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Someone emailed me this around the 4th of July and the story really touched my heart.  Please read it and remember the sacrifices the members of our military make for us every day.

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat.  It was going to be a long flight.  I’m glad I have a good book to read.  Perhaps I will get a short nap, I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me.  I decided to start a conversation.

“Where are you headed?” I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.
“Petawawa. We’ll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we’re being deployed to Afghanistan.”

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time…

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch.  “No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn’t be worth five bucks.  I’ll wait till we get to base.”

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch.  I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty  dollar bill.   “Take a lunch to all those soldiers.”  She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly.  Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me.  “My son was a soldier in  Iraq; it’s almost like you are doing it for him.”

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated.  She stopped at my seat and asked, “Which do you like best – beef or chicken?”
“Chicken,” I replied, wondering why she asked.  She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class.

“This is your thanks…”

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room.
A man stopped me.  “I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.”  He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand and said, “I want to shake your hand.”  Quickly unfastening my seat belt I stood and took the Captain’s hand.  With a booming voice he said, “I was a soldier and I was a military pilot.  Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.”   I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs.  A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine.  He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane.  Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word.  Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base.
I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars  “It will take you some time to reach the base…. It will be about time for a sandwich.
God Bless You.”

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers.

As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return.  These soldiers were giving their all for our country….   I could only give them a couple of meals.    It seemed so little….

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America ‘ for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’

That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

Prayer:

Lord, hold the troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need.   Amen.

Photo by Michael T. Henry Photography

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Have you seen the new movie Eclipse from The Twilight Saga?
What did you think?

Personally I loved the way it was filmed!  David Slade did an exceptional job as director.  Especially the scene where they chased Victoria (Played by Bryce Dallas HowardRon Howard’s daughter)through the woods and also the big fight scene.    Watching them fly through the air was awesome!

I also really enjoyed the scene where Edward and Jacob were talking in the tent while Bella was sleeping.  Whatever they did to Edward he actually looked cute for a change!

They have discussed online that the 4th book of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series Breaking Dawn will be filmed as 2 movies.  This book is the most graphic of the 4.  I’m not sure how they’re going to film it and keep it at a PG-13 rating.

Peter Facinelli as Carlisle Cullen

Now I just have one wish/request for the last 2 movies – let’s see Peter Facinelli who plays Carlisle Cullen without his shirt on!!  (And in case you missed it, Carlisle was listed as the wealthiest fictional character with a net worth of $34.1 billion by Forbes.com)

Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?  I’m team Carlisle 🙂

Have you read The Eclipse Novella – The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner?

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The Weekly Re-cap: You met my friend Katie and mourned my good friend common sense.  You heard about the parents sitting near me on the flight to Florida and we talked about being proud of our true age….

The Weekly Music: Kelly has some Sara Evans on  her iPod and I liked her….

The Weekly Downer: Leaving Michael and Isabella.  Being in beautiful warm weather without a motorcycle….

The Weekly New Show on TV That I Like: Romantically Challenged with Alyssa Milano (my birthday buddy!)

The Weekly Schadenfreude: The guy who set the bomb in Times Square.  Good thing he’s bad at building bombs (sigh of relief)

The Weekly Beverage: orange juice at the airport, yummy iced drinks in the sun….


Weekly Food: Burgers with sautéed mushrooms & Claussen hearty garlic stackers, McGriddle

The Weekly Amazing Fact: Each year DOGS kill more people in the US than Great White sharks have in the past 100 YEARS!


The Weekly Birthdays: Lyn Reilly Clements, Shane Allen, Kim Boresch, Dave Trombetti, Christine Reilly Shelton, Heather Rook, Mary Onufer, Megan Boyd, Steven Plac, and Peter Klein.  I hope you all had wonderful birthdays filled with fond memories with family and friends.  Leave me a comment and tell me if you did anything special for your birthday.

The Weekly Craft:I’m still crocheting….

The Weekly Activity: Traveling

The Weekly Shoes: Flip Flops Galore!

Weekly Grand Totals: Time from Albany to Tampa – 3 hours 10 minutes

The Weekly Hypothetical: If you were married with kids and went on vacation (without your kids) would you be in bed early because that’s your routine, or would you be excited to stay up late because you don’t have a schedule?

Please comment and subscribe.

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Interview Series ~ derryX

Meet my friend derryX

While brainstorming about what to write blogs about, I wanted to find a way for my readers to get to know some of the awesome people who I know.  The best way I could come up with was an interview series.

Meet my friend derryXderryX is a great guy who I want to play some Ducktales with!!  I loved the TV show, and now I want to try the game!!

Name: @derryX

Age: 30

Location: Capital Region of NY

Relationship Status: In a state of flux

Blog Link: http://www.twitter.com/derryX

Occupation: Research Scientist at a contract pharmaceutical manufacturing company

What is the most challenging part of your job? Being overqualified. I took my current job with little negotiation due to economic hardship at the time of the offer. Having the education and background that I have, my learning curve was relatively short compared to my peers and also superiors who started after me. Finding the right balance of initiative to improve my position and working at my level is difficult at times because I feel that I am capable of so much more than what is expected of me.

What talent do you wish you were born with? I really have no issues not having talents that others have. I wish I could fly, but having that ability probably means I’d have to save people, so no thanks.

I know you’re a gamer.  What is your favorite video game? This is kind of a difficult question, as I’ve been gaming since I was very young. Moving through the generations of gaming, I’ll list some key games so you can get a flavor. Galaga, Mike Tyson’s Punchout!, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. 3, Ducktales, Super Mario World, Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Mortal Kombat II (arcade), Sonic 3 (and Knuckles), Marvel vs Capcom (arcade), Doom, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Suikoden, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 and 4, anything with Katamari in the title, Bioshock, Guitar Hero/Rockband. This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of my favorites, but if you sat me down with any of those and told me I had to play for 10 hours straight or you’d shoot me in the face, I wouldn’t argue with you.

What are your favorite songs to sing at karaoke? Another difficult question! I very much have the desire to entertain in my personality, so when I pick songs that I want to karaoke, the entertainment factor goes into that. My absolute favorite song to sing is “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga, and that is because I put a lot of time into listening to her song to learn the nuances and turn it into something enjoyable for all. I also like doing “Tribute” by Tenacious D with my brother @dompap. Other than these staples, I don’t have too many others that I feel confident with. I’m trying to change that, but I get picky when I flip through those books.

What is your drink of choice? I really don’t have any standard thing that I get all the time. I love scotch, but seldom order it when I am out. Lately, if I order beer, it is usually one of the delicious micro brews by Dogfish Head. Coffee-wise, IT’S ESPRESSO! But I order lattes and regular coffee many times too.  Flavour Café’s Almond Joy latte is awesome (make sure you order it “with extra joy” to be cool like me). Otherwise, I’ll either drink water or Diet Coke.

Where is your favorite place to eat out? Living in the capital region, I don’t think it’s possible to have one place. We have a very diverse selection of different cuisines that makes the Capital Region a great place to live. I guess what I’ll do is go through my favorite types of food and list my favorite establishment and if there’s anything in particular I always order.

PizzaRed Front [COB (Cheese on bottom)]

SushiSushi Tei

IndianKaravalli

ChainFriendly’s

Hot WingsBuffalo Wings and Rings fulfills that urge sometimes (it used to be Scubbers, hands down, but they closed)

ItalianLoPorto’s [Chicken Milanese]

MexicanPancho’s but it’s not authentic Mexican the way El Bandito in Middletown, NY is.

Your parents own an Italian Specialty Food Store. Did this make you a good cook?  What are some of your favorite Italian Meals? I definitely learned a lot of cooking skills by working in the store for years. The problem is that since the cooking done there is on a larger scale, that’s all I really know how to do. So to me, cooking for 2 is the same thing as cooking for 20, so I always have tons of leftovers.

Believe it or not, I actually don’t like pasta with red sauce! I’m probably the only “Italian” this way, but I don’t see that as a problem; it gets me to order more diverse dishes. Chicken parmigianna is my favorite dish when prepared right. I tend to stay away from the dishes that have lemon in the sauce (i.e. francaise or picatta). In fact, I tend to like things with as little sauce as possible. My favorite meal ever is my mom’s chicken cutlets with her saffron risotto.

You and your brother seem to be pretty close.  How different do you think your life would be if you were an only child? It’s really hard to say. Mainly I think my sense of humor wouldn’t be as developed as it is. A big part of our interactions with each other is trying to make jokes about things, and we kind of riff off each other, molding the joke into something amazing. This would have a huge Butterfly Effect on me in that I probably wouldn’t be as sarcastic as I am. I think I’ll get to this in a later question…

LOST - Tuesday Nights 8-10PM EST on ABC

When you’re not online or gaming, what other hobbies do you have? I like reading a lot, either comic books or literature. I haven’t done much of it in the last 5 years, but I am turning over a new leaf and trying to read more. I also like designing recipes for home brewing beer. This is a really fun hobby because you get to drink what you make. I’m gonna take a break from this hobby because Dogfish Head beers are too good right now. I collect movies and shows on DVD. I am particularly obsessed with LOST and can watch that no matter where I am or what I’m doing. I also play guitar. There was a time where I was good enough (maybe in my own mind) that I could fill in for James Hetfield of Metallica, that’s how well I knew to play those songs. I don’t pick it up as much as I used to, but it’s fun to play around from time to time.

What is the biggest misconception about you? I have a very strong opinion about what I think is funny which manifests itself as sarcasm, and, many times, people perceive this as me being serious. I always tell new people I meet, rule # 1 is to never take me seriously. Of course, this poses issues when I am actually being serious. For the sake of comedy, however, I’m willing to take this risk for that 1% of the time that I am serious.

How do you see your life a year from now? I definitely see myself in a better place mentally. I will most likely also be working hard at my career, trying to synchronize my job title to my level of ability. I anticipate being able to get to 1000 followers on twitter, I just have to figure out how. I probably will have watched the entire series of LOST three to four more times. Other than that, the year ahead has some major changes lined up, and I’m really looking forward to it!

How about 5 years from now? I never was one to plan this far ahead, but, for the sake of this questionnaire, in 5 years, I’d like to own a house and start getting settled into my career without feeling pressured for continuous advancement. By then, I think I will have worked hard enough for me to achieve a level of stress with work that is not as erratic as now. Other than that, it’s really hard to say. What the last several weeks have taught me is that the direction of the current can change at any moment, and that re-evaluation of priorities should be an ongoing process.

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