25 October 2007

Bruddah Iz

I first took note of the tune when we rented the Chick-Flick
"Meet Joe Black".
The tune starts with a Ukulele solo, sweet and simple.
A few bars later you hear a clear tenor voice,
And that's it-
Just the Uke and one voice.
It was beautiful.

I'm an oddball about watching movie credits. I want to know who directed, who wrote the book from which the screenplay was adapted, who wrote the screenplay. I like to know who flew the helicopter. I also read the credits if I'm impressed by the music.
The tune that impressed me was the medley

"What A Wonderful World/Over The Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, known in Hawaii as "Bruddah Iz".
You've probably heard the tune. I also heard it later in the soundtracks of
"Finding Forrester" and
"50 First Dates".

I've been thinking of Bruddah Iz and Hawaii a lot lately.
We leave for Hawaii early Halloween morning.

We'll stop in Mesa and spend the night with Big Bubba, then the three of us will board an ATA 757 for the trip to Honolulu. We'll meet a few friends there and will be there for a week.
My only other visit to Honolulu was in 1968, when the stretched DC-8 carrying me and about 299 of my best friends stopped to refuel on the way to Saigon. Most of the 300 of us made our way to the airport bar... we had an hour or so layover. I had two Scotch-and-Water with a Twist doubles, and since it was night-time, don't really remember much about Honolulu, except that the weather was perfect.

So this really will be my first time there.

We intend to visit the Arizona Memorial, the Battleship Missouri, and tour Pearl Harbor/Ford Island. (That'll be easy- we're staying on Ford Island.) We also intend to find our way to the Big Island to get as close to molten lava as possible. But beyond those sights we need help. Got any suggestions about "must-see's" while we're there?

Back to Bruddah Iz...
He died at age 38 from heart problems, no doubt brought on by the fact that he was 6' 2" tall and weighed 753 pounds.
A lovely, talented man, dead 'way too soon.

I found this video with the tune I referred to. Watch carefully near the end and you can see them casting Bruddah Iz's ashes to the beautiful, blue water:

22 October 2007

Yeah, But How Smart?

Startled awake... just after 3 A.M...


If you've owned a dog, you've probably heard the sound represented by my poor interpretation of them trying to regurgitate something they should not have eaten.

The wretching starts quietly, then gets louder and more dramatic with each spasm until finally-
...and you see them standing sheepishly over the mucous filled, carpet staining amalgam of whatever it was they shouldn't have ingested a couple hours before.

But Lucy had awakened me with her distress in time for me to jump from bed while grabbing her as I stepped quickly to the Master Bath, and placed her so she could safely barf within the confines of the bathtub.
When she was done, in the center of the slimy mass... a pebble.
(Don't ask me.... ask her!)

The next night/morning... a re-run, only this time it was a little earlier... closer to 2 A.M.
The offending pseudo-food this time was one of the yellow foam earplugs I use for noise protection. (Chewy... the little thief stole it off my end table.)
Again, we successfully made it to the tub prior to the eruption.

The following night was a work night for me. When I got home after work, Sara Jean said,
"You'll never believe it! Lucy woke me up wretching again. When I sat up to grab her she wasn't on the bed, so I jumped up and started moving toward her sound effects. When I got to her, SHE WAS ALREADY IN THE TUB!"
(This is no easy task for Lucy. She's so small, jumping into the tub would be slightly dangerous for her.)

I'm amazed.
In two previous incidents she had learned where to throw up, and had decided to do it without human help.
So... how smart are dogs?
Some of them are smarter than some humans!

19 October 2007

The Silent Majority

President Nixon used to refer to "The Silent Majority". At the time he used the term, I agreed with the idea of a Silent Majority, but had no way to prove such a thing existed. Information was controlled by Big Media. The majority had no media voice... and therefore was "Silent".

Ahh, but how things have changed! The Silent Majority still doesn't make the obnoxious splash made by organizations like Code Pink or Moveon.org, but more and more conservative blogs show our existence cannot be denied.

In the last weeks, much has been made of fundraising, comparing Democrat and Republican party receipts. It's still really early in the game, so some pundits have cautioned us to wait until both parties have selected their candidates before watching how the money flows to each of them.

Democrats should take heed to that advice.
I personally feel their behavior has frequently bordered on treason, and I'm not the only one in my circle of acquaintances that feels that way. The Democrat initiative on the Armenian genocide last week was kinda the straw that broke the camels back for me.

This week I was heartened by this.
Anyone thinking the Silent Majority has not found their voice will be surprised at the outcome of the next general election.

Nothing... not a PEEP, about the auction on CNN Headline News, or CNN.com!
Wonder why?

14 October 2007

Lanza, Andretti, Gabelli, Et. Al.

At age 60, I frequently find myself awake at 3:30 A.M., wondering if I can turn the TV on to catch a little news without waking Sara Jean. TV advertising for sleeping aids has increased as we "Boomers" have entered a new phase in our lives, so I take comfort that this experience is probably not all that different from my peers. What I find interesting is the way our minds work, (or don't work), during this sometimes "half awake" period of time.

For whatever reason, this morning my mind focused on the name "Mario".
This gearhead immediately thought of Mr. Andretti... perhaps the greatest race car driver that ever depressed a throttle, but I also thought of the actor/tenor, and the recently scandal-ridden mutual fund manager named Mario.

Here's my question:
By adding the masculine "O", did Italians find a way to name boys Mary?

I'm treading dangerous territory here, I know. But remember, this is "half awake" thinking.
If these guys are really named Mary and it becomes general knowledge, Marios the world over will need to be warned to avoid saloons in Wyoming or in certain small towns in Alabama!
(Or maybe they can just go by the nickname "Butch"?)

08 October 2007

Helicopter Crash!

More than two years ago, before I knew how to make going to links simple for you, I wrote this post.

Yesterday, I laughed and shook my head when I was "net alerted" to this article.
(You have to read the last sentences of the article to see that with "News" people, nothing really changes!)
Di, these dummies are from Roanoke!

07 October 2007

The Best Line of the Week-

If you are easily offended, stop reading now.

Talking about how effective Liberals are at stopping evil in the world ie. protecting freedom of speech for everyone,
in a comment to
this post,
Josh Scholar wrote the line of the week:

"... Puffed up turds. They are to shit what cheese puffs are to corn.
I would go quite a distance to avoid being associated with such people."

Slam... Bam... 10-Count... "Yer out!"

That folks, describes it crudely, but perfectly for me.

Instapundit led me there.

04 October 2007

Memory and Coincidence

September 1st was Mother's 82nd birthday. She's very well, all things considered...
thank you for asking!
One of these days I'll treat you to a comprehensive "Nellie" post, and by showing her sense of humor, give you insights into her son.

But that's for another day...

Mom is now living in a "Luxurious Senior Living" apartment in Pensacola.
It's a beautiful place... Grand Piano and two fireplaces in the foyer, pool, arts and crafts room, library, exercise room, putting green, billiards room...
I hope to live as well if and when I reach that stage in my life. Sometimes she forgets and loses things. Nothing odd about that... she's 82 and most things she's lost turn up later. "Wonder how that got THERE?!"
So I wasn't surprised two days ago when she said, "I've forgotten which unit you were in in Viet Nam. There's a gal here who talks about her son flying helicopters and she said what unit he was in, but I couldn't remember if that was your outfit."

I emailed and reminded her I was at Camp Enari in the 4th Infantry Division with the
"Gambler Guns" my first three months in Viet Nam, then I was infused North to Chu Lai and spent the rest of my tour with the Americal Division and the "Warlords".

The number of American soldiers in Viet Nam reached its' peak in 1969 while I was there... something like 550,000 U.S. Troops. When I came home and some nice grandmotherly type, hearing I had just returned would ask "Did you know my grandson, Bob Smith?", I would smile and just say "No, I don't think so." To her credit, Mom started off acknowledging the chances I'd know her neighbor's son were slim...
"But wouldn't that be a coincidence?!"

Yesterday she emailed:
"She told her son your name and he said, Greybeard? Sure I know him! Prince of a fellow! We went to O.C.S. and Flight School together, and my hooch in Viet Nam was 300 feet from his!"

And when Mom said his name, his face came to mind and the memories flooded in. (OPD, It's Wiggs.)

So, the next time you're forced to look for a needle in a haystack, don't be dismayed...
You MAY prick yourself with the first handful!

02 October 2007


Can you believe it? This was just a couple months ago!
(Thank God, "Wishin' don't make it so!")

01 October 2007

Airline Reservations Rant

Yeah, that's the way I feel sometimes.
Several months of operating a muffler-less chain saw... years of riding noisy motorcycles... and 40 years of operating turbine helicopters, (even with proper hearing protection), have taken their toll on my hearing. So it really seems to me the Airlines have conspired to frustrate me in this stage of my life!

We leave for a week in Hawaii with beloved classmates on 1 November. We'll be flyin' to Mesa to spend the night with Big Bubba, then he will accompany us to Hawaii for the week. Through a mis-communication, we ended up making our reservations separately. Although we are traveling to Honolulu on the same airplane, we didn't insure we would be seated together.
I decided to remedy that situation this morning.

Our reservations were through Priceline.com. Our flight was booked on ATA. That presents a problem all its' own, 'cause those folks don't talk to one another. But the most irritating thing is that when you dial an 800 number these days you can just about bet you'll get someone that speaks English with a wonderful, lilting accent. If they are a soft-speaking individual, this tired old hearing-impaired Fart simply cannot understand what is being said at the other end of the line.
I got put on hold, and the music they played during that interim was loud enough to be heard across the room when I laid the phone down!
Why can't the customer service reps speak at the same volume as the "hold" music?

Gettin' old's a bitch!