Friday, June 30, 2006

Well...We're Ready for the Weekend

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Diary of a Mad Puppeteer

Insanity intrigues me. Not that I ever wish to experience it firsthand. I mean, we all have our moments of lunacy, doing stupid things or just misinterpreting something, but to be truly mad--out there--gone-- stark raving, gibbering gonzo is a frightening thing and something I really don't think any of us can really comprehend. There's something very scary about being trapped in a mind that ain't your own anymore.

One of my little side gigs for our church is being in charge of the monthly puppet skits for the kids. I also operate one of the puppet characters. Guess the church folk recognized my introverted/extrovert hambone and figured I'd be a natural. I don't mind the job. I actually like it, it's fun. One of my duties is to come up with scripts. Sometimes I write them, but most times I just gyp 'em from 'free puppet skit' sites and make adjustments to the scripts as needed. There's one site I frequent regularly that has tons of skits submitted by fellow script writing wannabes, all free for the taking.
It's mostly skits of a religious nature covering any possible subject, a few generic secular ones are found there, too.

Anyhow, I was there tonite and there was one particular author that has submitted tons of scripts that are all very odd and at times disturbing. All give a very bizarre take on God and biblical principals. Most were submitted in 2002 or there abouts. They were authored by a "Joe McPuppet". So I checked his profile. It was incomplete and nonsensical but it gave a blogspot address. Oh Goody, let's go see!

Curiousity always kills the cat.

Joe's blog is a very disturbing study in madness. He's been posting since 2004, 2 years worth of most times incoherent ramblings the likes I have never seen before. It's very difficult to read and the current posts clearly look like he's off the meds again. Randomly clicking through the archives you can see this poor guy almost making sense, or at least being legible, and then crashing into that dark scary place barely able to type a few words-all misspelled. I find it fascinating, but at the same time, creepy.
The guy has alot of anger...mostly directed at God and Christ. And he can be very vulgar and profane. But most times he's just nuts. It's kind of interesting trying to armchair analyze him. Schizophrenic? Bi-polar? Brain damaged? All of the above?
I know I do feel rather unclean after reading some posts. I have an over powering compulsion to take a haz-mat type scrub down shower.
I wonder if he has anyone who knows how truly screwed up he is and if they care? Does he have any family? Or have they shut him out because of his condition.

A mind is a terrible thing.

Some Good News, At Least...

Marine/musician Josh Beliel has been exonerated!
The lovely Michelle has a statement from him.

Now, about that thing at Camp Pendleton...


Apparently Little Green Footballs has been seriously pissing some folks off.
ProteinWisdom has some thoughts about it.

(What Would Aaron Do?)

(I've been lightly blogging lately. My life is getting in the way of my life again!)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Don't Just Scold ' Em, Dub...


'President Bush on Monday sharply condemned the disclosure of a secret anti-terrorism program that taps into an immense international database of confidential financial records. "The disclosure of this program is disgraceful," he said.

"For people to leak that program and for a newspaper to publish it does great harm to the United States of America," Bush said. He said the disclosure of the program "makes it harder to win this war on terror."

hattip: YahooNews,via Free Republic

Friday, June 23, 2006

Looking For A Few Good Bloggers...

Or even mediocre ones, ability doesn't matter, as long as it comes from the heart. I'll let D.C. Roe explain:

2,996 stories…

2,996 voices…

2,996 remembered…

2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.

On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person will pay tribute to a single victim.

We will honor them by remembering their lives, and not by remembering their murderers.

If you would like to help out, either by pledging to post a tribute on your own blog, or by offering your services to promote this cause, just leave a comment here and I’ll email you the name of a victim.

Then, on 9/11/2006, you will post a tribute to that victim on your blog.

But, and this is critical, the tributes should celebrate the lives of these people–kind of like a wake. Over the last 5 years we’ve heard the names of the killers, and all about the victim’s deaths. This is a chance to learn about and celebrate those who died. Forget the murderers, they don’t deserve to be remembered. But some people who died that day deserve to be remembered–2,996 people.

Thank you,

D.Challener Roe

So far they only have about 10% of the number they need. With only less than 4 months to go the clock is ticking.
Please...consider it. Then go here and find out what you need to do. AND SPREAD THE WORD!

Hattip: Gayle's Republican Blog

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Move Over Cindy !

There's a new gal in town, vieing for your spot!

Ms. Moonbeam- watch your back, hon!

Click here to read the whole miserable thing.

hattip: Something...and Half of Something

Free Speech TV

Yesterday I overslept; Today I didn't sleep enough. Hate when that happens. I was wide-eyed and bushy tailed at 4: friggin' 30 AM!!

I have a tv in my bedroom, something I strongly resisted doing for most of my life. But when my husbands' health began to wane and he began to spend more time there, I got a little 14' tv and hooked it up along with a spare vcr we had so that on his bad days, he could be amused. It got alot of use. But after he was gone it had become pretty well entrenched and the tv stayed.
Now the stupid thing lulls me to sleep. Another bad habit, so I am told. That might explain my weird sleeping patterns, as well. How can my subconscious completely disengage when it's being bombarded by the nattering of an infomercial at 3:12 in the morning?

Anyway, while flipping through the channels last night trying to find something suitably dull enough to conk me out I wandered onto Free Speech TV. I go over there now and then just to see how weird the rest of the world is and they do on occasion run that documentary on Waco that I find interesting, but have never seen from start to finish-just huge blocks in between. The network though for the most part is for comic relief for me. They take themselves sooooo seriously there and what few attempts at humor I've witness can only be categorized as just plain mean and uncreative. (Like a grown up version of a toddler's rant: "Oh yeah?'re just a big poopyhead!")
But I can only stomached it in small blocks at a time, the programming for the most part gets too weird...even for me. But it is a charming resource to see just what is going on in the big wide wacky world of the "Progressive".
Most of the time it's just a better funded version of those cable public access channels, where anyone could be a star and production values be damned! Reminds me of PBS in the early '60's.

The latest thing there in heavy rotation is a lecture about the World Trade Center and 9/11. The guy giving the presentation is a physics phd., Steve Jones he teaches at BYU. Ahhh geez, dime to doughnuts-Mormon. He is.
Nothing against them...I know alot of Mormons, for the most part they are nice folk.
But this poor guy has no public speaking skills at all. Sure he might be able to crank out a paper eluding to some conspiracy about the precise nature of why the towers fell and back it up with all manner of eggheady numbers and measurements, but dude! I felt uncomfortable just watching him struggle with this lecture. He hemmed, he hawed, he interjected nervous laughter...alot. He made feeble attempts at jokes. For a professor who should be comfortable speaking at the front of a room, this guy clearly was out of his element. His lecture went all over the place, he seemed even confused at just where he was in the outline. Maybe it was nerves due to the fact his lecture was being taped...I dunno. If this guy is the leading expert of all those 9/11 conspiracy theories floating around out there-Oy Vey! I couldn't even follow what the hell he was trying to say.

I gave up watching after about an hour. He was making me too watching a fly caught in a spider's web.
I zapped over to Discovery and dozed off to Mythbusters trying to make a trebuchet out of a cherry picker boom for the umpteenth time.
Anyway, some time if you're not too concerned about an hour or so of your life that you'll never get back and your satellite or cable has it-check out Free Speech TV.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Late for Work

I overslept today and just as I was rousing and reminding my sleepy self that it was ok to roll over and doze back off, since I had unwisely stayed up way too late, my more awake part 'shouted' in my brain: "You're late!"
Ahhhh crap!
No, I didn't have to fly out the door in a state of half-dressed with a toothbrush hanging out of my mouth, travel cup of coffee sloshing as I went. Nope.
I work at home.
But, I know how I am, so in order for me to maintain enough discipline to work at home, I have to at least mentally treat it like a so called "real" job. And that means starting work at a set time and keeping a schedule of things to do and when.
And at this time a year, when the spawn are out of school, that means getting my assigned tasks done in the morning hours while they are still sleeping in. That way, I can maintain my facade of a stay at home mom without much trouble, since by the time they finally come to, all my computer work has been done for the day.

Right now my job has become something akin to a migrant worker picking strawberries.
I've been contracted by a friend to fisk a directory list for her. She has a retail site and wants to be listed in as many online directories that allow free listings as possible. She has a list of about 500 directory sites. Yes, five hundred.
The thing is, this list is just a junk list that someone compiled with no additional explanation-just URL's.If it's a directory site, it's listed. She just wants the free ones. So my job first is to quickly review each site, see if they offer free listings or not, make notations about it and *click* move on to the next one.
THEN once that's done, I'm to go back and submit her site to the directories that offer a free listing.

It's piece-work. We've agreed on so much per URL to review and then so much per submission. This will take time, but luckily she's not in a hurry...just get it done.
I normally don't take on these jobs. It's time consuming and tedious without much reward. At least when I rig up a site for someone, the day's work is on the monitor for all to see.

But, she's an ol' pal. Terrible what our friends can get away with, eh?
I'm sure there is fancy schmatzy software that will do this sort of thing for you, but she must think it would be cheaper in the long run just to contract me to do it by hand. OK, sure...whatever. A buck's a buck, right? Better me & my younguns get it than some software company.

Alright, coffee break's over- back to the salt mines! I still have 32 more URLs to check out today.

If the World Ends Next Week...

Don't say I didn't give ya a heads up.

"On May 8, an unknown person posted a message to Craigslist addressed to “Mein Fraulein” with a telephone number to call in the message. When called, an automated message began reading off a sequence of numbers, similar to shortwave numbers stations which have been used since the Cold War by intelligence agencies to communicate with agents in the field."

Homeland Stupidity is on the mystery and trying to crack the code. There's been 4 messages to date, all in different Craiglist cities.
Since I don't know jack about cryptology, I leave it at that. But it does make for some interesting reading. They do have sound bits of the actual recording that is heard when you call the number listed, ( a series of numbers in a certain sequence and music playing) but that kinda stuff creeps me out in the wee hours of the night, so I didn't listen.

All the messages are addressed to "Mein Fraulein"...

Hmmmm, first Hitler cats, then Lem's post about homeschooling and Nazi Germany...and now this. I'm seeing a pattern!

Dangit! What'd I do with that Ronco Enigma gizmo I got for my birthday a while back?!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Hot Dog! I'm Going to Disneyworld!

Murtha Gets a Hot Blow Dry!

Oh, goodness! Y'all gotta get over to Hot Air.
The Photoshoppers are having too much fun. The subject is Murtha.
Too damn funny!
My favorite so far:

Monday, June 19, 2006

"Heil Kitler!"

I hate cats. This blog just gives me yet another reason.
But, hey, if you think your kitty looks like the hated German dictator, send 'em a pic!

Hitler Cats!- A blog dedicated to photos of cats who may (or may not) resemble Adolph Hitler.
Personally, this kitty here is creeping the hell outta me!

(I think I'll start one for dogs who might resemble Joseph Goebbels.)

A belated Hat Tip to: Wuzzadem

(Thanks, Walker-I forgot my manners.)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

My Dad the Spy, part 2

At one time, as a young child of about 6 or 8, I gave serious thought to my Dad being a spy for the Navy. I had no real proof, just old, creased and sepia photos from a long ago time before I was born of Dad, looking very much unlike the Dad I knew. Like this one (above). This was from who knows where, he was obviously on a ship, looking quite sharp in his full Navy officer garb, it must have been chilly or at least cold enough to be wearing that wool coat. The mustache is what threw me. This photo was of a series that me and my brother referred to as the "Stalin photos", simply because in our minds Dad looked like a ringer for Stalin with that big bushy 'stache. Mustaches in the Navy, at that time we thought was rather unusual, so we thought Dad must have been up to no goodnik. There's only a few photos of him looking like this.

My knowledge of world politics being very limited at that time, mostly restricted to old Warner Brothers propaganda cartoons from the 40's that occasionally ran on Saturday mornings, stealthy glimpses of Mad magazine (under threat of death by my brother-it was his stash) and leafing through old back issues of National Geographic magazines. (Which, as everyone knows, back in the 50's and early 60's it was a federal law that every household in America must have at least one years worth of those gathering dust somewhere in the house. A generous tax credit went to the household if you had at least one issue that featured either African tribeswomen or Amazon jungle women going about their day to day clad only in a scant handful of parrot feathers.)

Nevermind that the 'real' Stalin was a sawed-off, pockmarked squint of a psycho and my Dad would have towered over him at 5' 10", to my little kid eyes he looked "just like him"-further fueling the imagination. Why did Dad grow a mustache? What was going on here? The little Asian boy in this photo that my Dad has a fatherly arm around was a mystery, too. Why was he there and what was the connection? Dad had mentioned once in passing that sometimes 'locals'-the Chinese villagers would hire themselves out to do menial jobs for the American swabies while in port. Was that it? Was this kid my Dad's shoeshine boy? There's no date or anything on the back of this photo, as is the case with many of his Navy era photos. Further proof that something fishy was going on, to me anyway.

Yes, I know- Russia and China are 2 separate countries. Why would a Stalin stand-in be galavantin' about China? But as a kid I knew they were both Communist countries and therefore linked like peanut butter and jelly. But what I didn't know was back then, in Dad's time that wasn't the case...yet. China hadn't always been red. And it was during that ever so brief time in history when China was trying to fight off 2 threats-the Japanese invasion and the growing disgruntled hoardes that would eventually form Communist China that my Dad played a crucial role in. The thing is, it's takened almost 60 years after the fact to find out!

Dad never talked much about his time in the Navy, aside from a handful of humorous
little stories that could have taken place anywhere in the world, since no real details were given -no names of the Navy buddies involved, not even nicknames. It was always "this guy I was with" or "this feller from the ship". Locations were vague, too. Often just said as "overseas" or "stateside". Well, that certainly narrows it down! Dad was a storyteller and a big practical joker. He could weave the most funniest tales of his pre-Navy past of exploits and pranks he pulled, going into great detail. But ask about his Navy times and you'd get the heavily censored, Reader's Digest version. So, it became a subject you just didn't bring up in family conversations. Dad had been in the Navy in the 30's and 40's, got out in the 50's, got a job as a mailman, put 10 bucks down on this cute little crackerbox of a house that we live in and that's all you needed to know. Naturally, for us kids this ban on the subject made us just want to know more...and caused us to fill in the gaps with our own wild fantasies.
Hence the theory that Dad was a Stalin double or on some other covert mission for our government. His recurrent bouts with malaria just added to the mystery.
Boy, I never knew that our imaginings would be so close to the truth.

Dad graduated from high school in Kentucky around 1938 or so. Shortly after that was when he joined the Navy. He was one of 4 brothers who would go on to serve in the military in that family. The 4 brothers all picked different branches: Navy, Engineer, Air Corps., and Medic Corps. Only 2 would see the end of WW2 and live to old age.

Anyway, I don't know exactly what year it was when Dad enlisted. But it was just shortly before the war-or at least our official involvement in it. I don't know where he did his basic, or where he was stationed. He had in the past mentioned ships by name, but some were so damn peculiar that it was tough to recall them, other than that one which was especially odd sounding became his password when ATM's finally came into being in the late 70's- the USS Gurke. Researching that name, I learned that this destroyer was deployed mostly after the war. As was the case with all the other destroyers he had mentioned in the past-these were ships he had served on after the war, in the 50's. we go with the 'top secret' crap! What ship was he on that took him to China? I've never been able to find out.

Finally, in the mid 70's Dad began to loosen up some. And it was then I began to see clues to his past. He had takened to wearing a white ballcap with a curious Naval patch on it, wore it everywhere, except church, of course. This ballcap had been a souvenier from a recent Navy reunion thing he and Mom had attended. Dad began to go to these things every year. They planned their regular annual trips back to Kentucky around this event. About this time a new little decal appeared above the D.O.D. sticker in the lower lefthand corner of the windshield of the family car. It was the same as the patch that was on his hat.
Dad was coming out.
It was time.
Dad had been a SACO guy.
At the time this wasn't a huge revelation to me-I had hit my teens and I had other way more important things to concern myself with. The mysterious hero that my childs mind had created as my Dad became just my crabby and way too strict father who didn't know diddly. SACO-Schmacko...who gives a frig? I just want to know why I can't stay out on a Friday 'til past midnight, like all my friends?! Hey, I had my priorities then.

Luckily with age comes maturity and appreciation. But the childhood unspoken ban about asking Dad about his time in the Navy created a bad habit-even after it seemed ok to talk about it, I never did. Now that Dad has been 2 years gone I've been feeling this drive to find out. I knew now that this had been a top secret covert operation, but that was all I knew. I wanted to learn more...I wanted to know Dad's part in it all.

I've recounted the bits and pieces I've been able to dig up in past posts (here & here).
But I can see if I really want to try and discover the whole deal, it's gonna take alot of time and effort-as in applying to the National Archives for docs that have just recently been declassified and getting my hands on what few books are out there on the subject-the best known was a book entitled "The Rice Paddy Navy", but it is no longer in print-however, my extremely helpful uncle says he has a copy and will send it to me.
This trail has led me to finding out about the OSS, the China Naval Group and the precursor to the Navy SEALS-the group known as the Scouts & Raiders. I can't say for a certainty that Dad was part of that group. Their history states that the first newly trained men in that organization arrived in China for SACO in 1944. Dad's Naval Intelligence muster records show that he was already in China as early as 1942. The dates closely jibe with when SACO first began operations there. So, as near as I can figure, Dad was there for the entire 3 years plus that SACO operated in China! (The official story is that they were there for 40 months.) But yet, Dad is named in that post-war article as being part of the "Yangtze Raiders" and they are attributed as being a branch of the Scouts & Raiders. So this leaves some questions-if the S & R's didn't get there until 1944, then were the Yangtze boys a prototype to the precursor? From what I've been able to find out, the Yangtze Raiders were well under way before the S & R boys got there. Dad's looking like quite a trailblazer!

So, just what did my old man do in China?
The official cover story for SACO was that they were there to assist the Flying Tigers via establishing weather stations so they could have accurate and timely weather reports for their flights. And they did do that; but when they weren't setting up weather gizmos, the boys were busy in their off time blowing shit up! Like the unofficial slogan for NORAD-"Peace is our mission...war is our hobby." SACO's true mission was to make things as difficult as possible for the Japanese to gain a foothold in China under the auspices of the Nationalist China military. This meant sinking Japanese ships in Chinese ports and on the Yangtze River, blowing up bridges on known military transport routes, cutting communication lines, laying land and water mines, intercepting Japanese transmissions and just generally creating mayhem to mess with the Japanese heads. And it also meant training the Chinese civilians in the art of guerella warfare. The Americans fought side by side with the Chinese they helped train. In retrospect, I can't help but think of how many of those Chinese later went on to hone the skills that we taught them in the Red Army. I'm sure my Dad pondered that too...and I bet it really chapped his butt.

Dad once (and only once) told a story about what he did there. I was about 15 or so, this was after it had become officially ok to talk about SACO. He had been one of those guys training the civilians. In this particular case a large group had been assembled from far and wide from the little rural villages. This created a problem, because in China the language and dialects vary wildly in the remote rural areas, so Dad had a quartet of translators. The day's class would be on proper firearm handling, how to break down the rifle, how to load and aim, etc.
So Dad begins, the translators are lined up alongside him. He would say a sentence or two, hold up the rifle to demonstrate whatever point he was making and then wait as the translations worked their way down the line. As you can see, it was becoming one huge game of Telephone!
As Dad said, by the time he was done, for all he knew they could have thought he was telling them how to fry chicken!
But it must have worked, because SACO was credited with being a huge success in that area.
So Dad was a guerella tactics instructor. Cool. But thanks to that newspaper article my uncle sent me, I learned he did much more and I'm sure these missions appealed to his inner practical joker. That of cleverly laying mines that took the Japanese completely by surprize and confounded them as to how they were pulling it off.

I'll excerpt some of the article here. The article is so old that online archives don't exist, so I'm having to type this down word for word. It's from an AP article dated Dec. ?, 1945-just a few months after the war. SACO is not named, since it didn't officially exist,
but there are enough clues there. The story is by Richard Johnston.
"Yanks Laid Innocent Looking Mines to Sink Jap Shipping"
' An innocent looking Chinese sampan nosed out from the bank of the middle of the Yangtze and began edging across the course of a 1,000 ton Japanese river frieghter, moving slowly upstream against the current.

Two innocent looking pieces of driftwood eddied away from the sampan, one to port of the frieghter, the other to starboard. The sampan inched into the reeds and willows on the opposite bank. The sharp prow of theJapanese frieghter cut between the chunks of driftwood and they mysteriously arched in against the ship's sides.

Thirty minutes passed. The frieghter neared a bend in the river and suddenly there was a muffled explosion and debris flew high. The ship careened crazily in the rushing muddy waters, rolled over and sank.
A day later, by secret transmitter, Joe Champe got word that his "boys" had sunk another enemy ship, using exactly 7 pounds of high explosive to do it.'

This Joe Champe was the commander of the Yanzte Raiders the article goes on to explain. I've tried to research him and have come up empty handed. The reporter calls him "the Navy's top saboteur". After recounting some other ambushes he planned and giving a brief background on him and the region where in China they operated (all valuable information, for me), Mr. Johnston goes on to explain how that ship got sunk
mid-way through the article. (Did you figure it out?) This is where I got a big ol' goofy smile on my face when reading this.

'It was there, in the late summer and fall of 1944, that Champe really got rolling.
With two of his men, Chief Electrician's Mate Charles Roberts of Hopkinsville, Ky. and Chief Torpedoman Joseph Bradley, another Kentuckian, they devised the "light charge" mine. It was simplicity itself.

The innocent sampan was the minelayer, of course. Each of the pieces of driftwood had a 3 1/2 lb. charge suspended by a slim wire beneath it, six feet under the water. The two floating chunks were in turn, linked together by a couple of hundred feet of invisible cable.
When the target ship hit the connecting cable the driftwood was pulled in against the sides of the ship. The charges then were detonated by a chemical timing device.
The Japanese, usually, never knew what hit them. And the fact the explosives were directly against the thin hull plates made them just as effective as huge mines.'

Boo-yah, Dad!!
Reading that just made me so damn happy, and that article alone has given me so much information to go on to continue my research. I can just see Dad with that big ol'toothy grin that I knew so well, laughing to himself when the ships blew: "That'll fix 'em!" These things had to be the ultimate practical joke for him, no doubt. It must have really pained him not to be able to brag about them. But I respect and admire that he did keep his word to his country and never said a thing, until the 25 year ban had passed. But even then he hardly would say much. He wouldn't even give up any info about the reunions for SACO guys he attended-like he shifted back into stealth mode when it came to those things. There's still alot I need to hunt up and will continue to try and find out more about Dad's service and what he did in SACO. But what I have been able to unearth for now is quite satisfying. SACO is one of those greatist stories never told type things, and in my own tiny way I want to try and document as much as I can, so the story doesn't disapear from history. Dad was very fond of the SACO boys and he was proud to have served with them. It's the least I can do to preserve and honor their memory by learning and documenting all that I can about the organization.

The newspaper article goes on to recount all the victories this unit achieved with using this clever ruse and other 'homemade' explosives and gives the enemy kill count for their raids which totalled into the thousands. It ends with this:

'...and when the war ended this August, Champe's boys had made the Yangtze a trickling brook and the railroads an ox cart trail as far as the Japanese were concerned.'

Happy Father's Day, Dad.
I won't forget.

I'm gonna watch "The Sand Pebbles" this afternoon, I know that was one of your favorites.

News from the Left Coast

My brother still lives in San Diego, just a quick jaunt to Camp Pendleton. (affectionately called by us locals for years as "the Jarhead Factory")

Yesterday he and a pal went up there to check out the protest for the Marines being unjustly held. He fired off this brief email to me:

"We hopped into dad's mighty Lincoln and blew up to Pendleton. The demonstrators were out in pretty good force. In front of the main gate
we were, with signs, babes, ABC news, CNN, snacks, lawn chairs,
sunblock. Flags. AND: you will recall that wonderful Star Trek chopper cycle
that has been here in town for eons. That baby is still rolling.

One of the national supporters, radio host
Michael Savage, has part of his website with pictures of the Pendleton
demonstration. This is what it looks like: . "

He also reports that it's a fair guess that about 85% of San Diegans are unspeakably pissed about this. There still is a very big military presence in that town and a huge majority of retired Marines and swabbies make that area home.
We gotta keep up the pressure!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Upgrade Anxiety

Right now I'm downloading a new version of a web design program I use. Making websites is one of the ways to trickle cash into the Republic here. I absolutely love this software, cuz it's just about fool-proof...even for an idjet like me, but in order to upgrade I had to un-install the previous software. Therein is my anxiety. As much as I love these guys and their tech support, sometimes the geeks at the helm aren't real good at explaining things. I think I have followed their some what confusing instructions to the nearest letter I could. But when it comes to fiddling with the brain of my 'puter I need someone to take the Mr. Rogers approach with me and gently and simply walk me through it.
I've saved all my project files to my disk in another location, and saved my ftp info as they suggested and with a huge knot in my stomach, I've uninstalled the old version. Now we wait. It's almost done downloading.
My "day job" may come to a screeching halt here any minute... oh please work!!!

Later: OMG, it worked! No lost files (yet) and the program fires up bingo-bango! I like the new features...those will help. Whew!! All my current projects opened up just fine...I just have to tell the new software where to find any graphics that got moved prior to uninstall. Simple enough.
I hate trying to play geek...but I'm always so tickled when I do manage not to screw something up!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Don't Mind Me...

I'll be AWOL for a day or 2 on and off.
Typing up my story about Dad.
Since it's so close to Father's Day, I figure I'll post it then.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Oh...and By The Way...

Today is Flag Day.

But around here...everyday is Flag Day.

The Hillbilly Hog Roast, Deux

It's time for all us hillbillies & hilljillies spread out fur n wide across this here big ol' blogville to convene and confer and decided upon an 'offishal' movie.

The choices are not all the usual suspects...quite a diversity to pick from, 'pending on your idea of hillbilly and white trash.

Iffen y'all are part of the Hillbilly Ecosystem, y'all need to trot on over to Lem's place, drink up all his beer, pass around his last bag of Cheetos, give him some unsolicited advice about the Berlinetta on blocks in his yard and vote on the matter! Now GIT!
Times' awastin'!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Call It "The Al Corps"

Via Reuters

(Oh, Good God....someone hold me back!)

"NEW YORK (Reuters) - Al Gore hopes to train 1,000 messengers he hopes will spread out across the country and present a slide show about global warming that captures the essence of his Hollywood documentary and book.
(You have to train people to sit around and YAWN? That would capture the essence, I think.)

The former vice president, a Democrat, said on Monday that by the end of the summer he would start a bipartisan education campaign to train 1,000 people to give a version of his slide show on global warming featured in the film "An Inconvenient Truth" and book of the same name.
("The ants go marching 2 by 2, hoorah hoorah. The ants go marching 2 by 2, Hoorah, Hoorah....!")

"This moment cannot be allowed to pass," Gore told reporters in New York. "I have seen and heard times before when the awareness of the climate crisis has peaked and then a few months later it's gone. I think this time is different, but I have to say I'm not certain of that."
(Well at least he's honest-there's alot we could say he's not certain about, same for his "experts".)

The book is an expanded version of the film. Both are based on a slide show he has given more than 1,000 times over the past 30 years on the dangers of global warming. He says climate change is a crisis that has become a moral issue.
"Ox carts-GOOD! Cars-BAD!" Man, I feel sooooo immoral for having a flush toilet. I'm a worthless greedy sponge upon Mutha Earth because I use a 20 yr. old Maytag to wash my superfluous evil excess of clothes instead of pounding them on a rock and using a yucca root for suds. I will burn in an eternal hell for having a lawn mower. I am a electricity whore. I need to be spanked...hard...and repeatedly. Hey Al, how moral did Tipper feel picking up your suits from the dry cleaners in that honkin' SUV that I know you guys have? These yahoos won't be happy until we are reduced to living in mudhuts, like our more "enlightened" brethern of the planet.)

Most scientists believe carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases trap the sun's heat in the atmosphere leading to stronger storms and rising sea levels that could swamp low-lying islands by 2100.
(Hmmmmm, let's see, 2100 minus 2006 equals...We'll be dead anyway! And our kids will be too old to care, too! But it is nice to know that my grandkids will have beachfront property if the family ranch here is still in our hands! That is, if the legions of nattering Algorite pinheads haven't seized it because we were 'squandering' resources or that my acreage is the only remaining territory of the left titted greater spotted Marvin's trailing picklevine.)

Gore said all the profits from his film and the book will be donated to train the messengers. He said the carriers of the message will give the slide show at high schools and rotary clubs in the United States and around the world.
(Oh just let 'em try to speak to our Lion's Club...OH PLEASE! It'll be such fun...and I'll even bake a cake!)

Gore said on Monday, as he has consistently, that he had no plans to run for president in 2008. He added that he would continue to give the slide show even as the messengers give their versions of it."
( "Their versions..." You can just see how that will morph into the ultimate shrieking moonbat fury of impending doom. Good lord...I can't wait...oh and, neither can the earth, I reckon.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Well, This is Encouraging...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Source of Dem "Talking Points" REVEALED!

Now it can be told!
123beta has hipped us to the true source of all the liberal anti-Bush propaganda!
They've been using this thingy!
Doubt me?
Try it yourself and see!
It even has options.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Just Can't Get Enough of That Al Zarquie Stuff!

360vrwc has weighed in with his touching farewell to the murdering weaselboy with apologies to Elton John. Actually, I think I could stand to listen to 360's version moreso than John's sappy tribute to 'Norma Jean'.
Just a little taste:

"...And I would have liked to have seen you
Writhing like a squid
Your candle burned out long before
Your beard hair ever did."

The wickedly funny rest here. (note: coarse language.)

I've stumbled upon some more of worthy mention.

Hell's Sidewalk Cafe has this exclusive- Al Z's last letter to his wife!

And file this under "Karma Runs Over Dogma"- Iowahawk has this report from Al Z, direct from "Paradise".
Oh. My. God.
Like Misha said, better have your sides duct taped for this one!
(not for the faint of heart, vulgarities abound! But dang, it's funny!!)

Eeeek! A Mouse!

Well, dagnabit! Must have been the Zarquwi post. I've now been kicked back down to being a friggin' RODENT in TTLB Ecosystem.
'Durty Bas-tids!'

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Well, THAT Didn't Take Long...

"Some Democrats, breaking ranks from their leadership, today said the death of terrorist leader Abu Musab Zarqawi in Iraq was a stunt to divert attention from an unpopular and hopeless war.
"This is just to cover Bush's [rear] so he doesn't have to answer" for Iraqi civilians being killed by the U.S. military and his own sagging poll numbers, said Rep. Pete Stark, California Democrat. "Iraq is still a mess -- get out."
Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, Ohio Democrat, said Zarqawi was a small part of "a growing anti-American insurgency" and that it's time to get out.
"We're there for all the wrong reasons," Mr. Kucinich said... "

The rest here.

HT: Free Republic

(After reading the quote by Harry Reid in same article, I wondered if he didn't turn into a pillar of salt immediately.)

Major Lead on Dad's Past

I'm holding in my grubby little hands now a xeroxed newspaper article dated Dec. 1945 that came to me, totally unsolicited, by an uncle. (My Dad's little brother who served in the Army Corps of Engineers.) Have no idea which paper it appeared in, though chances are it was their local rag, and Gran'ma cut it out and saved it. It's a UP story with the byline of Richard W. Johnston. He was a war correspondant of some note and later wrote a book about the Marines in WW2.

Anyway, I'm just grinning from ear to ear right now. Dad gets a special mention in the story as being part of a group called the Yangtze Raiders. It details the clever ways he and another feller would blow up Japanese ships, and credits him with coming up with a novel way to sink huge freighters with only a tiny amount of explosive.
Dad was a SEAL before there were SEALs. Cool.
Can I say right now I'm just about to pop with pride?
This simple little story of less than 16 paragraphs has given me more info than I could possibly find on my own and has given me several more routes to explore! No mention of SACO, of course, but the implication, in retrospect, is clear.
Also, it places him in China up to the end of WW2...his official record that is online only covers 1942 to 1943. From what vague mentions he had made in the past, I knew he had to have been there longer than just a year!

Ding Dong, Zarqawi's Dead!

Y'know, I'm not even gonna bother with links, since y'all know pretty much the story, and know where to go for it.
Just wanted to add my 2 cents to the day long love fest!

I'm just prayin' for the day we 'drop a house' on Osama.

"Well, There's Your Problem!"

You scored as Male. Being mostly male, within your structures
of thinking simply means that your reasoning powers are the way they are perceived in Western Culture higher than the one of the opposite sex. Psychoanalsis claims this to come at the price of creative expression - a rational thinker can not think out of the box it is claimed. Yet, many creative minds were men.









Should you be MALE or FEMALE?*
created with

HT: The somewhat asexual Hillbilly White Trash

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

"They're NOT Supporting the Troops"

Patrick at Born Again Redneck has a post up that should be on every conservative blog out there, since the MSM will never notice, nor care to make mention of this. I'm posting it in it's entirity, even Patrick's remarks at the bottom, as well, because his view too closely parallels mine! Can't add much to it.

This is a letter written by Anthony Ippoliti, a Marine Infantryman currently serving in Fallujah, published in a local Connecticut newspaper, The Ridgefield Press:

Jun 2, 2006

"I am fortunate enough to receive The Ridgefield Press every few weeks and enjoy keeping abreast of the local issues currently pressing in our small town. I am a U.S. Marine Infantryman currently serving in Fallujah, Iraq, and my mother usually includes The Press in the many care packages she sends me.

Since we have very limited access to telephones, The Ridgefield Press is the primary means by which I receive local news.

Almost every week, I open The Press and find an article or letter to the editors denouncing the coalition effort in Iraq. Invariably, the individuals behind these anti-war letters and rallies mask their political agendas by asserting that they "support the troops but not the war."

People like Vince Giordano, Paul Sutherland and Anne Stubbs are pictured in the April 13 edition of The Press carrying a yellow-ribboned coffin and signs that say "Bring Them Home Now." They read off the names of the dead and claim to "show support for our troops" while urging lawmakers to "bring them home." They believe that the U.S.-led coalition should never have entered Iraq and that the current effort is a never-ending quagmire that has made no progress. They believe that things are progressively getting worse and think that our forces should just pick up and leave.

They do all this under the pretense that they are supporting the troops. However, what they are really doing is using our lives and the issue of our safety and well-being as a means to achieve a political end.

My primary concern is the assertion that these individuals support the troops in Iraq but not our mission. It boggles my mind that this logic is actually utilized on a large scale.

Supporting the troops but not the war is like saying that you support filmmakers but not making films. One cannot claim to support an individual in a given profession but not support what the said profession entails. This is essentially a slap in the face to those in the service.

How protesting the job we are doing in Iraq while demanding our withdrawal constitutes supporting us is beyond me.

Furthermore, I am particularly interested in how these people support us, specifically. I have never once received a letter from an individual who claims to "support the troops, not the war." Not a single Marine I know has received anything that could be considered remotely supportive from any of these people or the groups they represent. We have received phone cards, hygiene supplies, food, etc. from members of state and local government, radio stations, schools, private individuals and organizations, but never once from any group claiming to "support the troops, but not the war."

I ask again: How can these groups claim to support our troops while telling us that what we are participating in is wrong?

How can they support us if they are essentially saying that our blood and sacrifices have all been given in vain?

How can they support us if they say that our comrades and brothers who have been wounded or killed in action have done so for a hopeless and morally questionable cause?

I reply to the questions I pose with a simple answer: They can't. As a matter of fact, I assert with a considerable degree of confidence that their efforts make our already difficult job even more difficult. I'll go so far as to say that their rallies and protests cost more and more servicemen their lives and limbs every day.
I support my assertion with evidence gathered first hand. I see the Iraqi people every day. The protesters do not. I speak with the Iraqi people every day. The protesters do not. I don't sit behind a desk and do paperwork or resupply efforts in the military. I am an Infantry Marine and I walk the sewage-filled streets of this city every single day.

In Fallujah, the people watch Al Jazeerah. However, they also watch CNN. A lot of them fear that the United States will soon cut and run. The people of Iraq see when our country is divided. When they see rallies to "Bring The Troops Home," they see that as a sign that we will end our efforts prematurely.

Furthermore, they know that the insurgents will not end their efforts early. That leads them to the conclusion that when we leave, the insurgents will still be there. Therefore, if they help us, their lives and the lives of their loved ones will be in great jeopardy the minute we leave - if we don't finish the job.

Much that they see on American television leads them to believe that we intend to abandon our efforts before the new Iraqi government is capable of defending itself and its citizens.

The actions of these aforementioned organizations and the heavy media coverage their rallies often generate serves as fuel for the insurgency. Insurgents believe they can drive us out through the idea of "death by a thousand cuts." The longer they persist in their efforts, the more the American public becomes disenchanted with the coalition effort.

The insurgency sees this as a result. These criminals will continue to kill Iraqi civilians, Iraqi Police, Iraqi Army and coalition forces so long as they see that their efforts are alienating the American public from its military.

And for those of you that aren't up to speed with the situation in Iraq, the insurgents attack and kill established public services (such as Iraqi police and Iraqi army) more often than they attack coalition forces. As a matter of fact, an explosive-laden insurgent blew himself up last week outside the Iraqi police station that is attached to our compound.

The insurgents aren't fighting simply to drive America out of Iraq. They are fighting to destroy any semblance of the Iraqi government so that they can impose their will on its people.

Publicly protesting our efforts in Iraq fuels the insurgency. Doing it under the pretext of "supporting our troops" is disgraceful.

Let me now emphasize that I respect an American citizen's right to voice his or her opinion in a public forum. Such a right is granted in the U.S. Constitution.

However, voicing one's opinion in such an irresponsible way is something I do not support. Additionally, using deployed service members as a mask to serve your purely political purpose is downright shameful. If your desire is to protest the war, then protest the war, but don't use me or any reference to our troops as a tool to bolster your purpose.

I'll summarize by saying this: Organizations such as The Ridgefield Coalition to Stop the War do not support our troops. No matter what they say or what is printed on the signs they carry, they effectively do the opposite of support us. They downright hurt us.

Such organizations damage the morale of the men and women in the armed forces and progressively cause them to believe less and less in the mission at hand. The conditions here are difficult as it is. Opening a month-old edition of The Ridgefield Press and reading an article about an anti-war demonstration that uses our troops in an effort to mask its true cause doesn't help.

Please do not feign support while effectively telling us that we are fighting for an unworthy cause. I think I speak for an overwhelming majority of our troops when I ask organizations like The Ridgefield Coalition to Stop the War to discontinue using Marines, soldiers, airmen and sailors as a means to serve a political end.
You are neither supporting us nor honoring us. You are doing the exact opposite."

I can't add more other than to say that the next person who says to me, "I support our troops but not the war" is in for a nasty surprise. Put it this way, after reading that letter, I'm ready to call that person an enemy and do what we do to enemies. I might not kill that creep - though that's what it deserves - but I'll definitely disfigure its face permanently.

Don't ever say that to me. I know exactly what kind of people are anti-war in Connecticut, California, Oregon and everywhere. These people are not Americans. They are indecent disgusting self-centered narcissistic immature debauched decadent "liberal" maggots and need to be exterminated. Nuff said!

God bless and keep you safe, Anthony Ippoliti. With men like you fighting to defend our freedom, I can die a happy old man.

Please post Mr Ippoliti's letter on all your blogs and email it to everyone you know and pray for his safe return because we need men like him to help us save this country.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Will Michael Moore Be Joining Her?

Hot off the press at Cindy Sheehan Watch- Cindy will be going on a hunger strike to bring the troops home.
Willie Nelson of all people is said to be joining her.
Hmmmm, well, that will be all fine and good until the munchies set in. Kinda hard to say no to a box of Lil' Debbie Brownies when you got a hellacious buzz going. And you know a hellacious buzz always comes with the territory when you hang out with Willie!

As the folks at CSW said: "Good for you Cindy, Lord knows you need to shed a few pounds. So you're not going to eat until the troops come home? Promise? On the Fourth of July, I will be first grilling and then devouring, a 1.5 inch-thick ribeye steak, topped with sauteed mushrooms, with side dishes of cold potato salad and steaming hot corn-on-the-cob! With every bite, I'll be thinking of you, Cindy."

This Smells

Misha rips another one to shreds as only he can. His title on the post alone is worth the visit! (but not for the faint of is Misha, afterall)
This time it's the letter to the WaPo by the 42 yr. old woman who found herself unintentionally pregnant.

Having read it myself and being a woman who falls into the age category (more or less) and having been married and having children this letter smells in my opinion. Something doesn't ring true. Either that or this has to be the most friggin' clueless female to ever walk upon the face of the earth. How she survived to her 40's is a miracle. If I had ever been stupid and retarded enough to get myself into such a predicament, the last thing I'd do is whine about it in PUBLIC so the whole world could see how idiotic I was.

I think it's agenda driven B.S.
Ah! Surely not!!

The telling part for me was the part about being done with having children. If you are absolutely certain that you're done-no if's and's and butt's- then convert yourself into a 'sports model', tie them tubes! Diaphragm???!!! Who the hell uses them things any more??!!
This is so full of baloney I can hardly speak.

My Dad, The Spy- part 1a

Still following breadcrumbs on the story about Dad.
Did come across this intriguing blurb from some egg-heady site that has some connection to Harvard, (I think.):

"Maochun Yu's 1997 work, The O.S.S. in China, introduced to the academic world the records of America's wartime intelligence agency held at the National Archives and Records Administration ( The records of field offices can be very useful for researchers interested in areas around OSS stations, particularly Kunming and Chongqing during the war, and Nanjing, Taibei, and Shanghai immediately following Japan's surrender. These files include maps and photographs. Other records include materials from the Research and Analysis Branch, the Secret Intelligence Branch, and the Special Operations Branch. Since publication of Yu's work, almost all of the OSS files have been declassified and made available to the public. Perhaps the most important files still classified are the monthly reports of the controversial Sino-American Cooperation Organization (SACO)."


Both places mentioned in the above paragraph-Kunming and Chongqing- are places also mentioned in Dad's military record as places he reported to, allowing for the updated pinyin spelling that is used nowadays. What records I have been able to unearth so far are incomplete and only cover less than 2 years. The National Archives site is very difficult to get around in. I get the feeling that one needs to be a true research wonk to be able to navigate through it all.

Stocking up on Visine.
I have a feeling this is gonna be a lot of dead ends.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

My Dad, The Spy (???!!!***) part 1

Ok, so that title is somewhat tongue-in-cheek and misleading. In fact I was never 100% sure just what Dad had done during his time in the Navy.

It bugs me that I don't know anything about what my Dad did in the Navy. It bugs me that he never would elaborate, never volunteer information, never give any memories. It bugs me that I never really ever asked.

But even if I had, I really don't think he would have told me. That's just the way he was. He would have probably found some way to change the subject, blow me off with a "Ah, you don't wanna hear all that, it's the past anyway." and then asking if I had seen that boxing match on ESPN the other night or did Ma tell me about what happened at their last doctor's appointment? Dad was a master at playing close to the vest, keeping secrets, being discreet, keeping alot in. Maybe that's why he was so drawn to and custom wired for the outfit that he spent a chunk of his Naval career in. That outfit was SACO. The acronym for the Sino-American Cooperative Organization.

The ship pennant above has a most curious history. While trying to figure out just what in the world my old man did in the Navy before and during WW2, I came across this site, delsjourney, where he has this story. Being a good little blogger, I swiped it, but at least I'll give his site credit. The story is as follows:

"The American SACO commander during WWII, Milton Miles, created the pennant in 1934 when he was a junior officer on the destroyer U.S.S. Wickes in the Pacific Ocean. Occasionally during tight maneuvers, one of the ships in the fleet would do something unexpected and, during such instances, Miles wanted to send a pennant up the mast saying "What the Hell?" Miles asked his wife "Billy" (Wilma) to create such a pennant without using obscenities. Billy suggested using characters like exclamation points, saying that when newspaper writers wanted to use an obscenity, they did the same. Soon afterwards, Billy created a pennant that included question marks and exclamation points.

Miles enjoyed using the pennant for the next several years in light-hearted situations. However, in 1939, two years before the U.S. entered World War II, the pennant proved to be useful in a potentially serious situation with the Japanese Navy. Miles was skipper of the destroyer John D. Edwards that August and was ordered to Hainan Island, off the coast of China, where the Japanese Navy was threatening a coastal village, including American missionaries. When Miles arrived at Hainan, he saw several large Japanese naval ships bombarding the village. The Japanese flagship hoisted a flag warning the American destroyer to leave, which put Miles in a quandary, since his orders were to protect the American missionaries in the village. After considering the situation, Miles decided to ignore the Japanese threats and hoisted a pennant of his own -- his "What-the-Hell?" pennant.

Upon seeing the American destroyer hoisting a pennant, the Japanese halted their bombardment, giving Miles time to nestle his destroyer between the Japanese Navy and the village. The Japanese commander was puzzled about the pennant, though, since it wasn't in any of the Japanese code books, but he decided to err on the side of caution and backed the Japanese fleet away from the village. Milton Miles went ashore that afternoon, gathered up the missionaries, and departed the following morning. The Japanese Navy, meanwhile, sat offshore, still wondering about the meaning of the curious pennant.

Throughout World War II, Milton Miles' "What-the-Hell?" pennant was the unofficial emblem of SACO and was often found flying at SACO camps throughout China."

What a great story! And the flag is funny. Heck, even if I didn't know the history of it, I'd want one just hoist on the flagpole here. Seeing the times we're in now, this 'what the hell?!' flag would be appropriate.
Alright, I'm veering off course, like I always do.

Anyway, here's some more backstory from delsjourney :

"One of the most interesting stories about the Chinese theatre in World War II involves the Sino-American Cooperative Organization, also known as SACO. SACO (pronounced "socko") [note by WTR: my Dad always pronounced it "sack-o"] was a unique and unprecedented joint military effort between the U.S. and the Chinese Nationalist forces during World War II. It consisted of about 2,500 Americans, mostly from the U.S. Navy, who lived, led, trained and fought with tens of thousands of Chinese Nationalist troops in China. Often stationed behind enemy lines and hundreds of miles from supplies, they were not only amazingly brave, but they were incredibly resourceful, as well.

American SACO soldiers totally immersed themselves in Chinese culture: they lived in Chinese huts, spoke Chinese, ate Chinese food, and began to think "the Chinese way." Together, the American and Chinese military forces effectively battled the Japanese in China from 1943 until 1945. This was the first and only time in U.S. history that an American military unit had been completely integrated into a foreign military force and placed under the command of a foreign leader. SACO was an amazing and unique military unit -- and it was also one of the most effective combat forces in World War II." how come we never hear anything about this operation? Probably because it was covert. Special Ops before such a phrase became mainstream. Probably because they were a bunch of guys in it just like my Dad, tight lipped, keep-a-lid-on-it types, who were sworn to never speak of their involment with SACO for at least 25 years after the fact. Maybe because the government seeing China fall to the Commies shortly afterwards figured it best not to really mention the subject that they had our guys there blowing crap up and creating all manner of mayhem as we tried to stave off the Japanese. Who knows. But there's not alot out there on them. A few books, at least one out of print now. A couple of websites. Google or Yahoo SACO or Sino-American Cooperative Organization and you won't get alot of true hits, but you will get a gob of pages for cities and towns name Saco. It's as if as the servicemen who were in SACO die off, so does the history.

(In the next post, I'll explain as to why, as a child, I thought my Dad just had to be a spy and what all I have been able, as an adult now, to piece together about the old man's past.)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Flurry of Activity

I have been busier than a cat covering up crap.
I've spent most of today with the help of a kindly neighbor ripping a doorway in a wall, getting the new door in, tearing out a wall and getting the former doorway ready to be framed and drywalled in. All part of the master plan. My youngest was elated about this because this means the new bedroom is becoming a reality, albeit at a snail's pace. Her and sis merrily attacked the wall with hammers and assisted with getting the doorway made. Highlight of their day. ( we need to get out more, I guess.) The place sure looks weird now. But that new door thing I shoulda done years ago. It'll make for a better traffic flow and really improve furniture arrangement options.

That mess clean up for now, I'm now trying to get all the programs printed up tonight for the recital. The printer is churning away right now, hope the ink holds out. Still have to get all 200 folded up. Ugh. Paying the younguns a penny a program to do that. It's nice that they haven't become so jaded that they would negotiate a better price, or even refuse altogether- a penny seemed fair enough.
Finished up making a few costume accessories for my youngest solo dance number and got all the other costume stuff I volunteered for done. (10 pairs of 'poodle ears' and matching poofies for the tail part.)
Rehersal is tomarrow, the big event's on Saturday evening.

Good thing the eldests ballgame was cancelled tonight due to thunderstorms! Making good use of the blessing in disguise to get this done tonight, so I ain't scrambling tomarrow.
Anyway, iffen I ain't around much the next few days, that's why.