Thursday, November 23, 2017

My father warned me about Mexican and Turkish prisons among other things.

I see where this Lavar Ball is ungrateful to President Trump for getting his kid out of a Chinese prison.

He should have left him there.

First of all my father taught me not to steal simply because it wasn't the right thing to do. Secondly he reminded me that a lot of the jails overseas are not very nice places to spend any time.

The other thing he taught me were basic manners. 

As a result I probably would not have gotten into trouble overseas to begin with.

However, if I had and a president had gotten me out of it I would have had the decency to thank him/her publicly for getting me out of trouble.

Yes, I would have bitten the bullet and thanked Hillary Clinton had this been the case.

It would not have changed my beliefs but courtesy dictates I act grateful if I accept someone's help.

I see where President Trump compared Lavar Ball to being a Don King without hair and I do believe Trump put yet another one into the X-ring



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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Yet another case of $hit and fall back in it.....

I see where so-called civil rights groups have been demanding that police officers wear body cameras to insure they are not beating and shooting people for no good reason.

Now the same groups that demanded it are insisting that police officers are not allowed to review their camera footage as an aid to help them write their criminal activity reports.

Seems that the police department's conviction rate has gone up and the minority civil rights groups are not happy with that. It also seems to have proven that cops as a general rule don't go running around looking for people to shoot or beat up.

I have been watching civil rights groups over the past few years and it seems that every time you turn around they are digging themselves into a deeper and deeper hole.

If it wasn't so pathetic it would be hilarious.  





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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

There are two reasons---and ONLY two reasons

to the place where I grew up. 


My niece and nephew live there and every so often I like to attend a high school reunion.


That is it, plain and simple.





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Monday, November 20, 2017

My 'Go-To' email checker is now a Kindle.

They advertised that they are good at email and they are basically 100% correct. 

For checking up on things that either require a brief or no answer they are great.

If you have to return an email with something like the Gettysburg Address you probably want to use a laptop with a real keyboard. Still, those emails are generally few and far between for most of us.

While the Kindle is good anywhere there is a WiFi, it is a shame I can not get it with a cellular internet package.

Hey, if anyone knows how to hook a Kindle up to a smart phone please give me a shout.




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Sunday, November 19, 2017

For a relative of mine.

I read where Trump rescinded an Obama Executive Order regarding Americans importing elephant trophies legally taken in Africa.

I know someone that disagrees with Trump doing this and seems to believe that Trump has done this out of spite.

First of all you really don’t get very far if you let spite run your administration. I think that Trump did this because he looked into it and believes it is the right thing to do.

People have a hard time understanding this but one of the reasons we still have many of the species still alive in Africa now is because of hunting. It is one of the paradoxes in life that hunting has saved several species of animals. The fact that people want to hunt them is what gives them value.

Let’s look at what an elephant is to most African villagers. It is a big, clumsy oversize crop damager that does them no good whatsoever other than the fact that people will pay good money to hunt them.

Tigers, lions and other big cats are a pain in the neck to villagers because they kill their livestock and if they are not careful, their children. Other than the money they draw from hunters they serve no useful purpose to villagers. In fact they cause a great deal of harm to villagers.

A relative asked me what kind of douche would want to shoot an elephant. I am not going to get into the personality of such a person. I don’t really care what kind of person goes elephant hunting. But to answer my relative I will say he is a person with a lot of money because hunting safaris are not cheap. They are quite expensive. They also quite often spread a lot of money from the country’s government agencies all the way down to the villagers.

Most of the animals that are so-called African trophies are nothing but pests to the average villager. Most people outside of Africa don’t realize, for example, the African hippopotamus is a pretty mean vegetarian and a nasty killer. Generally hippos kill about 2900 humans annually.

Of course, sitting in a climate controlled living room across an ocean with a good meal it is pretty easy to think that the villagers in Africa think the same way you do. Truth is they don't. While that meal you are eating came from a supermarket, the villagers have to grow and raise their own food. 

In addition to that, hippos join elephants as crop damagers. This certainly doesn’t endear these animals into the hearts and minds of African villagers that are trying to feed their families.

Truth is to an awful lot of Africans these animals are nothing more than nuisances that they would like to see eliminated. 

I can see their point and I can certainly see that most people don’t understand these people. They are simple people.

I never was much of a litterbug, but the exception was cigarette butts as I used the ash tray for change years ago. I got stopped in Washington State and another time in Massachusetts for throwing a butt out the window. Both times the cops were just fishing. Both times I handed the officers an Alaskan driver’s license and both times I was wearing an LL Bean wool shirt.

Both police officers gave me the same lecture. “You’re from Alaska, you should know better!”

Both police officers acted as if I was some kind of super ecologist uber world saver type simply because I was living in Kodiak. What a joke that was! They should have assumed I was one of those nasty old sourdough gold seeking slobs. I was just like everyone else up there. I wanted to make a buck.  As a fisherman I would go off to sea and make a concerted effort to sweep the sea clean of halibut. As a hunter I filled a freezer so I could eat. The reason I killed no bears is because they left me alone and there was no profit in it.

On a parallel run the same holds true for African villagers. They simply want to raise their families and if eliminating game animals makes it easier and safer then so be it. So what if it’s illegal. Those laws were passed by big city people that have no clue of village life. Just whack the critter and drag the body out into the bush for the hyenas to eat. If you can get a hefty chunk of change for the tusks or horns, better yet! These are real people unlike the fake crying Indian in the anti-litter commercial of years gone by.

Incidentally ‘Iron Eyes Cody’, the crying Indian in the ads, was really the son of Italian immigrants. While we’re on the subject of Indians the plains Indians moved frequently because they polluted their camp site. Granted the pollution was mostly organics so the camp site cleaned itself up fairly quickly and could be reused the following year or so, but that’s the reason they moved so frequently.

The fact of the matter is that the only thing that gives the trophy animals of Africa any value at all is that people want to hunt them, either with guns or cameras and will pay dearly to do so. It turns the herds into something that is profitable and that it makes sense to manage the herds for future business.

Since the animals now have value they must be guarded and managed for the future generations to be able to either hunt or otherwise profit from.

For some people this is a bitter pill to swallow but it is the truth when you take the time to look at it. When the animals lose value they will be poached into extinction. Poaching does more damage to the herds than managed legal hunting. Hunting is at least regulated. Poaching isn't.

Generally speaking, where animals are hunted legally poaching drops off. There are reasons for this. For one thing the money taken in by various trophy fees is often used to protect the herds.

The bottom line here is just like the bottom line everywhere else. Follow the money.

As for Obama outlawing trophies in the United States?

I’d bet that Barak Obama doesn’t give a sweet God damn nothin’ about the animals in Africa. He gave that executive order for political gain to impress a bunch of gullible people that think that it really would do some good. In fact, as with a lot of ‘feel good’ legislation it did more harm than good.

Since Obama gave that order the elephant population has dropped like a stone and the reason for that is poaching. Both the villagers want to get rid of the oversized crop crushers and sell the ivory as a bonus. Hunters from the States dried up and the animals lost value.

Had Obama not issued the order it is very likely that the elephant population would not have dropped because one of the things the governments do with the trophy fees is hire people to guard and manage the herds.

I’ll say it again. Follow the money.

I’ll add this for the benefit of my family. I have no use for a tiger skin to put down in front of my fireplace, nor can I use a set of kudu horns to hang on my wall.

I can’t really afford an African safari. However, if I won one or got handed a freebie I would most likely accept it but not bother shooting anything.  I would carry a camera, I suppose just to shut everyone up.


The truth is I would really rather go out with the professional hunter and simply watch the animals with my own eyes and add those memories to the pile. It would be a wonderful addition to the pile of memories I am accumulating to give Alzheimer’s more to steal from me.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Update. I just read where Trump has put everything on hold pending more research. 


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Saturday, November 18, 2017

I am impressed with eBay.



I have heard years and years of horror stories of buying something, never getting it and losing your money.

A while back I bought something from overseas and it never showed. I opened an eBay claim and they told me to wait a few more days and get back with them. I do believe this was fair because they needed a little time to investigate things.

On the appointed day I emailed them back and said the item had not arrived and inside a couple of hours my account had been paid back.

I actually saw my account had been credited a few minutes before eBay’s email arrived telling me this had happened.

I am not going to rant and rave about how wonderful eBay is. I’ll just let what happened to me speak for itself.


I’m reasonably impressed.



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Friday, November 17, 2017

Everybody is a f***in' artist and knows more than I do



Lot of that going around these days and I am watching it as I sit here and listen to a shipmate. He’s trying to get his motorcycle fixed.

He has a Harley he has had since he was a corporal serving alongside me and Colonel Roosevelt. It just got pretty much destroyed in a Wallyworld parking lot while he was inside buying something.

The bike is now in the shop and he wants the thing repaired so it is just like it was before some low life ran over it and turned it into a pile of busted up motorcycle. Of course, the guy that is been hired to rebuild it is just like every other artist out there. He wants to rebuild the motorcycle HIS way and fails to understand that the owner simply wants it the way it was before the accident. He doesn’t want the motor rebuilt to give him 143 more horses nor does he want the front fork pushed out another four feet. He wants the original saddle bags.

To put a point on it my shipmate’s bike started life as an old police bike that he rebuilt the engine for many moons ago and has stayed that way because it has been meticulously maintained. He simply wants to keep it that way. He has had the bike that way since Day One and likes it that way.

I don’t know why he likes the old police bike that way. Maybe it’s the way it rides, maybe it’s the way it looks. It might even be that he’s simply gotten used to it and is being cranky. It doesn’t really matter. He wants it pretty much stock. It really IS that simple.

Of course in this day and age, trying to get someone to put something back together in a more or less stock configuration is getting harder and harder every day. It seems everyone out there is an artist and knows more than you do and knows what is good for you.

Of course, quite often the repairman may know what is good for the customer, but he doesn’t know what is good for his pocket. A lot of these guys start off saying, “Look at what I did!” as they show off something the customer specified that he didn’t want to begin with.
They often end up hearing “That’s not what I am paying for. Take it off.”

Of course when this happens the customer is treated to a look of both hurt and feigned innocence on the part of the repairman. Feelings will be hurt, people will be upset and no real good comes out of it.

Actually there is a simple cure for all of this and it really doesn’t take much. All it takes is for Mister Know it All Artist to come off of his high horse and simply give the customer what he wants or not take the job in the first place.

I met a highly skilled tattoo artist one time and asked him a question about an Old School Sailor Jerry design I had an academic interest in even though I am not planning on getting inked.

He told me he didn’t do that kind of work and told me that if I was really interested he could fix me up with a guy that did Old School designs. I have to admit I respected his attitude. He was an artist and wanted to stay in his field. I can respect that.

Of course I would imagine that in the tattoo business there has to be a lot more communication. If one puts the wrong fender on a motorcycle if can just be removed. Tattooing is a different matter. A tattoo is pretty much forever. I wonder how many tattoo artists have gotten their noses busted for doing what they wanted to do instead of what the customer wanted.

Probably a few but I digress.

In the motorcycle/automotive world it seems to be getting harder and harder to find people that understand the simple concept of simply following directions. For that matter it seems to be true in a lot of fields of endeavor.


Hope my friend makes out on his bike but I would bet that there is going to be heartburn along the line. "
To the artist that is probably going to be going through the artistic shock, "What part of the word 'stock' don't you understand?



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