Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Comes In All Packages

We had a poor man's Christmas this year. Moving into a new house was an expenditure extraordinaire, so we decided to forego any presents and content ourselves with good food and company. My brother and sister-in-law brought us a small basket of goodies and our good friend Monica bought us western style stockings, but that was the only exchange.

Most of the boxes of the move had been unpacked, but the living room was still a mess. The greater space of the house allowed us to empty the two storage sheds that were costing us an arm and a leg every month to maintain. It was the temp controlled type, and they...of course...are the more expensive. These sheds kept  all of Mom's things that she had given to our daughter. I mean all of them. Furniture, piano, china, silver, crystal, etc etc. In addition, they stored things we had packed long ago and sealed. Several of these boxes contain Lulu's collector Barbie Dolls. Some are as old as 1982, the year she was born. It became a fad in the family to buy her these dolls, and it was her decision to keep them all in the box and untouched by human hands. In about twenty years, Amanda might be able to get rich quick.

So, yesterday we began to delve into these boxes to see what we could throw away and what was worth keeping. That was when we had a different kind of Christmas.

I found a baseball that mother had kept. In 1960, the Astros were called the Colt .45's. One day, the St. Louis Cardinals came to town and Dad got tickets. Back then, there wasn't that much separation between the players and the fans. You could see a lot of them in the parking lot, making their way to the stadium along with those attending the game. I was only four, but mom recounted the story several times as I was growing up. There was a gaggle of teenagers surrounding this one baseball player for the Cardinals, hammering him for an autograph, his cap, the ball he was carrying, his glove, you name it. As he was walking by, he didn't see me for the small crowd and bumped into me. Mom said he leaned over and said, "Sorry little fella", and handed me his baseball. Mom watched him walk away and noticed the number on his jersey. She bought a program and found his name. It was Duke Carmel. Even though he was only in the majors about five years, and never put up any Hall of Fame numbers, Mom wrote on the baseball, 'Given to Bob Coward by Duke Carmel, St. Louis Cardinals, 1960'. I hadn't touched that ball in thirty some odd years and it brought a joy to me that I can't explain for me to look at Mom's writing and touching something so happy in my memory banks. I found out that Duke Carmel is still alive at the age of 76. I doubt he plays baseball anymore.

My wife discovered her matchbook collection that exceeded several hundred. They are old, but in great shape. I looked up matchbook collectors on Google and found out they even have a name for it. Phillumenist is how I believe it's spelled. Anyway, some of these dudes sell for as much as thirty dollars. We will be sorting through them in a few weeks to see if we have any hidden treasure.

I pulled out of one box a set of hospital scrubs. I noticed some writing on the right breast and it read, 'Labor and Delivery' on the first line, and then 'Beaumont Medical Surgical Hospital' underneath. These were the scrubs I wore in the delivery room when Amanda was born, twenty-three years ago next month. They looked as new as the day they were packed.

Each box my wife and I reached for next was opened with more and more excitement, and none of them disappointed. I found the small collection of photos of my first visit to Paris that I had thought were long lost in a former move. There I was at the top of the Eiffel Tower. A sweet couple was kind enough to take my picture. I found what used to be my favorite T-shirt and it was still in good condition. It was given to me on my fortieth birthday and said, "In Dog Years I'm Dead". I have it on right now. I love this shirt.

It humbles me to know that when we think we can't afford can be delivered to us from the most unexpected places. No, these presents weren't giftwrapped and they weren't the latest gadget to come from the minds of insane gadget engineers. These presents were reminders of our days past and how the good times do....after all...outweigh the bad. I know who gave me these presents. And I just wanted to tell Him....thank you.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Reliant
The Texans were DONE, and with that I ain't lyin'.
Their jock straps were thrown in the trash without care,
For what they once held, were no longer there.

What coaches were left, shivered in their beds,
While visions of hatchets cut off their heads.
And McNair in his hood, and with Smith by his side,
Showed no mercy for the careers that have died.

When out on the field there arose such a clatter,
McNair and Smith looked into the matter.
Away to the window they flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The season was over with nothing to show,
And no one was safe, after falling so low.
When, what to their wondering eyes should appear,
A Santa in red and he was holding a spear.

He poked the team slackers, so lively and quick,
They knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than Zulus, he struck them with shame,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Out Schaub! Out Joe! Out Kubiak and Tate!
Out Dennison! Out Ninja! Out Wade to your fate!
To the Obamacare line! You're through with the ball!
Now go away! Go away! Go away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When you met with an obstacle, you laid down and died.
Off to the scrap heap St. Nick he flew,
With the sleigh full of has-beens, and John McClain too.

And then, in a twinkling, they heard from the sleigh,
The crying and whining of those who once played.

As St. Nick removed them from Reliant forever,
We hope they come back, like maybe...NEVER.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Christmas Memory

I believe the year was 1966. My mother was big on Christmas. She loved putting up decorations in the house and having a resplendent tree with all the trimmings. We never put anything on the outside of the house, but it wasn't because we didn't want to insult our liberal or muslim neighbors. We just didn't do it. In fact, we didn't have muslim neighbors back then and the liberals were few and far between where we lived. Still are.

So, mom is in the store one day and sees something new. It was a self tree flocking machine with the necessary flock. On a lark, she bought the contraption so we could have a Christmas tree with fake snow, or flock. Later in the week she bought a tree and set it up in the garage. Removing the flocker from the box, she read all the instructions and put together the connections and mixed the flock.

Not wanting to make a mistake, she aimed the machine at the garage wall and pulled the trigger. It was a good thing she did. Instead of the flock coming out of the flocker in a spray pattern, it shot a thick stream of goo right at the wall. The flocker sounded like a rapid fire machine gun when it went off, scaring her and causing my mom to jump with fright. Now the stream was flocking the garage wall pretty good with the goo as it trailed upward, hitting the ceiling, with the resultant splatter from the stream coating her hair. Mom turned off the flocking flocker and went to take a shower.

Once clean, and not to be outdone, she returned to the infernal flocking flocker machine and adjusted the output on the nozzle. Being a veteran of flocking flockers now, she held it in both hands and steadied herself, aiming at the tree. This time, she met the challenge with great success as the flocker flocked as it had been originally designed. But the flocking dust from the flock, being sprayed by the flocking flocker machine, began to choke mom to the point where she started coughing and couldn't stop. She accidentally dropped the flocking flocker but had inadvertently placed the trigger in the locking flocking mode. Back then, these types of things didn't have dead man switches. Mom ran out of the garage while the flocker began to spin, spraying its flocking flock all over the garage. When the machine was emptied of its flock, I was sent into the flocked up garage to pull the electrical cord from the socket.

The instructions on the flocker said to let the flock dry for a period of two hours. This she did. At that time, the flocking dust had settled and she went into the garage to retrieve the freshly flocked Christmas tree. I must say that it was beautiful. didn't last. What mom hadn't counted on was the tree had to be transferred from the garage into the living room. This meant it had to go through a door, through the kitchen, through another door and down a small, narrow hallway. The transference of the tree's location was met with door facings, kitchen tables and chairs, hallway walls and living room furniture. By the time it was placed in its desired spot, it had been....shall we say....pretty much de-flocked. It looked like a tree with the mange. In its wake were many little dead flockers and no amount of vacuum power could suck all those little dead flockers up. Mom desperately tried to keep a brave face as she looked at the carnage. Deciding to wait for clean up, she went right into decoration mode. No matter how many decorations she placed on it, though, the tree only continued to look ragged and ill-kempt. The presents underneath helped a little, but we had great fun at her expense that year.

When the tree was finally taken down and put by the side of the street for the garbage men to take away, the flocking flocker machine was in a trash can beside it. I have never had a flocked tree again. Mom said if I wanted another one, she suggested I write Santa for it.

Why All the Angst?

I have yet to watch a single episode of 'Duck Dynasty' and have no clue what the show is about. What's more, I don't care what it's about. But the latest uproar over Phil Robertson and his stance on homosexuality is ridiculous in the least, and hilarious at the most. Oh the horror of it all.

Then you have the mega-churches that stay away from controversial social issues and teach gobble-dee-gook every time their doors open because it's what people pay to hear these days.

For the last 2000 years, every attempt possible that is under the sun has been made and is being made to deconstruct the principles, values, and fundamentals of Christianity. The Soviet Union all but quashed Christianity during its reign. China is the same. Islam is racing across the globe and that for reasons I cannot understand. The last bastion of defense for the faith has been the United States for many decades. Now? The deconstruction of Christianity that has overtaken Europe is not only gaining steam here, it is in full attack mode. Every tenet of Christianity is under siege, whether you wish to believe it or not.

And Christians? They are wringing their hands and shaking their heads and saying, "Oh what shall we do? What shall we do?" My answer? Shut up with the whining. The final victory is near. The battle is not ours, it's God's.

One of my favorite westerns is The Outlaw Josey Wales with Clint Eastwood. An American Indian actor, Chief Dan George, had a great part in this movie. In one scene, he recounts to Wales his meeting with Abraham Lincoln. According to the tale, Lincoln told him and the other chiefs with him they needed to endeavor to persevere. He said they went back and thought about that for a long time. Endeavor to persevere. So they put down their peace pipes, took up their rifles, and declared war on the Union. Too funny. Yet, that is a message Christians of today must take as their mantra. Endeavor to persevere.

I do not promote Christians of this country take up arms to protect the faith. On this matter of the church being under attack, I don't even promote we write our congressmen or senators or president. That would be defined as carnal warfare. To fight this fight with worldly weapons, of any type, would be ridiculous. Paul the Apostle should be our guide here, for he said the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.

As I read the news and see the trends that are taking shape across the world, it gives me great comfort. And, if you are a bonafide Christian, it should do the same for you. It is time...nay, past time....for us all to rejoice at what is going on around us. We were given instructions by Jesus as to what we should look for that would be signs of his return. Are they not evident to you? When you read the paper, it's like reading biblical prophecy. This should excite every Christian.

Peter said that in the last days, there would be a great falling away. A falling away from what? From the church. In Aberdeen, Scotland, you can walk into a magnificent structure of a church building that has been standing for over two hundred years. Its stained glass and opulent wood carved furnishings are enhanced by the 800 tube pipe organ (I think it's 800). But, instead of a church where God is worshipped, it has been turned into a bar/restaurant/casino. The building was historical, and the one time church members had long 'fallen' away, leaving it there to languish and rot from disuse. So the building and land was sold and it was turned into what it is today. You can find it on the internet. It's called, The Soul Bar. I guess they thought that was funny. During my stay in the UK, I saw church building after church building that had been abandoned for years. Many are being bought by enterprising people to use them for other businesses such as the one I mentioned.

In the U.S., it's different. Here, we have empty churches that are filled with thousands of people. Empty I say, because nothing of substance or spiritual value is put on their soul's plate. As has also been written in the Bible, it says that in the latter days, people will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. Notice they don't heap to themselves 'preachers', but teachers. In this country, preaching is fast going the way of the dodo. Yet, the Bible says it is by the foolishness of preaching that men are saved. Not teaching. Those churches in this country who refuse to abandon preaching the blood and the sacrifice and stand firm on the scripture, have many empty seats. This should encourage us. For we know the Master is closer than ever.

Don't get me wrong. The church has failed miserably in its task and judgment will begin with us, just as Peter said. Edmund Burke said, "As the church goes, so goes the world." Take a look at the world today and you see the condition of the church. The salt has lost its savour, and is being thrown out to be trodden under the feet of godless men. We should weep at this result that is of our own making. However, look to the east...for the time is fast approaching.

Those who are glad the world is awash with humanism, liberalism, multi-culturalism, and the ideal that whatever you wish to do, no matter if it's a crime against God or nature, will one day realize their error in thinking. I pray it is not too late for them.

I do not advocate a law that restricts people from living their lives the way they see fit. I do advocate freedom to disagree and freedom to verbally express that disagreement with an alternative solution, whether anyone wants to listen to it or not. If your idea of freedom is to expand one over the other, then your idea of freedom is perverted and possibly beyond repair.

Christians of today, I encourage you to endeavor to persevere. Over the last fourteen years, I have not done this. Yet, I am finding myself drawn back to the roots of my faith. It is a slow process, and my anger with God is subsiding as the wounds are being healed. I am on the road to spiritual recovery, and am committed to persevering.

Continue praying for our leaders and this country. Pray for those who are blinded by nonsensical reasoning. Pray for your State, county, city and neighbors. Be a light for those around you and always be ready to make a defense of your faith by studying the Bible with an open mind and heart, to receive the instruction you need to be a valid witness for Christ. Go to a church that still preaches. Raise your children in the way they should go. Give of your increase. And keep your eyes on the eastern horizon. The day is soon coming. And you might just be here to see it. endeavor to persevere. We've already been told these days were coming. Why are we surprised to see it? Always remember this....nothing you read or see has taken God by surprise. He's still on his throne and in control. Smile at the vitriol that comes your way because of your faith and what you believe in. It will only make you stronger for that day when it comes. Everything....and I mean going according to His plan. And you can take that to the bank.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Wichita? Really?

What has Wichita done to irritate terrorists....or wannabe terrorists? I looked at the pic of this goober and it says a lot. As with Tila Tequila, we have another village absent its idiot.

After further study of this city, it became apparent why the terrorists would want to blow it up. It is, after all, where Pizza Hut began. Pizza Hut has been the front runner of anti-Islamic sentiment since it opened way back when. They put pork on their pizzas. They allow their female customers to come in, unattended by a male relative. The women have their hair exposed and their faces showing.  They are allowed to pay for their pizza and then drive away. What started in this town then infected the rest of the country, making all of us targets of pizza terrorism.

Kansas is the home of Dorothy and Toto. Icons of anti-Islamic sentiment. If you can't see it, then you're too stupid to know what I'm talking about.

The wannabe terrorist worked for Hawker Beechcraft. You know them. These are the guys who sold a bunch of Texan T-6 trainers to the Israelis. No terrorist likes Israel. The Texan T-6 is a single turboprop that is used to train new pilots. So Beechcraft must be destroyed. Obviously.

I always thought Al-quaida(?), was targeting New York. In New York you have yankees. Nobody likes yankees. In New York, you have the press. That way, you can get your mayhem on the news post haste. In New York, you have all the financial big-wigs, so if you blow them up, you can hopefully ruin our country's economy. There's ALL kinds of reasons to blow up New York.

But Wichita? I don't even know Kansas exists until something like this hits the news. Only Kansans know they exist and they aren't that proud of Wichita, anyway. Wichita doesn't even have an NFL, NBA, or MLB team. What good are they without those, I ask?

What we have here is a mentally messed up dweeb who's life didn't turn out like he wanted it to and finally realized the world would never know he lived, breathed, ate, reproduced and crapped unless he did something spectacular. Like blow up an airport and kill a bunch of people. The major error in his thinking was he believed people elsewhere in the world care about what happens in Wichita. No, he barely made a headline.

But that's okay, Terry. I'll give you a headline. Here it is.....

Some Nobody in Nowhere, America Planned on Blowing Up Airport Nobody Knows About

There. You are now known by millions for being an idiot. All your cellmates will treat you like an idiot....and like a nice, curvy woman...for years to come. Welcome to your new reality. It's going to be a whole lot worse than the one you tried to escape from.

We all want to make some kind of mark in life. But, how about starting at home. Then, be somebody in your neighborhood. Be somebody at work. But, try to be a person who is decent. There is only one you need to impress. Manage that, and you get all the recognition necessary. That is, if you're not an idiot living in Wichita.

Friday, December 13, 2013

An Example of How It Should Be

I want to take a moment to sit back and write about a friend of mine. His name is Kingsley and he is from Nigeria. He has been living in the U.S. for a few years now, and will soon become a citizen. Unless the immigration people get my letter in time....but that's another story.

The first time I met Kingsley he had just been hired by the company I was working for. Someone took him to my office to introduce him to me. The initial words out of my mouth do not bear repeating, but let's just say he took it in stride. It didn't take me long to discover a few things about him.

Here's the good things. He is a decent man with a big heart to match his size. Being very articulate and having a vocabulary that either rivals are exceeds my own, we used to play a game over the e-mail system, trying to give each other words that we didn't know the definition of. Needless to say, it expanded both our minds in the realm of weird words.  Kingsley is a very good engineer, conscientious and thorough. He has an infectious laugh. Even though he is a grown man, when he laughs you can see the 'child' has never truly left him. In today's world, that's a good thing. Too many grow up and become stiff in their demeanor.

Now, here's the bad thing about Kingsley. He's a flaming liberal who would make Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid proud. Not to mention Obama. Kingsley has come to this country and decided the best political action he could take would be the wrong one. Being as highly intelligent as he is, this puzzles me.

He refers to me as a right wing nut job who is one of the most infuriating people he's ever met...politically speaking...and maybe in other categories. We have had some very terse and forthright discussions, sometimes resulting in each of us having to step back and re-evaluate the humanness of the other.

However, one thing has not happened. We have never stopped liking each other. We have never stopped supporting one another. And we have never stopped being friends. I told him the other day that I do not choose my friends based on their political beliefs. He feels the same way. Kingsley has repeatedly contacted me to find out how the movie deal is going and how my book writing is progressing. He called me this morning to check on my wife when he found out she was ill. In other words, Kingsley is a gentleman of the highest caliber. He doesn't allow our diametrically opposed beliefs to interfere with our relationship. We are not enemies. If anything, we are political opponents. If you look in the dictionary, there is a huge difference between the two.

And, this is how it should be in this country. I don't like the Democrat agenda and he doesn't like the Republican agenda. I think the Democrats are taking us down a road to economic destruction. Kingsley is the exact opposite. Yet, we still love each other like brothers. When I was going in for my heart surgery, I asked Kingsley to be a pall bearer at my funeral should I not come out of it alive. That's how much I think of him.

I have other liberal friends who enjoy putting me down on a personal level. It doesn't really bother me. I enjoy doing the same to them. But it doesn't have to be that way. How it should be, is how it is between me and my friend. I think he's crazy. He thinks I'm crazy. And we move on, arm in arm, checking on one other, caring for one another, and supporting one another. He is a good man who will do great things. Of that, I have no doubt.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Liberals Speak with Forked Tongue

Liberals are supposed to be the all inclusive ones. The fair ones. The ones who's heart bleeds when a sparrow falls or a tree is cut down or when the snail darter is in trouble. They are the section of our society who cares about the 'little' guys, the ones that the 'big' guys can't hear or won't hear. They are the saviors of our world. So they think.

Libs are like Muslims. Yep. I said it. Just like 'em. Muslims are all inclusive and fair and their hearts bleed for the little guy....until they aren't the little guy anymore. Once they become the majority, things change fast. Just ask the French or the Dutch and soon the Brits. They aren't so willing to listen to anyone else once they grab hold of political power.

Libs are the same way. Exactly the same way. Exactly.

The libs controlled the House and Senate when Obama was elected. With the majority of the country against the Affordable Care Act (I can't help but laugh every time I say or write that) and without one Republican vote, this poisonous law was forced upon us all. With the libs in control of the Senate, they change the rules so the majority can have a leg-up on the minority and quash their voice. Yes, I was reminded by a flaming liberal one day that the Republicans almost did it, as if that gave some sort of legitimacy for the Dem-lemming-crats doing it. But, liberals have their head stuffed so far up their arse they need a plexi-glass belly button to see where the hell they're going. I just consider the source.

Now, the real proof is in the pudding as to their thought processes as we shift our view to California. It seems the California exchange has been sending out people's private information, who have tried to sign up for insurance, to the insurance companies. Names, phone numbers, addresses and e-mail addresses, all sent out without any of these people's knowledge or consent.

Libs don't believe in living inside a republic. They want a  true democracy. They want 'majority' rule, especially since they are now in the majority. Don't believe me? Here's a quote from the guy in California running the State exchange. "I know some people will be upset, but I also know a lot of people will be comforted in knowing this will expedite them getting the coverage they need."

Back up. There's the difference. 'Some' people are relegated to nothing. While the majority of people are the focus. That's a democracy...not a republic. Okay, let's do it. Here's a couple of places we can start.

Homosexuals:  Gays are a minority in this country. So, throw out gay marriage, gay rights, gay anything. I know this will upset some people, but I also know a lot of people will be comforted in knowing these few will be dealt with as the majority sees fit.

Blacks: We need to pass a law that is retroactive to the sixties civil rights movement. A lot of people didn't want blacks having equal rights or even close to equal rights. We need to take all laws off the books that helped to elevate blacks in the social system and give them opportunities they didn't have before. I know this will upset some people, but I also know a lot of people will be comforted by going back to the old ways of doing things since the majority is in control.

In fact, I find it outrageous that alllll these libs are boo-hooing over Nelson Mandela's death and are shouting at the top of their lungs how great his legacy was and is. How disgraceful. Libs have no more motivation to emulate him than a redneck wants to emulate a cross-dresser. Mandela had every right, when he ascended to the presidency of South Africa, to push a radical agenda and have 'Payback' on his platform for all the ills the white government inflicted on him and his people. But, he didn't. He was truly a man for all the people, despite his socialistic tendencies and his communistic background. He didn't allow his personal views to obstruct his decisions on what would be fair to all, the minority as well as the majority. He knew that to represent his country, he had to represent everyone and let everyone have a voice. And, what's more, he tried his best to make it happen. So, if you're a liberal and you're glad the minority voice is being shut out and you're glad that things are being shoved down our throats and you're glad you're agenda is being espoused over the little guy....then shut up about how much you respected Nelson Mandela. You're nothing like him and you probably never will be.

He was a little guy who became a big guy and never forgot that when the big guys lose sight of where they came from, it's bad for all. This is where the liberals in this country are failing the common good. Their mentality is the same as Valerie Jarrett. Those who stood against her and her ilk are now facing 'payback', and Obama is enabling her at every turn. Obama and his group of thugs don't hold a candle to Nelson Mandela. And those that follow him and support this charlatan should never mention Mandela's name again. It only degrades what kind of man he really was.

Are you glad California is spitting out private information on its citizens without their knowledge or consent? Then you are a part of the overall problem that is seeing this country die as a republic. You want a true democracy? Then, you can only be described as an idiot and your village misses you.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Sad Day

Went to Saratoga yesterday to be with the in-laws on Thanksgiving. The food was good and the visit was nice. But it wasn't a very good day.

After eating, I went to a couple's house that are very dear to me. They are up in age and have been friends to my family all my life and before. Prior to my leaving, the husband, who I believe is 90, rose from his chair to show me an old photograph. He is quite unsteady on his feet and ended up falling, hitting his head on an open drawer. I rushed to his aid and helped his wife get him back in the chair. He wasn't hurt badly, but it shook me up to see him fall like that. I stayed for a little while longer to make sure he wasn't seriously hurt.

I was heading back to my in-laws when I had an urge to go see the old house that my dad built and lived in with my mom for over thirty years. A nice man and his wife bought it from my mom and have made many improvements. When they were thinking about buying it, I told them they had to promise not to cut down a cedar tree that was in the front yard. In 1973, I found this little tree in the forest. It had chosen a poor spot to grow, the seed having landed between two huge pine trees. I returned home and got a shovel and uprooted the little thing and re-planted it in the front yard. It only stood six inches tall when I saved it. Over the years, it grew like a weed and was a magnificent looking tree. The man agreed not to cut it down. I was there about eight years ago and the tree was still there and growing. However, yesterday...when I arrived at the house, the tree was gone. All that was left was a stump about a foot high. The man came outside to greet me and I asked about the tree. It seems the last hurricane that came through that area almost uprooted it and it was leaning perilously close to the house. He had no choice but to have it cut down by professional loggers to save future damage to his home. The man told me the tree had reached about forty-five feet in height. I could tell by looking at the stump that it had gotten very big. It was almost two feet in diameter. When I saw it was dead, it broke my heart. Why the death of that tree affected me so, I have no real idea.

The man took me inside the home so I could see the improvements he had made. There were many, but I also noticed that many of my dad's fingerprints were still intact in the home. The glass wall was still there that he put in so mom could sit and drink her coffee, watching the squirrels and the birds at their many feeders. The fireplace he built and the cedar ceilings were still there. All put in by my dad. All this did was remind me that I could never spend another Thanksgiving or Christmas in that house with my parents. It brought back memories of him working so hard on that house that at times mom would have to pry his fingers from the hammer when his hand would cramp up. I remembered Lulu racing her wheelchair up and down the front porch with a smile of pure glee. The four by four posts that hold up the front porch were still there, and the concave shapes on some of them were still apparent from when mom's cats would use them as scratching posts. Tears were coming from my eyes, so I took my leave and ended the visit....probably for the last time.

Back at the 'ranch', my mother-in-law was falling asleep in her chair. She looked so old and tired. This lady has been my best friend in this family for over thirty-five years. I remember her being robust and full of life and, most of all, happy. Back in the day, the whole family would gather round on this day and Christmas and the house would be full of laughter and good food. Now, we're the few that show up and stay for a while. Oh, there are a couple who come for a short visit, but most have moved on and live too far, and their children have had children and life has taken a different turn for them. I'm not being critical of any, only stating my perspective. Still, looking at her in that rocker, with her chin almost touching her chest; all I could think about was that soon, Memaw (as we call her), wouldn't be able to get the fixin's together for the holidays and that her diabetes was fast taking a toll on her.

Then, right before the Dallas game, my wife informs me that we have to leave. Upon asking why, I'm told that our daughter has to go get a friend of hers who has arrived from up north and was in Huntsville with her family. This really hit me wrong and I said so. I defiantly watched the first quarter and then begrudgingly loaded up the car and left. Believe me, the day only got worse from there.

Sometimes I'm not too happy that we don't get three wishes in life. One of mine would be to go to sleep and wake up on January 2nd...after the 'holidays' have passed. I don't need them

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Some Things Are Sacred

I don't ask for much in my house. Here's the list....

1.  Don't hit me with an emergency the moment I walk in the door. (Unless there's an intruder in the house or it's on fire) Give me thirty minutes.

2.  During football season, I own the TV when the games are on and everyone else needs to leave the room or shut up.

3.  When I go to bed, don't be loud.

4.  Do not try to save money on toilet paper.

That's it.

So, I come home the other day and had to go to the throne room. Upon finishing my business, I reach over to grab some toilet paper and it feels like sand paper in my hand. I could only imagine how it would feel where I commit the application of said paper. Further, it already had brown spots on it. I inspected further and it looked like bark. Like tree bark. I've heard of this before. A comedian was talking about this kind of toilet paper one time and he took a roll to his wife and said, "How do I know when I'm through?!" Exactly.

The purchase of this paper was an egregious transgression of Rule Number 4. In my mind, it ranks right up there with the Cuban Missile Crisis. At a time when Venezuela is suffering from a severe shortage of TT paper, why is this type not being sent to them by the freighter load? I mean, they don't like us anyway, so send them the bargain basement paper. They already have the red-ass about us, so let's make it redder. Right? Why do I have to suffer with this?

I immediately went to She Who Holds the Purse and registered my complaint. This included the following:

A.  I want velvet type construction put in to my TT paper.
B.  If possible, get some that has lotion in it and smells like a spring day among blooming Dogwoods.
C.  I want virgins singing outside my window from just dreaming about how it feels to the touch.
D.  I want the Number 2 experience to be in the top five of things that bring me pleasure.
E.  Buy TT Paper from a specialist boutique, not Wal-Mart, Sam's Club or any other bottom dollar establishment.

And finally,

F.  Never should I have to speak of this....again.

She Who Holds the Purse listened courteously as I laid out my complaint. I was, told....the paper would not be thrown out and it would be used according to its purpose until gone. But, I was then informed that allowances would be made concerning the comfort of my tuckus and no expense would be spared from that day forward where TT paper is concerned.

Some things are just too sacred to mess with. I'm glad we got that straightened out. Still, having a hard time sitting right now. Too much 'ruffage' I guess.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Of all the subjects I post about, I think I can honestly say that on this topic...I'm an expert. After all, my last name is Coward. How do you think I was approached while going through school?

"Hey, let's see if yer a coward!" Wham!  "Hey, coward! Git outta my way!" Slap! Push! Bam!

Bullied? Yeah, until I got to my sophomore year in High School at West Hardin when my parents moved us to Saratoga. Seems country folk are a little less screwed up than city folk, at least in some areas.

The way I always looked at it, my name prevented me from backing down. In my mind, if I backed down, then my character would befit my name. Running was never an option for me. Junior High was where it was the worst. The leading 'gang' was a group of kids that had failed two or three grades and should have been in high school. They were much bigger than the rest of us and used the size differential to intimidate and browbeat their victims. They were led by the smallest of them all. Let's call him Shelby. One day, in seventh grade, I was waiting for the coach to come out of his office so P.E. class could start. Shelby comes up to me, out of the blue, and starts slapping me in the face with his jock strap and asking me if I liked it. I knew two of his goons were in the same class, and to retaliate would mean a certain beat down with me on the receiving end. I also knew that if I took this humiliating treatment, I better get ready for a steady diet of it. So, I took the only option available to me. I jumped up, and with the back of my left fist, came around and caught him squarely on the jaw. My right fist followed in quick succession and took out Shelby's nose. Blood started running from it as he reeled backward, trying to stem the flow with a hand. Like two hell bats on fire, his goons come rushing up, towering over me, when one of them said, "Why don't you pick on someone your own size?" I looked at them with a "What?!" expression. Before they could pounce, the coach came out of his office and blew his whistle, indicating that we were to go into the gym. Saved by the shrill bell, I was. However, I was warned by Shelby that I was as good as dead. The next day, my dad went up to the school and spoke with the principal. When he found out the perpetrator was Shelby, he told my dad, "I wish your son had killed him." It was then we found out this individual and his minions had been more trouble than just at the school. The local police knew them all too well, and they were bad news. Shelby and his gutless wonders were put on notice about me, and I had little trouble out of them after that. I also found out that other 'bullies' at the school had a newfound respect for me and left me alone, seeing how they might just get their noses busted if they messed with me.

All this drama about Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito is crap. When you're in a locker room with a bunch of other jocks, there are different rules to live by than anywhere else in the outside world. You take care of business....mano a mano. And, if you're six foot eight hundred and weigh more than a battleship, what are you afraid of? The NFL is a business built on controlled violence. I have seen many fights among football players in my years of watching, and not once has anyone been killed, maimed, or disfigured for life. Nor have I seen any of these men put in jail for assault. It's the code of the locker room. If some guy won't get out of your face, you make him get out of your face. Martin would be completely respected by his peers if he had locked horns with Incognito instead of running home to momma and hiring an attorney. Instead, his NFL career is likely over because he's been labeled a 'cry-baby' by those he would have to line up with and against if his career were to continue.

We read almost every day about this person or that person getting bullied at school or at work. Then, every now and then, we read about someone who commits suicide because they were bullied. If you could still fight at school without being arrested, suspended, hogtied and tattooed, bullies would be cut to a minimum. Those who bully are the real cowards. Once you smash their nose to the back of their skull, they leave you alone. I don't care how big they are. They are like any petty criminal. They go to the weaker of the flock. If you establish yourself as NOT being one of those, bullies let you go in peace.

And what about work? Too many people today are 'afraid' for their jobs and allow their bosses to mistreat them to the point where they lose their own souls to these people. Don't ever be afraid to defend yourself. I had a boss one time that gave micromanagement a bad name. After six months of this idiot, I determined to not take it anymore. One day (2005), I told him that nothing he said surprised me, because he hadn't made a correct decision on the project since I had been there. That was when I effectively quit. He was too stupid to realize my last name is Coward and that might have some history behind it. He went insane and pointed at the door, yelling, "You wanna step outside?!" I smiled and said, "Yeah. Let's go. I've been wanting to whip your ass for four months." Walking into the hall, I turned to see him still standing where I left him. I said, "You comin'?" And, he wasn't. Let's just say I burned that bridge down to the ashes when I walked back in the office and said, "If you aren't man enough to go outside with me, after YOU gave the invitation, then you aren't man enough to say another word to me. If one more thing comes out of your pie hole, I'm gonna stomp a mudhole in you and march it dry." I then asked him if he understood me and he nodded that he did. I packed my personal belongings and walked out. I had an F-150 pick-up at the time and started a hot shot business until something better came along. Never be afraid for your job at your personal, self-esteem expense. Bullies are like Frankensteins. They aren't born, they're created.

Bullies are more prevalent today because our society has been pussified to the point that if you defend yourself, you're the bad guy. Well, I don't mind being labeled the bad guy by a bunch of pussified twerps who don't have the backbone to hold up a feather. I've been called hot-headed, crazy, intolerable, and a host of other names. But, nobody messes with me. During my stay in London, I built a reputation as someone who got the job done and didn't care who he had to step on to get it done if they were standing in my way. And believe me, there were a ton of them. The project director came up to me one day and said, "I need a person to go down to Nigeria and be the project coordinator for getting our equipment loaded on time and all the site receipt tests completed. This person has to be willing to knock heads if he has to in order to get the job done, and I thought of you." During that six month period in Nigeria, I was grossing $55,000.00 a month. If they were going to pay me that much, nobody was going to prevent me from doing my job. Nobody. I ended up running the client rep off my job site one day. Another time, I told a lifting expert if he didn't want to hang around to watch a 45,000 pound lift, he could get in his car and shag the hell out of my face. He did. We were having trouble getting the port to have our heavy equipment arrive on time at my job site. I told the port master that until my equipment started showing up on time every day, he would be having breakfast with me EVERY morning until it did. I never had to have breakfast with him. Several Nigerians working on my barge kept coming up to me for money. I went to their supervisor and told him that if they asked me for money again, I was going to throw him overboard. Never heard a peep from them again. The client engineer tried to intimidate me, but after three weeks, he preferred to stay in his office and let me feed him reports on progress. One night, a fellow in our bungalow decided to bring one of the local prostitutes to his room, which was next to mine. After about thirty minutes of head board bumping on my wall, I knocked on his door. The young man opened it and I said, "Do you have to go to work in the morning?" The young man replied that he did. I said, "So do I. Keep the noise down or I'll have security throw both of you outside." Their 'lovemaking' was of the silent type after that. Another gentleman decided to get so drunk one night that he was slamming doors and cursing loudly, keeping us all awake. The next morning, I found him passed out on the front porch. I took several pictures with my cell phone. Later that afternoon, once he was awake and sober, I showed him the pics. It was then I informed him that I OWNED him. I said, "If I hear one more peep out of you that disturbs my sleep, these photos go to your boss and you go back home without a job." As you can see, bullying comes in many shapes and sizes. Some say these examples might be defined as being discourteous. What do you think bullying is? It's where a person thinks their behavior supercedes any liberties you may have.

To defeat violence, of any type, is to meet it with greater violence. No? Then how did we defeat the Nazis and the Japanese? It is easy to reduce such analogies to our personal spheres. Those who know me don't mess with me. Those who don't know me learn quickly not to if they decide I'm their next mark. I don't care if I lose my job. I was looking for one when I found this one. I don't care if people don't like how I respond to others who think they are better than me. I respect others as long as they respect me. If they don't respect me, they find out it is to their detriment if the behavior continues. Most recently, back in June of this year, we had a man on the phone during a meeting who kept interrupting me while I was speaking. Being the 'client', this perturbed me to no end. I informed the gentleman to stop interrupting me. He continued. I then said that if he interrupted me again, I was going to conclude the meeting. He did it again. Meeting was concluded and I issued a formal protest against this man's continued presence on the project. We haven't heard from him again.

Weaklings pervade our society and they scream and whine and cry and wring their hands, waiting for someone else to ride in and save the day. Save your own day, you mealy mouth bunch of babies. Stand up for yourself, instead of cringing in the corner and whimpering like an idiot. Be strong, and of good courage. That's what will stop bullying. Nothing else.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

It Will Never Stop

When there are too many idiots in the world, then idiocy will reign supreme. Therefore, we are now officially living in 'Idiot Land'.

The world governments are on a slippery economic slope. Wars and revolutions are going on in more than a hundred countries. Starvation, disease, illegal drugs, corruption, piracy and every other thing you can think of that destroys lives, communities and the very fabric of civilized societies are issues that must be grappled with if we are to live on a secure planet.

But, what is the most important thing on the news today? Whether the Washington Redskins should change their name or not. Now, it's looking like the owner of the franchise is going to 'cave' and do just that. I mean, it's the politically correct thing to do. Right? It will make all the liberals feel better about themselves. Never mind that it won't help the American Indians any. They will still be destitute and living on a dead end road with no hope of a prosperous life. But, at least the liberals won't have to look at that horrid name anymore on Sundays. Out of sight, out of mind, eh?

I wish the owner would contact me about a new name. It should be indicative of where they are located. How about the Washington Taxmen. Or, the Washington Corruptors. I personally prefer the Washington Liars. Then, there are others such as the Washington Leakers, the Washington Spies, the Washington Ambassador Killers, the Washington Crashers (Obamacare website dig), the Washington Destroyers (as in our economy), the Washington Dictators, the Washington Spinners, and finally the Washington Wussies; for caving in to the idiocy that permeates the liberal psyche.

I guess we'll also have to change the name of other teams, eventually. The Chicago Bears is too violent a name, and I believe has a direct correlation to the violence that has defined the city. How about the Chicago Yogis. Yogi is a friendly bear with a sidekick named Boo-boo. That should get the crime rate down. The Dallas Cowboys will have to change their name because it's too sexist. What about the cowgirls? They've been left out. Yes, the Dallas Cowpeople would come off much better. The Oakland Raiders definitely have to change their name. That is an unlawful occupation to raid anything and is, by definition, politically incorrect. How about the Oakland Pacifiers. They could even use the name as a great marketing tool and turn their mouth pieces into pacifiers they can suck on the entire game. Has anyone asked a bunch of dolphins if they are okay with Miami's team name? The New Orleans Saints have to change their name due to religious intolerance. The New Orleans Ecumenicals would be much better.

The fact is, the name Redskins doesn't actually harm anybody. It is a benign name for a football team that is based in the most corrupt, scandal ridden and power hungry section of our country. If you think about it, the name doesn't really apply to native Americans. It applies to the color of our politicians' skin when they come out before the press and spew out lie after lie after lie. Their faces turn red from the audacity of it all. All the Redskins have to do is take the present logo off their helmets and paste a photo of Pelosi in its place, or Harry Reid. That will explain everything about the name of the team.

The main problem with liberals, other than having a mental deficiency, is they only look outward...never inward. Their self-sanctimonious, narcissistic, out-of-control, false opinionated outlook on people in general wouldn't be nearly as sharp to cut others if that outlook was turned to an inlook. An honest self appraisal might get them to be a little less squealy about the perceived wrongs they see in the world that is committed by others and realize that, at least in part, they are the problem.

The race baiters are winning and in so doing they are creating the atmosphere desired. Divisiveness is what they want. They want people to vote based on racial bias and look at the exterior of the candidate instead of what they possess on the inside...which is the most important characteristic of anyone's personality. To bow down to these screeching calls to change the name of a football team that has been in existence since 1932 is to grant these idiots more power, which is exactly what we all, collectively, should not want nor allow. It will only encourage further idiocy that will ultimately invade our own individual lives, which it is already.

But, alas, I am in the minority when it comes to being politically correct. I posted a tongue-in-cheek 'short' comment on grandkids the other day and, as expected, someone got their feelings hurt and just COULDN'T believe I was like that. I love to post things sometimes just to see what kind of reaction I get and I am seldom disappointed. Attack people's grandchildren? Are you nuts? Too funny. The sensitivities that are out there boggle my mind. Especially when the subject doesn't affect a person's own life. Yes, I'm an advocate for native Americans. I am appalled at how they are treated. But, maybe the best place to start would be in helping them with housing, food, job training, self-worth seminars, medical help, etc. THEN, we might start thinking about changing an NFL team's name. To do the latter first, is to be an idiot. And, since there are too many of those running around breathing good air...the idiocy will never stop.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The American Spirit is Not Dead...But It's on Life Support

The reason I know the American spirit is not completely dead is because of a report I heard today. It seems the government, due to the shutdown, informed the Air Force Academy in Colorado that it would have to cancel its next game because there were no funds to transport them there. United Airlines, in a great PR move, contacted the academy and offered to fly the team to the game and back....on the house. Kudos to United Airlines and I hope they make a squillion dollars a year in profit.

You see, in a capitalistic society that is built on high ideals and a sound, moral center; such as ours used to be, neighbor helps neighbor. Families reach out to strangers in their time of need. Communities unite during hard times and see to it the whole remains intact. What United did today is just like that. No matter the motivation, it is a 'cost' to them in the short run to make such an offer and carry it out...if they are allowed to. But it is a personal cost. United isn't just throwing money at the problem like our government does, believing that's all you need to solve problems. It's putting its own time, material, personnel and resources into the challenge.

Therein lies the rub. If the American spirit was truly alive and well, strong as ever and ready to rumble; the report today would have mentioned more than one airline. And don't try to tell me the airlines are still suffering. All that means is you haven't tried to fly anywhere in a long time. The fact that only one is mentioned is why I do believe our spirit is on life support.

I read a story on today about hikers up in Idaho that are missing and there aren't any federal funds to send searchers in to find them, since it's a government park they are in. I'm thinking, "Okay, so don't send anyone in to get them." I know that sounds harsh, but this particular area is not for the hiking squeamish. If one is not experienced in that kind of terrain, not in excellent shape and not prepared for emergencies, they have no business in that area to begin with...if they care anything about their own well being. To always expect the government to be on hand to save every to surrender your self worth, your individuality, your very a thing that cares nothing at all about your liberties.

The wussification of this country is mind boggling. Oh yeah, we've got all these guys and gals who want to be involved in all these extreme, outdoor sports (mountain climbing, snow boarding, rock climbing, parachuting, racing, hunting, hiking, camping in wilderness settings, boating et al); but when they inevitably get hurt, there better be a helicopter equipped rescue team, a doctor a nurse and an ambulance at their side in less than five minutes or the lawyer is on speed dial. When did this happen to us? When did it become the government's responsibility to be our savior every time we decided to do something dangerous, ill advised or just downright stupid.

Stop putting warning labels on dangerous things! It will weed out the stupid people who marry stupid people and raise stupid kids to keep the insane process alive.

I've touched on this in a past blog, but it bears repeating. Aren't you glad the first pioneers, when they looked to go past the Appalachian Mountains, didn't retreat because there wasn't a government rescue squad there to get them out of trouble? I am so glad someone didn't say to them, "Hey, mister! They's be wild injuns on that uther side. Youze crazy to go on out there by yore-self. It's toooooooo dangerous." If it were today, the guy would look back at the man and say..."No rescue team? No government assistance? No government supplied rest stop where I can tinkle? Well, that's pure madness!!!"  And, we wouldn't go.

What kind of country would this be without that pioneering spirit from yesteryear? Look at what it's become with it withering on the vine.

This is how it should have stayed. Family taking care of family. Neighbor taking care of neighbor. Community taking care of community. Nation standing strong, together. Government protecting us from foreign invaders, and leaving us the hell alone, in every other category, to take care of ourselves. Yes, the American spirit today is only a whimper of what it once was.

And, do you know what the worst part of it is? We let it happen with eyes wide open. So, we have no one to blame...but ourselves.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

This Isn't a Sports Blog....but....

Now that I have finished roasting Matt Schaub over coals of hell fire, let's go on to our illustrious and much heralded head coach, the one and only genius of the gridiron...Gary Kubiak. He was hired and started as the boss of Reliant Stadium for the season of 2006. Since that time, we have listened to him take the blame for every loss; heap praise on his players for every win; and watched him build up a team that is competitive, but not overly anyone.

I did a little study today, and I don't claim these numbers to be presently up to date. I do have a job that gives me a paycheck that requires some of my attention. What I decided to do was make a list of many of the head coaches that started with their teams in 2006 and beyond, and then compare that to our glorious leader's record. Here's what I found....

Mike Smith: Atlanta Falcons (started in 2008) - .700 winning percentage. Record is 56 – 24. Has garnered two NFC South Championships, 4 playoff berths and won one AP Coach of the Year award. 

John Harbaugh: Baltimore Ravens (started in 2008) - .675 winning percentage. Record is 54 – 26. Has garnered one Super Bowl Championship, one AFC Championship, two AFC North Championships, and 5 playoff berths. 

Jason Garrett: Dallas Cowboys (started in 2010) - .525 winning percentage. Record is 21 – 19. 

John Fox: Denver Broncos (started in 2011) - .656 winning percentage. Record is 21 – 11. Has garnered 2 AFC West Championships and 2 playoff berths. 

Mike McCarthy: Green Bay Packers (started in 2006) - .661 winning percentage. Record is 74 – 38. Has garnered one Super Bowl Championship, one NFC Championship, 3 NFC North Championships and 5 playoff berths. 

Sean Payton: New Orleans Saints (started in 2006) - .646 winning percentage. Record is 62 – 34. Has garnered one Super Bowl Championship, one NFC Championship, 3 NFC South Championships, 4 playoff berths and THREE AP Coach of the Year awards. 

Rex Ryan: New York Jets (started in 2009) - .531 winning percentage. Record is 34 – 30. Has garnered two playoff berths. 

Mike Tomlin: Pittsburgh Steelers (started in 2007) - .656 winning percentage. Record is 63 – 33. Has garnered one Super Bowl Championship, two AFC Championships, 3 AFC North Championships and 4 playoff berths. 

Jim Harbaugh: San Francisco 49er’s (started in 2011) - .766 winning percentage. Record is 24-7-1. Has garnered one NFC Championship, 2 NFC West Championships, 2 playoff berths and one AP Coach of the Year award. 

Pete Carroll: Seattle Seahawks (started in 2010) - .521 winning percentage. Record is 25-23. Has garnered one NFC West Championship and two playoff berths. Arguably has the strongest team in the NFC for the 2013 season. 

Mike Shanahan: Washington Redskins (started in 2010) - .438 winning percentage. Record is 21-27. Has garnered one NFC East Championship and one playoff berth. 

Gary Kubiak: Houston Texans (started in 2006) - .527 winning percentage. Record is 59-53. Has garnered two AFC South Championships (back to back) and two playoff berths.

So, what do you see here? I see Mike Shanahan did in three years what Kubiak took six years to accomplish. Okay, Shanahan's an old hand at this...I get it. Let's move on. Rex Ryan, rookie coach back in 2009. What does he do? Comes into Reliant Stadium for his first game as a head coach with a rookie quarterback against the much vaunted Gary Kubiak and his nasty Texans and....whups 'em. Like Kubiak, he has garnered two playoff berths. Hell, even Jason Garrett's winning percentage is just two points under Kubiak's. And he inherited a mess. The real joke on us is Jim Harbaugh. Mike Singletary left the 49er's in a shambles when Harbaugh took over in 2011. What has he done? Oh, nothing really...only garnered one NFC Championship, two NFC West Championships, two playoff berths and one AP Coach of the Year award. In two seasons. TWO.
The difference between these men and what we're stuck with is they are flexible. They aren't...insane. Gary Kubiak is clinically insane. The reason I know this is that he keeps doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. Isn't THAT the definition of insanity? He has watched his quarterback of seven years regress instead of progress; and won't recognize a change must be made. He refuses to open up the offense early, even though when they get behind and it becomes a necessity, he finally relents to a pass of more than five yards. But...JUST ONE, mind you. We don't want to get too reckless. He will not bend when it comes to his dogged determination to run the ball...even when confronted with a brick wall made of thousands of pounds of muscled man-meat. It wouldn't matter if he had Joe Montana in his prime...Kubes would run the ball and play it safe. He will not allow his player's natural athletic ability to be utilized in such a way as to best accentuate their talent; instead forcing them to mold into his inflexible system that has so far gotten us only to the second round of the playoffs. Only then to be embarrassed by Baltimore and New England. Plus...if I must remind you, the Texans didn't get to the playoffs until Kubiak was forced to stop hiring rookie and good old buddy defensive coordinators and bring Wade Phillips on board. It was only when the 3-4 defensive schemes of Wade Phillips and their drafting people like J.J. Watt that the Texans found themselves in the playoffs. It wasn't Gary Kubiak's offensive genius. It was Wade Phillips' smothering defense that carried the last two seasons.
Matt Schaub is not responsible for what he is. He was a second string quarterback in Atlanta and it's been proven in Houston why he was. Kubiak tried to make a silk purse out of sow's ear and is too stubborn to admit the experiment should be over. It is his stubbornness and resistance to change that has brought this team to where it is today. Any leader is derelict who does not listen to his advisors and even to his lowly men....or worse....refuses to believe their own eyes.
The Houston Texans will never...NEVER...make it to the AFC Championship and much less to the Super Bowl, with Gary Kubiak as the head coach. Put it in the bank.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Look Into My Family's Past

My brother and I went through some old photos the other day, as well as some items that we had forgotten about. One was extremely interesting. It was an old manila style envelope that my mother received back in 1989. It was a rendition on the Coward family history. I asked my brother if I could make copies of it, and he readily agreed to let me borrow it. 

As far as they were able to tell, my family history in this country started with Demsey and Sarah Coward who came from England and settled in Martin County, North Carolina. Records show he bought a hundred acres of land in 1778 and went on to buy several more hundred acres in the following years. 

What caught my eye, though, was a rendition of family members who served with the Confederate States of America or, better known as the CSA. This peaked my interest, so I decided to do a little more research.
Henry Coward served in Shea’s Artillery Battalion which was the 4th Artillery Battalion and would go on to form the Texas 8th Infantry Battalion. In 1862, they travelled to Cedar Bayou and captured Federal soldiers landing at Aransas Pass. In the same year, they rescued Confederate prisoners during a battle with the Union ships Midnight and Arthur. Later in that same year, Shea’s battalion fought in the Battle of Lavaca and forced the retreat of Federal gunboats. They were consolidated with the 8th Infantry in 1863 and became one with the regiment. The group drove Union troops back at the Battle of St. Joseph’s Island and fought Union troops in Louisiana in 1864. Only a handful remained to surrender between May and June of 1865, and it is believed Henry Coward was killed in action, as any record of him after the war cannot be found.
However, Henry and his brother, James Coltrain Coward, fought together while assigned to 
Company F, 12th Texas Infantry.  Following from U.S. Gen Web Archives: 12th Infantry Regiment [also called 8th Regiment] was organized and mustered in Confederate service at Waco, Texas, during the spring of 1862. Its members were recruited in the towns and cities of Clarksville, Cameron, Hempstead, Nacogdoches, Fairfield, and Waco, and the counties of Comanche, Milam, and Grimes. The 12th Texas Infantry Regiment was led by Colonel Overton C. Young and thus also known as Young's Regiment.  The regiment was assigned to Brigadier General Thomas Neville Waul's [First] Brigade of Major John George Walker's Texas [Greyhound] Division, Trans-Mississippi Department. The regiment saw action in March-May 1864 in Louisiana [the Red River Campaign] and Arkansas [the Camden Expedition].  Some men are known to have fought at the battle at Corinth, Mississippi. James is known to have survived the war and lived several years afterwards. His wife’s name was Mary Ann and they had three children together. Mary Ann died in 1870 and James re-married, but a courthouse fire has destroyed any record of who she was. James died in 1881 from ‘consumption’.
Zachariah Coward was a man after my own heart, serving in the Texas 33rd Cavalry, known as Duff’s Partisan Rangers – 14th Battalion Cavalry. We know he was with Company G and remained a private throughout his service. 33rd Cavalry Regiment was organized in April, 1863, by using the 14th (Duff's) Texas Cavalry Battalion as its nucleus. Its members were recruited at San Antonio, Port Lavaca, and Mt. Vernon, and in Kaufman County. This unit served in Gano's and Hardeman's Brigade, Trans-Mississippi Department, and was active along the lower Rio Grande. In April, 1864, it was near Bonham, Texas and contained 23 officers and 307 men. On June 2, 1865, it was included in the surrender. The field officers were Colonel James Duff, Lieutenant Colonel James R. Sweet, and Majors Santos Benavides and John T. Brackenridge. It is said Zachariah brought his saddle back home with him. The horn of the saddle had a Union bullet embedded in it, which probably saved his life and allowed him to procreate after the war. 

Malliellue Hildreth Coward signed up for duty in June, 1861, joining up with Benjamin McCulloch and was involved in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek in Missouri. McCulloch’s forces made up the Confederate right wing at the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas and overran a key Union artillery position during that time. McCulloch was killed in action the next day. Malliellue made it back home to his wife Permillia and their six children. 

My relatives in Mississippi and Alabama got in on the action, not wanting their Texas cousins to have all the ‘fun’. James Coltrain Coward’s three sons also fought in the war, but were living in Mississippi and Alabama at the time it started. Levi joined the 4th Mississippi Infantry. His brothers, Albert Taylor Coward and William Washington Coward joined later. John Watson Coward, a cousin of theirs, served in the 41st Alabama Infantry. William Washington Coward was killed in action at the Battle of Corinth, the same battle his father was wounded in. Levi Coward was also wounded in this battle, and later died of his injuries. John Watson Coward survived the war and came back home to his wife, Elizabeth Jane Bunnel and their TEN children. I can only surmise that he later died of STRESS.
As far as we know, they all served with distinction for their cause. 
So, there you have it; the reason why I have been such a REBEL all my life. Until next time….have a great week.


Monday, September 23, 2013

My View on Matt Schaub

For those of you who may not know who this gentleman is, he's the quarterback for the Houston Texans, going on seven years now. The first two weeks of the season he rallied the Texans to come from behind and win. Of course...this means they started out slow, were getting their butts kicked...and had to shift into overdrive to prevail.

Yesterday, they went to Baltimore to take on the Super Bowl Champ Ravens. They had no need in being in awe of this team. They were riddled with injuries on both sides of the ball and even on special teams. Last year, when Baltimore won the NFL Championship, the Texans beat them during the regular season to the tune of 43 to 13. So, the notion of the Texans going into their stadium and feeling somewhat jittery about playing them...can be put to rest.

Gary Kubiak needs to admit...before the next game...which he won't...but he should...admit that his experiment with a second string quarterback is now over and that there are definitive and absolutely final results. Those results, collectively, are....there's a reason why guys are second string quarterbacks.

This is Matt Schaub's tenth season in the league. For three of those, he was a back-up quarterback. That is, until Gary Kubiak suddenly got over his mental fog and realized that, 'HEY! We can't win with David Carr!', and opted for Schaub. All the people cheered. John McClain, NFL sportswriter for the Houston Chronicle, asked me to write the lyrics to a song called "Big, Bad Schaub". You can watch the video on YouTube. Schaub came to Houston from Atlanta and immediately went to work gaining the confidence of his teammates and working with them closely to help turn them into a winning franchise. All the people cheered. After much hard work and several disappointing seasons for the Texans' Won/Loss column (yet GREAT stats by Schaub...we'll get to that later), Schaub gets hurt on a quarterback sneak. Out for the season. All the people moaned. The great football god of all the universe and every dimension that contains another universe....Gary Kubiak...sent in the back-up quarterback, T.J. Yates to take over for our fallen hero. All the people moaned. But, the young Yates-ter rallied the team and won the game. All the people cheered. This new knight of gridiron warfare took the Texans to their first playoff appearance. All the people cheered. This new knight of gridiron greatness led the Texans to their first playoff victory. All the people ran around the stadium and cheered and cheered. Then, they lost the next game, and the people moaned. The following year, Matt Schaub was back and the Texans were winning almost every game. All the people cheered. Then, they went 1 and 4 down the stretch, where Matt Schaub only threw one touchdown pass in those last five games. All the people went...huh? But then, Matt Schaub won the first playoff game and all the people cheered again. Then, Matt Schaub met the big, nasty, gnarly New England Patriots and Tom Brady...and he melted in the wind. All the people moaned.'s the deal about yesterday and what got us here. On fourth and two you go north and south, not east and west. What does Kubiak/Schaub do? They run a quick out to Tate who is quickly wrapped up by a corner for a two yard loss. That takes us to Kubiak's perfected Field Goal Offense. I like to call it the FGO. We had three of those babies yesterday, man. THREE. Eat that. Two pick sixes in two games is unacceptable on any level of play. Four interceptions in three games is unacceptable on any level. He has no confidence, so he only sees #80 and everyone in the stadium knows who he is going to throw to. They also know that when Daniels does a crossing route, Schaub locks radar on him. That's why the pick six yesterday. When you have first and goal, and two of your three downs are passes...and NONE of them break the goal line? You have a serious confidence issue. Gary Kubiak, I firmly believe, forges a game plan to fit Schaub's strengths and not to include the strengths of the talent around him. Dink and Dunk is the order of the day for Schaub, who today on the radio is being referred to as Noodle Arm. He's being eviscerated on sports talk and he deserves every bit of it. But Kubiak's insane play calling and refusal to spread his offense with the weapons he possesses, must go right along with it. Jerome Solomon, Houston Chronicle sports writer, referred to him as Konserviak. I wish I had thought of that first. If you look at Schaub's stats, you will see an All-Pro quarterback with impressive numbers. But, when you compare those numbers with what you are actually seeing on the field, it makes you wince if you know what you're looking for. Kubiak isn't going to call a play that is high percentage for Matt Schaub...period. It might make his quarterback look bad (as if THAT'S not happening), might make him look bad, and you can't have that. Plus, Schaub is a stone statue back there and when protection breaks down he just wilts like butter in the microwave. At least with Yates or Keenum, these guys have the speed to run out of the pocket and either make time to find an open receiver or tuck it and go. Schaub runs like a legless gazelle. Not only that, the term Noodle Arm fits him perfectly. If the ball goes beyond twenty-five yards, the trajectory and spin begin to fizzle out. NO FIZZLING!

It has become painfully obvious this guy will never get the Texans to the AFC Championship, much less the Super Bowl. They need fresh legs. They need a fresh look. They need young blood that still feels a need to make something happen instead of saying, "Well...uh...duh...we just take whut the dee-fense gives us. Uh..duh." I swear if I hear Schaub say one more time that they take what the defense gives them, I'll blow a gasket. Aren't you glad our generals...during World War II, didn't sit around a table and say, "Well, I guess we better just take what Hitler's willing to give us."????  You're on OFFENSE you moron! That means you attack and TAKE what you want. While they're digging in you're dropping bombs and artillery rounds all around the poor saps in the ditches. Don't sound like some beggar looking for scraps, because they'll give you those ALLLLLL day long, dude. Offense is force against that which is trying to keep you from delivering it to its fullest. The defense has no idea what you are about to do on any particular play. They're guessing from film study, tendencies and situational stats. You and the ten men with you are the ONLY ones on the field that know exactly what you're going to do. UNLESS!!!!! You're Matt Schaub being led by Gary Kubiak. THEN...  everybody  ...and their DOG knows what you're going to do.

As far as I'm concerned, these two are connected at the hip and are a package deal. After the Texans go 9-7 this year, deliver the divisional crown to the Colts....AGAIN...and miss the playoffs completely; Gary, Rick Smith and Matt Schaub should be shown the door. If McNair keeps them on, then that just means one thing. He's senile. I'm out!!!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Shut 'er Down

Chicken 'Obama' Little is running around the chicken yard screaming 'The sky is falling! The sky is falling!' about this looming government shutdown and it's all crap. Anyone that knows anything...anything...about the way our government was set up by the founders is that it wasn't supposed to work well to begin with. They knew, as we all should, that a government left to its own machinations will always negatively affect the people it governs; so they put in so many checks and balances and so many branches that could effectively nullify the other with its own set of powers, they felt like they had done a good job of keeping Americans free and their liberties intact. And they did. Until we decided we were more interested in our iPhones and XBoxes than a burgeoning tyrannical government that wishes to turn us into subjects instead of keeping us on as citizens.

I find it so funny when one of these 'elite' Washington insiders says, "We just can't get anything done," when speaking about the two parties fighting and cussing and discussing every whipstitch. That's the point you bunch of dinglefooses. Every time you get something 'done' it costs us in more taxes. WE DON'T WANT YOU TO GET ANYTHING DONE! Idiots. Whenever they DO something, it turns out to be something like Obamacare that ends up costing everybody more money so their newfangled government program can operate for the 'public good'. Whatever.

In case you need a memory surge, check this out. There was a shutdown of the gubment when Bill Clinton was in office. It lasted twenty-one days, from December 16 to January in 1996. The result was the furlough of several hundred thousand federal employees (Yea! We're too bloated with them already) and it affected several layers of the economy, for a short while. But, we're still here, aren't we? We didn't get sucked up into the political maelstrom of black holedness and get turned into zombies, as was probably predicted. Well, most of us didn't. Those that did were Demoncrats.

I say, 'Shut 'er down'. Congress holds the purse strings and they should keep them tight and let the Democratically controlled Senate, led by the odoriferous, Alzheimer's plagued Harry Reid, twist in the wind over it. What we need right now more than anything is for this government to SHUT the hell DOWN. All it does when it's running is impinge on our rights, dig into our wallets, and pass new laws to spy on us instead of the bad guys. With this administration, WE are the bad guys. Every time some wacko nut job shoots a bunch of people, they want to take all of our guns away and we didn't do it. I went to my gun cabinet the other day and yelled at all my guns, doing all I could to infuriate them into striking back. Nothing. I was amazed at how patient and forgiving my guns were at not jumping out of the safe and shooting me dead. I don't understand it.

Continuing to raise the debt limit so the government can keep operating as it like giving a truckload of Twinkies to an obese heart patient. Obama wants more money. How do you think he's going to get it? Hell, he's printing forty billion a month and the government is STILL spending more than it's bringing in. Obama's solution is to raise taxes...AGAIN. Obama's solution is to hire more federal employees, specifically the IRS so it can run Obamacare. Isn't THAT a pleasant thought. Obama's solution is to throw a fifty-five gallon drum of gasoline on a bonfire that's raging out of control. At some point, the crew of this starship has to tell its captain can't fly this thing straight into a star, and then mutiny. Soon, America's economy will collapse under its own weight, and it won't take much longer. The only real way to save this country is to let October 1 slip by with nothing being done. Furlough hundreds of thousands....shut down the spending....let Obama sweat over it....and leave us the hell alone.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Roller Coaster Ride

I was copied on an e-mail sent to our producer from a high-powered literary agent based in Los Angeles. He said, due to the producer's recommendation, he would be glad to look at my work and see how his company can assist me in this new career.

This is what I've really been looking for all these years. If there's one thing to know going into this's a tough biz.

I started writing more than fifteen years ago. It started out with poetry as I needed an outlet for my emotions during trying times. About five years ago I began a search for a literary agent. I thought I got close one time. The guy was talking about how he could make me Longfellow, Wadsworth and Shelley all wrapped up into one. It was sounding really good until he dropped the other shoe. All I had to do was give him twenty-five thousand dollars. Click. Apart from that incident, I couldn't get anyone in that field to talk to me...much less look at my work.

Trying to get published and/or get an agent to help you get published is one of this world's great lessons in patience. It is a very competitive market and there are so many actual and would-be authors out there hawking their wares that you wonder if anyone will ever see you among the masses that are clamoring for attention. I could wallpaper my house with rejection slips and at times it got very discouraging. 

What helped me was that I love to write. It is a passion that has grown with time and I am never more at peace than when I am banging out a new story. I get emotionally attached to some of the characters (I know...I need therapy) I create and at times I can't bring myself to kill them off or just leave them dangling at the end of the book.  An example is Sam Harridan, the main character in The Grove of Akkadia. It wasn't until I was more than halfway through the book that I decided I would keep Sam active in a sequel. That's how much I like him. On the flip side, the unmitigated wickedness of Enidor Fox in Evil Most Holy just couldn't be contained in one I'm mulling a sequel to that one. You have to love what you do if you ever expect to get better at it. And, that's what has happened to me. If you compare my first novel, Deathjester, with my latest release, Hell's Gunman, you wouldn't know it was written by the same author.

When everyone who read The Keeper's Dare, (who got back to me), said that it would make a great movie, I decided to write a screenplay. I've been shopping it now for almost three years. I got a nibble of interest while in London with some folks in the UK Film Industry, but it soon petered out. Then, another little break and the script was in Hollywood being read by a producer and again, it fizzled and died. Now, I have two exclusive contracts coming my way with interests in it and The Grove of Akkadia. Will they make feature films of these? Who knows? The probability factor says only happens to the other guy. The possibility factor is wide open and says can happen to anybody. And now, as I said at the beginning of the blog, a literary agent is willing to look at my work and consider taking me on as a client. Will he? Again, who knows? But there is one rule that is true across every spectrum of employment, profession or career. It's not what you know...but who you know. There have been so many 'chance' happenings since last January that coincidence doesn't quite cut it when you're looking at how this has all occurred.

Most of the time it takes about six months and up to a year for me to write a novel. Hell's Gunman was written in two months. When my brother read it, he urged me to not put it up as a self published work, but to send it to a publisher. I had been down this road soooo many times and only got one-sentence rejection slips back in the mail over and over and over again. Yet, I took his advice and in three months I had a contract. So, not only do you have to love writing, you have to be persistent and never give up. There will be family members that will shake their head at your effort and wonder why you try. There will be friends that will smile and tell you 'That's good' that you're writing, but their mannerisms tell you what they are really thinking, and that's 'Whatever'. There will be acquaintances that couldn't care less that you write in your spare time and won't want to listen about your latest book idea. feel all alone.

That's when I'm at my best. In my opinion. I seem to get more determined when I'm the last defender of the Alamo (a symbol of my work). Finishing The Last Medal, I put it in my wife's hands and asked her to read it. The story is a fictional crime/detective yarn set in Houston. About halfway through, she approached me and warned that I better not have killed off a character named Hinson. I said, "Baby, the book's already been written. If he's dead, he's dead." I knew then the story had grabbed her, and she doesn't like that kind of book. When finished, she told me it was my best work yet and while reading it she kept thinking, "Hey, my husband can write.". I had a fan. It only took twelve years.

Right now, I'm almost at the top of this roller coaster. My desire is to stay there once I reach it, and my prayer is that I don't go back into the dip of writer's despair. But if I do see all this crash and burn and hit with a loud thud...I won't give up. I won't stop the long as there is breath in my body. It's been a long ride. Maybe it is my time. We'll see.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

How To Tell You're Growing Old

Of course, the first clue is what you see in the mirror. Yeah...I'm gettin' old. Here are a few more clues I've come up with.

1.  You're growing old if you have a weekly pill dispenser with more than five pills for each day.

2.  You're growing old when you hear the music you grew up with being played on TV commercials.

3.  You're growing old when a part of your daily routine is to look in the Obits.

4.  You're growing old if 'a roll in the hay' has come to mean only biscuits and hash browns.

5.  You're growing old if you have learned how to effectively tone out your spouse and still nod at the appropriate times.

6.  You're growing old when all NFL players look like high school kids.

7.  You're growing old when the doctor gives the news about your impending death...and you smile.

8.  You're growing old when you can't remember sex ever being more important than going to sleep.

9.  You're growing old when your idea of a party consists of meeting another couple at Cracker Barrel.

10. You're growing old when doing number 2 is looked at as an accomplishment for the day.

11. You're growing old if the work week goes by as fast as the weekend.

12. You're growing old if you have no inhibitions about farting in public.

13. You're growing old when you take a tube of Preparation H wherever you go.

14. You're growing old if baths aren't as important to you as they were twenty years ago.

15. You're growing old when you get in the car, realize you forgot the keys, go back inside to get them, only to realize you put them in your pocket before you walked to the car. (Just yesterday)

16. You're growing old if your pants are pulled up under your moobs. (Men only on this one)

17. You're growing old if you can't eat anything past six PM without getting indigestion.

18. You're growing old when everyone that was older than you is now dead. It's kind of a BIG clue.

19. You're growing old if the snap, crackle and pop you hear every morning isn't's just you getting out of bed.

20. You're growing old when you start thinking you will never be senile. Or...aren't already.

Here's an old poem I saw several years ago to highlight our plight as we, meaning men, go into the Olden Years. I don't know who wrote it, but it wasn't me. I just like it.

Now that I'm old and feeble,
My pilot light is out.
What used to be my sex appeal
Is now my water spout.
I used to have some trouble,
To make the thing behave,
For every single morning
It would stand and watch me shave.
But now I'm growing older,
And it sure gives me the blues...
To have the thing hang down my leg;
And watch me shine my shoes.