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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Quotable Quote

"Just the existance of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire. but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.'" George Carlin was a genius!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Survey Says...

78% of people said 22% of people were dumb as a rock. 21% of people said 78% of people should mind their own business. 1% of people said can't we all just get along?

Friday, December 11, 2009

News Flash

This just in.... The search for the world's most uncomfortable pillow has ended. More to follow.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Global Warning

If you have read much of this blog, you know how I feel about the idiotic pseudo-science of "global warming". (I put it in quotes because we may have some warming of our climate, but NOT man-made, and NOT anything we can control) If you follow any of the non-traditional news or do any digging beyond the headlines, you may have seen the reporting of the scandal based around tens of thousands of documents and emails from the Hadley Climate Research Unit in England. These emails and documents, although possibly out of context, contain damning evidence of a conspiracy to defraud the world concerning man-made global warming. Check out "Climategate" in a Google or anywhere else for details. I, like others, am now more convinced than ever that the whole man-made global warming thing is a hoax. Maybe not even an innocent one. The cost to society and our way of life to do what these eco-nuts wanted would have (and still could if we don't act on this info) destroyed it. The correspondence between these global warming "experts" shows that exclusion of anyone that disagreed with them was commonplace, that manipulation of facts and figures was necessary to back up their claims, and that the whole thing is/was a lie. If you want more on this STUDY. Go and read posts I have done previously - I have links and info there that will help. Get with friends and family and have them study. Then get with your elected officials and STOP any plans to "fight global warming". Following is a link to a great site with documented FACTS about climate change. If we allow this, either by participation or apathy - we will all pay. (hey, I sound like a global warming alarmist - "the sky is falling" - sorry) Climategate should be the end to this nonsense. Help make it so.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanks and stuff

I was going to do a wonderful, erudite, elucitative, and enjoyable post about Thanksgiving and the giving of thanks. Been there, done that... go to the days pre and post Thanksgiving for the past two years and read if you are looking for that. Blah, Blah, thankful.. yada, yada, ate too much.. whatever. Enlightenment to resume shortly. Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Want some cheese with that?

We are a nation of whiners. If you add the social, political, and financial freedoms we have, we are indeed living in the greatest nation on earth. I have a shirt that I wear occasionally that says "No Whining" on it. People love it. I have had more comments on that shirt than any other piece of clothing I own. The problem is, everyone likes it; no one owns up to it! I know I whine. One could say this blog is an exercise in whining. (maybe it is, what's it to you? I can't make my opinions known? .....sorry - lost it a minute) We complain about how horrible things are. I know that we are going through some challenging times financially. I feel we are going through some very challenging times socially/politically. But, all in all for most of us, things are pretty good. Our whining manifests itself in our tremendous sense of entitlement. Striving for a better lifestyle and a more secure financial future is good. That ideal was one that built this nation into the greatest financial growth engine on earth. However, today people want a better lifestyle and financial security, but want it given to them. If I have six and you have two, taking two from me is not a way to make things "fair". Yes, we both would have four now (I did the math for you, I know math can be a challenge), but how is taking something from someone that obtained them legally, morally, and ethically; fair? The best illustration of this that most people "get" is with grades. In every classroom setting you have the studious, the not-so-studious, and the stupid. (I know, not PC - but hey - some people are just not as well endowed in the cranial portion of their anatomy - if you don't follow that - you may be one of them) You have the people that make the A's, some people that make some B's, if a teacher/professor is following the intent - most people making C's, some struggling at D, some collecting F's, and some that a new letter should be invented for. How about if at the end of the course the teacher/professor said "It is unfair that there are people making A's and people making F's. I am going to average everything out and give all of you a C". That means the deadwood gets a C as well as the person that worked and studied and gave it their all. Most folks can see the inherent problem with that grading system. However, when it comes to incomes and financial aspects of life, they just don't get it. The reason communism/socialism do not, and have not worked is - they can't. If you take away the incentive for performers to be rewarded for their efforts, they will not perform. If you take away the "punishment" (failure) from those that do not perform; they become even more of a burden. By the way, for those of you that point to Cuba, China, or others as proof that these forms of government DO work - shame on you. The point of communism or socialism is to "even out" the wealth between all people. Greed, ambition, drive, etc prevent this from happening. If you do not think that there is a difference between how an average Chinese peasant and a member of the Chinese politburo lives and their incomes - go away now! You cannot "even out" the distribution of wealth without destroying the source of that wealth - ambition and drive from those willing to work for a better life. I was in a convenience store the other day and was met at the counter by a VERY happy clerk. I commented that he seemed especially joyous and he said "Today I became a US citizen". I congratulated him. I asked how long he had been here and he proceeded to tell me his story. Briefly, here it is. He came here on a student visa from India four years ago. He was very captivated by our way of life. After two years of school, he decided he wanted to live here in America. He got a work visa and went out to find a job in computers/IT - what he had done in India. Now this was 2007 and we were rolling along economically, but he could not find a job in IT. He went to work at a computer assembly plant on the line while continuing to go to school at night. He had problems making his bills, so he took a second job (while still working full time at the computer plant and going to school part-time). As we headed into this recession, he lost his job at the computer plant and had to leave school to find a job that made enough money. He went to work for this local convenience store company while keeping his second job at McDonald's. He later started cleaning up offices at night - so he worked three jobs. But, he is now a citizen, can now become a manager for this convenience store company. He told me that they have a program where he can become part owner of the store he runs if he goes to certain markets and helps them open a store. He proceeded to tell me that this is the greatest country on earth. He was literally beaming with pride at becoming a citizen and flush with the excitement of all the opportunities he had before him. Notice the timeline on this - during the Great Recession. Did I mention he was black? In India, blacks are treated with extreme contempt in most areas. Did I mention he was Muslim? Muslims in India are a minority and are also treated with tremendous prejudice. He was thrilled at the reception he got here in this country, and how he was able to get ahead. He said in his native country he would have been lucky to get a small plot of land and work it for a subsistence living. We have people of all colors, creeds, and religions in this country. We have a large group of them that expect the larger group of us that work for what we have to subsidise them. This convenience store clerk is proof that if you are willing to work - three jobs if necessary - at night if necessary - you can get ahead. Even if you are dark skinned, have a "funny" accent, and are not a Christian. You don't need mine - earn your own. If you need a bit of help while you earn yours - I'll be here.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Still here

Remember the "atom smasher" I talked about a while back that was built in France? The largest machine ever built by man. It is going to be used to find quantum particles that until now have eluded researchers. These particles have been determined by math and physics to exist, but have never been "seen". I mentioned that the problem with this machine is that it appears to be a "lemon". After years of design and construction and billions and billions of dollars, it still won't work. The problem with this machine and the fact that it might be a dud is that there are no small number of people that believe it could destroy the earth when it is actually used. (to be fair there are a large number of people that believe Elvis is sitting somewhere with JFK and a space alien drinking gin fizzes) Well, they tried to crank this thing up again this week. Can you say "shut down". The machine had to be shut down when a bread crumb, possibly from a stray bird (this unit is over 300 feet underground, but they said a bird) was dropped into the machine. Just a mention - THE MACHINE COULD DESTROY THE EARTH! IT HAS FAILED SEVERAL ATTEMPTS TO WORK! BIRDS ARE DROPPING BREAD CRUMBS IN IT! There are some people that think the machine, when operating, would create a particle so "vile to nature" that there is something from the future that is preventing it from operating. No really, I heard Elvis say it... Oh well.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tsk, Tsk, Tsk

I don't know where to begin, so I'll just wade on in. The anti-capitalist eco-nuts have almost (that is my optimism - in reality they probably HAVE) done it. The unsupported, non-documented, anti-science theory of man-made global warming is now a given. I read something every day from unsuspecting or willing accomplises that talk about how this is being done, or should be done to "combat global warming" or "fight climate change". Sad. But as I wrote many months ago - “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Joseph Goebbels The people that are out to destroy capitalism and your way of life know this. Get the media on board and have them spew the half-truths and pseudo-science of global warming and people will accept it as fact. I have many, many posts on this blog about this, so I won't repeat myself. But, do some studying people. There are tens of thousands of respected and trained scientists that are trying to let us know that the whole thing is a hoax. There are two main reasons for the climate change lie. (and a third innocent one - the poor uneducated mind-numb saps that just want to help preserve and protect the earth and the environment and don't know any better) 1) money - if we go to this carbon credit system as a requirement of businesses and others to justify their lifestyle - the trading of carbon offset credits will be a HUGE moneymaker. The major financial trading firms want a piece of this. They all know that they can sit back and make a commission off of every carbon credit trade and get rich. 2) destruction of the evil thing that is the American way of life. Unfortunately there are people living here (and living well) off of the American way of life that don't think it is "fair" that we are the most powerful and rich nation on the earth. The fact that we are better off than most of the world's population is disgusting to them. Therefore we have to be taken down a couple of notches. What better way that to put a penalty on the energy sources that power our way of life? Again, do some reading. Google - climate change hoax or similar and read. The other thing that is being forced upon us is the health care / insurance deal. First, do not think for a minute that the powers that be are really trying to get healthcare at a reasonable cost for all of us. That is the cover story that is being used to lull you into supporting this debacle. If the goal was really to get cost effective healthcare for all Americans there are easier ways to do it. If you wanted to do it the easiest - just expand Medicare and Medicaid to cover the people that don't have insurance now that want it. (I say "want it" because there are people out there with insurance available that don't want to pay for it - I have a son that way. He is 22 and is still invincible in his mind. Although he has insurance available from his job, he is not signed up because he doesn't want to pay the premiums.) Even if you believe the doomsayers that use the 46 million number, that cost figure would be a lot less than what they are doing now. (if we stop giving free healthcare to illegals it would be a lot less) If the goal was affordable quality healthcare for all there are many other changes that could be made to help. How about tort reform. Defensive medicine, or the ordering of tests to rule out the most obscure diagnosis are rampant. The US takes more MRIs than the rest of the world combined (or close anyway - hey I need some hyperbole as well). Doctors can't treat you for the obvious just in case you picked up a weird parasite from that last trip to Somalia or whatever. People don't seem to want to accept that doctors are people too. They are just doing a job. Like you and me they will make mistakes. That is inevitable. Legal action is NOT a substitute for medical care. How about allowing insurance companies to write policies accross state lines? That would help cut costs as well. How about allowing insurance companies to offer limited coverage insurance policies? Every policy written now has to include coverage for pregnancy, for example - I don't need to pay for that! But, it is required to be in there. Oh whatever. It just bothers me because people are such lemmings. All they can see it the butt of the lemming in front of them.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No Snappy Title Available

I just finished some travelling and since I have not done a post in a few weeks I thought I would just do some random thoughts... Have you ever noticed that for the most part fireworks are sold by people that proudly proclaim their insanity? Crazy Joe, Loco Larry, Insane Ike all sell fireworks. You don't see Responsible Bob's Fireworks Emporium along the highway. Now I realize that selling personal explosives to anyone with the money to buy them might require a small bit of detachment with reality, I still wonder why James Cash Penney or Alva Roebuck didn't get into fireworks. Part of my travels included a cruise. One of the discussion points about any cruise for those that have NOT taken one as well as those that have) is the food. "Did ya' eat a lot?" is usually the first question from anyone that finds out you were on a cruise. I think the cruise lines are now pressured into providing food in insane quantities (Loco Joe's Cruises & Fireworks?) at all hours of the day just to keep up with the expectations. There is somewhere to eat on board 24 hours of the day. There are many different places to eat as well. You can sit down and be served or go to a buffet and serve yourself. My post of a few weeks ago comes to mind - we eat and eat and eat to fill the time between meals. What amazed me is the almost animal desperation that seems to infect the cruising human being as they approach the buffet line or seating area for the restaurant. Unless you were passed out or ill, as I said there has/had been copious amounts of food available for anyone to eat at any hour they desired. But, get them near the food and it is like a rice truck unloading in Ethiopia! People push and shove and yell at each other about what is there or not there as if they were coming off of a fast that would rival Gandhi in intensity. FYI, it is NOT an American thing either. There was yelling in many languages and it seemed to cross all cultural boundaries. It made me proud to be a human. I have other thoughts that I will share - I just wanted to "get back on the horse" so to speak.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

They's jus' kids!!

Anyone that has read this blog for any time at all knows I love a great news headline. I scour the web for them. I went looking this morning and found one at the top of the first site I went to. Here you go: Dead deer in clown suit left on Iowa porch Now I don't know about you, but boy did this bring back memories. Getting the guys together, shooting some hoops, grabbing a bite to eat, and dressing up wildlife like Bozo! Ahh, those were the days. Now I will admit that in most cases I never even see the stories that go along with the headlines. In this case it was a short paragraph and I read on. This extra reading of mine may have provided info that is as good if not better than the headline. The police in Sioux City, Iowa obviously have a great detective division and possibly a CSI lab and investigators just like all those TV shows. The comment from the paper regarding the results of the police investigation was: Officers suspect it was a prank I had first suspected a Godfather-type message to the family - Iowa crime family style. But, I am glad to know it was a prank. Those silly Iowans! I can't wait to see how they decorate for the holidays. Gotta go. There is a groundhog out back that would look stunning in a pair of shorts and a fright wig.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Heaven forbid they ever put any tables out there!

I heard a news story on the radio yesterday at lunch (and again with additional info going home) that brought home to me one of the major problems in our society. After I heard it I felt this blog coming on. Here we go... (this may be a bit disjointed, I started this Saturday a.m. and had to quit and went back Saturday evening. I tried to put a link to the newspaper story about this and a computer gremlin pounced upon the bits and bytes and took away half of this. I am now finishing it up Sunday p.m.) The story was about five benches that were placed by the city as a gift from a group that was trying to add ambience or a useful area to a greenway park that runs through parts of downtown Greensboro, NC. The benches, along with some large rocks and some sort of artwork, were place in a semi-circular configuration as an "oasis" and resting spot along the greenway; which until this placement had not had any benches or artwork. Now the problems began. It seems benches are inherently evil; or at least attract those that are. The local community group filed complaints with various city entities to have the benches removed due to "illegal activities" that they attracted. It seems if you install benches it attracts drug dealers, prostitutes, homeless people (which used to be called just "bums" but that is another blog) and all sorts of unsavory types of activities. To hear the head of the community organization talk, it was as if a portal directly to hell had been placed at the mouth of their homes. Remember, we are talking about benches (and rocks, you can go the the Greensboro News & Record website and see the story about a protester that sat unmoving on one of the rocks and would not let the workers take it; until he was arrested) Now my point. I understand the concern of the families living in the community near the benches. Illegal and illicit activities are not condusive to a peaceful existance. However, my amazement came from the fact that no one ever mentioned the problem - the unsavory types that it attracted - or the lack of police presence to eliminate it! Now, if you leave food out on counters and tables it can attract bugs. You can remove the food and clean the counters and the bugs may not be as visible. However, if you want to eliminate the bugs you have to go at the problem - the bugs! You call an exterminator, put out one of the bug baits or traps, or spray poison around. You continue to do so until you are convinced the bugs have moved on or are dead. I know we are dealing with human beings here, no matter how vile or evil they may be. I know that poison is not a reasonable humane answer. I realize that traps are not a civilized response either. There are ways to eliminate these vermin without just taking in the "food" (benches - in case you aren't following). I would maybe recommend a demand to the city council and police for increased police presence in the neighborhood. How about a neighborhood watch? This is a NIMBY response just like a myriad of other responses by people that can't be inconvenienced by the infrastructure required to support our modern way of life. Now I know we are talking benches and rocks here, but I still find that demonizing the benches to be very silly. Just like the saying - "Guns don't kill people, people kill people". I would like to offer up a new one for the citizens of Greensboro, NC - Benches don't commit crimes, people do!" Go sit on a bench somewhere and think about it...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Excuse me, but was that animal on fire?

Because we all love a flaming cow story: De Groene Amsterdammer (a Dutch newspaper): A Dutch veterinarian was fined 600 guilders [about $240USD] for causing a fire that destroyed a farm in Lichten Vourde, the Netherlands. The vet had been trying to convince a farmer that his cow was passing flatulent gas; to demonstrate, the vet ignited the gas, but the cow became a 'four-legged flame-thrower' and ran wild, setting fire to bales of hay. Damage to the farm was assessed at $80,000USD.The cow was unharmed. You gotta love a Dutch veterinarian.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Memories are the stuff that dreams are made of

"How old is that thing?" - If I had a dime for every time I heard that one! I thought I would do some more remembering. This is about another relative I got to know as a kid - Uncle Rufus. Uncle Rufus was a strange man, even by the standards of my other slightly strange relatives. He hated almost everything and everyone. He was the only man I know that would join a protest march and then join the counter-protest half way through. Luckily, Rufus did not have to deal with people a whole lot. Even in his job - see Rufus was a chinchilla farmer. He raised a herd, skinned them, and sold the pelts once a year at a furrier's market. In case you don't know, chinchillas are basically a cross between a squirrel and a hamster. From the face end they look quite a bit like a very large hamster. From the tail end they look like a squirrel with a bit less fluff in the tail. They are, however, blessed (or cursed, from their standpoint) with a fur that is about a soft as fur can get. For that reason for over 400 years, these little rodents have been sought and bought for their pelts. As I said, Uncle Rufus was a "hater". He hated everyone. I use to tell him (when I was out of range of those massive hams he called hands - see Rufus was about 7 feet tall and over 350 pounds)"Uncle Rufus - you are an equal opportunity hater." Yessir, Rufus hated some because of what they were and others because of what they weren't. He hated special days and days with nothing going on. He basically hated. Now this was many years ago, and the civil rights movement was getting a solid start in really making some changes. Rufus would hear someone like Martin Luther King and start screaming at him on the TV. The very next minute he might hear George Wallace and start screaming at his image as well. The thing is, he didn't agree with anyone -he just disagreed with everyone. Uncle Rufus started doing some checking on his background and heritage. See, he was adopted. My grandfather always said Rufus' mother let him go because he was arguing with her about child care as an infant. He did not know his natural father or mother. So, he went to looking around. Turned out he was one-quarter Japanese, one-quarter black, one-quarter native American, and one-quarter Caucasian. He killed himself - hate crime.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Even more headlnes

These are more headlines that are presented as real - whether they are or not - I love 'em. Here we go: COLD WAVE LINKED TO TEMPERATURES a simple start - no comment needed MAN IS FATALLY SLAIN Gotta hate when that happens - probably just meant to wound them AUTOS KILLING 110 A DAY, LET'S RESOLVE TO DO BETTER You gotta love a positive attitude NICARAGUA SETS GOAL TO WIPE OUT LITERACY They can start with newspaper writers and editors NEVER WITHHOLD HERPES FROM LOVED ONE Sharing is very important in a relationship MINERS REFUSE TO WORK AFTER DEATH It is SOOOO hard to get reliable help LAWMEN FROM MEXICO BARBECUE GUESTS Want fries with that? NJ JUDGE TO RULE ON NUDE BEACH The bailiff should probably skip the "all rise..." part SQUAD HELPS DOG BITE VICTIM Animal rights gone wild or just an Animal Planet show gone bad? And the Journalism Award of the Month goes to this gem: WAR DIMS HOPE FOR PEACE A Jimmy Carter devotee no doubt Gotta go read the paper.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm Baaaaaack!

I just finished a period of travel. I am now home for five weeks or so before I head out again. After Nashville for two days, Las Vegas for three days, and Atlanta for four days over the last four weeks, it is good to be home. The other good news is that the next trip I take (mid-October) is for ME! (or my wife and me) We are headed for Miami and the Bahamas on a cruise ship. Can't wait! This is just a collection of thoughts. Let's get this thing started: Friday was the 8th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I saw some stories memorializing the events, and some speeches and such. That is good. There was also a noticeable lack of attention in my opinion. For all the cries of "Let's never forget!" and other such sentiments it is amazing to me those that have apparently forgotten what happened that day. I saw and see news stories every day about releasing "enemy combatants"(we can't call them terrorists any longer, it may offend their sensibilities), filing criminal charges against the CIA personnel that did the covert intelligence gathering to prevent other attacks, and generally vilifying anyone other than those that acted in, and supported the attacks. That is pathetic and sad. In most of our jobs, if we make a mistake we get reprimanded. If we mess up real bad we may get fired. How about a job where if you make a mistake (or have made one prior to getting up and running) you destroy the earth. I don't mean nuclear winter, or poisoning the water - I literally mean DESTROYING THE EARTH, as in "POOF" no more earth. In the interest of science - quantum mechanics to be exact - the European governments and various universities have designed and built the world's largest particle accelerator - the Large Hadron Collider being brought on line in France soon. This unit is the world's largest of what is commonly referred to as an "atom smasher". This unit is much, much larger than the largest now which is in the U.S. The unit will crash sub-atomic particles into one another at near the speed of light to break them down into the particles that make up these formally smallest particles. The search is on for the illusive Higgs boson as well as any other particle that would solve some lingering questions about how matter is held together. (I could go on about quarks, gluons, and more - I LOVE it! - but most find it boring, so I won't) The problem with this (or granted - potential problem) is that there are more than a few physicists that believe this large collider could open up a small black hole when cracking these particles. Now, small is misleading. A small dog is cute. A small hole in a sock can be ignored. Small can be OK, when talking about bad things. A small black hole however can destroy the earth. Again, not cause a problem that will poison us slowly; not create an issue for the scientists to work on; DESTROY the earth. (FYI, from my very limited knowledge I see this as a very, VERY, VERY slight potential problem) The scientists that are working on it say it is such a small statistical chance that is it almost non-existent - so they are going on and firing the machine up. Now for the point. The unit was to go on line last year. They had problems. Then is was fired up partially this year and they found problems with the cooling system and some other parts that caused the unit to "crash" before it could split an atom. When checking, the engineers found numerous problems that are being worked on. So, this large machine that has a potential of destroying the planet is a lemon. It is over budget, behind schedule, and requiring major repairs before it even gets going. I'm just saying... Lastly, my wife has started a web page or blog on Caring Bridge a site for patients and family of people with illnesses. I have referred to her in many posts here. You may want to get a feel for her illness from her perspective. She does not type well any longer as her motor skills are going and her tremors can be pretty bad - but I think you will get the gist. Here is a link to her site: Later - if we are still around.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Let's eat, and eat, and eat...

As anyone with eyes can tell when walking around a mall or shopping center - America is populated by overweight people. Actually, we are an obese people. Now, I know there are those of you that work at it and actually are NOT fat. I know there are young people that are still obese-in-training. But, look around - we are a LARGE group of people. Although I have lost substantial weight over the past two years or so, it is a constant battle to keep all or even most of it off. I was mulling this over lately; and yesterday while we were strolling through an immense shrine to consumerism (Opry Mills mall), I had some thoughts as I was viewing the people strolling with us. First, no respectable mall is complete without a huge temple to caloric intake - the food court. This mall is no different, there is a huge space of tables and chairs flanked on one entire wall by a veritable cornucopia of gustatory delights (and not so delightful - who thinks of some of this stuff! - but that is another post) So, as we are paying homage to the gods of retail, we must stock up on calories. Heaven forbid that we should have to walk, look, and spend money for over an hour and not be able to buy bad Chinese-like food on a styrofoam plate! We shop, we eat. Food and eating LOTS of it has also ingrained itself into all parts of our social lives. What is a safe and acceptable first date? How about dinner (and maybe a movie - but that is not for this discussion either)? Maybe meet for lunch or a snack at the aforementioned food court? Casual encounter? - how about over coffee - which in the U.S. usually means coffee flavored sugar and cream with a muffin the size of a truck tire. Families are given food when another family member is sick or dies. After a funeral people gather and eat. Get married? - lets eat. Get engaged - bring out the cake. Promotion? - how about a dinner. Retire? - goodbye meal. Family gathering or reunion - the food preparations for this can take years of man (or woman) hours of planning a execution. Speaking of execution - scheduled for one later today - what would you like to eat? The last meal has taken the place of final words in most cases. In our family's case, for the meeting I was referring to in yesterday's post - I let my sister know we would be able to get together and one of the first things she offered up was a suggestion for a restaurant. The first night we were eating dinner and my mother, BEFORE we got our food was talking to me about lunch the next day. (I am not picking on you two, I just needed examples. Plus, you are fun to pick on ;)) When we are together we are usually planning meals, even if we are eating a meal at the time (gotta be prepared, we don't want to miss feeding time!) If we as a people were NOT huge, when you consider our food obsessed culture, it would be a miracle. Well, I gotta go - time to eat!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A mind is a terrible thing - or mine is anyway...

My wife and I are on a bit of a road trip. We travelled to Nashville, Tennessee yesterday to meet with family members. The trip consists of about six hours of actual drive time and then you add in the stops for various and sundry things. That gave me over seven hours of time to let my mind wander. My mind wandering is kind of like a three year old at the mall - flitting here and there and no knowing where he is going next. One of the things I was thinking about was writing a post about the trip, so I traversed hither and yon with different comments based on the journey and travel in general. You will have to trust me when I tell you some of it was GREAT - because I don't remember any of the details of it. We had our usual bathroom trials and tribulations, but I have done that. If you are not aware of what I am talking about -see this: People have, and do, think I am weird (correctly so, in most cases - but I digress). I sometimes make myself laugh with the thoughts I have. My mind goes off on tangents sometimes that amaze me. I can laugh because it is not a conscious thing I do. I have a part of my mind that is always working on a punch line. Thankfully, I do not verbalize a lot of the thoughts, because I would have been shot, jailed, or otherwise penalized many, MANY times in my life. This part of my brain is like the guy in school that always had a comment, out loud or under his breath, about every thing (which, thinking about it, was ME). Those particular synapses are firing off wise-crack after wise-crack to the other more civil part of my brain - constantly. One example of this (and one where I laughed out loud at the thought) was yesterday after about three or four hours of driving. I looked out and saw a van with markings on it for a "fenceless animal containment" service. Otherwise, one of those "invisible fence" things. The wise-acre in my mind started working on it. I won't bore you with the ten minutes of one liners; I just want to give you a small glimpse at the one that came out on top. How about a new "fenceless animal enclosure" that also helps the economy and can clean up the street a bit? You buy this system and you get four homeless guys with cattle prods! Have a big yard or a lot of animals, we have the deluxe system - add a former bank manager and a few out of work auto workers to the four homeless guys - give them all cattle prods and BINGO - coverage for the largest jobs. Your pet or livestock is secure, formerly unemployed types are productive, and no messy digging. Someday I know I will probably be on medication for this. Oh well...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sorry, you're not real

This will be short and sweet. I am amazed by the coverage of the detractors of the Obama/Government healthcare plan; both the hundreds and thousands of people that are showing up to the "town hall" meetings and the thousands and millions that are writing and calling their representatives in Congress. Two hundred or more people show up at a town hall meeting and vociferously protest the plan or ask for details and they are villified and ignored! The democrat response? "They don't represent America." "This is not a true representation of the true feelings of the American people." Wow... PETA,Greenpeace, or some other anti-conventional way of life organization can show up somewhere with six or seven protesters and they are covered as the lead story on the nightly newscasts! The leaders of these groups are interviewed and quoted as if theirs is the only voice and opinion that exists! I have NEVER heard any politician or newsperson state or even question if these groups are or are not a "true representation of how Americans feel." At this point I don't care how you feel about any of the issues. Write, call, or show up at a town hall meeting. Let our elected governement "representatives" and their sycophants in the media know how you feel. Let them know you are awake. They are NOT free to do whatever they want because you ARE paying attention. They are scared as hell. POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Check please!

This is one that has been brewing in me for a while. You can hardly hear a discussion or debate about taxes nowadays without hearing someone talking about taxing the rich. Our problems would be over if we could just get those rich people to pay their taxes - right? I have done some research on who does and does not pay taxes in the U.S. Here are the results: I just saw this headline relating to 2007: Top 1% of income earners pay 40.4% of taxes. You got that? For the tax year of 2007 - the top 1% of taxpayers paid over 40% of the total income taxes. FYI - that is more than the lower 95% paid! 1% of the population paid more than 95% of the population. (the other roughly 20% of taxes were paid by the 4% from 95% - 99%. Now, these folks did earn over 22% of the income. (they are the highest 1% after all) But, even making 22.8% of the income, you wouldn't think would require them to pay over 40% of the taxes, would you? (another tidbit - to reach this top 1% level, you have to be a Warren Buffett or Bill Gates - right? Not really, the average income for the top 1% was $410,000 - a lot of money, but not millions) Now for some years that I have detailed figures for: (if you are still there) In 2005 top 1% - made 16.6% of the income - paid 33.7% of the taxes top 5% - made 31% of the income - paid 54.1% of the taxes top 10% - made 42.1% of the income - paid 65.8% of the taxes top 25% - made 64.7% of the income - paid 83.6% of the taxes top 50% - made 86.1% of the income - paid 96.4% of the taxes bottom 50% - made 13.9% of the income - paid 3.6% of the taxes Now, there are a lot of wealth distribution questions that can be raised by those figures, but that is not the point of this post. (in a true capatalistic market - it should not be the point of any discussion, but I digress) Another discussion that is made is how the Bush tax cuts gave breaks to the wealthy. These figures for 1995 (Clinton era - pre Bush) may surprise you: top 1% - made 14.6% of the income - paid 30.3% of the taxes top 5% - made 28.3% of the income - paid 48.9% of the taxes top 10% - made 40.8% of the income - paid 60.8% of the taxes top 25% - made 64.4% of the income - paid 80.4% of the taxes top 50% - made 85.5% of the income - paid 95.4% of the taxes bottom 50% - made 14.5% of the income - paid 4.6% of the taxes Oddly similar, huh? But this was BEFORE the rich got their tax cuts - how could that be? If any of you are still there - I may be the only one that finds this stuff interesting - here's more: I have heard the argument = "that is just income taxes, the rich don't pay income taxes; they get tax breaks" Here are figures for ALL taxes (sales, SS, captial gains, etc): top 1% - pay 28% of ALL taxes top 25% - pay 69% of ALL taxes (sorry, I did not write a year, but looking above it wouldn't have changed much anyway) Now, back to the tax cuts for the rich that let them off the hook - In 1980 the top tax rate was 70%. The top 5% of income earners paid 37% of taxes. compare that to the 2005 numbers where the tax rate was less than half of that! Regan cut the top rate to 28% in the 80s. Tax revenues WENT UP!! In 1981 the total income taxes collected were $517 billion (top rate 70%). In 1990, with the top tax rate at 28%, the taxes collected were $1.03 trillion. Almost a double tax revenue with over a 50% tax CUT. Lowering taxes increases revenue - every time it has been done, that has been the results. Raising taxes ultimately LOWERS revenue. That is why you should be VERY afraid of all the tax increases that are being discussed at the national and state levels. Now some final thoughts for you to remember - 1) the rich DO pay their share of taxes, and then some 2) corporations and business do NOT pay taxes - their customers and employees do 3) there is NO government money - just borrowed money or your tax dollars 4) borrowing your way to prosperity is not possible - neither is taxing your way there Discussions? fyi - except for the 2007 figures which are from a news story,the tax numbers are from the IRS website - you have to dig around a LOT - but they are there

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Even More Headlines

More wacky headlines. You can't convince me that journalism school is not worth it! Teenage girls often have babies fathered by men Hey, in movies sometimes they are fathered by aliens. Sex Education Delayed, Teachers Request Training with lots of homework, I would guess. Lung Cancer in Women Mushrooms this discovery only became possible after we found a guy that can determine the gender of mushrooms. Include Your Children when Baking Cookies chocolate chips and raisins are soooo overrated. Infertility unlikely to be passed on maybe the first headline isn't so dumb afterall. Work after Death there are some TOUGH bosses out there - no time off for death, you slacker! Child's death ruins couple's holiday hopefully it didn't rain too. Milk drinkers are turning to powder I think I've seen this movie. Court Rules Boxer Shorts Are Indeed Underwear I'm waiting for the ruling on the thong. Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors I got basketball team lines, low doorway stuff, can't decide. Lack of brains hinders research maybe they should consider journalism? Two convicts evade noose, jury hung a swing and a miss. Safety Experts Say School Bus Passengers Should Be Belted I have been on a bus with a few of these. Man Run Over by Freight Train Dies I hope he doesn't think this will allow him to miss work! Smokers are productive, but death cuts efficiency hummm, maybe they will have to re-evaluate that work after death policy? Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant then send him to work. Here's How You Can Lick A Doberman's Leg Sores film at 11. More later.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Now THAT is how it is done!!

These folks are doing it like it should be done - in my opinion. If this does not at least make you smile - get a life! This says that it was requested that the link requires you to go to You Tube. FYI, it was not "requested" by me. I guess it is a You Tube thing. 7/28

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Memorial Perspectives

Hot title huh? I couldn't think of anything better. Hopefully it will seem OK after you read this. Another of today's amazing "things" is the ability to connect with people. My wife and I have discussed that back when we were in school, when the year was over and you said "goodbye" to most of the people; it was really goodbye. You would not see them or hear from them until the next school year started. Now, school age people expect, and get, instant contact with anyone they have a cell number for with a text. If for some reason they do not have a cell number, they can fall back to the ancient contact system known as email. With a text message, or even email, you can contact someone and not even know it they are in the same country. Even when I went off to college I remember writing letters (think back, it will come to you - stamps, envelopes...) to people. If I got a reply, it could be months and at best was weeks later. We had phones, but I was lead to believe that a long distance call would bankrupt a millionaire. It was many years until I had my own phone bill and saw the real damage. Of course , since I would have been using a pay phone (some of you may not remember these - shiny metal phones with coin slots that hung on the walls in various places for anyone to use) and would have needed what then WAS a small fortune in change, OR would have had to call someone that would accept a collect call. Believe it or not, this is not the point of this post. I was making a point about contact. We have email, text messages, and a LOT of social networking sites. I am not sure how many of you belong to one or more of these, but I bet it is a lot if you are my age or younger. We have Facebook, Classmates, Linkedin, Twitter, MySpace, and many many others. I belong to and use in varying degrees the first three. Due to these sites I have made at least a minimum contact with people I went to high school with. We have written on each other's wall in Facebook, or traded an email or two after contacting one another by any of the sites. It has been good to hear from people that in most cases I have not seen or heard from in over 35 years (that's over 100 dog years!!). Now for the real point of this post. I am constantly amazed when I read the remembrances of my old classmates and friends. Their memories and mine converge at a lot of points, but diverge at many more. They will say something like "remember 5th period English - we gave ole Mrs Whatsit hell, huh? Was that great or what?" Now I will rack my brain and usually remember ole Mrs Whatsit, but not much else. I definitely do NOT remember having much fun at school (recess in the early grades, maybe - after the bell rang, absolutely). After about the 5th grade, I HATED SCHOOL!! And high school - basically four of the worst years of my life!! Now I had my physical problems that made them especially rough. I had been raised to be an athlete. I was to be a football player. I dutifully went out there and gave it my all. I dislocated my shoulder in a drill two weeks before the first game in my freshman year. I was out for the season. The next year, I had my knee blown out in practice a week before the first game. After two operations, I was out for my career. I missed fifty days of my tenth grade year recovering from surgery and such and eighty one days my eleventh grade year. I spent six to eight weeks in a cast both years. I also had an alcoholic dad on the home front that was driving me crazy. So, I will admit I had some reasons to hate those years. However, people are always going on about how teachers changed their lives. I hear and read stories from former students of teachers that comment that the teacher was the reason for their great success or accomplishments. That is where perspective comes in. There was not a teacher that I had until college (and there were few there!) that I thought knew their butt from a hole in the ground. I absolutely despised them all. The idiotic rules and mindless drills going over useless crap!! I get so angry now that I am sure my blood pressure goes up to dangerous levels. I was told I would understand all this more when I was older. Well I am pretty damn old now and I still think it was a royal waste of my time! At least in most of my college courses I could read the book, study a bit, only go to class and take the tests, make my A and leave. Sitting a listening to the teacher go over the same junk that I had read in the book infuriated me. Why ask me to read the book if you are just going to repeat it? (I usually had read all my books cover to cover by the fourth week or so anyway) But, the line I hated the most in high school was "show your work". This was usually in math. I don't know how I did some of the math, it just came to me. If it was right, I never saw what difference it made. I can tell you in real life in the business world - I have NEVER been asked to show my work! Results are all that matters. I guess the teacher thought if you didn't do a page of computations there was no way that you could have the answer. I never liked being called a cheater. I am getting mad now just thinking about it. AHHHHHHHHRRRRRRGGGGGGG!! One teacher in particular that I am amazed to hear people comment positively about was our music teacher. From about the fourth grade I had this woman in church and at school. She was absolutely the WORST of all. She managed to take something I dearly love - singing - and make me hate it. Her idiotic nazi-ish rules and competitions we had to do were the bane of my existence. Again, it is especially troubling to me because music and singing are (I guess were, as I do not participate any longer) a great pleasure of mine. I still can be moved to tears, laughter, and/or get goose bumps listening to a piece of music. This drill sergeant of a woman almost ruined that for me. She did make me walk away from it for three years. I have never forgiven her for that. Years back I got a letter from some girl I did not know asking me for a donation for some award her former students were going to give her. My reply was - "You guys have WAY to much time on your hands." If I could have defecated in a bag and sent it, I would have. Anyway, the point was perspective - memorial perspective (ahh, tie in) I am amazed by the people that went to the same high school as me for the same four years that write me about how great it was. It was four years of pure hell. Dredging up selective memories of the good times AFTER school won't change that for me.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I am an American

This was intended to be posted on July 4th - I blew it. Here it is anyway... I am an American. Like the majority of those living in this country, I was born here as were my parents and their parents. Like the great majority of those living in this country, my ancestors were not born here. A direct decendent on my paternal side immigrated here in 1789 from England. However, I am not an English-American or even a European-American. It bothers me to see people described (by self or others) as Irish-American, African-American, Asian-American, or any other hyphenated American. Hyphens do nothing but separate us from what we truly are: Americans. Like my father and his father before him; I speak English. In the not so distant past, every immigrant that came to this country learned to speak English. It was a point of pride for them to master one of the most difficult of languages. Since this was (and is marginally still) an English speaking country it was expected and usually accomplished relatively quickly. Expectation and hard work made it so. To immigrate to this country was, and is, a desire that burns brightly in the hearts of people worldwide. However, it seems now that it is expected by some that we should welcome their "diversity" in language and culture at the expense of our own. Merriam-Webster defines diversity as: 1: the condition of being diverse : variety ; especially : the inclusion of diverse people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization. Inclusion does not mean domination or extinction. One could make the argument that diversity by its very definition requires the original to remain as a part of the whole. As I said above, my ancestors immigrated here. They came by accepted means and according to the laws of the land. It makes me very angry when I see the illegal aliens in this country called an "immigration" problem. I have said before - calling the illegal alien issue an immigration problem is like calling bank robbery a withdrawal problem. We have a very serious and growing problem in this country of providing and maintaining social services for our citizens. When these services are offered to and overwhelmed by illegals, it makes the problem that much greater. We must address the problem of illegals in our country. It is one of the defined constitutional responsibilties of our government to secure our borders. The government has failed at that responsibility. Amnesty is not the answer when solving a bank theft spree. Nor is it the answer to our illegal alien problem. People must be required to follow the laws of the land when it comes to becoming a citizen. We also must stop now in providing social services and any medical care beyond that which is needed to save a life to illegals. The United States of America has a great heritage in its two hundred and thirty plus year history of offering freedom, liberty, protection, defense, and support of all kinds to the people of the world. A large portion of the world owes any freedoms and liberties it has to the armed forces and the diplomatic minions of the U.S.A. Americans have helped to free and rebuild Europe twice. We have helped free those behind the Iron Curtain. Most recently we have brought the light of freedom to the Middle East. American might has not been used for building an empire. We freed these countries and turned them back over to the indiginous people, while providing the funds necessary for rebuilding. It sickens me to see and hear cries of "Imperialism" from detractors of the U.S. That claim is ridiculous when history is reviewed. The U.S. has won in battle or by diplomacy; Japan, Germany, Italy, France, the Philippines, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Grenada, Panama, and more. Did we add them to our country? No, they were all returned to their people who in some cases still decided the U.S.A. was the evil empire. The United States of America is a beacon of freedom and light for all the world. We offer support, hope, and ideals of life that are envied by a large portion of the world. Proudly I say, I am an American.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Latest Headline in the news

Too good not to share: Two Mexican Midget Wrestlers Killed by Fake Prostitutes AP Friday, July 03, 2009 The headline is the story.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I don't wanna work, I just wanna bang on de drum all day

We all could probably use a laugh or two. These folks are going to have to wait for the unemployment numbers go down to get a job...WAAAY down! Hiring managers shared these 43 memorable interview responses: Why did you leave your last job? 1. "I have a problem with authority." - Carrie Rocha, COO of HousingLink Tell us about a problem you had with a co-worker and how you resolved it. "The resolution was we were both fired."- Jason Shindler, CEO, Curvine Web Solutions What kind of computer software have you used? "Computers? Are those the black boxes that sit on the floor next to the desks? My boss has one of those. He uses it. I don't have one. He just gives me my schedule and I follow it." - Greg Szymanski, director of human resources, Geonerco Management, Inc What are your hobbies and interests? [He said] 'Well, as you can see, I'm a young, virile man and I'm single -- if you ladies know what I'm saying.' Then he looked at one of the fair-haired board members and said, 'I particularly like blondes.'" - Petri R.J. Darby, president, darbyDarnit Public Relations Why should we hire you? . "I would be a great asset to the events team because I party all the time." - Bill McGowan, founder, Clarity Media Group Do you have any questions? "Cross dressing isn't a problem is it?" - Barry Maher, Barry Maher & Associates "If you were a fruit, what fruit would you be?" - Megan Garnett, Articulate Leadership Team, Articulate Communications Inc. "What do you want me to do if I cannot walk to work if it's raining? Can you pick me up?" - Christine Pechstein, career coach "I was a Chamber of Commerce Executive once hiring a secretary. [The candidate asked] 'What does a Chamber of Commerce do?'" - Mary Kurek, Mary Kurek, Inc. Visibility Consulting "Can we wrap this up fairly quickly? I have someplace I have to go." - Bruce Campbell, vice president of marketing, Clare Computer Solutions "What is your company's policy on Monday absences?" - Campbell "If this doesn't work out can I call you to go out sometime?" - Christine Bolzan, founder of Graduate Career Coaching "How big do the bonuses really get once you make associate? I hear it's some serious cash." - Bolzan "[The candidate asked,] 'Can my dad call you to talk about the job and the training program? He is really upset I'm not going to medical school and wants someone to explain the Wall Street path to him.' The dad did call. Then that dad's friends called and I ended up doing a conference call with a group of concerned parents ... long story." - Bolzan "If I get an offer, how long do I have before I have to take the drug test?" - Bolzan "When you do background checks on candidates, do things like public drunkenness arrests come up?" - Bolzan "Can I get a tour of the breast pumping room? I heard you have a great one here and while I don't plan on having children for at least 10 or 12 years, I will definitely breast feed and would want to use that room."- Bolzan "So, how much do they pay you for doing these interviews?" - Jodi R.R. Smith, Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting Why are you leaving your current job? "Because I (expletive) my pants every time I enter the building." - Abbe Mortimore, Human Resources Manager, True Textiles, Inc. "I was fired from my last job because they were forcing me to attend anger management classes." - Smith Why are you looking for a job? "Cigarettes are getting more expensive, so I need another job." - Pechstein "My parents told me I need to get a job so that is why I'm here." - McGowan Why do you want to work for us? "Just for the benefits." - Jennifer Juergens, JJ Communications "My old boss didn't like me, so one day, I just left and never came back. And here I am!" - Matt Cowall, communications manager, Appia Communications "I saw the job posted on Twitter and thought, why not?" - Rebecca Gertsmark Oren, Communications Director at The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity What are your assets? (as in strengths) "Well, I do own a bike." - Pam Venné, principal, The Venné Group What are your weaknesses? "I get angry easily and I went to jail for domestic violence. But I won't get mad at you." - Pechstein "I had a job candidate tell me that she often oversleeps and has trouble getting out of bed in the morning." - Linda Yaffe, certified executive coach "I am an alcoholic and do not deserve this job." - Deb Bailey, owner, Power Women Magazine & Radio Show "I'm really not a big learner. You know ... some people love learning and are always picking up new things, but that's just not me. I'd much rather work at a place where the job is pretty stagnant and doesn't change a lot." - Michaele Charles, Voice Communications When have you demonstrated leadership skills? "Well my best example would be in the world of online video gaming. I pretty much run the show; it takes a lot to do that." - Rachel Croce Is there anything else I should know about you? "You should probably know I mud wrestle on the weekends." - Venne When can you start? "I need to check with my mom on that one." - Bolzan Use three adjectives to describe yourself "I hate questions like this." - Katrina Meistering, manager of outreach, National Fatherhood Initiative Tell of a time you made a mistake and how you dealt with it. "I stole some equipment from my old job, and I had to pay for its replacement." - Meistering Have you submitted your two weeks' notice to your current employer? "What is two weeks' notice? I've never quit a job before, I've always been fired." - Meistering Random responses. "One guy [said] 'it would probably be best' if I didn't run a background check on him. Of course, I did, and learned all about his long, sordid past of law-breaking. Our client actually offered him a job as a staff accountant, but quickly retracted the offer when I had to tell them all about his recent arrest for a meth lab in his basement." - Charles "[A] guy said he did not have a mailing address, as he was living in a gypsy camp at the airport." - Sandra L. Flippo, SPHR "I went into the lobby to pick up a candidate. As he stood up, his trousers fell to the floor! [He said] 'Oh, my gosh -- they told me I needed a suit for the interview. I've got no money -- so I borrowed this thing. It's too big!'" - Beth Ross, executive and career coach "Wow -- I'm not used to wearing dress shoes! My feet are killing me. Can I show you these bloody blisters?" - Bolzan "May I have a cup of coffee? I think I may still be a little drunk from last night." - Smith (During a telephone call to schedule the interview) "Can we meet next month? I am currently incarcerated." - Smith "[A candidate] was asked whether he could advocate impartially on behalf of the various universities he would be representing since he had attended one of them. He responded, 'Well, I don't like to poop where I eat, but I thought my education sucked, so I certainly wouldn't put that school above the others.'" - Darby Have a great July 4th weekend!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Is it warm in here, or is it just YOU!?!

With the US House of Representatives already stamping their approval on a massive "Global Warming" bill and the Senate getting ready to address the same, I thought I had better do a blog on said "Global Warming". I got to looking around and found I had addressed it quite adequately (IMHO) earlier - see: and and Then go here. This is a page from the official site of the US Senate's Environmental subcommittee. Enlightening to say the least. Also, there is a site online that addresses a petition asking the US Government to recognize that "global warming" is NOT a theory that is held in consensus by scientists. 31,478 American scientists have signed this petition,including 9,029 with PhDs. You can visit this site here: Man-made global warming is B.S. It is a pure fabrication by wackos and thieves that want to control your wallet, and your life to the nth degree. Contact your elected officials and tell them to STOP putting our way of life on the line for this junk "science".

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Politics Explained

This is borrowed from many websites - (with minor adjustments by me) Politics Explained FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes most of the milk. PURE SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all of the cows. The government gives you exactly as much milk as you need. BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and put them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs as the regulations say you need. FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them and sells you the milk at "market" prices. PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk. RUSSIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk. The five year plan calls for you to have six cows. CAMBODIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. The government takes both of them and shoots you. DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you. PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. You and your neighbors decide who gets the milk. REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. You and your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk. BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows. LIBERTARIANISM: You have two cows. The government doesn't care. PURE ANARCHY: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to take the cows and kill you. LIBERTARIAN/ANARCHO-CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. SURREALISM: You have two groundhogs. The government requires you to make pizzas . CURRENT STATE OF U.S. POLITICS: You have two cows. With the taxes on the farm, taxes on the income from the milk, the myriad regulations requiring you to document every breath you and your cows make; you barbeque the cows.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Now for the News - more weirdly worded headlines

Maybe none of you like this stuff, but I think it is HILARIOUS!! Here we go: (all supposed to be real headlines) Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead Those reporters don't miss a thing do they? Joint Committee Investigates Marijuana Use And then they head to the convenience store . Prostitutes Appeal to Pope Hey, he IS just a man! Enraged Cow Injures Farmer With Ax I have explained before - NEVER give tools and/or implements to an animal! Tiger Woods plays with own balls, Nike says Too many options here, talk among yourselves. Man Struck By Lightning Faces Battery Charge They call him "Bunny" now. (think about it) Blind woman gets new kidney from dad she hasn't seen in years These are too easy!! Two Sisters Reunited After 18 Years at Checkout Counter Had to be a K-Mart, I have done half that at a K-mart myself. Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half Then they pulled rabbits out of their hats. Iraqi Head Seeks Arms Would Saddam have allowed this? I think not. Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft You know what they say - "the smeller's the feller". And finally, a headline that made some journalism professor and parents soooooo proud: If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last a While no comment Stay tuned for more (and I'm feeling a rant on the state of affairs in our great nation as well)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I now pronounce you..HOT! Part 2

If you have not done so, the correct way to do this is to read part 1 first. See below.. I was discussing the heat and the fact I was in a suit. 95 degrees may not seem like that big a problem to those not trying to live in it. Take my word, it is HOT, especially when dressed for much cooler weather and spending time in a building with no A/C. My son and I arrived with the portable A/Cs about 3:00 as planned. I had asked said son to stop and pick up two plug adapters due to the fact that I did not remember seeing ground plug holes on the outlets when we inspected the building earlier in the week. Of course, he did not. So we arrived at the chapel and unloaded the A/Cs and saw - the plugs would not work. He headed for the store and I started to place and prepare the A/Cs. It is now 3:45, my son is not back, the A/Cs are placed but have not been checked, airflow aimed, or even verified to work as I have no way to plug them in. A quick call determines he is almost back. A few moments later, after application of the plug adapters we have one A/C functioning - backwards. Without a way of testing the air flow, what I had assumed to be the exhaust was actually the cold air outlet which was blowing the cooled air out the window. We quickly changed plans, relocated the units, ran the tubing in the proper directions and fired them up. Now, remember my other job - transporting my daughter (the bride) to the chapel. As we were to walk down the aisle together, that made perfect sense. The service would not start without either of us (or the Groom, or the preacher - more in a moment). So, I sent a quick text telling her I should make it, but it would be tight. The A/Cs were blowing, the flowers were in the chapel, cousins were there doing preparation - it was AFTER 4:00!! I had to go. Remember I said the chapel was located in a park about 15 to 20 minutes away from my home. I was, appearance wise, as you would expect a man to be after working with two large appliances in an un-airconditioned building. A shower was definitely in order. So, we headed home to clean flowing water, shampoo, and soap; as well as fresh clothing. It was now 4:15 - remember, we were scheduled to walk at 5:00. No problem - for Superman or the Flash. Now, I will admit - I was out of contact with the female masses. I am sure they had their own gremlins to battle. I do not know what exactly was occurring in their part of the preparations, I only know that later it was all done and they were all at the chapel on time. I cannot write that side of the story. Here is the continuation of mine. We made it home about 4:30. The mother of the bride (my wife), her mom, one of my daughters and her husband, and another daughter were loading up and heading to the chapel. They told me that my daughter - bride to be, had headed out with another sister to the chapel; unwilling to wait for me. I, looking like a refugee from a shipwreck passed them at a gallop for the shower. Avoiding the details, I was back out the door, in my suit, at 4:45 or so. No gremlins had attacked in my preparation. Weird! Nice, but weird. I was now headed back to the chapel. Remember, it is a 15 to 20 minute trip and I had to start the walk in less than 15 minutes. No problem. Being a responsible driver and a stickler for safety, I obeyed all traffic laws. No, really! OK, most traffic laws. OK, some traffic laws. But, I digress. Did I mention that the park has a parking/use fee. Now as part of the use of the chapel we were to avoid the parking fee. There is a little gate with a retired Nazi SS officer in it just outside the area I needed to be. I just knew I was going to have a problem as I did not have my wallet, nor invitation, nor parking pass. I figured when I got to the gate, Fritz would have a gremlin on his shoulder and a machine gun in his hand. Amazingly, he let me through without so much as a "Heil Hitler". Little did I know the gremlins had all massed at the chapel. They were doing nothing but leading me into their trap. I got a call from a daughter that was attending to my nearly hysterical daughter/bride to be asking where I was - as it was now 5:01. I told her I was on the road to the chapel and would arrive in two minutes or less. She said good, but the preacher was not there. Now my time-addled brain did not register the seriousness of that statement. As I said above - the ceremony would not start without the bride, the groom, me, and THE PREACHER; three out of four would not work. In fact, legally - I was the only one of the four that could miss it. So, I continued on towards the chapel with a faint gremlin laugh echoing in my ears. One of my requirements in dress for this wedding was to wear an orange tie. Now being a responsible adult, I did not own an orange tie. My bride to be daughter was to get me one. I had asked on the previously mentioned phone call if she had it. She did, and I grabbed it as I rode by and headed to park and apply said orange tie. I noticed as I went by that the doors to the chapel were open, and numerous people were milling about. Huh! After application of the orange neckwear, I walked up towards the chapel. I then noticed with my keen powers of observation that the people that were milling looked a bit wilted. Some looked downright wet! I now heard a full fledged gremlin cackle. As I approached I was told that the preacher was not here yet, and the A/C had quit. People were sitting in this chapel with the windows closed, no A/C and it was 95+ degrees. It seemed that shortly after we left the chapel, the fuse/circuit breaker that was designed for an historic building with no A/C had tripped. This took out the lights, ceiling fans, and the portable A/Cs. It was about 500 degrees in the chapel give or take 100 degrees. I suggested they open the windows. As I glanced in some windows it was like looking through the portholes of a sinking ship. I have never seen such widespread despair. All hairdos were wilted. All the attendees were coated with a sheen of sweat like a race horse after a good run. Some appeared to have showered, with their clothes on. My bride to be daughter was being attended to by another daughter. She was nearly hysterical. About that time the preacher called again and said he needed another hour. Now, it was about 5:10 and the preacher needed another hour. NOT GOOD! The gremlins were cheering and laughing so loud I could not hear myself think. If the drowned rats in the chapel and milling about in the yard had heard the call, they would have mutinied. As it turned out, one of the attendees husbands was a minister fully licensed in NC. After being asked he graciously agreed to do the ceremony. Other than being as hot as an oven, it was a lovely service. As I stated at the beginning, my daughter is legally married and all is well. After some fluid replacement for most of the attendees - they were all well too.
I will end now with a tip of the hat to the gremlins - well played.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I now pronounce you...Hot! - Part 1

This was another weekend with an event - another of my daughters got married on Saturday. It ended up being nice, and she is legally married (we are told); so all is well. It did not look like that would happen at a few points however. (squiggly lines and blurring occur now as we flashback in time)~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ First to set the stage, lets fill out the scorecard. There was a gaggle of females - sisters of the bride, cousins' of the bride wives and significant others, aunts, grandmas, assorted other females that don't fit any of these categories, and a mother of the bride. That amount of estrogen in one place can only lead to heartache and misery. There were males, but except for me they all seemed to have hidden, like the desert wildlife from the noon sun. There was also no organization. (of course in my testosterone-fueled brain it appears to me that organizing a gaggle of females is a bit like herding cats or maybe mealy bugs... but I digress) Now, most of the "stuff" had been done, arranged, and/or accounted for. However, there is no preparation for - the event gremlins. These little mischief makers are forever waiting in the wings with failed plans and broken dreams. They swoop down upon the unsuspecting (or even those anticipating them, such as myself) and tear the life's breath from the best laid plans. If you happen to not have a well orchestrated and documented plan - that is like fuel on their fire! Let the games begin. Begin they did. My daughter that was getting married has always had a "flair for the dramatic" (polite way of saying she loses it when under pressure, or imagined pressure - sorry babe) She was in tears by early morning on the phone to my wife because she did not see it all coming together. There were fans to assemble (paper fans given as favors and to help with the heat - more to come), flower petals to put into bags (it just ain't a wedding without bagged flower petals!), there was an upcoming makeup and hair session that was quickly approaching, the music was still up in the air as a last minute reassignment of that responsibility had been "gremlinized", and a host of other things that just promised to wreck the whole thing if a task force was not assigned to them. This is where the army of females rushed into action. We had a sister go to the bride to be and work with her (and helping her off the floor where she was lying weeping in despair), we had an aunt go to the drug store for calming herbs and to offer support and manpower (or woman-power) to take care of the tasks that needed doing, we had CD buying, and many other tasks being vanquished by the sheer application of estrogen (or just the threat thereof). Any unassigned females just took up a gnashing of teeth and participated in a general twittering (not the internet kind) that smote the gremlins where they lived.... or so we thought. My tasks were assigned, accepted, and a plan was in place for their completion. Little did I know a gremlin had been specifically assigned to my tasks as well. One of my sons and I were to take two portable air conditioners to the chapel and get them working to cool down the building where the wedding was to occur. We were told we could not get into the building until 3:00pm (with the wedding scheduled at 5:00pm), but we saw no problem with that if all went well. "If all went well..", words that gremlins feed on (more to come). I also had to pick up the bride (after getting suitably suited up of course) and deliver her and myself to the chapel to "walk the walk". Now, some explanation of logistics are in order. The chapel my daughter selected is an old Methodist church that was built in 1809 - 200 years ago, for those of you with weak math skills. It is a great old building, but it is an OLD building that has been historically restored to it's 1809 conditions except for the addition of electricity. It is located about 15 - 20 minutes away from where most of the attendees live, if all is well (this comes into play shortly). It sits on a ridge overlooking the Yadkin river valley in Tanglewood park. It is a picturesque setting and view, a lovely place for a wedding. Did I mention it was built in 1809? PRE-Air conditioning? (pre-almost anything we take for granted as far as everyday comforts - but I digress) Did you know that Saturday was the HOTTEST day of the year so far!! We here in Forsyth county North Carolina, do not have a whole lot of days over 90. There are even fewer over 95. Can you say RECORD HEAT!! We hit 95 or more Saturday; and I got to wear a suit! (it was a casual wedding, due to the rustic conditions of the chapel and the no A/C thing, but not for the bride, the groom, and ME) Stay tuned for more.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I'm not crazy. The voices in my head said so!

Yesterday I attended a high school graduation. This event was special not just because one of my children was graduating, but because she is the LAST of my SIX children to graduate. Now, I have gone to all my children's graduations even though I think they are a particularly stupid social ceremony. Although I appreciate that a person has made it through high school; by the same token - it is just high school. A subject for another post maybe is adults that don't seem to be able to let go of high school - but I digress. I am proud of my daughter for her accomplishment. I am more proud of the fact that she has become a pretty decent person on her way to what I hope will be an even better adult, able to make a positive contribution to this world. Now for the point of all this... In evaluating my feelings about the graduation, I was thinking about the fact that I have been to six - for MY kids. Our first graduated before our last started school. So I started doing some math. (I actually did a spreadsheet, so maybe I am a bit weirder than I even let on) Here are some facts: My wife and I have had at least one teenager in our household for the last 19 years! AND, we have most of two years to go until we are done with them. 21 years of teenagers - I hear people complain about their one or two and just laugh. Even more astonishing is the fact that we have had at least two teenagers in our households for 16 of those years! AND, to top it all off, for 11 years we had three teenagers in our household. Reread those numbers and show some RESPECT! As for high school students - (remember that is only a three or four year proposition as opposed to teenager-dom which is part of eight) we have had at least one for the past 16 years! We had at least two for six years. Do you know how many practices, concerts, performances, games, open houses, etc that represents? 16 years of high school is over 100 dog years! Woof, woof. If you have read, or care to go back and read earlier posts you will come upon some that are a bit strange. If you factor in the above numbers, it is a wonder any of them are not! Seriously!! But I gotta go, my invisible friend has to feed his pet anaconda. NOTE: if you only read occassionaly - this is one of several posts over the past few days - keep reading

Saturday, June 13, 2009

어이!, haloo!, алло!, здравейте!, Hello

I just wanted to send a shout out to my readers all over the world! According to my visitor tracker, in addition to many places in the USA, I have had at least one hit from Korea, Bulgaria, Russia, and Finland. The title of this blog is "Hello" (or Hi) in Korean, Finnish, Russian, and Bulgarian respectively. Welcome aboard. Comments are welcomed. Thanks! 고맙습니다! kiitos! спасибо! благодаря! KEEP READING - ALTHOUGH THIS IS AN IMPORTANT POST - IT IS THE SECOND OF THE DAY. READ ON 1

Here Kitty, Kitty...

I love learning and knowledge. I love weird facts. I just came across one that qualifies as one of the weirdest and coolest I have ever read. Read on... The microscopic parasite Toxoplasma gondii has an interesting effect when it infects rats and mice - it makes them become unafraid of cats. This is pretty helpful to the Toxoplasma, which can only sexually reproduce if its host is eaten by a cat. Is that awesome or what?!? This parasite can only reproduce in the intestinal tract of felines (cats). It can be carried by any warm blooded creature. If it is present in a rat or mouse, one of the side effects of the parasite is to form vacuoles which become cysts in the brains of the host. In rats and mice those cysts cause some sort of chemical reaction that cause the rats/mice to lose their fear of cats. Here is one citation of the phenomenon - T. gondii infections have the ability to change the behavior of rats and mice, making them drawn to rather than fearful of the scent of cats. This effect is advantageous to the parasite, which will be able to sexually reproduce if its host is eaten by a cat.[8] The infection is almost surgical in its precision, as it does not affect a rat's other fears such as the fear of open spaces or of unfamiliar smelling food. I think it is especially cool that it does not change any other behavioral aspect of the host. It just makes them not fear cats (another source I read said it actually appears to make rats/mice attracted to cats!) so the parasite can reproduce. This concludes your lesson for today. Continue independent studies.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Freedom & Liberty for all (?)

If you have read most of these posts you have seen quite a few rants about my concern over the societal changes in perspective and definitions of what to me seems to be common ideas. "Global Warming" and environmentalism are two (or two sides of the same coin) that come to mind. Like I have said - if you repeat a lie enough times, people start to believe it. I won't go off on that subject today, however - read some old posts if you don't know where I stand. I have some comments on freedom and liberty, especially as it concerns the free market economy. We, as Americans, are granted liberty and certain freedoms by our constitution. Our country was founded by people that were fed up with religious and political persecution. The original colonists in no small numbers were Christians from protestant sects that were not allowed to practice their beliefs due to state sponsored religion in the countries and/or regions they came from. Our country also was founded by people that were trying to escape oppressive and non-responsive government. "No taxation without representation" was the cry that fueled our forefathers in revolution. To be fair, our country was also populated early by people looking to make their fortune in the "New World". But I digress.
We live in a "free society". We have a representative republic form of government. (one of my pet peeves is when people erroneously remark on our "democracy" - democracy is another word for "mob rule", but I digress) As stated above, we have rights and freedoms granted to us by law from the very documents that were used to found this country. It amazes me how those rights and freedoms have been bastardized to reflect ideas that I am sure our founding fathers never even considered. For example, the constitution guarantees freedom of religion. There is to be no establishment of a state supported religion. However, there is also a line about no one being able to inhibit or prohibit the practice of individual's religion. The no state supported religion has been the side of this equation that has been thrown around and built up by those that would have religion done away with in our country. The individual's freedom to practice their religion has been given a much lower importance. This is especially true if the religion being practiced is any normal, basic sect of Christianity. Smoking is another activity that, although not protected by the constitution specifically as is religion, has been vilified and condemned by society as to make a pariah out of anyone lighting up almost anywhere. Now, for those of you that do not know me, I am NOT a smoker. I find it a disgusting habit. I do not, nor have I ever smoked (except of a short period where I played with pipes and lots of different tobacco). However, tobacco is a legal product for adults to purchase and consume. The use of cigarettes and cigars, no matter how repulsive are no different than eating a purchased sandwich or applying a cologne. I may despise tuna and get nauseous smelling Charlie, but it is your "right" to eat and wear either. It amazes me that we have gotten to a point that a smoker cannot light up in a restaurant, bar, or other public place. (again, I will not eat next to a smoker - I have left restaurants when there was smoking I could smell) If the owner of the business wants to cater to people that smoke, and smokers want to frequent the establishment, more power to them. It should be incumbent upon the non-smoker or offended to LEAVE. Don't patronize the business if you disagree with their policies! This same concept is what I was reading and thinking about when I started this blog. GM is selling the Hummer brand. Hummer is a vehicle that has been demonized and vilified as to represent what is wrong with consumerism and society in the U.S. I saw where some yahoo representing some wonderful "consumer" organization (a separate blog if ever there was one - stay tuned) made comments about Hummer. He said that (and I paraphrase) "it is time that Hummer and their new owner builds smaller and more efficient products that people want. A more "green" Hummer is in order." I don't think this idiot has a clue. GM, like all companies is in business to make a profit. A company makes a profit by performing a service or selling a product THAT PEOPLE WANT TO PAY FOR!! The market should decide if it wants a smaller Hummer! Maybe the market wants a BIGGER Hummer?! To take the Hummer nameplate and past it on a Yugo would not be a good idea. The MARKET should decide what the owners of Hummer build and sell. I started this days ago, and cannot reclaim my enthusuasm and commitment to my original ideas. I guess I will close with my thoughts on reading what I have written above - The auto industry in the US has failed for a myriad of reasons. Paramount above them is government regulations. The auto companies have not been able to build cars that people want for years. They have had fleet gas mileage standards and safety regulations to meet that changed a lot of that. The 'evil" SUV would not have become the sales sucess it has unless people wanted to buy them. The media and "greenies" would have you believe that the car companies took all car buyers to a backroom and waterboarded them to force a SUV upon them! Small cars DON'T sell! People, for the most part, DON'T WANT ROLLERSKATES WITH RUBBER TIRES AND A SEAT!! Now, I know - the Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc models are perenial best sellers. But look at a Civic of today vs a Civic of ten or fifteen years ago. It is about half again bigger. It is the same with most small cars. We do not have the same roads or driving patterns as most of Europe or Asia. We are on multi-hundred mile interstate/freeway trips, NOT weaving through the cobblestone lanes of a village. We want to feel pampered and safe in our vehicles. We want the kids to have entertainment and picture windows to keep them occupied when we are barreling down the highway. (before I get blasted by someone that wants to talk about the success of the Prius or the Mini Cooper, etc. - I know there are always exceptions. I am talking about generalities. My point is made by sales figures every year.) The market should decide if a car the size of a house that gets three feet to the gallon of gas makes it. The market should decide if a restaurant that doubles as a cigarette testing lab is a success. The market should decide if the owner of a business can make a go of it by serving trans-fat laden fries. If people, when fully informed of what they are buying or consuming, decide to patronize the businesses - more power to them. When people that do not want to eat in a place that has smokers - they DON'T GO THERE! If people want a tiny car - THEY BUY ONE! To foist your ideas and ideals on another IS NOT FREEDOM OR LIBERTY!! Even when done with the best of intentions.

Look Mom, I'm a lawyer!

Why I could not be an attorney... Following is a portion of a news story. The last line is an example of why I could not be an attorney. AUSTIN, Texas — A woman in Texas has been accused of repeatedly smearing human waste on her 3-year-old daughter's intravenous feeding line, potentially causing life-threatening infections. Emily Beth McDonald, 23, of Austin, was charged with felony injury to a child. She faces up to life in prison if convicted. According to an arrest affidavit, a surveillance video at Dell Children's Medical Center captured McDonald on Sunday placing feces from a soiled diaper on the cap of a tube with a direct link to her child's bloodstream. According to the affidavit, police interviewed McDonald, who allegedly confessed and said she knew that her actions could make the child severely ill and possibly even kill her. No motive was disclosed. McDonald was released on a $100,000 bond Wednesday. The Austin American-Statesman reported she must wear an electronic monitoring device and comply with a police protective order that prevents her from seeing her three children. Here it comes.... Bob Phillips, an attorney representing McDonald, told the newspaper she is a "fine young woman from a fine family who loves her children very much."

I could not make that statement even in defense of my client. I know that is an attorney's job, but...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Want an SUV with that?

How does it feel to own a car company (or two)? GM is ours (at least nominally) as is Chrysler, at least for a little while. The good news is we only paid 50 - 60 billion for them. And what gets better from there is, we are now "selling" the only valuable parts of Chrysler to Fiat. Then the plan is to give (for a nominal investment in operating capital) most of the value of GM to Magna (a large parts supplier from Canada) and a Russian banking/investment firm. The auto workers union gets another large chunk; and the US and Canadian government get most of the rest. If, and that is a BIG IF, GM (and the new owners) gets what is left turned around and makes money, we (the US government part) gets a return. Whoopee! After the money we paid in "bailouts' prior to the bankruptcy, and the unseen fallout that will occur after the bankruptcy (layoffs and closures from suppliers, dealers, etc) it would have been cheaper to buy the three million cars that sales were off and give them to those that need them (although I would not want to be in charge of deciding who was to get one!) Your government at work! Speaking of which, I commented in an earlier blog about the digital transition. This is where all existing full-power TV stations are required to go to a digital transmission system. This was to originally occur in mid-February of this year and was moved to June 12th to allow for more consumers to get the proper equipment to allow their old analog TVs to receive the new digital signals. One of the big components of this program was a $40 government coupon that would be issued to any household that requested one (or two). This coupon could be used to buy a digital tuner converter box that would allow an analog TV on an antenna to pickup the digital signals. After two years of promotions and ads about the program and the issuance of the maximum number of coupons much earlier (due to there being no limit or requirements on getting the coupons other than the ability to apply), someone noticed that most of the consumers that the program was intended to help had NOT gotten a coupon, a digital converter box, nor the information they needed to do so. That was when the decision was made to delay the conversion until June 12th. A massive advertising and awareness plan was launched - read massive SPENDING plan - to inform these folks that come June 13th they would have no TV. Now, any politician worth anything knows there are a few things that are sacred to most voters. Access to TV is one of them. That is why the MASSIVE spending was authorized. I read the other day that with the money spent on the coupons, and all the advertising and promotional events that have been run; when this is over, we will have spent about $1,000 a household to tell people with TVs on antennas (it affects NO ONE else - not cable households, not satellite TV households) that they need a box that costs $49 - $59 to watch TV. Your government at work. Why do I mention this? I have deviated from my original intent, but I wanted to make the point with the above two (or three if you count GM and Chrysler separately) examples of how inefficient our government is. Think of the DMV, military and government purchasing, medicare & medicaid, the government bureaucracy, welfare programs, etc. All a model of efficiency, right? Why the heck would anyone want the government to take over healthcare? Or any other part of our lives? Cradle to grave - the cradle will be in the grave!