Thursday, June 30, 2011

MSNBC Commentator Gets Something Right

Breaking News!!!

MSNBC contributor Mark Halperin was suspended indefinitely Thursday from the cable network after calling President Obama a "d**k."
Halperin, an editor at TIME magazine, said "I thought he [Obama] was a d**k yesterday," on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," referring to the president's Wednesday press conference. The comment came after he asked host Joe Scarborough if there was a delay on the program to allow words to be bleeped.
MSNBC, not an organization to let speaking the truth go unpunished, immediately suspended Haperin for an indefinite period.

Halperin himself went on to spoil things by apologizing.

No word on whether "d**k" was "dick" or "dork" although my money's on "dick."

 Either one, however, is appropriate...

This Is Why We're In The Mess We're In

Harper had an interesting post today about a bill that - surprise - hasn't been covered by the lamestream media.
New York Representative Anne Marie Buerkle (R) is a woman after my heart.  She has introduced a bill that would stop federal funding for the House and Senate budget committees as well as for the leadership offices in any year they failed to pass a budget.

For those not keeping track, the last time the Senate passed a budget resolution was in April of 2009.

. . .

I have said it, and many of you have said it.  No private sector (non-union) employee could perform this poorly in their job and not get fired.  Not only are we allowing them to keep their jobs; they get raises, increased benefits, expense accounts and the adoration of the MSM.

Rep. Buerkle points out that even the Libyan government managed to pass a budget earlier this month, in the midst of a civil war.
Is anyone really surprised that the politicians in DC can't do one of the few things they are constitutionally required to do? Don't just GTFO 2012, get all those worthless assholes the hell outta there.

As if more evidence of their incompetnece was needed, here's two more examples.

In the basement of a Baltimore vault the size of a soccer field, 1 billion dollar coins are just sitting there. Thanks, Congress.
Each coin costs the government 30 cents to make, so the piles in those vaults have cost the government $300 million so far...

The whole thing started in 2005, when the Presidential $1 Coin Act was written into law. While the legislation seemed to have good intentions, when the U.S. Mint started producing the coins a couple years later, the demand just wasn’t there. I mean, had you even heard of the presidential $1 coins, let alone seen one?

The pile of idle coins, which so far cost $300 million to manufacture, could double by the time the program ends in 2016, the Federal Reserve told Congress last year.

Millions of dollars worth of $1 coins languish in a vault at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's Baltimore branch.


... the coins are the wasteful byproducts of a third, failed congressional effort to get Americans to use one-dollar coins in everyday commerce.
In 2005, Congress decided that a new series of dollar coins should be minted to engage the public. These coins would bear the likeness of every former president, starting with George Washington. There would be a new one every quarter. So, far, the Mint has produced coins through the 18th president, Ulysses S. Grant.

But as the new presidential dollar coins rolled out, the greenback lost none of its dominance in Americans' hearts and wallets.

If the mandate to make presidential coins wasn't enough to generate a growing heap of unwanted coins, a political deal ensured that even more unwanted coins would be produced.

It was easier for the bill's sponsor, then-Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE), to move the presidential coin bill forward if it didn't displace other dollar coins honoring Sacagawea, the teenage Native American guide to Lewis and Clark.

The deal: The mint would be required to make a quota of Sacagawea coins. Currently, the law says 20 percent of dollar coins made must have Sacagawea on them.

So, there are now about 1.2 billion dollar-coin "assets" chilling in Federal Reserve vaults, unloved and bearing no interest. By the time the presidential coin series finishes, and there are coins honoring all past presidents, there could be 2 billion.

Several congressional leaders ... declined to comment for this story.
Leaders?!? Oh my aching butt. If they were really leaders they'd be all over this working on ending this fiasco.
Both the Mint and the Federal Reserve provided information for this story, but neither agency would agree to an on-the-record interview.
Gee, there's a surprise. Going on the record means accepting some sort of responsibility or accountability, something that spineless politicians and bureaucrats are loathe to do. 
The finances of all of this? You could say the government has wasted money to make money.
Finally, and perhaps most worrying, is this report from Peter about the EPA requiring refiners to add a product to their gasoline that does not exist!
No companies have to this date been able to produce cellulosic ethanol that qualifies by EPA’s definition. Yet, presumably to save face, the EPA has not lowered the cellulosic ethanol “mandate” to zero gallons.

Now, what the mandate actually means is that companies will be heavily fined if they do not blend sufficient quantities of ethanol into the fuel supply — each gallon of ethanol having its own identification number, which is generated when the ethanol is created (of course, companies have to devote significant resources to navigating this regulatory-maze). Being that this ethanol does not exist, rather than facing fines for not being able to buy it, refiners are required to purchase “credits” from the EPA. Essentially, the EPA is requiring them to send them money in lieu of meeting the cellulosic ethanol mandate. The product they are required to use does not exist, and rather than giving them a pass, the EPA requires that they pay for phantom credits, despite not getting anything out of it. (source)
We are paying those assholes in congress six-figure salaries, giving them extravagant health and retirement benefits, and exempting them from the very laws they pass that govern us. And in return we get ... what .. crap like this?!?

Fire 'em all. Kick their worthless butts out of those featherbeds they've built for themselves and get some people in there who are more concerned with solving problems than with getting reelected.

Otherwise, God help us all...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Candidate For The Darwin Awards

I've done my fair share of stupid things before, during, and after tubing down the Guadalupe River in Central Texas.

Sunburns, bumps and bruises, scrapes, even stitches, all collected while going over rapids, swinging from trees into the river, jumping off bridges and cliffs, and the ever-popular falling down while trying to stand. Alcohol was, as the police reports say, a contributing factor in these events.

But I never did anything like this.

Man accidentally shoots self after day on river
After floating down the Guadalupe River on Tuesday, a man accidentally shot himself in the abdomen while trying to change the tire of his pickup, according to authorities.

Earlier, the victim and three friends had floated down the river, according to a New Braunfels Police Department press release.

The release did not state whether the group had been drinking.
No need to state the obvious.
When they returned to the parking lot, the men observed a large bulge in the side wall of the front left tire of the victim's pickup.

The victim decided to change the tire, and when he reached under the back seat to retrieve the jack, he “somehow accidentally depressed the trigger to his loaded 30-30 rifle,” the release stated.
I've been puzzling over this and I can't understand how on earth a person could accidentally depress the trigger of a rifle while standing in front of it.

Maybe it takes a couple of six-packs to figure it out...

Don't Let The Bastards Grind You Down

I normally don't post links to commercial products, but in this case I'm going to make an exception. Unapologetically American sells t-shirts and related gear. They're a sister company to Ranger Up, another apparel company that was started by three military veterans. I've bought stuff from both and have been more than satisfied by the quality and service.

What led to this post was a new offering that caught my eye. The shirt is below, showing a picture of the U.S. Congress building overlaid with the words "Illegitimi Non Carborundum." Loosely translated, that means "Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down."


The best part is the text accompanying the shirt on the web site.
These guys brought the government to the brink of collapse and threatened to not pay our military or DOD over whether to cut what amount to 3 days of national debt interest or 12 days. They settled on 7.8 days.

It took 10 days to negotiate this agreement.

No one you know is this bad at their job.

Congress just sucks.
I couldn't agree more...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

They Have A Right To Be As Miserable As The Rest Of Us

Last Friday the state of New York legalized same-sex marriages. I really don't have any strong feelings one way or the other. I tend to agree with Kinky Friedman: "I support gay marriage. I believe they have a right to be as miserable as the rest of us."

IMO the Church (Church = any form of organized religion) should concern itself with God's laws (God = the Supreme Being or Beings of your choice) and the government should concern itself with Man's laws (Man = generic homo sapien). Any Church should have the right to marry or not marry any combination of individuals as it deems fit. Any government should grant a civil union license to any combination of individuals - period. Male and female, male and male, female and female, male and female and female, whatever. As long as they are consenting adults, let whoever wants to enter into a legally binding civil union do so. If it makes you feel better to call that civil union a marriage, so be it. 

Like I said, I don't have a problem with gay marriage. But I do have a major problem with the amount of time, effort, and media attention this topic has drawn. With all the serious and complex problems threatening our society, the gay marriage issue is a distraction we can ill afford. Can we please put this nonsense behind us and get down to dealing with adult problems?

Like Mixed Martial Arts.
While New York's same-sex couples prepare for their big day, the MMA community will have to wait for the next legislative session for any hope that their sport will be legalized ... With 45 states, including New Jersey, having no problem with MMA, it's becoming increasingly difficult for New York to justify the ban.
That's right, sports fans. While the NY budget is going down the drain, while its schools are failing and its public services are being curtailed, while graft and corruption run rampant throughout all levels of government and the private sector, while drugs and illegal aliens are freely available, while organized crime flourishes, while gangs and violence spread unchecked, the NY legislature is busying itself with issues like same-sex marriage and Mixed Martial Arts.

The only ones benefiting from all this are the lawyers.
Wedding planners aren't the only ones riding the gay-marriage gravy train.

Lawyers, too, are expecting a bonanza -- from gay divorce.

Lost in the euphoria of the historic passage of New York's same-sex marriage bill is the inevitability of bitter break-ups.

There will be support claims to resolve, property to divide and custody issues to settle, as with any other divorce.
Brace yourself for the inevitable reality TV series: "Real Housewhatevers of New York City."

And in other New York news, Mrs. Brady got crabs from NY Mayor.
Florence Henderson, the actress who played perky mom Carol Brady in the beloved family sitcom, says she once got crabs after a one-night-stand with career politician John Lindsay, who was the mayor of New York City at the time.

Henderson, now 77, recounts in her upcoming memoir that she was cheating on her husband during the 1960s, and gave in to her better judgment when her married and unattractive friend put the moves on her over drinks at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Henderson went home later that night, and awoke to a grisly surprise the next day as she saw "little black things" crawling over her bed and body.
Politicians and lawyers, covered with vermin. What a surprise...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Welcome Home

I got home Sunday afternoon after a long weekend at Blownstar. My wife welcomed me home with a great big hug, told me she had missed me, and gave me 'the look' that promised a much warmer welcome later that night.

And then...

We usually let the dogs out to take care of business right before we go to bed. So she let the dogs out and headed for our bedroom. I said good night to the kids, reminded them to let the dogs back in, and headed there myself.

A couple of minutes later I heard "Daaaad!" I went back out to the living room to discover that the dogs had been skunked, the kids had let them in before they noticed the smell, and now the dogs were rolling around on the carpet while the kids were trying to corral them and get them back outside. So much for romance.

The next couple of hours were occupied with canine baths and carpet cleaning. Fortunately, I found a drugstore that was still open. The clerk didn't bat an eye when I dropped a couple of bottles of hydrogen peroxide and several boxes of feminine hygiene product on the counter. I guess she's seen it all on the late night shift.

To make a long story short, we got the dogs bathed and the carpet shampooed, but by then the mood was long gone.

Then this morning I had to take my Dad to a doctor's appointment. Dad has reached that age where his hearing isn't what it used to be, but he won't admit it. He thinks everyone else is mumbling. As a result, he speaks louder than he needs to. That wouldn't be a problem, except for a few other factors.

He comes from a family of coal miners. He also spend 26+ years in the military as an enlisted man and NCO. So he has a definite lack of sensitivity and political correctness. Plus he feels compelled to comment on everyone and everything he sees. Combine that with his aforementioned tendency to broadcast what he says and it made for a very interesting waiting period at the doctor's office.
"Why are all the nurses just sitting on their butts instead of taking care of us?"
"Who dressed that woman - a blind man?"
"His problem is that he's fat."
Thankfully the other patients were as hard of hearing as he is.

Dad had a stroke several months ago. He's pretty much recovered from it, except for some lingering difficulty speaking. We joke about how much he now sounds like Porky Pig. His speech is hesitant and he has a slight stutter. He also has difficulty getting certain words from his brain to his mouth, so he pulls the old Porky Pig trick and after a few tries substitutes another word. For example, the assisted living facility where he stays has a shuttle bus that takes them places and later brings them back. The old driver, a man, recently quit and a woman was hired to replace him. Dad was telling me about this change: "And then they hired a wommm ... a wommm ... a female." He laughs about it more than we do.

Bottom line - after a relaxing and enjoyable weekend it's back to the real world.

Sigh...

FOD 2011.06.27

A picture is worth 1000 words...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Blownstar 2012

I just got home from what Harper has referred to as a "more refined Blownstar."

Hmmm...

This was my first blog meet, much less my first Blownstar, so I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found was a lot of enjoyable and interesting people who were fun to be with. Kerrcarto did a great job putting the framework in place, but once everyone got there the self-organizing (*cough*) nature of the group took over.

As for being 'refined,' well, I have no standard of comparison. One the one hand, no one got injured or arrested. On the other hand, it was mostly drink and talk (and drink and talk and drink and talk and ...). There was a side trip on Sat. to Luckenbach, followed by dinner at the Fredericksburg Brewing Company, which was also low-key. So I guess all in all it was pretty laid-back.

Hopefully there'll be another one next year so I can experience the unrefined version...

Sunday Funnies 2011.06.26

Late night last night..

I'm convinced that the birds chirping outside my window were sent there by Satan.

I've replaced the traditional praying on my knees position with the more feasible praying in a fetal position.

I feel like the late senator from Massachusetts.




Saturday, June 25, 2011

WAR!!!

U.S. Invaded By Mexico
A convoy of three military trucks loaded with Mexican soldiers crosses the border at Bridge Number Two clearly violating international law.

It happens as Customs and Border Protection inspectors try to figure out what to do.

A CBP spokesperson says they got on the phone with Mexican authorities after being alerted that the military trucks were heading their direction loaded down with soldiers and weapons.

Mexican leaders say the soldiers, who had just been deployed to Nuevo Laredo, didn't know the area, got lost and then made their way through Bridge Two.

It's important to note that CBP did not tell us about the potentially serious situation. It came from another law enforcement agency.

Some callers to our newsroom were upset inspectors allowed the Mexican military to get so close to all those inspection booths over at Bridge Number Two.

Some noted had it been Mexican drug lords they could have taken inspectors by surprise and easily crossed the international border deeper into the United States.
I work part-time in Laredo, where this occurred. I'm familiar with the international bridges down there. There are plenty of signs on both sides that provide ample notice that you are approaching the border. There's also the checkpoints themselves that make it pretty clear you are crossing from one country into another, along with all those customs and border patrol personnel.


So the "we were lost" story is a load of crap.

If it truly was just a convoy of lost soldiers that managed to get past security forces on both sides, then that's a pretty damning indictment of just how porous things are down there.

Tell me again how secure our borders are...

All Politics All The Time Part III

The U.S. Department of Energy said Thursday it will release 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to alleviate Libyan supply disruptions.

A few facts:
The world consumes 87.5 million barrels of oil a day. Of that total, the United States consumes about 19 million barrels per day, according to Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service.

The United States produces about 9.8 million barrels so it winds up importing about half of what it consumes.
Do the math. The 30 million barrels released from the SPR is equivalent to approximately 1 1/2 days of US oil consumption, or 1/3 of one day's worth of world oil consumption.

All of which brings to mind several questions.

What is "strategic" about 8 hours worth of oil?

Wouldn't it be better to develop our domestic energy sources, to reduce our dependence on oil from people that hate us?

How many votes do obama and the libs think they'll garner from 30 million barrels?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2011.06.24

I'm planning on attending my first Blownstar this weekend. Based on what I've heard about previous ones, this seems like an appropriate song.

All Politics All The Time Part II

Continuing the previous post regarding obama's politically motivated decision to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan, we have this.

Military leaders know Obama’s decision is a disaster
The press is reporting that the top military leaders have “endorsed” President Obama’s Afghan troop withdrawal decision. With all due respect to the fine reporters, that is not the news. Under our Constitution, military leaders have no choice but to endorse the president’s decision after giving him their best advice. They could resign, of course, but to have the entire senior military leadership resign over a president’s decision contrary to their advice would be a disaster, and not least for the troops on the ground.

Make no mistake, however. The entire military leadership believes the president’s decision is a mistake, and especially the decision to withdraw the remainder of the surge forces by September 2012. They will soldier on and do their best, but as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, put it, in characteristic understatement, they believe the decision will increase the risk to the troops and increase the chance that the mission will not succeed. It bears repeating that the deadline imposed by the president has nothing to do with military or strategic calculation. It has everything to do with an electoral calculation. President Obama wants those troops out two months before Americans go to the voting booth.
And in related news, obama 'misspoke' about a Medal of Honor recipient.

During a speech to the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, obama said the following.
"First time I saw 10th Mountain Division, you guys were in southern Iraq.  When I went back to visit Afghanistan, you guys were the first ones there.  I had the great honor of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously."

The problem is, Jared Monti was killed in action in Afghanistan, on June 21, 2006.  He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously, September 17, 2009.  President Obama handed the framed medal to his parents, Paul and Janet Monti.  He and the First Lady comforted them in the Oval Office following the ceremony.
As one commentator observed:
The ironic part of the speech, and this comes after the announcement of the politically pressured drawdown of troops in Afghanistan, was Obama's closing remark, "Know that your Commander-in-Chief has your back."
If only our troops had a C-in-C worthy of them...

All Politics All The Time

Like the old joke says, "Let's just declare victory and get the hell out of here."
President Barack Obama is gambling that his gradual military withdrawal from Afghanistan won’t prompt the tribal country to spin out of control in the next 12 months, but will help him run as a jobs-and-growth candidate in the 2012 election. (link here)
GAMBLING? With the lives of American military men and women, just so he can portray himself as a "jobs-and-growth candidate" in 2012? What jobs? What growth? What a loser.
In his speech, Obama said he would withdraw 10,000 by the end of the year, and another 33,000 by September 2012. Most of the remaining 66,000 U.S. troops will then be withdrawn by the end of 2014, he said.
September 2012 - right before the election. Coincidence? I think not.
He did not call for democracy in Afghanistan, nor legal rights for women, nor did he call for military victory, nor did he mention the military sacrifice of U.S. allies, such as the United Kingdom, Germany and Holland. He did discuss Iraq, but largely as a painful war from which he has withdrawn 100,000 soldiers. He did not repeat his earlier description of Iraq as an emerging democracy and an potential ally.
So what did we gain over there? All those lives for ... what ... political cover?
His much-anticipated announcement was planned for the same day that two bad-news reports were expected to hit the media. In the morning, the Congressional Budget Office predicted that the national debt would outgrow the nation’s annual income in 2021, and double again in another 15 years. The growth of health care spending contributes 80 percent of the problem, and the heavy debt will shrink the economy’s growth by 6 percent in 2025, and 18 percent by 2035, said the report.

That afternoon, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered a bad-news economic message to the assembled TV cameras. “I believe slowdown is partly temporary and we’ll see greater growth going forward … [but because] we can’t explain the entire slowdown, growth in the near-term might be less than we anticipate.”
"we can’t explain the entire slowdown" ... well, here's a good place to start.

From another source:
Obama said the withdrawal of troops had been made possible because three objectives are now being fulfilled: a refocus on al-Qaeda instead of the Taliban; a reversal of the Taliban's momentum; and the training of Afghan National Security Forces to defend the country.

But to Afghans, it is not at all clear that the U.S. is achieving or has achieved any of these goals.

"We were expecting President Obama to make a political decision in the context of U.S. politics as he has an important election coming up in 2012. But we didn't expect it to be so many troops being pulled out and we didn't expect the withdrawal to be carried out over fighting seasons," Haron Mir, a former aid to Northern Alliance commander Ahmad Shah Masood, tells TIME. "We expected a few thousand, not 10,000."

The withdrawal of so many troops in so short a time, Mir says, will have serious repercussions for the security gains that have been made since the start of the surge. "General Petraeus and others have said that the Taliban's momentum has been broken. This announcement will certainly bolster the Taliban's morale," he says, echoing commonly-made predictions that announcements of a looming pull-out will incite Taliban insurgents to fight harder.
It's clear to me that the troop drawdown is a cynical, shameless, and politically-motivated sham engineered in a desperate attempt to boost obama's falling re-election chances. I'm not naive enough to believe that obama is the first person to do this, and he likely won't be the last, but that still doesn't excuse it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Good News Bad News

We had a formal hearing with our county's tax appraisal board this morning. The basis of our appeal is the new cell phone tower that sprang up overnight in our back yard.

Briefly, our contention is that the tower is a form of disamenity; that is, a local undesirable land-use factor that negatively impacts a property's value. We bought our property primarily for the view, and built our house to take advantage of several hundred unspoiled acres on the other side of the property line. Then, a couple of months ago, a 300-foot cell phone tower was built about 250 yards from our back porch. We argued that this had a significant negative impact on the value of our property.
The new view from our back porch

Miracle of miracles, the appraisal review board agreed. They decreased our appraised value by 20%!

My wife and I went home and immediately popped a cork and began guzzling sipping champagne.

Once the initial reaction wore off, however, the realization of what the ruling meant sunk in. A group of knowledgeable and experienced real estate professionals has just decided that one of our primary assets has been devalued by 20%.

We're still drinking the champagne, but now with a different mindset...

How Miserable Is It?

Those of us of a certain age fondly recall the old Johnny Carson - Ed McMahon schtick where Johnny would say something like "It's really cold today." Ed would respond with "How cold is it?" Johnny would deliver the punch line in the format of "It's so cold that ... " and then complete the statement. For example:
"It's really cold today."

Q: "How cold is it?"

A: "It's so cold that the cows are giving ice-cream."

A: "It's so cold that politicians have their hands in their own pockets."

A: "It's so cold that dogs are sticking to fire hydrants."

A: “It's so cold that chickens are mugging the sheep just to get wool for sweaters.”
The above is just an elaborate set-up for the question "How miserable is the economy?"

And the answer is "It's the most miserable it's been in 28 years." (Not funny, I know - just sad.)
When it comes to measuring the combination of unemployment and inflation, it doesn’t get much more miserable than this.

In fact, misery, as measured in the unofficial Misery Index that simply totals the unemployment and inflation rates, is at a 28-year high, reflective of how weak the economic recovery has been and how far there is to go.

The index, first compiled during the soaring inflation days of the 1970s by economist Arthur Okun, is registering a nausea-inducing 12.7 -- 9.1 percent for unemployment and 3.6 percent for annualized inflation -- a number not seen since 1983. The index has been above 10 since November 2009 and had been under double-digits from June 1993 through May 2008.
Note two things: first, the index soared into double digits in Nov. 2009 - the first anniversary of obama's election. Second, the unemployment figure of 9.1% is artificially low.
Don't pay too much attention to the headline unemployment rate of 9.1 percent. It is scary enough, but it is a gloss on the reality. These numbers do not include the millions who have stopped looking for a job or who are working part time but would work full time if a position were available. And they count only those people who have actively applied for a job within the last four weeks.

Include those others and the real number is a nasty 16 percent. The 16 percent includes 8.5 million part-timers who want to work full time (which is double the historical norm) and those who have applied for a job within the last six months, including many of the long-term unemployed. And this 16 percent does not take into account the discouraged workers who have left the labor force.

We now have more idle men and women than at any time since the Great Depression. Nearly seven people in the labor pool compete for every job opening ... One fifth of all men of prime working age are not getting up and going to work.
Think about that last paragraph. There cannot be any sort of sustained economic recovery until more people are employed in jobs they are qualified for - not part time jobs flipping burgers at Micky Ds. Now ask yourself  "What is obama's job creation strategy?"

* crickets *

The sad fact is that there isn't one - or at least one that's working.

Don’t look now, but many on Obama’s economic team is (sic) abandoning ship and heading for the exits.
Obama’s economic team is headed for the doors... These are the same advisors that assured Americans that a huge expansion of entitlements, an historic increase in the size of government, almost doubling of the national debt by $5 trillion, while hobbling small businesses with a new thicket of regulations, would actually result in economic expansion and job growth across the nation.

Not only were these presidential advisors wrong, but disastrously so. Rarely has a group failed so spectacularly. Thus, Americans should not be surprised that many of ... Obama’s National Economic Council team are abandoning the sinking Obama ship. This mass exodus of Team Obama’s economic advisors is a stunning vote of no confidence in the President’s economic policies. Obama needs to consider this: When all of your staff give up, they are telling you that there is something flawed in the current approach that doesn’t work.
Among the particularly hard-hit in the current economy are recent college graduates.

Employment rates for new college graduates have fallen sharply in the last two years, as have starting salaries for those who can find work.
The median starting salary for students graduating from four-year colleges in 2009 and 2010 was $27,000, down from $30,000 for those who entered the work force in 2006 to 2008 ... That is a decline of 10 percent, even before taking inflation into account.

Of course, these are the lucky ones — the graduates who found a job. Among the members of the class of 2010, just 56 percent had held at least one job by this spring, when the survey was conducted. That compares with 90 percent of graduates from the classes of 2006 and 2007.
As a college professor, and the parent of two high school students who are planning to go to college, to me this is easily the most troubling element of today's economic conditions. What's the point of spending years and thousands of dollars for a 1 in 2 chance of getting a job? Yet without a skilled and educated workforce and American economic engine will continue to sputter.

We simply cannot survive another four years of obama.



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thank You God

In my previous post I mentioned that we're in the middle of an "exceptional" drought - the USDA's severest category. It's so bad that rivers and wells are going dry, lakes are shrinking, and ranchers are selling off their herds because they can't afford to feed them.

In that earlier post I asked God to please send us some rain.

Last night we got two inches of the wet stuff.

Good job, God. Thanks.

Not to seem ungrateful, however, but two inches isn't a drought-buster by any means, although it it will help keep things alive a little while longer and lessen the wildfire risk. What we really need is a slow-moving tropical storm to blow in from the Gulf and hover over this region for a few days.

Whaddaya think, Big Guy? A little more help would be greatly appreciated.

And after You take care of that, I'd like to talk with You about the lottery...

Say What?

Some drunk got caught taking a leak into the reservoir that supplies Portland (OR) its water. As a result, the powers-that-be decided to dump the 8 million gallons of water in the reservoir down the drain.
Because a 21-year-old man was caught on a security camera urinating into a city reservoir, Oregon's biggest city is sending 8 million gallons of treated drinking water down the drain.

Portland officials defended the decision Monday, saying they didn't want to send city residents water laced, however infinitesimally, with urine.
An interesting story, to be sure, with lots of differing views on what the best thing to do would have been. But not that earthshaking. So why am I posting this? Read on...
Public health officials say, however, that urine is sterile in healthy people and that the urine in the reservoir was so diluted - perhaps a half pint in millions of gallons - that it posed little risk.

Some people in the city, in the suburbs and around the world called the flush an overreaction, especially since animals such as ducks contribute waste routinely and, sometimes, die in the water.

The reservoirs are drained twice a year for cleaning, and workers have found animal carcasses, paint cans, construction material, fireworks debris and even the plastic bags people use to scoop up after their dogs, said David Shaff, administrator of the city water bureau.
So with all that in the water, what's all the fuss about a little urine? Especially since the water is going to get treated anyway before it enters the city's water system.

There were, however, two things in this story that gave me pause. The first was this paragraph:
Water from the city's five open air reservoirs, all in parks, goes directly to customers. The reservoirs are due to be replaced by underground storage within a decade, a result of federal requirements.
So the feds are now mandating not only how water must be treated, but how it must be stored? What's wrong with just setting standards for potability and then testing it at the tap? Let the local governments figure out how best to meet those standards. There must be some special interest group that builds underground water storage complexes that's bought off a whole passel of congresscritters.

But the most eye-catching part of the story was the following quote:
"If I lived in Texas, I might have had a different response," he said.
Say what?

My first reaction upon reading that quote was that 'he' is suggesting that we down here drink urine. Well, screw him and the horse hybrid he rode in on. Aside from Lone Star, which used to be a pretty good beer but has gone downhill ever since it was acquired by a yankee brewing company back in the 1970s, we don't drink piss-flavored beverages.

After a little thought, however, it's possible that 'he' is referring to the fact that we're dying down here from drought and wildfires. If that is the case, then he's absolutely right. There's no way that under the current conditions anyone down here would throw away 8 million gallons of water.

I'd like to think that the second interpretation is the correct one, which leads me to say "Please God, send us some rain."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tiny Weiner

You just can't make this stuff up.

Toy Company Introduces Anthony Weiner Action Figure
A toy company known for producing action figures of US political figures was Sunday advertising its latest addition -- the Anthony Weiner doll.

(The company) is offering two versions of the doll ... a standard doll and an adults-only "anatomically correct" version

Both figures are dressed in a T-shirt and gym shorts -- with the words "tweet this" printed on the shorts.

In a somewhat related development, as of today Weiner has yet to officially resign.

Hold it! Weiner not gone
Congress waited for Anthony Weiner to say he's leaving -- and now it's waiting for him to clean out his desk.

Although the randy rep. announced Thursday that he was quitting after seven terms, he still has to submit a resignation letter to House Speaker John Boehner that says which day will be his last serving his Brooklyn-Queens constituents.
Why the delay, you ask? It's simple - follow the money.
Every day Weiner puts off his official departure date enlarges his congressional pension.
Gee, what a surprise. Not only is the guy a liar, a pervert, and a liberal (redundant, I know) but he's a crook as well (again, redundant).

Ride This

A little while back I commented on the growing trend towards nude hiking. Now nude biking is in the news.

Thousands in Portland take to bikes for naked ride
It was a typical early summer evening in Portland: cloudy skies threatening rain, temperatures in the mid-60s, and thousands of naked bicyclists gathered near the city's waterfront for a clothing-free night ride.

The Portland version of the World Naked Bike Ride was about to begin.
 "This is just a way of drawing attention to the need to be more green and replace fossil fuels with natural power," said Ken Johnson, who was completely nude and body-painted grey.

"I am going all the way" nude, said Xandi Silvaggi, adding, "it is all about saving the environment."
Nothing says "Save the environment" like stripping off your clothes, painting your body, and pedaling down the road.
The local group that sponsors the event, SHIFT, describes itself as "a loose-knit and informal bunch of bike-loving folks."

The purpose of the naked rides, SHIFT says, is "a light-hearted protest against fossil fuel. ... A comment on the vulnerability of cyclists. Choose your message, ride with us! As bare as you dare."

Portland Police don't arrest the naked riders. They cite the city's extremely tolerant public indecency code as permitting such activities as mass nude cycling.
Unfortunately for naked riders elsewhere, not all cities share Portland's tolerance.
Seven bicyclists have been arrested for "moral offenses" as Chile saw its first edition of the World Naked Bike Ride, which was taking place in cities around the world.

The cyclists began their route fully clothed in a residential neighborhood and stripped off much of their clothing during the ride to arrive at the Plaza Italia either partially or completely nude.

The ride in Santiago was part of the World Naked Bike Ride, a global event created in 2004 to protest oil dependency and call attention to cyclist rights.

Protesters in Chile hoped to raise awareness about their rights to safe travel in the streets of the Chilean capital, where cycling has gained popularity in recent years. Santiago is one of the most polluted cities in Latin America.

Cyclists in Mexico City also celebrated the World Naked Bike Ride, as about 500 riders gathered in the hot morning on Reforma Avenue.

Saturday was the sixth time the event was held in Mexico City, whose version has been gaining participants each year. Some of the cyclists ride naked while others wear little clothing or paint colorful designs on their bodies.

Like their Chilean counterparts, the cyclists in the streets of Mexico City demonstrated to raise awareness about pedal power.

London saw its eighth naked ride, with participating taking a route that passes many of London's most famous landmarks, and participants decorating their bodies with messages of protest against oil dependency and motor vehicle usage.
World Naked Bike Ride is a globally observed event designed to "draw attention to oil dependency and the negative social and environmental impacts of a car dominated culture." It also promotes cyclists' rights.

This is a great opportunity for global warming freaks and other environmentalists to put their money where their mouth is. Can you imagine Al Gore nude and riding a bike?


 On second thought, don't.



There, that's better...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Barbarians At The Gates

Society is teetering on the edge of anarchy as more and more people believe talking on their cell phones is a God-given right that trumps everyone else's right to a little peace and quiet.

Woman feels 'disrespected' after being kicked off train
A woman who was pulled of an Amtrak train by police after passengers complained she was speaking too loudly on a cell phone said she felt "disrespected" by the entire incident.

Lakeysha Beard of Tigard was accused of disorderly conduct after police said she got into a "verbal altercation" with train passengers on Sunday. Passengers had complained she refused to put down her cell phone. Conductors stopped the train in Salem, where police got involved.


Beard told KATU she was indeed talking on her phone, but said she didn't understand why she had to be escorted off the train.
Why? Here's why. She violated Amtrak rules prohibiting the use of cell phones in designated "quiet cars," like the one in which Beard was riding. When asked by other passengers to tone it down she "got aggressive." She ignored the conductor's request to comply with the rules. So he did what her parents should have done years ago, and taught her that there are consequences to that type of behavior.
An Amtrak official said a number of passengers complained that Beard was being disrespectful during her prolonged phone conversations on the train. Salem police reported she had been on the phone non-stop since the train pulled out of Oakland, Calif. 16 hours earlier.
16 hours?!? How on earth could anyone have so much to say that it takes 16 hours?!? My ears would have started bleeding long before then.
While the train incident is an extreme example, social etiquette expert and instructor Jodi Blackwood said too many people don't exercise basic courtesy when it comes to using their phones.

She said when people speak too loudly and have personal conversations in public places they don't always realize the message they're sending.

"What does that say to them? It says that you're only thinking of yourself and that you are only aware of what you need and what you are doing and you are a less considerate person," Blackwood said.
Here's another example of someone who thinks the rules don't apply to them..

Well-Educated but Obnoxious Cell Phone User Ejected from Train
The NY train passenger was caught on a cell phone video ranting to the train employee who had asked her to quiet down. (The video has since been pulled from YouTube.) Numerous times, the rider repeated that she was not "some little hoodlum".
At the same time, she dropped numerous F-bombs during her conversation.
Several times, the woman refers to herself as a well-educated woman. She rudely asks if the train employee is aware of how many schools she's been to.
Hey, I've been to several schools as well. I'm even eligible to go back to some of them. But I don't go around broadcasting my private conversations for the world to hear. I also don't use profanity in the course of normal conversations (unless I'm talking about my ex-wives, in which case it's describing, not cussing.)
Regardless of how well-educated she is, the woman seems to have missed the lectures on common sense and common courtesy. She's basically saying, "I am educated, therefore the rules don't apply to me."

Some of us parents are scrupulous about behavior expectations for our children in public. We don't allow our children to be loud, disruptive or disrespectful. We expect them to speak in a reasonable tone. Then along comes some adult who talks like a sailor and babbles loudly and incessantly. The only good thing that can be said is that it provides a good negative example. I always tell my kids: "See that? That's how I don't want you to act."
Actually, it seems like kids today are more into texting than talking. I've seen my daughter and her friends texting each other in the car as I drive them places. Of course, that's proably because they don't want me to know what they're saying...

FOD 2011.06.20

Barack Obama exposed - again - his complete and utter lack of knowledge regarding the economy and job creation. In an interview on the Today Show, obama stated:
“There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.”
There are at least two major problems with this statement. The first is that it is factually inaccurate.
At the dawn of the self-service banking age in 1985 ... the United States had 60,000 automated teller machines and 485,000 bank tellers. In 2002, the United States had 352,000 ATMs – and 527,000 bank tellers.
Furthermore, the number of bank branches has increased dramatically. The branches require both humans and ATMs. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that teller jobs will grow about 6% from 2008 to 2018. It predicted other banking jobs would increase as well.

The second, and more troubling problem with obama's statement is that it reveals his twisted thinking that innovation kills jobs. It completely ignores the development, installation, maintenance, and support functions associated with ATMs. It also ignores the fact that technological advances free up people to perform other more productive functions.
Among the most viable of all economic delusions is the belief that machines on net balance create unemployment. Destroyed a thousand times, it has risen a thousand times out of its own ashes as hardy and vigorous as ever. Whenever there is a long-continued mass unemployment, machines get the blame anew. This fallacy is still the basis of many labor union practices…

The belief that machines cause unemployment…leads to preposterous conclusions. Not only must we be causing unemployment with every technological improvement we make today, but primitive man must have started causing it with the first efforts he made to save himself from needless toil and sweat…
Finally, even if we accept obama's premise that ATMs eliminate teller jobs, so what? The automobile eliminated buggy-making jobs, while creating an entirely new industry that transformed America.

That's called progress, and most of us think that's a good thing...


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Funnies 2011.06.19

Happy Father's Day!!!



The room was full of pregnant women and their partners, and the Lamaze class was in full swing. The instructor was teaching the women how to breathe properly, along with informing the men how to give the necessary assurances at this stage of the plan.

The teacher then announced, “Ladies, exercise is good for you. Walking is especially beneficial. And, gentlemen, it wouldn’t hurt you to take the time to go walking with your partner!”

The room really got quiet. Finally, a man in the middle of the group raised his hand.

“Yes?” replied the teacher.

“Is it all right if she carries a golf bag while we walk?”







One summer evening during a violent thunderstorm a mother was tucking her small boy into bed. She was about to turn off the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice,

"Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?"

The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug.

"I can't dear," she said. "I have to sleep in Daddy's room."

A long silence was broken at last by his shaking little voice:

"The big sissy."




A father carries pictures where his money used to be.

~Author Unknown

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2011.06.17

I've been trying to lose weight this summer - unsuccessfully. I blame it on Texas Cooking.

A Long Dry Week

It's been a long week. We had the post-nephew's-wedding chores, followed by some to-do odds and ends around the house. But what really killed me was the irrigation system at our lake cabin.

It all began last winter, when temperatures up there dropped to single digits for three days in a row. The place is just not equipped to handle low temperatures like that. I had the house pipes wrapped and drained, so we had minimal damage there. But we water the lawn by running a PVC pipe down to the lake and using a pump to draw the water up and pressurize the sprinkler system. There was no way to wrap or drain that pipe, so it burst wide open

I replaced it early this spring. Since then, however, there has been a succession of split fittings in and around the pump house. The only thing I can figure is that they were weakened enough by the freeze so that they burst when under pressure. I finally replaced all the plastic fittings with brass ones, which seems to have solved that problem.

Next, however, the system couldn't maintain a high enough pressure to achieve full coverage. At first I thought it was a leak, but after careful inspection that was ruled out. Turns out the pump has plastic impellers (an impeller is kind of like an internal propeller - it slips over the pump motor's shaft and draws water up from the lake, then boosts it up through the sprinkler system). The threads on the impellers that connect them to the motor shaft were worn, so the impellers weren't spinning as fast as the shaft, resulting in low pressure. I replaced the plastic impellers with brass ones. Success!

Sadly, like many other things in life, success was just temporary. Much of Texas is in the middle of an extreme drought. The eight months from October 2010 through May 2011 have been the driest eight-month period on record for Texas since 1895. Temperatures have also been unseasonably high, averaging about 10 degrees above normal. As a result, 'our' lake (Lake Buchanan) is about 15 feet lower than usual. It's been dropping about half a foot per day over the last couple of weeks. Last week it dropped low enough to expose our input line's foot valve. (The foot valve sits at the end of the pipe in the lake. When the pump kicks on the suction opens the valve and lets water flow into the pipe. When the pump isn't running a spring holds the valve shut, preventing sediment and wildlife from entering the pipe and clogging it up.)

When the foot valve is above water, it can't suck water into the intake line. This causes the pump to run hot, which damages it. So sometime last week a spacer disk in the pump burned out, leaving the lawn without water for the nth time this year.

So this week was occupied with replacing the burned out spacer and extending the intake line another 100 feet into the lake. Where we are on the lake the bottom slopes so gradually that going out 100 feet horizontally only gets about an eight foot vertical drop. That means that if the lake keeps going down at the same rate the foot valve will be exposed again in about two weeks.

Bottom line - the lawn is the color and texture of straw. The landscaping, such as it is (a couple of rosemary bushes and crepe myrtles) is dry and shriveled, but just barely holding on. Fortunately the grass is zoysia, which just goes dormant when it doesn't get enough moisture. A little water will perk it right up.

We desperately need rain down here. A nice tropical depression floating up from the Gulf and hovering over Central Texas would be very welcome about now...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Of Hamsters and Men

Just two days after the Senate rejected a bill to end $6 billion in tax subsidies for ethanol producers, it reversed itself and overwhelmingly voted to end the subsidies. It seems the initial vote had more to do with hurt feelings than ending bad energy and economic policies.
All but six Democrats had voted against that measure because its sponsor, Sen. Tom Coburn (R) of Oklahoma, bypassed Democratic leadership to bring it to the floor.
Political bullshit.
The importance of the vote is likely to be more symbolic that actual. The bill to which the amendment is attached is unlikely to pass. Moreover, the Obama administration has said it would veto any attempt to cut subsidies for ethanol producers entirely.
More political bullshit.
Presidential hopefuls made a quadrennial ritual of going to Iowa and pledging to support the tax breaks, tariffs and mandates that supported production of ethanol motor fuels from corn. This year, however, some Republican presidential candidates have pointedly refused to endorse ethanol tax breaks.

Thursday's vote doesn't by itself doom federal support for the corn ethanol industry. The House is expected to reject the repeal as unconstitutional because tax bills must originate in that chamber, and the White House opposes it. But the 73-27 vote signals that once-unassailable programs could be vulnerable.
Still, there is a faint flicker of hope that this might signal the beginning of the end for a tax break that "benefits the ethanol industry, which is dominated by commodity giants such as Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., of Decatur, Ill., by sweetening the financial incentive for gasoline retailers to use ethanol."
A little history:
The government began subsidizing ethanol use in the late 1970s amid hopes that it would help wean the country from foreign oil. But food companies and livestock farmers have complained that their costs have exploded as five billion bushels, or 40% of all the corn grown in the U.S. last year, was consumed in ethanol production. The price of corn has traded above $7 a bushel for much of the spring, twice the year-ago level.

Some economists doubt that the tax credit is now crucial for the industry. The ethanol industry only began to grow rapidly five years ago when new energy legislation required gasoline retailers to use corn ethanol: 12.6 billion gallons this year, moving to 15 billion gallons in 2015.
Note the last sentence above. It's not just the tax subsidies for ethanol producers that's bad policy, it's the legislation that requires gasoline retailers to sell ethanol. We need to get rid of all legislation that artifically props up this bogus industry. Let the free market work.

Ethanol is nothing but a scam perpetrated on the public by large commercial farming interests. It does nothing to reduce carbon footprints. In fact, it enlarges them. It also raises the price of corn and other foodstuffs, adds to the cost of automobiles, has no substantial effect on oil consumption, and primarily benefits large commercial agricultural firms and related special interests. Even that paragon of environmentalism, Mother Jones, has acknowledged that ethanol hurts more than it helps.


And if that's not enough, Europe's highest court warned that France's increased production of corn is threatening the Great Hamster.
Europe's highest court warned France Thursday that it needs to do more to protect the hamster: the Great Hamster of Alsace, to be precise, which is western Europe's last remaining species of hamster in the wild.

The Great Hamster likes to eat things like alfalfa and grass. And French farmers have gradually replaced those crops with corn, "which is not ripe in the spring when the hamster awakens from six months of hibernation," hungry and ready to mate.
Well, we certainly don't want hordes of hungry and horny Great Hamsters swarming over Europe looking for something to eat and/or screw...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Relocating A Weiner

Given all the brouhaha over Anthony Weiner's weiner, perhaps he should give some thought to relocating. Germany and Switzerland have recently opened up trails for nude hiking, making them natural destinations for our boy Tony. (Warning: there are images of nude hikers at the links below - old, fat, ugly male nude hikers. DO NOT go there without eye drops and brain rinse on hand!)
When "Germany's first hiking trail for nudists" opened on May 29, 2010, near the town of Dankerode, enthusiasm was running high ... The trail was an instant hit ... (it gives) many people an opportunity to experience the "bodily freedom" that only hiking in the nude offers — an experience that "fills you with happiness" ...

Even among backers of the birthday-suit lifestyle, nude hiking can be a prickly issue. The president of the German naturists' association called naked hikers "neurotics and psychopaths." Fans of the activity reject the labels flat out.

"We are careful," Puistola Grottenpƶsch explains, citing by way of example an outing he took near Toggenburg (Appenzell, Switzerland), where he came across a group of people celebrating a religious service in a field. Grottenpƶsch conscientiously hid his privates with a scarf, something he carries for just such occasions. "You quickly wrap it around yourself and all conflict is avoided."
The Swiss aren't far behind.
Baby, it's cold outside. But the early-spring chill doesn't deter Thomas B. from taking a brisk walk along Appenzell's hilly trails to enjoy the green landscape of this rural canton in northeast Switzerland.

There's a good reason why Thomas, 24, doesn't give out his last name: he is concerned that his bosses at a nearby bank may not like his unconventional hiking attire, consisting of shoes, socks, a backpack — and nothing else.

Hiking in the buff might shock Thomas' bosses, as well as some of Appenzell's 15,000 inhabitants, but it's no skin off his back. "Hiking in clothes is too constrictive," he says, adding that he has never had any negative reactions from the fully clothed hikers he meets on the trails. "I like to feel comfortable. There's nothing wrong with that, is there?"

... although the tourist board does not "actively promote" this particular pastime, "in this kind of spectacular environment, one can hardly resist the temptation to hike naked."
In either case, the biggest problem facing Weiner would likely be shrinkage...

Monday, June 13, 2011

More FOD 2011.06.13

File this under "Obvious."

Obama: Debt fight hinders jobs growth
President Obama listened to dozens of jobs-spurring recommendations suggested by his jobs council Monday -- and then he made one himself on deficits and debt.

"We need to solve our medium and long-term debt problems, not just for abstract reasons, but because they're a concrete impediment to growth and jobs," Obama said at the second meeting of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
"We need to solve our medium and long-term debt problems"...?

WE?!?!? He and his brother libs are the reason we have debt problems.
Obama also took a swipe at Congress, noting that most of the suggestions his jobs council offered were things that private industry or the executive office could do that wouldn't require congressional action.
Let me get this straight. There are things that the executive office - that is, the office of the President of the United States - "could do that wouldn't require congressional action."

So why the hell hasn't he done them?
For example, jobs council members suggested speeding up the permitting process for construction projects. But the president noted there's only so much power the executive office has on that sort of thing, since local communities get a say on what gets built in their neighborhoods.
Oh yeah. Like the EPA or the Interior Department or some other federal hack agency doesn't require companies to jump through multiple hoops. Ask any businessman whether he'd rather deal with the feds or with local government. I'll buy you a beer for every one that says "feds."
But Obama didn't offer any specifics...
Gee, there's a surprise. But what else can you expect from someone who's mantra is "I'll lead from behind?"

FOD 2011.06.13

As the deadline to raise the country's debt limit draws closer, the following quote is going to appear more and more often.
"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government can not pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies.  Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that 'the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."
SENATOR BARACK H. OBAMA, MARCH, 2006
We Americans certainly do deserve better than the empty suit currently wasting space in the Oval Office...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

All's Well That Ends Well

My nephew's wedding has come and gone. Despite a few minor glitches (when he started to get dressed he discovered that he'd left his pants back at his parent's house) those magical words were eventually uttered; "I now pronounce you man and wife."

For me, the highlight of the evening was my 93 year-old father doing the Cupid Shuffle with two young cute bridesmaids. I'd never heard of the Cupid Shuffle, and neither had Dad, but he didn't let that stop him. Boogie down, dude.

For those of you that have never cared for elderly parents, it's a case of role reversal. You become the parent, and the parent gradually transitions into a child-like state. For example:

Last night was warm (it was 96 degrees when the ceremony started at 6:30 p.m.). Everything was outdoors - the ceremony, the dinner, the bar, the dance floor. The only indoor facilities were the restrooms, and they weren't air conditioned. So dehydration was a concern, especially because older people tend to eat and drink less than they should.

So after Dad had a couple of beers I put a bottle of water down in front of him and said "No more beer until you drink the water." While I was standing next to him a couple of people came over and I got caught up in a conversation. I happened to glance over at Dad and caught him pouring the water out into a potted plant. I flashed back to him telling me "No dessert until you finish your vegetables" and me slipping them under the table to our dog. So I pretended not to notice and got him another beer. I figure after 93 years an extra beer or two isn't going to do any long term damage.

Bottom line - the wedding went well. Everyone had a good time. I took Dad back to his place around 11:00, well past his regular bedtime, but he had a great time, so no harm, no foul.

Three straight nights of socializing, however, have taken their toll on me. I think a nap is in my future this afternoon...

Sunday Funnies 2011.06.12

In honor of the institution of marriage...









Three weeks after her wedding day, Joanna called her minister. "Reverend," she wailed, "John and I had a DREADFUL fight!"

"Calm down, my child," said the minister, "it's not half as bad as you think it is. Every marriage has to have its first fight!"

"I know, I know!" said Joanna, "but what am I going to do with the BODY?"



A small tourist hotel was all abuzz about an afternoon wedding where the groom was 95 and the bride was 23. The groom looked pretty feeble and the feeling was that the wedding night might kill him, because his bride was a healthy, vivacious young woman.

But lo and behold, the next morning, the bride came down the main staircase slowly, step by step, hanging onto the banister for dear life.

She finally managed to get to the counter of the little shop in the hotel. The clerk looked really concerned, "Whatever happened to you, honey? You look like you've been wrestling an alligator!"

The bride groaned, hung on to the counter and managed to speak,

"Ohhh God! He told me he'd been saving up for 75 years, and I thought he meant his money!!"



ADVICE FOR THE GROOM

Remember this line. It will come in handy some day. "How do you expect me to remember your birthday when you never look any older?"

She's a lovely person. She deserves a good husband. Marry her before she finds one.

ADVICE FOR THE BRIDE

The best way to get most husbands to do something is to suggest that perhaps they're too old to do it.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Welcome To The Family

My nephew's wedding is this evening. Over the last couple of nights we've had the opportunity to socialize with various members of the bride's family. She's a charming girl - half French, half Greek, which caused my 93 year-old father to tell the prospective groom that she'll be great both in the bedroom and the kitchen.

Fortunately, she has a sense of humor.

She also has some interesting relatives. For example, there's the cousin who creates 'art' (portraits, landscapes, etc.) out of assorted beer bottle caps. The results are interesting, to say the least. They're also highly prized by various members of her family, which says something about them, although I'm not sure what.

At last night's BBQ she had a container placed right next to the ice chest so people could save the caps as they opened their beer. She was greatly pleased by the contributions our family made to her art.

This could be a marriage made in heaven...

God Save The Prince

Great Britain's Prince Philip recently celebrated his 90th birthday. Evidently he was born without a PC filter or Pause button in his brain, as evidenced by the following.

As Prince Philip turns 90, relive some of his most hilarious gaffes
His incredible energy, remarkable good health and strong sense of public duty have seen Prince Philip through countless official engagements over the course of his 64-year marriage to our Queen.

Yet it is the unashamedly politically incorrect comments he makes that have attracted the most attention over the years.

As the Prince celebrates his 90th birthday tomorrow, we pay tribute to what Philip himself described as ‘Dontopedalogy . . . the science of opening your mouth and putting your foot in it, a science which I have practised for a good many years . . .’

ON STATE VISITS

‘Do you still throw spears at each other?’ To Aboriginal leader William Brin during a visit to the Aboriginal Cultural Park in Queensland, 2002.

‘We don’t come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves.’ On a trip to Canada in 1976.

‘You managed not to get eaten then?’ To a British student who was trekking in Papua New Guinea, during an official visit in 1998.

‘Aren’t most of you descended from pirates?’ To residents of the Cayman Islands in 1994.

ON SCOTLAND

‘How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?’ To a Scottish driving instructor in 1995.

ON CLASS & MONEY

‘People think there’s a rigid class system here, but dukes have been known to marry chorus girls. Some have even married Americans.'

‘If you travel as much as we do, you appreciate the improvements in aircraft design of less noise and more comfort, provided you don’t travel in something called economy class, which sounds ghastly.’

‘We go into the red next year. I shall probably have to give up polo.’ On the Royal Family’s finances in 1969.
ON FOOD & DRINK

‘Get me a beer. I don’t care what kind it is, just get me a beer!’ On being offered fine Italian wines by Prime Minister Giuliano Amato at a dinner in Rome in 2000.
A man after my own heart.

And here's my personal favorite.
ON WOMEN

‘When a man opens the car door for his wife, it’s either a new car or a new wife.’
No wonder the Brits love their royals....

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2011.06.10

My nephew is getting married tomorrow. That takes me back to when my (current) wife and I got married. Our first dance was to this song.



I hope my nephew and his bride are as happy as my wife and I.

One Of These Days Someone Is Going To Get Hurt

Remember Yogi Bear vs. Ranger Smith? Well, now it's Texas Game Wardens vs. Mexican narco-terrorists.
Dozens of Texas state game wardens descended on Chimney Park (a state park in Hidalgo County on the Texas-Mexico border) along with Border Patrol agents and Texas Rangers. They saturated the area after a shootout between game wardens and drug smugglers.
Authorities in Austin have released only basic information, saying a suspicious vehicle was spotted on the U.S. side of the river around 6 Thursday morning. They then saw two cartel drug recovery boats loaded with people and what appeared to be marijuana.

As they approached, that's when gunfire broke out. Gunmen on the Mexican side opened fire on American boats. Game wardens aboard returned fire, injuring three of the smugglers. We're told Mexican authorities were made aware of the incident.

US Senator John Cornyn has also released a statement, saying, "Despite the repeated assurances of President Obama and Secretary Napolitano that our border is secure, [this] brazen attack on law enforcement provides further evidence for what Texans already know. Cartel-related violence along our border is real and escalating, and the Administration cannot continue to deny it when American lives - particularly those of our law enforcement - are directly in harm's way."
Since when is it the responsibility of state (state!) game wardens (game wardens!?!) to secure our national borders? How can anyone take obama's and napolitano's claims of border security seriously when incidents like this are commonplace?
It is not the first time shots have been exchanged along the Texas-Mexico border. Since January of last year, DPS has tracked at least a dozen incidents of shots being fired from Mexico and into Texas, with U.S. officers shooting back in some cases.
I'm telling you, the day is coming when there's going to be a serious loss of life on this side of the border. Sadly, that's what it's going to take to wake up the rest of the country to what's going on down here.