Friday, December 30, 2005

I am not 21 anymore

My recovery time from drinking has increased 10 fold over the last decade. I can not do a shot for shot with these 21 year crowd and expect last all night long. I am lucky if I wake up before noon. The majority is definitely about 5 to 7 years younger than I. All I got going for me is the experience. Maybe a little stamina for the longer nights. Japan has parties all night long in most bars. In fact the best time to go is from Midnight to about 5 am. This where the experience comes in, I will take a nap until 10 or 11pm then go out. (Don't get me wrong, this is not a nightly event, more of a once a paycheck.) Regardless, I can't go out as much as I used to.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

T minus 222: Day 143

It is Christmas weekend and that doesn't mean much more than a few extra days off. I personally never got into the "holiday spirit". I will be spending my Christmas with a fellow sergeant and his wife. I am also bringing several other "single" Marines with me. The holidays is more of a time of sharing than anything else. My friend is sharing his house and hospitality to those of us who do not have anyone to share the day with. ( I promise to take pictures.)

On January 4th, I will be going to Camp Hanson for that training I mentioned in an earlier post. The "academy" will last for 7 weeks. This hopefully will be my ticket to advancement. If not I may be joining the ranks of the civilian world sooner rather than later.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Babs Miller was bagging some early potatoes for me. I noticed a
small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily
apprizing a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh
green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the
peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller and the ragged boy next to me.

"Hello Barry, how are you today?"

"H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas . sure look good."

"They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?"

"Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time."

"Good. Anything I can help you with?"

"No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas."

"Would you like to take some home?"

"No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with."

"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"

"All I got's my prize marble here."

"Is that right? Let me see it."

"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."

"I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go
for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?"

"Not zackley . but almost."

"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble."

"Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller."

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.
With a smile she said, "There are two other boys like him in our
community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain
with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, perhaps."

I left the stand smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A
short time later I moved to Colorado but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering.

Several years went by, each more rapid that the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his viewing that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts ... all very professional looking.

They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.

Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.
"Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.! They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim "traded" them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size ... they came to pay their debt."

"We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world," she confided, "but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho."

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds.
Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments
that takes our breath.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Marine Corps Ball 2005

I did some updating.
You will all notice that some people are in this year's pictures as they were in last years. It should strike a funny bone if you pay attention.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


I have once said, "Life is not a joke, it is millions of little jokes one right after another."

This may be true today as it was once yesterday.

My hopes and dreams are a fantasy that are ill afford.

Monday, December 05, 2005


Sometimes, I think that the reason I am not loved by my peers or women is the ambitious factor. Not that it was the factor in why we ( the women in question), got together it is or may have been a reason why we spilt in the first place.
Or maybe, "they" still love me, it is the ambition that was missing. I personally do not believe that. I always thought I had a lot of ambition.
Maybe it was the lost "Goth".
Or the Latin.
Whatever the reason, I wish for love to be the factor which keeps us together whoever that may concern.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Marine Service Journal

A friend of mine, "Dee Dee" gave me a book titled "Marine Service Journal."
Sort of a paper based version of this blog. Granted, I do not tell you all everything, what fun would that be?
The book has some great illustrations and pictures. It has a place for a personal history, which can be quite boring. It has Unit Activities, which, anyone but myself and other Marines would understand. It has "Service Friends" which over the years I have had many. There are a few other nifty details as well, I would tell you all, but where's the mystery in that?

Now do not misunderstand me, I have filled out he book and have been filling out the book since I received it as a gift. I appreciated the gift, more because no one else thought of it for the last decade.

Dee Dee is a great friend and my heart goes out for her.
Semper Fi