November 30, 2012

Diversion Tactics

Some people have a garage refrigerator, or a cooler stash somewhere.  Me, I just remember that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.  


The Shiner Black is mine.  Just so Mr. Harper doesn't forget, I hide the Black behind the other varieties of Shiner and throw in the distraction of raspberry chipotle sauce (which is good on everything) and some cinnamon-y gooey tube product.

Distracting Style

Yesterday afternoon I saw an older, nearly elderly, woman with a spiky platinum blonde hairdo.  I did a double take.  My kids took note.  Then we went on about our business.

Last year, my children's school lifted their dress code restriction requiring male hair to be above the eyebrows and collar.  This, mostly in a delayed response to the early Bieber hair tossing phenomenon.  Now there is a boy who I mistake for a girl every time - it is the age of Aquarius all over again.  But it doesn't affect my daily routine.

This year, in particular, I have been driven to distraction by the amount of hair flowing out of football helmets.  In some sort of Troy Polamalu-esque display, dozens of college and professional football players have more hair than brain cells.  A couple of weeks ago at an A&M football game, I heckled the opposing team's bench, using colorful language to suggest that some key players needed to get their hair cut.  I told my family I just wanted to walk along and whack off everything that is below the bottom of the helmet. 

This kid got removed from his Hill Country High School class for his "distracting" hairstyle:


When did "fun", "unique", and "spirited" become synonymous with "distracting"?

Sure, he was guaranteed to attract some attention the first couple of days he was at school - but are today's youth so pathetic that they simply can't do long division if someone in the room has an unusual (temporary) hairstyle?  How in the world do they survive Halloween, if they are so easily distracted by alternative hair styles?  I'm no educator, but I have been a lifelong student, and it seems to me that they best way to diffuse a potentially distracting hair situation in the classroom is to face it head on.  Acknowledge the "distraction" and move on.  

November 29, 2012

Dammit

Wasn't me.  Back to the grind.

The Gambler

I got sucked in to the whole Powerball thing yesterday.  Even as I tried to explain that the pot was huge because so many people were buying tickets, thus decreasing the already astronomical odds of winning, I was handing over my cash to buy into an office pool of numbers.

Our office manager had recently watched a documentary of some sort about lotteries, and took all steps necessary to head off any potential lawsuits and hurt feelings in the event that we win.  No hidden tickets or claims of one ticket bought for personal use and the others bought for the group pool.

I haven't checked the numbers yet...I need to dig through my stack of work and find the printout.

As I told my co-workers, that sum of money would make me the happiest if I could give it away to people I know and love, to make their lives easier.  I know people get greedy and stupid, which supports my belief that keeping just enough to invest and live comfortably on is the way to go, and then make it rain.

If you don't find me back here tomorrow, I might just be busy, picking up that giant check!

November 28, 2012

Texas Christmas Shopping episode 1

The enws is awash with the current price of the items detailed in "The Twelve Days of Christmas".  Thanks to our shitty economy and Obama's policies (c'mon, he's been playing the blame game for four years), the price to purchase the "Twelve Days" items this year would be $107,300.  And it is mostly crap that no one wants, anyway.

For about $250, you can get the 'Call of Duty Experience' at my local range, along with an all day range pass.  This fun day at the range includes the opportunity to shoot:
  
AR15 - M4 Carbine
Fire 10 rounds from the rifle used by the US military to protect our freedom around the world and by SWAT/Tactical Police units across the country!

The rifle is also equipped with a state of the art Trijicon
ACOG battle sight!
AK47
Experience the thrill of shooting 10 rounds of ammunition through what is officially known as the Avtomat Kalashnikova, or Kalashnikov, an "AK", or in Russian slang, Kalash!

More AK-type rifles have been produced than all other assault rifles combined.

This rifle is equipped with a
Meprolight M21 battle sight, the preferred sighting system of the Israeli army!
UZI 9mm Semi-Auto
A name that is recognized by almost everyone, it is a family of Israeli open bolt, blowback-operated weapons. The Uzi has found use as a personal defense weapon by rear-echelon troops, officers, artillery troops and tankers, as well as a frontline weapon by elite light infantry assault forces.

From the 1960s through the 1980s, Uzi submachine guns were sold to more military and police markets than any other submachine gun ever made. This may be your only chance to personally fire 10 rounds though a firearms legend!
Desert Eagle XIX .50 Action Express
Fire three rounds, all most people can handle, through this icon! This amazingly powerful handgun uses a gas-operated mechanism normally found in rifles, as opposed to the short recoil or blow-back designs most commonly seen in semi-automatic pistols.

The .50 AE is one of the most powerful pistol cartridges in production! Few people can make the claim of actually firing one of these amazing pieces of engineering. You will be in a very small group of elite sportsmen!
Beretta M9A1
The M9 is a short recoil, semi-automatic pistol which uses a 15-round staggered box magazine with a reversible magazine release button that can be positioned for either right- or left-handed shooters. The M9A1 is chambered in the standard NATO 9X19mm, or sometimes known as the 9mm Parabellum or 9mm Luger.
Doesn't that sound like a fun gift for the guy or gal who has everything but a Desert Eagle and an UZI?

November 27, 2012

Lean Forward

Mr. Harper loves to watch those "To Catch A Predator" shows.  He likes to watch the scumbags squirm, he delights in their discomfort when the cameras are revealed, he nearly cheers when the perps are tackled and handcuffed.  I am not sure if they are even doing those shows anymore, but the other night he stumbled on a replay of an episode on MSNBC as he was flipping through the channels killing time before the late news. 

I tucked in beside him, and was soon entertained (I can't think of a more distinctly explanatory word) by this commercial:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Good Lord, Almighty!  MSNBC should just declare themselves the official channel of Barack Obama.  Why bother pretending to be a news organization?  Matthews should, if he hasn't already, get a tattoo of Obama's face on his ass and bow to a Barack bobble head for his prayers.  Once upon a time, the American public would not have tolerated such a blatantly biased news organization.

"Lean Forward", indeed!

November 26, 2012

FOD 216

Golf count: 106 for the presidency, 14 this year (twice in two weeks, told ya he would ramp it up).

Why do we have a second inauguration ceremony?  Considering the cost, and the state of the economy, wouldn't it make more sense to quietly administer the Oath of Office, televise it if you must, and move on?

The 2009 festivities topped out at $170 million.  While the taxpayers don't foot the entire bill, we do pay for a hefty chunk of it:
The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies is responsible for the official swearing-in. Taxpayers pick up the tab for security and the costs connected to the ceremony on the west front of the Capitol, while Obama supporters cover various inaugural balls, concerts and parties.
Do the ceremony in the Oval, put it on Pay-Per-View and call it a day.

The White House isn't saying what the budget and fundraising targets are, but they are mulling over accepting corporate donations.  Blowie took the high and mighty road the first time around and wouldn't accept corporate donations, so as not to look like he could be bought.  But, certain Wall Street bigwigs were credited for bundling over $700 million for the inauguration.  Now, he's got nothing to lose, and us to screw for whatever he wants, so why not let all the corporate cronies pitch in?  At least we will know who is going to get some pork thrown their way.

November 25, 2012

Nothing for Something

The hurricane/super-storm known as Sandy was devastating.  There is no doubt that there was irreparable damage done to lives, homes, businesses, and landmarks.  I feel for each and every person affected by the storm.

As with any disaster, natural or otherwise, there was, and is, heroism, courage, generosity, and hard work in response to the damage.  Some organizations did better than others, but there is no doubt that all were trying to get things back in order.  I don't know much about power generation and transmission, but I have been without it and sympathize with the hardship.

Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), made a poor billing decision.  Likely they made a series of very bad, thoughtless, and short-sighted decisions when allowing for estimated bills to go out even as they are still getting a handle on whether the structures in question still remain standing, much less whether they have, and are consuming, power.
LIPA customers who spent weeks without power got zapped with their normal electric bills — as if the outages never happened.
The clueless utility charged Sandy-soaked Long Island residents an estimated rate that covered the entire billing cycle, and the statements made no mention of potential refunds to account for the prolonged blackouts.
Communication is key here, and they clearly FUBAR'd it.  And yet,
Jonathan Saporta was slapped with a double whammy by the Long Island Power Authority — a $649 bill for the Long Beach home he left in October and a $281 bill for his new Great Neck pad.
He also is expecting a $1,700 bill for his storm-ravaged restaurant, Jake’s Wayback Burger, which is in hard-hit Long Beach and remains without power.
 Saporta, 33, moved to the Great Neck home on Oct. 1 and got the bill in the mail on Wednesday for a cycle covering 43 days — including the two weeks he spent in the dark following the Oct. 29 storm.
 Even though he switched his account to the new address on Sept. 26, he still received an e-mail bill for the Long Beach house on Nov. 10 — and somehow it was $390 more than the previous month.

I am not paying any of my bills, that much I promise,” said Saporta. “They can put me into collections, and I’ll fight them tooth-and-nail.

“It’s simply criminal.”
Now wait just a minute.  LIPA makes a bad decision to send out estimated bills.  They are hard to get on the phone right now to straighten things out.  Infuriating?  Absolutely.  Criminal?  No.  What is criminal, is refusing to pay for something that you used.  I'm not saying Saporta should pay all of the bills in full, I am saying that he pays the bill for his new place.  If you will note, he moved into his new home at the beginning of October, 28 days BEFORE Sandy - heck, he moved his service on September 26th, over a month before Sandy - on what grounds does he think that he shouldn't pay that bill?

He could probably spend a few minutes with the bills and a calculator and figure out about what he owes on the other two places, or look at past bills and pro-rate the amounts based on the dates prior to the storm and how long the power was out and/or unused.

It is quite simple, really, to pay the bills you owe, to dispute the ones you don't, and save yourself a certain loss in court, when the judge reads your published-in-the-newspaper ultimatum spelling out that you didn't pay your bona fide bills in protest of the ones you didn't owe.

I am sorry that you suffered a loss due to the storm, but that doesn't give you a free pass on the cost of life.

November 24, 2012

Gifting ideas

Two of my friends mentioned alternative gifting ideas in the comments the other day, something that has been on my mind for months.

As a kid, we spent every Christmas Eve at my maternal grandparent's house.  After Thanksgiving dinner, someone would start writing down each person's name on a strip of paper, and the names went into an adult drawing collective and the kids' bowl.  Everybody drew a name to buy a Christmas gift for.  Since my mom is the youngest of eight (and I am the lone only child), this made perfect sense with 30+ first cousins.  Everyone got a present from one other person, and Grandma and Granddad bought all the kids something similar.  Our parents brought our stockings which were filled in a late evening visit from Santa as we kids were upstairs practicing our program of Christmas carols.  When we heard sleigh bells and a hearty, "Ho, ho, ho", that was our cue to descend and sing our songs, all the while straining to see what was in our stockings across the room.

I have sat through White Elephant exchanges, Chinese exchanges, and variations of each involving 'good' gifts, gag gifts, gift cards, ornaments, etc.  Whited's family does some garage sale item exchange that sounds hilarious, I need more detail on that.  I once scored one of these at a Chinese exchange in Germany:

This summer/fall, I started pleading with my family to come up with some new gift exchange system.  Currently, everyone buys for everyone - among my parents, step-sister, niece and my family.  If anyone is visiting, as Uncle Mo is likely to do, everyone buys for them and vice versa.  I have long felt bad, and have guiltily adjusted my spending for others to reflect what they are spending to buy something for each person in my family of six.  I know it is the thought that counts, but, come on, my step sister is counting dollar signs.  Of course, she is the master of giving gift cards that never have a balance on them...

Back in August, seeing our budget for the coming year, we knew that something different needed to happen.  At the time we were traveling quite a bit, and I suggested a truck stop gift Christmas - there are some real gems there.  I have suggested that everyone bring a gift card to exchange.  I suggested that all the adults bring a bottle of something.  There is no real enthusiasm for any budget friendly ideas.  Everyone agrees that we should do something, but nothing has been done.

My opportunity might have passed, because I am sure the evil step-sister will nix any idea that means she gets anything less than she has before.  But, I am not going to bust my budget to please her.  Anybody have success stories for a reasonable Christmas gift exchange?

November 23, 2012

The Madness Begins

I have to admit to being woefully unprepared for this holiday season.  It didn't occur to me until Boom got home, how many things needed to happen TODAY, for her to be able to take part in our Christmas traditions.  She has to head back to school tomorrow, so the tree trimming is an absolute must happen - there is no waiting until she is home for the semester. 

Usually, each member of the family signs their own name to our Christmas cards, a trick I picked up from a friend several years ago, which has saved me a Carpal Tunnel relapse.  We could wait for that, I suppose.  Otherwise, I need to run out today in the Black Friday madness to find some cards.  I am sure Boom will appreciate coming home from finals week and being faced with a stack of cards to sign.

I can't think of a single store-bought item that would be worth camping out for on Thanksgiving.  I haven't waited in line for something overnight since high school - and camping out for concert tickets was more of an all-night party than a waiting game.

There are a few things that are on sale at impressive discounts, even a few that are on my shopping list.  If they still happen to be in stock when I make it to the big box discounter, I will save some dough, otherwise, I will have saved my sanity by shopping online and spending time with my family.

Mr H and I were all geared up for a serious family discussion of wish lists versus budgets, and planned to open the kid's eyes as to the costs of what they were asking for versus what is a reasonable holiday expense for our family.  The kids worked on their lists for several hours, they poured over the store circulars and clicked around Amazon checking release dates and other info.  I made them print out their lists and pencil in the prices next to each item.  We sat down for the Big Talk.

All four kids had amazingly reasonable lists, there was no lecturing required.  Of course, Crash was a little out there, but he writes down EVERYTHING.  It is my excuse for not rushing into the room each time he sees something on television - I tell him to put it on his Christmas list (until December 26th, when I tell him to put it on his birthday list).  When we asked the kids what they thought would be a reasonable budget, they had a good answer and had already made the correlation that whatever they said individually was multiplied times four for the parents.  Maybe Obama should spend some time with my kids.

November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, restful, peaceful, filling, and victorious Thanksgiving.  If those seem like odd adjectives to describe the day, know that they reflect my life.  While I will enjoy the day with my immediate family, I do have a family member or two that will make the day less enjoyable. 

I wish everyone good health, as it seems like each day I hear of a friend or family member struggling with a medical issue.   

I have been working 12 - 14 hour days the past week and will do it again next week - so rest is welcomed, even as I am thankful that I have been given the gift of a new career in a field that is exploding with work. 

Peace, well, I have four kids that have been out of school for nearly a week now...

Filling- I have always been blessed with a family of good made-from-scratch cooks.  Now, I realize that some people may not know any different, and to them it tastes like the wonderful Thanksgiving feast that is synonymous with the day.  But, I experienced a bit of horror seeing how many people fill their shopping carts with canned gravy, boxed side dishes, chopped and formed meat, and frozen pies.  Whatever your family eats, I hope you enjoy it.

And, in an annual, twice per year house divided rivalry, the NFL placed the first Redskins defeating cowgirls game on this afternoon's schedule.  Victory shall be the best dessert.


November 21, 2012

Unions Suck

I am not the least bit surprised that Hostess (or the holding companies that own the name) decided to go out of business, rather than try to weather a union storm.  In all likelihood, another bakery conglomerate will buy the name and product recipes and Twinkies will line the shelves again - at least until Moochelle gets them outlawed. My money is on Bimbo Bakeries - the Mexican owned company that bought Texas' beloved Mrs. Baird's brand a few years back.  They will make the Twinkies and all will be right with the world, until they have a labor dispute...

Union-backed Wal-Mart employees have been protesting and threatening to strike on Black Friday.  I wish they would, so people would stay home instead of assault one another over a $10 Easy Bake oven.  Wal-Mart employees want more money, better schedules, and more affordable health care.  I guess they missed that Obamacare memo.

I have been knee deep in actions my company has to take as part of a settlement agreement over a union labor dispute.

The root of the labor suit was that a handful of union people used the first few minutes of their scheduled work day to con non-union employees into signing something that called for an organizational vote.  The guys thought they were signing up for future work notices, but the small print was about calling a union election.  When the non-union guys called the office to ask about it, and it was discovered that union employees were using work time for union business, one of my bosses shut down the job site for the day and docked everyone's pay accordingly.

But you can't do that to union employees.  They get a full day's pay.  They get per diem.  They get their money by a certain time each week, or you pay penalties.  If you lay them off or fire them, you have to pay all wages due before they leave the job that day.

The boss man probably would have settled down and paid everyone their full day's wages, if it weren't for the smarmy union guy that called to scold him.  When you call the union rep a mother f'er, your date in court is guaranteed.  Now I get to mail notices explaining that we were a bad, bad union suppressing company to every current and former employee.  The NLRB gets a copy of the notices (that they printed and sent to us, thanks taxpayers!). Notices have to be posted in prominent places to ensure the greatest amount of exposure.    I suggested the urinals. 

I wish Wal-Mart would stand firm - and I am not even a Wal-Mart fan, it is just the principle of the thing that bothers me.  I am sad to see an iconic brand like Hostess be sold off, but I am proud that they put the blame squarely on the union's shoulders.  

November 20, 2012

Tuesday humor

The internet has brought us an endless supply of fodder to fill the void once taken up by shows like 'Kids Say the Darndest Things'.  Now, when little Janie or Johnny say or do something cute, it is a sure bet that it will be noted on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter within the hour. 

One of the things my kids do to entertain me, is to regurgitate viral video monologues - The Princess does a dead-on imitation of Sweet Brown.  Today, I was both entertained and refreshed by having an actual conversation with an actual young person, in which he said something unexpected and hilarious.  Granted, he obviously had some adult help forming the opinion he expressed, but his delivery and commitment to the idea shone through any coaching.

This sweet 3-year old boy child visited me at work today.  His reputation preceded him, as his grandfather wears out the iPhone showing us pictures and videos of the boy and his adventures.  I had been encouraged to ask the boy what he was afraid of.  I was expecting some tough guy answer, since he is a daredevil.  I asked him, 'What are you scared of, B?'

His answer: 'Bitin' dogs, snakes, and fat women.' 

November 19, 2012

FOD - 217

52 Mondays a year X 4 more years + 6 more Mondays left in this year + 3 FODs in 2017 before inauguration day = 217 FODs after today.  Hence, the countdown.

*****

I try to be hip to the trendy vernacular.  I understand/stood the PHAT/FAT phenomenon, I know that a GRILL can mean something other than the outdoor cooking device...



I know that YOLO, I get that DANK does not (currently) mean dark and damp. 

I am not sure if Joe Biden gets the slang thing:
"If you’re not an Easterner it’s hard to understand that the ocean to us is the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Park and everything else combined. It is a gigantic part of not only our economy but who we are. It’s a gigantic part of the culture as well.

And every time the rest of the country is in real trouble, New Jersey and Delaware and New York and Connecticut etcetera we respond, we respond. And it’s going to be a heavy lift. These are difficult times in terms of budgets but the president has made it clear that we are going to do everything we can to make sure that the Corps is fully funded, that FEMA has their needs and that all the programs that exist under the auspices of the federal government not only continue to exist but are funded so that we can make sure that this area of the country is fully fully fully restored.

So as the president said when he was up here with the governor, we’re not going anywhere. We’re not not going anywhere. And you’ve got a homeboy in the deal who gets it."
 Oh, okay, so long as I have a homeboy, in the deal...but what does he 'get'? 

November 18, 2012

Pardon the interruption

Sorry to be away so long, camped out for that Twilight finale movie...

Nah, not really.

We were traveling this weekend, off to visit Boom and take in a football game and military appreciation weekend festivities.  At the beginning of Boom's Pass and Review, there was a somber moment of silence for the veteran's lives lost this week in Midland, Texas.  That, coupled with the recently re-elected leadership in our country, the obvious issues among some senior military brass, and the unrest in old and new locations amplified the maternal concern instinct when faced with all those fresh faced young people in uniform, preparing to serve their country.

Home now and faced with a mountain of laundry, as I offered to take what Boom was stockpiling in preparation for Thanksgiving break.  She isn't home until Wednesday night and then has to be back to school by Saturday, so I opted to take the duffel of dirty stuff and start chipping away at it, rather than run a 24 hour laundry service in between turkey basting. 


I had intended to blog from the road, but iPads and Blogger just don't seem to get along.  It is a pain in the ass, and one I wasn't up to fighting this weekend.  Crash and car rides are stereotypical "are we there yet" adventures.  I love that little guy, but, sheesh, can he talk. 

November 15, 2012

Praying...

Praying hard for all involved in this tragedy:
Four people died and 17 others were taken to a hospital when a train crashed into a parade float honoring veterans in Midland, Texas, late this afternoon.
 A horrific tragedy made all the more sickening by the fact that the parade float was carrying wounded veterans and their families - and some were unable to jump off to escape the crash because they were in wheelchairs.  Dear Lord.

My thoughts are with everyone touched by this sad event.  The families, the survivors, the bystanders and witnesses, and the train crew.  Peace, healing, and love to you all.

Grecian Obama

Old Barack is young again, at least he looks it:

Left, Obama on November 5th.  Right, November 14.

In what could arguably be a marketing bonanza for Grecian Formula, Obama's pre-election salt and peppa is now restored to a glossy ebony.

I realize it is idiotic, but I really want to know who, why and how the Obama campaign decided that there was traction to be gained by having Obama look old.  Did they do some polling?  Did they read something about how Romney's gray made him look wiser and more distinguished?  Was it a matter of any press is good press, since there were several of the inevitable 'how the presidency ages' photo arrays and stories?

I am even entertaining a theory that Obama is actually back to his natural color.  I can picture him having the gray dabbled in, as Michelle and his aides stand around assessing the look, directing the hair stylist where to add spot or two. 

I can barely think about those arrogant and crass people occupying the White House without throwing up a little bit.

November 14, 2012

Humans

Here is my brief, sure to be unpopular, commentary on the whole Petraeus/Broadwell/Kelly/Shirtless FBI agent circus.

First, the media has failed us by not demanding and publishing said shirtless photos.

Second, I know a great many military members.  Though I was never in uniform myself, I was an Air Force brat and then an Army wife - which might even give me a more qualified perspective on the things (stories, sensitive information) that officers bring home with them.

Most of the people I know that are in the military, or support the military, or work within the military community are just like the stereotype - brave, heroic, integrity-filled folks who sacrifice their comfort and safety for ours.

There are bad apples.  There are great military leaders that are shitty people.  Cheaters, abusers, losers - just like in the 'real' world.  Unfortunately, the military machine tends to shield those people to whatever extent it can, in many cases.

The military reflects the rest of the world.  If it happens in the civilian world, it happens in the military.  For every ridiculous, embarrassing, damaging Petraeus-type story, there are a dozen we won't ever hear about. 

November 13, 2012

GMAFB

I am convinced that I am living in some sort of alternate reality.  Nothing seems to have any rhyme or reason anymore.  Our government is the antithesis of our Constitution.  Our great country, founded on the belief that men should be free - free from religious pigeon-holing, free from taxation without representation, free from tyranny, has become a tyrannical, overtaxing, overspending behemoth that demands that we alter our behavior, speech, and world view to accommodate terrorists, jihadists, and liberal goons.

Every time that something unbelievable happens, I think that surely people will wake the hell up and see what is happening to our country.  There is rampant fraud, double standards, conspiracy, and open hostility among the people of the United States.

Just when I think that we have hit rock bottom, something else, equally nauseating, comes along.  Like this:
President Obama is considering asking Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) to serve as his next defense secretary
Swift Boat Kerry as SecDef?  You must be shittin' me.

November 12, 2012

FOD Golfing Pool Edition

Newly re-elected and newly smug, the president hit the links last week.  Never mind that 150,000+ people still don't have power.  Never mind those living in tents, or in filth, or struggling to make sense of what Sandy has done to them.  Never mind that they are still finding bodies.

Ignore that the CIA director just 'resigned', that Clinton, Geithner, and Carney are on the way out.

Don't pay any attention to those little rocket Syria and Israel are shooting at each other.

Fiscal cliff?  What fiscal cliff?  Let's golf!

Anyone care to make a wager as to what the final count will be, come 2017?  How many rounds of golf can one man play in a two-term presidency?
With the election over and his golfing no longer a potential political liability, President Obama returned to the fairways today, playing for the 105th time of his presidency but only the 13th time this year. 
I will make a scientific guess, based on mathematical history and personal opinion.  Throw out the 13 rounds from this year.  Clearly, Koffler nails it when he says:
Obama has always found time to golf, no matter the demands of the presidency. It is unlikely that he couldn’t find any time to play during the campaign. More likely, his political advisers had determined that a president attacking Mitt Romney as an out-of-touch rich guy who is a tool of the wealthy could ill afford to have Obama constantly on the golf course.
So, 105 minus 13 equals 92 rounds of golf played the first three years of his presidency, averaging 30.67 rounds per year.  He is all in now, and I am sure that Moochelle is in full 'take advantage of the free vacations while we can' mode, so I will bet on a higher average for the rest of this year and throughout his second term.

My prediction is that he will hit the 240 mark. 

November 11, 2012

Thank You

To all military veterans, thank you for your service to our country.


November 10, 2012

Double Dipping

Is it just me or does this whole Petraeus thing stink to high heaven?

So, he got caught having an affair with his biographer.  Caught by the FBI.  And there, of course, is some ambiguous cover story about how and why the FBI 'stumbled on' this information, because, of course, they weren't actually directly investigating the leader of the CIA.  In fact, they were conducting some sort of investigation because it seemed that Petraeus might be a victim - though of what, they are not saying.

I am no expert on the three letter agencies, but I am not an idiot.  How does the CIA director get investigated by the FBI and no one at the CIA has an inkling about it?  One would think that the accounts, actions, and movement of the CIA director would be close hold.  If the FBI truly thought the CIA director was a victim of some sort of investigable incident, wouldn't protocol seem to be that they give the CIA a little head's up?

Now, I am no David Petraeus fan.  I like his wife, Holly, even less.  Does anyone believe that Petraeus quit over an affair?  Holly is an Obama campaign darling, and a member of the administration.  How big and bad does Benghazi-gate have to be for David and Holly to both take a hit?  Seriously, David could have resigned due to 'health' reasons or some other benign, yet easily faked and plausible excuse.  Dragging out the marital dirty laundry seems extreme.    

Maybe David was ready to talk and Obama wanted to shut him up.  I am anxious to see if Holly lasts at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or if she will slip quietly away in the near future.  Maybe someone else is covering their ass and let the proverbial cat out of the bag - though I have to believe it should be a little tough to blindside the leader of the CIA.

There has to be more to this story...

November 9, 2012

Date Certain

January 20, 2017

If nothing else, we can look forward to the fact that Barack Obama will cease being president on January 20, 2017.  His days are truly numbered.

I spoke with a friend today, about the apathy, the idiocy, the indescribably state of our society.  This isn't a national phenomena - it is happening everywhere.  I live in a town that elected an unemployed convicted criminal alcoholic as mayor.  Elizabeth Warren got elected.  Allen West did not.  Roseanne Barr placed sixth in the race for president, with over 48,000 votes.

Really smart people spent millions of dollars working on races they thought were winnable, yet nearly every political 'expert' guessed wrong.  We are one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, yet we still can't manage to find a way to ensure that legally registered voters (and only legally registered voters) can cast their ballots in a timely, efficient, and uncorrupted way.

One in five Americans receives some sort of assistance from the government.  Just like you couldn't get children to vote out Santa on Christmas morning, at least one in five Americans aren't going to vote out the guy handing out the free shit.  I don't know why anyone is surprised.   Disappointed, yes.  Surprised?  Hell.  No.

This wasn't a single election issue, this was a progressive shift of our populace.  As a friend of mine said on Facebook, the takers outnumber the makers.

I don't know how to fix any of this - but I do have hope, because the gift we all have now, is the gift of absolute knowledge.  We know the day Obama is outta here, we have a date certain.  The pinpoint of light at the end of the very long and dark tunnel will grow brighter each day, and then, he will be gone.

November 8, 2012

Defriending

Boom mentioned to me how many Facebook 'friends' she de-friended on election night, most of them fringe acquaintances or friends of friends that had made it into her queue over the years.  She also expressed surprise at how conservatively like-minded a large percentage of those people she would consider close(r) FB friends were.  I am not sure whether that gives me hope or just means that my college freshman daughter and her friends haven't been indoctrinated by the liberal institutions of higher learning where they all currently reside.

I think it would be an interesting statistic, to see how many people made changes to their various social media platforms on election day.  Obviously there is the issue of coincidental timing, but judging by my own meager presence on FB, Twitter and local forums, there were a lot of insults, exasperation, and hurt feelings on Tuesday night.  The spectrum is stunning - there is some very real hate out there, people who clearly have no respect for what is supposed to be an American value of each person having a right to their own opinion.

This is yet another glimmer of hope for me.  Some see it as further division of our country - but a smart person recently pointed out to me how personal intelligence is affected by surrounding oneself with idiots.  It is better for us to divide and unite with like-minded people, because within those like-minded people are still new ideas, open minds, and the ability to get things done. 

November 7, 2012

Borrowing better prepared thoughts

Re-posting from Keith Koffler's White House Dossier.

First, one of the key issues that kept me up all night:
Obamacare is now here to stay. The United States will move inexorably toward socialized medicine, and the quality of health care for all will begin to decline irrevocably.
and further:
Federal spending, which stands at its highest level since World War II, will stay right where it is and perhaps increase. Dependency on government will become better established as a way of life. Government will intrude in ever more creative and pernicious ways into the daily lives of Americans, as Obama rules by fiat to the greatest extent possible and issues regulations affecting myriad aspects of our lives.

As more people become acclimated to receiving government largesse, fewer will be open to conservative ideas about self-reliance. Businesses will find it more difficult than ever to operate as the burdens of rules and paperwork weigh them down.
There is more.  Much, much more.  But I am going to pull a Scarlet O'Hara and beg off for the day - I'll worry about those things tomorrow. 

Finally, one of WHD's famous 'fake quotes' - I like to think of it as the unspoken quote:
“Now I want to bring us all together, Democrats and . . . those who lie, only like rich people, detest Hispanic immigrants, want to send jobs overseas, love oil companies, enjoy war, hate the middle class, wage war on women, like to throw old people off cliffs, favor letting people die instead of giving them health care, and want to put African Americans back in chains.”
- Barack Obama
A note from our attorneys: This is not a real quote
Well, crap.

November 6, 2012

Lasts

No matter what the election results turn out to be, Obama is racking up 'lasts'.  He claims that if he loses, he won't run in 2016 - and that is about the only thing that has come out of his mouth that I believe.  The narcissist in him wouldn't let him.  If he loses, I see sort of an Al Gore reclusiveness setting in for a time.

So, everything leading up to this point regarding the campaign has been a 'last'.
“This is my last debate prep practice,” he said at Camp David.
“This is my last walk-through,” he said, touring a debate stage.
“This is my last debate,” he said after squaring off a third time with Mitt Romney.
Even if he, God Forbid!, wins, it will be the last time he wins the presidency.  It will be the last term he serves.  It will be the last time anyone votes for him.

I think the idea of 'lasts' may be a coping mechanism for another Obama term, but I am still hopeful, prayerful, and cautiously optimistic that I will instead be counting more significant Obama 'lasts' much sooner.

The one thing I am pessimistic about is the election results timeline.  I harbor no hope that there will be a decisive victory before my bedtime tonight.  If there is, I would think it would be one pointing to 'firsts' - those of a Romney administration.

Vote cast.  Fingers crossed.

November 5, 2012

FOD

I am over politics, over this election, ready to move on.  The left has promised us riots and violence if Romney wins.  If he doesn't, I am sure they won't hold back the vitriol over the next four years.  So, in honor of the last pre-election FOD, I am posting my motto:


November 4, 2012

Falling Back

As enticing as it sounds, the reality of getting an "extra" hour of sleep was at odds with my body clock this morning. I frequently wake throughout the night, and the first thing I do is glance at the clock - so, I made sure to change all of the clocks (that wouldn't auto-update) before I turned in last night.  Seemed odd to be getting to bed before 10 pm, but less so when I was wide awake at 4 am.

Boom was scheduled for flag duty this morning, and the mom in me called her to make sure she was aware of the time change.  She was, though she was, IMHO, youthfully reliant on the fact that her cell phone, which doubles as her alarm clock, would make the change and wake her accordingly.  And at 10 pm, she was just headed out for the evening.  That extra hour probably came in handy for her.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of people will be an hour early for work, church, sporting events, and other set activities today.  And for what?  The idea that our society is married to the clock, rather than adaptable to daylight patterns seems idiotic to me.  I come from farming stock, and what the clock says is inconsequential when there are crops to be planted or harvested, animals to tend to, work to be done.

Many of the arguments for Daylight Saving Time are related to activities requiring daylight and energy consumption.  The energy consumption argument has to be the most farfetched in this day and age.  What industry is it that is spending millions of dollars developing new technologies that don't require energy for their use?  I can name industries trying to come up with new ways to produce energy, but none that are taking all of the devices our world now considers vital, and trying to invent ones that don't need manufactured energy to operate.  The original idea that incandescent lighting savings is enough to demand that everyone change their clocks was long ago rendered moot.

In fact, as more and more of our world is dependent on computer guided systems to run virtually everything, one can surmise that the twice a year time shift causes significant opportunities for error.  It's like a mini Y2K twice a year.  I am curious as to how things like medicine dosage are handled at hospitals.  If a patient has been getting something every 12 hours, with the duty nurses dosing at, say 8 am and 8 pm, do they stick to the time schedule or stay married to the 12 hour interval?  You would think they would stick to the time interval, but that gets real confusing across an entire hospital population with new people coming in, etc.

When I lived in Germany, they didn't observe DST, so for most of the summer, the time difference between family in the states and us in Germany was an additional hour off.  I think that Arizona and Hawaii are smart cookies for not buying into DST.  Maybe I will be a little rebel and refuse to change next summer, I will operate on standard time all year and during the summer demand that everyone acknowledge that I am on Harper time and they should adjust their schedules accordingly.  

November 3, 2012

Opening Weekend

As I sit here in the warmth and comfort of my home, thousands of Texans are trudging through the early morning darkness, deer rifles in hand, celebrating the annual testosterone-filled camaraderie of the season.  While many women in Texas hunt, it is a number significantly south of the male deer blind population, meaning a mini economic boom at malls across the state this weekend.

Yesterday morning my office parking lot and the street in front of our building was lined with trucks and trailers, loaded with 4-wheelers, coolers, and a collective arsenal that would rival the military power of many small countries.  They all ducked out early, and I expect they will drag in late on Monday with wild tales, huddled around cell phone cameras to view the photos.

As the deer hunters left town yesterday afternoon, the late arriving NASCAR crowd was sharing the highway.  I can tell you that the fall races at Texas Motor Speedway present quite the conundrum for many, and it looks like deer hunting won out in my part of the world.  No worries, though, it looked like the imported crowd was taking up any noticeable slack - if the liquor store parking lot is any indication. 

November 2, 2012

The Sausage Sauna

And here you have it:
A Washington college said their non-discrimination policy prevents them from stopping a transgender man from exposing himself to young girls inside a women’s locker room, according to a group of concerned parents...
...Hacker said a 45-year-old male student, who dresses as a woman and goes by the name Colleen Francis, undressed and exposed his genitals on several occasions inside the woman’s locker room at Evergreen State College.

Students from nearby Olympia High School as well as children at a local swimming club share locker rooms with the college.

According to a police report, the mother of a 17-year-old girl complained after her daughter saw the transgender individual walking naked in the locker room. A female swim coach confronted the man sprawled out in a sauna exposing himself. She ordered him to leave and called police.

The coach later apologized when she discovered the man was transgendered but explained there were girls using the facility as young as six years old who weren’t used to seeing male genitals.

Did you catch that the coach 'later apologized'?  It should have read, 'Was forced to apologize to save all institutions involved a hefty, yet bullshit riddled, lawsuit over hurting the feelings of a drag queen'.

I am so done with this crap.  My daughters discontinued their membership in the Girl Scouts when the organization announced that they accept any person that 'presents themselves as a girl'.  Apparently, this 45-year old male could have passed the Girl Scout's admission requirement.  I will be the first to admit that the Boy Scouts have some giant and ugly skeletons in the closet, but at least they have taken steps to insure that those things don't happen anymore (though they really should have come up with a better name for having two adult leaders with kids at all times - 'two-deep leadership' is kind of creepy).

When the locker, bathroom or sauna door has a plaque that reads "WOMEN", it is a reasonable expectation that those spaces will be free from penises.  Women do not have penises.  Women are not born with penises.  I do not want to see genitalia that has had a penis lopped off to look female, but that would still be somewhat more acceptable than a penis wagging around the locker room. 

So I hope Colleen Francis' individual fees, psyche, and penchant for cross dressing outweigh the mental health, happiness, customer satisfaction, and revenue produced by those college, high school, and swimming club patrons that won't be hanging out at Evergreen until their non-discrimination policy changes and Colleen puts the sausage away.

November 1, 2012

Post Halloween Post

This week is always hectic, with Bang's birthday the day before Halloween.  The midweek 'holiday' poses additional time challenges, with treats needed for school, potluck contributions needed for work, pumpkin carving ('cause in Texas, even in October, it is too warm to carve them early), and then homework, dinner and trick or treating before school night bedtime.

I have been slammed, as I unexpectedly started working full time last week.  One of those too good to pass up opportunities that fell into my lap right as I was finishing up the paperwork to shut down the non-profit foundation that I have been working for these past six years.  Mr. H and I are still working out the kinks of both of us working.  For example, Mr. H often works from home, on admin heavy days.  Tuesday was one of those days.  Bang's birthday, Scouts night for two kids, and I had a 6:30 pm meeting.  He found time to run some errands, and found time to work out, but it never occurred to him to maybe give some thought to what we were going to do for dinner.  "Was I supposed to do that?" *blink* *blink*.  Gee, when I was home each day, that was my default responsibility...

Since no one trick-or-treats in our neighborhood, we go to a little subdivision in our town.  In fact, we used to live there, so we know many of the folks and like to walk around seeing how much things have changed and wonder how in the world we were ever happy living there.

Halloween has changed a bit for us, with two kids that have outgrown trick-or-treating (though Boom seems to have come full circle and was headed to a college costume party last night - a school night, mind you).  The younger two must have gotten plenty of sugar at class parties, as they never batted an eye at skipping  two whole streets in the subdivision, happy with a reasonable haul of candy and ready to depart in under an hour.  Woohoo!

The best comment of the evening originated from Bang, who came along for the walk.  A neighboring church had set up a little table to hand out candy (and Bible tracts) to the kids.  Their youth minister fancies himself a ventriloquist.  He creeps me the hell out.  He and his puppet talked to the kids as his wife put the items in their bucket.  After we had walked out of ear shot, Bang said, "Well, he's certainly no Jeff Dunham."

In near perfect unison, Crash and The Princess replied, "I keell you."