Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Yesterday the garage door opener crapped out.

which was really long overdue because it was about 20 years old and is used constantly. It is actually the usual way we get in and out of the house. 

The back door is opened about once a year and the front door goes for months on end without being opened.  Entering this house generally means going through the garage. The opener is used dozens of time daily and finally decided to give up the ghost.

The opener owed me nothing when you consider how much it had been used. It was a miracle that it had lasted as long as it had. 

It was a Sears Craftsman and I deemed that I was so happy with the first one I would replace it with the same thing which they still make.

The Mrs went on line and found that the Sears unit was rated number two out of about ten and she was interested in getting the one with the best ratings. Of course it was not available and I was elated.

Sometimes number two is the way to go. We opted for the Craftsman and I was elated because I am the poor slob that is going to have to install this unit.

I ran down to the mall and snagged one and when I got home I went through all of the parts and it is going to be a drop-in installation.

I won't have to drill a new bunch of holes or much of anything else. I will just have to unbolt the old unit and bolt the new one in.

It even comes with the same type of safety device that I bypassed on the old one and I'll easily be able to bypass this one. It's one of those dopey things that keep you from pushing the 'close' button and letting you walk out so the door closes after you are outside.

It's a beam set up so if you break it the door stops closing. It is a safety device that causes more problems than it solves, but that's OK.

Anyway, a lot of people think that the way to go is to buy the most top rated unit they can find. Sometimes they are right, but there are times that going with number two is a better deal.


To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Monday, December 30, 2013

At an air show

Ever notice that the women that complain about pinups and calendars are the ones you wouldn't want to f*** anyway?
George Carlin said that and he was right.

I've repeated it on occasion and one of the times I did was at an air show.

There was a WW2 airplane with a little cheesecake nose art on it and as usual some braided armpitted feminazi started caterwallering and carrying on with the person displaying it.

I grew tired of it pretty quickly and decided to give the poor bastard showing the plane off a little break.

"Hey," I said to the feminazi. "Why don't you go see Mr. Peabody and Sherman, hop in the Way-Back machine, go back to 1942 and argue with the War Department?"

"What do you mean by that?" she snapped.

"I mean that in 1942 nobody gave a damn about some guy putting a little cheesecake on their assigned aircraft and this airplane is historically accurate so shut the hell up," I shot back.

Then I looked at the guy displaying the airplane. "Ever notice the women the complain about cheesecake nose art, calendars and pinups are the one's you wouldn't want to boink anyway?" I asked.

He was pretty sharp. He said nothing but I knew he was amused.

Of course the hippie chick was outraged, too. 

Oddly enough she wasn't so much mad at me as she was mad at the attractive woman behind me that had two little kids with her and was laughing herself silly.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A few minutes ago I read where GE plant is leaving New York for the south.

which is no surprise to me at all.

Taxes are high in New York and lower in the southern states. GE probably looked at the books and decided that they would come out ahead over a reasonable amount of time if they moved.

It makes sense and if I were a CEO I would likely do the same thing. Taxes rob businesses of profits and it is as simple as that.

I said that once to a liberal and he said, "Oh, come now. When has a company ever been taxed to death".

Cape Dory Yachts and Bristol Yachts folded after boats became subject to a short-lived luxury tax a while ago and following heavy taxation and over regulation the US Merchant Marine began a pretty rapid decline.

Taxes, governmental regulation and unions tend to drive costs of doing business up. The luxury tax clobbered the recreational boat industry and taxation and regulation clobbered the US Merchant Marine in the 60s. There are very few US flagged ships anymore and the few that still exist are plying Jones act trade and not really going overseas.

In a simple stroke of the pen the shipowners simply reflagged the vessels and got rid of taxation, unions and regulations. It was as easy as that.

There used to be a lot of pride in the US Merchant Marine and the Merchant Marine academies pumped out officers that found good paying jobs until a combination of regulations, taxes and union greed made it too expensive for the ships to run profitably.
The companies really didn't want to reflag but the incentive to do so proved to be too enticing.

It doesn't surprise me.

Winston Churchill once said: "Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon."

It's true.

He also said: "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."

He was right when he said that, too.

We have to get over this "Everyone is a special snowflake and deserves a living wage" crap and start realizing that life is no bowl of cherries and that you will get out of it what you put into it.

I've said it before, I'll say it again. When you have a job that can be performed by someone living in a mud hut than it's time to either learn another skill or get used to living in a mud hut.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Book report: Gunny's Rules. How to get squared away like a Marine

I picked up a copy on Amazon and read it when I got home.

It's a pretty good read and he does a pretty good job of telling the reader how he became a big shot movie star.

Anyone that knows the Gunny can rest assured his values came from his service in the Marine Corps but the truth is you don't have to be a Marine to be successful. 

He explains that he got where he is not just by being in the right place at the right time, but by having done his homework and having answers when he got there. There was a lot more to it than just being able to prove to Stanley Kubrick that he would have made a better Gunnery Sergeant Hartman than the originally planned actor.

He pointed out on the way to stardom he was always finding employment as he went along and sometimes simply opened his own business. He once opened a bar in Okinawa with only a case of beer and four or five bottles of booze. As customers bought drinks he's take the money and have his employee run down the street and buy more. After a few days of business from the Marines at the nearby base he managed to get ahead enough to stay in business.

Interesting way of opening a bar on a shoestring.

When he heard they were starting to make movies about Vietnam in the Philippines he sold the bar and left. Finding himself there too early to be of any use to the movie industry he simply bought a 40 foot boat and went into the fishing business to stay employed.

Truth is, Gunny kept his eye on the buck and would have been successful even if he hadn't gone into the movie business. His work ethic would have not permitted failure.

He points out that things are there for the taking if you are willing to go the whole mile to earn them.

There's a lot of pretty good advice in this book and it's well worth the read. He's a little salty here and there but that's to be expected form the Gunny. He's not a politically correct character to begin with.

He has no use for the welfare types, which is to be expected.

He comes to a pretty good point when he suggests that young people look to spending a hitch in the military if they are at all adrift because he feels that it's a good place to settle down a bit and learn things about life and pick up a work ethic.

There's a lot of good tips and pointers in it.

All in all it's a pretty good read and I think it's worth the time to sit down and enjoy and a pretty down to earth book.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Friday, December 27, 2013

False flag attacks really frost my ass.

I just read where someone in the gay community just got charged with issuing a false report after reporting a robbery and beating where he had a homophobic slur written on him.

A while ago a black waitress reported that a customer had written a racial slur on a check and stiffed her for her tip. Outraged people sent her thousands. The same trick was played by a gay waiter also with the same results.

All three of these people should go right to f***ing jail for a while and have some time to see the error of their ways.

People that use the system for a personal vendetta ought to pay dearly for it. The system is there for justice and not to settle petty scores.

Over the years I have heard a couple of police officers say that 80% of real rapes go unreported and that 80% or reported rapes are false reports. I suppose those statistics could be argued and maybe the cops were trying to make a point. Still, the fact is that women are using the system to settle things with men that they are simply angry at for one reason or another.

The penalty for this sort of thing ought to be what the falsely accused  would have gotten if he/she had been convicted.

Many years ago before the advent of DNA I knew a guy that had been falsely accused. The rape kit came back proving the woman had sex. The only thing that saved the guy was that his blood type didn't match the blood type of the semen sample. 

The false accuser was simply sent on her way with no punishment, free to ruin other lives. I suppose her credibility took a hit, but they can't hold that against her in court if she tries to play the game again.

This is not to say that people shouldn't report valid crimes. They should. It is the duty of a crime victim to report crimes. If not for the purpose of obtaining justice, then to keep the perpetrator from committing the crime again.

People that pull this kind of stiff to further a cause do their cause no good because when the facts finally do come out they simply smear their cause. Better to have a foundation based on unshakable truth than easily dis proven lies.

Personally if some waiter/waitress pulled a stunt like that on me I would do whatever it legally took to have them fired. Then I would sue them and take their unemployment check from them and let them live under a bridge for a wile.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Got stuck between exits. There was a humongous pile up and I spent 5 hours waiting to get moving again.

Every time someone moved ahead six inches the clown behind me would start blowing his horn and I woke up and moved my truck ahead.

He screwed himself as when the PennDot people told us to do a 180 and go back to an access exit he had a hard time turning as I has walked down to the guy behind him and had him do the same thing to him.

When you get a lemon, make lemonade. I slept for part of it and for the rest of the time shot the $hit with a couple of cops on prisoner pick-up duty ahead of me.

When stuff like that happens there's no use getting upset

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I am writing this on Christmas Eve.

Earlier somewhere else I posted  Duffel Blog post claiming that NORAD spends $231 billion tracking Santa on Christmas Eve. The post was funny and the imaginary description of everything they was a pretty good spoof on the military.

I chuckled.

Anyway, the truth is that the Santa tracking they do at Cheyenne Mountain costs the taxpayers nothing. The military people involved are all just volunteers and the electronics, phone service etc. are donated.

I wes stationed in Colorado Springs back in the day at Fort Carson, an army base. We had a senior NCO that had been assigned to work with the Air Force at Cheyenne Mountain  and he had done a Christmas Eve there helping to track Santa. 

He said it was a lot of fun and told me that it was one of those rare times in service life where everyone there was more or less an equal and everybody pitched in and had a lot of fun.

I believe he said he had been a staff sergeant at the time and that night he said that it was the first time he had been served coffee by a smiling lieutenant colonel. He had been manning a phone at the time.

This was back in the day when they didn't have the internet and a lot of other communication devices that they do now. It was pretty much a phone in thing.

A few year back I met an Air Force major that had been assigned a tour at Cheyenne Mountain when he was a captain. He told me he had intervened in a cheerful, good natured 'argument' over who's turn it was to answer the phones between a major and a sergeant. 

He looked at the pair of them and stole a Dr Stangelove line when he looked at the pair of them and said that they couldn't fight there because it was a war room.

This doesn't mean that it's anarchy there, just that there's a lot of good natured work going on there. They're still service people.

It's interesting to note that it started by a misprint in a local paper. A Sears advertisement in the local paper had a call-in number whereby Santa would talk to children. The number printed was actually the number of the Cheyenne Mountain  commanding officer, Colonel Harry Shoup. When Shoup got the first call he immediately ordered a couple of his people to start tracking Santa and answered kid's calls for the rest of the evening.

A couple of years later the Air Force started posting the Cheyenne Mountain facility number and volunteers manned the lines fielding calls to Santa for the kids. They have been doing it ever since. 

Over time things have been updated. As phone service improved they started fielding calls from all over the country on an 800 number. Over time it spread to the internet. With the event of the internet kids can now follow Santa on his route around the world on the web. They can also call in.

The website is pretty educational in addition to being just plain fun for kids. They mark every place that Santa has stopped and if you click on one of his stops another window opens and gives the reader some information on the place. It's a pretty good geography lesson.

It's likely they will continue to do this until some whiny jerks invent a reason to complain and ruin another wonderful military tradition that has brought joy to many and cost none of us anything.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I see what you are doing....

The History Channel is part of the A&E system. As you know, A&E is in the middle of a ruckus over the Duck Dynasty show and I have covered that a couple of times already in tthis blog so I won't go there.

What I have noticed is that between the History channel and A&E is that they have had a series of shows about blue collar types in the south.

Swamp people was about alligator hunting, a portion of Axe Men takes place in the south as does the Legend of Shelby the Swamp man (or whatever it's called) 

A&E has 'Duck Dynasty', 'American Hoggers' and they're starting another series called 'Rodeo girls'.

I seem to have noticed that the shows that take place in the south tend to try and portray the people down there as backward and uneducated. Truth is, the south really isn't that way.

I sure wouldn't be ashamed to be accepted to Texas A&M like my neice has just been and Georgia Tech is a damned fine school.

Granted one does not need a lot of formal education to hunt alligators but the fact still remains that there are an awful lot of the Hah-vud boys that would get their asses eaten off of them if they tried. 

Mark Twain once said that he never let schooling get in the way of his education and I agree with him.

A lot of those people portrayed on the A&E networks may not have spent a whole lot of time in the classroom but they are sure one hell of a lot more competent in life than the audience in New York penthouses that are guffawing at them.

I suppose some of the people in the south chuckle, too because they know someone like the people portrayed in the shows but it's a different kind of laughter. Likely they are laughing at the character's mannerisms and not what he is doing. They probably respect the man for his skills.

There was one of those reality shows where a guy built a perfectly functioning tractor out of accumulated junk. It looked very rough and unpolished but did what it was designed to do and he was in the process of building attachments for it to do other things.

I don't have the skills to do that and I'd just bet that the overwhelming majority of the Yankee boys laughing at them can't build one, either. Yet they sit in their fancy penthouses all smug and looking down on their southern cousins. A lot of these people think the way to rewire a lamp is to call an electrician. 

Yet these Big City types will look down their noses at people with skills and a different way of life they are incapable of living. What is interesting to note is that all of the Duck Dynasty people have degrees except Si who has three years and service in Vietnam. Phil has a master's and they privately own a $400 million dollar business they started from scratch.

The ruckus on DD seems to be a case where A&E decided to take a family and make fools of them and it turned on them. Instead of looking like total hillbillies, the Robertsons appealed to the public as decent, intelligent people and it appears to have backfired. They are not portraying the image the A&E people wanted. People are not laughing at the Robertsons, they are laughing with them as they have things in common with them.

It doesn't strike me that a whole lot of people can look down on these guys. They obviously have the skills to make pretty hefty business deals or they wouldn't be as successful as they are.

My first encounter with these types to a lesser degree was when I went through basic training and had to deal with a few Philly and New York types that considered a tree to be a wild animal. It was hilarious watching one of them flip out when he encountered a garter snake while on bivouac. They went into a panic and ran away from it faster than I ran toward it. Snake's pretty good eatin'.

Yet these Big City types tended to look down their noses at some of the country kids that took to the outdoor aspects of soldiering like a duck to water. 

A lot of these elites look down on the very fabric that's put them where they are. They look down on rednecks, many of them are the people that fix their cars, their homes and even go to war on their behalf.

It makes me wonder why the A&E elites and their affiliates try and make these people look like they are so different than any of the rest of us. They are obviously $hitting where they eat.

Either that or covering for something. Most likely covering because I just read on another blog where the creator and producer of Duck Dynasty starred in a homoerotic movie called 'The Fluffer'.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Monday, December 23, 2013

One of the things I would like to see is a liberal

 becoming a commercial fisherman. They want everything to be perfect.  The wailing and gnashing of teeth would be something to behold.

Fishermen do not get paid an hourly wage. They are paid a percentage of the catch and that is the way it is.

It's a pretty good deal when the fish are jumping aboard and over the course of a year you can make a pretty good living at it if you stick with it.

Still, there simply are no guarentees and you have to know which skippers are successful and which are not. You can wind up busting your hump for weeks or even months on end and come in broke.

I remember making the better part of a pretty good year's pay in about 60 long hours once. That was a pretty good hit. 

The price of halibut was high and we hit a pretty good mother lode. I was in fat city for a couple of days untill I paid my debts off and even then I had a pretty good chunk of change left over.

Several months later gill netting for roe herring wasn't really a very good deal. I busted my ass for six or seven long weeks for sixteen hours a day and damned near got killed a couple times for about $400. I didn't gripe.

The last trip involved crossing Shelikof Strait and bad fuel. It was a circus and we managed to get across just before a pretty good storm blew up. I ought to write that story up sometime. It was an Indiana Jones hanging by the nails escape movie.

I didn't gripe when we came in once with a lousy catch and after my share of expenses found out I owed the boat about three or four hundred bucks. I stayed on and things got much better. At the end of the season I was in pretty good shape financially.

The boat I did well on that halibut was fairly reasonable with the way the owner divvied up things. My share was 10% of the catch and there were five of us. That accounted for 50% of the income. The boat got 50% which is fair.

I listened to one guy gripe about the boat taking half the catch once and the guy next to me told the whiner that if he didn't like it, then HE could find a way to finance what was then a 3/4 of a million dollar boat and another half million in gear and HE could pay the insurance and HE could take charge of things.

Like a lot of people, he seemed to have big ideas for someone else's money.

People seem to forget that part. Boats are not free and if the boat doesn't get paid for the owner generally loses it. The money has to come from somewhere.

There is another thing that is not understood and that's what is being offered to the fisherman. He's not being offered money for his time. He is offered to be a part of a risky venture where he is given an opportunity to be a part of the venture.

While he may not make a dime for an entire season, he may very well make thousands in a single week or even in a day or two. I knew a couple of guys involved in a Joint Venture with the Russians that made over a grand a day. I also knew a few guys that barely kept themselves fed for an entire season.

The owner has put up a pretty good pile of money to buy into an industry that is little more than a crapshoot and there's an awful lot of risk involved. He's entitled to 

A lot of boats are skipper owned and the ones I fished on generally were skipper owned. 

I saw a couple of guys come up for a season and it was interesting watching them. They had heard somewhere that deckhands could get rich in a summer. One of the guys was a whiner and the other was a pretty good man.

The whiner thought you were guarenteed a good summer income and kept wondering why the skippers didn't guarentee anything. The other guy realized he had gotten into a crapshoot and simply decided to ride it out.

The whiner went back to working in the supermarket. The other guy that decided to tough it out did just that and at the end of the season had a pretty damned good hit and went back to college in somewhat good shape.

He was also invited back by his skipper the next season. It was the season after he finished college and he decided to go fishing that summer figuring he's do better there than at an entry level job for his degree. If I recall, he made out like a bandit by doing that and got a pretty good launch before he embarked on his career.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Duck Dynasty ruckus

has led me to believe that a lot of people do not understand how the First Amendment works.

The part of the First Amendment pertaining to free speech means that the government can't censor our media or persecute someone for speaking out. That's pretty much it.

What is going on with the Duck Dynasty is that A&E has suspended Phil from further shows until further notice. This is within the rights of A&E. They have committed no legal foul. It is their show and they can do with it as they please.

While a lot of people (myself included) support Phil, there really is no legal action we can take against A&E.

On the other hand, nobody can force the people to watch a TV show or buy a certain brand of merchandise. Because of the actions of A&E, people are simply hitting A&E where it hurts the most. They are wallopping them in the wallet by refusing to do business with them.

Incidentally, if a product says 'Duck Commander' on it, it is from the Robertson's company. Anything labeled 'Duck Dynasty' on it puts money in the pockets of A&E, or so I have been told.

I knew little of the Robertsons until a couple of days ago. I've had the show on my TV before numerous times, but as background noise. I haven't sat down to seriously watch it but when the boycott is over I think I will watch an episode or two.

What I can say from what I have read about the Robertsons is that they have three things in life that matters to them, religion, family and duck hunting. Nothing wrong with that.

I understand that when the contracts for the show were signed the A&E people agreed to this.

Apparently the A&E people didn't understand very well that it was pretty likely that at least one of the Robertsons was likely to give a pretty candid interview involving their religion.

Phil gave GQ magazine an interview and A&E objected to what Phil said.

What did they expect? I do not believe a gag order was a part of the Robertson's contract. If it was, I would imagine that it would have surfaced by now.

I am likely one of the minority of people that took the time to chase down the GQ interview and read it carefully.

Now, I'm going to stop here and clarify a few things. 

If you are some kind of souped-up religious fanatic that thinks I have taken the side of the religious right, guess again. My dogtag is stamped 'No Preference'. Please step aside.

If you are a homophobic, take a hike. I have posted over time  simply that someone's sex life involving consenting adults is nobody's business. Like Phil, I don't hate gays.

If you are some gay 'celebrate the beauty of my homosexuality and I've been wronged.' type, hit the bricks. Just as I have nothing to celebrate over being straight, you have nothing to celebrate by being gay. We're just hard wired different and if you're smart you'll leave it at that. 

What happened in the interview is that Phil basically said that he had a sexual preference for women. He may have been a little crude about it, but that's what he said.

Guess what? Many of us do have a preference for the opposite sex. You don't say! Whoda thought such a thing.

Later on in the interview he said he doesn't hate anybody. Apparently he's a lot more tolerant than a lot of his detractors than I am.

The reason I am taking sides on this issue is simply because a good, decent human being has been shit on by a  team of unscrupulous media hacks that have taken his remarks totally out of context.

What A&E and the usual gang of agenda ridden bastards have done is attack a simple, decent human being. I don't like it and I'm letting my wallet do my talking. I'm boycotting A&E for a while.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Learn to think and learn to count.

I hear all of these people babbling that they ought to raaise the minimum wage so poor prople can get nice things, too.

That's all well and good, but do they know what they are talking about? Not likely.

The last time they raised minimum wage within six months the prices on just about everything raised accordingly. If it took someone on minumum wage an hour to buy three gallons of milk (or whatever) then shortly after the price rose accordingly so the guy working for minumum wage could still only get the same three gallons of milk. 

In some cases less because they were put into a higher tax bracket.

Meanwhile the non union and private sector people didn't get a raise because they were over minimum wage so they suffered because their pay didn't go up to meet the increase in prices. 

Those that had skills were poorer for it as were the retirees on fixed incomes. Those that had been saving for retirement were robbed of their savings by inflation.

So the people that have bettered themselves by learning a skill or trade got hurt, people that had tried to live responsibly by saving got hurt and those at the bottom in reality stayed where they were. They still had to work an hour for their three gallons of milk. Of course, that is assumingthey didn'tget jacked up into another tax bracket. If they did, they only got poorer.

The truth of the matter is that what should be done about those poor people on minimum wage is allow businesses to prosper and free them of unnecessary governmental regulations.

They should make it easier for start up businesses to get rolling and create job that need skilled people to work for them. We need to start manufacture more things as opposed to buying abroad.

Handing the poor a false pay raise does nobody any good whatsoever. It just encourages them to stay at the bottom of the pile because most of them do not understand that the raise they are getting is just going to be taken away from them through inflation and taxes.

What the motivated poor need is opportunity to pick up a skill or a trade and flourish. The umotivated poor should simply be left where they are until they get tired of it and decide to either stay where they are or move up. Their choice.

Raising the minimum wage just stands to make all of us poorer and to tell you the truth, I'm getting sick and tired of propping up the poor and becoming poorer for it.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Friday, December 20, 2013

I just watched the Facebook page

 supporting Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson get over a million hits supporting him in less than 24 hours. Robertson has been suspended from the show for supposedly anti gay comments made during a GQ magazine interview.


I suppose the network that runs the show, A&E was scared that the show's sponsors would back out so they suspended Phil from the show.

I saw where one of the sponsers of Duck Dynasty has gone on record as supporting Phil. Another one has said they'll keep advertising which likely means they are not particularly upset over Robertson's comments.

Betcha A&E didn't expect that.

I got curious and started snooping a little to see what Robertson said and read the GQ interview. I was not surprised. While the comments that seem to have fired up the gay community could be considered a little coarse, there was no hate in them at all. Later in the interview he expressed no hate toward anyone.

His comments on sexuality basically said that gay sex made no sense to him.

Guess what? It makes no sense to me, either. I guess that's just the way I'm wired. I've generally avoided saying anything either way in this blog about my sexuality simply because it's nobody's business. However, I'll go on record now as telling my readers that I am a hetrosexual male. Sex with another man makes no sense to me, either.

I was recently attending a gathering and I can say for sure that while my eyes were wandering, they didn't stop moving as they passed by other guy's butt. They did, however, stop to check out a number of female butts.

All Phil Robertson said in so many words is "I'm a man and I like women". So what. There's nothing wrong with that whatsoever. On this issue the gay community can pound sand.

 Like Phil Robertson, I don't hate gays. My attitude toward them is if they let me know thay are gay, I'll just say "Fine. I don't give a damn about your sex life. Let's get us a cup of coffee and talk about something else."

Like Phil Robertson, I feel it's not my job to pass judgement on things of this nature. 

Robertson is a Born Again Christian, and apparently a genuine one at that. That's fine by me. There are a number of Born Again Christians that I respect for adhering to their beliefs. (There are also quite a number of people that profess to being Born Again Christians that clearly are not and I don't have a lot of time for them.)

The Robertson family seems to hold to their religion and that's fine by me even though my dogtag is stamped 'No Preference'.

What is funny about this post is that I really don't watch the show too often because I'm generally doing something else. Still, what little I have seen of it has been a refreshing change from the so-called reality shows of sex, drugs and stupid drama over nothing.

It's rather nice seeing a show with family values for a change.

I think that if this gets settled and the boycott gets lifted, I'm going to pay a little more attention to the show.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Self solving problems

Gang violence. A self-solving problem.

It IS a self solving problem. The more gang bangers that kill each other off, the fewer the rest of us have to deal with.

While I suppose there are a lot of people that will disagree with me, the truth is the truth. The more they off each other the fewer there are. I guess that do-gooders can't count or they'd see it.

Then again the do-gooders would be appalled to see how many policemen show up to a gang related homicide and say something to the body like, "Well, Bob, this is the first time I have been glad to see you." Cops know how to count. About all the cop that shows up to a gang related killing is annoyed about is the amount of paperwork he's going to have to do.

Although it isn't in the headlines as much, the mob has always left a few bodies laying around in places like New York, Jersey, Providence, RI and Vegas. Truth is it is mob infighting and seldom if ever is an honest citizen victimized. The mob simply doesn't want the heat. They're really quite surgical.

About the only way to get whacked in a mob hit is to be doing business with them. They leave ordinary citizens pretty much alone.

You also have to remember that being in a gang or getting into bed with the mob is a choice. Getting whacked by them generally means that someone is paying the consequences of making a poor choice. Or, As Monty Python said, He chose poorly. 

Anyway, the way I see a few things here and there, some problems tend to take care of themselves.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

know a guy that overcame a pretty raw deal.


I was at work several years ago and one of my customers and I were having a cuppa cawfee together. He was griping about how his son can't find decent employment because of a felony conviction.

I asked for details and found out that it was a case of the son being stopped and cocaine being found in the car. When that happens the police often presume the driver is responsible unless someone fesses up.

Of course, the true owner of the coke kept quiet and let my customer's son take the hit. Bam! Felony conviction.

"If that's the way things went down, you might be able to get that expunged or even pardoned," I said. "Have your son talk to a lawyer."

"Can someone really make that go away?" he asked.

"I don't know about an expungement, but a pardon makes it go away pretty much completely," I answered. "He'd better have a clean record otherwise, though. Governors don't like being made fools of."

"I'll look into that," he said. "He's clean. Not even a speeding ticket."

A couple of years later I pulled up to the same place of business and met a new guy in charge of the operation. I introduced myself and we started filling out the paperwork required to transact business.

While we were filling out the paperwork he looked up and said that he owed me big time. I looked confused. I had never seen this man in my life.

"You spoke with my father a while back and told him that I might be able to get my criminal record expunged," he said. "Dad told me about it and I hired a lawyer and we did better than getting it expunged. I got a pardon. That's why I was able to pass the background check and get a job here."

It was then I remembered the conversation I had with his dad.

Seems there were three other guys in the car when he got stopped and two of them were pretty solid citizens. They wrote statements regarding the events that took place the night of the arrest. Between that and his clean record the governor of his home state looked into it and based on what he found, issued this guy a full pardon.

I have to admit that this guy has to be given credit for taking the iniative and getting off of his ass and chasing down what he heard, though. Most people would have discounted it and just shined it on and stayed in a lousy situation.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I am NOT a Republican.

I hate it when people call me a Republican because I am not. The Republican party as it is now just out and out sucks. Truth is we have two parties in this country and they both suck. We have the party of the fat, rich old guys and the party of the low-lifes.

I am closer to an Old School hard nosed Libertarian. 

I expect the government to leave me alone and I don't think they should do things for people that they can and should do for themselves. People should take care of themselves.

The less the government does for the individual the more they do for themselves and the better off we all are.

I want my freedom and the rights and responsibility that go with it. I don't want the government telling me who I can and can't marry and I don't care who marries who unless one of the parties doesn't want the marriage.

If someone wants to marry a consenting halibut that's fine by me. Truth is, I think the government should not even be in the marriage business but should simply grant civil unions. Want to get married? Go see the preacher.

I believe that the government should do just a few basic things. 

They should defend the beaches, keep Americans safe by enabling them to take care of themselves, defend the Constitution, take responsibility for the Interstate highways and other transportation and inland rivers and a few other basic things that can't be done by the states alone. 

They should also print an honest currency based on either gold or silver. A dollar saved when someone is twenty should be worth about a dollar when the person turns 80.

I believe people are resposible for themselves and it isn't the job of the feds to hand out money, food stamps, telephones and the like. That's the business of the states or the individual counties or states if they choose to do things like this.

It is not the duty of government to insure a basic standard of living, It is the duty of the individual to create his own standard of living. If his municipality, county or state wants to pitch in, fine. It's just not the job of the feds.

I don't believe in subsidies, bailouts, price controls, wage controls or things like that. Let the market decide. If someone is scalping tickets that's fine by me, It's a simple business transaction with a willing seller or and a willing buyer. There's nothing unfair about it.

Given my choice about half the federal agencies would be abolished. The Department of Education is an example. It does little or nothing but cost us money. Education should be handled on a local level.

Yes, I believe some children ARE going to be left behind. Sorry about that.

I believe that gambling and prostitution should be legal because that's a private deal between individuals if nobody is forcing anyone to do anything they don't want to do.

I believe all government programs, jobs, etc should be open to everyone regardless of race, sex, creed, color, sexuality or national origin and that all job awards, promotions, etc should be based only on merit with no racial quotas or set-asides.

I also believe that a private business owner should be permitted to either do or not do busineess with whoever he chooses. On the other hand, if he decides to refuse to do business with someone based on race, religion whatever he likely isn't going to get any business from me.

I also believe banks should have the right to loan money strictly on the ability of the borrower to pay it back. 

I don't believe it is the job of government to get involved in the reproductive freedom of anyone. If a guy want's to get a vascectomy it's his choice. If a woman want's to terminate a pregnancy it is between her, her physician and her maker. It's as simple as that.

I believe parents are accountable for the public behavior of their kids and while I am no fan of abuse and beatings I have no problem with corporal punishment, used judiciously.

I believe that there are problems that do not have solutions and that when people try and solve one claiming 'we have to do something' they are wasting time and money and very likely costing someone their rights. If you don't have a workable solution for a problem then either find one or leave it alone until you do.

I believe in the bill of rights and I am a dogged defender or the Second Amendment which gives the people the final say in their government. Seeing the courts have decided that the police are not responsible to protect us and we're responsible for our own defense, I think the government has no say whatsoever in what small arms I choose for personal defense.

If attacked I will defend myself. If my neighbors are worthwhile, I will defend them. If they are not worthwhile I will likely bet $20 on who the winner will be. Any takers? Twenty bucks says the jerk five doors down gets his ass beat by the thug in the hoodie. Let Sarah Brady help him.

I think that those that choose not to own a firearm are fools but have a right to be fools. In fact, I will support your right to make stupid decisions just so long as they do me no harm. 

I believe the further down the chain something is, the more likely it is to be successful at doing what it was intended to do. Schools are a good example. Good schools draw successful people and successful people make successful neighborhoods and towns. If you want good schools, get after your municipality or county. It's easier to boot a lousy school committee member out at a municipal level than a federal level.

Ever try throw a federal official out? Ha! Fat chance! On the other hand I have watched any number of local politicians get thrown out on their asses.

I believe it is the right of the state or community to tar and feather elected officials that don't keep their election promises. We haven't done that in years and if we started again the quality and honesty of our politicians would go up like a skyrocket.

I don't believe in punishing the majority for the irresponsibility of a few. I believe in punishing the guilty. 

And No. I did NOT bring gum for everybody. If others want gum they can buy their own.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Monday, December 16, 2013

You get what you're worth

You get out of life what you put into it and it is as simple as that. If your career consists of dead end jobs that pay squat then maybe it's time you just got off of your dead ass and onto your dying feet and find a way to make you more valuable to an employer.

I listen to people gripe about making minimin wage for working 40 hours and the truth of the matter is that they have nobody to blame but themselves.

A basic education in this country is free and if someone is either too lazy or too stupid to take advantage of it then it's not someone else's fault. 

Employees pay for skills. If you are capable of running a multi-billion dollar corporation well you will likely make a damned big pile of money because you are worth it. Few people can do this.

If you are capable of running a piece of heavy equipment on a construction site you will make a pretty good wage for your skills. Good heavy equipment operators are not easy to find.

On the other hand if you have no skills you really are not worth a whole lot. It's simply the way it is. It is simply supply and demand. If the supply of a certain skill is short, then wages are higher than those that have skills that are more common.

Some people call food stamps and the like as corporate subsidies. They are not. The companies are simply paying people what they are worth. If the people were worth more they would be paid more.

Sometimes education factors in, sometimes not. My favorite complainer is the guy that got a master's degree planning on starting his career in six figures only to find out that nobody wants to hire someone with a master's degree in puppetry.

On the other hand, yesterday I watched some guy that very well might never have finished high school dock about two or three football fields worth of floating steel alonside a dock with a fair tide and a foul wind. He did it so smoothly he wouldn't have cracked an egg between the boat and the dock. I was impressed.

Betcha he makes a pretty hefty wage. He's worth every penny of it.

Then the game works its way on down to those that bag groceries or work in fast food. The fast food place pays them poorly because they have no real skills and can easily be replaced.

It really is as simple as that.

There are people there that simply do not have the value that other people with skills that are in demand have. There are other ways a person can increase their value without too many skills. They can simply go into a field that nobody else wants and be paid fairly well for it. The guys that picked up my trash every Thursday told me they were doing OK and I'll take them at their word.

At least they were doing well until they were replaced by automation. Now instead of one guy driving and two guys dumping cans into the truck, there is one guy that drives and operates a machine that empties the trash into the truck.

Because he can run the machinery as well as has a CDL and knows how to drive the truck he's doing better than he was when he simply drove the old trash truck and the other two guys are now doing something else.

There are times when markets for skills get flooded and the value of the respective tradesmen drops. I recently had a furnace installed and what was interesting is that the guy that installed was in his mid 40s and had only recently entered the heating trade.

The market for his previous trade dropped off and instead if crying about it, he simply went back to school and learned the HVAC trade which took him less time than most of his fellow students because he had skills from his previous trade that were helpful in his new trade. I respect the guy for that.

Of course there are still a lot of people out there that have not learned trades or picked up marketable skills that think that it is unfair that they are in poverty.

In this country there are apprenticeships in most of the trade unions that would lead to pretty good careers and when you learn the trade. After you become proficient there's also often the opportunity to go into business for one's self.

Take the electrician I hired a while back to move the main power cables for me while I re-sided my house a few years back. He was a master electrician that was a one man outfit that did smaller jobs around town. He was constantly busy and because the work I needed done was a very small job he squeezed me in while he was making a parts run on another job. He was doing well.

I know a plumber that recently opened his own little business and since he did he seldom has time to drop by because he's constantly busy. He does well. 

I get a kick out of people that gripe about what plumbers and electricians charge. They're worth it, though, because if they were not worth it nobody would hire them.

Some college degrees are certainly worth more than others. Humanities degrees are not very marketable but engineering degrees are. The little girl up the street just finished an engineering degree a while back and started off at a pretty damned hefty salary.

The fool that got a master's in puppetry is not so fortunate. His master's degree is hardly worth the paper it is printed on and his dreams of starting at six figures were pipe dreams that have changed into an ugly reality. He owes a fortune in student loans.

The truth of the matter is that you get paid what you're worth.

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

We're wasting an awful lot of talent in this country

 because we demotivate people.

Our social welfare programs are a pretty good source of demotivation when you look at it. Maybe there is another Bill Gates or Tom Edison sitting on his or her ass in the ghetto somewhere just getting by on the government tit. If they were forced off of government aid they just might blossom.

There they sit, shackled in the golden handcuffs of welfare, cringing in fear of the lash of losing benefits.

How about if we try a social experiment of another type and eliminate the programs and put these people on their own to take care of themselves. In a first world country asking someone to feed, clothe and shelter themselves isn't too much to ask for.

While I suppose the fear of losing a basic lifestyle at the expense of the productive is something to think of, once the people riding the gravy train are booted off their fears will be realized and they will likely start looking for ways to take care of themself.

We can do this simply by reducing benefits slowly until they simply disappear. Weaning them off of the government tit, so to speak.

It won't take long for most of these people to get motivated to start taking care of themselves.They simply will have no choice. They will start to becoming productive. They'll find something to do and a way to take care of themselves. 

One thing that is likely to start happening is that out of wedlock births will decrease because it will be the responsibility of the parents to support them. You can also bet that of those that do occur, the mothers will start to demand that the fathers cough up some kind of support.

Another thing that will start to happen is a return to the basic family values whereby family members start to learn to take care of each other. Since the inception of the Great Society programs the family as a unit seems to have broken down.

 Some will likely become successful and do quite well once they figure out how the system works. Others will become quite successful. Yet others won't do quite so well, but because they have to produce they will find a way to get by.

This puts fear in the hearts of some because they don't think that people can take care of themselves. I'm different. I know that just about everyone can if they try.

Liberals are starting to say that welfare is corporate welfare. I won't argue it either way but if the welfare system was weaned off than what is likely to happen is that people stuck in dead end jobs will bust their asses to find something better.

They will develop skills that make themselves more valuable and we'll be better off. The dead end jobs will either have to face a constant turnover or increase wages. Either that or they will likely be a source of employment to young people which is what they used to be. We can sure use entry level jobs for young people as a place to give them a work ethic.

The beginnings of this are likely to get pretty ugly, but we might as well get started and get the pain over with as soon as we can because things are not going to get easier.

It's like having to do therapy after a back operation. You have to do the therapy if you ever want to walk again and the therapy hurts like hell. I know of two people that had similar back operations. One of the two went through months of painful therapy aid is now fine. The other didn't do the therapy and was pretty much crippled for the rest of his life.

The deeper and deeper we get into debt the sooner a major crash is going to emerge and then everyone will be in trouble.

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Back when I was young and bullet proof I stayed clear of the drug scene

 but not for the reason you would think.

I wasn't afraid of addiction, effects on health and the usual list of things people have to say about the illegal use of drugs because I waas young and bullet proof.

i stayed away from the scene because I watched it and quickly discovered the fact that people in the drug scene seemed to have a whole lot more non drug related problems than those that steered clear.

The beatings and rip-offs I saw in my youth always seemed to happen a lot more often to those that were involved in the drug scene. I saw people that were involved in the drug scene were constantly being burglarized, generally for drugs and they had no recourse but to retaliate outside of the law.

How do you think it would go over at the police station when you report your residence being broken into and having a pound of cocaine stolen?

Of course, money played into it and there were all sorts of rip offs and double dealing that seemed to put the small time dealers into trouble of one kind or another.

I had an acquaintance back in the day that decided to get rich quick by buying up $10,000 worth of cocaine in Anchorage once. He stuffed $10K into his pocket and hopped on the plane for Anchorage. A couple days later word got back to Anchorage that he had been dound dead there. Needless to say, his money was gone.

In short, I saw that those involved in drugs simply didn't live as well (or as long) as the people that steered clear of it did.

And that, ladies and gentlemen is why I steered clear of the drug scene.

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Friday, December 13, 2013

A while ago I was visiting a policeman's internet board

 and someone threw out a broad question about the differences of being a cop in different areas.

Several of them admitted using the passenger's side floor of their cruiser as a temoporary trash can and picking it up after shift.

Another officer wryly commented that after dark the world became his toilet which made me think for a second until I figured out that this particular officer most likely was a rural cop with a large area to cover. I thought about that and remembered the countless times that I would be on the road late at night and pull over to pee.

While in a city or in populated suburbs there is almost always a place open where a cop can find a toilet, it's different in a more remote area when the town rolls up after dark and the local honky-tonk (if there is one) closes at midnight.

That's when I sat and thought about the fact that simply being a policeman really isn't a good job description because of the many differences in the work and working conditions.

In Alaska many small villages have a person called a 'Village Public Safety Officer' which really is a cop with very broad responsibilities. He's a cop, fireman EMT rolled into one.  In the larger towns they have regular departments. They often team up with a State Trooper on special duty.

Kodiak had a regular department and a harbor patrol with armed officers. The regular cops wore sidearms on their hips like most cops, but the harbor officers carried their sidearms concealed. Most peope never knew the harbor officers were armed. Both had differing missions and seldom did the areas overlap unless something was seriously wrong.

Sometimes the city cops would get upset over the fact that they were not really allowed on the docks unless called by the Harbormaster which was damned seldom.

One time a pair of city cops tried to board a boat and got thrown over the side. The resulting case got thrown out of court because the boat had not been tied up at the time of the attempted boarding. Being underway the local officers had no juristiction yet the harbor cops likely would have handled the situation with ease.

Incidentally, the court case came up for the crew of the boat that threw the local cops over the side. What happened was hilarious. As the trial began one of the defendants raised his  hand and the judge looked at him and started to explain to him that he had to wait his turn.

"But Your Honor, I'm just trying to save us all a lot of time and effort," He said.

"Pray, tell us what is on your mind," said the judge with more than a touch of impatience.

"We were on a US documented vessel underway and the officers were out of their juristiction. I'm not even sure this court can try this case," he said.

The judge's facelit up and turned to the courtroom and asked if the vessel was underway. When it was determined that it was the judge turned to the fisherman.

"Thank you, Mr Karstein," said the judge. "You are absolutely right. This appears to be a federal matter. Case dismissed."

The harbor patrol knew who to call for backup. Sometimes it was the local department, and occasionally it was the Coast Guard.

While I suppose through TV most people have a vague idea of what city cops do, few understand that their brother officers in less sparsely populated areas have it somewhat differently than their city cousins. 

I suppose a city cop can have a beat of only a few blocks and only know a few people in it unless he has had the beat a long time and even then not even know half of the couple thousand or more people on his beat.

On the other hand, a rural cop with a several square mile beat is likely to know everyone in his entire area and what they do and a lot of their habits. His beat may be bigger than the entire city his brother officer patrols only a couple block area of.

A rural cop that knows his beat is often more apt to settle things then and there than a city cop simply because he is more likely to know the people involved.

I would imaging that if the city officer got into a bind he's have backup in seconds. On the other hand, the rural officer may have to wait for quite some time for backup and in some cases, not even have any backup. As a result of this a rural cop has to think differently  than a city cop.

When you consider that the saying that people get the police they demand it is interesting that one officer, say in the city, may either arrest or issue a summons to someone that the rural cop would scold someone for or even just ignore.

I suppose the inverse must hold true in things. 

Another thing about policework is that there are so many differing missions out there. In some areas Fish and Game types are sworn officers charged with enforcing Fish and Game laws and are unlikely to stop someone for speeding. Then again, a city or town cop might not think to check the hunting license of the speeder he has stopped that had a deer in the back of his pickup.

I suppose he might if the deer wasn't dead, though, but for different reasons.

When you stop and think about it, in many cases all that some policemen have in common is simply the fact that they are policemen. It's a pretty broad field.

Just a little food for thought.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

One of the things I remember well about the Old man

 was that he had missed a lot during the depression. One of the things the family budget didn't include was movies and it was a joy to watch a 30 year old First Run (to him) movie.

In the late 50s and early sixties there were a couple of movie programs on basic broadcast TV. There was the Late Movie and there was also a Saturday Matinee.

They aired 30 year old movies, most of which were about 30 years old. The three I remember watching with him were 'King Kong', 'White Heat' and 'The Public Enemy'. 

Over time the movies reran and the second time Dad and I watched 'King Kong' together was a real treat. I'll talk about that one later.

We watched "The Public Enemy' together one Saturday afternoon and thought it was pretty cool. Dad told me that he actually liked seeing it for the first time as an adult because it has come out when he was about ten and opined that he woulldn't have appreciated it as much as a kid.

Mom's family had weathered the depression a little easier and when Dad mentioned that many of the movies he saw on TV were first-run to him, Mom grew quiet and reflected on the times. I think she was thinking about how lucky she had been.

I enjoyed doing just about anything with dad because he made things fun. He would sometimes mimic one of the actors and I would roll on the floor laughing.

The following Saturday the family had a sit-down breakfast together and in addition to the usual bacon and eggs, Mom and dad split a grapefruit.

Dad picked up his half and mimed rubbing it in Mom's face. It was several inches away. The turned to me with his face bunched up ala Cagney and grinned.

I broke out laughing and my mother looked perplexed a minute. It took Mom a minute to pick up on it and finally she understood. "You think I am that woman in the Jimmy Cagney movie or something?" she asked. She wasn't too upset, she just shook her head a little confused.

"No, you're prettier than she is," replied Dad and Mom smiled.

'White Heat' was another one we watched together, Actually we saw it twice. Once then and the second time a year or so later. The second time was actually more fun than the first time because Dad would ad lib some of the lines. He could be hilarious.

I remember the second time so well because he had come upstairs and whispered asking me if I was asleep. I wasn't and was up like a cat. We sneaked down together and saw it again on the Late Show. The two of us laughing in the next room almost woke up my mother! Afterwards I ran upstairs and went to sleep and woke up tired but toughed it out because I knew if I didn't he'd never grab me for the Late Show again.

Until he died, we'd sometimes look at each other and quietly grin and say, "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!" I still say that every so often at certain times. Generally when I am being foolish about something or another.

The first time we watched King Kong together we were fairly quiet and raptly watched the movie. Dad commented that Kong looked pretty real considering when the movie was made. Afterwards he grinned and commented that a P-51 Mustang would have made short work of Kong at the end.

'King Kong' apparently got pretty good ratings that night because the network started showing it annually and the next year we re-watched it as a family. Mom had actually not seen it before and was rapt. Dad, my brother and I had. 

Mom kept telling my dad to be quiet because he kept mimicking Faye Wray's screaming and a few other things during the movie. My brother and I laughed ourselves silly because he was a pretty good mimic. His facial inflection was hilarious, too.

The be-all and the end-all was at the end where Kong gets shot off of the Empire State Building. Dad got into an imaginary cockpit and started making airplane sounds and mimed flying the plane with an imaginary stick in his hands.

When he got in close, he'd open up on poor old Kong. "Bap bap bap bap bap!" he'd say, imitating machine guns.

He was so good my mother stopped watching the movie and started watching him and told him he was worse than the kids.

We all laughed and smirked when Mom just looked at us and shook her head. She was amused but tried not to show it.

Oh, yeah. We watched "Yankee Doodle Dandy" together once. 

A few months earlier there had been a product called 'Turkey Noodle Dandy' that had been marketed with the words to "Yankee Doodle Dandy" changed.

When Cagney sang it the whole family all sang along but sang the Turkey Noodle Dandy jingle. I remember the first part of it it well.

I love Turkey Noodle Dandy
Turkey Noodle do or die.
You can serve my nephew or my Uncle Sam
Creamed turkey or turkey pie....

I miss my dad.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

One of the things I look back fondly

 on during my service time were some of the senior NCOs.

I had a sergeant major that was a WW2 vet. One day the old soldiers were telling me how great the M14 service rifle was until the BnXO and the sergeant major walked in. The BnXO was a former enlister man and blushed. He confessed he had learn to shoot on an M1 Garand.

It was the sergeant major that brought the house down when he told the BnXO that the Garand was a Buck Rogers POS and that HE learned on a Springfield.

The funniest thing I recall is a man that was my First Sergeant. He had served in Korea shortly after the army had been integrated and had been the serious victim of racial prejudice. Being black, he got some of the dirty jobs and did them well, going out in the night with a .45 and a trench knife and collecting ears. This guy was a true badass by reputation.

He was a classic in his own right, not very well formally educated and I believe he couldn't read very well.

Yet in a way he had a certain polish about him that can not be described. I would proudly introduce this man to any head of state as one of my mentors. It is one of those things a person can not pin down. Class in his own right, I guess.

Still, the man was a true basic issue GI character.

One night someone on guard duty in the motor pool decided not to call a relief for a call of nature. Like most of us he carried a packet of C-ration toilet paper in his ammo pouch.

He did his business in the corner of the L shape of the motor pool building and continued walking his post.

The next morning the motor sergeant found it and raised hell with the old school Top Kick and as a result, the noon formation is one I will never forget.

"One of you guys on guard duty crapped in the corner of MY motor pool," he said. "Now some of you collitch kids are goin' to tell Old Top that it must have been some dog that done it, but I ain't never heard of no dog using no toilet paper!"

YOU try keeping a straight face through THAT one!

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"Ya know, if you're 22, 23 or so not in school or an apprenticeship somewhere and are still

flipping burgers than something is wrong with you," said a plumber to me the other day.

The more I think about it, he's right.

The truth is that I was damned near forty when I embarked on my career having chased rainbows for my first part of my life. In a way something WAS probably wrong with me, but I suppose we can say 'all's well that ends well'.

One thing, though. During that period I don't think I ever had a minimum wage job as such. I simply wouldn't accept it. I found better. It was always out there.

The last time I had a minimum wage job was in high school.

There is a lot of talk out there to raise the minimum wage and a lot of good that's going to do any of us, including those that have stuck themselves in minimum wage jobs. The fact that some people out there are in minimum wage jobs is simply for the most part, their choice. There's opportunity out there.

All raising the minimum wage is going to do is cause more inflation. It's as simple as that. All one has to do is look at Australia where minimum wage is a lot higher. 

Guess what, people, so is the price of goods.

To make things easy, let's use round numbers.

If the minimum wage is $10 per hour and milk is $3 per gallon than an hour's pay (after taxes) will buy about 2 gallons of milk.

So if you double minimum wage to $20 and hour (which puts the worker in a higher tax bracket) then inside of a short period of time the price of milk will double and the guy working for minimum wage will still have to work an hour to bring home 2 gallons of milk.

Hell, he might not even be able to do that because he's now in a higher tax bracket.

Truth is, the plumber that started this conversation will lose. He's nonunion and there is no corresponding wage increase in his contract. His wage will likely stay the same and the difference between his skilled labor and the bottom of the pile will decrease. 

The resulting inflation will mean that the plumber can buy less and that he and is skills are now less valuable. The gap between skilled and unskilled labor has closed up and made a skilled tradesman poorer.

Call this 'Trickle Up Poverty'.

Nobody wins. The skilled laborer gets made poorer because his money isn't worth as much The minimum wage earner gets thrust into a higher tax bracket and the resulting inflation robs the frugal of their savings because the money they saved is worth considerably less.

The fast food workers that are planning on striking are very likely to face the unintended consequence of unemployment if they get the wages raised.

The price of their burgers will rise and fewer people will buy them and that means layoffs. Competition for the jobs will go up as displaced construction workers that make about $15 and hour now will flock to the jobs.

What's more, the workers that don't lose their jobs right off will very likely have to produce more to compensate for their raise and it is likely that automation will enter the picture and kick more of them to the curb.

Actions have consequences.

Truth of the matter is that Ben Franklin was right when he said that the more we do for the poor the less they do for themselves and therefore get poorer.

The other truth of the matter is that the poor have been dragging us down for generations and costing us a lot of money. It's time to simply let them go. Some, of course, are bound to sink but the bulk of them will simply either swim or at least tread water.

What is likely to happen is that some of the poor will become successful because they are on their own and will discover that they can do well without any outside help.

As for those that don't try and better themselves?

As a sergeant once said to me when I was a private, "Them ditches ain't gonna dig themselves."

That particular statement stuck. I simply decided then and there to make rank and I did. Sixteen months after I enlisted I was wearing sergeant's stripes.

It was that easy.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY