Badge Of Honor

I'm an embarrassment to Barack!

I only scored 18 on the Obama Test


Another Step

OK, not much of one but I got my car started after the battery died. Some ice had worked its way under the trunk support rods the last time I opened it. When I tried to close it, the trunk stayed open just enough to keep the inside light on...for a week, effectively killing the battery.

Fortunately, a jump got her going again & a few minutes of tooling around in the parking lot to keep the rotors clean, brakes in working order & gears lubed helped out greatly. I bought some fuel stabilizer so the remaining gas in the tank won't separate on me.

After I can drive again, I'll get the oil changed (can't do it myself since there's no level surface to use here) & probably get the coolant system flushed, just to be safe.

Driving comes back about 3/10 or so, after the follow-up MRI with the doc in S. Carolina. After that, it's three months until I kiss this winter wasteland goodbye!


Wrong Wiener...

I guess it really depends on who you are.


Job = Motivation

I've come to a crossroads at work. It happened today.

You see, I work for a trucking company. For those of you whose only involvement with trucking is that big, burly dude at a gas station wearing the "Bubba Gump Shrimp" ball cap, let me tell you that Christmas is the most miserable time of year.

Imagine 3,000 4 year-olds, all wanting to go home for the holiday, asking collectively, "Are we there yet?!?!" & you have an idea of where the pain starts. Add to it that the "parents" (dispatchers, in this case) get just as whiny as the kids & well, let's just say I sympathize with you drinkers out there.

So, when one of the above managers decided to undo a couple of my plans & left one load uncovered just to get what he wanted without telling me, I was a little more "Grinch" than Santa...

At some point this just hit me: "USE IT"!!! Don't be pissed at one guy who's just thumbing his nose at the rules. He's been there for 17 years & is a lifer. This isn't conflict! No, in the big picture it's my continued motivation to move down to South Carolina & take on new challenges, experience new things AND breathe some life into, well, my LIFE!

It's just like HKD: Use the energy you're given by the antagonist. Let them provide what is needed to move the mountain, erode the obstacle or detour the path. Move beyond the obstruction, don't rest on it.

Or, as Dad puts it: "A bad day is like taking a crap: When you're done & you flush, do you really care about where it is or what it's doing? No! It's over & gone"

Whichever version you like best works for me. Either way, I'm getting a new toilet! :-)


Merry Christmas from HR

RE: Christmas PARTY ON DEC. 23RD

I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23, starting at noon in the banquet room at Luigi's Open Pit Barbecue. No-host bar, but plenty of eggnog! We'll have a small band playing traditional carols...feel free to sing along. And don't be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus! A Christmas tree will be lit at 1:00 P.M. Exchange of gifts among employees can be done at that time, however, no gift should be over $10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's pockets. This gathering is only for employees! A special announcement will be made by our CEO at that time!

Merry Christmas to you and your family.



FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 2
RE: Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees.

We recognize that Chanukah is an important holiday which often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on we're calling it our "Holiday Party." The same policy applies to employees who are celebrating Kwanzaa at this time. There will be no Christmas tree present. No Christmas carols sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment.

Happy now?

Happy Holidays to you and your family.



FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 3
RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table ... you didn't sign your name. I'm happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, "AA Only"; you wouldn't be anonymous anymore. How am I supposed to handle this?

Forget about the gifts exchange, no gifts exchange are allowed since the union members feel that $10.00 is too much money and executives believe $10.00 is very little for a gift. NO GIFTS EXCHANGE WILL BE ALLOWED.


FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
To: All Employees
DATE: December 7
RE: Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20 begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees' beliefs. Perhaps Luigi's can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party — the days are so short this time of year — or else package everything for take home in little foil swans. Will that work?

Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Overeaters Anonymous to sit farthest from the dessert buffet and pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms. Gays are allowed to sit with each other. Lesbians do not have to sit with Gay men, each will have their own table. Yes, there will be flower arrangement for the Gay men's table. To the person asking permission to cross dress, no cross dressing allowed though. We will have booster seats for short people. Low-fat food will be available for those on a diet. We cannot control the salt used in the food we suggest for those people with high blood problems to taste first. There will be fresh fruits as dessert for Diabetics, the restaurant cannot supply "No Sugar" desserts.

Did I miss anything?



FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 8
RE: Holiday Party

So December 22 marks the Winter Solstice...what do you expect me to do, a tap-dance on your heads? Fire regulations at Luigi's prohibit the burning of sage by our "earth-based Goddess-worshiping" employees, but we'll try to accommodate your shamanic drumming circle during the band's breaks. Okay???



FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
To: All Employees
Date: December 9
RE: Holiday Party

People, people, nothing sinister was intended by having our CEO dress up like Santa Claus! Even if the anagram of "Santa" does happen to be "Satan,"
there is no evil connotation to our own "little man in a red suit." It's a tradition, folks, like sugar shock at Halloween or family feuds over the thanksgiving turkey or broken hearts on Valentine's Day.

Could we lighten up? Please????????? Also the company has changed their mind in announcing the special announcement at the gathering. You will get a notification in the mail sent to your home.


FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All #%&$**@ Employees
DATE: December 10
RE: The %#*&^%@*%^Holiday Party

I have no #%&*@*^ idea what the announcement is all about. What the %#&^!@ do I care...I KNOW WHAT I AM GOING TO GET!!!!!!!!!!!! You change your address now and you are dead!!!!!!!!!!!! No more changes of address will be allowed in my office. Try to come in and change your address, I will have you hung from the ceiling in the warehouse!!!!!!!!!!!

Vegetarians!?!?!? I've had it with you people!!! We're going to keep this party at Luigi's Open Pit Barbecue whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the "grill of death," as you so quaintly put it, and you'll get your #$%^&*! salad bar, including hydroponic tomatoes. But you know, they have feelings, too. Tomatoes scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream. I'm hearing them scream right now! > HA !

I hope you all have a rotten holiday! Drive drunk and die, you hear me!!!!!!!!!!!

The Bitch from HELL!!!!!!!!


FROM: Terri Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director
DATE: December 14
RE: Patty Lewis and Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis a speedy recovery from her stress-related illness and I'll continue to forward your cards to her at the sanitarium. In the meantime, management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd off with full pay.

Happy Holidays!



I got the last of the gifts mailed out today.

All that's left is to endure the snowstorm we're getting tonight (& probably the next day) & three days of work before Christmas is finally here.

Speaking of work: my boss has been pointing the finger at me lately to blame for, well, random things that didn't directly involve me. Since there's no reason to his scapegoating, I think for Christmas I'd just like someone to point one particular finger at him...



We had 3 candidates test for black belts tonight (Catie & JD for 1st degree, Will for recommended black).

Both JD's & Catie's technique were beyond impressive. All things being equal (which they aren't), each could probably take me in sparring. Both caught me once or twice in 1-on-1 but I still landed most of the hits. Still, the talent of these two make me feel like I've lost a step - but that says more to their abilities than anything.

Will has decent technique - he gets frustrated easily at 16 - and it's his power that does the talking. He's taller & stronger than the average 16 year-old...you'll know it when he hits you. Fortunately, for me, that power comes at the price of less speed. Once he starts throwing combos, however, you'd better watch out!

Self-defense was great for all of them. Catie needs to put more "oomph" into it, but she can still make you pay for grabbing her. Will was shown that he can't rely on power to get him out of every situation & adapted quickly. JD stayed cool under fire.

All three passed. We need to work with JD on terminology, Catie on power & Will on sharpening a few techniques. All are in great shape at their respective levels & there's plenty of time to get them dialed in with the above.

3 Months...

Since I had my head examined!

So far, so good.


Marine Speed Trap

Probably not true, but it delivers the funny...

Two California Highway Patrol Officers were conducting speeding enforcement on I-15, just north of the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar. One of the officers was using a hand held radar device to check speeding vehicles approaching the crest of a hill. The officers were suddenly surprised when the radar gun began reading 300 miles per hour. The officer attempted to reset the radar gun, but it would not reset and then turned off.

Just then a deafening roar over the treetops revealed that the radar had in fact locked on to a USMC F/A-18 Hornet which was engaged in a low flying exercise near the location.

Back at the CHP Headquarters the Patrol Captain fired off a complaint to the USMC Base Commander. The reply came back in true USMC style:

~ ~ ~

Thank you for your letter.
We can now complete the file on this incident.

You may be interested to know that the tactical computer in the Hornet had detected the presence of, and subsequently locked on to your hostile radar equipment and automatically sent a jamming signal back to it, which is why it shut down.

Furthermore, an Air-to-Ground missile aboard the fully armed aircraft had also automatically locked on to your equipment location.

Fortunately, the Marine Pilot flying the Hornet recognized the situation for what it was, quickly responded to the missile system alert status and was able to override the automated defense system before the missile was launched to destroy the hostile radar position.

The pilot also suggests you cover your mouths when cussing at them, since the video systems on these jets are very high tech.

Sergeant Johnson, the officer holding the radar gun, should get his dentist to check his left rear molar. It appears the filling is loose. Also, the snap is broken on his holster.

Thank you for your concern.

Semper Fi

Wanted Review

Not bad at all.

I'm not a Jolie fan. She's pretty but even that is more related to her full lips than anything else (kinda skinny for my tastes). Still, she does a good job in this twist & turn action flick.

There's plenty of good humor in the right places & just the right amount of over-the-top stunts to prevent eye-roll strain. Lots of flipping cars, good explosions & some good gunfights round things out nicely.

An obligatory plot twist isn't the biggest surprise but it does fit the movie & sets it up for a clean, fun resolution.

Overall, I'd say it's well worth your time (as most Morgan Freeman movies are), especially for the jerks in the film habitually getting their comeuppance in amusing ways!



I like the show & Gary Sinise is a top-notch actor. However, the episode I saw this evening - involving martial arts & chess - which should have been one of my favorites of all-time, left me a bit irked.

The chess part was fine. Sad ending, but very well done.

The martial arts part was a hodge-podge of stereotypical crap. It starts with one of the investigators declaring that because one suspect is a 4th degree black belt, he is "capable of murder". Hey, writers, let me tell you that anyone is physically capable of murder. Martial arts training doesn't by definition increase a person's predisposition to violence. People have been killing since Og the caveman first picked up a rock.

The second crappy thing was both Sinise & the 1st investigator trying to talk to a lady at her dojo. She "introduces" herself to a complete stranger by placing a side kick right at his face. Someone tries that at my instructor's school & I'd take them down myself. I've never seen - or even heard - of something like that happening.

Note to the public (potential jurors, in particular): Martial artists are not even mostly like those Cobra Kai jerks from Karate Kid. Black belts are not trained deadly weapons. To date, no state to my knowledge requires that black belts "register" as weapons. A black belt is simply a student who has proven he/she is capable of learning the basics of an art.

For those of you prejudiced into thinking that a black belt on trial for defending his/her person could have completely controlled the situation, do the person a favor & imagine yourself in that person's place. It's not so simple as saying, "I'm a black belt", and all the bad guys go away. Martial artists are simply people who, as a result of training, have a slightly better chance of defending themselves. Don't buy into the urban legend B.S. that they have this magical ability to destroy legions of muggers with a dirty look.

I have a friend who was attacked by two guys in Boston,MA. It was a case of mistaken identity. They pinned him to a brick wall without provocation & threatened him. One had his head introduced to said wall & the other backed off. The police said the two just picked on the wrong guy & let it go. If this had gone to trial, would he have been given a fair shot? I just don't know.

All I'm saying is if you're in a trial with a martial artist as the defendant, please don't let that cloud your judgement. If the person was attacked, consider that maybe - just maybe - the person was scared & defended themselves based on some useful training. Unless the person just went way over the line of reasonable force, there's no reason to judge them as an avaricious miscreant bent on destruction.



You know the mind-addling grasp of ennui has set in when you bother to actually check your work e-mail from home just to have something to do...


I remember when Jesse Jackson Jr. was...

Well Jesse Jackson Jr. finally made it to the big time. Read any News site and it should have at least some of the details.

I have a funny but true story about running into this putz when I was a young conservative lad.

Back in the late 80's, this schmuck came prancing over to my high school and the Principal had to show him around. I had been passing by and needed to say something to the Principal. The Principal did not appear to be enjoying his demotion to tour guide but that is not important. He stopped me in the middle of my opening comments and said. "Hey, This Jesse Jackson Jr." Like this guy was some kind of celebrity or something. I stopped what I was saying turned my head looked the guy up and down then looked him square in the eye and said: "Yeah. So what. ...Anyway..." and returned back to my conversation and totally ignored the doof. The look on the idiot's face was just priceless. [WAIT! I am somebody important! You cant ignore me.] The Principal hid the smile but not the amusement in his eyes. I can't remember what the topic of the conversation was but I definitely remember hanging up on a stuffed shirt wanna be celeb. riding on his father's coattails who was himself trying to ride on the coattails of another legend. It was not the reception that Jackson Jr. had counted on.

True story.

Martin Luther King Jr. There was a patriot. Jackson? Just a wanna be. Jackson Jr.? ditto. Even as a kid I could see that Martin Luther King Jr. was not just someone seeking the spot light and the camera time. King was a man I could respect. I am fortunate to have grown up in an era after his revolution.


Mea Culpa

I have to apologize for that last post. No, not because I was venting or upset or frustrated. My apology is necessary because I worried some very good people unfairly. Re-reading the entry, I can see how that was so easily misconstrued. "I give up" for me = throwing my hands up in resigned disgust.

Now, this isn't some "everything's all better" message - there's still plenty for me to sort out of all this - but I am sorting it out. It'll just take time & I ask that you all be patient both for & as an example to me.

Thank you so much for your kind words & concern. My promise is those both will not be in vain.



I H-A-T-E being trapped inside all day, every day.

No driving for 6 months (12 in SC) = no social life.

I didn't know what stir-crazy was until now.

Truly, this is a terrible feeling. I can't even get a ride to class.

I do have this Haiku, I guess.

My head examined/
Law says no driving for me/
Alone, here I sit

Norman Rockwell Moment


Black Belt Humility

Even when you think there's plenty of humility in your martial arts career, someone comes along to remind you...

I was working with a very nice lady in class today, who is also a white belt. She has a good attitude, keeps her mind open & listens to the instructors.

She's pretty & kind of looks like Catherine Bell (of JAG fame) but I digress.

We're working on the "statue" drill & I was showing her the footwork needed to coordinate this activity with both hands. Then, a compliment she gave me went horribly awry!

Her: "You're so graceful with those moves. It shows how much you've done this."

Me: "Actually, I haven't done this drill all that much." (Not false modesty. It's true.)

Her: "Oh, well it's obvious you're a trained dancer."

Me: ...

Her: "I'm a good dancer, myself."

Me: "Well, all I really do is Taekwondo..."

OK, ladies, telling a guy he's a good dancer is a compliment. No question about it. Telling a guy he looks like a trained dancer = telling him you question his masculinity. At this point, any guy worth the arrow on that circle will start talking sports, lower his voice an octave & make various grunting noises.

Of course, I was VERY polite - realizing that she's allowed to hit me in class without fear of retribution - and managed to steer the training conversation away from any accusations of me jumping around all nimbly, bimbly.


Crossing A Line

OK, mister idiot - that's your name now that you have proven you have no sense whatsoever - I guess you think it was amusing/funny/comical to throw that air-filled mini basketball at my head while I was in the bathroom. It's probably even funnier to you that (you think) I don't know who did it.

I'd like to take a second to remind your sorry rear that I just had brain surgery about 2 months ago & my head, as you might imagine, is high up on the list of things that should be protected.

So, since you: 1) missed; and 2) left said ball in my possession, I think it's staying with me until you're man enough to come find me & explain your actions. Keep in mind that I do know who you are (I'm not an idiot) & am gracious enough not to rake you through the muck by pointing the finger - index or middle - at you.

The way I see it, there are two options. You can man up & explain yourself OR you can go buy a new ball, thus confirming to everyone you actually threw the 1st one at me.


Demo August 2008

Here's pics of a demo the school did at Watermelon Days in Atkins,IA this past summer. It was a great time, despite a couple injuries: One moderate (Mr. Reif's ankle) & one minor (my left thumb).

One thing I can't figure about Iowa is how every bleeping thing grown/raised in the state has a "day" in the summer. It's confusing with all of them. Since everyone drinks to excess at most of them, I propose re-naming them all for various types of alcohol (Sign me up for Big Sky Moose Drool Days!). Everyone will remember them better that way.

Anyway, here's a few of the pics:

(Me with 2 bricks. I've never had the center piece break out like that before.)

(Dylan getting tossed a bit.)

(Poor Dylan again.)

(OK, I must like picking on him...)

(Mr. Reif taking a throw.)

(Taking Mr. Lee down.)

So, by now, a lot of you may be thinking, "Sure, Hap, you can throw people around - you're an adult". Well, allow me to introduce Catie - a young lady (about 14) who is a recommended black belt in TKD & a talented young lady. She's the best proof I have that anyone can defend themselves with good training.

Hey, Some Good News!

My instructor was finally promoted in both Taekwondo AND Hapkido! He's been at the same rank in both (5th/3rd) since I started & the promotions were long overdue.

He's now 6th degree in TKD - by way of opening & maintaining two schools, designing the entire curriculum & promoting several students to black belt (starting at white belt) - myself included. It's a time-consuming task that often goes unrewarded. I make a point to thank him putting in so much effort everyday by volunteering to help whenever possible. It's nothing compared to his efforts, but maybe it helps him out just enough.

He was also promoted to 5th degree (master instructor) in HKD. I can tell you from my time in HKD there aren't too many folks who have earned this rank. To get there, he promoted no less than seven people to black belt (again, starting from white belt). In an art where we've seen over 90% of the people drop out at various points (mostly during the throw-heavy yellow belt set), that's an impressive number of people to make 1st degree.

Additionally, he developed a Practical Self-Defense course for those who want to learn how to protect themselves but don't want the high impact of a martial art. He has also designed his own curriculum (based on experience in a few martial arts) with self-defense - the concept behind HKD - entirely at the forefront.

He's been in TKD for well over 20 years (25 this year, I believe) & HKD for about 15 years, so the time & effort invested in earning these ranks has been considerable. Upon getting promoted, the first thing he told me was, "I don't want to make a big deal in class about these promotions". That's just his way about things - he knows where his experience places him in martial arts & he's never taught any of his students that rank counts for anything in reality.

We are all definitely fortunate at our school to have such a dedicated, responsible instructor.


Didn't Sign Up For This!

So, my brother calls me yesterday saying his car broke down (bad starter, maybe?) & after a few attempts, still nothing doing with the cranking & starting thing.

He had a friend come out to help him (quick reminder: I can't drive - seizure) & give him a ride home.

Obviously, this can't work as a permanent arrangement since I need a ride to work & he needs to get to work... So, the smart thing, in my mind, is to have him drive my car which needs the registration renewed since I missed that window with all the issues in SC.

Now, my car is a stick which he can't drive. So, I offer to teach him. What does he say? Oh, he can't possibly learn in one day (despite doing well the 1st time we worked on it), so there's no sense in doing all this today.

It's all very frustrating. Sure, I get out - for work & class - but depending on everyone for a ride AND trying to help kill 2 birds with 1 stone (car & ride) with no interest from the other party is just pissing me off. I sure as heck don't like this inconvenience, either. I'd much rather do my own driving, handle my own issues & not have to inconvenience others for assistance. There's just not that much choice on this end of things.

As an aside, comments I've left on some blogs must be reflecting this frustration or a change in attitude. A comment left on Harvey's blog inspired 3 respondents to let me know just how wrong I was & an inside joke on a friend's facebook page (perfectly appropriate) drew the ire of his girlfriend...with an obligatory literal jab back at her, of course.

I'm wondering how much my personality has changed in the eyes of others. Have I become more combative? Less tactful? Has my general word choice changed? It's impossible to tell from a self-perspective.


At Least I can Beat Them Up!

The Part of You That No One Sees

You are balanced, peaceful, and sincere.

You're the type of person who goes along to get along.

And you're definitely afraid of rocking the boat.

Underneath it all, you fear your world falling apart.

You'll put up with a situation that you don't like in fear of changing it.

Disruptive and forceful people intimidate you - and sometimes exploit you.

H/T - Mrs. Who

Another Step

Tonight, I did my first rolling fall since the surgery. OK, that's not a world breaker for news but it's a sign that things are getting back to normal. When you spend a lot of time worrying about bending over because of the hole in the top of your head, doing a controlled somersault is a big deal.

I guess I'll give it a few more weeks before I start doing regular break falls & it'll probably be January before the air fall comes back into the picture...or even March when the meds go bye-bye.

Two months off has really hurt my (already waning) cardio & it's starting to show in class. Even the most efficient breathing routines aren't keeping up with the level of activity. My kingdom for an elliptical!


Happy Veterans' Day

A big thank you to those who have served, those who are serving & most of all to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defending this precious freedom we enjoy everyday.

May merciful God be with each and every one of you & may He help us all to fully appreciate the sacrifices you servants of America & your families make for this great land.

From one veteran to all others: I thank you all & may you always be safe in defending the USA - a country that loves you as much as you love her.


Low Country Boil

I am about to share with you the greatest of all Southern treasures: the Low Country Boil. A peppy, flavorful dish you'll want again & again. It's a simple mix of great things that everyone pretty much loves & probably the easiest recipe I've ever seen (other than that cereal stuff...I keep adding the milk first!).

The Low Country Boil (based on the seasoning used in the boil) was "invented" by a former coach of USC (that's S. Carolina, Trojan fans) & uses kielbasa, shrimp, potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, and onion. Some recipes also use crab legs, though I've never had that one.

Now the seasoning will be the tough part here. For those of you who have a Bi-Lo, you're in luck! The seasoning can be found in the spice aisle. For those of you relegated to the frozen wastes of the northern plains...well I can tell you what's in it, but not much more than that. E-mail me if that's the route you want to take.

OK, so here's the recipe:

You need:
1 large boiling pot (2 gallons, not that pansy 1 gallon deal)
1 6oz pack of Low Country Boil seasoning
3 Hillshire Farms turkey kielbasa
3 1/2 lbs of new (red) potatoes, cut in half
12 pack of cut corn-on-the-cob
1 large white onion, quartered (sweet vidalia if you can get it)
1 1/2 lbs of shrimp (peeled, tails on)

Boil the water, adding all of the seasoning.
Add the potatoes, onion & let sit for about 15 minutes.
Next, add the corn for about 7-8 minutes.
The kielbasa goes in next for about 5 minutes.
Lastly, the shrimp is added for about 6-7 minutes.

After about a total 30 minutes at a boil, remove from heat & drain most of the water. Keep about 16oz of the water to place at the bottom of the serving bowl (optional) for bread dipping. Traditionally, the Boil is dumped out on a table cloth & you just take what you want. For more refined, New England-types, serve in a large pasta bowl.

Note: the corn absorbs most of the heat in the seasoning. While it's not very hot, it will leave a little warmth on your lips. For reference, a jalapeno will have more burn on your lips than this seasoning.



My apologies for the previous post. That sort of writing isn't my normal sort of rambling & it certainly wasn't entertaining in the least. My emotions have been silly lately & not all of them fun.

I talked to HR & then the hospital on Friday. It turns out (as Mrs. Who correctly guessed) the insurance company "screwed up" because the billing was done in a somewhat awkward order. The hospital has informed me that I owe $103 total. That relieved feeling will be complete when the bill is in my hands. It seems my previous post title deserved no sarcasm...I'm pretty darn lucky.

Also, I'd like very much to say that prayer works! I'm still recovering, so it's helpful to know being able to talk about it & ask for a little more patience & courage to heal is met with such Grace.


Lucky Me

I wish I could say all was well. OK, yes, the tumor is gone & I'm essentially in good health, so there's nothing bad there.

I just got the 1st bill for my initial stay in the hospital - from 9/10 - 9/12. That's when I had the seizure & they kept me in for pre-op. $948 & change ($500 is the deductible).

This, despite the fact I already paid the hospital a $500 deductible AND $300 more that went towards my PPO's maximum $1000/yr out-of-pocket.

Someone please tell me why I might pay over $2000 in one year when my insurance is supposed to limit my expense to $1000 (not counting deductible, of course)?

Never mind the fact I'm crushed at having to leave SC after two months (not all of which was fun & games) & have t come back to Iowa. The thing that has my guts wrenched in a knot is the fact I wanted to save up & move back down there when I can drive again but now the money may just not be there.

I'm in freaking tears over this. It feels so much like I'm trapped in a prison & can't get released. Being dependent on others sucks because I feel like a walking inconvenience. The thought that, after all this horrible stuff my family was put through, I may come up short on the needed funds to move down there & be with them is just too much.

God, please give me the patience, courage & just plain luck to somehow get through this so I can be where my family is.


Now I'm Worried

Sign seen at a local church:

Well, gee, that particular parish has me sold. I wonder if their minister's last name is Kevorkian...


Hapkido will return - I promise

A long time ago there was a guy we called Hapkido, some called him Hap, some called him other things too but most of them weren't able to speak through swollen lips the next day. I digress....

As many, 'Many' as in most of the CrunchTime Readers ...well my 3 readers and I think a couple of Hap's too.... ahh ... Anyway... I digress again.
As many of you already know, Hap took a trip a couple of states away to see his family and had a health episode dealing with "a benign growth (non-cancerous, thankfully) on the membrane surrounding the brain" it was "pressing between the frontal & parietal lobes on the left side" of his thick skull. opps sorry buddy had to take the shot as you were not here to defend yourself. I know I know When you get back I will have my new running shoes on....I digress..thricely.

So in leiu of his valid health concerns I have sidelined my usual sarcastic political banter to keep this venue of communication open and distraction free so he can get any information out to you his virtual family.

You have no idea how ugly it is getting. When Hap first turned me into his Blogger Minion, I felt the power of the written word mixed with the freedom of speech and expression and the power to smack the mainstream media back in their own chops for the crap that they invent as news....and then it happened....the Starwars Theme song of Darth Vader's March kept getting stuck in my head. DumDAdum dumDATdumdumDatdum dadatdum.... Kinda like for normal people when they hear 'The Girl From Ipanema' you know the one..... sometimes sung as 'The Girl with Emphezima' .....and they hear it and then they sing it for the rest of the day....no? .... ah just me then sorry..... I digress.

Where was I?... oh yeah Hap.

I have spoken with him and he did say that he is doing well and that he is enjoying therapy. On a side note: I did a little investigation myself and I discovered that there is a real hot nurse who is 'probably' taking real good care of him and her duties include feeding and giving sponge baths. Now sources cannot confirm that she is giving HIM the sponge baths nor can they tell me that she is actually taking care of HIM. But comeon! What else could keep him from his virtual family. That must be the reason. The sources could not even confirm if she was actually hot..they sent a pic. I will let beauty lie in the eye of the beholder and you can see for yourself.

Hap. Come home soon. We miss you and the Blogger in me cannot remain silent much longer with out causing physical harm to someone or myself. ...oh yeah and the DL list is really piling up.


Part 4 - Recovery

Just a quick update.

I got out of the hospital today. Typing is tough with the right hand.

Doing well, though. Thanks to all of you who kept me in your thoughts & prayers.

Part 3.5

For all of you who are keeping tabs on Hap's progress.. I got word Wednesday that 'He's out and doing fine.'
He has not made an appearance on HapkidoCrunchTime yet but I anticipate that is to come shortly.


Part 3 - Update

Quite a few calls today, many not at all pleasant.

First, the ones that mean something:
There's a pre-op scheduled for tomorrow, 9/16, at 0700. Just getting things ready at this point.

The actual "opening" is 9/17 after a 0630 MRI.

Updates will come as soon as possible.

Now, the crap I could have done without...
1) Hospital called asking for deductible payment. Nice, jerks. You'll get your freaking money.

2) Work called to inform me I'm on disability - no surprise there - AND that I won't be paid for the 1st 5 days I'm off unless I burn vacation. I have 1 day left & 1 floating holiday. Really, morons, don't you think I have more pressing issues on my mind (sorry)?

On the above 2, you'd think both parties would show some tact & wait until things were settled down a bit. At least there's no rush getting back to work - I have 5 weeks of disability & should only have to use 3 at the most.


Part 2 - Diagnosis

The last 2 days were spent in the hospital, undergoing various tests...drawing blood (ouch), taking temperature & blood pressure (all good) & undergoing an MRI.

Now, the MRI is the big news here, so let me put the results out there: Yes, there is a benign growth (non-cancerous, thankfully) on the membrane surrounding the brain that is pressing in between the frontal & parietal lobes on the left side. This is what caused the seizure & it's removal should pretty well fix everything.

Fortunately, this growth is not "inside" the brain, instead it's pressing on it & as such will require no intrusion into those sensitive parts. The neurosurgeon has informed me the surgery (this Wednesday, 9/17) will take about 3-4 hours, will be sealed with staples & has less than 2% chance of complications. Given the nature of things, I'll take those odds any day. The staples should come out 10 days later & I guess all that's left is finding out how long I'll be on meds.

On the lighter side of things, any of you out there who think I need to have my head examined, you're about to get your wish... (hey, it's scary, I've got to get my humor in where I can).

Thanks again to all of my friends & family who are with me in body & soul. Your thoughts mean the world to me & you all have my promise that Hap is a fighter - he's sticking around for another 50 or 60 years...


Part 1 - Seizure

I was having a great time on my 2-week vacation in SC. We just got home from the store (I was driving) & walked up the steps to the house.

Something felt a little weird for a moment...I couldn't release the keys from my right hand & when I reached over with my left hand to grab them, I realized there was no feeling on the right arm.

That's when everything went tense & I managed to get the words out: "Something isn't right here!" before falling down in a really bad fit. This was definitely a first for me...

I woke up 5-minutes later to paramedics over me with an oxygen mask asking me questions. All I could do was ask myself if i had been driving. Thankfully, I remembered I wasn't & everyone was OK.

A few minutes later, we arrived at the hospital for a C/T scan & an x-ray. Nothing of note on the x-ray and the C/T showed a "significant mass" on the left hemisphere of my brain. I was left that evening being told I needed an MRI to determine the nature of the mass.


Ronny Engrish For Pres. 08

Ladies and Gentlemen ...my three readers. Because you have been so loyal to the Hapkido-Crunch site I am stating it here first ...uhm..er. second actually. Since the mid-eighties there have been interesting characters that have taken up the Independent Party Mantel and have made their best run at that Wall of Domination that is the Right Wing and the Left Wing Political Machines. Thus far no one has succeeded.

Today is time for Change. I am letting you all know that I, Ronny Engrish, am sending a message to the Real World that we in the Virtual World have a voice and we demand to be noticed. I am entering the 'Race' on a New Fourth Party known as:
The Bloggers United Liberty Legion of the Super Humble Independant Totalitarianists. It is long but the short version gets lost in translation ...or does it?

Here is a the news that most of you probably missed due to the huge coverage of the last two Presidential Conventions.


Vote a few times if you feel like it. We need to get some change in Washington and I don't mean the change you have left from a Kid's meal at your local fast-food establishment. They have enough of that.

Well to my Three Readers: Good Night and Good Luck.


DL also stands for David Letterman.

Good Evening to my Three Readers - you know who you are. Don't worry, Your identities will not be revealed.

I should have known better but what was I thinking? Did you all know that the talking head of Tonight's Top Ten List fame is a flaming dumb liberal? I just cruised the channels tonight and stopped on David Letterman. I had not really appreciated Jay Leno's taking the great Johnny Carson's seat on the Tonight Show (kinda like my difficulty seeing another QB running the Pack. Not as good as the Legendary Brett Favre now Jett Favre.) So I skipped Jaws and I stopped and watched Letterman. Tonight must have been the humor writer's day off and Howard Dean was filling in. All he did was rip on everything GOP but none of it was humorous in the least. He poked crap at about McCain's Age after a mild admission of McCain's survival of 5 years in the dreaded Hanoi Hilton. It was 5 and a half years. I think the half was well worth mentioning but what could we expect from a DL. Then he had the gall to say (paraphrasing) "What would happen if while President McCain was sleeping ... after living a long fulfilling life....he does not wake up? Look who we got for President now????" Then proceeded to bash Sarah’s experience. I know there will be age jokes about McCain and if that is all they have...geez they are desperate.
And am I the only one who finds this DL Dumb Logic...confusing? This week nObama was just quoted as saying that he had more experience than the GOP-Veep-To-Be because nObama has run a campaign for president. He even had all (yes ALL) his facts wrong from the number of employees to the size of the budget.
I ask my Three Readers...Since when did running a campaign garner more experience than governing the Union's LARGEST STATE??? AND....Why is this not funny stuff?!? Shoot I could have written a ton of jokes about this. What I find even more disturbing is that the Dem. Pres. Nominee actually saw that it was necessary to defend himself from not only the GOP Presidential Nom. but ALSO the VEEP from the other ticket. Holy crud they are running scared. And why is THAT not funny?
DL even took the low road, and ripped on Palin's Daughter's situation. Why was starting a family at 17 such a freaking scandal over nObama's Alcoholic Drug using Teenage years any less a scandal? And….Say it with me ….WHY IS THAT NOT FUNNY?
Craig Ferguson on the Late Late Night Show (I couldn't sleep) actually had a joke about Palin's Daughter being pregnant too. He said it "is not news and should not be news, UNLESS John Edwards is the father." Now THAT is funny. His political jokes were well balanced and he stayed away from 'low class' themes. Well lemme rephrase that...(thinking)... okay Craig plays with gutter humor not gutter politics.

Well it is late I am tired of watching the crap that the seriously delusional dope smoking censors have somehow found fit for public access television. I am going to bed. I can’t wait to hear Sarah Palin rip it up Wednesday night at the GOP convention.

Good Night to all (three of you).



Crunch Time has finally reached the 500 post milestone!

Congratulations to Ronny Engrish who agonizingly ran the anchor leg of this blog & gave us a DL list for # 500.

Here's to another 500 posts!

Fly AirTran

I flew from Moline, IL to Atlanta,GA today. It's the start of a 16-day vacation for me & despite the early hour (530 AM), I was pretty jazzed about getting to SC.

Once we boarded the aircraft, I noticed a soldier boarded the plane & walked to his seat towards the back. I remember thinking to myself, "This guy should be in First class".

No sooner did that cross my mind than one of the flight attendants walked back to the uniformed gentleman & invited him up to First class. The attendant didn't make big deal out of it, no show or flash - he just invited the soldier to the front & proceeded to see to his every comfort.

It's beautiful to see an airline (or, in this case, a representative) do the right thing with only the intention of recognizing a brave man who gives more to his country than most of us ever will.


DLs and the Sears Catalog

Two Dumb Liberals (DLs) were looking at a Sears catalog and admiring the models.

One says to the other, 'Have you seen the beautiful girls in this

The second one replies, 'Yes, they are very beautiful. And look at the

The first one says, with wide eyes, 'Wow, they aren't very expensive. At
this price, I'm buying one.'

The second one smiles and pats him on the back. 'Good idea! Order one and
if she's as beautiful as she is in the catalog, I will get one too.'

Three weeks later, the youngest DL asks his friend, 'Did you ever
receive the girl you ordered from the Sears catalog?'

The second DL replies, 'No, but it shouldn't be long now. I got her
clothes yesterday!'


The Art of the Out of Office Message

Oh you know when Political correctness has gone too far when you start having staff meetings regarding what is appropriate to place in Out of Office messages.

So then they open it up to questions....heh heh heh To which we intellictual miscrants decided to start examples of what would not be appropriate.

"Would you say that it would be incorrect to use the following as ...yadayada..."

Here are the winners of that list.

1. I am currently out of the office at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position.

2. You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of the office.

If I were in, chances are you wouldn't have received anything at all.

3. Sorry to have missed you, but I'm at the doctor's having my brain and heart removed so I can be promoted to our management team.

4. I will be unable to delete all the emails you send me until I return from vacation. Please be patient, and your mail will be deleted in the order it was received.

5. The email server is unable to verify your server connection. Your message has not been delivered. Please restart your computer and try sending again.

6. Thank you for your message, which has been added to a queuing system.

You are currently in 352nd place, and can expect to receive a reply in approximately 19 weeks.

7. Hi, I'm thinking about what you've just sent me. Please wait by your PC for my response.

8. I've run away to join a different circus.

9. I will be out of the office for the next two weeks for medical reasons.

When I return, please refer to me as Kate instead of Dave.

10. Thank you for your email. Your credit card has been charged $5.99 for the first ten words and $1.99 for each additional word in your message.

Who has a better one? Real or makebelieve we don't care all it has to be is funny.

The DL side of the coin

I have picked on DLs for a while now. Someone once told me that you should not judge someone till you could walk a mile in their shoes.

Hmmm. Okay so I have decided to find a way to look at reality from the other side of the political arena.

In that honor I have decided to switch parties and VOTE DEMOCRAT. You heard it here folks.

I'm voting Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending my income than I would.

I'm voting Democrat because freedom of speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.

I'm voting Democrat because when we pull out of Iraq I trust that the bad guys will stop what they're doing because they now think we're good people.

I'm voting Democrat because I'm not concerned about the slaughter of millions of babies so long as we keep all death row inmates alive.

I'm voting Democrat because I believe that business should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as Government sees fit.

I'm voting Democrat because I believe three or four pointy headed elitist need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would NEVER get their agendas past the voters.

I'm voting Democrat because I believe that when the terrorists don't have to hide from us over there, they will come over here and I shouldn't have any guns in the house to fight them off with.

I'm voting Democrat because I love the fact that I can now marry whatever I want. I've decided to marry my horse.

I'm voting Democrat because I believe oil companies' profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn't.

Makes ya wonder why anyone would EVER vote Republican, now doesn't it?

If you believe that.... you are on the DL List.


Just The Ticket

I just realized with the choice of such an obviously weak running mate in Senator Joe Biden that we need to focus some of our efforts on helping this soon-to-be-struggling campaign out. Leaving the democrats with a crushing defeat will result in the abundant over-use of tissue paper. Since I don't have stock in Kleenex or Puffs, that's something that just can't happen. Besides, according to the enviro-whackos, all those liberal tears will also lead to global warming.

Obama '08 Campaign Slogans:
1) Biding our time: Biden this time!

2) Snobbery, Plaigarism & Seedy Housing Deals: Welcome back to the Clinton years!

3) Hope & Change: Pray you have either left when we're done!

4) Hey, it's not Dukakis or Mondale.

5) Only tough decisions are above our paygrades.

6) Draft Dodger? Never heard of a draft.

7) Obama '08: Turning live terrorists into "freedom fighters" since '04.

8) Young & Old, Change & Hope, Sick & Tired.

9) Obama/Biden: One opposed Reagan, the other is even crazier.

10) Obama/Biden: Like Laurel & Hardy without the funny.


Go Home, Commie

Nothing steams me more than seeing a hot-headed, bullying poor sport in martial arts. Add to the mix that it's a person in one of the arts I practice & you have a recipe for full-blown rage.

A Cuban TKD champion kicked a referee in the face after he was disqualified in a Bronze medal match for men's (over 80kg) sparring. The disqualification came because the certified jerk used more time than is allowed by regulation to recover from an injury. International rules allow for 60 seconds.

Look, fella. You were sent to represent not only your crappy, despot-led nation but the sport of TKD as a whole. I'm not saying you can't be upset at the call. I AM saying that kicking the referee in the head for following the rules is a load of crap & you deserve that lifetime ban.

I'm an advocate of pulling TKD out of the Olympics, anyway. It's been made a mockery of its former self by the way you clowns hold your hands down to the side. It's supposed to be mock fighting, guys! There should be at least an implication that a punch might be thrown.

Since I'm not a democrat, I should be expected to offer a reasonable alternative, right? Well, I have one: Traditional Hapkido sparring. Not only does it have the kicks of TKD, it also has takedowns & sweeps. It's not MMA, it's not tag with your feet, it is a more readily enjoyable sport than TKD sparring.

Alternatively, bring back Pankration! It was created by the Greeks (didn't they have something to do with the Olympics), doesn't allow punches to the head, has takedowns, joint locks & is very enjoyable to watch.

Now, the above doesn't eliminate poor sports - they'll always be around in one form or another. It does remove one of the silliest displays in the Olympics, replacing it with a more practical demonstration of human ability, and ensures martial arts will be better represented as a whole.

As for the loser who struck the ref: Hey, pal, have fun in Cuba. I'm sure the Castros won't take it out on you at all...


Moving Day

Today, I trekked to Ames to help little sis Sarah move back for college. It was a nice change of pace for me - as I've been somewhat busy (yet bored at the same time).

The trip was fun & we talked about tons of stuff (best joke: What are the sexiest animals on a farm?). It took just under 2 hours & we only needed an hour to move her in - it's not a big moving day at ISU, apparently.

Now, I don't know when the last time was any of you saw a dorm room but HOLY CRAP! This thing was huge. Sure, it's technically 3 rooms, 6 people but that's TWO floors, TWO full bathrooms, a living area, kitchen across the hall, etc. This place is amazing. Heck, it's almost better than my apartment! It's light years better than the dorms at UI (miserable bastion of liberalism that it is).

So, after a rather enjoyable, uneventful move-in, we all went to lunch at Applebees - which is a nice enough place...when you're not getting a bit of the food poisoning, that is. Yeah, less than 1 hour later, ol' big brother is in the bathroom making more noise than a high school marching band backed up by a 747 jet engine. It was bad.

Still, I recovered & it was a good day. I left about 1pm & made it home about 3 - just in time to get ready for class...

The DL Montage with Obama Flair

Roe vs Wade

Back in college, Obama was sitting in class when the professor asked him if he knew what the Roe vs Wade decision was. He sat there for quite a while pondering this very profound question and finally said,"I think that is the decision George Washington made prior to crossing the Delaware."

Q: What is the difference between a President Obama and a UFO?

A: There have been sightings of UFOs.


Q: What do you see when you look directly into Obama's eyes?

A: The back of his head.


Q: What do you call Obama behind a steering wheel?

A: An air bag.


Ooooo this one is for the nerds....
Q: What do you call a fly buzzing inside of Obama's head?

A: A Space Invader.


Q: What do you call when Obama sits between Condoleezza Rice and Bill O'Reilly?

A: A mental block.


Q. What do twenty Dumb Liberals standing ear to ear make?

A. A wind tunnel. (this happens in Congress often)


Q. How do you make Obama laugh on Saturday?

A. Tell him a joke on Wednesday.


Q. How do you confuse a Dumb Liberal? (this one was way too easy)

A. You can't, they have always been like that.

Q. Why is it good to have Obama as a passenger?

A. You get to park in the handicap zone.

Q. What does Obama say when you ask him what the last two words of the national anthem are?

A. Play ball!

Q. What was McCain Doing when he was standing between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama?

A. Interpreting.

A police officer stops a Dumb Liberal for speeding and asks him very nicely if he could see the DL's license. The DL replied in a huff, "I wish you guys could get your act together. Just yesterday you take away my license and now today you expect me to show it to you."

The Thermos
A Dumb Liberal was shopping at K-Mart and came across a shiny silver thermos. She was quite fascinated by it, so she picked it up and took it over to theclerk to ask what it was. The clerk said, "why, that's a thermos....it keeps hot things hot and cold things cold.""Wow," said the Dumb Liberal, "that's amazing....I'm going to buy it!" So she took the thermos and took it to work the next day. Her boss, who is also a Dumb Liberal, saw it on her desk. "What's that?" he asked. "Why, that's a thermos...it keeps hot things hot and cold things cold,"she replied. "What do you have in it?"asked the boss.

"Two popsicles and some coffee"

You know you would think that making fun of Dumb Liberals would have somekind of enjoyable payout. But the more I do this the more I just shake my head.......


Geek SquaSHEd

Geek Squad Tech Support,

You kept Hap's PC for a month. He can kill with his pinky and an evil stare. You won't like him when he's angry.
Here's Your Sign.

The Taliban Education System.

I saw this and for some odd reason I though of Hapkido's Martial Arts class.


Made Up Your Mind, Eh?

Seen on a local idiot's person's car...

Bumper sticker #1:
Obama '08

Bumper sticker #2:
"I'm already against the next war."

I'm sure someone once said, "Those who will fight for nothing, deserve it".

I'm willing to bet you can add the above clown to that group. Sure, other than ending Communism, toppling the Berlin Wall, ending WW II, providing us our Independence, ending slavery and freeing the Iraqi people, a righteous use of force has never done anything for anyone.

Get a clue you "anti" kooks out there. It's easy to be against something. Take a stand, get a pair & be for something greater than yourself.

Just Too Good

My brother did a good one on this caption...

Which way did they go?

One good 50 year old joke deserves another.


Can't Trust Older Men...

A woman decides to have a facelift for her 50th birthday. She spends $15,000 and feels pretty good about the results. On her way home, she stops at a news stand to buy a newspaper. Before leaving, she says to the clerk, 'I hope you don't mind my asking, but how old do you think I am?'
'About 32,' is the reply

'Nope! I'm exactly 50,' the woman says happily.

A little while later she goes into McDonald's and asks the counter girl the very same question. The girl replies, 'I'd guess about 29."

The woman replies with a big smile, 'Nope, I'm 50.'

Now she's feeling really good about herself. She stops in a drug store on her way down the street. She goes up to the counter to get some mints and asks the clerk this burning question. The clerk responds, 'Oh, I'd say 30.'

Again she proudly responds, 'I'm 50, but thank you!'

While waiting for the bus to go home, she asks an old man waiting next to her the same question. He replies, 'I'm 78 and my eyesight is going. Although, when I was young, there was a sure-fire way to tell how old a woman was. It sounds very forward, but it requires you to let me put my hands under your bra. Then, and only then can I tell you EXACTLY how old you are.'

They wait in silence on the empty street until her curiosity gets the best of her. She finally blurts out, 'What the hell, go ahead.'

He slips both of his hands under her blouse and begins to feel around very slowly and carefully. He bounces and weighs each breast and he gently pinches each nipple. He pushes her breasts together and rubs them against each other.

After a couple of minutes of this, she says, 'Okay, okay...How old am I?'

He completes one last squeeze of her breasts, removes his hands, and says, 'Madam, you are 50.'

Stunned and amazed, the woman says, 'That was incredible! How could you tell?'

The old man says, 'Promise you won't get mad?' 'I promise I won't,' she says.

'I was behind you in McDonald's.'

The Darker Side

Oh, it's not all that "dark", per se. Let's just say that when, in my role as an instructor in TKD, I tell the whole class to keep their hands up or everyone will do push-ups, I. Mean. It.

Of course, I'm going to lead by example & will do them myself - and let's not miss the point:

1) In self-defense, if your hands are down, you're toast. I don't care if a mugger is going to punch you, a drunk is going to tackle you or Mother Superior is trying to smack your face with a ruler. Hands down = lots of pain headed your way.

2) It's expected in the art. Hands up, ready for confrontation and available to use. I understand, little Timmy, that you may have seen a rough day swimming on this beautiful summer afternoon. However, I'm pretty darn sure the parent next to you in class had a rougher one. Suck it up, kid.

3) Show respect for your instructor(s). Most importantly, I mean the Chief Instructor - who is on vacation. If you disrespect anyone in that class, you're disrespecting him. That makes me angry. Much like Bruce Banner, you don't want to see me angry...

So, ten measly push-ups later, the same two kids learned just about squat. I was nice enough not to single them out - after all, 20 people were just disciplined thanks to two recalcitrant young boys. I promise you all this: if I have to do any more push-ups because of some slacker kids, I will be more creative in my methods of correction.

Payback Time


Hap's Back (Saga of the Notebook)

Needless to say, I won't be buying a Dell anytime soon. Of course, my "buddies" at Best Buy (short for "Best buy someplace else, fella") did me the great favor of NOT sending the Dell to the service center after the motherboard died. No, they let the thing sit in the store for 4 weeks while they did nothing...

So, after my brother was kind enough to call them - in place of my ranting anger - they agreed to make good on the warranty & give me a new laptop. Of course, the new one is an HP, not a Dell. Here's hoping that my next foray into the world of portable blogging is met with more reliable service.

How to handle an Challenge of Wits from an Unarmed DL

Mrs. McCain found herself sitting next to Mrs. Obama at a Presidential Debate. Mrs. Obama just kept bugging Mrs. McCain wanting her to play a game of intelligence. Finally, Mrs. Obama offered her 10 to 1 odds, and said every time Mrs. McCain could not answer one of the Liberal’s questions, Mrs. McCain owed Mrs. Obama $10, but every time Mrs. Obama could not answer the Conservative’s, Mrs. Obama would give Mrs. McCain $100.00. Mrs. Obama figured she could not lose, and Mrs. McCain reluctantly accepted.

Mrs. Obama first asked, "What is the distance between the Earth and the nearest star?"

Without saying a word Mrs. McCain arched an eyebrow and handed Mrs. Obama $10. Then Mrs. McCain asked, "What goes up a hill with 3 legs and comes back down the hill with 4 legs?"

Well, Mrs. Obama looked puzzled. She took several hours, looking up everything she could on her laptop and even placing numerous text messages and Cell calls trying to find the answer. Finally, angry and frustrated, she gave up and paid Mrs. McCain $100. Mrs. McCain put the $100 into her purse without comment, but Mrs. Obama insisted, "What is the answer to your question?"

Without saying a word, Mrs. McCain slyly smiled and handed her $10.


The Farve Saga

I know I know Everyone is sick of hearing about the FARVE TRADE.

I have not had my say in this as a die hard Packer Fan and as an admirer of the Legend of Brett Farve. As my fellow life-long Packer Fans and I have lived through mediocre Packer Teams and I have had the patience to survive it, we think we are entitled to a little say in this deal. We do not have any desire to return to the Post Bart Starr era. BUT NOOOOO. It appears that the brainiacs in power at Lambeau are testing that patience once again. Someone up there needs to do a Rectal-Lobotomy on the Head Coach, GM and the Team President (ALL of whom need to go). What happened to the brains and genius of Ron Wolfe, Bob Harlan, and Mike Holmgren? They left a vacuume in the athletic intelligence community of Middle Wisconsin. Oh I cant believe I am going to say this but …THOSE WERE THE DAYS. The Packers had the Hat-trick Team-supreme in them. They knew something that these others do not. The ability to identify TALENT, SKILL, ABILITY and to shut up and getting out of the way when that is called for.

So how do I think it should have gone down? Well Honestly if Brett asked them to kiss his holy arse I think that they should have Shaved, put on the lip gloss and PUCKERED UP.
Acheivement for Acheivement, Farve’s successes would line up farther than either of them can throw. The Ego B-Fight that went on between his majesty the Farve and the Front Office was nothing more than spoiled child’s play on the front office’s part. There are some that say that Farve brought this on himself. WELL EXCUUUUUUSE ME. It is that kind of mentality that gets you a GM position in the NFL these days. Farve paided for this team through a show of blood sweat tears and loyalty. He showed time and again that he was for the team and the team in turn was for Farve. These three stooges need to scoot closer to the table because they are going to get served a nice big serving of Crow with a side of Gumbo... and if they have room for it afterward for just deserts....a nice big cup of "You shoulda shut the....uhm....'Heck' up. (keeping it clean for Mrs. Who and the kids. :) )

This last week has got me so (Warning! Bad Pun Ahead) Cheesed Off that I have been practicing my new chant. J.E.T.S. JETS JETS JETS. it really doesn't hurt as bad as I thought it would.

As I was stinging from the pain of this unecessary trade I ran across the article below that sums up exactly what I was thinking. Jason Whitlock had the precise information that was going through my head but I could not put in words the way I wanted.

While I do feel for Chad and I do wish him luck, I bear no such sentiment for the HC, GM, and TP at the Packers. They will go down in history but not as they expected. They will be know as the idiots that let a good one get away in favor of their wounded pride.

To all the Farve haters out there who say he will fail in NY. If that is true then why were the 3 stooges in Green Bay so terrified that he would play in the NFC? Because his No-End-In-Sight-Skill is the thing that keeps them awake at night and they want that as far away from them as possible. Also Why were soo many teams very interested in acquiring Farve if he is "Done" as you say? Probably because it is only wishfull thinking talking and not common sense.

Dan Marino left when he got pushed out. He could still throw the ball better than his replacements. Look where Miami has gone since. Green Bay I still love you and will always be a fan but I am NOT a TT MM or MM fan and will not be happy again till they are nothing but bad memories.

Farve will reign again in NY and "J.E.T.S. Jets jets jets" is not that painful to say.

To the Jets fans. I envy you. You may see the end of the Patsies sooner than any of us thought possible and at the sound of Roaring Jets fans. I look forward to your many victories.

To the Penninton Faithful: I feel your pain much more than you probably realize but I do not have the Team hope that you can have. I did not like Farve when he first came to Lambeau. It took time. He also was not the legendary gunslinger then, that he is now.

To the Patsies. Your day has come. There is a new Marshal in town. He doesn't take too kindly to cheaters. Enjoy preseason, because Brett's coming and there is going to be hell to pay.

To Brett 'the Jet' Farve. We 'The Faithful' will always love you and miss you in the mid-west. Good luck Country Time. Teach them New Yorkers how to do the Lambeau Leap for us.


This week on the DL: Special Honorary Member

From www.foxnews.com/oreilly 7-16-2008 the Pinheads and Patriots we have an honorary Leader in the DL list. Introducing John Wiley Price. Incidentally his middle name is from a cartoon character that the Road Runner made famous.

Actual Conversation
Other Commissioner: It sounds like Central Collections has become a black hole. (this commissioner is of a mostly Caucasian persuasion)

JOHN WILEY PRICE, DALLAS COUNTY COMMISSIONER: Can I get an apology from the commissioner? In this day and time, you don't sit around the table where you have diversity and refer to a black hole. (Johnnie is an African American but is apparently not up on his science.)

Other Commissioner: Well, sure I do...

(End of Conversation)...

Black hole is in space. Now John Wiley Price, one of the commissioners who was offended made it worse when he talked to a FOX News reporter.

(Actual Conversation:)

PRICE: If it's angel food cake, it's white. If it's devil's food cake, it's black. If you're the black sheep of the family, then you've got to be bad, you know? White sheep, you're OK. I'm OK if I'm bartering with you, I'm OK. But if I try to Jew you down, oh, is that racist? I thought it meant the same thing. No, maybe it doesn't.

(END Conversation.)
Pinhead doesn't even begin to cover this.

GEEZ. This Educated DL doesn't even know what a "Black Hole" is. I am pretty sure he know what a hole is. uhem. Sorry lord. couldn't resist.

What is next John?

Former - Current
Shell Shock - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Fat - Obese individual with a thyroid disorder beyond his/her control

Bum - Penniless Victim of society

Addict - Drug-addled Victim of society

Hippie - Anti-war protester

Black Hole - Large mass of concentrated matter by which time/space are inverted upon themselves.While it resembles the properties of a "hole", and is, in fact "black" due to the fact not even light can escape its influence, this is not a nomenclature acceptable at the Dallas City Government level.

I urge everyone to contact the Educated Man in Downtown Dallas and explain that a Black Hole has nothing to do with race. Just because John had the brains to leave his contact information on his website with the quote "To his constituents of Dallas County's District 3 he is simply, "Our Man Downtown." shhhheeesh. More like "The Village Idiot."

Call him, Fax him, Write him, Send him Pictures, Someone dig up the old Disney movie, stop by with charts and diagrams of what a Black Hole really is.
Dallas ... you have a commissioner who's communication cannot transcend racism. At the next election ....please tell him where to get off the stage. We would not want him seeing the Black Lights in the wings.

Dallas County Commissioner District No. 3
John Wiley Price411 Elm Street,
2nd Floor Dallas, Texas 75202
PH: 214-653-6671
FAX: 214-653-6622
email: secrb3@dallascounty.org

Congratulations John Wiley Price. You are the King of the DL. This guy is gonna be hard to beat but ya know. I got a funny feeling he will not be sitting on this throne very long.


The DL List - Car Trouble

A DL (Dumb Liberal) pushes his BMW into a gas station. He tells the mechanic it died.
After the Mechanic works on it for a few minutes, it is idling smoothly.
The DL says, "What's the story?"
The Mechanic replies, "Just crap in the carburetor"
The DL asks, "How often do I have to do that?"

Oh how long can I get away with this. This is too easy.


Introducing the DL List

Well apparently in an earlier blogpost our dear friend and founder of this site aptly predectied his demise with a lousy PUN. This site is currently HAPless as he managed to knock himself off the information superhighway. While he is waiting for the Geek Squad to respond to the ID Ten Tee alarm I will do my best to keep you from totally ignoring this web site.

So without further ado.....{drum roll}......
Today July 17th on the year of our Lord 2008 AD. We are ..... well I asked every one here and that's just me We are pleased to present you...
THE DL LIST ta........

Dumb Liberals: ON TRAVEL
Two Dumb Liberals living in Oklahoma were sitting on a bench talking, and one Dumb Liberal says to the other, "Which do you think is farther away... Florida or the moon?"
The other Dumb Liberal turns and says "Helloooooooooo, can you see Florida ????? "

This is just a pilot program till Hapkido gets back and kicks me off. Hope you enjoy enuff to tell him to keep me on.


Little Johnny vs. Obama Fan-ism

A teacher in Elmira , New York asked her 6th grade class how many of them were Obama fans.
Not really knowing what an Obama fan is, but wanting to be liked by the teacher, all the kids raised their hands except for ......Little Johnny.

The teacher asked Little Johnny why he has decided to be different...again.

Little Johnny said, 'Because I'm not an Obama fan.'

The teacher asked, 'Why aren't you an Obama fan?'

Johnny said, 'Because I'm a Republican.'

The teacher asked him why he's a Republican.

Little Johnny answered, 'Well, my Mom 's a Republican and my Dad's a Republican, so I'm a Republican.'

Annoyed by this answer, the teacher asked, 'If your mom was a moron and your dad was an idiot, what would that make you?'

With a big smile, Little Johnny replied, 'That would make me ......an Obama fan.'


(Possible) Good Call

I've been to the Statue of Liberty before. I've even seen the breathtaking view from the crown (a must in anyone's lifetime). I suppose as a New Yorker, it's pretty much one of those things that can be taken for granted because it's, well, always there in the background of the big city. Standing at the top of those steps as a child, foremost I was stunned by exactly high up it is! Sure, the walk up took a long time but when you're a kid walking two blocks is "forevvvvvvver"! This young fella could have never grasped the concept of being up so high & staring down to certain doom upon a fall.

And then, I looked forward.

I'm sure we've all seen the skyline of New York, New York in photography. My wall is adorned with a picture taken in the 70s - just after the Twin Towers went up (1973, I think) - that was given to me by my parents. This view, however, defied all imagination. A world of activity before you - boats, planes, and the realization that I while cannot grasp in my mind the greatness of America, I can sure enjoy the beauty of it all.

Now, a kid doesn't really appreciate these things as a child. No, it takes time, experiences both home & away from our nation's shores to get even an idea of what one glimpse from that crown really means. Maybe that's where I fell in love with my country - not that I realized at the time - and the idea of just how special this great land is was born in a lad's mind.

The Statue has always been our sentinel on the water. Even when it was closed for repairs (you can't enter the torch anymore) she never lost sight of us. Yes, I'll admit at times I forgot she was ever-present. OK, once in a great while, New Jersey would remind us of the Empire State's most enduring symbol by claiming she's in their waters (yeah? come & get it, Garden Staters!) & briefly the great lady will come back into focus, only to be relegated to the darkness at the back of our minds. We New Yorkers have a complicated & apathetic relationship with her...no wonder she's turned green over the years!

So, upon reading the city may finally re-open the crown & once again offer one of the most amazing views in the world (unless you've summited Everest, don't argue), I find the embers of that memory rekindled and the awe reborn.

When this Statue of Liberty once again is opened to the public, take the trip and go take in what will stand as the most amazing vision in your natural life: America.


Hero: A Definition

For any of you who want an example of a hero, read this story.

I don't think there's a true American out there who would doubt the courage, patriotism & dedication of the "average" Navy SEAL and Petty Officer Michael A. Monsoor's actions set him as an exceptional man among exceptional men.

The fact his fellow SEALs set their Tridents into the top of his coffin offers the proof of how great a man he was.

Happy Independence Day

In honor of the day, I present you with the greatest play in the history of sports:

Rick Monday, you're a true patriot!


K-9s now piss off muslims?? WTH?!?

Ad Featuring Popular Police Pup Sparks Anger in Scottish Muslim Communities

Story here.

"Muslims in the Scottish district of Tayside are outraged by the appearance of a wide-eyed, 6-week-old puppy on postcards distributed by the local police force, according to the Daily Mail.
Postcards showing police dog-in-training Rebel, a German shepherd born in early December, are causing a furor among the region’s Muslims who believe dogs are "ritually unclean," the Daily Mail reports.
The cute cards were meant to notify locals of a new telephone number for non-emergency phone calls but instead have become a flashpoint for a clash of cultures. Shopkeepers are refusing to display the offending ad and a Dundee city councilor is calling for an investigation."

You can't please all the people all of the time. Apparently you cannot please Muslims (at least the pissy ones) any of the time. Hey Ornery Muslim dudes.... I can understand if the dog was pissing on a turban but that clearly was not the case here. There isn't a hidden Quran inside the had for potty training either. They are UNCLEAN.... No CRAP? Notice to all people. These are Police Dogs. YOU DON'T FREAKING EAT THEM!!! If you are not careful they will eat you. So by this one can deduce that our very own McGruff is offensive to Muslims.

To the Tayside Police: MAN UP AND TELL THEM TO STUFF IT. You're the police. Grow a spine and quit bending over backward for the whiners. They keep doing this and making your life miserable because THEY CAN.

Here is the score settler. Let's be fair and Take a vote (via Comments). Majority rules.
Who's for the cute Puppy? Who is not? Vote on Crunch Time.


In Case Of Emergency

I have a favorite blog post.

Strangely, it's not one of my own - though I'm glad of that fact, since it suggests I'm not nearly so full of myself as I thought. ;-)

I recommend everyone who visits this site - if you've ever had a bad day, been pissed off at someone you care about or even just wondered "what's the point in trying?" - go to this blogger's site & read this short, meaningful story. Even if you only have a minute to spare, I promise it'll be the best minute of your day. The post is that good.

Roses, yet again (my 3rd read), this story has moved me beyond adequate words to describe the feeling. Take a bow, you deserve it.


Dangerous, At Least

***Warning! Horrible pun ahead***

If I wasn't a blogger on this site, would that make it Hap-less?

I am so, so sorry. :-P



I don't know if it was just the rough day at work or everything else going on but I am freaking worn out on life right now.

Oh, I've had a few good days in a row (none bad, to be honest) & I even thought I had run into an old friend from high school (false alarm, as it turns out) but man, something has left me feeling drained...


2 Out Of 3 Ain't Bad

We had three good students test last night in TKD - all brown belts. It was a long test for that level & I'm confident my instructor threw everything at them that was reasonable.

I'm actually going to say I was impressed by all three. I don't think that's ever happened.

One part of the test involved them defending against me touching their head. This was full-speed, open-hand (don't do damage) & they had to successfully block my "attack". Well, the first two did well on the block but forgot the main part of what we teach them: Move. Your. Head. They both got tapped.

The third young man, Alan, DID move his head when he blocked & I never came close to touching him. Bravo! Exactly what he should have done. While I know there are plenty of people faster than me, it's still no small feat for a youth to dodge a full-speed strike from an adult.

As for the rest of test, they're actually ahead of where I was at the same level. Ouch. I'd say forms need a little touching up - OK, cut them some slack, they're still young - and very little else needed work. Self-defense was strong & technique was good for all three.

Not So Frivolous

I'm not normally in favor of lawsuits. In this case, however, I can say it's completely justified.

Congressman Murtha completely stepped over the line in declaring these fine Marines guilty before any evidence was presented towards to assert that accusation. As it turns out, all but one have been exonerated & I'd expect the final Marine will have the charges dismissed as well.

Who has the nerve to declare ANY person serving in our military guilty before evidence is presented? Shouldn't these standard bearers of our great nation be the first to deserve the benefit of the doubt? I would think a former Marine (yes, former - the first time I've heard that applied to any Marine) should be the last one who would presume guilt on serving Marines.

He damn sure owes these men an apology.


Are You Freaking Serious?

Just saw this on Michelle Malkin's site. We're sending $1.1 Billion (with a "B") to Mexico for their effing border security? Hello! How about that huge, gaping hole we have called a border in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona & California? Any one of you clowns in Congress want to think about plugging that sucker up, first?

It's the simplest of rules, people. Even the airlines follow it with oxygen masks: Take care of your emergency situation before you try to bail others out...if for no other reason than you can't help if you're unconscious.

Oh, and in this case, the "person" you're helping with that mask happens to be a habitual drug-dealing, gun-running coyote with a strangulation fetish.

Hey, instead of moving troops down to the border (as we should), why not move all the homes of Congress down there? I'll bet that boundary would be sealed tighter than Ebenezer Scrooge's coin purse in under a month.


My Advice

Lady, I'm sure you were in a hurry when you changed lanes suddenly. I'm even sure that in the shock of seeing my vehicle stop suddenly to avoid becoming part of your driver's seat prevented you from feeling that very slight impact where you rubbed against my bumper (be thankful I reacted quickly, or someone may have been hurt).

However, simply giving me an "Oh my gosh!" face & driving off doesn't cut it. The damage was negligible & I was incredibly decent to you & your father when I finally contacted you (after having to call the police to get your info).

My advice to you is make sure you stop in the unfortunate instance this happens again. The next person might not be so courteous as I was.

Just A Reminder

That my full name makes the best anagram ever!

Harlot's Phenomenal Joy

Whoops! I forgot the link! Thanks, Harvey, for pointing it out.

Next Time, Pick It Up

A lesson on how consultants can make a difference in an organization:

Last week, we took some friends to a new restaurant, 'Steve's Place,' and noticed that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket.

It seemed a little strange . When the busboy brought our water and utensils, I observed that he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket.

Then I looked around and saw that all the staff had spoons in their pockets. When the waiter came back to serve our soup I inquired, 'Why the spoon?'

'Well, 'he explained, 'the restaurant's owner hired Andersen Consulting to revamp all of our processes. After several months of analysis, they concluded that the spoon was the most frequently dropped utensil. It represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour.

If our personnel are better prepared, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift.'

As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he replaced it with his spare. 'I'll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now.' I was impressed.

I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of the waiter's fly.

Looking a round, I saw that all of the waiters had the same string hanging from their flies. So, before he walked off, I asked the waiter, 'Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?'

'Oh, certainly!' Then he lowered his voice. 'Not everyone is so observant. That consulting firm I mentioned also learned that we can save time in the restroom.

By tying this string to the tip of our you know-what, we can pull it out without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our hands, shortening the time spent in the restroom by 76.39%.

I asked quietly, 'After you get it out, how do you put it back?'

'Well,' he whispered, 'I don't know about the others, but I use the spoon.'

Hissstory Channel

Hey, guys at History Channel, or History, whatever you call yourselves now:

Do you have some sort of EEOC quota for people with lisps? Seriously, there's nothing like watching a show about the history of astronomy just to have any serious aspect of it ruined by some disheveled kook with a lisp that would make a drag queen envious.

If you happen to have an extraordinarily gifted scientist, with whom the show can't go on, please, PLEASE find an equally gifted person in the field of public speaking so we don't have to endure that annoying sound of steam escaping.


Workout Schedule

Oh, you'll love this one.

Here's my workout for today:

00:35 - Wii Fit (20 minutes boxing, 15 minutes stepping)

01:00 - Taekwondo - Including sparring with a very talented lady. Great workout!

01:00 - Hapkido - Less intense than TKD for cardio, but still a good workout.

00:40 - Wii Fit (10 minutes boxing, 30 minutes stepping - count was 2982)

By my count, that's 3 hours, 15 minutes I spent exercising today! Man, I feel great & I wish I could do this everyday. I'm sure I won't feel that way in the morning but right now, all the above was completely worth it!

Ninja Gaiden 2 (XBOX 360)

Summary: Most violent game...EVER!

If you have kids, are thinking about having kids or ever have kids at your house DO. NOT. GET. THIS. GAME! It's as violent as I could possibly stand to watch.

Aside from that, it's every bit as good as the first game & the storyline doesn't disappoint. Battles are fast, furious & overly bloody - which is frighteningly realistic with the spectacular graphics. Controls are tighter than that pair of jeans from college you tried to squeeze into last week.

Given all the options (tons of weapons, combos, unlockables, etc.) there's very little chance you could ever get bored with this game. Heck, the nightmares you'll have as a result of the overkill will allow you (unfortunately) take it into your sleep time.

Difficulty. How do I sum this up? Well, the only thing possibly more brutal than the images in this game is the difficulty. These enemies will mess you up. Bad. They don't pull punches, they do a lot of damage & they fight dirtier than a democrat at election time. There's even an "Achievement" awarded for your 100th continue. Yeah, it's that tough.

The camera can mess with you a bit in battles, but it's a minimal issue. I've never had problems when scaling walls or getting around tough obstacles - which is where a camera needs to work. I haven't lost a battle as a result of camera crappiness. I do miss how Ninja Gaiden would let you lock on in the last game. That would help, maybe. Then again, with the sheer number of enemies on screen, it might get you killed that much faster.

Anyway, I do think it's a great game. Nothing, on paper, says it's less-than-perfect. However, the violence will probably be a big turnoff for most people. If it were a movie, I can bet you'd see an NC-17 rating for how retchingly horrific some of the images are.

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