Monday, June 29, 2009

The Mark Sanford "stimulate my package" trip to Argentina.






At one time I believed that my thought processes and problem solving skills were pretty good. Lately however I keep reading and seeing things that makes me question my thinking. Or perhaps it is just the spin doctors at work. I am starting to think public relations is one of the fields that there seems to be endless opportunities.

I would like to get one thing straight from the start.
I have been a registered Republican all my life. I voted in Republican primaries, not Democrats. I always thought the Democrats were too liberal. I was more conservative. I never liked the way the word "Democrat" sounded. I have been
a moderate middle of the road Republican. Since George Dubbaya was elected I have been nervous about the direction they are heading. In the last eight years things have deteriorated. Maybe the GOP needed a wake up call. Maybe they need a few years of Obama.
Perhaps they will have an "eppifory in their strawtiggery".

I think the Republican party, or at least their spokesbaffoon Rush Limbaugh, have lost touch with reality. Today he accuses Obama of being the reason that Gov. Duffus of South Carolina scurried off to Argentina for a while. He was so stressed out that his state would have to accept billions of dollars that he went to visit his girl friend in Argentina for stress release.

Rush, Old Buddy, I used to listen to you. I would still listen to William F. Buckley if he were alive. He was an articulate spokesman for conservative issues and values.
You are a babbler. Does your brain know what your mouth is saying?
You have had eight years of basking in the wake of Dubbaya's flotsam and jetsam.
Now that he is gone you suddenly know how to straighten out this country and what should be done to correct Obama's numerous mistakes.
Anyone that takes you seriously is obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer. You are the Nancy Grace of politics.
The spin doctors for our Governor: He went for a walk on the Appalachian Trail and he bumped his head. He woke up in Argentina in some girl's bed. yeah.....that's what happen. Argentina...yeah! We will send that up the flag pole and see who salute it. The "Mark Sanford stimulate my package trip" to Argentina.
Rush, that would have been more believable.
I can't stand Al Franken, but he was right.
And Mark Sanford is a skinny idiot. It's stimulus package, not stimulate my package.
Photo right: That is where I bumped my head. I remember that tree.
Signed:Mark Sanford (Extreme walker)


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Tribute to Bernard A. Fife: 138 Pounds of muscle and sinew.






I have watched "The Andy Griffith Show" many times. It is the one series I never really get sick of watching. The characters were outstanding. My personal favorite was Barney Fife. When the show started Barney was the glue that held it together. Don Knotts won 5 Emmys in 5 seasons for his performance as Barney Fife (best supporting actor).

Barney's Log Book: Barney lived at 411 Elm Street, Mayberry, NC. He joined the sheriff's office on May 16, 1959. He is 5'8" (when stretched) and weighs between 138 and 138.5 pounds. Languages he says he can speak are: Spanish, Pig Latin, some French, and Bird. Shoe size is 7.5 B.
A little known fact about theFife family: Everything they ate turned to muscle. Barney's mother was the same way. She could eat, eat, eat. It never went to fat, just muscle.
When he wore his salt and pepper suit he considered
himself "The Adolph Menjou of Mayberry. It was his only suit.
He was supposed to be in only a couple of episodes but the producer (Sheldon Leonard) realized he had something special and made Barney a regular. In the first show , "The New Housekeeper,"he played Andy's Cousin Barney. In that show he made his first arrest. He arrested Emma Brand for Jaywalking.
A few of the names Barney called himself: Reliable Barney Fife (1st episode), Barney the Bulkhead (explaining what he becomes when using his body as a weapon), Barney the Rabbit (because of how fast Barney was when he was a kid). Mad Dog, Fast Gun Fife and numerous others.
In Barney's yearbook his middle name is "Milton". In the book "Inside Mayberry" his middle initial is A. At other times it was "P".
One of the all time classic bits:" We the people". Barney recites "The Preamble of the Constitution."



Another funny bit: It is called Barney's Gun.
I have added a clip I found. I hope you enjoy it.

Great quotes from "The Andy Griffith Show."
Visit Mayberry, NC











Thursday, June 18, 2009

smoozing with Bernie and other Vermont weirdness


My wife and I had to leave Vermont. I trash talked the place on a regular basis. If we hadn't left we would probably be deported from there. The authorities would have escorted us to the border and said, "Don't come back!"
We would not have looked back.
But now I am. What went wrong?.....Nothing!!!!???
Things change. Vermont changed. I changed.
There are some nifty things in Vermont. Our real estate agent name was Von Trapp.
Is that cool or what? Yes, He is part of "The Von Trapps". Great guy. Good agent. Singing skills? I don't know.
Green Mountain coffee roasters? Great coffee. Cabot Cheese? The Best. Ben and Jerry's? Yum, Yum.
You don't need to be in Vermont to get all these good things. Let' move to warmth.
I used to enjoy snow. I am not 10 years old any more. I do not enjoy driving in it. I do not enjoy walking in it. I do not enjoy shoveling it. It gets heavy.
I never enjoyed cold. The only thing you could do was brag about who had the coldest temperature. " It was 137 below zero at my house last night." It was so cold last night penguins were trying to break into my house." My house the temperature was absolute zero. molecules stopped moving for 12 minutes."
Vermont was taking the fun out of our life. The people were the biggest problem.
The problem started in 1957. IBM decided to build a facility in Essex Junction which is a suburb of the small city of Burlington. They hired 400 people. They were mostly liberal democrat engineers. At the time Vermont was a very conservative state. A Democrat could not get elected dog catcher or anything else. This changed with IBM. In the next 50 years the work force climbed to 10,000 workers at IBM.
The northern half of Vermont became very liberal. The Southern half, not so much.
Before IBM showed up Vermont main industry was Agriculture.
The farmers did not trust the newcomers from the big cities. The newcomers thought the farmers were a bunch of old cow herders who didn't know diddly squat or squiddly doo about anything. They didn't trust each other and still don't. The closer you get to Burlington the more you can feel it. It is difficult to make real friends in this area.
The people seem to be very guarded. It is like: "what do you want? Why are you talking to me?" It is difficult to have more than a superficial friendship. It changed the culture and politics of Vermont.

The politicians of Vermont are a pretty cool group. You can smooze with these guys.

Sen. Patrick Leahy is one of the old war horses of Congress. He is a powerful senator.
He is into the National and International scene. Yet, He will be seen all over the place in Vermont. You go to a parade, he's there. You go to work, He's there. (He has been to my worksite at least a half dozen times in the eleven years I worked there.) I have seen him at numerous events. I asked him one time if he was looking for a job at my work place. He said," No, I am saving your job." He showed up at work to announce a multimillion dollar defense contract that we had won. I liked that.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (pic above) is the recipient of the IBM effect on the Vermont culture. He is the only Socialist in the US congress. He was the Socialist Mayor of Burlington before going national. This guy you can spot a mile away. You can also hear him a mile away.
He has a head of unruly white hair. Even when the wind is not blowing it is all over the place. He has a voice that booms. He does not really need a microphone.
Bernie is a grass roots type of guy. He is always fighting for the little guy. He is very unpretentious. He is very well informed. He is a conservative's nightmare. I have been a registered republican all my life, but if I had an issue with the government, he is the guy I would want working for me. He is a very interesting guy. If you are ever in the senate gallery and want to find Bernie look to the left. further...further....further. Look for the unruly white hair over against the left wall. Yes, He is a socialist. He is passionate about it. He is not a nut case. If you want nut case politics, move south.

Monday, June 8, 2009

BRING BACK THE 50'S (Another trip down Memory lane)


Was There a more peaceful time than the fifties? I mean really.
Forget about the fallout shelters. Remember the fire drills at school? Dive under your desk. That will save you long enough to have a slow lingering death from radiation poisoning. Maybe. Forget about Joe McCarthy accusing your Uncle Percy of being a Communist because he read Redbook Magazine. Forget that the word "gay" had a totally different meaning. forget that getting to first, second, or third base was totally baseball terminology. It had nothing to do with sex.
What was sex? In the fifties it was a distant rumor and a storage house of misinformation. I was only a kid. I was more interested in baseball and swimming after baseball during the summer. During the winter it was playing basketball in a driveway.
The basket was over the garage doors. Sometimes the driveway was paved, sometimes not. Since the driveways were usually for one car, the court was long and narrow. There was a premium on good passing. This is what we did for fun.

Television changed everything. The first people who had a television had to be wonderful people. We did not have a TV. So we went to the neighbors house, knocked on their door and ask if we could watch TV. Usually they would invite us in.
The only thing they knew about us was that we lived in the neighborhood. The only thing we knew about them is that they had a TV. We could tell. The house would be dark except for the silver glow of the TV.
Can You imagine doing something like that now? Your neighbor would probably gun you down has a home invader. Life was different back then.

The Television families were like us. They didn't have problems. They had minor misunderstandings.
There were four main TV families. There was Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, Jim and Margaret Anderson, Ward and June Cleaver, Alex and Donna Stone. They were your typical American family of the fifties.
They all had jobs. Well, Almost all. Ozzie Nelson didn't have a job. I don't think he ever did. He must have been on disability or something. Perhaps a mental problem. It was called "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet." Adventure??? Ozzie was no Mcgiver. He had to hire someone to sharpen his pencils. What adventure?
He just walked around in his sweater. He would walk into the closet and stay there for a while. He never said, "I'm going to the Office." He usually said something like, "I think I will take a nap." I believe he lived off his son, Ricky, after he became famous.
We have Jim Anderson of "Father Knows Best."
He had a job. He worked in the insurance field.
Jim gave all of his children nicknames. There was "Kitten, Princess, and Bud."
It appears to me that the Anderson had an easier life than the Nelsons. The Anderson show usually was about Bud forgot to buy a loaf of bread and Jim had to buy it or Kitten wore mismatched socks to school. The Nelsons had to find Ozzie a job or a Caregiver.
Ward and June Cleaver clearly had the biggest problem. In Leave It To Beaver, It is very obvious they are not talking about an Estate Bequeathment. Beaver is probably the most confused and incompetent kid to grow up in the 20th century. He often goes down to the firehouse to talk to his old friend "Gus" for advise. It is obvious that his firehouse buddy is in the final stages of dementia. Good advise indeed. Ward is always sputtering for the Beaver to do something properly. Obviously Ozzie and the Beaver could be roommates at the County Home. They are both totally lost. They would wander around with name tags on their wrist.
The Stones were boring but they were a handsome family. The father was competent. He was a doctor. The kids were semi-intelligent. The mother played by "Donna Reed" seemed fairly competent at keeping the house clean and the food was on the table at suppertime. Numerous discussions were held at the supper table. In my family it was "shut up and eat, Your mash potatoes just flew across the table."
I cringe at how these families would be portrayed in this day and age.
I suspect that Ozzie would still be wondering around like a lost soul. Rick would be a druggie musician. Harriet would have a boyfriend on the side. Ozzie still clueless.
It would be different.
The fifties were better.


Writing my great American mystery novel (PART ONE)





After reading numerous mysteries and writing a few blogs,  I think I am ready to write my first mystery novel. I believe I will model it after John Sandford's Lucas Davenport. Lucas is the main character of the prey series.  I am tinkering with the idea of calling my main  character Colt Brandisher or Uzi Glock.  I think the name Colt sounds very manly, Uzi Glock would be a good name for an Israeli agent.  I will file that name away for future use.
 Mine could be the Pray series. It will take place in Vatican City. Hmmm! No good. Not enough crime.  Sandford has the Minneapolis/St. Paul area pretty much taken. It is also too long a city name.  He even calls it the twin cities and has a many of his crimes in St. Paul because Minneapolis is to long a name and to difficult to spell. My character will definitely not be based in Albuquerque or Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.  Connecticut and that  next state with the long name that starts with M is out. The city and state with the liberty bell is definitely out. Perhaps Albeny, New York.  I can spell that. Maybe not.
My mystery should be located in a warm climate.  We can't have the characters spending time taking off their snowmobile suits and parkas especially if there is romance or S-E-X involved. Can You picture it. "I am too tired  and not in the mood to have sex now. It took me twenty minutes to get my boots off.  I am going to  rest now.  Leave me alone." 
It must be a warm place with a short, easy to spell name. Perhaps Dallas, Texas.

Next problem: A woman for Colt.  A name. We don't want anything too cheesy.
Hmmm! I am leaning towards Velveeta Muskmelon. Remember, there is some question whether Velveeta is actually cheese. I think the name is kinda sexy. especially the muskmelon part.
Next problem: Character development.  Colt has to be kinda quirky. Perhaps we can have him shooting a crossbow instead of a gun.  Hmmm.  This might be quirky but is it practical?  Let see, What would the networks pick up in a flash?  We have had blind detectives, crippled detectives, psychic detectives,  mumbling detectives, and stupid detectives. They have them all pretty well covered except for a dead detective.  That may have been done but I missed it.
Well....It appears that I have a few issues to iron out before I send my great American mystery novel to my agent.   My agent?  Yikes, I don't have an agent. Ummmm! I will get back to you later.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Yahoo Answers! Really???






I enjoy
 answers.yahoo.com whenever I need a good laugh.  I am really not sure what I enjoy the most about it.  There are so many things to choose from. I usually go to the society and culture category.  This is where the arrogant self righteous religiously indoctrinated argue with the arrogant self righteous atheist. The bible person will quote some vague scripture with a lot of verily,  a few "thines or thou", mention some guy named Ezekial, Ezra, and Ebenezer and say, "That's my proof, Hah!" 
 The Atheist will salvo with some scientific mumbo-jumbo, toss in Darwin,  Newton, (not the cookie), a few other heavyweights in the science industry.  This interaction is continuous and fun to read.
If you really need a correct answer, this is not the place to find it.  The question is thrown out for a vote.  It is voted on by other people who know very little about anything.  They just like the way the answer sounded to them. After about a week or a year the voting is over.  Yahoo will send you an email stating, " Your answer has been voted the best answer".  The right answer? Not usually. 
If a person doesn't like your stupid answer to their stupid question they can complain to Yahoo.  Yahoo can give you a five yard penalty and remove your stupid answer to their stupid question.
A few sample questions for your viewing enjoyment.
  • I can't fly properly in my dreams.(I knew how, so I answered. )
  • Be hoenest, am I uegley? (flickr pix) (Yes, and you can't spell either.)
  • Please help! How do I get rid of Trojans on my laptop? (tongs or rubber gloves?)
  • If god doesn't exist who named the planets? (let me see. 2 were named after cars, one after a candy bar, One after a body part, One after a dog, One after a town in Florida,  One after  a statue. If God named them he has a nifty sense of humor.)
  • How do you use the word "defer" in a sentence? (Defer on my dog has mange.) It just goes on and on.  so....feel free to have your question answered by the experts. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Memory Lane: My First Expensive Toy


I went into adolescence as some kind of freak.   I really wasn't interested in driving a car.  I did not mind sitting in them.  I like to stick my head out the window like a Cocker Spaniel.  I liked listening to the car radio. I enjoyed putting my hand out the windows and feeling the wind on my cupped hand.  My mother would holler back, "stop that. A car might come along and hit your arm and tear it off."  So I didn't do that very often.  As I think back on that, I do not remember seeing one person with their arm torn off.  If I had seen such a person I would say, " You didn't listen to your mother did you?"
I made it out of my adolescence without thinking about a car.
When I had my first "real" job,  I realized I would need a car.  I did not even have a driver's license.  I did not feel like walking 3 or 4 miles to work every day.
I went to the local Chevy dealer in town to start looking at cars. They had a huge lot.
I found my car in about the fifth row.  It was a sweet looking little car. A 1959 Austin Healy Sprite. The bug-eyed baby.  I got it home, licensed and registered.  Now I had to learn how to drive it.  That did not take long since I had taken Driver's Education in high school.   I loved that little car. I took my driving test on a very cold day.  I had the top down.  The examiner about froze to death but I think he enjoyed it. I had my license.  I had a lot of fun with that car for a while. But I was hit with a reality.  It is called winter in the Northeast.  The thing about Austin Healy Sprites is: No door handles on the car.  You had to slide the slide windows open and turn the door handle from the inside which may have worked if it hadn't been for that chemical formula H2O.
Yes, the H2O substance changed form and became frozen H2O.  (I hope I am not confusing you with all these chemical formulas and technical jargon.)
The bottom line is: The windows were frozen shut, I could not reach the door handles.
I could not get in the car unless I made it into a convertible which is not a great idea when it is snowing.  The car had to go.  sadly, I had to trade it in. The good news is: Gunther.  That is the name I gave my Volkswagen.  I had Gunther for seven years. A great car. Gunther was not pretty like my first car but he always was ready  to go.  If Gunther was a woman he would have been a nymphomaniac. ...uhmm, with a man's name. Nothing stopped Gunther.   Snow was not a problem unless it was over the bumpers. If it was that deep, you just put it in gear, got a shovel and shovelled in front of it. It would drive itself.  Cold:  It would start every time.   Heat: Hey, I had a sun roof and windows. Gas: It was cheap. Gunther got about 45 miles to a gallon.  I could drive half way around the world on $10.   It was finally time to get a new car.  I went to the local Chevy dealership.  I bought a new Lime Green Vega.
uhhhmmmm....Don't ask.  DON'T GO THERE. 
The color may have been lime but it was really a lemon.

Yes,  I am squirrelly.  My wife says so.  I suppose this is meant to be a derogatory term.
 After observing squirrels for many years, I personally do not take offense to it.  In fact, these critters have many of the qualifications I would be looking for if I worked in Human Resources.   The squirrel is persistent.  The squirrel is creative. The squirrel will work for peanuts.  The recent high school or college graduate will ask:  How many weeks vacation?  How good is your health plan? How many coffee breaks do I get per day? Squirrels don't ask these questions.  
I have been putting a lot of thought into this.  If I could get these little rodents to work on an assembly line in Detroit, General Motors would be a profitable company. Some of the more creative squirrels could become engineers.  You know the type. They are the ones out in the backyard climbing all over the squirrel proof bird feeder.  The nerdy type rodentia.  I suppose PETA would be after me in minutes.  I don't care.  I will be saving General Motors.  I am not asking them to go to Iraq and strap little bombs to their furry little bodies.
Since I speaking of things on squirrel bodies, I must mention this. 
I am battling a couple of squirrels in my back yard. One of the squirrels is wearing a belt. I told my wife, "There is a squirrel in the backyard wearing a belt."  She told me to get in the house and put one on before my pants fall down. She thought he was wearing my belt.  but after she saw the squirrel she agreed that he did have something around his waist and back. It is more like a small red object held with some kind of wire. We figured some human did something to the poor little creature.  But he seems to be doing fine with whatever is attached to him.  I am sure he was not born like that.  He seems quiet healthy otherwise.  I have sprayed him numerous times with water and he keeps coming back.
He seems to enjoy the spray.  I have a neighbor who catches squirrels in a cage and drives them to another state and releases them.  They usually beat him back home.
These are the kind of creatures General Motors should consider hiring.