April 30, 2012

FOD

Three years and a day.  The last time the Senate passed a budget was April 29, 2009.  The first rule of smart financial planning is to have a budget.  None of us should be surprised that our defiict is soaring.

Of course, Blowie isn't sweating the lack of a budget. He is too busy golfing and making sick dog jokes at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.



What always strikes me is Blowie's complete lack of couth. I expect these kind of jokes from Biden, but could Blowie at least try to look and sound a tad more presidential?

April 28, 2012

Fun with technology

My family went to a community event this evening for a bit.  It was a fund raiser for a foundation that has been set up to honor the death of a boy from our town.  The event was a conglomeration of different things and among them, the announcement that a gentleman in our town had agreed to fund a $1,000 scholarship every year, in honor of this boy's short life.

This gentleman was not in attendance, having taken his son to the Ranger's game for his birthday.  The announcer explained the absence, asked everyone (about 400 people) to take out their cell phones, dictated a short text message and then called out the cell phone number of the gentleman and told everyone to hit 'send'.

Can you imagine the look on his face as he got 400+ text messages at the same time?

The Nanny State example 9,421,573

If it wasn't so damn funny, it would be sad: 
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, along with Target, has recalled approximately 264,000 Target Home Bunny Sippy Cup.
Reason for recall: The bunny's ear on the lid of the cup can poke a child in the eye while drinking, posing a hazard to a child's eye. There have been six reports of children being poked during regular use of the recalled cups, and in three cases, parents reported cuts and bruises.
Six kids out of 264,000, that are old enough to drink out of a straw, but not smart enough to approach the straw from the bended-ear side of the cup, have now ruined the fun for everyone.

If I bought a $3 cup that my kid couldn't use without poking himself in the eye, do you know what I would do?  Throw the damn thing away and call it a day.  Or maybe I would stick a longer straw in the hole.  Or take the straw out all together, throw a handful of rocks in the cup and call it a rattle. 

And, 'cuts and bruises'?  How thirsty was your kid?  That's one aggressive sippy cup drinker you got there, getting all cut and bruised by the bunny cup.  Sheesh, no wonder kids today are such pansies.

April 27, 2012

Cash for Deadbeats

I had one of those days yesterday.  I reported for third grade field trip driving duty.  Loaded up my assigned passel of kiddos, cut the steering wheel hard to the right to pull away from the curb at the school and the power steering pump crapped out on me.

I sat for an hour and a half waiting on the tow, but it did get me out of a field trip!

What I love about our go-to garage is that they humor me with my junior diagnostics.  For the record, I haven't been wrong yet, so maybe I have a little credibility.

Every time something goes wrong with one of the cars, I get that itch to get a new car.  But, the total cost for the power steering pump, new hoses and the tow is still less than what the monthly payment was back when I bought the damn car.  It costs a lot less to maintain a car than to buy a new one.

Just yesterday, I read about Texas running their own sort of 'Cash for Clunkers' program.  The aim is to get  people driving more energy efficient and cleaner fuel-burning cars.  The big print says you can get a $3,000 voucher toward the purchase of a new vehicle if yours has failed an emissions test or is at least 10 years old.  Hot Damn!  I mentally had Mr Harper's 2000 model traded in, until I read the small print.

The state of Texas doesn't want to help everyone drive a more fuel efficient car, only poor people.  There are income guidelines.  Guidelines that we can't meet unless we can count our pets as dependents.

How stupid is that?  The plan is administered by the 'AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine program'.  The underlying mission is to improve our air quality.  Why should cleaner air discriminate based on income?  Let's be honest...poor people are going to buy some other mediocre to poor piece of crap car that they can't afford to properly maintain.

People like me, however, could take that $3,000 of free money (tongue in cheek) and parlay it into a truly fabulous automobile purchase.  A carefully Carfax checked, Consumer Reports and Car & Driver reviewed, safety minded American auto purchase that I would be able to afford and would drive until the wheels fell off.

I am one of the 53% that pays taxes, which funds stupid ass programs like this that I can never take advantage of.  Nobody tells you that working hard, being a law-abiding citizen and achieving the American dream will mean that you struggle everyday to make ends meet while that slutty crack addict from high school lives high on the government hog - compliments of us.

April 26, 2012

Natural Beauty

I am not a tree hugger, nor do I have the resources (or energy, quite frankly) to fight for the survival of much more than my family and friends.  It doesn't mean that I don't care - I do.  Some people have a calling for activism and mission-type work, but that isn't me.  With that said, I am sad that there are indigenous tribes in the Amazon that are being forced out of their 'homes'.  Especially considering the lengths some people go to, in this world, to protect plants, animals, stupid ideals.  Isn't a human life the most important thing?  Shouldn't those PETA people forget about the f'ing chickens destined for a KFC bucket and raise some money to save people?

The Awa are called the world's most threatened tribe.  Civilization has changed their life, taken their land, threatened their food supply.  These people are to be revered.  They still subsist as hunter-gatherers and are dependent on no one, save their own tribe.  Wouldn't it be fun to round up some welfare leeches in Section 8 housing, hand them a spear and a fishing hook, drop them in the Amazon and tell them it is sink or swim time?

This independent tribe is also being hunted by loggers, and horrific attacks have occurred.  In addition to the Awa are other tribes, ones that haven't been contacted, that are also threatened by illegal loggers and gold miners and armed guerillas.

I have little more than a good thought and a prayer to send to these people, but I hope they survive.

Living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, I see plenty of Botoxed, Juvedermed, Restylaned and siliconed 'real housewives'.  They get $200 hair cuts, wear only the latest designer jeans with their rhinestone-encrusted cross T-shirts, have personal trainers to get them through hot yoga and pilates and are seen in all the important places.  No matter how hard they try, and how much they spend on their cosmetic regimen, they will never compare to the natural beauty of this Awa mother and her child:

CREDIT: ©D Pugliese/Survival International

April 25, 2012

Barely Breathing

Is there anything worse than having a cold, with incredible sinus pressure and a hacking cough, coupled with a Nyquil hangover? Something about Nyquil that I just can't shake. I hate to take it and have to weigh the benefits of getting some rest with the knowledge that I will be in a haze for 18 hours. Ugh.

*****

Bang is one of those 'take no blame' kind of kids. Now, he isn't completely devious, he just has that (testosterone-fueled) habit of opting for the 'it wasn't me' response as a gut reaction. In most situations, a raised eyebrow or stern look will result in a confession or sheepish grin that indicates his acceptance of responsibility for whatever was or was not done.

Reading this story, I wonder if this man has ever stopped to think that, perhaps, he made a bad decision - bought at a bad time or didn't do his due diligence in checking to see what mix of homes would be offered in the area.
Tom Barry paid more than $1 million for his residence three years ago. Now, families are moving in for a fraction of that, and he says it's hurting his bottom line.
In three years, the appraised value of his house in The Settlement at Craig Ranch has dropped more than $250,000.
"Total shock," Barry said.
He blames the developer for bringing in an influx of smaller, lower-priced homes in his McKinney neighborhood.
The article points out that the development plans show a mix of different sizes and price points.  I think building the smaller, more affordable homes, was a great business decision.  If Mr. Barry was the builder, he would be doing the same thing.  But, because he is caught in a house he bought before the market tanked, it must be someone else's fault.

But, WAIT!  Mr. Barry is a builder and built this home!  Good Lord, the media never includes little gems like that.  Excuse me while I shed a tear for Mr. Barry and his $750,000 home. (/sarc) Quick, someone get Blowie involved to stimulate this guy's personal economy.

Maybe Mr. Barry will look around him and realize that he is damn lucky to be living anywhere that is actually moving forward with growth.  Maybe a trip out to the Las Vegas area, where home builders went from 300 new home sales a quarter to 3 and cut prices by 50% across the board, right around the time Mr. Barry was building his mansion.  

Let's give credit where credit is due.  Today's economy belongs to Obama.  Thanks to his drunken-sailor spending, today's economy will haunt our grandchildren. 

From Neal Boortz

April 24, 2012

The turning tide

Taking Nyquil and going to bed.  Thanks to Mr Harper for giving me his cold.  If only more Democrats like Jon Lovitz would see the light....NSFW language:

October Surprise

As I mentioned in my Saturday post about the dog eater, the current president has failed to surround himself with smart people to advise him.

Nancy Pelosi famously said that, "...we have to pass the (health care) bill so you can find out what is in it."  Many people assumed that she meant that lawmakers knew what was in it, and that the citizen peons would find out eventually.  Many people also saw the implementation timeline and remarked about how the costliest and most concerning portions of the bill wouldn't take place until after the 2012 elections.  Those dastardly Dims, inserting their political timeline into the health bill that was to reform healthcare in America.

Now it seems that those sneaky Dims weren't all that smart:
But as part of its hundreds of billions in Medicare cuts, the Obama one-size-fits-all plan slashes reimbursement rates for Medicare Advantage starting next year — herding many seniors back into the government-run program.
Under federal “open-enrollment” guidelines, seniors must pick their Medicare coverage program for next year by the end of this year — which means they should be finding out before Election Day.
Ahhhh, that damn October 15 enrollment window opens just three weeks before November elections.

So the brilliant minds at the White House finally figured out that they might see some backlash from the people who depend on the Medicare Advantage program.  Those silver haired people that live in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania might not like what they are going to find when selecting their insurance coverage for 2013. 

Never fear, Blowie-lovers, they have a plan (a plan to screw the honest, hard-working, tax-paying 99% - again):
But the administration’s devised a way to postpone the pain one more year, getting Obama past his last election; it plans to spend $8 billion to temporarily restore Medicare Advantage funds so that seniors in key markets don’t lose their trusted insurance program in the middle of Obama’s re-election bid.
The money is to come from funds that Health and Human Services is allowed to use for “demonstration projects.” But to make it legal, HHS has to pretend that it’s doing an “experiment” to study the effect of this money on the insurance market.
That is, to “study” what happens when the government doesn’t change anything but merely continues a program that’s been going on for years.
Obama can temporarily prop up Medicare Advantage long enough to get re-elected by exploiting an obscure bit of federal law. Under a 1967 statute, the HHS secretary can spend money without specific approval by Congress on “experiments” directly aimed at “increasing the efficiency and economy of health services.”
Past demonstration projects have studied new medical techniques or strategies aimed at improving care or reducing costs. The point is to find ways to lower the costs of Medicare by allowing medical technocrats to make efficient decisions without interference from vested interests.
Now Obama means to turn it on its head — diverting the money to a blatantly nonexperimental purpose to serve his political needs.
It is a temporary measure, and one that nails the taxpayers for $8 BILLION more - and, if Blowie gets re-elected, those on Medicare will get screwed later.

April 23, 2012

FOD

The leader of the free world will be hard at work this week, appearing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday and then being roasted by Jimmy Kimmel at the White House Correspondent's Dinner.

He spent his Sunday preparing for the strain of these events by golfing with the Vice for the 95th time of his presidency.

 I'm smiling because I ain't the
worst President ever any more.

April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day

Yeah, yeah, I know Earth Day is already Earth Night and fading fast, but this made me laugh:

From iOwnTheWorld.com

Voter IQ


I am feeling better about this whole Secret Service debacle, because the one Secret Service agent with which I am acquainted is home, safe & sound and job secured.  I wondered all week, but it isn't like you can just pick up the phone and call to ask, ya know?  Luckily, he is still on Bush's detail here in the Dallas area and not on the hookers in Columbia detail with Blowie.

Enough about that...

What the hell is wrong with people?  I am referring to voter apathy.  How do you get people to care about who is representing them?  It starts with Obama and ends with, hell, I don't know, maybe student council elections.  I have an idiot neighbor with a yard full of political signs purportedly supporting a slate of idiots that would raise her taxes and leave the street unpaved.   Does she know? Do she care?  Hell. No.  I ran into said neighbor last week and said something about the election and her response was, 'I'm not even sure who is running'.  How in the hell do you go from 'not sure who is running' to neighborhood political sign depot in 24 hours?  My God, if you don't have an informed opinion, you should not be allowed to vote.  In any election.

How to combat apathy....hmmmm...people have to have some sense of urgency about how a person's election will affect them personally.  But, too many people are too dense to see past the nose on their face and appreciate the big picture.  That is why so many campaigns turn negative.  You have to shock people into caring about who they elect to represent them.  Unfortunately we are a jaded voting public these days and the bar has been raised on what it takes to get our attention.  I don't have to look any further than my wallet to see how Blowie has harmed me and mine...I guess if I had one of those free money EBT cards for food, I wouldn't care so much.   

April 21, 2012

The dog Obama ate

One of the most startling differences between the Obama administration and others before him is the lack of really smart people.  There have been other presidents who weren't brilliant, or well-spoken or level-headed, but most of them surrounded themselves with people who made up for their shortcomings.  David Axelrod started the dog war, which has got to rank in the top 20 of boneheaded campaign plots, from the cheap shot that started it, to the 'Dreams of My Father' amnesia.  Keep it up David, it gives me hope for November.


April 20, 2012

That's the Spirit

I have never flown Spirit Airlines, but I want to.  If the flight experience is anything akin to their marketing campaigns, it would be worth the TSA pat down.

Fox News ran a story about Spirit Airlines running a Secret Service-themed promotion for flights to Columbia.  Spirit called it 'More Bang for your Buck'.  Bwahaha.


As the article points out, Spirit's marketing department has used other current events to promote fare sales; they had a Winning! sale that poked fun at Charlie Sheen and
"several Blagojevich-themed ad campaigns during the former Illinois governor's pay-to-play scandal, including one with a campaign: "Thought you could escape Chicago for Colorado.. You Thought Wrong."
What a great sense of humor this company has.  I clicked over to Spirit to see what their fares might be for flights that I am apt to take, and loved the graphic for their GSA special:


April 19, 2012

From Kissing to F'ing in two hours

ABC found its sense of humor with this article headline:

A Small Town Wants to Change F**king Name

 The article is equally as fun to read:
Shakespeare said, “a rose by another other name would smell as sweet.” The residents in a  small village in Austria with the unfortunate name of F**king think a place that’s called any other other name would get less offensive treatment.
Moves are now afoot to change the village name to something less distinctive.
The only problem is that we need all of the F**king residents to agree to the name change,” Mayor Franz Meindl said –speaking literally, you can assume, and not colloquially, in a recent TV interview. “Everyone needs to agree for it to happen.”
 As you might have guessed, residents of this Austrian town are tired of their town name being the butt of jokes, and mispronounced.  The correct pronunciation is "Fooking".
“When you order something from a catalog, for example, and you give the address, there’s snickering, always snickering,” said Jo Lindlbauer, who runs Gasthof Lindlbauer, the only B&B in town, and who has endured such reactions all his life.
And, as you probably also guessed, their road signs disappear.
Municipal officials confirmed to ABC News that village signs were regularly stolen no matter how firmly they are anchored in concrete.
Now, if you are thinking to yourself that you thought Austrians were more law-abiding and stern people, have no fear.  It seems that it isn't necessarily Austrians that make a joke of the name:
Changing the name was voted down in 1996, despite problems caused by American servicemen from across the border in Germany who regularly drove to the region just to be photographed in front of signs.
My, aren't we proud.  Well, at least it makes for great travel industry PR:
Lothar Lerch, who has highlighted F..king for website Virtual Tourist, recommends a road trip from Kissing, Germany to F..king, Austria. A direct route from Kissing to F..king, he says, takes just over two hours, but he advises a scenic route including stops in Petting or Tittmoning.

If It Ain't Broke...

Dear Blogger:

I am too old for this crap.  First it was 'old editor' versus 'new editor', but at least you let me choose.  Then you changed the comment setup and even my laser-corrected vision and a 21-inch screen can't manage to distinguish the letters of your fun house mirror version of word verification.

This morning, as is my frequent practice, I was up before the rest of the house, enjoying the quiet, logging on to post some scintillating thoughts on the world and/or my life and I am hit with this new Blogger dashboard or whatever the hell you are calling it now.

What in the hell is wrong with a button that says 'New Post'.  I think that is pretty damn self-explanatory.  Sure, you have that button on the second page, but on the dashboard I had to hover over every freakin' picture button to determine that the one with the golf pencil on it means 'new post'.

You know what I used to like about the Blogger post list?  It looked absofuckinglutely nothing like my Gmail box.  Hard to tell the two apart now.  Great, someone will get a blog post as an email and I will accidentally post an email as a blog post.  Watch and see.

I am sure that this new layout is more intuitive, and I can see that you are providing view counts and other info that wasn't readily available before.  But I am a creature of habit and I liked it just fine the way it was.  I have enough change happening in my life right now, I didn't need this.

Sincerely,

Harper

April 18, 2012

Frazzled

Mr Harper has been out of town this week. Thankfully he is on an early flight home today.  It had been a helluva week and it is only Wednesday.

I don't think I talked about my foot much after the initial injury at the end of March.  I got in to see an ortho (not my usual guy as he is more of a knee specialist).  There was no displaced or clear fracture on the x-rays, but, he said, some fractures only become clear as they calcify during the healing process.  The doc put me in a lovely 'shoe', saying it would be the appropriate treatment for a fracture or soft tissue damage.  It still hurts like hell, but I am limping along.

The clock in my bathroom stopped, my watch needs a new battery and I have lost my wedding ring.  The ring is causing me a lot of ribbing from Mr Harper - but it is causing me a great deal of worry.  Sure, there is sentimental value, but it is easily replaced.  In fact, our James Avery wedding rings are the same as at least four other couples we know.  What bugs me is that I have such a rigid routine of when and where I ever take it off, that its disappearance, along with other out of character forgetfulness, has me worried that I am losing my mind.  My ring usually resides in a jewelry holder on my bathroom counter.  A place where kids are often horsing around (even though they have their own damn bathrooms).  I haven't had time to pull the P traps yet, and it really doesn't look like there is enough space for my ring to have easily gone down the drain - but it is plausible that they knocked it into the sink.  I just have to find time to play plumber.

As much as I love my old dog, he is wearing me out.  Much like a geriatric human, he is arthritic, temperamental, incontinent, weak, tired and he snores and coughs all night.  I was up with him for three hours during the night.  Anxious for Mr H to get home and take a few shifts.

This evening I have to attend a public skewering town hall meeting and will now spend the remainder of my day trying to figure out polite, politically correct ways to say, "you don't know what the hell you are talking about", "if you weren't so stupid, we wouldn't be in this position" and "if any of you had a modicum of common sense and discernment, you would not only smell the bullshit, but realize you are standing in it".

Tomorrow I get to focus on executing a weekend birthday party for The Princess, of which only 7 of the 23 invitees have bothered to RSVP for.  WTF is wrong with people?

Hope your week is less stressful than mine...

April 17, 2012

Tax (Freedom) Day

Anyone out there still working on the ol' taxes?

While it was nice of the IRS to give everyone until the 17th, I think that the extension made some people procrastinate even more.  Not me, did the taxes weeks ago and, as hard as I tried not to, got some money back.

According to these folks, April 17th is also Tax Freedom Day for 2012.  All of you working stiffs out there have been toiling since January 1st, just to pay your tax burden.   

Click image to make bigger


Why aren't more people upset about paying taxes?  I'll tell you why; because of withholding.  If employers weren't acting as the government's tax collectors, and people got their full paycheck in hand, and then had to turn around and pay the government, there would be a bloody revolution.  Sure, it is simplistic, but it is accurate.  If people could actually hold all of the money they earned, have it right there in the palm of their hand, only to have to turn around and pay the government - there would be change.

April 16, 2012

FOD

Obama was speaking on a panel with Colombian President Juan Mauel Santos and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff when he made the remarks. The panel was moderated by Chris Matthews of MSNBC.
 “I want to thank President Santos and the people of Colombia for the extraordinary hospitality in the beautiful city of Cartagena,” said Obama. “We're having a wonderful time. And usually when I take these summit trips, part of my job is to scout out where I may want to bring Michelle back later for vacation.  So we'll make sure to come back sometime in the near future.
Ahhh, scouting for another vacation to add to the list:
-- President’s Day 2012, Michelle and the first daughters in Aspen, Colorado to ski.
-- Christmas 2011, the first family in Hawaii for an extended vacation.
-- Summer 2011, in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., for the annual beach break.
-- June 2011, the first lady, her mother and daughters traveled to South Africa and Botswana.
-- President’s Day 2011, the first lady and first daughters travel to Vail to ski.
-- Christmas 2010, in Hawaii.
-- August 2010, the first family traveled to Panama City Beach, Fla., for some sun and fun at the beach.
-- August 2010, Obama spent the weekend alone in Chicago for his 49th birthday bash.
-- August 2010, the first lady and daughter Sasha traveled to Spain for a mother-daughter vacation.
-- August 2010, summer vacation again at Martha’s Vineyard.
-- July 2010, the first family went to Mount Desert Island, Maine.
-- May 2010, the first family had a four-day trip to Chicago.
-- March 2010, first lady and daughter spend Spring Break in New York City.
-- Christmas 2009, Hawaii again for the annual break.
-- August 2009, at Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon for a short vacation.
-- August 2009, their first summer vacation as first family at Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
I think that Malia's trip to Mexico should be on the list, too.

In the article linked above, an imbecile named Paul Bedard tries to compare Obama vacation apples to Bush working from the Western White House oranges.  Okay, Blowie and liberal MSM supporters, please list the foreign dignitaries that have gone on vacation with the Obamas.  Here is a list of the ones that accompanied the Bushes to Crawford, just as a point of reference:
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, November 2001
  • British Prime Minister Tony Blair, April 2002
  • Saudi King Abdullah, April 2002, April 2005
  • Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, August 2002
  • Chinese President Jiāng Zémín, October 2002
  • Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, February 2003
  • Australian Prime Minister John Howard, May 2003
  • Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichirō, May 2003
  • Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, July 2003
  • Mexican President Vicente Fox, March 2004, March 2005
  • Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, April 2004
  • Spanish King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía, November 2004
  • Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, March 2005
  • Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, April 2005
  • Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, August 2005
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, November 2007
  • Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, February 2008

April 15, 2012

How to shut a kid up

Bang has some sort of genealogy project to do for school.  Several times over the last couple of weeks, he has initiated conversations about our family and always asks if anyone did anything important or was famous.

My go-to answer has been that without all of those boring, un-famous people in our family tree, he wouldn't be here.  I hate this celebrity mentality.  I watched a video the other day, wherein a group of people went to the mall and, with some pretend fawning over one of the guys, managed to convince a mall full of people that the guy was a celebrity.  Complete with mall security guards coming to escort him and some skank giving him her number. Today's youth are so obsessed with celebrity that they will go along with anything, if it appears to involve someone famous.

I wonder what has been said at school that makes my kid feel like he needs to discover some secret cause celebre in our family's heritage, otherwise his project will be boring.  I've told him the stories of immigration from Ireland.  Of a great-great-grandmother that rode with her 2-year old daughter, on horseback, from Tennessee to Missouri when Union soldiers burned her home.  Of an uncle that was the opposing pitcher in a game against Satchel Paige.  He just shrugs and asks if there is anything else.

I know that someday he will recognize the remarkable things his ancestors have done - even if they weren't featured on TMZ.  In the meantime, I got tired of him asking and, at dinner the other night, got a sheepish look on my face and told him that I wish he would quit asking if anyone in our family was famous because one of his relatives is a very famous porn star and it embarrasses me.  He hasn't bothered me for a better story since.

April 14, 2012

Glad to be a Texan

Our after school commute took twice as long as normal yesterday evening, as the path from home to school is bisected by the preferred east-west route to Texas Motor Speedway.  Adding to the delay was Crash's demand to detour through the Wal-Mart parking lot, as there were 5 or 6 NASCAR display vehicles.  This is the only Wal-Mart near the speedway (the next ones are 15 miles any direction),which is why all of my shopping was done on Wednesday, when you could actually get in the door and find things on the shelves.  They literally park beer trucks at the back door with extra stock that they are continually moving inside as the NASCAR crowd takes it out the front.  It is a very busy place for about 72 hours.  And it does wonders for the local economy twice a year.

Wednesday afternoon our commute home was also delayed, but for a much better reason.  We stopped to stand on a highway overpass and wave to over 400 Patriot Guard riders and law enforcement vehicles that were escorting nine Medal of Honor recipients from the airport, sixty miles north to Gainesville, Texas.

All along the route, through several different towns, flag-waving citizens lined the shoulders of the road and the overpasses had scenes like this one:

Lara Solt Staff Photographer Dallas Morning News
Every city along the route provided assistance by closing intersections and highway ramps as the group passed through.  Most people I saw got out to watch, wave and get caught up in the patriotism on display.  I have never been not-proud of my country, but this day I was reminded of how much I love my country and its veterans, and how blessed I am to live in a state with people who feel the same way.

April 12, 2012

I like Ann

I won't give Hilary Rosen the courtesy of a link of any sort.  What a vile person she is. 

Let me say for the 9,428th time, I am no Romney fan - let me clarify, I am no Mitt Romney fan.  Having just watched Ann Romney respond to Rosen's insults, I am an Ann Romney fan.

Sure, sure, I know she is well coached and was likely given talking points and key phrases - but she seems genuine and likeable.  She is attractive, poised, well-spoken, intelligent and comfortingly maternal.  All things currently missing in the White House.

Also responding to Rosen's comments was one of the Romney boys, via Twitter.  What he said really struck a cord with me.  I take my lumps from people for not pursuing several lucrative career paths when I had the opportunity and, instead, choosing to stay home with my kids. Quite honestly, even Mr H sometimes forgets how hard my 'job' is - until I go out of town for a few days.  Josh Romney said this:
is one of the smartest, hardest working woman I know. Could have done anything with her life, chose to raise me
I hope that someday my children realize that choosing to stay home with them was the best career I could have ever had.

The Diversity President

Remember, this is our first half white black president.  A president that has signed laws and executive orders that demand a diverse and equally paid workforce.

I am still ticked about President Blowhole saying that Augusta National should admit women.  So I did a little checking.  Blowie has played 94 rounds of golf during his presidency, yet only managed to include a woman in the foursome....drum roll, please....twice.

Today the Washington Free Beacon had a story about the White House as a Hostile Workplace, citing the pay disparity between women and men on the WH staff.  (Lily Led-who?)  You can read their take on it, or you can click over to the officially released pay amounts here.  I did my own counting and noted that in the bottom three pay ranges ($0-$50k, $50-$75k and $75-$100k), the male to female ratio held right around 50-50 +/- a few for non-gender specific names.  But when you get to the highest pay bracket ($100-$200k), women make up just over 1/3 of the workforce. 

A couple of days ago, I posted a picture of Blowie's Chicago campaign headquarters and its overwhelmingly white work force.  As noted by Amy Sullivan in her Time article, 'The White House Boy's Club', one needs look no further than the White House's photostream on Flickr to understand how hypocritical this president is:
Staged PR picture of Passover Seder (DIVERSITY JACKPOT)
Blowie in Oval with Biden (white guy)
Blowie in Oval with speech writer (white guy)
Blowie & Netanyahu (and five white guys)
Staged PR photo of Blowie and soldier (black guy!!!!)
Blowie & security advisor (white guy)
Supporters on street (some black people!!!)
Blowie in Oval with Chief of Staff and advisors (three white guys)
Blowie in Oval meeting (five white guys and one white girl)
Blowie on Air Force one with Russian Affairs Director (white girl)
Michelle in a classroom (white kids and one of middle eastern descent)
Blowie in Oval with WH Fellows (DIVERSITY JACKPOT! equal number of men/women, colorful)
Blowie working lunch (four white guys)

You get the idea.  Blowie's senior staff is a bunch of white males.  Our first half white black president, a master of diversity.

April 11, 2012

Terrorists +1

This story is over a week old, but it still needs some light shined on it.  

On April 1st, the TSA evacuated most of a terminal at Love Field in Dallas because of a suspicious device found on an airplane.
The device looked like a cell phone attached to a remote control car with some exposed wires protruding.
The device was a robot left on the plane by a group of college students from San Jacinto College in Houston.  They had been in Kansas City for an honors conference.  Despite explaining it was simply a case of forgetting an item on the airplane, the TSA handcuffed and detained 11 people.  Here is where the dangerous college robotics geeks are paraded through the terminal in handcuffs:



Judging by the crowd in the video, the TSA had already determined that there was no actual danger.  Yet they insist upon treating these students (and a professor or two) like criminals.

Three years ago my son left his DS on an airplane.  American Airlines tracked us down by the seat number it was found in and had it couriered to our hotel.  Best customer service I have ever had from AA.  Granted, a DS doesn't look like a bomb, but - isn't that what a terrorist aims for?  Something that doesn't look like a bomb?  Why the over-reaction toward these college students?

Sometimes it seems like the terrorists won. 

April 10, 2012

Lottery News

Say it ain't so!  Mirlande/Sheila made it all up!  Wow, what a turn of events.  I never saw that coming.  /sarc

Three Maryland public school system employees will split the Mega Millions prize with an anonymous person in Kansas and a still unknown winner in Illinois.  Good for them, and I congratulate them on their silence and getting their ducks in a row even while it must have been torture to see the news reports about the Sweet Swine nutjob claiming she won it.

I agree that the anonymous route is the way to go. Even in states where the law says you can't be anonymous, you can form a blind trust or something to keep your real identity intact.  Even then, word will eventually get out.  There is no way to hide that amount of money.  The Maryland winners say they aren't quitting their jobs:
All three have indicated they intend to remain employees within Maryland's public school system. One employee is an elementary school teacher, another is a special education instructor and the third works in an administrative role, Martino said.
I call BS on that.  They might stay for awhile, the end of the school year probably.  None of them ever needs to work again, and once they settle in to that fact - and have some fun with the money, they will quit.  All three said they will build or buy new homes.  The jig is probably up at that point, and every long lost relative and poser will come begging.  I think that would be a full time job in itself for the first several years - avoiding the money seekers.  Travel the world, go where no one can find you.

Anyway...congrats to the winners and, Mirlande/Sheila - get some professional help.  

Keeping it classy on the White House court

Here is a picture of Blowie's Chicago campaign staff:


As The Washington Free Beacon points out, there is a stunning lack of diversity among the staff of our first half white black president's re-election campaign.

This really rubs me the wrong way, considering I am still torqued about Blowie opening his pie hole about Augusta National admitting female members.  Augusta's membership policies are decided by its voting members, which is completely legal and acceptable.  No one else should have a say in what they do or how they do it. Virginia Rometty, the IBM CEO that caused the recent commotion never publicly demanded membership.  Women can play the course, they just don't get that ugly green jacket. 

On the other hand, the government is required to develop plans for a more diverse workforce.  Blowie signed an executive order demanding it.  I guess that guy way in the back center of the picture is maybe as diverse as they are gonna get in Chi-town.  If you click through the Tumblr site for Obama/Biden, you are hard pressed to find any people of color, other than Blowie and the Wookie - except now that the diversity issue has been raised, we have the obligatory reaction post featuring black people.

As we are faced, once again, with Obama's target audience induced magical racial morphing machine, the White House provides a visual reminder that covers both of the bases. 

Photo Tweeted by Jake Tapper  posted with comment at White House Dossier

He looks a little white and a little black on that ball.  Don't bother clicking over to the Franklin or Danbury Mint or searching the QVC schedule for a chance to purchase this presidential kitsch.  Our very own White House used these balls for an Easter basketball clinic during the annual Egg Roll.  Those are freakin' ghetto fabulous.  Way to keep it classy, Blowie.

April 9, 2012

A blonde moment

I just realized that the Obama's dog's name, 'Bo', is simply the president's initials.  I was clicking through a couple of sites that show Blowie's Twitter and I kept wondering if he thought it was cute to sign every tweet as if he were the dog.

For instance:
Hey @MichelleObama: Happy Valentine's Day. -bo
Then it hit me.  The narcissist in chief named his dog after himself. 

I don't care what justification or excuses or denials are out there, we know the truth.

Perhaps even more disturbing is that the damn dog's registered name is 'Amigo's New Hope'.  PETA should be outraged at such blatant exploitation.

The Abscence of Outrage

I think that the problem that I face, like so many of my friends and acquaintances, is the inability to correlate the things that I see and hear in my daily life, with the media-covered Big Deal things that are, supposedly, of Great Importance.  I would say that it is political correctness run amok, but there isn't any correctness about it, it is truly a bizarro world taking shape around us. 

Kids in America are taught that 'the majority rules' as the most basic decision making process in our representative government, yet more and more frequently we react, respond and inconvenience the MAJORITY to accommodate a small MINORITY.

Click over to Tim's for a blood pressure raising example of our country's growing accommodation for Sharia law, for starters.

Several MLB teams now offer some form of peanut-free seating.  For some, it is entire sections which are power washed and sanitized before the games.  If there is 'regular' seating nearby, people have to sign a waiver of understanding!  The Cubs offered a luxury suite for peanut allergy-suffering people last year.  Wow, how long before the allergy-fakers seeking the good seats displace those it was intended for?

There are 3 million people in the U.S. with a peanut allergy.  Extrapolate whatever number you want out of that to estimate how many of the 3 million are actually baseball fans.  Then extrapolate whatever number of those allergy-suffering-fans would actually want to attend a game in person.  Consider that 53% of baseball fans do not attend games.  73 million people attended baseball games in 2011.  Even if we make the absurd assumption that all peanut allergy suffers are baseballs fans, and that 47% of them would attend a game if they could, that would be 1.4 million people out of 73 million (less than 2%) that a special accommodation is being made for.

If I had a child with an allergy so severe that any errant peanut shell on the wind would do them harm, they aren't going anywhere near a place where there are peanuts.  That is a lot more places than MLB parks.  (Thank God my kids don't go to a school that has outlawed peanut products, The Princess lives on PBJs)  Hell, how do you know that the people next to you at the (mall/park/gym/restaurant/playground) don't have a pack of nuts? 

Stall Brook Elementary school in Massachusetts has gone back and forth on the singing of Lee Greenwood's 'God Bless the USA'.  They took 'God' out, even though NO ONE had complained.  Then they said the entire song would be taken out of the program.  Now the song is back in, but children have the choice of whether or not they sing the line containing 'God'. 

Meanwhile, a Rasmussen poll shows that 86% of American adults believe that Jesus walked the Earth 2,000 years ago, while only 7% don't believe.  Yet our country continues to battle the symbols (and mentioning) of Christian holidays as if they were swastikas.  No Ten Commandments posters or statues, no crosses, no public prayer.  How is it that 7% dictate, and incorrectly interpret the Constitutional intent of church and state separation, to control the free expression of the 86%?

Our freedoms are eroding right before our eyes.  Our society is now geared to anticipate the worst and shape policy and practice toward the lowest (not necessarily common) denominator.  Couldn't they at least wait for people to get offended first?

FOD

Credit: PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images

April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Enjoy the day however you observe it -





April 7, 2012

Funny Movies

There is a list over on Yahoo! of the funniest 100 movies to see before you die.  Please don't waste 200 hours of your life with the movies on their list.

It isn't in a copy and paste friendly format, so you will have to click over.  They also didn't rank the movies, just listed them in alphabetical order.

My ballpark count is that I have seen about half of them.  I didn't count the ones that didn't hold my attention for at least half of the movie.  If I walked away or turned it off before the halfway point, maybe I missed the funny part, but I doubt it.

There are several noted exclusions on their list, IMHO. I also think that their definition of comedy could use some work.  Pulp Fiction is on the list.  I doubt that 'comedy' is what Mr. Tarantino had in mind.

Among the missing are movies like Stripes, Blues Brothers, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Beverly Hills Cop, Hollywood Knights, Porky's, Kelly's Heroes, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, O Brother Where Art Thou, Sixteen Candles, The Sweetest Thing, Hall Pass...

Some of those movies are on my favorites list because of specific scenes.  Who can forget Beulah Balbricker trying to convince the principal to let her identify a tallywhackerOr the car ride scene from The Sweetest Thing?  Most recently, I saw Hall Pass.  Mr. Harper fell asleep about half an hour into it but was awakened by my howls of laughter at this funny, disgusting and probably NSFW scene.

April 6, 2012

Lottery Loser Update

Mirlande/Sheila now says she lost the winning ticket...
“I have no idea where it is. I’m not sure I have it,” Mirlande Wilson told The Post in her latest tortured explanation of the mystery ticket’s fate.
“I’m still looking for it. I haven’t even looked in my uniform pants yet,” the flaky single mom of seven admitted. “I’m still looking everywhere to find it, in my purse, everywhere.”
And she didn’t put her kids to work on the treasure hunt even though they have the week off for spring break.
“I wanted to look for it, I was crying. She wouldn’t let us. It’s a lot of money,” lamented her disappointed daughter Stephanie, 15.
And so ends this moonbat's 15 minutes of infamy.

The best comment I read on the story was this one:
Don't worry, the ticket will arrive in your mailbox on the first of the month, like it always does. Now get back to birthing those babies (you only have seven and you're 37 years old, let's get moving you're falling behind).

The rest of us are still here working and paying taxes so you can continue to be a parasite until your ticket arrives.

Good Friday Porn

I was enjoying my morning coffee, sitting at the table with Crash as he ate his breakfast, when he got up from the table and pressed his face against the glass of the sliding door in our kitchen.  He cocked his head sideways, then he nodded in assent.  I peered around his head to see what it was he was watching that had gotten the seal of approval.  It was duck fornication and, apparently, they were doing it right.

My yard has become duck porn central.  Spring has sprung, love is in the air, and male ducks are mounting the females left and right.

Some of those girl ducks are little teases.  They run all over the yard, with males in hot pursuit.  C'mon, chick, we know you can fly and get away if you really wanted to.  Many of the females wear their scarlet letter in the form of a bare neck, plucked bald of feathers from the horny male ducks. 

On one hand it is funny, on the other, it is sad, because sometimes the males literally screw the females to death.  This is not time or place to be popular with the boys.  I am sure my neighbors are entertained every time I grab the broom off the front porch and run toward a pair of ducks screaming, "Get off of her!".

For the record, I don't suggest nasal absorption of coffee.

April 5, 2012

Why does the media indulge lunatics?

Mirlande Wilson/Sheila Paraison claims to have a winning ticket from the Mega Millions Lottery.  She is batshit crazy.  (and using two names, apparently)

What Mirlande/Sheila might have done is get herself in some very deep doo-doo with McDonalds.  Today, at the press conference her lawyer called to tell the world to leave her alone ('cause whenever you want to be left in peace, you call a presser), attorney Edward Smith, Jr reported that Mirlande/Sheila had hidden the ticket at McDonalds.  Anyone else want to describe what that Mickey D's looks like right about now? 

Her (former?) co-workers are already in a frenzy, because Mirlande/Sheila was entrusted with $5 from many of them and sent to buy the group's lottery tickets.  Of course, the winning ticket isn't one of those, it's one she bought 'on her own'.  Yet, she has hidden the winning ticket at work...

As is usual for midday news, I was in my car listening to Fox.  Megyn Kelly mentioned the possibility that, perhaps, Mirlande/Sheila worked for the company that was advertised on the baseball cap she had perched on her head and this was all a publicity stunt.  Her attire was described thusly:
dressed in a pink T-shirt and baseball cap with a cartoon pig and the words "Sweet Swine Pork Rinds,"
Well, anything that sounds as delectable as pork rinds gets my attention, and sends me Googling.

Would anyone be surprised that, while there doesn't appear to be a legitimate snack producing company by that name, there is, as of 12:59 pm today, a blog of that name.  An anti-Romney blog connected to a Super Pac by the name of 'Dogs Against Romney'.  Go figure.  I hope Edward Smith is smart enough to get some compensation from those profiting from the insanity and wardrobe decisions of his client. 

The funny thing about stupid blogs and Facebook pages for stupid causes, is that stupid people sign up to be a part of them with their Facebook profiles and real names.  That should make Mr. Smith's job easy.  

Meanwhile, Mirlande/Sheila left the presser in style, let's hope her lottery claim pans out so she can keep her image intact:
As she left the attorney's office, she ignored another round of media questions, slipping into the passenger seat of a beat-up gray Honda Accord with no hubcaps.

April 4, 2012

Are you smarter than a college football player?

I certainly am.

A young man by the name of Morris Claiborne scored a dismal '4' on a Wonderlic Classic Cognitive Abilities Test.  Apparently this test is given to prospective NFL players.  The results are supposed to be a secret, but are obviously routinely leaked, as there is no shortage of info on who scored what.  I found this.
Vince Young made headlines when it was rumored that he scored a 6 (though he earned a 16 on his second attempt). On the other end of the spectrum, Buffalo's Ryan Fitzpatrick scored a 50.

Some sample scores of other players include: Drew Bledsoe - 37; Steve Young - 33; John Elway - 30; Dan Marino - 16; Donovan McNabb - 14; Hakeem Nicks - 11; Sebastian Janikowski - 9.
The 10 point improvement made by Young may indicate the current spin being put on Claiborne's score:
Chances are, it actually measured just how much he cared about the test, how bad of a day he was having or something along those lines.
I wondered about his Wonderlic test.  I found a sample test on their website, and a very loose extrapolation suggests that allowing 5 minutes for these 12 questions, and then multiplying your correct answers by 4.167, will yield an approximate representation of what your score would be on the test:

Click to make it bigger
So, are you smarter than a college football player?

April 3, 2012

Stormy Weather

Many thanks to those of you who checked up on me and the family in today's meteorological melee.  I left the house a little before noon with no concerns about the weather.  Our forecast indicated a 70% chance of rain, so I looked at the radar just before leaving.  There was not a thing to be seen.

I ran some errands and then stopped in at the party store to get some balloons for The Princess.  There was just one worker, and he was pretty busy, so it took about 20 minutes before I was back out the door.  It had gotten dark off to the south and west, but I figured it was our afternoon showers finally moving in.

I got in the car and, instead of Kelly's Court, Megyn was talking about destructive tornadoes, describing ominous wall clouds, getting equally frightening input from a weather-type person in the studio.  They mentioned that this sort of storm, in a heavily populated area, was often a worst case scenario.  I was concerned and wondered where the weather was occurring.  (Fox Radio is simply the audio feed of the television show, and they aren't great about remembering that they have a 'blind' audience on the radio).

Just as I got on the road headed home, Megyn announced that they had a live damage report from the local affiliate...in Dallas.  Horry Clap!  At that point, I will admit that I was driving while dialing up a radar picture on my iPad, texting my kids at school (two of them are in portables away from main buildings) and calling my mom to see how the conditions were in our neighborhood.

Thankfully, when all was said and done, all we got was a little rain.  There has been some significant damage in areas around DFW, yet I am still rather chagrined that the storm got so much national attention.  While I realize the potential was there, and several people sustained immeasurable property loss, this group of storms was nothing compared to others in recent memory.

The Note

The news wonks have been replaying the 2010 SOTU when Blowie criticized the Supreme Court's campiagn finance decision, as a reference point for the most recent swipe he took at the Court about Obamacare.

I am sure it was mentioned, conspiracy-theoried and dissected to death, but I have slept since then and now I need to know - during the justice-dressing-down part of the 2010 SOTU speech, Pelosi is handed a note, which she reads and then puts down, turning her attention back to Blowie.  You can watch one of many different views at this link.  The scolding starts at 46:40, with the note handed off just as Blinky sits down.  In this view, you can see that the woman who hands Blinky the note had to speak to her to get her attention.

What was in that note?  Who was it from?  Transparent government, dammit.  Blowie should have turned around, snatched it up and read it to everyone, like an elementary school teacher.

A Grab Bag

We celebrate the 9th birthday of The Princess today, and follow with a party in a couple of weeks.  Between Crash's birthday and Easter, having the party later seemed like the best option.

Kerrcarto commented on this post, that I must have been really mad, since I cursed.  Truth is, I swear like a sailor, nearly every day of the week, but I don't type it so much. No blog-swearing, if you please. Something about putting it out there in the Gorenet makes it more seedy or something.  Speaking the swear words is a horrible habit, but one that I enjoy and I am good at.  Mr Harper is not much of a curser, not that he takes particular offense, he just has a purer heart or something.  I do get a Look whenever one of the kids lets loose with a swear word, but I am willing to bear that burden.  If the worst thing I do to my kids is expand their vocabulary, albeit inappropriately, oh well.  The Criplets often get the most credit for creative use of the f-bomb, but my trademark is working it in to the middle of words.  I am especially fond of fanfuckingtastic and absofuckinglutely.

Boom made some college decisions, for those following along.  I will soon be seeking a real job to pay for her to get a genuine Aggie (and Blinn College) education.  She has committed to the Corp of Cadets, which is even more of a blessing (from where I sit) than I first imagined.  Freshman can't have carpet, television, extra furniture, microwave or fridge.  That will save me a bundle in the dorm room decoration department.  Now we have to teach her to iron (better) and shine shoes and brass.

I don't know if it was last summer's miserable heat and drought, the warm winter or the timing of the rain we have gotten, but we are being overrun with these:


Looking them up, I learned that they are called Crane Flies.  We have always called them mosquito killers/hawks/eaters.  Whatever you want to call them, they are everyfuckingwhere.  (See how I do that?)  When I mowed, huge clouds of them billowed up out of the grass.  They cover the porch ceiling and walls.  They cluster in every corner.  Every time a door opens, two or three come in.  And you can't grab them by the leg to catch them, the legs just pull right off.  Ugh.  I have never seen so many of these dang things in my life.  I would spray something to kill them, but I read that birds and bats eat them.  We have baby bluebirds on the porch right now, so I will leave the damn bugs and try to convince myself it is because they are a food source for our little birds.

April 2, 2012

FOD

This Monday episode of FOD is the one in which Blowie lies to a priest, as featured in the Wall Street Journal via White House Dossier :
Mr. Obama knew that the mandate would pose difficulties for the Catholic Church, so he invited Archbishop (Timothy) Dolan to the Oval Office last November, shortly before the bishops' General Assembly in Baltimore. At the end of their 45-minute discussion, the archbishop summed up what he understood as the president's message:
"I said, 'I've heard you say, first of all, that you have immense regard for the work of the Catholic Church in the United States in health care, education and charity. . . . I have heard you say that you are not going to let the administration do anything to impede that work and . . . that you take the protection of the rights of conscience with the utmost seriousness. . . . Does that accurately sum up our conversation?' [Mr. Obama] said, 'You bet it does.'"
The archbishop asked for permission to relay the message to the other bishops. "You don't have my permission, you've got my request," the president replied.
Fast forward to January...
"So you can imagine the chagrin," Archbishop Dolan continues, "when he called me at the end of January to say that the mandates remain in place and that there would be no substantive change, and that the only thing that he could offer me was that we would have until August. . . . I said, 'Mr. President, I appreciate the call. Are you saying now that we have until August to introduce to you continual concerns that might trigger a substantive mitigation in these mandates?' He said, 'No, the mandates remain. We're more or less giving you this time to find out how you're going to be able to comply.' I said, 'Well, sir, we don't need the [extra time]. I can tell you now we're unable to comply.'"
I can't stop picturing Blowie hanging up the phone, leering at the ceiling of the Oval and doing his best Jim Carrey, "Smite me, O mighty smiter" impression...

April 1, 2012

All Fool's Day

This week has been, and next week will be, a whirlwind, with Crash and The Princess celebrating birthdays, Boom's senior prom, Easter and the daily busy-ness of life and work.

Two down (Crash and prom), two to go (The Princess and Easter).

Caught in the middle is April Fool's Day, which I generally love and devote much attention to - but haven't really given it any thought, much less effort.  The Princess, tired of pulling all the weight in the cleaning of the girls' bathroom, has some things planned for Boom - and Boom being away all night for prom and after-parties played directly into her diabolical little plan.

I was thinking of getting the boys up with the old 'set off the fire alarm and watch them stumble into the yard in their underwear' trick, but they got up right as I was ready to put the plan in place.

I had also thought of sitting Mr Harper down with some brochures and such to explain my burning desire to adopt another child.  Considering the current hair-pulling frustration with the kids we have, I just don't think I could have pulled that one off.

It seems the old standbys will have to suffice.  I think I will go grease up a toilet seat or some doorknobs.  Short sheet Boom's bed.  Hide under a bed and grab an ankle, or jump out of a closet tonight.  Maybe I can pull an ingredient switcheroo or something with dinner tonight, see if a pound of salt gets their attention.