Monday, October 26, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm Sorry

To the Guy Who Tried to Mug Me in Downtown Savannah night before last. Date: 05-27-09, 1:43 AM EST.

I was the guy wearing the black Burberry jacket that you demanded that I hand over, shortly after you pulled the knife on my girlfriend, threatening our lives and me.

You also asked for my girlfriend's purse and earrings.

I can only hope that you somehow come across this rather important message.

First, I'd like to apologize for your embarrassment when I drew my pistol after you took my Jacket. The evening was not that cold, and I was wearing the jacket for a reason.

My girlfriend had just bought me that Kimber Model 1911 .45 A CP pistol for my birthday, and we had picked up a shoulder holster for it that very evening.

Obviously you agree that it is a very Intimidating weapon when pointed at your head wasn't it?

I know it probably wasn't fun walking back to wherever you'd c ome from bare footed since I made you leave your shoes, cell phone, and wallet with me. That prevented you from calling or running to your buddies to come help mug us again.

After I called your mother, or "Momma" as you had her listed in your cell, I explained the entire episode of what you'd done. Then I Went and filled up my gas tank as well as four other people's in the gas station on your credit card. The guy with the big motor home took 150 gallons and was extremely grateful!

I gave your shoes to a homeless guy outside Vinnie Van Go Go’s, along with all the cash in your wallet. [That made his day!]

I then threw your wallet into the big pink "pimp mobile" that was parked at the curb ... After I broke the windshield and side window and keyed the entire driver's side of the car.

Later, I called a bunch of phone sex numbers from your cell phone. Ma Bell just now shut down the line, although I only used the phone for a little over a day now, so what's going on with that?

Earlier, I managed to get in two threatening phone calls to the DA's office and one to the FBI, while mentioning President Obama as my possible target. The FBI guy seemed really intense and we had a nice long chat (I guess while he traced your number etc.).

In a way, perhaps I should apologize for not killing you ... But I feel this type of retribution is a far more appropriate punishment for your threatened crime. I wish you well as you try to sort through some of these rather immediate pressing issues, and can only hope that you have the opportunity to reflect upon, and perhaps reconsider the career path you've chosen to pursue in life.

Remember, next time you might not be so lucky.

Have a good day!

Thoughtfully yours,
Alex

Proud to Be An American

Saturday night I watched this program on the Military Channel (LOVE the Military Channel) called "Combat Zone". This particular episode was about 8 Army Special Forces soldiers behind enemy lines in Iraq, I can't remember the year. This was the show that prompted my Tweet/FaceBook status update "proud to be an American".

The (true) story recalled an incident when the Air Force had to come rescue these 8 Special Forces soldiers. I picked up on the story when these 8 soldiers were camouflaged in a ditch watching a highway for enemy activity. Two children accidentally happened upon their location and spotted them. The soldiers immediately jumped out of their cammo'd position and held the children at gun point. Their options? 1) shoot the children so they would not give away their position 2) drug the kids until they could leave or 3) let the kids go, give up their hiding spot and risk being discovered. They chose the latter, at great risk to themselves. It seems the children never gave them up.

Later, something similar happened and a shepherd (adult male) happened upon their hiding spot. They had the same option with him as they did the kids, and again, they chose to let the man go. The shepherd immediately ran off, pulled out a pistol and shot into the air 3 times. This, ultimately, brought a whole platoon of soldiers down on these 8 Special Forces soldiers.

The rest of the show was about the Air Force providing close ground support to defend the soldiers until they could be evacuated safely that night. As they were waiting for nightfall, one soldier recounted how he had an enemy soldier in his sights and paused, almost too long, because of the clarity with which he saw the enemy soldier's face. He had been raised a Christian and had a difficult time being in a position to have to kill another human being. The soldier got emotional retelling the story.

My first emotion watching this was pride being an American. I was proud of the moral choices these soldiers made. I was amazed at the technology and weapons at their disposal (including the F-16s which offered close ground support). I was in awe of the courage of these men under such dangerous conditions. And I was thankful that they were there fighting the same terrorists who kill innocent civilians around the world in the name of their 'holy war'.

As I turned off the TV at the end of the show and pondered all of this, I was left with one more emotion...anger. I was angry at our President who would travel around the world and apologize for how "bad" our country has been. Whom I have NEVER heard support our troops and what they are doing for our country. Who panders to a violent religion that makes the exact opposite moral choices with innocents that the soldiers in the (real life) story I had just seen while pulling support to Christian events. Who won't listen to his general on the ground who says we need more troops in Afghanistan or we will loose the ground we have gained there (as well as the lives of more of our troops). Who is uncomfortable with the idea of "victory" in a war which he is supposedly leading our country.

I had no respect for Bush haters while President Bush was in office, so I don't want to be an Obama hater. I will not go there, but it is hard to support a President who is not as proud of our country as I am. To the men and women supporting and defending our country around the world, I say THANK YOU. To our President, I say, I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN...I WISH YOU WOULD BE, TOO.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Why Not Fix That, Too, While I'm Here

This afternoon, I planned to replace some caulk around the inside of the shower in the master bathroom and scrub the floor. Planned on talking about an hour to do it (first mistake).

The caulking was going OK until I discovered one of the walls in the shower (we have that plastic stuff that is glued to the exterior wall to create the shower walls) was not glued together. Why not fix that, too, while I'm here? Glue that I had did not work.


I then noticed that the tub faucet had a lot of calcium buildup on it and really could not be cleaned up enough to look nice. Why not fix that, too, while I'm here. This was the BIG mistake.

Off to Home Depot I went. Got some epoxy and super glue figuring one of them would fix the shower wall. Then discovered that it was not as simple as just buying a few "replacement parts" for the tub...had to buy a "kit". Picked up the cheapest kit and headed home.


Came home and tackled the shower wall first. Since the epoxy was the fastest drying glue, I tried it first. It seems that Brooke and Amanda could not properly appreciate my efforts...something about the smell. Whoever thought that epoxy dried quickly must never have used as much as I squirted between the walls because I got tired of standing there pressing one wall into the other waiting for the epoxy to harden. Break out the super glue. Worked like a charm.


Next to tackle the faucet stuff. Short version, nearly EVERYTHING in the kit was all wrong. I could have fixed the problem with the enclosed plumbing part, but since that would require taking the shower wall down, cutting a hole in the sheet rock underneath and changing out actual pluming, I decided against that. By this time, everything is a mess.

Quite disheartened, I took the old tub faucet to Foster Hardware to see if I could find just this part to replace. The rest did not look good, but the faucet was the worst looking. Come to find out, I should have started at Foster Hardware. I was able to replace all of the tub hardware much cheaper piece-by-piece than the kit I previously purchased.


After dinner, I replaced the tub hardware, finished caulking and finally got around to scrubbing the floor. Finished at 7:30pm. Total time = 5 hours!


The new hardware installed.

Never Get It Right The First Time

A couple Fridays ago, I got a text from Pastor Philip. "Sorry to bother you on your day off, but I can't seem to get the safe closed." Remembering how sometimes the combination has to be re-entered to close the door, and thinking perhaps Pastor Philip was not familiar with this "trick", I walked next door to give proper instruction.

Upon further inspection of the safe, there was definitely something wrong. The door would close, but it would not lock. Good thing I came along. I was able to get the safe to close, and I was feeling pretty proud of myself until I found out the safe would no longer open. The handle that would not close the lock properly would now no longer open the lock properly. The picture you see here is what he safe looked like after the lock smith had to drill into it to open it.

Needless to say, we had to get a new safe. Although not previously written down, purchasing and installing the new safe was part of my job description. It took a while to find one that fit our needs within our budget, but I did. I purchased a fire-proof "microwave safe", so named because it is the size of a microwave oven. (It was the size of a microwave but weighed more than half as much as I do!).

I got the safe to church, cleaned out the closet it was in, threw out the old safe with Pastor Philip's help and began the work of bolting the safe to the floor. Here's how it went:
  • Go to hardware store and purchase bolt, anchor and masonry bit.
  • Drill hole in concrete. Discover that the bolt anchor I purchased was WAY longer than needed. Drill half way to China.
  • Discover that, somehow, my measurements were wrong. Bolt will not go into anchor because safe cannot move to the left any further due to the wall that is there.
  • Return to hardware store. Buy new (shorter) anchor.
  • Re-measure carefully and drill second hole. Notice that masonry bit is not cutting it as well as it did the first time.
  • Get assistance from Pastor Philip drilling second hole and aligning safe for bolt to fit into the anchor when we are done.
  • Discover that the safe door will not open all the way because it is now hitting the right side wall. Another measuring error.
  • Begin drilling third hole (fortunately, grabbed an extra anchor during second trip to hardware store). Concur with Pastor Philip that the masonry bit is simply going round and round but not down, down!
  • Third trip to hardware store. This time, asked what the difference is between the two different masonry drill bits. Discover that previously purchased bit was fine for brick and mortar but not recommended for foundation drilling.
  • Return to church, rotate with Pastor Philip drilling third hole with proper bit. Finish drilling third hole just as drill burns up!
  • Align safe, tighten bolt, put valuables in safe.
  • Job done. Total time...approx 6 hours!