Thursday, May 21, 2015

Childhood Was A Learning Experience For Survival In A World Now Gone Goofy

Every day one of the first items of business on my computer agenda is to check out the UK Daily mail. They have become so popular they now have their own reporters covering the United States. This news source covers the gamut of stories; sports, politics, crime, human interest, etc.

On a daily basis I'll read of a tragedy involving a child. They might fall out of a fifty story window or have a car run over them by a grandpa while playing in the yard. It's a sad a part of our lives but with the twenty-four hour news cycle and the millions of people populating the world crap happens.

And, naturally, this brought back memories of the shenanigans I did in my life which made me wonder: How in God's name did I survive to the ripe old age of sixty-nine? I should have died ten times over, mostly due to my inexperience and stupidity. In other words, I was your normal kid.

I don't remember an event from 1949 but my parents related it to me later on. We lived on fourth street in Boone, Iowa. Okay, I'll blame this one on my mom and dad because of their irresponsibility. Fourth street also happened to be called Highway 30 which was also know as the Lincoln Highway. Today it would be called Interstate 80. Highway 30 ran from New York City to Los Angeles. Can you imagine the traffic? I was in our car, by myself, which was parked in our driveway. Somehow, I released the brake and our 1948 green Studebaker rolled out onto the Lincoln Highway missing by inches the semi rolling down the street. Whew!

Don't ask me how, but when I was four, I found a can of gasoline along with a box of matches and proceeded to light a fire on the side of our garage. As Houdini might say, "He did it with mirrors".

When I was six we moved in with my grandfather on the north side of town. He lived on the corner of 11th and Green street in a gray shingle home he built in 1911. I always thought it was haunted. It was impossible to commit a sin in that home. Every wall was covered with holy pictures and not one but two crucifixes.

If I needed night crawlers to go fishing I didn't have to leave at night. The basement floor was composed of Iowa loam.

Anyway, on a July day in 1951 the City tarred Green Street on the west side of the house. Never seeing tar before I didn't realize its chemical composition. Since I needed to go to the neighborhood grocery story to buy baseball cards I took off across the tarred road. Halfway there I realized I was in my socks and my shoes were left behind. I wonder who got them.

One of my grandsons received five stitches on his chin last week. I called him to cheer him up but he was so embarrassed he didn't want to talk about how the 'accident' happened. I know how it occurred. He was goofing off. How else does a kid get hurt?

Since I just heard from my Milwaukee cousin I should relate our story together. I think the year was 1967 but it makes no difference. I pulled out of a gas station onto Howell Ave. In those days there was no such thing as a seat belt. My cousin was nine years old and seated on the passenger side but his door was not shut. As I peeled onto the street he went flying out onto Howell sliding across the busiest street in Milwaukee. He slid about twenty feet on the pavement then jumped up and got back in the car. I've never see a kid so calm. I drove to his house and in the course of twenty minutes drank a case of beer without taking a breath.

If someone shaved my head they would see so many scars it would look like a road map to nowhere. I wore these marks on my skull as a badge of honor. One day my neighbor, Jeff Johnson and I, decided to build a tree house in our mulberry tree. Forget we had no idea how it was going to get done. All we knew it was going to happen. Jeffy climbed up first carrying a brick and a large crowbar. I told him to drop the crowbar but he let go of both and they hit home at the same time. The Boone County Hospital knew me so well I had my own private room. They always kept a doctor on call knowing I'd be back.

One very wonderful aspect of being a kid was when a new home was built in the neighborhood. In would come a bulldozer and the basement would be dug out. Kids from all around immediately flocked to the site like buzzards to a carcass. Then the fun began. We'd choose up sides and play war.
Our weapons were dirt clods and rocks. It was a recipe to visit Boone County but we relished the challenge of defeating those rotten Nazis and Japs. Ah! Those were the days. The war ended in 1945 but we were still taking names and kicking ass in 1954.

It was another July, this time in 1956. My buddy, Dick Musser and I decided to play 'Cave'. We crawled into the truck of my dad's 1956 Pontiac on this 100 degree day and shut the truck door. How cool was that? Not very actually especially when we couldn't breathe. Panic set in and we started screaming and kicking not knowing that the back seat, if given a monstrous shove, could be pushed out. Lucky for us one of our feet, or both, found it's way to safety. Who knows what would have happened. That's why refrigerator companies finally put release latches on the inside. Once again, MJ survived  a disastrous demise.

I wrote this piece in response to a recent proclamation from the Boy Scouts of America. They have now said scouts will no longer be able to use water guns and water balloons while in their care. What an embarrassment to anyone who participated, from Tenderfoot to Eagle.

I recall my Boy Scout days. We'd have overnights at the Ledges State Park five miles south of town. Our group would build a campfire, eat horrid hot dogs and open a can of Campbell's Pork and Beans. We'd try and catch a couple hours of sleep in our bags then wake up and with BB guns in hand pick sides and have a real war, winner take all. How sad I feel for kids today. They're restricted by bike riding boundaries. Heck, out parents let us out of the house in the morning with one admonition, "Be home by dinner or you'll hear about it from you Dad". Those sure were good times.

As I wrote to some of my closest friends, love him or hate him, the legendary basketball coach, Bob Knight stated, " The demise of America will come about because of political correctness". No one has ever been more correct.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

LA Approves $15 minimum wage

In the big scheme of life an increase from $7.25 to $15 per hour doesn't seem like such a big deal. After all, the Clinton's earned $30 million in the last year for talking. Bill received $165 large for speaking to a group via a satellite hook up. Whatever the market will bear, I say. Go for it unless there's a quid pro quo but that wouldn't be the case with the Clinton's. Would it?

It's sort of like Obama getting elected then blaming him for being inept instead of the people who put him in office.

The minimum wager earners, all 800,000 in Los Angeles, got an extra candy cane in their socks a few days ago with an increase in pay that was more than doubled.

There are some unseen ramifications, though. These workers will unionize meaning they can kiss a good deal of their extra gift good-bye. The positive is they'll receive a shirt with SEIU printed on the backside(which they'll be required to pay out of their union dues).

It is now estimated the price of a hamburger will jump .50 cents per. Some will continue to purchase and others won't. This kind of torques me off because, and this is a rare occasion, I'll stop off at McDonald's or Wendy's and buy two junior sandwiches at a buck apiece. By the way, the next time you stop in one of these fast food places you'll notice that the pricey items are printed in big bold letters. The inexpensive ones(aka less costly) will require a magnifying glass to find. I think they're trying to tell you something.

I haven't seen this in person but I've read that the cash registers have pictures on them instead of numbers. For instance, if you order a chicken sandwich the trained and highly educated employee will press a picture of a chicken. For a burger it's a cow and so on.

Always, after getting your change, count it. I once took the time to teach a young man how to count change. It's a lost art. Most often I'll receive my change, bills included, glommed together in one lump sum like you'd hand someone a clump of dirt. Then I expect to hear, "Now kid, be on your way".

When I place an order I always ask for these condiments: catsup, mustard, pickles, onions. This is standard fare so I expect it that way. How many thousand of times I have taken my bag to my car, opened the sandwich only to spy a dry burger with lettuce and tomatoes? I think they do this just to irritate the hell out of me. Mission accomplished.

The third worst place to buy fast food is in a small town in the South. It's like going back in time to a mountain town in Croatia. Most likely it's my fault because I speak Midwestern and they speak a combination of Hatfield and McCoy with a bit of Cajun thrown in for effect.

The second worst place is in the inner city. It's become a habit for me to slide in the door and work my way to counter with my back to the wall.

The first worst place to purchase fast food is where the help is absolutely 100% ignorant and ill-mannered. And the bulk of these are the ones who are getting that $15 minimum wage increase.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Don't Blame Barack Hussein Obama

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On Being A Connoisseur Of Fine Food

Now that I'm a quasi bachelor life has offered me opportunities few men can realize. The wife is off gallivanting around the Midwest doing whatever 68 year olds do. I've the run of the house, Dublin and Columbus, Ohio.

If I happened to be a millionaire life would be good. As it is, I'm a cheap skate about certain products, one being food. I'd eat dirt if it went well with ketchup. I grew up poor. As a kid we might have toast covered with Karo syrup for dinner and like it. I always went for the white kind; sometimes asked for seconds. For dessert we'd eat popcorn.

My spouse is the all-time greatest cook of the 20th and 21st centuries. Many are the times I've read and reread her recipes so that in circumstances like the one I'm in now I'll still be feasting on fine delicacies.

In the past week I've eaten not once, but twice, roast turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy and a side plate of spring peas. It's what we Iowans call comfort food and those are my favorites.

In addition, I've cooked Salisbury steak with the trimmings, chicken fried steak and roast beef. All magnificent.

In order for a quasi bachelor to become a gourmet it is necessary to start with the proper cooking utensils. In my case it's called a microwave. This tiny box just might rank only behind the automobile as the greatest invention ever created, especially for men.

Let us all refer back to my previous mention of foods I've prepared. Do you know one can go to Kroger's and buy a Banquet meal in a box with all these foodstuffs for only one lousy dollar? Yessiree Bob,(My apologies to Gabby Hayes) a complete turkey meal costs that little.

This begs the question: what goes into this stuff? People will go to fine, and not so fine, restaurants and spend ten or twelve dollars on such a meal.

I've chowed down on an 8 oz. Salisbury steak. I have to assume this piece of meat came from a cow don't I? Or, did it come from a bovine that had been lying around the rendering plant for a week?

As for the turkey, was it a turkey breast or was it made from it's feet, toenails included?

Peas are peas and corn is corn, huh? It's difficult to screw the consumer on these, maybe. The potatoes could have been left over from the Irish Famine of 1848 but they still taste like real spuds to me so not a problem.

Besides, the less I spend on food the more I can spend on more important items, like the new golf putter I purchased yesterday.

I am---the man!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Infrastructure My Sweet Arse

According to Senator Richard Blumenthal (Dem-Conn.), "Let me offer my sincere condolences to the dead and injured in the Philadelphia train crash". Immediately after this non-heartfelt statement the good senator told us about how the accident was caused by poor infrastructure( e.g. It's because Republicans are cheap and want people to die). He wasn't the only one to speak out on the subject. Every MSM outlet did so, a few within a few hours of the tragedy. Call me redundant a millions time over but 106 mph could cause a projectile to lose it's way in the dead of night. Also, it's significant to note that the automatic control speed unit on the train had not been activated. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/amtrak-speed-control-system-installed-but-wasnt-turned-on/article/2564542

Infrastructure, or lack thereof, is an easy source to play the blame game. It happened in Minneapolis a few years back when the I-35 bridge took a tumble. Stupid Republicans. It's there fault by not forking over big cash to pay for a congressman's vacation to the Bahamas.

Let's take AMTRAK, for instance. The system is run by the government. That means it's an immediate prescription for failure. A few years ago the congressional restaurant was managed by the government. It was financially run into the ground. Private companies took it over and now it's profitable. Go figure.

AMTRAK loses over $330 million dollars a year with a budget in the billions. Most of it is due to crummy food, service and, get this, bureaucracy. Faulty railroad tracks have yet to fit into the infrastructure equation. Railroad tracks that don't support trains? The juries still out but I'm putting my money on no since there are maintained by mechanized gandy dancers instead of senators and representatives.

You see, Democrats need an excuse to get voters behind them: White cops are racists, women don't receive as much money as men in the job market, many more women than men have abortions, (I made that one up but the nitwit crowd will think about it for awhile) and our nations poor infrastructure which is turning us into a 3rd world nation. This places us directly behind Tanzania or Siberia depending on how much sunlight they receive on odd numbered days.

Is it a coincidence that one day before the Philly train wreck took place the annual Citizens Against Public Waste(Republican watch dog group) published it's listing of asinine government spending? you know what I mean. It's the earmarks congressmen take for their district that are supposed to be illegal. Did your congressman receive $465,000 to run a study on why gays like to kiss other men? Why not? If you check out the list there is seemingly something for everybody. What really makes it interesting is, over the last three years the government has taken in more tax money than in it's entire history.

If somebody in the government cares about infrastructure send them to my house. I've got a fire alarm battery I am unable to disarm. The beeping is driving me crazy.

You might want to open the link for Citizens United and see some of the more ridiculous programs you are supporting via your hard earned dollars in 2015. They publish a book. For obvious reasons it's called 'The Pig Book'
http://cagw.org/


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Is Tom Brady A Big Deal

So, Tom Brady was suspended. Big deal. Is it more newsworthy than if Iran develops a nuclear weapon? That's for you to decide. Personally, I could care less.

I find it fascinating that sports is the most important facet of American life. I have friends who don't understand why I'm not involved in fantasy baseball. A person picks what he thinks are really good players and at the end of the year, based on their statistics, you could win money. I'd rather eat raw acorns than do this and I know more baseball strategy than 90% of the citizenry.

Tom Brady was suspended for four games(his appeal will probably bring it down to two) and the Patriots will lose a first round draft choice. Oh my God, it's the end of the world!

If the story is true, that Brady had his football deflated(not like detonating the bomb dropped on Hiroshima) then he's in big trouble.

So, what is worse? There's a fella named Ray Rice who drug his then girlfriend down a hotel hallway like he was caveman. Adrian Petersen, running back of the Minnesota Vikings used physical force to spank his baby boy. They still play in the NFL.

I have a real problem with this scenario. Pete Rose, the all-time leading hitter in baseball received a life time ban for betting on baseball. Okay, I understand this. But, he bet on other teams, not his own.
That I do not understand.

Now, consider the number of players who used illegal drugs, steroids as enhancement performance drugs. Barry Bonds, one of these, will be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. As for Pete Rose, unless the new commissioner has a change of mind, will be signing autographs at a Buick dealership for the rest of his life.

Sports--I don't understand it.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Why Hattiesburg Mississippi

Another day and more policeman gunned down, this time in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Ho-hum. And people cheer these massacres. An ignorant, ill-formed young woman put herself on twitter along with her picture cheering the event. She was shown wearing her Subway work clothing. What a moron.

And that's what these people are, the ones cheering; morons who are duped into showing their massive ignorance by doing the bidding of the main culprits.

One of my positive qualities, according to me, is I am not politically correct. It is the bane of American society.

So, let's put the blame directly where it lies and we can cite Ferguson and Baltimore as the focal points along with anti-police parades in New York City. What was it those illiterates chanted as they marched down 5th Avenue? Oh yeah, I remember. "What do we want? Dead police. When do we want it? Now". Clever, huh?

I'll immediately get to the point. Who's responsible for hate going on in the country? Let's start with the Communist Party USA. Their presence in Ferguson and Baltimore was there from the get go.

Throw in Occupy Wall Street. The namby pamby worthless pieces of scum who are trying to overcome our economic system.

Last, and certainly not least, Eric Holder, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama is making the rounds this week giving commencement addresses at our institutions of supposedly higher learning. Naturally, they are all Black colleges. She is regurgitating one main theme. It's nearly impossible for Afro-Americans to make it in society. She cites herself as a prime example of this type of discrimination. As he said, "Children like me are not welcome in museums and art centers". Explain that one, Moochie.

You may recall during the 2008 election the First Lady stated after her husband won a primary, "For the first time in my life I'm proud of my country". Why is that, Michelle, when you were brought up in an upper middle class home? Why would you make that statement when, after your husband was elected to the Illinois senate, your salary was bumped from $125 thousand to over $300 grand at a Chicago hospital for doing nothing extra?

Her husband has inserted himself numerous times in the mix. How often do we have to be forced to listen to his diatribes on social injustice against 'his people'?

Why Hattiesburg, Mississippi? It's because our Black leaders are fomenting hatred in this nation. Police are bad they tell us. The folks with rap sheets longer than the US tax code are good.

For people in a position of authority there are no greater racists than Eric Holder, Michelle Obama and Barack Obama.

And by the way, since Freddie Gray died in Baltimore twenty-six of their law abiding citizens have been murdered. And the police had nothing to do with it.

If I had an Obama/Biden bumper sticker on my car bumper I'd be damned embarrassed.