January 15, 2009


Now...I wrote this back on February 20, 2008 and posted it awhile back on MySpace but thought I'd re-post it here, after reading it today. Just kinda made me sad all over again, I guess.

Well…my Mom just called to let me know Randy Railey passed away today. Randy was one of my Mom’s oldest, and dearest, friends having been married to my Mom’s OLDEST friend, Marsha, for God knows how long. I can remember being like 7 or 8 and going to visit them, if that gives you any indication. Today was his 56th birthday too. His kidneys had shut down and he was jaundiced really bad too…they initially were going to take him off of life support tomorrow, but his daughters decided to do it today as their last gift to him. He would have wanted and appreciated that because he was always a very no-nonsense kind of guy. He pretty much attacked life head on and would have wanted to attack life-after the same way. He told you how it was, or at least how HE saw it, even if it wasn’t what you wanted to hear…at least you would always get the truth and what you needed to hear. I was surprised by how sad it made me to hear about it…I knew their plans and knew it would happen today, but it still struck me deeper than I had imagined or prepared for.

Randy was always very good to me. When I was young, he never treated me like a “kid” so much as others did…he talked to me straight up and in the eye, which has always earned my respect from others. When I enlisted in the US Army, I don’t think anyone was any more proud of me than he was, save for my Mom and my Granny. He taught me a lot in the time between signing into the DEP and actually shipping off to boot camp. He had gone to military schools growing up and knew the inner workings of such things. He taught me how to keep moving forward full-force but never standing out too much…in basic that can get your head cleared in a hurry. LOL He taught me that if I truly wanted the most out of the military, volunteer for everything (such as schools) I could, that’s pretty much what I did, and yes…I got the most out of it. He taught me how to break down an M16 and a 9mm before I ever got to Ft. Jackson or Ft. Bragg for training. He also taught me how to march properly, stand at attention, parade rest, turn, and about-face long before ever having to actually do it for a DS. It was immensely helpful to me and I always loved him for it because he obviously cared enough for me to devote so much of his own time to help me.

Randy loved his beer and hell…he’d smoke a little grass every so often too…but that doesn’t change or affect the person he was. I wish I could have told him thank you just one last time. It would have meant something to me to know he really did understand it. So, I am left with saying it here…thank you, Randy. You will be missed.

January 12, 2009

Steady State vs. Big Bang

I have an ex brother-in-law, who we'll just call John, who told me years ago that he didn't believe in God and seemed very passionate about it. Now, this isn't all THAT unusual really but a main argument for his reasoning of such has recently entered my mind, as more of my dork tendencies emerge and I study space and the Physics of such a little more. Here's the general argument he had:

He didn't believe in God for a number of reasons but his solid "clencher" argument...the one he thought "proved" his way of thinking...was based on Physics and the universe. He claimed that the universe was infinite, with no beginning and no end, therefore there could BE no creation. Basically that, "In the beginning..." wasn't possible in infinity because there WAS no beginning. Seems pretty logical and straight-forward, I guess. I didn't argue with him at the time, for several reasons I won't go into here, but just stowed that information in the back of my mind and left it there to either fester or decompose like so many other bits of info/memory.

Fast forward to present-day, with me watching "The Universe" on History Channel and thoroughly sewing my wild dork-oats and loving every single episode of it. I find that John apparently subscribed to Fred Hoyle's Steady State theory of the universe...it says that the universe has always existed and that it is infinite, ever-expanding, but that the expansion somehow creates new matter in the form of Hydrogen in order to maintain its relative density and so forth. Now, while this theory may prove to be correct in some future time...and with much more considerable evidence to de-bunk the Big Bang model...for now, VERY few physicists even support this model anymore.

Why, might you ask? Well, basically because with the discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation, it adds further very strong evidence to support the primordial atom and the Big Bang and pretty much overnight, debunked the Steady State theory completely. This radiation, you see, is leftover remnants from that massive explosion some 13.7 billion years ago. The universe has a beginning and will eventually have an end, as well. At least, all the known information we have been able to acquire to this date with our technology supports this fact. Makes logical sense...if the universe is ever-expanding, which we have proven that it IS, then it was a little bit smaller yesterday than it is today...a little smaller than that the day before and the day before and the day.........well, you can see where this is going. Eventually, you would get back to a starting point.

Very interesting how physics, and the study of our universe, has worked out. People such as Copernicus and Galileo, mostly Galileo, were criticized by the Catholic church for adhering to their beliefs...Galileo actually lived out his days under house arrest in Italy and was not allowed to speak or publish any more of his findings because they believed his findings were heresy and went against the literal meaning of the Scripture. Travel along the natural progression of studies and theories to present-day...and you find that there actually IS a beginning to the universe, a "creation," if you will. In fact, the modern-day father/proposer of the Big Bang theory was actually a Belgian Catholic priest and professor of physics and astronomy at a Catholic university.

Now...this post isn't meant to be religious and I'm in no way trying to direct my own personal beliefs by using science. I am actually, in many ways, much more scientific in my thoughts and beliefs than I am faith-based...I just thought it was interesting stuff, somewhat funny how science progresses and works, and more importantly, thought it was kinda cool to deflate John's argument (if only to myself) these many years later. ***By the way...if John happens across this blog someday, this cosmic radiation was discovered way back in 1964, so while he may be quite brilliant in many ways, he's a bit behind the 8-ball. John might want to grab an updated version of his Physical Science textbook. I'm just saying...

January 7, 2009

Where are the police?!

OK...so, Virginia and I are driving through downtown Houston the other day, right? I don't recall what we were doing or where we were going/coming from...that's really irrelevant. I'm driving and stopped at a red light, waiting to turn right, when V notices an older lady driving a little Chevy S-10 attempting to parallel park just ahead of us at the corner. Well, the parking area there was a little inset space (inset into the sidewalk, so that it's off the main street)...large enough to hold about 3 vehicles and do so with room to maneuver.

Well, there was only one other vehicle already parked there and it was parked at the very rear of the inset. This lady was obviously having a difficult time, because she was clutching her steering wheel as if it were the last loaf of bread and government cheese the Depression-era ever handed out and whipping her head to and fro in an attempt to see what she was doing, but looking more like she was being slapped around by the Invisible Man. She also could not steer or maneuver in any recognizable manner whatsoever. She had pulled all the way onto the curb at the HEAD of the inset before making her retraction into the large empty area behind her and in front of the other car. She started backing up but for some reason turned her wheel in the opposite direction so that the tail of her truck began poking out even more into the street.

*I must point out, that by this time the light had turned green and we pulled forward, made our right turn, and then parked right there so that we could watch this spectacle.

Anyway, she obviously didn't see this or for that matter...ANYTHING...because she backed right into the car that was parked there. This didn't serve as a deterrent to the woman, however, and she shifted gears and pulled forward (and back onto the front curb, I might add). Reversing yet again, she begins the slow and agonizing journey back the 50 or so feet she had to work with until she felt comfortable with her position. By the way, she was only comfortable with her position after no LESS than three forward and reverse maneuvers similar to the first one. Of course, looking back at her from where we were...we could see her truck head-on and it was still as crooked as the Joker from the new Batman movie, let me tell ya. But, in her defense, she did NOT hit the car again. We sat there for a minute longer, as she got out of her truck and walked into the building in front of her...never even giving a glance to the car she had hit. We were amazed.

V turns to me and says, "Should we report this?" I confirmed that we should try, at least, because it was obvious the lady was not planning to take action and/or responsibility for hitting the car. Besides, I thought, if she gets a ticket maybe it will make her (or her family) think twice about driving again...it was obvious she didn't have any business on the streets. We looked around all four corners where we were and nothing. Virginia takes out a pad and writes the license plate number and description of the vehicle as I get out and survey for police officers. Now, this is DOWNTOWN Houston...and ANY other time, we would see no less than two or three cops. There would be one or two in a car parked at the corner ahead of us, or there would be an equine officer riding down the sidewalk behind us, something! Nope...nothing. We got back in the car and drove off, now just a block or two from our building and entrance to the underground garage. There is ALWAYS a cop at the block just beyond this, because there is a little "dollar" convenience store and there are always beggars and/or homeless hanging out there. Was there a police officer there THIS time...of course not.

All I can say is...it pissed me off. LOL More than the lady backing into the car and ignoring it. More than 75% of Houston drivers who act like a little rain falling from the sky is the 3rd sign of the Apocalypse and therefore have to slow down to no faster than 15 mph on the freeway, so they can stick their head on their dash and look towards the heavens. Even more than the homeless man who begged me for money, but when I handed him a WHOLE Subway sandwich he cussed me and told me he didn't want my damn sandwich..."I don't want your damn food...I asked you for change!" were his exact words. Yes, it really made me mad. Had I turned without flashing my blinker, or had I honked at the driver ahead of me in road rage, there would have been a cop there to either pull me over or look at me sternly as if I were a nuisance to his quiet time...but this one time when we actually WANTED a police officer, none could be found. Figures.