May 31, 2011

Tuesday FOD

Out of respect for the day, I did not do a FOD post on Monday.  I wish Blowie had similar respect for memorializing veterans. 

I wondered why Blowie chose a military-based holiday to announce his new Joint Chiefs Chairman.  I thought it crass to call a Memorial Day Rose Garden command performance press conference and require military flag officers to 'work' on a day when they should be with troops, paying their respects to those who gave their lives in the service of our country.

Clearly, Blowie was hoping that the Memorial Day announcement would (a) get pending business out of the way or (b) try to drum up some military approval points before he, once again, headed out to the golf course for a round of golf on a day intended to honor military casualties.

This is the second time Blowie played golf on Memorial Day (2009 as well) and the 70th round since he took office. 

I hope he squeezes in at least 70 more rounds in the next year.  It won't go unnoticed. Maybe next year he will play his Memorial Day round in Myrtle Beach or Miami.

May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

It doesn't seem appropriate to say "Happy Memorial Day".  Not that it is supposed to be a morose day, but it is a day to honor those who died in the service of our country.  I met Command Sergeant Major Eric Cooke in Buedingen, Germany in 1997.  I think the last time I saw him was at the 1st Armored Division Spring Formal in Bad Muenster, Germany in 2000, just a couple of months before I returned stateside.  CSM Cooke was killed in action by an IED on Christmas Eve, 2003.  A good man, soldier, leader and husband.  Gone much too soon.

CSM Eric F. Cooke was born in Phoenix, Arizona, on September 23, 1960.  He entered the Army in April 1978 and attended basic and advanced individual training at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  CSM Cooke demonstrated his personal commitment to the Army and his soldiers as he advanced to positions of greater responsibility.  His career culminated with his assignment as the Command Sergeant Major of the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division (Old Ironsides). 
Throughout his 25-year career, CSM Cooke held numerous leadership positions, to include: Tank Commander, 8th Infantry Division; Platoon Sergeant, 1st Cavalry Division; Platoon Sergeant, 4th Infantry Division; Platoon Sergeant, 9th Infantry Division; Platoon Sergeant, Platoon Leader, Battalion Master Gunner, First Sergeant, 24th Infantry Division; First Sergeant, 1st Armored Division; Battalion Operations Sergeant Major, 1st Infantry Division; CDM, 1-1 Cavalry, 1st Armored Division; and CSM, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division. 
His military education included: Primary Leadership Development Course as a member of the Commandant's List; Basic Noncommissioned Officers Course as a member of the Commandant's List; Advanced Noncommissioned Officers Course, where he was the Distinguished Honor Graduate; Airborne School; First Sergeant's Course as a member of the Commandant's List; Battle Staff Course; Sergeants Major Academy, Class 49 as a member of the Commandant's List; and the Command Sergeants Major Course. 
CSM Cooke's operational deployments included: Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm as Platoon Sergeant, A Company, 4th Battalion, 34th Armor (1991); Operation Vigilant Warrior as the First Sergeant, D Company, 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor (1994); Operation Joint Endeavor as the First Sergeant, HHT, 1st Squadron, 1st United States Cavalry (1995); Operation Joint Guard as the Operations Sergeant Major, 2nd Battalion, 63rd Armor (1999); and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003).  His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters, and the Army Commendation Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters.  
On 24 December 2003, CSM Cooke was Killed in action while conduction combat operations in Baghdad, Iraq.  
He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, The Purple Heart and the Legion of Merit.

May 29, 2011

Distraction Tactics and Obamaspeak

Crash, my little guy, has amassed a rather impressive collection of toy vehicles.  Since he could indicate any sort of preference, anything with wheels has been his toy of choice. 

He inherited a good number of toy rides from his older brother, but the fleet grows exponentially with each gift giving holiday, be it through a car present or birthday money to buy another car with.  When we are gearing up to go shopping, Crash will check with me to see what stops we will be making.  If our errands include any sort of big box discount store, he will fish a buck out of his piggy bank.

A couple of years ago, both Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars were about 93 cents and 97 cents, respectively.  They both creeped up a few cents early last year.  Still, every week, Crash could bring his dollar (with me covering the tax) for his routine car purchase.

This week we stopped in at the local Wally World.  In the course of one week, the price of toy cars has gone up 10 cents. 

I thought it inopportune and inexplicable timing that the very week that gas prices dropped 30 cents or more, the price of toy cars increased 10%.

While I feel for the hit to my kid's car budget, I am more concerned with how many other little price adjustments have been made.  It feels a lot like the distraction tactics taking place each day on the national stage.  Look over here, we killed Osama!  Ignore the unemployment numbers.  Look over here, I'm visiting the peons at the Lincoln Memorial that would have been closed if the government shutdown!  Ignore that we still don't have a budget.  I passed Obamacare! Ignore the waivers being handed out like Halloween candy.

Consumer spending is up!  Ignore that those numbers really represent people paying more for everything. 

May 27, 2011

President Goodhair?

Perry said he wouldn't, but Chris Christie seems to be the only politician that can keep his word when it comes to the highest elected office in the USA.

If the choices were Blowie or Rick Perry, well, duh.  President Goodhair it would be.

I am not as convinced of his nomination as the media seems to be.  I don't think that the nation is far enough removed from the last Texas governor that ran for president.  I think the historical memory of W will be much better than the emotional memory that prevails today.  And I think that works against any Republican from Texas running for higher office.

I'm not Perry's biggest fan, but we could do a whole lot worse.

Just Shoot Me Now

Do you remember the moments, as a teen, when you truly felt superior to your parents?  I'm not talking about those hormonal rebellious moments, but rather, those quietly climactic moments when your parents couldn't help with a (new) math problem or immediately recall the third law of thermodynamics or have a meaningful conversation about literature because they had never read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

I think I am in for a summer of just such moments.  I'm a pretty smart cookie, but my oldest, entering her final year of high school, has reached that point - both personally and via the curriculum of her school - wherein she is studying things that I don't remember, never studied myself or the information never made the transfer to my long-term memory.

As you might have guessed from the Solzhenitsyn book title above, the school just sent out their summer reading list.  I'm not a fan of any of it; the obligatory Shakespeare (Macbeth and King Lear - meh) the Russian novel and Heart of Darkness

Bang is supposed to read The Scarlet Letter over the summer.  Great, a kid who still giggles at getting me to say 'underwear' ('Is it under there, mom?  Under where?  Tee-hee, you just said underwear!') reading a book about adultery.  The Terminator's love child story has been on every news outlet lately, yet my 13-year old is supposed to appreciate how risque this subject matter was at the time of it's writing?  Comprehend the immorality theme?

Claiming ignorance is probably preferable to discussing the material.  Check back in three months.  I am destined to be the idiot parent of two genius teenagers.

May 26, 2011

Where's the headlines?

Obama's budget proposal was defeated 97-0 in the Senate on Wednesday.

I heard and read plenty about Paul Ryan's plan, with every Dim getting their moment in the spotlight to criticize and critique.  Yet, none of Senate Dims voted for their own president's plan.  And there is a dearth of news coverage about the vote.

I have been very discouraged about the likelihood of a candidate that could beat Obama next year.  I am still concerned about the lack of a viable candidate - and chomping at the bit, now, for one to materialize.  If the Dims aren't supporting their own Messiah, then the time is ripe for us.

I could stand Mitt Romney, but I think his faith is an issue.  Newt is already choking on his own words, Pawlenty too unknown.  Christie won't run, Cain can't win and we are still light years away from electing a third party candidate.

The planets are aligning, we need our Reagan to materialize.

May 25, 2011

Prove me wrong.

I've said it before.  Maybe not here, I'm not sure.  I really should label my posts to make it easier to remember when I have talked about something before.  If not here, I have said it before, if we took all the man made crap out of the ocean; boats, buoys, docks, platforms, bridge supports, shipwrecks, trash, man made islands, I think that the ocean level would be lower.  As in, take your global warming BS about the ocean levels rising because the polar icecaps are melting and shove it up your arse.  It is a simple matter of displacement.

To add to my human-intervention displacement as an argument against global warming claims theory, I offer this; as we have put things in the water that made the levels appear to rise, we have also been removing and displacing the dry solid stuff that we measure it against.  I came to this conclusion the fourth time I swept my kitchen floor today.  Every time my Labradors and children go outside, they track in at least a 1/4 cup of dirt.  After a good rain, triple that amount.  Daily shoe and foot trappings add another little bit to the total. 

What do we do with it?  We sweep it up and throw it away.  A truck comes by once a week and takes it to a big pile of other dirt and debris.  Flat land turned into garbage mountain. 

The ocean level thing is an even easier connection.  I have a jar with at least a cup of sand - emptied out of a suitcase after we went to Hawaii.  Go to the beach, get sand in your shoes (and crack) bring it home to be swept up, thrown away or washed down the drain - which goes to the sewer treatment plant, collects with the sludge and is redistributed onto dry land far from the sea.  

Let's also think about drainage.  Everything flows downhill, either by nature or man-made means.  I don't rake my leaves or block my pasture run off (sandy loam and horse manure), instead watching it float down the hill and to the west. Where does it all end up?  From here, down the Trinity River and into the Gulf of Mexico...adding micrometers of silt and causing the water level to rise.

It's no wonder the warmistas cling to the ocean level data, we are making it easy for them to have an impressive number.  They never stop to think about the human actions that are causing the water to rise and the land level to drop.

May 24, 2011

Next time, for sure

I didn't get punched, but I feel confident that I could have. 

That's good news for those following along in my cryptic story line about local politics.

I obviously got on the guy's nerves, as he talked to me like a three year old and accused me, in a public meeting, in a room full of people of...wait for it...rolling my eyes.  Oooohhh.  It was actually a mascara malfunction, but I'll roll with it.  He soon got schooled on his lack of knowledge, by everyone.  We all had a great deal of fun with it. 

If I had hung around, he would have come unhinged, I have no doubt.  Unfortunately, we were in a spot of a weather situation, with a tornado warning sounding as I walked out the door.  My family was in the car, 15 miles to the south and in the direct path of weather even worse than what was going on at home.  I chose to get home and wait for my family, rather than provoke the village idiot.

Two-fer Tuesday

I remember when I first moved to Texas the rock station did two-fer Tuesday's, playing two songs by each artist. It is hard to stomach that those songs are now in heavy rotation on the "classic rock" station. I don't feel of a "classic" age.

Tonight I could end up in the hospital or jail. Or just thoroughly entertained. As I have said before, I have to be very careful about what I type. It can't be any combination of key words that would show up in a search engine, as the political ugliness in my town is at a fever pitch.

I read that Obama's team is digging up dirt on Chris Christie, even though he has unequivocally stated that he is not running for president. They may have better resources and muscle power, but I would pit small town vipers against D.C. hired guns any day, in the dirt digging department.

Back to tonight: our new municipal leader is seated tonight. He has a criminal record, current indictments, reams of charges from other states that we haven't fully vetted, an extremely short fuse and a problem with women. One of his early family violence convictions involved beating up his sister and threatening the rest of his family. Real. Prince. Of. A. Guy.

While some of the good guys are trying to unearth all of the documentation to disqualify the prick on technical grounds, my plan of attack is to see quicker results. I figure that Mr Short Fuse taking a swing at a girl should end his political aspirations sooner rather than later. I can take a punch and plan on provoking goading smiling sweetly and stepping into the firing line this evening.

May 23, 2011

FOD

I am of Irish descent.  I guess that explains my love of starchy vegetables, beer, whiskey and music.  It also explains why I have an extra measure of embarrassment for being an American today.  Ladies and gents, the first Wookie arriving on the Emerald Isle:

Photo from Reuters via Daily Mail        





My grandma was a big fan of Final Net, head scarves and plastic rain bonnets. She could have taught Michelle a thing or two about keeping your hair tamed in public.

Monday

I was going to post the Carpenter's song Rainy Days and Mondays but decided not to drag you down with me.

FOD later.

May 22, 2011

Unthinkable, unspeakable tragedies

I am often amazed by the strength that people show in the face of tragedy.  I am just as often repulsed by people that can't handle everyday stresses, but that is a rant for another day.

My nature is to want the details.  When my animal loving child wanted to adopt a rescue horse, I demanded a very detailed proposal from her, with the sort of information most people would expect; food type, rate of consumption, cost, annual veterinary care costs, most common unexpected medical situations, etc.  I also demanded to know what to do if I walked out one morning and the horse was dead.  Who do I call?  Do they bury it?  Haul it away?  Details.

When I hear of situations that I have never faced or heard of, I want to know how it was handled.  Sometimes the details are more disturbing than the tragedy.

We have a friend that is a college football coach.  The recruiting period just ended and he was telling us of talking to a recruit in Louisiana one day last week.  The family was okay on that day, but had been told that their home would be underwater in 5 or 6 days and they were preparing to evacuate.  Can you imagine?  What do you do?  Move out, sure.  Or move everything up high if your house allows.  But, then do you wait and watch the water come?  Do you go somewhere else and suffer, not knowing what is happening and when? Wait for the government to tell you when you can return?

I understand the numbers, the flooding of sparsely populated areas and farmland in exchange for big cities.  Agonizing wait is the understatement of the century, when it is waiting for your home and livelihood to be obliterated.  I am not nearly engineering-minded enough to make a judgement on whether the years of floodwater management, levees, spillways and catch basins have helped or just delayed inevitable situations.  I do wonder what our nation might be like, had we left nature alone. 

May 20, 2011

Buzzard Bait

I had a brief wildlife encounter today.   Gus, my younger, dumber dog, was barking his head off in the yard.  When I went to yell at him, he wouldn't come to the door, and he was clearly barking at something.  I finally got his attention and, once he was inside, I trudged out toward the back fence line.  What I found was a turkey buzzard that had gotten a piece of wire wrapped around one giant wing.  A piece of wire that was also wrapped around a high branch in a tree and originated from one of the utility line high wires.

The wire was your basic 10 or 12 gauge galvanized wire.  It appeared as though this wire had been coiled around two other wires to hold them together in between utility poles.  We had noticed that there were spots that it was loose, and recent wind must have caused it to become tangled in the tree branch and essentially created a trip wire for unsuspecting birds.

The buzzard was alive, but clearly worn out from trying to get free and from my idiot dog barking at it for 10 minutes.  I thought he might be hurt, due to the cant of the wing.  I called our local animal guy - we don't have an actual animal control officer, instead we have a nice gentleman that contracts with several local towns to offer similar services.  I knew he had a knack with birds after an incident several years ago, wherein a large macaw had landed in my mom's yard.

Before the animal guy could arrive, the police chief pulled in my driveway intending to drop off some paperwork.  My outfit of wellies, elbow length gloves and an assortment of wire cutters alerted him that something was up.  He was intrigued, so we walked out and, ultimately, he got hold of the wire, the bird held still and he freed it.   It flew happily away, no worse for the wear.

After the excitement, I came in to call our electric company to inquire about having the up-high wire situation remedied so I don't clothesline any more flying animals.  Incredibly, in the midst of horrific storms, a crew came right out and then left me a phone message indicating that the line in question was the cable TV line, 'just give them a call ma'am and they should be able to take care of it'.

That is just great.  There hasn't been a cable company in this town for at least 16 years.  The one and only cable company went bankrupt about that long ago, when Dish and Direct became all the rage.  Who do you call for utility line service for a utility that doesn't exist?

May 19, 2011

Walkin' Boots

I have never, NEVER understood the Stand By Your Man (or in this case, woman) mentality.  Now, I am not saying that I don't believe in forgiveness.  That is between the parties at hand.  What I am talking about are the wives, husbands, parents, friends, that will stand by a adulterer, rapist, murderer or thief and boldly claim that we just don't know all the facts.  Or that we shouldn't judge.  Then there are the tears and the handholding.

Politician's wives perfected this persona eons ago.  Just ask Hilary how that coaching session goes. 

Locally in the Fort Worth - Dallas metroplex this week, we have had news stories about three educators that are accused of having 'improper' relationships with students.  Two of them are a minor story compared to Ms Brittni Colleps, a 27-year old accused of having sex with 5 of her students.  Maybe all at the same time, according to the hints the police are dropping. Today, Ms Colleps's husband appeared, standing proudly with his wife, to make a statement: 
In a written statement, the military veteran promised to stand by Brittni Colleps despite the accusations that she had sex with five 18-year-old students from Kennedale High School.
"If you know Brittni, you will know that she is an empathetic, compassionate, loving, loyal person," he said. "Brittni is a loving mother that continuously puts the needs of her children above her own." 
"I hope you will not pass judgment on her because you don't have all the facts or details according to the situation," he said. 
There is video tape, but I suppose there could be some extenuating circumstances to explain the 5 on a teacher action, right?

I think I would have a much different reaction to finding out my spouse was cheating on me:

May 18, 2011

It's not that I haven't wanted to blog

I left the house at 7:30 this morning and just walked back in, with a few minutes to spare before I delve into dinner preparations.

This morning we had to canvass the election of our town drunk and his buddy.  No one wanted to make the motion, but all it signifies is that we have the official vote count.  The mayor-elect was not present.  That might have had something to do with the fact that our town secretary scheduled the meeting to coincide with the mayor-elect's arraignment hearing. 

My life would make a better sitcom than most writers could ever dream up.

May 17, 2011

I could have argued more, but I would just pay for it next year.

I laughed out loud in the tax office waiting room when I saw the news ticker announcing that Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Terminator Governator Impregnator had a secret child with a staff member.  How Kennedy-esque.

That word, impregnator, has been on my mind.  Mr Harper received, via the always classy Evite, an invitation to a men's gathering that was to take place opposite the host's wife's baby shower.  The email signature and the theme of the electronic invitation celebrated that word, 'Impregnator'.  I'm not real touchy on matters of etiquette, but that seems rather crude.

The instructions for the 'party' were to bring beer and Huggies.  A later reminder email said that there would be games of chance and an opportunity to pitch in to order some pizzas, so be sure to bring some cash.

This sort of gathering used to happen organically - people gathering at a friends apartment or home to watch a game or play poker, drinking some beer and deciding to throw their money together and get some Domino's.  Apparently, adding a demand for diapers elevates such a gathering to the realm of 'social occasion' and requires invitations and RSVPs.

I'm really not an over-sensitive prude, but I want to mention that this is a very casual acquaintance from a church we occasionally attend.  It strikes me as unseemly, to send out a mass email to every person in your contacts list, demanding beer, gifts and cash.  I am all for the new wave of casual churches, but no matter the intimacy of my relationship with any man of the cloth, I just can't see using the word 'impregnator' in their presence, or in written correspondence, or on flyers that are being passed around at church. 

Back to the news at hand.  After a reasonable wait at the tax office and one very chatty appraisal officer, I got my value reduced from a 33% increase to a modest 1.4% increase.  Success!

Small town Texas

Another wonderful day in small town paradise.

That is to say, I have been threatened, people have parked in front of my house trying to intimidate me and my town elected a criminal for mayor and his criminal buddy for a town council seat.  I hesitate to say more that is Google-able, 'cause they are trolling hard.

And I decided that today I would perform the annual tradition of trekking to the local tax appraisal office to argue about my home's appraised value.  A value that inexplicably jumped 33% this year.  In this economy.  With two foreclosures down the street.  No recent sales for comparison.  In other words, their wonky computer program screwed me again and some taxpayer funded tax office employee gets to make the manual adjustments that will bring my appraisal down to a reasonable facsimile of what passes for market value these days.

Wish me luck.

May 16, 2011

FOD

The Obama administration approved 204 new waivers to Democrats' healthcare reform law over the past month, bringing the total to 1,372.
Mine seems to be lost in the mail.  (Article here)

May 15, 2011

The problem with Disney

In a move that could be characterized as brilliant timing or distastefully opportunistic, Disney has trademarked the name "Seal Team 6".  (I'm going with distastefully opportunistic).
The trademark applications came on May 3rd, two days after the operation that killed Bin Laden… and two days after “Seal Team 6″  was included in thousands of news articles and TV programs focusing on the operation.
Disney’s trademark applications for “Seal Team 6″ cover clothing, footwear, headwear, toys, games and “entertainment and education services,” among other things.
I am not sure what I find most offensive, that Disney could own the trademark rights to the name of a group of brave Americans who risked their lives to kill the most wanted terrorist in the world, or that Disney could someday release Seal Team 6 toddler underwear.

May 14, 2011

Fire and Water

West Texas has been dry.  Real dry.
Tom Edwards, the county attorney in rural Motley County east of Lubbock, said on Friday that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives was responsible on Tuesday for sparking a fire that consumed 150 acres.
"You can quote me on it: That bunch has a real corner on stupid," Edwards told Reuters.
Bwahahaha!

Seriously, WTF were they thinking?
"We've got the federal government that has refused to provide assistance to the state on the request of Governor Perry because of all our statewide fires, and then in waltzes federal agents and they start a fire," Edwards said.
"We had high winds, we're under a burn ban because of extensive prairie fires, brush fires, and in they rolled with the idea of blowing up things."
Blowie hates Texas and is using all of his resources to twist the knife in our backs.

I think he hates farmers, too.

I get why they are opening the spillway, but sheesh, that really sucks for the people who live in the path of the water.

Note that this is yet another blow to our domestic commodities  - stock up now:
Cotton prices are up 86 percent from a year ago, and corn -- which is feed for livestock, a major ingredient in cereals and soft drinks, and the raw material used to produce ethanol -- is up 80 percent. Soybeans have risen 39 percent. The increase is attributed, in part, to worldwide demand, crop-damaging weather elsewhere and rising production of ethanol.
While the Mississippi River flooding has not had any immediate impact on prices in the supermarket, the long-term effects are still unknown. A full damage assessment can't be made until the water has receded in many places.
Some of the estimates have been dire, though.
More than 1,500 square miles of farmland in Arkansas, which produces about half of the nation's rice, have been swamped over the past few weeks. In Missouri, where a levee was intentionally blown open to ease the flood threat in the town of Cairo, Ill., more than 200 square miles of croplands were submerged, damage that will probably exceed $100 million. More than 2,100 square miles could flood in Mississippi.
And the supply chain will be disrupted:
The river's rise may also force the closing of the river to shipping, from Baton Rouge to the mouth of the Mississippi, as early as next week. That would cause grain barges from the heartland to stack up along with other commodities.
If the portion is closed, the U.S. economy could lose hundreds of millions of dollars a day. In 2008, a 100-mile stretch of the river was closed for six days after a tugboat collided with a tanker, spilling about 500,000 gallons of fuel. The Port of New Orleans estimated the shutdown cost the economy up to $275 million a day.
I don't understand the MSM economists and commentators that can read this news and still predict that our economy is steadily improving.  I guess if I had my head that far up my ass, things would look different.

May 13, 2011

Thanks Blogger

Back up and running, finally.  There are still some posts missing, but you get what you pay for.  Now I need to go back and update what I had written to be posted.  Some things aren't so funny or interesting when you've had time to sleep on it!

Drama in my little town is in high gear.  We've had news crews, threats and drunken brawls leading up to election day tomorrow.  It is entirely plausible that a 'man' that has 9 prior convictions for assault, deadly conduct and other criminal mischief, as well as being currently charged with DWI, could be elected mayor.  Funnier still, the meeting to canvass the election results is scheduled at the same time as his arraignment hearing.  Some people have a blind eye that can never be opened.  Shame on them.

To cheer me up, my husband rolled around on the floor in a fetal position after taking a hit in the cash and prizes, not once, not twice, but three times last night.  Two can be attributed to Crash, whose straight-out right jab happens to be right at crotch height for Mr Harper.  The third hit was the funniest; Mr Harper was showing off with a handball version of paddleball.  I'm still not sure if the elastic string and ball had fallen off of a paddle, or if it was that way by design, it was an elastic string with a ball on the end, looped around his middle finger.  The fact remains that he was showing off, paddling the ball with his palm; paddling high, paddling low, even managed to sit down on the edge of the couch and keep paddling - right up until he missed and the rubber ball caught the non-rubber ball on the upswing. 

I'll never fully grasp the pain that males experience in that situation, though the look on his face as he doubled over, may be what I'll be feeling when the election returns come in tomorrow night.

May 12, 2011

Crazy Day

Insane morning already.

Maybe later.

May 10, 2011

Mugshots are Forever. (And this one was a doozy)

An estimated 100 early voters in my little burg learned a simple, yet painful, lesson today.  You can't take back a vote.

Our ugly little small town election has been a mudsling-o-rama with most of the mud flying from one direction - with absolutely NO truth behind it.  The kind of stuff that you read and say, 'Surely no one is dumb enough to believe that,' as you realize that, unfortunately, they are.

For instance, nearly every single deed document in the state of Texas says "For the sum of $10 and other valuable consideration..." instead of listing the actual sale price.  Texas doesn't require the sale price to be disclosed, so the $10 plus mystery consideration indicates the exchanging of one thing of value (usually money), for another (for example; a house or land).

Nutjob that wants to be mayor sent out a mass email claiming that the town had sold its mineral rights for $10, it says so right there on the deed!  Seriously dude?  If you owned property instead of sponging off your elderly grandfather for 35 years, you might have seen a deed or two and have a grasp of the lingo.

Back to the lesson.  The painful lesson.  Some people have been duped by the nutjob.  Today all hell broke loose when it was revealed that the nutjob got a DWI in January and has an arraignment hearing next week.  This on top of an October charge of assault with bodily injury.  This on top of several years of criminal mischief, assault, deadly conduct and probation revocation charges.  Yikes! 

It has been entertaining to watch the 'Nutjob for Mayor' yard signs disappear.  No way to make those votes disappear, though.

I wonder, if the 2008 election were to take place today - same candidates, but with Blowie's track record and character now on full display - would the results be the same?  Or have people learned a painful lesson?

Uncommonly Crass

During a 1998 Millennium Evening event during the Clinton Administration, 'The American Voice in Poetry':
Featuring present and past Poets Laureate of the United States: Robert Pinsky, Robert Haas and Rita Dove. The Poets Laureate recited excerpts of famous poems and spoke about the evolution of poetry through the century. The President, Mrs. Clinton and members of the audience read their favorite poems and participated in the discussion. 
 And during the W administration:
In 2003, First Lady Laura Bush held a poetry evening, and she invited several poets to reprise the work of Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman. Although none of those poets had urged violence against a president, Bush canceled the event after left-of-center poets protested and threatened to disrupt the event.
First Lady Michelle Obama has scheduled a poetry evening for Wednesday, and she’s invited several poets, including a successful Chicago poet and rapper, Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., AKA “Common.” However, Lynn is quite controversial, in part because his poetry includes threats to shoot police and at least one passage calling for the “burn[ing]” of then-President George W. Bush.
I don't give a flip what you think of their beliefs or politics, this 'Poetry Evening' illustrates all one needs to know:
Previous Administrations = Poet Laureates and influential American poets
Blowie and the Wookie = COMMON

May 9, 2011

Late FOD

Because I just saw it and it is EXACTLY what I have been saying:

I saw it on BMEWS.

FOD with bonus Gunrunner Poster

From the always awesome No Sheeples Here
 
From Michelle Malkin

May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm taking the day off...

May 7, 2011

Random Thoughts for Saturday

I've been a little scattered lately.  I think it is a combination of things, end of the school year, work tax time, election season, etc.  This is the time of year that I find myself in constant motion, going from one appointment, meeting, activity to the next.  It highlights the shortcomings of my once razor-sharp memory.  I used to be able to maintain a non-stop schedule without issue.  Now, I better write it down, or I won't remember any of it.

Thursday afternoon, in between meetings, I stopped by the house to let the dogs out for a minute.  I got out of the car, climbed the steps and stood on my porch, pressing the unlock button on my car key fob, waiting for the front door to unlock.

Yeah, that scattered.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day.  I should be able to look forward to a little respite, right?  Well, except that the younger ones generally attempt a breakfast surprise - as in, Surprise! we started a fire and/or wrecked the kitchen.  I must remember to drop several hints tonight about how good a bowl of Cheerios would be for breakfast.

*****

Boom is taking the SAT this morning.  This is her second go-'round.  She did well the first time, but she missed her personal goal by 20 points.  I guess that was enough to suffer through another 4 hours of Number 2 pencil bubble-filling.  Judging by what my college-level educator friends and bloggers say, college freshman are less and less prepared for higher education.  As I have endured a year of College Board and ACT marketing emails for their own test preparation materials, I am beginning to conclude that the tests serve more as a revenue stream than as an actual indicator of a high school student's aptitude.

*****

My parents have become regular concert attenders at WinStar Casino, just over the Red River at Exit 1 in Oklahoma.  (They are also regular slot machine feeders, which I have never understood.  I am more of a card game gambler.  I like games that require some skill, not just a robotic pressing of buttons or pulling of levers. But, hey, they earned their money and they deserve to enjoy it).

WinStar Casino's current claim, as they expand once again, is that they are now the third largest casino in the world.  Having been there a time or two and hearing reports from the more frequent attenders, I can attest to the fact that the primary consumer of the casino offerings arrive at the site in vehicles with Texas license plates.

Being the third largest casino in the world in Thackerville, Oklahoma (population ~500) creates some staffing challenges.  Challenges that have been solved by heavy recruiting in Texas, employer provided shuttles from key north Texas cities, temporary housing for those wishing to stay on site during their 5 day work week and onsite childcare.  They get our recreational dollars and provide employment for hundreds of Texans.

At least once a year, I would like the people of Thackerville, Durant and Shreveport to raise their glasses to the south and west, and toast the idiotic legislators that continue to deny gambling in Texas.

May 5, 2011

Meat Markets

I mentioned to Kerrcarto in the comments a couple of weeks ago, that if he has the freezer space and a little cash, to buy a side of beef and pork NOW.  You might also want to invest in some yardbird.

Most of my extended family resides in Kansas, where my hearty Irish ancestors settled to farm at the turn of the (20th) century.  Most of them still farm part time, work in a related industry or at least have an active investment in farming commodities.  One family member is a agri-economist who could explain this much more eloquently than I can, but you will get the gist.  All of the aforementioned family members are currently cashing in on some hefty returns from beef futures, due to what they call an unfortunate (for people without beef futures or a herd) "perfect storm" of factors affecting the food animal markets.

In a simplistic nutshell, with lots of statistics-heavy links:

Let's start with corn.  It's freakin' expensive.  Too expensive to use as a feed in all but the most exclusive set of food animal producers.  The push to use corn as a fuel contributes to the high prices and further complicates its use as an animal food grain.  When the gummint will pay you to export your corn for ethanol, you aren't likely to sell it cheaply for domestic uses.

Can't afford to feed animals corn and the available grassland pasture is dwindling because, you guessed it, farmers are planting corn (and soybeans) on former pasture land.  One of my cousins is transporting cows to another state to graze.

Several of the countries that import meat to the U.S. have seen a spot of trouble. Think Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Japan.

People with skin in the game say that the 'official' estimates aren't even close as to what sort of increases we can expect to see at the meat counter.  There is that pesky law of supply and demand, constantly in flux due to weather, natural disasters and the global economy.

The tornadoes across the southeast killed an estimated 5 million chickens and destroyed key parts of the supply chain from grain elevators to processing plants. Experts say that consumers won't see an increase, but c'mon, how could we not?

If you are a carnivore and have a deep freeze, now is the time to stock up.

TangoEchoEchoNovemberAlphaGolfEchoRomeoSierra

On the way to school this morning, the subject of the military phonetic alphabet came up.  None of my kids knew it.  I decided to display yet another facet of my vast worldly knowledge to them, coming up short at 'O'.  Complete brain freeze, I couldn't remember 'O' to save my life.

That miss lead me to doubt my memory on the next few and I was even questioning if I had the beginning part right.  Especially when my daughter commented on the big tough military getting romantic and using both Romeo and Juliet.  Maybe I was, gasp, wrong!

In typical, look-at-me-using-modern-technology-on-my-phone-that-you-pay-for-instead-of-doing-schoolwork fashion, my daughter texted me the rest of the alphabet shortly after I dropped her off at school.  (O is Oscar, dammit.  And I was right on the rest).

I texted back:
Sierra, Mike, Alpha, Romeo, Tango, Alpha, Sierra, Sierra
She responded:
Hotel, Echo, Lima, Lima, Yankee, Echo, Alpha, Hotel

I know I started it, but I think she needs to suffer some consequence for being so sassy.

May 4, 2011

Public Service Announcement

For daughters, sons and husbands:

Sunday, May 8th is Mother's Day.

IDK why I was thinking it was next weekend.  But, crapola, it is this coming Sunday.

If your mom is still walking this earth, make plans to honor her.  If there is a woman who has birthed a child of yours, make sure the kiddo is doing a nice thing.  Bear in mind that fancy and expensive aren't always the way to go.  But if the kids are all over the age of 12, construction paper cards and cinnamon toast served in bed probably aren't going to cut it.

If your mom is in heaven, remember her, look at old pictures, drink a toast, light a candle, plant a tree - whatever would honor her memory. 

Gas Math

I do not understand why gas stations and pumps are allowed to play the 9/10ths game.  Is there any other routinely purchased consumer product that is priced similarly?  Hell. No.

It is unfortunate, because the simple folk just don't get it.  The media doesn't report it.  Reporters don't say, "The average price of gas is $3.92 AND NINE TENTHS per gallon."  They say things like:
The national average gas price is at about $3.87 per gallon and prices have increased for 35 straight days.
Or
The national gasoline average is $1.07 above the price this time last year. Diesel fuel is about $1.00 above this time last year.
I feel like the media enables this ruse.  None of us refer to the actual price - we round DOWN, which is the precise intent of this marketing practice. 
I got gas this morning.  I can't say I filled up, because I was running on fumes and the pump cut off at $100.  Nobody gets me to restart a pump for more gas if they cut it off before the average truck/SUV fill point.
So, I got exactly $100 worth of gas.  25.713 gallons.  The sign might have said "$3.88", but that, my friends, is four dollah (makes ya holla) gas.

May 3, 2011

Circus Time

Yesterday was the first day of early voting in Texas. I like early voting because you can go to any polling place in the county, you don't have to go to your home precinct polling location to vote.  Because of that latitude, not too many politicians camp out just outside the distance markers to campaign.  I like to avoid them.  I also like to avoid the poll watchers and busy bodies who monitor our polling site.

My small town has long had contentious elections with lots of dirty politics and questionable campaign practices.  It keeps my blood pressure low to stay miles away from that crap.  One election-related deposition per lifetime is plenty.

In our local race, there are two contested positions, one council member seat (the incumbent versus one contender) and the mayor slot (the incumbent and two contenders).  A current council member is one of the people running for mayor.

The other two contenders are prime examples of how upside-down our nation has become and they are the reason why I am scared to death that Blowie is going to get re-elected.

Voters are stupid.  Okay, not all voters, but enough to elect people to offices that they have no business being in.  Case in point, the president.

Locally, the two "new" contenders have NEVER been to a town meeting.  They are running for a council that neither one of them has ever seen in action.  Neither one has ever served on any town committee, commission or board.    Neither of them has publicly said what they do to earn a paycheck.  One of them didn't even set foot into town hall to pick up or drop off his election paperwork - he sent his mother-in-law.  I am not completely convinced that they guy actually exists.

I know that there is some beauty in "fresh blood", but I don't think leadership positions with NO prior experience are the appropriate place.  Here, these two idiots are running on the same platform of grand ideas that our little town has no way to fund; libraries, senior centers and parks - the very community services that other cities have had to cut in this economy.  These guys don't have a clue.

There used to be an expectation of working one's way up.  There used to be a hierarchy of serving at certain levels of government before someone would even entertain the idea of running for higher office.  I think that the election of Blowie has encouraged unqualified simpletons at every level to try their hand at politics.

There is the low point.  It is politics - not service or leadership - running our country.

May 2, 2011

First thoughts on bin Laden

Good riddance.  It's about damn time.  Hey, Blowie, could you do something about Yemen, since they are making an ass of us just like Pakistan did in this situation?

Three things bothering me this morning about the bin Laden thing:
...senior administration officials said steps have been taken to ensure that bin Laden's body is being handled "in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition", something they said the United States takes very seriously.
Because that is the same level of respect that Islamic extremists have shown to Americans, right?

And:
Officials said bin Laden’s body, which was in U.S. custody, was given a sea burial.
I understand that the idea was to prevent his burial place from becoming a shrine, but, did they really have to pollute the ocean like that?

And, finally:

Is it really a coincidence that the White House alerted the media that the president would speak at a specified time, they all cut into broadcasting and filled time for nearly an hour before he finally took the podium - AND - that chain of events interrupted Trump's Celebrity Apprentice?  Anyone else feel like, between the Correspondent's Dinner shots and the hurry up and interrupt programming to wait ploy are all Blowie's little jabs at the Donald for the whole birth certificate thing?

May 1, 2011

Jaded

I think we are in for a year of 'pleasant' surprises.  Osama bin Laden dead?  You betcha, 'cause we are entering an election cycle.

I wonder what other 'good news' is in store for us that will make Blowie look like a hero to the simple minded folk who just don't get it.

Roughing it

We spent the morning without power, though we stayed mostly on the fringes of the Really Bad storms.  It is cold and windy now, but the power is back on just in time for lunch.  (Did ya hear that CenTexTim...57 degrees in North Texas).

Having procrastinated several electricity-dependent and crucial chores (like laundry and finishing P&L statements for a meeting tomorrow) I am behind the power curve.  Hoping I can convince Mr Harper to take the kids to a movie or something so I can catch up.

I think it is funny how programmed we are to do things like flip a switch when we enter and exit a room - even knowing full well that nothing is going to happen when the power is out.  Of course, the little one just doesn't get the concept and ran around trying every electrical device, and still wasn't convinced that there wasn't something he could find that would respond.  He eventually settled for playing with Play-Doh by candlelight.