12-23-2003: OK, today's salute! is kinda funny and kinda sad, all at the same time.
I have a number of less-than-grand habits, one of them being McDonald's in the morning. It's just so damned handy to swing through the drivethrough, and I have a fondness for their bacon, egg, and cheese bagel sandwich. A close second is their breakfast burritos.
Yes, I know they're not good for me. Yes, it's a vice.
So this morning, I pull into the drivethrough lane and order my bacon, egg, and cheese bagel. I pull up to the first window to pay, and the morning manager (I'm pretty sure she's the manager) says that she was just informed that they're out of bagels, and so I can't have my typical bagel. I give her a playful hard time, and tell her I'll take my "alternate," the breakfast burritos.
She said OK, and that she would pay for them. Now that was unexpected - as Mr. M said, you might expect that in a bar but not in the McDonald's drivethrough. I thanked her, and received my burritos free of charge at the next window.
That was a very nice gesture, although it underlines just how often I eat McDonald's breakfasts. Bad diet be damned, that was very nice of her. Today's salute! goes to the exceedingly nice McDonald's ninja at the west Ames McDonalds.
12-20-2003: Jane Susan Frank works at a foodbank in Virginia - the Foodbank Of The Virginia Peninsula, to be exact. And Frank had a crisis - the area had been hit hard by Hurricane Isabel, and the foodbank had stripped their shelves to aid the Red Cross in their disaster relief efforts. The holidays were coming, and they were out of meat.
So, Frank sent a letter to the Smithfield Packing Company, of Smithfield, Virginia, USA (http://www.smithfield.com/). As the story in the Daily Press states, she had hoped for a "couple of hams, or a nice box of hot dogs."
And then the 18-wheeler showed up.
Inside that semi truck were ten thousand pounds of meat. Twenty-four thousand dollars worth of meat. Cases of pork chops, roast beef, pastrami, corned beef, and rib patties. By the above story's estimate, enough good meat to take care of 20,000 people just in time for the holidays.
Keller Watts, a vice president in sales at Smithfield, was there for the donation's arrival. "It was a little sobering to all of us to find out how great the need is in this area," Watts said, "Food is something that most of us take for granted."
A great, big, fat holiday salute! to Watts and Smithfield, for their generous donation! It is such a nice difference to see a company do the right thing, instead of biting their nails worrying about the bottom line.
12-14-2003: Today, the American military forces in Iraq captured the tyrant, murderer, and terrorist Saddam Hussein. And surprisingly, they captured him alive.
Soldiers from both the Special Forces and the 4th Infantry Division captured Hussein in a small compound about ten miles from his birthplace, Tikrit. He was found in a "spider hole," which is basically a man-sized hole in the ground. It was approximately six feet below ground, and it had a PVC pipe up to the surface for air.
He was armed, but not a single shot was fired. He was taken into custody, bearded and disoriented, a defeated man. The man that has murdered hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of his own people went into custody without a wimper.
Today, I salute! the soldiers of the Special Forces and the 4th ID, as well as the CIA operatives and other agents that brought about his capture. But most of all, I salute! the Iraqi people, who can now see that Saddam isn't coming back.