Til The Last Shot’s Fired

This weekend signals the beginning of the summer.  Families from all over the US will be hopping on airplanes, cars, boats, and trains, heading out for a weekend vacation of sorts.

But what is this weekend really all about?  It is called Memorial Day. It is a time set aside to honor all our military veterans, whether they served in war or peace, whether they survived or whether they gave their lives as the ultimate price to pay for freedom.  Without out these men and women we would not be able to do whatever it is that we choose to do this weekend or any other day of the week.

Therefore, let my grateful words thank you for the nights you slept freezing in a tent or sweating in the desert, for the lonely days you spent missing your loved ones, for the hours you spent sick in pain and without someone holding your hand, for the moments of sheer fright in the heat of battle, for the wounds you have suffered fighting evil, for the endless days in hospitals undergoing painful surgeries, for the precious occasions you have missed back at home. For all of these sacrifices I thank you on behalf of my family who are so grateful for you. We truly appreciate these sacrifices.

And for those who returned in eternal sleep, may their legacy be honored for generations to come, may the tears shed over their coffins fertilize the fields of patriotism in our nation to raise a new generation built on strength and honor, able and willing to follow in their footsteps when duty calls to defend America. May their blood not have been shed in vain. Finally, may we prove worthy of their sacrifice!

So, my friends, take a few minutes this coming weekend and pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Freedom always come with a price, never it is free.  After all it is not about the war, however, it is all about the warrior!

“Say a prayer for peace for for our daughters and our sons.  Set our spirits free.  Let us lay down our guns.  Sweet Mother Mary we’re so tired.  No we can’t come home til the last shot’s fired!”

Check out his video, listen to the words they are very moving!


So Long And Farewell, My Friend

(Jerry Dean Noblett)

It was the “summer of 1969” that I met you in the that unforgettably hot gymnasium at Fresno State.  However, it was a cool late spring morning on May 24, 2010, that I said my final farewell to you, my friend.

Jerry, I know that you were watching from above and wondering what all the fuss was about?  Well, my friend, you touched many people during your visit here on Earth.  Your honesty, kindness, and sincerity was always evident.  Your presence cast a huge shadow among friends and family that can not erased.

You know I once heard a saying that has always stuck with me. It goes like this:

“It is not what you take with you when you leave this Earth, rather, it is what you leave on this Earth when you are gone.”

Jerry what you have left on this Earth as your legacy is your honesty, integrity, and courage.  Those three traits embodied what Jerry Dean Noblett was all about.  The courage was most definitely personified in the last few months of your life, battling heart and kidney disease.  Only your family know just how courageous you were.

For those of us that have had the privilege of knowing you and calling you their friend, we will forever miss you!

So I say, with a very empty and heavy heart, so long and farewell my friend.  I will miss you!

PS  Keep the pinnacle game ready for Detjen, Bomprezzi, and me, ok!

It Was The Summer Of 1969

Former Madera Chief of Police Jerry Dean Noblett
It was the summer of peace, love, and harmony, the year of Woodstock, it was the end of the summer of 1969.  I had just graduated from high school and I was moving on to start my college education at my home town college, Fresno State College later renamed California State University, Fresno.
I was busy scrambling trying to enroll into my very first semester of classes.  The freshmen were all in the school gym running between the different desks trying to get into the classes that they needed.  I was no different than the rest, a young uninformed 18 year old trying desperately to get my required classes.
As the frustrations mounted I was feeling hopelessly lost.  I felt this tap on my shoulder and when I turned around it was a fellow student to my dismay.  He starting joking about this registration fiasco and we both began to laugh.  He told me his name, Jerry Noblett, and introduced me to one of his friends, Steve Detjen.  They both went to school together in Madera, CA.
As it turned out all three of us were going to be Criminology majors.  Wow, what are the chances of meeting new friends and all three were going to study Criminology?
Through the four years at Fresno State, we were like “The Three Musketeers”!  We scheduled all our classes together, had lunch together, played pinnacle together,bowled together, and played pool together.  In 1971 I got married and both Jerry and Steve were groomsmen in my wedding.  The friendship was solid.
In June of 1973 I graduated and went into the US Air Force to become a pilot.  Jerry went into law enforcement with the Madera County Sheriffs Department, then on to the Madera Police Department.
Jerry spent more than 20 years with the Madera Police Department.  My buddy was a special person, it showed in the way his career unfolded and the way that he rose up through the ranks at the police department.  He ultimately rose to the position of Madera Chief of Police, quite a prestigious and honorable position.
Last month I got notification from Steve that Jerry had developed serious heart and kidney problems and was being transported to the University of San Francisco Medical facilities to await a heart transplant.  As recently as last week it looked like Jerry was going to be the recipient of a heart transplant, however that did not happen.
Monday morning I was notified by Steve Detjen that our friend, Jerry, had lost his battle with heart and kidney disease.  Jerry Dean Noblett, husband, father, grandfather, former Chief of Police, and my oldest friend, had pasted from this life!
Jerry was a very humble, very honest, and very a hard working man.  I feel very proud and honored to have been able to call Jerry Dean Noblett one of my oldest, and long-time friends.
Go rest high on that mountain, Jerry, your work on Earth is done.
Farewell my friend, your legacy will always be remembered by those of us that are left here!
It was the summer of 1969!
Click on this video!


A Real Surprise Birthday Party!

Editor’s note:
How many times have we either planned a surprise birthday party or been the intended recipient of a surprise birthday party?  It almost never works!  Well, Karen was involved in planning and pulling off a perfect surprise party for her sister, Kathy aka KK, who celebrated her 60th birthday on April 14th.  Here is Karen’s story of just how the party went!

So, last summer while visiting my family in Atlanta, my son’s girlfriend, Ginger, suggested that we plan a surprise 60th birthday party the following April for my sister Kathy.   I was all onboard with the idea, as Kathy is the one person that we have all leaned on for many, many years and no one was more deserving of a “surprise” birthday than her…
Around the first of March, 2010, Ginger calls me and says that she has booked the venue for K.K.’s party (a really cool log cabin) and we need to get the ball rolling on the other plans, etc.. Being that I live in AZ and the party is going to be in Peachtree City, GA, I knew that I had to be there at least a week ahead of time, but that was going to work out perfectly, since the Grands were going to be out of school for Spring Break.. I could kill two birds with one stone… Kathy’s friend, Daleen, who lives in Huntsville, AL, said that her daughter would make the invitations, so that was one less problem that I had to worry about being so far away and ShiAnne, the invites were beautiful.  She handmade each one differently using her scrapbooking skills and they were unique, to say the least.
I get to Atlanta a week before the party, actually the day before Easter, and spent a wonderful Easter weekend with my son Mark and his family, my sister and all of Ginger’s family !!!  Now, all I have to do is sharpen up my “party” skills and it should be a piece of cake for the following weekend…  It has been a long time since I threw a big party, but an extremely longggggg time since I threw a surprise party and keep it a secret, especially when you are with that person every day…  I totally lost count of how many times I ALMOST slipped up and spilled the beans ~~~ how easy it was to be telling Kathy something and before I knew it, I was tying it right into the party …..I don’t know if I covered myself well or if she just wasn’t paying attention to what I was saying, but the cat never got out of the bag by some miracle..!
Ginger concocted a reason for getting K.K. to the party, but the first obstacle that I had to work around was the out-of-town guests who were coming… Linda, Daleen and ShiAnne were planning on coming up on Sat., from Huntsville, get a hotel room in Peachtree City and be at the party when Kathy got there.. On Thursday Daleen called me and said that she couldn’t stand the idea of driving all the way there and have to “hide out”, when they could come on Friday and we could be together all weekend… Now, all I had to do was come up with a reason for why they were coming and start the house cleaning without being too obvious.. especially since Kathy telecommutes from home on Fridays.
I went back and forth in my mind about whether I should tell her that they were coming up for the weekend, under the guise that we were going to take her out to dinner for her birthday, or just let that be a surprise, too…Well, a surprise it was when they arrived around 10:00 PM on Friday !!!  She was almost asleep in her recliner and when the door bell rang and me thinking it was them, I opened the door ~ only to have my sister-in-law standing there… Hmmmm, well I invited her in and shut the door and before I could turn around and walk into the family room, in come the Huntsville girls screaming “surprise”….They had pulled into the driveway at the same time Tammy did, so Tammy came in first, while they hid where I couldn’t see them…  Kathy looked as if she had just seen a ghost and it took several seconds for it to sink in, since she had almost been asleep… Loved the look on her face  :)……..
We told Kathy that they had come up for all of us to take her out to dinner the following evening (Sat.), since her birthday actually fell on the following Wednesday and they had to work…  Well, she fell for the story and I had that first hurdle covered.   Kathy and her friend Linda decided to do yard work all day on Sat., so that gave Daleen and me a chance to do the last minute “stuff”…. Errand, errands, errands… At 4:00 we could get into the venue to start decorating, setting things up and at 5:00 I had to pick up all of the BBQ stuff that I had ordered..  We arrived back at Kathy’s around 5:30, to find her and Linda still outside working in the yard… I told her that they had to quit and get in the shower, because our dinner reservation was at 7:00…
I had told Mark that he should call me between 6:30 and 6:45, so that we could put our plan into action.   The plan was for me to tell Kathy that they had been at a poker tournament and had been drinking beer and didn’t want to drive to the restaurant, so they would need for someone to come pick them up.. My sister who never gets ready in a hurry was suddenly ready at 6:30 !!!  There she is, standing in the middle of her great room, purse on her shoulder saying that she is ready to head out…. Quick thinking on my part I say that I have to go potty and give Leon a quick call.   Well, I actually called Mark and said that he had to call in the next couple of minutes !!!  Panic….. this is going faster than I had thought it would….
Three minutes later Mark calls and puts the ball totally in my court, as he just sits on the phone and makes me carry the whole conversation ~~ both sides of it… Little turd… Anyway I hold the phone away from my ear and say “Mark and Ginger have been drinking at the poker tournament and need a ride”….
WELL, that just set Miss Kathy off !!!  “How could they do such a stupid thing when they knew perfectly well that we had dinner reservations” ..  Blah, blah, blah….  : )   ….. I said, “Well, someone has to go get them and I’m not sure where this place is, so you talk to him”…  (Uh, I knew perfectly well where it was, as I had made a half dozen trips there all afternoon, but couldn’t tell her that.)
So at this point I suggest that she go get them and Daleen chirped in and said that she would ride with Kathy and the rest of us would ahead to the restaurant and be there for the reservation.  Do I have to tell you how livid my sister was at this point….well, livid hardly describes her mood, she was totally P/Oed….  I had already told Daleen when I got the phone call from Mark, that she had to suddenly say that she wasn’t feeling well and had to go to the ladies room, so that we could get a head start…  She did good, because she stayed in there for over 5 minutes, looking at her watch…lol…. Also, she had decided that she would make Kathy stop at  Wendy’s to get her a soda to help “settle her stomach”…LOL….   We knew perfectly well that there was a Wendy’s on the way, because we had stopped there earlier to get a burger !!!
Ginger’s brother, Eric, had gone upstairs in the log cabin ,where we were having the party, to be on the watch-out for Kathy’s arrival from a window…Once he announced that she had pulled up,well, “pulled up” is not real fitting ~~ she came squealing into the parking lot on two smoking tires and the first thing she did was call Mark’s cell phone… Of course he had been instructed not to answer it and when he didn’t, she called Ginger’s phone…  Still no answer, so the next thing she did was lay on the horn for what seemed forever…. By now my sister is BEYOND seeing red, so Daleen said “just go to the door and get them” ~~~ all of this time you have to imagine the language coming out of my sweet sisters mouth ~ to which she replied she wasn’t going to the *$@* door, how inconsiderate they were for doing this and I think was ready to pull away when Daleen said that she would go to the door with her….and opened the door and started getting out, before Kathy could throw it in drive and peel rubber once again !!!  ha ha ha
All I can say is that I saw red, as in F-I-R-E, smoke coming out of her ears, nose and mouth when she threw the door open ~~~only to be greeted with “SURPRISE”………….Had my face not been the first one that she saw, she might not have immediately put it all together, but she was as shocked and surprised as I’ve ever seen her.   This hardly describes all of the frustration she suffered before getting there and in the parking lot, but it was one of those “priceless” moments that I’ll remember forever..!!!
Leon has his 60th coming up in Feb. and honey, I’ll be happy to give you a big party, but it will be a long time before I want to do the surprise route again.  It is just too hard for me to keep a secret and I don’t know if I could pull another one off again…
It was all worth it for the worlds most wonderful sister, but once is enough…..We had a great time, good food and the best friends there ~~~ what more could you ask for…?

The United-Continental Merger

(photo courtesy UnitedContinentalMerger.com)

This past weekend the  board of directors of both United Airlines and Continental Airlines voted in favor of merging the two airlines into one entity.  The new airline will be know as United Airlines.  However, the livery will be that of the Continental Airlines paint scheme with the word United on the fuselage.  The CEO of the newly merged airline will be the CEO of Continental, while the United CEO will become the non-executive Chairman of the Board.

The proposed merger is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter following government approval.

For further facts regarding the merger, click on UnitedContinental.


That Will Be 5 Cents, Please!

I wondered out this morning in Washington D.C. for a bit of lunch.  I knew exactly where I was heading, Chipotle!  Yes siree, give me that Barbacoa Burrito.  I couldn’t wait for that scrumptious combination to go” down the hatch”!  Boy oh boy, it sure was delicious.

Now the plan, on the walk back to the hotel, was to stop at the Rite Aid store for a “big” bottle of Diet Coke.  So I stroll into the store scouring the isles for their beverage area.  Eureka, I found it!  So I scooped up the jug of liquid gold and headed to the cash register.  Here it is Sunday morning about 11:45 am, the streets a teeming with locals out for their morning walk.  The area is bustling.

But unfortunately, there is only 1 person working the cash register. Can you believe that, just one cashier!  The line is about 10 people deep waiting to check out.  So I patiently waited in line for my time.  I put my diet coke up on the counter and proceed to pay for it.  I was given my change and the receipt.  Meanwhile,I was waiting for the checker to put my purchase in a plastic bag so that I could carry my highly prized diet coke back to my hotel room.  The cashier  motioned to the next customer to put his purchase up on the counter.  I then asked the cashier if he could put my “lifeline” in a plastic bag, please.

I felt that it was not an outlandish request.  This is the reply that I heard. “That will be five cents please”! I said “excuse me”!  He reiterated that will be a five cent charge.  Before I could even formulate an intelligent response I heard this spew out of my mouth,”you gotta be sh***ing me“!  He looked somewhat aghast to that reply.  Again that phrase flew out of my lips, “really you gotta be sh***ing me”! He then looked like he had been hit by a ton of it!  I grabbed my diet coke and very quickly departed the store before my lips got me into further trouble with the cashier.

Nonetheless, I find that practice to be totally unacceptable!  The store sell products that the customer needs, makes a sizable profit on those products, and now has the audacity to charge for bags to carry your purchases out of the store!  REDICULOUS !


That will be 5 cents is BIG BS! What do you think?