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.

Friday, August 31, 2012

We made it!!!!!

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Commander William Kelly Harrison (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 21-22, 1914. His citation reads:

For distinguished conduct in battle, engagements of Vera Cruz, 21 and 22 April 1914. During this period, Comdr. Harrison brought his ship into the inner harbor during the nights of the 21st and 22d without the assistance of a pilot or navigational lights, and was in a position on the morning of the 22d to use his guns with telling effect at a critical time.

Sergeant John W. Hart (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His citation reads:

Was one of six volunteers who charged upon a log house near the Devil's Den, where a squad of the enemy's sharpshooters were sheltered, and compelled their surrender.

Private William E. Hart (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions during 1864 and 1865, at Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. His citation reads:

Gallant conduct and services as scout in connection with capture of the guerrilla Harry Gilmore, and other daring acts.

It’s finally here! We’ve been counting it down since last year and now Labor Day Weekend 2012 is finally here! I can’t wait to see everyone and tell old stories and new stories and find out how everyone is doing. This really is a great time of the year for me.

I saw something on Facebook that I wanted to talk about today, but I don’t have time. I think I’ll sit on it for a while and see how I feel after a couple of days. Maybe I should just let it go. That’s probably what I’ll do.

But for the record, I’m all for people having to wait for stuff. Why? Because I never have to wait (I’m kind of a big deal… just ask my bank… not because I have money, but because they yell my name when I walk in. Ok, they don’t yell my name, they yell “Norm!” like in Cheers because that was part of the deal for me to move my money from my old bank to my new bank). So if everyone was able to walk right in to a place and, let’s say, go get something to eat without a reservation… well, then I wouldn’t be special anymore. And I think we all know that is unacceptable.

Speaking of unacceptable… there are still some longtime donors missing from my list of donations for my Walk to End Alzheimer’s. If you gave in 2011, then please know that 2011 Greg thinks very highly of you… however, this is 2012 and I left 2011 Greg back in last year. I’m just sayin…

I’m thinking of fining my friends for various things (like missing a group event or not taking my calls or hanging up on me when I call) like sports teams do. I’ll then pool all of the fines together once a year and make a donation to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

I’m kidding, of course, but part of me thinks my friends are cool enough that they’d actually go along with the joke and pay the fines.

Let’s face it, these are the same people that let me rank them in a Top 25 Friends Poll (still my greatest idea ever).

Anyway, don’t forget to join my team by visiting the link below.


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The I’m just sayin… Know Your South Carolina Athlete

The SC Athlete you should know this week is Felix Anthony "Doc" Blanchard. Doc was born December 11, 1924 in McColl, South Carolina and is best known as the college football player who became the first ever junior to win the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award and was the first ever football player to win the James E. Sullivan Award, all in 1945. He played football for the United States Military Academy at West Point. After football, he served in the United States Air Force from 1947 until 1971 when he retired with the rank of Colonel.

His father was a doctor and had played college football at Tulane University and Wake Forest University. The Blanchards moved from McColl, South Carolina to Dexter, Iowa in 1929. The Blanchards then moved to Bishopville, South Carolina two years later. Even though he was heavily recruited by Coach McKissick (who said he could get his father a job at the shipyard… just kidding… maybe… I mean, I could see that happening… but I can’t say for sure that it did… I’m just sayin’ I wouldn’t be shocked if it did), Blanchard (nicknamed "Little Doc" due to his father's occupation) attended high school at Saint Stanislaus College in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. He led the school's football team to an undefeated season during his senior year in 1941. Blanchard was recruited to play college football by Army, Fordham University and the University of Notre Dame, among others. Word is that Blanchard chose to play for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, in part because its coach, Jim Tatum, was his mother's cousin. Blanchard decided to enlist in the United States Army in 1943.

During his three years of playing football at West Point (he sat out the 1943 season), his team under coach Earl "Red" Blaik compiled an undefeated 27–0–1 record - the tie coming against Notre Dame (0-0).

An all-around athlete, Blanchard served as the placekicker and punter in addition to his primary roles as an offensive fullback and a linebacker on defense. He teamed with Glenn Davis on the 1944-45-46 teams (Davis won the Heisman in 1946, the year after Blanchard won it). They formed one of the most lethal rushing combinations in football history. In his three seasons at West Point Blanchard scored 38 touchdowns, gained 1,908 yards and earned the nickname "Mr. Inside." Teammate Davis earned the nickname "Mr. Outside" and in November 1945, they both shared the cover of Time magazine.

In 1984 at the awards ceremony marking the 50th Heisman Trophy presentation, Blanchard took the occasion to recall, in comparison to the big glitzy shows for the ceremony today, how he learned of his Heisman selection in 1945. He said, "I got a telegram. It said, 'You’ve been selected to win the Heisman Trophy. Please wire collect.'”

In addition to football, Blanchard was also a member of the Army track and field team, with a shot put championship and a 10-second 100 yard dash in 1945. In 1947, Blanchard graduated from West Point, 296th in order of merit among 310 graduates, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He coached Army’s freshman team in the 1950s, but he never played professional football, choosing a military career instead.

In 1959, while with the 77th Tactical Fighter Squadron and flying back to his base at RAF Wethersfield near London, an oil line in Major Blanchard's F-100 Super Sabre broke and a fire broke out. He could have parachuted to safety, but the plane might have crashed into a village. He instead stayed with the plane and made a perfect landing. The event garnered him an Air Force commendation for bravery.

In the Vietnam War, Blanchard flew 113 missions from Thailand, 84 of them over North Vietnam. He piloted a fighter-bomber during a one-year tour of duty that ended in January 1969. He retired from the Air Force in 1971 as a colonel. After retiring from the Air Force, he spent several more years as the commandant of cadets at the New Mexico Military Institute, a junior college that prepares students to enter the service academies.

Blanchard died of pneumonia on April 19, 2009 in Bulverde, Texas. At the time of his death, he was the oldest living Heisman Trophy winner.

I know this is more than I would usually write in this section… but I really had trouble deciding what info from Wikipedia to cut. By the way, big shout-out again to the fine people at Wikipedia for making my research so easy. Here’s the thing… Doc Blanchard is a legend and I didn’t realize he was from SC (until I started this section at the beginning of the year). So it was a no brainer to include him here.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Private William M. Harris (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 25, 1876, at Little Big Horn River, Montana. His citation reads:

Voluntarily brought water to the wounded under fire of the enemy.

Seaman Bolden Reush Harrison (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 24, 1911, on Basilan, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

While attached to the U.S.S. Pampang, Harrison was one of a shore party moving in to capture Mundang, on the island of Basilan, Philippine Islands, on 24 September 1911. Harrison instantly responded to the calls for help when the advance scout party investigating a group of nipa huts close to the trail, was suddenly taken under point-blank fire and rushed by approximately 20 enemy Moros attacking from inside the huts and from other concealed positions. Armed with a double-barreled shotgun, he concentrated his blasting fire on the outlaws, destroying 3 of the Moros and assisting in the rout of the remainder. By his aggressive charging of the enemy under heavy fire and in the face of great odds, Harrison contributed materially to the success of the engagement.

Seaman George H. Harrison (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 19, 1864, 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 sponger and loader of the 11-inch pivot gun during the bitter engagement, Harrison exhibited marked coolness and good conduct and was highly recommended for his gallantry under fire by the divisional officer.

What a great time of the year! The college football season kicks off tonight! The South Carolina Revolutionary War Heroes travel to the Vanderbilt Commodores where they’ll try to start the season with a win over an SEC rival. I’ve been asked if I was going to pick games this year. The answer to that is “No”. I don’t have time to research the games the way I did last season. I might throw out a prediction here or there, but this year I’m going to do it ESPN style (not keep track of how many times I’m right). As for the game tonight… I think it’s hard to pick.  My gut says the Revolutionary War Heroes will win this one without much trouble… but I can’t be 100% sure. Both schools are in the SEC which means both schools have that exclusive SEC SPEED (it seems there’s fast and then there’s SEC fast). Now, if you really want to break it down, the experts say that the SEC West is better than the SEC East. At first glance you might not think this matters, since both schools are in the (slower, I assume) SEC East. But wait! I did a little research and it seems that Vandy is (get this) farther west than the University of South Carolina (who knew?). So, if you really think about it, Vandy being farther west of USC should mean that they are the better of the two schools. Sure, they’re in the SEC East, but they’re far enough west that some of the SEC West super-speed should be rubbing off on them. Think this is stupid? Good… that means I’m just one step away from finding myself in an ESPN studio as an expert on college football.

Anyway… for the record I think USC will win. I have no idea what to think about the Clemson/Auburn game. Clemson has the skill players… but I’ll have to see the line play before I can tell you how I think their game will turn out. Ask me Sunday… I’ll have a better idea then.

Don’t forget!!! To join my team, visit the link below.


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Thankful Thursday

My original plan was to talk about how thankful I am that college football is starting (and I am thankful for that), but I’m going to call an audible and talk about something else right now. As you know, Labor Day is my favorite non-religious holiday hands down. It’s not even close. The reason for this is that it’s over the Labor Day Weekend that I get to see what I call my Labor Day Family. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my parents (and there probably isn’t… but if there is) it’s friendship. My Dad is still good friends with guys he grew up with… we’re talking friendships close to 70 years old. Mom went to Columbia College (because that was as far as the horse would take her) where she roomed with Janie and Ralice (No… not a real name… if I remember correctly, the real person didn’t want me to use her real name… so that’s that). I’m not a math teacher or anything, but I believe this was around 48 years ago (give or take a year or two)… and they’re still friends! I don’t even remember my first college roommate! No, I’m not kidding. I’m not sure why these three starting getting together over Labor Day Weekend. I’m not 100% sure when they started it, but I know they’ve been doing it for as long as I’ve been alive (33 years). 

I think at first we went to a beach house. I don’t really have memories of this time… just stories that I’ve been told about how Mom would have to walk me up and down the street in the mornings because I wouldn’t stop crying and she didn’t want me waking everyone up. I don’t think my parents ever told the rest of the group about my ear troubles when I was a baby… they just let everyone think I was a crybaby. Anyway, my first real memories are of going to Ralice’s lake house. I can remember one time we stopped for ice cream and the girl behind the counter didn’t think Dad was with us because me, Mom, Sonny and Teresa Lynn all had brown hair while Dad had grey hair. Dad would bring his boat and it would sit there for most of the weekend (we might go out in it once). It seems the area would always be suffering a drought… until that weekend (when it would rain the whole weekend). Rain wasn’t a problem, though, because we all had our iPhones and… wait, that isn’t true. We had some board games, but I think that’s about it. I think we actually had to talk to each other all weekend (my God, how did we do it?!). I could be wrong, but I think Ralice had a room, Mom and Dad had a room, Janie and DG shared a room with their girls (Chandler, Jane and Sally) and Teresa Lynn. Sonny and I slept in the den. At some point during the early lake years, Paul and his two children (Jason and Ruth) joined the group.

My point here isn’t to give you a year by year account of Labor Day in my life, it’s to point out that 3 girls being roommates in college became 3 former roommates deciding to get together over a holiday weekend which in turn became a 3 generation family reunion. Everyone hasn’t been able to make it every year (I had to miss a couple of years in college), but the tradition has lived on. Last year was the first year in over a decade that we’ve all been under the same roof for the whole weekend. This year should be even better since some people who haven’t been able to make it the past few years will be back with us.

So I’m thankful that Mom went to Columbia College and was assigned (as far as I know, by pure luck) a room with Janie and Ralice. I’m thankful that they decided to start getting together over Labor Day Weekend… And I’m most thankful for all of their families who, over the years, have become my family.

And I’m thankful that this is the year Sonny and I will beat DG and Paul in golf.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

3 Quote Wednesday

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Captain of the Forecastle John Harris (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on August 5, 1864, on board the USS Metacomet. His citation reads:

As captain of the forecastle on board the U.S.S. Metacomet, Harris was a member of the boat's crew which went to the rescue of the officers and crew of the U.S. Monitor Tecumseh, when that vessel was struck by a torpedo in passing the enemy forts in Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864 Harris braved the enemy fire which was said by the admiral to be "one of the most galling" he had ever seen, and aided in rescuing from death 10 of the crew of the Tecumseh, thereby eliciting the admiration of both friend and foe.

First Lieutenant Moses Harris (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on August 28, 1864, at Smithfield, Virginia. His citation reads:

In an attack upon a largely superior force, his personal gallantry was so conspicuous as to inspire the men to extraordinary efforts, resulting in complete rout of the enemy.

Private Sampson Harris (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."

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Random memory of the day: I remember back when I was in 8th or 9th grade (I think 9th… but it could have been 8th) I was talked into joining the Youth Ensemble at my church (Ashley River Baptist Church). I’m not one for getting up in front of people and singing, so I can only assume I did it because there were some good looking girls in the group. Anyway, we were scheduled to sing in church one Sunday night. It was my first performance and I was pretty nervous, so I did what I feel is somewhat normal… I kept checking my zipper to make sure it was up. I mean really, you don’t want to get up in front of the church with your zipper down. Well, I guess I checked too much because about 5 minutes before we were to go up front, my zipper broke. I think it is a testament to my upbringing and my self control that I did not start screaming obscenities at the top of my lungs right then and there. Really, there was nothing I could do… so I just went up there with the group and did the best I could not to make any big movements with my legs and prayed that my fly would stay shut. As far as I know, everything worked out ok. I didn’t stay in the group long, though. After I had my first ear surgery (January of 9th grade), I decided to leave the group and go solo (kind of like Michael leaving the Jackson 5 or Bobby Brown leaving New Edition or Ice Cube leaving NWA… except my solo career didn’t take off as well as theirs).

Anyway, that memory was brought to you by the Alzheimer’s Association. Donate to my Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Do it.

The I’m just sayin… Quote of the Week

We have 3 quotes (2 football related) for you today… enjoy.

“He's exactly right. They ain't Alabama. They ain't LSU. And they're certainly not Clemson. That's why Carolina is in Chapel Hill and USC is in California. The university in this state, always has been, always will be -- Clemson. It's right here in Clemson. You can print that. Tweet that.” - Dabo Swinney

“Smart people don’t believe everything they read, and they don’t believe hearsay… I guess Dabo believed it.” - Steve Spurrier

“Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” - George S. Patton

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday before Labor Day

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

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

Capture of flag, wresting it from the color bearer and shooting an officer who attempted to regain it.

Sergeant James H. Harris (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 29, 1864, at New Market Heights, Virginia. His citation reads:

Gallantry in the assault.

Second Lieutenant James L. Harris (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on October 7, 1944, at Vagney, France. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 7 October 1944, in Vagney, France. At 9 p.m. an enemy raiding party, comprising a tank and 2 platoons of infantry, infiltrated through the lines under cover of mist and darkness and attacked an infantry battalion command post with hand grenades, retiring a short distance to an ambush position on hearing the approach of the M-4 tank commanded by 2d Lt. Harris. Realizing the need for bold aggressive action, 2d Lt. Harris ordered his tank to halt while he proceeded on foot, fully 10 yards ahead of his 6-man patrol and armed only with a service pistol, to probe the darkness for the enemy. Although struck down and mortally wounded by machinegun bullets which penetrated his solar plexus, he crawled back to his tank, leaving a trail of blood behind him, and, too weak to climb inside it, issued fire orders while lying on the road between the 2 contending armored vehicles. Although the tank which he commanded was destroyed in the course of the fire fight, he stood the enemy off until friendly tanks, preparing to come to his aid, caused the enemy to withdraw and thereby lose an opportunity to kill or capture the entire battalion command personnel. Suffering a second wound, which severed his leg at the hip, in the course of this tank duel, 2d Lt. Harris refused aid until after a wounded member of his crew had been carried to safety. He died before he could be given medical attention.

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Can someone tell me why when I drove to work yesterday I didn’t see the flags at half staff? Am I the only one who thinks Neil Armstrong should receive this honor? HE WALKED ON THE FREAKIN’ MOON… AND LIVED TO TALK ABOUT IT! I mean really… the VP thinks the President’s health care plan is a big f’ing deal… No sir, Neil Armstrong is a big f’ing deal. I know that good people die every day. And I understand we can’t do this for everyone who dies (even if we consider them a hero). But to not lower the flag to mark the passing of Neil Armstrong is just wrong in my opinon.

For any of you out there thinking about donating to my Walk to End Alzheimer’s, remember The Wife is also raising money. At least she says she is… I haven’t seen any come her way yet. We are getting closer to our team goal! Be part of a winning team and donate today!

Speaking of Alzheimer’s… The I’m just sayin… family took part in the Race for the ARK 5K race/walk this past Saturday morning. We walked it in just a little over 53 minutes. We might have had a shot at getting under 50 minutes but we had to stop at one point to get a snack out of the bottom of the stroller for Susie. I have a picture below of what the last ½ mile was like.

Picture Tuesday

Last 1/2 mile of the Race for the ARK

Group picture before the Hootie and the Blowfish concert

Sonny, Coach Hatley and Me before Coach Hatley's induction into the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame (fyi... it got rained out shortly after this picture - but he's still in the HOF)

Me and Ross at our his and Ginny's Engagement Party

The I'm just sayin... staff screening future Kid Show's of the Week

This is how Daniel woke up one morning...

Susie on her way in...

Follow the leader

Leaving Nana and Da's house a couple of weeks ago

Playing with a headband that has a shark fin on top of it

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday before Labor Day...

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Private John Harrington (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 12, 1874, at Wichita River, Texas. His citation reads:

While carrying dispatches was attacked hy 125 hostile Indians, whom he and his comrades fought throughout the day. He was severely wounded in the hip and unable to move. He continued to fight, defending an exposed dying man.

Sergeant Charles D. Harris (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 23, 1869, at Red Creek, Arizona. His citation reads:

Gallantry in action.

Private David W. Harris (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 25, 1876, at Little Big Horn River, Montana. His citation reads:

Brought water to the wounded, at great danger to his life, under a most galling fire from the enemy.

The I’m just sayin… Weekly Weigh-In

Greg 236

Mary Ruth 47

Susie 26

Daniel 25

Sunday, August 26, 2012

RIP Neil Armstrong

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Landsman Daniel Harrington (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on board the USS Pocahontas. His citation reads:

Harrington, a landsman from the U.S.S. Pocahontas, participated in a shore mission to procure meat for the ship's crew. While returning to the beach, the party was fired on from ambush and several men killed or wounded. Cool and courageous throughout his action, Harrington rendered gallant service against the enemy and in administering to the casualties.

First Class Fireman David Harrington (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on August 21, 1884, on board the USS Tallapoosa. His citation reads:

Served on board the U.S.S. Tallapoosa at the time of the sinking of that vessel, on the night of 21 August 1884. Remaining at his post of duty in the fireroom until the fires were put out by the rising waters, Harrington opened the safety valves when the water was up to his waist.

Sergeant Ephraim W. Harrington (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 3, 1863, at Fredericksburg, Virginia. His citation reads:

Carried the colors to the top of the heights and almost to the muzzle of the enemy's guns.

RIP Neil Armstrong. America has lost one of its heroes. He did so many great things in his life that I won’t even try to fit them all here right now. I will point out that he fought in the Korean War as a Naval aviator (flying in over 78 missions), he was a test pilot (which to me would mean he was at least a little crazy [in a good way… like helicopter pilots in Vietnam]) and, of course, he was the first man to walk on the moon (see previous crazy statement). It’s hard not to stop and think, “How can one man do so much?” Oh yeah, if my math is right, he did all of this before the age of 40. Sonny is 42. I’m just sayin… Sure, Armstrong didn’t have a blog, but to be fair I don’t think Al Gore had invented the internet by then.

And his quote while being the first man to step on the moon… Have you ever thought about what kind of pressure he had at that moment? He’s doing something that had never been done before. People thought they knew what it would be like, but nobody really knew. And so he steps down and says the famous “That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

It sounds so perfect, but how many of us could have said it? I’m sure I would have messed up and said something stupid like “Y’all don’t shut this door behind me,” or “I think I just wet myself,” or (most likely) “Boom goes the dynamite! That just happened”. I could see Sonny either being like a NASCAR driver “As I step on the moon I just want to thank my crew and Budweiser and all the good people at Goody’s Powder and you know this wouldn’t be possible without…” or I could see him getting a little competitive with, “Suck it Russia… you commie bas---ds”. That Sonny, he’s been anti-Russia ever since Rocky IV (guess he didn’t see the very end). Anyway, here’s to Neil Armstrong… They don’t make ‘em like him anymore. We at I’m just sayin… salute him.

The I’m just sayin… Bible Verse of the Week

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Kid Show

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Boatswain’s Mate Second Class Joseph Gabriel Harner (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.

Corporal Harry R. Harr (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 5, 1945, near Maglamin, Mindanao, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity. In a fierce counterattack, the Japanese closed in on his machinegun emplacement, hurling hand grenades, 1 of which exploded under the gun, putting it out of action and wounding 2 of the crew. While the remaining gunners were desperately attempting to repair their weapon another grenade landed squarely in the emplacement. Quickly realizing he could not safely throw the unexploded missile from the crowded position, Cpl. Harr unhesitatingly covered it with his body to smother the blast. His supremely courageous act, which cost him his life, saved 4 of his comrades and enabled them to continue their mission.

Sergeant William George Harrell (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on March 3, 1945, on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as leader of an assault group attached to the 1st Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division during hand-to-hand combat with enemy Japanese at Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, on 3 March 1945. Standing watch alternately with another marine in a terrain studded with caves and ravines, Sgt. Harrell was holding a position in a perimeter defense around the company command post when Japanese troops infiltrated our lines in the early hours of dawn. Awakened by a sudden attack, he quickly opened fire with his carbine and killed 2 of the enemy as they emerged from a ravine in the light of a star shellburst. Unmindful of his danger as hostile grenades fell closer, he waged a fierce lone battle until an exploding missile tore off his left hand and fractured his thigh. He was vainly attempting to reload the carbine when his companion returned from the command post with another weapon. Wounded again by a Japanese who rushed the foxhole wielding a saber in the darkness, Sgt. Harrell succeeded in drawing his pistol and killing his opponent and then ordered his wounded companion to a place of safety. Exhausted by profuse bleeding but still unbeaten, he fearlessly met the challenge of 2 more enemy troops who charged his position and placed a grenade near his head. Killing 1 man with his pistol, he grasped the sputtering grenade with his good right hand, and, pushing it painfully toward the crouching soldier, saw his remaining assailant destroyed but his own hand severed in the explosion. At dawn Sgt. Harrell was evacuated from a position hedged by the bodies of 12 dead Japanese, at least 5 of whom he had personally destroyed in his self-sacrificing defense of the command post. His grim fortitude, exceptional valor, and indomitable fighting spirit against almost insurmountable odds reflect the highest credit upon himself and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Don’t forget!!! To join my team, visit the link below.


If you join my team, please ask other people to donate. If you would “just” like to give, go to:


I'm going to be honest here... I can't say I'm a big fan of high school football on TV. It just doesn't seem right.

Less than a week until the start of Labor Day Weekend! I can't wait to see my Labor Day family!!!!

The I’m just sayin… Kid Show of the Week

I know we talked about the original Scooby-Doo show earlier this summer, but the kid show of the week this week is a later version, Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo. In fact, the original thirty-minute version of Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo constitutes the fourth incarnation of the Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon Scooby-Doo. It premiered on September 22, 1979 and ran for one season on ABC as a half-hour program. A total of sixteen episodes were produced. It was the last Hanna-Barbera cartoon series to utilize the studio's laugh track.

Word on the street is that by 1979, the staff at Hanna-Barbera realized that the Scooby-Doo formula was getting worn out, which gave them reason to parody it in a 1979 prime time Scooby special, Scooby Goes Hollywood. In addition, ABC began threatening cancellation for the show, whose ratings were in decline. Therefore, for its 1979 – 1980 season, Scooby-Doo was given a major overhaul, adding the character of Scooby's nephew Scrappy-Doo, voiced by Lennie Weinrib, and changing the name of the show to Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo. The gang, along with Scrappy, is traveling around the world to discover the ghosts and decides to solve the mystery. While splitting up, Scooby, Scrappy and Shaggy end up falling to the ghost. However, unlike his uncle, Scrappy wants to fight the ghost, forcing Scooby and Shaggy to save him. Meanwhile, Fred, Velma and Daphne find the clues which will expose the ghost as a crook. Scooby and Scrappy end up capturing the ghost and is exposed to be a crook. Although still present in these episodes, the characters of Fred, Daphne, and Velma became less essential to the plot. Marla Frumkin took over Pat Stevens' role as Velma Dinkley towards the end of the season, beginning with episode 12, "The Ghoul, the Bat, and the Ugly". Velma does not speak in episode 16, "The Ransom of Scooby Chief".

The cast included:
Don Messick – Scooby-Doo
Lennie Weinrib – Scrappy-Doo
Casey Kasem – Shaggy Rogers
Heather North – Daphne Blake
Frank Welker – Fred Jones
Pat Stevens – Velma Dinkley (eps. 1–11)
Marla Frumpkin – Velma Dinkley (eps. 12–15)

It’s hard to beat the original, but I would say Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo might be at least as good as the original. Scrappy-Doo is a great character and this is a great show to watch with your kids.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Do you know...

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Ordinary Seaman Bernard Harley (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on October 27, 1864, on board the US Picket Boat No. 1. His citation reads:

Harley served on board the U.S. Picket Boat No. 1, in action, 27 October 1864, against the Confederate ram Albemarle, which had resisted repeated attacks by our steamers and had kept a large force of vessels employed in watching her. The picket boat, equipped with a spar torpedo, succeeded in passing the enemy pickets within 20 yards without being discovered and then made for the Albemarle under a full head of steam. Immediately taken under fire by the ram, the small boat plunged on, jumped the log boom which encircled the target and exploded its torpedo under the port bow of the ram. The picket boat was destroyed by enemy fire and almost the entire crew taken prisoner or lost.

Corporal Amzi D. Harmon (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 2, 1865, at Petersburg, Virginia. His citation reads:

Capture of flag.

Sergeant Roy W. Harmon (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 12, 1944, Near Casaglia, Italy. His citation reads:

He was an acting squad leader when heavy machinegun fire from enemy positions, well dug in on commanding ground and camouflaged by haystacks, stopped his company's advance and pinned down 1 platoon where it was exposed to almost certain annihilation. Ordered to rescue the beleaguered platoon by neutralizing the German automatic fire, he led his squad forward along a draw to the right of the trapped unit against 3 key positions which poured murderous fire into his helpless comrades. When within range, his squad fired tracer bullets in an attempt to set fire to the 3 haystacks which were strung out in a loose line directly to the front, 75, 150, and 250 yards away. Realizing that this attack was ineffective, Sgt. Harmon ordered his squad to hold their position and voluntarily began a 1-man assault. Carrying white phosphorus grenades and a submachine gun, he skillfully took advantage of what little cover the terrain afforded and crept to within 25 yards of the first position. He set the haystack afire with a grenade, and when 2 of the enemy attempted to flee from the inferno, he killed them with his submachine gun. Crawling toward the second machinegun emplacement, he attracted fire and was wounded; but he continued to advance and destroyed the position with hand grenades, killing the occupants. He then attacked the third machinegun, running to a small knoll, then crawling over ground which offered no concealment or cover. About halfway to his objective, he was again wounded. But he struggled ahead until within 20 yards of the machinegun nest, where he raised himself to his knees to throw a grenade. He was knocked down by direct enemy fire. With a final, magnificent effort, he again arose, hurled the grenade and fell dead, riddled by bullets. His missile fired the third position, destroying it. Sgt. Harmon's extraordinary heroism, gallantry, and self-sacrifice saved a platoon from being wiped out, and made it possible for his company to advance against powerful enemy resistance.

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The I’m just sayin… Know Your South Carolina Athlete

Our SC athlete you should know is Holly Hill native Adrian Dingle. I’m going to be honest with you, while Adrian played college and professional football… his high school baseball career played just as big a role getting him on here. I was a sophomore in high school when Dingle was a senior at Holly Hill Roberts. I remember we went up to face his baseball team in the playoffs that season. I’ve never seen a team so big… and all of them able to hit the ball a mile (I’m pretty sure Adrian DID hit one ball a mile). I remember my friend Carl was pitching (in this particular game, I was keeping the book which means I was sitting/standing beside Coach Hatley). Carl’s best pitch was this slow curve ball that would just fall off a table. Dingle was up at the plate and Carl threw him the curve ball but I guess it was a little too far inside and it ended up hitting Adrian. Dingle just stood there glaring at Carl. He was trying to intimidate us and… well… it was working. I’m telling you, the guy was huge. Well Coach Hatley was having none of that… He jumped up and yelled, “Go to first base! You’re lucky I didn’t tell him to hit you with a fastball!” It was at this time that I looked to find I was the only one still standing beside Coach Hatley. Everyone else on the bench had moved to the far end of the dugout. Punks. Anyway, I could be confusing my stories here… but I’m pretty sure we lost that game. But the next time we played them (a couple games later in the playoffs), we played a much better game and beat them.

After his high school days, Dingle went on to play linebacker/defensive end at Clemson from 1995 - 1998. He broke the Clemson single season sack record with 10.5 his senior season. Adrian was drafted in the fifth round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. He played defensive tackle in the National Football League for five seasons with the San Diego Chargers (2000-2005…). Dingle ended his career having played in 69 games with 14.5 sacks and INT.

Congrats to Adrian Dingle for being our SC Athlete You Should Know.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thankful for…

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Blacksmith Mosher A. Harding (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on October 20, 1869, at Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona. His citation reads:

Gallantry in action.

Captain of the Forecastle Thomas Harding (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 9, 1864, on board the USS Dacotah. His citation reads:

Served as captain of the forecastle on board the U.S.S. Dacotah on the occasion of the destruction of the blockade runner Pevensey, near Beauford, N.C., 9 June 1864. "Learning that one of the officers in the boat, which was in danger of being, and subsequently was, swamped, could not swim, Harding remarked to him: 'If we are swamped, sir, I shall carry you to the beach or I will never go there myself.' He did not succeed in carrying out his promise, but made desperate efforts to do so, while others thought only of themselves. Such conduct is worthy of appreciation and admiration--a sailor risking his own life to save that of an officer."

First Lieutenant Abram P. Haring (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on February 1, 1864, at Bachelors Creek, North Carolina. His citation reads:

With a command of 11 men, on picket, resisted the attack of an overwhelming force of the enemy.

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A big thanks to Jeremy for his donation… It’s good to know I have someone I can always count on to give. I know there are more of you out there… so GIVE! Right now, I’m still in the Top 5… I’d like to stay there. Also, big thanks to some coworkers of mine (Amanda and Felecia) for joining my team. There’s still space for any of you out there who would like to join.

I heard something on the news the other morning that I didn’t really agree with. It deals with public schools (as luck would have it, Sonny talked about public schools on his blog this past Monday). It seems there is a law (or about to be a law) that will allow kids being home schooled to play sports for their local public school. I’ve talked this over with a couple of people and it seems that I’m the only one who really has a problem with this. Therefore, let me state up front that… well… maybe I’m wrong. But I keep thinking about this and I keep not really liking it. I get that some people don’t like public schools… I happen to favor public schools, but maybe that’s because I grew up in some great public schools that, in my opinion, were as good (if not better) than any private schools in the area. Maybe I don’t like it because I’ve got family (and friends) who have either worked in public schools or are working in public schools and I don’t like the way some people look down on public schools in general. Let’s be honest here, I’d be willing to bet that on average public school teachers have to deal with a lot of stuff that private school teachers don’t. And, not to get off topic, but let’s not ignore the fact that some private schools started around the same time schools were integrated… so they might not be known for their diversity. Of course there are other private schools (like religious based schools) that have been around for many years and offer a unique form of education that can’t be found in public schools for various reasons. Anyway, I’ll try to get back on topic here… The reason I’m against letting home schooled kids play sports for their local public school is that I feel they should attend the school if they want to play there. To me, a parent deciding to home school a child is a nice way for the parent to say the local public school isn’t good enough. I don’t have a problem with that. I believe parents have the right to decide to home school their child (or send them to a private school)… but I don’t think they should “have their cake and eat it too”. The James Island baseball teams that I played on represented James Island High School. It has been pointed out that the parents of the students being home schooled pay taxes that support the local public schools. That’s true… which is why their children have the option of going to that school. To me, if you choose not to attend then you also choose not to take part in school activities. It’s that simple. And let’s be honest… a lot of people pay taxes for various things they don’t use. It’s one of those things that’s better for the community (which Sonny touched on a little in his post). And really, if you take the “they pay taxes” argument, then shouldn’t local citizens get into games for free (since they, too, pay taxes that support the school)? I think that’s all I’ve got to say on this… I’d like to know your views on this. While I’m at it, I should also tell you I’m against school vouchers (or anything like that)… but that’s a topic for another day.

So… Augusta National is going to have two female members. I never really cared about this for two reasons: #1 – They’re a private club and can therefore invite anyone they want to be a member. And #2 – I’ll never get invited. Honestly, I’m not sure what having female women as members of Augusta National is going to do for the average woman, but whatever. I did see where Martha Burk is declaring this a victory for… well… I think it looks like she is declaring this a victory for her… pretty much saying she made this happen. Let’s be clear here, I’m pretty sure this happened because Augusta National wanted it to happen. And that’s the ONLY reason it happened. I have to tell you that I don’t personally know Martha Burk, so it’s possible that she’s a very nice woman who tries her best to right the wrongs of this world. It’s possible, but I doubt it. Based on what I’ve seen publically from her, I don’t like her. That’s my nice way of saying I think she’s a… well, if I tell you then it won’t be nice anymore. I think she’s the female version of Jesse Jackson, if you know what I mean. Incidentally, I don’t know him personally either. Anyway, I think she did more harm than good when it came to this. Rich people usually don’t like for people to tell them what to do. I will say one of my favorite memories is of her trying to boycott The Masters. She threatened the club and when they wouldn’t back down she said she would go after the sponsors. So what did the club do? Looked her in the eyes and said, “Go for it” (ala Rocky in Rocky III before his second fight with Clubber Lang). The fact that I tend to dislike “boycotts” might be clouding my view of her, but it is what it is. I would like to know your views on this one also. As I said before, I don’t think Augusta National did this because they had to… I think they did this because they wanted to. Having said that… do you think private groups should be allowed to discriminate based on sex? Should Ashley Hall (a local girls-only school) be forced to admit males? Should Columbia College (a school near and dear to my heart, because without it I wouldn’t have my Labor Day family) be forced to become co-ed (and not just for night and weekend classes, but for all classes)? What about fraternities and sororities? I’m all for public institutions/groups/golf courses being open to all people… but I think private groups should have the right to choose their own members. What do you think?

Having said all of that, I don’t want to forget to congratulate Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore on becoming members of Augusta National. I don’t think the club could have chosen two better people (though, like just about everyone else I seemed to have talked about today, I don’t know either of these women personally either). I have been a fan of Condoleezza Rice since her service in the (younger) Bush Administration and love the fact that Darla Moore is a fellow South Carolinian who has donated a ton of money throughout the state. I’m sure the club will be proud to have them as members… not because of the kind of women they are, but because of the kind of people they are.

Speaking of golf… I’m dusting off my clubs and looking forward to the Labor Day Championship (which is very similar to the PGA Championship… just smaller… and with higher scores). I’ve got a good feeling this is going to be the year I win it. Then again, that might just be the Lucky Charms I just ate.

Thankful Thursday

I feel like I’ve talked too much already today, so I’ll try to keep this short. As I was typing this, I decided to have my music playing in the background. For any of you scoring at home, I listened to Mozart, Frank Sinatra and Hootie and the Blowfish… not a bad trifecta if you ask me. As I listened to this great music I tried to figure out how some people seem to be able to easily write-off the importance that the arts play in our schools. Nobody seems to doubt that reading and writing and math and science are all important. And I’d say most people feel history and other social sciences need to be taught. But when it comes to cuts, the arts typically seem to be cut first. Why is this? Why are they not seen as being as important as these other subjects. Let’s be honest, do you know what we call a person who excels in the “core” subjects but doesn’t know anything about the arts? A know-it-all jackass who nobody wants to be around because, in general, “regular” people don’t hang out talking about math (sorry Sonny and Susan). As I said in the comments section of Sonny’s post, my favorite quote from Mr. Holland's Opus is: "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want, Gene. Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." I’m glad we had classes like Art and Music when I was in school. Do I remember everything I learned in these classes? Of course not… but these classes did give me an appreciation for these subjects and a base knowledge. More importantly, the next great singer might have decided that’s what they wanted to do in life because of their experience in Chorus. The next great artist might have been inspired to do what they do because of what was seen in an Art class. If anything, I’d say the Arts are like your left hand… it might not be the one you consciously focus on throughout the day (assuming you’re right handed), but if you didn’t have it, you’d sure as hell miss it. That’s the Arts. Maybe you take them for granted a little, but life wouldn’t be nearly as fun if they were gone. So I’m thankful for all of Art/Music/Drama/etc… teachers I had throughout the years. And I’m also thankful for the “people in charge” who do recognize the importance of these subjects.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Marie!

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Ordinary Seaman Thomas Harcourt (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on January 15, 1865, on board the USS Minnesota. His citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Minnesota in action during the assault on Fort Fisher, 15 January 1865. Landing on the beach with the assaulting party from his ship, Harcourt advanced to the top of the sandhill and partly through the breach in the palisades despite enemy fire which killed and wounded many officers and men. When more than two-thirds of the men become seized with panic and retreated on the run, he remained with the party until dark when it came safely away, bringing its wounded, its arms and its colors.

First Lieutenant Benjamin F. Hardaway (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 1, 1898, at El Caney, Cuba. His citation reads:

Gallantly assisted in the rescue of the wounded from in front of the lines and under heavy fire from the enemy.

Private Henry M. Hardenbergh (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on August 16, 1864, at Deep Run, Virginia. His citation reads:

Capture of flag. He was wounded in the shoulder during this action. He was killed in action at Petersburg on 28 August 1864.

Happy Birthday Marie! We hope you have a good one.

I had plans to talk about some things today, but I don’t have time. I’ll try to get to it tomorrow.

The I’m just sayin… Quote of the Week

A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice. - Bill Cosby

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hootie Recap

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

First Lieutenant Robert Murray Hanson (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on November 1, 1943, at Bougainville Island. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life and above and beyond the call of duty as fighter pilot attached to Marine Fighting Squadron 215 in action against enemy Japanese forces at Bougainville Island, 1 November 1943; and New Britain Island, 24 January 1944. Undeterred by fierce opposition, and fearless in the face of overwhelming odds, 1st Lt. Hanson fought the Japanese boldly and with daring aggressiveness. On 1 November, while flying cover for our landing operations at Empress Augusta Bay, he dauntlessly attacked 6 enemy torpedo bombers, forcing them to jettison their bombs and destroying 1 Japanese plane during the action. Cut off from his division while deep in enemy territory during a high cover flight over Simpson Harbor on 24 January, 1st Lt. Hanson waged a lone and gallant battle against hostile interceptors as they were orbiting to attack our bombers and, striking with devastating fury, brought down 4 Zeroes and probably a fifth. Handling his plane superbly in both pursuit and attack measures, he was a master of individual air combat, accounting for a total of 25 Japanese aircraft in this theater of war. His great personal valor and invincible fighting spirit were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Hapeman (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 20, 1864, at Peach Tree Creek, Georgia. His citation reads:

With conspicuous coolness and bravery rallied his men under a severe attack, re-formed the broken ranks, and repulsed the attack.

Private John H. Harbourne (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 17, 1864, at Petersburg, Virginia. His citation reads:

Capture of flag along with 3 enemy men.

I am happy to report that Mary Ruth had a great first day of First Grade! I am also happy to report that Susie and Daniel still like their school.

Don’t forget!!! To join my team, visit the link below.


If you join my team, please ask other people to donate. If you would “just” like to give, go to:


I understand that some of you out there might be reading this in your room thinking, “Oh man… I really want to give, but my purse is downstairs!” Well take two minutes out of your life and go downstairs to get your purse so you can donate. Consider this a warning… soon names will be used. :)

So Augusta National is going to have two female members… well, guess I won’t be joining that club. Haha… just kidding. Anyway, I don’t have time to talk about this now. Maybe tomorrow.

Now, about the Hootie and the Blowfish concert… As usual, it was GREAT! I’ll be honest, I don’t remember every detail but what I do remember is great. The only real downside to the concert this year is that Danny (yes, that Danny), our favorite nurse Jen and my friends Ross and Ginny weren’t able to attend this year. That is now strike one for all of them, but I won’t get into that right now. In a way, them not being there allowed us to party a little extra this year because we knew they’d be able to bail us out. It didn’t rain this year, so that was a step up from last year. The band played their hits, some solo songs by 3 out of the 4 guys, and then a bunch of cover songs. I’ve included some videos in the Picture section for any of you who couldn’t make it (or couldn’t stay awake for it).

I can’t say too much more about the night due to legal reasons, but I will share this story.  As we were leaving the concert, I noticed a friend of mine (let’s call him ____, because I can’t think of a funny fake name) having some trouble walking back to the car. So, I did what any friend (except his wife and his 9 other “friends” with us) would do… I helped him to the car. Of course, by “helped him to the car”, I mean we walked about a mile to the car with him leaning on me while bobbing and weaving like he was Muhammad Ali. It wasn’t a problem for most of the way because we were walking on a sidewalk. Then the sidewalk ran out and we had to walk on some uneven ground. It was at this time when I noticed that our group was no longer with us (really guys? You couldn’t keep up with us? Really!?). So there we were when I noticed that thing that everyone likes to see after a night of drinking… flashing blue lights. Ok, I’m thinking, the cop is going to go after some drunk driver (note: We had two Designated Drivers for the event… and me and _____ weren’t one of them). Anywho, we keep walking and I notice that second thing that everyone loves to see after a night of drinking… the blue lights aren’t passing us. So… I did the only thing I could think of and said, “____, I think this cop is eyeballing us”. ____ just kept looking forward and said one word (it starts with “p” and ends with “ig”). That ____, even when he’s out on his feet he’s still a funny guy. My immediate thought at this point was something along the lines of: If this cop has his window down and ____ said that louder than I thought, I might have to push him down this hill and then take off running… and I hate running. Lucky for us, the blue lights eventually went by us and we were able to walk the rest of the way with our friends (who, as luck would have it, were able to catch up with us right after the police car passed us. Again… really guys? Really?!).

I am happy to report that 3 out of the 4 of us who had to usher in church at 8:45 the next morning were able to be there and do our jobs with the upmost professionalism. I won’t say which one of us didn’t make it, but I will give you two clues: #1 - He’s married to the 2011 I’m just sayin… Fan of the Year Ashley. #2 – He’s not ____ from my previous story.

Enjoy this extra-long Picture Tuesday.

Picture Tuesday

First day of 1st grade!

My old high school (James Island High School)

Seaside Lane... Runs by the school... not a street you want to breakdown on.

Susie - first day at her new daycare

Daniel - first day at his new daycare

School supplies donated by my department (I couldn't fit all of the supplies in one pic)... Pretty cool

Some pics from the Hootie concert

Me with (from left to right) the 2011 I'm just sayin... Fan of the Year Ashley, The Wife, and my buddy Adrian

Another view from James Island

When I was in elementary school, this was a big field with big oak trees around it.  We'd play out here during recess and on field day.  Now... the new school is back there and this is one of the few trees left.

My old Middle School (Fort Johnson Middle School) - This used to be the building for James Island High School (and the building JIHS is in now was Fort Johnson High School)

The new Stiles Point building.

The JIHS baseball field

The JIHS gym

The view from second base

Where I hit my one and only HR (around the middle of this fence).  I still have a feeling the ball hit the RF and bounced over the wall.  It was a grand slam against North Charleston (during the American Legion season).

I sometimes think this will be the view from the pearly gates...

I know it's not easy to see, but I wanted to point out to my Summerville friends that you don't HAVE to have a fence 6 inches past the end of the endzone.  I'm just sayin...

We're the Three Two Best Friends
That Anyone Could Have
We're the Three Two Best Friends
That Anyone Could Have

We're the Three Two Best Friends
That Anyone Could Have
And We'll Never ever ever ever
Leave Eachother

Monday, August 20, 2012

First Day of School!

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Private Dale Merlin Hansen (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 7, 1945, on Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Chain. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company E, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Chain, 7 May 1945. Cool and courageous in combat, Pvt. Hansen unhesitatingly took the initiative during a critical stage of the action and, armed with a rocket launcher, crawled to an exposed position where he attacked and destroyed a strategically located hostile pillbox. With his weapon subsequently destroyed by enemy fire, he seized a rifle and continued his 1-man assault. Reaching the crest of a ridge, he leaped across, opened fire on 6 Japanese and killed 4 before his rifle jammed. Attacked by the remaining 2 Japanese, he beat them off with the butt of his rifle and then climbed back to cover. Promptly returning with another weapon and supply of grenades, he fearlessly advanced, destroyed a strong mortar position and annihilated 8 more of the enemy. In the forefront of battle throughout this bitterly waged engagement, Pvt. Hansen, by his indomitable determination, bold tactics and complete disregard of all personal danger, contributed essentially to the success of his company's mission and to the ultimate capture of this fiercely defended outpost of the Japanese Empire. His great personal valor in the face of extreme peril reflects the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service.

Seaman Hans A. Hansen (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 13 and 20-22, 1900, in China. His citation reads:

Served with the relief expedition of the Allied forces in China on 13, 20, 21 and 22 June 1900. In the presence of the enemy during this period, Hansen distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

Private First Class Jack G. Hanson (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 7, 1951, near Pachi-dong, Korea. His citation reads:

Pfc. Hanson, a machine gunner with the 1st Platoon, Company F, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an armed enemy of the United Nations. The company, in defensive positions on two strategic hills separated by a wide saddle, was ruthlessly attacked at approximately 0300 hours, the brunt of which centered on the approach to the divide within range of Pfc. Hanson's machine gun. In the initial phase of the action, 4 riflemen were wounded and evacuated and the numerically superior enemy, advancing under cover of darkness, infiltrated and posed an imminent threat to the security of the command post and weapons platoon. Upon orders to move to key terrain above and to the right of Pfc. Hanson's position, he voluntarily remained to provide protective fire for the withdrawal. Subsequent to the retiring elements fighting a rearguard action to the new location, it was learned that Pfc. Hanson's assistant gunner and 3 riflemen had been wounded and had crawled to safety, and that he was maintaining a lone-man defense. After the 1st Platoon reorganized, counterattacked, and resecured its original positions at approximately 0530 hours, Pfc. Hanson's body was found lying in front of his emplacement, his machine gun ammunition expended, his empty pistol in his right hand, and a machete with blood on the blade in his left hand, and approximately 22 enemy dead lay in the wake of his action. Pfc. Hanson's consummate valor, inspirational conduct, and willing self-sacrifice enabled the company to contain the enemy and regain the commanding ground, and reflect lasting glory on himself and the noble traditions of the military service.

Today was Mary Ruth’s first day of First Grade! I think she was pretty excited.

Don’t forget!!! To join my team, visit the link below.


If you would “just” like to give, go to:


Thanks to Mom and Dad for their donation! I think I’m only $260 away from my goal! It’s still kind of early, but as of last night I was the #1 fundraiser in the area and my team was #4 for most money raised. I know I’ll have to raise more money to stay up there, so help me out!

Thanks to The Wife for joining my team. Now let’s raise more money!

The I’m just sayin Weekly Weigh-In

Greg 237

Mary Ruth 48

Susie 25

Daniel 24

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Nights I can’t remember… With friends I’ll never forget

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Corporal Milton Hanna (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on February 15, 1863, at Nolensville, Tennessee. His citation reads:

Was one of a detachment of 16 men who heroically defended a wagon train against the attack of 125 cavalry, repulsed the attack and saved the train.

Second Lieutenant Herman Henry Hanneken (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions from October 31 – November 1, 1919, near Grande Riviere, Republic of Haiti. His citation reads:

For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in actual conflict with the enemy near Grande Riviere, Republic of Haiti, on the night of 31 October-1 November 1919, resulting in the death of Charlemagne Peralte, the supreme bandit chief in the Republic of Haiti, and the killing, capture, and dispersal of about 1,200 of his outlaw followers. 2d Lt. Hanneken not only distinguished himself by his excellent judgment and leadership but also unhesitatingly exposed himself to great personal danger when the slightest error would have forfeited not only his life but the lives of the detachments of gendarmerie under his command. The successful termination of his mission will undoubtedly prove of untold value to the Republic of Haiti.

Corporal Moses C. Hanscom (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on October 14, 1863, at Bristoe Station, Virginia. His citation reads:

Capture of the flag of 26th North Carolina (C.S.A.).

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The I’m just sayin… Bible Verse of the Week

15 Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise…

Saturday, August 18, 2012

For those about to rock, we salute you!

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

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

Voluntarily and under fire went to the rescue of a wounded comrade Iying between the lines, gave him water, and brought him off the field.

Sergeant Richard P. Hanley (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 25, 1876, at Little Big Horn River, Montana. His citation reads:

Recaptured, single-handed, and without orders, within the enemy's lines and under a galling fire lasting some 20 minutes, a stampeded pack mule loaded with ammunition.

Sergeant Marcus A. Hanna (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 4, 1863, at Port Hudson, Louisiana. His citation reads:

Voluntarily exposed himself to a heavy fire to get water for comrades in rifle pits.

We roll tonight, to the guitar bite… Yep, friends, tonight is the Annual Hootie Extravaganza (named Babypalooza by my friend KC on Our Life). If you are in Summerville around 4:00 today, that noise you hear will be me and my gang getting the party started (as the kids like to say). If last year is any indication, this should be a great night. The kind of night one wouldn’t want to forget… which leads me to once again asking you to join my Walk to End Alzheimer’s team (see the link below).


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The I’m just sayin… Kid Show of the Week

Our Kid Show of the Week this week is an all-time classic, All in the Family. All in the Family is a sitcom that was originally broadcast on the CBS television network from January 12, 1971, to April 8, 1979. Produced by Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin, All in the Family revolved around the life of a working class bigot and his family. I believe the show is based on the British television comedy series Till Death Us Do Part. Despite being considerably softer in its approach than its BBC predecessor, the show broke ground in its depiction of issues previously considered unsuitable for U.S. network television comedy, such as racism, homosexuality, women's liberation, rape, miscarriage, abortion, breast cancer, the Vietnam War, menopause, and impotence. Through depicting these controversial issues, the series became arguably one of television's most influential comedic programs, as it injected the sitcom format with real-life conflicts.

The show ranked number-one in the yearly Nielsen ratings from 1971 to 1976. It became the first television series to reach the milestone of having topped the Nielsen ratings for five consecutive years, a mark later matched by The Cosby Show (another classic) and surpassed by American Idol, which notched eight consecutive seasons at #1 (and proved people today have crappy tastes compared to people of the ‘70s and ‘80s). The episode "Sammy's Visit" was ranked #13 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time ranked All in the Family as #4. Bravo also named the show's protagonist, Archie Bunker, TV's greatest character of all time. I’m not sure I’d agree with that, but he’s up there high enough that I’m not outraged that they put him there.

Anyway, the comedy revolves around Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor), a working-class World War II veteran. He is a very outspoken bigot, seemingly prejudiced against everyone who is not a U.S.-born, politically conservative, heterosexual White Anglo-Saxon Protestant male, and dismissive of anyone not in agreement with his view of the world. His ignorance and stubbornness tend to cause his malapropism-filled arguments to self-destruct. He often responds to uncomfortable truths by blowing a raspberry. He longs for simpler times when people sharing his viewpoint were in charge, as evidenced by the nostalgic theme song "Those Were the Days," the show's original title. Despite his bigotry, he is portrayed has loveable and decent, as well as a man who is simply struggling to adapt to the changes in the world, rather than someone motivated by hateful racism or prejudice.

By contrast, Archie's wife, Edith (Jean Stapleton), is a sweet and understanding, if somewhat naïve, woman. She usually defers to her husband. On the rare occasions when Edith takes a stand she proves to be one of the wisest characters, as evidenced in the episodes "The Battle of the Month" and "The Games Bunkers Play". Archie often tells her to "stifle" herself and calls her a "dingbat". Despite their different personalities they seem to love each other deeply. They have one child, Gloria (Sally Struthers), who is married to college student Michael Stivic (Rob Reiner). "Michael" is referred to as "Meathead" by Archie and "Mike" by nearly everyone else. Mike is a hippie, and his morality is informed by the counterculture of the 1960s. He and Archie represent the real-life clash between the generation who fought in World War II and the Baby Boomers. They constantly clash over religious, political, social, and personal issues. For much of the series, the Stivics live in the Bunkers' home to save money, providing even more opportunity for the two men to irritate each other. When Mike finally finishes graduate school and the Stivics move out, it turns out to be to the house next door. The house was offered to them by George Jefferson, the Bunkers' former neighbor, who knows it will irritate Archie. In addition to calling him "Meathead", Archie also frequently cites Mike's Polish ancestry, referring to him as a "dumb Polack". While Archie was a representation of right wing bigotry, Mike represented the hypocritical, and highly stubborn, liberal.

The show is set in the Astoria section of Queens, one of New York City's five boroughs, with the vast majority of scenes taking place in the Bunkers' home (and later, frequently, the Stivics' home). Occasional scenes take place in other locations, most often (especially during later seasons) Kelcy's Bar, a neighborhood tavern where Archie spends a good deal of time and which he eventually buys.

Some of the supporting characters of the show include Sherman Hemsley as George Jefferson, Isabel Sanford as his wife Louise, and Mike Evans as their son Lionel, Archie's African American neighbors. George is Archie's combative black counterpart, while Louise is a smarter, more assertive version of Edith. Lionel first appeared in the series' premiere episode "Meet the Bunkers", with Louise appearing later in the first season. Although previously mentioned many times, George was not seen until 1973. Hemsley, who was Norman Lear's first choice to play George, was performing in the Broadway musical Purlie and did not want to break his commitment to that show. However, Lear kept the role waiting for him until he had finished with the musical. Plots frequently find Archie and George at odds with one another, while Edith and Louise attempt to join forces to bring about a resolution. They later moved to an apartment in Manhattan which resulted in their own show The Jeffersons.

Another supporting character was Bea Arthur as Edith's cousin Maude. Maude was white-collared and ultra-liberal, the perfect foil to Archie and one of his main antagonists. She appeared in only two episodes, "Cousin Maude's Visit", where she took care of the Bunker household when all four were sick and "Maude", during the show's second season. She then went on to her own spin-off series, Maude, in fall 1972.

The series' opening theme song "Those Were the Days" (one of the best theme songs ever, in my opinion), written by Lee Adams (lyrics) and Charles Strouse (music), was presented in a unique way for a 1970s series: Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton seated at a console or spinet piano (played by Stapleton) and singing the tune on-camera at the start of every episode, concluding with live-audience applause. (The song dates back to the very first Justice for All pilot, although on that occasion O'Connor and Stapleton performed the song off-camera and at a faster tempo than the series version.) Several different performances were recorded over the run of the series, including one version that includes additional lyrics. The song is a simple, pentatonic melody (that can be played exclusively with black keys on a piano) in which Archie and Edith wax nostalgic for the simpler days of yesteryear. A longer version of the song was released as a single on Atlantic Records, reaching No. 30 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart early in 1972; the additional lyrics in this longer version lend the song a greater sense of sadness, and make poignant reference to social changes taking place in the 1960s and early 1970s.

One of the more famous episodes is "Sammy's Visit," first broadcast in February 1972, is a particularly notable episode, whose famous episode-ending scene produced the longest sustained audience laughter in the history of the show. Guest star Sammy Davis, Jr. plays himself in the episode. Davis leaves a briefcase behind in Archie's taxi (Archie is moonlighting as a cab driver) and goes to the Bunker home to pick it up. After hearing Archie's racist remarks, Davis asks for a photograph with him. At the moment the picture is taken, Davis suddenly kisses a stunned Archie on the cheek. Rumor is that the ensuing laughter went on for so long that it had to be severely edited for network broadcast, as Carroll O'Connor still had one line ("Well, what the hell — he said it was in his contract!") to deliver after the kiss. (The line is usually cut in syndication.)

All in the Family was the launching pad of several television series, beginning with Maude on September 12, 1972. Maude Findlay, played by Bea Arthur, was Edith's cousin; she had first appeared on All in the Family in the episode "Cousin Maude's Visit", which aired on December 11, 1971, in order to help take care of the Bunkers when they all were sick with a nasty flu virus. Maude disliked Archie intensely, mainly because she thought Edith could have married better, but also because Archie was a conservative while Maude was very liberal in her politics, especially when Archie denounced Maude's support of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The show lasted for six seasons and 141 episodes, airing its final episode on April 22, 1978.

The second and longest-lasting spin-off of All in the Family was The Jeffersons. Debuting on CBS on January 18, 1975 The Jeffersons lasted 11 seasons and 253 episodes compared to All in the Family's 9 seasons and 208 episodes. The main characters of The Jeffersons were the Bunkers' former next-door neighbors George Jefferson (Sherman Hemsley) and his wife, Louise "Weezie" Jefferson (Isabel Sanford). George Jefferson was the owner of a chain of seven successful dry-cleaning stores; as The Jeffersons begins, they have just moved from the Bunkers' neighborhood to a luxury high-rise apartment building in Manhattan's Upper East Side. George was considered to be the "black Archie Bunker," and just as racist as Archie.

Other spin-offs of All in the Family include:

• Archie Bunker's Place was technically a spin-off, but was more of a continuation of the series.

• 704 Hauser features the Bunkers' house with a new family, the key twist being the Archie Bunker analogue in this series is black. Joey Stivic, Gloria and Mike's son, now in his 20s, makes a brief appearance in the first episode. There were also three spin-offs from spin-offs of All in the Family:

• Good Times, which featured Maude's former maid Florida Evans and her family in a Chicago housing project.

• Gloria, a spin-off of Archie Bunker's Place (only by virtue of being created after the continuation series began) where Gloria divorces Mike, moves back to New York, and starts a new life.

• Checking In, a spin-off of The Jeffersons in which the Jeffersons' maid Florence gets a job as head of housekeeping at a hotel.

You might not think it, but trust me when I tell you this is a great show to watch with children. It’s very funny… the kind of show that you’d probably never see started these days.