July 31, 2008

Random Ramblings

I have not had any coffee all week. No reason, I am just to lazy to make the stuff. I watched an old John Candy movie last night. The wife and I shared a bowl of popcorn. The grilled chicken sandwich we had for supper left me a bit hungry. I grilled them with a homemade honey/Dijon mustard glaze. We bought the car the boy and I liked. I will likely get the cold shoulder for a few weeks. The perfect car will appear everywhere we look, practically for free in the coming days. That is just how my life works.

The boy begins play in the Regional Tournament this week. The team gets to play because we are hosting the tournament. I know they are good enough to win a few, but I bet they go two and out. The boy has been playing well and hitting the crap out of the ball in practice. They have been bringing in recently graduated high school pitchers to throw batting practice. It will not matter if he hits a homerun every time. The coach is determined he will not play him. One kid got to hit,I should say try to hit, for about ten minutes. He was never able to put the bat on horsehide. He will still get to play, because the coach once saw him hit a triple. We have to overlook the fact he cannot field, is an idiot on the bases and strikes out more than any other player. The one time out of twenty he makes contact he hits it far.

As you know, I rarely comment on other blogs or even here. Usually when I do I am trying to be funny. Last week I left what I thought was a hilarious comment gently poking fun at another blogger for not posting. I guess I hit a sore spot. My mom always warned me others do not always see my humor. I guess I will be back to being a lurker.

July 30, 2008

Up in smoke

More funny stuff from the local paper:

At its regular Monday night meeting, the Shelby County Board of Commissioners decided to hold a special joint meeting to discuss funding the weed board. --The Shelbyville News



Yes, I know they are talking about weeds, not weed. It is still funny.

Baby you can drive my car

Didja miss me? Sometimes my need to earn a living trumps my hobbies; mea culpa.

You may recall (or maybe I did not report it) the boy threw a rod in his piece o crap car several weeks ago. We have been car shopping since. I hate car shopping. Part of the reason I hate it is the wife is an impossible shopper. She is the kind that goes to the mall and looks at dresses in fifteen stores and goes back and forth comparing them. I ask why she does not buy the first one she likes. She says she might find something better later on. I say I wouldn't because I would have quit looking. Imagine her approach when shopping for cars. We find one we like, test drive it, let the kid drive it, negotiate on pricing and move on to look at others. She cannot understand why the salespeople will not call her back or keeping looking for other vehicles for her. She is looking for that perfect car, but does not know what it is until she finds it.

We found a nice car for the boy. Low miles, fairly new, clean. The price is within 1-2 hundred of our budget. The payments are in the range we expect to pay. The boy likes the car. He wanted a 'dark' car, this one is silver but he says he is OK with that -- he meant he did not want a bright color like red or yellow or gold or blue. Since he did not list silver on his list of wants she thinks he is settling because he has been without a car for more than a month. He says he likes the car. His first choice would be a brand new Civic or Smart Car, but he knows that is not an option so this car is fine. The wife hears that as "OK I will take it". I hear "the car is fine, buy it". The real hidden truth is the car is not what she would want to drive (it is an '05 Malibu). I keep reminding her that the car is for the kid. He has been emphatic he does not want spoilers or anything sporty. He wants a plain four door vehicle and this car fits the bill.

So here we are, negotiating done, financing approved and she wants to keep shopping. I say we are done. The boy says the car is fine buy it. She wants to keep looking. I ask her again what she wants -- she does not know, but when she finds the car she will know. I cannot tell you how frustrated I am about this. She does this every time we buy a car, and she wonders why I hate car shopping.

I told her she has to talk to the sales guy when he calls this morning. I also told her I am done, she can do all of the finding, negotiating arranging for financing etc. if she backs out. I had to explain for the tenth time that you have to redo the financing if you choose a different vehicle (she thinks we are just approved for x amount and we can choose the car based on that budget). I tried to tell he that this particular salesman has been really, really patient. he calls every few days with another car for us to look at. I say he will never call again. She says why not?

She thinks I am being an asshole.

I think I would rather have live chickens stuffed in my pants than spend one more minute buying a car with her.

July 28, 2008

Monday, Monday

Working, on the road today and tommorrow, Vacation the balance of the week. Woohaw.

I had a beautiful, pithy post composed in my mind yesterday. I did not write it down, and sunsequently slept. Mow I cannot remember even the basic idea. Too bad for you, too bad for me.

Have a good day.

July 25, 2008

The Sounds of Silence

Hear that? What you hear is the sound of Ethernet crickets chirping away. There is no staccato clickity-clack as I two finger the keyboard. The gentle hum you perceive is my brain trying desperately to find something, anything, interesting to share with you, gentle reader. I have no rants, no jokes, no anecdotes, no cartoons, no desire to create Friday Five feature you all hate.

Buck up little cowboy, you got multiple posts yesterday. More importantly, in spite of my best efforts, you got one today after all!

July 24, 2008

Packing beef in his pants...

5:39 p.m., Kroger's, 1601 E. Michigan Road - According to the police report, a loss-prevention employee first saw Gary E. Junken, 50, pulling ham out of his pants and leaving it in the soft-drink aisle. He then followed Junken and observed Junken packing beef in his pants. When stopped after going through the checkout and leaving the building, he had three packages concealed in his pants, approximately nine pounds of Kroger-brand ground beef, priced at $6.27 each. Junken was charged with criminal conversion.
--The Shelbyville News 07/22/2007

Me and Junken are...

I went to the farmer's market

One of the things I like best about summer is the availability of fresh produce. So I was pleased when the local open-air produce stand finally opened a few weeks ago. I stopped by yesterday to grab a few fresh tomatoes. I love tomatoes, especially those with a fresh tangy flavor. It reminds me of my youth when we used to pluck them from the vine and eat them on the spot. Sometimes I even ate them from our own garden...The juice would run down your chin...I can still taste that sweet, acidy earthy flavor...

I grabbed a half dozen beauties, four red and two yellow (I like yellow best). They were ripe and a nice size, just a few imperfections in the shape and skin. No engineered hot house perfectos for me. I diced one last night for taco toppings. The tomato seemed rather tasteless, but maybe it was overpowered by the spices in the dish.

This morning sliced up one of the red beauties and prepared some bacon as accompaniment. I made some coffee and poured a glass of OJ to wash it all down. It was a breakfast fit for a king. Only again the tomato was bland and tasteless. It was no better than the tomatoes I could have grabbed at Marsh or Kroger. In fact the last bunch of tomatoes I bought at Marsh were far superior. Has my local produce guy begun to buy his produce from the same old hot houses as the big grocery stores? I hope not. I had my heart set on buying a fresh cantaloupe for a Saturday cookout.

Humping it on hump day

I am sore as heck. Yesterday I put in a full day's work. I mowed the yard. I hit around a tennis ball with the boy. I took apart the bunkbeds. I made a delicious supper of tacos an cleaned up the mess. The wife was making fun of me because I fell asleep in the chair.

She did laundry all day. I would rather have my day's activities.

July 23, 2008

A case of common sense

Sometimes you read something and say "I wish I had written that". What he said Common sense abounds in Nathan's post. His thoughts do not just apply to Gary or Indianapolis, they are accurate for Mulberry or Madison, Fort Wayne or French Lick. His ideas will work in Chicago, LA, Detroit or Washington DC (ok, maybe not Detroit).

Buy a gun, look out for your neighbors, and remember it not the the policeman's job to prevent crime, but to find the criminal afterward.

Finally I can come out of the Clothet

Joan, always one to call a spade a spade (relax Dallas, Texas the reference is to cards) has outed me. I am now out of the closet. You all now know I am as gay as South Carolina! I am listening to the soundtrack from The Sound of Music right now. A Chorus Line is up next. Come on and sing along: One...singular sensation.... I am off later to complete my Judy Garland CD collection. The H&G network is tuned in and I spent the night catching up on all of the Design Star episodes. I think I am going to like this gay lifestyle, well, except the taking it up the no no chute part. But what-the-heck, if my wife can get by without putting out, I can do the same with my not yet found gay partner. Maybe I can be gay without being, gay. Can I be a queer guy who likes chicks?

The little one's baseball team finished as runners up in the SE Indiana State Championship. They have finished as number two five of the last six years. The boy ended up hitting .400 for the tournament, scoring two runs. He got little playing time. It makes you feel good when the parents all ask why he is not playing and most of the team is asking him what he did to the coach to not get to play. Even the coach's son is telling his dad the boy should be playing. Of course the coach is a cement head who will never admit he is wrong or made a bad decision, so he will not change the starting lineup no matter what. One kid had ONE hit in over twenty at-bats (with 5 errors). Thank goodness this is the last year we have to play for this guy.

I am not one of those parents who thinks his kid is the greatest ever. I recognize reality. The boy is a good, better than average player. He is the 6th or 7th best player on the team. He was good enough to play with the high school JV team this summer and start. If he can play for the high school (he is an incoming Freshman)and start and hit against high school pitching, he is good enough to start and play for a team of 14 year olds. I got into an argument with the coach TWO years ago, and he has taken it out on my kid ever since. As a 9,10,11,and 12 year old all-star the boy started and played every minute. Then the coach and I had a disagreement (I thought we should play fall baseball, he did not want to), and the boy has played sparingly since. Did the boy suddenly become bad?

Drama.

July 22, 2008

Mr. Sandman

I rarely dream, and if I do I usually cannot remember what happens. This morning I woke from a fitful sleep, the strangest dream bouncing around my cranium, playing tag across my feeble synapses. I would come barely conscious only to be pulled down into slumber again by those crazy brothers Hypnos and Morpheus. Then the dream began again.

What was going on in this dream, you ask? What perverted, strange notions are revealed about my tortured soul and inner mind? I was obsessed that I need to make buttermilk biscuits. I needed to make them for the baseball team.

Have at it Freudians.

July 21, 2008

An open invite for Obama fans

Let us say you worked for a big company, made a decent wage and liked your job. Lets say the company hired a guy right out of school and made him a low level supervisor on a swing shift. After a few months he moved into a higher position. After about a year in mid-level management the company and its board of directors decided this bright, good looking, articulate young man should be handed the reigns of the company and made CEO. Would that give you a warm fuzzy? Would you feel comfortable your job would be there in a year or two?

I did not think so. Then how in the fuck can you even consider voting for an empty suit with NO Discernible accomplishments, no demonstrated leadership skills, nothing on his resume at all to indicate he should be given the office of President of the United States of America? Name one thing, besides offering an empty promise of Hope and Change that Obama has EVER accomplished?

If you believe Obama is the man for the job you are an idiot. His platform is straight from the Communist Manifesto. Look it up. Go to Barry's web site and read his plan for Hope and Change. Then read the seminal works of Marx and Engels. Seven of the ten points outlined by the fathers of communism are part of Obama's vision for America. Do you think it would be cool to live in 1970's USSR, or Cuba, or any of the African shitholes that have adopted Communism? Does the life of a Venezuelan peasant sound good to you? Do you want to stand in line to by a roll of sandpaper asswipe or bread?

Prove me wrong. Here is an open invite to any Obama supporter -- I will let you have the keys to this broken down Chevy Nova blog to create your own post refuting me. Highlight where I am wrong in the comments and I will give all the space you need for a post detailing your position. Make it good, I have to be convinced.

July 19, 2008

Saturday In the Park

What can I say? I have nothing for you that would be interesting. Right now we are doing baseball, and I am sure you have no interest in that soap opera. Work, well it is work. The weather, it is hot. It is summer. You make the connection, and it has nothing to do with global climate change warming, whatever. My bad attitude is still here, sarcasm and cutting remarks not far from the edge of my tongue. I wish some idiot trolls would stop by. I thought my mini-rant on GW would encourage some leftists to join in, but all I got was an honest disagreement among friends. In the end, my complaint is GW is not conservative enough, and some of you rightly point out he never claimed to be a conservative. C'est la vie.

July 18, 2008

The Dark Night

New Batman movie -- 4 stars, go see it. More later, I am going on three hours of sleep. I am just up to make sure the eldest boy is up for work.

July 17, 2008

Tide Pens and Eyeglasses Cleaners

I was at the store the other day. In front of me was a little girl in the cart. As her mother unloaded the groceries, the little girl grabbed candy bars from the rack. She must have liked bright colors because Reese Cups and Juicy Fruit were her sweets of choice. The harried mother repeatedly admonished the tyke and replaced the candy.

Stores like to put products near the check-out line because they can catch us on impulse purchases. As you stand there fuming about the old lady and her coupons you ponder buying that laser pointer keychain. As she writes her check with an agonizing slow scrawl you wonder if that roll of packaging twine will be strong enough to choke the life out of her. As the welfare queen gets out her WIC vouchers and food stamp debit card you weigh the option of Payday or $100,000 Grand candy bars. Do you need the travel pack of tissues or the disposable lighter? Does the cover shot of anorexic celebrities warrant the purchase of People? Are we out of glue, do I need a disposable lighter emblazoned with the #20 of Tony Stewart? Breath mints, jerky, and sodas in a cashier-side cooler beckon me.

There, in a nutshell, you have the benefit of adulthood staring you in the face. You can have that Milky Way. You can buy the miniature can of WD-40. You are free to choose. You make the decisions of life. If you want to drop your hard-earned cash on the CD cleaner you can. It is good to be me, it is good to be an adult...at least by chronological measurement.

Alternative energy, what is it good for?

Go read this and agree.

A cowardly troll chastised me last week when I pointed out that investing in alternate fuels is a joke, since these "alternate" fuels do not exist.

I take that back, for the last decade or so they have raced solar powered cars across the US. They make the trip slightly faster that Grandpappy did in his Conestoga wagon. Solar powered cars will work great in the upper Midwest and Northeast in the winter [sarcasm alert], (let us sing) when the skies are cloudy all day...from late December until early March. Have you ever been to Michigan in February?

Wind turbine powered cars will be a terrific idea until Ralph Nader and his bunch sue the pants off the inventor because some moron got his arm chopped off by the fan blades. We must make everything idiot proof to keep from getting sued.

Yep, I am still in a pissy mood, and it ain't gonna get better. I am fed up with politicians, with government in general, and and idiots who think we need more laws, more regulation, more Government interference, more taxes, and think they can legislate for my better good.

The spirit of my Revolutionary War era ancestors is running strong. I am becoming more and more ( I think 'increasingly' is the word I am looking for) convinced we need to start over.

July 16, 2008

The legacy of GW Bush

I have come to the conclusion that our current President is the Republican version of Jimmah Carter, inept and leaderless. He did a good job following the attacks of September 11, and he has shown some occasional bright spots since, but his desire to get along and to be liked has failed miserably. Bush has trampled the Conservative principles of those that elected him twice. The Republican Congress of his first term spent like drunken sailors in Tijuana and Bush lifted nary a veto pen. He did not lead from his bully pulpit to encourage fiscal responsibility and as a result we have a falling dollar and rising inflation. He has mismanaged the War on Terror. It is rare he speaks against anyone. The recent spike in oil opened a perfect door for the President, a former oilman, to push for increased domestic drilling. He has spoken out, but only in mild terms. Sometimes the situation calls for fist pounding and angry accusations.

We looked for this President to get the Government smaller and it has only grown under his watch. The No Child Left Behind Act is a disaster -- ask anyone involved in Education. He did get us tax breaks, and the economy rebounded well after 9/11, but we have seen little leadership since. His appointments for Sec State and other high level positions have been lousy.

President Bush came to office with a reputation of getting along with the Democrats. He wanted to be known as a bipartisan leader. Instead he just looks weak. I learned long ago that the way to win a debate is to get your opposition to accept your argument on a small level and build from there. If you can get buy-in on a small premise, you can win the argument or negotiation.

For example in negotiations, I may make a statement like "I am sure you agree our quality and delivery are unmatched in the industry." When the customer agrees, I will tell him that he knows such standards have a cost. Now we are negotiating on my terms. The customer will agree that a Rolls Royce has a hefty price tag because it is better. By the same token, my widgets command a higher price. Now we are discussing how much more he will pay for my product instead of negotiating the lowest price possible. It may or may not be true I have the best quality, but that was accepted by his previous agreement.

In just the same manner this President has allowed the Liberals to set the agenda and grounds for negotiation. Trying to be bipartisan he has allowed them to negotiate from a position of strength. When one begins every argument on the defensive you can only look weak. You have to win a few fights before you can be seen to "compromise", otherwise you are just a loser. By accepting the liberal premise the Federal Government needs to be involved and "fix" education we get No Child Left Behind, not the elimination of the Department of Education. By accepting the Climate Change scenario, we are discussing ways to battle non-existent man made global warming instead of debate on its causes or even its existence. We argue about how much we should mandate for a minimum raise instead of what effects it will have on the economy. We discuss how much of a "rebate" we give people who do not even pay taxes instead of the merits of such a proposal.

As such, I would not be surprised to see the President show up for an Oval Office speech in a sweater telling us to turn down our thermostats this winter.

What really disturbs me is I am afraid the current Republican candidate is from the same mold.

July 15, 2008

Nobody puts Baby in the corner

We were watching Dirty Dancing last night. Everyone who has ever seen that movie knows the stupid line in the title of this post. There are other famous movie lines.

Luke, I am your father

Frankly my Dear, I don't give a damn

we have a half a tank of gas, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses

I love the smell of napalm in the morning


Some people would add "Play it again Sam", but that line is not in the movie Casablanca. What are some of you favorite movie lines?

For many of you the order of my links must have appeared pretty random. Well, I was used to it. Now I have went and alphabetized you. I can't find anyone! If you want a link let me know. If you want off the list, and who would really want to be associated with this blog, let me know.

July 14, 2008

Loyalty

With few exception I have never been a brand loyal person. The brands that I will buy every time are limited. I always get Wonder Bread. I like Minute Maid OJ. Some condiments are staples -- Lea & Perrins, A-1 and Heinz Ketchup. Beyond those things listed, I will buy whatever is on sale or suits my fancy. I may usually buy a certain brand, but it is not certain.

For years I drank Strohs beer. I spent some time on the Old Style bandwagon, but switched back to Strohs. I followed them from the brown/gold to the white to the blue cans. Somewhere along the line it changed its taste. I spent a decade or so drinking Miller High Life. The past 4-5 years I have consumed Bud or Bud Light. I do not drink like I used to, so I guess I have consumed far more Strohs (and suffered the subsequent green shits) than any other beer. If I could choose I really prefer a good Bavarian brewed hefeweizen ( and no fruit -- a pure American invention).

Now I see that Bud is being bought by a big international consortium. Will they change the formula? Will Bud taste more like the horrible Stella or the equally lousy Beck's? Only time will tell. It really doesn't matter. I can easily order a Miller Light or High Life or another plain, tasteless American brew at any of the places I go.

Heck, I see Strohs is on sale...

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

Well, I was wrong in my previous post. My pessimistic attitude was off the mark. I actually had a good time. In fact, I was the one ready to leave. Of course the kids stayed late, my daughter said the reception finally ended at 11:00 (we left around 8:00). Considering the wedding was at 2:30 and we got to the reception place around 4:00, that is a good party by any standards.

When it came time to throw the bouquet, all the girls lined up as usual. The bride noticed my daughter was not out there, so she was called to the dance floor by the DJ. The bride took careful aim and tossed the flowers over her shoulder to my daughter (the maid of honor and best friend). At that point, the groom's sister shot across the crowd of girls, tackled my daughter and ripped the bouquet from her hands. My daughter just gave them up. Yes, I believe alcohol was involved. Later, this same groom's sister dropped and broke not one, or even two, but three glasses on the dance floor. This forced the bar to switch to plastic cups.

A tear welled in my eye as they introduced the wedding party. My daughter came in with a bottle of wine in her hand. A chip off the old block is she. The biggest difference is she is a senior in college with a 3.8 GPA. She is pretty, too. I made it possible for at least one person to claim he graduated in the top 50% of the class, and have this big old Frankenstein head.

We actually danced a couple of times, and I did not embarrass anyone, to the best of my knowledge. Put me in a tie and I can behave. I now need to brush my teeth and wash out my mouth. I will also bleach my typing finger. Saying that awful word in the title, or even typing it, makes me ill. I am not used to being wrong not right.

July 12, 2008

Ding Dong the bells are gonna chime

We are going to a wedding today. It is my daughter’s best friend. My daughter is the Maid of Honor. It is pouring down rain. No bride should have to get married on a rainy day.

The affair is a big Catholic wedding (no mass) with what I believe to be around 300 guests. There will be a sit down dinner, DJ, the works. I cannot imagine the cost of such a wedding. I will likely find out in the near future. I guess I take the man’s point of view — what a waste. That money would make a really nice honeymoon or even better, a down payment on a house or car. I would opt for a small ceremony, modest party and something tangible, if I were to vote. Yes ladies, I know. I had a big wedding too.

I expect I will be pissed by the time we get home. These things get the wife atwitter. She thinks I will say or do something that will embarrass her, or she thinks is inappropriate. I will not be allowed to quietly make fun of anyone, make sarcastic comments, discuss anything with anyone less I offend somebody. She will ignore the fact that I interact with people all day long, that I do know how to behave and be nice. I am a salesman for goodness sake. If I really spent my time being an ass in public I would be out of work. She transfers her insecurities to me, and I suffer for it. She ignores the fact I have never behaved the drunken lout or called the fat lady a tub of lard in a loud voice or wondered aloud about cousin Rudy's sexual orientation. Never happened, even once.

She will refuse to dance (even slow dance) or interact and I will sit there bored shitless the whole reception. She will frown at me if I drink more than a beer or two. By the end of the evening I will hate the couple, their families and my wife. I have been down this road before. There is nothing like sitting a table watching others have fun. We will not be allowed to leave early.

I have such an optimistic, sunny outlook.

Weekend Funny


You shouldn't be surfing the net at work anyway.

July 11, 2008

Friday Five

I am a stubborn cuss. Play, don't play, I will keep putting it up until I am bored with it. Just remember, if you loved me you would make an attempt. This week we are going to move away from Classic Rock and focus on Country Music. Lets get right to it shall we?

I believe this is one of the most beautiful and haunting songs ever written:
1. Hear the lonesome whiperwill
He sounds too blue to fly
The midnight train is whining low
Im so lonesome I could cry

Ive never seen a night so long
When time goes crawling by
The moon just went behind a cloud
To hide its face and cry


Two things have always stuck me about this artist. She can really sing too:
2. Here you come again
Just when Im about to make it work without you
You waltz right in the door
Just like you done before
And wrap my heart round your little finger


I love the story behind this song:
3. Out in the West Texas town of El Paso
I fell in love with a Mexican girl.
Night-time would find me in Rosa's cantina;
Music would play and Felina would whirl.

Blacker than night were the eyes of Felina,
Wicked and evil while casting a spell.
My love was deep for this Mexican maiden;
I was in love but in vain, I could tell.


I saw this guy in concert in the mid-1980's. He was so wasted he forgot his lyrics:
4. The preacher man says it’s the end of time
And the Mississippi River she’s a goin’ dry
The interest is up and the Stock Markets down
And you only get mugged
If you go down town

I live back in the woods, you see
A woman and the kids, and the dogs and me
I got a shotgun rifle and a 4-wheel drive
And a country boy can survive


Is this a country song, a rock song? I still like it:
5. People say I'm no good
I'm crazy as a loon
'cause I get stoned in the morning,
I get drunk in the afternoon.
Kinda like my old blue tick hound
I like to lay around in the shade.
And I ain't got no money
but I damn sure got it made.
'Cause I ain't askin' nobody for nothin'
if I can't get it on my own.
If you don't like the way I'm livin'
You just leave this long haired country boy alone.


bonus: This is perhaps the greatest country song ever written:
Last night I broke the seal on a Jim Beam decanter
That looks like Elvis
I soaked the label off a Flintstone Jelly Bean jar
I cleared us off a place on that one little table
that you left us
And pulled me up a big ole piece of floor

I pulled the head off Elvis
Filled Fred up to his pelvis
Yabba Dabba Doo, the King is gone
And so are you


Ah, what the hell here is video of the last song

The genius of B H Obama

Understand this. Instead of worrying about whether, uh, immigrants can learn English. They’ll learn English. You need to make sure your child can speak Spanish! You should be thinking about how can your child become bilingual. We should have every child speaking more than one language.

--Barrack Obama.

If you agree with this you will vote for him. If you see the problem, you already will not. Why wast a lot of time and heartburn typing a long post? Every time this empty suit opens his mouth he gives us another reason not to vote for him.

Too Bad McCain is doing the same.

July 10, 2008

Summertime fun circa 1986

Hippies what are they good for

The news is the same old crap presented in the same old way. I do not know why we are surprised when the news reporters take on a bias in their reporting. The idea that the paper was politically neutral is a recent invention. Read your history. The Pulitzers and Hearst families pretty much egged the US into the SpanAm War. Many local papers were bannered the "XXXville Republican" or "Democrat" until after WWII.

As a matter of my historian training I am supposed to read all papers and histories, even primary sources with a jaundiced eye. We all have our petty biases and prejudices. Except for me, you can absolutely trust everything you read here as gospel truth and irrefutable logic.

July 9, 2008

Wish Management

Years ago when I worked in the lower ranks of the Big Corporation, we commented the company was run by Wish Management. That is to say the Company Management Wished something could happen and dictated it would. It did not matter if it was practical or possible. Certain managers adopted the Nike slogan "Just do it" long before it was seen on TV and T-shirts. Tons of money and hours of work were spent implementing policies and practices that actually hurt production and raised bottom line costs, all because some VP of Operations read about it in a book written by an academic who had never spent a day managing a shop floor or creating a production schedule.

These same sort of people make up the bulk of Washington politicians and the totality of the green wing of the Democratic Party. We all want clean water and herds of polar bears prowling the Arctic Desert. Who does not want to save the bald eagle and redwood trees? But the very idea we can somehow just live without cars and trucks and oil is ludicrous. Did you know it takes more energy to create the battery for a hybrid car than that same car can save in ten years? It takes more energy to refine ethanol form corn than oil? Who are we kidding? the new mandated light bulbs are an environmental hazard. Greenies have touted the evils of mercury and its effects on humans, fish and wildlife for decades and now they want me to bring mercury laden light bulbs into my house? Who was lying to whom? Is mercury safe or not?

Democrats and Obama want us to conserve oil. OK, I will do my best. They want to put millions and millions of dollars, my hard earned taxed dollars taken against my will from my salary, toward developing "alternate fuels". What are we talking here, cars that run on water? You see, this mysterious alternate fuel technology does not exist. It is just another case of "wish management". The libtards wish there was such a thing and it will happen. What then, water is a limited resource, already parts of the world are in a drought? What happens when millions of cars start using it as fuel? That aside, where do the Obamaramas think the average Hoosierboy will get the money to buy a new car that uses the new super duper mysterious not yet developed fuels? I will tell the dealership I wish I could afford it. The Democrats will likely try to by my vote by subsidizing my purchase.

Anyone who honestly believes we will not be running on gas and oil in 10 years is a dreamer and a fool. Cars may get better gas mileage, but that mythical 100 mpg car has been waiting to be marketed for 30 years. Do you really believe GM or Ford or Toyota would not create it and sell such a vehicle if it were possible?

I cannot believe the American People are not in a rage over the Democrat-controlled Congress' refusal to allow drilling and exploration of oil in every nook, cranny, ocean, forest and tundra in America. The President, the Republicans and McCain are idiots not to scream about this from every rooftop, on every Sunday news show, in every speech. Congress' approval rating is one third as high as Bush's record low approvals. Hammer them, paint the Democrats as the party of wishes not reality. Label them as out of touch dreamers.

There I go, hoping someone in the Republican Party had some balls. Who is wishing now?

elitist pigs

I woke up this morning still bowled over by the arrogance of the prick who wrote this article. William Deresiewicz must have the largest ego and inflated sense of self-worth of any individual I have ever encountered. Imagine finding yourself in this predicament:
It didn’t dawn on me that there might be a few holes in my education until I was about 35. I’d just bought a house, the pipes needed fixing, and the plumber was standing in my kitchen. There he was, a short, beefy guy with a goatee and a Red Sox cap and a thick Boston accent, and I suddenly learned that I didn’t have the slightest idea what to say to someone like him. So alien was his experience to me, so unguessable his values, so mysterious his very language, that I couldn’t succeed in engaging him in a few minutes of small talk before he got down to work. Fourteen years of higher education and a handful of Ivy League degrees, and there I was, stiff and stupid, struck dumb by my own dumbness.

Where do I start? Here are two guys from the same city or town, probably of similar age. Small talk is a simple as how about this hot/cold/winy/rainy/perfect weather we are having? Or since the plumber was wearing a Red Sox cap you could mention the World Series. If sports is not your thing, one could enquire about a local news headline. Mr. arrogant jerk could follow this generic conversation with a simple "Do you need anything else from me, or should I stick around?" If Deresiewicz is concerned the plumber is going to risk his job, his licence, and his reputation by stealing the good silver as soon as he turns his back he can stay and watch. At this point the arrogant prick could further break the ice with a simple "I bet you have seen worse than this". Everyone likes to talk about what they know and funny stuff happens to everyone on the job. Mr. elitist college professor could tell the plumber "I am not very good at this DIY thing, could you explain what you are doing?"

The point is that we are all human beings. If you work with your hands, or you work with your brain, we all are on this big spinning ball of water and land we call Earth. Some may have more money, some may have more education. Others may possess skills and abilities I may lack. The only elitist is the jerk who cannot recognize this. Sadly, he cannot see in the exchange of the plumber and the arrogant, pretentious asshole, the plumber is the superior man.

July 8, 2008

On class

Og has an interesting post about class linking to this guy. The catalyst for at least three posts is this article. The author discusses the lack of true education at the nation's elite colleges and universities. In one sense I understand his point. What bothers me is he cannot get over the notion of elite and that there are classes of people. In the end the author still believes that there are the Ivy League schools, the private schools and then the State schools.

I went to a very good college. Top 50 in US News rankings. I guess I got a good education. I got book learning. I got exposed to more knowledge than I could have found on my own. Just as importantly, I met a wide range of people. My roommate's family made more in a week than my parents in a year. His trust fund, I am sure, was worth more than my families house, cars and annual salaries for several years combined. He had a better car than me. He had a new sports car, purchased with the interest from his trust fund. I had a $400 rusted and dented pickup that was 15 years old. My roommie and I got along great. You see, he had more ready cash than I did, but he was not better than me. I am not sure how he looked at me, because I did not care. In my mind we were equals. And that is what counts.

In my wide travels I have seen those from the Northeast and larger cities look down on me because I am from a little town in the heart of nowhere. I have a bit of an accent and talk a little slow. Those of you from Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois know what I mean when I say I have a "south of I-70 accent". That does not mean my mind is slow. I am a smart guy. Oh, there are many that are smarter than I. As Og says, there some who can plumb, work on car engines and wire a house safely. Some people can build things. Some can read the arcane language of the law or speak foreign languages. Some people understand the stock market, some are accountants, while others can adjust a machine to make a perfect widget. Whether you get your hands dirty or your mind cluttered with facts, it takes a sense of pride and knowledge to be successful in this world.

Let's not fool ourselves. Some people are basically dumb. Some are so smart we will never fathom their thoughts. But like Jefferson said, we are all created equal. We all have the same opportunity. You see, it is probably a good thing I will never meet the Queen of England, or the Pope. I will never bow down to another person. I take pride in the fact the Stars and Stripes does not dip to foreign leaders during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. I firmly believe you are no better than I and I am no better than you. Yes you may be smarter, I may be more successful, you may have a better car or degree or I might live in a better neighborhood. So what? There is no class system in my mind. You may have better opportunities if you go to Harvard. You can become a Senator, or the Head of AT&T if you go to little Wabash College.

I once laughed at my Philadelphia born and all so superior boss as we entered negotiations with a smart boy from North Carolina. The customer came from the western hills of the Tar Heel State. He had a thick drawl and lulled my boss with his easy ways. I warned Steve that the customer was sharp, but he was from the Northeast and way smarter than us hicks. The southern guy drew him in and tore him up in negotiations and I laughed to myself. I saw what was happening and let it happen.

Look, there will always be those who think they are superior. Their belief they are a better class does not make it so. We may live paycheck to paycheck. I may have a huge debt ratio and low credit score. My cars are old. We have clothes on our back, food on our table and love in our house. That makes me pretty elite in my book.

July 7, 2008

The Thunder Rolls

Happy Monday to you as many of us head back to work. I hope you had a great long weekend, I know I did. I cannot report on any activities because we did not do much, but it was relaxing anyway.

Thunder is rumbling the house, I expect we are going to get some rain.

JamesOldGuy has deleted his blog. I am going to leave the link up there on the sidebar hoping he changes his mind. He is one of my favorite reads. His observations are spot on, and on more than one occasion I have said "I wish I had written that" after reading his words. James was born a Hoosier and spent a career in the military -- no wonder he was full of common sense! Come back James.

July 5, 2008

Facts is Facts

In the pantheon of snack foods you have many categories. You have your Twinkies, HoHos, Dingdongs and Zingers. You have your salty snacks like chips and pretzels. Some poor misguided people will claim raisins and carrots and apple slices qualify as snacks. If you fall into this category you are delusional and need to get help.

As we continue the Holiday Weekend, we will be cooking out or entertaining friends. An understanding of snack foods and their hierarchy is in order. Today we will discuss the salty snacks.

There is no dispute the penultimate food is beef, followed by bacon. Cheetos finishes the triumvirate. King of snack foods, the Cheeto is light, fluffy and filled with artificial cheesy goodness. Slightly curved for a fun eating experience, the Cheeto can be consumed with beer, soda or even lemonade. Cheetos even has a cool spokesperson. Not far behind Cheetos is popcorn and pretzels. Chips in general and Cheese Nips round out the snack food top five.

Under the label Chips is a whole subcategory. Depending on your mood and total snack experience the ratings are hard to establish. Are you having dips, how do you rate the various flavors, where do rank Fritos? Are the a separate category all their own? Heck, some people even like bagel chips.

Now those crazy, kooky elves at Keebler have thrown a monkey wrench at us snacksters. They have combined salty snacks with crackers. The new Flip Sides product is quickly moving up the snack food ranks and may be a contender in the future. The pretzel/cheese cracker gives us the steadiness of a pretzel with the goody cheesiness of a Cheese Nip in one combination.

Flip Sides, Ruffles and sour cream and onion dip, Cheetos, popcorn, peanuts, I can see I am going to have a tough challenge ahead this weekend. I have cold beer in waiting. Good snacking lies ahead.

July 2, 2008

Balloons

Writing about the County Fair reminds me of times spent at various fairgrounds. In my teens I was a Boy Scout. Each year they had a "Scout Fair" that alternated between the Clinton and Boone County fairgrounds. The various Scout Troops and Cub Scout packs had booths showcasing aspects of scouting life. One troop may demonstrate knots and lashing, another physical fitness or first aid. Usually the boy Scout troops camped overnight.

One year when I was Senior Patrol Leader I returned to the campsite after visiting friends. We were at the Boone County fairgrounds. Nearby was a gas station. Some of the younger kids had gone to the gas station to buy candy, cokes, etc. while I was gone. A couple of the boys were hitting a balloon back and forth across the fire. It took me a few minutes to notice, but I finally asked where the got the balloon. One of the boys said they bought it at the gas station. There was a vending machine in the bathroom...

I nearly died laughing. The Scout Master thought it was funny too, but I was still in trouble for letting the kids leave the fairgrounds.

July 1, 2008

The County Fair

The county fair is underway and the little one is chomping at the bit to get there. He has already missed one night because of baseball. Carnies, elephant ears and flirting with the chicks -- summer life of a fourteen year old boy. I feel sorry for you city folks who do not have a county fair. It is the best place on earth to view the multitudes if trailer trash. Fat chicks with tattoos, mullet wearing guys in wife beaters, grandmas in halter tops, pregnant teens in midriff shirts, skanks in pajama bottoms and flip flops: it is like WalMart on steroids. The fair is a no man's land of teen fashion. The goths, the punks, the skaters and the preps all mingle in a week long social melee. Where do all these people come from? The midway game operators shouting for attention competes with the smell of fried dough, veggies, Italian sausage, body odor and livestock to give you sensory overload.

There is the tilt-a-whirl, the Ferris wheel, the bullet and zipper for thrown together, I hope they tightened all of the bolts, did they grease the bearings thrills. The little kids love the giant slide and laugh with delight as they "drive" the motorcycles and race cars round and round on the kiddie ride. It is always a hoot to stand near the exit of the crappy funhouse. You can hear the plaintive cry "I spent four tickets for that?" as the pre-teens race into line to go again. Sparks fly at the bumper cars and screams of delight battle the thump of rock music at the alligator roller coaster.

When I was a kid they used to have the mouse game at the fair. It was a spinning wheel divided into wedge-shaped colors. The operator would open this box and drop a mouse onto the wheel. The mouse would run to a hole and whatever color matched that hole won. You would place dollar bets on like-colored slots. It was mouse roulette, if you will. The prize was always cartons of cigarettes. There was the fishbowl game. They offered giant stuffed animal prizes because it was impossible to win, other than pure random dumb luck. Lots of kids spent lots of money trying to pick up cool prizes with the little crane. I never wasted much money on the games, when there was so much food and so many rides to enjoy.

Did your county fair have a demolition derby? Next to wrestling, there is nothing white trash enjoys more than watching their friends and neighbors crash into each other in an old car. At the county fair old guys flock to the harness racing, and the old ladies love the cutest baby contest at the grandstand. 4Hers show their prize-winning (fill in the blank) and farm animals. The churches, merchants and politicos give away free stuff. Yardsticks, bumper stickers and trinkets all seem cool until you carry them for about two minutes.

I am getting all teary-eyed with nostalgia here. A porkchop sandwich and grilled corn on the cob sounds pretty darn good. I think I am going to the fair tonight too. Which night is the demolition derby anyway?

Tuesday Grab Bag

Writers have likened life to a boxing match. If that were true, my fight would have been stopped several rounds ago. Really, I have plenty to be thankful for.

The wife and I spent our twenty-fourth anniversary at the ball park last night, watching the team lose in the first round of the tourney. The boys played OK, but were just over matched. We were the victims of too few hits, too many walks and too many errors. It was kind of like watching the Cubs lately. This is probably the best group of kids I have coached, at least in baseball. They were always joking and relaxed. No troublemakers in the dugout.

I have the middle passage of Close to the Edge (I get up/I get down) by Yes running through my head this morning. What earworm is sucking your brainwaves?

Did I mention the boy through a rod in car a few weeks ago? We are still looking for a good cheap used car. It seems they are either junks or out of our price range. The couple we found, the boy did not care for. I had to agree with him on one, the paint job was a hideous color. I won't say more, because maybe you have a car of that particular hue. I cannot afford to offend any readers these days. Plus, you know me -- Mr. Sensitive, always worrying about other people's feelings.

I get the feeling the ragheads are holding off any major moves until after the election. The last thing they want is another President that has no qualms about warring with them. They know the hippies hate violence. Time and dope will combine to dim the memory of 9/11. The hippies and foul commies are wondering why we are killing terrorist scum in Iraq and Afghanistan even now. A terrorist attack at this time will stir the Dims on an emotional level -- everything they do is based on emotion -- and force them to vote another Republican into office. The ragheads want 'dialog' and a malleable President, not death by bullets. They get down on their knees and pray to Mecca eleventeen times a day that Obamarama gets elected. "Make love not war" fits perfectly into the Muslim plans for world dhimitude because the only way they can win is if we let them. Vote accordingly.
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