Tuesday, July 31, 2012

So Many Options

I had an email exchange with a friend today about the upcoming election, and Obama's chances of re-election.

An interesting fly in the ointment we discussed was Bill Clinton; the keynote speaker at the Democratic Convention.

First; nobody will watch the convention. Hell, even the elected officials with that capital "D" after their names are finding ways to avoid getting photographed with President Death Knell. So all we will get from the speech are the highlights.

So the first question: Whose side is Bill Clinton on? The obvious answer is of course, Bill Clinton's What does he care more about; Bill Clinton or the Democrats keeping the White House?

Before you answer that, think about this.

The next four years will be interesting in a lot of respects. Economically, politically, foreign affairs, the Middle East, domestically- I can't think of a single area that will not require massive effort just to control, much less put right.

Assume Obama wins. Also assume he will continue through the next four years doing what he has done for the last four. Unless the Sunshine Fairy rains her good blessing down on us because a unicorn smiled at her, I don't see us being in any better position in 2016 than I do now. I also think that even the last few Obama sycophants will be tired of the condition of the country.

If we don't go Republican in 2012, we will definitely in 2016. Which means the earliest Hillary can expect to win is 2020. How will that work out for Bill?

Assume Romney wins, and again assume that the Unicorn doesn't smile for the Sunshine Fairy. Romney is no Reagan, and the world economy is just as bad off- or worse- than ours. I have heard that a recession is usually caused by over production, while a depression is caused by excessive cash flow. It is easier to clear the excess cars and appliances from the system than it is to clear a hundred trillion dollars.

Chances are we will still be working our way out of the slump, even if Romney does everything 100% right. And I have no faith that he will do everything 100% right.

Which means we may be ready to switch back to a Democrat in 2016. How will that work out for Bill?

Also, Bill Clinton is the Only Democratic President to win re-election since FDR in 1944; a status he will lose if Obama wins four more years.

You see why a lot of pundits don't think Bill Clinton actually has Obama's back this year.

And still Obama chose him for the keynote address.

There is another possibility.

Obama knows what the next four years will be like, and wants to lose; knowing he cannot do anything that will make the slightest change, or he is bored with the idea of being president. Hell, four years is the longest he has ever held a "job" in his life.

Either way, we only have a few more weeks until we know for sure.

Is anybody really ready for the "Hillary in '16" bumper stickers?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Friday Night at ther Movies II

I was surfing Netflixs early Friday evening and ran into a movie I hadn't seen in years. Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry. It was a little different. Okay, saying this film was a little different is like calling PEEPS a health food.

The camera work looks like it was shot with an iPhone, and the acting could be considered wooden at best. But the reason to watch the film is the car chases. They are very real, and not cinematic in the least. Cars do what cars physically do. They get damaged when they collide with both movable and immovable objects, and require repair after said collisions. They also overheat and burn up when pressed to hard. And helicopters need fuel to run.

I like this so much better that the car chases that seem to go on for a thousand miles with nobody ever stopping for gas, and multiple collisions with no damage to the car. If the goal is realism.

Face it; I love Smokey and the Bandit, from the opening credits when the big rig fires up in the early morning light, to final scene with Sheriff Justice ready for another chase with less that half the car he left Texas with. I have to take an afternoon one weekend about every 6 months of so to sit down and watch The Bandit run that Trams Am all over Georgia. But in a lot of respects, Smokey and the Bandit is a live-action cartoon. That is part of what makes it FUN.

Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry is, in some respects, not fun. You know my criteria for a movie, a good story, convincingly told. DM,CL fills that requirement. Parts are interesting, parts drag out way to long, and some parts you just think to your self; WHAT?

I also have to disagree with Wikipedia on at least one point; they call Peter Fonda's character 'likeable'. I never found him likeable. Had I played almost any other character in the movie I would have hit him hard in almost any scene. He was about as likeable a bad case of shingles. The opening seen he and his buddy steal $150,000 form a grocery store by kidnapping the manager's wife and daughter. Oh yeah; that's a likeable bunch.

But the cars... In my opinion the most likeable star was the 1969 Charger R/T. Maybe that was why I disliked Fonda's character so much. He was behind the wheel of this machine less than a minute when he used it to take the door off of a police cruiser. And then tore half of the front end off off later in the film when he t-boned a pickup truck at an intersection.

The movie ends rather abruptly. The helicopter runs out of gas; they escape from the cops and are home free.

Until they t-bone a train and die in a fiery crash. Ahhhh; the final comeuppance.

But it made money; over $28 million. it was released in 1974, and laid the blueprint for movies like Smokey, and TV shows like The Dukes of Hazzard.

All of the elements are there; the hot car; the hot girl, the inept police, the likeable outlaw who isn't really a crook, even though he has broken the law, maybe, depending on your point of view. And the chase.

Chase scenes are as old as the movies. Name a Western without a chase scene. Name a Comedy without one. Name a Romantic Comedy without one. The difference is, this movie started The Chase Movie. So at some point, if that is your genre of preference, you need to watch Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry at least once. Preferably at the Drive-In, in the front seat of a 1966 Oldsmobile, with a tinny speaker hung on your door and a large popcorn in your lap.

If none of these items are available, a beer, Netflixs and your recliner are okay. and the surround sound will improve your viewing experience. When they uncork that 440 Charger for the first time, you might just turn the image off and listen to nothing but the noise, like I almost did.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mrs. Buffy Jones-Smith-Hudson-Dayton

So, once again I was ahead of the curve.

I was reading Instapundit the other day and ran into this article. I was fascinated that NPR would do a story that is so critical of their base. I mean, isn't almost everyone who listens to NPR a pretentious ass?

Now let me tell you my story.

10 years ago I was in college, and taking an English course that basically consisted of writing for review. Lots of writing style, and I enjoyed the hell out of it. One week, instead of instruction, we were required to write a piece extemporaneously. We were not given any notice that we were having this assignment.

Classes were 4 hours long. we had the first two hours to read our choice of several articles and do online research. Then the last two hours we were to hand write the assignment. You may not know this, but my handwriting sucks. always has, and probably always will. But, I can make it legible if I write very slowly.

So I took ten minutes to select and read an article, and then started writing. The article I choose was about the trend toward hyphenated names. And on how unwieldy they were, both in the first generation, and even more so in the 2nd, and we don't even want to think about a third.

Once again it is the liberal, pretentious asses, thinking only of themselves, causing unintended harm to others.

Missy and Poindexter didn't think about how this hyphenated monstrosity would affect their children and grandchildren. All they thought about was how it 'Felt Good' to them in the present.

The hyphenated name debacle is a short course in liberal thought. We did it because it made us feel good; now you go live with the consequences.

More evdence of how liberal 'thought' isn't really:

They did this to THEIR OWN CHILDREN.

'Nuff said.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Again- Guns Don't Kill People

I was reading Instapundit this morning and ran across this piece. I have been saying for a long time that movies have gotten too violent. Its nice to see Peter Bogdanovich agree with me.  

Personally, I haven't seen any of the Batman movies. They seemed, from their advertising, dark and violent, and I don't go to movies to see dark and violent. Hell, I still haven't seen Cars 2 for that reason.

So Batman would not be on my viewing list.

But, at any rate, back to the article. Peter talks about how he has been worried about violence in the movies for a long time:

Back in the '70s, I asked Orson Welles what he thought was happening to pictures, and he said, "We're brutalizing the audience. We're going to end up like the Roman circus, live at the Coliseum." The respect for human life seems to be eroding.

'Back in the 70's' he says. 30-40 years ago. And yet the violence has gotten worse. To the point where it has spilled from the screen to the theater itself.

They make a big point in the article about how he lost a girlfriend to murder back in 1980- 30 years ago.

And this was the point where Peter went off the rails.

Dorothy was murdered by a guy who was not even legally in the United States, and he bought a gun here. It's out of control. Anytime there's a massacre, which is almost yearly now, we say, "Well, it's not the guns. Guns don't kill people. People kill people" and all that bullshit from the NRA. Politicians are afraid to touch it because of the right wing. And nothing ever changes. We're living in the Wild West.

So, his only experience was with a gun sale 30 years ago, but believes things have not changed since then.

And, he doesn't realize that the fringe element when it comes to firearms is himself and his little echo chamber. The vast majority of people in this country are gun owners and very pro-gun.

Take for example the current administration. They forced through, by every barely legal trick in the book, the most unpopular and sweeping change in an industry in the history of the country. Because Obama felt it was the right thing to do.

But no one, not even when the Dems had both houses of Congress, did the touch a single gun law.

They read the polls; they know what would happen if they tried.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Toasted Marshmallows

I think I am burnt out on the Presidential race already.

And I don't even watch TV. Being in the Cincinnati market area, the rumor is we will get bombarded with political ads. Something to do with Ohio being a battleground swing state.

But I do listen to talk radio. Which is almost 100% politics anymore. But I don't think that’s the reason I am burnt out. Like I have said before, I became interested in government when government became interested in me. Until I can get the government to leave me the hell alone, I don't intend to leave the government alone.

Which means I need to be informed on what the government is doing, will be doing, and wants to do to me. So I listen to talk radio. I ain't gonna find out any of these things watching the TV news or reading the newspaper.

I might be burnt out on the Presidential race because I know who I am voting for, and am ready for the race to be over.

But I have known who I would be voting for in every Presidential election since 1980 well before Election Day.

I think in this case it isn’t the election, but the Obama presidency I want to be over. I am burnt out on Obama.

During the Bush presidency I would listen to Democrats talk about how they could not stand to see a picture of Bush, or hear his voice. I thought they were partisan idiots. He's the President; get over it.

But you know what? The night Obama got elected I was listening to election results on the clock-radio while lying in bed. I was able to listen to about 5 words of his victory speech, and I had to turn the radio off. I couldn't stand to hear his voice. I felt like such a partisan hack.

But I think I know what it was that evening, with my 20-20 hindsight.

I was already burnt out on Obama. And that was just about a hundred days short of 4 years ago.

With luck, this will end in November of this year.

With luck my friends; with luck.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Some Memories Just Won't Die

You know I let an anniversary slip by yesterday. It was July 22, 1982 that I became a civilian, after 4 years and 4 days of military service.

It's hard to believe I have been a Civilian that long. Hell, at the time I got out I would have sworn I had already spent 30 years IN the Air Force.

Today; 30 years later, I still don't get through a week with remembering something about that 4 years. I of course have mementos around, but usually it is someone, something or some event that triggers an old memory.

Just tonight I was driving down a suburban street and ran across a sign that said 'SPEED BUMP", and a couple of home-built speed bumps. It put in mind of the Trailer park that once (maybe still is? Yep. Still is) outside Grand Forks Air Force Base. The one gravel street down the middle of that park was nothing more than a series of ruts and potholes. A friend of mine lived over there, and I can tell you it was terrible. Everybody complained about the condition of the road. The guy who owned the place had a solution though. He just put a Speed Bump sign and went about his business.

Every time I had to do some small repetitive task at work I recall some of the things I had to do as part of my job. Paperwork. My God, Napoleon believed that an Army moved on its stomach; The Air Force believed it was pushed by its mountain of paperwork. From after form after form. And all of them had numbers. And effective dates. Heaven help you if you used and outdated form. Or used a 1356b, when the 1357a was actually required.

I still recall the first form I was introduced to in Basic Training (3743 BMTS- Basic Military Training Squadron. MOTTO: Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way {amazing what the minds remembers, ain't it? But don't ask for my cell phone number}); the 341. And no, I don't remember the suffix letter. I don't believe there was one. A 341 was a disciplinary record. the form itself had to folded just so; I think in half length-wise, and then in half again, then the top half inch was folded over and that tab was used hold the form under the flap of your left breast pocket, left side of the pocket. This way when an infraction was committed, the 341 was 'pulled', filled in by your MTI- Military Training Instructor- and then became part of your 'PERMANENT RECORD'.

I had the dubious pleasure of having a 341 pulled one Sunday morning while I was on Dorm Guard. Which reminds me of another funny story. Each training squadron was filled with Flights of 50 men or 50 women. Some thing I don't recall- so maybe I never knew- was how many flights were in each Squadron. But any rate, each flight had what was called a sister flight, so you had a group of 100 that went through Basic together. Did I mention that the 3743 BMTS was a training Squadron for women? Yep; 900 women, or there abouts, and 100 men. And the US Air Force did their level best to keep us separated.

But I told you that story to tell you this one.

Because we were in a female squadron, our flight had one male MTI, and one female MTI, as did our sister flight. Our female MTI was Airman First Class (A1C) Budd. I am fairly sure that she was not issued a first name.

Any rate, there I am on Sunday morning doing my stint as Dorm Guard. There is a knock at the door. I look out the window in the door to see who is beating the door down on a Sunday morning. It's A1C Budd. I knew who it was. I had seen her everyday for the last 4 weeks. But regulations required I ask for an ID. So I did. As usual, she began some tirade about 'Don't you know who I am; how can you not recognize your own MTI and so on. But I knew the drill, and stood my ground. She produced her ID, which I examined through the door, and then let her in.

As I stood back and opened the door A1C Budd entered the dorm. As she came abreast of me, she looked at me with an inquiring look. "Aren't you supposed to say something?", she asked. Basking in the glow of my recent success with the ID procedure, my mind went temporarily on vacation. So my mouth took over control. I said, "UH.... Good Morning Ma'am?"

And I had a 341 pulled. The one that I had folded Day One of Basic, 4 weeks ago. And had been in my pocket through 4 weeks of July and August Texas heat. It had lost some of its shape. Hell, it had lost MOST of its resemblance to a solid object. I'm not sure I could have even been unfolded. She accepted the 341 and marched to the MTI office. I don't know if she ever filled it out or not.

What was my infraction? As a warning to men in my Flight I was required to shout "Lady Entering the Dorm" when ever we had females in the dorm. But Hell; she wasn't a Lady.

She was my damn Drill Instructor.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Is You Is, Or Is You Ain't...

I watched O Brother Where Art Thou? last weekend for probably the fiftieth time. Yeah, I know it's a George Clooney movie; I like it in spite of him. The music is just flat great; the other actors are superb and it fulfills my basic requirements for a movie; a good story, convincingly told.

But that's not what I'm writing about today. Today our focus is a little tighter.

In case you aren't aware of the movie, and its various plots, one of the plots concerns the gubernatorial election in the state of Mississippi, where Governor 'Pappy' O'Daniel is being challenged by a fellow by the name of Homer Stokes. Toward the end of the movie Stokes is having a campaign event where George Clooney and his fellow escapees show up and barge the stage and sing a couple of songs.

Just prior to this scene Clooney  and company had busted up a KKK lynching that was being led by Stokes.

When he sees Clooney and his crew up on the stage he grabs a microphone and proceeds to denounce the crew in some rather vague but specific racial terms. He finishes his speech with the line:

"Is you is, or is you ain't my constituency?" (video at the link)

What the Hell is the meaning of this post? If you watched the video- and remember this movie is from 2000- I can't help but see Obama as Homer Stokes.

He is out on the campaign trail almost daily, and although they have not physically pulled the plug on his microphone or run him out of town on a rail, it is happening metaphorically.

Look at Nancy Pelosi, recommending nobody go to the Democratic Convention for crying out loud.

I can just see Homer Obama standing in the middle of an empty hall, shouting "Is you is, or is you ain't my constituency?", while Pelosi bends down to unplug his mike.

Sometimes Life does imitate Art.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Stopping Another Aurora

The news for the last two days has been full of the Aurora, Colorado shootings. Every newscast has been full of the shootings, even to the point where it has knocked the mud-slinging between Romney and Obama off of the news.

There are so many facets to this story that it will be years before we know everything, if we ever do.

The worst part is not the shooting, horrific as it was, but the reaction of the left to the shootings.

The first thing they did was look to see if the shooter belonged to the Tea Party. While the EMTs were still treating victims at the theater, and the police were trying to figure out how to enter the shooter's booby-trapped apartment,  the Lame-Stream Media were already trying to make a political win out of the deaths of these innocent victims.

The shooter was insane; that is a given. How anyone can argue otherwise is beyond me. There is no way any sane individual could have walked into that room armed as he was and illegally use those weapons to kill and maim innocent people in cold blood.

This was a scene out of a movie. The difference is that although sane minds will create these scenes for movies, they don't act them out in real life. This shooter did. That is, to me, a hallmark of insanity. Sane people can imagine these events, only the insane carry them out.

That he was able to hide that insanity and legally purchase the firearms he used does not lessen the depth of that insanity.

This is what makes the almost immediate call for more gun control all the more egregious.

These gun control groups were figuratively standing on the broken bodies of the victims to spout their ideology. They would have done it literally, but they couldn't make it to the scene in time.

Maybe that is why the liberals always win the propaganda wars. They have no shame. The victims of this shooter are not fellow human beings to be mourned, and their families comforted; they are a crisis not to be wasted.

Hopefully one day soon people will wake up to the fact that the liberal faction of this country is not concerned about anything but their agenda. If they need to stand on the bodies of the dead and wounded from this tragedy, or any other, to advance their cause, they will. The innocent victims; their families, the shooter- all pawns to be used to advance the cause.

They use the raw emotions of tragedy to move The Cause forward. To gain a new restriction while the memory of the deaths is still fresh.

Because they know that logical thought will turn them down; they require emotion, the roughed up revival fever that requires we DO SOMETHING NOW; STOP THIS FROM HAPPENING AGAIN!

But gun laws don't stop tragedies like this.

No new law can stop a tragedy like this.

The only defense we have from the lone, insane gunman is the ability of a roomful of people legally able to shoot back.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yeah About That Idea I Had...

Coming home from work I had a great post all worked up. The title; the setup; the final joke.

And then I with the storm of the century and lost it all.

For me writing is a mental activity. I usually am performing some physical task while my mind wanders off and occupies itself.

When it comes back it has a story to tell. All I have to do is write it down, while I remember it.

And, as Shakespeare said it, 'therein lies the rub.'

Mentally, I am done with the post. And then I sit down in front of the keyboard and  I go blank. And wind up doing a sports post like this one.

Why do I call this a sports post? Its a fishin' and huntin' post.

I start off fishin' and huntin' for an idea, and then wind spending all my time talkin' about the one that got away.

Rim shot, please? A little help here? What does it take to get a rim shot in this joint?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ya Wanna Rethink That Choice?

Yesterday I put up this post, and this morning I heard somethng on the radio I just had to add.

Apparently Obama stopped at Skyline Chili for lunch before he left town.

For lunch he had two cheese coneys and a Bean 4-way.

He declined the onions because of meetings he had later in the day.

Considering the orifice he mostly comminicates from, I would have thought skipping the Beans would have been more appropriate.

I also heard that only 1200 folks showed up; for a hall that holds 3500. And the one they interviewed on the radio was from North Carolina.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Yeah; I Could Do That

Well, President Obama came to Cincinnati today.


He had an appearance at Cincinnati's Music Hall, which holds a max of 3500. No word on attendance, but I'll bet he didn't fill it. No word on the cost of the tickets either. I'll bet they were free.

I also bet I could fill a 3500 seat hall if I gave out free tickets. With me as the entertainment.

Reading the phone book.

The Yellow Pages.

From Larimore, North Dakota.

Yep; the bloom is off the Obama rose.

And I think he knows it. Well, suspects it anyway.

I am really looking forward to November. And then January.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Everything Changes In An Instant

I have posted my thought before on the George Zimmerman situation, back in March. This isn't an update, but a different perspective.

Once upon a time the world was happily ignorant of the existence of George Zimmerman. A fact he was most likely aware of and happy with himself. Then one rainy evening a set of events irretrievably changed that. We all know the story/stories; no need to repeat the basics here.

No, today we will examine how one decision may or may not have changed his current situation. Bear in mind, I have no special insight into events of that evening. I am just taking what we have been told is true, and adding a few (hopefully) logical suppositions.

First, in my opinion, George Zimmerman cares. He cares for his community, and he cares for his fellow man. That's what led him to become an unofficial Neighborhood Watch Captain. He didn't have to do it. Maybe it was not a sense of responsibility for his neighborhood that led him down that path, or other motives, hinted at in the press. Or maybe a combination of the two. Either way, he had taken the first step down the decision tree toward notoriety.

His decision to obtain a Concealed Carry Permit; his decision to buy a gun; his decision to carry that gun. All decisions that led to the events of that fateful night.

Another step in that series was taken that night. For some reason George felt the need to patrol his community. For its protection, or for his ego? Only George knows. His supporters say the former; his detractors the latter.

What was it that led hm to Trayon Martin? What Fate led their two paths to cross? And what caused George's suspicions to be aroused? Again, small choices led to a fateful decision; left or right at this intersection; 15 or 25 miles an hour; look left or right; look right or straight ahead. All choices he unconsciously made, just like the multiple choices we make many times in the course of a day. And all became fateful.

Think about that. Had George been traveling at 25 MPH instead of 15 MPH; had he turned left instead of right 2 intersections back; had his attention been captured by a fleeting motion out the left hand window instead of the right, or if Trayon had decided to carry an umbrella against the rain instead of wearing a hoodie, the world would still most likely be ignorant of the existence of George Zimmerman.

The biggest choice may not have been a decision George was allowed to make. Some reports say that Trayon was the aggressor in the final meeting between George and him. If that is so then the self-defense actions George was forced into were his only possible course. The other course- to allow himself to be beaten or killed- is not an acceptable one.

But then there is a side that says George was the aggressor. If so, then that is another choice he actively made to put himself into the final position.

Assume that it's so; assume George was actively seeking to defend his neighborhood by the use of a firearm. And he found a victim. One walking alone in the rain. An easy mark.

And in cold blood George shot him.

This course of action takes several fewer decision steps, and ignores multiple pieces of on record evidence. But it could have happened. At least the prosecution thinks so.

Myself, I see a man who made several decisions, over the course of years, decisions that were based on any number of inputs, including his personal convictions and morality; his interpersonal relations with his family, neighborhood and community, and his feelings toward his own life.

All decisions made by George himself. Some with careful consideration, some  without conscious thought and some with a split second to decide.

And all lead to one fatal instant. When, for both George and Trayon, everything changed.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A couple of anniversaries past last week without notice on the blog- My Dad's birthday on the 12th and the loss of my dog Junior on the 9th. Hard to believe they both happen in the same week every year. I didn't have a chance during the week to reminiscence, but this morning I do.

There is very little to say that would be new. Reviewing the too few faded memories, worn and scratchy; like an old film played a few too many times. Trying to find a new detail in a story or image studied many times before. Or maybe just sussing out what their lives still mean to me today.

We don't get where we are by ourselves. In some respects we are all Post Turtles, balanced where we are with the help of our friends. It is that help that makes the post we seem to be stuck on disappear, so we lose that sense of not belonging where we suddenly find ourselves. Dads always help with that feeling. Hell; it's their job to set us up on the post in the first place, and then help us grow the legs to get down.

A good dog is a help there too. When you are stuck on the post, looking for a friendly hand to help you down, that hand may just be a paw. Sometimes all you need is for a push is the gentle nudge of your dog's nose against the underside of your hand.

You miss that when it's gone.

And sometimes waste the rest of your life looking for it again.

Folks look in various places. Other friends and family. Or a new dog. Maybe in religion. Or a bottle.

But the best place to look is inside. Dad didn't help you grow those legs so you could pull them up inside your shell. You are meant to use them for every post you find yourself on. And yeah, some of those posts are longer than what you have met before. So what?

You grew legs once; grow them again.

And then thank the ones who taught you how to get down.

Friday Night at the Movies

I was searching through Netflix last night for something to watch and ran across Urban Cowboy. If I have ever watched the whole movie it has been 30 years. Parts of it I remembered, and parts of it were new, probably because I had never seen it before, except bits while channel surfing between commercial breaks.

One of the parts I didn't remember was the beginning, where a bearded Bud, Travolta's character, leaves the farm for the big city.  Something that is not really worked through the whole movie is that Bud is not an Urban Cowboy, but a Cowboy transplanted to the Urban. That puts a whole different spin on the way the movie plays out.

One scenes is still iconic- Debra Winger riding the mechanical bull for the second time really sticks with you. The interiors, shot at Gilley's, (once billed as the largest honky-tonk in the world)  treated the whole world to Texas Excess.

I've never been a real big fan of Travolta's. I have seen Grease a few times, but other than that I probably haven't seen a total of 30 minutes of his other movies, and probably couldn't name more than 2 or 3. But Urban Cowboy is special. For the soundtrack.

I have the 8-Track somewhere in the attic. I was stuck in the radio in my old T-bird for a month back in the day, and I must have heard it a thousand times that month. Mickey Gilley, of course; Johnny Lee, Charlie Daniels, Kenny Rogers and the Eagles, just to name a few. A veritable whos-who of late 70's music.

Even last night I was focused more on the music that I was the movie. the songs that formed the background for the movie were also the soundtrack of my life in 1980. Each was as familiar as an old friend, and brought back another memory.

Well, except one. A song I heard last night for the first time; it wasn't on my 8-Track. The 8-Track held about 10 songs, and there are 18 in the album. As soon as I heard the song I knew who the artist was, even though I had never heard the song before. I was only mildly surprised to hear him; 1980 was probably his biggest year, as far as establishment music goes. He had just had a hit song that was played everywhere- Pop, Country and Rock radio all had that one song in their playlists, and still do today.

Yes, in the movie the Urban Cowboy was that grand purveyor of drunk, Caribbean rock and rock and the Mayor of Margarita-ville himself, Jimmy Buffet.

Who knew?

Well, I guess I would have, if I would have sat through the Urban Cowboy 30 years ago.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Again One Thing Leads to Another

Okay, so here's the story I am blogging about. I found it through a link at Instaundit; that lead me here, and then finally to this.

Which story am I blogging about?

Well, MINE of course!

I read Instapundit daily, at least. I consider it the Reader's Digest of the Internets. Not the modern, large format People Magazine wanna be, The Old Reader's Digest. The one that aggregated Stories of Lasting Interest.

Any rate, the tree ring story caught my eye on Instapundit. Interesting reading. But they never do explain how they figured out how old the trees were. I can understand how they fell into the lake, but how do they know which tree is is 20 years old, and which one is 2,000?

And I'd love to know how they can extrapolate the temperature OF THE ENTIRE GLOBE from a bunch of soggy trees in Finland!

That leads me to the second article.
A dungeon, secret passageways, peepholes and lingering ghosts: A young couple paid $395,000 in CASH and might have gotten more than they bargained for by buying castle in Missouri is the headline. But what is the news? They bought an old house, dressed up with a lot of stonework. Yehaw. Here is what I found interesting. They paid cash. $395,000 in cash. What makes that funny?

The buyer is a MORTGAGE BROKER. I didn't realize there were still mortgage brokers. I thought they had disappeared with the property flippers.

And then the last story. This guy spent 40 years looking for a stolen car; and found it. They don't go into details, but from the way the story reads it must have been Dad's car; Dad died and the kids were settling up the estate by selling the car.

Here's my question: How did Dad (assuming I am right) tag and insure a stolen car for over 40 years?

And also: if your car was stolen, how long would you keep the keys and old title?

In the interest of full disclosure, I still have the owner's manual and the key to a car I sold 30 years ago. So maybe I would still have the key and title to one that was stolen.

But; I also admit to being a little odd....

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Okay; so here I am kicked back on my porch swing, blogging.
It might make things easier; I'm not sure.
Ot does allow me post a photo I just took, but the lack of a multi- finger keyboard hurts my composition for some reason.
The photo is ip on the hill behind my porch. We have a few targets up there to plink at with air rifles while we're kicked back on the porch.
Yep; Redneck fun at its finest!


Okay; so here I am kicked back on my porch swing, blogging.

It might make things easier; I'm not sure.

It does allow me post a photo I just took, but the lack of a multi- finger keyboard hurts my composition for some reason.

The photo is up on the hill behind my porch. We have a few targets up there to plink at with air rifles while we're kicked back on the porch.

Yep; Redneck fun at its finest!

Yeah, I can blog from my phone, but I am better at a keyboard.

Free Tickets to the Ballet! Want 'em?

Certain people enjoy certain things, and will not enjoy certain other things.

Take for instance Opera. I enjoy Classical music, but cannot stand Opera. Maybe because it sounds so much like a bunch of furriners shouting at each other. But that's not my point.

If you did a VENN diagram of the folks who liked Opera overlapped with the folks who liked, say... NASCAR, there would be a very small overlap. I haven't done a study obviously, but the basics are there. Opera represents the highest of culture to most folks. It is the purview of the upper- crust. Along with Ballet, they are considered the highest of performing arts.

And anybody who would consider a Sunday afternoon watching 30 cars speed around a 2 mile track for 500 miles in the broiling heat not just Heaven, but a Heaven he would pay to attend, would also consider 2 hours at the Ballet a torture he (or she) would pay to avoid.

The question then becomes: Nature or Nurture? Are we genetically predisposed to enjoy one or the other, or are we raised that way?

Sports are similar. There are guys who will sleep eat and talk baseball for 12 months out of the year, and not even know what Wimbledon is. Or the Olympics. Is that also a high-brow/low-brow split do you think?

There are always outliers. There will always be the one individual who can discuss tennis as easily as he can football, baseball or soccer. and there will always be the the individual who knows as many stats about NASCAR as he does the various steps in Ballet.

Nature, or Nurture? Or, for the folks with a foot in both worlds, does their Nature pull them one way, and their Nurture push them in another?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Yeah Well, One Thing Leads to Another

Sometimes a blog topic just falls into your lap. The event just happens, or the news story is written in such a way that comments are tripping over each other fighting there way to the keyboard.

And other times...

Not so much.

Then you need to go looking for a topic. I have my set bunch of sites that I visit, for just such an emergency. And of course, the Borderline Sociopathic Blog for Boys is one of those sites. Lots of good stuff there this time. I could have blogged about this, which reminded me of how long its been since I've done that, or maybe this, which also brought back old memories. Or even this, which kinda struck my funny-bone.

But I reached this post and just had to give it a wider distribution. Well, assuming my readership is greater than his, or at least that I have a couple of readers he doesn't.

If I have ever seen a greater example of folks with too much time on their hands I don't know what it is. Well, maybe people who watch golf on TV. At least these guys are a little creative.

This also reminds me of an old game called 'Beer Hunter', that if memory serves, was a SCTV skit  featuring Bob and Doug McKenzie.

Anyway, the premise of Beer Hunter was to take a 6 pack of beer and shake one up (I mean REALLY shake one up) and then through it in the cooler with the other 6. Of course the loser was the one who opened the exploding beer.

Well, it was funny when I was younger.

And drank cheap beer.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Well, You Didn't Hear it From Me

So yesterday I went to a family reunion and had a great time.

Listening to the old family stories and jokes; looking at the old pictures and eating watermelon.

The best part?

It wasn't my family.

I have a a long standing commitment to a work related extra curricular, and yesterday part of my job was to attend another family's reunion.

Obviously I can't say too much, or go into too much detail, but it was a great time. I found out some fantastic information to help with my project and met some absolutely fabulous folks.

And there something about being a relative outsider at what is, very basically, a very insider function. It's not like they sell tickets to those things you know.

I was a very honored guest, and very honored to be that guest.

This is killing me. I hate having this 'secret life' that is incredibly interesting, and I can't (usually) talk about it.

I feel like I am in the CIA or the FBI.

Or maybe the Witness Protection Program.

But I swear you all will be on the mailing list when the book comes out!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Heat Ain't Just From Miami

What is there to blog about?

Obamacare; The Heat; Libyan Elections; THE HEAT; the Zimmerman deal down in Florida; THE HEAT; the Western wild fires; THE HEAT; Unemployment; THE....

But I guess you get the idea.

I have about as much interest in stepping out ot my air conditioning as I do voting for Obama.


On the same day.

But what can you say about the Heat? More importantly, what can you do about the Heat?

Well, nothing that ain't been said already, and flat nuthin'.

Interestingly enough, did you know that you cannot make cold? Cold is simply the absence of heat, and is created by using the Law of Convection (heat will always travel from a warmer to a cooler object).

Basically, you chill a refrigerator, or a room, by using something cold to suck the heat out, and them dumping that heat somewhere else.

Where am I going with this?

Elephino (say it real slow). The heat blew me off my train of thought five paragraphs ago.

I just got home from a work related function, and I am toasted already. I stopped at McDonalds for a cup of their ice tea, and I don't know what happened, but the guy in front of me took forever to pick up his food. So I sat and fried and got madder and madder.

I have got to get the AC fixed in that car.

Damn this heat wave. It's uncomfortable, dangerous for man and beast, and worst of all it's ammunition for the damn Global Warming idiots.

That's it. I'm done. I need to find a cold beer and a cool seat in front of a few dozen fans.

And maybe a good John Wayne movie. One where its cold.

Island in the Sky might just be the ticket.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Well, So Much For That Promise

Today is July 6th, and this will be only my 4th post.

In my defense, I did take on a project for work that has eaten into my time more than I expected. And the 4th of July was a day long affair.


My oldest boy and the #1 grandson showed up at 9:30 on the 4th. And they weren't the first guests.

Some folks came on the 3rd and camped out. So, technically, we had company on the 4th at 12:00 midnight.

Folks came and went all day long, right through the last of the fireworks about 10:00.

It's kinda hard to leave your own party to do a blog post.

The Young'un asked what was so special about July 4th. So I started reciting the Declaration of Independence. She looked at me a little sideways and said: "Really?".

It made me realize how hard it is to explain our freedom to somebody who has never known any other way of life. And it is equally as hard to explain what we are losing to the youngsters who never had it.

I guess that's because so much of what used to a FREEDOM has been redefined as a RISK. Like smoking inside and actual building. Or riding a bike without a helmet. Or not wearing a seatbelt. Or riding in the bed of a pickup truck.

Each of these activities is a risk, but a calculated one. Yes you can get hurt, but what are the odds?

And individual behavior would moderate the risk. Like riding in the bed of a pickup. Sitting with your back to the cab while the truck is in motion minimizes the risk involved. Walking around with a beer in your hand while on the entrance ramp to the expressway tends to increase the risk.

Guess whose activities were cited when making this activity illegal? So the millions of folks who minimized the risk are criminals, and the idiots with the beer are still dying. Sure, they're dying as criminals, but the law has not modified their behavior, just the behavior of the folks who were modifying the risk anyway.

And now we have a precedent for the next step.

That is the interesting thing about Freedom; we win it all at once, and lose it one little piece at a time.

The Magna Carta was in some respects a Declaration of Independence for English Noblemen. Those freedoms eventually migrated down, as the noble class increased in size and their descendents became less noble and more common. And then they started disappearing. Especially in the colonies. Freedoms that were once held as inviolate, became violate.

The trouble was, at least for the King, was that the people KNEW what they losing, and fought to keep the Freedom they had.

A percentage of the Founding Fathers did not want to found a new country. They wanted to stay a part of Britain, but as an equal partner, not a slave state. The King had a choice, and he choose unwisely.

And over the last 70 years those hard won Freedoms have been chipped away at. Always for good reasons (remember- Never Let a GOOD Crisis Go To Waste), and but never, in my opinion, is there a reason good enough to stifle Liberty.

Well, maybe next year we will have more reason to Celebrate.

Or, possibly, won't be able to celebrate at all.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hot Enough Fer Ya?

I mowed my lawn today.

Well, I ran my mower around the yard anyway. About all I really did was knock down some tall weeds, clip the heads off of a bunch of white clover  and vacuumed up the leaves.

Yeah, all of the boxwood trees are starting to drop leaves already. About the only way I knew where I had traveled with the mower was the track of missing leaves.

I has been hot. This is I think our 8th day in a row of over 90 degrees. And July just started. This is August weather, not June weather.

I said all winter that we would pay for the mild winter we had; I just wasn't sure how we would pay for it.

I think I know how now.

We are planning on having a little family get together here on the Fourth, and the last few days of getting things ready has been pure Hell. I am getting about half of what I wanted to get done accomplished, because I am spending half my time recuperating from heat stroke.

But we will be party ready, come party time.

At noon tomorrow the preparation stops and the party begins, I won't have everything done, but I'll be the only person that knows that.

Unless I tell the Young'un.

Then EVERYBODY will know what didn't get done.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Changing Times

Last weekend the wife and I took the Young'un down to Fort Boonesboro for a day trip. On the ride down we decided to take a few back roads, and stay off the expressway if we could.

It was a beautiful ride through North Central Kentucky. Two lane blacktop road through fields and farms,  dotted with farmhouses and barns, both old and new, and the occasional house trailer surrounded by a jacked up car or two.

The one thing I did not see was a tobacco field. I saw cattle pastures and corn fields, hay fields and soybeans.

But not a single stalk of tobacco.

It was rather sad. Tobacco used to put a lot of money into the Commonwealth of Kentucky; money that worked its way down through the entire economy. Local Merchant charge accounts and bank loans were payable "when the tobacco sold'. Many a youngster bought his first car with tobacco money, money earned by planting; hoeing; cutting, housing and stripping tobacco. At first for pay, and later by renting a tobacco base and being responsible for the crop himself, and the business of hiring workers, paying the expense of seed. fertilizer and fuel, and being responsible for profit or loss of the crop. A lot of responsibility when you are 17-18 years old.

And another loss for today's youth.

There are probably similar opportunities today in the agricultural world, but I haven't been involved in farming for a while, so I don't know for sure, but I doubt it. Tobacco is a very labor intensive crop, and most of the others, like corn, grains or beans, as far as cash crops go, are not. They have had entire systems developed to make the production of these crops as labor free as possible. Tobacco never did, or probably could.

One thing we did see that was new were the vineyards. I'll bet we saw 3 or 4 vineyards on the way south. This is interesting for two reasons, to me anyway.

One, this is kind of a throw back to the 1860's- '90's, when this area was a major wine producer.

Two, apparently the farmers in Kentucky have just traded the production of one vice for another.

And, if memory serves, another labor intensive one, plus one with the disadvantage of long lead times and investment before any income can be realized.

I wish them luck.

The world is changing, and I suppose we need to change with it. It just seems like to much is changing too soon.

But then my grandparents were born before the Wright Brothers flew, and saw men land on the moon.

That was some CHANGE.

And I'm worried about grapes replacing tobacco.

And I don't even farm.

Cheers to a New Beginning! again...

Late last month I decided I would try to do 31 posts in July. Yesterday I wrote a excellent post.

And then forgot to post it.

Yeah, life is like that.

Any rate, here is yesterday's post. Today's will go up later today.

I figure its a good time to pick up blogging again. Times are becoming interesting.

The election coming up will without a doubt be the most important of the last 60 years. It will determine whether we will remain a (semi) free country or descend into socialism.

I am hoping the pendulum will reverse its 70 year swing to the left and start back right again.

I am also looking at the weather for blog topics. It is the first of July, and we are August hot and dry. What will August be like? 110 degrees and NO rain?

And then the coming winter the forecast I looked at said to get ready for 77-78 again.

It's not bad enough we have the Carter economy back again, we have to put up with his weather too? And I can't wait to hear the weather wizards explain how 25 below zero and 4 feet of snow all over the Midwest is just more evidence of severe Global Warming.

Interesting times; Interesting times.

I am also looking to make this blog a sort of diary of the next 4 months. My reactions to the things that are happening on the campaign trail, both Presidential and Congressional, the economy as it 'recovers', the housing market, as it 'recovers' and anything else that catches my fancy.

I think it is safe to say that grand changes are on the way. The question is whether they will blow right or left.

Hopefully I'll still be standing when the wind stops in November.