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Ernie's House of Whoopass! November 11, 2010
November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day! (And Happy LBEH Kickoff!)

Today is Veteran's Day. Unlike Memorial Day, which is set aside to pay our respects to those warriors who were lost in the battle for freedom and liberty, Veteran's Day pays homage to those that have served our country and are still around to tell the tale. Our nation's veterans include the octogenarian who shivers when he remember seeing his breath against the frigid winter blackness of the Ardennes forest, to the recently retired motorcycle rider who despite his good nature and long ponytail, still remembers trying to sleep in between tropical rainstorms and bowls of spoiled rice. And now over the last decade of battle, we add this latest generation of warriors to this long line of men and women who have put their lives in harms way so that you and I can sleep soundly in our beds each night. Which raises the question, how can we honor these men and women who despite the ever present danger, still find the courage and strength to put on their uniform each morning?

When I came home from basic training -- an event that seems at least five hundred years ago -- and arrived at my first (and only, woo hoo!) duty station, I was only six or seven hours drive away from visiting my family. Which was good for the soul to a snot nosed kid right out of high school. I was fortunate, but many others were not. Those that couldn't afford airfare back home were destined to sit around the dorm during the holidays, eating Thanksgiving dinner at the Enlisted Club and opening beaten and battered Christmas presents that were mailed out weeks prior.

Some time after I came into my own civilian life (roughly four hundred years ago) I started Let's Bring 'Em Home; a non-profit organization to purchase airline tickets to allow our nation's warriors to fly home and be with their families for Christmas. That was in 2001 -- okay maybe not exactly four hundred years, but close. This year's Let's Bring Em Home campaign, our tenth go at this if you can believe it, starts today. How does this involve you? Well, if you're as thankful for our current warriors as I am, perhaps you might want to show that appreciation by donating a few bucks for the cause. Last year with Kat and Elizabeth's help, we raised just a hair over $95,000 and helped 155 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines celebrate the holidays with their families. As always, your donations are 100% tax deductible, and you can keep an up to date watch on the donations/ticket requests at http://www.lbeh.org. The most convenient way to donate is via Paypal, but we've got a mailing address for those of you who prefer to send good old fashioned checks. I thank you in advance for any help you can provide. And for those of you whose neatly pressed uniforms are still neatly folded in a foot locker, or deep in slumber somewhere in a locked chest in your attic, I thank you for your service to the greatest country on Earth. Happy Veteran's Day, indeed.

This link is one not ever mentioned enough Ernie. Balls, great big, clanking balls. It's the timeline of the sinking. After the Fitzgerald went missing, the Arthur Anderson, which had been behind them, made Whitefish Bay and were out of the storm. The Coast Guard asked them to go back out and see if they could find the Fitzgerald. The captain of the Anderson knew how bad it was out on Lake Superior, and though he didn't want to go out, he did. One of his crew members made a tape recording of his last will and sealed it in wax so the world would know what had happened to the Anderson. If you don't want to read the whole saga on the page, scroll down to 9 p.m. where the Coast guard tells the Anderson they're probably the only ones who are in the area and asks them to go back out into the storm. The Anderson captain, and his crew deserve tons of credit for their attempt, going back out in those waters to try and search, but when the anniversary comes up it usually isn't mentioned. Jon [Ernie says: and if you're too lazy to read, here is audio of the radio conversation].

It was a rogue wave. That explains more sudden disappearances of otherwisde large, seaworthy ships that one could imagine, and yes they happen in the Great Lakes as well the open ocean. One has never been caught on film and most of the witnesses to them are at the bottom of the ocean or the Great Lakes. End of story. Wet it, wipe it, goodnight. Jeff

Clearly the Edmund Fitzgerald was sunk by a torpedo from a Canadian submarine. Keep up the good work, Kirk, Houston, TX

Here's a bit of trivia that totally blew my fucking mind. George Romero -- the Godfather of Zombies -- and Mr. Rogers -- the Godfather of My Childhood -- were friends. That's right. Romero, one of the godfathers of splatterhouse cinema, got his start filming bits for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood on PBS. In fact, it was a segment that featured Mister Rogers getting a tonsillectomy that reportedly inspired Romero to go into the horror movie business, though he probably found it hard to top showing a graphic surgical procedure on a show targeted to toddlers. Rogers was incredibly supportive of Romero, but that support did stop short of letting him use Betty Aberlin (who played Lady Aberlin on Mister Rogers Neighborhood). Romero wanted her to play the role of Judy in Night of The Living Dead, a character whose primary purpose was to explode and be eaten. Mister Rogers said no. Not that Mister Rogers had a problem with Romero's zombie movies. He went to screenings of both Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, and after viewing the latter, he told Romero, "It's a lot of fun, George." Which is fitting, because if Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and Night of the Living Dead have taught us anything, it's that it's what's on the inside that counts.

Hey Ernie, Great web site, long time reader, first time contributor. The movie Unstoppable does look bad ass. But it reminds me of a movie I watched on netflix called Runaway Train with Jon Voight. No, not the same Jon Voight that once owned George Castanzas car. Butch

Unstoppable - Denzel Washington movie - Save your money and get "Speed" off Netflix. Jon

Self-professed “Angel of Death,” hospital orderly Donald Harvey went undetected for quite a while before his murders came to light. He claims to have murdered 87 people, though official estimates have only been able to put that number at around 36 to 57. Harvey used numerous methods to kill; including arsenic, cyanide, insulin, suffocation, miscellaneous lesser-known poisons, morphine, powering down ventilators, administration of fluid tainted with hepatitis B and/or HIV, and finally: insertion of a coat hanger into a catheter, causing an abdominal puncture [FUCKING OW]. Despite some of the more creative methods employed, cyanide and arsenic were his favorites. He’s currently serving four life sentences for his heinous crimes.

Penny auctions have been getting plenty of buzz, as some users are getting incredible deals for things like iPads and cars, while others are complaining that they aren’t winning the auctions. Here’s an article where penny auctions are explained. If you’re going to play, you have to understand the system. Research penny auction tips and come up with a strategy, but remember that not everybody wins.

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