Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Common Sickness

Just last week, I heard of someone getting sick and I thought about what a fine specimen of health I must be, because I so rarely get ill.

It has been said that, "Pride goes before destruction,
    a haughty spirit before a fall." This seems to apply, since I started feeling the effects of some virus or the other on Saturday.

I figured I could burn it off, and went for a nice run in the afternoon. I definitely got warm enough, but I am not sure it helped. Neither did working an extra shift on Saturday night.

By Sunday afternoon, I was kind of a mess.

Since getting ill seems to be a common occurrence in most all of humanity, and since I have been mostly laying around wasting time, I will share some of the symptoms that I have had from this recent bout. They also seem to be symptoms that are common for me when I am sick. They may or may not be reflective of your own personal sick symptoms.

- I tend to get a bit delirious when I get a fever.
This time, having recently finished a book about Joe Gans, Boxing's first African American champion, I apparently had it on my mind. At the end of the book, it details how he dies from a prolonged fight with tuberculosis. While I was pretty sure I didn't have tuberculosis, I seriously entertained that Joe Gans had something to do with my being sick, and told my wife as much.

- I ridiculously lose weight.
While I am trying to maintain a healthy body and not be as overweight as I can tend to be, losing 5 pounds in 2 days is a little ridiculous. Especially when I am eating regularly and hydrating like crazy.

-I waste plenty of time.
Ergo, this blog and the time I spent watching 3 Bruce Willis movies. 
Ok, they were 12 Monkeys, The 5th Element and Tears of the Sun. The only good ones Netflix had streaming. They also have Die Hard 2, which is probably the worst of the Die Hard movies. Maybe I will be able to squeeze that one in sometime too.

- I don't exercise.
Some recommend you still exercise when you are sick. I already feel like dying, so it may not be a good idea. But, it makes me very sad. Not that I am super fit or anything, I just like to move around a little bit.
I plan on being much better tomorrow, so maybe I can do something.....
Of course, I also planned on being much better today.

I hope you don't get sick too. It does seem to be going around a bit.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


I have previously shared how the first time we had scud missiles fired in our general direction during the time I visited the lovely theocracy of Saudi Arabia, we overreacted somewhat. But in case you missed it, and as a part of the point I wanted to make, I will reacquaint you with the story.

We kept the straps on our gas masks adjusted to fit our heads, so it would be easy to throw on. The only ones that were kept loose were the straps that adjusted around the chin. The drill was to put the mask over our face, quickly pull the straps over the head and pull the chin straps tight. Hopefully this would be done quick enough to keep out nerve gas or whatever chemical agents might waft out of the missiles that were lobbed out way.

The first time we had an alert, after the camp loudspeakers let off some siren like sound and someone shouted "Alarm Red, Alarm Red" through them, we quickly slapped our masks on and pulled the chin straps as tight as they would possibly go, jamming the back of our jaw in line with our spinal column.

After about 30 seconds, it start to feel a little sore. No-one wanted to loosen them, in case they might immediately turn six shades of grey and sputter their way to the great beyond.

After about a minute, it really hurt. Someone finally adjusted. Then everyone did, in spite of the popping of the patriots launching into the sky and exploding into the incoming scuds. We were able to dodge the shrapnel, which was probably nowhere near us that time, and evade the gas, which may or may not have been in the things, but also nowhere near us.

Contrast this with the last time we had a scud alert at this camp. We were, at the time, outdoors playing sand volleyball, using a net that we hand wove with parachute cord. When the alert sounded, we looked around and figured out that the missiles were not going to land on us, and so we resumed our game.

This was the time that an already damaged scud hit the nearby barracks of the 14th Quartermaster Detachment, an Army Reserve Unit that had been in country for less than a week, killing 28 soldiers on our base.

 During the first attack, everyone was sure something horrible was probably going to happen. During the last attack, we had grown so accustomed to the alerts that we perceived little to no danger to us at all. 
Apparently, our perception is not always accurate. This might even apply to places other than the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Emily and I went to watch The Dark Knight Rises on Friday at the local theater. Without dwelling on the tragedy in Aurora and without (hopefully) throwing any spoiler's your way, here are a couple of observations:

First of all, I appreciated the treatment of police officers in this movie.

Too many times in the movies, the cops are treated in one of two ways. Either they are dumb props for car chases, shootouts, etc, or they are shown to be corrupt, overly brutal or in some other way "dirty".

In this movie, it is not only Batman shown rising from difficult circumstances, the cops are too. they are shown charging, heavily outgunned, into the face of occupiers, even when they are likely to be gunned down. I think it does a great job of exemplifying the attitude that is drilled into police officers, that they are still in the fight, unless they are dead, and they are not allowed to die.

I don't think this is a spoiler, but they even show how a cop, reluctant to face the enemy because he wants to be there for his family, overcomes his fears and does his job. Most cops know that on any given day, they could be faced with life threatening situations, and they still do their job. I know it sounds a bit self serving on my part, but I am privileged to affiliate with men and women of this caliber every day.

And, I noticed police officers stationed outside the theater. As much as I hear complaints about cops, everyone there seemed glad to have them nearby.

Breakfast in the Park

Breakfast in the Park
My Wednesday workout.

Since Wednesdays can be a little bit de-motivating, and since I have an extra long week that was starting to de-motivate me, I thought I would share today's workout with you. You can try it at home.

Warm Up
Tabata runs
Tabata Sit-ups
50 Hindu Squats
50 Over the top pushups (10 on the ground, 10 with feet elevated 18", 10 with feet elevated 36", 10 with feet elevated 18", 10 on the ground)
Tabata runs
1 mile run to cause myself extra pain. I think that is what is was for, cause that is what it did.

Don't worry, I took breaks. I am not in truly awesome physical condition. And I wish I had started before 0930.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your week!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer of Misery

My lovely lady has declared this to be the "Summer of Misery". No, we are not spending every weekend watching the movie or reading the Stephen King novel. And, in light of the challenges she is referring to, it might be more aptly named the summer of inconvenience, or the summer of a mindless mess in our living space.

What are these challenges? Well, they are primarily self-inflicted, done with a purpose and mostly faced by her, not I. She decided it was time to re-do the girls' room.

So, she grounded all the outlets, filled in all the holes she made in the wall to do this, spent hours caulking and putting up backer rod to fill in large gaps in between stuff (which could have been the reason for this a few years ago; it is an old house, after all), put down some primer, painted and is now working on painting the trim and other stuff. Next up is the faux flooring.

Since the girls have been displaced and we have been operating without a living room and a crowded dining area, she decided we may as well move on to our room next. That way, we can keep the living room and dining area full of stuff. And, we will have the added benefit of not having our room. Hence the name, "Summer of Misery".

So, for you locals that have not been invited to our house lately, this is why. You can still invite us to yours. We would certainly appreciate it. We might even need it.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Remarkable Day

There always seems to be something going on on July 11th, the 192nd day of the year.

July 11th is the day I joined the Air force. It also marks the anniversary of the day I got out of the air Force, 20 years ago this year.

Early in the morning, following July 11th, four years ago, my father passed away while we were visiting. So I guess one could say that July 11th is the last day I got to spend with my Father. He was quite pleased to have all three of us brothers and our families together for dinner that very night.

This year the day passed considerably quieter. Up early for class and, after a brief time celebrating my separation from the Air Force, I went to bed, cause I was tired and had to get up early again the next day.

Here is a brief tribute to my Dad from someone who knew him. Some of the other links about him have disappeared.:

The Passing of a Warrior: Mike Allerton

 And here is a brief bio of Chuck Norris, who was in the same career field as I in the military:
 More than Military
Actor, Martial Arts Champion



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Keeping it personal (and private)

I was listening to the old story of Daniel and the Lion's Den this morning. It is on the greatest hits list of most Sunday School teachers and, if you don't know it, it is about how Daniel, a follower of God in the Old Testament, was thrown into a den of hungry lions because of his faith.

Something struck me about this story, that I will, of course, share with you now.

In this story, a law was passed so no-one could pray to anything or anyone; God, king, idol, tree, whatever, except for King Darius for 30 days. This really shouldn't have been a problem for Daniel. All he had to do was not pray in public for thirty days. He could still keep his faith and no-one would be the wiser. In fact, everyone would probably still know that he prayed to God, but they wouldn't have to be disgusted by his praying in public.

In fact, Daniel did always pray in his own space. he went up to his bedroom to pray. All he had to do was pray quietly in his heart. a personal pray because his personal faith was between him and God alone. But, he wasn't quiet.

 Maybe if he closed the shades. Then people wouldn't have to see him, at least. But no, there he was, above the busy street, pouring his heart out to God where everyone could see him. And it landed him in a mess.

Fortunately, for us, we don't have that problem. When the pressure is on us to make our faith personal and private, we do so and no one has to know that we seek God every day to help us and guide us. Our faith is not for public consumption, because most people wouldn't understand and many would be offended. it is ours, it is personal and it is strong.

Unfortunately, it is not the same faith that Daniel, or may others in the bible had. Nor is it the kind of public faith that scripture tells us to have. But it is ours, and others appreciate that we keep it to ourselves, so it must be ok.

Here at home, we still have the legal right to exercise our faith, in full view of others, even though many would like to change this, but we still find many reasons to make sure that others don't see us practicing it, proclaiming it or living it in front of them.

Here is a link to a video of a couple of lions fighting.