Monday, November 26, 2012

Cold War Paranoia and 10 year Old Boys

In the summer of 1955, Johnny, Dick and I were addicted to playing, as we called it, Army. The three of us had collected surplus military gear and were well equipped; pistol belts, canteens, first aid kits, entrenching tools, army flashlights, knives, compasses and ammo pouches. When school got out, the Army Surplus Store started selling helmet liners and M1 rifle stocks with wooden receivers and barrels. No more bad fatigue caps and bad imitations of military weapons cut on a jig saw in the garage. We carried cap pistols that looked like, as we called the US M1911, Army 45’s. Dressed in our boy sized fatigue pants, green t-shirts we thought we looked like authentic GIs, the only give away was our tattered Chuck Taylors. The Cold War was going full blast,never the less we were still fighting WWII.

That summer, my 10th, we were given an unbelievable gift. The Army Corps of Engineers had designed a 3 mile long dike on the river across the street and down the hill from our houses. The first order of business was to bull doze the trees close to the river bank. The resulting tangle of toppled oaks, cottonwoods, elms and maples created a war-like devastated land scape. It was perfect. It was beautiful. We patrolled, set up defensive positions, dug foxholes and ate our rations in the middle of this nightmare landscape. Rain or shine we were in the middle of Normandy, fighting our way across France or attacking across the Rhine.

By July we had run out of enemies. The kids who played our Krauts and Nazis were tired of losing, tired of being killed in action, wounded in action or taken prisoner and were really tired of having to wear homemade Nazi armbands or being confined in the POW camp we constructed. The 3 of us were now garrison soldiers, bored and restless just like real garrison soldiers. We took a weekend pass over the 4th of July.

We reassembled after the 4th; I was leaving for the lake with my family for a month. Johnny was going with his mother on the train to the West Coast and Dick had been ordered to his grandparent’s farm. Our unit, after a month on the front lines was being deactivated. It wasn’t a happy day as we assembled in full combat gear in our headquarters dug under a toppled 60 foot oak. We decided after our rations of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches washed down with Pepsi from a genuine army surplus canteen we would go on one last patrol and see if there were any German stragglers left to clean out of our area of operations.

The patrol was routine, I took point that day, Dick with his wooden replica of a BAR walked in the middle and Johnny walked drag. We were on high alert as we worked our way through a thicket of brush that had grown up around the broken trees. We walked the river bank and as we made our way into clearing at the foot of a hill we heard a jet in the distance. Johnny took out his Dad’s binoculars, the ones he wasn’t supposed to “fool” with. With them, he spotted the plane about a mile way doing aerobatics over the south side of town. The jet banked and came towards us at about 500 feet and then banked again.

I was the aviation expert and told my fellow soldiers, “It’s an old F86, from the Air Guard.” We started up the hill. The hill had been cleared of all vegetation and was rough, it was going to be part of the dike and until it did, it was going to be left in its scarred condition. It looked like it had been carpet bombed.

When we reached the top, Johnny yelled “He’s coming back!” a split second later the F86 screamed over our heads, Dick hit the dirt as Johnny and I stared, then swiveled as the jet passed over us at low altitude, so low we could feel the heat from the engine. As we watched the jet climb, the pilot banked, rolled and started back towards us, nose down and gaining speed. He passed over us at what seemed like 50 feet. Johnny and I tossed our helmets in the air and jumped up and down, waving and yelling, “Come on back, come on back!”

Dick was laying on the ground his hands clutching his helmet saying, “No, no!” He sounded like he was crying.

The jet gained a little altitude and turned hard to the east, we could see the pilot through the canopy. We waved at him and he gave us a salute. We returned his salute. Then he obliged his fellow combatants. This time without gaining much altitude at all, he flew off to the south and turned towards us. Johnny and I were staring into the air intakes as the jet howled towards us; he flew over so low I could see the stenciled “No Step” signs on the fuselage. Later Johnny claimed he could count the rivets. The air turbulence was so great it flattening the dust on the top of the hill, making it blow out paralell to the ground. I could feel my t-shirt ripple as he made his pass. Johnny and I spun around to watch and we could see the glow inside the F86’s tail pipe. We leaped into the air again and hugged each other. We watched as “our” jet climbed and headed off to the south, we watched until it disappeared. Dick stayed face down on the ground; he was crying, hard enough that his face was muddy and streaked.

Dick looked up and blubbered, “Is it gone?”

The jet was gone, we could hear every dog in the neighborhood barking, cop sirens wailing. When we came through the Rosenthal’s back yard we found the sidewalks were filled with mothers and little kids, they were all searching the sky and all talking at the same time, some of the moms were crying and all the little kids were. Two cop cars screeched to a halt, lights flashing and the cops got out trying to look like they knew what had happened and were in control. Dick took off running, headed for home. Johnny and I walked slowly across the street; we drank water out of the Leonard’s garden hose. We were lying on the grass in Leonard’s side yard, our heads on our helmets; my cocker spaniel had found us and snuggled up to my legs. We were talking about how lucky we were to be buzzed by a jet. One of the mothers pointed us out to the cops and a big, fat cop walked towards us, hat off and wiping his brow with a cotton handkerchief.

The cop looked down at us and said, “You boys know anything about this?”

Johnny and I looked at each other and I said, “Sure.”

The cop said, “The plane, was it a rooski?”

Johnny said, “Huh?’

The fat cop said, “Was it a rooski plane?”

Johnny and I started to laugh, so much, we were crying like Dick.

“You boys better get up or I’ll give you something to laugh about.” Said the cop, Johnny and I just laughed harder.

The other cop walked up, he was skinny and was sporting a nasty face full of pimples and was angry about it, “Okay, what did you boys have to do with that rooski airplane? One of the ladies over there said you were signaling the pilot.”

Johnny and I were now on our feet, we were laughing so hard we had to hold on to each other so we didn’t fall back down on the grass. I looked at Johnny and said, “Rooski plane?” I was laughing and crying so much snot was coming out of my nose. Johnny was going nuts.

The skinny cop turned to the fat cop and said, “What do you think Virgil, maybe a trip down town would do these jokers some good?” The fat cop nodded in the affirmative and took my arm, the skinny cop took Johnny. My cocker spaniel grabbed a mouthful of Virgil’s pants, she was a tough little dog and he was having trouble getting rid of her and holding on to me at the same time. Johnny looked at me and said, “rooski plane”…I could not stop laughing.

The cops marched us towards the waiting cruisers, my dog still nipping at Virgil the cop’s pants. I could overhear one of the neighbor ladies saying, “Well it wouldn’t surprise me, all they do is chase and torture the children in this neighborhood, they could be commie agents, they recruit young, you know.” I saw nods all around, even though Mrs. Kitchen was considered the nuttiest woman on the street.

I looked at Johnny and said, “They think it was a Russian plane.” I turned to Virgil the cop, who was sweating heavily and said, “Do you really think it was a Russian airplane?”

“I don’t know what it was, but we’re going to find out just what you and your buddy there have to do with it.”

I looked at him and said, “You’re nuts, you know that?” He twisted my arm and put me in the back of the patrol car. He said, “We’ll see who is nuts.” He slammed the door. My cocker was jumping up against the side of the cop car, barking. I looked towards my house, my Mom was on the phone, I could see her though the kitchen window. The skinny cop was having trouble getting Johnny in the car, Johnny had his feet braced against the door frame and wouldn’t get in. He turned to me and yelled, “Rooskie” and we started to laugh all over again.

The skinny cop started to get rough with Johnny when our mothers walked up. John’s Mom, a tiny woman got in the cop’s face and said, “Take your hands off my son, you idiot!”

The pimpled faced cop spun around and said, “You want to go down to the station too, lady?”

My Mom who at the time reminded me of Katherine Hepburn said, “Do what she says or you’ll be even more of a laughing stock than you already are. It was on the radio that it was an Air National Guard jet buzzing the town, not a damned Russian airplane; the pilot is going to be arrested by the guard as soon as he lands. I would highly suggest you release our boys and be on your way.”

Virgil the cop joined the discussion, “Them boys was seen signaling the plane, they must have something to do with it.”

John’s mom looked at him and said, “You are a moron, you know that?”

I climbed into the front seat of the cop car, got out and joined my Mom, but not before I threw the keys across the street.

Mom said to the two cops, “If you don’t believe me why don’t you get on the radio and find out?”

The skinny and pimpled cop said, “We need to find out what these boys know and then find the one that got away.”

Johnny’s Mom said, “Do you know the definition of cretin?” She was all of 5 foot one and weighed about 95 lbs., she took out a Winston, offered my Mother one, lit them and blew smoke in the cop’s face, “Aren’t you about finished here?”

Virgil the fat one and Pimples the skinny cop, walked off, and had a discussion, it was a little heated. Our Moms smoked and glared at the cops. Johnny climbed over the seat of his cop car and trotted over to join the Moms and I.

Pimples got in his cruiser and roared off. Virgil told the crowd, “Nothing to see here, just go back to your homes, he tipped his hat at our mothers, got in the cop car and realized he couldn’t find his keys. John and I volunteered to help him, we searched for about 10 minutes, finally I walked across the street and retrieved them from the grass. I motioned to Johnny and he and I walked over to Officer Virgil, I smiled and said, “Found your keys.”

I tossed them to him, Johnny said, “Some rooskie had them, I’ll bet.” We both laughed like crazy and ran to join our Moms who were having a late afternoon cocktail and were smoking on the lawn chairs in John's backyard. Virgil the cop peeled rubber when he left. We had Pepsi and chocolate cookies. We thought our Moms were great and they were.

When school started that fall, all Johnny and I would do is say ‘Rooskie” to each other and we’d break up.

Our pilot was grounded for a year; he was demoted from Captain to Lieutenant. He went on to a career with Northwest Airlines…he had been top fighter pilot in Korea. He sure gave us a cool summer treat.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Tattoo Story

A friend is going through a conversation with his 17 year old daughter about tattoos, she is a smart, reasonable kid and I think she is winning the argument.

That said, tattoos are pretty polarizing things, they conjure up thoughts of your WWII vet Uncle Jimmy with an anchor on his chest or the friend who got drunk on his first weekend pass in the Marine Corps and woke up with "Semper Fi" on his arm.

Or the guy you know who had his first wife's name tattooed inside of a heart and he had to change Marianne to Susan. Or bikers with tats all over their chests and arms or the nice looking neighbor lady who when she bends over you get a peek at her "tramp stamp".

Historically tattoos were a way to tell a story before there was any communication beyond people simply telling stories to each other around the campfire. If somebody killed a woolly mammoth and fed the tribe for a month, it was commemorated with a tat.It enhanced the tale of triumph and personal history. I suppose it's still the same today in some respects.

When I was going through my biker phase, I rode my Harley Springer to a weekend rally. In between the 3rd and 4th band of the night, I wandered into one of the tattoo tents, drunk. I was paging through the the books of available tats, I heard my old man's voice in my head. he was saying are you crazy?

When my dad was in high school, the janitor had gotten a "Learn the Art of Tattooing by Mail" starter kit. He proceeded to tattoo the boys in the school. This guy had set up shop in the furnace room. he tattooed my dad's nick name on the inside of the old man's left bicep. Dad carried "Hollywood" in shaky script for the rest of his life. He hated it. It looked awful and it was there for ever. Drunk as I was that night, I put down the design books and left the tent. Thanks Dad.

I'm not judgemental about tattoos, I have a grand daughter with one, a niece and a nephew with a tat. I guess if their grandpa or uncle had a tat as bad as Dad's, they might have had 2nd thoughts.

From time to time, I do think about getting a nice piece of white cake tattooed on my arm with "Cakes" written under it. Hmmm?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Calvin Trillin's story of the 1st Thanksgiving

Calvin Trillin's Campaign to Make Spaghetti Carbonara the National Dish for Thanksgiving –the real story of the first Thanksgiving.
[The following has been shamelessly excerpted from "Third Helpings," by Calvin Trillin. (These passages are quoted from Trillin, C. "The Tummy Trilogy," Farrar, Strauss and Giroux: New York, 1994, pp. 259-67.)]:

I have been campaigning to have the national Thanksgiving dish changed from turkey to spaghetti carbonara.

It does not take much historical research to uncover the fact that nobody knows if the Pilgrims really ate turkey at the first Thanksgiving dinner. The only thing we know for sure about what the Pilgrims ate is that it couldn't have tasted very good. Even today, well brought-up English girls are taught by their mothers to boil all veggies for at least a month and a half, just in case one of the dinner guests turns up without his teeth... (It is certainly unfair to say that the English lack both a cuisine and a sense of humor: their cooking is a joke in itself.)

It would also not require much digging to discover that Christopher Columbus, the man who may have brought linguine with clam sauce to this continent, was from Genoa, and obviously would have sooner acknowledged that the world was shaped like an isosceles triangle than to have eaten the sort of things that the English Puritans ate. Righting an ancient wrong against Columbus, a great man who certainly did not come all this way only to have a city in Ohio named after him, would be a serious historical contribution. Also, I happen to love spaghetti carbonara.

[In our family]...Thanksgiving has often been celebrated away from home. It was at other people's Thanksgiving tables that I first began to articulate my spaghetti carbonara campaign--although, since we were usually served turkey, I naturally did not mention that the campaign had been inspired partly by my belief that turkey is basically something college dormitories use to punish students for hanging around on Sunday... I reminded everyone how refreshing it would be to hear sports announcers call some annual tussle the Spaghetti Carbonara Day Classic.

I even had a ready answer to the occasional turkey fancier at those meals who insist that spaghetti carbonara was almost certainly not what our forebears ate at the first Thanksgiving dinner. As it happens, one of the things I give thanks for every year is that those people in the Plymouth Colony were not my forebears. Who wants forebears who put people in the stocks for playing the harpsichord on the Sabbath or having an innocent little game of pinch and giggle?

Finally there came a year when nobody invited us to Thanksgiving dinner. Alice's theory was that the word had got around town that I always made a pest out of myself berating the hostess for serving turkey instead of spaghetti carbonara...

However it came about, I was delighted at the opportunity we had been given to practice what I had been preaching--to sit down to a Thanksgiving dinner of spaghetti carbonara.

Naturally, the entire family went over to Rafetto's pasta store on Houston Street to see the spaghetti cut. I got the cheese at Joe's dairy, on Sullivan, a place that would have made Columbus feel right at home--there are plenty of Genoese on Sullivan; no Pilgrims--and then headed for the pork store on Carmine Street for the bacon and ham. Alice made the spaghetti carbonara. It was perfection. I love spaghetti carbonara. Then I began to tell the children the story of the first Thanksgiving:

In England, along time ago, there were people called Pilgrims who were very strict about making everyone observe the Sabbath and cooked food without any flavor and that sort of thing, and they decided to go to America, where they could enjoy Freedom to Nag. The other people in England said, "Glad to see the back of them." In America, the Pilgrims tried farming, but they couldn't get much done because they were always putting their best farmers in the stocks for crimes like Suspicion of Cheerfulness. The Indians took pity on the Pilgrims and helped them with their farming, even though the Indians thought that the Pilgrims were about as much fun as teenage circumcision. The Pilgrims were so grateful that at the end of their first year in America they invited the Indians over for a Thanksgiving meal. The Indians, having had some experience with Pilgrim cuisine during the year, took the precaution of taking along one dish of their own. They brought a dish that their ancestors had learned from none other than Christopher Columbus, who was known to the Indians as "the big Italian fellow." The dish was spaghetti carbonara--made with pancetta bacon and fontina and the best imported prosciutto. The Pilgrims hated it. They said it was "heretically tasty" and "the work of the devil" and "the sort of thing foreigners eat." The Indians were so disgusted that on the way back to their village after dinner one of them made a remark about the Pilgrims that was repeated down through the years and unfortunately caused confusion among historians about the first Thanksgiving meal. He said,
"What a bunch of turkeys!"

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I cook almost every meal in our house, not that the Cakes can't cook, she can, does all the basics very, very well. But, sorry baby, I'm way better than you.

Tomorrow morning our house will be filled with the 1st smell of the season, the aroma of dressing getting its start on the stove. I'm making a bacon-sausage-apple dressing this year, when I add the celery and onions those old Thanksgiving memories will fill the kitchen and my head. I can see Grandma Franklin with a rag on her head making dressing early on Thanksgiving morning. It actually wasn't a rag it was a pair of cotton underwear, rather modest underwear since Dodie couldn't even imagine a thong! Although from seeing pictures of her when she was a young hottie I'm sure Grandpa would have liked thongs, a lot!

Those early Thanksgiving memories always feature a huge turkey, 20 plus lbs! The one I'm cooking tomorrow weighs 8 and a half. We won't be sitting at a table with 2 leafs and 12 people around it so 20 lbs would be over kill in my house.

In the fifties we were expected to dress up for Thanksgiving dinner, my mother would make me wear a tie and jacket like the "men" wore.

Thanksgiving was always great until I was about 15, at that point all I wanted to do was eat and get the hell out of the house so I could hang with my friends. When I was 16 all I wanted to do was eat, get the hell out of the house and go make out with my girl friend.

Depending on where the Thanksgiving feast was held, there were either cocktails or no cocktails, never any wine that I can recall. Tomorrow I have 4 bottles of wine ready to be uncorked. I started drinking wine with meals in the early 70's and somewhere there is picture of me at the head of the table at Thanksgiving in Boston, a daughter on either side of me and wine glasses on the table. I have a moustache and my hair is almost at my shoulders. There is another taken the same Thanksgiving in the front yard of our house, the girls are wearing matching dresses and parked in the background is my '70 MGB (the coveted split bumper year) I still have the girls, I wish I still had the MGB.

Back in paleolithic times when I was a kid, pro football was barely on the radar unless you lived somewhere that had a team, we didn't even have the Vikings in those days. So the meal was uninterrupted by "what's the score?" or freaking Al Micheals droning in the background. Tomorrow I'm timing our meal so I can sit down at 5 pacific and watch my Pats give the Jets the ass kicking they deserve.

My friend George says he never cared about the Thanksgiving dinner itself, what he remembers as the best part is what he calls "turkey hash". mashed potato, dressing, sweet potato, veggies, turkey meat all cut up, mixed together on a plate and doused with gravy. He spent a Thanksgiving with us and he gave my version his stamp of approval.

One Thanksgiving in Boston, Benevolent Bill Freeman*, one of my air staff came for the feast. Bill drank about 5 beers, a couple of whiskys, smoked a few doobies on the deck. He sat down after all that and proceeded to fill his plate with a layer of mashed potato that covered the entire plate, layered on turkey meat, sweet potato, more turkey, then dressing and poured gravy over the 3 lb pile of food. Bill removed a bottle of Louisiana hot sauce from his flannel shirt pocket and covered the plate with it. The bastard did it twice! He went back on the deck and smoked another doobie and started in on dessert. I believe we were listening to Iggy and the Stooges before dinner, during dinner it was the Grateful Dead's first live album. Whew, those were the days! Too bad Grandma Dodie wasn't there!

Have a killer Thanksgiving!

*Bill and I had lunch one day at a little Italian joint. Bill ordered a large house special pizza and 6 Michelobs. The waitress said 6? Bill said, "You got it sister and bring them all at once!" He did the hot sauce routine when his pizza came. I had a meatball sandwich and one Mich. Bill finished before I did. The guy was as skinny as a rail.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Have It Your Way

MacDonald's has a new CEO. Gross sales and net income is down. The one time leader in fast food in America and the world is shaky, or so it seems.

From the LA Timess business section this morning:

The head of U.S. operations for McDonald's Corp. is on her way out amid the burger chain's efforts to counter intense competition and a string of uncharacteristically sour financial results.
Jan Fields will depart Dec. 1 as president of McDonald's USA, a position she has held for more than two years. She will be replaced by Jeff Stratton, currently McDonald's global chief restaurant officer. Both are 57.

Sure, tough competition from other fast food sellers, Starbucks jumping into more than coffee and scones. All of that has an effect, but have you eaten at a Mickey D's lately?

My unscientific survey based on nothing more than a total of 4 visits in 2012.

1. Soggy fries. (McDonald's always had great fries.)
2. Cheeseburgers with un-melted cheese.
3. Cold burgers and even worse, a cold egg mcmuffin.
4. Stale buns
5. Messy, dirty stores.

That's my survey of McDonald's in Thousand Oaks, Ca, Pizmo Beach, Ca, Paso Robles, Ca and one at truck stop on 1-15 on the way to Vegas. You know what they all have in common? They were owned by investment groups. Most fast food and chain restaurants aren't owned by local folks any more, they are owned by investors who buy franchises in big clusters all over the country.

When Ray Kroc bought out the McDonald brothers, he sold franchises to local owners. Because of that process the owner had an investment in his or her community, they supported local charities, sponsored kid's sports teams and actually cared about the people they hired to work in their store. They even had full time employees beyond a manager or two. And they had a local "name" to protect.

Today an investment group owning 30-40-50 or more McDonalds franchises could care less about an individual market, store or the people working there. That leads to cheeseburgers without melted cheese served with soggy fries across a dirty counter. Did I forget the broken ice machine?

I don't think competition is hurting McDonald as much as lousy ownership. I wonder if they have taken a look at KFC? They sell raw chicken for a living now. Ray Kroc and Colonel Sanders must be weeping in fast food heaven. (hell?)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


A friend of mine, born in the south, has an interesting take on what we should have done at the end of the Civil War. He believes we should have simply followed the law. If we had followed the law we would have tried every Confederate leader starting with Jefferson Davis, all the governors of the southern states, senators, congressmen and all of the Confederate Generals starting with Robert E. Lee for treason against the United States of America. If convicted they would have been hung as proscribed by law. I asked him why? He said the South would have then understood we were serious about preserving the union and we would have sent a message that all the laws of the United States would be followed and there would be no tolerance of any actions contrary to those laws. He believes we were too tolerant of the South's treason against the United States, we have allowed the South to create romantic and heroic myths (like the war wasn't about slavery) about the Civil War and to harbor ongoing grudges against the United States. And for many years ignore the laws of the land.

The United States forgave the South too quickly for treason and the country has paid a heavy price ever since for our tolerance and forgiveness. He believes that Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee swinging from a gallows in front of the Capitol would have sent a powerful message to the people in the old Confederacy making the last 150 years of our history very, very different.

During our conversation I told him I thought that was pretty harsh. His reply? "What do you think the South would have done if it had won the war?"

Historical Ignorance.

In a sane country school children like me wouldn't have been singing "Dixie" in grade school music class in the 50's. History would have been taught very differently and we would have the same reaction to the Confederate 'Stars and Bars" as we do to the Swastika flag of Nazi Germany or the Hammer and Sickle of the USSR.

Since the election we have states threatening to secede once again. There are petitions to the Federal Government drawn up since the election asking for permission to leave the Union. All the usual suspects are involved including all the states of the Confederacy, Alaska, etc. Strangely enough my old home state of North Dakota is circulating a petition as well. I can't imagine that they have considered the fact that for every dollar they contribute to the US in taxes they get a $1.63 back!

Can they can get that deal anywhere else?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Post Election Thoughts

Jan and I voted last night at 6pm after she got back from her Westside store. Super efficient and it took less than 5 minutes. We've had early voting in California since 10/6.
More people vote when it's easy to vote. (In Australia they fine you if you don't vote.) In some states it is almost impossible to vote given the hassles, restrictions and ever changing rules. Fraudulent voting is not a real issue, never has been and it won't be in the future, it's bogus.

I know people who became Republicans in the 80's for one reason and one reason only, Ronald Reagan gave them a tax break, they have all forgotten that he raised taxes as well.
I don't think we'll be hearing from any more Republican, Male, Rape Experts again, but I could be wrong.
I think this election is the death knell for the Sunday Morning Talk Shows. Finally John McCain will be able to sleep in on Sunday and get some rest, he looks like he needs it.
Are we finished with Peggy Noonan, Krauthammer, O'Reilly (moaning about the "white establishment" last night) vapid David Gregory, the Lincoln administration White House correspondent Bob Schieffer and the rest of the pundocracy at last?
Keep all cameras and microphones away from Donald Trump. From reading his twitter feed he has lost what ever was left of his mind, it's that or his hair dye has eaten his brain. Take his cell phone away from him as well.
Would I be wrong to assume the Evangelicals, the Bishops, the Fundies and the rest of the religious whackos will get back to calling Mormonism a Cult? Poor old Billy Graham will have to add it back to his lists or will his boy Franklin do it for him? 
Can we be done with "both sides do it?" or the phrase "some say".
If there were members of the Democratic Party as far to the left as a large chunk of the Republicans are to the right, they'd have to be slightly to the left of Che Guevara.
The Tea Party has cost the Republican Party 7 senate seats over the last two elections. Is there an adult in the room? Not a chance.
We've all seen the damage from Hurricane Sandy on the east coast, billions and billions of dollars worth of destruction. Charles and David Koch, the billionaire backers of right wing causes could personally pay to repair it all and still have money left over. Think about that for a minute.
Karl Rove who raised (fleeced) almost 600 million for his two Super Pacs and other shadowy political groups from rich wingers this election season got a commission on every dollar. I'd take a stab at it and say Rove pocketed 10 plus million for his services.
The rabid right wingers have decided that Governor Chris Christie from NJ is a turncoat motherf*cker. 
How long before the 2nd Obama administration is a failure? How long is it until El Rushbo gets on the air and says it is....5-4-3-2-1-Show Time for the fat man!
Jesus H. Christ am I glad this is over or as we used to say in Boston "ovah"!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I'm a minority, an old white guy who voted for Obama!

I have two daughters, they are the reason why I voted for Obama.

I have two wonderful, beautiful and smart granddaughters, they are the reason I voted for Obama.

I have two grandsons, they need good schools, clean air, clean water and they need a fair chance in life. They are the reason I voted for Obama.

I have a smart and beautiful wife and she is the reason I voted for Obama.

I have 3 nieces and two step-nieces plus a couple of strong and smart nephews they are the reason I voted for Obama.

I have a close friend who is a corporate executive with one of America's biggest engineering companies. He is black, the fight he has had to fight his entire life is another reason why I voted for Obama.

I voted for Obama in honor of my mother, who was an unreconstructed FDR Democrat. Hope you're smilin' Mom! I am!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Things that piss me off!

I drove the Cake's car to work today. After I parked it in the lot outside my office, I spent a moment admiring it. (We've had the car since 1999 and I still like it!) I noticed that the left rear wheel had a good sized chip on the rim. The wheels are alloy and I had them refinished a year ago. I was standing there thinking, "How the hell did that happen?" I walked around to the right hand side of the car and the right rear wheel had a similar chip, once again, "How the hell did that happen?" Then it dawned on me, we bought two new rear tires and the moron at the tire shop didn't protect the rims when he put them on the tire machine. Jerk! It costs $125. a wheel for refinishing. Should be an interesting argument with the guy who owns the tire shop.

Continuing our way through the parking lot:

Why the hell can't people park their cars in the middle of a parking slot?

Our parking lot was resurfaced last week and over the weekend they coated it with sealer. I noticed  when you walk on the sealer, it sticks to your shoes and then it drops off on the carpet in the office leaving nice black spots. Everywhere!

The gas station boogie:

I buy gas at a very busy Union 76 station. It has two rows of 6 pumps, meaning 12 cars could fill at the same time, if the drivers only used their heads! Usually some moron stops his car in between two pumps and makes it impossible for anyone else to fill up until he/she is done. Or someone will pull up to the wrong side of the pump, opposite of where their gas fill is...they then tie up 5-8 other cars while they attempt to maneuver their damn car around the island.

Couples who argue in the car, like the Cakes and I:

We have a navigation system in our Grand Cherokee, my wife doesn't use it. Yesterday she talked me into going to Stein Mart so she could use a gift card and take advantage of some on line coupons. Okay then, I get behind the wheel and she is giving me directions. I start to hear her say, "Take a left here, I think." or "We should have gotten in the right lane, because we needed to take a right, I think." or "I don;t think we are going the right direction on this street." This BS went on for 10 minutes as we cruised Chatsworth and Granada Hills. I finally pulled into a church parking lot, made her call the store and get the damned address. I punched it into the nav system and there we were 5.7 miles from Stein Mart. I turned to her and said, "Sweetheart, what do you think navigation systems are for, if not to navigate?" When we pulled out of the Stein Mart lot, I pointed out we turned right on Chatsworth Blvd, we drove down to Reseda Blvd and took a left and then drove to 101 get back to the damn store you just do the opposite. By the way, Sugar you can save the location in the nav system!

I usually drive the Grand Cherokee, the nav/entertainment system has presets for satellite radio, I have set 16 of them. I have no idea why after my sweet wife drives the GC all the presets are gone and I have to reset them, every damn time. She gets pissed when I bring it up.

Home Entertainment Systems:

Usually on Saturday night we watch a pay for view movie. We have a Time-Warner supplied universal remote, it supposedly will operate all the functions of our home entertainment system. Every damned time we find a movie we want to watch, the remote some how magically changes the cable setting on the TV and for 5 minutes we piss around trying to get the set back n the correct cable setting. It does it every time. Can somebody come to my house and hang around for the 4 hour window Time-Warner requires to come out and fix the remote? I'd be forever grateful.

We have a dynamite sound system for our TV, it has a huge sub woofer that works so well that when I watch Sports Center on ESPN it amplifies the "thump, thump, thump" bullshit that they run under their programming, it's so loud it makes me crazy. On a regular TV sound system you can't even hear it!

I need to take my blood pressure pill or go to a bar.