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Happy Father’s Day

I’m proud to be able to say my dad was my hero. I was fortunate enough to have him around for 46 years. He died at age 78.

He was a good, decent, honorable man who did his best to teach his 3 sons what they needed to know to be men of honor. He was that. His word was his bond and a handshake was all you ever needed from him to know you had an irrevocable contract with him.

He was a 36 year career Army man. He joined as a private, worked his way up to the highest Non-commissioned officer rank and then went to Officer Candidate School. He rose to the rank of Colonel. He used to joke that he’d held every rank but warrant officer and general officer.

He was a cavalry officer – recon in those days. He always ragged me about being a grunt and loved the ground his only grandson walked on because he too had become a cavalryman.

There are things you remember about your dad. His sense of humor. He loved a good joke. His self-discipline. He always suffered bad health – he’d lost a lung in WWII, had emphysema and asthma. But he never let it stop him. Never. And when the doctors would tell him he had to do something, he did it, without fail and consistently.

He did everything else in his life the same way. Having to deal with those sorts of health problems and still try to maintain a career in the Army in combat arms wasn’t easy. But he did it.

He used to tell us, “you live between your ears”. We knew what he meant, and I can’t tell you how many times those 5 words have come back to me as I face some difficulty or daunting problem. Once you realize where you “live” life isn’t at all as tough as it could be.

He also used to tell us that honor could be summed up by “doing the right thing, even when no one is looking”. He said, that’s what honorable men always do. He was right.

He wanted what was best for his boys. He was a disciplinarian of the first degree and none of the 3 of us are worse for wear because of it. In fact, with a good moral grounding and him as an example, I think we all were given the basics in life which gave us a chance to be what our dad was – a good man.

Of course my mom was involved in all of this as well, but this is Father’s Day, and I wanted to honor him. I’m 62, a grandfather and I still miss my dad. I’d give anything for a couple of hours just to show him his grandson and his 4 great-gransons (he never got to see any of them). He’d love that.

So give your dad a hug today and tell him how much he means to you. Some day you’ll be glad you did.

Happy Father’s Day.

~McQ

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Memorial Day 2010 – What price freedom?

I keep this photo as probably the most powerful reminder for me of what the real price of freedom looks like. Those that give their all as well as those they leave behind. We should remember both as we celebrate the freedom they’ve blessed us with and assured for us on this Memorial Day.

Dedicated to Stuart Lee Barnett, SP4, KIA, RVN, 8/26/1970. Thank you Barney – rest in peace, my friend.

Nashville is flooded, as if you had not already heard that from a dozen sources

This is the worst flood of my lifetime here in Nashville. Several main arteries have been underwater for times varying from an hour to almost twenty-four hours. I-24 southeast of the city had the worst of it yesterday, which this video of a school’s temporary classroom floating down the interstate and imploding shows vividly:

In that video, you can also see a rather large number of cars caught up in the flood. Many were folks just driving through Nashville on the way to somewhere else, probably listening to Lady Gaga and having no idea they were about to be trapped in a flood.

This morning, the west and southwest parts got hit hardest. This video shows Charlotte Pike, which is one of main arteries going west from the city. A large section is underwater and some guys have been on a roof for a couple of hours waiting for rescue.

Last I heard, the death toll was six, but that doesn’t really communicate the large number of businesses and homes that were washed out. There are plenty of videos on YouTube showing those, plus the usual number of videos from guys in pickup trucks demonstrating their foolishness by driving through flooded areas to shoot their video. Of course, YouTube has the successful ones. We don’t get to see the ones in which “Hold my beer – watch this” was preceded by a vehicle caught up in the flood.

I’d put up some of my own pictures, but there’s no particularly photogenic flooding around my neighborhood, and the local officials have requested everyone to stay home if at all possible. The water table got high enough to flood our old coal room to about six inches deep with some artesian pressure, but the only casualty was a 25-year-old water heater I was about to replace anyway. My teenage sons and I cleared the drainholes and bailed water for a while, and it’s drained now. We even had time for a shower apiece from the old heater before the water gave out.

The rain has stopped and things will probably be back to normal soon. Some numbers: We got about twenty inches of rain in less than three days, which is normally about a six month supply for us. That’s on top of a couple of inches last week which did a nice job of saturating the ground in preparation for this deluge.

Next week’s expected outlook: widely scattered insurance claims and flood damage sales.

*** Update 6:00 PM CST ***

If you want to see plenty of pictures and some more video, including a shot of the aftermath of the I-24 flooding, Donald Sensing has a couple of good posts up (found via Instapundit):

Yesterday.

Today.

Buy this book

And no, I wasn’t asked to put this up. In fact, I knew nothing about this book until I literally discovered it all on my own from a random link referral. The author has no inkling this is coming. Or that I know about the book.  However, having read McPhillips for years, I’m sure that it is an excellent read.

Congrats, McP.  I look forward to reading it.

~McQ

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Yesterday, I had two dogs…

…Today, I have twelve.  Click on the pics below for hi-res versions.

Contessa and her 10 puppies

Contessa and her 10 puppies

Contessa gave birth to 10 little Cane Corsos today.  8 Male, 2 female.

They’re adorable.

We call this one "Light Green"

We call this one "Light Green"

We “named” them based on the color of bands we put around their necks.

One of the runts, "Dark Blue"

One of the runts, "Dark Blue"

Most of the puppies weighed in at between 450-480 grams, but we have two runts: Dark Blue male is 413 grams and Pink female is 400 grams.  Pink didn’t seem to want to suckle either at Contessa or at a bottle for the first couple of hours, but at about 2 o;clock, she found a nipple and went to town.  We were afraid we might lose her at first.

One of the male puppies, Lavender, weighed in at 550 grams.  I like him a lot.  He may be the one we keep, depending on how he does on temperament testing.

It was a long day, but at the moment, mother and puppies are sound alseep.

Contessa was a real trooper.  She handled all ten puppies as they were born, and needed no real assistance from us for any of them.  Considering that this was her first litter, and a very large one, she handled it like a pro, though she’s completely exhausted right now.

Need a good watchdog?

Does anybody want a puppy? I mean a registered, purebred puppy.  If so, drop me a line.  My Cane Corso female is about to drop a litter in two weeks or so.  If you’re in the San Diego/Southern California area, and  might be interested in a new baby Corso, drop me a line at “puppies -at- dalefranks.com”


Contessa



 



Purebred Italian Mastiff

Purebred Italian Mastiff



Corsos are large dogs, with females running from 80-100lbs, and males running from 100-130 lbs.  They are active dogs, with a working breed background, so they need to be regularly exercised.

They are extremely loyal and protective of their family and homes.  They love children, and make very protective watchdogs for them.

Here’s a video we did of her: