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Summer Hiatus by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Surf’s Up” on Yahoo News

Summer Hiatus

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by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

I write.

 

I love to write.

 

I write something almost everyday.

 

What To Write

 

The challenge of being a writer is knowing that people will read what you write.

Even after you “Officially Retire” as a writer, you may still want to write and know that you have readers.

 

A blog is an outlet for a writer. Of course, there are so many blogs in cyberspace that a writer has to try to figure out how to attract and keep readers.

 

I remember a rule from an English Creative Writing Class in Galena High School: “Write About What You Know.”

 

When you are 13 to 16, you really do know more than you think you do. You just have to figure out how to put the words on paper to interest the reader.

 

Naturally, when you are 57, you have a lot more “Life Experiences” to write about than when you were 13. I sit at a keyboard and the words flow. I am blessed because I have never really had a problem with “Writer’s Block.”

 

I have been away from the blog for a few months. The problem was not the writing or the words. The problem was “The Writer.”

 

Readers’ Comments

 

I have never wanted my blog to be a “Dear Diary” that focused on the mundane routine of Life like, “I got out of bed today. Nothing really noteworthy happened.”

 

I have always aspired to try and find issues to write about that challenge my readers. I read the comment forms on my blog. The comment forms seemed more and more to be robotic software trying to carry out it’s own “Sell You Something” agenda. I periodically go through and delete the obvious email spam.

 

I wasn’t getting feedback and comments from readers that often. March 2013 arrived, which meant the “kids” my nieces and nephews would be out of school.

 

School Is Out For The Summer”

 

School Is Out For The Summer” takes on a different meaning in The Republic Of The Philippines than in the United States.

 

The kids were out of school. It seemed a perfect time to “Go On Holiday.”

 

I grew up on a farm in the United States in The Ozarks. The idea of a vacation or a holiday is just not a concept that always translates that well to my mind.

 

Farming is a 24-hour a day job that lasts seven days a week. Forget taking off The Fourth Of July,Halloween,Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 

Livestock does not come with calendars, cattle, horses, hogs, pigs, chickens, dogs and cats all expect to eat. Even the humans, regardless of the holiday or the day of the week, still expect to eat.

 

On a farm, Mother Nature is always The Girl Next Door and she seldom cooperates with your wishes. When you need rain; you will get a drought. When you need a dry spell; you will get a monsoon of rain.

 

The Extremes” Of Farm Life

 

Since the constant fluctuation of temperatures never seem to be enough for Mother Nature you can count on “The Extremes” in the United States. The United States is a “temperate climate”, which means we have four seasons, but temperatures and weather conditions can always be in “The Extremes”, during the season.

 

The four seasons often have The Extremes. If you expect a comfortable summer; summer will go in the record books as “One Of The Hottest Summers On Record. If you expect a mild winter; winter will break all the records and be “One Of The Coldest Winters In History.

 

In Farming, the weather NEVER cooperates. The chores on a farm are not something you can do in a few minutes and get on with your day. Farming is hard work.

 

In Missouri, by the end of the 20th Century, small family farmers had to have “public jobs” just to make “ends meet” and to be able to “earn a living.”

 

On Leave

 

Before I enlisted in the United States Air Force, the recruiter told me about “Leave.” I would get “30 days a year.” The word, “Leave”, meant I would be “On Vacation” for 30 days every year with pay. It sounded like a great deal. It was.

 

However, at the time, there were just a couple of items, the recruiter kind of overlooked explaining in detail. First, it is not an absolute guarantee.

 

If the United States is at War – you might not be going “On Leave”, during that year.

 

Second, you have to request the dates you want. The Needs Of The Mission always come first. If you can get the dates you want, then, you get them. However, you may not always get the dates you want.

 

The military, like the civilian world, realizes everyone “Needs Time Off”, so vacations are scheduled. No one ever explains the procedures to wide-eyed kids ready to enlist.

 

The Needs Of The Mission. . .”

 

Third, “30 Days Paid Vacation Every Year” looks good on paper. Uncle was “True” to his word. I could get my “30 Days.” However, there was no guarantee all those days would be together as in getting “A Month Off From Work.” Sometimes you might get a week here and two weeks there. At the end of the year, you could sit down with your calendar and pencil and Uncle had always kept his word.

 

The Magic Phrase in The United States Armed Forces at the time was : “The Needs Of The Mission Come First.”

 

Since I served in the United States Air Force The Magic Phrase was: “The Needs Of The United States Air Force Comes First.” And, of course, the word, “Needs”, was simply another way of saying, “Mission.” The Mission Of The United States Air Force Comes First.”

 

Regardless, Uncle Sam, also known as, The United States Government did their best to make sure I got my “30 Days Leave” a year; if I wanted it.

 

I came from a family of “Workaholics”, so the concept of, “Vacation” was always more the idea of “A Working Vacation” or “A Vacation On The Road.”

 

As Sam The Senior Citizen Writer, the idea of “A Vacation” is still not something I can relate to or even really appreciate.

 

I used “The Vacation Time” to back away from the keyboard. I did not write articles to publish for my blog.

 

Printer’s Ink

 

However, my calling in life was, “News.” I worked as a reporter and editor for several United States Air Force newspapers. Printer’s ink has always flowed in my blood.

 

On duty, Uncle Sam spent a tremendous effort to teach us the specifics of journalism from punctuation and grammar to the ethics of “Objectiveness.”

 

A Military Reporter like a Civilian Reporter was suppose to be an independent and impartial observer, who collected the facts and wrote a balanced story, which offered both sides of the story to allow the reader to decide.

 

The Editorial Page

 

On duty, we were taught never to “Slant” a story. “Reporters do not have opinions,” would state the numerous editors time and again through the years.

 

Opinions, Comments, Commentary are all saved for The Editorial page. If you have an opinion, a comment, a commentary, a personal view on an issue or situation, then, you write an Editorial for The Editorial Page.

 

In retirement, I am still a newsman, which means I keep up and read the news.

 

However, since I am retired – My Opinions are my own. I often express my opinion in print.

 

The Opinion Man

 

My favorite news source is Yahoo. My Yahoo News Page lists The Top Stories, Yahoo News, ABC News, Associated Press and Reuters. I glance at the headlines and select stories to read.

 

I have always been “A Man With An Opinion.”

 

I read a story and being the emotional person that I have always been – I always have an opinion.

 

I go to the Comments section of Yahoo News and leave my opinion in the form of a Comment. To find my Comments simply look for the names: Sergeant Sam or Samuel Warren in the Comments section.

 

Life has taught me when you Live long enough You will have an opinion on everything.

 

I have Lived past the Half-Century Mark, so I definitely have an opinion on every issue imaginable

 

I choose my words carefully to get my point across. I am not a “Politically Correct Person”. I am well past the silly stage of “Political Correctness” in my Life; so I don’t play the silly word game.

 

I do not pull punches with my comments. I write what I believe. I usually write like I talk.

 

Country Boy Commentary

 

I am a proud country boy. Thus, I tend to use the colorful expressions of The Ozarks often in comments and editorials. The expression, “I told them how the cow ate the cabbage”, means the speaker was angry, mad and upset to the point that he opened his mouth and let the words fly.

 

How the cow ate the cabbage”, is just one example of an Ozarks expressions that has a colorful way of getting to the heart of the matter to express an issue.

 

Politics

I find Politics invigorates. It is a challenge to bring people together on a variety of different social issues. The goal is to get people to reach a working compromise on an issue for a domestic or foreign policy.

 

Still, I have little use for professional politicians. Professional politicians try to wiggle around an issue to arrive at a solution.

 

DEMOCRAT MULE PIN FACE LEFTWhen it comes to American Political Parties – I am a Democrat.

 

I grew up in Stone County, Missouri, in The Ozarks, which is one of The Most Devout And Hardcore Strongholds of Republican Politics in The United States.

 

In my opinion,The Grand Old Party is conservative to the extreme and cements Christianity into the approach to changing social issues. I grew up exposed to that stringent political philosophy in the southwest Missouri Ozarks.

 

Since my twenties I have worked in political campaigns against America’s “Greedy Old Politicians” and their problematic, pilgrim, political party platforms.

 

I have no use for Republicans.  REPUBLICAN ELEPHANT PIN_btn_gop 

 

Religion

 

I have no use for Religion.

 

Religion is the Providence Of Fools – created by Fools and for Fools.

 

Some people have a Fear Of Death, so they seek some belief that when The Day Of Their Death comes – they will not cease to exist.

 

Instead of an intelligent person using their mind to reach a logical, rationale solution, some people do what centuries of people have done before them and turn to the flawed fairy tales of The World’s Old Major Religions.

 

The temptation of the insane and archaic prophecies by old dead foolish storyteller prophets seems to entice many people to believe.

 

Many people never seem to stop and question what it is the prophecy is asking them to believe in.

 

In Catholicism, Christianity and Protestant religions you are expected to believe in a ridiculous old dead Arab hippie criminal who destroyed business property. Jesus Christ The Bum, who trained as a carpenter,never worked a day in his life.

 

In Islam, you are expected to believe in an old dead Arab prophet, who could not use religion to unite The Arab World, so he proclaims on-going Holy Wars to destroy The World for Allah, who created The World.

 

Regardless of which silly faith of The World’s Old Major Religions that you fall victim to – you get to spend an Eternity with a Jealous, Hateful sadistic, psychotic, misogynistic entity, who really enjoys punishing people and destroying them for the fun of it.

 

Who gets to be The Martyr Today ?”

 

Religion is of Fools, by Fools and for the Fools, who are afraid to experience the reality of Life.

 

Thus, most of my Comments will be found in Politics and Religion.

 

For All The World To Read

 

I leave my opinions for all the world to read.

 

When you put your opinion out to the public; you can expect feedback. Not everyone will agree with you. The purpose though of putting out your opinion is to get people to think and express their own opinions.

 

At first leaving comments on Yahoo News was simply “Putting In My Two Cents”, but, now, it is an opportunity to get my ideas out there to The Readers Of The World. It is a daily task I enjoy.

 

Since I love to write, I will continue to write articles for my “Sam I Am Blog” and my “Samuel E. Warren Jr. The Prophet” blog.

 

However, I am not going to be as “deadline driven” as I have been in the past. I want to continue to inspire, motivate and challenge fellow readers on Yahoo News.

Sam

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Written by samwarren55

July 9, 2013 at 11:30 PM

Posted in Bloggers, Blogs, Business, Crafts, Current Events, Editorial, Opinion, Politics, Religion, Sam I Am, Soap Box Political Opinion, Soap Box Religious Opinion

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Tropical Storm Ofel Two Days Later Photo Album

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Tropical Storm Ofel – October 24, 2012

 

Two Days Later . . .

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

Two days after the storm, I took my camera and walked from Barangay Baras to Barangay Mohon. I also walked in the other direction. The cleanup was already underway. The scenes I found interesting I have put those photos in the attached photo album,

 

Sam

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

The Face Of Ofel Nikon D 100 Photos by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Tropical Storm Ofel in Leyte 009 Nikon D 100 Photo by Sanuel E Warren Jr -STAND ALONE PHOTO

The Face Of Ofel

Tropical storm, “Ofel” packed a punch when it came to the winds and rain that fell on the island of Leyte, Wednesday, October 24, 2012. After I, Ramon and Ranyiel Saldana returned home, I stood on the porch for a few minutes and watched the storm unfold. I raised my Nikon D 100 and clicked off some photos of the storm in action.

 

The gray sky brought a lack of light which teased the digital camera’s focusing sensor set-up. Nonetheless, this photo shows the power of the tropical storm’s winds.

The photo below reveals how the lack of light created a photograph that seems more like an impressionistic painter’s brushstrokes. Nikon D 100 Photos by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

Tropical Storm Ofel in Leyte 005 Nikon D 100 Photo by Sanuel E Warren Jr_resized

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Tropical Storm Ofel

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Tropical Storm

Ofel

Hell And High Water

  in

The Leyte Gulf

2_Tropical Storm Ofel MacArthur Landing Palo Tanauan Leyte 016 Nikon D 100 Photo by Sanuel E Warren Jr_resized

 

Tropical Storm Ofel

Tropical Storm Ofel slams the waves against the sea wall below the MacArthur Landing Memorial in Palo, Tanauan, Leyte, Republic of the Philippines, Wednesday, October 24, 2012.  About the time this photograph was taken the weather bureau was reporting that the storm should be centered over the Leyte Gulf.  Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Leyte Landing

68th Anniversary

October 20, 1944, United States Army General Dougas MacArthur and the official party waded ashore in the Leyte Gulf to begin “The Liberation Of The Philippines.”  Two Ausralian warships and warships of the United States Navy’s 3rd Fleet and 7th Fleet sailed toward the Philippine Islands to engage the Imperial Japanese Navy in “The Largest Naval Battle Of World War II “ and “The Largest Naval Engagement Of Human History To The Present” in these waters from October 23 through October 26 in “The Battle Of Leyte Gulf.”  On the 68th Anniversary, the statues of the MacArthur Landing Memorial remain resolute as Tropical Storm Ofel unleashes nature’s bombardment on the Leyte Gulf.  Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

Tropical Storm Ofel MacArthur Landing Palo Tanauan Leyte 007 Nikon D 100 Photo by Sanuel E Warren JrToday, October 24, 2012 – I had been researching and working on an article for my blog since October 20 about “The Liberation Of The Philippines” and “The Battle Of Leyte Gulf.”

 

I needed some photos to go with my story. I could of used file photos that I had shot, but I wanted “fresh” photos. I decided last night, come “Hell Or High Water” I was going to get the photos. I never realized at the time what an “prophetic”description that phrase would be.

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At the MacArthur Landing in Palo, Tanauan on the island of Leyte, the weather unleashed “Hell,: with a muddy brown sky and murky brown water that erased the horizon and created a backdrop of a muddy brown sky and murky brown water that delivered a hail of intense hard driving pellets of rain.

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The “High Water” became the vicious ocean waves that were crashing over the lower sea wall beneath the MacArthur Landing Memorial.

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Hell And High Water” arrived in the Leyte Gulf and her name, “Tropical Storm Ofel.”

 

2_Tropical Storm Ofel MacArthur Landing Palo Tanauan Leyte 022 Nikon D 100 Photo by Sanuel E Warren Jr_resized

In the morning, I had heard in passing about a tropical storm headed for Leyte. Typhoons in the Philippines are like Tornadoes in Missouri, you keep your eyes and ears open and stay aware of the developing weather conditions. If the weather goes bad, then, you cancel your plans for the day and do something else.

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This morning, when we left Barangay Baras, on the island of Leyte, the skies were gray and everything was wet. The wind didn’t seem to be blowing all that bad around 10:30 a.m.

 

Tacloban City was the first stop on the itinerary. Naturally, I ran a few errands before I decided to go do my “photo shoot” at the statues in Palo.

 

By around noon, I came out of the Gaisano store and headed to the Santo Nino Church to pick up some flowers.

 

When a ship goes down at sea or an aircraft is lost at sea, people place a wreath upon the waves as a memorial tribute.

3_Tropical Storm Ofel MacArthur Landing Palo Tanauan Leyte 024 Nikon D 100 Photo by Sanuel E Warren Jr

 

World War II, the Pacific Ocean claimed many lives during the The Battle Of Leyte Gulf. It seemed placing a wreath of flowers on the water would be an appropriate way to salute the Allies soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen who perished in that battle.

 

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Around 1 p.m., I stepped out of the vehicle into a hard rain. In a few minutes, every stitch of clothes I had on was saturated with water. The wind was strong. I walked toward the statues and wondered, “Maybe, I should come back tomorrow.”

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I raised my camera and began shooting photos. Ramon and Ranyiel sat in the van and watched my every step into the weather.

 

It felt like something other than rain pelleted me. It fell like hail. It made it hard to keep your head up and look into the sky.

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I had left the flowers in the vehicle to concentrate shooting the photos I had on mind. The cliché “Man Against The Elements” was a reality. I was drenched to my skin. The rain fell hard.

 

I used the wet shirt tail of my polo shirt to wipe off the water spots on the lens. Since I always keep a UV Filter on the lens of the camera any scratches end up on a $14 filter and not the more expensive lens.

 

The wind off the ocean kept pushing me farther inland. Still, I managed to move around enough to take the photos I had in mind. The wind, like an insistent mother, kept trying to move me. I finally clasped a hand to the chrome railing down a few steps to work my way down the side steps, since the wind was really trying to move things.

 

I looked up and watched it fall. Clang! One of the tall flagpoles beside the main flagpole fell straight down and the metallic clang echoed. I walked quicker, but more cautious to the vehicle.

 

I spent a few minutes, wiping off the camera lens. I was soaked through to the skin. I could not have gotten any wetter than if I had stepped into the ocean in my clothes. The height and violent nature of the waves made it obvious no one would be getting out into the Pacific Ocean today.

 

The Battle Of Leyte Gulf from Oct. 23 through October 26, 1944 had devastated “The Enemy”, 10,000 men, 27 ships, and the majority of their aircraft.

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I had not been able to get a wreath of flowers, so I looked at the small bouquet. The bouquet of flowers were all I could offer to recognize the sacrifices of the Allies, who lost six ships and 2,800 men.

 

With my camera and the flowers I made my way back to the statues. The crashing waves of water against the lower sea wall made it evident, no one would get anywhere near the beach or Leyte Gulf today.

 

I stepped back and turned to go. I noticed the platform in front of the statues. I placed the flowers on the platform.

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In honor of the men of the USS Gambler Bay and the other Allies ships and aircraft that disappeared beneath the waves, I left the flowers on the platform in front of the statues.

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Nikon D 100 Photos by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

Once, I returned home,I logged on to the Internet to read the latest tropical storm update:

 

PAGASA

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration

 

 

Hourly update on OFEL
At 1:00 p.m. today, 24 October 2012, Tropical Storm "OFEL" was estimated based on satellite and surface data over Leyte Gulf (10.5°N, 125.5°E).

 

 

The weather bulletin confirmed that Ramon, Ranyiel and I had been on the “front lines” of Tropical Storm Ofel unleashing her wrath on the Leyte Gulf

Sam

 

Weather Link

 

PAGASA

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration

 

http://www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/

 

 

Samuel E. Warren Jr.’s

Editor’s Note

 

October 24, 2012 — We returned to Barangay Baras and learned the power had went out about 10 minutes before we got home due to the storm. No problem My Dell laptop had a three-hour charge on the computer battery. I put the Compact Flash card in the card reader and while the pictures downloaded to to the laptop’s hard drive, I began writing the story.

 

I wrote as fast as I could and double checked some of the facts on the Battle of the Leyte Gulf. Alas before I could finish the story, the laptop flashed the warning of low power and went out a few minutes later.

 

October 28 2012 – The power briefly come back on around 4:30 p.m., and only lasted about 20 minutes in Barangay Baras. A transformer blew in Barangay Cameri and wiped out the power in a total of six barangays

 

October 29. 2012 – The power in Barangay Baras came back about 7:45 p.m.

 

October 30. 2012 – The copy and photos finally finished for this article I finally get to publish it – on “My Birthday.”

Sam

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.
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