Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tagged Again!

Holly B tagged me, I thank you for the recognition. This is a music meme, and though I am not an audiophile, and my eighteenth year wasn't all that fun. I can agree that the good times weren't all that good. I will do my best to be nostalgic. So here are the guidelines.

1. Go to the Billboard #1 Hits listings ;

2. Pick the year you turned 18

3. Get nostalgic over the songs of the year;

4. Pick 5 songs and write something about how these songs affected you;

5. Pass it on to 5 more friends.

Mama Told me not to come. Three Dog Night.

This was 1970, middle of the beginning of the drugs for happiness movement. I wanted no part of the sickness and destruction. I wasn't really militant about it, I just wound up in some bad places with some idiots, who were looking to escape something. It's hard to be cool at eighteen when you are backing out the door. Everyone was paranoid, and likely to suspect you were a Narc if you weren't joining in.

War . Edwin Starr

I lost too many friends to Charlie, I had my draft number, but I was 352. I could see the situation was pretty fubar because of the politicians. I joined later and was still a Vietnam era Vet. Too many names on the wall, I still can't go there.

Crackling Rosie. Neil Diamond

The man has always been a favorite, and the idea of a good time girl just sets well with me. The music made me and a lot of others just feel good. That didn't happen often enough.

Tears of a Clown. Smoky Robinson

I've been that clown, first love is always the sweetest, and saddest. The hurt is more touching than any other.

Venus . Shocking Blue

This is another feel good song, I can remember a few girls from school who could only be worshipped from afar. Way to hot and expensive for my tax bracket. I can remember a few of them.

Now to tag five more.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Who are the monsters here?

I, like everyone else, saw the pictures of the 1060 lb pig killed on the hunting preserve. The kid was shooting a hand gun bigger than any I have ever shot, and he's eleven. Good on him. Not enough gun for that pig, but how would you know?

I went to the website, www.monsterpig.com , and looked around, then I read the comments. They are extremely fair, they have a negative as well as a positive section.

The people who are leaving negative comments have,,,, issues, I can't believe the sick crap directed at this kid.

To those folks who want to offer violence to him, hey stupid, he carries a gun, and if you threaten him with lethal force, he can legally use it!

To the tree huggers, stick with things that don't bite. If you run over to a similar beast to express your love and respect for wild life, engrave your name on your belt buckle, so, if it is found, you can be identified. What the H$11 do you think the tusks are for? It would gut you then eat you, the nick name "monster" is appropriate because of his size as well as his eating habits. This isn't an "Innocent animal", this is a brutal killer raised for hunting. The news article on the site, reported that the hunters spent some time avoiding the hog.

Where do you think bacon comes from?

No Fishing today :-(

The fishing trip was cancelled due to mechanical failure of the the boat owners only other auto. Bummer, another time I guess.


We took the girls and the grand babies to the beach yesterday.

The act of a total idiot.

Memorial day, everyone from hours around and farther, who thinks a 4X4 selector makes them the Rat Patrol, must go to the beach. The park rangers were handing out instructions on how to avoid getting stuck.

Idle hope.

I saw people who were stuck and didn't know it yet. No one was airing down the tires and they were just plowing on until they high centered, no it wasn't high centered, it was worse, they were sitting on the body with all four wheels free wheeling. The beach was really cut up and soft. I can normally pull something out, but yesterday it was an invitation to sink like a rock.

The alternative is the winch. Great toy there. Put it in park, let the hopeless hook up, unless they have tow hooks. Tighten the cable, watch the tires on my truck, push sand and sink until the other vehicle moves or the winch stops pulling. If it stops dig and repeat.

Score for the winch fest, One Grand Cherokee three times (he had his wife and child with him), one Wrangler twice, one Chevy Blazer, and one Tahoe. In case anyone thinks I charge, not this time, probably not ever, unless they are really stupid and make me actually work.

I had a great time, and saved some others fun day, not too bad at all.

The best part of all this was the love of my life driving her new (to us) Wrangler with nary a bobble all the way out and back.

She did great!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fishing again?

If the master of the sea allows, another trip Monday. More good things to eat.

Hopefully it will be better than the bash and splash trip last time.

Another new quick recipe,
One can seasoned tomatoes w/basil and oregano
One small jar artichokes in water
One small can of mushrooms in water
Some Old Bay Seafood Seasoning
Throw in some Shrimp or clams or fish chunks.
Heat until the seafood is cooked, serve over rice.

I grated some Asiago cheese over mine. Had it for the evening meal. Tasty.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I have been noticed by the Lords of Blog!

Thank you for the meme, I was feeling left out.
The rules: add your name to the list,
Pick five people and notify them,
List your five favorite eating spots at your location.
The List:
Nicole (Sydney, Australia)
velverse (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
LB (San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy)
Selba (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Olivia (London, England)
ML (Utah, United States)
Lotus (Toronto, Canada)
tanabata (Saitama, Japan)
Andi (Dallas [ish], Texas, United States)
Lulu (Chicago, Illinois, United States)
Chris (Boyne City, Michigan, United States)
AB (Cave Creek, Arizona, United States)
Johnny Yen (Chicago, Illinois, United States)
Bubs (Mt Prospect, Illinois, United States)
Mob (Midland, Texas United States)
Yas (Ahwatukee, Arizona USA)
RSP (Scottsdale, AZ USA)
Ralphd00d (Phoenix, AZ USA)
DW (South East US)

1) Tango du Chat (Dance of the Cat)

French influences, good sea food, and the chef does the cooking. Most times the chef trains and directs. Here the chef cooks and he loves to innovate. Just stroll in, order a good beer, they have several, and have the hottie to tell the Chef to do something that will be good. Prepare to drool. Not cheap, but excellent.

2) Toscona
Italian, dim romantic, excellent house wines, and again a Chef in the house. Plan on two bottles of wine, red sauce with your favorite food beast, excellent pasta. Again not cheap, but worth it.

3) Something Fishy
This is a local "fish camp" type place as we call them. If it doesn't swim, don't bother. Except for the great hush puppies and coleslaw, seafood is all they do. Get the large three item seafood platter with scallops, oysters, and shrimp. You can have broiled or fried. Be sure to have a monster appetite. This is the working mans dinner, very reasonable.

4)Flaming Amy's
One entree, burrito. You can, however, get anything on it. They are huge, betcha' can't eat more than one. Mexican influence, (big surprise) salsa bar, wall of flame (hot sauces) . Six bucks for a meal.

5) Goody Goody Omelet House
This is a working mans (or ladies) eatery. Three bucks will get you a basic breakfast with eggs, toast, grits and coffee. A little more will get you fed to the gills. The folks there are life long egg flippers who can turn your average cackle berry into a work of art. I'm salivating as I write this. There are a few of these in town, Jimbo's and the White Front get a photo finish,


1)Mrs. Helen's Cajun Seafood in Lafayette Louisiana, the love of my life and I go every time we pass on I 10. We order an Alligator Sampler and a Crawfish Sampler, and eat like we stole it, we eat off each others plates, the other customers must think were crazy or starving.

2)Gino's Pizza in Chicago. They have changed hands, but a few years ago, it was all I could do to eat a personal sized pan pizza.

3) Anything on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.

4) Irish Stew at Dirty Nelly's pub in Bunratty Ireland.

5) In the back streets of Paris, a few blocks from The Sorbonne, there is a small restaurant that showcases the food of the central plateau in France. Local wines, home made sausages, stuffed cabbage and a blue berry creme brule that you would rassle your Grannie for. It's been a few years but I can remember the garden in the courtyard and our table in the corner. If the good lord lets me live and do well, I will go back. The restaurants in the latin quarter have window displays of the raw ingrediants as a come on, these folks do not. I belive the only advertisement is word of mouth.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Todays fishing story

My day started a little earlier than normal today, at about four fifteen. All my gear was in the truck or laid out for quiet access, don't want to disturb the bride more than needed. The plan is to meet at the launching ramp at 0600 and head off shore as soon as possible.

I didn't know how hard it is to get fed in this town at four thirty in the morning, particularly if you're in a hurry. I get hungry early and today will be a long one. Mickey D's grab a bag of stuff and head out.

The weather forecasters have predicted the wind and waves to decline until tomorrow.

Educated guess, they're educated and still they guess. ........Wrong!

If you haven't been boating on coastal waters, you may not be familiar with the effects of wind against the tide. When the wind is against the tide the waves get big, and close together. We were in a 21ft Sea Pro center console running a 225 Yamaha. A very seaworthy rig, and normally very comfortable. Except when pounding along at ten knots in a deep water channel with the tide against the wind.

My lingerie hasn't been dry since six thirty this morning. There's nothing like a bucket full of 72 degree water down your back, with a twenty five knot wind pushing it to get the sleep out of your eyes.

We rode for about three hours at a furious ten knots, to get with in sight of our chosen fishing grounds. I have never trolled with rigged ballyhoo before, and today sure wont be the last time.

One of the great things about offshore fishing is the color of the water. In the river, you could add a little more sand, and lay brick with it. When you are running out, the color lightens as you go, until it turns a beautiful blue that borders on purple, at least to my dazzled eyes. When the flying fish start to explode from under the bow, you are on the fishing grounds. I suspect the flying fish are the "Snickers Bar of the Seas", everything is trying to eat one.

We rigged rods and baits and set the throttle at six knots, I wasn't tremendously encouraged, after all it's called "fishing", not catching. That was until the first hit after a short wait, and thirty seconds later a second run. Both were King Mackerel, schoolies about ten pounds each.

We had a fine time,,,,,,, staying in the boat,,,,,,,, the waves were about three to four feet, and wind driven, very sharp and close. I spent the entire day, holding, grabbing, or braced against something. Adding to the amusement when we landed a fish, was sliding around the cockpit, with a fish flopping fit to break your leg, with a mouth full of teeth like a saw blade, seven or so hooks and snapping like a leg hold trap. Let's just say I was concerned.

The day really started when one of the reels screamed like a cat with it's tail caught in a wringer, and line went smoking off the spool. I looked behind us and saw a fish about four feet long cartwheeling across the horizon. That thing acted like it was suddenly alergic to water. Shortly we boated a Bull Dorado, of say twenty five or thirty pounds. Pictures and high fives all around.

Total for the day, seven dorado and three kings, and one fifteen pound tuna, or Albacore that was released.
After a fourty or so mile boat ride and another ten miles in the river, an hours drive home, and cleaning fish, the reward. Cajun spiced dorado grilled, with grilled asparagus and creole rice.

I am finishing this post the day after, though Blogger will show the date it was started. I was too tired and foggy to finish it last night. This morning I feel like I've been run over by a truck, everything is sore.

I'm ready to do it again.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I'd rather be fishing!

I have read that " Allah does not subtract from your alloted hours the time spent fishing", if only that was true.

Tomorrow I, and a friend, with his father, are going fishing. I have mentioned that I live by the big water to the East, and we will be going about thirty miles beyond the beach. Last year we caught my years fish in two trips. I still have several bags of fish to eat and the season is upon us.

We know the Kings are in, and the plan is to fast troll and then bottom fish when we find good fishing. Snapper, grouper, Black Bass, and the Lord only knows what else may crop up.

I am taking my newly rigged bottom rod, 80lb Dacron line with wire leader and an eight ounce jig. The rod is a 50 lb Penn with a broom handle like tip.

There is nothing like going out on the big water, you never know what you will see. The last couple of trips were the best I have had. I saw a school of dorado chasing something like they were a pack of dogs. I saw an Amber Jack follow a King we had hooked and try to eat him even though the Jack had no real teeth and the King was almost he same size. I have seen a manta ray the size of a small airplane (he looked like one when he jumped) and hooked and fought sharks half the length of my boat. I saw a Barracuda teaching a King how to fly.

The King jumped at full speed with a barracuda right behind him, about ten or fifteen feet into the air, the King jumped again, but the barracuda was waiting for him to come down. We can't know what happened, but the King was motivated, I bet the 'cuda went hungry.

If the day is good at all, I will be cleaning fish until late. A tough day, but rewarding.

The next post will be a fish story.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The immigration bill

No matter how much lipstick Washington tries to slap onto this legislative pig, it’s not going to win any beauty contests. In fact, given Congress’s track record, the bill will probably get a lot uglier -- at least from the public’s point of view. And agreeing to policies before actually seeing what the policies are is a heck of a way to do business.

We should scrap this “comprehensive” immigration bill and the whole debate until the government can show the American people that we have secured the borders -- or at least made great headway. That would give proponents of the bill a chance to explain why putting illegals in a more favorable position than those who play by the rules is not really amnesty.

From Fred Thompsons latest.

If we do not have a closed border, or an enforcable law, (a thousand pages is not enforcable) we are kidding our selves with ANY immigration bill. Who are we taking care of anyway? Mexico is shipping their poorest to us, who then send cash south, to support the economy of a monumentally corrupt country! By extension we are supporting the rich and government of Mexico!

The most reasonable idea from my point of view, would be to herd all the folks with out a working visa back to where they came from. Let them walk back the way they came, and apply at the border for work. Then start counting noses.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

We Terrible Terrans, screwing three planets at one time, Who Knew?


It would appear that, if the Glowbal Warming Crowd is telling the unvarnished truth, and they would never lie, we are causing the warming of Mars, Earth, and Neptune. There is evidence that the ice caps and reflected light from these planets, are changing, and that can only mean our carbon foot print has gone where we cannot. Because as everyone knows, global warming is a manmade problem.

Ok! Let me wave the "I'm joking flag". There are a couple of studies showing where we are in the solar cycle, that just happens to coincide with the latest warm up. The evidence continues to pile up and push the emotion aside.

Check it out.


Gun advice

Bonnie,I can't disagree with any of the comments posted here, so let me add a few facts.

Unless you use jacketed .38 bullets in your .357, you could build up lead and powder deposits that would make loading the longer .357 rounds difficult.

A pure .38+P is alfully close to a .357, and a really good choice. A long time friend, a Navy Seal with two tours in Vietnam, sheriff deputy and training officer for his department requests those because of the increased accuracy, due to decreased flinch.

A lighter weapon means more felt recoil and more possibility of flinching.

The only way to shoot good is to shoot a lot. Cheap is neat.

As a practical matter, two rounds in the chest of an attacker will just about cure his problems no matter what you use.

If you can hit what you are shooting at, anything will work, if you can't, nothing will work.

My carry gun is a SIG P230SS in .380 with Hornady hollow points. I highly recommend stainless handguns as I am a sorry bastard and hate to clean guns.

Above was my post to Bonnie regarding her first (?) handgun.

John (My Daddy was a mill hand) Edwards

Edwards Reports Millions in Assets

May 16 06:26 PM US/Eastern

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards and his wife reported $29.5 million in assets, including millions of dollars in a hedge fund he worked for part-time.
The couple also reported investment income of nearly $6 million over the past 16 months and earned income for Edwards of $1.25 million.
His biggest single source of earned income was his $479,512 salary from Fortress Investment Group, the hedge fund for which he was a consultant last year.
Edwards has made fighting poverty a signature element of his campaign. He has said his work for a fund that generally caters to the wealthiest of investors was designed to educate him about the relationship between poverty and wealth and should not overshadow his work for the poor.

Can anyone decipher that last statement, sounds like he's more confused than usual. If you have ever been a mill hand, in the south, or lived around them, poverty is no mystery.

I would expect an ambulance chaser and shyster lawyer to do better in the evasion department.

Dragon with an expensive haircut.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Help,,,,, its Global Cooling we're all gonna freeze!!!!!

Climate Summary
April 2007

The average temperature in April 2007 was 51.7 F. This was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average, the 47th coolest April in 113 years. The temperature trend for the period of record (1895 to present) is 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit per decade. 2.09 inches of precipitation fell in April. This was -0.34 inches less than the 1901-2000 average, the 30th driest such month on record. The precipitation trend for the period of record (1895 to present) is 0.01 inches per decade.

Well whats next? Can Al flip-flop on this?

A few thoughts on self defence.

Night lighting woman, posted a comment on my post on DC getting self defence. Along those lines if I may, consider these thoughts.

In my state a perfect self defence has four elements: You must be in actual fear of; death, serious injury, or sexual assault, and you can not be an instigator willingly entering the conflict, and the threat must be one that a person of ordinary firmness would consider a deadly threat, and you cannot use excessive force.

WOW! What does that mean? Notice that the above is a long sentence connected by "and", all elements must be present.

First you must believe you are about to die or damn near it, serious bodily harm is a broad target, so the belief must be equally scary. Second, you can't be perceived to start a fight and when you are getting your tender parts kicked, pull a gun and save the tender parts. Third, you can have no special training; police ,military, martial arts, for all I know assertiveness training. (A higher standard if you have training.) Fourth, any force used after the threat is removed is excessive. (No mercy shots! I don't care how much they scream!)

How do you determine these things, and decide in a split second, if you can win the court case, if you win the gunfight? Be advised, the decision you make in a split second, will be debated at length, by the legal system, for as long as they see fit. That alone is enough to make a strong person tremble. Remember as Lawdog advised, you can be right in the rules of self defence, and get the pants sued off you by a ner-do-well lawyer.

Think too, these rules rely on the BELIEF by third parties that your actions were justified. If you are tried by a jury of your peers, does that mean a group of former victims of similar situations. What makes them your peers? Most would rely on income, background and education. Which counts for nothing when someone points a lethal weapon; be it gun, knife or ball bat at you.

John Wayne was the only guy who never ran away, and he's dead (I know he used a few tactical retreats, just an expression.)! The rest of us have a duty to retreat, to runaway, if retreat is possible. The exceptions are if the threat is too close, (can't run with out getting caught), or you are within your own four corners at home, or your business premises, you have no duty to retreat. That sounds reasonable, Castle Doctrine and all that, but do you carry a side arm, in your yard while playing with the kiddies? If you feel the need, OK, but will your neighbors see you as looking for an excuse to use the side arm? Will a prosecutor use this as a spring board to drag in other opinion about your mental state?

What about some one breaking into your house? What if they are using language that leads you to believe they are going to commit a felony against someone in the home. What if they are already in the house after the hours you would normally be in bed?

Where I live, if you have a reasonable apprehension that a felony will be committed against someone in the home, you can use force up to and including lethal force, to terminate (prevent) the entry. Conversely, after the entry has been accomplished, it can't be prevented, and the first four rules of a perfect self defence apply. Twice in my tenure as instructor these have been put to the test, with the Sheriff stating no crime had been committed and no charges would be filed. In one case, a friend of mine actually discharged his weapon into the chest and forehead of a perp. and no charges were filed. Unfortunately the perp. in question lived because the ammo was snake shot. I told him to get some real bullets, the next guy might be wearing a coat.

Now for the hard part. I have had police, military,and martial arts training. I am a certified instructor for Concealed Carry Handgun in my state. I am also a large unfriendly appearing man with little facial expression. I am an NRA pistol and shotgun coach. What's the standard for me?
I hope to never know. Often the answer lies at the end of an ugly struggle within the legal system.

What about the weapon you carry? If you carry a big bore handgun, does that indicate a willingness to use it? Can you rely on someone thinking that the larger bullet enhances your chance of stopping your attacker. (Nobody attack me, it's an illustration not a provable fact. Not even my opinion.) Will they instead believe that you just wanted a bigger hole to ensure your opponent would die sooner?

What if, as a conscientious gun owner, you practice regularly to maintain proficiency? Does that give credence to an accusation that " you practice to make sure you can kill easily"?

What about the ammo you reloaded to carry? Do those few fps gained make your load more lethal? Did you want to kill so badly that factory ammo just wouldn't cut it?

The above is only a partial explanation of self defence law in my state. The questions are to demonstrate the possibilities that could be explored in a case against you. Defending your life and the lives of your loved ones is the highest calling of adults in this country. There is only one person you can really count on to keep the wolf from your throat. That would be you, every time. The first step in self defence or the defence of your loved ones, is to ensure you know the law. Ensure that you are within the law. Your conduct must be above reproach. Your response must be no more than allowed by the situation.

If you are so unfortunate as to actually use lethal force, bad things will follow.

You should be prepared to be second guessed, criticized, and verbally assaulted. You must present as calm and reasonable a face as you possibly can.

Above all, you must be truthful, LEO's hear fairy tales every day, most start with "But Officer". They have heard it all, and if not, someone they work with has, and they talk to each other.
The very first time you lie they will find out, and every word after that must be proven.

You should have, reasonable, articulable, circumstances to justify your actions. You should delineate the assailants ability, opportunity, and your jeopardy.

Yep, first thing to do is stop pi$$ing yourself, try to remember your name, unload your weapon, and get to where you are no longer in danger and are in plain sight. Talk only to your lawyer.

All that other stuff has to be addressed before the first shot is fired, hopefully before you decide to buy a gun.

More later.

D.C. about to get self defence?

Research shows that law-abiding citizens using firearms for protection can save lives and deter crimes. In Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control, co-authors Gary Kleck and Don Kates note that "as many as 2.5 million victims use guns to defend against crime each year" and "handguns are actually used by victims to repel crime far more often than they are by criminals in committing crimes - as much as three times more."

Dean Borelli posting at TownHall, interesting reading.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Donks are sooooo much better,,,,,,whatever

The survey found only 35 percent approve of how Congress is handling its job, down 5 percentage points in a month. That gives lawmakers the same bleak approval rating as Bush, who has been mired at about that level since last fall, including his dip to a record low for the AP-Ipsos poll of 32 percent last January.

Six years of tough decisions and President Bush is on par with the " let me pay you off" Democrats. Seems like they can only hope for the position he now holds, another two years , a few more taxes, some welfare plan or two and these losers will be in the negative numbers.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ann Coulter hits the nail on the head

Again. Check out this editorial, Ann isn't gentle, but she is direct, points out in her inimitable way, the pendulum is beginning to swing.


From Town Hall

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Media Dragons

6. Press Ignores Encouraging Terror Statistics

Last week the State Department issued its annual report on terrorism around the world, which showed a sharp decline in terrorist attacks and murders in many regions last year.

Aside from the Middle East, the number of attacks was down by more than 300 incidents compared to 2005.

According to the report, terrorism was down by 10 percent in South Asia, down 18 percent in Europe, and down 54 percent in Central and South America.

“That, however, has not been the lede story in America’s liberal media,” reports NewsBusters.org, a blog from the Media Research Center dedicated to combating liberal media bias.

“Instead, they’ve chosen to focus their attentions on how terrorism has increased in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

One wire service story cited by NewsBusters was headlined “U.S. sees sharp rise in global terrorism deaths.”

NewsBusters complains: “What is unacceptable is the American press’ complete ignoring of the rest of the State Department’s numbers.”

Wow! I'm so surprised! Ripped from News Max

Sex and Violence

Well, don't have sex, or we will kill a few billion to make room for "the intelligent group". Oh! we get to pick who goes and who stays!

I got news for these guys, us little people may have something to say about this!

HAVING large families should be frowned upon as an environmental misdemeanour in the same way as frequent long-haul flights, driving a big car and failing to reuse plastic bags, says a report to be published today by a green think tank.
The paper by the Optimum Population Trust will say that if couples had two children instead of three they could cut their family's carbon dioxide output by the equivalent of 620 return flights a year between London and New York.

Apparently, saving the whales is more important than saving 5.5 billion people. Paul Watson, founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and famous for militant intervention to stop whalers, now warns mankind is “acting like a virus” and is harming Mother Earth.
May 4 editorial asked the question “The Beginning of the End for Life as We Know it on Planet Earth?” Then he left no doubt about the answer. “We are killing our host the planet Earth,” he claimed and called for a population drop to less than 1 billion.

Besides we have to have a population to support them, don't think they're going to farm do you?
I was going to make these separate posts, but these idiots aren't worth the effort.

Ripped bodily from the DRUDGE REPORT.

Update on lynphoma

My friend with lymphoma, has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. Prognosis is good, he's sleeping a lot. I carried some get well cards from the shift, he was asleep. I didn't wake him, I figure he needs rest more than he needs to talk to me.

I think I need some prayer wheels and a place on the beach where the wind always blows.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

A letter to Sheryl Crowe

It's been well over a week since our little run in with the adviser to our president. I am just now processing all that took place during the last few days of the Stop Global Warming College tour a few concerns still hang heavy on my mind and heart.
First, I am deeply concerned over where we are as a nation. We are so blessed to live in a country where we enjoy so many rights that other countries cannot even begin to imagine. However, what terrifies me is not what we are ignoring about the state of our planet but the fact that we seem to have lost touch with our connection to the earth. We have risen to great heights of arrogance in our refusal to acknowledge that the earth is changing.

(The problem isn’t that the earth is changing, rather the politically active but scientifically ignorant don’t understand why It’s changing. As for the connection to the planet, when have there been more conservation efforts, or more conversation about them?)

We hold steadfast to our belief that nothing can happen to us as a people.

( We know that evil exists, we know that bad things happen to good people, and we know that if we don’t respond to actual threats, like people who want to kill us, that the long view doesn’t matter!)

We get into our over sized, war-machine-like vehicles, get on our cell phones and blackberries, and avoid having human contact all day long.

(Sheryl, sweetie, I have human contact all day long. The most insular people I know are “celebrities”, who can’t deal with the “little” people.)

What Laurie and I were proposing by encouraging every college student to change a light bulb was actually meant to be not only useful in the fight against global warming but also symbolic of a change in attitude.

( Could you consider speaking in less hyperbolic terms to avoid confusion?)

Clearly, the subject of global warming remains a partisan issue in the minds of many conservatives. It appears to me that many on the right want to see this as a liberal issue, as demonstrated in the continued debate, rather than accepting the peer-reviewed science that is so clearly laid out for us earthlings.

(This isn't really a partisan issue, but rather an issue that brings a forum to those who have no real contribution. The issue is still open to debate, it isn’t something “everyone knows”, particularly to those scientists who label it junk science. If this global change is so obvious, why did the warming proponents try to get rid of the bump in the temperature record a few hundred years ago? Why do people talk of desertification if you merely disagree? The statement “everyone knows” is generally pushed forward because there is insufficient fact to support the premise, and the argument has to be shut down. This isn’t a partisan issue, it’s a scientific issue that has been turned into an emotional issue. The idea of a "peer" review has to be filtered through the idea of who is handing out the grants for the research and review, a correct review gets a new grant, a disagreement doesn't.)

I suppose after my encounter with Rove, I got a little taste of what it feels like to have dipped my thumb into the political pie for a brief moment, over what I failed to realize was still a political topic, or at least an insulting topic. I got my hand slapped, as if to say, "don't mess with the big boys, even on topics as humanitarian as global warming." Within hours, the climate certainly changed. It was me at the center of a storm-like spin. I have seen ranting political pundits work their spin before but, like most people, I have always tuned it out until it involved my reputation. It feels pretty scary to watch credible news outlets run with a story that is clearly not true, debate my patriotism over my alleged desire to have toilet paper legislated, and be the joke of late night TV monologues, all as a result of a 2 week old blog and nightly comedy routine that was spun as truth, instead of the joke it clearly was.

( A personal philosophy is to make sure the other guy gets the joke, not everything is funny to everyone. The next time you hear a “Bush is the Devil” story remember how much truth was in the stories about you, and think about what the Main Stream Media does to their perceived enemies on a regular basis. Keep in mind the people who trashed you in front of the largest audiences were LIBERALS, not conservatives!)

What terrifies me the most is that we not only accept this of our journalists today but we are oblivious to it, and thus, oblivious to the damage it causes. When "news stories" are broken, do we not expect a certain amount of fact-checking or source-checking? One has to ask if this falls under the guise of sloppy reporting or deception as a source of spin. We seem to accept a certain amount of deception and we seem to be helpless to doing anything about it, as illustrated so clearly by where we are right now in this moment in history.

(Sheryl, most of us already believe the media to be lazy, ignorant, incompetent, biased, politically motivated hacks. No, we don’t accept lies, we are not oblivious, but what can you do? We try to correct and publish the actual facts. We don’t have millions to advertise, but we do have numbers and experts and the electronic sleuth has brought their downfall to some liars already.)

Which brings me back to my original subject: the planet. Deeper than temperature and the extinction of the polar bear is the idea that we all share this beautiful, ailing planet, Democrats and Republicans alike. The light bulb may be symbolic of a change in attitude but it is also illustrates a shift in consciousness. It is bound by the belief that perhaps what each of us does in our personal lives does truly affect another person's freedoms. If I drive a gas guzzling 12 cylinder vehicle knowing what I know now about carbon emissions and our dependence on foreign oil, I am basically saying that I don't care about the planet I leave behind for your or my kids.

(Please understand, I agree that we as a people need to take action to ensure our loved ones are left with a place that is safe and free of hardship. Most of the changes you hope for will be driven by the free market, the prices of fuels will reduce the carbon emissions. The rich who travel in private jets and own homes ten times bigger than they need should be the ones you are talking to, say Al Gore for instance. Be aware also the “carbon offsets” are a scam.)

I have been saying all along that this issue is deeper than recycling. It is more telling than unplugging gadgets not in use and not taking 35 minutes showers. It's about waking up. It's about understanding and embracing the fact that we don't own anything here. We are renters and that our lack of respect for the planet and the people inhabiting it will be the thing that takes us down, not simply the temperature or inevitable shortage of water.
The planet will live on in whatever state it is in, however, it is humanity that will suffer. And as I sit and wonder, like so many other people in this country, where are the marchers in the streets, where are the voices screaming for injustices to cease, for greed and apathy to let go of it's hold, I can only come up with one supposition: Perhaps we have lost our sense of who we were born to be and instead, are numbed out beyond recognition by the ceaseless chatter that is the soundtrack to our lives.

(Now that would be a song, ”The soundtrack to our lives”. You mentioned :injustice, greed, apathy, those aren’t the driving forces behind our problem. It's power, the ability to force those who disagree to do as they think you should, for their benefit. Any well meaning leader can come to believe they can cure all ills if they just have enough power. We haven’t lost sight of what we are born to be, most people never know until it’s too late. We the working class are just trying to make it to tomorrow.)

It is my truest fear that we are losing our way. Every night on the stop global warming college tour, Laurie and I would tell these great young people that they have the power to do anything they want. That we all have the power to create a movement for change. That the best part of ourselves is the part that rises up instinctively from compassion. I believe this to be true. I believe that divinity exists in all of us and that if we eliminate some of the chatter in our lives, the voice of compassion will have a chance to be heard. And, if we were to act from a place of compassion in every act of our lives, would we be arguing about whether global warming exists? Or would we simply be living our lives peacefully knowing that how we live will affect the planet we leave for our children and for their children. If compassion was the motivating factor behind all of our decisions, would our world not be a completely different place? Food for thought.

(Compassion is easily overwhelmed by hunger, need or fanatics, self defence is the first rule of survival, sacrifice should be freely given, rather than demanded. Oh! By the way, what have you given up for the planet?)

This is my reply to her concerns, my thoughts are in blue. I actually think she means well, it just comes across a little "California, valley, tree hugger". That's not a bad thing, it just doesn't speak effectively to a lot of groups. Check this link for more info on peer review.


Saturday, May 5, 2007

A brother needs your prayers

A brother operator has been diagnosed with lymphoma, he is listed as out indefinitely. He will be doing chemo. He is a father of two and a loving husband.

Chemo sounds like a systemic problem and way more serious that my insignificant little deal.

If you pray, pray for him, and his family, they are in dire need.

Traveling for the company

This past week end the entire shift went to annual live fire training. We drove a half day to the regional fire training center, where we spend a day and a half doing unnatural things. If you think about it, when the fire starts, the rats and cockroaches run out, and we run in. Unnatural.

We get to do some things that can't be called cool, but they sure are interesting!

The first evolution is the flash over simulator. This is a steel box that is set on fire so we can observe the fire conditions that lead to a flash over. We can sit in relative comfort, that's relative mind you, and watch smoke movement and density. When the temperature gets right and the gasses are hot enough to burn you can watch the strings of flame at the fuel / oxygen interface. They dance and drift, a light yellow to blue, little dragons just at your head. The smoke builds quickly to black out everything including the large fire about eight feet away. The temperature at floor level where we sit is about three hundred and fifty degrees and the ceiling temperatures are about eighteen to twenty two hundred. Cozy!

Before going in the instructors make you drink a half liter of water, they make sure no one is sweating yet so steam burns are not as likely. We choose a "loaner" helmet that isn't too melted, and hope that we won't ad the next undesirable derby to the pile. The air pack face pieces are blistered and discolored but we don't have to see much anyway. A fire fighter will soon learn that tight gear will get you burned and every layer of clothing is protection. We have the best, and this little show will build some trust in it's effectiveness and conversely let you know not to trust it too far.

We sit for six flash overs and watch the instructor control them and after each rotate from front to back. The instructors are all dig its and when everyone had seen the show from the front row, he let the light weights leave and the rest of us hung out and let it rock for a while. Everything was fine right up to the point the flame front rolled under my helmet brim!

A little too intimate, thank you very much! At this point "get down "assumes a whole new meaning.

When we exit, we have to wait for a few minutes to unsnap anything because the snaps are too hot to touch. The air packs will blister and or brand you, and the outside of your clothing is just plain unpleasant.

The next evolution is LP gas fires, followed by ventilation, and doffing contaminated gear. The next morning we do another structural fire and after lunch its rope rescue.

My only complaint was not being able to rappel in our new rescue harnesses, our manager from the plant "wasn't comfortable" with me doing it, because he felt I didn't have the right people to help me. Hold on there Lucy, I was going to rappel on a nine thousand pound test line, while being belayed by another rescue line. Chubby I am, but no one is that bad. Consider also that if my big butt is in the hurt locker these are the people who will have to get me out!

Fun Police! Who needs them?

Thursday, May 3, 2007

I would adopt this one

Two illegal aliens, Ralphel Resindez 23 and Enrico Garza 26, probably believed they would easily overpower a home alone 11 year old Patricia Harrington after her father had left their two story home. It seems the two crooks never learned two things, they were in Montana and Patricia had been a clay shooting champion since she was nine. Patricia was in her upstairs room when the two men broke through the front door of the house. She quickly ran to her father’s room and grabbed his 12 gauge Mossberg 500 shotgun. Resindez was the first to get up to the second floor only to be the first to catch a near point blank blast of buck shot from the 11 year olds knee crouch aim. He suffered fatal wounds to his abdomen and genitals. When Garza ran to the foot of the stairs, he took a blast to the left shoulder and staggered out into the street where he bled to death before medical help could arrive.

I am so glad one daddy taught his little girl to take care of her self. Other wise some of our "hard working neighbors from the south" might have done something that stirred up a little hate crime. Like Daddy doing the job to avenge his little girl.

I blatantly stole this one from the skipper from BMEWS. I wish I was an IT manager so I could be the first to hunt down the good news clips.

The Necromantics

I got a call from the Big Kid. He asked if I would like to go with him to see a band that plays Psychobilly Rock (?). The differences in punk music are described in terms I can only call hair splitting. Everyone has their own niche. I don't get to hang out with him much due to work schedules, so I felt any opportunity to hang with the kid was a good time.

I have never been into the punk scene. It is however very amusing. Never have I seen a better collection of Tattoos and nose rings, body piercing, outre hair styles, clothing almost worn, butt cracks and belly adornments, and that was just the girls. The guys were considerably more violent in a, controlled- I'm just dancing kind of way, and less made up. The songs (?) were all too loud and sounded the same. The sound guys are careful to set the system up to the preference of the band, and then turn it up so loud the only thing you can hear is the roar of the bass, words go unheard.

I think I may have some permanent hearing loss.

Some of the girls were cute, particullarly those in short skirts, dancing and occasionally kissing their girl friend. It might have been for shock value, most of the wierdness was a pose to catch the attention of the crowd, not serious perversion.

The Necromantics are showmen all. They sport slanted eraser haircuts, the required black clothes, lots of tats and lots of eye rolling to look like zombies. The stand up base is in the shape of a coffin, and the lead guitar player can make it scream for mercy. With songs like : Necrophilia, Horny in the Grave Yard, Who Killed the Cheerleader, the cheerful atmosphere can only be imagined.

It was a good time. If he asks again I will take some ear plugs, drink more beer and hope no one is stupid enough to pick a fight.

"Slam dance" doesn't mean the same thing to all participants