All Hot And Bothered

Be Careful … I.D. Theft Is Real

Driving by the bank, 9:14 A.M. and the electronic temperature sign is reading 91* and I think to myself … “That aint bad.”  Then it occurs to me, how strange it seems that a temperature of 91* early in the morning feels quite “comfortable” opposed to the extreme heat we have been suffering thru here lately.

This morning, I am following some earth mover down a city street, huge machine, no tail-lights, no headlights, no flashers, no scout car.  Why is it I have to buy $1,200.00 a year worth of insurance before I get a tag and am allowed to drive, when this thing goes down the road with absolutely nothing?

Here is another one, come to think of it.  “I have seen people drive on out of state plates for years and obviously never give a thought to getting Oklahoma plates, off topic but it pisses you off, does me anyhow.”

We major in minor things in this country, that is our problem.

What we basically need to do is stop worry about whether or not Chick Fillet is going to serve a homosexual or marry one and get back to business.  (Perhaps someday soon, UFO’s will land on our planet and we can tell them that all these whiny people who just cannot stand it because they are unabashedly different from the rest of society, taste just like chicken and maybe this problem will be solved)

Today we are going to (bash or rant) talk about insurance.

A friend of mine called recently and he was hit by an illegal driving a car without insurance, and the other driver did not have a valid Oklahoma Drivers Lic.  More than likely the name he gave will turn out to be bogus too.  (Which really doesn’t matter, he will just change it to another Spanish surname and keep right on trucking)  My buddy however is now out of a car, or at best, going to have to figure out a way to pay for the damages and his medical.

So here we go, climbing back up on the soapbox, here it is.

We need to write an ordinance or law, stating that if a driver is pulled over by law enforcement and is not able to provide proof of Insurance, the car is towed.  Only one of every five car owners (from Mexico) in Oklahoma have insurance coverage and only one out of every three even bothers to get a lic.. This doesn’t let Okies or Caucasians off the hook either, you operate a motor vech. and you are not up to snuff … You lose it.

Pretty simple really.

When stopped for a violation and it is determined they are not up to date on either, we should take the car.  Don’t write them a ticket and allow them to drive off, call a wrecker and impound it right then and there.  To retrieve the car after being impounded, they must show proof of insurance to have the car released and/or valid drivers lic..

This should make it easy for any city in America to remove uninsured cars from our streets.  The impound lots will begin to fill up quickly and could possibly be full after only nine or ten days.  I would even venture to guess that something like 80% of the impounded cars are most likely going to be driven by illegals.

Now this has gone on long enough.

It is time for law enforcement to insist on proof of insurance or impound the car.  And to have their car released, they should have to pay for the cost of the tow, a $350 fine, and $20 for every day their car is kept in the lot.  One other thing, “drop this Spanish written drivers test and get rid of the translators. I want the person behind me to be able to READ ENGLISH.  If the sign says … Traffic stopped ahead or something to that effect.”

Guess what?

Accident rates should go down almost immediately … This solution gets uninsured drivers off the road WITHOUT making them show proof of nationality.  Which will really irritate all the PC crowd and the do-gooder cry babies who scream profiling.  I Wonder how the ACLU or the Justice Department will get around this one.  Just brings tears to your eyes doesn’t it?

So that is it for today, eight hundred words on how to solve a problem.  My total word count for August is off to a good start.  Think of me sitting in my lawn chair, watching the sun slowly disappear on the horizon and have pity on my poor twisted and tortured soul.

I do not know what is the latest.  I do not know what is new and improved.  I do not know what is available for only a short time.  All I know for sure is that I am sick of the above and of course Chicken Fillet and all that stooooopid media crap.

Such is my lot in life.  Now if you will excuse me, I am going back to my daydreams of the beach, summer time is a good time to go to the beach.

I wonder if it is cooler there?

Have a great weekend, and of course, stay hydrated and in the shade.


A sampling of what folks have been reading at Creative Endeavors this week:

Bikinis (The reason men are pigs)

Really Ungood Man

The Worry Tree

Eagle Bus Project Files

Wood Ice Chest

Clear Blue Sky

A Moment In Time

Old And Cranky

Had To Happen

Bought my fuel yesterday and it came to $79.02 which of course “shocked me somewhat.”  I have to admit, I was not ready for that, later on during the trip to town I amused myself by imagining that “I am only steps away from a one-hundred dollar tankful.”  Who in their wildest dreams would have ever imagined such a thing.  Certainly … not me.

smiling ladies

Some things and I suppose, people, age well.  Some things I suppose, like people, just get old.  Get cantankerous, out of sorts, and hard to deal with.  I often fall into that second category.  I didn’t fare all that well last week in the smile department, but this week, I am going to do better.  I am going to make a “concentrated effort to smile more, amuse myself, cheer up even if it kills me.”

This past week I have been suffering thru irritable male syndrome.  My testosterone levels have been lower than a New Orleans levy at flood stage and my brain, the part of my brain that is in charge of basic’s such as functioning, emotions, behavior, have been strangely out to lunch for most of the week.

The mere thought of me smiling about anything here lately, is as foreign to me as Obama speaking in Farsi when he begs for more oil.  I desperately want to smile, just isn’t all that much of a humorous nature here lately.  But I am gonna do better.

I have made up my mind that I AM GOING TO GO FOR IT!

Perhaps I need to get more sleep, that might be the problem.  I am finding out as I age, I need at least 8 hours of sleep a day, and 10 hours at night.  Sleep is the best thing, and the cheapest thing available to me these days.  I love to sleep, the best of two worlds, you get to be alive and unconscious at the same time.  And on some days, you can actually work in a nap.

That makes me smile.

It is not easy to say exactly what makes one box of odds and ends a valuable antique, and what makes another box a piece of junk.   But the thought of tossing one (out of our garage, which is full of the trash of man) into a dumpster …. That makes me smile.  It might be that throwing stuff away that is cluttering up your home is a cathartic experience that just feels good.  That too, makes me smile.

The mere thought of it upsetting the little woman’s applecart, that is just an added bonus … Hey, we are on a roll.

Not being able to yell out “Oh boy!” in Jonesboro, Georgia, or finding out that unrestrained giggling on the street is illegal in Helena, Montana; those insane laws make me smile.  It is illegal in the state of Oklahoma to tie your ass up within 50 ft of a courthouse, ass meaning donkey.  Which would be appropriate term for anyone drafting such legislation or allowing it to remain on the books.  Purchasing a new car for thousands of dollars in order to save hundreds on gas … that makes me smile.

When they announce on the news that they have busted some hooker and she has a black book that is full of politicians names …… that makes me smile.

Reading in the paper that the longest earthworm ever found in the world measured 22 ft. from head to toe, that makes me smile, I mean, where would one ever use stupid useless information like that?  Did you know that the word Mascara, a cosmetic applied to darken eyelashes comes from the Spanish word ma’scara, which in terms come from the Italian maschera, both of which mean, appropriately, “mask.”  The root of the words however come for Arabic maskharah, which means buffoon or clown.

Which is what I would be if I lived in San Francisco and used the stuff, that makes me smile.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have all the answers, and ninety percent of the time, I completely forget the questions.  My family physician told me that I have something he called Attention Deficit Disorder.  He said, “A.D.D. is a complex disorder, blah, blah, blah.”  I didn’t pay much attention to the rest of it.

This friend of mine, who happens to be from California, is back here to visit with the family.  We went out to eat yesterday and he said during lunch, “If you were to go camping out in the woods, and someone, late at night, snuck into your tent and molested you would you tell anyone about it?” And I thought about it a minute, and replied, “No way.  I don’t want no one to know something that terrible happened to me!” He smiled and then said ……… “You wanna go fishin’ this weekend?” ….

That … Makes me smile.

So as you can see, I am just about clueless.  Happy and stupid this morning, pour me another cup of that coffee and don’t worry about my road rage, I will take care of it. I don’t have any idea what makes some people smile and others to frown.  I don’t know why some people consistently have a “nice day” and others never seem to see it materialize.

This morning, at this very moment, I am smiling a great deal, because the computers’ ISP is down, the stoooopid computer doesn’t know this, and it keeps trying to update me, download me, and is getting frustrated as all get-out (Okie Expression) because it is not being allowed to function in a rational manner.  It has sent me numerous dialogue boxes and/or messages asking  that I re-establish the link.

Mid week, I get this letter from my “friendly State Farm Agent” and it says, rather tersely, “our records indicate that your present telephone number is no longer 405- **** and that number is no longer your number.  Please inform us of your new number immediately and any other cell phone numbers that you have.”

Yeah right, I don’t “immediately” do anything for anyone, yet alone a stinking insurance company.  Tossing that into the trash bin … that makes me smile.

And last but not least.  I think about all of my Amigo’s from down south.  The mere thought of knowing I have all these wonderful people coming to this country each and everyday and they are depending on me …. Now that … Believe it or not …  That makes me smile!


The Short Rows

Don’t really know where the term “The Short Rows” originated, I first heard it as a lad, applied to the practice of plowing a field. When you are harvesting or plowing a field, and you are almost done, you are in “the short rows” which is the very edge of the field.

It also could apply to a person’s life, when you reach that point, where you have more of it behind you and very little of it left in front of you.

And last, I guess we could apply it to the year, being close to November, we are in “the short rows of 2008,” and 2009, is just around the corner.

I remember a long time ago, walking in a graveyard in Livermore, California, I came across a tombstone (head marker) that read: “As you are, I once was. As I am, you someday shall be.” That always stuck with me for some reason. A grain of truth in that believe it or not. What goes round … Comes around … Where I am at, you are some day going to be.

That is, if you are not already there.

There are three things that will eat your proverbial lunch in this life. Most folks would agree with me on this, and they are: (1) Taxes. You have them always, they never go down, and they never, ever, go away. (2) Insurance. You are dammed if you have it and dammed if you don’t. Almost like heroin, it is something you cannot live without. (3) Health Care. Which is of course, a form of insurance, but never the less, something you desperately need. A very necessary economic fact, especially on the downhill side of life.

So, as I am so fond of saying, down the road you go. You work hard, you build something, and hopefully you rest a bit.

Youth has a way of slipping by without your really noticing it. One day you stand before the mirror as you have day after day, but this day it is different. What was youth, is no longer there staring back at you. You get busy working, raising a family, watching the kids grow, spending every waking hour searching for that little extra each month, to kind of nudge it over the top.

You plan and you scheme, you cry and you dream, God smiles,and life just sorta slips by unnoticed.  The weeks into months, months into years, first thing y’know.

Looking back to 1974 (which to me, doesn’t seem all that long ago, but it was) I can remember stretching my monthly dollar value to buy the best possible house I could afford. It cost me and the bride, $118 a month, and at that time, I was really concerned that I would be able to meet that $118 obligation each month. Today the taxes alone, are over that amount. By the time I had finished paying off that house, some seven years early on a thirty-year note. My payment had escalated to over $269 per month. Why?

Taxes and Insurance.

It is almost impossible for me to even wonder where all of this is going to end up in the end. My only consolation being, I more than likely am looking at the short rows on this at this point in my life. So in retrospect you wonder if you made a change. Did you leave something for the next person down the pike?

I am not sure if I have or not, to tell you the truth.

In a way, you want to warn young people of the apparent dangers of government that is clearly running a muck. You want to try and point out the pitfalls of life, and give them a friendly “heads up” on what is really going on. You don’t want them to have to deal with the misery and pain that you have experienced, you feel the need to pass something onto them, so hopefully, their generation can make a positive change.

Most of the time this simply doesn’t work, and falls on deaf ears. As such was the case when my father and those before him, tried to pass it on to me. Generational curse or something I guess.

It is often difficult trying to deal or explain things to someone twenty years old or younger. They see the world in a totally different light than others. The American Dream is totally out of reach or foreign to them in scope or concept and the moral foundation is completely different from people my age. It often screws things up big time, communication is at best, difficult.

Just in case you weren’t feeling old enough today, the remainder of this will certainly change things.  If you have hung in here this far, might as well stick around for the rest.

The people who are starting college this fall across the nation were for the most part, born in 1990. they have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan Era and probably did not know he was shot. They know nothing of LBJ’s Great Society, Nixon’s resignation and shame, Woodstock or Kent State.

They were infants when the Persian Gulf War was waged, pre-pubescent when Saddam went down, more than likely, have only known one Pope in their lifetime. They were children when the Soviet Union broke apart and the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, they do not remember or possibly even know of the meaning of the word, Cold War.

The majority of them are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up. Tienanmen Square means nothing to them. Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic. Jay Leno has always been the host of the Tonight show.

Atari predates them as do vinyl albums and hot wax. The expression “You sound like a broken record” sounds foreign to them and more than likely has no meaning. They have never owned a record player. They have likely never played “Pac Man” and never heard of “Pong.” The CD was introduced when they were one year old.

All homes have always had an answering machine, home computer, most have never seen a television with only thirteen channels or a black and white TV. They have always had cable TV available to them. There have always been VCR’s but they have no idea what BETA was. They cannot fathom life without the use of a remote control.

They don’t know what a cloth baby diaper is, or know about the “Help Me! I have fallen and I cannot get up commercial” famous years ago. They were born in the year that Walkman’s were introduced by Sony. Roller skates have always meant “in line” to them. They have no idea when or why Jordache jeans were cool and country music was not.

Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave. They have never seen Larry Bird play. They never took a swim in the ocean and worried about “Jaws.” The Viet Nam War is an ancient history to them as WW I, WW II, Civil war and Korea.

They have no idea that American’s were once held hostage in Iran. They can’t imagine what a hard contact lens might be. They don’t know who Mork was or where he was from (it was the planet Ork, if anyone cares to remember). They never heard the expression “Where’s the beef?”… “I’d walk a mile for a Camel or “de plane!, de plane! (Fantasy Island ABC).”

They have no idea as to who shot J.R. and more than likely even who he was.

Michael Jackson has always been white (or kind of off white). Kansas, Chicago, Boston, America, and Alabama are places they have heard of, not bands. They never new Cassius Clay but followed Muhammad Ali and have seen the movie of his life and times. There has always been MTV. They don’t have a clue as to how to use a typewriter, have never purchased a 19 cent hamburger from McDonalds or purchased .22 cent per gallon gasoline.

So when you stop and try to explain something to the younger set, you are more than likely not on the same page, level, plain, or neighborhood. It is entirely possible you could not even been remotely close to their zip code.

Having no earthly clue as to which way the wind will blow in this country in the coming years, having no crystal ball to look down the beaten path a ways, I just do my best to pass on what it is that I do know. The future for me is just as hidden as the past I can no longer see.

So in the time that I have, I feel it is my duty to try and pass on something, anything that I can. To humbly explain whenever possible that there should be more to life than just being a tax slave for the U.S. government (or any damn government). The longing of the human condition to search out and find life, we deserve it, we need it.

It seems so necessary now, to just to take the shot, plant the seed and hope it lands somewhere where it will grow. Because as you see …We are all morally challenged (like it or not) to give something back as we pass thru life, we are all designated to try and change it and make it better.

Take time today to stop and consider one important aspect of life.  If you fill your heart with regrets of yesterday and the worries of tomorrow, you have no today to be thankful for.  If you want to make a change for the better … then it is up to you.

As my friend in the U.K. puts it … “Mind The Gap” … Celebrate life, don’t let it grind you down. Before you know it, you could find yourself like me, standing here in the short rows wondering where it all went. If there is one scintilla of truth in all of this it is this … As you are … I once was … As I am … You someday shall be.

Bet your last dollar on it.


Fuelish Moves

Fly By NiteToday was one of those rare, picture perfect Oklahoma Days, where you can sit on the porch and hear yourself think.  All the dogs are laid down and nappin’, no meter readers sneaking thru the yards, the police helicopter is in the stall at the downtown airpark, and I have peace of mind.

Sitting there in my very best George Bush Lied T-Shirt, sucking on a cup of good Columbian Coffee from China Mart and thinking about how sweet life seems to be. 

Then my neighbor Donna walks up and out of nowhere and announces, “You are going to have to take that camper off your truck, and get rid of that wind thingy on the roof.”  (It is an air deflector, but you have to remember, we are Okies, and a lot of the time, we just don’t know any better) Not being a big fan or a charter member of the “we are running out of oil doggy and pony show” that currently is showing all around the country, I said to her, “Why?”

And then she proceeded to tell me about how the world as we know it is just about flat out of everything known to modern man, that we will all perish in some cataclysmic event, and much like the dinosaurs of late, disappear from the face of the earth.  That the rays of the sun will turn our well tanned bodies into tomorrows’ old wrinkled prunes, and that we will in the end be worm food for some wide-eyed half-crazed environmentalist from the Sierra Club … or the San Francisco Bay Area …. Or something like that?

It never ends for me.

Just when it gets better, and I believe I am round the corner, here they come!  Someone, somewhere, opens a gate, and they all stampede to my house, foaming at the mouth.  Her solution to the dilemma was for me to either strip my vehicle to bare bones or buy a new car.  Weird science, but like I said, “we are Okies, and a lot of the time, we just don’t know any better.” (I can just hear all those folks over there in Arkansas at the Retirement Home snickering on that one.)

If you want to subscribe to the new car, I can beat the oil companies and GM/Ford at their own monthly installment game plan, go right ahead. 

Personally I am not all that hopped up to spend a couple of thousand to save a few hundred.  It is just outright insanity.  They are building better cars these days, I will give them that.  But they can do a lot better than what they are doing now.  Until then, it is just kick back, take your time, drive slower and do your level best to slow down.

In 2004, I caught car fever; I just had to have me a new silver hoopie, fully loaded with all the bells and whistles as they say. I knew all the negative consequences with financing and purchasing a new car, but I found a way to justify the purchase in my mind. Only two years later, my $34,000 vehicle was worth about $17,800, according to “The Blue Book.”  Next to nothing, according to the “Finance Specialist at the dealer.”  It was the worst depreciated asset I ever bought, and to this day, I regret it.

That’s a $16,200 loss in value over a two-year period. That’s like driving down the street and throwing $169 out of the window each and every week.  And now, with fuel benchmarked where it is, and my 13.4 mpg, I would virtually “have to pay them” to take it off my hands, it is that bad. 

New cars lose up to 70 percent of their value in the first four years. Depending on how many miles you drive per year and the physical wear and tear, it could be more. Lottery Winners drive brand new cars.  Self-made millionaires drive slightly used, paid-for cars (2 years old). They don’t believe in car payments.

I’m not talking entertainers, athletes or CEOs. I’m talking about common, everyday working people, who might be your next-door neighbor. They became millionaires by investing every month what the typical American pays in car notes. I tend to ask people I run into with new cars, what their payment might be, if they don’t mind? 

Most of the time the answer is over $500 per month.

Doing a little researching today I discovered that the average car payment is $378 over 63 months.  Let’s say that you invested $378 every month, instead of making car payments from age 30 to age 65 (35 years). If you average a rate of return of 12 percent (which is doable), your money will grow to $2.4 million.

Do you still want the car?    

Much as it breaks my heart to disappoint my well intentioned neighbor, I am keeping my old hoopie.  I am hanging onto my old family truckster, it has all the bells and the whistles, an Okie Box to sleep in, four new tires and I can buy truck loads of fuel with the $500 a month (and don’t forget insurance on a NEW car).  I am not shelling out what little cash I have to the boys at Ford and GM, or some Sand Pirate in the Persian Gulf.

I am gonna sit right here, drink my coffee and bleed a little more …