December 31, 2006

On Saddam being dead

Good riddance. For those of you who are protesting, who have a problem with the death of this piece of shit, I offer this idea. Hussein may not have been a starter on the all-time mass murderer's basketball team, but he was easily the sixth man.

If you do not get that, no arguments I can provide will change your mind. There is evil in the world, and all the talking, all of the diplomacy, the negotiations, all the good will only makes it stronger. The dead in Iraq demand retribution, and we all know the Hague and International Criminal Court would NEVER allow capital punishment.

Target really sucks

Thanks to Jim at PRS, I see I am not the only one with a new found loathing for the big red bullseye.

Oh yeah,


Happy New Year

December 30, 2006

Target Stores Suck


After searching for nearly one hour to find an email address or a phone number that goes to a real person who can actually take complaints, I give up and will send my complaint via snail mail. Here is what I will write:

Dear Target,

I have always liked your stores better that your rivals. I often drive the thirty miles plus it takes to get to one of your stores rather than shopping at my local Wal-Mart. No more.

We tried to exchange some Christmas presents yesterday evening at the Target Store on Southport Road in Indianapolis, Indiana. These gifts were purchased by elderly relatives in a different city. Rather than call them and tell them "you messed up and bought the wrong item", we chose to exchange the gifts.

For the record, I have no complaint that you will only offer exchange value for the current, much lower price. I think it is wrong you reduce everything in the store by 30%, but I understand the policy. I also have no complaint that you will not give cash for items returned without a receipt. I could understand you reluctance to accept a return, but these items had "target exclusive" printed on the packaging -- they were clearly purchased at Target.

I do have a problem that the exchange must be for items(s) that cost equal OR MORE than the original item. This only forces us to make additional in-store purchases. I would be more than willing to accept a gift card, allowing you free use of my money until the card is spent. I DO object that all the exchange items come from the same department. This is ridiculous in the extreme. I was willing to buy additional items, but I will be damned if I force my son to purchase something he does not want to satisfy your ridiculous unposted return policy.

It is the consumer who determines the success of your company. Often businesses forget that. When you make doing business too complicated or difficult, we will choose to buy elsewhere. Sometimes we make mistakes and purchase the wrong item. This narrow minded approach to customer service is so irritating I will no longer purchase items from your store. You make returns so impossible, so inconvenient, so stupid I will encourage my relatives to just give cash in the future, and we will spend it at Wal-Mart or another retailer.

We are not trying to cheat you, the items were purchased at Target. We were willing to get the replacement items at Target. We were even willing to buy additional items to comply with your stupid policy that exchanges must be the same or greater value (I still do not understand why you cannot offer the difference in a gift card that will be used at your store), but making us buy items we do not want to make sure it comes from the same department is a silly policy.

I am sure the more than one thousand dollars we spend at your stores annually will not be missed. I am but one of millions of customers you screwed this Holiday Season with your inane and stupid policies. I hope we all skip Target next time.

Best wishes for failure,

Hoosierboy

December 29, 2006

Who was the worst President?

There seems to be some discussion in the comments about who was a worse President, Carter or LBJ. That is your task for the Friday Five:

List the five worst Presidents (#1 being the worst ever)

Arguments and discussion in the comments ins encouraged and welcome. I do not even demand you be civil.

December 28, 2006

A day in the life

It is Thursday. It is payday, so I have that good thing going. I really have nothing more to say on this chilly morning.

The coffee is good, the orange juice even better. Everyone is asleep. I have no new emails in my work inbox. There are four cardinals on the deck picking over the scraps of stale bread I tossed under the patio table last night. The overcast sky looks like snow, but the temperature is 36 on the way to the fifties today. Hard to complain about a December like we have had. Less than one inch of snow so far for the whole month, temps in the forties and fifties for the most part. There were even a few days in the mid sixties!

The wife went shopping last night, bought herself all of the stuff she wanted for Christmas, I guess. Of course if she would have mentioned some things she desired, she might have gotten them. Last night, the boys were off doing stuff with their friends. As I mentioned, the wife was shopping and the daughter was gone to Chicago to visit her boyfriend. I was home alone. I set all kinds of booby traps all through the house to catch Marv and the other bad guy in case they tried to break in. I sat and watched a DVD of a Yes concert from 1973 -- Yessongs. Great stuff. BTW, the wife was pissed when she slipped on the ice made from the bucket of water I threw on the porch and the icing on the cake was when the blowtorch singed off her hair as she tried to open the door. At least she was able to dodge the swinging paint cans.

I got my Christmas present on Tuesday...just what I wanted. It is hard to be in a bad mood after you have been laid. Too bad I will likely have to wait another year or so to find out if that is true.

If it holds off rain, I just might smoke me a nice cigar later this morning. Which should I try, the nice Flor de Oliva or the new CAO Cx2?

My son bought me the DaVinci Code DVD for Christmas, maybe I'll watch it this afternoon.

I could get used to a life like this. Heh, I thought I had nothing to say this morning.

December 27, 2006

Plane crashes and Presidents

I saw the movie "We are Marshall" last night. I am glad I did. This movie gets four stars on the HB scale. Go see it.

I see Gerald Ford has died. I was at Boy Scout Camp when Nixon resigned and Ford was sworn in. They brought a TV into the mess hall so we could see it. At the time, I had no idea I was seeing history. I was 12 years old.

Looking back with an amateur historian's eye, Ford was a victim of lots of anger. Anger over Vietnam, anger of Nixon, anger over a runaway economy. He was denied election to the Presidency for pardoning Nixon. It was the right thing to do. He served his term with dignity, and spent his post-Presidential years in the same manner. Too bad he lost to Carter, who was elected only because he was not a Republican. We know how well that turned out.

Rest in Peace President Ford.

December 26, 2006

Christmas post partum

The living room is strewn with boxes and debris from the gift-giving frenzy. It was a pretty good Christmas. It was especially special (is that redundantly repetitive?)is that the kids all got along great all day.

The youngest got a Wii. I am not much for video games, but I have to say this thing is awesome. We bowled. boxed and played golf. What a riot. You The game is operated through motion sensors, not buttons, so you actually go through the bowling motion in the bowling game. The machine can sense if you turn your wrist, so you get the spins and everything. Everyone in the family thought it was cool.

I was gifted the new Sharp book, so do not expect me to be reading blogs when I could read excellent adventure.

I have eaten so much food and junk over the last few days I may have to get my fat boy pants back out of the closet.

I hope you and yours had as good a Christmas weekend as I did!

December 22, 2006

Another drive by shooting on Memory Lane


Click to embiggen. Looks like someone is not real thrilled to have to share the spotlight.

Dang you Jimbo

Jimbo at Parkway Rest Stop asked me to participate in a meme, and since I owe him one, (and I have nothing else to post), here goes:


1.Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper, usually. I try to get my daughter to wrap for me.

2.Real tree or artificial? A huge artificial tree 8' tall. The box weighs about 5,000 lbs.

3.When do you put up the tree? Thanksgiving weekend. We have two trees, plus sometimes the kids have smaller ones in their rooms.

4.When do you take the tree down? Sometime around New Years, never before, sometimes later.

5.Do you like eggnog? I would rather drink liquid dog turds. Waste of good rum.

6.Favorite gift you received as a child? a wooden "Daniel Boone" gun? I think alcohol has destroyed most of my memory cells.

7.Do you have a nativity scene? Nope

8.Hardest person to buy for? My parents, but I do not really buy for anyone except the wife. She is impossible because she never gives any hints or suggestions. I buy whatever suits my fancy and she returns it and buys what she wants. It would be much simpler to tell me what she wants, but you know...women.

9.Easiest person to buy for? See above, I delegate the shopping to the one with taste.

10.Mail or email Christmas cards? I always have the best intentions to send cards. I do mail Christmas cards to my customers, if that counts.

11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? It is an honor to get any gift.

12.Favorite Christmas movie? Holiday Inn.

13.When do you start shopping? Mid December

14.Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Nope.

15.Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Everything! I make a huge Christmas feast -- Turkey, noodles, mashed potatoes, the works. I eat until I am sick and love every bit of it!

16.Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear.

17.Favorite Christmas song? Silver Bells. I love Christmas music and I start listening to it by early November. Oh Holy Night, Winter Wonderland, Silver Bells, Baby, its cold outside...

18.Travel at Christmas or stay home? Hit the relatives on Christmas eve, stay home on Christmas for about the last ten years

19.Can you name all of Santa’s Reindeers? Oh yes

20.Angel on the tree top or a star? The small tree has an angel, the big one a star

21.Open the presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Morning — always.

22.Most annoying thing about this time of year? The unending campaign to take Christmas out of Christmas. I have not yet seen an attempt to make Hanukkah or Ramadan more "secular"

23.Do you have Jebus in your heart this Christmas? Christmas is the birthday of Jesus.

24.What would you like for Christmas? A winning lottery ticket for a minimum of $100,000 would be nice. A good cigar and some sex would suffice. I probably will get neither.

December 21, 2006

The Hoosierboy Quiz

According to my site counter most of my hits are from long-time readers. For the heck of it I wonder how much you pay attention. Here is a little quiz to see how well you know your favorite blogger. The answers have appeared in previous posts, or at least a pretty good hint.

Since I am not a liberal feel good kind of educator, there will be no multiple choice, either you know the answer or you do not. Answer in the comments. Good luck.

1. What is my real first name?
2. In what city was I born and raised?
3. Where did I go to college?
4. How many kids do I have?
5. What do I do for a living?
6. Have I been out of the country for any reason?
7. Would you say I am a liberal, or conservative in my political bent?
8. What did I probably have for lunch today?
9. What is my youngest son's favorite sport?
10.What month is my birthday?


Come on. play along for wonderful cash and prizes. Every answer can be found in a past post, peruse the archives, you know you want to know.

I am lazy so you get more old pictures


I know this is bad blogging, but otherwise I have nothing. I am trying to get final things done for Christmas and work, so take it or leave it when it comes to these pictures.

This is a very young Hoosierboy and his daughter. She is now twenty and a sophomore in College. We had a park in our backyard at this house. This was the first house we ever bought. We moved from here in 1989.

December 20, 2006

Time flies


This is one of my favorite pictures of my oldest son. He must have been two or three when it was taken. He will graduate high school in a few months.

He has always been a cement head, willful, stubborn. I remember this picture only that he just got a new hat and mittens that he picked out. He insisted on wearing them even though the tempurature was mild -- as you can see he is not even wearing a coat.

December 19, 2006

The Widows

Dorothy and Edna, two "senior" widows, are talking.
Dorothy: "That nice George Johnson asked me out for a date. I know YOU went
out with him last week, and I wanted to talk with you about him before I
give him my answer."

Edna: "Well, I'll tell you. He shows up at my apartment punctually at 7
P.M., dressed like such a gentleman in a fine suit, and he brings me such
beautiful flowers! Then he takes me downstairs, and what's there but a
luxury car...a limousine, uniformed chauffeur and all. Then he takes me out
for dinner... a marvelous dinner... lobster, champagne, dessert, and
after-dinner drinks.
Then we go see a show. Let me tell you, Dorothy, I enjoyed it so much I
could have just died from pleasure!
So then we are coming back to my apartment and he turns into an ANIMAL.
Completely crazy, he tears off my expensive new dress and has his way with
me two times!"
Dorothy: "Goodness gracious!... so you are telling me I shouldn't go out
with him?"
Edna: "No, no, no... I'm just saying....wear an old dress."

Mount Hood, a different view


This is a picture of Mount Hood in the summer. I took this shot a few years ago. It does not look like the same mountain you see on the news today. This picture was taken right at the timberline, well above 8,000 feet. The summit is under snow year round.

December 18, 2006

Read the linked blog You will be glad

If you read no other blog to today Read this one, it is brilliant.

Too bad he is preaching to the choir.

I will be glad to take on arguments in the comments.

Holy Shiite, Batman

I went to pick up a pizza last night for supper (yeah, we eat supper around here) and I was amazed. It was 7:30 pm on December 17 and I was in a short sleeved T-shirt, no coat. I even opened the car window a little. 60+ degrees in the middle of December, maybe algore is right!

I had a huge discussion with my boys the other night. They, of course, are being fed the global warming junk science in huge bucketfuls at school. The oldest boy especially is getting a huge dose in his environmental science class. I did my best to debunk the notion. Of course the boy gave me the "but he is a teacher, he knows more than you" line. I laughed my ass off. His teacher went to the same college as I did. We have the same worthless Liberal Arts degree. I presented some facts about historical temperature trends, the warmth of the middle ages, the cold snap in the 18th and 19th centuries. I pointed out that in the 70's the same alarmists were predicting an ice age. I mentioned that we have only been keeping scientific measurements the last few years. I told him that the ability to measure in minute degrees did not even exist 50 years ago. He was only a little convinced.

I asked him to explain why the Norsemen (Vikings) called Greenland "Greenland". I told him that even if the temperatures were increasing (which I am not convinced) the Earth has seen it all before, and we would survive.

Until very recently the existence of cyclical weather patterns was accepted science. There was no argument the Earth went through sustained periods of cooling and warming. Of course that idea completely dispels the whole "global warming myth". I used to have a book where a historian took weather patterns over time and studied significant historical events in comparison. His theory was one could then take those trends and predict future events. The book was unreadable, and totally crazy. It did prove that scientists, academics, and Al Gore are all full of shit, and will come up with anything to keep the grant money coming in.

I encouraged the boy to think for himself and do a little research on the other side of the argument before he forms an opinion. Of course he is like me, he will argue just for the fun of it. It was an entertaining evening.

December 17, 2006

Oh Momma

Congrats to 'Batty from Moonbattyand Little Liberals who had her baby. Best wishes to all from one of your wingnuts.

December 15, 2006

Random thoughts on a Friday

Coffee and beef jerky for breakfast -- probably not what the AMA recommends.

2006 just cannot end fast enough.

It will be a light Christmas, present-wise this year. That may not be a bad thing. The wife thinks it is a disaster.

2007 will probably be almost a shitty as 2006.

I have several CDs in my collection I am embarrassed to own, yet I occasionally listen to them. What? You want me to share? Ok, Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack, Bagpipe music, Civil War music, do those qualify? What do you have in your collection? I mention this in that I almost bought an ABBA CD last night. Almost being the key word. I have a special fondness for ABBA ever since I was a young teenager watching them perform on TV in that skin-tight blue spandex...hubba hubba.

A woman came home, screeching her car into the driveway, and ran into the house. She slammed the door and shouted at the top of her lungs, "Honey, pack your bags. I won the lottery!"

The husband said, "Oh my God! What should I pack, beach stuff or mountain stuff?"

"Doesn't matter," she said. "Just get the hell out."



It looks unlikely we will have a white Christmas this year.

The Colts defense is getting worse, they may not win any of their remaining games. They will lose early in the playoffs, and somehow Peyton Manning will get the blame. How can a starting linebacker only have 32 tackles 13 games into the season?

Lately, the only soft drinks I care to drink are Dr Pepper or Root beer.

The Pacers are just not an easy bunch to cheer for the last few seasons.

There is no negotiating with someone unless there is a common ground. This is true in business and politics. Think of that the next time you hear the Democrats tell us we need to "open a dialogue" or try "diplomacy" with the Islamic terrorists whose only goal is our destruction.

December 14, 2006

Why I hate Engineers and I don't mean trains

Engineers take the fun out of Christmas. I got this in an email from my Dad:

Engineers take the fun out of Christmas. There are approximately two and
one-half billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since
Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist (except
maybe in Japan) religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to
15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the population reference
bureau). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that
comes to 108 million homes, presuming there is at least one good child in
each.

Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different
time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming east to west (which seems
logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second. This is to say that,
for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of
a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the
stocking, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever
snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh
and get on to the next house.

Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around
the earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the
purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.7 miles per
household; a total trip of 75.6 million miles, not counting bathroom stops
or breaks.

This means Santa's sleigh is moving faster than 675 miles per second --
3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest
man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a pokey 27.4 miles per
second, and a conventional reindeer can (at best) run at the rate of 15
miles per hour.

The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that
each child gets nothing more than a medium sized LEGO set (about three
pounds), the sleigh is carrying approximately 570 thousand tons, not
counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more
than 300 pounds. Even granting that a "flying" reindeer could pull 10 times
the normal amount, the job can't be done with eight or even nine of them --
Santa would need 378,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting
the weight of the sleigh, another 38,000 tons, or roughly seven times the
weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).

Six hundred thousand tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous
air resistance - this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a
spacecraft reentering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer
would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short,
they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer
behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in th eir wake. The entire
reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or
right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip.

Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from
a dead stop to 650 mps. in 0.001 seconds, would be subjected to acceleration
forces of 17,000 g's. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would
be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly
crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink
goo.

Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now. Merry Christmas.

IT Chicks

December 13, 2006

A challenge for me, a challenge for you

I can talk. A lot.

One time I was faced with the task of explaining baseball to a German and two Dutchmen. That was tough. I think I succeeded, they seemed to understand what was going on when we later went to see the Phillies and the Cardinals. That was the year Mark McQuire broke the home run record. I think he struck out three times, no home runs.

Last week I was asked by a colleaugue from China what "Mother Nature" meant. After ten minutes I am not sure I succeeded.

That is your challenge; in the comments imagine I am from Shanghai and you have to tell mewhat mother nature means. Good Luck.

Wednesday

Sorry, an internet outage coupled with a quick overnight business trip to Northern Indidana meant no posts yesterday. A couple of corections to the Indiana birthday post were mentioned in the comments, Yep the website I copied got James Dean's B=day wrong, and more importantly, it was the State's 190th birthday, shame on me.

Maybe more later.

December 11, 2006

Just a thought on Iraq

I am sure I am not the first to make this observation, but the new Iraq report seems to be nothing more than a rehash of the plan we used to great disaster in Vietnam.

I am not sure why this surprises me since most of the authors are from that era.

The report urges we turn over much of the effort to Iraqis we have "trained", followed by a semi-rapid pull out. The plan will leave temporary bases and training advisers in place. Can anyone explain to me how this is different than the "Vietnamization" and "peace with honor" plans from the early 1970's?

Look, I do not have the plan for saving Iraq. I am not sure the people want to be saved from themselves. We have made a lot of mistakes so far. I do bet we will get results if we adapt the old Roman plan. We hunt down any troublemakers and kill them. If members of the ruling government are helping forement the trouble (alSidr) then we kill him too. Funny how dying hinders a lot of recruitment efforts. We will be chastised by world opinion, the peaceniks and hippies will go batshit, but I bet the terrorists will decide it is better to blow up Euroweenies than Americans.

Happy Birthday Indiana


150 years ago today the fine citizens of this area became denizens of the Hoosier State. I bet you did not know:

The first long-distance auto race in the U. S. was held May 30, 1911, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The winner averaged 75 miles an hour and won a 1st place prize of $14,000. Today the average speed is over 167 miles an hour and the prize is more than $1.2 million. Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the site of the greatest spectacle in sports, the Indianapolis 500. The Indianapolis 500 is held every Memorial Day weekend in the Hoosier capital city. The race is 200 laps or 500 miles long.

Abraham Lincoln moved to Indiana when he was 7 years old. He lived most of his boyhood life in Spencer County with his parents Thomas and Nancy.

Explorers Lewis and Clark set out from Fort Vincennes on their exploration of the Northwest Territory.

The movie "Hard Rain" was filmed in Huntingburg.

During WWII the P-47 fighter-plane was manufactured in Evansville at Republic Aviation.

Marcella Gruelle of Indianapolis created the Raggedy Ann doll in 1914.

The first professional baseball game was played in Fort Wayne on May 4, 1871.

James Dean, a popular movie star of the 1950s in such movies as "East of Eden" and "Rebel without a Cause", was born February 8, 1941, in Marion. He died in an auto crash at age 24.

David Letterman, host of television's "Late Show with David Letterman," was born April 12, 1947, in Indianapolis.

Santa Claus, Indiana receives over one half million letters and requests at Christmas time.

Crawfordsville is the home of the only known working rotary jail in the United States. The jail with its rotating cellblock was built in 1882 and served as the Montgomery County jail until 1972. It is now a museum.

Historic Parke County has 32 covered bridges and is the Covered Bridge Capital of the world.

True to its motto, "Cross Roads of America" Indiana has more miles of Interstate Highway per square mile than any other state. The Indiana state Motto, can be traced back to the early 1800s. In the early years river traffic, especially along the Ohio, was a major means of transportation. The National Road, a major westward route, and the north-south Michigan Road crossed in Indianapolis. Today more major highways intersect in Indiana than in any other state.

Most of the state's rivers flow south and west, eventually emptying into the Mississippi. However, the Maumee flows north and east into Lake Erie. Lake Wawasee is the states largest natural lake.

Indiana's shoreline with Lake Michigan is only 40 miles long, but Indiana is still considered a Great Lakes State.

More than 100 species of trees are native to Indiana. Before the pioneer's arrive more than 80% of Indiana was covered with forest. Now only 17% of the state is considered forested.

Deep below the earth in Southern Indiana is a sea of limestone that is one of the richest deposits of top-quality limestone found anywhere on earth. New York City's Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center as well as the Pentagon, the U.S. Treasury, a dozen other government buildings in Washington D.C. as well as 14 state capitols around the nation are built from this sturdy, beautiful Indiana limestone.

Although Indiana means, "Land of the Indians" there are fewer than 8,000 Native Americans living in the state today.

The first European known to have visited Indiana was French Explorer Rene'-Robert Cavalier sierur de La Salle, in 1679. After LaSalle and others explored the Great Lakes region, the land was claimed for New France, a nation based in Canada.

In the 1700s the first 3 Non-native American settlements in Indiana were the 3 French forts of Ouiatenon, Ft. Miami, and Ft. Vincennes. Although they had few settlers in the region, French presence in Indiana lasted almost 100 years. After the British won the French and Indian War, and upon the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the French surrendered their claims to the lower Great Lakes region.

Indiana was part of the huge Northwest Territory, which included present day Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, which were ceded to the United States by the British at the end of the Revolutionary war.

Ft. Wayne, Indiana's 2nd Largest city, had its beginnings in 1794, after the Battle of Fallen Timbers, when General "Mad Anthony" Wayne built Ft. Wayne on the site of a Miami Indian village.

Many Mennonite and Amish live on the farmland of Northeastern Indiana. One of the United States largest Mennonite congregations is in Bern. According to Amish ordnung (rules) they are forbidden to drive cars, use electricity, or go to public places of entertainment.

At one time Studebaker Company of South Bend was the nation's largest producer of horse-drawn wagons. It later developed into a multimillion-dollar automobile
manufacturer.

In Fort Wayne, Syvanus F. Bower designed the world's first practical gasoline pump.

Indianapolis grocer Gilbert Van Camp discovered his customers enjoyed an old family recipe for pork and beans in tomato sauce. He opened up a canning company and Van Camp's Pork and Beans became an American staple.

Muncie's Ball State University was built mostly from funds contributed by the founders of the Ball Corporation, a company than made glass canning jars.

Thomas Hendricks, a Democrat from Shelbyville, served Indiana as a United States Senator, a United States representative, governor, and as Vice President under Grover Cleveland. Indiana has been the home of 5 vice presidents and one president.

Peru Indiana was once known as the "Circus Capital of America".

Indiana University's greatest swimmer was Mark Spitz, who won 7 gold medals in the 1972 Olympic games. No other athlete has won so many gold medals in a single year.

In 1934 Chicago Gangster John Dillinger escaped the Lake Country Jail in Crown Point by using a "pistol" he had carved from a wooden block.

Before Indianapolis, Corydon served as the state's capitol from 1816-1825. Vincennes was the capital when Indiana was a territory.

East Race Waterway, in south Bend, is the only man-made white-water raceway in North America.

In 1862, Richard Gatling, of Indianapolis, invented the rapid-fire machine gun.

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was organized in Terre Haute in 1881.

Sarah Walker, who called herself Madame J.C. Walker, became one of the nation's first woman millionaires. In 1905 Sarah Breedlove McWilliams Walker developed a conditioning treatment for straightening hair. Starting with door-to-door sales of her cosmetics, Madame C.J. Walker amassed a fortune.

From 1900 to 1920 more than 200 different makes of cars were produced in the Hoosier State. Duesenbergs, Auburns, Stutzes, and Maxwells - are prize antiques today.

The Indiana Gazette Indiana's first newspaper was published in Vincennes in 1804.

The state constitution of 1816 directed the legislature to establish public schools, but it was not until the 1850s that state government was able to establish a public school system.

Before public schools families pitched in to build log schoolhouse and each student's family paid a few dollars toward the teachers salaries.

At one time 12 different stagecoach lines ran through Indiana on the National Road. (Now U.S. Interstate 40)

In the 1830s canals were dug linking the Great Lakes to Indiana's river systems. The canals proved to be a financial disaster. Railroads made the canal system obsolete even before its completions.

Indiana's first major railroad line linked Madison and Indianapolis and was completed in 1847.

The farming community of Fountain City in Wayne County was known as the "Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad." In the years before the civil war, Levi and Katie Coffin were famous agents on the Underground Railroad. They estimated that they provided overnight lodging for more than 2,000 runaway slaves who were making their way north to Canada and freedom.

During the great Depression of the 1930's 1 in every 4 Hoosier factory hands was out of work, farmers sank deeper in debt, and in southern Indiana unemployment was as high as 50%.

In the summer of 1987 4,453 athletes from 38 nations gathered in Indianapolis for the Pan American Games.

The Saturday Evening Post is published in Indianapolis.

Comedian Red Skelton, who created such characters as Clem Kadiddlehopper, and Freddie the Freeloader, was born in Vincennes.

The Poet Laureate of Indiana, James Whitcomb Riley was born in a two-room log cabin in Greenfield. He glorified his rural Indiana childhood in such poems as "The Old Swimmin' Hole" "Little Orphant Annie", and " When the frost is on the Pumpkin".

Albert Beveridge won the Pulitzer Prize in biography in 1920, for The Life of John Marshall. In 1934 Harold Urey won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his discovery of deuterium. Ernie Pyle won the Pulitzer Prize in foreign Correspondence in 1944. Paul Samuelson won the Nobel Prize in economics, 1970.

courtesy of 50 states.com

I also bet you did not care.

December 10, 2006

Saturday Night's Alright

The wife, Little One and I went bowling last night. We had a great time. I have not been bowling for at least ten years. Man, did I suck! My score was embarrassingly low. I did score better than the kid or the spouse, so I am able to maintain some dignity. I doubt any scout from the local bowling league will be looking to sign me anytime soon!

The boy proclaimed Saturday as the official "Hoosierboy bowling league night" and said we have to come again next week. He is already making plans to have his sister come with us when she gets home for Christmas break.

After we bowled a couple of games we came home and had hot chocolate and popcorn while we watched a DVD. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday night.

December 9, 2006

Honey, I'm Home!

I am back from my trip to New Yawk. I feel informed, and well trained.

Did you miss me? I am afraid it may take a few days to get caught back up. Thanks for sticking around.

I have a post in mind for next week on human nature. BTW, it is cold. I bet it is at your house too. On the bright side, I will be spending a few days in Tampa in February, unfortunately it will be working a trade show.


More later.

December 4, 2006

Ghost of Christmas Past


About ten years ago the movie Jingle all the Way came out. It was a fun, amusing Christmas movie. After another year or so it came out on video. On day around 2001 or 2001 my youngest went on a kick like little ones do and watched that movie every day. He loved the Turboman character. That year (he was 7 or 8) all he wanted for Christmas was a Turboman action figure. Oh, shit. That stuff had been off the market for several years. We tried to explain, but he would only reply that Santa could get it for him. Double shit.

We steered him to other stuff, but when Christmas came and there was no Turboman, he was disappointed. He even said so. Thus began the great Turboman hunt. We went to toy collectors, eBay, even enlisted people to help to no avail. Finally about two months later we found a new Turboman, in the box on eBay. It was expensive. We had it sent.

The youngest has always been pretty smart, he taught himself to read before kindergarten. He read the first Harry Potter book in the first grade, much of it out loud to me. It took him nearly a year, but he got it done. I knew we had to be tricky with this.

So I typed a letter from Santa, made up some North Pole letterhead, Christmas tree border and everything. In it, Santa explained that he was sorry he did not deliver the Turboman at Christmas, but the elves no longer made that toy. The head elf had had to dig out the blueprints and order the parts. Santa apologized and hoped my son would have a Merry Christmas a little late. I slit the flap of the box and slid the letter in. When the little one came home from school we said he had received a mysterious box in the mail.

He nearly crapped. I have never seen a kid so thrilled. As an added bonus it got us another year or two of Santa. In the end, I think it worked out even better than if we had found the toy at Christmas. This remains one of my favorite "Christmas" memories.

Dumdadummdumm

The little one and I went to see the new James Bond flick last night. I enjoyed it immensely, and so did the boy. I think this actor is the best since Sean Connery.

The real question is was this guy good, or was the script just better? This story goes back and uses the basics from one of Ian Flemming's tales. Have you tried to read any of the James Bond books? Flemming proves the old adage that a bad book usually makes a good movie. I love the old 007 movies, primarily the ones with Connery. Some of the later films beginning with the last ones made by Rodger Moore really suck (think Moonraker).

Casino Royale returns to the Ian Flemming roots, and the movie is so much better for it.

Here is some trivia, did you know that Flemming also wrote the popular children's book, Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang?

December 3, 2006

Play nice like a good boy

I usually do not participate in the meme thing, mostly because I do not want to and I just roll that way. Dragonlady asked nice, and heck it is a Sunday, so here goes. Name six things that are weird about me:

1. I ALWAYS put on my left sock, left shoe, then do the right foot. I also always put my left leg first into trousers, etc. (edit, I cannot believe I typed "trousers", what am I like eighty? Will I next discuss my "dungarees"?)

2. There, in the archives somewhere I discussed my issues with time. I cannot stand to do things on even numbers -- like exactly on any multiple of five. I also hate patterns on the clock. For instance I will not close my eyes to sleep if the clock reads 1:00. 1:02 is also bad. 12:34 is unacceptable. I will not set the alarm for 6:00, it must be 6:01, or 5:23 etc. Going to bed at 12:10 is horrible (12:10, 12:11, 12:12, 12:13 I can close my eyes at 12:14, but if I do not hurry 12:15 rolls around in like , oh 60 seconds). Sine I fall asleep very quickly lying there forcing myself to stay awake until the clock reads the right number is sometimes a challenge. Dumb and weird, I know.

3. When I was in school (this includes college) I would not wear a striped or plaid shirt to take a test.

4. I am addicted to Chap Stick

5. My one and only wish demand for my funeral is that I not have on any shoes or socks. I hate both. I am very insistent about this, and all of my family is aware of this need.

6. I cannot stand for the toothpaste to be squeezed in the middle. It MUST be squeezed from the bottom up. I honestly told my wife on our honeymoon that there was no compromise on this, it was a deal breaker. She could squeeze from the bottom or get her own tube.

There you have it. I think only the clock thing is is an indication I am batshit crazy, the rest seem reasonable to me, but I report, you decide.

December 2, 2006

Faces that won our freedom


This is another picture taken in the Philippines during the Insurrection. I can only assume it is another of my Great Grandfather's buddies.

Doesn't he just have the look of an efficient non-com?

December 1, 2006

I have never ridden a four wheeler

The wind is howling in the eaves. I have not seen old Boreas blow this hard in a long time. The brook is near flood. My first thought is that the f-ing snake just might drown in his hidden hole. See, I never forget anything.

We have had inches of rain, and snow is on the way. It looks as if we will have a glorious freezing weekend. Christmas music is playing in the background as I write.

I had the weirdest dream last night. I rarely dream, or if I do I cannot remember them. I wish I had the skills to describe the setting. There were a group of us riding four wheelers in the mountains. They were painted in garish colors, mine like a tiger. The vehicles had chains on the massive tires to get more traction. We were high, near the timberline. The trail took a turn just ahead of us. A crevasse started in the heart of the bend falling away steeply, and the right shoulder beside us overlooked the drop-off. A stand of gnarled cedars stood lonely sentinel among massive boulders. Wisps of dirty snow occupied the dark corners. A Sheriff or Ranger had us stopped from taking the bend in the trail to the little hanging valley we could see across the shoulder of the mountain. The manifolds on the four wheelers clicked and popped as they cooled. I could hear the breeze rustling in the aspen below me. I could not hear what the official was saying. His hand was raised to the universal "stop" position. The gray sky blended with the snowy peaks in the distance.

Suddenly I heard a cry of pain, a scream of anguish, a wail of anger. The sound made the hair stand up on my neck. I felt a coldness through my body as my eyes were drawn to the right to the little meadow next to the trees. There, just a little lower, across the crevice, I saw him, it. Dark and hairy -- tall. Bigfoot moved from the trees, His roar was a scream, a howl, a sharp cord from an electric guitar played through a jet engine.

I woke.

November 30, 2006

Breaking News.

Former Senate Leader Bill Frist says he is not running for President. Neither am I, since our chances of winning are roughly the same -- ZERO.

Post Number One -- Starting Over

A few weeks ago I made up my mind that when I hit 1,000 posts I was done with this blog. I even had it all planned. Number 999 would be a reprint of my first entry and I would title the entry "My First" and number 1000 would be titled "My Last". Always the drama queen, am I. Stick with me here, this is not going to be the "poor me" post I drop in every few weeks.

You see, I thought this blog was not going anywhere. My writing skills were not getting better, my entries were becoming increasingly lame. I just could not get over the hump, readership was a steady 60-70 per day, never growing. Links stayed steady as well. I saw blogs that had far fewer posts, and in my opinion drastically inferior content were way more popular. I was jealous and angry. I firmly believed that if you build it they will come. They weren't and I was sulking.

All my life I have been an Average Joe. In high school I would have been voted most forgettable. I never was with the "in crowd" yet I was not shunned by them. I could talk with the "hoods" and even occasionally hung out with the "party guys". I was not a great athlete, nor was I the fat guy bringing up the rear in the Phys Ed runs. Not good looking, but not a pimple faced ogre either. Incredibly average. I am the same in life: married, kids, job, debt, taxes.

Here I was in the blog world, I do not belong to a certain group, yet I am acknowledged by many different blog "circles". I felt I was like generic shampoo, wash, rinse repeat. There I was looking for a pity party, Poor me, no one notices me.

I could not bring myself to end it. Hey, we all want to be liked. I enjoy this hobby. But to be honest, I amuse the Hell out of me. Ain't that what it is all about? So what if people who never post have a higher ecosystem rating? Is that really how I measure my worth? I have some great readers who visit every day. There are plenty of bloggers who would be pleased to get 70 hits a day.

Then today, I read an entry that really speaks to me, not just in relation to blogging, but my life in general.Eric at SWG provided the perspective I was sorely needing:
I’ve heard it said before that life is full of disappointments…. I call bullshit on that one…. Life is full of whatever you put into it…. disappointments are a product of a selfish mind…… … don’t wish for too much… wish for just enough…. And when you don’t get that little bit of “just enough”, shake your head, smile, and say towards heaven….. “maybe tomorrow”…..… because otherwise, you are going to be one miserable son-of-a-bitch…..

I do not know what inner voice prompted that fine bit of wordsmithing. I do know that God works in mysterious ways, and that prose spoke to me. Here we are in the midst of the Season of Happiness, and I was pouting, looking for reasons to complain or be angry. All told, my blessings far outway my problems. Like Bing sings in my favorite movie, "I have plenty to be Thankful for..."

What does this long rambling post have to do with anything? Well, you will continue to see my poorly composed drivel. Just not next week. Stop in, peruse, comments are welcome. Link if you want. Or don't -- me and Gloria Gaynor will survive. Read between the lines, this post is not about blogging. It is about life, and a sad comment on how I have been living it. That, my friends, is going to change.

Thanks, Eric, for a much needed reality check.

November 29, 2006

I want to be a lion tamer

A circus owner runs an ad for a lion tamer and two people show up.

One is an older retired navy chief petty officer in his mid-sixties and the other is a gorgeous young blonde in her mid-twenties.

The circus owner tells them, "I'm not going to sugar coat it. This is one ferocious lion. He ate my last tamer so you guys better be good or you're history. Here's your equipment -- chair, whip and a gun. Who wants to try out first?"

The girl says, "I'll go first."

She walks past the chair, the whip and the gun and steps right into the lion's cage.

The lion starts to snarl and pant and begins to charge her.

About half way there, she throws open her coat revealing her beautiful naked body.

The lion stops dead in his tracks, sheepishly crawls up to her, and starts licking her feet and ankles.

He continues to lick and kiss her entire body for several minutes and then rests his head at her feet.

The circus owner's mouth is on the floor.

He says, "I've never seen a display like that in my life."

He then turns to the retired chief and asks, "Can you top that?"

The tough old chief replies, "Sure,no problem, just get that damned lion out of the way."

This was my 1,000th post. I bet you thought you would get something with a little more substance, huh?

Alert Alert


Have you tried the cinnamon roll flavor Pop Tarts? Holy crap, they are good.

Stupid Commercials


I have posted often about my disdain for the Travelocity Gnome commercials. The series that gives purported "travel truths" especially annoys me. The first instance busts a popular travel myth, the second myth is proven true by the gnome. What kind of message does this send to the unwary consumer? To me it says the gnome is a fucking liar and I should not trust Travelocity. What do you get from the commercial?

Now I have a new hated ad. Do you have Osterman Jewelry in your area? I think they are a national chain. In the spot that chaps my ass, a girl is describing her fiance's method of surprising her with the engagement ring. He put it in the microwave. She gushes that she "almost cooked it". I am not sure why this pisses me off so much, but every microwave I have ever seen you have to open the door to insert the dish to be nuked. Didn't this dumb gash see the little box? What did she do, say top herself as she shut the door, "I wonder what that little box was?" Did she reconsider as she pushed the key pad to set the time and temperature? Of course the whole thing is a petty lie, and she pisses me off because no one is so dumb they almost "cooked" a ring unless they are a stupid wench. The actress should have refused the work on general principal -- the ad is stupid and senseless.

The other one that set me off today also belongs to a Jeweler, the Shane Company. The moron that intones the ads is lame and boring, but today I swear he said gogleing (rhymes with the 'o' in bottle) instead of googleing (as in 'booty'). Maybe I heard it wrong, so I will not go further until I hear the ad again. Have you heard that one?

Finally, I am rocked to the core, first Jessica Simpson broke up with her husband. Then I hear Brittany Spears texted a break up with her man. Now, the most shocking and unexpected news" Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock have called it quits. Man, I thought that one was made in Heaven...

What Ho, didja miss me?

I am back from a quick trip to the Quad Cities. Work sometimes gets in the way of my hobbies. The trip was boring and uneventful. Such is life. This time of year is tough, no one wants a visit from a pesky salesman. I should just take off from Thanksgiving through the second week of January. Some customers are trying to finish up year-end projects, others are just looking to get through the Holidays. So little real work gets done. I have one contract extension I really want to get done prior to year end, if I can get the customer to cooperate. Funny, people are just not in the mood to negotiate in December. Perhaps all the personal expenditures and shopping dampens the mood?

I have started to reread the Cannon, as the Aubrey /Maturin novels are called by those in the "know". If you have not read this series, you are missing out on some damn fine literature, storytelling, and adventure.

It is now after midnight, I will get another post off in the morning.

November 27, 2006

Old Number 996

I am in a weird mood today. I am not depressed, but I find I have little motivation to do anything. I do not want to work, I do not want to blog, or read blogs. I have to drive to Iowa for a meeting tomorrow morning, so today's work will be done while looking through a dirty windshield. I may leave in a few hours, I may leave this evening. I have a sales meeting next week and my presentation is not done. I really do not feel like working on it either. Take a mental note -- there will be little or no posts next week, I have to go to New Yawk for said sales meeting. Whoo Whoo. I am so thrilled Icould jump up and down and spit out wooden nickles.

Listless, that is the word that describes my mood. I do not even feel like listening to music, so you know I must be in a funk.

The day started poorly. I opened my eyes to discover it was 6:40. The boys have to leave for school at 7:00. I guess I turned off the alarm and overslept. I jumped from bed and ran to their room to get them up. They were less than thrilled. I drove the little one and the oldest boy hopefully made it on time.

I got the house all decorated over the weekend. I am convinced the wife wants me to break my neck and die. Why else would she insist I put lights on a roof so steep you cannot stand on it? Does this look safe? Crawling up a roof clinging to the side is not my idea of fun. My 15' extension ladder is nowhere near tall enough to reach. Embiggen the picture and you will see there are lights on both gables. The wreath looks tiny, it looked great above the garage on the old house. Now it looks kind of pathetic (BTW it is more than three foot in diameter). The place looks great, but it is hard to get all Christmasy when it is in the mid 60s. I am not sure how the folks in the south do it. We have had a white Christmas for the last several years, and I hope we get another this year. The weather guy says it will be 67 degrees on Wednesday, and we will have snow by Thursday. You have to love the Midwest!

How about those Colts? Edgerrin who? I bet he wishes he would have taken a pay cut and stayed where he had a good offensive line.

November 24, 2006

Why Libertarians will always lose

I agree with nearly all of the Libertarian positions. Small government, low taxes, etc. There position on drugs, border security and defense are unworkable. I once heard a Libertarian proclaim that the Federal Roads were unconstitutional.

The biggest reason is they will be no different than the current crop of tax and spenders that inhabit both parties. The act of one Libertarian jerk has soured me forever. Steve Osburn who lost the Senatorial election for Indiana to Richard Lugar has asked for a recount. Of course this recount will be at taxpayer expense.

He lost by more than one million votes. Jackass.

November 22, 2006

WTF?

Freedom

Let me point out right at the outset that Michael Richards, who played Cosmo Kramer in Seinfeld, is a jerk, a bigot, and untalented as a stand up comedian. His now-famous racial diatribe was inexcusable and disgusting.

I saw the some of the folks he abused on the Today Show this morning. They appeared with their lawyer. Why am I not surprised? According to the "victims" they were assaulted verbally and insulted when Richards repeatedly called them "Mexicans and Niggers". Apparently a group of about 20 people arrived late for the show, entering the comedy club in the middle of Richard's act. As could be expected, that large of a group created quite a disruption, especially when they begin to order drinks. They then began to heckle the comedian. The disruption angered Richards who called them rude and a bunch of niggers. The ensuing fracas was captured on video, including the "victims" making their own racial slurs.

Note:I am sorry if I offended anyone by actually typing the dreaded "n word", I guess, like "you know who" in the Harry Potter series, we cannot say or write that word, even when reporting.

See paragraph one again.

No person in this country has the right to not be offended. Political Correctness is not yet the law of the land. We are all free to utter the worst slurs imaginable. There does not exist a right, either Constitutionally or God-given, to live a life free of offense. Only in the hippie world of flowers and orgasms for peace does a world where we all just get by on love exist.

Look, calling a person a racial epithet is wrong and disgusting. In a perfect world it would not happen. In a perfect world terrorist would not blow up buses and restaurants.

The PC police have gone too far when they want to sue because a person was called something he did not like. I guess Richards can counter sue for being called a derisive term for white people? Illegals do not want to be called illegals, because that connotes they may have broken a law. Well, duh. Islamic Terrorist do not want to be called Islamic Terrorists, I guess we should call them Christian terrorists (that idea would appeal to the NY Times!).

Look, call me what you like. A cracker, redneck, whatever. Like Underdog taught us: sticks and stones, people, sticks and stones. Evil and unpleasantness confront us every day. God's will it were not true. Bigots exist, of all colors. Evil exists. Pain and suffering exists. We cannot make it go away by wishing it away, and suing it away will not work either.

Take a look at this situation and I will tell you why most of us hate lawyers. These, individuals lost all my sympathy the second they decided they were "owed" for being insulted and hired an attorney. Suck it up and move on.

November 21, 2006

Coins


I see the Government is at it again, pushing another dollar coin down our throats. I venture this effort will be greeted with the same excitement that was generated by the two dollar bill, the Susan B Anthony and the Sacajawea dollar -- none. Coin collectors will be all abuzz, and I am sure my Mom will try and get one of every President to give my Kids.

I will not use it. You probably will not either. On my dresser resides a jar full of change. Periodically I take it to the bank or grocery to trade the coins for dollar bills -- yep, paper money. I detest the rattle and bang of coins in my pocket. They are heavy and noisy. I empty the change into the jar at every opportunity. Often I need a few pennies, but I would rather get ninety seven cents back than carry around the spare change.

I have been to Europe and Canada, where men have to carry special change purses and wallets to accommodate the heavy lower denomination coins. They hate. So did I. As evidence, I would rather wait in line at the post office than use the stupid vending machines in the lobby that only give out Sacajawea change.

So my not so bold prediction -- this coin will lay in the vaults at the US mint, unloved and unwanted next to his cousins the Ike and Kennedy Dollar and Half Dollar, the Susan B. and Indian Princess. They will be there in their canvass sacks clinking and lonely until the Government forces us to abandon the beloved greenback dollar. That will only happen when they stop printing them.

Write your Congressmen and Senator and tell them you are sick of the mint and its stupid tax-payer wasting ideas. Of course, short of hitting the crooked politicians with a bag of one dollar coins, I doubt they will listen.

Thanksgiving History

As is my wont, I have been doing a little research into the Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving. The feast for giving thanks was a great success. After the meal Miles Standish stood to give the after dinner toast:

"Thanks to everyone for a great meal, especially the women. Can we get a hand for the chicks, Guys? Just a word to Felicity and Sarah Hankins, though; next year we would like something more substantial from your larder than turkey hot dogs and that nearly empty bottle of Wild Turkey."

"On a quick programing note, some of the athletic contests will not be seen unless you have a direct communication with the heavens this year. I suggest hanging a dish from the thatch of your roof"

Finally, a word to my Native American friends. Thanks for making this feast such a success. I know we will make this a yearly tradition. I forsee such popularity that in the future you will probably need reservations."

"Thank you and good night."

November 20, 2006

When I am Kiiing of the Forrrrest

Medium is defined as the one in the middle. If you offer a medium drink, by definition doesn't there have to be a size smaller? Most of us would call that a "small". Why do restaraunts insist on calling the smallest drink, pizza, whatever a "medium"? Instead, they offer medium, large and extra large.

When I am King, such idiocy will be punished with firing squads using "medium" sized bullets.

November 19, 2006

Colts vs Cowboys

I do not know who will win, I suspect the Colts will outscore the Cowboys. ido know this the folks at ESPN.com are high on something. They have rated the Cowboys as superior in every catagory for this game: coaching, offense, defense, special teams and QUARTERBACK. Romo is no Manning, of that I am sure.

That very abalysis by ESPN brings their whole view into question.

November 18, 2006

Dear Republican Party

Good God, are you people stupid? The American people sent you a message. Polls show the vast majority of Americans view themselves as CONSERVATIVE. You failed to govern in a Conservative manner over the last two to four years. The opposition party won the last election, capturing the House and the Senate. They accomplished this not by having an agenda, plans, or vision. They did it because they WERE NOT YOU. Republican leadership in Congress responds by voting the same group of individuals who did such a piss poor job of running the Government prior, back into leadership positions. You will wonder how the Democrats win the Presidency in 2008. Voters gave you the answer. You were too dumb, too caught up with you existing power structure to listen.

It has been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over hoping for different results. I don't think I am crazy. I will not trust you any more to do the right thing. Say goodbye to my vote. I have voted for THREE Democrats in my life. Two of them were when my neighbor ran for coroner. I have voted Republican for 26 years. Not any more.

Unless you find a TRUE CONSERVATIVE to run for President I will stand by and let the country elect a Democrat, even if it is Hilary.

AS REPUBLICANS YOU HAVE FAILED TO PUT AND KEEP OUR COUNTRY ON THE RIGHT PATH. YOU SHOW NO INCLINATION TO CHANGE. IT IS CLEAR THERE IS NOTHING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CAN DO EXCEPT WATCH AS POLITICS AS USUAL DESTROY OUR COUNTRY FROM WITHIN AND OPEN THE DOORS FOR ENEMIES WITHOUT.

What is truly sad, is the Libertarians will never be elected with their weak on defense, weak on border security and strong on drug use policies. Is there a Conservative Party? Where are the Whigs? The general election did not depress me. The vote to continue down the same old Republican path does.

For my friends in "da Region"

This was sent to me in an email. I do not know if the stereotypes are right or not.

Mattel has introduced Barbie dolls for different regions and towns in
Northwest Indiana.. Be sure to show your Hoosier pride and collect them all!!

Portage Barbie
This version has it all; tattoo of a snake on her upper thigh, every eye
shadow shade Maybelline has ever made, a can of Aqua Net, and two sets of
keys for her double-wide. Optional accessories: Sidewalks and a pick up.
Bumper sticker that says "My kid can beat up your honors student" sold
separately.

Lowell Barbie
This model comes in Wrangler jeans two sizes too small, a NASCAR shirt,
big hair, a six pack of Coors Light, and a Hank Williams Jr. CD set. She
can spit over 5 feet and can kick Ken's ass when she's drunk.
A pickup is available with Confederate flag bumper stickers.

Hammond Barbie
Comes complete with four
monogrammed bowling shirts. Talking version brags of having the best
handicap in Lake County and of being able to drink Ken under the
table. Accessories include a six-pack of
Pabst Blue Ribbon, a pack of Marlboro Lights, Harley wardrobe, and an IROC Camaro with T-tops on crates in the driveway.

East Chicago Barbie
This recently paroled Barbie comes with a 9 mm handgun, a Ray Lewis
knife, a low-rider Chevrolet with oversized wheels and tinted windows
and, my favorite, Meth Lab Ken.
Talking version also speaks Spanish and includes two sons: Cesar, star of
his high school soccer team; and Jose, wanted in four states.

Valpo Barbie
This trendy homemaker Barbie is available with the Lexus, BMW, or a
Hummer H2, gets lost easily, and has no full-time occupation or
post-secondary education.
Cell phone sold separately. Optional: matching gym outfit.

Briar Ridge Barbie
This true blonde drives a Land Rover (sold
separately ). She is originally from Illinois' noth shore. She has an MBA from Northwestern but has never worked
outside the home. Her child's stroller is bigger than your house and her
tennis trophies are discreetly hidden behind CEO Ken's golf trophies. She
knows enough Spanish to talk with the nanny.

St. John Barbie
This Barbie and her husband "Kenneth" used to live in the south suburbs of Chicago, but fled for "better schools." Comes with a faux Louis Vuitton
handbag, a new Convertible Beetle, Starbucks
cup, Target credit card, pill case filled with an assortment of the latest therapist-prescribed mood elevators. Lake Central sweatshirt and furniture for her 3,500 square foot house sold on special order.
..
Crown Point Barbie
This is a grown-up version of Barbie with three ki ds, all of whom got
straight A's in school, 36's on the ACT, and college scholarships because
they were the best on the team. Includes blowhard husband Ken, who is
seen and heard at every little league game; daughter Amber, head
cheerleader; and son Ken, Jr., the captain of the football team.
The standard version comes with a Ford Windstar, and an assortment of Kate Spade knockoffs bought at a house party.The talking version says "Not MY kid. He wouldn't do that," The deluxe version comes with faux fur and a home in White Hawk that
will never be paid off in their lifetime.

Gary Barbie
This bee-tch of a Barbie comes with a knife to stab other Barbies in the
back, $500 coach bag, and seven children (sold separately).
Goes by the name of Barbeequa and for one low price, includes all of her
sistahs: Midgeequa, Jauneequa, Shaneequa, Taneequa,and Lulu; and all of
her brothers, Leroy, Willie (gold toof extra), Tyro ne 'n em. Bling-bling sold separately.

Dyer Barbie
This Barbie actually comes in two variations. One has long gray hair,
arch-less feet, Berkenstocks, no makeup and a mutt. Second version comes with a boy haircut, brown-highlighted hair, Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt and cargos, combat
boots and a pitbull.

November 17, 2006

Friday Five

Hey, blame Freddie. She asked for it.

Here is this week's Friday Five. With the Holidays coming up we will move right into the Christmas season. Name your five favorite Christmas /Holiday movies.

Here are my choices, in no particular order:

Holiday Inn
White Christmas
The Grinch (cartoon version)
Christmas with the Kranks
The Santa Clause
A Christmas Story

I know, that is six, but it is my blog,

Freddie, tune in tommorrow I will have a joke about "da Region". You may or miy not find it amusing.

Do sheep deserve a reach around?


Look, I am an asshole. A hypocritical asshole. I am fat, I have never lied about that. Humor is humor, and funny is funny. This is funny.

November 16, 2006

HB does Paris, Part Deaux


Excuse the improper spelling of any foreign words and phrases, I just do not care enough to look them up. You can read part one here. edit link fixed

It takes around ten minutes to climb the steps to just the first level of the Eiffel Tower. That sucker is huge. It is also brown, I expected it to be green. I don't know why, maybe because the little replica at Kings Island is green. That is it over there on the right -- the replica, that is. I am sure you have seen many pictures of the real thing ( if not, well I do not know what to tell you). In any case the real one in Paris is big and high, and it made me thirsty.

My engineer friend and I sat at a nearby bistro to have a cold drink. We had beer. And wine and more of both. We watched the sun set over the Seine. The next thing I knew Dave was muttering a big "shit" and looking at his watch. The last shuttle to the hotel left in less than an hour.

That shuttle left from Charles de Gaul airport.

We were in downtown Paris.

This is a problem -- look it up on a map if you do not believe me. We high tailed it to the train station. As we headed down the steps to the underground station we realized the tickets we bought out at Chuck de Gaul airport were not round trip, but ONE WAY. We did not have tickets.

I saw a guy sweeping nearby. I rushed up to him. "Ecusez moi, parlez-vous Anglais?" He gave me a dumb look and said something I could not understand. For a fleeting instance the ugly American leaped into my mind "f-ing foreigners" I thought. I tried again "Parlez-vous Francais?" I figured I could get by with the French I had studied twenty years previously coupled with pigeon English and a strong smattering of Pepe le Pew. No dice.

Spreche Deutch? God, I hope not. I can only order "five beers, please" and say "airport" in German. I just got a shake of the head. Habla Espanol? Again a shake and a lot of jibberish. "Yo ne panamayo Parusky" I told him I could not speak Russian. I had no more success when I counted in Japanese. My language skills exhausted, I realized the guy was sweeping the subway at 10:00 on a Sunday night for a reason. He told me something else in what I supposed was Algerian. I am sure he said "Death to the Infidel" or something similar. Well "doom on you" too, asshole (do you know any Vietnamese? Say that one phoenetically if you want to tell someone to fuck off). The HB school for language is now closed, send your checks now please.

We raced down the hall toward the tracks, five minutes wasted in failed foreign relations. We came to a ticket vending machine next to the closed ticket windows. I was having a tough time translating, the beer was messing up that portion of my brain. In any case, All either of us had was large Franc bills. The machine would not even take the denominations we had. We found the right track, we had only about one minute before the train left. Typical inconsiderate Frenchies, putting everything in non-English (Hey, we are putting every public sign in Spanish). We had to take a decision now.

Yep, we jumped the turnstile. As we collapsed on the train we convinced ourselves if we were questioned by the police we would claim the truth --we wanted to pay, but did not know how. All of this was based on the assumption the cops could (or would) speak English, and that they gave a shit about our excuses. I could only begin to picture the scenes from Midnight Express in my mind. I had three little kids, a wife and big mortgage back in the States. I did not want to spend the night, or month or any time with smelly Jean-Jaques in a French prison. Hey, I saw Papillon, the Prisoner of Zenda and the Count of Monte Cristo, I knew how the Frogs treated their prisoners!

The train pulled without incident below the terminal at Chuck de Gaul Airport. We ran from the train only to remember you had to put your ticket through the turnstile to exit the station. We jumped again. We raced up the stairs in time to see the shuttle pull away. I put my hands on my knees and my head down, breathing hard. I would just have to get a taxi. I heard Dave shout -- he had ran after the bus, pounding its side until it stopped. We were on our way back to the hotel.

Next time -- the fun really starts, and I put a couple of Frenchies in their place.

November 15, 2006

Have we lost our will to fight?

I once had a boss tell me I was not an intellectual. He also accused me of being unable to do strategic thinking. He said I was suited to be the sargent that led the troops up the hill, a good tactician, but a poor strategist. He meant to insult me, but I was honored. Maybe he was right. But WTF, it is my blog and I will do all the strategering I want. This is going to be a long one, so go to the bathroom now.

Clausewitz said that war was an extension of politics. I have read all of the Baron von Clausewitz' work, and I can tell you he was a pompous windbag. In this case however, he was right. In no way do I think the American fighting man has lost his abilities. We have the best-trained, most powerful armed forces in history. It is our politicians, and by extension, our citizens, who have lost the will to fight.

We cannot claim a victory since World War II. You will tell me we won in Panama, in Grenada, but I liken those actions to destroying a nest of hornets on the porch. The destruction of the nest is painful, but not really all that difficult. Disagree if you wish, but my main point remains germane. Let us look at some proof:

In Korea, we did not finish the job. Under a Democrat President we were forced into a war for which we were not prepared. Most people do not know that under Truman massive amounts of war materiel were thrown overboard or abandoned after WWII. The Democrat-led Congress and the newly-named Department of Defense downsized the military, cut training funds and left us with a military unprepared for war. Truman called up the inactive reserves which consisted mostly of WWII vets to fight in Korea instead of the National Guard, as he reasoned we needed men who knew how to fight. After initial defeats and retreats, The UN forces led overwhelmingly by the US Army, Marines and supported by the Air Force and Navy pushed the North Koreans to the brink of annihilation. The Communists were only saved by the intervention of the Chinese. The resulting casualties, especially the retreat from the Chosin dampened the fervor at home. The stalemate summer and winter along the 38th parallel caused the public to sicken of the huge casualties with nothing to show. We sought a peace, and sort of went home with our tail between our legs. We still have troops in Korea keeping an uneasy peace today, more than one half century later. North Korea is still a thorn in our side, spoiling to finish the fight she could not then. History tells us we inflicted huge casualties on the Chinese / NOK troops. We won nearly every battle, and if not for the interference of the Politicians at home, the commanders might have won. Truman et al, were afraid an American victory would bring the Soviets into the fray. What lesson was learned? For the Communists, we sent the message we would fight for our cause, but only up to a point.

Next up are what I will call the little wars; Greece, Cuba, the Congo, Berlin, Eastern Europe. These were the hot spots in the cold war. We did enough to ensure we did not lose to the Communists, but we were unwilling to exert the effort to win. The idea of another global war was unthinkable. We left our allies hanging out to dry in Hungary and at the Bay of Pigs. The military was willing, the politicians were not. A theme is beginning to develop. Hungary we can blame on Eisenhower (and his left leaning Department of State,)the Bay of pigs fiasco was under the auspices of another Democrat President. The lesson here? Same as above, but also that we would abandon our friends if the potential cost was too high.

Next we come to Vietnam. The war the military won and the politicians and American people lost. The armed forces of the United States won every single battle in South East Asia. Contrary to what the liar Walter Cronkite told us, Tet was a huge disaster for the North Vietnamese. The Vietcong infrastructure was destroyed and the NVA took huge losses. If we had pressed our attack at that point the war would have been over. Somehow the reverse has entered into popular culture. NVA Commander Giap reported that the NVA High Command was stunned by the US press reports of the TET Offensive, He thought he was done for until he heard the reporting and he said at that moment he knew they would eventually win. One could make the argument we should have never gone to Vietnam. We did, and the military (again) did its job. The civilian leaders at the Pentagon, and in Congress did not do theirs. Once again we found the cost of war was too high, and we abandoned our allies. The American people under a Democrat Congress did not have the stomach to finish the job. The pogroms, killings and mass murder by the North Vietnamese Communists and the Khmer Rouge of MILLIONS can be laid at our feet. What did the world learn? We will quit when the price becomes too high. You will tell me that 58,000 deaths were to many for that shithole and I would agree. Were 12,000 casualties in twenty minutes too many at Mary's Heights, or 28,000 at Antietam in one day, or 53,000 in three days at Gettysburg worth the end result? How about the 9,000 at Omaha Beach? What happened to the willingness to sacrifice for the American ideal our forefathers demonstrated a hundred years prior? What happened to the children of the WWII generation?

We end the essay with a discussion of the Middle East. The theme is repetitive, and I hope you get the point. Reagan pulled out after the Marine Barracks in Lebanon was bombed. He should have wiped the Islamic assholes responsible from the face of the earth. Kyber Towers, the USS COLE, the cut run of Somalia, the lack of a political will to finish the job in Iraq the first time. These actions all sent the message to our enemies we did not have the will to fight, that when it became too hard the American people would back down, quit, hide.

The movie Red Dawn was hugely popular in the eighties because it demonstrated the part of us all Americans like to believe exists -- the fighter that will never quit. It stirred the John Paul Jones in all of us -- " I have not yet begun to fight!" Unfortunately, our actions speak louder than the speakers at the movie theater.

I read today where Tony Blair and the Brits are talking compromise with the Iranians. Why wouldn't they? When have we shown any evidence we will support the actions when it gets too hard? After the bombing in Spain that country was derided for the political decision to no longer send troops to Iraq. What is any different in the Spanish activities than those proposed by Murtha, Kerry and others? It has been oft repeated the quotation that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Will we make the same mistakes as we have made since the end of World War II? Will America lack the stomach to finish the job? Will we leave our friends hanging? Why do we condemn the Iraqi President for making overtures to Iran? He knows we are about to screw him over, and he is looking to preserve what he can from the neighborhood bully.

Bin Laden said he knows he will win because we are weak. He knows we will submit before the cost is too high. He believes Islam will triumph over the American way because we would rather switch than fight. A look at history over the last 60 years indicates he might be right. Remember this, those of you with the old Red Dawn/ Wolverine spirit, if we do not fight tyranny and hate and extremism OVER there, we will be forced to do it here. Do we have the guts for that?

Big Boobies

I watched part of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes this morning. I have to say that Marylin Monroe really does not do much for me. Her voice annoys me to no end. I know what some of you are saying -- "HB you do not want to talk to her". IN any case I have never been hot for blondes, my taste runs to brunettes and redheads. Jane Russell is also in this flick. She is stacked, but she comes across in this movie, and every other movie, and her bra commercials as a total unmitigated bitch. A real unpleasant person. She did shack up with Howard Hughes, but that is neither here nor there.

OJ Simpson has come out with a book and interview that details if he did kill Ron and his wife how he would have done it. Does this guy have no sense of shame? I hope those idiots on his jury are proud of themselves.

What,you do not think the previous paragraphs are related? Look again at the title to the post.

November 14, 2006

See it quick -- careful you don't puke


This may or may not be a picture of a young Hoosierboy taken for his senior year in college. Don't I look thrilled? A lot has sure changed in 20+ years. I DO still have my hair, though.

If you know me let me know in an email, I must protect my super secret alter identity. If this really were me...

A new direction?

This makes great sense. Read it and ponder.


HT Woodswalk

Tuesday Grab Bag

Well, here I am posting on the new version of Blogger. I suspect I am going to have to redo the Haloscan etc. It has its own problems. Man, I find it hard to complain about Free stuff.

I read recently that American workers are the most productive in the world, by far. I can speak for my experience in Europe. Lazy assholes I say. In the last years at BIG COMPANY, we had to have most of our International meetings in Europe. The Euroweenies did not like the fact that when they came to the US the day started at eight am, and we worked through lunch (catered in usually), finally ending around 5:30 or 6:00 in the evening. They preferred a more civilized beginning of the day around 9-9:30, followed by a 1-1/2 hour lunch, knocking off around 5:00 at the latest.

I mention this because we are entering the "dead season" for anyone in sales. The time between Thanksgiving and the second week of January is impossible. Engineers are trying to finish projects, Purchasing types are looking ahead to next year. Everyone is looking forward to the holidays, office parties and generally relaxed attitude at work. Salesmen are usually welcome if they have brought a gift. So it goes.

I just had some peach cobbler reheated for breakfast. I poured milk over it. Do any of you do that? I put milk on my cereal, my jello, my pudding, cake, fruit pie and cobbler. My Grandmother loved saltine crackers crumbled in milk for a snack. I could never acquire a taste for that or sop -- milk soaked in bread. I do like bananas in milk. What strange things do you eat with milk?

November 13, 2006

Another Milestone

If this is you -- you are the big winner. The rest of you keep hitting, keep linking, you might just win the BIG SECOND CHANCE DRAWING You could be the big 35K winner. Visit often!

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Monday Morning Coming Down


Shew, Mondays suck. I have my quarterly forecast due tomorrow, so do not expect much from me today. Based on past performance I am sure I have set the bar low enough, and your expectations are not that high anyway.

Are the Colts that good, or is their PERFECT record all smoke and mirrors?

I saw Ron White on Friday, a very belated Birthday gift. If your only exposure to Mr. White is from the Blue Collar DVDs, you are missing the real act. I think he loses something when he performs with Foxworthy et al, because they want to keep the PG rating. He was rude crude and hilarious. The facial expressions killed me. When I got done my face hurt from laughing so much. The warm up guy was also VERY good. The Elliott Hall of Music at Purdue was the venue, and it is sure outdated. White is definitely a better comedian live.

I fixed beef and noodles and mashed potatoes for supper last night. Long-time readers might remember this is my mostest favorite meal ever. I went to bed a mostly happy guy. If I could have gotten laid things would have been better. That is not too likely to happen though.

Hey, I told you at the beginning -- I've got nuttin.

November 11, 2006

11.11

This is the post I wrote last November 11th. I think it says it just fine.

An open letter to all veterans
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. 11:11 am, November 11, 1918. Rauol Lufbury, Eddie Rickenbacker, Alvin York, Blackjack Pershing, Bellau Wood, St. Mihail Salient, George Patton, George Marshall, The Marines. I had a post written. Those who care already know. For those who do not care the effort would be wasted. I think a simple thank you will have to do. Thank You for your service Veterans of America.

In Flanders Fields By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

November 10, 2006

Oh, Oh, I almost forgot

Happy Birthday




And Thanks

The Flying McCoys

Tater Salad

We are off tonight to see Ron White in concert. We are going with our best friends. This is the first time the wife and I have done anything for a long time, and I am looking forward to it. She has been a major grump all week, and maybe this will help. You see, she is pissed at me, pissed at life. This has been a bad week, to go with a bad year. I maintain sitting around feeling miserable and sorry for yourself serves no purpose. That just seems to piss her off more.

This burst of optimism is very uncharacteristic for me. Maybe it is a midlife crisis? Sometimes life gives you a chop block, then it kicks you while you are down. After that lady luck does a Hayward on your unhelmeted skull, raking her sharpened cleats across your bare head. You could just curl up in a fetal ball. You could get up and punch her in the tits. I know what I prefer.

It is Friday. Time for the Friday Five. In honor of the Colts and da Bears having such great seasons, how about we rank the five best teams in the NFL? Show me your list and I'll show you mine (insert Groucho leer here).

November 9, 2006

Back to our regularly scheduled nonsense.

There were three old black ladies getting ready to take a plane across the ocean.

The first lady said, "I don`t know bout y`all, but I`m gunna wear me some hot pink panties beefo I gets on dat plane."

"Why you gonna wear dem fo?" the other two asked.

The first replied, "Cause, if dat plane goes down and I`m out dare laying butt-up in a conefield, dey gonna find me first."

The second lady said, "Well, I`m a-gonna wear me some flooresant orange panties."

"Why you gonna wear dem?" the others asked.

The second lady answered, "Cause if dis hare plane is goin` down and I`m floating butt-up in the oshun, dey can see me first."

The third old lady says, "Well, I`m not going to wear any panties....."

"What? No panties?" the others asked in disbelief.

"Dat`s right, you heard me. I`m not wearing any panties," the third lady said,"cause if dis plane goes down, honey dey always look for da black box first."

Quit, you will repeat it before the week is out.

Happy Happy Hug Hug

In the spirit of harmony, cooperation, and reconciliation, is it possible Vice President Dick Chaney will invite Nancy Pelosi to go hunting?

Just wondering...


On a completely unrelated note, has anyone noticed there are hardly any stories this time about disenfranchised voters, fraud, and evil voting machines? Are we getting better, or did the right people win?

November 8, 2006

Now What?

Dear President Bush
cc: Republican National Committee

I bet you are sitting in your plush conference rooms this morning doing a post mortem. Did the country make a political move to the left? Are conservative principles no longer in vogue? What happened?

Well first off, you lost to a party that ran on the platform they were not YOU. They offered no plans, just change. If they did cite a stand, it was usually conservative. Mostly they just were not YOU. Carl Rove, your genius is missing.

Here is why you lost:

You failed to close the borders. Americans are sick of being asked to push "2" for English. We are sick of watching tens of thousands of dollars leave our local community for Mexico via money order and Western Union every week. We are upset our teenagers cannot find employment. We are sick of seeing Hispanic names comprising the majority of the police calls in the local paper. We are sick of emergency rooms full of illegal immigrants. We want the borders closed, the illegals SENT BACK. I call bullshit on the idea that Americans will not do these jobs.

You failed to show any sort of fiscal responsibility. The moniker tax and spend Democrat has been replaced by tax cut and spend Republican. The failure to put pressure on your own to stop the 'bridge to nowhere" and other pork has infuriated your voters. In a like mind the utter failure of the President to veto any spending bill, especially the prescription and farm handouts -- caused many to vote against you.

There is a perception you do not know what your are doing in the WOT. I support the invasion of Iraq, and you used the same arguments as your predecessor. You did the right thing. But there seems to be no plan, no end. Maybe there is, but in any case you lost the PR battle. You have the bully pulpit, use it. When you did it was too little too late. Again, you did nothing to show there is any plan except "stay the course". Your refusal to actually Identify the enemy was key to winning this battle. When you backed away from the term Islamic Fanatics you showed your are weak, afraid of pissing off the very people who we are fighting. Call a spade a spade and the hell with those who do not like it.

The Republicans in the Senate. Mealy mouthed compromising weaklings. Good God, what happens when a man goes to Washington -- does he lose all sense of right and wrong? Sometimes you just cannot compromise.

You played the morality card too many times When you put up yourself as "better and more moral" than the other guys they are going to prove you wrong. Too many scandals, too close to the election. Fair or not, you got outsmarted.

Finally, if you want to recapture the government in 2008 you must be strong. Learn how to veto, Mr. President. Stem cell research is NOT the place to start. Republicans MUST take a stand and stick to it. Gridlock is not a bad thing. Our country"s security is your paramount consideration, that includes the WOT and securing our borders. Make a plan and fight for it, even if you lose it will differentiate you from the evil party. Then you too can run next time as "we are not them".

You are welcome, free of charge.

Oh, and to those of you who wanted to punish the Republicans. I hope you remember that message when the tax cuts are gone and the terrorists come here to murder again.
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