Hump Day Fodder

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Let’s get busy boys!

WASHINGTON – House and Senate leaders marked the first day of the 111th Congress by preaching bipartisanship Tuesday and promising to start work quickly on President-elect Barack Obama’s economic proposals and issues ranging from climate change to health care.

Oaths of office were administered, anti-war protesters staged demonstrations and lobbyists cruised through a series of receptions to celebrate the day. More than a few new members said they were eager to get started.

Cheney administered the oath of office to several people and swore in Joe Biden.  Let us hope that he doesn’t turn old Joe into a Cat’s-paw like he did with Bush.

Oxymoron — National Intelligence.

Mr. Obama has picked the leaders of his intelligence team, taping former White House chief of staff Leon Panetta as CIA Director, and retired admiral Dennis Blair as head of National Intelligence.  Which is what we didn’t seem to have a lot of under this last regime of bozo’s.

During the 9-11 crisis I understand that Bush sent Connie to Ireland to pick up some sensitive information from an agent named Murphy.  Her instructions were to walk around the town using a code phrase until she met this fellow agent.  She found herself on a desolate country road and finally ran into an Irish farmer.

Hello” she said, “I am looking for a man named Murphy.”

Well you are in luck little lady” the farmer replied, “As it happens there’s a village right over the hill where the butcher is named Murphy, the baker is named Murphy, and three widows are named Murphy, matter of fact, my name is Murphy.”

Aha, Connie thought to herself, here’s my man.  So she whispered the secret code to the farmer:  “The sun is shining — the grass is growing — the cows are ready for milking.

Oh” said the farmer, “you are looking for Murphy the spy — he’s in the village over in the other direction.

Sin Tax — I told you Atlanta was a fun place

Atlanta – A legislator favors imposing a fee on strip club patrons. State Sen. Jack Murphy of Cumming said he’d like to see Georgia charge between $3 and $5 per person. The Republican said the money could go to child abuse programs and services for young people caught up in child prostitution or other sexual exploitation.

Taxing a lap dance, man, that is rich.  Wonder how much they will collect for a … oh never mind.

Now as an illustration of how impossibly wrong ALL OF THIS IS and how fast it can get out of control, the “Porn Industry” is asking for $5 billion in aid from the government.  Do you realize how stupid we must appear to be to the rest of the “sane people” inhabiting this planet.  You can read all about it here.

Letting it all hang out

VAIL, Colo.  – A guy who dangled upside down from a ski lift with his bare bottom exposed probably doesn’t want to hear any “ski bum” jokes.  Officials at Vail Resorts in Colorado say the 48-year-old man was trying to get on the Blue Ski basin lift on New Year’s Day. They haven’t said what went wrong, but he got hung up, and his pants came down.  Workers stopped the lift, backed it up 10 or 12 feet and rescued the man after about seven minutes. His name hasn’t been released.

Bystanders snapped photos and posted them on the Internet, showing a man who looks to be hanging by one ski boot, his ski pants and underwear apparently snagged in the chair and reaching no farther than his knees.  Now the resort wants to fire the employee who took the pictures on his day off and posted them to the net, claiming it was not in good taste.

Not the sharpest knife in the drawer

ST. PAUL, Minn — A scorned 21-year-old told her ex-boyfriend that he couldn’t prove she was the one who vandalized his apartment on three occasions – but then, police said, she posted a picture of the damage on MySpace. The woman was charged with two felonies for the vandalism.

According to a criminal complaint she doused the inside of his house with paint – splashing it on the walls, toilet, washing machine, computer and other furniture. She also allegedly filled the house with trash, impaled a teddy bear on a pole with a knife through its head, and caused other damage. The woman was still on the lam Tuesday.  Yeah, it sounds like she was set-up to me … Not!

Thinning of the herd

A German billionaire caught up in the world Banking/Wall Street Mess, has evidently stepped in front of a train thus ending his life and stopping his failed business empire that was sinking rapidly.  He is now the third known suicide worldwide to be caught up in this mess.  His death was listed as a railway accident, if he had jumped out of a window for instance, that would have been massive deceleration.

It’s official now – You are screwed.

Earlier in the week we reported that the fund for the television converters was going under, the government officially announced that it is now tapped out.  $1.34 billion in money ran out on Sunday, and now anyone who wants a converter box coupon will be placed on a waiting list.

Amazing, when you want it from them, you are on a list, when they want it, they just waltz in there and take it.

Now for the good news, only 103,000 people are on the list ahead of you.  18 million coupons have already been redeemed and now you will just have to wonder about it all.  Why women on TV always have skimpy low-cut blouses, are trim neat, appear fantastic, are always on top when they have sex with the guy next door.  And of course, “will I ever get a box and be able to watch television again?” $40-$70 for a box and no luck, trillions to a banker and you know the rest dont’cha?

Dancin’ with Jose — Cha-Cha-cha.

With dropout rates soaring among Hispanic students, mariachi music programs, long popular in parts of Texas and California, are spreading to schools across the country to help keep the nations largest and fastest-growing ethnic group academically engaged.  We can’t teach them English, nor civics, or manners but we are going to teach them all to dance?

The Best for Last — Laura Bush to publish a memoir

First Lady Laura Bush has just signed with Scribner Books to write her memoir.  A 2010 release date is expected, no word on how much she is being paid.  I would more than likely venture that her book will be vastly better than Sarah Palin’s or Joe the Plumber.  I can just see it there in my minds eye —

Chapter Two, it is late at night, the White House is eerily quiet, I look at George asleep in the bed, his head is on the pillow, he looks so at peace with the world.  The fruit jar full of gasoline is in my left hand, and the BIC lighter in my right, I tell myself over and over … trying to convince myself … It is for the good of the country, it is for the good of the country.”

I can’t wait.

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My Old Hoopie

Fly By Nite

Fly By Nite

2008 Auto Sales Drop By 3 million

USA Today 01-06-09

Recently I read a blog-page where the writer was talking about how she had only eight more payments on her truck and that the payments were “$800” per month.  I saw a guy sign the papers on a new Chevy Suburban last summer and it was “$1140” per month.

As I understand it, the “average” car payment in America is now something like $620 per month and the months far exceed 72.  Either one of those, compounded by high insurance rates, would be a real killer for me to make.  Incredible money to be made in the automotive sector eh?

There are also huge sums of money to be made in the repair of their products.  Actually, I believe they jack the price around on the repairs as some kind of twisted incentive to get the consumer to purchase a new car from them.  They have gotten so disgustingly high, downright outrageous on repair costs, that a guy would just about say, “Ah screw it.  I will take the money and buy me a new one, before I pay that!”  It could be designed to do this very thing, I know it sure irks me and I as a consumer, believe it is out of line.

They are certainly off the charts and outrageous when it comes to repair work and parts.  It could be greed. It could be because their cars have become so reliable, that they have to get more for repairs now because they see them so seldom. They are after all “supposed to be” more dependable now.

Not like the old days when it was rare to see the 50,000 mile mark.

My old hoopie is almost a teenager, she is 12 years old and she has cost me a quite a lot of money over the years, just to keep the ——– running and in good working order.  My current mileage on the truck is now standing at 160,000+ and I have made up my mind that I am going to drive it until it actually falls apart and dies …. Then I am going to take it to the Vet. and have it put too sleep.

Over the years, this truck has cost me some bucks.  I used to joke and say “if you start it up and let it go, it will drive itself to the dealer for its own repairs.” It hasn’t been a whole lot of fun at times, and has put me in the foot patrol more than once.

That is what GM stands for, “Get A Mechanic”

or GMC = “Got A Mechanic Coming.”

A week ago, my old pig-iron-pony threw another shoe and went down on me.  I recently had to put it in the shop again and it was $1,263.00 to bail it out.  Which on average is what I have spent per year to keep it in great shape and reliable, about $1200 per year.  Now think about it, do the math, $1200X12= $14,400 over the life of the truck, which doesn’t even count purchase price.  So you can see why I am less than enchanted about all this.

This time it was a power assist boost assembly (power anti-lock brakes), replace the fuel pump (you had to crawl underneath it and beat on the fuel tank with a hammer to get it to start) an oxygen sensor (which was #5 on a truck that only has four) at $107 each.

Now here is where the fun begins:

Dealer cost for one fuel pump and installation, $1,060.00, for the power boost assembly, $748 part, and almost $500 to install, (less than a 45 minute job start to finish).  After taxes and parts, labor and anything else they could throw in over $2,500.00.  Which did not make my day … in any, way, shape, manner.

After driving around and doing three estimates.  I took it to an independent shop, ASE certified Technicians, Diagnostic Scope work and they did all of the above, plus they checked all fluid levels, installed a new oxygen sensor, fuel strainer, oil/lubed, and the whole nine yards for the above mentioned $1263.00. The independent shop performed the extra work for a total of $152 and some change, this was not even mentioned on the dealer estimate.

Now look at the parts:

  • Power brake booster $170.33  — Dealer:  $748.00
  • Fuel Pump:  $160.95 — Dealer:  $568.00
  • Labor on booster:  $218.40 — Dealer:  $500.00
  • Labor on Fuel Pump:  $405.60 — Dealer:  $500.00 again.

In a nut shell here is the cost of everything:  Lube, oil, filters (3), differential lubricate, transmission fluid level inspection, all fluid levels checked, frame inspection, air filter and breather inspected, tire pressures, and basic inspection of the truck for “almost HALF the dealer estimate of $2500 and some change.”

When I looked at the Dealer rep and said, “Man, are you sure?  You people are pricing yourself right out of a job.  I can get this done elsewhere for a lot less money.”

He just looked at me and said, “See you later.”

Which is basically the way I feel when they come to Washington and beg for tax payer money.

See you later boys.

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Forrest Gump Cloned

One of the most popular posts that I put up last summer was a piece on Forrest Gump (Stoopid Is As Stoopid Does) back in July last year, and now it appears that there is a clone to Forrest Gump on the scene.

Forrest a 1994 movie about a simple-minded soul, telling his life story which was a big hit, receiving something like six Oscars.  Now we have this new movie out with Brad Pitt, he is that guy that is married to the luscious super-star chick with the scrumptious lips and inviting eyes.

The similarities in the two movies are remarkably very close, but that should not come as a big surprise to anyone that has seen the first movie, both screenplays are by the same guy, Eric Roth.  In this new movie, Benjamin Button — Brad Pitt portrays a man who is born old and then grows younger.  A sort of Forrest Gramps if you will.  Take a gander at what is going on, and you be the judge.

It must be love:

Forrest meets and falls for Jenny, the love of his life, when both are mere children.

Benjamin meets and falls for Daisy, the love of his life, when both are children.

A little extra support:

Forrest relies on his leg brace early in life.

Benjamin relies on leg braces early in life.

Mothers Wisdom:

Forrest mamma always told Forrest — “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what it is that your are going to get.”

Benjamin’s momma always told him ‘You never know what’s coming for you.”

An early loss:

Forrest is abandoned by his father.

Benjamin is abandoned by his father.

A father’s fears:

Forrest worries his son will have the same afflictions that he has.

Benjamin worries his child will have his affliction.

Big Mamma’s house:

Forrest’s sacrificing mother runs a boarding house.

Benjamin’s also has a self-sacrificing mother who runs a boarding house for the “aged.”

Long lost love:

Forrest enters into Jenny’s life after she suffers a health crisis.

Benjamin does the same, when Daisy suffers a similar problem, and returns home to him.

A soldier friend:

Forrest goes to the ‘Nam and there he meets Captain Dan.

Benjamin goes to war with Captain Mike, who — guess what?

Becomes a friend.

Swept away:

Hurricane Carmen blows through the plot point.

Hurricane Katrina blows thru the plot.

Running Man:

When Jenny rejects Forrest, he runs across America, and back again.

Benjamin is rejected by Daisy and he takes comfort in running around with other women (thus proving he is infinitely smarter than Forrest, if you ask me).

Nature Signals:

A feather floats down from the heaven’s and Forrest is reassured.

Benjamin receives on his end, a hummingbird to signal the connectedness of life.

And finally … Gainfully Employed:

Forrest gets a job on a shrimp boat.

Benjamin goes to work on a tug boat.

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Now I remember when I first viewed Forrest Gump at the Movie house and a friend asked me, “Did you understand that movie?  What in the —- was that all about anyway?” and I replied, “I didn’t have a clue?” And it appears that now we have another clone of it, or basically the same plot lines anyway.

As the new America is a nation of frugal spenders, it would behoove me to not attend this blessed Hollywood Event and stay home.  I believe this time I am taking a “pass on this one” and waiting for the book “Forrest & Benjamin For Dummies” at Barnes & Noble.

The money I save by NOT going to see this movie, should cover the cost of the self-help manual, or anyway, that is my plan.

It is a wise man who knows his limitations and in 2009 I am aspiring to reach that pinnacle in my life.  Knowing full well that I have no viable future as a “Movie Reviewer” in the New Year, or any other year for that matter.  I am now going to go back to my achieving one of my New Years Resolutions.

I am going to become a January Joiner.

Which is someone who joins a gym in January as part of a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, and by February is back to being a couch potato.  Which makes me a lot of friends with all the other Benjamin’s who go to the gym everyday and cannot get a treadmill because all of us January Joiners are using them.

Or as my momma used to say ……. “Go stand in the street until your father can get the truck started and leave the rest of us adults alone!”

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