Here’s Wishing ALL of You,


Peace on Earth. Goodwill to Men.

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Veteran’s Day 2008

To those that I have never met but I owe my life and freedom to,
I can’t say anything more than Thank You.

And I promise, I will never forget.

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Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown
February 12, 1998 – November 7, 2008

Today we said goodbye to Charlie Brown. He lost a long battle with lymphoma and renal failure. We knew a few months back that this was a battle he couldn’t win. We gave Chemotherapy a shot but his cancer was too advanced for it to help. After consulting with the vet we stopped Chemo. I know he was glad to not be poked and prodded and shot full of drugs every week. He even rebounded and was happy and playful. But it was only a matter of time before his health deteriorated to the point that we had to make the decision to put him to sleep today. As much as we had prepared ourselves for this moment it was still gut wrenching. He hadn’t eaten for a week and we couldn’t let him starve. He slipped away in a few seconds and I know he was so tired and glad to finally be able to rest.

What can I say about Charlie? He was my best friend and was always with me since I got him as a puppy. I still remember bringing him home when he was just 6 weeks old. He lined up all his fuzzy toys in a row and slept in between them. I remember the night I came home frustrated and weary from work one winter night and Charlie wanted to play. So we went out and sledded in my back yard on a trash can lid and played in the snow for hours. And all my frustrations and petty worries just melted away. I remember how he would go trotting across the street to mooch off food from the neighbors. During some of the lowest moments of my life when I was down and depressed, Charlie was the one that kept me going. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I owe him my life. Charlie loved everyone and never knew a stranger. He always wanted to be with you and would follow you wherever you went. He couldn’t stand it if people in the house were in separate rooms and as Kim always said he had to have all his “peoples” together.

Charlie Brown was the most loyal, trusted friend I have known. He showed me a glimpse of what Jesus’ love is like – unconditional and everlasting. You always knew that no matter how mad you got at him when he got into trouble he would always be there for you. Charlie Brown to me was a gift from God, and I am truly blessed to have known this kind and gentle soul. I have been looking for Charlie Brown all day long today and I know it will take time to heal this hole in my heart right now. One of the last things I told Charlie is that he doesn’t have to worry about taking care of us anymore, and it was time for him to rest.

So Goodbye old friend. We love you and we will truly miss you.

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Remember 9/11

And the next morning, all one heard in the eerie silence was the sound of active PASS devices still chirping away amidst the rubble. For a firefighter, that is the most heartbreaking sound you can hear.

Never Forget this day.
It is your solemn duty to remember.

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A real conservative party

I started this as a comment on Matt’s blog and I really liked the thought.
I wonder what would happen if we started a third/fourth party – called the “Conservative” party.
Why you ask? Because the Republican party is NOT conservative. Don’t even try arguing that. Just bashing democrats doesn’t make one a conservative. Instead of the catch phrase “Tax and Spend Liberal” you can now substitute “Borrow and Spend Republican”. And George Bush II to me has been the worst offender. You are a second term President. Sheesh! Use that Veto pen for something other than killing stem cell research.
The rules of entry to the Conservative Party would be simple. Proven fiscal conservatism. That would be the platform. The rules for staying in the party – no spending increases without spending cuts. Borrow even once and you are OUT. Let your voting record speak for itself.
The primary mandate of the party – balance the budget and eliminate the deficit – FOR REAL – not just on paper – with current income, NOT future projections. NO Exceptions. Your objective- cut spending, cut spending, cut spending.
The secondary mandate – eliminate the federal debt.
After that, if you have extra money left over, reduce taxes and give it back to the citizens.
On social issues – vote your conscience.
It’s Simple. It’s like the Dave Ramsey / Suze Orman method for Government.
Who’s with me?
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Haven’t posted in a while.

But just a random post about an Ad that has been running on TV for a while now. It’s the American Express business card Ad that shows the “poor newbie schmuck” that pulls out his Spiderman credit card and the German business associates snicker, leave and I guess by implication nix the deal. I don’t know why, but elitism like that bothers, irritates and angers me at a fundamental level.

Ask yourself the simple question. If those same snooty people were in a meeting with oh say Bill Gates or Warren Buffet and one of them pulled out a Mickey Mouse Credit card that their kid or grand kid had gifted them with, these same people would be grovelling as to how cute/unique/insert ooh-ah adjective here a card it was.

I have met many “nouveau rich” and people that are actually wealthy in my life. It is interesting to me that the people that are aspiring to belong to the upper echelon are the ones that are always elitist and the worst acting. The people that are truly wealthy and/or powerful and know that they are, seldom behave that way.

The presence of the elite and people that behave that way has always and will always leave me cold. To the guy that pulled out the Spidey card and all those like him I say you are better off. You don’t HAVE to get a Gold Amex Card just to impress the condescending rif raff. Become the next Larry Page or Mark Zuckerberg and you won’t have to worry about what cartoon figure is on your credit card.

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Independence Day 2008

Proud to be an American!
Celebrate, Teach, Remember.

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Joe “The Bull” Curtis

We lost Joe Curtis – a fellow firefighter at Lone Oak Fire Department this week. I just got back from a memorial service for him at Station #2. Joe fought many fires and survived to talk about it, but finally lost his battle with cancer.

Joe was a good fella. Stubborn and strong as his nickname suggests. I only knew him for a couple of years, but his constant picking on Ronnie and his cowboy hat will always be in my memory.
We had Joe’s “final call” at the memorial service. For those who are not firefighters, the call goes out on the radio for one final time to his unit number.
Central Dispatch to Lone Oak 120 …
Central Dispatch to Lone Oak 120 …
Central Dispatch to Lone Oak 120 …

Negative Contact Unit 120 …
And the lone bell rings three times.

Goodbye Brother. Rest in Peace. You will be missed.

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Memorial Day 2008

I know I always put this same poem up every Memorial Day. But that is what “remembering” is about. So as long as I can keep posting I will.

They sacrifice every day so we may live to be free.

Please take some time to remember our fallen soldiers this weekend. And if you have Children/Grandchildren, remind them too.

In Flanders Fields
– John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.
Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved,
and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep,though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

To those that I have never met but I owe my life and freedom to, I can’t say anything more than Thank You.

And I promise, I will never forget.

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In Mumbai

Some random observations about this Mumbai trip.

Continental’s 777 direct flight to Mumbai from Newark is a great time saver. Hard on the knees in coach class but the in-flight entertainment system is nice.

The person in the seat next to me managed to somehow reboot her inflight system and lo and behold it runs Linux! I am speculating it’s Mandrake but I could be wrong. But most definitely Linux with lil’ Tux in the corner.

The traffic is always a shock factor when it comes to Bombay. Every time I land here it still takes me aback. I have been spoiled driving in Kentucky now for decades, and even the worst rush hour at Spaghetti junction (Louisville Interchange) is nothing compared to the average morning traffic in the outer suburbs like Navi Mumbai.

Navi Mumbai has the annoying habit of building stuff and then tearing up stuff – especially roads to build more stuff. It is a perpetual construction zone. I would like to truly see it COMPLETE some day.

The run of the mill rural hospital in Kentucky has better “small equipment” than the very well run BARC (large) hospital in Mumbai. I’m talking about Vitals monitoring, sticky pads for EKGs etc. Sorry Mr. Moore, America still has one of the best if not the BEST health care system on the planet. The nurses in India still wear the old fashioned starched white dresses with the stockings and the pinned hat. No scrubs here. Kinda nice – looks really professional.

And lastly Blogger smartly recognizes that I am in India and gives me the option to type in Hindi.


Very Cool.

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