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3/4/2014

COLD DAYS AT THE PALACE…WHEN IS SPRING COMING?

Filed under: prairie musings, Tyler Britton USAF, Afghanistan, Mackenzie — Peg Britton @ 8:28 pm

Most of my friends here are not into technology.  They don’t want a computer even though they have an idea of the world that would open to them if they had one. I just can’t imagine my life without a computer and thanks to my granddaughter, Mackenzie, I can rest assured she’ll keep me provided with one that will probe the universe.  I love this one that she got for me…another Dell with all the bells and whistles.  If I go to a Mac, I will have to find a new granddaughter and I’m not about to do that.

Years ago I told her I was buying my last computer and that I’d take it with me when “they” put me in the nursing home.  It would have racing stripes.  I don’t know how many computers she’s bought for me since then, but I would guess 5 or 6.  I’m in the “nursing home” now with a room equipped with all the latest technological gadgets at my fingertips.  There are wires strung around like you see pictured in Indian (spot Indian) call centers…a mass of wires of all shapes and sizes with surge protectors all cluttering the floor.  The maintenance guys here just walk in and smile.  They know there is nothing they can do about it.   They put in a new generator and I think it was just for me.

call-center.jpg >>>>>>>those wires  lead to my apartment…

My grandson called me from Afghanistan this morning.  Well, he Skyped me which is even better as I got to see him fit, healthy and smiling.  I could see the hairs on his neck and his beautiful smile.  We talked as if he were in the same room together.  I find that just incredible…after all, I’m 84 and this wasn’t possible even a few years ago.  If some of my friends here had  persevered, they too could be having the same kinds of conversations with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren who live far away.  It isn’t fun getting old because the world passes you buy before you know what’s happening.  It’s a struggle to keep up with friends and family….not entirely possible, but with some effort, it can makes a difference if you have a computer and long-distance service…and use them.

I don’t get to see some of my friends as often as I would like, but thanks to Cox services, I can talk with my kids, grandkids, Sandra, Joyce, Susie,Betty, Shirley, Nancy and other friends as often as I like.  Yea for more technology.

Tomorrow I’m getting my hair cut.  Marsha has a shop on the first floor so it’s convenient.  She’s good and charges $16.00.  I don’t have to get in my car and go any place and I love her service.  Her son works at the Correctional Facility in Ellsworth so we always have a lot to talk about.

Ally came today and we had lunch…a burger at Bogey’s.  I don’t go there often but I’ve decided I don’t like their shakes.  I liked the ones Melinda Svaty liked, but they can’t seem to make it like that anymore. I do like their sugar free cherry limeades.  We ran into the Tomans and Connie and Mark Martin, which was nice.  Ally ran some errands for me and best of all…she hauled my trash to the dumpster.  I don’t know how I accumulate so much refuse and it’s a pain for me to carry down the hall.  I really do appreciate it when she or Todd does it for me.

Life is good in the Palace.  Thanks for tuning in…

12/20/2013

FIVE OF THE SIX SOLDIERS KILLED THIS WEEK IN AFGHANISTAN FROM FT. RILEY…

Filed under: prairie musings, Afghanistan, Kansas — Peg Britton @ 3:02 am

New information is surfacing about the soldiers killed in the single largest loss of life for foreign troops in Afghanistan in almost six months. Five of the soldiers trained together – and were based in Fort Riley in Kansas, the Pentagon announced. NBC’s Rehema Ellis reports.
By M. Alex Johnson, Staff Writer, NBC News

Five of the six U.S. soldiers who were killed in a helicopter crash this week while serving with NATO forces in Afghanistan were assigned to the same Kansas base, the Defense Department said Thursday in releasing their identities.

The six soldiers died when their Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk crashed Tuesday in Now Bahar in southern Afghanistan. The Pentagon said the crash remained under investigation.

The Pentagon identified the soldiers Wednesday as:

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Randy L. Billings, 34, of Heavener, Okla.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua B. Silverman, 35, of Scottsdale, Ariz.
Sgt. Peter C. Bohler, 29, of Willow Spring, N.C.
Sgt. 1st Class Omar W. Forde, 28, of Marietta, Ga.
Spc. Terry K.D. Gordon, 22, of Shubuta, Miss.
Staff Sgt. Jesse L. Williams, 30, of Elkhart, Ind.

Billings, Silverman and Bohler were all assigned to the 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, at Fort Riley, Kan.

Forde was assigned to the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade headquarters at Fort Riley, while Gordon was with the 6th Cavalry Regiment.

Williams was assigned to the regimental support headquarters of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, based in Vilseck, Germany.

“Americans will be forever indebted to these brave soldiers who laid down their lives for our country,” Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said in a statement. As we pay tribute to their service and sacrifice, we are reminded that freedom is not free.”

Fort Riley is home to the 1st Infantry Division — the fabled “Big Red One,” which spearheaded the U.S.-led attack on Iraq in 1991.

“We offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of these Big Red One soldiers,” said the fort’s commander, Maj. Gen. Paul Funk. “We stand ready to support them, and I urge our community and nation, while remembering their sacrifices this holiday season, to do the same.”

4/15/2013

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY HELP REQUEST FROM TYLER BRITTON…

Filed under: prairie musings, Tyler Britton USAF, Afghanistan — Peg Britton @ 1:34 pm

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Here is a letter from my Grandson, Tyler Britton, who participates in an annual mission to New Orleans to help build houses for the needy.  This year he has been selected to lead a group.  He pays his own way except for donations that are made by friends and uses his leave time from the Air Force.  If you care to contribute, you can reach him at  tbritton89 at gmail dot com/

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Well howdy there! Another year has buzzed by yet again without even saying goodbye. I just wanted to write a quick note and let you know about some of the really exciting things that are happening in my life.

Work tends to rule my life. In fact, between research, teaching, clinicals, and ramping up for a deployment overseas this fall, it’s no wonder last year buzzed right on by. But, amid all of the chaos, I’m firmly grounded in Crossroads Church and I’m looking forward to my annual mission trip to New Orleans.

Now you may be asking questions like, “Why New Orleans? Hurricane Katrina happened in 2005… what is there left to do?” among numerous others. However, despite living in the abundance we have in America there is still an abundance of work that needs to be done there. While I am there, I will be participating in Habitat for Humanity and help to build houses for the needy whilst bringing them a sense of stability with a roof over their head. Local groups will also be partnering with us to help further the restoration and healing effort in their city.

This trip allows me to help a community that is desperately in need to meet their physical and spiritual demands. More than anything, we need your prayers for our team and the people that we’ll be reaching out to on our trip. I ask you to pray for our safety, flexibility, the ability to do God’s work, and financial support.

If though, however, you do want to financially support me or the general fund, I’d be very grateful. My personal contribution to be able to go on this trip is $850 plus incidentals. I have attached a page that explains the process for giving if you feel inclined to do so. This is a journey that I experienced an unbelievable amount of growth on last year and God has called me to do it again - and this year I’m even leading a group.

I really appreciate your consideration in supporting my mission trip. Any level of support (emotional, spiritual, financial) is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions feel free to contact me via email or at 785.531.2652.

Best wishes,
Tyler J. Britton

5/9/2012

CRITICAL CARE IN BAGRAM…A VIDEO FROM AFGHANISTAN YOU MIGHT WANT TO WATCH….

Filed under: prairie musings, Tyler Britton USAF, Afghanistan — Peg Britton @ 8:29 pm

Military personnel injured on the battlefield in Afghanistan receive care that equals or surpasses that received in the best critical care hospitals in the U.S. This video was filmed in the hospital at Bagram and shows clearly what the procedures are for treating patients. This is part of the team that my grandson, Tyler Britton, is on. He works in the hospital as a critical care respiratory therapist, but his main job is to transport critically injured patients, along side a doctor and nurse, from Bagram to Germany for further care and transport back to the U.S. It was he does in the Air Force. It’s what he loves to do. The people in this film are his friends.

2/29/2012

OPEN LETTER TO CNN FROM A CCATT TEAM IN AFGHANISTAN…

Filed under: prairie musings, Tyler Britton USAF, Afghanistan, CCATT — Peg Britton @ 12:22 pm

Open Letter to CNN from a CCATT team in Afghanistan
by Scott Vandehoef on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 10:10am ·

February 20, 2012

Dear Mr. Anderson Cooper and CNN,

Although I am sure that you receive thousands of communication attempts per day, I remain hopeful that this letter will cross your desk, or that of an appropriate staff member.  My name is Adam Tibble, and I am currently deployed at Camp Bastion, in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.  I am a critical care air transport physician for the US Air Force.  My team includes a critical care nurse, Captain Frank Brisendine, and a respiratory therapist, Staff Sargent Robby Wilson.  Together we transport our severely injured soldiers within Afghanistan and onto medical facilities in Germany.  The work represents a difficult paradox for us.  It is incredibly rewarding and heartbreaking at the same time.  The injury patterns inflicted by enemy fire and IEDs (improvised explosive devices) are awe-strikingly severe, and serve to stir emotions rarely experienced by medical personnel.

Just the other day, we flew two critically ill patients to another US hospital within Afghanistan.  Following the mission, my team sat, exhausted, eating lunch at an American dining facility.  CNN played passively on a television in the background, and a large group of US Marines was positioned on our right.  Given the condition of their boots and their aggressive chewing, it was obvious that these guys had just returned from the field “outside the wire.”  For 50 straight minutes, CNN’s coverage failed to deviate from the day-old Whitney Houston tragedy.  I lifted my eyes up from my food as a handful of Marines were clearing their trays.  One Marine leaned back to his buddy after gesturing to the TV and said, “Man, no one gives a shit about what we did yesterday.”

At that moment, I craved for the American public to be informed as much about a Marine’s sacrifice as the life of a music legend.  In no way is this letter an indictment of CNN, its coverage, or Ms. Houston.  In fact, we scour your website, as it is one of the most respected sources of journalism in the world.  Rather, this is a challenge to devote a percentage more coverage to the true heroes in this conflict.

For example, our team had the honor of transporting a special forces medic who suffered incredible injury.  As pragmatic medical minds, we didn’t necessarily believe in a patient “fighting” for their life.  But, this medic changed all of that as he tolerated replacement of his blood volume too many times to count.  He made it to Germany to see his family before succumbing to his wounds.  He represents a real-life “Saving Private Ryan” story as his brother also lost his life in this nearly forgotten conflict.

Or what about the two US Army PFCs (Private First Class) that we flew on the day of Ms. Houston’s overdose?  Each soldier lost two legs and one hand in IED attacks.  In total, six limbs were lost in a matter of seconds on February 11, 2012.  The American public will never know their names, but will likely know the results of Ms. Houston’s blood toxicity screen.  However, we submit that these soldiers are more hero than any rockstar, athlete, or actor that dominates the headlines.  We will never know the courage or bravery it takes to join that convoy or be the first to enter that cave, nor will we forget the sacrifice they made for our country.  CNN is in the unique position to not let the American public forget, either.

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about the 1% and the 99% of America.  Less than 1% of the population belongs to this all-volunteer military that has been tested by two wars for over 10 years.  The political and foreign policy implications of these conflicts make them hard to understand, and even more impossible to hold the general American public interest.  And to be honest, it is sometimes difficult for us to understand as service members.  However, these kids still join that convoy and enter that cave, only because of their incredible bravery, commitment, and because America asked them to.

Therefore, in turn, we plead with one of the most respected news agencies in the world to return the favor–to recognize the elite of our 1%, perhaps with a hero highlighted per week, or per day.  There are thousands of stories out here.  We would be happy to help you find these heroes and stories.  Please ask.  Then, maybe, CNN can tell that Marine in the dining hall that we all, in fact, do give a shit about what they did yesterday.

Sincerely,

Adam Tibble, Captain, USAF, MD
Critical Care Air Transport Physician
Cardiac Anesthesiologist
Travis AFB, Fairfield, CA

Frank Brisendine, Captain, USAF, RN
Critical Care Air Transport RN
Travis AFB, Fairfield, CA

Robert Wilson, Staff Sergeant, USAF, RT
Critical Care Air Transport RT
Travis AFB, Fairfield, CA

10/8/2011

A SOLDIER’S TAKE ON 10 YEARS OF WAR IN AFGHANISTAN…ELLSWORTH’S MAJOR JIMMY HATHAWAY

Filed under: prairie musings, Video, Afghanistan — Peg Britton @ 10:42 am

During Jimmy’s 22 years in the Army, he has actually been to Iraq four times. Desert Storm was his first and he was there around six month. His next three Iraq tours have been for 12 months, 15 months and 12 months. His two Afgan tours (Ranger Special Forces) were for six months each. He also did a six month stint in Kuwait prior to going into Iraq for the second time. Spending holidays with this young man during the past 22 years has been few and far between for his family.

Jimmy enlisted after three semesters at OU, finished his degree. He went to Ranger School and Officer Candidate School after his first tour in Iraq for Desert Storm.

Major Jimmy Hathaway’s mother is Mary Ann Fredrickson of Ellsworth. His grandparents were Vera and Reuben Sparks. He has a host of aunts, uncles and cousins in the area.

8/14/2011

GRANDSONS DREW AND TYLER…BUSY GUYS…

Filed under: prairie musings, Tyler Britton USAF, Drew Britton, Afghanistan — Peg Britton @ 12:33 pm

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Photo by Drew Britton

Grandson Drew just made a quick call to me from the summit of Quandary Peak in Colordao…14,265 feet.  He was so exhilarated…he just loves every inch of the mountains.  His list of 13,000 and 14,000 foot peak successes is growing.

We all have a special fondness for Quandary as our Breck cabin of years ago sat at the foot of the Peak and we had a good view of it and hikers we could spot with a telescope.  It’s not as easy climb because of the altitude and loose rock, but is a favorite among hikers.

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Drew and Sarge on top of Quandary

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Tyler in the center

News from the youngest grandson, Tyler, is good as well.  He’s leaving Afghanistan  this week for Kyrgyzstan and a commercial flight back to Baltimore then San Antonio.  He had 39 missions during this six-month tour and flew severely injured patients, two or three at a time, from the hospital in Bagram to Landstuhl Germany where they get further treatment and are prepared for the flight back to the States.  It will be good to have him back in the U.S.  Sometime next month he’ll be in Ellsworth to be greeted with an ocean of hugs.  Then he’s been assigned to work in Cincinnati at the University Hospital Intensive Care Unit and teach Critical Care Air Transport Team procedures to respiratory therapists.

Thanks for tuning in…

4/22/2011

THE WEEKEND APPROACHETH…

Filed under: prairie musings, family, Tyler Britton USAF, Afghanistan, Ally Britton, CCATT — Peg Britton @ 9:19 am

An Easter basket arrived today complete with a decorated egg nestled in artificial grass all in a red plastic cup tied with a gold bow.  It’s from my friend Claudia. She also brought a grape tomato seedling to plant by my big rock.  I love harvesting little tomatoes right off the vine to eat on the spot.  She’ll have to tend to it to make sure it grows.

Speaking of Easter baskets, it’s about time to start construction on May baskets.  No need to wait around until the last minute to get those little puppies started.

May basket construction was a big thing when I was young and also with our kids.  It’s now a non-event.  I think it went by the wayside with the advent of knobless door handles and front door screens that ruined all the fun with their push button door handles.

Back in the old times, we’d color designs on construction paper, cut a strip from one edge of the paper to serve as a handle and use flour and water paste to stick it all together.  That paste was exasperating. It was no easy task and activity was much simplified after the advent of the stapler and acquisition of  wall paper samples.   After gathering fresh lilacs, tulips and anything else that might be blooming, we’d fill the baskets with the flowers, greenery and a piece or two of candy.  Delivering them was the most fun of all….ringing doorbells and running away, hiding in wait.

The umpteenth repair man just left after replacing all the parts …the ones that make the thing work…on my new Jenn Air oven. We’ve been at this since before Christmas.  Let’s see.  New oven.  Replaced all the parts on a new oven in a series of trips.  Removed the new oven and brought in another new oven.  Now new parts for the second new oven.  I’ve almost given up on having it right for Karen’s precise cookie-baking processes.   If error messages come up on this oven warning us not to use the oven, well, I may just let it go and burn the place down.  Dern.  I love techie stuff but I must have an element in me that sets them crazy.

Now if I could get my phones repaired.  I’ve been working at this since before Thanksgiving last year!

And, my Dell keyboard.  It worked fine until my computer died and now it won’t work.  I’m using an old one, but I’d rather use the new as it’s a better fit.  I have to call my friends in India again to get it repaired/replaced.  I can hardly wait.  It keeps me in touch with the rest of the world by talking with my friends from afar.  Not.

There is a huge hawk hovering overhead looking for breakfast.  I think, but don’t know for certain, it is a sharp-shinned hawk.  It’s a big buster and a frequent visitor. Any small helpless bird serves as prey as it swoops down upon it.  It must be feeding baby hawks as you can see the trail of groceries it carries in its claws as it heads east.  The buzzards are here making a round of inspections for scrapes the hawk left behind.

Grandson Drew will be arriving late tonight from Boulder where he lives and works.  We’re all excited about that.  He won’t have much time but he’ll be treated like a king while he’s here.  His mother always bakes and accumulates things for him to take home.  And, my guess is he’ll arrive with a trunk load of laundry for her to do.  Moms like that.   Ally has made her famous banana nut bread and cookies with K-State colored M&M’s for him.  He gets hugs and a little gas money from grandma.

Youngest grandson Tyler is still in Afghanistan serving his second tour as a respiratory therapist and transporting severely injured soldiers to Germany as a member of CCATT…Critical Care Air Transport Team.  He’ll be there until late summer and upon his return, he’ll be going to Cincinnati where he’ll be working in the ICU at the Cincinnati University Hospital as a civilian respiratory therapist and teaching in the CCATT program that is headquartered there. He’s reenlisting for another four years as he loves what he does and the opportunities are plentiful. It was a good decision.  I wish he could be home this weekend to join what few of us there are in this family.

Someone from the Executive Office of the President was on my blog for 9 minutes and 23 seconds viewing 8 pages yesterday.  That’s the second time that I am aware of.  I rarely check and when I do, I can only determine the town that presumably the visitor is from.  In this case, however, it clearly states it’s the “Executive Office of the President”.  That makes me smile in wonder.  Actually, I know what they were looking for but I will withhold that information for another post.

Thanks for tuning in…

8/5/2010

CNN’S BARBARA STARR FEATURES CCATT WORK IN AFGHANISTAN…

Filed under: political musings, Tyler Britton USAF, Afghanistan — Peg Britton @ 8:06 am

CNN’s Barbara Starr recently featured the work of CCATT …Critical Care Air Transport Teams … in Afghanistan.  It was the first time their work has been featured on television and it’s quite interesting to see how they can transport critically wounded troops from the battlefield back to the U.S. in three days, if necessary.

This is what our grandson, Tyler Britton, did while he was there serving as a respiratory therapist treating critically injured patients.  The three-member team consisting of a doctor, nurse and respiratory therapist  lived, ate and worked side by side for the six months they were in Afghanistan.  There were several teams and they worked on a rotating schedule transferring patients from Kandahar and Bagram to Germany.  They recently returned to their home base in San Antonio.

I don’t think there are words to describe how valuable and rewarding Tyler found this experience to be.

I thought you might enjoy viewing the three segments that aired the first part of this week.  Each segment is about five minutes in duration.

Segment 1

Segment 2

Segment 3

7/14/2010

ELLSWORTH KANSAS HEAT INDEX IS 116 DEGREES…

Filed under: prairie musings, Afghanistan — Peg Britton @ 4:57 pm

It’s 5:50 p.m. and the heat index is 116 degrees.  Humidity is 44%.  If I had been working outside today, I’d know a little about how those stationed in Afghanistan must feel where temperatures exceed that by considerable measure.

The servicemen and women can’t shed their clothes as we are able to do.  They are forced to wear protective gear and carry heavy packs that add additional discomfort.  I’m not sure how Americans stationed there can tolerate those conditions.  We are asking a lot of our young men and women.

7/7/2010

DOWNTOWN ELLSWORTH, ROBSON BROTHERS STONE WALL, AND OTHER THOUGHTS

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Lunch time brings added activity on main street.  Here are a couple of my faves who stopped for a quick chat…Deneen and Ally. Each was heading in a different direction for lunch.

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The stone masons, Brothers Robson, are finishing the decorative wall forming a base for the new, attractive fence surrounding the play ground at the grade school.

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See how nice this looks?  It’s a tremendous improvement  over the old chain link fence that preceded it.

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The view on Douglas Avenue.  The fence was constructed by the inmates at the ECF.

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Paden’s was a busy place, as usual. Salmon patties, mixed veggies, and fried potatoes formed the special for the day for $5.95.  Their homemade coconut cream pie was too much to resist.

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The north half of Rohrman’s Village Mall is getting an uplift.  It will also be a nice improvement.

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Work continues on the middle section of the Citizens State Bank and Trust.  Window glass is being installed so they are making good progress on the project.  The faux door goes between the two windows.

Downtown Ellsworth is looking better each day.

They reported this morning that divorce is contagious.  I can’t argue with this after observing on what goes on around me.  It’s pretty obvious in a small town.

If a close friend’s marriage is on the rocks, your chance of a marital split increases by 75%, according to research reported in the Daily Mail.

Even the divorce of a friend of a friend increases your chances of getting unhitched by one-third, according to the research.

Lindsay Lohan gets 90 days in jail and 90 days in rehab.  She makes very poor decisions and doesn’t tell the truth.  It’s sad as she doesn’t need to be in prison, but there’s no doubt she needs a wake up call.  She’s been on probation since 2007 and is on a very self destructive course. What is a parent to do?

Did you know that more than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one — not industry, not government — is checking to see if they are leaking, an Associated Press investigation shows.

Something we already knew:  Kansas is to the right of right.  According to a Rasmussen poll, Sam Brownback leads Democratic challenger Tom Holland 59 to 31 percent.  No surprise there.  What is surprising is that a whopping 69% of Kansans surveyed support repeal of the health care reform bill (compared to 60% nationally).  And, 27% of Kansans surveyed consider themselves members of the tea party movement, compared with just 16% nationally.

Sixty-one percent (61%) of Kansas voters support offshore oil drilling, and 49% also favor deepwater drilling like the kind that led to the current oil leak disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Twenty-nine percent (29%) oppose deepwater drilling, but 22% more are not sure about it.  Go figger.

Rachel Maddow’s report live from Afghanistan last night was enlightening.  She’ll be on again tonight live at 8:00 Central on MSNBC.  She also has pictures, videos and more information on her website:   http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/

In thinking about Rachel Maddow and the tough time she is having adjusting to the heat reminds me:  The U.S. now uses more electricity to cool our homes and workplaces than Africa uses for everything.

Tyler ought to be eligible to head home from Afghanistan in 10 days.  Who knows when that will actually happen.

Thanks for tuning in…

6/22/2010

THE RUNAWAY GENERAL…GEN. STANLEY MCCRYSTAL

Filed under: political musings, Afghanistan — Peg Britton @ 8:03 pm

Here’s the story in Rolling Stone…

6/21/2010

A LITTLE OF THIS AND THAT…

Filed under: prairie musings, family, friends, Tyler Britton USAF, Afghanistan — Peg Britton @ 12:12 pm

The Karate Kid was a good movie, in my estimation, but then I tend to like that kind of movie  where the good guy wins in the end and the neighborhood bully learns a lesson.  It’s a movie you can take your kids to see.  Maybe that’s what I find endearing about it.

Minus the kids in the family, Karen and I took Todd to the movie and out for dinner to celebrate his position as head honcho in the family.  An earned and well-deserved position.  He has been a very good father to his boys and a good son.  Drew called him a couple of times from Boulder and Tyler got a satellite call through for a few minutes from Afghanistan.  We seem never to get to end a conversation with him as we’re consistently cut off.  We had a good day and arrived home early in the evening before the sky turned black and ominous.

We went to Logan’s for dinner, which was good.  I had broiled salmon, baked sweet potato and skewered veggies.  Todd also had salmon and Karen had baby back ribs.  We cleaned our plates as it was all very good.

I stopped by Ellsworth Packing this morning to get some filets, single wrapped and frozen.  It’s not easy to cook for one, so when I feel a need for a piece of meat, which isn’t all that often, I can pull out a filet mignon and have it for dinner.  If Ally joins me, she prefers chicken.  If I’m going to eat alone, I’m not going to cut corners and eat leftovers ALL the time.  Rodney also has fresh ground beef…not frozen, not old, not gray…available on Tuesdays and Fridays.  It’s 80% lean, or better, and sells for about $2.50 a pound.  You can be assured it is fresh ground beef.

The folks at the packing plant reported we had a half inch of rain last night.  They always seem to know those things.  The rain caused it to be steamy this morning as temperatures rise toward 100 degrees.  The heat index will reach 106 this afternoon and I have no intention of budging from the house.

Marie Callender’s has recalled its single serving chicken and rice dinners. My purchases of that showed up on my ticket which Dillon’s records electronically.  I got a call yesterday telling me to return my purchase to the store and not eat it because there might be a danger of salmonella contamination.  They didn’t say what to do if I’d already eaten them, weeks ago. They didn’t inquire about my well-being.

Tomorrow I’m having birthday lunch with two of my long-time friends  and a relatively new one from Salina.   I’m very much looking forward to being with Ivy, Shirley and Shannon. If you’d told me I’d  live to see 82, and be celebrating with friends like this, I would have bet the farm against any such thing ever happening.  Another day, another lease on life.

Speaking of living, as I was…I had blood tests recently and my A1C blood sugar level was 5.8 which is remarkable for anyone.  Mine has been running 6.1 which is in the A+ excellent range, so to have it even lower yet raised my suspicions and I asked that they run it again.  Yes, 5.8 they said.  My cholesterol  is 185 without any medication.  My blood pressure is low, without any medication.  So, the only thing I have to treat is Lupus!  Amazing what old age can bring.  Now if my hair would only get curly again.  I loved the curls that I had for several months, but they’ve disappeared again.

I’ve heard here and there from friends that Fat Boyz seems to be slipping in quality.  A friend and her husband went there Saturday night for dinner, had hamburgers and said they wouldn’t go back for a repeat.  She said the salads looked very good, but they didn’t order salad.  I’ve only eaten there a couple of times and never could see what the big deal was in the first place.  The filet I ordered on one occasion was tender but absolutely flavorless.  But then, I like my steaks marinated, or at least well-seasoned before they are cooked.  Options for good food around here are few and far between.

Grandson Tyler is about to slide out of Afghanistan and back to San Antonio, his permanent base.   His replacement, he thinks, could arrive there by the middle of July.  He can’t get home soon enough for me as the situation in Afghanistan isn’t improving as far as  I can see.  He has another year of duty until his release date in July 2011.  He may choose to stay in the Air Force.  It’s his call, of course.  He’s been making good choices all along, and will on this one.

Claudia came to check on the trees she and Ally planted and brought me a loaf of fresh, warm zucchini bread…and it’s wonderful.

The clouds are gathering again.

Thanks for tuning in …

6/14/2010

U.S. DISCOVERS NEARLY $1 TRILLION IN UNTAPPED MINERAL DEPOSITS IN AFGHANISTAN

Filed under: political musings, Afghanistan — Peg Britton @ 2:44 pm

The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.

The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be  transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.

Read more…

MEDIA DISCOVERS LARGE POCKETS OF MINERALS IN AFGHANISTAN

By: David Dayen Monday June 14, 2010 12:45 pm

Does this rainbow over mountains in Afghanistan point to a proverbial pot of gold?

I say that the media discovered them because the front-page article in the New York Times today had upped the chatter quotient on mineral deposits in Afghanistan that were found a long time ago. The World Bank wrote about Afghanistan’s mineral development in 2004. China has already begun to mine in Afghanistan, with the Kabul government providing them the lease on a copper mine in 2007 (they have to build a power plant and a railroad to get the copper out of the mine and into the supply chain; nobody seems to be talking about the infrastructure challenges). And the Wall Street Journal reported on the Afghan mining industry and how it was inviting more bids for copper, iron ore and other mineral development in August 2009.

Read More…

5/22/2010

NATO BASE IN KANDAHAR ATTACKED BY INSURGENTS…

Filed under: family, political musings, Tyler Britton USAF, Afghanistan — Peg Britton @ 4:05 pm

The Taliban declared that they are launching an offensive this month, which would be called al Fateh, or victory. The aim of the offensive is to surround and take over coalition bases.

Grandson Tyler was involved today in that attack on Kandahar but in a call just a few minutes ago to his brother, Drew, he reported he was okay.  He was  in a bunker for two hours and escaped uninjured.  There were deaths and injuries but no one in his CSTARS unit was injured.  He only had a few minutes to pass on the message as his unit was starting to fly the injured to Germany.  It will probably be several days before we hear from him again.

Here is a good video of one of the hospitals (Bagram) where Tyler works.

And, an article just hit the news wire…
By Joby Warrick and Joshua Partlow
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 22, 2010; 3:07 PM

KANDAHAR AIR FIELD, AFGHANISTAN — Insurgents launched a brazen ground and rocket attack late Saturday against NATO’s largest military base in southern Afghanistan, wounding several coalition troops, military officials said.

NATO base in Kandahar attacked by insurgents. More of the story…

And more…

The temperature there is 118 degrees +- …and it’s a war.  He can’t return home soon enough for me.  If the bases there aren’t safe, none of our personnel there can be out of harm’s way.

4/21/2010

AFGHAN BOY…

Filed under: prairie musings, Tyler Britton USAF, Afghanistan — Peg Britton @ 8:20 am

afghan-boy.jpg

I’m posting this photo of a young Afghani boy just as a reminder we are waging a war in Afghanistan.  There seems to be so little interest in what we are doing there, or even why we are there.  I have to search through papers to find information about our progress, or lack of it. The embedded journalists left after the fall of Baghdad to work independently of the military.  Have they too lost interest?

Like many other grandmothers, I have a grandson in Afghanistan.  He’s safe enough behind the wire and isn’t in the field risking his life on a daily basis  so I don’t worry about his well-being.  He’s a CSTARS respiratory therapist and when he isn’t transporting patients to another hospital for further treatment, he volunteers at a NATO trauma hospital treating war casualties who are brought there…many of them children like the one above.  It has to be heart-breaking to see children who have so little to start with also  being subjected to the ravages of war.

prince-of-wales-25-mar-2010.jpg

HRH Charles the Prince of Wales made a surprise visit last month to visit the British troops in Afghanistan.

Thanks for remembering…

2/1/2010

SARAH PALIN, AFGHANISTAN, GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY…ETC.

A friend and I drove to Wilson tonight to get a cheeseburger from Made From Scratch.  Their homemade  potato chips and curly fries…both made on site with real potatoes with the skins left on…are also worth the drive.  When I see the cook in the kitchen shaping the thick burger and flopping it on the grill, I know I’m in for a treat.  It’s also worth the drive for a piece of homemade pie.  I forgot my camera, as usual, but they had just taken a half dozen or so pies out of the oven. They have a huge run on their pies so they are constantly baking them…all from scratch, of course.  They have every kind imaginable and they are all fresh and delicious.  Last night they had probably a dozen varieties to choose from and they are all very, very good.

My friend bought a “table” for Sarah Palin’s dinner and speech that is coming up in Salina, if Sarah shows.  Once again, she offered me a ticket to join her, but I have not the slightest interest in going to hear Sarah.  Like my friend “Margaret” says: Sarah’s problems come because every time you stick a microphone in front of her mouth a whole lot of stupid falls out.  I’ve never heard her speak when that wasn’t the case. Margaret is very wise.  She also said Palin “mixes religion and politics like I mix gin and tonic but then calls for less government involvement.  Freedom from government is her battle cry until a vagina gets involved and then watch how much involvement she wants.  Show me a woman who is making a private medical decision to end a pregnancy and I’ll show you a Palin screaming for more government involvement.”

There was a National Geographic program tonight about Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province Afghanistan.  It’s an excellent program about our involvement there and the thousands of additional troops that are being filtered through that camp.  Interestingly enough, I’d already seen most of the documentary in smaller segments that I’d Googled on YouTube. If you have a chance to see it, I think you’ll find it eye-opening.

I visited on Skype tonight with one of my new friends, Stanley, who is from California, but grew up in K.C. and had relatives in Salina.  He’s a retired nuclear physicist  and  heavy into chemical makeups of foods and various dietary components. He is the one who recommended virgin coconut oil to me. I’m now using it exclusively. I’ve since learned there are several people around here who have been using it a year or more.  Stanley is patient and explains things very well, which in my case, is a necessity.  He recommended a book…The Diet Evolution by Dr. Steven Gundry, which I’ll find used on Amazon and wade through one of these days.

Except for a major pain in the ankle (which is why I’m up at this hour), I’m feeling better.  Joint aches and pains have filtered away. Who knows what to credit for that, but I believe it must be either the coconut oil (Stanley thinks so) or Knox Nutra Joint stuff my friend in FL recommended.  Neither can harm me, so I’m continuing with both and keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll soon be moving around without my joints creaking and hurting.

That reminds me that two separate friends from afar both recommended the same book to me:  Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. My thoughts ran there after talking about potatoes and another book.

I love Skype, btw.  You might want to contact a friend and  give it a try.  I have had very successful video visits with friends in Halifax NS, England, Alaska, FL and CA, for openers.  Some have not been very successful.  I have a lot yet to learn about the program. It’s free.

It’s going to be cold and party cloudy today.  I’ll get my mail later on, but other than that, Ringo and I will hang out at home where it’s warm. That may be all Ringo and I do for a few days except that I am going to Salina on Thursday to have lunch with my friends Shannon, Ivy and Shirley at the Coop.  They apparently have very good veggie pizza and salads.  I’d like to go to Art Rush that night, if possible. It’s always fun.

Tomorrow is Ground Hog Day. Celebrate!

Thanks for tuning in…

1/11/2010

PUT IT IN PERSPECTIVE…TERRORISM AND DRUNK DRIVING…

Filed under: prairie musings, political musings, Afghanistan — Peg Britton @ 2:21 pm

We’ve been taught to tremble at the thought of “terrorism” by the Bush-Cheney administration as if it were the most important, horrible, awful thing in the world to guard against.  If you spread enough fear, as was their tactic…and it remains Cheney’s goal in the hope of exonerating himself from previous mistakes… people will react without thinking and will be instilled with unreasonable fear.  Amber alert. Red alert.

Fear.

I don’t know what the chances are that I will be killed by a terrorist, but I believe it would pale in comparison to many other events I possibly could encounter such as being struck by lightning, drowning in a Katrina-like flood or swept up in a tornado. None of them are anything other than very remote possibilities, especially if I take precautions.  Certainly, they are nothing to spend time worrying about. I also don’t spend time thinking about terrorist attacks.

Stop and reflect that the number of U.S. lives lost to terrorism and the wars on terrorism since 2001 is less than 10,000.  That is a huge loss and caused enormous pain and suffering to the families of the fallen.  Certainly, those numbers shouldn’t be taken lightly or diminished in importance, but they pale in comparison to the more than 100,000 lives that have been lost to alcohol-related traffic deaths in the same time period.

Think:  Fewer than 10,000 U.S. lives lost to terrorism or the war on terrorism since 2001.

Think:  More than 100,000 lives lost because of alcohol-related traffic accidents on America’s highways since 2001.

This seems a fair question to ask:  Who are our real enemies?  What if those numbers had been reversed?  Why isn’t a drunk driver every bit as much a terrorist as one who comes to do us harm from a foreign land?

If we spent a fraction of the money on eliminating drunk driving, aggressive driving and excessive speed as we do on the war on terrorism, the savings in human life would be enormous.

In my opinion, the war on terrorism is one we cannot win with the direction we have taken.  We are following the same path of the Soviet Union that went bankrupt in the process.  Since the beginning, our financial collapse has been the main goal of our enemies and, one could say, they seem to be on the road to success.

It’s a matter of perspective.

12/27/2009

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS NECESSARY IN AFGHANISTAN

Filed under: political musings, Afghanistan — Peg Britton @ 1:32 pm

Neiman Watchdog reports:
Columbia University economist Jeffrey D. Sachs, one of the foremost experts on extreme poverty in underdeveloped nations, says it is past time for the United States to end its war in Afghanistan, the world’s fifth poorest nation. In an interview with Nieman Watchdog in November, Sachs said the United States should reverse its priorities and fund major sustainable development programs, which would not only help reduce Afghanistan’s overwhelming poverty but would be a surer way to help achieve greater U.S. security.

The poverty in Afghanistan is almost beyond imagining. Thirty Afghans die from TB every day; life expectancy is 43 years; per capita income is $426; only 13% have access to sanitary drinking water; fewer than one in four are literate; access to electricity is among the lowest in the world. Conditions for women are brutal. If Obama plans to address these issues, he’s pretty much keeping it secret, points out world poverty expert Jeffrey Sachs. But without addressing them,  can stepped-up American military involvement succeed? Or is it bound to fail?

As Sachs wrote last May in The Guardian newspaper of London, U.S. foreign policy “has failed in recent years mainly because the U.S. has relied on military force to address problems that demand development assistance and diplomacy. Young men become fighters in places such as Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan because they lack gainful employment. Extreme ideologies influence people when they can’t feed their families, and when lack of access to family planning leads to an unwanted population explosion.”

This applies particularly to Afghanistan and the neighboring provinces of Pakistan, which “are impoverished regions, with vast unemployment, bulging youth populations, prolonged droughts, widespread hunger and pervasive economic deprivation. It is easy for the Taliban and al-Qaida to mobilize fighters under such conditions.” With improved economic conditions, a major recruiting tool for the Taliban and al-Qaida – as well as extremists’ threats to the United States – would be substantially weakened.
This is a must read, imo.  Obama’s Military Conundrum


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