December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

You will get no year-end retrospective here. Always look forward I say, you cannot change the past. You might think that a strange attitude from a history major and life long amateur historian. Instead you are getting a rant about sports --professional football in particular.

It looks like Belicheater will get coach of the year. Pretty sad that a proven cheater gets this award in the same year he is caught. Did the cheating give him any advantage in the subsequent games? Probably not, but he should have been forced to forfeit the first game, and clearly the message is there, as long as you win we will overlook cheating. Is there really any difference in this than the Shawn Merriman cheating last year?

How about Reggie Wayne of the Colts setting the NFL mark this year for yards and receptions? The best receiver in Football that gets no publicity.

I absolutely hate the Colts decision to play the scrubs most of the game. Fans paid to see the starters, and tickets are not cheap. Last week against Huston the starters played until a victory was in sight. The Colts said it was a game against a division rival and they wanted to make sure they did not give division foes the confidence they could beat the Colts. There was no difference this week, in fact the Titans already believe they can beat the Colts. They have played them closer over the past few years than any other AFC South rival. Why let off the gas? I would think nothing sends you into the playoffs better than a victory.

The Colts better pray nothing happens to Manning. This team will go nowhere with Sorgi at the helm. He can barely throw twenty yards and his release is so slow he is always in danger of a sack. The perennial back-up may be fine for maintaining fourth quarter leads, but he is incapable of driving down the field. The Colts had plenty of opportunity to pull out that game and one or two good passes would have done it. Plenty of NFL teams have played the backups with success this season, and the Colts need someone who can carry the team in the event Payton Manning gets hurt.

Happy New Year, be safe and do not drink and drive.

December 30, 2007

He haunts my kitchen

I guess I will take down the outside Christmas decorations. No more wreaths with their festive red bows. Gone will be the lights that brightened the dark nights in celebration of Jesus' birth. The next few days will see the tree boxed up and the trappings of the Holidays will be replaced by the monotone of cold winter days and frosty nights. The hap-happiest time of the year will be replaced by work and bills and cold short days. Most depressing of all is the snack table will be taken down. This is a temporary table we put up for Christmas dinner to hold the pies, cookies, pecan tassies and other sweets. Now just a forlorn container with a few cookies remains. We all look at the table knowing it has to be put away like just like the ribbon, bows and the star on top of the tree. It is so sad. No more munching, no more snacking, no more sugar highs. The dreaded Winter Diet looms with the New Year. It stands mute. A bony finger pointing at my gut like the Ghost of Future Christmas in Scrooge's dream. No more cookies, no more gummi bears, no more midnight hamburgers. The accusatory arm points a silent uh uh at the cheese ball and Chex Mix. A pox on Dr. Pepper, hot cocoa, and cold refreshing beer. The winter diet demands an end to gingerbread men, to little bite sized Snicker bars and red and green wrapped Hershey Kisses. The last wrapper of cream cheese lies crumbled at the bottom of the trash can. The Winter Diet is a mean bastard. We wonder why we are depressed in January?

December 28, 2007

Cooking with Hoosierboy Volume XL

One of the dishes I whipped up for Christmas dinner was what I call Orange Stuff ( I really call it something other than 'stuff', but this is a family blog). I made it at my daughter's request. I had not prepared this dish for about ten years and I forgot how good (and simple) it is. Give it a try.

Orange Stuff

6 oz frozen Orange Juice Concentrate thawed
1 can eagle Brand Milk
1 small tub Cool Whip
1 can Mandarin Oranges drained and cut into small pieces

2 rolls Ritz Crackers (About 60)
1 stick margarine
1/4 cup of sugar

Crush the crackers into crumbs
add the sugar
pour melted margarine over the crumbs
stir and press into the bottom of a 8x8 or 9x11 pan

Stir the thawed OJ and Eagle Brand milk together. Fold in the Cool Whip. Add the drained oranges. Pour over the crust. Refrigerate one hour. Eat.

You will not be disappointed with this salad/dessert/snack

December 27, 2007

Dear GOP

Would a TRUE Conservative please step up to the plate and run for President? You will win. Here is your simple platform:

-Control the Border
-Enforce Immigration laws already on the books
-Protect the Country from Terrorists
-Control spending -- all current Government programs will be held to the rate of inflation.
-Make one of your key points if elected to push Congress to pass an Amendment that all laws must show where they are authorized in the Constitution
-Encourage domestic oil companies to open more refineries and open the ANWR to drilling.

Start with these and you are your way to victory. Throw in the Fair Tax and SS reform and you would be golden.

If we cannot find a candidate we will be faced with socialist medicine and it will not just be our light bulbs that are banned. I hope you want to drive a Yugo, because Big Brother and his green storm troopers will be watching your every move.

December 26, 2007

Holiday Hangover

Whoo, what a Christmas. I got a bunch of new DVDs to watch, including a five movie set of Esther Williams flicks. I told the wife not to be jealous. My family came down yesterday for dinner. I cooked enough food for twenty people. There were eight of us. I am already anticipating the gripes and moans when I pull out the same food for lunch and dinner again today. I will just tell them boo f-ing hoo, eat it.

After dinner we played a game belonging to my daughter -- Cranium. It was moderately fun. I am not really much into games. Otter and my oldest son were on a team. They could be clones, they are so alike sometimes. My wife and daughter were on a team. The wife had to sculpt a cupcake from clay and the daughter had to guess what it was. As time was running down my daughter shouts "is it pork?". I thought I was going to die from laughter. I guess you had to be there.

In all, we had a great Christmas. I hope you did too. Now I am off to watch hot chicks in bathing suits.

December 23, 2007

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and tidings of the Season.

Thank you to each and every one of you who take time from their life and busy day to spend time reading the ramblings on these pages. I am humbled.

December 22, 2007

Read this instead

Ignore my boring shit and go read this instead at phlegmy's place. I cannot seem to find the link to the post on her template, so read the post for December 22, 2007. The one about the school kids.

Best Christmas post ever.

December 21, 2007

What is a man to do

Gift wrapping and some baking is on tap for today. I think I am going to have a go at some gingerbread cookies, and some pecan tassies. Some routine house cleaning may also be in order before the family arrives for Christmas dinner. And yes, I will be doing the cooking.

Maybe I will sit around and have a few drinks this afternoon instead.

Decisions, decisions....

December 20, 2007

1972 Rocks

As we wind down for the Holidays, I know many of you will not be be visiting Fat in Indiana under a mistaken idea that you need to spend time with your family, going to church, celebrating the birth of our Savior, parties, whatever. I can assure you all other activities pale in importance to reading this blog several times a day. Unfortunately, many of you will not heed my advice,so here is a question that may get you thinking. Was there ever a year filled with more great music releases than 1972? Granted, I was a mere lad at the time, but my album and CD collection is filled with music from this era. Here is just a sampling of the music from 1972:

A Good Feelin' to Know - Poco
A Song For You - The Carpenters
A Thing Called Love - Johnny Cash
Aerie - John Denver
Album III - Loudon Wainwright III
All Directions - The Temptations
All the Young Dudes - Mott the Hoople
All Together Now - Argent
Amazing Grace - Aretha Franklin
America - America
American Pie - Don McLean
An Anthology - Duane Allman

Elvis:As Recorded At Madison Square Garden - Elvis Presley
Back To Front - Gilbert O'Sullivan
Black Sabbath, Vol. 4 - Black Sabbath
Bolan Boogie - T. Rex (band)
Burgers - Hot Tuna
Burning Love - Elvis Presley
Bustin' Out - Pure Prairie League
Can't Buy a Thrill - Steely Dan

Cherish - David Cassidy
Chicago V - Chicago
Close to the Edge - Yes

The Concert For Bangla Desh - George Harrison
Crossings - Herbie Hancock
The Divine Miss M. - Bette Midler
The Eagles (album) - The Eagles
Eat a Peach - The Allman Brothers Band
Exile on Main Street - The Rolling Stones

Foxtrot - Genesis
Fragile - Yes
Graham Nash David Crosby - Crosby & Nash

The Grand Wazoo - Frank Zappa
Harvest - Neil Young
Heavy Cream - Cream (band)

He Touched Me - Elvis Presley
Hendrix in the West - Jimi Hendrix
Homecoming - America
Home Free - Dan Fogelberg
Honky Chateau - Elton John
Hot August Night - Neil Diamond
Jackson Browne - Jackson Browne
Jeff Beck Group - Jeff Beck
Journey Through the Past - Neil Young
Lady Sings the Blues - Diana Ross
Led Zeppelin IV - Led Zeppelin
Living in the Past - Jethro Tull
Loggins and Messina - Loggins and Messina
The London Chuck Berry Sessions - Chuck Berry
Lou Reed - Lou Reed
Madman Across The Water - Elton John
The Magician's Birthday - Uriah Heep
Mardis Gras - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Mark,Don and Mel,1969-1971 - Grand Funk Railroad
Manassas (rock album)Manassas - Stephen Stills and Manassas
Moods - Neil Diamond
More Hot Rocks - The Rolling Stones
Music of My Mind - Stevie Wonder
Never a Dull Moment - Rod Stewart
No Answer - Electric Light Orchestra
Obscured by Clouds - Pink Floyd
One Man Dog - James Taylor
Paul Simon - Paul Simon
Pictures at an Exhibition - Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Pure Prairie League - Pure Prairie League

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars - David Bowie
Roadwork - Edgar Winter's White Trash
Rock Me Baby - David Cassidy
Rockin' - The Guess Who
Rockpile - Dave Edmunds
Rocky Mountain High - John Denver
Sailin' Shoes - Little Feat
Saint Dominic's Preview - Van Morrison
School's Out - Alice Cooper
Seven Separate Fools - Three Dog Night
Seventh Sojourn - The Moody Blues
Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits - Simon & Garfunkel
Sittin' In - Loggins and Messina
Smokin' O.P.'s - Bob Seger
Some Time In New York City - John Lennon
Summer Breeze - Seals and Crofts
[[The Soundtrack to Superfly - Curtis Mayfield

Talking Book - Stevie Wonder
There It Is - James Brown
They Only Come Out At Night - The Edgar Winter Group
Thick as a Brick - Jethro Tull
Toulouse Street - The Doobie Brothers

Transformer - Lou Reed
Trilogy - Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Trouble Man - Marvin Gaye
Vol. 4 - Black Sabbath
Waka/Jawaka - Frank Zappa
War Heroes - Jimi Hendrix
Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine - The Doors
Wild One - The Guess Who

In addition Pink Floyd performed Dark Side of the Moon for the first time, although it would not be released until 1973.

* bold indicates albums/cds or 8 tracks I own or once owned.

Ok, I included David Cassidy for my wife, who admits she got wet britches as a prepubescent whenever he appeared on Tiger Beat or whatever. And Melanie, lets just say I have a brand new pair of roller skates...Yeah, one of the most annoying songs ever. And while I am not a Carpenters fan you have to admit they changed Pop music and brought attention to eating disorders.

Anyway look at that list -- Cream, Zep, Yes, Jethro Tull, ELP, The Stones, Zappa, The Moody Blues. Was there a better year for music?

December 19, 2007

Real Life

You have one hour to get your mean nasty comments in...

Too late, too slow. This is proof positive evidence of why you should be clicking on Fat in Indiana every fifteen minutes -- minimum...

Just for you Freddie and you SuperGurl.

Do I look old?

Erica -- this is what I see when I look in a mirror. Of course I do not have my glasses on, and we all live in the past just a little...

maybe this is more realistic. Do I look 21 in this picture?

Ain't that a kick in the head

I do not consider myself a vain man. I am short, overweight and my hair is not as thick or as dark as it used to be. I have to wear glasses now, the no-line bifocal kind. In short I view myself a typical 40-ish kind of guy. Sure, I have my aches and pains, but I get out and throw the ball with the boy, shovel the drive and mow the yard. The men have always looked young in my family. My Dad will hit 70 next month and looks nowhere his age. I was still getting carded when buying beer into the 1990's when I was pushing thirty.

You can imagine my disappointment last night when the clerk asked me if I was over 50 last night when buying a Christmas present for my wife. She told me she wanted to make sure I got every discount I could. I think well on my feet, and always have a quick repartee or response. I do not panic. It is my an integral part of my job, and I am good at that aspect.

I was completely mute. I could think of nothing to say. I bet I stood there tongue-tied for a few seconds before some really mean and hateful phrases came to mind. The clerk was smiling like she had just offered me the key to the city. I think she was really trying to be helpful. I just offered a lame, "Well I am not quite there yet." and tendered my debit card. I thumped out the store like a deflated tire. I think I would have felt better had she kicked me in the groin.

I moved on to the next store, my Holiday Spirit extinguished. I finally headed for home ready to try again today. My wife found the story hilarious. I tried to parlay the episode into a means to get some sympathy sex -- you know, remind me I am still a young man at heart, etc., but she shot me down. Anyone else want to get in a kick?

Maybe I will stop off at the drugstore this morning to get some Grecian Formula...

December 18, 2007


We hang out a lot with this other couple. Our kids are similar ages. More importantly, we have known them forever. The guy has been one of my best friends since seventh grade. We played on the same little league team before that. The wife grew up just a few blocks from my wife. We were in each other's weddings. We get together at least once a month (we live about 90 miles apart)to play cards, drink a few beers and have a good time. We have vacationed together the past few years. Outside of my family, there is no one I am closer to.

My buddy had his knee replaced today. I just got off the phone with his wife and all went well. Imagine replacing a knee at 46 years old. High school and subsequent football and basketball injuries have made his life hell for more than 20 years. He has had at least 4-5 surgeries to repair the mess inside. Finally the pain was too much. He opted for the titanium joint. The doctors say the hardest part of his recovery will be retraining tendons and muscles. He has not been able to straighten his leg for decades. What a way to spend Christmas. I suspect the doctor and hospital will frown if I bring beer and cigars to his hospital room.

December 17, 2007

How I spent my Monday Morning

a report by Hoosierboy

I got up early to make a dish for my wife to take to the potluck for work. This is it:Fruit pizza. Ain't I amazing?

I have spent the majority of the morning on the phone on work related business. I have sent emails and have several more hours of work to do, including my December expenses. So much for vacation.

So, how was your weekend?

December 16, 2007

Oh, the weather outside is frightful

Begin with two thick slices of homemade bread. Smear healthy layer of smooth peanut butter on one of the slices ( choosy Moms choose Jif). Thinly slice a Granny Smith apple and layer over the peanut butter. Now add a heaping pile of roasted, shredded crow. Top with the other slice of bread. Now eat that weatherman.

Our estimated 12-17 inches of snow layered with ice and freezing rain turned into a tawdry few inches instead. It is blowing. Given the flatness of the terrain, drifting snow will render east/west roads impassable. The point is, your estimates were wrong by a factor of several hundred percent Weatherman. Your track record is miserable. Why not just say it looks like we will get snow and leave the rest to chance. How about a freakin' apology for the scare tactics you employ to get us to keep your station tuned in for weather updates instead of reading blogs and watching porn?

Look, I get it. The weatherman's prognostications are based on computer models. The capricious winds blow where they want, not as a computer programs. The movement of a front or low pressure cell by a dozen miles can change the local weather enormously. The weather quack errors on the side of caution. Hurricanes Katrina and Andrew and thousands of tornadoes have proven it is better to warn people of the worst, to protect us from our own ignorance and stupidity. I think we can all agree forecasting the weather is a guess and in no way an exact science.

Given that understanding, how in the world can anyone accept the forecast and computer estimates of our weather two, ten and even fifty years from now? Is the weather from last December 17 an indication of what will happen tomorrow? Can we say with scientific certainty that just because it often rains on my wife's birthday it will rain on June 8, 2013? Do any of these theories sound remotely scientific or even plausible? Then why are you buying the global warming crap? Maybe it is getting warmer, maybe not. Perhaps weather patterns have changed. Is this a harbinger of global catastrophe? Will the polar bears drown? Will the Mexicans be moving to Greenland to pick tomatoes? Only time will tell. I do know it is economic suicide to bet our economy and way of life on computer models that cannot predict the weather 12 hours in advance.

Oh, Hoosierboy, a consensus of scientist agree we are facing apocalyptic climate change that will destroy our planet. Well a consensus of weather experts also said I would be looking at a foot of blowing drifting frozen and crystalized water clogging my driveway this morning. A consensus of scientists believed our planet was flat at one time. A consensus of scientists believed the Sun revolved around the Earth. Heck, a consensus of some of the greatest thinkers in history believed the sun was pulled through the sky by Apollo in his golden chariot. The same scientists who are now ringing the alarm bells of global warming were in agreement a few decades ago we were faced with a coming ice age that would doom our planet, our civilization, our way of life. The computer models said so.

Take your global warming hysteria and shove it straight up your greasy hemorrhoidal asshole, Al Gore. If my local weather expert cannot predict the climate tomorrow, why would I listen to a politician that has never worked a real job?

December 14, 2007

Rednecks in Action

Nothing like wearing your best T-Shirt for that engagement photo.

Live blogging the storm.

The weather quacks have been warning us for days about the big storm heading my way. As of the late news last night we were to expect heavy snow by dawn -- one inch per hour. Well their version of an inch must be even smaller than the one I use to measure my dong. I will keep you updated as long as I have access to the computer. When the boy gets up he will hog the keyboard.

5:45 am: Nothing

6:33 am: rein, zip, nada

7:30 am: Went out to get the paper. Windy, I might have felt a snowflake. That would be singular. It also might have been my imagination.

8:07 am: There is a thin coating on my patio table -- like someone has dusted it with flour to make pie crust.

8:39 am: OK, I might have been premature (like this is the first time...) it is coming down hard, the ground is already nearly covered. The patio table now looks like it has a thick layer of white frosting. I hear Rosemary Clooney singing "Snow" in my cranium.

9:30 am. It has tapered off and is not snowing hard at all now. There is still way less than an inch on the ground. I could broom it off the sidewalk. F-ing weatherman. Dang SoHos, I could use some of that 80 degree weather. OTOH. it is Christmas, and just like Bing, I am dreaming...

10:13 am: Technically it is snowing, but if it were rain we would call it drizzle. The snowteam says it is coming, really it is going to be horrible, we must all panic, stay off the roads. Yawn. I switch to the show on the Travel Channel about Bigfoot. There is a a comparison in my mind between the believers in Bigfoot and the snowteam/panic team, but I just can't get it into words...scepticism?

Frozen Friday

It is not really that cold. I just like alliteration. We are expecting some snow this weekend. I am positive storm team/scare team will be out in force at every station making sure every citizen is panicked into buying eggs, milk and bread in anticipation of the whopping inch or two of snow we will ultimately get. Why do stores always sell out of those staples when snow is predicted? I do not know, I guess Hoosiers like French Toast. Does this happen in your area? What kills me is in my lifetime there has only been one snow so bad one could not get to the store for a day or two, and that was in 1978. Can we let up a bit on the panic, media people?

I got some good news yesterday. It appears I am steroid free. There was no mention of me in the baseball steroid/HGH investigation.

Well I am off in a bit to visit my last customer of the week, month and year. I will be on vacation until January 2, 2008 after today. I do not mind saying I will likely take off a little early this afternoon, providing my customer visit goes well (in other words short).

Happy Friday.

December 12, 2007

Dining with HB

BBQ is like sex - there is good and really good. The ribs I had tonight were just good. They were billed as Memphis style. They were coated with a dry rub and no sauce. They ribs were a bit dry, but had a good flavor. There were several bottles of sauces on the table including a hot, a "Texas Pit" ' a sweet and spicy ( my favorite), and a mustard based sauce for those who prefer Carolina-style ribs.

The cornbread muffins were a little sweet for me and I prefer a little more vinager in my slaw.

The price was reasonable. If you find yourself on Lake Street in Addison, IL, you could do worse than Famous Dave's Bar B Que.

Did you miss me?

I guess the real question is did you know I did not post? Travelling all week, Right now I am in the Second City -- between customer visits. I think I am finally getting this Treo blogging thing.

Man, is that Petrino a dooshbag or what? How could any parent allow their budding football star go to play for that guy? He bailed on Louisville and he bailed on the Falcons. According to the radio Petrino told his owner on Monday he was staying. Would you trust him?

December 10, 2007

Monday Musings

One more week and then I am on vacation for the balance of 2007. I have said it before -- it is good to be me. Too bad this shapes up to be a very busy week. Customer meetings Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On top of all it looks like some nasty weather is moving in for those same days. I do not mind snow, but I hate ice. No one can predict where their vehicle will go on ice.

It sure looks like the NFL is turning into a four team league. The Pats sure looked good yesterday. The Cowboys are just lucky. The Packers and Colts just keep winning. For reigning Superbowl champs the Colts are sure being ignored. I am not sure the Patriots will have a walkover if these two teams meet in the playoffs. I am not sure anyone is looking forward to meeting Jax or the Vikings in the playoffs either.

Nathan, you sure provided evidence one needs to proofread. I blame it on a lack of sleep...

It looks as if the NFL is turning into a four team league. The Pats looked pretty good yesterday. The Cowboys are just lucky. The Packers and Colts just keep winning. For reigning Superbowl champs the Colts are sure being ignored. I am not confident the Patriots will have a walkover if these two teams meet in the playoffs. I bet no one is looking forward to meeting Jax or the Vikings in the playoffs either.

No matter what it costs, no matter the long-term effect on the franchise, Jamaal Tinsley needs to be gone from the Indiana Pacers. Now. He has shown a history of putting himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like Pacman Jones, all these incidents are not happenstance. Not only is he a marginal player, he is a troublemaker and I think as big a cancer as Ron Artest, in a different way.

Happy Monday

December 9, 2007

Dear Baltimore Colts Fans

I will concede the late Bob Irsay was an asshole. I will even concede that the Baltimore Colts were the heart and soul of the City in the 1950's. 60s and early 1970's. In the end, you have to let things go. The Colts dumped Johnny Unitas, remember that?

Look, if even 1/4 of you who claim that the Colts departure broke your heart, left you devastated and destroyed your beloved city had actually bought the reduced priced tickets to the Colts games in 1983, the Colts might have had a different history. Those of you from Baltimore who said you did not want to pay for a new stadium are responsible. Get over it, your rose colored glasses make you remember the times differently. Only about 10,000 of the supposed die-hard fans attended games the last two years the franchise was in Baltimore, the toilet by the bay. So your Dad was never the same -- was he a season ticket holder? If not he should blame himself.

It has been nearly a quarter of a century now. You have a good team. You won a Superbowl. Let it go already. The Ravens must feel like the lady who married the widower. She is forced to look at pictures of the old wife on the piano, always being reminded she is not the Original. No matter how she tries to look pretty, no matter how much love she gives her husband, his heart is half in the cold hard grave of his first wife. Every time you bitch and moan and claim the Colts are yours, you tell me why you should not have an NFL franchise -- you still have not learned to appreciate what you have.

Detroit stole the Pistons, I do not hear Fort Wayne crying. Hell, Boston and Milwaukee lost the Braves. And look at the A's, how many cities have they called home? The Cardinals (football)started in Chicago, spent decades in St. Louis and now are home in the desert. Now the Rams are in St. Louis. There is an almost 100 year precedent in professional sports of teams moving to different cities, taking the name and history with them. You are not the first, nor the last. You just cry about it more and louder than the rest. This stuff happens in professional sports -- it is a business. Let it go already.

A sad death

Dear Friends;
With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment, it is worth reflecting on the death of a very important person, which almost went unnoticed last week.

Larry LaPrise, the man that wrote 'The Hokie Pokey' died peacefully at the age of 93. The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin. They put his left leg in. And then the trouble started.

--found in an email from Otter. Oh stop, you will repeat it before the sun sets on Monday.

December 8, 2007

Rednecks in action

Rudolph's ass as a doorbell -- Doesn't that put you in the Christmas spirit?

December 7, 2007


Dick, where are you? Has anyone seen or heard from Big Dick?

Alice B Toklas knows the answer

I picked up a book to read last night from the bookshelf. I had not read this work of fiction in probably two decades. I wondered if it was as good as I remembered. Of course books read for assignment are never as good as books read for pleasure, that, my friends, is a scientific fact.

I have some sharp readers. This is also a scientific fact. Just how literary are you? Here is the final paragraph of chapter one of the tome I mentioned. The passage is what I remember most about this book, since I wrote a paper on the symbolism one time. Can you ID the book and author?

I decided to call to him. Miss Baker had mentioned him at dinner, and that would do for an introduction. But I did not call to him, for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone -- he stretched out his arms towards the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him,I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily, I glanced seaward -- and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been at the end of a dock. When I looked once more...he had vanished, and I was alone again in the unquiet darkness.

There you have it, an example of some mighty fine writing. As I move through chapter two and its subsequent pages, I will let you know if the book stands up to its reputation.

Show me your literary chops, what is this book? Come on you can do it, I left you several clues.

Rerun with a reason

Here is a rerun post from December 7, 2005. I hope you never forget.

A day that shall live in infamy
On December 7, 1941 the United States was attacked by an unprovoked antagonist against military and civilian targets in the territory of Hawaii. The death and destruction was even greater than that at the WTC and Pentagon attacks of 9/11.

Killed and Missing

Navy 2,008
Marine Corps 109
Army 218
Civilian 68
total 2,403

Navy 710
Marine 69
Army 364
Civi;ian 68
Total 1,178

Grand total of casualties = 3,581

This attack brought the United States into WW II, where the greatest generation saved the world for Democracy. Our thanks: hatred by the French and Germans, desecration of American graves in Normandy and displays in our own country that blame the US for Japan's attack. I have not forgotten the lives and sacrifices made by my forbears. Thank you.

I will not forget Pearl Harbor.

December 6, 2007

A slice of my life

10,20,30,40,50 or more
HB let a fart in the grocery store
Killed 80 men trying to hold their breath
Cut another one and killed the rest

Welcome to elementary school, friends.

Have you ever had a rodent infestation? You put out traps, maybe some d-Con?Did the mouse eat the poison then crawl somewhere and die? Do you know that smell? For the last few weeks I have had gas that makes that dead rodent in the wall odor smell good by comparison. I am talking ass gas that makes MY eyes water. Did you ever have farts so rank they wake you up in the night? My wife actually went to sleep on the couch the other night.

I went to breakfast Tuesday morning at my fine Hampton Inn. When I returned to the room it was so malodorous I nearly called the front desk. Then I realised it was the lingering mustard gas released by my sphincter in the night.

Imagine eating a burrito and cabbage and chicken wings washed down by about eight Strohs beers. Throw in some broccoli and some chili. Add some beans, some hot curry and a dose of General Tsao's chicken. The methane produced would be only slightly less malodorous that my current butt waftings.

Did a dead field mouse take up residence in my colon? Have I assumed magical powers or perhaps morphed into some kind of mutant? Instead of awesome knife blades bursting through my knuckles or laser beam eyes I have deadly sulfuric gas spewing from my anal orifice? What kind of cosmic joke is that?

I have to climb back into the old Taurus again today. I dread the lingering swamp gas I know is there. The cold has slowed the molecules, but as I turn on the heat the lingering fart gases will re-energize and assault me in an all out attack on the Maginot Line of my nose hairs. My butt will launch its own Tet Offensive in concert, shooting killer gas up my crack and across my back for a rear assault. Coughing and gagging I will enter my customer's location, wondering if the smell of farts lingers on my clothes like woodsmoke?

When are you going to invite me over, anyway?

December 5, 2007


Have you ever been faced with one of those really difficult, no-win situations where every choice is bad? For instance would you rather crawl naked through a pit filled with centipedes, spiders and fire ants or have your tongue cut out? Would you rather be inflicted with a strain of incurable VD or have sex with your brother or sister? Or perhaps this terrifying scenario is the stuff of your nightmares. Would you rather vote for Hillary or french kiss your grandma?

Watching football last night I decided we are faced with a similar conundrum. Which is worse, the Patriots going undefeated led by their cheating unlikable coach, or watching the pathetic spectacle of the aged '72 Dolphins waiting to pop a cork when the last team loses each year. For God's sake don't those guys have any more significant events in their lives -- marriages, children, grandkids, perhaps? Watching Jim Kick and Don Shula clinging to ancient memories and pinning their very existence on their glory days is pathetic. It is fitting tribute that in perhaps the year the record will be broken, the Dolphins will suffer a winless season. Karma has a way of biting your ass.

Now I have to see about kissing my grandma...

December 3, 2007

Cheap Labor, Indeed

I got this in an email. I have seen it before. Is the author really a California teacher? Who cares, the sentiment is correct:

From a California school teacher - - -

"As you listen to the news about the student protests over illegal immigration, there are some things that you should be aware of:

I am in charge of the English-as-a-second-language department at a large southern California high school which is designated a Title 1 school, meaning that its students average lower socioeconomic
and income levels.

Most of the schools you are hearing about, South GateHigh, Bell Gardens, Huntington Park, etc., where these students are protesting, are also Title 1 schools.

Title 1 schools are on the free breakfast and free lunch program. When I say free breakfast, I'm not talking a glass of milk and roll -- but a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make a Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and trays of it being dumped in the trash uneaten. (OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK)

I estimate that well over 50% of these students are obese or at least moderately overweight. About 75% or more DO have cell phones. The school also provides day care centers for the unwed teenage pregnant girls (some as young as 13) so they can attend class without the inconvenience of having to arrange for babysitters or having family watch their kids. (OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK)

I was ordered to spend $700,000 on my department or risk losing funding for the upcoming year even though there was little need for anything; my budget was already substantial. I ended up buying new computers for the computer learning center, half of which, one month later, have been carved with graffiti by the appreciative students who obviously feel humbled and grateful to have a free education in America. (OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK)

I have had to intervene several times for young and substitute teachers whose classes consist of many illegal immigrant students here in the country less then 3 months who raised so much hell with the female teachers, calling them "Putas" whores and throwing things that the teachers were in tears.

Free medical, free education, free food, day care etc., etc, etc. Is it any wonder they feel entitled to not only be in this country but to demand rights, privileges and entitlements?

To those who want to point out how much these illegal immigrants contribute to our society because they LIKE their gardener and housekeeper and they like to pay less for tomatoes: spend some time in the real world of illegal immigration and see the TRUE costs.

Higher insurance, medical facilities closing, higher medical costs, more crime, lower standards of education in our schools, overcrowding, new diseases etc., etc, etc. For me, I'll pay more for tomatoes.

We need to wake up. The guest worker program will be a disaster because we won't have the guts to enforce it. Does anyone in their right mind really think they will voluntarily leave and return?

There are many hardworking Hispanic/American citizens that contribute to our country and many that I consider my true friends. We should encourage and accept those Hispanics who have done it the right and legal way.

It does, however, have everything to do with culture: A third-world culture that does not value education, that accepts children getting pregnant and dropping out of school by 15 and that refuses
to assimilate, and an American culture that has become so weak and worried about "politically correctness" that we don't have the will to do anything about it.

If this makes your blood boil, as it did mine, forward this to everyone you know.

CHEAP LABOR? Isn't that what the whole immigration issue is about?

Business doesn't want to pay a decent wage.

Consumers don't want expensive produce.

Government will tell you Americans don't want the jobs.

But the bottom line is cheap labor. The phrase "cheap labor" is a myth, a farce, and a lie. There is no such thing as "cheap labor."

Take, for example, an illegal alien with a wife and five children. He takes a job for $5.00 or 6.00/hour. At that wage, with six dependents, he pays no income tax, yet at the end of the year, if he files an Income Tax Return, he gets an "earned income credit" of up to $3,200 free.

He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent.

He qualifies for food stamps.

He qualifies for free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care.

His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school.

He requires bilingual teachers and books.

He qualifies for relief from high energy bills.

If they are or become, aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for SSI. Once qualified for SSI they can qualify for Medicare. All of this is at (our) taxpayer's expense.

He doesn't worry about car insurance, life insurance, or homeowners insurance.

Taxpayers provide Spanish language signs, bulletins and printed material.

He and his family receive the equivalent of $20.00 to $30.00/hour in benefits.

Working Americans are lucky to have $5.00 or $6.00/hour left after paying their bills and his.

The American taxpayers also pay for increased crime, graffiti and trash clean-up.

Cheap labor? YEAH RIGHT! Wake up people!



Of course, if he is an illegal, he is not paying taxes or filing at all. Yet is still using our roads, schools, etc.

I am still waiting since May for my troll, Prozacula, to set me straight on immigration and explain how asking people to obey the law is racist...

Wherin big words flow from my fingertips

I thought, for about two seconds, about going out for breakfast this morning. I usually do not partake of morning fare, but the growling mountain lion in my stomach is insistent I provide some food. I was about to get ready to head for the drive-through when I remembered I did not eat my lunch yesterday and an Arby's roast beef was waiting for me in the 'fridge. Coupled with a cold Dr. Pepper, my hunger is now assuaged ( how about that, I do know words with more than one syllable). Add that to the two cups of coffee I had earlier and I am ready to meet the day.

Most of you know I am the quintessential (another big word -- and I have yet to consult the old thesaurus!) lurker in the old blog world. I read your writings and move on, rarely leaving comments. It is not that I do not have an opinion, but rather a sense that if I have nothing to add, I forgo leaving my thought droppings. I only wish I could find the same restraint in ordinary conversation. While I live for comments, I do not reciprocate(!). This weekend I found myself in a regular Chatty Cathy mood and left several comments around the blogosphere. Many of them did not show up or have disappeared. I am not sure if I was overly offensive, I have been baned from commenting, or my commenting skills are so rusty I failed to post them correctly. I tend to lean toward the incompetence theory. Too bad, the moment has passed and my brilliant insights are lost to the vast void of the Ethernet. Maybe it was sunspots?

Monday dawns a new week and the email circuits are hot. Just while writing this say-nothing post I have been interrupted four times with the pop up telling me I have new mail. The damn phone has rung also. If customers and co-workers would just leave me alone, I could get a lot more done. I need to do my monthly expenses again, but instead I am off to get an oil change in a bit. Then I travel to the far reaches of my territory tonight for an early morning meeting. First I have to attend my youngest kid's band concert this evening. Whoo, it is sure good to be me. There is nothing like spending a few hours at a middle school band concert then jumping in the car for a four hour drive. Can anyone say "soporific"?

December 2, 2007


I wish... still had dimmer switches on the floorboard

...someone with a bully pulpit would stand up against the insane global warming crowd. If science was based on consensus we would still bleed and leech for most diseases and we would believe the sun revolves around a flat earth.

...there was a way to make a raghead splodytard understand that I do not care what he believes, conversion by the sword, or killing those who believe in a different God is barbaric, and inhuman. What kind of God demands you believe or die? favorite authors could write and publish as fast as I read. Oh, and some of them need to be not dead, so they can keep entertaining me.

...I had more patience and understanding.

...I knew how to make my wife happy.

...I could write poetry like Jean. Heck, I wish I could write well, period.

...we could get a little snow.

...I could make another trip to Europe, especially Germany, to see my friends.

...we knew what was really wrong with Marvin Harrison.

...we knew what was in the Belicheat tapes, and how many there were. Nice cover up NixonFL.

...someone would fry me some bacon (long-time readers know this is a frequent desire of mine).

...I could spend all day doing research on whatever subject struck my fancy. Heck, I might even write about it!

...there was a sprout of the proverbial money tree in my backyard.

...Og would get a deer.

...Allie would stop by and just say "Hi, I am doin' fine."

...I could get laid soon, it has been a long time. Wabash Little Giants had played better. I do not mind losing, but five INTs is too much.

..The Clintons and the Bushes would go away from the political scene forever. And that goes double for Jimmah Carter.

...I could buy the world a Coke... a great day.

November 30, 2007

Rednecks in Action

I guess these people just love dining al fresco -- have picnic will travel.

Edit: RIP E.K., your jumps gave me the thrills of my childhood. You will always be the greatest stunt performer in my book.

Return of the Friday Five

I love the Holidays. The trees, the lights, the music. Christmas tunes are playing while I type. I love Christmas movies. Holiday Inn is among my most favorite movies ever. Here is one of my favorite scenes: The Big 4th of July Dance. YouTube will not allow me to embed the video, so click to see some of the best dancing you will ever witness. Trust me, those are mere hacks on Dancing with the Stars.
Here are my five top Christmas movies:

Holiday Inn
Charlie Brown Christmas
Miracle on 34th Street
White Christmas / Its a Wonderful Life
Christmas with the Kranks / The Santa Clause (tie)

So, I get seven. What of it?

What are your five favorite Christmas movies?

November 29, 2007

Please Christmas Don't Be Late

Man, I never get tired of hearing The Chipmunks sing the Christmas Song.

Me, I want a hula hoop...

I hate those fucking dogs barking Jingle Bells though.

Back home again...

Do you know the song Back home again, in Indiana? Well, that is where I am, back home in Indiana. I wish I had some interesting tale of mishap and humor from my trip home, but the journey consisted of long waits in various airports and boring, bumpy flights home. The day started around six am, and ended around midnight. So much for the joys of travel.

I was amused by a sign at the approach to the Tappan Zee Bridge. It told me life was wonderful and gave a suicide helpline number. I wonder if that last second reminder has saved any lives? Is the thought of crossing the Hudson that depressing? Of course, Westchester County is where the Clintons live, so that may account for the sign.

Should I be concerned when I return from a sales meeting completely demotivated? Is it just the season? The cold weather? A serious lack of nookie?

November 26, 2007

The big road trip continues

Whoo hoo, I finally made it. Gave my sales presentation late this afternoon. It went over well.

I have to sit through 3/4 day of more drivel tomorrow. Then it is back to the airport and a flight back home. Joy of joy I get to connect through Cleveland again!

It is good to be me

So here I am, stuck in Cleveland. My flight to White Plans cancelled. I must say the Airport Sheraton is expensive, given the quality of accomodations.

I hope my very early flight goes, I would sure hate to miss my sales meetings. And if you believe that...

November 25, 2007

Gettin' in the Mood

Here is a picture taken of the wife's little 'Charlie Brown' tree and redware collection a few years ago. I think this is a nice old-timey picture. As always, you can click to embiggen.

I got almost all of the lights put up outside yesterday, I have a couple of bushes I want to do still. The tree is up in the living room. The lights are on, but no decorations yet. I still have to put up the aformentioned scrawny tree. I will try to take some pictures of the outside later in the week.

Sadly, the kids go back to school today. It sure has been nice having them home.

November 24, 2007

Rednecks in Action

This is the can-do spirit that makes America the greatest nation on Earth. These guys live on College Street for a reason.

November 23, 2007


First off I would like to offer a huge thank you for all your kind wishes of a Happy Thanksgiving. Among a host of other things I am thankful for each and everyone of you taking time to let me in your busy life almost every day.

I think I ate more yesterday than I have in any one meal all year. Heck, I believe I ate more than I often do in any two meals. But it was sure good. Then I went to my wife's niece's house and did it again. Well actually I only took enough food to be polite.

On the way to my niece's I had a brief panic attack. Not a real one. I just remembered she does not have cable. Nor does she have an antennae for her TV. She can only pick up the UHF CBS affiliate from Lafayette, Indiana. She does not want her kids spending all day in from of the electronic babysitter. I can respect that up until it interferes with my ability to watch the Colts on Thanksgiving. Of course I know outside of Metro Indy and Atlanta NO ONE got to see the Colts, but that is because greedy NFL-types want us all to pay for the privilege of watching reruns, the draft, and eight games we do not care about. Anyhoo, one of the enterprising nephews rigged an antennae in the garage on a spare TV and the grown-ups who cared watched the game with a hint of snow on the screen. Perfectly acceptable -- again, I have plenty to be thankful for.

Well here we are, a chilly Friday morn, reading blogs and drinking coffee. Life is good. I hope you all have a great day -- buy something. The economy is counting on you.

November 22, 2007

Happy Turkey Day

What are you doing reading blogs? Go eat or watch parades or football. have a happy day. Be thankful.

November 21, 2007

Rednecks in action -- holiday version

Some good advise when doing your Christmas shopping on Black Friday

The strangeness around me part deux

If you read deep in to Homer's tales of war and heroism, you see the dark side of human nature. Cassandra carried a heavy burden for her powers. Some days I too carry a heavy monkey on my back. It is a tough job always being right in every thought, deed and action. Superiority is a terrible load to carry. As such, when I criticize those around me, it is more in a spirit of trying to improve the lot of my fellow man, to show those in need how to build a better mousetrap, of educating those with less brainpower. Or it could be that some people are basically stupid and should be made fun of. The choice is yours. The following is a case in point.

We live in a large subdivision across the street from the Middle School. It is about a four block walk for my son. He walks home every day. Since it has been dark in the mornings when he goes to school (class starts at 7:25 am) and there are no sidewalks, I have been driving him and a friend each morning. He would rather walk in subzero temperatures naked than ride the bus. The bus picks up the elementary school kids as well as the few middle/high schoolers that deign to ride. I do not blame him for preferring to walk.

My boy's friend lives a block south of us. On the corner. Across the street from the friend and one house to the west is a boy who also goes to the middle school. Each morning as I pull into Kevin's driveway to pick him up a white Caddy pulls out from across the street. She drives past the one house separating hers from the corner and stops and sits. I take the boys to school, drop them off and return home. The white car is still there. It finally occurs to me one day last week when we were a few minutes late what she is doing. She is waiting on the bus.

This woman gets up, starts her car and drives 50 FEET to drop her kid at the bus stop. I drop my kids off at school and return home while she waits on the bus. Does this seem crazy to anyone else but me? Why doesn't she just drive him to school? Of course, this is none of my business, but I find it incredibly odd. Kevin also says they back their cars into the garage. I suppose they need to get away with Batmobile-like speed in case she is running late getting to the bus stop?

November 20, 2007

Hump day already

So much to write, so little to say. My forecast (all 112 pages) is done. I have turned in my sales presentations for the Big Fall Sales Meeting next week (Big Apple here I come). There is not a customer in existence who will see me this week.

Basically I am putting in time for the next two days. You just have to love three day work weeks. In fact, my job is boring for the next 6 weeks. I will make a few goodwill visits, but as far as beginning new projects or finding new customers -- it just is not going to happen.

It is supposed to hit nearly 70 today. I may drag out some of the Christmas decorations later. I have to take the daughter to have her stitches removed this afternoon. I hear my cigars calling me from the depths of my humidor. They are saying "HB it is warm, smoke me dude".

Take it from me, if you ignore the voices, they just get louder.

November 19, 2007

Freud, Jung, HB, and Pavlov

I was mixing the batter for a pineapple upside down cake last night and it occurred to me for about the one millionth time that I really do not like baking. I have a strong dislike for the electric mixer in general. In one one stark moment of self-analytical clarity I realized why. Dr. Freud, call your office, I have a revelation!

Last night we were sitting down to watch a Christmas movie. I was finishing up the cake and there came a confluence of memories. I remembered a Christmas long ago as I was trying to watch one of the many Christmas specials, Rudolph or Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Mom was in the kitchen making divinity and other candies for the Christmas Holidays. In those bad old days the TV signal came over the airwaves, not through a cable or beamed from space to your satellite dish. And there were only three channels. I can not remember if the picture was black and white or color, but I am guessing black and white, since I was probably only nine or ten. Anyway, in the dark ages whenever someone turned on an electric appliance like a vacuum sweeper or electric mixer, it interfered with the TV signal. You got lines on the screen and static for sound. And the small appliances were significantly louder in those days. It seemed Mom would chose the most exciting moments of the show to run the mixer leaving me angry and frustrated. I hate divinity. I ain't real fond of electric mixers.

There you have it, do-it-yourself psychoanalysis. I will have office hours from 1-5 every Thursday. My couch is comfortable.

November 17, 2007

Rednecks in Action

Your basic redneck pickup truck

My daughter had her wisdom teeth extracted yesterday. She is one tough cookie. The vicodin is making her sick, so she said she would rather just tough it out. We finally convinced her to take a few Advil. The dentist said he could prescribe a different pain killer when he called last night to check on her (how about that in modern medicine?), but she said no.

For all of those BCS apologists who claim their cannot be a playoff in big-time college football, how do you explain that NCAA Division III has managed it for decades? BTW, these are TRUE student athletes.

November 16, 2007

Cookin' with Hoosierboy

I consider myself to be an above average cook. I prepare 99% of the meals we eat at home. I am not talking about manning the grill while my wife prepares everything else either. Sometimes one needs a quick and easy meal. Last night I prepared one of those.

Nearly every grocery now offers pre-cooked rotisserie chickens. These whole birds are hot and ready to eat. This chicken makes the perfect chicken and noodles. Pick the chicken from the pones and shred the meat into small pieces. Add to packaged or frozen noodles along with a can of chicken stock or bullion flavored water (I use both). Add your favorite side dishes (here in the Midwest that would include mashed potatoes) and you are set for a quick, cheap dinner that tastes like you spent hours preparing.

Take that semi-homemade Sandra Lee, you hack.

November 15, 2007

The strangeness that surrounds me

Yesterday I returned from my fun-filled business trip. As I was unloading the car (suitcase, coat, trash, briefcase, etc)the mailman made his appearance. He dropped off my mail and drove straight into my neighbor's trash cans. Instead of getting out of the white USPS truck, he backed up and hit the cans at an angle to push them into the street. He then backed up and weaved between the two cans to get to my neighbor's mailbox. He proceeded onward with his duties. "Not, rain, nor snow, nor trashcans"...I guess.

Some acquaintances moved in on the street behind us, but on the same block as us. These people are not exactly friends, but we have known them for a long time. Our sons have played on the same baseball team almost every year since they began baseball. They have been on the same all-star and football teams. We know them pretty well, but we do not hang out. The wife is a loon. The husband is a know-it-all, but they are basically tolerable people.

This morning the wife calls me around 6:45. She said her husband is travelling and she is doing her practical nurse training at a hospital some 50 miles away. She wanted me to go over to her house and make sure her two kids were up and getting ready for school (6th and 8th grade). WTF? Who would leave two middle school-aged kids alone all night? Who would trust them to get up and ready? How do you say no to such a request? I got dressed and drove around the block and rang the doorbell. I told the kid who answered that his mom was worried and to call her and reassure her they were up and getting ready for school.

Of course, I get another call around 7:10, the boys did not call her. I hope this does not become a regular occurrence. What do you do? Further, I can envision this neighbor slinking across the backyards every time he sees me on the deck in the summer -- boring me with his tales and mooching my beer. I have made it my lifetime practice to avoid knowing and socializing with my neighbors. A twenty year habit is not going to be broken now.

November 13, 2007

Truthful Tuesday

So here I am, in the land of Freddie, of the Hummer, of the venerable Steudabaker and the Golden Domers. More specifically, if you wanted to find a manufacturer of RVs or musical instruments I am in that city. You can look it up yourself. I am not here to visit a customer from either one of those industries, however.

I am blogging using my Treo today, so we will see how it works out.

If you are looking for something morre entertaining or substantive than yesterday's effort, you are out of luck.

Maybe something interesting will happen during my stay at the fine Hamton Inn.

November 12, 2007

A special post for YOU

It would be great if this post were to offer some bold political insight, some humorous observations, pithy wit, or banal historiography. Even an amusing tale, anecdote, story or parable would be nice. How about a cartoon or funny picture?

You get none of that. You get nada, nothing, zero, no gold ticket, no lifetime supply of candy, no $200 for passing go, no mulligans. Rien. Niets. Zip. Niente. Zilch. Nichts. 无关. ничего, Diddly f-ing squat. The big goose egg.

I have nothing to say. That is all, good day.

Come back tomorrow.

November 11, 2007

Is there anybody out there?

The bed makes a familiar creak as I roll over and slowly stand up. My knees pop and the accompanying pains shoot through my arthritic right shoulder and knee. I pad to the toilet. I yawn as I do my business. I wash my hands and glance at the clock: 7:03 am. During the week I cannot get awake, on the weekends I wake up early. No point bitching, life goes on. My wife gently snores as I close the door.

I shuffle my way to the kitchen. I throw away the used filter from the coffee pot, the old grounds a sodden heap. The used filter is stained brown. I make some coffee and turn on the computer. I read the online newspaper as the sky lightens outside the living room window. I see the tall decorative grasses are gently swaying in the wind and a bit of frost paints the tips the still-green lawn. Low clouds hint of rain later in the day.

I sip my coffee as I sit at the computer, breaking a hard and fast household rule regarding drinks near the computer. I break this rule every single day. The mouse pad serves as a perfect coaster. I will get away with it until the inevitable spillage shorts the keyboard or worse.

The television is off, the radio silent as I gently click the mouse. Head East plays background music in my brain. There is the irregular click of the keys as I slowly hunt and peck. The sound of warm air being forced through the registers is a faint whisper in the room.

I hit the blogroll, reading most, rarely offering a comment. One of my favorite reads is gone again today. I am entranced by a story at Counts place.

I can feel the tugs of loneliness and depression as they sing their melancholy siren song in my skull. I resist, focusing instead on the words that flow from my fingertips -- live blogging a Sunday morning.

November 10, 2007

Monon Bell Game Today

How seriously do people take Little Giant football? Last year, Wabash, an all-male school with 900 students, was second in Division III in attendance, averaging 5,447 per home game.
Indianapolis Star

Ohio State & Michigan, Navy & Army -- nothing compared to the hate and intense rivalry found at this game between two little Division III football powerhouses. Ticket sales for the game today have topped 8,000. I know this is roughly the equivalent of the number of people standing in the restroom and concession lines at the Big House, but consider the student populations at these schools is combined about 3,000.

This is the 114th meeting. Suck on that.

Oh, and you Dannies can suck on this...

Rednecks in Action

Redneck Wedding Cake

November 9, 2007

Friday Thoughts

Free speech is one of the foundations of this country. It was deemed so important to the Founding Fathers it was listed as numero uno in the Bill of Rights. For the Founders, the ability speak out against the government, against tyranny, was paramount.

There does exist a fine line. The famous right to shout fire in a crowded theater does not exist. When does our free speech cross that line? When does criticism become sedition? When does protest morph to treason? Does your right to speech trump my right/desire not to listen?

There was a strong contingent who felt the Bill of Rights was not needed. The Rights of Man were too numerous to list, these men feared the enumeration of Rights would limit them. Read the Constitution, it is not a document that gives power to the Federal Government, it is a document that limits the power of the Government. The Constitution and the Amendments place limits on the Federal Government's powers.

Back to the point. Does Code Pink, and religious wackos like Fred Phelps have a right to decry what they view as immoral, or just plain wrong? I guess. But when they cross the line of decency, urging soldiers to shoot their officers or protesting at funerals they have crossed the line of decency.

In times past such behavior would not have been tolerated. The perpetrator would have been ridden out of town on a rail. This is not just a corny phrase. An undesirable person would have been placed upright straddling a fencepost or length of train track and jostled and bumped his painful way through and out of town. Often he would have been tarred and feathered first. This involved pouring hot, burning tar on the person and throwing feathers to stick in the tar. The concoction would be nearly impossible to remove without also taking off the top layers of skin. Humiliation and pain are strong motivators.

In days past, if an individual had the temerity to desecrate a funeral of a community's' young war hero, to cheer the death of a soldier, to cross the lines of simple human decency a family or community would have dealt with the manner in a clear and forceful manner. No jury in the town would convict such a response.

When did things change? How did we come to this? Was it the mass demonstration of the anti-war crowd in the 1960's? There were draft riots and anti-war rallies during the Civil War. The pacifist/ isolationist crowd was strong in the days of the Great War. Somehow they were able to make their point without spouting hate at innocent soldiers graves, without barring their sagging breasts to children. Lindbergh may have supported the Nazis, but he did not encourage common soldiers to kill their officers.

Why, as a society, do we tolerate such behavior? Why is sedition accepted? Why do we tolerate treason? Why do we turn our head to bad behavior? Why is it unaccepted to have community values? Why is it racist to insist those who break our immigration laws be punished? When did having moral values become an undesirable trait? When did bums and tramps and panhandlers become 'poor homeless persons'? Why do we have to let them live and bathe in our libraries and court houses and bus stations? When are we going to take back our cities and towns? When did a knotted rope become the ultimate symbol of racist hate?

The next time a Code Pink hippy drops her top she should be immediately arrested for public indecency. The next time a Phelps follower shows up at a funeral they should be tarred and plopped on the nearest rail. If a person gives aid and comfort to our enemies they should be tried and executed for treason. That includes you Cindy and you Jane.

November 8, 2007


With apologies to Jean and her wonderful blog "Pondering" there is an issue or two I am pondering.

One of the races for city council in my town came to a tie on election day. Both candidates are considering a recount petition. The local fishwrap today had an article about the race.

One party says they are looking to see if they have the money to pay for a recount, or if they want the city council to decide the race (as per statute). They feel confident the absentee ballots (there were only 24 in that ward)were counted and the machines worked as advertised. Electric voting machines have been used in this city and county for years without an issue.

The other party has hired an attorney to look into possible voter aberrations and problems with the machines. "[P]arty leaders and supporters...are trying to find election-day anomalies, discrepancies and events that might translate into an extra vote."

Guess which position was taken by the Democrat Party? In their arrogance they cannot conceive they would lose an honest election. Too bad the last two elections have been swept by the Republicans -- they hold EVERY office in the city and county at this time.

I guess if I were a Democrat I would be desperate for any victory I could find.

Quantity vs. Quality

Well, if I can not offer you quality posts, I will get you with quantity. Here is lunch today. Re-grilled last night's steak and salad. I enjoyed this fine repast accompanied by Booker T and the MGs. It is good to be me some days.

The boy asks why I do not go out for lunch.

Rerun Thursday

Here is a rerun post for your enjoyment.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

The Noble 24th Foot or the South Wales Borderers

You may be familiar with this unit unknowingly if you have ever watched the classic war movie ZULU or ZULU DAWN. If you have not seen these movies go rent them or buy them. Now. This post will still be here, go now.

OK. Awesome right? I planned to talk in detail about Isandlhwana and Rorke's Drift this weekend, but in my research I found that this regiment is not only remarkably heroic, but cursed with hard luck, so what better day to write about bad luck than today?

The 24th foot is an old regiment in HRM Army (hence the number!). The Regiment took part in the ill fate attack on Brest in 1694 where over 300 English soldiers were killed. More than half the regiment died of disease in the West Indies during the War of Jenkins Ear (1739 - 1743). In 1756 the regiment surrendered to the French at Minorca. The entire regiment was captured in the Revolutionary War at Saratoga (Freeman's Farm). Almost half of the second battalion were casualties at Talavera in the peninsula War. Almost half the regiment was captured by the French off a troop ship bound for India in 1810 (before the French became surrender monkies). Over 500 men were casualties (238 killed) in the idiotic bayonet charge at Chilianwala (India now Pakistan) during the 2nd Sikh war. Most of the 1st battalion was destroyed by the Zulus at Isandlhwana. It was at Gallipoli in WWI. The 24th left the lines in France at the end of WWI with 76 men and officers, total. They were captured by the Germans at the disastrous Battle of Tobruk in WWII. The ship carrying the Regiment hit a rock and sank on the way to the Invasion of Norway.

The 24th Foot were great and heroic fighters. But the regiment was cursed with bad luck as well.

Why I hate expenses part II

This is one month's pile of business receipts. You can admire my filing and organizing system. Most are still bent and creased from my wallet. I bring this on myself, but now you know why I dread expense day.

And yes, I will concede the obvious. Writing about doing my expense reports is just a means of postponing the task.

How not to start the day

I overslept this morning. I have not done that in ages. I am still not sure what happened. I am positive I turned the alarm on, I must have turned it off in my sleep. In any case I woke with a start about 20 minutes late. It put the little one behind the eight ball on time, but he took a quick shower and we left about five minutes later than usual for school. He made it on time.

I have to do my expense reports today. I hate doing my expenses. I should do them every week, then the pain would be lessened, but for some reason I do them at the maximum interval allowed -- one month at a time. I was supposed to mail them this past Monday, so I am already late. To make matters worse, I am out of envelopes. Then there is the trip to the post office...I know I am making excuses.

Seriously, does anyone find this crap interesting?

November 7, 2007

I deal with idiots

I just had to bitch slap an engineer. He made some slights against me I could not let pass. If he hadn't copied everyone in the company with his critical and wrong email, I would have let it go. When you single me out in an email to my boss and the President of the company among others, well, you get what you ask for. The sad part is this guy is so far off base he hasn't a clue.

Update. While writing this post I just got a call from a different engineer thanking me for my email. He has been arguing my exact points for a week.

I spent 11-1/2 hours driving and 2-1/2 hours in meetings yesterday to discuss the same items with a customer we covered in August. This time a big honcho from customer's corporate office ran the meeting. The buyer and I had already covered the same items long ago. The buyer smirked and I smiled politely. Now the big cheese is involved, so things will go smoothly -- ha!

edit. Some people do not know when they are kicked. They guy has to respond, making his same ridiculous assertions. I emailed him back in private, but I am sure it was to no avail. If I was not sure I would somehow get found out and fired I would publish the correspondence here, just to show you what I deal with.

November 6, 2007

I 39 where are you?

Travelling today. Off to make customers happy. I hope we can conclude negotiations to return a portion of this customer's business to us, where it rightly belongs. If that happens the 16 hour day I am about to have will be worthwhile.

As an added bonus I get to spend time in Rockford, Il. Whee Hoo. Oh well, at least it is not South Bend or Detroit or Syracuse, NY or Kincheloe, Michigan.

November 5, 2007


Congress can Legislate. The ICC can rule. The Governor can opine. The clock can fall back and chime its lies.

My stomach says it is noon.

What are you looking at?

Is it Monday already?

I did the stupid clock change ritual yesterday. Now we can turn on the lights in the evening instead of the morning. I bet the same morons who think we actually "save" daylight believe not spending as much on welfare as you planned is a cut. BTW, why wouldn't we want the sun to go down later in the winter, when the days are shorter? I guess it is true, the golf industry is the true power behind DST.

Great football yesterday. The pundits and especially Pats fans will not see it, but that game could have gone either way. The best news of all -- the Bears did not lose!

I do not know if it the Monday blues, the weather, or just a case of classic Jimmah Carter malaise, but I am surely feeling low today. Help a buddy out, won't you?

November 3, 2007

Rednecks in action

This is a new series: "Rednecks in Action". Here is a redneck version of skiing.

November 2, 2007


The Smiths were unable to conceive children and decided to use a surrogate
father to start their family. On the day the proxy father was to arrive, Mr.
Smith kissed his wife goodbye and said, "Well, I'm off now. The man should be
here soon." Half an hour later, just by chance, a door-to-door baby
photographer happened to ring the doorbell, hoping to make a sale. "Good
morning, Ma'am", he said, "I've come to..." "Oh, no need to explain," Mrs.
Smith cut in, embarrassed, "I've been expecting you." "Have you really?" said
the photographer. "Well, that's good. Did you know babies are my specialty?"
"Well that's what my husband and I had hoped. Please come in and have a seat".
After a moment she asked, blushing, "Well, where do we start?" "Leave
everything to me. I usually try two in the bathtub, one on the couch, and
perhaps a couple on the bed. And sometimes the living room floor is fun. You can
really spread out there." "Bathtub, living room floor? No wonder it didn't work
or Harry and me!" "Well, Ma'am, none of us can guarantee a good one every time. But if we try several
different positions and I shoot from six or seven angles, I'm sure you'll be
pleased with the results." "My, that's a lot!", gasped Mrs. Smith. "Ma'am, in
my line of work a man has to take his time. I'd love to be In and out in five
minutes, but I'm sure you'd be disappointed with that." "Don't I know it," said
Mrs. Smith quietly. The photographer opened his briefcase and pulled out a
portfolio of his baby pictures. "This was done on the top of a bus," he said.
"Oh, my God!" Mrs. Smith exclaimed, grasping at her throat. "And these twins
turned out exceptionally well - when you consider their mother was so difficult
to work with." "She was difficult?" asked Mrs. Smith. "Yes, I'm afraid so. I
finally had to take her to the park to get the job done right. People were
crowding around four and five deep to get a good look" "Four and five deep?"
said Mrs. Smith, her eyes wide with
amazement. "Yes", the photographer replied. "And for more than three hours, too. The mother was constantly squealing and
yelling - I could hardly concentrate, and when darkness approached I had to rush
my shots. Finally, when the squirrels began nibbling on my equipment, I just had
to pack it all in." Mrs. Smith leaned forward. "Do you mean they actually
chewed on your," "It's true, Ma'am, yes.. Well, if you're
ready, I'll set-up my tripod and we can get to work right away." "Tripod?" "Oh
yes, Ma'am. I need to use a tripod to rest my Canon on. It's much too big to be
held in the hand very long." Mrs. Smith fainted.

Big Oil and the Economy

Economics has always been one of my weaknesses. I can carry on a conversation about a wide variety of topics, but talk to me about Micro and Macro Economics and my eyes glaze over. The midpoint elasticity formula, monopolistic competition, interest rates,money supply,and the famous ceteris paribus are about as interesting to me as Hillary's love life.

That said, I find it interesting how the clearly left-leaning news shows present information. For the last few years Exxon/Mobile has been the epitome of the evil corporation. The media described their record profits accompanied by record high oil prices as the definition of evil capitalists. Today, the news reader on the Today Show blamed Exxon/Mobile's 10% loss in profits as one of the reasons the Dow had a 300 point drop yesterday.

It looks like Exxon/Mobile cannot do anything right. Make profits, you are evil. Make less profit and you are blamed for the stock market corrections. I may not be completely versant in economics, but I do understand politics. The subtle message is clear--oil is bad. Save us ALGORE!

November 1, 2007

The Office on Meth Lab Road

It is amusing how cultural differences can affect conversation. Here is a case in point. Back in the last century I went to work for the big company. I was told to find suitable location for my remote sales office. After a quick search I found a great place in an old building on the public square. The five story edifice was once state of the art. It sported a copper-clad awning over the main entrance, now a motley green. The main staircase and lobby were tiled in marble. There were mail slots on every floor that led through the walls to the brass mailbox in the lobby.

The building once was a center for professionals. Doctors, lawyers and accountants roamed the halls. Now the five floors were occupied by an aging attorney who worked a few hours two or three days a week and me. The place was old and worn out, but I got a great deal and a whole suite of offices.

I called my boss in suburban Philadelphia to give him the details. I explained it was an old worn out building, right downtown, near City Hall. I mentioned the owner agreed to paint the walls and replace the worn carpet. Jerry asked me if I thought the building was safe. I mentioned the elevator had an updated inspection certificate and I assumed the wiring etc. were up to code. He asked again if I thought it was safe. I said the walls seemed solid. He said "No, will you be physically safe in a building downtown? Will you get mugged, is the parking secure?"

I could only laugh. I have never felt like such an idiot. It never occurred to me I would not be safe in a building in my little Indiana town of 17,000. For the boss, who grew up in Newark, NJ and lived his life in the Philadelphia area "right downtown" had a much different connotation. He envisioned crack whores and the human debris that inhabits the center of our major cities. Those who live and work in such areas have to be cognizant of their environment.

Later he admitted he had also never felt more foolish, our mutual confusion regarding his question became the lore of future sales meetings. "'I asked is it safe?' and he replied 'I guess it is up to code.'" A perfect example of how two white guys, of a similar age and professional background can have such a disconnect. The confusion all because of where we were raised.

I am glad the question of commute times never came up.

October 31, 2007

It is all in a name

There are just certain names you can no longer use for your kid. Adolph, Napoleon, Vlad, Dracula and Hillary all come to mind. Thanks to The Kinks, anyone who names their daughter Lola is a sadistic mental midget.

October 29, 2007

Ode to Fred

I was desperate, working two part time jobs at just above minimum wage. My wife was pregnant with our first child. My college degree was not opening the doors of opportunity. Times were tough, I lost out one job because the other final candidate had nearly twenty years of experience. The early/mid eighties were hard times, economically. I saw the ad in the paper and zipped off a resume.

I am not sure why I was called for an interview. I was not qualified in any way to be a Quality Manager at an injection molding plant. It was clear to me ten minutes into the interview I was not qualified. For the plant manager, Fred, I am sure it was clear within two minutes. He spent considerable time talking to me anyway. Maybe he was looking for a respite from plant issues. As the discussions wrapped up he gently told me 'Thanks, but no thanks...lack of experience...blah, blah...' Dang, darn and double damn, I just had to get a real job. My wife was supporting us, thankfully she had good insurance.

I had nothing to lose at this point, and this guy had been very nice to me. I asked the question we have all wanted to ask. I said " Fred, I understand I am not qualified for this job. I agree I do not have the experience. I hear that all the time. Just how am I to get experience if no one will hire me?" Fred commiserated a bit, told me he got his start in the military and said I should keep trying, the right job would come around. I went home and circled more ads in the paper.

A few days later I got a call. It was Fred. He had a proposition for me. He had gone to corporate and got permission to create a position for me -- Management Trainee. He promised I would get experience. He said I would do a variety of work, running presses, driving a forklift, filing, scheduling, everything. He promised I would work hard, I might have to do shift work, and the pay would be low -- about the same hourly wage I was making at my part-time jobs. Taking that job remains today one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I did it all: every job in the plant except heavy maintenance and the plant manager's job. I ran presses, swept floors, did assembly, supervised every shift. I did payroll and served as the receptionist. Scheduling, inventory, driving a forklift were all in a day's work. There was no regular rotation. If someone was sick or needed a hand -- I was the man. I might run a press for a few hours. I would get called to the office and home I would go -- ready to be foreman for the second or third shift. I worked like a dog. Often I put in eighty hours a week. I would work twelve hours on Friday and come back to supervise the twelve hour weekend shifts we had hired. I would work from 3 am to 3 pm on Friday, return to work 12 am to 12 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Back to regular work at 7 am on Monday. Week after week. I learned about manufacturing. I watched Fred and learned how to manage people.

I cleaned the gutters at his house, washed his car and went to buy him concert tickets. I picked up his wife when her car broke down. I drove his daughter home from school when she missed the bus, all part of the training. And when Fred was promoted to the corporate office I drove his car to New York so it would not have to be shipped.

I was a valuable fill-in for the company. Given time, I might have had a bright future. Three years of working my ass off,and I now had experience. A recruiter called and I was offered a new job. The Company was not pleased, the President called to try and talk me into staying. The wage differential was just too much. Fred called and offered congratulations.

I have only seen him a few times since. He eventually moved back to Indiana. His slight drinking problem became a major drinking problem. He did some time in politics, a few stints as a plant manager. The last I heard he was running the street department in my home town.

Last week I got an email from a friend. She said that rumor has it Fred tried to kill himself. He was in the hospital. There was some shady dealings at the Street Department and Fred was implicated. The shame was too much.

Fred was one of the best three managers I have ever had. he taught me about manufacturing, about management and about people. Most of all he gave a wet behind the ears twenty-four year old kid a chance. Thank you, Fred. May God give you the strength to exercise your demons. You had a profound positive influence on my life.

October 27, 2007

Why you should never watch Rosie

Oh, probably not safe for work or anyone under 18. If this applies to you do not look today.
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