Monday, May 28, 2012
Happy Memorial Day, and The Star-Spangled Banner examined
Happy Memorial Day, a day in honor of those veterans who died in the service of the United States of America (and no, not just for Union soldiers).
While searching for a quote that I half-remembered about "war's desolation" and those that stood between us and it, I found myself reading about The Star-Spangled Banner, the national anthem of the U.S.A. I was shamed by how much I didn't know about it (not just all the lyrics), and fascinated by its history.
While technically about a earlier and slightly different flag than our current one, this song is from a poem by Francis Scott Key, and is about his inpiration at seeing the American Flag raised as Fort McHenry was massively bombarded by British Royal Navy Ships (one of which he was, it is my understanding, currently held captive upon).
Imagine a dark and rainy night, with only the explosions of "bombs bursting in air" to light up the scene. Like camera flashes in the dark, showing this epic battle as if in a stop-motion movie. The terrific sounds, the smoke and smell of fire and gunpowder, the yelling and screaming. Truly horrific, from Key's viewpoint from one of the ships that was attacking it.
The flag flying was a statement. We were defiant, and would not give in. As long as that flag was flying, it meant Fort McHenry was still ours, and we were still fighting.
Enough jibber-jabber from me. I'm going to post the lyrics, and say no more. It's also worth going to the wikipedia page for this if you want to read the extra stanza written by Oliver Wendell Holmes in indignation to the start of the American Civil War. The whole article is interesting reading, and won't take up hardly 10 minutes of your glorious Memorial Day.:
"The Star-Spangled Banner" - poem by Francis Scott Key
O say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation.
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Friday, May 25, 2012
Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.
Let us remember this weekend, while we are enjoying ourselves, that there were those who died in military service to protect our freedoms and preserve our American way of life. Remember them, and honor their sacrifice.
A special thank you to active members of the military for what they do every day for us.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Our belated condolences to the family of M. Ellaistine Johnson, deceased February 20, 2012
Recently, one of our new customers informed us that Southeastern Appliance Service was closed for business. This was quite a shock, as they had been a fixture in Birmingham for a long, long time.
Finding this hard to believe, we looked into it and discovered that the long-time owner of Southeastern Appliance, Ellaistine Johnson, had passed away back in February 2012. We spoke with a neighboring business who described the closing, and spoke fondly of Mrs. Johnson as a neighbor.
While we did not have the pleasure to know her personally, we continue to hear and read kind words about her from her very loyal customers who are looking for someone to take care of their appliance repair. Mrs. Johnson was not only the engine that kept Southeastern Appliance Service thriving for many years, her customers speak kindly of her as a friend. I wish I had known her.
If you would like to express your condolences, although as belatedly as ours, you can go to the following link and sign their guest book:
Friday, April 27, 2012
Remembering April 27, 2011 Tornado Outbreak
This morning at 7 am I got five calls from the office. The server was down, the telephone was down, and several computers had no power. There was a hint of frustration and anxiousness behind these calls from people who wanted to get their work done in a timely manner.
I must admit, there was a small part of me that was irked by 5 calls about a problem I could not solve from my home. (I was walking the dog near my home, many miles away from the office). The best I could do was to phone in instructions on where the backup power supply was, how to turn on the server, etc.
When I arrived, we were partially revived with phones and server. Many of the specialty programs I have written for the operation of our business were not functioning, and there was the natural annoyance that is caused by a disturbance in our routine. Things weren't running smoothly, and we didn't like it.
But we all, each one of us, are aware that these are merely tiny, tiny obstacles compared to the disruption, pain and confusion that was to follow this day, one year ago, when the tornado outbreak caused so much damage across the state of Alabama (and of course, in other states).
There are people still trying to recover even today, and we have to remember that. Yes, there were members of the team at Service Care and their families that were touched by the devastating effects of the tornadoes, but on the whole we were spared the worst, and we are thankful.
But we are also mindful of those that were not spared, and remember them this day.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Delivery of water donation from Girl Scout troup # 521
Service Care delivering a pallet of water to the Church of The Highlands on Grants Mill for victims of the April tornado damage.
This water was paid for and provided by the wonderful girls of Girl Scout Troop # 521.
The forklift operator at the church was very good, considering our pallet of water was unbalanced and threatening to fall over. (You can't see me but I'm pushing on the back side of the pallet).
Currently we're in the planning stage of working on more donations to help out, as quickly as we can.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
After the storm, 04/28/2011, Service Care
A series of terrible storms have caused terrible devastation in the great state of Alabama. We have been witness to destroyed homes and businesses, but we have also seen the courage and determination of the people who call Alabama their home.
Service Care is open today, and will be contacting our customers by cell phones as our main office phones are down (AT&T has declared a state of emergency for the area). If you have power and we can get to you, and you still need service, we will be taking care of you.
Service Care's employees are all praying for those who suffered damages and loss in this terrible series of storms, especially those who have lost loved ones. We are working hard to restore our telephones so that we may do what we can to help out our neighbors.
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
January 2011 - Events and Fun Things to do around Birmingham Alabama
Here are some events that you can enjoy in January 2011. (And you thought there was nothing to do...)
Jan 01, 2011 - 2 pm - Super Saturday Storytime at Barnes & Noble Booksellers (The Summit)
Jan 08, 2011 - 11 am Central? - BBVA Compass Bowl at Legion Field, Birmingham Alabama (Kentucky versus Pittsburgh)
Jan 11, 2011 - WWE wrestling at the BJCC Arena.
Jan 13, 2011 - Brian Regan at the BJCC Concert Hall. I think he's hilarious.
Jan 19, 2011 - 7:00 pm - UAB Blazers vs SMU Mustangs at the Bartow Arena
Jan 20, 2011 - Girl Talk at Workplay Theatre in Birmingham. (DJ mixes unique 'new' songs based on other songs, it's a dance thing).
Jan 20-23, 2011 - Birmingham Boat Show
Jan 22, 2011 - Cake at Workplay Theatre in Birmingham. Yayyyyy, who doesn't love Cake?
Jan 22, 2011 - 6:00 pm - UAB Blazers vs Memphis Tigers at the Bartow Arena
Jan 26, 2011 - For you percussionist and drum appreciators, Drumline Live at the BJCC Concert Hall
Jan 26, 2011 - 7:00 pm - UAB Blazers vs Marshall Thundering Herd
Jan 27, 2011 - Edwin McCain at Workplay Theatre in Birmingham.
Jan 31, 2011 - Yo La Tengo w/ William Tyler at Workplay Theatre
I'm sure I'll find more to put in this post later. :)
(Feel free to email me your events and I'll check them out).