Random thoughts

February 23, 2018

On this date in 1945, Marines raised our flag in Iwo Jima atop
Mt. Suribachi. A picture taken by Joe Rosenthal won the Pulitzer
Prize for photography and is one of the most recognizable and
reproduced picture of all time.

Locally, The Heart Ball is scheduled for March 3rd. And 11-
year-old Hannah Wells has been named the Princess of the Quad
Cities Heart ball that is hosted by the American Heart
Association. She was diagnosed with critical aortic stenosis
but is doing great and hasn’t had any surgeries since 2014.

The AHA opted to choose a princess to represent childhood heart
conditions since many of us believe heart disease to be a mans
disease or an older persons problem. Hannah’s parents started a
non-profit organization to help children with heart disease and
helped many since the beginning. You can visit the organization
at Helping Hannah’s Heart.

And we don’t know about where you’re from but here on the east
coast of Iowa the potholes are back with a vengeance. I hit one
the other day that could easily swallow a 57′ Buick. Ah the
rites of spring in the mid-west.

And finally, I have put the monster lens back on the camera to
see how it differs from my other lens. So far so good. That may
change depending on how long I leave it on. We’ll see and
perhaps share some pictures at a later time.

So enjoy our Friday as the weekend is here. We don’t have
anything planned, but hey, it’s the weekend!
Comments are always welcome.

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Finally Friday

February 16, 2018

First I’d like to wish my mother-in-law a very happy birthday.
Hope it was a good one. As for it being Friday, I only know
this because we went grocery shopping.

Since my brain fog lifted the recent school shooting came to
the forefront and some conclusions made. Again, we extend our
condolences to family and friends of the victims. Yet it now
seems the FBI had known about the shooter and didn’t pass said
information to the local branch.

And I decided to check on homicides in Chicago on another hunch
and found interesting, but not unexpected numbers. Since the
beginning of the year 271 people have been shot and 52 of those
died as a result. Yet not a peep out of the media or outraged
politicians shouting ‘no more’.

Of course Chicago has strictest gun control laws in our nation.
So with all these gun laws in effect one would think it would
be a much safer place. Or at least that it would have less gun
violence than a war zone.

So according to outraged politicians and media, gun control
works, but facts state that someone in Chicago is shot every 4
minutes and 6 seconds. Regardless of the strict gun control laws
in Chicago someone is shot and killed every 18 minutes and 6
seconds. Even a blind man can see that something isn’t right
here. And if he can see it so can the media and certain
politicians.

The figures used here are found on this site for those who
choose to believe these things don’t happen because they didn’t
read about it the newspaper or see it on TV.

Enjoy our Friday as I have been since the brain fog lifted.
Comments are always welcome.


The real tragedy

February 15, 2018

First we would like to give our condolences to the families and
friends of the victims of the recent school shootings in
Florida. Yet as happens when shootings like this occur somee go
out of their way to vent their outrage.

This would not be a problem if we had an unbiased media. Fact
checking has gone the way of common sense and proof positive
that certain ranters should not be allowed to play with sharp
objects.

Usually the first things we hear, after the number of victims,
is we need stricter gun control. It has been proven time and
time again that this approach doesn’t work. The main reason is
because it is run by government. And even though our lawmakers
take an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution that is
not always the case.

Of course these same people blame the 2nd Amendment as part of
the problem. The short answer is no. The Constitution states we,
as citizens, have the right to keep and bear arms. Yet we are at
a point in our history when one needs a permit to purchase AND
a permit to carry. And it’s all run by the government. Laws only
affect those who choose to obey them.

The needy, greedy, seedy in our society don’t follow the laws
anyway, the government doesn’t enforce the laws we have, yet
somehow after every shooting the blame and rage is directed at
legal gun owners.

News flash! This is not a gun problem. it is a mental health
issue. The vast majority who commit these shootings have mental
health problems and many are on medication for it, or have quit
taking them. And again, our government regulates this.

Here in Iowa mental health facilities have closed while help
is next to impossible to get. Isn’t it time to stop shipping the
bull and take a serious look at why these shootings happen and
quit blaming the gun?

Enjoy our Thursday as that means the start of the weekend is
just a dream away. Now I need more coffee and perhaps a pizza.
Comments are always welcome.


Keeping Monday real

January 15, 2018

We got the gift of fluffy of white love from above again and
the people who guess the weather by throwing darts at a weather
map missed again. It was predicted we’d get 2 inches or more and
after the fact were informed we got 1.6 inches here on the our
part of the east coast of Iowa.

The problem with that is twofold. Said TV station is 4 blocks
from our house yet we only got an inch tops, and they were wrong
again. So we’ll share some pictures to illustrate how bad the
snowfall wasn’t.

These wrens and other small birds don’t look to us like they
are standing in 2 inches of snow. The picture would look very
different if they were. And no, I don’t shovel around the bird
feeder.

This happy black feral cat seemed to enjoy the white fluffy love
from above almost as much as I do. He was even smiling before I
took the picture.

Not all the critters liked the snow. This cardinal kept hopping
around as if he thought he was a bunny rabbit. Or it could have
just been his idea of having fun. We’ll let you decide that one.

Regardless of how much we got, it’s now cleared off the drive
way, alley, and sidewalks. Enjoy our Monday. Rumor is we only
get one this week. Now I need more coffee.
Comments are always welcome.


Fair weather Navy?

January 10, 2018

A recent opinion piece in the Navy Times leads me to believe we
have been very lucky we haven’t had more collisions and fatal
mistakes than we have.

In the opinion of the author, a 2nd class petty officer, the
problems lie with the higher ups. In a policy based modern Navy
the E-5 believes the problem lies with civilian officials or
high-ranking Navy personnel who haven’t performed the tasks they
make the policy about.

And also the claim that the Chiefs care more about looking good
than being good. Perhaps this modern Navy forgot the Admirals
Law. Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn’t have to do
it.

To paint the entire Navy with the same brush does an injustice
to all. There are good non-coms just as there are good sailors.
Some commissioned officers are inspiring while others make you
bite your tongue.

And the military does run on rules which means somebody has to
make the rules. We don’t always agree with them. These days
everyone is looking for a solution. Why not go back to the Blue
Book and see what it says. I’ll bet I wouldn’t recognize it
since 40 years have past since my discharge.

We don’t know the answer as we don’t have all the facts. Now
isn’t the time for rash judgements based on scuttlebutt. The
problems are there and we hope they will be adressed.

Now I need more coffee while I’m ponder the 1 pound Snickers
bar and if it is a single serving. Enjoy our Wednesday.
Comments are always welcome.


Somber anniversary

January 9, 2018

Later this month is the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the
Tet Offensive which began on January 30, 1968. It was also the
deadliest year of the Vietnam War with more than 16,000
casualties.

In fact, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall has 140 panels of
names and 72 of those panels are for 1968. And there are still
1,602 unaccounted for.

Started on the Tet holiday, the Vietnamese New Year, by the
Viet Cong and the People’s Army of Vietnam against the forces
of the South Vietnamese Army of the Republic of Vietnam, the
United States Armed Forces, and their allies.

You may be too young to remember, you may have protested the
war, or you may have been drafted; but we cannot forget.
Comments are always welcome.


Camp Pendleton explosion

December 12, 2017


photo by Marine Corps.

Yesterday, during a training exercise at Camp Pendleton, 4
members of 1st Platoon, Company A, a Navy Corpsman and 9
Marines from C Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines were badly
burned when training went FUBAR.

All were riding in an armored amphibious vehicle when they
pulled off the road and nicked an above ground gas line. When
the treads of the vehicle hit the gray gas line it exploded.
The gas fire welded the steel treads, ate the entire roof and
right side of the vehicle, and melted weapons inside.

The explosion ruptured the vehicles gas tank which added 170
gallons of diesel fuel to the fire that took 6 hour to get
under control. 6 paramedic units, 3 brush fire engines, a
ladder truck, 5 aero-medical ambulances, and a firefighting
aircraft were on scene.

The officials who planned the exercise didn’t know that a
Marine D8T bulldozer had ruptured the same line, 30 yards away,
3 months earlier. In that instance there was no explosion and
everyone was evacuated safely.

Our condolences to the victims, their families and friends,
and others affected by this tragedy. For the whole story go to
SilentSoldier.

Enjoy the rest of our Tuesday and if you could, give these
Marines and sailor a quick prayer.
Comments are always welcome.