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Well I had an awesome birthday thanks to my mom, Lyndsay, and Lyndsay’s mom! I knew my mom was driving out here to see me but had no idea about Lyndsay and her mom, so basically I got a nice surprise when they showed up. We hung out, toured Texas Tech campus.

Lyndsay’s mom got me a Jelly Belly machine!! All I can say is w00t w00t!! Lyndsay bought me some really good books, Billy Madison, a scented candle, and a decorative candle. She also made me a birthday card which rocked! Props to her! My mom got me a water purifier for my sink (which I desperately needed), a crock pot, and a gift certificate to Rosa’s!

We had a really good time, on Saturday we went to the mall and did a little shopping/looking around. Then we went to a steakhouse for a good ‘ole fashioned Texas steak, mmmm. Lyndsay and I were supposed to go to the drive-in theater here but by the time we left the steakhouse it was too late, so we headed home and watched Happy Gilmore and some Simpson’s episodes. Oh, and we watched the rest of the Robin Williams Live on Broadway special.

All in all I had a great birthday and I am glad that my mom, Lyndsay, and Lyndsay’s mom took the time to come out here. I hope they had a good time!

Well I know I haven’t posted anything about computers in a while but, too bad… I have discovered that people say they want one thing but when something better comes along they want that too.

Last year we had the problem with prayer/Pledge of Allegiance in schools, some said that there should be a separation of Church and state. Ok, fine. Now those same people want laws that say it is ok for gays to marry… hmmm… Where’s the separation of Church and state now?? Are they saying that it is not ok for the Church to have influence in state but it is ok for the state to control the Church? What gives? If you want a separation, then take it but realize that the separation applies to both parties. What I mean is, the Church should not have to marry gays just because the state says so. I know that marriage has become more of a legal contract than a Biblical contract so if the state wants to have its own legal binding contracts for gays, go ahead, but don’t tell the Church that they have to marry them.

Well I said I was going to post a quote and I am going to follow through. The following is a letter written by Alison Bradley, the granddaughter of John Bradley, the last flagraiser on Iwo Jima to pass away (1997). Her highschool class was asked to write a letter to the person that they admired most, Alison chose her grandfather. I have chosen to only post a small part of the letter, to fully understand and appreciate it, get the book.

“Why did you not tell us about the Navy Cross?

And how about the time that Congress stopped and the Senate lined up to shake your hand? Why did you never sit us on your knee and tell us these stories?

The only answer I can give myself is that you were a quiet, modest, and honorable man who did not bask in glory. The only words you spoke in front of a camera were ‘I was in a certain place at a certain time. None of us are real heroes; we all just jumped in and lent a hand.’ “

James Bradley goes on to write, “After spending five years researching their lives, the boys certainly seem like heroes to me.”

Well I finally finished reading Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley and let me just say wow right now… This book is definitely a must read for everyone, no questions asked. The book is basically the story of the six men who raised the flag on Iwo Jima, in particular, John Bradley (the author’s father). The book chronicles the lives of those men and why they fought. It is interesting to me that the most unanimous response given by soldiers as to why they were fighting was not “For country” or “freedom” but instead “for the guy sitting next to me”. The thought of fighting for the freedom of the United States went out the door as soon as they hit those beaches on February 19, 1945 (49 yrs. ago yesterday). As soon as they were on the beach they were fighting to protect their buddies and the guy next to them. It was about survival.

John Bradley was a Navy corpsman (basically he was a medic for the Marines) and during the battle received the Navy Cross which is second only to the Medal of Honor. It is interesting to note that more Medal of Honor’s were awarded because of action on Iwo Jima than any other battle during the war. 6,825 Americans gave their lives to take a 7.5 square mile island.

For years, John Bradley did not talk about the war, the flag raising, or the men he fought with. When he finally granted an interview, he was asked if he thought he was a hero, humbly he replied “No, the heroes are the ones who didn’t come home”. He’s right in his mind but to everyone who wasn’t there, he is just as much of hero. There are those who paid the ultimate price for the freedom of this country that we take for granted everyday.

I should note the point of the Iwo Jima invasion. The island was a stepping stone to the main objective, the Japanese homeland. It also had two airbases on it where bombers and fighters that had been damaged or had malfunctioned could land and be repaired. The island saved 2,400 B-29 crews (approximately 27,000 men).

So check the book out, you’ll see what I’m talking about. I am going to post a quote later today that is from the book that I pretty much brought a tear to my eye.

The predicted weather for today is high clouds with wind speeds in the 40mph range with gusts in the 60mph range… It’s going to be a dusty one today.

Good news though, I don’t have to stay for my marketing class today because our professor is in Bentonville, Arkansas talking to Wal-Mart people. Good for me, bad for him. 😉

Well I get to school and find out that my teacher had decided to postpone the due date for our project until next Wednesday. It’s actually good news because I have time to add new stuff to my project to make it work even better than it already does. So I have 1 week to get more functionality added to my program. The test for that class wasn’t too hard at all, but we’ll see how the grade comes out.

Well tomorrow (January 17) I will get my grade for my first Managerial Accounting test… I am nervous, but I know I shouldn’t be because I felt I did fairly well on the test. The hardest of that class is yet to come as we are just now getting into the statistical data involved when doing accounting, for some reason I doubt this is going to be interesting.

My Java class is going fairly well. We have a test on Wednesday as well as an assignment due, so I’ll post the source for the assignment as soon as it’s completely done (I am at about 90% right now).

Defensive driving online, this can’t be fun…

Well it has now been snowing for 2 straight days (a rarity in these parts) and there is probably about 5-6″ on the ground. It is supposed to warm up tomorrow but I am starting to doubt it. Watching the snow at night is a pretty cool thing, especially when it is thick enough to reflect the light of the moon. I could seriously get used to this kind of weather, though, I would need some heavier clothing to be out in it everyday… The funny thing is that Lubbock actually looks pretty nice in the snow (rather than dust). I know it is my eyes just playing tricks on me, but it’s cool nonetheless.