A Sailor’s Dying Wish

What an amazing story. Sailors are good people

Surface Warriors

Bud Cloud

After signing my Pop, EM2 Bud Cloud (circa Pearl Harbor) up for hospice care, the consolation prize I’d given him (for agreeing it was OK to die) was a trip to “visit the Navy in San Diego.”

I emailed my friend and former Marine sergeant, Mrs. Mandy McCammon, who’s currently serving as a Navy Public Affairs Officer, at midnight on 28 May. I asked Mandy if she had enough pull on any of the bases in San Diego to get me access for the day so I could give Bud, who served on USS Dewey (DD-349), a windshield tour.

The next day she sent me an email from the current USS Dewey (DDG 105)’s XO, CDR Mikael Rockstad, inviting us down to the ship two days later.

We linked up with Mandy outside Naval Base San Diego and carpooled to the pier where we were…

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Shut The Front Door, Because This Horse Has Left the Barn

I think it’s great that I live in a country where an African-American man can be elected president. Especially considering we are not yet two centuries removed from legally being able to own other human beings. It’s about time, really.

I think the President has done some good, and gone a long way toward advancing civil rights, and given people the opportunity to be judged not on the color of their skin, but the content of their character.

But.

I also think the President is a little bit screwed, because none of that is what he will be remembered for. He will be remembered for getting the entire country’s panties in a bunch by stumping for (and ultimately getting passed) the Affordable Healthcare Act, or whatever the heck it’s actually called.

He will be remembered for clearly acting on the tip of his advisors in steamrolling this (now) clearly flawed legislation with a great deal of hidden language through the process. He will be remembered for remarks he made that if people did not want to participate in his great agenda and keep their current health plans, they could (millions of cancellations later, they still can’t).

He will be remembered for gently petting the back of Iran with one hand, while holding Israel back with another.

He will be remembered for getting the Nobel Peace Price for not really doing anything.

Clearly, I am not a fan, but that’s OK. Just because I do not agree with you and did not vote for the President, does not mean I hate him, his party, or you.

I don’t.

I just think people are soon going to be jumping from the bandwagon they were clinging so tightly to.

Or maybe they won’t. Maybe the country really has finally screwed the pooch badly enough it cannot recover. Maybe this country is being pulled in so many different directions in the name of tolerance and an unashamedly liberal agenda that is no longer the greatest country on earth, No longer the most powerful nation in the world.

Maybe change will come, finally.

It probably will. But no one said it would be change for the better.

Believe that. 

The Songs Remain the Same

A friend got me thinking about music this morning.

He had a Facebook post yesterday where he mentioned the Counting Crows album August and Everything After. Later, his wife gave it a pretty good recommendation, mentioning how much it meant to her in the 1990’s.

It made me think about some of the music I listened to back before I was old and decrepit, and what a huge part of my life it was.

I remember my sister gave me a copy of Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA back when I was 15, and I played the heck out of that thing. I liked all the songs, but “No Surrender” was especially powerful for me. I remember walking around my high school shortly after my dad died and listening to a copy of the album I transferred to tape, and looking around at everyone and wondering how I would get through this. Mom was sick, too, and it just seemed like it was too much. That song made me remember I didn’t have to give up.

I mostly kept my act together, but eventually I did fall into a bit of a tailspin, and it lasted for a while. I was sad, and it seemed like there was nothing I could do to shake it. My parents were gone, I was 18 and broke, and I began to withdraw from everything.

Thankfully, the 1990’s happened, and with the advent of that decade, came a lot of really good music. I slowly began to climb out of my self-imposed dark period thanks to a few good friends, and my CD player (CDs may not sound as good as records, but they’re easier, that’s for sure).

I remember listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers Bloodsugarsexmagick and it was just impossible to not want to get up and jump around. It was funky, and awesome, and it just rocked. I listened to it a lot at work when I was closing up the projection booth at night.

I listened to Metallica’s …And Justice for All even more. There was a time when my car was broken down and I didn’t have the money to fix it. I had to get up really early and walk 5 or 6 miles to meet someone for a ride to this factory where I worked. That CD was—and is—one of the best metal albums of all time. And it kept me awake at 4-something in the morning.

Eventually, I was able to pull my life together, and get my head out of my arse spiritually. I think the first Christian band I ever heard was Third Day, back in the mid-1990’s. I went to one of Greg Laurie’s “Harvest Crusades” at Jack Murphy Stadium (I think it was before it became Qualcomm), and Third Day played the song “Thief,” and “Love Song,” and one more I can’t remember. I wasn’t a believer at that time, but that music stayed with me.

I still listen to that first Third Day CD today, and it means a little more to me now. Third Day was also the first concert I took my wife to, back when we were dating. Love that band.

I don’t only listen to Christian music, by the way. There’s still a lot of great music out there—too much to stick to just one genre. I had a CD of My Chemical Romance’s Welcome to the Black Parade that I literally wore the heck out. Such a good album.

I also like Aranda’s Stop The World (listen to ‘Satisfied’), and Matisyahu’s Live at Stubb’s and Youth CDs.

There really are far too many to name, and the albums I mentioned here are only a very small sampling. Some of the most fun Jen and I have is when we’re just laying in bed and listening to music. I love that.

I’m gonna put on my headphones and get to work now.

Bye.