The Greater Good

Presidential candidate John Edwards says Americans should give up their SUVs in the name of greater fuel efficiency.

Obviously, it's for the greater good & not our choice anymore, comrades! Heck, individualism is an anathema to promoting the common good & everyone should be willing to sacrifice their hard-earned dollars to higher taxes the betterment of society instead of spending it on themselves.

Here's some other ways we can sacrifice in the name of John "Breck Girl" Edwards:

* Hairspray: Hand them over. Not for CFCs but so Edwards' hair always has that smooth sheen to it.

* Manhood: If elected POTUS by law no one can be more manly than him. Ronald Reagan set this precedent - which was a great idea at the time of a bad mofo Commander In Chief. With an Edwards presidency we can expect Lifetime to replace Spike as TV for men. Kleenex will then be for crying only...

* Inter-dimensional Travel: Edwards constantly talks about "Two Americas" - both in this campaign & the last. This has convinced me that he has declared war on this America & seeks for the other "America" to win. If you need proof, see the SUV article. While Edwards has not explicitly called this a dimensional rift, I'm willing to bet these evil duplicates of us real Americans all have goatees.

* Reputation: America is known as the premier nation throughout the world. Our military is feared, our people free & no matter what anyone says about us, when the USS George Washington (plug for my old ship) rolls into town, it's like E.F. Hutton, whoop-a$$ style. With an Edwards presidency, kiss that goodbye. As a matter of fact, we'll be reduced to kissing, rather than kicking, our enemies butts. We'll be the butt of every joke because no country will be afraid of a POTUS who has all the clout of the Snuggle bear.

* Choices: First, it's your SUV, then it's cigarettes. Soon, we'll all be a bunch of no salt-having pansies like Rob Schneider in Demolition Man. If that's the kind of future you want, then you're on your own. Better yet, let me in on that & I'll be running that utopia in five minutes after I single-handedly disarm your "troops" with a few choice words about their mothers. I say leave choices out there for everyone, let them pay for their own medical care if they smoke, eat fast food for every meal or ride a motorcycle without a helmet. Leave the choice up to them & you'll notice the gene pool gets a lot cleaner. Fast.


On my last note to self:

While demonstrating an air fall is a good way to scare adults away, kids will treat it like a carnival ride & keep asking you to do it again.

On the plus side, I set a new personal record for height. Estimate was almost 5'!

If you're thinking 5' doesn't sound like much jump in the air, go horizontal & land on your side. Let me know how it feels...when you get out of the hospital. ;-)


It's Called Authoritarianism

Hillary Clinton supports a national ban on smoking according to the New York Post. Now, I'm not a smoker - I've never smoked a cigarette in my life - but I have tried the occasional cigar. As it stands, one can't smoke a cigar in a majority of places (at least in Iowa). However, this is a result of restaurant owners/managers choosing to refuse guests that privilege.

That choice is key to our society. Business owners should be allowed to decide if they want their establishment to look like a shady pool hall or a pristine garden. That's the whole concept of "owning" something: the ability to determine what you want to do with it. If you want to drive your car off a cliff, I'll think you're a moron but can't really argue with it unless it involves landing on a bus of orphans.

This whole socialist concept embraced by many democrats is against the fundamental freedoms America promises. Large government - bureaucracy, pork, high taxation & regulation - does nothing for the individual and, as society is comprised of said individuals, thus we can determine that large government does nothing for the people as a whole.

What's causing such a large amount of government involvement? I blame people's laziness. Lots of people have become convinced that society should take care of them, that they are entitled to a break, etc. Never, it seems, do they stop & consider they ARE part of society & if they are fortunate enough to be able to fend for themselves, they should do so. Sure, there's a small percentage (probably less than 5%) who are not in this group & there's nothing wrong with supporting the infirm, elderly or sick. Anyone who can DO but neglects that ability should really denied public support. It's not like we're experiencing a shortage of jobs here!

I came across this political test about a year ago & found it very entertaining. I found it's an accurate means of showing someones socio-economic viewpoint. If you take it, post your scores here & we'll see how everyone measures up! Bonus points for anyone who gets lower right quadrant!

Did She Keep Count?

A woman celebrated her 100th birthday by smoking her 170,000th cigarette. Which begs the question:

Do you smokers keep count of this stuff?



OK, I'm throwing the BS flag way high!

I'm talking to every politician out there, particularly the ones running for POTUS: Listen, dimwits, nearly every time I see an article quoting one of you doofuses you're out there claiming that such & such is doing [whatever] for political gain.

Oh, and you aren't? Please.

You. Are. Politicians. Every bleeping thing you do is for political or personal gain. Barack Obama accused AG Gonzales of "subverting justice to promote a political agenda". Yeah, and Senator Obama sure isn't concerned about politics. A POTUS candidate would never do that.

::Rolls eyes::

I call for all politicians to drop the political posturing of accusing others of political posturing. Heck, if you think that last sentence looks weird, how do you think it feels watching candidates throwing their hats in the ring almost two years before the general election? Surely, we can do better than a bunch of left/right/middle attack mongers who really only care about one issue:


August 24th

It's a couple (OK, three) days late but in honor of my Mom's birthday - my actual Mom, not a blog-mom (which I don't have *sniff* *sniff*) - here's On This Day In History for August 24th:

* 2006: Pluto demoted to "dwarf" planet. Suddenly more popular at wild parties.

* 1997: Greg Norman wins World Series of Golf. Shoots 273.

* 1997: Mark Calcavecchia wins Greater Vancouver Golf Open. Shoots 265.

* 2007: STILL no charges filed against either?!?

* 1995: Windows 95 debuts. Blue Screen of Death introduced to pop culture.

* 1991: Gorbachev resigns as head of communist party.

* 1991: Ukraine declares independence from USSR.

* 1991: Reagan's victory over commies complete. Ukraine provides the salt.

* 1968: France becomes world's 5th nuclear power. Can surrender with aplomb!

* 1960: -127 degrees in Vostok, Antarctica. Hillary Clinton claims she was in Maine at the time.

* 1876: Riots abolish fairs in Amsterdam. Officials wonder if there's a way to mellow the populace...

* 1215: Pope Innocent III declares Magna Carta invalid. Take that, ya limey SOBs!


August 20th

In honor of my friend, Scott's, 40th birthday I decided to send him a list of events on this day in history. Actually, it was really fun & I'll probably continue to do this...

Most of it's true, some of it's crap, but I think a lot of it's funny.

On This Day In:
* 1991: Dolphin Dan Marino surpasses Joe Montana as the highest paid NFL
player with a 5-year extension for $25 million.

* 2005: Dolphin Dan Marino finds out you can buy a LOT of twinkies with $25 million. Joins Nutri-system.

* 1990: Steinbrenner steps down as New York Yankees owner.

* 1990: Yankee Kevin Mass becomes fastest to reach 15 home runs (132 at bats).

* 2007: Steinbrenner owns Yankees again. Kevin Mass...uh, who?

* 1982: US Marines land in Beirut, Lebanon.

* 1982: Gives new meaning to the phrase, "DON'T make me come over there!"

* 1980: Mt. Everest climbed by Italian Reinhold Messner, alone.

* 1981: Reinhold Messner tried for violating the Italian surname law & Casanova Act of 1864.

* 1975: Viking 1 launched to orbit around Mars.

* 1976: Viking 1 thrown off course by impacting Alice Kramden in lunar orbit.

* 1978: Tatyana Providokhina runs female record 1K (2:30.6).

* 2007: Coincidentally, this is also how long it takes to write her name...

* 1942: Dim-out regulations implemented in San Francisco.

* 2007: Regulations still not lifted. Dimmest kooks in the country still live there.

* 1957: "Simply Heavenly" opens at Playhouse Theater New York City for 62 performances.

* 2007: And Scott made me think he was being original when he described being married to Vicki for 18 years. Copycat!

* 1994: Archbishop Quarracino wants all homosexuals to leave Argentina. Thus begins San Francisco's original "sanctuary policy".

* 1978: Mark Vinchesi of Amherst,MA keeps a frisbee aloft 15.2 seconds.

* 1978: Mr. Vinchesi comes outside & yells at young Mark to "quit screwing with that *%^# leaf-blower"!

* 1922: 1st world championship athletics for women, held in Paris.

* 2007: Still not over. Women mysteriously drawn to all the fashion shops. Husbands call off search. Cancel credit cards.

* 2007: Happy 40th, Scott!


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No, I didn't make some crazy decision from the last post...

My little sis, Liz & her fiance, Mickey, were married yesterday at Saint Patrick's in Cedar Rapids,IA at 1pm! Beautiful (thankfully, the short) catholic ceremony during which I, being the only catholic in my row, managed to drop the kneeling rest on the foot of the lady next to me (I am so, so sorry!). Fortunately, she did not make a sound at the obvious pain & forgave me immediately. It sure made that sign of peace much less apprehensive... :-)

Liz looked absolutely beautiful in her dress: It was a traditional deal without any overkill. Let's face it, I've seen women go bonkers with the train that literally stops traffic, frills that would turn Liberace jealous & pretentious crowns that should be slapped off their heads. She was a sensible bride & picked a dress that she would enjoy, could breathe in & that wouldn't make the mass gasp in shock.

Mickey, of course, was dressed impeccably & had a rather nice tux going for him. I'm not a tails kind of guy, but it works for him. In addition to being ready-to-go in the grooming department, he was calm & cool the whole ceremony. Heck, you couldn't tell he was nervous (which, of course, he was) & he calmed an obviously emotional (in a good way!) Liz in a matter of seconds.

The reception was done on the other side of town & not until 6pm, so I took my friends Loren, Scott & Vicki to lunch at Granite City. Nice place. They don't rush you out of there & the food was well prepared.

At the reception, it was straight to the martinis for me! Grey Goose, dry, straight-up, with three olives. Yeah, I know how I like 'em! I had three over the course of three hours or so (I stopped there because I'd have to drive later on). I talked for a few minutes with Jackie, a friend in the wedding party, met a few new people who were incredibly nice & gabbed with a buddy who moved away from the area a couple years ago. I wished the bride & groom well - DUH! - & a good time was had by all.

Congratulations, sis & Mickey! You're a beautiful couple. I wish only the best blessings for you, your family & your future family! *wink* *wink* :-)


Met Someone?


I went to a friend's birthday party last night. He's a buddy from TKD - mostly we try to knock each other's heads off - that's a really decent person. He introduced me to a co-worker of his who's kind of cute, a tri-athlete & seems a bit introverted. Basically, she takes care of herself, is on the athletic side & isn't to assertive - pretty much my "type".

I may ask him to get me her number.

I'm a bit slow to pull the trigger since, frankly, I'm on the fragile side right now. I can't afford to have a bad date since my last forays into the dating world just went lousy, IMO. I'd say I'm a bit too much on the "traditional" side of dating. You know: Holding doors, chairs, decent manners, etc. It's apparently weird for some of the women I've dated. OK, the last one was a bit on the loopy side - scary, really - & the one before that scrutinized me like I was a conservative at the NYT (Lady, it was a FIRST date! It's about getting to know someone, not critiquing his/her life).

OK, to be up front, I haven't dated in about 3 years. For those of you who don't think it's that bad (& in some ways it isn't) look at how long it took you to graduate high school, serve one tour in the military or graduate college - weep for me...

I'm generally a sociable, confident person. You put me in front of a large group & I'll tell them what I think without hesitation. I don't fear the "normal" things: public speaking, death (not mine, anyway) or even heights. The latter, I had to conquer on my own & I'm proud of that. Rejection, however, is something that hits me square in the gut. The thought of it saps my will to even try dating again (& darn it I'm a frakkin' GOOD first date!)

I'm not even sure what this post is about. Here I am: A generally moral, somewhat athletic, average to above average-looking (with a full head of hair!) guy who does his best to give something back to the community, live an honest life & put people in his life ahead of himself. Yet, I always stop myself from going ahead of asking anyone out. I could blame it on lousy timing, bad experiences in high school/college, droughts in dating, etc. But I'm not the person to pass blame.

The responsibility rests with me but I can't figure out how to change it. The above is just a sample of the internal debate every time I meet someone - which, as you can imagine, sucks any of the thrill out of it. I actually pray that I won't meet someone so I don't have to feel this way anymore.



Pun Intendid


Here are the 10 first place winners in the International Pun Contest:

1. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."

2. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says "Dam!"

3. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

4. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says "I've lost my electron." The other says "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."

5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?", they asked, as they moved off. "Because," he said," I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

7. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan." Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

8. A group of friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they
would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist

9. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and, with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good) a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

10. And finally, there was the person who sent ten different puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Head's Up, Roses!

Guess what I've got?

Check out these comments. It's all courtesy of Harvey!



The Real Debate

I subscribe to the "Rush In A Hurry" e-mail update which is an excellent summary of that fine radio program. Since I'm working nights (until next week, woo hoo!), it affords me the opportunity to know what happened on the show.

In yesterdays update I discovered a shocking question being asked of one of the presidential candidates. Not only was this a question that needs to be asked, it is high time someone brought this into the forefront of this great nation's view.

Barack Obama has been asked, apparently repeatedly & in a rhetorical sense, by the media if he is "black enough" to be considered a black presidential candidate. Now, I'm Italian & can't possibly be the best person to determine if someone is "black enough". Come to think of it, I can't be the judge on if anyone is "Irish enough", "Eskimo enough" or "non-mob related enough" to be POTUS.

But that's not the question that needs answering...

If you reference this transcript from Rush Limbaugh's site, read through it (Paragraph 5), & you'll quickly discover the question that every honest, reasonable & patriotic American should be asking: Have you noticed the price of arugula lately?

Honestly, all I want to do is make a sweet, peppery pesto & arugula is the only real way to do that. Sure, some of you argue "Basil!" but that's discrimination against the devout Arugulan crowd. Some have even gone so far to ask if basil is "arugula enough" to be pesto - when, of course, it isn't. The question isn't even fair.

...Some have even gone so far to ask if basil is
"arugula enough" to be pesto - which, of course, it isn't.

It's high time a candidate stepped forward to confront this divisive issue. Simply dismissing arugula as the "magic basil" is condescending & inappropriate! Furthermore, attacking a well-grown, agri-cultural, clean & nice-looking vegetable like arugula sends the message that most arugula is dirty, ugly & even *gasp* hydroponic!

What we need is a "Green City", to match the concept of Ray Nagin's vision of New Orleans, because this is obviously God's will. If He wanted basil & arugula to be considered equals, He would have made them exactly the same. Since arugula is rarer & more costly than basil, we can assume that God, in fact, prizes arugula & keeps most of it to Himself!

I'd like to thank Barack Obama for finally bringing this pressing issue to light! It surely was not easy to stand there in the glaring Iowa sun & field questions of this magnitude. For that, he deserves our support. Not only for pesto, but in salads & for fighting against the dreaded Linguini Basilico!



**No Spoilers**

This action-drama was an excellent movie (really more of a date flick)! Basically, we have Tristan (Charlie Cox), a decent but awkward shop boy who is hopelessly smitten with a transparently superficial hottie, Victoria (Sienna Miller). To demonstrate his "love" for her, he vows to bring back a shooting star (Yvaine, played by the lovely Claire Danes) they observed that night for Victoria's upcoming birthday.

Also in the chase, for various, mostly vicious, reasons are Septimus (a sinister "gentleman", by Mark Strong) & Lamia (cunningly portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer). Septimus is ambitious & largely a noble man who believes he is important above all others. Lamia is pure evil: calculating, controlling & devoid of any decency. Both want "the star" for their own selfish devices.

You'll enjoy this movie for the most part. There are a couple "slow" parts but these largely serve to keep a sense of tempo in the movie & do not disappoint. Robert DeNiro, playing Captain Shakespeare, gives an...interesting performance. Oh, it's good as expected. Just a different role for him.

If you're a romantic who loves a Princess Bride-type story without so much of the tongue-in-cheek, this movie will sit well with you. There is humor but it's not the focus of the film. The dramatic story is well done, suspense is ever-present & the climactic scene is excellent. Fortunately, the number of cliches are kept to a minimum & the acting is strong for all parts.

The most important lesson? If a ninety year-old man tells you not to do something, DON'T try to trick him! He might hand you a beating you'll never forget! :-)


Yeah, The Guilty Ones!

Many businesses are concerned that the crackdown on illegal immigration (try DEPORTING them, G-men!) will have horrible, unforeseen, cataclysmic results. Namely, they're concerned the economic security of their companies may be in jeopardy. What companies are these?

Banks? Nope.

Lawyers? Hardly.

No, the industry most threatened by curtailing illegal immigration is the agricultural industry. Many of these businesses, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, aren't in good shape if the crackdown occurs. Apparently, this is counted upon to be some sort of sympathy plea to the public. Yes, I am sympathetic.

Whoops! I meant, "some are pathetic".

If any portion of your economic viability is dependent upon illegal activity, I have a couple fields I could suggest: Italians, we have the Mafia. Others can join everything from gangs to syndicates if one is looking for the thrilling life of a wanted man. If that's too much for you, try corporate fraud or burglary.

But, c'mon, if you're thinking "I want to make a fast buck" by hiring a sub-minimum wage illegal immigrant, and then have the nerve to announce how unfair it is when someone cites the law, then you're about as smart as those criminals dumb enough to rob a convenience store & look right into the camera.

You deserve to get caught.

Really? I'm Shocked!

OK, not so shocked that East-German guards had a "shoot-to-kill" authorization for defectors.

From a communist-controlled country? Nooooooo!

The only folks who would think this is news, much less surprising news, are the same ones who have "irrefutable" scientific evidence that global warming exists. In both cases, they just aren't facing up to reality.

Communist countries give the people only the rights the government sees fit to provide. By allowing these people to defect, the commies have less power. It's not a stretch to think communists would rather kill someone than allow them sweet, sweet freedom.

Yeah, I'd say the pinkos are that spiteful.

Why Not?

StarWars Pants quotes:

  • We've got to be able to get some reading on those pants, up or down.
  • The pants may not look like much, kid, but they've got it where it counts.
  • I find your lack of pants disturbing.
  • These pants contain the ultimate power in the Universe. I suggest we use it.
  • Han will have those pants down. We've got to give him more time!
  • General Veers, prepare your pants for a ground assault.
  • I used to bulls-eye womp-rats in my pants back home.
  • TK-421... Why aren't you in your pants?
  • Lock the door. And hope they don't have pants.
  • You are unwise to lower your pants.
  • She must have hidden the plans in her pants. Send a detachment down to retrieve them. See to it personally Commander.
  • Governor Tarkin. I recognized your foul pants when I was brought on board.
  • You look strong enough to pull the pants of a Gundark.
  • Luke... Help me remove these pants.
  • Great, Chewie, great. Always thinking with your pants.
  • That blast came from those pants. That thing's operational!
  • A tremor in the pants. The last time I felt this was in the presence of my old master.
  • Don't worry. Chewie and I have gotten into a lot of pants more heavily guarded than this.
  • Maybe you'd like it back in your pants, your highness.
  • Your pants betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially one... Your sister!
  • Jabba doesn't have time for smugglers who drop their pants at the first sign of an Imperial Cruiser.
  • Short pants is better than no pants at all.



I'm in the mood to share some favorites, so here goes:

1) Amazing Grace - Lari White.
I'm not really much into country. I'm not predisposed to religious music. Still, I don't know if it gets any better than hearing Lari White sing this tune - it's like she was born so we could all hear how great this song can be. I remember when I was in the Navy I saw that she gave a concert in Florida (her home state) for the sailors there. The commanding officer said she brought grown men to tears with this song. Enough said.

2) Paper Bag - Anna Nalick.
Listen to it. Maybe you'll get it. I don't think she's that well-known but this song should be far more popular than "Breathe (2AM)" - which is good in its own right. Something about the whole 'wearing masks" theme strikes me right to the core.

3) Long Tall Sally - Little Richard.
Great song. Even better when used in the movie "Predator". From the man who invented Rock & Roll as we know it, there's just good fun to be had in this song.

4) Colorful - Rocco DeLuca.
Some great acoustic guitar, decent lyrics & a playful - almost hinting at soulful - pace make this a must listen. For the guys: the video ain't 1/2 bad, either.

5) Vehicle - Ides Of March.
Whoa! Now this is a song. I don't care who you are, if you don't get into this classic piece of rock music, you're un-American. There, I said it!

6) Brown-Eyed Girl - Van Morrison.
A classic by any standard. You have a great song that lifts the mood, lets you have fun & is a "happy wistful". "Down in the hollow / Playing a new game". Heh.

7) Return To Me - Dean Martin.
Props to Joey Gian for a good cover but this version takes the cake! Beautiful in every way: from hopeful longing to yearning for a lost love - I'd seriously fall in love with the girl who danced with me to this song. (Geez, that was SO sappy of me!)

8) Gimme Some Lovin' - The Spencer Davis Group.
Ah, yes. Fun, fun, F-U-N!!! I love this beat, these lyrics, this feeling! It's a song that you can't help but be happy to. Enjoy it for all it's worth!

9) It's All Right - Huey Lewis & The News.
A capella - a lost art form. I've seen this group perform it live & it could NEVER get old. They nail it every time. Of all the bands I've heard, these guys love the work, love the music & nail the notes better than anyone. A friend once went to a concert when they were "big" & said the group stopped by a bar to have drinks with some of the fans. Huey & the boys earned top dog status in my mind.

10) Breakfast At Tiffany's - Deep Blue Something.
I don't know why but I sing to this song every time I hear it. I know it's not the most cheerful song but I do think it's optimistic at least. It's light, enjoyable & the group really had a hit with this. Sadly, they didn't have much else...

No meme here. If you want to do the same, just do it! I figure there's fun to be had in hearing what other people like to play.


The Redhead

A man is dining in a fancy restaurant and there is a gorgeous redhead sitting at the next table. He has been checking her out since he sat down, but lacks the nerve to talk with her.

Suddenly she sneezes, and her glass eye comes flying out of its socket toward the man.
He reflexively reaches out, grabs it out of the air, and hands it back.

"Oh my, I am so sorry, " the woman says as she pops her eye back in place.

"Let me buy your dinner to make it up to you," she says.

They enjoy a wonderful dinner together, and afterwards they go to the theater followed by drinks. They talk, they laugh, she shares her deepest dreams and he shares his. She listens.
After paying for everything, she asks him if he would like to come to her place for a nightcap and stay for breakfast.

They have a wonderful, wonderful time.

The next morning, she cooks a gourmet meal with all the trimmings. The guy is amazed. Everything had been SO incredible!

"You know, "he said, "you are the perfect woman. Are you this nice to every guy you meet? "
"No, "she replies. . . "

"You just happened to catch my eye." :-P

100% Preventable

(H/T Michelle Malkin)

In the linked article you'll find a grisly example of a completely preventable crime. Had these two disgusting individuals not been here, in the United States, the horrible death of this young lady - Dani Countryman, 15 - would have never been perpetrated.

As it stands, we have two (more) illegal aliens living in jail cells, asking for warmer clothing; a devastated family attempting to deal with the tragic, needless death of a daughter; & a bunch of apologists for illegals in elected government.

To them, I ask:

How would you feel, sir or madam, if a stranger walked up to you & told your entire family that a daughter, son, mother or brother wasn't coming home because a selfish, bickering bunch of political opportunists thought it was better to court a vote?

Do you have the concept of shame within you to recognize that while you debated, prattled & postured for personal gain that illegal aliens are in this country, coming to this country, breaking our laws - the ones you take an oath to defend & support - & you have done not one thing to prevent this & other tragedies in the lives of Americans?

Honestly, the whole of it disgusts me. I try not to get furious over things out of my control but this is too much. I, for one, could not bear looking someone in the eye & tell them a loved one was gone forever because of my indifference or opportunism. Of course, that's because most of us, unlike the ineffectual beltway players, have our own consciences.

Maybe He Needs Enzyte?

Ah, to be a panda...

Living the good life, frolicking amongst the trees & chewing on Eucalyptus day in & day out. You also get the fringe benefit of being an endangered species. Namely, the zookeeper makes sure you have a harem of (presumably) attractive female pandas for the purpose of procreation. Yeah, it must be a grand old panda life.

Of course, that's assuming you're a male panda!

In the most brilliant example of biology known to man, Chinese zoologists failed to recognize that a panda didn't have the ol' twig & berries - if you catch my meaning. Now, maybe one could assume the little guy (sorry) just wasn't blessed with the best wedding tackle but you'd think a group of flipping scientists could tell you which two pandas are going to be able to (queue Barry White) *bow-chika-bow-bow* to make a baby panda!



Things Not To Try

Note to self, HapKiDo:

When a new guy starts martial arts, the best way to scare him out of that place in two seconds is to demonstrate an air fall from about four feet up.

Fortunately, he decided to stick with it. :-)

Just Too Cute

We have these two kids in the Cedar Rapids TKD class I teach.

They're good friends & often like working with each other in class. Normally, this would cause problems but these two children are not like most preoccupied youngsters in a martial arts class.

Laural & Annie are two young kids (best guess: 8 & 10 respectively) who have always shown a little more enthusiasm & effort than the other children in the school. Now, I don't think it's anything unusual for a girl to have more focus than a boy. Let's face it: even in the pre-pubescent stage of our lives, we boys are more easily distracted than Rosie O'Donnell at an RNC convention hearing someone yell, "Free Ho-hos"! What is different about these two is when they work together, they WORK together.

For you parents & teachers out there who see nothing but horrible possibilities stemming from the hi jinks of two young girls, let me lay your fears to rest. These two, who missed class for separate, unfortunate circumstances, actually asked me to have more time to work on their forms!

This is the equivalent of a young daughter walking up her parents & asking for more time to do math homework, eat vegetables, etc. Shocking doesn't quite cover it.

Soooo, I left them to their own devices & handled the rest of class. Every now & then I'd look over & see them, sure enough, hard at work on their forms. I can only remember thinking how impressive it was that I could leave two kids alone & see them dedicated to exactly the task they set out to do.

We went through the rest of class & lined up to bow out. That's when I decided to use their good example & subtly (is that a word?) let the class know how impressed I was that these two studious young ladies had thrown all this effort into learning their forms to get ready for junior black belt. Here's how it went:

Me: "Laural, how did yours & Annie's forms go?"

Laural: "They went really well, sir."

::Bless her heart, she even said "sir" like she's supposed to!::

Me: "So, how far did the two of you get?"

(To explain, we have 1 form per belt & two for their belt level. They have 11 forms to do for their next belt. Each has a name. Laural did not use the name.)

Laural: (Smiles. Raises hands to imitate start of her highest form) "Uh, we got to this one, sir."

I tell you right now, that kid looked as cute as Shirley Temple right then. She could have told me she slashed my tires & I'd still be thinking "Awwww" that's just too cute!


Lucky Amateur!

You know, I spent the better part of the last four (4) years learning how to fall without injury. Most times - most, I said - I succeeded.

Falling on ice without a scratch? Check.

Slipped on a bad step with no problems? Done that.

Being dropped horizontally from four feet up? Ha! All the time.

Air falls aren't even a problem anymore. Then along comes this little twerp to steal my thunder! Honestly, four years of busting my butt to be shown up by a pubescent teenager! The nerve!

Seriously, I'm glad he's OK. I just want to know what his secret is...

But Do Felonies Get You Bonus Points?

A new video game exploiting one of the hot-button political issues of today is out on the market. In it, the player can take the role of an immigrant on anything from a student visa to refugees.

Sure, there couldn't possibly be a political bent on this aimed at showing how "unfair" the system is to immigrants. Never mind that we have a pretty open - border pun not intended - means of people to come here legally. Forget that visas are issued with the idea the person is visiting for a specific purpose. And toss out the fact any child born in this country is automatically blessed with citizenship.

No, the game is there to show you "how it feels" to be an illegal immigrant.

Well, I think there are plenty of people who can relate to this. How about the families who won't have children coming home because of 100% preventable crimes? No, there's no mention of that being part of the "experience". What? Do you get bonus points in this game - a la Grand Theft Auto - for killing people while you're an illegal?

This developer can spare me the self-righteous load of crap of "how would you feel". How would I feel if I was somewhere I wasn't supposed to be? If I killed or hurt anyone because I was somewhere I wasn't supposed to be? Well, since I have a conscience, I guess that's an easy question to answer:

I wouldn't be there in the first place.


Not So Good

I had a very bad "first" at work.

It wasn't a mistake. Or something I said. Not even a flurry of bleeps...

I had a small panic attack. Or at least that's what I'd call it. My breathing got short, my chest felt tight. It was like someone was giving me a big, mean bearhug that I couldn't escape.

I was completely stressed at the time & I have been for awhile. I just can't think straight at that place anymore. I do more & more for seemingly empty promises.

My promotion? Still on hold.
My raise? Same deal.
The promise that we'd never be short on my shift again? Broken for the fourth time.

I'm not one to break down but last night almost did it. It was so incredibly brutal & in the midst of it all we had a driver involved in an accident. He hit a drunk driver who pulled out in front of him.

The drunk driver was killed. Our driver was shaken badly but OK. Thank Heaven his family lives close by to comfort him. I spent a few minutes talking to him on the phone before they got there. I think my talk helped maybe a little. I can't be sure.

It was the only thing, maybe, that prevented me from having a full breakdown & bursting into tears. I'm not so quick to cry but I feel sooo unappreciated by the company I think I do so much for. Harder is the realization that I could just walk in & with two words set myself free from all the pain & agony of this employer.

I wonder if it's pride. I wonder if it's fear. Most of all, I have to wonder if it's worth staying there any longer.

And Apparently Smarter Than Harvey...

How smart are you?
Am-I-Dumb.com - Are you dumb?


2nd Degree Essay

As (long ago) promised, here is my 2nd Degree Essay. Mrs. Who, I'm particularly interested in your thoughts. This sucker's long, so it may take you some time.

As with the 1st Degree Essay, feel free to read it, give me input & offer general opinions. I have to draw the line at anyone copying this work as your own, publishing on another form of media, etc.

Honestly folks, I just earned my 2nd degree black belt & am about to go for another one in Hapkido! Use your heads...

Besides, that's just plain rude! :-)

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