Tuesday, August 26, 2008


There are some people who will begin to talk about the weather whenever there is a gap in the conversation. Sometimes I have been foolish enough to fall for that and additionally comment on the weather, even though I have a massive tolerance for whatever weather comes along. This tolerance began, I believe, while walking to school. It did not matter what the circumstances were, we always went to school. At that time the post office motto was our own, neither rain, snow, sleet, or whatever, the mail went through; and we did too. It was routine for the Beauregard children to get certificates for "Perfect Attendance" and we all amassed many. I can remember feeling embarrassed being called in front of the room to receive the certificate. It was taken home, given to my Mother, and it was never seen again. She probably grew bored getting them for all her children. Rita may have been an exception, I vaguely remember her being weak and sick a few times. The tropical storm (hurricane?,) "Fay" has recently come into the Jacksonville area. The TV and Radio stations were our guardians, they were not going to let us be hurt. Early warnings came with instructions for food, water, shelter, personal safety, driving, boarding up a home, home compressors, etc. All stations, all the time. As the storm got closer the media became more frantic and reiterated over and over that they should be listened to, if not it was perilous. (As you may know, the movement of the storm slowed giving more time for the messages.) For those like myself, we watched the wind velocity of the storm and increasingly felt assured that this was not going to affect us greatly. Not so the media, they had a job to do and by God they were going to do it. They were calling for the schools to be shut down, and they were. They called for people to stay off the roads, and they did. On Wednesday, the 20th, schools were closed and the winds were 23 mph. There was a lot of rain, heck, we had been getting a lot of rain for a month. Of course, some roads flooded over and had to be driven in carefully. Thursday was another day of school closure. Friday was another day of school closure. The winds may have been gusting at 30 mph at the most for all these days. Rains were intermittent and there was a lot of it. On Friday it was obvious to the media that the storm was a complete bust. They turned their attention to Tornadoes which could come at any time, all conditions were ripe for tornadoes. Radio stations were preempted for more than six hours to give non-stop news about tornadoes. By God they were going to do their job. I am only aware of one water spout being spotted off the coast. I am aware of only a few trees falling over. (Had the winds been higher more trees would have fallen because all the ground hereabouts was saturated with water.) This has been stated in order to throw some light on how the media have been infiltrated by "chicken Little's." A rational person knows that winds of 50mph is easily withstood by the citizens. But it is tempting to go into full attack mode when an opportunity presents itself. Oh yes, the shelters were opened up for people at the urging of the media. We were informed that only two families did actually show up at one of them. This whole city lost three days, what a waste.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Today, during the singing of a hymn at mass, a whistle was blown. I was astonished to hear it. It was not just a short blast like you hear for a foul in a basketball game. This was a very long, shrill and disturbing noise, lasting a full measure of music. This is the first time I had ever heard anything like this. The singing did not hesitate, after all the organ music kept going, yet we all heard it. The singing continued as I wondered what would prompt somebody to blow a whistle in this church. What were they trying to accomplish? Then it came to me, it was the scream of a baby that was angry. Yet, I heard no shushing, or such accompanying sound, to get it to stop. It just stopped. It had come from the other side of the church and so it would do no good to crane my neck to see anything. Just before mass ended, during the concluding hymn, it was heard again but this time much subdued. My thoughts: Was this baby inspired by the singing to join in and doing it's untrained best? Did this baby always scream like this? Why didn't the parent just blow in it's face to get it to quiet? With training, this kid is going to be a powerful operatic singer. Upon exiting the church, I tried to overhear some conversations. To my surprise nobody was saying anything about that scream. I guess it was only a distraction for me.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Rock Rants

Upon entering McDonald's this morning for breakfast I saw Rock sitting at a table, glaring at me. A previous post described Rock, it you recall, he was the unkept and disheveled motorcycle rider. Upon getting my meal, I avoided Rock and sat at a table in which I could not see him. Charles came and sat with me and we started talking about how bad it looked that Obama did not put an American flag on his campaign plane. Rock, who could see Charles, said to him that he could see he was a Republican. (Charles is a Democrat.) Rock started into a rant about how this Country was no longer a Democracy: he wanted Obama to win the presidency, we should not be in Iraq, Bush was dictator and went to Iraq because he wanted revenge on Sadam because he wanted to kill his daddy, the country is Socialist now and Obama will make it a Democracy again, he will give the little people more money, etc. At this time Rock was standing, talking loudly and pointing his finger at us. When he stated that we have had four thousand of our children die for Bush's foolishness, I interjected. "There were no children sent to Iraq, we sent soldiers. Those that did die were soldiers and it is dishonorable to them to call them children." Rock continued: "The Iraqi's do not want us there and Obama will get us out. The Iraqi's hate us and we deserve to be hated." At another table, there was a young man named Joe, about 26, who works for Haliburton and is on leave from one of his four-month tours of duty. He stood up, walked over to Rock and asked him how many Iraqi's he had talked to. Rock just looked at him and said nothing. Joe said, "I have talked to many of them and they want us over there. The Iraqi soldiers do not want us to leave they know we are helping with a difficult job of keeping the peace. Those people are just like us, they want a good job and they want to live in peace." While he was saying this, Rock got very quiet and sat down. The rest of us started to question Joe who was willing to relate his experiences over there. Shortly after this Rock meekly picked up his coffee and left. Joe works in construction, my impression was as a semiskilled worker. He works 12 hour days, 7 days a week. He said his jobs vary but are unassociated with security. He will go back to Iraq in two weeks because, as he said, I make no money while here at home. He said he will make about $80,000 in a year if he does not keep coming back because his contract pays only while he is there. It was a pleasure to talk to Joe and he certainly closed down an uninformed rant.