Archive for December, 2009

Koalas in Australia when it was 120 degrees for over a week…..

December 28, 2009

At 120 degrees in Australia, it was so hot for a week that Koalas were asking people for water. It’s never been seen before.

One went into a house to try to hide from the heat and to get a bit of shade. This is what happened when the homeowner gave him something to drink. It’s terribly sweet!

Click on a thumbnail to see a larger image.

“Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened” quote by Anatole France, a French poet, journalist, and novelist who won the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature in 1921.


Count Your Blessings

December 17, 2009

We all know that unemployment is the highest it’s been in more than 30 years. Many of our family, friends, and relatives are out of work and have been for months. Times are trying to say the least and Christmastime in particular can be a season when we lose track of what’s really important. It’s capitalism at its best (or worst depending on how you look at it) when it should be about the birth of Christ.

I myself was feeling pretty down in the dumps because I had to call both my family as well as my husband’ s to let them know there would no gift exchange this year as a result of my prolonged unemployment. They understood but I still was feeling like a heel and quite frankly, was a little distressed over it. That is until someone (thanx Debbie!) sent me a little movie called “Count Your Blessings.” After viewing it I suddenly felt better – much better. Why you ask? Because I was reminded about the importance of remembering and being thankful for what I already had, not what I didn’t have.

Take a look, it just might do the same for you and make you feel better as well!

Oh, and don’t forget to have a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and/or Season’s Greetings and many, many blessings.

A Different Kind of Christmas Poem

December 16, 2009

A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear..
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said “Its really all right,
I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.”
“It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘Pearl on a day in December,”
Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam’,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall..”

” So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”
“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”

PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sharing this with as many people as you can?

Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our
U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these
festivities. Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq


Social Media Can Work Against You…..

December 15, 2009

Just like social media can work to further your cause, build your business or personal brand, it can also alert a large audience to ineptness and customer service indifference. It seems that’s just what happened when United Airlines baggage personnel broke Dave Carroll’s guitar, gave him the runaround for over a year, and never did fix it. Listen to the song – it’s innovative and truly stings United for all to hear! Will you think twice before flying United because of this incident?  I’m thinking I will.

The Year End Letter

December 15, 2009

When you write your year end letter to family and friends try your very best not to make it boring else someone could write a song complaining about it….Just like Garfunkel and Oates did…lol