Monday, May 30, 2011

Garden of Stone

I'm often amazed by what I find when I look at the world through the lens of my camera. I took a walk today, braving what was an exceedingly hot Memorial Day here in the D.C. area. All along I was wishing CamelBak made a camera bag so I might carry both my camera and a supply of cool water.

But that's not the point of this post. Opening your eyes is.

My walk took me to Arlington National Cemetery. I've been there before, often when it snowed and around Christmas, but I think this was the first time I went on Memorial Day.

Coming into the cemetery there are memorials to many of the U.S. military's units. In front of the memorial for the 101st Airborne Division, there were probably 20 or so floral arrangements, but this one caught my eye ...
.Maj. Richard Winters, who the world came to know through the book and mini-series Band of Brothers, died earlier this year on Jan. 2. He was 92 years old. In the mini-series, Winters quoted a fellow soldier, saying, "I cherish the memories of a question my grandson asked me the other day when he said, 'Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?' Grandpa said 'No… but I served in a company of heroes.' "

Indeed he did.

As I entered Arlington I bent around to the right. If you've never been to Arlington, the headstones are, for the most part, as uniform as anything you'll ever see. Aligned in staggered ranks, the Marines, soldiers, sailors, airmen and Coast Guardsmen are in formation as if they were awaiting inspection.

There are few things that make one of the stones stand out, but the pile of rocks atop the one below drew my attention. I saw it from behind and I wondered who it might be that would draw such attention. As soon as I read the name, it was easy to understand the respect he is paid ...

Medgar Evers served in the Army in France during World War II and was buried with full military honors after he was murdered, shot down in his driveway for believing that all men are indeed created equal.

My original intent was to try to get the quintessential Arlington picture - endless rows of white marble stones and fluttering flags. I don't think I quite succeeded, but that was mainly because I was in the more rolling part of the cemetery. This picture, however, came the closest ...

And, finally, the words on this balloon pretty much say it all ...

When I got home and got a closer look at this picture I saw that HMC John David Wilson was a Navy chief hospitalman serving with the Fleet Marine Force. He was a corpsman serving with the Marines. Navy corpsmen hold a special place in Marines' hearts because we know that no matter what, no matter how badly we're hit and how bad the enemy fire is, a corpsman will crawl through the very gates of Hell to pull a wounded Marine to safety.

Thanks to you and all your brothers and sisters for keeping us safe and free. Semper fi Chief.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I got my eye on you

Looks like we're going to have some decent weather here in the D.C. area for the Memorial Day weekend. It's been a long haul since our last three-day weekend (Presidents' Day) so I'd say this is some well deserved time off.

While you're out grilling and barbecuing and enjoying the start of summer with your friends, all I ask is that you take a moment to remember the reason for the season. For anyone who's a little foggy (hehehe) on the concept, Memorial Day is the day we here in the U.S. are supposed to honor our Marines, sailors, soldiers, airmen and Coast Guardsmen who've died in service to our country.

Hope everyone has a great weekend and, to kick it off I leave you with some humor and some trivia. Enjoy!

The 6th grade science teacher, Mrs. Parks, asked her class, "Which human body part increases to ten times its size when stimulated?"

No one answered until little Mary stood up and said, "You should not be asking sixth-graders a question like that! I'm going to tell my parents, and they will go and tell the principal, who will then fire you!"

Mrs. Parks ignored her and asked the question again, "Which body part increases to 10 times its size when stimulated?"

Little Mary's mouth fell open. Then she said to those around her, "Boy, is she going to get in big trouble!"

The teacher continued to ignore her and said to the class, “Anybody?"

Finally, Billy stood up, looked around nervously, and said, "The body part that increases 10 times its size when stimulated is the pupil of the eye."

Mrs. Parks said, "Very good, Billy," then turned to Mary and continued. "As for you, young lady, I have three things to say:

"One, you have a dirty mind."

"Two, you didn't read your homework."

"And three, one day you are going to be "very, very disappointed."

Yes, yes she will.

And now, some trivia questions:

Can anyone name for me the two sets of homophones in the English language that have no common letters?

And, finally, can you name for me the only word that goes from verb to noun by capitalizing one letter?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bravo Zulu*

For some reason, a song keeps running through my head this morning ...



America, FUCK YEAH!
Coming again, to save the mother fucking day yeah,
America, FUCK YEAH!
Freedom is the only way yeah,
Terrorist your game is through cause now you have to answer too,
America, FUCK YEAH!
So lick my butt, and suck on my balls,
America, FUCK YEAH!
What you going to do when we come for you now,
it’s the dream that we all share; it’s the hope for tomorrow


McDonalds, FUCK YEAH!
Wal-Mart, FUCK YEAH!
Baseball, FUCK YEAH!
Rock and roll, FUCK YEAH!
The Internet, FUCK YEAH!
Slavery, FUCK YEAH!


Starbucks, FUCK YEAH!
Disney world, FUCK YEAH!
Valium, FUCK YEAH!
Reeboks, FUCK YEAH!
Fake Tits, FUCK YEAH!
Taco Bell, FUCK YEAH!
Rodeos, FUCK YEAH!
Bed bath and beyond (Fuck yeah, Fuck yeah)

Liberty, FUCK YEAH!
White Slips, FUCK YEAH!
The Alamo, FUCK YEAH!
Band-aids, FUCK YEAH!
Las Vegas, FUCK YEAH!
Christmas, FUCK YEAH!
Immigrants, FUCK YEAH!
Popeye, FUCK YEAH!
Democrats, FUCK YEAH!
Republicans (republicans)
(fuck yeah, fuck yeah)

Here’s to the SeALs and the CIA and everyone else who made yesterday's events possible. Although, as a friend of mine who’s involved in the world of black ops just texted me, “Unfortunately, don’t think this makes a tactical difference.”

Sadly, he’s probably correct.

But, on the brighter side, we now have one less asshole to kill.

*Since it was reported the folks involved were Navy SeALs who did the take-down, I thought I'd go with the traditional naval congratulations this morning. "B" and "Z" were the signal flags hoisted by ships to signal "well done."