April 30, 2007

Dear Mark

I try not to respond to assholes who comment here with a whole new post, but sometimes it is just necessary. Reader Mark had some wholesale objections to this post where I gave my opinion on the ten greatest events in history. I do not presume to guess Mark's politics, but he argues like many on the left, with anti-American rhetoric and insults. I have no problem with a reasoned debate, but if Mark is looking for an insult contest I will win.

I will take this opportunity to offer my rebuttal, and I encourage civilized dialog and disagreement. First, the fact a society or event is not listed only means it did not make MY top ten. It in no way means I am ignorant of the existence of the Islamic influences of the Fourth Century, or of Asia, they just were not in the top ten.
I don't know where to start. That was the most eurocentric ignorant list I have ever seen in my life. saying that the US is the only superpower since Rome is just a flat lie

I will admit to a Eurocentric bias. I will also say that there is a good reason for this, most of the great technological inventions in modern history have risen from the West. When China closed itself to foreigners they, like any isolationist society ceased to become a leader in cultural and scientific advancement. Intellectual inbreeding does not create a free thinking society. For the purposes of this discussion the nature of a superpower will be defined as a society that has a near global influence on economics, military and culture.

The Romans controlled most of the 'known world", certainly the entire educated Western world. They minted the coin of the realm, they dictated and influenced fashion, architecture, military strategy, religion, and literature. Most of the languages of the Western world owe a portion of their vocabulary to the Romans, as do the names of most major cities and towns.

One could make a case the British had a similar influence in the days of their Empire, in fact I made an argument in a now lost college thesis that the American "Empire" was a continuation of the British Superpower. I believe that is a valid argument still. There has not been a society since Rome that has influenced world culture, economics, and military in the same manner as America does today.
The Muslim empires that came between were so much more influential to the world than either Rome, and arguably the US today,
...claims Mark. Where is the Islamic influence in the world today in language, culture, economics and military? If you claim a religion that fosters a fourth century mindset, based on murder and conversion by the sword as qualifications, I guess you have a point. The Caliphate did little to preserve the works of the Greeks and Romans. There were a few enlightened scholars in Persia and Spain and Portugal and Rome that kept the knowledge alive. The strict adherents of Islam had no interest in the Greeks. For them the Koran was all the knowledge they needed. The scholars that kept the libraries were scholars first, members of a religion second. Christian clerics also preserved the Roman/Greek writings, as did scholars in the Latin borough of Paris and in Cambridge. In any case to claim the Islamic Caliphate had a more lasting influence than the Romans is ridiculous at best, and unworthy of further comment.
Putting the American Revolution on there is also ridiculous. "The principles of all men being equal, of liberty and justice for all" were really not even original; we stole them from the Enlightenment thinkers in Europe.

Of course most good ideas are not original. Before the American Revolution, there was not a group of individuals who were willing to put these ideas to the test, to form a new nation ruled not by kings and queens, but by the reason of man and self governance. The 'Great Experiment' of America sowed the seeds of democracy and changed the political landscape in ways that reverberate yet today. Name a major country that is truly ruled by a monarchy today. Name a major nation not ruled by monarchy in 1775. If you can not see this point you are ignorant of the political history of the past two thousand years.
The inclusion of the Roman Empire on the list, but the absence of any Chinese or Islamic empire, let alone the Mongols, is also eurocentric, and demonstrates your ignorance very nicely. The Mongols did so much more than the Romans I don't know where to begin.

The ancient Chinese Empires did have some historically significant developments. Their lasting influence on the modern world is of little significance due to the afore mentioned Mongols and their own tendency to a closed society. If you can demonstrate their lasting global influence on culture, economies, and military I will reconsider. As far as the Mongols, I considered them. Their legacy is one of destruction, so I guess they have a lasting negative influence. They did not make the top ten. The Mongols "did more" than the Romans? Where are the Mongol roads, coins, religions, architecture, etc.? This sir, is not even worthy of debate. Who is ignorant here?
You completly[sic] ignored the influence of India and Africa, both of which had far more of an impact than Alexander the [G]reat.

The Caliphate you speak so fondly of earlier in your comments derived directly from the Empire of Alexander the Great, so I guess you are contradicting yourself a little here. Show me the lasting influences from Africa and India that are worthy of the top ten. Again, I am not disparaging the historical influences of those regions, but they did not reach the top ten in my book, especially if you arguing for Sub-Saharan Africa.
I would also like to point out that the invention of fire and tools was pre-history, so it doesn't even belong on the list.

My list, my rules -- you do not get to chose what I can include. Pre-History? It happened, so I guess it is history. Do we pretend there were no dinosaurs, no woolly mammoths? The invention of fire and tools are events that determined the survial of homo sapiens, along with the ability to cultivate grain and domesticate animals.

The inclusion of Abraham maybe does not make the list, but the issues in the Middle East and the global cultural conflicts we face today are a direct result of Abraham. The divisions of Islam and Jews and Christians have their roots in that incident. Some of the commentary was facetious, but the fact we can trace 1,500 years of conflict to one man is not. You can believe in Abraham or not, but three of the world's great religions acknowledge his existence.
In conclusion, I am disgusted by your ignorance and clear lack of thought put into this. Next time you make such a sweeping list like this, make sure to at least think about cultures other than your own.

In conclusion, you self righteous piece of shit, if you do not like what I write, do not read it. I welcome comments and disagreements, but maybe you should make your own list on your own blog. You have no idea if I considered other cultures or not, you have no idea of my background, education or ideological leanings. You are the one making sweeping generalizations. You may disagree, but this last paragraph was out of line and shows you are the ignoramus in this debate. Let me type this slowly, so you can understand -- I could only list TEN, the fact I left out your favorite event or culture does not lesson their impact on history, it only reflects my opinion of their significance. For all you know your pet was number eleven.

Why don't you define a specific list of your ten events, instead of telling what is wrong with mine. Be prepared to defend why any one of my items was left off.

April 29, 2007

Just a bit outside

We had a scrimmage yesterday to open the baseball season. We played four innings. The little one had a drive to deep right for a single and a walk. He scored once. It is so weird seeing these kids I have known and coached since they were 5 or 6 playing on a regulation sized diamond. It makes me feel old.

We were ahead until the fourth inning when I put in our number three pitcher and sat most of the starters. A few errors and passed balls allowed two runs to score so we lost 4-3. I was pleased when the regulars were in, I think we will have a good team.

Boring, I know, but I have nada otherwise.

April 28, 2007

Good Morning

Sorry. That is all I have at the moment.

April 27, 2007

Pork Friday

"To each his own" I have always said. Some people like sushi, some like anchovies on their pizza, some like a good steak burnt to a crisp. It is not my business to pass judgement.

I enjoyed a fine luncheon repast by my standards yesterday. I spent the afternoon belching sausage and 'kraut in complete merriment and contentment. I was only mildly annoyed when the kids came home from school and the wife from work and they separately uttered the same "what's that smell" with wrinkled noses and disdain in their voice. I admitted the sauerkraut was a bit pungent, but so, so good.

At that point the wife had the temerity to direct, order, insist that I was to never cook that 'stuff' again. She did not ask, beg, plead, or request. She TOLD me not to cook sauerkraut anymore.

Big mistake. Guess what I am having for lunch today?

Rest Easy Ladies

Women of the world, you will no longer have to suffer the indignity and offense of watching me dig at my nether regions at Kroger, Wal-Mart, the ball diamond, the movies, the mall, the gas station, my living room, my bathroom, in fact anywhere the irresistible urge hit me.

I bought some medicine to cure my jock itch today.

April 26, 2007

Life and other falsehoods

As I was traipsing through the back yard yesterday I noticed two things, the neighbors dog left me another gift, and the same neighbors have their house for sale. I seem to have that effect on people living close to me. Boy, I wish you could see how much I care. Maybe they are not amused when I piss off my back patio? Hey, that little girl will learn the facts of life at preschool anyway. I offered her a beer to calm her hysterics. Did you ever notice once they pop out a little kid some moms have no sense of humor? She also declined my offer of a beer. She did not even smile when I told her to call me the next time her husband was away. I said that if she bought some rubbers, I would bring something to put in them.
The snake hunt was futile yesterday. I am sure you are as bored by the subject as I by now, so no more reports unless I kill the bastard, or at least see it again.


I think I am going to grill me a bratwurst for lunch and open a can of sauerkraut. It is that kind of day. It is rainy and cloudy, but old Sol is trying to peek through. I hope not too much, I need to mow the yard and I do not feel like it today. Edit: I did fire up the grill and there is my actual lunch right there in the picture -- before I wolfed it down. I wish that was a cold beer instead of iced tea, BTW.

The boy went to get some gas in his car last night and called to say it had died and would not start. I drove down and pushed it into a nearby church parking lot. It turns over but will not start, so I am guessing we have an ignition problem. I have made arrangements to have it towed and looked after by a reputable mechanic. Of course when his car dies at 10:00 at night, when it is raining, the whelp calls the parents that he just told not twenty minutes prior he hated and could not wait to move out. I guess he does still love me a little, at least my ability to push cars and help pay for needed repairs. I have to admit, he has helped pay for some of the repairs. It is hard to maintain a vehicle on part time pizza delivery pay. This little car is killing me, in the last few months we have dropped about $1,000 on it -- heater core, wiring harness, tires, brakes, and some steering components I cannot remember. Now this. Stuff happens, but the car only cost us $4,000 (a little Ford Escort ZX2). Sometimes you feel like you are buried under an avalanche. I am trying to focus on the good times.

I told my wife the other day that if we spend all our time focusing on what is wrong in life we miss out on all that is good. I am not a glass is half full kind of person, as you will know if you read here much. The question is not whether the glass is half empty or full, but "Who stole my fucking water?"

The baseball season finally kicks off on Saturday, I am ready to see if my team is any good. I skippered a club to a winless season last year, and I am curious to see if my recent perfect record remains intact.

Oh, and did you like my little prom picture? I figure if Richmond can show off her green dress and Erin O'Brien can take us back in time to 1981, I could show off my styling days. Dude, I loved that tux. I wanted to get one just like it when I got married, but someone mumbled something about me trying to ruin her special day, blah blah. You cannot tell by the picture but I sported some shiny patent leather shoes. Midway through the dance I thought I had somehow cracked the leather, but my date told me she was not wearing undies. badda boom.

Baywatch



Hasselhoff as a teen.

April 25, 2007

Wayback Whensday


Prom 1980.

Deep thoughts

I dropped a roast into the crockpot yesterday along with a few potatoes. After baseball practice we had a nice little supper. I was scheduled for practice on Wednesday, but one of the other coaches asked me to switch. Too bad for him, it was Chamber of Commerce weather yesterday (sunny 73 degrees) and it supposed to rain all day today. Too bad for him. Tawnt pee pour ill as the French surrender monkeys would say phonetically.

I have no motivation today. It is taking supreme willpower just to hammer out this worthless drivel. The brain is not working, and you will suffer for it, assuming you are still reading. Are you there? Hello?

Are you waiting for something pithy, smart, funny, educational? Not today, not here, not right now. Go read some of the links over there on the right. Come back later and maybe I will have something interesting. Or maybe not.

April 24, 2007

Read, and be amazed

Some of you think this blogging stuff is easy. I hack away at it like I have a dull machete in the Amazonian jungle. Others can turn a phrase that leaves me filled with envy. The great and powerful Bane spins words like Rumpelstiltskin spins gold and weaves this golden passage:

And what is this propensity Americans have to pay attention to idiots? I mean, normal people hate clowns, and the only thing separating Sheryl Crow and Rosie O'Dumbell from a regular clown is the make-up and the little car.
And that's what I see when I look at the whole panoply of politicians and celebrities, a bunch of sad clowns, honking their horns and noses for attention, stumbling around like idiots, getting into everything, and scarring children for life.


Read the whole post here. Truer words have never been written. I will go to bed now, humbled.

My little bridge



This was last summer, the water is a little higher now, and I cleaned out some of the weeds. The deadly cobra/python/cottonmouth/rattlesnake/puff adder was hiding under the bottom rail.

Serpents


Here is a picture of the bastard, not the one haunting my little bridge, but what he looks like. I am reasonably sure it is a Northern Midlands Water Snake. Last fall he looked like the darker serpent, Saturday he was the brighter color with rust coloring. I believe the age of the snake and molt stage have something to do with the coloration. These bastards are pretty common around here. The last time I went tubing down Wildcat Creek I saw at least thirty of them. Some were three to four inches in girth. These snakes are notorious for biting when cornered, but they are not poisonous.

I hope soon he is dead. I sat nearby with my pistol yesterday, but either he sensed my presence or it was too cloudy for him to sun himself. If there is one good aspect of the situation is my mole infestation has disappeared. There are at least three feral cats in the neighborhood, I keep hoping one of them will tangle with that damned snake.

Sheryl Crowe is so disappointed

I just used about 40 sheets of toilet paper. I also flushed twice.

That is what it took.

April 23, 2007

Teach Your Children

I believe as a parent one of our duties is to teach our kids valuable life lessons, those skills that will serve them later in life. My two oldest are beyond listening to me for advice anymore. The youngest, at thirteen, is a fertile mind ready to be planted. Yesterday was a perfect day in Central Indiana and I used the day as an opportunity to teach the boy a new skill. I showed him how a delicate flip of the wrist on a spade could fling dog turds deep into the neighbor's yard. I demonstrated how to just get the front edge under the pile...What? No, I do not have a dog, they let their little barking yapper shit in my yard. Why should I clean it up? About one more week and I will throw it on their porch. Saturday, while they and their dog and little impressionable girls were playing in earshot I shouted to my boy "goddammit look at all of this dog shit in the yard". Will they get the hint? Do I care?

Anyway after I literally flung the shit, I sent the boy to put the shovel back in the shed. He came back all excited. He told me the neighbors were in their backyard when I was throwing dog turds all over their front yard. He quickly determined I did not care. He then told me he heard the neighbor exclaim to his wife "Wow, look at that big snake on his bridge".

It is on people, the serpent of death and I CANNOT coexist. I am open to any suggestions, but the snake leaves or dies. The only other option is I move (The wife votes for this -- but she does not know about the snake, she just hates the house). Help a brother here, dear readers. Tell me how to get rid of a snake and I will teach how to flip dog turds with a shovel. If you already have that skill I will teach you to throw a curve ball or a knuckle ball (but not both unless you come and kill the snake for me).

April 22, 2007

Earth Day

Yesterday was Earth Day (I think) and I celebrated it by fighting Mother Nature and her minions. It started with the damn stupid robins assaulting my dryer vent again in a vain attempt to build a nest. The vent is bird proofed, but these dumber than dumb critters just keep trying. The banging on the siding and dropping of white shit down the side of the house finally pushed me to the limit. I crept around the corner and dropped the main offender with the pellet gun. That seemed to keep the other one at bay for the rest of the day.

Later, I embarked on a weed killing spree. I filled my industrial size pressure sprayer and commenced a chemical assault that would have shamed Saddam Hussein. Dandelion, clover, and some pernicious ground cover all were dosed heavily. I will not have much grass left when I am done, but the weeds will die, die, die. If a few tulips and ornamental shrubs take casualties, that is war and sometimes innocents take one for the better good.

For kicks I crossed the little brook and hit some of the weeds on the other bank, to keep them from spreading across like illegal immigrants jumping the Rio Grande. I understand the need for border control.

As I came back across the little bridge I saw a stick under the rail, I went to kick it over into the water and realized it was the tail of a fucking damn whoreson evil spawn of Satan lying in wait to kill me snake. I am pretty sure it was the same SOB that tried to sneak up on me last fall. For once I did not run in fear. I pumped up the sprayer to full tilt. I leaned over the rail and gave the serpent a mega-dose of weed killer right in the face. He dove over the side lickety-split. I fetched the hoe and spent the next twenty minutes trying to find him to cut him to pieces. I hope the weed killer makes it sick and causes a long slow death -- somewhere else. I intend to look for it to end its life today as the it will be even warmer this afternoon. I will not be able to enjoy my backyard and the little bubbling brook knowing the serpent of death is stalking me.

The battle rages.

April 21, 2007

More on Gun Control

One of the few topics I have refrained from comment upon here is gun control (until this week). Like abortion, there is no compromise on this issue. In the wake of the VT killings the lets ban guns crowd is rolling like a tidal wave. Let us look at the arguments:

If we ban guns only the criminals will have guns. This is true, because I and a lot of other Americans will become criminals.

Look salon had an editorial that proposed the Second Amendment should be repealed. The comments were unbelievable. Read this one. I could think of no more proof the average citizen needs the means to arm himself.

April 20, 2007

Holy Feathers Bat Man

I saw a bald eagle yesterday, in flight. It was unbelievable. I had seen them in a zoo, but this is the first time in the wild.

Some days it is good to be me.

April 19, 2007

Happy Birthday America

On this date 232 years ago a group of farmers stood and faced the greatest military power of the day. They stood for freedom from tyranny, for the belief that all men are equal, that man should not be taxed without a say in the matter. Specifically that day they stood to keep government from confiscating their guns and ammunition. Given the heated debate of today, that is very ironic.

From those shots on Lexington Green and Concord Bridge a nation was born. Conceived in violence, nurtured in freedom, she provides the greatest opportunity and freedom to man ever in history. Thank you brave men.

The Concord Hymn
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled;
Here once the embattled farmers stood;
And fired the shot heard round the world.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ten greatest events in the history of man

Yesterday's post about the beginning of the American revolution sparked a wider discussion in a comment from LeAnn. I claimed the American Revolution was one of the 10 most significant events in the history of man. LeAnn asked what I thought were the other nine. I find it interesting that Guy and I had very similar answers. Perhaps it the fact we both have degrees in history? Anyway, in no particular order here are my top ten:

The Birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Whatever your religious beliefs,there is no doubt Christianity played a crucial role in the development of Western Civilization.

The American Revolution Never before had a nation been founded on the principles of all men being equal, of liberty and justice for all. A mongolot of cultures and beliefs somehow came together to forge arguably one of the greatest empires of all time.

Marco Polo's expedition to China
His discovery brought about the age of exploration, the discovery of new lands and continents.

The Roman Empire At one time they controlled most of the known world. Their culture, language and laws set the stage for Western Civilization. The Holy Roman and Byzantine Empires last well into the 19th Century. So much of our lives are still influenced by Roman Empire-- born in a city founded on the banks of the Tigris nearly three thousand years ago.

The Industrial Revolution The birth of factories and industry changed the world from an agrarian society to modern marvels. In just 200 years we have developed steamships, railroads, the automobile, airplanes, rockets, electricity, natural gas, running water, sewage, medicine, men on the moon, computers, superhighways, indoor plumbing, telephones, TV, radio, the list goes on and on.

Improved Communications from the advent of Morse code through the telephone, radio, television and the Internet we can now communicate better, faster and easier than any time in history. The ability to instantly make contact with humans around the globe has profoundly changed society. What would be the effect of a war of terror if there were no one to see the horrific aftermath? Would we be better off if we could not see the beauty of Pele? Instant communication and the TV have even changed the way we vote.

Man's ability to create fire This more than any other feat allowed man to adapt and survive as a species. I will lump into this category the ability to make tools and the advent of agriculture.

WWI and WWII The first caused the second and combined they created the ascendancy of the US as the first real superpower since Rome that influenced the world culturally, economically, and militarily.

The Empire of Alexander the Great The influence and the vacuum left by his death had ramifications from India through the Middle East

Abraham's Infidelity Are you looking for a root cause for the problems in the Middle East, Iraq, Africa, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Pakistan, the bombing of the World Trade Centers, the Trains in Spain and Great Britain, etc.? An old man could not keep it in his pants. Go ahead, look it up.

Let me know if you agree or disagree, a good case could be made for other events, tell me.

April 18, 2007

April 18, 1775

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807-1882
Written April 19, 1860; first published in 1863 as part of "Tales of a Wayside Inn"

This famous ride put into motion events that can only be described as one of the top ten most important events in the history of man.

Gun Control NOW

As usual, my pitiful writing skills could never do the subject justice.

Mrs. DuToit says it in perfect terms. Read it and agree.

Gun Control now...hell no let us make carrying mandatory, I say.

A loss for words

Finding words on paper or in face to face communications has never been a problem for me. I find it strange that I have the inability to communicate at this time.

I was traveling to Chicago and back yesterday, so I heard most of the events in Blacksburg unfold. Terrorists, crazy, inaccurate reports were all ideas that crossed my mind at various times during the day. The whole thing was sad and disturbing. I am angered my the politicians looking to make hay, especially the representative from Northern Virginia (Rydell?) who blamed Republicans and the President for the massacre. What a sad, pathetic little man.

One person was responsible -- not a gun, not ammunition, not Virginia's gun control laws, not the NRA, not a delay in responding by University officials. The responsible party was a crazy fucker hell bent on murder, plain and simple. No amount of gun laws could have prevented this. Believe me, we will spend a treasure on the questions, but the how and why are not really important.

Tonight, while watching various news coverages, pictures of the victims flashed on the screen. One of the students bore a passing resemblance to my oldest son. A wave of pain crossed my mind. What if that were my child? I have a daughter in college, a son on the way next year. How could I cope if they were found, life blood leaking on the cement floor of a classroom? How do you reconcile the life of your child with an act of complete senseless, idiotic, bat-shit crazy violence? I thought I was going to cry. I have often been called a cold hearted son of a bitch, but the whole thing really hit me at that moment.

I am at a loss for words. I pray for peace to the families. I am helpless otherwise.God forbid I should ever know their pain.

April 17, 2007

Sorry

The women in my life, my mother and my wife, have repeatedly told me that people just do not get my sense of humor. What I find funny, others do not. Sometimes I hit the mark, other times I fail. I thought there were sufficient hints in the now-gone post to give away the joke: "Joseph K Simpson is my alter ego". It probably wasn't really funny in retrospect. What I was trying to do was find a way to reference a piece of writing I thought was pretty good (for me anyway) and when I found that photo of a man and his son at the beach with a boogie board (actually a wake board in the photo), I thought it went along perfectly with the story. Just a bit obtuse, I guess -- especially if you do not know my true identity.

Feel free to call me an asshole.


BTW, what if that was a an actual, two week old picture of the author of Fat in Indiana?

Let this be a lesson, never trust what you read on the internet.

April 16, 2007

Who is your enemy?

When you see the protests in the streets of San Francisco, when you see the riots at G8 meetings, when you wonder why we are struggling to win the War on Terror you ask yourself "who are these people?" Here is what we are fighting, here is the true liberal viewpoint. Here is what they think about corporations, about capitalism, about the military, about YOU.


Read it here.


h/t erica

April 15, 2007

a good thing

Weekend Funny

Y'know" said the Scotsman, "I still prefer the pubs back home. In Glasgow there's a little bar called McTavish's. Now the landlord there goes out of his way for the locals so much that when you buy four drinks he will buy the fifth drink for you."


"Well," said the Englishman, "at my local, The Red Lion, the barman there will buy you your third drink after you buy the first two."


"Ahhhhh, that's nothing," said the Irishman. "Back home in Dublin there's Ryan's Bar. Now the moment you set foot in the place they'll buy you a drink, then another, all the drinks you like. Then when you've had enough drinks they'll take you upstairs and see that you get laid. All on the house."


The Englishman and Scotsman immediately scorn the Irishman's claims but he swears every word is true.


"Well," asked the Englishman, "did this actually happen to you?"


"Not me meself, personally, no," said the Irishman. "But it did happen to me sister."

April 13, 2007

Calling Kilgore Trout

I intended to write a post about the death of Kurt Vonnegut. I wrote and rewrote it three times. Finally I decided my comment over at Og's summed it up best:

I loved Vonnegut in my youth. Then I grew up and realized he was full of crap, self-righteous crap at that.


There is really nothing else pertinent to say. And so it goes.

Now I have to worry about this

I have been having plumbing issues lately, I thought it was just a by-product of Algores low flush toilets. I hope it is not this. I may have to move!

The one I left off the list

Otter was disappointed I left Williamsport, PA off my list of places visited, so here is the story of my only visit:

So there I was trying to be a good brother. I stop off in the 'port (Williamsport that is, home of Little League and bridges over the mighty mighty Susquehanna) to visit my one and only brother. He says, how about a beer. I tell him I am not much of a drinker, but to be sociable I would have maybe one. We go to a bar, Otter has two or three beers while I nursed my one.

We go to another bar, I have a soft drink, Otter has several beers.

We go to dinner, I have another beer, since I do not want to be a party-pooper. I do not think I finished it. Otter has several more, maybe a mixed drink too. I call my wife and read from my pocket testament while Otter makes his 5th trip to the head. I beg the waitress to cut him off. Otter becomes belligerent so we leave. I am sure he short tipped the poor girl.

We go to another and then another bar, I am lost, it is way past my bedtime. Otter and his evil girlfriend tell me they are ordering me a non-alcoholic drink -- one that is cool, fruity and refreshing. I think 'Tom Collins' or virgin daiquiri. I discover later it is a dirty martini. I only had a sip, the drink was too strong, since I was so unused to spirits of any kind. I paid the bar bill anyway, just to be brotherly. Finally Otter took me to his house, I said my prayers and slept the sleep of the truly innocent. Not used to staying up so late, my head is light and I feel groggy. I am disoriented from lack of sleep and the couch actually felt as if it were spinning.

The next day I don my suit and head north to upstate New York to meet with my customer. I do not feel well, it must have been something I ate. I had to stop several times to crap, and my hands were shaking. Man was I thirsty. I decided to buy some water, and discovered my wallet was empty, my money clip gone. "I bet I dropped my money when I was paying for Otter's massive bar bill", I said aloud. Golly I was disappointed in myself. I decided I would drive back after my meeting and ask the bartender if he found my money. Otter called and suggested I should kick the guy's ass, but that kind of violence has never been my way.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I found my money clip in my jeans pocket from the previous night. Hah, hah it was sure funny, I guess I was just really tired from keeping track of Otter. Boy, older siblings can be trying sometimes! Anyway that is the story of my trip to the 'port. That is the way it happened, I swear on my Bible.

April 12, 2007

Lady Liberty Weeps

OK, I just have this to say about the whole Imus thing. I find it completely ironic the same people who will stand by an asshole burning and shitting on an American Flag, defending the jackoff's right to 'free speech', have cost this guy his job. The thought police are alive and well in the US. Well Fuck you Jesse Jackson, up yours Al Sharpton.

Since the beginning of written communications those in favor of a strong government have controlled the means of communication. Our forefathers recognized this and guaranteed the right to speak your mind. Clearly a segment of this country disagrees with this. Imus is an ass. The comments he has made about Bush and Chaney were far more offensive than these that cost him his job. The way you deal with people who offend you are to turn the station, not buy the paper, turn off the radio and TV. Censorship is never the answer, it is just another slip down the slope toward totalitarianism. I am not one of those paranoids who think the black helicopters are circling the compound, but I do recognize when our freedoms are challenged. Look at history, it is full of Hitlers and Maos and Stalins and Lenins who recognized the best way to control the population is to control the media.

The hypocrisy of Jackson and Sharpton and his ilk who are Jew haters and bigots at best and race baiters in extreme is appalling. A sad day indeed.

Gotta make the donuts

So many questions and so little time. I feel like I am being assaulted by rabid bunnies. More stories to come, but work takes priority. I need to make the donuts to pay the bills to keep the Internet running.

I had the weirdest dream this morning.

Otter, if you are reading, do you want to tell Richmond why the Grand Canyon is not on my list of places visited? This is a great family story.

April 11, 2007

And to think I saw it on Muberry Street


The post about my long-ago Texas vacation got me thinking about the many interesting places I have been. Through my job I have been afforded many chances to travel. In no particular order here are some cool and interesting places I have visited:

Graceland (twice)
Mud Island in Memphis -- very cool
The Baseball Hall of Fame
Yosemite
The Cascade River Gorge
Mount Hood
Mount Saint Helens
Disneyland and Disneyworld
Amsterdam
Paris
London
Frankfurt
Wurtzburg
Hamburg
Regensburg
Turin
Hanover
Tours
Toronto
The Windsor Ballet
The Austrian Alps
Mount Vernon
Door County Wisconsin
The locks at Sault Ste Marie
New York
Portland Oregon
Washington DC
The Battlefields of Shiloh, Gettysburg, Antietam, Stones River, Fort Pillow, Spring Mill, Perryville, and others
Kings Island
The Children's Museum in Indianapolis
Six Flags over Georgia
Stone Mountain
Universal
San Padre Island
Knotts Berry Farm
The Painted Desert / The Petrified Forrest
The Redwood Forrest
San Fransisco
LA
Chicago
Wrigley Field
I have swam in the Pacific, the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico
I have visited all of the Great Lakes
The St Louis Arch
The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago
Myrtle and Daytona Beaches
The Vulcan Statue in Birmingham
Mammoth Cave
The Race Track in Darlington
JR Cigars
The Indianapolis Speedway
The Daytona Speedway
The Alamo
Bufford Pusser's House

I am sure there are more I have forgotten. What cool places have you visited? Do any of these places interest you? Tell which place appeals to you and I will write a post about my visit there.

Bread and Cheese, baby

Now here is the whine:

Enough of the rain and snow and cold already. It is nearly May.

Can we just drop the coverage of Anna Nicole now?

If Nancy Pelosi violated the Logan Act, she should be prosecuted.

Another few weeks of playing like this and the Cubs will be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs

I am glad to see the NFL is doing their best to keep from becoming the NBA, namely a league that caters to gangsta and thugs and paid for by white middle class fans. The traditional fan base is leaving the NBA, and ticket sales are dropping. Can the NFL stop the trend?

The idea that Indianapolis could not handle a Super Bowl is a joke. The Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 attract in the neighborhood of one quarter of a MILLION fans. The city has hosted numerous College Final Fours and the NBA championships. Indy hosted the Pan Am Games. Before the libtards ruined basketball in Indiana by trying to ensure every single school could be labeled champion, the annual High School basketball tournament drew nearly as many fans as the Super Bowl. When did your state draw 60,000 fans to a basketball game? Do celebs and journalists want to come to Indy in January or February? Probably not. State your objections for what they are, the city is no NOLA or South Beach, but to claim the city could not handle Super Bowl crowds is a joke and an insult.

If the Governor of Indiana fails to veto the huge pay raise the legislature just voted themselves, he will never get another vote from me. Oh, and local reps, if you voted for the raise you are sure I will vote against you in the next election.

When is anyone of either party going to do anything about the Hispanic assault on our country?

When are we going to admit we are in a cultural and religious war? Fight them now or fight them later.

Fucking dandelions.

Donald Davidson is already appearing on the radio, am I the only one who would like to punch that guy in the face? What does he do the rest of the year? (FYI -- he is the historian of the Indy 500 and bores us with trivia all during the month of May. Even as a history devotee, he bores the shit out of me)

How did the Pacers become so bad?

I just returned from vacation, yet I am sick of work, this house, the radio, the TV, reading, this blog, the internet, my family, and American Idol. Come on, entertain me!

What is bugging you?

April 10, 2007

Breakfast of Champions


I just had a Banquet brand Mexican-style enchilada meal for breakfast. I accompanied it with a glass of unsweetened ice tea. Screw you southerners who say you must have sugar in iced tea, I am already so sweet that any more sugar would be an overload. And don't you dare call me a Yankee, learn your history, Yankees come from New England, and they talk funny. I do not like sugar in my tea or my coffee. Get over it.

One of my favorite movies was on Sunday -- The Sound of Music. The boys made fun of the movie the whole time we were eating our late Easter Dinner. They made me miss my favorite part, the Do Re Me scene. I am making up for it by listening to the soundtrack to the movie as I write this. Does the fact that I like musicals and even own the soundtrack to The Sound of Music indicate some kind of homo tendencies? I can't help it, I think Julie Andrews is hot in this movie. Not as hot as Esther Williams in her prime hot, but sexy in a way. I liked her in Mary Poppins too.

I have baseball practice this evening. Afterwards I may have to pop in a John Wayne or Clint Eastwood movie in order to reassert my manliness.

Go Read This

If you have not read this post over at Grouchy Old Cripple, you are missing out on some true brilliance.

Then read this from Old and Evil, he is right on as well.

Texas Memories

The upcoming blogmeet in Texas has stirred forgotten memories of one of my trips to the Lone Star State. It was 1985, the wife and I had been hitched about a year. We had no kiddies yet, but we were having great fun practicing their manufacture. The wife had two sisters then living in the Austin area and we decided to drive down for a week or two and visit.

On the way down we decided to take old US Highways and state roads all the way. No interstates were to be involved, except maybe as bypasses around the big cities. "Crazy" you say aloud to the keyboard. "Why?" you mutter under your breath. 'Maybe' I answer to your first comment and that is just how I roll I reply to the latter. Hey, for the HB getting there is half the fun. The wife did not enjoy the journey much and we took straight boring Interstate home. The return trip was about two hours shorter and a lot less interesting. As a side benefit the wife was forced to learn to read a map to navigate us successfully there and back. Oh, and as a side note to the side note, did I mention we did this trip in July? Did I mention we had a Chevette, without air conditioning? I can hear you, and I do not appreciate being called a "totally fucking batshit lunatic."

We hit some of the tourist spots in that part of Texas, we partied in Austin, we went down to the park by the river, we viewed the tower where the sniper wreaked his havoc. We went to a huge bar where everyone was doing the Texas Two Step in their cowboy hats and snap pocket shirts. We saw the beginning of hill country. We went to the water park in New Braunfels and we hit the Alamo. We drank a few beers and rode the boats on the river walk while in San Antonio.

One of the best parts of the trip was a side trip for a weekend in Corpus Cristi. We went to check into our deluxe accommodations at the Holiday Inn. We dropped our luggage to find the room was not cleaned. As we went into the bathroom I understood why. Someone had been fishing and they had cleaned and gutted the fish in the bathroom. There was blood and entrails everywhere. I guess the maid just claimed it was clean knowing someone else would have to do the job later. The place looked like a mob hit had occurred. We had a great time on San Padre. There exists somewhere one of my favorite pictures of a young Mrs. HB in the sunset, long curly dark hair blowing in the breeze. The curves of her body showing clear in the back light. I cannot find it to post. Use your imagination.

The trip was for the most part good fun, except dealing with the wife's BIL (an ex BIL now, thank God) who was/is a loud mouth jerkbag. He was one of those "anything you can do I can do better" types. A full blown liar and a bore to boot. Her sister is OK , though. The trip was nearly ruined when their neighbors brought over their 'pet' black snake. I came pretty close to punching that bitch right in the face when she pushed me into a corner with the serpent of death. They finally decided I was not kidding when I told her if she touched me with that goddamn snake I would kick the shit out of her then I would kill her in her sleep and the fucking snake too. The near hysteria in my voice convinced them I was not joking -- and to set the record straight -- I wasn't.

In all we had a good time in Texas, our first real vacation together (other than our honeymoon).

April 9, 2007

Another One Bites the Dust

Another fine blogger has hung up his keyboard. Bob McNear over at Hoosierhawk has called it quits. Always gracious, he waits nearly two f-ing years to tell me I have misspelled the name on his blog.

Please let me know when you come out of retirement. You will be missed.

April 8, 2007

A Day at the Beach

He gasped as he stepped into the surf. He knew the Atlantic was cold, but the chill surprised him every time. The waves were a little higher this time. The ebb tide had turned and high tide was again on the make. His friend and their kid had gone with his son to the outer sand bank about 50 yards offshore where the waves broke just a little bigger. There they could feel the waves crash into their bodies and take turns riding the boogie board on top of the waves for 15 yards or so.

He had made the trip out twice earlier in the afternoon. He could wade out about 30 or 40 feet then he had to swim out to the sand bank where the water was waist deep at best. He had promised his son one more trip out through the surf. When the time came, he begged off. The sun and day at the beach coupled with the two previous swims in the cold ocean to the sand bar had taken their toll; the man was tired. His friend said he would go and with his larger teen aged daughter and the man's small teen aged son they set out, calling him as wuss. The man's wife heckled him to go, reminding him he had promised his son. The man got to his feet with a sigh and followed the three into the surf.

At the sand bar the waves hit with more power than before, coming quicker and stronger with the growing tide. The water was not so cold once you got used to it he remarked. Soon the tide made it time to go in. The water level at the sandbar was now at the man's chest level as opposed to barely waist level a few hours earlier.

The man and his son started back. The son was an OK swimmer so he paddled on top of the boogie board. The man waded along for a few steps then was forced to swim. He would climb the swell with a strong breast stroke. He was forced to stop and tread water to stay with his son. The waves were growing larger. It took more effort to climb to the top of each succeeding wave. The waves came quicker and he urged his son to paddle faster. A wave broke over his head. He saw a large wave coming and swam to the top. In the valley he could feel the pull backward, he swam forward and moved only a few feet against the current. The pattern repeated. Now the swim to shore was fifty or sixty yards as opposed to the thirty before.

He urged his son to go quicker, a little panic creeping into his mind. His friends were far behind him. He swam to the top of another wave, his arms and legs beginning to feel heavy. Again he urged his son to hurry. He was smothered in the swell again, this time he swallowed the salty seawater. His arms and legs felt like lead. He could not swim another stroke. He tread water for a minute to see his son, now 10 yards behind him. Another wave. "Come on" he shouted. Another wave. Always a good swimmer, he could not believe he was struggling like this. Another wave. His legs would not move. Oh God, he thought, I am not going to make it. Another wave. The shore was too far. Another wave. He went under again. He tried to swim, but his arms would not work. Another wave. He rolled to his back, knowing if he could just rest a moment he would be fine. Another wave. He swallowed even more water. He called to his son to hurry, maybe he could rest on the board for a moment and catch his breath. Another wave. His son saw the worry on his dad's face and mistook it. He shouted back he was fine. Another wave.

The man drew on every bit of strength he could find and swam a few yards before he was pounded down by another wave, he was closer. He wife began running into the surf, she could see he was foundering. His friend told his daughter to hurry and they sped forward. The man could not move his arms. He went under to see if he could stand up yet, the bottom still was beyond his reach, maybe an inch -- maybe by feet. The effort to climb to the top of the swell was all he could muster. Another wave. He turned to look at his son, concerned he was OK. The boy was dog paddling with ease over the swell. Another wave. The man went under. Pure panic set in, but he could not move his exhausted limbs. He felt sorry for his family, he was embarrassed, he fought again, but the energy was gone. Another wave. He struggled, he thought his tired lungs would burst. Another wave.

He at last felt the bottom and was enveloped by a warm glow the likes of which he never felt before. He was calm, he was peaceful. He felt another wave crash over him. He was no longer tired. Another wave pushed his lifeless body toward the shore, just a few yards away.
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