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Thursday, September 30, 2010

On the Beach . . .


I am slowly being persuaded that it is a great idea to occasionally get away from the office, from work, even from the home . . . and slip into a more relaxing atmosphere.
Wednesday, we went back to Tamarack Beach Resort in Carlsbad, CA., to use only the second day and third night of our one week time share.

I just seem to morph into this really laid back dude when I get to Suite 341.
Generally, I bypass the tv set, stay away from the computer, and just plop myself down on the comfortable chairs on the verandah and enjoy looking at the ocean. I enjoy hearing the waves as they roll in and hit the beach, some of the larger breakers make a KA-THUMP sound as they break . . . then, in a line, like a group of soldiers just slightly out of formation, you hear another KA-THUMP, and then another . . .
I enjoy watching the pelicans. They are an ugly, ungainly bird when lounging about on beach boulders . . . but when they fly . . . particularly if there are a group of them . . . they fly in graceful formation.

I didn't see any pods of dolphins today. They were out in droves Saturday . . . but that's another thing about the beach. There's always something different going on.
I watched and listened to the waves for, maybe, 20 minutes. By that time I had become drowsy and toddled off to bed for a nice nap. I remember regretting I didn't have a chaise lounge, or even an old Army cot. I would have enjoyed falling asleep on the verandah, listening to the sound of the waves, and breathing in the fresh, salty air.

After my nap, we went back to Marty's house to feed and play with Trixie and Klyde, Marty's dog, and Trixie's newfound playmate. Both were delighted to see us and we, them.

We had another pleasant dinner with Marty and then retired early . . . but not before spending another good half hour just watching and listening to the waves, and watching people walking on the promenade, bicycling, some folks having a late evening stroll with their dogs.

Thursday, we awakened, enjoyed the view again. Evelyn fixed us a delicous breakfast and we headed over to pick up both Trixie and Klyde. Today, we were going to take them for 'walkies' on the promenade. We had a few drops of very welcome rain . . . nothing big. Rather refreshing, in fact. We had a good long walk, both dogs would stop and sniff and otherwise greet other dogs, we would chat with varous dog owners . . . and the morning passed wonderfully. Marty, who works for the Carlsbad Public Works Department, saw his mom and me walking and stopped for a brief chat. One of Marty's friends was walking his dog and told us that everyone knew Marty and Klyde; in fact, they called Klyde, "The Mayor." (Frequently, Marty is the recipients of friendly waves and is stopped by friends who want to chat. He surfs most ever day there is decent surf and he takes Klyde for a walk on the beach every day, without fail. They are a true team and it is beautiful to see them together.)

Marty went back to work, we walked the pups back to the car. I was quite pleased as neither my hip nor my legs caused me one bit of pain, even though we had a fairly long walk. The pups genuinely enjoyed their outing and we've decided when we're not at the beach we're going to take Trixie to the dog park where she can enjoy more socializing with her canine pals.

The skies then began to open up and we had a most pleasant rain. We needed the rain as the fire threat is very severe. Throughout the county frequent reports of thunder and lightning strikes were reported. Nothing compared to those of us who grew up in the midwest, but big news to Californians. When Trixie first heard a clap of thunder she looked up at the sky and barked. She's not afraid . . . except of people and other pups (at least at first. Once she warms up to you, you have a freind for life).

We're home now. Marty is using the time share tonight and will check out for us tomorrow.

When I got home my office looked the same, felt the same, was the same. I jumped back into my normal work routine and three hours later I had gotten all caught up on emails, both reading and responding, got caught up on phone calls, various odds and ends that build up when you're away, even if only a day.

But . . . I'm about ready to head back to the beach. I enjoy it. Evelyn enjoys it, and Trixie enjoys it. So, why not?



Pets of the Week




VelvetRollin is a 1-year-old neutered male pit bull mix, ID # 46845. Rollin is just a handsome, happy young guy. He is part of the shelter’s Canine Good Citizen classes twice a week with a volunteer trainer, and he is mastering all sorts of useful commands like sit, down, shake, come and leave it. Rollin's adoption fees will include a complimentary session of beginner classes, courtesy of Hidden Valley Obedience Club in Escondido. Rollin would probably do better in a home with older children and no felines. Rollin is available for adoption at the Escondido Humane Society, 3450 E. Valley Parkway. The Humane Society is reducing all adoption fees in September, so Rollin can be adopted for just $55. Adoption fee includes neuter, microchip, up-to-date vaccinations and vet exam. For more information, call (760) 888-2247 or log on to www.escondidohumanesociety.org.











VelvetPrince is a 4 year old, neutered, male, domestic shorthaired cat. Prince is litter box smart. Adopt Prince for just $75 (+microchip registration fee)

All pets adopted from Helen Woodward Animal Center have been spayed or neutered, have up-to-date vaccinations and microchip identification, plus a Certificate for a Free Night Stay at our Club Pet Boarding!

Helen Woodward Animal Center kennels are open everyday from 11am to 6pm (Applications accepted till 5:45pm) at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.For more information call 858-756-4117, option #1 or log on to www.animalcenter.org.

Chuckles

What I Want In A Man!
Original List
(Must have been at a young impressionable age)

  1. Handsome
  2. Charming
  3. Financially successful
  4. A caring listener
  5. Witty
  6. In good shape
  7. Dresses with style
  8. Appreciates finer things
  9. Full of thoughtful surprises
  10. Loves surprising me on weekends

What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 32)

  1. Nice looking
  2. Opens car doors, holds chairs
  3. Has enough money for a nice dinner
  4. Listens more than talks
  5. Laughs at my jokes
  6. Carries bags of groceries with ease
  7. Owns at least one tie
  8. Appreciates a good home-cooked meal
  9. Remembers birthdays and anniversaries
  10. Plans together time on weekends

What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 42)

  1. Not too ugly
  2. Doesn't drive off until I'm in the car
  3. Works steady - splurges on dinner out occasionally
  4. Nods head when I'm talking
  5. Usually remembers punch lines of jokes
  6. Is in good enough shape to rearrange the furniture
  7. Wears a shirt that covers his stomach
  8. Knows not to buy champagne with screw-top lids
  9. Remembers to put the toilet seat down
  10. Shaves most weekends

What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 52)

  1. Keeps hair in nose and ears trimmed
  2. Doesn't belch or scratch in public
  3. Doesn't borrow money too often
  4. Doesn't nod off to sleep when I'm venting
  5. Doesn't re-tell the same joke too many times
  6. Is in good enough shape to get off the couch on weekends
  7. Usually wears matching socks and fresh underwear
  8. Appreciates a good TV dinner
  9. Remembers your name on occasion
  10. Shaves some weekends

What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 62)

  1. Doesn't scare small children
  2. Remembers where bathroom is
  3. Doesn't require much money for upkeep
  4. Only snores lightly when asleep
  5. Remembers why he's laughing
  6. Is in good enough shape to stand up by himsel
  7. Usually wears some clothes
  8. Likes soft foods
  9. Remembers where he left his teeth
  10. Remembers that it's the weekend

What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 72)

  1. Breathing.
  2. Doesn't miss the toilet.

The Clairvoyant Child

A man put his 3 year old daughter to bed, told her a story and listened to her prayers which she ended by saying: 'God bless Mommy, God bless Daddy, God bless Grandma and goodbye Grandpa.'

The father asked, 'Why did you say goodbye Grandpa?'

The little girl said, 'I don't know daddy, it just seemed like the thing to do.'

The next day grandpa died.

The father thought it was a strange coincidence. A few months later the father put the girl to bed and listened to her prayers which went like this: 'God bless Mommy, God Bless Daddy and goodbye Grandma.'

The next day the grandmother died.

'Holy smokes!' thought the father, "this kid is in contact with the other side."

Several weeks later when the girl was going to bed the dad heard her say: 'God bless Mommy and goodbye Daddy.'

He practically went into shock. He couldn't sleep all night and got up at the crack of dawn to go to his office. He was nervous as a cat all day, had lunch and watched the clock. He figured if he could get by until midnight he would be okay. He felt safe in the office, so instead of going home at the end of the day he stayed there, drinking coffee, looking at his watch and jumping at every sound.

Finally, midnight arrived; he breathed a sigh of relief and went home. When he got home his wife said 'I've never seen you work so late, what's the matter?'

He said 'I don't want to talk about it; I've just spent the worst day of my life.'

She said, 'You think you had a bad day, you'll never believe what happened to me. This morning my golf pro dropped dead right in the middle of my lesson!"

Bob and the Blonde

Bob walked into a sports bar around 9:58 PM. He sat down next to a blonde at the bar and stared up at the TV.

The 10 PM news was coming on. The news crew was covering the story of a man on the ledge of a large building preparing to jump.

The blonde looked at Bob and said, "Do you think he'll jump?"

Bob said, "You know, I bet he'll jump."

The blonde replied, "Well, I bet he won't."

Bob placed a $20 bill on the bar and said, "You're on!"

Just as the blonde placed her money on the bar, the guy on the ledge did a swan dive off the building, falling to his death.

The blonde was very upset, but willingly handed her $20 to Bob. "Fair's fair. Here's your money."

Bob replied, "I can't take your money. I saw this earlier on the 5 PM news, so I knew he would jump."

The blonde replied, "I did, too, But I didn't think he'd do it again."

Bob took the money.

Irish Confessional

A man chooses an Irish priest to hear his confession after years of being away from the Church.

He enters the confessional and is surprised to see a fully equipped bar with Guinness on tap. On the other wall is a dazzling array of the finest cigars and chocolates.

Then the priest comes in, and the man blesses himself and says. "Father, forgive me, for it's been a very long time since I've been to confession, but I must first admit that the confession box is much more inviting than it used to be."

The priest replies "Get out, ye damn fool...your're on MY side!"

The Phone Call

Hello?"

Hi honey. This is Daddy. Is Mommy near the phone?"

"No, Daddy. She's upstairs in the bedroom with Uncle Paul."

After a brief pause, Daddy says, "But honey, you haven't got an Uncle Paul."

"Oh yes I do, and he's upstairs in the room with Mommy, right now."

Brief pause

"Uh, okay then, this is what I want you to do. Put the phone down on the table, run upstairs and knock on the bedroom door and shout to Mommy, that Daddy's car just pulled into the driveway."

"Okay, Daddy, Just a minute."

A few minutes later the little girl comes back to the phone.

"I did it, Daddy."

"And what happened, honey?" He asked.

"Well, Mommy got all scared, jumped out of bed with no clothes on and ran around screaming. Then she tripped over the rug, hit her head on the dresser and now she isn't moving at all!"

"Oh my God! What about your Uncle Paul?"

"He jumped out of the bed with no clothes on, too. He was all scared and he jumped out of the back window and into the swimming pool. But I guess he didn't know that you took out the water last week to clean it. He hit the bottom of the pool and I think he's dead."

Long Pause

Longer Pause

Even Longer Pause

Then Daddy says, "Swimming pool? ...

Is this "486-5731?"

"No, I think you have the wrong number......."

SOUTHERN WOMEN

Southern women know their summer weather report:
Humidity
Humidity
Humidity

Southern women know their vacation spots:
The beach
The rivuh
The
crick

Southern women know everybody's first name:
Honey
Darlin'
Shugah

Southern women know the movies that speak to their hearts:
Fried Green Tomatoes
Driving Miss Daisy
Steel Magnolias
Gone With The Wind

Southern women know their religions:
Baptist
Methodist
Football

Southern women know their cities dripping with Southern
charm:
Chawl'stn
S'vanah
Foat Wuth
N'awlins
Addlanna

Southern women know their elegant gentlemen:
Men in uniform
Men in tuxedos
Rhett Butler
Southern girls know their prime real estate:
The Mall
The Country Club
The Beauty Salon

Southern girls know the 3 deadly sins:
Having bad hair and nails
Having bad manners
Cooking bad food

More Suthen-ism's:
Only a Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit, and that you don't "HAVE" them, you "PITCH" them.

Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc., make up "a mess."

Only a Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of "yonder."

Only a Southerner knows exactly how long "directly" is, as in: "Going to town, be back directly ."

Even Southern babies know that "Gimme some sugar" is not a request for the white, granular sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in the middle of the table.

All Southerners know exactly when "by and by" is. They might not use the term, but they know the concept well.

Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad.

If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin!

Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between "right near" and "a right far piece." They also know that "just down the road" can be 1 mile or 20

Only a Southerner, both knows and understands, the difference between a redneck, a good ol' boy, and po' white trash.

No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

A Southerner knows that "fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.

Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines, ... and when we're "in line,"... we talk to everybody!

Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they're related, even if only by marriage.

In the South, ya’ll is singular, all ya’ll is plural.

Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them.

Every Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.

When you hear someone say, "Well, I caught myself lookin'," you know you are in the presence of a genuine Southerner!
Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk." Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it -- we do not like our tea unsweetened. "Sweet milk" means you don't want buttermilk.

And a true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway.

You just say, "Bless her heart"... and go your own way.

To those of you who are still a little embarrassed by your Southerness: Take two tent revivals and a dose of sausage gravy and call me in the morning. Bless your heart!

And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff ... bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin' to have classes on Southernness as a second language!

And for those that are not from the South but have lived here for a long time, all ya’ll need a sign to hang on ya’lls front porch that reads "I ain't from the South, but I got here as fast as I could."

Southern girls know men may come and go, but friends are fahevah !

Now Shugah, send this to someone who was raised in the South or wish they had been! If you're a Northern transplant, bless your little heart, fake it. We know you got here as fast as you could.

Stalag Luft III

Harpoon

by lyle e davis

History has a habit of getting buried deep within history books and sometimes the books get dusty from lack of use.

We aim to remedy that by bringing front and center some of the stories that may have been forgotten, or seldom told.

There’s lots to tell in recent history, stories of great endurance, of great bravery, ingenuity, and great reward, at least emotionally.

What follows are long hidden stories of what it was like to be a prisoner of war during WWII in the infamous Stalag Luft III. To some of you, Stalag Luft III may ring a bell. It should.

It was the POW camp upon which the movie, “The Great Escape,” was based. Here are the stories of some of the men who experienced life, if you could call it that, in this now famous camp.

Read, remember, and offer a salute to those brave souls who fought for our country. And you younger readers? Read, and learn!

•••••

"For you the war is over." That was the almost universal greeting to shot-down American airmen when they fell into the hands of the German enemy, a statement as far from the truth as any lie concocted by the Third Reich's propaganda machine. The war was not over for the new POW; it just became a different war, a war not without its own brutal casualties.

For the average World War II flier who ended up at Stalag Luft III -- the prison camp for downed airmen run by the Luftwaffe -- his last mission became the Longest Mission. Typically, his mission began before dawn at an airfield somewhere in England, North Africa, or Italy. It ended months or years later with the liberation of Stalag VIIA on April 29, 1945.
While at Stalag Luft III, his mission continued unabated, but not his role. He went from flier to prisoner of war in a matter of minutes. His new task was to contribute to the war effort as a Kriege, from the German term for prisoner of war, Kriegsgefangener.

"Stories My Father Never Told Me"
by Greg Hatton

The Berlin mission cost the 392nd Bomb Group, eight of eighteen crews. Of thirty-two officers flying on those crews, only seven survived combat. They were all sent to Stalag Luft III at Sagan, Germany. What a startling difference there was, between the final moments of the Ofenstein and Kamenitsa officers. The San Antone Rose took heavy damage during the initial fighter attack. Her pilot and co-pilot remained at the controls long enough to give the gunners time to get out. A burst of flak threw the aircraft into a flat spin; only the navigator, Dave Purner, narrowly escaped from the burning B-24. Although hampered by shrapnel wounds to his foot, he and Arthur Smith were able to evade capture for a short while. They were manhandled by an angry mob, before being turned over to the Luftwaffe. Purner entered kriegie life alone, shattered from the security of his crewmates.

That same burst of flak sealed the fate of aircraft #371, flown by Bill Kamenitsa and George Graham. The San Antone Rose was shoved up and over Kamenitsa's wing; as she fell earthward, she tore away ten feet of their starboard wing. The crew took a quick vote and decided to remain with the ship, confident in Graham and Kamenitsa's abilities. Graham had racked up hundred's of hours of flight time on sub-patrol. Bill Kamenitsa was at home in the cockpit of B-24's, B-17's and A-20's. Through the Grace of God, they brought #371 down with only the loss of the navigator, bombardier and radioman. The crew was captured as a group, somewhat shaken, but intact. After their stint at Dulag Luft, Kaminitsa and Graham moved on, together until the evacuation of Nuremberg.

They reached a sprawling camp, holding some 2000 Allied and 3000 American fliers. Opened in April of 1942, it was the hub of the prison system, with regular visits by Protecting Powers and Red Cross representatives. All mail was received at Luft 3 and censored before being sent on to other camps. The Germans, under the experienced command of Colonel von Lineiner, generally lived up to the provisions of the Geneva Convention. Their American opposites were led by Col. Delmar Spivey and the compounds were run by a Senior American Officer, with a seasoned staff. Each compound had its' own intelligence and security operations, mailroom, kitchen, dispensary, as well as lagar and room fuhrers. The continuity with regular military organization encouraged the Germans to let the prisoners handle their own affairs.

West Compound was opened on April 27, with Col. Darr Alkire (a bomber pilot with experience at Dulag Luft) in command. It was the largest and last built, with seventeen barracks, a cookhouse, theater, and showers. Each barracks had thirteen rooms with three tiers of bunks. With the population doubling between April and November, 250 guys were locked and shuttered up all night, in cold and drafty barracks. The whole day has been spent looking for something to do, to get your mind off the gnawing hunger. Guys around you are just as likely to be irritable and hostile, as they are to be generous or understanding. Nobody's had a bath, and digestive systems are in a collective state of disrepair; sleeping men are reliving the horrors of their missions and are restless beyond sleep.

MIS reports July 15 1944: The camp is situated in pine woods area at Sagan, 168 kilometers southeast of Berlin...Three of the camps' six compounds are occupied by Americans (3363 AF officers), three by RAF officers. Each compound is divided into fifteen buildings or blocks; Barracks are one story, wooden hutments, resembling old CCC barracks.

Lt. George Graham, 392 BG, co-pilot Kaminitsa crew, down 29 April 44

It was Tuesday when I got out of the cooler and it was Thursday when we left for Stalag Luft III. A group of enlisted men left on Wednesday, our crew among them, for their camp up on the Baltic Sea. We, about 100 of us, left about 4 PM on Thursday 5/4/44 in a prison car from the same town (Oberusel) which meant another chance for the populace to crane their necks at us again. We were provisioned with 1/3 of a Red-Cross parcel each.

Thursday night, all day Friday, and Friday night we were shuffled back and forth over Germany. Saturday morning, I arrived at Sagan, which is about l2O kms. southeast of Berlin. The camp was located a mile south of the town. We were searched again and had to take a shower. We were given a complete outfit while our own clothes were taken out for delousing. The new outfits consisted of a pair of pants (which had to be returned when our own were returned) 2 shirts, 2 undershorts, 2 undershirts, 3 pairs of socks, 1 face towel, 1 bath towel, toothbrush, razor, soap dish, comb and belt. We were assigned a room in one of the barracks.

When we first got to Luft III, they took us out into a field. There was lots of commotion and nobody could hear what was going on. When things settled down, the American Colonel in charge of the camp chewed us up one side and down the other: "You guys are in here because you screwed up! You must have done something wrong or you wouldn't be here!" The funny thing was, nobody said: "What are you doing here?"

I'II tell you one thing, though: He knew what he was talking about, because in December of 1944, he saw the handwriting on the wall. He put out an order that everybody in that compound would walk ten laps around the perimeter. We started out knee deep in snow and ice. You should have seen us the next morning at roll call. There were guys, literally crawling. They were aching ... they were hurting. They were using muscles they hadn't used in months. When they finally moved us in January, it was the only thing that saved us.

Kamy cooked for us for six months, and we shared the K.P. ... the dirty work. Later, we broke up into three man combines. We had fifteen men in a room and each of the 3-man combines cooked for a week. One guy cooked and the other two did the clean-up. Our room had five triple decker bunks and a little potbelly stove ... that's where we did our toasting. In the room next door, we had a charcoal-wood burning cook stove. That's where we made our regular meals.

There's more . . . much more, in this week's cover story. To read the rest of our cover story, as well as the Chuckles and our feature columns, go here:

www.thecommunitypaper.com

African Dancer

Dancer Lunga - from the Musical 'Africa Africa.'
This is an unbelievable act of contortion. It's really incredible.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Three Hillbillies

Three Hillbillies are sitting on a porch shootin' the breeze.
1st Hillbilly says: 'My wife sure is stupid!...She bought an air conditioner. '
2nd Hillbilly: 'Why is that stupid?'
1st Hillbilly: 'We ain't got no 'lectricity!'

2nd Hillbilly says: 'That's nothin'! My wife is so stupid, she bought one of them new Fangled warshin ' machines!'
1st Hillbilly: 'Why is that so stupid?'
2nd Hillbilly: ''Cause we ain't got no plummin'!'
3rd Hillbilly says: 'That ain't nuthin'! My wife is dumber than both yer's put together! I was going through her purse the other day lookin' fer change, and found 6 condoms in thar.'
1st and 2nd Hillbillies: 'Well, what's so dumb about that?'
3rd Hillbilly: 'She ain't got nuttin to put um on..'

Minnesota Under Attack over Sharia Law

I've seen this before . . . in fact, I think I may have already forwarded this several weeks ago. Did a search on factcheck.org and snopes; couldn't find anything on it. However, this newscaster used to be on CNN, he's with a major tv station in Minnesota, I presume he has checked his facts and the video seems to verify the news copy he's reading.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0vItJqpQ8U&feature=player_embedded

Really Cute . . .

Great Dog Video

Catch the message at the end of the video:

The Last Plane out of Boeing's Plant 2

BE SURE TO READ THE OTHER PERSONAL ACCOUNTS HIGHLIGHTED IN BLUE. WHAT A STORY…..
What an era!

Worth Checking Out

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/09/23/voter-fraud-houston-tea-party-truethevote-texas/?test=latestnews

You, too, can be a home fixit genius!

As Evelyn will confirm, these are remedies which I live by and observe religously:

AMAZINGLY SIMPLE HOME REMEDIES:

1. AVOID CUTTING YOURSELF WHEN SLICING VEGETABLES BY GETTING SOMEONE ELSE TO HOLD THE VEGETABLES WHILE YOU CHOP.

2. AVOID ARGUMENTS WITH THE FEMALES ABOUT LIFTING THE TOILET SEAT BY USING THE SINK.

3. FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE SUFFERERS ~ SIMPLY CUT YOURSELF AND BLEED FOR A FEW MINUTES, THUS REDUCING THE PRESSURE ON YOUR VEINS. REMEMBER TO USE A TIMER.

4. A MOUSE TRAP PLACED ON TOP OF YOUR ALARM CLOCK WILL PREVENT YOU FROM ROLLING OVER AND GOING BACK TO SLEEP AFTER YOU HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON.

5. IF YOU HAVE A BAD COUGH, TAKE A LARGE DOSE OF LAXATIVES. THEN YOU'LL BE AFRAID TO COUGH.

6. YOU ONLY NEED TWO TOOLS IN LIFE - WD-40 AND DUCT TAPE. IF IT DOESN'T MOVE AND SHOULD, USE THE WD-40. IF IT SHOULDN'T MOVE AND DOES, USE THE DUCT TAPE.

7. IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.


Afraid of the Devil?

A few minutes before the church services started, the congregation were sitting in their pews and talking.

Suddenly, Satan appeared at the front of the church.

Everyone started screaming and running for the front entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate.

Soon the church was empty except for one elderly gentleman who sat calmly in his pew without moving, seemingly oblivious to the fact that God's ultimate enemy was in his presence.

So Satan walked up to the man and said, 'Do you know who I am?'

The man replied, 'Yep, sure do.'

'Aren't you afraid of me?' Satan asked.

'Nope, sure ain't.' said the man.

'Don't you realize I can kill you with one word?' asked Satan..

'Don't doubt it for a minute,' returned the old man, in an even tone.

'Did you know that I can cause you profound, horrifying AGONY for all eternity?' persisted Satan.

'Yep,' was the calm reply.

'And you are still not afraid?' asked Satan.

' Nope,' said the old man

More than a little perturbed, Satan asked, 'Why aren't you afraid of me?'

The man calmly replied, 'Been married to your sister for 48 years.

I'm not one to complain or anything but here's what it's like today in Escondido:

Fortunately, I'm in an air conditioned office/home. I took Trixie out a couple times for her ablutions. It was like walking into a sauna. And I'm not that fond of saunas. Fortunately, she went tinkle quickly and we dashed back into the air conditioned comfort of the house.

Me no likee hot, hot weather. Me go to heavan, not hell. More better in heaven. I may, however, have to change my ways. And beliefs.

PS: Evelyn just told me it was 108 today in Carlsbad! Unheard of! That's where we were for the weekend with a very comfortable 85 degrees. That surely must only be in the inland area of Carlsbad. At the beach I can't believe it would get that high!

PPS: Makes one doubly appreciative of our military in Afghanistan and Iraq. It's like this ever day there . . . and they have all that combat gear, kevlar vests, etc.
That is not 'good duty.' They suffer.

It was all a hoax!

15 yo Latina Girl admits to Hoax about Homie Gang Rape in Encinitas Friday

This is terrible! What this girl put the Sheriff's Department and the community (not to mention the media) is unforgiveable!
At a news conference today at 4pm the Sheriffs Department admitted this was all a big hoax and the girl finally confessed to it today. The girl did go have sex with a man she met online Friday afternoon, but she made up the part that she was kidnapped and gang raped by three Latino gangbangers. (The victim is a Latina).
Encinitas Sheriffs are saying they are not sure if they plan to charge the girl with filing a false police report and charging her parents the tens of thousands of dollars wasted over the past three days investigating a heinous crime that never happened.
We think Capt. Sorro at the Encinitas Sheriff's station should not thing twice about holding the girl and her parents accountable for putting her community through Hell for 72 hours.
Captain Sorro's phone number is 760-966-3500. Those who live in San Diego County may want to call the Captain and let him know we expect the law to be enforced and the girl and parents be required to reimburse the taxpayers for this expense.
The man is facing charges as well for sex with a minor when he's caught - it's a felony if he's over 25. Sheriffs say they know who he is and he lives in SD County.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2010 11:07 AM
Subject: ALERT!! 3 Hispanic Males Kidnap, Rape 15 year old Girl walking home from school in Encinitas Yesterday

Hope they're not in TJ already. Sick bastards!

------ Forwarded Message
From: TheNixleTeam@emails.nixle.com
Reply-To: no-reply@emails.nixle.com
Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2010 16:59:47 +0000
Subject: Advisory Message: Kidnapping & Sexual Assault of 15 year old female
student walking home from school in Encinitas.


Advisory Message has been issued by the San Diego County Sheriff's
Department.

Saturday September 25, 2010 9:57 AM PDT

Kidnapping & Sexual Assault of 15 year old female student walking home from
school in Encinitas.

On 09-24-10, at about 4:10 PM, a 15 year old female student was kidnapped
and sexually assaulted near the 800 block of
Melba Road, in Encinitas, while walking home from school.
An older white four-door sedan pulled along side the victim.
A Hispanic male adult (Suspect #1) grabbed the victim from behind then
forced her into the back seat of the vehicle. The vehicle quickly sped off
with the victim still inside.
There were two additional suspects inside the vehicle. The suspects held the
victim in the car and sexually assaulted her while they drove through
several residential areas.
After about one hour, the suspects returned the victim to the school campus
and pushed her out of the vehicle.

Suspect #1 - Hispanic male adult, age 20-32, 6' tall, thin build, brown
eyes, thin mustache, light brown complexion,shaved head, tattoo on back of
head (possibly a "6" or "619"), wearing a black long sleeve shirt and blue
baggy jeans.

Suspect #2 - Hispanic male adult, age 20-32, 5' 8" - 5' 10" tall, light
brown eyes, medium build, dark brown complexion, short light brown hair,
some acne on face, protruding ears, small goatee, white t-shirt and blue
shorts.

Suspect #3 (Driver) - Hispanic male adult, age 20-32, 5' 8" - 5'10" tall,
green/hazel eyes, medium build, dark brown complexion, short light brown
hair, mustache and goatee, dark blue t-shirt, possibly a scar on right side
of neck.

Vehicle Description - Older white 4 door mid size sedan with a squared off
back, tinted rear windows.

Please contact the San Diego County Sheriff's Department with any
information at (858) 565-5200.

The Next Great Charger Game!

It's the game of the season! The Hattie B. Monroe Home for Crippled Seniors versus the San Diego Chargers!
The Chargers are three point favorites by most sports pundits, because of their great kicking game.
Philip Rivers is likely to throw for 450 yards with a 95% completion rate . . . however, and it's a big however, because the Hattie B. Monroe Home for Crippled Seniors is known for their great run back skills and Special Teams Blocking and the Chargers are not, expect a number of touchdowns scored by the Hattie B. Monroe Cripples.
There's a reasonable chance that "The Mighty Motrin" group will mow right through the Charger Special Teams Unit. Thus, every time the Chargers score a field goal (a touchdown is unlikely) "The Mighty Motrin" group is more likely to score a touchdown. Highly paid mathematicians have determined that seven points is approximately four more points than three. Thus the end result is more likely a victory for the Hattie B. Monroe Home for Crippled Seniors than the San Diego Chargers.
Senior sports fans across the nation are on the edge of their Porta-Potties, just waiting for the game to begin. A resounding 'thump, thump, thump,' created by the repeated pounding of canes and walkers on the stadium floor by partisan seniors, is likely to distract the San Diego Chargers during Philip Rivers' signal count. As a result, look for many "illegal motion" penalties, not to mention fumbles, in which the Chargers excel in committing.
My prediction: Hattie B. Monroe Home for Crippled Seniors 35
(all via kickoff and/or punt runbacks)
San Diego Chargers 21 (all via field goals)
Bonus Coverage: Be sure not to miss the cheerleading squad for the Hattie B. Monroe Home for Crippled Seniors, "The HBM Biddies!" These gals will amaze you with their splits. They don't even need to leave their wheel chairs to do them. And in unison!
They can wheeze the Hattie B. Monroe Fight Song throughout the whole game, pausing only for occasional fresh shots of oxygen from their portable oxygen tanks.
Plans are underway for a full color calendar with these lovely, but ancient, sirens. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Return of the Dynamic Duo - Plus 1

Well, we're home.
We had one glorious night and day at Tamarack Beach Resort. We could not have had better weather. 85 degrees at the beach . . . which is balmy to us, but hot as Hades to those who live at the beach.
Evelyn and I had a very relaxing time, just sitting on our verandah and watching the waves roll in, watching the surfers, watching the hikers and dog-walkers as they ambled along the promenade.
We had a special treat this morning as we watched a pod of about four or five dolphins swim by. They must have been in our immediate range for about 10-15 minutes. I don't think there's a much prettier sight than seeing those peaceful and graceful marine mammals cruising the ocean. Later, Marty, Evelyn's youngest son, said he had been out surfing and saw four separate pods of dolphins. What a great and rare treat!
Carlsbad is an interesting place. For those who don't live in North San Diego County, it's a beach community, fronting the Pacific Ocean. There's a whole different way of life there. Lots of people walking, riding bicycles, visting funky retaurants, walking dogs (and if you walk your dog you damn sure better have a baggie or two to pick up after it. If you don't, you'll be told about it by the locals . . . and that's the way it should be).
Invariably, we find the locals as well as the tourists friendly and eager to visit. We probably spent 15-20 minutes chatting with two or three different couples who had their dogs out for a walk.
I like Carlsbad. Wouldn't mind living there. The people seem kind and gentle, laid back, anxious to please. Sometimes, in our workaday world, and living inland, we get so involved with work we forget how to relax and enjoy the area and its people.
We went over to Marty's, picked up Trixie, and took her for a walk on the beach promenade. It was a great adventure for her and she's slowly learning how to socialize not only with other dogs, but with other people as well. She tends to be a bit on the shy side with both . . . but she does make friends. It just takes a bit of patience.
Took her back to Marty's then headed back to the suite and just kicked back.
It was a fairly pleasant day till I started to watch the Chargers and their terrible play (except for Rivers. He was great!) That soured my otherwise happy mood rather quickly. Great talent . . . but poor discipline and special teams don't know what they are doing.
Evelyn and Marty went down to the BBQ area and cooked up some hamburgers while I napped. Ever notice how much better hamburgers taste when you grill them at the beach, at the lake, or any really special place?
Having been fed and watered, Marty headed home and Evelyn and I both took a nap. It's easier napping at the beach . . . salt air, balmy breezes . . . they just invite wonderful sleep.
Turns out Evelyn and I were thinking the same thing. That we probably ought to head back home. We were worried about the cats and knew Trixie would love to get back to her own home (though she had made a great pal with Clyde, Marty's dog. They played well together and Marty has this big, fenced-in backyard that the dogs love to run and play in. I think Evelyn and I have pretty much decided to put a chain link fence in the back yard so Trixie will have a place to run here and we won't have to worry about her running out into the street and getting hit by a car. Right now we have to take her out on a 16' retractable leash and that takes a lot of time.
We probably won't go back til Wednesday evening, have another great sunset meal at Dini's restaurant, watching the waves roll in and boom upon the shore as we dine, another glorious evening, a few daytime hours Thursday, then return home again to our regular life. Marty is going to stay there Thursday night and then check out for us Friday. I'll see if Ken, my youngest son, wants to stay at the time share tomorrow night. Sadly, Evelyn and I only get two, maybe three nights out of our time share week. Just too much work and time demands to get the paper out.
Still, it has been a bit like a second honeymoon. Both of us relaxed, enjoying ourselves, and having time alone, together, without a herd of animals to disturb us. ('Course, at age 71, I'm not sure I can handle more than one second honeymoon a year. But I just might try . . . you never know! This old codger still has a gleam in his eye and a rather warm and affectionate heart.)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Happy Trails Roy and Dale

Happy Trails, Roy

The Roy Rogers Museum has closed its doors forever. Here is a partial listing of some of the items that were sold at auction:

Roy 'S 1964 Bonneville sold for $254,500, it was estimated to sell between 100 and 150 thousand dollars.

His script book from the Jan uary 14,1953 episode of This Is Your Life sold for $10,000 (EST. $800-$1,000)

A collection of signed baseballs (Pete Rose, Duke Snyder and other greats) sold for $3,750

A collection of signed bats (Yogi Berra, Enos Slaughter, Bob Feller, and others) sold for $2,750.

Trigger's saddle and bridle sold for $386,500 (EST. 100-150K)

One of many of Roy 'S shirts sold for $16,250 and one of his many cowboy hats sold for $17,500.

One set of boot spurs sold for $10,625. Although he never used a set of spurs on Trigger.

A life size shooting gallery sold for $27,500. This is really neat. You should see it.

Various chandeliers sold from $6,875 to $20,000. Very unique and artistic in their western style.

A signed photograph by Don Larsen taken during his perfect game in the world series against the Dodgers on Oct.8, 1953, along with a signed baseball to Roy from Don, sold for $2,500

Two fabulous limited edition BB guns in their original boxes with numerous photos of Roy, Dale, Gabby, and Pat sold for $3,750.

A collection of memorabilia from his shows entertaining the troops in Vietnam sold for $938. I never knew he was there. God bless him. His flight jacket sold for $7,500.

His set of dinner ware plates and silverware sold for $11,875. The Holy Bible they used at the dinner table every night sold for $8,750.

One of several of his guitars sold for $27,500.

Nellybelle (The Jeep) sold for $116,500.

A fabulous painting of Roy , Dale, Pat, Buttermilk, Trigger, and Bullet sold for $10,625. One of several sets of movie posters sold for $18,750.

A black and white photograph of Gene Autry with a touching inscription from Gene to Roy sold for $17,500.

A Republic Productions Poster (I'll explain later what this is if you don't know) bearing many autographs of the people that played in Roy 'S movies sold for $11,875.

Dale's horse, Buttermilk (whose history is very interesting) sold below the presale estimate for $25,000. (EST. 30-40K)

Bullet sold for $35,000 (EST. 10-15K). He was their real pet.

Dale's parade saddle, estimated to sell between 20-30K, sold for $104,500.

One of many pairs of Roy 'S boots sold for $21,250.

Trigger sold for $266,500.

Do you remember the 1938 movie The Adventures of Robinhood with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland? Well Olivia rode Trigger in that movie. Trigger was bred on a farm co-owned by Bing Crosby. Roy bought Trigger on a time payment plan for $2,500. Roy and Trigger made 188 movies together. Trigger even out did Bob Hope by winning an Oscar in the movie Son of Paleface in 1953.

In conclusion, I have to admit that this has made my eyes water. It is extremely sad to me to see this era lost forever. Despite the fact that Gene and Roy 'S movies, as well as those of other great characters, can be bought or rented for viewing, today's kids would rather spend their time playing video games. Today it takes a very special pair of parents to raise their kids with the right values and morals. These were the great heroes of our childhood, and they did teach us right from wrong, and how to have and show respect for each other and the animals that share this earth.

You and I were born at the right time. We were able to grow up with these great people even if we never met them. In their own way, they taught us patriotism and honor, we learned that lying and cheating were bad, and sex wasn't as important as love. We learned how to suffer through disappointment and failure and work through it. Our lives were drug free.

So it's good-bye to Roy and Dale, and Gene and Hoppy, The Lone Ranger and Tonto. Farewell to Sky King and Superman and Sgt. Friday. Best wishes and thanks to Capt.. Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers and Capt. Noah and all those people whose lives touched ours', and made them better.

NOTE FROM KATHY: I visited the Roy Rogers museum in Apple Valley CA when we were stationed at George AFB, but never got to visit the Gene Autry one and now they no longer exist.

It was a great ride through childhood.



"Our being is subject to all the chances of life.
There are so many things we are capable of,
that we could be or do. The possibilities are so
great that we never, any of us, are more than
one-fourth fulfilled." ~ Katherine Anne Porter ~

Another Commentary . . .

There's a guy named Mark Evanier who has a blog (newsfromme.com) that I enjoy reading. Even when I don't agree with him, he writes well and presents good argument. Here is one of his latest:

Saturday Morning On My Mind

Regarding Christine O'Donnell, who's running for the Senate in Delaware: I think it's kinda unfair to keep dredging up these clips from talk show appearances she made years ago as proof she's a looney. Then again, can anyone cite me one instance in recent years when anyone who opposed a candidate has had mud on that candidate and not flung it? If the most honorable person running for public office — whoever that is — had that kind of thing on their opponent, do you think the clip would not be up on YouTube? And yes, I know that speaking of the most honorable person running for public office is a little like discussing which of the Three Stooges had the highest intellect. (It was probably Joe Besser, the only one who quit...)

Not only are the clips of Ms. O'Donnell old but they're from shows where you had to be a little outrageous to get face time. If she'd advanced an intelligent, well-reasoned approach to issues like safe sex and birth control, she would never have gotten on some of those programs in the first place. She was, like so many folks who get on those programs, a bit of a freakish anomaly — a real cute woman who had all these weird ideas about sex. Conservatives love that because it puts an adorable face on their agenda. Liberals love it because it puts a na├»ve face on the Conservative agenda. Producers of both stripes love it because she's attractive and it's a way to get sex talk on their shows and not get criticized for it. Win/win/win.

So when she distances herself from the "witchcraft" clip, I say let it go. Voters in Minnesota didn't hold Jesse Ventura's wrestling past or Al Franken's worst Saturday Night Live bits against them. Dredging up Sarah Palin's beauty contest days or showing that clip of her in an exorcism...to me, that's almost like her opponents saying, "We can't make a good argument against the current person so we want you to vote against who she used to be." If they had footage of Ms. O'Donnell killing a man to watch him die or giving neck rubs to Bin Laden, that would be different. But this is like Ken Starr, under the cover of an "investigation," publishing every possible detail he could dig up about the size and shape of Bill Clinton's genitalia and where he put it. It's just trying to embarrass a political foe instead of dealing fairly with them.

And it's all so unnecessary in Christine O'Donnell's case because there's plenty of current, relevant reasons why she should not be allowed anywhere near public office. The woman lives in a fantasy world where the planet isn't getting warmer, the poor don't exist and you can talk horny 16-year-old kids out of having sex. You don't have to dig into the vaults to portray her as a looney. Just get her to do three interviews with anyone who'll challenge her more than Sean Hannity...or point out that if she won't do that, it's because she's incapable of answering a real question.

The Outhouse Poem

THE OUTHOUSE POEM *

(*note: If you don't know what a Out House is - ask someone a little older)


The service station trade was slow
The owner sat around,
With sharpened knife and cedar stick
Piled shavings on the ground.

No modern facilities had they,
The log across the rill
Led to a shack, marked His and Hers
That sat against the hill.

"Where is the ladies restroom, sir?"
The owner leaning back,
Said not a word but whittled on,
And nodded toward the shack.



With quickened step she entered there
But only stayed a minute,
Until she screamed, just like a snake
Or spider might be in it.

With startled look and beet red face
She bounded through the door,
And headed quickly for the car
Just like three gals before.

She missed the foot log - jumped the stream
The owner gave a shout,
As her silk stockings, down at her knees
Caught on a sassafras sprout.

She tripped and fell - got up, and then
In obvious disgust,
Ran to the car, stepped on the gas,
And faded in the dust.

Of course we all desired to know
What made the gals all do
The things they did, and then we found
The whittling owner knew.

A speaking system he'd devised
To make the thing complete,
He tied a speaker on the wall
Beneath the toilet seat.

He'd wait until the gals got set
And then the devilish tike,
Would stop his whittling long enough,
To speak into the mike.

And as she sat, a voice below
Struck terror, fright and fear,
"Will you please use the other hole,
We're painting under here!"



The 100 mph Goat

The 100 MPH Goat

Two Tennessee rednecks are out hunting, and as they are walking along they come upon a huge hole in the ground. They approach it and are amazed by the size of it.

The first hunter says, "Wow, that's some hole; I can't even see the bottom. I wonder how deep it is."

The second hunter says," I don't know, let's throw something down and listen and see how long it takes to hit bottom."

The first hunter says, "There's this old automobile transmission here, give me a hand and we'll throw it in and see". So they pick it up and carry it over, and count one, and two and three, and throw it in the hole.

They are standing there listening and looking over the edge and they hear a rustling in the brush behind them. As they turn around they see a goat come crashing through the brush, run up to the hole and with no hesitation, jump in head first.

While they are standing there looking at each other, looking in the hole and trying to figure out what that was all about, an old farmer walks up. "Say there," says the farmer, "you fellers didn't happen to see my goat around here anywhere, did you?"

The first hunter says, " Funny you should ask, but we were just standing here a minute ago and a goat came running out of the bushes doin' about a hunert miles an hour and jumped headfirst into this hole here!"

The old farmer said, "That's impossible. I had him chained to a transmission!"

One Scary Video

I don't care what they pay these guys, I would not want their job:

The Bombing of Syria's Nuclear Reactor

Do you like spy thrillers? I have a friend named Pat, who comes up with a lot of Intelligence from within Mexico but, here, he provides us with a fascinating account of the planning and execution of those plans for the bombing of the Syrian Nuclear Reactor.
Fascinating reading!

(I did some minor editing on this report to correct some spelling/punctuation slips. The article content remains unaltered. The core situation remains unchanged, evidently. An outcome resolution may pivot on therationality/irrationality of the Syrians. Pat)


Israel: Planning, Implementation of 2007 Bombing of Syrian Nuclear Reactor

Tel Aviv Ynetnews in English 26 Aug 2010

[Article by Mikha'el Bar-Zohar and Nisim Mish'al, authors of recently released book "Mosad - The Great Operations:"]

London, end of July 2007 -- A guest at a large Lexington hotel left his room in the evening, took the elevator down to the lobby, and stepped into a vehicle waiting for him outside. He was a senior Syrian official who arrived from Damascus a short while earlier and rushed to a meeting downtown.

The moment he left the hotel, two men rose from their seats at the corner of the lobby. They stepped into the elevator, reached the guest's room, and opened the door using keys. They searched the room professionally but did not need to work too hard. The Syrian's laptop was right on the desk. The two men installed a Trojan Horse - spyware that created a "backdoor" to the computer. Using this door, it became possible to monitor the computer remotely and copy all the material saved on it. Within minutes, the two men left the room.

The above story, and the information to follow, is based on both foreign and Israeli reports. The laptop provided Mossad with invaluable information, which for the first time exposed Syria's secret nuclear program. The findings were stunning: The blueprints of a nuclear reactor in the Dir al-Zur area; correspondence with North Korean officials; photographs showing the reactor covered with cement. The evidence was unequivocal. It complemented other information accumulated during 2006 and 2007 by Israel's top intelligence officials. According to this information, the Syrian government secretly built a nuclear reactor in the desert, near the Turkish border and roughly 100 miles from the Iraq border. Officials were surprised to discover that the reactor
was constructed with Iranian funding and with the help of North Korean
experts.

The "love affair" between Syria and North Korea started with the Korean prime minister's visit to Syria before the Gulf War, on then-President Hafez Assad's invitation. The two countries signed a military and technological cooperation agreement. Although the nuclear issue was brought up, Assad decided to put it aside and make do with developing chemical and biological weapons. During his father's funeral in June 2000, Bashar Assad met with members of the North Korean delegation. At that time, they started to secretly push forward the construction of the Syrian reactor. In July 2002, a three-way deal was finalized, with an Iranian representative pledging to finance the reactor's construction (roughly $2 billion.) As it turns out, for five years Israel's and America's intelligence agencies were in the dark.

Iranian General Tells All

During those years, some warning signs emerged, yet nobody took notice. The American intelligence community misinterpreted the information it received, while Mossad and Military Intelligence officials in Israel estimated that the Syrians have no interest in or ability to acquire nuclear weapons. Hence, nobody bothered to look for information that would shatter the "conception." The Syrians adopted another tactic meant to lull Israel and the US into a false sense of security: They enforced a complete communication moratorium on all employees and experts at the nuclear site. Cellular and satellite phones were banned, and all communication was undertaken via messengers. The activityat the site was not exposed even though American and Israeli satellites photographed it regularly. However, a subsequent dramatic development stunned both Israel and the US.

On February 7, 2007, Iranian General Ali Reza Askari, formerly a senior
Revolutionary Guard official and deputy defense minister, arrived in Damascus from Tehran. He stayed in the Syrian capital until he ensured his family was on its way out of Iran, before continuing to Turkey and disappearing in Istanbul. A month later, it turned out that Askari defected to the West in an operation planned by the US in conjunction with Israel. He was questioned in a US base in Europe - apparently in Germany - and revealed some of Tehran's and Damascus' deepest secrets. Askari exposed the three-way relationship involving Syria, North Korea, and Iran. He told his interrogators that Tehran was encouraging and funding the establishment of the Syrian nuclear reactor. He provided further details about the reactor's condition and about the Iranians assisting and advising the Syrians.

Agent Inside the Reactor

The information prompted Israel to go into operational alert. The Mossad
earmarked manpower and resources to verify the details provided by the Iranian general. Then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert convened Israel's security chiefs for a special meeting; during the session they agreed that Israel must act urgently to acquire credible proof of the reactor's existence. It was clear to all that Israel could not accept the prospect of Syria, its bitter, belligerent rival, turning into a nuclear power. Within a few months, Mossad and Military Intelligence chiefs were able to present the prime minister with the incriminating evidence he sought. Five months after Askari's defection, the search took its next turn: The material uncovered in the Syrian official's computer in London. Meanwhile, Mossad registered another success: It managed
to recruit one of the reactor's employees, who provided numerous photographs and a video shot inside the building gradually taking shape.

Israel made sure to update the US, in real-time, about all the material it
managed to acquire, including up-to-date satellite images and tapped
conversations between North Korea and Damascus. Israeli pressure also prompted the US utilize its own spy satellites. Soon, up-to-date material was accumulated including images elicited through America's advanced satellites and materials acquired via electronic means, showing that the Syrians were building the reactor rapidly.

In June 2007, P.M. Olmert traveled to Washington to present all the material gathered by Israel; at the conclusion of a lengthy discussion with President George W. Bush, Olmert informed the US president that he decided to strike the Syrian reactor. The Americans were still hesitant, however. Israel recommended a military strike, but the US refused. According to credible American sources, the White House eventually decided that "the US prefers not to strike." Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
attempted to convince Israel to confront the Syrians, but not to attack.

In July 2007, Israel held aerial patrols above the reactor and elicited images of the activity at the site via satellite Ofek 7. The images were analyzed by American and Israeli experts, who ruled that Syria is building a nuclear reactor based on the North Korean model. In fact, the experts reached the conclusion that the reactors were identical. Meanwhile, Israel's intelligence-gathering Unit 8200 provided records of conversations between Syrian scientists and North Korea experts. This information was also handed over to Washington, but the Americans demanded unequivocal proof that the facility will be used as a nuclear reactor, and that nuclear materials are already at the site. Israel decided to supply this information as well.

Behind Enemy Lines

The "smoking gun" was found in August 2007. The clear-cut evidence was acquired by the elite Sayeret Matkal reconnaissance unit, which headed to the site under cover of darkness on board two helicopters. Nobody spotted the troops as they landed near Dir al-Zur. Using specialized equipment, they took several soil samples that contained radioactive materials. The findings were urgently relayed to US National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, who was stunned by the revelations. He quickly summoned top experts to draw conclusions and report to President Bush during their morning meeting.

Following the expert assessment, Hadley was convinced the matter at hand was serious. He held a lengthy discussion with Israel's Military Intelligence and Mossad chiefs, thereby reaching the conclusion that the reactor constitutes a substantive threat. The US was convinced that the reactor should be destroyed. According to the British Sunday Times, PM Olmert then convened Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni; the three leaders discussed the expected implications of a military strike in Syria with top security officials. After hours of deliberations, they decided to go ahead and wipe out the reactor. Olmert informed Opposition Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu of the decision.

The strike date was set for September 5, 2007. According to the Sunday Times, elite Air Force troops were deployed in the area on September 4 to mark the targets for the jets using laser. On September 5, 2007, at 11 P.M., 10 fighter jets left the Air Force base in Ramat-David and headed towards the Mediterranean. Thirty minutes later, three planes were ordered to turn back. The other seven F-15 jets were ordered to head to the Syrian-Turkish border. En route to the reactor, they bombed a radar station in order to thwart Syria's ability to identify the infiltration. A few minutes later, the jets reached the Dir al-Azur area: They fired Maverick missiles and dropped half-ton bombs at the nuclear facility, recording direct hits. Within minutes, a Syrian reactor that could have been used to produce bombs that would threaten Israel's existence was wiped out.

Officials in Israel feared a Syrian response. PM Olmert called Turkish PrimeMinister Erdogan and asked that the latter relay a message to President Assad, stressing that Israel was not seeking war. The next day, great confusion prevailed in Damascus. At first, the Syrians maintained complete silence. They reported the strike only at 3 P.M. According to the report, Israeli jets infiltrated Syrian airspace at 1 A.M.. "Our Air Force forced them to withdraw after they dropped ammunition over the desert; no injuries or damages were reported," the Syrians said.

In April, 2008, some seven months after the Syrian facility was hit, the US Administration announced that the bombed site was a nuclear reactor built with the help of North Korea and was not meant for peaceful purposes. American intelligence chiefs presented Congress members with photographs highlighting the Syrian facility's similarity to the North Korean reactor, as well as satellite images and sketches. Congress members also watched another fascinating video, which according to reports from Washington was filmed by aMossad agent inside the Syrian reactor. Israel managed to keep quiet for two weeks, refusing to admit it was behind the strike. But then came Netanyahu, who, as opposition leader, who in response to a question by TV anchor Haim Yavin said, "When the government does something for Israel's security - I support it.. And here I was a partner in this matter and I supported it from the very start." Olmert's aides were furious. "We are completely shocked by
this man, he is irresponsible and lacks discretion; this is the real Bibi!"
one aide said.

Assassination in Syria

On the evening of August 2, 2008, eleven months after the bombing of the reactor, a festive dinner was held on the terrace of a summer house in Rimal al-Zahabiya, north of the Syrian city of Tartous. The summer house was adjacent to the shore and had a magnificent view. The terrace overlooked the sea and served as a refuge from the summer's high humidity. The guests were close friends of the house's owner, General Mohammed Suleiman, who had traveled there for a weekend break.

Suleiman was President Assad's top aide on military and security matters. He was in charge of the reactor's construction and its security. Government circles in Damascus referred to him Assad's shadow. His office was located in the presidential palace, next to Assad's, and few knew him in Syria and abroad. While Suleiman's name was not mentioned in the media, Mossad and Western intelligence agencies knew him and his actions well. The 47-year-old Syrian was an engineering graduate of Damascus University. During his studies he befriended Basil Assad, then-President Hafez Assad's firstborn son and Bashar Assad's older brother. After Basil's death in a road accident, his father was sure to bring Suleiman close to himself and his heir. In 2000, Hafez Assad died and his son Bashar was elected president. With his rise to power, the young president made Suleiman his confidant and close advisor.

Suleiman played a unique role: He was a member of the Syrian research board, which dealt with the development of missiles, chemical and biological weapons and nuclear research and development. As part of his job, he was Syria's contact with North Korea. He coordinated the transfer of the reactor's parts to Syria and was in charge of security arrangements for the North Korean scientists and technicians involved in its construction. The reactor's bombing was a serious blow for Suleiman, but not a lethal one. After overcoming the initial shock, he began to plan the construction of an alternate reactor, for which a location had yet to be determined. Suleiman's new mission was much more complex and difficult than before, since he was now aware that he was on the Israeli and American intelligence agencies' radars.

Ahead of the next phase of his secret mission, Suleiman took a few days off and traveled to his summer home. A vacation and dinner with his friends was the best medicine for the pressure he was under. From his seat by the table he watched the waves lazily crawling up the shore. But what he didn't see, at a distance of some 150 meters (165 yards) from the terrace, was two figures waiting, motionless in the dark water. They reached this point from a far off distance in a ship that dropped them off some two 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from Suleiman's house. From there they dived until they neared his home. The two were professional snipers, possessing a wealth of experience and nerves of steel. They carried their weapons in water-proof covers. When they reached the shore they immediately spotted Suleiman's house. The information they received
from their country's intelligence agency was accurate. They identified the
building and the terrace, scanned the people seated at the table and focused on their target: The general sitting opposite them, among his guests.

Around 9 pm the snipers returned to test their aim and range. They watched Suleiman, sitting on a chair at the center of the table surrounded by his friends. It was crowded around the table, which forced the snipers to reset their focus and aim at the host's head. They continued to hide in the water. Then the signal was given. The two emerged from the water to the shore, moved closer to the house, aimed their rifles and shot Suleiman simultaneously. The hit was lethal. His head was first jolted back and then collapsed forward on the table. Those present did not understand what had happened, because they didn't hear a sound - the rifles were equipped with silencers. Only after they noticed the blood flowing from Suleiman's head did they realize he had been shot. A commotion broke out on the terrace, which enabled the snipers to flee
via a pre-planned escape route. The Sunday Times reported a slightly different version, saying the snipers were IDF Flotilla 13 commandos who arrived in Tartous on a luxury yacht belonging to an Israeli businessman, carried out their mission, and vanished.

Syria's official bodies were shocked. The government initially kept quiet and did not address the reports of an assassination. There was much embarrassment. How did the hit team make it to northern Syria? How did it flee the site? Was there no place left in Syria where the regime's heads could feel safe? Days after the incident a brief official statement was released saying, "Syria is holding an investigation to find those responsible for this crime." But Arab media extensively reported on the affair from day one and raised speculations about the identities of the perpetrators. Arab newspapers focused on elements that had an interest in assassinating the general, and were quick to point to Israel. They also claimed that Israel carried out the assassination because of Suleiman's involvement in the construction of the reactor Dir al-Zur. While
Arab media sang Suleiman's praises, Western intelligence agencies had a
completely different reaction to his death. In the capitals of the free world, no one shed a tear over the general's untimely passing.