Sunday, December 31, 2006

And Now, The Year Ahead

This is the time of year when we all talk about our resolutions for the coming 12 months, because we all seem to be less than satisfied with who we are. We want to make changes, be they big or small, and the new calendar gives us the feeling of a fresh start.

Now we all write about them, talk about them, but truth be told, our resolutions really aren't of major interest to everyone around us. Perhaps people might offer some support and encouragement, but we're all pretty much into our own thing here.

I'll spare you mine this time, but there is something I would like to see take place in this whole country for 2007.

I'd like to see a return of some "class" in this country. The recent death of President Gerald Ford reminded me of a time of some grace and elegance for our government. I was a young teenager during Mr. Ford's tenure, but I do remember that he came along at one of our country's darkest hours. I don't think the late 1960's-early 1970's period was ever matched in terms of national divisiveness. We were at our very worst, at least politically, during those years.

Gerald Ford's legacy will always be that of a man who came and healed a national wound. If you look at his Presidency in terms of "great accomplishments", it might be easy to miss what this man had done. But he put our dark days behind us, and taught us to move forward. It was a very quiet, unassuming effort put forth by the late President, but it was one that worked, that started us off on a path of a major revival.

That "class" seems to be gone these days. We have become a nation whose body politic is one that is erratic, stormy, exclusive and just plain mean. I see that people are greatly dissatisfied with the course our nation is following, and dissension has always been a great motivator. My problem isn't with the dissension, it's the manner with which it seems to be expressed.

It's not just politics, of course. It seems that everything that we do these days is done in a brash, loud, crude manner. We yell, we scream, we participate in name-calling. We have a culture of professional athletes who seem to embody every characteristic that is not good sportsmanship. We have celebrities everywhere who seem to think that having no taboos is a good thing. Television programming has become one huge voyeuristic event. Entertainment has been reduced to watching other people suffer, or humiliate themselves, or be given a venue through which to exhibit borderline sociopathic behavior.

But the driving force in this country seems to always have been our government, our ideologies, our leaders, and the whole political process. But where it seemed that the hallowed halls of our government were once the source of great people with great ideas, they now seem to be nothing more than arenas of contention, and contention that's not expressed with very much eloquence, grace or style.

I once attended a town meeting locally. There was a major issue at hand, and the community was brought together to try and come to some common solution. But rather than having the forum opened to the intelligent exchange of ideas and solutions, the gathering simply degenerated into a screaming match, and the select few who were the loudest held the floor until it became obvious that nothing more was going to be accomplished.

Politics in this country just seems to have plateaued at this level these days. The party in power is following a course of action, and the opposition's solution is not to offer better ideas, but simply to criticize and demonize those making the decisions. We yell, we scream, we point fingers and we name-call. No one seems to want to step up and offer a viable alternative. We simply seem to be in never-ending pursuit of the sound-byte, whatever it will take to get the cameras pointed our way.

I'm not taking a political stand here. I rarely, if ever, discuss politics, because I believe we hold our political views in the same sacred fashion with which we view our own children. I'm not going to convince you that your ideas are wrong, and you're not going to show me that my opinions are errant.

What I am looking at, here, is the way we go about practicing our politics. Political campaigns are now carried on at the level of a middle-school student body election. Neither side seems to be willing to step up with a platform of what they would do if elected; they'd rather tell you how bad life would be if the other party were put into office. Then it's mud-slinging, character assassination, and more name-calling.

I've been a keen observer of the entire issue of the war in Iraq. I've seen the President commit us to a war, and then defend his actions. I've seen his supporters (albeit few these days) rally behind him. I've seen his detractors step up to their task as well. But it seems that the opposition simply decries the war effort. Every day in countless publications, the war is condemned, the President of the United States is called a vast array of less-than-flattering names, yet nowhere have I seen a viable solution offered.

We are in a new world here. We are in the position of having to do something. We cannot sit back and become passive. America is what it is, in the eyes of the world. Whenever something unpleasant occurs in this country, we wait it out. The issue goes from the front-page, to page 3, and eventually becomes a small column located somewhere near the classifieds.

The world environment will not go away. We can't wait this one out. Perhaps the war in Iraq wass not the step to take, but it was a case of doing something. We need to be in motion. There are people on earth who want to erase our existence simply because we are the United States. No amount of flowery rhetoric is going to change that. Negotiation doesn't work when the opponent's only goal is your obliteration. We're not going to resolve our problems, particularly in the Middle East simply by packing up and going home. I'd love to se every American in uniform safely back on American soil. If I had my wish, no one would ever die again in defense of this country.

So if not this war, then what? It's been made very clear that there are more than a handful of people who disagree with the war. But what do we do? What exactly does calling the President a tyrant, a killer, and worse accomplish? If he's doing the wrong thing, what it the right thing? Say something. Think of it from your own point of view: if your life was motivated simply by biting criticism, rather than ideas on how to actually do things better, how productive would your life eventually be?

I just wish that we'd put some intelligence back in to the mechanics of our political process. I've always said you won't sell me a Mercedes-Benz by telling me how awful a BMW might be. If you want me to subscribe to your methodology, tell me just exactly what that methodology is. Tell me what you want, rather than simply filling the airwaves with what you don't want.

And please, let's get some decorum back as well. Simply being the loudest doesn't make anyone right. The issue I mentioned earlier was never really satisfactorily remedied, because no one could get a word in edge-wise once the yelling began. We're bogged down in Iraq in an ugly, loud, horrendous conflict. I don't think it would be wise to bog down our political process the same way for too much longer.

Let's agree that we can all come up with some pretty nasty names to call our opponents. Let's agree that we can conduct our own very nasty campaigns for our own causes. Let's all agree to disagree, but then let's get back to doing that in a more intelligent, productive fashion. One of the catch-phrases of the year was "Bringin Sexy Back".

Fine. Let's work on "Bringing Classy Back" too.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Year End Approacheth

The Year in Review

Watching the news got much harder this year,
with so much to ponder, and so much to fear.

The media struggled to stay in the race
in a year where our VP shot his friend in the face.

Our President said that we must "stay the course",
but too many consider him the rear end of a horse.

A Congressman cybered, then decided to quit,
hiding behind the "I'm a victim" bullshit.

The Pope started trouble across the Mid-East
hinting that a Prophet was a nasty old beast.

The Mayor of New Orleans dropped a "Chocolate City" crack,
John Kerry botched "a joke" to get into the act.

George Allen said "macaca", a word you don't say,
and soon his new job hunt was well underway.

We saw big elections some won and some lost,
at a time when it's "Win, and to hell with the cost!"

Politics hogged up the limelight but then,
Our celebrities stepped to the plate once again!

TomKat got pregnant, and Britney, they said,
but none were too happy since the dad was K-Fed.

Star Jones got loud and wound up in the street,
They brought in O'Donnell to sit in her seat.

We watched Lindsay Lohan get closer to hell,
While Ripa and Aiken didn't get on so well.

It wasn't long before Rosie joined the fray,
and with a slip of the tongue, she outed poor Clay.

Marriages ended, and some not so nice:
Eminem called it quits after marrying twice,

Whitney and Bobby, Pam and the Kid,
Heather dumped Paul over things that he did.

But the best one the news folks got to announce
was when they told us that Britney gave K-Fed the bounce.

The big stars went wild, they gave us the works,
stepping out in the spotlight behaving like jerks.

DeVito, Mel Gibson, the fun never ends,
and then Paris and Britney became best of friends.

The two of them partied all week together,
Then Brit gave the world a peek at her nethers!

But not all the news was silly or fun,
like the loss of Steve Irwin, Australia's Favorite Son,

The death of some favorites, like old Jack Palance,
and James Brown, who gave us the right song & dance.

The news biz itself lost one of the best,
when classy Ed Bradley was laid to his rest.

But life will go on, and with it the news,
I'm sure we'll have lots of new poisons to choose.

The stars that we worship will all do their best,
to bring back that familiar pain to our chests.

We'll soon get more Chelsea now that Hillary will run,
(hey why should her husband have all of the fun?)

Yes, it won't be too long till we're in tabloid heaven,
God help us all in 2007!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Umm, Well You Get The Idea...

Hope you have a great Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Am I Insane?

I am having some major palpitations here this early evening. I happened to look at the labeling on a can of Pepsi that I was in the process of consuming. Under "sugars" it said "45 grams". I looked again.

Wow. There are 454 grams in a pound. So in 10 cans of Pepsi, there should be a pound of sugar.

Perhaps this is why I wake up some mornings clinging to the ceiling?

Can that be right?


So some silliness going on here today in my armpit of the world. Long ago I accepted that odd stuff happens to and around me and there will be nothing I can do about it. Most days I just take it. But then there are those days.

Like this morning. I walked into the kitchen and found a paper clip in the sink. Why? No idea. I couldn't remember eating with it, it's kinda a small clip and all. And I'm not usually in the habit of doing a whole lot of paperwork over the dish drain. Oh well.

Then I get the mail. Some cards, yayyy, some bills, and the 2 tons of catalogues. (by the way, I'm single here, and my name is clearly masculine, but I get every woman's catalogue on earth. No men's stuff. Well, if any of you Ladies ever want something, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get it) So anyway, one of the cards came from Europe. I was curious, as it was definitely addressed to me. I opened it, it was made out to me and my 3 kids, but I have no idea who the card is from. Even asked how I was feeling. How do you forget that you have a friend that lives on another Continent?

As I pondered that, I realized that I had way too much bread in the house, and some of it was on the verge of being stale. So I took it out, crumbled it up and spread it out on the back courtyard grass. As I stood there, one of the neighbors came out scolding me for feeding the birds.

"You don't need to be doing that, we don't need those damned birds here causing us all kinds of trouble," he proclaimed. And he didn't stop there, he went on and on telling me it was people like me who brought these damned birds around, stuff like that.

Yeah. The 80434 trees on the property probably have nothing to do with those birds being around. And what, are these Gangster Birds or something? Are they gonna come extort money from us, maybe steal our cars? Hey, you know how it works.

By then, the paper clip, along with the European Christmas Mystery were taking their toll on me. I was not in the mood for this clown's civic lesson.

"You're absolutely right," I said. "I'll pick all the bread, and we'll never see another bird in these parts ever again. Now go in the house before the birds are the last thing you will have to worry about."

Hey, the paper clip and all, you know. Tough morning. Made me grouchy.

I left the bread.

Night Thoughts

So I'm up a little late tonight. It's quiet, and there's not much going on. So of course, that leaves me to think, and that's not good. This is a sample of what's been running through my mind at these hours:

Remember being a kid, and doing something really silly or bizarre, you know, like painting the dog blue, shaving your sister's head in her sleep, lining up the contents of a 1 lb. bag of M&M's across a room (told you I was a problem child) and a parent or teacher would ask you to explain why you did such things? Usually, you'd hit 'em with a "I dunno", and that'd be the end of it. Occasionally, though, you'd really be pressed by the authority figure for a good explanation, and after 90-100 hours you might have come up with one because you weren't getting off the hook without one. You absolutely had to come up with a rationalization for your actions. It wasn't easy, but with the effort, you might have actually thought about it.

Well, there are a few things going on in the world that I'd really like some explanations for. Since it's late, I'm not asking for anything really profound. Nope, at this hour, I'm going for the little, everyday things that I see, hear or read that have me going. So here are a few.

  • How come people will get on a highway (under favorable driving conditions, for the sake of this discussion)and drive 15-20 miles under the speed limit? The road has a posted speed limit, which means someone with a little know-how tested it and figured out the safe speed, right? So by you going that much more slowly, are you affirming the fact that you're just a lousy driver, incapable of handling a motor vehicle?

  • And along those lines, why would you drive that slowly in the left lane of the highway, when you know that the lane is designated for passing? Are you telling people to kiss your butt? Wouldn't they then be justified in kicking said butt if they objected to your sentiment?

  • Another course of action that's always had me curious (as well as annoyed) is the person who whips out a cell phone, and begins talking very loudly. I'm not whining about someone walking down the street; who cares about that? I'm referring more to the lout who does it in inappropriate places like quiet restaurants, or a Doctor's waiting room, or a commuter train. If you do this, could you just tell me, is it like an act meant to provoke other people into a fight? Or maybe it's a genetic problem, such as nature forgetting to provide you with the genetic code for acceptable social behavior? I think that maybe it's just a means with which to draw attention to yourself. Am I right?

  • We object to celebrities who act like morons. We cry out against these folks' obnoxious behavior, we call them "bad examples", berate them for acting like jerks. So then how come we eat up every word, every story that's written, view every second of video we can about that very same behavior? Look at the CD sales, the movie box office takes, the magazine & tabloid circulation increases whenever there is a story about these folks, and you can see that that's the case. Why do we focus so much attention on these people if we abhor them?

  • Guess I better call it a night now!

    Tuesday, December 19, 2006

    To Tattoo or Not To Tattoo (say that 5 times fast)

    So maybe you want a tattoo, but might be scared to make a permanent choice like that? And maybe the thought of a rub-on tattoo, or one made from henna just doesn't sit right with you?

    Check this out... click here

    Doesn't This One Hit Home?

    Monday, December 18, 2006

    Power Struggle

    Last night I arrived back at my apartment after a long absence. The first thing I noticed was that there were no lights on in the community. Not good. There was apparently some sort of accident that knocked out power lines earlier in the evening.

    Electric heat suddenly isn't a good thing at a time like this. But that's not the power I want to talk about right now.

    When it comes to who's really in control in this country (besides women I mean) you can look to the Government. But the power of our Elected Officials pales in comparison to the strength of the "Really In Charge".

    Yes, I'm talking about the dreaded Shipping Companies. There are are three branches of power in the Government, but there are a few more players in the world of the "Really In Charge", UPS, FedEx, The USPS and DHL, to name a few. (DHL is a little scary, because you never quite get to see them, which is odd, considering how those yellow and red trucks would seem to be hard to camouflage, right? And who among us really knows what "DHL" means?)

    So why do I think it's these folks who are really calling the shots around here? Consider this:

    Imagine some branch of the US Government deciding that you were to be confined to your home on certain days for a period of 5 or so hours (now I'm not talking about house arrest or something like that). Just randomly telling you to stay inside the house and not to go out.

    Oh, there would be protests, lawsuits, and a tremendous public outcry! The outrage, the injustice! The ACLU would beat a hasty path to your door.

    But come home some afternoon and find the dreaded "Missed You" tag on the door, and suddenly the whole game changes. On that slip you'll see the time they tried to deliver, and below that, you'll see the time span during which they will attempt to re-deliver. That's usually a span of a few hours, by the way. If you want that package, you'll make whatever arrangements necessary to allow you to stay in that house and sit quietly waiting.

    Why? Because on the last line of that little "Missed You" tag, it clearly states "Signature required for delivery".

    You bought that item, you paid for the shipping, but here you sit, a captive in your own home, waiting for them to decide just when they're going to come visit you in the night.

    And you know the're all set. You've got food, supplies, water, you're all good. Ready to wait it out. Nothing is going to make you miss that delivery.

    Now while it's long been decided that the Government cannot inflict torture on its citizens for any reason, there are no such restrictions on Shipping Companies, and they know it. They'll send every truck on earth, from every company known to man, to drive loudly down your street that day, in intervals of about 2 minutes.

    "Ooh, that him?"




    They'll employ their Secret Agents that day. Yes, one by one, Operatives disguised as Brush Salesmen, Census Takers, and even Jehovah's Witnesses will all find their way to your doorbell. All to just keep you mindful of who's really running the game in your town.

    And they use conventional torture methods as well. Sleep deprivation- that slip says "between 8 AM and two weeks from now"; and just think what would happen should you suddenly feel the Call of Nature. Can't risk being in there should that doorbell ring again, now, can we? And if you have a front and back door, oh Baby, you're in for it. Ever hear of someone running to death? It happens!

    And sometimes, they've even been known to have an agent arrive at your home with no intentions of delivering anything whatsoever. He's going to sneak up to your door and hang that tag on the knob, and steal quietly away into the night, just so you know that you've got absolutely no say in this matter at all.

    Ever see a dog or cat sitting completely still by the front door, awaiting the return of Master?

    Just remember: they might guarantee delivery by 10:30 AM, they do not specify in which time zone that 10:30 AM applies.

    They've got the Power.

    One of the companies around here goes by the name "Guaranteed Overnight Delivery", and they've taken to labeling their trucks with the company's initials...that's right: G.O.D.

    Makes ya think a little, doesn't it?

    The worst part is, these folks never come up for re-election...

    Whoa, I think I hear a truck. Gotta go. I hope it's the MP3 player I ordered, and not a fruit cake from Aunt Millie.

    Friday, December 15, 2006

    What If's

    I was doing the usual channel surfing, and wound up on one of those local "public access" type channels. There was some guy sitting there discussing religion. (I'll be honest, my first reason for stopping on this channel was that the guy was really weird looking, but I got the message)

    Anyway, this guy was going on and on about Sin, Original Sin, and Sodom and Gomorrah. Scary "fire and brimstone" type stuff.

    His lecture was odd, but somewhat interesting. It got me thinking: Just suppose every idea people like this guy, and a few of the more famous (or notorious) Religious Right types had were right on the mark. Suppose God really did do things like The Great Flood (Noah's Ark) and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? Just for a minute, think as though He would do such things.

    Man are we gonna get it. Any day soon, look out!

    Scary thought, right?

    Got me thinking about other things we talk about, but haven't really seen.

    Suppose that men and women could switch bodies for a day or two. Women have always maintained that men are babies, and could never withstand the pain of being a woman, periods, childbirth, etc. But what would go on if it really did happen? And what would happen to life as we know it if a man did take her place, but came out of it saying, "No big, it was nothing?"

    The horror!

    And suppose just one time, that one Miss America was granted her wish for World Peace. What the heck would we do with all that free time? And where would the military be?

    That could only be bad for men, I do believe. Just a hunch.

    And what if men could never tell a lie? Ever again. Ever.

    Sounds like paradise, right up to the moment the first poor slob is asked "Do these pants make me look fat?"

    Or how about, "We never talk any more..."

    "'Cause you're friggin boring me to death, and I'm sick of your whining!"

    Wow that's scary.

    I think I will take things as they are for the time being. Status Quo isn't such a bad thing.

    Shop Shop Shop Shop Shop Shop

    So, having eliminated the poison a little, we go forward.

    I'm fair, if nothing else. I made quite a ruckus moaning about the places I got hosed on the Internet this Holiday Season. But there were more than a few goodcompanies who were only more than willing to take the money I originally intended for amazon and Quick list: - I ordered, the package was delivered quickly, and the order was accurately filled. - if you're in a jam, trying to get toys last minute, they really do stock some of the more popular items. - These fine folks had every video and pc game I could think of. In stock! - Another company with whom I was willing to share my shopping money. They actually have stuff you can buy! Very happy boy here, I can tell you that!

    I'm sure I forgot some, but I'll check and come back if I did. Bye now!

    Thursday, December 14, 2006

    P U R G E !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Well, that about cinches it. I have been grouchy beyond belief for way too long. I spent half the day being pissed off about things, and the other half thinking about things that piss me off. That's just ungood. Nope, nuh uh can't go on any more.

    So I figure, the best way to get it behind me is to just let it all hang out, then get rid of it, right? This might take a while, but I don't want to make people think that I am a cranky, miserable jerk any more. So here goes...

    The Biz Report

    I saw my credit card summary, year-to-date, and the amount of money I spent at Amazon this year was just silly. But I can tell you, the way they failed me here at Christmas shopping this year, guarantees I will not be repeating the performance in the year to come. They sucked.

    Sears is another company whose business demise I will pray for daily. Try stocking more than 1 of each item, losers. (Man it's hard keeping the swearing to a minimum, lol)

    But I'd almost forgotten how awful the US Postal Service is. Almost. I get occasional reminders, like having my Valentine's cards delivered to me on St. Patty's Day, or my birthday cards in August (May birthday). But this time of year always brings to mind just how badly that business is run. Three times this week I had cause to go there in the late afternoon/early evening. At 1 in the afternoon when there's 4 people in line, we got 3 counter people working. At 5:30 PM, when 450 people rush there after work, there's 1 counter person. And the only way she could work any more slowly would be if she were to completely flat-line. We had Mary Social up there at the front, deciding that now would be a great time to chit-chat about everything that ever happened to her, while shipping 183 packages that had to be processed 1 at a time.

    Thank God for UPS, FedEx and DHL. I use them at every opportunity, although UPS can occasionally be dumb.

    OK so that's the business report. Next I'll purge my people poison.

    Folks I'd Like To See Removed

    Door Stoppers. Not the little wooden wedge you shove under the door to hold it open,I mean the wooden-headed idiots who line up for a busy place, and when they finally get to the door, with hundreds more people behind them, decide to stop, directly in the doorway, and maybe paint a portrait of all they see. I wouldn't mind so much, if it weren't illegal to pick them up and slam them out of the way.

    Movie People Not all movie people, just the really big pains in the butt who are always late for the show, but then want to sit in the middle seat in the row. Or the mopes that insist on waiting until 2 minutes after the movie begins to get up and go to the bathroom. They're usually parked in the middle of the row as well.

    Picky Eaters Again, not all Picky Eaters. Just those precious ones who, if there were 200 entrees to choose from, still couldn't find something they like. Dining with them is like having a boil lanced with a chainsaw. Worst part is, they always want to go out to eat.

    Happy Birthday Cha-Cha-Cha people You know the ones...they sing "Happy Birthday to You- cha cha cha!" It was cute 7 years ago. Stop it. It's almost as annoying as the ones who insist on trying to harmonize while they sing it.

    Box PeopleThose people who are always carrying boxes when you see them? Remove them. (hey, I didn't say some of these wouldn't be weird)

    Over-Advocates They take playing "Devil's Advocate" to the extreme. They are always on the other side of the argument, not because they have opposing ideas, but because their entire belief system is built upon simply being contrary. No matter what's said, they always try to present the "other side" of the argument. They'll encourage you to approach things "with an open mind" when it happens to be something you disagree upon. To me, it's a pseudo-intellectual attention-getting device. Remove them, will ya?

    Habitual Offendees Not criminal recidivists, mind you. These are people whose very existence relies on the next moment when they can "be offended". There's nothing in the Constitution that guarantees any citizen a life completely devoid of things one might find disagreeable. And "being offended" now seems to be a way of life for some folks. If these characters expended half the energy enjoying life as they do hunting down offenses,we could probably dismantle the military. Let's have them removed and get them a life.

    The Terminally Unaware I'm not referring to the occasional gaffe, or dropping the ball now and then, I'm talking about those folks who've made a career out of screwing up. You usually first become aware of them at the end of a 10-hour lecture, when the teacher asks "any questions" and their hand goes up.You see them trying to walk up the "down" escalator, every day, or attempting to get cash out of the ATM with a library card, or ordering spaghetti at a Chinese restaurant. You know, they count out $187 in coins to save the cashier from having to make change. Not that I'd mind so much, but it seems they're always in front of me in line. Let's extricate them, no? Or maybe require them to pin their address to their shirts so we can all mail them a clue?

    Control Freaks If there's one group that is dear to my heart, it's these folks. They want everything their way, and they'll employ ridiculous means to get it. I am not sure that I really want to see them removed, because I do so enjoy foiling them at every turn. I love it when someone tries to get me to do things their way, not because it's right, or practical, but simply because it's their way. They like to try and make you feel that you're a complete idiot if you don't do things the way they feel it should be done. On second thought, have them removed too, ok? Please?

    Well! That's lot of purging. I feel 10 pounds lighter. I think it's time to move on now, and get a smile back on my face. Or maybe I need a laxative, too? Nah. I'm good. Onward and upward!

    That felt good.

    Wednesday, December 13, 2006

    A Little Slow, A Little Dry...

    So I was on the Interstate today, in some heavy traffic, and I was in the right lane. As I inched along, I spotted a smashed-up computer lying on the shoulder of the road. And that got me thinking, "Man, someone REALLY had a hatin' on for their computer to drive all the way out here just to throw it out the window." I hope no one ever gets that mad at me!

    Anyway, I got an awesome gift from my bestest friend today. I am ecstatic. It's so great, it's a food basket with some great stuff, like all my favorites. I was really pleased and so grateful. (I tend to over-do the thank you's when I'm all over happy).

    Then I noticed in the package that the stuff was packed in, that they used dry-ice to keep it cold in the case. Now I'm supposed to be all grown up, Big boy and all that, but I am just DYING to play with it a little. You know, break some of it off and drop it in a pot of water, play Evil Scientist, something like that?

    Don't know if I will be able to resist...

    Hey, Best Friend: Thank youuuuuuuuuuu!

    Monday, December 11, 2006

    Monday Meandering

    Lotta silly thoughts in my noggin today, not enough for an entry by themselves.

    So old, exactly, does a rock star get to be before performing is just silly?

    And what about this:
    There is a damper on Christmas cheer at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport: A rabbi's complaint led to the removal this weekend of synthetic Christmas trees that have decorated the entrances every holiday season for the last 25 years.

    The man behind their disappearance, Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky, told a Seattle newspaper he's "appalled" that the airport officials removed the trees. His goal was not to clear out Christmas, but rather to add a celebration of Hanukah. He asked the port of Seattle, which runs the airport, to build an eight-foot menorah and hold a lighting ceremony.

    Silly Story of the Day

    So I'm standing out front of the house this morning. I hear birds, I look up and see a huge flock coming my way, and they're flying in formation. I notice they're holding a big banner that says "DUCK!"
    As they get close, I yell, "You're not ducks, you're GEESE!"
    I guess that wasn't what they were trying to tell me. Geese poop a lot.

    Self-Help Tip of the Day:
    Just eat what you want this Holiday Season. Worry about it in January. (Hey, that's what we do with our shopping, right?)
    If I cook up a huge smorgasbord, rich with turkey, goose liver paté(yeah, remember the Silly Story), seafood, cakes and pies, and I see you eating celery sticks, things could get ugly.

    Why does our society feel the need to have "experts" in just about every aspect of our lives these days?
    Re-gifting is being talked about on the news shows, talk show, etc. Shut up. You're beating it to death.
    I watched the Today Show this morning, and there was some woman on who calls herself a "Lifestyle Expert". Are you kidding me? That's almost as bad as a "Life Coach". She was telling us how to avoid "gifting errors". These friggin' people are really on a racquet..."gifting errors"...
    She offered such amazing tips as "don't re-gift in the same group you received the gift from." Except she put it so cutesy. She said "Don't recast your gift into your Social Pond". What are we now, tadpoles?
    Gimme a break.

    NordicTrack iFit Treadmill was also on Today. There was a fitness guru demonstrating it, and it comes with a built-in computerized fitness trainer. Guess we don't need a fitness guru around with this bad-boy. Incidentally, Ms. Guru said that you could go to Sears and buy one (yeah, like they'd have them in stock) for $1100, while the screen graphic said you could go to Sears (home of the out-of-stock specials) and buy one for $1400. I wonder if her mistake would count if you try to take advantage of the Best Price Guarantee. Probably not, 'cause the guarantee probably only counts toward in-stock merchandise.

    Last thought for the hour:
    How come the last few years, all the new "Christmas movies" that come out always seem to be about sleaze-bags and idiots?

    OK see ya later!

    Christmas Write-Off's

    Bye GAP! It was nice knowing you!

    Friday, December 08, 2006

    CS WHY?

    So over the course of a few months this year, I became a big fan of CSI-Miami. I watched dozens of older re-runs on networks such as A&E, USA, etc. Then I began to get caught up in the series, the newer episodes, and even the first-runs on CBS when I could.
    It's so weird, and annoying. I was so loving all the early stuff, and then they started all this weirdness. David Caruso's character has evolved into something out of the old Batman tv series of the 1960's, spewing the corniest of one-liners while striking all these "hero" poses. They've turned his Horatio Caine into a caricature. I'm not alone in my complaint there; someone on YouTube has a whole parody going on here
    Then there's Emily Proctor's character, Calleigh Duquesne. No matter whom this woman is talking to, she always sounds like she's in bed, about to tell someone she loves them. Either that, or the producers said, "Let's make her talk so softly that no one on Earth can hear her." I lose half the show trying to decipher the "Whisper Talkers". (I had cops in my family growing up, and I have a few friends who are currently on the force...none of them speak in whispers).
    But I think the button that got pushed tonight sent me over the edge, and I may have to bid farewell to this show.
    Ever watch those people on the cooking shows? When they're doing their mixing, chopping, etc., and the camera pans up to their faces, they always have those contented little grins going on. They're turning out some delicious creation, so, hell, let 'em grin.
    But tonight, I'm watching Eva LuRue's character Natalia Boa Vista, painting some dead guy's body with some kind of filler designed to lift a tire-track from the dead guy's crushed arm, and she's wearing that self-same Food Network Grin. Ugh, are you kidding me? She's handling a squashed arm, and she's smiling like Rachael Ray!
    Nahh, you lose me there.
    What the hell, why do they take these shows and ruin 'em like that?

    Wednesday, December 06, 2006

    Fair Is Fair

    So, just to show the world that I don't hate every business in the world, I am here to give kudos to a company called

    When I couldn't find the toys I needed on Amazon, , I found this website. They had what I wanted, and got it here pronto.

    See, I'm not always grouchy!


    When I take the time to watch Governmental news conferences or briefings, it's always remarkable to me how these folks can take a simple set of sentences and do wondrous things with them.

    They can reiterate the same idea 20 different ways.

    They can take both sides of an argument and, by the time they're done, leave you clueless as to what side they actually stand for.

    They can tell you exactly what is to be done, and then spend an hour telling you the ways that we can get around actually doing them.

    Today I watched the release of the Iraq Study Group's report on the war in Iraq. They've been speaking for better than 20 minutes. After they laid out seemingly every point of their Iraq reorganization plan, they took questions from the press and basically said how none of this plan is legislation, so it's not going to go into law.

    I think, just once, it would be great if these guys got up and told it like it is. Like maybe this:

    " 'Staying the course' is not a good idea. The war may have started with good intentions, but it's out of control. Time to admit that maybe the best-laid plans aren't cutting it. Let's digest this study, implement the suggestions, and get it done."

    That didn't take too long.

    Therapy Nayyy!

    Well I was doing really well with the physical therapy. The left leg is about 90% and the right one is about 85% (this according to the therapist, I don't self-diagnose, of course).

    Then the back went. Three herniated disks and something called "stenosis" put me in the penalty box. Doc stopped therapy for the time being. I have to go, on Friday, for some epidurals. I have heard some good things about those bad boys. I am, naturally, a little uneasy about getting shots in my spine, but I'll just get up Friday and go. Let 'em do their thing.

    I've been out of work since June 27th. I'm at the borderline of stir-crazy, but I can't deny that this spine of mine really set me back. (I am so witty, ain't I?).

    So after the epidurals, I wait about 10 days, and go back for an assessment. Hopefully, by then I will be chomping at the bit to get the ok to return to work. I never thought I'd be in a hurry to do that, but I've found out the alternative isn't so much fun. Who'd a thunk it? All kinds of hours to loaf around, heal, watch TV, browse the Internet, and I got bored. Bored is putting it mildly.

    Anyway, that's the boring update.

    Monday, December 04, 2006

    I Don't See Dead People

    So I was watching reruns of "Still Standing" this early afternoon. It's on Lifetime a couple of times a day, and it's a great break from all the nonsense on the other channels.

    Anyway, they went to commercial, and Lifetime is presenting a new series called "lisa williams: life among the dead", Mondays at 8 PM.

    This show is centered around the activities of a woman named Lisa Williams, a British clairvoyant. Her claim to fame is that supposedly she can talk to the dead, and find spirits in haunted houses, etc.

    Sorry. Now no one loves a good ghost story, scary spirit movie, etc., more than I do. I love the thrills of Stephen King books; I loved Poltergeist, Nightmare on Elm Street and the Exorcist.

    But I don't believe in that stuff. It's a cute parlor trick, and some of these fortune tellers can be pretty slick, but I just don't buy it. It's too random, all the "messages" they claim to be hearing.

    I'd love to think it's possible, I think it would be awesome if it were, but I just don't buy into any of it.

    OK that's all from my brain this hour.

    Sunday, December 03, 2006

    Oh For Crying Out DEAD!

    Oh come on now. I'm sitting here watching Sunday Night Football tonight, and a commercial starts:

    This Christmas...

    and I hear the familiar old music.

    The Theme from Rocky.

    Yes he's back, and Rocky is gonna fight again.

    HE'S 2000504 YEARS OLD!


    The Rolling Stones are bad enough...

    Saturday, December 02, 2006


    I figured that online shopping was just what the doctor ordered this year, right? Laid up, can't drive too much, a perfect set-up.

    Yeah right. Next year I start my Christmas shopping in April. The online merchants absolutely stink this year, and I hope half of them go out of business. There is no way that I would have known that these morons would be out of stock before Thanksgiving, and not offer any hope of restocking until January. That's just bad business if you ask me. Someone needs to reasses their business practices.

    I hope the Amazon dries up and blows away. The company. Not the river. And that it takes with it.

    Ok, I'm done being grouchy.

    Wait a Minute, Wait a Minute!

    Ok I promise I'm not trying to turn this blog into Celebrity Central or anything, but I'm curious about all the noise going on over Lindsay Lohan's email to the Altman family, offering her condolences on the death of Robert Altman. Take a look at the text:

    Dead Is Hard, Life Is Much Easier
    Lindsay Lohan on Robert Altman

    I would like to send my condolences out to Catherine Altman, Robert Altmans wife, as well as all of his immediate family, close friends, co-workers, and all of his inner circle.

    I feel as if I've just had the wind knocked out of me and my heart aches.

    If not only my heart but the heart of Mr. Altman's wife and family and many fellow actors/artists that admire him for his work and love him for making people laugh whenever and however he could..

    Robert altman made dreams possible for many independent aspiring filmmakers, as well as creating roles for countless actors.

    I am lucky enough to of been able to work with Robert Altman amongst the other greats on a film that I can genuinely say created a turning point in my career.

    I learned so much from Altman and he was the closest thing to my father and grandfather that I really do believe I've had in several years.

    The point is, he made a difference.

    He left us with a legend that all of us have the ability to do.

    So every day when you wake up.

    Look in the mirror and thank god for every second you have and cherish all moments.

    The fighting, the anger, the drama is tedious.

    Please just take each moment day by day and consider yourself lucky to breathe and feel at all and smile. Be thankful.

    Life comes once, doesn't 'keep coming back' and we all take such advantage of what we have.

    When we shouldn't..... '

    Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourselves' (12st book) -everytime there's a triumph in the world a million souls hafta be trampled on.-altman Its true. But treasure each triumph as they come.

    If I can do anything for those who are in a very hard time right now, as I'm one of them with hearing this news, please take advantage of the fact that I'm just a phone call away.

    God Bless, peace and love always.

    Thank You,


    Lindsay Lohan

    So yeah, hi!

    What exactly is so horrendous about that? Spend a few minutes browsing Internet message boards, or a couple of real doozy Myspace pages. Compared to the stuff I've seen posted there, Lohan's letter is practically Shakespearean.

    What exactly is the deal here?

    Maybe this is just another good reminder that English is very close to joining Latin on the "Dead Languages" list.

    At least she didn't send them any dirty pictures of herself "accidentally" exposing herself as she got out of a limo.

    Be Adequite folks, ok?

    Friday, December 01, 2006

    Oh Man I Am So Back!

    Too many times, something you find funny doesn't translate to "funny" when you try to share the story, sort of that "you had to be there" type of situation.

    Having said that, I'll spare you the details, but suffice to say that something really made me laugh last night, and I thank her for that.

    I'm not sure why, but when I caught my breath, for some reason I thought about those DIBS ice cream snacks that I had seen in the freezer a few days back. Suddenly I was craving just a couple of 'em, which is odd because I'm not an ice cream eater by nature.

    So, off to the freezer I went. The fridge here is one of those side-by-side jobs and the unit is pretty tall. With me being all lame since May, bending over to look at the bottom for the DIBS turned into quite a trick. I bend kinda like a giraffe now, all straight and leaning.

    Well, the lean was far, the balance was a little off, and let's just say in the next 2 seconds, I sooo became Stupid of Old.


    Nothing broken. It didn't take too long to get up, either.

    Now I have to figure out who wiped out the balance of the DIBS, when I WANTED SOME!

    Rotten kids.

    Celebrity Stuff

    I've always been a fan of Britney Spears in the past. Not the person, because I don't know her. But I liked the act, the freshness of her talent, just the whole celebrity thing with her. Rags to riches stories always do it for me.

    But I just want it on the record that I didn't care for this whole recent "photo" scandal. I had a chance to see the uncensored photos, and I passed. To me it's not "hot", it's not a turn-on, it's just kinda sad.

    Seeing her take up with Paris Hilton and, worse, Lindsay Lohan just tells me that her career goals aren't on track to take her to greatness. She will eventually release a new CD, which will probably sell a kabillion copies. Going the way she is, Britney will always be rich, but she will never be "great".

    Is it just me, or was this whole "DeVito on The View" thing kinda sad? Danny DeVito was always one of the best at playing unsavory characters, over the top lunatics, and just-plain sleazebags.
    But in real life, I always thought he was a class act, miles removed from any of the folks he might have portrayed.
    Just seemed to me like he was the type of guy who was above the kind of nonsense he pulled the other day on that talk show.Arriving for an interview, completely inebriated,on a nationally televised show, just seems more appropriate for folks of lesser talent and quality. And watching him sitting on Rosie O'Donnell's lap like some kind of simpleton just kind of bugged me.
    I still like Danny, I just think this was a little beneath someone of his caliber.

    Am I the only one on the planet who is just not stoked about "DreamGirls"?