Saturday, October 1, 2016

It's Emilie's birthday!

Here's a poem for the love of my life from the love of my wife...

Today on your birthday you turn 49
Marking 7 years since you've been mine
We married when you were 42
I gave you my life, and you gave my yours too

It wasn't long till you became 43
A precious year gone, but just a tick of eternity
Our years go quickly, one after another
They're all so much fun, with you as my lover

Time can slow to a trickle, or go faster and faster
It is always a thought, but never our master
I love you for now, and also for ever
Time's not enough for us, I get to love you forever

Oh, the selfies we'll go...

I love you, Em.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Welcome to the future... October 21, 2015

The movie Back to the Future came out in 1985; I was a senior in high school at the time.  It was an awesome flick.  I loved every minute of it.  I was 18 years old, and was already fascinated with time travel. This movie caused me to spend lots of time daydreaming.

I believe the appropriate question is:  When in the hell are we?

The Final Countdown came out in 1980.  This should have been the greatest movie in the history of of the universe because it combined the 3 best elements ever:  Time travel, a modern aircraft carrier (including F-14 fighters) and World War 2.  The movie was a big waste of time for me.  It had such potential.  They could have sent the awesome firepower of the USS Nimitz after the 6 Japanese carriers that attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941.  Can you imagine how cool that would have been?

That's one freaked out Japanese pilot

That would have been awesome.  But it wasn't to be.  I know, I know... The U.S. wouldn't have entered WW2 (maybe), Hitler would have taken Europe and kept it, blah..blah..blah.  Stupid paradoxes.  It's a movie, man.  Let's a have fun time.  Let's buzz the tower ("Negative, Ghost Rider; the pattern is full").  Let's scare the bajebeez outta them Zeros.  You want to talk about waking a sleeping giant?  How about an Exocet Missle down your smokestack, Yamamoto?  Oh, well.  Opportunity wasted.

The Time Machine came out in 1960.  It starts out great, with H.G. Wells going forward in time while he watches a mannequin in a clothing store change styles as the decades click by.  Leaving the year 1900, he makes a stop about 60 years into the future.  He checks out the total coolness of seeing what things are like in the '60s for all of 9 seconds before continuing forward to, like, 1 Billion A.D., where Sleestacks and futuristic cavemen don't get along well.  It was time to turn the movie off at that point.

Another version of The Time Machine came out in 2002.  Though the movie industry had lots of time to develop a better script, using technology from 20 years in the future, it varied only slightly from the original, and sucked just as much.

In Time After Time H.G. Wells chases Jack the Ripper into the future to San Fransisco in 1979.  Kinda dumb, but I had a pretty good time watching it anywayz.  At least we get to see Mr. Wells' reaction to cars and disco.

In Star Trek 4 the gang travels a couple hundred years back in time to save the whales.  This is a fun movie.  It's got some great lines...

Like Chekov, during the cold war by the way, asks one of the village people in his strong Russian accent where the "Nuclear Wessels" are.

And when Bones can't believe the barbarism of Kidney Dialysis.

And when Scotty tries to interface with a 1984 Mac:  "Hello Computer."

And my favorite is when Kirk says (I won't say all of it here because of the colorful metaphor),
"Well, double dumb___ on you."

There are lots of time machines out there. 

Just to name a few...  If I could design my own time machine, it would be something like the classic H.G. Wells version, built inside of a very secure (materials from the future), very large, well ventilated vault built into a large private room in the large basement of my large, red-brick home in the New York City area back in the 1790s.  Within this secure vault would be a very nice TV/Computer (from the future), which would hold within its very large capacity memory drive every (decent) movie ever made, every (decent) recorded piece of music ever made, every (decent) game ever made, every ..... you get the picture.  The room would have a very large freezer and fridge, and a very cool (from the future) kitchen.  Most important of all, it would have a very nice bathroom, with plumbing and all that.  I would have a similar, but appropriate, set up in many different eras of history.

I'm sure it wouldn't take you too much time to name several problems with this little fantasy of mine.  Here's some that I thought of....

  • I'd love to visit the 1950s, like Marty McFly.  Problem:  No laws against smoking indoors.  In fact, I think there was a law that everyone had to smoke whenever they were indoors.
  • I'd love to visit the 1940s, like the Nimitz, both here in the US and in far off battlefields.  Problem:  Same as above.  
  • I'd love to visit the 1860's Civil War time, like the guy in Quantum Leap.  Problem:  No indoor plumbing.
  • I'd love to visit colonial America, like...uh... didn't anyone go to colonial America?  Problem:  The plumbing issue again, obviously.  Also, everyone stinks.
  • I'd love to visit middle ages Europe, like Bruce Campbell in Army of Darkness.  Problem:  All of the above, plus the plague.
  • I'd love to visit the holy land during Christ's day.  Problem:  No showers, no plumbing, no toilet paper, lousy public transit and leprosy.  
  • I'd love to visit the future.  Problem:  I'd probably land my time machine right in the middle of a nuclear war.  
  • And the piece-de-resistance for almost all historic time periods:  No air conditioning.

Well, maybe it's a good thing time travel is a fantasy.  A wise man once said...

Thomas S. Monson

That's the end of this boring blog.  I hope you don't feel like you wasted your time.  I'm almost ready for my Back to the Future party.  We're watching parts 2 and 3 tonight, and enjoying us some Fun Dip, Bottle Caps, Nerds & Lemonheads.  I stopped drinking soda in July or I'd definitely be chugging a bottle of Pepsi at the Cafe 80s.

My favorite character in the Back to the Futures is Biff, especially "Mad Dog Biff" from BTTF 3.  We all have had, have or will have a "Biff" in our lives.  When you meet him, no matter how intimidating he might be, remember, he always ends up being full of manure.  Deck him!  And take charge of your future.  Do it for the Lorraine McFly in your life.  That's the power of love.

Time's up.  See ya...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thoughts about Richard T. Banks, 1925-2012

One evening a couple years ago I was home alone, minding my own business, watching TV, when there was a loud WHACK on the window over by the front door.  Scared the bejeezerz out of me.  Wanting to catch the culprit, but with cautious trepidation due to my self preservation instinct (I'm a coward), I opened the door and walked out on the porch.  Standing there holding his cane up was an elderly neighbor guy who lived around the corner from me.  It was Richard Banks.

"BB," I says, "how are ya?"

"Look at that sunset!" he says.

Richard Banks is an old family friend and former Bishop at my church.  BB is short for either Bishop Banks or Brother Banks, take your pick.  He liked me to call him BB.  He is an amazing man.

Richard Banks pictured here with one of his sons, Jimmy Banks.

Bishop Banks died yesterday at the respected old age of 87 years. I'm saddened by his loss, but also very happy for him.  He was never one to let a sunset or a pretty flower go unnoticed or appreciated, so the thought of him passing into a place like heaven, which is reputed to be quite beautiful, gives my tears the happiness that he would have wanted for all who love him.

Bishop Banks was the most optimistic person I've ever been around.  He was always cheerful, even after leukemia and chemotherapy. He was always walking around the neighborhood cheering up others, even when he had to start using a cane, and eventually a walker.  He was always reaching out and visiting the sick, the weary, and the outcast, even when his own wife, Margie, was facing illness at home. He was such a positive force for good in this world.  It seemed to me BB's favorite word was "beautiful".

Bishop Banks at the Spanish Fork, Utah 24th of July parade in 1989.
 Here is a link to BB's tribute on the Walker Mortuary website:  It is a great tribute, and well written, but, of course, leaves so much out.  What can you say in a one-page tribute about a man like Richard Banks?  I want to add a couple of details from my meager perspective...

BB was born in 1925 and raised in Spanish Fork a short distance from my Dad's family.  My Dad was born in 1937, so BB was quite a bit older than him.  Dad was 7 years old when BB went off to war in 1944.  At that time, my Dad loved listening to the war news, and following the movements of the armies in Europe and in the Pacific.  My Dad remembered that, at age 7, he knew that BB was serving in Patton's 3rd Army in Europe.  He doesn't remember when or how he learned that BB was reported missing in action, but later the details emerged.

While participating in the Battle of the Bulge in Luxembourg, Bishop Banks was wounded by a German grenade on Christmas Day, 1944.  After receiving life-saving treatment for his wounds, BB was loaded into a boxcar with other captured American soldiers, and shipped off to spend the rest of the war in a POW camp.

US POWs in Germany.
 The camp was liberated before the end of the war when Allied troops pushed into Germany.  After about 6 weeks at a military hospital in Paris to recover from malnutrition and other such POW camp related stuff, BB was released in May, 1945.  BB told me once that while he was walking around Paris, checking out the sights, he happened to be walking under the Eiffel Tower when speakers all over Paris broadcast a statement by Winston Churchill saying that the war in Europe was over.  He talked about the joyous shouts and hugs and kisses and dancing of thousands of people in the streets everywhere he looked.  Wow!!  History is cool to read about, but to shake its hand is a stirring experience.

Bishop Banks has a love for the USA rivaled by none.  He has a flag pole in his front yard, and flies the American Flag every day.  BB is frequently an honored guest at civic events, school assemblies, and all kinds of patriotic ceremonies.  He was so happy a few years ago when he was able to travel back to Washington DC and visit the World War II Memorial with a close friend with whom he shared his POW experience. 

That's BB on the left with friend John Anderson, and me on the right.  We are visiting the traveling Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall that came through Spanish Fork last year.  We are pointing to the name good friend Fern Lindley's son, Marvin Lindley, who was killed in Vietnam. 

Honored guests at Spanish Fork's Landmark High School.  That's Fern Lindley on the right. 
 I wanna go back and talk about my Dad's feelings about BB.  My Dad was not religious, but did believe in God and His commandments.  He believed in them, but didn't keep them.  BB was a very religious man.  When a religious man visits a heathen, the heathen often feels ashamed of his bad habits and poor choices.  When BB would drop by (at least once a month), a lot of times Dad was outside relaxing on his picnic table with a beer.  When he saw BB walking through the carport, Dad would quickly put out his smoke and hide his beer under the table.  BB was the kind of guy who thought the best of you, no matter what.  BB insisted Dad get his beer out and enjoy it while it was still cold, and would often say something like, "Boy, a cold beer sure sounds good on a day like today."  Just no judgment, all accepting, down to earth, treat you like you deserved the same respect you know he deserved. 

My Dad thought more highly of Bishop Banks than any other man on earth.  I remember one time my nephew, Adam, criticized the owner of the house around the block for putting up his Christmas lights so early.  Dad was quiet most of the time, but when Adam said that, Dad's demeanor changed into a bear.  "Don't you say anything bad about that man! Don't you know he was wounded and captured by the Germans on Christmas Day, 1944?  He can put up his #$*@ Christmas lights any time he wants!  He can leave them up all year if he wants!" 

BB came down to watch his old church building get torn down. 
The old Spanish Fork 4th Ward church building was torn down a couple summers ago.  BB came down to watch the ceremony, and he took a couple of bricks home with him.  He was baptized in that church.  You can kind of detect in his face some sadness maybe, but he wasn't really.  He was excited about the growth of the area, and knew that the new building would be beautiful.  The new building opened up just recently. BB loved it.  His will be the 1st funeral held there.  There he goes being historic again.

One more story.  Part of Spanish Fork Main Street is lined with large, oval flower boxes.  Each Spring, different groups go down and plant flowers and whatnot.  Last Spring, after deciding that some of the planter boxes were lacking, BB walked over to Main Street and planted squash in several of them.  Isn't that awesome?  I was going to get down there and take some pictures of them when they got huge, but I never did.  Maybe someone else did.

Yesterday I dropped by to see his family.  They had his flag at half mast.  That was kind of a tear jerker. 

The current bishop of our church, John Stewart, visited Bishop Banks in a specialized rehabilitation facility in Provo the day before he died.  I understand that BB said to the bishop, "I'm at peace.  I'm going to die tomorrow."  And he did.

Goodbye, BB.  Say "hey" to my Dad for me, k? 

Thanks for listening.  And remember (WHACK!!!) to look at the sunset.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day, 2012

It's the night before Valentine's Day & I thought I might throw together a post to put on this near forgotten blog.  I meant to get to this much earlier today, but I was much cumbered about with menial toil.  The lawn-dairy-creamer (laundry, I don't know why I call it that) needed folded and the dishes needed doin'.  After that the time was mine from then (11:30am) until Em got home from work (12:00pm).  Yeah, I didn't get much done there.  Since then, Em & I made a trip to 3 stores and 2 banks, and I went to the Periodontist while she stayed within becken distance of Sydnie 'cause of her not feeling too good still.  After that I had to stir Syd's yakisoba while Em made ready her famous crust to go with her homemade pot pie.  Since we were out of flour, I went next door to the neighbor's and borrowed 3 cups from them.  I don't mind going, since it's my sister.  I took my sister (Susie) the Valentine's cookies I ordered from the girls at church to fund their camp this summer.  They were meant for Em and Sydnie (Em's youngest), but they recently bouted with a not fun trip down Tummy Flu Blvd during the making of these same type of cookies for the girls at church, and they ain't too keen on sugar cookies right now.  I was glad to give Susie some cookies, especially since we have 5 dozen over here & only me to eat 'em.  That finished, now I can blog...

Here's a little poem I wrote.  You might want to sing it note for note, but don't worry, it's not too awful long.  I wrote this for Em's birthday a few months before we got married.  It has within it true feelings of happiness, anxiousness, loneliness, love, poor self image-ness, faithfulness and hope.  These and others were a deep part of me.  I think she dug the poem.  Please pardon my weirdo rhymo style.

So, here goes...

Clouds of blue, sky of white
Mountains lay low, valleys of great height
Man floats on air, bird flies a kite
What is amiss in this poem of delight?
Everything's backwards, but the pieces fit right

Heart covered with frost to hide from attack
Life seemed over, I was hitting the sack
Hope drained dry, causing faith to lack
Love is not in the cards, it’s too late to go back
But I continued to pray, hoping the heavens would crack

Months and seconds, hours and years
Time layers on all kinds of fears
God is above us; in our hearts he does peer
Doubt not His love, and be of good cheer
He will give what we need, if His counsel we hear

Out of the sky she appeared, right out of the blue
Swept around like an apron, and fit like a shoe
The cards dealt me a queen, it couldn’t be true
I gave up 2 years ago, I thought I was through
But there she was saying, “John, I love you.”

Unbelieving at first, and a little bit scared
Everything’s backwards, I was not prepared
The Lord said “Patience, John, I know this is weird.”
She hung on to me tight, my heart slowly bared
And like the backwards man above, I floated on air

Weekends together, weekdays apart
Our courtship moves forward, like Martin’s handcart
Picnics by a river, and trips to Walmart
Meet me on the bus, at 7:15 we’ll depart
In St. George we shopped and put rings on our heart

I’m glad there was family to give me a shove
I have life again, and hope flies like a dove
My thanks to Emilie, and love to God above
My thanks to my Heavenly Father, and to Emilie my love

-John Barney 10/1/09

It's been more 'n 2 years since then.  This is our 3rd Valentine's as a married peoples.  The gratitude expressed in this poem to my Father in Heaven for answering my prayers and sending Em to me is real and heartfelt, but it pales in comparison to what I feel today.  I loved her then, truly and sincerely, but nothing like now.  It makes me wonder what the future my heart holds.  It's gonna be gravy, man! 

This is the single most important text ever sent in the history of my future:

Notice how fast she answered me, notwithstanding my great tackiness in proposing this way.  I pressed send as soon as I bought her ring, and while she was still buying mine. 

I love you, Emilie.  Will you be my Valentine forever?  Please?

Thanks for listening...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Neato Mosquito

Isn't that the coolest thing ever.  I saw my friend Jocelyn's blog with this picture on it & just wanted to see if I could get it to work.  Wow, just like Harry Potter.  The link to the dude that made this photo is here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Love and Sacrifice

It's Veteran's Day.

After 2 days & 2 nights in the Marshall Islands.  I think they call that the 1000-yard stare

Bomber breaks up with a 10-member crew inside

Border of North & South Korea

Men from the USS Hornet fire 40 mm anti-aircraft guns at kamikaze pilots

B-17 and B-24 Bombers over Germany


Close one
American casualties at Antietam, 1862
B-17 with a German fighter on his tail

Barney kids in 1968 enjoying freedom and peace

It was 20-30 degrees below zero up there

Looks fun, huh?

Barney family in 1967

Barneys at Payson Lake in 1993

Big camp out with cousins at the redwoods in California, 1974.  I'm the little fellow.

Death March in Baatan, The Philippines

My brother Bob and me.  Bob was in the Navy for 20 years.  Thanks, Bob!

Bob, Irch & me on top of Mt. Timpanogos in 1999

Bombers over Romania.  Bombing the oil fields were probably some of the most effective missions flown.

Combat operations on Bougainville

Burial at sea in the Pacific

Mom & Barney kids with her Mom and Sister & some cousins.  I'm the little fellow with his mouth open.

This is a poignant scene in a 1946 movie called "The Best Years of Our Lives".  The actor signing his name really did lose his arms, but in a training accident.  He made training films for people in his same situation, coming home with severe injuries.  I recommend this movie.

Sunken Road.  American Civil War.

Barney clan visiting baby David (deceased 1960) in Idaho in 2004

Doolittle's raid on the Japanese mainland, April 1942.

Eisenhower visits tank troops in Europe

Emilie and me camping in Ouray, CO last summer.

Emilie & me at Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Pointe, UT last year.

Em & me at Color Festival in Spanish Fork, UT last year.
Em & me camping near Logan, UT a couple years back.

Barney kids and a couple youngans a few years ago.

My brothers & me.  I'm the fat one.

Em & me at the 4th of July fireworks in Provo, UT in 2009

Em & me on the day I proposed in 2009

American casualties in the Civil War

Americans died here.

Beach landing in the Pacific

Manning a machine gun on Bougainville

That's me on the right, & my Mom and Her Mom & a couple brothers and a couple nieces



A father's funeral. 

I don't know what to say here, except Thank You.

Em and me playing in the leaves last month.

Boom!  Look how the ship shifted to the right.

I don't know what to say here, except I'm sorry for your loss.

My brother and me about to watch the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti, UT

Famous photo of flag raising at Iwo Jima.  Horns are sounding from hundreds of ships surrounding the island.

Happy birthday to me, 11/9/2011

Nap time at the in-laws on Christmas, 2008

My Santa Dad and me back in the early 80's. I'm the fat one.  I'm now the same age as he was then.  Weird.

My nephew Jake & me back sometime.  He'll be 18 next month.

My sis-in-law Toshiko and my niece in Niihama, Japan in 1994
Toting my nieces in1993
Watching Sydnie cast for fishes last summer 
2 kamikaze attacked.  Almost 350 killed.
Kamikaze just about to hit.  Moments before death for some.

That's the lead bomber up there, flying over Mt. Fuji in Japan

Always nice to not get shot at when you come to shore.

The day after D-Day on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France.  They flew the blimp-looking balloons attached to wire cables to discourage enemy planes from flying right in on 'em.

My brother Mike's family and me at Universal Studios in December, 2000

Camping back in the day.  I'm the little blond one with his head turned.  Looks like Payson canyon to me.

Wounded in flight.

D-Day in Normandy France.

D-Day in Normandy, France

A risky dash on Iwo Jima.


Having a burger with my brother in Spanish Fork, UT

Pretending I can play.  Brother Mike's family there.

That's me with my nieces


Emilie trying on wedding dresses.  Her Mom, Syd and I are in the mirror.

Red Beach on Iwo Jima

My brother & sister and me.  I'm the skinny in the middle.

Thank you

Beach landings in the Pacific

My brothers & sister & me before family vacation to California in 1974.  I'm on the right, the little fellow.


American Cemetery in Europe.

American POW's in Yokohama, Japan liberated.

Americans surrendering in The Philippines

After kamikaze attacks.

More kamikaze attacks.

Landings in the Pacific

WAVES quality checking equipment.

Ultimate sacrifice.  At first I thought how sad that the men in the background have been so hardened by their experiences that they hardly notice this dead soldier.  Then I saw the 2 rifles placed as a cross next to him.

The Red Ball Express rolled supplies to the front from ports in Normandy continuously, 24 hours a day trying to keep up with the army's successful drive across France.  They were mostly driven by Black soldiers. 

Raiders with their nice doggies.

A soldier's best friend.

So many more would have died without them.

One of these is The Arizona.  Battleships represented the ultimate power on the sea until Pearl Harbor promoted the Air Craft Carrier to its status.  They still impress me.

Forced to salute the fuhrer

Em & me.  Engagement Pics

Em & me down by Cedar City.

Em & me getting our engagement pictures made.

Engagement pics at Cedar Breaks

Well, how did you like the photos?  It may seem odd to mix pictures of family fun and pictures of wartime.  I hope you got the drift of my statement.  Thank you veterans for all you do and have done for me and those I love.