CHECK YOUR LOCAL LISTINGS

Chopsticks

I am thoroughly convinced that if you watch three full episodes of The Bachelor, that you can be certified, brain dead.  My wife not only watches this, but she watches the commercials too.  Sitting there in my chair, with that deer in the headlight stare, my mind keeps playing over and over, shoot me, shoot me, please, take me outside and shoot me!  Continue reading

Slow And Steady

chart

“All you need to know about everything that matters, and delivered to you before the weekend.  

What a deal … What a deal.” 

LISTEN UP BIG THREE:  A high school student in Grant City, Mo. has come up with a dirt-cheap means of transportation.  He took an old car (1994 Geo Metro) and yanked its engine and put in an electric fork-lift motor that he bought on E-bay for $200.  

The car ran a max of 62 mph and travel more than 30 miles between charges.  It is estimated that it costs roughly .25 cents to re-charge its 12 batteries, which translates to about 200 miles for the price of one gallon of gas.  Now if an 18 year old kid can figure it out, it makes you wonder why the Big Three cannot.  

On the downside (there is always a downside, remember that) contrary to popular opinion, electricity is not free, someone, somewhere, is going to burn something to create it.  Just in case any of you are seriously contemplating building your own electric car.

WE ARE BORN NAKED, WET AND HUNGRY.  THEN THINGS JUST SORT OF GET WORSE:  Here we go again, it seems like a lot of this off the wall loopy crap comes out of Colorado.  I know that John Denver used to sing about “Rocky Mountain High” and all that, but I am beginning to wonder.  

A 6 year old boy was suspended from school for reciting the rap lyric, “I am sexy and I know it.”  He recited this to a female classmate and those in charge, deemed this harmless behavior as sexual harassment and sent him home.  

And everyone wonders why our youth are clearly dysfunctional or appear to be on the surface outright idiots?

POSSIBLYRELATED:  Consider this.  About 93% of all immigrants applying for citizenship correctly answer 6 out ot 10 questions on American History.  Whereas, on the other hand, the same 6-10 questions answered by natural born citizens, only 65% could squeak out the correct answers.

YUP, I GOT HIS FINGER-PRINT RIGHT HERE:   A woman in Japan who had her bag stolen, took it upon herself to chase down her assailant, take the bag back, and in the process …. “Bite off his finger!”  No word whether the police at the crime scene took his finger for fingerprint identification or not.

BAD MOVE FOR SURE:  A University of Iowa student was charged with trying to get into a bar using a stolen driver’s license.  The license just happened to belong to the bouncer at the front door of the club.

CAT OF NINE LIVES:  A cat got stuck inside a washing machine and somehow survived a full wash cycle.  A woman who searched in vain all over her home looking for the cat, happened to spot its wet and soggy looking face appearing thru the washer door in her washroom.  It had survived more than an hour of soaking, tumbling, and drying.  Word has it that she took it to the vet. and he informed her that it had used up seven of its ten lives, but was apparently okay.

And now … A comment from a future member of the Democratic/Republican party.

The Truth Shall Set You Free

OOO

The World Is Your Oyster

I have been wanting to write about a remarkable life, but as with all things, it often gets shuffled off the table or put off.  Recently the oldest survivor of the Bataan Death March died (this was in August of this year).  That is a somber statement, but it is true.  So what is so remarkable or memorable about this?  Another old soldier has been laid down to rest.  What I discovered buried here, was a life worth living and I thought it worth sharing.

During his three years in a Japanese POW camp and on the infamous Bataan Death March that got him there, Albert Brown suffered a broken back and a broken neck, he was also wounded with a bayonet, and had experienced or suffered thru several tropical jungle diseases.  At the end of the war he was freed and sent to a Vet hospital where after extensive examinations they told him “that he would be lucky if he even made it to fifty” because of the damage done to his body at the hands of his captors.  He was at that time, 40 years of age.  He was advised to see as much of life as he could, because his days were numbered.

But Brown, the oldest Bataan survivor made it to 105 before he died.  

His secret?  He had this incredible spirit to live and overcome, positive thinking or whatever you call it, he survived and he did it during what were termed insurmountable odds.  His story, a testament to the human spirit is worth repeating.  Each and every day in this country, we have wounded warriors coming home, some or most, do not fare as well as Mr Brown did. 

Here is a brief history for you.

He was shipped off to the Philippines just a short three months before Japan invaded the country.  As most of you know, outnumbered and outgunned, the American and Filipino forces pulled back in the mountainous areas of the island near Manila.  There they fought for some four months but with their ranks decimated by hunger, disease, they finally surrendered.  

This is when the nightmare begins.

Some 76,000 allied captives were forced to march seventy miles to an interment camp.  This took a little over six days, in 100 degree humid weather.  During this forced march they were denied food, water, and those who stumbled and fell were executed on the spot by the Japanese.  They were savagely beaten with rifle butts and often tortured beyond comprehension before they died.

Sword wielding captors beheaded those unfortunate who were not strong enough and more than 10,000 men died on this march.  Brown said that he survived during this period simply by sheer will.  During his internment he ate three ping-pong sized balls of rice daily and was routinely beaten.  By the end of the war, the six foot Brown had withered to just 90 pounds and was nearly blind.

But thru it all, Brown soldiered on.  

He spent over two years recuperating in a Denver hospital and then he moved to California where he set up a business renting out properties to Hollywood stars.  With resilience and sheer will, he survived and came out the other side to emerge on top.  A man who was reported to only make it to 50 managed to do twice that.  When he died, he had 12 grandchildren and was a positive role model not only for his community but his family.

We have a video for you on this day, the end of another week.  You more than likely won’t understand a word of it.  It is from Korea and it has English sub-titles, you have to read most of it.  Rest assured it is worth the watch and it will resonate with your soul. 

If Mr. Albert Brown were here to watch it I am pretty sure he would tell us “that even if your world is full of garbage, go on and sing anyway.”  It is in that spirit that we share this with you.


See y’all on Monday …

OOO

Alam’s Road Trip

Kind of tired the other night, but I wanted to see the end of the NASCAR race, so I set the VCR to record the rest of the race and I went to bed.  I am after all, in my golden years, and I do need my rest, the race was no big thing.  Let technology take care of it, it is touted to “improve our lives and make life much better for the majority of us” so often to dreamland I went.  Next day, I bring it up and start to watch it, everything goes swimmingly until the last ten laps, they break for a commercial and that is that.

No more race, no last ten laps, and I am here to testify … Technology sucks.

Tristin Saghn little sister who is two years old (he is 9) fell into the family pool in Mesa, Arizona this week.  After she was pulled from he water, Tristin started to perform chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth on the little girl while his mother rushed into the house and called 911 for help.  Tristin who said that he learned the lifesaving technique while watching television, said that “he knew what it was that he was doing it right.”  Evidently so, little sister started breathing again, and doctors says that she is going to be just fine due to the smart reaction of her big brother.

“She is really beautiful, and I love her very much.”  Tristin said.

Yesterday we had an outbreak of tornado’s here in the heartland and this morning a lot of folks waking up here in Central Oklahoma to just about nothing.  One of the things that I did before the approaching storm was to check the safe room in the garage (steel enclosure bolted to the floor with 21 – 18” bolts into the concrete) for snakes.  We have found snakes in there, they kind of gravitate to the coolness and darkness of the room.  No snakes incidentally, but finding one during a tornado, would not be the optimum safety plan it seems to me.

A lady in Florida might be considering removing the pet door on her house, it allowed a small alligator access to her home this week.  She walked into the back bedroom of her house and there the alligator was.  Might be time to get rid of the swinging door in the kitchen and start letting Fluffy in and out the old fashioned way.

Japan is now creating suicide hot lines and sending mental-health counselors into the regions affected by the tsunami and nuclear crisis out of fear there will be a surge of self-inflicted deaths in that country.  The Japanese, whose culture romanticizes suicide, already have a suicide rate more than double that of the United States and it is the leading cause of death there among men ages 20 to 44 and women ages 15 to 34.

Now I understand that if you call the Suicide hot line in Pakistan and tell them you are depressed and you can drive a truck, they get all excited.

Yesterday I overheard some guy complaining during lunch that a beer in the Dallas Stadium in Texas costs $12.50.  Who in their right mind would pay $12.50 for a beer, I don’t care how cold it is, that is just too much.  American’s are spending something like $1.2 trillion dollars on nonessential goods and services annually, according to the Commerce Department.  See, we do have government agency that you can actually benefit from, we are paying a LOT of people to keep numbers on what it is that we are buying, your tax dollars at work.

Consumer spending on discretionary luxury items, including jewelry, yachts, sports cars, alcoholic beverages, and candy, has risen to 11.2% of total consumer spending, even in hard times, that is up from 4% in 1959.  Which is kind of stupid, because 1959 was what, 52 years ago?

Give me a break.

Our consumer spending here at our house constitutes mainly of groceries and gasoline.  55% of American drivers say they are changing their driving habits as a result of high gas prices.  Except maybe Kyle Busch, he was recently stopped in North Carolina for driving 128 miles per hour on a public highway.

Everyone has a dream.
A tomorrow.
A Someday …  New York City cabdriver Mohammed Alam got the fare of a lifetime:  $5,0000 to drive two New Jersey residents  from New York to Los Angeles.  The six-day journey was one man’s idea or spur of the moment urge for a birthday adventure.

Alam for his part, was able to live his childhood dream of seeing Universal Studios.  Nothing is impossible in this world,” said Alam.  “We can do everything, whatever we want” and it is quite possible the cabbie might have enjoyed the trip even more than the fare paying passengers.

Make a wish … Now blow out all the candles on your cake!

(Next stop Dollywood)

OOO

Pass On The Fish

One good thing about country living, is the fact, that you are never far from nature.  Yesterday, early in the morning in my shop, I watched a moth flutter around the window in a feeble attempt to get outside.  He kept hitting the window over and over in his relentless challenge to get outdoors.

On the other side of the window, the drama unfolds even more, it is a small bird who is in turn, pecking on the window and hovering at the same time, trying to make an easy breakfast of the moth.  Nature and all her drama, and all you have to do to enjoy it, is move to the country.

I turn on my stereo while I am working, the melodic sound of country music fills my shop (Allan Jackson’s Country Boy readily comes to mind … Reba McIntire I Wish I Were A Boy), shortly thereafter a mockingbird lites on the fencepost outside the door and begins to serenade me at the same time.  The birds’ gentle song fills my morning with joy and brings peace to my tired soul.

Life is good in the country.  The gradual slow rhythms of the land get you to where you need to go on most days, the red dirt of Oklahoma feels good under your feet, the wind carries the fragrances of the land on the wind.  If that isn’t working for you, then I suppose you could move to some place like Wyoming?

Lost Springs, Wyoming,  is currently undergoing a population boom, according to the 2010 census.  The town now has four people living in it, up from the one who was counted in 2000.  That might work.  Either way you win, peace and solitude, if that is what you yearn.  Not like the hectic, frantic life of the city, where you start every day mulling around in your mind the prospect of just driving a stake through your forehead and being done with it.

We seem to be on the subject of nature so here is something else for all you who dropped by this morning.  This past week a team of mountaineers and a Sherpa guide began removing 11,000 pounds of garbage, empty bottles, oxygen canisters, and abandoned tents and ropes from the slopes of the world’s tallest mountain Mount Everest.  Almost six tons of trash … You would not think there would be that much junk at the top of the world, but there is.

I am reading of this huge mass of floating crap in the oceans now, as a direct result of the Tsunami that recently hit Japan.  Most of it was flushed out to sea, and has made a sort of drifting island of flotsam that is soon to travel as far as Hawaii in the not so distant future.

Last week about a  mile off the coast of Japan, coast guard officers in a helicopter spotted a dog on the roof of a house that had been washed out to sea by the tsunami three weeks ago.  They rescued the dog and took it to as shelter.  The owner of the dog, named Ban, saw a story about the rescue on TV and recognized her dog.  She reclaimed her lost dog later that day.

There you go a happy ending for a change.  Now go grab a tissue, this next one is most likely going to hack you off.

A bad week for an Arizona teenager who cut himself making a sandwich who has been billed $2,000 for bleeding on the sidewalk.  His would did not require stitches, but the city of Peoria wants compensation for calling out the bio-hazard unit to clean up the droplets.  “It is really like rubbing salt in the wound of the kid.”  I mean hell, do you remember the good old days when your mother worried about the dog licking you in the face?  When was common sense outlawed in this country?  Did I miss the memo?

Anyone catch this?  President Obama accepted an award for supporting government transparency at a private ceremony from which the media and the public were excluded.  So much for transparency huh?

Friday the thirteenth, never have been superstitious about it really, it is just another day like any other.  As a matter of fact, I have often considered the number 13 as a lucky number for me personally.  That is until someone pointed out that it was the the letter M in our alphabet which stands for Marijuana and is also the symbol of the Mexican Mafia.  That is one time “too much information” (TMI) kind of takes away from it, you know what I mean?

Might want to lay off the sushi for awhile.  Japan’s nuclear utility dumped millions of gallons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean recently, in an area where radiation was already 7.5 million times the legal limit because of discharges of radioactive gas and water from the damaged nuclear plant.  It had to dump the water so it could store even more highly radioactive water that has been seeping into the turbine buildings.  Restaurants are losing customers, and the demand for fish is falling.  fishermen across the country were of course furious.

Like I said … Life in the country?  Well, it just isn’t all that bad, Y’all.

Have A Great Weekend.

OOO

Let Me Down Easy


Wind is blowing across the prairie this day like a banshee and it is cold and bites at my neck.  I know that it is that time of the year, and this is a precursor to better things to come, but it tugs at my sanity this day and I secretly wish to be somewhere else.

Anywhere else.

Oh well, things could be worse, I could live in Moscow which I understand has a real dog problem.  Tens of thousands of strays roam the streets, and a lot of them I suppose bite.  25,000 people a year seek medical help there  after being bitten by stray dogs.  I heard of a lawyer once, who got bit by a dog.  He went to the doctor and after receiving the news that he had rabies, he pulled out a notepad and pen and started writing furiously.

The doctor inquired of him, “What is that you are writing, your Last Will and Testament?” and the layer replied, “Naw, it is a list of people I want to bite!”

There is a program to relocate the dogs, to neuter them and release them into a different area, but really, is that going to work?  Never does here.  People just seem to use them up, and then toss them away.  I know, I live in the country, and they dump dogs here all the time.

Speaking of relocating?

No I am not moving onto Ferrel cats (last count in America, an estimated 157 million!) I am talking about Japan.  Japan’s 9.0 magnitude earthquake released so much energy that it shifted the position of the Earth’ axis by about 6.5 inches, according to estimates by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.  The massive quake caused the sudden slipping of one giant tectonic plate under another, moved Japan 12 feet closer to North America.

If that amazes you, then this will really scare the crap out of you.  Due to soaring energy demands in India and China, the world’s current stock of 443 nuclear reactors is expected to double over the next 15 years.  India hopes to supply a quarter of its electricity through nuclear power.

I sure wish someone would come out with some new music video’s.  I am tiring of the same old stuff, day in and day out.  I liked this new commercial I saw on the Land Rover this morning.  It can help you hitch the trailer.  It can tow the boat with ease.  It can seat 7 adults and their gear …. but can it make the fish bite?  Ah Madison Avenue (the ad people) close but no cigar.

Soon it will be time for that great American get-away, the Highway Road trip.  As the weather improves, I suspect, no matter what the cost of fuel, American’s will get out and hit the road.  Here are some tips for all you parents traveling with little guys:

Plan the route together.

Little travelers “feel more invested if they share some of the control over the itinerary.”

(Whoever suggested this tidbit of info, never traveled with a kid)

Keep the car cozy.

Make room for creature comforts and familiar play things.

Keep them organized in backpacks and make sure each kid is responsible for their own stuff.

(Uh huh sure)

Put them to work.

Tasks make kids feel important.  Divvy out assignments along the way, teach them how to read a map or road signs.

How to program the GPS and other interesting “jobs” of traveling.

Most importantly … Hit the brakes.

According to the article, frequent stops will make the trip more enjoyable and bearable for the little guys.

This will also bring them into range so you can reach out and slap them upside the head to get their attention.

(Don’t send me me no letters)

Have a great week.

OOO

Snakes On A Bus

What do we talk about on this auspicious occasion, I got a full eight hours sleep last night, and I am as sharp as can be.  It has been awhile since I have slept a long, good sleep, I feel refreshed.  I DON’T HAVE THOSE WAKE UP IT’S EARLY, WASH BEHIND YOUR EARS THEY’RE DIRTY, EAT YOUR EGGS AND OATMEAL BLUES …. RISE N SHINE TIME … I REALLY FEEL LIKE I COULD GO FOR IT TODAY.

Turn on the player, and the first tune out of the box is “Brad Paisley … I would like to check you for ticks.” Hard to believe.  Who writes his lyric’s, Jeff Foxworthy?  Like most men, there are a great many things I think of during the day, concerning women, checking one for ticks, honestly, has never been one of them. (Please … do not send me any letters!)

Where do they get this stuff?

I just read where there is a guy who is wanting someone to transport snakes from Odessa Texas and is willing to help out on the fuel.  These are rattlesnakes by the way.  Now I know the price of fuel is high ….. But?  ……. So, today’s question for the day … “What would you do, transport the snakes or pass?” … Hard choices eh?

Which reminds me of a story I read awhile back from down under, Sydney, Australia.  An unknown man grabbed a bag out of a car stopped at a stoplight.  The car belonged to Bradley McDonald, a local snake catcher.  In the bag was the snake he had just caught, a four-foot long, venomous red-bellied black snake.  “It might teach him a lesson” McDonald said.  Who says there is no justice in the world?

When Yosuke the parrot flew out of his cage and got lost, he did exactly what he had been taught recite his name and address to a stranger willing to help.  Police rescued the African grey parrot two weeks ago from a neighbor’s roof in the city of Nagareyama, near Tokyo. After spending a night at the station, he was transferred to a nearby veterinary hospital while police searched for clues, local policeman Shinjiro Uemura said.

He kept mum with the cops, but began chatting after a few days with the vet.  “I’m Mr. Yosuke Nakamura,” the bird told the veterinarian, according to Uemura. The parrot also provided his full home address, down to the street number, and even entertained the hospital staff by singing songs.  “We checked the address, and what do you know, a Nakamura family really lived there. So we told them we’ve found Yosuke,” Uemura said.

The Nakamura family told police they had been teaching the bird its name and address for about two years. But Yosuke apparently wasn’t keen on opening up to police officials. “I tried to be friendly and talked to him, but he completely ignored me,” Uemura said.

Often people miss the entire point.  Yosuke had the right to remain silent.

(Yeah I know, pretty lame)

We have two parrots that own us, Mo & Popeye, the latter being an African Grey.  He is amusing, quick to learn, and a bona-fide pain the part of you that goes over the fence last.  Last year we took him on vacation with us, in a little cage, right behind me in the backseat, he rode around America in the bus.

In two weeks that bird learned to say …….. Stooooopid! … Tell me they are not smart.  Just what everyone in life needs … A parrot with Road Rage.

Parrots are demanding, a life long commitment.  Recently I was discussing with our oldest boy, which parrot he wanted when I died, because the birds in captivity will live upwards of 75 years.  ( In comparison, on a good day in captivity with the little woman, I am surely not going to make that)  So I ask the kid, which bird do you want?  He thinks about it and then says to me, “Which one tastes the best with a little salt?”

Not a good day to be a parrot.

Hard hitting television on PBS last night.  “Depression Out Of The Shadows” a comprehensive survey of the causes and treatments of clinical depression.  It profiled many young people of different ages and backgrounds who have problems contending with the disorder.  Covered the bases pretty good, from a CEO of a major corporation to a gang member on the streets.  Right now I seem to be riding high on the tide, and my depression is in check.  I am okay, but later on I have to purchase some gasoline for my old family truckster, check with me afterwards.

I find that late in life, purchasing dead hydro-carbon-fossilized-organisms at a highly inflated price tends to drive me to the very brink of insanity and depresses the fizz out of me.  Perhaps it is time to increase my daily dosage of Prozac.

Clearly I need help.

OOO