Monthly Archives: March 2007


A Walmart Story

Typical Big Box Store

An Empty Big Box Store

All we wanted to do was return a vacuum cleaner.  We had purchased it 5 days earlier, broken it after 20 minutes total use, and decided to get a different model.  By the time we were successful we had involved most of the Wal-Mart’s night shift, provided entertainment for other shoppers, yelled at the store manager and received personal guidance on choosing a vacuum cleaner from the housewares department manager.

All of this only took about one hour.  What a night. Continue reading

My Letters To Andy Sullivan

Flying Mail

Flying Mail

In my continuing series of letters, I’ve had the opportunity to write to columnist Andrew Sullivan. “Andy” is a conservative columnist who writes for a number of publications, including “Time” magazine and “The Atlantic,” both their print and on-line publications. The occasion for my letters was being fed up with Andy expressing shock at the latest public outrage by shock-jock Ann Coulter.

Advisory: Don’t click over the fold if you get the vapors from adult subject matter. Continue reading

Home Improvement – The Virginia Edition

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Winnie and I have been spending the past week cleaning, fixing, and repainting our new house. You’d think that after a year’s worth of rebuilding our Mississippi house, a little painting would be simple.

But I must say, the painting and relatively minor repairs we’re doing feels like “Deja Vou all over again.” Continue reading

We Have A House!

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

We took a big step towards settling down in Virginia.  Wednesday morning, Feb 28, 2007, we closed on the purchase of a house here in Dale City.

For me, the closing was a typical event of crossed signals, missed connections and general confusion.  For our realtor and the other professionals it was an embarrassment of chaos.  So I’d have to guess they’re just not used to doing business the “Charest way.” Continue reading

Eyewitness to 1984, Part Two

The Second Visit

This is the second part of Armand’s story about traveling in Albania.  In Part I he discussed his first trip there with a private aid group originating in Naples, Italy.  At that time Armand was staying with my first wife and I just south of Naples, while I was stationed there with NATO.  Several months after his first trip, Armand went back on his own to perform additional relief work and explore. This is his account of the second trip.
Armand wrote and attempted to have his story, “Eyewitness to 1984,” published about 1997.  He did get Part I published in a travel magazine that folded immediately afterwards.  As Armand retained copyrights and publications rights, he let me also publish it on a travel website I operated at the time.  However, this is the first time the second part of his story has ever been published.
This has been edited for obvious spelling and grammatical errors, and formatted for best presentation on this website.  Otherwise, this story is exactly as Armand wrote it.

Continue reading

New Oleans Rebukes the President

Satellite Photo - Hurricane Katrina

Satellite Photo – Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina may be ancient history for people away from the Gulf Coast.  But for the people still living there the after-affects are as on-going as a wound that doesn’t heal.  In New Orleans especially, the sores are wide open and festering.Today, President Bush is scheduled to visit New Orleans to give another speech and photo op.  A local blog, Humid City v2.3, is openly calling for a public rebuke of the President.

Text of their release follows Continue reading