Sunday, September 12, 2010

Uncle Will's plan to win any war.

1. Send all the reporters home. They aren't in America and they have no constitutional rights in a foreign country. If they want to stay there is no protection provided by the military. They are on their own.

2. If you shoot at our military you will die. So will the person standing on either side of you and the one behind you. If someone near you starts shooting at our troops you had better be moving for cover.

3. If you hide in a building to shoot at our military expect the entire building to be leveled. If you are a civilian and didn't shoot you had better hit the ground running or your dead. It doesn't matter what kind of building you are in. Church, school, mosque there is no where to hide.

4. This is a war. People get killed. Things get blown up. It is a dirty, stinking, rotten business and from time to time it must be done to keep the world safe enough to live in. War is hell – there is a reason people say that, there is nothing nice about it.

5.You have the right to complain, bad mouth, resent, protest, or otherwise dislike war, and that right will not be trampled on. But don't be surprised when your whining, sniveling, cowardly butt is scooped up in the middle of the night and dropped off in the war zone for a few days.

6. If you don't like this country, feel free to leave. We will even help you pack.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I will survive

As a child I became enamored with the World War II when I first discovered the Time Life Series on the war. In the many years since I have been privileged to talk to many men who served in that great conflict. Those who firsthand saw the triumph and agony of those years of war. Those who sacrificed their very existence to secure freedom for the rest of us. Them most poignant of my memories of these discussions were the men and women I talked to who liberated and suffered in the death camps of Nazi Germany.

The survivors tell a story of horrific survival. Stories that would, and should break the heart of the most hardened person. The liberators tell the story of the discovery of the ovens, the gas chambers, the lamps and shades made of human skin, and the emaciated children.

I have seen the marks tattooed on the arms of the survivors. The hollow stare in their eyes as they speak of the conditions and friends lost. I have heard of stories of surviving only on weak soup and small pieces of stale bread. The sorrow of retelling of the loss of loved ones that they had to bury. The cruelty of their captors.

There is nothing joyful about the stories. There is no bright spot in the darkness.

But today I came across a video that was joyful. It was hopeful. It caused me to cry. It was a video of a survivor and his family dancing to “I Will Survive” in front of former death camps, on death trains, and in front of Memorials.

There was no bright spot then, but for those who survived the world is freedom. And for all of us there is hope.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Donk-a- what?

Have you noticed lately that the trend for things has leaned to the far side of ridiculous? Everything “stylish” now seems to attempt to compensate for its owners need for attention of any kind. People are walking around with their teeth encapsulated in gold, their necks covered in gold chains. They wear outfits that look like Ray Charles picked them out of the discard pile at Goodwill. Huge sunglasses that completely obliterate any hope of peripheral vision. And they think it is cool. I often wonder what these people will grow up and become then I see that some of them are already adult aged.

But then I see something that hits close to home. I am a car nut, a gear head, a wrench slinger. If it has an engine - I love it. The different styles, designs, and brands of automobiles are a wonderful cornucopia of wheeled art to my eyes. And, to see what people are doing to these mobile Mona Lisas is deplorable.

Driving past a business in Charlotte I am tempted to close my eyes so I cannot see the bright metallic candy green 1966 Lincoln Continental sitting on 24 inch rims with rubber-band tires. It ranks right up with putting a Tyrolean hat and big nosed novelty glasses on Rodin's “The Thinker. It just isn't right.

On one web site I saw a video of some poor undereducated, disrespectful youths who had taken a rare Buick Grand National and put it on 22 inch tires and equipped it with hydraulics to make it lift up and down. My first reaction was to get a big stick and go explain to them why they should never deface my all time #1 dream car. It is bad enough to rape a Honda, or Hyundai – but the car that single handedly put Buick as the head of the performance class for General Motors in the 80's – Beyond despicable.

However, today I saw one of these “donkified” monstrosities that put a smile on my face. On I-85 in Charlotte a donked mid 80s square bodied Caprice came down an on ramp followed by a Ford Crown Victoria. The Vic was fully equipped – state trooper lettering, blue lights, and sirens. I don't know what the car was pulled over for, but I can only dream that among the charges, somewhere, the driver was cited for blatant stupidity, and ruining a great riding old car. Also, in my dream the cop wacks the driver with his baton before walking back to the patrol car.

The Wednesday Willies

I have decided to dedicate Wednesdays to the Willies. What Willies you may ask? Well if you hold out, and don't fall out, you will find out.

The first is dedicated to my wife, Stephanie. I never thought anyone would come into my life and fill it the way you have. You are truly, "An Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground". I love you even if I don't say it enough.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Racing Stripes?

We were driving along minding our own business. Driving along in the 10,000+ pound Suburban, pulling the huge trailer, and minding our own business. (Ever notice how many tales of woe start off with, “ I was minding my own business?”). The speed limit is 55 where we were on Highway 150 in Lincolnton, NC, and I had a long distance between my truck and the one in front of us. Then, in the blink of an eye, things went all sideways – literally.

There was a line of 6 vehicles in front of us – all doing the speed limit – and, as we passed a large nursing home, a car pulled out into the road and stopped. In case you haven't done the math 55mph x 10,000 pounds/ brand new B.F. Goodrich tires x 25% of new brakes = a heck of a long stopping distance. (Yes, that is a scientific formula why do you ask?) After the first 2 seconds of panic stopping I soon realized that the coefficient of friction between the rubber and the road was insufficient to haul that ponderous poundage to a stop.

So, relying on my years of experience in demolition derby and off road insanity, (otherwise known as driving in Charlotte)I turned right. Up over the curb. Onto the grass. Into the clear. That is until a Chevy Astro van about 5 cars up had the same idea. Now sliding through wet grass at 40 some odd mph is fun enough. It is even more fun when there is suddenly a large blue hunk of steel in your path. Fortunately, he saw me, and turned hard back beside the car he was avoiding.

Only problem now was that there was a crater the size of my living room about 10 feet to the right of his van and I was still going 40. So, I summoned up all my steely eyed reserve of superhuman spacial reasoning, and threaded the Beast through a hole it would not physically fit through ( it helps if you think thin).

The next daunting obstacle was that there was not enough room to stop completely before the fast approaching tree line enveloped the front of my vehicle. However, my wild cowboy side had an out. I gently turned right up the far lip of the crater and rode the bowl around to the flat, over the curb, onto the driveway of the nursing home (a 90 degree maneuver at a way too high speed for those of you following along at home) and then brought the whole mess to a shaking, hopping, lurching, bobbing, tools in the back of the truck jingling, stop. Gently pried the leather seat from the grasp of my puckered butt cheeks, peeled my wife off the ceiling, and proceeded to find a way out of the maze of a parking lot built for tiny cars with my whole 50 foot long train.

A guy in the parking lot stopped me and said, “ I bet you have racing stripes in your shorts don't ya?”

So now I am left with figuring out how to remove the claw marks that my guardian angel left on the paint of the roof. Oh yeah, and he put in for hazard pay.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The weight of our words

I had an odd dream last night that I was at a hospital building doing some kind of work. One of the guys who worked for me in this dream was a scrawny ill tempered guy who had a young child with him. This guy did nothing but demean and put down this child. Over and over he was heard yelling and cussing for the slightest perceived infraction committed by his off spring. Then I walked up to him and told him that unless he picked up his words and carried them away he was fired, and (as happens in dreams) there at his feet was a huge bundle of black weights. Now, I have no idea how much it weighed, but I made three guys pick it up and set it on his shoulders. As he struggled to carry his words away I told him to always consider the weight of his words because someone had to bear it.

A very profound dream to be sure. The weight of our words is a ponderous thing. Not just what we say but how we say it. I know that I have been guilty of throwing words that burden rather the bolster the recipient of them. And don't we all. I recall a book I found in my grandmothers basement many many years ago in which a dragon was the main character. On his wall he had a sign which read something like, “Sticks and stones can't break my bones; for that I'm much too scaley, but unkind words and things I've heard can break my spirit daily.” Watch your words, you never know who has to carry them.

Oh, and the dream, well, after he carried off his words - I got in a tank and drove away.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Going to the chapel

Five more days. All the free time I have left. Seconds go by like the blades of a fan. Time draws short. Things must be done. Then it will happen.

March 13, 2010 I will be attending a wedding. Specifically I will be attending my wedding. Honestly something I thought would never happen again. However, loneliness is a strong motivator to do what I swore I would never do again. That and I met the most wonderful gal in the world. Actually she met me.

See, I wasn't interested in any kind of relationship, but this little gal picked me out. We needed each other and now, we intend to spend the rest of our lives together.

What lies ahead – who knows. But the journey is more exciting than the destination. Here's to a long and happy trip.

Five more days.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Taste this!

After sitting and watching TV while it poured rain outside for the past few days I have noticed a word that really has no meaning in many commercials. Well, the word actually has a meaning, but the way it is used in the commercials it really has no meaning at all. The word is taste, or its variants – tasty or tastiest. Taste is one of those words that advertisers like to use. “Our burger has more taste than the competitors” Yeah, and I puked and it had taste too. Not a taste I want in my hamburger, but it has taste. Much more taste than I had in my mouth before I puked.

Now I realize that the word taste when used in reference to food is supposed to convey a good connotation. However, in actuality it means nothing without a little help. It can taste good, taste bad, taste bland, taste salty, or taste like barf.

My favorite is the Coors commercial where they said they had the coldest tasting beer. What does that even mean? What does cold taste like? Is it laced with liquid nitrogen? If I drink it will I get frost bite on my uvula? What if I leave it out in the sun all day, will it still taste cold?

Well, I have to stop writing now. My dinner just was handed to me. I sure hope it is tasty.