May 31, 2011

Dear Democrats

So, if the current President was not a Democrat, would you be screaming about the failure to abide by the War Powers Act? Would you Lefties be talking about illegal wars, and hinting at impeachment?

If a Republican controlled Legislature failed to pass a budget for the second year in a row would you be writing editorials? Would you be criticising the Senate Majority Leader's failure to adhere to the one of the Constitution's few mandates for Congress by refusing to present a budget?

If the current administration was not controlled by Democrats, would you be outraged about private political fundraisers where the media was banned? Would you have concerns about backroom deals being made at taxpayer expense? If the President was a Republican would you be concerned a reporter was barred from covering the President just because he/she wrote a critical article?

Would you be able to refrain from commenting about the amount of golf the President seems to play? Would you question the size of the First Lady's retinue?

If Weiner was a Republican would you be silent?

Just asking...

My boring life

At least it is a short week. We had a beautiful long weekend. I did not do much yesterday. I watched one of my favorite movies in the morning The Duellists, then I went on a very long walk.  I think I over did it a bit, as I was exhausted when I got home. I usually walk a very brisk three miles about five or six days a week.  Yesterday I went over four miles.  Sunday I also went longer. I took a long nap in the afternoon, sleep-watching the Cubs loss.

Later the wife and I went and bought some flowers for the front flower beds.  We are a bit late getting them in, but controlling the jungle out there and the long-lasting rains and cold of spring have delayed much needed yard work.

My work email has chimed three times with incoming mail while typing the above paragraphs. I suppose that is a signal to get to work.  Enjoy your Monday Tuesday.

May 30, 2011

May 29, 2011

799 perfect left turns...

...Too bad it takes 800 to win the Indy 500. I feel bad.  Dude has the shot to win the biggest car race in the\world as a rookie and on the final turn of the final lap he puckers his rear and hits the wall in what very well could be the biggest choke job in the history of sports.

Dan Weldon wins the race.  Weldon seems  good guy and a real gentleman, but I think it would have been nice if he admitted he won through luck -- his good -- choke guy's bad.

Of course, all we will hear about on the local news is the the over-hyped and over-rated Danica led 10 or twelve laps near the end. I was sitting in the garage listening to the race (see post below) when the wife came out to see who was winning. I said Danica.  The wife asked "What, everyone else pit and she didn't?"  Hah, my wife, who hates racing, gets it. She knew the score without even asking. Of course the only way Patrick was leading was because everyone else stopped for fuel.

I listened to much of the race.  I did fall asleep for a few laps in the middle, sitting in my lawn chair in the garage. That sounds a bit pathetic, doesn't it?  Even more so when I tell you no alcohol was involved. I did walk four miles just before the race started.

The whole ceremony leading up to the Indy 500 still brings tears to my eyes. It is amazing to hear how 300,000 people can be dead silent when Taps is played. Gomer never fails to bring a tear to my eye when he belts out Back Home Again In Indiana. admittedly his voice is getting a bit weak and warbly.  The same can be said for Mrs. Brady. But tradition lives on in Speedway, IN.

Milking rabbits for fun and profit

Our best friend's daughter graduated high school yesterday. So the wife and I ventured north to the town of my birth for the celebration. We did not attend the ceremony. Who wants to be crammed into a sweaty gym with several thousand people to hear one name called? I will do it for my own kids, or maybe some nieces and nephews, but that is about it. I did not even want to attend my own graduation.

We did go to the open house and ate some smoked pork and drank a few beers (the collective "we" meaning me and not the wife, when it comes to beer)..  After the crowd thinned out and the rains came my buddy and I repaired to the front porch and burned some fine Caribbean-born tobacco leaves as lightening flashed and thunder boomed.

Today is the big race, whether you are a IndyCar fan or NASCAR follower.  If you love motor sports today is a good day.  You can seethe top drivers in oval racing run a combined 1,100 miles. That is a bunch of left turns.

I think Indianapolis could help rebuild the fan base if they would increase the danger a little bit. I propose that after 250 miles, the cars reverse and go clockwise around the famed 2-1/2 mile oval. One half of the race the drivers turn left, the balance they turn right.  Here is the kicker -- a car could not make the switch until it has gone the first 250 miles! This would be a great; a combination of racing, demolition derby and figure eight racing -- at 220 miles per hour!  I would tune in for that.

Well, no I wouldn't, 'cause the Indy 500 is not shown on TV in the greater Indianapolis area. I have never seen the race live on TV.  I have seen it several times in person, but in my 49 years of clean living, the race has never been broadcast live where I could see it. The local ABC station used to carry it a week later, now they show it later in the evening on race day. I associate the Indy 500 with the radio. That is the only way it has been broadcast to me.

So we find ourselves on a Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. I may or may not listen to the race.  I may or may not mow the yard. I may or may not do anything today. I am sure you are on the edge of your seat wondering just how I plan to spend my day. Tune in tomorrow and find out.  Here is a hint -- my coffee cup is nearly empty, I think I will refill it before I read any more blogs.

Enjoy your day.

Can you help a brother out?

The doctor gave me some pills to help me with a ..problem.

I have not tried them yet.  I am still looking for a couple of old bathtubs out in the woods.

May 27, 2011

For My Boy and Wife

On war and revolution

Og has an interesting post regarding the Left and the erosion of the American Republic. I agree with most of his points, other than what appears to be a disappointment we did not try to take the nation back to our Constitutional and Conservative rights by force. I was one of those who argued the time for revolution was not ripe.

Before I expound on my arguments, I have to be honest, and I have thought about this a lot. It takes more than ordinary courage to start a revolution.  It takes a passion, almost a religious fervor, a single minded belief in your cause. One has to believe that force of arms is the only answer. I believe our country is on the wrong path. Do I have the courage of my convictions?  I honestly do not know. I will protect my family and home to the best of my ability. The life of a non-family member is not equal to that of my wife, my kids, my parents, my brother. The life of a non-American is not equal to the life of a fellow citizen. I know it is not politically correct, but I would gladly sacrifice the lives of ten Armenians, Kurds, Chinese, Congolese, Cubans, Brazilians, French, Arabs, Germans, Japanese, British, Swedes, and even Canadians for the single life of an American. Do you find that attitude offensive?  Too bad. I also bet my beliefs are more common than your garden lefty/progressive cares to admit.

I do not believe all cultures have equal value. I believe I was fortunate to be born in the greatest nation not only on the face of the Earth, but in the history of Man. I believe our forefathers founded this Nation with a flash of inspiration that had to be born from Divine guidance. Our Constitution is so perfect.  I challenge anyone to prove the Constitution is outdated, that Freedom for the individual is not protected better than any other Government's efforts. If followed, show me how the Constitution fails to work as perfectly as it did in 1783, 1894 or 1950. It is the weakening of the founding principles, the growing Federal Government  -- the Democrats over the past 100 years -- that have pushed our country the wrong direction. Progressivism, Liberalism, Socialism, Communism are all sides of the same coin and all put the power of the State over the rights of the individual.  All is done in the name of common good. Too bad under those ideals the boats do not rise with the tide, but sink under despair and lack of freedom.

But I digress. A modern revolution is doomed to failure. Remember the American Revolution was carried out by a very determined few and supported by a minority of the populace. We like to imagine the Colonists rose up en mass. It just was not so. Best estimates are that about 1/3 of the population supported change. Even fewer actually participated either directly or indirectly. A review of history will show even fewer supported the French Revolution and Russian Revolutions. Most people are focused on living and surviving and the greater philosophical arguments of war and revolution have no impact or bearing upon their lives.

Most people are afraid of change. They would rather be sheep, hoping beyond hope things will work out for the best. Many believe conditions may be bad, but loss of life or property is worse.

During the American revolution the arms of the general population were for the most part equal to that of the Government (the British Army). The small arms were roughly equal. Today, some posses a trove of guns and weapons, but few of us possess military grade armament. Automatic rifles and machine guns are not common, and were outlawed by the leftists with reason. Those of you gung ho for armed rebellion, how long do you think you can fight a pitched battle against modern weapons, body armor, secure communications, tank and air power?  Do you think you are pretty hot with that .30-06? How long will you last against a platoon of Rangers?

You may think the military will be on "our" side.  I say at best they will remain neutral. At least in the beginning. The problem is the early days of any revolution, even if coordinated and nation-wide, will face a strong and determined police force. Have no doubt which side the police will choose. Most cops are great people individually, but the collective mindset is we are all criminals. The police are exclusively an arm of the State.  Who controlled the populace in Germany, in Russia, in Cuba, in Italy? In all despotic regimes it is the police who provide the power, the enforcement, the security. It is no coincidence so many cops joined the SS. Most urban police have a semi-military arm. These SWAT teams have tanks, body armor, modern weapons. They are designed to stop the very revolution many propose. Your local police force will not be joining the revolution, even if many of the individual police may partially agree with your stance. They will be on the side of law and order, and law and order is determined by the State.

Thanks to the Bill Ayres types of the 1960's police forces in even the smallest of cities are armed and trained to deal with small insurgencies. The very tactics of the so-called revolutionaries created the means these same leftists will control us in the future. The irony is delicious.

The bottom line is Red Dawn was a movie.

Call me a nay-sayer, call me a coward. Realty is what it is. Until there is a general groundswell of discontent, until the People rise up there can be no successful revolution.  until tens of thousands of us show up to tear down our own "Berlin Wall", there can be no revolution.

The time is not right.

One final parting thought. Do you know what happens after a transition Government comes to power after a revolution? They kill the revolutionaries. Only America escaped that historical truth.  Further example of the superiority of our system.

May 26, 2011

Thunder only happens when its raining

It was a bumpy night around the old homestead last night. Wave after wave of storms ripped through the area.  I think we were under four or five separate tornado warnings in the course of the evening. At one point we were under two different warning boxes at once! No damage here, just lots of wind and rain.

As I stood on the front porch watching the threatening clouds it was raining so hard the gutters overflowed. The roof line makes a three sided box around mu front porch/stoop. The rain gushed down the valley of the roof into the corner so hard it was shooting above the gutter like a fountain.  It almost shot clear to the other gutter. I wish I had  my phone or camera so I could show you.  It was way cool. It almost seemed as if one of the munchkins from Oz was standing on the roof and pissing a powerful stream above my head!

You might remember a few weeks ago I detailed how the county's new storm warning system woke us in the middle of the night to report the river, located miles away, was in flood? If not you can look through the archives to find it. After all, I just told you what the post was about.  Anyway, Monday we had some severe weather come through and the warning system called 45 minutes after the first sounds of the warning siren. Last evening, it was almost forty minutes after the first warnings were sounded before we got the call. We received no warning calls for the subsequent tornado warnings. I guess the autodialer can only call one number at a time, and it takes a while to get to mine.

I have a busy day on tap, I hope you have a great Thursday.

May 25, 2011

Shakin' it here, Boss

I am busy wrestling alligators and beating off sharks this morning. I barely had time to peruse my blogroll.

My quarterly forecast is due back in the home office on Friday and I am nowhere near finished. Some may call it procrastination, I prefer to think I am waiting to get the best and latest possible information. I had plans to get the damned thing done today and in the morning, but now I have a last minute customer visit on tap this afternoon and my Thursday morning will be filled with two different conference calls. It appears more and more likely I will not get the document in the mail until Friday.

For reference, I have to forecast the next years usage, by month, for every customer for every part number. My report is just over one inch thick. It took me four hours to do my largest customer yesterday afternoon, with interruptions for phone calls and emails.

I intended to work on the forecast some more last evening, but I sat on the couch in my office and watched the Cubs spank the Mets instead. That narrative alone explains why I NEVER turn on the TV during the day. Working from home has enough distractions without adding television to the list.

Look at that -- a whole post created from nothing! It is like magic. just call me the bloggy Lance Burton.

If you have made it this far and are thinking "Man, what a boring post", consider yourself lucky.  I intended to detail last night's massive BM.

Have a great hump day.

May 24, 2011

Miss Over-hyped/Over-rated 2011...2010...2009...2008...2007...2006...2005

Over-rated and over-hyped as a driver
Yesterday the Big Apple hosted a trio of drivers featured in the upcoming Indianapolis 500.  The drivers flipped a switch to turn the Empire State Building Green (like the green flag). What drivers shared this honor?

Helio Castroneves -- the only three time winner in the field this year
Dario Franchitti -- last year's winner (and Mr. Ashley Judd)
Danica Patrick -- led 19 laps in the 2005 Indy 500.

Seriously, can we all just get over Danica? Despite having some of the best equipment she has won just one race. She has consistently finished in the middle of the pack in points. She has led a whole 19 laps at Indy. That is four more laps than such current powerhouse drivers like Ryan Briscoe, Mike Conway, and Vitor Miera . You have heard of them, right (sarcasm alert)? Patrick is far behind her teammate Marco Andretti in laps led at Indy (31). She is not even close to her New York travelling companions of yesterday. Franchitti has led 255 and Castroneves 231 laps. Currently Patrick is 15th in points for the Izod Indycar Series.

Patrick claims she wants to be one of the boys, but takes every advantage of her sex to get publicity. I can't blame her, publicity equals sponsors and sponsors are what makes racing go. I do blame the media for touting her as a top driver when clearly she is not.

May 23, 2011

Heartbreak weekend

My heart and prayers go out to the folks of Joplin, Missouri. A tornado left much of the city looking like the aftermath of a WWII bombing run. The hospital was hit and the death toll stands at 89 and rising. Mother Nature is a powerful force.

Did you see Marlon Byrd get hit in the face with a pitch Saturday night? The Cubs were at Boston playing a series for the first time since 1918. Dig the throwback unis. Cringe at the at-bat.

Byrd has multiple facial fractures.

A quick historical point

There has never been a nation called Palestine. The UN did not take an existing country of Palestine and carve out a section and give it to the Jews. Palestine refers to the General geographic area and the name dates from the Roman Times. The term Palestine covered much of what we now call the Middle East, including Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Jordan, and Parts of Saudi Arabia. Palestine as a Nation that encompassed Israel, the West Bank and Gaza NEVER EXISTED.

After WWI the British carved up the Ottoman Empire (that would be the Turks) into regions and created new countries like Iran and Iraq and Saudi Arabia. They made Jordan and Syria. The Brits tried to do the division on tribal boundaries but also used waterways and natural barriers.  That is why there have been ongoing wars in places like Iraq and Turkey where the Kurdish population was split. For more evidence of the poor job of partitioning former British Protectorates, look to the seven decade long war between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir Region.

So after WWII, the UN took parts of the British Protectorate like Jordan and Transjordan and divided it up -- that would be the 'partition' part of the creation of Israel (and further evidence the UN has never done a single good thing in its history). Any Arabs (re: Muslims) who wanted to stay in the newly created Israel were welcome.  Those who stayed have prospered. The other Arab Nations like Syria, Jordan and Egypt encouraged the Arabs who lived in the Palestine AREA to flee, promising them Israeli Jews would be pushed into the sea.

It fit the Arab political agenda to have a group of refugees and the displaced Arabs -- the ones who chose not to remain in Israel -- were denied access to Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. In 1948 Syria controlled the Golan Heights, Jordan the West Bank, and Egypt the Gaza Strip. It was not Israel who made those peoples we now call "Palestinians" homeless refugees.

The following seven decades have seen Israel attacked by its neighbors, most notably in 1967. The Israelis won those wars and the lands they now hold on the West Bank and Golan Heights are part of that victory.

The Obama's idiotic demand that Israel give up land "because I said so" is fantasy. Israel pulled from the Gaza Strip, closed the settlements and in return they have suffered even more terrorist attacks.

When the "Palestinians" can prove they are ready, willing , and able to live in peace, then talks can begin.

PS  On a semi-related note read THIS analysis of Obmama's speech. As I have said many times -- Hope and Change indeed.

PSS  here is a nice history of the area showing maps for the visual-learning crowd

May 22, 2011

Mitch will not run

It is Sunday morning and we are still her -- that would be a collective "we" -- the citizens of earth.

The Cubs won in Boston's Fenway Park, something they have not managed since 1918. To be fair, the Cubs have only played one other game at Boston in that period and that was Friday Evening. The teams wore throwback uniforms last night, which was kind of cool.

We had a beautiful day yesterday, i am glad I did my mowing Friday evening. I hope to get out a enjoy a fine stogie today if the rain holds off.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Oh, Mitch will not run.  His family is not in favor. I think Rush's anti-endorsement would have doomed the candidacy anyway.

May 20, 2011

This is my last post

...if the End of the World predictions are correct.

Wouldn't it be nice if I had some pity last words, some final saying that will be on the tip of your tongue as you meet your Maker, wishing you had said that? If only the muse would strike me with a golden keyboard, words flowing in a final post so brilliant, so funny, so moving those of you who remain behind give up blogging altogether in frustration.

Instead you get this. Perhaps we will meet in Heaven. Maybe we will struggle side by side against the forces of Evil itself. Will we be bathing in a lake of fire? Will we be dancing upon the clouds? Will we go fishing with St Peter, or play poker with Beelzebub? Today will be The Day.

Or not.

My bet is we all show up here again on Sunday. I will pen another boring post to a dwindling number of readers. You will read my words and move to your next link. Rain will fall, sun will shine and we will all do our best to live another day.

So, with a chance today is the beginning of The End -- Thanks for stopping by. And if you see God, could you ask him just what  Cubs fans have done to deserve more than a century of mediocrity and heartbreak?

Music for a Friday Afternoon

Things have been a little too serious around here.  What say we listen to a little music?

Here is a bonus. I guess I am in a classic country mood.

The metamorphis is complete

President Obama has finally become more Jimmah than Jimmy Carter: terrible domestic policy, worse foreign policy, an inability to take decisions, skyrocketing gas prices, inflation, unemployment, rampant anti-semitism.

How is that Democrat party vote working out for you now American Jews?

Sixty years of American Foreign Policy has been set upon its ears. Our only reliable ally in the Mid East has been sold down the river to terrorists and Muslim extremists. The President believes Israel should give up territory it gained in wars where Israel was attacked!

Mexico called, they believe we should go back to the borders pre 1848. That means California, Arizona, New Mexico all go back to Mexico, and they are still arguing about Texas.

The Cherokee and Sioux are seeking a return to pre-1492 borders.

Germans are clamoring for pre-August 1914 borders. The Russians would not mind that arrangement either.

Pressuring Israel to cede lands without any guarantees from the Palestinians is beyond poor diplomacy.  It represents a political and historical ignorance unprecedented  in any previous Administration. It demonstrates a clear Islamic bias and endangers the very existence of the Israeli State. This policy is akin to demanding China give Nanking to Japan.

May 19, 2011

That's a wrap

I slammed through the door and headed to my usual seat at the bar. My hands were shaking. My head hurt. Every nerve was tingling and crying . My foot hurt -- the one that living in a garbage dump somewhere.

Rick was behind the bar, it was dave's night off. Rick always wanted to chat me up.  I sure was not in the mood tonight. I held up three fingers when he looked at me. Rick raised his eyebrows and poured a triple whiskey in a highball glass. I gulped it down almost as soon as he set down the glass and pointed at the dregs. From my scowl Rick knew better than to comment. The booze exploded in my throat and stomach. A warmth spread through me. I lifted the second glass and looked at the mirror behind the bar through the amber liquid. I took a sip and let it roll around my tongue. I had an almost unbearable urge to punch something, anyone, anything.

Fifteen minutes later, the pressure in my head became pleasant. I almost felt like I was floating away from my body.  My anger had dulled like an old kitchen knife. I pulled out my phone to call Kerry to tell her to keep her fingers off my stuff. Who does she think she is to take away my booze?

I didn't though. Instead I ordered another drink

I used to be a regional sales manager for a big multi-national corporation. They were really good about things when I missed so much work when Sarah was sick. They were less than thrilled when I missed two more months to have my leg cut off just below the knee. Company insurance bought my new foot, but my boss made a few hints I should retire on disability. I guess a cripple did not meet the company image. I ignored the hints.

The first DUI gave them the excuse. I traded the company a year's salary for my laptop, files, and a document promising not to sue. As a celebratory bonus I also got a second DUI. Kerry bailed me out.. Her brother, my only son Robert, provided the money. He suggested to me I needed to go to AA. I suggested he could save his ideas for someone with real problems. I could hear his wife screeching in the background.

I progressed from anger to mellow. I felt exactly like that Pink Floyd song -- Comfortably Numb. My cheels were tingling. The glass was a bit blurry. Rick looked my way but  I waved my finger no. "Drizzle drazzle drazzle drone", time for this one to go home." I mumbled to myself.  I tried to step off the stool, but there was no left leg to hold me up. The guy next to me caught me.

"Whoa there old timer" he said cheerfully. I narrowed my eyes and knit my brow. Errol Flynn would have slugged him.  The Duke would have punched him right in the kisser. I was just too emotionally tired. I grabbed my crutches and it dawned on me I had no way home. I perched back on the stool. I pushed my cell across the bar and asked Rick to call the cab. He told me it was after midnight, the cabbie was closed. I tossed a twenty and a five on the bar. I asked for a beer to help me think.

I could not call Josh again. I would walk before I called Kerry. That was not true. I would crawl home over broken glass before I called Kerry. I stared at the screen on the cell phone. I scrolled slowly through the contacts trying to focus on the names. I settled on the one name I did not want to call. I dialed up Mike, Kerry's ex husband.

I had to beg. Do you know how hard it is to say please to a man you do not care for? I almost would have rather apologized to that big mouth Dave Childs. Mike the cheater told me I would have to pay him for his time and gas. Mike lived ten minutes away. He said if I was not waiting outside he would not stop. I swallowed my words and mumbled a faint "Thanks".

I leaned on my crutches breathing the nightime summer air. I could hear the faint hum of the factories and the more distant sounds from the interstate. The noise had a hypnotising effect and I swayed on the crutches a bit. I leaned my butt against the wall. I flexed my toes in my shoe. I thought about going back in for another beer.  Twenty minutes later a dark SUV pulled into the lot. I glanced up as the tires crunched the gravel.


Kerry rolled down the passenger window. Her glance said volumes. That motherfucker Mike called her. I swung to the door and as I climbed in I noticed she had on sweatpants. She had obviously been asleep. Kerry did not say anything as we drove down the street.  The street lights painted orange stripes on her face every few hundred yards. I could see tears making tiny trails down her cheeks.

She stopped in front of the house nstead of pulling in the drive. I slammed my hand on the dash and shouted at her "Just say it"! Anger and hate had replaced the buzz in my brain.

Kerry sniffed and asked me if I needed help with the door. She pulled a dirty napkin from the door pocket and wiped her eyes. "Goodnight, Daddy" was all she said.

I slammed the door behind me. For the second time in a day I wished I was dead.

May 18, 2011

Hump Day Thought

Last night the Cubs played just like one of the Little League teams I coached.

Compelled to continue

Officer Kevin Eldridge dropped his nightstick into his belt and walked over to me, sitting there on the gravel at the edge of the road. Kevin was a regular party boy in high school.  He was busted a couple of times for weed before he was 18. He flunked out of IU and came home to be a cop.

He was one of those hard-ass small town law enforcement officers. He never wrote a warning ticket, he arrested every teen he caught chugging a beer. No one got a break. A hypocrite of the first order. A small town nobody hopped up on power. He was just a little fish in n even smaller puddle.

"Didja get drunk and fall off your scooter, Sam?" he taunted.

"Turn off those lights, they hurt my eyes." Kevin was my son's best friend in high school. He even went on a couple of vacations with us. I was not about to take his crap. I asked him if he wanted me to get up and walk a line for him. He ignored me. He also left the lights on. When he asked me where I was going I said Disney World. My brain said "To Hell".  Is there a difference?

He tried not being a Dickhead and asked me what happened. I told him my battery died. When he started lecturing me about driving down the street.  I told him he could save the lecture. "Either give me a ticket if I have broken the law or leave me alone and go eat a donut",  I think I might have called him Chief Wiggum, like the Simpson's character. Officer Kevin Eldridge has a lot of patience with me. He called Josh to come and pick me up.

Josh was pissed when he got there. He knew better than complain. After all he was driving my truck. he copped an attitude and refused to take me to Murph's. He took me and the scooter home. We wrestled it out of the bed and he plugged it in for me. I could tell Josh wanted to say something, but he lacked the balls. Even although he was only 17, I invited him in for a beer. He just stared at me and said he had to go.

When I got inside I found out Kerry had cleaned out all of my booze while I was in the shower. There were two bottles of beer in the 'fridge. I broke a lamp in frustration, then sat in the dark and pouted for a while. I had the shakes. I tried to call my son.  he lives in Chicago. There was no answer on his cell. I am not surprised.   I don't see him much.  I think his wife does not approve of me. That's Ok, I can't stand her.   She is a snooty bitch.

I called the one cab in town to come and get me.

May 17, 2011

Tuesday Bitchin'

Am I the only person who finds an increasing number of sites inaccessible in IE? Websites open briefly then I get an error message that windows cannot open the site. Does anyone know what is the story? I started viewing some of my regular haunts in Firefox today. I am not a fan of Firefox, mostly because I have not used it much. but at least I can open some of my favorite blogs and websites.

There was a big story on the news this morning about how the schools are going to make a big push to serve breakfast and lunch this summer. Now, I can think of nothing worse in this world than a person going hungry. But I do not understand the summer food program. Are we not giving welfare and food stamps to the poor of this country? If we are going to feed the children lunch and breakfast at taxpayer expense, should we not deduct the calculated in amount we are paying in food stamps? Why, as taxpayers, are we paying for 2/3 of a child's daily meals twice?

Look, I know I am an ass. I ate a peanut butter sandwich for lunch yesterday. Throw in a handful of chips and you have a meal that costs about seventy-five cents. That calculation is probably high. I would like to see a survey of the nation's welfare rolls.  How many of those taking food stamps smoke, drink beer, or have a cell phone tucked inside their Coach purse? I don't mind helping those in need.  I resent a hand out.

I used to have an office above the WIC office. Many of the women coming in for free diapers and formula and milk etc. drove a newer, nicer car than I did. Some, admittedly were remarkably poor. Most found the ready cash to buy cigarettes, since they lit up on the way in or out of the office.

I find the decision of the Indiana Supreme Court voiding the Fourth Amendment last week mind numbing and remarkable. I am shocked, dismayed, but not surprised. We opened this door decades ago when we agreed that drunk driving and seatbelt checkpoints were legal. Car searches at traffic stops have become commonplace based on reasonable suspicion -- namely because a cop wants to search your car. We have adopted 'guilty until proven innocent' in practice. We allow the law to mandate we undergo a sobriety test upon demand. Refusal is an automatic proof of guilt.

This is all the result of adopting a belief in a "Living Constitution". To paraphrase the old saw:

I said nothing when they tried to take away my First Amendment freedom to practice my religion.

I said nothing when they tried to take away my Second Amendment Rights.

I ignored the situation as the Ninth and Tenth Amendments were eviscerated.

I had no chance to speak up for my Fourth Amendment Rights when the thought police kicked in my door...

Lemme know when you are bored

Vodka won't grow a foot. Whiskey won't heal a broken heart. Tequila plus driving will make you lose your driver's licence.

After I beat the shit out of that big mouthed pussy Dave Childs I was arrested. The judge gave me a lenient sentence "in light of my lack of a previous record and recent personal tragedies". That means my goddamn lawyer went to the prosecutor with my sob story and they convinced the judge to cut me some slack. The whole thing pissed me off. My attorney said I had to get up and tell the judge I was sorry for the beatdown of Dave Childs. I told that lawyer he could go fuck himself.

I didn't do it. I was not about to apologize to anyone. I had to go to jail for thirty days. I got some probation.  I had to go to anger management class. Now there is a group of assholes like I have never seen before or since. Dave Childs wanted me to get the electric chair. That fat bastard never did have a sense of proportion. After the judge passed sentence Davey-boy was crying and moaning to the prosecutor. I gave him one of those looks that said "Shut up before I do it again" . I would have too, if my kids and attorney had not pushed my chair out of the courtroom before I could put in my two cents.

I refused to wear my foot.

During my probation I sat at home and drank. Here is another life lesson for you: drunks like an audience. It is no fun to sit at home and drink until you fall out of the recliner. It is a lot more satisfying to sit at the end of the bar at Murph's -- even if you rarely interact with the customers. People are more social than you think. I sit at the end of the bar and read, when a baseball game is not on the TV. Dave, the bartender at Murph's keeps my book under the bar for me. I try to be nice to him. he pours the nectar that gets me through the day.

I always watch the Colts from home though. You have to pay attention to football. Jerks at the bar never shut up enough during a football game. Even though most people are basically stupid, they are better company than my memories.

About a year after I lost my foot I got arrested for driving while drunk. After the court said I could not drive anymore I bought one of those old people scooters. I slipped a guy a couple of hundred bucks under the table plus parts to replace the electric motor with a bigger one, so I could get more speed. I can hit 17 miles per hour now. I still feel ridiculous riding that fucker, though. I am thinking of having a racing stripe painted on the side. I always get ambitious after a drink or two.

I drive my scooter down McCabe Road past the factories to Murph's Bar. I drive down the center of the street just to be an ass. I turn on my iPod and put the earbuds in. It pisses people off to no end.  Kerry, put a tall orange flag on the back.  The flag is the kind douchebag parents put on their kid's bikes. Those parents also buy those turd shaped helmets and make their pathetic little kids ride around with what looks like  a big mushroom on their head. My neighbor kids ride their bikes up and down the sidewalk clanging a little bell on the handlebars. The tall orange flag waves above their little mushroom heads and training wheels. The little one actually wears elbow pads! They have been instructed to go inside when I open the garage door to drive out my scooter. I occasionally toss an empty bottle into their rose bed, just to freak out the Mom.

Kerry knows I drive up the street. She knows better than to tell me not to. Cement heads run n the family. She would better off to encourage me. I might then stop out of sheer meanness. I gave Josh my truck.  I can't drive it. He tells me all of the time to quit driving up the street. He says it is embarrassing. Teenagers.  Life is always about them.

I was on my way to Murph's when the scooter ran out of batteries right there on McCabe Road. I crawled off the bitch and hopped around to the back so I could push it. I finally had to get on my knees and crawl-push it to the side of the road. Not a single person stopped to help. A few honked at me. Why should they help? I am the jerk that holds them up on the way to work or home or their slutty girlfriend's every day, driving 17 mph down the fucking highway.

I got it to the side and kind of leaned against the back to rest. I had just closed my eyes. I was screwing up the courage to call Josh to come and get me when I hear a 'woop' and see the blue and red lights through my eyelids.

May 16, 2011

Back to our regular programming.

I am a bit late getting a post up today.  I took my oldest boy to the oral surgeon to have his wisdom teeth removed -- all four. On the ride home he was hilarious, the drugs playing tricks on his mind.

He is ensconced in the recliner, frozen peas pressed against his cheeks.  So far he seems to be doing OK.

Thank you for the kind words regarding my short story. There are a few more installments written. They should be up over the next few days. I know there are some issues with tense and flow. You are getting a true rough draft. I have done little to no editing. What you are reading is me sitting at the keyboard and banging away. Much like every other post you read here! It has been a long. long time since I was compelled to write. The words just flowed from my finger tips. I am sure the Muse will desert me soon.  It always does.

Writing is hard work, and my creative powers leave a lot to be desired. I enjoy describing scenes, plot and dialogue not so much. I thank you all for your indulgence. I am sure I will print out the narrative so far, put it in my "stories" notebook where the faded words will be preserved on yellowed paper for my kids to find when I kick the bucket.

I am off to catch up on work.  Have a great Monday.

May 15, 2011

Had enough yet?

Kerry.had taken care of her Mother through a long lingering death from colon cancer. Two months later she watched me lose my left foot and lower leg to diabetes. Then she supported me through five years of drunkenness. Last year she caught her piece of shit husband in bed with the neighbor. Somehow she found a way to smile and set a perfect example to a classroom of Kindergartners. She was a singe Mom to a bitter seventeen year old and a drunkard Father.

No wonder she did not smile much outside of work.

I could not move the electric chair without batteries. I pushed the table away and tried to stand. She brought my crutches and told me to go take a shower. I reached into the toilet tank. It was empty. I heard her through the door as the porcelain lid slammed down. "I took it" she said.

She did not know about the pint under the sink, behind the toilet paper. I turned on the faucet to get the water hot to shave. I unscrewed the cap on the pint. The sweet smell of whiskey rose to my nose.  I breathed it in. Woody and medicine-y and scented with the with the promise of brain numbing goodness. I took a sip and swirled it around my taste buds. I shivered. The fire hit my throat and I could feel the burn all the way to my belly. I again fought the urge to puke. A bigger swig followed. I leaned on the sink, balanced on my one good leg and breathed again the fragrance of the liquor. I shivered in almost orgasmic relief.

I knew Kerry was going to make me go to the cemetery today, then out to dinner. I wanted to get drunk and watch a Cubs game. Kerry thought she was being nice.  Mostly, she was ripping my heart out. I took one more drink and pulled my disposable razor and Barbasol from the drawer.

I knew we would have a fight over the leg. Kerry did not even smile when I told her if we took it, I might just use it to beat some asshole. I pouted and bitched like a two year-old until I got my way. We took the crutches. When she was not looking I slipped what was left of the pint into my jacket.

She took the pint from my pocket and told me I did not need a jacket. Herding Kindergartners gives her eyes in the back of her head. She did not even bother giving a disapproving "Tsk" over the bottle. Suddenly, I am afraid she has given up on me. That thought depresses me even more than the prospect of going to the graveyard. She tossed the jacket over the back of the recliner. I noticed she slipped the booze into her purse.

With a sigh I headed out to her car.

May 14, 2011

Caesar Salad Days

I knew why Kerry was here. I may be a mean old drunk, but I can still read a calendar. Today is the anniversary of her Mom's death. Kerry came to keep me from going on a bender. I fooled her.  What is a day early? Sarah was sick for so long. What is one day to another in a lingering death? Sarah was just as dead June 5 as she was on June 6. Her body had just not given up yet.

Kerry told me I need to get a shower. I looked at her.  I did not say anything mean in response. I never say anything mean to my daughter. Or her son Josh, for that matter. At least I try not to. The rest of the world gets whatever acid thought I care to deliver. Fuck 'em.

Kerry still at least pretends to care what happens to me. No one else does. Not even Josh. I ruined that when he was twelve. In those days I did not drink much. I had an occasional beer. Kerry, her husband Mike, and Josh looked after me. They invited me to be part of their activities.

Sarah had been gone one year to the day. I was standing at the Little League game. Josh was a very good second baseman. A great lefty hitter. That fat jerk Dave Childs was sitting in his lawn chair behind the plate and I was standing nearby watching through the fence. "Hey John", he barked at me, "Here to see your team?" He laughed like a damn hyena at his wit. "Get it?"

I looked down at my left leg. Or what was left of it. I got it. A guy on crutches, missing his left foot and lower leg watching a team sponsored by Long John Silver's.  Hah! I gave him a wan smile. I turned and swung my way to my truck, parked behind the outfield fence. I threw the wooden crutches in the back and drove up to the handicapped spaces behind the concession stand. I don't like to use those spots, I get around fine on my crutches.

I strapped on that damned fake foot. My anger intensified when I realized my shoes did not now match. "Motherfucker, now I look ridiculous". I limped back to Diamond Two. The fat fucker was still in his lawn chair, yelling at the ump, bad mouthing the coaches. I reached way back and swung a haymaker right at his left cheek.

I guess I sorta blacked out, because I don't remember the beating I gave that guy. I was told later the blood was all over the gravel. Child's screams brought a stop to games on three diamonds. The judge said using my artificial foot to beat that pathetic loser was like using a weapon. I had to, my hand was broken from hitting him so many times. I guess I just snapped. Later, Kerry asked me why I kept screaming "My name is not John" the whole time I was beating that poor man unconscious.

Josh saw it all, he was on deck. He was standing just across the fence from my rage. Kerry said I scared the shit out of the boy. Sorry kid. Real violence ain't like a video game. Jail isn't like the movies either.

A wave of nausea passed over me. I gagged again. I shuddered with the dry heaves. I looked around the room. Gray walls, dark carpet, blinds shut tightly. Kerry was the only bright spot and she was frowning. Here she was, ignoring her own grief to protect me from mine.

I hate boxed macaroni and cheese.

I wished I was dead.

May 13, 2011

fingers crossed

Blogger has been screwed up all day. It ate some posts, it appears -- ones that were published!

The Blogger news claims they are going to get them back up.

I am not going to spend a bunch of time or work posting substance until I know the bugs are eradicated.

I know what you are thinking -- don't say it!

BTW, since the comments were disappeared too, what did you think of the beginnings of my story yesterday?

May 12, 2011

Lemme run something past you...

I stare at the paper plate full of rubbery Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. It is the sauce kind, not the skinny powder stuff. Nothing but the best for me! I am a little surprised to find myself eating. Usually I drink my lunch. I feel a little sick.

Typical. The sick part anyway.  The food -- not so much.

The clock on the wall ticks an even staccato but the hands do not move. The battery has just enough juice to drive the little motor: tick, tick, tick, but not enough power to move the hands from a perpetual 9:23. AM, PM it does not really matter. Eventually it will tell the correct time.

I don't remember fixing the food. I have eaten some of it. An unnatural yellow smear marks the spot I scooped the pasta with my fork. The fork is clenched tightly in my right fist. Kraft cheese sauce coats my tongue. I give a little shudder and bile backs up in my mouth. I swallow it back down.

Real men don't puke. Even I have standards.

I see a bottle of beer on the table. There is also a glass of water and a bottle of Tylenol next to it. I am more than a little confused. Alcohol weeds choke my brain.

I lift my chin from my chest. I must have blacked out for a minute. The fork is in my lap. The macaroni mocks me. The light is dim. Four of the six bulbs in the light over the table are burned out. The blinds are firmly closed.  I do not know if it is day or night. I feel like I am swaying in my chair. I reach for the beer, but it is just beyond my grasp.

"Not until you eat". I squeeze my eyes shut for a second and then search for the body that goes with the voice. I don't want beer anyway. I know that voice.

I am in that half-drunk half hungover state I deplore. Dee- plore. The word rattles around my throbbing skull. I try it out loud. "Deplore". I screw my eyebrows into what my mind thinks is a haughty sneer. I imagine my nose is a thin blade above an Errol Flynn mustache.  I purse my lips and try it again. "Deplore". The effort hurts.

"What did you say, Daddy?"

My little girl is here. I don't want her to see me like this. I gag and and dry heave a little trying to stifle it. I really do not want her to see me like this. Little girls should not see their parents all weak and helpless and pathetic. I am so ashamed.

Of course she is not a little girl anymore. She has a house and family of her own. Me, I just have my place and a collection of empty liquor bottles thrown at the general direction of the trash can. I push the joystick on my chair.  Nothing happens.

"I unhooked the battery." she says.

 I tell her I need a real drink. She just stares me down. I tell her I have to piss. She tells me to eat.

I try to take one more bite of the Kraft Dinner. I throw it up down the front of my faded gray Cubs T-shirt. I want to cuss and swear.

Instead I cry.

I close my eyes to stifle the tears. I see an image in my brain.  A tall cool glass with fruit and an umbrella. A beach drink. I breath deeply. I can almost taste the rum and juice and froth. I wish I had one in my hand now, only without the umbrella and fruit and juice and rum. A tall glass of sweet whiskey screams my name. I want it. I need it. Desire. I try that word out loud too.


Desire and deplore.  The cycle of my life.

IND to CLT to GSP and back

Hello Blog World, Friends, and casual visitors. D'ja miss me?  I had to make a quick trip to the Palmetto State. The airline lost my luggage. They managed to locate it and get it to me in time to get ready for my meetings, so I guess it could have been worse. In 15 years of flying this is only the second time an airline has misplaced my property, so I guess a failure rate of 2 in 800 or so is not too bad. OK, yes it is. My company has a failure rate of less than 0.01 parts per million. And it was not my choice to check my bag. Since the airlines have instituted the ridiculous baggage fees. overhead space is at a premium. My bag was very small, but it still had to be gate checked.

Everyone complains about ridiculous ATM fees and oil profits, but baggage fees are plain money grubbing at the worst. The plane has the same weight whether the bag flies below or in the overhead bin. In addition, the usual assholes have figured out that if they bring a bag too big, or have three bags, the airline will gate check it for free. In the meantime, those of us who try to pack light and follow the rules get screwed by the jerks of the world. Such is life.  I bet those free loading SOBs probably vote Democrat too.

When I picked up the rental car it had no gas in it. National The rental car company that will remain nameless claimed they were out of gas at their pump. I think they were too lazy to service the vehicle, since it was not swept or washed before I took possession. As I returned the car, I heard the counter lady tell the guy behind me they had a Camry and one other car.  The Camry was the one I just returned. They turned it without even checking for trash. For the record, I returned the tank empty, since that is how I left with it*. The next guy was screwed too.

I finally pulled into the drive around eleven last night. Another business trip. Another couple of days check off from my allotment. The Cubs won last night, I do have that.

* Yes, I know this is really poor English. I really do not care.

May 9, 2011

A Progressive's viewpoint

I know you guys do not click on links.  I don't. But do yourself a favor and click on this one. (h/t Tam)
We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a “suspect” but uncontroversially the “decider” who gave the orders...
This my friends, Is the American Left. We are the terrorists, we are the evil empire, we are all that is wrong with the World. America "deserved" 9/11.

What a piece of shit.

No wait, that degrades turds too much.

May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day to all you Moms out there

Thanks Mom. Without you I am just some wet spot on a gravel road, or an ancient flush of the toilet. Perhaps just a stain on some sweaty sheets.

I can't believe I wrote that either. Look, I have long made my position clear.  My Mom did not do that. If she did, she sure did not enjoy it. I have to hold on to that image, thank you.  In fact, I would rather not think on it at all. Yyeewww. 

My Mom is wonderful. EOS. She can kick your ass. Trust me on this. She may only be five foot nothing tall, but she is tough as nails. Her pies will leave you weak kneed, begging for more. My Mom is a saint.

My wife is a Mom too. Three times over.  I was there for all of them. She never uttered a sound in the delivery room. The first time a lady down the hall was screaming in pain. The wife was sweating, Contractions were coming hard and fast. The only sound she made was to tell me to get the damn ice chips away from her face. "Cept she did not say "damn". She rarely cusses. Her eyes did though. I could tell she was blaming me for all the pain and trouble.

After the third one she finally figured out what caused all those babies and put a stop to it. I guess she was a slow learner. She is a great Mom.  She does not make pies, though. Her cookies are pretty dang good.

I sent my Mom some flowers. I bought my wife a new outfit at the mall last night.  That is what she wanted. I actually hit the Hallmark early last week to nab a suitable card. I bet my daughter gets the wife a card. I bet the boys don't. Even odds the oldest boy even remembers to call. Being a Mom is hard.

The youngest boy went to the Prom last evening.  He is a junior in high school. He went with a senior girl. She is pretty hot.  And mind you I say that in a strictly parental, non-anything way. I have a daughter of my own, fer goodness sake. Maybe I will post a pic later in the week.  Maybe not. He looked sharp in his tux.

It is supposed to be actual May weather around here today -- warm and no rain in the forecast. I am going to try and get the yard mowed. The boy has to work. I am going to let the wife sleep in.

Happy Mother's Day to all you Moms out there.

May 7, 2011

Killing bin Laden was not courageous

 I have to get it off my chest.

OBL is dead.  That is good.  But we have to stop with the superlatives and endless commenting on President Obama's courage to take this decision. Was there any choice? Name ten Americans not named Michael Moore or Cindy Sheehan who would not have volunteered to pull the trigger. I do not care how much of a nature lover you are, if a rattlesnake is going to bite your baby you will stomp that reptilian mofo in a heartbeat. OBL was a snake and he had to be dealt with in the firmest possible manner. Obama had no choice, no options.  He dithered, but in the end bin Laden had to be put down like a rabid dog.

The other choice was unacceptable for a politician.  You see it would have come out.  Too many people knew we had bin Laden in his hidey hole. Failure to exterminate the rat would have cost Obama and the Democrat Party elections for a generation. Already labeled as soft on defense, letting the greatest terrorist of the day escape would be a blunder of epic proportions. Obama knew it. Failure to act was political suicide.

Sending in "Cheney's Death Squad" was not a hard decision. Doing the right thing never is. What is terrifying to me, are the reports Obama wrestled with this decision. That, my friends, keeps me up nights.

May 5, 2011

Thank you Democrats

When it costs north of $60.00 to fill up a Ford Fusion, we have a problem. The Obama's energy policy, the Democrat refusal to utilize our own natural resources, the declining value of the dollar due to The Obama's economic policies all are contributing to high gas prices.

It is a good thing the Government decided food and gas do not count into the inflation index, otherwise the current administration would look more like that of Jimmah Carter than most of us realize. Have you bought groceries lately?

Hope and change indeed.

May 4, 2011

Hello, Mother Nature... is me, Joe. I know that compared to other regions of this wonderful nation we have not been treated so badly. But come on.  It is frickin' May! The furnace is running. The temperatures reached in the 30's last night and we have a frost warning for tonight. Did you get May mixed up with March?

We had a long cold winter followed by a long cold spring.  Both were pretty wet. You have delivered a foot of rain at my house since the beginning of April. What?  Yes, I know that April showers bring May flowers. But again, with all due respect Ma'am, take a look at the calendar -- It is now May. Enough with the daily precipitation.

We are supposed to be basking in sunshine, pleasant days in the mid-seventies with a light breeze, not howling winds and highs in the forties and fifties. And the rain, every day we have the rain. Are you sure you did not get your planner stuck in March, Ms Nature? If it helps, I will lay off the margarine.

What did you say?  I know I should be careful for what I wish. Last year I asked for it to stop raining and you complied.  We had nary a drop of rain from July through September. But you made up for it with the spring rains last year and the loads of snow you dropped last winter.

Excuse me?  You -- in the corner waving your arms and grunting "oh, oh, oh"-- what do you want? OK, blah blah global patterns... blah, blah, blah. Your little liberal whining viewpoint is acknowledged and rejected.

Anyway, Mother Nature could you cut us some slack?  A few days (maybe even a weekend) of sunny warm (not windy) days?  Please, just so I can get my mojo back in order? Pretty please?

May 3, 2011

My daydreams go up in smoke
I bought myself a late birthday present last week. I ordered a box of these fine El Rey del Mundo cigars. They arrived yesterday. For those of you that care, they are 6.5 x 52 at the big end. The wrapper is EMS. I like the funky trumpet shape. I also like pyramid shaped cigars these days.  The small end concentrates the smoke and gives a more defined taste, especially as the cigar gets down half way.  These guys are medium to full bodied.  I got a good deal on them  too.

The weather has been so crappy I have not enjoyed a good cigar since my quick vacation in March. It has been pretty much cold and rainy around here since the beginning of time -- or so it seems.  The few warm days we have had are filled with thunderstorms or very windy. The days it does not rain it is just too damn cold. Right now the temps are in the low forties! It is May. Enough already. We have had more than a foot of rain since the beginning of April, and it is raining as I hunt and peck the keyboard to create this post.

I just cracked open the lid on my humidor and took a deep whiff. Ahhh, the sweet smell of cedar and fine tobacco beckons me. I have plenty of high quality smokes in stock. My best buddy bought me a very nice cigar ashtray for my birthday. Now I just need Mother Nature to cooperate.

May 2, 2011

Bin Laden sleeps with the fishes

The President has confirmed Special Forces (read Navy Seals) killed terror leader Osama bin Laden. I hope bin Laden is burning in the flames of hell as this is written. If there is any afterlife justice, bin Laden will routinely face a spray of burning jet fuel and be forced to jump from a 100 foot tower. Repeatedly. For eternity.

Reports say the body was buried at sea. That is a good move. I hope we embalmed his body with bacon grease before wrapping him in thin-sliced pork before dumping the body in the deepest part of the Pacific. *

Why yes, I am vindictive, why do you ask?

President Obama was a class act in his speech last night. There were no politics in an announcement that called for none. The coverage on NBC was disgusting -- especially Andrea Its All Bush's fault Mitchell's coverage. 

I expect the terrorist of the world will react in a violent manner. The days and weeks ahead will be dangerous times. This war is far from over.

God bless our troops. God Bless America.

* great minds and all... he had the same idea. 
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