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Thought for the Day

On this day of days, I thought we’d just have a quiet moment to reflect on the bravery and sacrifice of the thousands of men who fought not to conquer, but to liberate.

Franklin Roosevelt’s D-Day Prayer 

June 6, 1944

My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas — whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them–help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen. 

Musings

  • When you’re going to be giving someone an EKG, it’s just common courtesy to warm your hands up first.
  • My new friend, Vlad the Phlebotomist, took more blood out of me yesterday than the nice lady at the Red Cross did when I was 19 and trying to score some free cookies and juice.
  • Is it bad when the normal range for the results of a blood test is between two single digit numbers and my result is a rather high double digit number?
  • Boo has reached that age where a young bear shows his teeth to his father, on occasion. Unfortunately for him, I have bigger teeth and sharper claws.
  • Girlie Bear has reached that age where she has to work, pay bills, and put up with people’s crap on a continual basis, also known as ‘I’ve got my first apartment and roommates.’ I will try hard to not remind her that she only has 60 or 80 years of that ahead of her.
  • I’ve decided that if I reincarnate, I’m going to be a drunken reprobate in my next life. This work ethic and sense of duty stuff is killing me.

Thought for the Day

The Prayer of the Paratrooper

(Translation by Robert Petersen)

I’m asking You God, to give me what You have left.
Give me those things which others never ask of You.
I don’t ask You for rest, or tranquility.
Not that of the spirit, the body, or the mind.
I don’t ask You for wealth, or success, or even health.
All those things are asked of You so much Lord,
that you can’t have any left to give.
Give me instead Lord what You have left.
Give me what others don’t want.
I want uncertainty and doubt.
I want torment and battle.
And I ask that You give them to me now and forever Lord,
so I can be sure to always have them,
because I won’t always have the strength to ask again.
But give me also the courage, the energy,
and the spirit to face them.
I ask You these things Lord,
because I can’t ask them of myself.

For all of the men and women who gave their last full measure, and the families that forever have a hole in their hearts, thank you.

Review – Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame, the latest product of the Marvel money-printing machine, is taking the world by storm. Millions of fans, many of whom cannot remember a time before the original Iron Man movie, have flocked to theaters worldwide to find out what happens after the events of last year’s Infinity War.

While I enjoyed the movie, I wasn’t impacted by it in the way other folks in the theater were. The young lady, seated next to me, and Boo, who sat on the other side, went from laughing, to crying, to cheering over and over again. A good portion of the audience clapped and cheered when the movie was over, either because they loved it or because they could finally go to the bathroom after three hours and a gallon of Coke.

To me, the plot dragged quite a bit. The first hour was spent on “We gotta do something!”, the middle hour was a pretty good heist movie, and the last hour as packed solid with “Bam!” and “Smash!” and “Kaplooey!” The first hour could have been cut down quite a bit, and the last hour could have been trimmed some to make this a better-paced story.

The acting was pretty good. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, but the portrayals of Captain America and Thor were my favorites. As always, Robert Downey, Jr., did an excellent job channeling Tony Stark.

As for special effects and action, it’s everything you expect from a Marvel movie and more. I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying that you’ll see enough CGI faces get punched and things get blown up to satisfy even the most degenerate action-movie junkie.

On a parental note, I did notice a bit more rough language in this one than in earlier MCU movies. Nothing too graphic, but just a few words that were unexpected in a series that has been mostly clean.

While this isn’t my favorite episode in the Marvel series, it was enjoyable and worth the cost of admission. Now that the main story arc of the last decade is done, let’s hope that Marvel doesn’t squeeze the lemon too hard and tarnish the series ala Star Wars/Trek.

NRAAM 2019 Musings

  • What do you get when you mix guns, gear, politics, and tens of thousands of good people into a small area?
    • You get a happy DaddyBear, that’s what
  • The IMI Tavor X95 SBR 13-inch bullpup was whispering sweet nothings in my ear all weekend. It had a decent trigger, and it was one of the few guns I brought up to my shoulder and immediately had a good sight picture on. This is going on the list to buy if and when I start making Larry Correia money.
  • Winchester is dipping its toes into the semi-automatic .22 rifle market with its new Wildcat. They took a lot of the things I like about the Ruger 10/22 and added a few more neat things. This very light rifle will take its own magazines and anything that will work in a 10/22. If you use the Winchester magazines, then the bolt locks to the rear after the last cartridge is fired, something the 10/22 doesn’t have out of the box. Take down is as easy as pushing a rubber button in the butt stock and pulling out the trigger guard. With an MSRP of $249, this might be a fun gun for the range or the truck. As light as the rifle is, it would also be a great gun for working with young people.
  • Speaking of Ruger, I really liked the new .22 Wrangler revolver. It’s a six-shot, single-action revolver that caught my “I wanna be a cowboy” eye and kept it. It’s a relatively light gun that fit well in my big hands. The single-action trigger was crisp but not too light. With an MSRP of $249, this would make an excellent trainer or plinker.
  • I made the obligatory visit to the CRKT booth to oggle their latest wares. Two things stood out to me. First, there was the $200 folding karambit, dubbed the Provoke. While it has one of the neatest folding mechanisms I’ve seen, I have enough scars on my forearms to pass on this one. The one that really caught my eye was the FlatOut, a basic locking folder. There wasn’t one to be had at the NRAAM, but with the magic of the Internet, I ordered one before I left the show floor. It came out of the box with a wickedly sharp edge, and I’m looking forward to seeing how well it keeps it and how easily it sharpens.
  • I learned a rather important lesson on Saturday. Someone I knew from the Internet introduced himself, and he, Drang, and I wandered around the show floor together. He was interested in upgrading the factory sights on his Walther pistol, and we hit all of the usual suspects to see what worked for him. Interestingly enough, only one vendor, XS Sights, has sights that would work on his pistol.
    • As a 1911 and Glock owner, it really hadn’t occurred to me that not all vendors provide parts for all common guns.

Musings

  • Well, the Mueller report is out, and it seems to say whatever the people commenting on it want it to say.
    • I haven’t seen this much projection since I took a behind-the-scenes tour of a 15 screen movie theater when I was a Cub Scout.
  • Note to self – In the unlikely event that I become President, task #1 after the inauguration is to fire everyone I can legally fire.
    • Tast #2 is to replace them with overly loyal and, at least, somewhat competent people.
    • Seems like a good way to reduce the chances of getting shanked in the showers.
  • Interestingly enough, the person I was speaking to the other day about politics and the Notre Dame fire did not see the irony of believing that Bernie Sanders should be allowed to do whatever he wants with his money while at the same time believing that it’s evil to donate millions to restore a religiously and culturally significant building.
  • Irish Woman paid a nice young man to carve on her corneas with a ruby-chromium laser the other day. So far, so good. Of course, she could already freeze ice and/or kill with a glance.

Musings

  • Is it a bad thing that the first thought to go through my mind after I opened my eyes this morning was “Well, let’s get this shit show on the road.”?
    • My morning prayer has devolved down to “Dear Lord, please give me the strength to do what’s right and the patience to deal with those who don’t. But if it is your will that I choke the living !#$! out of someone today, your will be done.”
  • You’d think that as a boy learns to obsess over something new (Spiderman), he’d drop something else (Harry Potter, Narnia), wouldn’t you?
    • Could be worse. Could be Pokemon.
  • Met two veterans today. Even though we didn’t know each other from Adam, within 15 minutes, we were swapping stories like old friends. It was a good feeling.
  • We’ve reached that wonderful part of the year here in Kentucky where all of the outdoor plants are trying to kill me. We had a light rain the other morning, and it left a greenish-yellow sludge on the low spots in the parking lot at work.

Marvel Movies Round-Up

Over the past few months, we’ve been watching the movies that make up the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We had seen and liked Iron Man when it first came out, but for one reason or another, have never watched the rest of the films.

So, due to me being a big kid and Boo coming to that age where he could watch them, we decided to give them a whirl.

We finished up this morning by watching a matinee of Captain Marvel. Next comes the new Avengers movie at the end of April, then all of the rest that will flow from the great Disney hive mind over the next decade.

In no particular order, here are my impressions of the movies:

  • Iron Man – Rich son of a World War II hero realizes that making weapons is bad when one is used on him. Makes up for it by creating the most advanced weapons system in the history of mankind.
  • Iron Man II – Hero of the last movie turns into even more of a douche, then runs into the son of a man his father had deported back to the Soviet Union for the unforgivable sin of wanting to become rich.
  • Thor – The eponymous God of Thunder gets a little tough love from Father Odin, then meets the girl of his dreams while at the same time learning that violence only solves family issues.
  • Captain America: The First Avenger – A 90 pound weakling, while not posing for the before pictures in Charles Atlas comic book advertisements, is turned into the after picture for Charles Atlas comic book advertisements. Hijinks ensue when he discovers a talent for punching super-Nazis in the face.
  • The Avengers – All of our heroes team up to fight an alien invasion. Said invasion is facilitated by Thor’s brother Loki, thereby proving that if you’re gonna kick your brother’s ass, you better make sure it’s well and truly stomped.
  • Iron Man 3 – Our favorite poor little rich kid is back, this time whining about how he created his own problems by blowing off a disabled genius so that he could nail a hot genius. Tony Stark also learns the meaning of the phrase “Talk shit, get hit” when he challenges the big bad guy on national television and is thus treated to what we used to call the “Apocalypse Now” treatment.
  • Thor: The Dark World – The God of Cream Rinse reunites with his lady love after she forgets the one rule any good D&D player knows: Never put your hand in the red glowy stuff you find in a dark cavern.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Steve Rogers is becoming disillusioned with the world as he found it after unthawing, not unlike every other member of his generation who actually had to live through the flower children, disco, Jimmy Carter, M.C. Hammer, and the Clinton years. An old army buddy resurfaces for a heart-warming reunion, which is marred when everybody wants to murder said buddy, and he’s happy to reciprocate.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – The most relatable gang of A-holes ever comes together for a really fun heist movie. Between old pop culture references, pretty good music, and sexual innuendo, our heroes find time to save the universe from a threat almost nobody in the universe noticed.
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron – Tony Stark and Bruce Banner unleash a menace upon the earth, mainly because they were bored and needed something to do. In order to destroy said menace, they repeat their experiment and create a new MCU character out of his personal version of SIRI. In between all this, they lay waste to cities on several continents, just going to show what a bunch of Americans can do if they put their minds to it.
  • Captain America: Civil War – Tony Stark is appalled by the amount of destruction his little group can unleash on a long weekend, so quislings his way out of it by getting the UN to step in and put a leash on Captain America. Said Super Soldier goes rogue to save his old Army buddy, leading to one of the most stupendous beat downs I’ve seen in any movie. We are introduced to the new Spiderman and the little nation of Wakanda, a small place which I’m sure will have no important role to play in the rest of the series.
  • Doctor Strange – An arrogant neurosurgeon puts himself through the spin-cycle once or twice, so he has to go to Tibet in order to become an arrogant mystical warrior monk. We learn that there are some things man isn’t meant to know. That is, of course, unless you happen to be an ex-neurosurgeon with a penchant for sneaking into the restricted section of the library after hours.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2 – Those lovable murder hobos are back, this time in a quest to get to know Peter’s dad. We learn the truth behind the hero’s heritage, and why the man who raised him has such a cool hair cut.
  • Spiderman: Homecoming – Our friendly, neighborhood wall crawler is back, again, but at least we don’t have to endure another retelling of the legendary spider bite. This is the movie where I got in trouble for differentiating it from the older generations of Spidey movies by labeling it as “The one where Aunt May is hot”.
  • Thor: Ragnarok – Odin is dead, Thor got left out of the will, and he has to perform in the arena for the mob. Thor also learns a valuable life lesson – If you can’t have your parents’ stuff after they die, hire a guy to burn the whole darned place to the ground.
  • Black Panther – Noble Africans fight less-noble African Americans. Apparently all that technological advancement the Wakandans have never extended to ranged weapons.
  • Avengers: Infinity War – You know, except for that whole universal genocide thing, Thanos is a really reasonable guy. Seriously, I wouldn’t mind having him as a neighbor. Marvel did a really good job of cleaning out the stable so that they can introduce fresh, new characters to make more movies and sell more lunchboxes.
  • Captain Marvel – One of the best two hour recruiting ads I’ve ever seen. This movie has a strong female lead, a strong male lead, and a cat. What more can you ask for? Also, it adds more evidence to my theory that the Air Force has a near-monopoly on attractive women in its ranks.

Musings

  • Phrases I have used lately:
    • How about doing it the right way? We haven’t tried that yet!
    • No, I’m not bitter. I’m ‘burn the village to the ground and piss on the ashes’ angry.
    • You apologize to that lady over there or I’m gonna follow you home and beat your daddy’s ass for not raising you right.
    • Oh, I’m sorry. Am I not doing your job fast enough?
  • Don’t ever tell me that dog’s can’t understand English. Moonshine knows that “Clean up on aisle 2!” means that his master has dropped an entire bowl of cereal on the kitchen floor.
  • Someone at work thinks I’m joking when I say “Sleep is for the weak.”

Musings

  • Boo’s skill with the bow is improving. In fact, his school team has been invited to participate in the state meet.
    • He gets this particular skill from me, of course.
    • His mother doesn’t need a bow. She kills a thought and an icy stare.
  • Irish Woman’s arguments against moving to North Dakota are becoming weaker. It was only 10 degrees cooler in my hometown than in Louisville the other day.
    • Of course, that’s before you factor in the wind, but I’m not going to mention that to her.
  • Irish Woman gives me grief for being a soft touch, but we seem to have started quite a collection of Girl Scout cookies on the kitchen counter, and I haven’t even run into my pusher yet.
  • It’s standardized testing time at Boo’s school, or as we call it, “Annual No-Homework-But-Still-Early-Bedtime Week”.
  • I got to be arm candy for Irish Woman the other night when we were invited to tour the new snow leopard exhibit at the Lousville Zoo.
    • The new exhibit is wonderful, and we got to go behind the scenes to see the snow leopards and Siberian tigers.
    • The leopards were pretty calm and just watched the tourists go by.
    • The female tiger gave us a few growls, then lay her head down and snoozed.
    • The male, tiger, on the other hand, was having none of this.
    • I thought they were playing animal sounds outside for atmosphere. Nope, it was the male tiger roaring through several yards of concrete.
    • Did you know that a 400 pound male tiger roaring and leaping at the front of his enclosure will cause your heart rate to double in less than a second?
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