Monday, November 28, 2005

Marines 230th Birthday

The U.S. Marines just celebrated their 230th Birthday on Nov 10, 2005. Their's is an awesome service and, as a Navy veteran, I would have to say the Marine Corps is the finest auxilliary service the Navy ever created. This link will give you a Marine Corps Birthday Card in Flash Video. If you are a Marine - Enjoy. If anything else - Take Pride! I think especially of the Marines I know and of those to whom I have enjoyed in family and friendship. Thanks Marines! I knew George Dykestra of Sparta - A veteran of Guadalcanal and of Peleliu (he would never talk about it). I knew Ronald Glass of Savannah Georgia, a veteran of Iwo Jima (lasted about 10 minutes on the beach, was shot through top to bottom, wrecking one leg where the bullet came out. He was pulled out of harm's way at that point by squad members he had trained in boot camp (he was quite mean to them as he recalled) - This was his first experience in combat, having been a DI at Paris Island for two full years before Iwo Jima. He was a veterinarian when I met him. He had a limp arm and crippled leg, but he soldiered on. My cousin, Rogene Kilpatrick of Pace, Florida is a veteran of Korea, being among the first to arrive after the NK invasion and at one point being caught up in the great fighting withdrawal out of the Chosin Reservoir (Chesty Puller said "Good thing we are surrounded - now we can attack in any direction") and the Pusan exodus. And, there are many more Marines whom I am honored to know. To those Marines (and other soldiers of all branches) today who are in harm's way - know that you are respected. Your country calls and you answer. Your's is no easy task. May God Be With You. AND - HAPPY BIRTHDAY Marines! Photo is "Pat" Kilpatrick and his wife Virginia.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Lighthouse Mission - in Kentucky

The First Presbyterian Church of Sparta NJ made a Mission Trip to help out the people of "The Lighthouse Mission" in Pineville,Kentucky last summer. This is the opening draft of a forthcoming video about the trip (now complete -see the final version HERE). Our group helped the Lighthouse Mission prepare some special "Back To School" supply packs for kids in this depressed area. We also helped a local recovering Addict (Frank Creech - who is sings two songs in this short feature) to rebuild a house he bought with his life savings. It will be a Halfway House for people in recovery. What a summer! More value of this trip came back to the people who went to participate than to those who recieved our help. Somehow, mathematically, there is a logical explanation for that but that's how God works sometimes, I think. Leonard Luckadoo is a contractor who has a music ministry to prisons and nursing homes in Kentucky. He is the grandfather of one of the volunteers from the local community who helped us at Frank's place. Leonard Sings the opening ... "Lighthouse". The lighthouse at the start is still standing in Pensacola, FL after Ivan, Dennis and Katrina, not to mention the storm of '29 and the late unpleasantness of 1861-65. More about this trip HERE.
Visit another interesting independent mission - Preacher Phil's Taxi in NYC.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Greenhouse Gases

Here is a great web tool from BP to help you figure how large your "carbon footprint" is. Can you reduce your energy waste in your household? Interesting and educational. This came from my brother-in-law who works as an engineer for BP.
Now: My take on Global Warming. Yes it is happening. No, there is no conclusive evidence that the energy sources of the past century have had the defining effect. Why do I say that? I believe there are some much larger geological and solar events that have affected the nature of earth's climate as they have over geologic time. Age of Ice ... Age of Warming .. all without any fossil fuel involvement have driven the historic migration of mankind. If there is a 2 degree change in average earth temperature over the last century, I am more likely to believe that less than 10% of the total effect is driven by fossil fuel consumption and probaby less than 10% is driven by deforestation. These issues should be addresed for the betterment of the future quality of life for mankind, but they cannot compete with natural astronomical and geological cycles that affect climate(my opinion). I suggest two books that help put the history of mankind in perspective ... both by noted anthropologist and biologist Jared Diamond. "Guns Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies" and "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed". Diamond is a clear voice to take better care of our planet. In "Collapse" his studies suggest strongly that geologic and asronomical events affect our planet hugely, yet his conclusion lays nearly all the problems of current climate change at the feet of we humans. So, on that point, I take issue, but these readings are very instructive.

Friday, November 18, 2005

A Veteran's Tribute - Canada

Here is a video that came to me via a US Marine who understands the importance of Veteran's Day. The film was about 8 mb in windows media, so I took the liberty of placing it in "IN COUNTRY" in flash format so you can easily pass along the LINK to this page rather than the large video file that some people resent clogging their email bandwidth. In any case, this Canadian presentation is quite nice. I hope you like it. And ... Thanks, Marine!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Video Problem

Oops. had a temporary issue with our flash video server.
Here is a link to one of our videos now hosted on This one is Jim Stanko, an old time fiddler. (His is mislabeled as Jim Sieradzki but that will be fixed soon) Let me know if you like the google video presentation. Click HERE to get the Google Video Stream.