The Demise of BlogRush

It was with great disappointment and shock at the email I received from BlogRush honcho, John Reese, Wednesday night. It announced the immediate shut down of this service. That very night without any advanced warning. I’m sure most readers are aware of this widget I had on the upper left column of this blog; BlogRush. It never provided the “exponential traffic” promised from the outset of this endeavor by Mr. Reese. It was financed by Mr. Reese and some of his colleagues at no cost to the consumer, such as myself.

What I find surprising is the swiftness of the shut down by Mr. Reese. I have been blogging for just seven months. During that time, I was able to meet many people, read many unique blogs because of that BlogRush widget. Now, those of those of us who neglected to bookmark these blogs will lose all contact. No time to say goodbye. While it never lived up to the hype, it was more of a community of blogs where people were able to see and visit different blogs by just refreshing your browser. It’s like losing someone who was with you from the start of a project at work. All of sudden, without any inkling something was wrong, you lose that person. I can’t say for sure just how much traffic I received as a result of BlogRush. I think my traffic is derived by the countless hours of SEO I spent on this blog. One of the benefits I will miss by the downfall of BlogRush is not being able to leave my blog link at a particular blog in the comments section. That really does help insofar as backlinks.

I can understand John Reese decision to shut down because it did not live up to expectations. I can understand it strictly from a business point of view in that he was losing money over this. What I don’t understand, from last nights’ letter, was his refusal to sell it to another to see if they can do a better job. I discovered a long time ago (and something Mr. Reese will eventually) there is always going to be someone out there who is smarter than you are. They can do a better job than you capable of doing. I tend to believe Mr. Reese let pride get in his way here. But, his saying “it’s not always about the money” was asinine. He starts a business and it’s not about the money??? Pray tell, just what was it about Mr. Reese? I thought the idea of starting up any worthwhile business model was to eventually make a profit. It was patently ridiculous from the start to not, at least, accept advertising. This could have bought them needed time to work out the kinks they needed to obviously do. There were people taking advantage of the system. But, there are “smarter people” Mr. Reese could have found to stop the rampant cheating.

I will miss BlogRush. Not because of the “exponential traffic” that I never received. But, the sense of community we all had here with that little widget on the sidebar. I hope Mr. Reese has learned some valuable lessons. He claims to have been involved in online marketing since 1990. He apparently hasn’t learned much in the past 18 years about the most important element of a business; the customer. While it may be true “it’s not always about the money,” it is always about the customers. And, Mr. Reese, you let down a lot of people with your brazen, ill-conceived, thoughtless decision to shut down BlogRush Wednesday night without any real warning. That was very callous of you. I’m sure many people will be very reluctant to involve themselves in your next endeavor, whatever that might be. You can count me in that number also.


Screams at 2AM

We have a lot of feral cats around here. One in particular, whom I had named “Old Yellow”, took up residence at my home. Old Yellow has been missing for about a month now. I had grown accustomed to him and he had gotten used to me. He still didn’t trust me enough to let me pet him. But, he would come up and curl around pants legs as cats are prone to doing. But, this post is not about him…although I wish it were.

I have a wooden fence around my back yard. It’s about six feet high. It has 2 inch gap between each plank. Most cats have no trouble jumping it from a complete standstill. I’ve seen them do it. Old Yellow couldn’t because he had gotten too big. It is normal to hear cats screaming at all hours of the night. Nature will not be deterred. I just figure it’s another female in heat. Tuesday morning, about 2AM, I heard the cat screams again. But, these weren’t normal cat mating screams. This was almost like a woman screaming. Ralph, my beagle, was obviously upset and started barking. So, putting on my pants, grabbing my pepper spray (just in case), I went and opened to back door to see what was causing the screaming. At the far southwest corner of my fence, I saw a black and white cat at the very top of my fence. Ralph wanted to get out and go investigate also. Thinking that would not be a good idea, I kept him inside. This cat was now screaming for all he was worth. It even woke up my next door neighbor (which I was hoping would not happen since I can’t stand him). As we both walked toward the cat, the cat was now in hyper mode and was hissing and swinging its one free front paw at us. The cat, as I had figured, had his right front paw wedged in between two wooden planks of my fence. The problem; how to get him out.

I tried to push him and nearly caught a good whack from his claws. This cat was still screaming during this entire time. My neighbor got a board from his yard and tried to push him upwards in an attempt to free the cat. He just screamed that much more. I remembered what Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter, would do with an animal he was trying to snare; he would throw a blanket over the animal so it would calm down. I told my neighbor about this and he went into his house and brought out a big beach towel. The cat saw this, and for some reason, started going berserk! He was jumping and dancing on top of that fence. But, he still couldn’t free himself. Neighbor threw towel over the cat and he immediately calmed down. As soon as he had that blanket over him, I grabbed his wedged paw and freed him. Now, all we had to do was take the towel off the cat and let him go. But, this cat was still mad as hell. He was growling like crazy. I looked at the neighbor as if to say, “It’s your towel.” But, it’s my fence. So, hero that I am, I flung the towel off the cat, the cat then leaps completely over my head and runs as fast as he can on three legs. I hope his leg wasn’t broken.

I didn’t go back to sleep all night. I didn’t wake up until about 9AM yesterday morning. So, as I went to go eat breakfast, I saw the same black and white cat sitting on top of my garbage can. He wasn’t threatening. In fact, he was quite sedate. It was almost as if he was thankful for what I had done last night. After seeing me and staring at me for a few seconds, the cat took off. I haven’t seen him since yesterday morning. Hopefully, he'll stay away from fences from now on.


Some Useless, but Odd Facts

1) Some worms will eat themselves if they can't find any food!

I’m of the opinion there are some humans that would do the same thing.

2) In 1386, a pig in France was executed by public hanging for the murder of a child.

I will believe this when pigs fly…oh wait.

3) Walt Disney was afraid of mice.

Wonder what Mickey thought about that...

4) Dolphins sleep with one eye open.

Hell, if I knew a Great White Shark could wake me with his jaws, I’d keep both eyes open.

5) Smearing a small amount of dog feces on an insect bite will relieve the itching and swelling.

I’ll just continue using Neosporin, thank you very much.

6) The skin needed for elbow transplants must be taken from the scrotum of a cadaver.

I guess now would be a good time to have the doctor check my tennis elbow problem.

7) King Henry VIII slept with a gigantic axe

If I had six wives (a very sobering thought) of which three I had divorced, two I had executed and the remaining one died under mysterious circumstances, I’d keep a big axe in bed with me too. King Henry must have had a lot of enemies.

8) To human taste buds, Zima is virtually indistinguishable from zebra urine.

Seriously…how the hell would someone know this unless…never mind.

9) Queen Elizabeth I regarded herself as a paragon of cleanliness. She declared that she bathed once every three months, whether she needed it or not.

I knew some guys at work that the Queen would have considered paragons of cleanliness also.

10) Your heart beats over 100,000 times a day.

My heart beats that much in one minute staring at a picture of Angelina Jolie (ok sue me, I’m an old goat for saying that).


Tuesday’s Rambling Thoughts – October 28, 2008

I finally got a reply from the Alabama Department of Transportation about the incident that took place last Tuesday on I-65. I made a post about it (A Near Tragedy) and sent the link to ALDOT. I did not expect a reply from them. But, within an hour of sending the email last Thursday morning, I got a reply. I was told they would investigate the matter, find the two individuals responsible and hold them accountable. Now, my intent was not to get these two roadside workers in trouble. But, it was possible at least three people could have gotten killed because of the two careless ALDOT roadside employees. It was an absolute miracle I wasn’t rear ended by the SUV. It was just as much a miracle I didn’t hit the worker who was taking his time to cross I-65.

I just read on Reuters Online that Obama has a 5 point lead over McCain. There is no chance (short of some totally unexpected surprise) McCain can overcome that in just one week. America has definitely tilted to the left. Senator Obama is even to the left of the likes of Ted Kennedy, and Harry Reid. That “spread the wealth” comment did not hurt Obama as much as I anticipated. But, there is no doubt Senator Obama has the warm fuzzies for socialism. Just as a reminder to the supporters of Senator Obama; when you get a smaller paycheck over the next four years, go blame the person you see in the mirror. If you really believe he’s only going to tax those making $250K and over, you are na├»ve. Prosperity is going to be condemned and punished for the next four years, possibly longer. On the flip side of the coin, a Bush III with John McCain does not fill me with confidence either. It’s difficult to believe the Republicans actually nominated someone so far out of step with their mainstream constituency. It’s going to be a fun filled four years, folks.

Gas prices have fallen to 2.39/gallion in my area. I simply am amazed how quickly the price of a barrel of oil has fallen in just three short months. It is indicative of how the world is anticipating a recession. It’s not going to be just focused in the USA. It is going worldwide. It all comes back to the banking industry, in my opinion. They made loans to people who should not have even qualified for sub-prime loan to buy a home. Credit cards were being handed out left and right. Terrible investments and all the above spells disaster. You would think there are smart people in the banking industry that saw this coming. You would think that way. But, there are either some really dumb people in banking or they saw a good way to make a financial killing for themselves. I tend to believe it is the later. And we all bailed them out. Thanks “W.” And special thanks go to the Democrats who ignored the warnings about Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in 2001. Third Party anyone?

Finally, I just realized yesterday I am coming up on the anniversary of my wedding next month. I know I should just forget it. I normally send an email to my ex-wife about that date. And, as always, she says she regrets things didn’t work out. That is always the response. This year, I have decided to just ignore the date. I think maybe she wants to forget it as well. It was a marriage that was doomed from the start. We both married late in our lives. We were both stuck in our own ways. I think there was enough blame to go around for us both. I have my reasons why I think she is to blame for the divorce. She has her reasons why I am to blame for the divorce. I still harbor some bitterness toward her. But, I don’t hate her any longer. Hate just destroys you and does nothing to the person you are directing it toward. I have just decided to move on with my life, including ignoring the anniversary date this year. I hope she does likewise.


Miss Taylor – Her Story

This is a continuation of a series I started at the outset of this blog. It is dedicated to the people who left an impression on me in some way. I think the first in this series was about Mr. Mullane, who I met at a local nursing home in the earlier part of this decade.

Miss Taylor was my seventh grade English teacher. She never married, hence the “Miss” I used instead of Ms. Miss Taylor would never have gone for that Ms stuff anyway. She was all about teaching. It was her one passion in life. I knew I was going to be in trouble the first day of class with Miss Taylor. She told all of us if we were not able to write complete sentences before that day, we would by the end of the first week. If we didn’t know how to dissect sentences, we would by the end of the first month. If we didn’t know proper punctuation, we would by the end of the first quarter. If not, we would fail her class. I was in trouble…big trouble.

I did not understand the importance of proper grammar…or spelling for that matter. I mean, I planned on becoming an astronaut anyway. So, what the hell was the big deal? I was 12 years of age and already knew it all. Miss Taylor let me know that first week I didn’t know anything. I soon became her mission in life, her sole purpose for living, I sometimes thought. That first month, I stayed after school because of poor work more than the previous six years combined. I became as much a fixture in Miss Taylor’s classroom as the desks and blackboards. She took me aside one afternoon and asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up. I told her, quite matter-of-factly, I wanted to be an astronaut, go to the moon and become a national hero. She looked at me with an expression that only now I can understand. She went on and on to me how I would never sniff the inside of a “spaceship” or any other type of aircraft without a good education. I still didn’t get it. When I failed to turn in my homework assignments, I got the paddle. She could swing that thing pretty good for a woman who probably weighed 100lbs soaking wet.

I must have written “i before e except after c” about `100,000 times that school year. I was probably the only kid on earth who put in as many hours at school as their father did at work. Miss Taylor did not let up on me. She told me once (after one of my many encounters with her wooden paddle), she “saw something in me.” Again, that flew right over my head. I still have trouble understanding what she meant by that statement. Whatever it was, she was damned and determined to bring it out of me. She told me she didn’t want to see me six years from now covered in soot from one of Mobile’s paper mills. I asked her if working at one would help me become an astronaut. It was the only time I ever saw Miss Taylor laugh. She rarely smiled for reasons that I still don’t understand. But, she laughed a good five minutes after that innocent question I posed to her. She even let me out of school early that day.

I went from an “F” student in grammar and literature to an “A” student in the 7th grade. I soon became a voracious reader and I even took pride in my grammar. It was all due to the interest of one school teacher. I would like to say Miss Taylor’s interest led to my becoming the writer she said she saw in me. Vietnam took care of that for me. But, I owe the value of an education strictly to her and, of course, my mother.

We moved away before I could enter the 8th grade. Miss Taylor told me at the end of my 7th grade school year she looked forward to having me back in her English class. Unbelievably, I was looking forward to it also. I never saw Miss Taylor again. But, I thought of her often. One day, back in 1997 I think, I was skimming through the newspaper obituaries. I saw an announcement of burial services for a Miss Ellen Taylor, a teacher of 41 years at my former high school. I didn’t recognize the picture they had of her. But, it was Miss Taylor. I was in the office of the federal agency of which I was the department director when I read that obit. I didn’t become an astronaut. I didn’t go to the moon. I didn’t become a national hero. But, I hoped, in some small way, I lived up to Miss Taylor’s expectations of me. In tribute to her, I wrote one line of “i before e except after c” on my procurement tablet that day.

Thanks Miss Taylor.


I Hate to Keep Harping on This…

But, I have to keep harping on the near feeding frenzy amongst Obama supporters. Just from last week’s two political posts, I got three threatening emails and three vulgar comments which I deleted. One of the emails threatened my life. I turned that over to both the FCC and local law enforcement. It’s no sense in trying to deal with people this neurotic.

You can say this was simply an isolated case. The vast majority of Obama supporters are law abiding citizens caught up in the historic moment. Fair enough. I’m sure it was an “isolated case” with a young woman being robbed at an ATM. When the robber saw she had a McCain bumper sticker on her car, he mutilated her by carving a “B” onto her face. I’ll let you figure what message he was trying to send there. [Editor's Note: Since posting of this blog entry, this case was proven to be completely made up by this disturbed young woman]

Of course, there was also “another” one of those “isolated” cases in Longwood, FL where a home was shot up by shotgun blasts. The man, the manager for the Central Florida Republican Party, said he always has gotten along with his neighbors. His sin is having two John McCain signs in his front yard. The victim, Rog Coverely said, “Democrats are far more aggressive in Seminole County.” Yeah, I’d say you are right, Rog. Getting a shotgun blast to your house is a pretty good indication of that.

In my very best Katie Couric imitation, “Oh and now we have another accident” in Washington D.C. where some church-state group called “Americans United for Separation of Church and State” has sent a letter to the IRS due to Roman Catholic bishop Arthur Serratelli’s condemnation of Senator Obama’s position on abortion. You see, Bishop Serratelli thought that this pesky old thing called Freedom of Speech extended to blasting The Annointed One on just one single issue; abortion. But, that didn’t stop “Americans United etc.,” from going after him anyway!!! God Bless those people! Now, let me go Google and see where they wrote the IRS about the racist “Rev.” Jeremiah Wright’s blasting, from the pulpit, whites, jews, mom, apple pie and Chevrolet. Um…eh…uh…well, there doesn’t appear to be any. I’m sure they did. It just isn’t being reported for some very good reason, right? Seriously, what part of the following quote is not a violation of church and state; “We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.” Isn’t that a bit of a political statement? Just a wee bit?

But, it is only one issue, right? I’m sure “Americans United etc”., just accidentally missed that one. I’m sure they even missed this one; “The Israelis have illegally occupied Palestinian territories for over 40 years now. Divestment has now hit the table again as a strategy to wake the business community and wake up Americans concerning the injustice and the racism under which the Palestinians have lived because of Zionism.” Wouldn’t that be, let’s see…how did “Americans United etc” put it? Oh, yes, now I remember, “illegal partisanship?” I will wait for “Americans United etc.” to belatedly call out Rev. Wright over these remarks. Seriously, I will wait. And wait…and wait…and wait…


A Near Tragedy

There is one lucky Alabama Department of Transportation roadside worker today. At least, I’m sure his co-workers who witnessed the near tragedy would agree. Tuesday morning, I had to go to Birmingham, AL on personal business. It is a four hour drive up I-65 as the crow flies. Invariably there is, at some point on any interstate system, roadwork taking place. This is especially true with the I-65 corridor in Alabama.

As I was approaching mile-marker 45, I noticed the sign “Road Workers Ahead: Prepare to Reduce Speed.” And that is exactly what I always do. I don’t want to have on my conscience the death of someone because I didn’t pay attention to my speed. Plus, I already have gotten my first speeding ticket in 17 years this past July. Tickets where there are roadside workers mean double fines and double penalty points on your record. I don’t need that. Anyway, as instructed, I slowed down to 55MPH from the 70MPH limit. I noticed the orange vests of roadside workers about a mile ahead and slowed down even more. They appeared to be doing survey work. There were about six workers on the right-side of the interstate and two more on the left. As I was within about 1000 feet of these men, the two workers on the left start slowly and nonchalantly walking across the road. One of the two recognized he had better hasten his walk across the interstate. But, the other one, a short stocky type, seemed to walk even slower. Realizing I was in danger of hitting this man at about 50MPH, I swerved over into the emergency lane, and clamped down on my horn. It had no effect on this slow, slovenly worker. It all seemed to happen in slow motion. I could see him, his co-workers apparently screaming at him and in my rear view mirror, I saw a huge SUV barreling up behind me.

I managed to avoid hitting this guy. But, it wasn’t by much. However, my problems were not over. That SUV was still steaming toward my tailpipe at warp factor 8. I then hit the gas peddle hard to put even more distance between me and the SUV. She barely, and I do mean BARELY avoided rear ending me. She was so close, I could see her gasp with relief in my rear view mirror. She was that close. This was all because of one man who not only almost caused his death; but the death of at least one other person. I reported this incident to ALDOT Wednesday morning. I have not heard back from them as yet.

To the roadside worker who barely avoided becoming human road-kill; you are a damn IDIOT.


The Tree

I have an oak tree in my back yard that is approximately 75 years old. A tree surgeon told me about three years ago that is relatively young for an oak tree. He said they live anywhere from 200-400 years. Thinking he was shooting the breeze, I had to look it up online to discover he was correct. This oak in my back yard is about 80 feet tall. It is tremendous. Unfortunately, it was damaged during Hurricane Katrina three years ago. One huge limb broke and was dangling down. I had to pay someone $75.00 just to go up there and cut off the limb. The tree surgeon said the tree needed to come down after I had him inspect it in 2005. He said the root system has been irrevocably damaged and the tree would slowly start losing limbs before it completely falls down, which could damage my house. I just couldn’t bring myself to cut down this old majestic tree. It still had leaves growing on it. But, this year I noticed they were far fewer than in years past.

The decision was made for me Sunday night about 9:30PM. I heard a loud pop that you could have heard a half-mile away. I looked out my back door and the entire tree had almost completely collapsed at the roots toward my drainage ditch. Thankfully, it didn’t fall toward my house which was about 70 feet away. The decision was made for me. I let it go longer than I should have. I was just hoping against hope it could somehow regenerate itself. It was not to be. It will be trimmed of all branches, then completely cut down and sold as firewood. It’s just an ignoble end for such an old warrior that was a sapling about the time my mother was born. It had survived many hurricanes. But, Katrina proved to be too much for it. Sunday night, it could stand no longer. This morning about 9AM, it will meet its fate at the hands of the chainsaw.


Tuesday’s Rambling Thoughts – October 21, 2008

Aaah yes…fall weather has finally arrived here in my hometown. Gone are the 95+ degree temperatures accompanied by 70% humidity. I am not going to miss hot weather. Even though I am a lifelong resident here on the gulf coast, I have always been able to tolerate cooler weather than hot weather. Notice I didn’t way cold weather. We don’t really have cold weather as most people have. On the gulf, if it dips below 40 degrees, we think that is almost winter weather storm warning time.

I have a neighbor whose son left for Iraq this past summer. In fact, I made a blog entry about it. She received word yesterday her son had been slightly wounded by shrapnel from a RPG round fired from Islamic insurgents. He was treated at the local military hospital and released by to his squad. He reported to her the insurgency has died considerably from all reports of the soldiers there for a year or longer. But, it is sheer nonsense to think the violence has dissipated completely. I am glad he’s alright. His mom related to me he has lost 15 pounds off his skinny frame. Those MRE’s are supposed to put fat on you. I was surprised to hear that.

I have not received any more threats for my two political posts, of last week, since I reported the threats to both Google and local law enforcement. I did not feel I was ever in any real danger. It seems that some people can’t tell reality from cyberspace. For some people, this medium is their reality. So, in that sense, it’s not surprising that some people took offense to my criticism of Senator Obama. I intruded upon their world with something they didn’t like. I am an equal opportunity political blaster. I go after both the Republican and Democratic parties with equal gusto. The same goes for both John McCain and Barrack Obama. I just dislike Obama a little more than I do McCain…but not by much.

Finally, I am enjoying my new blog, “Diary: Alone on Earth.” It is a release of a desire I have always had. That desire? Writing! I enjoy it very much. I wanted to be a writer when I was kid. I had planned for that from the time I was in the 7th grade. But, Vietnam called and off I went to war. Like so many things that sidetrack you in life, I never got back to pursuing that goal. I don’t have much traffic yet. Seriously, I am averaging about 4 or 5 visits a day. But, that is about what I averaged with this blog until one day it just took off. I learned something with this blog; don’t give up. I felt in the early days, of this blog, I was in an empty room just talking to myself. But, I kept at it and I have some serious traffic now, and a decent feed count after just 6 ½ months. Not giving up is the single most important thing I learned about creating a blog. I suppose that holds true for any worthwhile endeavor. Just keep plugging on and good things usually happen to those who persevere.


Political Commentary and Threats

This blog is slightly over six months old. In that time, I have made numerous blog entries. Most of the time, it is about my life and my experiences down this road we call life. I enjoy talking about people and times in my life. It seems that others do too since this blog seems to enjoy a modicum of success insofar as traffic. It is rare that I deviate from that theme. As of late, I have added my own political commentary on the presidential race. It is historic in that we have an African-American on the verge of becoming the President of the United States. I think he will win in November. That seems to be assured now due to a poor nominee from the Republican Party.

I have been on the internet since 1990. My first venture into the online world was with an online service called “Prodigy.” It was slow, heavily graphic in a pre-broadband world. Shortly after Prodigy went nation-wide, the internet took off as well. I have participated in many message board debates, whether it be sports, religion or political. It is the latter of the three that has always brought out the best and the worst in people. Politically, I consider myself a centrist with leanings to the right. I detest extremists in both the Republican and Democratic parties. It is they that cause all the acrimony that currently exists between both parties.

Last week I made two political posts. In both posts, I blasted both parties, both nominees. I make more scathing commentary toward Senator Obama because he is leading this nation to socialism. John McCain is only slightly behind him in that regard. What I did not expect were three very vulgar comments on the “An Increasingly Nasty Campaign” post I made. I won’t repeat what they were since I immediately deleted them. Imagine my surprise when I received threatening email from three so-called Obama supporters over what I consider two innocuous posts. The second political post was “Joe the Plumber: A Potential Mistake for Obama.” For that last political post, I received three emails from people stating I should have my head beat in, I was dog cussed by another and then in the last email I had my life threatened. Yes, I had my life threatened. This is the first time this has happened to me in the 18 years I have been active in the online world. I forwarded the life threatening email to the FCC and local law enforcement authorities. I don’t feel I am in danger. But, such a deranged person could hurt someone else.

I will say this and I don’t care if it offends Obama supporters; some of you people are fanatics bordering on being dangerous. It is symptomatic of the Obama Campaign. They do not take criticism well. The Republicans are trying to join Obama at the hip with the known Weather Underground terrorist, Bill Ayers. The Obama Campaign wants that discussion quashed at all costs. They have even gone to court to try to stop it. This is America. We have freedom of speech…or least for the next three months we do. Until that amendment is repealed, I intend to speak my piece on this blog about both Obama and McCain. Threats be damned. I will continue. Two people have complained to Google about both those posts. If I get kicked off Blogger, I will continue elsewhere. You people who are blindly following Obama and his message of “change” had best take a good look at yourselves. Is this what you want for America? A man so thin-skinned he wants retribution in court? Before you say it…of course I don’t believe for one minute these people who threatened me were in any way officially connected to the Obama Campaign. What scares me is the cult like following this man has garnered. I even considered voting for Senator Obama at one time. That is the absolute truth! But, he scares me now. His followers scare me even more…much more. It appears you cannot question Senator Obama’s plans for this country without being shouted down or intimidated. This is not the America I represented during my time in the U.S. Navy. If you follow this blog at all, you know I find both Bush and McCain despicable for the way they have all be destroyed this great nation both domestically and internationally. So, spare me the calls that I am a “Bushie.” I’m not.

As stated, I will continue to give my political opinion on this board. I think John McCain is Bush III. I think Obama is Jimmy Carter II…but with a hint of Karl Marx mixed in. I’m not going to take down my email link. I will not be intimidated. I will continue to speak out on political issues. Those of you who cannot accept criticism of either McCain or Obama (especially Obama), then go to a blog where you can goose step with those who think as you do.


Joe the Plumber: A Potential Mistake for Obama

What many have feared about Senator Obama is his ambition to tax people to achieve his goals. He currently says that those making $250K and over are the people he will tax. I’ve heard this all before. That $250K would drop down to $100K once he takes office. And, if he can’t get the tax base he needs then, it could drop even further. I’ve been around long enough to know politicians will say anything to get themselves elected. Obama is no different despite what his cult followers may believe.

Thus far, Senator Obama has run a practically error free campaign. I fully expected him to make a mistake in one of the three debates. But, for the most part, he has basically stolen McCain’s lunch money and made him like it. But, where he may have blundered is in Ohio with a comment about his tax plan to Joe Wurzelbacher, or, as he is now referred to, Joe the Plumber. Mr. Wurzelbacher told Senator Obama his tax plan was going to punish him as a small business owner whose company makes about $250K a year. Senator Obama told him he was sorry, but there were “…people behind him who deserved a shot at success just as he did…spread the wealth.” Those last three words could come back to haunt Senator Obama. It smacks of socialism. If Senator McCain was not such a dimwitted person, he would have bashed Obama on that continually and spitefully throughout Wednesday night’s debate. He should keep at him on that. But, McCain is not that smart.

What gets me is that the Obama camp is not trying to smooth over the Illinois senator’s words. They is no denial they intend to “spread the wealth” as Obama said. This tells me the Obama camp is in dangerous territory in that they are smug with the idea the election is in the bag. Over confidence can be a very dangerous thing. Many thought Harry Truman was beat until the following morning the results were known. In some respects, it reminds me of the fatal mistake of the second Carter-Ford debate on October 2, 1976. In that debate Gerald Ford said that "there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and there never will be under a Ford administration." . He added that he did not "believe that the Poles consider themselves dominated by the Soviet Union", and made the same claim with regards to Yugoslavia and Romania. Ford basically freed Eastern Europe on that night. It cost him the election and we were then blessed with four years of Jimmy Carter

Obama’s Joe the Plumber miscue is not nearly that bad. I still think the election is his to lose. But, the longer that “Joe the Plumber’s” 15 minutes of fame continue, this “spread the wealth” is going to continue to hurt him.


You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

A judge in Omaha, Nebraska threw out a lawsuit
from state senator Ernie Chambers. Nothing unusual about that, except it was from a Nebraska state senator, right? Well, not exactly. It seems the honorable state senator had filed a lawsuit against God to prevent Him from “committing acts of violence such as earthquakes and tornadoes.” Judge Marlon Polk threw out the suit because there was no evidence God had been “served.” Apparently, Sen. Chambers was trying to make a point against frivolous lawsuits. Now, all he has to do is explain that to his constituency. Good luck with that.

Bernardino Terracciano is starring as a mob boss in the movie “Gomorrah” based on the book by Roberto Saviano (who, incidentally, is in hiding from the real mafia due to his accurate portrayal of their ruthlessness in his book). Nothing wrong with that. Except our boy Bernardino was arrested. Arrested for what? Arrested for suspicion of extorting protection money and having ties to the Casalesi clan, part of the Camorra mafia (Naples, Italy). It seems our boy Bernardino really IS in the mob. Art truly imitates life or, in this case, life imitates art? Bada Bing, Bernardino.

This Halloween, the state of Maryland is forcing sex offenders to put a decal with a pumpkin on their doors. The following message is imprinted across the decal, “No candy at this residence.” That’s all well and good. But, how many kids are actually going to pay attention to that? Seriously, it’s HALLOWEEN. Kids being kids are going to think it’s a part of Halloween and go knock on the door! I could put a life-sized figure of Freddie Krueger on my porch, with a voice saying “KNOCK ON THIS DOOR AND YOUR NIGHTMARE JUST BEGINS,” and I guarantee they would be lined up a mile from my house.” I agree with the spirit of the law. But, it’s asinine to think kids are going to pay any attention to this pumpkin decal unless their parents are with them. Well, in some cases, the parents would actually beat them to the door, I guess. Never mind.

In what has to be one of the more macabre stories
(and just in time for Halloween!), a chef in London, England has been banned from managing food businesses and fined 3,800 pounds for “making kebabs (or kebobs as we spell it here in the USA) near a “corpse.” The dead man was lying on a sofa as Jaswinder Singh made kebabs at Pappu Sweet Center and Catering in Wolverhampton. There really isn’t much more I can add to this. But, I think I won’t be ordering kebobs for a while when I dine out.


An Increasingly Nasty Campaign

The 2008 Presidential Election is taking a decidedly nasty turn toward demagoguery. Congressman John Lewis, of Georgia, stated that Sen. John McCain was “fomenting racial hatred” with his increasingly bitter attacks on the character of Senator Obama. We have charges by VP nominee Sarah Palin that Senator Obama is a “friend of terrorists” due to Obama’s association with Weatherman Underground terrorist, Bill Ayers. Of course, there have been sexist remarks made about Sarah Palin since she was announced as the Republican nominee for VP. I’m sitting at my desk typing up this blog entry and I’m trying to remember Senator Obama’s vow to carry out a different kind of campaign. He promoted himself as an “agent of change” (without really identifying what kind of change he would bring). Yes, we see the same thing from Senator Obama as we have from all campaigns in the past. To be brutally honest, I think both McCain and Obama will be disastrous for the USA. One has to win. Obama will move this country closer to socialism than at any other point in our history. McCain will most likely continue down the primrose path of destruction set by Bush I&II.

I am disappointed to see in this day and time we still are not past racial bigotry. That goes for both sides, Democrat and Republican. Congressman Lewis should be ashamed of himself for comparing Senator McCain to the late Alabama governor, George C. Wallace. I have total disdain for John McCain. But, he is NOT a racist. However, he needs to rein in his audience for some of the outrageous things they heckle about Senator Obama. Senator Obama needs to go after people like Congressman John Lewis if he intends to be a president of all the people in this country. His associations with the avowed racist and anti-Semite Rev. Jeremiah Wright is still a cause of concern with people despite Obama’s disassociation from him. Seriously, did anyone believe Obama when he said he had never heard racist remarks from Wright in the 20 years he attended that church? It reminds me of Bill Clinton’s remark of smoking marijuana but not inhaling. Both are, at the very least, ridiculous denials; flat out lies at worst.

In passing, I long for the day when we have a leader like JFK, Ronald Reagan or Abraham Lincoln. We desperately need someone like that right now as our Chief Executive. I’m tired of the popularity contest that has become our presidential election. No one has substance any longer. It’s all about who can come up with the best catch phrase or promises to help people. Neither McCain or Obama really “stand for anything.” But, they are both promising everything in their ongoing quest for the Oval Office.


Tuesday’s Rambling Thoughts – October 14, 2008

It seems that the mayor of Mobile, AL is set on annexing the entire county into the city. He is doing it piecemeal since annexation has never went over well outside the city limits. Some say this is gerrymandering and that makes it illegal. Whatever the case may be, Mobile is annexing at an alarming rate. Property taxes for those annexed will go up considerably. I’m not sure they have taken that into consideration when the idea of city services were flashed in their faces. I’m against annexation for a myriad of reasons. I confess the main reason is increased taxes. The major has said they will not increase taxes for five years on newly annexed areas. But, here’s the kicker; how is the city going to pay for all those city services to the newly annexed areas for the next five years? They either are going to increase taxes on people already living in the city or set aside that deficit for five years and hit the newly annexed areas with it. It’s a tangled web in this city.

I watched the Texas-Oklahoma football game this past Saturday. I’ve got to say that was one of the best football games I’ve ever seen. It was a shame someone had to lose. I fully expected Oklahoma to win. But, Texas QB Colt McCoy proved to be the difference in this game. He may well be the best college QB in the nation. Sad to say, college football season is halfway over now. I love this time of year.

There is a homeless man that “lives” behind a health food store a couple of miles from where I live. I am an early bird and I always see him pushing his shopping cart (with everything he owns inside that cart) to the Wal-Mart Superstore directly across from the health food store. The Wal-Mart management lets him stay in the lobby for a few hours each morning. He is always cleanly shaved, washed and very neat. He seems very intelligent, sociable. He eats his breakfast there in the entrance lobby of Wal-Mart, never speaks to anyone and then takes off for the day. My heart goes out to him and any homeless person. But, despite Wal-Mart’s cold, heartless image, I give them credit for allowing this man to at least get out of the heat of the day and for giving him a warm breakfast.

Finally, it is with great sadness I must report that the feral cat that had taken up residence at my house, is missing. “Old Yellow,” as I had affectionately named him in a post a couple of months ago, has not been around for about two weeks now. I have asked neighbors if they have seen him and no one can even say for sure the last time they saw Old Yellow. For the longest time Old Yellow would not even come near me. One morning, as I was about to go to breakfast, he jumped down from my truck and purred around my legs like he was an old friend. As I said in my blog entry about him, he appeared up at my place, gaunt and malnourished. I figured he wasn’t going to leave. So, I couldn’t let him starve. I started leaving him food and he pretty soon started getting stronger and bolder. He made several meals off of squirrels and birds. The squirrel population has diminished quite a bit since he took up residence here. Old Yellow had even gotten used to my beagle, Ralph, barking at him. I’m worried about him. Wherever Old Yellow is, I hope he’s ok…and doing fine.


This is a new web site (still in beta as you can see if you click on the link) that is really helpful to everyone who owns a car, truck, SUV…whatever. They are a veritable one stop shop for everything having to do with your vehicle. If you are thinking about trading in your old clunker, they can tell you how much you can expect to get out of it at by clicking on the “what’s it worth” icon. I found out my ’06 Honda Civic is holding up it’s value pretty good (as I thought it would). So, if you are thinking about trading in, you can find out what your car is really worth. Don’t depend on the salesperson telling you what it’s worth. Find out at this new site.

One of the things I think is innovative about DriverSide is they can let you know how much you should pay for repairs. This is something that people really need to know about. I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard horror stories of people (mainly women) who have wound up paying for new tires and front end alignment to the tune of well over a $1500.00. That is highway robbery. This feature alone is worth the reason to at least investigate what this site is all about. So, if you want to know exactly what to pay for repairs on your car in your town, check out DriverSide.

One of the best features is DriverSide allows you to list your car for sale for free. I’m not sure how they are able to do that for free. But, I would certainly make sure to take advantage of their generosity. I don’t want to begin to even tell you how much this one feature alone would cost you on eBay and other web sites. This is an excellent site that is only going to get better. I have bookmarked them for future reference. It is well worth checking out if you want to save money on your car.


My New Blog – Diary: Alone on Earth

(EDIT: ebook of this story now available at Amazon) I said last week it would be a couple of weeks before my new blog with the above title was ready. But, I finished the prologue a little quicker than I had planned. So, I decided last Saturday to go a head and publish it. “Diary: Alone on Earth” is going to allow me to explore one of my most dreaded of fears; fear of being alone. Oh, I have many other phobias such as fear of heights, of being lost, closed places, and more. But, the fear of being alone is the only one that has given me nightmares. So, I decided to explore this further than my nightmares went. Thanks go out to the Twilight Zone episode “Where is Everybody?” and “I Am Legend,” as inspiration for this new blog. However, there are some changes from the reoccurring dream I had. There is no talking dog and I don’t live in a damn igloo dog house in this new blog as I did in my “Reoccurring Dream.”

One thing I didn’t expect was for Blogrush to deny my request to be placed in their network. Ok, I realize I have only one post thus far. I can see their logic, I suppose. So, I decided to go in another direction. I have a network widget from widgetbox (notice on right sidebar) which is good as or even better than Blogrush. Regardless, I will still provide links and commentary on David’s Musings about my new blog. So, Alone on Earth will still be on Blogrush indirectly. I hope everyone will give it a look-see, leave comments or whatever. If you find you like it, I hope you’ll subscribe to my feed.

One thing I want everyone to remember, each title entry will be one day. For example, November 16, 2016 will be my first entry. The second entry, regardless of actual time interim, will be November 17, 2016. November 16, 2016 will be the last “normal day” on earth as I know it in this blog/diary/ book…whatever you want to call it. As stated before, two entries a week will be all I will be able to manage at first. If the blog takes off, as this one did in just six months, that will certainly warrant more entries. I’ll just have to find time to do it.

2008 TOYOTA SIENNA – CarConnection.com

Not being a family man, I really have not had any reason to even inquire about a minivan such as the 2008 Toyota Sienna. After reading 2008 Toyota Sienna reviews at carconnection.com, I’d have to say Toyota Sienna reviews are mixed at best. It seems the newest edition of the Toyota Sienna continues to have spacious and luxurious cabin interior. The styling is nothing out of the ordinary or radical. The Toyota Sienna, like so many other minivans, are dated and seemingly out of touch with today’s world of high gas prices. The Toyota Sienna does offer a very comfortable ride. It offers features such as closed-circuit video camera, dual sliding doors, and laser guided cruise control to name just a few. Electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes are now standard on this family vehicle. I was mildly surprised it is just now making the latter two standard at this late date for minivans.

I suppose the best feature is it’s Toyota reliability. Some may say the Honda Odyessy offers all the above features and more. However, there is a difference in price to consider also. The Sienna offers options such as a DVD entertainment package with JBL speakers (the best made in my opinion), and some mentioned above. It got a good safety rating at U.S. crash tests. It got 4 out of 5 stars for frontal impact (which is important with all short front-end minivans) and 5 stars on side impact. Considering this is a vehicle used for family transportation, that is a very good rating. Carconnection.com gave the Toyota Sienna a 7.6 rating out of a possible 10. That is about where I would rate it it as well. MSRP is in the $24.400 to $37,765 range.


Andy Griffith

This past Wednesday, I had to take my ’06 Honda Civic to the dealership from where I bought it. The pump that shoots out windshield wiper fluid had stopped working. So, I had to sit there for about two hours waiting on them to do that. This dealership just recently moved into this new facility. It is Modern with a capital “M.” They had three HDTV’s in the waiting area. They had a Starbucks free of charge. There was a Hertz rental kiosk for those who needed a rental. They had an internet room where they had some of the best computers Dell has to offer to use, plus WIFI if you wanted to use your own computer. They even had a kids room with everything available to keep them busy. The thing that got me was when I went to the men’s restroom, they had 15 inch HDTV’s over the urinals! I kid you not. It may have been the only time I’ve ever taken my car for repairs and actually enjoyed myself.

On one of the huge HDTV’s, they had movies showing constantly. The other HDTVs had either ESPN or CNN. I decided to watch a movie that was just getting started. The name of it was “Waitress.” I had never seen it before. It was about a woman working as a waitress who is stuck in a marriage with an abusive husband and meets a man she loves. Unfortunately, the man is married. But, that is not what got my attention. There was an elderly man giving the waitress (Keri Russell as I found out later) a hard time with his order. I looked at this man and thought he looked familiar. It took me about five minutes to realize it was Andy Griffith. He has gotten so old, so swollen in the face now, I didn’t recognize him. He’s still a good actor even in a supporting role. I was just shocked at the way he has aged. I guess we are all headed that way if we live long enough. Andy Griffith has to be in his mid-80s by now.

I love “The Andy Griffith Show.” I never get tired of watching Andy, Barney, Aunt Bea, Otis, Floyd and all the rest. They’re almost like family members to me now. It’s a simple show with just a basic plot in each one; to entertain the audience for 30 minutes. No political statements, no profanity, no special effects or nudity. Just a program with good acting and great comedy. I don’t remember even seeing Andy kiss Miss Crump. I guess in those days it just wasn’t necessary. The Miss Crump role played by Aneta Corsaut (who passed away in 1996) was played to perfection. Of course, everyone’s favorite, Barney Fife (Don Knotts), was the one who always got you to laughing. The entire cast is just about gone now. I suspect Andy doesn’t have many years left. Barney won’t be the subject of a “citizen’s arrest” by Gomer any longer. Otis won’t be locking himself up after an all night bender. They all brought laughter during a time that America was experiencing a revolution of sorts (the 60s). They still do over 40 years later. And, from the looks of today's world, we really need "Andy and the gang" now.


Who’s the Republican and Who’s the Democrat?

Watching what was the most boring presidential debate in history last night, I almost fell off my couch by a statement by John McCain. He stated he would use half of the $700 Billion in taxpayer bailout money to pay off “bad mortgages.” I was stunned and thought I had heard wrong. So, I rewound the HD DVR and played it again. Yep, he said he would help solve the sub-prime fiasco that got this economic mess percolating, with half of that money that most Americans were against. Senator Obama has a similar plan in place, I know. You would expect that from a Democrat who has never met a tax dollar he didn’t want to spend. But, from a Republican??? The party of tax cuts, less government and fiscal conservatism? If there was ever any doubt John McCain is toast, that announcement last night should eliminate any ideas of a Republican win in the presidential election. Republicans who were starting to warm up to McCain will now start to run away from him. Upon reflection, it will be the best for Republicans if Obama does win. You have to hit rock bottom before you get better. And for Republicans, Obama is rock bottom.

My question, what about the rest of us who pay our mortgages on time? You know, the people who play by the rules and fulfill their financial obligations….those people. I’ll tell you what; we’re going to be taxed even more now since we are in good standing. It amazes me really. Europe is running away from socialism. Here in the United States of America, we are running to embrace it. I’ve said it since I started this blog; we NEED a third party in this country that represents the taxpaying citizens and not special interest groups. Get ready to part with more of your hard earned dollars in the next four years. At this point, it doesn’t matter if it’s Obama or McCain. There really isn’t much difference in the two.


Funeral for an Old Friend

As I mentioned in my blog entry “Dolphin Attack,” of this past Monday, an old friend of mine passed away from lung cancer last Saturday. Jed was a 3 pack a day smoker until it was too late. All attempts to stop him of smoking and his heavy drinking were fruitless. I can’t say Jed and I were best friends. We had our differences over the years. But, we always would forgive and forget eventually. That’s the way it should be, in my opinion. Staying mad at people does nothing but hurt you and the person with which your anger is directed. Besides, it was hard to be angry with someone like Jed for very long anyway. He was rough around the edges. But, all things considered, he was a good person. He put three daughters through college. Two are lawyers and the other is a Pediatric RN. So, whatever you may have thought of him, you had to give him credit for seeing that his girls made something of themselves.

It was ironic that Jed and I didn’t meet until we both were at a bar just outside Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam in July 1969. We discovered we lived only 15 miles apart back in Alabama. But, we had never met until we both were drunk out of our minds in that club. I was temporarily (six months) assigned to ‘Nam as a “volunteer” for riverboat (I prefer that term over swiftboat) patrol. Jed was nearing the end of his 13 month stint as a combat infantryman. Jed was seriously wounded by a mortar round when he was only three weeks away from fulfilling his 13 months. He suffered for many years from those wounds. But, Jed used it as an excuse to drink heavily and sink into the abyss of alcoholism. He did make several attempts to stop drinking. But he failed each time despite four attempts in a Veterans Rehab Hospital. They finally refused to treat him any longer unless he agreed to stay for one year. There was no way he was doing that. We rarely discussed our time in ‘Nam. It’s just something neither of us wanted to discuss unless we were both “feeling good.” I feel guilty now for drinking with him, back in the day, with the knowledge he couldn’t stop. But, in the end, it wasn’t the drinking that killed him. It was the cigarettes that eventually got him.

Yesterday, Jed was buried with full military honors. I’m almost positive he did not want to be buried this way. He hated the military and all it represented. In fact, Jed threw away all his military medals when he came back to the states. His bitterness stayed with him for the rest of his life. But, I think this was what his daughters wanted. So, I guess if Jed had known that, he would have done what he always did; shrug his shoulders and say, “Whatever.”

Rest in peace, old friend, rest in peace.


Tuesday’s Rambling Thoughts – October 07, 2008

Economic news is going from bad to worse, isn’t it? The Dow dropped below 10,000 for the first time in four years. In London, the FTSE 100 experienced their biggest drop since 1987. Asian markets are tumbling out of control. Companies are laying off people. Just yesterday eBay announced a layoff of personnel in the 1600 range. The good news, if you can really find any, is that the dollar is rebounding to a 13 month high after being down for so long. And oil has dropped below $90.00/barrel. “W” is saying the 700 billion dollar bailout “is going to take a while.” I’m not sure our economy can withstand many more hits. Both Republicans and Democrats must take responsibility for this mess. It’s time, past time, for a third party in this country. Neither Republicans nor Democrats care about the average working person. All they care about is getting re-elected. Of that I am sure.

I am continuing work on my new blog. I am in the stage of setting up the blog here on blogger after looking over Wordpress, LiveJournal and several others. I guess familiarity breeds familiarity (or is that contempt?) is the rationale for hosting the new blog here. The name of it, in case you missed my blog entry, is “Diary: Alone on Earth.” I’ve already got the prologue finished. It details what the blog is about and how my worst “fear of fears” comes about. I will announce here when it is ready to go. I hope everyone will give it a look. If you like it, I hope you will subscribe to the feed. It’s my first attempt at fiction. It should be ready in about two weeks.

Flu shots are being given now. That is something I never, never, never forget to do. My last case of the flu was in March of 2004. That just so happened to be the worst case of the flu I ever had in memory. It made a believer out of me. From that point on, I get the flu shot. I know it’s just an educated guess to what they think will be the flu virus this season. At least in my case, it’s worked out pretty well since 2004.

Finally, as posted last Friday, I went on a date Friday night with a woman I was nervous about dating. She is simply stunning. Even at age 52, she makes men whirl their head around. She is almost an identical twin of Patricia Heaton of “Everybody Loves Raymond” fame. We had a very nice dinner at a local Italian restaurant. After that, we went to a music festival. Conversation was not strained and she laughed a lot. That’s usually a good sign a woman is enjoying herself. Of course, I’m not sure if she was laughing at my corny jokes or at my lame attempt to be humorous. I enjoyed myself too. She was a lot of fun. I called her the next day. We plan on going out again this Friday night as well. I do know one thing; she’s the easiest person to talk to I’ve ever met. I don’t know why I was so apprehensive about going out with her. We discovered we have some things in common. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens down the road.


Dolphin Attack

I had always heard that dolphins will attack humans for reasons that are still not clear to scientists. But, I just casually dismissed them as just being extremely rare. Living on the gulf coast, I had never witnessed anything like that. Whenever we went out fishing, the dolphins were friendly and would race alongside our fishing boat in the gulf. They have always provided lots of entertainment if the fish weren’t biting.

That’s why I was a bit skeptical of what an old friend of mine told me a couple of weeks ago. Jed, who has been in Stage IV lung cancer, said his oldest daughter took him out in the wheelchair to his beloved pier on Dauphin Island, which is located about 30 miles south of Mobile. Now, I realize he is on pain killers and his chemo has officially ended. That’s the reason I thought he was just a tad delusional. That’s understandable. Just being wheeled out from his house to the pier sapped most of his strength. But, from talking to him, his mind still seemed sharp as ever. He has never been one to lie. Jed told me as he was sitting in his wheelchair, he noticed a fisherman in his little bass boat, hitting the water with his fishing pole. Jed said he thought that was strange. But, he noticed why he was doing this; at least three dolphins were ramming the boat in an apparent attempt to capsize it. The fisherman was yelling to Jed and his daughter for help. Jed’s daughter called the local marine patrol to give aid. As they waited for the boat police (for lack of better terminology), one dolphin completely jumped over the man’s boat! Things were now going from bad to worse. Fortunately, this was about the time the marine patrol arrived on the scene and the dolphins took off.

The marine patrol towed him in to shore. The fisherman had lacerations on both hands. Jed didn’t know if it was from the dolphins or just hitting the dolphins with that fishing pole. He had deep gashes in the boat where the dolphins had rammed it. The boat, in fact, had begun to take on water at the starboard front side. Jed has lived on Dauphin Island for over 40 years. He said he had never witnessed a dolphin attack. He had never even heard of a dolphin attack on humans before. One old time islander said he thinks the fisherman had intruded on the dolphins feeding grounds. They saw him as a predator encroaching on their territory and reacted accordingly.

Strange that he got to see this just prior to the end of his life. I got word Saturday morning Jed had passed away. I will be attending his funeral Tuesday.


The Bus Stop Bully

There is a school bus stop right in front of my house. I live on a corner lot and am able to see everything that is going on there as the kids wait on the school bus. They are, approximately, in the 8-12 year old range. There is one little boy who (let’s call him Mickey) who is always being picked on by the other kids. “Mickey” is 10 years old, I think. He is very thin, shy and just wants to be left alone. I identify with this kid. When I was that age, I was the exact same way. I did grow out of it once became a teen. But, it was a painful 12 or 13 years before I did. Anyway, back to Mickey, there is this one boy (we’ll call him “Donny) in particular that seems to take great delight in just giving Mickey a little push every morning. “Donny” is about 12, bigger, stronger and a bully. I’ve spoke to someone who knows Mickey’s father (his mother recently passed away) about this before. But, for whatever reason, Mickey’s father has shown no inclination to do anything about it. I hate it. But, there really isn’t much I can do except step out my front door and glare at Donny.

This past Monday morning, Donny was pestering Mickey more than usual. Mickey just walked away to be near his sister Gloria who is 8 years old. Gloria is everything Mickey is not. She is the extrovert, the leader of her pack around the neighborhood and is known not to back down from anyone. At about 4’2, she is woman, hear her roar! And that’s a good thing because her brother Mickey is even more introverted since their mother’s death. Back to Donny…he shoved Mickey more than once Monday morning. I was getting pissed sitting there on my couch drinking my coffee, wondering if there was ANYTHING I could do when Donny really pushed hard on Mickey. Mickey fell to the ground with Donny standing over him with a big smirk on his face, saying something I couldn’t hear since I was inside my house. I got up mad, cussing and spilt hot coffee on my left leg when I noticed Gloria making a bee line to Donny. She tapped Donny on the back, he turns around and Gloria gives him a good, solid swift kick to the nads! I mean it was a SOLID shot to the nuts! I then spilt the rest of the coffee on me because I was laughing so hard. Donny is doubled over in pain, falls to the ground and starts heaving to puke. The school bus came to pick the kids up shortly after that “shot heard ‘round the neighborhood.” Poor Donny did not get on the bus. Last time I saw him, he had both his hands around his pelvic area, walking slowly back toward his house.

It’s been interesting watching the kids at the bus stop since that Monday morning Kung Fu kick by Gloria, as I drink my morning coffee. Mickey’s life appears to be much better now. I’ve noticed all week, Donny has stayed as far away from Mickey as possible. Like any bully, once confronted and exposed, he backs away to be by himself. His former clique now hangs with the new bus stop leader; a 4 foot dynamo with a great kick. Little Gloria has increased respect and has a big smirk on her face now. And I’ve had a big grin on my face all week as a result of Gloria’s “home run shot.”


Wrestling: The “Professional” Kind

I don’t know how I get myself talked into these things. But, for the first time since I was 12 years old, I am going to a so-called professional wrestling event next week. I don’t know if it is called WWE or WWF or whatever it’s called. My best friend, Mike, who missed his calling as a salesman, talked me into something I never thought I would do again. I think the whole thing is ridiculous. If any of it were real, those men and women would not be able to get out of bed the next day. Chairs slammed on top of their head, body slams from top of the ropes, and forearms to the head would send all of them to the hospital. There are people who believe, to this day, it is all real. To those people, I say, I feel your insanity.

I did go back in the day (again, I was in the 10-12 year old range) to local “professional” wrestling at the local Armory. We had guys such as The Green Mountain Boys (both brothers who worked at the local shipyard as their day time job), Mario Galento who went from bad guy to good guy over the years. Then there was Cowboy Bob Kelly (who later owned a wrecker company and then a real estate company), Wild Man Jack who supposedly lived in a swamp and Igor the Mad Russian (this was during the Cold War Era, mind you) and on and on of ridiculous stage names. They should all join the Screen Actors Guild. They are all, ALL actors and poor ones at that. I have watched some of this nonsense on the superstation TBS and am appalled that people still believe in this crap. Unfortunately, I will be among the delusional taking in this “sporting event” next week.

Look for me. I’ll be the one hiding his head behind a newspaper.


Date Night Coming Up This Friday

Since I broke up with my last girlfriend back in July, I have dated a few women which, for one reason or another, just didn’t work out. As I said back in April, most women I date have been quite a bit younger than me. That’s not by design on my part. It just seemed to work out that way since my divorce back in July of 2005.

I met someone at a “friend of a friend’s” house a couple of weeks ago. First, she’s in my age group (52). Secondly, (and I know I’m going to be called vain) but she takes care of herself. I mean, REALLY takes care of herself. That’s important to me since I work out every day of my life to stay slim and trim. She looks remarkably like Patricia Heaton who played on “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Anyway, I still can’t believe she’s 52. Pretty, well-built…the whole package, I might add. Plus, she is extremely intelligent, which is something that has always been a big turn-on for me personally. And she doesn’t want to get married. That works out just fine with me. That last one has been a major problem with any woman I’ve gotten involved with since my divorce. I tried it once, it didn’t work out and I’m done with that part of life. But, I’m attracted to this woman for the reasons stated and not stated. It took me two weeks to get up the nerve to call and ask her out. Even at my age, rejection is still something I fear. I’ve always been intimidated by very attractive women anyway. But, at least in this case, I got up the nerve to act. I’m still astounded she said yes.

She accepted my invitation for dinner and then we will attend a music festival later that night (this Friday night). Damn…I feel like I’m a 15 year old going on his first date. I’ll update how our evening went in my next “Tuesday’s Rambling Thoughts.” Wish me luck. 

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