Friday, October 28, 2005

The Trolley is Off the Tracks

Peggy Noonan has one of the most thoughtful pieces I've seen written in a long time. Her thoughts are mine exactly. I've wondered for a long time now if I'm just being an alarmist - that all will be well no matter my concern - but now, I'm not so sure.

What do *I* think would be a good start to getting the trolley back on track? Stop the ridiculousness. Stop changing the rules at the whim of a few and to please an ever increasing number of minority groups of who-demands-what or whose-feelings-are-hurt-today. Sure, the "size" of government and who controls each branch is a problem, but more importantly, the result of that as the "scope" of each branch and whose lives and quality of living are controlled by a few has run amok. Some things should be left for society to dictate themselves.

There are those in government who have sold their souls to those who promise them money and power and some who can't be bought and still fight the good fight. It's our responsibility to support those who engage in the important fights and leave our individual lives to us. Make the government do what they're supposed to do. They're supposed to protect us from outside forces, maintain our infrastructure and provide us with justice in our courts. Nothing more. Protect us from that which we personally have no control over. NOT protect us from ourselves. NOT provide us with food and water and clothing ten minutes after a hurricane. NOT tell us how to raise our children. NOT to bastardize our constitution and interpret it so loosely that we can lose our homes and livelyhoods to greed. NOT to correct discrimination with reverse-discrimination.

If one parent beats their child to death - "no" parent is permitted to spank their unruly child without fear of humiliation and jailtime. If one woman uses her blow dryer in the shower - every blow dryer company in the country is at risk of heavy fines for not applying warnings to all who buy their product not to do the same. If one person kills another for greed and another kills for racism, punishment differs. A teacher must say grace in secret before they eat their lunch.


There are those in our government who seek to punish the rich for their gains and redistribute it to the poor indiscriminately, yet they amass their own wealth and power at the expense of those same poor they claim to want to protect. They blantanly arrange the rules to make themselves exempt from their rules. Utter hypocrisy.

There are those in academia whose ideals are so mislead that when they see the wheels come off the trolley as it goes off the tracks, they steal the tracks. They try to make everything that made us great disappear into a fog as they attempt to rewrite the rules and indoctrinate our children into a model of every past failure in history. To socialize and institutionalize every aspect of our lives because they don't like what someone did twenty or even one hundred years ago. To ensure that everyone, no matter their contribution, is rewarded the same, ignoring the human nature in humans. They wear Che Gueverra t-shirts, romanticizing his blood-soaked insanity, and look down their noses at the working class. They applaud the ban on DDT which has caused the deaths of millions, yet, demonize the deaths caused by the liberation of a country.

And here's her money quote that sums it all up:
I suspect that history, including great historical novelists of the future, will look back and see that many of our elites simply decided to enjoy their lives while they waited for the next chapter of trouble. And that they consciously, or unconsciously, took grim comfort in this thought: I got mine. Which is what the separate peace comes down to, "I got mine, you get yours."


That's what I think is going on with our elites. There are two groups. One has made a separate peace, and one is trying to keep the boat afloat. I suspect those in the latter group privately, in a place so private they don't even express it to themselves, wonder if they'll go down with the ship. Or into bad territory with the trolley.

The only thing I would add to it is that the "I got mine, you get yours" elite crowd do it at such an advantage the rest of us will never enjoy unless we act. We put them there. We need to take them out.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 Mouth Breathers


The anti-war link above is such clap-trap. If one wants to put this war in the context of economics as the writer did, it would be better to assume that far more would go to Iraq to earn money without the threat of dying in the process. Any war has an economic impact, but in a far different sense than the writer espouses. One would have to believe that poverty first breeds terrorism without knowing that terrorism and extremist beliefs breed poverty which in turn breeds more terrorism - as those who support terrorism or commit it and embrace extremist beliefs are summarily rejected by society at large, then they hole up in smaller communities and in turn reject the larger society. You can't jump into the middle of the terrorism/poverty loop and arbitrarily call it the starting point. Couple that with fanatic religious beliefs and then you have your job pool. Without the fanatic beliefs, her whole theory collapses. There are people all over the world who live in abject poverty and do not resort to terrorism.

She also does not address the remaining Ba'athists in Iraq. They weren't poor. They had wealth and power. They had a lot to lose and they got it all by simply pledging allegiance to murderers and thugs. They know they can't compete in a free market so they seek to have the Ba'ath Party restored to give them that advantage they enjoyed in the past.

Of course we also have the IRA which commit acts of terrorism, but under an entirely different premise. Let me first say that no terrorism is pardonable, but the IRA lashes out at an obvious oppressor. The Islamic brand of terrorism lashes out not at their oppressors, but everyone else, for their oppressors are their own kind who cut off their hands, torture them, limit their individual economic growth and stone their wives, sisters and daughters.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Difference

It's fairly alarming to read the blogs and then turn on the news to get information about the latest march or rally and see the huge discrepencies in they way they're reported on. The blogs show the seemy underside that's apparent to anyone who may actually be there and the MSM takes the picture and paints pretty flowers around it before it's presented to the public.

Not that long ago all we had was the radio or the television to get that information and we were no more informed than they wanted us to be. We weren't "informed". We were "manipulated". It used to be that, on occasion, after watching something on the news, we'd later actually meet someone who was "there" and we'd finally get the real story. We were sometimes shocked at the disparity in tellings.

Now we have internet news and blogs. Now we know everything Cindy Sheehan says. Not just what the "big three" tell us. Now we know exactly what anyone said or did. Not just the edited version.

With that, I'll get to the crux of what I want to say. The Difference.

The good thing about blogs is that there aren't just three. There are millions. And nearly all of them touch upon political issues a one time or another. Some are all politics all the time. What really slays me is those blogs which come from the left side. Not all, but many. They almost all universally hate Bush. And with a disproportionately large number of those I don't mean hate - I mean foaming at the mouth, head spinning, feet stomping HATE. Now, I hated Clinton, but I was not so blindly enraged to miss some of his good points.

A disproportionately large number of the lefty blogs (not just the bloggers but all those who comment on them yet don't have blogs) completely support Cindy Sheehan. Not in the respect that they simply believe that everyone should have their say. We "all" believe that everyone has that right. Yet, they support everything about her and they blindly go on marches and attend protests and engage in some pretty whacked out rhetoric. Sheehan supported Lynn Stewart even though it was pretty obvious that she had passed on information from terrorist to terrorist in a time of war and to the detriment of our country. And the lefty blogs support her much like MSM. MSM paints flowers around their "reporting" and the lefty blogs defend with words.

THAT, my friend, is why we talk about MSM bias. They go hand in hand with the left.

When I went to work the other day I had to go the long way around because of the "Million More March" on the main street. Followers of the infamous Louis Farrakhan. And let me tell you, there were an awful lot of people there. People who don't seem to have a problem with his hate speech, his believing that there's a mothership hovering over our planet and his constant race baiting and wild conspiracies.

It's embarassing.

And the local news covered it as "Wow, such a pouring out of hearts and they were so organized, and blah, blah, blah." No one said a word about the trash and filth left behind for others to clean up. The harsh words spoken between people that nearly escalated into fighting and the whacked out ideas brought forth using race baiting and class baiting.

These people have no problem endorsing these nuts. But at the same time, I suppose to validate themselves, they wish to equate the right with extreme religious types like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. I don't know about you, but I read a lot of blogs. A LOT. And I've yet to run across one (even on the right) who thinks these guys are A-OK. Frankly, their political following is small. I don't think they could get such a large group to protest or march. So this equating the right with these nut jobs is shear blather. Most of us on the right know a bigot when we see one. And we're not afraid to say so. Many of us are not very fond of Tom Delay and without actually "hoping" he goes to jail, we do want justice served if he has done something wrong. Just like Karl Rove. If he's done something wrong, he should be punished. We're not that unreasonable. I wish I could say the same for the left.

Why is the left so reluctant to purge themselves of the extremists? When will they jump back on the sane train? Will they ever?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Enough is Friggin' Enough!

So Berkely isn't having the Veteran's Day celebrations. I'm shocked, SHOCKED I tell you! Berkeley? That bastion of the spirit of America? [*coughbullshitcough*]

We'll find more pro-Americanism in Baghdad than we'll find in Berkeley.

It seems that good ol' Country Joe McDonald wanted Chuck Mitchell, "a co-founder of Cindy Sheehan's organization, Gold Star Families for Peace, as the keynote speaker."

McDonald, backed by other members of the committee, disagreed, saying that not permitting Mitchell to express his point of view would be tantamount to censoring free speech.

"Their position was that no matter what he said, because he was a member of Gold Star Families, he wouldn't be allowed to speak," McDonald said. "I've been doing this for 10 years, and this is the first time content and affiliation ever came up for discussion. I was shocked to find this kind of narrow-mindedness in my own hometown, in Berkeley, the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement."

Right. As if these bile-spewing anti-war protesters can be trusted to keep in the spirit of the Veteran's Day celebrations.

Free speech my ass. He's not being silenced. He's just not who some think should be speaking at this particular event. So I guess that if I join the anti-war movement and have a say in who their speakers are - and I choose Christopher Hitchens - I can say, "Hey! You're violatng his free speech," when they decline. They LOVE throwing that "free speech" phrase out there.

Give me a fucking break.

And that load of horse crap about the statement, "Their position was that no matter what he said...."? Well how about this?
Last week it appeared that a compromise had been reached, with McDonald agreeing to drop another proposal to include anti-war songs by the group Annie and the Vets.

Yep, you heard that right, folks. He tries the "I'm innocent" crap when his entire agenda is to make it another anti-war rally.

Edwin Harper was right when he said:
"They have the other 364 days and 23 hours to make their political point," he said. "This one hour should be reserved for honoring veterans, period."

Hey, I have an idea. Why doesn't a real veteran speak? Nah. That would make too much sense. But then, the lefties in Berkeley don't consider common sense when they make their determinations. They're "stuck on stupid".

And why the hell is Country Joe even heading this celebration? Yeah - "And-it's-one-two-three-what-are-we-fighting-for? Don't-ask-me-I-don't-give-a-damn" Country Joe. The Country Joe who thinks this would be a good time to get his anti-war fame and fortune back. How advantageous for him that there's another war for him to capitalize on.

I'm totally embarrased that I even bought his album 30+ years ago. I wish I had it now so I could burn it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Pirro vs Clinton

We know that Pirro is going up against Hillary in '06 for the New York Senate seat. I'm rooting for Pirro, but that probably goes without saying. The AP just reported that Hillary got a fund raising letter at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. from Jeannine Pirro. The AP goes on to report the contents of the letter and makes it appear that it was either done purposely or out of stupidity and doesn't, until the end of the article, say that Pirro's campaign manager said the fundraising appeal was sent because someone registered the information on Pirro's campaign Web site. Not that it was definately because someone registered Hillary to get the letter, but her campaign manager "said" it was.

C'mon. We all know someone played a joke and it was funny, I'll admit, but definately not such a newsworthy item that AP should be reporting on it. This is anything BUT newsworthy. How trifling can a major news source get? Well, it WAS the AP after all.

Clinton's spokesman Howard Wilson said, "No wonder Ms. Pirro raised so little money," and said the letter was forwarded to Clinton's Senate office. Can you say "Petty Asshole"?

While Jeannine Pirro goes to the heart of the people asking for donations, Clinton can keep doing her special Hollywood Galas for the big bucks. In the end most of Hollywood can't vote for her in the Senate race and who will determine whether or not she keeps her seat? - New Yorkers. Not the fancy pants, liberal, self-aggrandizing big mouths in Hollywood.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

What Was *I* Thinking?

Please disregard previous post. It was titled appropriately. I know what I was trying to say, but somehow it didn't get said. Must go back to bed now. Have monster headache. Will never drink again.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Drunken revelations

Now I remember why I left the old blog. Maybe for mostly different reasons why I hate this one too, but the biggest is the general "silence". Because 99% of the people in the world are only interested in getting sensationalism. Because we are creatures of habit. We skim the surface like mackerel looking for the smelly bait. (No, we're not even particularly exceptional fish - just makerels) Something that doesn't relate to our ordinary, mundane existences - we want something that gets the juices flowing. Something we can get mad at or something we can look at and say, "YEAH!" And I noticed too that I was reluctant to be the only one to comment, or the first one to comment myself.

Got over that early on.

And then there's that clique-ish thing too. But I won't go there.


Maybe I'm, different. I like the little things. Things I can relate to. And sometimes those are just a bit more satisfying. I suppose it's a matter of taste. Who knows? Not that I'm begging for comments. No. Not that. Others may need it though. Talk to them. Let them know you hear them. Just think of it as some saying, "Hey, looking for a thrill? Well, it ain't happennin' here...., but let me tell you about, blah, blah, blah" That's just about what it amounts to. Personally, I get a kick out of what someone has to say about the waitress they encountered this morning at breakfast. And when I read history books - I like to know how the milk maid dealt with that ornery cow and not so much the price of milk.

Oh, I like smelly bait too. Just don't have an interest in going out dancing in the same clothes I've been fishing in.

Alright - This is Just Plain, Damn Funny

VariFrank's own, unadulterated feelings about the Smurfs. UNICEF misunderestimated our feelings about the Smurfs. Feelings that have roiled under our smiling facade of acceptance of such stupid little blue creatures.

And there's always GarfieldRidge's feelings.

Open Letters From Pakistan

This, too, is who we fight for.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Zawahiri's Letter to Zarqawi

I'm sure most of you have read at least part of the letter from Zawahiri to Zarqawi that intel intercepted. I've thought for some time that Zarqawi had strayed from his original plans and got caught up in the frenzy of his bloodthirst.

Zarqawi forgot his own quote from some time ago, "We are seriously preparing media material that will reveal the facts, call forth firm intentions, arouse determination, and be[come] an arena of jihad in which the pen and the sword complement each other."

.... and jumped straight to the beheadings.

If you ask me, Zawahiri is trying desperately to salvage the relationship. It wouldn't be good to admit they made a mistake by taking Zarqawi under their wing. To openly oust him would undermine even more of the declining confidence they had built up in Iraq and break up tactical coordination as well.

If I were Zawahiri, I'd send a suicide bomber or a sniper to Zarqawi's headquarters, shoot him/blow him up, write him a glowing eulogy and blame it on any number of people. I'd be rid of him and still maintain the confidence of my followers.

Don't tell him I said that though.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Quote of the week

I was just listening to Robert Bork talking to Sean Hannity and the discussion got around to why Republicans always end up rolling over for the Democrats. Bork said, (I'll paraphrase) "If the Democrats said let's burn down all the buildings on Capitol Hill, the Republicans would say, "Wait a minute, let's phase it in over three years.""

How true.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Suspect "DRT"

Well, we had a little excitement here this morning. A guy tried to rob a local business here at gunpoint. A cop chased him for some distance and ended up shooting him and he is now DRT (Dead Right There) on the beach, about 30 feet from our front door. He has assumed room temp. Bought the farm. Kicked the bucket. Good.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Kos Cracks Me Up!

Silly Kos. I was clicking around this morning and stopped by LGF. Haven't stopped by there in quite some time. It just got frustrating to read and not be able to comment. Registration has been closed for some time now and all it was good for was to read whatever Charles may have linked to. I can get links anywhere.

But I stopped in this morning, nontheless, and came across a link to this conservative bloggers suck post by our liberal friend and delicate flower, Markos "Screw 'em" Zuniga.

In part, he says:
Kevin Drum and Atrios talk about angst within the conservative blogging world over being ignored, while liberal bloggers are embraced by the establishment.

That's sort of true and not true. As for conservatives being ignored, as Atrios notes, yeah, that part is true

Oh, puleeeeze! Being ignored? Are you kidding? Being ignored by whom? Certainly not the left. Conservative blog comment sections are often quite long and almost always consist of comments from both sides of the political spectrum. Go visit Kos or Atrios or Democratic Underground, to name only a few. Do you ever see a hint of dissent? No, of course not. And let me tell you, the comment sections are really nuts. [edit] Yes, I know Kos means that the main stream media is ignoring conservative blogs. But the public is ignoring the media more and more each day. Kos has hitched his wagon to a falling star. And its burning up in the atmosphere, as we speak.

Random examples from an Atrios post which said:
It's hard not to notice just how excited a certain segment of wingnuttia gets whenever there's a terrorism alert. Their worldview has taken a beating lately, and as for many of them there political worldview is entirely shaped by the events of 9/11, a few dead New Yorkers might just help make them feel that sense of importance they oddly latched onto after 9/11.

"fuck bush!"

"They'll bravely fight terrorists with their verbosity to the last New Yorker!"

"And we bring the fight to them on the streets of Baghad, London and New York, so we won't have to fight them at home!"

"We are regularly terrorized by the Christians. they scare the shit out of us, especially on Sundays."

"They like the idea of dead New Yorkers for a lot of reasons."

"And we feel the same way about them."

"Gravatar NY Mary, they like the idea of American dead, period. Otherwise they would have been horrified by 911 and serious about catching Bin Laden. Otherwise they would have been appalled by the Iraq war and serious about impeaching Shrubboy."

"I think the idea of a lot of dead Angelenos would make them cream in their shorts, too."

"But I thought the current wingnut delusion was that Chimpy was protectin' us against any further turrist attacks."

"And isn't it just dandy that we're giving $100,000 to Pakistan to help with the clean up from their earthquake. Up to 30,000 dead. jeebus."

"Speaking of Wingnuttia, I had the occassion to dine at an "all-you-can-eat" buffet yesterday in the very heart of House Rep. and Moronic Brownshirt Fuck in Good Standing Richard Pombo's district yesterday. Truly fucking appalling (the patrons, not the food)..."

"I'm sure a few dead Bostonians would make them dance a jig or two."

"I like how Coulter can say batshit insane shit about how New Yorkers would flee in an attack...coupled with her desire for an attack."

"If Al Qaeda would set off a suicide snatch bomb (is that anatomically possible in the victim) near Coulter it would be a public service."

"Daniel Ellsberg argues that most of the Republicans strategy makes sense if you realize they're holding on and hoping for another 9/11."

"They'd nuke Cambridge, MA if they could."

"If all the rich Republican kids start leaving Harvard and going home for vacations, worry."

Isn't that nice? Wasn't a lot accomplished there? There were 75 comments to that one post. These were only a few - and not even the worst. And these are the people who criticize others from the opposite side of politics for "stupid comments"? I guess Kos has become so inured to the screeching and insanity, it's actuall makes sense to him or he wouldn't side with Drum or Atrios.

No, the right is certainly not ignored. Not by the left for sure and certainly not by the right. I can name several conservative blogs whose comment sections are not comprised of assylum inmates. Belmont Club, Roger L. Simon and Captains Quarters, to name only three, have very thoughtful and insightful commenters. I can't name one single well known lefty blog that can boast such an intelligent following. Their comment sections all look like what I posted above.

Kos goes further to say:
Not only are conservative blogs redundant in the conservative media pantheon, but they have not proven adept at raising money. And in politics, raising money is the first, second, and third most important thing.

Redundant? Redundant? (Okay, that was a joke) Let's see - things I've read about in conservative blogs just in the last two days:
The Supreme Court nominee
The earthquake in Kashmir
The Oil for Food saga
The Iraq war
Happenings in the Netherlands, China, The UK, Australia, Kosovo, the UN, etc.

Things I've read about in lefty blogs:
No matter what it is, it's Bush's fault or the RAM (Republican Attack Machine). Now THAT, my friend, is redundancy.

And as far as Kos's talk of rightie bloggers inability to raise money? WTF? This isn't the first time Kos has talked about money, nor the third, fourth or fifth. In fact, Kos is obsessed with money. Kos thinks that if he raises enough money he can finally get someone he supports to win an election. Even if it's only a city council post. Where is he now with his candidates? 0-16? Newsflash, Kossie --> It ain't the money. It's votes. It's the message. And now that I think about it, what ever happened to his threat back in August to bring down the DLC (Democratic Leadership council)? What a joke.

Then he says:
On the other hand, liberal bloggers are definitely getting attention from the folks wiring the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy. No money yet, but there's hope to start building some blog-supporting infrastructure. A think tank, maybe some fellowships, book deals, cross-media promotions (like my weekly spot on Majority Report Radio), those sorts of thing. Just like the conservative movement has worked to support its best writers and build a wide-reaching media machine, so too is the progressive movement seeking to mimic that.

Warning, Kos - ever see the movie Multiplicity? Copy and mimic all you like. Just be careful of your results. They could come back to bite you in the arse. Your cheering section isn't all that hears you. The more you get your insipid ideas out there the more you reveal you don't know what the hell you're talking about. Have you even bothered to look objectively at your comment section? Is this how you expect others to take you seriously? And who are your best writers? Kitty Kelly? Michael Moore?


When it comes down to it, I'd rather be ignored by some people than to be the butt of everyone's jokes. And believe me, your posterior region has been paid more attention than the rest of you since it seems that is where most of your rhetoric is derived from.

Friday, October 07, 2005

White House Spy?

I ended the title with a question mark after reading Wretchard's comprehensive accounting of the story of Leandro Aragoncillo who has recently been charged as a spy. Oh, he's a spy all right. But the facts surrounding the case that the media are spinning (and those facts they leave out)are screwed up at best. There are discrepancies in dates for one thing. And for another thing, the WaPo is the only one even trying to get close to what's happening. This guy has quite a history and a dubious circle of acquaintances. ABC just wants to implicate Cheney - and everyone else has little to say other than "Spy in White House!"

Now I don't have anything against Asians. Really. The Asians that come to our country for the most part have a good work ethic and achieve much through our education system. Moreso than most other nationalities. I respect that. But I do have a problem with people who have more nefarious inclinations. It just so happens that the last administration had a proclivity for appointing Asian nationals with such inclinations to high security posts. And we are still feeling the after effects of it.

Anyway, I'd highly recommend reading Wretchard's post. You'll get a much better idea of who and what this guy is.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


We're only six letters away from finishing the alphabet in naming storms and hurricane season isn't over yet. I don't think we've ever gone all the way up to "T". Here in Jacksonville, we haven't had a hit since 1964 and Dora caused a lot of damage then.

Apparently, Atlantic Beach, about a mile east of our house, was really bad at keeping records back then. About three years ago they did some road improvements and estimated two jobs in particular to take only days. One was on Sherry drive where they had planned to just resurface the potholed street. As they took up the old tarmac they found row upon row of palm tree trunks lined up side by side down the street. They were befuddled. Finally a local resident who had been through hurricane Dora told them the city had put them there to fortify the street from flooding and washing away after Dora. They decided it was a bad idea that the trunks were there and the job took nearly four months to clear them away before they could put in the new street. Everyone who lived down that way had to take the long way home for what seemed like forever and the right lane of traffic on the main road was blocked the whole time. Awful traffic snarls there for freakin' ever.

Then about six months after that job they decided that another part of the same main road leading traffic away from the beach was about to collapse because an old duct underneath that directed water away from the neighborhoods to the north was about to fall apart. When they tore up the street to fortify the duct they found an old collapsed bridge underneath the road that prevented them from getting to the duct. Again, they were befuddled and another long-time resident told them, "Yeah, you dumbkoffs, there used to be a small bridge here before Dora." So that job, which was supposed to take a week or two turned into almost three months.

I can't believe their record keeping was so bad that the city didn't even know what work it had done to repair damages after the big storm. And bear in mind too, this is the route I have taken to work for eight years. It took me twice as long to get to work for over six months and I only live 4 miles from work.

Who knows what other problems they ran into north of the main road while "upgrading" their roads that I was unaware of. Can't wait to see their next screw up.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Why does the left, the ACLU, HRW or Amnesty International or any of their loyal flock constantly focus on and berate America?

The only reason they come after us so single mindedly is because they can. It's because we listen, and even though we may protest and point out the fallacies of their argument, we still try to improve. They don't go after the worst offenders because their argument falls on deaf ears - and they need constant affirmation from their target that they're being heard or they give up trying.

Thats' the difference between "us and them". We don't need affirmation to know when something is right or wrong. While we're certainly not perfect, we still demand that others try, as well, to do the right thing. Shame that our worst detractors don't follow form.

Monday, October 03, 2005

The "Vinegar Boy" Saga

You have to read this to believe it.

Actually, the whole site is full of stories submitted by employees who are treated badly by their bosses and their customers. I'm thinking of submitting something myself. I've got some whoppers.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Don't laugh - this was serious

A few years ago Nin and I went to visit Mexico. We wanted to see the ruins of Chichen Itzá we had read so much about for years. We splurged and purchased the flight from Cozumel to the ruins. I had a purpose when we got there and that purpose was to climb the big pyramid. Now, don't get me wrong. I understand that it is a mere step or two compared to the Great Pyramids of Egypt. But that's all besides the point.

You see, I have a terrible fear of heights. Getting on the roof of the house to clean the gutters is very difficult for me and I dread the twice a year job.

As I stood there, at the bottom of the pyramid and looked up, I felt faint - and I hadn't even taken the first step upward.

I started up with a great deal of determination and courage. As I ascended the steps (ninety one in all) my courage waned and abject fear took over. But there was something inside me that said, "If you don't do this now you will never forgive yourself and you will have have no right to ever speak another word about strenghth or courage for the rest of your life."

About one fourth of the way up I began to pant and sweat. Not from exertion. I'd only gone a small distance. No. I was trying not to cry. I went down to my hands and feet and crawled, sort of, like a dog. And still, with each few steps I thought it couldn't get worse. But it did.

I finally reached the top. There, at the top, was a sort of small square building which I immediately gravitated to and I clung like a barnacle to its side. Nevermind that the edge leading to the steps was 8 or ten feet away. To me, it might as well have disappeared under my feet and in my mind it was no more than a narrow ledge at the top of a tall building in any city.

Anyone with a fear of heights can understand what I'm saying. Where does this fear come from? Why am I so afraid? All I know is that it consumes me at the time. All reason and common sense fly out the window. There's no logic. Only fear.

Nin was there with me and tried to talk to me. At one point he took my hand. I wanted to strike out at him and tell him, "Don't touch me!" I just pulled my hand back and glared at him. He couldn't understand. I could tell. He just looked at me like he might have looked at a stranger. I guess at that moment I "was" a stranger.

But that wasn't the whole of it. Now I had to go down. My God! All sorts of things went through my head. I could just stay here, right? And order out for pizza? I would rather sleep on the cold stone floor of the little building there for the rest of my life than go down those steps, right?

No, I had to go down. Well, the trip down was every bit as frightening. I scooted down on my butt, holding onto the rope fashioned there, stretched from the bottom step to the top for scaredy cats and babies like me. Not only that, but I scooted "to" the edge and the first step down. I couldn't even bring myself to walk in that direction. I scooted all the way down, on my butt, carefully keeping my eyes only on the step below me and trying to pretend that it was the last step each time.

I cannot describe the feeling I had when I got to the bottom. I threw my arms in the air and jogged in place with a grin so wide....

People stared at me as if I was from Mars or maybe I had some sort of mental disorder. They will never know how brave I was. As children ran up and down those steps like it was nothing, and people took photographs of each other at the top, standing near the edge as if they were only standing on a curb, I was fighting for my very life!

I was the bravest person for a hundred miles around me. I could do anything! Next stop - Khufu!

When I turned to Nin later and said, "I am the bravest person in the world," he looked me in the eyes, hugged me and smiled and said, "I know, baby. I know."