4.23.2004




As I listened to the news this morning as I was getting ready to go to work, I heard that Pat Tillman had been killed in Iraq and it just about made me cry. It was hard to get up after hearing that and I stayed in bed for a while and said a little prayer for Mr. Tillman, and waited for the alarm clock to go off, listening to the rest of the news. Some of the news was good, some of it was bad, but I kept thinking about Mr. Tillman and remembered the emotions I felt when I first heard he had given up a football contract to join the Army. I remember thinking to myself that it was incredible and it touched me that he would sacrifice his time and potentially his life for us and I wished that others felt the same way about our country.

Shortly after he made his decision, Peggy Noonan wrote an article about him and it described exactly how I felt. It gave me hope and I swelled with pride and gratitude and it made me even prouder to be American. He made it through Basic Training and then, as everyone expected, he became an Army Ranger and was quickly on his way to Afghanistan.

He was stationed just up the road from me at Fort Lewis. This is the same Fort Lewis where anti-war demonstrators showed their disdain for our servicemen by marching during days when our men and our women were being deployed for Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, this is America and everyone is free to express themselves as they see fit as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, but I have never been able to understand the people that demonstrated up there. It made me sick to see it and it makes me even sicker to think that the last thing Pat Tillman saw as he was shipping out was a bunch of anti-war protestors calling him and his mates "baby killers".

I heard someone say years ago that we judge ourselves by our intentions and we tend to judge others by their actions. I can say that I might have joined our fighting men over there, but that doesn't count for much now. What counts is that Pat Tillman and the men he fought next to in those crappy little countries are heroes and they stood up and volunteered to protect these United States of America and they volunteered to put themselves between them and us. They gave up $3 Million dollar football contracts and $20,000/year jobs, they left behind kids and sisters and mothers and fathers and wives and grandparents and brothers. The media wasn't allowed to follow him around and he never took advantage of his status for special treatment, he just kept his head down and did his job.

It is men like this that inspire me to be better, to work harder, to give it another try, to not give up and to sacrifice my time and energy and efforts for others. These are all lessons that every single one us has learned from our parents and grandparents and teachers, but many of us tend to forget as we get caught up in the little crappy parts of our days and weeks and our lives. Pat Tillman never forgot and we will never forget him. Rest in Peace and God Bless you.

4.21.2004

Lots of oddball things to list tonight, I mainly want to put some placeholders in here so I can write more on these things further.

First off, I have a Gmail account and it will be interesting to see if it is better than the Hotmail account I have had for years and years. Hard to beat that 1GB storage thing.

Next thing, I found a gallery site - Quent Cordair Fine Art - by following a link on Instapundit's "blog ads" and I am just totally enthralled by a couple of the artists shown there, especially Bryan Larsen. His artwork just totally floored me when I saw it - and I can't stop thinking about it - these are my favorites: (warning- big image files) "Heroes", "Born With Wings" and "Just the Beginning." When I first saw the images, I thought "this is what Ayn Rand saw when she wrote Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead!" and after reading the interview with the artist, he was influenced by Ms. Rand's books! Fantastic stuff, just absolutely fantastic. I don't think I will be able to afford one of those prints anytime soon, but someday.....

Next - I have been remiss in not having Aaron's Rantblog in my favorites and I will fix that ASAP. He recently celebrated "Buy a Gun Day" and the turnout was fantastic. I hope Aaron can get that Springfield that he wants!

Ok, that is it for tonight, I will expound on a couple of these topics soon, especially the Larsen artwork.

4.18.2004

I have worn my wrist watch on my left wrist for, well, my whole life. Last night I was lifting some large boxes and the adjustment gizmo on my watch dug into the top of my left hand and it hurt like hell. This morning, I thought I would wear my watch on my right wrist for a while, let the left hand heal up and let me tell ya, that is a very strange sensation. Yes, I know, this whole thing is strange and I am sure there are more important things to talk about, but after wearing your watch for one way your whole life then changing it, it kind of throws thing off track!

In fact, when I was driving this morning, it was like being right-hand/left-hand dyslexic - a very very cheap way to make it seem like you are driving in Britain! - and even now, as I type this and see the watch over there where it shouldn't be, it is a little confusing. Kind of like standing with your back to the mirror and using a small hand mirror to trim your hair (or shave your head in my case) - you move your hand one way and it goes the other way! You may be sitting there reading this, laughing to yourself, laughing at my silly observation, but just go ahead and try it - put your watch on the other had for a day and see how you like it!

The auction/dinner was a huge success, everyone had a great time, we auctioned off a ton of things and the items my folks donated were packaged as parts of raffle-game prizes. I met a ton of great folks and was absolutely exhausted by the time I made it home. We started at 8 or so yesterday morning and wrapped up at about midnight and damn, my dogs were barking after being on my feet most of the day.

Speaking of dogs, one of the committee members had a couple of mounted deer heads that he gave to the committee so I grabbed those to hang in my office. Sage thought they were real, live critters when I brought then in the house and I haven't ever seen her so excited and happy. She is definitely a butt-wagger as she only has about 1/4 inch long tail but when she saw those deer mounts, she was wagging her whole body from the shoulders on down. It was pretty hilarious.

Something else happened Friday that was pretty damn funny and almost very embarrassing - I write my mom and dad and my grandparents a couple of times a week, and sometimes I get email conversations going with Mom or Dad, back and forth emails, quick replies, etc., and I always finish them up with "Love, Jason." Anyhow, I was replying to an email sent out to the auction/dinner committee and the reply was going to be sent to about 10 different folks on the list. I cranked out the email fast, signed it and just as I was positioning my mouse over the "Send" button, I saw that I had signed it: "Love, Jason." I am sure glad I caught that but it got me to thinking - how many other emails had I sent out to who-knows-who that I had signed - Love, Jason???? Is that why I never got response to my job inquiries? Is that why I never hear back from some folks? Holy Moly! So, if you read this blog and if I have written you an email and if I signed it "Love, Jason" and if you aren't Gramps or Granny or Mom or Dad, I apologize.

Another busy week ahead for me and I need to get the house cleaned and straightened tonight while I have the time.

Take care, and yes, Love, Jason.