Tuesday, December 30, 2008


There is a recent picture of our President-elect floating around. Reuters news service has titled it: Uber-Cool. It shows Obama with a ball cap on backward. This may be a small thing but, for me, the quirkiness of it requires further explanation from----- moi. In my high school coaching days my counterparts and I always noticed with great hilarity "wannabe dads" who, when a game got exciting, would flip their ball caps backward. Some of you may not be familiar with "wannabe". The dads who want to be where the action is, i.e. They fashion themselves as coaches since they watch a lot of sports on TV. We coaches, normally while scouting, used to make book on how long, during a game, it would take for the flip to occur. You could just feel it coming on. The wannabe was usually the president of the Booster Club and his son was a marginal player. They were so excitable a heart attack was always on the table. If their team came from behind to go ahead you knew the cap flip was imminent. Wannabes always wanted to hang out with the coaching staff. Lord knows why. If you were a banker making six figures would you hang out with a bunch of schmucks making 30K? Better question: if you could afford Chivas Regal why would you want to be with the guys who knew a 12 pack of Milwaukee's Best could set back their kids college fund? I guess it's just a guy thing. And, don't take offense if some of you readers occasionally do this flippy thing. Sometimes Tiger does it when lining up a putt. Brett Favre does it on the sidelines putting on a headset. I'm not a carpenter or plumber but I can imagine a "flip" when working in close quarters.
I'm placing Barack in with the 'guy thing'. He plays a lot of basketball with his buds. I'm now 62. In my early years I was a baseball catcher in Little League, Babe Ruth League, High School, college and semi-pro. God strike me dead if I'm lying but, except for my baseball days, I have never worn a cap backward. When I was younger it just wasn't hip. Actually, I doubt anyone thought of it. If someone did another guy would just say, "hey, why is your cap on backwards?". Yep, in my youth no one would call a guy "dude" either. It's like the High Five. Who knew?
Personally, after January 20, I do not want to see the occupant of the Oval Office with a cap on backward--anytime, anywhere!
It just doesn't inspire a whole lot of confidence when I see this from the leader of the free world unless he, Vladimir Putin or Hugo Chavez get in a pick-up game of hoop. But this is just me. I used to get irritated looking at Bubba's milky white, flabby thighs when he tried to make us think he was a runner. I'll give Clinton this much. I don't think he was a flipper.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

TV Shows and Movies

I'm spending quite a bit of time on the computer. Way back when, sometime in November, I wrote about being on my computer longer than all Pentagon workers combined--daily. Something is happening and whatever it is I'm becoming an expert. It's both a time killer and a trivia contest. Let's say I'm watching reruns of NCIS. This is not unimaginable since I do it Monday through Friday, three hours a day. I like Mark Harmon. He plays an NCIS investigator and is the lead actor. I had never heard of NCIS(Naval Criminal Investigative Service) and it's been on since 2003. They are like the FBI except investigate for the Navy, usually strange murders with twisted story lines. Truth be told, I have a mini- crush on Sasha Alexander; Caitlin Todd in the series. She was a government agent on the show until she died. In her last episode the poor girl took a bullet between the eyes. Fans of the show were outraged since she was a fav. It was later revealed she wanted out of the series. I don't know why. Did you know she is married to the son of Carlo Ponti and Sophia Loren? How do I know this? Well, when I'm watching TV and a character comes on the screen and I see something of interest I quick, quick google a name or episode to find the answer.
The thing is, her replacement was in the next episode. TV is great. Sasha dies, we remember her for an episode, a new character moves in and in a sixty minute segment Sasha is a distant memory. The new lady is Cote de Pablo. Her name on the show is Ziva David. She has a lot in common with Alexander. They're both hotties.
This google thing just grabbed me by the throat this morning. I was channel switching. If there was a world championship of "switchers" I would own the Belt. Anyway, I happened to come across the movie: Close Encounters. The more I saw the blond lady who was the mother of the little cute kid, Barry, the more flumoxed I became. You'll remember that he was captured by aliens in the early part of the movie. This led me to think, "Hmm, I've seen this movie a number of times and I should know this woman who plays his mom." I checked out cast members, saw her name is Melinda Dillon then continued googling: I knew I'd seen her in something else. Do you remember? If you do, congratulations. She played Ralphie's mom in the classic, A Christmas Story. It seems I'm on this age thing constantly but I can't let this pass. Movies keep us young. We see a person and watch a movie over and over and the person stays the same through the years. This is why I still have a thing for Loretta Young and Donna Reed. Do not, please, tell my son about Ms. Reed. She will always be his fantasy girl; his and his alone. Melinda Dillon, to me, is always going to be a youthful, blond lady. In movies, yes, but in real time she's nearly seventy years old. Shocking! I wanted to know if she was married or had a family so I googled. You'd have to be a real trivia buff on this one. Her hubby played the news editor in the movie, Fletch. He was also a spiritualist in Steve Martin's movie, All of Me. Can't remember? Well, google it! Usually I want a bio on the person so I type their name then wiki for wilkipedia. It's pretty slick. If they're excellent looking(a female) then I click their name and photographs. Understand, I find a reason to do this most nights. Three days ago I happened to be watching a TV Show with my wife called, Sell This House. The host is a young lady named Tanya Memme; Memme as in "memorable". She is all that and could be a double for Shania Twain. The google on her is she's a Canadian, too. It seems we import a lot of those. She grew up near Niagara Falls so that's kinda like being an American. Beauty contestant, singer, actress, and smart; I got all that from google. I'm guessing, Sell This House, will become my next most watched show---after NCIS.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Time Flies

January 1998 from Mike McCurry, Clinton spokesman, regarding the Monica Lewinsky mess: "more rather than less, sooner rather than later".
December 2008 from no Obama spokesperson, in particular, regarding the Rod Blagojevich corruption scandal: "less rather than more, later rather than sooner".

Notes on Labor and Security

Are you paying attention to cabinet appointments from our new leader? "We need to change the laws to take care of everyone out there". Hah! With that statement try and tell me socialism isn't geared up to take over in our new administration. The words came from Hilda Solis, newly named Secretary of Labor. This was only one of her unnerving comments after striding to the podium upon being introduced by The Man. Did you catch her act? Labor leaders: workers and management, did you hear her opening remarks? She gave significant segments of her acceptance speech in SPANISH! With her opening salvo Solis provided an invitation for all south of the border to c'mon in. Hilda Solis gives new meaning to staying in high school, junior high or quite possibly, completion of a GED. Solis makes Jocelyn Elders sound like, well, Obama.
The man of Hope and Change is now telling us that it won't happen in months but in years. There are going to be any number of the faithful disappointed while they try to figure out how to pay for their mortgage and put gas in their car. And I thought he was going to do it all and real, real soon.
Some of you think I'm a reactionary and pooh-pooh what I write as over the top but I'll say it again: the guy is a Marxist. All one has to do is say, "Hilda Solis" to understand. Take the time to read his policy statements. I have a friend who happens to be a hard core Lib. This person prefaces political comments with "I feel". That's the liberal in them. Conservatives preface their remarks with "I think".
Just in from the Fox New Channel; John Brennan, recently nominated by Obama to head the CIA has had his nomination withdrawn. According to news sources, a handful of Left Wing bloggers, guys like me except much more influential and on the other side, led the charge against and succeeded in bending Obama's ear. It seems Brennan was dogged in his pursuit of terrorists. Uh-oh! He even supported waterboarding. Oh my!
It has been revealed that David Bonier, former representative from Michigan(D) is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America Party whose branch office is in Boston. Bonier is a member of Obama's economic transition team. It also has been revealed that Hilda Solis, endorsed by the Socialist and Communist Parties of American, was the keynote speaker at last year's California Socialists of American convention. What a surprise.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Congressional Pay Raise

The elected and, some selected, on Capitol Hill got another pay raise over the night. It came to $4,700 per. To add to your tax bill multiply the pay raise by 545 to get the new total. If you're too lazy it's $25,615,000. They didn't vote on it since it's an automatic thing. In order to "freeze" their pay increases there has to be a vote approved by both houses of Congress. I'm sure that next year action will be taken to curtail the next raise. If not then, when hell freezes over.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Christmas Party

Elizabeth and I attended a Christmas party this evening. It was one of those old fashioned types that don't occur much anymore. Guests said, "Merry Christmas" when they walked in the house. We hugged friends we hadn't seen in months and told funny stories about ourselves, talked about aches and pains and spoke of our grandchildren. The younger guests reveled in stories of their children. I noticed how people were laughing. That's nice. I don't think I laugh enough and being around friends like these makes me laugh and smile.
The food and drink were marvelous. There was a hot punch, a glog thing with whipped cream on top. I ate peanut brittle. It's been years since I had peanut brittle; guess it's considered unhealthy. Does peanut brittle have sugar in it? My favorite snack is popcorn. I ate popcorn with crunchy sweet tidbits mixed in. The chilled shrimp were as big as Ballpark Franks and, along with the buffalo wings, I ate enough for a roomful of homeless people. They had bruschetta! It's one of the few things I eat with tomatoes. It was served with white cheese and came hot out of the oven. Even in Italy you can't get bruschetta with hot cheese. The coup de grace was the double chocolate cake. I held myself to two pieces ; the second piece I drowned in whipped cream just to be decadent. It was all fabulous. My friends had a real Christmas tree and it was filled with lights and all types of decorations. The house was festive. Good smells, good food, good drink and good friends were in abundance. It was a Christmas movie minus a curmudgeon, a cooked goose and a kid with a gimpy leg.
A brief topic of conversation was my internet postings. Our host mentioned how he enjoys them but thought I'd been on a rant lately. He didn't explain what type of rant but he's probably thinking "heavy material" so I thought I'd try to find more humorous subjects. This doesn't mean I can't make fun of political things. Consider what Will Roger's wrote. Making fun of politicians is just too easy. From the time we left the party it took an hour to mine the mother lode.
The subject for it was poetry. I came across these pieces of "poetry" at The American Thinker. I want you to be aware of this magazine article so you don't hurl your hurl at me. You are about to be treated to the writings of Elizabeth Alexander, professor of African American studies at Yale. Please read carefully and think: lava lamps, bongs, tie-dyed clothes and doobies. This is where she's coming from. It's straight out of the heyday of Dr. Timothy Leary.
Titled: Neoatology

funky, is
leaky, is
a soggy, bloody crotch, is
sharp jets of breast milk shot straight across the room,
is gaudy, mustard-colored poop, is
post partum tears that soak the baby's lovely head.
Then everything dries and disappears.
Then everything dries and disappears.
This is from the woman Barack Obama has selected to read her poetry at his inauguration. She is following in the footsteps of of Robert Frost for John F. Kennedy and Maya Angelou for Wm. Jefferson Clinton.
We're not finished yet. Next poem, please:
It's title is: Underground
Under water grottos, caverns
Filled with apes
That eat figs.
Stepping on the figs
That the apes
Eat, they crunch.
The apes howl, bare
Their fangs, dance
Tumble in the
Rushing water,
Musty, wet pelts
Glistening in the blue

The author of this is Barack Obama.
I'd like to offer my own opinion as to the winner but since I've never actually written a poem sober mine doesn't count. I select Alexander. The line about "the breast milk being shot straight across the room" has more of an earthy quality to it and is,well, slightly kinky. The "mustard-colored poop" thing was a big turnoff, though.
Sorry, Obama's just didn't do anything for me. Apes, fangs, wet pelts; what's up with that?
I wonder if Robert Frost can still roll over in his grave? Can Maya Angelou roll over in her grave if she's still alive? After being exposed to this I'm guessing she tries.
Pretty good entry, huh? And just think, it wouldn't have happened except for a Christmas Party. It is a wonderful life!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Caroline Kennedy & New York: A Taxing State

Isn't it sad that Caroline Kennedy has to kowtow to the Rev. Al Sharpton in order to gain his support for the Senatorial position from New York? Al Sharpton of all people. Isn't Tawana Brawley old enough for the job? Al Sharpton is now one of those New York figures who decides the fate of political candidates in the Empire State. The daughter of President John F. Kennedy is slavishly throwing herself at the feet of a racist troublemaker all the while seeking a positive word from him. What a joke!
The world is spinning out of control.
Speaking of New York: I had written that Governor David Paterson was considering asking his legislature to implement a 15% tax on soda cans that weren't diet in nature. I stand corrected. It's now at 18%. In addition, the guv also wants an increase in taxation on 88 specific items; normal things like increasing food taxes, clothes purchases, etc. Not to exclude the rich, there would also be increased taxation on beer and cigars, up to 34%. The list is too extensive to mention here. Wait!!!! He wants a tax on ipods and downloading your favorite music on them; a 4% tax. Need I add that Paterson is a liberal Democrat? I wonder how many vacationers will stay away knowing taxes will be added to hotels/motels and restaurants plus a 13% increase on gasoline?
Here's the all-time, big-time question: What does the Democrat Party in the State of New York do for the people that allows them to be overwhelmingly elected year after year? Stop me if I already mentioned that California has their own tax plans similar to that of their East Coast brethren.

Mattel Toys: Let's Boycott

Any grandparents reading this column? How about mom's and dad's? Finally, rather than reading about a subject and shaking your head in disgust why not take a stand to show your support for America.
I refer to a "talking" doll made by Mattel that has been on the shelves for a couple of months but as we approach Christmas the controversy of what it says has put it back in the limelight. Press a button and you distinctly hear, "Islam is the light". Mattel executives tell us that we are only imagining this and refuse to take it off the shelves. Think hard and long about this. It's Post World War II and we're doing business with the Japanese, again. Crappola! Pretend it's today! They send over a doll and it tells us that, "Shinto is the light" Give me a big time break, please.
Well, grandparents and parents: You have the power of the pocketbook. You can go to http://www.labelthatdoll.com/ or log onto www.service@mattel.com to vent/show your displeasure. If you want to start a big row why not just visit a store that sells these dolls and let the owner's know you won't buy any Mattel products, period, until the jihadist is removed. Remember what I wrote last week. Follow the money. It works every time.
I'm sure we can expect the usual suspects, ACLU, etc. to come to the aid of whomever so don't give out your name, phone number or address after you rip the heads off the dolls. Oops! Only kidding about that. I'm on a fixed income; can't afford lawyer fees.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

woof woof and meow

Just in from the New York Times: Betty Currie, Bill's secretary and wall of defense against Monica has a new job. She will be performing much the same job for Barack Hussein Obama. Didn't know this but Currie has been the caretaker for Socks the Cat. That would be Socks, who became famous when Hillary wrote about her family pet. Those damned animals can be so cumbersome when their owner leaves office. At least she got to enjoy her catnip. Buddy the dog, Bill's purchase to gain the sympathy vote, didnt' make it. He got into a fight with a car--while it was going down the street at 45 mph--in front of their Chappaqua home. Egg on my face. I thought Buddy bought it in Fort Marcy Park.

Education and Farming

New Secretary of Education designate, Arne Duncan, has been on the job as the Head of Chicago schools since 2001. Is eight years enough to develop a track record? During the extent of his tenure eighth grade reading levels show that 17% of the students are at that level. Math scores show that 13% have math scores at this grade level and writing abilities are at 23%. Duncan, according to Obama, is an education reformer. He is also one of his daily basketball playing pals. My teaching experience tells me that the Supt. of Schools is more involved in public relations than in the actual participation of the classroom. He, in this case, is like the King. We all know who is responsible for real teaching. It is that person in the classroom along with a wholesome environment in the home. But, his plans are his plans and have to be implemented.
A couple of statements brought up by Duncan earlier this week do offer cause for concern. He stated that he was totally against vouchers for students. This is great for the teacher's unions but bad for education, especially in the black community. Black families need the opportunity to seek a better way for their children. Furthermore, he said that he would like to see an all-homosexual, lesbian and gay high school in Chicago. It would provide a wholesome environment for students of an alternative orientation who fear being educated in an uncomfortable atmosphere. The school would be modeled after the Harvey Milk High School now being run in New York City.

Doggone it, I just can't let this go. Tom Vilsack, former governor of Iowa, has been selected Secretary of Agriculture. Vilsack is NOT an Iowan. I AM an Iowan. He was born in Pennsylvania. His wife was an Iowan and they moved back to her home state. Vilsack took a lawyers position in a small town in southeast Iowa, became involved in politics and was eventually elected governor. Tom Vilsack and I have the same qualifications for his federal position. We both like pork, eat sweet corn and sometimes wear plaid shirts.
Oh, here's something you should aware of when it comes to corn. All the corn you see on TV, growing on stalks on the rolling hills; it's not for human consumption. We Iowans know it's fed it to livestock. Cereal corn comes from other sources. Did you know that each piece of silk on a corn cob is the same number as the pieces of corn on its cob? Did you know that there is only one cob on each corn stalk.
A few weeks ago I mentioned I'd only been on a farm only a few times but I forgot something. When I played Little League a teammate lived on a farm and I'd ride my bike to his place quite often. It was fun. We hunted down mice in his barn, butchered chickens, slopped the hogs and rode the tractor. It was a great farm; looked the same as Jeff's place on Lassie.
Have you figured it out, yet? I'm just as qualified as Vilsack.

Is This Bio Necessary?

Little things I notice. One of our congresswomen from the San Francisco area is Anna Eshoo(D) and she has garnered my attention. She is promoting a policy of taking the Fairness Doctrine to it's ultimate level. If you aren't familiar with the Doctrine it basically says that radio shows must provide equal time for dissenting viewpoints. The FCC oversees this piece of government legislation. It was allowed to go away during the Reagan Administration but will likely be a topic of conversation in the upcoming Obama Administration. Since the 1980's, all-talk radio stations have increased from 212 to 2,140; mostly of the conservative type. There have been some liberal talk shows but for the most part they are around for a few months then fade due to lack of interest and advertising revenue; Air America being one of these. Congresswoman Eshoo wants to include satellite radio and cable news TV stations in the new FCC doctrine. You might ask; "wouldn't this destroy stations like MSNBC and Keith Olbermann?". Maybe, but this impact would be nil since viewership is pathetically low. I am not a huge fan of Bill O'Reilly at Fox News. I just really find him so full of himself that I find him difficult to watch. I don't think he needs to be "looking out for me". I can do it myself. Fact is, he just destroys Olbermann in the ratings and they share the same time slot. But, once again, the government is making rumblings at what we can or can't see or listen to. An implementation of this would be skirting the edge of communism since IT could take over total control of the airwaves.Then again, maybe this is only a rant from a typical liberal, West Coast nutcase, if there is such a thing.
Looking for more clues about Eshoo I went to her bio.
She is 67 years old, divorced with two children and writes that she is a Roman Catholic. I get so tired of explaining why this is so bogus I won't even try. But, why is it necessary for her to list her sexual orientation in her biography as "straight"? It'd be interesting to check every bio of every congress person to find out how many others do this. Is it because she's from the San Fran area? I mean, her picture belies her age. Air brushing can do a lot of good things for bad looking people but in her photo she's looking very attractive. I thought so, anyway, and when it comes to Liberals I can be more than selective. After all, when I think Liberal woman, I think Janet Reno or Madeline Albright. Maybe, just maybe, it's a lot tougher living in SF than one could imagine especially if one is as Ms. Eshoo claims to be--a straight person. Have you ever seen film of a Gay Pride parade?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Big Announcement(s)

Barack Obama has officially cleared himself and his staff in the Rod Blagojevich mess. Done. Finis, Over. Finished. Caput. Oh, it was just announced that Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, is on twenty-one federal tapped phone conversations. Hey, what's the problem? He's Obama's Chief of Staff. If he hadn't been talking with the Governor about a Senate replacement I'd be disappointed in the transition process.

Gov. David Paterson(D-NY), who took over for disgraced Eliot Spitzer, has proposed a 15% tax on all soda(Pop, for those of us who grew up in the "real" Midwest) that does not contain the word, "diet" on the can. He's trying to wipe out obesity in young children. When I was a kid a long, long time ago in the land of Oz we had never heard of diet soda, fat free food or low sodium foods. I was never introduced to a cooked vegetable until I got married. In my house, when we had seconds it might have been bowl of gravy. Mashed potatoes and gravy topped off by creme corn was dessert. What we did know about was something called a bicycle, outside games like "kick the can" and "ante, ante over". We did things such as throwing and catching a ball. We didn't have computer games. Maybe this why I'm heavy. I don't play kick the can anymore. That, and I eat too much.

I just finished reading an article from lucianne.com about a lady in the United Kingdom. She was pregnant with twins but because of the lack of facilities in four hospitals was required to travel 250 miles to these different hospitals to try and find incubators to keep her new babies alive. They were eventually born Caesarean. She said, "what started as a beautiful thing turned into a nightmare". I'm not sure why these people didn't call ahead to each hospital but the problem boils down to Universal Health Care.
Understand, I'm quite skeptical of government funded universal health care. Does anyone in their right mind, Democrat or Republican, think they can get it right? Yes, I am skeptical and a realist. There have been way too many horror stories on this subject.
I am reminded of a story about a man who dies and is met by the devil and an angel at a way station before entering heaven. The guy, let's call him Tom Daschle, was a passionate golfer. While on earth all he could think about was playing golf with all the great ones who had gone before him; Sam Sneed, Walter Hagen, Byron Nelson, his heroes all. They would play together all day and all night. It would be wonderful. Anyway, before his life's dream could be realized the angel and devil decided to show him around their golf courses. He needed to make a decision on where to spend eternity. The angel went first. They took the tour and the course of choice was nice but not special. It was the same course he had played his entire life; nice but the same old same old. Then, the devil had his chance. His courses were the same as Pebble Beach, St. Andrews in Scotland, Oakmont and, the best of all, Augusta National. Tom thought he had died and gone to ----. Tom's choice was easy. He told the devil he'd go with him. The angel only shook his head. The devil clicked his heels and jumped for joy.
Tom decided to play Augusta first. When he got to the course Tom was by himself and decided to go to the driving range to hit a few. As soon as he got there he asked the devil, "Where are my golf clubs?". The devil replied, "golf clubs? We don't have those things here. If you wanted to actually play you should have gone with the angel"
Health care? Be careful what you choose.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bernard Madoff

Wall Street trader and ponzi scheme bad boy, Bernard Madoff seemingly has extorted $50 billion dollars from some very wealthy influential and celebrity clients. It appears about $15 billion has gone to money heaven, according to various news sources. One thing that is difficult to find is the revelation from the MSM that Madoff was a huge donor to the Democrat Senatorial Committee to the tune of $100,00. I only came across it by reading the Radio Equalizer web site. Some of his favorite politicians were Chuck Schumer, Senator (D-NY), Hillary Clinton, Senator (D-NY), Frank Lautenburg Senator (D-NJ). Charles Rangel Representative (D-NY) and Ed Markey Representative (D-Massachusetts). Strange in that I always thought the Wall Street boys were Republicans or so we're led to believe. Thank God, I'm a registered Independent so I don't have to take sides.This is a bad one and could very well have world wide ramifications. Supposedly, Madoff told his sons what he had done and they turned Daddy into the proper authorities. Sad situation, though.

The Shoe Boy

An Iraqi news reporter performed the ultimate, non-violent insult, against our President yesterday. He hurled not one, but two of his shoes, at Mr. Bush.
No doubt, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Maureen Dowd and most all the print and television media will have a field day with this illustrating how hated we are in the world; showing how disastrous have been the policies of the President in Iraq.
I happened to read, from a pundit, another side of the story: Had this occurred six years ago that person(the thrower) would have literally been drawn and quartered and all female members of his family raped before being stoned to death.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Web

If interested, the Illinois GOP has come up with a new web site: http://www.friendsofblago.com/. It shows a "spider web" with the Governor in the middle and twelve boxes coming off the web. Beginning next week the GOP will add another person who is, according to them, at the heart of corruption in Illinois. They will continue to do so until all 12 boxes are filled. Already listed is Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn. If you aren't interested then do an Emily Litella from SNL, and "never mind".

Friday, December 12, 2008

Short Stop

No, this isn't about baseball. That was two days ago. It is about little things and not many words. I heard a speaker one time say, "if you can't say it in ten minutes then don't say it at all"
Think about this and try to remember the ramifications as they apply to your family, job, friends, relatives, acquaintances, politics and politicians, vacations, etc. etc. etc.:
1) The more things change the more they stay the same and,
2) Follow the money.
I read a column from a young man, Matthew Continneti, who works at NPR. He said that 60% of the American people support Obama's plan for improving America's infrastructure. I believe that EXCEPT: the American people give the Democrat congress a 13% approval. When asked about their own congressman he/she gets a much higher rating. I just wonder, how many of those 60% who support the infrastructure proposals-highways, bridges- will feel the same when they're stranded in traffic for an hour while their DOT is doing their thing.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Who Is Behind This Man

It's not my intention to kick a dead horse or beat the same drum. I'm not trying to keep on kicking the can down the road or trying to let the reader's know it's deja vu all over again but what is it with the selection committee of the President-elect? Today, again, another appointee from the Clinton administration. This time it's Carol Browner. Formerly, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency under Bill. Now she's been appointed the Energy Tsar. This is a conundrum since we will soon be having a Car Czar. Confusing, huh! What's the difference between a Czar and a Tsar? When I was a kid I thought one ruled Russia in the summer and the other ruled Russia in the winter but this guy wasn't quite as important as a Czar. Or, maybe it was the other way around. As long as I brought up the subject of the EPA, and as God is my witness, this is true: The EPA is pursuing a policy of charging cattle, pig and sheep farmers a "gas" tax but it's not a petroleum gas tax. It deals with the amount of CO2 emissions that are eliminated from the south end of these animals that float off into the atmosphere. The tax is to be imposed based on the number of animals a farmer has in his herd and could possibly create fines of $20,000 or higher---PER YEAR. This is so stupid even I cannot make this up but it's the price we pay for the global warming scare. Surprisingly, the Supreme Court voted to allow this to occur. But I digress.
When it comes to the Obama administration somebody has to be is pulling the strings in addition to the BHO crowd. I just don't have a clue as to who but it appears the Clinton's have a hold on the new administration. Obamaites either loved the way the Clinton's did things or BillHill have the goods on Barack. Think about it. There are just one heck of a lot of Clintonistas in place in some very important positions. We're either witnessing my premise or Obama is letting us know what we on the Right thought all along; he's unqualified and nervous about what it takes to be the President. The Bush tax cuts were going to be gone but now will be allowed to expire in 2010. Guantanimo would be closed immediately but rumors say that second thoughts are being given to this move. Just two days ago five of these thugish terrorists decided to plead guilty for their activities. The tipping point for me was when Barry asked current Sec. of Defense Robert Gates to stay on in the same position. People, this is a man who was appointed by the very hated George W. Bush. The Left and George Soros, in particular, had a conniption over this appointment. Considering the millions of dollars Soros gave to Obama there is something not quite right. You just don't mess with Soros.
In all fairness, Obama hasn't taken office and there will be some liberal positions enforced that will appease Obama's core constituency but it seems that the new power brokers in DC are more interested in seeking a center right than an all out leftward lurch. Coming from the most liberal person ever elected to the highest office in the land this is unimaginable.
Coming from the brilliant writer, pshychiatrist and television commentator, Dr. Charles Krauthammer, another viewpoint and a good one. It is strongly suggested that the reason for so many Clinton people is that Obama wants them to do all the foreign policy work while he only wants to be concerned with what takes place between the Atlantic and Pacific. This way he can concentrate on his economy and health care. If there's a problem on other shores he's more than willing to delegate success or failure to the foreign policy team. i.e. Hillary. Krauthammer is hardly a dummy and his assertion is more than likely worthy of consideration.
Somethings not quite right with the entire picture but we'll soon find out, won't we?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

CC Sabathia

My college pledge son frequently told me that money wasn't the most important thing in life but it was miles ahead of whatever was in third place. In the movie; Wall Street, Gordon Gekko, aka Michael Douglas, told us that "greed is good". That little phrase has wormed it's way into our everyday vernacular. I utter it frequently. I kind of like the phrase. Greed's okay if you use it wisely and for the correct reasons. I like money. Money is fun. Having money allowed me to take trips to Europe, buy nice Christmas presents for my wife and children, put my children through college and marry them off. It allowed me to play some very nice golf courses after I had purchased some top of the line golf clubs. I do have to mention, just so you'll know, I'm not a complete snobbish boob. Having had money allowed me to donate to churches and my favorite charities.
I was doing some of my good thinking on the treadmill this morning while watching ESPN. The major story of the day was the imminent signing of a free agent baseball contract by the New York Yankees to one, CC Sabathia. Mr. Sabathia, last season, started out as a star pitcher for the Cleveland Indians but mid-way through the season the Tribe unloaded the guy to the Milwaukee Brewers. I write "unloaded" because the contract for CC----from now on let's call him Cash Cow---- was going to expire. The Indians didn't want to see the guy take a hike and get nothing so they sold him to the Brewers for players and money. This sort of sounds like slavery but it isn't since Cash Cow gets to approve the deal. In the old days this didn't happen and it was pretty close to player/owner slavery. Anyway, at the end of the 2008 season the bidding for CC's services began in earnest. CC was only beholden to Milwaukee through the end of the season. I'm new to using eBay but what has transpired is pretty much the same. Sabathia put himself up for auction and watched the bidding wars for his services spiral upward. It appears that the New York Yankees have won the contest for CC at the rate of $160 million dollars for a period of seven(7) years. Yep! You read this correctly; $160 million dollars for seven years. Let's break this down. Seven years into 160 works out to $22,857,000 and change per year. The Yankees will be moving into a new stadium in 2009 with a sticker price of $1.3 billion dollars. Seating capacity is 51,800. In today's major league games a pitcher goes to work, takes 'the hill' for those of us in the know, once every five days. If he's very valuable and very strong, every four days. The idea is to get this pitcher to go seven innings; a grand total of 21 outs. Baseball is all about statistics so if that pitcher can get through the seventh inning by throwing 120 pitches or less then he is more than worth his salary price. After the seventh inning or 120 pitches there are other expensive players to pitch the eighth inning and a "closer"to pitch the ninth. The 'closer' position is getting to be really important. There are now 'closers' who have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame who pitched in the ninth inning only. Embarrassing to us old-timers, isn't it?
Grab yourself a calculator and divide the number of pitches made into CC's salary. You can come up with all kinds of statistics as to how much the guy is paid for each inning, each pitch, each time he gets a drink of water, each time he takes a potty break. It's almost breathtaking.
51,800 is the total number of bodies that can fit into the stadium, excluding standing room only types. Normally, except for opening day, a series with the hated Boston Red Sox, and end of the year crucial games plus playoff games most of those 51,800 seats will be dust collectors. It takes a lot of bodies in a lot of seats to pay for a salary of almost $23 million a year and, don't forget, CC's salary is just a small part of the entire salary of the New York professional baseball team. They are vying with the Chicago Cubs to have the best team money can buy.
The new stadium is across the street from where the old stadium, "The House That Ruth Built", was constructed. This means it's in the Bronx. If you've never been there the townsfolk can be a pretty tough crowd. I know since I see their kind on the Law and Order TV series. When their team doesn't win they hate like poison. I'm wondering how many of these Yankee fans, in their seats next April, watching Cash Cow perform, will have super bad thoughts about the salaries paid to those who run big business; those who are the CEO's of the Big Three. I can promise if CC throws a five hitter, strikes out 12 batters, and the Bronx Bombers take two of three from the evil Red Sox, $160 million will be an afterthought. So, you guys who actually work from nine to five, going nutso for a $160 million dollar man, thinking about the Gordon Gekko's on Wall Street consider this: Gekko just might be on 'the hill'.

Signs of Aging

The wife said to her husband: "what're ya goin' to do today?"
The husband replied: "nuthin".
The wife says, "That's what ya did yesterday".
The husband replied: " I wasn't finished yet"

Nowadays, if I go somewhere and need assistance from people instead of saying, "Mr. or Mrs", I say, "Young man or young lady".

When I go to church and it's crowded, some members of the congregation offer me their seat.

Men and WOMEN sometimes open doors for me

As soon as a teenager calls me, "old man", they're going to get decked.


Is David Axelrod a real person or Dabney Coleman in disguise? I wonder if he'll be a guest on the Sunday morning talk shows to let us know if O-man did or did not speak with Blagojevich about a senatorial replacement or, did David "misspeak"? . Ponder this: Barack Obama is the President-elect. The Governor of Illinois appoints a replacement for the President-elect. What moron thinks there was no conversation between Blago and the President-elect on whom he wanted to replace him? Golly, if only Mike Ditka had run for the Illinois senate seat. What a wonderful world it would be.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Every Christmas season, somewhere between Thanksgiving and the big day I give thought to the "holiday season". I'm one of those guys who always says, "Merry Christmas" just because it's the season of Christ. If you want to say, Happy Kwanza that's okay with me or "Happy Holidays is alright, too. One of our parish priests used to get bent out of shape when scholars or whomever would say, "it doesn't matter what religion you practice. They're all the same". Bear with me on this and read all the way through; Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Juchi, Spiritism, Judaism, Baha'i, Jainism, Shinto, Coa Dai, Zoroastrianism, Tenrikyo, Unitarian-Universalism, Rastafarianism, Taoism, Scientology.
Only one of these religions was begun by a man who allowed himself to be crucified so that mankind could have eternal salvation. And His story originates with Christmas.

Take Your Pick Tuesday

There is so much going on this morning it's going to require you to ferret out whatever strikes your fancy. It's a smorgasbord out there: Governor Blagojevich arrested in Illinois for allegedly selling O's office for cash and jobs. Someone wants candidate #5 named. Hmmm! Yesterday, Blagojevich appeared with Jesse Jackson, Jr. at a job protest along with JJ, Sr. Hmmm! It's not fair for me to speculate on this. Lord knows there are four other potential crooks on the appointment list.
Does Rod Blagojevich look like a gelfling, or what?
Quiz time: What city in the US is the most corrupt? Chicago, Newark, Detroit, New Orleans, Washington DC. Add your own. Don't hear about many west of the Mississippi.(St. Louis doesn't count). It might be the further west you go the more weird they get; San Fran, LA, Seattle, Portland. Is Salt Lake City strange or just stuck in the 19th century?
"Call in sick Wednesday". This is a policy for Gays. Every Gay in the country should call in sick every Wednesday to protest Proposition 8;
The naming of a "car czar", according to Nancy Pelosi. Headlines scream, "Nationalization".
Al Gore called in to meet with the President-elect.
Chris Dodd telling the CEO of General Motors he should quit his job. "Hey, Chris, when are you going to release your files on Country Mark"?
Barney Frank on the mortagage crisis----Yeeeooow and icky pooh! I wonder whatever happened to Gary Studds? Could it be that he's running a male prostitution ring out of his own apartment instead Barney's?
In case you forgot, Nancy Pelosi is still third in line to be President of the United States. Her big thing on the bailout is everyone "gets a haircut". Huh?
P.S. Just read a transcript from Patti Blagojevich, wife of the guv, regarding today's revelations. Oy vay! She's got some splainin' to do. Seems her mouth has been practicing the F word as much as hubby. Also mentions some jobs she wants for $$$$$$$$. This is going to be a ton of fun.
Jeremiah Wright, Rev. Michael Pflager, William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, Tony Rezko and now, Gov. Rod Blagojevich. And these characters are Windy City guys, only. What do we hear from the President-elect: "I didn't know". C'mon Barry, you nominated the governor twice, are a pal of his and there's nothing in his background to raise a red flag? Barack says he hasn't talked to Rod since before the election. David Axelrod, BHO advisor, says they spoke last week. Axelrod needs to get his story straight or he'll be sizing cement boots. It's Chicago, remember? The funniest will be when the dems and MSM start to circle the wagons.
Can't you just imagine what's going to happen after January 20. The nifty thing is that Republicans haven't opened their mouths; don't have to. Ringling Bros. is back in business.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Building Attitudes

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself"
FDR 1933
"It's only going to get worse"
BHO 2008
To date New Deal II reads as a re-hash of New Deal I. New Deal I was a bust! I expect to see Adolph Berle, Harry Hopkins and Harold Ickes in the cabinet and quite soon if they haven't already been announced. Is it possible to serve from the grave?
Post January 20 is going to be very interesting. One thing for certain is that the initial success of the new administration will be to keep the public in a crisis mindset. There were periods in the Carter and Clinton administrations when unemployment was higher than it is now but we're in a crisis mode. When FDR took over in March of 1933 the mantra of both Republicans and Democrats was that the house was burning down and to give the President whatever he wanted to put out the fire. No wonder he came to be called Franklin Deficit Roosevelt.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Birth Certificate

Is he or isn't he? As in, is he a citizen of the United States or isn't he? I'm not really sure but all it takes is to submit the required document to the proper authorities. His grandmother says she was with his mother when he was born in Kenya. His half-sister, said she was in attendance,too. Lawyers for the President-elect have spent nearly 1 million dollars to thwart attempts by those who are suing to see the birth certificate. The first person to do so was a man named Berg. He is a lawyer from Philadelphia and a member of Hillary's political team. There are a number of individuals in other states who are suing for full disclosure. It's only a $10 dollar certificate so I have to wonder what's the holdup in getting this birth certificate on record. I haven't spent a whole lot of time of this subject or even reading about it. It seems to be a lot like the Zapruder film. After forty-five years and nothing has been proven. I'm not really into conspiracy theories, anyway. If you want to get some inside info on this subject dial into http://www.canadafreepress.com/ and read an article by Bob Parks. I can't remember the exact title but it's somewhere in the ballpark of, "Obama is trashing the Constitution". Mr. Parks is a writer for the New Media Journal and his web site is Black and Right. Oh yeah, not that it's a big thing but he happens to be a black professional.
Electoral votes need to be certified soon and there are a number of writs before the State courts and the Supreme Court to see if arguments for halting electoral certification will happen. My concern would be precedent because there isn't any. I do know this. If the worst would occur we're talking Constitutional crisis and that's not a good thing. As Parks says, "most people who voted for the President to be could care less about the Constitution but what they would be concerned with is that a man of destiny would be disallowed to serve since he isn't a citizen of the United States of America.
If anything newsworthy is to take place it should happen December 5.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Uh-Oh; No Bling?

Just looked on a web site and it's(Minneapolis-Star Tribune) saying the Michelle's bling-bling is a no-no. I don't care. I thought my story made for interesting reading especially since the Star didn't put the kibosh on I anything I wrote about Michelle Malkin, smoking cigarettes or Kools.

Bling Bling

Just read a fun article from one of my favorite writers. In an earlier post I had written about some my of 'go to' sites and forgot a great one. The originator is Michelle Malkin and the website is: http://www.michellemalkin.com/ Today's column subject matter is the supposed $30,000 dollar diamond ring Obama-man is purchasing for Obama-woman just to thank her for "being there" these past two years. My missus, Elizabeth, has "been there" for the past forty years. No way she gets a 30K ring. Mrs. Malkins' take on this is quite thought provoking. She cites six reasons why this gift might be slightly hypocritical from statements made on the campaign trail by the "Terrific Twosome". Another nifty thing on the web page is a picture showing Obama with a ciggie hanging from his lips. One of 'His' worst kept promises during the campaign was when 'He' gave his word to Michelle O that 'He' would give up smoking if she would let 'Him' run for the most powerful office in the land. (Did you know that Obama smoked Kools? I hope you don't consider this a racist thing but, going back to my teen years, I noticed that Kools seemed to be the official smoke of black America. Check it out and get back to me.) Being a former smoker, I'd think running for the office would cause a person to really ramp up their nicotine intake. It would me. I get the urge to head for the woodshed just thinking about a bad round of golf. I read a column written by liberal pundit, Michael Kinsley, a few weeks ago saying that we should let Obama smoke because of the perplexities and stresses of the job. We need to cut him some slack on this nicotine thing, says Kinsley. Do you remember after the Monica/Bill episode when the incidence of oral sex in our junior high and high schools rose dramatically? So, now we need some justification to accept Obama's only human fraility. Can't you just imagine this coming from a kindergartner, "Hey teacher, this finger painting thing is going to make a basket case out of me if I can't bust a butt. When do we light up"?
Make sure, though, that you put Malkins' site on your favorites list. Her background just shows that life's journey takes some strange and wonderful twists. Her parents are of Filipino heritage and they happened to be in the US on visas some thirty-eight years ago when Michelle was born. She matriculated at Oberlin College in Ohio. For those of you who don't know, Oberlin might be one of the most leftist of small schools in the US. She got her start writing for several of West Coast papers.. Ms. Malkin is a frequent contributor to any number of conservative publications and is a guest commentator on Fox News. Not sure what happened but they don't use her much anymore. Her real claim to fame is the fight against illegal immigration and she'll hold people's feet to the fire on this subject regardless of their political affiliation. She's another brilliant mind who is very easy on the eyes(Pssst! Conservative women normally are) and, apparently, a wonderful wife and mother of two young girls.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Unemployment rate

Unemployment in the United States as of November 1, 2008 was 6.5%. Unemployment statistics on January 1, 1982, one year after Ronald Reagan took office, was at 10.4%. As Reagan said: "If your neighbor is unemployed it's a recession. If you're unemployed it's a depression" Every generation gives us a new set of homeowners, voters, taxpayers and chronic complainers. They think what is happening to them is occurring for the first time in history or, could it be that they should always be able to follow the yellow brick road without repercussion? This reminds me of what one of my students told me in 10th grade western civ my first year of teaching: "History? Why study it? Their ain't no future in it".

World-Wide Terrorism & the USA

In the wake of the killings that took place in Mumbai it should be noted that since September 11, 2001: There have been over 11,000 terrorist attacks in the world and not one has been in the United States. Is this blind luck on our part or does someone get the credit?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Secretary of Nothing

Just read that Hillary will officially be nominated for the position of Secretary of State on Monday, December 1. My response to this is, "so what". Being named SoS is all a part of the good ol' boy network. If the job is so damned important name for me three of them. Hurry up and do it. I have to go to the bathroom.
I'm willing to go out on a limb and suggest that 5% of Americans might be able to tell us who the Secretary of State is at this exact moment in history and, quite possibly, not even that many.
Hillary Clinton's experience in this area was as First Lady. She traveled a lot, especially with daughter, Chelsea. I remember her riding atop an elephant while in India. That, in itself, is a conflict of interest. She should have been on a jackass but that's a political thing. Oh, and Hill told us she was shot at while trying to land in Bosnia. This qualifies her for some kind of soldier pay, I think.
Here's another one who brought the office to a higher standing. Her name is Madeline Albright. Just hearing her name in conjunction with this post might make some want to rise and sing the National Anthem while wiping away a tear. The North Koreans were wiping away tears while she was SoS except they were tears from laughing so hard at her gullibility.
Just so you know, on this subject, I'm balanced. The current holder of the office is Condi Rice, a smart lady, but I'm not up on too many of her accomplishments while she's been next to the President. What we really need is someone whose name has some pizazz. Someone like John Foster Dulles. He was a long time ago but the name sounds good even though no one remembers much about him.
See, being the Secretary of State is no big deal. In Hillary's case it allows Obama to keep a close eye on her. The real winner in this is Bill. He can continue to shack up with whomever without fear of having to stay home in Chappaqua while the wife is nearby. The old ball and chain will be gallivanting around the world while he takes his daily dose of Viagra.
What a country!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Worst Economy Since?

Yep, I'd say that the American people have been bombarded with comments from news people and politicians since early October that this is the worst economy since dinosauers roamed the earth.
It's going to take some in-depth research on my part to come up with the number of businesses that have failed since we were all informed about this "October Surprise" which happened to take place just prior to the-----election. I try to take notice of how bad or good things are by being observant. I try to see what people are or are not purchasing. Where they are or are not going, other than church. This Black Friday thing is quite interesting. Maybe I've been in a coma but is "Black Friday" a relatively new term? Yes, I know that the day after Thanksgiving has always been the number one shopping day for businesses. But, in your earlier life, did you ever read any articles or see videos of shoppers lining up at 4 am to get all the bargains that just couldn't wait until 9 am? Geesh, I'm talking a lot of shoppers in this supposed really bad economy. There was even a Wal-Mart guy in New York, trampled to death, when he was crushed by Black Friday shoppers who forced down the doors at four in the morning. Truth be told, consumer sales on this years Black Friday exceeded those in 2007 by 3% and that's a fact.
As I write, it's a Saturday afternoon. While watching TV I have flipped back and forth through four college football games, one college basketball game and one high school state championship football game. College football stadiums on a big time level seat around 70,000 to 80,000 plus. If you happen to be Tennessee, Michigan or Ohio State over 100,000 can get crammed into those butt restricted seats. This is only an educated guess but I have to think that a ticket at most big time college games goes for around $50. Since I live in the heart of Ohio State Buckeyeland their end tics can bring $80 or higher.
I watched a few minutes of the the Ohio State vs. Samford basketball game. Ticket prices range from $20 and up. I ask you: in this time of the world's worst economy, would you go see Samford play basketball? If you were a trillionaire, would you go see Samford play basketball? I've got a better question? Where the heck is Samford? And people still go watch them play. See, times aren't all that bad.
Seems to me if fans can shell out $100 for ducats, gas, food and beverage to a football game we need to reasses this poor economy thing. I didn't factor in the high school game. Parents have to go to those things. It's in their kiddie contract.
The point to be made regarding all of these games is, there wasn't an empty seat in the house at any event I watched today and that includes Samford. One would be hard pressed to attend a professional football, basketball, hockey and major college football game and not find a sellout crowd.
Restaurants are another indicator. They're packed. You don't suppose we're headed for a class warfare civil war do you among eaters; KFC takes on Morton's Steak House in a rump kicking contest. If so, I'm putting my money on the KFC guys. I actually don't know if fast food is suffering but I do know that the big-time, richie richie steak joints have full parking lots.
I've heard a lot about car dealerships closing. Maybe this is a good thing; sort of like culling a herd of deer. Of course, we know the big auto/union bailout is going to be determining the impact of this and real soon.
Maybe some of my readers can come up with other illustrations for this supposed horrid economy. I'd hate to think we can all be talked into a bad economy but I bet we can.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ignorant Electorate

Seems there has been a lot in the news lately about how ill informed the American electorate was in the last election. 60% of Obama supporters cannot name one of his policies. Another poll was done by John Zogby illustrating how little his own supporters knew about him. The point in this poll was not to say that Obama supporters were stupid but to show how the media played such a significant role in determining public knowledge of issues. Example, Most thought that Sarah Palin wanted to ban books from the library or that she said she could see Russia from her front yard. People are force fed from the MSM but accept it as gospel.
One of my used to be favorite writers, Kathleen Parker, went over to the Dark Side prior to the election. She led a wave of anti-Palin writings against the governor of Alaska that would put a five yer old child to shame. Anyway, Ms. Parker wrote a piece on the ignorant electorate in America. It isn't a Republican, Democrat, Liberterian or Communist thing. It's an article on what the American people don't know about basic civics. This is no surprise to me. fWhen I was teaching high school, on the first day of class, I would give my junior history students a fifty question survey on what they should know. A typical question would be: What is the significance of July 4, 1776 or name the Vice-President of the United States. You get the picture.
A score of 50% would usually be grounds for throwing a party with lemonade, ice cream and cake.
Well, Mrs. Parker, in her column, told us that there is published a basic civics test for voters. It's a 33 question test. There were 2500 quiz-takers, including college students, elected officials, college professors and people selected at random. Nearly 1,800 flunked the test. Elected officials scored slightly less than the general public with an average score of 44% compared to 49%. Only 0.8% scored an A. If you would like to take the quiz you may go to http://www.aceofspadeshq.com/ then scroll down almost to the bottom of the page. It'll be a posting at 5:22pm. I think you might be able to retrieve it at http://www.nationalreviewonline.com/, too. I took the test. If you want to know how I did you'll have to ask. Furthermore, number one son scored 100% . He was given his mom's genes.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Adios To All

My son and I were talking about blogs the other day. He used to have one and did what I tried to do only he did it much better. He gave it up; says it's a platform for narcissism. I agree so I'm giving this up. If, however, you need a Mike-fix send scads of money to change my mind. I can be bought.

caloric intake and old goats

I happened to catch Dr. Isadore what's his name on Fox TV this Sunday morning. He gives sage advice on health and living longer for older people. Today he talked about fiber; something about peas, I think. I didn't realize peas were high fiber but the Dr. said we should eat more. I thought high fiber food might be shredded wheat, popcorn and hay but certainly not peas. He also said we need to exercise. That's pretty much common sense. We all exercise but only to varying degrees. Sometimes, my exercise regimen is walking to the mailbox which is all the way across the street. It's possible to live to be one hundred-twenty five or longer if we exercise properly and eat the right things, he said. The guy even profiled a lady who was 94 years old. She was lifting 3 lb. weights and riding a stationary bike.
Better yet, she had a "boy toy;" a younger kid who was only 90. They said something about Viagara but I plugged my ears; I just didn't want to go down that road, or maybe it was a case of jealousy.
The story ended up mentioning calories and how we should restrict them. Doc Isadore made a big deal out of cutting down calories. That's a hoot. He's big boy; might have to buy his suits at a tent and awning store.The fewer the calories one consumes he says, the longer we live. Somewhere I read, and I hope I'm right on this, an average sized man should have a daily intake of 2,300 calories.
I have one of those bodies that is "horizontally directional. It goes in and out without impediment. When I get really heavy I have a chest that would make Dolly Parton jealous. Check my closet and you'll know what I mean. I have pants with waistbands that read size 32 to 40. Saving size 34 makes me a positive thinker. Keeping size 32 slacks makes me a nut job. Since 1988 my weight has ranged from 188 lbs. to 261 lbs. It's interesting about being "fat". That person doesn't know it until they lose it. Then after you've shed the pounds your better half screws up the courage to tell you, "Wow, you were really fat". Once, when I was at my biggest, greatest, largest; I happened to be in Florida and stopped into a Burger King. I ordered a cup of coffee and as soon as I did one of the female order takers handed over a five dollar bill to her female co-worker. I saw the exchange and asked what that was all about. Her response was: "we saw you come in, made a bet and I lost. I had you for two Whoppers, two fries and a large shake". I think I started laughing but I might have been crying. Eventually, thanks to my good friend, Jenny Craig, I returned to near normalcy. Why was this narrative necessary? Well Dr. Isadore said that older adults should restrict themselves to 1,200 calories a day! Is he nuts? A plate of toe nails is more than 1,200 calories a day! Actually, 1200 calories would be equivalent to nine bowls of oatmeal. I can handle that. I like oatmeal.
I hope you appreciate my PSA. That's why I'm here.

Dr. Curt-Humility Redux

My wife and I recently had the opportunity to have dinner out with our dear friends, Dr. Curt and his beautiful and lovely wife, Amy. Curt has been a friend for nine years; first met him, where else, on the golf course.
In a very recent posting I wrote about humility and what it takes to achieve it. As a reminder, I had written that I felt self-confidence was the home base of humility. It's when a person is comfortable in their own skin.
I always know what's going to happen when we get together with the good doctor. He never alters his game plan. He grabs the check.
Those who have seen me belly up to the kitchen table know I can down a large meal in five minutes. I can eat an entire Longhorn steer in five minutes, hooves included. With Curt and Amy we sat, ate, talked and laughed for three hours and fifteen minutes. This is always a good sign. It means we're having an enjoyable evening. At the conclusion of our meal and when it was time to leave, The Man, predictably, picked up the check. I asked for a dutch" bill but he wouldn't allow it. It wasn't as though we were at Taco Bell or Arby's, either. It'd take the price of a down payment on a Cadillac Escalade to pay for this feast, tip not included. This wasn't humility on Curt's part but it surely was generosity. When we got to the front door and Curt needed to pay a one dollar bill to retrieve his wife's coat from the coat check lady he asked me if he could 'borrow' a dollar; seems his wallet was empty of cash. Let me remind you; the Pope doesn't have enough money to cover our dinner bill and this guy's asking to borrow a dollar. It gets better still. Both of our vehicles were in valet parking so I needed to give a tip for both cars. I'm virtually clueless about valet tips so I handed the kid eight bucks. What was Dr. Curt's response to my tip? "Mike, You an extremely generous man."
That statement, ladies and gentlemen, is humility.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Out of the Mainstream: Me?

Time to update an aspect of the November election. Initial numbers had shown that John McCain had defeated Barry Obama with the Catholic vote by 2%. This is a mistake on my part as the numbers have been updated. The President elect won the Catholic vote 54% to 45% McCain. I'll give some Catholics the benefit of the doubt on this. Is it possible that some were not even aware of his stance? After all, he did say that he wanted to reduce the number of abortions. Of course, every pro-abortion candidate candidate says this. Bill Clinton said this. Enough said. It could be that some members of my sect did not know of Obama's three votes allowing babies of botched abortions to die unattended. Maybe it wasn't talked about enough by the media. It wasn't. Maybe McCain only gave this aspect lip service. He did by not being specific.
It's one thing to say, I'm pro-life. It's quite another to give the graphic details of his opponent's stance but the Arizona guy didn't do it.
For me, there is no wiggle room on this subject. Period. There is no room for discussion. Period. There is no room for trying to find common ground. Period.
My son, a fine Catholic man, says we have to change hearts and minds first. Well, I don't have the time. I'm closing in on the 'check out' generation.
There are any number of types of Catholics; Cafeteria Catholics come to mind. They like to pick and choose what fits their lifestyle. Some Catholics are Cradle Catholics who lose interest and just don't go anymore. Some Catholics are C&E Catholics. They attend to Mass twice a year. The Church says they're out if they don't attend on Christmas and Easter so they just need to do the minimun to cover their you know what's. Personally, I don't care how Catholics practice their faith. I don't care if they attend church. Some of the most Christian people I know don't attend any church. Lord, knows I have enough trouble taking care of myself. In the big picture, though, don't tell me you're a Catholic then turn around and vote for someone who supports infanticide and in the process come up with every lame excuse to do so. One can't call themselves Catholic unless they practice the laws of the Church.
As I wrote in an earlier essay and will continue to write: pray for the unborn. Theirs is going to be a gruesome death. I wouldn't be so upset about this subject except I just found out Obama got 54% of the Catholic vote to McCain's 45%.

My Presidential Secret

As the sun sets on the George W. Bush administration: after the attack on The World Trade Center, Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, did anyone think we could go this long without being attacked again? Be honest. You didn't?
I'm about to divulge something so embarrassing most won't believe what I'm about to write. My fingers are near arthritic just thinking about having to do this. There was a time in my life,(please, God, let me get through this ordeal) when my children were in their pre-teen years, I voted for President based on a specific detail. I decided that if a President had served his first term and had kept us out of a nuclear war I was willing to give him a second opportunity. I took the job of the executive office literally: to protect us from foreign invaders. You might now understand what I'm getting at. In the wake of 20% interest rates, automobile gas lines, lowered thermostats and American hostages, I voted for arguably one of the three worst Presidents of the 20th century. Yes, my philosophy has evolved and I now know that the party of surrender and retreat will continue be this way. The aftermath of Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia should have convinced me but at the time, I just didn't think it through. Millions of slaughtered southeast Asians abandoned by Democrats should have been my wake up call.
I have never voted for President based on the economy and, hopefully, never will. Any normal high school grad should understand something called econ 101; recessions, depressions, recovery, prosperity. They are an integral part of the capitalistic system. If you can't live with it try totalitarianism.
Only my wife knew this story and to her credit she has kept her silence these thirty three years.

Egg on my Face?

My wife, Lizzie, and I are residents of Minnesota where we enjoy our time at the lake--for six months out of the year. When the leaves have fallen and the daytime temperature drops to the 40's, sometime around the end of September, we make a hiatus to Ohio. Since we were gone from our home for the November 4 election I had an absentee ballot sent to our winter home. As a newly registered Minnesotan I wasn't familiar with many candidates on the ballot but I did know the guys running for the US Senate. I'm referring to Norm Coleman and Al Franken. I'm not a big Coleman fan but the alternative; I don't think so. I filled out my ballot and mailed it in but on election day, my ballot came back to Ohio. It seems I had filled out all the required information but neglected to do something more than necessary-- sign the ballot. Holy Moses! As of today the recount shows Coleman up on Franken by 136 votes. You don't suppose, do you?

Dems, Autos and Failures

Yesterday, I happened to watch Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank bluster on about the auto bailout and conditions that had to be met before the $25 billion dollars went their way. I howled out loud. I actually laughed b/c it was so hilarious. Granted, Big 3 management has more than their share of the blame as does the power of the unions but these Democrats in Washington need to consider their culpability in the failure(s) of the auto industry. They are trying to be tough on the industry when they are greatly responsible for maintaining the problem:
(1) CAFE(corporate average fuel economy) standards set by the government restrict free enterprise and limit vehicle choices; (2) the government's corporate tax rate, after Japan, is the second highest in the world. It's now at 35% or close to it. Ireland has the lowest in the world at 10% and industry is thriving. How do I know? It's a haven for foreign companies, that's how. It's no wonder these people want to go to The Emerald Isle. It's called profit. High corporate tax rates restrict competitiveness by the US on the world stage resulting in loss of sales then loss of jobs. It's a world economy, folks. (3) petroleum restrictions on domestic drilling. Automobiles use fossil fuels. It's a natural resource and we, in the United States have billions and billions of potential barrels to tap. Democrats want to move to a re-tooling of the industry and go green. I think they're talking about electric cars. I'm not a fan of plug ins and with the amount of domestic oil available why not utilize it while we can. In the meantime look into alternatives. Some of our congressmen have said, "why drill, it's going to take ten years to reap the results. In the same vein, "why continue to research cures for cancer. It might take up to ten years. Here's something else to consider about oil corporations. Prior to the last election I heard a constant drumbeat about Exxon, etc. and their excessive corporate profits. Well, Americans, who do you think does all the exploration to meet our daily needs? The oil companies spend billions to make our lives better. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think the oil companies make an eight cent profit on every gallon of gas. The Federal government makes anywhere from twenty cents to thirty cents a gallon for doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Just as with your tax burden the Federal government takes what they want without your input. (4) the most important part of the bailout, according to Barney Frank, is to save the unions. He has said in the last few days his priority in the bailout is to save the jobs of the blue collar worker. The $25 billion is only a drop in the bucket, according to Frank. He further stated they(blue collar workers) will need up to $100 billion to survive. I'm suggesting the Democrats demand the UAW think about re-tooling their own contracts first.
In the final analysis, our Democrat congress lays down the law to the auto industry but they are the biggest part of the problem, not the solution.

Peace of Mind

Wish I had been the author of what's printed below. I have a copy in my wallet. It can be of great help when one is going through internal turmoil. I wish I knew the author but I don't. My friend, Keith, sent it to me.

There comes a point in your life when you realize
who matters,
who never did,
who won't anymore...
and who always will.
So, don't worry about people from your past,
there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future.
Give this heart to everyone you don't want to lose.
'Be kinder than necessary
because everyone you meet is fighting
some kind of battle'.

The Vetted Monster

I had written a few days ago about detestable words; those that should be kicked out of the dictionary. One of them was this years political winner; 'vetted'. Being a former resident of Davenport, Iowa, I check out the local newspaper daily. Remember? I have to satisfy my obituary curiosity, too. Regardless, I saw a news blurb about a "vettfest". "Wow", I thought. There's going to be a get together of of vettophites; people who hate the word vetted or, God forbid, love it. I imagined 'vettophiles dancing around a huge fire offering chants to the Vettgods. What a relief! They were a group of Corvette lovers. This was a simple and gratifying explanation and a large load off my mind. It also reminded me of what my buddy, Craig, said to me when I told him my sister was going to marry a vet(t). He wondered how anyone could fall in love with a car.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

California Dreamin'

Seems to me when there is a state vote on a constitutional amendment the majority vote should rule. I don't recall the conservative side losing a vote, then rioting in the streets, vandalizing churches inside and out and physically attacking those who disagree with them. This includes old ladies carrying crucifixes. But it does occur on the left. It's been happening every day, all across the United States, since the election took place. When this type of intimidation doesn't work to their satisfaction they take their case to the State Supreme Court. The hope is that they can secure a sympathy vote to overturn the election of the people by having the judiciary make, rather than interpret, the law. I, of course, refer to Proposition 8 outlawing gay marriage in California. It isn't up to me to say whether it's right or wrong. Actually, I'm lying. Homosexual marriage is wrong. Some of you might ask, "how can you say that"? Well, kissing another man and doing all the other stuff that goes with it just seems, well, icky. I'm not ready to offer an opinion on lesbian marriage because----I'm a man. I'm only kidding. It's wrong, too. Seriously, folks, civil unions: no problem. Marriage: I don't think so. What's next? Some guy falls in love with a shetland pony or his pooch and wants to make it permanent. When we dismiss the concept of A MAN and A WOMAN we've neutered everyone and everything. Whew! the legalities of this boggle the mind. The point in my original premise is this: the lefties who pride themselves on acceptance, diversity and tolerance and who support a big tent are a big hoax. Have you ever seen a conservative speaker get a pie thrown in their face by some cutesy college student? How many times has a liberal disrupted a speech given by a conservative while trying to make a point? I have the answer in a word; hundreds. It's a part of their culture. I will wager there is not on record a conservative group, college or otherwise, that has disrupted a liberal group or speaker from the other side let alone put a smack down on their face and body. I'll give you an example. Just the other day Bill Ayers, known radical terrorist, was invited to give a speech at Georgetown University(a Jesuit school). He was not harassed. In actuality, he was applauded by the attendees. How many think if Ann Coulter had given a speech in the same setting she would have been given the same treatment? Raise your hands. C'mon. There has to be someone out there. See. It wouldn't happen and the last I knew Ms. Coulter hadn't bombed any buildings.
This is the reason conservatives are more tolerant. I know I am. Why, just today a lady came to our house to install new drapes. She was an Obama supporter. I wanted to say, "how could you be so stupid", but I didn't. I didn't rap her upside the head, either. I am one tolerant kind of guy.

Helloooooo Minnesota-election 2008

"It's not who votes. It's who counts the votes."
Nikita Khrushchev

Word Games

Words in everyday use are like colds. Some attach themselves to our daily lives and we just cannot get rid of them. I read an article that came out of England awhile back that told about words that should be stricken from our down dead! They had a top 10 list. Some words we just beat to death. Initially, they remind us of a song we feel is on a par with something that came out of Mozart's head. After listening to it for a thousand times or so you hope it disappears forever. Does the Chipmunk Song or One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple People Eater, ring a bell?
For us folks over sixty or even you youngsters over fifty was there anything more irritating than "groovy". Any type of food was groovy. Church was groovy. Even toilet paper was groovy. For me, never hearing the word again would be groovy. I suspect every generation has their word or word phrases. It establishes their identity. Go back and check out the 'Roaring Twenties". The decade was a menagerie of catch words and phrases. Newspeople have given us two words I want to throw into a pot of boiling oil. How did the word 'gravitas' come to be so special? Dick Cheney had 'gravitas' but George Bush didn't.
Anybody familiar with 'vetted' before this last political go round please contact me. If vetted was torture it would be water boarding.
Right now, today, if I never hear the words awesome and amazing it'll be much too soon. I think these came out of Hollywood. My guess is it was Pamela Sue Anderson who uttered awesome first, as in, "PETA is just awesome" or "If I could act it would be awesome". The words awesome and amazing are interchangeable.
Another word series I cringed over came out of Gulf War I. Journalists and Ted Kennedy constantly reminded us that this war was going to be a quagmire for the United States. Saddam Hussein's Elite Guard had the ability to 'hunker down' and outlast the US Forces. Please be reminded that the United States had defeated Germany, Japan and Italy in the greatest conflagration of the twentieth century. Yeah, they hunkered down alright. Then they threw up their arms faster than the French did in WWI and WWII combined.
Everyone has their own wordophobia. Feel free to add to my list the ones that cause you a bad case of shingles.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Reading Obituaries

When reading newspapers I go through a specific sequence. Up to the age of thirty it was the sports page only. Since then it's letters to the editor followed by the national news section. After that it's on to the local news, weather and, recently, I've added obituaries.
People who read obits, I suspect, do it for the same reasons: (1) to find out if we know the recently departed; (2) to see how many are younger than us. It can be a bitter sweet experience. You feel sad for them and their family due to their youth. Still, it's a victory of sorts because we're still breathing. I recall a student of mine giving me a good natured verbal blast on my thirty-fourth and I irreverently responded; "Well, I beat Jesus, didn't I"? (3) some look for interesting obits. I read an obituary two years ago that took up the entire length of the page. The deceased had more experiences than Hugh Hefner. It was as though he had climbed Mt. Everest and written children's books.. Whoever wrote about him liked that person a lot. I hope they got over their grief.
I've also noticed that when pictures are included with the obit they are of two types. If the person who dies is over the age of eighty and they are men the picture is current unless he was in the Armed Forces. Then we get the uniform picture. If it's a woman over eighty somebody sticks in a picture of when she was twenty-five. It's easy to tell how old she was since the photo looks like it was taken just prior to her making a mad dash to a Benny Goodman concert.
Reading obits is directly proportional to one's age. My kids don't. I do it every day.
Obituaries also remind me of an early teaching experience and it took place in 1974 . Education was unusual in the 70's; seems we were inundated with weirdo curiculum. The English department in the new school I was hired to coach basketball and teach was offering scrabble, crossword puzzle and the most popular subject, comic book reading. Go figure! The History department was not far behind. Since I was the "newbie" I was assigned a new subject, Thanatology-the study of death and dying. Come to find out, I was the first high school instructor in the nation to do this. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross had published the first Death and Dying text so I borrowed greatly from her. It seemed students were crawling out of the woodwork to take my class. I thought my excellent teaching credentials had preceded me but then the truth was revealed. "New teacher-basketball coach-easy class-easy A".
In the final analysis the class turned out to be rather successful. We did the trips to the funeral home, studies of world traditions, visits to cemeteries and even a pet cemetery. How can I ever forget the grave stone that read: "Hear lies Fluffy-struck down by a truck".
One requirement was to have my students write their own obituary. It was a reality thing and I didn't expect much. At seventeen what can a person write; played Little League, ate an ice cream cone, kissed Mary Lou, went to the prom.
Obituaries are fun to read. Ben Franklin had a good one. Try it yourself and see if you do it honestly. It can be quite humbling.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Workings Of A Busy Mind

My body is in need of many workouts so I found myself on the treadmill at the local rec center this morning. With no television to distract I was forced to do my thing while looking out the window at trees and grass. It's amazing what goes through the mind when your subconscious takes over. I had thoughts on a variety of subjects in no particular sequence. My brain was a buzz of activity. It has to be this way for everyone. Here are some observations I made:
*I have five very best friends in the world. I'd be safe in wagering they're more my best friends than I am theirs but here's the gist; They make me feel a whole lot better about myself after I've left them that when we first got together. What a wonderful quality they have.
*My friend, Steve Hinkley, should be a stand up comic. He is that funny.
I don't mind being his personal pin cushion, either.
* Vermont and Minnesota are communist states. New York and California aren't since they think they're mainstream.
*I love being a native Iowan. If you haven't spent time there you should.
*Why is it when the Iowa Hawkeyes are on TV the networks show a picture of corn, cows and a barn? I lived there from birth to age 42 and except for having a farm girl girlfriend for a brief time in high school, never got close to the farm.
*Government bailouts are hand outs, not hand ups. I predict if the bailout of $25 billion goes to the auto industry earmarks will jump it to $100 billion.
*I wonder how many congressional democrats send their kids to DC public schools.
*My children have never done anything to disappoint their mother or myself.
*I am a very fortunate man.
*The most important quality a person can have is humility. It's a trait that bothers me because I have to constantly think about putting others ahead of myself. I don't know for certain but I think it's something that has to be instilled as a young person. It's that ability to suppress an ego and stay out of the limelight. These people have the power to be comfortable in their own skin. Self-confidence is the home base of humility.
*If you are going to be hired by a company check out the humility of your superior. If he's humble, take the job.
*We have a swan in the pond behind our new condo. I think that's nice.
*While doing some weightlifting I noticed I was in a room with blue haired ladies and quite a few bald men sporting hearing aids. This might make me OLD.
*How did I get so old so fast?
*Is it okay to look at pretty woman and hot babes when you're in your 80"s? I hope so.
*I have met some very interesting people in my life; celebrities and regular Joe's
*Golf is the best game invented. What I wouldn't give to be really good at the game. As I've gotten older I realize it's not the course you play but the people you play with.
*The two most interesting God made things I've seen are The Grand Canyon and The Redwood National Forest. Until I visited St. Peter's Basilica I thought The Palace of Versailles was the most impressive man made structure I'd seen. The very best and most scenic golf course I have played is Old Head at Kinsale on a peninsula in southwest Ireland.
*In my last job that lasted twenty years and from which I retired I can say the following: there isn't one bad thing I can say about my boss, every employee and the company in general. I wonder how many can say that.
That's it for my rec center brain scan for today. I can hardly wait for tomorrow.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Why Computers Crash

This won't come as a big surprise to anyone who knows me but when it comes to the inner workings of a computer my IQ is comparable to a lichen. I turn 'em on and shut 'em off. That's my expertise. I'm not computer savvy, okay! I've been a computer user for ten years. The first eight was company forced. The last two has been because it's become an addiction. I'm not especially proud of this but I can remember days when I've been lying on the couch watching TV, with a computer on my lap, and eleven hours later it's bedtime.
Three days ago my computer caught one of these things called a virus. It was anti-virus 2009. From what I understand it's the real bad one. I took my computer to a fixit store and was told it would cost $200.00. Ouch! Being sort of a cheapskate I called Dell and they put me in touch with Microsoft based out of the Phillipines. Voila! Three hours later the computer is cleaned and up and running at no charge! Being computer stupid does have it's privileges. While talking with my Filipino friend I convinced him I was really, really stupid; more stupid than stupid could be. I actually overdid my computer ignorance in this area but what eventually happens is that my expert friend asks if I can just turn over the computer to him. "No problem", say I. From then on I retire to the TV room with the phone next to my ear while he does all the work. Every so often he'll ask a question and I respond with, "Uh-huh". When he's done I say, "thank you" and I'm back to being my normal ignorant self.
Care to guess the number 2 cause for a computer virus. It's YouTube. That's how I picked it up. Long story short: I was reading about a New England Patriot's cheerleader who was kicked off the squad because she had racial and pro-nazi slogans on her Facebook page. I have two comments on this: (1) what in the world was she thinking? (2) Since she's a big-time cheerleader I figure she had to be pretty good looking so I wanted to check her out. As soon as I clicked on the video the computer crashed. Now you know what not to do.
Another question: Can you guess what web site(s) are the number one carriers of viruses? Easy one, wasn't it?

ACORN And The Catholic Church: Hang Onto Your Wallets

How would you like to save some cash? I thought so. Sunday, November 23 is scheduled to be a day set aside at Catholic Churches across the US to collect donations for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. In essence, the cause is good. Money is collected to provide help for the needy. However, the CCHD is an arm of ACORN. Unless you haven't yet fallen from the Christmas tree, ACORN was significantly involved in voter fraud in the past election. Also, the brother of the founder of ACORN, Dale Rathke, has been accused of embezzling nearly $1 million from the organization. The CCHD has donated $7.3 million to ACORN in the last decade. Because of this controversy discussion took place at a meeting of Catholic bishops in Baltimore last week according to CNN news. A news release was issued by the auxilliary bishop of New Orleans, Roger Marin stating: "the Catholic Church is cutting all ties to the CCHD and ACORN".
Now is when it gets interesting. Last week I confirmed this edict with a representative of the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio and, yes, according to a spokesman from the Diocese all donations were to cease immediately. At today's Mass in Dublin, Ohio there was a blurb in the Church bulletin encouraging parishioners to give to the CCHD next Sunday. I e-mailed the monsignor about this and his response was that he had not received any directives from the Diocese but would call tomorrow(11/17) to confirm. This does not surprise me that there is a lack of communication between the Parish and the Bishop. Sometimes the locals absolutely ignore what comes from the top. I'm not saying this is the case here but clarification would make life for parishioners a lot easier. I have a number of priest friends. Believe me, politics runs deep within the Church. Priests are men of God but they are also men, period. Please, let me state again: the collection for CCHD is to take place across the nation on the 23rd of November. I'm betting a lot of folks are going to be duped ----AGAIN.