Soaking It Up

Taxing Your Water:  In Oklahoma if you build a pond on your property, you do not own the water that backs up behind the dam.  In order to “actually own the water in your pond” you have to go to the State Water Resources Board and apply for a permit to own the water behind your dam.  Now that permit by the way, costs you $28 and some change.  And we wonder why one out of every three citizens suffers from some form of mental illness here.

Having to admit that this seemed a little bit ludicrous and just slightly unfair, I have discovered that in Oregon that the city of Medford “owns core rights to all sources of water” which most people would think did not include the rain falling from the sky.  But a local resident who had backed up water in three ponds on his property has been sentenced to jail for thirty days for collecting water on his property.  He of course fought it in court, but the court disagreed and now he is serving the jail time.

 What is next … The very air that we breathe?

Is it real or is it NASA:  Have any of you observed the first photo’s back from the Martian landscape sent by the Mar’s Rover.  They looked a great deal like shots of Nevada and parts of Utah.  “You would really be forgiven for thinking that NASA was trying to pulll a fast one on you” wouldn’t you?

While we are on the subject of photo’s?  WordPress.com recently changed up their photo editor and we have a totally new deal now.  It really sucks.  You have a difficult time sizing all of the photo’s to the same size, and it often makes photo posting a nightmare and ugly as hell.

The slideshow presentation is now a thing of the past and generally speaking, it really is not an improvement but more of a step backwards.  It of course is “free” not asked for and in this case, “you get what you pay for” which isn’t much.  If you truly want to post “jagged uneven pictures and not have a slide show presentation, this is what it looks like.

 Pretty sad.

Twinkies Are Long Gone:  My favorite confectionary has bit the dust, Twinkies, so yummy, so good, containing so many chemicals and unknown ingredients, you could leave them outside for a year, and they would still be good.  They are now gone.  Which will be bad for all of us in Oklahoma who have the appearance of poster boys for Weight Watchers, Inc.  But there is hope, we are still not the fattest state in the nation.  Mississippi just took the national honors on that, and for the sixth straight year in a row, remains on top of the junk food pile.  Louisiana and West Virginia were close behind, while Colorado ranked as the skinniest state.

Thick Crust and Another Layer of Government Please:  The president of Papa John’s Pizza has announced that if Obamacare goes thru the cost of a pizza will go up about .20 cents.  He has some 1,600 employees, most of who are currently uninsured.  He will have to raise the price of the average pie in order to meet the federal mandated costs associated with health care for employees.

And he is not alone, Burger King, Quiznos, Dunkin’ Donuts have all stated that this new wrinkle in the fabric of American life will increase their respective costs some $30,000 per year.

And of course, “they will pass the cost on to the consumer.”  What the government and the rest of the nation seems to fail to realize is this one simple fact of life.  “A lot of this they are passing off to the consumer, is just another burden laid upon our nation’s poor.”

No one seems to recognize the fact that we are not some kind of insatiable sponge and can soak up everything that comes down the line.  Sooner or later, it is going to have to give, and when this happens, it is going to get ugly.

OOO

Primary Digits

cheep-gas

The rig count in America again drops this week, we don’t have to go looking for it anymore, the price is down.  Our fuel problem has been solved, all it took was a major recession to do it. As it inches upward again, I am wondering why no one is drilling anything other than the consumer or the U.S. Taxpayer.

The Numbers Are Not Good — Sorry.

693,000 jobs were cut in December and more to come.  The U.S. Economy is now stepping into one of the worst downturns since World War II.  Lenovo, China’s biggest personal-computer maker is laying off some 2,500 people because of no demand for their product.  Unemployment here in the United States is predicted now to exceed 9.2% by 2010.  Things are so bad now, that the government announced that the “end of the world” has been postponed by at least two years, so that they can try and collect some of the $1.2 trillion that they owe on the National Debt.

Fueling the Poor

Citgo, the Venezuelan government’s U.S.-based oil subsidiary, reversed course Wednesday and said it will continue shipments of heating oil to poor families in the United States.  How sad is that, we have a foreign country, who’s dictator calls our President disparaging names and insults him in public (United Nations) supplying the fuel to heat the homes of our nation’s poor.  Chavez an outspoken critic of the U.S. has often been quoted as calling Bush “El Diablo” (the devil)

Teen Birth Rates are up

Atlanta Disease Control released a new report today that found that Mississippi “now has the nation’s highest teen pregnancy rate, displacing Texas and New Mexico for that lamentable title.” The report found that in 2006, the Mississippi teen pregnancy rate was over 60 percent higher than the national average and increased 13 percent since the year before.

Oxygen Starvation?

I understand that when you experience a heart attack, that often there is a lack of blood to the brain, and that in some cases, afterwards there is a memory loss.  Maybe this is what is the matter with the Vice President.  Dick Cheney is now claiming that he never exceeded his powers and that it is all “an urban legend.

I herby submit at this time, that the drive to select Puerto Rico as the fifty-first state be suspended.  I also propose that either the state of Texas or the State of Wyoming, be split down the middle, and then be renamed “the State Of Denial” to give all these nut jobs in Washington who seem to be out of touch with reality, a place to live and rule.  Sorry Puerto Rico.

Little Johnny is flunking out

Pittsburgh – Administrators at Pittsburgh Public Schools are defending a policy making 50% the lowest score students can receive. Since an “A” is 90% or above, a “B” is 80% to 89% and so on, administrators said allowing scores as low as zero gives an “F” too much weight. But teachers said some students won’t hand in assignments if guaranteed 50%.  When I was a kid, and I brought home an “F” it surely did carry too much weight, it was connected to the back of my dad’s hand.

The new curriculum in 2009 is as follows:

The Colonial Period – Basic thirteen colonies, first states, the common wealth.  The Civil War Period – Brother against Brother and the abolishment of Slavery.  The New Deal Period – FDR a chicken in every pot, Hoover Dam, let’s build a National Park.  The Deficit Period – The Bush years and the hallucination period of the Republican Party.

They can all activate and operate an X-box, send a text message, figure out a cellphone and its operating procedures in minutes, but they cannot read.  What is wrong with this picture?

What are you going to drink when you are thirsty?

Denver Colorado – Shell Oil filed for the first major water right on Yampa River in hopes of securing enough water for its oil shale development plans. Shell’s application seeks about 8% of the river’s peak spring flow. Shell said the water would be shipped to a reservoir for later use. Critics say extracting oil from shale uses too much water, which is in short supply.  Kind of makes you wonder what we will all be drinking when these companies get done polluting the last of the potable water.  If you don’t believe me, goggle oil sands or Frazier River Basin and look what they have done in Canada, and we are next.

Sorry … No Give Backs, they are not allowed.

Boise Idaho – The state attorney general said Gov. Otter, a Republican, cannot turn down a 3% pay raise. That means his salary bumps up to $111,989 for 2009. Otter announced last month he would reject the raise to show solidarity after ordering statewide budget cuts. Imagine that, a politician with some class.  Now he says he will donate the money to a scholarship fund.

Hard to believe isn’t it, here is a guy trying to do the right thing, and he is NOT allowed to do it.  I remember reading about people in Florida trying to give back Federal Money and they would not take it.  We have reached a point where we no longer suffer from our insanity, we are beginning to enjoy every minute of it every day.

It aint Starbucks, but it is a good close second.

Vassalboro Maine – This town’s planning board approved an application for a coffee shop with topless waitresses, despite opposition from some residents. More than 50 people showed up for the board’s meeting, and most of them voiced disapproval. Planners said Vassalboro has no ordinance to regulate businesses’ uniforms – or lack of them.  I am going out on limb here folks, but I believe I speak for true, loyal, dedicated coffee drinkers everywhere when I say “Leave Them Girls Alone.”

Something is not right with Freshwater.

Mount Vernon – An outside consultant testified that when a science teacher here was told to remove a Bible from his public school classroom, he checked out another Bible from the school library to make a statement. The consultant found that John Freshwater was insubordinate and had used a device to burn the image of a cross on a student’s arm. Freshwater is appealing his firing.

I want to believe

Greer South Carolina – More than 350 people attended a rally at a church to protest a federal judge’s order banning South Carolina from producing a religious license plate with the words “I Believe.” The Rev. Arnold Hiette said Christians have lost the right to public prayer. The plate includes a stained glass window with a cross.

Boxcars’ T-Shirt Philosophy for Life

  • So many toys …so little time.
  • Wish for peace, work for justice.
  • Never wash whites with colors, unless you are into pink underwear and T-shirts..
  • Who am I? — Why am I here? — What is my fate? — Where are the cookies?
  • I am fat, you are stupid, I can diet.

Never tell someone wearing underwear on his head, to leave the bus driver alone.

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“The cartoon courtesy of Center for American Progress” (online)

Deep In Mississippi


Mississippi State Flag

Mississippi State Flag

My memory not being as razor sharp as it used to be requires me every now and then, to write it down.  I carry in my pocket a small notepad which I use to make notes to myself as the day progresses.  Also have a small pocket recorder about the size of pack of smokes that comes in handy.

Being a prolific story teller I am constantly thinking about a new story for Creative Endeavors and these are two of the things that I use to ensure that my ideas get channeled towards the site.  I also have “business cards” with my logo, address (site) and email and I leave them with my tips at restaurants and here and there.  I do as much as I can to make sure the word gets out, as they say, “whatever works.”

So I am sitting at Jimmy’s Egg the other morning and we are having breakfast, a friend and I, and I get this idea for this story, so I pull out my notepad and I start writing in it.  Then it happens, I cannot for the life of me, figure out how it is that you spell M-i-s-s-is-s-i-p-p-i which was irritating the fizz out of me.

The old brain simply locks up from time to time, and there isn’t much I can do about it.  My kid calls this phenomenon “Brain Farts” for some strange reason ….. His turn is coming … We all get our turn.  Once you turn fifty … Look out!

We all have at this stage in life, “Senior Moments” as my wife calls them. Speaking of senior moments, you hear about the lady that called up the newspaper and demanded to know where her Sunday Paper might be?  The irate customer loudly demanded, wanting to know about her missing Sunday Edition.

Ma’am” said the employee of the newspaper, “today is Saturday … The Sunday Paper is not delivered until tomorrow, on Sunday.” The was quite a long pause on the other end of the telephone and she was heard to mutter …… Well Harold that explains why no one was in church today.”

What was it I was talking about?

Oh yeah, I look at my buddy and I say …  “How do you spell Mississippi?” and he says to me, “The river or the state?”

I need to get some new friends.

One of the things I hate about traveling is you eventually have to stop somewhere and do laundry.  This is one of those unfortunate things you are required to deal with when you are on the road, locating a laundry and doing a load of dirty clothes.  Laundry is … a fact of life.

orchid_room_2

One hot sultry summer day we found ourselves in this predicament in the Deep South, a small town in Mississippi.  We stopped and parked, got out the laundry bag, which seemed to be exploding with dirty clothes and headed down to a small coin operated laundry on this little main street.  Just a little obscure little town, much like all the towns in the Deep South that time has been frozen and often forgotten.

This place was so small, the City Hall was the top floor of the local Dairy Queen.  No rush hour, no hurry, no worry, nice little park in the center of town.  One of those “its a wonderful life kind of places.”

The laundry was nothing out of the ordinary and not a whole lot of folks inside, we got our stuff out, and commenced to doing the chores.  One lady was in there doing her wash, and she had these two small dinkers with her, beautiful little girls.

Giggling and having a good time, they were a handful to be sure.

As they came around I would smile real big, reach out and touch them, generally speaking “was just having a good time of it all” playing with these little girls.  I hate laundry chores with a passion, and if I can play with the kids, instead of doing laundry.  Well, that is simply a no-brainer, so I went for it.

Then as it happened, the smallest of the two girls, extended her arms for me to pick her up.  As small children will do from time to time.

Not giving it a second thought, I swooped her up into my arms and exclaimed, “You are so dog-gone beautiful girl, I am gonna take you home with me!”  She in turn rewarded me with a loud raucous belly laugh and a huge #3 washtub smile.

Then I noticed that her mother was staring at me strangely and she was crying.  I immediately put the child down and said to her, “Oh, I am so terribly sorry.  I was just playing with her.  I didn’t mean to upset you.”

She looked at me and said, “Where are you people from?”

So I said, “Oklahoma, Okie City.  Why?”

And she said, “No white man from around here, ever picked up one of my babies and said they was beautiful.”

Hard to believe that something like that still persists in this day and age.  But it does.  You can make a difference, start today, change one heart at a time.

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Deep Freeze ….

American shoppers are buying freezers in record numbers.  Across the country, shoppers bought more than 1.1 million freezers during the first six months of the year; this represents a 7% increase in sales over last year at the very same time.  That doesn’t sound like much, 7%, but it is about $400 million in freezer sales.  A huge figure when you stop to consider the sales of other household items.

This means that Americans on average, now have about 1 in 2 homes equipped with a stand alone freezer, to combat the high cost of food prices.

The economy continues to erode.  You can add the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to the list of entities that may be in line for a Treasury Department bail-out, The Wall Street Journal reports, following an interview with the agency’s chairwoman.

The FDIC is a bit cash-strapped these days as it props up failing banks across the country. It announced on Tuesday that 117 ailing banks are now under its care and that the FDIC holds an astounding $78 billion in distressed bank assets.

The Guardian points this out. And, The New York Times says it is so, the FDIC sees the banking crisis going from bad to worse. Today’s political news isn’t much better … Our government truly deserves to be dismantled … Little taste of it here.

But take note, all the news is not bad.  Wendy’s announced the national rollout of a 99-cent double cheeseburger with two beef patties and one slice of cheese, competing with the value meal menus from Burger King and McDonalds.

Now if only we can find the buck?

Been following this bad news in the Soviet Union republic of Georgia.  Haven’t figured out how this will play out on the price of a gallon of gasoline, but I am sure they will work it in, one way or the other. I also read where all of the Wal-Marts across Alabama sold out of ammunition as of yesterday.  A reliable source said that one of the purchasers commented that while Russia may have invaded Georgia, they sure as hell ain’t doin’ it to Alabama!

This N That …  Living off the grid in the deep south.

Nice Payday.  University of Central Arkansas President Lu Hardin who has been plagued by criticism over a $300K bonus resigned and will get a buyout package of some $700K more.  That will teach him!

Okay, I have plugged in the stereo headphones and cranked up the volume!  (Who wants to hear what the grandchildren have to say anyway?)  Buckle up!  It might just get freaky.

Here is another good payday story, one that is even better.

In Fort Jefferson, New York, a churchgoer donated a lottery ticket to the True North Community Church after scratching it off, the pastor noted that the ticket was worth $3 million dollars.  State lottery officials said the church will receive at least $102,225 a year through the year 2028.

Most lottery winners take the “cash option” as no one knows what the tax structure will be in twenty-years.  So they opt for the cash option and take a considerable loss.  But if you are “tax exempt” you can take the payout option and receive the “entire amount of the prize.” As you don’t pay taxes anyway, so you can afford to wait it out.  Must be nice huh?

Local Malcontent and The Dustbury both local Oklahoma bloggers are at odd’s with each other over the definition of funny.  Post on it here. Just depends on how you look at it.  It is either ironic or it is funny.

A twenty-six year old was arrested for attempted armed robbery in Long Beach California yesterday.  Witnesses were able to ID the dumb crook by a distinctive tattoo on his forearm.  It read:  “Not Guilty.”

Maybe it is just me, but I put that one down under the “funny side” of life.

Big Archaeology find . . . After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, New York scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years and came to the conclusion, that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the New Yorkers, in the weeks that followed, a California archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet, and shortly after, a story in the LA Times read: “California archaeologists, finding traces of 200 year old copper wire, have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a hundred years earlier than the New Yorkers.”

One week later, my daily paper, quite possibly the absolute worst newspaper in the USA, reported the following: After digging as deep as 300 feet in his pasture near Mustang, Oklahoma, Billy Raye Littler, a  self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing.  Billy Raye has therefore concluded that 300 years ago, Oklahoma had already gone wireless.

Thank God for Billy Raye Littler.  Who said Okies were hicks?  Someone needs to apologize to Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi if you ask me.  I wonder if they give their kids three names too?

Not knowing if any of this was amusing or not, it is time to pack it in.  Now I suppose it is time to slink off to my ever faithful lawn-chair on the front porch, my personal arcadia which I hope will be a region or scene of simple pleasure and quiet.

My little sleepy community of serene peace, where I can separate the toils, troubles, politics of the world and all the dogs are down for a mid morning nap.

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THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: As the American Economy continues to erode, and because of budget restraints.  The Lite At The End of The Tunnel, has been turned off.  Please be advised.”

Liberal Tree Huggers

Now the Obammer Camp says that they are packing it in on the “Not So Official Seal,” which seems to be the talk of the town here lately. The seal, with its blue background and an eagle in the center clutching arrows and an olive branch, evoked the official presidential version, but had been altered with a new Latin phrase.

Instead of the original “E pluribus unum,” which means, “Out of many, one.” Obama’s campaign changed the phrase to “Vero possumus,” which can be roughly translated to his “Yes, we can” slogan.

Now here at Creative Endeavors we are mainly into English, not all this other uppity crap, but we will give it a shot. Illegitimi non carborundum (Don’t let the bastards grind you down).

Doesn’t anyone in this country speak English anymore?

Mixed in all this garbage I keep hearing the words “Liberal and Tree Hugger” tossed about in a disparaging manner, and personally, I am getting tired of it. If it were not for liberals we might still be mired in a far away place called Viet Nam, and a host of other benefits, created by free thinking individuals.

As I reside in a state that has been raped, polluted, and ravaged by Big Oil, I can attest to their callous disregard for the country and the land. In our state, we have a company, the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board (I believe that is the name of it). This company has one job, it has only one main reason for existing, and that mission is to go out and clean up abandoned well sites and old oil facilities that the oil companies walked away from in years past.

We need Tree Huggers, and I am kind of glad they are around myself.

Pitcher Oklahoma is one of the largest major Super Fund Clean Up Sites in America, it wasn’t big oil there, it was mining companies who pillaged the area and turned it basically into a lethal cesspool of just about every chemical known to man.

Let’s face it, If it were not for all these radical liberals and tree huggers, there wouldn’t be a green tree or flower within fifty miles of this place.

Right now scientists are studying a “dead zone” in the Gulf Of Mexico that is huge, all caused by man made pollution flowing down the Mississippi River. Can you imagine what type of lethal witches’ brew of chemicals, fertilizers, animal waste, gas, oil that is floating downriver right now headed for the Gulf Of Mexico because of the recent flooding in the Midwest.

This summer swing by West Virginia, Tennessee, some parts of Kentucky and observe how the coal companies have taken off the tops of entire mountains to get to the coal underneath.  Look at the dead creeks polluted with coal slurry from ponds that were not maintained.

Stop and consider the ramifications of the recent floods in the midwest.  How many years is it going to take to get the soil back to being even half-way productive in the Corn Belt of America after this recent flooding.  It boggles the mind.

Personally I am glad we have Tree Huggers, I am not a liberal in any way shape, form or manner, but I still believe they are somewhat necessary.  We have a lot of good things brought to us by the actions of Liberal’s .

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