Thursday, January 31, 2008

Things I don't understand

1. WHY DO OUR CRITTERS KEEP DYING??????!!!!!! When I was a kid, I had hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, goldfish and even hermit crabs. They NEVER DIED within a month of getting them! NEVER. But for some reason, as a 40 year old adult, I can't seem to keep the little critters alive for more than 4 weeks at a time. My oldest had a hamster that died within two weeks back in December. Got a new one, who as of 30 minutes ago, is still alive. I also bought a guinea pig for my youngest a week after getting the new hamster. Here we are, about 3 weeks later, and the piggie is dead. I am SO upset. I really liked the little guy! He was SO damn cute, and fun to play with. I was just telling Keith that he was "laughing" the other day. No lie- I was scratching his ribcage and he let out this little "hehehe" and his back leg raised up like a dog's leg does when you tickle their ribs. Absolutely adorable. He had food, water, grass, bedding, toys, a bed, and he was very much alive when I left for work this morning- I pet him right before I left so I know he was alive. Tonight, he's very much dead. I don't get it. I just don't.... WHY is this happening? Ideas?? Seriously. I do NOT want to kill off another pet anytime soon.

2. What would drive a 40-year-old man to rape AND impregnate his girlfriend's 10 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER!?!?!??!!!??????? Holy shit. Thomas is 10. I can't imagine any of the girls in his class giving birth. First of all, it never crossed my mind that a 10 year old could be fertile, or have a mature enough body to carry a baby full-term much less go through childbirth. What is it with grown men (and women) who insist on raping young children?
That's something I don't understand, will never understand, and God willing... will never have to deal with on a personal level. I don't know what I'd do to anyone who molested or otherwise abused my boys.

3. Why would Berkeley, California find it lawful and reasonable to not only allow protests in front of the Marine recruiting offices, but ENCOURAGE IT? They even gave the protestors a protected parking spot in front of the recruiter's office and went so far as to call our Marines "uninvited and unwelcome intruders in the city."

Uninvited, and unwelcome intruders. OUR OWN MILITARY????? Please. Berkeley. Do us all a favor and declare yourself a sovereign nation. See you you like it being on your own, with out any "uninvited and unwelcome intruders" when you need help.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Miss America's Choice

Well, combat veteran Army medic Jill Stevens didn't win the Miss America title last night, but Miss Utah did please the masses- she was named "America's Choice" and even dropped and gave 'em 10 when she didn't make the final 10 list.

HOOAH, Stevens!!!

By the way.... Miss America is Miss Michigan, a student at University of Cincinnati. How'd you like to go to school with that? haha.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

SSG Eric C Barker

I don't know where to begin, so you'll get this story in bits. I want, no.. I NEED, to get this on paper before my memories start to fade and my emotions wane. It's going to be long, so grab something to drink and maybe a few tissues too.

I met Barker nearly two years ago. He's in Keith's Army Reserve unit, the 300th MPAD. Barker was calm, with intermittent periods of silliness and fun. He adored his wife and kids. He had an unforgettable smile. He died last week, along with another Dekalb County officer, Ricky Bryant, responding to a suspicious person call while moonlighting as security guards. When not serving his country in the Army, he served his community as a Dekalb County police officer. Bryant served four years in the Marines, including an Iraqi Freedom tour, prior to joining the police department. Barker has been in the Army Reserve for 12 years, including a tour to Bosnia and another one to Afghanistan.

It's been over a week since I heard the words "Barker was killed last night". I attended the joint memorial service on Wednesday. I saw the coffins, heard the tributes, saw the grieving families, hugged the necks of guys in the unit... yet I still find it unbelievable that he's gone. I cry when I think about how Yolanda must have felt when she found out her husband was dead. I cry even harder knowing that Barker has children who are so young they'll only have fleeting memories of their Dad. I tear up when I describe the sights and sounds of the service, especially hearing final roll call on all of the police radios, and the two helicopters that peeled off of the group, in a pseudo-missing man formation.

I wonder what will be said about me when I'm gone. Barker and Bryant's families had wonderful things to say about them. Things like "dad wasn't around, so Eric became father to me and my other brothers"; "Eric taught us to ALWAYS do the right thing"; "I went with him when he signed up for the police academy, and I asked him if he really wanted to do this. He said, 'I'm a Soldier. Yes, I want to do this.' "; "Eric loved the law. He made two or three felony drug arrests every week. He always had your back on suspicious person calls." Bryant's wife stood in front of that church- a 10,000 seat church- and meekly told everyone that Ricky taught her to be independent and used to ask " 'What are you gonna do when I'm gone, LaToya?'; I just never thought he'd be gone this soon. TOO soon." His cousin, also named LaToya, told Barker's family that she was glad Barker was there with Ricky that night, because Eric was dependable, just like Ricky.

A few things were said during the eulogy that hit home with me, and have provided me with some comfort. First, the Bishop said that he was SO sad when he initially found out that both men had four young children, the oldest of which was 11. Then, he was glad.. because he realized that God didn't let these fine men leave the Earth without "planting their seeds" in the form of their eight children. As tragic as their loss is, it is comforting to know that these honorable, dependable, ethical, dedicated, patriotic men have left behind not one, not two, not three.. but FOUR children. EACH. Eight children, instilled with their father's integrity, morals and ethics- that's quite a legacy. I needed someone to help me see it this way.

The Bishop also reminded us that God took his own son back to Heaven at the age of 33, because he was "done on this earth". Eric and Ricky must have been "done" too, or else he never would have called them home. And then he asked us if we felt that Mary was ready to admit that her son's job on Earth was "done". The answer, of course, is a firm NO! Because we are never ready to lose someone, no matter what God has in mind. We are never truly ready. He went on to say, "Yolanda; LaToya... I know your names. But today, I call you both MARY. You weren't any more ready to give up your husbands than Mary was ready to give up her son... yet you did. I call you MARY." I cried. I cried a lot in those few hours.

There were two solo's during the service. A woman sang "Amazing Grace", and a man sang a song I've never heard before, but I wish I could hear it again. The theme of the song was "I couldn't have done it without you, Lord". The verses contained phrases about bad things happening in our lives, and how the Lord was there to carry me through. I think about that song a lot. It's like the "Footprints" poem, when it says "How come when things were really bad, there was only one set of footprints- you left me alone. And the Lord replied, "No. I didn't leave you- I was carrying you." I forget that a lot. I think we all do. Most of the messes I get myself into I've created myself, so I feel alone... but I need to remember that no matter what, the Lord is there and will carry me through.

When we left the church, the 1,000-plus police officers and military members were standing at attention, watching as the caskets were loaded into the vehicles while a lone bagpiper played "Amazing Grace". And then... the call went out on the radios. "Officer Eric C. Barker... Officer Ricky Bryant...this is your final watch. Over and out." There was more to it- they called out their badge numbers, which I don't know, but the message was clear: they were "done". A low drone filled the air, and seconds later, a group of sheriff's department helicopters flew overheard. As soon as they were over the funeral procession, two helicopters left formation and flew off into the distance, together, yet alone. Again, I cried.

The service was aimed toward their police service, which made us feel their military service was discounted. There was a private service the day before, which I missed, in which Captain Baucom presented Yolanda with the flag from Barker's coffin in true military fashion. In the end, I guess it doesn't really matter whether or not the public service focused on their police service or their military service- the memorial service honored the MEN, the HUSBANDS, the FATHERS, the PUBLIC SERVANTS, and the FRIENDS we lost last week. The 300th knows his military record, and we will grieve, and we will honor, that record. So will his wife and family.

Today I read an eulogy delivered by Lt. Col. Rod Coffey on January 22, honoring the lives of 6 of his men, plus their Iraqi interpreter, who were killed in Iraq on January 9. Fitting, I think, considering that this eulogy was delivered half way around the world on the same day of Barker's private military memorial service. LTC Coffey had a lot of things to say about the loss of these 7 men, much of which could be easily applied to Barker. They were lured into an ambush, much like Barker and Bryant, where they were killed.

Coffey said, "I do not know where such men come from, except to say they are the kind of men who have made America great and will continue to preserve it. The act of going in first, the act of willingly doing your duty in a dangerous environment, is by its very nature an act of heroic self-sacrifice for the sake of others. These men we honor today had that spirit of self-sacrifice and devotion to duty to an awe-inspiring degree." (emphasis mine) The same could be said of Barker and Bryant.

He went on to say, "If the enemy comes out to fight he will be met with a disciplined lethal ferocity he has never before endured. If he plays the sly game of intimidating, beheading and torturing the innocent people of Iraq when he thinks we’re not looking he will be met with a cunning, a sophistication and a relentlessness that will lead to his utter defeat.

This is my promise to you as your commander and from all of us to our honored dead."

This is also our promise to Barker- you were not killed while deployed as these men were, but you were killed needlessly, ruthlessly, and heartlessly by men who have no regard for the laws of our nation. They were killed by men who are not men; they were cowards, afraid of being caught and arrested. We will see justice. We will see to it that your families are cared for. We will see to it that the men who took you before WE thought you were "done" are punished to the fullest extent of the law. I know this, because I saw the passion in the Chief's face, and I heard the conviction in his voice.

No worries, Barker. Your watch is over. Your tour is over. You are "done". We, however, are not "done", and we'll finish up the fight, and jobs, you've left for us.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


SSG, and Officer, Eric Barker.... you will be deeply missed and mourned.

Barker is a member of the 300th MPAD, Keith's unit. In "real life", he's a member of the Dekalb County Police Department, a husband, and a father... and now, a new member of the Fiddler's Green Club. Barker was killed in what the Chief described as an "ambush" by "cold-blooded killers" while responding to a suspicious person call at an Atlanta apartment complex. In a press conference today, Chief Bolton all but promised to have the killers behind bars before the day is over. I hope he's right.

I don't have words right now. Just tears and prayers. Please pray for Barker's wife and young children as they deal with his violent death. I know he's a police officer, but being a Soldier, you expect them to get injured or killed while deployed- not at home. I am just so sad.

See you later, Eric. I promise. We'll take care of things down here on the ground.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I ain't no steekin' bar slut.....

What type of partier are you?
Your Result: The Lurker

You like to go out and party, go to bars, concerts, etc - but stay more on the sidelines. You and part of the action, but people have to approach you more than you jumping into the middle of the action. You typically don't get 'hammered', just buzzed enough to come out of your shell and talk to a few people, usually other 'lurkers'. Large groups of people talking at once intimidate you and you tend to drift away from the pack often.

Hardcore drunk
Bar Social Butterfly
The Socialite
Bar Slut
The designated driver
The rock-star party animal
What type of partier are you?
Make Your Own Quiz

.... but I am a Lurker.
Lex ended up as a Socialite. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.... Must have something to do with his mad Tom Cruise "Naval Aviator" skilz.
"oooohhh you're a PILOT......"
"No Ma'am. I'm a Naval Aviator"

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Parents Killing Children

Everywhere I go tonight, from the east coast to the west coast, news stations are reporting about the death of a woman and her 4 children just north of Cincinnati. The woman was apparently stabbed to death, and then her husband allegedly set the house on fire- with their 4 children still inside. He eventually jumped from the second floor and is hospitalized; his wife and children... all dead.

In Winter Haven, Florida, a man systematically beat his infant daughter to death over a period of 4 months, simply because he wanted a son- not a daughter. She died at the age of 4 months (yes, 4 months- he started beating her just after birth), of multiple injuries including dozens of rib fractures, a bruised liver, ruptured spleen, and broken blood vessels in one eye. The mother was aware of the beatings, but when she threatened to call the police, he said he would run away with their older son. (I'm sorry, but you don't "threaten" to turn someone in for KNOWN child abuse- you just fucking DO IT)

An Alabama father fights with his wife, and gets her back by throwing all four of their children off of a bridge into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Hindu cast system may be outlawed in India, but the tradition is alive and well with some. An Chicago area Hindu man killed his pregnant daughter, her husband, and their 3-year-old son... because the husband is of a lower cast.

All of these cases have occurred since Christmas. There are move that I've read, but I couldn't locate the stories today. I just don't understand... how could a parent do anything like that? I will never understand.

Friday, January 11, 2008

PETA has lost.their.mind...

I'm sure you've all heard the story of that sick fuck Christopher McCuin who killed, fileted, cooked, and possibly ate his girlfriend in Tyler, TX last week. There's an update on the story today which, for the first (and probably last) time since this story broke, made me laugh about the situation.

PETA has petitioned the Smith County Sheriff to put McCuin on a "strict vegetarian diet" to prevent him from being "involved in any senseless killing" while he's incarcerated. PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich was later quoted in an interview as saying "Only in a culture where people routinely kill and eat living, feeling beings — corpses — would anybody think to kill and either eat or pretend to eat a human corpse."

The Sheriff's reaction matches mine: "I thought it was a joke. I've been sheriff here for almost 30 years. I've seen a lot of things. This pretty much takes the cake."

BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAAA... wackos upset over another wacko. Cracks my ass up.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Best reason EVER to NOT vote for Osama Obama

Headline: Kerry to Endorse Obama

Kerry almost became President during the last go-round with Edwards as his running mate... but yet he chose Obama over Edwards this time. heh.

I swear.
There just isn't a decent Democratic presidential nominee. I've never had a 100% match-up to ANYONE running for office, no matter what party they're aligned with. But DAMN. Hillary the Cow vs. Osama Obama vs. The Slick Pony.
What a choice.
I guess the good thing is that no matter who wins the Dem ticket... the Republican winner has a damn good shot at beating them in the final showdown.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Looks like I've got competition.....

Meanest Mom EVER sells her son's car after finding booze under the front seat.


The newspaper ad is loaded with statements which obviously came from conversations with her son:
OLDS 1999 Intrigue. Totally uncool parents who obviously don't love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for three weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet.

I would be so proud to call this woman my friend!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Another One Bites The Dust

For Thomas's 9th birthday, I got him a pair of Chinese Dwarf hamsters, who subsequently died within 6 months. The first one was cannibalized, and then buried in a Godiva chocolate box. (It's actually a pretty funny story- if you haven't read it, click the link and laugh before rejoining the rest of us.) The second got sick and died following the power outage during last year's ice storm. My son was devastated, and vowed to NEVER AGAIN own a lil' critter.

Until this Christmas.
He asked for another hamster for Christmas- one that would live, by itself so that it couldn't eat the other one. I agreed, and we picked out the nicest, cutest lil' thing ever about a week before Christmas. His name? "Fuzzy Buttons" He was, indeed, fuzzy.


Key word there... "Was"

I could NOT believe it! I discovered this around 8pm Thursday; the boys were scheduled to be back at my house on Saturday afternoon. Maybe I could replace it with a new one, and he'd never notice!!

He noticed right away. There is just no fooling a child sometimes.
And he didn't like the replacement hamster. Honestly, I didn't either- it was fine when I bought him but then he started biting EVERYTHING- even a Matchbox airplane! So we took him back and Thomas picked out another hamster.

It's SOOO CUTE. White, with a little grey around his face and a stripe down his back. I swear, he looks like a 3 inch long Bugs Bunny. On the way home, I asked Thomas what he was going to name the new lil' guy. My son, my oldest son, the son who lamely tries to tell jokes, the son who takes everything so seriously he actually held a baseball to his eye when told to "keep your eye on the ball'.... made a joke.

Without hesitation, he broke out into song:
"I think I'll call him STAYIN' ALIVE, just so he gets the hint."


Friday, January 04, 2008

Resolute about Resolutions

I am determined.
I *will* keep my resolutions this year. They are: Reduce Debt and Get In Shape.

The first evidence of which is joining a gym- the YMCA. I had my first of three equipment orientations tonight. I was *not* looking forward to it. I haven't worked out in a VERY long time. I hate to sweat. And even more than that, I hate to be embarrassed. I was afraid of being embarrassed about my jiggles and how quickly I get short of breath these days, surrounded by hard bodies who secretly (or not so secretly) laughed at my feeble attempts at exercise. But I also know that I have to start somewhere, and rock bottom seems to be a good place to start.

But, I sucked it up and went.

I was greeted by a young, blonde hard body I quickly nicknamed Bam-Bam the Man-Child. I asked Bam-Bam what we were going to do tonight, and he said "Whatever you want". I swear, it was like being 16 and on a first date.
"What do you want to do tonight?"
"Oh, I don't care- whatever YOU want to do."
"I don't care what we do- what do YOU want to do"
"Whatever YOU want to do is what I want do"... and on, and on, and on.
So I finally told Bam-Bam I wanted to lose weight, tone my arms, legs, and abs, and didn't want bulk. He asked me if I wanted to start with the cardio machines. I said yes, so he set me up on an elliptical machine. He said "Just hit quick start" I did. And when I asked him how to use the programs, like "aerobic 1", he chuckled and said "um.... I don't, uh, ha ha... um. I don't remember. huh huh".
Thanks, Bam-Bam.

"How about showing me how to use the treadmill?"
"oh. Yeah. It, um. It works like the elliptical, only it's different. huh huh"

Then we walked around the corner to the weight-lifting machines.
Bam-Bam then asked me "So... which machines do you want me to show you?" To which I replied "Well, since I don't know what any of the machines do... that's a REALLY hard question to answer." He laughed, and agreed. Eventually he showed me a couple of arm and leg machines and one back machine.

I told Bam-Bam the Man-Child what I wanted to do: lose weight, work on toning abs, arms, legs and back. He should have been able to figure out which machines I'd be interested in from that description, right?

This is not working out like I planned. At all. But I'm still determined to do this, so the next time I go, I am *not* taking my next lesson with Bam-Bam the Man-Child. I need an actual GROWN UP to show me what do do, how many to do, and how often to do it.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

OK, now lay down and act excited.....

Tell me.

You're a lingerie model hired to do a tv commercial for a jewelry store. The director asks you to "to sit and feign excitement for a few seconds" and then "to fake excitement while lying down, without smiling"..... would you REALLY be surprised if the final product made it look like you were having an orgasm?

Would you be offended enough to take legal action, because they tried to taint your good girl image?

OH PLEASE. Is she REALLY that STUPID???? I mean, COME ON. She was wearing lacy blue lingerie while her Man placed a diamond necklace around her neck as she "fakes excitement while lying down"... and it's NOT supposed to make us think that she's experiencing an orgasm???

Decide for yourself, but I think this chick is off her freakin' rocker if she thinks she can win this lawsuit.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

It's Here!

2008 has started off with a bang!
Fireworks in the neighborhood, a great phone call at the stroke of midnight, followed up by a call with my kids. YAY!
Tomorrow will mean our family's traditional New Year's good luck dinner after waking up to the Rose Bowl Parade and an afternoon of college football.