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78


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Sometimes things go wrong


Fri, Mar 23rd, 2001
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Monday, March 26, 2001

Once upon a time, many years ago, when I was discharged from The Army of the United States, I joined a certain veterans organization. In the course of events, we formed a Funeral Escort in order to provide full military honors for our departed comrades. Because of my experience and former rank in The Army of The United States, I had been promoted to Private First Class three times in the two years that I served on active duty and, in all modesty, I must admit that there arenít many who can top that.

There were twenty men in our formation including: Color Guard, Firing Squad, Bugler, Pall Bearers and myself as Commander. We outfitted ourselves with Uniforms, Flags, Rifles and a Bugle. We met twice a week for a drill in which we practiced close order drill, the firing of our rifles and the rendition of Taps. After hours of drill, we felt ourselves ready for duty. We were ready but no one else was, there was a definite lack of eligible funerals.

In order to keep our unit together and keep active, we took part in civic events such as raising the flag at our local baseball games, leading the Fourth of July Parade and appearing at the half-time ceremonies at the high school homecoming game. Everywhere we appeared, people would remark about our smartness and how sharp we were. We knew that we were good but there was a certain feeling of inadequacy. We just werenít doing what we had trained for. We felt like a squad of paratroopers that had a lot of parachutes but no airplane.

Finally, at long last, our services were requested for a funeral. We were told that there would be no service at a church or mortuary but we were instructed to go to a certain ceremony located just across the Iowa boarder. Just before boarding our bus, I held an inspection of the troops. Everything was spotless: the men, uniforms, rifles and the bugle were a sight to behold. At long last we were going into action.

We were just a bit late in arriving at the ceremony due to a poor choice at a fork in the road but we quickly assumed our position at the grave site. There were very few mourners and I noticed that the funeral director appeared to be nervous and a bit upset but we were not. When the minister finished, I stepped forward and delivered a few well rehearsed remarks. I then gave the command and the firing squad fired three perfect volleys and the bugler sounded Taps that stirred our most deeply held emotions. It had been a pe .....
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The Gift of Life

Fri, Mar 23rd, 2001
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Monday, December 18, 2000

When the phone rang at three a.m. last Monday morning, my husband Joe sat straight up out of a deep sleep, "Baby time," he said.

With one foot on the floor, he then heard me saying, "Yes, you can dry ginger a ..... 
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mp3 Sharing and CD burning

Fri, Mar 23rd, 2001
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Is it a Crime?By Andy CarlsonMonday, March 26, 2001

Mp3 websites, such as the well publisized Napster, has revolutionized the way that music reaches the ears of millions of music fans. Mp3 file sharing is an easy and free way to download all o ..... 
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Crossing Cultures

Fri, Mar 23rd, 2001
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Monday, March 19, 2001

It's a bone chilling November evening in 1979. Members of Sheie and Garness Lutheran Churches of rural Mabel wait in the LaCrosse airport for a family coming across the Mekong River, Laotian mountains and centuries of cu ..... 
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Beneath Tropical Seas

Fri, Mar 23rd, 2001
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Monday, February 5, 2001

Waves roll in and then recede, as the ocean endlessly caresses this lonely tropical shore. Shallow, crystal clear and deliciously warm are the waters of the all-encompassing sea. The white sand beach is deserted, polis ..... 
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Escape from America

Fri, Mar 23rd, 2001
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Monday, December 11, 2000

I guess Iím a snowbird at heart because every year about this time, once the temperature dips below zero and looks like itís going to stay there awhile, I start yearning to go south. Way south. All the way down to Ecu ..... 
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Industrial Cooking

Fri, Mar 23rd, 2001
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Monday, March 26, 2001

You may have heard of "old wives tales". I have an "old farmer attitude" when it comes to cooking. When it is my turn in the kitchen, I tend to press on to get the job done regardless of obstacles. If I donít have an ing ..... 
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Money Well Spent

Fri, Mar 23rd, 2001
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Monday, March 19, 2001

I sat in a seat in the middle of the theatre and looked upward.

ďThe ceiling is still up there after all these years,Ē I thought. Masonite panels tacked up with nails and painted green. Usually the lights are lo ..... 
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Fri, Mar 23rd, 2001
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