Thursday, December 30, 2010

Get Off My Lawn!

CHICAGO - A Chicago area man who killed a neighbor whose dog urinated on his lawn was sentenced today to four years' probation.

"This is not justice," said Gail Williams, the slain man's aunt.

Charles Clements, 69, a great-grandfather, former Marine and retired truck driver who took great pride in his lawn's appearance, could have been sentenced to as much as 20 years.

In declining to send Clements to jail, Will County Judge Daniel Rozak noted the episode was Clements' first contact with the legal system in his 69 years.

He also said the slaying wasn't about a dog urinating on a lawn, but "about your reaction ... to being yelled at, pushed and punched in the face by a 23-year-old man"

The Will County state's attorney's office, which had asked for jail time, indicated it would not appeal the sentence. "He (Rozak) is an excellent judge and we respect his decision," prosecutors said in a statement.

Clements had apologized for his actions at a sentencing hearing that was interrupted last week when the slain man's mother began to hyperventilate in court.

A Will County jury convicted Clements of second-degree murder in October.

Joshua Funches, 23, was walking his fox terrier puppy when Clements confronted him after the dog urinated on his manicured lawn.

After Funches cursed at him, Clements pulled out a .45-caliber handgun and put it back in his pocket. Soon after, Funches punched Clements once in the face. Clements said Funches was standing still when he pulled out his gun and fatally shot him.

Funches had three small children, including a boy born after his death. Patricia Funches, his mother, had asked Rozak to sentence Clements to the maximum 20 years in prison. Clements had been free on bond pending his sentencing.

Clements' attorney, Daniel Collins, said he was "very satisfied" with the sentence, as were Clements and his family.

"They're very thankful to the judge," he said.

Clements will meet with his probation officer to see if he will be allowed to move out of University Park, Ill., he added.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

True Grit

First off, I want to say that I have never seen the original, 'John Wayne' version of True Grit. If you're looking for a comparison, it ain't here.

The movie rightfully centers on Hailee Steinfeld's 'Mattie'. Without her in this role there really wouldn't be anything else to spend your money on, and it's pulled of stupendously. The last time I seen one so young pull it off with so much at stake was Leon: The Professional (and is why I am still a fan of Natalie Portman.)

It's a classic style western tale about a young woman of 14, Mattie (Hailee Steinfeld) who hires a marshall named Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) (a character that I am familiar with through other movies) to track down her father's killer and bring him to justice.
At about the same time, a Texas ranger named LeBeouf (Matt Damon) enters the picture and joins them. Damon is so realistically annoying as the ego-driven Texan that there was at least one occasion during the film that I wanted to shoot him myself.

Dialogue in movies of this particular contain a certain patois about them. I haven't the slightest idea if folks back then really did speak like that, but I like it just the same. This one didn't disappoint in that respect.
The icing on cake, though: Jeff Bridges' portrayal of Cogburn. I much like this one better than the Wayne version. Maybe it's the advances in film making since the days the original earned an Oscar for it's star, but this time I got a real feel for the filthy, drunken, crass and heartless bastard Cogburn is supposed to be. Bridges is not only able to show a deeper range of emotions than his counter part, and, I don't know... maybe make-up and costuming is better, but this guy is dirty and unkempt to the point where you smell him the moment he appears onscreen.

My only complaint: a determined crew traversing what was supposed to be hostile and lawless Indian country encountered very few Indians (final count: one adult, two kids) who were neither hostile, nor lawless.

It's a good movie that starts out at a solid pace, moving the story along while going flat near about 3/4 of the way in, with a climax not nearly as climatic as I was hoping for. It was worth the effort, but it ain't no "Unforgiven", if you know what I mean.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

To My Progressively Minded Friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or explicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2011 but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.


To All The Rest:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!























See ya in a couple days.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Epic Monday

Some thoughts:
I'm pretty sure that was the final encore of Brett Farve. Whatever we may think of guy, he's a warrior through and through. Give props where due.
I think part of what made him so insistent was the chance to beat the Bears one more time. Who knows? The way he started, it could've been.

Joe Webb has some talent if somebody wants to try to develop him. A good arm combined with Vickish legs should not be ignored. I like his spirit. Maybe the Bears will ring him in the off season. I doubt that it would help, since QB development seems to be something the Bears just don't do.

Devin Hester did in five seasons what it took another ten seasons or longer to do: set the record for kick returns for touchdowns. Still, it's an even bigger achievement than that, when you stop to think that he's had nobody kick to him in three years. Without a doubt, by any measure you think of, Devin Hester is the greatest returner in the history of football. And may be the best for as long as the game is played.
His post-game interview was cool, too. Refusing to take all the glory for himself. Remaining humble, and repeating his claim that there were 10 other guys missing from the podium alongside him. May God grant Devin a long and healthy career as a Chicago Bear.

Any time you see Garrett Wolfe get some touches, you know the game is going well. I'm a fan of Wolfe. Chicago grown. Grateful to be there. He's not the biggest man on the field, but he gives it all every chance he gets. If he was six-feet tall, he'd be a multi-million dollar a year player. Sadly, though, his contract runs out this year. I'm sure he has no regrets.

The second half of the season has turned out to be very different for the Bears' offense. Let's keep this train rolling shall we? If the Packers second team can give the Patriots hell, then the Bears should be able to take them over their knee in Dallas.

Was hearing some buzz that maybe the Vikings will settle for an outdoor stadium in the future? Imagine that...

On a personal note:
Post-Op nausea sucks ass. Still don't know how I stayed awake to watch the whole game. Must have been will.

24hrs later, and I've still got Post-Op nausea. And it still sucks ass.

Being fussed over by Orange County's sweetest Asian nurses for 24hrs isn't such a bad thing.

Being fussed over by the wife is cool,too. Yeah, damned right I'm milking it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fear Not

Wonder Woman is for real.
Not really.
It's just a story about a women who has some genetic disease that damages a certain portion of the brain that creates fear in a person.

Forget for a moment how a women like this would behave if she were also suffering from PMS... (ok, just an aside: why is it that women are said to suffer from PMS, when it's the rest of us who do the actual suffering???).

Imagine now, should the government get a hold of this disease, and find a way to infect our special forces guys with it, or something like that...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Out With The Old, In With The Bad

Some bad news:
It's being reported that one of my favorite feed lots in Orange County is closing, Chris' & Pitt's.
I was hitting that place every other week for years. Good food in a casual setting (think coffee shop casual) at an affordable price, and you couldn't beat the prime rib.
Come to think... they might be part of the reason why I had those 40 extra pounds I'd lost a while back.

Their loss is a tragedy. Take my word for it.

In it's place? Brace yourself... What's being touted as the McDonalds of the Philippines.
Can you believe it? Closing a fine American eatery like Chris' & Pitt's and replacing it with an enthnic joke sporting a silly name?

Yeah, it's like The OC really needs another place that serves rice in a bowl topped with mystery meat. Besides, I've seen what Filipinos eat, and it's not pretty.
Not at all.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Scheduled

So it appears that a Laryngoplasty will occur this coming Monday, at 1:30 p.m.
What sucks for me is that it looks like I may miss the Bears-Vikings on MNF. But, maybe not.

Procedure is supposed to take about 2hrs, maybe less. I'm supposed to be (technically) awake for it, then I'll be shuttled off to my room for the night after recovery. I'm guessing... maybe by kickoff I can be in my room? Maybe too groggy to care much by then.
I don't know, but it's already bugging me.

I will not be allowed to speak, at all, not even a whisper... for 24hrs minimum. So, that in mind... Got to remember to leave detailed instructions orders for wife to have that game playing just in case I wake up, since I won't be able to remind her.


I guess the little thing-a-mah-jig they're putting inside me looks something like this.

Trying to remember what it was like to speak without exertion, but I can't.
Will find out soon enough.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dad To The Bone

"I received a phone call anonymously that my daughter was involved with a guy 40 years older than her. You said you couldn't stop him – so I did.

"I saw it as my duty as a father."


LINK

I neither condemn nor condone this action.

LOL

Saturday, December 11, 2010

You Might Be An Ivy Leaguer If...

A popular Columbia professor was charged Thursday with incest - accused of a sick sex relationship with a female relative, prosecutors said.

Political science Prof. David Epstein, 46, bedded the young woman over a three-year period ending last year, according to court papers.



Epstein, who specializes in American politics and voting rights, has taught at Harvard and Stanford and often is quoted by news organizations. He also has blogged on The Huffington Post.

More at the LINK

And to think those Northeastern, left-wing elites are always pointing the kin-fuck finger at those backwards Southerners.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My son had a good question last night: Would anybody have cared that it was the anniversary of John Lennon's death if the media hadn't started the day off with it?

To which I'll add: And how many people really do 'remember' Pearl Harbor, anyway?

We (though not me) are such tools...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's Looking Ugly

Along a fast, unregulated stretch of Pacific Coast Highway, the local police department used to park and empty squad car. Drivers going through this way would see the squad car parked up ahead and immediately slow down.

That was the whole idea.
It allowed traffic control without having to put another officer on the street. The department was really proud of this little tactic and (oops!) bragged about it to the press.

Knowing that this black & white was empty opened up a whole new realm of pranking possibilities for my friends and I. And we had fun doing them, yes we did!
Silly stuff, really. Beer bottles left on the hood. Band stickers on the bumper. The MDC sticker was most classic. The final act of 'thumb in the eye of authority' was slicing one of the tires.
This brought ultimate cool cred among the crew for a while, because anything that ballsy would have to be challenged and, short of really drastic action, who can top slashing a cop's tires and getting away clean?

Well, one of us did come up with an idea, an ultimate dare that was never followed through, despite a few aborted attempts. None of us wanted to be that stupid.
Teasing the lion through the bars is one thing, but jumping into the cage brings you into a world that you no longer control.

Same time period...

I saw lots of kids get there asses kicked by the cops for the crime of being unruly after a punk show. Right or wrong, it was easy to see that it is rather stupid to throw beer bottles at cops and not expect a drubbing if they got their hands you.
("Seriously, Bro, what'd you expect?")

And, to be fair to the cops, in the interest of maintaining the respect for authority and the public safety role they were being paid to perform, a heavy hand came in handy from time to time. I'm not saying it was cool to bust up our shows. I'm just saying that, yeah, OK... I get it that they didn't get it. Even if it did suck.

I ignored the whole wikileaks thing when it first hit several months ago. I'm not up to par on what this wikileak guy is all about, or what higher purpose he thinks he is serving. But it's looking to me like he's pushed it a little far.
Now, with him in custody, his homies are currently in the process of pushing it even further than that.
This thing could get uglier yet.
But whatever happens to this wikileak guy... he asked for it.





*and dont give me that 'His First Ammendment bullshit.' He is not under US jurisdiction, and not covered by any our ammendments.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Laryngoplasty. What's That?

Also known as Laryngeal Reconstruction. It's a rebuilding of the vocal cords that helps to correct the loss of motion or muscle due to some dastardly bad thing that happened to the patient, such as... oh... inconveniently placed tumors of the head and neck, causing damage to the vagus nerve.

This procedure does not make the vocal cords move again, but it does move the paralyzed cord into a position to where it can be used to create sound again.
Up to 90% recovery of the voice can be achieved, but I'll be happy if I get 10%, because it's still several %'s more than I have now.
I'll set the bar low, and be happy with the results.

Also, it should improve swallowing, and decrease choking, because it will help to create a proper seal at the entrance to the windpipe. (yeah! I am so looking forward to that.)

The surgery is done by placing an implant that pushes the weak vocal cord toward the middle of the voice box. The most common implant used is made from Gore-Tex. The implant is permanent, but is reversible without extensive surgery. I don't expect that I'll be wanting it reversed, but who knows.

If anything cool happens that I can remember, I'll blog about it.

For sure, I'm a little excited about the newer set of life-altering possibilities that may be coming my way, because the last ones sucked.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

So who's hiding place will fail first: Julian Assange or Osama Bin Laden?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Bad DREAM

On the docket of late: The DREAM Act

A lame ass name for a piss poor idea wrapped around good intentions and marketed for political gain.

You can read about it at the link. No doubt, you've already heard about it and already have your opinions. But what you've heard is likely different from the real deal, as emotionally charged as this seems to be.

As for me... I am opposed to the DREAM Act, as it is presented.
I've already stated that I think it's bullshit that a child can be illegally transported across the border, raised up within American society, and not be granted citizenship within the only country he knows.

The DREAM Act does not address this issue clearly enough, and only serves to muddy the waters of the immigration brouhaha even more... like we really need more of that, don't we?

Another bitch I have is this:
During the first six years, qualifying illegal immigrants would be granted "conditional" status, and would be required to graduate from a two-year community college or complete at least two years towards a 4-year degree, or serve two years in the U.S. military.

What the hell?

Is there something wrong with just getting a job and supporting a family?

Not all are made for school, let alone higher education. A kid can do good enough for society by just staying out of trouble and learning how to repair cars, build houses, or work on a loading dock to support a family.
To limit this blessing to the small minority who can do college is load of crap, as if we really needed a few more liberal arts majors to make this country work properly.

Keeping in mind how most of those who come from the illegal status are raised by parents with little education themselves, and likely lived in the lower-status side of town, attending the lesser educating schools. Very few will have the drive/motivation/push for college as it is, and have no hesitation at all when it comes to getting a real job and earning their own wages. (Fewer still are likely to graduate high school at all. Sad, but too often true.)

This bar is so high I'm tempted to think the DREAM Act was written by the Minute Men.
It's not fair.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Getting What You Allow

Those of you that care about it have seen it by now: that smack down Andre Johnson delivered to Cortland Finnegan.

The talkers will have their say about it in the coming week, but all sides seem to be favoring Johnson as the class player and Finnegan as the punk. I would agree.

What I want to know is how a punk with the reputation of Finnegan can get away with the fouls and cheap shots? Why have no flags been thrown? Certainly, the refs know who is who out there.

You can't go on the air and pontificate about sportsmanship...
"We really hate to see that."
"That's not football, there."
"Beat him with your play, not your fists"

... all the while not calling out the obvious unsportsmanship that is taking place on every snap, or not calling out the officials who turn a blind eye.

When you allow Finnegans to be Finnegans, you have to expect a Johnson to throw a few 'flags' of his own every now and then. I don't fault him. I applaud him...

...and any fine or punishment dished out by the league against Johnson will be an injustice.

By all means, sanction the trouble makers. And sanction the officials for allowing it. (And yes, they do allow it.)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Living Old

It starting to become clearer to me the more that I look at it that a leisurely lifestyle has never before been part of the human condition, but is increasingly a part of every human's expectation in the modern age. I don't know how we came to this, because the truth hasn't been that far removed from us.

<<< Thinking back to my Great-Grandfather. (that be him, on the left) He had his land. His large (by current standards) family. All the food, water, shelter a man could ever use... and then some. Measured according to the standards of his society, he had it all.

He had earned/acquired leisure in their terms. Not the sitting-on-your-ass-collecting-a-check leisure. Leisure was, for them, leisure from struggle. A state of knowing where your next meal was coming from, along with breakfast ten years hence.

Still, things to do every day: Crops to tend. Sheep to graze. Food to process. Enemies to ward off. A man's work was never done.
It was the farmer's life as well as the life of his family. Every person worked or contributed to the clan's prosperity every day. As elders aged and became less able, less was done by them, of course. But even then, 'less' didn't mean 'nothing'.

One night, Nonuzz (as he is referred to) suffered a stroke after a battle with *Gypsies who'd come 'round to steal sheep. He spent his last couple of years paralyzed and mostly bed-ridden, but still not 'out of the game' as he kept his eye on things and never relinquished leadership.
Naturally, as was customary at the time, he was cared for by family who did all those nurse-ish type things that old crippled folks need done for them.

Today, things are different. We have apparently progressed to the higher levels of civilization, where leisure is some sort of old age entitlement: you sit around, collect a check for it, and produce nothing but a need for ever more medical care, for up to 20 years or longer...
We've come to expect that. But I don't know why.

We are moving ever closer to a state run medical system. (I mean, even more state run than it is now.) Nothing but an increase in taxation is going to pay it. I think we all know this, despite whatever promises the politicians are making.

The biggest problem with the whole concept, as I see it, will be the larger burden placed on those who are producing, with little asked from the ass-sitting check collectors.
We can't allow people to sit around living for 20 years after their retirement dates without tossing a few coins of their own into the bank. Perfectly able geezers should not be sitting on the labors of the younger. They need to be giving, as well.





*Because that's what Gypsies do.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

On Racial Profiling

When did 'Muslim' become a race?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

for those who may be of knowledge:
if you know how to tyupe, is it easier to do it when your drunk, as opposed to not knowing how to type?

just asking...

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm thinking that President Obama would do wonderous things for his popularity right about now if he stepped up and kicked some ass over this airport strip searching thing...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Something Cool...

...happened in Miami last night.

Brian Urlacher passed Mike Singletary as the Bears all-time leading tackler.
All he needs now is The Ring.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Back To "Paper, Or Plastic?"

Take that, you eco-obsessed weenies!
Grocery chain Winn-Dixie sells a reusable grocery bag with two sturdy handles, pictures of cute baby faces and enough toxic lead to alarm health experts.

I love the irony.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Are We Winning?

The Naked Body Scanners are still making nudes news. News, not nudes. Well, anyway... Sorry, my mind gets distracted...

This time, it's the Ragheads that are gettin all pissy:
CAIR said Muslims who object to full-body scans for religious reasons should know their rights if they are required to undergo a pat-down, including asking for the procedure to be done in a private place. In addition, CAIR offered a “special recommendation” for Muslim women who wear a hijab, telling them they should tell the TSA officer that they may be searched only around the head and neck.
Because, well, nobody would try to hide bombs or anything in their hair anyway, right?
We'll have to see how far TSA is willing to go in order to violate the privacy rights of Muslims. I hope it's at least as far as the rest of us, if not further, because it is the Muslims who are trying to blow shit up, isn't it?
No, on second thought, I take that back. I want them to violate every muslimish looking chick or dude who tries to approach within five miles of an airfield. Forget letting them buy a plane ticket.
Never can be too safe. Right TSA?

I think the situation may be getting better, thanks to the suspects themselves:
In February, the Figh Council of North America, a group of Islamic scholars, issued a fatwa, or religious ruling, that full-body scanners violate Islamic law.
“It is a violation of clear Islamic teaching that men or women be seen naked by other men and women,” the ruling states. “Islam highly emphasizes haya (modesty) and considers it part of the faith. The Qu’ran has commanded the believers, both men and women, to cover their private parts.”

CAIR endorsed the fatwa, according to a Feb. 21 article in the Detroit Free Press.


OK, so we cant search them. Nor scan them.
If TSA sticks to it's guns and molests everybody equally, Muslims will be religiously forbidden to fly.
The terrorists lose.

I love it already.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Unwrapping The Silliness

More on the Strip Search Full Body Scanners:
It seems that not everybody is dismayed with the idea: An Indian lawmaker from Punjab said Tuesday she had asked President Barack Obama to put a stop to the U.S. border practice of frisking Sikh turbans.

Sikhs worldwide have long protested the American security measure as discriminatory and unnecessary in a world with machines for body scanning and metal detection.

OK, so they like the scanners...

But it's the turban pat-downs and pony-tail checks that have really got them in a blush.

"It is a humiliating experience. For us it's like telling us to remove our clothes," she said.
From this I think I can reach a fair conclusion: Most people do not want to show their private parts to strangers. And those that do must be Sikh.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The WTF Years

Remember those park Merry-Go-Rounds growing up? I know most of you do, but maybe we can find a YouTube video of one for Palm Boy and Tully, who have led childhoods of depravity having grown up in the post Merry-Go-Round era.

We would all get in that thing, and one of our friends would spin it, and spin it, and spin it... til the world was a blur , your brain was plastered against one side of your skull and the sandwich you ate was backing up into your throat.

God help you if you should lose your grip and the centrifugal forces threw your ass 25feet outward.
It was danger. It was excitement. And it was fucking fun!

Sure, every now and then some idiot would take a header, bust a lip, lose a tooth, maybe break an arm... (ask my li'l brother, ha! ha! twice. ha! ha! ha!)
But we learned early and easy: if you can't go 'round with the big kids, go sit on the bouncy horses.

Same thing with those jungle gyms you could hang upside down on, or the big space ship with the 20ft slide that dared a kid to jump off half the way down.

Now, the playground is a dull place. No dangerous spinner (ever stop to think that we didn't have a childhood obesity problem back then because we often purged our lunch at the playground.) The jungle bars have been replaced with a safety conscious climbing apparatus, slides are enclosed and even the swings have seat belts.

Then came helmet laws for kids on Big Wheels, roller skates, and skate boards... making being an active kid rather inconvenient, if you ask me. (What? Obesity problem again?)

Taking the childhood out of childhood seems to be the order of the era, but even that is not enough when, as you've heard by now, San Francisco regulates the 'happy' out of Happy Meals and Pennsylvania seeks to ban cake at birthday parties.

WhatTheFuck?



We have got to be creating an entire lost generation of fucked up, pussified, angry, joy-deprived kids.
Damn.
Just wait 'til they're old enough to realize how much national debt they owe.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hah!





















President Obama dances with children at a Diwali celebration in Mumbai.
Clear evidence that The President is secretly a Hindu.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pig Out

Party's on, pig lovers! In the age of Islamic terror and Islamophobia, what's a better way to show your solidarity as lovers of American freedom than the unabashed consumption of pork?

"What brings this?", you may be asking...

Well, in case you haven't heard, the McRib is back after a two year hiatus. I missed McRib the last time around, so I'm making sure I get my fill this time around.

Why?
Because McRib is more than just a sandwich.
McRib is also: 490 calories, 25 grams of fat, 75 mgs of cholesterol, and 1040 mb of salt, all processed into a tender pork patty, submerged in a tangy bbq sauce, and gently placed in a warm, soft sesame seed roll with fresh onion and pickles.
And it tastes oh, soo goood!

If you don't eat a McRib, the terrorists win.

I'll be getting another one, maybe two, tonight.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's Been A Long Hard Campaign

For all you fans who are crowding below the podium of the politician you took time from your jobs, families, and lives to get elected:

He's getting a cushy job, massive perks and benefits, free travel, 'junkets', inside stock tips and dibs on IPO's, health care that surpasses that of a combat mangled G.I., business connections, a ceremonial staff position for his wife that pays six-figures, a pension and a quality of life that you could never dream of...

You worked hard. What did YOU get?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Get a Grip, Not A Grope

One suffers no shortage of indignities when traveling by air as it is, but leave it to the TSA to think of new ones...

A few days ago new pat-down procedures were announced for travelers using aircraft in the USA.

But we will have a choice: either accept the invasive pat-down or accept showing your tender bits on camera with that new strip-search technology thing.

Either way, your giblets are not your own if you intend to fly.

Oh, and before you get any ideas, it'll be dudes groping dudes, and women groping women. No joy jollies for you, unless you're queer.

And that seems kinda not fair, if you ask me. (Wonder if I can claim queerness just so I can get groped by the woman TSA agent? Think that'll fly?)

So what choice do we have, unless we want to drive or take the train to somewhere far, far away?

This is getting to be too, too much if you ask me.

We need to go back to simpler time, to a more straight forward manner of thinking: Back in WWII, we didn't arrest a random amount of Chinese spy suspects so the Japs wouldn't feel picked on, did we? Nope. We went straight for the Japs. We weren't too desensitized to common sense back then.

Did we arrest a sensible number of Polish 'infiltrators' so the Krauts wouldn't think they were being singled out? Nope. We went to the root of the problem, as we should have.
And we won, didn't we?

Let's do that again.

I want to bring back racial/ethnic profiling. If your name is Ali Mohamed Fatwa al-Shabazz, or something stupid like that, you can't fly.
Period.
Too fucking bad.
Take a bus, Raghead!
Ha!

See? I just solved our security problem by half, if not better.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Weekend

When I bought this place two years ago it was still relatively brand new. The previous owner hadn't been in it long enough to do anything before the bank took over, after which it sat for eight months. And every room looked just like this:

White...
Sterile...




And blah.



I finally got to the last upstairs bedroom this weekend. Referred to as The Shop. This is where I kept all my tools, paint and what-not while I worked on things upstairs. It's last function was a transition room for Grayson.

It's not sterile-white anymore:






















The wall color is called "Museum", by Frazee paints. It's like a tan.

Border was Wife's idea.
I'm please with the result, and Wife is thrilled, so that means I win.




I'll be on vacation next week, so the closet, trim and base boards can wait til then.










I'd run the vacuum, clean the windows, and hang the curtains ... but that's women's work.

Friday, October 29, 2010

What You Don't Know Can Kill You

Man Dies Of Caffeine Overdose

Huh?

A British man died after poisoning himself with two spoonfuls of caffeine powder bought over the internet, local media reported Friday...

...He washed the powder down with an energy drink, and around 15 minutes later began sweating and vomiting blood. He later died at King’s Mill Hospital in Nottinghamshire, central England, the Nottingham Post reported.

Wow.
Nottingham Coroner Dr. Nigel Chapman said, "Caffeine is so freely available on the internet for £3.29, but it's so lethal if taken in the wrong dose, and here we see the consequence.
Seriously, it never occurred to me that caffeine could be lethal in large doses. Back in my less-informed youth I used to swallow lots of caffeine pills. (Not just 'me'. Most of my buddies did, too, so maybe we were normal.) I started somewhere around 9th grade, and didn't stop dosing til I was almost into my 20's

It was easily available. Any drug store or pharmacy department had pills for sale, and I bought pretty regular, always exceeding the maximum recommended dosage by a wide margin, and sometimes even wider than that.


We were always looking for a bigger/stronger pill. Count my lucky stars that we didn't have the internet back in the 80's, 'cause I would have been all into this potent shit like a fish in the ocean.

To me, overdoing it meant that I crashed from a high level of exhaustion. Experience telling me that sleep, when needed, would come whether I wanted it to or not, where ever I was at the moment, and no additional amount of caffeine was going to stop that...

... leading me to assume that a health-threatening overdose from the drug itself just wasn't a reality I had to think about.

I never thought it could kill.

Damn.
Was I wrong.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sports

This is why Americans prefer to watch football.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's Not What You Might Be Led To Think

I want to take over from where I left off in the comment section of the previous lead zeppelin post:

In regards to THIS article:

Wife-beating OK under sharia law, just don’t leave marks

According to a ruling by a Supreme Court in the United Arab Emirates, Islamic sharia law allows a man to “discipline” his wife and children so long as he doesn’t leave physical marks.

The judgment was made in the case of a man who slapped and kicked his daughter and slapped his wife. He injured them both slightly and left bruises on them both.


I don't know how the hell any form of physical discipline can be administered without leaving some kind of mark, however slight that mark may be. I'm sure that maybe it's possible for a skilled hand, but I'll remain skeptical for now.

The federal court in Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE, said that their bruises were evidence that the father went too far and abused his legal rights.

The Guardian.co.uk reported that in the case of the wife, it was the degree of severity that put the man in breach of the law. But his daughter was 23, and therefore too old to be disciplined by her father, the court said. He claimed he did not mean to harm either of them.

The Sharjah court of first instance fined the father for abuse. The decision was upheld by Sharjah's court of appeals but he appealed against the verdict at the federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi.

Please note: the husband/father in question was found to be in violation. Funny how this part didn't end up in the headline, because this is the element that matters the most, along with the statements of the courts and Islamic scholars:
Jihad Hashim Brown, head of research at the Tabah Foundation, said: "It's unlawful in sharia – if taken in its entirety – to injure one's wife. It's unlawful to insult the dignity of one's wife. That is if we look at the tradition as a whole: the Qur'an, the hadith and writings of Islamic jurists."
Under sharia law beating one’s wife is an option to prevent the breakdown of the family and should only be used as a substitute to resorting to the police. Love and respect, according to Dr. Jassim al-Shamsi, dean of the college of law at UAE University, are more important among husbands and wives than any discipline.

(emphasis mine)
Now, let me explain something, as it has been explained to me in the past by devout, strictly adherent Muslims:

In Islam, the man is charged with the obligation to attend to the protection, upkeep, and preservation of the family. It is he who must answer most strongly before God for any failings. So, it makes sense that any God-fearing man would not want to be found derelict in this duty on judgement day.
Just like it makes no sense to assign responsibility without authority, authority without effect makes no sense, either.
(Imagine being charged with a massive amount of responsibility, under threat of eternal damnation, and then being told that if something goes wrong you aren't allowed to do shit about it. Who would sign up for that job? Most importantly, what would be the state of society in general if nobody had responsibility for anything? Into this vacuum, steps the faith.)

What I see here, and in the words of the scholars, along with the explanations of Muslims I have known, is a tough line to walk.
It's not a perfect world, and there are few perfect people to pair into perfect marriages. No scholar or holy man can look into the crystal ball and reveal all the various combinations of issues that may arise, in many forms, in any of the households among the billions of individuals who reside within them.
By default, therefore, a man has some effectual authority...

... but not outside of the principles that are established, to quote again:
"It's unlawful in sharia – if taken in its entirety – to injure one's wife. It's unlawful to insult the dignity of one's wife. That is if we look at the tradition as a whole: the Qur'an, the hadith and writings of Islamic jurists."

Quite clearly, there is no carte blanche in Islam for wife beating.
Just as there isn't one in Christianity, despite that the Bible calls for women to submit to their husbands.
But it's still done, and various cultures throughout the world that claim any number of principle faiths contain it.

(From what I've seen, the Muslim men are as fearful of irate/displeased wives as any one of us are. As one tells me: 'Woman is Woman, no matter where she's from.')

What shocks me is how people will allow their understandings of Islam to be formed by inaccurate headlines or ignorant preachers with an agenda, but they would never allow a Jew or Hindu to inform the world about Christianity.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Spousal Discipline

According to a ruling by a Supreme Court in the United Arab Emirates, Islamic sharia law allows a man to “discipline” his wife and children so long as he doesn’t leave physical marks.

The commentators, up to and including that Pamela Gellar , are going to have a field day of their own with "The Muslims are coming... " and similar rantings, so I'm not going there any further than to reiterate that I believe Pamela Gellar to be a hate mongering bitch who calls for everybody else to fight Arabs in support of her Israeli homeland while safely ensconced behind her keyboard in New York.

OK, enough of that. Let's flip this around.
We will call it SHE-ria Law.

And this goes out to the women.
She'ria Law allows a woman to discipline her husband so long as she doesn't leave physical marks. O.K. Maybe a few marks, if it's a particularly repetitive offense.
Now, for discussion:
What insubordinate act annoys you the most?
What offenses should a husband be disciplined for?

Monday, October 18, 2010

I am staunchly opposed to the de-clawing of cats. It's cruel, painful, sacrilagous and just all out sucks.

But, after working with Grayson for two weeks, I can understand why some choose that route. I must've given half-pint of blood so far. This guy is brutal.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Vive la RĂ©sistance!

Pension reform, and raising the retirement age are still boiling issues among the French. We all know the story by now...

We are facing the same thing here in the private sector. The economic collapse has decimated IRA's, 401K's, pensions, housing values... and anything else that used to be cornerstone for the working guy's (or his wife's) retirement plans.

Our retirement ages are all rising, while those who work for the government remain protected at the expense of the rest.
Another element that rubs me raw: those responsible, the congressmen, senators, regulators aren't going to lose a thing, while the Wall Street chieftains, who've profited mightily, stay in their cocoon of government protected privilege, not missing any meals or mortgage payments.

And what is the American response? Lots of grumbling among ourselves, a Tea Party thing or another... but nothing is going to change for us. We, the people, have been duped. Used. Beat down.
Emotional resignation seems to be the national response. There needs to be more anger, but he political class has done a fairly good job at pointing fingers at 'the other guy', and enough people are buying it.

Yeah, it looks like the GOP, and those who tend toward it, are cleaning up a bit, tossing out some of their chaff. Besides the shortening of some political careers, I don't see any else becoming of it. Those tossed will just be back as lobbyists, anyway. And those who replace them will follow the same old game after a cycle or two.
So, really, nothing's gonna change, and I think only a fool would dare to believe otherwise...

We can take a lesson from the French. Sure, these present day French might be a little mild compared to their kin of two centuries ago, but at least they are showing some public anger.
Unlike us, who just take it. Hoping the economy will rebound, making my pension worth the $55/year that I'd negotiated (in a free market manner), instead of the $36/yr I've now been informed that I can expect.
That's a big hit. And somebody is responsible for what amounts to theft on a mass scale.
But it's an insider's game. The rest of us were never meant to score big through our honest labors and patient planning. Nope. We are just the slaves on the plantation, receiving what the 'others' haven't already taken for themselves.

In a proper, free market system, the failed boys of AIG, et al, would be living in trailers and holding cardboard signs at on-ramps. But they aren't.
Nobody whose charged with administering the government should be above the law. Nor above the laws of economics and fair play.

The people responsible for this will not be paying. They will continue to live very well, being sheltered from the negative results of their actions.

Maybe it's time we revive an older French practice. Storm the government buildings. Drag those motherfuckers, screaming, into the streets. Shove their crooked asses into the guillotines and be done with them.

A silly minded Tea Party won't solve anything.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

And evidently, Chilean miners don't get the cute, skinny chicks.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sixty-some days without nookie, or a bath. Their wives may not be so happy to see them, after all.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Seattle: The Good

OK, I've been back for over a week and it's time to wrap this chapter up:

In the University District is little place called A Taste of Chicago. He advertises Chicago sports teams, and the presence of, most importantly to me, televised Bears games. That's where I was Monday night, only to find his A/V equipment is limited to a 20" analog sitting on a shelf behind the bar counter.
To be fair to the guy, who I spent a few minutes talking to, he hasn't been open very long, but by this time next year he plans on having several wide screens mounted on the walls, and intends to be the headquarters of Chicago sports fans in Seattle. He's also still trying to find a distributor to supply him with Old Style beer.

So seeing the game at his place turned into a bust, but while there I ordered a Chicago Beef sandwich. I've had them outside of Chicago before, and they almost always suck. This one is a major exception. He serves an authentic Chicago Beef. The real thing. I swear it.
Next time I visit, this place is a must stop.

As sports bars go, the Rat and Raven across the street has the equipment, wasn't too interested in turning it on, and drew very few spectators anyway. The bartender didn't seem all that interested in serving any beer, either. Makes me wonder why they bother at all, but at least I got to watch the Bears allow the Packers to beat themselves.

Overall, despite my complaints about the crowded streets, getting around town isn't that difficult. Highway traffic moves at a reasonable pace, and the exits are numbered. As long as you know your exit, you can't get lost. Rush hour isn't 1/10th of what I endure everyday living SoCal. Drivers don't go slow, but are not nearly as aggressive as I'm used to. This gave me an edge over them, much like my experience in the Twin Cities.

One final highlight: Samarai Ramen. Brian, check them out. The Tonkotsu is pretty good. They have a location in the U District, and another one downtown around the corner, but in the same building, as the large Asian market. The downtown location is very small, but I liked the atmosphere.

Next time, I'll have to spend more eating my way through Seattle, and less time looking for parking.
They offer a variety of broths, and maybe four or five different noodles.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Seattle: The Bad

Moving along to Chapter Two of Gino's Seattle Adventure:

You're never more than block from another coffee house, but gas stations seem to be few and far between. Maybe it was the district I was in?

The price of groceries would get the stores shut down in SoCal. I've never paid $1.99 for a can of tomato sauce before, or $5.99 for a pound of Italian sausage. It's crazy. Around here, you would looking at a closer to $1.00 for one, and never more than $4.59 (and usually much lower) for the other. And we have more shit to choose from,too.

Pacific Northwest Asians drive as poorly as the Asians in SoCal.

A California driver's license is insufficient identification to buy beer at Target. Next time, the daughter will not convince me to renege on my boycott. I swear it.

Does everything have to have an organic counterpart?

Yeah, it's a short list. There's not that much wrong with the place.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Seattle:The Ugly

First up: the color Grey. It's everywhere you are. The sky is grey. The buildings are grey. The walls are grey. Everything, it seems, even the stuff that is not grey, is still grey. I found the city kinda depressing, over all.
And there's no escape:Taking a drive, I was flanked by concrete walls of grey, connecting to grey underpasses, only to emerge among grey ribbons of concrete overpasses.

To be fair, I spent most, if not all, of my time downtown, or close to downtown, where even when the sun had broken through the cloud cover, the tall buildings cast long shadows so that even the sunlight was grey.


You'd think with such a prominent gay population, they'd find a way to spruce up the place. Some decor here. Splash of color there. Come on, Seattle! Can't you get a little queer-eye action going on?

The only thing rarer than sunlight is parking. If you find a spot, better read the posted signs very carefully, and then read them again. Having your car towed will cost you $108.80. I happen to know this, thank you.
Salt is poured into the wound with the parking ticket ($42, not included), they will hand you when you arrive to get your car back. Bastards.

Had a shitty end to what started out as a very pleasant Tuesday.
So, I go to the clinic to pick up Grayson after his denutting, and the girl hands me this 'patient' form to fill out. I fill out my name, address and phone number, hand her back the form along with $40 and she hands the form back, asking me to complete it.

I had left blank the sections asking for my driver's license, email address, employer's name and address and phone number, and Social Security numbers. I told that I wouldn't be providing that info to them, and that I probably gave them too much already. Sorry.

She starts to hesitate, so I jump back in and tell her they can take the cash for services rendered, or not, but the cat was paid for, it's mine, and I'll be taking him home with me now.

They handed over the cat, like I knew they would.

Just a reminder: Too often various forms we are required to fill out for the most mundane things ask for information that they have no right to demand.
Don't give it to them.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ugh!

They should have pulled Cutler after the first quarter, and then marched the O-Line out for their execution.
Dump Collins. I don't want to see him in a Bears jersey ever again. What the hell were they thinking with Hanie waiting in the wings? He's had enough time to put on his big-boy pants, and they should have used him, instead.

Personally, I think Cutler was having vision problems from the start. Maybe his diabetes was acting up? I don't know. But it wasn't good.

Grayson

This one.
"Whew. He's not supposed to be here, but I lost his card. Too sweet to not give him more time."
You lost his card?
"Sometimes I can get away with it." (She winks)
Oh, I got ya.
"Yup, Hon. It's a rescue."


He comes home Monday.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Portland!

There are few things I enjoy better than being on the road, and I'll say it again: that stretch of I-5, from Redding, through northern California on into Oregon up to the city of Eugene has got to be the best day's ride there is anywhere.

Broad vistas, banked turns,and wide lanes flanked with large trees and idyllic farms for as far as the eye could see. It's cool shit that I recommend to anybody. The sucks part, for me anyway, is that I have to drive 600 miles through the wasteland of California's Central Valley to get there.

The Central Valley possesses a unique beauty of it own, but after the initial 100 miles of rocks and row crops, straight and flat, it all starts to look the same. And much of it has been turned into a dust bowl now.

I left the house at 5a.m., intending to break for the nite somewhere near Medford,OR, but it didn't happen that way. Feeling too good, with way too much daylight ahead of me, I motored on, eventually stopping in Portland at around 8:30. By that time, I'd had enough, and with 1100 miles behind me, my longest day ever, I figured it was time. And I was in no mood to cross any of Portland's frighteningly high bridges,either.

Portland:

  • Initial reaction: can't wait to get out of here. The streets are narrow and cramped. Everything is too close together. Nowhere to park. All in all... a shit hole.
  • In the morning, after seeing the place in daylight, I was able to recognise a certain charm to the place. But still a shit hole.
  • Met with kr and her brood at around noon. Cute kids, and very polite. Had a great visit and was glad we met.
  • After a few hours in town, I started to understand why people who grew up in Portland wouldn't be able to call anyplace else 'home'. It's unusual, yeah even freakish, but the people on the street seem friendly and welcoming.
  • Personal grooming means something entirely different in Portland, with the dress code amounting to whatever would get you arrested or beat up in Texas (outside of Austin).
  • Nobody really has a functioning lawn, although there is a space for one. The way 95% of the homes are (un)landscaped would draw fines in Southern California.
  • Very few roses are grown in The City Of...
  • But it's a fine place to get around on a bicycle,

I took another brief stop in Portland on the return trip. Well, it was supposed to brief. kr showed me the way to the world famous, OK, maybe only 'Travel Channel famous', Voo Doo Donuts. This place is highly over rated. kr advised me that others have claimed the maple-bacon donut as a religious experience. So I tried one. Basically, it's an unremarkable maple bar with two pieces of crispy bacon on top. You could do that at home. Unless atheism is a religion, I didn't get anything out of it.

And, wouldn't ya know it, I got lost on the way to the interstate and ended up taking another less intentional tour of the city. Two Hours of Lost. By the time I found the escape route, I was almost liking the place. It's a sweet city. Unusual and bizarre. Tight and cramped. Crowded. But cool in it's own way.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just a quickie...
Been here in Seattle for a few days so far, but can't wait to get back to my own computer,with faster service.

The kids here are using wireless routers, and mooching off of their unsuspecting neighbors' unsecured wireless.
Too cool, huh?
Saves money til they get a little more settled in, but it makes for a slow go in the mean time.

RW: as for Weed... it is still the best part of the whole drive, that stretch from Weed to Medford. I recommend it to anybody with an itch for cool scenery.

I'll be juicing when I get back. Maybe Friday.

Friday, September 24, 2010

On The Road Again

I'll be hitting the trail in the morning, taking the northbound route (my favorite). Destination: Seattle.

Going up to check on my daughter, who moved there a few weeks ago to begin a new life. That, and she's been calling every other day wanting to know how soon I can visit. I would prefer to hit the passes before winter's snow sets in, so the present seems to be the wiser choice.
(Now, watch it snow or ice or something as soon as I pass through Redding.)

Plans are to be back in SoCal sometime next Friday. In the interim, you'll have to settle with whatever posts Tully can throw against the wall.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sometimes It Works

Last Sunday, the household was gathered around the television watching The Chicago Bears beat the cowboys.
After that was over, Wife wants to watch the Chargers game, but the Chargers were blacked out, so I tried to find it on NFL Sunday Ticket, which I subscribe to, and it was blacked out there,too.

Sunday Ticket advertises "See Every Game" and "No Blackouts", so I called DishNetwork to complain and the gal on the other end offers her apologies, and cant explain why the Chargers were blacked out. Politely, I demanded a refund for that day, since I wasn't getting the day's service, and hopefully they will do better next time.

She's all good with that demand, and proceeds to credit my account for $15, at $5 a month for the next three months.
Oh no, I countered. I paid upfront for service and I wasn't going to accept a refund on time. I want it all, immediately.
Or, they could provide the service first, and I would agree to pay for it three months later. Fair is fair.

She wasn't authorized to do that and forwarded me to another department that had more options/authority at their disposal.

Once again, I stated the case, and requested either they enter the code and turn on my game, or accept any future payments over a three-month delay after service was satisfactorily rendered.

She countered me, explaining the presence of small print along the bottom of my screen during a Sunday Ticket ad, declaring that local blackouts do still apply.
Small print?
I called bullshit.
The voice over exclaims "SEE EVERY GAME!" and "NO BLACKOUTS!" and never mentions exceptions to these claims or references to difficult to read small print briefly flashed along the bottom of my screen.
I accused them of fraud and unfair practices, along with an explanation that the San Diego Chargers are not my local broadcast market in the first place and that I live in the Los Angeles broadcast market, where the Raiders actually played and the Chargers never have, but I can still receive the Raiders game despite their black out.

When it was all over, I walked away with a $120 credit to my account, representing a 40% reduction in the subscription price of the Sunday Ticket. Not a bad score at all, if you ask me.

Moral: Bitch. It might get you somewhere.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Story (Finale)

To finish this tale of eventual woe...

I hit up the shelter first thing after work on Monday. The Wife and I had been texting ideas for naming them, so I was in excite mode.

I enter the cattery, say 'Hi' to a couple of gals who recognised me from Saturday, but something wasn't right. Seems they aren't much in the mood for meeting my gaze this time. I didn't see Shelly, but another gal came bouncing up, asking me if I was going to pick a new kitty. Huh?
No, I'm here for those two deaf ones.
Uh,oh...Ummm...
We had some problems this morning, and... uh....

Evidently, several of the cats had contracted what they said was an upper respiratory infection and had been moved to isolation. According to them, it was highly contagious. It was explained that in "ISO" they would receive meds, and then hopefully be released for adoption after about ten days of observation.

So, I didn't get my cats, but was told I can call back in a couple of days to check up on them. (OR, pick something else from the cattery, they stressed. I didn't like the sound of that). Before I left, I made damn sure my boys were indeed in ISO and not 'some other' place. They were.

Still not sure if they were feeding me Happy Talk or not, and them unwilling (or unable) to grant me any additional details, I left, making it very clear to all involved that they would be hearing from me again.
I wasn't so cheerful anymore, and they knew it.

On Wednesday, I called.
The news was not good.

In so many round about words, I was informed that my boys would not be available for adoption ever again.
Still, the chicken shit bitch didn't have the guts to be straight up with me. But I knew.

On Saturday, the Wife got tired of seeing me mope around and ordered me back to the shelter. Maybe somebody else might touch my spirit like those did. (She doesn't get it, but she meant well.) While I was there, Shelly approached, offering her apologies. After some conversation, she offered to investigate the details of the matter and get back to me privately. (Just tween her and I, because she wasn't suppose to do this.)
She also offered that there may be a slim, very slim, chance that they may have been placed with a foster to care for them as it happens on rare occassions.

She called me later that day. According to the files, the boys were too sick to be saved with the shelter's resources. No, it wasn't a cull. And they weren't alone. In total, ten cats went down from the outbreak. She explained that they were probably already infected when I had been there, with the syptoms not showing up til Monday morning.
Quite possibly, bringing them home with me would have infected Maimie, my other cat. Maybe, it's just better that I did wait that extra day.

But still, I can't help the feeling that, with my procrastination, I have failed them.
And it hurts.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Story cont...

"What do you think, Honey?"
"I think they're cool, Baby. I want them."
"All three?"
"Three's a bit much, I know..."
(yes, this is how the Wife and I really do talk to each other , 'Baby' this 'Honey' that.)

We wander around a bit more and get approached by Shelter gal #1. Turns out her name is Shelly. Shelly talks to us about deaf cats, and how they are so hard to place. She tells us... everybody walks through that door, sees the three brothers, sees the "DEAF" warning and moves on.
It happens every time. Nobody wants a Special Needs pet.
I tell her there no Special Needs involved. These are cats like any other. They need nothing special, just a little consideration.
She agrees, and goes on about other folks are afraid they got health defects and whatever, but such is just not the case.
Wife tells her those are the ones that I picked, if only there wasn't three of them. Then she turns to me and says, "Maybe they'll split them up, and we take the two deaf ones?"
"Baby, you sure? If you ain't cool with it, I won't do it."
"Yeah, Honey. It's a special case, and I saw how your eyes light up when you held them. "
Shelly gets all excited now... "Really? Oh my, this is a first. I saw how you took to each other. Nobody else could do that with them."
But what about the third?
No problem. A pure white cat gets adopted quick. Shelly says she can place him. It was the two blue-eyeds that will end up, well, you know... It happens all the time (about once every month or two, according to her.)

This was late Saturday afternoon, and the shelter was closing for the weekend, so I told Shelly we would talk it over some more, and to look for me Monday.
I had to make sure that the Wife was totally on board, and wanted to give her time to dream up any reservations.
Instead, she got more with it and on Sunday I was busy setting up the new kids' transition room, getting more excited with every passing minute...

A lot of people, stupid people that is, do not take the time to transition a cat to new surroundings and smells. They usually end up with a frightened, confused and traumatised beast who hides in corners and closets for several days growling and hissing, pissing on everything... and they think the cat is defective. Kinda like this uninformed couple did.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Story

"Be careful. Them're scared and not much friendly... been growlin and hissin at all day... everything..."

For some reason, in a room full of caged cats, these caught my eye. I gazed at the three white angels huddled together in the corner of the cage.
They had an aura about them. Something that I can't put my finger on, 'cept to say some kinda of 'it', and they had 'It'.

"They come in together, littermates. A girl and her mother couldn't keep 'em anymore. They were cryin and sobbing. So sad."
"That sucks."
"Two of 'em are deaf. See the blue eyes?" **

I was reading the info tags on the cage: Eight months old... kept indoors...good with other cats... box trained... uses scratching post, etc. All the positives I was looking for. And all toms that needed de-nutting. And in highlighted letters: DEAF.

But I was looking for one cat, not a whole family at this time.
I moved on.

Row upon row, but I ended up back in front of the three brothers. I clucked at them a few times, and the green-eyed looked up and tilted his head, then ears-pinned and straight at me... hisssss.

"I told ya."

Blowing into his face, I clucked again. Looking away, he stopped hissing, eyes down.
"He's fine. Just scared is all."
I walked away to browse some more, but like a boomerang I was soon back at the brothers again.
Turning to The Wife, "These boys are cool."

Another shelter gal walks in "They're deaf!"
"Yeah, I know..."
"They been hissin all day..."
"Open the cage."
"But they been hissi-"
"I got that. Please... open the cage."
"Did you fill out an application? You need to fill one before you can-"
Turning to a third gal, "Just open it."
Wife whispers to her "It's Ok, Honey. He knows ..."

Gal #3 unlocks the cage, I stick my hand slowly, palm up and low to the floor.
More hissing from the two blue-eyedes, but this time the green-eye just scrunches low in retreat.

Ha! not so tough now.

Softly rubbing the top of his head, and then behind his ears, working my way down the back of his neck. Gently but firmly, I grab his scruff and lift him out...

He's mine, and curls up into the crook of my arm for more rubbing and petting.
He's still not so sure about the situation, but I sense his muscles relaxing.
I flip him over, exposing his tummy with his shoulders and head supported in my hand. After a few, he turns to jelly as his head flops backward. He's purring.
I win.
Shelter Gal #1 is beaming.
"He likes you."
"Just gotta know how to deal with 'em is all."
Quickly, I conquer the two blue-eyedes' as well.

"Them're deaf!" announces a #4 gal, who just walked into the room. I think she was Supervisor Boss Bitch, or something like that. She had an attitude, and it made the kitty in my hand nervous.
"But I ain't. How many more times ya'll gonna tell me that."
"It's just that some people-"
"I'm not some people... A little understanding , they'll be fine."





**Deafness occurs in cats when the same genes that combine for white fur and blue eyes also equal deafness. (Cats with only one blue eye are deaf on just that side.) This is the case for about 90% born with this genetic combination. It's not a common phenomenon, but it happens often enough to make cat fetishists well aware of it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Heartsick and angry right now.
Will fill you in when I'm able, which probably won't happen til after I stop crying and cursing peoples' mothers.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Practical Application

I've griped at you previously about the horrendous conditions one must endure when flying commercially: bitchy flight staff, uppity counter help, intimate body searches, being squeezed into an aircraft like Jews headed to Auschwitz...
It's gone too far, or so I thought.

Now, some genius has come up with this nifty idea:
The new “saddle” seat, to be unveiled at a conference this
week, increases the number of seats an airline can have in its economy class.

The design, named the “SkyRider”, allows just 23 inches of legroom,
which is about seven inches less than the average seat's space of 30 inches.

Shaped similar to a horse saddle, passengers sit at an angle, with their
weight taken on by their legs. It allows seats to be overlapped.
It looks like this:



But don't let the picture fool you. Odds are you wont be saddled next to the nice smelling babe with the narrow hips and skinny thighs.


Nah!
You'll be strapped-in real tight next the 350lb sweaty dude whose deodorant failed sometime last week, because that's just how this shit works.

Well, dammit, clearly these fuckers have no limits, and with it being huntin' season , understandably my mind is obsessed with all that goes with, so I'm gonna go all crazy-like and propose and idea of my own...

Presently, I'm working on a new seating design that is sure to revolutionise air travel worldwide.



First, we take the concept of the standard deer cooler...






And then we blend it with The Hunter Safety System, as you may recall, that I had endorsed just two brief years ago.

And I know this vest thingy works, having allowed myself some time to hang from it (for a few minutes), and it wasn't any less comfortable than your typical butt sweat-soaked airline seat.

Add, a short bungee cord near the top to take some of the jolt out of air turbulence...

And then charge tickets by the pound: those who require more airspace would pay more, obviously.

This would also solve the 'Fat Sweaty Guy Shoe-Horned Next To You' problem. His excess will never again be oozing over into the space you paid for.
And you know what else? He just may decide that flying isn't economical for him anymore since he won't have the skinny guy next to him subsidising his fare...

Which would be increase your chances of hanging out with that sweet-smelling babe for a couple of hours without first having to pony up for drinks.

Win,Win?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lifestyle Choices

I've been going through this process for a time, nearing on a couple of years already. I'm thinking that now is the moment for me to grow. To open my arms and expand the heart and the mind, to find the will to make it happen...

I know that I want to. I've wanted to for some time but have been hesitant.
Bringing someone new into my life doesn't have to be the diminishing of another's memory. That much is easy to grasp.
Instead, my thoughts rest more with the reality that the new family member won't be like the dearly departed, which is to be expected as individuals do behave individually, and if I can accept that reality in practice as well as in thought.

The Wife, in her goodness, has been supportive of my decision, whatever the decision will be.

I'm thinking that I've already made it, but I'll sit on this for a few more days, just to be sure, while my angel keeps whispering in my ear.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Let The Games Begin

Man, I've been waiting seven months for this.

Considering the Saints' D was all over Favre like stink on shit to end the Vikings' season last year, the big question might be the Vikings' ability to keep the old guy safe this time around.
Gotta hand it to the Geezer, though. I thought he was done after his last beating and certainly didn't expect him to return for another.

Will the Saints attempt to brutalize Favre as badly without having as much on the line this time?
Will the Vikings try to pay it back against Drew Brees?

We will soon find out.

I'm giving the edge to the Vikings. They got the most to prove while the Saints already have The Ring.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Running It Back?

By now we've all heard the saga of Reggie Bush and the 'improprieties' he was engaged in at USC.
Yeah, I know: The Rules Are The Rules.
Bush is accused of bringing shame to himself and his school, and the latest news is that the Heisman people are considering taking his trophy away from him.

This is where I draw the line.
Reggie Bush would have won that trophy regardless of what extra gravy he was able to bring to his family while playing as an 'amateur'.
And can you really blame a young man, not much more than a kid really, for taking advantage of a situation while the taking was good?

What needs to be dealt with is the mirage of young athletes being presented as amateurs while they receive hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of compensation over their tenure in the form of a free education, food, lodging, publicity, chicks... They're getting paid, and paid plenty, at some of these elite schools, like USC.

The other end of the bargain is that the school gets to market them and make millions more.
So why is it OK for Pete Carroll to earn millions of dollars off of the likes of Reggie Bush, while denying Reggie's family a little benefit,too?
Where is the call for Pete Carroll to payback his earnings for that season?
Anyone? I'm sure he knew why he didn't know anything, if you get what I'm saying...

Reggie Bush just got a better contract, is all. He was able to avoid the maximum wage level set by the NCAA, and learned plenty about life at the next level. I'd say he got an education in sports marketing. It doesn't need to be a degree program to be education, if you ask me.

And now they want to take away his trophy. How about requiring Reggie to return to USC and run all those yards backwards,too.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hot Sauce Correction Part Two

Tully here,

As the debate on hot sauce progresses, it becomes increasingly apparent to me that those who like tongue-burning habanero sauces are of a different breed than those of us who enjoy a hot sauce with flavor. The latter are sensible sensualists, the former sado-masochistic. It brings to mind, in fact, the perverse pleasure a Nazi would take in torturing a fellow human being--taking pleasure in those sharp pangs of pain. Let's just say it: Hitler was a habanero-eater. Just like Bike Bubba and all the rest of you sickos!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Machete

Ok, not quite sure how to proceed with this one. There's going to be a lot of talk about it, so no point in my going over the story line.
First off, it's a spoof. Everything is caricatured and exaggerated so far beyond reality, playing upon every stereotype, there is something in here to give pause to just about everyone.
I'll just warn you: if you see yourself here,regardless of what side you may be on, you may want to tone your shit down a little.
Gratuitous violence. Gratuitous nudity. Wild-eyed Rednecks. Mexicans on cultural steroids. Does it sound fun so far? It is. I haven't laughed this hard in a movie since I don't know when.

Pleasant surprise: Robert Deniro in a role I've never seen him in before: as a race-baiting Texas senator who's made the immigration issue his career's focus. He pulls it off so well that I didn't recognize him at first.

The bad: Steven Seagal, who plays a Mexican drug lord so poorly he can't even keep the accent up. He deserves to never work again.

The message, as I see it, is how both sides of the border issue are being manipulated by the powerful people on both sides of the border for their own gain. There's probably more truth here than people realize if they bother to see it.

It's a must movie. I think you'll love it.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Self-Godwining

From wiki:
Godwin's law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin's law of Nazi Analogies) is a humorous observation made by Mike Godwin in 1989 which has become an Internet adage. It states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches." In other words, Godwin put forth the sarcastic observation that, given enough time, all discussions—regardless of topic or scope—inevitably wind up being about Hitler and the Nazis.

Godwin's law is often cited in online discussions as a deterrent against the use of arguments in the widespread reductio ad Hitlerum form. The rule does not make any statement about whether any particular reference or comparison to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that the likelihood of such a reference or comparison arising increases as the discussion progresses. It is precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued[4] that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact.


And this:

There are many corollaries to Godwin's law, some considered more canonical (by being adopted by Godwin himself) than others. For example, there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically "lost" whatever debate was in progress. This principle itself is frequently referred to as Godwin's law.


Emphasis mine.

In my last discussion, I intentionally self-Godwined.
Trying to compare an illegal alien dishwasher to a convicted murderer, and then using this comparison to justifying taking from his innocent children the only grace the roulette wheel of life may ever offer them, was just more than this two-fingered typist (and mediocre intellect) serving as your host was able to deal with while keeping his honor intact.
Rather than continue, I turned the knife and thrust backward.
You win.

It was harakiri, not name calling.
I was not, and am not, calling anybody here a Nazi.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Correction

I (Tully) am a firm believer in the principle that, with great editorial license comes great editorial responsibility. In an earlier post on hot sauces, I claimed that Tomazula was my favorite hot sauce. Those, my dear readers, were the claims of a deranged mind. I confused Tomazula with Picamas, which is my actual favorite. Rich, flavorful ripe chili peppers go into this sauce to give it a thick, ketchup-like consistency without the use of Guar Gum or any such nonsense. Yes, the thickness comes from adding flour. The result is that the vinegar is delightfully understated. Yes the label features a less than dynamic characterization of the people to whom it is marketed. But it is indeed a Mexican's hot sauce. It has not so much a bite as a slow, sumptuous chew. Biting-heat is a taste of Tex-Mex origin...as I understand it the premium among actual Mexicans is placed upon richness. That's a generalization, but I think it's as true as this sauce is enjoyable.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Birthright Citizenship III

OK, here I am picking up where I left off at what seems like too long ago, now:
Birthright Citizenship, and it's 'problems', as they are seen as problems by others.

The element of the issue I want to discuss this time is the Mexican side: Mojados, and the babies that anchor them. (Maybe we can call them mojaditos?)

I'm already on record with opposing the status quo that allows mass mojadoism, and those who cater to them. But I'm not really talking about them.
Nope. I'm not. The issue is Birthright Citizenship, and the citizenship status bestowed upon their offspring who are born here.

I've heard some compelling arguments in favor of the idea that the Supreme Court can rule against citizenship status for mojaditos, all based upon the law and other considerations. I'm seeing that they may have a valid point, even from my limited conservative view of what the constitution means. That aside, I also believe that the words of the constitution mean what the common 'man on the street' would understand them to mean in the context in which they were adopted. So, I can see this going both ways, and both ways being accurate from a legal perspective (a perspective that I, admittedly, am not schooled in, so take that for what it's worth.)

(Despite these arguments, I still favor the simple language interpretation that currently rules the day. To me, this interpretation is the most legit because it passes the 'man on the street' test. Once again, for what it's worth.)

Now, on the subject of mojaditos, and a Supreme Court challenge: do we really want to go there?

Anybody who tells me they want to deny status to these children must first explain how the hell they can take a kid who spends his whole life living in Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago or Topeka ... and then say he is not a part of our national community?
And if he's discovered by I.C.E., what are they gonna do with him? Deport him to a country that he's never been in, or a part of?

This is America. We don't penalize kids for the misdeeds of their parents, and the 14th Amendment not only did some justice for Blacks, it also says, if indirectly, that one's social caste is not fixed at birth.

These are American kids, who grow up to become American adults. And if you do not believe this, believe it anyway. Believe it because I said so.
I've spent my entire life (from age three) surrounded and immersed in the people and culture of first generation Mexicans.
Sure, many of them may possess peculiar interests in the absurd distractions of mariachi, FIFA, and classically mutilated Chevys in colors God never intended.
Truth be told...
And I'll say it...
In large numbers they absolutely do provide annoyances of epic proportions. Well, so did (and still do) the Irish, and everybody seems to think them damned Irish are pretty cool, now.

But they also host Super Bowl parties, join Little League, barbecue on July 4th and enlist, and die, in the United States Armed Forces at levels far and above their representation in the population.
(Among the fallen: the Mexico-born cousin of a coworker who was brought to this country as a baby, and amnestied according to the 1986 law)
They mow their own lawns, wash their own cars, and their kids aren't afraid to break a sweat for a few bucks.
Hey guys, Social Security is going broke. Americans won't breed at replacement levels, and white boys think they're entitled. Who's taxes are gonna pay for all that shit you promised for yourself later in life?

You don't have to like the mojaditos, but don't blame them. Blame the The Power that wants the status quo to continue. Any attempt to deny them status is mean spirited, ignorant and unjust.
It's not only wrong for America, it's also not what America is about.
It's just wrong, period.