Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Time Flies By

Posted from Pinson, AL ---

Wow!!! What a weekend!!! I have just attended my 20 year High School Reunion and it was a blast. I can't believe it has been 20 years since we graduated high school. Everyone that attended was still looking great after 20 years; as one classmate mentioned, "Time has been a friend to all of you!!". Michelle, I couldn't have said it better. But, it is amazing how time flies by.

It seems like just yesterday we were cruising the Wal-mart parking lot or the local theater. We spent so much time together not just in class but in the band, on the football field, volleyball or basketball courts, and all the sign painting parties for the pep rallies. Those were good times and times we will not only cherish for a lifetime but times that we will miss as the stresses of the day press upon us in our adult lives. Time flies by.

There were many conspicuously missing from the events of the weekend, each unable to attend due to a schedule conflict or perhaps for some other reason. But there were nine classmates who had no choice of whether to attend or not. Nine classmates taken from us all too soon. Lives cut short by disease, illness, and unexpected accidents. I'm sure other classes have lost more of their beloved friends over a twenty year period but these are different. These were OUR BELOVED FRIENDS... they were the class of '87... THE BEST... and we miss them dearly. We've bid them farewell but we'll 'Never Say Goodbye'. Boy, how the time flies by.

We are planning some more frequent events. Maybe we'll find it easier to keep in touch if we see each other more often. As we grow older we'll start to find that there are more and more missing from our ranks. So, we should try harder to keep in touch because, just as we leaned on each other through our glory days, I believe we'll need each other even more as the time flies by.

As for me, we may not have been the closest of friends in high school but each of you have played a part in my life. Even if you never uttered one word to me, you have helped to shape my life and I am thankful that I met you all and I am a better person for having known each of you; I love you all!!

And as the time flies by, we will spread our wings like the proud Eagles we are, and we will soar on the winds of time.

Erwin Eagles Class of '87

"One Hell of a Class"


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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sick and Tired

***Author's Commentary - September 22, 2007***
Some of you have been asking when I am going to post again. Honestly, I thought I just didn't have much to write about but, in retrospect, I may have had too many things to write about. I have been struggling with posting this blog for a almost three months now. I have thought this blog was racist, whiny, crass, angry, rambling and maybe even politically incorrect (hmmmm, who cares?). What I have finally decided is that it is probably all of these things and more but most of all it is truth. I hope some of this makes even a little sense to you all.


Ok, I am really getting sick and tired of hearing people say what a bad job America does in foreign relations. I mean really, what do you people want from us besides the fall of America?

FORMER (emphasis added) President Carter, on Tuesday, June 19, 2007, accused the US, Israel and the EU of trying to divide the Palestinian people rather than unite them. Funny how everytime we try to get these two factions (Hamas and Fatah) to the table to talk one of them blows up the others territory. Why do we even bother in the first place? Here's is an idea, line the borders with troops shoulder to shoulder, don't let anyone in, don't let anyone out and shoot to kill if you even think someone is pointing a weapon at you. Let them kill off the bad apples internally and the people that are left will probably be fine upstanding global citizens. Ok, Ok, so maybe that is a little far fetched. Let me try this again.

Let's not be so specific, let's take a broader approach and look at the big picture here. I am also sick and tired of hearing about how we were lied to by the current administration about Iraq and the WMD. I am sick of hearing how we should pull out and save our troops. Not a bad idea but having been in their shoes before I believe they want the sign to finish the job. Not to just maintain the peace but to eradicate the extremist factions so that the citizens of Iraq can live peacefully and without fear of being bombed by some idiot in a truck filled with explosives thinking he's going to die and receive a bunch of virgins as a reward. PLEASE!!! Don't insult my intelligence.

Now, here's the plan. Leave the troops or pull them out, it really is irrelevant; I say let them decide. The real crippling blow -- stop all funding to these nations. And I mean all funding. Let's see who has the real power. I know you are saying the dollar is worthless. Yes, it is worthless because we hand it out like candy to any nation that comes whining and crying that they need help. We have thousands of people here in America that don't have a roof over their heads and don't know where their next meal will come from. Yet we spend billions every year on foreign aid to countries that HATE us. Did you get that? They hate us but they don't have a problem taking our money. The US doles out billions of dollars every year to these countries as a humanitarian effort. Maybe I am the only one that thinks this but, it seems rather funny that, in some cases, we are actually paying for the bombs, bullets and other munitions that are killing OUR troops. Is it just me or does somebody else see this?

So, here is the total package:

1. Stop all federal funding of foreign countries and demand IMMEDIATE PAYBACK in full.

(Sorry, China go sell some rice or something. OOOPS!! Sorry, Palestine find your own money to pay for the bombs you are dropping on each other.)

2. Leave the troops whereever they are for a short time to ensure that we get the money.

3. Withdraw troops from all foreign locales and re-designate their mission as defense for the United States.

4. Tell the UN to get out and find a country where they can perform their function (whatever that is) in complete safety and without government control.

You want us to help? First, you had better have a really good reason for asking. Second, this is a loan with a term and interest and you WILL pay it back or we will send Tony Soprano after you. Now, shut up your whining and work out your own problems before we come over there and turn you over our knee and spank your whimpy, broke country's butt. How about all that money we are saving? Well, if we can keep congress from wasting it, we could probably find some really good humanitarian uses right here at home -- but that is a topic for another blog.


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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Who's Your Daddy?

Composed from sunny Tampa, FL --

I have been attending the INNUA Global Connect technology conference in Tampa this week and I had the opportunity to hear a very interesting and captivating speaker. His name is Frank Abagnale, Jr.. Frank spent over five years in the Sixties living under assumed identities and passing bad checks worth over $2.5 million in at least 26 countries. I would encourage you to read his ghostwritten biography Catch Me If You Can or see the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie by the same name. Or better yet, find Frank speaking somewhere and get it straight from him.

As a technology professional, I was looking forward to hearing about his exploits and how he helps fight similar fraudulent activity today. Instead, he told his story in his words. It is a very exciting story in which he left home at the age of 16 and traveled the world on his mature looks and forging checks to survive. Finally caught, after serving time in a couple of European prisons, Frank is escorted home by the FBI and learns of his fathers death. I found the remainder of his speech fascinating and impressive as he began to speak of what it means to be, not just a father, but a DADDY!

With Father's Day approaching, I found it very appropriate and that is why I am writing this today. Frank spoke of how his father, Frank, Sr., never failed to kiss his children and tell them he loved them. He said to be a man, you have to become a daddy. Anyone can be a father to a child but only a man would show the affection and care to his family and children that makes him a daddy. Frank, Jr. realized that God had given him a second chance to be a man.

God intended us, as men, to be daddies. Being faithful to our families, our friends and most of all to our God. That is what makes a real man. I have many similar memories of my father. I can't remember a time that he failed to tell me he loved me. Not even when he was angry with me. Even when I had grown up and had my own family, dad always made it a point to give me a hug or a kiss on the cheek and tell me he loved me. I miss him everyday and I still see the lessons I learned from him as I act them out, most of the time, unknowingly.

So, I want you to ask yourself this Father's Day, "Who's Your Daddy?". I'm not implying that you don't know who he is, but rather, do you consider him just your father or do you consider him your daddy? Being a daddy means you make sacrifices for the benefit of your family. A daddy sacrifices without questioning if it is the right thing to do. To allow a child to have things better than they had them, daddies give up many things. Many times we as children don't see those sacrifices but they are made anyway.

So, if you are a father, if you have children of your own, adopted children, foster children, or if you mentor a child in any way; go be a daddy today. Start the process of positive lessons and memories for your precious children. As Frank Abagnale stated in his speech, "Children are entitled to a mother and a father." As unpopular as it may be to say we, as parents, have no right to take that entitlement away through divorce. Go be a daddy!!!

Children, if your daddy is still alive and you can get in touch with him, tell him how much you appreciate the things he does or has done for you. I think a man, a daddy, needs to hear that. He won't complain if he doesn't but if you realize how much he loves you, he deserves to know he's made a difference in your life. I was able to tell my dad before he passed away that he had made a difference in my life and I was still learning lessons from him, important lessons, through his illness. Even though he was unable to express himself verbally near the end of his life, he knew that he would not be with me much longer but, I could see the pride in his eyes as he realized that even through his faults, he had raised a man and a daddy.

Today, I make it a point to always tell my wife and daughter I love them. Even if they are asleep, they both receive a kiss and an 'I Love You' from me. I hope they always know that if I am home, they may not have felt the kiss or heard the words, but I have kissed them good night and told them I love them. And when I travel, I always call home before they go to bed with an I love you, no matter what my schedule.

Girls, I'll see you in a few hours!! Daddy loves you both very much!!

Posted from Nashville, TN airport --