July 30, 2014

Idiot Spotting

My family has been vacationing in Tennessee.  We have spent lovely, unforgettable days in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  We have hiked, explored historic structures and spaces, and viewed wildlife.  We have also been exposed to some of the people that remind us how fortunate we are to have common sense.

One of the main attractions in the Smokies is the American Black Bear.  The cabin we are staying in is decorated in a bear motif, it has a bear name, bears are frequently sighted in the area.  Fortunately, we did not encounter any bears on our cabin porch, but we did see some in the park.

 We discovered that the easiest method of bear spotting is to look for the large numbers of idiots that have abandoned their vehicles in the middle of the road and are standing around slack-jawed, looking upward.

GMAFB, people.  This usually happens just over the crest of a hill, or around an S-turn on a steep grade with limited visibility.  Come around the bend, and slam on the brakes as everyone comes to a screeching halt because one yuppie mobile is blocking the way, as dad and the kids rush toward a mother bear and her two cubs (I shit you not).  At one such sighting, the crowd literally surrounded mom and cubs, and then the human children stood directly under the tree that the bears climbed up.  We were relieved to return to the area from a short hike to see that Park Rangers had arrived to control the stupid.

I strongly believe in the concept of personal responsibility.  I think that people should have to educate themselves and know the proper behavior and actions in situations that they may be faced with.  I love that GSMNP does not charge an entry fee, but, at least if they did, people would have to speak with at least one park employee before they were set loose to become potential bear bait.

July 27, 2014

I'll do better

Sheesh, I've been neglecting this blog. My sincere apologies to both of my faithful readers.

It isn't that I don't have anything to say, I just haven't had time to type it out.  Work is crazy and infuriating, providing ample reason to spend my spare minutes with a Shiner in hand.  When it isn't monopolizing my time, I am trying to soak in the days with all of my family around me.  I realize how quickly the day will come when everyone has gone their own way.  

And blogging about politics has just about worn me out. It isn't even cathartic anymore, just frustrating.  That doesn't mean I am going to to resort to posting cat pictures, but I do need to find more subjects to write about that bring me joy, instead of those that make me want to beat my head against a wall.

July 23, 2014

Skeletons or Welcome Surprises?

The power of the interwebs has led to many found friends and family members.

I admit to cyber-stalking researching and/or stumbling across people from my past.  Some pleasant, some more along the lines of skeletons better left in the closet.  Some people have found me, both welcome surprises and those that got a quick 'ignore' click.

My mother's family is large and close, by most standards.  We know a great deal about our ancestry.  On the other hand, I have never met anyone related to my father, and I know little more than his place of birth and parents' names.

I am wrestling with contacting someone that might not know I even exist.  My father was one that left his hometown in the rear-view and never looked back.  My parents were only married a short time, and my dad died young, well before I was of an age to pose any probing questions or seek information about the family he never willingly spoke of.  I never knew my paternal grandparents, and until recently, had never even seen a photograph of them.

I found, through the magic of the Gorenet and Facebook, several members of my father's family - and, among their internet footprint, photos of grandparents, aunts & uncles, my father's childhood home, and the business my grandparents ran in my father's hometown.

I do not have some deep need to connect with his family, but it would be nice to hear anecdotes about my father's childhood and learn more about the family he never spoke of, instead of just seeing pictures on internet and wondering about the stories behind them.

Unless they are crackpots.

I mean, I could open a Pandora's box.  I know, from my mother's single trip to meet the family, that there are (or were) some colorful characters in my father's family.  Think Appalachian-dwelling folks that would give a hot and thirsty pregnant woman a Mason jar of moonshine, presenting it to her as water, and then cackling like hens when she downed it and then couldn't breathe for 5 minutes.

I could be inviting trouble by connecting with people that my father chose to leave behind.  Or, I could miss out on knowing part of my own history by doing nothing.

July 22, 2014

On idiots

Roger Simon is a political writer over at Politico.  He is also a douche.

Yesterday on the Twitter, he posted this:


There were epic responses, as displayed via Twitchy.


Mr. Simon lives in Washington D.C., so I am guessing that there aren't any illegal alien holding facilities opening up in his neighborhood.  Nothing speaks louder about a man's character, than espousing ridiculous claims based on an opinion of something happening 1,700 miles away, that has not, and likely, will never, affect him.

Americans are being shot at.  American taxpayer's money is being used to house, clothe and feed people who are entering our country illegally.  I am not always my governor's biggest fan, but I applaud his decision to protect our border.

July 21, 2014

FOD

Dana Summers / Creators Syndicate

July 19, 2014

The Narcissist in Chief

If your stomach is weak, move on.

Obama has taken to referring to himself as 'the bear'.  He has taken a couple of unscheduled, off-White House-grounds walkabouts recently, and has remarked upon his departure, that, "The Bear is loose".

Monday’s short trip is the second time of late he’s taken an unscheduled walk out of the White House in the middle of the day. The last time, forgoing the motorcade on the way to an event at the Interior Department, he joked that he was like a circus bear off its chain, and “the bear is loose.”
Monday, he repeated that line as he left the White House — and seemed to bristle at the Secret Service’s scrambled attempt to clear the sidewalk for him, saying that their efforts defeated the point of his trip off White House grounds.

Did you just throw up a little?

I can't think of anything, other than hide color, that would serve as a comparison between a bear and Obama, and I am sure that pointing out that single similarity earns me a punch on my racist card.

Obama is not wild, or fierce, or fearsome.  He is not strong or large.  But, wait, maybe there is a worthy comparison to be made between a hibernating bear and a president who is seemingly asleep at the wheel.

July 18, 2014

Ain't that the truth


July 16, 2014

Missed it by that much

I know a few aviators.  There is a certain attitude that comes from people that have the skills necessary to pilot an aircraft.  Many of them display that attitude as a calm confidence.  Many are cocky, with or without cause. Regardless, aviators are a 'club', and the ribbing this guy is going to get will likely lead him to consider a career change:
An Idaho pilot, who was attempting to drop 3,000 ping-pong balls on attendees of Blackfoot Pride Days, missed the mark and dropped the prize-winning balls on the interstate instead.
Police were able to restrain the crowd and prevent injuries after hundreds of the balls ended up in the median between two lanes of the highway.
"You could hear them popping as people ran over them," Taylor said. "People needed to realize that's a dangerous situation. I'm glad nobody got hit and there was no accidents."
This was the first time that the pilot who handled the drop this year was given the job, and it will also likely be the last.

July 15, 2014

Robbed of his 15 minutes

Bang had his wisdom teeth removed this morning.

This was Bang's first significant medical procedure, his first anesthesia/sedation of any sort.  For several days, Boom, Mr. H and I had, somewhat cruelly, told him tales about what to expect.  The last thing Boom and I told him late last night, was that they tell you to wear 'loose comfortable clothing' because you have to be able to fit a diaper in them.  We told him that you lose control of your bladder and bowels while sedated, so the diaper is a precaution.  We might have forgot to tell him we were joking.

The oral surgeon had asked Bang to watch a video about the procedure.  He waited until last night to do so, and Freaked.The.Hell.Out when the spokeswoman got to the part about the possibility of death.
"I could DIE tomorrow?"
We calmed him down a bit before bed, but he didn't sleep well, and he was up early - and bemoaning the fact that he couldn't eat.

Needless to say, he made it through the procedure just fine, though he was entertaining for a good bit as he was waking up.  He would not stop talking, hugged a nurse, thanked everyone at least three times, and kept announcing how alert he was.  He went on and on about how great the sleep was.  He asked if we could get some of that IV sedation at home, so he could sleep that well every night.

While I did snap one picture of him, cozied up in a blanket, with the ice pack head wrap on, I did not video tape his endless monologue, much to the disappointment of his siblings.  I don't know that there was any hilarity along the lines of David after the dentist or, my favorite (staged or not),  Jack After Wisdom Teeth Removal, but it was entertaining to those of us that know how he normally acts.

I am sure when he is over the hump, he will think I robbed him of his 15 minutes of YouTube fame - but, then again, someday he won't be 16 anymore, and will realize I saved him years of embarrassment.

July 14, 2014

FOD

Golf count: 24 rounds this year, 181 presidency total.

Illegal aliens continue to stream across our nation's southern border.  Taxpayers are footing the bill for millions of dollars of expenditures to feed, house, clothe, and provide travel for people who, by their very presence in our country, are criminals.

Our government is creating holding facilities across the nation, using empty buildings, military facilities, old schools.  Our nation can't manage to do this for homeless and hungry Americans.  Isn't that a crime?

Border patrol agents have been reduced to diaper-changers, but the president won't even visit the border to view the humanitarian criminal invasion crisis created by his own inaction.

Last week Blowie infamously cut in line at Franklin BBQ in Austin, then traveled to Dallas where a private fund raiser was held, featuring BBQ smoked by John Mueller of another famous Texas BBQ family.  While he was hobnobbing and eating food his wife won't allow schoolchildren to eat, an hour or so to the west, in Parker County, Texas, a four-time deportee was molesting a little girl in her home.

Golf and BBQ, while illegals molest children.  How does he sleep at night?

July 13, 2014

Holy @#$%&!

Is there anyway you don't loose control of bladder and/or bowels, if you are in the car directly behind the coroner's van when the gurney comes flying out the back toward you?


Just yesterday, we saw a ghetto fabulous work-around, wherein a woman was using a bungee cord to keep her car door closed - one would assume that there is at least some short protocol for making sure the gurney is secured, and the doors are firmly latched, before transporting the body of a recently deceased person.

Thank goodness no one hit the gurney, or that any accidents occurred as people tried to avoid that situation.  And, really, how soiled were the pants of the person that was behind the coroner's vehicle?

July 10, 2014

I need a Kickstarter

This week has hit the pocketbook hard.

Yesterday completed the install of our new HVAC system.  We had cool air by Tuesday afternoon, but to make sure everything was wired and functioning also required a test of the heat, so they came back early yesterday to run that test.

I will say that the new unit moves some air.  I haven't delved into the CFM specs or anything, but it noticeably blows harder than the old unit.  I believe my under-the-breath comment after hearing my family gush about it was, 'For $8,000 bucks it should be blowing more than cold air.'

Also taking a chunk of change this week was a visit to the vet to have a broken dog tooth extracted.  Labrador puppies, it seems, have chewing power that is not always matched by the strength of their teeth.  Boom noticed last week that one of our dogs had something amiss in the dental area, and we had to complete a week-long regimen of antibiotics leading up to yesterday's dental surgery.

The tooth, though weak and broken on the biting surface, proved to be stubborn, and they had to break it into three pieces to get it all out.  The vet did send the dog home with the pieces of extracted tooth, though the canine tooth fairy has not visited, nor am I holding out hope that said fairy will leave enough cash to cover the vet bill.

These expenditures led me to verbally threaten my aged washing machine this morning when the spin cycle left the clothes dripping wet.  Not. Now.  Please, don't die just yet.

Some guy in Ohio got over 5,000 people to donate over $44,000 so that he could make a potato salad.  What in the heck is wrong in our world when people will donate to schtick like this, and hardworking people struggle to live an average life?

July 8, 2014

Creature Comforts

Our holiday weekend was interrupted by a little HVAC incident.  About 3pm on Saturday, the lights flickered and I heard a sizzling sound.  As I have been procrastinating the replacement of one of our units, I figured it was the culprit, but all seemed well with it.  I opened the back door to see if the fan was running, only to be greeted by the reek of ozone and a plume of black smoke pouring out of the housing.


Well, that solved the 'replace it or nurse it through the summer' dilemma.

Luckily, it hasn't yet hit 100 degrees in our area yet.  Actually, today is the day that the weatherman says we are likely to reach that mark.  Perhaps most fortunately, we have two units, and the unit that died cools the living areas, so the bedrooms are still cool.  Everyone can hang out in their own space, sleeping and showering in air conditioned comfort - though I think a summer slumber party on the living room floor would have been fun, had the situation been reversed.

The un-climate controlled end of the house hasn't been unbearable, hitting only the mid-80s during the heat of the day.  It is a bit sweaty - but, only extremely noticeable when coming from the cool comfort of the air conditioned areas (or when doing something active).  Makes me wonder how easily my family might adapt to a thermostat setting a bit higher than our norm.  We sure could use the extra savings on electricity, to make up for the sticker shock of a new heat pump.

When the crew arrived this morning to begin removing the old unit, you should have seen the smile on their faces when I showed them to the ground floor closet that houses the unit (more modern homes in our area generally have units in the attic - where it is a billion degrees) .  One of the gentlemen turned to me and said, 'No attic.  You make me happy.'

Well, thank you, sir.  Get that new unit in, and we will all be happy.

July 7, 2014

FOD

Posting remotely from the sad little 'waiting for my ride' bench at the Ford service department. Juggling phone calls and emails about replacing my home heat pump, that literally went up in flames this weekend.

What does any of this have to do with FOD?

Big Government.  It touches everything. Mandated fees to dispose of vehicle waste. Mandated refrigerant in both car and home.  Mandated minimum energy efficiency rating in the new heat pump that will be installed in my home tomorrow.

My repairs funded with what is left of my paycheck after the government takes her bite.

Doesn't that make your blood boil? If you are a productive member of society, the government takes from you to support those that sit on their asses. If you follow the rules, you pay more.

Taxation represented by elected officials rendered useless by a president who doesn't feel compelled to do the will of the people.  I have a pen, too, Mr. President.  Let's hope I never get the chance to shove it where it would do you the most good.

July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day

I think I will just re-post this every year until our government understands what it says:


July 3, 2014

And then there was one

Yesterday The Princess lost her last (or next-to-last, we need to double check with the dentist) baby tooth.  A few weeks prior, while taking a walk with Mr. H, she announced that she knew the truth about the Tooth Fairy (and the Easter Bunny - but the jury is still out on Santa).  So, last night at bedtime, tooth in hand, she played along for the sake of her little brother.  And who wouldn't, knowing there was a couple of bucks guaranteed, simply by putting a piece of biological waste under your pillow?

All of our older kids have probably held on to childhood mythological figures longer than most, as there have been younger ones to consider.  I won't miss the stress related to the sneakiness of the Tooth Fairy...who in the heck thought that putting a tooth under the child's pillow was a good idea?  Some kids are light sleepers!  I think the Tooth Fairy should visit the mailbox.  Or mom's pillow.  That would be a better plan.

July 1, 2014

On Personal Responsibility

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard that the Supreme Court ruled that closely held companies do not have to provide insurance coverage for things, such as certain contraceptives, that they have a religious objection to.

While I am pleased with the decision, I think it is a slippery slope, the top of which is much further up the hill than this ruling.

When did recreational sex, and the prevention of pregnancy, become federal matters?

Some insurance committee, a few decades ago, sat in a room with their actuaries, and saw that insuring the cost of oral contraceptives was more economical than insuring the cost of pregnancy, labor and delivery, and another life.  I assure you that it was a financial decision - not a moral one, not a benevolent one, and certainly not due to any desire to enhance the non-pro-creational sex lives of Americans.

Whether you wish to make a scientific argument or a Biblical one, both are in agreement in this case - the heterosexual sex act is intended for procreation.  And that is it.  All other sex is for fun.  It doesn't cure any illness or disease.  It does not provide nutrients or any other life sustaining requirement.

I can't begin to justify how our society, or at least a large portion of it, came to believe that it is anyone else's responsibility to fund their ability to have recreational sex, or to prevent or dispose of the product of that act.
And, you know, I may be a fairly modern, middle of the road kind of conservative woman - but it makes me uncomfortable and sad that our society has no problem with hours of television coverage and discussion about sex, contraception and abortion.  Those used to be subjects that weren't considered acceptable for general conversation.  And I liked it that way.