If you do not know me (I mean, really know me) then there is something you need to understand before you read this blog: I value the truth above everything else... except a good laugh. A good laugh will almost always beat the truth as far as I’m concerned. Everything you read on this blog will be true, somewhat true, or something I made up in an effort to get a laugh. Sometimes I will go on a rant that I don’t really mean (or only kind of mean). Sometimes I will mean what I write only to completely change my mind a year, month, or day later. Such is life. By reading this blog you agree not to get offended by anything I write (or, at the very least, you agree not to tell me or anyone else that you are offended). It is worth noting that my employer does not endorse my blog (or even read it, to tell you the truth). The Wife also does not endorse my blog (though she will read it from time to time). I am not paid to write this... it’s just my way of giving back to the community. I have, and will, touch on a wide range of subjects and will give my opinion on these subjects. Again, most of what I say is for laughs but every now and then I will say what I really think and feel (see my views on Westboro Baptist Cult). How will you know when I’m serious and when I’m trying to get a laugh? You’ll know. And if you don’t know, well... maybe this isn’t the best thing for you to be reading. So, sit back, read and enjoy. Leave comments if you want and don’t be afraid to publicly follow me.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!!!!!!! RIP Mr. Williams

Happy Birthday to Mom! She turns 65 today… which means we’re going to look at 65 things about my Mommy (and the year she was born):

1. I am her favorite child. There, I said it. I know you were waiting for it. So I decided to get it out of the way early. (***Note: Don’t bother asking Mom about this, she’ll just deny it… but you know I wouldn’t lie to you).

2. She was raised in Knightsville, SC.

3. She has a double first name (Linda Sue).

4. Coach McKissick had been the head football coach at Summerville for about 50 years when Mom graduated from there. (***Note: Ok, maybe not 50 years… but he was there and he wasn’t a “new” coach at the time).

5. She grew up on a farm.

6. She is a retired school teacher (she taught music at elementary schools on James Island).

7. She has a son who is older than the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Here’s a hint… it ain’t me).

8. It took her less than 4 years to graduate from Columbia College.

9. Every Labor Day Weekend we get together with her roommates from Columbia College and their families.

10. She was the long time organ player/music director for Johns Island Presbyterian Church. Mom took the job on a temporary basis to help them get through Christmas… she retired over 20 years later.

11. Her mom (my Granny) has a Sunday School class named after her at two churches (Bethany and Knightsville… not 100% sure the class at Knightsville is still named after her, but I know the one at Bethany is).

12. On Mom’s last Sunday as the Music Director at JIPC, the sermon was about her… to the point that I had to look to make sure she wasn’t dead.

13. She had an Aunt named “Sister”. It was many years after she passed away that I realized Aunt Sister’s real name wasn’t “Sister”.

14. Mom’s Aunt Sister has a closet in Bethany dedicated to her. I’m not 100% sure what’s in there, but Mom thinks it’s the closet where they keep the Communion stuff.

15. When I would come up to bat, Mom would always yell for me to hit the ball. I acted like I couldn’t hear her... but inside it always made me laugh. Honestly, what did she think I was trying to do?

16. On second thought, after thinking about my hitting ability there is a good chance Mom really didn’t know I was trying to hit the ball every time at bat.

17. Mom’s favorite music is hip-hop. Haha, just kidding. It’s beach music and classical music.

18. 14 days before Mom was born, Project Diana bounced radar waves off the moon, measuring the exact distance between the earth and the moon... proving that communication is possible between Earth and outer space, effectively opening the space age.

19. The Central Intelligence Group was established a few days after Mom was born (it later became the CIA in 1947).

20. Ho Chi Minh was elected President of North Vietnam the year Mom was born.

21. In a speech given the year Mom was born, Winston Churchill talked about the Iron Curtain.

22. The UK granted Transjordan its independence the year Mom was born. It later chanced its name to Jordan (in honor of Michael Jordan... Haha, just kidding).

23. Mom has 3 children (all born in the 1970’s)... legend has it that she told Dad she wanted to stop having children after they “got it right”.

24. She’s a little over a year away from having two children in their 40’s. WOW.

25. There is a well known story in our family about when her favorite child was born. That night while at the hospital Dad leaned over Mom and their friend Jan thought it was so sweet that he was leaning over to give Mom a kiss... except he wasn’t leaning over to give her a kiss. He was leaning over to turn on the tv to watch Super Bowl XIII.

26. MaMa and I used to lovingly call Mom “Boss Lady”.

27. I remember when I was growing up, she would come into my room and move something about 8-10 inches from where it was and call it “cleaning my room”.

28. She would help me study for spelling tests. She would call out the word and before I could get done trying to spell the word, she would be asleep.

29. After my first or second ear surgery (I don’t remember which) Mom slept in the den so she could hear me if I needed her. I had to get out of bed and walk out to the den to wake her up to tell her I needed her.

30. She won’t admit it, but I think the scariest moment in her life was when I got up to talk at MaMa’s funeral. Can you blame her? I mean, me with a live mic? Even I wasn’t 100% sure what would come out of my mouth.

31. She also probably won’t admit this, but the most shocking thing to her is the fact that Sonny (whose Native American name is “He of Few Words”) fills in as the preacher at his church when needed.

32. Japanese Lt. General Masaharu Homma was executed the year Mom was born for leading the Bataan Death March.

33. Syria’s independence from France was officially recognized.

34. Just a few short months after Mom was born, the League of Nations transferred its mission to the United Nations and disbanded.

35. The Philippines attainted full independence.

36. Bikinis went on sale in Paris the year Mom was born.

37. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis staged their first show as a comedy team the year Mom was born.

38. The first underwater test of the atomic bomb happened.

39. Holiday World (originally called Santa Clause Land) opened making it the first themed park (preceding Disneyland by 9 years).

40. International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was founded.

41. Hermann Goring (founder of the Gestapo and convicted Nazi war criminal) poisoned himself hours before his scheduled execution. Guess he showed them!

42. The United Nations’ first meeting on Long Island was held.

43. The New York Knicks played the Toronto Huskies in the first Basketball Association of America game.

44. Vietnamese riot in Haiphong and clashed with French troops. The French cruiser Suffren opened fire, killing 6,000 Vietnamese leading leaders from all over the world to say the same thing... “Wait, the French have troops? And weapons?! Where the hell were they a few years ago when a little dispute we like to call WWII was going on?” (***Note: I can neither confirm nor deny this is an accurate quote from world leaders at that time... but I’m sure at least a few of them were thinking it). Off topic alert: I don’t want to get off topic here, but I can’t help it. I feel I’m not being fair to the French on this one so let me explain my views of that country. Not good. That’s my view of them. I picture them as being something like the stereotypical Punter/Kicker in the NFL. Hey, I don’t know... that guy might have been a real football player years ago when he was growing up. Maybe he played linebacker or on the OL. But somewhere over the years he became the guy that kicked a ball and then pretended to tie his shoes if heaven forbid he found himself in a position to have to make a tackle. Maybe a long time ago, the French were a world power with a mighty armed forces... but when WWII kicked off and Germany had gotten by the rest of the team, what did the French do? That’s right, they took a knee to “tie their shoes” and let the Nazi’s fly right by.End of Off topic alert

Sorry about that, Mom... but I felt like it needed to be said. Now, back to 65 things about Mom and when she was born.

45. It’s a Wonderful Life was released in New York.

46. The Havana Conference began between US organized crime bosses in Havana, Cuba.

47. The first Tupperware was sold in department and hardware stores.

48. The San Francisco 49ers were formed.

49. Binghamton University (where Tony Kornheiser went to college, of course) was founded.

50. John Paul Jones (of Led Zeppelin, not the US Navy) was born the same year Mom was.

51. H.G. Wells and Walter Johnson both died the year Mom was born.

52. Some other people (besides John Paul Jones) born the same year as Mom: Dolly Parton, Liza Minnelli, Ed O’Neill, Candice Bergen, Gilda Radner, Cheech Marin, Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon, Gregory Hines, Suzanne Somers, Pat Sajak, Sally Field, and Susan Lucci.

53. Doubting Teri is the only child Mom had who learned to play the piano.

54. Mom’s favorite grandchild is Maverick (because he sings Happy Birthday to her). Ok, he might not be her favorite grandchild... but he is her favorite granddog.

55. Mom grew up a self described “Daddy’s girl”.

56. When I was growing up, Mom would read me books from my Summer Reading List. Usually, she would read a chapter to me and then I would read a chapter to her. This is probably a big reason why I’m always reading now.

57. Mom’s favorite sister (really, you could say favorite sibling) is my Aunt Yvonne.

58. Doubting Teri likes to make fun of Mom... even though Sonny, Dad and I try to get her to stop. (Wait... did I say that right? Oh well...)

59. Mom said that the hardest time she ever had being a mother was in the mid 1970’s when Doubting Teri (whose Native American name is “She of Bad Jokes”) was old enough to talk and start telling the worst jokes ever... over and over and over. (Ok, she probably won’t say that... but ask her about it and then look into her eyes and tell me I’m wrong).

60. When Sonny started the 1st grade, Mom would stand at the fence to the playground (with some other mothers) and watch over him to make sure he was ok... This lasted for about a week or so until the principal came out one day and told them the school was more than capable of taking care of their children. (I’m sure I’m not getting that story 100% right... but it’s more right than you might think).

61. Mom has read every diet/healthy living type book ever written and knows every drug/vitamin that I should be taking... but the best “medicine” she ever taught me about is a cold wet washcloth on the head (or neck) and drinking lots of fluids. That can cure just about anything.

62. She spoils The Wife. Not so much by what she does, but by what she tells The Wife I should be doing.

63. She was a musical disciple of Hazel Melia (who was once called one of the most influential women [or something along those lines] at Bethany over the past 50 years... another, it was said, was Granny).

64. Some more people born the same year as Mom include: Alan Rickman (Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films), Anthony Daniels (C3PO in Star Wars... as if I needed to tell you that), Andre the Giant (former Pro wrestler), Cher (though I’m guessing a lot of her is now many years younger than Mom), Donald Trump, Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Sylvester Stallone, Bon Scott (of AC/DC fame), Linda Ronstadt, Keith Moon (from The Who), Freddie Mercury (from the group Queen), Steven Spielberg, Tommy Lee Jones, and Oliver Stone.

65. I once spent a hour on the phone with Mom (while I was driving back home from James Island) trying to walk her through how to do something on Facebook. At one point in the conversation, wrecking my car looked like a pretty good option. But she told me not to talk about that on my blog, so don’t tell her I said anything. Haha.

Mr. Williams Update: Mr. Williams passed away this morning around 5:00. He will be missed. I’ve already shared my favorite Mr. Williams story with you, maybe sometime soon I’ll share a couple more (maybe).

Winthrop Update: The Eagles beat High Point… by a lot. Winthrop’s next game is Saturday at PC.

TheI’m just sayin… Football Playoff Predictions Results

Green Bay at Chicago – I picked Green Bay and I was RIGHT!

Pittsburgh vs. New York Jets – I picked Pittsburgh and I was RIGHT!

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Ship’s Cook William Blagheen (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on August 5, 1864 on board the USS Brooklyn. His citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Brooklyn during successful attacks against Fort Morgan, rebel gunboats and the ram Tennessee in Mobile Bay, on 5 August 1864. Stationed in the immediate vicinity of the shell whips which were twice cleared of men by bursting shells, Blagheen remained steadfast at his post and performed his duties in the powder division throughout the furious action which resulted in the surrender of the prize rebel ram Tennessee and in the damaging and destruction of batteries at Fort Morgan.

First Sergeant James Blair (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions in the Winter of 1872-1873. His citation reads:

Gallant conduct during campaigns and engagements with Apaches.

Boatswain’s Mate Robert M. Blair (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions from December 24, 1864 – January 22, 1865 on board the USS Pontoosuc. His citation reads:

Served on board the U.S.S. Pontoosuc during the capture of Fort Fisher and Wilmington, 24 December 1864 to 22 January 1865. Carrying out his duties faithfully throughout this period, Blair was recommended for gallantry and skill and for his cool courage while under the fire of the enemy throughout these actions.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Meredith!!!!!!!

Let me start by wishing a Happy 8th Birthday to my niece, Meredith!!! All of us at I’m just sayin... hope she has a great day. Mary Ruth and Susie can’t wait to skate at her party.

I can remember the day she was born. I was sick. The kind of sick you remember 8 years later. We were still in the apartment at the time. Doubting Teri called The Wife and had her come over to their house to watch Leah and Ansley while she and Brent went to the hospital. Of course, this was back when they lived close to us… not like now.

It also snowed that day… or around that day. I remember going to see them in the hospital and looking out and seeing white. I don’t think it stayed around long, but it was there.

Before I forget, let me send a big thank you to my friend KC over at “Our Life” for his post yesterday wishing me a happy birthday.

There is a big difference between turning 22 and turning 32. Last night was spent at home with Mary Ruth and Susie while The Wife was at the church for Respite Night. So after playing with Susie and then getting her to bed, Mary Ruth and I spent the rest of the night watching Veggie Tales and Scooby Doo videos (since it was my birthday, MR let me pick the second video we would watch… I picked Scooby Doo).

Winthrop Update: The Eagles beat Radford at home Thursday night. They take on High Point tonight. I will be there (after Meredith’s party, of course).

TheI’m just sayin… Football Playoff Predictions

Green Bay at Chicago 3:00pm (FOX) – Hmm… I think I’m going to go with Green Bay on this one. Of course, I haven’t been a big believer in Chicago this season… so they’ll probably win. But I’m picking Green Bay to win by 7.

Pittsburgh vs. New York Jets 6:30pm (CBS) – I’ve got to go with the Steelers on this one. I pick Pittsburgh to beat the J-E-T-S, JetsJetsJets by 3.

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Lieutenant Wilmon W. Blackmar (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 1, 1865 at Five Forks, Virginia. His citation reads:

At a critical stage of the battle, without orders, led a successful advance upon the enemy.

Private Robert L. Blackwell (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on October 11, 1918 near St. Souplet, France. His citation reads:

When his platoon was almost surrounded by the enemy and his platoon commander asked for volunteers to carry a message calling for reinforcements, Pvt. Blackwell volunteered for this mission, well knowing the extreme danger connected with it. In attempting to get through the heavy shell and machinegun fire this gallant soldier was killed.

Surgeon William R. D. Blackwood (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 2, 1865 at Petersburg, Virginia. His citation reads:

Removed severely wounded officers and soldiers from the field while under a heavy fire from the enemy, exposing himself beyond the call of duty, thus furnishing an example of most distinguished gallantry.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Terry! Memories of Lucy, Part III

Happy Birthday Terry!!! All of us at I’m just sayin... hope you have a great day. While we realize Sonny considers everyday to be “just another day on the calendar”, we’re sure he has a special place in his heart for this day... the day you move a year ahead of him in the age category.

We return now to our memories of Lucy...

I almost forgot to share this with you about Lucy and Maverick. I’m convinced Lucy was allergic to Maverick. Maybe it wasn’t just him, maybe it was all dogs... but she didn’t have any allergy problems until we brought Maverick home. The Wife said Lucy was allergic to grass, which would make sense if we didn’t have grass before her allergy problems started... but we did. The only difference between Lucy pre-allergy and Lucy post-allergy is Maverick.

It’s funny... there were some who thought we were crazy for bringing a “dangerous” pit bull into our house. When The Wife was pregnant with Mary Ruth, we were asked if we planned on keeping Lucy. Of course we did. Truth be told (and it almost always is told at least once a post on this blog) Lucy was the best dog with our children. Especially with Mary Ruth. When MR was just a little baby, we had a game we liked to play. And by we, I mean me and Lucy (and, for the most part, Mary Ruth). Whenever Mary Ruth was crying and I was holding her, I would hold her upside down (or lay her on my lap with her head hanging over my knees) and yell “Lucy! Kisses, stat!” (“stat!” is a medical term I’ve picked up working in the medical field... and watching hospital type shows on TV). It didn’t matter where Lucy was, she would get up and come over and start kissing Mary Ruth. Just like that, her crying would turn to laughter and all would be well.

I remember when we first brought Mary Ruth home. I took the dogs into the “office” and gave them bones while The Wife took Mary Ruth into the nursery to rock her. Mary Ruth let out a little cry. Nothing bad... nothing real loud... just a little cry. Maverick paid no attention. Lucy dropped her bone and went to the door and waited.

The first time we put MR into her pack-in-play, Lucy sat there and wouldn’t budge.

Honestly, I’ve joked about this before but it’s not all a lie... there were times early on when The Wife would leave me alone with MR and Lucy would pay more attention to her than I would.

Lucy would let MR crawl all over her and play “dress up” with her. Whenever she was ready to stop, she’d lick MR in the face and then make a run for it.

Some nights, she would sleep in bed with Mary Ruth. Some nights she would start there, and then get up in the middle of the night and come in our room.

She also loved Susie, but Susie didn’t like kisses as much as Mary Ruth... that was hard for Lucy to get used to.

A few weeks ago, Susie was sitting in The Wife’s lap eating pretzel sticks (one in each hand). She took a bite from the one in her left hand and then held it up for The Wife to take a bite. Next, she took a bite from the one in her right hand... and then held it down low for Lucy to take a bite. I was sure Lucy was going to take a big bite and eat the rest of that pretzel... but she didn’t. She nibbled the end of the stick, and then Susie brought it back up and took a bite from it (this didn’t bother The Wife the way it would have when MR was a baby... the way things are going, she’ll probably let Daniel eat dog food). Anyway, this little game went on for a few minutes until she didn’t have any pretzels in her hands.

I told you about the love/hate relationship Lucy and Maverick had. Well, it was nothing compared to the love/hate relationship Lucy and The Wife had. Don’t get me wrong, they loved each other... but they also seemed to fight a lot. For example:

I could walk down the hall and Lucy could walk by me without touching me. If The Wife was walking down the hall, Lucy would clip her on her way by. I think she actually took The Wife to the floor one time. It was pretty serious... I almost wet myself I was laughing so hard. I seem to remember I got in more trouble for laughing than Lucy did for clipping.

The Wife would get mad because Lucy wouldn’t come in when she called her. The Wife would stand at the back door and call Lucy over and over and over and Lucy would just sit with her back to the door (sometimes looking over her shoulder so The Wife would know that, yes, she could hear... she just wasn’t going to listen). I would go to the door and before I could get her name out, Lucy would be running inside. To make things even funnier, there were times she wouldn’t listen to The Wife, but would come running in if Mary Ruth called her.

Lucy had a toy rope that she loved to play with. The Wife took it away because Lucy kept hitting her with it (to be fair to Lucy, she only did this because The Wife didn’t want to play with her).

Lucy had a favorite cushion on our old sofa that she liked to lay on. The Wife didn’t like her laying on that one cushion all of the time, so she kept switching it with the other cushions. It didn’t matter... where ever she put that cushion is where Lucy would lay down.

I think Lucy would bark some nights just to make The Wife mad.

When the dogs were out of water, Lucy would hit the water bowl with her foot. If you didn’t get up right away, she’d stomp on it (causing it to bang and clang around) and then look at you. The Wife HATED that. I thought it was funny.

But it wasn’t all bad. They did like to lie on the sofa or on the bed together. Even though The Wife doesn’t really like getting kisses from dogs, Lucy was usually able to sneak in one or two.

Maverick when MR came home...
Lucy:  "Did I just hear a baby crying?"
MR and Lucy playing
Ah... life with a newborn Mary Ruth
Someone had to watch Mary Ruth... we decided Lucy would
MR got a Princess chair for her birthday... Lucy thought it was for her
Two friends just watching TV
MR putting a necklace on Lucy
MR hugging Lucy
Time to play "dress up" again!

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Ordinary Seaman Ernest H. Bjorkman (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on January 21, 1903 while on board the USS Leyden. His citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Leyden, 21 January 1903, Bjorkman displayed heroism at the time of the wreck of that vessel.

Lieutenant Colonel John C. Black (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 7, 1862 at Prairie Grove, Arkansas. His citation reads:

Gallantly charged the position of the enemy at the head of his regiment, after 2 other regiments had been repulsed and driven down the hill, and captured a battery; was severely wounded.

Captain William P. Black (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on March 7, 1862 at Pea Ridge, Arkansas. His citation reads:

Single-handedly confronted the enemy, firing a rifle at them and thus checking their advance within 100 yards of the lines.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Congrats, Doubting Teri! Pray for Mr. Williams, Memories of Lucy, Part II

Congrats to Doubting Teri for being named Teacher of the Year for her class (or maybe it was for her school… hmm, that would make more sense). Before she could tell me the news, I told her I had been promoted to VP at my work. She, of course, doubted me. (Though, to be fair to her I wasn’t telling the truth).

Prayers Needed: Back when Sonny played American Legion Baseball, Post 147 had an Athletic Director by the name of Bill Williams. Back then, if you’d told me to guess his age I would have gone with 80. He was still the Athletic Director years later when I played. He still looked like he was in his 80s. In 2003 when I came back to Post 147 as an assistant coach, he was still the AD. I’d guess he was in his early 90s. He turned 80 while I was coaching for him. Anyway, that’s not really important. What’s important is that his house burned down today. He and his daughter were taken to the Burn Unit in Augusta, GA. His health has been bad for the past few years now. He’s a great man who called every guy who ever played for him one of “his boys”… and those weren’t just words to him. He loved all of us and would do anything he could for any of us. If you don’t mind, I have a story I like to tell about Mr. Williams (as a bonus, it’s a true story). I played one year (1997) of American Legion baseball and then I joined the coaching staff for a season (1998). After that, I spent my summers in Rock Hill and didn’t see or talk to anyone from Post 147 (remember, Facebook wasn’t around and not everyone had email addresses). Anyway, around late December 2002/Early January 2003 I run into Coach Cadden in a B&N. He calls me Kevin (no big deal… it happens). To speed this story up, we talk and I agree to help him coach. Around March/April of 2003 Dad and I decide to go to a James Island baseball game. As we’re walking up, I see Mr. Williams. I tell Dad that I’m going to go say hello and let him know I’m going to be helping out this season. So I’m walking up and I’m going over in my head what I’m going to say (“Hi, Mr. Williams. I’m Greg Horres and I’m going to be helping Coach Cadden with the team this season”). I felt it was important to say my name because I didn’t want him to be in the awkward position of having me talk to him with him not remembering who I am. I get close and right as I’m about to start talking he practically jumps at me and grabs my hand with both of his hands and says, “Greg, Tony tells me you’re going to be helping us with the team this year. I’m happy you’re back with us”. It caught me so off guard that I came thisclose to saying “Hi, Mr. Williams. I’m Greg Horres and I’m going to be helping Coach Cadden with the team this season”. Luckily, I was able to recover and give him a hug and tell him I was happy to be back. So, say a prayer for Mr. Williams. He’s a great man and I hope he can recover from this.

I feel I need to backtrack just a minute to tell you something about Lucy that I forgot to mention before. Before we got Lucy, she had been used as a bait dog. Since she didn’t have the temperament to be a “fight” dog, the people who had her would tie her up and wire her mouth shut and then let the fighting dogs attack her (to get the taste of blood in them). The physical scars from this part of her life stayed with her until the day she died. I hope I was able to show her over the years that not all humans act like that towards dogs.

Life with just the three of us was great... but The Wife wasn’t real happy. Over time, Lucy had gone from being “our” dog, to being “my” dog. The Wife wasn’t real happy that Lucy’s loyalty was with me and not her. And we were having trouble getting pregnant... and, we thought, when we did have children it would be nice for Lucy to have a friend (we didn’t ask Lucy... looking back I think if we had asked her she would have said she didn’t need any friends). Anyway, today we’re going to look back on her time with Maverick (who we got in June/July of 2004).

Before we brought Maverick home, we took Lucy to the SPCA to meet him. We wanted to make sure they would get along. They sniffed each other and Lucy wagged her tail and it looked like she thought this was a nice little doggy she was meeting.

We brought Maverick home and when she realized he was here to stay, she was not very happy. I think this is why she was never kind to a new dog ever again. She was scared that if she was nice, we’d keep the dog.

Lucy and Maverick had a funny love/hate relationship. She acted like she didn’t like him and he did things just to annoy her... but deep down I think she liked him and I know he liked her. The poor guy hasn’t been the same since she died.

Before we got Maverick, we didn’t have any holes in our backyard. But once he came along, the holes started showing up. Lucy would sit and watch Maverick dig and once he got the hole big enough, she would go lay down in it.

One time The Wife left the house and (before she got out of the driveway) remembered she had forgotten something. So she went back in. Lucy let out a quick bark when The Wife opened the door but it was too late... The Wife walked in and there on the table, standing as still as a statue, was Maverick. The Wife was in a hurry so she went to get what she needed and when she came back out Maverick was on the floor acting like nothing had happened.

I don’t know what it was, but Maverick LOVED to lick Lucy’s ears. She either liked it, or she didn’t notice it, because she let it happen. And it could go on for hours. There were times I’d go to pet her and her ears would be soggy because Maverick had been licking them for so long.

One area Lucy loved Maverick was in his ability to catch rats. I remember one night when they were both outside Maverick started chasing (and then caught) a rat. I went outside and there was Lucy up on the rail of our deck watching Maverick kill the rat. It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. This “big, bad” pit bull up on this little rail trying to get as far away from the rat as she could.

Oops! With all the talk about Lucy, I forgot to post my results from this past weekend. So, here they are...

The I’m just sayin... Playoff Football Predictions Results


Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore – I picked the Steelers and I was RIGHT! Really, I was right about everything I said about this game. Look it up.

Atlanta vs. Green Bay – I picked Atlanta and I was WRONG.


Chicago vs. Seattle – What was I thinking? I picked Seattle and I was WRONG.

New York Jets vs. New England – I picked New England and I was WRONG.

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Sergeant Daniel Bishop (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on March 25, 1873 at Turret Mountain, Arizona. His citation reads:

Gallantry in engagements.

Private Francis A. Bishop (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 12, 1864 at Spotsylvania, Virginia. His citation reads:

Capture of flag.

First Lieutenant Arnold L. Bjorklund (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 13, 1943 near Altavilla, Italy. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy near Altavilla, Italy, 13 September 1943. When his company attacked a German position on Hill 424, the first platoon, led by 1st Lt. Bjorklund, moved forward on the right flank to the slope of the hill where it was pinned down by a heavy concentration of machinegun and rifle fire. Ordering his men to give covering fire, with only 3 hand grenades, he crept and crawled forward to a German machinegun position located on a terrace along the forward slope. Approaching within a few yards of the position, and while continuously exposed to enemy fire, he hurled 1 grenade into the nest, destroyed the gun and killed 3 Germans. Discovering a second machinegun 20 yards to the right on a higher terrace, he moved under intense enemy fire to a point within a few yards and threw a second grenade into this position, destroying it and killing 2 more Germans. The first platoon was then able to advance 150 yards further up the slope to the crest of the hill, but was again stopped by the fire from a heavy enemy mortar on the reverse slope. 1st Lt. Bjorklund located the mortar and worked his way under little cover to within 10 yards of its position and threw his third grenade, destroying the mortar, killing 2 of the Germans, and forcing the remaining 3 to flee. His actions permitted the platoon to take its objective.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Memories of Lucy, Part I

We went to the SPCA the Tuesday after Labor Day in 2002. We couldn’t wait. The Wife and I had talked about getting a dog since before we were married. We would have gone ahead and gotten one right after our wedding (June 22) if it wasn’t for the fact that we were going to be out of town for our honeymoon and then also out of town for Labor Day. So the day after Labor Day we went looking for a doggy. We looked in Summerville and didn’t have any luck. The next place we went was the SPCA (at the time it was off of Leeds Ave). We were walking through looking to see if we could find a dog to fit the name we had already decided on (Lucy). Since we were living in an apartment at the time, we decided we wanted a small dog. So we looked and looked and then I saw her. She was just laying curled up in a cage and she looked so little and so cute. We took her into this little area so we could play with her. I threw a ball and she went and got it (it’s a good chance that was the last time she ever did that). We went back to the “common” area and were petting and talking to her. Just then, these two dogs get out and start charging towards us. Lucy got in front of me and kept the other dogs away (I’m pretty sure that was the last time she ever did something like that). We were sold… this was the dog we wanted. The Wife asked the people there if she would get much bigger (she was about 14 pounds at the time). Oh no, we were told… maybe just a pound or two more (fyi, her weight at the end was 63 pounds).

Anyway, we brought her home to our apartment and set her up in her crate. The Wife insisted she sleep in there. I said she could sleep in the bed with us, but The Wife insisted. The first night wasn’t bad (she was still on meds from being fixed). The next night wasn’t as good. She barked and whined and barked and so on and so forth… we were in an apartment, so I didn’t want this to go on, but The Wife said we had to be strong. The next morning we went out and there was Lucy… sleeping outside of her crate… with the door still closed and locked. Hmm, we thought… she must have pushed up and somehow slipped through the crack in the crate. No problem, we’ll just pile a ton of books on top of the crate and keep that from happening again. So that’s just what we did. That night was just like the one before but again, The Wife insisted we be strong. The next morning we wake up and walk out of our room and there was Lucy… sleeping outside of her crate… with the door still closed and locked… and the books still on top of the crate. Hmm, The Wife thought (my thoughts were more along the lines of “Holy CRAP! How did she do that? Does she have thumbs? Wait… Is she a Jedi?!”). The Wife still wanted to make Lucy sleep in the crate. However, that night I made it VERY clear to Lucy that I wanted her to sleep in bed with us… so if she happened to get out of her crate and pick the lock to our door and slip into our room in the middle of the night, please don’t slit my throat. Well, The Wife didn’t want to admit that this could happen… but she also wasn’t willing to bet her life on it. So that’s how Lucy was allowed to sleep with us. That doesn’t mean all was well, however.

One night Lucy got sick and threw-up all over the bed. So, we decided to “camp out” in the den of the apartment. Lucy woke me up in the middle of the night… I had started snoring and I guess it startled her, so she started licking me.

When I’d get home, she’d start running “laps” in our den. This involved her jumping and bouncing off the back of the sofa and then every 3rd lap or so she’d jump up and push off of my chest and do a spin/flip and keep going. On the final lap she’d jump into my arms and I’d catch her.

On Sunday mornings she’d sleep in The Wife’s lap while The Wife read the newspaper.

One time she got in trouble with The Wife, so when I got home I went to talk to her. I didn’t yell, I just said in a stern voice, “Lucy, did you do something bad?” Before I could say anything else, she rolled over a wet herself. She got out of any punishment she might have received.

One night as I was going to take her for a walk, a wild dog that was running around our apartment complex came charging at us. Lucy hid behind me. The dog jumped at me (at which point my foot met his chest, causing him to turn and run away). I looked at Lucy and she was looking at me like “Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention… did something just happen?”.

We gave her a roast beef sandwich for her first birthday.

The winter after we moved into our house, Lucy had an “accident” in our bedroom in the middle of the night. The smell was so bad it woke us up from a dead sleep. I’m not making this up when I tell you we seriously thought we would have to burn the house down (or, at the very least, burn the room).

At one point, The Wife decided she wanted Lucy to sleep on her side of the bed. So she made me put Lucy’s bed over on her side. Lucy slept on the floor on my side.

Lucy would start on the floor, but at some point she would get in our bed. So one night we decided we would catch her. We turned off the lights and got real still and quiet. After a couple of minutes, Lucy got up and right as she was jumping into our bed I turned on the lights. It scared her so much that I think she managed to jump back onto the floor without her feet ever touching the bed.

She chewed up one PlayStation2 controller, one TV remote, and one cell phone.

She used to love playing with these little “baby doll” dog toy things that had a squeaker in them. She got so good at getting the squeaker out of the dolls that she was able to get it out with minimal tearing of the doll.

She LOVED Dach. He liked to sleep and she liked to sleep. He was little and she thought she was little.

That’s pretty much the stories I have of when Lucy was our only child. More stories to follow…

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Sergeant Horatio L. Birdsall (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 16, 1865 at Columbus, Georgia. His citation reads:

Capture of flag and bearer.

Captain William E. Birkhimer (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 13, 1899 at San Miguel de Mayumo, Luzon, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

With 12 men charged and routed 300 of the enemy.

Quartermaster Second Class Charles Francis Bishop (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 21, 1914 on board the USS Florida. His citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Florida for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession during the seizure of Vera Cruz, Mexico, 21 April 1914.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Uncle George!!!! RIP Lucy :(

HAPPY BIRTHDAY UNCLE GEORGE!!! Today, as you might have guessed, is my Uncle George’s birthday. In a rather unfortunate twist of fate, Da (my grandfather) and Lucy (my first born dogchild) both died on Uncle George’s birthday. Da died in 1995. Lucy, today… which brings us to…

RIP Lucy. I had to put Lucy down today. Just an FYI… a BB Gun isn’t strong enough to do the job (and it leads to awkward questions from the Vet like “Why does she have a welt the size of a BB on her temple?”). Ok, of course I didn’t shoot her with a BB gun. Here is the real story: The Wife took Lucy to the Vet yesterday. He didn’t say it was time, but he said if we said it was time, he wouldn’t argue. So last night we decided it was time. It sounds like we rushed to this decision, but truth is it’s been coming for some time now… I’ve just done my best to put it off and ignore the signs. But I guess making decisions like this is part of growing up. I didn’t have to make this call for Dach. Dad was the one who decided we would take him to be put down. Of course, Dach had the decency to die before we could take him. God he was the GREATEST DOG EVER. And Lucy was right up there with him. But I’m getting off track (I know, shocking). Lucy had cancer. It was the kind that kept coming back. We operated twice on her and each time it came back faster than it did before. On top of that, she had arthritis all over. She also had an ACL tear that she never really got over. To add insult to injury, she had BAD allergies (more on this later… maybe tomorrow) that caused her to lick her paws until they were raw. Not to pile on, but she also snored… loud. Her last round of cancer came back a while ago. Bottom line, she was in pain and she was falling apart… and it wasn’t going to get any better. Of course, she had her good days (and it was these days that I paid attention to). But we were at the point where the good days were few and far between. I didn’t want her to have to suffer just because ending her pain would make me sad. It wasn’t fair to her. So, last night I gave The Wife a hug and said, “First thing tomorrow I’m going to take Lucy and Scooby to the Vet and let him put them down”. Unfortunately (for me, not Scooby), she was able to hear me through her tears and hit me and tell me not to take Scooby. Anyway, I took Lucy in to the Vet today and… well… the rest, as they say, is history. Just like that, the one who has been with us for all but about a little over 2 months of our marriage is now gone. The Wife has been crying on and off since last night. I’ve had my moments (mainly on the way to and from the Vet). I was worried how Mary Ruth would take it. She has a kind heart and, let’s face it, this is the girl who cried a few months ago because she missed Dach (fyi… Dach died in September 2004, Mary Ruth was born December 2005. You do the math). She took it like a champ. She asked if dogs go to heaven (my answer, “I sure as hell hope so, cause if they don’t then I ain’t going.”… haha, just kidding. I said “I bet they do”). That was good enough for her.

I want to tell you more about Lucy but it’s been a long day and I’m tired. Check back tomorrow or Monday to read some of my memories of her. She will be missed.

Winthrop Update: Winthrop lost a hard fought battle to Charleston Southern. I don’t want to complain about the refs, so I won’t. But if I wanted to, I’d tell you that while I have seen worse… these guys weren’t much better. One guy was good, but he wasn’t good enough to overcome the badness of the other two. But that’s life. Winthrop had some shots go in-and-out and CSU it some shots with a Winthrop player right in their face. It was just one of those games.

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Watertender First Class (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on February 14, 1945 while on board the USS Fletcher. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving on board the U.S.S. Fletcher during action against enemy Japanese forces off Corregidor Island in the Philippines, 14 February 1945. Standing topside when an enemy shell struck the Fletcher, Bigelow, acting instantly as the deadly projectile exploded into fragments which penetrated the No. 1 gun magazine and set fire to several powder cases, picked up a pair of fire extinguishers and rushed below in a resolute attempt to quell the raging flames. Refusing to waste the precious time required to don rescue-breathing apparatus, he plunged through the blinding smoke billowing out of the magazine hatch and dropped into the blazing compartment. Despite the acrid, burning powder smoke which seared his lungs with every agonizing breath, he worked rapidly and with instinctive sureness and succeeded in quickly extinguishing the fires and in cooling the cases and bulkheads, thereby preventing further damage to the stricken ship. Although he succumbed to his injuries on the following day, Bigelow, by his dauntless valor, unfaltering skill and prompt action in the critical emergency, had averted a magazine explosion which undoubtedly would have left his ship wallowing at the mercy of the furiously pounding Japanese guns on Corregidor, and his heroic spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of almost certain death enhanced and sustained the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.

Sergeant Richard Binder (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 24-25, 1864 and January 13-15, 1865 on board the USS Ticonderoga. His citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Ticonderoga during the attacks on Fort Fisher, 24 and 25 December 1864, and 13 to 15 January 1865. Despite heavy return fire by the enemy and the explosion of the 100-pounder Parrott rifle which killed 8 men and wounded 12 more, Sgt. Binder, as captain of a gun, performed his duties with skill and courage during the first 2 days of battle. As his ship again took position on the 13th, he remained steadfast as the Ticonderoga maintained a well-placed fire upon the batteries on shore, and thereafter, as she materially lessened the power of guns on the mound which had been turned upon our assaulting columns. During this action the flag was planted on one of the strongest fortifications possessed by the rebels.

Captain Henry H. Bingham (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 6, 1864 at Wilderness, Virginia. His citation reads:

Rallied and led into action a portion of the troops who had given way under the fierce assaults of the enemy.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Congrats Clemson!

Rest easy, Clemson fans, things are about to get better for your football program. I had so much to talk to you about yesterday that I completely forgot the great news that Clemson hired former James Island 3-sport athlete and I’m just sayin… endorsed football coach Tony Elliott. Tony is a former Clemson walk-on who worked hard and eventually earned a scholarship. His teammates his senior season voted unanimously to make him a Captain of the team. Perhaps most importantly, Tony made the I’m just sayin… All-Time (since 1977) Clemson Football Team. His previous coaching stops have been at SC State and Furman. This is a good move for Clemson for all the reasons I’ve listed on this blog before. Tony is a great guy and I know he will do a great job at Clemson.

Winthrop Update: Winthrop lost a hard fought battle to Coastal last night. The Eagles take on Charleston Southern Saturday at 4:30pm. I plan on being there.

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Private First Class Melvin E. Biddle (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 23-24, 1944 near Soy, Belgium. His citation reads:

He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy near Soy, Belgium, on 23 and 24 December 1944. Serving as lead scout during an attack to relieve the enemy-encircled town of Hotton, he aggressively penetrated a densely wooded area, advanced 400 yards until he came within range of intense enemy rifle fire, and within 20 yards of enemy positions killed 3 snipers with unerring marksmanship. Courageously continuing his advance an additional 200 yards, he discovered a hostile machinegun position and dispatched its 2 occupants. He then located the approximate position of a well-concealed enemy machinegun nest, and crawling forward threw hand grenades which killed two Germans and fatally wounded a third. After signaling his company to advance, he entered a determined line of enemy defense, coolly and deliberately shifted his position, and shot 3 more enemy soldiers. Undaunted by enemy fire, he crawled within 20 yards of a machinegun nest, tossed his last hand grenade into the position, and after the explosion charged the emplacement firing his rifle. When night fell, he scouted enemy positions alone for several hours and returned with valuable information which enabled our attacking infantry and armor to knock out 2 enemy tanks. At daybreak he again led the advance and, when flanking elements were pinned down by enemy fire, without hesitation made his way toward a hostile machinegun position and from a distance of 50 yards killed the crew and 2 supporting riflemen. The remainder of the enemy, finding themselves without automatic weapon support, fled panic stricken. Pfc. Biddle's intrepid courage and superb daring during his 20-hour action enabled his battalion to break the enemy grasp on Hotton with a minimum of casualties.

Private Charles Bieger (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on February 22, 1864 at Ivy Farm, Mississippi. His citation reads:

Voluntarily risked his life by taking a horse, under heavy fire, beyond the line of battle for the rescue of his captain, whose horse had been killed in a charge and who was surrounded by the enemy's skirmishers.

Captain George W. Biegler (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on October 21, 1900 near Loac, Luzon, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

With but 19 men resisted and at close quarters defeated 300 of the enemy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Haven’t we been here before?

Ok, I need to get some things out of the way before I tell my story from yesterday. So here we go…

Congrats to Jeremy on winning his fantasy football league. He joined an established league and in his first season won the championship. Knowing how highly competitive the other owners in the league are makes his winning that much more impressive. Not to mention the fact that the previous owner of his team didn’t leave him much to work with. Anyway, congrats to Jeremy.

Next, Happy (late) Birthday to I’m just sayin… friend, Clark. His birthday was this past Tuesday. Also, congrats to his Auburn Tigers who received a good return on their investment when they won the “Championship” game earlier this week. We at I’m just sayin…, of course, don’t believe in the BCS or their “Championship” and we’re pretty confident that Auburn cheated and will at some point have to give back this “Championship” that they won… but we won’t let that stop us from being happy for Clark and all the other Auburn fans out there. So, funny story (to me, at least) regarding a misunderstanding (on my part) of a text I got from Clark: I sent Clark a text the night of his birthday saying something like: Happy Birthday! Hope it’s a good one. (I know, real original). I hadn’t been feeling well that day, so not long after I sent the text I turned off my phone and took some medicine and went to bed. Let’s see, that was Tuesday night… so yesterday morning, I turn my phone back on and a minute or two later it beeps letting me know I’ve received a text message. It's from Clark and it said something like: Thanks amigo. I got a great gift last night. Two things you need to keep in mind here:  1.  I'd just got done reading a prediction at the bottom of this post from my friend at Our Life and 2. I’m getting this on Wednesday, the day after his birthday. So, naturally, when I read “last night” I’m thinking the night of his birthday. Well, Clark is a happily married man… so of course my next thought was “Wow… this is kind of awkward. I don’t really need to hear about what goes on in his house the night of his birthday. Not so sure his wife would be happy to hear him bragging about such things”. So I’m sitting there trying to figure out how to respond when I noticed that, while I didn’t receive the text until Wednesday morning, it was actually sent Tuesday night… which would mean “last night” meant Monday night which would mean the “great gift” was the Auburn win. So that made things less awkward. And it made it easy for me to respond… but I don’t think I ever did respond because……… more on that later.

We went to see Lucas this past Sunday (before I was sick). Two amazing things happened. Well, really it was one thing but it was amazing for two different reasons. What was it? I held Lucas. Why was this amazing?

1. I have a policy against holding newborns (my children being the exception). I typically don’t like to hold children until they are able to support their head on their own.

2. The Wife has a policy against letting anyone hold a baby while she is in the room (our children being the exception). She is what some people call a “baby hog”.

Anyway, here is a picture of me and my little buddy Lucas:

So, let’s look back and see how I did with the last football picks I made:

I’m just sayin... Bowl Predictions Results

New Mexico Bowl - I picked BYU and I was right! (1-0)

uDrove Humanitarian Bowl - I picked Fresno State and I was wrong. (1-1)

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl - I picked Troy and I was right! (2-1)

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl - I picked Louisville and I was right! (3-1)

MAACO Bowl - I picked Boise State and I was right! (4-1)

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl - I picked Navy and I was wrong. (4-2)

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl - I picked Hawaii and I was wrong. (4-3)

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl - I picked Florida International and I was right! (5-3)

AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl - I picked Georgia Tech and I was wrong. (5-4)

Champs Sports Bowl - I picked NC State and I was right! (6-4)

Insight Bowl - I picked Missouri and I was wrong. (6-5)

Military Bowl - I picked Maryland and I was right! (7-5)

Texas Bowl - I picked Baylor and I was wrong. (7-6)

Valero Alamo Bowl - I picked Arizona and I was wrong. (7-7)

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl - I picked SMU and I was wrong. (7-8)

New Era Pinstripe Bowl - I picked Kansas State and I was wrong. (7-9)

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl - I picked North Carolina and I was right! (8-9)

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl - I picked Nebraska and I was wrong. (8-10)

Meineke Car Care Bowl - I picked Clemson and I was wrong. (8-11)

Hyundai Sun Bowl - I picked Miami and I was wrong. (8-12)

AutoZone Liberty Bowl - I picked Georgia and I was wrong. (8-13)

Chick-fil-A Bowl - I picked South Carolina and I was wrong. (8-14)

TicketCity Bowl - I picked Texas Tech and I was right! (9-14)

Outback Bowl - I picked Penn State and I was wrong. (9-15)

Capital One Bowl - I picked Alabama and I was right! (10-15)

Gator Bowl - I picked Mississippi State and I was right! (11-15)

Rose Bowl Game Presented By Vizio - I picked TCU and I was right! (12-15)

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - I picked Oklahoma and I was right! (13-15)

Discover Orange Bowl - I picked Virginia Tech and I was wrong. (13-16)

Allstate Sugar Bowl - I picked Arkansas and I was wrong. (13-17)

GoDaddy.com Bowl - I picked Middle Tennessee and I was wrong. (13-18)

AT&T Cotton Bowl - I picked Texas A&M and I was wrong. (13-18)

BBVA Compass Bowl - I picked Pittsburgh and I was right! (14-18)

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl - I picked Nevada and I was right! (15-18)

Tostitos BCS “National Championship” - I picked Auburn and I was right! (16-18)

So I went 16-18 in my Bowl predictions… not bad considering I did zero research before picking the games.

So back to the reason I didn’t respond to Clark’s text. As I was about to, I got a call from the day care. Mary Ruth had slipped on some ice and hit the back of her head on the sidewalk. She was complaining that her head and tummy hurt. Ok, I said, I’ll come pick her up. As it just so happens, I was home sick yesterday. My plan was to sleep all day and get better. So much for my plan. Oh, in case you are sitting there thinking “Haven’t I heard this story before?”, the answer is probably yes. Back in August she suffered a concussion when she fell (again at day care) and hit her head. So I go pick her up and on the way home I call Mom and Dad. I’m thinking I should probably take her to the doctor but it always helps to have Mom and Dad confirm what I’m thinking. Well, as I’m talking to Mom, I hear a little voice behind me say “Daddy, I’m tired” (uh-oh, that’s not a good sign) followed by “I’m going to throw-up” (oh crap) followed by… well, you can guess. (By the way, I haven’t had a chance to clean up the car… so if you want to go somewhere with me it might be best if you drive). So we head home (to get the truck… and a trash can). On the way I call the doctor to see what I should do. He said go to the ER. I call The Wife to tell her. She came home and the three of us head down to my favorite Children’s ER. For any of you scoring at home, this was Mary Ruth’s 3rd trip to this ER. While you’re scoring, note that none of these trips were my fault. Anyway, we get her in and they tell us that it will be about a 30 minute wait before they could get her a CT scan. About 10 minutes later Mary Ruth started throwing-up again and, hey, look at that… they were able to take her for that CT scan right now. So we go (and by we, I mean me and MR… The Wife couldn’t go because of her “condition”) to get the CT scan. Mary Ruth did a great job laying still so they could do the scan. She also got a kick out of seeing me in the apron that I had to wear to stay in there with her. After her scan, we went back to the room to sit and wait. I had texted some people earlier (KC, Danny, and Jenn) and decided I would text one more person… so I sent a text to my friend Jen (wife of Danny) who works in the same Children’s Hospital that we were then sitting in. She immediately grabbed the nurse who is in charge of the ER and stormed out of a very important, high-level meeting telling everyone that some VIP’s were in the ER and she wasn’t just going to have us sit in a room like commoners. Ok, that’s not 100% true (it might not even be 10% true) but she was in a meeting when she got my text and she did end up coming to see us. If I was the kind of person to keep score of such things (or to rank my friends), I’d point out that of all the people I sent a text to, Jen was the only one to come see us. Wait a minute… :) Anyway, it’s also worth pointing out that Jen seems to be the only person at this Children’s Hospital to be able to call Mary Ruth by her actual name (and not just “Mary”). We’ve been over this whole Mary vs. Mary Ruth thing before, but it still bothers me. I knew when we named her that this would end up being a life-long issue, but it still amazes me sometimes. With each person who came in the room, we made it a point to call her Mary Ruth… and yet each person called her Mary. At one point, a doctor came in to run some tests. Mary Ruth was asleep at the time, so the doctor stood by her and said “Mary” trying to wake her up. I wasn’t sure if this was part of the tests or not, so I cheated a little and shook Mary Ruth and said “Wake up Mary Ruth”. I’m not sure if it was really cheating… the doctor might have kept her hands off of Mary Ruth because she just didn’t want to touch her, but I didn’t think the test was fair. I mean, her name is Mary Ruth… I don’t expect her to answer to Mary. Just like I don’t expect The Wife to answer to The. Anyway, they were never able to catch on to the whole double-first name thing. MR did good on the tests which earned us the right to hang around and watch tv while we waited. It seems they had an emergency down the hall (who knew that could happen in an ER?). Honestly, the waiting didn’t really bother me. I was able to sit and read my Christmas present from Dad and Mom (Decision Points by former President George W. Bush). Well, I was able to read it until a nurse came in and turned off the bright overhead light because Mary Ruth said she wanted her to. Note to the nurse, when the little kid in the bed is the one paying the bills you can do what she wants, otherwise it would be nice to check with the guy sitting next to her reading a book. We did have one doctor come in about three times before I was able to understand what he was saying. And he said so little that I wasn’t sure why he even came in. But maybe he thought we would like to know they hadn’t forgotten about us… so that was nice of him. It is interesting to note that we seemed to get a LOT more attention when Jen was in there with us. Perhaps she is more important at her workplace than she lets on. Some of the workers actually started shaking when they walked into our room and saw her there. She always smiled at them, but I’m pretty sure her eyes were telling them “Keep the fat guy in the chair happy or I’m going to have to read about this on his stupid blog”… or something along those lines. It was looking like we might have to stay overnight, but then Jen came by (as she was leaving to go home and cook a wonderful meal for her husband) and what do you know… we got to go home. Really, they let us go because Mary Ruth was able to drink some juice and eat some crackers without throwing-up. So we left the hospital around 5:45 and Mary Ruth threw-up in the van around 5:46. But we were gone and we weren’t going back. I’ll end this story by telling you that on our way home we picked up Susie from The In-Laws house and had to listen to her say “Snack!” the whole way home. Over and over and over and over and over…

We went to our doctor today and he said that he thinks Mary Ruth will be ok. And he gave me some medicine, so I should be ok soon, too.

The I’m just sayin... Playoff Football Predictions


Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore 4:30pm (CBS) – Leave the women and children home for this one. I expect some hard hitting and it wouldn’t shock me if some guys limp away from this one. It’s a home game for the Steelers so I’ll pick them to win by 3.

Atlanta vs. Green Bay 8:00pm (FOX) – I’m picking Atlanta to win this one by 7.


Chicago vs. Seattle 1:00pm (FOX) – I’m picking Seattle with the upset 3 point win.

New York Jets vs. New England 4:30pm (CBS) – The Jets are good, but it’s hard to pick against New England. I’m picking New England by 7.

Winthrop Update: Winthrop plays at Coastal Carolina tonight. It won’t be easy for the Eagles to come out of Conway with a win over the Probation-waiting-to-happen Coastal Carolina “University”. Go Eagles!

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Captain of the Top John F. Bickford (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 19, 1864 while on board the USS Kearsarge. His citation reads:

Served on board the U.S.S. Kearsarge when she destroyed the Alabama off Cherbourg, France, 19 June 1864. Acting as the first loader of the pivot gun during this bitter engagement Bickford exhibited marked coolness and good conduct and was highly recommended for his gallantry under fire by his divisional officer.

Corporal Matthew Bickford (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 22, 1863 at Vicksburg, Mississippi. His citation reads:

Gallantry in the charge of the "volunteer storming party."

First Lieutenant Charles G. Bickham (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 2, 1902 at Bayong, near Lake Lanao, Mindanao, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

Crossed a fire-swept field, in close range of the enemy, and brought a wounded soldier to a place of shelter.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

UPDATE: Welcome Ellis Cate!!!!!

Updated to correct the spelling of Baby Rogers name... It seems my previous intel was faulty.  My apologies to her family.
I have some things I’d like to talk to you about, but alas my time is short and I’m feeling a little under the weather... so it’ll have to wait for another day (tomorrow, perhaps?).

However, I did want to take a minute to welcome Ellis Catherine Rogers into the world. She was born last night (1/10/2011) weighing in at 6 lbs, 12 oz (20.5 inches long). A big congrats to long time I’m just sayin... follower and supporter Ashley and her husband Cory on the birth of their baby. I’m sure Caroline will be as good a big sister as Mary Ruth is.

That’s all for now. Say a prayer that I start feeling better.

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

First Lieutenant Willibald C. Bianchi (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on February 3, 1942 near Bagac, Bataan Province, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy on 3 February 1942, near Bagac, Province of Bataan, Philippine Islands. When the rifle platoon of another company was ordered to wipe out 2 strong enemy machinegun nests, 1st Lt. Bianchi voluntarily and of his own initiative, advanced with the platoon leading part of the men. When wounded early in the action by 2 bullets through the left hand, he did not stop for first aid but discarded his rifle and began firing a pistol. He located a machinegun nest and personally silenced it with grenades. When wounded the second time by 2 machinegun bullets through the chest muscles, 1st Lt. Bianchi climbed to the top of an American tank, manned its antiaircraft machinegun, and fired into strongly held enemy position until knocked completely off the tank by a third severe wound.

Gunner’s Mate Charles J. Bibber (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 23, 1864 near Fort Fisher. His citation reads:

Bibber served on board the U.S.S. Agawam, as one of a volunteer crew of a powder boat which was exploded near Fort Fisher 23 December 1864. The powder boat, towed in by the Wilderness to prevent detection by the enemy, cast off and slowly steamed to within 300 yards of the beach. After fuses and fires had been lit and a second anchor with short scope let go to assure the boat's tailing inshore, the crew again boarded the Wilderness and proceeded a distance of 12 miles from shore. Less than 2 hours later the explosion took place, and the following day fires were observed still burning at the forts.

Corporal Henry H. Bickford (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on March 2, 1865 at Waynesboro, Virginia. His citation reads:

Recapture of flag.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Avery! Welcome Lucas!

First let me wish my (second) cousin Avery a Happy 4th Birthday! I hope it’s a good one.

Next let me welcome Lucas Dunlap to the world! We at I’m just sayin... are very happy and excited that Lucas has decided to join us (at 8lbs, 7oz and 21 1/4" long). Word on the street is that mom and baby are doing well. Jeremy is also doing well... at least for now. Just wait for the bills to start coming. I can only hope their interaction with this hospital ends better than ours did. Maybe they’ve changed things and all is now better there. I can only hope since it seems we’ll be back there in early April (though I’d rather go somewhere else).

I had fun over the holidays at Mom and Dad’s watching the kids play the Wii (I also had fun playing Rock Band 3 with The Wife, Sonny, Doubting Teri, and The Other Terry, as well as various nieces). I don’t want to go on and on about how times have changed, but times have changed. Growing up, when we would visit our grandparents here is what we had to play with: marbles, a racquet ball, a wall (to throw the ball against), and bicycles. At Mom and Dad’s house, our kids have a Wii, little battery operated cars they can drive around, and a tire swing (shaped like a horse) in the backyard that they can play on. I’m not saying our kids have it better or worse than we did... I’m just saying it’s different. I spent years playing on the floor at MaMa and Da’s house playing with the marbles (and using my imagination). My cousin Jason and I spent hours/months/years throwing that ball against the wall under the carport (and sometimes against the window on the door under the carport... oops). We also spent hours riding bicycles all over West Ashley (something I don’t think kids could do now). It was a simple time, but we had fun. But Rock Band 3 is also a LOT of fun.

Mary Ruth had a great birthday party. On our way home she told me that she got everything she could have ever wanted. Thank you to everyone who was able to make it. And if you couldn’t make it, don’t worry... there’s always next year.

Susie missed the party. She went to bed at 7:15 Saturday night and didn’t wake up until 11:15 Sunday morning. She then fell asleep on me from about 12:30 – 2:00 (and she had a fever). So she had to sit this party out.

It was the second year in a row that we had a child sick for Mary Ruth’s birthday party. Last year we had to reschedule the party because Mary Ruth was sick.

I hope everyone has a great 2011.

Winthrop Update: I took Mary Ruth to watch the Eagles play against PC on December 31. It was a great game with Winthrop coming from behind to win the game with about a second left. Even better, Mary Ruth had fun (though I think she wasn’t too happy driving up and back in the same day... too much time in the car). Still, she was great and the Eagles won a big conference game. The Eagles next game is at home this Thursday night at 7:00 against UNC Asheville.

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Coxswain Albert Beyer (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 11, 1898 on board the USS Nashville. His citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Nashville during the cutting of the cable leading from Cienfuegos, Cuba, 11 May 1898. Facing the heavy fire of the enemy, Beyer set an example of extraordinary bravery and coolness throughout this action.

Corporal Arthur O. Beyer (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on January 15, 1945 near Arloncourt, Belgium. His citation reads:

He displayed conspicuous gallantry in action. His platoon, in which he was a tank-destroyer gunner, was held up by antitank, machinegun, and rifle fire from enemy troops dug in along a ridge about 200 yards to the front. Noting a machinegun position in this defense line, he fired upon it with his 76-mm. gun killing 1 man and silencing the weapon. He dismounted from his vehicle and, under direct enemy observation, crossed open ground to capture the 2 remaining members of the crew. Another machinegun, about 250 yards to the left, continued to fire on him. Through withering fire, he advanced on the position. Throwing a grenade into the emplacement, he killed 1 crewmember and again captured the 2 survivors. He was subjected to concentrated small-arms fire but, with great bravery, he worked his way a quarter mile along the ridge, attacking hostile soldiers in their foxholes with his carbine and grenades. When he had completed his self-imposed mission against powerful German forces, he had destroyed 2 machinegun positions, killed 8 of the enemy and captured 18 prisoners, including 2 bazooka teams. Cpl. Beyer's intrepid action and unflinching determination to close with and destroy the enemy eliminated the German defense line and enabled his task force to gain its objective.

Second Lieutenant Hillary Beyer (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 17, 1862 at Antietam, Maryland. His citation reads:

After his command had been forced to fall back, remained alone on the line of battle, caring for his wounded comrades and carrying one of them to a place of safety.