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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Musings

Here we are again. I just noticed it has been over a month since I posted last. Time flies when you have a life to live! I actually have had many, many thoughts and ideas to post over the past month. I just never got around to doing so. Here are a few.

One of the things I have wondered about for many years is lawn care. (ahh - I can hear the cries now "come quick, gather 'round, he's speaking of lawn care!!") We of the present accept lawns and lawn care as a part of everyday life, at least for us that live where homes have yards. Did you realize that lawns and lawn care are a relatively modern development? Grasses were not common, nor did they grow well in the climate of most of North America. Lawns sprang from (was going to say "grew", but too cheesy) the European/English gardens of the well-heeled. The "common folk" rarely had a green yard unless it was a herb/vegetable garden or basically a pasture. The time and expenditures, both monetary and of labor, were not given to something as frivolous as a green yard in most parts of the world until well into the 20th century. The invention of the lawnmower and grasses engineered for North American climate and soils around the beginning of the 20th century were the catalyst for our modern lawns. (you guys caught up in this yet? Facinating, yes?)

My point? Is there a point? Well, I am just amazed at the time, effort, and money devoted to lawns. Did you realize that in the U.S. close to 20 billion dollars a year is spent on lawn care in goods and services? TWENTY BILLION DOLLARS!! For a lawn! There are many, many people out there wondering where their next meal is coming from and we as a people are spending billions on grass seed, fertilizer, and the illegal aliens to apply them.

In case you can't tell, I am not a lawn person. When we got married, I told my wife I did not do lawn work. We have been married now for over 37 years and I have not done any lawn work to speak of except for one five year period where we lived on a place with a couple of acres for a yard. We bought a riding mower and I did mow the lawn then. An example of my yard awareness - We lived in one house from 1980 through 1988. When we were moving I was walking around the house to see if we had left anything. When I got to the side of the house opposite the garage and driveway, I realized I had never been to that side of the house before - in almost eight years. Not a yard guy.

Now for one of my real pet peeves about yards and what started this in my head a few months ago...LEAVES! I am constantly amazed at the money and time we as a people spend on getting leaves up and out of our yards! Then a lot of folks will pay someone to put fertilizer down on the same yard. Crazy in my book. Do people realize that leaves, left to rot, will become fertilizer? We have armies of leaf blower carrying crazies pushing leaves from one side of the yard to another. (or into another yard) We have the poor soul that actually uses manual labor working for hours with a rake to make a pile of leaves, usually blocking the street in front of their house. We spend millions of tax dollars paying workers to pick up these leaves and transport them away. Away vile leaves! With tax revenues decreasing, city/county workers being laid off and put on reduced hours; I am amazed I never hear anyone say "What if we stop picking up leaves?"

 I promised a few thoughts back at the beginning. Then again, I did not expect to do a dissertation on lawn care and leaf disposal. I will stop now. I think I will go put some leaves to work and make some tea. More thoughts later.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Time for the news

More headlines anyone?

Harry Potter Grave Draws Tourists in Israel

I'm glad they finally got something that would get the tourists in!


Thief Steals Safe, Leaves Most Of Cash Behind


Maybe they really needed a safe?
 
 
Crack Cocaine Found in Boston Preschooler's Shoe


Wow, times have changed. I used to get a piece of gum or similar when I got new shoes!
(fyi, the mom says she has no idea where it came from)
 
 
Neil Young's Car Starts Warehouse Fire in Calif
 
Cars gone bad, hate when that happens.
 
 
Vanity Plate on Getaway Car IDs Robbery Suspect
Police: An N.H. Woman Charged with Robbing a Pharmacy was Found Because Her Name was on the License Plate of the Getaway Car


Probably not cut out for a life of crime, maybe a career change is in order.
 
Man Tries To Run Over Girlfriend When She Says No To Proposal
 
Maybe she should reconsider. I see this as a great relationship.
 
 
and lastly - entrepreneurship at its best...
 
Pianist Pays Swindlers $20 Million For Protection Against Fake Threats
 
(I'm just going to show you the first of the story. It speaks for itself)
 
New York, NY, United States (AHN) -- A New York couple has been arrested and charged with fraud after brainwashing a wealthy pianist into paying them as much as $20 million for protection against fictitious threats.


Vickram Bedi, 36, and Helga Invarsdottir, 39, met Roger Davidson, 58, in 2004 when the latter went to their computer service shop and asked them to get rid of a virus in his laptop. Upon learning that Davidson was a heir to a $36 billion oil service firm, the couple told him that the computer virus in his computer was part of a plot by foreigners and the Catholic organization Opus Dei to assassinate him.

Davidson agreed to pay Bedi and Invarsdottir $160,000 per month to protect him. The swindling lasted six years with the pianist even appointing the couple as board trustees to his music charity, the Society for Universal Sacred Music.


'til later. Watch who you get to work on your computer if you are an oil fortune heir!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

But you don't want to vote for them!

I have purposefully held off from political commentary during this election cycle. For those of you that have been reading this long enough, you know how I feel. After doing many, many posts during the time leading up to  (and after) the presidential elections two years ago - most anything I said would be redundant.

One thing I have noticed during this campaign season even more than the last few (and the prevalance has been increasing for many election cycles) is negative ads. It amazes me how a candidate (and this is about the only thing that is truly bi-partisan) can run a 60 second spot and not tell me any reason I should vote for them except that their opponent is evil personified. The "but I'm not as bad as him/her" reasoning is the word of the day.

I know that experts and pundants say that the reason negative ads are run is, they work. I guess this is like my prior post - that's what they say about spam too - we continue to see it because it gets results. I guess that speaks to the mindset and reasoning power of the average American voter - "don't boggle my mind with issues and solutions, just tell me who is wearing dirty underwear!"

A typical political ad goes something like this...

Joe Blow is killing your children.(picture of dead bodies) Joe blow voted to send every job in America to a small Costa Rican resort, which by the way Joe Blow has taken many free vacations to.(palm trees and then to a picture of Joe Blow in a Hawaiin print shirt with a drink in his hand) Joe Blow wants to raise your taxes to take 110% of your paycheck, while giving billionaires free food at any restaurant they choose.(pictures of homeless people with "Help" signs, then to a fancy restaurant with a well dressed couple eating and laughing)  Joe Blow hates women, gays, blacks, Jews, Christians, whites, Hispanics, heterosexuals, mailmen, dogs, and weevils. (pictures of each flash as the words are read) Wait, he loves weevils! Weevils sound like and have the word evil in their name - JUST LIKE JOE BLOW! (picture of a weevil slowing morphing into Joe Blow) There is some speculation that Joe Blow is a cannibalistic devil worshipping alien that just wants you to have kids so his pod-people friends will have a host for their young! Is Joe Blow really the kind of person you want representing you in government? (picture of Joe blow develops horns) Vote Sam Blow. He is much, much less evil! (cut to a picture of Sam with a small puppy and smiling child) "This message was paid for by Sam Blow" (no relation to Joe)

Vote Tuesday the 2nd. Vote for someone that will do something, not just for the best negative ad.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

At least make an effort

Like you, I get an amazing amount of spam each day. I have three email accounts that I check regularly (and a few more I don't) and have been online for over 15 years with one of them, so maybe I get a bit more than average. I read articles that talk about how many billion spam emails are sent each day. I also hear that the reason there are so many is that they produce results. Spam is essentially free to create. A bit of time and an internet account are all that is needed. So, I guess to get a return on that investment doesn't take but one or two poor souls to be duped.

I have noticed lately that a lot of the spam I am getting is really, REALLY badly produced. Come on now, this was the subject of one I got this morning: compactors flatulent conglomerating

Compactors flatulent conglomerating!?! Really!? I will admit it made me look at the contents. (I heard a gasp - "you opened a known spam email?" - sure I do it all the time in my spam filters' message center. I just never click on any link in the email. 99.999% of all spam can't hurt anything if you just look at it, especially inside your spam filter) The email asked me to see the new 2008 line of Rolex watches. Now, this was not particularly compelling to me. #1 - I am not a watch person. If I was, I would most definitely NOT be a Rolex person. If I was a Rolex person, I don't think I would want to examine the two+ year old line. There was a link there to look at these watches (and other fine brands) but I just deleted it.

I have noticed the claims that a prince has money he needs to use me to liberate or the business plan that has to have my participation to work are all presented in very, VERY bad english now. There have always been errors and such, but these look like they are typed out by a chimp with an old Remington manual typewriter. Guys (and/or gals), if you want to scam me - at least learn to spell and write in my language.

I guess there is just no pride in the spam trade anymore.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Really, I don't know how that got there!

This guy is obviously a few horns shy of a full orchestra. Gotta give him credit for being prepared though.

Denver man sentenced for child porn, ID theft

By The Denver Post

Ralph Landers, 43, of Denver was sentenced to 16 1/2 years in federal prison this week after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography, identity theft, fraud and other charges.

That is how the story begins. Most definitely a model citizen. Then it tells how the authorities got on to him originally.

Authorities became aware of Landers in March 2008, when he attempted to buy child pornography over the Internet using a fake credit card, according to court documents.


Dude, a fake credit card? He missed internet purchasing of illicit materials 101. It continues...

Investigators eventually learned Landers had tapped 114 bank and credit card accounts using stolen identities and commercial mailboxes he had rented.


He was indicted last year and pleaded guilty in February.

He was arrested after postal inspectors arranged the delivery of an order for child pornography to a post office box Landers had rented.


He was obviously working at the time...
When he was pulled over after making the pickup, inspectors found a pistol, laptop computer and computer files in his vehicle.

This is where his boy scout training comes into display.

"They also found a red tool case containing women's underwear, a grappling hook, binoculars, an expandable baton, an extensive collection of lock picks, glow sticks, duct tape, a stun gun, zip ties, a head lamp, leg cuffs and handcuffs, several condoms, and a case containing syringes and pills," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver, which prosecuted the case.



Ready for anything. Remember, this was a trip to a post office box to pick up an illegal package.

You gotta love it.






Sunday, October 17, 2010

Need a laugh?

I have seen this many times over the years, but it still is great!

I defy anyone to watch this and not laugh.

http://www.evtv1.com/player.aspx?itemnum=8089

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Today's Headlines

Here are some more headlines and news stories:

Two arrests at Liverpool airport after attempt to smuggle corpse onto flight

Man, another wasted Saturday night!


World's Oldest Leather Shoe Found

Now if they could just find the other one. Finding the pair is always the rub.


Former mayor receives two year sentence for underwear theft in England

The dude that was wearing them says he does not want them back.


Two ill after eating burgers laced with multi-purpose cleaner in Australia

Someone should have told them that "multi-purpose" has limitations!


Almighty set to 'guarantee' quality of mineral water in south Russia

Is it to be a money back guarantee? They say the devil is in the details.


Vt. police: Women had 77 cats living in 2 cars

It was all good until they started making "tuna runs" every night.


This one requires a bit more than the headline. Hang on...

Maybe she just needed to feel wanted
Police: Woman flags down cop, asks if she's wanted, is told she is — and runs 

.The Associated Press
updated 10/8/2010 3:54:03 PM ET 2010-10-08T19:54:03

LOCKLAND, Ohio — Police in suburban Cincinnati arrested a woman after she flagged an officer down and asked if there were any warrants out for her arrest.

Really? Obviously the brains of the operation.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Thoughts

I just looked and it has been over a month since I posted. How time flies when you are living a life!

I have a LOT to comment on and talk about, but I am not sure I can make a cogent argument this morning. I just don't feel it.

I am continually amazed at the ignorance of what appears to be the average American. I do not understand how people can be so uninformed. I am dumbfounded by the apparent lack of concern for the health and welfare of the nation. The "as long as I get mine" or "as long as we get ours" school of thought is ridiculous, and very dangerous. (a good time for a reminder of the "great lesson" - there is no government money - no federal dollars, state dollars, government grants, etc. - it is all OUR money) Winston Churchill said it well -"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with an average voter."

We are now approaching a time where over 50% of the people are getting some type of assistance "from the government" (re-read the above if you wonder why that is in quotes). I have written numerous posts about this subject, so do some research if you want details, at least as I see them. Thomas Jefferson said "“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." The "tax the rich" answer is untenable at best. First, who decides at what level "rich" starts. If you are unemployed, living in a cardboard box, on the street; the guy living in his car with a job cleaning toilets appears rich. If you are making $100,000 a year, are you rich? If you live in South Carolina - maybe by some measures. If you live in Manhattan, probably not. Second, at some point "the rich" cease to be so or just leave. Great Britain has had a flight of wealth that has crippled the economy there over the past thirty years or so. As they became more socialist/liberal and government programs increased, the burden on those with money became too onerous. The answer - leave. Some of that is happening at the state level in the U.S. now. California's fiscal problems should be a warning to us all. If the tax burden becomes too large, people will move to avoid it. That applies to businesses and people. (another reminder lesson - businesses don't pay taxes - their customers and/or shareholders do. You cannot "tax" a business - just people.)

In my opinion, backed by many, many others; the American voters really blew it November of 2008. There is a chance for some measure of redemption this coming November. We need to get it right. Most incumbents (of both parties) need to go. The president of the U.S. does not spend money, nor levy taxes - the Congress does. As long as we have fat cats in Washington that are doing nothing but protecting their interests, we will continue in decline. There are a few that are worth preserving. I will let you decide who that is. Most of the folks up there need to go. The 2008 elections were about "hope and change". If you really want change, get Congress rolled over. Then in two years we can roll some more.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Again with the headlines

Sorry, I was going to do a scathing report on some government inefficiencies, but this is just more fun! MORE HEADLINES...

Actually this one is kind of a report on government inefficiencies:

City Unsure Why the Sewer Smells

Oh my, maybe they are too "full of it" to notice?


Midget Sues Grocer; Cites Belittling Remarks

Really?


Students Cook & Serve Grandparents

If this catches on it could solve a number of problems - school lunch costs, Social Security costs, and more!

This one requires a bit of the article as well -
Army Vehicle Disappears
An Australian Army vehicle worth $74,000 has vanished after being painted with camouflage.

At least they know it works!


Alton Attorney Accidentally Sues Himself

I KNEW we had too many lawyers! (or alternately - You gotta hate when that happens)


County to Pay $250,000 to Advertise Lack of Funds

Government at work


Volunteers Search for Old Civil War Planes

Then I guess they will move on to Revolutionary War planes?


Meeting on Open Meetings is Closed

The issue seems to have been resolved to me. Who called this meeting?


Just hold on, there will be more.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Headline revisited

Read the post below. I was just looking and realized I really blew it with the 4th one down. If you have not read them, go ahead I'll wait.




Got it? OK. The comment for the fourth one should read...


Oops, I did it again!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Headlines

I have not done these for a while. Here is the REAL news...

Police Use Taser on Fake Cougar
May 18th (UPI) Warren, Mich

Working their way up to the real animals I guess.

Chance of Rain Today Depends on Where you Live
May 29th  Buffalo, NY

It takes training to do the weather.

Man walks into a bar: grabs another man's beer, chokes bartender
August 1 (AP)  Dayton, OH

There is probably a priest and a duck that come in later. I didn't read the story.


Pink-Clad Pooch Stolen from Gay Bar by Man with Britney Tatoo
July 21st (UPI) Stanton, Pa

It always starts with the tatoos.

Woman Steal $650 Worth of Gum from Hospital Gift Shop
June 10th (AP)  Columbus, OH

What's that, three - four packs?

and lastly...

Grandpa, Pregnant Mom Tasered at Party
July 20th (UPI)  Manassa, Va

It's not a party 'til Grandpa gets tasered.

It is now the next morning after originally posting these. This last one has kept me going all night. I have additional comments for it.

Grandpa, Pregnant Mom Tasered at Party
July 20th (UPI) Manassa, Va

Get ready to catch Grandpa's teeth!

Grandpa, Pregnant Mom Tasered at Party
July 20th (UPI) Manassa, Va

I can hear Bubba now - "Yeah sure, you got Grandpa; but he's slow. Watch me get Bambi!"


Grandpa, Pregnant Mom Tasered at Party
July 20th (UPI) Manassa, Va

I should get two points for Bambi, she's pregnant.


Want to play? If you have any comments - send them on.












Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Other Congressional Spending: How the House Spent $1 Billion on Itself

Oh my. I was going to write this myself from documentation and articles I have found, but this one does it well. Saves time and effort.

The Other Congressional Spending: How the House Spent $1 Billion on Itself

Please read it. Then get others to read it. The people we have "representing" us in Washington have gone off the deep end. We have to do something to stop this.

This is NOT a Democrat or Republican problem. This is a people problem.

I am convinced that the only solution is term limits. We have to get the Congress rolled over. The founding fathers did not put term limits into the constitution because they could not imagine anyone wanting to be in Washington for long. They were concerned in getting true representation of the population. The reason the terms are what they are is from the concern that representatives would do one session of Congress and want to go home. Now we have people in both houses of Congress that have spend decades there. That creates a ruling class mentality.

Take a good look at the expenses of just the House of Representatives for just nine months. Wow.

Change is needed. REAL change, not campaign slogan change.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Headline

Russian Prosecutors Investigate Parasailing Donkey Stunt

Associated Press

This is too easy! I have a million comments for this. You try. I'll just sit back and watch.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th - A Reprint - I am an American

I was looking to do a 4th of July, patriotic post. I wrote this last year intending to post it for the 4th and missed it by a week. So, I will use this again.

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.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What shall we call it?

I did not want you readers to think that all I think about any more is government waste and budgets, or oil spills, or any of that type of stuff. I am still pondering many, many, of lifes wonders.

A question has been on my mind for a few days of late. It is a question that I have pondered off and on for years.

I know most of you, if not all, have heard of a Baltimore Oriole, a Siamese Cat, a Canadian Goose, and/or a miniature poodle. All these animals have the modifier in their name to distinguish them from others of their type. If I just said "I like that cat.", and you looked over and there were three or four different cats; you might not know I meant the Siamese. You get the picture.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why we have a duck billed platypus. There are no other platypuses (sic? - platypi?) that are alive today, nor were there when the duck billed platypus was discovered. What are we distinquishing it from? The non-duck billed version? As I said - does not exist.

Platypi (I looked it up, either "es" or "i" can be used - the "i" is much cooler) are, along with the spiny anteaters, the only egg laying mammals. Cool. huh? I learned in biology class that one of the defining features of a mammal was it bears live young. Platypi, ha - they scoffed at that rule.

As you would imagine, the duck billed platypus has a duck-like bill. It has webbed feet, sort of like a duck. It lays eggs like a duck. Why was it not a mammalian duck, or similar when it was named? There is more.

The platypus is not your normal duck, mammal hybrid. No, no, my friend. First, it has a beaver-like tail. This tail is used to store fat to help it through times of limited food, like the winter. It has fur, not feathers. The duck-like feet I mentioned above - actually they are more like an otter.

The females have two ovaries, but only the left one is active. (how about that for an obscure fact?). They are mammals, they have milk-glands - but no teats. The milk is excreted through pores into channels, like troughs where the young drink.

Not cool enough for you yet. Here is the fact I like the most. The male platypus (duck-billed platypus, excuse me) is venomous! They have a hollow spur on their back legs that can be used to inject venom. How awesome is that? Still not a fan?

How about being the only mammal known to use electrolocation? They have sensors that allows them to track prey in the water by sensing their magnetic field. Come on, you gotta be a fan now.

But, I still wonder why we call it a duck-billed platypus when it is THE platypus?

Some questions just cannot be answered.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

An oily mess - facts and figures

Seems like oil, especially in the water, is the major topic in the news today. As I am want to do, I have been researching oil, oil production, etc. Here are some findings.

A note: I hear the wackos and Luddites using the gulf oil spill as grounds for "ending our reliance on foreign oil!" Note: the Gulf of Mexico is NOT foreign. A large portion of the gulf, including where the oil leak is occurring is in U.S. waters. Ending reliance on foreign oil would kind of argue against shutting down the gulf drilling.

On oil spills: As horrible as this disaster is and will be, nature and the gulf will recover. Even if this thing lasts for the rest of the year, the gulf will recover. Will birds, fish, and other wildlife die? Will coastal communities suffer? Will tar balls show up on beaches for years? Yes, yes, and yes. Will birds, fish, and wildlife cease to exist? Will coastal communities close down for good? Will tar balls stop showing up on beaches? No, no, and no. Living things die - always have, always will. New living things will be born, always have - always will. Humans have lived along the water for the entire existance of mankind. There seems to be some sort of inate draw to the water for humans. Should we build hundreds of thousands of homes on delicate coastal areas, where water and drainage are at such a premium? That is another discussion. We probably should not be surprised when humans build in a flood plan and get flooded out; or build in a hurricane prone area and get blown out; or build in a desert and run out of water. But, all of this makes headlines. But I digress.

More on oil spills. The current gulf disaster is NOT the largest oil spill ever. It could be, but at this time it is not even close. It is not even the largest oil spill in the gulf, there was one in Mexican waters years back that dwarfed this one. Some folks are saying we need to stop drilling for oil in the gulf. If we stop now, what do we do with all the wells that are there? Does anyone besides me realize that this disaster happened as this well was being capped? If we stop drilling, all the wells will have to be capped. That is one of the most dangerous operations that occur on a drilling platform. That will almost guarantee disasters of this magnitude become everyday events.

As for oil in the water - the ocean floor seeps oil at the rate of millions and millions of gallons per year. Every year from way back when 'til way up ahead. I have read estimates that say the seabed of U.S. territorial waters seep 43 million barrels per year themselves. Yep, 43 MILLION. If fact, our drilling has helped mitigate this natural seepage by reducing the pressure. So, if we stop drilling the oil seepage will increase. Now, I know that a slow natural seepage is not the same thing as a multi-million gallon spill. However, it does show how the ocean and nature can handle a lot more than we give it credit for.

On oil production and consumption: The U.S. uses about 20 million barrels of oil a day. It has been as high as around 25 million prior to the recession, but this is about where most figures I have seen put us today. A fact: The U.S. is the world's third largest producer of oil. We produce just over 8 million barrels of oil a day. Saudi Arabia and Russia are numbers one and two respectively at just over 10 million barrels a day for SA and almost 10 million barrels a day for Russia. The U.S. gets most of its imported oil from two sources that most would not expect - Canada is our largest supplier, Mexico is the next largest. (if you are checking me, Saudi Arabia and Mexico swap back and forth for second - currently it is Mexico) Another fact: The U.S. exports - that's right - EXPORTS over 1 million barrels of oil a day - over 360 million barrels a year. Most of this goes to Japan and comes from Alaska. It is more economical and fiscally responsible to sell this oil to Japan than get it to the U.S. lower 48.

Bottom line of all those figures - the U.S. is the third largest producer of oil in the world. We produce about 40% of our oil needs. However we export about 12% of what we produce or what would be about 5% of our needs. Stopping our production will only make this much worse.

As for "weaning ourselves off petroleum and oil" as some suggest: This too is not realistic. Our entire way of life is based on petroleum and oil. We use about 70% of the oil for transportation. Not just automobiles - trucks, trains, boats, and airplanes. Imagine a U.S. without these types of transport. We are used to buying goods year round from all over the globe. This would end. We are used to going. Just going, somewhere, a lot. In my great-grandparents days, most people lived within 50 miles of home their entire life. Except for war, most people did not venture out into the world beyond their home their entire lives.

As for consumer goods: We as a people are spoiled in that we are used to paying very economical products from all over the world. Without oil, this would not be. A lot of the products that make our life what it is are made wholly or partially from petroleum products. Cosmetics, medicines, salves, creams, plastics, and packaging would all change or dissapear without oil. A lot of the clothing we wear - gone without petroleum. Most man-made fibers (basically all except wool, cotton, and silk) are petroleum based. See here for more:
 http://www.ranken-energy.com/Products%20from%20Petroleum.htm

I guess you can see where I stand on petroleum production. We need to drill whenever and wherever we can. Our entire economy and way of life are dependent on it. Can we change? Yes. Our dependance on oil will go away when something better comes along and the economies dictate it. Solar, wind, hydro, and others are all great supplements. Nuclear power could be a great source, but the eco-nuts have deemed it evil as well. Next time you hear someone say we need to stop drilling, ask them what we do to replace it.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Dictionary for our times

In keeping with the times and in accordance with the continuous comments about our "immigration problem" when discussing illegal aliens; the following definitions are now in effect:

1) breaking and entering will now be called a "visitation problem"
2) robbery will be called an "ownership problem"
3) car theft will be called a "travel problem"
4) embezzlement will be called a "borrowing problem"
5) murder will be called a "death problem"

and my all time oldie-but-goodie:

Bank robbery will be called a "withdrawal problem"

They're ILLEGAL people....

Geez!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

WWCSD (what would Col Sanders do)

What is the world coming to!?!

Chicken Costumes Banned at Nevada Polling Places
Associated Press

There goes my Tuesday.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Second Amendment

This is as good of an endorsement of the Second Amendment as I have heard. I wish the idiots in Washington could all hear this over and over.

http://www.evtv1.com/player.aspx?itemnum=14651

Watch it all the way to the end. She sums it up well.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

There is definitely a sewage problem up there, but...

I guess that whole Facebook problem was resolved....

Congress to Examine Restroom Inequalities in Federal Buildings


The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold hearings Wednesday on the "Potty Parity Act," a bill that seeks to address the shoddy restroom facilities for women in federal buildings.


The work ethic and prorities of the U.S. Congress continues to amaze me. Good work up there people!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Without Thee,
I would not be.
So,
I gratefully
acknowledge ye.

To my mother.
Also to the mother of my children,
and the mothers of my grandchildren.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Take two and call the ambulance in the morning

Here we go. I have been working on this one for a long time. I want to start by letting any of you that do not know me (and reminding those that do) - I am NOT a doctor. I have no formal medical training at all. What is listed here is documented reality and my evaluations of those facts. 


I have been doing a LOT of studying and reading about what I now believe to be one of the biggest medical hoaxes in human history - the demonization of cholesterol and fats. First, some background.


The cholesterol as killer philosophy is relatively new. However, the entire premise is flawed. The thought that cholesterol is bad was taken from the fact that plaque buildup in artery walls contains high amounts of cholesterol. The problem is, cholesterol is there because that is one of it's jobs. Finding cholesterol in arteries (BTW, finding plaque buildups in veins does not happen, more in a bit) and saying it causes the blockages and disease is like noting that every time you see a car wreck you see law enforcement personnel. Then you determine that people in law enforcement cause car wrecks!


Did you know that cholesterol is found in every cell of the body? Did you know that you would be dead without cholesterol? Did you know your body uses cholesterol to make hormones, support your immune system, to produce vitamin D, and many other things? Did you know that your liver produces almost all of the cholesterol in your body no matter what you eat? Did you know that cholesterol is so important to so many bodily functions that there is a mechanism in place to recycle it back to your liver to be reused just in case you cannot make enough? Guess what organ is made of mostly lipids (fats), a large portion of them cholesterol? Your brain. That important enough for you? This is the time for one of my warnings. If you, after discussions with your doctor and hopefully doing a lot of research, still want to take the cholesterol lowering drugs - fine. (I think you are insane, but hey...) If you have a child of any age, and a doctor suggests giving the child a statin or lowering their cholesterol; RUN! With the brain being made of a large percentage of cholesterol, I shudder to think of what we are doing to children's brains by limiting the amount of this critical compound to a developing brain. (FYI, in the past few years the cholesterol-reducing industry finally got the approval to "treat" high cholesterol in children - I am telling you - this is a serious mistake!)


Did you know that over the age of 50 - 55 (it varies a bit based on the gender and overall health) lower cholesterol is related to a higher incident of death. Did you know that statin use causes problems with cognitive  performance and memory (understandable due to the high cholesterol content of the brain), muscle weakness and pain, a suppressed immune system, and other physical problems? Statins interfere with the body's production of Vitamin D and Co-Q10 - both recently being recognized as being even more important to good health than ever thought.

As I mentioned above, plaque buildup is not found in veins. If you are not aware, veins take the blood back to the heart. The arteries take blood from the heart. This blood is under pressure (your blood pressure is taken from arterial flow), blood in the veins is not. You would think if cholesterol is depositing on the wall of blood vessels it would be in the low pressure area, right? The "plaque build up" occurs in arteries. It is a function of the immune system. Essentially (this is not a true scientific explanation) the cholesterol laden plaque is used as a "patch" to help "shore up" weak spots in the arteries. These weak spots could become aneurisms or ruptures (stroke). The cholesterol is there to prevent this. The underlying problem here is inflammation and oxidation. Anti-oxidents can help here. If you have a plaque build up problem, don't try to stop the patches, stop the inflammation. A good diet and supplement program will do this. You will feel better, and your arteries will be healthier. B vitamins are particularly good at this - B6 especially.


You can verify all this information by doing some research. There are several organizations of scientists and doctors that are trying to spread the word on the myth of the danger of cholesterol. One is THINCS, which has a website. Just Google “Cholesterol Myth” or similar. Please do so. Especially if you or a family member is taking one of these drugs.



I cannot tell you what you should do. If a doctor tells you that your cholesterol is high it is up to you and your doctor to decide what to do. Just realize your doctor is probably brain-washed by the hype and extreme PR that is being spewed forth by the drug companies. There is also a LOT of money being paid to doctors by the drug companies, either directly in the form of cash; or indirectly in the form of "goodies". The cholesterol lowering drugs are some of the most profitable the drug companies have. They are going to fight tooth and nail to maintain the illusion that these drugs are necessary for our health. I do know that I cannot envision any situation where I would take a statin (it is the opinion of some of the people I read and follow that a cholesterol OVER 300 is healthier!). There is too much evidence that the harm statins cause outweighs any help they may give, except for some rare instances of extremely elevated cholesterol or after a person has had a heart attack (although evidence supports this effect to being more likely caused by the slight anti-inflammatory action of the drugs than the cholesterol lowering). I do know that if I were to take one I would definitely be taking supplements to support my vitamin D levels and Co-Q10.
 
Again, this is not meant as medical advice. This is meant to make you question you choices of healthcare and medications. I have my opinions - you form yours.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Need a dictionary?

What part of "ILLEGAL" do people not understand? I believe in immigration, I believe in civil rights. I do NOT believe that anyone here ILLEGALLY is entitled to anything other than a trip home. The argument is not one of immigration; it is one of ILLEGAL immigration. Anyone here ILLEGALLY HAS NO RIGHTS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION!! They have the basic right of being treated humanely, as they are being sent back to where they came from. I honestly cannot even understand the argument. I will repeat my line:

Calling the people here illegally an immigration problem is like calling bank robbery a withdrawal problem!

If you run a boarding house and someone comes in and takes a room without an application, without any ID or proof of income, and without paying you for it; do you call the police to get them out of your house, or do you offer them amnesty?

I really would like someone to present me with a compelling, cogent, relevant argument as to why this is even being discussed, other than from a political power play standpoint.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Here they come to save the day!!

Don't worry. At least four of our U.S. Senators are working for us. What are they working on you ask? The economy and unemployment? The growing deficit or burgeoning budget expenditures? How about support and/or concern for our forces fighting on multiple fronts? No, no, no.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.; Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo; Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska; and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. have all signed a letter they sent to Facebook questioning the new privacy policies. I don't know about you, but I feel better about my government already.

(I know that is in the Constitution somewhere!?! I just can't find it??)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Now THAT's Entertainment!

You want to know how to entertain a crowd? You want to know how to keep an audience on the edge of their seats?

I just watched a video that sums it up...

1. You take a three year old child.
2. Put them in a flashy outfit.
3. Then they go thirty or forty feet in the air.
4. You put them on a high wire.
5. Make sure the high wire goes over a tiger pit.

Now that my friends, is entertainment. I mean you got your kid appeal. You got your flashy outfit. You got your high wire fun, AND you got your pit of tigers. What more could you want?

This was done in China. I guess thousands of years of culture have eliminated child labor laws?!?            

FYI, the kid fell off the wire. The safety harness caught the child. Safety harness you ask?? Of course, you don't think safety was of paramount importance?


btw, don't worry...

no animals were harmed in the making of this video.

in case you think this is a figment of my imagination, here is a link for the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4Fh-B-Gs6k

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I've got a baaaad headache!

This is a headline from Popular Science on-line:


In Safety Study, Sheep on Meth Are Shocked With Tasers


Man, I should have followed up with my science career!

Or maybe have been a methamphetamine sheep farmer. Should have stayed in the FFA.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Epiphany - reprint of an earlier post with comments

This is a reprint of a post I did back in November of 2007. With the political landscape of today it is even more relevant.

I am reading The Columbia History of the World right now (maybe that explains the lack of whimsy - 1100 pages plus written in textbook form) I am reading now about the Roman empire/republic. I came to a passage that almost shocked me with it's relevance to my thoughts of today. Here it is: (and I quote giving all rights to the book)

Rome ceded more easily to the demand for citizenship because her supply of citizen soldiers had continued to dwindle, and her mob of citizens without property, to grow. Of the attempts to reverse these changes the most famous were those of the Gracchi brothers in 133 and 123. Relyng on bourgeouis support, they advocated extension of citizenship to the allies, resettlement of small farmers on public land (hitherto rented to senators at minimal rates) resumption of colonization, and provision of grain at less than market rates to feed the Roman poor, pending their settlement. The longest-lived of these measures was the last: most of the Roman mob preferred poverty and indolence in Rome to the hard work of a small farmer, and when one party began to bribe them with public money, the other could not offer less, so cheap grain gradually became free grain, and other "relief" measures went on increasing through the centuries until the imperial government broke down.

Besides tbe run-on sentences that are a trademark of the book, this is great stuff and parallels today in the US (and other parts of the world). Read and re-read the passages; substitute food stamps for provision of grain at less than market rates and welfare/entitlement programs in the last line. Now, if you will remember my last post - the bulk of all taxes (government money) comes from a small minority of the population. To put it another way, almost half of the adult population PAYS NO INCOME TAX! In fact, a lot of them get tax credits that actually make their contribution a negative.

Here is the point. All politicians have been trapped in the "government money" grab. A large portion of people vote for the candidate that can get federal funds to be spent in their constituency. A lot of voters will vote for the candidate that they feel will "give" them the most.

With less than half of the people paying all the income taxes, what motivation would the majority have to bother themselves with what the taxes are? Democrats have been the traditional party of tax and spend, but unfortunately of late the Republicans are catching up (and even surpassing) fast! Read the Roman history lines again. The part about when one party began to bribe them with public money, the other could not offer less... really brings home our situation today.

I could ramble on and on but I hope this makes my point. Solutions anyone....??
 
I have heard throughout my life that the Roman Empire fell due to corruption. From my studies over the years, I can say that is mostly true. However, I do not feel the social and moral corruption was as big a problem as their government and politial corruption. The US has been called the modern Roman Empire or "new Rome". I fear we will suffer the same fate as old Rome.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Now Boarding at Gate 999

Back when I used to travel a LOT, I told an airline employee that I was very impressed with their company's computing power. When she looked pleased but a bit puzzled, I explained. I told her it took an amazing amount of computing power to assure that my original boarding gate was as far from security as possible, my arrival gate was as far from ground transportation/baggage as possible, or if I was catching another flight that my arrival gate and my departure gate distances were maximized. She was no longer as pleased.

I am travelling this week and have more musing on the wonders of travel.

I find myself even more amazed at the airlines computing power today. They still are able or maximize any distances I have to travel to, from, or between planes. However, now they are able to assure that my seat mate is larger than me. I am usually sitting with an empty seat beside me just knowing that the first person resembling King Kong that comes down the aisle will ask me to get up so they can sit next to me. I am sorry, but anyone that has a shoe that old women are trying to move into or a T-shirt size with more than two Xs should NOT be allowed to sit in a middle seat - ESPECIALLY next to me!

Sure enough, I boarded my flight to leave home yesterday and was on one of the small regional jets. I was in the window seat with an empty seat next to me. The plane was almost full and I stupidly thought there was a chance that I might actually have no one next to me and would be able to stretch out a bit. HAH!. Suddenly I felt the plane lurch to the side and start shaking like the glass of water in Jurassic Park. The lights were blotted out as a wall of human flesh moved towards my row. Of course, once I saw the leviathan I knew I had my seat mate. As he headed down the aisle, I noticed that no matter which way he turned his body he was brushing against seat backs and shoulders. I again was marvelling at the computational power the airlines have. I was not even aware they knew the weights and sizes of their passengers. But it is obvious to me that they are no only aware - they use this information to pick MY SEAT MATES!

Another use of amazing computing capacity is making sure I am sitting within two rows - always in front of - a person that has an active case of pneumonia or tuberculosis. This is a relatively new development. For the past two or three years, whenever I fly, there is someone behind me that is deternined to lose a lung during the flight. We were not quite down the runway yesterday before the lady directly behind me began ejecting portions of her lung onto and over my seat back. Seriously, there were a few times I thought she was going to pop an eyeball out. The air was thick with sputum and disease. Sandwiched in between the window and Jumbo beside me with pieces of diseased lung flying about pretty much makes for a wonderful trip. I think Dante had something similar in his seventh level of hell.

There are other examples of this massive computational wizardry on display when I fly. Like, how they make my bag come off the baggage carousel among the last. Or, how they can assure that my gate is as far from a bathroom as is possible. It is amazing that they can determine that my gate will be as far from an open refreshement stand of any type as it can be. Truly amazing. Must be a Microsoft - Intel thing. Hey Bill, I'm a supporter - call off the dogs.

I am looking forward to my return trip in a couple of days. I am sure Delta is offering a special out of Dallas to any retired Dallas Cowboy tackle that is looking for a few days in North Carolina. If they have pneumonia - they fly FREE!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Swiss have voted!

If you have not read the post below, you may want to.

The referendum has been held. The Swiss have decided by an overwhelming margin that they are not insane. Animals will not have access to public defenders to pursue animal rights cases.

Maybe there is hope for us all after all.

Now if the U.S. Congress could show some signs of intelligence!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The jury is still out

OK, there is now some doubt about whether we are the craziest society on earth. I just read a Wall Street Journal article about a referendum that will occur tomorrow - Sunday 3/7/2010. The Swiss people will be voting on whether the government needs to provide animal lawyers - public defenders for "animal rights". Now, I think animal abuse is awful. Anyone that would purposefully harm a defenseless animal should be punished legally and by society. However, Switzerland has taken this idea to a whole new level. They already have one animal public defender that operates in one of the cantons (kind of like our states, or "super"-counties). He recently prosecuted a fisherman over the abuse of a pike. This abuse occurred while a fisherman was catching the defendant (pike). The legal argument was based on the fact that the fisherman took too long to land the defendant and caused it undue suffering. The court threw the case out, but only because the court said it had no jurisdiction due to the fact that the defendant was not a resident of that canton and the abuse did not occur there.

FYI, Switzerland already has the most over-reaching of laws concerning "animal rights".  Prospective dog owners must take a state approved four hour course before buying a pet. Social species like fish, birds, and yaks (a lovely pet I'm sure!) must be kept with companions, and sold in pairs (or more). There are even  specific directions in the law about how to "put down" a sick fish with a humane blow to the head or by immersing it in water mixed with clove oil diluted in alcohol. A 2003 Swiss law requires that animals be treated as sentient beings, not property.

As I said, although I do not believe animals have "rights". I do believe they deserve humane treatment. Pets deserve love and respect in addition to food and water. However, when farmers are fearful of being dragged to court every time they "harvest" animals for their meat and hides, fisherman are afraid to take to long to land a catch, or hunters must be wary of any "abuse" when legally hunting; we have a problem.

I will be watching for the results of the referendum in Switzerland. I will be expecting the same here at some point.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Who's trippin' down the streets of the city...

This was obviously a bad day for this soccer goalie in Germany.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqUhmHsG5P0&feature=player_embedde

In some South American countries, this could get you killed!

If you got the title reference, you are probably my age or close and have a good memory.

Later.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Will cluck for food (second post today - check both)

I stopped by Food Lion tonight and picked up some groceries. Because it was late (and both my wife and I like it) I got some fried chicken from their deli. We have gotten it before and it is quite good, and a very good value. (OK Food Lion - free food coupons can be sent to the email attached to this blog - but stop reading here) The chicken in not as meaty as the stuff you get from KFC or other chicken places, but it is about half the price.

We sat down to eat and I grabbed a breast. I bit into it and started eating. About 40 seconds later I was down to all bone. I looked at my wife and said "This chicken died of starvation, based on the meat on these bones!". I ate some of the potato salad and macaroni salad, but what I wanted was some chicken. I grabbed another piece, this one a thigh. There was no way this chicken was ambulatory. The size of the thigh was so puny that there is no way there was enough muscle mass to move the chicken around! I had the tiny little bone in my hand and I told my wife I felt like the guy in the Wendy's commercial saying "$2.99" with the little bitty drink in his hand.

I can picture the farm that these Food Lion chickens came from - thousands of emaciated fowl dragging themselves along on their little wheeled dollies, legs too weak to support their weight; their breasts caved in like a TB patient at the end of life, without the strength to move their wings. I can see them throwing themselves onto any morsel of food that they happen to come across as they fight off starvation. Their only hope is the processing plant and the sweet release of death.

Oh well, I still like the taste of the chicken. Next time I guess I will just buy two packages.

Go ahead, take out that $1 million mortgage

I was going to write one of my stunning commentaries on life, liberty, and small animals; but decided to wait and see if I need to. The CERN people in Europe are firing up the Large Hadron Collider again. So, we may all be headed to a black hole. If you don't remember or know what I am talking about see the two posts below and/or Google it.

I'm Baaaack from Sept 13, 2009 and Still Here from Nov 7, 2009.

Wonder if any "birds" got 300 feet underground again?

I will admit that finding the Higgs bosun is a facinating prospect, but I still wonder about this thing. Oh well, at least it will be quick...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pledge

This is good. It would serve us well if all school children (and a lot of adults) would see and hear this every day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdwc_3RjhQs

Enjoy and share.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Rare Disease Day 2010

Rare Disease Day 2010 is coming up - February 28th, 2010. Contact any and all government officials and legislators you can, as well as any other people you know. There are over 25 million persons with a Rare Disease - one that affects less than 200,000 people. In most cases this is too small a population to support research or treatment development. However, with over 100 diseases in this classification there are a LOT of individuals and families dealing with these maladies. You can go to http://www.rarediseases.org/ for more information. Your thoughts and support are needed and welcomed.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Blog

I just set up a NEW blog - http://www.livingwithasnowman.blogspot.com/. This will be a blog chronicling my wife's disease and my thoughts and comments on it. I will take the content from this blog that relates to MSA to that blog. This blog will remain as for my insane ramblings and political and social commentary.

Please check out the new blog - http://www.livingwithasnowman.blogspot.com/. Comments are welcomed.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Travel notes

I am travelling again, this time by car. I came up with some random thoughts during the long ride today. I have been making the trip down I-95 since the early to mid-70s. (if I was being fair there was the illicit trip in my father's car when I was 16, but I digress) In fact, the first six or seven years we made the trip you had to leave I-95 at many points because it did not exist yet! (anyone else remember the old, decrepit, bridge in Savannah, Ga?) I found myself doing it again today. This trip was a bit different because I did it alone. I am not sure I have made the trip alone before. If so, it has been very rare. With six kids and a wife, there was usually a few or more other travellers. Even when I was going down for business as I was this time, and have a few times in recent years, I usually had my wife with me to combine a visit with family in Florida. This trip was done alone. Nine hours in a car alone can give you a lot of "thought time". So, here are some of them. I never cease to be amazed at the capacity of the State of Georgia to always be doing road work on I-95. In the early days, as I stated in my opening remarks, the construction was understandable as the road was being built. But, in the 36 or more years I have been making the trip to at least southern Georgia, once or twice a year each year, I do not remember getting through Georgia without a major construction project. Now, I have to give credit where credit is due; they have finished the highway in fine fashion from the state line near Savannah to almost Darien. It is a fine road with at least three lanes in each direction. Then, just north of Darien -here come the barrels. Georgia is the home of orange barrels on the eastern seaboard. At least from Virginia to Key West where I am familiar with the drive. The barrels there are as plentiful as sand on the beach. The barrel making industry has to be very enamored of Georgia. Another thought I had was concerning construction of another sort. When I car or truck takes out a bridge/overpass concrete side rails or the guardrails on the side of the road, why do they put an orange cone there? I can see the poor soul that has lost control of their vehicle heading for the side of the road wondering if they are going to make it, thinking -"Oh, I can't crash here! There are orange cones!" I know of very few (in fact NONE) incidents where people choose the section of guardrail or bridge they hit. I also saw a rare site today. An orange cone in the wild! I whizzed by it at 70+ mph, so I did not get a great look at it; but I saw the orange peak rising above the grass and weeds on the side of the road as it took a tentative look at the traffic. I was very upset that RIM decided not to put a camera on my Blackberry. I would have loved to take a shot of this unusual event. I did not get a good enough look to know if it was an escaped construction cone, or the even rarer feral cone. It was gone in an instant. FYI, it was a Georgia cone. Probably a descendant of one of the original construction cones from when the road was first built. Other things of note today. One is the number of people I saw texting. In two cases they went speeding by me (which reminds me of another classic George Carlin quote - "Have you noticed anyone going slower than you is an idiot and anyone going faster is a maniac?") and I was NOT going slow! Crazy, definitely idiotic maniacs. We should make cars in which the seatbelts and airbags deactivate when the driver is texting and let them cull the herd, so to speak. The last note is one of profound sadness. As I stated in my opening remarks, I have made all these trips to my memory with my wife. She was to go with me on this trip, and I was going to drop her at her mother's house for a visit. We have had some very memorable and enjoyable trips along this route together, the most recent last October. Her illness and the logistics of her care prevented this one from being another. I missed her companionship. She would have enjoyed the cone in the wild.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In these difficult times...

I see where NBC is giving $40 million dollars to Conan O'Brian to leave the Tonight Show hosting job. I could have saved them SOOOOOOO much money. I would have left for $100,000! In fact, for $10 grand or so I would not have even applied for the job! NBC - you can contact me through this blog.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

For everyone in Washington

I will have to admit I thought Ray Stevens was dead. (in fact, if you are much younger than I am, you may not even know who he is!) However, due to the topical nature of this song, I assume he is not only alive, but still doing music. This is kind of funny and I hope very true. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc_-L4fyLUo

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pay Attention Now

It's time for a refresher course. I have done too much of the "fun" stuff lately. Take notes if you wish - there will be a test in November. 1) There is NO government money. When you hear about a "government stimulus" or "federal funds" or anything like that - think "my tax dollars". The government has no money and has no way of getting money without taxing us, or borrowing it. 2) Corporations (companies) do NOT pay taxes (or fees, or fines). Taxing companies to help with the deficit, or adding a fee to banks to help cover the shortfall, is a tax or fee on US. When you hear of a new tax, fee, or fine, to be levied against corporations (like the one proposed for banks currently), think of it as being taken from YOU. Corporations HAVE NO MONEY except for what they get from their customers and/or shareholders. All banks will do if this fee is levied against them is raise our fees to bank with them. "We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." Winston Churchill Write your congressman and senators. Let them know in Washington that spending our money on whatever they deem fit is NOT going to fly. Most importantly - VOTE every chance you get. Get rid of the idiots up there now that are doing all this - from BOTH parties.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just pull that right over here

I just got back from a trip. Some things struck me (as usual) as I was out viewing the world. Here are some thoughts... I wonder how we ever got along without one of the most annoying and yet helpful inventions of my lifetime - wheeled luggage. I am really surprised at how civilization advanced to the point that we have with this technological marvel only being around for a short while. Everywhere you looked there was luggage (and backpacks, and briefcases, and computer cases) on wheels. In a crowded area, I would get my toes and feet run over multiple times. I was waiting in a cab line with several hundred other people going up and down through the maze of ropes, all of us pushing or pulling our wheeled marvels. In fact, the one guy I saw that was NOT equipped with wheels was quite noticeable. We of the wheeled wonders would whip wildly through the winding path while he kicked, slid, tossed, dragged, and otherwise schlepped his belongings a foot or two at a time. By his lack of luggage technology he was an outcast. An object of our scorn; and for the empathetic among us, possibly even pity. One other invention that has become almost as wide spread is the "smart phone". I remember travelling in the 80s. I worked for a company that sold cellphones, so I had one provided to me. As is so common now, I would take it out and check for messages and/or calls as I got off the plane. People would look at me and make snide remarks as to how "special" I thought I was; or gasp at the fact that I had a device to make a call that did not require quarters to be inserted. Now, as we are approaching the gate the Backberrys and iPhones come out for email, texts, tweets, and yes even a call or two. The person that is handicapped with just a cellphone is looked upon with almost as much pity as the non-wheeled luggage guy. The only other device that is used (sometimes in conjunction with the smartphone) for contact is the laptop/netbook. These too are becoming quite common as people are searching for internet connections and power outlets with their portable computers. Again, I wonder how we ever advanced to the point we have without instant communication and access to data 24/7?! More later, got to go. My Blackberry is calling.