Daily Wisdom

December 29, 2006

Thanks To A Vet

It was with great pleasure today that I met a returning vet. George is an employee of a company that provides services to my own company. He is a great young fella who treated me with the utmost respect.

During our conversation I learned that he has just returned home from serving in Kuwait and Iraq. He operated a truck-mounted turret gun while in Iraq. It sounds like he or others in his unit might have run into an IED or two based on his comment that, "We were gettin' blown up over there".

He's happy to be home again with his young family and is looking to get a good start in life. Naturally, I thanked him for his service and wished him well. Unfortunately, our conversation ended all too quickly as he had to leave for his next account. Perhaps I will meet with him again in the weeks ahead.

December 26, 2006

Pray For President Bush

It is a moment of decision for President Bush as he contemplates a new set of tactics in the Iraq war. At such a moment in history, we ought to be praying for him.

We also ought to pray that God will guide our leaders and give them wisdom. Let us pray that our leaders will humble themselves and seek God's will. Let us pray that those who seek to kill innocent Iraqis will be scattered like chaff before the wind. Let us pray that peace will come soon to this war-weary land.

December 23, 2006


Merry Christmas everyone! May you have a Blessed Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year in 2007. Remember to keep in prayer those among us who are sick or in need. Pray especially for our troops. They stand in harm's way, that we might be able to enjoy these holidays in peace.

"Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." --John 15:13

December 17, 2006


A Poem by Michael Marks

I had no Christmas spirit
when I breathed a weary sigh,
And looked across the table where
the bills were piled too high.

The laundry wasn't finished
and the car I had to fix,
my stocks were down another point,
the Lions lost by six.

And so with only minutes
till my son got home from school,
I gave up on the drudgery
and grabbed a wooden stool.

The burdens that I carried
were about all I could take,
and so I flipped the TV on
to catch a little break.

I came upon a desert scene
in shades of tan and rust,
no snowflakes hung upon the wind,
just clouds of swirling dust.

And where the reindeer should have stood
before a laden sleigh,
Eight Humvees ran a column
right behind an M1A.

A group of boys walked past the tank,
not one was past his teens.
Their eyes were hard as polished flint,
their faces drawn and lean.

They walked the street in armor
with their rifles shouldered tight,
Their dearest wish for Christmas,
just to have a silent night.

Other soldiers gathered,
hunkered down against the wind,
to share a scrap of mail
and dreams of going home again.

There wasn't much at all to put
their lonely hearts at ease,
They had no Christmas turkey,
just a pack of MREs.

They didn't have a garland
or a stocking I could see,
they didn't need an ornament--
they lacked a Christmas tree.

They didn't have a present
even though it was tradition;
the only boxes I could see
were labeled "ammunition."

I felt a little tug and found
my son now by my side.
He asked me what it was I feared,
and why it was I cried.

I swept him up into my arms
and held him oh so near,
And kissed him on the forehead
as I whispered in his ear.

"There's nothing wrong, my little son,
for safe we sleep tonight.
Our heroes stand on foreign land
to give us all the right..."

"to worry on the things in life
that mean nothing at all,
instead of wondering if we
will be the next to fall."

He looked at me as children do
and said, "It’s always right,
to thank the ones who help us and
perhaps that we should write."

And so we pushed aside the bills
and started to draft a note,
to thank the many far from home,
and this is what we wrote:

"God bless you all and keep you safe,
and speed your way back home.
Remember that we love you so,
and that you're not alone."

"The gift you give you share with all,
a present every day,
you give the gift of liberty
and that we can't repay."


Michael Marks: "I freely submit this poem for reprint without reservation -- this is an open and grateful tribute to the men and women who serve every day to keep.

December 13, 2006

The View From Above

I promised that someday I would share the photos of my glider outing, so here they are. These pictures were taken in May, 1990. The location is the Ith Hills of Central Germany...

Getting Prepared

My Pilot & His Father

Hans Udo (on the right) was a business colleague of mine. He was a terrific friend and host. He loved to travel, so his nickname was "Worldwide". He's retired now. He took me into East Germany in February of 1990 shortly after the wall came down in Berlin. That was still before the re-unification. It was exciting to visit a communist country. Those will be pictures for another day. Udo's son on the left was my pilot. He now flies for Lufthansa.

A Glider Take-Off

At this flying club they don't use planes to tow gliders into the air. They use a large truck-mounted cable winch. A VW Beetle is used to unwind the cable and take it out to the glider. They hook the cable onto the glider. When the pilot gives the signal the winch starts up, pulling the glider into the air. When the glider reaches a certain altitude, the cable is released and a small parachute (which you can see in the photo) slows the descent of the cable back down to earth.

A View From Above... Escherhausen Germany

Hawkeye Checks Out A Single-Seater

Circling To Gain Altitude

Last Flight Of The Day

December 11, 2006

U.N. Says Global Warming is B.S.

NEW YORK, NY -- According to a new report from the United Nations, cows and other livestock are the primary contributors to global warming and other environmental problems.

"Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems,” senior UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) official Henning Steinfeld said. “Urgent action is required to remedy the situation."

The Cattlemen's Beef Board and National Cattlemen's Beef Association responded to the report saying... "BEEF... It's What's For Dinner!"

According to the report, livestock production accounts for just 9 per cent of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases. It generates 65 per cent of the nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2. Most of this comes from manure (i.e., cow flops, buffalo chips, meadow muffins, or... B.S.)

And it accounts for 37 per cent of all methane (23 times as warming as CO2), which is largely produced by the digestive system of ruminants (that is, flatulence, "wind", passing gas, or... bull farts).

It also produces 64 per cent of ammonia, which contributes significantly to acid rain. The report says grazing further contributes to deforestation, erosion, and desertification. Apparently the run-off from cattle ranches also contributes to water pollution.


A full copy of the report entitled "Livestock’s Long Shadow" can be found HERE. The U.N. denies the claims of some critics that the report was compiled largely by a group of self-serving vegetarians.

December 03, 2006

On My Watch Tonight

Credits: Let's Say Thanks

In 1992, Mike Corrado bought his first guitar, learned 3 chords and started writing songs while at The Citadel. He then graduated and joined the Marine Corps to lead our nations finest and see the world. His tours – both of duty and concert – would take him around the world, serving and performing from the North Carolina Coast to Iraq. Along the way, Mike crossed musical paths with Edwin McCain and John Mayer.

Then, on September 11, the world and Mike’s band was forever changed. Mike and his fiancé, a flight medic in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, were mobilized back to active duty. In 2002, Mike continued to train with the Marines and prepare for deployment. He married his wife Kate, who soon after was called to Afghanistan. During all this, Mike penned the song "On My Watch Tonight," a story of a Marine's journey from boot camp to the front lines.

In 2004, Mike re-recorded “On My Watch Tonight” and dropped off a copy to Greg Brady at WRHT 96.3 – “The HOT FM” – in North Carolina. “On My Watch Tonight” was posted on the HOT Morning Show's Web site and began receiving up to 5,000 downloads a week. Calls and e-mails continued to flood the station as military members, family members and fans were downloading the song and sending it to service members and loved ones across the country and deployed around the world. “On My Watch Tonight” was quickly becoming the anthem for U.S. troops deployed around the world and those here at home who keep a watchful eye...