31 March 2008


This Saturday we were helping out at Christmas in Action. It is very similar to Habitat for Humanity here in the Midland area. One of my Brother Knights invited Eric and myself to go riding in the sand dunes on Sunday.

I agree so i go home and prep my DS 650 for a fun time in the dunes. The next morning we all load up and head to Imperial TX for the dunes.

The dunes in this area are migrating sands. The hills are never the same from day to day. Some hills will go up and top out like a mesa while others are knife edges or razor backs. You have to time your climb to almost stall out when you reach the top because you never know what is on the other side. If you stop and your bike is in the uphill position you are stuck. You need to stop so your bike is pointed downhill and you have gravity on your side when you take off.

So there we are riding around the trucks and cutting up. Darrel decides that Him, Bobby, Eric and myself should go gripping and ripping and have a good time. Let me set the scene. Everyone riding is experienced in the dunes except Eric. Can you guess who has a mishap?

We take off. Darrel has the lead and i am on his butt. Bobby and Eric are following slowly behind us. We are on the trail for about 10 minutes and we stop for a beer brake. Yes we carry beer with us.

After a round we are on the trail again. Darrel is in the lead and i am riding cleanup. I actually like being the last rider, you get to see everyone mess up. Darrel and Bobby are about one hill ahead of Eric and myself. I top this little hill and Darrel and Bobby are setting on top of a 40 foot tall hill. I would guess that the incline is about 35-40 degrees. I am watching Eric as he goes up the hill. He doesn't have enough momentum so about 3/4 of the way up he stalls. He has to ride down the dune backwards. Me being the good friend that i am i take off up the hill and cut in front of Eric to give him a good dusting. I top the hill and we are sitting on a knife edge. It is just as steep going down as it was coming up.

Darrel, Bobby and myself are sitting on the top like a couple of crows on a fence just giving Eric the business. We are questioning his riding skills, manhood and upper body strength. We were actually laughing and having a good time.

Bobby takes off and leaves Darrel and myself sitting there. Here comes Eric. We are watching as he backed way up and got a good running start. Just before the start of the hill Eric hits third gear. He is hauling ass. Darrel gives me this look like "can you believe this shit" and i just shrug my shoulders.

I am waiting for Eric to back off the throttle as he nears the top of the hill. He didn't. When he cleared the top he realized it was a knife edge. When he hit the brakes all 4 tires were in the air. You know what happens when you hit the front brakes in air right? You got it, he went nose down. He probably had an air time of 4 seconds. He stuck the nose of the 4-wheeler like a lawn dart about 3/4 of the way down that hill.

The bike flipped ass over handle bars burying Eric's head in the sand like an Ostrich and kept flipping to a level spot. Darrel and i look at each other with this look of disbelief and fear. We thought it killed Eric. We take off down the hill and help pull Eric out of the sand. About that time Bobby comes back and thought the mummy had returned.

Eric had sand coming out of his ears, mouth and nose. His eyes were packed shut with sand. We checked him out and found out that he is OK. Nothing was broke and he could move all his extremities with no pain. He did bite his tongue and shit his pants. After we checked him out we dang near passed out from laughing so hard.

He had good form until he reached the apex of his trajectory and realized he had to crash land. I am still laughing about it. When i got home today i googled Rocket man then called Eric and played it for him.

Eric's new name is the rocket man. A name well earned and bestowed upon him by his closest friends.

Later i will tell you about Rabbit man.

Words to live by

The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense. The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental.

As John Steinbeck once said:

1. Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.

2. If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

3. I carry a gun cause a cop is too heavy.

4. When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.

5. A reporter did a human-interest piece on the Texas Rangers. The reporter recognized the Colt Model 1911 the Ranger was carrying and asked him "Why do you carry a 45?" The Ranger responded, "Because they don't make a 46."

6. An armed man will kill an unarmed man with monotonous regularity.

7. The old sheriff was attending an awards dinner when a lady commented on his wearing his sidearm. "Sheriff, I see you have your pistol. Are you expecting trouble?" "No Ma'am. If I were expecting trouble, I would have brought my rifle."

8. Beware the man who only has one gun. HE PROBABLY KNOWS HOW TO USE IT!!!

But wait, there's more!

I was once asked by a lady visiting if I had a gun in the house. I said I did. She said "Well I certainly hope it isn't loaded!" To which I said, of course it is loaded, can't work without bullets!" She then asked, "Are you that afraid of some one evil coming into your house?" My reply was, "No not at all. I am not afraid of the house catching fire either, but I have fire extinguishers around, and they are all loaded too." To which I'll add, having a gun in the house that isn't loaded is like having a car in the garage without gas in the tank

26 March 2008

Murphy's Laws of Combat

You are not Superman.

Recoilless rifles aren't.

Suppressive fire won't.

If it's stupid, but works, it's not stupid.

Don't look conspicuous. It draws fire.

When in doubt, empty the magazine.

Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than you.

Always keep in mind that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.

If your attack is going well, it's an ambush.

If you can't remember . . . the claymore is probably pointed at you.

If you are forward of your position the artillery will be short.

The enemy diversion you're ignoring is the main attack.

The easy way is always mined.

The important things are always simple.

The simple things are always hard.

When you have secured an area, don't forget to tell the enemy.

Incoming fire has the right of way.

No combat ready unit has ever passed inspection.

No inspection ready unit has ever passed combat.

Teamwork is essential. It gives the enemy other people to shoot at.

If the enemy is in range, so are you.

Friendly fire isn't.

Anything you can do can get you shot ... including doing nothing.

Make it too tough for the enemy to get in ... and you can't get out.

The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.

Radios will fail as soon as you need something desperately.

When both sides are convinced they are about to lose . . . they are both right.

Professionals are predictable, but the world is full of amateurs.

All weather close support doesn't work in bad weather.

The bursting radius of a grenade is always one foot greater than your jumping range.

The only terrain that is truly controlled is the terrain upon which you're standing.

The law of the bayonet says the man with the bullet wins.

The best tank killer is another tank. Therefore tanks are always fighting each other . . . and have no time to help the infantry.

Remember, your weapons and equipment were made by the lowest bidder

Precision bombing is normally accurate within plus/minus one mile.

Cluster bombing from B-52s and C-130s is very, very accurate. They always hit the ground.

Perfect plans aren't.

The easy way generally gets you killed.

The side with the fanciest uniforms losses.

Armored vehicles are bullet magnets; a moving foxhole that attracts attention.

If you are short of everything except enemy, you're in combat.

No plan survives the first few seconds of combat.

Ammo is cheap; your life isn't.

It's easier to expend material in combat than to fill out the forms for Graves Registration.

If you can't see the enemy, they still may be able to see you.

Final protective fire doesn't.

You can win without fighting, but it's a lot tougher to do. And the enemy may not cooperate.

24 March 2008

Handsome Devils

These are my Brothers from my council that completed the 4th degree with me. Can you pick me out? I'll give you a hint. I am wearing a tux.

Pit Falls

This is a public service announcement. Beware of the weomen on the net.

23 March 2008

Hail, Church and Pucker factor 6

Last night around 0200 i woke up and sat up in bed trying to figure out what that noise was. It sounded like an airplane taking off in the back yard. I was waiting for my eyes to adjust when i realized the sound was hail. The hail was beating down on the metal roof of my carport and making an awful racket. I go outside and the ground is covered about 1 inch thick with marble size hail. It was thundering, lightening and hailing. A pretty cool thunderstorm.

This morning at church Father B is on a tear and giving us the business about the Lords Resurrection. I was ushering this morning so i was out and about making sure that everything was happening that was supposed to be happening. After Mass we were gathered around visiting with our friends and it started raining again. Every one skinned out heading for their trucks before the rain got bad.

I pull out of the church parking lot in my dually. I wasn't in any big hurry so i decided to take the back roads to allow the diesel to warm up properly. So i am idling along and i come to the stop sign leading to the main road. I pull out turning right and for some unknown reason when my truck shifted into 2nd gear i mashed the gas pedal to the floor. The turbo spooled up, the engine was screaming and the rear end broke loose and decided to dance. When the right side started spinning, the rear axle locked up both sides and that is when i hit pucker factor 6. I would bet that not too many people have seen a 4-door dually going sideways down the road with redneck with a shit eating grin. I rode it out for about 100 yards then got off it to allow it to straighten out. It was pretty fun.

Some of us are amused with the simplest of things.

22 March 2008

Bitter Sweet

Some of you may remember back in February 2007 when i told a story of a young man who was involved in a refinery fire. Well that man happened to work for me and he is also a good friend of mine. I haven't said any thing about him because of the legal ramifications. I still will not mention his name but i will say that over the course of his rehab, him, his wife and myself have forged a friendship that will withstand the test of time.

Thursday night my friends along with their 2 year old daughter came over and spent a couple of nights with me. We had a blast. Thursday we cooked and sent around telling lies and reminiscing about the past.

Friday we boiled shrimp, crabs, tators, mushrooms and corn. We grilled some Ma hi Ma hi steaks and craw fish cakes. We ate like kings and celebrated the death of our Lord. It was an awesome day.

It was nice to have friends over and have a purpose. I must admit i get lonely here by myself. I slept the best i have slept in 7 weeks. For the two nights they were here, Lillybug never cried once. She is such a happy baby.

When they left for home today i was sad and happy. I was sad that my friends were leaving but i was glad we had a good time. We didn't do anything special, we just spent time together.

It reminds of the quote in Young Guns. "If you have 3 or 4 pals, then you have a tribe. Ain't nothing stronger than that"

I have a tribe and i am damn lucky. I am well blessed to have the friends and family that i have. May you find the blessings in your life and let them know that they are a blessing.

Via Con Dios my friends.

18 March 2008

A question of morality?

Let me paint a background for you.

Many many years ago a man was at work and injured in an industrial accident. He mangled one leg and foot. After many years and dozens of surgeries the doctor claims that all that can be done has been done.

The man walks with a noticeable limp and has constant pain in the injured foot. The man is left with a size 12 foot and a size 10 foot. He can not put a size 12 on the size 10 nor can he put a size 10 on the size 12. To buy a good pair of shoes he must purchase two pairs.

The man goes to a local department store and finds matching shoes in both sizes. He switches the shoe boxes so he has a size 10 and 12 in the same box. He pays for the shoes and he leaves.

The man claims that because the store has a sign that says Satisfaction Guaranteed, the store shouldn't have a problem with his shoe switching. He is not satisfied unless he gets bot sizes for the price of one.

I ask you what is your opinion on this? Is the man cheating the store? Is he cheating the poor sap that gets the other shoe box with two different sizes?

Can this be rationalized?

17 March 2008

Full Knighthood

Several years back when i decided to get back into the Catholic church i felt that something was missing. I decided to join the Knights of Columbus. For those that are not aware of the Knights of Columbus, it is a Catholic Men's Organization. There are 4 degrees or levels in the Knights. After i completed the 3rd degree i became an officer in the council. Being an active Knight helped me to learn my religion and become a better person. I am thankful for all that the Knights of Columbus have given me.

I have now completed the 4th degree. I plan on acquiring all my regalia and being an active 4th degree.

11 March 2008

No Hablomos Espanol

A couple from Vidor,TX., both bona fide rednecks, had 9 children.
They went to the doctor to see about getting the husband 'fixed'.
The doctor gladly started the required procedure and asked them what finally made them make the decision--why after nine children, would they choose to do this.
The husband replied that they had read in a recent article that one out of every ten children being born in the United States was Mexican, and they didn't want to take a chance on having a Mexican baby because neither of them could speak Spanish.

The duality of man

Do you remember the movie Full Metal Jacket? Joker had "Born to Kill" written on his helmet and a Peace sign on his jacket. He said it represented the duality of man.

I think i know what he meant. The way i look at things now is different than when i was married. I used to be the person that people came to when they had a moral question. It was easy to talk against pre-maritial sex and other topics because i was married.

Now i am worried as being viewed as a hypocrite. I haven't been out fooling around or nothing but i am sure a time will come when my stance on any subject will be questioned. I have realized that perception plays a large part in Morality. At least from an Ethical stand point.

Doing the right thing is a lot easier when you are married. My wife and i had an agreement that we would not go to bars. Now i can go to bars if i so desire. I haven't had the desire yet, but a bar is where ones morals will be questioned i believe.

At what point does loneliness over rule your belief? Can loneliness over rule your Morals? I guess i will burn that bridge when i get to it.

07 March 2008

Wrap your ass in fiberglass

Ricky picked up a new toy. 2008 LT3 Corvette. The below picture do not do it justice.
Ricky came by and he let me take it for a drive. I was at 100mph in 3rd gear. It is supposed to do 210mph. A fun ride.

01 March 2008

A revelation for me

Ricky called me and asked me to come over to his house tonight. He bought UFC 82 and it should be a good fight.

I am going to St. Louis on Sunday so i decided to go to church tonight. I wasn't really wanting to go. To be honest i had lost my desire to go to church. The passion seems to be gone.

I decided i would ride my motorcycle to church, go to Ruth's grave and put the sunflowers out and then go to Ricky's. For some unknown reason being at the cemetery at sunset seems to relax me. It is quite peaceful.

As i am sitting in the pew trying to pay attention, Father Bridges gets on a roll about healing. Father doesn't talk about physical healing but the healing of ones memories. This captures my attention and i am sitting there staring at him. He looked at me a couple of times and i swear he knew what i was thinking. Everything he said made perfect sense to me. It was like he was preaching to me. As Father Bridges is telling this story he looks at his watch and realizes he has been preaching for while. He said he would finish the Homily next week. I thought to myself, Dang, why doesn't he finish this?

After Mass i am riding my motorcycle on hwy 80 to Odessa. As i am riding i ask Jesus to heal my memories. I ask Him to push out the bad memories with happy ones. Then it hits me like a slap in the face. This pain and suffering i am going through is defining my character and the only way to know how much i truly loved Ruth was through i pain i felt with her loss. It is kind of like the old question, how do you prove the wind blows, listen to the leaves rustle.

All these thoughts and memories are running through my head and i ask Jesus not to remove these memories but to walk with me during these trying times in my life. I swear that i felt a calm come over me and i asked Him to rely a message to Ruth for me. After i was done talking to Ruth, i felt an inner peace i haven't felt before.

I spent about 30 minutes with Ruth and we watched the sunset. I said my goodbyes and felt, i don't want to say good, but i felt relieved. I went on to Ricky's house, stayed a couple of hours and came home.

It is my opinion that i was at a defining point in my life. The decisions i made would define me. I didn't ask to be relived of my burden, i asked Jesus to help me carry it. He responded that he would. Once again Father Bridges has come through for me. My passion is back and i look forward to being a part of my church.

God brought me through this for a reason. He didn't test me, he simply proved that i trust in Him. Maybe in the future i will help someone through a trying time, or simply be there for someone. I don't know the answer but i am not afraid of the question any more.

The difference between Ethics and Morality

Someone asked me the other day what is the difference between Ethics and Morals. I didn't really have a good answer at the time. I have put some thought to it so when you read this you will know my answer.

The Ethical man knows he shouldn't cheat on his wife. The Moral man wouldn't....