It Aint What It Seems

Things have been driving me nuts here lately, and I can no longer abide by a lot of things.  I need to learn how to suck it up.  

Every now and then, I feel the need to get outta town for awhile.  That time has come, so much to the wonderment and absolute glee of the major oil companies, I am going to get out in my bus and burn off some fossilized carbon atoms and spend large sums of money in order to do it. Things have gotten better here lately, diesel is once again, under $4 per gallon and I hear that President Obama numbers have gotten so good he has been upgraded from an empty chair to a small empty sofa.  (Please note I did not say Love Seat, we all know that dawg aint gonna hunt, don’t we?) So I have decided to “suck it up” … bite the bullet, eat my shorts, whatever.  I am out of town for a week or two, so if you don’t see any new posts.  Don’t worry, it is because I am out of pocket for awhile. When you wish upon a star, it makes no difference who you are … Oh yeah, before I forget.  I read some more interesting news on the space thing (that is what I am calling my latest obsession, my therapists she calls it a fixation, but I like space thing a whole lot better).  Anywho, a galaxy-wide search for earth like planets has returned a startling number of candidates.  Using NASA’s Kepler space telescope, astronomers this year announced they’d spotted roughly 2,326 new worlds and they are still counting.  Ten of those planets are close to the size of ours and orbit their suns (orbiting around a star, such as we do) in the “hospitable zone,” where temperatures could be a balmy 72 degrees which would support liquid water and potentially life.

Which brings us to that age old question …

I wonder which side

of the road they drive on?

Some people should absolutely NOT drink.  I am one of them, my wife says that no one appreciates it when you get up on top of the coffee table and do surfer imitations while singing to a Beach Boy Album (ask your Mom and Dad kids, I don’t have time to explain all of this).  A California man (where else?) was charged with unlawfully maiming a reptile after he bit a python at a connivence store.  He saw a woman showing off her snake to the clerk, so he walked up to it and sank his teeth into it, so hard, as to require medical attention for the snake.

Now I have been a little bit tight at times in my life,

but never thought of biting a snake,

maybe the foreigner behind the counter,

but never a snake.

Loyalty can get expensive.  Did you know that you are most likely paying too much for just about everything?  Well you are, and here is an article that explains it all.  It appears that all of the “newcomers” in America are getting the deal, customer loyalty counts for zip.   Surprisingly it makes a whole lot of sense when you stop and think about it.  You get the better deals by shopping around … Check it out. Working from home could be dangerous.  Me I am pretty much set in my ways and do most of my work from home, but still there is the inherent danger of working at home and not at the office.  With all endeavors, there is always the little thing that happens that kind of throws a wrench into the machinery.

Everything has a shelf life, all things wear out.  Do you need glasses??

Look carefully at the picture below.

Did you see the bare butt of the girl in the background?

If you did see that in the picture, you need to have your eyes checked, as that is the armpit of the girl holding the the camera.  (I have taken the liberty of making an eye appointment for you at 2pm, next MONDAY afternoon)  Things aren’t always what they appear to be. So Boys & Girls, the email is shut down and we are headed out of town!  We thought we might go down to Alabama and visit our relatives, see what they are up to.  My side of the family … really fun people.

Y’all be nice to each other while I am gone, play fair, don’t kill anyone.  Browse the archives, there is plenty to read over there, and here is the best part. It’s all free.

OOO

Shell Oil Sucks

As a typical American, I have multiple vehicles, all of which require fuel in order to use.  So this year, I applied for and was granted a Shell Oil Card for my purchases.  This card is not directly issued by Shell, but by Citigroup a credit card outfit in South Dakota.

This where the first problem rears its ugly head.  They issue the card, and then promptly put a $400 limit on the card, even when your credit rating is absolutely blemish free and stellar.  Try figuring out how to fill up three cars on a $400 limit at today’s prices and then throw in a bus with a 225 gallon tank, and you can readily see what the problem might be.

Last month I sent them $225.00 in the form of a check, my account balance at that time was $223 and some change.  They in turn, converted my check to an electronic payment (which allows them to keep the check, a practice I did not ask for), then they submitted the billing to my bank, who issued funds to them as payment.  Nice huh, now I have NO proof of payment.

This is where it all starts to unravel.

The Nimrod in South Dakota, reading the check submits it as “$25 instead of $225” and my bank pays the lesser amount.  Now I note that this error has occurred so I call them to inform them of the error.  This is when they start the process of trying to make me jump thru hoops and you are required to listen to elevator music, while they put you on hold trying to figure out what the hell they are doing?

Then the girl comes back on the telephone after what seems like an eternity of time (roughly 13 minutes) and informs you (the consumer) that YOU need to issue a NEW CHECK in the amount of $200.00.  So you ask why?  They are the one’s who caused the problem, but they dump it right back on you, and you are supposed to gladly cough up an additional $200 while they figure out the best way to handle the problem.  With no assurances as to what they are going to do with the check that they now have, which has a $200 balance still on it.

Now I am informed that they are going to dispute the payment for me and that resolution of this problem could possibly take as long as sixty days.

What a crock.

It is no wonder why America has turned into a lousy third world debt ridden country with moron’s like this routinely screwing up the simplest of business dealings and then failing (often with impunity) to stand up and correct what it is they _____ up.  (You fill in the blanks)

In this day and age, motor-fuel is a necessity of life, I don’t own a horse, and I am too old to ride a bicycle.  But one thing is for sure …. I don’t “NEED” Shell Oil Company … Like flea’s on a dog, locations to purchase motor-fuel are everywhere.

I am going to stop doing business with Shell, they most likely will just keep rolling right on down the boulevard without me and I will not be missed.  Sad to say, I kind of feel like a one armed man at an ass kicking contest, almost as if I brought a pen knife to a gun fight.

It could be Shell Oil that is messed up, or it could be the people who handle their accounts, which is Citigroup.  In the end, some sixty days down the line, you could find yourself kicking the wrong dog and starting all over.  As it stands I really do not know who is at fault here, I just know that it is bad business and they can forget mine, I am taking mine somewhere else.

One thing is for sure … I don’t need crap like this.  Both of them, can kiss the part of me that goes over the fence last.

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Cartoons courtesy of AmericanProgress.org

Heat Wave

We’re having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave …  American’s are sweltering in the heat and there seems to be no relief in sight.  No power and what is on line, is severely strained to the point of brownouts, I believe they are called “rolling black outs” now.  This is what happens to a country that sits back and ignores its infrastructure and invests all of its resources in wars and defense of enemies that somehow never seem to materialize.

Speaking of defense, I have it on good authority, that the last soldier in the War on Drugs died this week ….. Of old age.

We desperately need to prioritize our goals and do a little internal house cleaning in this country … that is … If there is time left for us to do that what needs to be done.  We are almost to the point of not knowing c’mere from sick ’em.  This latest boon-doggle from the U.S. Supreme Court is a fairly good indicator.

For the first time in a long, long while the inflow of illegals into this country has ceased, it is now a negative number.  This could be because of the new policy of posting huge billboards along the U.S. – Mexican border displaying job statistic’s in English and Spanish on this robust economy we are now suffering … uh … living in.

To help save the economy, the Government will announce next month that the Immigration Department will start deporting seniors (instead of illegals) in order to lower Social Security and Medicare costs.  They figure that o

lder people are easier to catch and will not remember how to get back home.  I started to cry when I thought of some of you.  Then it dawned on me …  I’ll Probably see you on the bus!

What else we got?

Let me see …

Johnstown, PA (GlossyNews) – Local and state police scoured the hills outside rural Johnstown, Pennsylvania, after reports of three animal rights activists going missing after attempting to protest the wearing of leather at a large motorcycle gang rally this weekend. Two others, previously reported missing, were discovered by fast food workers “duct taped inside fast food restaurant dumpsters,” according to police officials.

”Something just went wrong,” said a still visibly shaken organizer of the protest.

“Something just went horribly, horribly, wrong.”

The organizer said a group of concerned animal rights activist groups, “growing tired of throwing fake blood and shouting profanities at older women wearing leather or fur coats,” decided to protest the annual motorcycle club event “in a hope to show them our outrage at their wanting to use  leather in their clothing and motor bike seats.”

“In fact,” said the organizer, “motorcycle gangs are one of the biggest abusers of wearing leather, and we decided it was high time that we let them know that we disagree with them using it, ergo, they should stop.”

According to witnesses, protesters arrived at the event in a vintage 1960’s era Volkswagen Van and began to pelt the gang members with balloons filled with red colored water, simulating blood, and shouting “you’re murderers” to passers by.  This, evidently, is when the brouhaha began.

“They peed on me!!!” charged one activist.

“They grabbed me, said I looked like I was French, started calling me ‘La Trene’, and duct taped me to a tree so they could pee on me all day!”

Still others claimed they were forced to eat hamburgers and hot dogs under duress.  Those who resisted were allegedly held down while several bikers “farted on their heads.”

Police officials declined comments on any leads or arrests due to the ongoing nature of the investigation; however, organizers for the motorcycle club rally expressed “surprise” at the allegations.

”That’s preposterous,”said one high-ranking member of the biker organizing committee.  “We were having a party, and these people showed up and were very rude to us.  They threw things at us, called us names, and tried to ruin the entire event.  So, what did we do?  We invited them to the party!  What could be more friendly than that?

You know, just because we are all members of motorcycle clubs does not mean we do not care about inclusiveness. Personally, I think it shows a lack of character for them to be saying such nasty things about us after we bent over backwards to make them feel welcome.”

When confronted with the allegations of force-feeding the activists meat, using them as ad hoc latrines, leaving them incapacitated in fast food restaurant dumpsters, and ‘farting on their heads,’ the organizer declined to comment in detail. 
  
“That’s just our secret handshake,” assured the organizer.

You want to put me on a bus?  Hey, I got one all picked out.

Where do I sign up?

OOO

Cartoons courtesy of American Progress.org

[#1291]

Retrofit Post

Kind of funny, how something written years ago (2008) can still be considered appropriate and right on the money.  Doing a little house cleaning this morning and stumbled up on this.

I Cannot Drive My Car

I asked a girl to go traveling with me

See the country in an SUV

Pulled into the station the sign was obscene

The pump was hooked up to a cash machine

I cannot afford to drive my car

$50 won’t get me far

baby you can push my car,

and maybe I’ll help you

beep-beep it aint cheap yeah

I had a friend said his Honda was good

Because they have batteries under the hood

Owning a Prius is all very cool

But I got a gas hog that guzzles the fuel

I can’t afford to drive my car

$50 won’t get me far

don’t know how to push that car

or maybe I’ll buy me a mule

beep-beep it aint cheap yeah

beep-beep it aint cheap yeah

beep-beep it aint cheap yeah

OOO

More Of What Matters

Christmas officially being retired, it is now time for the annual rush BACK TO THE STORES to fill up on even more crap.  As a matter of fact …. I just got back from the Mall.  The wife did a lot of shopping and I sat in the truck out in the parking lot (evidently security does not allow people to walk around the Mall in their pajamas’?). 

Over the holidays I came across this little thing here, and it just about sums it all up.

The American Dream in Full Swing. 

What was really scary was as I watched it, I saw a lot of myself in this. 

Check it out.

OOO

MADE IN AMERICA

Out of work?  Need a job?

No small wonder, when you stop to look around at what is going down in this country.  We spend it everywhere but here at home, we talk about improving our lot, then they step out and buy it from Brazil or some other place.  You want a job, then start buying American goods, it is just that simple.

Don’t believe the hype when these people (the pecker-heads in Washington and on Wall Street) tell you it cannot be done in a Global Economy, that we have to outsource everything, because of high labor costs in this country and a host of other excuses … Don’t buy into it.  It can be done … And it can be done right here at home.


It is time to step up to the plate and take back what the Chinese and the Mexicans have stolen from us with their slave labor and cheap inferior priced items.

Here is a video that is very interesting.

Watch it & then forward it along. 

(Please stick with it to the end before you go to Home Depot or Lowes.)

Click here for Made In America

OOO

Christmas 2011 — Birth of a New Tradition

I seem to be on some kind of patriotic jag this week, so in the spirit, here is something new.  Most of it was gleaned from an interesting email I received recently, but it makes sense, so I cleaned it up some and I am passing it on.

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods — merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor.

This year we have the opportunity to do something quite different. This Christmas Americans can give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands.

It’s time to think outside the box, people.

Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?  Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?  Gym membership?  It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.  Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down your hard earned dead president’s (cash) on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

Speaking for myself, I sure would, sign me up!

There are a host of owner-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint.  Remember, folks this isn’t about big National chains — this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line desperately trying to keep their doors open.  It is time, high time, to bring the business “back” to the places that will do us the most good, Hometown America … or as they say here … The Heartland.

How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?  Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.  My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

Okay, you were looking for something

a tad bit more personal. 

Gotcha.

Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.  I have a local craftsman right now, that is building me two jewelry boxes, one for the wife and one for the grand-daughter.  You could do the same.  Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice generous tip.  And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theater.  Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas should no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city.

So besides celebrating your Religious Holiday as you have done for most of your life, you have a new deal this year.  Worship the baby and then do something good for your country.  Christmas is now (starting today) about caring about your country, The United States.  It is time to start encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine.

This year make THIS the new

American Christmas tradition.

Do a copy-cut-paste on this and then forward this to everyone on your mailing list — post it to discussion groups — throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in your city — send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations, and TV news departments.  Take a small piece of plastic shaped in the image of piece of fruit (something like a banana) and stick it on your refrigerator just to remind you every now and then!

And remember … This is a movement of caring about and for each other, isn’t that what Christmas is about?  The really neat thing about this is you don’t have to drive to Wall Street to spread the message and in the end … when they tally the numbers … they will have received the message.  All you have to do is make a conscious decision to spend your money here at home.

Like Staples is fond of saying  … That was Easy.*

OOO

* Kudo’s to Jimmy Wo for the article idea and email.