Sunday, March 20, 2011




May  GOD bless and keep you!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

A Scotsman, a Canadian and an Irishman were sitting in an English pub, discussing  who's  nationality had   the  more hospitable drinking establishments. The Canadian gentleman said "in my pub in Ontario every fifth beer is on the house."

The other two gentlemen nodded in agreement and the Scotsman chimed in "back home in Edinburgh, whenever you walk into the bar everybody greets you by name, and every third beer is free!"

The Irishman smiled and said to his new friends, "back home in Dublin, when you walk in the bar and everyone comes up and gives you a big hug and a kiss, all your beers are free. And after  They get you  drunk, they take you upstairs and you get free sex all night long!"

The Canadian in the Scotsman looked dumbfounded. "That is mighty hospitable indeed. Does that happen to you every time you go in there?"

"Oh no, never to me! But it does for my sister!"


There was a Texas rancher doing agricultural consulting work for farmer in Ireland. He asked the farmer about the size of this property to which the farmer replied "About a mile square."
when the Irishman asked the Texan about the size of his ranch, the rancher explained that if he got in his pickup truck at dawn and drove until sunset he would still be on his ranch. Not to be outdone, the farmer replied, "I used to have an old truck like that!"

A group of Americans was touring Ireland.
One of the women in the group was a real curmudgeon, constantly complaining.
The bus seats are uncomfortable. The food is terrible.
It's too hot. It's too cold. The accommodations are awful.
The group arrived at the site of the famous Blarney Stone.
"Good luck will be followin' ya all your days if you kiss the Blarney Stone,"the guide said.
"Unfortunately, it's being cleaned today and so no one will be able to kiss it.
Perhaps we can come back tomorrow."
"We can't be here tomorrow," the nasty woman shouted.
"We have some other boring tour to go on.
So I guess we can't kiss the stupid stone."
"Well now," the guide said, "it is said that if you kiss someone who has kissed the stone, you'll have the same good fortune."
"And I suppose you've kissed the stone," the woman scoffed.
"No, ma'am," the frustrated guide said, "but I've sat on it."


Gardening made easy!
An old man living alone in South Armagh,
whose only son was in Long Kesh Prison,
didn't have anyone to dig his garden for his potatoes.
So he wrote to his son about his predicament.
The son sent the reply, "For HEAVENS SAKE,
don't dig the garden up, that's where I buried
the guns!!!!!"
At 3 AM the next morning, a dozen British soldiers
turned up and dug the garden for 3 hours,
but didn't find any guns.
Confused, the man wrote to his son telling him
what had happened, asking him what he should do now?
The son sent the reply: "NOW plant the potatoes!"
When Clinton visited the Pope, he noticed a red
phone on a small table in the corner of the office.

After several minutes of conversation, Clinton asked
the Pope what the red phone was.

The Holy Father told him that it was a very special
phone with a direct line to God. However, the Pope
told Clinton he rarely used it because it cost
$20,000 a minute from the Vatican.

Clinton accepted this explanation without another thought.

Later, when Clinton visited Ireland, he saw another
red phone in the Archbishop’s office. Being curious,
Clinton asked the Archbishop what it was used for.

The Archbishop told Clinton it was a direct line to God,
and he used it whenever he had a puzzling question or concern.

Clinton asked if the calls were quite expensive since
the Pope had to pay $20,000 a minute when he used
his red phone in the Vatican.

"Oh no," replied the Archbishop, "In Ireland it’s a local call."

An Irishman finds a Genie lamp and rubs it. Out comes the Genie and asks "Master you have released  me from the lamp and I grant you three wishes, what would you like" Irishman scratches his head,  then answers "A bottle of Guinness that never gets empty. "Granted master" retorted the Genie and  produced the bottle. The man was delighted and got drunk on this one magic Guiness bottle for weeks then he remembered that he had two other wishes. He rubbed the lamp again and the Genie appeared. "Yes master, you have two more wishes, what would you like?" "You know that magic, never ending Guinness bottle" he asks the Genies. "Well, for my final two wishes, I'd like another two of them"


Pat and Mike were doing some street repairs in front of a known house of ill repute in Boston. A Jewish Rabbi came walking down the street, looked the left, looked to right, and ducked into the house. Pat paused a bit from swinging his pick and said "Mike...will you look at that! A man of the cloth, and going into a place like that in broad daylight!".
A bit later, a Baptist minister came down the street, looked to the left, looked to the right, and scurried into the house.  Mike layed down his shovel, turned to Pat and said "Pat! Are you seeing what  I'm seeing? A man of the Church, and he's giving that place his custom!" Just then, a Catholic Priest came down the street, looked to the left, looked to the right, and slipped into the bawdy house.
Pat and Mike straightened up, removed their hats, and Mike says "Faith, and begorah there must be somebody sick in there."


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Going to the dentist.

This Friday I have an appointment at the VA dental office. I'm not having any problems. It's just been such a long time since I've been able to go there (4 years since my medical problems began, 1 year paralyzed, 3 years limited mobiiy), and now that I'm able to travel again, I figure "Why not?" I mean how bad can it be? I survived leg amputation. A few teeth being scraped and cleaned can't begin to compare to that. I've been going to the dentist all my life. A few fillings, 3 wisdom teeth removed, countless cleanings and X Rays 
1 horror story.

While stationed in Yokosuka, Japan in 1976, I was out on the town with a few Ugly Americans having a loud time. Not rowdy or belligerent. Just loud.When one particularly quarrelsome Japanese National voiced his disapproval with the highest insult possible for them,

(baka guy-gene, literally  "Stupid Foreigner")
Words alone have started world wars. And getting into a fight was not on the list of things I was trying to accomplish that night. So in an effort to intimidate my antagonist from escalating his disapproval. I glared at him intently (a very rude breach of cultural etiquette) and I proceeded to eat a glass of beer.

OK, I didn't eat the entire glass. But I did take 3 large bites out of the top rim, chewed them into chunks and swallowed them. The shocked look on Mr. Tokyo's face was priceless. And he and his friends made a hasty retreat for a quieter location. What none of us realized is that at one point I cracked one of my upper right molars. But the crunching of the glass when chewing it kept me from hearing it go. And maybe it was the adrenalin or the alcohol, I'm not sure which, that kept me from feeling the pain. I just know that there was no pain, until reveille the next morning. And then it was exquisite. 
So off to the dentist I went.

Enter Doctor EVIL!

The assessment is grim, the tooth had been cracked all the way to the roots, and needed to be removed. The doctor administered one Novocaine shot and left the room for 5 min. When he returned and asked if I was numb I replied "No sir." 
So he gave me a second shot, left the room for another 10 min. and asked again if I was numb? To which I replied "No Sir!"
So he gave me a third shot of Novocain and disappeared out the door again. When he returned another 10 min. later and asked if I was numb I truthfully and emphatically replied "NO!"
To which he responded "that's not possible. You must be confusing the sensation of pressure with the sensation of feeling". (WTFO)
I assured him that I could feel him touching my face, at which point he opened my mouth, reached in with the extractors and pulled my tooth anyway. A blinding hot flash of pain shot through my head. And I came up out of the chair right behind my tooth. I unleashed a string of sailor words that are still echoing over Yokohama Bay 30 years later. 

Lieut. Cmdr. Evil reminded me that I was being insubordinate in my language. And with blood spraying on my dress whites, I responded with a threat to his physical well-being. And I chased him out of office, down the hall, out of the medical building, and down the street. It must have been an alarming sight. Because in a matter of mere seconds shore patrol was on my trail, subdued and arrested me. By the time I came before the officer the day to explain my situation, my mouth was so numb I could hardly speak.

And while I anticipate no such problems this trip, I'm always up for a little adventure! See you around the blogosphere…

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I have a digital watch. Actually it is an analog hybrid. It runs on electricity, provided by a small nickle cadmium battery. Has a quartz timer and a Swiss movement. I like the old school type watches that require you be able to tell time by looking at the clock face. I like to say it's "quarter to ten" rather than nine-forty five. I guess I'm an elitist. Not because it's expensive, because it is not. Rather because there are actually so many people in the world today, who can't look at an analog clock and tell what time it is.

This is what my watch looks like. Notice all the delicate mechanical parts linked perfectly together, precision designed to provide what is considered one of the most accurate timepieces available. You can't see it in this picture, but around the edges of the bezel, or small LEDs allow me to see what time it is in total darkness. On occasions, I just push the button to see it light up at night, not really caring what time is. Just being amazed by the complexity of the technology that I've taken for granted.

This is an exploded view of the mechanical parts that comprise my watch. It doesn't even begin to go into the minute silicon elements that are the quartz motor and timing  mechanism. Hundreds of thousands of tiny semiconductors and the piezoelectric quartz stimulator/actuator that provides the heartbeat by which this clock keeps pace marking my journey through Einstein's space/time. A true marvel of modern technology.

If I wanted to find out who made built this watch and exactly how it was assembled all I would need is a serial number (located conveniently on the back of the watch body).  And a contact at the QA office for the manufacturer (locate not so conveniently on the owner's manual). 
I'm not disregarding the possibility that a highly complex robot system assembled this watch (I can also find out who created that robot). In either case, I understand exactly how the watch was created. Parts were designed, measured, weighed, balanced, tested, refined, replaced and stored. Individually assembled one piece at a time testing fit and function as they went. Cleaned, polished, packaged, shipped and sold.

Let's look at his watch from the point of evolutionary Big Bang theory. Completely disregarding anything to do with where did the parts come from? A problem that evolution and the Big Bang. Simply disregard. I'll grant these parts just were, or ARE. There was no creator. They just preexisted.

Tossed into a cosmic mixing bowl, close the lid and shake vigorously for 13.7 billion years. Open the box and there's your watch. Not only assembled in perfect order, with all the pieces in their proper places. But somehow this watch, of it's own volition, acquired a battery inserted it into itself, sprang into life, synchronized and running. Showing the perfect date time sequence. 

To believe that is how the Universe came about. That it put me here at my keyboard, and you at yours, reading this post, requires an incredible amount of faith. Faith in the concept of random chance. Sustained, blind, unquestioning faith at a level beyond my comprehension, and more than I am capable of. For me it is much easier to believe that there is in all powerful creator God who assembled universe, wound the mechanism, inserted batteries and set us on our path.

Map of the Universe

Saturday, March 5, 2011


This person changed everything about me. When she came into my life, I was quite unprepared to deal with a young lady. They were a mystery to me. 23 years later, that hasn't changed much. They are still an enigma. But I get a new lesson almost daily from this one.

My wife and I named her Amanda. But we have always called her Manda (and some other less flattering nick names I'll omit from this post) just because it rolls off the tongue easier. Some of my favorite memories of my children and I are summer days in the backyard. Them sitting on my lap eating popsicles and Ice Cream cones. Or eating fresh watermelon and spitting the seeds on the lawn (which actually resulted in melons growing amongst the fescue.

On one occasion we were being visited by my brother-in-law, seated at the dinning room table eating Ice Cream Cones, when Amanda announced that her ice cream smelled funny. My b-i-l looked puzzled sniffed his own cone and glanced at me. I was straight faced, sniffed at my cone and shrugged at him. She sniffed her cone again, said "It  smells really funny" and extended her arm to allow her uncle to confirm her suspicions. As he leaned forward to help determine what might be wrong, Amanda jabbed him in the nose with the ice cream. She was probably 4 or 5 at the time. And she had out witted a USMC full bird Colonel. 

My son Kyle and my daughter Amanda.
Granted that I was away on deployments most of their early years. But I do not remember even one time these two ever exchanging heated words. Kyle has a very analytical mind. math and logic come easy for him. Amanda is every bit as intelligent as her older brother. But her inclinations are more attuned towards the social sciences. 
On her 8th birthday she asked for a dog. A puppy is more what she said. "I'll take care of it. I'll fed it and clean up after it. It will be my dog. You won't have to do a thing."

I fell for it, hook line and sinker.

13 years later, ol' Shadow is still guarding the back yard from intruders. A rescue pup from the county dog pound, Shadow started out as an 8 pound bundle of high impact energy, and was a very friendly dog. But in desperate need of training. She can still run like the wind. But not for as long as she used to. After a one month, 4 session obedience class, offered by the local Pet Smart, Shadow was able to walk at the heel, come, sit, lay down and shake hands on command. And we learned how to break her from the annoying habit of jumping up on everyone who enters the yard. Yes, I said yard. Shadow, like all the dogs I have ever owned is an outside dog.
When I came home from the nursing home in 2007, completely paralyzed from the neck down, Shadow would sit right outside of my window, next to my hospital bed, during the days. And curl up there and sleep during the night.

Amanda has always had a loving heart. She genuinely cares about people. This lead here to choose psychology as her college major. 
Here is a photo I stole off of her facebook page this morning. The baby she is holding is the new born daughter of the youth pastor from a local church. Just so you know...

But I do have an announcement to share.

My little girl 


Friday, March 4, 2011


Mathematics is the language of science. And it seems to be one of the hardest subjects to grasp. Have you ever sat down and tried to help a child get through algebra homework? Are you tackling college and struggling with some concepts that you either forgot since high school or, like Dr. John used to sing "I GOT STONED AND I MISSED IT." But without those basics you're not going to advance to the next step until you recover that missing information. The problem is: Where do I find that info?
Well, we CAN pretty much rule out asking our kids for help, since they may be the person who needs the help. Either they can't help. Or there's the pride issue to deal with. Not that my kids would LORD IT over me... But others might not be as blessed as I. 

Or perhaps you could hire a tutor. At $50.00-$100.00 per hour you could get a grad student to fill in the missing pieces. Or a starving college student might be willing to barter their time in exchange for a few home cooked meals, to assist you. But then you need to work around each others schedules, and then there's the problem with finding said student tutor. Or there are places that specialize in teaching math, Sylvan Learning is one That a friend told me about, that they had a lot of success with. But we're talking beaucoup bucks using these places.

How about going to Amaze-on and buying some math books? Sure, that's always possible. But which books should you buy? Is this one too basic? Does it go into enough detail? Is it too advanced? Does it start at one level past the concepts I'm missing? What if I'm one of those people who just doesn't learn well from a text book? There are studies that show that learning from a text-book is not always the most effective method of learning.

Well let me introduce you to the KHAN ACADEMY.

Choose a subject:

THE KHAN ACADEMY has a lesson plan for each and every one of those topics. They are self paced. Easy to follow. Use plain English (Other translations are available) to explain the concepts. and best of all

Here is a little more info:
Where was this guy when I was dredging through Calculus?