Saturday, October 22, 2005

Geocaching


Tonight, my husband and I started our new "hobby". We had decided we needed something more to keep us busy, especially around here. So, we decided to try geocaching. We did a lot of land navigation when we were both in the Army. It is the same thing, basically, except instead of cool little gadgets & such at the point, you usually just had more work to do when you found the point! So this is pretty fun. We found our first site with no problems at all and it had some really neat stuff there to look through.

So, to make a long story short, get off your couch & go to this site and see what it is all about. You might enjoy it!!!

http://www.geocaching.com

Friday, October 21, 2005

Oh, That!!!

Thanks to a fellow blogger at http://actioniseloquence.blogspot.com, I found a really sad but true statement about our blind faith in the media, flaws in our watchfullness as people, and how screwed up our current situations (*plural) are around the world. You must see this.

http://www.markfiore.com/animation/that.html

Nice to meet you, Grandpa...

I have never met my grandpa (maternal side). He passed away in the late sixties before I was born. All I really know about him is that he served in WWII & was a pretty good father to my mom, when she was actually able to be around him (due to a bitter divorce).

Through the years, I have only seen one picture of him. It is faded and worn and is of him in his military uniform from the war. Leaning up against a white picket fence, arms crossed, smiling. He looks young, mischievous, vibrant & charming. And of course, atop his head he wears his hat, cocked a little to the side, like they all did back then.

So last night, in my dreams, I was quite surprised to find myself sitting in a football arena, for some strange reason, all alone in the stands. I sat there alone for quite awhile until I felt a presence to my right. I looked over and saw a man walking toward me with his hand in his pocket, smiling gently. All I remember from then on in this dream is he walks slowly toward me, and takes a seat right next to me in the arena. I smile at him & he smiles back. "Good to meet you," I say, somehow completely aware he is my grandfather, although he is much older than the one picture I have seen. He smiles.

I woke up, and sat up in my bed, the dream feeling very real as only certain dreams usually do to me. I went back to sleep but I thought about him all day until I decided to call my mom and tell her about my dream. I told her exactly what I told you, except I noticed after I finished she had grown completely silent. "Mom, you there?," I asked. With a shaky voice, on the verge of tears, she uttered "He always had his hand in his pocket."

So, all afternoon now, I have felt his presence, but I don't know what it means. All this time, I have never dreamt of him. My mother rarely mentions him, and I have only seen one picture of him. Now, he decides to show up and I wonder what it means.

Regardless of what it means, I now feel better about things, just knowing he is around, apparently watching after me....And that feels great. So, thanks, grandpa for stopping in. It was nice to meet you.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Pull out? Support the troops?


Someone said that we, the United States, need to pull out of Iraq immediately. It's difficult for me to disagree with them, emotionally, as the death toll just for the Americans alone steadily climbs above 2000. Not to mention that I lost a good comrade through this mess, and one of my nephews was injured severely by a roadside bomb.

However, I have to think rationally about this; turn off the emotion. Regardless of what your views of the war are, there is no way we can ethically pull out right now. I disagreed with the reasons we were given for going to Iraq as well as the timing. I feel that we, as American people were misled into this war, and that our administration also was misled and didn't take the time to weight the evidence of WMD. (pretty sad you know exactly what that stands for now, isn't it?)

Yes, I am glad that a horrible dictator is out of control and being brought to justice. I am happy for the Iraqi people having even the slightest chance of leading a better life, but sometimes with endless bombings all around them, it seems as though the Iraqi people are worse off now than before. And that is not to blame our troops. Our troops are doing everything they can and most of them truly care about trying to make things better.

But, regardless of if we were wrong or right about this war (and I think we were wrong from day 1), it is now our responsibility as human beings, not necessarily just as Americans, to ensure that we at least restore some sense of stability to the area. We can't just go in, destroy the country and leave it to waste & ruin. There are human beings there that are innocent & deserve better than that & it is just plain wrong! That would be like going into someone's home, uninvited, ramsacking it in the excuse that we are confescating some illegal drug and then just leaving them, without cleaning up the mess or helping them find a better way to deal with life.

So the question then becomes, will the suicide bombers and insurgencies ever stop or slow down enough to get a handle on the situation so that we can restore peace, a democratic government and leave Iraq properly and respectfully?

The problem is that I don't know the answer, and I don't think our administration knows the answer either. And that scares me. I think we jumped into this thing head-on without a proper plan. So what can we do to save it? I really don't know.

Our troops are doing the best they can with what they have and what they have isn't enough. The government says they support the troops and everyone drives around with their little yellow ribbon car magnets but supporting the troops goes a lot further than words from a politician or car-magnets. Proper equipment, proper plan, armor, stop cutting Veterans Administration healthcare funding.....all of these are critical.

I really hope our elected officials can fix this and get us out of Iraq the correct, proper, and admirable way.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Farewell, Delhi Palace!


I can't believe it. Today, my husband and I went to have lunch at our "cultural refuge" here in town. It is THE ONLY Indian food restaurant & one of just a handfuls of cultural venues in this one-track town of big fancy chain restaurants, hamburgers & French fries as far as the eye can see.

On the drive, I dreamt (in the passenger's seat, mind you) of mango lassi, and debated between curry or masala of some sort. Just as my palette was beginning to water & anticipate the experience, I heard my husband gasp as he pulled into the parking space of the restaurant.

I looked up at the front door, and much to my dismay, I saw a "CLOSED" sign hanging from the door. In disbelief, we got out of the car & staggered like misled sheep up to the door. Our friend, the owner, walked out as he saw us. He was wearing a day-old beard that told of a heartbreaking decision, and a sloppy sweatshirt, completely out of character for him. His head in disappointment and his big brown eyes were full of disappointment. He shook his head & shrugged his shoulders as he informed us of his restaurant's failure.

"Not enough customers," he mumbled as if he had already had a few drinks at 12 pm. "I am out of business." He finished as he looked away from us, tears welling in his eyes. I felt my heart sink and I looked to my husband for strength but he was biting his lip, staring down at the crack in the cement.

We had gone at least once a week every week since they had opened to help support them. Their food was DELICIOUS & the restaurant, while quaint and quiet, was very clean & inviting. We always found it a refreshing reminder of the wonderful world outside of this extremely closed-minded town. We had noticed no growth in their clientele but also no slacking, and we had tried our best to spread the word of their magnificent service & menu around town. But, I guess, to people in oversized SUV's who, when the term "Indian Food" is mentioned spurt things like, "What? You mean Injuns?", well, what can you expect?

With a hug & handshake, we wished he & his family better ventures & thanked him for endless escapes he provided us from the "fried chicken & Mashed potatoes fantasies" of the masses here. So, since we were now limited on time, we went to.......Sonic....And ate a hamburger. Yes, they are tasty from time to time but I couldn't even finish it. I just felt so badly for our friend & his honest family, trying so hard to make things work in this foreign land of America.



So, to you, our friend, we will miss you. We wish you and your family the very best & we are sorry that so few people in this completely self-centered town took the time to stop stuffing their faces at the "China buffet" long enough to delve into some culture. Farewell, Delhi Palace.

In the meantime, I guess we will be buying an Indian Food cookbook & giving it a shot.
adopt your own virtual pet!