Friday, August 24, 2007

What a!

What a week! "What a!" This is what the Little Ditchman now says for lack of anything better to say. It's in reference to a page in "Curious George and the Rocket", the part where George returns from space. The page begins: "What a welcome!" As you're reading with her, she'll anticipate the page, sometimes just thumbing ahead altogether, saying "What a!" Now it's just the title of the book. She'll carry it to you: "What a!" Took us a while to figure that one out.

It's not as interesting of a phrase as "Doe doe doe" which is actually the title of the the book, "Go, Dog, Go!" She comes to you with that book and you pretty much know what she's talking about. It's an orange book. "Green Eggs and Ham" is also an orange book. It's title? "Doe doe doe".

Sometimes, she'll be standing in the kitchen and she'll reference something in her general vicinity and she'll just say aloud: "What a!" We have no idea what she's talking about. I consider it just an enthusiastic exclamation. I got home from work last night after dark (pretty late for me) had a shower, got a beer, sat on the couch, noticed it didn't hurt to swallow as much as it did yesterday. "What a!"

The kid says all sorts of phrases, many we can understand perfectly. Lots of things in conjunction with "Peass" (please) and "Uh oh" (uh oh), but then there's a lexicon of stuff that's just incomprehensible. By the look on her face, it's clearly a set of words with meaning behind it, we just can't understand her. This is how a lot of people feel about the president, I imagine. But his speech the other day, I understood perfectly. Probably the best speech since the second inaugural address. These are the words history will remember, I think, in this long, multi-generational war against fascist islamists, and Bush's consistency on this issue is why I believe history will be kind to him.

Incidentally, in the speech there is a (I don't really understand why) controversial portion comparing Iraq with Vietnam and Bush underhandedly swipes at The New York Times, which has generally been pretty hard (if not outright unfair) on him. Interestingly, when the New York Times covered the speech the other day, they just sort of skipped over that part. BTW did you know that "our troops have killed or captured an average of more than 1500 al Qaeda terrorists and other extremists every month since January of this year (Applause)"? Good work, men! We'll send more bullets. Meanwhile, my flag flies 24/7 from Memorial Day to September 11th as long as we're at war. It's the least I could do.

I noticed there's a lot of flags flying on the houses on my street. Not half the houses, but quite a few. I'm not sure what it is that possesses people to do it. I know why I do, but I suspect there's a distinct reason people do. I'd like to ask them, "Why do you fly the flag?" I know there's a few people on my street who have family in Iraq or Afghanistan right now, so that's a pretty good reason, but I am also aware that there are a few reservists and veterans on my street who don't fly the flag. Makes one wonder. I've got nothing against people who don't do it. I do, however, dislike seeing faded, torn, and neglected flags flying on my street. I also dislike seeing unmowed lawns. Actually, I think mine needs to be mowed.

A while ago there was a Marine who lived across the street from me who was in Iraq a few times. Nice guy. Family man, firm handshake. Always flew his flag. I actually got up the nerve to thank him for his service once. He looked me straight in the eye, smiled, and said, "You're welcome."

I've flown the flag ever since.

You gotta respect that. You don't even have to agree that we should be in this war in Iraq in the first place. When I ran the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington D.C. a year ago I was feeling pretty thrashed after fifteen or twenty miles and a Marine handed me a cup of water and said, "Thanks for coming out and running with us today!" When I thought about him and that his job was to take a bullet for me and here he was giving me water so I could run this stupid marathon... well, it's hard to breathe with a lump in your throat.

And I know something about that. Anyway, there's a place for people who don't respect the military and don't give them everything they need to do their job well. I think that place is France, or here.

Enough of my views! The weekend is on its way! Check in here at TMST all weekend long for roaming, curt, one pic/one line significant updates! What a!