Archive for December, 2008

Our twenty ninth anniversary was on the 28th of December. We ended up staying at home just enjoying the day and never left the house though we probably should have gone on to church like I first had thought. It was in the exact same church we go to that 29 years earlier I had stood at the alter and said my “I do’s”. Then on our very first wedding anniversary she gave me a gift like no other. She gave me a son, so it is his birthday as well as our anniversary. I am so lucky to have found a woman who would stick by me even when I did not deserve it. I could never find anyone else like her and wouldn’t even consider trying. I would be totally lost without her. Hopefully I can stick around on this earth to make another twenty nine years with her.

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic at rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

‘What are you doing?’ I asked without fear,
‘Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve.’
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.

To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light.
Then he sighed and said ‘It’s really alright
I’m out here by choice, I’m here every night.’
‘It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at Pearl Harbor on a day in December,
Then he sighed, ‘That’s a Christmas Gram always remembers.’
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam’
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue. . . American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother. . .
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that his flag will not fall.’

‘So go back inside,’ he said, ‘harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be alright.’
‘But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
Give you money,’ I asked ‘or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.’

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
‘just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.’

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN – 30th Naval Construction Regiment – OIC, Logistics Cell One, Al Taqqadum, Iraq

I have been very busy the past week moving to a new server for my hosting company. I ran into a snag with my old provider when they allowed a rather insidious script to be injected across all of my sites. It slips in and changes permissions on files. It masquerade itself as a yahoo counter but attacks all your files and will break your rss feeds. If it attacks your wordpress blog the easiest way to deal with it will be to delete everything and start anew. Make sure you save your wp-config.php files information but not the code. But if you have a custom theme you can’t do that and will need to crawl every  page with a text crawler like TextCrawler to search your files or you would be searching individually for days. Depending upon plugins you will have a couple hundred or so files that will be infected the code looks like this;

!--Yahoo! Counter

<!--Yahoo! Counter

This is not all of the code but if you need it just let me know and I will hook you up with a copy to use for searching your site with. So far all the php files have had one code and the html files have had the code that is generated into the webpages that starts “<!–Yahoo! Counter” without the ” marks. I have cleared this one and Brainfoggles and have a couple more to go so I can migrate to the new servers clean of infections.

I got myself way covered up trying to work out some problems with rss feeds yesterday and never got around to what I had on my mind to speak about. That is the fact that December 7 is the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. I guess it touches me more having lived there as a young pup and seeing first hand some of the signs of destruction that were still there. Like a pair of battleships with their hulls to the sunshine like beached whales or visiting the Arizona Memorial and reading over the names of the men who perished there. We could even visit Ford Island and see bullet holes in some of the old hangers there. On the anniversary I will query people old enough to remember the day and they always remember what the were doing that day. Like the elder woman a few years ago who told me all about coming home from church and her mother frying chicken for Sunday dinner or my mother in law who remembers vividly going to the movies and walking two miles home the night of the attack. Try it for yourself and see what you learn from our elders. It might surprise you.

As we get older it seems that health related issues are more common. One way of helping your body cope is to eat a diet of the right foods. Momma always told us to eat our veggies and not eat too much junk. Now it appears that her advise is rooted in science too as a researcher in Sweden has published a paper that shows there is a link from eating junk foods to abnormal brain activity. The papers were published by a by Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, and show how a diet that is rich in sugar, fat and cholesterol can increase the risk of dementia. “We now suspect that a high intake of fat and cholesterol in combination with genetic factors … can adversely affect several brain substances, which can be a contributory factor in the development of Alzheimer’s” the report says. There is also some evidence that better treatments may be in store for the future but for right now all they can do, is keep doing research so they can get the proper advise to give the public on this terrible disease.