Sunday, April 26, 2009

Come and Take Them

It's been a while.

A couple of weeks ago, I took my family to Dallas to see an exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art. King Tutankhamun's stuff was in town. My daughter has been studing Egyptology since she was around eight, and has since been fascinated with just about anything "Egypt". She wants to go to Cairo one day.

We got back from Dallas late on a Saturday, only to find that our old collie was at the end of his rope. It was a sad ending to an otherwise fabulous weekend.

Then reality set in.

Tea parties. Political angst. An over bearing Federal Government. Panic. More anger.

Fewer bullets available. :) I do a LOT of shooting for sport. With the recent political climate, ammunition is very scarce. I am even having a hard time finding the components to make my own ammunition (an act which, if the Feds have their way, will soon be illegal).

I digress.... back to the fervor.
Our governor, Rick Perry, made a few comments on the topic of secession.

The main stream media went crazy.

Not only did the media go nuts about the comments that Perry made, the MSM also down-played the tea parties around the state (and nation) that brought those comments about. If you haven't heard about the tea parties, you may want to start getting your news elsewhere.

Recently, according to a memo released by the Department of Homeland Security, I have been labeled an extremist. While the vast enemies of the United States are frothing at the mouth to see her collapse, my country has labeled me, a citizen, an extremist.
I am not religious. I am pro-life. I am also of the belief that our government has become way more intrusive than it was intended to be. When the federal government can mandate to a State what that State will and will not do, the federal government has over stepped it's bounds, and as a result, the 'contract' that the State had with that government is null and void. It's not hard to understand.

The Federal Government was given certain specific responsibilities, and it (the fed) cannot assume that a certain power belongs to it unless it is expressly given to it by the US Constitution. It really, really isn't hard to understand.

So, when the Fed told the State of Texas that it was going to give Texas so much money to expand welfare and unemployment benefits, Texas refused. Why? Because once that money runs out (and it will), Texas will have to continue to pay the benefits on her own dime. So, in short, the Fed was stating to a State (in this case Texas) that Texas would have to increase taxes to pay for welfare and unemployment benefits. According to the Tenth Amendment, the Federal Government cannot do this.

But it did.

Now, I don't know if I am a rebel at heart because I am a Texan. I think it has more to do with the way I was raised. But, whatever it is, I have become one of the millions of people that have had it up to my neck with the Federal Government.

You needn't play the race card. I was fed up with the Fed long before B. Obama took office. Bush was no gift to independence either. Nor was his father.

We, as a country, have become so dependent upon someone else to do things for us that we have forgotten what freedom truly is. Really. I know this is hard to understand for some - there are actually those people out there that believe that the government should go as far as to tell us what to eat, how much to eat, what to drive, and where to drive.

Do you realize where this could lead?

Our Founding Fathers really weren't saints, but they did realize that an intrusive government was not a good thing. Jefferson even suggested that a revolution was necessary once in a while order to maintain a healthy Republic. Republic. NOT Democracy. We are a democratic Republic. There is a difference.

Yes, we do vote on things. But when those votes intrude on the rights of others, they have to be revoked.

California recently voted to ban gay marriage. I do foresee that vote being over turned. A truthful Republic cannot look at one person differently than it looks at another. Banning gay marriage is basically saying that one person can get married, and another person cannot get married. No matter how one tries to spin it, this requires the government to get involved at a level which it need not be involved.

For the record, I do not agree with homosexuality. However, banning gay marriage is going to do nothing concerning homosexuality. The Federal government needs to stay out of that battle. Honestly, I don't see what the big draw is on this topic. I absolutely do not give a rat's ass whether two men or two women get married. Leave me out of it, and leave small children and animals out of it.

What happens if the government takes a vote and decides that a particular religion is not acceptable? Well, I would wager that this would sit quite well with those whose religion is acceptable, but the one on the short end of the stick would be screwed. Again, the Fed needs to stay out of it.
We are at the point where the government can do as it pleases.

Patrick Henry once said that if we (the people) were not willing to use force to maintain our liberty, then we would be ruined. I am afraid that there are not enough citizens willing to use force to cast off the Federal government.

Don't get me wrong. I think we are a long way from using force. There are many ways to turn this big boat around. But we have to start by leaving the federal government in a spot which it was intended to be. The Fed does not belong in your living room, or your bedroom. The Federal government does not have the power to tell you or me that we must use a certain type of light bulb, or a certain toilet.

"We Texans are an independent lot", says Rick Perry. While I didn't sit on Perry's side of the fence when it came to curtailing illegal immigration (he said he was going to stop it and he didn't), I wholeheartedly agree with him on this statement.

I want to live as I see fit, and pursue my own happiness. I want the Feds to punish the law breakers, and protect my borders. And I want my governor to continue to keep the Fed at arm's length.

It's the only way to maintain our independence.

I do NOT want a revolution.
I do not want to be punished for being successful by being taxed heavier than my neighbor. I do not want my two kids to have to pay for the debt we are racking up right now.

I do want freedom and liberty.
I will do what I need to do in order to maintain that freedom and liberty.

Many years ago, two kings met each other in a small pass near the Mediterranean Sea. The first king, Xerxes, wanted to take something from another king, Leonidas. He wanted to remove Leonidas' people's right to self governance. While the Spartans were no model for a Republic, they showed us how to defend honor, a word that has all but lost it's meaning as of late.

So, should the Federal Government decide that it needs to make my decisions and thereby remove my right to self governance, let them try.

When the Fed demands our liberties, we should answer them with these words:

"Molon Labe"..... Come and Take Them"

Friday, April 10, 2009

Holiday Madness

It's been a while since my last post.

Lots of things have been happening. Our president and other elected officials continue to steer our country towards socialism. We are told over and over that the economy is in the tank. Pirates have captured a United States vessel and have had their way with the crew.

What? Pirates? My son couldn't get over this. He has been enamoured with pirates since Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was released. He had many questions. The most important one to him was, "Do these pirates dress like old-timey pirates and sail in ships?"

While that brings a bit of levity to a very serious situation, the lack of action by our Commander in Chief is mind boggling. I see this as a test by more than just a few pirates. Look for Korea, Iran, and other countries to further test our mettle. Not to be too pessimistic, but I don't expect good results.

Back home in Texas, things are trucking along as they normally do.

Today is Good Friday (a name which I never understood, even when I was a Christian). Yesterday, Kelly and I went to Wal Mart (my least favorite store) and purchased close to $200 worth of candy for the kids. While we still celebrate Easter, it's not for the same reasons as the majority of Americans. It is a fun holiday, though.

Today, we had to mail some things, which meant we needed to go into Pearland proper. Silverlake to be exact. It was absolute madness. People were every where. They were blocking intersections, cutting other drivers off, not paying attention to where they were going, etc.

First off, the economy is supposed to be in the tank. Oddly, many, many people are out shopping. Commercialism is strong.

Why is it, that holidays have to bring out the worst in people?

I am sure that everyone enjoys getting together with their families. I fall into this category. But why is it that we have to treat the people we don't know like crap? People appear to be in their own little world, and they could give a flying rat's ass about the person they just cut off in traffic.

It wasn't just in traffic.

We went to a little place called Bass Pro Shops to look at some 'toys' for dad. The Easter bunny was there, and parents were taking pictures of their little ones sitting on the curiously large rabbit's lap. The line for this event was quite long, and in fact, just about blocked the entrance to the store. I take that back. It did block the entrance.

How dare you ask someone to allow you to enter the store. That would require someone to move a little bit and open a gap in the line. Happy Easter.

At the entrance to the store, the kind folks at Bass Pro will have a plate of their should-be-world-famous fudge. Guests to the store are welcome to a piece when they enter. "A" piece, as in one. When we got there, a woman was loading up on the fudge, taking at least a dozen pieces. Hey, it's free right? Happy Easter.

What does a rabbit have to do with Easter anyway? Well, actually, it has quite a lot to do with "Ishtar", the queen of heaven. I will let you do your own research on that little topic, but feel free to ask questions if you like.

Bottom line, holidays can be quite stressful. When you are out and about, please be mindful of other people. They are trying to get their business taken care of, just like everyone else. We really should be mindful of others, and we should be kinder than we need to be to each other. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle. Some of the battles are quite intense, but the battle is very real to the one figting it.

Treat people with kindness. Even when you don't feel like it. That doesn't mean you have to bend over backwards, but it does mean you can choose to walk away from a stressful situation, or lend a hand to someone that needs it.

Take your time out there.

Happy Easter.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I'm Not Sick, But I'm Not Well

What a difference a day makes.
I got to sleep in today. I love working four tens. I do miss the overtime pay, but not the hours.

Today my daughter left to spend the weekend at the in-laws house. The boy was supposed to go, too, but because of the massive head wound he received yesterday, we felt it would be best that he stay home with us. He and his cousin play very well together, and, as boys usually do, rough house a bit.

No more trips to the ER, thanks.

Have you ever noticed that many nurses that work in the ER are quite rude? The one I encountered yesterday told me that I couldn't go and stay with my son while he was getting stitched up. After a few words, I was permitted to go to the back and hold my boy's hand. Mom and dad in the same room make all the difference for an eight year old boy who is terrified because of the sight of all the blood. And it was a LOT of blood.

About seven years ago, Charlie (who was about eleven months at the time) and I were playing in our front yard. I picked him up to talk to a passing neighbor, when I noticed that he appeard to be sweating profusely. I brought him inside to give him a cool bath, and I noticed then that he had large welts all over his body.

Before too long, he was swelling. I mean really swelling. His ears were so swollen, that they flopped over. He was barely recognizeable. We rushed to the hospital. By the way, a 2000 Chevrolet Impala will reach speeds in excess of 120 if you have enough road.

We got to the hospital, and I dropped momma and son off at the door. Rachel and I parked the car, and ran back to the entrance of the ER. I couldn't find Kelly or Charlie, so I asked the "lady" at the check-in desk if she could check and see if they had been back. She looked at her paperwork and told me that there was no one with the name of Charlie or Kelly that had signed in.
"Impossible", I thought. So, Rachel and I walked through the waiting area again.

I should tell you that this was shortly after Tropical Storm Allison had plowed through Houston. Many hospitals were closed, and this one, one of the few that were operating, was packed. With illegal immigrants. I was not happy.

I checked three times for my wife and son, and had no luck in finding them.
So I went back to the desk.

I was not received warmly. In fact, I was threatened to be quiet and wait my turn.

Not a good thing. Not for me, not at that time.

Both of my feet left the ground as I jumped over the desk and grabbed the "lady" by the collar, demanding that she find my son.
It was at this time that a candy striper (or some sort of volunteer) stepped in. She asked me what my son was wearing and what he looked like.
I released the scum behind the desk and answered.

She replied, "He was in bad enough shape that we didn't admit him here. They took him immediately to the back. Let me show you where he is."

Now, I am not one that is quick to anger.
I understand that the lady behind the desk was more than likely under a lot of stress, especially with the high volume of non-English speaking "patients". But that doesn't mean that she can brush someone off because she doesn't feel like going back and taking a look.

After an epi-pen injection and a good shot of Benadryl, Charlie's swelling subsided. We spent the night at the hospital, and we were sent on our way home.

Going to the emergency room is more than likely par for many parents who have a son. I spent my fair share of time in the emergency room, from busted ankles, almost severed toes, and even a crushed hand. More often than not, the care givers are very polite. But lately, not so much.

Today we enjoyed some much needed alone time with Charlie. He's in the tub now, and I must go and wash his hair so we can make sure that the staples stay in his head.

Y'all have a great evening.
Goodnight, Texas. Be safe.
And be independent.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

This Might Sting A Little....

Today was certainly one of those days.

I woke up late, which put me to work just after six a.m.
Parked the truck, walked into the building, and waited forever for an elevator. A large group of people gathered in the lobby waiting for the same elevator.

No one in this office building is very friendly in the morning. I try to greet everyone I see with a lively, "Good Morning!", and too many people just frown back. I always answer that scowl with a loud, "Apparently not for you", reply.

I get to my office entrance and realize that I had left my badge (the one that grants access to my office) in my truck, which was in the parking, which was now being pelted with heavy rain.

Nice. No umbrella.

Back into the elevator. Sprint to the truck, grab the badge, sprint back to the building.
The rain, which was once coming down really good, has now stopped. Just in time for me to reach cover.

I spend about an hour or so at this office, but not much longer. I have to attend a couple of meetings at another office. So, at 8:45, I walk back out to the truck (raining once again), and drive to the other office. I'm about five minutes late for my meeting.

Walking into the meeting, I pass a co-worker in the hall. She smiles and greets me with, "Good Morning! What's that on your shirt?"
"My shirt? What....?"

This office is in Texas City. There are many, many seagulls in Texas City. Apparently, one had a target for me.

Real nice.

The meeting went well. We broke just in time for lunch. My boss was coming in for the next meeting, and he decided to spring for lunch.
I can deal with that.

The meeting he came in for was a fairly important meeting, and I had not planned on attending. But he insisted that I attend. I am glad that I did, but I had to leave early because I had a six week follow up appointment with my surgeon regarding the neck surgery I had in February.

I didn't leave the meeting in time to make the appointment when it was scheduled. Traffic was quite heavy, and I arrived at my doctor's office two minutes late - I hate being late.

Unfortunately, the doctor was also running late. So I had to wait for about an hour. I finally got in, received some good news, and was sent on my way.

But - while I was making my three month follow up appointment, my cell phone rang. It was my lovely wife. I sent the call to voice mail so I could finish talking to the nurse. Kelly called back immediately, so I answered it with, "I am paying my bill, let me call you right back".

To which she replied, "NO! Be quiet and listen to me. Charlie hit his head on the tailgate of the van. He's split his head open. We are on our way to the emergency room."


Kelly does NOT do blood well.
One time a few years back, she went to our G.P. for a physical. They had to draw blood. Kelly went to the bathroom right after they took the blood, and I was sitting in a room that was down the hall from the bathroom. I watched her walk in, then I heard, "Bang! THUMP!", and Kelly tumbled into the hallway. She had passed out because she was thinking about the blood that was drawn.

Now she had to tend to Charlie as the doc in the ER was stitching up his head.
If you know anything about head wounds, you know that they bleed like crazy. I think Kelly would rather watch two weeks of The View than deal with a wound that required stitches.

Charlie's wound didn't require stitches. It required staples. Four of them.

By the time I got to the hospital, the stapling was complete. The doctor brought me to the room, and when I opened the door, I saw Charlie laying on a table that was covered with a white cloth. The cloth was soaked (and not with water). His hair was caked, and he looked pretty scared. Kelly looked relieved. She shuffled back to a chair and sat down, letting out a long sigh. Charlie was still scared, but he got better.

The doctor explained what he did, and invited Kelly over to see the work he had done. Kelly blanched. "Not good for her", I said the doc. "But I sure would like to see!"

So, we received our instructions from the doctor, and we were advised of what we should observe regarding Charlie's behavior, and we went on our way.

Now in ten days, we take Charlie to his doc to have the staples removed.

Sadly, Charlie was scheduled to go and see his cousin in the Beaumont area and attend the South East Texas State Fair. He will not be able to go because of his wound. I really wish he had paid attention to what he was doing in the parking lot - poor kid. In fact, as we were leaving the hospital, he told me, "I think I will start listening now".

See? There is a silver lining in every cloud.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


We all need a break from time to time.

What do you do to unwind?

Some folks like to do nothing. You know... sit on the couch and watch television.

Others like to have a few drinks. Nothing wrong with that.
Others curl up with a good book - such as my wife.
Bike riding. Canoeing. Fishing. Running. Lifting Weights. Cross-stitch. Scrap booking. Drawing or painting.
Your mileage may vary.

Mine is a little more violent than most.

I like to get out to the range.

The name of my range is PSC.
Few things relax me like the smell of gun powder and the gentle nudge of a small carbine on my shoulder.

Yeah.... I'm weird that way.

Don't misunderstand. I like getting away with my wife and my family. It's a real treat to get away with just my wife. But that takes planning, and it is very expensive.

But when I have had a stressful week, the quickest fix is a trip to the range. In less than an hour, I am good as new.

Maybe it's the rebel in me. Maybe it's just the thick Texan blood.... but I like running my pistol through it's paces and testing my speed and accuracy. I also like poking small holes in pieces of paper that are reeeaaallly far away.

Most folks don't understand this. Many will scratch their heads and fear for their safety. Don't worry. There is no need to lock up your daughters. Not on my account.

But some of you out there understand. If you don't understand, and you would like to understand, find and join your local range. You won't meet a nicer group of people, and you will be shocked at how much fun you can have.

And yes, it's totally safe (as safe as you are).
(You can view photos of my vice here. )
Take some time out. Find something you like to do, and do it. Everyone will benefit as a result.

So -
Whattayudo? Go Dowatchadoo.