military

A Quick Thought On Memorial Day

This is a repost of last year’s Memorial Day post. I don’t think I could say it any better.

While it’s never wrong to thank a veteran for his or her service, that is not what today is for. Save that for Veteran’s Day. Today we remember the ones who never got to take off the uniform, those that never came home, the ones that paid that ultimate sacrifice. So we do not “celebrate” Memorial Day, we respect what it stands for. Now granted I will have my cookout and drink several adult beverages, after all, it is an extra day off of work. But in the back of my mind, and hopefully yours too, we will remember our brothers and sisters of all branches of the military and hope that their sacrifice wasn’t in vain. As an Army retiree and the proud father of a soldier, today weighs heavily on me and my family, I am so very grateful for those that served before me and after me. So lift a glass of whatever beverage you choose, and thank those we can only remember, those who fell on the battlefields the world over. And pray that the wars will end, and peace will reign. Amen.

Peace,
B

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Retired Army

Scotland 2019 – Day 4

Only two stops today, and a much shorter coach ride.

The reference map.

I will admit that as of tonight, last night’s hotel was the worst. The room was hot. It may been 50°F outside, but the windows would barely open, there was no fan available, and the down filled duvet was so damn thick and heavy that sleeping was next to impossible.

But we are Scots so we put it behind us. Our first stop of the day would be the Culloden Battlefield. I will admit that I had some major trepidations visiting this battlefield. I had the same feelings when I visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC some years ago.

I have always read that the Argyll Campbell’s were loyalists to the British crown. According to my sources the Argyleshire men were stationed on the left flank of the army. They’re mission was to pull down a wall and stop the Jacobite cavalry from entering the fray. And history tells us, they were successful. So I expected to find a marker of some sort that backed this up.

To the left of this point stood Cobham Fir Earra Ghaidheal – the Argyleshire Men.

So Campbell of Argyll was here. But what about the other Campbell houses? Argyll may have become the big house, but there are others. Loudon, Cawdor and Breadelbane. We’re they there? And if so, we’re they Jacobite or loyalists?

There were Campbell Jacobites as well. I am strong enough to admit that I was overcome with emotion when I found this memorial. I knelt down and poured a dram of single malt out over the ground to honor the men of the Clan on both sides of this conflict.

I also saw a restoration of part of the wall as well.

It’s a bit hard to see, but what’s left of the wall is just in front of the trees

Culloden has a very nice cairn commerating the battle.

There is also a now restored cottage on the field that was there in 1746.

But the day was not all doom and gloom. Our other stop for the day was at a working sheep farm for a demonstration of border collies. Wifey had been looking forward to this. We have seen sheepdog demonstrations before, but not of this size. This farm has about 3000 sheep on about 11000 acres. The shepard has 18 border collies working with him, and several puppies from 8 months or so, to a new litter only one week old!

Dog momma (wifey) and one of the bigger puppies.

Then it was a quick trip to the Atholl Palace Hotel. A Victorian Era “spa” hotel. We can only hope that tonight is more comfortable.

We are here for two days. Tomorrow is a visit to Blair Castle and the Blair Atholl Distillery. That will be interesting.

Peace,

B

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Aye! We found a piper! In Scotland!

What’s Stuck In My Head – 18 April

A.K.A. The anxious edition..

While you are reading this (you are reading this and not just jumping to see which video I’m using this time, right??), I’m sitting in my dentist’s chair having yet another crown done. This isn’t just another crown, it’s a replacement crown for a job done only 14 months ago. Sheesh..

I do have a moderate phobia of dentists. Which is a bit odd when you consider that I went through several years of orthodontic works as a teenager with no real issues. Plus, the fact that I spent the majority of my young adult life as an Army Combat Medic (equivalent to a Paramedic).  I taught many classes on giving immunizations and even intravenous (IV) classes.  I’ve given myself an IV (as a demonstration), and even sutured both of my sons.  Needles and blood are not the problem.

The problem started long ago. In 1986 to be exact.  I was leaving Fort Bragg, NC the next day.  My wife and son (only had the one at the time), were leaving first to Florida to drop them off, then I was headed to Fort Greely Alaska.  This particular afternoon, I was playing racquetball with a few of friends that were staying at Fort Bragg.  While running to the back wall of the court my ankle turned and I went face first into that concrete back wall. I ended up shattering my right front tooth (number 8 if you’re really interested).

Upon arrival at Fort Greely, as with any military posting, you must turn in your personnel, education, medical, and dental records at the appropriate offices.  When I showed up at the dental clinic, they immediately scheduled an appointment with the dentist to have that shattered tooth evaluated.

Here’s the kicker.  About 20 years before this I was hit in the mouth by a baseball.  This damaged the tooth extensively, and according to the family dentist the tooth was “dead”.  I had no feeling in the tooth, and it yellowed quickly.

I told the dentist in Alaska the story and she decided I needed a root canal.  I wasn’t really surprised that she wanted one, but since the tooth had been damaged so long ago, I wasn’t sure it was really needed.

Now, I don’t know if this dentist was right out of school or what. But it was almost three hours in the chair, and so many injections of lidocaine; all for naught.  In the end all she could say was the root was too calcified to her to get it out. And I’m thinking, I could have told you that.  I have my suspicions that I was her first root canal without supervision and she was not about to fail.

Sad to say that I now have a dislike for dentists.

But the dentist we use is anything but that. He is a really nice guy, has great music playing, and even tries to make you laugh whenever possible.  Since this is just a replacement, and the temporary is already there, it should be cake and pie. Maybe. Hopefully.  Let’s hope he’s not having a bad day.

Peace,
B

P.S. Have a medical phobia of your own? Leave a comment so we can all commiserate with you!

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