Heros On 9/11 3

I have tried to not write of my experiences on the subject of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US. Instead, I have read other peoples’ stories, trying to understand the effect 9/11 had on them.

Oh the blog, Geeez! the proprietor, a lady called, “Z”, tells us that she and her husband were living in Paris, France when the event took place. She relates how she and her husband felt in a foreign land, having no idea of how the French would react. She tells of the Sunday at church when she was in such fear of a terrorist bomber that she left a church service because a middle eastern man entered with something under his overcoat. These were real feelings, and she tells the story well.

Then there’s the story that Angel has to tell. She runs a blog called, Woman Honor Thyself. Angel tells us her story about how she had her husband drive her to ground zero, and how she worked to bring comfort to the Firefighters and others who were struggling to find their comrades, or family in the rubble.

William M Briggs, who lives in Manhattan, tells us how his son was in a high school almost next to the World Trade Center. He lets the reader know how he felt when he realized his son was in danger, and tells about his frantic search that led him into the dust cloud caused by the first building’s collapse. His relief and anger are yours, too, as he closes out his story.

A friend of mine sent an email out to friends telling about his experience, and the things his company did during the disaster. His name is Cliff, and he is a ham radio operator friend, and also a former employee of the company that ran the Blackberry two-way paging network. At that time, I believe they were owned by BellSouth

The BellSouth Network Operations Center at Woodbridge, N.J. was the center of their universe, and I have seen the WTC from BellSouth’s office windows. To play it safe, they transferred their operations to their backup facility in Dallas, Texas. Additionally, the network engineers tracked as many Blackberry pagers in the WTC area as they could, and sent text messages asking if the bearers needed any help. The network techs also calculated the locations of any Blackberrys where the user did not respond, turning the list over to rescuers. The local cell phone companies did the same thing.

The only thing I did on 9/11 was to calm my family, and fume at the Islamic terrorists who perpetrated the attacks, wondering if they had any blows left. It turns out they didn’t, because the last intended blow was thwarted by a bunch of guys like me, traveling business men.

The brave souls who died at Shanksville are mocked by a memorial that incorporates the crescent of Islam as some sort of mollifying statement to the terrorists. How vacuous can these politically correct people be?

We are all insulted by those who blame America for 9/11. The greater sadness is that these politically correct people don’t understand, nor do they want to understand. Ignorance can be corrected, but ignoring the truth is unforgivable.

Baseball Games And Grandsons 6

When you have a grandson delivered into your family, it is an unbelievable blessing. You become a playmate to him, and not a disciplinarian father. The little boy always loves his Grandpa, and this is one of God’s rewards. You can love them when they are good, and leave them to their parents when they are bad.

It was a super pleasure this past weekend to take my grandson, along with his mother and father, to an Atlanta Braves game at Turner Field, affectionately known to locals as, “The Ted”. The Braves were playing the Dodgers. There was not a lot of interest in the game because the end of the season is approaching, and this game would have little to do in deciding playoff slots.  My tickets were free because a friend’s law firm was giving them away. Good times!

Miles, my grandson, was so excited about going to see Chipper Jones, Braves star hitter. that he could not contain himself. Upon arrival, it was all his father could do to keep the three year old tyke from charging down to see the players from our field level seats. He just couldn’t understand.

As the game went into the third inning, there was no score, and the Moose (Miles) was getting really wiggly. So, Bob-Bob (that’s me) took him for a walk inside the stadium, looking at attractions, one of which was a life size figure of Mickey Mouse in a Braves uniform. We had a good time just walking around, and we were out of the rain.

I took the Moose to the stadium store, intending to get him a real Braves baseball hat. The darned things were $38, and the one-size-fits-all cheapies were $28. I was lucky that Miles’s attention was drawn to a $13 toy. I got off cheap.

That’s when we heard the crowd’s roar. Dang, I missed the three run homer that put the Dodgers in the lead for most of the game. How about that for luck.

As the seventh inning came around, the game had been in stasis since the Dodgers score. It was also snack time, and we retired to the 755 Club which commemorates Hank Aaron’s lifetime record of 755 home runs.

Fried green tomatoes and chicken fingers were our choices. Cokes were expensive, and beers were $7.25 each. Run of the mill food at spectacular prices. What do you expect in a ballpark? The whole apparatus is geared to make money.

After his snack, Miles went to sleep, first in his chair, and then in my lap. We decided that our game was over, and we packed our stuff to leave. As we were about to get on the elevator, a tremendous roar came up from the crowd. Double damn! I was missing the action, again.

I rushed to the big windows in time to see the last run of a three run homer cross home plate. We watched the replay on the TV in the elevator. We left with the ball game tied, and the rain increasing.

Leaving a baseball game early has its benefits. You miss the traffic jam that comes after every game, and you are out of the rain. Of course, our three year old tour guide was wide awake and chattering about the cars he could see from his baby’s seat.

After we got home, the game was on TV, and my wife, who had kept our grand daughter, GG, urgently told us to hurry to the TV to watch Chipper Jones at bat for the winning run. Two men were on base, and a RBI would win the game for the Bravos.Triple damn! I am still missing the live action.

The Dodgers put Chipper on base by intentionally walking him. The next guy up to the plate drove in the winning run for the Braves.

I managed to miss all the live action in the game, but did get to spend a wonderful day with a little guy who will never forget his first baseball game.

Today Is Special 5

Today’s gonna be a special day. The sun is shinning, the birds are singing, and the dog is doing his part by barking at, well, nothing.  He’s just a dog.

As I stand in front of my humble abode with the weeds up to my knees, and thorny vines taking over the chimney, I have renewed, once again, my vow to do something about my slovenly existence.

Today, friends and neighbors, I will work up a sweat.

Don’t panic! Please! There is a method to my madness.

You see, there is an advantage to being one of the only senior citizens on the block. Our thirty-something neighbors think we are positively old. I just may represent their best chance to do a neighbor a good turn. For example, three years ago we had a small tornado rip some pine trees up in our neighborhood. Before I could get outside to work on the mess, my younger neighbors has wielded their chainsaws like modern day Wyatt Earps with a six-gun. The wood chips and saw dust were flying around like bullets at the O.K. Corral.  They had my property cleared of debris in no time.

So, I will get out of my shorts and sandals, don some work jeans and boots, and get to work. I figure I am good for about thirty minutes before the sweat builds to the point that you can see my fat belly through my tee-shirt, and my jeans will have slipped to the point of showing fashionable crack. That’s when they will show up and take care of that stuff for me.

9/11 Thoughts 3

As we approach the tenth year anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Towers, it is a time to think about what happened, who did it, who excuses it, and who would do it all over again. Credit goes to George W Bush who implemented the laws and missions of federal security agencies to stop any possible terrorist attacks on the mainland US.

One of the really big reasons this didn’t happen is that the US has been putting enormous pressure on Al Queda and associated terrorist organizations through offensive actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bush was right. By taking the fight to the terrorists, you keep them on the defensive. It has worked to a large degree, with the only attacks done by home grown terrorists in the US.

Obama can take credit for pursuing Osama Bin Laden, and having the SEALS kill him.

We are faced with other problems, not the least of which is an attitude that somehow those who want to kill us can be reasonable people. Just this thought is preposterous. We know from reading the Koran that Islam thinks it is just fine to lie, torture, and kill non-believers. You cannot reason with these people.

Strangely enough, I like the Muslim people I know. Maybe they are different, or not confrontational. I don’t feel like challenging them, and they are probably hesitant about telling a 6′ 2″, 250 pound guy that they don’t like him or his religion.

Now that Bin Laden is dead, and Al Queda is marginalized in part, what should we be doing?

We are in danger of losing Iraq, and Afghanistan. The current Administration does not want to be there, and doesn’t seem to understand why we are there in the first place, It is a problem that, hopefully, the 2012 elections will settle.

Life is tough. Those who want to kill you make it tougher.

Vote Somebody Off The Island? 3

I have always been curious why reality show writers and producers stage the action around voting somebody off the island. I think it gives the show a negative flavor, and the writers and producers seem to delight in all the negative ebb and flow generated.

It makes so much more sense to vote for those whom YOU WANT TO STAY ON THE ISLAND TO HELP YOU SURVIVE! It is more realistic, and you would still get people voting AGAINST other people, but I think this method would give these shows a positive flavor, and would make them more realistic.

But then, I am a positive person.

If I were in a do or die situation where others can help me survive, I will be looking for the people who can help me do just that. I would be willing to pay less attention to my dislike of a person who is skilled at, say, hunting or nursing than I would their sour personalities. You can always murder them, later.

So, how do you feel about it? Live or die, how would you approach keeping good folks, or just throwing out those you don’t like? How would it work?

Capitalism Is A Moral System Reply

I have always been fascinated by the subject of economics. Some of my most enjoyable graduate school classes were in economics, and I pay rapt attention to economic news and Federal economic policy. The interview linked below is with John Allison, former CEO of BB&T, who articulates what has gone wrong with the US financial system, and why we are not in free market. His conclusions are compelling.

Mr Allison is now on the faculty at Wake Forest University. The interview is by Glenn Reynolds, Law Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Allison Video Link

H/T to Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds blog.

Coupon-osis Strikes The Nation! 1

It had to happen. As soon as I get interested in something, somebody has to ruin it for everyone else.

Fox News in Atlanta reports that an area Kroger store manager refused to accept coupons from Khadijah Herring, a woman known as a devoted, frequent couponer. When Herring asked about his decision,  the manager said, “…because you are a habitual coupon user”.

Wow! A new disease is threatening society, extreme couponing!  You just think you have had heard of everything. Just wait until our government hears about this new threat.

There will be Congressional action to stop this horrible trend. They will establish couponing as a hate crime, and impose extraordinary punishments for these egregious infractions against our fellow man.

Out of work scientists will make studies of couponing habits, and will establish a pathology and a name for the disease, couponosis. The studies will not contain actual mathematics or data. Like many government funded scientists they will make it up as they go.

Now that we have a crime and a disease, we have to have a cure. That, boys and girls, will be a new, gound breaking, bank disolving procedure, the couponoplasty. It will consist of inserting large objects into the nether orifices of taxpayers.

But, wait! They are not through. Those bogus studies will be siezed upon by the National Science Foundation as an indictment of the American health care system. The Federal Government will be impelled to act quickly because things will be worse than they thought.

Look for a new entitlement system for those habitual couponers. A special issue of food stamps will be legislated. There will be big, perforated sheets of coupons called buckoffs. These will be clippable, crisp, one dollar coupons redeemable for food, rent, fuel, booze, and breath mints.

Problem solved.

My New World 4

One of my duties as the man of the house is to do the grocery shopping. Yes, I know. That is a role normally reserved for the little woman. About the time that the last kid left home, my wifey-mate decided that she was retiring from the shopping and cooking thing.

Don’t worry. It’s OK. I have discovered a new world in grocery stores. Wednesday mornings are particularly good for shopping because several stores give a 5% senior citizen discount on that day. On Wednesdays, I believe the shelves are loaded with merchandise that is old enough to be pulled from the shelves. That is why there is a discount, and old folks are less likely to complain to management about green meat and purple tomatoes, especially those like me that are color blind.
All of which makes Thursdays a wonderful day for shopper watching. You see, housewives have broken the code that the good stuff goes on the shelves Wednesday nights, and are likely to do their weekly shopping on Thursday mornings, right after their tennis lessons or gym workouts. Those tennis skirts and spandex tights vouch for their devotion to athletics and strenuous shopping.
Coupons are getting my interest, too. When I was young, rich, and working I pretty well ignored coupons because they rarely applied to stuff I liked. Plus, my wife does not use Tide detergent or other popular, coupon generating products. I have been stuck on Campbell’s soup all my life, along with Peter Pan peanut butter, Keebler saltines… Well, you get the message.
There is a program on one of the cable channels called, “Extreme Couponing“. The program features different fanatical coupon clippers who sit around all day, every week going through newspapers for their gold. They will find coupons for, say, 50 cents off on a bottle of aspirin, or $1.00 off on a bottle of detergent. They will get as many newspapers as they can from neighbors, friends, and recycling companies. It can take a ton of papers to get a good coupon harvest.
On double coupon days at their local grocer, they will combine the local store sale price, online coupons, and newspaper coupons to convert some items into cash positive transactions. They will clean the store out of that item as in one episode where a woman bought over 100 bottles of pain reliever, which gave her over $50 cash credit to cover the grocery items for her family’s consumption. 
The problem is that you have to have the 100 coupons to do this, and they cannot be expired. Coupon organization and management is a big thing with these thrifty souls.
It was not unusual for some people to ring up almost $2,000 in grocery items, and pay less than $10 cash for the whole kit and kaboodle. For example, they would use their Kroger card to get the store sale price, and various coupons for others. Occasionally, somebody would wind up with a week’s groceries and not pay at all, even receiving some cash in return.
My question is, where do they find all those coupons? I looked in the Sunday paper, and didn’t find squat. Maybe I am not looking in the right places. When the paper advertises that it has $200 in coupons that day, a lot of them seem to be for stuff you don’t always want to buy, like garage doors, carpet, or other major household items. There are no double coupon days for those things.
I guess there is a lot to learn from my fellow shoppers. Maybe I should spend more time talking with the ladies than gawking at them.