The Old Blame Game

My favorite guy was on television today explaining the “slow down” for me. Nothing new, I know how to play that game Dubya … Here is one for you …. “Almost Pregnant.” One popular television jingle for tourism down south is “Texas, it’s like a whole nother country, Ya’ll” and now we realize why.

I had it all wrong evidently. Now I will be able to tell all those Con Edison folks in New York, that are 45 days behind on their electric bills, that everything is just swell. I don’t know what your problem might be.

Con Edison is currently turning off 600-650 accounts each month because of non-payment, 3,500 GM workers went to the house yesterday as GM shut down five plants that build pickups and SUV’s. It is about $6,000 to fill up a Lear Jet with fuel these days ($5.21 per gallon).

I suppose Kellog’s in Battle Creek Michigan will be changing Tony The Tiger’s ….. They’re Great! … To a new slogan …. Sure Is Slow Nowadays huh?

The U.S. economy lost 80,000 jobs in the month of March and the numbers are expected to get worse according to those “outside the White House.” Some economists predict that as many as 2 million people could lose their jobs by early next year, when the jobless rate is expected to peak at about 6 percent. Show me the rainbow in that.

The credit card folks have come up with a new wrinkle, the government didn’t bail them out, so they are raising the interest on selected cards. Discover I understand is going to 31% and some cards, across the board, 100% increase. All of the sudden the tree house in Costa Rica is looking better and better, as long as the current price for banana’s holds up, check with me tomorrow.

People in Hood River Oregon might have the answer? Some people there are interested in making Eastern Oregon its own state. Citizens feel they don’t get their fare share from the state government. If a complicated and lengthy process of separation ever played out, the new state line would stretch from east to the Cascade Mountains to the Idaho Border.

The state of Missouri has issued millions of new license plates containing a grammatical error, but officials say they won’t be correcting it. The new plates proclaim Missouri the “Show Me State.” Since this nickname contains a compound modifier before a noun it should read “Show-Me State.” A Missouri spokesman says the design and wording on the new plate was approved by motorists in an online poll.

“If the people want it that way,” he said, “that’s what we’re going to deliver to the people.”

Hot on the heels of his explanation for why he no longer wears a flag pin, presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama was forced to explain why he doesn’ follow protocol when the National Anthem is played.

According to the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 171. During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform are expected to stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart.

Obamma has reportedly quoted as saying, “As I’ve said about the flag pin, I don’t want to be perceived as taking sides,” Obama then said. “There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression. And the anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all. It should be swapped for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song … ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.’ If that were our anthem, then I might salute it.”

Are you kidding me? I don’t know what he and his preacher are smoking, but I would like a bag of it for the weekend.

Perhaps it is time to throw in the towel … If these two are the best we have. Pull the stars and stripes down the pole, turn it upside down, and fly it in that manner. (International Sign for Distress) Everything else seems to be unraveling around here.

After watching this debacle on all the channels this day, it is apparent that the only people who know how to run this country are those driving the cabs or cutting hair. The rest of us appear to have a bright future in delivering pizza’s to each other, not withstanding, very slowly.

The Democrats claim they got the gas, and the Republicans are hitting the brakes, the rest of us are just bumps in the road I guess. The only possible relief we may get from all of this is for Quail Season to come early this year, and hope Dick Cheney takes Dubya with him.

I’ll vote for that.

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What Were You Thinking?

Man Of The Year! What was Hanna Montana’s Daddy (Billy Raye Cyrus) thinking? Leaving a kid with a room of photographers and allowing her to make her own decisions on important issues. Seems like Dad kind of dropped the ball for his child if you ask me. Perhaps he is trying to drum up some new business for his sagging career. Isn’t it sad, when adults live vicariously thru their own children, and in this case, the word exploitation always seems to come to mind.

Not so long ago, the question of the day was why are kids killing themselves and/or their parents? Why are they inflicting so much pain on each other? And as usual, the experts, the soothsayers, have offered up nothing but theories of psychological nonsense. (How’s That Working For You?) Meetings were hastily arranged, and then just as quickly, disassembled and passed off into obscurity.

The battle is as always … In the Home. It appears in this case, there was “no one home.”

The father/daughter shot or pose, was a little provocative for me, and I assure you, I am not a prude. It all seems just a little bit perverted or sick in the end. When questioned about all this, Cyrus explained all this off by saying, “Annie is hard to say no to.” And that was that.

What a cop out. Reasoning, tested by doubt, is argumentation. We do it, hear it, and judge it every day of our respective lives. We do it in our own minds, and we do with others. What we do NOT do is leave it up to children. Someone dropped the ball on this one that is for sure.

Whatever happened to Seventeen Magazine, why Vanity Fair? Hanna Montana is going to grow up, all of us, eventually grow up. What is the rush? Fifteen is a magical time in life, something this teenager will sadly miss one of these days.

So here we sit again …Victims of our own foolishness. It is no small wonder that the rest of the planet watches us and then judges us totally out of our gourd. Our acceptance of violence and evil has sealed our fate and our society. Things that we found personally offensive 30 years ago are now common place — No Big Deal — shrugged off.

Unfortunately the walking wounded, the brain dead, are our children, it is enough to break your Achey-Brakey-Heart.

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Loose Caboose

Today I am sitting here and I am contemplating the providence of a U.S. Senator providing the income for someone to purchase 21 railroad cabooses with tax payer money and consquently, build a caboose motel in Pennsylvania, I just don’t understand it.

Then I think about the elections, “I don’t personally approve of a woman who goes to a bar and drinks Tequila Shooters,” but on the other hand, “he only bowled a, what was it, a 37?”
Man, I am going to really get ugly in November …..

I used to be a lover, a fighter, and a dirty old boxcar rider …. Worked for a major U.S. Railroad and I am here to tell you, a railroad caboose is the LAST PLACE IN THE WORLD you would want to sleep in, yet alone spend the night. Unless of course, you are currently in the employ of a major U.S. Railroad.

I don’t know a whole lot about modern day U.S. Railroads, but I know this …. “You get three railroaders together, and you have an EXPERT on any subject in the world!” My somewhat dubious credentials on this subject having been duly established, I will continue.

The U.S. standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That’s an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used? Because that’s the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the U.S. railroads.

Why did the English build them like that?

Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that’s the gauge they used. Why did ‘they’ use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?

Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that’s the spacing of the wheel ruts. So who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England ) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

Isn’t this fun? (Stay with me now)

And the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot.

Bureaucracies live forever!

So the next time you are handed a Specification/Procedure/Process and wonder “What horse’s ass came up with it?” … You may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses. (Two horses’ asses.)

Now, the twist to the story. (Assuming you have stuck with it this far)

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRB’s. The SRB’s are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRB’s would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRB’s had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.

The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRB’s had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses’ asses.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world’s most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse’s ass. And you thought being a horse’s ass wasn’t important? Ancient horse’s asses control almost everything and …CURRENTLY … Horses Asses are controlling everything else too!

Tomorrow we will discuss Pasty-White-Faced Hereford cow’s and just how it is that they feel about being blamed for greenhouse gas emissions and of course, “being rounded up by cowboys and herded around like Jet-America passengers.”

Don’t miss it …

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Pork Barrel

The following is a list of some of the recent pork barrel spending our Congress has made, just a tiny fraction of a $3 trillion dollar annual federal budget; it is money that arguably either could have been spent better elsewhere or not at all.

$14 billion on Boston’s Big Dig, a 3.5 miles stretch of underground highway (that leaks water and has already resulted in the death of at least one motorist because of shoddy construction). $500,000 granted to a Teapot Museum in North Carolina. $1 million (sponsored by Hillary) to a Woodstock Rock festival.

$3 million to an organization called the First Tee (promoting character development and life enhancing values thru the game of golf, uh huh, I am sure). $500,000 to purchase 21 retired railroad cabooses for a proposed “Caboose Hotel” in Titusville, Pa.

A friend of mine has one in his back yard, he bought it for $2,100.00 from the now defunct Santa Fe Railroad. $750,000 for an Asian Equities Research Center in Kansas City, Missouri. (Good information where people in Missouri can make sound investments) $150,000 earmarked to “fix all the plumbing in his district’s Italian restaurants (this one needs a little explaining, don’t-cha think?). $800,000 to form a study on why children do not like to eat vegetables (I don’t like squash, fried or otherwise, I will take $50,000 please).

I am sure that you get the picture by now, there are even more, we have just scratched the surface. A million here and a million there, why, the first thing you know, we will be talking about some REAL money. My favorite, the absolute best, has to be the bridge to no place. Alaska’s infamous $223 million “bridge to nowhere.” Senator Ted Stevens pushed this through in 2005 to connect the town of Ketchikan (population 8,000) to a nearby tiny, sparsely populated island. The people who lived there had a ferryboat service and were quite pleased with it. The project was killed after a public outcry.

None of the people actually wanted the project; it was the Senator who wanted it.

Representative Jo Ann Emerson, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee, sent some $30 million home to her constituents in 2007. In contrast, Reps. Russ Carnahan and John Shimkus, two lawmakers who don’t happen to sit on the appropriations panel, landed only $1.6 million for their districts. This is not a meritocracy but rather an aristocracy of earmark kings and queens. The absolute king of Pork Barrel is a Senator from Pennsylvania; he pocketed a cool “half of a billion” for his state this year.

Nancy Pelosi’s pledge to reform has apparently been forgotten, (they all seem to have “selective Amnesia” once they are elected). She sent home to her district in San Francisco, $100 million in earmarks. $300,000 of that total was to a teacher-training program, which didn’t even make it there. Instead the money was diverted to San Francisco’s Exploratorium Science Museum. I have no idea if that is illegal, but surely has the appearance of being a tad bit shady.

In 1796, James Madison, then serving in Congress, proposed a nationwide system of postal roads, which he said would be a way to improve the nations infrastructure while allowing states to share in the federal government’s largesse. In response, Thomas Jefferson, who was running for president at the time, made a case against pork barrel spending that budget hawks are essentially still making today.

The roads project, Jefferson said, would quickly degenerate into an “eternal scramble” by members of Congress to see “who can get the most money wasted in their state, and they will always get most, who are meanest.”

$9 billion In 1995 and $29 billion in 2005. Pork barrel spending is down, believe it or not. From a peak of 13,997 in 2005 to 2,658 last year, according to at least one count. But it is still out control and it should be stopped. So in this election year, I believe it is appropriate to ask that “old age question” that gets asked every election year.

Whatever happened to all those people we elected on a promise to eliminate wasteful federal spending and gave us assurances that they would cut back on spending once elected? Where are those bums now? Might want to take than into consideration next time you go to the polls.

The Big Dogs eat first. The rest of us can have the scraps that fall off the table I guess.

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No Sale

Today I note that the stores in the mall, are void of shoppers, no one is out and about, spending money. The Interstate is noticeably empty of automobiles, strange for a Saturday. I suppose with the current cost of gasoline and the recession, it is now a time to conserve, hang onto what it is that you have left, if anything?

Earlier in the week, I was in a business office, and I noticed that none of the telephones were ringing. That is not a good sign, not a good sign at all. They are ringing, in Singapore, Bombay or perhaps Indonesia, but they are quiet here. Speaking of telephones? Ma Bell is now charging you $2 to pay your bill in person, saw it on NBC tonight. Woman went into the store, used a representative to pay her bill and was charged $2. What a bunch of parasites these people are. I hear a call to 411 is now close to $3 …..

Tonight on the news they said “Mcain uses the “R” word.” How stupid is that? We hear it all the time, the “N” word, now the “R” word, I have a WORD (well actually it is TWO words) for you. Another attempt at “dumbing us down” … Call it what it is, or shaddup is what I say. Just like this immigrant stuff. First it is illegal aliens, then Hispanic, Mexican, Latino’s, Chicano’s, what in the world? All this political correctness is starting to blur out reality anymore.

When your gross national product flat-lines worse than a patient in an ICU, then that is a “Recession” boys N girls, I don’t care what you call it. When your neighbor loses his job, that is a slow down, when you lose yours, that is a recession.

Most of the stores now resemble a funeral home in most cases. Like a big gator down in Florida, this sorry state of affairs has grabbed us, and now we are in the death rolls in the bottom of the river. Kind of like being snake bit, it is taking a little while to die. The slowing American Economy has started to take its toll on Mexico.

Cash sent home by Mexican workers in the U.S. to the families back home has dropped sharply over the past year the Mexican government stated this week. Paradoxically, the reduced cash flow could even promote MORE illegals coming to this country. As there are NO jobs in Mexico, even this depressed American economy looks good to those who want to make the trip north.

There goes their $36 billion dollar second economy, right down the drain. Like Ol Ross Perot used to say … A gigantic sucking sound …. Whoosh. (Which is short for LaVita Loca Amigos)

The Bush administration is about to pitch a new climate change strategy, which is a hoot, as if they ever had one to begin with. Wonder what they will NOT call this one … It might be the “E” word. I guess we have a divarication over how to handle this environmental thing Dubya, try and cut that one down to just one letter.

Two ducks are floating in a pond, one duck is reading the paper and he says to the other duck: “The paper says that the Bush administration is about to pitch a new climate change strategy for the country.” The other duck looks at the one reading the paper and replies … “We’re toast.”

Perhaps we could learn a thing or two from our “Unfenced Neighbors to the North.” A recent study found the average Canadian walks about 900 miles a year. Another study found Canadians drink, on average, 22 gallons of beer a year. That means, on average, Canadians get about 41 miles to the gallon.

It’s good to be an “outpatient now” kind of nice to get outta the house. Ran into my doctor at the SuperCenter the other day, kind of strange, you never think of your doctor, having to purchase groceries and staples. He says “How you doin’?” and I reply, “Uh, guess I am doing alright. Can’t stop humming the Green, Green, Grass of home.” So he says to me, “That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome.” So I inquire, “Is that common this time of the year?” And he said, “It’s not unusual.”

A little shot of sunshine on a dreary day. Saw a girl sitting on a bench, talking on a new cellphone and she was smiling, a nice smile. When it comes to cell phones and anything telephone connected, it has been awhile since I have felt like smiling about anything.

Take care, have a good weekend. Don’t take life too seriously. You are never going to get out alive anyway. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. Don’t compromise yourself … You’re all you’ve got.

I have to go, time to play “Peek-A-Boo” with the grand-daughter … Poor thing; she still doesn’t get it …. it’s always gonna be me.

Check please! I am outta here.

TGIF

Hopefully, this will be a letter perfect day for me. I won’t find myself fighting to stay positive and upbeat in my slow shuffle, tedious and mundane journey thru time. It is of critical importance to stay positive and focused I realize that. But I have not finished my coffee as of this hour, and I have not checked the email. Often it is hard to K.A.P.M.A. (Keep A Positive Mental Attitude) and at the same time, try and remain on “the sunny-side of life” after checking the mail.

Here lately, I am the recipient of far too many depressing emails on how the election is going (or not going), how the country is disintegrating before our very eyes, how it is that another soldier dies in an unknown place far, far away. Guess you have to take the sugar with the salt; the fare lately has been more savory than sweet, guess that is what is buggin’ me.

It has been windy, all night, the steady drone the wind thru the tree’s outside my window lulls me to sleep. If this is the worst thing that happens to me today, I should be alright. My rote routine is different this day, I somewhat reluctantly welcome the change.

As outside exercise was prohibited, because of the rain and the wind, I drove over to the Mall. To browse the window fronts, and shop the trash of man. Observed an old couple walking, holding hands, seemingly oblivious to all that surrounded them.

The wife softly talking, and the old man with a look of contentment on his face. Wonder why it is that after two malodorous marriages, I still cannot find that? Along with my bi-focals’, car keys, and the television remote on any given day of the week.

Marriage is a tough job, you have to work at it. A friend of mine in Nevada sent this to me this week.

Three women: one engaged, one married, and one a mistress, are chatting about their relationships and decide to amaze their men… That night all three will wear a leather bodice S&M style, stilettos and mask over their eyes.

After a few days they meet again …

The engaged girlfriend said: The other night, when my boyfriend came back home, he found me in the leather bodice, 4’” stilettos and mask. He said, ‘You are the woman of my life, I love you…then we made love all night long.’

The mistress stated: ‘Oh Yes! The other night we met in his office. I was wearing the leather bodice, mega stilettos, mask over my eyes and a raincoat. When I opened the raincoat, he didn’t say a word. We just had wild sex all night.’

The married one then said: ‘The other night I sent the kids to stay at my mother’s for the night, I got myself ready, leather bodice, super stilettos and mask over my eyes. My husband came in from work, grabbed the TV controller and a beer, and said, Hey Batman, what’s for dinner?’

(Well, I thought it was amusing)

The weekend with all its promise, is just around the corner, I can almost see it. Two days in heaven isn’t nearly going to be enough, but I will take it.

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DWABI

Ohhhhh I just love it! Dennis Hopper talking to me about retirement on my TV! Retro-Sheik Man, really out there. I needed that, no, I really needed that.

John, my good friend in Arizona called tonight. He is upset because the gas he bought for his barbequer cost more than the steak he planned to charcoal it with. (That was another thing that he was upset about, the price of charcoal) I try to tell John that he lives in a DESERT and everything that he consumes, has to be trucked in, brought to him. That 100 years from now it is still going to be a stinkin’ desert and it is more than likely going to cost 4 times as much.

But John is a worrier, and he is not happy unless he is worrying about something.

This has not been a good week for worriers. A whole lot of stuff going down. Kind of nice, being relaxed, I no longer find it necessary to worry about such matters as nuclear holocaust in the middle east, pesticide poisoning, or other dire catastrophes that I have no control over what-so-ever. Whether or not everyone keeps stacking National Geographic Magazines in their garages, the planet is going to sink in the next 25 years. If the number of microscope specimen slides submitted to Integris Hospital keeps up at its current rate, it will be buried in glass by 2010.

If Britney left the house without her underwear.

There has been a slight improvement here lately, I don’t worry as much as I used to, and that is good. I no longer worry about Islam, Muslim’s, communism, airline ticket prices, auto insurance, crime waves and the Brick Town Canal. Al Gore and quite a few others I suppose will have to learn how to hold their breath or tread water, but I am not going to worry about it.

What comes … Comes. Sorry.

For the most part have become the exact opposite. I have learned how to NOT worry. Lately I have come a long way, a few steps down a well worn beaten path. I don’t sit around and wonder about things that are totally out of my control. Having learned that “peace, and patience” are possible in my life, I call on them as my friends now and not foes.

Two things seem to be always with me in life, I call them constants for lack of a better description.

(#1) I was born to grumble and if given enough lee-way I can more than likely find something to grumble about. It is a choice. I am designed for the part, sagging face, weighty under-lip, rumbling, and resonant sort of voice. Money could not buy a better equipped grumbling outfit.

(#2) The Devil, select members of the Democratic Party or any Registered Republican will often avail themselves of my inherent nasty nature. Even tho’ they have no right to put my discordant state of mind into the lives of others I come in contact with and rob them of their sunshine and brightness.

They often do, and I allow it.

They do not have the right to use me in this fashion, just as I have no right to come into a strangers house and rob them and steal their silverware. Like I said, “it is a choice. What you make of it, is YOUR business.” I guess I am somewhat disgruntled. Used that word in an item earlier on in the week, said that I was a bit disgruntled.

Always liked that word, “disgruntled” my boss used it quite a lot when describing people who influenced his limited circle of impotence (spelled that way intentionally, I know the difference). Come to think of it, he was constantly “surrounded by disgruntled people” as I remember it.

Disgruntled. It has that medi-mucile sound to it, like I cannot answer the telephone right now, I am a bit disgruntled. Ate too much cheese at Domino’s last night and I may be a bit disgruntled. Hah! This is more fun than a coffee enema (which is mainly adjusting my total word count for the day and offending the few of you who have a modicum of good taste, this could possibly make YOU disgruntled).

When I am disgruntled, I am a sick, twisted, perverted individual; (I really love that in a person, don’t you?)

Today I am going to trashcan that word (disgruntled), run it through my shredder and throw it away. I am going to replace it with one of these instead: Joy, peace, patience, vision and/or hope. One thing is for sure, regardless of which word I choose, I am not going to worry about it.

Yeah, we will make up a totally new word just for this …. Dwabi: (Pronounced “Do-Whah-Bie”)… From the Latin word, baloney … Meaning: Don’t Worry About it.

Someone ought to start collecting all of these whacky words and make a book of it. It would make for a good Bathroom Reader. We should do this more often.

Oh well, I am outta here … Time for my shot.
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