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Family photo

 

This is my daughter Kristina and her dog Frodo. I love this photo of them.

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Homelessness

This weekend we visited with our son Justin who lives close to downtown Charleston. Him and his girlfriend moved into a 3 story house recently.

My son told us about a man who is homeless and lives under the bridge close to their house. He told me that the man has quite the set up under the bridge. Unfortunately this homeless man is not alone. There are several camps of homeless people in our cities. There is one camp behind the Walmart on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston. If it were not for my listening to a police scanner and have access to Facebook I might not know about it. The homeless population is self evident. I probably see several homeless folks during my normal travels. Sometimes they are standing on street corners asking for handouts. Sometimes you see them walking down a sidewalk with a grocery cart with all of their earthly posessions. I know that there are several christian ministries that reach out to them with food and clothing. Charleston is not the cheapest place to live any more. Downtown Charleston is so expensive that my wife and I could not afford it even with the income I make.

Many years ago I was homeless when I was in my 20’s. I know what it is like to have 3 garbage bags with my stuff. I know what it is like to sleep on a piece of cardboard or stay at a homeless shelter. I was not there because of alcohol or drug addiction. I was there because of pride and needing to get my head and heart straight as a young man. Luckily for me I managed to get things right and find a job and escaped from that place. Being homeless can be devestating and it takes a willingness to reach out for help and make whatever changes necessary to get out of that situation.

Today as I observe the homeless people all around me it tugs at my heart. I am sure that wherever you live you have the same homeless population living wherever they can trying to live and survive however they can.

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Back home from Asheville

My contract with TekSystems in Greenville ended prematurely on January 17th. There was no reason given other than the client called the account manager and said I was not a good fit for the role. I could say so much about this but I will be good and keep my thoughts to myself. Needless to say, I will NEVER do business with the aforementioned company again. I packed my bags and left the airbnb in Hendersonville and drove the 4.5 hours to come back home to Charleston. I will miss some of the people at the business I worked at for 6 weeks but I am happy to be back home.

I am happy to state that it took me a little over 2 weeks to land a job working in the data center for a local hospital in Ladson SC. The job site is about 20 minutes from where we live. I am excited about this opportunity and I believe that it is a very good fit for what I am looking for. The two gentlemen who work in the NOC that interviewed me were ex Navy and law enforcement so we had a lot in common. We are all about the same age too.

The barometric pressure in Asheville NC really got the nerve pain in my right temple all fired up. I am still dealing with the pain and I am getting very tired of it.

Katy and I spent the day at the Ladson Gun Show manning the table for South Carolina Carry. This is a grassroots gun advocacy, education and safety organization. We are working closely with legislators in Columbia SC to try and get open carry bills passed this year. We are also working with legislators to fight any bills that would strip our state citizens gun rights away from them. In particular there is a red flag gun law that the liberals are trying to get implemented at the state level along with a senator in Washington DC that is trying to get it passed on the national level.

What is a red flag gun law? Once passed this enables anyone to report you as a danger to yourself or others and the police and file for a warrant to search your home for guns and ammo and then come seize them without the due process of the law. In other words, you do not have to commit a crime for them to do this. Once your property has been seized you have to hire an attorney and prove to the court that you are not a threat to anyone. This process can take weeks or months and lots of legal fees that come out of your pocket.

What is ugly about this type of unconstitutional search and seizure is that there are home owners that open their door in the early hours of the morning with a gun in their hand because they are not expecting any visitors. If the homeowner does not comply immediately to the order to drop the weapon they are being shot and sometimes killed.
This is not a fairy tale, it is a night mare for law abiding citizens who are now coming under fire because of this bill.

Common sense gun reform is the mantra that is being chanted from all of the liberal gun control groups who are pushing for these types of bills to be passed. Our goal as a grassroots organization is to educate our members to these activities and get them to respond to the legislators and get them to vote a resounding NO when the laws are being presented in the Senate in Columbia.

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Asheville North Carolina

 

I have been off of work since August 31st and will be starting a new position with Allergy Partners on Monday, November 26th as a Help Desk Manager at their corporate office in Asheville NC.  I am not sure if I am going to know how to feel after being away from work for almost 3 months.  I am looking forward to the new challenge.

Katy and I decided to spend a week in Black Mountain before I went back to work.  We rented a one bedroom shoebox up in the mountains.  I say shoebox because the apartment is very tiny. The photos that I reveiwed online from the rental company were a bit deceiving because the place looked much bigger than it actually is. The recliners in this place probably date back to the 1960 era.  It does have a natural gas fireplace that can be viewed in the living room and bedroom at the same time.  It puts out heat and has kept us warm.  The shoebox does not have a washer, dryer or dishwasher. I had to laugh when I saw how tiny the TV is.

Each day we have tried to go check out different attractions in Black Mountain or Asheville.  Earlier this week we went to a place called Chimney Rock and it takes you about 35 minutes to wind your way up the mountain to get to it.

There is a brook that runs along the side of the roadway for a good ways.  We stopped in Chimmneyrock and had lunch at Genny’s Family Restaurant.

We also made our way up the Blueridge Parkway and stopped at one of the paved overview areas. It was very cold where we stopped.  We were only able to go up so far because there are areas of the Blueridge Parkway that are closed to inclement weather.

We also made our way up to Lake Junaluska which is west of Asheville on your way to Knoxville TN on I 40. We went there on Wednesday and there was not a cloud in the sky.

This image is from the porch on the back of where the main stores are located behind the hotel. There are rocking chairs you can sit in to admire the view which is spectacular.

There is a walking trail that goes all around Lake Junaluska called the Rose Walk.  You can see the lake, view the ducks and get exercise by walking around the lake.

From what we can tell we really like Asheville North Carolina and are looking forward to moving here permanently in six months if all goes well with my new employer.

 

 

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28 year anniversary

Today marks 28 years of marriage to Georgia Kathyrn Moffitt. My love goes by Katy or as I lovingly call her “Katybug”. My Katybug met me at First Baptist Church in Houston Texas. Firsts Baptist was the largest SBC church in Houston at that time second to Second Baptist Church. The secnd baptist church was known as the church to be at in order to find your lifelong mate. It was a dating church of sorts I guess.

Katy met me at a time in my life when I was not in a good place. I remember her meeting me at a MASH party in the Christian Life Center at FBC one evening. At that time I had visitation rights with my son Jeremy. Jeremy was around 4 or 5 years old at that time I think. Katy will read this and correct the math but he was a little boy. Being a teacher and lover of children Katy gravitated to Jeremy and not me. I was playing volleyball at the time I think. I remember that Katy thought I was a jerk at this time in my life. I was on the rebound from a divorce and I did not have much use for women at that point. I was like a hurt animal that was difficult to get close to.

Little did I know Katy became fond of me despite of all the emotional baggage. I remember telling her one evening that despite her desire to be my life long friend and the love of my life I only wanted to be friends. I told her this in private after a church service on Wednesday or Sunday evening. I remember how she cried. I hated to tell her that despite my feelings for her. I just did not want to bare my soul to someone and have it crushed yet again.

Katy was determined and decided that she would not give up on me. I remember how we would go out with all of our single friends after church and there was always a chair for me next to her. At the time I never gave that much thought but after we were married she admitted that everyone made sure she sat next to me. I told Katy that I would not get married again until I saw a burning bush on I-10 at noon. That burning bush turned out to be a burning car I think and we got married on May 12th 1990.

I am a very blessed man to have such a giving and selfless soul mate. Katy married me despite of my shortcomings. I guess she saw things in me that I did not. I certainly would not have married me much less stay around for 28 years. I am a better man because of her love, affection and devotion. She showed me how to be less selfish. She opened her heart and soul to me and I have not looked back since.

During our 28 years of marriage we were parents to four children. Jeremy, Justin, Kristina and Jessica Ann. We are empty nesters now and have been for about 2 years. Our children are in the world now making a life of their own. We lost Jessica Ann to a brain tumor and two types of cancer on August 5, 2001. That was a 14 month journey that typically would tear apart most marriages. I remember the funeral director telling me that we would probably wind up in divorce. I remember rebuking him and telling him that our relationship was stronger than that. If it not had been for being as close as we were as man and wife and our relationship with and faith in Jesus Christ we might have wound up in divorce.

Our faith in God and our church family and lots of tears and yelling at God got us through it somehow. Our lives and the lives of our children were forever changed. Our relationship did take a hit and the road was full of pot holes and unknown twists and turns during that time of our lives. As I look back at that time I am so thankful that we were able to hold things together and we are still together despite of those events.

No matter what has happened in the last 28 years I would do it all over again. I am a blessed man. I am loved. I am in love with Katy Moffitt and am devoted and loyal to her for eternity.

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Going off road

I guess today was not my day to die. I was on 526 headed home to North Charleston from Kiawah. I have been driving this route for almost 10 years back and forth. I am in the left lane and moving along with traffic around 65 or 70. There were vehicles in front of me and I probably had 2 or 3 car lengths between me and the SUV in front of me. I am listening to the comedy channel and my brain took notice that traffic in the left lane had come to a complete stop and I was still moving along with not enough time to stop. I hit the brakes and confirmed that even locking up the tires was not going to do squat. So, I went off road missing the left rear tail light and bumper of the SUV. For some reason I bumped the horn twice as I flew past him and four or five other cars that were stopped. That is right, MEEP MEEP and into the dirt I went. I started to fish tail and my brain told me DO NOT over react or you will find yourself in the steel cables to your left or spinning around on the asphalt and hitting other vehicles. I managed to tap the brakes a couple of times and got my foot of the accelarator and kept control of the vehicle until I stopped. Everyone was still stopped on the freeway probably watching me. I put my blinker on, got back on 526 and headed for the I26 exit. I am home and my Kia Sorento seems to be fine. I will look at it closer tomorrow in the day light.

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Freezing in the Deep South

You read that correctly. In January of 2018 we dipped down into the 20’s and had snow and ice in Charleston South Carolina. While it was snowing we all thought it was pretty cool and we loved how it looked. On day 2 we were ready for it to go away. When we get ice and snow in the low country of South Carolina our cities are forced to shut things down. People go home, schools and businesses are closed and grocery stores run out of milk and bread.

It did not take long for cabin fever to set in as we waiting on the snow and ice to start to melt. The only problem is that the temperatures stayed well below freezing which means the snow and slush stayed around for longer than we would have liked. Unlike our northern neigbhors we do not have snow shovels, plows or ice scrapers. When I decided to go outside and clear off the windows on my Kia I had to use a kitty littler scooper to get the snow off the windshield. I bet it took me the better part of an hour to get enough slush off the car in order to see the glass. I had the defroster running full blast while I was doing that.

I was very happy that I was able to go inside and defrost next to the fireplace once I got the car windows cleared off. We were very fortunate that our electricity did not go out nor did the Internet connection. We live in the south so we do not have to endure the freezing temperatures and frozen precipitation like our neighbors up north do.

Do you have winter wonderland stories from the south dear reader?

 

 

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Hurricane Irma

 

Hurricane Irma, a Cat 5 Hurricane, blew across the Atlantic Ocean and left a path of devestation as it destroyed small islands, skirted Cuba and then came across Key West and landed in SW Florida. If you go to Youtube there are several videos to be viewed that shows you the raw power of the storm. We had no sooner gotten finished with watching Hurricane Harvey blow into the gulf coast of Texas when Irma came along behind it. The devestation and destruction is hard to fathom. So many people without homes because of flood damage. We had people in SC that experienced a lot of flood waters that damaged their homes as well. We had 10 days warning or maybe longer and a lot of folks heeded the warnings to leave SC ahead of this storm.

Katy and I rode out the tropical forced winds and rain on September 11th which is the anniversary of the World Trade Center towers being demolished by terrorists flying Jets into each building. We lost 3000 American lives on that tragic day. We remember watching the planes hit, the explosions and smoke. We remember watching in horror as people jumped from the towers in a desperate last act to save themselves because they were trapped in a burning building. We could not believe our eyes when one tower came crashing down and then the second one followed it.

Despite all the tragedies it is nice to see how many people, no matter where they are from who came together to help one another. We are thankful for our first responders who put their lives on the line every day of the week to keep us safe from harms way. When tragedy striles they are the first ones on the scene. We owe a debt of gratitude to our public servants who selfishly serve us all.

We are hopeful that while the hurricane season lasts until the end of November that we will not see any more landfalls from any more hurricanes this year. How much devestation can we take as a nation?

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mental preparation

In my last blog post I said the following. “You can be a victim of violent crime unless you make a mental decision to limit your risks and equip yourself accordingly.”

I would like to shed some light on being mentally prepared.

Before you can address the solution to a problem you have to identify the problem.

The problem is quite simple. We live in a fallen world and we live in neighborhoods with both good and bad people. You may not be able to identify who is who until they actually do something to prove that they are good or bad. We cannot live in denial and think that everyone is inherrantly good. There are wolves that live amonst us and they do not share the same logical thought processes that we do. These people do not think the same way we do and they do not care if they hurt others in their activities.

Evil people commit crimes against people and property. They attack you and your neighbors in an effort to gain access to whatever it is they think you have that they want. We live in a world where it is quite common for evil people to commit home invasions. Imagine sitting in your living room with your family and someone kicks down your door, rushes in and sticks a gun in your face demanding your valuables. These evil people have no qualms in resorting to physical violence against your person to get what they want. In short, these are domestic terrorists.

Violent crime can happen to you at your home and while you are out in public. You can be sitting in your vehicle at a traffic light minding your own business and someone could walk up and shove a gun in your face in an effort to take your vehicle. I could go on and on about the many different ways that criminals could possibly victimize you and your family.

I am not illuminating these things in order to make you afraid. I am shining a light on these possibilities so that you can be made aware and begin to formulate a plan on how to actively prevent these things from happening. None of us will be able to completely remove violence or violent crime from our community but we can prepare ourselves for the eventuality of this happening and not be a victim.

The first thing that you need to do is to be aware of your surroundings as much as possible. When you are out in public pay more attention to the people around you and what they are doing. Pay less attention to your personal cell phone or other mobile devices. Pay more attention to who is paying attention to you. When you are walking from a store to your vehicle keep your head on a swivel and look for potential dangers. Have your keys in your hand and be prepared to enter your vehicle, start it and leave. Ask for an escort if it is night time and you do not feel particularly safe.

The most important self defense tool that you have at your disposal is the one that sits between your ears. Use your brain and engage some common sense when you are out and about or at home. Start thinking like a criminal. If I wanted to break into my home where and when would I do it. Do I leave my doors unlocked during the day? At night time is my property poorly lit and surrounded by a lot of darkness? When someone knocks on the door do I just open the door without looking first?

Maybe you should consider installing an alarm system that you can arm and diaarm remotely. Most alarm systems come with wireless communications should your home phone system get disabled. You can get a hand held key fob that has a panic alarm on it. You can think about installing a basic camera system that you can see what is going on outside of your home from the comfort and safety on the inside of your home.

The most powerful thing you can do to keep from being a victim is to practice active avoidance. Do not place yourself in situations or surroundings that places you or your family in danger. Think about scenarios in your head BEFORE you encounter them and know what you will do ahead of time. Being proactive will keep you from having to be reactive in the case of an event. If you avoid placing yourself or your family in a dangerous situation then you will be ahead of the curve.

I understand that not everyone is a security professional. If you think that you are possibly not equipped to understand any of these things reach out to your local police dept or your community watch groups in your neighborhood and start asking questions from those folks who are aware. When you educate yourself about where the dangers are then you can prepare to defend against them. Education is the key and it never ends no matter how much you think you know.

 

 

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Time to drain the swamp

President Trump is asking everyone to forward this email to a minimum of 20 people, and to ask that each of those do likewise.

In three days, most people in the United States will have the message. This is clearly an amazing idea that must be passed around. Stand by for the push back from THE SWAMP

THE TRUMP RULE:
Let’s see if congress understands what people pressure is all about.

Salary of retired US Presidents .. . . . . $180,000 FOR LIFE.

Salary of House/Senate members .. . . $174,000 FOR LIFE

This is stupid

Salary of Speaker of the House .. . . . . $223,500 FOR LIFE.

This is really stupid

Salary of Majority / Minority Leaders . . $193,400 FOR LIFE.

Average Salary of a teacher . . .. . . . .. . . . . .. .$40,065

Average Salary of a deployed Soldier . . .. . . .. $38,000

Here’s where the cuts should be made!

Congressional Reform Act of 2017

1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman / woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.

2. Congress (past, present, & future) participates in Social Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 3/1/17. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.

Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and go back to work.

TRUMP, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling: “I could end the deficit in five minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election”.

The 26th Amendment ( granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds ) took only three months and eight days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure.

Trump is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.

In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.
If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people, then it will only take three days for most people in the U.S. to receive the message. It’s time

 

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