Monday, December 31, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
The main view. The little bottle is a wildlife scent to mask our human smell...my dad knows all the tricks.
Well, we didn't see any deer on our two hunts, so I wanted to at least shoot a little. We went to the range and set this target at 100 yards. The 10 circle is about 3" diameter and then another inch each one out so all 6 shots were within a 7" diameter. Not too bad for not shooting at a target in several years. As you can tell, I'm enjoying my vacation with family and friends. Hope everyone is as well. Have a very Merry Christmas and don't forget to take a few minutes to remember the real reason for the season.
As you can tell, I'm enjoying my vacation with family and friends. Hope everyone is as well. Have a very Merry Christmas and don't forget to take a few minutes to remember the real reason for the season.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Some of you know bits and pieces of the story, but for those who don't and to fill in the gaps for the rest, I'll tell the whole story.
Mimi is a graphic artist. Last summer she was hired by a friend to help design some items for his new Cajun restaurant in Texas. She had no idea what Cajun was, so she started Googling Cajun. Link lead to a link that lead to another link and eventually she stumbled upon this blog. She read all my post over a couple of months and then eventually decided to leave a comment. At the same time she also sent me a message on MySpace. We started chatting, but due to me planning on being there for another year at the time, I just look at it as another blog friend. We found out we went to the same church and even new a lot of the same people, but due to it being a very big church we had never crossed paths.
Well, as some of you will remember in a week's time I went from thinking I'd be in Iraq for another year to on my way home in a week. Being I was now coming home, I decided to ask Mimi to dinner. We had our first date on Sept. 5th, 2006 and she chose a sushi restaurant in Vienna. We have been dating ever since.
Around May, God gave me a peace that I could ask her to marry me but also felt that it had to be after her trip to Africa, June-Aug. In June, I got permission from her dad. Earlier I was offered another job in Iraq and we felt peace that I was supposed to take it which meant I would be gone when she got back. The original plan was to come home for leave in October and propose then, but that didn't work out. So, then I changed plans to do it during my leave this month.
I had originally planned to do it the day after I got home (today) at the end of our 10th date from the book, 10 Great Dates Before You Say 'I Do'. In order to keep her guessing as I was pretty sure she was expecting it over these two weeks, I developed a little covert plan to throw her off and make her think it would happen Wednesday. That plan was working great, but due to the nature of the date I had planned for today, I figured she may guess before. So, I decided to change plans again and do it the night I got home.
That presented a challenge in that I didn't have the ring yet. I ordered it before I left, but it was still in the safe at the store. Thankfully the person who helped me is a good friend, so she allowed another friend of mine to pick it up for me. Then he and I developed an excuse to have him meet me at the airport as well. Obviously Mimi was at the airport, so we had previously set up that after a few minutes of welcome homes, I'd say I needed to go to the restroom and he would as well. Once there he handed the ring off to me and I put it in my backpack and headed home.
Mimi didn't plan anything for last night figuring I would be tired from travelling so just had planned for us to have a quiet evening at home. I told her that I would only change one part of the plan in that I wanted to go out to eat.
I took her to the sushi restaurant we had our first date under the auspices that this was the first place we ate together when I came home last year, so I wanted to eat there again. She was happy and sad about that choice because she was planning on a similar surprise to the same restaurant later in the week, but had no idea of what was coming next.
After dinner, we walked out and she started to walk towards the car, but I said let's walk a little first. I walked her down the sidewalk about 20 yards and started telling her about that first night that we met. I had gotten there first and was waiting in the restaurant. I first saw her when she stepped onto the sidewalk right where we were standing. I said I didn't know that at that moment I would be seeing my future wife for the first time and dropped to my knee and asked her to marry me.
Now this is where the story makes a very unexpected but in hindsight funny turn. Apparently I did my covert planning way to well because she was COMPLETELY surprised. So much so that she thought I was joking. She even got down on the ground as well and picked me up and said NO and tried to start walking back to the car. She told me after that she thought I was joking around because she had just recently helped a friend buy a ring for his future fiancee and she thought I had taken that ring which is still at my place and was joking around with her.
So I stopped her from walking away because I also sensed she didn't realize what I had just asked her and asked her again. Then it started setting in that I wasn't joking and she asked are you being serious? When I told I was absolutely serious and asked her a THIRD time this time putting the ring on her finger as I asked, she emphatically said YES!
Thanks to everyone for your prayers over these last 15 months and please continue to pray for us that through our engagement and marriage, we model Christ and always seek to serve Him through our relationship.
Friday, December 14, 2007
I'll probably be pretty light on the posts for the next two weeks with the usual caveat, unless something major happens. I'm looking forward to spending time with Mimi, friends and family, so don't plan on being on here that much.
Also, just as a teaser, I'm planning on making the Cajun Tiger presidential endorsement on January 2nd, so stay tuned =)
Thursday, December 13, 2007
His mom contracted a disease during pregnancy and the doctor said the treatment would cause irreparable harm to the unborn baby and recommended abortion. She refused. Well as many college football fans know if Tim is irreparably harmed, we would hate to see if he wasn't! Now you know why his first line of his acceptance speech was to thank his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because had his parents not had that same faith, he very well may not have been accepting that trophy as he wouldn't even be alive today.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I just finished reading these two books, Unveiling Islam & Christian Jihad, by the same authors who are brothers, Ergun Caner & Emir Caner, who were raised Muslim and both converted to Christianity. They offer a very unique perspective on both religions.
In Unveiling Islam they give a very accurate history of Islam from Muhammad to the present. It is a very well laid out look at it's history and beliefs. Their biggest goal of the book is to equip Christians with the tools needed to be more effective witnesses to Muslims.
In Christian Jihad they also give a very accurate history of Christianity in reference particularly to the Crusades and the Inquisition. One thing I didn't know that I learned by reading is that Pope Urban II, the pope who called the first Crusade, actually used as a part of his rallying call that if the crusader fought, he was assured salvation whether he died or not. This is where they got the title of the book as they show these two very dark spots on Christian history completely distorted the Bible. Unlike the Koran which actually says if you die in battle you go to paradise, that is absolutely no where in the Bible.Their main goal for this book was to give Christians a precise history of our past shortcomings, especially when the church and the state where too tightly linked for warfare, in hopes that we don't repeat them again due to those events still being a very hard obstacle to overcome in many parts of the world.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
This is something I had planned to do this weekend, but due to reasons mentioned above was unable. I hope to make it a regular addition at the least weekly. After reading the books, The Costly Call and being challenged by a Christian brother, I've been convicted a lot lately to pray for Christians who are facing major persecution for just being Christians and to share their plight to inspire others to hopefully do the same. Here is my first one:
SUDAN (Compass) A suicide bomber detonated a grenade after approaching 34 youth holding a church meeting in Upper Nile State in September. Five young people were killed and 20 were injured in the blast.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
When the hostages had been released and their alleged captor arrested, a regal-looking Hillary Rodham Clinton strolled out of her Washington home, the picture of calm in the face of crisis.
The image, broadcast just as the network news began, conveyed the message a thousand town hall meetings and campaign commercials strive for—namely, that the Democratic presidential contender can face disorder in a most orderly manner.
Along with taking charge while giving the professionals free rein, Clinton offered up a third dimension to her crisis character: humanity. She said she felt "grave concern" when she first heard the news of the hostage-taking.
"It affected me not only because they were my staff members and volunteers, but as a mother, it was just a horrible sense of bewilderment, confusion, outrage, frustration, anger, everything at the same time," Clinton said.
It was a thawing moment for a stoic figure who once snapped that she opted for professional life instead of staying home to bake cookies.
She buttressed it with one final message. Clinton sought to use the sad moment as a national teaching opportunity, another skill often employed by presidents. (emphasis added)
Ok, so what do you think? Is this a campaign piece from her campaign trying to promote her candidacy or is it an extremely biased news report? Of course you already know the answer. This has got to be one of the most biased "news" articles I have ever read. The "reporter" may as well just have written a mailer for the Clinton campaign and it would have sounded exactly the same. All she did was stay out of the way and let the law enforcement do their job and then she held a press conference. It wasn't like she was one of the hostages. She was 100s of miles away in complete safety. And people wonder why conservatives think the MSM is biased???
Also Blogging: Mike's America
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Orange: Va Tech vs Kansas - I absolutely disagree with this one and think Mizzou has every right to be upset. Kansas lost to Mizzou, is ranked lower than Mizzou, didn't play in the conference championship and had a absolutely cupcake schedule with only three teams on their schedule with winning records and one top 25 team, Mizzou. VA Tech will slaughter Kansas.
Fiesta: OU vs WV - should be a good match up with both QBs healthy but I think OU will easily defeat them.
Rose: USC vs Illinois - I didn't think the Illini would be eligible or I would have predicted this game and left Az St out of my earlier predictions. This will be an interesting matchup. Both teams have played excellent in the last weeks, but with a month off, you never know. I'll take USC but a lot closer than everyone will be predicting.
Sugar: Georgia vs Hawaii - Hawaii will be given a very rude awakening to a real conference.
Championship: LSU vs Ohio St. - well ya'll know my prediction for this one =) If LSU plays to their potential and with hopefully Dorsey back at full strength and Doucet, I honestly don't think this will even be close. GEAUX TIGERS!!!
How it should be:
Orange: VA Tech vs WV
Rose: USC vs Mizzou
Fiesta: OU vs Ariz St.
Sugar: Georgia vs Hawaii
Championship: Ohio St. vs LSU
How I think it will be:
Orange: Georgia vs WV
Rose: USC vs Mizzou
Fiesta: OU vs Ariz St
Sugar: LSU vs Hawaii
Championship: Ohio St. vs VA Tech
I think Georgia and Kansas will both be rightfully jumped being neither of them made it to their conference championship game. I think Mizzou, despite having two loses both to OU, deserves a BCS game more than Kansas b/c Kansas shouldn't even be in top 10 as I expressed in previous post. I think Florida should be in a game instead of Ariz St., but due to BCS rules the most you can have is two teams from one conference which leaves Florida out. And finally as LSU should jump VA Tech due to LSU CRUSHING them head to head, being the SEC Champs, and for having the toughest schedule of all the teams. We'll see how close I am. I'm obviously hoping for the way I think it should be.
Before last night the top 10 BCS was:
1. Missouri - they got CRUSHED by Oklahoma as I knew they would just like last time. They have only played five top 25 teams and only one that is a legitimate top 10, OU twice. No, Kansas is WAY overrated as proven last weekend and shouldn't be in top 10.
2. West Virginia - they lost last night to unranked Pittsburgh. Granted I think they would have won had thier star QB not gotten hurt, but that's the breaks. They haven't played a top 10 team all season with only 4 top 25 teams.
3. Ohio St. - they will be the new #1 team even though they too have not played one top 10 team and only 4 top 25 teams. They have no conference championship game which should bar any team from the top game but that's for another day.
4. Georgia - they didn't win the SEC Championship, or even the SEC East to make it to the SEC Championship game. How can you play in the National Championship if you didn't even play in your conference's championship game. However, the BCS has already proven you don't have to win your conference to go the the BCS Champ game - '03 Oklahoma. They also have only played 4 top 25 teams and no top 10 teams.
5. Kansas - as I said earlier they shouldn't even be in the top 10 much less this high. Until they played Missouri they had played only 1 top 25 team. Their schedule is a complete joke. Only 3 teams on their schedule are even above .500.
6. Va Tech - they have played two top 10 teams and lost to them both, one being CRUSHED by LSU and a total of 5 top 25 teams.
7. LSU - hands down the toughest schedule playing 7 top 25 teams and 2 top ten teams, beating both of them. Only losses were both in triple overtime. The SEC Champs which is the toughest conference by all measures.
8. USC - Also two top 10 teams but only 4 total top 25. They also have no conference championship game.
9. Oklahoma - Only 3 top 25 teams and one top 10 team in their conference championship game which they crushed so that just shows how weak the other half of their conference is.
10. Florida - Also only 4 top 25 teams and one top 10 team. And also was third in SEC East.
So that means LSU will have to jump three teams, two being idle which is not unprecedented. The hardest to jump will be VA Tech being they played yesterday and won their conference champ game pretty handily. Only argument there would be is that we CRUSHED them head to head. Let the fun begin! GEAUX TIGERS!!!
Saturday, December 01, 2007
I've just finished reading both of these absolutely amazing books. They are both a compilation of 20 stories each of first person accounts of the persecution faced when converting to Christianity around the world. The first book is a story of 20 different people raised as Muslims from 18 different countries. The second has 8 stories from former Muslims, 4 from former Hindus, 4 from former Buddhist, and 4 from former Secularist/Communist.
The saddest thing was that the majority of the persecution was a result of their family members who disowned them and then turned them over to authorities. These books chronicle everything from beheadings, to major torture, to abandonment and everything in between. They are two of the most heart wrenching books I have ever read. It will definitely challenge you to pray for those around the world who accept Christ from these backgrounds and in countries that don't allow such freedom.
However, that is not the whole story. The thing that the books and stories have done the most for me is challenge me big time to look at my life and what I'm willing to do in order to tell others of Christ, no matter the cost. Every one of these people never once faltered in sharing Christ despite and often times in the midst of brutal torture. They counted everything as lost except that they had Christ and their lives are a living testimony of that faith.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Being this is my blog and I can write about whatever I want, I'll take this opportunity to do a little praising God for an awesome girlfriend! Mimi has taken such great care of me while I'm here. She has sent me almost weekly care packages and things I've needed like a jacket due to not anticipating it getting this cold. In the last package she sent me was included the handmade puzzle above. She never ceases to amaze me with her creativity! As I mentioned in my Thanksgiving post of things I'm thankful, I am so thankful to have her in my life and just wanted to share that with my blog world again =)
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
They also don't even report accurately on the election, plenty of which had absolutely nothing to do with Bush or America or Iraq. They make the claim that the new PM will remove Australia's 500 troops. However, the truth is they are only talking about removing the 500 combat troops currently here, not all the troops as the report says. And they wonder why they are accused of liberal bias!
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
So, let's give the Dems a little lesson in history. How long did it take the revolutionary forces to defeat the British, stand up a stable government and elect a President?
First shot was fired in April 1775 and the Treaty of Paris was officially signed in January 1784, ending the war. The final draft of the Constitution was signed September 1787 and officially ratified in July 1788. The first Presidential election was held in February 1789 and in April 1789, George Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States of America.
By my count that is nearly 9 years of war, then over 4 years before a central government was fully stood up, and then almost another year before the first election. That is a total of 14 years from first shot fired to first President. By those numbers, Iraq is well ahead of pace as it hasn't even been 5 years yet since the first shots were fired and they already have a constitution and a President despite still being in the middle of a fight for their lives. They also have received no help from the Dems, but in fact the Dems' actions have helped the enemy over and over as I've discussed before due to the enemy using the words and actions of the Dems in their propaganda to keep the Iraqis in fear thus slowing progress on all levels.
When this war is won and Iraq has a stable government, both of which can happen if things are kept in their proper perspective, the Dems will try as hard as they can to take some credit, but they will get none!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Still have two more games left, but when your hopes are so high with the very real chance of making it to the national championship game, the SEC Championship and only a New Year's bowl game doesn't quite have the same appeal. Hopefully they will finish strong with an SEC Championship win and Sugar Bowl win and then start building for next year. That won't be an easy road though as I'm sure now the players hopes are just as dashed and they will have to dig deep to not give up on the season.
Update: Thanks to Southpaw in the comments section for reminding me that I wanted to give some props to McFadden as he definitely proved he should be in the Heisman mix with his performance as he ran all over the Tigers, especially in the red zone which has been our Achilles heel all season.
Friday, November 23, 2007
The problem with this argument is that if they are comparing say the 50 Tongan marines (who btw are some of the most professional, courteous and squared away troops I've ever met) who are currently here on Camp Victory and other bases to the approximately 180K US military personnel that is not comparing the right numbers. What they need to compare is percentage of total military.
The US has over a million total in the military so there total commitment is around 20%. Tonga's total military is 250 personnel, so they also have committed around 20% of their forces. Then to take it a step further if you compare total number of US military personal in Iraq with total population available for service in the US the percentage is 0.3% which is also the exact same when compared to Tonga.
All this to say that when you actually compare apples to apples, to say that our allies are any less committed then we are just because of a small number of troops being here, that is completely false.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
In 33 years this was my first Thanksgiving away from home. Not only was I not home, I wasn't even in the US due to being in the giant sandbox. Thankfully though the military went all out to make our Thanksgiving here on Camp Victory as special as possible. Here is a little taste of our Thanksgiving dinner.
Normally the servers are TCN's (Third Country Nationals), but today we were served by senior officers and senior NCOs (Non-Commissioned Officers). It was cool to be served turkey by a two star general =)
Following is a few pics of the decorations and food served sometimes both:
One of the decorations that caused many passerbys to ask why was there a Church for Thanksgiving. I guess they forget that the Pilgrims came for religious freedom and I also wonder who they think the Pilgrims were saying thanks to on the first thanksgiving!
I guess they were trying to help us feel like we were home b/c definitely nothing like this over here =)
Have no idea what a dragon has to do with Thanksgiving. Guess someone just wanted to show off their creative abilities.
While I was bummed to miss my first Thanksgiving at home, I still have plenty of things to be thankful for. Here is just a short list:
Hope everyone has a very blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
If this isn't enough proof that things are turning around in Iraq then I don't know what it will take. The NYTimes has this article on the FRONT PAGE. Of course they still leave open that it can all go back to bad at any minute, only give one sentence of credit to the surge, give most credit to the courage of Iraqis, and still refuse to admit al Qaida is in Iraq, but I'll take what I can get.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Nancy makes it to halfway point and Dan abandons his paddle due to faulty design and goes with the dog paddle method hoping to make up ground
Fun times for all!
This is wrong on so many levels. First, the Democrats do not get to make appointments. That is the role of the President. Second, the President has full constitutional authority to make recess appointments. Third, the Senate won't actually be "in session." He is going to hold the session "open" by using procedural means to hold nonvoting sessions. That means that not a single Senator will have to be present and they can all enjoy their Thanksgiving break at home. If no Senator is present, isn't that the definition of being on recess?
I hope that if Reid tries this that the President will challenge it all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary as it is a very clear violation of the intent of the President's constitution authority. Here is another tactic that I'm not exactly sure how it would work procedurally but I think there could be another tactic the Repubs in the Senate could employ. I'll check with a friend of mine who knows all the Robert's Rules stuff and correct this if I'm wrong, but I think the Repubs could either force the Dems to stay with quorum calls or risk losing a vote to approve the appointments.
You have to give them one thing. Even after going 0-40 so far on bills to end the war unconstitutionally, they are nothing if not persistent. I guess they have to do something to make it appear to their very active anti-war base they are doing what they were elected to do. It's just too bad that they are more concerned with getting re-elected than they are in making sure the troops have the equipment they need to come home alive and the time they need to come home victorious.
Friday, November 16, 2007
I just finished a third book by Brother Andrew. It is actually his first book as I read them in reverse order, Secret Believers, Light Force and now God's Smuggler. As the previous two have, this book has challenged me on so many levels, the biggest of which for this one is my faith. He gives so many examples from his personal life of provisions and protection that can only be explained as God's supernatural intervention.
Brother Andrew earned the nickname, God's Smuggler, as he for many years smuggled Bibles into the former Soviet Union. Now, as he explains in the next two books, he has moved to the Muslim nations. I love the acronym he uses for Islam...I Sincerely Love All Muslims.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Now of course I can already hear the complaints from the Kansas fans as to why they aren't even in the top 2 much less not #1 being they are undefeated and LSU, Oregon and Oklahoma each have one loss. All I have to say is try playing more than one ranked team in your first 10 games then let's talk. If they beat Missouri and then go to the Big 12 Championship game and beat Oklahoma (both very big ifs) then I'd give them props for the #2 slot above Oregon but still not #1 above LSU.
Here's why. If they win out, including the SEC Championship game, LSU will have played 7 top ranked teams (possibly 8 if Arkansas jumps up with a win next weekend), beating 6 (or 7) of them and losing in triple overtime to only 1 of them. Oregon has only played 3 and the PAC-10 doesn't have a championship game, so they have no more ranked teams on their schedule. Oklahoma has only played 2 with one more potential left in the Big 12 Championship game and their loss was to an unranked team. Kansas, as shown above, has only played one top 25 to date with two more potential ones down the road. West Virginia only has 2 so far with 1 left.
All that to say if LSU wins out there is no doubt that they should be the #1 team going into the Sugar Bowl due to strength of schedule alone.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
There is a hilarious video up on YouTube called Do Your Part that I wanted to post on here, but for some reason I'm having issues with posting from YouTube, so check out it here on Mike's post on the same topic.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Muslims and Christians working together in Iraq??? I thought all Christians were being slaughtered??? Great article showing them working together of all things to raise a cross on top of a Church in Baghdad and grateful for the freedom provided by America! Now I know there has been persecution of Christians as the media has shown a little of, but here is just another sign of reconciliation as well that also needs to be shown.