Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Double Nickel

Today the Colonel begins his 56th air-breathing ride 'round 'ol Sol. In infantry years that makes him a hundred and ten. Still, that sounds better than three hundred and eighty-five dog years.

Frankly, while achieving the age of fifty-five doesn't seem like much of a milestone anymore, the Colonel didn't expect to live past thirty. So, every year for the past twenty-five has been a joyous bonus. The Colonel just hopes that he has been the only one making such an accounting of his life.

There are, the Colonel is finding, several advantages to reaching this age:

Outfits like AARP send the Colonel something to start a fire with almost every week now.

The Colonel doesn't have to react angrily any more when some pimply-faced mouth-breather behind a cash register offers him a senior-citizen discount. This has been going on since he turned forty (see aging effects of infantry in the first paragraph above).

The Colonel doesn't have to feel guilty any more when he accepts the senior-citizen discount offered by some pimply-faced mouth-breather behind a cash register.

The Colonel no longer feels the need to shave and get dressed up to go into town.

There's a whole bunch of new fellows with whom the Colonel has gotten to make friends. Like, for instance, the Ologist Brothers--Procter, Optham, and Ur.

To celebrate this not-so-auspicious day, the Colonel may take his trusty red tractor, Semper Field for a spin. Or take a nap.

Nap sounds good.

Monday, January 24, 2011

"Put your money where your mouth is!"

The Pastor of the church to which the Colonel belongs offered to the congregation yesterday, with no little irony, that the second most dangerous place to live in America is the city just to the north of us here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere--Memphis, Tennessee; and the most dangerous place in our nation is...

in a mother's womb.

While these re-United States do not hold first place on the planet for infanticide in the name of that most ironic of all euphemisms -- "family planning" -- (The People's Republic of China, neither of the people nor a republic, holds that dubious distinction); one million, three hundred thousand human lives are ended each year in America in aborted pregnancies.

The Colonel knows that, of the five of you who regularly waste valuable rod and cone time perusing posts hereon, there may be one of two who strenuously disagree with the Colonel's pro-life, anti-abortion stand. The Colonel respects your right to that opinion, however misguided and delusional it may be. And, the Colonel writes the last with all the love and compassion he can muster in the shrivelled, over-worked lump of barely viable tissue that is his heart.

However, while those who sincerely cling to the contemporary canard that there is a constitutional right to privacy that by extension provides a right for a female citizen of these re-United States to chose whether to allow the birth of the child she carries in her womb are indeed entitled to their own opinion, they are not entitled to their own facts.

Here are the facts:

1. Life begins at conception.

Were the foregoing not universally accepted as scientific truth, the entire basis for the scientifically-accepted theory of the origin of life on Earth would have no standing. The Colonel will not bore you with the interminable details, but suffice it to say that a human child in the womb exhibits as many, or more of, the essential characteristics of life as exhibited by the simple organisms touted as the origins of life on Earth.

2. Life, no matter how low the condition, beats the alternative.

To piously intone that "a child who will not be loved should not be brought into this world" is to assume a sure knowledge of the entire future of that child from birth to death. The Colonel has known many who felt they were "not loved" by their parents, some of whom endured horrific abuse at their parents' or other's hands, but whose adult lives were veritable miracles of productivity and loving acceptance by others.

3. The vast majority of aborted pregnancies are a matter of temporary convenience.

Less than 5% of all abortions conducted in these re-United States are for cases of rape or incest, or to protect the health of the mother. The remaining infanticide is just that, inexcusable infanticide.

4. Right-to-Life/Choice is not a politically left or right issue.

The most damning and most ignored fact in all the heat and light generated over the abortion issue is that the rate of incidence of abortion in these re-United States is nearly identical whether you are talking about a mother who self-identifies as a conservative, liberal, Democrat, Republican, or Independent. And, there is no difference "churched" or "un-churched."

The last is the point at which the Colonel has turned to whatever congregation to which he has belonged (nearly 20 in his life, thanks to that over-zealous travel agent--Uncle Sam) and not-so-gently said,

"Put your money where your mouth is!"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Weighty Matters

Earlier this week the Colonel made the mistake of stepping onto a set of scales, and now he has placed himself on what the Old Corps used to call "Weight Control."

There was a time in the halcyon days of his youth wherein the Colonel struggled mightily to maintain enough poundage on his slight frame to prevent himself from becoming a missile hazard in high winds. Was the Colonel skinny?

Is "I" Barrack Obama's favorite word?

Does Rush Limbaugh secretly wear slap shoes and a big red nose?

Is the National Debt a big number?

Does John Boehner use a box of Kleenex instead of a gavel?

Just "how skinny was the Colonel?," the five of you who regularly waste valuable rod and cone time perusing posts hereon ask.

The Colonel was so skinny that if he turned sideways and stuck out his tongue, he looked like a zipper.

The Colonel was so skinny that a stick figure drawing by a third-grader was actually a pretty good likeness.

The Colonel was so skinny that the family dog kept trying to bury him in the back yard.

The Colonel was so skinny that in bright sunshine you could look right through him. Most girls, with the exception of the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda, did.

The Colonel was so skinny that in a t-shirt and shorts he looked like a pair of knees and a pair of elbows orbitting a pillow case.

When the Colonel stepped off the bus at OCS, a really funny Marine staff sergeant called out to him, "C'mere you. The Quantico Elementary field trip was on the other bus." After he finished hysterically laughing at his own joke, that Marine leaned in real close and growled "Candidate, how much do you weigh?"

"Sir, the Candidate weighs a hundred and twenty-five pounds, sir."

"Sir?!? Don't ever call me 'sir,' Candidate! I'm no officer. I work for a living! You call me Staff Sergeant. You got that?"

"Yes, Staff Sergeant!"

"That's better! Okay, Candidate, because I can barely see you when you are standing still, when ever you are talking to me I want you doing side-straddle hops."

OCS was such fun.

The Colonel was one of the few people in the history of the Marine Corps to ever have graduated from basic training actually heavier than when he started. The very funny staff sergeant made sure of that. He would cruise the tables at chow time taking food off of other candidates' plates -- "You don't need that roll, Fat Body!" --and putting it on the Colonel's.

The Colonel was a beefy one hundred and thirty-two pounds when he paraded across the grinder at graduation.

The scales upon which the Colonel stepped earlier this week indicated a mass just a tad greater than that. "Tad" defined in this case as the combined mass of the entire frozen pie selection in the freezers at Kroger. When the Colonel turns sideways and sticks out his tongue he looks like a zipper...on a bowling ball.

The Colonel's church will hold its annual Youth v. Adult flag football game in three weeks. If he doesn't lose some weight quick, they are going to make the Colonel play offensive lineman instead of his customary, albeit world's slowest, wide receiver.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ice Station Eegeebeegee

A rare heavy snowfall here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere put a serious crimp in the Colonel's sawdust production plans for this week. Where the felling of several large pine trees for conversion into lumber and sawdust was on the schedule, digging out from under six plus inches of snow was, by necessity, inserted. A couple of hours of shoveling snow off the drive pretty much wore the old man out.

About an hour into the snow removal exercise, the Colonel began to have a serious discussion with himself regarding the wisdom of the move from the flat, featureless, snowless, sandy shores of the Gulf Coast nearly four years ago.

"'Boring,' you said. 'Flat, sandy, muggy and buggy,' you complained. Well, you got you some excitement now didn't you knucklehead. Look at you, shoveling snow! You could be fishing in shirtsleeves right now. But, Nooo, you had to have some land with hills and dirt. Got down to any dirt, yet, through this glacier?"

"It's not a glacier," the Colonel countered to himself, "it's just six inches of snow. Quit your whinin' and keep shoveling. Man, you've gotten soft in your old age! Besides, you were always complainin' about dodgin' hurricanes down there in the Scumslime state."

"Yeah," the Colonel's whinin' alter ego sniffed, "no hurricanes up here, just TORNADOES and blizzards! You ain't showed enough sense to come in outa the rain since you were fifteen. Grow up, admit you were wrong, and move us somewhere WARM!"

"Shaddup!," the Colonel commanded. "Life is great here. Besides, the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere doesn't get snow like this but every twenty years or so..."

"Great. So you can look forward to doing this again when you're seventy-five. My, won't that be a hoot!"

Two hours into shovelling and sniveling, the Colonel had cleared about ten square feet of snow off of the drive, and paused to lean on his shovel for a short strategic planning session and eyelid light leak check. He was diverted from these important duties by a high-pitched squealing that signalled the spilling forth from the Big House of the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda and the Hope of 21st Century Civilization, Dashes 1 and 2 (H21CC-1 & 2), wearing every piece of clothing in their closets.

The high-pitched squealing wasn't quite annoying enough to completely divert the Colonel from his strategic planning session and eyelid light leak check. The ice-encrusted H21CC-launched snowball in the Colonel's right ear completed that mission nicely.

The good news is that the temps are not expected to be above freezing for the next week, and this white stuff is gonna be blanketing the ground for several days to come.