Once Around The Block


One of my readers has labeled CE as a “soapbox.”  I find that curious, even looked it up and still cannot for the life of me figure out why someone would label this “a soapbox.”  To me it is “diverse, interesting, but I don’t find it under the other definition at all.”  Soapbox (1.)  platform for speaking: something, such as a wooden box, used as a platform for making an impromptu speech  (2.)  box for soap: a box in which soap is packed

Maybe it is me, but I just do not get it, I must be old hat or something.

Eleven degree’s outside, and that my friends, is cold.  Downright chilly, and despite it all, I did manage to get out of the house for a brief trip to the mall yesterday.  Bought a new calendar, I was really torn between cute puppies and National Parks, ended up getting the one with all the shots of the National Parks.  I have had a puppy. Please bear with me this day, I am depressed and down in the mount, I need some sunshine in my world, and it is not there, if I did have a soapbox, I would break it up for firewood.

Back to the calendar, it is nice.  Twelve glorious shots of places that have to be better than here for 2009.  And I am ready, boy am I ready, “I cannot find enough shoes in the world to toss at 2008 and that is fact.”

Right now the wind is blowing about 30 mph out of the north, and I am not totally sure, but I believe it has been blowing across the top of some snow somewhere, before it reached my location.  It is bone chilling cold and I don’t know how a homeless person could even survive in this type of weather.  The windshield wipers on my truck have frozen up, and that is not the blades on the windshield, but the part that is attached to the motor, the motor shaft, and they will not turn.

Never did that before, that is cold my friends.

I read this morning, where a woman was found, alive, buried in over four feet of snow for two days in Canada after a car wreck.  They say she will more than likely lose some body appendages due to frost bite, but she survived and to me, that is incredible.

Tonight, I will fill that old bathtub to the rim with hot water, and I will soak in it and let my mind drift.  This is the modern day cure all for “Oklahoma Cabin Fever.”  My mind is my playground this time of the year, I lie in the tub, and I trip out to warm exotic places.

I will close my eyes, allow the warmth of the water to permeate my soul and the whole world is new again.  I sneak off to my secret place … Just me and the rubber ducky.

I can hardly wait.


“We need to take actual time every day to think about and express gratitude for the important role our homes play in our lives.”

Wind Win


Over eight years of the Bush Administration, the number of jobs in the nation has only increased 2%, the weakest job growth in the seven decades since these statistics have been complied.  It will be interesting to see how he re-writes that one.

53% of Americans favor passage of a $775 billion stimulus package like the one Barack Obama wants to push thru Congress, while 36% are opposed.  76% say they support major new government spending on highways, bridges, and other public-works projects.  18% oppose the initiative outright.

Now some five and one-half months after George Bush was criticized heavily for passing legislation without consideration, we have a 650 page document, loaded with pork, that is being urged to be rushed through the legislative process in the very same manner.  It had been my profound hope that members of Congress would have taken swift action on this, but it appears that they’re more likely to temporize it and move on.

Government deficit spending is not the solution to the problem, it has never worked before and it will not work now.  This is the same type of political manure that America is famous for … Throwing massive amounts of money at a problem hoping it will just somehow go away.  I suppose being all for it is alright, as long as you know what it is.

Spending our money here in our backyard is good policy and I am for that.  Large random infusions of cash won’t work, if it is not directly linked to the economy. We need to be writing new law for solar, for wind power, for American business, giving them incentives to go after this lucrative prize.

I don’t believe we ought to be farming all of our business out to foreign concerns, selling off our real estate to other countries or turning our infrastructure over to people who do not live here.  It is bad enough that we allow the hemorrhaging of our way of life and our society by allowing “American” companies to take the job overseas, and send our friends and neighbors to the house.

If we are going to build new roads and bridges, then use American technology and manpower, tools, to do it.  Don’t farm it out to Mexico or someone else, simply because it is cheaper.  We need a new power grid in this country, that is fine, and I agree with it.  Don’t buy the wind turbines and the construction of the massive wind farms from the European concerns that are wanting to sell it to us.

I don’t know, it appears that a lot of folks possibly believe that “electricity is just going to fall from the sky on a lot of this” or something.  Something has to turn; something has to burn, in order to make electricity.

You rush out and buy a New Volt from Chevrolet that doesn’t mean you are saving the planet, you still have TO PLUG IT IN SOMEHWERE it is still going to take something to power it.  You don’t have to be an Al Gore protégé to figure that one out.

You don’t have to look around very far to see example of bad policy, just look south to Mexico City.  The air pollution in Mexico City was once so bad that birds dropped dead while flying and children in school used to use brown crayons to draw pictures of the sky.  Mexico cracked down and over a decade or so, it improved so that much of its 20 million residents are now breathing better.

So we know it can be done, but it won’t happen by burning more fossil fuels, or “Clean Coal” the lie of the coal companies.  We need clean alternatives to our power problems, wind or solar, we do not need coal.  When people like T.B. Pickens tell us that it can be done, and it should be done, we need to at least listen to the arguments.

Think wind power only creates electricity?

Think again.

Wind creates something else, like thousands of American jobs.

It produces clean energy; it is also good for the economy.  Clean Coal is a lie, there is no such thing, it only exists in the imperfect unproven science of coal companies and nowhere else.  The demand for sustainable, clean modern energy has never been greater and limitless wind power can be put to good use in more ways than one.

It is a win – win as long as we stick to the game plan.

Use our people – our manufacturing – to get the job done.  Let’s keep our future in-house, not offshore.  Let’s rewrite NAFTA, roll up our sleeves and get busy.  Build something for our future generations and clean up our own backyard, then go help some foreigner with his.

All of this has happened before:  The NAFTA National Anthem. It is imperative that we do not allow this to happen again.


I Am Not God II

Recently feeling a compelling urge to come up with a solution to this unsubstantiated report that I am God that has been floating around, I drove out west of the city, to a large hill, and I sat there and meditated, took time to survey my kingdom, which mainly consists of the Interstate Highway and lot’s of trucks.

Once again, I took time to look deep inside and determine who it is that I am.

My hum-drum life slowly unfolded before my very eyes … I enjoy urban hang gliding.  On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge for elderly citizens.  I lay ceramic tile. I can wash a dog or groom a kid for Sunday School, have done so on one or more occasions.  Know how to trap a cat.  Move furniture and lift heavy objects.  I have never had a hole in one.  I can shift a tri-plex, duplex, 4X4, 6X4, without grinding most of the time.  I don’t cheat at cards, monopoly or trifle with other peoples women.

I got a Chiapet for Christmas and it has already went bald!

Life is good for me a starving abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless NFL bookie.  Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening-wear.  I don’t perspire.  I am a very private citizen, yet I receive copious amounts of email fan mail.  I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes to the “free” concerts at the zoo.  Last summer I toured all of New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration outfit.

I stand 5’10” and I weigh 200-none-of-your-business soaking wet.  I bat .375 when I am on top of my game.  Confession is good for the soul, so I have been told …. I have in my youth trifled with women — Guilty!  I have hacked off the senior sound manager of my church with complete abandon and I didn’t even have to sing — Guilty!  I don’t necessary think all Arabs are evil people — Guilty!  I cannot under any circumstance imaginable find myself liking Rap Music — Guilty!  When I was a little dinker and late at night I prayed, “I cross my heart and hope to die?” I confess, I didn’t really mean that second part … Guilty!

In my youth, I would climb electrical transmission towers just to listen to them buzz and crackle in the dark summer night.  I love my state representative in government, ol’ what’s his name?  My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles.  Children trust me.  Richard Simmons knew me when I weighted 350 lbs  ..  I can pump my own gas and check my own oil.  I can re-ink my own cartridges without making a huge mess of my office.  I can load the paper into the printer in under three minutes!  (Yes I can!)

I know and understand the meaning of verbose.  But often never adhere to the principle.

I can run a paper shredder, I know what Jennifer Lopez used to keep her dress on during the Grammy’s and I hit a $25 jackpot in Reno one time.  I have every Lawrence Welk record ever made, including his salute to Woodstock.  I buy cookies from the Girl Scouts and the Brownies.  Give them to my neighbors because I am not allowed to have cookies from the Girl Scouts and the Brownies.

I have been known to hurl a tennis racket with uncanny accuracy at moving objects, I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, David Copperfield and the Godfather in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dinning room table that evening.

I can locate studs behind wallboard without a stud finder!

My wife instructed me and showed me every food group in the supermarket.  I have performed several covert operations with the CIA in an attempt to locate WMD in the Cleveland area.  I sleep once a week; and when I do sleep, I sleep in a hard backed chair.  While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery.

The laws of physics do not apply to me.  I have eleven toes on one foot, I can swim faster than Chuck Norris, and I believe anyone who collects John Tesche albums or Barry Manilow records are wimps.  I don’t like sour cream on my baked potato’s and gravy on my sour dough biscuits.

I turn right on red lights all of the time, drive 8 miles over the posted speed limits, all of the time, I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills on my credit cards are usually paid promptly by the 15th.  On weekends, to let off steam I participate in full-contact origami.  Most of the time I cannot locate my car keys.

Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down.

I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a toaster oven.  I can eat sushi without upchucking it afterwards.  I breed prize winning clams in the creek behind my house.  I have won bullfights in San Jan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and Spelling Bees at the Kremlin.  I can operate a microwave oven and pop my own popcorn.

Often in the summer months, I will play Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis (before and after he died), I share my opinions freely and unsolicted, and spent the night at a Holiday Inn.  I know the first name of the Ice Cream Truck driver and the UPS guy.  I actually voted for Richard M. Nixon once.

I laugh, I learn, I sometimes cry.

I don’t want to be stinkin’ rich, but I would not mind smelling bad.  I have no real claim to fame.  Don’t feel the need to tell the world of my accomplishments.  No need to post my name. The highest title or accomplishment I ever achieved in life was … The title of  “Dad.”

And that was okay with me.

Fully understanding and well aware of the fact that I am not God, I just try and do my level best with all the talents and things that he has richly blessed me with.  I am also pretty sure that Oprah would find me interesting and a real hoot.  After all, “A man wrapped up in himself is a very small bundle” (Ben Franklin)  So that means I would be a good fit for her couch or Dr. Phil on any given day of the week.

Check your local listings.