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How is it possible for a day that started so well to get so bad.

My morning started by waking up 1 minute before the alarm went off. I literally sat on the side of the bed and waited for it to beep so I could shut it off.

Then Megan and I headed out a little early so we could go hit the coffee shop in Pacific Grove and have a few minutes together. On the way there her Sax case slips and slams into the stereo in my truck. Ah crud! Wait a minute, now the display is green instead of orange, and I can read it!!! My stereo has been broken for over a year, but her banging the case into it hit the buttons just right to change the dislpay color and fixed it. Go figure! Whoo hooo.

 Then during coffee I gave Meg $5 for lunch and on the way out the door she drops it with out realizing it. We’re in the truck getting our seat belts on when a guy walks up, taps on her window and says to her “I think you dropped this.” and hands her back her $5 bill. Sweet!

I drop the mouse off at school and head down the hill into P.G. and to work, thinking to myself, darn this is a nice drive as I look down the hill over the buildings of P.G. and out into the bay.

Commute through Pacific Grove


And then I get to work. The rat infested, beaurocratic, crap filled office. Believe it or not I actually used to like working here. I think that was in a different life. Now it’s nothing more than an eight hour stint in hell. Oh well.


If your doggedly following the “We’re all gonna DIE! The world is going to end because of Global Warming!! Run, hide, don’t drive your car! Send all your money to my organization” Then you might want to go ahead and skip this post.

The timing on this was pretty good.  I woke up this morning, went out to the truck to head for work, and behold, I had to scrape my windows for the first time since living on the coast of central California. It’s a darn good thing we have global warming, otherwise, think how cold it might be. We might all be freezing to death if it weren’t for global warming.

I loved how all the GW (Global Warming, or Gore Worshippers, you pick) people blamed the horrible hurricane season of 2005 on GW. Then pththth…. 2006 and NOTHING! Gee, they sure did get quiet on that didn’t they. Grrrr….. Quick let’s twist all the facts to fit my theory, a theory made to make money no less, and try all ways possible to shut up or discredit any doubters. Think I’m being over the top here? Then check out this, Good old Heidi Cullen of the weather channel advocates:

The Weather Channel’s (TWC) Heidi Cullen, who hosts the weekly global warming program “The Climate Code,” is advocating that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) revoke their “Seal of Approval” for any television weatherman who expresses skepticism that human activity is creating a climate catastrophe.

 The BBC News had an article out requesting anyone in the climate business that had funding cut, or papers censored because they questioned global warming. After the initial request the article is GONE. Cannot find, no originals, no follow ups, nada. What happened??? They didn’t even question the truth of Global Warming, just the tactics used to shove an idea down the populations throat.

 I’m not completely doubting that Global Warming is possible. I am however calling bullshit to all these people who claim they know what’s causing it. If their so good at predicting the future, tell me, is it gonna rain next Wednesday??? Then how in the hell do you expect me to believe you can tell me what the temp is gonna be in 100 years? And don’t feed me crap about computer models, that’s what I do for a living, and I KNOW how inaccurate those are!

So there. I’ll get off my soap box. I’m just so sick and tired of hearing about how Global Warming is to blame for Everything! And by god, you better not question the theories or the science behind it, that’s all magic and if you question it, well you must be a terrorist, or nazi or fill in your own nasty word here.

One final word. Baaaaaa…… Global Warming is gonna kill us all. Baaaaa…. Re-elect Gore, he invented the internet and is a climate specialist, Baaaaa…… He’s gonna save us all….. Baaaaa…..

Question what the idiots on the idiot box are saying! Don’t believe a word anyone says unless you either trust they know what they heck they’re doing or you can check to facts yourself! There are so many out right lies, fact twisting, and bullshit surrounding GW that it drives me to distraction.




The question was asked what songs did I use in the tributes I made for John.  

The first one was by a group called “Green Day” and the song is titled “Wake me when September ends.” I found it on the album “American Idiot“.

Green Day. American Idiot



 The second was by “Jimmy Buffet“, it’s his new song “Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On”  It can be found on the album “Take the Weather with You.”

Take the Weather with You




Now here is a flashback to the good ole days. My old boss Joe Wooten, from the army days dropped me a note yesterday and today sent me two pictures of the Ft. Campbell gang. Hard to believe, but here we were.

 Ft. Campbell Gang

 This was a while ago, circa 1987. Let’s see if I can’t get this correct. From left to right.

John Hartman, Dennis Earhart, Mike Weidman, Eric Underwood, Leon Perkins, John Lumpkin, Rich Hickey.

(Thanks Mike for the update on Underwoods first name. I totally locked it.)

Funny how John and I are the bookends. I’ve heard Dennis ended up in Seattle, that’s from Mike, again thanks for the update. Mike Weidman I’ve spoken to a few times in the last couple of months. I’d love to find out what happened to Underwood, last I heard he was still in Georgia, but that was so many years ago it’s not funny. I haven’t heard from Perkins or Lumpkin since the day I left the Army, although I have heard through the grapevine that Perkins is still in the Clarksville area and that John Lumpkin is working at Ft. Campbell as a civilian now.

Here’s another pic of the gang that Joe Wooten sent me.

Ft. Campbell Gang


Wow, what memories this brings back.



     If your reading this then your one of the ones I’m talking about. I hope everyone realizes that this little piece of the internet was originally started just to have a place for me to put pictures of the kids and our adventures so that my family could see them. I have a tendancy to live far from my family. Most of my family when I started this site was in Seattle, WA. I was in Alaska at the time, then Mississippi, then California. So in an attempt to keep from being a total black sheep I started with a gallery page and threw some pictures up.

     Then as things are want to do, this page started to evolve as I played and started to learn a little PHP programming and ran across the wordpress software. WordPress in their own words (You’ll love this) is

WordPress is a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. What a mouthful.

 Simply put it’s nothing more than a pretty decent blogging software. It’s been fun playing with it, and it’s really changed the look and feel of this site.  I started to blog and write about 6 months ago or so. Nothing big, just something to play with. I started to get a few hits from friends and family. I was linked to from Crabby’s Kitchen (A friend down in Mississippi) and had a little bit of activity.

     Then hell happened and we lost John. Ssgt. John L. Hartman Jr. was killed in Baghdad Iraq by an IED on November 30th 2006. (That was for all the darn search engines that are banging on the web page now.)

     Since we lost John this website has turned into a location where I can put up pictures of John, talk about him a bit. It’s where friends and family can drop notes to each other, where old friends we haven’t seen or heard from in forever get back in touch. Sadly, it’s also been where some have learned of John’s passing.

     To let you know how the web page has changed, before John passed I was getting a hundred or so hits a month, most of them being bot searches and the like, and then family and friends. Since the day of John’s passing things have changed a bit. In just the time since he passed, 42 days, but I’m not keeping track…

  1. 587 unique computers have attatched to my website.
  2. 813 unique computers if you include the search engines
  3. 4285  if you include multiple hits from the same computer.
  4. 54 total posts with over 80 comments.
  5. If you google John Hartman Jr. my site ranks in at #6

     As you can see. Things have changed a bit. I’m not complaining mind you. It’s been really good to be able to share pictures and thoughts about John. But, I’m just a hack at this. So, no one get’s to complain about how well I’m doing. 🙂

     It sure has felt good to see all the hits and to read all the comments. I must apologize to all of you who left comments and I didn’t reply or only replied with a very short note. It’s been a difficult time as you all know, and I haven’t been able to make myself respond to a lot things yet. So, if you left a comment and I didn’t reply, it wasn’t because I didn’t read it, it’s just been hard.

     Anyhow. Enjoy the site, make comments, please please post comments and stories about John. If anyone has a good story about John and want’s to post it here just let me know. I’ll be glad to either give posting/author rights or post it for you.

     Thanks for being here and reading this.


Rich Hickey



Believe it or not the girls went surfing today. The first weekend in January. The wonders of a wet suit.

Nora gettting ready to surf

Here’s Nora getting ready.

Molly all set to go

Here’s Molly ready and waiting.

And here Meg getting a little help.

Megan getting a little help from Roberta.


Amazingly enough I just made it to 40. Yep. I’m officially on top of the hill and lookin down. It’s hard to believe, but, here I am. Pretty wild. I figure I’ve had about an extra 10 years so far. That’s how long I’ve been a type 1 diabetic. Without insulin I would be in the ground about 10 years at this point. Luck has been with me, I’m still pissin in the wind, howlin at the moon, and drinkin myself stupid. Well, more stupid than normal. (-:

I know a lot of folk hit 40 and think, what have I done with my life? Oh my god! I have to get something done NOW before it’s too late. I guess I’m a little different in that. I look at my little ladies and stare in wonder. I think about my friends and think, damn I’m lucky. I remember John and think, god damn it! why aren’t you here to pick on me for hitting 40 before you. I’ve hit the 40 mark. It’s not an end or even a major change, it’s a step in the road of life. If I only have a few more steps, well, I still had a heck of a time. If I have a lot more steps to go, well, I hope they were as good as the first 40 I’ve walked.

If I had been born a hundred years ago I would have died at the age of 30 when I came down with Diabetes, or the wasting desease as it was called. So, what have I done in the last 10 years of life, the life I’ve been granted? Well..

I’ve watched Megan grow into a pain in the tail pre teen, and may she continue to be a pain! I’ve watched Molly and Nora grow into the wonderful little girls they are. I’ve had 10 years of friendship with John. In the last 10 years I’ve buried an Uncle, a Father in Law, a cousin, a friend, and a chosen brother. I’ve yelled at my children for no reason other than I was tired and frustrated. I’ve fought with my wife, and made up. I’ve held my girls when they were sick, I’ve kissed their injuries, and I’ve read them bed time stories before kissing them good night. I’ve done things I’m proud of and I’ve done things I’m not so proud of. It’s been a good 10 years.

I’ve also,

  • Learned to play the fiddle. Fairly well.
  • Learned to play the Mandolin. Not so well.
  • Saw Alaska and walked out in -50 degree temperature.
  • Stood in the Eye of Katrina, the greatest storm to hit the US.
  • Picked myself up after Katrina and helped my neighbors
  • kept my feet during the 7.9 earthquake in Alaska.
  • Cried during Taps being played for my friend.
  • Made my dead uncle proud by replacing the engine in my truck by myself!
  • Gotten up every morning and faced the day no matter how hard.
  • I’ve made new friends and kept old ones.

I’ve had a good 40 years.

It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone. Roberta said several times that she was glad the year was over. I’m not so sure myself. With John dying so late in the year, I don’t think I’m ready to say “That was last year” yet.  There are a lot of things I’m not ready to do or face yet. I’m sure that I’ll be writing like I’m a schitzophrinic for a while. I’ll write about daily life and what’s happening in the world and then, woof, back to chatting about John for a bit.

 I haven’t written about his funeral yet. I think I’m going to try and do that now. Just some of the highlights really. Like any memorial service there were good and bad impressions. I’ll try and share a few.

When we arrived down in Tampa Roberta and I rented a Chevy HHR from Hertz to drive for the week. Renting the car wasn’t bad, pretty normal, but the HHR itself, well, what a piece of crap. It’s nothing more than a cheap version of the PT Cruiser. We rented it because it would seat 5, we could drive people around, ya, five midgets from the circus maybe. 4 Adults semi comfortably. Oh well, it got us around.

The services were pretty straight forward. They had John’s brother Jared speak, myself, and Jeff Walker from his group currently in Iraq.  Jeff was the only one that really got through what he wanted to say. Jared and I didn’t do so well, it was pretty tough. Thank goodness for Jeff. By the way, Jeff and Inge his wife are two of the nicest folk you’ll ever meet.

Jeff and Inge reading John's last letter

Here they are reading John’s last letter home.

 The Church where we had the services was very nice. It was a large Catholic church that had room to seat everyone. We had the services there not because John was Catholic, he wasn’t, but because it was large enough. I’ll give a side note about that in a bit. There were about 200+ people attending the services, about 20 or so reporters and newspeople there, 4 news trucks, and about 90 or so Patriot Guard Riders, and 4 protesters. Yep protesters. I’ll do a seperate write up on that.

The Patriot Guard Riders

 The protesters are behind the PGR across the street.

Gee can’t see them.

The services included a Brigadeer General (one star), a Major, and a handfull of other soldiers. The most notable of whom was a Sergeant by the name of Middleton. Middleton was with John on tour 2 and he drove down from Ft. Sill Oklahoma the day before the funeral and drove home the day after. 20 hours of solid driving each direction. That act alone really hit the family hard. The fact that he would do that to be there with us when we said good bye to John. We were so glad that he was part of the services, watching him try to stay calm while handing Charlene John’s flag, that was a hard moment for all of us. Two wives from his current team in Iraq came down because their husbands couldn’t, about 10 soldiers from Ft. Stewart drove down to be there with us. Then they had the honor guard from the National Guard there to do the 21 gun salute. By the way, sitting in a church, trying to honor your dead friend, then having them play taps. That will be one of the hardest moments of a persons life. Taps will rip your heart out, period.

Over all the services went really well. It was one of the saddest moments of my life. But it was also good. We all had an opportunity to get together and talk about our times with John. I learned things from some of his buddies that he never told me. I got the chance to share some stories that I’m sure John never told them. (-: It was a good experience in it’s way.


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January 2007
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