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July 11, 2012 by Nicki
Just thought I’d pass along a funny blog a friend turned me on to: Pintester. She’s (as The Daily What put it) “a one-woman testing operation who attempts to recreate enticing DIY Pinterest pins at home — at which point hilarity ensues.”
This woman seriously cracks me up, and I thought some of y’all might like it as well!
I hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend. It’s rained here all weekend, so the headaches have been abundant, but luckily my meds have helped tremendously with that and have been able to enjoy most of my weekend.
This morning I read an email from one of my Cotillion sisters linking to an article by Dennis Prager outlining a ceremony suggestion for honoring the holiday. He’s succinctly summed up several key points about our Independence Day that I think a lot of people have forgotten, and I’d like to share them here.
Today, we take a few minutes to remember what the Fourth of July is about and to remind ourselves how fortunate we are to be Americans. Before America was a nation, it was a dream — a dream shared by many people, from many nations, over many generations.
It began with the Pilgrims in 1620, who fled Europe so that they could be free to practice their religion. It continued through the 17th century, as more and more people arrived in a place that came to be known as the New World. In this new world, where you were from didn’t matter; what mattered was where you were headed.
As more and more people settled, they started to see themselves as new people — Americans. They felt blessed: The land was spacious. The opportunities limitless. By 1776, a century and a half after the first Pilgrims landed, this new liberty-loving people was ready to create a new nation.
And on July 4 of that year, they did just that. They pronounced themselves to be free of the rule of the English king. We know this statement as the Declaration of Independence.
Three ideas summarize what America is all about. They are engraved on every American coin. They are “Liberty,” “In God We Trust” and “E Pluribus Unum.”
“Liberty” means that we are free to pursue our dreams and to go as far in life as hard work and good luck will take us.
“In God We Trust” means that America was founded on the belief that our rights and liberties have been granted to us by the Creator. Therefore they cannot be taken away by people.
“E Pluribus Unum” is a Latin phrase meaning “From Many, One.” Unlike other countries, America is composed of people of every religious, racial, ethnic, cultural and national origin — and regards every one of them as equally American. Therefore, “out of many (people we become) one” — Americans.
As we gather with friends and loved ones enjoying the festivities, let us also remember this holiday’s origin and meaning.
Today’s funnies start off with this one from Cookie:
Two businessmen in Illinois were sitting down for a break in their soon-to-be new store. As yet, the store wasn’t ready, with only a few shelves set up.
One said to the other, “I bet any minute now some senior is going to walk by, put his face to the window, and ask what we’re selling.”
No sooner were the words out of his mouth when, sure enough, a curious senior walked to the window, had a peek, and in a soft voice asked, “What are you sellin’ here?”
One of the men replied sarcastically, “We’re selling ass-holes.”
Without skipping a beat, the old timer said, “Must be doing well… only two left.”
Seniors — don’t mess with us!
This one is courtesy of Here Kitty Kitty:
I wasn’t aware of the date until I’d gotten to work this morning. Had a fight with the husband last night so naturally I’ve had very little sleep and am not quite “all here” today. My apologies for the tardiness of this post.
I’ve spent most of my lunch hour scouring favorite news blogs and local news sites. And honestly, I’m disheartened to see so little mention of today’s anniversary, if any at all. Not even Google has anything up.
I’m very disappointed in you, Google.
Thankfully, there are a few blogs covering the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941:
- Remembering Pearl Harbor: Retired Birmingham doctor honors first black Alabamian to die in WWII
- Pearl Harbor Day to be marked quietly by survivor
- December 7th, 1941, “A Date which will live in Infamy.” “The Song of the Seabee’s”
- Air Raid Pearl Harbor. This Is Not A Drill
- Remembering Pearl Harbor: 69 years
- Morning Cup of Links: Pearl Harbor Day
As I’ve said before, my faith teaches forgiveness, and I am the first to admit that perhaps I need to practice a bit more of that. But forgiving a wrong does not also mean forgetting it altogether. George Santayana said, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
It’s been 69 years, America. Have we learned anything yet?
To those of you reading this: Hug your soldiers and veterans and thank them for us.
Today’s funnies start off with this one from Uncle Monster:
This one is from I Can Has Cheezburger?
And while I’m on the subject of kittehs, if you’re in need of some cute and furry goodness, these are a few of my favorite feline bloggers:
Go now! Clicky clicky!!!
Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.”
Apparently said version tends to change from time to time. I was talking with a friend about how I’d noticed that the school textbooks that Jessie’s had over the past few years were vastly different from those I remembered. In fact, I was helping her study last week for a big social studies exam and thought the textbook seemed a bit “dumbed down” in some topics, and noticed how it entirely skipped others. And then I wondered, were mine vastly different than those of the generation before me?
Looking back, Social Studies was my absolute least favorite subject in school. I couldn’t ever keep up with the details of dates, people, and events; it was sheer straight memorization … and boring as hell. It wasn’t really until I was in my last couple years of high school that history held any kind of fascination with me. I’m lucky, my high school had really great teachers.
I can name several that were my favorites, but one in particular comes to mind today because he not only taught from the textbook, he taught from experience. His name was Joe Parker, and he was a Vietnam veteran. I thought he was the most fascinating man I’d ever met. He didn’t just teach, he told stories. I began to see that people weren’t just names in a textbook anymore. Dates weren’t just numbers to be memorized then completely forgotten. I began to understand why things were done a certain way during certain times.
Mr. Parker often told tales of his time in Vietnam. I loved hearing his stories — I had never seen anything like what he described in any textbook on the subject. Looking back, I don’t think I ever really knew anything about Vietnam. I knew that I had an uncle who had served and died overseas. My father really didn’t like to talk about it. I knew that the war ended not long after I was born, and that when those who served returned home, they were not treated kindly … even looked down upon by people I knew. I never understood until it was explained to me by Mr. Parker. It was he who taught me not to blindly accept what’s given to me in print, but to seek other sources, research, and draw my own conclusions.
I wonder today, how many people are still hanging onto what they’d gathered from misguided sources rather than seeking the truth for themselves?
What brought up this thought and the associated memories was an email I received from Uncle Monster last weekend containing a link to a blog with a most IMPRESSIVE list of statistics and facts about the Vietnam War and its veterans that I have never before seen. And I’d like to share them with y’all …
Interesting Facts about the Make-up of US Troops in the Vietnam War
In case you haven’t been paying attention these past few decades after you returned from Vietnam, the clock has been ticking. The following are some statistics that are at once depressing yet in a larger sense should give you a huge sense of pride.
“Of the 2,709,918 Americans who served in Vietnam, Less than 850,000 are estimated to be alive today, with the youngest American Vietnam veteran’s age approximated to be 54 years old.” How does it feel to be among the last third of all the Vietnam Veterans who served in Vietnam to be alive? I don’t know about you guys, but it kind of gives me the chills.
Considering the kind of information available about the death rate of WWII and Korean War Veterans, publicized information indicates that in the last 14 years Vietnam veterans are dying at the rate of 390 deaths each day. At this rate there will be only a few of us alive in 2015.
These statistics were taken from a variety of sources to include: The VFW Magazine, the Public Information Office, and the HQ CP Forward Observer – 1st Recon April 12, 1997.
STATISTICS FOR INDIVIDUALS IN UNIFORM AND IN COUNTRY VIETNAM VETERANS
1. 9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam Era (Aug 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975).
2. 8,744,000 GIs were on active duty during the war (Aug 5, 1964 – March 28, 1973).
3. 2,709,918 Americans served in Vietnam, this number represents 9.7% of their generation.
4. 3,403,100 (Including 514,300 offshore) personnel served in the broader Southeast Asia Theater (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, flight crews based in Thailand and sailors in adjacent South China Sea waters).
5. 2,594,000 personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam (Jan. 1, 1965 – March 28, 1973). Another 50,000 men served in Vietnam between 1960 and 1964.
6. Of the 2.6 million, between 1-1.6 million (40-60%) either fought in combat, provided close support or were at least fairly regularly exposed to enemy attack.
7. 7,484 women (6,250 or 83.5% were nurses) served in Vietnam.
8. Peak troop strength in Vietnam: 543,482 (April 30, 1968).
1. The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1958. He was with the 509th Radio Research Station. Davis Station in Saigon was named for him.
2. Non-hostile deaths: 10,800
3. Total: 58,202 (Includes men formerly classified as MIA and Mayaguez casualties). Men who have subsequently died of wounds account for the changing total.
4. 8 nurses died – 1 was KIA.
5. 61% of the men killed were 21 or younger.
6. 11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old.
7. Of those killed, 17,539 were married.
8. Average age of men killed: 23.1 years
9. Enlisted: 50,274 – 22.37 years
10. Officers: 6,598 – 28.43 years
11. Warrants: 1,276 – 24.73 years
12. E1: 525 – 20.34 years
13. 11B MOS: 18,465 – 22.55 years
14. Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.
15. The oldest man killed was 62 years old.
16. 2,709,918 Americans served in Vietnam, 58,202 were KIA for a percentage of .0214%.
17. 303,704 were wounded. 153,329 were hospitalized.
18. 150,375 were injured requiring no hospital care.
19. 75,000 were severely disabled. 23,214 were 100% disabled. 5,283 lost limbs. 1,081 sustained multiple amputations.
20. Amputation or crippling wounds to the lower extremities were 300% higher than in WWII and 70% higher than Korea.
21. Multiple amputations occurred at the rate of 18.4% compared to 5.7% in WWII.
22. Missing in Action: 2,338
23. POWs: 766 (114 died in captivity)
24. As of January 15, 2004, there are 1,875 Americans still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.
DRAFTEES VS VOLUNTEERS
1. 25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees.
2. 66% of U.S. armed forces members were drafted during WWII).
3. Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in Vietnam.
4. Reservists killed: 5,977
5. National Guard: 6,140 served: 101 died.
6. Total draftees (1965 – 73): 1,728,344.
7. Actually served in Vietnam: 38%
8. Marine Corps Draft: 42,633.
9. Last man drafted: June 30, 1973.
RACE AND ETHNIC BACKGROUND
1. 88.4% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian; 10.6% (275,000) were black; 1% belonged to other races.
2. 86.3% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian (includes Hispanics); 12.5% (7,241) were black; 1.2% belonged to other races.
3. 170,000 Hispanics served in Vietnam; 3,070 (5.2% of total) died there.
4. 70% of enlisted men killed were of North-west European descent.
5. 86.8% of the men who were killed as a result of hostile action were Caucasian; 12.1% (5,711) were black; 1.1% belonged to other races.
6. 14.6% (1,530) of non-combat deaths were among blacks.
7. 34% of blacks who enlisted volunteered for the combat arms.
8. Overall, blacks suffered 12.5% of the deaths in Vietnam at a time when the percentage of blacks of military age was 13.5% of the total population.
9. Religion of Dead: Protestant – 64.4%; Catholic – 28.9%; other/none – 6.7%
1. Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than the same non-vet age groups.
2. Vietnam veterans’ personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent.
3. 76% of the men sent to Vietnam were from lower middle/working class backgrounds.
4. Three-fourths had family incomes above the poverty level; 50% were from middle income backgrounds.
5. Some 23% of Vietnam vets had fathers with professional, managerial or technical occupations.
6. 79% of the men who served in Vietnam had a high school education or better when they entered the military service. 63% of Korean War vets and only 45% of WWII vets had completed high school upon separation.
7. Deaths by region per 100,000 of population: South – 31%, West -29.9%; Midwest – 28.4%; Northeast – 23.5%.
DRUG USAGE & CRIME
1. There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non-Vietnam Veterans of the same age group. (Source: Veterans Administration Study)
2. Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison – only one-half of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes.
3. 85% of Vietnam Veterans made successful transitions to civilian life.
WINNING & LOSING
1. 82% of veterans who saw heavy combat strongly believe the war was lost because of lack of political will.
2. Nearly 75% of the public agrees it was a failure of political will, not of arms.
1. 97% of Vietnam-era veterans were honorably discharged.
2. 91% of actual Vietnam War veterans and 90% of those who saw heavy combat are proud to have served their country.
3. 74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome.
4. 87% of the public now holds Vietnam veterans in high esteem.
1. 1,713,823 of those who served in Vietnam were still alive as of August, 1995 (census figures).
2. During that same census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country was: 9,492,958.
3. As of the current census taken during August, 2000, the surviving U.S. Vietnam Veteran population estimate is: 1,002,511. This is hard to believe, losing nearly 711,000 between ’95 and ’00. That’s 390 per day.
4. During this census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country is: 13,853,027. By this census, FOUR OUT OF FIVE WHO CLAIM TO BE VIETNAM VETS ARE NOT.
5. The Department of Defense Vietnam War Service Index officially provided by The War Library originally reported with errors that 2,709,918 U.S. military personnel as having served in-country.
6. Corrections and confirmations to this erred index resulted in the addition of 358 U.S. military personnel confirmed to have served in Vietnam but not originally listed by the Department of Defense. (All names are currently on file and accessible 24/7/365).
7. Isolated atrocities committed by American Soldiers produced torrents of outrage from anti-war critics and the news media while Communist atrocities were so common that they received hardly any media mention at all.
8. The United States sought to minimize and prevent attacks on civilians while North Vietnam made attacks on civilians a centerpiece of its strategy.
9. Americans who deliberately killed civilians received prison sentences while Communists who did so received commendations.
10. From 1957 to 1973, the National Liberation Front assassinated 36,725 Vietnamese and abducted another 58,499. The death squads focused on leaders at the village level and on anyone who improved the lives of the peasants such as medical personnel, social workers, and school teachers. – Nixon Presidential Papers.
Now, how many of you read the above and see the similarities between Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistan? The first thing that stuck out in my mind immediately (besides the media coverage) was that I have seen with my own eyes is that heroes are welcomed home today.
Reach out to a soldier or veteran. Say “Thank you” — because you never know, he or she may have never been told that before!
If you are able and want to do more, here’s where you can find out how.
Wow, what a weekend. Right now I’m sitting here waiting out the remaining two hours until the Aion Head Start event. I figured this would be a good time as any to post a few things.
Jess, Teresa and I spent yesterday in T’town. We went down there to watch the Tide take on North Texas. Jim was originally supposed to go with us, but he was kind enough to stay home to get our house ready to show to some prospective buyers. (Which, funny enough, he neglected to tell me about until Friday night when I got home and was already mad as a hornet for having spent 2 hours in traffic!)
We picked Teresa up in McCalla and headed down I-59. It rained the entire time. Once we reached Tuscaloosa, finding a parking spot was pretty tricky. The university has taken over some parking lots that were once public to reserve for Tide Pride members. We got lucky and parked by some friends in nearby apartments.
Hooray for friends!
It rained and rained and RAINED. Even though all three of us were wearing ponchos, we were still soaked to the bone. We walked all over the quad, visited various shop tents and after watching the Million Dollar Band do their usual pre-game routine, slowly made our way to Bryant-Denny stadium. It was at this point that it FINALLY quit raining. With the exception of a few drops here or there, the weather was pretty nice for the rest of the day! We made our way into the stadium and up to our seats and tried our best to dry out. About halfway into the game, the sun made its grand entrance.
Of course, the sunscreen I had put on yesterday morning before leaving the house had washed off … so I’m a little sunburned. This is the first game I’ve ever attended where I’ve been soaked and sunburned in the same day! LOL!
It was all a great day of fun though. The Tide looked really good. The halftime show was great. The MDB played a tribute to Motown. IMO the best part was the finale … they played ‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson. All of the color guard and dance teams put on some raggedy clothes and danced as zombies like in the original video. It was awesome!!
The Tide won 53-7, so pretty early in the second half a lot of people were leaving. The traffic going home was light compared to every other Bama game I’ve ever attended. We made it home long before dinner time and I happily napped as soon as I could get my tired and weary bones through the door and into the bed.
Today Jess left us to spend the next few days with her mother. She didn’t want to go (not that I blame her) but I tried to assure her that she wouldn’t miss much of the Aion head start and we’d see her again later this week. Our deal is that as long as her grades are up, she can play Aion. So far, that’s proving to be a GREAT motivator as far as school goes!
And speaking of Aion, I was able to get things sorted out with GoGamer. Our Aion packs arrived Friday afternoon. Jim and I ordered the Collector’s Edition, Jessie got the regular (and hers came in a very NICE tin!). Here’s a few pics I snapped that night after opening my box:
Incidentally, if you have also ordered the CE, you will want to read this article by The Aion Guy: How To Receive Your Aion Pre-Order Items!
On days where I bring my lunch to work, I usually sit at my desk and read my feeds. With all the things going on, I’ve found that most days I want stuff to keep me in good mood — or if I’m in a particularly bad one, to enhance my mood.
A couple days back, GeekSugar posted 10 Sites That Will Instantly Lift Your Mood. While the entries were pretty neat (I particularly enjoyed FML but it’s not really mood-lifting IMO), but honestly none of those I would visit when I was in need of a serious dose of smiles and gigglies.
These are my mood lifters, in no particular order:
- I Can Has Cheezburger? – LOLcats and LOLanimals own. ‘Nuff said.
- I Has a Hotdog! – Sister site to the ICHC, featuring LOLdogs of course. More awesomeness.
- Cute Overload – Introduced to this by my pal DocJeff, this never ceases to make me smile.
- ZooBorns – Announcements of baby zoo animals born all over the world. Entertaining and usually very educational. Dual-awesomeness.
- Cute Animals Channel on Today’s Big Thing – A daily feeding of furry funny video.
- Cukiság – A Hungarian cute animals site. Even though I usually don’t understand any of the text, the photos are cool.
- FurryTalk – A good site, with a mix of LOLpics, jokes, and inspirational animal stories.
I could name a few others, but these are the ones I hit every day. They’re good for a quick smile, and likely help keep me sane.
So what sites are your mood lifters?
I’m a “list person”. I like lists. Especially “To Do” lists. I like outlining my goals and enjoy the sense of accomplishment I feel when I get to cross those items off. So naturally, I’ve been looking for a “list” type app for my iPhone.
I had spent several weeks looking for just the right application. I wanted something simple with the ability to export lists, and to have the ability to set recurring tasks. Jim had run across one and emailed me a recommendation: Concrete Software‘s To-Do List.
It has quickly become another iPhone app that I can’t live without. Not only can I use the recurring tasks feature to keep track of monthly, quarterly, and yearly bills and other recurring costs, I also use it for checklists for side projects, things I need to do at home, and more …
At the time of this post, To-Do List costs $2.99. If you’re a “list person” like me, you may find this a handy app to add to your GTD arsenal.
It looks like the upcoming tea party will be much larger and accommodating those bringing their families. Nice! So, who all is going?