Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Another tour . . .

. . . of my neighborhood.

I've done this before, but it was a fairly nice day - if you can discount the 40 F winds blowing out of the north at a constant 30 - 40 MPH. This is not gusting, it's a constant wind.

This is me, looking very Tom Clancy-ish near the entrance to our subdivision. The area is covered with very dense forest - which the builders see fit to clear-cut before building.

Since I had no one to take my photo, I set the camera on the curb. I then proceeded to take a half-dozen photos of my retreating backside before It occurred to me to set the time delay from two seconds to ten seconds.

The entrance.

The entire subdivision is laced with a golf course, with all the attendant water hazards. All these ponds are used for irrigation of the public areas and parkways. We're very green, dontchaknow?

The water is also a great attraction for all types of waterfowl. We have geese, ducks, and some more exotic birds like cranes and egrets.

And a few deer wandering through. OK, I couldn't get a photo of an actual deer. This is all I could find - although deer are everywhere. At least those that stay out of the way of traffic.

With the housing slump, we have quite a few houses in the area that are not selling. There are even many that were started, then halted short of completion. These three foundations have been sitting for more than two years.

At least, the pansies are doing well.

And my grass is still green in December.
Is there anyone . . .

. . . more freakin' obnoxious and irritating than this woman?

She seems to have the amazing ability to find a cloud behind every silver lining. Of course, The View can't seem to exist without at least one touch of the bitch factor.

Why do I know about the view, you ask? If I don't like it, why do I watch, you further ask? The answer to both questions is that Mrs. B. likes to watch it, and I have to occasionally let her have the remote control.

The sound of her voice alone curdled the cream on my oatmeal this morning.
WTF . . .

. . . Is Kelly Ripa thinking?

I've had almost two weeks off during the holidays, so I occasionaly veg out and watch a bit o' daytime TV. I think this trend towards having to be a size zero has gotten out of hand. Can she actually believe that now is more attractive than then?

The Buchenwald look seems to have become epidemic lately. Victoria Beckham, Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross, Renee Zellweiger, Holly Hunter, Jennifer Connelly, and the list goes on. I know these women don't see themselves as others see them, but one would hope that a loved one or friend would speak out.

. . . . . . . .. . . .Then . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . Now . . . . . . .

Monday, December 29, 2008

I'm just the messenger . . .

. . . . I did not write these.

However, I have occasionally - just occasionally - noticed a smidgen of truth to some of them.

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

2. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

3. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

4. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.

5. If you won't dress like the Victoria's Secret girls, don't expect us to act like soap opera guys.

6. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

7. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

8. If we ask what is wrong and you say “nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

9. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear.

Punctuation . . .

. . . conquers the Midwest.

At least that's what my inside intelligence agencies tell me.

Obviously, my network is not on par with MI-5, but my people know people, and I have it on good authority that he has charmed the easternmost coast of Kansas. Well, if not the whole coast, at least Lisa's youngest brother (C), sister-in-law and niece and nephew.

C tells me that he and Punctuation are able to communicate fluently in Monty Pythonese. C also confirms that Lisa's pancakes are as good as earlier publicity from England has claimed.

Mrs. B and I are waiting for more photos . . . and Punctuation's review of Kansas City Barbecue (which most folks in the US understand is the best in the world.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sod off . . .

. . . Scrooge!

[begin rant]

I am so sick of so-called scientists relating every freakin' thing we do to global warming. Perhaps they should do some reading about solar cycles.

The Algore disciples have decided that global warming is settled science, and that no further research is necessary. And this is enforced to the point that legitimate scientists are denied grants and being vilified for voicing - or even studying - an alternate opinion.

I was reading a very interesting James Patterson book this week. At least, it was interesting until he devoted the whole last chapter to a lecture about global warming. Fine. Fix the environment, but don't sell it to me under the guise of the fourth book in an extremely interesting series.

The global warming zealots need to realize that they may NOT know everything about earth's climatology. We need to keep an open mind an evaluate ALL of the info out there. The Pope is thinking about exonerating Galileo from his heresy conviction. Galileo had the temerity to opine that our earth was a part of a heliocentric system, and was imprisoned for it. Maybe Patterson, and the "scientist" in the article below need to keep their minds open before claiming another type of "heresy."

Open discussion is good. Algore et. al. would prefer to deny that.

SCIENTISTS have warned that Christmas lights are bad for the planet due to huge electricity waste and urged people to get energy efficient festive bulbs. CSIRO researchers said householders should know that each bulb turned on in the name of Christmas will increase emissions of greenhouse gases.

Dr Glenn Platt, who leads research on energy demand, said Australia got 80 per cent of its electricity by burning coal which pumps harmful emissions into the atmosphere. He said: "Energy efficient bulbs, such as LEDs, and putting your Christmas lights on a timer are two very easy ways to minimise the amount of electricity you use to power your lights."

He said the nation's electricity came from "centralised carbon intensive, coal-based power stations" which were responsible for emitting over one third of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. Dr Platt added: "For a zero-emission Christmas light show, you may consider using solar powered lights or sourcing your electricity from verified green power suppliers."
Things we used to do . . .

. . . at the mall.

Yep, we did. Just ask Lisa.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A random thought . . .

. . . from a casual observer.

Caroline Kennedy wants to take Hillary Clinton's place in the U.S. Senate. I hope she realizes what she's getting into. Mrs. Clinton leaves a pretty big seat to fill. (Come on . . . you know I had to. Really.)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

An old photo . . .

. . . of my brother and me

It was taken approximately 3E years ago. The computer wonks and mathematicians among you will understand.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

In a past life . . .

. . . I was a pipeline engineer.

I did the design work, price estimating, contract bidding, material procurement and construction management.

The first two pictures are of a 24" pipeline replacement project on the southside of Kansas City, MO. The pictures look pretty wide open, but half of the project was through peoples' back yards.

The next two pictures are of a 24" high-pressure pipeline replacement that was directional drilled under the Missouri River on the north side of Kansas City, MO. The original pipeline was on a bridge, which was to be demolished. The state didn't want to have the pipe hanging from the new bridge, so we went under - through limestone, shale, sand, gravel and mud.

This was my last project with the gas company. Our new COO decided we needed a "profit improvement plan." We all know what that means, don't we?

Both projects were immensely successful, but that didn't stop my "participation" in the "profit improvement plan."

Good work seldom goes unpunished, eh?

Oh well. The company had less than stellar retirement and benefits, and without the "profit improvement plan," I probably would still be there instead of having a great job with the U.S. Navy.

The only problem with projects like this is that there is no evidence of their completion. No "footprints" to show that I passed that way.

Pipeliners are similar to the Mafia. All our successful projects are buried.

Gun Control . . .

. . . is hitting where you aim.

Some time ago, I competed in a combat pistol league. It's like fox hunting, except there are no horses, no hounds, no foxes, no English gentlemen with horns, and all that's hunted is paper targets and steel plates.

OK, so it's not like fox hunting at all, but I had to divert the attention of our European friends who believe that pistols are the tools of the devil - or of crazy Americans who know no better.

Relax, folks.

They have shooting in the olympics.

I haven't done much shooting lately, but I decided to take a trip to the range this afternoon and see if I still had the eye. This target is the result after a bit of practice with an officers' model 1911 Colt semi-automatic pistol with 230 grain hardball rounds.

The drill was:

One magazine, rapid fire, center mass, with the last shot to the heart.

One magazine, rapid fire, head shots, with the last shot to the heart.

I'm not too bad with center mass or the head shots . . . but I apparently have no idea of the location of the heart.

Rants about guns in the US will be read, and probably promptly ignored.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

All men are created equal . . .

. . . but some are more equal than others, I guess.

From ABC News:

Bernard Madoff, accused of the largest fraud in U.S. history, will be allowed to remain in his $7 million Park Avenue apartment instead of being sent to jail, under terms of an agreement announced today by federal prosecutors.
This really sucks. The guy steals FIFTY BILLION DOLLARS, and until his trial, the feds let him stay in his luxury digs? If that were your or me, we would be sharing a cell with a drooling, mouthbreathing, knuckledragging roommate named Bubba.

What ARE these people thinking?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ruminating . . .

. . . on accents.

Lisa posted about Hugh Laurie a few days ago, and it had me thinking about accents. Laurie effects an accent that is rather mid-western. That's the one that most TV talking heads use because it sounds fairly neutral to most people. At least I think so. How about you?

However, there's really no such thing as AN American accent. We probably have at least 20 different identifiable ones. Upper New England, New York/New Jersey, da Bronx, Mid-Atlantic, Chicago/Detroit, upper Minnesota/Michigan to name a few. Then there are the southern accents. The Carolinas are different from Georgia, which is different from Alabama, which is different from Mississippi.

The same is true with British accents. Although I can't identify the various regions, I can recognize many different versions on the Brit TV shows I watch - usually in reruns, as I don't have access to the BBC right now.

Unfortunately, when American TV or movie actors try to effect a British accent, they usually sound like a bad imitation of a Cockney sweep - or a caricature of Prince Phillip. Brit actors taking American parts often effect some horrible southern sheriff.

There are exceptions, of course. Hugh Laurie as Dr. House. Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones. Michelle Williams in The Bionic Woman. Nicole Kidman in most any movie.

I wonder what our Brit friends consider to be the most neutral British accent. I find some of them very hard to understand. I assume most actors and actresses are trained to minimize their accents somewhat. Richard Burton and Diana Rigg immediately come to mind. Are they typical, or have they moderated somewhat for universal clarity?

As an example, I was an avid Honor Blackman fan in "The Avengers," and later in "Goldfinger." No problems understanding her in those vehicles, but I had great difficulty with this interview.

Nonetheless, she shows a very nice ashi garuma and her trademark tomoe nage . The kesa gatame at the end has the interviewer begging her to "get off." That, I understand. Lisa would understand also . . .

Friday, December 12, 2008

Odds and ends . . .

. . . because that's all I have.

Bettie Page, 50's pinup girl, died in Los Angeles on 11 DEC 08 at age 85. Of course, with my staid Presbyterian upbringing and my tender age in the 50's, I never saw any of her photos. <--->

When are folks going to learn that "clever" viedos/photos shown on Facebook or YouTube will eventually come back and bite them on the arse? These are two of the three mental giants who decided to take a dip in the sink at Kentucky Fried Chicken, where they worked. The potential Harvard graduate bimbo with the Facebook account not only posted the photos, but her name and the location of the restaurant.

In discussing the Blagojevich controversy, one of BHO's less observant advisers stated that he respected Barry because of his ability to recognize people who might be future trouble-causers and distance himself from them.
Dude . . . Wright, Flagler, Ayers, Rezko . . . Perhaps you might want to rephrase that. Seriously.

Monday, December 08, 2008

I know I've been AWOL . . .

. . . from my blog that is.

It's because we're really busy. Here's an aerial view of where I work. See me waving?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Death by shopping . . .

. . . in New York, where else?

A thundering herd of New York shoppers trampled a Wal-Mart worker to death in order to get at those "black Friday" bargains.

In the cell phone video from which the above still was taken, several women could be heard laughing, a man says "They need to put the paddles on him," and another man says "They ain't givin' him CPR. They afraid to put they (sic) mouth on him." Nevermind that the latest CPR guidelines state that forced breathing isn't that productive, and that chest compressions are the first priority.

This is not the store where the death occurred, but it gives a pretty good idea of the total lack of civility of the lovely crowd. Freaking barbarians.

A Wal-Mart worker was killed Friday when "out-of-control" shoppers desperate for bargains broke down the doors at a 5 a.m. sale. Other workers were trampled as they tried to rescue the man, and customers shouted angrily and kept shopping when store officials said they were closing because of the death, police and witnesses said.

At least four other people, including a woman who was eight months pregnant, were taken to hospitals for observation or minor injuries, and the store in Valley Stream on Long Island closed for several hours before reopening.

Shoppers stepped over the man on the ground and streamed into the store. When told to leave, they complained that they had been in line since Thursday morning.

This is the Wal-Mart store in the story. They not only trampled the man, they broke down the doors to get to him. Classy, eh?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Three degrees of separation . . .

. . . from Mrs. Peel

Diana Rigg was in
Julius Caesar
Robert Vaughn, who was in
My nephew Dave, who was in
a home movie

Does that count?

I'm really not a stalker.

It's just that I have been watching my DVD set of "The Avengers - The Complete Emma Peel Megaset."

With "The Tudors" on hiatus, I must have something to watch, musn't I?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hands up . . .

. . . and back away from that seagull.

We are now subject to a $100 fine if we feed ducks in the city parks or the seagulls at oceanside. It is apparently "environmentally unsound."

I wonder if they will be using decoys to catch us?

While I believe we should do (almost) everything possible to protect this planet, the "Environment Uber Alles" crowd is becoming tiresome.

I suspect they will want me to rat out grandson #3

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Unmitigated gall . . .

I'm sure you've seen the news, but if not, the CEOs of GM, Chrysler and Ford arrived in Washington D.C. with tin cups in their hands. They might have been taken a little more seriously if they had not arrived in an airplane that:

looks like this on the outside . . .

. . . and this on the inside.

Ford CEO Mulally's corporate jet is a perk included for both he and his wife as part of his employment contract along with a $28 million salary last year. Mulally actually lives in Seattle, not Detroit. The company jet takes him home and back on weekends.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Headlines . . .

. . . we didn’t really need.

Bill Clinton offers to bare all for ethical review...

He did it to Monica. He did it to us. Now it's round three?

OFFICIAL: Hitler only had one testicle...

At least the old British ditty now has provenence.

Hitler has only got one ball,
Goring has two but very small,
Himmler is fixed up sim'lar,
And Goebbels has no balls at all.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Change means . . .

. . . the same old insiders.

Thirty-one of the 47 people so far named to (Obama's) transition or staff posts have ties to the Clinton administration, including all but one of the members of his 12-person Transition Advisory Board and both of his White House staff choices.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

English double-deckers . . .

. . . may be making a comeback.

No, not that kind.

It seems that England is running out of burial plots, so it looks like twofers are in the offing.

Move over, Sir Winston . . . we've another occupant for you.
LET ME . . .

. . . OUT!

The deadbolt on our storm door locks just fine. Unfortunately, it will not unlock without a significant number of hand tools. That makes going out to use the barbecue grill a bit awkward.

The door is only two years old, made by the best manufacturer of doors and windows in the U.S., but the mechanism is only warrantied for a year.

To add insult to injury, I only need the latching mechanism on the left, which is all that could possibly fail, but I must buy all of the assorted brassworks which easily bolt on.

At least that's what the customer service rep located somewhere in India told me.

I do not particularly like outsourced overseas customer service centers. Her English was pretty good, though. Like something out of a 1950's British movie set in India.

Bottom line . . . $56.00 for $25.00 in parts that I need and $31.00 in parts that I don't.

At least, now I can get to the patio without walking around the house.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Battling Bastards of Bataan . . .

. . . redux.

(I should have posted this on Veterans' day, but other "stuff" got in the way.)

Back in January, I posted an article about a cousin of mine, J. S. Gray, who was on the Bataan Death March, shipped to Japan in on the Hell Ship Mati Mati Maru, and forced to work as a slave laborer in the mines.

On 09 NOV, the Virginian-Pilot printed a story about Death March veteran Norman Matthews as a part of a four-day series on prisoners of war. As I read the article, more and more "coincidences" surfaced.

Both Norman and J.S. were in the Army Air Force, both were on the Death March, both went to camp O'donnell, both were sent to Japan in hell ships, both were slave labor in Toyoma, Japan.

Both mens' POW photos were virtually identical. Same shirt. Same type number tag on the right breast. Same hat with a number tag. Same run-down clapboard siding background. Their POW numbers were 260 (JS) and 406 (Matthews).

This was WAY too much coincidence, so I called J.S.'s widow this afternoon. It turns out that they were together throughout their captivity. Same march, same ship, same camps. In fact, Matthews raided the slave camp office after V.J. day and took all of the POW photos. He eventually found JS years later and gave him his POW photo.

It wasn't coincidence after all.

On the first Wednesday of the month, the local survivors have a reakfast meeting at a local restaurant. Before it's too late, I intend to drop in, share my photo and J.S.'s story - and buy them all breakfast.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mrs. Peel . . .


Are you kidding me?


You remember from experience.

We remember with gratitude.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Grandkids say . . .

. . . things you might not expect.

These are from some time back:

T (walking by the bathroom): Whatcha doing mommy? Takin' a dump?

A : Where's the effing phone?
Mommy: A, we don't say that word.
A: No, no, phone starts with a "P" where's the "F"?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The election . . .

As a preface, I am an engineer (the science kind, not a train driver), so my after action report is based on analysis rather than emotion. I am glad this election is over. Both campaigns were run more on personality and sound bites than facts and programs. Both spent way too much money, and the process was simply too long. We simply cannot afford to spend fully half the term of a president trying to decide whom the next will be.

That said:

I believe that Obama feels his menu of programs is the best for the country.

I believe that a he is incorrect on at least a part of that menu - perhaps a major part

I believe that Bush felt his menu of programs was the best for the country.

I believe that he was incorrect on at least a part of that menu - perhaps a major part.

I believe that Bush's choice of advisers/minions/staff was badly chosen, that they executed his agenda badly, and that his singular focus on the war on terror - albeit important - badly neglected parts of the country's needs.

I believe that people who are gloating over Obama's win are ill-mannered clods who don't know how to win gracefully.

I believe, in that same vein, that Joy Behar was a c*nt before the election, and remains a c*nt afterwards.

I believe that people who are crying in their beer, looking for excuses for the loss, and vowing revenge are also ill-mannered clods who don't know how to lose gracefully.

I believe that more people voted for Obama because he is black than voted against him for the same reason. I do not necessarily find that to be unexpected, nor do I see it as racist.

I believe that Obama has won fairly, and that people should support any of his programs that they believe are in the best interest of the country.

I believe that people who disagree with any of his programs that they believe are not in the best interest of country the should oppose them ethically, and with all of the legal power and ability they possess.

I believe that Obama won gracefully, McCain lost gracefully, and Bush has been graceful in responding to the results.

I believe that we have a duly elected government, that we should support what we can, oppose what we cannot, and get on down the road.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Odds 'n ends. . .

How much time do you spend commuting? Here's the setup. I live 23 miles from where I work. That's my choice, so I have to live with it. Between driving to the park & ride and the bus trip to the base, I spend a one hour going and about an hour and a quarter returning.

I have a flex schedule, so I have every other Friday off. Considering that, plus holidays, plus vacation, I make that trip 207 times per year.

When I do the math - 207 days x 2.25 hours/day, that's the equivalent of 58 eight-hour days in transit. Amazing, wot?

It's not wasted, though. It provides some well-needed reading time. On the bus, that is . . . not driving to the park and ride.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

BBC World News America . . .

. . . in Washington D.C.

Katty Kay is a very bright, personable representative of the BBC in the U.S. She's the Washington correspondant, and has a pretty good handle on what's going on.

I love her accent. However, when she speaks of "Obamer in Virginyer," it makes my ears hurt.

I guess our Brit friends feel the same way when some one says
Wor-ses-ter-shire sauce.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I don't know about you . . .

. . . but this guy creeps me out.

I don't care much for his hamburgers either.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday . . .

. . . wanderings.

I promised not to blog about politics, but traffic, law and math are still fair game.

Item the first:
It's Halloween, so I wore a Union Army uniform to work today. I walked into my commander's office and told him that General Grant ordered me to relieve him of command. He was more than willing to comply.

Item the second:
Obama has promised a tax refund to 95% of Americans. 46% of Americans don't pay federal income taxes. Does this mean that the 46% will get 100% of zero back?

Item the third:
Mrs. B went to the hospital for pre-surgery tests to day. We were informed that they were open between 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. We arrived at 6:30. Paperwork was promptly taken care of, but the nurse doesn't arrive until 8:00 a.m. That would have been good information up front, wouldn't it? How can you be "open" if the key person isn't there to do the work?

Item the fourth:
I was late getting home last night because our bus (and all other traffic) was stopped for the Obama motorcade. He came to Hampton Roads to lie like a rug hold a rally at 5:45 - right in the middle of the rush hour. He just lost my vote. Wait . . . I already voted. nevermind.

Item the fifth:
- An empty noose gets kids expelled from school.
- Two people are arrested for hanging Obama in effigy in Kentucky.
- Palin hanged in effigy in California. Everyone giggles.
Explanations abound. Logic does not.

Item the sixth:
My bus is full in the morning because of the cost of gas. There are two men who get aboard at the first stop. They sit in the aisle seat, plop their lunch bags or backpacks in the window seat, and bury their noses in a book or newspaper. Every morning, someone has to ask them to move over. Arseholes.

Item the seventh:
The U.S. government spent something north of $150,000,000 installing a pay-for-performance system for civilian employees. What has it done? It was the brainchild of Rumsfeld and Wolfowicz, so that might give you a hint. Answer: not much. Management didn't like the ratings, so we're forced to change them, and everyone is getting pretty much what they would have gotten before. Amazing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Horror movies . . .

. . . rules of engagement.

- If you hear a noise in the basement, you MUST go investigate. "I can't imagine why that blood-curdling scream came from downstairs. It must be the cat. I'll go look. Darn, the lights don't work . . ."

- If your door is open and there are bloody footprints, you MUST look inside to see what's going on. "That looks like red paint. Those twelve people lying over there must have slipped in it. I better check . . ."

- If you are being chased by a madman in a car, you MUST run down the center of the street. "If I just stay on this yellow line, Christine won't be able to run me down!"

- If you go into a spooky house with a partner, you MUST split up. "Ill take the basement, you look upstairs . . ."

- If you have a party with friends, it MUST be in a dark place with a spooky reputation. "Hey, let's get some beer and go out to the Johnson place. You know, where that kid killed 27 people with an axe. It'll be a blast . . ."

- If you kill the monster, you MUST turn your back . . . so he can rise up and attack you again. "I pushed him down the steps, so even though I've shot him, hacked him with an axe, and immolated him with gasoline, the fall MUST have killed him. I'm glad that's over . . ."

- If you're lost and almost out of gas on a lonely road, you MUST stop at a run-down motel or an old house in the middle of the woods to ask for directions. "Norman, can you direct me to the nearest gas station?"

- If you shoot the demon six times and bullets don't hurt him, you MUST throw your gun at him.

- If you have escaped the monster, but found you have left your high school class ring in the house, you MUST go back for it. "My grandmother bought that ring, so I don't care if there are 19 bodies hacked to death inside . . . I'm going back for my ring."

- You can drive for hours, but when you must escape from the monster, your car WILL NOT start. "I don't understand. This is a brand-new, $150,000 BMW. It started the last 500 times . . ."

- While you are being chased around the house by the monster, NONE of the doors or windows will open, the lights won't work, and the phone will be dead. "I'll just click the phone 20 or thirty times. That'll make it work."

- You can have enough evidence to convict Charles Manson, including photographs, witnesses and bloody body parts, but the police/parents/neighbors WILL still not believe you. "Sorry, son, but all those photos of bodies in the basement look like a prank to me - and that stuff on your shirt, shoes, pants and face must be spaghetti sauce."

- If you are at a party in a strange place, you MUST NOT BE the hot chick/macho guy. They will be the first victims.

- If you're making out in a car on a lonely road, that noise you just heard WASN'T the wind. "Honey, what was that scratching that sounded like steel fingernails being dragged across the car fender? Don't worry about it, it was just the wind. Now why can't I get this unhooked?"

- If you're in a dark place, your flashlight WILL NOT WORK.

- If you've had sex, you're GOING TO DIE.

- You CANNOT run faster than the bad guy can walk.

- If you're a cheerleader, you're GOING TO DIE.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A haunting . . .

. . . or not?

Gemmak's strange dream (Sunday, October 26, 2008: Weird or what!!! ) - particularly the Jack Nicholson photo - reminded me of a trip to Colorado.

I stayed in the historic Brown Palace hotel in Denver, which opened it's doors in 1892. The hotel is in downtown Denver, so there's no real mountain setting. However, parts of the interior remind me of the Overlook in Steven King's book, "The Shining." I had just finished reading "The Shining" on the airplane into Denver.

Here's what seemed to happen:

As I was drifting off to sleep, I heard footsteps outside my door. My opened and shut. More footsteps, seemingly in my room. Then, the side of the bed near my feet sagged, as if someone just sat on it.

Here's what really happened:

Someone in the room next to me walked down the hall, opened their door and let it slam. Barely awake, I heard them walk across their room. Then, I had one of those little episodes where you jerk awake and feel like you just fell into your bed.

At least I hope that's what happened.

The Brown Palace is reputed to be haunted.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Digging through old stuff . . .

. . . I found this magazine.

I was one of those kids who found a Lionel train set under the Christmas tree many, many years ago. In the '70s, I built a layout for the boys, hoping they would catch the railroad bug. They never did, but it rekindled my interest. I kept building and building on my own until 1989, when we moved and I had to tear it all down.

On a whim, I took some photographs of some locomotives I had built, wrote an article on the construction, and sent it all to Railroad Model Craftsman magazine. Several months later, I received a check in the mail for several hundred dollars, along with several proof copies of this cover.

RMC not only accepted my article, but they paid me for it, and put one of my photos on the cover. There were several more photos printed inside, but because of the half-tone print, I can't scan them. The three yellow Union Pacific diesels are mine. It took several hundred hours to modify existing locomotives, add details, and complete the paint.

One day when I was picking up the photos, a gentleman standing next to me asked me where I took the pictures. When I told him "in my basement," he didn't believe me. It turns out that he was a Union Pacific engineer, and had delivered the first locomotive of that type to U.P. in Omaha. Coincidences . . .

This photo is of two other diesels I built. They're sitting on the layout that I sadly had to tear down when we moved. I either hand-built or modified everything in the picture - from the locomotives to the chain link fence.

Courtesy . . .

. . . unrequited.

I took two packages to FedEX today. I forgot something, so I went back out to the car.

When I returned, a woman was walking up with two arms full of packages. Being a proper Eagle Scout, I opened the door for her. She promptly thanked me - a response of more rarity today than it should be.

I guess she thought I not only opened the door, but allowed her to pass me in line. So, I sat there for 10 minutes while she went ahead of me and processed all seven of her packages without so much as a by your leave.

After I woke up from my nap finally had my turn, I was halfway through the process of sending my packages when a delivery man interrupted the clerk, and they discussed where some paperwork should be processed.

Obviously, opening a door for someone grants the admittee full license to control and superiority.
Equally obviously, the FedEX paperwork was more important than the customer . . . who happened to be standing there envisioning all means of torture, and contemplating to which ring of Hell the woman, the clerk and the delivery chap should be committed.

Soto Voce: I have decided that insead of railing at people who aggrivate me, I shall mitigate that aggrivation by determining their proper place in Hell.

As the old bromide says, no good deed goes unpunished.

But, it was a nice day. Warm with a light rain.

And the offences were such that no bodies now need be disposed of.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Politics . . .

. . . has simply gotten too nasty.

I have contributed to the muck, so I pulled down a few posts.

I have decided that minds are made up, the country is equally split, and both halves are continuing to lob (figurative) grenades at each other.It's been going on for sixteen years straight. Thanks to Bubba and the Devil With the Blue Dress On (thank you Mitch Ryder) and to those warped individuals who think atomizing themselves will grant them 72 virgins instead of a place on the Outer Ring of the Seventh Circle of Hell. I don't see much chance of it abating for another eight or so.My little blog stands no chance of making a difference, so I'm cooling it for a while.

There won't be another political post until the day after the election - when I will either post "YAY!" or "SHIT!"

Since the French and Iranians have already chosen Obama, what would my opinion matter anyhow?

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Volga Ruby . . .

. . . a novel by Peter Jobes

Peter Jobes is a software engineer who wrote this book in 27 days for National Novel Writing Month last year. I saw an introduction to the book on Violet's blog, and decided to buy it. That was a bit of an adventure in itself. Amazon (US) didn't have it listed. Amazon (UK) had it listed, but it was not available. I finally ordered a copy on LULU.

In 1907, James Fitzhugh, a British officer of the 13th Hussars, is serving with the British Ambassador in St. Petersburg at the court of Tsar Nicholas II. A treaty between Russia and Great Britain is being negotiated to offset the power of the Triple Alliance among Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. While visiting Natasha, the sister of a Russian schoolmate from his days at Eton, Futzhugh learns that Natasha's stepfather, Count Berovsky, appears to be in league with a group of discontents bent on revenge for the ill-fated 1905 Russian Revolution. How will an outsider, with little proof and no real authority, derail this intrigue? To find out, you have to read the book. No spoilers here.

The good: The book is a quick read. The setting is exotic, and the storyline is interesting - a version of the "stranger in a strange land" plot. The author cleverly sets up the story with a link to an event more than 200 years earlier, and neatly returns to that link at the end of the story with a resolution that I never saw coming.

The superimposition of fictional characters over a particularly historic time always makes a good story. This was a time of change, danger, and international intrigue over most of Europe. It's an excellent setting.

The not so good: Character development is spotty. When I read a book, my reading translates to a movie in my head. I can visualize people, places and events. I could see Fitzhugh and St. Petersburg in my "movie." The other characters just didn't show up. I couldn't form a picture.

The really not so good: Grammar, syntax, word usage and sentence construct.

Jobes has a disconcerting habit of stringing sentences, fragments and phrases together with comma after comma after comma - and not in a Faulkner-eske manner. I had to stop many, many times and re-read sentences just to understand the context.

Particularly distracting was the continuing use of statements like "Had the duel went much further . . ." That jarred me out of the storyline every time. I don't understand the splitting of compound words such as step father, guard rail, crew men, head ache. Is this common usage in the UK?

Finally, the language is a bit too modern for the era. Speech was much more formal in 1907. I doubt that high society at the time spoke in contractions - I've, he'd, you're. Can you imagine a Russion nobleman using a phrase like "Mother would likely lose it?"

Maybe I'm too picky, but I am a voracious reader. Errors and anomolies break my concentration like commercials on television. Jobes has talent. With character development and serious review by a good editor, The Volga Ruby could have been a great 400 page book. There was simply too much of a story to tell in 210 pages.

Historical notes:
Those of you who studied history or English literature in school should recognize the 13th Hussars from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem. Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward . . .

Also, Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the original Boy Scout was a colonel in the 13th.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Worshipers at the Church of Heather . . .

. . . need not read further.

But you can if you want.

I see by the Rasmussen poll that President Bush's approval rating is now at 34%. If you think that's abysmal, I agree. Although I am an unabashed centrist-leaning Republican, I truly believe that Bush has squandered all of the party's gains from Reagan forward. I think he picked and trusted incompetent people. Rumsfeld was probably the worst.

That being said, here's what you get if you elect Obama, and swing the Senate and House further blue in tint:

A congress with an approval rating of 9%, led by the most liberal current member of that august 9% body.


I don't know about you, but that's not my definition of trading up.

Just sayin . . .
For someone who thought . . .

. . . the author of this blog was female.

I'm the one on the left. Really.

BTW, this photo was taken outside Kingston, MS on the porch of Oakwood, a restored plantation house dating back to 1835. As I have mentioned before, my ancestors were the first English settlers in Adams County, MS.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

OK, I lied . . .

. . . about no more politics.

However, my intent is not to argue McCain/Obama, but to make a general statement of what I believe in government, and to my friends abroad, it is not the European Model. Sorry. This is the list of "Cannots" oft quoted by both Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.

"You cannot bring prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."

- Rev. William J. H. Boetcker

Apply that to candidates as you will . . .
Aptronyms. . .

. . . or, the name fits the job.

Funeral home owners in Norfolk, VA: Bryan and Frank Graves.

OB/Gyn MD in Omaha, NE: Dr. Dennis Beavers.

Dentists in Omaha, NE: Thomas and Terrence Fangman

There are many of these on the Internet, but I only listed the ones I personally have seen.

I had nothing better to do . . . apparently, I need to get a life.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Amazon credits . . .

. . . built up, so I bought this.

We no longer have reruns via the BBC here in the colonies, and none of the PBS stations see fit to run it. Withdrawal symptoms had built up to an unbearable level, so I cashed in some chips.

The set consists of 17 DVDs, and covers the entire Diana Rigg era. Mrs. B has refused to watch any of them - at least so far. It didn't help when I reminded her that she used to have a Mrs. Peel catsuit. Yep, she really did.

The catsuit went out of service when a slightly tipsy friend* spilled Kahlua on it . . . or when common sense returned. I forget which. (Photo? I wish to heck I had one.)

Well, it was the 70s, after all.

*Clue for Lisa: He was a mutual acquaintance of ours, and the initials were WAK.

Monday, October 13, 2008

You'd think . . .

. . . I lived in the UK.

Punctuation was discussing UK English pronunciation, and it reminded me that some county, city, street or road names around here are repeats of UK place names.

Either the original settlers were homesick - or they had absolutely no imagination.

We have Norfolk, Hampton, Suffolk, Portsmouth and Surrey to name a few.

The names are the same, but the pronunciations wander a little from the UK. For example, there are at least four common pronunciations for Norfolk.

NOR folk - From visitors or TV announcers that have never visited here.
NAH f'k - From southern people trying to get it right.
Norfik - From someone trying to get it right, but who thinks the correct pronunciation is obscene.
NORf'k - From people who have a clue.

Strangely, in Nebraska, Norfolk is most often pronounced Norfork. Ask Lisa.

Or, here is the "official" explanation:

The name "Norfolk" is traditionally pronounced "Norfork" by Nebraskans. When the city was incorporated (as a village) in 1881, it was named after the "north fork" tributary of the Elkhorn River on which it lies. The United States Postal Service assumed that "Norfork" was a mistake and changed the name to "Norfolk". This became the official spelling, but the local pronunciation did not change.

As usual, the government bollixed it up.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A story about my mother . . .

My mother was a social worker. She started working in the local department of public aid - commonly called the "relief office" - when my grandfather became ill. She did well enough there that she was hired by the State of Illinois to work out of the county office.

When I was about twelve years old, my mother brought a young lady home with her. For privacy, I'll call her Mary.

Mary did all of our cleaning, laundry and most of the cooking. I asked mom why Mary was living with us, and she told me that she needed help around the house because she and dad both had full time jobs. Besides, mom had to spend extra hours at work because her cases ranged all across the county.

It looked to me like Mary was pregnant, and I finally asked mom if that was the case. It was, and about six months later, Mary had a little girl. I can't for the life of me remember her name, but I remember Mary rocking her in a little room next to mine. Eventually, Mary left, and I didn't think much about it. I just assumed she got a different job and moved on.

It must have been twenty years later, when Mrs. B and I were visiting home, that I remembered Mary and asked mom why she lived with us for a while.

Here's the real story: Mary and her husband moved to Illinois just a few months before. When her husband realized she was pregnant, he abandoned her and disappeared. Mary had no family in the area, and no family to go back to. Because she lived in Illinois such a short time, Mary was ineligible for public aid. My mother couldn't find any way for the state to help her, so she brought Mary home to live with us until she met the residency requirements.

I think of that story now and again, and it's just one of the hundreds of reasons why I've always been proud of mom.

The rocking chair . . . all three of our children were rocked in it, including Lisa. Lisa rocked TLK in it also, and it's sitting in Lisa's living room.

Friday, October 10, 2008

No roses . . .

. . . but more guns.

Do you realize how many common sayings derive from firearms?

Lock, stock and barrel. From the major parts of a rifle.

Going off half-cocked. Old muskets had a half-cock notch for the hammer - the old version of a safety. If that notch was worn, the musket could fire from the half-cock position. That was not a good thing.

Flash in the pan. Flintlocks had a covered "pan" near a hole leading to the powder charge in the barrel. A very sensitive powder was dribbled into the pan so that the flint would ignite it and fire the gun. If the gun was dirty, the primer powder would "flash" without igniting the musket.

A scattergun approach. Scattergun is slang for a shotgun, which shoots a wide ranging pattern.

Shot in the dark. Used to be you couldn't aim in the dark, so you took your chances.

He has a hair trigger. A trigger takes a certain amount of pull to fire the weapon. Some folks lighten that pull until (exaggerated, of course) the weight of a hair will fire it.

Loose cannon. A cannon that is not properly secured can shoot just about anywhere - including places you don't want to shoot.

He has a short fuse. A cannon with a short fuse will fire before you want it to.

A smoking gun is easier to identify than one that has not been recently fired.

You can read this or not, but don't shoot me down . . .
Guns N' Roses . . .

. . . latest album will be released on 23 NOV.

Title: Chinese Democracy. It's only 15 years late.

Their last was "The Spaghetti Incident," which bascially sucked.

Their other albums ranged from very good to outstanding.

1987: Appetite for Destruction
1988: G N' R Lies
1991: Use Your Illusion I
1991: Use Your Illusion II

Why do I care?

I first saw the GNR crew in cameos in "The Dead Pool" with Clint Eastwood. "Welcome to the Jungle" was included in the soundtrack. After that, I became a big GNR fan.

Mrs. B and I even had tickets for the 1991 GNR show in Kansas City. It didn't work out. The previous week, Axl started a riot at the St. Louis show, and there was an arrest warrant for him in Missouri. Knsas City was cancelled. I was seriously bummed.

GNR Lies is in the stereo in my car. I was listening to it yesterday.

Axl was (is?) a head case. Slash, Izzy, Duff and Adler were serious alcoholic druggies.

Regardless, they could really rock. Usually.
Dooce's Hypothetical question . . .

. . . reminded me of something that happened two summers ago.

As I was leaving a grocery store, I was approached by a young lady I'd guess to be about 35. She looked to be tired, and more than a little distressed. She told me she was embarassed to ask, but had spent her last money on food for her kids, but hadn't checked her gas gauge and was afraid she couldn't make it back home. She pointed to a beat-up old car. I could see a baby seat and some toys, but no kids were in the car.

Now, I don't give handouts to everyone who asks for them, but this lady's story just seemed believable. I gave her a ten, and she thanked me several times, and there was a tear in the corner of her eye.

After she left, another lady who had been watching decided to butt in:

Her: Boy, she really took you in.
Me: Pardon?
Her: How stupid can you be? She's just going to buy drugs with that.
Me: Maybe, but at least she isn't a nosy BITCH who can't mind her own business.

As I pulled out of the parking lot, I saw the woman I gave the money to pulling up to a gas pump across the street. . .

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Absolutely my last post . . .

. . . on politics, that is.

I'm sick of it. The campaigning, that is.

Issues have taken a back seat to sound bites.

Most of the folks who claim to be journalists are nothing but party flacks. They deny, deny, deny, but it still comes across in their reporting.

There's little discussion about how good one's party is. It's all about how bad the other is.

Debates are all about answering questions that weren't asked. More sound bites.

What's worse, based on the comments from "Joe Citizen" in blogs, on TV, and in the news, I'm convinced that at least 50% of the people who will mark an "X" in November are either too ill-informed, or just too freaking stupid to vote.

And, not because they prefer a different candidate than I. Because they can't articulate a coherent reason.

I'm done. I'm done blogging about it. I'm done discussing it. I'm done watching debates. I'm done watching the Sunday news shows.

I've studied the issues. I've identified my political philosophy. I know where the candidates stand.

Mark the "X" for whomever you choose. You'll deserve what you get.

So will I.

Friday, October 03, 2008

I don't usually get this coarse . . .

. . . but, TOUGH SHIT!

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Gov. David Paterson on Friday pledged not to raise taxes, even as he predicted an increase in the state's budget deficit to $2 billion amid fallout from the credit crisis and recalled the legislature for a special session next month to address the economy.

Paterson, a Democrat, said he feared Wall Street, which accounts for one out of every five tax dollars in the state, could slash bonuses by 60 percent and capital gains tax collections could plunge by about 50 percent.

Paterson said Wall Street bonuses generate 30 percent of the state's taxes in the January to March quarter.

Considering what's been going on in the financial markets, doesn't this fall in the category of poetic justice?

And, since poetry was mentioned . . .

Poetry . . . shows what should or must occur, rather than merely what does occur.
- Aristotle

That also seems relevant to the topic does it not?


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Embarrassing situation . . .

. . . from a while ago.

Brennig's blog today reminded me of one of those situations. Years ago, I was sitting on the side of the pool with a couple of friends of mine. These friends had just been introduced to each other.

Friend #1, upon seeing a rather very curvaceous young lady slide into the pool: "I wonder what it would be like getting into her pants."

Friend #2: I'm the guy to ask . . . she's my wife.

Friend #1 pushed off the edge of the pool and slowly sunk from sight. I assume he eventually came up for air, because I saw him at work the next Monday.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Fair and balanced?

. . . possibly, but I'm not sure.

Gwen Ifill, the PBS moderator of the upcoming VP debate is publishing a new book. The title, you ask? "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. "

OK, so now the Age of Aquarius is done, the Quaternary Age is over, and it's the Age of Obama? The Quaternary lasted for 2.588 million years, which causes me to ask . . . WTF are we in for?

Whatever . . .

The real question, though, is how can this woman appear to be objective considering that book title? Notice I said "appear." In certain positions, it is not only required to be impartial, the appearance of impartiality is also important.

In an online video promoting her book, she is enthusiastic about "taking the story of Barack Obama and extending it."

If Obama loses, her book tanks. If he wins, her book is a best seller.

She does not clear that bar, and should recuse herself.

She won't.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A visiting Brit?

. . . Or a drunk? Or both?

Your guess is as good as mine. Regardless, there was a citation on the windshield.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A day trip . . .

. . . to the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Memorial

I have a great interest in military history, so Mrs. B and I took a short trip to downtown Norfolk today to visit the MacArthur memorial for that "old soldier who just faded away."

MacArthur's biographers either hate him or love him, but there is no doubt that he was a towering figure through the first half of the 20th century.

He may have been a primadonna, but it seems that in wartime, we need them. Montgomery and Patton for instance.

The front entrance to the memorial, complete with a more-than-lifesize statue of Gen. MacArthur. I guess that's fitting. He was larger than life.

The main rotunda of the memorial is impressive, with excerpts from his speeches, flags from all the units he had under command, a history of his advancement throught the military, and his theaters of service.

MacArthur is buried with his wife Jean in a recessed area in the center of the anteroom, directly under the rotunda. William Manchester's biography, American Caesar" is well titled, as evidenced by the laurel wreath on his tomb.

I'm not sure this is MacArthur's personal uniform, but it is accurate in every detail. His citations include the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross (3), Distinguished Service Medal (4), Silver Star (3), Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, and dozens of others.

Side note: His father, Arthur McArthur, was awarded the Medal of Honor for service in the Civil War.

The museum also has two of Hideki Tojo's Nihonto that were "appropriated" by MacArthur. One katana is unsigned, but believed to be late Yamato-den, Ca - 1450. The other is signed "Bishu Osafune Sukesada," and is dated February 1509. One is mounted, the other is in a shirasaya (wooden storage scabbard). Interestingly, those signed "Bishu Osafune Sukesada" are considered to be inferior, mass produced swords. They were also called bundled swords because they were sold in batches rather than individually. Essentially, considering his rank, Tojo carried a K-mart sword.

There was also a tanto in a shirsaya. However, it was stolen from the museum and a fake was put in it's place. The theft was detected when it was examined by the Japanese Sword Society for provenence. It's whereabouts is unknown.

Finn McCools . . . . . . after action report.

A new shopping center nearby opened last year, and the smaller shops have been popping up like weeds. The Skinny Dip frozen yogurt shop is great. It's serve yourself. Fill your bowl as full as you please, mix in anything you want, and pay by the ounce.

We tried that last week. This week, it was Finn McCools.

Not good.

I was hoping for a decent U.S. impersonation of an Irish Pub. It wasn't. It was more of a sports bar. Notre Dame vs. Purdue on one screen, Tennessee vs. Auburn on another.

Mrs. B ordered a chopped chicken salad. With fingers crossed, I ordered fish and chips. Mrs. B said the chicken salad was great.

The fish and chips wasn't.

It was served with tartar sauce. Mayonnaise with chopped bits of "stuff" in it. In my book, that's a hanging offense.

Luckily, the waitress had the good sense to leave a bottle of malt vinegar. I did not have to resort to violence.

The fish in fish & chips is Icelandic cod, right? Wrong. Try Pollack. Biologically, the same family. Different genus.

The batter was great. The fish was mushy, not flakey. Ick.

I couldn't get a black and tan.

Redeeming quality: all the waitresses were those pleated schoolgirl skirts and knee socks.

Sorry. That was inappropriate. I'm way too old for that. Or, maybe not.

And, I seem to have gone Brennigesque after reading his blog today. Apologies to the B-man.

Nebraska plays Virginia Tech tonight. Football - the oblong, pointy kind, not the silly kind where nobody scores points and fans kill each other or the referees, and the stars have poshy, alien-looking wives with 80 lb. bodies and 20 lb. breasts.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Volunteers? . . .

. . . suggestions for flavors?

VERMONT -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, cofounders of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., urging them to replace cow's milk they use in their ice cream products with human breast milk, according to a statement recently released by a PETA spokeswoman.

"PETA's request comes in the wake of news reports that a Swiss restaurant owner will begin purchasing breast milk from nursing mothers and substituting breast milk for 75 percent of the cow's milk in the food he serves," the statement says. PETA officials say a move to human breast milk would lessen the suffering of dairy cows and their babies on factory farms and benefit human health. "The fact that human adults consume huge quantities of dairy products made from milk that was meant for a baby cow just doesn't make sense," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "Everyone knows that 'the breast is best,' so Ben & Jerry's could do consumers and cows a big favor by making the switch to breast milk."

In a statement Ben and Jerry's said, "We applaud PETA's novel approach to bringing attention to an issue, but we believe a mother's milk is best used for her child."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm trying to keep Obama off my blog . . .

. . . but I just can't help myself. I hate liars. I may hate hypocrites more.

Obama is now blaming McCain for the financial crisis in the U. S. financial market. Curly, Larry and Moe . . . er Schumer, Frank and Rangel are lining up behind him for moral support.

What Obama fails to mention is that McCain SUPPORTED regulation of Freddie and Fannie back in 2005. He co-sponsored SB 190, the FEDERAL HOUSING ENTERPRISE REGULATORY REFORM ACT OF 2005. McCain said:

"I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole."

Question 1: Who opposed? All Democratic members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. It was killed before it was given a chance to vote.

Question 2: Who deregulated the industry in the first place? Hint: The guy who signed the bill was also famous for leaving deposits on blue dresses. His advisor: Alan Greenspan.

Trivia fact: One of Obama's financial advisors was President of Fannie Mae. Yep, one of those "overpaid CEOs" who took $50 million in salary while driving Fannie Mae into the ground. Another top advisor is ANOTHER Fannie Mae CEO, who walked out with $35 million.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The cup . . .

. . . is back - and well played on both sides.

Friday, September 19, 2008

For those of you . . .

. . . who prefer graphics over words.