Friday, August 31, 2007

Two Purple Hearts after surviving two attacks in Iraq within two months

Travis is the Marine friend I requested prayer for starting back at the end of July.

He is here at home for now and recovering, while undergoing to therapy for the injuries he received

On his right leg, just below his knee, he has a four inch wound with about 20 stitches. That leg doesn't work too well right now, so Travis is using a cane to hobble around. His back is another problem area as two vertebrae in his back are sitting at an angle.

Just a few days ago the Marine Corps’ second-in-command came all the way to Anderson to visit and award Sgt. Tollison two Purple Hearts for his service in Iraq.

Travis said, " To have him — the Marines’ assistant commandant — come down, that shocked me. We got guys getting really messed over there I am just thankful to be alive and to have all my limbs.”

Most of us here safely at home stateside can't even come close to understanding what it is like over there in Iraq. A great number of those serving are involved in hostile action. To survive being hit in an attack is one thing. But to survive being hit twice is amazing.

Travis survived an attack a few weeks earlier when he was hit by a round fired by Iraqi insurgents from a high-powered rifle. But it was the second time that is the reason he is home right now. The second time it was a roadside bomb.

Why would someone volunteer to go there?

For Travis that is an easy question to answer.

He has been a Marine for about 12 years. Rising to the rank of Sgt. But most of that service has been spent teaching and training and has never been put to the test. “For eight or nine years, I trained other Marines. “Its like practicing for the team but never getting a chance to get in the game. I was excited to go over there. But at the same time, I was apprehensive.”

On April 10, His unit the U.S. Marine Corps’ 13th Marine Expeditionary shipped out to Al-Anbar Province Iraq

The first few months were routine but that changed in late June

On June 27th, Travis and his squad of Marines were patrolling some streets on foot when they heard gunfire. Before they could figure out where it was coming from, he felt a thud to his back.

“It felt like somebody kicked me. For about two seconds I was really scared. I could feel liquid running down my back.”

His first thought was blood, but the liquid turned out to be water from the camelbak canteen strapped to his back under his Kevlar vest. That vest stopped the high-powered round from piercing his back. He walked away with a serious bruise, but still alive.

The second attack was different.

A little more than a month later on July 30th and during a patrol, a unit of Marines found a building stashed with weapons. Weapons for the insurgents. Travis was sent with Marines assigned to link-up and destroy the weapons.

They never go there.

Before the meeting could happen, the truck filled with him and 13 other Marines was hit by a roadside bomb.

“The last thing I remember… I went to pick up the radio. And then it was lights out,”

When he came to, he couldn’t feel his legs, he could hear people yelling. The rest of the squad had escaped the blast and were screaming for him to get out burning wreckage.

He climbed out of a hatch and flung his body over the side of the truck,

Injured and bleeding he was flown to another station in Iraq, then onward to Germany.

By Aug. 2, he was back to American soil at the Naval Hospital Bethesda Md.

Travis was released on medical leave and has been allowed to spend it in Anderson with his family but is going for treatments to AnMed.

He'll be home for a few more weeks. Staying with his family while he continues to heal. But he is in some ways ready to get back.

“My unit is supposed to be coming back in late November. I want to be there when they come back.”

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My sweetie made a wonderful new dish. Pasta, sausage, and loads of cheese ( low fat as always ) It was made with Penne Pasta. She informs me the is pronounced 'Pen Nay' not 'Pen Yeah' or as I said it 'Penny'. No matter, what ever it was wonderful.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Tomorrow morning there is another chance to view the Lunar Eclipse

It's not great viewing time but it is fairly good.

On Tuesday Morning very early the moon enters the Earth's full shadow, or umbra, at 4:51 a.m. EDT. It enters the total-eclipse phase at 5:32 EDT and the event ends after sunrise on the East coast.

Only in the West will the entire eclispe be viewable. It will be cut short in the east because of the sunrise,

Maybe we will get a few cloud breaks.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

We held a party for mom's birthday. Kristie and I had so much fun last time we decided to make this one Hawaiian themed also. Kristie made an apple-roasted chicken and some other tropical dishes while I fixed the decorations and provided the music.

Kevin had missed on seeing mom, his grandmother on her actual birthday so he drove up from Athens for the first time by himself. She was so surprised and glad he came. Way to go Kevo. I think the evening was a hit and the food was a perfect.

Love You Mom....

Happy Birthday

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The city of Anderson, the downtown businesses along with Anderson University held a big Welcome Back Students street party Friday night. It was pretty good. They had a great band playing at the court house and free food. What's not to like. A thunderstorm came-up right in the middle but it passed fairly quickly. That thinned the crowd somewhat but those who stuck it out were rewarded with a good time.

Friday, August 24, 2007

About a week and a half ago I finally got to see Bourne Ultimatum. I had plans to be there opening night, but something came up. It was worth the wait.

You really need to see all three of these movies close together in in order. They tell a continuing story.


Bourne Ultimatum starts off at night at the end of The Bourne Supremacy with Bourne still in Moscow fleeing from the police (presumably it's right after he confesses to the Russian girl that he killed her parents).. It continues the same line as before with Jason trying to find out who and / or what he is.

In some ways this is the best of the three, it's VERY action packed. The best scene from the entire trilogy comes in the form of a foot chase through Morocco, and in my humble opinion, the second best scene comes in the car chase at the end.

This time it's personal. Jason Bourne is really angry and confused by the agency that took his identity, killed his girlfriend, and keeps thinking of him as a threat. So the continue trying to assassinate him. He sets his sights on the source to find the men or man who turned him down this path.


My only real criticism of Bourne Ultimatum was too much use of hand held camera. I like that at times because it puts the viewer into the action somewhat. But in this case they used it too much, too often and too long each time. It did help with the style, but it made it very hard to follow the action, and at times just plain made me dizzy. Otherwise a fantastic flick. One I will add to the other two in my collection.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Last night we had dinner out with Blake for the first time. We met Amy, Joel, Ashley and for the first time,Blake at Ruby Tuesday. It was a blast and he was the perfect little gentleman. He just laid in his carrier and grinned at all of us. I know at his age ( one Month ) he really can't see everything but he seemed top really study the brass trumpet hanging on the wall.

We finally got the car back from the air conditioner shop. It was there 10 days. 95% of the delay was not their fault I am sure. The first replacement they put on was also bad and then a few issues beyond their control delayed them further. But it is home now and not a minute too soon. Kris's car which has been down several days goes in tomorrow.

Sam and I were hanging around the airport last night. We wern't doing much, just talking about taking the radio to the shop on Monday. Yes the number two com is semi inop. We were aware of a plane landing and of the rapidly building thunderstorms, but gave it no real thought. Turns out the plane was passing through and landed because of a misfiring engine. It was a young guy about 20-21 who was heading home from taking his flight test. He passed. Welcome !! A brand new pilot. He made the right choice. Those storms became very big and violent quickly. It was already after hours so the airport shop was closed. And his phone was dead. But somehow he noticed us and Sam being an A & P mechanic we grabbed the tools and figured out his problem within 20 minutes it was fixed. ( bad $30 spark plug ) But Steve ( the new pilot ) knew enough not to challenge the storms. And called his father, also a pilot who drove up from Jefferson, Georgia and they spent the night in Anderson. The old saying if you absolutely have to go if you got time to wait

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The fun never stops. I just got a call from the air conditioner shop. They finally got the new unit installed on my car, were checking everything and would you believe it. Then the new one started making a clunking grinding sound. It too was is bad. They have ordered another new one but it will not be ready today. Eight days and counting. To their credit I really don't think the shop is at fault here.

In other fun news. Our dishwasher ( the automatic one ...not me ) did not rinse the last load completely. Is it the next item we have to replace? The trouble shooting guide seem to indicate the soap is OLD and that may be the problem. We just bought it at Sams last week.

Finishing up with good news. My arm is hurting much less today. It may not actually fall off unexpectedly at Dinner tonight.

Time to make a BiLo run.

Life is good.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

We had our first 100% attendance homegroup in a long time Sunday night. Summer has been tough on our respective schedules. Both Ben and Mahalie and Amy any Joel brought the NEWEST members this week. Trey and Blake.

After homegroup we dropped by the construction site to tour Amy and Joel's new house. It's gonna be nice. Ashley and I had a good time talking decorating ideas.

Then Kris and I went on to Firehouse Subs. No
celebrities this week, but the meatball sub was good.
Joe Sangl would be proud of Kris and I when it comes to our attitude about new cars. Our "family" car is several years old. Most people
would have traded-up by now, but we figure it gets us from point a to b and we can make a lot of repairs for the price of a new vehicle. Besides it gets good mileage.

We put a new air conditioning system on it about two months ago. But it locked up and quit working. Under warranty thankfully. So it went back to the shop. But because of a problem beyond their control has caused them to become far behind and it is still there.

Normally that would not be a problem because we still have two other cars. However on Friday Kristie's car the " ' lil Dragster" developed a dead battery. It is eight years old so I was not surprised. Bad news, the jumper cables are in the other car which is in the shop.

So I hooked the charger to it and hoped it would regain enough juice to drive to the shop. But it would not start the next morning. Not even a grunt. So I planned to just take the battery out take it to the store and get a replacement, but would you believe it. I could not get the terminal off. The side post screw is stripped and no amount of twisting and wd40 will break it loose.

Worse still the screws are made of lead and are soft so the socket is now slipping on it as the edges are beginning to round out.

If it still won't start or continue to run I may have to cut the cable off and replace it too. I dread that because it goes somewhere under the car and disappears.

I'll figure out something when I get the other car back. Meanwhile guess I'll just drive my sweetie to work. On my way to the gym.
I made it out of the dentist's office without any serious pain. I needed some preventative work done before it turned into a cavity. More or less ouchless except for the bill.

My day was going along pretty well and then I hurt my arm. I was heading out of a store and the door slammed back into me. The metal know that locks the door caught me just inside the
elbow and left a big bruised spot. It was fine Saturday but hurt slightly on Sunday. On Monday morning it woke me around 4 am aching and throbbing. Today I can hardly use it for some heavier tasks.

I put Flexall on it but it still aches. Must have bruised the bone as my mom used to say. If it is not better by the weekend I guess I'll make a trip to the fast food doctor's clinic ( Medicus )

Friday, August 17, 2007

I am wondering why the current crop of British musical acts sound English. While the first wave did not.

Hmmm !!

No I am not comparing the Arctic Monkeys to the Beatles

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Marine Update.

He is coming to Anderson and will be in rehab for a while at AnMed. This is the same place my father in law stayed after his accident last year with the tree and ladder. It is a great no-nonsense place, but they get results.

Oh and he received his award citation for the Order of the Purple Heart for the second time ( actually a gold star on it ) from the President this week.

Thank you all for your prayers and please continue to remember him as he recovers.

More updates later.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A ham sandwich made on French Toast. That is what I had last night from Doo Dah Day Café. They called it a Monte Cristo or something but it was a French Toast sandwich to me. It was very good however and big.

Kevin joined us too. It was Kristie's get together night with her childhood buddies. Andrew, Teresa's son came and Samantha as well. So Kevin drove up to be with her. Teresa also brought the baby Lincoln, or as I have named him, " LED" after his initials. He is a happy grand child for certain. He sat for hours just watching us and smiling.

The Doo Dah Day Café…is in downtown Anderson right on Main Street. It is an interesting funky little store front place with an unique menu of soups, salads, quiche, sandwiches and
My sandwich was listed in the menu as this:
Monte Cristo ; Black Forest ham, baby swiss, raspberry cream cheese, on grilled, egg-battered brioche bread, sprinkled with powered sugar. You'll leave singing!

We did.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Our second fine cooking movie within a month. First we saw Ratatouille and now Kris and I have seen ( as predicted ) the movie No Reservations.

It's a nice story about a master chef Kate, whose only life is her work. But when her sister dies she has to care for her niece. And on top of that she thinks the new sous-chef is after her job.

But Nick, the new chef is not looking to replace her and despite their differences they find chemistry both in and out of the kitchen.

This was a nice romantic comedy. Entertaining though predictable. Still a tolerable "Chick Flick " guys so take your date and enjoy, then do what I will do. Drag her to see Bourne later in the week.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

It's time for the annual Perseid meteor shower show. For the next few nights we will be experiencing a New Moon, meaning no moon light to mask the display of dozens of shooting stars each hour.

It is interesting to me that even though they appear larger and closer they are actually very small no larger than sand grains, that vaporize in Earth's upper atmosphere.

There will be plenty to see around one or two visible streaks every minute during peak times.

"The August Perseids are among the strongest of the readily observed annual meteor showers, and at maximum activity nominally yield 90 or 100 meteors per hour," said Joe Rao, of

So find a comfortable spot with a clear view of the northeast horizon, staying away from lights.
Lie back and enjoy. Don't forget the bug spray however.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Kristie's cousin Tracy, is celebrating a milestone birthday this month and tonight her sister Tonya and Kristie threw her lū‘au style Hawaiian BBQ. Complete with roasted pork, and grilled chicken and great chopped BBQ beef. Crab stuffed potatoes, and slaw and more sweets than you have ever seen. About 50 -60 people showed up at the lake house to yell "SURPRISE".

We even had Paradise Hawaiian style video playing on the big screen in the den.

It was a hit, despite the over-baring heat. Funny I don't think the gaggle of six year olds playing in the pool cared.

The Air Conditioner in our " family car " locked up again. This one is less than four months old. Back to the shop come Monday I guess.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Kristie's and her staff reached another milestone in this unusual year. The first round of the audits have drawn to a close. Since Kristie has been there, she started hosting an annual outing to celebrate their hard work.

One year they went to the Federal Reserve and to CNN for a tour. Another year it was BMW and movies. But no matter where or what every year they relax, laugh , eat and have a great time. I take an active role and help out with the planning and events so they always include me in the festivities.

For this year Kristie and I planned a hanger party at the airport. They would set up and grill, churn ice cream and play games while a few at a time I would load up and take them flying. We figured on several trips to ride everyone so we planned a whole afternoon.

I was a good idea but the audits lasted a month and a half longer this year so we pushed back the party. Guess what happens in August in South Carolina. HOT HOT and Humid. Everyone was excited at the prospect of a flying around the area. But we managed to pick the hottest day of the season. The forecast called for around 100 degrees so we changed our plans. We started early with a morning of flying and a breakfast buffet at the hanger and planned to be gone by 11am.

It was a blast, though still very hot. Hot pavement and metal hangers are not a summer place to be. It officially hit 104 at the airport at 2pm.

The flights were nice however. And with the 260 hp fan running the plane was not too bad. I think they everyone had fun seeing the local landmarks, the mall, their office and most cases their homes. We all had fun but I think the three student workers had the most fun by far. Laughing , oohing, aahing and pointing out things.

Funny not a single one from that office had flown before other than Kristie. So I got to add half a page of new first time fliers to my log.

After several flights we all headed to Chili's for lunch ( popular vote. ) And then being the only guy I bowed out while the ladies went to a movie. No Reservations. Kristie says I would have liked it so I suspect we will go one evening next week to see it. Actually the synopsis sounds pretty good.

I still need to see Bourne. Can you believe it?
Here is another update on the Marine. His father has gone to Maryland to see him. All in all he is doing fair. They have him in a brace for his back. The doctors say it is not something they can fix with surgery but that it may heal ok with time. Another concern are the leg wounds that continue to get infected. They are treating that as well.

Also they pass on the word that he feels lucky, because most of the people there are in much worse shape.

Some of the men he was with in the explosion are not doing as well. Please remember them in prayer. Also they pass on the word that he feels lucky, because most of the people there are in much worse shape.

Here is the previous updates

Thursday, August 09, 2007

It's my God Daughters birthday

Happy Birthday Hillary

I Love you

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I have taken the past couple days off. Actually I was just plain tired and just didn't feel like writing. Tonight I am going to catch-up a little so I need to borrow a blog phrase. This is a "Mind Dump" post.

NewSpring on Sunday:

I hope you were there, but if not, I really wish you had been at NewSpring this week.

First we changed the counter ( before services ) to 8 minutes this week only because the lead in song was Stairway to Heaven (yes LED ZEP ) and like they said, "You just don't cut Stairway in the middle".

Then the band came out and kicked it up a notch with a super heavy set. Including Cochise by Audioslave. After a couple more songs the lights went down even more and a video started. It was a series of man on the street interviews via video about if Hell was a real place. It was surprising what people said. During the interviews the band played an instrumental version of Hells Bells _ AC/DC very loud in spots yet soft when the people on the video spoke. And then we had PYRO --FIRE FIRE and all over the place. It was the wildest thing ever at NewSpring.

At the end of the video six guys walked out to a nearly dark stage as pallbearers with a coffin. Perry started preaching from inside it . That was cool. Then popped out a few minutes later. Over 120 people got saved. AMAZING

You've GOT to watch the podcast .

Underdog the Movie:

If you know me or read this blog you know I am crazy about cartoons. One of the greatest cartoons was about a dog with super powers. Underdog .

Speed of lightning, Roar of thunder ... There's no need to fear...Underdog is here.

I was excited when I heard they were making this into a movie. I was not disappointed. GO SEE THIS !!!!

Kristie and I went Monday night and it ROCKED !!!!!!

National S'mores Day :

Friday is the day to celebrate a great snack. It's National S'mores Day

Take couple of graham crackers, a marshmallow and add a piece of chocolate and you’ve got a masterpiece .

Hershey Candies says Friday is National S’mores Day, so lets all eat one of the sweet, gooey, crunchy wonders.

Remembering Hiroshima :

Monday was Hiroshima Day. It's been 62 years since we told the world about the atomic age. I visited there years ago and there are still visible reminders everywhere.

Pray it never has to happen again.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

What's on my Mp3 ?

If you know me then you know I am seldom without some tunes.

Here is a bakers dozen I am playing now.
  1. Engines of Creation - Joe Satriani
  2. Ghost Stories- Chantal Kreviazuk
  3. Collection - Marwood
  4. Systematic Chaos - Dream Theater
  5. Blue in the Face - Double Drive
  6. My 25 favorites _ Gilby Clarke
  7. Geoff Tate - Geoff Tate
  8. Song for summer nights - Gilli Moon
  9. Good Monsters - Jars of Clay
  10. Oh Gravity - Switchfoot
  11. The Moment of Now - Barry Richman
  12. Live at the Blue Bird - Steven Deopoulos
  13. The Gathering - City On A Hill
Give some of these a spin yourself.

what did they mean to say ??

Friday, August 03, 2007

Kristie and I continued to enjoy her numerous birthday dinners tonight at my mother and dads. My sister and brother-in law came too. It was a good time.

Mom fixed a new chicken dish with an apricot honey citrus glaze that was just wonderful. Then she added a new carrot salad with dried cranberries and a honey orange sauce. Topped with green beans and new potatoes with a sauce I can only describe as divine. I have no idea what was in it but it was creamy yellow but not hollandaise nor honey mustard based. It was much thicker almost as thick as a tart custard. I forgot to ask her, but it was delicious. And for dessert she made a cherry, pineapple something with whipped cream. It wasn't really a pie. It was kinda like cherry yum yum without the sponge cake. Anyway dad said she had subscribed to a cooking magazine and this was her first issue. SIGN ME UP !!!

It was so good. Thanks mom,
We love ya

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Here is the latest update on our prayer request for our friend the Marine injured in Iraq this week.

The doctors are concerned with the injury to his back and have him in a brace. Also his wounds have become infected so they had to clean those out. He is doing well considering. He's may now be going to Maryland for his further treatment. I suspect that is at the Bethesda Naval Hospital
Please continue to remember him in your prayers.  

Previous post are:


and here

Thanks to all who have emailed their well wishes.

We appreciate your continued prayer

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

10 great business books:

  1. Bible : All the advice, guidance and ethics you'll ever need.
  2. How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie : A Classic ! ! a hands down best
  3. Small Is Beautiful by E.F. Schumacher : Interesting vision for empowerment of your staff
  4. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill: Brains rule
  5. The Art of War by Sun Tzu : Learn and adapt
  6. Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill & Clement Stone : A must
  7. Greatest Salesman In The World by Og Mandino: We all sale something, product or just self.
  8. Moments of Truth by Jan Carlzon : Customer driven business advice from the CEO of S.A.S. Airlines
  9. The Power in Money Dynamics by Venita VanCaspel : Don't spend, save or invest without it.
  10. World Almanac : Filled with every day vital info
Bonus : Dare To Succeed - A Treasury of Inspiration and Wisdom for Life & Career: Given to me by a business friend is priceless for everyone over 15 in your home.

YES that is a scan of my 1936 first edition copy of Dale Carnegie's greatest.
Movies and DVD I am looking forward to.

DVD releases

14 Aug - Wild Hogs
4 Sept - Alvin & the Chipmunks ( cartoon )
18 Sept - We Are Marshall
20 Nov - Santa Clause 3 - Escape Clause

At the movies

3 Aug - Underdog ( the movie )
3 Aug - Bourne Ultimatium
24 Aug - Mr Beans Holiday
7 Dec - Leatherheads
14 Dec - Chipmunks ( movie )
21 Dec - National Treasure 2
22 May 08 - Indiana Jones 4
20 June 08 - Get Smart ( movie )
7 Nov 08 - JAMES BOND 007