Monday, January 23, 2012

"In a Real Man's World" Thanks Chris!



         I'm always honored to be in the presence of Greatness!  A real American Hero, eliminating the "Savages" in the War!  No milk toast, Cream puff here!  Just good company!  A real man's Man!   I was scouring the country for Chris's book to come out!  Last week, he made a book signing appearance at Nellis Air Force Base!  Thank you Chris for your Service!  God Speed!  Steve your the Best!  (I would love to link this in at the MDDB, but I can't remember the Sockpuppet passwords right now)

Note:  Page 82- American Sniper Quote by Chris Kyle:  "When your working with Army and Marine Corps units,you immediately notice a difference.  The Army is pretty tough, but their performance can depend on the individual unit, Some are excellent, filled with hoorah and first-class warriors. A few are absolutely horrible; most are somewhere in between.  In my experience, Marines are gung ho no matter what.  They will all fight to the death.  Every one of them just wants to get out there and kill.  They are bad-ass, hard-charging mothers."

"The Iowa Caucus"

                    I heard the other day that the Iowa Caucus voting was finally Certified!  Funny though, I spent two days listening to the news state that Mitt Romney had won the vote!  Now you would think that the Number one and self stated Most Important Iowa "Hawkeye Caucai" would go out of their way being the first to make sure that the GOP Presidential run for 2012, perhaps the most important election in my lifetime would be spot on!  Apparently someone is giving someone way way too much credit!  What was that I heard a few days later?  Someone had lost a couple of boxes of votes?  Really?  What kind of Redneck, back woods, Hillbilly state, loses Important and Critical ballots, ballots that could change the course of History?  Little hard to believe isn't it! They are supposed to be touted as the most important vote on the Presidency.  Isn't that a little like believing that the Obummer PACs didn't payoff CNN's moderator to ask Newt Gingrich about his and his former wife's  sex life?  Only if Gingrich could be the GOP candidate, I can tell you just how the State of The Union address should have gone- obummer:  The State of the Union is in total Caos, but I'm too busy licking my Chops after So. Carolina to even talk about it right now! 
As for Iowa, maybe we should re-think having them Caucus at all next time should we?  Wait! Do they have a Barn somewhere in Iowa?  Maybe Uncle Goober could be the voting certifier, Aunt Bee could sew the costumes, Opie could be the delivery boy, and Sherriff Andy could help out the "Good Ole Boy" that the opposition really wants in!  Now that would be a Caucus!  HUH???  Really???

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Brian Head "2012"

              We Headed up to our annual Tubing trip to Brian Head, Utah Saturday.  As usual the weather was perfect.  We got going a few minutes late but the time flew by and we still got in about twenty runs.  We ate at our favorite places, Pizza Factory, IHOP, and Cracker Barrel and as usual I over ate.  The girls slept up and back.  We were also able to stop by the property in New Harmony and take a quick look to see that all was well.  We would have stayed there but we got in way late and it was snowing.  We decided to stay at a nice hotel, Taylor was free of course and they always give me a Military discount.  We asked Steve and Matt to go with us but they declined.  Too Bad!!!  Time flies by when your having fun!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

"Henderson, Nevada"

                    Henderson was kind of a strange town in the 60's & 70's...a city in search of an identity… Not nearly as glamorous or glittery or worldly notorious as Las Vegas, and not as picturesque as the quaint, Spanish-arched /Art-Deco bedroom-enclave of Boulder City... The civically prideful B.C. -a slice of sensible mid-western temperance, -a piece of clean green corn-fed, wonder-bread wholesome-pure Americana…defiantly and restrictively delimited just outside the valley of Gomorrah and its kinky Sister City…

Poor Henderson…caught in the middle… a sociological and civic “no-man’s land”…an unlikely sprawl on a featureless Creosote plain, -a once ambitious manifestation of the nascent, wildly prosperous Arsenal of Democracy…eventually evolving into the trashy, indecently odiferous blue-collar industrial town we all knew and loved…the aromatic arm-pit of Southern Nevada. “Henderson Stinks” ran the derisive stickers classily affixed to the bumpers of smug out-of-towners …

I think most of Henderson’s people and town fathers during that time had sort of an inferiority complex about it, and from my limited childhood perspective and priorities in the mid-sixties, all the years of shamefully inferior, losing Basic High football teams didn't exactly boost one’s youthful, budding sense of “civic pride“ .

-However unlikely, -the town officials did manage, in a manner of speaking, to “compensate” by adopting the banal, childishly simplistic mantra of the long, tall, geographically jingoistic Texans …“Bigger is Better”… Thus the City bought up huge tracts of empty, seemingly worthless Creosote “forested” and oven-baked basalt land in the disparate empty quarters of the Las Vegas Valley. Years later, thanks to a miracle likened to the spontaneous eruption of cold spring-water in the sweltering tip of the Sinai , -came the completely unanticipated good fortune of favorable migratory demographics, -partially born of an opportunistically advantageous tax environment…The acquired land eventually made Henderson what it is today....- in mayor Andy Hafen's attempt at “civic modesty“: "The Greatest and Most Scenic City in the History of the Planet Earth" (I'm kidding Andy, with prescient insight you so graciously allow for pride-of-place in the future competing vistas of say, -the Valles Marineris) …Henderson is nice now, -but maybe at the expense of shedding its true historical identity…ie "Heritage Days vs. Industrial Days".

...I long for that heritage, for those good old days...for a nostalgia-inducing olfactory assault .…the gaseous industrial by-products… -the fresh, fart-blossom smell of a hydrogen sulfide leak …wafting gently across Boulder Highway on a parched westerly wind ...and the cool, verdant streams of pitch-black poison…“L’eau d’cancerigene‘” …industrial run-off cascading like a dark mountain stream under Boulder Highway…-a combination Rocky Mountain Spring Water Coors Beer commercial and Oklahoma black-gold oil gusher…mixing just to the east of Pittman with the unmistakable fragrance of minimally treated sewage effluent, -that whole potent brew eventually seeping its way down through the valley’s water table into Lake Mead, and from there, thanks to the Herculean and politically controversial Southern Nevada Water Project, was recycled in a covert Soylentian Green scheme back into the digestive tracts of the unsuspecting, water-traumatized citizenry, whose only crime had been to long for their own little humble patch of green in an otherwise desolate, gray-brown existence…Depending on the prevailing winds, his unique combination of scents added up to much more than the sum of it’s parts, -scarring the air with a pungency that, in one of my father’s more colorful colloquialisms “would drive a hound off a gut-wagon“ or, in my less ostentatious and obscure, but mediocre attempt at idiom, -causing a skunk to cover its nose in disgust.

In those good old days, looking west from Manganese Park, with the brown-black colossus of steel and concrete known by the deceptively glossy acronym TIMET making an informed, menacing backdrop, -one could see at sunset the sparkling shards and metallic glint of a thousand multi-colored broken bottles and cans and,…in the bone-dry air…Lady-Bird Johnson’s Hell …-mummified, perfectly preserved trash irretrievably tangled in the sticky branches of the ubiquitous Creosote and occasional Tamarisk, -a lurid littered landscape, a homogenous kaleidoscope of discordant color, -a monument to mindless, prideless, litter-bugging citizenship spread across the desert....…

There were the old neighborhoods, -the well-worn, severely rectangular, grungy-flat pastels of WWII-era temporary apartments whose halcyon days of opportunity, optimism and “V for victory” reflected a simpler but urgent time that had come, -and, thanks to post-war peaceful progress, -was then gone, -displaced and forgotten in the minds of upward-struggling workingmen. These once aspiring developments devolved by default into what came to be considered the town’s poorest sections, later housing those citizens whose coincidently unfortunate combination of modest income and varying degrees of skin pigmentation served to segregate them from the mainstream of an otherwise pale-faced proletarian paradise.

Then, the boxy, wooden fire-traps of “Townsite” -churned out in record time and number….the spartan and livably modest “liberty ships” of temporary wartime single-family homes. This austere district, -some of whose sterile street names read like a random sampling from the Periodic Table, or from the index of Peterson’s First Guide to Mineralogy….formed the original nucleus of the town. And later, in no discernable chronological order came the upwardly mobile middle class sturdy rebar and cinder-block Manganese Park…originally built for the grateful, loyal workers of the Three Kids Mine, and the company that bore the same name as the subdivision…and like the plants and Hoover Dam and the tumble-weed encrusted fall-out shelter on the western outskirts of Carver Park, -all designed to withstand the best the "Commie-Reds" could throw at us…..cold-war thermonuclear onslaught….so assiduously practiced only 90 miles away to the northwest…And in what would now be considered a bizarre, war-mongering Strangelovian aside, the normally ill-omened mushroom cloud of nuclear Armageddon became a progressive, symbolic image, accompanied by the motto “Power through Knowledge” -both prominently engraved on each side of every sapphire-studded Basic High School class ring…

Then we have the cheap chicken-wire embedded stucco of the nominally alliterative, poetic Valley View, along with the whimsical, fancifully monikered Triangle and Tract Two. -In all of these mass-produced housing tracts there was such a monotonous, unwavering regularity of floor plan, shrub and tree placement, that by comparison, it would make the original Levittown look like an eclectic collection of unrelated architectural extravaganzas …Later on in these quixotically ambitious neighborhoods every other home had, as a reflection of standard working-class compliance…-a requisite gas-guzzling Detroit late-model family sedan and knobby-tired GMC or Dodge pick-up truck with an over-sized, top-heavy “Tiltin’ Hilton” camper precariously balanced and bolted to the bed. And in keeping up with the ’monkey-see-monkey-do’ Jones’s….The apple of many an aspiring eye, ...lovingly constructed supplements to these conforming castles of contentment…-the re-modeled and, in many cases one might say… architecturally “distinctive” "additions" to the original tract houses...

And then of course, -what every self-respecting Hendersonite aspired to in those happy days...the elevated life "above the railroad tracks“, in the exclusive, rarified air of Henderson high-society, -to be a part of the ordained oligarchy of opulence, -a claim of residence in the colorless but appropriately named, aristocratic, doctor, dentist, and general big-shot populated…Black Mountain Golf Course and Country Club! Ah….yes…a golf course…come to so unlikely a municipality as Henderson no less?…in those days considered the “sport of Kings” on green grass…with its esoteric rules, erudite etiquette and elitist enthusiasts…a thirsty greenery whose affluent, adjoining residents wallowed luxuriously in the stylish decadence of such avant-garde innovations as….sliding-glass doors…waiting obliviously for the first errant slice or hook to shatter their sheltered worlds…
Thanks Jerry and Kim for your inspirations!