not carry weapons to protect themselves in Mexico due to Mexican law. So any gringo lawdawg south of the border might as well put a big bull's eye on his/her back.

And so it goes...........

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Various Observations...............

The Supremes (God love 'em) came back with their decision on Snyder vs. Phelps. They ruled 8-1 that Phelps and his church was acting within their rights to protest at the funerals of dead servicemen. The libertarian in me agrees, but the patriotic American disagrees.

Justice Alito was the lone dissenting opinion. In his first two paragraphs of his opinion he covers the case much better than I could.

Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case.

Petitioner Albert Snyder is not a public figure. He is simply a parent whose son, Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, was killed in Iraq. Mr. Snyder wanted what is surely the right of any parent who experiences such an incalculable loss: to bury his son in peace. But respondents, members of the Westboro Baptist Church, deprived him of that elementary right. They first issued a press release and thus turned Matthew’s funeral into a tumultuous media event. They then appeared at the church, approached as closely as they could without trespassing, and launched a malevolent verbal attack on Matthew and his family at a time of acute emotional vulnerability. As a result, Albert Snyder suffered severe and lasting emotional injury. The Court now holds that the First Amendment protected respondents’ right to brutalize Mr. Snyder. I cannot agree.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am planing on sending some cash to Mr. Snyder to help him pay his lawyer bills and fines.

There is much discussion and debate over the antics of actor Charlie Sheen. I don't understand it, nor do I have the slightest interest in it other than you see it every time you turn on the TV. It's nothing more than Bread and Circuses for the masses. I guess the fascination boils down to what a buddy told me about NASCAR racing "You know that there is a percentage of people sitting in the stands just hoping and waiting for a wreck that might just get someone killed." A person self-destructing does have a certain fascination to some people.

It seems the Somali pirates are still acting the fool. Since no one but Stingray and Labrat have taken the idea of the letter of Marque and Reprisal seriously, perhaps we should again look back in history and adopt the Q-ship idea. Q-ships were developed by the British navy in WWI to combat the U-boat menace. The British took older tramp steamers and cargo ships modified them and armed them and put them in the convoy lanes. These ship would try to lure in U-boat who wouldn't want to waste a torpedo on such a small target and would surface to sink the Q-ship with gunfire or scuttling charges. When the sub got close enough, the Q-ship would drop it's disguise and open fire on the sub. Q-ships had a bit of success, until the U-boats started sinking ships without warning. Our naval forces should adopt both the Q-ship idea as well as a German concept when confronting the Somalis. After the Somalis are confronted at sea, the after action report report should be simple and to the point.

"Gesunken ohne eine Spur!"

Today In History..............

In 1807..............

The U.S. Congress prohibited the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States from any foreign kingdom, place or country.

This is something that I bring up when I portray a federal sailor. Many people don't know that there were MAJOR efforts to end slavery as well as the slave trade YEARS before the Civil War.

As a older fellow, who wears the blue portraying a union sailor it would have been very likely that I would have served in the African Squadron to suppress the slave trade if I have served in the Navy for a long period of time before the war.

Again, the study of history with it's many diverse paths is endlessly fascinating.

Hitting The Nail Right On The Head...........

I stole this from Big Gay Al's Big Gay (Gun) Blog.

"The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president."

Hardcore, Just Plain Hardcore.............

You want to see part of what made "The greatest generation" great, check out today's blog at STORMBRINGER

Monday, February 28, 2011

Frank W. Buckles 1901-2011........

I just learned that Mr. Frank Buckles the last surviving American veteran of World War I has died. With his death, we loose the last living link to the many men that fought in what was optimistically called "The war to end all wars". World War I was the point that America took it's place on the world stage as a major power and we never looked back.

So now, Mr. Buckles has joined his long lost comrades.

May he rest in peace

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cookin' With The King..................

I have been very, very slack in my blogging, but I do have a explanation for it.

I have been in the middle of a project work frenzy. More about that in a later blog.

In the meantime, I just finished up a reenactment at Moore's Creek Bridge National Battlefield where as a member of the re-created Craven County Militia I served as the camp cook. This requires that I cook period food with period correct tools and techniques to both educate the public and to feed the troops.

In the picture below, I am cooking jowl bacon on a reproduction 18th century shovel.

You may be asking yourself the question, Why a shovel?

It's quite simple,

1. In archaeological excavations of camp sites from the Revolution, they have found several shovels that were modified and used as frying pans.

2. Armies preferred that the men boiled their rations, so there were no frying pans issued to the troops.

3. I portray a sailor, and since they wouldn't normally know what the hell to do with a shovel, they would just do what ever came to mind with it.

4. It worked and was mighty tasty...............

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

If Anyone Is Interested.................

The Ovation channel is showing episodes of Firefly all this week starting at 8:00 PM EST.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Well, The Holiday's Over............

This past weekend closed out the holiday season for me. Casa W. had visitors over the New Year, Nancy R. (of Excels At Nothing blog), Shorter Half and Sweet Daughter as well as Johnny Mo (of Out Of Left Field blog) and his daughter Sunshine.

Christmas gifts were exchanged, much good food and strong drink were consumed, there was even some time for shooty goodness with air rifles for the young 'uns and bigger things for the adults.

Miz Nancy gifted me with a book on the history of Punch, which was a highly popular drink from the late 1600's until the 1830's when cocktails became more popular. It has several recipes that I am going to inflict on the members of the hospital in the coming year. It should be interesting. (grin)

The best part of the weekend was the visiting and just relaxing. We see each other quite a few times during the year but that is normally at events when we are so busy that we don't have a chance to just kick back and take it easy. This past weekend we made up for lost time and had a ball.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Irony Llama Just Spit On Me..........

I still can't get over the fact that Janet Napolitano (The fuhrer of Homeland Security) went to Afghanistan to give the locals pointers on how to secure the border with Pakistan.

I couldn't make this stuff up if I was under the influence of narcotics..........