Tuesday, 29 April 2008

31 of 53

Today, we know that 31 of the 53 girls picked up at the Sect in Texas....are pregnant or has been pregnant.....and between 14 and 18 years old. So....the Rangers are now standing there smiling, because they've got real evidence and a crime.

The older women in their wonderfully dull long dresses.....now have lost an edge on their woeful tale story. Unless they can prove that the girls were all raped by "outsiders", then this entire story goes in a negative direction.

I'm thinking the case will go into a quiet period until the "husbands" are identified and then charged. Some of these guys are looking at a couple of years in prison and they will readily identified in the prison as the guy who did young girls....which gets you a bad reputation.

A Case of Murder?

There is an interesting article over at Fox news covering the "smiley face gang". Basically, 40 young gentlemen.....all college males....have died via drowning over the past ten years. There wasn't any strong connection between any of these....as you read the article...until a New York cop came upon a drowning in the NY City area...which was puzzling. As the years have rolled by, more murders have taken place. At the general murder site....as they've come to some sites and found....is a "smiley face" drawn on the concrete.

I read the story and have some lack of belief in the scenario the cops have drawn. The young men have all been college students and very atheletic. All were out on the town and were last seen drinking. Each ended up drowning. So the scenario says that a "gang" is out and hunting down young male students while partying, and killing them.

I sat and pondered this scenario. I think the killer.....is just a killer...and not a gang. I also think its a female....a lone single female....probably in her late 20's....and she really has a deep problem with men...especially young college males. She is artistic. She knows date drugs. She has no compassion and is as cold as ice. She feels a release of pain, by dispatching the guy to six feet under. She drugs the guy just enough to get him to the vehicle.....which I'm guessing is a van of some type. She travels between states and I'm guessing she is a salesman or a professional athlete. She meets the guy and sizes him up...and then murders him.

The odds of catching her? She has to make a mistake. I don't think she is prone to mistakes. She calculates and knows the limit....and it'll have to be a guy who is expecting trouble.....who figures this out.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Austria and Its "Dirt"

Yesterday we started to learn about the house in Austria, where a 70-year old guy had kept his daughter since 1984 when she was 18....as a prisoner in the basement....and was raping her. In fact.....we also know that he had been using her since the age of eleven. After the disappearance of the daughter....which he had explained as her simply leaving....she would be placed into the basement and would deliver six kids to "dad". There was a seventh but it died in childbirth. Somewhere in the middle of this....the wife....who had always been there in the house....never knew about the daughter or the kids, which is something that boggles the mind. The facts of the case, you can read at CNN.

I sit and ponder about this case. This is the second case in two years in Austria....where a young girl had simply been plucked off the street and hidden in a basement. In this case, I sat and looked at the house....on your average street...with people passing daily. The room was sound-proofed, we are told, and was electronically controlled so neither the daughter or her kids would ever come out. None have seen sunlight....which is the basis of life.

There is no adequate punishment that can be dispensed on this guy. And the state will have to care for her for an eternity, as well as the kids. The mother? I sit and ponder that she is very naive and probably not fully capable of comprehending all around her. One gets the impression that the daughter was retarded in some minor fashion and could not escape from this torment or put an end to her life (as most of us would have).

So the thought process starts to ponder this in a numbers sequence. Could there be more? In both Austria and Germany. My speculation....at least a hundred more of these prison-houses likely exist. One only needs to examine the number of disappearances per year.....to take a educated guess of the possibility. Hundreds. But then I lay this logic across the US, and I would likely guess that a thousand such houses exist in the US....when you compare the number of disappearances that occur each year.

It is a sad part of society that hands out this punishment and judgment upon an innocent group of society. A fair punishment in return.....is not possible. And so we are left to ponder the state of the world today....and how far we've fallen.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

The Olympics and Tibet

I am a witness to the Jimmy Carter era and the famous decision to stop the US team from attending the Moscow Olympics....turning the US vision of the Olympics into a political vision, and not a sports vision. Jimmy Carter simply made the decision and with few court obstructions....it was set into motion. Everyone that ever trained for the Olympics....hated Carter afterwards. He basically wasted four years of their life....to complain about the Afghanistan situation and the Russian invasion.

So years have passed now, and here is the Tibet situation with China and its Olympics.

Its a funny thing....all of the problems associated with Tibet and its relationship with China....have existed for decades. Never once has there been a world boycott of the Chinese economy. Never once has there been any formal UN action or serious legal action. So now....with the Olympics almost upon us.....the Tibet crowd has used a clever strategy of making the Olympics the target. To some degree, it has worked. Various world leaders aren't attending the primary ceremony (although GW will attend). The torch episode....has become a comical affair...but continues on.

Its amusing now....that Jimmy Carter doesn't come out and defend the Tibet crowd and urge a cancelation of the Olympics. I've waited weeks for James the Failed (Jimmy Carter) to say those magic words, but he won't do it this time.

The Olympics have nothing to do with Tibet....this is a fact. We are pushing ourselves into a corner....trying to make facts out of thin air, and it won't work. The Chinese have earned the right to have the Olympics and I see no reason to stall or cancel the big grand show. I can see some problems with the Tibet strategy and wish those guys well....but it has nothing to do with the Olympics.

You have to look at the history of the Olympics to have an appreciation of the grand show. It was sport. It was a chance to have countries meet on a field....and have a friendly competition. It had nothing to do with conflict or state arguments. So in this game of world discussion.....there really isn't much to discuss. The Tibet problem existed thirty years ago, and it will still exist in another thirty years. If the world wanted to change the situation....fine....boycott products and make the government tumble because of citizen anger over the economy. But trying to seize the Olympics and turn it into a game of debate....doesn't work.

Shutting Down Gothem City?

Back in 2006, just outside a strip club, Sean Bell came out and a series of events occurred. At the end.....after 50 rounds of ammo were fired at Bell and his associates (with none in return), Sean lay dead.

This week, the New York City court system tried to deal with the episode. What makes this story interesting....is that Sean had no weapon and no rounds were ever fired at the cops. So after a long and exhaustive investigation, it came down to three cops that fired on Sean and his group....thinking that they were going to shoot them (the cops).

The court case this week came to a innocent declaration. Everyone in the room....even the cops....were shocked. They walked free. Sean's wife....is terribly upset and so is about half of New York City. Adding to this odd scenario which has developed....there is Al Sharpton who says that he will form up a plan this week....to shut down New York City. He thinks he can get enough people and just plain halt the entire operation of the city.

I sat and pondered this. Having been there and seen the 3rd world condition of the city....I can analyze and tell you that this isn't a terribly difficult task.

I would imagine that a group of 2,000 dedicated individuals can wreck enough havoc at 7AM, that would shut down the traffic flow in and around Manhattan. Another 2,000 could probably halt every bus and every subway train in the city. Toss in another ten thousand, and I could shut down JFK and every interstate out of the city.

The city is in a difficult position....justice was handed out. The judge even commented that he felt the prosecutor built a weak case....although he didn't say the guy did it intentionally. Most of the witnesses brought forward were drug dealers or drug users....although to be fair....at 2AM....most of the folks you find out are either drunk, doped up, or cops....so court probably should have considered that fact.

What will happen? I'm guessing that Sharpton is not joking this time. The mayor is probably standing there....knowing that any comment that he makes....will harden the public. New Yorkers are tough SOB's and I'm pretty sure that any 5-hour shutdown....will simply be another fact of life and things will just go on. Could Sharpton repeat this two weeks later? Yep....he sure could. He could arrange for every other Monday to be a New York City closure morning. Will it fix anything? No.

The civil case by the family will go next and I'm pretty sure a jury will agree that he was unlawfully killed by the cops....triggering a sum of money to be paid out to the family. The amount? I would toss out a number of $100 million....although the jury could opt for $500 million against the city to send a message.

Planning a trip to New York City in the next month? I'd probably think long and hard about doing that. I might pick out a more predictable city....like Mobile or Red Bay. And so, life goes on.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Wikipedia: Factural Fiction or Vice Versa

This week in Germany....they announced that an actual printed copy of Wikipedia....will be published in Germany. For those who are from Ripley.....Wikipedia is based on someone simply opening up a document on the internet to explain the facts on an item. For example....if your word was Teddy Roosevelt then there might be a three pages of written word on Teddy....of which six different folks wrote the original version.....twenty-two folks wrote bits and pieces onto what the six wrote....and then eighty-eight folks wrote even more bits and pieces onto what the twenty-two and the six wrote.

Wikipedia on the computer is nice because you dig quickly into a topic....like the episodes of Lost....and its up to date....something that real encyclopedias can't do. You can also break a topic off and do an entire entry on some minor item, with pictures included.

What makes all of this Wikipedia stuff interesting....is that on any given day...there are intense fights going on over content. I might write some very rough stuff on Scientology, and by tomorrow morning....its been wiped out and rewritten by a pro-Scientology fellow. Then tonight, I write my rough comments back into Scientology and then later in the evening....the Scientology fellow returns to rewrite my parts back out again.

So to be accurate....Wikipedia is NOT fact....nor is even close to be truthful. So here are the Germans....who are the pretenders of anything that is written....IS FACT.....and they've taken Wikipedia, in German, and published it as a true document. Its fairly amusing that they'd actually do this and figure to make some money off of it.

Germans are a unique crowd. Anything a TV commentator says....IS fact....without any question. A German would presume that no person would show up on TV and tell a fib. The same is true for written words in newspapers or in book form. For actual research....this is the dead zone of society where no one is quiet capable of asking stupid questions and demanding analysis.

My curiosity over this entire mess....with Wiki in German...is the column on Bigfoot, Loch Nessie, and aliens.....will the Germans admit the truth or will they simply say "bogus"?

Not the Standard for Piggily Wiggily

I usually shop each week at the commissary on base.....well.....actually at the base or over at the Army post nearby, here in Germany.

Its a short trip...usually 45 minutes and I'm out of there.

In the last two weeks...I've come to notice something that bothers me. It started last week....over at the Army post commissary....where I noted two women walking around the place....in pajamas. Yep.....here was gal number one.....with flip flops, pajamas and some t-shirt on. I stood there for a minute looking at this image....thinking it just can't be. But yep.....she had on pajamas. So at some point....because she in the pickle department....she bent over....and then I realized that she wasn't wearing underwear either (oh, I can tell).

I moved out of this row....thinking it's just going to bother me....and then two rows over.....here was another gal.....pajamas on, with some kind of rubber garden shoes on, and some weird doctor's shirt. I started thinking.....maybe I've entered the twilight zone and just not realized it. It just ain't right...to wander around a store in your pajamas. I wanted to confront these women....but then they'd likely get all upset and start bawling and then create another entirely different event.

This weekend.....I had the gal in front of me who was dressed in some pair of shorts that were a size too small....and wearing a tube top for a 42DD situation. This kind of ensemble might be ok for a dance place or some club to pick up guys.....but this isn't shopping attire. The term "slut" came to my mind at least three or four times. I stood there.....half looking at salad dressing and half looking at this "tube-lady".

As I proceeded through the store....there was another gal wearing high heels, skimpy skirt and some kind of very tight blouse. With the blond hair....I summarized that she was a Russian.....I've become good at this analysis of shoppers. She was more suited to picking up guys than picking up Campbell's Soup.

This kinda bothers me.....maybe I'm too old to be out and shopping but it seems wrong that you've got women dressing primarily as sluts...while shopping. I mentioned to a guy this week at work, and he could remember when a front-desk person was at every commissary....not so much to check ID's but to check clothing of shoppers. And yes....some folks used to be denied entry to the commissary in the old days. Today.....you can't say much to women....because they think they can wear just about anything.

So....I'm quietly making my commissary shopping plans for next week.....and I might extend out the trip to last two hours instead of 45 minutes....and just stand to watch the hot babes.

Worth Reading or Not

I am a reader of sorts. I can consume twenty or thirty magazines a month and three or four newspapers per day....if you left me with no limits. In recent years.....I've come to realize that some magazines and papers are worthless...and some are worth millions. So my porch today settles on what to read or not to read.

Time and Newsweek. Basically, worthless. They simply cover what happened a week or two ago with seventy percent of the magazine. There is a article or two tossed in....which might make it worth reading....but the real accuracy or slant view of both leave one to question why even bother reading them.

Weekly Standard. An odd magazine that I picked up four years ago and still continue to read. It has a slant...that I will admit....but there are short reports that one can consume in fifteen minutes and provide a wealth of detail. Oh....and if you are a pure-blooded democrat....just pass over and forget this one.

New Republic. Probably worth reading although you can toss forty percent of the summary out of each magazine.

National Geographic. Crap. Crap. Crap. I read it as a kid and loved the magazine. It was unlimited with details on geography and travel. Somewhere in the 1990s....they moved in new management and became some environmental cover story for the world. Ninety percent of the magazine each month is a joke to read and even the pictures make fools out of the journalists.

Wired. A new magazine dedicated to technology and the geeky stuff you might want to buy in the next year. Its worth picking up and reading, although you probably won't read more than fifty percent of it.

Money and Kiplingers. For the amautur finance expert, who'd like to know the best credit card to have or the the angle to whip those terrible travel agents....then they both do the job. Both chat at the level of a normal guy and introduce you to various things that you never thought about.

National Enquirer. Well....yeah....if you want to know what happened to Britney last week....you gotta buy it. I don't necessarily think its required....if you can read the copy in the office bathroom....thats good enough.

Forbes. Its for geeky finance guys who want to impress their neighbors or their relatives. There is usually one article written at the normal guy's level, which might be interesting. Otherwise, pass on this one.

People. Its a bathroom magazine that is basically worthless. Sorry to offend anyone....but its pretty lame.

China Today. An odd and new magazine which introduces you to China. For $34 a year....its not worth buying but if you are in the airport and need reading material for a flight....buy a copy. The pictures and the short 1-page stories are worth reading. Course, you gotta have an interest in China. and remember....its pro-China and they don't dare discuss Tibet.

Mother Jones. I will read four copies of it a year. The neat thing about the magazine is that they will introduce you to simpler lifestyles and keep you updated on heating alternatives.

Readers Digest. Years ago....for about three years....I subscribed to the magazine. Its all human interest, with no negativity, and to be honest....sometimes the facts are stewed a bit to make the story come out "nice".

The Wall Street Journal. Four stars. Its hefty and costly. But there are numerous things you pick up from each copy you read. But you have to be a news fanatic to pick this up religiously.

The American Prospect. Well....it could be a great magazine...but then you'd have to tear out 60 percent of the stories, which are dull or slanted in a serious way.

American Spectator. Worth reading....interesting prospectives and easily comprehended.

Foreign Policy. As deep as you'd ever want to read. Recommended for those who consume vast amounts of coffee and overdose on CNN International News. Not for wussies.

American Heritage. Probably not for 80 percent of all readers. Its pro-US entirely. So if you got no problem with an absolute slant...go for it.

American Cattlemen. For $9.95 a year....its a damn good magainze for beef receipes and bar-b-q ideas. You'd best be pro-beef and not a vegetarian.

Asimov's Science Fiction. Best read at the libarary on a boring day. For $32, its hefty, and only for science fiction wackos. But if you look science fiction....its 4-stars.

Entertainment Weekly. Crap. Don't buy it....don't read it....and if your neighbor gives you their copy...burn it.

ESPN Magazine. Whichever idiot dreamed this up....was smoking crack. Other than full-page ad's with beefy guys or slinky women....there is little else to get updated on in this magazine. The nice part....its dirt cheap and perfect for a dental office.

Globe magazine. Ok, at the very last point at Piggly Wiggly....it will be on the shelf. FORCE yourself to buy it...to stay connected on Lisa Marie Presley, Howard Hughes (though he's been dead for twenty years), and some diet plan that uses 22 pounds of chocolate a day as its main ingredient.

Going Bonkers. The sad thing is that they only publish four times a year. So, you won't get much on a yearly basis. But if you in a constant state of stress.....buy it.

Playboy. They have a nice column on stereo equipment and how to mix cocktails. Skip the rest and pull out all the nude pictures (these aren't real women....just imaginary graphically enhanced women).

Penthouse. They have one 4-star article per month. The rest of the magazine is crap and its best if you just rip that article out and read it alone.

Hustler. A 4-star magazine worth every penny. The best part....all of the women in it....are the type you'd meet at Piggly Wiggly, and they all barely graduated from high school. Forget about cocktail tips, stereo tips, financial advice, or GQ men's clothing ads.

In Touch. Crap. Negative four stars.

MAD. Worth every penny and should be read page by page, with nothing skipped.

Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Costly at $39 a year, but if you'd really like to know who the masked avenger is or why Tommy "Wildfire" Rich lost his groove, then this is it.

Rolling Stone. Twenty years ago....it was mandatory reading....today....its washed up and barely five minutes of real reading in each magazine. Luckily, its only $15 a year still.

Catholic Digest. Well....if you are into Pope chat or you got 45 minutes free at the dentist office....feel free....otherwise, don't waste your money.

The Watchtower. Strictly for the Jehovah's folks....if they try to hand you one...just smile and hand it back.....and then say that this coming Armageddon stuff....is a bit dopey.

Men of Integrity. I came across this one day at a medical waiting room. Basically....its for guys to reaffirm your manly and religious convictions. You ladies would be best not to read it or gain the secrets of men from it.

Popular Science. It used to be fairly good. Strangely enough...like the fellows who changed Nat'l Geographic and spoiled the magazine.....you get that same impression here. Its nice to read on a flight but thats just about it.

Prehistoric Times. Sadly, its only printed four times a year. Its worth reading though. Note: you better be fascinated with ancient history, or you might miss some important stuff.

Scientific American. If you only comprehend high school science....forget about this one. Its a step above the regular level of most folks.

Arizona Highways. Before the 1990s....it was one of the best magazines in America. At least one major article in each monthly edition....is about global warming or some environmental issue. The picture summary, which used to be 100 percent nature....now on occasion feature urban areas....which just doesn't fit.

In Britain. Worth reading but then they only publish six times a year...and its a hefty price of $29 for six lousy editions.

The New Yorker. You need to think and act like a liberal....or at least fake it....if you are to read this weekly magazine (at $48 a year).

New York. Basically....a damn good magazine....for a weekly. Only $45 a year. Every issue has four 4-star articles worth reading. Sadly....its about New York mostly, and for southerners...its best to use for dreaming rather than planning a trip.

Alabama Game and Fish. You gotta be pretty low and with no hobbies to read this monthly.

For newspapers....stick to the British press and any paper published out of St Louis or Dallas. You can't go wrong.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Political Dimwits

This week....Rep Paul C. Brown (Geo-R) announced that the is pushing a new bill to prohibit
the sale of sexually explicit material at military installations. With his "honor and dencency" act....a loophole would be removed which allows the sale and distribution of Playboy and Penthouse at military installations in the US and overseas.

It is an amusing thing to watch these Republican idiots move through their local areas and preach to public how they will clean up things and make them almost "holy".

One would have thought that Rep Brown would have strongly considered baptizing each recruit at basic training....but then those non-Baptists might have thrown up a fit.

I thought this was a fairly decent joke. The dude didn't want to stop slot machines at the NCO Clubs....because the clubs would all go broke in a month if you did that. He didn't want to question the pricing scheme of gas on overseas bases.....which aren't readily explainable.

Up until the late 1980s.....every base overseas had a Stars and Stripes bookstore, which sold every conceivable book or magazine....including Hustler, Penthouse or Playboy (and Playgirl). The manager of these shops would readily admit that 20 percent of the total profit of the bookstore came from manly magazines. Around 1990....the Stars and Stripes folks were forced t hand their operation over to the BX folks (who have a different view of sales).

The BX continued sales of everything but within a year or two.....congress stepped in and demanded that a review be conducted and "porn" was to be removed from the book shop at the BX. A committee was set up.....with different folks....in the states.....and they deemed Penthouse, Hustler and Playboy were "porn".....so they immediately stopped sales.

A funny thing happened.....profits in the book shop dipped.....and 20 percent of the sales were gone overnight. The BX sat there....wondering how and why. In the US....this was no big deal...guys went down to the local 7-11 and bought their magazine. Overseas.....guys simply did a subscription.

So a couple of years roll by and the BX folks would like to improve sales....so they got a committee up and they approved Playboy and Playgirl. A year or so later....came Penthouse. Course, they can't sell Hustler....because thats just too disgusting. What they discovered.....was hat by this point.....folks had computers....and didn't care for any of this stuff at the bookstore.

So today....the BX book shop barely makes one percent of its sales from manly magazines. Its a dead trade. The guys have shop around via the internet and laugh about idiot Republican congressmen who brag about how they are bringing decency to the military.....as if that was one of our top ten or top one hundred worries.

The question to ask the good congressman.....is how much mental health improvements has he requested in the coming years for GI's returning from Iraq and Afghanistan....and then you can really stick it to the idiot.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Why I Won't Return to Bama

I sat and pondered why I just wouldn't ever move back to Bama, and found them to be interesting:

I can't stand the hiring of "Friends of Bubba" or "Friends of the Church" for local, county or state jobs.

The law enforcement efforts are juvenile. The cops aren't even in the same league as Andy Taylor.

NASCAR and NCAA football are the only real topics that you can bring up with most guys.

Thirty percent of the guys over the age of thirty...are on some kind of pain-killer (oxie)....for injuries from high school football or college football.

Twenty-five percent of the folks over 65....ought to have their license revoked.

A growing number of Alabama women are divorced by age 30 and have "issues".

The chance of your neighbor selling his farmland to some idiot who puts up a chicken barn? Well....you just can't tell.

Baptists.....tons of them....and they just won't go away.

In public....they all talk big on Democrats....but in private....they have clicked the Republican ballot most of their life.

A tax refund check goes to a pontoon boat purchase or a weekend at the Tunica casino in Mississippi.

The impression of most folks if you move to California....you must be gay.

Half of your neighbors have never been more than 100 miles away....and actually consider New Orleans to be an entirely different country.

Most folks think there are still a East Germany and a West Germany.

Most folks still think the Warsaw Pact is in operation.

Kids still graduate each year who can barely read or add numbers.

Teachers in Bama come in two sizes: the smarts & the dumbs.

Sadly.....when you go down to the county Co-Op....and meet the boss there....he wants to tell you one of the 100 derogatory jokes about blacks and Hispanics. He'll always tell you that he isn't racist.

A death in the family usually means an auction because the fool didn't write a will and the family will argue over what is "their property".

Septic tank placement is a science.

Its sad that this was just a ten-minute writing....and I could have written 99 reasons.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Alzheimer's and the future.

So this week...based on a British study....we know a heavy drinking schedule of two drinks per day and twenty smokes....with a special gene APOE variant (4)....will trigger a 8.5 year plus-up for you folks that are destined for Alzheimer's.

Yep....8.5 years ahead of schedule.

Its a pretty harsh future. But on my positive....I don't smoke and I probably don't drink an average of two drinks per day. None of my relatives have had Alzheimer's.....so maybe I'm destined to avoid it.

But for alot of folks....its not cheerful news. You are basically rolling a pair of dice and hoping to make it to 65....and then hoping to making to 75 with no adverse health situations. Now....you have to consider your lifestyle and just how bad things will be.

An IPhone Moment

The Germans this week....lowered the cost of a I-Phone...to 99 Euro....basically $130.

I sat there and contemplated the magnificent pricing of the I-Phone a year ago.....and how the phone just hasn't sold in Europe that well. Most folks aren't demanding the phone....and it doesn't sell with teenagers that well either. By X-mas....I'm predicting a price of 59 Euro and probably within my price range....as a cheap dude. Apple may have a product for the US....but for Germany...its not a big-sell item. Will I buy it? No. I'm the guy who wants a phone to call someone....and not much else.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

The $700 Million Loss

Today, the German IRS branch....proudly announced that they were short 500 million Euro ($700 million dollars) from the cigarette taxes for last year. Basically a 8-percent loss over the previous year. Its a pretty serious loss of revenue and will make the big boys shake a bit.

Around five years ago....the Greens who led the country's health cabinet post.....pushed a hefty tax raise on smokes. It was a two-part deal....which the finazamt (the IRS dudes) bought off on. Well....at the conclusion of episode one...there was a $300 million loss and folks got real worried about things. The Green health dudes said that this was great...in that the public was quiting smoking. The truth was figured out shortly after that....with a vast number of Germans buying out-of-country cigarettes and the black-market crew was moving double the normal amount of smokes into the country.

Last year....I'm guessing....more folks bought more smokes outside of the country....and the black-market crew went double on what they had previously. They likely run twenty-four hours a day....seven days a week.....and even more on holidays. The customs folks? Outmanned drastically. Even if you could overcome the black-market guys.....the vast number of folks living within forty miles of the border of any country around them....are going and buying cheaper smokes (especially Czech, Luxembourg, and Poland).

So if you miss out on $700 million in cash...how do you make up for it? You basically have to start thinking about additionally taxes on other things....like beer or wine or hotels. Something has to be increased. So folks are mentally preparing themselves by the end of this year....with some type of massive tax of a unusual type. Just another reason why I need to leave.

The Kenya Method of Government

A few weeks ago....they had elections in Kenya....and there were some issues. The current government figured that the election was finished and they could continue running the government, but there was ample proof of the opposition picking up enough votes. So a massive issue arose, it was finally decided that a union of parties (the big two)....would run the country. So this week....the ministers were signed on.

Instead of the normal 26 ministers, with the one prime minister.....we now have 40 cabinet ministers and 52 assistant cabinet ministers. Its an interesting episode. Each cabinet minister makes $18k a month and each assistant minister makes $15k a month. Pretty hefty money for those folks. So salaries for the prime minister, the two assistant primes and these 92 odd folks, will cost $1.5 million per month....just for a salary.

Forty secretaries and forty-five security guys had to be added as well. Then toss on at least fifty additional cars that were added for this mess. Oh, and then add in insurance, travel allowances, club membership, a rural house for each of them,

So to make both parties happy....the government had to cough up $13 million extra per year...MINIMUM. This equals out over fifty brand new schools that the country could have built. Adding to this mess....each guy will have bribery and special jobs that they will have to hand out to the favored folks who elected them. The amusing thing is that the per capita per person in this African country....is $400 a year.

For anyone looking for a country that is bound for failure and economic collapse within ten years....Kenya is an excellent choice. Neither party will be able to sustain growth, and both will drown the country in a deep well of pity. My prediction is that a group of the have-not's will start to pop up and then folks will blame both parties....thus starting a guerrilla war.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Party Down Islamic Dudes

So this Egyptian Muslim Sheikh.....a different type of Muslim...put out a Fatwa this week. For those of you from Ripley.....Fatwa's are kinda like a Baptist minister's direct order or regulation. If you were a solid member of the congregation.....you'd obey that word without any issue.

The Fatwa? Well.....this guy said that you as a Muslim.....could sip some .5 percent alcohol....where normally booze is forbidden period. Apparently, this guy read up on Muhammad and decided that there wasn't anything truly written except not to make a big fool out of yourself when drunk. For alot of Muslim guys....who mostly losers....this was probably the best news they've heard in years. I'm guessing a bunch of the fellows quickly got out on the street and was sipping a fair grade of beer and chatting about Britney or Paris within two hours.

With a limit on beer....of .5 percent.....it'll take a few beers to get you drunk. Sadly....Danish Elephant Beer isn't readily available throughout the world.....which is .8 percent and a dandy beer to get wasted on. Consider also, Elephant Beer comes in giant cans....easily 20 ounces. So three of these will start a good evening. I'm betting a bunch of the Muslim guys were wasted by midnight and probably had to be taken home by the burka-clad wife, who got all upset about the chatty drunk husband comparing them to Britney.

I'm guessing this Fatwa won't last long....and this Egyptian cleric will be fired or sent off to Milwaukee. So you Islamic dudes better enjoy this as long as you can.

So Put Yourself In this Position

You are female. You joined the navy in 1986 and over a seven year period, you got your degree....and then became an officer. You were married, and even had three kids. Things didn't work out.....so along the way, you got divorced and left the kids with the father. You owned a house in Georgia....which you owed money on.

As time passed, you dug yourself into debt. You couldn't climb out. You end up having three mortgage situations on the Georgia house. You owe $58k on credit cards. You are paying $1,750 a month on alimony and child support. You spend around $700 a month traveling back and forth from your real job in Maryland, to Georgia, to visit the kids. Your salary of $93k per year as a Lt Commander doesn't cut it. You end up at a point of declaring bankruptcy and trying to hide this from the military. You owe upwards to $275k minimum to various banks and loan institutions.

You meet someone who arranges escorts for gentlemen. Course, this isn't New York or Elliot Spitzer....so the normal $2600 that you might have made as escort in New York....is far from reality in Maryland. Here....you make $275 for a 90-minute session. The $2000 that you might make in a month even on a part-time basis....barely even helps you make the stupid credit card payment. Life is pretty miserable......until one day....you get discovered.

So is the life of Rebecca Dickinson, Lt Commander, at the US Naval Academy. They used Rebecca to teach ethics classes....amongst her duties. Currently, she is being drummed out of the navy.....just a few months short of her twenty year career apparently. Some folks think....they may actually screw things up and have to allow her to retire and collect a pension. At the current of things....that pension would barely cover $2300 a month. So Rebecca is in a bunch of trouble. Its hard to see an appropriate ending to this.

My guess? She will end up back in Georgia....working for some real estate office and probably happy to make $40,000 a year....and live a very quiet life from this point on. I've known dozens of people throughout my AF career....who got into serious financial trouble.....and simply weren't capable of grasping how far down they had fallen. The fact that she was a Lt Commander doesn't surprise me at all. Considering the necessity of making money and somehow surviving.....there aren't too many choices about what you might do....to keep yourself going. So it is in America tonight.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Maximo in Mexico


Down in Mexico, where wrestling is just as "big" as in America...a trend has started up.

They have some wrestlers now who advertise themselves as "sensitive and yet strong, in overcoming evil". Basically....its a gay wrestler.

So the exotic wrestler these days is a fellow called Maximo...who has pink mohawk hair and he often blows a kiss onto the lips of his evil opponent. The crowds go crazy when this happens. Woman fall apart and guys just sit there in a daze. Apparently, this is a major draw in Mexico....with huge crowd approval.

I sat and pondered how this would translate over to wrestling in America....and for some reason....I just can't see crowds in Austin or Atlanta getting into something like this. Its true, we have yet to have a gay NASCAR driver or a gay president but one day...it'll happen. But in wrestling...I just can't see it.

The Sect Boys


Out in west Texas...the sect boys have been busy....getting the lawyers out...challenging the rangers....and blasting the Texas legal system. So far....the one guy that they had reports on....has not been arrested....just questioned. Without a girl standing up to accuse the guy of rape....he will walk free....my humble opinion.

So the sect boys are talking up a total wash of the whole thing and just let bygones be bygones.

This might happen with the men and no charges. But I'm thinking the Texas social department isn't going to let a single girl under 18 come back to the sect or the parents involved. This might be an interesting hinge development, watching legal case after legal case against the Texas social department. An entire generation of potential virgin girls taken from the grasps of these mighty and horny old gentlemen....and now?

I'm thinking that if things continue this direction and the young virgins aren't released back....the sect will have to conduct a major calling and recruit far and wide outside of the region....maybe even to Bama and Florida. They need new couples involved in the church....preferably ones with young girls in the family.

It'll take a bit of talking....to convince the families to uproot their situation in Red Bay, and pack up to move to west Texas. It'll take a bit of talking to convince them that a far-far-far-out religious cult is the best idea. It'll take a bit of talking to convince folks to let their young girls attend this cult's training seminars. It'll take a bit of talking to convince fathers to let their 13-year old daughter get spiritually married to some 48-year old guy named Wilbert. It'll even take a bit of effort to convince folks that Wilbert can have two or three or four wives....and some can be 13-years old or 16-years old. Yep....mighty big amount of talking.

If the girls don't go back....it'll be a harsh period for guys in the sect. They may have trouble just accepting one wife and it'll weigh heavily on their mind.....day after day. It'll depress a few of them....and may even cause them to drink a bit. Yep....its a sad day for the cult....oh, I mean sect.

There are ways of fixing this in my mind. First....if you open up to non-US citizens and recruit heavily....bringing in illegals as members of the church....then you might be able to repopulate the virgin requirements of the sect. I'm guessing these guys are exactly into accepting illegals....so that might not be a wise suggestion. Second....all those guys who got married five or ten years ago....could just share their wives with these guys who need a spiritual wife....but maybe not a "REAL" wife. We'd call this a spiritual deal....and there would be spiritual cash involved for renting out a spiritual wife to these guys. Somewhere in the midst of this spiritual stuff....would be a spiritual pimp who would make the arrangements and ensure that the sect guys were covered on Friday and Saturday nights. Cash would exchanged and everything would be held at some damn holy temple on the complex....preferably where spiritual booze and spiritual gambling would be accepted as well.

Yep....a sad day for the sect....no doubt.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Rain


Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying tonight or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be for what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me,
disappoint.

7 Jan 1916
Edward Thomas

Why I Like Lost


Just another reason why I like Lost.

My "Other" State

Quietly, without any fanfare....I am an official resident of Colorado (while living in Germany). There are extending circumstances...since I do actually own 2.5 acres of prairie land where cattle still roam on occasion there (south of Pueblo). Some Bama folks would say I'm skipping out on them...since I chat much on Bama....but for some stupid reason....those Colorado folks don't take much on income tax. And the property association simply works well.

So Colorado is my "other" state.

This week....them smart folks there got up a bill and they are going to sell a "carbon" fund car tag. Yep, for around $53 a year.....I could have a specialized state tag....identifying me as a "carbon-friendly" individual. I sat and pondered this event....thinking I'd naturally want a 8-cyclinder SUV ifing I lived in my "other" state. And it would be amusing to have a carbon-friendly tag on my big huge gas guzzler.

Naturally, I read into this mess....and the dimwits were at least half-smart and demanded that the vehicle had to be 16,000 pounds or less.....to qualify for the carbon-friendly tag. Whilst they were writing this legislation....they also wrote up that no community association can limit a guy from adding solar panels or wind turbines. I thought that was kinda funny because of all the trouble that Al Gore got into with his local association. But then you start to think about tossing up a wind turbine in the backyard of your 1 acre lot....with the neighbors eyeballing it and getting upset....and now....ain't nothing they can say or do about that turbine.

Yep, mighty fine folks in my "other" state. But to be polite and honest....I just ain't partial to Colorado....they don't even run a NASCAR event there. But adding to this mess....Bama offers up twenty odd specialized car tags: the USS Alabama battleship tag, fraternal order of police tag, Bama wildlife federation, Sons of Confederate Vets tag, real estate sales dude tag, Bama Shakespeare fest tag, rescue squad member tag, Bama cattlemen's tag, retired educator tag, retired Air Force tag, retired Navy tag, retired Army tag, shriners tag, square dancers tag, amateur's radio association tag, firefighter tag, Civitan club tag, twenty-five version of college graduate tag (which you don't even have to be a graduate to have one of them), and even Ducks Unlimited tags. Ifing I were back there....I'd have a Bama Shakespeare fest tag on my car....and own up to being a reader of the Bard.

Luckily....I'm just in Germany....with one stinking tag option.

If You Build It........They Will Come

This week in the UK.....a little news item fell into the public domain.

Some guy opened up a pub, called the Halal Inn...basically an Islamic alcohol-free pub. They have darts and various little things to keep a Muslim dude busy for an evening....with prayer and chatter on the coming and going of various Islamic things.

I sat and pondered this....a pub without a brew....designed for guys who are losers in life (Islamic dimwits). I don't have alot of respect for these folks....i used to....but then I started to listen to their arguments and wonder if things were that terrible here in the civilized world...why not return to Syria or Iran or Turkey? They don't naturally like answering that question....because they like making money.

So how would a guy enjoy a evening at a pub like this? I'm kinda wondering. Naturally....no women....probably no betting or gambling....no booze.....and nothing bad going on except religious chat. THEN it hit me....this is the type of pub that a Baptist fellow would love. No booze, no women, no gambling, no betting, and just religious chatter. I started freaking out....thinking of the millions I could make throughout the south....putting up a pub like this in every Baptist community.

I'd have various names for the pub: St Johns, Mathew & Mark & Luke's, Moses's Red Sea, Garden of Eden, Eve's Apple Tree, The Palm Tree, etc. I could eventually even open up a women's pub, with the same principal....and get those women to spend money as well. The best thing? No booze license. I would just sell ice tea, Pepsi, Coke and Mountain Dew....and make millions. I could even branch out and draw in those stupid Methodists and Presbyterians. With the right sell....I could even bring the Jehovah's Witnesses in....with a sign over the door of "Armageddon any minute". The only group I see an issue with....is that group that handles the rattlesnakes.....I'd have to have a separate room in the pub where snakes are allowed to be handled and foreign tongue spoken. This might be a problem.

My Analysis of Attention Deficient Syndrome (ADD)

So I sit and pause and ponder. When my son was seven...I brought him over to the base for some odd reason and had to go back to the office for 60 minutes....so I took him to the BX and bought him a slice of pizza and a soda....and I gave the kid $5 in quarters and showed him the arcade area. Its the base....so its safe...and no weirdos around. I left to attend to my office business.....walking out of the BX....walking across the parking lot....to my building....less than five hundred feet away.

Sixty minutes pass and I walk back to the parking lot....and in the rear of the truck....was the kid sitting. I thought he'd stay over at the BX, but he wandered back. We got in to leave....and he pulls out this $10 watch in a box....the cheap stuff you'd find at a flea market, manufactured at some Mexican shop and works for six months before it breaks. Newly packaged, and in the container still. He gives it to me...."a gift". I'm sitting half-driving and half looking at this watch...which was nifty looking but cheap.

The kid then pulls out another box from his jacket....another watch....same deal....a cheapo type. Then he pulls out a third watch....same deal. It hits me then....there is a huge arcade in the middle of the BX, where they had Bart Simpson dolls, watches, lighters, etc. You pay 50 cents and you get a whack at grabbing a "prize". In an average day...if you stood there long enough....there might be two guys who accidentally grab a prize...out of forty attempts.

So I asked him how he acquired these. And he naturally said the "prize" arcade. I asked him how much he had spend...thinking the whole $5 in quarters I gave him. He picked out of his pocket $1 in change....and said that it took him three chances before he mastered the grabbing arm, and then he hit the next three in a row. The statistics of doing so.....one in a million. You can't play this stupid game and master it in three attempts and then get three in a row. The kid didn't have any other change on him and I sat there thinking about this. It was a vast indicator of ADD....if I had thought about it long enough.

By the end of the third grade, the kid had serious issues. Lack of concentration, non-delivery of expected homework, mentally unprepared for quizzes. By the end of the third grade....the doc agreed to examine him closer....so the IQ tests came up....he aced those. The hearing tests, the vision tests, and all of the other tests. By the middle of the fourth grade (the year they split you off to your lifetime trail of education)....they finally came to the conclusion that he had ADD. The Ret-medical routine was suggested and accepted. The fourth grade came to a conclusion and he didn't get the closer better school. He got the middle-school system in Kaiserslautern, which was a step down in nature (the teacher admitted that he just didn't measure up).

The new school talked boldly about how they knew about ADD and could handle situations like this. By the end of the fifth grade....I grasped in my mind that the school chatter on knowing ADD was all hype and nothing else. The older the teacher.....the less likely they believed in ADD and their belief that the kid was faking or just lazy. It was a marginal year. The sixth grade....even more marginal. By the seventh grade....he simply couldn't be relied upon to deliver homework period. Even checking notebooks didn't adequately cover the situation because the dimwits at school would hand out xerox-papers with work on them.....and the kid would merely lose them in a stack of papers....and never accomplish them. So he failed the seventh grade. The school desperately wanted him moved to the lower school....because he just wouldn't deliver the homework. But onward he went...back to repeat the seventh grade....and would fail the seventh grade a second time....which now the school could dump him with a smile.

The new school.....mostly built for the lower intelligent kids...with no huge expectations and no homework hand-outs. The ret-routine was halted by the doctor at this point....saying he was "ok".....and I merely sat there in a daze....thinking that the guy didn't grasp the picture. But this is Germany....and professionals know best.

So the past three years at this school have improved to some degree but my analysis begins to examine the entire ADD situation. The kid is progressing finally...with no complaints from the teachers, and quietly does what is necessary now. Maybe the doc was right.

So my analysis. ADD kids can bring on massive amounts or "spurts" of concentration....and do highly demanding things....multi-task things....that most folks can't do. ADD kids do math in their head...with no written formulas necessary. ADD kids can sit in a long and boring class, and never remember a single thing said in that class. ADD kids become anti-social and limit their circle of friends to four or less. ADD kids tend to be geeks in nature. They are natural gamers. They can easily adapt to World of Warcraft and progress to the 66th level in a matter of weeks (my son is a 4-time 66th level WoW player, I know). ADD kids don't grasp the future, consequences of actions, or dream of doing great things. ADD kids think primarily of the moment. ADD kids grow into ADD adults (I know....I used to work in a room with a guy of such a nature). To oppose the Ret-medical routine with natural life changes, proper diet, and massive discipline? Maybe.....but the massive discipline comes at a price for the entire family and those without absolute patience can hang it up.

My analysis centered on patience....being able to discuss issues in a very short time frame and get across problems in a direct fashion. The longer you chat with a ADD kid....the less likely they remember anything you said. The chances of a ADD kid becoming a genius or successful businessman one day? One in a million. I think most will be burned out on a crappy life and make life changes are detrimental and negative. I don't think ADD kids are losers but then they aren't winners either. Patience is a quiet vehicle to bring a kid from point A to point B....and wait for the move to point C. Patience is not a practice that most people can brag about.

So I've sat and paused on this topic for long enough. I'm not the type to sit and wait for Jesus to come around and heal someone, or the type to blame things to feel better, or the type to look for the 99 tools for a better lifestyle, or the type to sit with a teacher for a consultation who pretends to be smart but really isn't. I'm kinda like the guy who you call with a problem and just fixes what I can....hoping that the problem works itself out in the end. So I'm judging life to be a massive push and pull on miracles. Some happen, and some don't.

Tomorrow is a new day, and it'll be like the last 2,000 days prior....and I'll get through that day. And I reckon the kid will too.

An Absolute Killer

So this is what we know. The cops in Germany have come to a vast conclusion...a serial killer of magnificent proportions....who they are referring to as "the woman without a face".

DNA establishes this woman to a minimum of six murders and numerous thefts....over fifteen years. They can safely say that she has traveled over three countries in this time....by the DNA evidence. Even the sweat she left.....was analyzed and identified.

The key point that pushed the cops on this? Down in the town of Heilbronn....there were two cops in a parking garage who happened to come upon someone. The killer, in remarkable speed.....shot and killed the 22-year-old German policewoman, Michele Kiesewetter, with a bullet in the face. The partner, hit with a bullet but somehow managed to survive. Today....he remembers little to nothing about the incident. The cops have this idea that the killer panicked and shot instinctively.

This entire trail starts sometime around May 1993....were a old retired woman was found strangled in her home in Idar-Oberstein, which is within driving distance of Heilbronn. Cops think this was a simple robbery that went wrong. Around March of 2001....another murder in Freiburg (far to the south of Germany, where a 61-year old man died. DNA pins both crimes on this lady killer.

Using DNA, the cops find a disposable syringe around October 2001 in a car-park. More DNA and a hint of a cocktail of drugs that she had to shoot up.

When the killer burgled a camper...she ate part of a biscuit, and left more DNA.

In the fall of 2004....the killer took a holiday in the mountains around the Austrian Tyrol. The killer broke into garden sheds along the road towards Innsbruck, discarding a pair of tracksuit trousers, a hooded cardigan and other items.

The killer kept leaving DNA....when she hit houses in France.

Amusingly enough....they found DNA on a rock used to smash a German window last week....so they know she's back in the country.

So we come to a remarkable case of detective work for this year. There was a triple-murder. Three car dealers who had come from the country of Georgia....to buy older German cars....were killed and dumped in a river in January. The cops originally blamed a informant.....who denied the charges. The informant tried to blame another man who is a Somali Islamist (in the cops custody already), as the killer. But a curious thing happens. The cops have the car that the informant used and they know was used in the murder. They were checking the upholstery and carpets....when they came across more DNA. Yep....our lady killer in action again. So now the cops are thinking that the three car buyers met up with this killer in some fashion. The curious thing...is that the cops actually owned this car when the killing occurred. They had bought the older car and was letting the informant borrow it to gather intelligence for them. So far, the informant doesn't know anything about a lady being involved or how the killer got into the car.

So, what are we looking for? A drifter...probably not a German....someone who was likely in Germany in 1993 as a 16 or 17-year old. After fifteen years....they are now in their late 30s. She doesn't own property or have any permanent connections. She survives. The instinct to kill the cops....means she is remarkably quick on making a decision and is cool about moving in and out of tight places. Whatever car she was going to steal there (my guess)...was abandoned and she walked out of the parking garage. She lives off the street and probably is more of a hobo than a socializer. She is a loner. She operates without friends or structure. She has no borders or limits. I would guess she has traveled through alot of Europe over the past fifteen years. She is a heavy drug user now....shooting up to get the high that she needs. The crimes all pay for her meager lifestyle and the drugs. The next confrontation? She will immediately draw the weapon and kill...on instinct. No one who has ever confronted her...appears to have survived....so she doesn't leave witnesses to anything.

Additional crimes out there? Oh, I'd bet on more than just six murders. These are the ones that she can be blamed via DNA. My guess....at least another dozen murders....maybe more. The robberies....probably into the thousands (remember most cops don't collect DNA at robberies).

Instincts keep her from big scores. She doesn't rob banks. She doesn't hit drug stores (too many cameras likely). She doesn't typically drive around in stolen cars....more likely to steal a car and simply sell it to a Russian mafia individual. She doesn't stay in hotels or establish credit at banks. She is a cash and carry type.

Catching her? I'd say its virtually impossible. She is too quick and instinctive....if any problem arises....she eliminates it. I'd say the German cops have an impossible task in front of them. She isn't catchable.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Joe Beall & The Baptist Aura

There is this Democratic Assemblyman out in San Jose....who is now advocating a beer tax hike. Actually...Joe Beall is talking this idea...of a $1.80 tax on a six-pack of beer. Yep....even non-alcoholic beer....would be taxed extra. Currently, the state taxes beer to a tune of 2 cents per can....which most beer drinkers can accept.

What Joe intends to do....is gain around $2 billion a year, for health care, education to prevent underage drinking, and some non-drinking program.

Most of the folks apparently think the rookie Assemblyman is kinda dreaming....and no one believes that this will fly. My best guess....someone might actually talk to Joe and convince him to double the tax from 2 cents to 4 cents....and that might actually pass. In five years....he could double it again....and no one would say much.

Joe is kinda upsetting them beer drinkers a bit. Its bad enough that you gotta pay $2.50 for a six-pack of Ole Milwaukee (the crappiest beer on the face of the earth)....but then you'd pay this stupid $1.80 tax too? Most folks would just switch over to hard booze or start distilling our own stuff.

Course, on the Baptist side....folks would be awful dang proud of Joe....taking a stand to make folks give up their sinful ways of drinking. I'm betting Joe is up for Baptist of the Year in California.

Argentine Olympic Torch Fiasco & Maradona


Well....that damn Argentine Olympic torch "aburning" has kinda gone off into some weird whacked up stuff. Its bad enough that the Tibet dudes are causing trouble...and the left-wing who'd like some trouble (of any variety)....but as the flame arrives in Argentina today....they've asked one of the Argentine greats of soccer...Maradona....to carry the flame.

Back in the early 1980s....Maradona was the pride and joy of the nation, and brought them a world cup in soccer. His peak period....maybe five years at best....were glorious and all Argentines today remember the dude. But by the early 1990s...Maradona was drugged out....whacked out....and practically of no value to soccer. Most of vast fortune has been spent...on women, booze and friends.

So a couple of years ago when the world cup came to Germany...the Argentine big dudes of soccer....decided to bring along Maradona and his assistant (at least one female as well)...and paid for hotel and travel. It was a big mistake...with the guy mostly drunk during all of the games and other than a couple of comments for the Argentine fans back home....there was no real purpose for the guy being there. He's gained over 100 pounds since his playing days....and is fairly doped up on a daily basis.

So today....the Argentine Olympic dimwits....decided to let Maradona be one of the folks to carry the flame. I can see the scene already. They will barely get the torch into his hands....and he make it about 100 feet before he stumbles....probably toward a gas station and falls with the torch hitting a pump area, and then the whole place blows up in a matter of minutes....with 20 secret Chinese police rushing toward the flames to retrieve the stupid torch. The Argentine film crew will be standing in shock....pouncing this as "the horror...the horror...the horror" in Spanish. And Maradona will get up....see the flames...and run across the street to the bar to have three or four shots before facing the camera to smile and yell "victory" in Spanish.

This entire Olympic torch thing has become a joke....as has China....and we are still weeks and weeks away from the games occurring. This will be the biggest joke in thirty years...in sports.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

My 100

  1. I grew up in a “dry” Baptist county in Bama and had never partaken of booze until 19. Yep….then I sipped some beer and found it foul…..then I sipped some whiskey sours and found them extra tangy. It was the end of Baptist influence on me.
  2. To be quiet honest….while all that moral stuff stuck with me throughout life (primarily because of my dad)….I could never accept a word of the Baptist crap at church services and questioned the whole business from age 10 on. Organized religion just doesn’t sell well to me.
  3. I was a “C-“ type student in math…until the 10th grade, and then I met Mr Green and the independent method of study. We studied and worked at our own pace. I finished the entire class shortly after Christmas and was a “A” student for that complete year in math. I later took Algebra and Geometry with similar grades. I found that I could learn….but spending an entire week trying to learn one concept…bored the crap out of me….and was wasting my precious time.
  4. I never intended to stay past the 4th year of the Air Force. I often wonder what I would have done….if I had stayed on that strategy.
  5. I can’t stand folks who have pieced tongues….you can’t understand a damn word that they are saying.
  6. I have smoked a total of five cigarettes in my life….and 700 cigars. I haven’t touched a cigar in almost five years.
  7. I have three drinks of preference: (1) glacier water, (2) ice tea with three slices of lemon (no sugar), and (3) Pepsi (with ice). A German beer is ok, and a whiskey sour is pretty fair drink. And I’ll take a Mountain Dew on a hot day.
  8. I actually learned how to ski…which is remarkable for a fellow from Bama. I quit after that Italian lady (250 lbs) landed on my ankle on a ski trip six years ago.
  9. I’m not much of a car freak. The best car I owned….was a 72 AMC AMX.
  10. I’m lousy at poker and should never play.
  11. I can’t dance….and I’m not teachable…trust me.
  12. I am some kinda magnet that draws folks to confess sins, tell their woes & sorrows, and weep over their lost lives. It was ok up until age 45…..but now I can’t stand these folks.
  13. “The Natural” was the best written script for a movie ever made.
  14. “Along Came Jones” was the best western ever made.
  15. Woman who wear tube tops…..ought to be banned.
  16. I was so bored with English in the 12th grade…..I started to write fake book reports….up to two pages in length….over books which didn’t exist….which I did on four occasions and the teacher gave me “A’s” in each case. She never figured that out.
  17. Border collies are the best damn dog on earth.
  18. Given furniture or items to put together….the first thing I do….is toss the instructions away. Its simple more fun this way.
  19. I lost 31 pounds in one month. Needless to say…it didn’t stay off. And living off 500 calories per day….is not advisable.
  20. I think I could write as well as John Steinbeck…but I just haven’t found the time to do so
  21. I am very sarcastic…extremely sarcastic….remarkably sarcastic….and its not about to go away.
  22. James Blunt is possibly the best singer alive today.
  23. I owned a 3-cyclinder Smart. It was a death-trap but gave me 45 miles per gallon. I owned it for 2.5 years. The leg and back pain I always noticed….disappeared three months after I sold it.
  24. I am enchanted by Socrates….the fellow was a blacksmith apparently (as rumors go) and just got chatty with folks by asking questions. After a while, he kinda left the blacksmithing routine and started irritate the heck out of folks by asking questions. He didn’t want to leave a single bit of text that he’d written, for history….for some stupid reason, his buddies all thought he was a genius and had to be remembered. Pretty neat I think.
  25. I do honesty hate Germans. They have no humor, no wit. It may be an interesting society but they really grind me the wrong way.
  26. I spent twenty-four hours in New York City….because of Delta and their issues….and it became one of the biggest ‘mini’ adventures of my life.
  27. I’m really not a Republican….but I could never refer to myself as a democrat….therefore I am condemned to hell.
  28. I went to Crete once for two weeks…and forgot to carry any underwear. Don’t ever forget your underwear and get there on a Saturday….cause no one sells underwear except men’s shops…on Monday….and if you are a large fella….remember the phrase “el grande”. And be prepared for Greek underwear that looks like you have a watermelon-sized butt.
  29. Given a choice…my most favored meal is three catfish, coleslaw, hush puppies, and French fries, with a large ice tea. And the only restaurant that can serve a 5-star meal is the Catfish Cabin in Athens, Alabama.
  30. I have grown accustomed to cats…but given a choice….a bordie collie is my choice of pet.
  31. I actually went to Rome one night…got up the next day and walked for twelve hours….slept that night…and flew back home the next morning.
  32. I worked under the legendary Major White of Bitburg. As a young Lt….he had some idiot causing sexual harassment against his female airman. Young Lt White offered the guy a chance to understand what’d he done wrong and the guy wouldn’t admit to such. Young Lt White blackened the eye of the offending party. As Major White offered his wit on this concept….if folks won’t obey rules…let them feel the pain. I thrived in the shadow of the Major
  33. You can build an entire presentation of complex ideas and a dozen slides….and NO script….with one run or practice with me sitting in the audience…..then ask me to present it to a wing commander in 30 minutes….and I’ll do it. I have NO fear.
  34. I grew up with a love of baseball. Steroids has ruined that vision of it being a sport.
  35. I grew up watching professional wrestling and roller derby. Nothing has lessen my love of either sport. (Yeah, I know both are fake). My old time fake wrestler? George “The Animal” Steele.
  36. The best drive in America is the run from Jackson, Mississippi on the Natchez Trace, to Nashville. The best drive in Europe? The Ring of Fire in Ireland.
  37. Bigfoot is not real…..nor Nessie. UFO’s are quiet possible. And cattle mutilations are real but triggered by a gov’t group who checks for radiation fallout from all the nuke testing in America. As of yet, I haven’t seen or witnessed a ghost.
  38. Evolution has occurred….so don’t bother arguing.
  39. I voted for Ross Perot once….just once.
  40. I’m the guy who sits at a mall for three hours….just observing people….quietly.
  41. I’ve spent six weeks of my life in Denmark, on vacations. I could live there permanently….but I’d be broke. Those Danes tax the hell out of a guy.
  42. I took a class in logic, while at McChord. This college class went on for twelve weeks. Not one single quiz or homework assignment. No final quiz. I got a “A” for the class. The funny thing is that I learned far more than one could possibly imagine.
  43. While stationed in Tucson Arizona for almost four years…..I ran 3,700 miles (I kept track). I once jogged 125 miles in one month. At one point, I could run seven miles without stopping in 90-degree heat. That was the peak of my fitness.
  44. I gave my boss from Bitburg $200 and got a satellite receiver and a 1976 Mercedes that was the most whacked up color of GREEN that you could imagine. The car was a beast and had sat in a barn for four years prior to him coming along. I owned it for five months, and even put $500 into fixing it up. The rear axle broke one day, and I gave the car away to some guy in my office. It was a sad day to see it gone.
  45. After umpteen years of my son and his ADS (attention deficit syndrome)….patience is the a virtue I was lucky to have.
  46. I didn’t own a credit card until I was 28. In those days, you paid $50 a year, and had a limit of $1000 to $1500 max. Maybe that was a good thing.
  47. I’ve never owned a house in the US….just 2.5 acres of prairie property south of Pueblo, Colorado, with one tree and one bush. There's a dirt road in front and its a 2-mile drive to the paved surface.
  48. As a kid around 13 & 14, I was reading easily 100 books per year. For an open hour in school (supposedly for study hall)….I read the encyclopedia (A-Z).
  49. I have seen every episode of the Three Stooges at least 40 times each.
  50. My favorite time of year is October, with rain falling and a chilly 48 degree temperature.
  51. From Lost, Sawyer is my most favorite character…..and you know he’s from Jasper, Alabama (fictionally).
  52. There is not a religion on the face of the earth today….that can convert me. I AM unconvertible. I have a strong distaste for Jehovah’s, Scientology, and Islamic folks.
  53. I consider Don Rickles, Flip Wilson, Buddy Hackett, Red Skelton, and Jon Stewart to be the best stand-up comedians of all time.
  54. The first time I drove up through the Grand Canyon….was in early December. I sat there on the side of cliff trail for about two hours. I really didn’t want to leave. I still consider that the most relaxing place on the face of the earth.
  55. I dressed as Santa once for a barracks Halloween party. I had a dozen girls come by and sit on my lap and tell me that they’d been “bad”. For some reason, I didn’t get the understanding of the expression until I was back to the room later with the guy dressed as the clown who explained what I failed to grasp. I still kick myself today.
  56. My quote? From Shakespeare: “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows, and in miseries.”
  57. I consider the Thing (original) and the Thing (Kurt Russell epic) to be the best science fiction movies ever made.
  58. In the ninth grade, we had intramural sports. My team (boys & girls) made up a volleyball team was beaten soundly on the first series (12-0) and we were down (11-1) when the shuffle of the server came to me. I proceed to serve the ball at the highest possible arch in the gym and was to come down smack dab in the middle of the opposite side….almost a direct shot down. It was slow motion for the other team and no would pick up on the ball, thinking the guy next to them would. We picked up 11 consecutive points with no returns. We proceeded with me serving into the next & last series (12 consecutive points, with only two return vollies). No one had ever served like that (so the gym coach said). Through the entire season (as captain of my team), we ended up with first place on the intramural squads (out of four).
  59. I cornered a skunk accidentally as a 11-year old kid. With BB gun in hand….I fired a shot or two….and he released on me. It took two hours of washing to get the smell of me.
  60. I joined the boy scouts as a kid….for 18 months…earning ZERO badges. I did it primarily to camp out with the guys. On our second camping trip….a huge rainstorm came up with lightning around midnight….so we evacuated from the hill and found refuge in a barn. An hour later…a tornado warning was issued within ten miles of us. Nothing ever came down.
  61. I lived in a barracks in Louisiana where a January arctic period came (5-10 degree weather for six days), and the building heat could only manage to stay up around 40 degrees. I bought a space heater for my room and blew my circuit a dozen times before giving up. I ended up buying six rose-scented candles at the BX and burned them one night to slightly heat the room (it did rise 8 degree above the norm)….but that rose smell was terrible.
  62. In the first three years after Kyoto, I actually believed a lot of the Al Gore chatter. Then I started reading the whole agreement….and found myself laughing at various things inserted into the document. Later, I read into the carbon credit game and just laughed more. I’m willing to believe in global cooling….but the rest of this game is a joke.
  63. I don’t have any tattoos and I really don’t care to get any.
  64. If I lived in a fictional world and really was in a bad situation…I’d want Seven of Nine, Teal’c, and Xena to rescue me.
  65. I’ve read Tom Sawyer around eight times.
  66. In a morale debate….when it comes down to a real discussion and pondering…..no one on the face of the earth can “outscore” me. From Plato and the Book of Job, to Socrates and Commander Adama (of Battlestar Galacticia)….I hold an arsenal of thought and analysis. I walk into the discussion with no question of my authority or reasoning.
  67. Lambrusco is the best Italian wine you can sip.
  68. If I ever say that I’d like to try a shortcut….the best thing to do is stop me. Otherwise….you might be on a glacier pass in the middle of the Alps.
  69. I regard the 1927 Yankees as the greatest team to ever assemble on a baseball field. No team in my mind ever exceed their capabilities.
  70. I would really like to buy a small houseboat and do the “grand circle” from Mobile to the Great Lakes, out to the St Lawrence Seaway, down the Atlantic coast, to Mobile.
  71. I sit and ponder how Baywatch and Knight Rider ever made it on national TV.
  72. NASCAR…simply doesn’t interest me….period.
  73. I know I ought to be writing books….thats the amusing thing about my life. I can’t make myself sit and wrote a 300-page document, but I can write 1500 pages of blogs easily.
  74. From Thanksgiving to Xmas in Germany….its crap. I’ve never enjoyed this period while living overseas and nothing in Germany measures up to an old-fashioned American Xmas.
  75. I have a lot of problems with religious folks who wander around and forbid medicine or medical treatment….in the name of God. God delivered all of the medicines and processes into our lousy hands….and some idiot wants absolute hands on treatment by God almighty?
  76. I traveled through Ripley once…and felt mighty obliged to stay. So I used that Ripley fantasy as my “front porch” and the “front” of the blog that you read today.
  77. I hate Sunday political chatter shows.
  78. Given a choice to play a role in a movie….I’d really like to play Elwood P. Dowd, the lead character on Harvey.
  79. I consider Katie Couric to be the worst newscaster ever brought to the major networks. Frank Reynolds from ABC was the best. Dan Rather....is a nut. And as for the NBC Today Show? Three guys from Ecuador and a nun from Italy.....could make a better show.
  80. Ninety percent of the news on the networks is a joke, so I have to make up for it with two hours of reading per night on average.
  81. I consider Kit Carson to be the finest adventurer to ever walk the American West.
  82. T-bone steak and a baked potato on a hot Sunday afternoon….is a mighty fine meal.
  83. When I got left behind in Barcelona, Spain by the tour bus….my resolve and common sense were tested to the max. I had $14 in Spanish money, no phrase book and was 20 miles from my hotel. Only the phrase “McDonalds” saved me in the end.
  84. I would be mighty obliged to be the first dude to meet a visiting alien from another planet.
  85. I honestly believe a bunch of regular dudes built the Egyptian pyramids with nothing more than regular tools, sweat and bunch of empty promises from Egyptian politicians. I'm guessing some idiot promised a economic stimulus package for the pyramid boys.
  86. Deep down….9-11 was about Ossama and not Saddam….so we’ve wasted valuable time and effort. Rummy was a fool.
  87. Maps? I don’t need no stinking maps.
  88. I am 99 percent convinced that Oswald killed Kennedy alone….but then this Jack Ruby thing comes up and I ask myself….was Jack a true patriot for shooting Oswald in the parking lot…..and I just can’t make myself get past the Jack Ruby issue. And as for RFK….here is Sirhan Sirhan….all dazed and dopey after they apprehend him….and something just ain’t right. So I can’t be convinced.
  89. If I could only have three channels….I’d have Fox, the History Channel, and the Cartoon Channel.
  90. If I had been on Oceanic Flight 815 and landed on “Lost” island…..the entire mystery would have been solved in 24 hours….and I probably would have shot Ben on sight, with no doubts. If he ain’t helping me…..he’s a problem.
  91. At one time, I could listen to Rush Limbaugh for two hours. Today, twenty minutes is my limit. And for Doctor Laura….ten minutes. And Paul Harvey? Well...the dude ought to retire.
  92. My fondest memory of growing up were the yearly trips in the fall to the Lawrenceburg, TN county fair. My dad used to take us there and the best food in the world was at this fair. The last time I went….was October 1976. I drove up twice that week.
  93. For some reason…when crap happens in our division at the office….and there has to be someone to accompany the “boys” to the woodshed and explain to the “boss” what happened….in 98 percent of the cases….I’m accompanying them (though I hold no leadership role for the organization….as a contractor). My convincability and determination to shift the conversation….usually outweighs a 800 lb guerrilla. Its awful damn hard to win a argument against me…if I’m prepared.
  94. I’m the guy who’d like to jump in a car in Charleston and drive all the way to Seattle, alone, preferably.
  95. If you stand there to watch me….you might see how I drift back and am observing the situation and people. I’m plotting…and planning…and on the game of chess…I’m calculating eight plays ahead.
  96. I feel there is a conspiracy to use fat-free grease to cook burgers, fries and various greasy foods. Nothing taste as good…..as it used to.
  97. I absolutely hate free time with nothing to do.
  98. Vince Lombardi is the finest gentleman to ever coach NFL football.
  99. The Pride of the Yankees makes me weep every time it comes on TV.
  100. The best actor alive today…after Tom Hanks…is Huge Laurie from Doctor House. And I think Lucy Lawless from Xena....is hot....but man....she can't act.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

The Septic Woes

So this is how things work in the real world.

You have a small town of 300 folks....about four miles from a major town (30,000 residents). The small town existed on a simple plan of personal septic tanks. This is 1965. By 1980....the 300 folks have grown to 1500 folks. You still have personal septic tanks...although you have city water to every household now. By 2000....the 1500 folks have grown to 3000...and septic tanks are still the norm, and cable has been extended out to every soul in the town. By 2008, you have almost 3500 folks and still run the septic tank game.

At some point...you start to discuss dumping the septic tanks and running city sewage lines.....to a city sewage plant. The nearby town of 30,000 folks....offers up an extension and you can hook up to their standing plant....for a fee. The fee....based on other state models is very fair. The city council of a mayor and four council members....won't agree to such a matter. This disagreement goes on for months. The public is looking at the matter and its a no-brainer. The plant already exist and the entire plan could be accomplished in eighteen months. Every member of the town believes that mayor and council are idiots.

So what is happening here?

Well....there is special funding from the state and federal level that a community can tap into and haul back to their community. There are bonds and special taxes you can assess onto the public. And at the end of the day....alot of money could fall into your hands. You as the city council....can hire whoever you want....and possibly get some bribes back....say $15k each for helping out a "friend" of the town council get the contract.

The total cost of a plant, pipes and house hook-ups? WELL....we could be talking about a $3 million dollar scheme....especially if you build the plant for 200 percent capacity and assume the city will double in twenty years. So the head guy of the scheme, and the city council....all have a vested interest. And hooking up to the big-city operation....isn't profitable.

So what happens in Killen, Alabama? Oh....I forgot to mention the town's name....didn't I? And the big city? Florence, Alabama. Well....things were in a pattern to move toward a private contract and a private plant....up until this past month....when a number of residents started showing up for the town council meetings and demanding hook-up to Florence's sewer system. The council had stood firm up until this week....when one member dropped out of agreement and is standing with the residents of the town. by next week....when the next meeting is held....there might be a second guy dropping. If that happens....then the private operation will be questionable.

Its a funny game to watch small towns grow over the past thirty years....and get into the utilities business. Most end up hiring some local guy....who screws up everything....and ends up leaving town with thousands of dollars missing and unaccounted. Over in Lexington, Alabama....the dimwits there wanted a better source for city water and contracted out to a guy who had a really deep well. The city ran the pipe out to his place and pumped the water back...over four miles in length. The thing is....the dimwit running the city water operation....didn't ever pay the correct amount on the water piped. So the property owner who had bills to pay...and millions of water pumped off his place.....ended up in bankruptcy court....all because of the town's incompetent management.

In the town where I grew up....to remain nameless....the dimwits there hired some local guy to run the water pipe hook-ups for the town and his wife managed the books. After a few years....the books were in a terrible mess....and some folks questioned how accurate they were and if the wife had stolen money. There was some family involvement....and someone fixed all the issues up....so the wife never got to jail. This is one of those topics you don't bring up in church today because some folks think the law was broke and some folks think that fixing problems thus makes them go away.

So when you decide to pack up and move to the rural part of America....to a town of 1,000 residents....prepare yourself for corruption. You might not grasp how dim this game really is....but its a game to steal from you quietly and slowly.