Friday, May 31, 2013

One of my nieces that live in the southern part

 of the country made a comment on Southern Pride which like a lot of things I have no problem with. When I see the Stars and Bars I instantly think of the cause of States Rights.

Of course, someone that didn't like it tried to drag slavery and the usual cheap shot pile of crap into the argument to make my niece look small.

First of all, Southern Pride is generally about heritage, not hate. There are a number of things I like about the south. I am a Yankee by birth but enjoy grits once in a while and a lot more southern cusine than simple grits, too.

I'd generally rather have some southern dishes than a New England boiled dinner which requires no skill to prepare and has the taste and texture of mush.

There's a lot of other things I like about the south, too. They have a heritage of military service and generally provide the nation with more service people per capita than the north does. Don't believe it? Look it up.

Another thing I like about the south is that in general, the people are a little more mannerly than their northern counterparts.

Anyway, the person that tried to make my niece look bad and dragged slavery into the equation likely doesn't know a whole lot and likely can't think very well.

While slavery in itself is today and back then was wrong, there are an awful lot of misnomers about it. For one thing by the time the Civil War got started, slavery was a dying institution. Likely it would not have made it to the beginning of the 20th century as it was actually inefficient and costly.

It's also pretty likely that slavery would have taken firmer roots in the north if the north had been based on more of an agricultiral  economy instead of manufacturing as at the time agriculture was more labor intensive than manufacturing was.

You have to look at the way technology was starting to take off with the beginnings of steam powered machines, some of which are still around today.

Keeping a bunch of people around the plantation to do agricultural work is a lot more expensive than meets the eye. Expense is the enemy of the profit margin.

First of all, slaves were not cheap. A good field hand was pretty expensive to buy and was pretty costly to maintain. A field hand needed to be fed three times a day to keep him in good health and if he got injured he required medical attention. All of this costs money and you can't just stop feeding, clothing and sheltering a human being just because the planting or harvesting time is over.

A slave requires 365 days a year worth of care to keep him healthy.

When you look at the amount of work you can get out of one human being, it really isn't that much. This holds true especially when you compare the amount of work you can get out of something like a tractor, which can do in a day what would take s whole slew of people a couple of weeks to do.

When you are done with a tractor you put it in the barn to sit where it costs you nothing. Not so with a human slave. The slave still needs to be fed and taken care of.

As far as beating a slave, it was a rare plantation owner that was stupid enough to do anything to put the health of a field hand in jeopardy. If the plantation owner had no sense of humanity, he could sure realize that hurting a field hand wasn't good for his wallet because an injured field hand can't work as well and a healthy one can.

Accusations of slavery being genocidal just do not make sense, either. You don't kill off your workers. If you do you go broke pretty fast.

Truth is, this isn't all that hard to figure out. Simply follow the money.

I didn't make this post to defend slavery. It was truly wrong and has no place in a free country. I simply wanted to put it in it's proper place.

I just get sick and tired of seeing a pretty good part of the country get raked over the coals for something that involved a minuscule part of the population that took ended about 150 years ago.

Incidentally, looking back on the Confederacy, they had a reasonable cause (States rights) and a better army than the North did. The reason they lost was because the North had a stronger industrial base. 

With all of the industrial base that has moved down south over the past 50 or so years things could be a lot different id they decided to rise again.

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

1000 rounds in the basement ain't squat

To a non-shooter or even a semi-casual shooter 1000 rounds sounds like an awful lot of ammunition the have kicking around the house but it really isn't.

You would be surprised how fast an active shooter goes through the stuff. During one season alone I shot over 4500 rounds for score and a lot more than that for practice, it probably totaled well over 12,000 if you added it all up. If I recall I used up well over 80 pounds of powder that year.

While that sounds like a lot of ammunition,it really isn't. Pistol shooters go through a lot more than that to stay in top form. I heard one active shooter what said he had gone through 20,000 rounds last year that the top contenders run through 20 to 50,000+ rounds a year.

Rifle and pistol shooting are legitimate sports and there are a number of people that engage in them regularly. 
Most serious shooters handload their own to both get tailor made rounds and to save money, although components have gone up in price a shooter can still save a bundle if they load their own.

I bring this up because recently a visitor asked what was in a couple of ammo cans I had in my garage. He marveled that a person would have so much ammunition until I showed him my reloading bench and told him that what he was looking at were leftovers from when I was shooting service rifle competition.

Generally there were cases of the stuff stacked up and I think I had well over 5000 rounds stacked up at one time.

Often when I would get home from a match I'd simply store my rifle as I generally cleaned it at the range and reload what I had shot at the day's match. A match can run anywhere between 43 and well over hundred rounds and I'd have my reloading bench set up so as to go right to work.

Back when I was shooting .30 cal I'd just have to fill the powder drop and primer stick and have at it and it didn't take a whole lot of time to get caught up even though I was working with a single stage press.

I guess the reason I'm making this post is because there was a lawmaker that wanted to limit the personal ammunition a person had in his house to a small amount like under 500 rounds which is only a brick of .22 rimfire. A brick itself really isn't big at all. I can easily drop one into a pocket with room to spare.

Like a lot of lawmakers he has no clue as to what he is talking about and likely has never shot a rifle in his life and know nothing about the shooting sports.

A lot of lawmakers look at something they know nothing whatsoever about and instead of asking about things like my neighbor did, they panic and jump to conclusions and hurt people that have done no harm to anyone.

This doesn't just apply to things like ammunition. Lawmakers go charging into a lot of areas they don't have clue one about. They often try and regulate stuff like farm labor and try enact laws that interfere with something as sacred as a family farm by trying to tell farmers how old their kids have to be before they can help out on what is nothing more than a family operation and nobody else's business.

They have no clue as to how a family farm is run and no clue as to the family values they are charging in to legislate. There is really nothing wrong with a farmer getting his kids to pitch in and do a few chores around the farm, yet the idiots in congress will try to legislate things they have no knowledge of.

While I suppose there are legislators in office that should simply be kicked to the curb, there are others that ought to be shipped off to a farm somewhere and spend a couple of months busting their asses in the fields and seeing how things work before the make decisions that interfere with family values and family run businesses. 

I suppose that isn't too likely to happen anytime soon but it would gladden my heart to see a senator with his head in a bandage stammering and stuttering about how he was only trying to get a drink of milk and the cow kicked him.

Maybe the cow would kick some sense into him.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Running like hell today.

May post later.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I wonder what is going to happen next?

Last night I had a burger with a neighbor and it was a good deal as we chatted.

Today I have to get squared away and go back to making a living.

I'll get out of here pretty soon and grab a few last minute items at the store and of I go to my other life. That's where I spin the wheels of industry and keep people from having to walk home and freeze in the dark.

Someone once asked me what I did for a living and I told them that. "I keep you from having to walk home and freeze in the dark," I said. "I move oil."

A lot of people don't understand how things have to be moved around. They go to the steel mill or the sneaker factory and when the steel or sneakers are brought outside they figure it ends there.

What the forget is that in order to keep making steel or sneakers they have to be taken somewhere and sold. Over 90% of all things moved at some point move by water. It's the cheapest way to do things.

Countless times we have taken one barge, one tugboat, seven guys and moved over 100,000 barrels of oil from, say, Philly to New York harbor in about 24 hours. That's 42,000,000 gallons of product moved with a little under 1500 gallons of diesel fuel. 

When you figure that a truck only runs, say, 8900 gallons you can figure the number of trucks, men and fuel needed to do the same job. Math is on you. Still, you can see that water is a lot cheaper.

It's even cheaper than rail.

Anyway, I'm off to spin the wheels of industry so as to make this great nation of ours a safe place for Americans to raise their children and carve a life out for them selves, their children and the generations a-comin'. There. Have some good Gabby Hays frontier gibberish to start the day with.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Here's a pretty good picture of the chair I redid.

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Well, it's memorial day and I guess to most Americans it means a day off

and a barbecue.

A few years ago I parked an M-1 with a helmet on top of it on my lawn and watched the dog walkers pass by. A lot of people didn't care for that very much and walked across the street to avoid it. A few people got it, though and I'm glad I did it and at least made a few people try and think.

This is somewhat of a somber day because it isn't dedicated to veterans. It is dedicated to those that didn't come home.

If you are a veteran and someone thanks you for your service today, gently remind them that it is what Veteran's Day is for. Today is dedicated to those that didn't live to become veterans.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Yesterday I started re-seating another chair but only got halfway

because of constant interruptions. Most of these interruptions were a bunch of meaningless crap, as most interruptions in life generally are. There were no fires to put out, nobody to save, no attacks to fend off and the Cleveland Indians stayed in Cleveland and didn't attack the Piccolo wagon train. Most of the interruptions were rather meaningless.

One brief one was fair enough. A neighbor wanted something heavy loaded on his pickup. He had it ready and all I had to do was help lift it and push it into the bed of the pickup. It took less than two minutes.

I think that if the rain holds off a bit I'll go out and mow the lawn and get a few things ready for a return from the  city life and things that I have to do to make a living.

I did shoot a match yesterday and started off with 400 points and only managed to give away 8 of them, finishing with a 392 and a middle of the road X-count. Not bad. 

The club I belong to has 4 matches a month. Two of them are NRA Highpower/CMP service rifle matches. One is an offhand 100 yard match which you can shoot anything you want, any rifle, any sight. shot in the offhand position. The fourth match is a slow-fire match that you can shoot any rifle in that you want.

The slow-fire match is a fun match because the format is pretty flexible and generally shooters use it for practice to bolster up their service rifle abilities. 

I elected to shoot a bolt gun and relax and take my time. It's matches like this that are no pressure fun. 

The woman I was pulling targets for made it pretty easy for me in that she started off by shooting a 6X clean. I only had to get one color of paster out her her and didn't have to look all over hell for her bullet holes.

I had a couple of clean strings, too. I dropped five by fighting a sneeze which was stupid and then I let another one get away from me and dropped it into the 7 ring.

Actually the match started off pretty grim for me. I was given three sighters to shoot and the first one was a complete miss at 6 o'clock, and I shot the second and third one to confirm it. I put the crosshairs on the small group I shot and looked and counted the MilDots and saw I was shooting 4 mils low and put 4 mils of elevation on it. I was rewarded with my first shot for score being a tight ten. I just added .1 of elevation and .2 left windage and I was good to go from there on.

The rest of my ministry kit came in. I got my official ID card in the mail. I am now good to go if I have to perform the Big Wedding. I think my nephew is still kidding my sister about how I bought a turban to perform the ceremony in. 

With almost 100 outgoing QSL cards in the mail there is going to be a pretty good sized deluge of incoming QSLs in the mail when I get back. I said in an earlier post that I'll start getting them in a glut that will taper off and then they'll start coming in dribs and drabs for months.

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

I started redoing my chairs yesterday.

I know it is a crappy cell phone picture but it's all I can come up with.

The cane on my chairs has worn out and I simply replaced it with 1/4 inch manila.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

As usual I am awake and hitting the keyboard. 

Yesterday I did the grocery part of the ship's grub shopping and did OK. I guess Monday I'll get the meats and produce. I might do it this way again in the future because it makes things uneventful. 

I was pushing around a single cart for a change and didn't have to answer any questions as to why I was buying so much grub at once.

I have little planned today and it is rainy so I guess I'll just try and work some DX today and see what happens. It is actually a slow process because I am not trying to cram my logbook full of QSOs just for the sake of making them.

I'm sniping. I am picking out the stations in entities that I have not worked before. It requires a lot of listening and little talking which makes things interesting.

I suppose for someone else listening to it in the background it is just plain noise but I do have a neighbor that actually asks me to turn the rig on when he visits because the background noise reminds him of his time in the service.

I know what he means as sometimes I turn it on for background noise. It's on now and I'm awaiting the voice of Jda on 14.332.

I don't have a whole lot to say today except that I have another 5 or 6 QSL cards to send out. and my project is coming along.

I might make a better post later on today.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Well, let's see what's going on today.

My little DX project is coming along nicely and I have about a jillion outgoing QSL requests, I have to grub shop today and then I think I'll get ready for a shooting match scheduled for Saturday morning. I gotta get the M-40 ready for that one.

Grub shopping I suppose will be broken down into 2 parts. I'll get the produce at the last minute. That'll work as it will be fresher when I arrive. I'm going today as I figure that over the weekend the place will be mobbed.

Last night the guy down the street was walking his dog and said he heard that I was performing the marriage ceremony for a relative and asked me about it.

His wife is OK and generally gets the story straight. He seldom does. I do have to admit that Piccolo's ordination is a pretty juicy piece of gossip so I can't really say that it's serious nebbing on the part of people.

Any, this guy I'll call Al who can screw up a free lunch by asking for change asked me how I could possibly perform such a service.

"Because I'm a f*****g minister. You got a problem with that?" I snapped.

Neighbor Bob, Nurse Connie and Tom from across the street were in my driveway having a beer with me when this happened and they managed to keep a straight face as Al went into shock.

Guys like Al need a shock like that every so often and he looked at my visitors hoping for some kind of support.

Tom broke the silence. "He is an ordained minister, he said. "His ministry is seamen, soldiers and French Foreign Legionnaires. He has his ordination papers hanging up in his living room. I've seen them."

"That's pretty profane language for  man of the cloth," he shot back, looking at me.

Nurse Connie drove the stake through this vampire's heart. "The Lord works in strange and mysterious ways," she said, dryly.

Al walked off confused which is par golf. He's always confused. He is one of those people that will never be one of the guys because everything confuses him. While Nurse Connie is a female she is comfortable around the guys. She also has some common sense and a couple of years ago saved another neighbor's life by making damned sure that AL was NOT invited to a certain bachelor party.

That dumb-ass Al would have brought his wife with him, or at least tried to. When everyone there would have stared at him for such a faux-pas he would have gone into confusion.

Truth is people like him have a hard time understanding the working parts of a P-38 can opener. His wife is OK, though. I guess she committed some sort of a mortal sin somewhere along the line and Al is the hair shirt she has to wear for penance.

Actually she's OK. Last summer she had a gin and tonic with us when it was her turn to walk the dog. Al never has and it isn't too likely he ever will.

Still, giving him a reality check by being a little profane with him was the right thing to do as he'll go home and his wife will likely square him up.

Anyway, that's all for today, folks.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

As expected I got a call and caught hell from my sis

right after her son called her and casually mentioned that I had just bought a new turban to wear when I perform the wedding but I didn't catch hell as I had expected.

Sis is usually a lot sharper than that and the comment I made about bringing the shotgun to the wedding hit her at just the right time to set her off. She must have been preoccupied with something else when I hit her with that.

Yesterday I ran into a couple one-gallon cans of creamed corn I bought at a church rummage sale a few years back. At first I wondered where the hell that came from until I recalled that I had actually bought four cans and used two of them for a booby trap one Halloween.

Some kid that wanted to steal my pumpkins got a bath in Del Monte creamed corn. Of course, one of the mothers in the area complained about it behind my back but it was pointed out that the kid ultimately did it to himself.

I have no use for creamed corn at this time but because the cans were not rusted I put them back. You never can tell.

I think today is going to be the day I fire up the air conditioning which is something I have been putting off. Last night was the last straw as I woke up this morning sweaty and that's no good.

Yesterday evening a friend dropped by and he and I noticed that the inside of the house was a degree away from needing to fire up the AC.

Kitty is fine. 

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

so I have to pull another post out of my a$$ this morning.

which shouldn't be too hard.

Yesterday the paperwork came in the mail from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts permitting me to marry my nephew to the Most Beautiful Bride in the World.

That'll get 'em motivated to find someone MOST riki-tik as I am likely the last person they want to marry them.

Now comes the fun part and that's getting everyone wound up.

My sister called. She is my nephew's mother.  I told her I was busy cleaning my shotgun for the wedding.

What?! What?! What?! You're NOT bringing a shotgun to my son's wedding!!!! 

"But it's in the Official Redneck Hillbilly book of ceremonies," I protested. "Besides, NOBODY gets cold feet at MY weddings!"

Click. The phone went dead.

I gave a slow count of five and dialed my nephew and as I figured the phone was busy and I knew she had called her son. Just then she was verbally pouring 25 gallons of gasoline at his feet and was throwing a match into it to build a fire under him to get someone to perform the wedding.

Twenty minutes later the phone rang. I had expected the call to be about five minutes later, actually. It was my nephew. He was fairly calm but not too pleased.

"Quit getting my mother all worked up," he pleaded. Then he laughed. "Besides the shotgun, what else did you tell her?"

"That's all. It doesn't take much. How's the bride to be making out?"

"It is the scariest thing I have ever seen in my life," He confessed. 

"She getting worked up over the toothpicks being the right color?" I asked.

"That's just it, she's not getting worked up. That's what is so scary about it." he said. "She's calm. She also thinks you ought to do the ceremony."

"Now, THAT'S scary!" I shot back. "Hmmm. She'll do well in this family, now that you think about it."

"Whatever," he answered. "Just stop getting my mother worked up. Then again, I don't know why I am asking... Hey, next time tell her...Never mind."

"What?" I asked.

"Never mind," he said. "Neither of us would ever hear the end of it. Oh, hell. I'll tell her."

"Tell her what?" I asked.

"I'm going to tell her you said you bought a brand new turban to wear when you marry us," he said.

'That's a good one." I said. "When can I expect a call?"

"Maybe I'll let this one ride until tomorrow. We've already had our crisis of the day," he replied.

Sometime today I will get a call from my sister who after all of these years ought to know better. After all, we don't take prisoners in the Piccolo family.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

It's Monday

It's Monday and I have a few things to do and pick things up after a busy weekend. Later on today I'll mow the lawn.

I came home to a freshly mowed lawn thanks to a neighbor. He got it a few days before I got home, actually. It needs it today.

I just planted my usual gross of Marigolds and I think they will take and look pretty for the summer. I did it alone as I couldn't manage to put together a tough guy party on short notice.

I spent several hours going over my ham logs and have well over 100 DX contacts, yet only about 60% of them are confirmed. Likely I might have forgotten to send out QSL cards and have only myself to blame.

I just sent out about 60 QSL cards and have another 10 or 15 to put together and send out. The mailman will start seeing an inrush in about 2 weeks and then after two or three weeks the glut will drop to a trickle that will likely last until after Labor Day, or maybe even longer.

My India QSL card took about 6 months to arrive.

The weekend netted me about a dozen new countries on the list so I figure that inside the next few months I'll be good to go and will get my DXCC award.

So much for radio business.

A few minutes ago I was watching the mom across the street put her brood on the school bus and she stopped and commented that my marigolds look pretty good and asked me why I didn't throw the tough guy party I was planning.

I did that a few years back and they had just moved in and she said that she was worried about all the biker types showing up but thought it was funny seeing them nurturing the flowers and talking to them. It was a pretty good show.

Anyway, I have to mow the lawn and do some other things so I had best get started.

Happy Monday.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Today's post is a link to Father Piccolo's Sunday Sermon.

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

I hit the deck running this morning after a surprise.

This is one of the mornings I turned the rig on for background on the 20 meter band and maybe twirl a dial while the coffee is brewing. I heard a call, answered it and woke up to a nice chat with someone in Papua New Guinea.

Of course I checked to make sure he wasn't a Japanese holdout still waiting  for the Emperor to relieve him.

He wasn't.

I then checked to make sure he wasn't a missionary sitting in a giant stewpot.

He wasn't.

He was some kind of guy working there for a while on contract. He was also nice enough to let me know to send for a QSL card via a friend in Italy because writing to that place is not only expensive but takes months.

That is a nice gesture. Someone in Bahrain told me the same thing. He said the mail system there sucks and that a lot of stuff gets stolen so if I want a QSL card from him to send to someone else in Spain.

The internet has made a lot of this possible as he can store his radio log on a computer and upload it to a QSL manager somewhere else to insure the cards get sent.

The last Cuba card I got came from Spain and the Mexican I bagged last night sent me to his QSL manager in Spain.

Mexico? Mexico? You JUST got Mexico?

Yup. Last night I finally bagged Mexico. Nice guy. When I thanked him and told him I needed Mexico he stopped the pile-up then and there and made damned sure he got my information perfectly and told me that if I do not get a card from his manager in short order to write him personally.

Ya gotta like guys like that.

Last night I broke up another pile up. I finally got through to someone in Jersey and had fought my way through when someone walked on me. I briefly broke contact and asked the guy, "Don't you have any manners? Your mother should have taken you over her knee when you were a lad and taught you some!"

The contact in Jersey 'bout died laughing.

Not much of a post, but it'll have to do.

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Have not checked in with Jda yet

as she doesn't light up the airwaves for another hour.

I'm sitting here poking around and playing radio games and just finished a short rag chew with some guy in Australia. There's yard work to be done but the day doesn't begin until I have checked in with the Young Ladies.

Looks like this year my hillside is going to be the place where the doe gives birth to her little fawn. I can see that they are checking it out again as a likely spot. I hope I am home when it happens.

Not much to report but when I mailed out my QSLs yesterday the postal clerk marveled at them and asked me about being a ham. The cards, about 40 of them, went all over the world and most were from the boat trip I just got off of.

I'm simply going about basic business today and over the next few days I am grabbing a local ham to be an Elmer and  get me started on PSK-31 and the digital modes as it looks interesting.

My beard is coming along nicely and will probably look good for the wedding. I'm growing it because it makes me look a little nicer when it's trimmed up. My credentials arrived and are in good order and it looks like I am a genuine minister. 

Actually the little kit they send you is worth every dime as it is a well made set of just about every credential you can use. It is pretty professional.

One of the neighbors that is generally a defender of mine expressed a bit of disgust that I had signed up  but seemed mollified when I told her that there was no conflict of interest with her Catholicism and that I had in fact sworn to protect her freedom to practice it.

As I sit here I am listening to a signal from Indonesia get a little stronger. There's no pile-up and he seems slow. Sometimes when a signal is weak it's best to wait until either it strengthens or simply dies out.

Today the 20 meter band seems odd as I have 2 QSOs with Australia and seem to have a hard time cheking in with the YL system.

Anyway, word of my 'ordination' swept through the neighborhood and I suppose it has been the source of chuckles and consternation but that's the way the ball bounces. What is interesting is that a neighbor that sends their kids to Catholic school and makes the kids address people as Mr and Mrs is going to do about this. Two buck to a Krispy Kreme I will be addressed as 'Reverend'.

No problems with that as these people are doing their damnedest to raise a couple of kids and do it right. I am MISTER Pic to these kids and although it makes me feel old and I'd really rather be called  simply 'Pic' I work with it because I know what the parents are doing.

Oh, well.

I just went out to the driveway and I'm wearing an Israeli Paratrooper T-shirt and a woman who was being walked by her dog asked me if I was Jewish. I told her I was Irish and the only difference is that if I was Jewish I would do a better job of cooking corned beef. She looked confused.

Sometimes the truth confuses people. Look at corned beef. The Jewish delis do a damned sight better job on corned beef than the Irish do by a longshot.

It is astonishing how much the trees change in the course of a couple of weeks. Spring is damned near over and I see summer coming and going. It is going to go very fast for me this year and I have a hard time keeping my priorities in sync with everyone else as I see life passing by so fast.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Luceeeee, I'm home. What's for dinner?

I'm home and the minute I hit the door I gave the cat his pets and sat down and started taking care of stuff. It's going to be a damned busy day.

I have already started filling out QSL cards to send out, most of which are headed overseas as I brought my PRC 320 with me to work and bagged several countries, none of which I can use for my DXCC award as I was more than 50 miles away from home. I'll do this until the workplaces open up.

I have to fax my church credentials to Boston to get the OK to marry my nephew and then go to the dreaded downtown Pittsburgh to get my CCW renewed as it came up for renewal.  The CCW picture is cause for a shirt and tie.

While a driver's license renewal means I look as much like Charles Manson as possible, I want my CCW to make me look like Father Flanagan of Boy's Town. God forbid that I ever have to use it, but if I do I don't want to look like a bloodthirsty fiend.

Then I have to get grub.

I came home to a freshly mowed yard and I'm grateful for that. There was a dent in the bourbon bottle I hide under the porch so I know who to thank for mowing the lawn.

As I was pulling into thee driveway, the woman across the street was unloading her brood and my sweetie saw me and wanted a hug. She's 5 now and been my sweetie for the past couple of years since I took her across the street to see the Christmas lights. She's growing like a weed.

I also have to plant my garden soon, as I do that every year. This year might be a tough guy party for the benefit of the neighbors. I'll have a couple of rough looking guys I know drop by and put on a show of 3-4 tough guys drinking bourbon at 10 am, smoking, talking about whipping ass etc as they plant flowers and talk to them and carry on. The neighbors that matter will chuckle and the one's that don't will be upset which is too damned bad.

In 15 minutes the YLs will be on the air and I'll check in with Jda as I do when I am home.

Anyway, I'm home and I am a busy camper.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Someone once asked me

dateline 0228Z 15 May 2013

                                      how I could cram so much into one hitch in the army and the answer is somewhat simple. Times and attitude.

When I enlisted between a third and a half of the people I went through basic training with were qualified for Special Olympics. The army was rife with drug and race problems and command was simply permitting all of this stuff to happen.

While for many it was a lousy time to serve, I looked around and decided that it was a pretty good time to serve if I wanted to get ahead because of a definite lack of competition.

I'm not being arrogant, I am telling the truth.

Before I even enlisted I knew I had no plan on making the service a career. I had other plans. I did, however realize that the army would be a place where I would have opportunities to do things I would never have anywhere else.

I could shoot machine guns, blow stuff up, travel to places, maybe fly around in helicopters and do all sorts of things.

I also knew that if I wanted to I could hang around a barracks feeling sorry for myself and shine shoes all day. It was my choice.

In short even before I went in I decided that I was going to do two things. I was going to do the best job I could to be a good soldier and I was going to find as many interesting things to do while I was in.

Looking back on it I'm glad I took advantage of my one hitch because I look back on it and have something to be proud of and have a lot of things I can look back on fondly.

One advantage I had is that I did not go in directly out of high school. I had a couple of years in the work force before I enlisted and that helped. I had a little more stability than most of the kids that had gone into the service straight out of high school.

I was also aware that because I was only going to do one term that I could afford to take a few chances here and there and in the long run it didn't matter if I got out the same rank I went in as. All that really mattered was getting out with a decent discharge.

Still, I did want to want to come out with as good of a record as I could.

I suppose that attitude can be considered dangerous. If it is, then I was dangerous.

Anytime something interesting came up like a school or some interesting detail I made a beeline to the First Sergeant's office and put in for it. After I was successful in a couple of small schools I wound up being the first person Top would come looking for. Success breeds success.

As a result of this I made E-5 in under two years.

When you are failrly competent you generally wind up getting a few plums out of the deal to overcome the $hit jobs.

Sure, there were lousy details and one of the first things I learned is that while the duds seem to get over, in the big picture the competents generally wind up better off.

Instead of sitting around griping I kept myself busy learning something. I didn't go and get ossified every chance I got and did what I could to reasonably put my best foot forward.

It wasn't easy at times because there were a lot of sad sacks that were not willing to improve themselves and resented those that did. Still, I was there for myself and not to please some lazy slug.

Look carefully at the person that resents you. Nine times out of ten he is resentful of your success.

I remember the E-5 selection board like it was yesterday. Everyone that faced it would tell the board that they planned on making a career of the army. I didn't.

I looked straight at the president of the board, a captain I didn't like very much. He was abusive to his people. I told him that I was getting out at the end of my enlistment and that the reason I was in front of the board is because I was there for my grandchildren. I wanted to be able to honestly tell them that when I was in the army I did the best job I possibly could. Being a sergeant in the United States Army would be something special to tell them about.

An hour after the board broke up the enlisted man on it, a rough old platoon sergeant, told me I had made it.

I got what I could out of it, did my best, kept my eyes open and pitched in and came out of it smelling like a rose. All in all it was a fun busy time of my life.

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Monday, May 13, 2013

If you don't know how to use something either find out or leave it the hell alone.

Dateline 14 May 2013 0340Z

Over the years I have had any number of problems with people fooling around with things they simply either do not know how to use or know the limitations of.

I once had someone get a carbide tooth off of a blade stuck in their cheek once because they were trying to cut a piece of angle iron with my miter saw. 

When I came across that spectacle I simply pinched the offending saw blade tooth out of their cheek and told them they owed me fifty bucks for a new blade. I have yet to see the fifty bucks yet.

The offender still seems to think it is the tool's fault, which it is not. It is the fault of the imbicile that tried to use a wood cutting blade to cut through a tough piece of steel with.

He could have simply avoided this by asking if the saw was capable of cutting steel. I would have simply taken the wood cutting blade off of it and replaced it with a blade I also have which is capable of cutting steel.

Another thing that I have noticed is that some people think you have to have big muscles to use power tools when in fact they were designed so you DIDN'T have to use a lot of muscle. Yet time and again I run into someone bearing down on a power tool with all they have and even when they smell smoke they do not let up.

Another thing is that people will try something they know nothing about to figure out how it works. I once watched someone fry a brand new VHF radio once because they tried to use it before the antenna was attached. Of course he wanted to blame the manufacturer even after I read him the directions that said that transmitting without an antenna would harm the rig.

I wonder how many generators, lawn mowers and snow blowers have been burned up because some dumbass gets it home, dumps a tank of gas into it and fires it up without checking to see if the manufacturer put oil in the crankcase.

Virtually all manufacturers put a bottle of oil in the box with the machine if they ship the unit dry. A lot of manufacturers ship the units dry so as not to make a mess if some shipper lays the box on its side.

Yet the number of people that don't even look in the box to see what came with the machine is probably staggering.

I think the second to worst ones of all are those that say, "Hey, what's this?" as they turn something on they do not understand.

That's happened to me over they years ashore but seldom do I meet a person like that at sea bacause by the time I meet up with him he's likely had the habit of touching something he doesn't know how to use beaten out of him by Chief Engineers.

A while ago I shipped on another rig for a few days and when it was time to fire up the pumps I took someone with me to make sure I knew how it worked. The pump engines were Cats and I am used to John Deeres and while the basics are the same and I likely could have figured it out with no problem it was nice to be shown the first time in case there was something I was unaware of. 
Sometimes the shut-downs are a little different, for example.

Actually after the diesels were up and running the other guy looked at me and told me he wondered why I bothered to ask. I shrugged and told him that it was simply cheap insurance.

It doesn't take a whole lot to stop and check something out and by doing so you can prevent injury or property damage. 

All of this reminds me, I do want my fifty bucks for the blade the idiot ruined by cutting steel with it.

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Busy today

May get to post later but do not bet on it.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Some more grumblings. Some on retirement.

I have described this blog as being the grumblings and musings of a wayward sailor and I suppose that it is a decent description of it as I piss and man about anything that pops up.

Still, you have to realize that the perspective I write from is  not that of a young man in mid career, but of an old man nearing retirement.

As time passes we look at things differently. A lot of things that meant something when we were younger now mean little if anything.

Other things seem to matter.

Retirement isn't all it is cracked up to be if you think about things and look into the future. While I suppose if you are Bill Gates it is a little easier, but in this day and age there are a lot of things to think about.

First of all if you plan on using Social Security for even a part of your retirement you are taking a pretty good sized risk as the money for it isn't there and has not been since the LBJ administration when the Democrats plundered the fund and blew it on the failed Great Society programs.

The money for it comes from the General fund and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to be able to see that we are deep in the hole and something's gotta give.

Then you have to watch inflation which is the Great Silent thief of a person's saved earnings. Inflation can make a lifetime's worth of savings disappear overnight by simply devaluing it.

In short, the future of retirees is a case of looking into the unknown. 

Some retirees have gotten pensions from various unions and governmental jobs and when you look at the way they are funded they are financially unsustainable. Somewhere along the line something has to collapse there. Most likely thay will simply keep the retiree at a fixed pension and let inflation whittle it away down to nothing, but nobody knows.

I suppose that in my case I am simply going to just keep working until I can't anymore but I do have to admit that when I am at the point where I can retire I am going to simply relax a bit. I will then be working because I can and not that I have to.

It very well may even make me a better employee.

Still, as I age I see a lot of things change and I start looking at purchases I make as being more solid and based on the long haul. My newer pickup, for example, was based on long term thrift and reliability. There really isn't a whole lot of bling on it.

Hopefully I can get 20 years out of it if I take care of it, but we'll see.

Anyway, take a few minutes out to think about retirement.

I posted my first sermon here. Father Piccolo's first sermon

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

I can't afford it.

When I bought my pickup which is nothing more than a basic Tacoma 4-cylinder manual transmission someone asked me why I didn't get a V-8 and load the rig up.

I simply said I couldn't afford it.

When I said that you would have thought I was a starving orphan somewhere living in a garbage dump in some third world country somewhere from the look I got.

Of course, he had a rig that he had paid over 4 times what I had paid for my simple Toyota and it could haul a lot more than a Tacoma and in addition to that he could likely trailer an aircraft carrier behind it.

He basically used it for the same thing I do. I put a seabag and a few groceries in it and come back and forth to work.

He seemed perplexed when I said I couldn't afford a big rig like his. He asked me about my mortgage and I told him my place was paid for. He asked me a few other questions about my finances which really wasn't any of his business but I was kind and obliged him.

Then he said he couldn't understand why I couldn't afford a big fancy truck.

I simply told him I couldn't afford to waste a bunch of money on something like a truck when I could get something just as servicable for a whole lot less money.

The truth is that I would likely still be driving my '00 Tacoma if the damned thing hadn't rusted out on me after about 175,000 miles. Having to buy a new rig back in '09 was a major annoyance because I was looking at getting another five years out of the old rig.

It would have been nice to still be driving the old silver bullet. I liked that comfortable old truck. It was a nice ride even after all the miles I had put on it.

I suppose I'm better off, though because it was just a matter of time before it started to nckel-dime me.

The truth is that I am getting ready to retire in a few years and I should start socking away as much as I can because I really wonder how long Social Security is going to last.

I can't afford to be spending a whole lot of money on extras I don't need. I would have spent more money on a rig if I felt I did need it. For example, it I was in construction or owned a farm and actually moved a lot of stuff around I would have probably opted for a bigger rig.

A while back I was listening to a woman telling me about how she needed a big rig to haul her horse around to show it. I asked her how often she did this and she told me that she showed her horse four times a year.

I told her to buy a small car and rent a truck four time a year and she was dumbfounded. Why drive a tank all over the place and pay through the nose for gas, insurance, and play hell parking a behemoth when she could just zip around in a convenient sized car and rent when she needed it. She'd come well ahead if she opted for a smaller rig.

Besides, she wasn't making a lot of money, really and a truck like that would have her extended to the max which is what a whole lot of people are these days. It's nice to be able to afford a pizza and a six-pack every so often.

I like being a free man and not being a slave to my posessions. I do own everything I have outright and I can afford to take my time off when it rolls around and have no need for trading that part of my life for money to pay for things.

When you think about it, payments are a form of slavery and I hate having to think that I have to go and work or lose something.

Actually that is somewhat of a lie because I do have to pay property tax but I won't go there now. It's another issue.

The fact is that I can not afford a big truck or a new swimming pool or some kind of big deal thing because I simply can't afford it. I have no desire to get into the slavery that goes along with unneeded posessions.

I do not understand why a working stiff feels he needs a four wheeel drive V-8 just to commute back and forth to work.

Come to think of it, I suppose neither did Sam Walton, although I imagine the pickup he booted around in was likely a bit bigger than mine. You may have to be reminded that Sam Walton is the founder of Walmart.


Speaking of Sam Walton, I got a kick out of him. He in fact did have a pickup as a daily driver and was asked why a man of his wealth didn't have a big fancy car.

He replied "What else can I carry my dogs around in?"

Sam was a devoted upland bird hunter and once was invited to meet someone for a hunt. They showed up to pick him up in a limo and Sam promptly climbed in with his bird dogs.

The look on his host's face must have been a sight to behold as the (then) richest man in the country hopped into the limo with his hunting dogs.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Visit the zoo.

I think I will break out my pith helmet and go to the Pittsburgh zoo.

I like going to the zoo every so often and looking at the animals and if I am lucky there will be someone there from PETA that I can piss off.

The proper outfit to wear to the zoo is khakis and a pith helmet, although I do not know why. I suppose that wearing the obligatory revolver isn't too much of a good idea in this day and age, though.

A pith helmet, khaki safari jacket, khaki shorts, knee socks and desert boots seem like the proper attire for a trip to the zoo.

I am not likely to be able to afford a safari in this lifetime, but I think that a trip to the zoo will be the next best thing. Springtime seems like such a nice time to go to the zoo and the weather seems to be rather nice for this sort of a mini safari.

Anyone out there want to join me?

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

I am now Father Piccolo.

My life has taken an interesting turn.

Last night I heard that my nephew, who is marrying the most beautiful bride in the world soon had the marrying official cancel out on them for some reason or another.

Figuring that to be something that was likely to throw a wrench into the works I decided to take action and became an ordained minister so if push came to shove I could perform the ceremony.

Shortly after I was ordained I felt something go through me and I am now going to live up to the simple vows I took. I vowed to support freedom of religion and to always do the right thing. This in itself is no real change in my life.

The first thing I did as an ordained minister was to tell Lefty Davis to go piss up a rope. It simply was the right thing to do.

It has since occurred to me that as a gentleman of nobility I had three common choices in life. I could run the family manse, I could join the military or I could go into the clergy.

After my father died and left the estate to my mother she defied convention and instead of passing it on to the eldest son she made a point to divide it equally among all of her children. I suppose I could gripe about being cheated out of my inheritance and maybe I will but the truth is that if I ran it it I would likely be in jail as I do not do well in Massachusetts.

Kudos to one of my sisters for running the place and doing a great job handling the estate. I was left with more than enough to be able to have Van Halen play at my 60th birthday party. (Not that I did, but I suppose I could have.)

So that left the military and the clergy. I joined the army.

Actually I did pretty well in the army. I was a clever soldier and smart enough to realize that I should not make a career out of it because I had a tendency to accidentally embarrass senior officers. I was a bit too much of a swashbuckler.

When you are called up on stage during a debriefing and asked to explain to everyone where you came up with a clever, innovative idea to pass by enemy positions undetected you humbly say that, "I asked myself, 'What would I do if I were you, Sir.'"

"I saw it on the Three Stooges, Colonel." is not the proper answer to give in front of 596 officers and men.

With the military behind me and no hope for the chance at running the family manse, that left the clergy until I discovered there was a fourth option in the list that was never mentioned. I decided to take it.

I promptly ran away to sea and embarked on a life of crime.

My life as a seagoing criminal was pretty good to me and I hade a pretty good adventuresome time and cannot complain about it one single bit. I think I have had nore fun and adventure than Indiana Jones.

Besides, the clergy would not have fit me well at the time. As a younger man I suppose I would have been put under scrutiny for giving someone a penance of 'Go get drunk and laid'. While I suppose that under the circumstances and the time it very well been pretty good advice and a fair penance to some poor slob taking life too seriously, I would have been considered too contraversial.

As an older man I have come to realize that a well placed gunshot can be a viable solution a situation. So can the judicious use of high explosives or a punch in the mouth.

Sometimes these are not used enough, but generally they are used too much by the wrong person for the wrong reasons. Still, they are a useful option in some cases.

While I have never advocated the use of copious amounts of Jameson's, trashy women, general insanity and howling at the moon for everyone, I must have to confess that they have kept me basically sane and mentally healthy.

Of course, I have always respected the fact that others have different ways of coping and a blowout isn't for everyone. In fact for some it is leaving the blowout and returning to being useful again.

Over the years I have helped coach a couple of people back to the land of sobor usefulness. I'm pretty proud of that, too.

Still I have mellowed a bit and have decided to couple my basic beliefs and do the Lord's work as I see it.

I am going to take my responsibilities as a member of the clergy seriously and will uphold the basic freedom of religion and will continue to keep doing the right thing.

Incidentally, if any of you are dubious about my status as a clergyman, stop and think a second. You can bet your ass I'll be one hell of a lot better clergyman than Al Sharpton.

Yours in your choice of peace or war, Father Piccolo.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Illegal immigration

                                     is the subject of this post and it will be fairly brief.

Illegal immigration is a crime. It it wasn't a crime it would be called legal immigration and that would be the end of it right then and there.

I have a lot of respect for those people that jump through the hoops and move here and become citizens. The bust their asses to become a part of us.

On the other hand the people that come into this country illegally are nothing more than lawbreakers because they didn't bother to go through the channels like they were supposed to. In short they are criminals and that is one thing that is plain and simple. They broke the law to get into this country.

It really is that simple and I do not even see whay the subject of what to do with these people has even come up. When someone breaks the law you throw his or her sorry ass in jail.

It's as simple as that. 

In the case of the illegal immigrant you jail him and deport him.


If he returns to this country and gets caught you punish him enough so he doesn't even think of returning. A few months or a year in a jail along the lines of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Maricopia county, Arizona sheriff runs should do the trick. It's both cheap to run and a miserable place to live.

As for the borders, they ought to be sealed and be a whole lot harder to get through. It might be a pretty good idea to use National Guard units to patrol them and simply fire on anyone that tries to sneak by.

For those of you that are afraid of bloodshed there will likely be a whole lot after the first couple of weeks. Once the word goes out that the National Guard is shooting people with real, live bulets the torrent will drop down to nothing and nobody more will get hurt.

It will likely turn the situation into a win-win for both parties. Illegal immigrants won't be getting shot and National Guardsmen won't have to clean their rifles.

Yes, it really is that simple.

I do not see what all of the hullabaloo is over illegal immigrants. The problem is simple. We have made it too easy to enter the country illegally. The solution is equally as simple. We simply evict the illegals and secure the border.

As for those that want to enter the country in accordance with law, let them come. Bring us your tired, your huddled and your masses, but bring them through legally.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

One of the reasons

 for the proliferation af military weapons can be traced back to Bill Clinton and the 1994 ban that sunsetted back in '04.

The AR-15 series of rifles was out there and had a small following. The rifle, that carried a reputation from it's beginnings in Vietnam as the fully auotmatic M-16 was considered an inaccurate bullet hose. 

Later affectionados changed that and turned the semi auto version it into a very accurate rifle that was capable of incredible accuracy out to and beyond 600 yards. It is an excellent rifle for hunting varmints and is capable of taking deer with proper shot placement.

When the Clinton gun ban went through there was a rush on these firearms and simply because of the ban the public tok note of these and theit prices skyrocketed.

Of course, after Sandy Hook the proliferation of military firearms went through the roof but we know about that.

The truth is is that one of the unintended consequences of the Clinton gun ban was that these firearms were brought to the attention of the public and they took to them like a duck takes to water.

Thanks, Bill!

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Ham radio at sea.

Yesterday in a few hours I worked Asiatic Russia, Kuwait, Algeria, England Canary Islands, Senegal and Macedonia on my little backpack rig and that's pretty damned good if you ask me.

The little rig is the real reason I got into ham radio when I think of it. The fact that I later got myself an IC-718 and a 43 foot DX Engineering vertical is immaterial  Truth is I like my PRC 320 and setting up in odd places and going on the air.

Today I worked St Lucia, Sardania, Serbia and a neat Special Events Station in England set up where the Dambusters set out on their famous raid on the Ruhr Valley dams 70 years ago. The latter will get me a really neat looking QSL card when I send for it.

I also worked a couple of guys I know through a website I frequent, one in NC and the other in Nebraska. All in all a pretty good deal.

The little rig fares poorly in pileups but sends out a pretty good punch even though it is only 30 watts and it is pretty rugged which makes it a good rig to travel with.

Here's a picture of it.

Anyway, that's today's post.

Be the first kid on your block to read them all.

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Useful wedding presents.

Are something that makes people wonder when they get them. Actually they don't make the recipients wonder at all. They are generally appreciated.

One of the most practical wedding presents that Mrs. Pic and I got was actually a picnic set of coolers that we used for years that was sent to us by a little old lady that grew up on a farm.

I think that the worst wedding presents are things like silver tea sets and serving trays. I often wonder what people are thinking when they send them. All they seem to do is  tarnish and collect dust because nobody ever uses stuff like that anymore but they still seem to show up here and there.

Still, you can't just melt the silver stuff down and sell it at the Good Old Gold and Silver shop, either because when fat old Auntie Mildred shows up she's likely to expect to be served tea on it.

Generally this causes a panic before she arrives and you have to dig the damned thing out of the attic, blow the dust off of it and polish it up before she arrives and make it look like it is being used daily.

I just shipped my nephew off a 1.5 KW generator because he loses power every so often and generally in the winter.

It's not a generator that will run the entire house but it is enough for him to keep the furnace up and running so the pipes don't freeze and it ought to be able to double to keep the refrigerator cold enough to keep the stuff in it from going bad.

I suppose that there will be a few people wondering what I was thinking when I decided to get the pair of them a generator but I'll bet my nephew and his future bride won't.

They will think of me when they find that they are not freezing their asses off during some screwed up ice storm.

Frankly I hope the damned thing never gets used because when you need one it means that life is not going along very well. If it rusts in peace in the basement or shed that is likely a good thing but the truth of it is that it is likely to get used. 

They live in a part of the country that has pretty harsh winters. It seems that every winter they lose power a couple of times.

When a young couple is starting out the last things they generally need is a bunch of stuff that is only used when the Queen of England drops by. These days she's getting a little long in the tooth and likely isn't including my nephew and his shiny-assed new bride on her list of people to drop in on.

When you consider that neither of these two are little kids anymore and have been living on their own a while it isn't likely that they need a whole lot of kitchen stuff, either. They both likely each have a toaster and microwave. I suppose a decent barbecue set or something like that would be appreciated, though. Sneak a peek first.

A couple like that needs things that are practical like tools and maybe bedding. A couple of sets of sheets are probably useful and last for years. Even if they get a couple of sets they don't go bad, either. They can be stuck in the linen closet until needed.

Anyway, I'll bet you that when the snow flies and the power goes out they will likely be grateful that their Uncle Piccolo thought ahead enough to get them a small generator.

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Saturday, May 4, 2013

I just noticed that Yoko Ono and a bunch of celebrities

 and other pimplebrains have formed a group called Artists against Fracking.

What is interesting is that none of them seem to have any kind of technical background at all. They are, after all, artists.

They are entertainers. Not a whole lot of them have any scientific or mathematic background as if the have degrees they are likely to have them in arts or humanities. They probably know little about oil or natural gas yet they all use it.

I have nothing against entertainers as I enjoy art, movies and that sort of thing but I wish they would just shut their mouths and stop talking about things they know nothing about whatsoever.

I have heard art as being defined as anything that envokes feeling. If that is true, we are talking 100% emotion here. Nothing is mentioned in the definition as having anything to do with cold logic.

These artists make their living by dealing with feelings. It has nothing to do with economics, mathematics, physics, or science in any form.

Yet these people pretend to know about something they have no real background in. Most of them don't have a clue. I'm surprised they can take care of their own affairs much less give advice to anyone else.

Yoko Ono, Robert Redford, Alec Baldwin and the rest of them are nothing more than Hollywood types that live in their own little world surrounded by Limos and adoring fans. After a while they begin to think they are smarter than they are. A lot of them let this Hollywood lifestyle go to their head.

I suppose it is not only Hollywood types because these days it seems to be the big thing to villify the oil companies because they don't like the price of gasoline. It's OK to hate the oil companies. Boycott them. Simply walk home after work and when you get there freeze in the dark quietly with your mouth shut so I don't have to listen to your teeth chatter.

In the meantime I will put a few bucks in the tank, drive home and turn on the lights and fire up the furnace and live in relative comfort.

Al Gore is a case in point. Although he wasn't an entertainer a while ago I suppose we can consider him one now. He's quite a joke. He ran his mouth about clean energy a few years back and criticized then-president George Bush about his energy policies.

Someone looked into Gore's carbon footprint and then at President Bush's and found out that the Bush residence in Texas was pretty damned clean next to Gore's. Bush had a solar energy powered efficient ranch and Gore was running a lot of oil and hydrocarbon produced electricity.

The same likely holds true with a lot of Hollywood types as I don't hear of a whole lot of them that drive a Prius as a daily driver.

Babs Striesand seems to be another one of these moonbats because I read somewhere that after a brief nap she wants her sheets changed. This, of course, means that electricity and water get used up but I suppose that's OK because she's a celebrity.

How about just changing your sheets about once a week like the rest of us?  Save water and energy, hippocrite.

Then again, society lets a lot of people get away with a lot of crap they shouldn't under the excuse, "But he's an artist!"

Fine. He's an artist. Treat him like everybody else. He'll learn to behave himself after a couple of trips to jail. Especially after having to share a cell with a pants wetting vomit covered wino or three.

Meanwhile the rest of us poor mortals get to go out and bust our asses to make a living and it is likely for many of us we'll never set foot in a corporate type jet in our lives.

Yet a lot of these Hollywood types will fly all over hell in a rented jet and not think for a second that if they really wanted to cut down on their carbon footprint they could simply hop on a commercial flight like the rest of us. They could simply ride in the First Class section and be properly fawned over by the airline people there.

These people live in an entirely different world than the average guy. When a celebrity gets strung out on crack they send them off to Betty Ford clinic. Once straightened out a bit they return to the stage and either make another movie or play another concert. This is immediately followed by fans gushing over how they overcame their drug/alcohol/whatever problem and followed it up with a great artistic accomplishment.

Meanwhile some carpenter or auto mechanic gets strung out on the same drug and he gets carted off to jail and when he gets out it's poverty for him because nobody will hire him. He doesn't get another chance.

They live in another world, yet a lot of people listen to them.

These people never have to change their own tire, clean up after themselves, cook themselves a meal or wash their own dirty underwear. Yet they want to try and explain that they know everything that is good for us and try and show us the light.

Most of what they want us to do is simply something we can't afford to. Setting up a 100% energy self-sufficient home that costs a hell of a lot more money than it saves it is a hip thing to do among the Hollywood moonbats. Unfortunately a guy on a budget can't afford to do this.

Every once in a while one of them will get out a calculator and crunch a few numbers and tell people that putting in an energy efficient whatever will save them money over the long haul.

While true in one sense, they seem to forget that you have to live to be 137 years old before you start seeing the savings. Either that or if you install their amazing ecologically sound device that will save you money over 20 years you find out that the average life of the device is ten years before it has to be replaced. Some savings.

They have no idea that the very people that made them successful in the first place can't really afford to take their spiritually aware advice.

I didn't start this post to either defend of villianize fracking. I have not dug into it deep enough to know how much damage it does to the planet. I got into this to point out that I am sick and tired of celebrities running off at the mouth about things they don't understand.

There are not a whole lot of people out there among the Hollywierd celebrity set that have any background in any type of scientific or technical fields. The ones with hands-on skills are not stars, just technicians, but without them nothing would get done.

Maybe if these movie stars would talk to the guys that actually do the work they might learn something.

The celebrities are artists and I wish they'd just quietly go somewhere and make a movie or paint a picture or something.

Except for maybe Charlie Sheen. I wouldn't mind having a couple drinks with him. I'd bet he'd be interesting. Betcha he's not the buffoon people think he is, either.

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