Thursday, November 30, 2006

Christmas Decoration

Yep, CHRISTMAS decorations, not holiday decorations, not Xmas (I hate that word!), but Christmas. We put them up this week and today we finished a tree outside in rememberance of Vicki's brother Dave, our sweet Miss Lady & sweet Little Bit the kitty.
Need to add some lights on the right side of the porch and might add another yard decoration if we can find something inexpensive. Also need to put a small spiral tree out but w/ the winds forcast tommorrow that will wait so it doesn't end up a couple towns away!
So what do you put out for Christmas?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sick & Tired!

I am sick and tired of these idiots who think our men and women in uniform are stupid uneducated morons w/ no options in life who join the military for a way out.

I saw a story on my local news that a church was collecting "Silly String" for marines in Iraq. No they weren't planning a big blow out party, they spray silly string into doorways and into rooms to check for trip wires. Pretty amazing that uneducated morons thought that up huh.

Check out Sgt Hook's post about the people he bets his life on.

Let me tell you from experience there are some damn fine young men and women in the military today who could triple their salary if they got out. However, they do it for the honor that comes with serving this great nation. A very close friend of mine's son is in the Navy, he could be working in a swanky hotel right now as a manager or assistant manager on his way to the top but instead he is protecting our great country and the way of life we all enjoy.

So John Kerry & Charles Rangel and anyone else who would like to make comments like that, how bout you have a big helping of Shut the F$*# Up!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Bus Fire!

Well once in a while I still run calls, when the stars line up with the planets and the moon and magically I am actually available when a call comes in.

Well, here's a photo and the article I wrote up for it. More Photos will be available at in the near future.

Bus Fire 11/28/06 London Grove Twp PA

At 1753 hours on Tues Nov 28th the Avondale Fire Company was dispatched to a reported bus fire @ Rt 41 & Baltimore Pike in London Grove Twp PA. 1st arriving deputy 23 reported a bus well involved and instructed Engine 23-2 to use caution due to high tension lines above the bus. The crew from Engine 23-2 under the command of Lt Decker pulled a 1 ¾” hoseline and attacked the fire in the bus. Tanker 23-2 under the command of past chief Decker arrived immediately behind Engine 2 and established a water supply. Engine 23-1 under the command of Firefighter Mankin arrived and assisted the crew from Engine 23-2 with fire suppression efforts. The fire was placed under control within 15 minutes and units cleared with in an hour after the bus was removed from the scene. There were no injuries to anyone on the bus or any responding members.

Responding Units:
Eng 23-2
Tanker 23
Eng 23-2
Amb 23
Squad 23

Monday, November 27, 2006

Rep Charles Rangel is also an A$$!

Here is my letter I am sending to Rep Charles Rangel from NY. It seems he has upset a lot of military people with his idiotic comment. Check out this from Matt @ Blackfive, this from Froggy @ Blackfive, and lastly this from Uncle Jimbo also at Blackfive

Here's my letter;

Hon Charles Rangel
163 West 125th Street, Suite #737
New York, NY 10027

Dear Sir,
While I am not one of your constituents I am a citizen of this great country and feel it is only right that I contact you about your recent statement concerning my brothers and sisters in the U.S Military. It appears that your opinion is a bit flawed and your statement is very disheartening to me and to many others in today’s military. Sir, to refresh your memory I will quote part of your statement, you said;

“ No young, bright individual wants to fight just because of a bonus and just because of educational benefits. And most all of them come from communities of very, very high unemployment. If a young fella has the option of having a decent career or joining the army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq”.

How can you be so sure of this? Have you spoken to many of today’s soldiers? Have you checked the internet and read some of the blogs that these brave and talented men and women have created? Have you even taken the time to learn the names of those in your district who are serving and asked their families about them, not about what they are doing in Iraq, but about who they are and what their motivation was for joining the military. Today’s military is an all volunteer force of talented, motivated and intelligent individuals who serve in dangerous times despite being well educated on the dangers. In past war’s those who volunteered or were drafted only had the bits and pieces of information from the newspaper or the TV or Radio news, their only first hand knowledge may have come from an uncle or cousin who was serving in the military at the time. Today’s communications mediums make it so we can see nearly live video of fire fights in Iraq or Afghanistan, we can read first hand accounts from the soldiers who lived through these firefights and read their tributes to their friends and brother who didn’t make it through. Yet, today large numbers of young men and women are enlisting in the Army and many are also re-enlisting each day. Why? Well everyone’s reasons are different, yes maybe some are, as you say, taking the only way out of a nowhere town in hopes of a better life, yet you cannot paint them all with the same brush. Many have enlisted because they felt a calling to do it much like a priest or minister, many have done it because their fathers did it or their mother did it, some felt it was something they needed to do, and many more did it out of a sense of patriotic duty.

I ask you Sir, how can you paint everyone with such a wide brush? How can an African American paint any group in our society with a wide brush? Would you take offense if a Congressman or Senator from Texas made a statement that all of the African American’s from Harlem are just out to get on the welfare rolls because they have no ambition in life? I am sure you would be right there beside many others who would protest that comment and most likely demand that man or woman’s immediate resignation. To me your comment is no less insensitive or wrong and today’s Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen deserve the same respect as any other citizen of this great country of ours.
In closing sir, I would like to say that while I may not agree with what you have said, I will fight to the death to protect your ability to say it and my ability to respond to it.


Bloomberg is an A$$

It's real nice when your own Mayor sells you out to the press before the investigation is done, hell before all the witnesses are even interviewed. This man is the worst thing that ever happened to NYC. Rudy in 08!

NEW YORK - November 27, 2006 - Mayor Michael Bloomberg emerged from a meeting with the police commissioner and community leaders Monday and said that it seemed like "excessive force was used" when a groom was killed on his wedding day by a flurry of police gunfire outside a strip club.

"I can tell you that it is to me unacceptable or inexplicable how you can have 50-odd shots fired, but that's up to the investigation to find out what really happened," Bloomberg said at a news conference after the meeting.

The groom, Sean Bell, 23, was killed and two of his friends were wounded Saturday at 4 a.m. after a bachelor party at the strip club. Suspecting that one of the men had a gun, police fired 50 rounds into the vehicle. The men were unarmed.

Bloomberg was joined by Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Rep. Charles Rangel, and several other officials and community leaders at the meeting.

Sharpton called it a "very candid, a very blunt meeting." He said the message to Bloomberg was: "This city must show moral outrage that 50 shots were fired on three unarmed men."

Bloomberg was steadfast in his support for Kelly, who has been denounced by some community leaders over the shooting.

"I think he's the best police commissioner the city has ever had," Bloomberg said. "Nobody takes this more seriously than Commissioner Kelly and I do."

The shooting stemmed from an undercover operation inside the Kalua Cabaret, where seven officers in plain clothes were investigating alleged prostitution and drug use.

Kelly has said the groom was involved in an argument outside the club after 4 a.m., and one of his friends made a reference to a gun. He has said that police shot at the car after it struck an undercover officer and an unmarked NYPD minivan. The information was based on interviews with witnesses and with two officers who did not fire their weapons, he said.

An undercover officer walked closely behind Bell and his friends as they headed for their car. As he walked toward the front of the vehicle, they drove forward - striking him and an undercover police vehicle, Kelly said.

The officer who had followed the group on foot was apparently the first to open fire, Kelly said. One 12-year veteran fired his weapon 31 times, emptying two full magazines, Kelly said.

Of the victims, Bloomberg said Monday: "There is no evidence that they were doing anything wrong."

The shooting has brought back memories of the 1999 killing of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed West African immigrant who was shot 19 times in the Bronx by police.

Rangel said this weekend's shooting "reminds me of a tragedy that took place with Mr. Diallo. And we can't have that. We can't have that."

A crowd of at least a few hundred gathered Sunday at a vigil and rally to demand resolution.

The rally, led by Sharpton, shouted "No justice, no peace," and at least one city councilman called for the ouster of the city Kelly, yelling "Kelly must go."

Bell's fiancee, Nicole Paultre, made a quiet visit to the shooting site before dawn Monday, lighting candles clustered around a photograph of the smiling couple with one of their daughters.

The survivors were Joseph Guzman, 31, who was shot at least 11 times, and Trent Benefield, 23, who was hit three times. Guzman remained in critical condition and Benefield in stable condition on Monday morning.

Relatives of the men attended Sunday's vigil and rally but none spoke publicly.

The five officers who fired were placed on paid administrative leave and had their guns removed, a procedure that is administrative but not disciplinary, while the investigation goes on.

The police department's policy on shooting at moving vehicles states: "Police officers shall not discharge their firearms at or from a moving vehicle unless deadly force is being used against the police officers or another person present, by means other than a moving vehicle."

In the Diallo case, the four officers were acquitted of criminal charges. And in 2003, Ousmane Zongo was shot to death during a police raid. In another similar case, the 43-year-old native of Burkina Faso, another West African nation, was hit four times, twice in the back. In that case, one officer was convicted of criminally negligent homicide, but acquitted of the more serious charge of second-degree manslaughter.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Video

Just a short photo story of what I am thankful for this year. It's been a very tough year w/ some tough times ahead but we are still basically healthy & happy.

Thanksgiving Day

No parade photos this year, too wet and rainy to go :-( .

You can check out the details and watch some video Here though.

Happy Turkey Day.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Eve

Tonite we have Tom Turkey in the roaster, the sweet potato casserole made and the watergate salad made. I actually handled a good bit of the dinner this year because of Vicki's back. Watergate is easy;

1 Package of Instant Pistachio Pudding
1 16oz can of crushed pinapple
1 8oz container of whipped topping
1/2 a bag of mini-marshamallows

Combine them in order in a bowl and and stir well. Chill and serve.

I am wishing everyone (all 2 of you) a Happy Thanksgiving. Please take a moment and remember all of those who are serving away from their families on this holiday. We owe them all a debt of gratitude for our freedom.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Busy Busy Busy

Gonna be a busy week. Worked today then did a few things around the house. Tommorrow is a follow up w/ the Doc for the stimulator, then back to work Wed then Thanksgiving we are heading to the city for the parade (look here for pics!), then dinner w/ friends. In between I need to prepare a sweet potato casserole, the turkey, and watergate salad to take w/ us. Should be interesting!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

God Speed FF Mike Browne

Got this from The Secret List

During severe weather, and what turned out to be a tornado, Delco-Riegelwood (N.C.) Firefighter Browne received and was responding to an EMS run. As he was departing from his residence, the area was hit by the tornado and FF Browne was killed while enroute. Mike’s three-year-old daughter suffered severe injuries but survived. His father and stepmother were killed. His chief says Mike was ready for the call to duty. He just couldn't get out in time. "He was getting his clothes on and headed that way," the Chief said. "He was getting his family out and he was enroute to the station. All of them were dressed like they were getting ready to leave." His Brother firefighters say Mike was a dedicated firefighter and a devoted father. His little girl was found in a ditch, but was alive.
Our deepest sympathies to all affected.
The Secret List 11-17-06 2255 Hours
www.FireFighterCloseCalls.comTo visit Firefighter Close Calls home page, click here:

Rest Easy Brother, your brothers and sisters in the fire service will care for your little girl.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Happy Monday

Today we worked at some Ebay stuff then I headed off to pickup a Kerosene heater that was listed on Freecycle from a guy in a neighboring town. Thanks Ron!

Now I am checking out the various blogs and found a few interesting things.

From Sgt Hook I found a link to this story about 15yo Nichelle Cushing from AK. She is an amazing young girl and the daughter of a fine military family.

Also I found this poem which speaks volumes about the level of professionalism in our military today.


The sun beat like a hammer, not a cloud was in the sky.
The mid-day air ran thick with dust; my throat was parched and dry.
With microphone clutched tight in hand and cameraman in tow,
I ducked beneath a fallen roof, surprised to hear “stay low.”

My eyes blinked several times before in shadow I could see,
the figure stretched across the rubble, steps away from me.
He wore a cloak of burlap strips, all shades of grey and brown,
that hung in tatters till he seemed to melt into the ground.

He never turned his head or took his eye from off the scope,
but pointed through the broken wall and down the rocky slope.
“About eight hundred yards,” he said, his whispered words concise,
“beneath the baggy jacket he is wearing a device.”

A chill ran up my spine despite the swelter of the heat,
“You think he’s gonna set it off along the crowded street?”
The sniper gave a weary sigh and said “I wouldn’t doubt it,”
“unless there’s something this old gun and I can do about it.”

A thunderclap, a tongue of flame, the still abruptly shattered;
while citizens that walked the street were just as quickly scattered.
Till only one remained, a body crumpled on the ground,
The threat to oh so many ended by a single round.

And yet the sniper had no cheer, no hint of any gloat,
instead he pulled a logbook out and quietly he wrote.
“Hey, I could put you on TV; that shot was quite a story!”
But he surprised me once again — “I got no wish for glory.”

“Are you for real?” I asked in awe, “You don’t want fame or credit?”
He looked at me with saddened eyes and said “you just don’t get it.”
“You see that shot-up length of wall, the one without a door?
before a mortar hit, it used to be a grocery store.”

“But don’t go thinking that to bomb a store is all that cruel,
the rubble just across the street — it used to be a school.
The little kids played soccer in the field out by the road,”
His head hung low, “They never thought a car would just explode.”

“As bad as all this is though, it could be a whole lot worse,”
He swallowed hard; the words came from his mouth just like a curse.
“Today the fight’s on foreign land, on streets that aren’t my own,”
“I’m here today ’cause if I fail, the next fight’s back at home.”

“And I won’t let my Safeway burn, my neighbors dead inside,
don’t wanna get a call from school that says my daughter died;
I pray that not a one of them will know the things I see,
nor have the work of terrorists etched in their memory.”

“So you can keep your trophies and your fleeting bit of fame,
I don’t care if I make the news, or if they speak my name.”
He glanced toward the camera and his brow began to knot,
“If you’re looking for a story, why not give this one a shot.”

“Just tell the truth of what you see, without the slant or spin;
that most of us are OK and we’re coming home again.
And why not tell our folks back home about the good we’ve done,
how when they see Americans, the kids come at a run.”

You tell ‘em what it means to folks here just to speak their mind,
without the fear that tyranny is just a step behind;
Describe the desert miles they walk in their first chance to vote,
or ask a soldier if he’s proud, I’m sure you’ll get a quote.”

He turned and slid the rifle in a drag bag thickly padded,
then looked again with eyes of steel as quietly he added;
“And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
that we are all that stands between the monsters and the weak.”

© Copyright January 25, 2006 by Michael Marks

Thanks Sgt Major Hook. Hooah!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Veteran's Day 2006

Veteran’s Day, formerly Armistice Day was created in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson to commemorate the 1 year Anniversary of the Armistice Agreement signed by the Allies & the German’s which ended World War I.

In Emporia, Kansas, on November 11, 1953, instead of an Armistice Day program, there was a Veterans' Day observance. Ed Rees, of Emporia, was so impressed that he introduced a bill into the House to change the name to Veterans' Day. After this passed, Mr. Rees wrote to all state governors and asked for their approval and cooperation in observing the changed holiday. The name was changed to Veterans' Day by Act of Congress on May 24, 1954. In October of that year, President Eisenhower called on all citizens to observe the day by remembering the sacrifices of all those who fought so gallantly, and through rededication to the task of promoting an enduring peace. The President referred to the change of name to Veterans' Day in honor of the servicemen of all America's wars.

Today most people treat Nov 11th as another day, those who work for various Government agencies etc have a day off for it but unfortunately many have no real idea what this day means and most have no real idea of who the veterans are in their community. Hopefully the new group of Vets from the GWOT can help change this over the next few years.

This Veterans day I must work but I will still keep my fellow vets in my thoughts. Please take a moment today to remember a vet and say Thank You. To my fellow Veterans I would like to offer a humble Thank You.

Bad Day

Well yesterday wasn't a good one. The weather was nice and as I headed home from work my truck started acting up. It was running so I mistakenly tried to nurse it home to save a tow as we only had one left for the year w/ AAA.

Well as I was nursing it home it went south quick. The driveshaft dropped and the rear locked up. This caused the truck to slide sideways and stop in the middle of the road. Thankfully nobody was next to me or close behind me so nobody wacked me. But this left me sitting blocking the roadway in a bad spot. I quickly put out a flare to warn traffic and stayed away from the vehicle while calling Vicki & AAA. Then 2 guys from DELDOT arrived in a big orange dump truck. They blocked traffic and kept me safe for the 45 minutes it took for the tow truck to arrive. So now the truck has to be repaired again but we don't have the $$ to fix it. So we'll see what we can work out for it.

Last nite I was sore as all get out but today I am a bit better.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Fallout

Well it's official Rummy is out which might not be a bad thing. In local elections Curt Weldon is out which is a very bad thing for PA & for the nation. Curt has been a great supporter of the military and of the fire service who are the nation's first line of homeland security. Santorum is out which has me on the fence. Rick has been good to the military over his term but the last couple of times he replied to my letters, I was disappointed on the lack of focus and at one time total lack of meaning in the letter.

Anyways, it's a rainy day here and we are both feeling a little grumpy. Vicki's pain is decreasing for the most part but she still has trouble getting comfortable and her legs are swelling a lot. Hopefully she will feel better as Fri will make a week into the healing process w/ only 5 weeks to go.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Voted, Did You?

I just got back from Voting, I hope everyone else exercises their right to vote today. If you don't vote then you have no right to complain about the state of our country, your state, or even your neighborhood. If you aren't out there voting for those who support your views then you really have no room to complain when your view is not addressed or things aren't running the way you would like them. So if you haven't voted yet, what are you waiting for?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Crazy Dog!

Here's our crazy dog listening to his favorite song, Who Let the Dogs out!.

Lurkers Delurk

Well I got this idea from AWTM so here goes.

I know that 4 or 5 people a day read my blog and yet there are rarely any comments. I guess that means that I'm either not interesting enough or am not posting things to get a reaction from people. So I am asking that you delurk and let me know what you think and what I can improve here.

Post Surgery Day 3

Day 3 after the surgery and things are going fairly well. Vicki is still in pain and has trouble getting comfortable but the pain will be worth it in the long run. So sleeping is in short bits 4 to 6 hours at a time, then a short nap for a few hours then up for a little more time.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Election Day 2006

This Tuesday we cast our votes for those who will represent us in the halls of the State and US legislative branches. Tuesday we must take into consideration the advertisements, the letters, the hand outs, the articles, and all of the other factors to decide who will best represent our ideas, our beliefs, and our very way of life. It’s not about which party the person belongs to, it’s not about how they look in a suit, it’s not about if they are pro-this or anti-that. Tuesday is about making an educated decision about the people you feel will be the best to represent you, your family and your community for the next four years or longer. Below are a few resources to help you better make your decision about the candidates in your particular political races.

League of Women Voters

The Center for Voting and Democracy

Project Vote Smart


If you are sitting there on Election day thinking "It's too much trouble" or "My Vote Doesn't Count", or any other sorry assed excuse for not voting, I have one small statement for you, "Get off your lazy ass and get out and vote!" Voting is not something to take for granted, there are thousands in our country who can no longer vote, there are millions around the world who would give their life to be able to vote, so don't be a typical American slacker, GET OUT AND VOTE!

The surgery went well and as usual the Doc and the staff @ Graduate were top notch. To beat traffic we arrived around 0830 for our 9:15 appointment. The staff got us registered and we went up stairs to pre-op after a little while. This time the IV went much better, and things were looking up. Tracy the nurse was great and is from our part of PA and we had a great time talking with her. This time things took a little longer to do since it involved cutting a pocket for the stim battery and cutting again to place the leads. They had to wake Vicki up to make sure the leads were right and that caused a bit of pain but nurse Bob was there to take care of her and then they gave her a little more happy juice and she was back to dreamland.

Today Vicki is sore but moving around a bit within the restrictions, no lifting, bending, reaching above the head, or twisting. It will take 6 weeks for her to completely heal.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

God Speed Sgt Nathaniel B. Lindsey

Sgt Hook has a great piece about a good and patriotic american who gave his life in the War on Terror.

Sgt Lindsey was a member of the 41st Brigade Combat Team of the Oregon National Guard. Sgt Lindsey recently moved from a relatively safe desk job in Kandahar to join other members of his unit who were working to train Afghan Soldiers.

Sgt Lindsey is a fine example of the Citizen Soldier serving his community and his country.

God Speed Brother. We will meet again on Fiddler's Green.

Farewell to the Folks

Had my parents over for dinner last nite, they are once again on the road again in their motor home. The weather is getting below 70 so it's time for them to head for a warmer climate. Usually they spend winter in TX but this year will be in FL for the winter. Then they will return here in the spring, just like the rest of the snow birds. Dinner was nice and it was nice to visit and spend time with them. Maybe I can talk my Dad into blogging to tell about the lifestyle of the full-time RVer.


In other news tomorrow (Fri) is the big day for the implanting the permanent spinal stimulator so we are waiting for a call to see how early we need to get up to be there on time.