In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Final Disappointment for the Year

I can't say 2013 was the best year, but I can say it had its ups and downs; with some of the things to continue into the next year.

As I watched my stat counter, I had this feeling I might break the 100,000 visit mark. I'm close, but it's looking like even the bots are tired, or determined to go piddle with someone's New Year party.

Anyway, that's one of those tiny disappointment, and the term "It WILL happen next year" is probably true.

So, for those readers going out to bring in the new year at a party, or such: Drive safely, drink responsibly and don't blow a finger off with a firecracker.

For the bots: Learn to write better. Some of your spam comments are beyond belief.

Here's some Dixie Dregs to get your new year charged up.

Monday, December 30, 2013

My Summary Of 2013

January 1, 2013 - Happy New Year......whoosh.....wait; no wait.....whoosh.....I'm not catching up.......whoosh..

...and here we are: December 30, 2013. The rest of the year will pass in the blink of an eye.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Piano Guys, Old Folks and Charlie Brown

Every once in awhile, you find something that touches your heart. With me, many of those things involve older people, since you don't have to spend long with them to realize their hearts are still young, they have much to offer and they can lead lonely lives towards the end.

I like the following video. I think many of you will, also.

The Window to the Soul

They say music is the window to the soul. I think that's a good description and discovering how to imbed videos may turn into an obsession.

Peer inside. You can always click away, if you don't like what you see.

Experimenting with Video

I'm experimenting. If it doesn't work, I'll figure out a way to make it so.

Stupid Things

If technical things don't interest you, then you might want to stop reading at this point.

I've built a few roads, including highways. They're a marvel of modern construction, but they suffer from something that is common and destructive.

That substance? Water.

Every roadbed has either naturally compacted material, or a material manipulated to a density considered best for supporting the completed pavement structure. While some roads are constructed on bedrock, which is removed to a grade that allows the pavement, many aren't and the substructure reacts to moisture. Moisture allows the material to swell, lose compaction or migrate away, through the hydraulic action of the pavement on the subgrade (constant downward movement by traffic is like the ram on a hydraulic cylinder.Since water is not compressible, the force is transferred into the sub-base, which removes material and creates voids.) The result is pavement failures, which can eventually lead to complete replacement.

Moisture under pavement has another problem it creates: Roots. Trees and plants seek the moisture, grow over time and the swelling of the roots destroys paving. If you don't believe this, find an old street, with large trees, and take a gander at the horrible condition of the sidewalks.

This where the stupid part comes into play:

I was driving down a new road in an adjacent town. I remember when it bid, the millions required for completion and the useful purpose this road would allow when it connected new home additions with local businesses. What I saw disturbed me.

The new, four lane, curbed, concrete paving was built with a planted median about 8 feet wide. In this median were trees, which will grow large and a sprinkler system designed to provide water. Otherwise, in a few years, the pavement will unravel to the point repairs will be necessary. Eventually, either the trees will have to go, or the road will need replacing.

How stupid can people get? Wasn't there at least one sound mind involved that could have warned of this error and convinced the city to avoid appearing as dumbasses?

I don't know about you, but I'm reaching the point I'm almost dumbfounded by the pissed off money spent by politicians and bureaucrats. It's like an illness and the ignorance is becoming pandemic.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

There's No Doubt

I was reading an article, which explained the difference between common cold and flu if someone would need to ask.

You have no doubt you have the flu. The last time I was stricken, the only description that best fits is: I felt like hammered crap.

The symptoms: They started with an unexpected headache one morning at work. I don't get headaches very often, and this one hurt enough to drive me to distraction.

As the day progressed, I felt a fatigue coming on that was more than any day's work should cause. By quitting time, I felt as though I'd spent days working without rest and my throat was now sore.

By that night, I was vacillating between feeling as though I was freezing and burning up with a fever. My head was pounding, my throat was aching and my sinuses were burning. I went to bed almost delirious, with aches and fever tremors.

I awoke in the middle of the night literally soaked from sweat. To make things worse, I was having a hard time breathing and my sinuses were clogged. The cough I'd developed was dry and I could hear rattling as I breathed.

I stayed home from work the next few days. My symptoms weren't worse, but they were far from better. I spent the entire day suffering between the other symptoms, and new symptoms of intestinal problems. Nauseated, I dared not eat anything, although the thought was far from my mind. Diarrhea appeared somewhere during that time, and I was hard pressed to keep from being dehydrated.

Eventually the symptoms lessened, and I was left with inflamed sinuses, a severe sore throat and a cough that would bring up terrible looking gunk.

It took weeks before the symptoms disappeared and I felt half-human.

So, if you catch the flu, you don't have to ask. You'll know and the best thing is to drink as many liquids as you can, treat the symptoms with over the counter medications and hope for the best. The flu can kill you. After you've had it, there's no doubt in your mind it can.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Why Not Tax Bicycles?

There are a few articles about this new source of tax revenue, so you can find them with a search engine.

I guess I'm a little amazed. Taxing entities are so desperate for money, they'll do just about anything to find a new source of revenue to waste. Even if they taxed all bicycles, charged a user fee, place tollways on bicycles paths and demanded licenses, the paltry amount of revenue wouldn't make a dent in their budget deficits. Still, they try and never realize they only generate more anger, with a determination to kick the entire lot of bureaucratic imbeciles to the curb.

Dumbasses. This affliction is rampant among government employees. That, and an insane belief people believe they all serve some useful purpose.

The Correct Answer is "No"

Jesse Jackson is demanding A&E and Cracker Barrel meet with his group within 72 hours.  I'm guessing they want to shake down those involved and get some money for their endeavors, which are becoming less important daily.

I know what I would say. The answer would be "no". Jesse Jackson reached the point he's only important to Jesse Jackson. In a desperate effort to continue with a life that now irrelevant, he's willing to appear as a raving lunatic, which I've suspected for a long time is exactly what he is. If he doesn't get his way, he can't hurt either corporation, since they don't cater to those that blindly follow an organization that creates racism, where it doesn't exist.

I have a feeling he's getting desperate and the money isn't as good as he'd like. That sucks, but that's part of business. When your product doesn't sell well, you either find a product people like, or learn to operate with what you get.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas to All My Readers and the Bots

I have a lot of things on my mind. Those things are not all good and the last week brought the winds of change that will influence my life forever. Where the changes lead, will not be as important as what they do to me.

So, without elaborating, I wish everyone that happens to wander to this small corner of the internet the best that life can bring and peace of mind. It's not much, but it means more when the sentiment is shared.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas, Too Bad About Your Benefits, and Get Your Ass to Another Hell-Hole

The Sudan is turning into another third world toilet.  Not that it already wasn't, but U.S. Marines weren't exposed to gunfire and the danger of anarchy.

Now they are. Meanwhile, the President lounges in Hawaii, his administrative officials lie their asses off and the troops will have more than their share of those that don't care, due to the new "budget agreement".

Damned if this doesn't piss me off more than many other things. It's all hype, until a bullet finds you and your own government will probably shuffle you into some crappy V.A. hospital and hope you die before you get any benefits. All of that, while evacuating those silly enough to even think of going to a crappy location, like the Sudan.

Assholes. Too many people don't deserve the protection they receive. I include about 90 percent of those in Washington, D.C. in this description.

This and That

Susan Rice called Benghazi a "false controversy" during an interview shown on "60 Minutes". That's an unacceptable response. There is always controversy involved with the death of any U.S. citizen, and the fact Susan Rice either repeated false information, or deliberately lied only adds more controversy to the murder of a U.S. Ambassador and three other citizens.

The way I see it: If she didn't know the information was false, she'd be doing everything possible to clear her name and distance herself from the administrative officials involved.

Since she's not, she's culpable, whether as an unwilling dupe - covering for others - or a willing participant in a deliberate effort to hide criminal actions.

Either way, she can't hide forever. She may only carry the stigma through her final days. Hopefully, she spends some of that time, with others, in prison for what they've done.

It's Usually About Money

With the big flap about the comments of one of the stars of a reality show, the one sure thing that appeared was the worry about money.

The sponsors of the show, and the products endorsed, jumped between outrage, dismay and being butt-hurt, when they realized they were kicked in the ass pocket. I doubt they really have any moral dilemma; their statements pretty well indicate they're really not sure which way to jump; except it needs to be in the direction that doesn't hurt their profits.

The organization that was so adamant about their position now finds they've wandered away from the security of Hollywood and the wilderness is full of those that find their beliefs far from their own. To add insult to injury, some of the people they supposedly represent are insulted by the reactions. The correspondence they're receiving, from what I've read, is not showing a huge amount of support. This can translate into dollars they won't receive.

So, it's all about money; and the star of the show doesn't care what people think, will go on with his life and will do so without remorse. I don't think he needs the money. I'm betting he'd carve a wooden beak and pick shit with the chickens, before he'd back down from his beliefs for money.

I doubt those that created this faux event have the same resolution. They'll be wondering how bad they were damaged for a long time. I'm pretty sure the hurt won't go away anytime soon, and they probably deserve the pain.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Harry Reid is Exhausted

Senator Harry Reid was hospitalized for "feeling bad, and has now been released, with the okay to return to work.

I don't know about you, but I've been around older folks, when they reach the point of exhaustion. It's a point of no return and the only way to prevent further episodes is to scale back their work and think seriously about their life.

Now, old Harry may say otherwise, but his days are numbered as Senator. His mental acuity will suffer, his stamina will not carry him through tough political episodes and his backers are alerted that they need to find a replacement as soon as possible. Harry may lose some of his reasoning abilities and reveal things some may always want to remain hidden.

So, Harry is finished. How all this ends will be revealed in the near future. Personally, I'm glad he's going. He's not a good person and has damaged the U.S. with his actions.

Goodbye Harry. Don't let the door hit you in the ass, on the way out.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Ducks, Dynasties and Contracts

I've never watched "Duck Dynasty". From what I read, it's popular and the patriarch spoke his opinion, which was printed in a magazine, and the media turned away from anything that is important to focus on this non-event.

First thing: I don't care what he said. It's his opinion.

Second: Since I don't watch the show, still not watching the show will have no effect on the revenues.

Third: No matter how anyone feels, or acts, the final determination on how this plays out will be as civil litigation, if necessary. The contract determines the obligations and - since I don't have a dog in the hunt - I don't care what the contract states. I will read it, for a fee, since I'm not interested, although I doubt anyone will make me the offer.

If anyone is, I'm cheap. You can get me to read your contract, allow me to comment and waste your money for the low cost of $45 per expenses. My opinion is worthless in court and will guarantee you a smirk from a judge...if not a contempt citation.

Should I Be Surprised?

A billboard for the tribute of Nelson Mandela, mistakenly used a picture of Morgan Freeman.  I guess I should be surprised, but I'm not, and I'd really be surprised if more than a few dozen people would know the difference.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

I'm Beginning to Wonder...

...about my mental state.

I was listening to the news report about the big lottery winners. After listening to the report, and thinking about what I would do, if I won, and I realized I wasn't thinking about what I'd buy; I was thinking about how I could give money, without anybody knowing where it came from.

I don't know if that's normal, or not. Maybe it has to do with age. There's a point where the best things in life are good meals, long naps and pleasant conversations.

State of the Economy

If you watch some media outlets, the economy is recovering and everything is looking better.

If you watch other media outlets, the economy is a mess, and things won't get better for a long time.

If you ask me, the economy is being held down by the government. If they let up, the economy will rebound and the current administration will look like the clowns they are.

If they don't let up, the economy will continue to have problems, although those higher in the food chain of the government don't seem to be having any problems. Their healthcare is free; they have tons of perks; their salaries rise, in spite of how many in the private sector lose jobs, or lose purchasing power due to increases in costs; they ignore the constituents that pay their salaries; and they live in a government Disneyland, where unemployment is down, housing prices are increasing, businesses are doing fine and the harsh realities of a bad economy everywhere, but D.C., is either ignored, or they're oblivious.

Whether those in D.C., and the media, realize it, or not, the rest of the country is fed up and the grumbling is becoming more than grumbling. To make their situation worse, they've pissed off the military, which is the only thing that stands between them and mobs with pitch forks.

I don't know if they realize it, but they're dumbasses. Time will tell how this all turns out, but the seeds of discontent are sown, and the crop of anger is huge.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Some Things You Don't Delete

My blog list on my computer is old. There are broken links, blogs on hold and some that I read, but not very often. The links are transferred to upgraded computers and I don't delete them. It's some kind of superstitious thing, and since it doesn't hurt anyone, I'll keep them as long as I can.

One, from way back, I keep linked because I really used to enjoy visiting. He had a few nicknames, including "Acidman". I might have commented, but I don't remember if I did. Usually, I'd just read, laugh, or feel the emotions tugged by Rob, as he commented on his life.

His blog name was "Gut Rumbles", and it still exists.

I forgot about the blog, but found it linked in my favorites, which I was perusing. He's been gone since 2006, but still lives on in his blog. If you have time, it's good reading.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


That's the best description for having no recourse, but to use a port-a-can when the temperature is 33 degrees.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

They Won't Come This Christmas

Yeah, I know. Christmas is a time of happiness. That's why I'm writing this post. Christmas will never be the same.

My mother passed last summer. It was time. Life took everything she had and there was nothing left. She won't share this Christmas and it's a sobering thought.

So, Christmas is coming, but it will never be the same for me. There's too much now missing and the memories are full of people that I'll never see again during this life.

I'm sad, although the sadness is full of happy memories: Christmases where the wonder of lit trees, smiling faces, the smells of wonderful food and the conversations full of joy and cheer. There were many and my memories are full of these wonderful occasions.

Christmas is coming, but it will be only one day. Make it special, keep those you love close, and place the wonderful day into your heart forever. You'll eventually find only memories remain for many and those memories are yours to create and treasure.

Learning Is a Good Experience

I was thinking about a gumbo I made last week. I'd made one about a month ago, and while my wife thought it was good, she said I could have cooked the roux longer.

I thought about it, determined I could do better and approached the task in a different manner.

In the past, I'd turn the heat higher and constantly stir the roux to keep it from burning. This time, I turned the heat low, added just a touch of bacon grease to the oil for flavor and turned as necessary.

After a time, I realized the roux wasn't getting any darker. I kept turning it and carefully watched to make sure it wasn't burning.

The outcome? After determining the roux would only get darker if I burned it, I knew it was ready for adding the onions. After I sweated the onion, I added the chicken and turned it in the roux for a few minutes. The only thing left at that time was to add some water, more seasoning and the sausage, when it was time.

It turned out good and there's still some in the freezer.

Budget Deal?

I haven't read the bill, so I have no details. I do have the experience of those in the past, and the trillions in debt don't indicate there's any relief for taxpayers in this one either.

The supposed leadership in Washington shows there's only one real goal, which is to continue the operation of the political machine called Washington, the District of Columbia.

It's a huge machine, that once had a purpose. That purpose was to keep the United States safe, keep the ability to communicate a priority and insure all expenditures were based on real needs. It was a simple machine and designed to allow liberty of the citizens.

Now, it's a contraption that is not only expensive, the intended purpose is almost lost in the workings of useless components, wasted resources and the constant fiddling with the controls to determine how much more can be added, without completely destroying the machine.

Like any machine, Washington requires something to supply the energy to make it operate. In this situation, it's money, which is limited. It doesn't grow on trees, can't really be described as renewable and the supply is being reduced by the sheer volume of waste. The suppliers are appalled by this waste, yet those in Washington don't pay attention. They'd rather look to those that too have a part in this contraption of ridiculous purposes and ignore those that ultimately determine if the money will continue to flow and allow this machine to run.

I read that around 45% of those that live in this country depend on Washington and place no money in the pipeline that feeds the machine. That's unconscionable, but I think they don't realize mental concepts and philosophical discourse have no real bearing on the ultimate outcome. Regardless of political beliefs, the machine will fail when there is not enough money to keep it running. That point approaches and whether the machine is dismantled to its original function, or fails completely is the big question.

No matter how this happens, it will and the operators in Washington indicate by their actions they'll be the last to suffer from the effects. They have no qualms about continuing their dereliction of purpose and allowing the financial burdens of the taxpayers to increase, while theirs don't, and they gather wealth with unethical dealings.

So, in Washington D.C., the machine clatters, clangs, and pieces fall off constantly; destroying things as they fall and increasing the amounts of resources required to keep this monstrosity running. In spite of the dire warnings, the operators ignore the problems and too many in the United States are blissfully unaware of the impending failure.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Different Perceptions

I was raised in an industrial, coastal city. It was home, and I never thought much about how it was perceived, but as time when on, I realized my town had a bad reputation. Considering some of the things I encountered, the reputation was founded on facts.

I decided to leave a few years after I was married. The decision was galvanized by an experience one night:

Our dog started barking in the middle of the night. It wasn't the questioning bark; it was the bark that signified something was wrong and I needed to pay attention.

Investigation revealed a group of teenagers walking down the street. Looking at the clock, I realized it was 3:00 am, a school night and they had no reason to be out; much less talking loudly as they sashayed down a quiet neighborhood in the middle of the night.

I didn't like the feeling of not feeling safe. While they were causing no harm, they had the opportunity if they wanted to take advantage. Without the dog, they would have passed by without me knowing and if crime was on their mind, thievery, burglary and other mayhem was a wide open opportunity. They were intruding on my peace and quiet, did so with impunity and there was nothing I could do about it.

I moved to a rural area; so rural they don't deliver mail to my house and there is no cable service. I do have neighbors, but they're not intrusive, will wave if we happen to see each other and will shoot first if the need arises. They'll protect me, my property and I'll do the same, if necessary.  It's an unspoken agreement and necessary. The sheriff department is our only police force and they can be a long time arriving.

I like this arrangement. I like knowing I have the liberty to protect what's mine, know strangers are only welcome if invited and criminals may find something as simple as a burglary may turn into a capital offense. With a rural setting, low law enforcement presence, and the fact any intrusion signifies a complete lack of mental acuity, any criminal can only be considered dangerous and life threatening.

I know many people think living in the city is grand. They feel safer, although I doubt they are. Predators roam at will, and have been allowed to so for a long period of time. Society has broken down and those that have no business roaming freely do so without thought. Where a criminal should have few opportunities due to the number of citizens unwilling to allow their behavior, the opposite is now true. Those willing to support the laws, lock and bolt themselves in their homes, pay for security, allow their ability for defense to be lowered by the removal of their firearms and do so without ever thinking they've reduced their standard of living. They aren't in control of their environment; they're prey and the predators are only waiting for the right moment to strike.

To make matters worse, the predators developed a feeling of entitlement. They have no qualms about sneaking into garages, stealing all that can be found, vandalizing automobiles and burglarizing businesses. They feel you deserve the thievery, since you were so inefficient with protecting your property. Even if caught, they may only get a state jail felony conviction, spend a year or two being clothed and fed, and return to continue their predation. When they become emboldened, they jack cars, knock down doors and terrorize families.

I know many people believe education, understanding, civil discussion and more laws will change this, but they're foolish in their beliefs. Society has created a predator that has no respect for laws, privacy, personal property or safety. They only understand their wants, take what they want without fear of consequence and will never change, until they're either incarcerated forever, or taken out by a citizen without qualms when dealing with a predator.

Like it or not,  when predators threaten society, a healthy society will eliminate the predators, whether they're coyotes or the group of thugs chugging malt liquor down at the corner store. How it's done is always up to the society, but it usually involves deadly force, since predators are beyond reason and only understand violence.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Opinion About the "Selfie"

I think it showed a lack of respect and was in poor taste. Of course, such things are common with this President, so I'm not surprised.

One thing I did notice was the expression of Michelle Obama. It wasn't one of approval and as long as she lives, Obama will be constantly reminded of his error and he will regret the event forever.

It serves him right, and the blonde should be glad Michelle didn't lose her temper, tackle her and pull her hair out. It was a very real possibility in my mind. The women was close to a severe ass-whipping and wouldn't have had a chance.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Emergency Medicine and What's To Come

My wife had a non-cancerous mass removed by a surgeon that specialized in emergency medicine. It was a fairly routine surgery and successful, although there was some nerve damage, which I didn't expect, but knew was a possibility. Numbness was one of the outcomes, which is always a possibility with the removal of fairly large masses.

Anyway, that wasn't what I wanted to write about. I wanted to write about my perception of the doctor.

First, he was featured on one of those reality emergency department shows, so he's known by more than the locals. At that time, he was in the process of finishing his residency and the show ended with his optimism for the opportunity he was offered.

He finally ended up here, which I think is good. I like the doctor and I think I like his cut-and-dried optimism, without any sugar coating, the most. He's professional, direct with his statements and isn't going to try and blow smoke up the ass of his patients.

I foresee something in the near future, since he's way up in the food chain at a local hospital: I foresee an almost mind-numbing, daily sorting through tons of bullshit to offer the best care for those that need it.

Why? Obamacare threw many people into a new environment. Where they could afford health insurance, they now can't and can only enroll in Medicaid, if they can. At that point, they might not have any recourse, except to go to the emergency room for medical care and will find they've not landed in Kansas.

All hospitals won't accept the government plans and Medicaid, which will lead to overcrowding in those that do. A visit will be far from pleasant, since resources will be limited, many visitors will be frequent-flyers or trying to receive medical care for something far from being a threat to life. Long wait times are guaranteed and the ultimate fate of all patients will being treated by those that are either unable, not qualified or too incompetent to leave the facility for better opportunities, or working conditions. Apathy will run rampant and limited resources will lead to patients not receiving the necessary care.

What does this have to do with the doctor I described? I doubt he'll stay. He's damned good and will be in demand somewhere where he can get the pay he deserves. That will leave a vacuum of talent in the local hospital, which isn't good.

I know I'm speculating, but speculation is based on observation, and experience. I may be wrong about my prediction of the future, but the odds are in my favor. That sucks and I hate the fact there's little I can do to change the outcome.

If I Was A World Leader...

...I think I'd be smart enough to avoid the thrown together security for the Mandella funeral services. Otherwise, send a donation, or some flowers. With the corruption, deceit and downright evil events in the world, thinking there will be safety at the funeral is up there with believing in the Easter Bunny.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Stepping In It Again

In an  interview with former health adviser to the President, Ezekiel Emanuel he stated:

"No one has launched a big PR campaign to get these people signed up because of the problems with the federal website," he told "Fox News Sunday." "We are about to launch a big PR campaign, and that, I think, is going to persuade a lot of people to sign up."

I doubt it. It all boils down to money, which many of the young folks don't have, or are unwilling to pay, since they're healthy and don't envision any health problems. When you add they don't have to, they won't. Why should they? They can use the money for something else. 

He went on describing how the Obamacare rollout is just like an iPhone.

"...I know that when I got my iPhone, there were lots of glitches. They send updates for that," he said. "This happens with large-scale enrollment of millions of people...."

That's not a very smart thing to say. I know it's probably the brain child of someone on the Obama staff, but it's a statement loaded with pitfalls. 

People like their iPhones. Those that don't, have tried them before, and don't care for the product still have good things to say about the phone itself. They liked the styling, the quality and really couldn't complain about the product. It was just something they didn't like. In many situations, it was just too expensive and they couldn't afford one. Even then, they had a choice for another product - unlike Obamacare. When you add the fact many people just despise iPhones, forcing them to use the product is galling and unacceptable. 

Nobody likes Obamacare; and without an option, they like it less. It's too expensive, the product is substandard and signing up for the defective product exposes the subscriber to identity theft. When you add they might not really be signed up, avoiding the signup is considered best. Even the faint of heart will wait. They may be timid but they're not stupid. 

So, the PR campaign is failing before it starts, which is predictable. This administration is on the downhill side and those with any initiative are moving on, or losing interest. Nobody likes being on the losing team and it's obvious the Obama Administration has proven to be one of the most feckless ever. All the pomp, PR, glitter and exorbitant expenditures can't hide the fact the "product" they attempted to sale was defective. The competent players will leave as soon as possible and avoid having their name besmirched by the brand considered the worst. 

One other thing: Obama can't use an iPhone. I know this has nothing to do with Obamacare, except it's on of those things that will appear in an argument. Someone states: 

"Obamacare signing is like an iPhone. There are glitches and they fix them."

The rebuttal? "Yeah?, but Obama doesn't even use an iPhone." 

...and the argument is over. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Egyptians, Space Aliens and Water

That's a hell of a title, isn't it? What prompted this post? I'll elaborate:

I was driving along, when I started thinking about an article I read years ago. The article, which promoted the idea of space aliens helping the Egyptians with the pyramids, used the fact the base of the Great Pyramid is flat within a tolerance of less than an inch. I thought to myself: "That's crap."

Water, when contained, will reach a point where the surface is level, so any enterprising person, with good observational abilities, would know this and use water for control of an elevation.

If I was building a huge pyramid, I'd first seek an area that would hold the weight. What could be a good place? How about a level surface in bedrock? The softer the better. Soft rock is easier to carve.

Then, I'd use water to determine how level it actually is. Placing a berm around the area, I could determine if the surface is level with something as simple as a stick. I could find the deepest spot, and use that as control. Everything higher than that would need removing.

But what could they use to remove the stone? I don't know, but if the rock was soft, most metals would work. Even without metals, harder rock could be used to remove the softer rock. It's time consuming, but I don't think they had any real binding schedule, except to finish before someone died.

So, I figured out how to start a great pyramid without the help of any space aliens. Using that as a basis for the rest of the pyramid, I'm thinking someone smarter than me probably existed back then and figured it out. If they were really smart, they'd figure out a way to amaze those around them, manipulate them into believing they had some type of divine intervention, live a life of luxury, and laugh all the way to the bank....or the tent....whatever.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thieves, Radiation and Uh-Ohs

Some really dangerous radioactive materials were stolen earlier this week in Mexico. The material, Cobalt 60 pellets, is a radioactive source for all types of things, but most importantly, it's deadly. Handling the stuff will lead to radiation poisoning, which is a really unpleasant way to go. 

Long story short: Thieves stole a truck with the material, opened the containers and the pellets were found in a field near the abandoned truck.

Justice may have been served and it's a capital punishment. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013


I manage people. I've done this for decades, although most people would have a distorted view of what my managing tasks entail.

I could spend hours talking about the different things that require my attention and responsibility, but that's not what this post is about.

Managing is judging people It's not something you can acquire from a book, or from years in a classroom: It's a natural ability.

I know some of your might be thinking: "He's an arrogant ass, isn't he?", which might be true in some situations, but it's an arrogance that requires temperance, wisdom and the undeniable fact your decisions - right wrong, or indifferent - are your's only and the responsibility can never be avoided. Arrogance is a requirement if you know you're right and you'll stand by your decision - no matter what.

To get to the point of my post: I always look for people that have the ability to manage. It's part of what I need to make things happen. Someone that can take on a task, lead by example, go the extra length to make it happen and let's any problems encountered be learning experience is someone more than important in my field of work. All projects require an approach where the components are completed in the necessary order and at the best time. The larger the project, the more components; each requiring management; whether by a lead craftsman, or a specific foreman; maybe even a superintendent.

Anyway, what prompted this post was an assessment I made today of some hands on a project. They're good hands; willing to do whatever needed, but lack the extra initiative to complete what's necessary, without further instructions that shouldn't be needed.

It's not a bad thing; everybody has a purpose, but I categorized their actions, thought about what it means and future decisions will be made on what I observed.

This is the part of managing I don't like. Hopefully, it never comes to pass, but I'll be required to decide who is more important on a project. Who will get the job done? Who can be left unattended and the knowledge their decisions are the best decisions and any problems were beyond their control? Who is expendable?

I have to make those decisions, which are included in the decisions to raise the pay of someone that is taking the extra responsibility. When the money isn't there, due to the economy, I have to hope someone with more resources won't lure them away and I'll lose a key employee.

That's managing. When you add the part of managing company owners, customers, suppliers, subcontractors and Mother Nature, it can be a thankless endeavor.  They all look to you for an answer and sometimes the answer is "no".

The Uncle Obama Didn't Know He Lived With

That's a convoluted post title, but it summarizes Obama and his uncle, who he didn't live with, except he did, although he didn't admit that, until after his uncle received permanent resident status.

I don't know about you, but the entire event stinks, just like this administration.

Monday, December 2, 2013


If you look at the entire hoopla of Obamacare, think of what's been said, and make a realistic assessment, nothing that was said by Obama or any of his administration has been true.

Now, you can't say they're liars, because that would indicate a level of intelligence that's way past what I'm willing to give them credit for. Somebody told them what to say, they repeat it because they're not smart enough to know the difference and the fawning media - which has become a mob of individuals as dumb as bags of hammers  - repeats whatever they're told.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Thoughts

I'm fighting a cold. That description may seem silly, but it's what I'm doing.

It started yesterday morning, with my sinuses burning and running like a faucet. As the day progressed, my throat and chest started burning, so I knew it wasn't just a little sinusitis.

So, last night I took some generic Nyquil, climbed into bed and hoped for the best. I slept well, woke without the burning sinuses, but they're still running and have done so for much of the day.

If my luck is good, the worst is over and I'll only have to cough what's left out during the next few days. If not, tomorrow will probably suck.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

It All Starts with a Curfew

The "game" of knockout is becoming more prevalent in some large cities. From what I've read, it's large groups of young men, or teenagers, that video an unsuspecting victim as they sucker punch them in the face.

The goal is to knock the victim unconscious, and they show their "prowess" to anyone that has access to their video.

So, what happens? It starts with a curfew. After that, people find they're prisoners in their own homes and those that can move away. Those that can't become angry and retribution becomes their goal. The violence escalates and living in the city becomes a very unwanted situation.

Personally, I feel anyone caught participating in this blood sport should be run through a gauntlet of victims armed with baseball bats. After that, if society wishes, they can prosecute them for assault and throw them under the jail.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Can You Spot the Sociopath?

Look up the term "sociopath" and read the definition. While doing your research, peruse the symptoms, descriptions of behavior and place them in reference to the current President.

I don't know about you, but if you can't see the similarities, you too might be a sociopath...or worse: a liberal.

A Simple Fact

Washington D.C. is a playground of money trees and oblivious people. They don't encounter the same problems most people face, such as the "good" local news that unemployment is down to just above 9%. Without any constant reminders, they exist in a place that doesn't exist anywhere in the United States. Call it political "Disneyland".

So, do your part. When they leave during the holidays, pound them with constant vocal reminders they are not the solution and increase the problems daily. Make them miserable and make them understand we don't like them. After all, if it wasn't for the working folks, small businesses, honest professionals and the municipal workers that have job with a real purpose, most of D.C. would be a swamp on the Potomac.

And don't think I'm just writing about politicians. There are tons of bureaucrats that are thriving due to your misery. They don't care about your misery, so allow them some of it as a holiday gift. They deserve it.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I started going through my links list and posting: "Happy Thanksgiving!"

After a few minutes, laziness kicked in and I had this strong urge for some scotch. So, for all that read here, lurk, are robot slaves, or happen to visit by chance:


...and may your bird be something besides the middle finger of the pissed off trucker you cut off on the interstate.

While Driving Today

Today, I had a small car wander into my lane, a pickup try to change lanes, while I was next to it,was stopped by an over-sized load halted by a highway sign and forced to stop so traffic could clear because someone decided to visit a friend, while leaving the back of their car in traffic.

I see a lot of things while driving, but it's a rare day, when so many possible calamities are presented on a single day.

I don't think I'll get back out this evening. Something tells me I need to stay in.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

When Life Kicks Your Butt

I won't go into the details, but life has kicked my butt a few times; ranging from losing my mother right after birth, alcoholic relatives, a house fire when I was young, hurricanes and dealing with things that leave you wondering if you pissed off God.

I learned something during the process, although it was later in my life: Your entire world is shaped by your attitude.

That appears simple, but finding trinkets of hope in the piles of crap can be a daunting experience. It requires soul searching, the willingness to persevere and the knowledge you might find a boot in your ribs when you're down.

So, this post has nothing really important to relate, except we have only the few seconds we call "now". Everything else is a memory or an almost intangible hope for a reality that is impossible to reach - until it arrives.

The smallest thing to do is smile. Try it for a moment. That moment is yours, the smile is your tiny refuge and it gives you the power to change your destiny.

If You Screw It Up Enough, People Will Notice

Obamacare, which the Obama folks don't like to use any longer, is fubared beyond any repair. It's so bad, people are actually noticing this fact and maybe....just maybe...will do something besides stand there; dumbfounded, with their mouths hanging open.

We can only hope, although "Dancing With The Stars" is on the final episodes and might distract from other important tasks.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sarcasm and Cluelessness

I was standing at the checkout line, almost through with the transaction, when the cashier asked her friend cashier why the police were outside.

The friend commented about someone - who they described by name - parked in a handicap spot and the police were there to write a ticket.

Sometimes, my mind assimilates little information and arrives at conclusions at a pace that even astounds me. From the brief conversation, I surmised they both knew the culprit, the friend cashier knew who called the police and the "evil" perpetrator would receive the punishment they both felt was necessary. (around $150 in my neck of the woods.)

My blood simmered and my quick comment was: "I'm so relieved they caught all the burglars, murderers and thieves, and now have time to write tickets for parking in handicap spots."

The friend cashier commented on how good the local police were, which indicated she either ignored my sarcasm, or it went over her head by a distance of at least four feet.

I just walked from the store, without any more comments.

Is it just me, or does the collection of fines for parking in a handicap spot seem to be a flagrant misuse of public employees for collecting revenue? Isn't there something more important for the police to concentrate their efforts? Do they take the money and buy wheelchairs for the unfortunate, or help with the expenses of those that have limitations?

I think it's crap. The ADA and other government intrusions into what was once the responsibility of the public is total bullshit. I doubt they'd be so willing to cause so much economic hardships if they had to pay for the handicap construction out of their salaries.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Electric Cars, Unacceptable Technology and Who Do We Blame?

Fisker is another failed experiment. The path to bankruptcy was fraught with poor financial decisions, technology that is too expensive for most consumers and products far from a safe alternative to cars on the market.

Long story short: Taxpayers are on the hook for $139,000,000. That's money that will never be recovered and somebody should be drawn and quartered for this debacle.

I think of how many people will work their entire lives to pay the taxes used for the folly of government intervention in the private market. Their destiny in life is now a foolish dream by an administration without a conscience.

There is no penalty too cruel for this indiscretion. If I had the final decision on the fate for those involved, there would be no mercy.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I Avoided It, But... won't leave my thoughts and I have to write it down.

I was driving down a four lane highway, with a continuous left turn lane this morning. Two cars were a few hundred feet ahead, with no other cars in front for over a half mile.

Suddenly, I spotted a small black dog in the center of the highway. Neither car slowed down and the car in the right lane, ran over the dog as it tried to return to the shoulder.

It bummed me out. Both cars could have slowed down a tad and the dog would have made the shoulder. Neither stopped.

I returned to the site and checked the dog. It was dead and the injuries were horrific. Since it was off the shoulder, I left it there; with the thought of how someone would be sad that evening. There was nothing to do and some family member would eventually return to recover their loved pet.

I went through this about ten years ago. We had a big, female, black mouthed cur adopt us on a construction site in the middle of nowhere.

She arrived one Monday; ribs showing and abandoned. Someone gave her a sandwich, we bought some food and she became the defender of our temporary yard.

She liked me. I would feed her, make sure she had water and would pet her every chance I had.

She guarded the yard and wouldn't even let some of the crew into the yard, unless I was there. She had found a home, and I was determined she would have something more permanent when we left; even if it was my home.

I didn't cry, but my heart was broken when I found her one afternoon. She'd wandered onto the highway and was hit. Her back was obviously broken, so I knew it was quick. Still, I couldn't get over the sorrow for days. We buried her in the back of the temporary yard.

I missed her after that, and still do. Her last sanctuary was something as simple as a construction yard in Nowhere, USA and I wondered who could be so cruel to leave her without regret.

Sometimes people suck, life sucks and everything seems to suck. I had moments today, when I felt things were just that way. I guess it's part of life; the part I don't like.

Being Bored

I don't think I've ever been bored. It's not that I can't understand the concept; it's the revolting laziness it brings to my mind.

Bored? Do something: Read a book. Count the tiles on the floor. Write a poem. Wash the outside of the your house. Rearrange your sock drawer. Make a chart of the light bulbs in your home, with hours on and the duration of time they lasted. Take a walk. Take a drive. See if you can determine the change in your pocket with your eyes closed. Measure your height. Take a nap. Cut your toenails. Pick your nose. ANYTHING but sitting around bored.

In three minutes of writing, I've occupied a substantial amount of time and I didn't even try.

Bored? Get a life.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Age is bringing arthritis to my hands. It's not debilitating, but it can add a nagging ache to my finger joints after a long day of using my hands.  It's part of the aging process; especially for someone like me. I've spent a substantial portion of my life having to grip things tightly, such as finishing concrete, or driving nails.

We wear out. Like old cars, something grinds against something else, until the wear causes damage.

Getting old is not for sissies.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Clueless and Compelled

As I was driving along today, I was thinking about my youth, when I played a lot of pool at a friend's, and a short story idea popped into my head.

I'm clueless to why this happens. It never did in the past, but now it does and the story occupies my thoughts until I do something.

In a way, it's a wonderful thing. In another, it's a cruel master that never lets up.

If I have time, I'll try to write it this weekend. If not, it will appear eventually. It's uncontrollable and I have no choice.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Lost In the Electronics

Modern electronics are fantastic. Handheld devices allow complete access to the internet, instant communication, and the ability to discuss any matter with anyone at any given time.

While electronics offer many things, they prevent others. To push my point, I offer the following observations:

I was driving down a city street and passed a young man so distracted with his phone, he was almost completely unaware of my truck as I passed.

A little further down the street, I passed a young woman that was walking, while talking on the phone.

Both had their heads down, almost oblivious of their surroundings and lost in an ethereal electronic world.

Meanwhile, an exceptionally beautiful sunset was in progress and neither seemed to be willing to raise their head and observe the wonderful event.

I think both are missing something, while entranced with their cellular phones, and will probably never realize how much they missed.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

It's The Simple Things

I opened some bacon, found it was exceptionally lean, and realized how much I was tickled by such a simple thing.

Maybe that's the secret to a good attitude. Keep it all simple and enjoy the simple things.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Search for the Smell

My wife had a 1994 Caprice. It was a beautiful car, with the same engine they put in the Corvettes. On the highway, it was one of the most comfortable cars I ever drove.

One evening, she told me something smelled dead in her car. I went and checked; she was right. Determined, I placed finding the smell as priority one for the next Saturday morning.

On Saturday, a quick search found nothing. Using my nose as a guide, I found the smell stronger under the dash. Knowing a little about the car, I decided a mouse found its way into the car through the air conditioning duct work.

I had a book, so I started in the easiest places. I first removed the air conditioner blower motor, looked around, and found nothing. Examining the book, I found there was a rheostat for the blower motor speed adjacent to the blower. It was in the plenum. Removing the assembly only required a 1/4" nut driver and the removal of two screws.

It was a hard to reach place. Without any way to get to the location, but to place my legs on the seat and lay on the floor mat, I went to work.

It was hot. The temperature was in the upper 80's and the humidity was about the same. What little I'd done had soaked me in sweat and the temperature was rising.

Wiping sweat from my eyes, I carefully removed the two screws, pulled down on the rheostat mount and I found the source of the odor.  A gooey, very rotten mouse - with maggots - fell on my chest, right under my nose. As I squirmed, scooted around and tried to get out of the car, I found my retching was just about to the point of losing breakfast.

I finally got out of the car, calmed down, spent some time examining my find and finally went to retrieve the necessary things to clean up the mess.

Later, I asked a mechanic about what happened and if he knew of a fix, since I could never find where the mouse found its way in. He laughed and told me he had no idea, but if I figured it out, to let him know. Apparently, the mouse problem was common and there was no known way to prevent it from happening.

Eventually I sold the car and bought my wife another. I was glad to see it go, since I knew it was only a matter of time before I had to go mouse hunting again.

If I Don't Write Something....

....people will think I turned to crap and the hogs ate me.

I could write for hours, but the thoughts that appear during the day are lost in the clutter and hard to find in the evening. I guess that's the nature of the beast, and I should carry a pocket recorder, which I have, but I don't. I guess I could rationalize, and come up with some really good reason, but I'm too tired to be creative and will chalk it up to laziness and a complete lack of focus.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

While You're Toasting, Raise a Glass For Them Too

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, a raid was planned, executed and a few heroes changed the world. 

If you take away the politics of the days, the fact the world was involved in a great war and only leave those that manned the planes that performed the raid, you find the threads of the fabric that make the United States so great. The served, honored a country, and did so without any anticipation of glory.

The survivors have met for the last time and made their final salute from a special bottle of cognac.  I have no cognac, but I have some scotch. Here's to those that were part of the Doolittle Raid. Thank you for your service and may God bless.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Myths and Reality

Technology was instrumental in helping create the current Presidential Administration. During the creation, facts were ignored, vetting was avoided and a mythical person was presented to the gullible for use by the powerful.

The same technology has now exposed the myth, exposed the gullibility and the anger is brewing. Maybe the result will be a better informed public, with the determination to use a wonderful tool to destroy the evil of political ideology that promotes the removal of individual sovereign rights for the supposed good of the masses.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

OMG, the BS is a BFD

During a short telephone conversation yesterday, the person on the other end didn't say "oh my God", they said OMG. I was amazed. Texting, Facebooking and other social network abbreviations are permeating our conversation. While this is probably an ever day occurrence for many, it was a first for me and I didn't like it. If someone is so busy they can't say three short words (and nobody is that busy) they need to find some relief.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Reflections (Re-Post)

Ryan Brown carefully examined his reflection in the mirrors that lined the walls of his bedroom. Obsessed with his appearance, he never left for work without ensuring every detail was without flaw. He would start to leave, but two or three trips back to the mirrors were necessary to satisfy the compulsion that ruled his life.
His walk was short. The shop where he worked was only a half block from the small apartment he rented for years. Using his key, he opened the door to the shop that specialized in hats only. His employer, an eccentric older man, was adamant on how his store was run. Although he never ran the shop, no detail was to be overlooked.  A moment of neglect by Ryan to keep the mirrors clean caused a tirade during a visit that was not only embarrassing, the threat of losing his job kept him late that evening cleaning the mirrors over and over until his obsessive compulsion left him exhausted in the early morning hours.  His return home was only to change and spend the obligatory time in front of the mirror to guarantee his appearance was without flaw.  He buried his seething hate; it corroded his soul and ate at his sanity.
Customers were few. The shop was not self-supporting but the owner didn’t need the revenue. His wealth was massive; the shop was a hobby and allowed tax write-offs that prevented him from giving to charities, which he loathed. On any day, only two or three customers would appear to buy the finest of products offered by the shop for men and women.
A woman entered the shop early one morning that Ryan disliked immediately. Besides the constant chatter, which he found annoying, she handled the merchandise far more than he liked. To aggravate this dislike, she constantly touched the mirrors in the shop and marveled how easy it would be to walk into one if she wasn’t paying attention.
The morning progressed without the woman making a purchase. Her annoying chatter, now accentuated by her unwillingness to leave, had Ryan aggravated to distraction. As lunch approached, and passed, he found he couldn’t concentrate. The jabber of the woman became a noise that pounded in his head; torturing him to beyond reason – until it stopped.
Ryan heard what sounded like a tapping on the shop window. Finding nobody outside the shop, he approached the small mirrored alcove that allowed customers to admire their selection before purchase. Instantly, in a blind rage, he went to admonish the customer that had, obviously, crossed all lines of decency and was tapping on the mirrors he hated so much.
She wasn’t there, although he thought he heard her muffled voice in the distance. Stepping into the alcove revealed nothing, until he saw something from the corner of his vision. Turning quickly, he again found nothing there, but the insistent tapping continued and he could now hear the woman pleading to be allowed to leave. Again, he saw something in the corner of his vision. Turning slowly, he could see her on the edge of his vision, tapping at the mirror as though she was looking in a window. When he completed his turn, she was gone. Horrified, he ran from the shop and didn’t stop until he reached his apartment.
The older of the two detectives knocked quietly, but forcefully, on the door of the landlady of Ryan’s apartment. 
“We only have a few questions.” The older detective asked, after showing his badge and being shown into the small apartment.
“The first officer to arrive reported you called the police after other renters complained of a constant pounding in Mr. Brown’s apartment.”
“Yes. I knocked on the door and he wouldn’t answer. After hours of the constant pounding, I had to call the police.” She was still frightened. Recalling the night before was causing her to tremble.
“Is this the first time you had a problem with Mr. Brown?”
“Yes. He’s been here for years; always quiet; always paid his rent before it was due.”
“When was the last time you saw Mr. Brown?”
The question startled the landlady. She realized it had been a long, long time since she actually saw Ryan. In fact, she couldn’t remember the last time she had seen her renter, or had spoken to the young man that made her nervous.
“I don’t remember.”
She did remember how they found Ryan: filthy, sprawled on the floor; his outstretched foot kicking at a cabinet with a knife precariously balanced on the edge. Mumbling, and crying; one hand reaching toward the cabinet; the other outstretched, as though he was doing everything to keep it at a distance; a shard of mirror in the palm bleeding profusely.  
“He will be okay?” she asked. She had a bad feeling, especially with detectives visiting her apartment.
“I’m sorry, but he died early this morning.”
Suddenly curious, she asked: “Was he ill?”
The young detective answered: “The doctors think it was a combination of blood loss and malnutrition.”
“Did he have any enemies?”
“I really don’t know. I do know that nobody ever visited and the only time I saw him leave was to go to work, or a short trip to the market. “
The older detective spoke: “When was the last time you saw him leave for work?”
She had to think for a moment. She really couldn’t say. As she thought, she realized the shop had appeared closed for a long time; maybe months.
“I don’t know. I guess I thought he was taking time off from work. It’s been a long time since the shop down the street appeared opened.”
The young detective responded: “The shop that you named on the police report last night?”
She nodded and said nothing.
The older detective rose and said: “That’s all the questions we have for now. We’d like you to unlock the apartment so we can look around.”
She stood, went to a keyboard and handed the key to the detective: “Here’s the key. I don’t want to go back to that room right now.”
Showing them out, she remarked: “It’s the first door to the right on the second floor.”
Opening the door revealed much of what was in the initial report. Now that there was a death involved, the detectives needed to make a more thorough investigation and determine if there was something more than what appeared. 
The apartment was small. Coagulated blood was pooled on the floor. The cabinet doors were open and empty. Several trash bags were piled in one corner. A few empty plates were in the sink. The fixtures appeared to be covered with paint, or putty.   
The rest of the apartment appeared unused. The bathroom and bedroom were neat, everything placed, yet there was a layer of dust that indicated a long time without use. Other than dust, the mirrors were unblemished and without fingerprints.
“I don’t see any sign of a struggle” were the first words from the older detective.
The younger detective responded: “The door has no sign of forced entry and the windows are locked. I didn’t find any medications in the cabinet, except for aspirin and the bottle was almost full.”
“What do you think?”
The older detective sighed: “I think we need to get back to the precinct, fill out a report and take an early lunch. Later this afternoon, we’ll see if we can find if he had any family.”
“Sounds like a plan to me. Are you buying?”
They left, stopped at the landlady’s apartment, gave her the key and handed her a card for a service that cleaned crime scenes. “That’s all we need. We appreciate your cooperation.”
As they left, the young detective pointed down the block and remarked: “That’s the shop.”
The older detective never looked. After years of dealing with dead end cases, he never wasted his time with curiosity. He was tired, retirement was only three years away and he suddenly had the urge for a Reuben sandwich, which they sold around the corner from the precinct.
“How does a Reuben sound for lunch? If we hurry, the sauerkraut will be fresh and the corned beef just sliced. “
The young detective glanced in the passenger side mirror and suddenly turned to look at the shop receding in the mirror. For a moment, he thought he saw someone standing inside the front glass. When he turned, there was nothing to see.

“If we’re finished early enough, the rye will only have been out of the oven for an hour. Damn, I can taste it now. Can’t you drive faster?”

Season Effects

After a few rainy days, we finally received a cold front that will lower the temperature to those of Fall. As I stood outside this morning and observed the weather, I realized the change brought reflection and a loneliness. Although the holidays were changed by the passage of many other relatives, the passing of my mother was the final change. The surviving matriarch of our family is now gone and only time will reveal who is next in succession.

So, I sat and wrote another few paragraphs in a story that I've kicked around for over a month. Maybe I can finish it this weekend and post it for readers to enjoy.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Little Malaise

I received an influenza vaccination today. Last year, I didn't and it bothered me enough to get one this year.

I don't feel like hammered crap, but I feel sleepy, out of sorts and want to just kick back, ignore the world and go to bed I will.....after a hot, soaking bath.

Tanking Media Outlets

CNN is not doing well in the ratings. I know why, although I doubt they do. They have a tendency to believe they're more important than they are.

Any way, a comment at the bottom of the article is a jewel and needs more exposure:

Listening to MSNBC to learn about politics is like listening to farts to learn about cooking.Comment by Richard — Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 4:27pm PDT

That's a keeper. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I Took a Gander... the news, pundits and political commentary wizards this evening. The big question, after the denial, hype, conjecture and outright bullshit was: Did Obama lie to the citizens of the United States?

My mind expanded to the point of near explosion. My big question was: How does this matter? While the media spins with confusion about whether Obama intentionally told a lie, or mislead the public due to the incompetence of others, the sad fact remains that many people people will literally die due to bureaucracy. Lives will end because of paperwork errors, long term waits for treatment and most disturbing: an intentional effort to make life and death decisions the arbitrary decisions of bureaucrats.

My life may end because someone will decide a treatment costs too much, or the few years it allows aren't worth what a government official considers necessary. I'm expendable for the supposed public good and I'm supposed to accept this possibility without complaint.

If you have the tiniest spark of intelligence, all of this should horrify you to the point of demanding an end to this obvious removal of liberty. Every United States citizen is a sovereign being that is supposed to enjoy every right demanded by the Constitution. The removal of self-determination in health decisions removes all rights of liberty. It's no different than the denial of food or shelter as decreed by tyrants as a capricious reaction for some purported public good.

How this all turns out remains to be seen. From my vantage point, unless those in Washington are held accountable, possibly removed from office or held as criminals, the final results will leave the United States as a country as corrupt and inefficient as the former Soviet Union. If you have no idea of what I'm describing, do a little research, examine the facts and realize how liberty is precious and should never be considered a tenuous matter for political philosophers to determine.

The Thirteenth Amendment

Amendment Thirteen:

1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. 

2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

I don't know about you, but I find the wording of this amendment as clear and concise. There is no doubt in my mind that forcing someone to work without their consent is illegal. Also, I have no doubt that much of my adult life has been in involuntary servitude. With welfare payments, housing subsidies, food stamps, government employee perks and the new specter of Obamacare, substantial amounts of my time were, and will be as a servant to the cruel, unconstitutional mandates of a government out of control. 

Where does this all end? Where is the tipping point when those that truly want their liberty decide they will not contribute any longer? Will there be civil disobedience? Revolution? When does the Supreme Court rule correctly on a simple case that asks for relief from the burdens of a parasitic government? When does Congress enforce this mandate with legislation that nullifies the laws that contribute to involuntary servitude?

I know my questions are rhetorical, since most people wouldn't know a constitutional amendment if it bit them on the ass. They wallow in their ignorance and never realize they've given their soul to the evil, corrupt Federal Government that is destroying the United States. 

Things will change, since they always do. Hopefully, what little I wrote will influence a few minds and they'll make an effort to reverse the destructive path of the government of the United States. If not, the legacy of my generation will reflect a willingness to be accomplices in the destruction of a nation that was created by those willing to face death for their belief that liberty is more important than politics.

Monday, October 28, 2013

More of the Same

I've been busy, so blogging is light.

This morning, after reading the news, the only thing I can write is that everything is the same. The Obamacare fiasco is still a fiasco; only worse.

Our allies are pissed because of the spying, which I can understand. Although this doesn't surprise me, the fact the NSA is collecting huge amount of data for mining is disturbing. Considering one man had access to things that were above his security level means there is no security. The information is just one more database to be hacked and the information abused.

The debt is climbing, although the "transparent" administration is cooking the books to make it look like it's not. Surprised? I'm not. It's typical for Washington D.C. and the bureaucrats that require lots of money to continue their useless endeavors.

Income is down; prices are up and the media is still feckless.

There you are. Things haven't changed, although it is almost Halloween. I'll be glad when it's over. The Halloween hype and constant barrage of Halloween crap for weeks is irritating, although the Christmas crap is soon to be a daily deluge of sale efforts. Considering the new costs of health insurance for most folks, little Timmy might be surprised on Christmas day. A promissory note for the deductible for an M.R.I. isn't quite the same as a new PlayStation.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Well, I'll Be

It seems many in the media, members of the Democratic Party, Republicans that love big government, and some media personalities have decided Obamacare sucks. They either were in denial, let politics muddy their thoughts, finally pulled their heads from their anuses, worried about their public image, or following instructions.

Meanwhile, the train wreck continues in slow motion. For those that were instrumental in the development of this debacle, may the fleas of a thousand diseased elephants infest your underwear.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Age and Memory

Age brings the wisdom for you to forget what you did to be so sore on Monday. I have no idea, but other than sleep walking through a marathon, there is no explanation.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

A lack of journalism ethics and a failure to recognize the problems caused by inaccurate reporting is a problem that destroys societies. Considering the responsibility that journalism entails, with the current lack of self-discipline and questionable efforts by many in the profession, the dangers of not demanding accountability can't be ignored.

What can be done? To start, expecting any help from the media as a whole is foolish. The reputation of media outlets now leads to an almost complete lack of trust. To make matters worse, the ferocious efforts to have the lead story, or capture the most viewers exposes those that can expose corruption to retaliation, or character assassination.

Removing any public assistance for media is one of the first steps required to change the focus. There is no loyalty to citizens if the information presented can lead to manipulation of those funds for punishment or a determination of staff positions. Expecting the dog to bite the master is unreasonable. Information too often becomes propaganda,

Eliminating unreliable outlets and reporting is an important step. How? By avoiding outlets that are obviously presenting misleading reports or allowing their staff to corrupt information for a particular agenda. With this should be an avoidance of commerce with advertisers. Products and services lend credibility to media outlets. Businesses, whether for a moral or economic reason, will avoid being linked to something that can eventually cause them harm. Removing the monetary support decreases the revenue, which decreases the ability to survive and continue harm.

There is a society of professional journalists, but if they're like many societies, such as the A.M.A., politics have turned it into an organization that has an agenda; instead of a purpose. I don't know enough about the society to make an informed decision, but at this point, I don't think that's important any longer. Regardless of their goal, there is no trust on my part. Journalism has become a huge, steaming pile of crap and I have little faith for those that practice the profession.

Things will never change, until those that journal our current events become accountable, avoid interjecting their politics and give readers the information required to make good decisions. Until that happens, those that manipulate the media will continue to manipulate our society. I know this problem is a problem that plagued the human race since the beginning of recorded history. So was malaria, and that illness is not accepted as incurable by developed societies. The same should hold true with journalism and its contribution to the mass media.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

So Who Won?

The conjecture and projections are thick, so who won the latest fiscal fiasco in Washington? It's as usual: the strong. While all the politicians and pundits bounce their ideas around - at a tremendous cost - those with the ability to survive, a strong willingness to win and the determination to survive won. Those that think they did only showed their underbelly. Exposed, the evisceration will happen, whether soon or further down the road.

If you don't know you can survive financial collapse, know how to hunt, know how to create a protective perimeter and believe any member of government is your friend, you lost.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Determination and a Fire Exinguisher

I posted about blistering paint in a microwave and went on to rant how we throw too much away.

Anyway, I searched high and low, looking for the right paint. Then I checked out manufacturers web sites and it was always the same answer: throw it away and buy another.

I'm not easily led to waste, so I bought some good high temperature paint for barbecue pits, some sandpaper and waltzed from the box store with an expenditure of less than ten dollars.

Using my pocket knife, I removed any paint that would flake away. Then, I used a 400 grit sandpaper to remove any loose paint and rust to where there was only clean steel.

Next, I placed a coat of paint on the bottom of the microwave at the exposed locations, waited 24 hours and applied another. After another 24 hours, I was ready for the test, with my fire extinguisher handy.

Placing a microwave safe glass filled with water, I tested the microwave at one minute, then two and finally for four minutes. The result? It's like new.

So, there you have it. I'm now an expert on fixing peeling paint inside a microwave, and you are too.

Do I recommend this? Not on your happy ass. I'll never recommend such a thing. If you think it's something to try, go ahead, but don't point at me as some kind of expert. I'll deny everything.

What Could Go Wrong?

If you took a typical neighborhood, with 10 houses and ten families, made six households work, at gunpoint, to pay for everything in the other 4 households, what could go wrong? I think the answer is obvious. Expand this scenario to the size of the United States, and you can see the problem. It's that simple and anyone that can't see this problem is probably living in one of the households getting all the free stuff.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Rump Roast

I like a good rump roast, although my last few attempts of cooking this roast were failures. Not that I didn't prepare the roast correctly; the meat was too tough or the flavor was substandard.

Anyway, I found a local grocer that doesn't buy like the national chains, has good meat and I've found their meat is of good quality.

So, I've seasoned it well, with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. (almost a rub) It's in the oven at 220 and I don't anticipate removing it until around 4:30 pm. It's a small roast, so that should be plenty of time to cook it to tender perfection.

I'll know in a few hours. I'm still debating whether to serve it with rice, or potatoes. That and steamed broccoli. I'll make a good brown gravy with the drippings.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

It Makes Me Wonder

The EBT system hiccuped, which led some in 17 states without the benefit of swiping their card for free stuff.  That can lead to some bad reactions, but a comment at the bottom of the article made me wonder, which stated that the system software support was outsourced to India, where there's a severe tycoon in the process of wreaking havoc.

How about that? If this is true, the event can only be described as irony. Even if it isn't, the fact the government can deprive those with anything it provides has been driven home. If there's anything to be learned, it's that self-sufficiency, avoidance of government dependence and an unwillingness to allow such things to happen are best for any society. Those that aren't receiving their stipend are not victims; they're pawns and paying for it with their freedom.

Well, If We Really Get Tax Reform...

...Norquist is out of a job, which is probably the reason he doesn't like the actions of Ted Cruz.

Hers's the reality: Unless you're really up to date on such things, you've never heard of Grover Norquist, but you damn sure heard of Ted Cruz.

So who's more effective? The man that gets the attention of taxpayers? Or, the man too quick to criticize the politicians that actually accomplish the task they were assigned by their constituents? The answer is obvious and Norquist needs to go pound sand. He's a wart on the ass of progress.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Hollow Heads, Hollow Hearts, and Hollow Words

That's the best description of what too many of our Federal legislators relate. The lack of logic, a true understanding of fiscal responsibility and hollow rhetoric to anyone with more sense than a garden vegetable is all we receive from the supposed representatives of the taxpayers.

I think most of the problems of the United States would disappear if the government did everything possible to get rid of the deficit and never travel that path again. The borrowing from the Social Security funds, printing of money, foreign investors and the sale of bonds would end; only the programs necessary to run the government would continue and the money not confiscated by taxes would end up where it should be: in the hands of the citizens that make it work. The result would be one of the greatest economies ever.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Government Legacy

After watching government activities for most of the 30 or so years of my adult life, the only legacy I can find is a legacy of waste, corruption and unwillingness to be frugal with the funds taken from hard working taxpayers. Both parties are equally guilty and both parties are equally unwilling to accept responsibility.

I can't blame every individual in government, but as a whole, government is the most unhealthy, wasteful, disrespectful and belligerent organization to be found. To make things worse, the government has people that carry guns to wander among the citizens and force them at gunpoint to relinquish their hard earned income.

So, why are people so willing to allow this continuance of incompetence and corruption? It's because the majority of people are apathetic, ignorant and unwilling to part from their eye candy and pay attention to how they're screwed by the people they employ. While some sources constantly analyze and warn of the consequences of unbridled government activities, most of the media ignores the warnings and considers an entertainer's shaved hoo-hoo as more newsworthy.

Will this ever stop? Sure it will. How it stops is the big question. Will people finally get involved and rein in the government? (my hope) Or will it crumble and the resulting chaos leave an entire nation in ruin?(more likely. People are too busy updating their Facebook page.)

If you want to start a change, it requires avoiding the alphabet networks and allowing them to die the slow death they deserve. They're more of a problem than the government. If they were doing their job, the U.S. would be in much better shape. Exposing waste, corruption and bureaucracy is the first task of any good news agency. It's like uncovering the fascia to find the termites. Until that happens, the destruction continues until there's little left to save.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Enigma of Cajun Folks

I was born, raised and live in the far southeastern corner of Texas. What's the distinction? It's the home of Cajuns that followed the oil boom and ended up as part of the petrochemical industry.

These folks came from various parts of Louisiana and they left much of their families behind. They didn't leave their heritage and they brought the fine family values most were raised to uphold.

So, what's the enigma? You can't really explain what's so special about Cajuns, until you find yourself at a family gathering, or a festival and realize you didn't know anything about them until you went. Even after that wonderful event, you still can't find the exact words to describe what you experienced.

Many television, or movie shows embellish the Cajun accent, or portray Cajuns as very simple people that have really spicy food and live on the bayou. Many do, but they're only a small segment of the settlers that came to a strange land, survived, embraced what was to be found and added their rich heritage. That's not an accurate portrayal and I sometimes find it insulting to people I love and respect.

To me, Cajuns represent the best of what a past society had to offer; much like other ethnic groups that settled the United States. Their ancestors left France with the hope of starting over, taking advantage of opportunities and becoming part of the greatest nation ever created. The entire nation is blessed with their contributions and I'm thankful for their arrival.

Even with my wife being of Cajun heritage, and me being immersed in their culture, I still find Cajuns an enigma. The fierce pride, self-sufficiency and unwavering effort to never forget their ancestors can only be glimpsed for a few moments by an outsider like me. I'll never really understand what they feel, but I'm a part of their family, and they've accepted me. That's good enough and I'm proud they did.

So, What's Right and What's Wrong?

In the Constitution, Article 1, section 9 and clause 3 states:  No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

What is a Bill of Attainder? It's the removal of all rights for a serious crime. Otherwise, if a legislature decides an individual, or group of people are guilty of a crime they consider serious, they have no right for a trial and their property is seized. To add insult to injury, the offender could be criminally punished, with no recourse for defense.

What is a serious crime? In the U.S., it's called a felony.

So, what am I trying to get across? Certain religious groups, and individuals object to the Affordable Healthcare law for various reasons, but do so in an effort to protect their privacy, private property and, in some situations, are morally guided to object to a law that allows medical procedures they consider heinous and against their faith. Their initial method to avoid taking part in the insurance program is refusing to sign up, which means they'll be fined for not buying the insurance. If they make any effort to avoid paying the fine, they'll be committing a felony for tax evasion.

In theory, every individual accused of a crime has the right of a trial by jury. For the I.R.S. to process the sheer amount of paperwork required to punish the huge amount of people that possibly could say "enough is enough" and tell them where to go, more people would need to be hired and more ammunition would need to be bought.

Both have happened. Next could very well be the willingness by the government to just ignore the law and pass Bills of Attainder on those they consider a threat to their political maneuvers. If you haven't noticed, the I.R.S, already applies penalties without regard to rights. I'm sure the decisions could be fought, but since it's the government, you have to ask permission to sue and the courts are unfriendly to those that don't bow to their self-imposed imperial position. Also, it's hard to find an attorney willing to defend you, since everything you own is impounded, you can't collect a paycheck and you're soon to be on the street, if not in jail.

"...As James Madison wrote in, Federalist Number 44, "Bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, and laws impairing the obligations of contracts, are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation. ... The sober people of America are weary of the fluctuating policy which has directed the public councils. They have seen with regret and indignation that sudden changes and legislative interferences, in cases affecting personal rights, become jobs in the hands of enterprising and influential speculators, and snares to the more-industrious and less-informed part of the community...."

It sure is a shame all those people that created the United States shed their blood, lost their families and watched their homes burnt to the ground may have done so in vain. They left a damn good set of instructions for future generations. Unfortunately, current member of our government choose to ignore them If you don't believe this, read how the I.R.S. gave the White House private information without any regard to law, rights or decency.  If you can find justification for this, you're not a citizen and it's best you leave.