Sunday, November 23, 2003

Casualties Of War
Just got back into town. Man is it good to be home. We were only gone for 2 days, but it seemed much longer. And now it feels good to be in my own bed, with Audrey in my lap, blogging again. Oh yeah, and Casualties Of War is on one of the movie channels. Michael J. and Seann Penn in their finest team-up film.

On Saturday we took the trip from Ohio on down into Huntington West Virginia. Oddly enough, I had a map to get there. About a year ago we took a trip to Virginia beach, and we must have passed through this town. The trip took about 3 hours. Once in town, we checked into our room at the Red Roof Inn. What a dump. The recliner had cigarette holes burned into it. The bed had big mattress dents. And we discovered later that we didn't even get shampoo. Nevermind about the missing iron and coffee maker I was supposed to have. The extra 10 bucks I paid for the room only got me a little desk that my huge laptop didn't even fit on.

The only good thing about the hotel is that there was an access point right across the street. I was happy because I thought I might be able to hit an AP from the room. We hit lots of access points. In fact, for being such a small town, they sure had a LOT of access points. My wife had Audrey in her lap and was reading me off SSID's and who was WEP'd as they sprung up.

Once inside the hotel, we got dressed up in our wrinkled clothes, and then it was back in the car to go find the funderal home. It was a short ways from the hotel. We were just outside of downtown, and the funeral home was on the other side. Downtown was only about 10 small blocks of single story buildings. It was actually a nice little town.

One we made our way to the wake, we greeted the few relatives we knew of this man and made some small talk with friends. It was a while before we got into the line to the casket. Once there, it was awkward. We were not direct relatives, or really direct friends. But we wanted to support Arthur Jr. Art Jr. is my wifes, brothers, 'special friend'. Basically, they are partners. The church doesn't like to accept that some people are gay, and have homosexual relationships. Therefore they are 'special friends'. I'm getting away from the story. There we are at the casket, greeting the widow. She is a very sweet woman. And her husband was an extremely nice man.

Looking at him in the casket was like seeing a stranger. I hadn't seen him in more than a year. We usually conversed with him at parties and get togethers around the fourth of July. But within a year, he had taken ill with a disease that ended his life quickly.

It was painful for the family. They had just recently all been together to celebrate the couples 40th wedding anniversery. I got the impression that they knew this might be their last anniversery party together. And that made you feel even worse. Arthur Wills was only 61 years old. And up until 1 year ago he was a perfectly healthy, happy man.

This morning we woke up around 8:30AM. It was nice sleeping in, even if it was in a dirty hotel bed. I was so ready for breakfast. Rotary's brother called inviting us to go to a park. We declined. Instead we went to Shoneys for a greasy breakfast buffet. The food wasn't bad. It wasn't fine dining, but it was all you can eat redneck style. I was pleased until I got a $17.55 bill. Whoah! No wonder they feed you so well here.

We had a lot of time to waste before funeral services. Several hours. So we did some shopping. But we didn't want to drive too far away from the small dowtown area where the funeral home was located. Wouldn't want to come to a funeral late. We hit a few shops, and then I just had to pull a quick war drive.

With Audrey in my wifes lap, I drove down the Marshall University strip. Access Points galore. Most un-WEP'd. The problem was, no parking. Like most campus areas, you need a special parking pass to go anywhere.

After cruising a few residential areas, I came across a nice strong signal, with a good parking spot. Location? Someone's law office. I know, because the building said "LAW OFFICES" on it. Pretty cheap looking law firm. I hopped right onto their access point, and grabbed an IP address. By subtracting a number, I found the one other compuer on this network and attached to it. Username: guest Password: guest

It was Windows XP. So I should have only had access to "ShareDocs" which never has anything in it. Here is what I got.

So basically, some weenie went against Windows XP's better judgement and shared the entire C: drive. I immediately went in and started poking around. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood, but I didn't find anything all that interesting. Some documents, a few odd programs that must be DOS based. I took a .wpd file from a Documents folder. I think it's a Word Perfect Document. Which, when opened with a plain text editor can be made somewhat readable. Just some losers file. Boring really. We decided to move on.

Our search for a coffee shop was hopeless. In this small town everything is closed on Sunday. So on to the funeral we went. It was a tremendous turn-out. We seated ourselves in the rear of the parlor to let the familys have the front seats. After a while, the funeral patrons were bringing out extra chairs to seat people behind us. Art Wills was a loved man, with lots of friends.

The service was really nice. They had a friend of the church lead the service, versus a minister. And they had a man sing some songs such as "amazing grace", and oddly enough "wind beneathh my wings". I hate the song, but it was done very tastefully. When that song hit the radios, it made me want to vomit. And the fact that everyone was acting like it was the song of the century made it worse. To top it off, this song means a lot to my wife who lost her aunt. It was very emotional.

We went on to the cemetary where two highly decorated soldiers removed and folded a flag that covered Art Wills casket. Very respectful. Art was a vietnam veteran. We then went by to the widows house where the family returned.

It was very uncomfortable, but I was glad we went. It seemed to be more family than anything else. And the night before my wife and I had a brief conversation with the widow that made me glad we made the trip. She told us how happy she was that we came. And how happy she has been to have Michael (my wifes brother) around during this dificult time. She told us how they compliment one another. And she shared some stories about how they were opposites of each other which always gave them a strong marriage. As she spoke with us, I looked around at all the photos. It was like a timeline of their loving marriage. It was terribly saddening.

This trip has served as a reminder that all good things come to an end. One day, my marriage will end. Not in divorce, but in death. It certainly makes you appreciate who you have in life.

It's getting late now, and I am beat. My wife is all ready dead asleep, and I am not far behind her.

Historic Comments
I hope you get arrested, what you did is illegal and connecting your wireless card to a CB antenna more than likely fried it's transmitter
Anonymous | 09.28.05 - 9:53 pm | #

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