Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The War Gets Personal

I received this in an email from a friend who was just deployed to Iraq for the second time.
I've known several people who have done tours there, but Felix's emails need to be syndicated.
So, I'm passing this on to my readers in hopes they will pass it on and perhaps he will find someone who is willing to give him a wider audience than the Ortho-blogosphere. Please keep him and his fellow soldiers in mind while you are giving Thanks tomorrow.

Tonight we would fly through Iraq's own sky. The birds of hydraulic oil and steel came in one by one and set down for the real work had yet begun. Our bags were packed hours ago spent the night with us waiting on the airfield below. With our bags were finally loaded, we could muster aboard. These flying buses would transport us to world unknown and very far from home.
We eventually shuffled on board and situated ourselves like sardines in a can. The only difference is sardines weren't often packed with large bags on their lap. The night was bright and the stars above were our only hope of visible light. The air had a bite but I liken it to a baby with no teeth so no damage was done.
With the engines whining and rotors turning for flight, we took off climbing into atmosphere enclosed in darkness and lacking of life. My nerves have always found comfort in this type of flight, which was quick and stealthy because of pilots, like my brother Russ, and the crew members, like my cousin Paul, that make our nation's aviation truly second to none the world has ever known, not now or ever.
As I looked out back of this helicopter in flight in the void that we call night, I saw many things that gave me pause or one my say, insight. The crews feet did dangle from the back of the craft in flight like fingers running the blackest of hair, which you and I know of as the night. I looked in on the trees below. I watched the trees as they slept and stood their ground with centurions of streets lamps staggered all around.
We flew past a pond that looked like God spilled milk on the ground below but sought not to clean it up because it look cool on the ground. It was a night with no moon so there was limited light to assist one to see.
I remarked to myself and I looked ahead and below. I know what the edges of the look like, simply barren and alone. I see a village with life and lights and then I see nothing all in the same fight.
As the miles passed by, I saw a fire raging below. Her dance was long and slow. The show she put on was cast in a memorizing glow but I could not watch long because I was moving very fast and had far to go, eventually I lost sight of her and her translucent glow.
As I've had the privilege to do many times before, I looked Orion in the face and he remember me by name. We exchange looks like someone bumbing into an old friend, who knew you from a different time and place. We nodded our heads and kept to our own direction and pace with the knowledge we see each other because we've yet to finish this life's race.
At night all the worlds seems the same, we all seem to have desires very similar or same. A place to lay our head and those we love in safety. To dream with our belly's full and our hearts content. Most wanting nothing more than a house and place to pass hours of the night in slumbering delight with those we love and to whom we say, "Goodnight."
We eventually landed and I said my goodbye's to Orion, the birds, and the night ever expanding sky. It was at last time for a little work and then off to bed.
Now many of you begin your Thanksgiving day anew, with family and fully belly, packed and tight. I have some food for thought that I want to give to you. It's taken me a week to cook up for you.
Remember, my home is America where I sleep with little fear and much rest. Here I've learned, again, to fall asleep with the sounds of machine gunfire echoing in the distance. I have much to say when I lay my head on my pillow, pray, and say, "Amen."
Thankful I am for the land and people I call home and return I must. My platform is raised because I stand on the shoulders of danger only to see what America is and truly can be. My thoughts are with you as you get together and feast. I encourage you all to love more and be all that God wants you to be.
It's funny but I don't think a life worth living is the one of ease but the one where sacrifices are made. The closer you are to death the more beauty you find in life. A life where mistakes are made and lessons learned. How learning to go without gives value to what you have now or will have. How learning that what we want is not as important as what we seek to give. Well, that's all I have for now. Take care and thanks for what you do.
In Him,
P.S. Have another plate on Thanksgiving for me....go ahead eat that extra cake or pie! I would have....

Friday, November 21, 2008

Everything's Amazing, and No One is Happy

I was following a Sparklett's Water truck on the freeway yesterday. The poster on the back side said "The taste you deserve without the calories!"

Ummmm.... "The taste you deserve"? Who DESERVES taste??? And why?

The sense of of entitlement is one of the latest narcissistic characteristics of an unabashedly self absorbed culture that advertisers are tapping in to. TV, radio and print ads tell you that you deserve a break, pampering, peace of mind, pleasure in unlimited and boundless quantities, to have bill collectors leave you alone, and yes, even water that has flavor and won't make you fat.

Why do you deserve all that? Simple. Just because you exist.

But not really. You don't deserve it, you feel entitled to it. Advertisers are merely schmoozing your self absorption to separate you from your money (I know that's news to many of you... sorry to burst your bubble). But if you're oblivious and narcissistic enough to believe what they are telling you, you deserve to be screwed and they deserve to get your money. The problem is, as much as we have we believe it is normative and whatever more is added quickly becomes what we are entitled to.

Entitlement is its own hell.

The guy in this video puts it all in perspective:
Everything is amazing and no one is happy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Wife is Bored

She says it is time for a new post.

Its hard to blog when nothing slaps you in the face like a cold, wet trout of absurdity. I don't really care about politics (What WILL you do if Obama is elected??? a Christian?).

Here's some good curmudgeon quotes about politics that I enjoyed:

"Politcs, noun: Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles." Ambrose Bierce

"Being in politics is like being a football coach: you have to be smart enough to understand the game and dumb enough to think it is important." Eugene McCarthy

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy." Ernest Benn

and my favorite: "Some trust in horses and some in chariots, but we will call on the name of the Lord." some king in the Bible.

The economy is a little more interesting, but I've been self employed through 3 recessions now and have gained weight through all of them. Work has slacked off lately, actually. Christmas might be a little sparse this year, but I still have my internet connection and the light comes on in the refrigerator that has a Sam Adams Cream Stout calling my name. Jesus said "Seek first the kingdom and all these things will be added to you..." Some people I know think that means we kick back and hope money drops out of the sky while I read the Bible, but if we look at the birds of the air, they fly around from dawn to dusk looking for all that food that "God provides" laying all over the ground. If they're hungry enough they'll eat garbage in a Circle K parking lot. I've been hungry enough to mow lawns, dig ditches, build storage shelving in a 150 degree attic for a week, shovel ...well, anyway, if it paid money, I've done it. Pride goes before a fall, but I've learned that lack of pride goes before a meal.

The reality is, if the economy tanks and I lose my house, cars and God forbid, my internet connection and have to move into a trailer park and brush up on "Quieres papas fritas con eso?... Para ir o aqui?" yeah, I could do it and be happy....maybe happier.

Anyway, its late. Nothing earthshattering here, or very interesting. But it is NEW. Much like our government.