If you do not know me (I mean, really know me) then there is something you need to understand before you read this blog: I value the truth above everything else... except a good laugh. A good laugh will almost always beat the truth as far as I’m concerned. Everything you read on this blog will be true, somewhat true, or something I made up in an effort to get a laugh. Sometimes I will go on a rant that I don’t really mean (or only kind of mean). Sometimes I will mean what I write only to completely change my mind a year, month, or day later. Such is life. By reading this blog you agree not to get offended by anything I write (or, at the very least, you agree not to tell me or anyone else that you are offended). It is worth noting that my employer does not endorse my blog (or even read it, to tell you the truth). The Wife also does not endorse my blog (though she will read it from time to time). I am not paid to write this... it’s just my way of giving back to the community. I have, and will, touch on a wide range of subjects and will give my opinion on these subjects. Again, most of what I say is for laughs but every now and then I will say what I really think and feel (see my views on Westboro Baptist Cult). How will you know when I’m serious and when I’m trying to get a laugh? You’ll know. And if you don’t know, well... maybe this isn’t the best thing for you to be reading. So, sit back, read and enjoy. Leave comments if you want and don’t be afraid to publicly follow me.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Empire… err… "Hospital" Strikes Back

Before I start, let me point you to the first pictures of Daniel to hit the blogging world. My friend KC over at Our Life paid a undisclosed amount of money for the exclusive rights to post the first pictures. So make sure you click here to check them out! There will be pictures of Daniel on I’m just sayin… this weekend, so make sure you check back Saturday night (or Sunday morning).

It has been stated a number of times on this blog that there is a “hospital” in this area that we have been forced to use to deliver our children (it’s the only place The Wife’s doctors deliver at). I won’t bother posting links to any of my previous posts about this “hospital”… you can find them if you want to read them (I think some were posted back in October 2009 when Susie was born). I think I’ve made my feelings known for this “hospital” in the past (i.e. the only way I could hate them more is if the Westboro Baptist Cult worked there or received some kind of financial support from this “hospital”). I don’t know if I’ve ever actually put the name of this “hospital” on here… and I’m not going to bother to do it now. I don’t want you to think that I’m just trying to dent what I’m sure they feel is a great reputation.

Anyway, let’s talk about our latest trip to this “hospital”. We arrived at the “hospital” last Wednesday night. The Wife wasn’t feeling well… she thought maybe she was having contractions… but she wasn’t sure. Since this was just our 3rd child (2nd within 17 months, 5 days give or take a little) I understood how she couldn’t be sure. So, we called The Mother-In-Law to get her to come over and watch the girls while we headed off to the “hospital” (***Side note: It only took 3 calls to wake up The Mother-In-Law and get her to come over.***). We get there and they set us up in a room. Before I have a chance to complain about anything, they moved us into a different room (because the computer in the first room wasn’t working). I walked into the new room and realized that this was the “hospital’s” way of flipping me the bird and yelling “F*** you Mr. Blogger Man”. Right away I knew the gloves were coming off and the “hospital” was letting me know that they feel the same about me as I feel about them. In a way, this set my mind at ease. At least now I knew we wouldn’t have to play any games and act like we could “get along”. What was so bad? What did I immediately notice that seemed to go unnoticed by every woman who ever stepped in that room? There was a bed (for The Wife… we all agreed on that) and the only other piece of furniture in the room was a wooden rocking chair/glider. I made somewhat of a show of looking around the room and the nurse assured us that we would be moving into another room before long. This was at about 11:30pm. So we kick back and start watching The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (given a choice, we usually aren’t up late enough to watch any of these shows… but when we are, we watch The Tonight Show. And for what it’s worth, we like Leno more than we like Conan. And I know I’m getting off subject here, but I’ve always found it funny that Conan pretty much pushed Leno out and then cried when Leno pushed him out). Anyway, Carol Burnett was a guest on the show and it’s the opinion of I’m just sayin… that one can never go wrong with Carol Burnett. Trust me… we know funny and that woman is funny. One thing leads to another and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon comes on. I can probably count on one hand how many times we’ve seen this show… but we do like it. So this was a case where we were happy to have a chance to watch it. But as much as we like the show, it was getting late. The Wife dozed off and around the end of the show I decided that I just couldn’t sleep in that chair. So I did the only thing I could do… I looked for a pillow. When I couldn’t find one (well played “hospital”, well played) I laid on the floor and used my hands as a pillow. Around 2:30 – 2:45am, our nurse (who we liked) came in and said we needed to move to another room because I shouldn’t sleep on the floor… I needed my rest because I wouldn’t be getting much sleep after the baby gets here. Since I liked this nurse, I didn’t say the first thing that came to my mind. Anyway, she moved us into another room that had a chair that folded out into a “bed”. This “bed” was about 5 feet long (I’m 5’10”) and I’m not 100% sure how wide it was… but I can tell you it wasn’t as wide as I needed. If I laid on my back, the metal bars on the sides hit me on the inside of my armpits. As for the “mattress” on this chair “bed” that was in this “hospital”… it was springs (that you could see from the side) with a very itty-bitty little layer of foam sitting on top (it wasn’t really attached). Last but not least, this “bed” was designed to hold someone in the 80 – 90 pound range (I’m over 220). Honestly, if it hadn’t been for the bar that that ran from one side of the “bed” to the other right where my lower back was, I would have fallen down to the floor when I tried to lay down on it. Of course, that bar in my lower back was helped by the two bars hitting me in my armpits. I came thisclose to just getting back on the floor. Again… score one for the “hospital”.

As for the Big Day… I could tell there’s a huge difference between Baby #1 and Baby #3 when I walked into the waiting room and saw Mom and Dad. That’s it, that’s the list. When I walked in there the day Mary Ruth was born, it was standing room only with just about all family members (from both sides of the family) being there. Oh well, Daniel… Daddy knows how it feels. Anyway, they give The Wife something to help her along and a little after 11:45am she started pushing. By 12:16pm he was here. At 8lbs he is the smallest baby out of our 3 (MR was 8lbs, 3oz and Susie was 8lbs, 9oz… and she was 2 weeks early). The other two also took longer to come out. I can’t speak for The Wife, but this felt like the easiest delivery to me… of course, that might be because this was the first time The Mother-In-Law wasn’t in there with us. :)

Based on our previous experience with Mary Ruth and Susie, we had a good idea that he would have jaundice. So early Friday our family doctor comes by to meet Daniel and say hello. I wasn’t in the room, but The Wife saw him and had a good visit. Just from looking at Daniel, Dr. Keller said he might not have jaundice and we might get to go home later that afternoon. They still needed to draw blood and run some tests and so on and so forth… all routine stuff. A couple of hours later the lab results come back and sure enough his bilirubin level is high. The nurse tells us this and then says they are waiting to hear back from Dr. Keller to see what he wants us to do. She comes back in every so often to check on Daniel and to tell us they are still waiting to hear back from our doctor. As she was leaving after about her 3rd time, I heard another nurse outside the room say they should just put Daniel under a light (a special light they use for this stuff) until they hear back from Dr. Keller. It sounded like a good idea to me. About 30 or 45 minutes later, the nurse comes in with the light and sets everything up. As she’s leaving I ask if they’ve heard from Dr. Keller (I asked, because I noticed she hadn’t said anything… so I was pretty sure of the answer, but I wanted to hear it from her). She said that they HAD heard from Dr. Keller’s office and that they wanted us to stay overnight. This was something we were prepared for, but I was still a little pissed that we had to ask her… she wasn’t going to just tell us.

Saturday started with some more tests. Our new nurse (some woman with an Eastern European bloodline [my guess]) seemed to speak English as a second (or third) language. She told us that his bilirubin levels were looking better and that he was now at a Level C (Level A is the best… Level C isn’t great… but it could be a lot worse). They still needed to hear from a doctor before they could discharge him from the hospital. The Wife’s doctor came by and said she was good to go and that she would go ahead and get the paperwork started to discharge her. Now all we needed was a doctor to discharge Daniel.

In the meantime, we were told a Dr. Tillman would be by to circumcise Daniel. Dr. Keller didn’t do it because he never does them. We had been told before that he doesn’t do them because he had a bad experience once. Of course, my first thought was he must have cut too much one time… but he later told us that since he doesn’t do them that often, he decided not to do them at all… it’s not something he wants to mess up (Amen to that!). So anyway, we’re told that a Dr. Tillman is coming by and my ears perk up. Why? Because I grew up playing baseball on James Island and, therefore, knew the Tillman name well. Sonny played baseball with a slew of Tillmans over the years and I played for (and coached with) a Tillman. Anyway, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the Horres family and the Tillman family are friends (as most baseball families on James Island are). So I hear this name and figure she has to be married to one of the JI Tillmans (***Note: I don’t know if we were ever told Dr. Tillman was a woman, I might have just assumed. I mean, I love the Tillman family, but I wouldn’t even let any of those guys get near Scooby with a pair of scissors. Haha). To keep this long story going… I wasn’t there when Dr. Tillman came by (I wanted to make sure I had plausible deniability later when Daniel was pissed off for what was about to happen) but I made sure to get The Wife to ask her if she was related to any of the JI Tillmans. Come to find out, she is married to one of them (and yes, Sonny played baseball with him and I am friends with him). It was nice to know that this procedure was being done by someone we could trust. I am happy to report that she did a great job (though it still hurt me to see it). I would like to now take a minute to thank my friend who warned me about this and say I’m not very happy with my friend who didn’t warn me. I also expected more of a warning from Sonny (and I told him as much when I called him and said, “Thanks for the heads-up, jackass”). I also got a visual warning when I was in the hospital visiting my godson Lucas and they were changing his diaper for the first time after his “procedure”.

So with that behind us, we were left waiting to be discharged. I decided to go down to the cafeteria to grab some lunch. While down there, I discovered a dessert that I can only assume God put into my life. I admit that I am a little slow on things and I typically stay away from foods with a fancy name. It took me about 28 years to realize that apple pie, ala mode’ meant apple pie with yummy ice cream on top. Wow… what I was missing! Anyway, the new dessert in my life is Jello Parfait… which, I now know, is yummy jello with a layer of yummy cool whip on top followed by a yummy layer of jello with a final layer of yummy cool whip. I don’t want to overstate this… but when my eyes fell onto this perfect little dessert, I almost cried. So anyway, after lunch I decided to take my favorite new “fancy” dessert up to the room so I could be there when they discharged us. I think you see where this is going. Sometime after 1 or 2:00pm, our “nurse” comes in and tells us that Daniel is not being discharged today (Saturday). This did not make us happy. Even The Wife (who had been sleeping in a bed and had been waited on hand and foot since Wednesday night) was mad about this. So we started asking questions.

Us: Why?

Nurse: The doctor said he needs to stay.

Us: What doctor?

Nurse: Dr. somenameI’veneverheardof.

Us: Is he going to talk to us?

Nurse: Um, I think he has already left.

Us: So why does he think Daniel needs to stay?

Nurse: He needs to stay under the light.
(At this point, I can tell The Wife is upset… so I mainly do the talking for the next few minutes)

Me: We can take a light home with us. We’ve done it before.

Nurse: He’s better off at the hospital.

Me: Why is that?

Nurse: He will need blood work done at 6:00pm.

Me: Fine. Can we leave after that?

Nurse: No, he will need blood work done again tomorrow morning.

Me: We can come back. We don’t live that far away and we know the way here.

Nurse: He’s better off at the hospital.

Me: I’m not sure I agree with that.

Nurse: He needs the light to get better.

Me: Not only have we used a light for this kind of thing before… we did it only 17 months ago. So not only have we done this before… we have relatively recent experience. (I have to admit, I was thinking of KC when I said this).

Nurse: He is better off at the hospital.

Me: My wife had to help you set the biliblanket up. I’m not sure he’s better off here.

Nurse: Well, this is the best place for him.

The Wife: Well what if his blood work comes back tonight and he’s better?
Can we go home then?

Nurse: The doctor said he has to stay.

Me: But this doctor doesn’t know us. See, I know that because we don’t know him. (Ok, maybe I was a little mad at this point. You have to remember, English wasn’t her thing and it sounded like she was working a help desk somewhere giving us standard answers).

Nurse: I’m sorry, that’s what the doctor said.

Me: Is the doctor going to comp our stay?

Nurse: (Nervous laugh)

The Wife: Greg!

The Wife: (I admit, I don’t remember this question… but it was a good one).

Nurse: I don’t know.

Me: Well there is someone here who does know. I know there are people here above you and we’ll need to speak to one of them. We’re going to need to keep talking to people until someone can tell us why he is better off here.

Nurse: I will see if I can find the doctor but I think he is already gone.

The Wife: We don’t mind talking to him on the phone.

Nurse: I will try to find him.

The Wife: We're just so ready to leave.

Nurse: Well you have been discharged, so you can leave but the baby has to stay.

Us: That's not going to happen. (I didn't say it at the time because she wouldn't get it, but I was thinking "I wouldn't leave Scooby here alone with you people... I'm sure not going to leave my son!").

Let me explain to you how mad I was at this point… I couldn’t eat the jello parfait that was sitting right in front of me. That’s how mad I was. I ended up having to go take a walk and call Dad to help me cool off. Even hours later as I was on my way back to the “hospital” after going home to let the dogs out, I told Sonny that I was fully prepared to be tased once I walk into the “hospital”. I was also ready to tell the “nurse” that we would be leaving on Sunday… even if it meant having to take Daniel straight to a real hospital (or even a free health clinic… which I would rate over them right now). Basically, this "nurse" counted on us to be passive. She counted wrong. Anyway…

We did get a call a short time later from the doctor who had said Daniel couldn’t go home. First, he apologized because he had been called in to consult on this case but that the family doctor was supposed to talk to us to explain everything. As this was a Saturday, our family doctor was off… so the on-call doctor should have come talk to us. Second, he told us that Daniel’s numbers were up… I won’t go through the whole conversation because The Wife is the one who was talking to him, but I will say that he pretty much told us that everything the “nurse” had told us about Daniel getting better was wrong. He wasn’t getting better (but he wasn’t getting worse). He said that we could call him back later that night (after his blood work at 6:00pm) if we had any questions. He then ended up calling us back later that night to make sure The Wife didn’t have any questions.

We also got a visit later that night (after 9:30pm) from the on-call doctor at Dr. Keller’s practice. She came in and said that Dr. Keller had called her and asked her to come by and check on us and see if we had any questions. Maybe this is normal, but I choose to believe that Dr. Keller somehow found out that we were not happy and called this other doctor and told her to fix it. She was nice and talked to The Wife for a while.

I don’t want to point any fingers, but things started getting better for us once we got a better nurse.

Sunday morning was ok. More tests and Daniel’s numbers weren’t great but they were going to let us go home with a biliblanket (they told us this at 10:00am). So our morning nurse (a very nice young lady [and my nice I mean easy on the eyes {and by easy on the eyes I mean… well, you get the idea… I may or may not have a picture on her on my phone ;) }]) came in to tell us the medical company that we were getting the blanket from wouldn’t be there until sometime between 2:00 – 3:00pm. No problem! All we wanted was for someone to let us know so that we could plan. And it helped that a smokin’ hot nurse was the one telling us this (it helped me… I can only assume it helped The Wife).

So that’s it. That’s my story. We ended up getting home around 3:30pm or so. I can tell you that I got so mad at the “hospital” that I agreed to get a vasectomy (something The Wife decided she wanted me to get about 39 weeks ago). More on that later. Let’s just say I’ve agreed in principle to getting a vasectomy because I want to make sure we never have to go back to that “hospital” again. I know what you’re thinking… Greg, what if you get a vasectomy and The Wife still gets pregnant? (It could happen)… What would you do then? Where would you have the baby? If I get that done and The Wife still gets pregnant, we will have that baby in a manger… or a free clinic… or at home… pretty much any place but that “hospital”.

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

This part of I’m just sayin… will return next week.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Home sweet home!

We are home now with Mary Ruth, Susie and Daniel. We got home yesterday (Sunday) afternoon around 3:30pm which gave me time to go to our friend Alan’s birthday party (he’s the son of a friend in our Sunday School class). The Wife and Daniel couldn’t go for obvious reasons and MR and Susie were with The In-Laws… so I went to represent the family. I missed half of it, but I enjoyed the part I was there for.

I know a lot of you are looking forward to my stories regarding our latest adventure into Hell, but I decided I would give myself a “cooling off period” before blasting the jackasses for what they put me/us through. Stay tuned. The funny thing is, based on previous experiences I’m sure the worst (billing) is yet to come.

The good news is I don’t have to worry about how much they bill us because I have recently received a number of emails from friends (mainly overseas) who have all offered to send me large sums of money. Of course, some of this money is theirs… they just need me to send them my checking account info so that they can cut through a bunch of red tape (I think we’ve all been there before). So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

I finished reading Passport Not Required: US Volunteers in the Royal Navy, 1939-1941. Very good book. Reading it helps one to realize why that generation is called the Greatest Generation. The book is about men (20-something of them… I don’t remember the exact number) who broke the law back in 1939-1941 by going to England… to join the Royal Navy in what at the time looked like a lost cause to many in this country. This was the first I’d seen anything about men going to join the Royal Navy, but I’ve seen things before about men going to join the Royal Air Force and I’ve read things about guys lying about their age so that they could join the US armed services (once we joined the war). We’re talking about war. Fighting with real guns and real bullets. A lot of guys died… a lot more probably wished they had. Of the guys in this book, some were young but there were a couple in their 40s and 50s. Some of these guys were rich, yet they went. Yes, some were “running away” from something, but let me tell you something… you can run away from something without going overseas to fight in a war for another country. I know of places now within this state that I could go and never be found… I’m sure back in 1939 there were a number of places throughout this country where one could go if they wanted to never be found. Anyway, this was a good book and we at I’m just sayin… recommend it to our readers.

I’m now reading Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan and so far I love it. I’m on chapter 11 right now and if the rest of the book is as good as what I’ve read so far, this book will be getting a very high rating from me.

I could wait until after the National Championship game to announce this, but I’ll go ahead and announce it now… The winner of the Bethany Providence Class College Basketball Tournament Pick’em is none other than I’m just sayin…!!!!!!! I would like to thank all of the teams I picked who won. I would also like to thank the other people in this group, including one person who had a commanding lead after two rounds only to have everything fall apart in the third round. Now the question isn’t will I win but by how much will I win. I don’t want to brag… so I guess there isn’t anything left to say on this subject.

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Staff Sergeant William James Bordelon (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on November 20, 1943 on Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands. His citation reads:

For valorous and gallant conduct above and beyond the call of duty as a member of an assault engineer platoon of the 1st Battalion, 18th Marines, tactically attached to the 2d Marine Division, in action against the Japanese-held atoll of Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands on 20 November 1943. Landing in the assault waves under withering enemy fire which killed all but 4 of the men in his tractor, S/Sgt. Bordelon hurriedly made demolition charges and personally put 2 pillboxes out of action. Hit by enemy machinegun fire just as a charge exploded in his hand while assaulting a third position, he courageously remained in action and, although out of demolition, provided himself with a rifle and furnished fire coverage for a group of men scaling the seawall. Disregarding his own serious condition, he unhesitatingly went to the aid of one of his demolition men, wounded and calling for help in the water, rescuing this man and another who had been hit by enemy fire while attempting to make the rescue. Still refusing first aid for himself, he again made up demolition charges and single-handedly assaulted a fourth Japanese machinegun position but was instantly killed when caught in a final burst of fire from the enemy. S/Sgt. Bordelon's great personal valor during a critical phase of securing the limited beachhead was a contributing factor in the ultimate occupation of the island, and his heroic determination throughout 3 days of violent battle reflects the highest credit upon the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Corporal Orlando Boss (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 3, 1864 at Cold Harbor, Virginia. His citation reads:

Rescued his lieutenant, who was lying between the lines mortally wounded; this under a heavy fire of the enemy.

Private John G. Bourke (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions from December 31, 1862 – January 1, 1863. His citation reads:

Gallantry in action.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

So THAT'S what those bolts were for...

I’m going to start today with a little “FYI” for all of you dads out there. When you put bunk beds together for your children and you end up with 5 “extra” bolts… there’s a good chance those weren’t really “extras”. Luckily for me, Mary Ruth only used the ladder one night before I realized “my” mistake and sent The Wife to Lowe’s to get me some bolts so I could fix the ladder. I say “my” because really, I think the company could have gone on and bolted the ladder. In the box, it looks like it’s already put together and ready to go. So they didn’t save any space by not having the bolts already in there… and I doubt they really saved that much time by not doing it. The miracle here is that MR didn’t fall off of it and get concussion number 3.

I hate pollen. I cut the grass Saturday (just the backyard) around 2:00 and spent the rest of the day sneezing almost non-stop. I can’t wait for Daniel to get here so he can start cutting grass.

By the way, we at I’m just sayin… would like to send a big “Thank you” to Mom for coming up two days in a row last week to help The Wife clean the house. Honestly, that’s two more days than I would spend cleaning something that very soon will have 3 children and 2 dogs living in it… but I appreciate the effort.

So, did you see that the Secret Service tape from when Ronald Reagan was shot has been released? There’s also a new book out (Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan) on the subject. Yes, I have it. It’s next on my list of books to read. While I am old enough to remember the Reagan presidency, I am too young to remember this assassination attempt. At the end of this article we see that “Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity and has been confined at a psychiatric hospital, granted increasing time outside in recent years”. I’m sorry… what? Count me in the group that isn’t real fond of “not guilty by reason of insanity”. Just because he’s crazy doesn’t mean he wasn’t shooting real bullets. It’s not like the guys who got shot were “ok” once it was decided the gunman was crazy… “Oh, he’s insane? Well then, I feel just great! Wow, I went from feeling like I was shot to feeling like I was just pinched a little”. I say lock him up in a tiny room and let him stay there for the rest of his life.

Great news for all of my Jewish readers out there… it looks like Pope Benedict XVI has decided Jews as a whole are not to blame for Jesus’ death. I’m a couple of weeks late announcing this, but I figured you’ve waited this long… a couple of more weeks wouldn’t matter that much. I, for one, didn’t realize this was still an issue. Part of me wishes there could have been some kind of modern day trial. I’d like to know what the law is regarding death followed 3 days later by resurrection. You have to think the defense would include at least a few hymns like: Because He Lives, Christ Arose, Christ the Lord is Risen Today, Christ Is Risen and, of course, Christ is Alive. I’m just sayin…

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Captain Hugh P. Boon (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions during the Civil War. His citation reads:

Capture of flag.

Lieutenant Joel Thompson Boone (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 19, 1918 in Vicinity Vierzy, France. His citation reads:

For extraordinary heroism, conspicuous gallantry, and intrepidity while serving with the 6th Regiment, U.S. Marines, in actual conflict with the enemy. With absolute disregard for personal safety, ever conscious and mindful of the suffering fallen, Surg. Boone, leaving the shelter of a ravine, went forward onto the open field where there was no protection and despite the extreme enemy fire of all calibers, through a heavy mist of gas, applied dressings and first aid to wounded marines. This occurred southeast of Vierzy, near the cemetery, and on the road south from that town. When the dressings and supplies had been exhausted, he went through a heavy barrage of large-caliber shells, both high explosive and gas, to replenish these supplies, returning quickly with a sidecar load, and administered them in saving the lives of the wounded. A second trip, under the same conditions and for the same purpose, was made by Surg. Boone later that day.

Private Nicholas Boquet (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on August 10, 1861 at Wilsons Creek, Missouri. His citation reads:

Voluntarily left the line of battle, and, exposing himself to imminent danger from a heavy fire of the enemy, assisted in capturing a riderless horse at large between the lines and hitching him to a disabled gun, saved the gun from capture.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tournament Picks

Before we get to my picks, let me say that sources have told me that Bliss is doing better. So keep praying that her health keeps improving.

I know I’m a little late with this, but here are the Official I’m just sayin… picks for the 2011 NCAA Tournament:

Round of 64 Winners
(1)Ohio State
(8)George Mason
(5)West Virginia

(10)Penn St.
(2)San Diego St.

(2)Notre Dame

(5)Kansas State
(6)St. John’s

Round of 32 Winners
(1)Ohio State

(2)San Diego St.

(2)Notre Dame

(5)Kansas State
(6)St. John’s

Sweet 16 Winners


(2)Notre Dame


Elite 8 Winners




Final Game
(3)Connecticut vs. (1)Kansas

National Champion

These picks were entered into a contest on Yahoo! that I doubt I will win… but you never know.

Although I did not pick them to make it to the Sweet 16, we at I’m just sayin… would like to send our congrats to our friend Clark for his Richmond Spiders making it this far.

Couples Retreat was a very funny movie. I recommend it.

I’m done reading The Roosevelts and the Royals by Will Swift. Pretty good book. It’s got some slow parts, but overall it’s a very interesting book. It gets an I’m just sayin… book recommendation. I’m now reading Passport Not Required: US Volunteers in the Royal Navy, 1939-1941 by Eric Dietrich-Berryman, Charlotte Hammond and R.E. White. I’m about half-way into it and so far, so good.

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

First Lieutenant Alexander Bonnyman, Jr. (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions from November 20-22, 1943 on Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Executive Officer of the 2d Battalion Shore Party, 8th Marines, 2d Marine Division, during the assault against enemy Japanese-held Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands, 20-22 November 1943. Acting on his own initiative when assault troops were pinned down at the far end of Betio Pier by the overwhelming fire of Japanese shore batteries, 1st Lt. Bonnyman repeatedly defied the blasting fury of the enemy bombardment to organize and lead the besieged men over the long, open pier to the beach and then, voluntarily obtaining flame throwers and demolitions, organized his pioneer shore party into assault demolitionists and directed the blowing of several hostile installations before the close of D-day. Determined to effect an opening in the enemy's strongly organized defense line the following day, he voluntarily crawled approximately 40 yards forward of our lines and placed demolitions in the entrance of a large Japanese emplacement as the initial move in his planned attack against the heavily garrisoned, bombproof installation which was stubbornly resisting despite the destruction early in the action of a large number of Japanese who had been inflicting heavy casualties on our forces and holding up our advance. Withdrawing only to replenish his ammunition, he led his men in a renewed assault, fearlessly exposing himself to the merciless slash of hostile fire as he stormed the formidable bastion, directed the placement of demolition charges in both entrances and seized the top of the bombproof position, flushing more than 100 of the enemy who were instantly cut down, and effecting the annihilation of approximately 150 troops inside the emplacement. Assailed by additional Japanese after he had gained his objective, he made a heroic stand on the edge of the structure, defending his strategic position with indomitable determination in the face of the desperate charge and killing 3 of the enemy before he fell, mortally wounded. By his dauntless fighting spirit, unrelenting aggressiveness and forceful leadership throughout 3 days of unremitting, violent battle, 1st Lt. Bonnyman had inspired his men to heroic effort, enabling them to beat off the counterattack and break the back of hostile resistance in that sector for an immediate gain of 400 yards with no further casualties to our forces in this zone. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Sergeant Robert Boody (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 5, 1862 at Williamsburg, Virginia and on May 2, 1863 at Chancellorsville, Virginia. His citation reads:

This soldier, at Williamsburg, Va., then a corporal, at great personal risk, voluntarily saved the lives of and brought from the battlefield 2 wounded comrades. A year later, at Chancellorsville, voluntarily, and at great personal risk, brought from the field of battle and saved the life of Capt. George B. Carse, Company C, 40th New York Volunteer Infantry.

Private Robert D. Booker (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 9, 1943 near Fondouk, Tunisia. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action. On 9 April 1943 in the vicinity of Fondouk, Tunisia, Pvt. Booker, while engaged in action against the enemy, carried a light machinegun and a box of ammunition over 200 yards of open ground. He continued to advance despite the fact that 2 enemy machineguns and several mortars were using him as an individual target. Although enemy artillery also began to register on him, upon reaching his objective he immediately commenced firing. After being wounded he silenced 1 enemy machinegun and was beginning to fire at the other when he received a second mortal wound. With his last remaining strength he encouraged the members of his squad and directed their fire. Pvt. Booker acted without regard for his own safety. His initiative and courage against insurmountable odds are an example of the highest standard of self-sacrifice and fidelity to duty.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Is it Friday already?

I don’t intend for this to be a once a week blog... it’s just worked out that way the past few weeks.

The Wife and I decided to join Netflix last week, so maybe we can start to catch up on our movie watching. Now I just need to remember what movies I wanted to see in the theatre but never did. The first movie we got and watched from Netflix is The Social Network. We both thought it was very good. Well worth watching. I think the movie we have at home now is Couples Retreat. One thing we have noticed is that it is interesting to see what kind of movies you’re willing to watch when cost (for all intents and purposes) is no longer an issue. You find yourself willing to put ______ movie on the list and give it a shot because, why not... you’re paying the monthly fee anyway.

It has been an interesting week. Just to recap:

My Labor Day 2nd cousin Bliss was admitted to the PICU with RSV (she and her family do not live in this area, so sadly she is not at the Children’s Hospital I recommend for all of my children and godchildren. She is, I’m sure, at a very capable hospital in the area where she lives). She is also profoundly deaf in both ears. So add her to your prayer list. Pray that God is with Greg’s Labor Day 2nd cousin Bliss... he’ll know what you mean.

My brother in law (not that one, the other one) was in a wreck which earned him an all expenses paid (by him and his insurance) trip to the hospital (not the one I have an issue with... a different one). I have to admit I’m not sure about all of his injuries because The Wife was telling me about all of them and honestly, my attention span just isn’t that long. And to be fair, even if I was the one in the hospital I really doubt I’d be able to remember all of my injuries. True story, The Wife goes with me to the doctor because if I go alone I won’t tell her everything the doctor said because I can’t remember all of it. I remember the big things (Will I or won’t I live?... Do I have to stay away from the kids?... When can I go back to work?... What do I need to do to get better?). But I don’t remember the little things like what it is that is wrong. Anyway, he got banged up pretty bad. Part of this may be because he is what we in the business call “small”. Not small height wise, but Men’s size small t-shirt small. I know what you’re thinking (because I thought it to)... but yes, they really do make and sell Men’s size small t-shirts. So let this be yet another lesson to all of you “healthy” people out there. He also had some jaw/teeth issues and had to have surgery yesterday. As far as I know, everything is ok. I haven’t been to see him yet because (for some strange reason) The Wife is scared that I will make fun of him and she doesn’t feel like this is the time for that. But I like Michael (he’s my favorite brother that The Wife has) so I’ll ask that you pray for him. Pray that he heals and that next time he remembers the seat belt only works if you use it.

Congrats to the James Island baseball team which has gotten off to a fast start to this season with a record of 5-1. The Trojans play Ft. Dorchester tonight. MR and I thought about going to it but have decided not to. We need a little more time to plan something like this and I found out too late about the game.

Got to see a Stingrays game Wednesday night with Jeremy, Danny and Michael (my banker, not my brother in law). It was a lot of fun. I think Danny was a little disappointed that he and Michael didn’t get on the Kiss Cam, but it was still fun.

Went golfing yesterday with Jeremy and Ross. We played in the Bill Williams Golf Tournament (it’s a fundraiser to raise money for the American Legion Post 147 Baseball program). We lost. I can’t say for sure, but I’m 99.9% sure that we came in dead last. But we had fun. We shot a 76 which isn’t great for a Captain’s Choice tournament but is still fun when you consider Jeremy and I usually shoot in the 110 range and Ross ain’t exactly Tiger Woods in his prime. The best part about the day wasn’t even the golf. Anyone who has organized one of these tournaments knows the real money is made not off of the teams but off of the Hole Sponsors. People go around and ask businesses to pay X amount of dollars (in this case, $100) to be a Hole Sponsor and have a sign with their company name on it put by either the tee box or the green. Well I hate going out and doing that kind of thing (asking the businesses for this), so I decided I would help out by being a Hole Sponsor. So the question was... what do I put on the sign? I came up with a bunch of different ideas that could really lead to some great things within the community... really raise awareness for different issues. But then I came up with an idea that was so great that I couldn’t fill out the form and write the check fast enough. I’m not sure how to get the picture of my sign from my phone to this blog, so I will just have to tell you about it. The sign has this:

This Hole Sponsored By
State Championships
Sonny – 0
Greg – 2

*Note: The sign had the name that our parents gave Sonny when he was born, but I knew if I put that on here you wouldn’t know who I was talking about. ;)

After the tournament, there were two signs that were being talked about. One was the sign in memory of Mr. Williams (who the tournament is named after and who died not too long ago) and the other... you guessed it... the other was the State Championships sign. I am not kidding when I tell you this might have been the best $100 I ever spent. And the best news is since neither of us is playing anymore, I can just use this same sign every year. It’s like the gift (to me) that keeps on giving (to me).

I am missing a work weekend at The Lake House this weekend and I’m a little sad about it. I enjoy these weekends because they usually provide me with some good material for my blog. The Official reason I am not able to make it is that The Wife is far enough along that she could go into labor at any moment and so it’s not a good idea for me to be 3 ½ hours away. The Unofficial (i.e. real) reason I am not able to make it is that my godson Lucas is being baptized at the 8:45am service this Sunday and I’m not about to miss that. So, the work must go on without me. Word is that No Name Teri (and her family) is going to be there. I trust they will keep my brother-in-law Brent away from any jobs that require cutting. I’m guessing Sonny will also be there (though I have not received conformation on this). I’m sure various cousins will also be there to help. I hope they are able to get everything done that they want to get done. And I hope Brent keeps all of his fingers.

Oh, speaking of The Wife giving birth, we now know Daniel will be here on March 28 at the latest. If he isn’t here by then, they are going to induce labor. I need to double check, but I think this will make us the Providence Record Holder of “You know where babies come from, right?” (a title currently held by our friends KC and LA over at Our Life). This title goes to the parents in our Sunday School class who have 2 children the closest in age. It looks like the gap between Susie and Daniel will be closer than the gap between Aubrey and Wyatt.

I have some other things I wanted to talk about today, but I have to get ready for MR and Daddy Camp Out In the Den Night (also known to some in my house as Scooby Get’s To Sleep In Daddy’s Bed Night).

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Major Richard I. Bong (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions from October 10 – November 15, 1944 over Borneo and Leyte. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty in the Southwest Pacific area from 10 October to 15 November 1944. Though assigned to duty as gunnery instructor and neither required nor expected to perform combat duty, Maj. Bong voluntarily and at his own urgent request engaged in repeated combat missions, including unusually hazardous sorties over Balikpapan, Borneo, and in the Leyte area of the Philippines. His aggressiveness and daring resulted in his shooting down 8 enemy airplanes during this period.

First Lieutenant Sylvester Bonnaffon, Jr. (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on October 27, 1864 at Boydton Plank Road, Virginia. His citation reads:

Checked the rout and rallied the troops of his command in the face of a terrible fire of musketry; was severely wounded.

Chief Watertender Robert Earl Bonney (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on February 14, 1910 aboard USS Hopkins. His citation reads:

While serving on board the U.S.S. Hopkins, Bonney displayed extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession on the occasion of the accident to one of the boilers of that vessel, 14 February 1910.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Thoughts while thinking about previous thoughts from last week

I hope you have had a chance to follow all of this Charlie Sheen stuff. It’s been cracking me up. If you haven’t followed it, listen to some of the podcasts from the TKS from early this week (and last Friday). Great stuff.

My little buddy Lucas has been sick. I would tell you to pray that he gets better but word is he is feeling better so now I will ask you to pray thanking God for making him better. How bad was it? He had to go last Saturday to my favorite Children’s Hospital (the only one I’m just sayin... sends our children and children of our friends to) and spend a couple of nights there. “But Greg,” you ask, “weren’t you and Jeremy going to the Winthrop game last Saturday?” Yes, we were... but we ended up missing it because Lucas was so sick. Jeremy, of course, had to go with him to the hospital and I very well couldn’t go up to Rock Hill and enjoy a basketball game with Lucas sick in the hospital... so we missed it. Turns out that was ok because Winthrop lost... but that’s neither here nor there. The fact is, Lucas is feeling better. I think they had a good experience at the hospital because, like I would have done, they threw around our friend Jen’s name like it was going out of style. I’m telling you, her name is worth more than gold in that hospital. I don’t know how she got the power that she has... so I can only imagine that she got it by walking up to the biggest, baddest person there on her first day and just punched them in the face and said “The is my hospital” and after that everyone fell in line.

I will ask you to pray for my brother-in-law Brent who (sources tell I’m just sayin...) cut his finger pretty bad while cutting a chocolate bar. I have two thoughts on this... 1) Brent has been doing P90X and you’ll have to take my word (and the word of his cut finger) that it is working. 2) This wouldn’t happen if he was fat because fat people don’t cut chocolate bars... they eat the whole thing (or if using it for baking something, they use the whole thing).

As you know, there is a romantic side of me that likes to think that there is justice in this world. That in the end, good always wins. Then there is the side of me that reads this. That article is about the ruling by the US Supreme Court that says the West Baptist Cult’s protests at funeral services is covered under the First Amendment. The WBCult won 8-1... showing me that only one person on that court is able to use the common sense God gave them. I’m pretty sure this is a case of smart people out-thinking themselves. Listen, I’m all for the First Amendment. I love the freedom it grants us and I’m well aware that it also covers those I don’t agree with. I can accept that. But I cannot accept what these people are doing and I cannot accept that what they are doing is covered under free speech. I’ve been so pissed about this ruling that I waited to post something about it and I’m still pissed. I’ve got to tell you, I honestly fear this will end up leading to some bad things. I’m sure a lot of people out there were waiting... willing to give the US Supreme Court a chance to do the right thing in this case. But if the law is too blind to know right from wrong, I would not be shocked to see people take things into their own hands. Let’s be honest here, these types of “protests” wouldn’t have happened at Vito Corleone’s funeral, because after about 5 minutes there wouldn’t be any protesters. I was driving home thinking about this last night and I had a very nice moment where I thought it would be great to start a non-profit organization made up of a large group of people to follow The Cult around and set up at their protests and drown them out by singing Jesus Loves Me over and over. My next thought was much better (and cheaper) it would be to just have a large group of people meet up with The Cult at there next “protest” and... well... let’s just say, make sure there are no more protests at funerals. After a good nights sleep, I’m still 50/50 on which idea I like better. And if I were a cop, I’m not so sure I would stop anyone from going after this group. Listen, the First Amendment protects you from the government. I don’t remember any part of the First Amendment saying you have the right to say whatever you want to people and not worry about getting your ass kicked for it. The only way I’d be ok with the ruling would be if they said “We can’t stop you from doing this... but we’re not going to stop anyone else from stopping you from doing this... if you know what we mean”. I don’t want to go on and on about this... but it’s not like all speech is covered by the First Amendment anyway. The often used example is you can’t yell “Fire!” in a theatre. I think they missed a chance to do the right thing.

Winthrop Update: Winthrop lost on Tuesday to VMI. Basketball season for me is over. :(

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Boatswain’s Mate William Bond (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 19, 1864 while on board the USS Kearsarge. His citation reads:

Served on board the U.S.S. Kearsarge when she destroyed the Alabama off Cherbourg, France, 19 June 1864. Carrying out his duties courageously, Bond exhibited marked coolness and good conduct and was highly recommended for his gallantry under fire by his divisional officer.

Staff Sergeant James Leroy Bondsteel (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 24, 1969 at An Loc Province, Republic of Vietnam. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Bondsteel distinguished himself while serving as a platoon sergeant with Company A, near the village of Lang Sau. Company A was directed to assist a friendly unit which was endangered by intense fire from a North Vietnamese Battalion located in a heavily fortified base camp. S/Sgt. Bondsteel quickly organized the men of his platoon into effective combat teams and spearheaded the attack by destroying 4 enemy occupied bunkers. He then raced some 200 meters under heavy enemy fire to reach an adjoining platoon which had begun to falter. After rallying this unit and assisting their wounded, S/Sgt. Bondsteel returned to his own sector with critically needed munitions. Without pausing he moved to the forefront and destroyed 4 enemy occupied bunkers and a machine gun which had threatened his advancing platoon. Although painfully wounded by an enemy grenade, S/Sgt. Bondsteel refused medical attention and continued his assault by neutralizing 2 more enemy bunkers nearby. While searching one of these emplacements S/Sgt. Bondsteel narrowly escaped death when an enemy soldier detonated a grenade at close range. Shortly thereafter, he ran to the aid of a severely wounded officer and struck down an enemy soldier who was threatening the officer's life. S/Sgt. Bondsteel then continued to rally his men and led them through the entrenched enemy until his company was relieved. His exemplary leadership and great personal courage throughout the 4-hour battle ensured the success of his own and nearby units, and resulted in the saving of numerous lives of his fellow soldiers. By individual acts of bravery he destroyed 10 enemy bunkers and accounted for a large toll of the enemy, including 2 key enemy commanders. His extraordinary heroism at the risk of his life was in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Lieutenant Henry G. Bonebrake (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 1, 1865 at Five Forks, Virginia. His citation reads:

As 1 of the first of Devin's Division to enter the works, he fought in a hand-to-hand struggle with a Confederate to capture his flag by superior physical strength.