The Ultimate Picture of American Awesomeness

A while back Frank asked people to describe a “visual representation of American awesomeness“.

I think this comes pretty close:

Burning red meat, 2 cars in the driveway, wifebeater, sunglasses, cigarette, and American flag.

Not sure where his beer is. I’m guessing he just finished it, and his wife is inside fetching him another one.

The image gets spoiled a little by the blue recycle bin in the background, but I’ll just tell myself that it’s been sitting in that exact same spot since the city issued it to him 10 years ago, and is now so full of cobwebs that if you dropped a bowling ball into it, it’d get stuck halfway down.

[Via Winning at Everything]

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Flag Day, 2011

Today is Flag Day. On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the flag of the United States.

As the flag is a representation of our country, it’s appropriate that our National Anthem is about our flag.

The Star Spangled Banner
Words by Francis Scott Key, Music by John Stafford Smith

O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say does that star spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep.
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the Star-Spangled Banner! O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the Star-Spangled Banner, in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must when our cause it is just
And this be our motto: “In God is our Trust.”
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

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Georgia’s new state bird

First, in Mississippi, there’s the mascot change at the University of Mississippi.

Now, in Georgia, somebody wants to change the State Bird. Right now, the Brown Thrasher is the state bird. I learned that in Georgia History class back in the 8th grade. But, quite honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one.

There’s a fellow in Augusta who wants to change the state bird … to the chicken.

Now, sure, chickens account for $15-billion a year to the state’s economy. But, really, is the chicken the best representation for the state? Having grown up in Georgia, I have some ideas.

The mosquito

The house fly

The Sand Gnat

The buzzard

The Obama Bird

There may be better suggestions for the state bird of Georgia. Perhaps for other states, too.

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To the moon

As I write this, it was 40 years ago, to the hour, that Apollo 11 lifted off on its voyage to land man on the moon.

I was watching the coverage on NBC, with Frank McGee hosting. On our first color TV. And, for the next several days, I was glued to the TV, watching the coverage of the moon shot. Well, except when they interrupted it to cover some silly Chappaquiddick thing where some drunk killed some woman.

The lunar coverage was fascinating. I had been watching Star Trek (also on NBC) on whatever night it came on from one week to the next. But this was REAL! We — Americans — were sending people to the moon!

It was an amazing and wonderful time. I turned 11 years old during the Apollo 11 mission, and was aware that, in my youth, we were landing on the moon. The future was unlimited.

That was 40 years ago.

And it’s been nearly 37 years since an American last walked on the moon.

Today, we’re supposed to be more technologically advanced than we were 40 years ago. And, we are. But we couldn’t land a man on the moon if we wanted to.

At least, if we were to, we’d have to throw bunches of money at it. And it’d take years to pull off.

Money and technology aren’t the solution. Attitude is. Those days, America — and particularly NASA and the astronaut program — had a “can-do” attitude. That can-do attitude is what landed us on the moon.

It generated the money and technology to make it happen.

That’s the problem today: we think money and technology are means to an end. They aren’t. They’re by-products of success. And attitude makes success possible.

Lot’s of people today don’t understand that. And worse, many don’t believe it.

I believe it. I lived through it. It’s real. Those of you that lived through it know what I’m talking about.

The good news is, some of you that weren’t around during that time also understand and believe it.

We need more of you.

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To the One from whom all blessings flow

From the unworthy ones living here below

For the Light You’ve given to show Your Way

For the friends who’ve graced us day by day

For the ones who blazed the paths we tread

For the ones whose blood was, for freedom, shed

For the ones You’ve given us for neighbors

For uncountable times You’ve granted favor

May we seek You more each passing hour

And tremble at Your might and power

Lest we forget our humble station

You bless America, we bless You — Your nation

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Veteran’s Day 2008

Today is Veteran’s Day.

It began as Armistice Day, noting the the end of the first world war, November 11, 1918.

In the 1950s, it was expanded to become a day to honor all U. S. veterans.

This country has been honored by the service of many, many men and women over the years, serving in the uniforms of our country.

We should honor them, remembering all those that served, especially those that gave their lives in that service.

As a veteran, I’m honored to have worn my country’s uniform.

As a citizen, I want to honor those that are wearing that uniform today.

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