Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dog suspected in Tillamook Bay shooting

The following story appeared in the news on Monday. I wonder if the Lab had gone through a background check? Some believe drugs (kibbles) & alcohol (bits) may have been a factor.
Guns Don't Kill People; Dogs with Shotguns Unattended in Boats Kill People

By Associated Press
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A Tillamook man sustained a leg injury when his 12-gauge shotgun accidentally discharged during a duck-hunting trip on Tillamook Bay. The Oregon State Police says the man's dog is the prime suspect. Sgt. Todd Hoodenpyl says 23-year-old Matthew Markum and his younger brother were using an aluminum boat to go from land to their decoys Saturday morning. When the men left the boat, a shotgun blast put a hole in the side of the boat before striking Markum's leg. Hoodenpyl says the yellow Labrador had been on the boat and may have touched the gun. An ambulance took the injured hunter to a local hospital. He was later transferred to a Portland's Legacy Emanuel Hospital. The extent of Markum's injury has not been released.
I hear that the dog is refusing to cooperate with investigators, invoking his "right to remain silent".

Monday, November 24, 2008

Why's Thanksgiving so important?

While watching a rather slow, sappy (but heart-warming) Hallmark movie last night, one line jumped out at me in particular. The little boy is asked by his Grandmother, "Why is Thanksgiving Dinner so important to you?". His reply was extremely poignant for an eight-year-old, "So I'll know we'll be all right."

In his mind, as long as the family could manage to put a traditional Thanksgiving feast on the table, they were going to make it. It didn't matter where it came from. He just knew that life would continue as it always had as long as the traditions were maintained.

Conversely, if Thanksgiving Day was just another meal of boiled cabbage ( or potatos, etc.) it could mean that they were still on the slippery slope of poverty and things could get much worse.

Keeping in mind that the young character in our movie was always thinking about food, you can see how he came to his conclusion.

But try this thought on for size and see how it fits, "Thankgiving (thankfulness) for our blessings, reminds us that we will be all right." We can have greater hope for the future when we are thankful for God's provision in the past and the present.

Matt 6:25 "For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, {as to} what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, {as to} what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?26 "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and {yet} your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? (NAU)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Going through the "Change"

Who would have thought that becoming a grandparent would have such a profound affect on one's perspective of what is really important in life? A prime example of the paradigm shift I am observing happened just yesterday.

First, a casual comment by Mrs. WingMaster somehow turned into an excuse to brave 60 miles of freeway in 50 deg weather just to see our newest grandson, Brayden. The comment was, "We really ought to get in another motorcycle ride before the weather gets too nasty." Great! I start looking for the opportunity. When one presents itself (a Sunday with no rain in the forecast), I suggest a possible destination. The answer comes back,"If I'm gonna' get on that bike and freeze my anterior off, I wanna' see my grandson!" OK, a "win-win" situation for both of us. We don the leather and head north.

We arrive about an hour-&-a-half later to snuggle our youngest bundle of joy who is a little less than joyful due to the fact that he hasn't had a bowel movement in over 3 DAYS! I must admit that I would be a little cranky, too if I were him.

Needless-to-say, the rest of the visit is spent coaxing Brayden to "Fill that diaper" so he would feel better, but to no avail. Even the maternal grandparents are on alert and call in periodically to get a "regularity report" on the poor little guy.
Several fussy hours later after a feeding session, the air is split by the sound we have all been waiting for. A "hush" falls over the room as all eyes turn toward the source of the sound. Could it be? Has the spell been broken?

Praise be to God! Brayden has cut loose with the diaper from H#$%! Not once, but TWICE! High-fives, congratulations and squeals of joy break forth to commemorate the blessed event. Mom & Grandma spring into action like a couple of highly trained EMT's at a car-accident scene. Changing pads and diaper wipes were flying around like bandages and stethescopes and Dad (no lie) gets out his high-tech cell phone and takes pictures of the fouled disposable seat-cover (diaper) so he can forward them to the anxious grandparents who have been waiting on pins-and-needles for news from the nether-regions.
Finally, the boy is happy! He's smiling and cooing at everyone and the relief on his face is obvious to all.
I can't remember the last time a dirty diaper garnered so much attention and celebration. That kind of anticipation and merriment used to be reserved for sporting events and Presidential Elections.
Honestly, I haven't seen that much excitement since the Seahawks made it to the Superbowl.

My, how things change.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day Tribute

The Best Definition of a Veteran I have ever heard...
"A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life wrote a blank check Made payable to "The United States of America" for an amount of "up to and including my life". That is Honor, and there are way too many people in This country who no longer understand it.

And Now The Story...

I just wanted to get the day over with and....go down to Smokey's for a few cold ones. Sneaking a look at my watch, I saw the time, 1655. Five minutes to go before the cemetery gates are closed for the day. Full dress was hot in the August sun. Oklahoma summertime was as bad as ever... the heat and humidity at the same level... both too high.

I saw the car pull into the drive, '69 or '70 model Cadillac Deville, looked factory-new. It pulled into the parking lot at a snail's pace. An old woman got out so slow I thought she was paralyzed. She had a cane and a sheaf of flowers, about four or five bunches as best I could tell. I couldn't help myself. The thought came unwanted, and left a slightly bitter taste: 'She's going to spend an hour, and for this old hip hurts like hell and I'm ready to get out of here right now!'

But for this day my duty was to assist anyone coming in. Kevin would lock the 'In' gate and if...I could just hurry the old biddy along, we might make the last half of happy hour at Smokey's. I broke Post Attention. My hip made gritty noises when I took the first step and the pain went up a notch. I must have made a real military sight; middle-aged man with a small pot-gut and half a limp, in Full Dress Uniform, which had lost its razor crease about 30 minutes after I began the the cemetery.

I stopped in front of her, halfway up the walk. She looked up at me with an old woman's squint. 'Ma'am may I assist you in any way?' She took long enough to answer. 'Yes, son. Can you carry these flowers? I seem to be moving a tad slow these days.' 'My pleasure Ma'am.' Well, it wasn't too much of a lie. She looked again. 'Soldier, where were you stationed?' ' Vietnam , Ma'am. Ground-pounder. '69 to '71.' She looked at me closer. 'Wounded in action, I see. Well done, I'll be as quick as I can.'

I lied a little bigger, 'No hurry, Ma'am.' She smiled....and winked at me. 'Son, I'm 85-years old and I can tell a lie from a long way off. Let's get this done, might be the last time I can do this. My name's Joanne Wieserman, and I've a few Soldiers I'd like to see one more time.' 'Yes, Ma'am, At your service.' She headed for the World War I section, stopping at a stone. She picked one of the bunches out of my arm and laid it on top of the stone. She murmured something I couldn't quite make out.

The name on the marble was; Donald S. Davidson, US Army, France 1918. She turned away and made a straight line for the World War II section, stopping at one stone. I saw a tear slowly tracking its way down her cheek. She put a bunch on a stone; the name was; Stephen X. Davidson, US Navy, 1943. She went up the row a ways and laid another bunch on a stone; Stanley J. Wieserman, US Army, 1944. She paused for a second, 'Two more, son, and we'll be done.' I almost didn't say anything, but, 'Yes, Ma'am, Take your time.'

She looked confused. 'Where's the Vietnam section, son? I seem to have lost my way.' I pointed with my chin. 'That way, Ma'am.' 'Oh!' she chuckled quietly. 'Son, me and old age ain't too friendly.' She headed down the walk I'd pointed at. She stopped at a couple of stones before she found the ones she wanted. She placed a bunch on Larry Wieserman, USMC, 1968, and the last one on Darrel Wieserman, US Air Force, 1970. She stood there and murmured a few words.....I still couldn't make out.

'OK,son, I'm finished. Get me back to my car and you can go home.' 'Yes, Ma'am. If I may ask, were those your kinfolk?' She paused. 'Yes, Donald Davidson was my father; Stephen was my uncle; Stanley was my husband; Larry and Darrel were our sons. All killed in action.' She stopped, whether she had finished, or couldn't finish, I just don't know. She made her way to her car, slowly, and painfully. I waited for a polite distance to come between us...and then double-timed it over to Kevin waiting by the car.

'Get to the 'Out'-gate QUICK!, I have something I've JUST got to do.' Kevin started to say something, but saw the look I gave him. He broke the rules to get us there down the service road. We beat her. She hadn't made it around the rotunda yet. 'Kevin.......... stand to attention next to the gate post. Follow my lead.' I humped it across the drive to the other post. When the Cadillac came puttering around from the hedges and began the short straight traverse to the gate, I called in my best sergeant's voice: 'TehenHut! Present Haaaarms!' I have to hand it to Kevin, he never blinked an eye; full dress attention and a salute that would make his DI proud.

She drove through that gate with two old worn-out soldiers giving her a send off she deserved, for service rendered to her country, and for knowing Duty, Honor and Sacrifice I am not quite sure, but I think I saw....a BIG salute returned from that Cadillac! Instead of 'The End'....just think of 'Taps'. Please let me share a favorite prayer: 'Lord, keep our servicemen and women safe, whether they serve at home or overseas. Hold them in Your loving hands and protect them as they protect us.'

Let's all keep those currently serving and those who have gone before, in our thoughts. They are the reason for the many freedoms we enjoy. 'In God We Trust!' Duty, Honor, Country, Sacrifice...Semper Fi.

Sorry about your monitor,
it made mine blurry too...

Hope & Change (Part 1)

“Where are you taking me and What am I doing in this hand-basket?” This is the question that comes to mind when I reflect on the events in our nation over the past few months. The stock market, the real estate market, the supermarket and the “Free” Market all cause me to fear for the future of our freedom and our way of life. It is so easy to get caught up in call to “rally around the cause” to protect our freedoms and exercise our rights. When we “win” we feel that we have advanced the cause of Righteousness. But when we lose, fear and hopelessness creeps in and begins its process of paralysis. Family of God, this ought not to be the case for us! Our hope is secure in Christ!
Luke 21:25 "There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,
26 men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
27 "Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory.
28 "But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." (NAU)

If I’ve learned one thing this year it is this, “Hope and Change” are what men seek. They don’t even have to be clearly defined. It is not surprising, when you think about it. The world is hopeless without Christ. “Life’s a @#$% and then you die”. And “change” always sells because we are never satisfied with what we have. So, if you are hopelessly dissatisfied with your life, “hope and change” will entice you to ignore your values and principles in favor of the promise of something more, something better. But if you know Christ…. (to be continued)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'm NOT alone...

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of passage? His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man! Finally, after a horrific night, the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm. We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, our Heavenly Father is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.
Moral of the Story: Just because you can't see God, doesn't mean He is not there 'For we walk by faith, not by sight.' ~ 2 Corinthians 5:7 ~