Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
Conroy didn't wake up crying. Instead we played "fingers" before I opened the door to get him.
I was waiting for a sunny day to get a picture of the scarlet red leaves on the tree in front of the house. But it got real cold last night and a coating of frost proved to heavy and sent all the leaves silently down to the grass and the driveway.
I could get all philosophical now but I'd rather talk about my grandson and his bah bah's weakness.
He's asleep in the room right next to where I sit typing this but will soon wake up crying. I will be the first to get to him and as I pick him up his world will instantly be alright.
I could get philosophical again but I'll continue about the small one.
He taps his mother's tummy where his sister lies waiting and says "baby". Then he comes over to me and taps my tummy where genetics and years of pizza, m&m's, coca cola, and sugar coated breakfast cereal lie mocking the fad diets, and says "baby". It pleases me to no end.
When he does something wrong like throw the wrong thing, or get overly excited and hit somebody's face, we sit him right down on the spot for a time out. The look on his face instantly tells me that he knows he's done something wrong. It also makes me feel like a heartless bastard and I immediately want to grab him up and plant a forgiveness kiss on his forehead.
But I can't. He has too learn. He has to be raised. He's getting better everyday. He's starting to say more words. On Wednesday his mother will kiss him goodbye and return in a couple of days to show him what he's been tapping on all this time.
He'll still be able to tap on bah bah's "baby" though.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
So I'm listening to WWOZ right? They're just keeping me happy all day and then they cut to a live broadcast of the Voodoo Experience music festival. They did some yesterday and I'm a new fan of one Theresa Anderson and one Kirk Joseph and the Back Yard Groove.
So today they turn me on to a woman with an amazing voice and an amazing talent for playing the fiddle. I mean this voice was HOTT. Her band was so tight with rolling geetar riffs and this woman and her fiddle and her voice. She was HUGE with a presence that flowed out from the cheap computer speakers.
WHO IS THIS? and how can I get a hold of some of that music. Then the announcer breaks in at the end of a song to ID the station and reveal a name.
BAM!! I'm on google. I hit her site and I am BLOWN AWAY
She's sixteen years old. SIX TEEN!! with a voice that's going on 27. I SWEAR to god that you guys have to hear this girl.
She has a CD. I'm so reaching for that cyber wallet.
Friday, October 27, 2006
If you're into music exploration got to www.live-radio.net
, go to find stations, and enter WWOZ.
WWOZ is a station out of New Orleans. All the jocks are volunteers who are passionate lovers of the music they play. No preprogrammed set lists. Public supported through donations.
Jazz (several variations), Gospel, Bluegrass, World, Blues and some others. Just great stuff. I listen to it all I can.www.wwoz.org
I'm in a bit of a quandary. A pounding of the head, a tossing of a coin. A decision to make.
On the 9th of November I fly to Tucson and my current plan has me driving to Las Vegas early the next morning.
Here's the dilemma.
The Suicide Girls have a show at Club Congress the evening of the 10th.
I could put off the Vegas trip for one day except for one small problem.
The groundbreaking late 70's all female punk rock group, The Slits, perform at the same venue on the 14th.
I can only attend one show and still hit Vegas as planned. Vegas is written in stone. The dates are flexible.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
How many have your name?
people with my name
in the U.S.A.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Two months to Christmas. Whoopdee fucking doo!
I'm reminded of two things I have to do.
1) Buy a "baby's first Christmas" ornament for my Granddaughter who gets yanked out in 6 days.
2) Get off my ass and shoot my Christmas card and get it sent off to everybody on my list that is mainly made up of cool bloggers.
Can you tell that Christmas is a really big deal for me? If it wasn't for my constant desire to crack people up with my Christmas cards I'd have a black leather, stiletto heel clad mistress hold my head under the surface of a bath tub full of eggnog until I stopped struggling.
Hell, that actually sounds fun. Maybe I wish Christmas was more often. Say, once a month?
Hey, your wife just had you drop some bills off at the post office. Then you bought lottery tickets. Want a guaranteed win?
How?Jump on the Foley bandwagon.
What the hell are you talking about?You know. Tell somebody in the press that you were molested by the priest when you were an altar boy.
But I grew up MOR MON. No altar boys, no priests, no scandal.C'mon. Play along. They're making out of court settlements. Sure would erase some credit card bills.
You're on glue. Why don't you just stay with the game plan of tempting me with women?It's winter you dummy. It's hard when they're piling on the clothes.
How about the nice fitting light sweater with a Victoria's Secret sheer bra.I'll see what I can do. But think about what I told you.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Day off, Act I
I awake to one of my favorite day off activities. It's 7AM which, to me, means that I have slept in 4 hours later than usual. I am sitting up in bed with my headphones on as Joni Mitchell reminds me how wonderful her music is. My wife is scurrying around getting ready for the baby she tends to arrive and making sure our two school children are up. I'm swaying, directing the music with my right hand when I feel a cold breeze that means the door to the bedroom has been opened. I open my eyes to behold my grandson at the side of the bed.
With my left hand I reach to caress his face. I make grampa to grandson sounds. I reach over to lift him on to my lap and we both sway to Joni. He needs a diaper change but right now it doesn't matter. He is blissfully oblivious to what I'm thinking as my arms are around him. He might have it hard. Certainly harder than his mother had it. I mean we had hard times but I stumbled into a good job and things were good. Mother says it wasn't a stumble. The wife prays earnestly. I've never felt it as more than luck.
But my kids had both parents around. No lawyers. No borderlines. No threat of separation.
His jammies are tucked into his socks and he wiggles his toes. I stroke his head back and kiss his forehead. It gives me cause to worry. I'm on the downhill side. Something Dustin Hoffman said in an interview sticks with me. He began to feel old when he realized that if he doubled his age it produced a number he probably would not live to see. Ninety six for me now.
My mother says it was god and not a stumble. My wife prays earnestly.
Let me have at least 20 more to make sure these kids are okay. I don't want to let them down. There has to be one good man in their lives with a future uncertain.
It gives me cause to worry.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
You are given this warning when you enter Yellowstone National Park
The "tatanka" hold a mean grudge from a long ago slaughter by white men.
Some of them look to get even when given the chance.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
If you've been there and served you have all the credibility in the world when making a statement like this.
Bush was never "there" and never served.
Friday, October 20, 2006
You're damn right I voted
I received my absentee ballot and have filled it in. Now I have to mail it back to the State of Arizona for it to be counted.
Here are some highlights of my vote.
I voted for Democrat candidate Jim Pederson for U.S. Senate. Republican Jon Kyl is the incumbent.
I voted for Democrat candidate Gabrielle Giffords for U.S. Representative in Congress District 8. Jim Kolbe is retiring after many years. Kolbe, a Republican, received my vote many times in the past. He is openly gay and served our district well. Kolbe declined to endorse the Republican candidate.
On some of the ballot measures I voted....
to authorize the sale of $87.7 million in bonds for the acquisition of property, new construction, renovation, furnishing, and equipping of facilities in order to improve Cochise College. Cochise College has campuses in Douglas and Sierra Vista with good programs in agriculture, nursing, and aviation.
to deny bail to persons charged with serious felonies if that person is in the United States illegally.
to declare English as the official language of the State of Arizona.
to authorize cities and towns in Cochise County to incur debt for the purpose of improving public services such as police, fire, emergency, and transportation.
to set aside 694,000 acres of state trust land for conservation.
AGAINST amending the state Constitution to require that only a union between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage. Same sex marriage is already banned by law. I would like to see that law repealed.
TO RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE from $5.15 to $6.75 an hour.
to increase the tax on cigarettes to establish an early childhood development health care board.
to make it illegal to to tether or confine a pregnant pig or a calf raised for veal for all or the majority of the day in a manner that prevents the animals from lying down and fully extending it's limbs or turning around freely.
AGAINST conducting elections by through mail in ballots ONLY.
to pretty much ban smoking in all public places. The are exceptions like bars that prohibit the entry of minors and have separate ventilation systems, private residences, tobacco stores, designated hotel/motel rooms, and Native American religious ceremonies.
to RETAIN the current laws regarding state sponsored family literacy programs, state subsidized immigrant and adult education classes, community college and university residency requirements, state sudsidized tuition/fee waivers and financial assistance, and child care assistance.
A yes vote on this measure would make it mandatory to prove citizenship or legal residence to obtain any of these things and would have required state agencies to report any undocumented alien attempting to gain those state benefits. Right now you just have to prove that you reside in the state to obtain these benefits. I believe in education opportunity for ALL residents and health care assistance for ALL children residing in the State of Arizona REGARDLESS of immigration status. We can afford it damnit and it's just the right thing to do.
Here in Canada you have to prove legal status to obtain any of those services. Just so you know. I have to present documentation of legal status to get my kids into school, obtain a driver's license, or get health care.
I voted AGAINST a raise for the State Legislators.
I voted for a one million dollar lottery for voters who vote in primary or general elections. So go vote and you may win!
How did I say "F you W?" I VOTED!!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Parents vote for offspring to be murderers.
CNN.com conducted a poll based on an article they published about unhappy children being more talented math students.
Out of 60,000 votes so far, roughly 1 in 5 respondents say that they would rather their child were unhappy and good in math vs. happy and not good in math.
Can you say unibomber?
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Tidbits from Zona Boy's street survival guide.
Brain devouring zombies don't cast shadows.
Women carrying small dogs have a leash and a pet name for you too and are to be avoided.
Tin foil on the windows only encourages them.
Natural selection means that you push the old people and the young children out of the way.
Never be caught without an ample supply of liquor and ammunition.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Sunday, October 15, 2006
The news is out that there will soon be 300 million Americans. It will of course be impossible to determine exactly when this milestone will occur and who exactly is the 300 millionth American. So I now call upon my mystical powers to come forth from the inner reaches of the sanctum realm that is my mind to provide you with ten very reasonable probabilities of our lucky winner.
1. A woman with very tired legs and a swollen abdomen has left her three other children with her mother and at this moment stares into the darkness to a black shiny ribbon of water that divides Texas from Mexico. She waits in the weeds as the Border Patrol vehicles pass. She hears a noise and is startled by three men. They wait with her and when the time is right they help her to cross the river. Some yards north of the river in the darkness the men take turns holding and raping her before running off into the dark. The dark is soon shattered by a flashlight held by a Border Patrol Agent. She does not tell of the rape but tells the Agent that she is in labor and he calls for an ambulance that rushes her to the hospital. She gives birth to a baby girl in the ambulance and in the morning when she leaves the hospital with the infant people give her a look of anger because she had the audacity to come over and have her baby at American taxpayer expense.
2. An 80 year-old Vietnamese woman raises her right hand along with several hundred other people as the media cameras take photos and shoot video. The flash of the camera instantly take her back to a village and the scene of her husband, who was a school teacher, being executed by the Vietcong as her house is set on fire. Her daughters clinging to her as she weeps. Her sons taken long ago to fight with the Vietcong would be killed by American napalm. Later her daughters would become part of a multitude of boat people fleeing Vietnam. Both would reach the United States and work hard, marry, raise their children and eventually immigrate their mother to the United States to live out her life being taken care of by a grateful family. Her grandson, who was named after her murdered husband, is the District Judge presiding over the naturalization ceremony.
3. In a ceremony across the country a man in a $2,000 suit raises his hand and swears to abide by the Constitution. The man from El Salvador smiles ear to ear after taking his oath and waves to friends who will now attend a lavish party in his honor. He will watch children play games in the large lawn of his Virginia estate and barely think of the times he pulled the trigger of a .45 caliber pistol held to the temple of a man whose hands were bound, who had been beaten, and whose name he didn't know. It wasn't important. None of their names were important to him.
4. In the private birthing suite nurses, attendants, and a doctor gather around a woman in agony. A videographer hired to capture the blessed event moves about to get the best discreet angle. Soon, out comes an infant covered in fluid and attached to his mother by a blue green cord. He begins to cry and everybody else begins to smile and laugh. This baby will have a hyphenated name and is already assured a spot in the finest nursery school that his nanny can drive him to. Summers in Newport and winters in Aspen. Ivy League and a place in a top east coast law firm named after his grandfather.
5. A baby girl is presented to her mother who holds the hungry infant to her breast and dreams of her future. "She is going to be a star" the mother proclaims. "I can tell it just by looking at her. She's going to have me to steer her clear of all the mistakes I made". The nurses look at each other in some disbelief. In a few days the baby will be turned over to the care of her grandmother while her mother awaits trial for shooting her abusive husband to death.
6. A boy is born in an Atlanta hospital. His mother holds him as his father is overcome with joy. Just weeks ago a promising pro career came to an end with an injury. The scholarship money and the passing grades vanished soon after. The father carries the infant over to the window so he can look out. "See that world out there son? It used to be at my feet but now it looks the other way. But none of that matters because now I have you and I swear to God almighty that I'm going to do everything to raise you like my momma raised me. Night school until I get my degree and three jobs if that's what it takes. I used to be able to beat the defense. Now I'm going to beat the odds. Just you watch me".
7. On November 1st my granddaughter will be born. Her parents are separated and my wife and I await the first chance we will get to hold this precious child. Born in Canada to an American mother will make her a citizen of both nations. She will also have Bolivian and Mexican heritage to be proud of. If she becomes anything like her brother we will have our hands full. Our hearts too.
8. In Iraq the women huddle around as one cries in pain. Returning to Iraq full of hope for a new democracy and a better country the two naturalized U.S. citizens have lived to regret that they relied on politicians who as it turned out, lied. One of the soon to be born American citizen's grandfathers was murdered by Hussein. The other was kidnapped and killed just last week as he went out to buy diapers and formula.
9. Seven Marines in dress blues fire three rounds each over a casket that is about to be lowered into the grave. A burial at Arlington cemetery is a high honor as it is America's most hallowed ground. That does not matter to a weeping mother as she is presented a folded American flag. Several of the mourners carry Mexican flags. The soldier, a permanent resident alien, was killed in Afghanistan, and by law, will be granted United States citizenship, and awarded a Silver Star, posthumously.
10. In a small town a newborn child is held by her mother. Her father sheds a tear and smiles. The baby's room was just finished last week and a surplus of stuffed animals fills a hall closet. The two had just joked that they had enough left over for three Christmases and a couple of birthdays. They were about to buy a new car when the doctor informed them that those plans might best be put on hold. A box of drug store cigars await to be handed out at work and the elementary school where she works is holding her job for her to return when she is up to it.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Some people wonder when the downhill slide began. I won't. I know exactly when it started. It was this month. Now the struggle begins.
This place, the interactive world of the internet. Cyberland, virtual reality, blogospere, or whatever else you call it is one giant costume party. It's where we come to show what we wish to reveal to complete strangers who soon become friends who we would embrace tightly were we ever to meet them. At least for a little while.
Mark Twain said that no man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar. I always wonder when the initial joy of discovery would wear thin and an uncomfortableness of reality would hit were any of us to meet.
I heard it said once that the more masks we wear, the more we actually reveal of our true selves. One thing we all know is that there are parts of us that we don't want those close to us ever seeing. Just the same, there are parts of us those people know well but that we don't want people outside of a certain comfort zone to see.
Of course the degrees of each of those things varies greatly with the individual.
So we wear masks in here.
Masks that we cannot always see.
Would you trust somebody to pick a mask for you to attend a party? Let's imagine this scenario. Twenty friends gather for a costume party and are led into a room blindfolded where the host will place a mask on the guests. All of the masks look exactly the same from the the back and the front with the difference being a word written of the forehead that the wearer of the mask cannot see. This word describes the character of that person for that night and all of the party goers must agree to treat that person as if that one word described their entire personality.
Wealthy, Generous, Hung, Whore, HIV+, Gay, Honest, Liar, Cheat, Herpes, Married, Fellates, Loser, Friend, Safe, Gossip, True, False, Willing, Religious.
What if the host selected each mask for each person? What if the host selected at random? What if at the end of the part the participants got to see their word? What if they didn't? What if the party was filmed so the participants could watch and figure out who was who and how who treated each other who? How many friends would part enemies? Even if they knew the theme of the party beforehand? How many people would remain stigmatized? How many would volunteer to do the party again? How many would want to select the masks next time?
Blogs are like that. There is what we feel ourselves to be and then there is the perception of who we are by others who also wear masks. Sometimes we select a mask that we think would be fun to wear to the party. It's all a lark. We will never take our masks off while we're at the party but every now and then somebody at the party either as a guest or a gate crasher recognizes our voice and drags us outside for a scolding, or worse, removes their mask in front of us to reveal a face covered in tears.
Some of us are honest in here when our closest friends and loved ones would prefer that we lie. Some of us play innocent games which, for others, would damn us to eternal hell fire.
I'm just like most of you. Wearing a mask that sometimes I don't see and dancing on a volcano.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Enjoy 4 of my fave shots from yesterday. One because they spelled it right. One because it involves my daughter. And two because I just think they're fabulous shots. Of course I think that's a fab shot of my daughter and her boyfriend.
With that, and because it's the weekend I'll open the comments.
I have seen what was my final rock concert. Maybe my final concert period. Roger Waters is the genius behind Pink Floyd and last night he showed that he was a genius of rock and roll music and a master showman. It was just amazing to the point where anybody else would be handing me a pile of manure when it is gold that I seek.
It was the best show I have ever seen and I just can't see anybody topping it. Ever.
As we were walking to the car after it was over I announced to my wife, my daughter, and my daughter's boyfriend that I was now finished with concerts. They were puzzled until I asked what group I could see that could top the show we had just seen.
They couldn't think of any either.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Upcoming travel:Tomorrow: Seattle for the Roger Waters concertNovember 11-16: Las Vegas and Los Angeles
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
JaG had a bad dream. I had one I can't remember.
I woke up one morning and my wife was wide awake by my side.
"What did you dream about last night?"
"I don't know. Why?"
"Where is your wedding ring?"
I raised my left hand. "It's right h..........." To my horror my ring was gone. I was at quite a loss.
"Look on the floor."
I looked and there it was, on the floor next to the bed.
"What did you dream about last night?"
"I told you, I don't know. I can't remember."
"You were jolting around and you sat up. You were angry. You took your ring off and threw it down on the floor. Then you rubbed your finger and sighed in relief. Then you laid back down and went to sleep."
Monday, October 09, 2006
Happy Columbus Day!!!
Here in the United States there are parades honoring a man who.......
never set foot in the United States.
Here in the United States it is a national holiday to acknowledge a man who.........
landed someplace he had no intention of finding.
Here in the United States there are statues for a man who........
cut the arms off of the natives in an attempt to motivate others to work themselves to death in the gold mines.
I want the emotion of regret removed from my being, my mind, and my soul.
I want a second story room with a high ceiling, a wooden floor, and thick black curtains that shut out all but just enough light to allow the faintest of silhouettes of objects on the walls.
I want the predawn sounds of a scratchy radio whispering a selection of classical jazz while I sit at a table in a robe knowing that I don't have to think about anything, I don't have to do anything or go anything or care anything.
I want all of my worries and concerns in a bottle placed on a forgotten shelf.
I want a cup of carrot tea and a hard roll with butter.
I want to be greeted to the day outside by the paperboy yelling out his call to people who read his newspapers without caring much what they say.
I want to walk the market street as the vendors pull the sheets of their wares and the women sweep the debris from in front of their stalls pausing every now and then to chase away the curious dog.
I want quiet life.
I owe it to myself and god knows I owe it to my wife. I took her away from her family and she's never complained out loud about it once. Now she's hearing about the death of aunts and uncles. People she knew as a child and a young woman. People who had an influence on her life. Now it's my turn to leave family behind.
Just give me a few more years for all the kids to get out of school and out on their own. Then I'll be ready for the move.
Regret won't enter into it then.
I'll be ready.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
|Your Fortune Is|
|Just because men have one, doesn't mean they have to be one.|The
Wacky Fortune Cookie Generator
Happy Birthday Conroy
Saturday, October 07, 2006
I love baseball part two.
Buck O'Neill passed away last night. Buck played for years in the negro baseball leagues and was the first black man to coach in the major leagues. He was long retired when I first heard of him and whenever I heard that he was giving an interview I made it a point to watch.
Buck told fabulous stories of the negro leagues and made me wish that I had seen it. Separated by blatant racism it is now known that many of the players would have easily made major league rosters.
Integration that started with Jackie Robinson ended segregation but also doomed the negro league. If I could go back in time knowing what I know now you would be more likely to see me at a negro league game than at the white major league games.
When I was a boy growing up I had three favorite ball players. Wille Mays, Wille McCovey, and Bobby Bonds. All black men. I never thought twice about it.
Buck O'Neill is not in the Hall of Fame but he certainly should be. Somebody asked how he felt about not being in the Hall of Fame and he responded. "Don't feel bad for me. God has been good to me." He went on to explain that he was not hurt about not being in the Hall of Fame. "That I couldn't go to the University of Florida, that hurt".
Buck is commonly referred to as the "ambassador" of the negro leagues for his wonderful stories but the greatest testament to the "ambassador" came when somebody asked him if he hated people for the way they treated him. (meaning racism during his career) He responded. "I never learned to hate".
Buck should not only be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame but those responsible for bestowing such honor should issue an apology for not having done it while he was alive.
Friday, October 06, 2006
The weekend belongs to you
Thursday, October 05, 2006
I love baseball!!!!
I love to cover my face with a new baseball glove and inhale deep. I love to rub a new baseball under my nose and inhale deep.
I love that I can tell you that I saw Willie Mays play.
Baseball starts in the spring when everything else wonderful seems to be starting. The boys are back and the grass is green. The sound of the balls hitting gloves and bats is a sweet as any cricket in the tranquil night meadows.
I haven't been to Tucson during spring training in many years and I lament each year. I really need to go. I was Giants fan for years and now I just sit back and watch'em all play. I was at a game when Bruce Hurst hit Kevin Mitchell with a pitch and as Kevin charged the mound I was instantly on my feet yelling, "kick his ass Kevin".
You don't even know who those guys were, where the game was, or what two teams were involved. It doesn't matter.
I was watching the game just now and they showed a player's perfect swing in super slow motion. You see the ball come in to the frame. You see the bat make contact with the ball. You see the flowing follow through of the swing. The next guy to touch that ball was in the right field bleachers. The swing was an art form. A technique as fine as anything Nijinsky did.
Same game, they showed a guy throwing 100 mile an hour fast balls throw a curve ball that froze the hitter and the ump through his arm up to call the guy out strike three. I yelled, really yelled, WHOA!! when I saw it and it was LOUD and I was watching on a TV over a thousand miles away. The hitter was stunned frozen by the curve ball. He might as well just heard that his girlfriend was dumping him for his sister. I think the look on his face would have been the same.
Joe Carter hit a home run that won the World Series a few years ago and was prancing around the bases like a six year-old. I was watching in my living room and balling like a baby and I wasn't a Toronto fan. I was a baseball fan watching every kid's dream come true through Joe Carter.
I cry at no hitters. I honor Robinson and Clemente. I know that Hank Aaron was the greatest hitter of all time and that Nolan Ryan was the greatest pitcher of all time and what makes that better is that they are both great men.
I watch guys half my age play the game today and I feel like the kid. They're still heroes which is why I know that with the game on the line I would want Jeter at the plate or Smoltz on the mound.
Baseball ends as winter starts and everything wonderful seems to end with it. Then my soul gets quiet until the spring when pitchers and catchers report for training.
I'm gonna be there next year damnit.
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
SIERRA VISTA — Cpl. Casey L. Mellen was born into Army life in this Southern Arizona city. On Wednesday, he was buried here at age 21, the latest local casualty of war.
Hundreds turned out for the funeral of a hometown hero who was killed in action while protecting his fellow soldiers.
Mellen, a newlywed, died in Iraq on Sept. 25, from wounds suffered in combat in Mosul.
Fellow soldiers said the infantryman was felled while providing cover fire for his comrades.
He was buried with full military honors in the shadow of the Huachuca Mountains, where he hiked as a child.
He was the 20th service member with ties to Southern Arizona to die in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Fellow soldiers from the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team) at Fort Lewis, Wash., recalled the intense loyalty Mellen displayed toward his comrades.
"Our brother Casey Mellen died protecting his family, watching our backs, covering our six," said a statement from a recent memorial event at Fort Lewis that was read at the Fort Huachuca service.
Sgt. Michael Hernandez of Fort Lewis fought back tears as he shared comments from the fallen soldier's colleagues.
Casey L. Mellen had a calming influence on his comrades and held a place of honor in his platoon, Hernandez said.
He had "an uncanny ability to slow things down and project a sense of peace, even in a place of chaos and ugliness," he said.
A quiet, observant man, he didn't talk unless he had something substantial to say.
"He was the one who listened and analyzed, and when he did speak, his words carried an air of certainty," Hernandez recalled from comments made by Mellen's battle buddies.
"For a 21-year-old man, his words were sagelike," Hernandez said.
Mellen, a graduate of Omega Alpha Academy charter school in Sierra Vista, joined the Army in 2004 after a semester at Cochise College.
"In the very beginning, he was a gung-ho soldier," his father, retired Army Sgt. Casey E. Mellen, recalled in an interview after the funeral.
But "his enthusiasm for Iraq wasn't as high," after the younger Mellen married, his father said.
When he left for war four months ago, Casey L. Mellen had been wed less than a year to his 18-year-old wife, Amber.
The young soldier's mixed feelings were evident in a profile he posted on the Internet site MySpace.com.
In a section that asks the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" he replied, "Anything but in the Army."
In a spot that asks who his heroes are, the younger Mellen wrote: "George Bush . . . LOL yea right,"
God damn you to hell George W.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
One good thing happened in what was a pile of shit day today. I received my copy of Grillo Villegas' recently released CD. The family in Bolivia sent it to me after I sent them the $$$. It's wonderful. Grillo is a Bolivian musician and I have spoken of him before. Most of you will never hear his music and if you do chances are you won't understand Spanish.
I'm sorry for you.
Only one of you who's address I have, speaks Spanish. I'd be watching the mail.
If God knows what's in the hearts of men it makes him a co-conspirator
A man walks into a Pennsylvania school house and murders innocent children, and then kills himself.
A man walks into a Colorado school house and sexually assaults female hostages, murders one, and then kills himself.
Both men left suicide notes.
So God, if you're in the hearts of all men why didn't you flip the switch on two of them before they decided to send souls your way? Before they decided to break the hearts of others? Hearts that religious men claims you will heal? Tell me why damnit!
Did you know that some people will claim in your name that you must now send the Pennsylvania children to the same lake of fire as their killer because they hadn't taken your son into their hearts?
Did you know that others claim you reward men who leave suicide notes before murdering people with everlasting glory, virgins, and refreshments?
You know, when I was in a law enforcement academy I was taught that I could use a weapon to stop anybody before they killed somebody and the law would absolve me of any wrong doing. They even gave me the gun to use and the bullets to shoot.
I'll lend them to you if it would help.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Coro Coro, Bolivia
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