December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

Best wishes for a safe and happy New Year.

If you drink, don't drive.

I will see you on the other side of the calendar.

December 30, 2010

Friday Five. Holiday Week/Thursday edition

I know, I am excited too.

It is trivia time! Answer these trivia questions in the comments. No fair using search engines or encyclopedias, research materials etc. You on your best Boy Scout and Girl Scout honor here, no cheating.

1. In what movie did the characters of Ma and Pa Kettle make their debut?

2. In the TV Show M*A*S*H, what is Frank Burns home town?

3. In what was the city the TV series One Day at A Time set?

4. Cheers bartender Woody Boyd came from what town?

5. Where was Steve McQueen born?

bonus: what is the common theme to each answer?

Have fun. No cheating.

December 29, 2010

Bad hair day

I received the worst haircut of my life yesterday.  That is saying something since my Mom used to cut my hair.

About once a month, or maybe six weeks, Mom would put a stool in the middle of the kitchen, drape a sheet around our shoulders and clip away. That all stopped after she bought some torture device combination razor/comb. The thing was supposed to make a home hair cut as easy as running a comb through your locks. It cut your hair in nice layers as you combed it. Otter and I took our turns. The thing did not cut, it pulled the hair. Mom and Dad thought we were just big babies as we cried at every tug and pull. Mom thought the thing worked great.  Dad thought he had raised a couple of pussies -- crying over a haircut. Things changed when it was Dad's turn on the stool. He cursed my Mom and the evil razor comb. Not long after that the Parents decided we were old enough to get our hair cut at a real barbershop.

Fast forward to yesterday. The haircut did not hurt, but it was still a hack job. I have long let the stylist at the discount place use clippers on the side and back.  They then go to work on the top with scissors and comb.  This girl used clippers on the whole thing, going in every direction possible. She did not cut the front to accommodate a part, she did not layer the hair to lay down on the top. She just clipped away. I have parted my hair for at least 40 years (I do not remember ever having a different hairstyle, it was just much longer in the 1970s). Now I guess I just comb it straight, at least until it grows out a little.

My ever-present optimistic side says it is time to try something new. My realistic side says I got a shitty haircut.

December 28, 2010

Books, books, books

The lovely and talented Jean asked what books I have downloaded so far. I purchased Bernard Cornwell's newest The Fort. If you dig historical fiction there is no one better writing that genre today. I also copped a copy of the Autobiography of US Grant, The Red Badge of Courage, The Count of Monte Cristo, Tarzan, and some Zane Grey among others. I have plenty to occupy me while on my travels.

I used to own  copy of Grant's memoirs.  It is one of the best autobiographies ever penned. Grant wrote it in the last months of his life, in a mountain top cabin. Though he was dying of throat cancer, he doggedly stuck to the project, living on the advance, so his family would have something to live on after he died. This hefty tome was part of my collection that was destroyed by termites at my Mother-in-law's house. 

I had taken a job in a different city and when it came time to go, we still had not found a house to live in. We rented a small apartment and took what furnishings and such we needed to live, and boxed the balance and stored it at my MIL's. Clearly hundreds of books were not necessary. I lost probably 40 or fifty books on the Civil War, including Grant and Sherman's memoirs.  Gone was my rare copy of The Rock of Chicamauga. I lost my collection of books on the Zulu Wars (except The Washing of the Spears, which I had loaned to someone). I lost some college textbooks and both my wife's and my High School yearbooks. Box after box of novels, textbooks and history books were chewed.  They all had to go. Such is life. I hope the bugs that got to them enjoyed my Tacitus, my Livy, and my Herodotus as much as I did.

I still have far too many books. They are stacked in shelves, in boxes, in storage containers. I have weeded through them and sold or donated hundreds. I have spent far too much of my hard earned treasure on books. My wife has been accommodating, and in recent years I have backed off somewhat from my reading. Some of my favorite authors have had the bad grace to die, or write too damn slow. My vision is not what it used to be, nor is my attention span such that I can read for six, eight or ten hours at a time. My new toy may very well reverse that trend.

What are you reading?

December 27, 2010

If it is Monday I think it is a vacation day

Good morning readers.  Did you catch Manning doing his Michael Vick impersonation at the end of the Colts-Raiders game? I do not think his plaque at Canton will compare him to the Galloping Ghost.

I am up and at 'em early this morning.  No matter, I can catch a nap after while. It is OK, as the post title indicates I am on vacation this week.  I entered December with five days left and our company has a "use them or lose them" policy. So here I am screwing around on the Internet.

I got 20 free eBooks loaded yesterday.  I also bought a book I was wanting.  I have plenty of reading to hold me through the cold winter.

I hope you guys out east are stocked up on bread, milk and eggs. Everyone knows there is an endless need to make French Toast when there is a big snow storm.  That must be true.  The stores are always emptied of those items whenever the Snow Team/Scare Team goes into panic mode around here.

December 26, 2010

That old Christmas Hangover

Greetings fellow inhabitants of this big blue rock we call home. I hope you had the Merriest of Christmases (or at least a great Saturday if you are of the non-Christmas types).

WE had a great day around here.  My kids were home. My daughter and her husband came down late in the morning. We opened up some presents then I fixed a late breakfast. WE played some games and messed around .  I then got busy putting together the Christmas dinner spread. Turkey, mashed spuds, homemade mac and cheese, noodles, gravy, green bean casserole, candied sweet potatoes (puke) and rolls rounded out the carb-heavy but scrumptious meal. My daughter made an awesome dessert called a truffle.  It was loaded with fruit, angel food cake and pudding. My diet and blood sugar took a hit but WTF, it was Christmas!

The wife surprised me with an awesome Kindle. I had been reading books on her iPad, but she was not too keen on me taking it on business trips because then she could not use it. It is sweet. She let me order a new book to go on it. Done.  Now I have to find out how to get at the free books as well. I have been reading the free offerings from the Apple bookstore. Now I need them on the new toy. In all I think everyone was more than satisfied with their gifts.

I need another cup of coffee this morning then I am off to read what you have to say before settling in with a new book. Have a great Sunday!

December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas to all of you.

December 23, 2010


Eating alone sucks as any single person or frequent traveler like me can attest. There is only one advantage: you can overhear some interesting conversations. This evening the wife was off finishing the Christmas shopping and the boy was at a wedding rehearsal and I hit the grocery and WalMart. I stopped at the local fried chicken emporium for a quick supper. Two guys and a couple of kids sat in the booth behind me.

Kid one asked kid two if they had a Christmas tree? Kid two replied they had two. Adult with kid two said this was the last year for that. Adult one wanted to know why.

"Two reasons. One, the white one won't light no more. It is out"

"You cain't replace the lights?" asked Adult one.

"No, it is whatchacallit, pre light bulb"

(HB: candles?)

"Two" said adult two, "with five people, two dogs, and a cat, the trailer is just too crowded to have two Christmas trees".


December 22, 2010

Only days away from Christmas

Is your shopping done? Have you decided what you are getting the old Hoosierboy this year?

What's that? I did not make your naughty or nice list this Christmas? Shame on you.

I was messing around on the interwebz yesterday.  Here are a couple more great TV Themes for your enjoyment:

Dad watched reruns of this show every Saturday afternoon.

I have to admit I screwed up when I did not put this one into the top 10. I loved the original TV series. The movies, not so much.

Did you all notice that?  I actually said I was wrong about something. Mark this as a rare day in the calendar.

December 21, 2010

Insert pithy title of your own choosing

I got most of my Christmas shopping done yesterday. I was the one at the mall.  Did you see me? I still have one or two items to grab.  Probably tomorrow.

There was no view of the big eclipse last night (or is it tonight?). The view of the Heavens was blocked by large snowflakes. It took me well over an hour to get home from the mall, a drive that usually takes about 20 - 25 minutes.  I saw two vehicles in the ditch, both four wheel drive SUVs. Those drivers think the laws of physics do not apply to them I guess. Of course I totaled my 4WD last January when I hit some ice, so who am I to point arthritic fingers?

It is supposed to be above freezing for the first time in weeks today, so some of the snow should melt.  There is another big storm due to hit Friday. I am not sure what the record snowfall is for December, but we should be approaching those high totals. That was an awkward sentence. Hopefully, you can follow my meaning.

Well I am off to peruse the interwebz. I hope someone is prepared to entertain me this morning.

December 20, 2010

Ridin' the Storm Out

Her brother was on the sofa, eatin' chocolate pie.
Momma was in the kitchen, cuttin' chicken up to fry.
Daddy was in the backyard, rollin' up a garden hose
I was on the porch with Charlotte, feelin' love down to my toes.
and we were swingin' (swingin')
yes we were swingin' (swingin')  --John Anderson *
I fried up some chicken last night. Every time I fry chicken this song goes through my brain. I made some of my usual kick-ass chicken gravy to go with the mashed spuds and biscuits.

There were some awesome football games yesterday. I was hoping there existed some miracle rule that could cause both the Steelers and the Jets to lose. How do the Giants choke away that game? I don't care if I have to hire some guy who punted at the local high school, the Giants punter has to go. Not punching the final kick out of bounds is inexcusable.

Today is my last working day of the year. Good for me. I have a quick conference call with the boss this morning and my December expenses are waiting to be filed. Then I will spend the balance of the day cleaning up my desk etc.

We are heading down the Christmas home stretch. I sill have a few gifts to purchase for the wife. Well, if I am honest, I have all of the gifts yet to purchase, but who is keeping score? There is a mixed back of sports metaphors to chew on.

I am not sure I like the red/green look of the old blog. I may mess with it a little more. But then I may not. You should probably check back eight or ten times today just see if I have made any changes.

* My wife simply loathes that song. Perhaps for the same reason people named "Mandy" loathe Barry Manilow. Never mind, there are a lot of reasons to hate Barry Manilow.

December 19, 2010

Don't blame it on Rio -- It is my fault

The damn cursor is mocking me again this morning. I hate its' smug blinking. Like it really knows what to write either.

The coffee is good and hot. The donuts were fresh yesterday, but they are DONUTS.

Really. you best move on today, I have nothing. It is not you, it is me. I promise to do better tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by, though.

December 18, 2010

If you spend this Saturday in the park you freeze your ass off

It looks like another Saturday morning has rolled around. It is cold and snow still covers the ground and. I guess it is winter, so I should not be surprised.

Is it a sad commentary that I have become so used to living and breathing Murphy's Law that disappointment has become an expectation? It is hard to remain upbeat and positive when you are routinely served a shit sandwich. On stale bread. There are people far worse off than me, and I thank God for my blessings every day. I have plenty to be thankful for. And yes, I know the preceding sentence is bad grammar.As I have stated her many times, if you focus on all that is wrong in life, you will miss out on what is good. It is my mantra the past several years.

The boy had his girlfriend over last night.  We watched Christmas with the Kranks. This flick has become one of our favorite Christmas movies. I read the Grishom novel before I saw the film.

I think I will fix  bowl of instant oatmeal for breakfast. Yum (insert sarcasm). I recorded a boatload of Andy Hardy movies yesterday. I think I will go watch Mickey Rooney ham it up. And people say Shatner is the king of over actors...

December 17, 2010

Pygmy Sex -- with extreme close ups!

So it is Friday. I still do not have any of my Christmas shopping done; maybe this weekend. To be honest, I only have to buy for the wife, she takes care of everyone else. Much of that is done.

I had to go get some blood drawn this morning. No problem.

I am trying to get things wound down at work, Monday is my last day until January 3! Whoo hoo, it is good to be me. That is why I am not stressing too much about shopping.  I can hit the mall early next week and be in and out with only small crowds to hamper me. Have I mentioned I hate people? I try extra hard to be extra nice at Christmas time though. Except for the asshole at Target last week who was clearly wanting to look at the Kindle I was playing with. He kept giving me the "hurry up" death glare. he paced behind me, snorting and sighing. I took my time. He left and came back just as I was about to put the sample unit down and gave me another big sigh. I decided to read one of the sample books. Does that make me a jerk? Finally he came up and actually leaned into me and started looking at the unit over my shoulder. His rudeness outpaced mine so I gave in. he won by actually touching me. I hate to be touched.

I see the House has passed the Tax bill.  I still do not understand how they can pass a revenue bill from the Senate. maybe a lawyer-type can help me out. For this poor moderately-educated boy from Indiana the Constitution seems pretty clear.

Isn't it ironic the Democrats in Congress and The Obama have all voted to continue ANOTHER GW Bush policy? For a guy who was so wrong on every front -- tax cuts, Afghanistan, WOT, Wire taps, Patriot Act, Iraq, Guantanamo, etc. -- it sure seems like many of Bush's policies are continued by the current dipshits in charge.  I am just sayin'.

December 16, 2010

Does anyone in Washington understand the Constitution?

The senate has passed a tax bill and sent it to the House.


This cannot be. The House should reject it on principle.  The Constitution mandates all Revenue bills must originate in the House of Representatives. This Bill is Unconstitutional.

Article. I.
Section. 7.

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills. source


December 15, 2010

Bush and tax Cuts

As a matter of record, the final Bush tax rates passed Congress in mid-2003, shortly after Republicans retook the Senate.  From August 2003 to December 2007, over eight million net new jobs were created, and real GDP grew almost 3% per year.  At that same time, federal revenues increased by 2.3% of GDP ($785 B), putting revenues above the average level of 1960-2000, the forty years before Bush.  Unemployment fell to 4.4%, and the deficit fell to 1.2% of GDP.  Such was the catastrophe of four years of Bush's tax rates and Republican-written federal budgets. source
Read the whole thing

For the record, I can not emphasize that extending the current tax rates does not give ANYONE a tax cut. Anyone -- reporter, blog, TV talking head-- who claims otherwise is a damn liar.

December 14, 2010

Michael Moore -- What a piece of garbage

Michael Moore you are fucking asstard of the highest order.

Confessions of a band geek

Rita, in comments to the post below, could not believe I did not have March of the Marionettes (Alfred Hitchcock Theme) in my top ten list. You see, I am scarred for life because of that song. So I will tell the story of why I cannot put that TV Theme into my top ten list.

I have  confession. I was once a band geek. I played the trombone, but not very well. I was part of the marching band, the pit band for the high school musicals we produced, the stage band (big band music), and I played in the brass section of the orchestra. Yes, my little high school actually had an orchestra.

If you ever spent time in band you know there is pressure to compete in the State solo and ensemble contests. Four of us trombone players decided to form a quartet and compete. The song we chose was March of the Marionettes (Alfred Hitchcock Theme). In all honesty, the song was not hard to play, the difficulty was each part came in at different times, each in turn playing a subtle counter-melody. Timing was key. The four of us actually got pretty good on the song. A first place was a given, according to our bandleader and fellow band geeks. We even played at a local church during services to great acclaim.

The day arrived for contests. We were typical high school band geeks. We thought we were cool, and were cocky for no reason at all. We went into the classroom at some school (three decades have blurred that memory). The judges sat in the back and we stood in the front of the classroom , near the chalkboard.

We began to play: dooop da diddle da doop da doop. And first trombone began to giggle. He could not stop. Soon we all were laughing. We stopped and asked to begin again. We gathered to compose ourselves.  First trombone told us what had cracked him up. We started again. Third trombone began to laugh. Soon we all lost it again. This time we only got about six bars into the song. (I will not tell you which part I played in this drama).

The judges told us to leave and come back after the next group.  We waited in the hallway, giving each other stern pep talks. Our second chance came. We made it through the song, but all of us were laughing at various times. We were horrible.

The scores were later posted and we got a third place. None of the group was surprised. The  second trombone stuck his head into the judge's room and asked "What does it take to get a fourth place anyway?" We all nearly died in hysterics. Like I said, we were just a bunch of band geeks.

Fellow band members were shocked, the band leader pissed. "You guys were so good, how could the judges screw you like that?" We explained that one of the judges was a fat, older bald guy. He looked remarkably like Hitchcock himself. The irony was too much. Hitchcock liked to put himself into cameo roles in all of his films, and a cameo as a judge was too delicious. The notion cracked us all up.

Perhaps you had to be there.

Anyway, that is my story. And here is the song, played correctly:

December 13, 2010

Friday Five -- Monday Edition (The Monday Ten)

Friday's post got me thinking about some of the great TV theme songs. It may be a product of my age, but it sure seems like the shows of my youth had much better theme songs than those television classics of today. Some shows opening themes are instantly recognizable. Partly because of the popularity or long runs of the shows. The Simpsons Theme comes to mind. Everytime I hear the M*A*S*H theme I instantly think of the death of Henry Blake episode. Who does not love the Alfred Hitchcock Hour theme? Do you know the Masterpiece Theater Theme?

Who among us does not instantly connect with the Lonney Toons theme or Three Stooges songs? For those of us of a certain age, we instantly recognize the themes from Bewitched, I Dream of Jeanie, Leave it to Beaver, Bonanza and Laverne and Shirley. Younger readers may associate closer with the themes from Friends or Full House. Many of us will recognize the theme from Days of Our Lives or Pee Wee's Playhouse.

Here are some of what I consider the greatest TV theme songs of all time:

1. Rat Patrol. Listen
          The undisputed best theme song ever.

2. The Andy Griffith Show Listen

3. The Addams Family Listen

4. Hogan's Heroes Listen
5. Rawhide Listen

6. Peter Gunn Listen

7. Hawaii Five-O Listen

8. The Monkees listen

9. Batman Listen

10. Daniel Boone Listen

Honorable mention -- The Tonight Show Theme (Johnny Carson version) Listen

I am sure I missed some great ones. What are your favorites?

December 12, 2010

I saw the news today, Oh boy

We are scheduled for a brown out today.

I am not talking about electricity/power issues.

Instead of the usual hues of red, yellow and green denoting rain and the pinks and blues that represent ice and snow, our area is covered in shades of brown.

Yep, we are in for some shitty weather.

December 11, 2010

Saturday night's all right for fightin'

Good morning, dear readers. As is my custom, I was up early on this cloudy (I think -- it is still dark) Saturday morning.

I put up a poll over there on the left. You might as well participate. I know you ain't got nothin' better to do, 'else you would not be wasting time here. Did you like that sentence?  That is some pure Hoosier talkin' for you this fine day.

A collection agency started calling the house yesterday looking for a Joanna.  There is not and has never been a Joanna at this number. I told them that the first and second times they called. I did not answer the third time nor the fourth nor the fifth. They called approximately every hour from 8:30 in the morning until 9:00 pm. I know they use phone bots, but if you call during the weekday and no one answers, wouldn't you think it is safe to assume the party you are trying to reach is at work? The jerkoff I talked to the second time pretty much called me a liar when I said there was not and never has been a person by that name at this number. I pointed out I have had the same phone number for 20 years. He asked me for a number to reach Joanna.  I told him again I don't know Joanna. He started yelling that I need to tell her to call him at...I hung up. If they call again today I am calling the State AG. BTW, If you are Joanna Wilson -- pay your bills or do not give my number.

I am not sure what is on tap for today.  I may go see the Harry Potter movie this afternoon, if I can get the boy to be seen in public with me. I have some minor drywall repair to do. I probably will not get that. The hole has been there since last spring when the toilet paper holder tore out of the wall. Another day week month will not hurt anything. I don't mind the spackle work -- it is the painting I will have to do after. I hate to paint and I know when the paint and brushes come out the wife will find a thousand places that need touched up. Did I mention how much I hate to paint?  I would rather pick up dog turds with my bare hands. NO-  before you ask -- I will not come over and clean up your dog doo if you come and paint.

Have a good Saturday.

December 10, 2010

Friday Five

This week is a list of five firsts.

1. What was your first car?
           1966 Chevy Pickup w/ a "three on the tree" manual transmission
2. Who was your first kiss?
3. What was the first concert you attended?
           The Doobie Brothers
4. What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon?
          Bugs Bunny or Jonny Quest
5. What was your Kindergarten teacher's name (or earliest teacher you can remember)?
          Mrs. Lewis? I know I had Mrs. Delacroix in first grade.

How about you?

Come on play along. Failure to play means orphans will go hungry. Without you answering there will be no white Christmas. Kittens will cry and baby seals will die. Please put your answers in the comments.  If you really loved me you would. It hurts me when you do not play along. Do it for the little babies in Haiti. Do it for the old people of Tibet. Do it for America!

There is a pre-Christmas gift for you, just for playing along!

December 9, 2010

Pushing the limits of the Second Amendment

The local paper, when it arrives, is always a source of humor and amusement. I suspect the best and brightest journalism students do not choose to work at a small daily paper in the Hoosier hinterlands.

A caption in today's fishwrap is the best ever, though:
Students work on finishing the music and editing for their movie trailer for their book — which is about animals that carry guns — in class Wednesday at Triton Central High School. (The animals in question were stuffed.) The group members said they were close to done and would be prepared for Friday's film festival. [emphasis mine} source
You can read the whole article and see the caption here . Some liberal nutcases want animals to have the right to sue in court. Maybe we can extend Second Amendment Rights to animals as well.  Then local students will not have to use stuffed animals in their films. A film about pigs shooting Islamic terrorists just might be a hit...wouldn't that make the 'spodytards furious?

December 8, 2010

Knowing a second language could come in handy

I was in suburban Chicago yesterday. I started my day at McDonald's for breakfast. When I entered the store a lady in what I would guess was her late fifties had just completed her order and received her food. A nice Hispanic gentleman, who based on his dress was a manager of some type, took my order in perfect, accent free English. While we were all waiting on my Sausage McMuffin to be prepared the manger-type was talking to another Manager.  She also spoke perfect English.

The older lady who got her food as I entered came up to the counter.  She had coffee all over her business suit and coat.  She loudly demanded to see the manager.  Coffee-lady claimed the lid was not on her coffee properly and wanted the McDonald's to pay her dry cleaning bill.  She was angry and flustered and kept ranting about an important meeting and how she had to go home and change.

Coffee-lady again asked the young manger who was waiting on me to see the manager. He finally turned the the other manager, who was making coffee and pretending to not hear the ranting Coffee-lady. and spoke something in Spanish. The other manager turned and stared at Coffee-lady.  Coffee lady was livid at this point.  She kept saying she just wants a number so she can get her dry cleaning taken care of.

The McDonald's managers spoke to each other in Spanish, as if each was trying to translate Coffee-lady's rantings. Both turned again and stared at the Coffee-lady. Coffee-lady again asked for a manager. Female manager mumbled something in Spanish. Coffee-lady cursed and said she would just call corporate. She then stormed out of the McDonald's.

The female manager handed me my food and told me thanks and have a nice day in perfect English. As I walked away she turned and told an employee in the back to check the trash and dining room. Normal McDonald's business continued.

I guess being bi-lingual is a real advantage in customer service.

December 6, 2010

Help, Help me Rhonda

Does anyone know how to publish an audio file on Blogger? Not a Youtube, but a file from my collection?

You do not have to be named Rhonda to answer. Anyone can play along.

Let me know in the comments or send me an email.  The address is over there on the left.

Welfare and why am I feeding your kids?

Contrary to popular belief, I am not a complete heartless bastard. I do believe in giving people a helping hand.

I do not quite understand some of the policies regarding free school lunch and such. Low income students get a free or reduced lunch at school. We are providing free lunches during the summer. These same students are now served a free breakfast. Recently The Dems are pushing to provide a free dinner to needy students as well. WTF? Low income families are given food stamps to feed their kids. If they are not using those food stamps to provide breakfast or lunch -- and soon not even dinner, what are they using the food stamps for? Are we going to reduce the welfare available when school is in session?

Completely understanding anecdote is not fact, the wife claims that a significant number of her students who get free lunch and breakfast at school are routinely picked up in cars, trucks and SUVs far newer than ours. She relates the story of a family that lives in one of the nicest neighborhoods in town. Since they are now divorced, the kids get free lunches. The Mom does not have to report the income from alimony and child support, so her part-time job qualifies them for free lunch. The child reports the family is going to their condo in Cancun for Christmas. You and I are paying for those kids to eat breakfast and lunch.

It all makes you want to work harder on a Monday doesn't it?

December 5, 2010

Its been lonely in the saddle since my horse died

Spammers, I do not get them. What is the point of publishing their shit on posts two and three years old? They are not even popular posts (like I have any). Seriously, I get Google hits on the posts titled with a pygmy sex theme (10-15 hits a day), and the one about the ten greatest historical events. The spammers do not comment on those, but on obscure posts no one reads. I do not understand. Why put the effort into a venture that garners no results?

Here is a representation of the crazy spam I have been getting lately:

I give birth to be familiar with a insufficient of the articles on your website in the present circumstances, and I unqualifiedly like your tastefulness of blogging. I added it to my favorites trap age list and last will and testament be checking stand behind soon. Cheer contain into public notice my orientation as approvingly and vindicate me know what you think. Thanks.
And some of you think I butcher the English Language.

In other news, I noticed sections of two strings of lights went out. The offending sections are each about a foot long. I have two peaks on my house.  Both are beyond the reach of my extension ladder, so I have to climb on the roof and lean over the side to put up the lights. Guess where the outages are? I do not even need to tell you they are at the very peak of the two gables. Just as I told the wife before she could ask -- I will not climb up a snowy roof and replace those lights. Maybe, and it is a big maybe, if the temps climb above freezing and the roof completely dries, I will consider it.

There is a big football game today.  The Colts take on the hated Dallas Cowgirls. I hate the Cowgirls almost as much as the Damn Yankees. I will root for any team playing against Dallas.

I hope you have a great Sunday.

December 4, 2010

I am a Ramblin' Man

We find ourselves before the monitor this wintry Saturday morning. It is gently snowing tiny flakes outside. We are expecting a couple inches by late afternoon. Of course the snowteam/scareteam has been in full force on the nightly news about this "big storm" since about Wednesday. Seriously -- for two frickin' inches of snow. I am sure the local citizenry have been out in force scarfing up all of the milk, bread, and eggs at the grocery store. I guess snow brings on an irresistible urge to make French Toast?

I can only remember one time that we were "snowed in" and could not get out to get food.  That was during the blizzard of '78. Even then, within a day or two, we were able to get to the store. We could have made it the next day had we chosen to walk. I suspect some people who live out in the hinterlands have been snowed in a few times, but those people know they have a long drive to the nearest food store and plan accordingly.

All of this talk about food makes me hungry.  I could go for some bacon about now.  Who wants to fry me up some bacon? I guess I will have to settle for some apple oatmeal or a bowl of Wheaties.

We met up with some friends last night and ate some pizza. We played some euchre and had a beer or two (two actually, and just me; the wife hates beer). We had a lot of laughs. Some days life is good. Any time spent with me is good though. That is even true if you only spend time with my general genius through this old blog. Go ahead, testify!

The boy is going with his girlfriend to the Winter Formal this evening. It is not formal, in fact, he will not even wear a jacket.  He will sport a tie though. If the roads are too slick he will have to stay in town to eat. Unfortunately there is only an Applebees in this one-horse town, and it will be packed with other teenagers whose parents will not let them make the drive into Capital City either due to the roads.

The retail environment has become so pitiful here. If you want to buy men's clothing there are two choices -- the farm store and WalMart. One has to make the drive to Indy (30 - 40 minutes) if you want to buy a pair of Dockers. But we do have eight or nine pizza joints and a handful of Mexican and Chinese eateries to go with our THREE McDonalds. Such is the price we pay when living in a small town.  I would have it no other way.

I have that song "caroling, Caroling" stuck in my head. Only one line though: "Caroling, caroling through the drifting snow" It is on an endless loop. Please make it stop. I bet it would if you made me some bacon...

Clearly I am rambling. If you are still reading at this point I thank you.  I hope you have a great Saturday. Who knows, maybe you will get laid!

December 3, 2010

The Hoosierboy Flag is at half mast

I just heard Cubs great Ron Santo has passed away. source

Words fail me right now.  The radio broadcasts will not be the same.

Is it strange I chose my favorite Cubs hoodie to wear this morning -- before hearing the news?

RIP Ron. You are a Hall of Famer in my book.

December 2, 2010

Dear Progressives and Liberals

I will type this slow, so you liberals can better understand.

1. Extending the current tax rates is not giving anyone a tax cut. Not the undefined "rich", not millionaires -- NO ONE. If you are currently paying 13% of your income in taxes and next year you will pay 13% of your income in taxes -- that is not a reduction nor a "cut". By the same extension, if you increase the budget for a favorite Federal Program, but not by as much as you originally had planned -- that is not a "cut".

2. If, by some chance, I were to have my taxes lowered, the Government is not "giving me a tax cut". They are giving me nothing but my own money.  A tax cut means the Government is taking less from me. It is my money -- not Washington's. This is a fundamental fact the progressives out there cannot comprehend -- wealth belongs to the individual -- not the Government. If you are in the 40-plus percent of people who do not pay income taxes, any "refund" you get is not a refund, but rather the Government took money from me and gave it to you. It is not possible to get a refund on something for which you did not pay. Robin Hood was a thief and a fucking Commie bastard. There is no free lunch and I am getting sick of picking up the tab.

3. Maybe we should, maybe we should not extend Unemployment Benefits. We could likely pay for the extension through the unused TARP or stimulus funds.  Maybe GM could use some of its IPO money to pay you and I the money they got. In any case unemployment compensation does not create jobs. It does not put money into the economy. That money was taken out of the economy when it was taken from me and my employer. See Number two above.

4. Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan, and Bush all cut taxes. The result was higher tax receipts to the Government. GDP increased and unemployment was reduced. The Laffer economic theory has been tried four times. It has worked all four times. The Keynesian model has failed every time it has been used. Government spending does not improve the economy. The Government cannot produce money. It can only print money -- which devalues the currency, or they can take it from me and you in the form of taxes. See Number two above.

5. The Government cannot create jobs in the private sector. Any Government Job is created by taking wages and money from you and I and giving it to someone else. A business does not pay taxes. It passes those costs to the consumer.

December 1, 2010

But Christmas music makes me happy

It is cold and gray.  Snow flurries are spinning through the air. Winter has arrived.  The highs are expected to be in the mid-thirties for the next week or so. I do not mind the cold, it is the clouds all of the time that depress me.

Four months until Spring.

November 29, 2010

Stormy Monday

I have the classic blues song "Stormy Monday" going through my mind this morning. Not for the weather, but more for my mood.

It is a rare thing for me to get up and not want to go to work. This is especially true after two days of vacation and a two day Holiday. Last Monday was the last day I worked. I am not sure what my problem is. My sugar was really high this morning, so maybe that is it.

In any case, I am sure my sunny outlook on life will return, sooner or later.

In the meantime, listen to this. Maybe you can catch my mood.  Misery loves company.

The Allman Brothers recordings done at the legendary Fillmore East remains one of the finest live records ever.

November 28, 2010

Islamaphobe? -- you bet

It has become well documented how the press fails to mention the political party of politicians caught breaking the law -- if the person in question is a democrat.

Are we seeing a similar tendency when detailing attempted acts of terrorism? A young naturalized Somali Mohamed Osman Mohamud is accused of trying to detonate a bomb during the annual Christmas Tree lighting in downtown Portland, Oregon. source

I am willing to put a crisp new Jackson on the table betting this young man is a follower of the teachings a certain 7th century Prophet. Anyone want to bet me on this?

November 27, 2010

Wherein you find the Author in a Chatty Cathy kind of mood

Good morning Blog world. I hope your Thanksgiving went well and you managed to eat enough food to last a week.  I did.

The wife got a significant amount of Christmas shopping done yesterday. No, she did not hit the stores early. There was not much in the early-bird ads that appeared on the various wish lists. I know she was in heaven -- all day at the stores, the over-used debit card smoking in her hand. She wanted me to go with her, but I flat-out told her "NO" in no uncertain terms. Not only was I not getting in the middle of all those crowds (have I mentioned I really don't like people much -- except for you?), she really only wanted me to be her mule. I know how these things work.

Me, I put up one of the Christmas trees -- the big eight footer. Gosh, I am getting old.  I used to shoulder that big old box and lift it up and down from the attic over a six foot stepladder. Now I could not even lift it up the two steps from the garage floor to the house.  I had to have the boy help me.  Getting old sucks. I guess I am going to have to add strength training to my daily exercise. I will put up the little skinny six foot "Charlie Brown" tree later this morning. Then we have the drudgery of decorating the damn things. The wife bought new bows for the various wreaths outside, so I have to take them down so she can put on the new bows.

I turned on the outside lights last night, I am clearly biased, but I think the house looks good. Maybe I will try to take a picture and post it.  Maybe not. If you have not yet figured it out, what gets posted here is subject to my whim of the day.

For the first time in a couple of years I put our Christmas countdown calendar. It is a cheap wooden frame with a Christmas tree painted on it. The tree has a series of magnets.  Each day you take an "ornament"' a magnet of a drum or ball or present, and stick it to the big tree. There is a sleigh and Santa magnet for Christmas Eve. It is kind of a non-secular advent calendar. We have had it forever. The kids all loved it growing up, but it caused many fights and arguments when they started getting old enough to count backwards to determine who would get to put on the final magnet. We finally had to keep a note in the box so we could make sure each kid got a chance to put on the Santa in turn.

The wife hates this gaudy calendar with a passion, it does not match her country Christmas decorations at all.  I like the tradition, so I put it up while she was gone.  The boy was thrilled.  He mentioned he will have no argument about putting up the final magnet this year. I guess he does not think he will have to fight me over the honor. I may be old and weak, but I bet I can still kick his skinny ass. The first thing the wife said when she came home was "I do not want that thing up this year". I told her the boy wanted it up, so she reluctantly gave in.

Enjoy your Saturday.

November 26, 2010

Friday Five

Back in its original form, I offer the Friday Five. Here are lyrics from songs you should know.  Without using a search engine, answer in the comments the Title and Artist of the song. No cheating now.

Play along it is fun. Do it for the orphans, do it for the starving kids in India. Give it  try, if you loved me you would. Playing along will get you off of Santa's Naughty List...

Here we go, we will start with an easy one:

1. Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to arise
Black bird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
all your life
you were only waiting for this moment to be free
2. Hey hey mama said the way you move,
Gon' make you sweat, gon' make you groove.
Ah-ah child way you shake that thing,
Gon' make you burn, gon' make you sting.
Hey hey baby when you walk that way,
Watch your heartache drip, can't keep away.

3. Well, I built me a raft and she's ready for floatin'
Ol' Mississippi, she's callin' my name
Catfish are jumpin'
That paddle wheel thumpin'
Black water keeps rollin' on past just the same
Old black water, keep on rollin'
Mississippi moon, won't you keep on shinin' on me

4. Don't turn your back on me, baby.
Don't turn your back on me, baby.
Yes, don't turn your back on me, baby,
Don't mess around with your tricks;
Don't turn your back on me, baby,
'cause you might just wake up my magic sticks.

You got your spell on me, baby.
You got your spell on me, baby.
Yes, you got your spell on me, baby,
Turnin' my heart into stone;
I need you so bad,
Magic Woman I can't leave you alone.
5. Mississippi in the middle of a dry spell
Jimmy Rogers on the Victrola up high
Mama's dancin' with baby on her shoulder
The sun is settin' like molasses in the sky
The boy could sing, knew how to move, everything
Always wanting more, he'd leave you longing for

Bonus:  What do these songs have in common and why are they featured today?

Have fun, put your guesses answers in the comments.

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

If you spend all of your time focusing on all that is wrong and bad in your life, you will miss out on the good things.

You have plenty to be thankful for, I know I do.

November 24, 2010

Cry me a river

I just got back from my daily walk.  I cut it a bit short this morning. I am a wimp these days. The temperature was 31 F. The temperature with the wind chill figured in was a frigid 16 F. Yes, I got cold and came home early. As winter goes on I will get used to the chill and cope better.  We have had some cold days this fall, but just Monday of this week it was 71 F! WTF? It is supposed to start in raining in a bit and a flood watch is in effect. rain is expected to continue through Turkey day. Sounds like a fun day to drive, eh wot?

November 23, 2010

Concrete proof of Zombie Invasion

Zombies actually invaded the US in the late 1960's. Below is confirmed video proof.

Dreaming of Grits

I am on vacation the balance of the week. My company has a firm "use 'em or lose 'em" policy. I had 7 days left, so I decided to take a couple this week. I will use the balance around Christmas. I have no plans. I will screw around on the old blog, read a little and maybe watch a movie or two.

I have to take the wife's car back to the body shop for a quick final repair (they were waiting on one part). I need to get the oil changed in my company car, but I may wait until next week to take care of that.

We had a heck of a storm front move through last night. It reminded me of  a spring storm in its speed and intensity. The Christmas lights seemed to have survived. The storm came from the NW and my house faces South, so the bulk of the house protected the decorations.

Insert your own pithy windup here, I have no more boring stuff to share with you at this time.

November 22, 2010

Airports I have known

Hamburg, Frankfurt, Torino (Turin), Charles De Gaul, Heathrow, Schipol, LAX, Albany, Pittsburgh, Binghampton, Rochester, Syracuse, White Plains, Newark, JFK, LaGuardia, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Dulles, Washington National/Reagan, Baltimore,  Johnstown, State College, Altoona, Allentown. Dayton, Louisville, Cincinatti, Indianapolis, Greenville NC, Greenville SC, Hickory, Atlanta, Birmingham, Naples, Tampa, Orlando, Tulsa, Portland (OR), Seattle, Denver, Sioux City, Minneapolis, Memphis, O'Hare, Midway, Indianapolis, Lafayette, Detroit, Pellston,  Dallas, Raleigh, San Antonio, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Toronto, St. Louis, Evansville, and Wichita.

I might have forgotten one or two.

The not so friendly skies

There has been a lot of talk about airport security in the old blog world in recent days. I have tossed around a few opinions myself in posts and comments elsewhere. I am not a security expert. I am not an airline expert. I will venture I have flown commercial more than the average person. I have long ago lost count count, but let me say in the last 15 years I have flown way more than 600 flights. At one point I enjoyed Chairman's Preferred/Platinum status (for about four years straight). For those of you not familiar with frequent flier programs that means I walked to the gate and automatically got a seat in First Class, at no extra charge, and other fliers got bumped back to coach. I had free membership at the exclusive airline lounges and clubs. That status was given to me because I routinely flew 100 or more segments a year. You do the math. For those of you who flunked third grade -- there are 52 weeks in a year, and I had three weeks vacation.

I have been to almost every major airport in the nation and many in Europe. I have been to the small airports where, in the old days, the person who took your ticket and  checked your bags also ran the security checkpoint and loaded your bags on the plane -- all before pulling the chocks and wanding the pilot from the terminal. I have experienced it all. Today, I still fly an average of one or two round-trips a month. I would posit myself as an experienced traveler.

I really have no issues with undergoing security at airports.  To be honest, I have no desire to be part of a religious fanatics suicide plan.  Diving straight down to the unforgiving ground from thirty thousand feet or becoming part of a missile hitting a building has little appeal to me. But I have little patience for the stupid, feel good security measures.

In the days after the Unibomber we were routinely stopped and asked if we had guns or bombs or explosives in our bag. If I did, would I admit it? What was the point?

After 9/11 the TSA instituted a number of senseless regulations. The airport rent-a cops are fanatics about cars parking next to the terminal for more than a minute or two. A nutjob hell-bent of placing a car bomb next to the terminal needs no more than a few seconds. He could drive the car and detonate it a la the Beirut Marine Barracks/Riyadh, etc. Or he could just walk away from the car.  It would take a few minutes for a security force to recognize the car was abandoned and that is all it would take to blow the car remotely or with a timer. I am not a terrorist, but if I can figure this out... So my point is this measure is symbolic rather than a practical security step.

I have already talked a little about the ID check chokepoint. This step slows every airport security checkpoint. A would-be terrorist knows this ID will be checked, so wouldn't all but the most incompetent bomber make sure his ID matched the ticket? I have to check my ticket to see how my name appears. My Driver's Licence has only my middle initial, my passport has my full middle name.  The ticket must match exactly, or else I cannot fly. The 9/11 hijackers all had valid IDs. We know who they were. The shoe bomber had a valid ID, so did the attempted Christmas bomber from last year. Many times the TSA ID checker matches the ticket to the ID, but not the face to the ID, so what is the point? How about a spot check of IDs, random checks instead, so the one incompetent bomber intent on earning his virgins gets caught? Has the checking of IDs caught a single would-be terrorist? Again symbolism of actual security.

Now we face the full body scanners and pat-downs. We are patting down three year olds, but considering not checking women in burkas. Last time I checked, it was members of the faith that favors full-body coverings for the females of the sect, not little kids, blowing up planes and driving them into skyscrapers. We might as well face reality. If a person is so determined to blow up a plane he is willing to strap a bomb to his child, he is going to find a way eventually. We cannot know if the hot chick's implants are PET or silicone or saline. We cannot know if a suicide murderer has swallowed the ingredients are planted a bomb up his rectum.

We do not allow tourists to climb to the top of Lady Liberty without a background check and waiting list. We will let any Tom, Dick, or Mohamed climb to the top of the pedestal.  Wouldn't a bomb planted under the statue's feet will blow it up as surely as one planted in her armpit? Wouldn't a round fired from an RPG in a speedboat have a similar effect? So what is the point?

I am not suggesting we roll over and accept we cannot win.  I am saying we should install real measures, not feel-good symbolism like checking every one's ID. If putting TSA hands on my junk means we all will fly safe, then by all means grope away. Just make sure you grope everyone. Oh, and let us be honest. Every act of terrorism in the skies for the past 15 years has been committed by Muslim males between the ages of 19 and 40. Perhaps admitting that fact that is the best place to start with real security.

November 21, 2010


I dragged the Christmas stuff out yesterday. The boy and I put the lights around the house, except on the second roof peak.  Two sets of lights had portions that did not work and have to be replaced. Instead of climbing up and doing half of the section, I will do it all today.  We stopped by Target to grab some replacements. I did not put up the wreaths and other decorations, Noe did I put lights on the bushes yet. I am a firm believer that Christmas season starts after Thanksgiving. The lights were only on to make sure they worked and then I turned them off.

The annual Colts/Patriots game is on today. The Colts cannot defend the run, the Pats cannot defend the pass. Earlier in the week I called it 31-13 , patriots.  Today I am going to modify my prediction; 34- 20 Patriots. I makes me sick to type that prediction, but such is life.

Have a great Sunday.

November 20, 2010


Only a few of you die-hard regulars check in on a Saturday, but you are the kind of people who would not be afraid to tell me the truth if I asked if my ass looks fat in these jeans (Does it?). Like Blanche DuBois, I have always depended upon the kindness of strangers. I am counting on you, Dear Reader, to tell me the truth.

Now that I have buttered you up, does anyone listen to, enjoy, or even find the Friday Covers posts interesting? Would it help if it featured naked chicks or guys with washboard abs?

I listened to Christmas music most of yesterday afternoon while working. It is supposed to be relatively warm (50's) today.  I may try to put up my Christmas lights around the roof. I will not turn them on however until the day after Thanksgiving.

Rob Smith isn't dead. I saw him in the Charlotte Airport Thursday evening. To be precise, he walked past me a couple of times while I was lounging in gate C6. He avoided eye contact. If it wasn't him it was his Doppelgänger. Maybe I was just tired.

Enjoy your Saturday.

November 19, 2010

Friday Covers

Here we have a 19 year Steve Winwood belting out some serious blues-driven rock.  Winwood formed Traffic and Blind Faith before going solo. BTW, that is Steve Winwood's brother on bass.

Chicago released their cover in 1969 when they were still the Chicago Transit Authority.  We sometimes forget Chicago could really rock back before they started doing ballads in the 1980's, following REO and Styx into pop music Hell.

Keith Emerson gave us a disco-infused version for the Stallone film Nighthawks.

Los Lonely Boys gave us a version pretty faithful to Winwood's original.

Random ramblings

I had the pleasure of taking to the friendly skies this week.  Alas, I was neither groped nor subjected to full body scanners on either leg of the trip. I always say a cheap thrill is better than no thrill. I do find one aspect of the TSA screening interesting. I have flown four times in the past two weeks.  Only one screener actually looked at me when checking my ID.  They made sure the name on the ID matched the ticket, but not once did they check to make sure my face matched the ID. What is the point?

There has been a lot of talk about earmarks in recent days. I believe it is important to limit Government spending where possible. But we should not take our eyes from the real goal -- shrinking Government at all levels.  We need to have serious discussions on not just cuts to Federal Programs, but eliminating them where possible. We cannot let a few bridges to nowhere get in the way of serious cuts to the Departments of Energy, Education and Defense. We need a serious discussion about raising the retirement age and trimming Medicare/Medicaid. And as an aside -- Dick Lugar your RINO days are numbered.

The wife's car is back in the shop.  She said it just died on the street last night.  It did it three times in four blocks this morning on her way to work.  She said it just dies, the dash goes black, the engine stops and before she can even come to a stop or put it in park, the engine starts again on its own! have you ever heard of such a crazy thing? I came and got her after it died the third time this morning and drove it to the shop, but it would not do it for me. Do any of you gear heads have any solutions?

November 17, 2010

I have a plan

The damn cursor is taunting me this morning. It is flashing a secret Morse-type code mocking my pathetic efforts to post something, anything of interest.

I have nothing to post, but I do have a plan.

I am going to surf the interwebz, reading my regular blogs to see if there is anything I can pilfer and expand into a post of my own. It won't be the first time I have resorted to such tactics. I am not proud. But I am willing to bet I am not the first blogger to use this method of generating posts.

Shakin' it here, Boss...

November 16, 2010

A brief glimmer of sunlight

Not in the Midwestern sky, we are getting a dose of the same rain that is drenching the Southeast. No, the shop called and the problem with the wife's car is not with the battery, but an error in a sensor that had the cooling fan running all of the time.  They reset the code and the issue has gone away.  They checked all through the day and the fan did not run and the battery stayed charged. The diagnostic costs were small. Time will tell, but hopefully that fixed the problem.

Tuna salad on fresh white bread also goes a long way toward making a gloomy day a little better.

You really are the wind beneath my wings

It is a cold fall day here in God's favorite State. I suspect it will set into a drizzle later in the morning.

I had the battery on the wife's car checked yesterday.  The good news is the battery is fine.  The bad news is the cooling fan comes on at random, running the battery down. It seems there are electrical problems, and they are never cheap. We just dropped $1,600 a few weeks ago on the boy's car.  I am about ready to take up shank's mare going forward. *^&$%#@ cars.

In the category of "stuff you don't care about but fills blog space", I had my last visit with the diabetic nurse and nutritionist this morning. They say I am doing fine. I am doing a good job of sticking to my diet and getting regular exercise. My evening blood sugar is great, but my morning numbers are still out of control.  They are random, no matter what I eat or do it seems to have no effect. I visit the Doctor tomorrow, so I suspect some new/different medicine (or at least dosages) is in the works. My blood pressure has been pretty good, until the nurse checked this morning. I guess I was nervous? Who knows, the body is a mysterious vessel.

Go forth blog readers and be productive today.  One of us has to be.

November 15, 2010

Monday -- as subtle as a two by four to the cranium

I followed the wife to the garage door as usual this morning. I like to see her off to work. She started the car, it ran for a few seconds and died. She tried to restart. Nothing. Dead as a doornail. The battery was completely discharged.

I scrambled for shoes while she went to my car. Since my car was parked outside, the windows were frosted over. I grabbed the scraper while she sat in the driver's seat, waiting like a NASCAR driver for me to do the pit stop. Off she went.  I have told her she should allow a few extra minutes, but she does not listen to me any more than you.

I dug out the battery charger and hooked it up.  The needles remained pegged at zero.  Not a good sign. I will check again in a few hours.

We just got the car back from the body shop Friday afternoon. I cannot imagine that had anything to do with our issues, other than they did clean the engine. I suspect it is just bad timing. It looks like the battery is a bitch to get to.  It sits down low with a charging module on top of it. Like many GM batteries it has the terminals on the side. I hope I can get it started so I can drive to get a new battery.  It looks like it will be a pain to take it out and change it myself.

It is always something, isn't it?

November 14, 2010

It is a gloomy Sunday morning

I think me and Mr. Roberts are going to try and get off this old tub of a supply ship and get to the real war.

What are you up to today?

November 13, 2010

If I were king of the fast food world

San Fransisco has banned Happy Meals and any fast food meal that contains toys. So, If  I were the CEO of McDonald's/Wendy's/Burger King/Etc., I would immediately announce my corporation was buying back the franchises of any of my restaurants in San Fransisco. I would then announce an immediate closing of all stores within the city --permanently. I would make sure that the press release pointed out the intrusive nany-state government was the reason. The people of San Fransisco could deal with the loss of jobs, taxes and the empty stores that lie in the wake of sticking the local government nose into places it does not belong.

Think of the lost job opportunities for young people and  retirees looking to supplement their income. Think of the lost payroll taxes, corporate and property taxes. Think of the loss of jobs as these small businesses no longer make local purchases.

Think of the lost choice for families and corporate drones looking for a cheap lunch or dinner. The stores in the suburbs would boom. The economy of the City by the Bay would suffer.

The results would make other cities and towns think twice before following suit.

Of course, corporate America has no balls these days.

Oh, and I would like to mention one undisputed fact:  Depauw swallows...

November 12, 2010

Friday Covers - the bestest edition ever

Otter, this one is for you. You will never remember the Fragile Album in the same way.

The classic original, performed live

Asia covers it, but it is the same Steve Howe on lead guitar

And now for something really different, and honestly the whole point of this "Friday Covers":

OMG, my side hurts.

D'ja miss me?

A belated THANK YOU to our veterans. I was travelling most of yesterday and did not have access to the 'puter.  I thought I had prescheduled an appropriate 11/11 post, but it did not go off as planned.  Such is my life.

I spent the week in the corporate mushroom factory (you know the joke -- kept in the dark, fed a lot of shit). Four days, and I made a 20 minute presentation.  It seems like a good use of time to me.  Really, this meeting was good better than usual. On Wednesday night we took a dinner cruise around Manhattan.  It was most excellent, since I have only seen the place from the air or driving across the Bronx to get to the GW Bridge. We started around mid-town on the west side (near where Chesty landed the plane in the Hudson) and circled around to the Williamsburg bridge.   We then turned around and and went back with a side trip to go around the Statue of Liberty.  Awesome sight.  I have only seen the Lady from the air or from the Jersey highways. Too bad I left my camera at home and only had my shitty iPhone camera. I do have a lot of blurry photos of the Statue and the bright city lights and a couple of the Brooklyn Bridge. One of the local tried to sell me the bridge, but he would not take a check. My bad luck, I guess.  I had some most awesome views of The City, Brooklyn and Jersey (Hoboken?).

I am definitely going to have to come back in the summer and take the trip out to Ellis island and the Statue. I would also like to see Grant's Tomb someday.

In other news, I am not one to get caught up in other people's weight.  Unlike some of my intolerant Progressive occasional readers, I do not think there is any correlation between fat and intellect.  I will say that if you are so fat you have to back off the shuttle bus, you probably outta put down that donut. Beep, beep, beep...

It is Friday, already and I am so far behind on work and bloggity stuff. But I have taken time from my precious sleep (yes the time stamp is accurate on this post) to get caught up in my obligations to you. I hope you appreciate the things I do to bring you limited entertainment and that sort of creepy internet peeping tom view of my pathetic life.

November 10, 2010


About the blogging thing.  No time. No ideas. No posts.

I hope you still love me.

November 7, 2010

Ramblin man

Good morning blogtastic world. Did you remember to reset your clocks? The good news is now the sun is up around 7:00 am instead of 8:00, but it will now get dark at 5:30 in the evening. It is now time for the requisite twice a year whine.  I hate resetting the clocks.  I do not see the point of DST. If it really saved energy (it doesn't), wouldn't we want to have as much daylight in the evening during the time of year when it gets dark the earliest? Aren't we doing this backward? This is one program from My Man Mitch that I hate.

We went and visited some friends last night. My buddy and I sat outside and smoked a couple of fine stogies while the ladies went to the mall. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I could have.  It was colder than heck outside (upper 30s maybe low 40s). On the bright side, I did not have to worry about my beer getting warm! Later we met up with the wives for a nice dinner and then we went back to their house and played some cards.  As usual, the men kicked the ladies ass in Euchre. All in all; a good Saturday. The funny thing is, we rarely do things with other people. Yesterday, right after we made these arrangements, another couple called and asked us out for dinner. We had two invitations in less than five minutes. I guess we might have something to do for next week now.

I have a long week ahead of me.  Posting will likely be light. I have to be at the airport for a 7:00 am flight.  That means I have to be out of here no later than 4:30, probably 4:15. I will have to shower and finish packing, so that means I am looking at getting up by3:15 or so. What a good way to start a week of endless droning meetings -- tired as hell. The regimented schedule and carb-heavy meals are going to play hell with my medical needs. Even getting in my daily workout is going to be tough.

Boo hoo for me.  Enough already. I hope your Sunday is going well.

Here are a couple of NFL predictions. Colts lose a squeaker to the Iggles. They have just too many injuries. The Bears lose to the up-to-now winless Bills. That offensive line for the Bears is truly offensive. You know as the game goes on Cutler will become desperate and make some bad decisions.

November 6, 2010

Timely Bills

Some of you readers might remember I wrecked the wife's SUV back in January. It was on January 7, 2010 to be exact. The car was totalled as I slid off an icy snow covered country road and hit a telephone pole. Fast forward to yesterday.

I brought in the mail as I usually do and threw it on the table. I refuse to open the bills.  In the stack was a water bill, a bank statement and our telephone bill (do not even ask why we still have a land is a long disagreement around here). The wife came home from work and opened the bills. When she got to the telephone bill she cried a WTH? Then she started laughing.  AT&T billed me for the telephone pole. The have given me thirty days to cough up $1,239.23 or they are turning it to collections! This is the first statement we have received. It only took them TEN MONTHS to bill me.

I called Geico. The very nice claims specialist told me the claim was closed in May. She read over the claim report and said they had tried to contact AT&T for months.  The record showed over THIRTY phone calls, and three letters (including one certified) to find out what my insurance owed and to pay the claim. She told me to send them the bill and she would take care of it.

AT&T does not have time to bill debts, they are too busy calling me, sending me letters and coming to the door several times a week trying to get me to sign up for their AT&T Universe. Sometimes they have come twice in one day. I told the asshole last time if they come to the door again I was cancelling all my phone service.

Very long-time readers might remember that before AT&T bought Ameritech, I had repeated problems with AT&T "slamming" my phone bill charging me for long-distance service I did not sign up for. If I were to make a list of the worst companies in America, AT&T would be pretty high on that list.

We got some snow flurries last night, enough to stick on the grass and top of cars. It melted soon enough, but the reality of fall and the coming winter was sent home. I guess the Christmas displays in the stores do not seem so out of place when it is snowing.

Have a great Saturday.

November 5, 2010

Dear Liberals/Progressives/Democrats

Those of you believe the election results were about "throwing out the incumbent" should take The Obama's advise and look at science and facts. How many incumbent Republicans lost their re-election bid?  How many conservative Republicans lost their re-election bid (0). How many State legislatures changed hands? Of those that changed, how many went from Democrat-controlled to Republican controlled?  How many went from Republican controlled to Democrat controlled(0). This election was not an anti-incumbent referendum.

I would like to offer a friendly Post Script to the republican Party. This was also not about you.  The Rovian faction led directly to the election of The Obama. The American people want a return to fiscal sanity. They do not want big-government programs and earmarks. It is time to cut, and nothing -- not even Defense-- is sacred. The Defense Department has ballooned out of control, it is top heavy and social program heavy. If the program does not directly support our combat troops now or in the future it can and should be cut. Find that waste The Obama claimed was rampant if Medicare and Medicaid and use it to cut the deficit. There is no longer a third rail. If you, the Republican leadership, do not have the cojones to do the job, The People will find a third party that will. The Whigs disappeared because they had become indistinguishable from the 1850's Democrats.  Let history be a lesson.

Friday Five -- You Guess the Theme

And a bonus for Dragon:

November 4, 2010

Can we stop the bullshit now?

If you believe people who make $250,000 a year are wealthy, then I guess it is all a matter of perspective. If you define a "working person" as someone who makes less than that amount you are a fool. $250,000 is not enough money to live the life of the idle rich.  In fact, most people who make that kind of money work harder and longer hours than the average American. They are the business owners, the CEOs and Vice Presidents of companies.  The people who make that kind of dough went to school for long years to become doctors, lawyers and architects. They are plant managers and are paid to make the hard decisions most of us are ill-equipped to make.  Those $250,000 folks are small business owners working 16 and 18 hours a day.

I make nowhere near that kind of salary-- not even in the same area code. But I do know this -- the men and women who do make that kind of jack work hard for their money. The Paris Hiltons of this world are few and far between. Whether you make your pay twisting on lug nuts at a Chrysler factory, running groceries across the laser eye at WalMart or putting in 16 hour days as the President of a small company -- we are all "Working Americans".

November 3, 2010

Election 2010

I am 48 years old.  I have been voting since 1980. In every election, other than those I did an absentee ballot, I have used an electronic voting machine. It is not hard. You push the button next to the candidate of your choice, and at the end pull a lever or push a button to record your vote. My long-winded point being that the process is not hard and not new in this part of the State.

In this mid-term election the ballot was thin: a few county offices (most unopposed), State Representative (unopposed), Congressional Representative and Senator. There was one ballot initiative and whether to retain some Judges. It literally took me less than two minutes to do my civic duty.

It took me more than 30 minutes to vote. Mostly because the idiots in line in front of me were clearly confused by the whole process. At my precinct there were but two machines. One guy spent twenty fucking minutes voting. How is that even possible? He did not ask, or appear to need help using the machine. I guess he just could not make up his mind. How can it take 20 minutes (actually 21) minutes to push a dozen buttons? Since the election was preordained in my county/district/state that the Republican candidate would win, I almost just left out of frustration. I stuck it out and did my American duty.

I will have some more commentary later. I am torn between taking the high road or doing a nah-nah told you so post.

November 2, 2010

Football thoughts

At this point I think Peyton Manning could take a hot dog vendor from Lucas Oil Stadium, practice with him for a week and throw him a touchdown pass in a game.

Can there be any doubt Manning is one of the greatest football players to ever don the pads?

November 1, 2010

Always looking at the cup as half full

You guys know I am an incurable optimist. Really. Stop laughing. I always try to find the silver lining in the stormclouds.

Anyway, one of the biggest challenges the Obama administration has faced is finding jobs for Americans. We can all agree on that. Some have argued the Administration's policies have hurt employment and job creation. I say those very policies are going to create a bunch of new jobs throughout the nation as Republicans and anyone who is not a Democrat gets elected. If the polls are right, lots of new people will have new jobs. All because of Obama, Pelosi and Reid.

I love my new coffee maker

My schedule is all messed up this morning. I had to take the wife to work.  I then dropped off the keys to her car at the body shop. The boy and I left it there last night -- post Trick or Treat. I am getting to my blog reading, coffee, and breakfast late as a result.

We had a ton of Trick or Treaters last night. I bet you have seen the depictions of Halloween on TV, where the streets are full of running, laughing kids and parents in the twilight hours?  That is my neighborhood. We have so many kids hitting us up for candy that we usually just stand on the porch and hand out the goodies. So many kids come that we would never shut the front door otherwise. The wife spent nearly fifty bucks on candy at WalMart and we have less than a half  bag left. I was happy to see we did not have as many teenagers as usual, the crowd was mostly small kids. During the rush, the wife ordered pizza delivery.  I gave the drivers a nice tip and a free dip into the candy bowl for his trouble.

Now that Halloween is over get ready to be bombarded with Christmas in all of its commercial glory. I noticed last night a paint commercial for Lowes or Home Depot ( I cannot remember which -- that must must make their ad men happy)  had subtly changed. It is the one where the couple has trouble covering up the stripes in their living room. Now at the end, they proudly show off the room, only in last night's version there is a Christmas tree and presents in the corner!

Get out and vote tomorrow. If you want to continue the current administration policies then vote for your local Democrat candidate. If you believe the way to create jobs and economic prosperity is increased government spending, then vote a straight "D". Do you believe that the greatest threat we face is global warming and that we must find a way to curb greenhouse gases? Then a vote for a Democrat will get Cap and Trade legislation passed. Skyrocketing utility bills will force even the most hardcore of us to lower our thermostat and walk to work where possible. If you like that approach to energy conservation then vote for your favorite Big-Government Democratic Party candidate. If you favor government run healthcare, higher taxes and more legislation then cast your ballot for the Democrats.

If any or all of the above appeals to you about as much as swimming in a malaria and feces infected cesspool, then vote for anyone who is not a Democrat.

Most importantly, just vote.

October 31, 2010

Sermons from the Church of Hoosierboy

It is a breezy cool Sunday morning. I know fall is really here and old man winter is coming down the street. It is 7:51 am and it is still dark outside. I do not mind the cold or the snow of winter, it is the late sunrise and early sunsets that get to me. I know there are places in the Northern part of the state and most of Michigan that see a perpetual cloud cover in winter, making the short daylight hours seem even more gloomy.

Back during my cubicle days, I would leave for work before the sun came up and most days I did not leave until after it had set. My glimpse of sun was a small sliver from the front offices, or when I was in the breakroom.  In those days I could not wait to escape to take lunch, Now, I can look out my office window or go outside and walk around at my leisure. It is so refreshing, even if it is only for a minute or two. I often think about going back to production control or management, bur the idea of set 7-5 working hours depresses me. I will take my flexible schedule, even if it sometimes means 14 or 18 hour days. Dealing with idiot drivers and the hassles of the TSA are a small price to pay for the ability to see the sun.

In a few weeks I have to travel to the Corporate offices to attend a sales meeting. Woo hoo, I am thrilled (and your sarcasm meter should be pegged on high at this moment). Anyway, my boss sent an email to his "team"* stating we need a certain report in early. The reason -- he is going to be at the Corporate office that week! Yes, you guessed it --at the frickin' sales meeting. The same sales meeting his entire "team" will be attending! What a coincidence.

We take the wife's crumpled car in to get fixed finally on Monday. What a pain in the arse. It took a while, but the other guy's insurance finally came through and paid. The insurance company did not even send an adjuster, they just paid the lowest of the two estimates, I guess since they were only about $60 apart. The total damages were more than four grand.

I think I have rambled on enough here. I am going to read a few blogs and then take my morning exercise. Then I believe I am in the mood for some cowboys and horses. Lonesome Dove, Big Jake, or Joe Kidd?

Big Dick, where are you?

Oh, Happy Halloween. Try not to eat too much candy.

Am I the only one who is amazed I can fill up so many posts, so often, with utterly stupid, meaningless, drivel? For the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone stops by here anymore.

*There is a whole post there -- I hate being be called Team. I am an employee
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