Disclaimer

If you do not know me (I mean, really know me) then there is something you need to understand before you read this blog: I value the truth above everything else... except a good laugh. A good laugh will almost always beat the truth as far as I’m concerned. Everything you read on this blog will be true, somewhat true, or something I made up in an effort to get a laugh. Sometimes I will go on a rant that I don’t really mean (or only kind of mean). Sometimes I will mean what I write only to completely change my mind a year, month, or day later. Such is life. By reading this blog you agree not to get offended by anything I write (or, at the very least, you agree not to tell me or anyone else that you are offended). It is worth noting that my employer does not endorse my blog (or even read it, to tell you the truth). The Wife also does not endorse my blog (though she will read it from time to time). I am not paid to write this... it’s just my way of giving back to the community. I have, and will, touch on a wide range of subjects and will give my opinion on these subjects. Again, most of what I say is for laughs but every now and then I will say what I really think and feel (see my views on Westboro Baptist Cult). How will you know when I’m serious and when I’m trying to get a laugh? You’ll know. And if you don’t know, well... maybe this isn’t the best thing for you to be reading. So, sit back, read and enjoy. Leave comments if you want and don’t be afraid to publicly follow me.



Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Medal of Honor... and Football Predictions

They are having a bunch of Medal of Honor events in Charleston this week. Too bad for me, I didn’t realize tickets would be needed for these events. Also too bad for me, the organizers of this event refused to recognize I’m just sayin... as part of the media. I guess I’ll have to get over it... but I REALLY wish I could make it to the autograph session. I think around 60 of the 80 something recipients of this award are in town. I think it would be GREAT to be able to get their autographs... no just for the autograph, but also because it would mean being that close to these men.

I saw an article in the paper earlier this week where one of these men was asked about the event that earned him the Medal of Honor. He said, “I just did what anyone else would have done”. HA! Really?! Are you kidding me?! Have any of you been reading about these men on my blog? Granted, some of the citations for the older (pre-WWI) recipients don’t always have a “WOW” factor... but look at the citations for the men from WWII to today. These men did not do things that anyone else would do. Sure, on paper I’d say I’d do that. And if I were ever in their situations, I’d like to think I’d act that way. But let’s be honest here... I don’t like going into my own backyard at night without Maverick going with me to protect me. So the odds that I would do what these men did aren’t exactly in my favor. I understand that some (most... all?) of these men don’t always really want to be seen as “special”. They say the real heroes are the men that died and they just did what they had to do. I understand that. I’m sure some (most... all?) even feel guilty because they lived while their buddy died. But they should never (NEVER!) think that “anyone else” would have done what they did. Because I’m pretty sure that isn’t true. I’d be willing to bet that should most people be in the situation most of these men were in, there is a better chance they’d end up in the fetal position rather than act the way these men acted. I’m just sayin...

So I took Mary Ruth to her first women’s college volleyball match last night. The Winthrop Eagles CRUSHED the Charleston Southern Buccaneers (***Note: I’m not sure if the schools say “Lady” for their women's sports teams... so we may have watched the Lady Eagles CRUSH the Lady Bucs). It was fun. I think MR had fun. Volleyball is a fun sport to watch. I’m sure the people around me got tired of my yelling “WOW” every time someone hit an arm-breaking spike, but I couldn’t help it. They probably also got tired of me asking Jeremy 100 questions, but this happens at all sporting events (even sports I usually do a good job of following). I would have asked him 101 questions, but he anticipated one of the questions and answered it before I could ask. I don’t want to start any fights here, but The Wife could learn a thing or two from Jeremy. Anyway... What’s the deal with college volleyball uniforms? Are high school uniforms like that too? They weren’t when I was in high school. What am I talking about? The “shorts” these girls wear (if you can call them shorts) are shorter than my underwear and tight enough that I can only assume they have to roll them on. I mean, I wouldn’t know about this sort of thing, but Jeremy said he’s seen strippers wear more below the waist (ok, he didn’t really say that... but I think he was thinking it). Honestly, my first thought was the coaches probably don’t have any problem getting these girls to do conditioning drills since they have to wear these uniforms. Listen, as a guy... I’m not complaining. But as the father of 2 girls (with a possible #3 on the way) who I hope will earn scholarships for college, this did disturb me somewhat. But really... the match was fun to watch. Volleyball in general is fun to watch, I think. There was actually a pretty good crowd there. I’ve seen fewer students at basketball games than I saw there last night. Maybe I need to set up a “Guys Night” with the guys in my Sunday School class and we can go watch CSU play... you know, so we can all shake our heads and talk about how the girls should have more clothes on. :)

Not sure how much I’ll get to post the rest of this week, so here are my football predictions for this weekend.

The I’m just sayin... Football Predictions

Friday Night
James Island at Beaufort – JI will bounce back after their loss to Ashley Ridge to win this one. JI by 7

Summerville vs West Ashley – I’m sure Summerville is going to be looking ahead to their big match-up next week at James Island (perhaps a I’m just sayin... road trip?)... but they’ll still win this one. Summerville by 13

Ashley Ridge at Wando – Ashley Ridge looks to keep the momentum going after the greatest win in program history last Thursday. Ashley Ridge by 3

Fort Dorchester at Colleton County – This just isn’t Fort Dorchester’s season. Colleton County by 7

Saturday
Clemson vs #16 Miami 12:00pm (ESPN2) – Not real sure how this one isn’t the 3:30 ABC game, but whatever. It’s Homecoming for the Tigers and they should be well rested after their bruising game at Auburn. Miami is a good team, but Clemson seems to be pretty good too. I’m going to say this will be a close game (possible OT) with Clemson coming out on top by 3.

Navy at Air Force 2:30pm (VERSUS) – I’m not sure what Air Force has... but I know what Navy has. Navy by 14.

CSU is off this week.

The Revolutionary War Heroes are off this week.

Sunday
Pittsburgh vs Baltimore 1:00pm (CBS... not sure if it’ll be on down here but it should be) – I like Charlie Batch. I love the Steelers Defense. Baltimore is a good team. But the Steelers are at home. The only way Baltimore wins is if they knock out Batch... because I’m not sure who the back-up QB is for this game. Steelers by 3.

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Private First Class Thomas E. Atkins (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on March 10, 1945 at Villa Verde Trail, Luzon, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

He fought gallantly on the Villa Verde Trail, Luzon, Philippine Islands. With 2 companions he occupied a position on a ridge outside the perimeter defense established by the 1st Platoon on a high hill. At about 3 a.m., 2 companies of Japanese attacked with rifle and machinegun fire, grenades, TNT charges, and land mines, severely wounding Pfc. Atkins and killing his 2 companions. Despite the intense hostile fire and pain from his deep wound, he held his ground and returned heavy fire. After the attack was repulsed, he remained in his precarious position to repel any subsequent assaults instead of returning to the American lines for medical treatment. An enemy machinegun, set up within 20 yards of his foxhole, vainly attempted to drive him off or silence his gun. The Japanese repeatedly made fierce attacks, but for 4 hours, Pfc. Atkins determinedly remained in his fox hole, bearing the brunt of each assault and maintaining steady and accurate fire until each charge was repulsed. At 7 a.m., 13 enemy dead lay in front of his position; he had fired 400 rounds, all he and his 2 dead companions possessed, and had used 3 rifles until each had jammed too badly for further operation. He withdrew during a lull to secure a rifle and more ammunition, and was persuaded to remain for medical treatment. While waiting, he saw a Japanese within the perimeter and, seizing a nearby rifle, killed him. A few minutes later, while lying on a litter, he discovered an enemy group moving up behind the platoon's lines. Despite his severe wound, he sat up, delivered heavy rifle fire against the group and forced them to withdraw. Pfc. Atkins' superb bravery and his fearless determination to hold his post against the main force of repeated enemy attacks, even though painfully wounded, were major factors in enabling his comrades to maintain their lines against a numerically superior enemy force.

Yeoman Thomas E. Atkinson (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on August 5, 1864 on board the USS Richmond in Mobile Bay. His citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Richmond, Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864; commended for coolness and energy in supplying the rifle ammunition, which was under his sole charge, in the action in Mobile Bay on the morning of 5 August 1864. He was a petty officer on board the U.S. Frigate Congress in 1842-46; was present and assisted in capturing the whole of the Buenos Ayrean fleet by that vessel off Montevideo; joined the Richmond in September 1860; was in the action with Fort McRea, the Head of the Passes of the Mississippi, Forts Jackson and St. Philip, the Chalmettes, the rebel ironclads and gunboats below New Orleans, Vicksburg, Port Hudson, and at the surrender of New Orleans.

Ordinary Seaman Apprentice John F. Auer (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on November 20, 1883 on board the USS Lancaster, Marseille, France. His citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Lancaster, Marseille, France, 20 November 1883. Jumping overboard, Auer rescued from drowning a French lad who had fallen into the sea from a stone pier astern of the ship.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Update from the weekend...

Before we get to the results from last weekend, let’s start with a little story from last Thursday night.

I decided I would take Mary Ruth to the James Island/Ashley Ridge football game if The Wife got home in time. The Wife got home a little after 7:30, but since Ashley Ridge isn’t too far away, MR and I decided we’d go to the game (fyi... I was wearing what I wore to work... my blue JI golf shirt and khaki pants). We got to the gate with about a minute left in the first quarter. I politely told the lady selling tickets that it was just me and the four year old. She politely told me it’d be $16. I politely told her that she was out of her freakin’ mind (who’d they think they were... Summerville?!) and if that school really needed that much money they should charge the church more to use their building and stop trying to rip off hard workers such as myself. I went on to tell her, “Don’t be fooled by the shirt I’m wearing. I only live a few minutes away and this game is on TV, so you’re crazy if you think I’m paying $16!” Ok, I didn’t say any of that. I was going to (especially the part about the church), but she changed her mind before I could say anything. Turns out, MR got in for free (which she should have) while I had to pay $8 for me (still a scam if you ask me... but I admit I haven’t been to a high school football game in a long time). So we got in and went to the JI side of the field. There was a pretty good crowd for both schools at the game. We sat down and that’s about all I remember of the game. I spent the rest of the night talking with Mary Ruth and listening to students behind me talk. Oh, my eyes were watching the game... but my brain was elsewhere. These are some of the things you missed...

Student A: “Hey, is that Greg?”

Student B: “Nah... It can’t be. Dude looks like he ate Greg”.

Student A: “Is that his daughter with him?”

Student B: “Maybe... or it could be his half-time snack”.

(Student’s can be so mean at that age)....
*****
Mary Ruth: “Daddy! That boy in the white pushed that boy in the red!” (***note... I don’t remember if the Ashley Ridge uni’s where red or not, but she said they were. For some reason, I thought they might be a different color, but she went with red so that’s what we’ll use.)

Me: “It’s ok sweetie... That’s how you play football”.

MR: “I think he’s being mean. We don’t push our friends when we play with them. I’m telling Mommy”.
*****
MR: “Daddy! Look at the cheerleaders! Can you take a picture of them?”

Me: “No”

MR: “Why?”

Me: “I don’t have a camera”

MR: “Please Daddy! Oh, I have an idea! You can take a picture of them with your phone!”

Me: “No”

MR: “Daddy! I really want a picture of them! Why won’t you take a picture with your phone?”

Me: “Because the police will arrest me”

MR: “Why will they arrest you?”

Me: “Because that’s what they do to 31 year old men who take pictures with their phone of high school cheerleaders”

MR: “Oh”
(***Note: I don’t think we were real loud, but the guy in front of us got a kick out of that conversation***).
*****
MR: “Daddy, aren’t those cheerleaders so beautiful?”

Me: “Sure”

MR: “I think they’re the prettiest cheerleaders ever!”

Me: “Eh... I’ll have to disagree with you on that, but whatever”

MR: “Daddy. You don’t think they are the prettiest cheerleaders ever?”

Me: “No”

MR: “But Daddy, you said they were beautiful!”

Me: “1. You said they were beautiful and I agreed. 2. These cheerleaders are no where NEAR as pretty as the cheerleaders when I was in school”

MR: “Daddy! That’s not nice”

Me: “Listen, I’m not saying they’re ugly or anything. They look fine. I’m just saying they aren’t the prettiest cheerleaders ever because I think the cheerleaders who were in school with me were (and are) prettier”

MR: “Well, I think these cheerleaders are the prettiest cheerleaders ever!”

Me: “That’s fine... but you’re wrong”
(***Note: This went on and on for the better part of the 2nd Quarter***).
*****
Me: “Look Mary Ruth, the band”

MR: “Wow!”

Me: “Mommy was in the band”

MR: “Is she out there now?”

Me: “No, she was in the band in high school”

MR: “Oh. Was she in this band?”

Me: “No, she was in the band at HER high school”

MR: “Oh. Where’s Mommy?”

Me: “Never mind”
*****
MR: “Look Daddy! You look like the band!” (That’s right... JI’s band was wearing blue JI golf shirts and khaki pants).

Me: “Crap”
*****
So there you have it. We stayed until the middle of the 4th quarter. If they want to play these games on a “school” night, I think they should start earlier. It was waaaay too late at night when we left. That was my only complaint. Well, that and the amount they charge you to get in. Other than that, it was a fun time. I think Mary Ruth had fun and that’s what really matters.

The I’m just sayin... Football Prediction Results

Thursday Night

James Island at Ashley Ridge – I said JI would win and... I was wrong! :( Ashley Ridge was able to hand JI their first loss of the season. Final Score: 28-21, Ashley Ridge

Friday Night

Summerville at Stratford – I said Summerville would win and I was right! Final Score: 41-27, Summerville

Goose Creek at Fort Dorchester – I picked Goose Creek. I was right! Final Score: 42-28, Goose Creek

Saturday

#12 USC at #17 Auburn – Here is what I said, “This should be a great game. The Revolutionary War Heroes are facing a beat-up Auburn team. The Tigers are at home and USC is having to deal with the news that its all-time leading receiver (Kenny McKinley) has died in an apparent suicide. Hard to tell how this one will go. I’m going to say USC by 1”. I thought it was a good game. Not great... but good. For a minute I thought the Revolutionary War Heroes were going to escape with a “W”, but it just didn’t work out for them. Auburn won and proved that the game last weekend against Clemson wasn’t a fluke. So I didn’t get this one right... Final Score: 35-27, Auburn

Charleston Southern at Hawaii – I said Hawaii would win and boy was I right. Final Score: 66-7, Hawaii

Sunday

Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay - I said the Steelers would win and I was right! Final Score: 38-13

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Quarter Gunner Charles Asten (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 5, 1864 while on board the USS Signal on the Red River. His citation reads:

Served on board the U.S.S. Signal, Red River, 5 May 1864. Proceeding up the Red River, the U.S.S. Signal engaged a large force of enemy field batteries and sharpshooters, returning their fire until the Federal ship was totally disabled, at which time the white flag was raised. Although on the sick list, Q.G. Asten courageously carried out his duties during the entire engagement.

Private Edgar R. Aston (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 30, 1868 at San Carlos, Arizona. His citation reads:

With 2 other men he volunteered to search for a wagon passage out of a 4,000-foot valley wherein an infantry column was immobile. This small group passed 6 miles among hostile Apache terrain finding the sought passage. On their return trip down the canyon they were attacked by Apaches who were successfully held at bay.

Ship’s Cook, First Class Daniel Atkins (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on February 11, 1898 while on board the USS Cushing. His citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Cushing, 11 February 1898. Showing gallant conduct, Atkins attempted to save the life of the late Ens. Joseph C. Breckenridge, U.S. Navy, who fell overboard at sea from that vessel on this date.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

And the winner will be....

But before we get to football, I need to catch you up on Chase Towne. This update was sent on 9/17/10... sorry I’m so late in passing it on to you:

Chase is doing well! He has enjoyed his summer and is enjoying "school" even more. Our Church has a preschool program that Chase goes to from 9 to 12 two days a week. This has been a unbelievable blessing as he has matured in many ways in just two short weeks. This time last year we would have never thought he would be well enough to go to "school" this year. Chase went to his regular pediatrician last week to get caught up on some vaccinations. We are happy to report he is in the 94th percentile in height and weight. Both of these are supposed to be stunted by the chemotherapy he received. We are extremely thankful! Chase has a busy week next week. Starting Tuesday he will have three full days of scans and test. This time will be a little more painful for Chase because he does not have a Brvoviac line any more. They will have to stick him to get an IV started. Chase has come a long way and if you saw him today, you would have no idea what he has gone thru. The anxiety of these scans is settling in for Christine and I. But we will continue to take it one day at a time and pray for good results! Several people have asked us for a copy of the DVD we shared at Chase's concert in August. You can see this by going to www.youtube.com and searching for "Chase's Journey" We will keep you updated as next week unfolds. Thank you for all of the continued support of our "Miracle Baby" Please pray for safe scans and good results next week. Much love and appreciation, Chuck and Christine

For any of you too lazy to search for the video (I’m not judging) just click here.

One more thing before we get to the picks. Did anyone see the Duke game last Saturday? Wow... it must be hard being a Duke fan after that! Of course, to a trained eye like mine, it was obvious why the Blue Devils got crushed. Every time a Duke defensive player got touched, he flopped trying to draw a charge. Guess they spent too much time watching the basketball team...

The I’m just sayin... Football Predictions

Thursday Night
James Island at Ashley Ridge 7:30pm (WMMP) - JI by 7... I’m going to try to make it to this game. Not sure if I’ll be able to since I’ll have both of the girls with me (and I have a somewhat strict policy against going out in public alone with both girls).

Friday Night
Summerville at Stratford – Summerville by 14
Goose Creek at Fort Dorchester – Goose Creek by 6

Saturday
#12 USC at #17 Auburn 7:45 (ESPN) – This should be a great game. The Revolutionary War Heroes are facing a beat-up Auburn team. The Tigers are at home and USC is having to deal with the news that its all-time leading receiver (Kenny McKinley) has died in an apparent suicide. Hard to tell how this one will go. I’m going to say USC by 1.

Charleston Southern at Hawaii 11:30PM – I would like to pick CSU... but I just can’t. Hawaii by 14.

Sunday
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay 1:00pm (TBD) – Look for the Steelers Defense to win another game... Pittsburgh by 7.

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Captain Abraham K. Arnold (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 10, 1864 at Davenport Bridge, Virginia. His citation reads:

By a gallant charge against a superior force of the enemy, extricated his command from a perilous position in which it had been ordered.

Signal Quartermaster Matthew Arther (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on February 6 and 14, 1862 at Forts Henry and Donelson. His citation reads:

Served on board the U.S.S. Carondelet at the reduction of Forts Henry and Donelson, 6 and 14 February 1862 and other actions. Carrying out his duties as signal quartermaster and captain of the rifled bow gun, S/Q.M. Arther was conspicuous for valor and devotion, serving most faithfully, effectively and valiantly.

Sergeant First Class Eugene Ashley, Jr. (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on February 6 and 7, 1968 near Lang Vei, Republic of Vietnam. His citation reads:

Sfc. Ashley, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving with Detachment A-101, Company C. Sfc. Ashley was the senior special forces Advisor of a hastily organized assault force whose mission was to rescue entrapped U.S. special forces advisors at Camp Lang Vei. During the initial attack on the special forces camp by North Vietnamese army forces, Sfc. Ashley supported the camp with high explosive and illumination mortar rounds. When communications were lost with the main camp, he assumed the additional responsibility of directing air strikes and artillery support. Sfc. Ashley organized and equipped a small assault force composed of local friendly personnel. During the ensuing battle, Sfc. Ashley led a total of 5 vigorous assaults against the enemy, continuously exposing himself to a voluminous hail of enemy grenades, machine gun and automatic weapons fire. Throughout these assaults, he was plagued by numerous booby-trapped satchel charges in all bunkers on his avenue of approach. During his fifth and final assault, he adjusted air strikes nearly on top of his assault element, forcing the enemy to withdraw and resulting in friendly control of the summit of the hill. While exposing himself to intense enemy fire, he was seriously wounded by machine gun fire but continued his mission without regard for his personal safety. After the fifth assault he lost consciousness and was carried from the summit by his comrades only to suffer a fatal wound when an enemy artillery round landed in the area. Sfc. Ashley displayed extraordinary heroism in risking his life in an attempt to save the lives of his entrapped comrades and commanding officer. His total disregard for his personal safety while exposed to enemy observation and automatic weapons fire was an inspiration to all men committed to the assault. The resolute valor with which he led 5 gallant charges placed critical diversionary pressure on the attacking enemy and his valiant efforts carved a channel in the overpowering enemy forces and weapons positions through which the survivors of Camp Lang Vei eventually escaped to freedom. Sfc. Ashley's bravery at the cost of his life was in the highest traditions of the military service, and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Anniversary, I’m just sayin...

Let me start by saying the NCIS episode last night was great!  I'm glad the new season has started!

I’m actually a little late with this, since my first post was September 17, 2009... but that’s ok, better late than never. Now would be a good time to look back over what we’ve done this past year. But before we do that, let’s look at what’s going on today. I couldn’t help but notice my fellow bloggers are talking some about how people view their favorite sports teams vs. how people view their church. “What a great subject!” I thought. “I should talk about this”... but then I realized, I already have.... twice. Welcome to the conversation, guys... like I said before, better late than never I guess. :)

So over this past year we covered every subject around. We’ve talked about church, football, baseball, Chase Towne, basketball, Winthrop, me, dogs, daughters, Susie was born, The Wife, hospitals, Baby Tres, my MBA, me, politics, Sonny, the Medal of Honor, Doubting Teri, MaMa, me, Labor Day, and much, much more. To steal an idea from KC, I will now post some stats from this little experiment of mine...

How Did This Get Started?

1st Post – September 17, 2009
Patrick Swayze, President Obama, and the media

Number of Posts?

177

Longest Streak

52

Most Read Posts (Top 5)

1. Reactions.... (28)
2. I am HIGHLY OFFENDED... (19)
3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANSLEY!!!!!!!! (17)
4. Somebody said football, so I come running... (14)
5. Update from me.... (13)

Top Referrers

Jenn Williams’ Blog

Google

KC’s Blog

Top Keywords

blogspot greg horres
Mambypambyland

Pageviews By Country
I can only assume some of you have been traveling more than you have told me...

United States (1,239)
Canada (36)
Denmark (31)
Luxembourg (14)
China (12)
United Kingdom (11) – my friend Kurt? Thomas? The Queen?
Netherlands (5)
Russia (5) – KGB?
Bulgaria (4)
Latvia (3) – I’m sorry... I have no idea where this is. Someone send me a map.

We need to get word to South America, Africa, and Australia!!!!!!! I would rock in Australia!

Pageviews By Browsers

Internet Explorer (793 - 53%) – Thank you Bill Gates
FireFox (318 - 21%) - Haters
Opera (169 - 11%) – Is this what Oprah uses to read this site?
Safari (156 - 10%)
Java (23 - 1%)
Chrome (12 - <1%)

Operating System

Windows (1,108 - 80%)
MacIntosh (139 - 10%)
Blackberry (90 - 6%)
iPad (17 – 1%)
Other (23 - 3%)

My Favorite Posts

An open letter to Trident Medical Center
BREAKING NEWS!!!! A Message from The Wife
Hate what is evil...
Until we meet again, my dear sweet friend
Funeral Talk
A word to the church
My Funeral....Let’s set a record!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANSLEY!!!!!!!
Reactions....
Story Time
Friends
Happy Birthday Austin!!!!!!!
And still champion of the backyard...
Happy Birthday MaMa!!!!!!!!

I could name about 100 more, but I’ll stop there.

My favorite Non-I’m just sayin... Posts
You Heard It Hear First – Boom Goes The Dynomite
Time Machine
Friends, Boundaries and Other Thoughts
Shout Out - That’s right... it’s about me. Don’t judge me! :)
In Need of Nutrition
Wisdom is a test
I Need a Place to Hide
Rejection
43
5 Year Anniversary
Uhhh, Kevin You’ve Got A Problem
Why Worship?

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Sergeant Lester Archer (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 29, 1864 at Fort Harrison, Virginia. His citation reads:

Gallantry in placing the colors of his regiment on the fort.

Corporal William Archinal (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 22, 1863 at Vicksburg, Mississippi. His citation reads:

Gallantry in the charge of the "volunteer storming party."

Private Clinton L. Armstrong (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 22, 1863 at Vicksburg, Mississippi. His citation reads:

Gallantry in the charge of the "volunteer storming party."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Double-Post Tuesday... NCIS

In honor of a new season of NCIS starting tonight (in about 10 minutes), I will give you the I’m just sayin... 10 favorite NCIS Episodes (as voted on by the staff at I’m just sayin...).

*Note: Episode info comes from Wikipedia

The I’m just sayin... 10 Favorite NCIS Episodes

7x01 “Truth or Consequences”

Several months have passed since Gibbs left Ziva in Israel, and no one at NCIS has heard from her since. Concerned that something may be wrong, Tony, McGee and Abby track down her last known whereabouts, and discover that she was on a mission to take out terrorist Saleem Ulman in Northern Africa. Tony and McGee track him down to get answers about Ziva’s disappearance, but are quickly taken prisoner by Saleem. Unfamiliar with NCIS and Tony’s mission, Saleem administers a truth serum and questions Tony extensively about the inner workings of the agency, how he was able to find his base of operations and why he traveled so far in his quest. Unable to keep quiet due to the serum's effects, Tony recaps the three months at NCIS since Ziva disappeared, and reveals that NCIS is under the impression that Ziva is dead. He tells Saleem that he traveled to Northern Africa to seek vengeance on the parties responsible. Saleem then demands that Tony reveal the identities of all NCIS agents in the region, and threatens to kill a hostage if he doesn’t speak. To Tony’s surprise, the hostage is Ziva. However, just as Saleem is about to execute Ziva, Tony tells Saleem one last thing: Gibbs is in Northern Africa too, and Saleem is about to die. Gibbs had been lying in wait the entire time, and just then takes a sniper shot and kills Saleem and the other guards watching over Ziva, Tony and McGee, allowing them to escape. After they all return to the office, everyone stands up and welcomes the team back.

5x07 “Requiem”

The episode begins with Tony retrieving Gibbs from the water and trying to revive him. It is revealed that Maddie, a childhood friend of Gibbs' deceased daughter Kelly, comes to him for help after being stalked which leads to the events of Gibbs' car driving into water. While unconscious Gibbs hallucinates that he is visited by his dead wife and daughter and is reassured that everything is fine.

2x22 “SWAK”

All hell breaks loose at the NCIS office when Tony opens a mysterious letter containing a small puff of white powder which may be a deadly bacteria. Kate calls for help and as a precaution, she and Tony are put into a bio-hazard isolation room while McGee and Gibbs are left to discover who sent the envelope and their reasons for doing so while searching for a cure to help their friends before it's too late.

2x07 “Call of Silence”

A former Marine, and Medal of Honor recipient who fought in World War II (played by Charles Durning), confesses to having murdered his friend in battle. Gibbs does not believe this is the whole truth and goes on to prove his innocence. The team become personally involved with the case, with Gibbs using deceptive tactics to pull the truth from the elderly man.

3x09 “Frame-Up”

A pair of legs are found on a Marine base, and the team is dumbfounded and shell shocked when every piece of evidence in a murder points towards Tony as the prime suspect. In an effort to help their colleague, the team compiles a list of people who may have grudges against Tony, providing them with a long list of suspects. Abby is upset that she may have incriminated Tony through the forensic evidence she provided and refuses to give up until she's proved his innocence.

2x23 “Twilight”

While the team investigate a double murder where the victims were shot in their car, Kate kicks Tony onto the ground and he notices a bomb on the car, saving Todd and McGee. Tobias Fornell of the FBI arrives at NCIS and notifies the team that Ari Haswari has returned to the US and may be on a personal vendetta to assassinate Gibbs. While McGee starts attempting to disarm the drone, Gibbs, DiNozzo and Todd take the warehouse and begin searching for Haswari. However it's not an easy approach as they're forced to engage in a vicious and bloody gunfight with members of Ari's terrorist group. All seems to be going well until Todd takes a bullet in the chest for Gibbs. It is soon shown that she's wearing a bullet proof vest but just when it seems to be all over, Kate is brutally murdered, having shot in the head by Ari, who's been waiting on a roof waiting to strike.

6x02 “Agent Afloat”

Now stationed on the aircraft carrier USS Seahawk, DiNozzo finds that a Navy Lieutenant's apparent suicide may be connected to a larger, deadly scheme. His wife is discovered in D.C to be the victim of a fatal beating, before the Lieutenant boarded. Yet it turns out that the Lieutenant was murdered in Cartagena, Colombia within 24 hours of his wife's death, and several days before he was scheduled to board his ship. It seems that someone else took his place, and may have the intentions, it is initially believed, of exposing the ship's crew to anthrax. Gibbs and Officer Ziva David take off for Cartagena to help Tony with the investigation, and in the end DiNozzo is allowed to return to Washington D.C. despite Director Vance's apparent wishes to the contrary.

3x08 “Under Covers”

When it is discovered that two married assassins, who were fatally wounded in a car crash, were planning an assassination at the United States Marine Corps Birthday Ball, Gibbs sends Ziva and Tony to pose as the married assassins in order to find out who the couple had planned to assassinate and who had hired them. After the team finds out that the couple were expecting a baby and may have been planning to retire, they realize that the assassination plot could have been a set-up and that the married assassins were potentially the real targets. Meanwhile, an attraction between Tony and Ziva surfaces.

7x02 “Reunion”

¬The team investigates a bachelor party where all three guests are murdered and left in very mysterious circumstances. One of the victims is found hanging, another is found drowned in the toilet, the third suffered from alcohol poisoning and all three are found with their heads shaved, post mortem. After a thorough investigation the team zeros in on a suspect, a police officer that had been bullied by the three victims during high school. The way that all three victims were found corresponds with the way they had tormented the cop, right down to shaving his head. They also discover that the three victims had used their Navy connections to set up the illegal sale of a decommissioned aircraft, and that the bachelor party was actually a front for the deal to go down during. The team figures the police officer had finally taken his revenge and not only killed his tormentors, but also stole their profits from the aircraft heist. However, after the officer turns up dead, the team learns that the real culprit also attended the same high school as the original three victims, and had framed the cop so they could steal the money from the aircraft job. Meanwhile, Ziva deals with her feelings towards Tony and apologizes for ever doubting him.

1x19 “Dead Man Talking”

Special Agent Chris Pacci is brutally murdered while investigating a cold case, prompting a guilt-ridden Gibbs to step in and take over the case while attempting to find Pacci's killer. The team follows the trail of millions of dollars, and is led to a woman with ties to the thief. The agents take shifts conducting a stake-out on the woman's house, until Tony is caught raiding the mailbox. Forced to improvise, he introduces himself as a resident of the neighborhood and strikes up a conversation based on what he had heard via surveillance. This gives him a chance to get close to the suspect in order to find out more, as he goes on a successful date with her. Meanwhile, Abby makes a shocking discovery which leaves Tony horrified and vulnerable to an onslaught of merciless taunts and teasing from Todd: the suspect they've been trailing, Amanda Reed is in fact Lt. Commander Voss, the Petty Officer who faked his own death in a car accident and who's responsible for stealing money from the Navy. Things come to a head in the bar where Voss/Reed attempts to kill Tony in front of witnesses but Gibbs gets there just in time and shoots the former Petty Officer dead, avenging Pacci's death.

Honorable Mention:

6x25 “Aliyah”

Ziva's homecoming to Israel with Gibbs and the team is not a happy reunion with her father, Eli David, the enigmatic and powerful head of Mossad. As tensions rise, and based on information he gets from McGee and Abby, Gibbs decides to leave Ziva in Tel Aviv. Ziva is later captured by the terrorists in Somalia that Rivkin had been investigating.

4x01 “Shalom”

After witnessing a Mossad agent perform an assassination, which was not authorized by Mossad, Ziva is suspected by the FBI to be a double agent. Now a fugitive and on the run, Ziva is forced to ask for Gibbs' help, who is in Mexico after retiring from NCIS. Tony finds his leadership skills being tested to the limit as he leads the team to search for Ziva and to prove her innocence before the FBI can arrest her.

7x24 “Rule Fifty-One”

Gibbs' captor is Paloma Reynosa, the daughter of the drug dealer, Pedro Hernandez who Gibbs murdered twenty years previously after Hernandez ordered the deaths of both Kelly and Shannon Gibbs. Paloma wants revenge against Gibbs for robbing her of her father and threatens to kill everyone Gibbs has ever met, starting with Mike Franks and ending with his father if he does not start working on her behalf. It is revealed that Alejandro is Paloma's brother and that he opened the case of his father's murder in an attempt to keep Gibbs out of his sister's reach whilst still delivering justice, but things are complicated by the loss of Abby's report from "Patriot Down" - which has been intercepted by Allison Hart to prevent it from reaching Mexico. Meanwhile, Ziva has passed her citizenship test and is expecting Tony and Gibbs to attend her citizenship ceremony. Tony is forced to break his promise to her when the situation escalates, and he is tasked with shadowing Rivera, meeting Mike Franks during the assignment. The episode ends with Paloma traveling to Pennsylvania and entering the store owned by Jackson Gibbs, leaving his fate unknown.

Note: It is revealed that Gibbs started writing down all his rules after a suggestion by his late wife and in this episode creates a new rule, the eponymous rule 51: "Sometimes - you're wrong". Tony also mentions that all rules "in the 40s" are for emergencies only.


So there you have it... now turn off your computer and turn on CBS!

I couldn’t make this up...

There is a country song that has a line that goes something like “God is great, beer is good and people are crazy”. Right now, I couldn’t agree more. I am one of the few people who still gets the local paper. I usually scan the front section, read the editorials/letters to the editor, scan the local section (read the obits), and then read the sports section (usually all of it). It took me a long time to get past the front page one day last week. Let us start with the first article on the front page. It deals with my dear James Island. For any who don’t know, James Island has been fighting to either become or stay a town for many years now. The leader of this fight (up until this past election) was Mary Clark. She did a lot for the town which is something that should not be overlooked. What also shouldn’t be overlooked is that somewhere along the way, she started to think that James Island was her town and that everyone should just do what she said. Her son was awarded two contracts (one a nice size, one rather big) and that, probably more than anything, helped lead to her downfall. Recently it has come out that she wrote 5 $1,000 checks for JI to join a still-being-formed Sea Island Chamber of Commerce. The reason she paid with 5 $1,000 checks instead of 1 $5,000 check is that if she goes over $1,000 then she has to get approval from the Town Council. Oh, did I mention her daughter is the co-executive director of this new Chamber of Commerce? Listen, I’m not against using power to help friends and family. In fact, I think that’s the best perk of having power. Should I ever get it, that’s what I plan to do. Still, you have to be smart about it. And you have to realize others might not agree with you. Anyway, people have said that the chamber should give the money back to the town (for one thing, I’m not 100% convinced it’s a real organization... for another, the money seems to have been given in a legally illegal way if you know what I mean). So the title on the top of the front page of the paper reads, “A blunt rebuff to the backside”. That did it’s job of catching my attention. You don’t have to read far to get to the good stuff: “ ‘You can kiss my a--!’ Sherry Hering (the other co-executive director) said when asked by The Post and Courier for a response to calls by some town residents for the money to be refunded voluntarily.” I’ve done enough fundraising in my life to know that’s not the best way to answer a question... especially if the person you are saying it to can quote you on the front page of the local paper.


Another article dealt with a young man who wants to play football at James Island High School. Judging from this article, it seems the South Carolina High School League said he must sit out one year because he transferred to the school. There is a rule that states if you transfer from one school to another you have to sit out a year (or something like that... I don’t have the exact rule in front of me right now). Now, I don’t know when this rule came into existence, but it seems (to me) to have been needed because a certain school (which I won’t name on here... but it starts with a “Summer” and ends with a “ville”) had a knack of finding talent outside of it’s area and bringing it in. I don’t know if any of this is or isn’t true, of course, but I think their coach has won many “Recruiter of the Year” awards in his 150 years of coaching. The funny thing here, is that a school that is known for (allegedly) red-shirting players is able to (allegedly) get around this rule and have players (allegedly) transfer in and play right away. Of course, we at I’m just sayin... would never speak ill of any local school or their 200 year old coach, but if we took a vote, we would probably take out the “allegedly” in a lot of what has been said here. But I digress...
The bottom line in this case is: A) this might be the first kid ever to transfer to James Island because he wanted to play football; B) he wants to play JV; C) that’s right, junior varsity; 4) the school he transferred from didn’t (and still doesn’t) have a football team. So he’s not leaving one team to play for another. He is leaving nothing, to play for a team (which, now that I think about it, explains “A”). I must be honest (because I try to be honest at least once a post and I’m running out of time here) I don’t always agree with the SCHSL. As someone who typically finds myself siding with management... I find it surprising that I usually find myself siding against the SCHSL (and the NCAA, but that’s another story). Anyway, I see no reason why this young man shouldn’t be allowed to play JV football this year for James Island.


Results from our predictions...


Friday Games
James Island vs. Wando – JI Won... I was right!


Ashley Ridge vs. West Ashley – Ashley Ridge Won... I was right again!


Summerville vs. Fort Dorchester – Summerville Won... I am a high school football predicting machine!


Saturday Games
Clemson at #16 Auburn – Auburn won. If you look back, I said they should win. I also picked Clemson to win by 3. So I was wrong, but I was a lot closer to being right than a lot of people who put money on these games.


Note: I don't want to point fingers here, but I was watching this game in my bedroom and the score was 17-0, Clemson. Then The Wife comes back and I politely tell her to get out. She doesn't leave. The rest, as they say, is history.


#13 USC vs Furman – Tony Elliott as a WR coach wasn’t enough to help Furman top The Revolutionary War Heroes. Again, I said USC should win and they did... so I was right about that. But I picked Furman to pull out the upset and they lost, so I was really wrong. If you look at it that way.


Charleston Southern vs. Mars Hill – CSU won... I was right!


Not sure why I forgot to pick the Navy game... I’ll remember to add them to my list.


Sunday Games
Pittsburgh at Tennessee - The Steelers won... I was right!!!!


Hey! Don’t forget tonight starts Season 8 of NCIS!!!!! 8:00pm on CBS (followed by NCIS LA... so stick around and watch it, too).


Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:


Corporal Edwin Nelson Appleton (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 20, 1900 at Tientsin, China. His citation reads:


In action against the enemy at Tientsin, China, 20 June 1900. Crossing the river in a small boat while under heavy enemy fire, Appleton assisted in destroying buildings occupied by the enemy.


First Lieutenant William H. Appleton (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 15, 1864 at Petersburg, Virginia and on September 29, 1864 at New Market Heights, Virginia. His citation reads:


The first man of the Eighteenth Corps to enter the enemy's works at Petersburg, Va., 15 June 1864. Valiant service in a desperate assault at New Market Heights, Va., inspiring the Union troops by his example of steady courage.




First Lieutenant/Adjutant James W. Archer (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on October 4, 1862 at Corinth, Mississippi. His citation reads:


Voluntarily took command of another regiment, with the consent of one or more of his seniors, who were present, rallied the command and led it in the assault.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Welcome Kelsey Hope Garmendia!!!!!

In a rare I'm just sayin... Double-Post Friday, I would like to take a minute to welcome Kelsey Hope Garmendia to the family! Kelsey was born at 10:18 this morning weighing in at 7lbs 10oz. Click on the link to see pictures of her (along with her various other family members). From the looks of the pics, her parents are doing good. And it also looks like her Big Sister Avery is happy to finally get to meet Kelsey.

Congrats Casey (mom), Louis (dad), & Avery (big sister)! And again, welcome to the family Kelsey!

Football Friday...

Before we get to the predictions, I feel I must point you to the column in the paper today about my friend and former baseball teammate Tony Elliott. This column points to Tony as being a future head coach at Clemson. Let me say he would have the full support of I’m just sayin.... Don’t get me wrong, I like Dabo and I hope he has a long successful run at Clemson. But if the Tigers find themselves in need of a head coach then Tony would be a great choice. Many years ago (2003) my cousin Louis wrote a great piece about Tony for one of the Clemson gameday programs. The list included quotes from yours truly. Here are the quotes:

“What made Tony a great player was that he made guys around him play better,” said Greg Horres, a baseball teammate at James Island. “You see him out there busting his butt, giving everything he's got and it makes you want to give it all you've got. Then you hear bits and pieces about his childhood and hell, you go out there and try even harder.”

“The best thing is, all of this sports stuff is just a part of who he is,” said Horres. “He's got to be one of the smartest people I've ever known. On the field, off the field and in the classroom, Tony Elliott is a winner, plain and simple.”


All of what I said was (and still is) the truth. Tony has it all... he’s smart, athletically gifted, humble, and hard working. It is the opinion of the I’m just sayin... staff that Tony could have played baseball and basketball in college if he had wanted to. I have no doubt he is a great coach. Why? Because like I told Louis seven years ago... Tony Elliott is a winner, plain and simple.

Oh, something funny I noticed while re-reading that wonderful piece Louis wrote... When Tony was transferring away from the Air Force Academy, the University of Georgia didn’t want him because they questioned his smarts. Tony played his final Clemson season as a grad student with a degree in Industrial Engineering and a 3.5 grade point average. I wonder what AJ’s GPA is...

Friday Games
James Island vs. Wando... Both teams enter the game at 3-0, but only James Island will leave at 4-0. I’ll take the Trojans in a close 3 point win.

Ashley Ridge vs. West Ashley... Both teams are coming off losses, I look for Ashley Ridge to bounce back and pick up the 7 point win.

Summerville vs. Fort Dorchester... The Wife doesn’t want to hear this, but Summerville will take this one by 14.

Saturday Games
Clemson at #16 Auburn 7:00pm (ESPN)... Auburn should win. They are at home, they have a great QB and, really, a great team. I’ll say Clemson by 3.

#13 USC vs Furman 7:00pm (PPV)... The Revolutionary War Heroes should win. They are at home and they’ve got a great running back. But it is very hard for me to pick against a team that has Tony Elliott as a coach (even if he isn’t the head coach). I know it’s a long shot, but I’m predicting the upset with Furman winning by 3.

Charleston Southern vs. Mars Hill 1:30pm (no TV)... The Bucs will take this one with a 14 point win.

Sunday Games
Pittsburgh at Tennessee 1:00pm (CBS)... The Steelers will win another game without Big Ben at QB. I’m predicting a 6 point win for Pittsburgh.

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Sergeant Sylvester Antolak (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 24, 1944 near Cisterna di Littoria, Italy. His citation reads:

Near Cisterna di Littoria, Italy, he charged 200 yards over flat, coverless terrain to destroy an enemy machinegun nest during the second day of the offensive which broke through the German cordon of steel around the Anzio beachhead. Fully 30 yards in advance of his squad, he ran into withering enemy machinegun, machine-pistol and rifle fire. Three times he was struck by bullets and knocked to the ground, but each time he struggled to his feet to continue his relentless advance. With one shoulder deeply gashed and his right arm shattered, he continued to rush directly into the enemy fire concentration with his submachinegun wedged under his uninjured arm until within 15 yards of the enemy strong point, where he opened fire at deadly close range, killing 2 Germans and forcing the remaining 10 to surrender. He reorganized his men and, refusing to seek medical attention so badly needed, chose to lead the way toward another strong point 100 yards distant. Utterly disregarding the hail of bullets concentrated upon him, he had stormed ahead nearly three-fourths of the space between strong points when he was instantly killed by hostile enemy fire. Inspired by his example, his squad went on to overwhelm the enemy troops. By his supreme sacrifice, superb fighting courage, and heroic devotion to the attack, Sgt. Antolak was directly responsible for eliminating 20 Germans, capturing an enemy machinegun, and clearing the path for his company to advance.

Commander Richard Nott Antrim (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions in April 1942 in Makassar, Celebes, Netherlands East Indies. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while interned as a prisoner of war of the enemy Japanese in the city of Makassar, Celebes, Netherlands East Indies, in April 1942. Acting instantly on behalf of a naval officer who was subjected to a vicious clubbing by a frenzied Japanese guard venting his insane wrath upon the helpless prisoner, Comdr. (then Lt.) Antrim boldly intervened, attempting to quiet the guard and finally persuading him to discuss the charges against the officer. With the entire Japanese force assembled and making extraordinary preparations for the threatened beating, and with the tension heightened by 2,700 Allied prisoners rapidly closing in, Comdr. Antrim courageously appealed to the fanatic enemy, risking his own life in a desperate effort to mitigate the punishment. When the other had been beaten unconscious by 15 blows of a hawser and was repeatedly kicked by 3 soldiers to a point beyond which he could not survive, Comdr. Antrim gallantly stepped forward and indicated to the perplexed guards that he would take the remainder of the punishment, throwing the Japanese completely off balance in their amazement and eliciting a roar of acclaim from the suddenly inspired Allied prisoners. By his fearless leadership and valiant concern for the welfare of another, he not only saved the life of a fellow officer and stunned the Japanese into sparing his own life but also brought about a new respect for American officers and men and a great improvement in camp living conditions. His heroic conduct throughout reflects the highest credit upon Comdr. Antrim and the U.S. Naval Service.

Corporal Andrew O. Apple (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 2, 1865 at Petersburg, Virginia. His citation reads:

Conspicuous gallantry as color bearer in the assault on Fort Gregg.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Are you f#%*ing kidding me?!

That may or may not have been my reaction yesterday to a situation that happened at my house. Before we talk about that, however, let’s go back in time a little bit.

Last Tuesday: The Wife turned in her 2 weeks notice.

Last Wednesday: She was told “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here”. (Those weren’t the exact words... the exact words weren’t nearly as funny).

(****NOTE: Today The Wife was told by her new boss that she can move up the start date of her new job, so that’s good. Because of this, she is willing to move on and forget about how the old job treated her. This is because she is a nice person. I, however, am somewhat of a vindictive sonofagun and I’m not quite ready to let it go. Still, she doesn’t want me to make a big deal about what happened. So I promised her I wouldn’t get on here and tell you that if you ever find yourself working for the Dorchester County DDSN and you decide you are going to take a job somewhere else, don’t give a 2 weeks notice [or any notice for that matter]. I agreed I wouldn’t say anything, so please don’t ask me. END NOTE****)

Last Friday: The Wife leaves me and her two little girls to go on a wild and crazy weekend trip with some of her sorority friends.

I’m sure you now see the problem that I saw... The Wife is gone and I have two little girls at home by myself. I am happy to say both were alive and well when The Wife got back home. For any other dad’s out there looking for some advice on how to handle a situation like this, you probably shouldn’t ask me. What I did was pull out the TV from our bedroom and set it up out in the den with my playstation 2 and played video games while watching GI Joe/ThunderCats/Transformers/Veggie Tales/Various Disney Princess Movies with Mary Ruth. Then there was the issue of what to do with Susie. For the most part, she was happy just sitting in the den hanging out with her big sister (and me... but mostly her big sister). When it came time to eat, we all sat in the den and ate while watching TV. Yes, even Susie. I pulled her highchair out into the den, put various food items on her tray, and let her have at it. I have to say, I think she loved the idea of watching TV while eating. And with 3 dogs paying attention to nothing but Susie, I didn’t have to worry about food falling on the floor. I did have to leave the house for a soccer meeting for parents at the Y, but that was only for about an hour... so I left Lucy and Mary Ruth in charge and told Maverick not to let anyone in the house while I was gone. Ok, not really... I had Mom come up and watch the girls while I went to the meeting. I also spent hours and hours and hours washing clothes and doing all the other things The Wife neglected to do before she left us to party with her friends. By Sunday I was exhausted. So I stayed home to rest and get ready for a birthday party at 4:00. The Wife got home between 1:00-2:00 and all of us were excited and happy to see her. She was tired so she decided to take a nap before the party (Susie was also taking a nap). Mary Ruth was excited about the party and kept wanting to know when we were going to leave. I woke The Wife up at about 3:30 to tell her it was time to go. She informed me that she didn’t feel good (which is true... she is sick... at least she sounds sick) and that we weren’t going to the party. Mary Ruth wasn’t happy about this (I wasn’t either). I said just because she doesn’t feel good doesn’t mean me and Mary Ruth couldn’t go. So it was decided... me and MR would go to the party. By now I was starting to rush to get out the door because I didn’t want to miss any cake and ice cream. I couldn’t find the keys to my car, so I asked The Wife for her keys to my car. She gave them to me... but she doesn’t have a house key with her key to my car. I pointed out that I thought this was a bad idea. What if they had to go somewhere... then me and MR wouldn’t be able to get back in the house. She said not to worry about it. So me and MR walked out to the car to leave. But The Wife still had all of her stuff in the car, so she came out to get it.

Now we get to the part of the day I first talked about in this post. As The Wife walked out of the house she claims she unlocked the door. Like you, I’m questioning why she even closed the door... I mean, we’re just going to the car and there isn’t anyone inside who we have to worry about opening the storm door and letting the dogs out. So why do it? I don’t know... Anyway, she got her stuff and got to the door and... and... and... couldn’t get in. She had locked the door. For those of you scoring at home, I’m outside the house with The Wife and Mary Ruth. None of us have a house key. Susie is inside... unable to let us in (and at this point, she’s sleeping so she really doesn’t care where we are). The good news, if there is any, is that I’m pretty sure that short of breaking a window our house is impossible to break in to. I know this, because I spent a lot of time trying. The Wife finally had to call The Mother-in-Law and have her come over and let us in. Since I know you’re asking... we have, in the past, had a key hidden outside of our house. I’m pretty sure The Wife used it and left it inside and I just never noticed until now.

Anyway... MR and I had to miss the party. No seeing our friends. No cake and ice cream. You know I love cake and ice cream.

In case any of you are thinking “hasn’t this happened to them before?” the answer is, yes. I locked Mary Ruth in the house by herself one time when The Wife was out of town. In my defense, however, I didn’t shut the door all the way... one of the dogs (or MR) pushed it shut. And I was able to get into the house without calling for back-up.

My only thought, is my week has to get better...

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Ordinary Seaman John Andrews (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 9 & 10, 1871 in Korea. His citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Benicia in action against Korean forts on 9 and 10 June 1871. Stationed at the lead in passing the forts, Andrews stood on the gunwale on the Benicia's launch, lashed to the ridgerope. He remained unflinchingly in this dangerous position and gave his soundings with coolness and accuracy under a heavy fire.

Cabin Boy John Angling (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions from December 24, 1864 – January 22, 1865 during the Civil War. His citation reads:

Served on board the U.S.S. Pontoosuc during the capture of Fort Fisher and Wilmington, 24 December 1864 to 22 January 1865. Carrying out his duties faithfully during this period, C.B. Angling was recommended for gallantry and skill and for his cool courage while under the fire of the enemy throughout these various actions.


Coxswain William Anderson (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 28, 1878. His citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Powhatan, 28 June 1878. Acting courageously, Anderson rescued from drowning W. H. Moffatt, first class boy.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANSLEY!!!!!!!

As all of you know, today is a big day in US history. My niece Ansley (Doubting Teri’s middle daughter) turns 10 today. So, we will have a quick 10 things about Ansley...

1. I remember Brent and Doubting Teri couldn’t make it to our Labor Day Weekend gathering in 2000 because Ansley was due any day now. So, The Girlfriend and I took care of Leah over the weekend. That included walking her around the parking lot outside of a restaurant while everyone else was inside eating. Interesting fact... that restaurant was one of the first things I saw after the Great Truck Wreck of 2004.

2. Ansley is the 3 grandchild of Mom and Dad (Nana & Da to her), the second child of Brent and Doubting Teri (Dad & Mom to her), and the 1st child in our family tree born in the 2000’s.

3. World leaders attended the Millennium Summit at the UN Headquarters around the time Ansley was born.

4. Windows Me was released just a few days after she was born.

5. The 2000 Summer Olympics open up in Sydney, Australia.

6. The H.L. Hunley was raised to the surface after 136 years on the ocean floor just a month before Ansley was born.

7. The Wife gave Ansley the middle name “Grace”. Brent and Doubting Teri gave her a different middle name.

8. The Top 3 Movies of 2000 were: Mission: Impossible II, Gladiator, and Cast Away.

9. The Top 5 Songs of 2000 were: Music (by Madonna), Oops!... I Did it Again (by Britney Spears), Beautiful Day (by U2), Rock DJ (by Robbie Williams), and It’s My Life (by Bon Jovi).

10. She turned one on September 11, 2001.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANSLEY “GRACE”! I LOVE YOU!



Now on to the other thing September 11 is known for. I can remember hearing people talk about certain events (for my Mom, it’s when President Kennedy was assassinated... for my friend KC, it’s when Pearl Harbor was bombed) and saying they remember exactly where they were when the event happened. It’s not that I didn’t believe these people... it’s just I couldn’t understand what they were talking about. I mean, I have trouble remembering something that happened two days ago... much less years and years ago. Then came September 11, 2001. Now I understand. Today marks the 9th anniversary of that day. I assume the History Channel will be focused on this event as it has been in previous years. I remember it like it just happened. I was about a month into my second senior year at Winthrop University, living in an apartment at Mallard Point with Jeremy and Thomas. I got up and headed to my Tuesday morning class, just like always. Back then, I would usually listen to John Boy & Billy on the radio as I headed to class but on this day I was listening to a Bon Jovi CD (on one of those portable CD players that you had to connect to the car via a cassette tape that had a wire running from it to the CD player). I got to my class (a Business Writing class) and sat down. A couple minutes later a guy in our class walks in and says that he heard that two planes collided in New York City around the World Trade Center. It seemed, at the time, like it was two small planes... and while it was sad to hear, it wasn’t earth shattering news. After class I was walking out to meet/hangout with The Girlfriend. I had a break between my first class and my afternoon class (with The Girlfriend) so I liked to have lunch with her on those days. Rumors were starting to pick up about what was going on, so we headed back to her place for lunch (which I don’t think we ever ate that day) and to watch the news. We sat and watched as smoke poured out of the windows of the towers. By then, I believe, one of the towers had already fallen. As we were watching the news live, the second tower came down. At first, I thought maybe they were showing a replay of the first one... but then I realized it was the second one. I must admit to being a bit na├»ve that day because I was thinking at the time well surely everyone had evacuated from the building by then. Have you ever tried walking down 80 flights of stairs (or even 30 flights, for that matter)? Me either. It did hit, pretty quick, that even if everyone else had gotten out... there were still all the firefighters/policemen/EMS people who had been running in. I remember we sat there kind of stunned just watching TV. I remember having this numb feeling for a while (days/weeks?) after that and just wanting to sit and watch the news. We finally had to get up and go to our afternoon class because Winthrop (at least back then) wouldn’t cancel a class for anything. I remember just going through the motions in my afternoon classes... waiting for a chance to get back in front of the TV to watch the news. Back then I was working as a Manager Trainee at Rack Room Shoes in Carolina Place Mall (in Pineville, NC). I was scheduled to work that night, but I got a call from Peggy (my boss) telling me not to worry about coming in. She said she was pretty sure they were going to close the mall early, but even if they didn’t, nobody was there. Because of my class schedule, I worked almost every night and most of the time on the weekends... so this gave me a rare night off to spend with The Girlfriend. We went to Ryan’s for dinner. Her dad called me on my cell phone because he hadn’t been able to reach her. I remember sitting there thinking, "Hey, today is Ansley's first birthday... I've got to give her a call". I remember this was perhaps the longest period of time in my life when I just didn’t feel like laughing. I remember walking around campus and noticing how quiet it was. Winthrop is close enough to Charlotte that there are almost always planes in the sky... but not that day. Even the roads were light... it seemed everyone was staying home watching TV. I think the mall was closed for a couple of days (though I could be mistaken). I do remember going back to work and the place being like a ghost town for the first week or two. I mean, there was NOBODY in the mall. NOBODY. Nobody shopping. Nobody “just looking”. Nobody out walking around. Even the shoplifters were staying home. It was very strange. I remember me, Peggy, and Maureen (my friend from Long Island who was a part-time worker at our store, who has since passed away) would just stand there and talk. Every now and then we’d walk around the store and clean/straighten up... but with no customers there wasn’t much to clean. I do remember standing in the back corner of the store straightening up some shoe boxes when I heard Leaving on a Jet Plane (Leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again) being played and thinking, “Hmmm.... I don’t think this is the best time to be playing a song like this”. As time went on, things started to get back to “normal”. We had work and classes and The Girlfriend was busy planning “our” wedding. At some point I started laughing again. Before long sports picked back up and the little things that we learned weren’t really all that important started to become important again. Next thing you know, one... two... nine years have gone by and here we are. Since then, I’ve lost two grandmothers and gained two daughters. I’m sure this event hit some people harder than it did me. Some for obvious reasons, some maybe not. Others, perhaps, were not hit as hard (I don’t want to point fingers here, but I have a nephew who was born in June 2002... you do the math). Make sure you checkout the History Channel off and on today in between football games. The programming they have on 9/11 is just incredible. Some of the programs have “home video” type footage that really gives a great perspective on how things were that day. Some of it is hard to watch. Most of it will probably bring tears to your eyes (it did mine), but all of it is worth watching.

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Quartermaster Robert Anderson (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions during the Civil War. His citation reads:

Served on board the U.S.S. Crusader and the Keokuk during various actions of those vessels. Carrying out his duties skillfully while on board the U.S.S. Crusader, Q.M. Anderson, on all occasions, set forth the greatest intrepidity and devotion. During the attack on Charleston, while serving on board the U.S.S. Keokuk, Q.M. Anderson was stationed at the wheel when shot penetrated the house and, with the scattering of the iron, used his own body as a shield for his commanding officer.

Corporal Thomas Anderson (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 8, 1865 at Appomattox Station, Virginia. His citation reads:

Capture of Confederate flag.

Sergeant First Class Webster Anderson (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on October 15, 1967 in the Republic of Vietnam. His citation reads:

Sfc. Anderson (then S/Sgt.), distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as chief of section in Battery A, against a hostile force. During the early morning hours Battery A's defensive position was attacked by a determined North Vietnamese Army infantry unit supported by heavy mortar, recoilless rifle, rocket propelled grenade and automatic weapon fire. The initial enemy onslaught breached the battery defensive perimeter. Sfc. Anderson, with complete disregard for his personal safety, mounted the exposed parapet of his howitzer position and became the mainstay of the defense of the battery position. Sfc. Anderson directed devastating direct howitzer fire on the assaulting enemy while providing rifle and grenade defensive fire against enemy soldiers attempting to overrun his gun section position. While protecting his crew and directing their fire against the enemy from his exposed position, 2 enemy grenades exploded at his feet knocking him down and severely wounding him in the legs. Despite the excruciating pain and though not able to stand, Sfc. Anderson valorously propped himself on the parapet and continued to direct howitzer fire upon the closing enemy and to encourage his men to fight on. Seeing an enemy grenade land within the gun pit near a wounded member of his gun crew, Sfc. Anderson heedless of his own safety, seized the grenade and attempted to throw it over the parapet to save his men. As the grenade was thrown from the position it exploded and Sfc. Anderson was again grievously wounded. Although only partially conscious and severely wounded, Sfc. Anderson refused medical evacuation and continued to encourage his men in the defense of the position. Sfc. Anderson by his inspirational leadership, professionalism, devotion to duty and complete disregard for his welfare was able to maintain the defense of his section position and to defeat a determined attack. Sfc. Anderson's gallantry and extraordinary heroism at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Somebody said football, so I come running...

It’s Friday night so you know what that means... “MR and Daddy Camp Out In the Den Night!” Oh, and high school football. But before we get to football, let’s go over some other news.

I saw in the paper that David Ray Tant was granted parole. For those that don’t know, Tant pleaded guilty to 40 counts of illegally breeding fighting dogs. He was given a 30-year sentence, of which he has served 5 years and 10 months. Lucy, my first born dog, was used as a “bait dog” before she was rescued. She still, 8 years later, has scars from that point of her life. So, I don’t have a whole lot of love for people like Tant. I always thought the best punishment for people like this would be to tie them up and lock them in a room with all the dogs and let nature take its course. Still, there is a part of me (a small part) that believes in second chances. Almost 6 years in jail ain’t like a couple of weeks at summer camp, if you know what I mean. So let him out on parole... but if he does ANYTHING else... if he even LOOKS at a dog the wrong way, then he has to serve the rest of his sentence. And he has to dig holes in the Georgia clay.

Next on the list is the “minister” down in Florida who plans to burn copies of the Quran (or Koran) on September 11. I say “minister”, because I don’t really know anything about him. He calls himself Dr. ________, but that doesn’t really mean anything to me because I’ve called myself doctor before. I dare say the fact that he calls himself Reverend doesn’t mean much to me because that’s just a title that anyone can give themselves. Now, it could be that he really is these things... but I’m not ready to believe that yet. Anyway, here in America I’m pretty sure people have the right to burn any book they want. However, having the right to do something and being right in doing it are two different things. Really, I think this is just some guy trying to drum up a little exposure for his 50 member “church”. Listen, if he wants to do this... fine. It doesn’t really matter to me. To be honest, he could burn the Bible for all I care (it’s ok, I’ve got 2 of my own... 1 NIV and 1 KJV... which combined cost me less than half of 1 text book at CSU, but I digress). I wouldn’t recommend doing it... but that’s between him and God as far as I’m concerned. Some people will tell you that him burning a Koran (or Quran) will cause Muslims to start attacking innocent people. Here’s my thought on that, those people were going to do something like that anyway... if it wasn’t this, then it would be something else that would “set them off”. If Muslim leaders were to ask me for advice, I would tell them to ignore this guy. I would then tell them to visit ARC to find out a little something about Jesus. But mainly I would ignore him (the “minister”, not Jesus). When someone from CBS sticks a mic in your face and says what do you think about ________ burning the Quran (or Koran), just say “Who? Never heard of him”. What wouldn't be a good move, of course, is to start killing Americans (or Christians) because of what this guy does (if he goes through with it). That would be like people killing Muslims because of what other Muslims have done. Now, if they want to go after this guy... so be it. I wouldn't blame them.

We now move on to the issue of the “Ground Zero Mosque”. When researching this subject, I came across this little tidbit. Reading this, it seems the Cordoba House (the name of the building that apparently isn’t even really a mosque) is a block or two away from Ground Zero. In fact, looking at the map on the site from the above link, you can’t even see Ground Zero from this place. This debate is much like the “Alcohol sales on Sunday” debate in that I can easily argue both sides of the argument (and I’m not 100% sure which side is right... or if there even is a “right” side). I understand why people are against building it. But how far away is far enough? I say let them build it. Live and let live. On the other hand... with all the “bad blood” and all the fighting over this thing, it would probably be wise to try and seek some sort of compromise. Again, if Muslim leaders were to ask me for advice, I would tell them that while they do have the right to have their building there, that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do (and, of course, I would then tell them to visit ARC to find out a little something about Jesus). I would also tell them that if they do stick with their plan, don’t be shocked if bad things happen (much like the guy above who seems to be asking for trouble).

Hey, I saw on Yahoo! that Joe Montana said the movie Rudy wasn't 100% accurate. Well let me tell you that I am shocked (SHOCKED!) to find out movies don't always tell the whole (true) story. My next thought, in all honesty, is, "Who cares?". No offense to Rudy (the man), but did anyone really watch Rudy (the movie) to find out about Rudy (the man)? I didn't. I watched it because it's a good story (never forgetting that it was a "story"). Sure, it was BASED on a real life guy... but this blog is based on a real life guy (me) and even I don't believe everything I read here. My point is, don't try to kill a movie with a rather good message. I remember back at JI we called my friend Kurt "Rudy" because he was our 3rd string 1st baseman (fyi, high school baseball teams don't usually go 3 deep on the depth chart) but nobody on the team practiced harder than Kurt. I worked harder in practice than I probably otherwise whould have because of Kurt. He didn't get a lot of playing time, but I don't think we would have won as many games as we did without him on the team. Why did he work so hard? Because he wanted to play baseball at JI. So what if Rudy wasn't 100% accurate... that wasn't the point of the movie. The point was the message and (I think) the message was 100% accurate.

Lastly, I would like to mention a recent letter to the local newspaper here from a young man in Mt. Pleasant. He points out that the University of South Carolina’s nickname comes not “from the art of cockfighting” but instead comes from “the nickname given to the great Revolutionary War hero, General Thomas Sumter, who acquired the nickname ‘The Carolina Gamecock’ for his fierce fighting tactics”. The letter was well written and I’m sure this young man is correct with his history lesson. However, I must ask this question... why doesn’t the mascot look like a Revolutionary War hero? Why, when I saw the game on TV this past Thursday night (while being ticked off that the JI game wasn’t on... but I digress) did I see a bird (gamecock, perhaps?) wearing a spur? A while back a comedian (Dave Chappelle) had a bit that went something like this:
The girl says "Oh uh-uh, wait a minute! Wait a minute! Just because I'm dressed this way does not make me a whore!" Which is true, gentlemen, that is true. Just because they dress a certain way doesn't mean they are a certain way. Don't ever forget it. But ladies, you must understand that is confusing. It just is. Now that would be like me, Dave Chappelle, the comedian, walking down the street in a cop uniform. Somebody might run up on me, saying, "Oh, thank God. Officer, help us! Come on. They're over here. Help us!" "Oh-hoh! Just because I'm dressed this way does not make me a police officer!" See what I mean? All right, ladies, fine. You are not a whore. But you are wearing a whore's uniform.

My point is this... USC might not have gotten its nickname from a fighting bird... but all it ever shows is a fighting bird. And let’s be honest here, I think we all know why they sell so many hats with school’s nickname on it (minus the “Game”). They should be ashamed. I’m just sayin...

Now, for the I’m just sayin... football predictions for this weekend:

Friday
James Island at Colleton County: JI by 3
Summerville at Goose Creek: Summerville by 6
Ashley Ridge at Stratford: Stratford by 14
Ft. Dorchester at St. John’s: Ft. Dorchester by 28

Saturday
#24 USC (congrats to Danny on the Gamecocks ranking) vs. #22 UGA (12:00pm on ESPN2) – The game is in Columbia... I think the Revolutionary War Hero’s take this one by 7.

Charleston Southern vs. Wofford (1:30pm) – I think CSU will pull off the upset... Charleston Southern by 3

Clemson vs. Presbyterian (3:30pm on ESPN3.com) – Clemson will win... the question is by how much? I’m saying the Tigers by 28.

Navy vs. Georgia Southern (3:30pm)– Navy needs to take advantage of trips to the Red Zone... Navy by 14.

Army vs. Hawaii (12:00pm) - Hawaii had a long way to go to get to this game and I don't think they'ed make that trip just to lose. Hawaii by 10.

Sunday
Steelers vs. Falcons (1:00pm) - Steelers by 6.

Dolphins at Bills (1:00pm) - Wildcat vs Spiller... It's Spiller Time. Bills by 7.

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Private Peter Anderson (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on March 19, 1865 at Bentonville, North Carolina. His citation reads:

Entirely unassisted, brought from the field an abandoned piece of artillery and saved the gun from falling into the hands of the enemy.

Private First Class Richard Beatty Anderson (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on February 1, 1944 during WWII. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 4th Marine Division during action against enemy Japanese forces on Roi Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, 1 February 1944. Entering a shell crater occupied by 3 other marines, Pfc. Anderson was preparing to throw a grenade at an enemy position when it slipped from his hands and rolled toward the men at the bottom of the hole. With insufficient time to retrieve the armed weapon and throw it, Pfc. Anderson fearlessly chose to sacrifice himself and save his companions by hurling his body upon the grenade and taking the full impact of the explosion. His personal valor and exceptional spirit of loyalty in the face of almost certain death were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Lance Corporal Richard A. Anderson (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on August 24, 1969 in the Republic of Vietnam. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an assistant team leader with Company E, in connection with combat operations against an armed enemy. While conducting a patrol during the early morning hours L/Cpl. Anderson's reconnaissance team came under a heavy volume of automatic weapons and machine gun fire from a numerically superior and well concealed enemy force. Although painfully wounded in both legs and knocked to the ground during the initial moments of the fierce fire fight, L/Cpl. Anderson assumed a prone position and continued to deliver intense suppressive fire in an attempt to repulse the attackers. Moments later he was wounded a second time by an enemy soldier who had approached to within 8 feet of the team's position. Undaunted, he continued to pour a relentless stream of fire at the assaulting unit, even while a companion was treating his leg wounds. Observing an enemy grenade land between himself and the other marine, L/Cpl. Anderson immediately rolled over and covered the lethal weapon with his body, absorbing the full effects of the detonation. By his indomitable courage, inspiring initiative, and selfless devotion to duty, L/Cpl. Anderson was instrumental in saving several marines from serious injury or possible death. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Update from me....

Then again, isn’t every post on here an update from me?

So I know I’m a little late to this party, but did you see the fight last week between Jeremy’s Nationals and his Marlins? If not, there is a video and write up of it here. A lot has been made over the fact that he stole 2 bases in 4th inning of an 11 run game. Here’s the thing, at the time it was HIS team that was down 11 runs. Would I have called for a steal in that situation? No. But it is what it is. He got hit by a pitch, went down to first and then stole the bases. It would be very different if his team was UP by 11 runs at the time. Having said that, this guy seems to attract trouble. And while I don’t believe everything I read (even if I wrote it) I have to say all the stuff I’ve seen written about this guy makes him sound like an A-hole. Really, you have to watch the video. There are times in baseball when teams fight because they “have” to. Then there are times (like this one) when teams fight because they are pissed off. There were some real punches being thrown in this fight.

Results from the I’m just sayin... football predictions:

JI won!!! (I was right... and I was also ticked off Thursday night because I didn’t get to watch the game due to technical difficulties. I did, however, get to watch it on Friday).

South Carolina won (I was right)

Summerville beat Berkeley (just like I said they would)

Stratford didn’t get the job done (missed this one)

Ft. Dorchester lost (missed this one, too)

Clemson won (I was right)

Auburn won (right again)

Army won (I missed this one)

Charleston Southern won (got this one right)

Navy lost (didn’t get this one right)

So I ended up 6-4 for the week.

Labor Day Weekend was great (as always). Here’s the thing about Labor Day, it’s my favorite (non-religious) holiday. It’s the time of the year that I get to see my Labor Day Family. My Labor Day Family is made up of my Mom’s college roommates and their families. Not everyone was able to make it this year, but we still had a good time. I can’t wait for next year, because we’ll all be staying in the same house for the first time in almost a decade. With the exception of one (maybe two) years at Winthrop, I have seen these people every year. It’s a tradition like no other. There are some years when we get together more than once (if there is a wedding or a funeral)... but we always get together on Labor Day Weekend. Anyway, we had a great time. For those of you scoring at home, here are the main characters for this ongoing chapter of my life:

Mom, Janie, Claire (The Roommates)

Dad (married to Mom... funny how that worked out), DG (married to Janie), & Paul (married to Claire)

Under Mom and Dad we have:

Sonny, Terry, Allison & Austin

Doubting Teri, Brent, Leah, Ansley, & Meredith

Me, The Wife, Mary Ruth, Susie, & Baby Tres

Under Janie & DG we have:

Chandler and her husband Taylor

Jane and her husband AJ

Sally, her husband Will (who you will remember from my post about my funeral), Mac, & Annagray.

Under Claire and Paul we have:

Jason, his wife Julie, Kenneth, Reece, & New Baby (who, rumor has it, will be born this month)

Ruth and her husband (I can’t remember his name right now... they haven’t been to this gathering... at least not in a long time).

**A quick note: my first memories of this gathering are from when Claire was married to Ted. Ted was blind and had a German Sheppard. I don’t remember the dog’s name [Max maybe?] but I remember I loved that dog. I mean LOVED him. I was probably around Mary Ruth’s age at that time. There is a picture somewhere [probably at my parent’s house] of me hugging the dog. If I find it, I’ll post it. Anyway, I think Jason and Ruth were in their early teens when Paul married Claire. For selfish reasons, adding Jason was great for me because at the time me and Sonny were the only boys in the group. End Note**

Perhaps one day I’ll sit down and give you a history of our Labor Day Weekend’s together. Until then, I will tell you a little about this year.... On Saturday, I played golf with Sonny, DG, & Paul. Last year, Sonny & I teamed up and crushed DG & Paul. This year, we again divided into teams me/Sonny vs. DG/Paul and went at it. That was the good news. The bad news is we played best ball (instead of captain’s choice). For those that don’t know, best ball means each person plays their own shot and then the lowest score on the team is what you use. It saddens me to say it, but Sonny couldn’t get the job done and DG & Paul were able to squeak by for the win. To be fair, DG & Paul were playing from the senior tees which were about 150 yards ahead of the white tees (where we were playing from). To continue being fair, DG & Paul have probably played a combined 1,000,000,000,000 rounds of golf in their lifetime while Sonny and I have combined for about 20 rounds. Not to mention I was playing left-handed and we had to play the whole round sober.

On Sunday, Sonny and I dropped the old guys and picked up our brother-in-law Brent and went to play a round at a cheaper golf course. We played captain’s choice because I have an unwritten rule that I’ll never play golf on back to back days if I have to play my own shots on both days. We shot a 76, which while it was 4 over par was still a good time. Who am I kidding... shooting 4 over par was a GREAT time for us. Maybe it was more fun for me because I probably had the most unused (i.e. crappy) shots.

Chandler & Sally were the only G2’s from outside of our branch of the family to make it this year (***Note: G1’s are Mom/Dad, Janie/DG, Claire/Paul; G2’s are my generation; G3’s are our children. End Note***) along with Sally’s kids: Mac & Annagray. It was great getting to see them. One memory I have from a Labor Day Weekend years ago is of riding in the front of Dad’s boat out on the lake with Chandler sitting beside/holding me to make sure I didn’t fall out. I was probably… I don’t know… 6 or 7 years old which would have put her in her mid teens. I would probably crush her if we tried to sit like that now. Haha.

I hope everyone is able to make it next year (though I must point out that the reason Will couldn’t make it this year was because he was working… which, I have to admit, was somewhat refreshing. I mean, a preacher who doesn’t just work on Sunday… how cool is that?). Anyway, if everyone can’t make it I hope they at least have a good excuse and not something like “We live in Wyoming”. I mean, we’ll all have to travel to get to the lake house… ;)

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Private First Class James Anderson, Jr. (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on February 28, 1967 in the Republic of Vietnam. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Company F was advancing in dense jungle northwest of Cam Lo in an effort to extract a heavily besieged reconnaissance patrol. Pfc. Anderson's platoon was the lead element and had advanced only about 200 meters when they were brought under extremely intense enemy small-arms and automatic weapons fire. The platoon reacted swiftly, getting on line as best they could in the thick terrain, and began returning fire. Pfc. Anderson found himself tightly bunched together with the other members of the platoon only 20 meters from the enemy positions. As the fire fight continued several of the men were wounded by the deadly enemy assault. Suddenly, an enemy grenade landed in the midst of the marines and rolled alongside Pfc. Anderson's head. Unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his personal safety, he reached out, grasped the grenade, pulled it to his chest and curled around it as it went off. Although several marines received shrapnel from the grenade, his body absorbed the major force of the explosion. In this singularly heroic act, Pfc. Anderson saved his comrades from serious injury and possible death. His personal heroism, extraordinary valor, and inspirational supreme self-sacrifice reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

First Sergeant Johannes S. Anderson (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on October 8, 1918 at Consenvoye, France. His citation reads:

While his company was being held up by intense artillery and machinegun fire, 1st Sgt. Anderson, without aid, voluntarily left the company and worked his way to the rear of the nest that was offering the most stubborn resistance. His advance was made through an open area and under constant hostile fire, but the mission was successfully accomplished, and he not only silenced the gun and captured it, but also brought back with him 23 prisoners.

Captain Marion T. Anderson (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 16, 1864 at Nashville, Tennessee. His citation reads:

Led his regiment over 5 lines of the enemy's works, where he fell, severely wounded.