Friday, December 24, 2010
A special night for mankind, the most important night, took place in the lowest of places. Who would have thought that the One who would rescue mankind would be placed in a bed of straw? Who would have thought that the Shepherds, who next to the leper, was the lowest on the human scale of class and dignity, would be the first ones the Angels would announce the birth of the King to? Who would have thought that a virgin would give birth to the Savior? Who would have thought?
An uncommon place for an uncommon birth for an uncommon Baby. The Christ Child. The Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. The Bright and Morning Star. Immanuel, Prince of Peace. Friend. Brother. Savior. God's free gift to mankind.
Enjoy this holiday, but embrace the reason for it. It isn't gifts, Santa, or even being with family. Those are the side benefits. The true reason is to celebrate the One who left Paradise to live among us, show us how to live, and then pay the price we could never pay. The birth of my Friend. The birth of My Savior.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
A Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night." "It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S.service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.
LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
Saturday, December 4, 2010
My neck is getting tired.
My eyes are bouncing up and down.
Tightness all around.
My mind is all confused,
Can't focus on a single part.
The heart is racing,
Feet start pacing.
I must tell her,
To wear a bra,
Or I'll have a heart attack,
When she does jumping jacks.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
The pillow was still warm and smelled of her scent, “Chanel No. 5″ I believe. Once again she leaves me lying here alone, wishing she would stay. I pull on my pajamas and walk to the window. I look at the rain bouncing off the window pane, the street light giving off a golden glow, and her, I watch her walking to her car, a light yellow 1950 Dodge Wayfarer convertible. She pauses at the door and glances up at my window, a faint smile on her lips. The car starts and I can hear the radio playing Doris Day singing “Que Sera, Sera.” How appropriate, “Whatever will be will be.” I stand at that window until her tail lights disappear over the next San Fransisco hill.
I walk into the kitchen and notice she left her alligator overnight bag here. That’s a start, I thought, maybe next time she, and not just her bag, will stay overnight. I place the bag on the blue and yellow Mexican tile, and open the bag. I touch the soft silk I find in there, it feels so much like her. I notice a brown paper bag, I smiled thinking of her drinking her Irish Whiskey out of a paper bag. Inside I find nothing but a bag of pinto beans. That was funny because she couldn’t cook, nor could she boil water, how would she cook this beans. Besides, with what beans does to her, I’d rather she’d leave them on the shelf. I put the sack back into the bag just as I found it and placed the bag back where she left it.
The phone rings, I know it is her at the pay phone three blocks away. “I’m tired of this “Pajama Game” and “Pillow Talk”, we may have to issue a “Storm Warning” but when it’s “April in Paris”, I want to have “Tea for Two” “By The Light Of The Silvery Moon,” because “It’s a Great Feeling” when I’m with you.”
I hang up the phone and unlock the door for her, I guess there will be a light yellow 1950 Dodge Wayfarer convertible sitting outside my flat from now on. Maybe one day we’ll have to trade it for a station wagon. But for now I have to go warm up her pillow.
(I have a 50 Dodge Wayfarer convertible and while looking on-line for parts, I came across a story about a light yellow Wayfarer convertible that Doris Day owned, thus the use of that car and the titles of some of her movies.)
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
The 545 People Responsible For All Of U.S. Woes
BY Charley Reese(Date of publication unknown)-- -- -
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them. Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits? Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?
You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don't write the tax code. Congress does. You and I don't set fiscal policy. Congress does. You and I don't control monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank does.
One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices - 545 human beings out of the 235 million - are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.
I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered but private central bank. I excluded all but the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislation's responsibility to determine how he votes.
A CONFIDENCE CONSPIRACY
Don't you see how the con game that is played on the people by the politicians? Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party. What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of Tip O'Neill, who stood up and criticized Ronald Reagan for creating deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it. The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating appropriations and taxes. O'neill is the speaker of the House. He is the leader of the majority party. He and his fellow Democrats, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetos it, they can pass it over his veto.
It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 235 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts - of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem, from an unfair tax code to defense overruns, that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist. If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair. If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red. If the Marines are in Lebanon, it's because they want them in Lebanon. There are no insoluble government problems. Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take it.
Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exist disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation" or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do. Those 545 people and they alone are responsible. They and they alone have the power. They and they alone should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses - provided they have the gumption to manage their own employees.
This article was first published by the Orlando Sentinel Star newspaper
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Standing in the kitchen, late at night, the breeze from the open window above the sink fluttered the white linen curtains as she stared out into the darkness. She rubbed the chill bumps on her arms as her mind was a million miles away. Her hand reached to where her long dark hair tickled her barely covered breast as the breeze blew past her.
Sleep eluded her. Her eyes were tired but her mind was awake with thoughts she shouldn’t have. She returned to the bedroom where he was still sleeping that sound sleep that a man recently satisfied sleeps. She kneels beside the bed and watches him, her love since junior high and her love for life. She gently runs her fingers through his hair and breaths in his scent, she never wanted to forget his scent. A tear ran down her cheek and joined the others as they dampened the bed sheet.
She had been through this before, she can get through it again. She was ashamed of herself for having the doubts and wondering what if it all turned out different this time. She rubbed the chilled bumps as she climbed back into bed. Sleep finally came, and came hard.
She awoke to a room full of sunshine, and the smell of frying bacon. She jumped up, and ran to the kitchen where he stood at the stove. He looked at her and smiled, “Now that’s a vision I will never forget.” She looks down to see that her thin nightgown had fallen off her right breast. She couldn’t believe that she felt the warmth of embarrassment rise in her ears. He took the bacon off the fire and walked over to her, cupping her bare breast in his hand. She wrapped her arms around his neck and held him tight, so tight that maybe, just maybe, it would be tight enough to fuse them together.
Their embrace was interrupted by a honking horn in their driveway, “My rides here, I love you with all my heart, and I will come home as soon as I can.” With that he embraced her once again and turned to leave. He picked up his duffle bag, and walked though the door to join the rest of his platoon as they headed to war.
He turned and looked back at his house, the last image that he carried with him was her standing at the kitchen window, the morning breeze warmed by the morning sun fluttering the white linen curtains. She was standing there holding her long dark hair as it tickled her exposed breast. With that image in his mind, he knew he could make it through hell and high water in order to get back to her.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I also have just purchased a Total Gym, so this time next year, I may be back to my fighting weight and strength. I'm hoping to go from a keg to a 12 pack. Maybe if I really work at it I make it to a six pack.
So far today, one muffin. I imagine that lunch will come early today.
Goal: 2 lbs a week, that would be that would be 34 lbs over the 17 week period. I'd be happy with 20 lbs. Total goal, to get back to my high school weight of 180 lbs and size 34 pants. That may never happen, but this I know, I will be in better shape than I have been since my mid 20's, and that's what this journey is all about.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
The smell of fresh brewed coffee awakened him out of a dream. He arose and let the hot water shower over his hair as the Herbal Essence suds flow down his back. His towel smells as fresh as when Snuggles first dried it.
He pours his first cup, holds it to his nose and let the steam penetrate his senses. The smell of the salty ocean breeze flows through the open french doors. A slight whiff of a passing skunk interrupts his thoughts.
The exhaust of rush hour was especially strong this day. For once he was glad to pass the Chinese buffet as it masked the commuters. In the office, once again the smell of coffee filled the air. His day was good until he spilled his Old Spice on his new suit.
That night he dined in the new “In” place with it’s special waffles sweetening the air. At the table next to him sat four young ladies, causing him to smile as he inhaled the scent of a woman.
He slid into his bed and pulled the sheet up to his nose, Snuggles tucking him in. As he drifts off the ocean breeze pulls his dreams into the deep.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Telling me just what a fool I've been....."
The Cascades knew me well when they recorded that song so many years ago. You say, "Oh no, what have you went and done now?", all that I can say is something real stupid.
I fertilized the yard today and it's raining tonight. "That's good" you say. Yip, good timing. Stupid move. Now the grass will grow and I'll have to mow more and waste all that good time that I could be reclining in front of the TV with a sodie pop in my hand.
What a fool I've been.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
She rises from her chair and unbuttons the back of her skirt. She lets it fall to the floor revealing her nakedness that was once hidden underneath. Much better, a little cooler, she thought. She turns the back of the chair to the door and straddles it. This should distract them, she thought, for a minute or two. She runs her hand up her thigh and sighs to herself. She misses him, if he was here, she wouldn’t be in this position. Then maybe, if she’d sit like that more often, he might not leave home for so long.
Footsteps on the porch brings her back to reality. She reaches and picks up her colt six-shooter pistol and aimed at the door. The last thing he had done before leaving was teach her how to shoot. Now she has her target in her sights, she slowly squeezed the trigger as the door slowly opened. She dropped her gun as she recognized the figure back lit by the setting sun.
“Amanda?” he said, his eyes trying to adjust to the darkness of the cabin.
“Hank.” she yelled as she jumped into his arms, the smell of the trail exciting her more as he held her.
His hands moved down to her bare assets, “I didn’t know you were expecting me.” he whispered as he move his hand around between them. He unbuckled his gun, his pants belt and finally his pants and let them fall to the floor. His hand then started to make her moan. He laid her on the table and remembered why he hurried back. Their rhythm began to move the table across the dirt floor where they fell into a sweaty heap as they exploded in utter excitement.
“Oh, by the way,” she said, “Mom has come to visit.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
What's the meaning of this weird beast?
Who can respond to such a quest?
I have no answer, not a guess.
I look up and only see down.
There lies that lazy ole hound.
I wandered to the kitchen for a snack
Not walking forward, but walking back.
My world is in a tizzy
My head spins all dizzy.
Oh look, the answer I found
My bifocals are turned upside down.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Or maybe the early morn.
Twilight's beams prevail.
The earth slumbers
In an drowsy trance
Sleeping beneath the veil.
Will the morning come
With sunlight filling the sky
The breeze waves the wheat.
Day conquers the dark
Blood coursing through my veins.
Revives the senses
Strengthens the will
In the light I wander
Looking for what
I may never know.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
He sits hunkered down in a fox hole, enemy shells bursting in the tree tops all around him. He pulls her picture out of his helmet and gazes upon it. He smiles at the memory of that day at the beach, she looked so young and beautiful in her new swimsuit. Now instead of sand beneath his feet, it was mud and blood. He looks at her smiling at him, her eyes filled with mischief, her hands on her hips, in her best Betty Grable pose. He reaches out and runs his finger over her cheek, just like he had done a thousand times during this war. He continues down with his fingers encircling each breast, his mind thousands of miles away, back in his bed, back besides her. His heart felt as if it would burst, it was so filled with loneliness, so filled with desire for her. Thoughts he had thought a thousand times run through his mind, but tonight something was different.
She tries, but sleep never returns. Her soul was in turmoil. Her body rebelling against all common sense. The hairs on her arms were standing on end. Yes, she thought, there is something different about this night.
The medic pulled her picture from his hand, his eyes still open, still staring at her beauty. The medic looks at it and then puts it in his pocket, he'd see that she would get it back. The medic looked at him lying there in the foxhole. One small wound right over the heart. One small piece of shrapnel was all it took it seemed to burst his heart. Another set of dog tags, another family to notify. Yes, there is nothing different about this night.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
He was always surrounded by laughter.
He was the cause of laughter.
Not at him
Because of him.
Close as a brother.
Even during the negative.
Because of him.
Now he died alone
In a cold dark empty house
No one to check on him
No one bothered to care
Because of him.
Don't know the changes
That he must have gone through
Don't know the reasons
No one cared. Could it have been
Because of him.
The end wasn't fair
The end was way too soon.
My friend, my mentor, my class clown.
You've taken a big part of my heart
Because you were you.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
A successful rancher died and left everything to his devoted wife. She was a very good-looking woman and determined to keep the ranch, but knew very little about ranching, so she decided to place an ad in the newspaper for a ranch hand.
Two cowboys applied for the job. One was gay and the other a drunk.
She thought long and hard about it, and when no one else applied she decided to hire the gay guy, figuring it would be safer to have him around the house than the drunk.
He proved to be a hard worker who put in long hours every day and knew a lot about ranching.
For weeks, the two of them worked, and the ranch was doing very well.
Then one day, the rancher's widow said to the hired hand, "You have done a really good job, and the ranch looks great. You should go into town and kick up your heels." The hired hand readily agreed and went into town one Saturday night.
One o'clock came, however, and he didn't return.
Two o'clock and no hired hand.
Finally he returned a round two-thirty, and upon entering the room, he found the rancher's widow sitting by the fireplace with a glass of wine, waiting for him.
She quietly called him over to her.
"Unbutton my blouse and take it off," she said.
Trembling, he did as she directed. "Now take off my boots."
He did as she asked, ever so slowly.. "Now take off my socks." He removed each gently and placed them neatly by her boots.
"Now take off my skirt."
He slowly unbuttoned it, constantly watching her eyes in the fire light.
"Now take off my bra." Again, with trembling hands, he did as he was told and dropped it to the floor.
Then she looked at him and said, "If you ever wear my clothes into town again, you're fired."
Sunday, April 4, 2010
It belonged to my favorite squid.
It would blink at the dawn
An shut tight during a yawn.
It's lashes were long
Blinking to life's song.
I lost an eye, I did
Along with my favorite squid.
I've looked in all it's favorite spots
Now I'm seeing dots.
The eye, the all knowing eye
Must've sprouted wings to fly.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they didn't pay into Social Security, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform that is being considered...in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn't seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don't care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop. This is a goodway to do that. It is an idea whose time has come.
Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution:
"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States ".I do believe they are suppose to serve us, not enslave us. All these recent earthquakes are the Founding Fathers turning over in their graves.
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, “Peace! Peace!” — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"
From Paul Johnson’s A History of the American People:
Then Henry got to his knees, in the posture of a manacled slave, intoning in a low but rising voice: ‘Is life so dear, our peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!’ He then bent to the earth with his hands still crossed, for a few seconds, and suddenly sprang to his feet, shouting, ‘Give me liberty!’ and flung wide his arms, paused, lowered his arms, clenched his right hand as if holding a dagger at his breast, and said in sepulchral tones: ‘Or give me death!’ He then beat his breast, with his hand holding the imaginary dagger.
There was silence, broken by a man listening at the open window, who shouted: “Let me be buried on this spot!‘
May we find someone whom will be so impassioned as to put love of country above love of political party. The majority of the signers of the Declaration Of Independence died broke of money, but rich in accomplishment. Seems today it's love of money, not "what you can do for this country."
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Dust to the left of me.
Dust to the right.
Dust upon my pad and pen.
Dust upon my writing might.
Dust in the air.
Dust begatting dust.
Dust filling the wrinkled creases
Dust covering the minds rust.
Dust on a unused Muse
Dust on a unsaid word
Dust on a idea sought.
Dust on a story unheard.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I was in Starbucks yesterday when I suddenly realized I desperately needed
to pass gas. The music was really, really loud, so I timed my gas with the
beat of the music.
After a couple of songs, I started to feel better. I finished my coffee, and
noticed that everybody was staring at me....
Then I suddenly remembered that I was listening to my iPod
Monday, January 25, 2010
She was the cousin of a friend, who was sitting across the table with her latest lover, who happened to be my best friend. At least I think they were sitting there, we didn’t pay much attention to them.
We were talking dreams, ambitions, how her nose crinkled up when she smiled. She pulled close to me and whispered in my ear, and my nose crinkled as I smiled. We were laughing, I proposed marriage, we laughed some more, and then she accepted on one condition. The next song that played on the jukebox had to be “our song”. She went on to say that depending on the song’s lyrics whether or not she’d accept.
“Colour My World” by Chicago was playing, verses were over and just the long musical ending played on and on. She looked at me and said “Too bad we weren’t a song sooner, I’d have to change my last name.” Her eyes were dancing and I knew that if we were serious, if we really did get married, there would be no regrets.
The jukebox went silent, and it seemed time slowed down to super slow motion. Even our double date buddies seemed anxious to hear what would blare over the speakers. You could hear the inner workings of the jukebox, and could envision what was happening, the arm came over and plucked up “Colour My World” and replaced it in B14. It hummed again as the arm grabbed the next record and sat it on the turntable. Then came the initial hiss of needle against wax. Within the first few notes we started laughing as we recognized “Crocodile Rock” by Elton John.
At first it didn’t sound too bad especially since my dates name was Suzie. I really liked the part when the chorus talked about Suzie wearing her dresses tight. Then came the bummer in the second verse, Suzie went and left with some foreign guy.
She looked at me with unbelievable sadness in her eyes, the total opposite of how they looked just moments before. For a minute I thought she was going to cry until I said, “Those damn French guys with their fancy talk, an Okie don’t stand a chance.” The dance came back into her eyes and her nose crinkled up as she laughed once more.
Several letters past between us until they dried up from one point or the other. I haven't a clue whatever happened to Suzie but I imagine she had a good time getting there. I just wonder how many songs played on the jukebox before she finally found Mr. Right.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
I ordered her first book about a year ago and was drawn into it. I thought to myself, "Self, pretty good first book" but felt the flow or something about it wasn't just right. Nothing particular that I could point to and say "I'd fix that" but nevertheless, I enjoyed it put it on my favorites list, which is a stack of books that I won't part with. Of all the books I have read, only five books have made that list before Outlaw. So when I heard her next book was coming out, I preordered it and waited patiently. "Behold The Dawn" rocks. I've always liked the knights in shining armor stories, and while the hero isn't in shining armor, he is a knight. Excellent book, order it today as Katie needs to pay her heating bill. In fact, order both books, you won't be disappointed by either of them. Now my favorites list is up to seven.
Katie also writes at least two blogs, her personal one, "Wordplay", is full of great advice for writers. I signed up on iTunes for her podcast of this great advice she has. I enjoy them as I sit at work (Yes, I don't have to think much at work, I'm that good!). She also co-authors another blog "Author Culture" with a couple or other good ole gals whom have this writing obsession figured out. Both blogs are in my blog list, go check them out.
So Katie, thanks for all the advice you've given, both to me personally through CW and through your blogs. Also thanks for taking me off to another place at another time through your books. I'm looking forward to your next project.