Eight Years of ME, Talking About Stuff

pi-be rationalAnd another blogiversary rolls around. Last year’s little black cloud has become a tsunami of Charlton Heston/Ten Commandment’s proportions that I only manage to stay ahead of on a daily basis.

Philippians 4:13, always my favorite scripture, has become a mantra of sorts.

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

Eight years is longer than one of my career stops. Most cars/marriages/fruit cakes don’t last that long. If you’re new to this dark little asteroid, you can check out the one post that started it all, plus all seven of the previous anniversary posts – The First, Year One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, and Seven.

Many, many friends have been made along the way. Many prayers said. So much support offered. Special thanks go out to Fausta for her continued friendship, and as always to The Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia, my blog-mother. It’s all her fault.

As I adjust to this new normal, I’ll be lurking about more often. Really. I will.

The Answer to Everything – Space Monkeys

The astute Mr. Kevin Williamson says at NRO what we all know: we’re being governed by space monkeys.

I have spent a fair amount of time around elected officials, regulators, and the like, and when I see them, I think: space monkeys. The first monkey to make it into space was called Albert II, who went up on a V2 rocket. Albert II survived the space flight but not, unlucky little beast, the parachute failure that followed. We primates are in a sense one big family, and the first of us to see the majesty of our little corner of the universe from a vantage point beyond the surly bonds of Earth was a rhesus monkey, the stars laid out like a trail of diamonds before his uncomprehending eyes. The complexity of even the simplest markets is as far beyond the understanding of any politician or bureaucracy — or any single human mind — as astrophysics is beyond a rhesus monkey. Politicians steer the economy like Albert II steered that rocket. It isn’t just that they don’t know which levers to pull at what time — they’re clever enough — but that the thing itself is so incomprehensibly complex as to be effectively unknowable to them.

space_monkey

Liberty Haters Are Coming Out of the Woodwork

BFFs Chuck Schumer and Corey Booker hate Liberty sooooo much they want their Grand Enabler to sic the IRS on the Tea Party.

Wait, hasn’t he already done that?

“What time is it in Texas?” and Other Words of Wisdom from a Great Man

The last post made here at this little blog was on December 5. It was the usual snarky snark, a quick cherry bomb lob about politics. Little did I know that almost four hours later, my father would be gone.

I’ve written this post at least a dozen times in my head the last week or so. If it rambles a bit, indulge me. There’s never enough to be said.

December started out as usual: the monumental lists of things to do/buy/wrap/bake/decorate/sing/eat/wear and the usual moaning of not enough time/money/elbow grease/cleaning supplies to get it all done.

All that came to a screeching halt that afternoon when my sister-in-law called. My dad had a heart attack at home and was being transported to the hospital. In just a few hours, despite the heroic efforts of the ER staff, he was gone.

The next weeks were a blur.

After the funeral, Christmas quietly came and went. Many say the first holiday is the hardest, and boy, this one was tough. The rawness of the empty chair at every gathering weighed bittersweet as we shared our favorite memories.

Over those days, many talked of Dad’s propensity for telling jokes. Not dirty or off-color stuff, just corny. He’d rework them to try to snag you again and again. One lady told of how he’d ask her almost every week at church, “What time is it in Texas?” She’d said she didn’t know and he’d always answer “10 to 9,” forever remembering the Bulldogs victory over Texas in the ’84 Cotton Bowl.

Image 1 In the mid-1950’s, a handsome young man finished his service in the USAF and returned home to Jonesboro. His parents had moved to Jonesboro from Grant Park. He was the youngest of twelve children. His older brothers served in WWII in Europe and the Pacific. One sister was a WAVE. The highlight of family reunions in the years to come was listening to the brothers share their war stories. And golf stories, lots of golf stories, but more about that later. He worked in communications and was stationed around the US, including Ft. Hood in Waco, TX. When it was time to re-up, his CO wanted to send him to flight school, but Daddy said, “No thanks, I’m done.”

Scan 80Not long after returning home, he met the whirlwind girl that would become his wife and my mother. They were married in August in the un-air-conditioned Methodist church in Jonesboro. Evidently it was the social event of the little town’s sweltering summer. The wedding pictures were lovely. Everyone glistened with happiness. Four years later I came along and after another four years, little brother (known around here as “Obi”) arrived. He was a quiet man. He parented by example more than words. He could be firm (in later years we called it stubborn). I thought he was the meanest man in the world when he wouldn’t take me to see The Beatles when they visited Atlanta in 1965. Never mind that I was only 7. Only when I became a parent myself did I understand that he was protecting me from being trampled by the riot of screaming teenage girls that descended on Atlanta that weekend.

As we grew up, he came to all our ball games, concerts and golf tournaments. He especially liked attending UGA games while me and little brother attended the university. There were bumps in the road, of course, anytime you raise rambunctious teenagers there are bumps, but he handled them more calmly than most.Scan 64 He even welcomed an impromptu rolling Redcoat Band party that descended on their little house, playing the perfect host to a hoard of rambunctious twenty-something’s.

As me and my brother met and married our spouses, we saw another side of Daddy. After a breaking-in period, he welcomed them to his family as his own son and daughter. As Father of the Bride and my brother’s Best Man, he outshone us both. Put a tuxedo on that man, and he looked like a movie star.

Scan 21Then the grandkids came along. He beamed with pride. He had a special way of making each feel special and loved. At the funeral, when my boy WeeHighlander TurnedCollegeFratBoy spoke, he started with, “I was the favorite grandchild.” Then Obi’s Eldest, RockStarInTraining, stood up and said, “No, I was the favorite.” Then Obi’s LeastUn, PrincessSoccerStar, piped up and said the same. Then my eldest, GradSchoolHornGirl, standing at the lectern for support of her brother, just shook her head with that look that said SHE was the favorite. Just like with us, he attended as many of their birthday parties, ballgames, concerts, tournaments as he could. He’d sit quietly in the midst of the bedlam and would tell corny jokes to whomever he could reel in.

Image 6He was the World’s Greatest Braves Fan; watching or listening to every game, every season, win or lose. Outside of Georgia, most of America doesn’t know about the long-running love-hate relationship with the Braves and their fans. But he was pulling for them, even when they were in the bottom of their division. And they were there alot, after the glory days of the early to mid-1990’s.

Scan 60Dad was an avid golfer. He attended many Masters Tournaments and other PGA tournaments in the Atlanta area. When he was a member of East Lake Country Club, he won his flight in a member’s tournament. The prize was a shiny all leather golf bag. After a day of play, he’d bring home his scorecard and recount shot by shot how he beat and/or took his buddy’s quarters on each hole. He was especially proud of shooting a ‘2’ on a hole and he’d brag on those. His devotion to golf, and the gentlemanly behavior that the sport strives to instill in its students brings to mind the scripture Obi read at the funeral. In Galatians, Paul speaks of running the good race. For Dad, it was always shooting for par. Then Paul goes on,

Galations 5 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.

That was Dad. Quiet, loving, sometimes stern and firm, kind, generous. He loved America and expressed his concern repeated about the path the nation was on. His patriotism lives on in his family.

ImageLast August, I took Mom & Dad out for their 59th Anniversary. We talked about the grandkids, neighbors, the Braves, doctor’s appointments, Hub’s new church, schedules, and I tried to convince them to travel to NY with us in the spring for GradSchoolHornGirl’s Master Recital and possibly attending her commencement as well. Everybody has hindsight, and with me, knowing this was the last meal where I’d have them all to myself, I wish we’d talked of less mundane things.

Thinking over the fall months the last few weeks, I believe he knew something was up and his time was growing short. He was tidying up his life, saying small goodbyes here and there. Things we didn’t catch in the daily hoopla, but looking back, we see them. Longer hugs, quiet I Love You’s, stories you’d never heard before, the way you’d catch him looking at you from across the room. Small, unexpected gifts.

The Friday night after his death, I woke up from a startling dream. Some people don’t put much stock in dreams, but it comforted me and to this day it is as vivid as it was that night. Uncle Henry and Uncle Marvin were walking down a gentle hill in some beautiful place, lush green, trees, blue sky, the sun behind their backs. There was a noise in the background. At first I thought it was birds, but after thinking about it a good bit, I think it was the crunch of cleats on a golf course cart path. My uncles were younger, like when I was a young girl. There is a spring, an urgency, to their step. As they walk closer, you see them talking. They say, “We’ve got to find Jerry, Carol is here.” That’s when I woke, sitting straight up in my bed. Daddy was OK.

Goodbye, my sweet Daddy. While I will miss you the rest of my days, I know that I’ll see you again. Thank you for your life, your example, your quiet witness and your love.

Scan 10

The Cult of the State

Ace just nails it.

(I can only hope I’m on “the Cult’s list of approved devils”)

Don’t Let the Screen Door Hit You on Your Way Out

Martin Bashir has resigned from MSNBC.

I don’t know anything about Mr. Bashir or his upbringing. But how could anyone, ANYONE, say such vile and offensive things on live television just because they disagree with someone’s politics? It’s just another example of how low liberals will stoop to get their way.

He doesn’t know how lucky he is that Todd didn’t come find him and teach him some manners.

JFK Assassination 50th Anniversary

I don’t particularly remember anything about that day. My mother says she yanked me out of my kindergarten class and kept me home for a whole week.

I remember the televised funeral. And little John-John, saluting the caisson carrying his father as it passed by the fragile, little family.

Not to trivialize anything about that day, but when Mad Men aired an episode on the day, I had much better feel for the shock and fear that rocked my parents and the entire nation.

The Dallas Morning News has a time line that is helpful for those of us too young then, or not born at all.

Met Retired Major General Paul E. Vallely

Via The Daley Gator:

Vallely, formerly the deputy commanding general of Pacific Command, said the current crop of leaders must be forced to resign by the “demand resignation” process, which he explained requires massive grass-roots protests and social networking. As an example, he cited the public and media pressure that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

Impeachment, Vallely said, is not a viable option because of “partisan politics.”

“Our federal government continues down the path of destroying America,” he said. “Americans must now stand up and put America back on the right track.”

Read the whole thing. I’ll wait.

With the (Un)ACA imploding, Democrats running for the hills, damaging lies being exposed every day, there might be a chance to salvage this country.

Healthcare.gov Enrollment, Zorkified

Jimmie Bise, CPAC pal and world famous blogger at The Sundries Shack, has imagineered our future healthcare enrollment interaction with the Imperial Government as the beloved vintage computer game, Zork.

Enjoy. It IS hilarious.

This is why all your friends that work in IT have been having random fits of the giggles the last couple of weeks…

By now everyone, even the gremlins on Mars, has heard that the rollout of the (Un)ACA website, healthcare.gov, has been an abysmal failure. So much so, IT types like myself can’t help but laugh. And laugh. And laugh. It is a classic example of non-Tech-types dreaming up a system concept, skipping most of the major life cycle development checks, then not testing what the code monkeys came up with from the cocktail napkins design specs.

Except in this case, instead of having to pull the Scarecrow dance routine for cranky stakeholders for their lack of deliverables, these folks get to testify in a Congressional hearing. For a bunch of hyper-partisan political cranks.

Pass the popcorn.

“Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking.”

Oh, and this.

Code Testing

UPDATE: Kathleen Sebelius has a track record of big stinkers. Who better to take over the reins of Queen Project Manager?

Mozart’s Violin

Yes, Wolfie’s very own violin and viola are on tour in America.

Listen to the sweet sounds here and be healed of your post-shutdown trauma.

Call His Bluff

Spengler has the right idea about all this posturing over the debt ceiling!

That is political overreaching of the worst kind. If Obama refuses to postpone the implementation of his health care plan in return for an extension of the debt ceiling, Republicans should stand their ground, and force the president to tear up the Constitution and assume dictatorial powers. Americans don’t like that, and they will dislike it doubly if Obama does so to protect a hated piece of legislation. It would clarify the choices before the electorate and give conservative Republicans something to run against. That isn’t enough: they have to present a credible program to restore economic growth and opportunity. But that will be then: this is now.

Read the whole thing to really understand what THAT is. I say CALL HIS BLUFF. Force a Constitutional crisis (hey – remember early on when he was touted as a Constitutional Scholar? Hahahaha) and make him show his true nature.

Go Dawgs

Told Ya

For the first time in American history, a president confessed to deliberately hurting his country to score points against his enemies.

Plus this. There’s not enough money for blah, blah, blah, but there’s enough money to do this. Sick.

Arlington

Fundamental Economic Illiteracy

Moe Lane. Really Charles C.W. Cooke, but then again, Moe has a point.

Two things:
1. Apparently, math is hard for Democratic politicians.
2. There is absolutely nothing stopping Barack Obama from being both an economic illiterate and somebody happy to readily mislead the American people. Nothing at all.

« Older entries

%d bloggers like this: