August 20, 2018

Head scratchin'

Every time I have left an employer and moved on I have had to give up my access to company emails, systems, and internal communications. I thought nothing of it.

Why the uproar when Trump strips the security clearance from someone who is no longer in government employment? It should be routine and automatic to take away clearance after one leaves government employ. If you do not work at the CIA, why should you have access to Top Secret-type information? You no longer have the "need to know". Only people who labor in a government job expect sinecure after leaving.

If you re-enter Government Service, you can have your Security Clearance re-activated.  As a TV talking head you do not need a security clearance.  Likewise, if you are an ex-Navy Seal, you do not need a security clearance either. You can save your political grandstanding.

How not to treat a customer

My oldest son, my wife, and I visited my parents yesterday. On the way home we stopped a the grocery to grab some stuff for dinner. While we were inside, my son stepped out of the car to have a cigarette (I know, but he will soon be thirty). When we came out he asked my wife if she had any change so he could get a Coke from the machine in front of the store.

As he was feeding the coins a store employee confronted him. She told him she was sick of the homeless beggars accosting people in the parking lot and he needed to leave -- now. When he proceeded to buy his pop, she threatened to call the police. He explained he was here with customers. He told her he got change from his mother. The employee harangued him until he walked away.

He was more than pissed. I told him to shrug it off, people are jerks in general and that she saw him climb into the car with us.

He was still angry thirty minutes later. At that point I wished I had gone into the store and had a word with the manager about jumping to conclusions and customer service.

We did the next best thing. We called the store when we got home. I then told my mom. She shops at that grocery on a regular basis and knows the owner. Of course the weasely woman denied the whole thing. She said she asked him politely if he had been looking into cars and panhandling. She said the store had a complaint earlier in the day and wanted to make sure it wasn't the same guy. According to her, she apologized when my son pointed out he was with customers and got change from his mother.


I can see why she jumped to the wrong conclusion. But she should have waited to see if he accosted others. More importantly, she should have listened to his explanation. Calling customers homeless beggars and threatening to call the police is not the way to grow one's business.

August 18, 2018

Break on through



Coffee hot, but the mug is almost empty. I will have to step away at some point in a refill.

I did not post yesterday. I could regale you with my activities.

It was mostly a boring Friday. Work.

I will tell you about one interesting thing that I encountered, though...

Sorry. I went downstairs to get some more coffee. I had a little powdered sugar donut while I was there. OK, I had two, but no more, I swear.

What were we talking about before I went downstairs?

Yeah, on second thought, I don't want to discuss that now.

August 16, 2018

Zippity Doo Dah

I am in a fine mood today. I had me some Chic-fil-A for lunch, including their awesome peach milkshake. Yes, I know I am not supposed to have milkshakes, but I did.

The main reason I'm in a good mood is my oldest boy will be home tonight. He is motoring this way from Colorado. We have only seen him once since he moved away a year ago. He was home for less than 24 hours to attend the funeral for our grandson (his nephew) on December first. He is not here long this time, either. Part of the time he will be at a wedding (he is playing as part of the ceremony). He has to be back at work on Tuesday. That means he will have to leave Sunday evening. Still, I will be very glad to see him.

So go ahead, rat me out for the milkshake. Ruin my good day. I bet you swipe Milk-bones from puppies. You probably are mean to cats. You make faces at little babies and reach over the shoulder and steal hot dogs right out of the bun from toddlers at the beach. I bet you smash Twinkies on the shelf at the grocery. You probably think the Grinch was a ruined soul by the end of the cartoon. You hate flowers. You root against the Cubs. You probably think Hillary is to be admired. You believe in the fairy tale that is Democrat Socialism. You don't find the Three Stooges funny. You probably drive a Prius and think plastic straws are the bane of an over-commercialized society. You find Esther Williams movies tedious and do not see what is so great about a John Wayne flick. You probably do not care for the music of Elvis and find the art of Jackson Pollock "intriguing".  That is just who you are: a little sniveling rat fink, out to deny me one small pleasure on a gloomy rainy afternoon.

Don't be that guy or gal.

Makes me want to find a pillow and some roofing supplies

The courts were designed to offer blind justice and when we see the rich or the political class get special treatment it reminds me of just why those groups got free haircuts from Madam Guillotine back during the Frog Revolution.

An Indianapolis City Councilman, Jeff Miller (R), was charged with child molestation. Somehow, he got a sweetheart deal to plead guilty to child battery. He got four years of probation. No registering on the sex offender list. The prosecutor and judge that agreed to this should be tarred and feathered.

The prisons and jails are filled with child molestors who would have leapt at this deal. they are normal trash and criminals.

Somehow, the guy who beat the scum to death that followed his teen daughter into the bathroom probably will end up with harsher sentence than Miller got.

Personally, because they enjoy public trust, I think politicos and cops should receive harsher sentencing.  We don't need hate crime legislation. We need "punish the politicians and cops who can't follow the law" legislation.

August 15, 2018

I can never come up with a title

I can never come up with a title. The post itself is hard enough these days. A creative, eye-catching title is almost impossible.

Once upon a time, writing the old blog was easy as apple pie. OK, making a quality apple pie is not easy. That analogy is lame, if common. How about as easy as making a Salisbury steak TV dinner? Still too much work? Perhaps as easy as your sister. Ba boomp. Look, a decade ago I could crank out a couple of hundred words in no time flat. Trust me.

Go ahead, read the long history over there on the right. See: lots of words. They may not all have been quality efforts, but there is significant quantity. Not all of the entries are garbage either.

Wait, I think I pulled somethin' patting myself on the back.

Where was I? Oh yeah, whining about writing a post.  Never mind.  The post is done. You read it just now.

Next up, staring at the blinking cursor for 13 minutes while I try in vain to come up with an attention-grabbing title.

August 14, 2018

Frankie says Relax

I woke up early again this morning...blah, blah...

While reading various news sites I ran across an article that claims Twitter is in a rage (surprise!) because singer Sam Smith had the temerity to say he doesn't like Michael Jackson music. Gasp! I'm sure he will be deemed a racist  before the "scandal" blows over for the next outrage.

What happened to diversity? Is one not allowed to have likes and dislikes anymore? Guess what Internet? I am not a big fan of Michael Jackson music either. And I'm just talking the music, I'm not even getting into the creep show that was Jackson's life in his last years.

There I said it.

Of course since I'm just a nobody with a little blog read by nine people and a cat, I will avoid the Internet of outrage. For his sake, I hope Mr. Smith doesn't accidentally let it be known that he likes his steak cooked medium well or that he does, indeed, prefer tightly whites to boxers. The outrage machine will melt servers spewing livid hate. Heaven help him if he ever muttered that on occasion Aretha Franklin was over the top or that her acting was subpar in The Blues Brothers.

Relax Internet, everything will be OK. we do not have to agree. Sure, if everyone accepted my guidance and that I represent truth and beauty and righteousness in all things we would be better off as humans. But the world would sure be a boring place.

August 13, 2018

I would just skip this one, were I you

I went to the doctor for my annual physical today. My blood pressure was a nice 114/60. My A1C was 6.8. I can stop taking one of my diabetes meds. I quit taking it a couple of weeks ago anyway. I think it was causing my craps. As long as I keep my daily numbers in check I don't have to take it anymore. My shingles are about dried up. Heart and lungs were great.  I am, surprisingly, in good shape. I am about 60 lbs down from where I was a decade ago. I weigh pretty much what I did when I graduated high school. Less than I did when I got married. I would like to drop another 5-6 pounds, but I am not worrying about it too much. if I keep walking and eating better, the weight will drop. I weigh consistently between 178 and 183. At 5'10" I am not at the "recommended weight" but the doctor is perfectly happy and I do not look fat. I look every bit of my age, but so it goes. I still looked 20 at 30, so things even out over time.

August 12, 2018

I've accomplished nothing

Chicago Cubs All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo collected his 1,000th career hit yesterday. The former Silver Slugger Award winner is, by most accounts, a very good ball player.

He only needs an additional  3,257 knocks to surpass Pete Rose as the all-time MLB hits leader. Chew on that.

Rose may be less-than-admirable as a human being, but there is little doubt he is in the conversation as not only the greatest living baseball player, but as one of the best ever. His exclusion from the Hall of Fame is wrong. When you consider some of the other unsavory characters that are enshrined (we are looking at you Ty Cobb), there is no reason the leader in hits, singles, at-bats, games played, and outs is not in Cooperstown.

One Rose stat that exemplifies his greatness is this: he played a record 3,562 games and garnered 4,256 hits.  Perhaps even more impressive is that he was selected as an All-Star at five different positions: 2nd, left field, right field, 3rd, and 1st base.

If you have read this collection of words for any length of time you know that I am not a Cincinnati Reds fanboy. I never liked Rose, but you cannot deny his greatness.

August 11, 2018

This whole thing is just an environmental straw man

Late to bed and early to rise does not make a man...happy. Yeah, no cute Poor Richard rhyme for you this morning. I woke from a most interesting dream to go pee and was unable to go back to sleep. I shouldn't have had watermelon as a late evening snack.


It involved camels, a McDonalds, flintlock muskets, Penn and Teller, a battle in the desert, and the Lennon Sisters. You don't want the details. It made sense in the dream, not so much in the cold light of dawn.

We went to local chain for dinner last night. It was a lovely evening, so we sat outside. The food was great, the service good. The only flaw in the evening was a big sign on the door parroting the "world is plagued by discarded plastic straws" nonsense perpetuated by a nine year-old 's science fair project. I promptly asked for a straw out of spite. I'm not going into a multi-paragraph rant on how silly it is to single out straws as the environmental villain when our world is filled with one-time use plastics of far greater volume than a little extruded tube.* Do you know how much extra plastic is used in automobiles due to Obama's fuel milage standards? The wackos are probably coming after my Kuerig pods next. No, get that idea out of your head. Pretend I did not write it.

Hold on, I need to go down and trash another plastic K cup. I might just attempt to drink my coffee with a straw just for the satisfaction of making a liberal cry. Too bad I drink my coffee black or I would use a plastic spoon to stir it. I will then collect this waste in a plastic trash bag that I throw out in a plastic garbage bin beside the garage. I do not pay extra to recycle. But if I did, that too would go in a plastic bin. Do you liberal progressive digger Leveller environmental weenies not see the irony here?

You do know that most of the stuff you rinse out and separate into the recycling bin goes straight into the landfill anyway? Much of the rest is loaded into containers and shipped to China.** The fuel cost far outweighs the environmental savings of recycling. Oh, and very little can be actually recycled, so it is buried in China or just tossed into the Yangtze where it floats into the Pacific. Just pitching that bendy straw in the trash at home is far more likely to keep it out of a turtles' left nostril than trying to recycle it anyway.

Look it up. The truth is often an ugly thing.

If I had any talent I would adorn this blog with a "ribbon" fashioned from a plastic straw. It would be my own personal "resistance" movement symbol. Feel free to join.

There you go. I wanted to complain about getting up early and an unresolved dream. Instead you got me off on a tangent about feel good limousine liberalism. Thanks. [sarcasm].

Have a great Saturday.

* OK I guess I am. Oh, and did you see what I did there with the title? A real post title that actually fits the content? Sorta.

**especially if you live in California

August 10, 2018

Like a zombie

Ah yes, the feature that never dies. Friday music returns with a classic tune that just screams "summer". Too bad the kids are already heading back to school.  There are still a lot of great pool and beach days left before fall sets in. Of course I wouldn't know about summer days at the beach, unless a lake counts...and it doesn't...except one of the Great Ones...but I still wouldn't know, growing up in te middle of farm country, hours from Lake Michigan.

No,  Indiana Beach  doesn't count either. I couldn't afford to go there as a poor teen anyway, even if was not more than an hour from home.

I can see for miles

Two years ago this month I underwent cornea transplant surgeries for Fuchs Dystrophy.  I had my surgery done at Dr. Price's office.

Here is a documentary that describes what I had done. 

I can see well now. I had two transplants and three minor procedures on my left eye (the first did not take), and one on my right eye.  I suspect I will have to have some laser work to destroy scar tissue on the right eye sometime in the next year or so.

I thought you might find it interesting.

August 9, 2018

Dear President Trump

I sell stuff. Widgets. For months I have worked to gain business at a particular customer. They are an automotive supplier. I was finally given a chance to quote a single part number. The volume is over seven million pieces a year. This is big volume. This chunk of sales will move your humble author from the "underperforming" category to "you get to keep your job and here is a nice bonus" status.

Now, thanks to the latest round of tariffs, my sale is in serious jeopardy. My pricing is better than the incumbent, but certainly not 25% better. Oh, and it isn't like my Chinese crap was displacing American-made goods. The competitor is a European company with plants in the Czech Republic.

Anecdote is not data. Our trade imbalance with China is a problem. Chinese stealing of technology is a bigger problem. But it is naive to think those jobs are coming back to America. For many components, like my widgets, there is no capacity domestically. Opening a new factory will take a couple of years. Even longer time will be required to train new employees and ramp up production. You cannot make my widgets in a garage, it takes a lot of machinery and can only be competitive on a large scale. We are talking tolerances of microns here. If you don't know what a micron is look it up.

I have no doubt your efforts will help correct some of the trade imbalances. If past administrations had looked at America first we wouldn't be in this position. Fixing things is often painful. I also am aware my position is a NIMBY outlook. I just hope the trade war is done before the Jedi are called in, clones are deployed, and I lose my job.

August 8, 2018

Did anyone notice, Did anybody care?

It is after four in the afternoon, my time. Your clock very well may read differently. That's not my problem. Take it up with the Department of Transportation. I have better things to do than explain time zones.

I don't know --stuff. I have stuff to do. Work. Reading, maybe. Going to the grocery to get ingredients for supper. ..Just stuff. It is none of your business anyway.

I didn't post anything this morning. I shall claim I was too busy.

Again, I don't know -- stuff. Boy, you ask a lot of questions.

I do not need this kind of inquisition. Just forget it. I'm not going to post anything.

OK, I did.

But not because you were pressuring me.

August 7, 2018

After Midnight

Heavy storms rolled through just after 12 in the A-M. Constant thunder, strobe light-like lightning, wind, and heavy rain hammered the old homestead. Somehow rain lashed both the front door and back door simultaneously. The power went out intermittently at the height of the storm. There was my chance, the wife's CPAP was cutting in and out....I could have blamed it on the power company...

Oh, lighten up, Francis. It is a joke.

August 6, 2018

We have to regulate every aspect of people’s lives

Every Digger and Leveller Progressive-type believes they know better than you. Just ask them. No, don't. They will voluntarily tell you they know more and better than you in short order. They can't help themselves.

Recently, while debating criminalizing straws in Santa Barbara (after hearing expert testimony from a 9 year-old) a Guess-the-party City Councilman proclaimed
“Unfortunately, common sense is just not common. We have to regulate every aspect of people’s lives.”  source
Clearly, the people of Santa Barbara have no common sense or they would not have elected such a fascist jerk to office. Sadly, his attitude is prevalent in Democratic Party circles.

I long for the politician who says, "We have too many laws, nothing new needs to be regulated, outlawed,  controlled, managed, or governed". How about you encourage people to cut back on consuming one-time use plastics? Do we need a law for everything?

Monday Blues

Back to work. Not right at this moment, but Monday nonetheless. No more needs to be said about that.

No soapbox rants today. I avoided the news over the weekend, so the incessant politics that permeates everything was avoided. I watched a couple of old movies (Some Came Running, Risky Business) and read (The Ionian Mission by POB). Yesterday, I watched some baseball after I mowed the lawn. I dozed off during the later innings. I already reported on my Saturday

There, we are done with the boring. Oh wait, the weather was warm and sunny. Now we have detailed the mundane. That in no way means exciting content will follow.

Have a great day.

August 4, 2018

Blame the old white guy

I'm blogging with my feet propped on my desk, iPad on my belly this fine Saturday morning. The boy's dog has claimed the blog room/office recliner as his sleeping place. The boy had a long Friday shift and even longer one planned for today, so we are dog sitting. He doesn't want the pup to have to be shuttered in a small apartment for 12 hours at a time. At least here he can move about, finding sunny spots to doze. As a bonus the dog can run free in tne fenced backyard.

We are off to swim and hang poolside later, so the dog will be alone anyway, but he will have the whole house to roam instead of two small,rooms. I should reframe that thought. Some of us are going swimming. Some are going to just hang out --shingles. The medico says it is OK as long as everyone has had the chicken pox and my lesions remain covered. The Internet agrees. Everything is true on the Internet.

I hope you have a great weekend.

August 3, 2018

Odds for every NFL team

So here we are, early on a Friday morning. It looks like a gorgeous day is on tap.

Is there anything more boring and unwatchable than preseason football? Besides golf. Or bowling. Or the View. I admit I have never watched one millisecond of the View, but I can imagine.

We were inflicted with one of the worst waitresses I have had in a very long time last night. I don't know if she was new, having a bad night, or just incompetent. No, I did not completely stiff her on her tip. The 10% ($3) I left her was still probably too much. Her inability to turn tables, get orders right, or manage to get drink refills meant she worked for about $2 per hour last night. I know the table next to us was even more honked off than we were at her poor service.

We have entered a sad, sad world of stupidity when the CDC has to issue a warning that one should not wash out a condom and reuse it. I only hope these losers are recycling their own rubbers and not random old ones they found tossed out at the park down by the river.

August 2, 2018

Problem Solved

I stopped by WalMart yesterday evening. I grabbed the essentials - a case of Coke Zero, bread, a jar of popcorn, and a bag of plastic straws. The last in hopes I find a turtle. I'm gonna poke it in the nose with the straw.

Seriously, of all the plastic waste in the world, why straws? Little plastic tubes must be a fraction of nothing in the giant landfill we call Earth. How about getting rid of the plastic packaging that surrounds just about everything as an anti-theft measure these days? You can't cut it, tear it, pry it apart, or even bite it open. We bought a new toy for the granddaughter and by the time we got it open she was too old for it.

Why do the busybodies of the world feel compelled to force the rest of us to comply with their agenda? If you think straws are evil, don't use one. Hate plastic bags? Take your own germ and bacteria filled cloth ones to the store. Think your taxes are too low, pay more. Root for the Patriots and worship Tom Brady? Well, perhaps some notions should be outlawed.

Nope, fatties can't figure out a Big Mac is full of calories, so restaurants have to post it on the menu. Your kid complains about the tofu sandwich and baby carrots you sent to school in an environment-friendly hemp bag because little Billy has Cheetos and Twinkies in his PJ Masks lunch box? The nannies insist the school mandate that every kid MUST eat healthy and confiscate non-complying brown bags as necessary. Leave my kid alone. If you do not like the owners' Christian beliefs, don't eat at Chick-fil-A. There is no need to protest outside. Just do not eat there. That leaves more for me.

Mind your own dang business.

The sooner the world wakes up and makes me Executive Plenipotentiary, Supreme Mediator, Chief Justice of Common Sense, and Arbiter of Taste, the better off we will be.

August 1, 2018

On donuts and football

Suppose you started each work day with a short protest. You believe with all of your heart that everyone should get a free donut on Friday. What if, in the course of your protest, customers are visiting the plant where you are employed? Instead of workers diligently producing high-quality widgets, they see workers protesting? Would your employer have the right and obligation to tell you to knock it off, even if your quest for donuts is laudable? Even if a majority of Americans would agree that free donuts would be awesome and could we get bacon too?

I'm pretty sure your employer would have no issue with you protesting on your own time. It is doing it on company time that is the problem. You might counter that if you can carry out your campaign at home, no one besides the wife and kids, the dog, and a few neighbors will notice. At the factory you can proclaim your agenda to six hundred people who might then start their own protest.

Yes and don't do it on company time. Period EOD.

Scenario two: I show up at a cutomer's location to sell him widgets. Instead of business clothes I wear  a sweaty T-shirt, a faded cubs hat, and the grass-stained running shoes I last wore to mow the lawn. Would the boss have the right and obligation to tell me such behavior is unacceptable? Should he fire me?

Can the NFL tell players to protest on their own time? As owners of the business:  yes. It isn't about right or wrong. It certainly isn't about Constitutional Rights to speech. I don't have the right to tell my customers I am peddling semi-junk Chinese widgets, even if it might be true (it's not), and you have no "right" to argue for free delicious awesome donuts on company time.

Oh, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar can complain to the owners of he NFL all he wants about not wanting protests on company time. It does make him a hypocrite when he has no issue with the fact that the NBA, you know, the employer who paid him millions, has had the same "You will respect the National Anthem" policy for decades. It just makes his editorializing reek of opportunism.

If the NFL owners are Ok with protest, fine. If not, equally fine. it is their business. The consumers will vote with their wallet and viewership if they agree or not.

I am all for justice. I long for a color-blind society. But sometimes, I just want to watch football. I do not think I'm an anomaly. That position does not make me a racist, nor does it mean I condone...well, anything. It means I want to watch football without interference from a political agenda. No more, no less.
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