Thirty Something

Email of the week

If you are 30 or older you will think this is hilarious!  I found it somewhat amusing, as in the “eighties” I had already exceeded age forty, and had been gainfully employed 12 or 13 years, and had kids in high school.  So here you go … the email of the week.

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning uphill  … barefoot … BOTH ways

Yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they’ve got it! But now that … I’m over the ripe old age of thirty, I can’t help but look around and notice the youth of today.

You’ve got it so easy!

I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia! And I hate to say it but you kids today you don’t know how good you’ve got it! I mean, when I was a kid we didn’t have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, We had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card cataloger!

There was no email! We had to actually write somebody a letter, with a pen. Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

There were no MP3’s or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ’d usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up!

We didn’t have fancy crap like Call Waiting!

If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that’s it! And we didn’t have fancy Caller ID either.  When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was.  It could be your school, Your mom, your boss, your Bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn’t know!

You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister.

We didn’t have any fancy Sony Playstation Video Games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600. With games Like ‘Space Invaders’ and ‘asteroids’. Your guy was a little square.  You actually had to use your Imagination.  And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever!

And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died.

Just like LIFE!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on.  You were screwed when it came to channel surfing. You had to get off your a** and walk over to the TV to change the channel and there was no Cartoon Network either. You could only get cartoons on Saturday morning.  Do you hear what I’m saying?  We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-bast**ds!

And we didn’t have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove … Imagine that. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. You kids today have got it too easy.  You’re spoiled. You guys wouldn’t have lasted five minutes back in 1980!

Regards,

The over 30 Crowd

So there you go, it’s universal.  The “other” Generation now, always assumes it had it better, than the generation before it or Vice or Versa?

Saturday Wowser

I am sitting at the bank, and the banker says to me, “Do you have our new VISA with the photo ID yet?” and I say “No.” So then he says to me, “Why not?” And I reply, “You charge for your VISA and have all these fee’s, I am not into that.”

So then he inquires, “Where is yours located, which was kind of stupid, I mean I am a guy after all?  What kind of question is that?” But we were talking about banking and I missed the point.

So I said, “It is out of Boston or maybe Delaware, I believe, I am not sure, back east.” So he says, “You ought to be doing business in YOUR COMMUNITY and showing some loyalty to the folks who live with you.” So I say, “Okay, they gave me 15.9% annual PCR and no annual fee.” You want 25.5% and $25 per year fee, so why should I do business with you?  You give me the same deal, and I will switch it over.”

Then he smiles and says, “What else can I do for you today Mr. Smith?” and I smile and think “Well for a start you can pucker up and kiss …… Oh well, you know the rest dont’cha?”

By the way, “these folks are on the bail out train too.  My bank is on the list.”

Cover Me I Am Reloading

Awhile back we reported that the Interior Department was fixing to overturn regulation concerning guns in National Parks.  It appears that they have done just that.  Yesterday, the Department of Interior overturned a Reagan-era regulation, permitting loaded firearms at 388 of 391 national park sites. The decision allows guns in parks in “any states with concealed carry laws, not just those that allow guns in their state parks as originally proposed.” While the Department cited safety concerns as a factor, the National Park Conservation Association notes:

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, there were 1.65 violent crimes per 100,000 national park visitors in 2006-making national parks some of the safest places in the United States. The new regulation could increase the risk for impulse shootings of wildlife, and risk the safety of visitors and rangers.

Despite the potential affect on national park wildlife and resources, the Administration did not conduct an environmental review as required by law. One more just for the fun of it.  The text of the rule notes that earlier, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) wrote to the Interior Dept. supporting the rule change. If you want more, check out ThinkProgress’s updated report on Bush’s 11th hour regulations and rule changes.

Here is some more “bad government for you” we in America don’t have the market cornered on bad politics (although it often seems as if we are the leaders in bad policy) in Britain they have it too.

In Worcester, England, they ordered a man to take down a 3 ft high barbed-wire fence that he had installed to deter the thieves who had broken into his storage building at least three times in the past four months.  According to the Daily Mail, the council said it was feared would be sued by a wounded trespasser.

Which brings up the age old question, “when was it that they changed it where the CRIMINAL has more rights than the VICTIM?”  Please enlighten me if you will?

The terror attacks in India this week certainly were horrible, I sure hope this is not some kind of prophetic new system of religious fanatical attacks and a new wave of terror for the future in our world.  I thought it was especially comforting how the United Nations promptly took charge and blamed Israel for it all.

Count Your Blessings

I know that Thanksgiving is over and all that stuff is behind us now, but if you want a fresh outlook on life, and something to be thankful for, trot over here and read this, it is an eye opener, a good piece of work.

Sign Of The Times

What is this “Office of the President Elect” signage going on?  I sure wish we could get all of this “locked down and in place” it sure looks like someone has a bad case of premature-inauguration to me.”  Barbara Wa-Wa was on last night, and had her top ten people in the entire world you should know show last night on ABC.  Does anyone know if Sarah Palin made the cut?  I was overhauling a ceiling fan and I missed it.

People Unlike Us

OJ got sentenced yesterday, looks like he will be an old codger when he gets out of the slammer, which is okay with most of us.  We tired of him and his act, a long time ago.  Bush is now scheduled on ABC and around the dial to give even more “farewell speeches” in which he denies any culpable knowledge of ever been elected or even visiting Washington DC in the past ten years.

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfield all meet up in Hell.  Cheney looks around and then snarls out of the side of his mouth, “I should have shot two lawyers, this isn’t right.”  Rumsfield said, “I missed the memo on this, I should have paid more attention.”  Bush sulks over in the corner, curled up in a fetal position mumbling …. “It’s not that hot and I am not here, it’s not that hot and I am not here.”

Self Inflicted Wounds

Rosie O’Donnell effectively murdered her career this week on NBC but it was okay, and I understand it “there were NO witnesses to the crime.”  I also understand that Paris Hilton and Paul Rubens are all set to star in a new movie to be released in 2009.

What are they going to call this.

Pee Wee gets an infection?

I read in USA Today that “unhappy people watch more television than happy people.”  Which figures, all the Happy People are over here on the Internet reading Creative Endeavors.

Bad Cop … No Donut.

A Beaumont, Texas police officer has been suspended from the force for crossing the line during an undercover prostitution sting (that is, he actually had sex) and defended himself in an August hearing.  He sated, “It was a job, sir.  I did not have any pleasure in doing it.  It was something that I was doing for the City.”

Yeah, like that dog is gonna hunt, I wouldn’t look for any back pay on this one Sparky.

One more and then “I am outta here!” (there you go Bill)  Police in Covington, Kentucky arrested a 19 year old kid during a suspected drug deal at a local market.  Although several people were booked that night, he was the one wearing the T-Shirt that read, “It’s Not Illegal Unless You Get Caught.”

Have A Good Weekend, see you all on Monday.  Don’t miss Monday for sure, “Ladies Underwear” a real under 500 word eye popper …

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Deep In Mississippi


Mississippi State Flag

Mississippi State Flag

My memory not being as razor sharp as it used to be requires me every now and then, to write it down.  I carry in my pocket a small notepad which I use to make notes to myself as the day progresses.  Also have a small pocket recorder about the size of pack of smokes that comes in handy.

Being a prolific story teller I am constantly thinking about a new story for Creative Endeavors and these are two of the things that I use to ensure that my ideas get channeled towards the site.  I also have “business cards” with my logo, address (site) and email and I leave them with my tips at restaurants and here and there.  I do as much as I can to make sure the word gets out, as they say, “whatever works.”

So I am sitting at Jimmy’s Egg the other morning and we are having breakfast, a friend and I, and I get this idea for this story, so I pull out my notepad and I start writing in it.  Then it happens, I cannot for the life of me, figure out how it is that you spell M-i-s-s-is-s-i-p-p-i which was irritating the fizz out of me.

The old brain simply locks up from time to time, and there isn’t much I can do about it.  My kid calls this phenomenon “Brain Farts” for some strange reason ….. His turn is coming … We all get our turn.  Once you turn fifty … Look out!

We all have at this stage in life, “Senior Moments” as my wife calls them. Speaking of senior moments, you hear about the lady that called up the newspaper and demanded to know where her Sunday Paper might be?  The irate customer loudly demanded, wanting to know about her missing Sunday Edition.

Ma’am” said the employee of the newspaper, “today is Saturday … The Sunday Paper is not delivered until tomorrow, on Sunday.” The was quite a long pause on the other end of the telephone and she was heard to mutter …… Well Harold that explains why no one was in church today.”

What was it I was talking about?

Oh yeah, I look at my buddy and I say …  “How do you spell Mississippi?” and he says to me, “The river or the state?”

I need to get some new friends.

One of the things I hate about traveling is you eventually have to stop somewhere and do laundry.  This is one of those unfortunate things you are required to deal with when you are on the road, locating a laundry and doing a load of dirty clothes.  Laundry is … a fact of life.

orchid_room_2

One hot sultry summer day we found ourselves in this predicament in the Deep South, a small town in Mississippi.  We stopped and parked, got out the laundry bag, which seemed to be exploding with dirty clothes and headed down to a small coin operated laundry on this little main street.  Just a little obscure little town, much like all the towns in the Deep South that time has been frozen and often forgotten.

This place was so small, the City Hall was the top floor of the local Dairy Queen.  No rush hour, no hurry, no worry, nice little park in the center of town.  One of those “its a wonderful life kind of places.”

The laundry was nothing out of the ordinary and not a whole lot of folks inside, we got our stuff out, and commenced to doing the chores.  One lady was in there doing her wash, and she had these two small dinkers with her, beautiful little girls.

Giggling and having a good time, they were a handful to be sure.

As they came around I would smile real big, reach out and touch them, generally speaking “was just having a good time of it all” playing with these little girls.  I hate laundry chores with a passion, and if I can play with the kids, instead of doing laundry.  Well, that is simply a no-brainer, so I went for it.

Then as it happened, the smallest of the two girls, extended her arms for me to pick her up.  As small children will do from time to time.

Not giving it a second thought, I swooped her up into my arms and exclaimed, “You are so dog-gone beautiful girl, I am gonna take you home with me!”  She in turn rewarded me with a loud raucous belly laugh and a huge #3 washtub smile.

Then I noticed that her mother was staring at me strangely and she was crying.  I immediately put the child down and said to her, “Oh, I am so terribly sorry.  I was just playing with her.  I didn’t mean to upset you.”

She looked at me and said, “Where are you people from?”

So I said, “Oklahoma, Okie City.  Why?”

And she said, “No white man from around here, ever picked up one of my babies and said they was beautiful.”

Hard to believe that something like that still persists in this day and age.  But it does.  You can make a difference, start today, change one heart at a time.

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Why Buy GM

I drive an American car. It’s a Chrysler. That’s not an endorsement. It’s more like a cry for pity. And now for a decades-old story, retold ad infinitum by tens of millions of Americans, a third of whom have had to desert their country to simply find a damn way to get to work in something that won’t break down:

My Chrysler is four years old. I bought it because of its smooth and comfortable ride. Daimler-Benz owned the company then and had the good grace to place the Chrysler chassis on a Mercedes axle and, man, was that a sweet ride!

When it would start.

More than a dozen times in these years, the car has simply died. Batteries have been replaced, but that wasn’t the problem. My dad drives the same model. His car has died many times, too. Just won’t start, for no reason at all.

A few weeks ago, I took my Chrysler in to the Chrysler dealer here in northern Michigan — and the latest fixes cost me $1,400. The next day, the vehicle wouldn’t start. When I got it going, the brake warning light came on. And on and on.

You might assume from this that I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about these miserably inept crapmobile makers down the road in Detroit city. But I do care. I care about the millions whose lives and livelihoods depend on these car companies. I care about the security and defense of this country because the world is running out of oil — and when it runs out, the calamity and collapse that will take place will make the current recession/depression look like a Tommy Tune musical.

And I care about what happens with the Big 3 because they are more responsible than almost anyone for the destruction of our fragile atmosphere and the daily melting of our polar ice caps.

Congress must save the industrial infrastructure that these companies control and the jobs they create. And it must save the world from the internal combustion engine. This great, vast manufacturing network can redeem itself by building mass transit and electric/hybrid cars, and the kind of transportation we need for the 21st century.

And Congress must do all this by NOT giving GM, Ford and Chrysler the $34 billion they are asking for in “loans” (a few days ago they only wanted $25 billion; that’s how stupid they are — they don’t even know how much they really need to make this month’s payroll. If you or I tried to get a loan from the bank this way, not only would we be thrown out on our ear, the bank would place us on some sort of credit rating blacklist).

Two weeks ago, the CEOs of the Big 3 were tarred and feathered before a Congressional committee who sneered at them in a way far different than when the heads of the financial industry showed up two months earlier. At that time, the politicians tripped over each other in their swoon for Wall Street and its Ponzi schemers who had concocted Byzantine ways to bet other people’s money on unregulated credit default swaps, known in the common vernacular as unicorns and fairies.

But the Detroit boys were from the Midwest, the Rust (yuk!) Belt, where they made real things that consumers needed and could touch and buy, and that continually recycled money into the economy (shocking!), produced unions that created the middle class, and fixed my teeth for free when I was ten.

For all of that, the auto heads had to sit there in November and be ridiculed about how they traveled to D.C. Yes, they flew on their corporate jets, just like the bankers and Wall Street thieves did in October. But, hey, THAT was OK! They’re the Masters of the Universe! Nothing but the best chariots for Big Finance as they set about to loot our nation’s treasury.

Of course, the auto magnates used be the Masters who ruled the world. They were the pulsating hub that all other industries — steel, oil, cement contractors — served. Fifty-five years ago, the president of GM sat on that same Capitol Hill and bluntly told Congress, what’s good for General Motors is good for the country. Because, you see, in their minds, GM WAS the country.

What a long, sad fall from grace we witnessed on November 19th when the three blind mice had their knuckles slapped and then were sent back home to write an essay called, “Why You Should Give Me Billions of Dollars of Free Cash.” They were also asked if they would work for a dollar a year. Take that! What a big, brave Congress they are! Requesting indentured servitude from (still) three of the most powerful men in the world. This from a spineless body that won’t dare stand up to a disgraced president nor turn down a single funding request for a war that neither they nor the American public support.

Amazing.

Let me just state the obvious: Every single dollar Congress gives these three companies will be flushed right down the toilet. There is nothing the management teams of the Big 3 are going to do to convince people to go out during a recession and buy their big, gas-guzzling, inferior products. Just forget it. And, as sure as I am that the Ford family-owned Detroit Lions are not going to the Super Bowl — ever — I can guarantee you, after they burn through this $34 billion, they’ll be back for another $34 billion next summer.

So what to do? Members of Congress, here’s what I propose:

1. Transporting Americans is and should be one of the most important functions our government must address. And because we are facing a massive economic, energy and environmental crisis, the new president and Congress must do what Franklin Roosevelt did when he was faced with a crisis (and ordered the auto industry to stop building cars and instead build tanks and planes): The Big 3 are, from this point forward, to build only cars that are not primarily dependent on oil and, more importantly to build trains, buses, subways and light rail (a corresponding public works project across the country will build the rail lines and tracks). This will not only save jobs, but create millions of new ones.

2. You could buy ALL the common shares of stock in General Motors for less than $3 billion. Why should we give GM $18 billion or $25 billion or anything? Take the money and buy the company! (You’re going to demand collateral anyway if you give them the “loan,” and because we know they will default on that loan, you’re going to own the company in the end as it is. So why wait? Just buy them out now.)

3. None of us want government officials running a car company, but there are some very smart transportation geniuses who could be hired to do this. We need a Marshall Plan to switch us off oil-dependent vehicles and get us into the 21st century.

This proposal is not radical or rocket science. It just takes one of the smartest people ever to run for the presidency to pull it off. What I’m proposing has worked before. The national rail system was in shambles in the ’70s. The government took it over. A decade later it was turning a profit, so the government returned it to private/public hands, and got a couple billion dollars put back in the treasury.

This proposal will save our industrial infrastructure — and millions of jobs. More importantly, it will create millions more. It literally could pull us out of this recession.

In contrast, yesterday General Motors presented its restructuring proposal to Congress. They promised, if Congress gave them $18 billion now, they would, in turn, eliminate around 20,000 jobs. You read that right. We give them billions so they can throw more Americans out of work. That’s been their Big Idea for the last 30 years — layoff thousands in order to protect profits. But no one ever stopped to ask this question: If you throw everyone out of work, who’s going to have the money to go out and buy a car?

These idiots don’t deserve a dime. Fire all of them, and take over the industry for the good of the workers, the country and the planet.

What’s good for General Motors IS good for the country. Once the country is calling the shots.


Michael Moore

I Don’t Get It

bloggerbuttonsHaving just finished, no correction, “having just tried” to read 7,864 words on “Why John McCain, having been born in Panama is considered a U.S. Citizen

I have to admit.  I just don’t get it.

Why does anyone in their right mind devote some 8,000 words to a subject as benign as this, and why does anyone bother to attempt to read it?

On top of that, this site receives all these awards for “being the best of the best” blah, blah, blah in 2008.

I mean really.

What is with this almost maniacal obsession with links or hits, it really doesn’t necessarily transcend to “good reading” (if you don’t believe that, then look at what you are reading right now, this very moment … I rest my case.) and often despite this hit count, there isn’t much there.

Most of the opinions I have been reading here lately, frankly, lack any sort of justification at all.  Almost as if it has reverted to “school yard bullying” or something like that.  Naner, naner naner, I have anon email, you can’t touch me.

Why anyone would attempt to do this (blog on a regular basis) is beyond me to begin with.  It is simply too big, too impersonal and it lacks any kind of intimacy or friendship potential in most cases.  The pressure of trying to claw your way to “the top” or get the maximum number of hits possible in a given time period is daunting to say the least.

Word to the wise:  “If you want to be miserable and unhappy doing this, just set your goals so impossibly high that you will never achieve them.”  That should do it.

Yesterday I received for instance, 19 messages from a girl wanting me to link her to this site.  She said that she had been reading it for quite sometime and finally had gotten up the courage to comment on it and went on and on.  But she never had commented anywhere that I know of. I get emails every day, people wanting to latch onto my star, link my blog to your blog, and together we will change the world sort of thing.

Because of the high visitor count.

But it doesn’t work that way, and b’sides if you are a regular reader, you would notice that I don’t do the blogroll thing anyway. It takes more than just suiting up for the game, showing up, it takes an incredible amount of time and energy to do this, most people would not want to even try.

Sitting in the garage, doesn’t make you a car … This takes a lot of work.  Linking up with someone else is fine,  and you might be successful in getting people to come to your site for the first time initial visit, but you have better have something there for them to read, when they do get there.

In my neck of the woods, you don’t invite folks over to supper, without having something on the table for them to eat, it just isn’t done.

As I stumble around in the mornings, fully charged with my daily ration of caffeine and read the blogs that are out there, it seems to me that most of them are so polarized and so filled with haters hating everyone and everything, that is hardly worth the trip on most days.

My circumstance may or may not be different; I didn’t set out to write a blog.  I set out to find a place to store my stuff, writing each day I had to find a place to put it and this seemed liked the right choice at the time.  At that juncture in time, I was literally choking too death, my high school alumni page at MyFamily.com and something had to give.  So I brought it over here to WordPress.

And the Creative Endeavors portion of it sort of morphed itself into a blog.  Writing for some 4 years a Union Paper I felt a void in my life, when I retired and that I needed to continue to write, so this was born.  Here it be in all its splendid glory, as they say in the Blogsphere or whatever catch-phrase they are using this week:  “Updated 24/7 a week.  Visit us daily at www.boxcarOkie.com” or something like that.

I am not good at maintaing a Facebook profile, I don’t know how to manage MySpace and other social networks, so I do this.  Recently a friend of mine invited me to do the “twitter thing” and I went over there, and just like the piece is entitled … I just didn’t get it.

I am going to bed now … I am back from the bathroom now … I just finished picking my nose ….. Huh?

The need to recreate the raw, immediate and intimate feelings of my life, are just not there.  If I have a Twitter it is because something is wrong in my medicine or I need to turn up the heater.  I am also by nature, not a mean, spiteful, vindictive sort of individual so a lot of places I just flat out, don’t fit in.  I mean I can be a “real sweet man, or an awful mean baby” but do you really need to sit through 7,400 words to find that out?

Does that complete your life … I-don’t-think-so-dot.com

Nearly every newspaper, radio and television channel now runs blogs and updates them faster than any individual blogger ever could. I recently started posting on an outfit called Allvoices.com in order to reach a bigger audience.  Instant news.  Over 100,000 links.  Look at Margaret & Helen, a site that virtually talks about “nothing” most of the time, but incredibly has over 52,000 links.

Amazing.  Both filling a need, and a niche.

So I guess that blogging is useful and versatile. In some cases extreme social interactions also occur.  Which is the part I am not all that fond of personally, the hate speech, the vitriol.  But as I said before, I don’t have all the answers, and most of the time I have forgotten the questions.

As my wife would be quick to tell you … Half the time, (a good 50% or better) I just don’t get it.

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