Thursday, February 25, 2010

Missing My Granddaughter

You miss your adult children when their careers or marriage take them too far away for more than rare visits. However, you had the pleasure of enjoying them as babies, toddlers, teens and adults .It is different with grandchildren who live a long distance away. I am thinking of my granddaughter Lily who lives with her parents Mark and Julie in the DC area. We were there when Lily was born July 9 and we got to enjoy her over the Christmas and New Years holidays. Young children change everyday and it is a great pleasure to see them develop and grow. It hurts to miss that with grandchildren.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, George Washington

The feds can pick any day they want for a holiday and call it President's Day, but us old-timers know that February 22 is Washington's birthday. Ole George would be out of place with politics today. They say he could not tell a lie, so how could he fit in with today's politicians to whom lying seems to be second nature? Happy birthday George; we wish we had more like you.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Iwo Jima -- 65th anniversary

February 19 is a date I always remember -- the anniversary of the invasion of Iwo Jima. It is hard to believe that it has been 65 years since the battle began. I was a radarman serving on the USS Pickens, APA 190, an amphibious assault vessel. Iwo is a small volcanic island that was defended by only about 20,000 Japanese but it was traversed by tunnels that protected the Japs. Iwo was important because of its airport and radar station. They detected our bombers on the way to bomb Tokyo and shot down our damaged planes returning to Saipan and Tinian. We joned other ships in landing marines who faced fierce opposition even at the beginning. Our ship served as an auxiliary hospital ship and our boats returned from the first landing with wounded marines.
Navy men went with the marines as beach parties to provide communications and direct the landing of tanks and other equipment. I asked to be assigned to a beach party but was of course denied ( to my relief). During landings I manned a phone at a debarkation station so was on the main deck and saw the American flag raised, lowered, and raised again, which was when Joe
Rosenthal shot his famous picture.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Health Plan we can agree on

Nearly everyone can agree on some things to be in a health plan, such as including all who want to be included, costs be contained or lowered, quality be maintained or bettered, and that we get the benefit of the latest research and drugs. How can any of this be done without increasing costs or limiting services to some, probably the elderly on medicare. Can we expect doctors, hospitals and drug companies to lower their charges? Can we count on insurance companies to give up their profits? Yes, it is easy to outline what we would like to have in a health plan but not easy to come up with a way to get it done. We can become more efficient in some things, such as better use of expensive diagnostic tools, but health care is going to continue to take a big chunk out of our gross national product.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Time to plant Irish potatoes

Valentine's Day has come and gone I haven't planted Irish potatoes once again. In fact I do not expect to have any type of vegetable garden this year. When I was a kid on the farm we tried to plant potatoes by Valentine's Day, or as close to this date as possible. Climate conditions used to make this possible. I can also remember setting out onion plants in February, giving time for onions to grow in cool weather. Some people planted corn in February, but my memory is that we usually got corn in the ground in March. We also planted corn in June.

It used to be said it was time to plant cotton when china berry trees began blooming.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy valentines day

I have been absent from the blog for a few days because of illness. I had planned to give my
solutions to all of the economic problems the country faces! That will have to wait.

I saw another back doctor Wednesday, but it only amounted to a conversation. I had another appointment with pain management Friday morning but canceled because of illness. I was really sick Thursday night and Friday. I felt like my lungs were filled with fluid. ZI was so hot I sat up from 2 till after 4 and then got so cold I could not get warm no matter how much cover I had. The worse problem was trouble breathing. I'm better but am very weak.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Now we are getting snow and I don't like it.

Mark has sent us pictures of snow in the DC area and now we are joining the snow belt, the second time this winter it has snowed here in Shreveport. Snow has been lightly falling since early this morning but as mostly melted as it strikes warm building and ground. My car is covered, though,and with five inches predicted for tonight and a doctor's appointment at 8, I've got problems. So have Jen, Matthew and Jason. I'll have to get up early to get snow off windshield and windows.

I have never been a great lover of snow. It was exciting and something to look forward to when I was a kid on the farm, but it came with a cost. Chores such as milking cows, feeding horses and chickens, hauling in fire wood took away much of the excitement and pleasure. Now I have no desire for snow -- none at all. Why live in the South if you are going to have bad winters. Let Erie Pa. and other snow areas keep it-- they are used to it. In Erie you are  required to have snow tires or chains by September or face a fine.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Joe Rosenthal

I guess because the 65th anniversary of the invasion of Iwo Jima is this month, Joe Rosenthal came across my mind. Rosenthal, of course, was the photographer who took the picture of flag raising on Iwo. Rosenthal traveled to Iwo on board our ship, US Pickens, APA 190, and the first pictures he sent back to the states showed one of our boats landing marines. Although he traveled on our ship, I never met him. I did see the flag raising, two of them. My job was a radarman but during the landing of troops I manned a phone at a debarkation station. We watched in binoculars and saw the flag go up on Mt. Suribachi, then come down. We later knew, of course, that the second flag raising picture was the one that became famous. Rosenthal was a working photographer who never got real fame and certainly not wealth from the picture. He died at 94.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Thomas Sowell has it right

Thomas Sowell's columns should be required reading, especially for elected officials. In his column of February 7 he refers to three Obama officials who could not get their stories straight on how many jobs have been created. He pointed out that the question that should be asked is whether the jobs they claim represent a net increase in jobs. He added that "since the only resources the government has are the resources it takes from the private sector to create jobs means reducing the resources available to create jobs in the private sector."

Every dollar the feds spend and/or give to a favored individual or company must be taken from someone else. Cannot the president and the congress understand that? The stimulus bill is the example of that failed policy.
Thomas Sowell always makes sense

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lest we forget a great American. Today is Ronald Reagan's birthday.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Medical Advances come with costs

We probably seldom realize just how relatively recent many of our technological and medical advancements have come about. Kids play with games today that have more capability than room-sized computers did just a few decades ago. The original wonder drug --aspirin-- was developed in the 1890's. The dread disease small pox is virtually eradicated and the last time theUnited States required vaccination was 1972. When I was a kid in school I looked forward to summer with great enjoyment, but that joy was covered with the black cloud of polio, which hit leaving death and paralysis in its wake. The Salk vaccine in 1955 and Sabin oral vaccine in general use by 1967 have lifted that cloud. Organ transplants, replacement of knees and hips and other parts are common as are tools such as mri and cat scans. All of these contributions to well-being and longer life are welcome but they come with a cost. While the Obama health plan has too much wrong with it, something needs to be done to improve quality and lower costs, if at all possible.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Feds add jobs as private sector loses

Revised records show more job losses than have been reported, but there is no recession with the federal government, setting a record with 2.15 million jobs. Government jobs pay more,an average of $71,000 and benefits of $41,000 a year.

The facts, Mr. President, just the facts. Mr. Obama said in a recent speech that we had a one-year deficit of $1 trillion and projected deficit for next decade of 8 trillion because two wars, two tax cuts and a drug prescription program and recession put 3 trillion dollar hole in the budget. On March 14 2008, Obama, then a senator,voted for the 2009 budget which authorized 3.1 trillion in federal oujtlays, along with a $400 billion deficit. The 51-44 vote was along pary lines, with only two Republicans voting aye. How is this before Obama "walked in the door?"