Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New year

New Years Eve 2006, 6 and a half hours we will enter 2007 whether we want to or not. For many it’s been a wonderful year and for others a year they would soon forget. We here at our house are kind of in the middle, we have been to a place we hope to one day call home and loved every single minute of it, but we have lost much this year and have had a pretty rough time of it too. So I’d like to bring family, friends, and the casual observers of my blog a year in review.

January brought a new year and new things. We spent our usual quiet new years eve at home by ourselves and we prepared for our trip of a lifetime to the islands. Meanwhile my job kept me busy w/ preparations for two inspections.

February 11th found us anxiously watching TV as a snow storm headed toward us threatening to mess up weekend travel plans, what had only days before been rain or a whole lot of nothing was now threatening our leaving this frozen burg for warmer climates. The 12th found us with a major snow storm on our hands and a flight to catch in Philly. Checks of the airport’s website and USAIR’s web site showed the flight was still a go so we braved the roads and headed to the airport. We arrived and were told that the flight was delayed and probably would be cancelled. They asked if we wanted to reschedule and my only question was can we reschedule to return flight so as not to miss any island time. So we rescheduled for the following day and sat down to let the roads improve and to call our Capt with our change of plans. Fortunately he was stranded in Baltimore so he wasn’t waiting for us on the boat. Sunday came and we headed off to Fun & Sun. Check out our Caribbean Adventure Blog for more details on our trip.
March found us mourning the death of our beloved cat Little Bit and me working hard to prepare for inspection number 1 in May. April was pretty much the same and then in May our beloved German Shepherd Lady passed away at 11 years old. We still miss her even though we adopted big Zioux shortly after she passed away, it wasn’t planned but he filled some of the void of not having a dog around the house. The inspection went well and there was a little bit of quiet time at work for the rest of May then it was onward to the next one which was focusing strictly on my work not on the unit as a whole. That inspection in Mid July went well and I was off to Portsmouth NH for a week of training which was a nice break. We also went to the wedding of our good friend’s son and had a great time.
August found us working on things around the house and talking with Dr Park @ the Graduate pain center in Philly for a solution for Vicki’s back. His solution was a spinal stimulator which would block the pain impulses to the brain and allow Vicki to walk again. So after seeing a shrink and a few other things Vicki had the trial one implanted in September for one week. This went very well and gave her back her mobility to the point that she didn’t want to give it back. Once it was out we had to wait one month before we could decide to have the permanent one put it. Needless to say she opted for the permanent one and had surgery on Nov 3rd. So far things are going well with it and she hopes to have much more mobility and less pain in the new year.
December came once again but this year it was much warmer than usual and once again Chuck was busy at work and Vicki was busy with the Christmas details. We managed to get a card out to family and friends, make lots of sweets, get the decorating done and even get a few presents. So once again we are back at the end of one year and the start of a new one. We wish you and your family a happy, healthy, prosperous and blessed new year.

Please remember our troops who are far from those they love as they start this new year.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

More Zioux!

Here's more of our crazy dog. He loves fire sirens, especially the old school federal que sirens. He will actually stand at my laptop and grumble until I open up Youtube and play one for him! I set him up with this one and waited til he was napping so I could get him as he came running for it.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Three Kings

Check out Major Z @ From My Position On the Way has This great post about three wounded heros at Walter Reed.

Lt Stadklev is an officer I would follow thru the gates of hell, when he and his men found a body dressed like a subject they were searching for they checked it from a distance for booby traps then Lt Stadklev led from the front like a true warrior and approached the body by himself while his men stayed at a safe distance. As he neared the body his whole world exploded. His actions saved his men from serious injury but resulted in him being seriously wounded and shipped to WRAMC in DC. Like a true warrior leader his concern is getting back to his men.

PFC Stephen Hopkins is a medic in the MD National Guard, while deployed in Iraq PFC Hopkins has his hand crushed by a vehicle. He however is more concerned about others getting help they need then himself. A true warrior and a true caregiver

SPC Bruce Dunlap was working a route clearing mission in Iraq when he was hit by a large IED. This seriously wounded warrior's comment to Major Z was “I hope the enemy does read your blog. They’ll see me and it’ll be a great big “up yours! You missed, you failed, I’m still here!” That's the warrior spirit that makes our military great. I am proud to call these men brothers, although my service is a lot more tame and a lot safer than theirs. They truly are 3 kings and are just a small part of the group of warriors who are protecting our freedoms everyday.

So, please take a few moments to check out Major Z's blog and send these heros a short note.

Brian James Ivory American Hero

Brian showed that Marines are brave in battle and at home. Good job Marine, I am proud of you.

Marine Saves Fiery Crash Victim
Christine Armario
Newsday (Melville, New York)
Dec. 18--It wasn't Iraq, but a trip home from work unexpectedly turned into a heroic rescue operation for one recently discharged Marine.
Brian James Ivory, 25, of Islandia, was heading home from his bartending work in Stony Brook around 3:30 a.m. yesterday when the vehicle in front of him on Old Nichols Road in Hauppauge crashed into a utility pole.
William Decoteau's blue 2004 Ford Mustang erupted into flames, Ivory and Suffolk police said. Ivory called 911 and then approached Decoteau's car. The 24-year-old Brentwood man was trapped inside and screaming.
"He was screaming like I've never heard anyone scream in my life," said Ivory, who served five years in the Marines, including several months in Iraq.
As nearby residents gathered and warned that the car was probably going to explode, Ivory decided to take a chance and help the man out. He opened the driver's side door. Decoteau's hair and clothing were on fire.
Ivory reached for the seat belt, but it wouldn't release.
"The seats were on fire, everything was on fire," Ivory said. "I couldn't breathe." But Ivory kept on, he said, in the belief that if he didn't get Decoteau out of the car, he would likely die there.
"I just knew it had to be done," Ivory said yesterday afternoon. "You don't think about yourself. You just try to help others."
After what seemed like "forever," Ivory managed to unlatch the seat belt and drag Decoteau out of the car. Ivory said he helped douse the driver's shirt and hair, himself having suffered burns to his face and smoke inhalation.
Both Ivory and Decoteau were taken to Stony Brook University Medical Center and treated for their injuries, police said.
The Hauppauge Fire Department extinguished the vehicle's fire.
Suffolk police said Ivory saved Decoteau's life. Decoteau was issued a speeding ticket, police said. Ivory said Decoteau appeared to be going about 60 mph when he struck the utility pole.
Neither Decoteau nor his family could be reached for comment, but Ivory said they thanked him at the hospital for his risky rescue.
Decoteau's mother "was in tears," Ivory said. "She didn't even know what she could do. She said she'd like to do something for me."
The driver was still at the hospital yesterday. Ivory said he suffered severe burns to his face. "He was lucky," Ivory said. "If I didn't go in at that point, he probably would have a lot worse burns."
Ivory said he had been on leave from the Marines since October, and was officially honorably discharged on Saturday, hours before the accident. During his five months in Iraq, he worked as an airplane technician and crew member.
He also had been stationed for a period in North Carolina, during which time he helped with search and rescue missions.
He has been working as a bartender and manager in a restaurant, and in January plans to attend Stony Brook University to study biochemistry.
Ivory said he had no doubts that his work with the Marines prepared him to make the rescue. "You don't leave people behind," Ivory said. "That's one of our mottos. If he was left there, he was going to die."
Copyright (c) 2006, Newsday, Melville, N.Y. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News. For reprints, email , call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Last nite we had Christmas Eve w/ friends who are like family to us. Their whole crew was there and it was a great time w/ great food. Then helped "Santa" wrap some gifts for the kids.

We wish you and your family a wonderful and joyous Christmas and a blessed and prosperous New Year.

Chuck & Vicki

RIP James Brown

The Godfather of Soul passed away early this AM. Rest in Peace James, your music inspired many people.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve 2006

Today we are putting the finishing touches on our holiday. The turkey is cooking, the sweet potato cassarole is cooked, and the watergate salad will soon be made. We are off to have dinner w/ friends tonite and will take those items with us along with gifts for them and their grandkids. I have wrapped Vicki's presents and even Zioux is getting a couple gifts this year. Then it will all be over and it's back to work for a couple days. The image above is out dream christmas in a couple of years.

After the new year I have plenty to keep me busy at work and some possible travel to FLA in Feb for a week. Then the big push will be heading over to the war for a bit in April.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and to remind everyone to remember our troops who are far from family and loved ones this year. Here's a poem for everyone.

"My Lonely Christmas"

As I lay down to sleep, this eve of Christmas morn,'
I slide between the cotton sheets so comfortable and warm.

A tinge of guilt comes over me followed by a saddened tear.
I say another lonely prayer that only God can hear.

I turn the bedside light off and quickly settle in,
but it will be a few more hours before my night comes to an end.

I lie here all but motionless, eyes wider than the sky.
I try to think of happy thoughts, but I still break down and cry.

I punch my flattened pillow and lie flat on my back.
I'm thinking of my soldier who's bravely serving in Iraq.

I finally stop my crying and a calm sets in my heart.
For, I know this year will quickly pass, then we'll no longer be apart.

My eyes are feeling heavy now, so I send God one last prayer.
"God, please protect my soldier while fighting over there!"

© 2005 Bradley A Peraino
Used with permission

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Reading Terminal Market

On Monday Vicki & I treked into the big city to see her back Doc. While we were there we visited the Reading Terminal Market. We got some great deals on produce and other things and had some great food too. Also we treked to the headhouse building to see the Christmas train layout they have set up. Here's some video of it.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Cooking with Zioux!

Even Zioux got in on the cookie making this year! He got nosy so I floured his nose!

Time Person of the Year

Wow! I am now a 2 time winner of the Time Person of the year award. In 2003 it was the American Soldier which according to Time covered all military personnel. This year it is You so I can now put on my resume 2 time winner of the Time Person of the year!

Messed Up!

This is messed up. An airman from McGuire AFB went to Philly w/ his pregnant wife last nite, I guess to have a nice time with her before he shipped out to Iraq in the near future. Apparently there was an altercation in the club which spilled out into the street where he was stabbed to death in the parking lot!

The worst part is nobody in the club saw anything! Step up and be a real man and tell the cops what you saw, you cowards!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Birthday Love Life

Your Birthdate: December 1

You don't just believe in love at first site - you've experienced it.
You develop crushes pretty easily, but keeping your interest is another matter!
You are very prone to love - hate relationships.

Number of True Loves You'll Have: 2

Number of Times You'll Have Your Heart Broken: 4

You are most compatible with people born on the 1st, 10th, 19th, and 28th of the month.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Rude People

So we head out to a matinee of Deck the Halls today, and the place is pretty much empty, in fact up til 10 minutes before it started we were thinking it was a private screening.

Well after a bit a lady and a few kids show up and sit a few rows behind us. We were sitting about 6 rows from the front or so in the middle of the row. Well then this older lady comes in and walks to the row in front of us and sits dead smack infront of me! There were another 60 seats in the theater and she sits right infront of me! So we moved a seat to the right so we could both see the screen!

I mean WTF is up with this lady!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Shield

From what I am reading on the various forums it looks like I will have to wait til April for the greatest cop show since NYPD Blue to debut for this season. Check out the trailer from Youtube. Also, if you are a Shield fan then fess up to it in the comments or I'll send Vic after you! LOL!

God Speed Sgt Keith Fiscus

I got this from my local paper. A true hero, Sgt Fiscus volunteered for a second tour of duty in Iraq. He was a true american hero. Rest Easy Brother, I will see you on Fiddler's Green.

Delaware Soldier Killed by Roadside Bomb in Iraq by Andrew Tangel - The News Journal

A Townsend-area man killed when a roadside bomb blew up last week became the 14th soldier from Delaware to die in Iraq.

The bomb detonated near a vehicle carrying Army Sgt. Keith E. Fiscus, 26, in Baghdad on Saturday, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.

His death was announced the same day Americans heard for the first time suggestions from the Iraq Study Group on how to better manage the conflict, which began with a U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

In Delaware and Hawaii, where his unit is based, and on personal Internet pages, friends and relatives were mourning Fiscus on Wednesday and planning to honor him.

Fiscus had phoned home the day before he died and "was doing fine," said Dena Archer, his older sister.

"It was an extreme shock. Nobody wanted it to come," she said. "My parents just talked to him the day before, so it still just doesn't seem real."

Fiscus played with GI Joe action figures as a boy, Archer said, though she didn't recall that it was her brother's dream to join the Army.

After graduating Glasgow High School in 1998, Fiscus, the second oldest of four children, worked in the produce department of a supermarket and later as a customer service representative for Discover Card, said Archer, 28.

Fiscus then enlisted in the Army, following his grandfathers' example of serving in the armed forces, she said. He finished boot camp in 2002 and served his first tour in Iraq.

Fiscus was killed in the middle of his second tour, which began in August. He had been assigned to the 25th Infantry Division based at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

Fiscus and a fellow soldier were apparently going to clear a roadside bomb -- or improvised explosive device -- when their Hummer triggered another bomb, said Alicia Dove of Honolulu. Dove said she knew Fiscus through her husband, Fiscus' Army buddy.

Archer said her brother was to have come home in February.

As family members in Delaware arranged services for Fiscus, his friends planned a memorial service Tuesday in Hawaii, said Dove, who created a tribute for Fiscus on the social-networking Web site

"He really liked being in Iraq because he didn't have to deal with the day-to-day" issues of life in the United States, Dove, 21, said.

And, she added, he enjoyed having the close camaraderie found in combat. "He liked being around people who always had his back," she said.

She and her husband, Devin Dove, described Fiscus as loyal, trustworthy, intelligent, witty, and a good soldier.

And despite his rough exterior -- tattoos that he joked would scare children and an affinity for hard rock music -- Fiscus was also the "most caring, most sensitive, most hopeless romantic," Alicia Dove said.

While his friends reminisced about Fiscus, they also take comfort in knowing the man who seemed to always try to better himself died honorably.

"If I had to die," Devin Dove quoted his friend as saying, "I would like for it to be in war."

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas in Iraq

I found this online and couldn't wait til Christmas to share it.

Christmas in Iraq
by Kathryn E. Darden for Christian Activities

Nashville, TN - 'Twas the night before Christmas in an Iraqi town;
And our brave U.S. forces had all just hunkered down.
Not a Humvee was moving, not a Jeep stirred the sand
As troops dreamed of their homes, each and every man.
Some longed for their sweethearts, other men missed their moms,
Others missed sons and daughters not seen for so long.
Sugarplums would be nice, but much nicer to be
At home with their loved ones 'neath their own Christmas tree.

When what to their wondering ears should be heard,
But the faint sounds of carols, music and joyful words.
At first heard so faintly, then the sound grew and grew --
The sound of your loved ones singing carols for you.
For you are not forgotten, you are not alone;
You are missed by the people you keep safe at home,
And we remember you as the Christmas bells ring,
As you're watched by the Christ Child whose carols we sing.

For no matter how far from your home you may be,
There once was a Babe born for you and for me.
So hark to the carols as their music draws nigh,
And look to the stars in the Iraqi sky.
Remember the star which on Bethlehem shone,
The star that still guides those who yearn to be Home.
So as Christmas Day dawns over here, over there --
Merry Christmas to you, with our love, thanks, and prayers.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Tough Read!

This is a tough read. But I highly recommend reading it.




Sorry forgot the link

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Me & L Ron Hubbard!

I look like L Ron Hubbard, does that make me a Scientologist? Wonder why I didn't get an invite to Tom & Katies wedding then?

Meritorious Service

I guess my boss thinks my service to our great country and to our unit has great merit. Today I was awarded the AF Meritorious Service Medal. Of course I wasn't the only one there were a bunch of us and it was a team effort that got the job done. I am happy to get it though.