21. July 2005 · Comments Off on TIME TO GET TOUGH IN SUDAN · Categories: Allied Treachery, General, Rant, Stupidity

Yesterday, our Secretary of State, Condolezza Rice, visited the nation of Sudan as part of her Africa tour. According to Fox News in this story, members of her entourage were roughed up, not once but several times, during a visit to the Sudanese President’s compound. This angered Ms. Rice, as it well should have, and I’m sure that Sudan will pay for this incident in many ways.

That whole African continent, for the most part, is ruled by thugs, criminals, and outright terrorists, not the sort of place that I want my tax dollars going. I would be much in favor of the US government doing a deep, healthy review of our giveaway policies. I’ve always favored holding onto our dollars until AMERICANS are fed, housed, and cared for. We seem to just give away money to anyone outside our own country with a hand outstretched, while we have homeless veterans, starving children whose single mothers have no education, no help, and no hope, as well as elderly folks who have to choose between food, medicine, or a roof over their heads! Come on, Mr. President, come on, congress! Let’s do something to help our own, and maybe then we can help those foreigners who want to share in our bounty. I have nothing at all against that kind of prioritization.

And we should squeeze extremely tightly on the nutz (if existant) of those idiots in Sudan who dared to insult our nation by putting their filthy hands on our SECSTATE’s staff and PA folks!

01. July 2005 · Comments Off on LET THE GAMES BEGIN! · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, Home Front

Well, well, now that Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has announced her retirement, it seems the race is on. The news(?) media are salivating all over themselves and rolling around in orgasmic happiness. Democrats in the Senate are gearing up, I hear, for the fight of the century, no matter who President Bush selects to fill her seat on the Supreme Court. Republican Senators, on the other hand, are getting set to push to the wall to get the President’s pick confirmed.

As for me, all I ask is that Sgt Mom pass the popcorn, I’m just gonna sit back and watch these dreary old men (and women) make total asses out of themselves, if they can be bigger idiots than they are now. As I said in the beginning, let the games begin!

25. June 2005 · Comments Off on IF NOT GITMO, THEN WHERE? · Categories: General, GWOT, Home Front, Stupidity, War

The raging debate over the use of Guantanamo prison to hold detainees such as those who are there now, whom the government calls enemy combatatants, lacks perspective. There is no sense of judgement on the side of those who oppose Gitmo, as to what we should do with the detainees. According to our military authorities, the 550 or so prisoners there are dangerous, and would kill Americans if released. At least one case of this has been confirmed, with one raghead found on the battlefield who had been released, and there are probably more instances that we ordinary citizens just don’t know about. So, what do we do?

All I hear, coming from the left and from various other America-haters, is that we should close the prison. No one that I’ve heard from, has suggested what we should do with the detainees, and that is the question that must be answered before the controversy moves even one inch from its present position. Unless we put these folks on some uncharted south sea island, with no means of escape, perhaps the best idea is to leave them right where they are. Torture? I don’t think so. The evidence indicates that, from the food they eat, to the deference shown their so-called “holy book,” the qu’ran, they seem to be treated far more humanely and even with more respect, than they deserve. These guys are prisoners for Pete’s sake! And here we are, putting on display just how good they have it, better than the soldiers guarding them. And reports are, that all of them have gained weight! ARRRGGGHH!

Let’s let the President end the debate, leave them at Gitmo, with a few changes: (1) a little less appealing food in the prison diet. I think PBJ sandwiches a couple of days a week for the evening meal, might be appropriate — replacing the fish almondine. (2) Hard labor. Get them out of their cells, put them in a deep rock pit, and give them hammers with the order to make little ones out of big ones. A six-day work schedule of 12-hour days, somewhat like I had to work in Southeast Asia a few years ago, might be the ticket. (3) No TV or radio. Get rid of the luxuries, let them be a bit less informed, and with them tired out from the work schedule, they might not be so interested in starting trouble. (4) Let them have some hope of going home. At the age of eighty-five, provided they have not caused any trouble for the past 20 years, they could be released. Any detainee released, who gets back into trouble fighting against the US, would face automatic execution, no appeals, just fry ’em.

Maybe, with less pampering and more prison-like environments, these idiot camel jockeys might feel a little less inclined to make jihad against us, and they may quake in their boots instead of grinning when the name of America is mentioned. Just a few ideas, maybe somebody has a few more?

18. June 2005 · Comments Off on OLD MEMORIES SMELL LIKE SMOKE, PART TWO · Categories: Ain't That America?, General Nonsense, Home Front, Local, Memoir, Working In A Salt Mine...

Being on the fire department in the small village of York, Maine, was really an experience, and for those who lived there, somewhat of a status symbol. If your origins were from somewhere other than York, it was nearly impossible, thus a statement of acceptance if you succeeded. I was really happy to have been accepted as a “probie,” the one-year probationary period.

It wasn’t all societal, it was serious business. I actually got involved because of a fire that included a fatality. Nurse Jenny, in those days, wasn’t a nurse, but a dispatcher on the York Public Safety Communications Center, and I was the Motorola Tech Rep for the area, involved with supplying the communications equipment and assuring that it all worked. The VFD probationary period was a time of a lot of learning. Fire technology, hydraulics, water pressure, fire ground operations, so many classes, and all that just to volunteer to fight fires.

Parenthetically, I would volunteer to fight fires on a number of departments after York, the last one being while back on Air Force AD, in Monument, Colorado. What I learned in York would make me a good firefighter, and some of it would save my life in some touchy situations.

The “white coat incident” mentioned in part one was really embarrassing, and it was a touchstone of ribbing for a long time afterwards. Well, you gotta have something!

One important aspect of fighting fires is speed. Getting there fast, getting set up fast, getting water on the fire as fast as you safely can. One day, about three months into my probie period, there was a small fire near my house, a situation in which I responded in my car, and got my coat and helmet off the truck. Engine. What am I thinking! Truck is ladder, engine is pumper, for the uninitiated! OK, got my gear on, and grabbing the nozzle, in I went. The fire was out quickly, and I quickly found out my big mistake. Someone told me to get that white coat off, unless I was really a chief in disguise. OOPS! Without thinking, I had grabbed a white coat, which is an officer’s garb. Now, they’re really serious about that. It was the deputy chief’s coat, and my putting it on was the source of so much ribbing and teasing for a long time. You can be assured, from that time on, I paid attention to the color of coats in the locker!

Fighting fires is fun, or at least it is something that gets in your blood. This -Vidalia, GA – is the only place that we’ve lived since York in the 70’s, that I haven’t served on a fire department. Just can’t do it, since getting injured on my job as a paramedic in 1995. I hate to have to stand still when I hear a siren, but we get old, and sometimes we have to ease up on the throttle!

But, as Elroy commented on the last post, those were great days, and the fire department folks in York were some of the finest people I’ve ever served with! York Volunteer Fire Department, I salute you every one!

15. June 2005 · Comments Off on Old Memories smell Like Smoke, Some of the Time, Part One · Categories: Ain't That America?, Home Front, Memoir, Working In A Salt Mine...

I’m watching the new series on Discovery, “Firehouse.” Set in Boston, it’s examining, tonight, at least, the house containing Engine 37 and truck (ladder) 26 and their life during one shift, which is 24 hours. Ohh, this brings back some memories, some very bittersweet memories! Anyone who hasn’t been a firefighter can’t have even a clue of what it’s like. The life of a firefighter is like no other on earth, and once bitten, it’s a bug that can’t be shed….I was a firefighter, about three lifetimes ago, it seems, but yes, there was a time,,,,

York, Maine, and the year was 1972. This was the year I began my break in active service, having come home from Thailand and going to the AF Reserve at Pease AFB, NH. Funny, I was assigned to maintain the very same tankers (KC-135’s) that I had worked on only four years before, on active duty! Seems both of us got off A/D at about the same time!. So, here I was, with an impossible dream and a more impossible schedule set up to get me there.

The first dream was to get myself through college, and for that purpose, I was enrolled in New Hampshire College, at Portsmouth (NH) High School, classes at night, and for the next six years I would hit the books hard. Maybe, if my pals Elroy Moulton or George Lariviere, check on here, they might verify that, as Elroy and I were going through much of the same courses together, and for part of the time, I worked with George. Something great clicked between myself and George and Elroy, a friendship that has endured a lot of years, and a closeness of our wives and children as well. Both families have proven to be folks that we love, and that still prevails after all these years…wonderful!

The next dream, to work in the civilian electronics field, was to come true as well, some of that thanks to George, as he was working for a company that was able to supply part of the hope, a small company called General Sound and Visual, Inc. I have to say, the company was really pleasant to work for, all the people great folks, and I have fond memories of that experience.

The fire department….Hmmm, the fire department. One of my neighbors when I moved to York was a fire fighter, and he got me interested. So, I started hanging out with firemen, got to know a few, and one day put in my application to join the York Volunteer Fire Department. You gotta understand; this was a great status symbol in York. Belonging to the fire department was a sign that you had arrived, that you had been accepted into the society of the small village of some 3,000 goode people. Now, being from the south, even though I had spent some 4 years in New England already, made it somewhat of a challenge to become one of the “chosen”. I could have cared less about the “society” aspects, one of my hangouts was a coffee shop across from the firehouse, and I just filled with adrenalin when those trucks hauled tail outta there! I just had to be a firefighter!

Next Time: The White Coat Bites Me!

13. June 2005 · Comments Off on Michael Jackson Aquitted of All Charges · Categories: Ain't That America?, Stupidity, That's Entertainment!

In a move that literally stunned millions who have been watching, pop singer Michael Jackson was today aquitted of all ten counts with which he had been charged. The jury sent word of a verdict around 12:15 PM, PT, and the verdict was read when all the principals were in place at 2:00 PM, 5 PM ET. Thousands of fans were gathered outside the Santa Barbara County courthouse listening to their pocket radios when the verdict was read by the court clerk, and they erupted in shouts and screams of joy as the “not guilty” verdicts were read.

The Jackson family emerged from the courthouse minutes later, looking much more confident than when they entered. They all entered their characteristic black SUV’s and headed for Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.

Tom Sneddon, the District Attorney for Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, responded to questions in a short news conference after the trial. When asked if he was finished with his chase of Michael Jackson, he responded, “No comment.”

So, what happens next? No one knows, we shall see.

31. May 2005 · Comments Off on “Deep Throat” Revealed After 30 Years · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, Politics

According to this story the identity of the person known as “Deep Throat”, a term coined by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post during the Nixon Impeachment times, has been revealed as 91-year old W. Mark Felt, the FBI’s number 2 man during the early 1970’s.

The question today is, does anyone really care today?

31. May 2005 · Comments Off on It Makes No Sense · Categories: General Nonsense, Rant, Science!, The Funny

Sometime ago, I can’t get through the mess in the archives to find it, I wrote some kind of nonsense about some small unimportant thing that went wrong with my computer; I spent an inordinate amount of time fixing it, but was satisfied with the the result, so I forgot about it. Here we go again. I don’t know if it’s worth it this time, I’ve been sitting here trying to correct typing mistakes for the past 20 minutes, giggling about them, and trying to eat a port chip sandwich without choking on it.(OK, just one example. PORH CHOP, folks, PORK CHOP.) Nurse & chief inquisitor Jenny is asleep in the next room, and when she finds out about this post there’s gonna be hell to pay!!

What I’m mad about tonight though is the simplleat part of a computer, the thing that whould never fail, that one thing of perfection, the mouse! Now the durn thing is cowering over in the corner sniveling and shivering under the pork chop plate I threw at it, and I am about to go over and stomp the loiving (living, not loving) daylights out of the darned lthing. These things have only two finctions in life. They have an X axis and a Y axis, and they are supposed to run in those directions when the thing is moved that way. What in the heck is so hard about that? No one shoulfdhave to fire or kill louses – mouses – for being incompetent! Why, it’s no harder than getting the right lette3r on the slcreen when it isw typed! You don’t see keyboards always getting fired do you?

I’m gonna finish my sandwafch and go kill that dang mouse, then I can get my work done.

26. May 2005 · Comments Off on So Much For Agreements · Categories: Ain't That America?, Cry Wolf, General Nonsense, sarcasm, Stupidity

It seems the “gentlemen’s agreement” reached by the alleged “gentlemen” of the US Senate does not hold water. In fact, instead of leaking like a sieve, it apparently elicits waterfalls on its own!

On Thursday evening, just days after a group of Senate “moderate centrists” patted themselves on their backs, (breaking at least five arms in the process) congratulating themselves profusely for having saved the empire union from certain destruction by elimination of blusters filibusters, Senate Democrats totally surprised the entire world by breaking the agreement and blocking a cloture vote on” Mr. Nice”, John Bolton, the President’s pick to kick ass represent the US at the UN – or something like that! While Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist was receiving medical assistance in the cloakroom (or was it bathroom?) for having passed out in shock over the event, Majority minority leader “Dingy” Harry reid was grabbing every microphone in the corridor, while his associates and acolytes rounded up all the TV camers so he could gloat assure all of the rest of us that this was not really a filibuster.

Mr. Bolton will now have to go back to the end of the line to await his turn, and recess may be over by then, so he may not get to play at all.

Sorry for all the strikeouts, Nurse (sister) Jenny kept hitting me on the hand with a ruler.

25. May 2005 · Comments Off on Take A Break and Go Flying! · Categories: General

Guess who's driving...

Guess who’s driving? Last week before getting my foot cut on, I had to go over and do pre-op stuff the day before. It was a great day to fly!

Know what that big fan up front does? IT KEEPS THE PILOT COOL!

May 05 Best Picks 014

Outta action for a month or so, but when I get this cement block off my foot, off we go!

Whoever re-wrote the codes for posting pics has my undying gratitude. We got a digital camera last week and it is just too much fun!

23. May 2005 · Comments Off on Horsepistal Blogging · Categories: General

Well, here I sit, on the side of the bed, IV running, hooked up by phone line and running through AOL. The surgery on Friday went very well, and I have some weird-looking device on my left leg that Nurse Jenny says is a “cam-walker.” It’s sorta like a boot that goes up to the knee. But I can’t yet put any weight on the left leg. I’ve been up, on a walker, hopping up and down the hall like a wounded rabbit, trying to get myself broke outta this place! They say I can go tomorrow. Don’t know how long before I’ll be able to outrun Nurse Jenny, but all in time…..*sigh*

I have been up a couple of times, just reading, but today I felt I could say HI to all my friends here, it won’t be long until I can find something to start another fire about.

God bless, folks, be back soon. Time for the dilaudid and zzzzz.zzzz

Update 5/24: Bustin’ out day. The doc says go home, so I ain’t letting the door hit me in…..you guessed…..

Thanks for all the kind words, and Kayse, I got out some shorts and ditched the ventilated gown, the world couldn’t stand that sight!

See y’all from home next time!

UPDATE 200505250600Z: Yeaaa! Home in my own bed! BTW Kevin, I had to leave the dilaudid behind,and yes, the doc was kind enough to keep me out of postop pain. Actually, right now I don’t have any pain.

OK, back to bedybye…..

17. May 2005 · Comments Off on I HAVE LOST NO RIGHTS AND NEITHER HAVE YOU. IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE, PROVE IT. · Categories: Domestic, General, Good God, GWOT, Home Front, Media Matters Not, Rant

I do not wish to single out any one person in a post, ever. Nor do I wish to be mean-spirited to anyone here or anywhere else. Should you ask anyone who knows me, even anyone who was with us last Saturday at the 43rd reunion of our high school class, I’m sure the answer would be that I’m kind, fair, and that I love people. Also, I believe people would say that I live my life according to the Word of God in every way that I know how, that I love the Lord Jesus and that my love for people stems from that. But here on this one post I have to divert from my normal principles, I have to name someone, and I apologize ahead of time for having to do that, but I have been backed into a corner along with a lot of other folks and I’m coming out of this corner aggressively. Kayse, I’ve bent over backwards being nice to you, but your comment responding to Timmer’s query cannot go unchallenged. Before I give my response, let me state that I too recognize that you are entitled to your opinion no less than anyone else, and those of us who have spent time in the military were and are there for the purpose of defending your right to disagree with anyone you choose.

When you say that you don’t trust your government, it gets personal. Because I, and Timmer, and Sgt Mom, and all others who here on this site were in the military or worked for civil service, ARE that government. Remember, Abe Lincoln stated that our government was of, by, and for, the people. Be that the case, you as well, are part of that government. So, just which right have you lost? You said you had lost your right to privacy. Just who, and how, has your privacy been violated? Who in the Homeland Security Department has harrassed you? How have they punished you? What has anyone in this country, part of our government, done to punish you? If you think people who work for that dark, mysterious entity that you call the government are not accountable for their actions, then you are sadly, grossly, mistaken. Let me give you an example. I work for the Army as a paramedic. In my position I have the vital statistics, including SSAN’s, of my patients, in my hands. You think I’m not accountable for how I handle that information? Then you’re as full of sh** as a Christmas turkey!! If I were so much as to write that stuff down on the wrong piece of paper, much less take any of it home with me, I’d lose my job! And the same goes for anyone else who is employed by the government. I don’t care what department, or career path you mention, we are entrusted with protecting you and your information, in many cases, to the death. It’s insulting as hell to anyone in the military for you to casually make such an assinine statement.

And get this straight. It is not the fault of your government that you cannot “easily” fly from one destination to another. You need to get it straight in that red-haired head of yours, that it was n0t the government that flew four planes full of innocent passengers to their deaths, taking nearly 3,000 other innocent citizens to their deaths. DAMMIT, IT WAS ISLAMOFASCIST TERRORISTS! Your head is just not on straight, because it was the government that you hate that instituted safety measures to protect your hide. If I sound angry, you’re dang right I am. I am angry that you so easily insult those who are bound by honor and by law to protect you, and you whine and snivel because it’s not “easy” for you to fly. What in hell do you propose? That we just open up and let anyone who wants to, get on aircraft, even if they want to crash that plane into a building or a ball game? Dadburn, woman, you sound like you’re nuts! You’d better be thanking God that you have a government that wants to keep the idiot suicide bombers at bay elsewhere instead of downtown your town. You’d better be grateful that you are a citizen and CAN get a driver’s license, or an ID card, if and when it comes to that. BTW, they can’t get that ID system out fast enough for me. I don’t worry, I already have one, it’s called a military ID.

Your comment that government employees are compiling “dossiers” on all of us is another stupid, idiotic idea. That belongs with the Area 51 and other such conspiracy theories. Who killed JFK? Have you seen Elvis lately? AARRRRGGGHHH! No one in the government gives a rat’s behind about who you are, and they certainly don’t have time to compile a dossier on you. They’re too busy protecting your butt from another attack. You need to take a deep breath and sit back, enjoy the sunshine and the freedoms you have. We do not live in a Soviet-style country, you can relax and forget all this stuff.

Your comments about ministers was uncalled for as well. You don’t have to go to any church, listen to any minister, or subscribe to any faith that you don’t want to. So, leave ministers and churches out of it. No one there is bothering you. Your so-called “fundamentalist” preachers were here, preaching the very same message, long before President Bush came along, and they will still be there, preaching the same thing, long after he has passed into history.

To cap all this off, you say you are afraid to voice your concerns, fearing someone may put some hit team on you to erase you??? Come on, if you think that way, you need a psychiatrist! No such thing exists in this country, and we are here to insure that it never does happen. I’ve had enough of this. If you are not comfortable here, maybe you might feel more at home on DU, the Democrat Underground, or on Kos’s site. They seem to voice the same ideas that you appear to be comfortable with. However, if we don’t scare you too bad, you’re welcome to stay here and give us more of your ideas. Who knows, you may find others who agree with you! And I promise you, I’ll do my best, as will the others here, to keep the “hit squads” on other targets and away from you.

09. May 2005 · Comments Off on Goombye Raymond! · Categories: Ain't That America?, General Nonsense, That's Entertainment!

Well, they had the next-to-last “Everybody Loves Raymond” episode tonight, and if this was any hint of next week’s 90-minute nuthouse, I’d better bandage my ribs ahead of time! Anyone who loves family comedy will mourn with me when Ray Romano kills my favorite rib-buster next week. Oh, he won’t kill anyone, they will just pack up the insane asylum and move to the Jersey Shore…..

Not that there’s anything wrong with the Jersey Shore, but have you been there? What with all the oil refineries and waste dumps….Oh, right, that’s north Jersey. Ah, well, guess I just like Lon-gisland, nothing personal.

But I’m gonna miss the whole bunch of nuts!

06. May 2005 · Comments Off on The Coming Day · Categories: General

Mother’s Day is coming this weekend. I got the jump on it, and published my thoughts on the day and its meaning to me here on my blog. Go visit, and enjoy the history lesson as I talk a little about my Mama and mothers everywhere! I hope you like it.

05. May 2005 · Comments Off on HHG2G Again · Categories: General

Finally got to see it tonight – nearly spit popcorn! haven’t laughed so much in ages! Marvin!!

30. April 2005 · Comments Off on Last Weekend’s Airshow · Categories: Air Force, Air Navy, General, General Nonsense, Military, That's Entertainment!

Well, I think at least, here:

AARRRGGHH!! Somebody help! Mom, I followed your instructions, and have done all kinds of machinations fiddling with it, and here’s what I get! What, for Pete’s sake, am I doing wrong?

(Can’t tell… upload it again, and e-mail me exactly what it gives you for a code once it is successfully uploaded, and I’ll try editing it in—-
Sgt. Mom)

OK, I did get a few of them uploaded here so you can go look at them there, for now. And there’s a joke involved, if you can stand it!


27. April 2005 · Comments Off on MY NOSE IS BLEEDING….. · Categories: Air Force, Military, That's Entertainment!

Well, it is. I got so sunburned last Sunday – so did Nurse Jenny. Never thought about sunburn, it was so freezing cold. The temp was about 40, with a stiff wind and a wind chill of about 27, but the sun was really bright. We didn’t mind because we were watching the Navy’s terrific BLUE ANGELS! Last weekend was the annual Vidalia Onion Festival – we grow the best sweet onions in the world here – you can eat one raw without tears, they’re really good – and every year we have this festival with air shows on Saturday and Sunday.

The Blue Angels have been here several times, and they put on the greatest show! Go Navy!

But I’d like to see the Thunderbirds put on a show here, they have red, white, and blue smoke whereas the Blue Angels only use white. Of course, being an Air Force retiree, I have this loyalty to the Thunderbirds, I’ve seen their shows, and they used to park their birds on our ramp at PAFB when they came to Colorado Springs. They really put on a great show, but any air shows have to wait until my neck gets over the strain of watching the Angels last weekend! I was videotaping the show, and keeping up with the airplanes kept me moving! But we got some really great video, and Jen was taking stills, so I’ll post one or two of those when I get the film developed.

I just wish I could get over this awful sunburn!

19. April 2005 · Comments Off on FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH: JUST WHO ARE THE EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS PART #2 · Categories: Good God

OK, now we address the beliefs of evangelical Christians. I’m not going into deep doctrinal foundation, unless someone in “comments” requests some source or reference that requires such an excursion. First, I recognize that this is mostly a military blog, and the subject matter of this post may not appeal to some, so I ask you to forgive me, just skip over this if you’re not interested in what I say here.

Christian doctrines, evangelical as well as Catholic, are rooted together, and to be sure, Roman Catholic core doctrines are identical to the core beliefs of evangelicals. You can find a good synopsis of Catholic doctrine here, something I researched in preparation for this post. The areas where we Evangelicals differ from Roman Catholics are doctrines on Mary, saints, purgatory, and sacraments. However, those areas are secondary to me, I’d rather concentrate on where we agree than curse the areas where we don’t see eye to eye.

Here are our core beliefs:

1.The Bible is the only infallible and inspired Word of God and it is the authoritative basis of our faith, the sole source of our faith and practices.

2.There is one God, eternally existent in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

3. Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, and that He was born of a virgin; sinless in His life and atoning for our sins in His death. That Jesus bodily rose from the dead, and that He ascended to Heaven, and that He will return for His followers in glory at a time unknown.

4. The only means of being cleansed of sin is faith in the blood of Jesus which was shed for our redemption.

5. We believe in the resurrection of the dead, both saved and unsaved, for judgement, and that the saved shall live eternally in Heaven with God, while those who have rejected Him will be condemned to eternal hell.

There are other doctrines, such as baptism, the Lord’s Supper (eucharist), Gifts of the Spirit, etc, that some of us even within the evangelical fold have differences about, but those things that are unique to each denomination are secondary, and we all generally agree with some semantic statements that read a bit differently. Brotherly love is more important than strict doctrinal purity.

First, the Bible. My own study includes Greek, the language of the New Testament, and I have researched just how we received the several translations available to us today. Our english versions have been translated since the 16th century from a variety of ancient texts, such as the Latin brought down to us from the Vatican (Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus), and the various extant Greek texts. The most ancient Greek texts today are papyrii from as far back as the fourth century, some 320 years after Christ walked among us. Those and the Alexandrian Greek Texts from the 5th century with other texts comprise the Majority Texts, from which the latest english translations come. Worthy of note is the fact that the New Testament was written in the Koine (common) street language of the day, and that is a powerful indicator for the use of such common language in the versions we use today. For personal study and reading, I use the New Living Translation, which is, from my study of its origins, the very best adaptation to our common language in the United States today.

In Bible translations, there are two general methods or philosophies. First is called “formal equivalence,” or word-for-word translation, which can be difficult to read, and the second is known as “dynamic equivalence,” or thought-for-thought translation, which is what is used in the NIV (New International Version) and in the NLT, or New Living Translation. Certainly, any thought-for-thought translation requires that the thought in the original language be accurately interpreted and then be written in an understandable way. All this requires not only a group of highly capable scholars, but scholars who have a deep relationship with the Holy Spirit of God, attuned to His will in interpreting the Scriptures. For anyone who wants to go into depth regarding translations, I reccomend the introduction to the NLT, and the “Principles of Translation” in the front of the New American Standard Bible. Another excellent text on translations is found in the Preface to the Full Life Study Bible, which is published in KJV, NASB, and NIV.

If you include the Old Testament, which was written in Hebrew to begin with, we have a book which was written over some four thousand years by some 40 authors, with one thread running through it from one end to the other. That thread is that God wanted to provide redemption for sinful man, to provide a way for us to have fellowship with Him, which was His reason for creating us in the first place. Prophecy was a great part of the old testament, with the first prophecy of the coming of Jesus Christ as far back as Genesis 3:15. Generally, the purpose of the Old Testament, aside from being a history of Judaism, is the prophecies of the coming of Christ. It foretells the New Testament, and in the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. We have the Bible today because the Holy Spirit guided men to write, and to preserve that which was written.

Of course, to validate all this, we have to let God be God. He can do all this and more, or He is not God. Evangelical Christians have all this, and more, as the foundation of our faith. What makes us evangelical is the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 and Mark 16: 16-20, where He tells His followers to go into all the world and preach His gospel. Anyone who is interested in finding out the positions of evangelical Christians can go to the web page of the National Association of Evangelicals, here , and read the various articles on beliefs, values, and mission.

OK, the ramblings of a believer, a follower of Jesus Christ. I don’t claim to be so well educated, but I’ve given my best here, and the references will bring the interested reader to places where they will find more educated scholars to answer their questions. Thanks for reading!

18. April 2005 · Comments Off on This Is Mo’ Cool! · Categories: General Nonsense, Science!, Technology

Several months ago when I set up the wireless net in/around my house to service my newly-purchased laptop, I wrote of my joy in this post . The wireless system I went with at the time was the 802.11B, which advertises data transfer rates of up to 11 MB. I was fairly pleased with how well it worked, but something kept gnawing at me, things could be better.

Having problems getting comments and posts to work, I later purchased the 802.11G adapter for the laptop, which advertises a 54 MB speed, and the problem, for the most part, went away. But with this small mismatch, I began to realize that the system was limited by the speed of the wireless router, the slowest part of the system and the data bottleneck here. So last week, when I was in the BX, dreaming of new, high-speed computers with super capabilities, and of laptops that were new out of the box (mine came from ebay, used and cheap, but I can’t complain, I got a really good deal.), my eyes fell upon an 802.llG wireless router, and I thought, it being payday and so, hmmm, let’s get that puppy and boost the laptop speed!

Leaving the BX with my new jewel under my arm, I made the required stop by the commissary and my favorite off-base Korean restaurant for Kimchee and pulkogi, and with baited (!!) breath headed for home. After brushing my hair and combing my teeth, I started on installing the router. At first I had some mismatch problems, with the laptop not recognizing the router, but after uninstalling the adapter and re-installing it, it found the router and we were off to the races. Yep, it is noticeably faster. I don’t know what the speed works out to, but I can tell the difference between it and the “B” model. So, if you’re thinking of setting up a home wireless net, go ahead and spend the extra money for the “G” model, you’ll be much better pleased with

MO’ Powah!

Hey, anybody want to buy a used 802.11B wireless system in like new condition?


17. April 2005 · Comments Off on WHO NEEDS COMMERCIAL STUFF WHEN SCROUNGES RULE? · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, War

I started this out as a comment on Kevin’s post below, but it got too long, so here we go again. During the cursed 60’s, when I was a young airman in the “theater,” a lot of us were desperate to hear the voices of our loved ones back in the land of the golden BX. You know,where they had paved roads, fresh eggs, (heck, even fresh chickens!) and real, working telephones.

There were no cell phones, no satellite relay systems (unless you worked in COMM, or were a general) no commercial telephone systems that worked, and not even direct-dial long distance in the States. Yes, Virginia, there was a time when you went through a live operator just to make a long distance call. All we had was that damnable back-scatter over-the-horizon single-sideband system that was notoriously badly mistuned, leaving one, sounding like Donald Duck, with a costly session consisting mostly of “Can you hear me, Mom?”. My first OS call, from Korea, sitting inside a soundproof box, was just such a call, trying to find out if my girlfriend had received the engagement ring I had sent her, so I’d know if she was my fiance yet. After some 5 minutes of her crying, me snuffling, and the frequent “What did you say?”, I paid the princely sum of some $150 out of my monthly $178 A2C salary for a call where I still wondered if I had even talked to the right girl.

After this incident, being a “ham” operator already, I got involved with Air Force MARS. No, not space cadets, the Military Affiliate Radio System. Officially, it was the backup for the “official channels” of radio communication, and it was used for that sometimes, but mostly it was a bunch of ham operators tinkering around with AF radio equipment, playing with our hobby at taxpayer expense. It was with MARS that I got to be the king of all AF scrounges. We operated the best means of communication with the “world,” making contact with Stateside MARS stations who would put through collect calls to our homes via a “phone patch,” a device that hooked the radio up to the phone lines.

We could get anything from anyone on base. Not just supply. Midnight, in the middle of a 24-hour period of placing calls, and hungry. Call the chow hall.

Me: “Anybody there want to call the States?” Minutes later: C/H: “Hey, you guys, the MARS station has a connection to the states. Fix them a dozen ham sandwiches and get the SP’s over here to deliver them! And whoever wants to make a call get in the office here!” (Then we’d put through a call for the guy from Security Police, too.)

I got us a 15,000 watt amplifier for our radio when the Comm SQ turned one in (MO’ POWAH!). We got good, comfortable office furniture, for those long sessions sitting in front of radios. Most of what we had, though, was cast-off, second hand stuff, because officially, we were the purple-haired stepchildren of the Air Force. We worked based on how long the atmospheric propagation would allow us to have 2-way conversations with the States, and I think my record was something like 28 hours. Some days, nothing. Some days, Katy-bar-the-door, until everybody on base who wanted to call had gotten through, some more than once.

God bless one man, not with us any more: Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) had about the best ham station on earth. And he had volunteers to staff it. On holidays, he would place our calls for free, and everybody got to call home without the expense of a collect call. Now, that was a man who cared about the GI’s. And everybody in the service at the time knew it.

Not only MARS operators, but a lot of folks in the service learn to be good scrounges. Sometimes I think the military really works on the backs of its best scrounges, because they know how to find what they need, be it DRMO, supply, or whereever. They are the ones who get things done, and it’s “full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes!” Here’s a salute to those unsung heroes of the war effort, I know that today they are just as important to getting things accomplished as they were back in the “old” days!

12. April 2005 · Comments Off on Pilot’s Logbook: An Extraordinary Journey · Categories: General

The entry in my logbook dated March 20, 1982 is very simple, and doesn’t stand out from any other. In fact, had I not been remembering just how unique and wonderful the flight had been, I wouldn’t even have picked it out for writing about it.

In the “Remarks” section of the log, it says, plainly, “Nite VFR – chk shuttle.” It shows that I flew a Cessna 172, tail # 20565 (Which was mine at the time) from Fernandina Beach, Florida (55J), to Titusville, Florida (TIX), a flight which took 2.0 hours. It shows a landing at TIX, and a return to 55J later that took 2.0 hours. Both flights were VFR at night and from the logbook looks unremarkable. But the REST of the story is something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life, an event that no one would ever be able to do again in this post 9/11 world of aviation. You see, what we did (I had two guys with me) that night was to orbit over the Space Shuttle at 3,000 feet, looking down on it! I mean we were right over it, going around in a circle! Wow, what a terrific thing to get to do!

It was a Friday night, and my wife was gone on a camping trip with her Girl Scout troop. So, I was a bit restless. We had a fish fry at church, and while eating fresh-caught catfish and perch, sitting with a couple of my friends, I mentioned that it would be a good night to go flying. No particular destination was in mind, but my plane was based at Fernandina Beach, about 20 miles away, and no one else was flying it at the time. So down we went, preflighted and took off. I headed south, and someone – I don’t know who – mentioned that the shuttle was scheduled for launch in a few days. All of us thought it would be neat to go down and take a look, as it was on the launch pad and I had seen on TV that it was lit up at night, a pretty sight.

When we got close, figuring that the airspace would be restricted (It is today, R2934 on the chart.) and we would have to stay about 5 miles away. That would have been fine. But when the FAA controller at the ARTCC asked my intentions, I said, “We’d like to get as close as possible to the shuttle, to take a look at it.” You could imagine my surprise, I would’ve been easily knocked over with a feather when the controller said, “I can take you right over it. Cleared into the launch area. Maintain 3,000 or above.” I even had to ask for clarification, as I thought I was hearing things. But, yes, the controller said we could fly right over the top of the thing, only 3,000 feet away!

Now that was exciting! No one had a camera, as it was night and we had not expected this! It was a joy and a privilege, to be able to observe the newest thing in space exploration that close. In fact, I think this was only about the 3rd shuttle launch coming up.

My family and I had watched the first one, Columbia, from a distance of about 3 miles, having spent the night on a shrimp boat that belonged to one of my customers in Port Canaveral. My daughter, about 14 at the time, was in that growing up stage where she was always “bored” with anything her parents did. But she has always said that this was one time she was not bored! You know that “crackle” you hear on the TV when those rockets fire? That’s not distortion of the audio, that’s real, it’s just how it sounds. The sound waves hit you in the gut and you em> feel the power of that monster as it lifts off! It is the most incredible thing I’ve ever witnessed! I mean, people got emotional. You couldn’t do anything but yell, and sob in joy, as the fire-breathing rockets punched you all over the place with the roar. There was a crowd all over the marina; we had been awakened by feet stomping all overhead on our boat, had to get up and run them off, but there were lots of people gathered there, and many were screaming, “Go!” or “Yeaa!” It was just unbelievable. Everyone was just jumping up and down!

There wasn’t a lot of talk on the way home. We had taken a break, landing at Titusville for a cup of coffee, a bathroom stop, and a short respite before taking off for home. It was a quiet flight, I let one of the guys handle the plane in level flight – I love to do that, to show people just how easy and how much fun it is to fly a plane – and we all came away with a memory that will last a lifetime. The restrictive atmosphere of flying today, with all the TFR’s, the restricted airspace, and other requirements, prevent some of the free, fun flying we did in days pre-9/11. I guess it’s the price we pay for having enemies who want to kill us all. But nothing can erase from my mind the sight of a space shuttle sitting on a launch pad just under my airplane!

What a night! It was about midnight when we got home, and the next day we told our story to others who hadn’t been fortunate enough to be sitting with us that night at the fish fry!

And here, 23 years later, it’s just an unremarkable, simple entry in my logbook. But what a story behind such a simple entry. And now, you know it too!

11. April 2005 · Comments Off on FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH: JUST WHO ARE THE EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS? PART #1 · Categories: General, Good God, History, World

This is my second try at this, as the first one disappeared into the ether – probably because of my lack of expertise with html or something like that! I want to give my best effort at explaining those of us who are defined as evangelical Christians (NOTE: NOT fundamentalists!) so people can get the information directly from someone who knows what they are talking about without any of the myths that seem to get propagated around such a seemingly hot-button issue these days. I’ll break this up into several parts so as not to take up too much of the space here, and run the segments a few days apart. That should give you time to question me, and time for me to give the best answers I can.

I really despise the idea of tooting my own horn, but I guess it is somewhat necessary to list some of my education and expertise, and some of my history as regards the subject, if I hope to be considered remotely familiar with the truth here. After that, I will go into some of our history as a church, and detail what our doctrines and practices are, with how we got there. Folks, I’ll do my best to give you the whole picture, and if there’s something I don’t know, I’ll tell you. No BS, I just don’t believe in that, and I’ll be honest and as complete as I know how.

My history: I was raised Southern Baptist until age 16, when I started attending a Pentecostal church, the Church of God (Cleveland, TN) – there are several denominations with the same name – and it was with the Church of God that I got my first formal and semi-formal Bible education courses. I attended Lee College via correspondence, graduating with diploma in Theology. Later, I moved over to the Assemblies of God, a denomination with identical theology and doctrine but different structure and polity, and received further education from Berean University- an AA in Christian Pastoral Ministry. Most of this was done while I was on active duty with the US Air Force, from which I retired in 1993. Also, during a break in service, from 1973-1977, I attended New Hampshire College in Portsmouth, NH, where I earned a BA in Business Management. Not related, I had almost 2 years of electronics tech schools in the AF, and graduated from EMT school in 1978, then paramedic school a few years later.

While in the service, I managed to pastor several small churches part-time, and after retirement I also pastored churches. An injury while working as a paramedic forced me to resign my last church, and today my ministry is mostly teaching and writing, with preaching as a fill-in when I can. Truthfully, teaching has always been the love of my heart as regards ministry, and I think that’s where the Lord can use me best. Today I spend a lot of time on this weblog, and also with my own weblog site, here. On that site, I have a number of links that can be used to explore other Christian websites and get into their doctrines should one so desire.

Aside from all that, I’m trying to get a small business started doing business writing such as technical/mechanical manuals, business proposals, and such type of work for companies who need a professional writer to help them out with composition and publishing/printing. Not being busy enough, I’m still working on a manuscript that I started on a laptop in the back of a C-130 during Gulf War I, true stories of ambulance calls and the heroes who save lives. The title is “LIFESAVERS!”, and with God’s help, I may finish it and get it published someday! Believe me, writing is hard work…..

OK, that’s enough for now. Next, I’ll take a look at Evangelicals and our doctrines, faith, and practice. Thank you for your patience, stay tuned!

02. April 2005 · Comments Off on INFORMATION PLEASE · Categories: General

I heard on the news that a C-130 fromMildenhall has crashed in Albania. Since I was stationed at Mildenhall, I am worried that it may have been one of my planes.

If anyone has a means of finding out the tail # and the unit to which it was assigned, please let me know, I’d appreciate that.

01. April 2005 · Comments Off on THE POPE HAS DIED · Categories: General

At 1:23 PM, ET, the word has just come from the Vatican that Pope John Paul II has stepped into eternity. As Jesus said, he has passed from death unto life. This extraordinary man who loved God with all his soul is now in the presence of his Lord. May God welcome him into his eternal reward.

I just finished posting a memorial to him on my blog, www.patriotflyer.blogspot.com. I invite you to go over there and read it.

God bless you and keep you in His grace.


UPDATE: At 2 PM, ET, the Vatican corrected its earlier statement, saying that the Pope’s heart and lungs are still functioning, but that he is very near the end, with failing kidneys and other organs. He is reported to be in a terminal coma, only a matter of time until he decides to go home to the Lord.

31. March 2005 · Comments Off on Terri Schiavo Passes Away · Categories: General

At 9:05 AM, ET, this morning, Terri Schiavo stepped into eternity, ending a long and heart-rending struggle by her parents to keep her alive. Her father, brother, and sister were in the room with her until about ten minutes before she died, when they were told to leave. It is not known where her husband was, no one has reported seeing him today, so it is possible that she died alone.

Schiavo’s case touched off a national debate when Judge George Greer ordered her feeding tube removed two weeks ago. People, from the President and the Florida governor, to the congress and the Florida legislature, got involved, and controversy has been strong on all sides. Whether or not one agrees with the decision of congress and the president, it is somewhat comforting to know that they were moved by the sadness of the situation, and that they cared enough about this one person to attempt lifesaving measures. It makes me believe that they would have cared had it been me, all legal arguments aside.

We have to be careful at this juncture, that we as a nation do not become a culture that places no value on disable persons, and that we make the proper moves to protect the lives of innocent people. After all, it is chilling to remember that the Nazi culture in Germany started out with killing the disabled and less-valued members of their society. I plead that we not start down that road! We must review our laws, and changes must be made to protect the lives of those who cannot speak for themselves. The strongest among us must dedicate ourselves to speaking for the weakest, for the preservation of precious life that only God can give.

Whatever our individual views, we must join the bereaved family in mourning the loss of Terri, and pray for their peace and strength.

29. March 2005 · Comments Off on COLORADO SUPREME COURT THROWS OUT DEATH SENTENCE · Categories: General

The Colorado Supreme Court has just thrown out the death sentence imposed on a man convicted of rape, murder, and kidnapping. Reason was that the jurors referred to Bibles during the sentencing phase. I posted the entire story HERE, so please slide on over there and read it. This site is the new BNN, started by Robert Hayes at UCCS, a friend of mine. Leave comments there if you will! Thanks, it’s 0240, I’m outta here!


27. March 2005 · Comments Off on BOO-BOO-BE-DOO, YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’VE GOT TILL IT’S GONE… · Categories: General

Remember that old,OLD song, I think from the ’70’s? “Pave paradise and put up a parking lot,” dadada…..

Well, I had just about forgotten how wonderful DSL is, even to the point of sometimes grumbling about it being so slow. Then: disaster! Right in the middle of my work, I had three rather long blogs I had to complete last night, and had just got started when my DSL signal suddenly disappeared, and my internet connections went tango/uniform. Troubleshooting is the same whether it’s an aircraft, a radar, or a computer. First, I tried the other computer – remember, Nurse Jenny has the desktop now and it’s mostly off limits to me. No, it didn’t work either. I was really scratching my head by now. The wi-fi system was telling me that I had a signal but not an internet connection. Down I went, into the cabinet, and ripped out the modem. It looked like it was working, lights on and so forth, but nothing. Connected the laptop directly to the modem. Nothing. Connected the phone line directly to the laptop, did the dialup thing, and bingo, dialup, at 56K, worked. Well, as well as dialup works. You have to wait forever on it, but it gets there.

At this point I was pretty sure that all my equipment was working, I had checked the phone and it was working, and it was looking more like something wrong up the line from me. So I got on the phone with Bellsouth, and after the really frustrating obligatory period of talking to dumb – I mean dumb – computers, I finally got a live person on line. Don’t faint! I know it’s almost miraculous, but you really CAN get humans to talk to from the phone company at very extraordinary times, and this was one!

The phone company human did his thing and came back on the line, telling me what I did not need to hear. The dsl is down, and they can’t get it back on until Monday. I went ballistic! Monday!!?? Good God, man, I pay through the nose for this service, I have work to do, and you can’t get me back on till Monday?? “Supervisor!” I had a go at him, no help, he can’t get at it either. No one can help, the phone company cannot fix it until Monday. OK, then I’ll have to do dialup.

I spent until 0330 getting out what should have been done by 10 PM. I was fried, fritzed, and really tight-jawed. This stuff is so ancient, and so slow, I have to be more thankful for a good dsl signal when I get one back! All weekend I have been lurching forward at a snail’s pace, and having to get offline when someone needs to use the phone – I’d forgotten about that, too. GRRR….

OK, now it’s Sunday night. Guess who’s gonna get a cancellation call tomorrow AM? Bellsouth ring a bell??

I’m signing up for cable internet in the morning, they’re local,I know the techs, and I can find them if something goes down on the weekend. Now, if they could just get that satellite back up that crashed in the thunderstorm this afternoon……..