Teaching Street Smarts

Kee-rraap it is cold outside. My walk today was longer than usual, but also faster than normal. Longer because the biting cold wind against my rosy cheeks stung to high heaven, and fast because my motor wanted to get me the hell into the warmth. It has been almost three years since I have enjoyed such extreme temperature. The past two years in Arizona conditioned me for a low of fifty-five. A minus two degree windchill is fifty-seven degrees lower than I can withstand. Nevertheless, I am staying in Frankfort this winter so I need to get out for some conditioning, and I got it.

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Yesterday was worse because the high temperature peaked at eighteen degrees. At least today, it is a balmy twenty-eight. The wind chill has been the killer on both days. What saved yesterday was seeing a delightful movie. Peggy and I watched “Saint Vincent.” It is what I call a sleeper. I haven’t heard people talking about it, yet it spoke to me when I reviewed the films playing this week. I totally enjoyed the story and the characters. The actors were cast perfectly for their roles.

This film is a comedy, which is what I wanted to see, and I did laugh at some of the stuff going on, but I cried too. Somehow, when I cry, it cannot be funny. The theme of the story dealt with broken homes, bullying, family bankruptcy, aging, grief, desperation, and survival.

Bill Murray plays the part of Vin (Vincent Mac Kenna) a Viet Nam era vet who lives alone, and dislikes people. He smokes too much, drinks too much, and gambles too much, but he is the hero of the story. He becomes a caretaker for the smart kid Oliver who just moved in next door, and whose mother Maggie(Melissa Mc Carthy) works too much to get by. Needless to say, Vin’s tutoring of Oliver (the smart kid Jaden Lieberher) cannot be classified as politically correct. The education Vin gave Oliver falls into the subject of “street smarts.” Oliver handles it well, but his errant father doesn’t want Oliver to be near Vin, even though the father hasn’t donated a penny to his well-being. All the father did was to complicate the story, which I loved, but Oliver and his mother did not.

There are some lessor characters in the story like Father Geraty (Chris O’Dowd) who teaches Oliver at Saint Patrick’s Catholic school. There is also Daka, (Naomi Watts) Vin’s hired and pregnant girl friend who is his occasional underpaid companion, and Vin’s bookie Zucko (Terrence Howard) who only wants Vin to pay him back. Put these people into the mix along with a good storyline and one has a very entertaining story.

To me the star of this movie is Oliver. The kid is perfect for the part, and he is an excellent actor too. I nominate him for Best Supporting Actor for the 2015 Oscars.

See the movie on Tuesday at Marcus for five bucks. I saw it on Wednesday for seven, but it was worth it. Six-fifty for a small pop-corn is worse than three sixty-nine for a gallon of gas where is the Occupy Wall Street crowd on that one?

 

Last Email of the Day

This evening I began to shut down my Mac and head to the TV when I decided to look at my Emails one more time. I found one from my good friend Jim. He and I went to high school together and roomed for a year in college too. Jim suggested I watch a video he sent. I clicked on the link and it took me to a Pickleball Website. Inside that site was the video which I later found on YouTube.

There are many amazing people in the USA and this vid highlights one of them; his name is Mike Ehredt an Endurance Athlete, Postal Worker, Veteran, and genuine great human being. My words will never do him justice to the project he undertook called Project America Run (Click link to see map). In 2010 he ran a mile for each vet who died (4424) in the Iraq war, then in 2012, Mike ran a marathon everyday for 81 days. At each mile he placed a flag in honor of a vet who died in Afghanistan (2140 US service men and women).

If you like feel good stories, watch the video, and click the links to learn about this amazing ordinary person like you and me.

 

 

A Lesson For Schools

I believe every school in America can learn from this exercise. If all of them taught real American history, and the effort America expended on making the world a safer place by sending our citizen troops to fight wars for valid reasons our kids would be better off. Some schools do teach what veterans did for us. My grandson attends such a school. His father sent me this e-mail and the photos.

Hey Dad,
 I took Dan to swim practice tonight.  This week he’s swimming outside.  The pool he’s at is right across the street from his school.  A couple of weeks ago, he was working on a project for Veterans Day.  IT was called a “Veterans Postcard”.  He had to interview a vet and make a visual post card with the name of the vet, branch severed, etc.  He then told me that they laminate all of them, and put them up at school.  To my surprise, as I was walking the paths around the pool past Dan’s school, I saw an image that was quite overwhelming.  They hung all of these “postcards” right in front of the school.  Two thousand kids go to that school, and they all made them.  They strung them on lines from post to post.  When I got there, it was still light outside.  BY the time I found Danny’s postcard it was already dark.  Here are some pics…I may go back tomorrow during the day to get this amazing tribute to our vets captured on film during the day.

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Rows and rows…I think I counted 7 or 8 rows of postcards

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Dan’s post card:

 

A Salute To Veterans Of America

World War II Memorial Fountains and Arch

World War II Memorial Fountains and Arch (Photo credit: IslesPunkFan)

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Viet Nam War Memorial Washington, D.C.

Vietnam Memorial Statue, Washington D.C.

Viet Nam War Memorial Washington, D.C.

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War Dog Memorial Washington, D.C.

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World War I Memorial Washington, D.C.

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Korean War Memorial, Washington, D.C.

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Women in War Nurses Memorial, Washington, D.C.

A  National memorial commemorating the Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars has not yet been established, let us honor these brave military people for their service as well, and all lessor war skirmishes that our country fought in.

This video says what is in my heart. I salute every veteran who has protected me and my family since World War II. I owe you all a debt of gratitude.

Sorry, Mr. Obama, the Constitution is not negotiable

I recently learned about Oath Keepers. Not having been in the military, this practice of military veterans dedicated to upholding the US Constitution escaped me.

A Patriot’s Point of View

     I love the internet! My friends send me stuff all day long. It saves me endless hours of surfing on my own. I just open my e-mail and there it is. Most of the time we trade jokes, cartoons, and letters of rage. Today, I received a copy of a letter that has been circulating for a few months. The letter to President Obama is written by a veteran of World War Two . He is ninety-five years old, and is he upset. Harold is upset about the change that is going on.The sender verified it on Snopes, but having been duped into believing too many erroneous articles, I checked it out on Snopes myself. The letter is correctly attributed to Harold Estes.Please read this patriot’s letter and comment on his point of view.

 

Dear President Obama,                   My name is Harold Estes, approaching 95 on December 13 of this year.  People meeting me for the first time don’t believe my age because I remain wrinkle free and pretty much mentally alert.I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1934 and served proudly before, during and after WW II retiring as a Master Chief Bos’n Mate.  Now I live in a “rest home” located on the western end of Pearl Harbor , allowing me to keep alive the memories of 23 years of service to my country.One of the benefits of my age, perhaps the only one, is to speak my mind, blunt and direct even to the head man.So here goes.

I am amazed, angry and determined not to see my country die before I do, but you seem hell bent not to grant me that wish.

I can’t figure out what country you are the president of.

You fly around the world telling our friends and enemies despicable lies like:

             ” We’re no longer a Christian nation”

             ” America is arrogant” – (Your wife even

                 announced to the world,” America is mean-

                 spirited. ” Please tell her to try preaching

                 that nonsense to 23 generations of our

                 war dead buried all over the globe who

                 died for no other reason than to free a

                 whole lot of strangers from tyranny and

                 hopelessness.)

I’d say shame on the both of you, but I don’t think you like America, nor do I see an ounce of gratefulness in anything you do, for the obvious gifts this country has given you.  To be without shame or gratefulness is a dangerous thing for a man sitting in the White House.

After 9/11 you said,” America hasn’t lived up to her ideals.”

Which ones did you mean? Was it the notion of personal liberty that 11,000 farmers and shopkeepers died for to win independence from the British?  Or maybe the ideal that no man should be a slave to another man, that 500,000 men died for in the Civil War?  I hope you didn’t mean the ideal 470,000 fathers, brothers, husbands, and a lot of fellas I knew personally died for in WWII, because we felt real strongly about not letting any nation push us around, because we stand for freedom.

I don’t think you mean the ideal that says equality is better than discrimination.  You know the one that a whole lot of white people understood when they helped to get you elected.

Take a little advice from a very old geezer, young man.

Shape up and start acting like an American.  If you don’t, I’ll do what I can to see you get shipped out of that fancy rental on Pennsylvania Avenue .  You were elected to lead not to bow, apologize and kiss the hands of murderers and corrupt leaders who still treat their people like slaves.

And just who do you think you are telling the American people not to jump to conclusions and condemn that Muslim major who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded dozens more. You mean you don’t want us to do what you did when that white cop used force to subdue that black college professor in Massachusetts , who was putting up a fight?  You don’t mind offending the police calling them stupid but you don’t want us to offend Muslim fanatics by calling them what they are, terrorists.

One more thing.  I realize you never served in the military and never had to defend your country with your life, but you’re the Commander-in-Chief now, son.  Do your job.  When your battle-hardened field General asks you for 40,000 more troops to complete the mission, give them to him.  But if you’re not in this fight to win, then get out.  The life of one American soldier is not worth the best political strategy you’re thinking of.

You could be our greatest president because you face the greatest challenge ever presented to any president. 

You’re not going to restore American greatness by bringing back our bloated economy.  That’s not our greatest threat.  Losing the heart and soul of who we are as Americans is our big fight now.

And I sure as hell don’t want to think my president is the enemy in this final battle…

Sincerely,

Harold B. Estes

 Snopes confirms as true:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/haroldestes.asp

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