Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I’ve been tagged by my British niece, Susannah, to reveal eight bits of me that you don’t know already… so here goes.

I'm colorblind. It's not a complete colorblindness, apparently its more green colorblind than red. It's not that I don't see color but in certain instances, I don't see the same color as someone with normal color vision.
My art teachers in highschool used to give me high marks fro my innovative paintings. For example; my skies were usually purple rather than blue. I, however, thought they were blue.
This has not been a detriment in my life, and actually it was the reason I ended up in the career I've been in for 41 years.
I was formally diagnosed as colorblind when I joined the U.S. Navy. This discovery eliminated the majority of career choices available to me regardless of my aptitude scores. I was left with three choices; bowswain's mate, Dental tech., or hospital corpsman. I chose hospital corpsman because my best friend had chosen that because he wanted to become a nurse eventually, so I went to "corps" school with him. I took to healthcare like a duck to water and my destiny was forged, and all because of my colorblindness.
When we meet please try to stiffle your smirks, sniggles, and chuckling over my mismatched clothing choices. ;-)

I almost entered the seminary to become a Catholic priest. I had recieved my acceptance letter, but two weeks before classes started my friend and I joined the U.S. Navy.
One Sunday at mass, during my senior year of high school, the priest was giving a sermon focusing on vocations. I felt like I was getting a message and I felt like I was destined for the priesthood. Immediately after mass, without telling a soul, I walked the 12 blocks to the seminary and asked for an application. I filled it out that afternoon and mailed it the following monday.
I must mention here that I was not some nerdy academic holy boy ever. In high school I majored in sports, music, and girls....not always in that order. Academics were a necessary evil. The elegibility standards in those days were stiffer than they are today. To be able to play each week You had to have a passing average in your core academic courses. I did sing at six o'clock mass every weekday morning and was in the Sunday mens's choir, which put me in frequent contact with two of the piests in the church. They became my mentors, so to speak, when it was determined that I had applied to the seminary. One of these priests eventually preformed the ceremony when I wed my wife.

I discussed with these two priests, on a number of occasions, what life as a priest entailed, and what I might expect while in the seminary. Since I had a girlfriend it naturally came up as to what type of relationships a priest might be allowed to have with a woman. After some hemming and hawing and well, you know rel, uhmmm, well, ahhh.... well. while you're in the seminary you can date just like you're doing now. Really, it's just college and you'll be majoring in religious studies. BUT, after you finish your studies you will be required to take a vow of celibacy and after that there can be no more romantic involvements.

Mulling over a life choice that banned the carnal pleasure that a man and a woman enjoy, I prayed and asked God for guidance. Soon I realised that was an unrealistic expectation...I joined the Navy!

Eventually the two priests that had befriended and mentored me left the church to get married to women.

Other than the United States I have lived in or visited the following countries: Canada, costa Rica, England, France, Japan, Okinowa, Phillipines, So. Korea, an So. Vietnam.

In the U.S. I have lived or visited the States of; Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York,N. Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, S. Carolina, Tennessee,Vermont, Virgina, Wash. D.C., amd West Virgina.

I love old churches. The older the better. Wherever I go I seek out an area's churchs to photograph, but also to go into and feel the souls of generations past touch and speak to me. There something about old buildings, churches in particular, they validate for me that there was human life long before me. They give life to my ancesters and I am affirmed that the world didn't really start with me. I chose this picture of St. Basil in Russia for the particular reason of flowing into my next bit of unknown rel trivia........

This is a photo of the Neva river in St. Petersburg, Russia.

In 1990 we hosted a Russian girl for a few weeks during the school year and brought her back to spend the next summer with us. In turn Her family hosted our middle son at their home over his Easter vacation.

Maria Baronova and her family are from St. Petersburg, Russia, home to the Russian Navy. Maria's Father is a retired Navy captain. In 1964-65 Maria's father was stationed in Vietnam assisting North VietNam in their war with the U.S.A. Also in 1964-65, relII's father (yours truly) was stationed in South Vietnam as a hospital corpsman with the US Marines fighting against the North Vietnamese. Twenty-six years later two old soldiers, sworn enemies, Shared each others children. We trusted each the other to care for our precious children. We talked on the phone, neither of us able to speak more than a few words of the other's language. We both became friends. We knew who had made us enemies and it wasn't us.

I love food. I always say I'm on a seefood diet. One of my alltime favorite dishes is Korean Bulgogi:

2 pounds sirloin, thinly sliced
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated
Freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)

In a large bowl, add onions to beef.
Combine sugar, sesame oil and soy sauce to form a sauce. Add in garlic and ginger. Mix well.
Marinate the beef in the sauce for about three hours (the longer the better).
Season with pepper.
Grill on a grill, pan-fry or broil for about 15 minutes, or until meat is done.
Sprinkle sesame seeds over dish, serve with rice and side dishes.
Makes 4 servings.

I'm an animal lover. I've had a pet of one kind or another since I was three years old. Currently we have two cats. Of all the wild animals, I find the tiger to be my favorite.

I have very strong political opinions. Unless we share the same ideas we probably should avoid the topic. If you should decide to share divergent views with me you must be prepared to defend your points at all cost, for my attack on your points and my rebuttle will make the above tiger seem like a docile house cat.
Let's find topics we agree on and start and part friends. ;-)


Sunday, July 29, 2007

#70 Phenomenon

If a piece for S.S. ever turns out to be what I planned, that will be a phenomenon.

I was going to write about the phenomenon of long lasting marriages. The extraordinary effort required on the part of both partners to stay married to the same person for 40 years is a rare enough occurrence to qualify as an impressive, remarkable event.

But then I thought about the first time I witnessed a lens implant in a person's eye for the treatment of a cataract. At the time I remarked that this was truly one more miracle of modern medicine.

The idea of writing this scribble on a blog through the internet had me pondering about the practice of communicating with people from all corners of the planet quickly and even simultaneously. The enormity of the number of improbable connections that are made minute to minute "bloggles" the mind. We "talk" across the backyard fence of the internet to real people from every continent. Something here-to-fore we could only imagine doing.

The above thoughts and ideas were coalesced over the course of yesterday in a vague manner, and then this morning more concretely. I set these aside as I set out to meet my wife of forty plus years for breakfast at the new diner that opened recently. During our repast the conversation turned to my mental outline for a piece to write about about God, heaven, and the Catholic Pope saying the Catholic church was the one true church (Not for today's post.)

Now, if I'm right, or even if I'm not, if the concept is as believable as Dan Brown's Story about Jesus marrying Mary Magdeline and having children. And, if I write a book about my concept and it's as wildly successful as the Da Vinci Code...... That indeed would be PHENOMENAL!

OH!---You thought I was going to tell you what my idea is?

I'm off to start writing the first draft of this work of fiction.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

I've been horridly remiss in my blogging obligations of late; both in posting and in leaving comments. I'm sorry to say that I can't claim lack of inspiration or any other such excuse for my absence from my keyboard. There has been ample stimuli to prod me: My peers over at The Shameless Lions Writing Circle awarded me 5th place in the best looking lion competition and I've yet to place the award on my side bar. My friend Pea awarded me the reflective blogger award, to which I have as yet to pass on my 5 selections for the award. (I did however leave her a comment thanking her!) Please stop over to her place for a visit. She is sure to invite you in for a scrumptious home cooked meal adorned with fresh veggies from her garden and a criminally delicious desert. Another blogger friend, Catch, passed to me the Awesome Dude Blogger award (yes, I thanked her also.) I was inspired to write a Haiku for One Deep Breath this week. I prefaced the Haiku with a teaser as to what prompted this Haiku.... with every intention of writing a sonnet for Poetry Thursday that would have shed ample light on what was in my mind when writing the haiku. Lastly, (I think) I have not been around to read many of my favorite blogs in more than a week. :-(

1. Work. ie; schedule and call have been heavier than usual. (poor excuse, I know!)

2. 40th wedding anniversary, planning, implementing, doing and enjoying. BTW, I picked out the ring without any assistance....yes, a round of applause with hooting and yelling will be appreciated. (Great excuse!!)

3. An attack of severe gastro-intestinal upset with attendant fever (102 F. ) lasting 3 too-long days. I'm blaming the food poisoning on too many baloney products. I do know now that fever can allow awesome poetry to form in your mind, would that I could have captured those words and phrases on paper. :(

My good intentions were swallowed up by the procrastinating excuse belching monster, and we all know the line from Burn's The Mouse; The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,

Today, My blogger niece, Susannah tagged me to do the "eight bits of me that you don’t know already".

It's Seaway Festival Parade weekend and we have been invited to the neighbors for their annual family reunion shindig to which we are happy to accept.

I'm going to do Susannah's meme today, but not in this post, which is already too long and a testament to my verbosity.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Week 60 - Comfort

Cindy was dying when I was injected into her life...............................

I'm glad to see you!
I'm glad to see you also!
Comfort in our smiles.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Friday, July 20, 2007

My week to date has been at best blah, as evidenced by the fact that I've not posted since Sunday last. I tried at least 6 attempts at poetry yesterday to no avail.

The week has been dreary at times but there have been moments of sunshine and pleasant summer evenings. It has, however rained everyday, and currently the thunder is getting closer and the lightening is bringing brighter than daylight flashes ... an omen that this post may yet be erased by a power failure.

The coming weekend, starting today after work, is an auspicious one to be duly noted! D. and I are celebrating 40 years of marriage. Plans are such, that I will probably not post again 'til next week. This evening we will traverse the bridge over the St. Lawrence to Canada and dine in the quaint, rustically elegant "Brigadoon" restaurant in Oxford mills.
Saturday we will travel to Ottawa, Canada's capital city, where we have reservations at the Chateau Laurier. Sunday is the actual anniversary. I'm anticipating a wickedly wicked weekend!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

# 68 Hair

From Hair to Hats

Hair.....long beautiful hair......If you are a child of the Sixties, a flower child, then like me, that song from the Musical "Hair" has probably been making a nuisance of itself in your mind ever since reading today's Sunday Scribblings prompt.

We humans attach significant importance to hair; socially, politically, emotionally, and sexually. To a somewhat lesser extent our hair connotes our race and national identity.

I've never been content with my hair, from dark brown, thick and curly to thin, white and wavy. I wanted straight hair like Elvis, Fabian, and the Everly brothers. Instead I got hair more reminiscent of Nat Kin Cole. I did have a period when I identified with Dean Martin.

Then there was the time in my late thirties when I had my prematurely gray hair professionally dyed. My exercise regime at that time included swimming laps in the local high school pool during the wee hours of the morning. Within a few days, my newly darkened tresses turned orange from exposure to the pool's chlorine, and that put an end to that experiment. Grey was definitely better than orange.

In my younger years, those would be the years between birth and adolescence, I paid little attention to my hair per se. My mother saw to it that my hair was washed regularly, combed and parted at least once a day, and took me to the barber every-so-often and instructed the him on how to cut my hair.

I do recall a hairy incident, or I should say a hairless incident when I was twelve that made me acutely aware of my relationship with my hair. A fungus of the common name, ringworm, established itself dead-center on the top of my head. Dear ol' Dr. Sothstiem instructed my mother to shave my head completely bald and apply a foul smelling unguent to my scalp in order to rid me of this infestation. Since I wasn't yet a fan of Yul Brenner, and Bruce Willis wasn't born yet, I was needless to say, embarrassed to the max. And so it was, that during this belittling episode I discovered the usefulness of hats. They didn't make wigs or hairpieces for twelve year old boys in those days. For those many long weeks until my hair grew out, I strode, bike- rode and patrolled the neighborhood in Davey's coon skin cap, Roy's cowboy hat, a Jim Hawkins' pirate bandanna, Tom Sawyer's straw hat, Zorro's flamenco hat, King Arthur's helmet, and of course, my American Legion Little League baseball cap when I was imagining myself as Yogi Berra.

Thus began mon affaire d'amour avec le chapeau, which continues to this very day!

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