Thursday, June 26, 2008

"everything worth doing hurts like hell"

As promised, I thought I'd start my review of books worth your time.Anyone who knows me even a little bit can tell you that I love my Wife and Kids, I love to read, and I love Louisiana. So is it any wonder then, that I have picked "Welding With Children" by Tim Gautreaux for this, my first review?

"Welding" is Gautreauxs second compilation of short stories, and is beyond all shadow of a doubt, worth your time to peruse. These stories are gritty and stark, as they are enlightening, uplifting, funny and horribly sad. These are the stories of ordinary people in ordinary situations that we all pass by day after day,never really giving them a second thought.

My personal favorites? I'd have to say "Good For The Soul", with poor Father Ledet, just trying to do right by parishioners who unwittingly get him into trouble, "Dancing with the One Armed Gal" , with Iry Boudreaux who teaches a very lonely and confused woman that life indeed, can be a "happy cowboy movie" if you let it. "Sunset In Heaven" is simply beautiful, with sweet old (albeit confused) Mr. Santangelo. The point is, all these people you meet could be from just about anywhere, but they're the heart and soul Louisiana, and that's exactly what this book is, the Heart and soul not only of Louisiana, but of Tim Gautreauxs book, and they have an important message for you. Buy it, read it, I guarantee you will not be sorry.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


So I got my staples out today! Finally, I will be able to sleep in my own bed tonight!! I haven't done that in almost 6 weeks (Because of the level of discomfort this shoulder problem has brought on, I've been sleeping in a La-z boy)! Now it just looks really, really ugly. The deep bruising has come to the surface, and so this yellow/black pallor has lent itself to my skin. I have also started my therapy, which is probably 50% of why I am so sore tonight. The therapist says I'm actually farther along in my recovery than what they thought I'd be, so that, too, is a good thing! Now I start a new diet, and a new exercise program. I'm really sick of being overweight and out-of-shape, so now is the perfect time to do something about it.

I feel very lucky and very blessed (one of the reasons I deleted those whiny posts I had up earlier); I had the anointing of the sick the day before my surgery, and I thought it would just be Father Remo and I, but my wife and children were also present, and it really made a difference. To have them all pray over me was........massive, just absolutely massive. It humbled me completely, and I really felt closer to my family than ever. I feel close to them anyway, but this was a different kind of feeling, know what I mean?

So anyway, I'm "on the mend" now, and I have a question for my handful of readers; What should I format this blog around? I'm thinking I need to go in a different direction with this thing, and I certainly dont want to copy you guys, because your blogs stand out and are great, and copying from y'all, well that's just cheap, don't you think? Any suggestions you may have for me would be great, because I don't want this to be a labor, and I want it to be something people want to read.
so, leave me suggestions, ideas, criticisms, whatever. it will all be used!

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Tomorrow marks the 64th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion of Europe. To say it is an important day for.....well, the whole world, is an understatement. This day is one of the most pivotal moments in humanities entire history, it marks the begining of the end for a regime whose attrocities have been unparalelled in history.

I'd like to say thanks and farewell to my Uncle Norman Farrer, 28th division,My Uncle Oliver, 8th army air corps, and thanks to two men I'm proud to call friends, Jesse Oxendine, Company B of the 325th Glider Infantry,82nd Airborne, and Col Jim Moncrief, 9th armored infantry battalion, 6th armored division.

To celebrate the monumental gift we were all given, I will be participating in a WWII exhibit on Saturday at the Charlotte Museum of History. the Model club I belong to is putting on an exhibit of WWII armor, and a bunch of reenactors will be there, portraying American and British troops. The event will be brought to a close with a memorial service for the fallen. The Guest of honor is a wonderful man by the name of Jesse Oxendine (as fate would have it, I went to high school with his daughter), who was with the 325th Glider Infantry of the 82nd Airborne Division. On May 2, 1945, while advancing toward Berlin, his unit discovered what appeared to be a detention camp at Wobbelin, Germany. if you would like to read his story and see pictures of him, go to this link.
For those of you who have a direct link to the war, via Fathers, Brothers, Uncles, Cousins, Nephews,Grandfathers, etc, I urge you; ask them about their unit, where they were, and do it NOW. It is vital! We lose over 1,000 -ONE THOUSAND- WWII veterans a day!! we are down to 3 WWI veterans here in the states, and soon enough, that willbe the case with our WWII vets as well.
If thats not enough to compell you, try this sad fact on for size...Did you know that 40% of all High school graduates believe that the United States and Germany fought together against the Soviet Union!?!? In a 1993 Roper survey of American high school students 53 percent of high school students did not even know the meaning of the term Holocaust!! How can it be, that our children are this ignorant?

If your relative does not want to talk about the war, dont push it. You can understand why they dont want to recall specifics, but see if you can at least find out what unit he was with, so you can record it for posterities sake. One day your children will want to know, it really is important information, despite the fact that it might seem to the contrary right now.

The wonderful photo above of the 2nd Ranger Battalion taken on the morning of D-day came from a great site called:WWII in Color

Monday, June 2, 2008

Update on Health...

And the winner is (drum roll please)........Multiple bone spurs and arthritis!! Yes indeedy folks, if I was ever in denial about the onslaught of middle age, I am no longer in doubt of it's arrival. So, in two weeks time, I will have orthoscopic surgery to removes the bone spurs, and trim out the arthritis. they say that if I dont so it soon, I'll definately be looking at a torn rotator cuff. So in the interim, I am trying not to over exert myself, I was told not to lift anything heavier than 8 pounds, so I dont cause more damage than whats already there.
If I said I wasn't scared? I'd be a total liar. I've skimmed over the papers they gave me Friday, and while I have been assured this is a routine, run-of-the-mill procedure, I still see the nefarious words:
"Please write NO on the arm we WILL NOT be operating on"
and that, boys and girls, really freaks me out. I know, theyre only doing the "C.Y.A. Dance", but you take stock of your life -if even for a fleeting moment- in instances like this, and the future seems very shakey. It's odd, isnt it? You can drive back and forth to work every day, placing your life in the trust that the other drivers will look out for you as you look out for them,and you do this without a second thought, yet when it comes to Doctors we get all anxious and hesitant. Why am I apprehensive about letting someone with years and years of experience operate on my shoulder, yet I trust complete strangers -some of who I've actually seen texting people while driving- to make rational decisions?
I suppose it's just that the only other time I've had an operation, I was given morphine for the pain, and really had no idea what was going on until after it was over. But now, I have time to mull over it, and thats a bad thing. I really think I need to go have a talk with Father Remo.....